Nine, But Who’s Counting . . . Besides Me

I’m not sure, really, how many posts I’ve done so far. I know it’s not many having just started this blog a bit over a month ago. But I do know there are nine more days of the Daily Posting Challenge. So, I’m almost there.

keep calm
Google Images

I’ve done a lot of surfing, today. Mostly on Twitter and some sites that feature “the raw story” about certain topics. Let me just tell you that between Donald J. Trump and his Russian friends, Roy Moore and his underage “friends”, and the FCC and their internet-meddling friends, I’ve come to a few conclusions. Apparently, somewhere along the way, this is what happened: I’ve stepped into a time warp that bled into an alternate universe that catapulted itself into a wormhole of backwardness where immoral behavior is praised and rewarded. All the while, my dumb ass has been stuck in Park. This is the only explanation I can muster. Have you ever felt like everything you do is a futile exercise in meaninglessness? This is where I am, now (elle oh elle).

No worries, however. Mama didn’t raise no fool, or quitter, or indecent and immoral quitter-fool! That would be, I suppose, the one greatest immorality and atrocity I could commit in my life – giving up. Just saying “fuck it – I quit” and never doing a damn thing ever again that mattered. I would surely be held accountable for that action. I mean, I’m not even sure how much of what I do now matters to anyone – besides me.

So, despite setbacks, despite ridiculous happenings, despite the guy at the corner store who fails to understand what I mean when I ask for the simplest requests . . . Despite all the superfluous bullshit that pertains to nothing and mostly no one besides the Man, and the Man’s evil counterpart called Advertising, and despite my own exhaustion, I will carry on.

I sincerely hope you all do as well, because, hey, otherwise, who the hell will read my words? We’re all in this together. Until next time, take care, bad guys and gals.

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Ten More Days!

Ten more days of the Daily Blog Posting Challenge. Anyway, I don’t and won’t often make this blog my soap box for personal propaganda, but this is pretty important to anyone who has a blog, or YouTube channel, or website, or really anyone who spends time on the internet.

Those rich, degenerate bastards we call Corporate America are at it again using their political leverage to end Internet Neutrality. They want to basically un-level the playing field just like they do with every other cookie jar they have their grubby, rich hands in. No, I’m not talking about sexual harassment and p*ssy-groping. Different cookie jar.

I’m talking about this:

Let’s end this. Help me by signing the petition and sharing it wherever. Or go to http://www.gofccyourself.com or click this link.

 

Effort, or the Lack Thereof

iI am, I promise, going to put up that poetry tab very soon. Until that time comes, I will just post one of my poems. I wrote this one about ten years ago and edited it about two days ago. It has some nice imagery, I think. I’m not the best poet. But when the poetry bug bites, it rarely lets go until I’m done. Here’s the poem titled Cheating Death.

What a perilous venture,

a grand mountain,

promising a devil’s dance,

a flat face to climb,

or the broadest channel to cross,

to swim the choppy waters,

and present the Fates the finger,

it was to get away with it,

overcome overwhelming odds,

be drunk on adrenaline,

thrive on anthrax,

for a stolen thrill,

with conscious forethought,

they did it that afternoon

there in her married bed.

 

 

 

Brilliant Foreboding

They say it happened one month ago today. I saw it coming, but didn’t realize it would happen so quickly. I mean, in retrospect, I see it now. This day was inevitable. One month ago today Crook’s Eye View published its first post.

My only regret – I should’ve started this blog sooner. It’s our birthday. Woohoo – let the party commence!

By the way, I have no idea who or where Barber Insurance Agency is, but they owe me money!

Challenge Once More!

I ran across this weekly writing challenge and thought I’d do an entry. I do love a good challenge in writing. Sharpens skills from atrophy. Imagination is a muscle like any other. Unused, it wastes away. So, today I exercised that muscle a wee bit. Now, if I could only get motivated to do those sit ups. Anyway, here is my entry for The Obsessive Writing Challenge – Week 2. The given topic of the challenge is “Dream”, and my entry is titled Forgotten Dreams. Check it out.

     They always say dream big. Any dream is big if it comes true. I used to have this talent. I’m not sure why I lost it. I just did. I used to see a dream and know it would happen. Inevitably, it would come to be. It was like making Christmas for myself. Over and over, I could make this happen. It would strike my heart – the dream. And it would eventually come to pass. I had just turned thirteen years old when I realized this talent had gone.

     One night, years later, when I was eighteen, my buddies wanted to do something. Something they’d never done before. I hadn’t done this either, but I had always been a little curious. They wanted to trip on Acid. That’s right – LSD. So, we did. I dropped my first hit of Acid ever, and tripped my willy off at a mutual friend’s party house. The trip was utterly hilarious. Well, it was at first. Over the course of the night, however, I could’ve crapped my pants and not known the difference. I was completely out of my mind to the point that memory of light and sound escapes me. It’s just not present.

     When I came to the next morning, or came down more so, I had realized something amiss. I couldn’t pinpoint what that something was, though. Just that something felt different in me. I was angry. Constantly. A vile caterpillar had eaten a piece of my heart’s peace and I couldn’t shake it.

     Months came and went. Those friends went, too. I saw them less and less. But this anger made itself apparent more and more. It was as if Satan himself, if that is the end-all be-all of evil, came to roost his cocky ass in my soul. I thought to myself that I may never be calm, never be at peace again. As if someone imprinted on my being the yang without the yin.

     Life, in hindsight, used to be easy. In the collective conscience, there are truths that intuit their way into our brains. Collectively, when a child grows up and its wonder dies, adulthood begins. It struck me that maybe this was an unspoken rite of passage – LSD. And now my adult life would begin. But tainted? I refused to live a tainted or sullen or angry life.

     There on that building’s ledge, all the anger, all the heart ache, all the promises broken from people I’d met, known, loved – it all come back. Like a bad Acid flashback. Then, the epiphany happened as I leapt from the ledge. I knew it in my heart and my dream came true. It was an instant epiphany, a harnessed light of love. Like something from God. Satan’s anger couldn’t weigh me down. I could just fly like a butterfly escaping its cocoon. And I did.

     Until I awoke. Safe. Relieved. In my bed on the morning of my thirteenth birthday. I made a pact with myself that morning. I felt that pact as close to a dream as I’d ever felt. LSD wasn’t in my future. Some dreams just aren’t meant to come true.

A somewhat juvenile take on the topic, in my opinion. But it has relevance, I think. Whether I have ever attempted to trip on Acid, well, that’s personal. You at least have to buy me a few drinks before I let that calico out of the sack. Until next post . . .

Arche-typical, or Maybe Not So

I’ve written a bit of poetry over the years. This one that I’m about to share earned me the first spot in Pellissippi’s magazine called Footnotes, a student collection of poetry and art. This is my only writing accolade. But, I am hopeful. Publishing of my writing is right around the corner, I can feel it. Let’s just hope it doesn’t stay there.

This is another narrative poem titled The Test. Also, I’ll be adding a Poetry Tab to the blog soon where you can see some more of my poems. Take care, and enjoy the verse.

 

Strings of light dance across shore waves

Signaling the battle over the moon’s domain.

Dark dies against the new day’s light as stars retreat.

Seagulls spiral to fishes’ death, they swoop

And rise dangling their trophies in the air.

The stars know the fishes as nature takes course.

 

I watch nature’s battle from my hut

Of twigs, vines, and a bamboo skeleton

Bound by sweat, toil, and blood of an aspiring brave.

The allies of the stars will fear me today

And prove my worth to the tribe, my family

Who has exiled me, alone, for proof’s purpose.

 

The spirit of the wolf has finally come

In the dream knowing no hate,

Only compassion for himself and his tribe.

To feel his compassion is to follow

His lead in the midst of nature’s battle

Against the lone wolf who knows no tribe.

 

The victorious sun warms my shoulders

As I trudge toward blessed assurance

And a thirst for a life.

With bow strung and arrows sharpened

By the prayer of the elders,

I unsheathe a spear to seal a tomb.

 

With white knuckled grip and shortened breath,

I pass the trees that shadow the den’s mouth

Like betrayed henchman doomed to fixed silence.

Rhythmic branches’ winded song

Soothe my hastened step

With promises of a white-hide trophy.

 

My hope in hand pointed toward a dark resolution

And a four-legged thief heralds a beginning

Of the on-going battle.

Eyes, shining like stars, open

On a dark, now gray, now white jagged face,

As the lone wolf’s lunge

Decides my life.

Close to Real

In Tennessee, driving is an art form. Unfortunately, the amount of quality art on our roadways here in Knoxville is very, very limited. I personally have given up driving as much as I used to because of this. I now venture out much less. Russ isn’t new to Knoxville. He’s not new to sarcasm either. But, he finds out just how far some people can, and can’t, be pushed. Here’s the latest episode of Russ called “Traffic”.

A Dose of the Most

I’ve mentioned this game in other posts but thought it deserved its own post – TERA. This game was developed and published by En Masse Entertainment and Bluehole Studios. And like most other far-east developed MMOs, the armor is skimpy. That’s just one good aspect, however (elle oh elle). If you read up on or scout out good MMOs that are currently available online, this will inevitably be in the lineup. At its release, it was a groundbreaking-type game, and still is to some extent. No other MMO, that I knew of at the time, was full action combat. I believe Vindictus may have been online then, but it sits in a different class by not being an open world. While TERA isn’t fully open world, its zones are seamless. And, if one has the opportunity to take a Pegasus instead of walking, why not? In its heyday, it was full-on PvP meaning you couldn’t move without fear of dying at the hand of other players. But this got old quick. Higher level players could gank lowbies with little fear of retribution. Now, on PvP servers, one has to be maxed level of 65 to PvP in the world.

In the beginning, the game was buy to play but it’s since went free to play. You can augment your standing in the game by purchasing Elite Status for $15 that comes with a crap-ton of leveling, broker and other bonuses. Some have accused it of being on the fringe of a pay-to-win, and I suppose it could be considered that. But I bought the game pre-release and haven’t paid really much since. I may have bought EMP (En Masse Points) once, which is the currency to buy things like mounts, inner armor (that’s underwear!), and other vanity purchases. But this is one of the least pay-to-win games in my opinion. You can buy lootboxes with EMP with a chance to get really good gear, like inner armor that provides bonuses. But those chances are based on RNG (random number generation) and you know how that goes on an online game – a 95% failure rate! That’s probably not an accurate percentage – it just feels like it!

booty-dance
Elin race in TERA Online

It is somewhat race-locked and gender-locked, but the races have no real racial bonuses so its somewhat irrelevant. I, however, refuse to be a Reaper class because the Elin race makes me feel like a pedophile. I mean, really! The other races make me feel less like I’m robbing any cradles. There are a variety of races to keep you legal, though. Races and classes are as follows:

  • Human
  • High elf and Castanic
  • Elin – a tiny girl anime-type race pictured above
  • Popori – a little male bear-type race whose stomach is always rumbling
  • Baraka and Aman – tall, stout, horned-type monster races
  • Warrior – melee with two small swords
  • Lancer – melee with a lance
  • Beserker -melee with an axe
  • Slayer – melee with a giant sword
  • Valkyrie – melee with a runeglaive
  • Brawler – melee with giant boxing gloves
  • Ninja – melee with giant throwing star
  • Reaper – melee with sickles but have ranged capabilities
  • Gunner – ranged with a giant rifle
  • Archer – ranged with a bow
  • Sorcerer- ranged with a relic-type weapon
  • Priest – healing
  • Mystic – healing

So, seven races and a lot of classes. As previously mentioned, some classes are race-locked and/or gender-locked. Brawlers can only be human females, Valkyries are only castanic females, I think, and so on.

The environment is entertaining to say the least. At level twenty-ish, there’s a part around the town of Popolion where the mobs (enemy monsters) are just hilarious. One mobs is a very tough guy, riding on his subordinate’s shoulders, called a Cruel Jockey. There’s one full instance, Sinestral Manor, dedicated to vampire mobs that look like umbrella-toting barons, lords and ladies from the seventeen hundreds, along with jesters and jack-in-the-box mobs. Very original! Also, this was the first MMO to introduce the BAM or Big-Ass Mob. These mobs are hard to kill, although they can be solo-ed, and award extra XP and drops. They are, however, extra huge and extra powerful.

If you want to level as fast as possible (and who doesn’t), Vanguard Initiative Requests happen at around level twenty. These story and mob elimination quests are usually fairly easy to accomplish, and give gold and XP (Experience points) in addition to mob XP and drops.

Of course, a game so focused on PvP, there are battlegrounds. One used to be able to go into Corsair’s Stronghold at any level above 10 or 15, but they changed that to maxed level. Now, the only lower level BGs there are is the Kumas Royale and Iron Battleground. In Kumas Royale, the 10 v 10 battleground is a riot.

B45_Kumas_1
Mama and baby kumas

You and your BG mates are morphed into baby kuma in a nursery. One player takes the mama kuma role and the other players attempt to kill the opposing team’s mama. It’s hilarious and, at the same time, can piss you off to high heaven. Iron Battleground is a bit different, thank the lord, in that you have tanks pitted against tanks. You can use a tank or be on foot, and you get bonuses for both. But, this is the fastest way I’ve found to level. The BGs have Vanguard Quests attached that give a full level’s worth of XP for a win. Winning, however, is never easy in this game. Challenging, for sure.

So, that’s a surface scratch for one of my favorite MMOs – TERA Online. Let me know in the comments if you’d like to play. I’ll send you a newbie link, and you and I both will get bonus stuff. Woot! Always nice. Until next post, y’all, take care to stay out of the shadows.

Day 17 – Intuitive Writing

It’s Day 17 of the Daily Blog Posting Challenge and I have managed to hang in there so far. I’m not going to give up. I refuse! Even if it’s the crappiest content I’ve posted yet, I will post every day this month do-or-die. Not that the content so far has been extremely journalistic and compelling. I know I’m probably not up for any Nobel Prizes, but that’s neither here nor there.

Intuition 2I tend to write as lots of writers do, off the cuff using the stream-of-consciousness method. It’s totally intuitive because I often have zero idea of the words that will fall onto the page. A topic comes to mind and I just start talking with very little editing. Maybe you can tell, maybe not. Often the topic happens after the first several words hit the page.

At any given rate, I tend to write how I think – freely with little censoring. With this style of writing, I rarely tend to have issues with that fiend that kills many writers in their pen tracks – writer’s block. So, I thought, “how can I convey maybe some helpful tips on combating that fiend and stopping it in its tracks”. Well, nothing miraculously brilliant came to mind, so, I’ll just speak on what I know. When that occasion comes that I hit a small rut and don’t know where to go in a story or blog post or whatever, there are a few tricks that I realized I do that may seem quite trite. But they tend to work for me. Maybe they will for you as well. I’ve listed them in no particular order.

  1. Music: When stuck at a point in a story, or fishing for ideas for landing that whale-of-an-awesome blog post, music is the song of my soul. And I really like puns. Can you tell? Yes, music. I have YouTube playlists that I will crank up on shuffle, have some coffee and a cig,  and chill out for a few songs. This does a few things. It alleviates the pressure of deadlines – self-imposed or otherwise. When you can just sit back and relax for even a few minutes, putting the “need” to produce out of your mind, things begin to happen. Creativity begins to amp up, and ideas begin to cascade. And the music itself will lead you into new realms of ideas, thoughts and words. So, next time you’re stuck, hit the play button on the CD changer, or open Pandora or your favorite music station or site, and let the music flow.
  2. Food: As simple as it sounds, have a snack. Take a break and cook. It doesn’t have to be extremely elaborate with courses and flatware. Just something as simple as a sandwich or something out of a can often can do the trick. The idea is to occupy your brain long enough to jump-start a flow of self-talk. When one has self-talk going, that river of ideas begins to rush.
  3. Sleep: I know what you’re thinking. What a lazy bum! Who’s just going to curl up in a ball and crash when there is work to be done? For that matter, how can you? When things need to be done, I often have issues with insomnia. But sometimes, I’m just more tired than I think I am. Just trying a cat nap can rest your mind – even a very short thirty minute nap – long enough to give you a fresh perspective on a topic or idea. Even if you don’t fully fall asleep, for me, there’s something about the comfort of my bed that makes my mind wander new avenues of thought and foreign culs-de-sac of ideas.
  4. Listing: For me, this trick is a rarity. I rarely list anything. On paper or otherwise. If I have a shopping list, for example, it’s usually in my head. If I list on paper, inevitably, I will misplace said list and it’s null-and-void anyway when I get to the store. But listing ideas, topics and even just words that come to mind can fill that vacuum that has gripped your psyche into a linguistic tug-of-war for your creative sanity.
  5. Gaming: Surprise, right?! I mean, what would you expect from an MMO freak. This is my most-used method. I actually start just about every day of writing with at least a few rounds of a strategy game or role-playing game. Again, the idea is to relax and put your brain in a playful state. Nothing kills ideas and creativity faster than stress. If it takes a few rounds of Civilization IV, V, or VI to alleviate that stress, by all means, play.

So, those are few of the ways I start a day or session of writing. At least one will come into play before every session. And, like I said, that fiendish beast called writer’s block rarely gets a hold on me.

Anyway, I hope this post has given you some things to consider. Leave a comment and tell me your way(s) of combating the fiend. And, until next post . . .