• Foreshadowing: Some Post-Midsommar Thoughts

    Foreshadowing is one of those things you learn about in English class that really smart authors put in so they can tell the world how smart and clever they are. But what does it mean? What does it do? What is the purpose of foreshadowing? I just saw Midsommar, a movie with a lot of foreshadowing. I will keep my opinions about the film to myself as they are not relevant to this discussion, but I want to talk about how the movie uses foreshadowing and how it demonstrates that there’s a good way and a bad way to do it. In the beginning, the main character sleeps under a…

  • Things I Like: Chants of Sennar

    I haven’t talked about video games lately, but I’ll talk about this one. These days I find myself gravitating towards smaller indie games rather than Triple AAA big shots like Nier: Automata or Starfield or Dragon’s Dogma. Who the hell wants to play one video game forever? That’s like eating the same thing for dinner over and over and over. I want to be exposed to all kinds of experiences. Unique ones. Artistic ones. But with the glut of games on Steam these days (seriously, just look at their “New and Trending” list) how am I supposed to discern what’s good from bad? The Triple AAA games always get the…

  • trigger warning explicit content

    Some Thoughts on Trigger Warnings

    I’ve never experienced enough trauma to need a trigger warning. To be like, I was just reading this book and all of a sudden the main character got sexually assaulted or had an eating disorder and I suddenly recalled some bad memories. But I have experienced trauma. Everyone has and I am no different. But I do not expect the world to change because I have a problem. The world is not my therapist, it should not take on the responsibility for my feelings. The reason I hate trigger warnings is that they spoil things. They make me know what’s coming, what to anticipate. If I’m reading a novel about…

  • 5 in blue circle

    What Is My Five-Year Goal?

    In my list of “blog ideas” I had “what is my five-year goal?” and I’m trying to figure out what that means. Obviously, five-year plans are important for people, especially those with strong careers. I don’t have a career yet. I’m like a red mage–I specialize in two jobs and I’m not really good at either. As far as software engineering, I’ve been sated. I’ve found a job with good people that allows me to work how I want to and pays me well. And now that my wife has started working again, money is no issue for me. Happiness is. And what would make me happy is being an…

  • laughing writers

    Best Writer Jokes I’ve Found

    A writer died and was given the option of going to heaven or hell. She decided to check out each place first. As the writer descended into the fiery pits, she saw row upon row of writers chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they were repeatedly whipped with thorny lashes. “Oh my,” said the writer. “Let me see heaven now.” A few moments later, as she ascended into heaven, she saw rows of writers, chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they, too, were whipped with thorny lashes. “Wait a minute,” said the writer. “This is just as bad as hell!”…

  • typewriter short and sweet

    Quotes About Writing

    You might have noticed the randomized quote on the website in the upper right corner. (It used to be at the top but the new look-and-feel seems to prevent me from doing that.) Over the years, I’ve collected quotations that seem particularly poignant or true. I like quotes. They’re like little succinct nuggets of knowledge. Here are some of my favorite quotes on writing. (You might also see them in the quote generator from time to time. Consider this a cultivated list.) “If at the end of a war story you feel uplifted or if you feel that some small bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waste,…

  • What Do Most People Come Here For?

    So I thought you might be curious about what brings people to my blog. Well, I can tell you this, it’s not because of my books and not because of my writing. They seem to be here mostly for Disney stuff. In particular, they search for things like “villain in Pinocchio”, “bad guy in Pinocchio”, and “Pinocchio antagonist”. I think it might be because people aren’t sure who the bad guy is. For my Disney Villains blog feature, I just chose all four–Honest John & Gideon, Stromboli, the Coachman, and Monstro. Second place is that no one seems to know what that “limbo world” in Beetlejuice is. And I still…

  • why do you write

    My Writing Manifesto (Why Do I Write)

    What motivates me to do this? Why do I keep submitting novel after novel hundreds of times only to get rejected hundreds of times with the same form letter? Thank you, we don’t want it. Thank you, we don’t want it. Thank you, we don’t want it. A few reasons. Compulsion By this point, I think I have to. I’ve made a habit of writing, carved out a section of every day to do it. If I go too long without it, I feel unproductive. Like I’m not contributing something to humanity. Even if I’m not producing something that’s going to be read publically, I’ve got to get my million…

  • writer conference convention

    Write-Up on the Minnesota Writing Workshop 2023

    So this weekend I attended the 2023 Minnesota Writing Workshop in Saint Paul. I am averse to writing conferences because A) I’m extremely introverted and B) I can’t stand spending that much money on something that could potentially go nowhere. I’m not a gambler. I like to know I’m getting something for my money. Maybe I’m a Scrooge that way. Maybe I have to realize there are no guarantees in life. But for one thing, I wanted to make some writer friends. To at least try and socialize and pretend I’m part of this community. And every time I read about how XYZ author got their book deal, a lot…