Update: 02/23/16

re_imagine_by_yuumei-d6b1y26Hello all you strange and excellent people,

I do not have any striking prose pieces or related material for you this week.  In fact, I’ve been in a bit of a writing trench lately.  Priorities have been a bit screwy and my attitude, well, temperamental.  Afflictions of self and whatnot.  I’m working to help them pass in a timely manner, but matters of the heart can be elusive, so we’ll see.

I picked up Brandon Sanderson’s final Reckoner’s book, “Calamity.”  Barreled through it in less than three days, which is super fast for me, because I’m not the most breakneck of readers.  Yes, even for easy-peasy young adult novels.

Took me two years to read the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Nevertheless, I recommend the series to all audiences.  Anything that takes the superhero genre and flips all the tropes on their heads is something that will receive my mark of approval.

I’ve concluded that, unless I am really inspired to write some type of short-form story, I absolutely hate the activity.  Short stories suck to write.  I have half a dozen of them complete and undergoing revision, but I fear I don’t like any of them.  The heart is there, but the execution was freaking terrible.  This is a large part of my discouragement over the last couple weeks.

“The Wisdom of Demons” has seen far more progress.  I am currently establishing a coherent timeline for the rest of the story, which will act as a vehicle for pushing ahead to the end.  I spent an entire work shift backpedaling through all of my material, organizing it, and fleshing out details of setting and character agendas, so the book doesn’t feel like a flailing mess anymore.  Praise God.  I was tempted to scrap it for a while, there.

Christina Grimmie released her newest EP earlier this week.  Musically, vocally, it is splendid.  The lyrics are not bad, per se, they just hurt my heart a little bit and all ring the same emotional chord.  She clearly did not have a good relationship this last year, because all four songs follow the same subject.  I fear I might sound too self-righteous in asking that she use her skills to sing songs of a different tone.  Her pedestal in our culture is far greater than mine will ever be, so she has a great opportunity to shed light upon people who lack light.  Do not misunderstand, she does do all of this, just not to my selfish satisfaction.  As if I’m somehow in a place to make decisions on what she should and should not do with her abilities and time.

But that’s a rabbit hole nobody asked for.  Go check out the EP.  Seriously, it’s great.  It’s on ITunes for like, three dollars.

I recently discovered the Cracked Podcast, so that has also been a huge drain of my time.  A worthwhile drain, mind you, but a huge one nonetheless.  I’ve learned a lot about things I never even thought to ask questions about, like how America inadvertently inspired Hitler, gender and racial issues of a fabric I’d never considered, and pop-culture analysis from perspectives far unlike my own.  This abridged fluff I’m giving you now does absolutely no justice to how good the podcast is, so if you have an opportunity, check them out.

I’ve been on the hunt for post-graduate, MFT programs.  A necessary evil if ever there was one.  This also means I’ve been siphoning some time into studying the bloody GRE, which I grow less fond of by the day.

Lastly, I’ve finally put on paper my six-step plan for my writing career, which I’ve theatrically titled “Operation: Prisma.”  Yeah, I made a plan for life, that thing which notoriously spits in the face of plans.  Because I can, I guess.

Step One, get at least three short stories published, so I can have reference material for future pitching prospects.  Step Two, get my first novel published.  I’m aiming to have this done no later than five years down the road.  Then, in no particular order, the following goals involve increasing my popularity to a higher threshold, helping to make a video game, and helping to make an anime.

Hopefully our world does not implode or break down into forty different kinds of madness before then.

God bless, go about your days with a song in your heart, and always remember to smile.

(*Artistic piece by Yuumei for your aesthetic pleasure.  Please go support them on Deviantart.com, because holy crap they have so much cool stuff.)

 

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The Appeal of Dark Media

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Hello strange and wonderful people,

I recently wrote an article over in my millings with Geeks Under Grace which has received above-par attention.  It’s an exposition on how I define “dark” in terms of media, with examples for different brands of this word spanning several mediums, as well as which facets of those series I find appealing.  I cannot copy and paste it here, so I ask that, should some pocket of your curiosity long to see why I think dark media is more appealing than its lighter-hearted brethren, you follow this little link down below and take a gander.

God bless, love your heart, and always remember to smile.

http://www.geeksundergrace.com/christian-living/appeal-dark-media/

“Hymni’s Broken Gift” – An Exercise in Myth-Crafting

Not in the beginning, but very soon after, when the gods set to discover their place in our scheme of lights, one was burdened with shouldering the color black.  Hymni would have settled for nearly any color.  He would not have complained about blue, which Usiris had requested in a hurry.  Green was not his favorite, but he would have taken it if Qitom had not already.  Perhaps red was a little rough, but it was passionate.  He would have liked red.

But more than any of these, Hymni had hoped to be the god of white.  Instead, that privilege went to the gentle-hearted Ririka.  Hymni did not hate Ririka, but he hated that she was gifted white, and he was not.

Yet, the Greatest of Them saw fit for Hymni to be the herald of black.  What might he do with such a bitter color, he thought?  In time, he figured he could find his way around the dilemma.

Because of Hymni, we now have a color for infection.  We have something strong and evident for scripting.  We have any of several hard minerals, stones, and metals with which to build our societies.  Desperately, Hymni found more ways to use his color for beauty.  The core of our eyes, the endless adventures of the wandering night sky.  He tried, but did not meet satisfaction.

White shine filled the eyes of men, glowing with love and admiration. White stars burned through his blanket of night.  Ririka meant nothing cruel of it, she just knew the best ways to find beauty in her color.  Hymni’s black helped accentuate her wonders.

That was all well and good, but Hymni wanted more.

So for decades, we had the weeping ash fall of Hymni’s tears.  The whole world gone black in the depths of Hymni’s jealousy and sorrow.  Of course, we know that black can be just as beautiful as any other color, but Hymni did not think as such.  To him, it was a color for evil, a color meant to be overcome by its vibrant kindred of red, gold, blue, silver, white.  But if mankind had not detested the color before, it had begun to now.  Black killed our plants, coated the land in waves and mounts so thick we could hardly travel from one place to another.  It blotted out the sun, it drove away the light.  It made us hate Hymni, and so reflected the way he’d come to see himself.

Hymni had never felt a craving for violence before, but there it was, piece by piece, swelling inside of his heart.  A strange tumbling captured his gut, curled his fingers, clenched his chest.  He did not long to live the rest of his immortality as the dreadful spring from which all blackness sprang.  He did not wish to live in sorrow, a subject to the hatred of others.

Gods, it seemed, were not immune to the treacherous whims of anger.  In his hour of wrath, Hymni sought out Ririka and struck her down, thinking somehow he might be able steal her white.  Perhaps then he would be loved like Ririka was loved.  She was fragile and broke easily.  He learned there was red inside of her, which he found odd.  Was there red inside of him, too?

But Ririka, she died slowly.  What’s more, and Hymni found this hauntingly curious, she wore the greatest of tender smiles on her lips, even as red pooled at her side where he rent her open.

“I’m sorry,” she rasped.  “I am sorry, Hymni.”

Words scattered from Hymni’s tongue, leaving him dry and abandoned.  He watched the girl, observed her slipping away.

“I’m sorry you have not felt loved for so long.”  She coughed, and the red came out from there, too.

“I,” Hymni said, “I only wanted your color.  It’s beautiful.  It’s all I’ve ever wanted.”

Her nod was a whisper of the body, hardly existing, hardly perceived.  “You may have my color, Hymni.  I hope you find happiness with it.”

At this, the darling goddess passed into a realm unknown and uncertain even to their kind.  Only now, with the trace remaining light banished from her body, did Hymni realize what he had done, and with the understanding came a new sort of sorrow.

As he’d wished, the color we call white fell into his hands.  But somehow, it did not make him feel any more loved.  The joy he’d anticipated, the sense of peace, they did not come.  No, in their stead, he was met only with grief.  He had brought about the end of one of his own, and she had gone so far as to apologize for his actions?

Hymni could not hold himself upright.  He came crashing to his knees before Ririka’s soul-empty shape, smile still against her cheeks.  Taking her body into his arms, Hymni wailed every misery old and young.  He did not care for the red stains against his body.  He did not care for black, nor white, both now under his dominion.  He cared only for the girl, taken unjustly.  Taken by his selfishness.

Angry in a new way, Hymni expelled the undying ash-storms from the sky.  He pushed the ash into corners and pockets of the world where it belonged, places where fire churned in the air.  Then, the world began to fill with tears of white.  Hymni’s despair took on such great lengths that it superseded his world and made its way into our own.  First it started slowly, then it began to build.  One flake became two, which with time became thousands, and then millions and billions.

Infinite white came down all across the world, some sort of request of forgiveness or atonement to a girl who was no longer there.  Where black ash had brought difficulty and strife to men, this new ash, something we’d later come to understand was not ash at all, had brought comfort and beauty.  In time, we’d call it snow, and it would identify entire seasons of our world.

Now, it stands as the penance of a lonely god who continues to grieve for the foolishness of one mistake.  It is a promise, I think, that Hymni would try his best to care for us in Ririka’s place.  It is a statement of hope, that we all have an opportunity to forgive ourselves.

I do hope Hymni begins to love himself the way we love him for giving us this snow, this most perfect of gifts.  For it is the opinion of no man, that one who can create something so beautiful, could possess a heart worth hating.

I do hope Hymni finds the peace he so longed to find, as all of us do.