Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Adventures in the English Language.

I was talking with a guy at work, and I forget what the conversation was about, but he quoted Romeo and Juliet, the Juliet line "Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo."  Of course, he quoted this line under a mistaken assumption of what the word "Wherefore" actually means.  In fact, I'm pretty sure that about 99% of the English speakers in the world today do not actually know what this word means, or how it completely and utterly changes both the context of the line from Romeo and Juliet, but also Juliet's character herself, entirely.

Most people believe that the word "wherefore" means "where".  It does not, in fact, mean "where".  It is actually a contraction of the phrase "What is it for"  which, in Elizabethan English was what you would say when you wanted to ask "why?"  At the time, the word "why" had not yet been invented.  You asked either "what is it for" or "wherefore".

Juliet is not asking WHERE Romeo is.  What she is ACTUALLY asking is "Why do you have to be Romeo?"  Or, more simply, "Why does this man that I love have to be the heir to the enemy of my family?"  (reading the rest of this line "Deny thy father and refuse thy name. Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, And I’ll no longer be a Capulet." makes the meaning pretty apparent, but most people don't realize that line continues)

The importance of the correct meaning of the word "wherefore" to the character of Juliet is pretty huge.  Most people think she's being a silly girl in love, because they don't understand what she's saying in this line.  They think that she's just daydreaming about the hot guy she met, and not paying attention to anything else going on around her, because she's so infatuated with him.  But she's actually a lot deeper a character than that.  She knows exactly what sort of situation she's in, and she's lamenting to herself about it.

Another common misconception with this play is the meaning of the phrase "Star Crossed Lovers".  Many people think that it means that they were meant to be together.  In fact, it means the exact opposite of that.  Again, in Elizabethan English, "Star Crossed Lovers" Actually means lovers that are crossing the stars, or crossing the heavens, or, in plainer English, two people god doesn't want to hook up with each other.  Having the added connotation that their love is a sin, and will be punished as one.  And, of course, if you know how the play ends, yeah, that happens.

Also, in Shakespeare in general, if anyone says the phrase, "I am here."  They are not actually saying "here I am".  In Elizabethan English, "I am here" is short for "I am here with you" or "I stand with you" or in modern English "I agree".  It may sound generally like the same English Language that we speak today, but even Elizabethan English just 400 years ago, was basically an entirely different language than the one we speak today.  It's a language that we can generally understand, or puzzle out the meaning of most of the time, but it is not the same language.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Life, the universe, and everything...

So, for about the last year or so, my mail route at work has been overburdened, meaning that the route has grown so large that it should have been cut down to a more reasonable size about a year ago.  However, I have been in an epic and continuous battle since that time just to get management to acknowledge the fact.  They have repeatedly refused to update my documented and official number of deliveries (which determines what size the route is rated, and, in turn, how much I get paid for it.  I'm salaried based on the size of my route, not paid hourly) and as such I've been hugely overworked and underpaid for almost a year now.  And, my route is growing.  It is getting bigger every week, making even more work for me that I'm not being paid for.  You may have noticed that I haven't exactly done a huge amount of writing during that time.  Well, the reason is that I'm working 12 hours a day, and getting paid for 9 of them, then coming home and just crashing in exhaustion.  I've been just burnt out, and supremely frustrated with knowing my route it bigger than they say it is, not being paid what I should be for it, and being completely unable to get management to do anything about it.  In the last year, I have probably been shorted about $10k in pay, in addition to being just completely worn out all of the time.  Luckily, I finally managed to complain my way up the chain of union reps until I finally got  one powerful enough to basically crush my postmaster under his heel to notice my plight.  If they have not straightened my route out within the next two weeks, and cut it down to a reasonable size, my union is prepared to utterly destroy my postmaster's career over it, which they are more than capable of doing.  I may, or may not, receive back pay on it, but it's looking more and more like not.

Meanwhile, I'm not as young as I used to be, and the strain of working so long and hard for so many months is really taking its toll on me.  I'm having back problems.  I've had a sinus infection for about 10 months that my doctor just can't seem to help me kill off.  I've had two separate colds and strep throat in the last two months, and I'm generally just miserable and exhausted all of the time, and I have almost no time in my life lately for anything but work, sleep, and frequent doctor visits because all I do is work and sleep, and that's not healthy.

Anyway, as for my work on my latest project "Memories of What Never Was" I've been juggling around a few ideas for some edits I want to make.  The biggest of which is that I feel Kriss needs more motivation as a character to do, generally, anything.  And she needs something more to her that gives her an edge no one else has in killing the Seven.  So I've been working through a few different ways of doing that in my head as I've been horribly worked to death, and I've finally settled on the idea I think is the best of the bunch I've been able to come up with.  Hopefully, in 2 weeks, when the deadline my union gave my postmaster to get his butt in gear and fix my route comes along, I'll finally not be so dead tired exhausted all the time, and can start getting some much needed editing done to the story, and see how my new idea for Kriss' character works out in the story.  I think it's going to be awesome, and give her quite a bit more depth and motivation.  I just need to have some actual free time when I'm not so tired I can't think straight to get it done.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Some words of wisdom...

Republican Politicians...  Guys.  Gals.  Others.  You have a problem.  Many of you began your 2016 presidential campaigns in 2012.  FOUR FREAKING YEARS AGO.  You want to know what happens when you spend four entire years blasting everyone who will listen with self-aggrandizing tales of your political prowess?  A spray tanned, orange psycho will walk in and steal the entire show from you in the eleventh hour, because everyone and anyone is sick to death of hearing from YOU.  So please.  For the love of all that is good and holy.  From now on.  SHOW SOME FREAKING RESTRAINT!!!  For all future elections, don't start campaigning the second the previous election is over.  No one wants to hear it.  And you might also try limiting yourselves down from 7000 candidates to two or three, because, again, no one wants to hear it.  If you want to run for president in 2020, you go for it.  But I don't want to hear a word about it from you until at least halfway through 2019.  This goes for democrats also, but since it was the republican part that was the freak show for the last four years, this is mostly directed at them.  Learn from your mistakes, and be freaking reasonable next time.  No one wants to hear how great a president you will be in 2020 before the president-elect is even sworn into office.  I'M LOOKING AT YOU NEWT GINGRICH, MARKO RUBIO, JEB BUSH, AND A DOZEN OR SO OTHERS.  FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY KEEP YOUR FREAKING MOUTHS SHUT FOR THE NEXT THREE YEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

What I don't get...

So I see a lot of crap on the internet being the sad, pathetic, lonely, man-child that I am.  A lot of the crap I see these days, due to the Ghostbusters remake, is about sexism.  Two big issues people really like to argue about are these:  Why do men feel uncomfortable if their wives make more money than they do, or are more successful than they are, and Why do male gamers treat female gamers terribly online? You see, I don't really understand why these two things are an issue for any man.  I mean, is that not the dream?  Marrying a woman that makes so much money that you don't have to work?  Meeting a woman who shares your hobbies, so that you can do them together?  I don't get it.  Why are these even issues at all?  I mean, if I met a woman who was actually interested in me, and had a much better career than me, I would make my best attempt at a backflip, probably ending in a lot of pain and hilarity.  My most recent girlfriend Kaye and I actually MET playing video games online.  We became friends in the game, found out that we actually lived very close to one another, got together in the real world, and dated for more than a year before she moved to California to further her career.  A lot of our date nights ended with heading back to my place or hers to play two players games for a bit.  It was awesome.  She's like the only woman I've ever dated that actually plays more video games than I do.  She also made more money than I do, if not by much.  So I see stories on the internet of successful women that make a lot of money, and female gamers just being treated like crap by men I just don't get it.  I mean, why would you treat a woman who can pay off all your debt without breaking a sweat, and who shares one of your interests, like crap?  Makes no sense to me.  Apparently a lot of men out there are absolutely stupid dicks.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Thar she blows!!!

I'm done!!!  Finally!!!  I've finished the first draft of Memories of What Never Was.  I've posted Chapter 40, the Epilogue, and the full first draft, and you can find them at the bottom of this page if you are so inclined.

This basically just wraps things up and gives a bit of a teaser for what happens in the next book, which I plan to write while doing edits to this one.  We'll see if I'm able to juggle them both.  And look, counting the prologue and the epilogue, there's 42 chapters in this book.  Coincidence?  I THINK NOT!!!  BWAAHAAHAA!!!

But seriously though, I'm taking a bit of a break before I start in on the next book, and editing the first one.  I, unfortunately, just parted ways with my girlfriend of a little over a year.  She was accepted into a doctorate program at Stanford, and I am not able to pick up my life and move it to San Francisco as easily as she was.  We were talking about breaking up for a bit before that, so this just sort of made the deal for us.  One of those, we're really good friends, but we're not making any progress on the romantic side of things, so maybe we should see other people and keep in touch sort of things.  So, anyway, you can probably tell exactly when that happened by when I started writing a lot more a lot faster, looking back at the dates on my blog posts, haha.  It's amazing how much free time you suddenly have on your hands when you find yourself single again.

Memories of What Never Was Chapters 37-39

I finished up Chapters 37, 38, and 39 of Memories of What Never Was today, and if you feel the great urge to read them you can find them at the bottom of this page.

So, this is the climax.  I think it works a lot better than the one I originally planned for this rewrite.  This one focuses more on the characters, especially Kriss, who is the hero of the story, as she overcomes her trials and becomes who she needs to be for the rest of the story.  Something anyone who has read I Am Nobody, another book I wrote a couple years ago, might notice is the inclusion of Mia.  In I Am Nobody, she is the daughter of the Grim Reaper, being tested to see if she is worthy to take his place.  This is around 12,000 years later than when that book takes place in my gigantic timeline.  So in those 12,000 years she has, obviously, taken his place and is now Death.  She also give some really important information about what's going on, confirming that reality itself is unraveling, and she tells why Brand is special amongst Heretics.  He's not just the son of a human and a Fey in a human body.  He's the son of a dark god and a Fey in a human body.  I have more stories to tell about Mia, and how she becomes Death, but they'll have to wait for a while for me to finish this trilogy up.

There's just two more chapters to write and the first draft of this book is complete... but I've been writing for the last eleven and a half hours, so it'll have to wait for tomorrow after work.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Memories of What Never Was Chapter 36

I've finished up the first draft of Chapter 36 of Memories of What Never was, and you can find it at the bottom of this page

This is the beginning of the climax.  We've got Brand facing off against the one of the Seven he's been seeking vengeance against since the beginning of the book, Kriss trying to get herself killed, and the others trying not to die, while a Crusade army moves to surround everything and the Mage Knight get ready for a fight.  And yes, I realize that a lot of the details and crap are kind of glossed over, and the characters don't have an awful lot of personality.  It's the first draft.  I usually add all that stuff in later.

This is it.  This is the end of my previous attempt at writing this story.  Everything from here on is completely new.  It feels good to have finally gotten here.  And I'm kind of glad that I stopped, because the ending I have planned now is SO MUCH better than the one I was going to go with before.