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Jason Rimbaud

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About Jason Rimbaud

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  • Birthday 01/26/1975

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    Life if more fun when you have money to buy things.

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  1. I agree Traub, many people live in clusters as oppossed to communities. Maybe by choice and maybe by pressure they feel to act and behave a certain way. That is why I put "gay community at large" in parenthesis, its the perception most would describe if you asked them what gay community means. And I wanted to try and get my thoughts and my own sense of discovery as I struggled to find meaning in my life and why I don't tend to live in that world. Which gives me hope that young gays aren't as stupid as I was at their age. You always seemed smarter than the average person to me Colin. Thank to everyone that commented, you are all amazing. J
  2. Before I really get into the reason I started writing down these random letters to form words that structure the following incoherent sentences that you are about to read, I want everyone to understand why I decided to write this in my Blog instead of responding in the forum thread where I first started ruminating on this topic. I am writing it here mainly because I think I’m going to offend a few people that read this and more than likely piss off the rest. A few months ago, I came across a topic in the Lounge over at Gay Authors that got the wheels in my tiny little brain a whirling. So much did my head spin around and around, that even all this time later, I’m still thinking about the topic. I really don’t remember who started the Topic all those months ago, and it’s really not important as it doesn’t really have anything to do with who started the topic but what path that topic got me traveling on. To the best of my ability, the topic was “Do You Identify as Gay?”. It also included a poll of three choices…I identify as part of the gay community, I identify as someone who has sex with the same gender, I identify as something else (please explain). Or something along those lines anyway. When I first read this topic, the results were as following… 72.41% or twenty-one posters identify as part of the gay community 13.79% or four posters identifying as someone who has sex with the same gender 13.79% or four posters identifying as something else And for full disclosure, I identify as something else. This something else with the tagline, ( please explain), is the reason I am writing this today and the reason I have done more research about this topic in the last few months than I have in the last twenty years. I have never spoken to the person who started the topic, nor am I judging that person or anyone that participated in this particular thread. I believe there is something deeper here in regards to my own journey then the author or other posters intended. And let me preface this by saying, I am not attacking, judging, or refuting anyone that shared their own experiences in this topic. Nor am I discounting their beliefs or personal truths. I am only referencing them as it led me to a better understanding of my own self. Upon first reading this topic, I believe I understand what the motivation the author had when they created the poll and the questions they proposed. And without putting words in anyone’s mouth, I believe the intention was to see how the other members of GA viewed themselves in a larger, cultural way. And on the surface, I think it was a harmless question without malice. The post started off something like, “I’m curious to know how many people on here identify as part of the gay community versus how many just identify as having same sex attractions without feeling a part of the larger, cultural gay community”. I first read this question more of, ‘hey, tell me how you feel about your place or lack thereof in the gay community at large’. I don’t believe there is anything wrong with the question that was put forth. I felt, and still do after all this time; it was more a curiosity to see into the lives of other individuals and to understand how they might see themselves in a grander scheme of life as it pertains to the “gay community”. And after reading all the response, a particular comment stuck out from one user. And again, I might be paraphrasing, but the poster said something like, “I have come back to this post several times because it rather irks me. I am gay. However, I am not a member of gay clubs, sports, or other so-called gay organizations. The feeling I get reading this, is that unless I “join up”, me and the others like me, are really not gay”. This comment intrigued me, so much so that I started doing some research into the poster. And no, I wasn’t stalking that user, but I did find out while I was stalking him that he identifies as a Dom in a BDSM relationship. The user clearly stated that he did not feel part of the gay community because he refused to ‘sign up’. And a few posts later he added, “My lifestyle is even smaller. Mainly found in small clubs, and yes online. But even thought we have BDSM clubs, I am not a member. Though my husband and I live that way. Does that make me less a Dom? No, Not at all”. Please understand that I know absolutely nothing about this user except what I have read in that particular topic and I am not refuting what he feels. I know nothing about BDSM except surface facts nor do I care to learn about this…lifestyle for lack of a better term. I do know that it’s not for me even though I understand that the participants feel a need to experience their life in this way and that there is a strong bond of love and trust in regards to their relationships. I feel everyone is entitled to love however they find it. And this post is not about BDSM but rather about the feeling this poster voiced about community. Webster’s define community as: a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. It goes on with a second definition: a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. A few of the synonyms listed: group, body, clique, faction. When the user identified as gay but didn’t really have a connection to what most would call the gay community, preferring to just live their lives as they see fit and damn anyone that doesn’t agree with them. This statement got my little head spinning around. While this is an admirable trait, and one that I wholeheartedly agree with, it made me curious why he didn’t feel a connection to the greater gay community. I don’t know this user and didn’t feel comfortable enough to ask certain questions regarding BDSM and why this user didn’t feel a part of the community, so instead I went online and started doing research about the subject to see if I could get a better understanding of why he might have answered like he did and more importantly, why the question seemed to irritate him. And in my limited research about the subject, I found that most in a BDSM relationship identify first as a Dom or a Sub, then secondly as gay if they mention it at all. My understanding, BDSM is more important to how they live their truth than a label about sexuality. This seemed to be a logical reason why this user didn’t connect with the gay community. And yet it got me thinking why I don’t connect with the gay community though I live in San Francisco, seemingly the Mecca of gaydom for the United States and maybe for the rest of the world. I don’t have a lot of gay friends. And being gay does not now nor has ever really defined who I am as a human being. In my youth, I went to the clubs on the prowl for sex. I used more boys as dumpsters and playthings than ever made any real connections with the shallow people I met in those spaces. But that was a small part of biology, I was horny and wanted to find a release into the next willing receptacle but that wasn’t who I was or what I thought I should be. My community has always been those like minded individuals that share my same love of movies, video games, books, and historical places. At times, other gay people have fit that mold, but often as much, my friends are made up of all races, orientation, and gender. I have found in my travels, the “gay community at large” are shallow, promiscuous, addicts, that are too self absorbed to be good friends much less good human beings. And yes, before you get all angry, there are always exceptions. But go to any club on a Saturday night, and you’ll see rampant alcohol and drug abuse in the gay community, unsafe sex practices, and old men trying desperately to hang on to their youth by any means necessary. And if it seems like I’m judging them, maybe I am. But I don’t want to be associated with those types of humans. And it’s true, go to any straight club and you will see the same exact behavior which I think only proves that I don’t identify with them either. To get back to the user who identifies as BDSM, he would also say, ‘my lifestyle is even smaller’. He’s proud to say that he doesn’t belong to any BDSM clubs. He simply chooses to live out his best life with seemingly little regard for what others might think. This is a behavior I can support. Webster’s define lifestyle as: the way in which a person or group lives. The user is living his best life with someone who loves and respects him and for all purposes; he is living the lifestyle of a gay man. The user also used the phrase, ‘join up’. And this made me think about the grander implications of that statement. I feel that too many of our brothers and sisters are made to feel left out based on some of the marginal stigma surrounding certain lifestyles, especially if it’s on the fringe of the larger gay community. If the user, who identifies as a Dom, cannot feel like he’s a part of the gay community because he refuses to ‘join up’, then what does that say about this gay community? Is it because as humans, we tend to judge those that are different than us? If that’s the case, then we are no better than the homophobe that judges us because they do not understand us? To counter that point, the user that started the post topic and put forth the poll answers to begin with, stated, ‘For example, I personally identify as gay and very much feel a part of the larger gay community. Most of my friends are gay, I go to a mostly-gay gym, I play in a gay sports league, I go to gay bars/clubs/circuit parties, and whenever I travel I make it a point to check out the local gay scene. What I love about being gay in the cultural sense is that no matter where you go, you already have an established tribe/community that you can find support in through shared identity. I've found in my post-college years is that we are a community that tends to protect our own, and we've created our own institutions separate from the straight world to fulfill that purpose. It's ghettoization to an extent, but after living in the stuffy confines of straight life for so long, I've found that this much smaller community offers freedom to a level and in a particular way that people who aren't a part of it will never get to experience’. I think I could argue what the poster was referring to is not so much the ‘gay community’ but more of the gay lifestyle. Or what that perception of that lifestyle is from someone on the outside looking in. I do believe there is a certain perception of what most would call the gay community, and for a good portion of us, we would never identify ourselves in that manner. Urban Dictionary defines gay lifestyle as: a stereotype used by social/political conservatives to describe gay men being promiscuous, drinking, bar hopping, using drugs, cross-dressing, and orgies. Okay, I’ll be honest, the bit about cross-dressing made me laugh so hard I almost choked to death when I read it. But can you honestly say, you have never thought the same exact thing at least privately in your own brain. To most, the gay lifestyle doesn’t describe us much less define us. I have often lamented that who I choose to sleep with is such a small part of what makes me…me…that I rarely talk about it. I don’t go to Pride, I don’t participate in circuit parties, I don’t have orgies, nor do I have random encounters using phone Apps. That is not my lifestyle, nor has it really been. So why am I writing this? It’s not to bash the author of this topic, nor the user that doesn’t identify as a member of the gay community. The reason I wrote this and the reason I have been thinking about this topic for months, is because I was looking at this through the wrong lens. There was a time when gay individuals needed to bond together, first for safety, and then for support from a world that didn’t really accept us. And yes, having that support system truly saved who knows how many lives over the last decades. How many young people who didn’t commit suicide because they found a place that was safe for them to live their truth and find happiness within those communities? How many of the younger generation can go to proms with their same sex partner now all over the country? How many states have legalized same sex marriage? So much has changed for the gay community just in the last ten years that I never thought I would see in my lifetime. And thankfully, it has changed. Yet I truly believe one of the worst things we can do as a community is retreat into our gay clubs, gay bars, gay sports leagues, and leave the rest of the world behind. We didn’t affect change by hiding in the shadows. We changed the country because we got out in the light and demanded that we needed to be treated first as humans, with the same rights as all other humans, then by allowing straight people who didn’t know any better that we have the same goals, values, and desires that all humans possess. Who we sleep with is irrelevant in the grand scheme of life. My community, as defined by Webster, has always been made up of a fellowship of likeminded individuals that share my same attitude, goals, and life values. That is my community, and like most communities across the country, it’s not a gay community, it’s not a straight community, it’s a mix of beautiful humans that all strive to achieve a better life for those they love, and for those as yet unborn. I have seen a lot of ‘gay communities’ that do not share my same values and goals. And I will not be a part of them just because they also happen to sleep with other men. That would be like saying, I will only vote for this particular person because they also have the genetic coding that made their eyes blue like mine. Eye color and genital preference is so far down on my list of priorities in those I choose to surround myself with its practically nonexistent. If you find a gay community that shares your same attitudes, goals, and values, than great, you might have found the ideal life. But don’t get so hung up on only participating in ‘gay communities’ just because there are gay people there. Instead, create your own communities by including all people that share your values, embrace those that can bring something positive in your life and exclude all those, even the gay ones that would drag you down. Gay or straight, all communities are made up of humans first, and most of us are a wonderful, kind, generous, honest, loving, and accepting group that can do extraordinary things when we share a common purpose. I know that my thoughts might not be for everyone who reads them. And that’s okay. We are all on different places in our walk of life. I do know that over the last few months my perception of community changed and I believe I am a better person for it. So I thank whoever started this topic, and those that contributed to the thread as they all helped me come to a better understanding of who I am as a human and where I want to go. J
  3. Sadly, I'm a kid thats big in the belly.... J
  4. Starring Jason Momoa as Arthur/Aquaman, Amber Heard as Mera, Willem Dafoe as Vulko, Patrick Wilson as King Orm/Ocean Master, Nicole Kidman as Atlanna, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Manta. It was directed by the wonderfully talented James Wan, the creator of the Saw Franchise. Aquaman takes place shortly after the events of Justice League. This bit of information seemed to be slipped in right away to make sure we all know this is part of the DCEU. But just as Wonder Woman carved her own path away from the sadness that was Man Of Steel, Batman V Superman, and Justice League with a story that focused on plot supported by CGI, Aquaman at its core, is a character driven film that made me care about the characters and their journey. Aquaman lives somewhere between the dark vision of Zack Snyder and the playfulness of Patty Jenkins, taking elements from both while carving a visually stunning film. I would venture a guess that the script was heavily rewritten multiple times attempting to course correct after the tepid reception of the Znyderverse and the sheer fun factor of Wonder Woman. The downside to what I am assuming is heavy rewrites, leaves us with a film that doesn’t seem to know what its suppose to be sometimes from moment to moment. Is it a light-hearted underwater tale with horrible dad jokes or a morality tale of sons paying for the sins of their fathers? As I type this, I still can’t tell you what this movie is about. In one of the darker moments of the film, Arthur takes out a bunch of pirates as they try to steal a submarine. While this sequence is visually stunning and really showcases the raw power Arthur can command, Arthur allows the father of one of the pirates to drown, thus creating one of the major villains in Aquaman’s cannon. This act really shocked me, as it was hard for me to believe that considering Arthur’s own mother was killed when he was young, that he could dismiss the pleas of a son to save his drowning father so flippantly. This sequence reminded me how I felt while watching Black Panther last year. Like Killmonger, Manta has a great back-story and a reason for revenge that makes his story arc believable and compelling. And in almost the next scene, Arthur and his father are in a bar drinking beer for breakfast when several scary biker looking guys approach them. This scene is played for suspense at first, when one of the guys barks out, ‘are you him’. Arthur turns around and for a moment, you think it’s about to go down. Then the scary biker looking guy exclaims out like an excited child that he wants a picture of Aquaman. This is like five minutes after Arthur kills numerous pirates on the submarine. And to make it a bit worse, there is a collage of Arthur drinking beer and taking photos with the scary bikers. The transitions between the dark and light moments happens so fast it was rather jarring at times. Yet Amber Heard was delightful as Mera, and has one of the coolest powers in the movie. Mera is far from being a damsel in distress. Not only does she stand toe to toe with Aquaman, but manages to save him numerous times and is a complete badass in her own right. Amber’s performance is well-rounded as I’ve seen in a long time. Plus, she’s a great strong female character for young teens. Orm makes a great villain and is almost underplayed by the talented Patrick Wilson. Though his motivation flips between his hatred towards Arthur whom he blames for the death of his mother and his hatred for the surface dwellers that has polluted the worlds oceans. I did find it a bit odd that his hatred for Arthur seemed misplaced as it would make more sense to hate his father who ordered the death of his mother. Take away the over the head message of the dangers of pollution, the jumps between light-hearted dad jokes, and brooding craziness, the core of the film is entertaining and I would recommend you watch it as the CGI is breathtaking.
  5. Jason Rimbaud

    My ménage

    Seriously, Camy's definition of shortly is massively skewed J
  6. I so agree with you, except I can't stand the local anchors in San Francisco, a bunch of hype for pictures of dogs crossing the street. So boring. I haven't read a physical newspaper in years, though I do read online. I never thought I would be the one to stop reading physical books either, but damn do I love my kindle.
  7. Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, AP, BBC America, CBS, ABC, we could go on for paragraphs just listing the different news programs in this country alone. About ten years ago, I stopped watching news programs on TV and its probably not the reason many of you might suspect. Once upon a time, reporters would actually inform you of the current events in your local area as well as over the world. If you missed the nightly news, you would have no way of getting the information until the next day. There was no spin, no slant towards a certain agenda, no talking heads telling the viewers what to think or feel about any certain topic. Reporters were hired to give an unbiased view of the news. They were also for the most part a money losing program for the network. It was understood by the executives that the news didn't make money and never made a profit. Instead the news would bring acclaim and prestige to the network which would bring advertisers for the other shows. And for a time, the big three had the most respected anchors in the country. The big three, Dan Rather CBS, Peter Jennings ABC, and Tom Brokaw NBC, ruled the airwaves for over twenty years. They brought a gravitas and respect to their respective networks. Out of those three, Dan Rather, who from 1980 until the mid 2000's, was arguably the most respected and most watched news anchor in the country. This was before his fall for presenting questionable documents regarding President George Bush's Vietnam service papers. Then Ted Turner came along with his visionary idea called CNN, the very first 24 hour news channel in the early 80's. But it wasn't until the Gulf War when the world first stood up and took notice. For the first time, CNN overtook the big three with an unprecedented scoop. They were the only news outlet to report from inside Iraq during the initial hours of the bombing campaign with live reports from a hotel inside Baghdad. Almost ten years later, CNN would also go down in history as the first cable news channel to report the attack on September 11th showing the first live footage of the plane crashing into the World Trade Center. And with the success of CNN, an Australian publisher, Rupert Murdoch, joined forces with philanthropist, Marvin Davis, to purchase a media company under the banner of 20th Century Fox, to compete with the big three in early 1985. By the third quarter of 1986, Murdoch led the company to earn 5.6 million dollars. In contrast, the year before of the same quarter, there was a 55 million dollar loss. For one of the first times in america, there was profit in the news and people started to notice. Some would say this was the start of the decline of traditional news programming as networks implemented new standard operating procedures to garnish quarterly profits. And those shows that didn't turn a profit, those anchors that couldn't compete with the more sensationalized reporters were slowly replaced. Now reporters were replaced with personalities pushing narratives the network demands as they started to divide into Republican and Democratic propaganda machines. Traditional reporting was now regulated to newspaper only as networks focused on agendas and pandering to the advertisers. Thus paved the way for internet news shows who dove deeper into partisan politics with overt slants in one direction or the other. As of right now, no matter what side of the political spectrum you follow, you can find bias reporting that only reinforces your worldview and/or opinions. But none of the above reasons are why I stopped watching TV news programs ten years ago. The I-Phone brought a powerful computer in your pocket that gives you real time sources to find any information your heart desires. Why watch the nightly news that teases a story before a commercial break and then makes you wait now sometimes longer than 3 minutes. I just pull out my phone, and get the information from Twitter, Facebook, Google and I get the information without the talking heads spinning some story that happened ten hours earlier. Who still watches news programs and if you do, which ones do you watch in 2019?
  8. Yeah, I'd take no part of this action at all...even with 50 to 1 odds. Part two, here I come. J
  9. I do agree with you Merkin, persistence is key in writing and a never give up attitude.
  10. I'm going to have to call bullshit on your comment Cole, I'm not even talented enough to hold your instrument when in comes down to writing talent. You are one of the most talented and prolific author on this site. And the king of angst. 🙂 That is why its fascinating to get a glimpse into your process. I think lots of writers can learn from your insight. So thank you for sharing with us.
  11. I was perusing the Blogs over at GayAuthors.org when I happened to read a new Blog called Marty's Musing. I don't know Marty but the title caught my attention and I urge everyone to go there and read it as it is definitely the "muse" that started me down this long rambling entry of my mine. https://gayauthors.org/blogs/entry/17900-o-muse-where-art-thou/ To briefly give everyone an overview, Marty once upon a time use to write a fair amount but for the last ten years or so has focused on other things in his probably amazing life. And a few months ago, he started getting the urge to dip his toe back into the writing pond and was having some difficulty finishing a story he began all those years ago. He also had a few new ideas but after writing a page or so he would find himself getting discouraged and abandon the words on the paper. At the end of his post, he posed these three questions. 1. What is the cause of writers block? 2. How does an author overcome writers block? 3. O muse, where art thou? After reading Marty's post, and it's only about five paragraphs long and I have included the link above so I urge you to read it. As of this writing, there are about five comments and they are perfectly nice, encouraging words that I have come to expect from the members of GA. Things like don't force it, let it come naturally, just take some time and wait for good ole "muse" to return. Things like, go to the story prompts and see if anything gets your mojo flowing again. And for some reason, these positive answers who's sole intent was offer encouragement to someone that was feeling a bit down got me a bit fired up and I starting to respond to what had been said before me. And then much like I always do, my reply got to be pretty long with some colorful language, some blunt honesty, and childish musings about a subject I might not know anything about. So after a moment, I decided to post my reply in my Blog to keep from hijacking someone else's entry and to ensure I don't hurt anyone's feelings. I don't believe in the traditional idea of "muse" and its whoring reputation it carries around the world. You know the one I mean; you first meet "muse" at a coffee shop. You have a double shot of espresso with almond milk and you tell everyone you're sick of everyone raping the cows for their joy juice but secretly wish you could enjoy real milk in your beverage but don't want the judgmental guy behind the counter to give you a disappointed stare when you order. So you sit there, sipping your dairy free beverage and suddenly, "muse" walks in the cafe. "Muse" skips past the guy with the ironic mustache trying to construct the perfect sentence in his essay about the dangers of drinking milk. Pirouette's around the housewife peering intently at her Hawaii Five-0 fan fiction crossover with Magnum P.I.. Frowns at the out of work screen writer who is steadfast in his belief that he alone has the script that will finally show the amazing talent that is Nicolas Cage before sliding into the seat across from you and give you that dirty little smile as if to say, 'how you doing'. "Muse" seems to be very impressed that you are drinking a dairy free beverage and starts to gently rub your instrument under the table, discreetly at first. Suddenly your fingers are flying over the keys, your writing so fast you can't help but look around to make sure everyone can see that you are writing so fast and that the elusive "muse" has settled on you to employ its magic. Ironic mustache guy leaves in huff, his hopes of stopping the consumption of milk dashed forever as "muse" continues to do dirty things to your instrument. Housewife leaves, her face a little flushed but completely stumped how to finish the scene where Chin Ho Kelly and Magnum finally consummate thirty-seven chapters of longing on the hood of the iconic red Ferrari. While the out of work screen writer continues to struggle with the perfect script for Nicolas Cage. And sadly, this screen writer never stops at this attempt, never. Because now "muse" is no longer content to discreetly stroke your instrument. Now "muse" has progressed to doing something so dirty I can't even describe it with human words. But that doesn't matter, because your fingers are flying over the keys. You have a look of ecstasy on your face and everything is right in the world and you owe it all to "muse". This behavior continues for hours, days, maybe weeks that turn into months, and sometimes it could even last for years. You and "muse" seem to have an understanding, you'll keep writing in public spaces and "muse" will continue to rub your instrument. Once upon a time, I use to produce a fuck-ton of content. I have nine complete novels posted on Nifty and seventeen short stories that I uploaded over a span of about four years. I'm talking a hundred thousand words plus novels. I also wrote dozens of poems that some might have read once upon a time. And trust me, I'm not claiming that these stories and poems were great or even good, I'm just saying that I use to produce a lot of content when I was younger. I will also say that I am rather proud that save for one sequel, every story I ever posted online is complete. When I was younger, I wrote a story that attracted some reader attention and garnered me hundreds of encouraging emails that stroked my fragile ego. And when that story finally came to an end after 32 chapters, the encouraging emails stopped arriving in my inbox. And I missed those glorious words. So to keep those emails pouring in, for the first time I started writing and posting chapters immediately after finishing them. I skimmed over them barely but really didn't have an idea on where I was going. But I was confident that I knew these characters and didn't think I needed to worry about the end. I knew I would get there. The first chapter was posted, and again, dozens of emails. The next chapter, I only received half the amount as before. And with each chapter after, the emails all but dried up. So by the time I got to chapter five, I was completely lost and the story fizzled away and I abandon it to the internet. The fans who loved the first story lost interest in the sequel because truthfully I didn't really have an idea I was just winging it and it showed in the writing. I didn't know then but I was scared. I wrote about some characters people liked and hoped to capitalize on my earlier success by offering up a shitty premise. Not even my sub-conscious mind could work out a plot that was so paper thin before I even put words to screen. I think a lot of people believe "muse" to be a fragile creature, one that is meant to roam free, to traverse where it will without any guidance or structure. As if any attempt will stifle the creativity it brings you. Many writers treat "muse" in this manner, with kid gloves, hoping not to anger the delicate flower that could leave you at a moments notice to rub some other instrument. Like one day you'll be at a party, you and "muse", and you turn your back to get a tuna poke on a piece of kale appetizer and when you turn back around, "muse" is off in the corner giving someone else a hand-job. And the frustrating thing, you've seen this other person's instrument, and its not as impressive as yours, but "muse" is going to town and suddenly you feel taken advantage of and then your instrument shrivels up until its barely a tip and no amount of writing in a public space can bring "muse" back to stroking your instrument. You continue to go to that same coffee shop, order the same boring milk free beverage, you sit in the same spot, hoping to attract "muse" again to your instrument. But "muse", that fickle so and so, rubs everyone else's instrument but yours. You get depressed, eventually you start ordering espresso with real milk cause you just don't give a fuck anymore and one day you wake up and you aren't even writing, you just surf FaceBook and comment on cat photos. I think writers tend to create blocks as they try and appease this thing called "muse". Whether its sitting in the same spot every day, listening to the same piece of music, having the room at the correct temperature, complete silence or even chaos. All these rules and structures they somehow believe will get "muse" back to where it belongs, under the table stroking your instrument. And in the end, writers allow these things to rule their creative life. Merriam-Webster defines muse: to become absorbed in thought, especially to think about something carefully and thoroughly. You don't get to the more popular definition of muse until definition number three, a person or source of inspiration. And that definition is the second one if the word is used as a noun. So why do most people believe that "muse" is more the third definition over the first. The definition where it clearly defines what "muse" is, to think about something carefully and thoroughly. So to answer Marty's first question, what is the cause of writers block. Maybe you didn't carefully think through the story in the first place. I'll add a question of my own, how can you hope to finish something if you have no idea where you want to go? I know there are writers out there who post chapters online as soon as they are written with little or no thought of where they are heading. And those same authors will argue they allow the characters to take them on the journey and they as well as the reader will find out together how the story ends. But how many of those stories are ever finished? Maybe 2%, if we the audience are lucky. Or the other side of the same coin, the never ending saga. You know the one where the author keeps rambling on for dozens of chapters chronicling in great boring detail events that never seem to progress the plot forward. Seriously, every story has to have an ending; its the nature of what we do. Overly long stories are nothing but a glaring sign screaming 'I don't have a clue where I am going but please take this journey with me and hopefully there will be a resolution sometime if "muse" allows it'. And let's be brutally honest here, most of these type of stories are complete shit. And the ones that aren't complete shit would never have a chance at professional publishing. Much like Marty, I too left writing some ten years ago to focus on a career that I ended up hating. I am currently trying to change my life path and have gotten back into writing almost every day. And like Marty, I went back to an old unfinished story and struggled for about three months to complete it. I already had seventeen chapters finished with a dozen more that had half-baked ideas but I could never get it moving in the right direction. The frustration was there mixed with a lot of fear that maybe because I stopped writing all those years ago, I somehow lost the ability to put words on the screen. And for a moment, I faltered. I went over my past writings, hoping that "muse" would again grant me the inspiration to start writing again. I found an old outline I wrote on June 25th, 2002 on a yellow legal pad during a slow day at work. As I read the twelve page outline, a few things stood out among the shit. Some really cool characters, a few great scenes, a ton of out dated technology and some really stilted dialogue. Even without a strong idea, I was convinced this was my next project, my grand return to online writing. It was a constant daily struggle to accomplish anything. For every good scene I wrote, I would delete entire pages of shit that just didn't make any sense. It was the most difficult time I've ever faced attempting to do something that gave me so much pleasure in my younger days. After one particularly rough day, I took a break and went outside to empty the trash and then it hit me. The reason it wasn't going well was because it was shit. If its only a collection of cool ideas with some half-drawn characters but no plot to speak of, was it any wonder I wasn't moving. I was trapped at a certain point and no matter what little trick I did, I couldn't gather the "muse" long enough to do anything except stare at that dreaded blinking cursor. I hadn't thought about it carefully and thoroughly. Which leads to Marty's second question, how does an author overcome writers block? Merriam-Webster defines writers block: a psychological inhibition preventing a writer from proceeding with a piece. Makes perfect sense to me, most of the things we encounter in our life begins in the mind anyway. Why would a block be any different? What are some of the reasons one might get writers block besides the things I already covered above. Fear is one that comes to mind first. Fear of letting other people read what we wrote, to voice our opinions, our viewpoint, or whatever it is we are trying to convey. Perfection is another. I can't write until its perfect. We fall into this trap of not even attempting until we think its perfect. I hate to bust your bubble, but perfection takes time, and re-writes, and editing, followed by more re-writes. Perfection will come, but it will take time. Timing is another block. You start writing something like I did, but you really didn't have more than the seeds of an idea and quickly you lose focus and the story dies on the page. Ideas need time to be nurture, water the seedling and then shape it until you have a usable idea that will be turned into a realized story. So back to Marty's question, how do you overcome this dreaded affliction? Before I give you the definite and only answer, and I do have the answer. I'll give a few ideas on how to get some movement on your thought process. Lets pretend we are back in our favorite coffee shop with our diary free beverage and "muse" isn't stroking our instrument. Get up and go for a walk. Change your environment and ruminate on the idea at hand. Maybe change your music selection, read a few pages of your favorite book, play video games. Sometimes getting your conscious mind off the problem will allow for your subconscious to tackle the issue without you banging your head on the table in front of everyone. There a thousands of ways to alter your frame of mind, and all of them have one thing in common. There is a famous saying, 'the only way out is through'. Sometimes you have progressed so far that it is easier to continue the path ahead then to turn around and go back. Whether you change your environment, or your music selection, or the task you are accomplishing, all of these are paths of movement. You have to move from the place you are currently to somewhere else. Sometimes that movement might be forward, sometimes that movement might be sideways, or sometimes that movement is backward. And like in my case, sometime that movement is starting over from scratch. Standing still will never defeat the block in your life. J Michael Straczynski is a well respected writer of television, movies, comic books, books and any other medium that involves creating. He created Babylon 5, Sense 8, reimagined Thor, transformed how people write Wonder Woman and is hired often to re-write screen plays and polish them. He is also famous for writing every single day. No breaks, no vacations, no holidays, no time off. Just like Steven King, who once stated that he wrote at lease five thousand words every day, JMS continues to write on a daily basis. That is the answer to Marty's question. You can only overcome writers block by writing. Writers get blocks, authors do not. Somehow authors have learned that writing is not a gift from the "muse" of legends. It's a skill that is honed by doing your ten thousand hours. It's getting up every day and writing before work, or after work, or on the train commute, or however you do it but all authors do the very same thing, they write every day. After I gave up on my old work, I saw a prompt as I was going through some Blog posts on GA. Prompt 706-Creative Tag-Sleep The patient has been in the hospital for longer than you have been alive. They barely look eighteen and doctors keep running all sorts of tests. You were hired to exercise the patients muscles, keep them groomed, and clean. While bathing them today, the patient woke up, what happens? I didn't happen overnight. I thought about this prompt for the rest of the day. When I cooked breakfast the next morning I thought about this prompt. A few days later when I was doing laundry, I thought about this prompt. The next week while playing video games I thought about this prompt. This idea consumed me for a few weeks before I sat down and wrote this paragraph... "Nuresh Rajendran whistled happily as he pushed the cart down the brightly lit hallway. He had just celebrated his 65th birthday the week prior and had been awarded a small gold watch. That watch signified thirty years of service, and though he moved a bit slower than he once, he still hadn't lost his love of the job." So to answer Marty's third question, oh muse, where art thou? It's where it's always been. In the idea that is carefully and thoroughly thought out before attempting to write it down. J
  12. I fear we will be having four more years of Trump. There is no one at this moment who can successfully run against him. Unless he does something monumentally damaging, or completely slips into dementia where they can't hide it from us, he will win. It is very difficult to beat a sitting president and Democrats have never been united as Republicans. I do think Gavin Newson will run in the elections after the next one, after he completes 4 years as California governor. That is something I am fearful for, I am living in the mess that is San Francisco he left as Mayor. J
  13. THis brought me back...I just re-watched that show a few years ago and fell in love with it all over again. J
  14. @William King Thanks to you I just spent the last four hours doing research on this topic. 🙂 Its nice to be unemployed. I hadn't really dived deep on this topic as I never cared either way. But you got me wondering that perhaps my thinking had been skewed so I found a ton of information that seems to disagree with your above claim. https://www.verywellmind.com/cannabis-use-disorder-22295 https://www.samhsa.gov/disorders/substance-use. I don't have any personal experience with cannabis, but there seems to be a consensus that cannabis does have numerous negative affects on your body/brain. Very interesting either way. Thanks for bringing this up, I learned a lot about this subject. Jason
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