I’M BACK, BUT FOR HOW LONG?

And here I am: back after a long “hiatus.”

So, what have I been up to?

Nothin’. Yep, whole lotta nothin’. I’m still writing, but, as usual, something else always crops up: Family, drama, family-drama and the ever dreaded Writer’s Block. In my “downtime” I’ve tried to keep busy, but sometimes I feel like I have the attention span of a squirrel with ADD stuck in a peanut factory.

During this time, I became *gasp!* a Youtuber. Yep, decided one day that I too felt the urge to spew my opinions to the masses, since they would obviously want the hear them.

Now, I’m not going to put any links here, because it has nothing to do with writing and more about me just bitching. I’m one of those faceless types; using an avatar or disembodied voice, with a bunch of pictures and clips to show my points. While that’s as far as I’ll go about my channel, I will say that it is quite challenging.

When I first jumped into it, I was just learning as I went along. Had to learn video editing, recording proper audio, writing scripts, how to alter pictures (not make “fake news” pictures) and plenty more.

It was hard for me, because I chose the more difficult route of not just looking at a camera, but I can honestly say that, if you are able, make one of your own. Whether you show your face or not, it does help you get over some social awkwardness; talking to “crowds,” improving your vocabulary (you find yourself wanting to say more than the usual key phrases you already do) and so on.

I’ll even give ya a little hand. You can check amazon for cheap webcams. I found one for $12, couple years back. Webcams come with audio capabilities now, but in case it doesn’t, or you prefer to use just your voice, all you need is a mic and it doesn’t have to be something you find in a sound booth, just anything that’ll plug into your computer and record your voice. I use a PlayStation 3 headset with a mic.

On the matter of audio, there’s free audio software called Audacity. It’s easy to use and ther’re plenty of useful tips on YouTube.

To dabble with pictures, I use software called GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program). It’s basically the poor man’s Photoshop. Again, plenty of online tips and tricks.

For my channel, I use clips from other videos and pepper in some funny bits from movies or shows. I use keepvids to download a video and then VSDC Free Video Editor to get the clips or soundbites I want to use. Remember: tips are on youtube.

… Hmm. When did this turn into a “Make your own YouTube Channel” post?

As I was saying, I keep getting sidetracked and things get away from me. For the past 2 months, I’ve been engrossed with writing and it’s not even for a story (I’ll touch on that another time). So, if you wonder what the post’s title means, it’s simply that I could make another post tomorrow or another year or two down the road. I do work on my stories, but I only devote so much attention to then, until I have to get back to my other writing project and dear god it’s draining the life outta me, so who knows how much work on the stories I’ll get done or if I’ll be on here more often than the hibernation cycle of a cicada.

This has gotten a bit long and I’ve gotten a bit tired. So, with that, I thank you for your time and hope you have a good day.

Happy writing.

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Pitfalls of Being a Successful/Unsuccesful Writer

Title sound confusing? Well it’s just something I’ve noticed in some amateur writers; this self adulation for being a writer. I made a profile on FB for my Pen Name and that’s as far as I’ve gone (I consider this blog as a separate entity). Oh yeah, and a twitter that I don’t even use.

Some have gone an extra step in hiring someone to build up their rep, before they’ve even finished a plot for a story. Some just get it in their head that they are going to be successful. They are going to have a best-seller.

The problem is when they spend more of their time building themselves up instead of their writing. I like writing this blog because I like rambling and if I had more time to myself, I’d ramble on video (though I don’t sound like a jabbering idiot while typing). Some write blogs expecting to become blogging sensations; ignoring the story they haven’t come up with yet.

I do have some writing to get back to, so I’ll sum it up quick:

Don’t get ahead of yourself; simple.

Happy writing.

JTL

X-Mas fun

Two days to Christmas and I’ve thankfully been done with my shopping early this month. Unfortunately, having “free time” hasn’t aided my writing; just so many choices and my mind has plenty to add for each, but I just can’t stick with one. For now, at least. I always get this problem from time to time and I eventually narrow my focus.

Was able to enjoy The Force Awakens and, without spoiling anything, it just feels so right; it is a part of the Star Wars universe, unlike the prequels.

Okay, back to work. Right now it’s modern sci-fi versus regular ol’ traveling through space sci-fi.

Ya’ll have fun ‘n Merry Christmas.

JTL

Lack of Progress

It’s around this time of year, where I find myself looking at the progress I’ve made and, as usual, find that I haven’t made much headway. Always something. If it isn’t personal issues, it’s family, friends, or just life in general. To add to it all, there are the distractions that come with the modern age: Telly, games, social sites and… Youtube.

I do find that I manage to learn new things on writing and I’ve upped my typing speed a touch. Still, I need to find a way to buckle down and get things done. I may need to find the time to unplug myself and hide away for a bit; which’ll be hard as balls, with Christmas coming up and, no doubt, the dramas it’ll bring with it.

I think I’ll call it. It’s late (Technically early) and I don’t do well with lack of sleep.

Happy writing.

JTL

The Past Come Back To Haunt Me

I would never deny what a huge pack-rat I am, but even I was surprised to find an old story I wrote when I was in my late teens; back when I could churn out a story with full chapters in less than a month. They were terrible or poorly worded, but they came naturally. I sometimes wonder if learning more of the ins and outs of writing has hindered me a bit; focusing on the little things every writer is “supposed” to worry about.

This one was one of the those that was actually pretty good, though poorly written. Back when i wrote for fun, I made three good stories. The best one is lost forever, but now I have two of my better ones. The other one is hard to clean up, regardless how good it is, but this one I think I can polish it to the point it could make a damn decent book. And luckily for me–as far as I know–it’s actually original. It’s a detective story, but the happening within are not like any I’ve read… still, you never know.

That’s it for now. Just felt like sharing this little tidbit.

Happy Writing

JTL

Being Lazy Bites Me In the Ass

Well it would seem my procrastinating nature has screwed me over; namely, my email. I haven’t checked it in so long, AOL reset it, as though I just started one. Guess my silly ass better pay attention from now on, if I’m gonna pretend to be serious about this.

In other news, after a recent move, things are slowly settling down, but drama follows wherever I go. Had a brief relationship, but that just wasn’t in the cards. She was just too young and immature for me; the kind of thinking where you want a relationship, yet don’t want to be in one isn’t what I’d call a logical one.

There’s not much more than that. The story is coming slowly, but it’s coming. A huge drawback of depression is the lack of will to bother with anything and depression is something I’m in abundant supply. No worries; this isn’t a pity-poo post. Just a nod that, like every human, my life has its downs.

And back to the grind I go, while my mind can focus on the writing.

Good luck and happy writing, folks

JTL

Always An Uphill Struggle

God, I need to keep up with this more, but everything–as usual–is hectic. I understand persevering though hardship and all, but I could use a break. My writing’s been so intermittent and unfocused, it feels like it’s getting worse; like somehow I’m losing it.

For me, it’s a scary thing. There was a time I was a skilled artist; mostly comic-style drawing with the tiniest bit of dabbling in paints. Then I had that one big seizure and boom; gone almost overnight. My drawing ability became sloppy. I can see the image vividly in my imagination and I know the way it’s supposed to be done, but as soon as pencil touches paper, something gets mangled from my brain to my hand and I find myself trying to draw a hand or at least position the fingers properly.

We all have–even if it’s a tiny something–that make us happy. For some of us, if we lose it, we can find something else to replace it. For others, it’s not as simple; especially if that thing was an integral part of your life.

Well, I’m done bein’ a party pooper. Off to do some self-pitying and then try writing some more

Home Turf

As I work on my supernatural story, I’m using my city as the backdrop; giving me a slight leg-up on describing locations and some people I’ve based my characters on. King has been known to use the same method with his novels; so you know it’s a formula that works.

Caution should be used, however. While using people and places you know; you don’t wanna get hung up on them. If every other paragraph is giving the names of all the locations of your hometown, you’re gonna lose your readers real quick. You gotta keep the references to a minimum and don’t spend an entire page describing every little detail of “Gus’ Diner on the corner of King and Princess, where bar fights happen on a nightly basis and that your friend John had a chair broken over his head, when he went in to ask for directions, when his car broke down, while he was on a date with you sister who snuck out after your parents grounded her, because she got an F in English, after she spent too much time with her friends who keep her out all night…” While I doubt someone would write that sloppily, you can see how annoying it would get.

Go ahead and throw in some detail, but just enough for the reader to grasp the gist of the layout and the atmosphere within. In a few chapters, I’ve only used the name of the city, a high school and a local hospital; no need to overdo it.

That’s enough randomness, Happy writing and have a good one.

JTL

Update and other crap

Still plucking away as best I can. I try to focus on this current sci-fi tale, by taking all my other stories off my netbook and dedicate it solely to the story. In this endeavor, my brain is beyond fried, but I’m making headway.

I’ve been watching sci-fi flicks like mad; keeping my thoughts on the genre as much as possible. I even watch the bad ones. Even if it’s terrible, they can still give ya an idea or two. Just don’t ripoff of it; it was terrible for a reason.

My little tale has the small group motif: a leader, a second in command type, the brain and the wild card. Ya have to be careful with these, because you have to give enough time for each character; so ya gotta keep your group small. You don’t want fodder characters just for the sake of a team-kill; it’s not gonna have a big enough affect on the reader, if the only thing they know about the newly deceased is he was good with a gun and was about to retire. You also don’t want to just kill off a character for effect; it’s slightly predictable, but you also might wanna keep these characters around longer than just a one off.

Meanwhile, I believe I have carpal tunnel syndrome and holy fuck does it hurt. Fingers feel like week old celery and sound like snapping fresh celery. I think I’ve had it for years now; it’s only just recently gotten worse.

Alright, we’re good for now. Til later,

Happy Writing