Evil is Lurking in this Box!!!

This is flippin’ hilarious, and it has the advantage of only being one minute long. Stupid F’n Posts is the best homegrown YouTube project I’ve seen in a long time, and I’m hoping it catches on. You can find a few more of these videos on their channel.

The narrator-guy is played by my bro’-in-law, who some of you might recall is a filmmaker from New Orleans. He’s about to release a documentary, and I’m sure you’ll get to read all about it here.

Since that video is so short, here’s another!

I told you today’s post would be brief and strange, didn’t I?

Have a fabulous week.

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Weekend Coffee Share: Of Birthdays and Writing Skills

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’m officially a year older than I was last weekend. It’s one of those odd, nondescript birthdays that don’t mean much except that I’ve survived another year, but it’s been a good one. We had a few family members over for snacks and cake yesterday. It’s the first time in several years I’ve celebrated my birthday with anyone outside the immediate family, and it was nice. Having a decent-sized house with porches instead of a tiny, impossible-to-clean apartment really helps.

weekendcoffeeshare

My grandson, who is seven, got me a push-broom for my birthday. He thought of it himself. Sweeping the porches is mostly his job. Since we only moved to this house recently, the novelty of having porches to sweep hasn’t worn off.  It’s still more play than work for him.

We found an old pushbroom in the toolshed when we moved in and I taught him to use it because sweeping a carport, a front porch, and a back patio with a regular floor broom is a  bit of a chore. We broke the old push broom last month, and when my wife and stepdaughter stated talking about gifts for me, he told them I would be “tickled” to get a new push broom. And he was right. I am tickled by it, because it’s a thoughtful gift.

The highlight of the day, though, was the gift my grandson gave me last night after everyone had left. He made me close my eyes and hold out my hand, and presented me with a tiny blue jay feather. I collect cool natural objects, and I have a little shelf where I keep them. I have an old deer antler, a 30-year old rattle from a rattlesnake one of my grandfathers killed a long time ago, and some other things there.

We picked up a barn owl feather and added it to the collection last week, and Blue Jay feathers are somewhat hard to come by in these parts. I was pleased that he picked it up and even more pleased that he saved it and made it into a birthday present for me. After we were done with that and had hugs all around, I helped him start his first short story.

The short story writing is something we’ve been talking about for a week or so. Last weekend, the grandson had to write several pages of sentences to correct a behavioral thing that was getting out of hand. I supervised that and made him report to me at the end of every page, because I wanted to see how quickly he could write a page of sentences for future reference. He did the sentences neatly, and in good time.

coffeeWhen he was done with the sentences he said, “writing is kinda fun,” and we had a conversation about things he could write other than sentences. That conversation turned to stories. What he wants is to write stories on a keyboard and publish them on the internet, but I’ve explained that he needs to start with stories on paper, and that it takes a while to get a story to the point that it’s ready to publish.

So, last night we sat down with a notebook and I helped him start his first story. I taught him about brainstorming, asked questions to help him keep his ideas in order, and helped him with spelling. The conversation started with him asking whether the story should be fiction or nonfiction. I told him to write whichever he wanted, and he decided to write fiction because, he said, “I don’t know any true stories to write about.”

An hour and a half after we started, we ended up with a single hand-written page, plus one line on the next page just to keep the thing rolling when he sits down to work on it again. It’s already better than the first story I ever tried to write, because it has a real plot. Here’s an excerpt.

Once upon a time, there lived a cow. The cow was magical. It was evil. It wanted to rule the world. It had a secret lair and lots of  weapons. It made a war with the king.

The cow said lots of cuss words at the king . . .

He totally came up with that on his own. All I did was ask open-ended questions like “Okay, stories need characters. So, what sort of character do you want to start with? It can be a person, and animal, a talking car . . .” But you can definitely tell from this opening that he spends a lot of time with me.

He asked permission to put that last line in there, and given that I’m trying to teach him to think for himself and take risks with his writing, I thought it was important to let him include it. There’s also a queen who makes her first appearance in the next paragraph, armies with super-cool names, and a dungeon. All in the space of four paragraphs. I’m hoping he comes back to this and is able to sustain this narrative for another page or two.weekendcoffeeshare_2015

I’ve promised to publish the full story for him if he finishes it. We’re negotiating a price for it. I’ve offered him $5. He isn’t sure he wants to sell his VERY FIRST STORY EVER for that small a sum. I can’t say I blame him, but I’m not sure he understands that all I’m going to do is type it and post it, and he gets to keep the physical copy.

And that was my weekend. We’ve got the usual comics coming at mid-week, but I’m not sure what we’re doing tomorrow. It will likely be something brief and strange.

Happy Sunday. Don’t forget to add your coffee post to the linkup at Part Time Monster and share it with #WeekendCoffeeShare on Twitter.

Rose B. Fischer: Fangirls Just Wanna Have Fun (Discussing the Lighter Side of Fanfiction)

Check out this awesome post from Rose Fischer on Natacha Guyot’s blog, Science Fiction, Transmedia, and Fandom!

Natacha Guyot

I write fanfiction because it’s fun.  I wanted to share this because I think fanfiction is a hot button topic in the social circles I belong to.

Fanfic authors get a LOT of flack for their writing, and I’ve written other posts about why I think fanfiction can (and should) be taken seriously.

This time, I just want to say that everything doesn’t have to be so darn serious and important! I don’t understand why it has to be such a big deal if fans want to write stories about their favorite characters.  Everyone has certain things we just do because we want to, because we enjoy them, because they’re fun.  Fanfiction is one of those things for me.

My most popular long-running fanfiction project is a series of short stories entitled Vader’s Cat.  It’s about an orange kitten who adopts Darth Vader and grows up to be a…

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From the Instigator-In-Chief

I am moving. Have been in the same place for ten years. You know how things accumulate.

I spent Monday and Tuesday packing. Yesterday I loaded a borrowed truck. Then I attempted to drive the truck out of this town. It broke down in a way that can only be solved by a wrecker followed swiftly by a mechanic.

I hit a deep pothole while heavily-loaded. (Trust me. You don’t want to go yanking the steering wheels of heavily-loaded trucks around very much. They might turn over.)

The part that connects the wheel to the axle gave way, is what happened. (It’s called a ball joint). We thought we had a blowout. There was smoke and stuff.

moving_meme

The truck just stopped. In the middle of what passes for a busy street in this town.

I called a tow truck (and you know that means cash only right?) I had the truck towed to a repair shop I trust (and you know that means you don’t get the vehicle back until you pay in some way, but thank goodness mechanics take post-dated checks from upstanding citizens, right?)

My son-in-law and me directed traffic for an hour-and-a-half while the one person we know who has the towing equipment to handle a fully-loaded one-ton moving truck finished the run he was doing when we called and came to tow our property to a safe place. Police never showed up and we took photos so we can file a pothole claim and get some of the damages reimbursed.

If you are wondering why we didn’t just call the police and file a report, here is why. For a lot of reasons, we do not call the police for something like this. Where I live, we pretty much only call the police if there’s real violence going down and we feel so unsafe we have no other alternative. We know how to direct traffic, and we know how to file claims without police reports.

My property is locked up in the back of a moving truck, sitting in a repair shop right now. I have no bed, no pots and pans, and very little clothing. But I know where the people and things I care about are.

  • The rest of the family is staying with relatives.
  • The MOST TREASURED POSSESSIONS are still in this apartment, watched over by me, and locked up when I am gone to work. I am writing this from a room that is so empty it has an echo. Using an end table as a desk.
  • Elsewise, there’s me, some goldfish, a single firearm which is like an ancestral weapon because it was manufactured in 1939 and gifted to me by my maternal grandfather on the day I was old enough to handle it properly. There’s a late Cold War Era globe. There’s a 24-inch Darth Vader figurine that belongs to a little person.

Never load your possessions into a borrowed truck. But if you do, make sure you don’t put the things you care about in the truck with your possessions. Drive the truck yourself, and don’t more than one of the people you care about along for the ride. A son-in-law that helped you load it and understands the risks is acceptable. Give the rest of them jobs to do, like getting the rest of the vehicles to the new place and vacuuming the floors and hanging clothes in closets.

Because the borrowed truck might break down at an odd moment. You might stand on a busy street and direct traffic with your son-in-law for an hour-and-a-half. And then you might have a conversation on the way home, when that finally happens, about how glad you are it happened on a street instead of a highway.

That truck would have rolled right over if this had happened on a highway, and I am not being dramatic.

Meme by David of Comparative Geeks. And let me just toss in a couple of hashtags, since it’s Thursday and all. #SummerOfSandman #GeekPastiche.

The already-published Tolkien that you only didn’t read because you didn’t see it last year will be back on Thursday next week.  I needed this moment today and I needed it here on Sourcerer.