Two New Features: Fantasy and Reviews!

June 27, 2009

First of all, I will be posting even more Berlin photos. Having received 3 comments in emails and Facebook messages about my Berlin photos means I broke a personal record of feedback on anything. The previous record was 0. Technically, or mathematically, 3 is infinitely more feedback than 0, so I will post more. Thanks for the encouragement!

Second. I have been reading some websites and magazines about writing. In the past week, the Staff Judge Advocate I work for has given me an award and a farewell speech, and both times he mentioned I was a writer. Well, the last time I wrote a whole short story was almost four years ago, and the last time I wrote a complete poem, and not just a stanza or two, was three months ago. The advice I’ve received from the different sources can be summed up as thus: the more you write, the more you want to write. This is the definition of a catch-22 phrase (which is also a book I need to read, apparently) so I will try to write more on this blog in two ways.

A new feature for this blog will be reviews. From now on, regardless of whether I read a book, play a game, see a movie, or consume any other kind of media that I don’t create on my own, I will write a review of it here on this blog. Reviews are incredibly subjective, and except for facts like play control in a game, number of pages in a book, who acted in a movie, and what the track list on a CD is, there is no single objective criteria to base how relatively worthy a piece of media is. Everyone will have their own personal bias that either engenders them or precludes them from liking some aspect of a media based experience. If you follow me on this blog, I assume you know me well enough to understand what kind of tendencies I have when it comes to entertainment and education, so you should apply that filter to anything I write. You should probably already be doing this, in fact.

When you see a review for a video game, and you don’t play video games, it will be marked such so you don’t have to waste your time. The same goes with music, movies, books, TV shows, etc. I do not plan on replacing any of the websites like Gamespot.com, et.com, imdb.com, or any of the other media review conglomerations, but if you save yourself $25 by not buying that hardcover book, movie, or video game I recommended against, then this site will be worth it. And, inversely, if you decide to try something you normally wouldn’t because I did recommend it, and enjoy it, then I letting me know that fact would make me more pleased that getting paid to do this ever would (depending on the amount).

The second feature, besides the occasional life updates and the aforementioned reviews I put up on this blog, will be my starting of another blog where I will write a book. The best, and most inspirational, idea I read was several authors who wrote a book through blog posts, committing themselves to a certain number of words per day or week. I think this will be the avenue to go. I will let you know what the blog is when I finish setting it up, but here is a short synopsis: the story will be about a group of adventurers living in a fantastical world out to save the world from an unknown threat that comes from the lands below the ground they walk on. Basically, I will be writing out one of my Dungeons and Dragons campaigns of old, and hoping to have more than 10 people read it when I’m finished. Another piece of advice I read was as follows, “Even if it’s bad, write continually. Eventually you will have enough material to choose a somewhat good story from amongst all the crap.” That one was not quite as inspirational, but it was truthful.

Bear with me if you’ll read this stuff, and wade through the crap if you can. Provide feedback, help me polish and give me ideas as long as you know you will only get a passing thanks in the dedication if this book ever gets published. It’s the thought that counts, right? So then that will be thanks enough, instead of us having to split the non-existent royalties check 100 different ways.

And, as always, let me know if you have any other ideas. Thanks.

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