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Look back on Getronics and say “You pitiful wretch, how far I’ve risen, and how low you’ve sunk.”
Disclaimer: Long Post. This was originally written to help me process my thoughts on a series of threats made today, and I thought others might like to vicariously read it. Names have been changed to protect the identity of my bullies.
There was a school shooting threat foiled at a local high school last week because someone spoke up. Today, there were two such threats made against another high school, and the people responsible for the threat were taken into custody.
Today’s threats were specifically cited as being a result of bullying. I intended this post to serve as an outlet on my feelings concerning the trend in America concerning these attacks. I thought of Facebook threads where they post “Our generation was the last generation to play outside, to live grow-up without cellphones, etc…” and I inserted “We were the last generation to grow up without the fear of being shot at school.” But then I thought on it longer.
Not even I went to school without fear of being shot, I remember these events clearly. At my elementary school, (public), they had this gaudy sign that I see even now in memory, that read “We have a zero tolerance (or lower) for bullying.” This sign is just as amusing to me now, as it was then. In 3rd Grade, I had two bullies who regularly made my life a waking nightmare. Both of them threatened to shoot me on more than one occasion: Leviticus, and Marlow.
Marlow was in Junior High, 13 or 14 years of age, I never knew. He bullied me for ages, but it was in 3rd grade that it became most pronounced. Leviticus was a high schooler, I had the misfortune of running into him on more than one occasion.
When I was first told by Marlow, “I have a 36 gauge at my home for you.” I had no idea of what that meant, but my parents did. When they approached the school, he was not expelled. Remember: Zero tolerance, or lower. I was told that a 36 gauge was a shotgun. And that if he ever came near me again, to tell someone. He did, and so I told. He maintained his enrollment at that school until well after I left the school in 5th grade.
Leviticus was another story. I would use the bathroom more frequently than other children in the school due to my medical condition. Leviticus was fond of cigarettes. He was not fond of me being in there with him, but I had to do what I had to do. He cornered me on multiple occasions in a stall, pushing me back to where I stood between the toilet and the cinder block walls, and he would crowd me until there were just a few inches between us. He would threaten me that if I told anyone he was smoking, he’d kill me. I had no intentions of it, even before the threat. But the threat was made regularly.
After the school’s exemplary handling of Marlow’s threats, I held no belief that telling anyone would do me any good.
Through 4th and 5th grade, the bullying continued. One day, the whole school was called to an assembly. We were shown a presentation on Gun Violence, and the importance of speaking up if we saw someone, or knew of someone, who had a gun on them on school premises. I found out a day or so later that a person in High School had a gun, and his girlfriend had told the authorities about it, and his plans. The boy was removed from the school, and to my knowledge never came back.
Looking at these events as an adult, I’m not sure why my school didn’t take a firmer stance on Marlow. But I saw it mentioned today that these intended attacks were meant as retaliation for bullying that went unchecked. I would bet the little bit of money that I have that schools are still not treating bullying as seriously as they should.
Until schools address bullying as they should, I doubt things are going to change. I do not vindicate the would-be shooters, I never once thought to do what they attempted. But did they try and alert the school to their situation? I would very much be interested in seeing that information, and how the school used that knowledge.
I have my own kids in school now, and I will turn the experience I had in school to guide them down a better path. I will remind them to be excellent to others, and to not live second-guessing themselves, as I have done most of my life. As parents, we have a duty to ensure we are raising good children, with the ability to think of others, and how our words and actions will impact them. I’m glad everyone is safe today, it could have been much different. To those who reported these shooting threats, thank you. Today you made a difference.
NaNoWriMo Survival Journal Day 10 19,171/50,000
It’s been about 6 days since an update to the blog. I apologize, but I had trouble with things real life that I had to tend to. My wife is across the country at a funeral, and I’ve been home with the kids.
Also had a few job interviews, and had a friend come over from the UK. It was busy time, but I loved all of it. I’ve managed to hit the NaNo goal (1,667) every day, and have managed to hit my personal goal (2,200) words a few times, but it’s been a challenge. Hence why the blog updates didn’t come, I had to carve out time to do the things that needed doing, on top of my NaNo commitment.
I’m on the precipice of 20,000 words 10 days in. So if I maintain this pace, my work will come in at just around 60,000 words, and I hope I can do it.
I seem to have written myself into a corner, I’m afraid. I feel like I’ve reached the point in the book where the character realizes something is gone wrong, that he’s settled for one thing, and then found the true thing he wants, and has to unravel everything before he becomes unraveled himself and is pinned with things that he doesn’t deserve. Or does he? He was responsible for at least one bad thing, and almost was for a second really bad thing – I’m trying to be vague to avoid spoilers, bear with me if this is not the most descriptive entry in the history of my works.
A lot of people are hurt by his actions, he’s a laser beam to Alderaan, and he needs to understand how much his actions can hurt those around him. I know in this genre people need to suffer, it’s about wrenching out the emotion from readers based on the experiences of the MC, not the villain necessarily, but I am not sure if I want to go for a bleak ending where he loses it all, and the story becomes a testament to always try and live a good life, or if there can be any redemption for anyone in the story.
I call to you, dark gods of writing, (and light if you’re there too) HALP.
NaNoWriMo Survival Journal Day 4 8,306/50,000 Words
Today was difficult. I couldn’t make the words go, and I honestly considered not writing today because I have a slight lead above the average. Things that kept me going were knowing that I’m ML, and that someone out there may be looking to me and saying “If they can do it, so can I.”
There’s also the darker fantasy that somebody in the world I’m creating doesn’t want me to finish my story today. So I had to do it to squash their foul plan.
I wrote just above the minimum of 1,667 words for today, at about 1,740 or so? I’m not sure. But I did it. I maintained. It wasn’t the 2,200 goal I’ve set for myself, but at least I met NaNo goal. This scene was required to show Character for my MC, and it was kinda boring to write, but necessary. It’s probably a bad scene, but you know that a bad scene can always be edited to be good- a blank page can’t be edited that way.
Tomorrow I think I’m going to write more about nice things happening to my MC, because he needs a few nice things before I take those nice things and start putting cracks in them. Damnation doesn’t happen all at once, it’s a slow build.
#NaNoWriMo Survival Journal Day 2: 4,315/50,000
Day 2 was a little AHHHHHH for me. I didn’t do any writing until 7 PM, which is super late. I usually prioritize my day better, don’t do any gaming, don’t do anything leisurely until I’ve got my words done. But there were also factors in play that I couldn’t ultimately control. Sickness. Unexpected discussions to have with the new apartment complex we’re moving into.
But! I learned about the scary part of my book today with the introduction of a character by the name of Bert. I like Bert, he seems unconventional, and almost maniacally metrosexual, not that I intended for him to be, he was more like “Yo, check it – this is who I am, let’s bang out this story right quick’, I was quick to comply, he was highly persuasive.
I think Bert was also highly persuasive to my MC. I don’t know if Bert is evil, I feel like he’s ultimately trying to do the right thing, but people could view him as not a nice person. But I’m also thinking he’s like a sword, it can cut both ways.
I’m pleased overall. I feel like the characters are starting to show me who they are, which is very organic to me, I don’t like making them fit into molds that they mayn’t want to fit into.
Day 2, overall a good day. I met my minimum word count of 1,667 – not my personal goal of 2,200, but I wasn’t far off either. There’s a point in the writing where it’s like Okay this has to stop right here, to add more would dilute it, and that’s what happened today.
What challenges are you facing? Anything good? Anything exciting? Did you find a Bert too?
Another year of NaNo has arrived. I stand on the first day at 2,227 / 50,000 words. I’ve departed from the Natalsa series for a year, intending to finish the third book by around 2020 if all goes well. Earlier if I can manage.
I’m writing about a person named Craig Brummett, and he’s delightfully unsure of himself, and is going to get himself into a whole heap of trouble. I won’t go into details yet, but I do feel sorry for him.
A lot of things going on in my personal life I think will find their way into this novel, and I think it’s going to be very emotional, and relatable to a lot of people.
I’m shooting for 2,200 words a day. Now, the norm is 1,667 for a goal of 50. But if I end up close to 65,000 I’ll be happy.
How is your season going, if you’re participating in this 30 day insanity? My morning consisted of one cup of coffee, a breakfast biscuit, a soda, and four pieces of candy from Halloween last night. Sugar and caffeine are what will get me through this. Some people use wine if they write at night; I am one of them.
I am still Municipal Liason for Kentucky’s Elsewhere Region on the NaNo site. I’ve got an event on the 17th at Grant County Public Library from 9 AM – 9 PM. They were super to work with in the past.
I realize now as I write this that I also have Boone County Public Library’s Local Author fair that day from Noon — Four PM.
I am double booked. I will do both.
I will collapse.
NaNoWriMo Survival Journal Day 4 – 6,873 / 50,000
I don’t know why today was so difficult. I guess my mind kept wandering. I had to throw a lot of action in, and I almost think it worked. I’m forgetting how far along the novel already is, and maybe I’m a little scared to write what comes next. But write it I must.
I’m going to keep at this, I will not give up, though the fruits of distraction, and frivolity grow riper by the day. December 1st, Natalsa’s sequel will be completed.
So help me God.
NaNoWriMo Day 3 Survival Journal – 5,161/50,000
Today was FUN. I really enjoyed today’s content. I learned a lot more about Emmaline, which is a person I thought I had figured out good & proper. I’ve introduced a new character, I think I love the bad ones. I know this one is going to be evil-trash, but hopefully he turns out to be one of my most dynamic creations I’ve yet pushed through the seams of creation.
Natalsa has failed recently, despite her success in the post-war ravaged world of Otara. Thomas is still by her side, Torga has suffered injury in the most noble of ways. And Emmaline has some talented new apprentices under her belt.
Villains may not always be villains, after all; behind every bad guy is a good guy who sees the good guys as the bad guys. Amirite?
The next 45,000 words do, and I can’t wait to read them. I’m along for the ride just as much as the rest of y’all. Whenever I write in Natalsa’s world, I never know really where things are going. And that’s because I let the characters lead my stories.
NaNoWriMo Survival Journal Day 2 – 3,467/50,000
Today was fantastic, full of surprises. I already struggled to find the time to write today, and I knew it would be rough with working as hard as I am at work. So I told myself, “Self, you’re doing this. What you’re going to do is sit down, and you are simply NOT going to stop typing until you have at least 1,667 words.” So I didn’t . I started typing and I let my words flow without ceasing until I was done.
I don’t know if all the words were good, but it doesn’t matter if they AREN’T. Know why? A good friend of mine says you can always go back and make them better, but you can’t improve on what’s not there.
That’s my mantra for today, as I’m two days into NaNo. Write crap, spew words, forget the Delete & Backspace keys exist for the next 29 days. Trust me, you’ll use them plenty later, but for now, its just about getting your idea out there.
Bring it, Day 3.
NaNoWriMo Survival Journal – Day 1: 1,797/50,000
I will probably write a more expansive article tomorrow. Today has been a struggle. I tried to write, succeeded, but in the process, my 2 year old emptied the toilet bowl onto my bathroom floor.
My tiles are soaked. My toilet paper is balled up into wet wads of bleeeeech.
Did i meet word count? Yes. Should I write when kids are firmly asleep? Yes.
See you tomorrow at either 5AM or 9 PM.