Precipices

I’ve got this chair.  It’s a recliner (that I “mistakenly” keep referring to as a “rocking chair…”  What?  It rocks.  It is therefor a “rocking chair.”  Don’t get all “Nope Nope!” on me about this) and it has a rather nice view of the quaint residential street out my window.  It’s possibly my favorite place to start my day off.  Great view, comfy chair… and, for whatever reason, it feels like the most “secure” form of “personal space” I have.  To say I love this chair  and where it is in my living room is an understatement.  In full disclosure (and because my Mother happens to know that this chair was pinched from the corner on move-out day this past August), it will not be making the move with me to Los Angeles when the time comes.  But for right now, it’s my favorite place in the world.

I’m sitting in it, blaring REO Speedwagon’s “Roll with the Changes” through my headphones, playing Archer on the TV, and glancing out at the fog – illuminated by the soft and rosy/golden glow of the street lamps – that completely conceals the ground just one story below me… and I’m finally able to sit back and say what I’ve worked for three years to say: I.  AM.  OFFICIALLY.  A.  FUCKING.  SCREENWRITER!

Cue: VICTORY DANCE!

For a little over a year, I’ve been working with a good friend of mine on developing and writing a pilot/series and I was finally given the OKAY to post about it.  So I jumped on that shit like a zombie dog in uh…. zombie heat?  (I’ll let you enjoy that image in your head… too scared to type it into Google…)

The weird thing about all of this is that it’s been about 3 years in the making and I’m now, finally, at the starting line.  When I started teaching myself how to write screenplay format (and subsequently devoting a great deal of self-restraint to NOT putting my own eyes out due to frustration), I used to imagine this moment as the whole “Nick Saban, you just won ANOTHER National Title with Alabama, how do you feel?” type moment.  That’s not exactly right, though.  It’s a bit more like training for a marathon.

I’ve wanted an excuse to use this meme for SO FREAKING LONG.

The beauty of it all is that this is not a destination.  It’s not a “well, now what do I do next?  Do I try and repeat everything?”  I can honestly say that getting to this moment has been what the past three years of my life have been about… which is fitting as I have this thing about sets of 3.  If this is what the last three years have been building to, I’m beyond stoked for the next few sets of 3.

But after all the excitement, it’s fitting that things are starting to pick up/go public around a day devoted to giving thanks.  There’re plenty of people in my life who inspire me and plenty of people who believe in me (even when I falter in believing in myself).  Family, friends, and even heroes (small “breaking the fourth wall” moment… Holden read my last post and tweeted me about it… no joke… SO AWESOME, YOU GUYS/GALS!)… y’all have kept me going and I’m so thankful for that.

And I’m thankful for my chair.  There’s no place I’d rather be right now than sitting in this chair – my safe place – and actually getting to take a quick breather to look back at the unbelievable amount of support and love I’ve been shown… with my Hawkeye blanket my mom made for me (that’s quickly become my “almost adult safety blanket”… don’t you judge me!).  I’m ever so grateful and I just hope…..

… I hope that you’ll laugh.  I hope you’ll cry.  I hope that you’ll be entertained.  And, in the end, I hope I can give back and give to others what you’ve all given me.  Thank you so very, very much.

From me in my chair to you in yours, thank you!

– JP

See you, Space Cowboys!

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Vocal Writing or “How My Voice Told a Professor to Fuck Off”

“…Some callin’ me a sinner, some callin’ me a winner…” – Janelle Monae, “Tightrope”

This… this is a “clever way of venting and coming out superior” post about writing/being an English Major.  Buckle up.  If it all works out, this is basically my version of the third act of Cabin in the Woods.

Yup.

So with all that said, let’s get this party started.

I don’t pretend to have a photographic memory… but there are a few instances where I can remember text perfectly as it appeared (it’s particularly good for some really sweet text messages I’ve received in my life).  This is not a story about a sweet text message.  Instead, this is a note written to me by one of my professors from the fall semester on one of my favorite papers I’ve ever written.

“I find your writing off putting because of your overbearing attempt at seeming more intelligent than you really are coupled with how you embrace a very quirky/odd voice with tendencies to be dismissive toward complex statements and ideas by stating them in the simplest possible form and then moving on to focus on some other menial concept or awkward nuance of the text.”

Now… I will save the best part of that quote for a bit later because it makes everything into a compliment (if you really know me)… That said though… here’s my response:

I’ll admit that I have a casual style that might bend some of the rules of Strunk and White from time to time but never in such a way as to make my papers “offensive” or “unworthy” of being submitted in a college class (or published somewhere).  That said, I write like I blog: conversational with a dash of my quirky personality/pacing/phrasing.  Anyway, so yes, I had written yet ANOTHER paper on Alien (go figure… me… writing about Alien... NEVARRRRRR) and that was the response.  It can be assumed that my “off-putting paper” received a C- and no added respect from said professor.

It was then voted best in the class by my peers and the two graduate student TA/Graders who recommended it be put up for a reading.  Yes, I had a SHIT.  EATING.  GRIN.  on my face when Professor-man was forced to tally the “votes” (almost unanimous… I voted for one that was a thing of beauty [and still should have won…maybe…] and I think two or three other people voted for it too) after having handed down that blisteringly douchey comment and grade.  Well… shit eating grin/HULKING OUT… so essentially, this:

I love everything about this woman. She is fantastic.

Now naturally, I understand that too much of a conversational style is a tad inappropriate for academia… to quote the Operative in Serenity, “I am not a moron.”  I also know the importance of maintaining an individuality and personal identity in one’s writing.  Your voice is what makes your stuff readable.  If I write something that is solely lodged in the elements of style and devoid of any personality/flair… well… I’d have something similar to some of Professor-man’s writings.  So at the end of the day, I’d rather present my informative works as both readable AND enjoyable.  Clearly, Professor-man and I disagreed.  No poor grade is going to make me completely overhaul my entire style (that said… I did wind up doing two drafts of each successive paper: a normal one and a “bland” one.  I turned in the bland ones but never got above a B on them… go figure, you argue with a professor or disagree with their points of objective interpretation and they screw you… because, ya know, COLEDG IZ FARE!).

Now after all that rant – oh fuck!  I totally forgot the BEST part of that story… the last lines of his bitchy, red-penned, vitriol inked note made EVERYTHING worth it (including the my overall grade from this asshole):

“It is inappropriate to turn in a paper that comes off as if it was written by Joss Whedon or Quinten Tarantino.  C-.  I expect better from you if you are to continue in this course.”

Ok first off, those two guys… yeah… they are a BILLION TIMES BETTER than me and if I can even come CLOSE to how those two men write and create, I’ll have a damned good life.  Second off, last I checked, they both make WAY more than some tenured English Professor.  Third-uh… hmm… Third-ly (because the third of anything has to have a little twist to it), if you are going to tear me a new one, don’t close it out with a compliment saying I am similar to people I admire, respect, and hold certain stylistic similarities with.  Let’s be real, I’d rather write Pulp Fiction or Cabin in the Woods than a “successful” (by Professor-man’s standards, at least) analysis of the “Masculine as the Feminine” in Alien… oh… and his name is spelled “Q-u-e-n-t-I-n,” not “e-n…” jackass.

If I could have said this to Professor-man that day... I totally would have... or rather, to his TA's to tell him.

So voice.  It is apparently a problem in academia to have “too much of one” and yet every single person and their mother will tell you to have more of it when you are in high school and your basic, gen-ed writing/speaking courses in college.  Then you get to the actual “meat and potatoes” courses and it’s all “agree with me and write without personality…” or some shit.  Well, from here on out, fuck academic writing.  I have (unfortunately) resolved myself to writing strictly rubric-style papers that directly answer the questions succinctly, have a larger vocabulary woven into them (rather than just plucking words from a thesaurus as that is PAINFULLY OBVIOUS), and not disagreeing with my professors.  I’ll let you know it worked when I graduate.

So anyway, you get interested in writing.  Say you write poetry or screenplays or just journal or whatever… write that shit as if you have an audience for it, even if you don’t!  There’s no reason not to.  There’s no reason not to aim to entertain while you inform.  How many of you readers/followers (and no looking back at older posts… you cheaters) have a solid image of what I look like and how I actually act and talk just from reading one of these posts?

Tall, geeky, and used to be a telemarketer. That's me for y'all...

Hell, a couple of you can probably tell that this post is being written while I’m listening to my AC/DC discography as I’m in my “mood of ass kicking.”  Call it a personal goal of whenever I write anything but I like to have all that information (what I look like, what I sound like, what mood I’m in, etc) be at least inferable (made up word… we’ll get to that in a moment) in everything I write.  To be frank (actually, I’m Justin but… yeah yeah it was an AWFUL joke… moving on), I write for YOU guys – my audience.  My journal is for myself and that’s very obvious when you’re reading that (note: most of you NEVER WILL read that) but everything else is meant to not only have an audience, but illicit a certain feeling or mood.

So how do you get to do that?  How does one get to develop his/her “voice” into as close to a “personality” as he/she possibly can?  Well, I’m still working on that.  It’s not something you ever really actually finish.  BUT I can tell you how to get on the right track.  First, know how to write CORRECTLY.  I’ll admit my comma usage is atrocious and I’m KING of all things that are not succinct (and I’m also a fan of ambiguous language/wording) but that doesn’t mean I don’t know how to write.  If you’re really gung-ho about this, you have GOT to know the basics.  The basics means both at least a basic understanding of communication, the development of both spoken and written language AS A FORM OF COMMUNICATION, modern trends in said communication, and THE FUCKING RULES OF WRITING.  By that, I mean… well… this:

We all fucking hate this book. WE. ALL. FUCKING. HATE. THIS. BOOK.

Make sure you at least have a hand-hold on the beginnings and evolution of your craft as well as keeping yourself current and modern.  It helps beyond anything else you could possibly imagine as it serves as a foundation for everything that comes after it.

So now that you’re all experts on the evolution, structure, and usage of the English language, what next?  Well… what do you like?  Figure that out.  Then consume as much of it as you possibly can.  As much as I write (and I write at least 3000 words a day, regardless of whether or not I delete 2999 of those words tomorrow), I read even more.  Everything from blogs to books, scripts to song lyrics (and… ugh… I fucking hate poetry but I still read a Silverstine poem a day… and then some as several of my friends are awesome poets and I read their stuff… and the stuff that influences them) is consumed as part of my “morning routine.”  Hell, one of my favorite reads is… well… any Joss Whedon script I can get my spindly and eager fingers on.  Figure out what you like to read/consume and read/consume it… but ACTIVELY consume it.  If you like comedy, know the “Rules of Comedy” (yes there are rules to it) and what makes things funny.  If you like deep and serious thoughts/memorable quotes, look at the structure around said quotable material.  Never stop asking “Why?  Why do you like it?  What about it makes it stand out?  Ask yourself these things and make sure you know what you like… por ejemplo… Spiderman knows EXACTLY what he likes:

He knows what he likes...

Finally, how do you speak?  Not the whole “give a speech” shebang… how do you actually speak?  What’s your pacing, conversational vocabulary, stylistic molding of your sentences?  I can tell you that I speak quickly and energetically, I use a relatively verbose vocabulary but not so much that one cannot use context clues if he/she does not know a word, and I prefer things in threes.  That works for me.  I also have a propensity for making up a form of a word by tacking a suffix on the end rather than using a suitable synonym because it’s quirky and it’s how I think.  Know these things about yourself… and also know how the voice in your head talks.  That last one is a HUGE part of my voice (at least right now).  I think in run on sentences sometimes or in these wide sweeping tangential flows… so sometimes it’s just better to add that in as part of my written word.  I can also tell you that I speak and think differently as dictated to me by common sense and per each individual situation.  Nothing is worse than dropping “holy fucking amazeballs that rocks!” at a professional mixer with stodgy people.  Pay attention to your surroundings and yourself and ALWAYS have an intended audience.

So that all might get you a C- but at the end of the day… my peers respected the shit out of it and were actually able to get something out of my writing… and at the end of the day, I didn’t write that paper for Professor-man because fuck him… he’s a douche and has neither a sense of humor nor an actual personality.  I wrote that for everyone else in that class.

Just like I write this blog for you, my loyal troupe of followers.  You guys rock and if you were able to bear with me to the end of this very “instructional/autofellating” post, you rock even more.  And for that, I will leave you with a little (.gif)t…

See ya, Space Cowboy.

(PS… if you were wondering, this was over 2000 words and definitely counts toward my daily total).

 

OK really now… here’s a real present:

In Development

The best lines and ideas come to me in three places: 1. out on a walk, 2. in the shower, 3. on the toilet.  Yeah, I know (and if you did not see this coming, well… I will lend you SOME of my internetz for the day)…

But honestly now, I can’t really think of other places that I am able to truly think of good ideas.  Yes, I WORK better sitting at the table but in terms of sheer creative opportunities… those are the three places where I reflect the most honestly and am able to create something out of my experiences.

It just so happens that today has been one of those rare “Gold Mine” days where one or more of those three places yields a massive amount of “stuff” (NO IT IS NOT A POOP JOKE.  Grow up, y’all).  Actually, most of it happened on my walk into campus and then returning from campus. Having an iPod certainly helps isolate my thoughts from the world around me and focus on exactly what I need to focus on and so… I plugged my grabber blue earbuds into my ears, pushed play, and did the whole “me time” thing for about 45 minutes.

If the world could hear my thoughts... I'd be fucked.

I don’t know if it is unique to me or if everyone thinks of stories this way but often, I find myself working out some magical piece of dialogue or monologue or a very emotionally moving/jarring image before I ever spin out even a character from it, let alone a full story.  This morning’s byproduct of my “dat booty too fine” time (reference to both the above picture AND Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law) was actually initially intended as a moment in an existing franchise that is successful but lacks any real sort of character depth (but not the potential for said depth).

If you’ve seen ANY of the Fast and Furious movies, you know that it is a franchise based around fast cars and well endowed co-eds with no speaking lines.  Between the overt exaggeration of the effects of a Nitrous Oxide boost in a combustion engine (seriously, Hollywood, a RED SHIFT?!  No) and asses/tits (yeah yeah, there’s hardly room between all of that for Paul Walker’s hair… or his facelift), the series has actually produced one or two very poignant moments where we get to see the REAL PEOPLE behind the wheel.  My favorites are:

1. Dom’s description of the perfect woman for him-

2. When Han explains that if he were to race, it’d have to be for something important or else, why even do it at all?

(Don’t have the video clip for this one but it’s in Tokyo Drift)

3. Letty reminding Dom of what he used to say: “Ride or Die.”

Most people point to the infamous “I live my life a quarter mile at a time…” line but that always felt really contrived and I never really thought of it as something anyone could relate to.

So there I was, walking gingerly toward campus and thinking of all the things I wanted to say to a few specific people in my life.  One of which, in the perfect world, would be set on a closed circuit road course and each of us would have a car of our choosing.  I went back and forth, in my mind, about if this situation were to ever come to fruition (it most certainly won’t), whether I would let said individual win or not… and that’s quite a back and forth for me.  (My world, my rules.  As a writer, these are the things I get to decide… ain’t it great? :D)  And so there I was… putting one very specific thought into both the mouth of the “imaginary me” and the mouth of the “imaginary Dom” as I was all but certain I would return home and write this exchange as part of the movie franchise, fully expecting it to go nowhere.

Dom:  It ain’t about whether you win or lose – whether you live or die.  In the end, most of us never get to even start living.  You realize, after you’ve been around the block a few times, it ain’t about the finish line or how you get there if you don’t know why you got behind the wheel.  You live long enough to one day see what you can’t have or can’t have back and you chase after it.  Most of the time, you’re never going to get it but in those fleeting moments, when your foot’s to the floor and your stomach’s utterly weightless… you finally start to live and you realize the world whipping by your windows at 200 mph is what you missed and what you can now have.

Letty: So what happens when you get what you’re chasing after.

Dom smiles and gives a deep, introspective “haha.”

Now, yes, in my head this is all intercut with a car chase… a great way to start the movie with this conversation and a 60’s muscle car chasing after another muscle car while being followed by police… and then at the end, right after Letty’s question, we see the two cars sailing through the air over some chasm or something.  Cut back to Dom’s smile and his laugh and then right back to the two cars landing on the other side of the chasm together.  That would be pretty awesome… but that’s beside the point.

My point is that, as creators, we have to find a place in our lives, our existence, and our experiences that we feel comfortable expressing the things that we do not get to say and may not every get to say.  As a writer, I put words (and instruct others how to put images) to emotions but the only way I can truly grasp what I do is to have it rooted in some part of myself.  In this case it just happens to be rooted in cars and the emotions I’ve been feeling recently AS WELL AS attempting to stay true to something that has already been created and, for better or worse (and what it says about me), a franchise I have loved since I was in 4th grade and Tony took me to see the first movie at a midnight showing.

So that’s development.  That’s how it works, at least for me.  It’s also how I got inspired to start a new pilot… not that I don’t have about a billion other projects to finish or work on or……. le sigh.

I’ve rambled enough for now and haven’t put in nearly enough pictures for y’all to enjoy.  My bad.  I’ll get back to the normal routine sometime and have more eyecandy for ya later.

Until then…

See ya, Space Cowboys.

John Ruh, party of one?

I’ll admit it, I’m a genre snob.  I have my obvious preferences and pass swift judgement on things that (I believe) sound utterly stupid and yet my biggest fear is getting shoehorned into one genre.  It is good to have things you do well and are familiar with but the genre doesn’t make the story.

What makes the story is the core concepts addressed within it.  The plot, the interaction between the characters, the setting are all used to convey a specific message the author wishes to communicate.  Whether an individual is writing a science fiction serial or a teen drama, it is more about what you say than what specific genre the story falls into.

At least as far as personal tastes go, I have started drifting to books, short stories, movies, and tv shows that blend many genres together and manage to make it cohesive and intellectually stimulating.  So go ahead, write that rom-com.  Write the living shit out of it.  I may just give it a try.  For those of us who ONLY write one genre, try something new.  Use what you are good at and apply it to something foreign.

 

And for those interested, dinner tonight is BBQ Pork Steak, Pasta Salad, and Slaw.  The Beer is Sam Adams East-West Kölsch.  The television is currently playing Star Trek: First Contact on SyFy and the iTunes Playlist features Mika, Gabin, and a bit of Muse.

 

“Come the Apocalypse”

While at a small get together a few days ago, the subject of one of the many conversations I had came around to writing.  I was discussing the finer points of Utopian/Dystopian science fiction with a few avid nerds of the genre when one of them asked me a simple question: “Why does the world always have to end or be in danger of ending?”  While I gave her a rather simple, three word response followed by a beer-aided deep belly laugh, those three words encapsulated  more than a simple child-like fascination with an unknown event.  When I replied “because it’s fun!” I meant it from the perspective of a writer who not only wallows in any opportunity to catapult an entire civilization beyond the brink of utter annihilation but also the perspective of a writer who enjoys creating flawed characters and completely destroying every single thing about them.  What I did not intetionally mean to reflect was a greater opinion on the current state of human society.

We, as humans, view the apocalyptic and post apocalyptic genre as both a metaphor for the current state of the human condition AND as though we are gazing through a lense of escapism.  When I sit at work and creatively think up ways to justify the genocide of millions of infants (and subsequently make an attempt at convincing the “Standards and Censorship People in my mind” that it is perfectly acceptable to do that), I am not intending it as commentary on my work being a complete hell hole that I only really enjoy for the few friends I have there.  If that was my sole purpose then I would probably create a scene with a much more personal flare (such as a character going on a mass strangling rampage or something).  Rather, I spend my time between calls (and let’s face it, at this point I do it during calls too… when a job becomes too automatic it is normally a sign that you either need a promotion or a new job) concocting stories about the end of the world and the people who shepard the human race to its end.  That is more out of an attempt to escape into a world far beyond the mundane with a sense of purpose that goes far beyond the purposes I find I have when I think/write (so asking for money and attempting to eek out more bodywash out of my Axe bottle that has been empty for at least a month… yes I think best at work and in the shower… judge away).

I think that as a culture, we choose to latch onto the more destructive stories simply because it provides all the thrills of said destruction without actually putting us through hell.  Even looking at something as “mindless” as watching Jersey Shore proves that the elements of destructive behavior and an attitude that is detrimentally “carefree” lends an escape from our morally inhibited lives.  Science fiction is just the more extreme example of that.  The stories that captivate us are global and either toe the razor’s edge of the end of everything or completely hop on over to the other side and explore that ultimate armageddon.  It is what is marketable.  It is something we innately understand on some primal level.  It allows us as writers and us as viewers/readers/fans something far more basic than an opportunity to draw a metaphorical connection to our current reality.  It allows us to escape into that world and feel the thrills and the adrenaline rush of that experience from the comfort of our couch, movie theater, or bed.  For all parties involved, it is fun.

So crack a beer, get a couple good laughs in, and hang on as you plunge into the end of everything you hold familiar.  It is going to be fun.

Written by a Certified Space-Cadet

I have two real pet-peeves.  Well, ok, that is a blatant lie but for the sake of this article/note-thing, let’s just go with these two for now.  So, pet-peeves.  One: When people act geniunely interested in your life (typically upon first meeting you) and when discussion of your ambitions come up, they quickly respond to whatever you say with some douchey “Well, I had dreams once too,” type of saying or something equally as jackassey.  The other pet-peeve is when people say, “I could never do that.”  Sparing the traditionally motivating “YOU CAN DO ANYTHING IF YOU PUT YOUR MIND TO IT LOLZ ROFLCOPTER FTW!” crap (though it is true), this specifically relates to writing.

Make no mistake, it is hard.  I am nowhere near even “moderately good” and yet I continue to plug away.  Everybody has a story to tell.  Ursula Le Guin said it best: “Yes. Certainly.  Fiction writers, at least in their braver moments, do desire the truth: to know it, speak it, serve it.  But they go about it in a peculiar and devious way, which consists in inventing persons, places and events which never did and never will exist or occur, and telling about these fictions in detail and at length and with a great deal of emotion, and then when they are done writing down this pack of lies, they say, There!  That’s the truth!”  Basically, good fiction attempts to address some present day “truths” by completely fabricating every single aspect of a story.  That sounds difficult.  Seriously, that makes my head spin.  How about we try something else out.  Good fiction is the direct result of a simple spark of inspiration as applied to a daydream.  We all Daydream, we all “space-out,” and for the college age students out there, we all imaginatively procrastinate.  In short, we all have an infinite number of stories to tell, the trouble is simply in the piecing together the fragments we connect with.

When I was in seventh grade, I moved to Des Moines from Cedar Falls.  To keep a long and somewhat personal story as succinct as possible, I used to day dream a lot.  Getting bullied in school in Cedar Falls for whatever reason lent itself to me being somewhat uninterested in anything that went on in the classroom and instead, fancying myself as a superhero who would save the world in countless ways.  I hated writing all the way up until 8th grade.  It was a chore and a very nonspecific one at that.  In seventh grade, after the move to Des Moines, I kept the whole Daydreaming habit and would find a million different ways to save the world (or end it as my flare for the apocalyptic began about the month or so before Mom and I left Cedar Falls).  My geography teacher (who was a complete dickbag anyway) used to call me out on “spacing off” in his class and would bring up how my grade was bad because I never paid attention.  Joke was on him because I had an A (and in all fairness, the beautiful view his classroom windows offered made up for his incessantly pessimistic and overbearing conservative attitude… oh and the gigantic evil robot battles occuring in my mind were far more interesting than “look at that mountain range” and “…once again proof of the failure of liberal politics.” [One of these doesn’t belong in a classroom…].  I digress…).  The next year was the year I put two and two together between my overactive imagination and writing.  While my mechanics were ATROCIOUS (I recently found a short story I wrote in 8th grade and read it for shits and giggles… and promptly turned it into a drinking game it was so awful), I was off and running.  Our final assignment in English that year was to turn in a 3-4 page creative writing story.  I promptly handed in 24 pages and could not have been more proud (this was the story I just recently turned into a drinking game).

Fast forward to today.  The mechanics have improved.  The social commentary has become more pointed and more daring.  The characters are far deeper.  The “Big Bads” are more difficult to out right despise and the “Goodies” aren’t quite the symbol of purity and everything that is right with the world.  All of this and the instant of inception stays constant; an overactive imagination.  While the potent sexual allure of hydraulic, computerized, gigantic robots has shifted to a more curvaceous and sultry temptress with wit as sharp as a scalpel and an almost computerized precision with a handgun, the core concept remains.  The next time you tell me you could never be a creative writer, know that you do a disservice to the individual lives and stories that flow through your mind every single moment of every single day.  Yes, of course, one must address mechanical elements, voice, pacing, etc but when you boil all of that away, you are left with a utterly unique story that nobody else has ever or will ever tell.  NEVER stop having dreams and never listen to the people who “once had dreams.”

Also, never let the bastards get you down.  Inspiration comes from both good and bad.  In a lot of ways, I thank the ass of a 6th grader kid who punched me right before our soccer picture and who called me a “fag” almost every day, because without that, I may have simply dismissed my imagination as a phase to be grown out of.  Now, that doesn’t condone his actions (nor does it mean that I don’t write characters with his name and/or mannerisms and delight in the horrible things I put them through) but I can point back to those darker experiences in my life as something that planted the seeds of who I am today.  Next time you space off, whether for good or bad reasons, I implore you to revel in the fact that you are, in fact, creating something so special that nobody else has thought of it quite like you.

Enjoy, you are a writer.

Sincerely,

JP (Certified “Space Cadet”)

Inspiration is everywhere...