Make, and support, art

My post-work goal for the night was to get a little writing done (likely in the form of adding to Dissonance in Harmony, of course) before playing some Pokemon Moon and going to bed at a moderately reasonable hour. I love some quality video game wind-down time, but after seeing more news regarding President (using the term loosely here) Trump’s intention to move forward with defunding PBS…Pokemon will have to wait.

It would be easy to throw names at the Man-Child-in-Chief. Too easy.

What I want to do is, instead, charge you fellow artists to create. Keep creating, keep spreading art and encouraging (and supporting) others to do the same, and keep spreading wonder and joy and love that is otherwise being snuffed out in the name of further crushing critical, independent thinking in favor of lockstepping along to the wrong side of history.

Make art that is wonderful, and make art that is unsettling. Challenge the ever-loving shit out of people who dare question the value of art. Know that if Mr. Rogers were still around in this time of taking away PBS, a source of learning and magic for many children and the stuff of fond memories for how many, there would be Hell to pay.

Above all else, continue. Whether these next four years are great or bad material for art (with the former seeming more likely), it’s imperative that art continue, that easy access to educational programming be fought for, and that simple-minded, would-be dictators be challenged at every turn.

The Place Without a (Domain) Name

Update: major thanks to WordPress for working to restore my domain name. Though how much this means is questionable: that gesture was enough to ensure Misadventures In Fiction stays with WordPress for the foreseeable future.

Tonight, I decided, was the night to renew my WordPress domain. I’d been putting it off because of holiday expenses and bills and so on, all of which are things I didn’t want to admit but are now moot points anyway. WordPress immediately reminded me upon logging in that misadventuresinfiction.com had expired as of two months ago, and that I should renew it.

“That’s the plan,” I said to my computer in the way I talk to my computer, except with less swearing about how shitty my WiFi is at any given time (Thanks, Comcast).

The domain name was already in my cart, ready to buy. I just had to enter my new debit card info, right? Right?! And then I sat back, relaxed, and got an error message that made no sense to me. “Enter your first name.”

You mean like the thing I had entered with my card information? I’m pretty sure that Philip is my first name, as it’s been something I’ve had for twenty-nine years now. I hit Enter again, only to be told my Credit Card info is incorrect. I checked the number I’d entered against my card, and it matched perfectly.  Continue reading

In my less-than-famous opinion

Before this continues, I want to point out that this isn’t today’s installment towards One Hundred Days of Blogging 2.0, which should sound a touch insane as that means I’m deliberately making it a point to force myself to write two posts today. Few people have accused me of having particularly good ideas, however, so this makes sense. Moving along.

Actually, I lied. I think I will use this for today’s post and follow with the other, thematically appropriate idea anyway. Not sorry.

Something I can state as purely fact, with neither pride nor disappointment, is that I haven’t really read much of A Song of Ice and Fire. I usually hit a point in Game of Thrones where, despite loving fantasy novels and having read other titanic titles such as the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy (plus The Hobbit, before it became a trilogy), I become so supremely bored that reading another page borders on self-inflicted torture. There are plenty of people I know who absolutely love George R.R. Martin’s behemoth heptalogy, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The point I’m meandering toward here is that the most common complaint I hear from these A Song of Ice and Fire fans is that Martin is writing too slowly. That he’ll probably die before he finishes the series, given his advanced age and larger-than-average stature. Fans of Robert Jordan’s works who also enjoy A Song of Ice and Fire are probably already bracing for the worst. Oh, and then there’s the small matter of the Game of Thrones series on HBO having a strong chance of completing the series before the books can.

These criticisms aren’t exactly isolated, and apparently they aren’t welcomed by George R.R. Martin, especially those regarding his death.

Pictured: George R.R. Martin's response to suggestions he'll die before his books are finished. Or one very angry Santa Claus.

Pictured: George R.R. Martin’s response to suggestions he’ll die before his books are finished. Or one very angry Santa Claus.

Continue reading

A much-dreaded holiday rant

I’m about to get a little soap-boxy, people, but I think the title said all that and more. All the same: brace yourselves. It may get a little preachy up in this here blog post.

Christmas season is in full swing. Yards, houses, street signs, and every imaginable surface is bedecked with bright and brilliant lights, holly and garland, and will soon be a January-long reminder that maybe a little less could be considered more for Christmas next year. If nothing else, it has definitely reached that point where everyone seems to be getting progressively more frazzled. Listen closely, and beneath the jingling bells and choirs of angels you, too, may hear the sound of fraying nerves ready to snap at any moment. I can relate. There are a lot of gifts to remember to purchase at the last minute, wrap, rewrap, get drunk while wrapping for a third time, and so on. That’s probably not the most common experience so much as a crippling reminder that I am utterly incompetent at preparing gifts, actually. Continue reading

Wibbily wobbily, spoilery-woilery post ahead

That was physically painful to type, by the way. Before I get into the actual post, given my neglect this weekend, I would like to half-apologize for the last couple blog posts. It’s a half-apology because I was having a wonderful time quite some distance away from all of my troubles. It was spent in the company of two of the most fantastic people I know and it gave me a chance to finally meet a couple really terrific people as well. Drinks were had, tabletop games were played, and I had some of the best times I’ve had in a while all crammed into a weekend. I’d also like to point out that the Hyatt House in Dulles, VA, was the best hotel experience I’ve ever had in all of my travels. Great price, great customer service, and the rooms are like tiny homes-away-from-home without that weird feel of actually being in another person’s house using all of their appliances, their bed, and their shower. That’s a universal feeling most people, I imagine, have while staying at a hotel. Continue reading

Monday Mayhem

There is a small, albeit moderately insane, portion of my mind that is convinced today was a test, for me from the Universe, to see just how many times I could string together expletives in the course of one sentence. If we take into consideration that I am a man whose verbosity and capacity for complex sentences is, at its best times, unrivaled, I would dare estimate that the total curse words I managed to cram into one sentence would max out around sixty. If I were actually keeping track of that sort of thing, anyway.

I’ve ranted plenty on Twitter already. I vented to my girlfriend. I even considered researching possible ways to bring about Armageddon (which, to the relief of many, is beyond my capabilities at present). Out of some weird, misplaced mercy, I will spare the additional ranting for other outlets. Let me just leave this portion of the post off with this open-ended question: why is it the universe is most prone to go to shit on Mondays? Ignoring the business of it being after a weekend, because some of us work on weekends.

My brain is a touch soft today. Whether it’s because I burned myself out writing three short stories and a blog post last night, or how the forces of stupid really stepped up their game today, I don’t know. I do know I don’t like this lack of motivation very much, as it puts a real damper on my ability to focus on anything at all (there’s a shock).

However, as a sudden plot-twist to this post, and thanks to some Twitter-chatter with @MortuaryReport, this story happened. I realize this is a rather abrupt transition into a short story that could have never happened, but that’s sort of how I do things on days like today. This is how I managed to be creative and destructive, all at once. It, like any story that happens out of nowhere, may have gotten a bit (and by a bit I mean extremely) ridiculous. I’m not sorry.

Continue reading

My disdain for The Fault in Our Stars’ movie adaptation

There are some points I need to preface this post with before I go forward, so bear with me here. First, and most importantly, I acknowledge that The Fault in Our Stars is young adult fiction. I am not quite part of the target audience, but that didn’t stop me from giving this tremendously popular title a chance. Despite my best efforts to hate the actual novel of TFiOS, I enjoyed it very much. It was far less pretentious and contrived than I thought it would be, and there were a good many moments that stood up to the hype I’ve been hearing.

Secondly, I know that it is impossible to include every detail from a novel in its film adaptation. If that sort of thing actually happened, many of us would still be sitting in a movie theater somewhere waiting for The Fellowship of the Ring to end. I’m only half-joking there, by the way.  I’m not typically the sort of person who goes to the movies to point out every little discrepancy between the film and its book counterpart. Where’s the fun in that? I’d hazard a guess that since I was seeing this movie in part because I’m writing an article that pertains to it, perhaps I was a bit more eager to spot the differences. Especially since, again, I went into the book with quite a number of biases against it (some of those quotes, on their own, sounded extremely contrived).

Keeping these things in mind, I believe I’m ready to dive into what about The Fault in Our Stars‘s film adaptation vexed me so much compared to the book. To air on the side of caution: this likely contains some spoilers. Continue reading