My Weird Thoughts

My weird thoughts

When They Don’t Understand Why You Write

Do you ever get that cold feeling that people think your writing is a waste of time? Do your family & friends make snide comments about you being the next Stephen King? Do most people you know think that the only reason to write is so you can make money?

I share a home with my partner and a cat that thinks she is the queen of the universe. I also have a job that keeps me busy during the daytime hours. For the longest time I did most of my writing on weekends or in the late night hours when I could not sleep. In those alone hours when it was just me and the computer …  and occasionally, her royal fuzz ball … I could easily lose track of time pounding my ideas on the keyboard before sleep or something else took the thoughts away for the moment.

Then last year for NaNoWriMo I informed my partner and her worship (aka the cat) that I would be focusing a lot of my free time on this writing “contest” and would not be very available, so deal with it. I think I was a little more tactful than that but you get the overall idea. During the month of November, the laundry piled up, dinner consisted of take out or delivery, the carpet wasn’t vacuumed etc … and her highness had to rely on someone else to clean out her litter box. My partner tolerated the domestic disruption but I think it was only because I had promised it would last just one month.

Then December rolled around and I still had the writing bug. I may have hit the 50k mark but my “Tin Man” story was far from completed. I continued to work on it when I could steal away some time. Then the comments started up: I thought that contest was over? Are you still working on that thing? Is it done yet? Can you put it down long enough to get caught up on the housework? etc etc. Oooo yeah, the negativity was there in spades. And it wasn’t just my partner. Any one I had told about my little writing project was treating me like their crazy cousin.

Was I crazy?

It’s true I wasn’t going to get rich from my writing. I might not ever get published. And even if I did get published, who’s gonna read my stories? So was it really a waste of time?

These were tough questions. Over the last few days and weeks in 2011 I considered the reasons why I write and I asked myself if it was worth it. I found that the longer I went without writing, the more I craved it. The ideas and thoughts didn’t stop flowing. I ended up spending every waking hour thinking about my various stories and how to develop certain parts.

I could not stop writing. Not for anyone. I don’t really care about being published or not.

I write because something inside of me compels me to. I have stories inside of me that are anxious to get out. I can’t leave those voices alone in the silence.

-KRR

Movie: Prometheus

What can I say other than, it was a disappointment. It was shinny and pretty to look at for 2 hours but parts of it made no sense. And other parts of it were completely stupid. I was hoping for more considering it was part of the Alien franchise, but I guess I’ll just call it an inferior spin-off.

Just plain D-U-M-B

The opening sequence with the alien chomping on some bad chewing tobacco is supposed to explain what exactly? how he slipped and fell into the water and created humanity? Really? DNA works like that? … just add water and voila! Not quite. There’s no science in that fiction.

Other stupid shit like why, oh why, when exploring unknown alien structures, does the team always end up getting split up and lost. Don’t they watch scarey movies? Don’t they know what happens to the secondary characters after they split off from the main ones? You die! you dumb red shirts. You are the first course on the baddies meal card.

And when a giant space ship or collapsing building is falling toward you, always remember, TURN … left or right, it matters not … just TURN! Go 90 degrees away from the falling object and you will survive to be in the even crappier sequel.

I can go on for pages complaining about the obvious blunders in this movie, but fortunately someone else did that for me. Read it here.

Where’s the Girl Power?

I am a HUGE fan of powerful women. I love the Ellen Ripley character in the Alien series. But in this movie the females let me down. Charlize Theron played Meredith Vickers and she was stiffer than David the android. No warmth, no emotion … maybe no beating heart either … She was the poster girl for the “Cold Hearted Bitch” club.

Now granted, Elizabeth Shaw’s character was a tough cookie and the lone survivor (she was played by Noomi Rapace who also played Lisbeth Salander in the 2009 film version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). But some of her scenes were also slightly stupid. I mean she pops into a surgical tube, gets sliced open, alien inners sucked out, tummy stapled shut and then she runs through the ship in gauze tape panties and boobie holders … without bledding to death… and then stops to have a casual conversation with another crew member… that’s not likely.

Again, I know it’s science fiction, but should it make some kind of basic common sense too? Don’t ya think?

Overall I have an idea of where they were trying to go with the story, and it seems interesting, but they didn’t quite get there.  To me the Alien series is about the indomitable human will to survive. This movie did not show me that. I guess the aliens won this round.

— KRR

Bilingual, Multilingual and Monolingual

I am multilingual. I speak many languages, some better than others.

I give the thanks to my parents who spoke both Spanish and English at home. The neighbors and church congregation were also bilingual. Also thanks to my grade school teachers who, up to 5th grade, also spoke Spanish and English, and presented the daily lessons in both languages. Through exposure I learned both languages while growing up. Was I confused learning to speak both at the same time? Not really.

When I was very little and I was learning my colors, I didn’t realize that “redcolorado” was actually two words. I learned both words for red at the same time. And then there was “blueazul” etc. But as I got older I learned which words were Spanish, which were English and which were Spanglish.

A Word in Spanglish

That 3rd language was tricky. Yes, Spanglish is really a language, ask most bilingual Hispanic kids and they will tell you about the special words that only exist in the Spanglish vocabulary. It’s like a secret language, because to understand it you must first have a basic understanding of both Spanish and English. If you only know one of the 2 languages, you will be lost.

To eh-speak eh-Spanglish you must mix up your Spanish and English words in your sentences. And you do it on the fly. Sometimes the sentence will follow Spanish grammar rules and other times it will follow English grammar rules. When you can mix up the grammar in addition to the vocabulary, and understand when another is doing the same, then you are a true Spanglish speaker. Don’t laugh, es verdad.

In adulthood I began working for international companies and I learned other languages. I can speak a little of Italian, Portuguese, French, and German. I’ve also noticed that I can muddle my way thru a few other languages some European & some Asian. I seem to have an eye and ear for languages.

Language is about Culture

Learning another language is more than just a means to communicate with other people from different countries. Any language course worth it’s salt will not just teach you a new language in a vacuum, they will also teach you the culture of the peoples that speak that language … and variations of it.

The language of a group of people carries with it several customs and traditions. Learn the language and you’ll learn their culture. Learn their culture and you’ll learn their ways. Learn their ways and then you’ll finally understand what you are saying when you speak the words.

In James Cameron’s Avatar, the Na’vi phrase “I see you” carried a special meaning. The main character Jake Sully didn’t get the full meaning of the words until he learned the Navi‘s culture and traditions. Most cultures have similar idiomatic expressions – phrases whose meanings cannot be determined by the individual words that comprise the phrase. If you don’t know the culture and traditions behind the language, then how can you be sure you know what you are saying (or hearing someone else say to you)?

Language opens your Mind

If you can speak, read, write and/or understand another language and culture then you are opening your mind to other people’s way of life. It’s a big planet and we don’t all do things the exact same way or even for the same reasons.

I hate to generalize but, with almost very little exception, I have found that most monolingual people don’t care to learn about other peoples or their language. If they just want to live in their little corner of the planet, ignorant of other cultures, then fine. To each their own. But when a monolingual insists that others have to learn their language & culture (mostly because they are too lazy to learn anyone else’s language), then I take issue. I believe that everyone has the right to live in ignorance, but no one has the right to impose their ignorance on anyone else.

Now if that Tower of Babel fiasco hadn’t happened then we would all be speaking one language. But it did, and here we are, all on one planet with hundreds of languages and dialects between us. An invading alien force would have to bring along a damn good universal translator in order to communicate their intentions to the whole world… or just a few well placed warning shots should do the trick too.

Literature in other Languages

And if you are a student of literature, just imagine all the stories that are waiting to be discovered in the libraries of these other cultures. Some tales may seem similar but most will probably be very different from those found in your own culture. And as the saying goes “it loses something in translation” … and that is true. So instead of reading the English version of a foreign book, try learning the language and you’ll be surprised at how different the story reads.

And finally lets not forgot that Shakespeare can only truly be experienced in the original Klingon. 🙂

— KRR

Written Out in 2011

Before 2012 hits me like a freight train I’m taking a moment to look back upon 2011 with pride and a smile.  I guess you can say that 2011 is the year I “outed” myself as a writer. In years past I’ve always kept my writing private and only mentioned it to a few close friends. The main reason for my mild secrecy is the content of my stories.

I’ve never been one to hold back or police my thoughts or opinions. I say what I think and if people don’t like it, then tough shit. So I’m that way in my writing too.

But most people I know don’t really know me and all my quirks. They like to think that I’m normal, which I’m not and never claimed to be. If they were to read my stories they might get a different opinion of me and start to judge me.

Don’t get me wrong, I would rather have the people closest to me, get to know the real me. But so many are stuck behind unrealistic expectations and can’t accept anything outside the normal. Some would even think that I must be broken and need to be fixed. So in order to avoid all of that, I’ve kept my writing in my drawer.

But is that fair or honest?

Why should I have to hide who and what I am just because it would make others uncomfortable? I came to the conclusion recently that I should be true to myself, and let the rest be damned if they can’t handle it. That is why I launched this new website and blog. It’s my attempt to let everyone know me, gradually.

I’m not hiding under a bushel anymore. I’m letting my light shine for all to see. If you don’t like the brightness of my light then avert your eyes.

–KRR

Movie: Dream House


I saw the movie “Dream House” today with friends, a suspense/thriller with Daniel Craig & Rachel Weisz.

*** spoilers *** It was an interesting story with a “chicken-or-egg” theme. My friends and I were debating whether Peter wrote the story first and the movie was just him living the story… Or if he wrote the story after experiencing the events in the movie.

*** spoilers *** It’s a good movie that keeps you guessing all the way til the end. Some parts I found predictable. Before Wil went to talk to the shrink at the nut house, I had figured out that Wil & Peter were the same person. But I like how they handled the wife and daughters. I thought they were live people the whole time, especially since they had apparently different names. It was worth the $11 for the ticket.

— KRR

Launch all Vipers!

It was a dark and stormy night … no wait, the weather  net would have prevented the storm. Try again.

It was a dark and clear night … no, that won’t work either since we have a big moon in orbit reflecting the sun’s rays. One more time.

It was a bright and clear DAY… Hah! Take that!

Actually it IS really dark outside and it is night.  I am without a doubt a night creature.  I do my best thinking at night. I suppose that is why I hardly sleep … or perhaps I am a vampire … nope not a chance.  I also talk to myself a lot, gets lots of good ideas that way.  I can also take credit since one of me came up with it, so technically it’s not stealing. Besides I can buy myself flowers and feel better about it in the morning. 🙂

Well anywho … this is my first blog and my first post on my first blog.  I can’t write much here since I am also simultaneously … wow long word … working on a story on another window.  For reference it is currently called “Stoic” – title always subject to change. It is a story about a girl and her droid … no it’s not like that!

Since I doubt that anyone will read this post for a while, “Stoic” will probably be done by then. Check out my website for the full story coming sometime soon, I hope.

Going back to my story spinning now.

— KRR

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