Uta Hagen--

"We must overcome the notion that we must be regular...it robs you of the chance to be extraordinary and leads you to the mediocre."

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Somebody Fought For You

I found this AMAZING video via my cousin posting it on Facebook.  I don't even have words to describe how...touching this is to me.  It broke my heart and made me remember what I have and, maybe more importantly, WHY I have it.  To all of our Veterans and Troops, I wholeheartedly say

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Vanilla Twilight

Hey guys.

I just wanted to take a few minutes to post a video that I made today.  Today has been a somewhat monumental day for me, as a writer, as well as a person.  And while I can't completely explain these things to you, I will say that a lot of changes are hopefully going to be made in my life - positive changes and these such changes were brought about by a few very important people that have made me realize that I need to 'let go' of some things and turn whatever I'm feeling into something positive.  Gee, people haven't been telling me this all along or anything. 

Anyway, today I've made decisions that I can hopefully stick to.  And with that, I give you, the Vanilla Twilight night of my life. 

And on a really happy note, the Screaming Eagles will be home soon!!  This not only goes out to Jim, but to the Rakkasans as well!  Love you guys!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Three Year Anniversary

Today is my three year anniversary with my beloved ex-novel, SOLACE.  At the time I started writing SOLACE, however, it wasn't called SOLACE, nor did it have any direction, purpose, characters, or a plot line whatsoever.  I just decided one day - January 14th, 2008, to be exact - that I wanted to write.  I had been reading Twilight (the first book I chose to read in a long time, at that point) and I knew that I wanted to give writing a go.  So I sat down and tried to think of something to write.  When that failed, I wrote a note to myself, basically, and saved it - never expecting to come back to it again.  But I did.  But I still faced the problem of "Oh, crap, I'm determined to write something now, but what?"

Well, that was right around the time that Jim was coming home for mid-tour leave from his second deployment to Iraq and I was really excited that he was coming home.  It seemed like he was always deployed and if he was coming home, even if for only two weeks, I was extremely happy.  But I desperately wanted to be there when Jimmy got off the plane - but I knew that he never allowed anyone to be there except for his wife.  I asked my grandma why that was and she said - and I will never forget this as long as I live - "I think he doesn't want to risk letting anyone see him cry."  And that's what started it, to be honest.  It gave me the premise of my story.  I wanted my character to be strong like Jimmy, because I wanted to be strong like Jimmy - and I worked for a long time to try to be.  Obviously I have failed in that matter.  I wanted my character to have an amazing cousin in the Army who was deployed to Iraq because I had one too.  I wanted my character, in a lot of ways, to be me - or who I wanted myself to be.  And thus Hallie Pearson (wasn't her name at the time) was born. 

In draft one, the story started out with a dream that Hallie was having.  She had dreams about her cousin (Jackson) a lot, but in this dream, she saw him cry.  Now, although a lot of her dreams that included Jackson were not about him crying, (it might've been only that one) throughout draft two, I kept that idea and it actually is a pretty big piece of the story now. 

A lot of people have asked me why I can't go back to writing SOLACE at the moment, it's fictional, what happened to Jimmy has nothing to do with what I wrote about Jackson, and that's true enough.  But the fact of the matter is that this novel's first original detail was inspired by Jimmy and that makes it extremely hard for me to go back to it at the present time.  I know that Jim would want me to finish it, and then he'd want to beat me up for the Jackson character, and I will - in time.  But right now, I need to get away from that.  Because I know how Jackson's story comes to a close in draft one - and how it was going to in general.  And although it might not have been a bad ending, it's still one that's hard for me to deal with because I know for certain Jim's ending.  And the contrast and similarities of the two are painful.

Now, I'm not posting this to tell you a sappy story, because I know you don't want to hear it.  The reason I'm posting this is because this is how I started writing.  I'm not saying that Jim was the only person that inspired me while writing SOLACE, because he wasn't.  But he did, however, inspire me, without even knowing, to start writing.  And that's something I'll never forget.  And so now, as it usually was, it's all for you, Jim. 

Thank you - for everything.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Rant. Again.

I received an email today from my cousin and decided that I should share it a bit more publicly than just forward-ing it on - which I did also.

This is the email:

We are asking everyone to say a prayer for "Darkhorse" 3rd Battalion 5th Marines and their families. They are fighting it out in Afghanistan & they have lost 9 marines in 4 days. IT WOULD BE NICE TO SEE the message spread if more could pass it on.

God Bless America and God Bless the United States Marine Corps... Semper Fi, Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever

Lindsay Lohan, 24, gets her name and face all over the news because she went to jail. Now she's getting it all over again for failing her drug test.

But: Nothing in the media about these guys because no one seems to care:
Justin Allen, 23,
Brett Linley, 29,
Matthew Weikert, 29,
Justus Bartett, 27,
Dave Santos, 21,
Chase Stanley, 21,
Jesse Reed, 26,
Matthew Johnson, 21,
Zachary Fisher, 24,
Brandon King, 23,
Christopher Goeke, 23,
Sheldon Tate, 27,

All are Marines that gave their lives for YOU this week!

Honor THEM by forwarding this. I just did.

SHOW THEM WE STILL CARE! THANK YOU, Justin Allen, Brett Linley,
Matthew Weikert, Justus Bartett, Dave Santos, Chase Stanley, Jesse Reed, Matthew Johnson, Zachary Fisher, Brandon King, Christopher Goeke, and Sheldon Tate, FOR MY FREEDOM!

I am quite bothered by the fact that our country has become more obsessed with celebrity problems, scandals, and relapses than showing proper thanks and respect to our troops - past, present, and fallen.  Without what our troops do for us, we wouldn't be able to care about Lohan or Tiger Woods or anybody else for that matter.  And, frankly, I don't see why people feed into the Hollywood stories - by paying them more attention, you're just making it seem like a bigger deal than it is.  Tiger Woods cheated on his wife.  Yes, that's very wrong, but tons of guys cheat on their wives and girlfriends - and plenty of girls cheat on their husbands - but that doesn't mean they're in the headlines. 

You know, the news will show a story about Westboro showing up at a Fallen Hero's services, but they won't pay tribute to troops that fall if they're not in their area.  And I think that that's really wrong.  Because by doing this, it's saying that it's okay not to think about the war, or think about the men and women dying for you.  And it's not okay to do this.  In history class one day when we started learning about WWI, my teacher said that it was a total war because everything in the country went to fighting the war.  She related it to our present-day war and said something along the lines of "Does the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan affect our lives every day?"  I could not believe how many people said "No."  I flat-out, maybe a little too loudly, said "YES!"  Later on in the lesson she said something like "Most of you, since you don't watch the news or read the newspapers, probably go weeks or months without thinking about the war."  I was so bothered by this that even remembering it now I am still angered by it.  Even if you don't know someone serving in the military, you should at least be aware of what our Soldiers are doing for you - without even knowing you.  Because of what they do, you can go to school every day and care about trivial things like how cute someone is in your class or being popular or getting the cutest dress for homecoming.  They give up their trivial-ness so that you can keep yours.  They sacrifice so much just so that their friends, family, and fellow Americans can live freely and safely.  How could you not be aware of that?  How could you not see how that affects you every day?

Perhaps I'm just a little biased on this subject.  For as long as I've been able to realize what the wars are, I've had family serving in them.  And after having lost a close cousin to OEF, maybe I have no room to speak about how other teenagers and other Americans in general should feel.  But what I do know is that these men and women are the most important thing in our country, and I know that they are living, fighting, and dying for this country - for you and me.  And that, is something that for as long as I live I SWEAR I will NEVER forget.