Storytelling, “People Don’t Care…

“People don’t care about an idea, but they might care about a person with an idea.”

A fictional author on the House of Cards tv show has given me this storytelling mantra.

I must hook readers with a character. They must care about him/her from the first page if not the first paragraph or even the first letter of the first word.

Blue-eyed Ishkur
His eyes are supposed to be light green and his ears pointed.


Hmm, too ambitious. How about this:

Ishkur dances for life as his audience stabs and grabs. A spontaneous performance answering an ambush that interrupted the half-elf’s revere.

I’ve written as a hobby for a long time, but now that I’m publishing refining my storytelling has become essential. I can’t get by with Nanowrimo stream of consciousness. This isn’t just therapy anymore; this is business, and I need to get better at it.

First professional attempt at storytelling.My first published book.

Destiny’s Hand hasn’t caught readers’ interest. It’s been hard to see it sit mostly unread, but I am thankful for the lesson.

Storytelling trumps setting, plot, characters, and even quality of writing. It is more important than anything else to get read. Continue reading Storytelling, “People Don’t Care…

Executive Director of Portlandia Greens

A clever climb and a tumbling fall

Yggdrasil’s Stump, remains of the tree of life.

I started a political adventure six years ago that’s gleaned me news coverage and a facebook group dedicated to hating me.

At my height I was executive director of the Portland chapter of the Green Party and organizing a local election debate on behalf of Occupy Portland and minor parties.

At my low I allowed a recruit to sabotage our chapter’s burgeoning relevancy and then slowly let my volunteerism fizzle to a flickering pilot’s light.

It was an awesome experience that my wife never wants me to repeat. She saw me working hard without pay, often for people who didn’t respect the effort.

Now I’m being told:

(He) isn’t invited (to meetings) specifically since we pushed him out years ago for blocking action to revoke approval of some Democrats who ran against Whitten when we reconsidered the multi-endorsement strategy.

I’ve held my breath for a long time, but now I’m blowing the house of cards down. Continue reading Executive Director of Portlandia Greens

Santa Ate My Gingerbread House

I know Santa was here Santa ate more of house

My son and I have been snacking on the gingerbread house he brought home from school.

He legitimately thinks Santa Claus has been eating most of it and additionally is trying to hide how much he himself has been eating.

“Santa eats some of the house and then puts things in our stockings.”

It is a straightforward relationship.

We have broken tradition a little bit by gradually filling the stockings and torturing Yuri by telling him he can’t peak at what Santa brought.

Self-control is difficult with presents and sweets.

Continue reading Santa Ate My Gingerbread House

Backtime Videos, Fiction Forever

zombie-tv backtimeBacktime is now

In developing my fictional universe for my writing I’ve made extensive timelines stretching into the future. From the future’s perspective I’ve named the era we are in now “backtime”.

What to watch on a generation ship.

Backtime is a term within my fiction for the time before virtual reality was an everyday experience.

Continue reading Backtime Videos, Fiction Forever

Sandbox for the future

Eve Online interceptor in stationIn Sandbox, Eve is King

Eve Online has been my main go to game for the last five years. It is arguably the biggest and best sandbox game ever.

It has evolved my gaming interest such that I compare everything else to it. To limit it with the label “game” seems a disservice, but that I think is just because it is at the cutting edge of where entertainment is headed.

Why should anyone really care about a game?

I would argue that Eve has the best virtual economy in the world. I think working within in it and studying it provides real world value. I feel like playing the Eve Market has taught me more about real world economics than any economics class I took in high-school or college.

Continue reading Sandbox for the future

Son Of Truth, Father Of Lies

Jeanne d'Arc true nameTrue story

There is a gilded statue of Joan of Arc that my son sees everyday from his school bus.

She crowns a roundabout astride a horse and was given to Portland to honor our soldiers of the Great War.

He asks, and I tell him the truth.

She was a religious fanatic who was burned alive.

He wants to know more, and I struggle with how to expand. We haven’t had the religion conversation yet. I decide it can wait until he learns there isn’t an actual Santa Claus that comes down the chimney, an Easter Bunny that hides plastic eggs, or a tooth fairy that buys his teeth while he sleeps. So I distract with another topic.

Continue reading Son Of Truth, Father Of Lies

Antagonizing Human Resources

Human Resources retired the objector, forcibly

Human resources do a body goodThe absence of democracy on a ship shouldn’t be surprising. But the absence of it from a spaceship on a thousand year journey may be.

There’s also no captain, not since the human resources department took over.

They’re a major antagonist for my Destiny Exodus series.

Having human resources a villain in my book can be confusing. I try to mitigate by naming the leadership committee  superman, because it is made up of supervisors and managers. Superman ensures that passengers are happy and compliant with the rules of the ship.

Continue reading Antagonizing Human Resources

Currency of a space village

Currency within my fictional worldTooth for money, open for business

Working on my book Destiny’s Hand I struggled with the concept of currency. I wondered if money was even necessary with only a thousand people isolated for fifty generations.

My son gets a dollar a week and five dollars a tooth. He doesn’t need money. We provide his basic necessities and many amenities.

He wants money. It gives him choices. He collects it and counts it. He brushes his teeth extra to improve their value for when it’s time to trade with the tooth fairy.

Continue reading Currency of a space village

I want ride my bicycle, bicycle, bicycle

Bicycle, father and sonBicycle was stolen

Realizing my bicycle was stolen a few weeks ago was a familiar sinking feeling followed by impotent rage.

I have a special attachment to my main mode of transportation.

I only got a driver license because my wife demanded it before having a baby.

She was not reassured by my suggestion of strapping her to a bike trailer. I held back on suggesting she could just pedal herself.

I’ve been pedaling as long as I can remember.

The big wheel was pure fun, but when I got a bicycle I got freedom. I remember in Hawaii riding my new bike the morning after Christmas barefoot and still wearing my pajamas.

Continue reading I want ride my bicycle, bicycle, bicycle