Tag Archives: rant

She Bops, He Bops, We Bop

Disclaimer: This post is in no way about writing. If you’re interested in those kind of posts you can read them here.

Ps_sb1 I’m a Christian. I’m not the sort of Christian who’s going to refuse to sell you something because of how you chose to live your life. I’m not going to boycott or picket anything in particular. I’m just trying to live my life as best I can and love those around me. Having said that, I’m going to share my unvarnished opinion on a sensitive topic.

Masturbation and our attitudes towards it are hilarious to me. Let me back up just a second. I saw a post on social media yesterday. It was a picture of of some guy I’ve never heard of who said, and I paraphrase, “Something about me is called a sin 25 times in the Bible. People used to be persecuted for it. Thankfully attitudes are changing and most people no longer have a problem with my being left handed.” Now, obviously, this was a jab at some Christians’ attitudes towards homosexuality and the changing landscape. It was a much deserved jab. Unfortunately it was mis-directed. A much better target would have been masturbation.

There are a lot of things that feel so damn good. One of them is taking a good dump. Have you ever just had, you should forgive the expression, a religious experience while having a bowel movement? One that left you feeling light headed and relieved? If not, I feel sorry for you. Another thing that feels ridiculously good, when done right, is polishing the pole/rubbing one out/jacking it (or for my female readers polishing the pearl?). A long time ago, when people still though that that bleeding you of excess humors was the pinnacle of medical science, someone decided that doing that was a bad idea. There was a ridiculous amount of shame attached to it. They developed torture device to prevent you from performing “self abuse”. They used the excuse that God doesn’t like it. You’ll end up going blind, growing hairy palms, and being ultimately cast in a lake of fire. None of the above is remotely true.

leftyI’ve read the Bible a lot. There are lots of interesting things that you didn’t read in Sunday school. Masturbation with holy relics is in there. Ejaculating copious amounts, like a donkey if memory serves, is mentioned at least once. A women who has breasts as big as fawns. Okay, so that may have just been my thirteen year old brain talking. But let me tell you, Song of Solomon was a very stimulating book to read when I couldn’t find a Sears catalog. One thing I was never able to find was the notion that taking care of your own business in private was an “issue” (that was a pun).

I know, there are people (who probably haven’t read this far) that will tell me that sex is a holy thing and it’s intended for two people in the bonds of matrimony. Sexing up yourself isn’t that. To which I say yes and yes. I also say, everyone does it. As my gal Cyndi says, “She bop, he bop, and we bop”. Bop is clearly talking about masturbating, in case you didn’t know it. Forget “Everybody Poops”, I want to see a book called “Everybody Bops”. I’d like to think that the left handed guy up there, who no doubt bops with his sinister hand, would join with me in saying that there ain’t no law against it and that includes God’s law. I hope that society’s attitude, particularly in Christian circles, is changing regarding the alone time. Frankly I couldn’t give a toss (another pun) if it does. So long as the privatest of behavior isn’t interfering with your life, health, and relationships then I don’t see the harm in it.

Our Chief Glory

1024px-Samuel_Johnson_Statue“The chief glory of every people arises from its authors.” Dr. Samuel Johnson: Preface to his Dictionary.

I was listening to a podcast this morning and this quote came up. It was interesting, because someone said on Facebook yesterday that our greatest citizens are our soldiers. I think the sorts of people a society values says a lot about that society. I try to be as egalitarian as possible, but on this matter I tend to side with Johnson, though I wouldn’t limit it to authors.

I look at where our money goes, not only the American government, but also us as individuals. I don’t think we spend nearly enough on the arts. I like to think there was a time when as a nation we spent far more on encouraging the arts. I know for a fact that our country has used projects like the Works Progress Administration and the National Endowment for the arts to pay authors, artists, musicians, and playwrights. Both programs are controversial and I’m not saying that funding for the arts begins or ends with one’s government. I am saying that it seems to me as a society we will lose out if we don’t use our money, personal and public, to support more arts on the national and local level.

I want to see more books and plays and symphonies produced by our children. I believe that it can do nothing but benefit their studies of the Three Rs. I want to see more things like Detroit’s writers-in-residence program, Write A House. I’ve watched as a focus on the arts and locally produced goods caused my own downtown to blossom.

Soldiers, fire fighters, police officers, and others that put their lives on the line are brave and I thank God daily for their sacrifice. I’m not for a second putting anyone above them. They need to earn far more than they do for the necessary services they provide. I would argue though that we as a nation would always fund them over and above the arts because we see the black and white benefit that we receive. That’s  less true of the creative people who add beauty to our lives and examine creation for universal truths that they then bring to light.

I do think that we need to spend less on our nation’s military efforts. Much of that money can be better spent on our infrastructure and education. I want to see more of it go to support poets and sculptors, wood carvers and weavers, novelists and cellists. I’d love for others to look at this country as a bastion of the creative spirit. That’s the glorification of something I can get behind.


I saw a post on Facebook this morning that made me want to spew my guts in a rant. I’ll try and keep it dialed down, since I don’t know all of the details, but suffice it to say that apparently a “fan” gave a podcaster some degree of grief for not giving away all of their stuff for free.

I got into podcasting for a few reasons. The first and foremost was that I was inspired by the likes of Mur Lafferty, JC Hutchins, Scott Sigler, and a whole host of the first generation podcast fiction writers. They were getting their words in front of people in a new way. It helped them build an audience and a community of support. Their generosity (and taking the untold hours to create the audio after taking the hours to write is beyond generous) was inspiring. I wanted to do that. So, I did.

There’s a problem though. In some circles it seems that this generosity has created a sense of entitlement. I’ll admit to falling prey to that a time or two. When Hutch stepped down from podcasting his fiction my gut reaction was somewhat negative. He owed his fans, didn’t he? Eventually I realized the bullshit behind my anger. I cheered him on and he’s doing some awesome things.

Here’s how you respond to the generosity that podcasters are displaying, when/if they decide to put down the microphone (or even before then). Buy their stuff if they have stuff for sale. If they don’t, and not all podcasters are fiction writers who put their works out there in e-book/dead tree formats, or if you can’t (hey, times are tough and we don’t all have ducats to spare), there are other options. Review their podcasts on iTunes and the other venues set up for that. Blog about them. Use social media to spread the word.

To that end, I give my heartfelt thanks to Mur, Scott, and JC. There are more people than that though.

Currently in my iPod I’m pleased to be listening to:

Dan Absalonson
Decoder Ring Theatre
Every Photo Tells
Flash Pulp
The Functional Nerds
HG World
How To Disappear Completely
Mike Plested
Jen And Dave
John Mierau
Living Proof
Keith Hughes
Clay Dugger
The Roundtable Podcast
Paul Cooley
Supervillain Corner
Timothy C Ward

And that doesn’t count the dozens of podcasters, bloggers, and other folks that have given me years of FREE CONTENT since I’ve been traveling the intertubes. You people are all awesome. Please keep it coming and let me know how I can help you!

Getting Out Of Corners

Let it be known up front that I am a big fan of Scott Sigler’s work and work ethic. A harder working writer, I do not know. Having said that, there are things about him that I don’t get. That’s okay. Diversity makes this world and interesting place. But he said something in a recent episode of The All-Pro that made me mad. Hit the link and listen to the last ten minutes or so to get the full context.

He was talking about his writing process. He’s an outliner. Given what he writes, it makes perfect sense to do a thorough outline before he starts in writing. He talks about the whys and wherefores, in particular that he pitches ideas via his outline to his agent/publisher and hones it to a silicone coated pointy point before commencing. All of that’s good and well and makes perfect sense. He went further than that, though.

He said “any time the story gets into a rabbit hole they [paranormal/fantasy writers] can whip up some magic and get themselves out of that”. Now he does qualify that to a degree. It still came across to me as painting with an awfully broad brush. He also said that he has to outline everything and make sure that everything you’re reading does actually matter. That certainly seems to imply that at least some fantasy/paranormal writers don’t have to pay as much attention to the craft and that everything they write doesn’t have to be tightly plotted or make sense. That’s simply not true.

It caused me to tweet:

The FDO basically said as a thriller writer he doesn’t have the luxury of the supernatural to get him out of corners he writes himself into.

I also tweeted:

I’m fine with his stance except that he apparently believes writers of supernatural fiction are lazy somehow

Did he say “lazy”? No. I did infer that from what he said. I certainly don’t think he believes that all writers of fantasy are lazy writers. He himself has written fantasy (I think Nocturnal qualifies and there’s another project he’s working on that I know little about). I also think that his GFL series qualifies as fantasy of a kind.

As a writer of paranormal/fantasy fiction myself, I can see that using magic as a deus ex machina can be a crutch/problem. That’s also true of tricorders/sensors and other SF tropes. It’s one we all need to keep an eye out for. It’s also important no matter what genre you’re writing in to have a solid plot and to make sure that everything you’re writing “does actually matter” to the story at large. To single out a wide swath of genre fiction in the way he did was short sighted at best.

As I told one person, I certainly reacted emotionally. It’s also possible I overreacted. I would love to get Scott’s thoughts and yours. Listen to what he said and tell me if I’m way off base here.


Earlier today I tweeted, “You’re not an “aspiring writer”. You either write or you don’t. Do, or do not. There is no try.” I added the hashtag “meantwithlove” since I did not want to appear overly harsh. It’s just that, I saw the phrase on the profile of someone who I know IS an author/writer and it maddens me to think that they don’t believe that about themselves.

Now to be fair, it’s possible that they are defining “writer” as “a writer who has been published” and perhaps that’s a valid definition. It was even proposed by Indiana Jim that “author” was the word for that and that the person might be an aspiring author, not having been published yet. I could, and am tempted, to quibble and say that Webster makes no such distinction, but as a writer I know that words have connotations separate from their dictionary definitions.

Rich Asplund is probably being a bit more honest when he said “that’s why I call it as it is I’m a wannabe soon as I get off my ass and do it consistently I can remove wannabe”. Being a consistent writer is part of being a successful one, but even if you’re not consistent you are still a writer if you write, an author if you are creating. What “consistent” means may vary from person to person, but I think that writing a few hundred words daily is a good place to start. With that your writing should improve and it will become easier to write more. Are you in the place Rich is, and do you wanna stay there? He doesn’t.

If you aspire to be something, whatever it may be, and the power is in your hands, then stop aspiring and do it! Arguably the “getting published” part is not something in your control, but if you aren’t writing regularly and submitting what you write are you really aspiring? If not, that’s not a bad thing by itself. It just means you should leave that word in the dust collecting at your feet. Remember that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the very definition of insanity.

The problem with the word “aspire” is, too often it’s used in the past tense. “He aspired to a career in medicine.” (Maybe he just should have gone to med school?) I would hate for anyone who wanted to be a writer or a painter or a doctor to never arrive simply because they took no steps towards the goal. So to you, writers, I say strip that word from your profiles. Write! Paint! Cut people op- Go to med school! If you aren’t going to do something about it, then you have no recourse when you fail.

To put it another way I will quote J.C. Hutchins:

Step 1: Do nothing.
Step 2: Complain about results.
Step 3: Do nothing.
Step 4: Wonder about same results.
Step 5: Whine.
Step 6: Repeat.

Is that who you wanna be? No! So, get out there and do, or do not. There is no aspire.