Dragon in Need of a Pen

Tattoo Design for my Nephew

Tattoo Design for my Nephew

 

You may not have noticed, but I am also an artist.  Actually, I am foremost an artist since I started with art and then moved into writing as my artwork got stymied.  My writing style owes much to this fact and tends to be very visually descriptive, which some people find tedious but I always enjoyed in a story if properly balanced.

The above design is my first ambitious digital work in Gimp 2.0.  However, I have run into a snag.  Not knowing if I would like or be comfortable with this new medium, I purchased an inexpensive drawing tablet (Vis Tablet’s Pen Pad).   The tablet is not bad but has one main drawback, the pen needs a battery to work and I am finding out that is uses them fast and does not like rechargeable batteries.   This makes working on the tattoo design and future projects frustrating.

There is a new pad that I like because the pen does not require a battery; unfortunately, it cost $199, which is more than I can afford.  Right now  most of the money I have is committed to finishing house repairs and is not even enough to fix everything.  So, I am turning to you, the viewer, for help.  By supporting my writing through a donation, you can also help support my artistic creativity by helping me reduce the cost of this new tablet.  This is a more recognizable goal than the vague support I asked for earlier and maybe I can work up a chart to show how much progress we have made.  Once the design is done, I will post a copy for downloading as a thank you for your support, until then feel free to download any of the spoken stories now available.  To see more of my work, follow the link in the far right column to my art page.

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Cliven Bundy: Wrong in so many ways.

I don’t believe in the government this flag represents. By the way, F-you vets who died so I can do this.

Listen, I am no angel.  I have done things that I am not proud and I try to be more understanding of others because of it.  In truth, I had actually considered not making a post about Cliven Bundy since so much has already hit the air waves.  However, I find it hard to stand by and say nothing when such a horrible person is given the lime light by greedy and blind people.  The hardest thing for me to swallow is that this person has the right to say his peace and I believe in that.  What I find disheartening is how few people condemn him for making a mockery of what they stand for?  They just remain quiet.  That is the America I know, a place where the loud mouth braggart can bully a country of patriotic citizens into submission.  Make no mistake about it; Cliven Bundy is a dead beat hoodlum who should be in jail.  He is the gang leader and any who follow him are his gang members.  Let us begin.

First, he is completely in the wrong for one incontrovertible fact.  The land is not his, end of story.  Yes, the government might have been slow to take strong measures as some would have you believe, which they say resulted in the forfeiture of their right to act.  However, if we were to buy into that theory, the laws of land ownership would become a hopeless quagmire of squatter and landowner wars like in the old west.

In addition, try putting the shoe on the other foot.  If Mr. Bundy had loaned grazing land to another rancher for a fee and then they later decided not to believe in Mr. Bundy’s right to ownership and said fees, how long do you think it would be before Mr. Bundy made use of government institutions, like the courts and police, to remedy the situation?  In the end, Cliven Bundy is a common thief.  He has stolen use of public lands for his own personal gain and is now threatening violence if we do not allow him to continue to do so.  I think a guy named Hitler did something similar in WWII.  Just give him Poland and everything would be ok.  How did that turn out?  Make no mistake, this is a man driven by the same greed as Hitler.

Second, for a man who doesn’t believe in the existence of the U.S. Government, he sure makes use of a lot of items of said government.  He had no problem prancing around on his pony waving an American Flag, which is a symbol of all the blood shed to protect and bring this country under one government, the blood of our sons and daughters all over the world who sacrificed their lives for our future.  A future Cliven Bundy feels he does not have to sacrifice for.  Patriotism he only shows when it will do him good.

Oh, don’t forget about the money.  He sure likes the money he gets for his cattle.  You know, that stuff that is printed like candy by the government he says does not exist.  He probably even gets loans to help run his ranch, but wait, didn’t the government play a part in creating the banking system that provides those loans.  I also would not be surprised if he did not get some kind of grants or handouts from the government to help with his ranch, maybe even subsidies.  Talk about hypocritical.  In truth, he is stealing from you and me as well.  Because he did not pay his fees, we had to bear the brunt of maintaining those government lands through our taxes.  The link is not direct but, because the government is interlinked from state to state, the effects trickle down to every taxpayer.

Ah, don’t worry about it Mr. Bundy.

Third, as a Mormon, he is not a very good example of the public teachings of that religion.  He is not even a good example of Christianity, which is the basis of the Mormon theology.  He is putting greed ahead of righteousness.  He threatens murder upon those tasked for removing his cattle from land that is not his.  He encourages others to do the same.  Go to the Church of Latter Day Saints and watch the videos “Stop Bullying”, “God’s Greatest Gift”, and “Let Us be Men” and see if he represents their teachings.

My wife will take a bullet for me because I love her.

Finally, real men hide behind women.  Ask Richard Mack?  Apparently, all the heat these brave militia men are carrying was not enough to make them feel safe so they decided using women and children as human shields would bolster their courage.  Is no one else totally disgusted by these lowlifes who call themselves men?  Again, what of the teachings of Christ?  I seem to remember countries we took issue with for doing similar activities.  Who were they?  Oh yes, North Vietnam and Iraq.  Places Mr. Bundy probably cheered against when we went to war with them.

In the end, any God fearing, patriotic American should be denouncing everything this man has done.  Instead, we call him a folk hero and open the airwaves to his moronic and racist ranting.  Hell, there are some who would kill for him, while others would sacrifice their families for him, sounds a lot like a cult to me.  Remember Jim Jones and David Koresh?  I want to know why the Mormon Leadership is not denouncing Cliven Bundy as a person not following the spirit of their faith.  Why does the NRA not denounce his unsafe gun practices for making the case for gun control more obvious?  Why do women not run away from these men who obviously think more of themselves than of their families?  Why do taxpayers not bitch about the fact that he is costing them money?  Why, because this is the America that I have come to know.  A country so engrossed in the “I” that it has forgotten that it was the “we” that got us here.  We use Patriotism when we don’t get our way, not when we have to give something up, shame on us.

The Vanishing

Well folks, finally mustered up the energy to send another story out.  I sent my story “Stubborn” off to Apex magazine; if anyone knows Sigrid Ellis, put a good word in for me.  I have only one other story out at the moment called “Sanity”.  I sent it to Michael Moorcock’s New Worlds some time ago and have not heard back yet.  Maybe I will check in with them soon.

So once again I have sent off one of my precious children to vanish into the wide world upon the four winds.

An Illustration in the Narrow Vision of the American Consumer

Supporting articles:

McDonald’s to Settle Suit on Beef Tallow in French Fries

For Hindu’s and Vegetarians, Surprise in McDonald’s Fries

You may remember back in 2001 and 2002 a little problem McDonald’s ran into with their Hindu American customers, which led to major issues for the chain in India.  While I can see from reading these articles that the  dust-up had a lot more to do with miss communication, there is still a lesson to be learned here.  The miss communication or miss interpretation, some may say, occurred when McDonald’s switched from using beef fat to vegetable oil for frying food.  Hindu’s and Vegetarian’s believed that they could now safely consume McDonald’s french fries.  However, unknown to them at the time, McDonald’s french fries are seasoned with beef tallow in America.  Of course, this is not the practice in the Indian restaurants, but the knee jerk reaction could not be stopped; however, this is not the lesson, just the background.

Flash forward to Good Friday 2014.  I am stuck working in a Wal-Mart that has a McDonald’s inside and I did not feel like going out for lunch then coming back to finish my work day.  So, I decided to eat there.  I am by no means a fanatical observer of meatless Friday’s as the Catholic consumer may be, but I usually try to be good on this one day.  In addition, there are two other things to consider.  One, I always found it somewhat hypocritical that fish is not considered meat for the purpose of meatless Fridays.  Two, I am not a big fan of McDonald’s fish.

That being said, I decided I would bite the bullet and get a fish sandwich and fries for lunch.  Of course, that is before my freaky recall pulled up the memory of the incident in India.  At that time, I thought it was beef tallow in the oil not the fries but the result is the same either way in this situation.  The wheels of my mind continued to turn.  If I recalled correctly, McDonald’s changed their set up in India but remained true to their recipes in America, which is borne out in the articles above.  Now comes the lesson.

As I have said, I am not a devout follower of meatless Friday for reason I won’t get into here, but I try.  On this particular day I was rather beat and there was no way I was heading outside and coming back and now the fish sandwich and fries were in question.  For me, I decided to heck with it, I was going to get what I wanted.  A Big Mac and fries later, I went about my work day.  However, the idea stuck in my head.

What of all the devout Christians who think they are adhering to their meatless Friday’s by getting a fish sandwich and fries at McDonald’s?   Either way you have it, beef tallow in the oil or fries, it gets all over anything fried in the same oil.  In McDonald’s, that means any fried item.  Do these devout Christians realize this?  Did they see the same articles and news flashes that I did but fail to make the connection to their own religious beliefs?  The lesson for me was how accustomed we have become to eating food without thinking about what we are really eating.  Actually, this goes for so much of modern American culture that it isn’t funny.  For example, how much do we know about the prepackaged foods we eat for convenience?  What does our government do outside of our country in order to help companies get favorable considerations in foreign countries (you know, protecting our interests)?  Do our companies follow the same ethical guidelines in other countries that we demand of them in America?

The whole point of this post is to make you start to think about all the things you take for granted as being right, just, and moral.  Are they really?  Have you given up your soul, belief,  or dignity in the name of convenience?  Bones? (read “The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars” by Stephen Brust for the meaning of this)

My Bones are Dry

As promised, I have uploaded my second audio piece “My Bones are Dry” to my Box site.  To the right of this post under the donation button you will see the Box widget, given a second or two to refresh, where you can download the story from.  Again it is in MP4 format from my Iphone; however, this story is only about a minute long.  It is really more of a poem than a story and deals with my feelings of being worn down over the decades like stone by wind or water.  Sorrow and regret grinding my soul into dust to be carried away by time.

By the Way

What is it all about?  I have been thinking of this since I created my audio story “Another Shift” for you to listen to.  In truth, I failed to give you a run down of  the story specs and theme.  First off, there is the technical.  The file is an MP4 that I created it on my Iphone 5 and is a little over four minutes in length.   I uploaded it to my box account, which I am able to make a link to in my main sidebar, along with the rich text copy of my blog post before I came to WordPress.   Also, I asked a friend to download a copy just to see if there where issues; she did not report any.

Second, what is the story about?  Well, this story is for those who struggle daily to face another work day.  I tried to capture the feel of pushing yourself to carry on despite that useless boss or co-worker.  Also, being a fan of science fiction and fantasy, I had to write the story from that perspective.  In other words, what would it be like for a superhero in the same situation.

Finally, what is next?  Well I am working on a short piece from a poem I wrote describing how it feels to be worn down by the ugliness of the world over the decades of ones life.  Then I have two more stories I want very much to read for you.  One is about the end of the world and the other is about how we treat the things we create.  I hope that you will join me on this journey of creativity by downloading “Another Shift” and other stories that I upload.  Cheers.

Who do I like and Where can You Find Them

As I continue to evolve this blog, I have thought about what I wish to share with you, about myself and what I like.  The second sidebar of this blog used to cover what any old blog would offer, links to the tags I used, other sites of mine, and the unfortunately small collection of fellow bloggers I linked to.

However, I have decided to add more content pertaining to what I look for when I go on the net.  What writer’s websites do I go to?  Where do I get leads for selling stories?  What interests me?  In other words, what influences me?  So now, I have added more links for you to follow to my favorite sites.  To begin with:

My Art Page – This is a link to my Deviantart page where you can see some of my artwork and also, the art of other members that I was impressed with.

My Face Book Page – You can see some of the quirky things that catch my eye.

Tad Williams Face Book Page – A good place to see what Tad Williams is thinking and doing along with current writing news.

J. Michael Straczynski’s Twitter Page – A good place to see what this talented producer and writer is up to.

Rhalan’s Website – A detailed site of current markets for writers of short fiction.

Standard Manuscript Explanation – A link to a site that explains what editors mean by a standard manuscript.

Hopefully, as time goes on, I will add more interesting places for you to go and maybe make my blog your first stop to all the great sites you wish to see when it comes to art and writing.