Tag Archives: military science fiction

The One About Opening Up

So, I’m a fake extrovert. According to all the personality tests, I’m equal parts extro and intro. This month is a full on test of those results. I’ve co-paneled HORROR 101 and spoken on an actual stage in front of people I didn’t even know for PTSD: Triggers &Lies. Next weekend is reserved for Sirens packing and the utter meltdown I’ll have when I can’t fit my metaphorical banjo into the literal suitcase.

The PTSD talk gave me the feels. It wasn’t just me typing to an invisible audience who might or may not even exist. I could see them. They listened and asked questions. I felt “normal” while doing it.

After proving to myself that I can do this, I think I’d like to do it again and hit the character developing/writing angle a little harder.

If you have the chance to attend Writers in the Field next year, do it. It was a fantastic experience. If you were there, thanks for attending.

TL;DR: It’s a good day, but now I need endorphins and a nap. Opening up is part of the recovery process for me. Anything less would be a rook mistake.

The One About Night Terrors

It’s more than a nightmare.

For me it’s total paralysis with open eyes screaming. Sometimes it bolts me awake. Sometimes I don’t quite reach consciousness.

Sometimes it’s the total certainty that someone is standing over me in the dark.

Sometimes it’s a memory replayed in a thousand different ways that I am helpless to change.

An adrenaline dump in the middle of the night can keep me up for hours, or not let me sleep again. Panicked, angry, and frightened, I’ll roam my house trying to talk myself down. “It was just a dream. I’m fine. Everything is fine. I’m OK.  Nothing is wrong.” It’s a mantra.

It also upsets the household. Thankfully, my son has always slept like he was in his own personal cocoon. My sig-oth isn’t so lucky. I know it’s a helpless situation for him as well. But there is nothing he can do.

Add guilt to the mix of anger, panic, fear because I’m causing sleep depravation for him, too.

Fuck all that.

This kid , Tyler Skuzacek in Saint Paul, MN,  is a freaking genius. He and his team created an app.

It hasn’t made the clinical trials yet, but he’s working with the VA and sleep experts.

It marks the symptoms leading up to the terror and interrupts deep sleep with a vibration to take the sleeper just this side of consciousness without actually waking them.

Sign me up, Tyler.

MyBivy App

It’s never hopeless. Someone’s always out there working on ways to make it better. They don’t give up and neither can you. That would be the worst Rook mistake.


I know the pic is sappy af, but this time it fits.

TL;DR: Tyler’s dad came home with PTSD. After watching his dad suffer, he chose to do something about it. There’s an app in the works. Don’t give up. Help is coming.

The One About Sticks

I don’t pretend to have all the answers. Hell, I don’t even pretend to know where the answers live. I might have seen them once from a distance, but I probably wouldn’t recognize them if I saw them again.

There are all these self-help books out there. They all basically say the same thing. They want you to know that you’re not as worthless as you feel and there’s HOPE for you. It’s not that easy.

Hope can suck a frog.

Sure wish I could do that.

Go suck a frog.

I hope one day I’ll..

Go suck a frog.

With a wish and a little fairy dust anything is possible…

Go suck a herd of frogs.

Get off your ass. Stop internally beating yourself up and take some action. My daddy used to tell me, “You’re not a tree. If you don’t like something MOVE.”

TL;DR: If you don’t like something go get your stick and CHANGE it. Sitting around wishing is the same a pissing an moaning. That’s a rook mistake.a2NXEze_700b

The One About Not Writing

I can name 30,000 things off the top of my head that I will find a way to do instead of writing. Making a list of 30,000 things would be number one.

I don’t know why I fight it.  It doesn’t make sense, because once I remove the distractions and dig in past thought’s epidermal layer, I love it.  Of course, if I kept to only doing things that made sense, my son wouldn’t be here.  Or the bajillion scars I have circling my knees and elbows like dish soap down the drain. Or like that analogy. It just don’t make sense.

I’m going to give NaNoWriMo a try, and pit myself against myself. Seeing as how much I love competition and love beating myself up, this should go splendidly.  Self-loathing if I lose, or a viable work if I win.  Place your bets, folks.


Yeah, I might know a little about that.

TL;DR Check out the meme.

If I could just shut my brain like I do my mouth, I could accomplish something.  Don’t wish in one hand and shit in the other and expect to have anything.  It’s damn rook mistake.

The One About Sirens 2015

Life, man.  It just keeps keeping on whether you like it or not.  Whether you’re paying attention or not.  Whether you’re blogging or not.  Lately there’s a lot of the not.

Haven’t had much to write about, so consider yourself spared details of day to day yakity-yak, bowed up to sound pretty.

However, I’m currently doing a little something for myself.  I headed up to Colorado for Sirens 2015,  as recommended by Rosemary Clement Moore (who is a dedicated blogger, unlike myself).

This place’s the home I never knew I wanted, and the friends I never had.  We are determined readers and writers, looking for the female like us,  the female that moves us.  The female who won’t be moved. The theme is Rebels and Revolutionaries. It’s incredible and life altering. Without being too irreverent, I hope, I can say I’ve found my hadj.

TL;DR: Find your people.  Trying to make it on this rock without your tribe is stupid.  It’s a Rook mistake.

The One About Genre Plots

Now, I am not the fount of wisdom when it comes to writing.  I can definitely do a better job of seeing the ingrown story-hairs in someone else’s story than my own – for sure.  I’ve been told that I’ll get better with practice.  Let’s hope.

The other night I got the best advice for plotting a genre story though.  Shawn Scarber, author extraordinaire and human experience expert, dropped a conflict bomb in the middle of my Tangy Spicy Chicken.  It just sat there, ticking for a few seconds until understanding exploded all over my face.  Napkins were needed.

Let me back it up a little.  I’ve been working on a story for a few weeks and having a devil of a time sticking the ending.  Nothing seems to work for me.  I explained my dilemma to the caucus of brilliant minds that frequent the writers’ group I sometimes show up for, and Shawn just nailed it.  He asked me what was the MC’s problem.  I explained that she was a soldier who had to shoot a kid in the line of duty and did not want that to happen again.  And… now I’m about to lay some wisdom down on you, so get a pen, or take a screen shot – whatever you need to do to burn this forever into your brainpan… I’ll wait.

He said to me…


…He said, “A genre story has to have a genre problem.”


And this, my friends, has made all the difference in the world for my story,

You, shaking your head in the back, just because it was obvious to you doesn’t mean the rest of us couldn’t use the info.  Peddle your smugness and neckbeard over to the next blog.

TL;DR – “A genre story must have a genre problem,” Shawn Scarber.

Don’t add secondary world jargon to a real world story and expect that it’ll work out.  It’s a rook mistake.