The Writing Process (The Lobster Dance)

Here’s the third of my nominated bloggers for the Writing Process Blog Tour. Leah of The Lobster Dance did not disappoint, talking through her process of research-grounded geekery.

Honestly, I should do more research in my blogging. I often have to go the opposite route – put on blinders, research nothing, and make posts that are entirely opinion and hearsay based. This is the burden of blogging on a schedule, I suppose.

Anyway, check it out, and thanks for keeping the chain going, Leah!

The Lobster Dance

David of DBCII and Comparative Geeks nominated me for The Writing Process Blog Tour. Normally I’m a little shy about meta-blogging, but I think that this is a really interesting look at bloggers “behind the scenes,” and I enjoyed writing it. We’ve been geeking out together for 10 years now, and it’s always fun to compare notes.

The Rules

In the words of Gene’O:

The rules are very simple and, if I may say so, designed to not require a lot of work, which I truly appreciate:

  1. Link to the blogger before,
  2. answer 4 questions,
  3. and nominate 3 bloggers to keep the hop going.

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5 Geeky Bands

I took a week off on Sourcerer for Music posts last week – it was a holiday week! – but here’s a post that I wrote on Comparative Geeks that fits right in. It’s an example of how I was trying to work music posts in over there, and how they didn’t really quite fit. Good list though, I stand by it.

Comparative Geeks

We did a lot of yard work this evening, and while picking music to play on my iPhone as we worked, I was thinking about geeky bands. Side note, the iPhone playing music like a speaker is one of my favorite things.

I tried to think of a list that did not include bands that are just built on and in geek culture, so this rules out bands like The Black Mages (who are amazing). I also didn’t want to include bands that are just beloved by geek culture, like Daft Punk, the stars of Tron: Legacy.

So, here are five geeky bands. For some of these decisions, the music videos help. Enjoy!

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Call to Action – Local Board Game Con! (Re-Blog)

Hi all!

I wanted to push this a little bit to get input. I’ve been asked to help with starting up a board gaming convention here in town, and was hoping for success or horror stories, advice and thoughts!

I’ll likely be blogging more about it as it gets closer, but for now, share your thoughts and stories at the post below:

Call to Action – Local Board Game Con!.

Realistic vs. Romantic Literature – The Sunday Re-Blog

This post originally appeared on Comparative Geeks, as the end of a series of posts I had done and have shared over here as well. The post is long, so I will keep my intro short – but let me just say this, this is a post I am proud of!

Hello my readers, time again for me to touch on a series of posts I’ve written over the course of the blog so far. It all started out from a definition of science fiction I read in a book, which led into a blog post exploring that. Then, for comparison, I explored a definition of fantasy based on a quote that’s floated around social media. So between the two, I had pitted Frank Herbert against J.R.R. Tolkien. Then, for another look at it, I compared Star Trek and Star Wars. I still really like my genre exploration there.

And then I listened to George R.R. Martin on the Nerdist Podcast, and it got me thinking that all this work of putting things in genres, and holding one over another or pitting them against one another, was wrong; and I was working on coming up with new terms or new ways of thinking about the differences, of trying to really articulate what I was trying to say.

That’s when I got a comment back on that first post, questioning what I meant about science fiction, making me really think about what I was saying. The commenter – who had the opportunity to interview the author, Paolo Bacigalupi – recommended and discussed The Windup Girl. So I felt I needed to read that first and consider it. And to consider what it is I have been trying to articulate, to think of the terms and groupings and ways that we talk about these sorts of stories, and so that is where I am coming from with this post. Let me know in the comments what you think!

Read more of this post

R – Realism

RI recently hit back upon the literary terms Realistic and Romantic literature. It was the topic of what is maybe the best blog post I have written. I thought it would be good to consider them a moment here with the A to Z Challenge.

Realistic fiction is, to me, set here in our real world, or very near to it. Here we see people a little like us, or maybe a little not like us, handling situations we might find ourselves in. For me, reading something like this is kind of like playing a sports video game: something that, if I wanted to experience it myself, I would just go out and do it. However, there are plenty of people who read these sorts of works, who love them, all that.

Romantic fiction, meanwhile, is the sort of fiction full of experiences outside of the ordinary. Be it sword and sorcery, space and aliens, steam and gears, angels and demons… You can do whatever you want in romantic literature. This is the realm where geeks live and thrive, and if my other blog Comparative Geeks didn’t give it away, I would definitely call myself a geek. This is my stuff – this is what I consume, what I hope to create, and what I defend when I write posts like this.

And by defend, I mean that there are often cases where large parts of romantic literature are discounted – in academic scholarship, in the “canon” and what is taught in schools, etc. Some of my main frustration, though, comes when dealing with someone who does not *get* the idea of romantic literature, of fantasy and science fiction and fiction in general. The sort of person who is the opposite of me, who reads only realistic works.

Because while I can wholly understand what realistic literature is, what sorts of experiences it might contain within it, and what sorts of characters, that doesn’t mean I have to read it. However, for the person who doesn’t really touch romantic literature – they may not wholly get the idea of it, or the appeal. They often, in my opinion, miss out on the very idea of imagination and fiction in writing. My favorite example is still probably the Da Vinci Code, which had people up in arms against it, as though it was presenting truth. It’s fiction, everybody.

I guess I technically chose the term Realism, so let me close by saying that realism is important in either type of writing. Realism can be created by following realistic chains of cause and effect, or the laws of physics, or a solid understanding of how people act and react, or any number of other subtle or overt measures. And, by removing elements of the real world, it is often even more important that there are elements which hold down realism – like having internally-consistent rules for how magic works within a fantasy universe.

It stands out when realism is thrown out the window, and if done, should be done on purpose. Whether it’s magical realism or adult animated TV shows (The Simpsons, Family Guy, South Park… realism tells us Kenny is assuredly dead), the lack of realism can stand out, and can be used purposefully to tell a story as well.

Oh, and Romantic Literature need not have a romance in it, though that doesn’t seem to stop it from happening…

I feel like I should have a question and I don’t. What are your thoughts on these two large groupings of literature? Let me know!

The Sunday Re-Blog – The Definition of Fantasy

If I really want to talk about differences between Science Fiction and Fantasy, then I really need to have solid definitions of the two. I recently gave my working definition of Science Fiction, from one of Science Fiction’s greatest practitioners – Frank Herbert. So now, we need a definition for Fantasy.

So why not get that definition from J.R.R. Tolkien?

I don’t know the source, except that I found it circulating on Facebook. There is a signature in the lower left, so I will let that speak for the creator of this image. I found this on Doctor Who and the T.A.R.D.I.S. on Facebook, but this is mostly just a Facebook page that shares images from the fandoms, mostly Doctor Who. Actually, one I recommend, just know that there’s a lot of images that they share. Be ready.

Anyway, after the jump, check out the definition of Fantasy! Read more of this post

The Sunday (Tuesday) Re-Blog – Joss Whedon and the Golden Age

In honor of Agents of SHIELD debuting tonight, here is one of the most fun posts I’ve written over on Comparative Geeks. Check out the original and all of our stuff on Comparative Geeks here: http://wp.me/p35Pkn-oR

Alright, so I have to say: I think we are entering into a Golden Age of creativity in our world today. A world where we are running into new technologies, new ways of doing entertainment, new ways of approaching storytelling. A world where there is so much quantity, but we still value the quality so much.

I submit to you that this, the world we are moving into, the Day and Age, the Zeitgeist – for the geeks, the barometer of this has to be the success of Joss Whedon.

The shirt is from pvponline.com, but it's all over the Internet by now...
The shirt is from pvponline.com, but it’s all over the Internet by now…

A man who, constantly, has been shut down by the establishment. And who, when given the chance, creates the most beloved pieces of geekdom being produced today, outside of perhaps Doctor Who. Perhaps.

So join me for a few moments to consider where Joss Whedon has been, and where he has gotten to now, director of one of the highest grossing movies ever made. Read more of this post

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