Archive for December, 2008

The Official Announcement of Pseudo-Quasi-Awesomeness

Well, I’ll be damned, I’m all teary-eyed. Not in that “I-just-stubbed-my-toe” or “Daddy-ran-over-my-cat” sorta way, but rather something more joyful. I’m happy to announce, dear friends and Myspace lackeys, that my writing website is complete.

In late-September I had a bit of a thirtysomething crisis, a mere hiccup in the grand scheme of things. I thought I wasn’t doing enough with my writing, or doing all I could to try to get my name out there. Some years ago, I toyed with the idea of hosting my own website – a place to act as my online portfolio – but I didn’t think I had much to put on it. Two years after that inkling, and plenty o’ blogs and comics later, I have more than enough to act as a starting point.

What to name it was the second challenge.

For awhile I toyed with “Man-Tear Moments”, as in moments that make men cry; like the ending of Terminator 2. I even had a lit blog with that title, but it just didn’t click with me. When I rebooted my Myspace page, I informally retitled myself as “the lazy literatus”. Egotistical and self-deprecating…PERFECT!

So, I had my name. Now I needed help.

Enter my buddy Adam. He knew a bit more about websites than I did, and had time on his hands. He helped with the basic set-up. I also needed a logo.

Enter my cousin Jason, l’artiste. He and I had worked on a comic together, and he’d perfected a me-like cartoon avatar.

Lastly, I needed professional-ish-themed photos for the bio section.

Enter my gal pal Emily.

With all elements in place, all I needed was self-made content and a bit of a map for it.

This was my scheme.

SECTIONS:

Clargh!:

While I was done doing webcomics for the most part, I still had an itch to do something similar. However, my strengths lay in blogging, not drawing or scripting. Then I thought, why not combine the two? Comic blogs – or “clogs” – had been done before. Rant-style blogs – or “blarghs” – were a dime a dozen. But a rant-style comic blog – or Clargh! – was uncharted territory. Still working out the kinks on this one, so it’s labeled as “Coming Soon”.

Reviews by Rhyme:

Review sites exist for just about anything under the sun, including the topics I was already interested in; movies, cartoons, beer and tea. Review sites that were done to the tune of poetry were nonexistent. This was a market I had to corner. Eh, I don’t have any ready yet, but I’ll get to ’em. Honest. So, this too is labeled “Coming Soon”. (Hey, the title starts with “lazy”, remember?)

Musings:

I had a plethora of Myspace blogs, but a limited audience for them. Let’s face it, Myspace is where bloggers go to die. It’s like an elephant’s graveyard for elocution. They needed a new home without being called “blogs”. Thus, the “Musings” section was born.

Poetry:

This section exists more to appease my mother than it is for anything practical. She likes my poetry, so what son would I be if I didn’t have a poetry section? ‘Nuff said on that topic.

Prose:

While I have very few completed stories in my authorial arsenal, I do have oodles of world-building outlines. Short stories, novel excerpts, brainstorms, and outlines all had to go here.

Vids:

My brother and I are the most diametrically (and ideologically) opposite people on the planet, but we work well together. He’s a fully functional film student and AV guy. Plus, he does it for a living. I…uh…I write lots of words.

With our powers combined…

Nah, too obvious.

Webcomics:

Okay, okay, there was a short time where I jumped on the webcomic bandwagon. I even suckered my cousin into my little pipe dream. The end result was Random Access. After that stint, I thought I could fly solo with my own strip, Fred & Red. The first was definitely better than the second, but I look upon both fondly. The products of our “labor” can be found in their appropriate sections.

Who knows? I may take them up again.

(Cue evil cackle.)

There.

Now that you have a basic rundown, go play!

And be sure to let me know what you think.

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Thursday, December 4th, 2008 Musings No Comments

Closet Space

His house came into view – the tall spires of green and blue, the crimson-tinged window spirals haunted his vision. Uebler already felt haggard. The gate he opened was transparent with a strange violet fluid flowing within the bars. Tiny sponge-like life forms lined the inside of the clear surface. Those organisms had a lot in common with him – trapped in an invisible prison.

Having been away from home for so long, he didn’t know what to say to them. Could he still relate to them? Was it even possible to? Earth had a way of changing people, or so he had been told time and again. Here he was, back among the colonies again, out along the Rim – the wilds of the Terran frontier. Free to do as he pleased, yet confined at the same time.

Uebler passed the twin porcelain gargoyles by the crystal-grass lawn, and the lamps in the shape of nuclear missiles. All ghastly sights, which were a testament to his parents’ awkward personal tastes, phased him only a little. The chrome door opened.

He felt like an anomaly within his own home. The sensations that invaded him -the smell of incense mixed with potpourri, the sounds of chattering Juba birds – further alienated him from the place he once resided. Entering his parents’ abode felt like transcending several alien worlds at once. The miasma caused uneasiness within his stomach.

He stepped in.

His father sat in an egg-shaped easy chair, reading the late addition of the Chronos Herald. The older man looked like a sophisticated mime. His skin was unusually pale, contrasting the lip rouge he wore. Brunette locks ended in a strange topknot fashioned after a bonsai tree. His clothing matched that distinction – bright, colorful, and well-pressed.

His mother – seated on a nearby twentieth-century couch – was quite the opposite. She was a throwback to the Animal Fur Renaissance, wearing a blouse made from genuine terrier hide. Her long skirt flowed around the couch, and divided into feathery segments. Ostrich, Uebler thought. Very hard to come by.

His father looked up from his newspaper. “Ueby! Damn boy, you’re home early.”

“Honey!” His mother instantly jumped up, and rushed him into an embrace – one he paused at, but returned with equal tightness. “How are you? How was Earth?”

“We weren’t expecting you for another four hours,” his father cut in. “You should’ve told us you arrived at port, we would’ve had the car fetch ya.”

“I-I didn’t wanna bother you,” Uebler replied.

He waved a hand. “Nonsense, that’s what the car’s for. Got a brand new autodrive for it and everything. All suped up. So, now, tell us about your trip?”

“Yes, do tell!” His mother agreed, still clasping his shoulders.

“Um…well…it’s still blue.” Uebler started. “The oceans, I mean. They’re still blue.”

“We already know that,” his father said. “You know what we want to hear.”

Uebler’s mother nodded. “Yes, yes, tell us about . . . him.”

“Oh.” Uebler felt the beads of sweat roll down his temples, listened as his quickened heartbeat raced to his brain, gulped as the moisture retreated from his throat. “You mean Parousia.”

“Yeah, that bastard,” his father said through a sneer. “Mr. Messiah himself.”

“I never got to the sky cities,” Uebler said. “I didn’t really hear much about him.”

“How could you not?” asked his mother. “He’s been alive for a thousand years!”

Uebler shrugged. “You don’t hear much about him on the low planes. People just go about their regular business.”

“Even on the campus you were at? No word?” his father grilled. “Nothing about that Arma-whatever war that nearly destroyed Earth?”

“Yeah, there’s books and stuff.” Uebler scratched his head. “And there’s this really cool arcade called Megiddo Max’s, but nothing outta the ordinary. People just act like people. No cowering, no praying in the streets, nothing. I mean, it’s been a thousand years. They’ve had time to get over it.”

The older man put a hand to his chin. “Hmmm, odd. Those closest to him react less to his presence than those who fled his grasp. Interesting.” He paused a moment before speaking again. “Glad to hear it. I tell ya, your mother and I were worried that you’d fall into that crowd when we heard you’d been accepted for the Pilgrim Exchange.”

Uebler gave a slight chuckle. “Nah, you had nothing to worry about. There were no recruiters in the streets or brainwashing devices. All colonial media propaganda.”

“Good!” His father patted him on the back, a hard slap that sent him reeling. “Well, get unpacked. I’m sure the jump was a long one. You’re room’s exactly as you left it.”

Uebler smiled. “Okay.” He put his feet on the stairs, his luggage floated to him, and the stairs scrolled him up to the second story.

The steps lurched to a stop at the door to his room, which opened at his presence. His dad was right. The room was exactly as he had left it. Posters of his favorite Vendetta Ball team lined the ceiling, giving the play-by-plays of his favorite moments. His stuffed dog yelped at him in, jumping on his leg. Blankets retracted and polymer words appeared on his pillow.

WELCOME HOME, UEBLER SANZA

He smiled at that then turned to the closet and nodded. The mirror irised open as the suitcases made their way to the geode of neatly folded clothing. Before the mirror could close, he placed a palm in front of it. It whirred with a pause. He put a hand to his throat, caressed the jeweled chain around his neck, and pulled the source of the necklace to his face. A crucifix reflected back at him.

They couldn’t know, he thought. They weren’t ready to know. Colony-folk were like that, and his parents were no different.

Tossing the necklace into the closet, Uebler winced as the iris closed.

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Monday, December 1st, 2008 Prose No Comments

Gnomes

Gnomes

A friend of the Wood,
And all that is good,
They do what they should
For Nature’s yolk.

Small to our vision,
But without derision,
They make a decision
To work as play.

One laces his boots
To tiny feet like roots
And soon off he shoots
Into foliate fray.

Forest dwellers abound
Listen to profound
Wisdom to be found
From so small a hand.

We honor them well
With mockery’s yell.
Plastic idols tell
From lawns across land.

In our wanton desire
As our lives perspire
We lose sight of dire
Consequences to home.

A lot, we can learn
From a simple yearn;
A hefty need to return
To the land of the gnome.

Charcoal Sketch by Robert E. Norman

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Monday, December 1st, 2008 Poetry No Comments

“Crossing the Stars” – A Novel Synopsis

INTRO:

The Age of Decay had ended. Denizens of the Tarolis galaxy crossed the stars once more. Warlords became nobles, pirates became kings, and wanderers became heroes. Empires rose and fell, but one kingdom shined above all the others; Algarath.

Five hundred years later, an ancient power awoke and cast its vengeful eyes upon the cosmos.

In one day, it came out of hiding.

In one day, the kingdom fell.

VINTS: (aka. Vintrosu Ridrant) – Ten years ago, Vints – a man of noble lineage – witnessed firsthand the fall of the Algarath Kingdom. When mysterious white ships descended upon Algarath, he was there. Like many that day, he tried desperately to find cover from the strafing runs for himself and one other. A woman.

However, as the onslaught raged on, they were separated. An energy discharge left him horribly scarred, his left leg burnt to ash. His last visible memory of that day was watching her departure, her unconscious form cradled in the arms of a figure in black.

Vints awakens each morning to that last memory fading to black. To him, the dream is his waking world and reality his purgatorial nightmare. The life of a spacer replaced the life of a nobleman. He sullies it away with alcohol, minor crime and brawls. If it weren’t for the empathy of a local bartender, no place would be home.

A person from his past jolts him from his masochistic reverie…

Another woman; one he had saved so long ago.

VEK’SIRAHL – An orphan of a massacre, Sirahl wandered the halls of a battered space station for most of her childhood eking out an existence on littered food and the kindness of other displaced spacefarers. This had been the pattern since the death of her mother at the hands of mercenaries.

This changed with the chance meeting with a scarred spacer – a teenager with a talon-like burn mark across half his visage, and a left leg gleaming of metal. There eyes met, and unlike the countless times when her pleading expression surfaced, this time it did not. She did not beg. Sirahl studied him. He regarded her the same way.

Since that day, she called him Vints, and he called her sister. For over ten years, they formed a lucrative smuggling partnership. Sirahl thrived on the thrill of the chase, while Vints viewed it as a passable distraction from inner pain.

They parted ways when she chose to delve into another profession – piracy. He wandered the free territories of the Spiral Run, while she eased her way into the ranks of the infamous The Aquarian Queen. A ship captained by…

THAKRIEN THE DRAY (a.k.a. Thakrien DiSarra) – Five years ago a man proud of his pirate lineage learned of an excavation in the heart of the Noble territories. A mysterious vessel dating back over ten thousand years had been discovered. The Nobles themselves were in an uproar. No technology from prior to the Age of Decay had ever been discovered intact!

Thakrien decided then and there that he had to relieve them of their quarry. With a ragtag group of other Spiral Run misfits, he infiltrated Noble space and commandeered the vessel. What he learned upon entering shocked him. The ship was alive yet not organic. An empath among his crewmates informed him that although the ship itself was not made of anything biological, it did possess a soul.

He had heard of such ships before, legends passed down his family line for generations – starships that ran on the rarest of renewable energy sources, a lifeforce of its own. Another surprise was in store.

The vessel knew him.

Now, he and his newfound spaceworthy companion – the soulship The Aquarian Queen – wreak havoc upon the fringe of Noble territories, exclusively worlds with ties to his ancestry. For somewhere along the Spiral Run lies his legacy, one that has eluded him for decades. Help arrives from an unlikely source. All he has to do is go back into the heart of Noble space, snatch up a noblewoman, and deliver her to the Borderguard – the self-appointed militia of the Spiral Run.

To accomplish this, he needs someone who looks like a noble to go in and find her. Sirahl, a newer member of his crew knows of such a man. A drunken spacer by the name of Vints.

DATHEDRA PREVANE (a.k.a. Dathedra Senai) – Ten years ago, the world she called home was laid to waste. The invaders didn’t even destroy the planet, occupy it, or remove anything. Their goal was single-minded, cold and efficient: eliminate all sentient life on Algarath. Thankfully, their attempt had left pockets of civilization intact. Somehow she survived but at a very high price. The youth she was betrothed to – Vintrosu Ridrant – was nowhere to be found.

Her rescuer, clad in black, announced herself as High Defender Ro Taal – the military head for her family, the Royal House of Senai. The darkly-dressed woman informed her that she was the last royal alive.

They made it off Algarath with the help of the few remaining members of the Algarathi military. The ragtag convoy escaped undetected, much to the surprise of the High Defender. Dathedra – barely fifteen – was left in the care of the Noble House of Prevane. Ro Taal gave her two warnings: “Never reveal who you are”…and… “In ten years time, I will come for you.”

Ten years came and went, and the former High Defender never contacted her. At the time of her betrothal age, she took matters into her own hands by hiring spacers to track Ro Taal down. She discovered that the few remaining members of the royal military had defected to the free territories of the Spiral Run and were now defending it in the guise of the Borderguard militia.

Contact was made.

Ro Taal informed Dathedra that she had not forgotten her promise, and that as they spoke plans were being made to bring her to the Spiral Run. The only hitch was finding a pirate or spacer crazy enough to do it.

Enter Thakrien the Dray.

RO TAAL: The world, the family, and the kingdom she had sworn to protect crumbled before her eyes in a matter of hours. Majestic vessels of unknown origin descended upon Algarath like sentient clouds and rained fire upon the once pristine world. High Defender Ro Taal’s first thought upon watching the destruction was the haphazard nature of the attack – thousands of ships surrounding the globe uprooting pockets of citizenry. It seemed more like an act of fear rather than precision.

That was how her mind worked. Amidst the savage landscape, the screams of agony, and the macabre array, she questioned the motivation. Their timing seemed far too convenient; mere days before a peace accord with key Spiral Run systems, one week to the day after she had made the greatest discovery in centuries.

The cause of the Age of Decay.

Ten thousand years of darkness were suddenly brought to light, and the family she guarded with her life held a connection to it. However, with the connection to the reason came with it the knowledge of an ancient enemy – one that roamed the stars long before humankind ever conceived of spaceflight. Ever since unearthing lost knowledge, she pondered the best way to reveal it to the masses. The invasion of her world forced her hand.

Her duty was clear now: protect whatever remained of the Senai family, and if none remained, find a way to fight against to the coming tide. By sheer luck or fate, she found one member of the royal family alive – the youngest daughter, Dathedra. Another factor in her favor was the knowledge that underground bunkers with contingents of her troops were also still intact.

Contact with the others were made, ships were found, a route of safety was plotted. Summoning all of her combat training, and pushing her loyal followers to the brink of exhaustion, they made it off Algarath. Heavy casualties resulted from the suicide run out of the system, but the core ships in her makeshift convoy still flew.

The Noble House of Prevane, ever-loyal and indebted, agreed to shelter the young princess until the time was right for her summons. The former High Defender then took to the stars again leaving Noble space behind her. She and her troops relocated to the Spiral Run and swore to guard the free territories from the inevitable arrival of a powerful nemesis.

Ten years have passed, and the time is upon them. Ro Taal – once the most respected High Defender in the Algarath Kingdom, now a scarred Borderguard general – again has a duty to fulfill. To defeat an ancient evil, one must awaken an ancient good.

For a poem about the discovery of The Aquarian Queen, go HERE!

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Monday, December 1st, 2008 Prose No Comments

The Aquarian Queen

The Aquarian Queen

The sky bleeds a faint crimson of sunset
As he and his followers walk the reliquary,
The marble pillars of a vast city greet them.
The wind scours their stark and spiry facades
Of shadows.

Why does he feel welcome?

A pirate, he was, a plunderer of planets
Guided by that which fueled his hubris,
Yet here upon Aquaria’s terrestrial soil –
Eyes glazed and mouth agape – he admits to a growth
Of awe.

Where did that voice come from?

Atop the mount littered with effigies,
A sentinel overlooks a vast ruin.
Gleaming of aqua-blue ore forged before humankind
Conceived of flight, she is a guardian
Of nothing.

Was she the one who spoke his name?

“It was me,” she says. No one hears her but him.
“Who are you?” he asks through his mind’s eye.
“I’ve been waiting for you,” she intones. “Return us…
…to the stars.” He nods slowly, sensing no malice,
“Of course.”

Will she be the one to save him?

He dubs her The Aquarian Queen, granting her flight
Once more upon the star-strewn void.
A new-found sense of Self buds within,
A lotus given form by a soothing voice
Of hope.

“May I never leave her care,” he sighs.

Charcoal Sketch by Robert E. Norman

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Monday, December 1st, 2008 Poetry No Comments

I work for tea money.

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