Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Chuck Talks Workshop

Chuck Palahniuk talks to us about the power a writer’s workshop has on the writer and the craft: support, accountability, community, growth.



Reposted from http://litreactor.tumblr.com/

Friday, September 23, 2011

It's Pretty Scary!!!




With Samhain/Halloween just around the corner I decided to talk a little about what it means to me and a few of things associated with one of my favorite holidays.

Surprisingly, Samhain/ Halloween is not my favorite holiday. My favorite is actually Yule. I think both holidays are fun, but to me Samhain is about remembering lost loved ones. Halloween to me is a commercial holiday, much like Valentines Day. Modern Halloween is more about kids in costumes begging for candy, or women in bars dressed like slutty versions of popular character begging for drinks.

Now I get to enjoy Halloween as a dad. I get to see my daughter dress up and have fun. That is good enough for me. I still get the candy she doesn't like and I'll still light my candles for lost loved ones.

It may also be surprising to some people that I am not a fan of haunted houses. I remember going to a few when I was a small child and being ejected from the attraction for kicking one of the characters in the head, because he slid across the floor toward me brandishing a chainsaw. The kick was a product of built up anxiety that started from the first scare. I had asked to leave several times, but my grandmother insisted that we go all the way through, since she had already paid for it.

I didn't go back into a haunted house until I was 15. That time I pushed my way through it as fast as I could. This is twice as funny since I knew 99% of the people in the costumes. It still make me incredibly uncomfortable.
The only time since then I tried to do a haunted house was at Universal Studios Hollywood. I wasn't that bad, but I was warned several times to put my hands down. I finally hide behind two girls and my friend Jason. I didn't enjoy it and I'm sadly not going to try it again.

I've come to terms with the fact that haunted house, and other haunted attractions are not for me. As a general rule I don't like the feeling of being scared. That is why I don't watch movies that are actually scary and I don't go to haunted house. I prefer to stay calm, cool, and in control. That is hard to do when you have people yelling and threatening you, even if they are just actors.

To take it one step further, I am also not a fan of “real haunted” stuff either. I'm not a ghost hunter and I don't feel the need to check out “haunted” or “paranormal” places. It's also just not for me.

I write a lot of weird and crazy stuff, but I don't consider anything I write scary. I think scary changed a lot for me when my little girl came into the world. Haunted houses, paranormal stuff, and other things make me uncomfortable, but nothing terrifies a parent more than the idea of someone invading their home or something happening to their child. I have written about these things, because they freak me out, but when I write it I have control of the situation and I know it's just fiction. I think scary things need to stay in fiction and I'll just avoid the ones that make me uncomfortable.

With all of this in mind I hope everyone has a happy Halloween and blessed Samhain. May we put on our mask, party to remember the ones we've lost, and gorge ourselves on candy and drink!!!

-Travis

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Let's Not Be Idiots

A few people have asked me what I think of Soulja Boy saying "F*** the troops." Honestly, I don't think of Soulja Boy...ever.

To clue a few in: Soulja Boy "wrote" and rap "song," where he rambles on for a very long time, in a mumbled, tone-def fashion about all sorts of shit. In this "song" he uses the line, "F*** the FBI and F*** all the troops." It's so stupid I won't even post it here, and I don't want this mental midget getting anymore hits on Youtube, but what do I think?

I'm not sure why people would ask me. I'm not a big rap guy. I'm not a Soulja Boy fan. I'm not even Justin Bieber,who collaborated with Soulja. I hope the Bieber is taking this controversy well...no, wait I don't give a shit about him either!

Some people asked me because I love music and I am a huge freedom of speech guy. I don't have a big boner for the government or any war, but what I do have is a blog, the ability to convey my opinions and respect for the men and women, who serve our country.

I bitch about politics and war. I don't agree with it, but I don't say a cross word about the troops, who are doing what they (and our government)think is right. I'm not an idiot.

In his "song" Solja Bitch questions what the troops are fighting for. This is a serious topic, and a question I'm personally perplexed about, but at least these troops, that Soulja is insulting, are not shooting each other in the streets of our own country, over drugs, women, or wearing the wrong color. Yet Soulja is mentally inept enough to use the line "fighting for what," in his verbal diarrhea he calls Let's Be Real. The real soldiers are also not bragging about paying people to kill for them or shooting up funerals, like Soulless Boy raps about also.

The real issue is the line "F*** the Troops," a line so stupid I won't even type it, and I love the word fuck.

Soulja Boy,

I say, your opinion is shit. Your frustration is misguided, but you live in a country where you have freedom of speech. In America, even stupidity is protected, unfortunately. You can spout off about whatever you want, even if it makes you look like an ignorant thug.

Congratulations, on getting people to talk about you, trending on Twitter, and getting hits on YouTube. Stupid impressionable 14 year old boys everywhere, who might be able to understand your mumbling ass, must love you. I guess if you are into little boys, that's another dumb judgment issue I have with you.

Way to commit career suicide, you fucking know-nothing skid mark.

This is all of my time and thought I'm putting into this. The moral of the story is "Don't be a fucking idiot, and even if you can say whatever you want, it's not always the best idea. Oh, and you should probably educate yourself and direct you inner-city angst in the right direction." Lesson over.

Peace out, yo!

- Travis