I Went to a Writing Group Today - January 9th, 2019

I've been to a few writing groups and haven't liked them. This one was pretty fun though.

Some writers love writing groups, others hate them. The fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson loves them. The horror writer Stephen King hates them.

From my experience I would say there are two types of writing groups. There is the group where people are working on certain projects. They bring pieces in and try to improve them with the feedback from the group. This is the type of writing group Brandon Sanderson has. I haven't seen this well done yet.

The other group is like the one I went to today in Muskegon, Michigan. It's for fun. It was just an hour long. There were 12 of us. The whole thing was a simple little exercise.

On a slip of paper, that I forgot to bring home, was written what we were to do. The exercise was to write something from someone else's perspective. That was the basic idea at least.

Two people wrote from the perspective of a dog. One person wrote from the per…

Various Writing Ideas as They Have Occurred to Me

Would you like to see what my writing idea notes are like? Well, here we go.

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adam and eve as last surviving martians

The Traitor's Heart

telekinesis in accordance with the force of gravity in proportion to the mass of the various planets. gods, angels, or something.

born in day versus night, the children of light and the children of darkness

prince phillip as movie name rather than sleeping beauty or malificent, shadiversity

dragon of indeterminate size

vamps hunt humans, vampires farm humans, humans suped up on vamp venom, humans hunt vamps, humans learn to farm vampires, vamps created by humans backstory?

retrovirus infected vaccines as causing genetic mutations and leading to ...? monsters and superhumans. accidental, but then covered up

pairs, duality. god and chaos, christ and antichrist/satan/lucifer, raphael and uriel, gabriel and michael, adam and eve, cain and able, dobbleganger theory

superstitions as real, like knocking on wood, whole systems like type of …

The Bands Respond to My Music Articles

I've been writing articles on bands and their songs for 88.9 Hey Radio. After I'd done 6 articles I realized that I should send the articles to the bands and see if I get any responses. Four of the bands responded. Here's what they said.

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Rusty Shipp said:
Wow, Jeff! This is awesome! Thank you so much! Have you had our songs in rotation?

Zahna said:
Thanks so much for that write up!

Amongst the Giants said:
Wow! This is amazing! Thank you so much for taking the time to write all of this. So crazy!

Grandpa Loves Rhinos said:
Hey there jeff, I really appreciate you sharing the article with us.  I get personal satisfaction in hearing how our songs are viewed from various perspectives, especially with a critical and keen eye like yours.  What was most interesting to me was your take on how the song more matches the communicative properties of a comic book rather than a movie.  It's something I wouldn't have considered if I hadn't read your article. I w…

Flat Earth, Truth, and Conspiracies

I'm going to come at this from a few different angles.

Where to begin? That's a good question. I think I'm going to do it like this. First, I'll go over the legitimate use of flat earth. Then, I'll go over how I think this has come about. Finally, maybe I'll talk a bit about conspiracy theories. If other things come up along the way and I address them, so be it.

The idea of a flat earth goes back a long way. A piece of land surrounded by water, with a dome over it, with water underneath, and water above is a view from the Mesopotamians. Ancient Egyptians, ancient Greeks, and other cultures held similar views of the world. Now, here's an important point. This was the prevailing view because it worked and it was the world as they experienced it. It explained their world in a way that was useful to them. (It wasn't a universal view. The ancient Mayans knew the earth was round, for example.)

It still works today. That is, it still works today in a lot of wa…

88.9 Hey Radio, Grandpa Loves Rhinos, and Me

Yes, that's the real name of the band, Grandpa Loves Rhinos.

Alright, without further ado, let's dive into the article.

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The first thing you probably think when you hear about the band Grandpa Loves Rhinos is, "What's up with that name?" I know that's the first thing I thought. Well, it's a literal statement. The band is two brothers, and their grandpa really did love rhinos. He even had a room full of collectible rhinos.

There are some other interesting things about this band. One, they decided that the title of their first album would be a bit of advice, "Better Eat Your Wheaties". Is that advice or is that a threat? Good question, but I'm not going to go there. Next is what I find most interesting. Here is a blurb from their Facebook page:

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Grandpa Loves Rhinos hails from the state of Idaho and is comprised of Paul and Seth Hyde, brothers who are geographically separat…

A Letter to My Nephew in 2035

Ah, yes. The epic struggle of trying to give advice. It's never easy. It's even harder when it's supposed to be for someone in the future. But, I shall try.

This is a letter for my nephew Judah. He turns one-year-old tomorrow. I think it's a good idea to have family members write letters for the kids in the future. It will definitely be interesting when they open them.

I did this a year ago for his sister Evelyn. I can't remember exactly what I put in that one, and I'm not going to look at it because I want this one to be its own thing. We shall find out together what I'm going to say.

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It's hard for me to know if the purpose of this letter is for you to get to know me because I'm dead, or if it's to give you some life advice, or a mixture of both, or something else. Let's do a little of both and hope for the best.

I've always been bad at introducing myself, especially by doing something like writing a bio. Here is my attemp…

A Small Adjustment to "On My Personality"

In "On My Personality" I delved quite deeply into my personality. I want to make one small adjustment though.

Thinking of myself as an "open conceptual explorer" sounds cool. But I'm not sure that gives you or me a good grasp on what I'm actually made for. I think "wanderer" might be a better classification. And, thinking about this, it fits pretty darn well.

I wanted to be an international traveler bouncing around to different countries. This isn't really feasible now because of my health issues, but I'm still drawn to it when I see other people doing it while teaching English as a second language. I like have deep and long conversations that wander around wildly between subjects. Most people have a difficult time with this, but it's the best way to keep me from being bored. I do the same thing with writing and reading. What am I reading about right now? A weird mix of a bunch of different things. What do I write about? A weird mix of…

On My Personality

My personality has always been a bit... different. And, as the years have progressed, I've slowly been able to gain some insight into the nature of this difference.

Let's start with a personality trait breakdown. There are different ways to do this, but we are doing this one. (An example of what these numbers mean: I'm in the 26th percentile in agreeableness means that out of 100 people I am more agreeable than 26 of them, and less agreeable than 73 of them.)

Agreeableness - 26th percentile
- Compassion - 21st percentile
- Politeness - 38th percentile

Conscientiousness - 0th percentile
- Industriousness - 0th percentile
- Orderliness - 0th percentile

Extraversion - 18th percentile
- Enthusiasm - 21st percentile
- Assertiveness - 22nd percentile

Neuroticism - 87th percentile
- Withdrawal - 93rd percentile
- Volatility - 72nd percentile

Openness to Experience - 97th percentile
- Openness - 97th percentile
- Intellect - 94th percentile

If you want to be traditionally successf…

88.9 Hey Radio, Zahna, and Me

Are you ready for the next installment of my series for 88.9 Hey Radio? Today I think we will go with dark emotion.

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I had never heard of Zahna. You probably haven't either. That's because Zahna didn't exist before 2017. Here's how she introduces herself on her website:
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Zahna is a female Christian Hard Rock solo artist based out of San Antonio, TX, and is also known as Suzy Martinez, the former front-woman of national touring band "ILIA". After separation with ILIA in 2016, Martinez debuted as Zahna in Mid 2017. Fusing gritty, industrial guitar riffs with technical drum elements, the San Antonio-based vocalist shines her aggressive vocal style, giving birth to the powerful active rock she now claims as her own.
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She was also married in late 2018, which means that she now has another name. Zahna is a woman of many names. Her first album was released in 2018 with Rockfest Records, "Red f…

A Written Record of Ideas for Writing

I'm always keeping track of ideas for writing.

It would be interesting to write a book on epistemology (the theory of knowledge) and reference at least these thinkers: Ayn Rand, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Karl Popper, Jean Piaget, James Gibson, Carl Jung, Irenaus Eibl-Eibesfeldt, Viktor Frankl, Endel Tulving, Jerome Bruner, Lev Vygotsky, Richard Feynman, Erwin Schrodinger. I think that I might be able to pull, or generate, something new out of that.

If you don't age when you are moving at the speed of light, then travel at the speed of light would basically be like time travel. It's really just like a pause button. I was talking about this with my dad, and it's an interesting idea. Basically Rip Van Winkle, but with space travel.

What if ghosts were subject to physics? Hard rules for magic are interesting. I haven't read "Master of the Five Magics" yet, but it did seem to revolutionize fantasy writing by taking magic and applying physics to it. Th…

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