First ‘Thor: The Dark World’ Movie Trailer

First ‘Thor: The Dark World’ Movie Trailer Thunders Online [Video] – ComicsAlliance | Comic book culture, news, humor, commentary, and reviews.

Looks like fun to me. I’m most looking forward to Iron Man 3, but to be honest the most recent Superman trailer made me squee. It has the most to prove after Kal El’s last flop, but I think this new Superman could be really good. The trailer certainly shows a lot of potential.

A Senate in the Gun Lobby’s Grip –

A Senate in the Gun Lobby’s Grip –

I wish I could say I was surprised by how the Senate acted. I wish it was a shock to me that our government remains ineffectual in the face of big business and special interest. How deep do these pockets go? Deep enough to hide the bodies of 20 elementary students, apparently.

Wearable Video Cameras for Police Officers

Fascinating story and a fascinating idea.

Rialto’s police officers also used force nearly 60 percent less often — in 25 instances, compared with 61. When force was used, it was twice as likely to have been applied by the officers who weren’t wearing cameras during that shift, the study found.

via Wearable Video Cameras, for Police Officers –

Connecticut does what the rest of us won’t

Connecticut passed a gun control bill that should be the standard rather than an exception. This is one of those topics I’ve been struggling with for a while. I’m socially liberal on almost any topic, but I’ve always stood by the second amendment. Maybe it’s part of being a Texan, particularly since I was raised in a rural area, but I’ve always felt that gun control wasn’t really under the purview of the government. The government should prevent and punish crime that actually happens, not the people that own tools that are tangentially related to crime. After all, there is nothing inherently evil about a gun. Any hard implement can be used to do violence, given opportunity and sufficient motivation, and guns are tools, just like shovels. Guns don’t kill people, people do.

Part of me still wants to believe this. Part of me wants to believe in the inherent ‘goodness’ of humanity and that we can be allowed to own the tools of self defense without unjustly taking the lives of others. And to be fair, statistically that is true. The vast majority of gun owners aren’t frothing at the mouth. They haven’t committed shooting rampages in crowded theaters or schools.

All that said, those mass shootings weigh more heavily on me than a numerical statistics. This past year five year olds died to protect a hunter’s right to reload less often. Children died, that could have been saved, because some rednecks believe their 9mm and AR-15 will protect them when our government turns on them. People died because self interest out lobbied the public good.

The second amendment was written at a time when the height of technology was a single shot musket and a single shot canon. It takes a team effort to operate a canon, so the most danger the public faced from a deranged individual with a personal vendetta was a single shot. In Aurora, James E. Holmes was able to fire 30 rounds out of a 100 round drum before his weapon jammed. A random mechanical failure is all that stood between 12 dead/58 injured and an additional 70 rounds of auto fire. At Sandy Hook, in the span of only 11 minutes, Adam Lanza fired 154 rounds from his series of 30 round magazines. And for all of that, would either of them have lasted more than a few seconds against a drone? These weapons are no longer about protecting yourself from tyranny. They’re a symbol and a tradition to many, even to me as I write this, but mostly they’re a public menace.

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Note that the amendment doesn’t lend much specificity to what sort of arms we the people are allowed to keep and bear. We don’t get Joint Strike Fighters. We don’t get attack helicopters. We don’t get the nuclear option.

We don’t get weapons of mass destruction, so where is the line where we go from ‘reasonable loss’ to ‘mass destruction’? In 2012 I found my line and it wasn’t where I thought it was.

Thoughts on starting…

The enormity of the gulf between starting and finishing can hardly be articulated. Starting is easy. Starting is fun. Finishing is hard. Finishing is work. The difference between starting and finishing is the difference between making up rules and following rules.

I’ve done a lot fo starting in my life. It’s easy to start. It’s easy to say you’ll do something, even something as big as creating a whole new world. It’s a lot harder to make that world. And that is where I’m at. A lot of easy starts. A lot fewer hard-won endings.

I like to worry over my craft. How well I put these words together. The construction of sentences, of thoughts, of worlds. But how important is the craft if it’s never getting put to use. Is it even craft, if its sole intent isn’t being realized?

This is a first world problem. This is my current first world problem.

All blocked up

I want to write. I want to put words to the proverbial page. The only problem is that very little seems interested in bubbling to the surface. Hints and glimpses of things that have been there for a long time. Things that refuse to fully develop. As a writer it’s my job to force them to, the only problem being is that I don’t really know how to.

How do you force a story to be born? How do you make something new and interesting without stealing, or borrowing generously? I don’t know how to answer those questions just yet, obviously. The endings are always the hard part. Ideas are everywhere. Interesting situations and interesting characters are plentiful, but the satisfying ending is what eludes me.

I know, in theory, it is about meeting your obligations to the reader. The first act includes a murder mystery, therefore the killer must be captured, or at least revealed. So I suppose my problem may be that I don’t know what promises I’m making to the reader, I’m just chasing tangents that interest me, and while they have a chance of striking a chord with the audience it’s far less likely to win out over a well executed story.

Only Business

“I’m not above a little harmless flirting, if it helps get the job done. You understand, it never really becomes more than that, just a little chatting, a bit of intense eye contact, and perhaps my hand over their’s for the briefest of moments,” she said.

“That’s all well and good, but the fact remains, flirting is not what you were doing this morning when I found you,” he said, his fist clenching and unclenching to some unseen rhythm.

“Well, no. I will admit that last night got away from me. There was wine. There was talk. And for a mark, well, he was remarkably charming.”  Her lips betrayed the faintest hint of a smile. He slammed his fist down on the dining table, the coffee cups rattled in their saucers and the bud vase tipped over, spilling the flower and water out onto the white table clothe.

“Is this funny to you?”

“A bit.” She pulled a cigarette from the delicate sterling case and pressed it to her painted lips. The deep plum shade she’d worn the night before still lingered, and stained the edges of the filter. A low growl came up from the depths of his throat, but as the silence stretched between them, he broke first. His eyes darted to the table, his hand disappeared into a pocket and retrieved a lighter, and with a practiced motion he flicked it open with a thumb, lighting her cigarette in the process.

“I’m not happy, if you hadn’t guessed,” he said. Her smile stretched out wide, like a cat.

“Of course, darling, I don’t know that you ever are. If it helps you sleep at night, it was only business.”

How to Write Successful Endings |

How to Write Successful Endings |

This isn’t the greatest article, but it got me thinking. Ending the story is my biggest weakness. I love getting started, but can never think of the perfect finish.