The BRAG

“Did a thing,” is a signpost for boasting ahead.

You know it! Time then, for a little bragging.

Recently, I did a thing. I entered two different screenplays in two different competitions.

One contest was for general spec scripts while the other was more specifically for comedies. I’m planning on entering more contests, since I have several more screenplays. I’ve got a couple more comedies, a sci-fi, a script that would work best as a computer animated feature, and a TV series. These two competitions I mentioned are the only ones which were open early 2021, so obviously I’m holding on to the other works. As the other competitions come open I’ll enter those as well.

There are multiple reasons these competitions are good.

  1. They have a deadline. If you’re like me, you’ll just keep on writing and writing, entering the fantasy worlds of your mind, never letting anyone ever see what you’ve produced, and keep it all to yourself. With a deadline (or should we say “due date”?), you’re forced to publicly share those worlds at a certain specified time. Without that time limit, the tendency to keep up the old habits is tremendous. Yeah, I’m expressing my own habits here. If you don’t relate, form your own habits.
  2. With some competitions there is promise of exposure. Flowing right out of the previous reason, this is a way to share the fantastic, bombastic, and quite often plastic worlds swirling around the imagination. Likewise, someone out there might be needing the very escapism you’ve been enjoying in your daydreams. Someone out there might be ready to pay for the brand of art you create. Let the consumers of entertainment know you have something to offer by putting your name and your art out there. 
  3. Prizes. There are monetary prizes and swag for the winners and runners-up in these contests, so why not make the attempt? It’s a motivation of sorts. If other motivations such as pleasure in the work don’t get you moving, then possibly prize money will.
  4. Suspense. Believe it or not, the writer of fiction needs to know how to describe suspense. What better way is there than being knee-deep in anticipation to teach a person what suspense feels like? The due date looms—that’s suspense. The announcement of the winners is coming—that’s suspense.
  5. The BRAG. Number 5, and my final reason, is for bragging rights. If you think I brag too much entering the contests, just wait ’til I win.

Personal Orbit

Zooming around our own personal orbit, we’re like electrons, waiting for the electric wave to catch us up and carry us away. The space we have to bounce around in is too confining for an energetic element.

How could any gravity even contain so much energy? If this dynamic form stored it for too long, the result would be like an intergalactic ricochet.

We’re quantum. We’re unstoppable. No natural laws define our movement, though we do enjoy an artful circle now and then. If obstacles get in our way, we go around, and around, and around. The random trajectories appeal, no doubt about it. However, we love to repeat when the scene is pleasant.

True, no barrier could possibly contain us, though a fast and convenient playground may keep us occupied for a long time. Who could resist the slide? Who could resist going for a ride?

Who could say no to a thin cover of frost to take the mundane to higher levels of fun? It could even be said the resistance in us is directly related to the resistance in the orbit.

There is space to be filled, and dynamic elements ready to explore.

Holding A Grudge

Not reserved for people who’ve been wronged, holding a grudge is also a novel way to occupy your time. You might be wondering about this new sport. “How do I join in the action?” The first requirement is another person. It takes at least two. Although I’ve heard of someone holding a grudge against the entire NHL organization, it’s much easier with smaller numbers. The grudge against the NHL didn’t last long because there was no way to vent to everyone at once, not to mention the teams got better the following year, so there was no longer a point to the grudge.

Likewise, it’s good to hold a grudge against those you know, because you see them more often and you can call them out by name. Plus, you probably know something about them few other people know, so the insults can be really juicy.

The only other real requirement is that you can communicate your grudge somehow, like speaking the same language. If, for instance, you hold a grudge against your neighbor for never trimming that apple tree so it stops dropping apples in your yard, it won’t do much if your neighbor speaks Swahili and you speak French. I don’t know how many Swahili speaking people there are in the world, it was just a far-out language I could use as an example.

Next you’ll need to know how to do it. Some grudge jocks prefer the method of passive-agressive insults, others like to play demeaning jokes on the focus of their grudge. One man in Florida intentionally moved three houses away from someone so he could leave little “gifts” by their door. The gifts ranged from stolen bicycles to stolen backhoes. He was trying to get his grudge neighbor arrested. Eventually he was the one who got arrested, but at least he played the sport like a champ. No doubt about it, he’s a legend in the grudge sport hall of fame.

In another historical grudge match, one man held a grudge against former President Jimmy Carter. That man is now dead and Jimmy Carter lives on. Looks like Jimmy had the last laugh on that one.

One of the best, most successful, grudge stars is Dean Koontz. It’s claimed among the literary community that he held a grudge against one person for so long he managed to write them into every one of his 497 books. He changed their name of course, but the person he held a grudge against has been shot, stabbed, set on fire, drowned, buried alive, lobotomized, colonoscopized, dismembered, dragged behind horses, whipped, throttled, and drowned again—all symbolically, of course.

Whatever your preferred method of holding and taking action on your grudge, remember these wise words from Confucius:

“Tolerance is for those who don’t know any good pranks.”

Fire Isn’t Hot?

There are many new trends wanting desperately to take a grip on the collective consciousness. They make claims that amount to nothing more than denial of the obvious.

Denying what is objectively quantifiable is an exercise of confusion. If the point of the argument is to prove the dazed quality of the one making the argument, then the argument is successful. Otherwise, there is no point in chasing the abstract ideas of the bumfuzzled few.

It won’t be long until they’re trying to convince everyone, “Fire isn’t hot.”

One of the first reasons we humans had of identifying things we might call “fire”, and things which are “hot”, was to keep people safe. We made the definitions and slapped the labels down on the items most likely to hurt, harm, and burn.

It’s not likely the reason for the invention of the words was to confuse the genetically obtuse of a later day. The reason was the same for the dazed and confused as it was for the average citizen and the obscenely intelligent: so they could know before irreversible harm was done.

Why would anyone want to try to organize the language in a confusing way? If it was reorganized for the confused few, would it be less confusing to them? Of course not. Those who want to deny the obvious will only continue to rue the reality that surrounds them.

Don’t worry, though. These trends will die and others will take their place. Like a flame fades, turns the fire’s fuel to smoke and ashes, so will the new trends fade.

Uni-ball Pen

For the absolute best pens in the Uni-verse, you need to search no further than Uni-ball.

Whenever I’m writing anything in public, people gaze longingly at my fine writing instrument. Whenever I loan my pen to someone so they can write, they always say, “Ooh, this is a great pen. What kind is it?”

Of course, I tell them, “It’s a Uni-ball!”

No one can resist the allure of a Uni-ball.

Now you might be wondering where you can find such an excellent writing instrument. Many office supply stores carry the Uni-ball brand. However, I’ve recently noticed the stores near me don’t stock my favorites: the Uni-ball Signo RT Gel Ultra Micro 0.38. A quick search of Uni-ball’s web site and they do indeed still make them. Why don’t the stores carry these amazing pens when they carry many other Uni-ball products? I haven’t asked yet. But I will.

Regardless of the reason for not stocking the best of the best, I really enjoyed browsing the Uni-ball site. You’re sure to enjoy it too. Who knows, you might find your favorite style of Uni-ball pen there as well.

Here’s a link for your convenience: https://www.uniball.com/home/index.html