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Ruckin’ With You | 9.25.16 | On a Pre-Birthday Sunday

Blog, Ruckin' With You

Late edition for the previous week. Smartly I launched this birthday weekend/weekbegin with a 4-day weekend off from work to commemorate my latest trip ‘round the sun. Before officially being another year older I decided to finally finish constructing the companion website to this one. The site is called RUCKERPEDIA. Long-term readers here may recall that as the former moniker of the blogsite you’re currently reading (succeeded by RUCKOLOGY and finally, Rucker | Writer).

So what the heck is RUCKERPEDIA, you might ask? Essentially it is the site that will serve as my official online archive of fiction (of various formats and genres), poetry and lyrics. You could think of it like an online zine, but dedicated exclusively to my many various works. For posterior, if nothing else. It will also be a place to host some all-new writing that doesn’t quite belong elsewhere.

I’m currently tweaking the layout now and then will begin to stock it with pieces over the next week. With any luck it will be primed and ready to launch upon an unsuspecting public next Monday, October 1st. I hope you’ll all dig the chance to easily peruse my more creative writing, given the out-of-print aspect of my published works and the very low profile nature of my writing “career”, for lack of a better description.


So my post-punk rock band Neglect the Alarm, which continues to find reasons to not reconvene for writing, rehearsal and recording sessions, has somehow managed to receive two honorable nominations via Punk Rock Night, which was our first and only live booking for 2016 (at the historic Melody Inn in Indianapolis, IN). Apparently we left quite an impression on a cold January night to have still been in the consciousness of the people who nominated us. I’m totally honored that our little-band-that-could got nominated for BEST NEW BAND and the PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD (that voting took place just a week ago, for fuck’s sake). We’re in great company too. Personally, I’m humbled. Yay, us. As for the immediate and distant future of our band? I could do no better than the great Nostradamus on that one, and he didn’t exactly have the highest successful prediction rate.


Saw Deftones last Monday night with an old friend who got us in with a free will-call ticket because she has connections for that kind of stuff. I’m a casual fan of this band, I have 4 of their 8 albums and really love their 4th album, the self-titled one from 2003. They played no songs from that one, to my great dismay, and really only 3 or 4 of the 19 on their set list did I actually like. It’s not that I truly dislike most of their music, it’s listenable, but it’s just kind of . . . there. Almost pedestrian. I think the main thing is, especially with their later stuff, guitar-wise they’re not really riffy. When it comes to hard rock and heavy metal, I need RIFFS! So, needless to say, I was bit bored for the 90s minutes that we stayed to watch.


Historical Quote of the Week

“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


My Facebook Quote of the Week — in reaction to the Washington state mall gunman being captured by authorities. 

“Oh, nice. This gunman of 5 cold blooded murders got confronted by police and lived. How fortunate for him. Like with Dylan Rooth, I wonder if they stopped to get him a bite to eat?”

Snarky, I know. 


New Hashtags:

#ThisIsNotFiction #ThisIsRealLife

For use when you encounter news in social media that is so anti-progressive that it has you questioning if this is real life.


Song of the Week:

“Starboy” by The Weeknd ft. Daft Punk

(Explicit — NSFW)

//tools.applemusic.com/embed/v1/song/1156172683?country=us


Be good to each other.

Have a great week.

-BLR

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Quotes | Stephen King – On Writing

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In honor of Stephen “Uncle Stevie” King’s birthday this week (Sept 21st) I am going to forego our regularly scheduled programming in favor of five poignant quotes from Mr. King’s book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft that I bookmarked with lots of Post-it Notes so many years ago. By the way, this isn’t the first time Uncle Stevie’s been quoted here recently.


 

“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”

 

“Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position.”

 

“It starts with this: put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn’t in the middle of the room. Life isn’t a support system for art. It’s the other way around.”

 

“Put your vocabulary on the top shelf of your toolbox, and don’t make any conscious effort to improve it. (You’ll be doing that as you read, of course … but that comes later.) One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you’re maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones. This is like dressing up a household pet in evening clothes. The pet is embarrassed and the person who committed this act of premeditated cuteness should be even more embarrassed.

“I’m not trying to get you to talk dirty, only plain and direct. Remember that the basic rule of vocabulary is use the first word that comes to your mind, if it is appropriate and colorful. If you hesitate and cogitate, you will come up with another word—of course you will, there’s always another word—but it probably won’t be as good as your first one, or as close to what you really mean.”

 

“Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference.”

 


Yes, I’m filing this a bit late. It’s my birthday weekend, so I’ve taken it easy today (I have Monday off from work as well). I had originally intended to write and post a Ruckin’ With You column for this week, but alas. I’ll either produce it in a couple of days, or just wait until later in the week.  I also need to do a Workbook update (I skipped the August-into-September one). At any rate, I do remain committed to composing a blog entry that uncorks my headspace on a weekly basis, though.

So until next time, keep reading, keep writing, keep rocking.

-BLR

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Ruckin’ With You | 9.16.16 | I Am Healed

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Last Friday I launched my weekend with an injury while horsing around with one of my kids. My social media announcements about it went like this:

“Soooo guess which genius injured his shoulder while lifting his full grown teenager into the air the other night? Got worse last night. Could be serious (never had surgery, not anticipating starting either). My research lists 4 possible injuries of varying degrees. Info was nice to point out that folks over 40 are more susceptible. Lovely. Father Time is a bastard. At any rate, I’ll likely need an MRI. Smh.

“INJURY UPDATE: Well, I’m proud to say I managed to wipe my own ass. It wasn’t easy, but, hey, if you can maintain dignity while injured, that’s half the battle. #pride #winning #wellkinda

“ON THE MEND: So apparently my mutant healing factor has somehow managed to make that shoulder injury over the weekend only be a sprain, and not the torn ligament I had feared (man, that pain tho). 4 days later it’s now at about 90-95% with pretty much full range of motion. Just a twinge here and there to remind me of my age and to take it easy old man. I’ll be back to lifting kids and guitars over my head in no time.”

100% now. The human body can be a rather miraculous machine when it wants to be. Thankfully.


Sympathy is passive pity. Empathy is: you experience another’s pain, loss, sacrifice, injustice, etc. as if it is your own.  – Me on Facebook, September 14, 2016


In #6words or fewer, write a story about getting lost in the woods. #sixwordstorypic.twitter.com/EUre675Edz

— Kelsye Nelson (@Kelsye) August 10, 2016

Inspired, I quickly generated the following six-worders.

I’m bleeding. Phone’s dead. Losing daylight.

That’s no bush. That’s a bear.

Saw Big Foot. He gave chase.


WordPress Links of the Week:

Kristen Twardowski – Writes about Words, Numbers, and Fun Facts about Famous Literature.

Matt Bowes – Writes “Dialogue Tags,” said the man, “are a pain.”

Outright Geekery – Gives an Early Look at PEEPLAND #1 from Titan Comics


Something else I said in social media this past week (sorry to get a little political on ya):

“Independent AND corporate media, you may as well stop reporting on all the various “Trump in hot water because of . . .” situations because we all know none of that shit’s gonna stick. Especially not during this election season. And probably never. It’s like crying wolf. But I get it. You “need” the clicks and ratings.” – Me on Facebook, September 12, 2016.


Song of the week:

“Civil War” by Guns n’ Roses (1991)

Lyrics via Google Play


Y’all be good to one another.

Have a great weekend.

– BLR

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Quote/Advice | Ed Brubaker on Health & Work/Life Balance

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Celebrated and award-winning comics/graphic novels author Ed Brubaker (CRIMINAL, VELVET, CAPTAIN AMERICA, THE WINTER SOLDIER), one of my faves, shared some sage writerly advice and wisdom today in his latest newsletter From the Desk of Ed Brubaker, of which I must make note.

On health:

“If you are a writer, if sitting and thinking followed by sitting and typing is what you want to do for a living, I can’t urge you more strongly to get regular cardio and get up from your desk a lot and stretch.

I can’t stress enough how easy it is to fall into bad habits in this profession that can cause you major health issues. In my career I’ve had to deal with repetitive strain injuries, tendonitis, chronic TMJ pain (from clenching my jaw when I get lost in writing) and lower back problems. And recently, while trying to get back into good cardio shape, I injured my ankle – the cause, having my foot bent weird while I typed.”

Actually, that’s good advice for anyone who works at a desk for long periods. He even provided this handy infographic.

As for writing work/life balance, something I know I personally struggle mightily with, the crime/noir-loving writer said:

“And work/life balance? That can be hard to manage, too. When I’m being good at sticking to my work routines, ideally I’m not in front of the computer for more than four or five hours a day. Kurt Vonnegut said no one should be required to be smart for more than four hours a day, so I try to follow his example. Then lately, after I’m done typing, I go for a 20 mile bike ride, and I’m starting to take some yoga classes. But I’ve had long periods of my career where I spent all day in front of a computer for months with no exercise, and I regret that a lot.

Writers are always writing in their heads, even when they aren’t typing or scribbling, so that’s one anyone in a relationship with a writer has to put up with. Even when they’re with you, they’re kind of not.”

The struggle is real. I know it’s a rather trendy and passe thing to say these days, but that doesn’t make it any less valid.

Mr. Brubaker’s words (and the source from which they come) are Copyright © 2016 Basement Gang Inc., All rights reserved. Mr. Brubaker’s photo is courtesy of Comics Vine.