ComicsBox 1 | Saga: Chapter Thirty Seven

#NowReading #Saga #ImageComics

NEW STORY ARC! “THE WAR FOR PHANG,” PART ONE. SAGA is back with its most epic storyline yet, and to celebrate, FIONA STAPLES graces this issue with a gorgeous wraparound cover! Finally reunited with her ever-expanding family, Hazel travels to a war-torn comet that Wreath and Landfall have been battling over for ages. This arc is a self-contained “event” we’ve been building to since our very first issue, so now is the perfect time for readers who love SAGA’s bestselling collections to join our monthly adventures!

Story By: Brian K. Vaughan
Art By: Fiona Staples
Cover By: Fiona Staples
Published: August 31, 2016

See more at: https://imagecomics.com/comics/releases/saga-37#sthash.5J48flkb.dpuf

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Thinkbook 5 | Untitled

~ This is a #thinkbook entry on #ruckology in which Brandon L. Rucker returns with new brainjuice after a two-week break ~

The last couple of weeks have not been optimal for regular blogging, due in part to my being busy creatively on a couple of projects. That’s a good thing. In that span there’s been so much on my mind I’ve wanted to lay out here in the form of brainjuice leakage that there’s no way to condense (nor remember) it all here for a single entry. I usually don’t do this particular series with much pre-planning or forethought, instead going for a more spontaneous approach, digging back into the deep pockets of my mind to squeeze out the past week’s high or deep thoughts. What usually occurs is a scattershot cranial explosion. Or something.

This week I’ll start by pulling a thought or two that I shared during the week on my Facebook page. First, some bad news.

Local/National News Story of the Week

In reaction to this news story about a deadly new synthetic drug scourging the streets of America, claiming 50 lives nationwide, two from my native state, I wrote:

++ The inventiveness of this kind of stuff seems boundless. It highlights that one of the saddest aspects of the human condition is the inability to cope without chemical assistance. My heart goes out to those who face any kind of existential crisis that leads them down this path. Stay above ground and keep breathing, y’all.

♦ ♦

Legacy News of the Week

In response to the news that Francis Ford Coppola is officially “relaunching” Zoetrope.com with an added new focus on short films, I wrote that Zoetrope.com is the place:

++ Where so many of us writers, editors and small press publishers cut our teeth back in the late 90s and early 00s. Not only did we learn so much about writing, editing and publishing from and with our peers, but the workshop/virtual studio was essentially the forerunner of social media. It’s where we learned how to (and how not to) act online. Big thanks to FFC, of course and a huge shout out to sysop Tom Edgar. Commence the renaissance.

♦ ♦

Political Thought of the Week

++ None of these things that people try to sling at Hillary Clinton can effectively negate the positives about her, especially all her years of public service benefitting women and children. I’d stack up her service record against any of the candidates we had going this cycle NOT named Bernard Sanders.

♦ ♦

Now let the brainjuice tap drip for . . .

Three Random Thoughts

++ A disturbing thing I’ve had to grudgingly but consciously admit to myself is that some days, often many days, I just don’t have the desire to wordsmith. As stated in yesterday’s Notebook 7, I’m always in a creative state. However, productivity surges and wanes to an imperceptible rhythm that a mere mortal writer like myself (i.e. not currently paid to do so) has not yet mastered the ability to perceive and ward off. Nonfiction stuff like social media or blogging, is rarely ever effected, but the kind of creative writing that fiction requires has always arrived from a mysterious well of unknown depth and unknown quantities of resources. Usually, this can be assisted by simply reading a diverse array of things, which I do regularly. But even this past week I slacked on that. #Writer’sPlight

++ Still, due to the inspiration of one of my favorite writers Warren Ellis, whose weekly newsletter Orbital Operations and an online journaling have been one of my primary inspirations here, I want to try to write something here every day without fail, as he is attempting to do for two uninterrupted months on his semi-daily blog Morning.Computer. Ideally this would be the month of September, leading up to and through my birthday weekend holiday. We’ll see if that happens.

++ I am a notorious tinkerer. I tinker and tweak everything. I’m a fine-tuner who believes in continuous improvement. So it’s very possible I may tinker with things here yet again, such as the theme, colors (though I love the stark monochrome), menu layout, etc. So don’t be surprised if you see things looking different around here (if you, ya know, even pay that much attention to that sort of thing).

♦ ♦

I’m going to have to stop it there and continue things later in Lifebook 11 where I focus on something equally communal and personal that happened last night. Right now I have to get ready for a wedding.

Be mindful and good to each other, m’kay?

– BLR

Notebook 7 | The Wayward Mind

~ This is a #notebook entry on #ruckology in which Brandon L. Rucker kinda, sorta admits he’s mentally unwell ~

Last weekend I had a plotting breakthrough on Project: One Shot (formerly Project: Crime Time), the codename for my developing crime comic with my artist partner and best friend Joshua S. Hooten. Finally actual scripting had commenced. The plan was to take Monday off and resume writing on Tuesday. Tuesday became another off day. The rest of the week was compromised by family obligations and work exhaustion from the day job. But the mind stayed active with some fine-tuning of the plot happening in my subconscious.

That’s not the problem. The problem is my mind got more active on character and plot details for the romantic crime-noir novel I’m planning on finally starting in November during NaNoWriMo (codenamed Project: Dame Game, a project featuring an old character of mine in a new story I cooked up this past Spring — details in next week’s Workbook). So even if I had managed to sit at my desk and write this past week, it’s very possible I would have been writing notes for that project rather than the one I should be actively working on (which I’m doing today immediately following this missive).

By week’s end this got me thinking about how the mind is a wayward thing, wild and unbridled, doing whatever the hell it wants and not necessarily what you need it to do, when you need it to. I’ve always conceded that I have what I like to call creative ADD. As a highly active thinker I’ve always been hardwired that way, juggling an insane amount of information and ideas in one sitting than the average bear would. There are definitive pros and cons to it, no doubt. One of the cons is as I get older and more forgetful (hush, you) many ideas become like transient ghosts if I don’t get them jotted down quick, fast and in a hurry. And that’s the other rub — a notebook is not always handy, the ability to stop whatever you’re doing to jot down notes it’s not always an option. In fact, more than often it is not.

The silver lining I suppose is that I am almost always in a creative state of mind and at the end of the day I cherish this overactive gray matter of mine, no matter how wayward it may be at times.

You know that old proverbial saying that writers are slightly insane because they entertain multiple voices in their heads while also muttering to themselves when they think no one else can hear them? Yeah, it’s true.

I’m willing to bet you knew that already, didn’t you?

Reblog: Mandy Ward – The words aren’t there…

The World of The Teigr Princess

I have no words,
No words at all.
No words to share,
No words for all.
For I am White,
And while I long,
For the words to come,
To right my country’s wrongs,
The Words won’t come,
Won’t come at all.
My country oppressed,
It traded in slaves,
It took bonded workers,
To appropriate lands,
To push out autochthons,
And steal their homes.
My country is racist,
It believes it is better,
It believes that those of colour,
Are beneath it,
And it is wrong.
I don’t want to be a part of this,
I don’t want to be any of this.
I want people to be equal,
No matter their Colour,
Sexuality,
Gender,
Religion or Beliefs,
I want the world to realise,
There’s more to life than this.
There’s Love and Fun and Song ,
There’s Peace and Games and Food,
I want my country to apologise,
To…

View original post 54 more words

Lifebook 10 | The Day My Name Changed to Dad

~ In this #lifebook entry on #ruckology Brandon L. Rucker gives a rare glimpse inside his personal life in honor of one momentous life event ~

Twenty-two years ago today my first daughter was born. That huge biological event effectively changed my name to be aka: “Father”, “Da-da”, “Daddy” and “Dad” forever. It’s the first true event in my young adult life at the time (a month from turning 21) to give me a true sense of purpose and direction. A trajectory as well as an anchor. A reason to soar while also providing a gravitational pull to keep me grounded and centered on what is most important.

The day she was born was not one without its stresses and worries. I got The Call while at work at the comic book store about an emergency C-section due to her being breech in utero with, as it turned our, her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck as well. Had we waited for the full term and untold hours of labor, things would have turned out quite differently, perhaps tragically. So I tend to think of her as our miracle child. I’d love to be able to say that was the first and last time I cried at the birth of a child, but in this particular reality that would be a lie.

Her mother and I didn’t last together beyond her first 18 months, and though there were certainly calamitous years of many trials and tribulations, not to mention the help of a village, we somehow managed to raise a well-adjusted and healthy child with a promising future.

22 years later, she’s an intelligent, beautiful, driven, independent, hardworking-yet-somehow-still-lazy and stubborn young lady who occasionally acts like she’s between the ages of 17-21. And that’s to be expected because none of us are truly grown up and fully mature prior to the age of 25, especially these days. In her short life she’s been a dancer and ballerina, a dance teacher herself and a voracious student of social issues, politics, the sciences and the arts. She’s also been a big sister to her two younger sisters (on my side) and younger brother (on her mother’s side).

Recently, this past Father’s Day she had posted on her Facebook page the fact that she and I are very close, despite how that may appear to those on the outside. Our closeness is not often verbally stated as she’s an even better poker player than I when it comes to her emotional reservedness. She puts me to shame in that category. I personally had always envisioned an even closer relationship than what we currently have (which would negate some of her natural independence), but that’s not something you can necessarily force if it’s not a natural occurrence. Yet it’s good to know that from her internal point of view we’re close enough.

Oh, I should also mention that she’s also a mother of a highly intelligent, very talkative 3-year old preschooler, which of course makes me a grandpa. Yeah, yeah, let the old man and grandpa jokes commence. After all that’s another one of my aka aliases. Though to be exact, my granddaughter calls me “Pop-pop.”

The toughest part of fatherhood, of being a family man in general, is that nagging need to always protect, even when it’s not even possible to do so. Talk about a overwhelming sense of helplessness and frustration. I recommend fatherhood only to the most emotionally tough and mentally strong because this stuff is not for the unworthy. Trust me on that.

Thinkbook 4 | Noise Reduction

~ This is a #thinkbook entry on #ruckology in which Brandon L. Rucker confronts his problem with  unhealthy distractions ~

I’ve written about it here before, and it’s on my mind quite a bit of late. This need to decrease the volume of external noise. And when a writer mentions external noise he almost always means that of the social kind. More specifically, social media. Considering the fact that I’m current in a rather busy creative place of late, I need to do what I can to minimize distractions of all kinds, but especially social media.

It doesn’t help that by my own inquisitive nature, I am a newsjunkie. It doesn’t help that as a man in his early 40s with a young family, a good chunk of my social life is maintain by the advent of social media. But, just as I can prevent myself from going into town to hang with the locals for a good time, surely I can prevent myself from spending far too much time perusing the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

One option is to simply create a manual situation of turning off automatic notifications on one’s phone during the day. That curbs the frequent prompting of checking the phone via notifications. However, that’s only really effective if you keep busy with other things. If you’re bored or unoccupied you’re going to be tempted. Alternatively, I know some people who have removed social media apps from their phones completely, which would mean to check in they would have to do so whenever they’re at a computer, which would be less frequent when mostly mobile.

Whichever option I choose, I’m going to use that freed up time to write in one of the many notebooks I’m carrying around with me everywhere. A month ago I wrote about the option to use one’s phone for writing. Not ideal, no. But it’s an option. And a while back I described what I like to call my blank page fetish (note: Hello, Blank Page is no more).

So that’s the plan. Ween off of social media some. Put that attention toward writing on my projects wherever possible. Or writing here on this WordPress. Simply a more productive use of one’s time.

Of course no plan of mine ever comes without its inconvenient irony. Looking to decrease external noise, yet, I’ve recently pledged myself to watching more movies. That’s something I used to do more frequently many years ago. Aside from the entertainment factor, movies have always managed to benefit me by getting my mind thinking on story ideas while forcing me to examine narrative and point-of-view options. So, at least that particular external noise is creative noise, right?

I’m no fool. I’ll always have distractions. The key for creative people is to have healthy ones, the kind from which you can draw positive creative energy. For me that’s represented in the stack of books and movies that await my consumption. And once all that’s consumed I can see myself writing another one of these about how I need to curb my consumption as well.

Ah, the perilous path of the writer can be fraught with booby-traps.