13 October, L A.S.
I return to regular blogging after way too long of a break!!
That’s announcement number one! I am going to be again regularly updating this blog, and doing so more frequently than ever. I have been writing, (and editing, and revising,) but have not shared enough of that with my audience as of late. And, my writing production hasn’t been nearly where I want it to be. Writing is a huge passion of mine, and I’ve let it slip by the wayside with how busy I’ve been at my new career. I started said career (which, for legal reasons I can give only the vaguest details about here) back in August 2015, and am off to a great start. It’s an emotionally and financially rewarding profession, which makes an enormous positive difference in the lives of others.
Really, the way I see it, my life’s mission is to perpetually increase my own wealth, health, and freedom, via good habits, mindfulness, passion, and above all by bringing monetary and emotional value to others. Too many people in this world only consume value, rather than create it. I’m here to be a creator, and my writing is a key part of that. The activity of writing is inherently therapeutic for me, and when I can share good stories with other people, and draw them in and make them think and feel new things and get sucked into something interesting…well, that fills me with pride, and fulfills me. So expect to see a lot more on this blog, and on Amazon and other websites, in the near future.
Announcement number two: I officially now have voice acting credit with the Satanic Players Society! They produced an audio version of my short story The Full Moon’s Hunt a while back, and now I’ve contributed narration work for them on the erotic horror tale Candy, Blood, and Sex, written by Hydra M. Star. Voice acting isn’t something I ever thought I’d be doing, and I appreciate the opportunity to broaden my horizons with SPS. It’s fun! Speaking of, they have a new episode coming out in time for Halloween, for which I provided some additional fun character work. HALLELUJAH! Stay tuned!
What else has been going on in my world? Well, besides the daily hustle and bustle of my day job, I’ve had time to get much more into weight lifting. I follow the Strong Lifts program, and have been slowly but surely making progress on a variety of Olympic barbell compound lifts. Since August 2015, I’ve built noticeable muscle mass, and have never felt physically better. If you don’t lift, do so: you’ll gain muscle, lose fat, feel good, and develop discipline. The benefits tend to spill over into better sleep and nutrition habits, as well.
Also new, is that I undertook a new experiment in raising praying mantises! Their egg sac arrived at my door in April of 2016, and took about a month to hatch. Dozens of tiny, quick, adorable little Chinese mantids greeted me one morning in their carefully prepared habitat, and promptly got to work devouring countless genetically-modified wingless fruit flies, as well as each other. Mantises are voracious cannibals, with zero qualms about eating their siblings. If I have a go with this species again, (which you know I will,) I’m going to just order a couple of pre-hatched nymphs and stick ’em in separate enclosures. One of the most cool yet disturbing things I saw my mantises do: after the cannibalism and genetic unfitness weeded out all but two of the nymphs, the slightly larger one devoured its own sibling…suspended upside down from the enclosure’s ceiling, it grasped its brother/sister (I can’t tell their sex) in its strong and spiky raptorial limbs, and ate through the prey’s thorax, then ate the separated abdomen and head parts. And the sibling was alive the entire time. Mantises typically eat their prey alive, targeting the head first if their quarry is a potential threat. Brutal!
I enjoyed raising the mantises because I think they’re remarkable little predatory kung-fu masters! They’re the only insects able to turn their head, and that along with their face shape gives them a vaguely humanoid charm that most arthropods lack. They’re quick, able to escape predators (including bats!) and ambush prey with lightning movements. And, they can fly. They just look so freakin’ cool. My final mantis made it through three of her (I started calling it a female, just felt right, though I never gave her a name,) six molts before adulthood, but didn’t make it to her full 5.5 inch adult length. I found her mysteriously dead one morning, stiff as a board, despite having plenty of food and water. No idea what happened. But, I learned from the whole experience, and will certainly be more successful next Spring when I raise a couple mantises again. From there, I’ll move on to other species, especially spiders, and finally rid myself of the last vestiges of my foolish arachnophobia. Fun fact on mantises by the way: most of the ones you’ll see in the United States north of the Carolinas are a Chinese species brought over to Philadelphia in the 1880’s for pest control. They’ve since fit in well with the local ecosystem so far as I know, and farmers and gardeners often purchase them to gobble up aphids and other pests!
(Mantis pictures to follow. Gotta get ’em over from my cell phone.)
Another recent thing I did was storytelling at Irondequoit, NY’s second annual fall fest at the new I-Square development. I read a few classic kids’ stories, (none of my own work,) to a small audience. I like hearing myself talk, and I like performing, so it was fun. I hope to do more of that.
Finally, my first novel, The Devil and the Doctor, is coming soon…I know it’s way late, again, I use my day job as my flimsy excuse here. But it’s a damn fine story if I do so say so, and I hope you’ll all find it worth the wait.
Oh, and it’s Fall now, and I love that. The weather, football, (go Bills!!) Halloween, Thanksgiving, my birthday. Glorious!