Category: science fiction

The Conversation Part 4 by A.D. Morelli


The Conversation Part 3 by A.D. Morelli

The Conversation Part 2 by A.D. Morelli

The Conversation Part 1 by A.D.Morelli

I wanted to do something a little out of the ordinary and take on a subject I’ve not really explored before. I began writing some short stories on another blog and posted them online. I have never done this before, and it was very intimidating.

I’ve always loved to write, ever since I was young. I wrote stories, poetry, I like to sketch and paint as well. Although some of my art has been published, nothing in anything you’d know, just locally, I’ve never published my writing. Mainly because I was just scared to death, to be honest.

Being someone with very poor self-esteem, I was terrified to do so because I didn’t think I could handle the criticism and rejection that inevitably all writers must face at one point in their lives. I don’t have a degree in creative writing, nor am I even a professional writer. I write mainly because I really enjoy doing so. Creative writing is especially difficult at times, when you have no inspiration, or are stuck in a bout of writer’s block.

I began writing these little pieces several months ago, partly as a whim. I was toying with the genre of fan fiction, and decided to try my hand at it. Mind you it’s MY brand of fan fiction, so it doesn’t really follow the standard rules, but I really don’t care, to be honest. I wrote it for me, and my own enjoyment, but I also hoped that if I was bold enough to share it, others would enjoy it as well. I was on a bit of ‘The Avengers‘ kick a few months back, so this was the background for my inspiration. It revolves around me and Loki, or at least my own personal version of him. He’s certainly a trickster in the stories, but without the wicked malice he shows in the movies.

There was a second purpose for these pieces. I wrote them for me, yes, but with a purpose. I wanted to try and get myself to modify my personal self-talk, since it’s so negative. So I decided to use the character of Loki to ‘trick’ myself into loving who I am as a person. So far, it has evolved into four chapters. It may spawn more, but I’m taking it as a work in progress. I also wrote it without any preset story in mind, just allowing it to flow naturally. At times I even spoke the dialogue out loud to try and give it as natural a feel as I could. I then took it a step further and shared it on a fan page dedicated to Loki (the Marvel character). The feedback from it was very positive and one member told me she loved it bcause it felt so real. I almost cried because it meant I had done something right for once.

This is groundbreaking for me. Me, who has been scared to death of being judged, dared to put herself out there for others to see in a very personal way. I have always been extremely private about my fiction, only allowing a certain few to read what I wrote. Now I have let an audience of who knows how many to see it, and I’m hoping for the best. I’m going to take another step and share it here now. It’s up to you whether you like it or not. I’ve taken to using the pen name A.D. Morelli for any future fiction, so if you see that name, you’ll know it’s me.

Watch this S.P.O.T.

I am going to promote another’s blog in this latest entry, because I frankly think it’s worth reading and deserves more readership. It’s another WordPress blog called the Society for the Promotion of Tentaclebeasts, and I believe its creator is named Stevie Miller. I came across this via the Steampunk group on Facebook and what initally snagged me was the great logo design for it. I was already picturing it on a t-shirt, because I thought it lent itself so divinely to print medium.

So, I had to check out the actual blog, and I was hooked. It grabbed my attention from the start, had me poring over the episodic stories intently, and my overactive imagination happily provided me with visuals as I read. I found the characters charming and intriguing, including the tentacled ones. I was trying to imagine what they looked like in my head, how big they were, the colors they were described to be. You’re dealing with Victorian era, with a dash of women’s lib for good measure, as in the female protagonists are just as bold as their male counterparts. The tentaclebeasts (I LOVE that word!) are also just as much genuine characters, because they have their own parts to play in these tales, and I look forward to more.

I also discovered S.P.O.T. has a Facebook page, which I’m sure I will be joining soon, because I am genuinely enchanted by this. It looks like a lot of fun, and I’m sure the creator of this is also enjoying it. I even like the template for the page, rather like a worn leather portfolio or blotter, with frayed threads at the edges. Visually, it adds even more character to the stories. It is worth a read, it is worth taking a look at, because if it affected me this strongly to write a blog about it myself, it’s worth passing along to other readers.

Viktor Oliva: The Absinthe Drinker. The origin...

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This is my project for this soon-approaching Halloween. I typically handle door duty handing out candy to the kids (and occasionally rude, drunk college kids). I love doing this in costume, and I frankly don’t care how old I am. This year’s idea is quite ambitious, and I would really love to see if I can make this happen.

So, this is what I want to do. I plan on dressing up as the Green Fairy, steampunk style. Now, to educate you on the Green Fairy, it’s a reference to the euphoric drink, absinthe, which is a lovely shade of green. One of its euphemisms was the ‘Green Fairy’. When talking to my sister, who is a seamstress extraordinaire, we thought it might be fun to put a twist on the character, and absinthe certainly has a niche in the steampunk genre.

The main feature of the costume I believe will be a corset. I am either going to have to have one custom made (which I know will be obscenely expensive), or find one and embellish it. My sister won’t be able to make me one, because she has her hands full already with her family, and I have no intentions of overburdening her with something like this. So. I need to come up with a style for it, what colors of green I plan to use, accessories to be used for this project. I also am pondering some kind of wings with a mechanical aspect, and that’s going to be a bit tricky as well. I thought maybe some kind of knickers with striped tights would be a fun bit, and add a bustle feature to the knickers/bloomers. I’ve only a few preliminary sketches at the moment, so I’m not anywhere with a concrete idea. One thing I think will be part of it are long gloves. I do believe I have a pair somewhere in my closet that go past my elbows, and I thought maybe cutting off the fingers to them might be a nice look. Some kind of intricate necklace or collar would be a nice addition as well, maybe coordinating bracelets over the gloves? Not sure about a hat; I thought I’d just play up my hair in some kind of tousled style with some jeweled clips. I think the metallic elements should be a brass or antiqued gold color. As for the green, I’ll need to play around with it. Maybe go based on the color of absinthe? I thought the corset might be nice with some kind of metal fasteners up the front. The wings would need some kind of strapwork which could be worked into the corset, either separately or incorparated into the design. The wings might be interesting to be rudimentary, combining the mechanical with the organic in the form of a metal frame and feathers.

I am going to put out a call for artists out there who could possibly help me with this, because I very much want to see this come to fruition. This is a serious challenge, and I really want to make it happen. I want to build this thing, but I would love some collaboration from fellow artists. Maybe we can do an exchange for pieces; I make something this artist doesn’t, they make something for me I’m not able to do. We both leave happy, knowing our work has gotten out there and is appreciated. I want to read your ideas in my comment section; pictures, what have you that you think would help me make this come to life. I’d love to meet fellow artists on WordPress and talk shop anyhow, so I think this would be a great opportunity to make some new connections.

Utopian flying machines, France, 1890-1900 (ch...

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I could not wait to get home from work so I could begin writing this latest entry, because it was just too good to not put aside. It was a charming little article about steampunk on a bass-ackwards little site called I had assumed that the acquaintance who posted this to my Facebook feed had done so for humourous reasons. Most definitely in the humour category. I thought at first the site was a parody, like The Onion or better, Landover Baptist. Amazingly, this site was entirely serious about showing the evils of subcultures to the vast unwashed. The piece was titled simply; ‘What is Steampunk?’  I began reading the article and could barely keep myself from falling out of my chair with hysterical laughter. If this site is an honest parody, they’ve done one of the best jobs I’ve ever seen, but if for real, it’s quite sad that there are people who have nothing better to do in their lives than to hunt far and wide for examples of ‘sinful’ activity.

The author of the piece wanted to explain to his devoted and uneducated flock about the dangers of the steampunk subculture. Basically it was about sexual fetishes, weird emo behavior, drug use, just a sloppy, random accumulation of things. He tosses in what some term as the godfather of steampunk, Jules Verne, and to make things worse, could not even spell the name right!!! He spelled it Julias Vernes. I shudder at the sight. Frankly, I thought his grammar skills were blasphemous, and his manners, for all he claimed to be a devout Christian, were appallingly rude. The comments section were full of outraged (and rightly so!) responses. The author’s replies were peppered with vulgarities and homophobic rants.

The article; and I think calling that assortment of poorly spelled words is an insult to all decent writers, just degenerated into raving about the amoral depravity of folks who engaged in the steampunk genere and other vague weirdness. He also kept confusing cyberpunk with steampunk, and I think there’s a distinct difference between the two. Cyberpunk, think William Gibson of ‘Neuromancer‘ fame.

In defense of steampunk, maybe there are some who channel the genre in erotic venues; I’ve seen it, so it’s not a myth. But to say EVERYONE who enjoys the subculture is a sick freak is inexcusably ludicrous and offensive. He had a picture that he claimed was some kind of steampunk erotic toy. I had no idea what the heck it was; it could’ve been a steampunk paperweight for all I know. Heck, it could’ve been a battery charger!

Tyson dear, let me offer you some advice; get a real career and stop the hack job. You’re a tremendous embarrassment to serious journalists and those who enjoy writing and good grammar. Aside from being an absurd rant on a kooky religious whackjob site, it was one of the most execrable examples of writing I’ve seen in a while. Now I admit to not being a professional writer myself; I don’t hold degrees in writing or journalism, but I take great care in what I put out. I do my best to be coherent in my posts.

This site does not deserve sympathy. I’d love to instigate a flash-mob of the piece and just bombard the comments section of that particular article with as many rebuttals as possible. This guy needs to be seriously owned, and given an education on what he supposedly thinks he knows. You have to see the site to believe it, because it really is that crazy. It’s Michele Bachmann crazy, and I derive a warped sense of pleasure reading the crazy things she says. This ChristWire site is just like her. Steampunkers of the interwebs, let’s go leave our mark. Ignorance should not go unpunished. I’d like to toss out a word of thanks to Raven Digitalis, who found this glorious little nugget of absurdity. Bravo.

An artist's conception of a supermassive black...

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Actually, this is a bit of a peace offering, as it will hopefully satisfy both sides of this dilemma. You guys hate the abominable treatment of beloved comic book characters by movie producers and directors. So do I, believe it or not. I can sympathize with you in your need to vent your spleen over the dreadful interpretation, but here’s where we can work together on correcting this gross travesty of screenwriting. What you folks need to be doing is not directing your anger necessarily at the movie, but the ones running the show. I’m talking about those fat cats in charge of producing the flicks and the screenwriters. That’s who you need to be raking over the coals. And perhaps the actors, for involving themselves in such a public embarrassment of a movie.

I give you fanboys a lot of credit for your anguish, because you pick out all these infinitesimal details most folks don’t even know about that are critical to a character. You guys (and gals, I shouldn’t ignore you either) know your stuff, and I think some of you could pull off some decent stories. It would be amazing if all of you chose to write to these producers and let them know how fed up you are with the quality of the storytelling in movies, the ignorance of the screenwriters on the movie plots, and the addict-like craving to rely so heavily on special effects instead of a decent storyline.

One of the main reasons for me wanting to see a movie in the theater is the quality of the story. You can dress up a kitty in your old baby clothes and call it your child, but it’s still a cat under all of it. And not too thrilled about it either. I know I wrote a previous blog about the spate of superhero flicks coming out and so far, they pretty much bombed. Gee, I wonder why?! Let’s see if Hollywood really pays attention to moviegoers when you flood their mailboxes and e-mail with your criticism. You folks are the ones Hollywood should be going to for all the critical details and character histories, you folks should be the ones brought on as consultants, aside from the character creators for these movies, but noooo, they’d rather go with their swelled egoes and write crappy scripts.

I want to see the X-Men: First Class movie, to be honest, because that so far has been decently reviewed, and my little sister loved it. I have to say, some of the actors in it are pretty easy on the eyes too.

Okay, so I was pretty harsh on you folks in a previous blog, but I was just irritated at the amount of venom being put into these tirades. Okay, forget the movie, because it’s not even worth complaining about. I’ll give you my own fangirl experience. I was a huge Pirates of the Caribbean fan, up until the third movie. When it was over, I was SO mad I was ready to take my purse (otherwise known as my supermassive black hole) and attack the movie screen with it. I would’ve, but my mom was with me, and I don’t think she’d have approved of my willful vandalism of public property. I was so disgusted by the ending, and pretty much the whole movie, I began writing my own version of the ending just to soothe my rage. Of course, I need to see this latest one so I can maintain the story continuity. It really got under my skin though, and rarely do movies have that effect on me. Mr. Bruckheimer, I’m extremely disappointed in you. You let me down tremendously when you decided to condemn Will Turner to undead servitude aboard the Flying Dutchman. THAT I won’t forgive you for. I believe in HAPPY ENDINGS, dang it!

So, do you fans out there see what I’m getting at? Go after the producers, because they’re the ones funding these big films. When they finally get the hint that their poorly scripted movies are not satisfying audiences,maybe they’ll actually pay attention. I haven’t seen a movie in the theater since the special edition of ‘Avatar‘ came out, and before that, it was that sorry excuse of a Pirates movie. I only went to get my fill of Jack Sparrow, but that was it.

I could give a flying hoot about special effects; what grabs me is a great story, fine acting, and darn good musical score. All the flash and glitter of effects are secondary for me, to be honest. As it is, I hardly watch TV anymore, because the quality is not there. And it’s even sadder that there are so few truly well-done sci-fi movies that I’d see over and over. The screenwriters churning out this crap being shoveled on screen are overrated; they only get the gigs because of their name, I think. I’m not qualified to write screenplays because I don’t have that level of skill–hey, at least I’m honest to admit that. What I do think I am perceptive of is a good story, and that’s what makes me go to the movies. Fanboys and girls, this is the time to give Hollywood a piece of your collective minds about the quality of the films you enjoy. Go get ’em.

Tin Foil Hat on Baby

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Yes, I do believe I’ve come across another subspecies of internet troll out prowling the interwebs. I’m thinking of calling this one a parasitic comment spammer–maybe someone else can come up with a better description.

This particularly nasty variety of internet troll hijacks other people’s blog comment sections, or any online piece published to promote their own agenda. These people come from all sides, no one side is less culpable than the other. I participate on several social networking sites, and I was particularly infuriated over one discussion whose subject matter is a sore point for me. I have a distinct loathing for conspiracy theorists, especially the anti-government types who follow Alex Jones‘ crap as religiously as their bibles. There are not too many people that I have such seething hatred for, but these kooks are up on that list. I lost my temper and unloaded on the guy, who basically was dumping clip after clip of conspiracy junk into the discussion, hardly allowing anyone else to get a word in edgewise. Anyone who disagreed, such as myself, got royally trashed. He was very nasty, implying I was a sick, psychotic freak who needed to be locked away. He also said he had the right to call me those names because he held advanced degrees in psychology. I only have an Associate’s. Hmph. So, just because someone has a big fat fancy sheet of paper in a frame gives one the right to demonize others. Fascinating. It was a very ugly mess, and it was shut down by the site owner. I amazingly was not thrown off the site, but neither was this pompous fool. He’s still there, posting pile after pile of conspiracy videos, plots of how the secret cabal is going to overtake the world and all other sorts of truly offensive drivel. I will poke around conspiracy sites out of sheer curiosity, because I want to know what kinds of things they talk about. Some of it I just find so compeltely deranged it sounds like it comes from a schizoid’s personal diary. I mean, it’d make for great filler for science fiction stories, but I just can’t swallow some of what they claim.

So, back to this troll. I think the site owner made it clear to try not feeding the resident troll, and the moderators are keeping an eye on him if he tries to pull any other antics. I was truly afraid this guy was going to go after me, because he’s precisely the kind of temperament who doesn’t let go of hurts and holds grudges dear to his heart. I joined another site, and lo and behold, he pops up there too! He’s sneaky enough to title his posts with themes that fit in with the site’s membership, but when you take a look, it has absolutely nothing to do with the discussion title. He replies to his own posts, putting up all kinds of things promoting his agenda.

I have tried to be objective, watched the videos to satisfy my curiosity (without trying  to break my computer in rage), tried to rationalize the arguments made in such clips, and just find myself needing more proof. I was invited to the new site by the site’s creator, and when this fellow showed up, I compared the two profiles from the other and this new one. Same video material, same job, same age. The name was different, but it was the same guy. I informed the site creator about him, and while she won’t ban him, she’s going to keep him under a microscope. I really enjoy this new site. I have been able to discuss topics that I’ve posted on other sites that have gotten ignored, sneered at, and trashed. I’ve met some truly delightful folks there, and I am very disappointed that someone has to basically commandeer the site for their own fanatical agenda. It’s wrong. If I were someone who had a site and someone did this to me, you can bet that mental midget would be gone, pronto.

I’ve seen it being done on progressive and liberal sites as well. Someone comes in seeming to be a fellow progressive, exhorting the ideals of the movement, but  all the while, they’re busy compiling data on their political enemies, finding weaknesses to exploit, making lists of leaders within the organization. Those folks singled out get harassed by right-wing groups, their personal details given out on extremist sites to the listeners, and some of those listeners get the notion to take action on that information. This is all connected, and if you want to call my present train of thought conspiracy-laden, that’s your choice. On a Facebook group I enjoyed, it was getting bombarded by right-wing hacks attempting to shut the page down by overloading the comments. The page admins were being run ragged trying to boot them out. Mind you, I did not see this happening to Tea Party groups, or other related links. Strange, isn’t it?

I have not engaged the troll on this new site, because it honestly makes me  ill to even argue with someone so rabidly paranoid about everyone. I’m just going to watch what he posts. I have an open mind, believe me, but there is a limit to how far I am willing to believe. When someone is advocating violence to promote governmental change, espousing the mentality if you’re not with them, you’re the enemy, people should be concerned. That’s not okay to me, and for someone to arbitrarily dump their ideological manifestos on everyone and insist you accept it as the truth is morally offensive to me. It’s things like this that so disgust me about the human race at times, that people are so virulently suspicious of everything they believe  someone is out to get them. Trolls are just gutless cowards. They hide behind microphones and computers, write hateful manifestos to local papers, create websites devoted to hating everything that isn’t exactly like them, putting the blame for their own personal failures on everyone else but themselves. It’s easier to blame the government for one’s own laziness, or for one’s violent nature. Or blaming the economy because the current president isn’t white. Oh, yeah, there’s plenty more where that came from. Or that the world leaders are really reptilian aliens conniving to take over the world and enslave humankind. I think that one’s priceless.

This is what one of this subspecies of internet troll does to websites; cause disruption and bad feelings all around, because they can’t bear to see anyone else having a good time. If you want them on your site as part of ‘free speech’, be my guest, but when your site has become inundated by lunatic schemes, anti-government hysteria and hate speech, don’t come crying to me. I just pointed it out to you. Now it’s your mess to deal with.

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