Weird

Several years ago, the ex-husband of a friend of mine, let’s just call him X, mentioned that he hung out once with The Enigma. You may have seen him referenced as The Human Jigsaw. I’d seen images of The Enigma before so I knew who X was describing. For those that were not aware, X explained the detail of The Enigma’s tattoos as well as the various body modifications he has had. My only comment was, “that’s weird.” 

I can’t say exactly why, but X was inclined to defend The Enigma and stated how he was a real nice and interesting guy, as if “weird” were a negative adjective. For some, maybe it is, but not for me.

Let’s set some groundwork before I continue. The Enigma is weird. The Merrian-Webster dictionary (online edition) defines weird as “of strange or extraordinary character : odd, fantastic.” There are other definitions, but this is the one that I think is most used in American culture and certainly my intent when describing The Enigma. To this day I think the description is spot on. I mean his appearance and the lengths he went to achieve them are certainly “odd” and possess “strange or extraordinary character.”

So The Enigma is weird.

But I don’t count weird as a pejorative. It may not be as neutral as “tall” or “red,” but without going into how even those simple adjectives could be described as insulting by some, I group weird as a part of a set of word that are not negative in connotation. After all, I count myself as weird (though not as weird as The Enigma).

I grew up in a small town in North Mississippi. I was a Roman Catholic born in Ohio. So I spoke funny, looked a little funny (due to my Portuguese heritage and squinty eyes), was the wrong religion, didn’t like or follow sports or hunting, and was apparently from a family of carpetbaggers. I started off weird. My natural shyness didn’t help, nor did my gregarious dual nature once I was comfortable with a group. Then add on top of that my love of all thing monsters, and I just got weirder. THEN add on top of that my later discovery and love of all things magical … and well let’s just say I really didn’t fit in. I was weird. I didn’t look terribly weird – assuming I wasn’t wearing bell bottom jeans, or sweat pants pulled up to my chest, or really, really big hair. OK, maybe I looked a little out of place too.

Eventually I just got used to being different, then I came to embrace it. Weird is cool. Weird is good. Weird is individual, unique, and different. Weird people do things that other people don’t even imagine doing until years later. Weird people create art and games. Weird people design things that set other people to scratching their heads in wonder. Weird people are awesome.

If I ever call you or someone you know as weird, just know it isn’t a pejorative. It isn’t an insult. Hell if anything it’s a complement. Now if I call you normal …

© 2015, Joseph K Little. All rights reserved.

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NaNoWriMo and Booze (or How I Write When Buzzed)

NOTE/EDIT: I’m posting this a month after I wrote it because I like the post and I’m not very good at following through with things. So shame on me.

I haven’t posted since my dismay at the Hugos. Let me say, if it was unclear, that I’m not disappointed that the Hugos did or did not allow the Sad Puppies and other ne’er-do-wells to have their day, rather I’m disappointed that these people would act so childishly concerning the entire situation. In my opinion they should have done one of two things: 1) openly acknowledge what happened this past year and what it entailed, how the voting turned out, and why the organization did or did not think this was a good idea or 2) simply performed the ceremony as it was without the inside jokes, without the snide digs, and without the exuberant glorification at shutting down those that think differently than they. Basically I expected that regardless the outcome of the night, they would have acted like adults. I was disappointed at the results.

I do admit that I am more “Sad Puppie” aligned than not, but I’m trying to remain neutral as I only recently started to become familiar with the publishing world and the movers and shakers within. I say that so that you might know me more fully for who I am. I hope that you will accept me for who I am rather for what you think I would be considering what I have admitted, because I can guaran-damn-tee you that I am NOT what you think I am. I refuse to allow anyone to put me into a single categorization other than “Joe” – assuming the Joe you are categorizing me with is me.

With that out of the way I have to announce that IT’S NANOWRIMO TIME YA’LL!

That means that for thousands of people across the country in all age categories will be attempting to write a novel in the month of November. How anyone can do this while also juggling their everyday lives is beyond me. There are even some that are attempting to grow a fabulous mustache this month as well in the attempt to bring some awareness of prostate cancer and funding to research a cure for such because unless you are the most die hard lesbian, we can all appreciate a nice solid erection.

Oh. Sorry. I have to note that I’m slightly drunk while posting this. I’ll tag that or something. But I’m likely to say things I wouldn’t normally say. Like ‘erections’.

I tried the whole Movember thing once and determined that only a couple of my friends were concerned with prostate health, and I look ridiculous with a mustache only. I mean look at that link of me. I look like someone I wouldn’t trust around my kids.

So here I am stuck at the beginning of NaNoWriMo and I have written maybe 400 words in 3 days. <sarcasm>What an excellent turn out!</sarcasm> Yeah. I have to admit that I’m in the middle of my story, and I want to be done with it. I’m not really the “see the long project through to the end” kind of guy, and that’s got to change. It has to change for my writing life, and it has to change for my professional life. I want to excel at each and frankly that means focus and determination, what some might call “hard work”.  I haven’t always been the best at working hard, sometimes but not always. In fact my pattern growing up was to be very lazy. I’m simply bored by anything too familiar. I’d really like to overcome that pattern, but it is really hard. I want to say that I simply have to forgive myself when I’m not following through as I expect, but at the same time I have to exercise a level of discipline that I don’t normally hold for very long.

NaNoWriMo is exactly what many people need to help them get through the kind of problems that I have with discipline. My wife won NaNo last year, and I couldn’t be prouder of her. She wrote almost 15,000 words in a week to catch up and win. Way to f’king go! Me? I get 2000 words behind and I’m all, “meh, there’s always next year.” The reality of the situation should rather be “2000 words? I can shit that for breakfast and come home for dinner and do another 2000.” I know I can do it, but something is always holding me back, pulling me down.

One day I’m going to haul up this anchor that holds me down, cut the line, and throw it over the side of the ship of destiny. Then you mother f’kers better watch out because I’m going to be coming for your position on the best sellers lists.

You have been warned.

 

 

© 2015, Joseph K Little. All rights reserved.

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