This Crap Has GOTTA Stop

I never have nightmares about Horror movies after watching them.

Before watching them, sure.  I had three bad dreams about Freddy Kruger before watching Nightmare on Elm Street.  Afterwards?  Not so much.

Closest I’ve come is a month or so ago.  I dreamed I was swimming in a lake when I noticed Jason Voorhees standing on the shore near by.  At that very moment I thought to myself to myself thought I “This is going to be a nightmare,” and immediately changed dreams.  The next one still had Voorhees in it, but there he was my big buddy.  Who I had to keep distracted before he started killing people.  But still.  Big buddy.  No nightmare.

Outside of that, nothing.  Not a single bad dream fashioned from phantasmal cloth other than my own.

Except for Attack on Titan.

My brain seems determined to “treat” me to Attack on Titan nightmares.

For those not in the know, Attack on Titan is a Fantasy anime series set in a world where Humanity is on its last legs.  Monstrous, almost indestructible titans roam the world eating people, and only massive walls keep the things at bay.  Or, at least they did, until a new titan, bigger than the walls, comes and wrecks things.

This sounds plenty grim, doesn’t it? Well let me tell you, it’s positively cheerful compared to the series itself.  My God, do they go to dark places.  And just when you think things couldn’t be any worse, they spring something nasty on you that you never even considered.

Great show.

I don’t want to dream about it.

Ever.

Last night marked the third time it’s happened since watching the series.

First dream wasn’t that bad, in retrospect.  The Titans (all of my own creations, by the way) were in the distance and closing, which was bad yet manageable.  Each time since, though, they’ve gotten a little closer.  A little closer.  No matter how fast I run in the dream, their smiling faces with teeth to big for their mouths are always a little closer.

It’s really rather unsettling.

It would be okay if I could switch it off like I did with the Voorhees dream.  Only I don’t know how I did that.

The thing that worries me the most, though, isn’t the Titans.  Bad as they are.

What worries me is Harv.  My own personal Boogeyman.  The Big Cheese of nightmares, the guy Kruger could only wish he could be.

It’s pushing a decade since he last came a’calling, which means I’m due for a visit any time now.  My fear is that he’s going to take the Titan dreams as a challenge and try to up his game.

As a rule, Harv dreams consist of him coming out from beneath whatever bed I’m sleeping on and killing me in delightful ways.  One time he came out and slit my throat.  Another time he flipped the whole mattress over on top of me and tried to smother me with it.

You’d think this wasn’t so bad compared to running through city streets from Titans.  Thing is, these dreams do more than see real.  They seem more real than reality.  And always in a familiar setting, always in the room I just laid down in.

While that might seem rather limited in a creative sense, Harv can and will make up for it in other ways.  One nightmare had me waking from the previous one only for Harv to come out from the bed and kill me again.  It happened so often that at one point I went out to my living room to beg whoever was there to wake me up.  This didn’t help at all, as Harv then came out from under my bed and killed me again.

Not helping matters is that, maybe six month ago I dreamed I was laying in my bed trying to fall asleep.  Suddenly I felt Something Bad coming and, like the Voorhees dream, I said “No thanks” and changed dreams.

Now I don’t know if that Something Bad was Harv or not.  Personally, I’m hoping it’s just coincidence that it was the same sort of dream as when Harv comes.  Cause if it wasn’t then take all my earlier concerns and multiply them by ten.  I don’t irritate Harv often, and those rare occasions have not been happy one.  Thwarting him might make him a little… displeased.

Man, between the Titans and Harv I am not looking forward to sleep tonight…

The Eagle Has Landed. In Trees Near the Lake. Repeatedly

I’m not going to tell you I’ve never seen an eagle before.  I’ve been to zoos, and there might have been one spotted at one point or another.

I’m not going to tell you I haven’t seen one before in a more natural setting.  That I don’t remember it ever happening doesn’t mean it didn’t.

However, I’ve never taken a picture of one before.  Nor have I had the… I dunno… pleasure?  of one soaring over my head.

Not exactly over my head, mind.  Over to the left a little.  Okay, maybe a couple of yards.

But still.

Eagle.  Soaring by.

A couple of them have nested in one of my frequent walking haunts, and it isn’t uncommon to see one of them in the air doing whatever it is that eagles do.  Hunting, maybe.  Guarding the nest.  Being majestic.  That sort of thing.

They have a nest across the river.  Today I think I heard their eaglet (eaglets?) calling for food.  One of the parents soared about, perhaps on the hunt.  It was very nice.

A couple of days back I saw a herd of deer in some poor farmer’s field.  A dozen, maybe more.  Never saw so many in all my life.

Didn’t get a picture of that.  Was driving at the time.  Local law enforcement frowns on drive by camera phone photos being taken by a driver from a moving vehicle.  Can’t understand why, really.

The deer, while neat, do not compare with one eagle in the air.

I hope they enjoy their stay in my city.  I’m glad I got a chance to see them.

Twelve, or Mein Gott! My Blog’s Almost a Teenager!

Every year when we reach this particular milestone there’s a wee bit of a shock for me.  “I’m still doing this?  The blog’s still going?”  Yes and yes, I say.  I really believe it has helped, it continues to help, and will keep on helping me improve my craft.  So long as it serves this purpose (and I keep enjoying writing for it) Welltun Cares Presents will continue.

As I don’t have much more to say on the matter, let’s discuss future events.  Or at least events I intend to have happen in the future:

  • I need to get back on the “post a day” wagon.  Or, failing that, a post here one day, work on a post for Welltun Cares Reviews the next.  The whole “one more hour” on Minecraft has gotta stop.
  • Complicating things a wee bit, I discovered that not only is there two Camp NaNoWriMos this year, one of them is being held in April.  Next month.  Now the Camps tend to be a wee bit looser than the regular NaNo, in that it can be “anything” written at “any length”, rather than one 50,000 word novel (thing).  I’m thinking of writing a series of sword and sorcery tales.  Might form the basis of a novel for the big NaNo in December.
  • Moving on to more complicated projects, I’m still stalling over the next Goblinstomper! Development update.  Part of the problem is that I want more expressive faces for what I’m doing than what the native Character Generator can give me (specifically, but not limited to, the eyebrows).  Which means I’m going to have to draw what I need myself, color it, and install it where it needs to go in the program.  I’ve already printed out an enlargement of our favorite red-headed Goblinstomper in extra-large format to get this task done.  Hopefully I can mimic RPG Maker’s style well enough to suit me.  Otherwise I might have to break down and make completely new parts for the whole generator (something I’ve considered doing anyways, but would rather not.)
  • Finally, RPG Maker MV has had an update, which includes a tutorial program that walks users through the creation of a game.  I’m giving serious thoughts to doing just that for the rest of this week.  While it’s doubtful anything new will be learned by doing this–I’ve been fiddling with RPG Maker VX Ace and MV for sometime now, after all–it’s better to take the chance of time being wasted over missing potential options and shortcuts.  Frankly I’m rather fond of Goblinstomper! and its crew.   I want it to be about the best it can be, and this could help, if only a little.

All that said, twelve years of sense and nonsense have come and gone.  The foolish young(ish) man who started this blog is long since departed and replaced by a hopefully wiser old(ish) soul.  Here’s to another year, a better year, full of success, excitement, and beautiful women eager to hang out with men with the initials C.M.M.W.

I will accept two out of three coming to pass from the previous statement.

Faoladh: Irish Werewolves!

Sometimes roaming the Internet comes up with sights best left unseen, thoughts best left unthunk.  This, though, isn’t one of them.

For, in all my research (Horror and Fantasy related), I’d never heard of Irish Werewolves until today.

Faroladh.  Conroicht.  Werewolves.

I knew there were a plethora of Vampires the world over, so it doesn’t shock.  It’s just neat.  Especially on St. Patrick’s day.

(Hence the green text, by the by.)

I thought, as an aid to future writing, I’d put a few notes on this subject here.

From I Love Werewolves comes the following notes:


Tales of Irish werewolves were recorded in the Historia Brittonum. The Historia Brittonum is a record of the very earliest times in Britain by a Welsh monk named Nennius who lived in the 9th century. The Irish version of the Historia Brittonum (which is different from the British version) states that “The Descendants of the Wolf are in Ossory“. The “werewolves” of Ossory Ireland are shapeshifters that transform into wolves and kill cattle. The tales say that if their bodies were moved while their spirits were out they would not be able to return to their bodies.


And:


Werewolf legends were also recorded by Giraldus Cambrensis or Gerald of Wales in the Topographia Hibernica in the 12th century. The writings were of the landscape and people of Ireland as per his observations and eye witness accounts. In it, he recounts the tale of a priest who met a wolf who spoke to him and told him he was a native of Ossory, Ireland. The wolf stated that the people in Ossory were cursed such that every seven years a man and woman from Ossory were transformed into a wolf. The wolf asked for the priest’s help.


As with the little image above, I Love Werewolves insists that the Faroladh are basically Good Guys.  We Are Star Stuff continues this trend, though it adds an interesting note (emphasis mine):


[T]he Irish werewolf is a complex creature, just as often helpful, or at least benign, as dangerous. Most of the websites and posts I read say that Irish werewolves were considered guardian spirits who protected children, wounded men, and the lost, although they mostly don’t give sources.


Which is later followed with this interesting comment on the Laignach Faelad (again, emphasis mine):


According to several websites, these warriors would fight for any king who could pay their price – but this was not measured in gold, but in the flesh of newborn babies.


That’s a strange way of protecting children.

Obviously there are different types of Faroladh, different tales from different regions.  Here’s a different example from the same essay:


His initial testimony is remarkable: he does not deny being a werewolf, but he says that werewolves are the dogs of God, and that they go into Hell, which lies across the sea, three times a year to recover grain, cattle, and so forth that are stolen and taken there by sorcerers. The foodstuffs are guarded by guards who brutally beat those they catch with broomsticks wrapped in horsehair. If they are unable to recover the grain, then there will be a poor harvest. He claims that werewolves go off into the woods, take off their clothing, and put on a wolf skin. By this means, they are transmuted into wolves, and they roam around in groups up to 30 strong, tearing to pieces any animal they come across, roasting it, and eating it. Occasionally, they also steal animals from farms for the same purpose.


The same essay mentions a werewolf in connection with Saint Patrick (it’s not quite a post about Ireland without a mention of Paddy) as well as a bit on my dog Cúchulainn (heh) dealing with a shapeshifting Goddess who at one point takes the form of a wolf.  very interesting stuff, well worth remembering.

Which, again, is the reasoning behind this post.

A Promise – A Fiction

I think this was inspired by a writer’s prompt, but I’ll be damned if I can remember where the prompt came from.  In any case, it’s a little bit of nothing that I kinda like.  Thus so it might have some life, I’ve put it here.


He ran.

He ran with all the strength he could muster towards the horizon. Already he had fallen once, scraped his face, his hands, his arms. Already he had to stop, to catch his breath, to pray for a second wind. Now there was a stagger in his step, suggesting another fall, another stop. He knew this—how could he not?—but it doesn’t matter. In fact, if anything it made him run all the harder. He had to reach the sea before it happened. He had to, had to, had to.

His course took him alongside a four lane city street, never mind which city, never mind just where. Cars, trucks, and vans raced past him at a frightening rate. Not a one pause, despite his clear and frantic face.

Not a one headed in the same direction as he did. Only he headed towards the horizon.

The day around him could have been spring, it could have been winter. It didn’t matter. He burned. Every iota of his being burned. He was beyond pain now, beyond any agony he had ever known in his long, long life. His body was flame, and inferno, and he burned on and on as he ran.

Up ahead waited a final green hill. Over it was the beach, the sea. Seeing it sent a surge of hope through him.

The same moment his foot caught a crack in the pavement. Or perhaps a phantom leg struck out for one cruel final jest. Whichever, he staggered forward, almost caught himself, but found his legs too weak, too rubbery. Down he went. Concrete scraped through his jeans to his knees, then across his face. At once he struggled to get up, to start running again. None of his limbs wanted to help him; he cursed them and made them do what he wanted.

As he got to his feet, the Voice spoke once again. Still it sounded neither male nor female, and still it said the same five words: A promise is a promise.

“Cheater.” That came out as a croak. He swallowed, then screamed, “Cheater! You put water in the gas tank! Didn’t you? Didn’t you? I’d have been there by now otherwise and you know it!

The Voice didn’t even acknowledge the accusation. A promise is a promise.

He was on his feet. Staggered. Walked. Ran. Tears streaked his face as he went up the hill. For two thousand years he had kept the covenant. For two thousand years he had done everything asked of him. He had watched the world he knew fade to half forgotten history. He had watched his children grow old and die, as well as their children after that and their children after that, on and on. So much suffering, so much hardship, and without complaint.

He was due a little leeway. A little consideration.

He was due.

He crested the top of the hill, only to stagger to a stop again. Below him, after a brief spate of green grass, was the beach. Cluttered with towels and folding chairs and umbrellas, but absolutely empty of people. Some sandals scatter about, most heading towards one parking lot or another, but no people in them. They had long gone.

As had the sea.

For the beach didn’t meet the water. Instead, it met with what the water hid. The brackish sediment. On top of this flopped a few still living fish, but most were dead.

All of this stretched out before him for miles.

In the distance, at the very horizon, was a line of midnight blue and foamy white. It moved out there. Perhaps away, but more likely not.

An instant was all it took to take this in. Then he screamed wordlessly and began to run once more.

His ankle twisted when he hit the beach. The sediment sucked at his shoes, then at his shins, then at his knees. It didn’t stop him. Nothing would stop him. He would uphold the covenant even if that covenant was now broken and useless. If that was all he could do then he would do it.

There was one other thing, though, he could do. He glanced at the watch on his wrist. He glance at his watch and he saw.

And he screamed at the uncaring horizon, “Damn you, I would have made it if you hadn’t moved the water! Do you hear me? I WOULD HAVE MADE IT!

A promise, the Voice said, is a promise.

The blue and white at the horizon began to grow. It would grow and grow until it towered over him, roaring, blotting out sight and sound. And still he would head towards it as best he could, screaming.

It was all he could do.

* * *

The waters of the oceans pulled away from the coast. Not just one coast, but all coasts. Not just one continent but all continents. Even the inland seas and lakes. Even there.

The waters pulled back, then raced forward with incredible speed. The great Wave smashed into the land, crushing all it came across. The righteous and the corrupt, it didn’t matter. The Wave didn’t care.

When it reached its full length, it pulled back. Back beyond it’s normal boundaries, back to its outer limits. Then it came racing forward and slammed into the land again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

For after all, a promise is a promise.

Twitter Irritates the Crap Out of Me

Twitter Carps 000A little venting is about to begin.

Twitter was, at one point, a nice service.  Not the best to communicate with, what with the 140 character limit, but outside that it worked fine.  It broadcasts updates to this site and informs me about updates on key sites across the web.  Very useful.

Until they started with this “In case you missed it” crap.

I don’t know how other people use Twitter, but when I go there, I start at the top, then scroll down until a familiar looking Tweet pops up.  When there’s an article worth looking at, a quick right-click with the mouse calls up a handy-dandy window that has a command to open up a tab for latter.  All of this gets repeated until a familiar Tweet pops up.  Then its a’time to stop and go a’reading.

Doing things this way makes an “In case you missed it” feature unnecessary.  It’s thorough.  Not often is anything important miss.  Assuming anything does miss.

I sure as hell don’t need one that pops up the instant I log on to the service.  How the hell could I have “missed” anything when I haven’t even started reading yet?

These days, the whole I don’t even bother looking at the damn thing.  Doing so might put it in the “familiar” category of my brain and actually make me miss something.  The moment “In case you missed it” pops up, the “Refresh” gets hit on the browser to get rid of it.  Sometimes it takes two, maybe three tries to get rid of the damn thing and actually get Twitter to a usable state.

It’s a petty thing, yet those are moments that could be better spent doing anything else.

Best of all, there’s no refresh feature on my Twitter phone and tablet apps, making them both useless to me.

There should be a way to turn the damn thing off.  There isn’t.  Why be helpful when annoying is far easier.

Really, really irritating.

Stormin’

The first major thunderstorm of the season rolled in today.  Lots of thunder, lots of pouring rain.  We even had our first tornado watch.

Right now it’s fading, but I wanted a quick post up if we lost power.  Which happened briefly earlier.

So, out of curiosity, is this close enough for “In like a lion?”

What Was He Thinking?

Time travel is impossible and will never ever happen.  The reason for this has nothing to do with science or theory, but to simply to prevent Current Cullen from laying hands on Past Cullen.  Because if I could lay hands on him… oh, the beating he would get.

Why, you ask?  Oh so many reasons.  Among the current ones is my idea of organization of my old files.  Namely there.  Is.  None.

These days I’ve got a place for everything and everything in its place.  I think.  Maybe.  If I don’t, that’s a problem for Future Cullen (please don’t come back and punch me, Future Cullen).

evidence-of-my-mental-state-000
The hell, Past Cullen?! The hell?!

Here’s another one:  I have one document file where all the text formatted in landscape instead of the usual letter way.  Landscape.  In bright light green.

Who the hell does that?

Well.  Me.  Apparently.

Frustrating.

Outside of that, I’m moving forward with straightening the files out to a readable, non bright light green format.

Old Art Ahoy!

Still mucking about with old files. My God was I disorganized (ha!  I said was.)  One of the files I came across bears the label “Mine”, as in my stuff.  Yet it has images captured for a never realized The Fog review, which clearly is not mine.

Young Cullen.  What a rebel.

Anyway, I stumbled over some old art, and thought, as they were decent enough, I’d share.
creature

This sketch is “Creature”.  The date on it marks it a 2006 attempt.  Kinda cute little fellow, really.  Has a Dark Crystal vibe to him.  I think I put it on the computer via the high tech method of using my cell phone.  Those were the days.

demosquirrel

This, shockingly enough. is “Demosquirrel”.  This might be a 2011 effort, and thus maybe even actually scanned into the computer.  How novel.  I’m certain he’s not plotting anything… demonic or anything.

discussion

Last but not least is this fine effort, “Discussion.”  No idea who any of these characters are, but they seem to be talking about something, doesn’t it?  This one’s labeled 2008 and was no doubt “inked” on Jasc.  Though Manga Pro might be a possibility with that back drop.  Wish I could remember if I did that “by hand” or not.

All the Different Forms of Work

Low content today, I’m afraid.  Earlier in the week I was going through my CD back up files and found one of the oldest ones looking, shall we say, sad?  As in might someday soon be unreadable sad.

How old is this file?  The date listed on it (in a hand I no longer recognize as my own) was July 14, 2002.

Positively ancient, in other words.

I’ve already transferred most of the data over to this oh so modern Devil Box.  All of the text files made it over, but a few images didn’t make the cut.  As that’s my art work, it’s kind of a bummer.

However, most of the art came through fine, and I hope to find another back up disk somewhere in my mountainous.

What I plan to do today is transfer the old texts files over to a word processing program of a slightly more modern bent.  I can’t begin to tell you how tired I am of being asked if I want to buy Microsoft Office every time I click on a file.  And it’s only happened twice…