Friday, September 20, 2013


I have always taken great pride in being non-judgmental of people.  I have always found myself to be exceptionally understanding of people and their differences.  But I discovered today that I am entirely the opposite.  I am extremely judgmental, but not of the “usual” people.

Many people see someone with a disability, any disability, and don’t know how to react.  Some are outright mean and cruel, others avoid them entirely.  Me?  I see someone with a disability and I see someone who has likely been kicked, mocked, teased, and abused most of their life and I want to help them.  I want to be a friend to them, to show that not all people are cruel, to show they have worth beyond their disability.  I can quite honestly say, for people with disabilities, I make it my goal to be their best friend.

It’s everyone else I am intolerant of.  I see a blond driving and texting; my first instinct is “bobble-head bitch that is going to cut me off soon.”  I don’t know why she is texting.  I don’t know if it is an emergency and she is being pursued by mad gunman planning on selling her into slavery.  I don’t know if she is rushing to the hospital because her son cracked is skull open on the playground and is being sent for emergency surgery with limited chances of survival.  All I see is hair color, gender, and cell phone immediately assuming “bitch.”
Similarly, I see a hot guy in a classy shirt and nice fitting jeans and automatically assume he is gay.  For all I know, he is model or is on his way to a date.  Interestingly enough, I have objections to him being gay apart from not being on the menu as a hot dish.  I was thoroughly disappointed to discover Neil Patrick Harris and Matt Bomer were gay, but I didn’t think anything less of them because of it.

This entire dichotomy came to light when I was remembering a conversation I had about Peter Dinklage.  I remember hearing about a statement he made where he said something to the effect of “women don’t see me for me, they see me for my money.  When it really comes down to it, women will chase after the six foot tall guys everything time.”  I was imagining what I would say to him if I ran into him on the street (yes, I do that sometimes…very active imagination).  I would say, “You’re wrong.  You are far more than your appearance.  Any woman worth her salt would see you for what you were and fall in love with the man not the money.”  I know, a lot of girls say that, but it’s true.

I have a friend in an online game that is 28, over 6 feet tall, skinny as a rail, and has a trachea tube.  He has never had a girlfriend, and swears he has never been kissed let alone anything else.  Yet girls tell him all the time how amazing he is as a friend and will cry on his shoulder when their gorgeous boyfriends hurt them.  They friend-zone him constantly, and it makes me so angry.  I know him through a video game.  In that world, appearances don’t matter.  Personality does, actions do, words do.  There, people can be themselves and be known for who they truly are beyond their appearances.  Or alternatively, they can be their alter-ego acting out situations they would never dare to try face to face.

Regardless, I thought I was above the judgmental assumptions, but in truth, I only assume the worst about the average person…or the exceptionally wealthy (that probably stems from being lower middle class and hearing about millionaires complain about billionaires doing whatever they want).  Today, I realized that in my attempts at being completely tolerant, I became exceptionally judgmental of many people.  Maybe now that I realize my habits, I can finally find a way to break the cycle and become truly accepting of people and their individuality.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Been a While

Like Lullaby Trial, I have been struggling with what to say. I know what I want to say and where I want to go but not how to say it nor where to step on my path. I am working on chapter 3 and am trying to determine how broken, how fragile to make my characters. I know this writer's block of mine stems from my own emotional struggles at the moment. I know I am hurt by the constant reminder of my miscarriage and the ever ticking timepiece reminding me of the family I seek to start.

But I also know my time we come and patience is required. I know I will have my family soon enough and I know the timing of everything could not really be better. I know I will be published and I know I will continue to write. And in the same sense I know what to do with my characters. I must simply be patient and everything will come together.

My grandmother has been reading my book as well. She called me yesterday to let me know she started it and is about 40 nook pages in. She really encouraged me.  For a while I was hesitant about sending it to her because I was afraid she wouldn't like it and be disappointed, but yesterday she said she found it very engaging and had no trouble visualizing my scenes. She said once she read the first page she couldn't put it down until the benadryl kicked in.

I was very encouraged by the entire phone call and admittedly had a hard time sleeping last night. I am still thinking about the animation and various different plot points. I am hoping to get my submittal checked for spelling and grammar soon so I can submit it. With any luck I can get some of my college friends to help me out on that.

As always, I will keep you posted.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Character Complexity: Contradiction

The most difficult thing in the world I have found is not calculus, or stoichiometric formulas, or astrophysics.  The most difficult thing in the world I have found are people.  People are complex, ever evolving (or in some cases devolving), and nonsensical.  People are probably the last great mystery in that we will likely discover all there is to know about the universe before we fully understand people.  There is a book with the title “Everything Men Know About Women” that is completely blank.  It is meant as a gag gift and a statement on the confounding intricacies of the female gender, but I wonder how much we truly know about anyone.  Sociologists, psychologists, and a bunch of other –ologists have concocted numerous bits of “facts” regarding behaviors, psychology, brain chemistry, etc. but I would argue most of that is simply hypothesis parading as fact.

The entire concept of Freud’s “penis envy” basically states the root of women’s issues is their desire to possess penises and the scientific community at the time gobbled it up.  While I firmly believe this theory is ludicrous at best, I would argue the overall premise may be accurate.  Women in today’s society may not want the organ, but many certainly want the equality.  Or do they?

Women today want to be viewed in the same light as men in their professions.  As a female engineer, I would be insulted if I was excluded from a project solely on the bases of being female.  However, there are numerous types of projects I would hope to get out of on the same basis.  As a female, I have the potential to become pregnant while serving an engineer.  There are numerous types of projects such as construction management or chemicals testing that I feel could potentially be too dangerous for my baby.  As a result, I would avoid these projects while pregnant.  However, in the same light, what would an employer do if a man walked in and said, “My wife and I are trying to have a baby, therefore I can’t oversee this construction project?”

Women want equality when it comes to pay and treatment, but we also want the additional privilege of avoiding unpleasant or potentially dangerous circumstances.  Today, I read a Tweet arguing that an article about “Diversity” included only male authors’ opinions.  While I am under no illusions of Twitter being a certifiable source, the concept is still well demonstrated.  Women wish to be included in the narrative.  I can understand that.

Here is a concept I have a hard time understanding.  My college had a cultural center featuring suites for each major ethnicity included in campus life.  I thought it was a wonderful concept.  They had this cultural day where each suite prepared culture specific food and sold it in the quad as kind of a “Tastes of the World.”  I thought it was brilliant.  Then I noticed something.  There was an entire pseudo-continent excluded.  There were no European nations represented.  No French, no Irish, no German, no Swedish, no New Zealanders, no Ice Lander, etc.  Basically, no caucasian of any kind were represented.

Now, if you think about it, celebrating diversity means celebrating anything different.  While I am in no way claiming discrimination does not happen, I would like to point out the simple sampling conducted at the cultural center demonstrated a clearly lacking populace.  For everyone out there that would like to trumpet the causes of diversity, please take into consideration the whole picture.  As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, he hoped for a day when we“…will not be judged by the color of [our] skin, but by the content of [our] character.”  This is critical.  Color is entirely irrelevant.  Actions matter, people matter, words matter, appearance does not.

And yet despite this call for universal acceptance, humanity also wishes to proclaim their differences.  As an example, members of the homosexual community want the world to know they are homosexual.  There is nothing wrong with that.  It is an individual’s prerogative and in no way am I in a position to judge.  My only question is why is that relevant in the first place?  Because people like to be different.  We want to be known as an individual, not by a stereotype, not by a label.  We want to be known as who we are and not be lumped into some broader category so some proclaim a label.  In my example, the label was “homosexual.”  They have chosen to identify with this particular label in order to individualize themselves from a broader category.

Do you see where I am going with this?  People are so complex, so contradictory.  By declaring a label, you jump from one large pool of people into a smaller one thus becoming more of an individual recognized on a different scale.  Yet at the same time, people scream for equality wanting to be treated just like everyone else.  Equality and Diversity.  Two completely contradictory mentalities effectively saying, “I want to be treated exactly the same, but you must acknowledge my differences.”  People are so complex like that.

It is this complexity that I strive to bring forward in my characters.  It is this contradictory nature that is so critical in making a character realistic.  I know my writing ability is not there yet.  I know my characters lack this inherent complexity.  But I am young.  I have time to work on it.  And in the end, I hope to create a character that is so complex, it could pass as human.  I wonder if we will ever truly understand people.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Press Enterprise

I submitted PTSD vs. Higher Education to the Press Enterprise Opinion Editor today. I doubt very seriously she will publish it, but on the off chance she does, I hope to open a dialogue with readers. With luck, maybe the financial aid system can finally be changed. I will keep everyone posted.