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The online magazine (or 'zine) I've written for is gauging interest for getting the first 5 issues professionally printed into a book (or books). Besides pitting werewolves against different themes, each issue is packed with so many genre mash-ups, there's bound to be something for everyone. Action, romance, comedy, horror, and more (all with a lupine twist, of course) fill the pages. The 5 main issues are pay-what-you-want (including free) downloads, but we're hoping to get them printed soon. So, if you're a fan of creature features and are looking for a new read, check out the Werewolves Versus catalog!

About page: werewolvesversus.com/about
Issues:werewolvesversus.com/issues

The informal Twitter poll is here: twitter.com/werewolves_vs/stat…

So if you have a Twitter account and would like to cast your vote, head on over!

After months of work, Werewolves Versus Music is available for download!  You can get it for any price you want, even $0! Here’s the link:  werewolvesversus.com/

 

From the official description page:

Werewolves Versus: Music

In the light of the dashboard or the strobes of an outdoor concert, from the humid alleys of New Orleans to the streets of a dystopian city caught in an uprising, werewolves are completely werewolfing out to music. This 150+ page collection features short stories, comics, paintings, essays and even a downloadable song.

Featuring: Laura “OC” B, Jennifer Cooksey, Lew “Viergacht” Delport, Byron Dunn, Fringecrow, Colin Janz, JD Laclede, Joey Liverwurst, Juan C. Moreno, nothere, Chris Pearce, Quebecoiswolf, Paul Quinton, Andrew Scott, Tah the Trickster

 

(That dystopian city is where I come in, by the way!)

With all these committed artists, there’s practically something to love for any fan of creature features!  This issue can go from horror to humor, defeat to victory, high to low, and everything in between.  I can’t give away too many details about everyone else’s contributions, but I can tell you about mine.

 

In the near future, the Cascadia Arms Corporation has the majority of humanity under its protection and control.  Cascadia’s greatest successes are their fortress cities, surrounded by walls, and kept safe from the werewolves believed to be a danger to humanity.  Between the miraculous Apex health serum and the vigilant Citizen Guard forces, cities like Fairplains, Colorado enjoy peace and prosperity.  However, such security comes at a terrible cost, and for those unwilling to bow to Cascadia, rebellion is the only answer.

 

For a city without a voice, everything is about to change.

 

To promote the issue, I commissioned a couple of artists to create posters from each side of the conflict.  :icongasmaskfox:’s art is a recruitment poster for the authoritarian “peacekeepers” while :iconwindwo1f:’s art has a more hopeful message to those struggling for freedom.  Both artists and their creations are awesome and you should check them out below!

 

[Commission] Werewolf VS. by GasMaskFox  Silent No More Cover by WindWo1f

 

That wraps it up for this journal.  Be sure to check out the sweet promotional art and all the content featured in Werewolves Versus Music.  I hope you enjoy what everyone created!

 

  • Listening to: Whatever's on the radio
  • Reading: The next WV content rules
  • Watching: Stranger Things
  • Playing: The Last of Us Factions
  • Eating: Bagel
  • Drinking: Water
Summer was extremely busy and while I couldn't seem to update or post anything, I did manage to write. Specifically, I wrote a never-before-seen story for the web magazine Werewolves Versus. From their Tumblr: "WEREWOLVES VERSUS is a twice-yearly ‘zine that pits werewolves against a different physical, cultural or ideological foe each issue." This issue is Werewolves vs. Music and my story was accepted!

werewolvesversus.tumblr.com/po…

I'm credited as Juan C. Moreno there. Ideally, the new issue comes out August 23rd and is a pay-what-you-want digital download. I'll definitely have more details later as well as promotional stories and such.
  • Listening to: Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
  • Reading: My story to edit
  • Watching: Netflix
  • Playing: The Last of Us Factions
  • Eating: Sandwich
  • Drinking: Water

My friend :iconcasdwelis: is about to launch a Kickstarter campaign for her young-adult novel called Hidden in Glass! 

She technically wrote the novel a few years ago but now she’s got the remastered edition ready to roll and is trying to get it reviewed by Kirkus Indie.  It’s a great fantasy adventure with a blend of mythology, action, and magic.  You can find out more by checking these links and watching her info video.

 

Her Tumblr page: cassidydwelis.tumblr.com/

Her main website: cassidydwelis.com/

 

Be sure to check out her gallery and pages and to be on the lookout for her Kickstarter launch in a few days!

  • Listening to: the TV
  • Reading: Textbooks
  • Watching: Netflix
  • Playing: The Last of Us Factions
  • Eating: Burgers
  • Drinking: Apple juice

The semester is almost over and I’m excited to meet the finals head on.  I feel ready and with the last of my group projects almost done, I should finally be able to get back to serious writing.  I plan to start and finish a special gift story here in the next few weeks as well as continue a few existing series.  However, before that, I want to share a cool thing my girlfriend learned in one of her business classes that may be of great use to visual artists.

 

According to the class, a variety of companies both large and small are starting to promote the idea of visual notetaking.  Ideas and concepts that were once expressed with words are now being encouraged to be expressed with sketches and other forms of visual representation.  Since humans pay attention to visuals so much, it is suggested that sketches help employees think more creatively, remember information better, and communicate with those who speak different languages. 

 

So for all you visual artists out there, keep this in mind when marketing yourself to prospective employers.  Capitalizing on this trend with your skills could lead to great things!  That wraps things up for now; I wish everyone a strong end to the school year and a most wonderful Christmas and holiday season!

  • Listening to: the TV
  • Reading: Textbooks
  • Watching: Gotham
  • Playing: Fallout New Vegas
  • Eating: Brownies
  • Drinking: Tea
Now that I have a moment or two to finally return to writing, I plan to have at least a few things posted in the coming weeks. I want to add a few entries to the Next Phase Glossary like a few weapons, vehicles, and pieces of equipment but I mainly want to finish up the next chapter of The Next Phase.  This time I'll be returning to Maya's side of the story as she tries to escape the Cascadia training facility. Additionally, the chapter will introduce her friend who was also kidnapped and held at the same mysterious base. I plan to majorly advance the main story this summer but I may post a few alternate future stories as well. Be on the lookout for more! Thanks for reading!
  • Listening to: Airplanes circling overhead
  • Reading: One Second After
  • Playing: Borderlands 2
  • Eating: Chili
  • Drinking: Strawberry Iced Tea
The December update was unfortunately claimed by a black hole or a tear in time and space or something (perhaps it was something from the Twilight Zone marathon on New Year's Eve?) so here we are at January. Okay, the truth is obviously that I was rather busy and never got around to posting anything in December. Anyway, happy New Year everyone and my brief resolution is to try and have more fun stuff posted more or less when I say I'm going to post it.  I'm almost finished with the story I've been working on for a while now and I should have it up this week.

In fact, I'll let you have a sneak preview, right here. Please enjoy this excerpt from "Sins of the Waterfall" and be sure to check out the full story when it's done. Have a great January!

...

General Carlisle furrowed his brow as his guest set the towel on his desk and removed one of the strange devices.  It was not much longer than a pen and resembled a small medical syringe filled with a translucent blue liquid.  Before the general’s eyes, Mr. Sandoval rolled up his sleeves and unsheathed the sharpened combat knife.  He kept his left forearm over the towel and cut himself three times, allowing the wide-eyed general to see the blood seeping through the incisions.

No amount of alcohol could have pacified the general.  It was as if a bolt of lightning shocked him out of his mental fog and into full consciousness as his guest inflicted harm upon himself right on his desk. “Are you insane?!” General Carlisle exclaimed.  The towel caught the blood but he was more concerned about tending to Mr. Sandoval’s wounds than any stains on his desk or carpet.  He reached for a bandage sitting in the briefcase but Mr. Sandoval waved him off.  While his host stared in awe, he took the device with the blue liquid and pressed it against his forearm.

“This is a needle-free auto-injector,” Mr. Sandoval explained. “Powered by this little gas cartridge, this device allows anyone to self-administer a wide variety of medicines quickly, safely, and painlessly.” The general still couldn’t believe what he was seeing nor could he understand why the man was so calm as he continued bleeding. “Of course, the injector isn’t what’s on display here, the serum is.” With that, Mr. Sandoval depressed the activation lever and shot the blue liquid into his arm.  His wounds stopped bleeding within seconds as his dark skin repaired itself almost instantly.

“That’s-that’s-that’s…”

“Impossible?” Mr. Sandoval finished the stammering general’s sentence. “General Carlisle, it’s only the tip of the iceberg.” Amid the general’s struggle for words, Mr. Sandoval cleaned himself and his knife before he removed an electronic tablet from the briefcase.  He handed it to General Carlisle and instructed the device to play a video.  The general saw laboratory recordings of mice and pigs being injected with the serum before the researchers poked, prodded, cut, and otherwise injured the animals.  One only needed to watch General Carlisle’s face to witness his confusion.  Part of his mind told him to reject the insanity, the madness of what he saw play out on the screen.  However, another part of him realized what it was Mr. Sandoval was trying to convey.  This man was showing him the future.

...

  • Listening to: the fan
  • Reading: The Complete Calvin and Hobbes
  • Playing: Metro: Last Light
  • Eating: Chili
  • Drinking: Root beer

November is here and it feels like October just flew by.  Without further ado, the November Update!

The Humans vs. Zombies game was successful with everyone having a great time.  The zombies were defeated so next time I’ll do a bit more to raise the difficulty.  Either way, I enjoyed getting to throw zombies at a bunch of people and seeing if they could make it out together.

Exams and other stuff kept me from doing anything too wild for Halloween.  With little time spent thinking of/creating a complex costume, I settled for going as Dean Winchester from the TV show “Supernatural”.  My girlfriend and I are fans so I thought she would get a kick out of it when I surprised her with it.  Old military jacket, hiking boots, and a half dozen monster-fighting weapons hidden somewhere on my person (gotta love all the jacket pockets!) and I was all set. She dug it.  Of course, she found that she found me cooler as myself than as any character so I really liked that lesson.

The 31st was also her former roommate’s birthday so she baked a homemade spice cake and we took it to the party.  That was a hit but we headed out a little after dark.  We caught dinner at the best Chinese restaurant we’d ever been too.  It was almost completely empty (we were like the only two in the whole area not partying or anything) but the food was seriously mind-blowing.  The rest of the night was spent with Netflix and “The Cabin in the Woods” after I read my short story “(Un)Forgiven” to her to great success.

 

Story Updates

“Sins of the Waterfall”: Maybe half way done with this one.  Progress has been slow due to projects but it should be out soon.

The same can be said for the other stories I have planned but I also wanted to mention a few ideas I have that are just in the earliest stages.

“Dayback”: Think the movie “Groundhog Day” except the main character can only repeat a day one time before it moves to the next day.  He is the kind of person who doesn’t make the most of each day he has but when he finds a device (probably going to be a watch or something) that lets him repeat days, he learns to make each day count.

 

“He Ain’t Heavy…: Set in the alternate future of “The Next Phase” world, two rebel scouts must rely on each other to make it home after a Cascadian gunship leaves them stranded in the snowy fields of Colorado.  As a winter storm closes in on them, so does a vengeful killer and tough choices will have to be made.

 

“Sides of the Wall”: (Title needs work) Also set in the Cascadia-controlled possible future, this one should be more like some kind of “history study”.  Basically, a reporter or historian or something is researching the lives of teenage werewolves living with the rebels and human teens living inside the walled cities.  I want to explore what life is like for both sides and tell the stories of the young men and women growing up in this different world.

 

“Rose of Jericho”: This one is the least developed so far.  I can’t decide whether to make it a contemporary fable, a futuristic thriller, or some kind of horror piece.  Either way, the name of the plant and its mythical properties just seemed too cool not to do something with.  Rose of Jericho, the Resurrection Flower.

 

Thanks for staying with me; I know that was a long journal.  Have a good November everyone!

  • Listening to: crickets
  • Reading: The Complete Calvin and Hobbes
  • Watching: Legend of Korra S4
  • Playing: Half Life 2
  • Eating: Chili
  • Drinking: Root beer

October 1st, following through with my goal of making these regular. Okay, start of the month update:

“N is for Neutral”: Done. Contest will be decided by November 1st so we’ll see how it goes.

“Sins of the Waterfall”: Maybe 1/3 of the way through it. I’m having an interesting time writing it since I always do when I get to write about antagonists.

“Letters from the Crescent Sun: Flight of the Crusader”: I haven’t started but I do have a general idea of how the story should go.

More stories will come after these but I’ll hold off on announcing these until I make more progress. The major thing that will impede progress this month is that I’m the new president of my school’s Humans vs. Zombies organization and I’m planning our first game. Heck, I may even write a small story on how things go. I set it in the Firefly/Serenity universe where I’m the last survivor of a Reaver/zombie outbreak on an Outer Rim planet. I’ll send out a distress call, hiring crews of mercenaries, pirates, brigands, and adventurers to see if they have what it takes to be heroes and save the universe.

New players, new dangers, and the chances of survival aren’t high. This job may be their last… At least it pays well.

Have an awesome October everyone!

  • Listening to: crickets
  • Reading: The Complete Calvin and Hobbes
  • Watching: Legend of Korra S4
  • Playing: Half Life
  • Eating: Chili
  • Drinking: Nuka Cola

I really need to do these things more often. In fact, I’m going to challenge myself to that (again). Monthly journals/updates should help me form a “to-do list” of sorts. That way I can check my own progress on what stories and series I’m working on. I’ll see if I can stick to the schedule/order I list these stories in but I suppose that’s the point of the list.

 

“N is for Neutral: An ABCs of the Apocalypse Contest Entry” The title kind of gives it away. Apocalypse Lit’s contest will end when September does so I have to get this one done first. This one is about two men, the last commanders of opposing armies on a distant planet in the future, who meet on neutral ground each day. There, they continue the decades-long conflict on a world covered by destruction. Or so it seems.

 

“The Sins of the Waterfall” Set before the events of the main “Next Phase” storyline, “Sins” follows the Cascadia Corporation’s field operations leader, Mr. Sandoval, as he continues to build their clandestine anti-werewolf army. With a potent serum prototype in hand, he visits potential allies and operatives with an offer to make. With damaged minds, bodies, and souls, those he approaches listen well and enjoy what they hear. Interspersed between the recruitment vignettes is the story of what happens when two werewolf families are forced to face the result of Mr. Sandoval’s work on a clear, moonlit night.

 

“Letters from the Crescent Sun: Flight of the Crusader” I can’t believe I’ve been away from this series for so long. Massive derp on my part. At any rate, I hope to use this to return me to the series because I have been writing down ideas for future installments this whole time. Escapes from underground prisons, a mad scientist bent on world destruction, a mountain fortress under siege from an army of infiltrators, and other high-flying adventures above and below the clouds.

 

Whew. Well, that’s enough of that then. Sleep sounds good right about now. Until next time!

  • Listening to: crickets
  • Reading: The Complete Calvin and Hobbes
  • Watching: Legend of Korra S3
  • Playing: Team Fortress 2
  • Eating: Homemade burritos
  • Drinking: Nuka Cola

I really need to use this journal more frequently. It may help to actually keep a physical one but that hasn't worked for a long time. Anyway...

School's starting up again so it looks like I'll be busy with everything classes throw my way. It'll be fun in its own way. However, it definitely will cut into my ability to write creatively but like in the past, I'll still use some free time to write. Fortunately, I did have time over the winter break to write a few chapters and plan future stories. Here's a preview of what I plan to post in the near future.


The Next Phase: Hometown Nowhere- When a Cascadia Arms employee becomes hunted by the company for the secrets he knows, he and his family flee across the United States to escape.  The supernatural action comes closer to home as the clandestine Blackfield organization dispatches two of their youngest agents to make contact with the family and rescue them before it's too late.  The case is revealed and a few new characters are introduced in the next chapter of the Next Phase series.

The Next Phase: The Wolf and Her Raven- When the situation requires a different kind of approach, the only Blackfield operators for the mission are two the enemy would never expect.  Even though they're from opposite worlds, they'll need to rely on each other to succeed.  However, when secrets and deception are part of the job, how far will trust go?  When friendships could jeopardize the mission or save it, can anyone afford to take the risk?  Can they afford not to?

The Next Phase: Killhouse Blues- Kidnapped and imprisoned in a Cascadia training facility, teenaged werewolf Maya and her fellow prisoner, Seventeen, must fight to keep their spirits high in the face of oppression.  With days of simulated combat blurring together, Maya searches everywhere for a way out before the company decides she's no longer useful.  Meanwhile, on the other side of the observation cameras, Maya's best friend watches in horror.  Taken in the same attack as her friend's family, she fights her own battle against the twisted logic of her "hosts".  As they try to convince her to betray her friend, she does what she can to break free as well.

Letter from the Crescent Sun: The Flight of the Crusader- The next installment of my futuristic post-war adventure series will serve as a bridge between the previous and next major chapters.  Told by Louise, a young girl separated from her family by the war, the story will follow the tale of her first meeting with the Pegasus VTOL pilot who became a small hero in the eyes of the weary.  Although her dreams of flight were disrupted by the war, Louise never stopped looking skyward and is finally ready to spread her wings.


Alright, so those are the stories lined up for the future.  They're more or less in the order they'll come out in and I have a few more that are still too far in the idea phase to post here.  The first two are almost completely ready so it shouldn't be long before I have them up. Enjoy!

  • Listening to: the cooling unit (sounds cooler than "fan")
  • Reading: To Filet or Not to Filet
  • Watching: the motion sensors
  • Playing: Fallout: NV or The Stanley Parable
  • Eating: Vacu-sealed leftovers
  • Drinking: Nuka Cola

Last journal in January? Well, that's quite a long time for me especially when I told myself I would make journal updates a monthly deal at least.  I think I'll try that again but I'll have to see.  For now though, this journal's just a bit of a quick update. Another school year is about to start so cue the sarcastic "yay" from me.  Okay, maybe it's not completely sarcastic since I am in fact looking forward to another great year.  New adventures and challenges await so I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited.  Or nervous.  Or some combination of the two (nervouscited?).

Anyway, I'm also taking this opportunity to update a few of my artist info blocks and such.  I can't believe I left some of those blank!  This should hopefully tell visitors and watchers alike just a little more about me.

Even with school starting up again soon I'm sure I'll be able to still share stories on deviantArt like I did last year.  Writing helps me relax in a strange way (especially if writing essays or whatever was homework) so there will be new stories heading your way soon.  In fact, I may post a synopsis preview journal later just to let people know of the projects I have in the works.

Well that's all for now.  Have a good one everybody!

I originally planned to have this out some time around the 1st but oh well...

I've seen a few artists posting art pieces with a few of their characters wishing everyone happy holidays. I wanted to do something similar but since I'm not great with visual art, I settled on the next best thing. So thanks to an inter-dimentional radio (that I have just written into existence), a few of my own characters from a couple of my multi-chaptered stories are getting the chance to help me wish everyone a happy New Year.

"December 31, 2126, Undisclosed location over North America: This is Commander Selene Epona of the Allied Airship Crescent Sun.  I know that this year has been difficult and trying for all of us. We have been tested by hardships and challenges at every turn but we have endured. Know that I am proud to serve with each and every one of you as your bravery has inspired our nation to stand with you. For the crew of my ship and all of our compatriots serving on the frontlines, seperated from your families on this New Year's Eve, know that you are not alone. I can only pray that this terrible struggle will end soon because until we all come home, a part of everyone is still fighting. With our unity and fortitude, we shall prevail."

For everyone who faced difficulties in 2012 and found a way to battle through.

For all families with members serving overseas or otherwise absent, may the New Year find you back in each other's arms.

"December 31, 2017, Tunnel 12: I hope this transmission finds you in good health. My name is Kit and I am creating this message with my good friend Anna in an effort to reach any other survivors. The Martians are not unstoppable and we are forming a resistance. We have the tools and plans but we need people who are willing to help us. If you come to the city, we can find you and together we'll take back our world."

For all the chances to meet new friends and strengthen old relationships. (Who knows? Might even save the world.)

For another year of opportunites and the strength to challenge the impossible.

"December 31, Year Unknown: Charlotte Haskins Diary Entry, Haven Personal Archives
Another year, another 365 days of doing the same old thing. I mean, I'm not gonna lie and say I don't have a pretty cool job with all of human history to work with down in the Main Archives. Okay, so maybe there's a piece of history missing but its that piece that's driving me crazy! I feel like I'm missing a piece and I'm not going to find it hundreds of meters below a mountain. I need to get out and I know just the way to do it! Tyler should be cool with showing me how to survive outside Haven and then I can join him on a trip to the ruins. It'll be great! I read about this old tradition involving 'New Year's Resolutions' so I think I've got mine figured out."

For all of us looking to try something new or maybe discover something special.

So that's it from my characters. That was Commander Epona from "Letters from the Crescent Sun", Kit from "War for Our World" and Charlotte from "Endangered: Shadow of the Dawn". I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday season and I wish you all good fortune and many adventures in the New Year!
Ever Loyal- We depend on the actions of brave men and women. They depend on our technologies to complete the mission. They stand by each other and we stand by them.

Ever Ready- Anywhere, anytime. Our technologies are built to handle anything, even at a moment's notice when seconds equal lives. We are prepared to serve those serving our world.

Everfree- We are proud to play a part in securing the age of prosperity and remain committed to safeguarding it both now and forever.

If there is anything that sets Everfree Aviation apart from everyone else, it would have to be our unique way of looking at the world, its problems and how we determined we could address them.  At Everfree, we believe that any challenge can be solved if you give the right people the proper training and the right tools.  

We began with perhaps the most important factor in the equation; the people.  We employ not only the brightest and most creative individuals in a multitude of fields but also the most determined, motivated and unconventional as well.  Scientists, engineers, artists, designers, and a variety of other professions all play a part in what we do and make us who we are.  Brilliance will only get a company so far but our willingness to accept new methods of approaching challenges has allowed us to soar.

Other companies eyed us curiously when they observed our methods and found it difficult to believe our diverse systems could ever work.  We proved that through careful leadership and practice, we could achieve harmony and success by utilizing all facets of our workforce's talents.  Everyone's commitment to excellence and teamwork combined to create the perfect environment for innovation.

When we were founded at the dawn of the New Age of Aviation, we knew that making a difference would require a special approach.  Through a combination of traditional values, modern designs and collaborative efforts with other companies in the industry, we revolutionized the way our world looks at air transport.  From our close partnership with Cloudsdale Engineering in creating the prolific Pegasus Aerodyne to our participation in the program that launched the first modern airship, we have always been on the cutting edge of our technological future.  Our technologies have played an important part in meeting the challenges of our nation and its allies and have helped secure peace.

Now, as our world seeks to rise from the ashes of conflict, we are dedicated to forging partnerships with our new friends across the globe.  This unprecedented age of cooperation has already demonstrated great promise but it is up to us to fulfill it.  By bolstering the trade of both materials and ideas, we are helping to strengthen the fractured global economy.  We are but a small piece of the larger picture, but our efforts, along with those of others, will build a better world for all of us.  We will work together to see this beautiful future because today's world is about more than having a strong bottom line, it's about building a solid foundation for all that comes after.  Join us, and help create a legacy that will last forever.

We remain

Ever Loyal.
Ever Ready.
Everfree.


As I started college a few months ago, I used my writing time to unwind and relax.  The story I worked on then was another chapter in my "Letters from the Crescent Sun" series where the characters are trying to make a difference in the reconstruction of the world.  Set in a time after the Third World War, the series includes several themes centered on what it would take to create a world and future the characters would be proud to pass on to the next generation.

Among these themes are the ideas of learning from our history, utilizing multiple talents to solve problems and the importance of cooperation and harmony in achieving success.  Now, a few months into the semester, I have found that pretty much every class has reflected my feelings and ideas in some way.  From history, I confirmed that demanding reparations and other harsh punishments from a defeated enemy only leads to more problems in the future (Post American Civil War Reconstruction Era, Post WWI Germany, etc. led to decades of issues and further conflict). Instead, the best way to secure the future seemed to be by helping people find ways to be productive.  This is where my engineering teacher came in.  He was quick to help us understand how everything is interconnected in our world.  A multitude of disciplines are involved in nearly every product, project or organization.  I agreed that strength can come from these differences working together toward a common goal.  When this is expanded to a national and global level, seemingly impossible objectives become achievable.  Then Air Force ROTC added a sense of duty, service, loyalty, responsibility and teamwork to the mix and practically completed the picture.  United by a common goal, people from all backgrounds can learn to count on each other and rise above the challenges that affect everyone.

As this journal is rather long now, I'll try to wrap it up.  It's fun to find inspiration for fiction in our daily lives, especially when it really fits a certain theme.  I'll be the first to admit that our world isn't perfect and we have a long way to go. Even then, there will always be something or another. However, this shouldn't keep us from trying to make a difference anyway. There are people who share your attitudes and together we can make a seemingly fictitious future into a reality someday.
A while ago my father and brother made a deal to encourage my brother to read more.  Without going to deep into the details the final agreement was fair but my mother insisted that it was too much. She said that for him, it would be impossible.  My father replied by explaining that you should never tell someone, especially a child, that a task is impossible. That's not to say accomplishing some tasks isn't going to be difficult but the moment you use the word "impossible", you can convince yourself that it truly is.

Now, I'm afraid that people in our world have become so cynical that they readily place such lofty goals as solving several of our society's problems in the realm of impossibility.  This thinking only confirms our failure. How can we succeed if we never believe that we can? We may even lose the will to try if we are so convinced that our efforts would be meaningless.

I believe the way to change our world, truly make a difference, is to first change ourselves and the way we think. It's more than the "Anything is possible if you just believe!" bit we've heard before. We have to silence that part of ourselves that rolls its eyes and says "whatever". Just look at any of the countless examples in our own history. Feats of... take your pick. Build such and such. Launch so and so. Go where now? Freedom for who? Discover the what? Cure how...you get the idea.

Define: feat- A notable act or deed, especially an act of courage; an exploit.  An act of skill, endurance, imagination, or strength; an achievement.

All possible examples would not be considered feats if they were easy and they would never have been achieved without both the initial dream and then the willingness to fulfill it. It all starts with us. With you. With me. With anyone whose ever dared to deviate from what was thought to be possible.
Turn on the news right now and you'll most likely see a story about the theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado. It was not even a month since we ended the Waldo Canyon Fire and already our state is back in the news with the worst mass shooting the history of the country.  Both events were caused by people who did in fact want to watch the world burn. We may never understand their minds and the difficult truth is that their will always be others like them. So what can we do?

We pick ourselves up. We fall so that we can learn to pick ourselves up and help pick each other up. I believe that there will always be good people in this world.  Those who lend a hand to their neighbors in need. I recognize that evil and injustice must be fought because all that is needed for it to prevail is for good people to do nothing.  

In "A Promise to the Future", I wrote about a mother who realized what she had to do for her daughter. She had fought in this world's most destructive war and believed that she was free to go home when it came to an end.  But her eyes were opened when she saw how much work there was to be done and how much she could do to help.  Her final battle became her efforts to fulfill her promise to do her part in healing the world that her daughter will inherit.

The future will always be a mystery but it won't ever be bright unless we try make that way. I'm not saying that everyone has to change the world in one massive move but instead change the world through your everyday actions.  Be good to one another. It is both what our future needs and what our future deserves.
I don't know what it is about me. I always like to find a positive way to view even the worst of circumstances and right about now the world will be learning about the Colorado wildfires.  Some started from lightning strikes while the others (and the closest to me) was started by some arsonist arse. Fire crews have battled back the blasted blaze for the better bit of both...(darn, alliteration streak over)... days now and so far they have it 5% controlled. A good portion of the mountain has been evacuated and the news showed that the roads out there are crowded. Today was probably the worst (relatively, as we are not directly in the fire's path) day for the city. Smoke blocked out the mountains, flames were visible from many of houses and by mid-afternoon the sky turned red.  Part of me was reacting normally (nothing interesting, just my standard prepared and calm mood) but another part of me kept saying "You write apocalyptic stories! Even though this is bad, you now know what a raging fire looks like so close to a city.  The details you could capture about the sky are eerie enough to add a blanket of atmosphere as thick as those clouds to any doomsday survivors' tale. The sights, the sounds the smells, the emotions!  This is as close to an apocalypse as anyone would ever want to get!"

Well, that part of me is definitely long winded but it also seemed to highlight something in both my stories and myself.  No matter how dire the situation, I try to find the silver lining, even if it is quite small.  All that we experience gives us material that we can draw on and perhaps use to teach others as well.  Even in my apocalyptic works, there is a glimmer of something beautiful which may be different for each character and each reader. Everyone just has to look for it on their own in order for it to be special and meaningful.

Now the wind has shifted and the smoke cleared as the half moon stood above the mountains.  They expect to have the fire under control within the next few weeks but until then, I only hope that our community can stay calm, collected and civilized even in the face of danger. So far we have and I wish it will stay that way. Who knows?  Maybe there's a lesson to be learned in here somewhere. The one that comes to mind right now is don't play with fire because you might just get burned.  Stay safe.
Trenn-la tagged me and since I don't use my journal all that much (I probably should but, eh) I figured I'd answer the questions.  So here it goes.

Things about me…
1. I love to go on adventures be it in real life or fiction (or both…)
2. I can bend lightning but only at close range.
3. I can't really draw.  Sorry, words are what I work with.
4. I like to keep an open mind.  I know what's real and what isn't but who says we can't blur that line every now and then?
5. I…just answered all of these with sentences that began with "I". *Sigh

Questions asked

1. Favorite actor? – Tough one, I'll go with Denzel Washington.
2. Favorite Avenger and why? - Toss-up between Iron Man and Hawkeye. Iron Man is sweet but it also takes a new kind of awesome to take on an alien invasion with nothing but a bow.
3. Favorite dog breed? - Labrador.  Preferably black.
4. Favorite band? – Eh, too many and it's a bit hard to narrow it down. Sorry!
5. Are you a part of any Fandom? – I like a lot of stuff but I don't like to get really deep into any of it.  I just enjoy entertainment.
6. What would you do if I came up to you and sat on your lunch? – Probably stare at you for a moment while I process what just happened, ask you to get up, offer you a napkin and ask that you find me a new lunch.  
7. Weapon of choice? – A Gravity Gun duct taped to a Portal Gun.
8. What would your super power be? – The ability to stop time.
9. Know any good books? – The classics are always well, classic but I did particularly enjoy "The Kite Runner".
10. Do you think the Loki fandom is as crazy as I think it is? – Villains usually get crazy fandoms (see the Joker).  As with everything, there is awesome stuff and then there's taking it a bit too far.
With school over I can finally sit down and iron the mistakes out of the ton of pieces in my folders. Oh how many there are! Well, they are in various states of completion but that just makes it more fun! I think...
I was tagged by Veerashurra so here goes...

Things about me…
1. I love to go on adventures be it in real life or fiction (or both…)
2. I can bend lightning but only at close range.
3. I can't really draw.  Sorry, words are what I work with.
4. I like to keep an open mind.  I know what's real and what isn't but who says we can't blur that line every now and then?
5. I…just answered all of these with sentences that began with "I". *Sigh

My questions for you:
1. What is your favorite book?
  -As always, there are so many! I'm going to go with the Kite Runner for its story of forgiveness and redemption.
2. What comes first, the chicken or the egg?
  -Scientifically, I think it's the egg because whatever laid it may not have been a chicken.
3. How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?
  -A woodchuck would chuck ALL the wood, were a woodchuck to chuck wood! That or Sixteen and 1/2 board feet a day- except on Groundhog's Day since groundhog is another name for woodchuck.
4. What do you like about a good story?
  -I like complex and relatable characters whose struggles or motivations the audience can get behind or at least understand.  I like to see the characters face their journey in a way that will make the audience feel inspired or deeply moved.
5. Which is your favorite Dr. Seuss story?
  -Oh, the Places You'll Go!
6. Do you collect anything?
  -Coins. Eh, not too original but hey…
7. If you were any literary character, who would you be?
  -Hard question…Maybe Captain Nemo.  I'm fine with the adventure and cool submarine, not so much on the attacking ships part though.
8. Favorite kind of cookie?
  -Chocolate fudge chunk brownie combo of deliciousness!
9. Are you allergic to anything?
  -Nickel. Really.
10. Which Broadway Musical are you?
  -…I've drawn a blank. Dunno.
11. Why is there an eleventh question?
  -So there can be an eleventh answer!

That was fun! But I don't have enough friends to continue the tagging so it ends here.
Now that that's done I can figure out how to post my work properly.