Saturday, January 25, 2014

RWBY Fanfiction

Faolan was having difficulty sitting still during class. He tried listening to the lecture, but it took too much of his will to keep from moving too much and drawing the teacher's attention. The school uniforms were too itchy; Faolan had no idea what it was made of, but it just bothered his skin so much. He'd complained about the uniform before, to his parents and the school, but the school wouldn't change it for the sake of one student. Instead, he got a special lotion that soothed the itch, but he ran out last week and didn't have the chance to get more over the weekend.

For half the day he'd been successful at ignoring the itch, but no more. His breath was sharp as he tried to focus on anything but the unrelenting itch. The teacher continued his lecture on some silly equation. The rest of the class took notes, looked bored or were talking amongst themselves. The teacher paid no attention as he spoke, continuing the lecture like a drone.

The torture was getting worse by the second. He twisted in his seat, tapping his hand and feet until finally Faolan couldn't stand it any longer. His hand shot up in the air and he spoke before the teacher actually noticed. "Sir, may I go to the bathroom?" he called loudly.

The teacher turned to see who interrupted him. His eyes locked on Faolan for a second before he answered. "Fine, but be quick."

It took all the self-control Faolan had left to not run out of the room. A few eyes watched as he left, but as soon as he was out in the hallway he broke into a run. The nearest bathroom was just around the corner, but Faolan had to get there now. He burst into the bathroom and was relieved to find it empty. He quickly took his jacket off, hung it on a hook, untucked and unbuttoned his shirt at the same time and scratched his chest fervently.

The relief was instantaneous as Faolan let out an audible sigh. He sank along the wall as his clawed hands fell into a steady rhythm back and forth across his body. He soon felt much better, and allowed his arms the rest they deserved. He didn't move from his spot on the bathroom floor, staring at his feet, and the bushy wolf's tail sweep back and forth between them.

The bell rang, and Faolan quickly stood up. He could already hear students pouring into the hallway, and they'd be wanting to relieve themselves before their next classes. Faolan quickly fixed his appearance; as a Faunus, people already thought of him as an animal, so it was best to try and not look like one, too. He was smoothing himself out in the mirror by the time the first boys joined him in the bathroom, not really caring about him. Faolan made a point of washing his hands, even though he didn't actually use a toilet, before grabbing his jacket and heading out of the bathroom.

He slipped his jacket back on and made his way back to his previous classroom for his things. He had to hurry because he didn't want to be caught in the hallway by...

He stood face to face with Victor and Kai, his personal tormentors. They were typical bullies, the biggest guys at the school with the attitudes and egos to match. They stood blocking his path, with no intention of letting him get past them. Faolan tried blending and navigating around them, but it was too late. They had him in their sights and moved to block him no matter what he did.

"Hey, Doggie," Victor called out. Faolan ignored him and tried slipping past him again. This time Victor just nudged him into the wall and both of them stared him down.

"Guys, can we not do this?" Faolan pleaded. "I have class and I know you guys do, too."

Both of them just laughed. "We just had a question," Kai said. "My brother told me your older brother got accepted at Beacon Academy. Is it true?"

"Yeah," Faolan answered quickly, wanting to just get out of there. "Can I go now?"

"Just hold on, Doggie," Victor requested. "We just want to say we're happy for him." He and Kai exchanged a look. "It's great that he's moved out of town and going to be busy with school. It'll be a while before we see him again." Victor moved in closer, forcing Faolan to flatten himself against the wall. "No one to protect you anymore, Faunus. Remember that the next time we meet outside of school," Victor whispered to him. With that, they moved on.

That evening when Faolan got home there was a letter waiting for him from his brother. He sat in his room and read it over and over.

Dear Faolan,

I hope you're doing well, little brother. I hope your classes are going well. I've moved into Beacon today, and tomorrow will be the "initiation", whatever that is. Heard plenty of rumors about what to expect, but you can't be sure until it starts, right? Between you and me, I'm legitimately nervous. Most of the guys, and most of the girls, too, seem pretty tough. Some are kind of scary. I think I'm ready, though. Good luck the rest of the year, bro. I'll write often if you write back.

Love and Best,


There was a knock at his door. Faolan set the letter down next to him and called back, "Hello?"

His mother poked her head into his room. "Hey, I found the prescription slip for your ointment if you want to run to the store to get some more."

Not even an hour later Faolan stood in the checkout line at the small store that provided his medicine. He got to the counter and set the bottle of medicine down with the prescription slip, as well as a few snacks. He paid and walked out of the store as it was getting dark.

About a mile from his house he took a short cut through an alley, and about half way through the alley he spotted a figure standing at the other end. A breeze wafted the figure's scent to Faolan, which he recognized as Kai's. Faolan turned around to go the other way, but Victor was blocking his way back.

"Hi, Doggie," he called playfully. "We saw you leaving the store."

They both started closing in on him. "Guys, you can't," Faolan pleaded. They kept moving closer, and Faolan saw the looks in their eyes and was getting nervous.

Then something started to rumble inside of him. A protective instinct started taking over. A snarl formed on his face as the rumbling visibly shook his whole body. Then he began shifting. He grew to twice his original size, his face grew longer, claws grew from his fingers and hair grew from everywhere. Soon he was a huge black wolf, at full height over nine feet tall.

Faolan looked back and forth between the two bullies, both stopped dead in their tracks, eyes locked on the huge beast that now stood in front of them. Faolan knew he could easily kill both in this alley, but he reminded himself he was not an animal. Lightning fast, he slashed in Kai's direction, deliberately missing him only by a foot. Kai bolted, screaming like a little girl, but Faolan then turned to Victor, snapping his teeth in the bully's direction. Victor panicked and tripped over his own feet, falling on his back. In an instant Faolan stood over him, huge yellows eyes staring into the fear of the small human. Killing him would be easy, but scaring him would be more fun.

A single word escaped past the low snarl in Faolan's throat. "Run." The voice was deeper than Faolan's, but you could still hear his inside it.

One word was all Victor needed to be gone in less than a second. As soon as Victor was gone, Faolan shrunk and morphed back into his regular Faunus form. He gathered his bag and headed home, confident that he no longer needed his older brother to protect him.

(Fanfiction inspired by the series RWBY on Check it out and check out their other shows.)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Legend of Zelda

I recently finished the latest installment of my favorite video game franchise, the Legend of Zelda: Link Between Worlds. I'm not much of a gamer; a 3DS is the only system I own, and not for very long. Other than the Legend of Zelda, the only other games I like playing are Call of Duty and Halo.

Anyway, Link Between Worlds for the 3DS did well what I love about Zelda games. The story was interesting and twists around. Dungeons are challenging and full to the brim with puzzles. Lastly, the bosses were fun and challenging, even a little frustrating.

What I really liked, and wasn't expecting, was the way you obtain items. Zelda games are famous for giving you a plethora of items, and in Link Between Worlds you have access to them all from the very beginning. You actually start out renting and buying the items from a shop, not from dungeons. This changes more in the game than you'd think; usually the story line determines the order of dungeons you go through, but now you can do them in any order you wish. It's cool, but it makes money very easy to collect since you need it for items. Also, if you are forced to continue, all of the rented items are taken back, so it's always a good idea to take time to buy your items.

Anyway, its a really good game. If you have a 3DS I'd recommend getting this game.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sex of God Response

The amount of response I've received about my last post has been incredible. It's not been a full day and I would say this is the most buzz I've gotten from a single post. Whether criticism or affirmation, feedback is always appreciated.

The thing about blogs, or writing in general, is that sometimes you realize something you could have added or should have added after the publication. It happens to the best of us. I'm not taking back anything from the last post, but things could have been worded differently.

What I want to clarify is that God is neither gender. This is summed up very well in an excerpt from an article a good friend sent me:

"Spirits—because they are non-corporeal beings—have no physical body, and thus, by definition, are incapable of possessing gender. In speaking of the humans who one day will inhabit the heavenly realm, Jesus remarked that they “neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as angels” (Matthew 22:30). His point was that we shall not take up our earthly gender roles in heaven, just as the angels, as spirit beings, have played no gender roles throughout their existence. Similarly, God, as a Spirit Being Who inhabits the heavenly realm, has no gender."

The rest of this article can be found by clicking here.

Again, I appreciate the responses, and ask that you do not hesitate in the future to do so. I have tested the contact me box to the side of the page and it works perfectly, so I can receive responses from there.

Still writing when I can, and all is going good in that regard. Sequel is almost finished, just last edits to go. I've unfortunately lost the means that produced my first cover image, so I'm going to attempt to do that myself. Let's see how that goes. However, if anyone knows of a graphic artist that would be willing to help, I'd appreciate it.

Be kind to one another.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sex of God

This is a subject I've thought about for a long time now. What is God's sex? The answer I've come to is that he is both Father and Mother, and I'll explain my reasoning. Also, to alleviate confusion, from now on I will not use any pronoun in place of "God".

The first thing I'd point you to to find out the nature of God is to the nature of Man. If "...God created mankind in [God's] own image (Genesis 1:27)...", than we are the perfect place to start. Many would stop me there, saying we're not a good example because of sin, but sin hasn't changed what we are, "because even temple ruins point to you an architect even if the temple is shot" (Jefferson Bethke, "The Greatest Artist of All Time"). So just go with it for a minute.

We, each and every one of us, has an intricate balance within us. We all have "Male" and "Female" energies in our souls, spirits, whatever word you use for the essence that makes You. Sure, our physical bodies define our physical sex as male or female, but this has more to do with the mind and heart.

I'm sure most of you are familiar with the concept of left-brain and right-brain thinking, but a brief description is what I'll give here. These concepts are based on the idea that people have two ways of thinking, with their "right-brain" or their "left-brain", and these are the two extremes of thinking. "Left-brain" thinkers are analytical, strategical, practical and logical; they like things in charts and categories and for everything to be organized. "Right-brain" thinkers are expressive and creative and search for feeling and passion; they're care-free, go-with-the-flow and more artistic people. Just Google "left brain right brain test" and you'll find a million tests to determine which you are.

However, most of us are not that black or white. The majority of those tests just determine which you lean more towards, not absolute. Some will say how much more you lean closer to one than the other, as we all have our various levels of how messy we can stand our rooms to be and how creative we can be. We use both sides of our brain all the time. If the left side, logical, practical, analytical, is Male, and the right side, creative and expressive, is Female, then we have both.

I'm not into much science, but I remember from Biology that we all produce both testosterone and estrogen, the hormones that make us either male or female, as well. Males just produce more testosterone and females more estrogen to keep the species alive, but again both Male and Female elements exist. Even in nature we see plants that have both male and female parts, and species of frogs able to switch sexes based on their environment.

So now we get to God, and first a few generalizations. So God is the perfect creator of everything, and man is made in God's image. So God is us, except that God is the absolute perfection. To apply a little logic here, if we are made in God's image, and we have this balance of male and female in us all, then God should have the perfect balance of male and female.

God is creative, and creativity is a female aspect, yet the known universe follows a set of rules we've dubbed the Laws of Physics, and there's the male desire of organization and order. In the Bible we have scenes of God both smiting and punishing peoples and then showing compassion, forgiveness and love. If we apply our Male/Female spectrum here, too, God meets both ends perfectly, aggression and compassion.

So there's my reasoning. If so inclined, let me know what you think; try that contact me box to the side there, email me, tweet me @writingethan, or any other method you could think of.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Answers vs Questions

In my personal meditations and research, I've come up with that there are two ways of living life. You can live life in the answers or you can live life in the questions.

People who live life in answers are very grounded people. They know what they believe and that gives them strength. Answers give them anchors in a tumbling world, and apart from strength it gives them peace. They believe they have life figured out, and they have an explanation or a focal thought that every idea stems from.

Yet, the strengths of answers can also be their weaknesses. What anchors them in a tumbling world can sometimes be a shackle and they miss things they have no idea they are missing. They believe fully in their answer, and belief can look like arrogance when they come across people who've come up with a different answer.

People who live in questions are more free floating, "go with the flow" people. There is an air of child-like curiosity about these people, and an excitement to learn and see new things. They may have many reasons not to aline themselves with one thought. They may 

As with answer people, the strengths of question people can also be their weakness. They can seem childish, floating from one thing to another like a kid in a candy store. Curiosity in an extreme form can be seen as wishy-washy, as the person sees something new and explores it. Sometimes a lack of answers can lead to insecurity.

Well, I hope that was some morning wisdom for you readers, from the mind of a 21 year old. Tell your friends if you want, contact me to the right there if you want (still haven't tested that function, if you've tried it and haven't heard from me, sorry). Be kind to one another.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

2014's first short story

“Guilty.” A word heard all too often in courts since the world fell apart. It was my turn to hear that word over five years ago, along with my sentencing. Life in the New East Prison, an abandoned mine in the Appalachian Mountains turned into a prison was unlike any prison on Earth. No guards, no guns, and no big door. Prisoners walk right into the open tunnel and don’t go back out. Thousands of tons of TNT, enough to collapse the mountain, are all that keep us in. Supplies are sent in via mine cart and anything needing taken out is sent back every morning. The prisoners are left to their own devices after that, and we manage, I guess. Until she got here, that is.
In a fascist world cruelty is delved out equally, so people were only remotely surprised to see a pretty twenty-something dark skinned girl walk into the main cavern. She’s not the first woman I’ve seen come in to this hell-hole, but women tend to not last very long alone. I watched her walk in from a ledge high up in the cavern, about level with the huge geo-lamps that provide our light. About thirty other men were in the huge chamber, and only a handful of them paid her any attention. From my vantage point though, I could tell she wouldn’t last long here. She got a few steps into the cave and froze; too timid, and women needed to be tough to survive.
The best example had just climbed up to my ledge. Angela was well built for her size, and she showed it off. Tight dirty clothes clung to her muscly body. She kept her head shaved to hide the fact she was ever a prissy spoiled rich girl. How she got here in the first place, I don’t know and frankly don’t care. How she’s still here is more important. She was raped her first night here, and the next morning she found a sharp rock and stabbed her attacker in the back with it. She carries that rock everywhere she goes; I see the bulge just under her waist band.
Taking a breath, she says, “See the newbie, Keeper? What do you think?”
“Don’t call me that,” I respond blankly. A title like that meant nothing in here and I didn’t want to hear it. The Keepers kept fighting a lost war for the souls of humanity as the protectors of religions and ideas humanity had long abandoned. Crazy terrorists and criminals were common adjectives of this guild I had once been a part of.
“Sorry”, she apologized teasingly. “So what do you think, Sol?”
I shifted on my perch before saying, “I’ll give her a week. Cruel way to kill a girl, for sure.”
Angela climbed back down and I watched her go up to the new girl and talk to her. Angela will protect her as best she can, but even her reputation won’t keep the wolves at bay from fresh meat.
The next morning our food supply for the day comes in in its usual fashion. Inmates come out of the six tunnels off the main room and converged on the mine cart of food. When you treat people like animals they start acting like them. I’m not the biggest guy in this hole, so I wait for the alpha males to get their share and take of the leftovers. The rations are always in these unmarked boxes, and it’s always just a bowl of slop that supposedly has all the protein and nutrients the body needs. Canteens of water are also provided. I grab a box and two canteens and head for my perch. After I settle in, I see Angela and her new friend peep out of their hiding spot and go for some food. Angela heads straight for the cart and the other girl keeps looking over her shoulder at the leering men around the space. The girls grab their rations and return into the tunnel they appeared from.
The cart leaves, signaling it’s about noon. I decide to come down and walk around for a while. I get to about the middle of the big cavern when one of the prisoners calls out, “So the birdie decided to come out of the tree?”
I could’ve cared less and I kept walking toward the tunnel when I heard the same guy walk behind me and put a strong grimy hand on my shoulder. “You ever going to preach at us, Keeper?” he asked.
I spun around to face the man. He was bigger than me, more so in density than height, disgusting, smelly and covered in dirt. I looked him right in the eye and asked, “How long have you been here?”
Confused, he replied, “A year or so.”
I think for a minute. “I guess it’s been a while since I preached anyone.” I lash out with my right arm and smash his nose faster than he could see. He stumbles back and trips over his feet and is on his back. “That good enough or did you need me to clarify something?” I ask.
He gets back on his feet and roars in anger, charging with his arms out. I smile and duck under his arms. He turns as quickly as he can but I roundhouse him in the stomach. He doubles over and I roundhouse him again across the face. His feet leave the ground and he slides away unconscious.
I look around to those who had watched the whole thing. Most looked away when I turned to them, but some seemed stunned at how quickly I put that guy down. “Anyone else need some God right now?!” I call out. “Cause you’re all already in Hell!” Then I notice from one of the tunnels the new girl, and she’s looking at me with something else in her eyes. Anticipation? Excitement? Hope?
I go back to my perch and no one disturbs me for the rest of the day. I set myself to sleep on my ledge that night. The lights never completely go off, but they’re dimmed to signal when it gets dark outside. Telling the passage of time is impossible in here, but some time later in the night I hear someone climbing up to my ledge. It takes them a while to get up to me, since they’re obviously trying to be quiet.
They reach my ledge and crawl their way over to me, thinking I’m still asleep. As soon as they’re in my range, I lock my arms legs around the person’s body and spin over in a matter of seconds.
In the dim light I see the newest inmate. It seems I’ve startled her, if only as much as her presence startled me. “What do you want?” I ask quietly.
“I’m looking for a Keeper,” she replied calmly. Her accent is strange to me, fluid and smoother than anything I’d ever heard.
“Who are you?” I ask.
“My name is Rose,” she answered. “I came from United Europe to find the Keepers of America. I’d heard rumors that one might be here, and you’ve answered my prayers.”
“You got yourself across the ocean and in here just to see me?” I ask rhetorically. “That was a dumb thing to do. If you wanted to get yourself killed, a gun would’ve been much easier.” I got off of her and propped myself against the cave wall. “I can’t help you, not even to get out of this place.”
“Look,” she said as she sat up. “I came to this country to find the Keepers here, and I—”
“And you came in vain!” I interjected. “There aren’t any Keepers anymore.” I settle more into my spot. “I was in Montreal with the Keepers there since I was a boy. One day we were found, rounded up and executed. I managed to escape, and made my way south to Boston, where we knew other Keepers existed. When I got to Boston, though, Keepers were already being rounded up and the survivors scattered. I kept heading south, reaching Mexico, where I knew we had a real stronghold. But when I got there, it was abandoned. I have no idea what happened to them, but the place was destroyed.” I turn to look at Rose. “We lost here, kid. It’s over for us.”
“That’s not true,” Rose said. “We have hundreds of Keeper refugees in Paris, from Montreal to Azteca. They’ve been able to reach their comrades that survived here, and from them we received the rumor that you were here. We need every Keeper we can get, Sol; we need you back.”
“I’m not a Keeper anymore,” I tell her.
“You’re never not a Keeper, Solomon,” she replies. “You never forget what you know.” She shifts closer to me on the edge. “Why do you think they haven’t killed you?”
I shrug. “Probably not worth the bullet it would take to do it.”
“Because they want you to lose hope,” she says. “This new world has been trying for over a century to snuff out the Keepers, but we keep getting stronger. If only you could see the successes we’re having in Europe; why do you think travel has been restricted?”
All of a sudden a shudder went through the entire cave. Dust and small rocks fell from the roof and the lights flickered for a few seconds. “What was that?” I ask as I brace myself against the wall.
Rose seemed more prepared for it. “Reinforcements,” she answered. She notices the confusion on my face and adds, “You thought I’d come here alone?”
“That’s not possible,” I respond. “This prison is impenetrable. Keepers have never successfully broken anyone out of here.”
Rose just shrugged and started climbing back down to the ground. The lights were suddenly thrown on full, and I could see other prisoners venturing from the tunnels to see what’s going on. I can hear what sounds like a group of people coming down the tunnel that leads to the surface, and I climb down to get a better look.
Soon almost forty men and women poured out of the large tunnel into the cavern, wearing dark clothes and carrying an assortment of guns. Rose rushed forward and greeted the front man, an older man whom she vaguely looked like, in a language I vaguely recognize as French.
The others started mingling with the prisoners, explaining who they were and what was going on. A myriad of languages were being spoken; English, Spanish and French, as well as other more guttural languages I didn’t recognize. One word I recognized in most of them kept coming up in all conversations: Keepers.

Rose is suddenly back at my side. “Hope can always be found,” she said. “This break-out was synchronized with three other prisons across America, all imprisoning Keepers like you, and from what I’ve been told all just as successful.” She started heading toward the exit, and right at the entrance to the tunnel, she turned and called back to me. “Keeper Solomon, the world still needs you, if you’ll come back to it.” With that, she turns and walks out of this hole in the ground, with all confidence for the future.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Ten days into 2014 already, and things are going great so far. Looking forward to another great semester in Odessa. I didn't really do a resolution this year, other than to just do better and be better than I was last year. I've got another book just about finished, and still hasn't been a year since my first was published. I've recently run into a little hitch in getting everything together, but nothing a little creative flexibility can't fix. It feels good to be getting through it. I know this is nowhere near a professional published book, but it's probably leaps ahead of what I thought I could do a few years ago. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and new year, and now that things are back to relative normality, I'll be posting more regularly with my thoughts and writings.