Monday, March 31, 2014

Writing Essentials: Tools for Recording Good Stories

I've been struggling the past few weeks to come up with a new series idea for the Monday post. Fortunately I think I've landed on one, so let’s try it out; see where it goes.

So if you are like me and get really good ideas at inopportune times, then you must be frustrated. I know I am. I’ll be at work and think of something that sounds like a good idea, but then forget it by the end of my shift. Considering that the goal of a writer is content creation, it is imperative that we are constantly creative, all the time. Authors usually have their collections of one offs and short stories. These, are important to look over and analyze. Most writers only have a few good ideas, everything else is just the leftovers. So when looking at an author like Neil Gaiman, you’ll see that his unofficial bibliography is something like 10 million plus words. So it’s good to get your ideas on paper, write them, and distribute them. You’ll never know which one will be the hit.

So this is what I do for recording ideas: get a note pad (or something equivalent).  Write down your ideas often and frequently. I’d say get about 5 ideas a day, or enough to have some variety of concepts to work with. Then, after you do this, fully compose two of the ideas. When you are done, sit on them a week, then come back to revise. This will determine if the idea has staying power.

Lastly, have fun with this, and don’t stress out. That should go without saying, but it’s always something to consider. Always remember that content creation is one of the key goals of any beginning writer. This regimen will get you into the habit of creating content on regular cycles, while also giving you a large pool of material to work with. Even if the idea is stupid, still try to work with it. There are a lot of stupid ideas out there that get published, so there’s no reason to be snooty or a perfectionist when it comes to your material.

That being said, again, have fun and go nuts! See you all on Wednesday.


Friday, March 28, 2014

Dreary Vinyards

I am on a recreational pilgrimage up north for the time being. Wine country, Sonoma county, epicenter of my childhood nostalgia. It's raining, which, to me, seems fitting. This place holds bittersweet memories for me.

My wife and I flew up on Thursday morning on Southwest Airlines, and landed in SFO around 11am. Each we went our separate ways, my wife to her parents, myself and my mother to see grandma. I should reunite with her tomorrow, barring unforeseen consequences. Good weekend thus far, me thinks.

Yesterday I was able to go to Russian River finally. While I consider myself a beer connoisseur, I do not reckon Russian River to be a Mecca of sorts. I was able to get an employee discount with my Stone Brewing ID. Had I known I'd get the star treatment, I would have ordered more. Lesson learned.

Greg, my designer for Spirit of Orn, and Stephen, long time friend and groomsman, met me there and we talked and had a blast. Even my pastor in proxy, Bern, made it! The evening rolled out with promise and delivered. We all need nights like that. I'm glad that I was able to be there, take it all in.

Being up here hurts me, deeply, on a spiritual level. I say "hurt," but not in reference to the bad kind of "hurt," you may think about. Being up here instigates longings for acceptance, within moments of transience. Healdsburg would be that place you find, when wandering in the Gobi into one of Neil Gaiman's "Soft Places." It's a town, filled with wonderful people, that by all rights shouldn't exist; but it does as if to spite creation. I was introduced to all the childhood vices here: drinking, sex, youthful rebellion, etc. Yet, simultaneously: love, friendship, loss, the stuff of maturation and development. I believe, deep down, that it "hurts" me to be here, in this place that should not rightly exist. I feel stagnant and apart from a place lost in timelessness. If Northern California was Hades, Healdsburg would be Tartarus, and it's streets the river Lethe. I am lost, made to forget who I am, spiritually trapped in a place that beckons me with welcoming arms.

 But sometimes, for a little while, I can storm the gates. Sometimes I can put on my sword and encounter this magical kingdom and wonder idly what it would have been like to remain here. There will be a day when this place claims me, keeps me, but that day has not come yet. There is still so much left to do, and so little time to do it in.

But someday... until then, I have work to do.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Snap Shot Theater: Dugout

Cool blue flames withered and strengthened in Father Gara's safehouse. Cascading rays danced along the walls, and in the darkness a confident grin formed on Henri's face. His Neon Green badge tilted upwards, the shield losing all form in the glare from the decrepit gas stove burning on the dirt floor. Father Gara sighed. "To be reduced to this," he thought. "Pathetic."

"So what brings you here Henri? It's been too long." Father Gara said, pouring himself some coffee. Walking over from the kitchen, Father Gara found his comfy seat, the only new item in the house, and sat in it. Henri refused the coffee, as he should; caffeine was toxic to cyborgs.

"Sodder put out a hit on you," Henri said. He shifted forwards in his seat cracking his steel plated knuckles. "Not us, just in case you wondered. He's going outside the law on this one. We'd offer our aide, but the price of interference is too high."

"The chief send you all the way over here to tell me he's a coward?" Father Gara scoffed and looked the other way. "Jesus Christ! What do I pay you for, ah?"

"This is about you and the sanction," Henri replied nonchalant. "Not our thing. We miss Wayne, yeah, but we don't dwell on fallen angels. The guy was crooked anyhow. He got what was coming to him."

Father Gara took a sip of the burning coffee, and set the mug down onto the end table beside him. Slowly, he reached into the top drawer below the mug and pulled out some fake passports. (They were an early Christmas present from the Commission.)

"Where am I going," he said bluntly, staring Henri dead on. "You better tell me."

"We don't know where he is," admitted Henri solemly. "Sorry Father, you are on your own this time." Getting up, Henri arched his back, and released a tired yawn, his head craning around, looking at the walls of the dugout.

"Nice place," he said. "Deftus know you're here?"

"No," Father Gara replied quietly. "I sent him home."

Henri nodded and turned to leave, putting his hat on as he did.

"Better for him," he said. "Nice kid..."

Henri opened the door to the dugout and shut it behind him. Father Gara spat into the dirt.

"Fuck me..." He grumbled.

Monday, March 24, 2014

An Easy Guide to Making Beautiful Monsters

Until now, my stories have pursued moderate realism. Science Fiction after all requires a degree of believability in order to be a viable genre. But now that I have begun to break into the fantasy racket, I'm beset with hardship creating beautiful monsters. So let this be a quick guide to help you on your journey making better, believable monsters.

Monsters tend to be thematic. By "monster" I don't mean creatures exclusively supernatural. Aliens and fictional indigenous creatures count as well. Designing thematic creatures should be based upon a singular theme. Try not to combine too many attributes, otherwise doing so will thwart your concept.  If fire is your theme, no matter what angle you approach a monster, make sure that their key concepts communicate the theme. A creature born in fire will have an ossified, rock like features, or something fluid, resembling molten lava. Water, likewise, will be cooler in color temperature, slippery, and possibly have a diverse color pallet. Follow your theme and be consistent!

Another thing that I encounter is naming creatures. In this particular case, the thematic approach works too, only this time your theme is based on languages and rooted in culture. My upcoming project takes place in a historical setting. Therefore I need to adhere to period terminology. What this looks like is simple. In my particular case I took latin and played with the scientific terminology used to name animals, then I used certain punctuation to enhance the creature names.

One thing I will discourage is taking known creatures and combining them together. Brian K. Vaughan does this in his Saga series, and to me it's the only thing that's rubbed me the wrong way concerning the series. I prefer more original takes on creature concept, but that is a personal taste of course. His work in Saga has been amazing thus far. I highly recommend it. I'm just not a fan of taking, say, a salamander's head and putting it on a human body. It's a little bland for me.

Beyond that, I would say be creative. Try to think outside the box and always be consistent in what your core concept encompasses. Feel free to share examples! I'm always willing to critique.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Kids These Days...

So my associate, Desmond White, is a teacher-to-be, a dispenser in all things knowledge, an instrument of our state and federal arm to brainwash children with "Facts" and "History" pertaining to things that occupy idle minds whom blog to their heart's content about "the end of our national identity." (Which, more than likely happened some hundred and fifty years ago. Too bad they didn't get the memo.) He tells me that a learned man, a professor of Near Eastern religious antiquity, had come to his class to regale the intellectually sterile youth of his debonair exploits in the Gobi and the steppes of Mongolia. Fantastic they were, he exclaimed, yet, could not avail against the apathy of the "young adults."

Back when the Family Fun Center was still a place to go and play arcade games (what are those? you may wonder), I used to walk past the idle loading screens and see a variety of eye-grabbing phrases. Each one aimed at dissuading my untainted mind to avoid drugs and all things nefarious; I remember one.

"Knowledge is Power."

it read. Today it is an axiom that I live by, subordinate to holy things, of course. But now it seems that ignorance rules us so. Pop culture values foolery, or inebriation. I mean, maybe I've finally arrived at the crossroads of "oldness." "Yolo? What the F*ck does that mean?" My father, a relic of the 70s, doesn't understand the music that we kids listen to these days. I, as well, have difficulty understanding what the hell is wrong someone when they value doping their minds and devaluing themselves. 

I am the kind of person who latches on to people. Like a brain slug of science fiction, I cling to intellectuals and figures. I assimilate their ways and values into my own, selectively choosing what would better myself. Knowledge, indeed, is power, a weapon by which one can crush his/her enemies, destabilize regions, overthrow elections... bed women? Thanks Hitch. So these children joked, made merry while a man of diverse discipline bestowed upon them arcane wisdom, privy to few that have endured their human experience. This man had met with roving bands of indigenous peoples that rarely left desolate climes, isolated geonauts lost in the sands of timelessness. This man spoke to fools, and not to me! Heresy! 

But that's the way it is. I'll be remembering this when the sky rains sulfur after the atomic cataclysm. #YOLO #TUPACALYPSE      

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Snap Shot Theater: The Beat

On his beat, Henri whistles an old tune, one from his childhood. New Angels smokes and burns green in the phosphorous enriched climes. He smells the sulphur.

"Go back, go back, back to the old country," his father said. "You can still climb trees, breathe without a respirator."

Six months, fresh out of the academy, they still give him a hard time. They don't invite him to parties. Once, his partner placed a blaster on a homeless  man without him knowing. Henri heard about Wayne the other day. Officer Constance gunned down by metahumans, what a waste. The Commission apologized in person earlier in the day.

In the debriefing room, he saw trailers unloading new squad cars.

Henri turned the corner and found a robbery in progress. A silly man in a polyurethane suit shattered a shop from with the butt of a ion blaster, and was stepping through. Cold, in his tracks, Henri met eyes with the super villain. Something hard formed in his throat.

"You want some of this?" The criminal spat, raising his blaster.

"Not unless you want to disappear like Singe," Henri replied.

Slowly, the villain nodded, beginning to understand. Henri, directed the villain to keep on walking. Without hesitation, the man in the silly rubber suit leaped out of the window, and bolted down the street, discharging shots into the air spastically.

Henri turned to the shop owner. The man was agape, astonished. Henri bowed the tip of his cap to the angered merchant and continued his beat.

Five blocks later he arrived at a small door, built into a small house, crammed between two large slabs of concrete. The screech and  flow of traffic washed over him, the overpass a deafening roar never-ending. When the door opened, Father Gara inspected him with searching eyes.

"No trial," he said, his voice low and disgruntled. "You come to finish me off? Who sent you? What family? You know, in my day, we told our hits who hired us. That's respect!"

"Calm down," Henri balked, pushing Father Gara aside. He walked through him into the suffocating interior of the safe house. "I'm not here to kill you."

Monday, March 17, 2014

Marketing Basics For an eBook

I've had almost a year to consider some grass roots marketing strategies for my book. There are a lot of paths to take, some more cost effective than others. Whether or not to print review copies or do digital handouts and samples changes how one markets their material. This reality looms near in my mind. So, in the spirit of my current affairs I thought I would discuss today some beginning marketing strategies for your material.

Word of mouth helps spread your book, but so does blog exposure. Now that everyone has an opinion on the internet, a foundational strategy involves taking one's material to the masses. Knowing your demographic is key, though I would be wary of "manufacturing" material for profit. With a demographic  in your sights, take an inventory of around 50 blogs and shoot your material to them. Ask if they will review it, talk about it, etc. With blogs that have about a thousand readers, and a conversion rate of about a half percent, a review on the site would generate interest in about 5 to 10 readers. Imagine getting 40 blogs to do your stuff? That's not a terribly large amount, but it's a start.

Going to a convention, or a gathering place for people that like your work helps, but it takes a strategy to talk about your book. I'm not a terribly savvy conversationalist, so I make shirts that say, "Ask me about Spirit Of Orn." It's effective more or less. Having something like a flyer to present also helps a ton. I'm doing business cards with a free copy of the Ebook. Even though it's free, and you may wonder why offering something for free is a good idea, when you want people to buy your material, the idea here is generating interest in the product. If a person  loves your book, they will tell their friends. Here is where the grass roots feedback happens.

Lastly, before I get back to work (at my day job) always keep in mind the point of criticism. There will always be some asshole who hates your work. My philosophy is two fold. First, don't read reviews. Out of sight out of mind. Second, as long as the person spells your name right, all is well. There truly is no such thing as bad publicity.

Though brief, I hope these tips helped!


Friday, March 14, 2014

Paradise Lost Continues, And My Admiration Grows

It's friday.

What a week.

Paradise lost has grown on me, which I doubted would be the case at first. It's one thing to "appreciate" literature, it's another thing entirely to embrace it. I made an attempt to understand the English Civil War, the background, catalyzing events that precipitated the upheavals. Watching King Charles I make an ass out of himself in hindsight was a painful thing. Imagine the fun Milton had trying to integrate all his shenanigans into the greater narrative of Paradise Lost? I am a bit hazy on which side the fallen hosts of heaven fall into, parliamentarians or the royalists. They both seem ill gotten in their maturation.

This has been my first week back on my old schedule. Balancing day job and dream job priorities have been a struggle. I can't tell if I am producing more content, or less. One thing that I have learned from this journey, is that I will understand the appreciation for sooting down and being able to write uninhibited, refreshed. Maybe that's why so many writers drop out: they can't see past the bullshit of everyday tediums.

Being able to write for Sequart has been a godsend for my appreciation for comics. My Personal collection has expanded to atlantean mass, which I haven't yet decided is a good or bad thing. Recently, Lucifer Book One has debuted on my book shelf. I hear good things. Perhaps it will be the source of a new Sequart series? One hopes...

I may or may not be going to comic con this year. I cross my fingers, holding my breath.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Snap Shot Theater: Bang, You're Dead

Bang You're Dead

By Stuart Warren

A city of the celestial virtues, burning in the golden hue of the heavenly display of glory; six soldiers enter a forgery. Two leave, stained with guilt. A high priest enters a castle of iron and stone and makes a deal with the devil. Gas veins spew toxins into the azure sky tainted with coal and darkness.

Father Gara, bespectacled, enters his car. The driver Deftus holds the door obediently. Gara pauses, his eyes lingering on the stream of sentience flowing up and down stream. They are alone, he thinks.

That's when the bomb blows up.

A shrill, piercing typhoon  assaults his senses, throwing him to the curb. Gauze envelops him, numbness tingling in his extremities. A large man passes over him, black, pure. He holds a revolver to Father Gara's temple and whispers something severe. Slowly the sounds return to him, but not quickly enough. The man is gone.

Father Gara wakes up in a hospital bed. His body is aflame, his skin marred with bandages. Deftus sits in the corner, fast asleep. An endearing sigh escapes him. The lad turns over in his sleep. Lost in his mind, Father Gara wonders who did this to him, why? He recalls a recent conversation, one where he pledged to leave the Commission. So soon have the wraiths come for him. His opportunity to recant in before him. To take it would mean the end. His autonomy would never be the same. Better to die than not be a man.

Always better to die.

The Commission is famous for it's death clause, even more so for the creativity by which they are carried out. He thinks, wonders to himself what a car had to do with it. It was a nice car, but not his favorite. It did not belong to anyone either. As a man who ferries the souls of the damned to hell, a car seems appropriate. Death Warden, Father Gara was know for in his day, when he was fit, young.

So who was it? How long did he have? Father Gara lay in his bed and thought about this.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Quick Tips for A Cover Design

The last few weeks I have been designing the cover for my book and going over price points and distribution models.

In light of this I felt inclined to do something today on designing a cover. This topic has been discussed before, though now I feel a bit more of an expert on the topic presently.

Designing a book cover is a very strategic process. There are several things to understand about it. First, it is never the author's job to design it. Get outside help. An author tends to be so invested in their work that they aren't able to make clear decisions when it comes to presenting their book to the public.

After getting this help, the cover itself must follow some guidelines. There are only 5 book covers out there, design wise that is. That note of this. All best sellers have completely droll covers, but they all follow conventions based off of proven models. Don't think about it too hard. Isolate a book that leads your particular demographic and design after this.

The design process is particularly regimented when narrowing down the final concept that will be used for the ebook or physical copy. Go in rounds. Do three rounds of cover designs. Pick only one and advance that concept forward based on that particular design philosophy. Always push at least one of the concepts in a radical direction. Doing this sometimes yields interesting results. It also keeps you thinking outside the box.

Once the final cover is completed, very important, proof it! This sounds stupid, but all the time I find mistake on mass market prints. Always remember that the cover represents who you are, and what you write. If your cover looks trashy and incomplete, your story will be mistaken for being just that.

That about covers it. A quick overview as always. See you all on Wednesday!


Friday, March 7, 2014

John Milton, Heroic Verse, and My Battle to Understand Them Both

I Just started reading Paradise Lost by John Milton, and it's a thick read. I have no doubt that my unit on Christianity will be the most involved for my Sandman book, yet I worry if the appearances of preferential treatment are apparent here. Understand one thing: Christianity is the backbone of Western Civilization. As we venture into Post-Western Civilization, our understanding of Christianity will decrease as it it no longer considered "relevant" for understanding popular culture. Therefore, I will labor to make it understandable in the Sandman book. I just hope that people aren't suspect of any implied motives that I am trying to evangelize (which I do, but the book isn't intended for that purpose).

John Milton is a certified genius, a regular multi-lingual, dead language knowin', statesmen of yore. Hence, understanding him is a clusterf*ck. Granted, he was working off of the older gents of English renown, Shakespeare and Spencer to name a few, I still need to re-read passages over and over again. Luckily, unlike Dante's Inferno,Milton's style is less archaic (believe it or not) and significantly more cinematic. I can see the hosts falling into the depths of what would become Hell. I can see the anguish of the demons as they realize how stupid they were to oppose their creator. It plays out like a highlights reel almost.

With each book numbering nearly 40-50 pages in my print edition, I will have to move fast, but not too fast as to loose focus on what I'm reading. I should be able to track the main points through my first read through, and when I actually write the book material, I can narrow in on specific sections of the text. I ma really excited though, if I can be completely honest. While researching Milton's love for Old English, I discovered that I can learn it for myself. I found a reader for a course from St. Andrews College in Scotland with all the relevant materials. $100 will buy me knowledge of the arcane. That's really sweet...

I'm having a get together tomorrow via Google hangout for the second round of cover mockups for my upcoming book Spirit of Orn. It should be interesting. The last round was really cool, so I'm expecting to see what happens this time around. Also, me and my artist are consolidating some extra help, potentially, for the graphic novel project later this year. Things are developing, slowly but surely.

The book is still slated to come out the first week of April. It could be delayed a bit longer so we'll see. Cross your fingers!


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Snap Shot Theater: Father Gara Gets Lunch With An Old Friend

Neon green burns martian skies with coral hues and static electricity. Seventeen barges hover across the urban wasteland under protocol of the supreme machine consciousness. The city sounds like a whisper, amplified to a cacophonous roar. White noise embraces Venerate Father Gara, walking slowly down the burnt concrete.

Mars, the sought celestial body. Prized jewel of the heavens. Contested article. Spurned of worlds. Earth was gone, but Mars remains, warrior brother over ravaged sister. Father Gara sees the martian homeless, alienated from society. He wishes they would die, disappear, before anyone noticed they were there. His generosity they tax from his well of patience and proximity.

"I got'ta get off this rock," he says. A shiver riffles through him.

Danny's Breakfast Beats was his favorite diner in the sprawl. Nothing came close to the original thing. Synthetic eggs only came so far. Chickens, now on the verge of extinction, were gods, worshiped and coaxed to bless those that prayed to them. Father Gara knew Danny himself, a repugnant, fat haired, little man with a uni-brow and an apron. Danny's scowl had worn a path above his forehead over his lifetime. But the chickens, Lucy and Henrietta, saved Danny from misery.

Ding, Ding. Service! Fork and knife. No spoons, yet. Coffee; it's shit. Got'ta get off this rock.

Father Gara looks up at the nondescript man that enters. He rises and smiles, and extends his hand. Cold. The hand is cold, and lifeless. Tiny motors and gears twist underneath the synthetic skin. Pneumatic fluid turns rotors, animates gears. Judah smiles back. It's his understanding of a smile; what he believes a smile to be.

"Gee-zus, Frank," Judah says taking a seat. "I can't get you to ever come to one of my places? You know I can't eat this shit."

"Language, Judah," Father Gara replies, crossing himself. "I don't eat synthetic. Order something please, for pete sake. I'll take it home."

"All for Danny. Yeah I get it," Judah replies absently.

A prim waitress arrives. Fully cyborg, no soul; just a smile, a perfect smile.

"Welcome to Breakfast Beats," she says musically. "What will you two be having today?"

Judah tosses the menu across the table, eyeing Father Gara.

"Onomatopoeia for me, or... whatever."

"He'll have the Breakfast Combo," Father Gara inserts politely. He passes his menu forward. "Give me the Potato Danson."

The waitress bows politely, and returns to the kitchen. Gara hears the osculating electric dial tone fade and die away as the doors close. The machines communicating in their native protocol.

"How ya doin' Frank?"

"Father Gara. Show some respect my son or I'll break your neck."

Judah nods absently. His eyes rove the room preemptively. Father Gara watches the figures being crunched and calculated. Split variables. Contingencies. Military grade cyborgs never sleep. They plan.

"So what's this all about," Judah asks. He tips over the creamer tins and begins to stack the little containers into a tower. "Come on," he teases. "I'm listening."

The ambient sound surrounds him. Father Gara hears the world. Four conversations about life. Two about death. No forgeries, no spies. Father Gara leans forward and lowers his voice.

"I want to quit."

Judah raises his eyes in surprise.

"Quit? What's this? You want to quit? Why? And even if you could... Seriously?"

The plush, ridged, polyurethane seat covers embrace him as Father Gara leans back, feeling the weight being lifted off his shoulders.

"I don't believe in it any more," he admits humbly. "The lies... The espionage... you know, the freaky crap? Can't do it any more... God I'm so tired of it."

Judah shakes his head. He looks disappointed.

"I've given 100 years, Judah," continues Father Gara, gesticulating firmly. He places his hands on the table, rapping his knuckles along the synthetic wood. "I'm due for a retirement."

Judah taps impatiently, his fingers succinct and metered, balanced and coordinated. Then he exhales oxygen.

"Whatever you want Frank," Judah replies. "I got your back. The Commission won't like this."

"The Commission doesn't have to know," Father Gara says, stressing his words firmly.

The server comes. It distributes their meals respectively. Judah pushes his plate across the table.

"We have a lot to talk about," Judah says in a low voice. Looking up at the server he grabs it's attention politely. "Box, please."


Monday, March 3, 2014

The Philosophy of Writing: The Ending (Part 2)

Last week we covered tying up loose ends and observed that the consequences of characters need to be faced. In continuation of last week's discussion, one of the final things one needs to know about endings is that endings require the weight of entropy, a feeling that things are winding down.

Classically, finding the entropy of a story winding down is referred to as the Denouement. Physics tell us that the universe will someday close back in on itself, due to the dissipation and vanishing of heat from the universe. They call this the "heat death." One day our sun will run out of energy and run itself down. Endings require the same kind of entropy. Therefore, a good ending always seems complete and final. Maybe this is why Japanese animation is so self-inflicting. The shows never end!

Where to end something, how that ending is determined, is an artform. Over time, there are things one discovers about their writing, devices that reveal themselves, that show when the action is winding down. Endings exist because of this awareness. This is also why ending a musical work on the tonic is so satisfying. Everything comes to an end, naturally.

Winding down plots can be achieved a few ways. Sometimes the ending can come when the hero has achieved a primary goal in the story, and follow the subsequent progression of fulfillment. The great task that a hero must achieve emphasizes their motivations, their dreams, hopes, and ambitions. Once the hero completes what he/she set out to do, the plot will naturally want to wind down into the final scene.

The discovery of a key plot, or the uncovering of hidden information, can lead to a finale as well. After a moment of self-discovery, relief and catharsis floods the narrative. Even in the event that the story ends unresolved, the character can still learn that what they thought they knew, they didn't know at all. The surprise and overwhelming feelings behind the discovery contribute to the immensity of the tale; the inescapable feeling that anything can happen. The enigma helps wind down the story, while also allowing for revisiting the plot for further discovery. I prefer endings like this for their modern edge. Prometheus the prequel to Ridley Scott's Aliens franchise has an ending that is unsettling, terrifying, but promising. Elizabeth Shaw's moment of discovery leads to a slew of other questions. The entropy of the current tale winds down thusly, but only so that a new journey can begin again. 

That is it for my lingering thoughts. I still haven't figured out what I will write about next, so I am as excited as you are to find out. Maybe if I go and drink some coffee I can peer into the upper heavens, or something like that. That, or have a seizure.