Obvious Title is Obvious

I am currently writing a short story that involves a large monster tearing up a city. Having read that sentence, the first thing that has probably popped into your head is “Godzilla.”  As it is a furry story, instead of being a giant dinosaur, the antagonist is a giant dog.  I have been referring to it as ‘Dogzilla’ for now, but I severely doubt that ‘Dogzilla’ will be the final name of the character.

It’s just too obvious.  Being ‘too obvious’ is something that I try to avoid in my stories.  It may be because I am afraid of dating them with pop culture references, but more than likely, I try to avoid the easy way out because I like to think that I’m clever enough to come up with something new and witty without figuratively elbowing my reader and going: “See what I did there?”  Of course, as is often the case, I may be overthinking it and end up run the risk of being too clever for my own good.  That’s a post for another time, though.

“King Dog?” Bleh.  I guess ‘Dogzilla’ he will stay until something better comes along.

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27 Things I Noticed About Camping

I camped out at Guadalupe River State Park last Friday.  It was the first time I had been out camping in years.  I used to go with my family to trips to Sunrise Beach at Lake Corpus Christi back in the day, and felt it was high time I rediscovered the Great Outdoors.  So I bought a tent, a lamp and a stove and headed off to adventure!  It was a fun trip, but I did notice a few things…

tent
Just like the picture on the box!
  1. I contemplated getting a dual-burner stove like the one my folks have, but remembered that I’m not a skilled enough cook to run 2 burners at once.
  2. Propane sucks.
  3. Its nice that Coleman stoves and lanterns can run off unleaded gas in a pinch, but did they have to stop making them green? 😦
  4. Always remember to subtract one ‘man’ from the number of people a tent can supposedly hold.
  5. I kept thinking: ‘should I get better stakes?’ ‘should I get better stakes?’ Yeah, I should have bought better stakes for the tent.
  6. I don’t know if its because of the heat, but I get powerful thirsty when camping, I should maybe pack some Gatorade next time.
  7. According to the map of the park, the river should have been nearby…it was, but the map didn’t mention the 15-foot drop to get to it.
  8. Thus, I had to drive to the part of the river that you could swim in…it didn’t feel right somehow.
  9. I purchased sunscreen, I took it with me, but did I use it?  Nooooo.
  10. I was both happy and sad to get a cell phone signal out there.
  11. They also had Wi-Fi.  Sign of the times, I guess.
  12. If you go walking around the Guadalupe River with bare feet, you’re going to have a bad time.
  13. So much for taking an afternoon nap. When there is no breeze, it’s actually hotter inside the tent
  14. Nature is pretty noisy, but when things get really quiet, it feels like you’re in a horror movie.
  15. Good to know I can still light a lantern and a camp stove.
  16. As night fell, I could hear generators starting as I sat under my lantern…geez, people, for a few bucks more you can stay at a site with electricity.
  17. I could have stayed ‘off the grid’ but no, I had to bring my laptop and use my smartphone as a hotspot. /shrug
  18. I just had to go Beavis for awhile when the flame from my camp stove shot up a foot in the air after I lit it.  FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!
  19. The humidity at night had me tossing and turning, I’m totally not used to it.
  20. The animals have not been very active at campsites I’ve been to before, so I was a bit surprised when that raccoon opened my food container at at 2 in the morning and swiped a loaf of bread.
  21. I was even MORE surprised when he opened the cooler.  Them’s smart critters.
  22. In an unrelated note, instead of scrambled eggs for breakfast at camp, I had McDonald’s on the way home.  Pbbbt.
  23. How is there condensation on the BOTTOM of the tent when there is no grass?
  24. The tent actually fit back inside of the case it came in -mind blown-
  25. Nothing like that ‘am I sunburned or not?’ feeling.
  26. Of course, the first time you step into a hot shower…you know for SURE.
  27. Can’t wait to do it again!

A Name On Paper

I do put BBQ sauce on my burgers…it’s like HE KNEW

I am old enough to remember when seeing your name in the newspaper was kind of a big deal.  I think it has something to do with the idea that lots of people are seeing your name, even if it is alongside a bunch of other kids’ names on the honor roll or the perfect attendance list of your small-town newspaper.  Or it could just be a small-town thing, who knows?

I still get a kick out of seeing my name in the newspaper and it has happened a few times since then.  I submitted an idea to the “Pluggers” newspaper comic that was used (at right), and made a ‘guest appearance’ in the “My Cage” newspaper comic strip after winning a writing contest on MySpace (remember them?) and was mentioned in an article about First Storm Manga that appeared in the San Antonio Express-News.

My Cage by Melissa DeJesus and Ed Power
We’re the ‘cool’ office

Every time it happened, I would buy a copy of the newspaper and cut out the article or comic in which my name appeared.  I even have the My Cage strip hanging in my living room.  I admit that it is a bit odd and probably the kind of thing that future generations won’t care much about as newspapers become less relevant in our increasingly connected world, but doggone it, its special to me.

I wrote a story named “San Japanic!” that became First Storm Manga’s first self-printed comic book.  I remember smiling when I opened up a copy for the first time and saw “Lead Writer/Editor: Eduardo Soliz” at the bottom of the inside cover.  While they weren’t my pictures, and not even many of my words, it was my story.

Furry Fiesta 2012 Conbook Cover
Art by Mary Mouse of micecomics.com

These days, as I try to get exposure as a writer, I have decided to send stories out to furry conventions in order to get my name out there.  I think its a good deal: they want the content for their conbooks, I like writing short stories, and unlike my usual lackadaisical writing schedule of finishing stuff whenever I feel like it, I have a set topic or theme and a deadline to work around.

The first one I wrote was “Bedtime” for SonicCon 2010, but I never heard back from them, so to this day I have no idea if it ever made it into the book…or if there even was a book for that matter.  The first one that I know was published was “All’s Well That Ends Well,” a short I wrote for Furry Fiesta that featured their mascot jackalopes. 

I remember being at Furry Fiesta and eagerly opening my copy of the conbook after receiving it.  I got that warm fuzzy feeling again as I saw my name near the top of page 28 in glorious black and white ink.  More recently, “The Hunter” made its way into the AnthroCon conbook, and I once again smiled as I saw my story in print.

It is impossible for me to know exactly how many of the folks that received those books actually opened them up and read my story, but knowing that thousands of folks have it in their possession feels much more real to me than anything I’ve ever put on a computer screen.

There’s just something about seeing your name on paper.