Hey Folks,

Sorry for the slow update–yesterday was a pretty busy day, and I was bad about getting this posted.

Anyhow, I have in fact launched my Coffee House Games Kickstarter project!  If you like to write, or if you like coffee, or if you like neither but need something new to do with friends, check it out!  We’ve been having loads of fun playing coffee house games for the past year or so, and I think you will enjoy them too!  There’s a free demo game on the Kickstarter page.

Best,
Nash

Well, the day I’ve been itching at for months and months and more is finally here!  My first album, The Night Wind, has launched and is officially available through Bandcamp.  I’m releasing it under the moniker Street Nymphs, partially in the hopes that Street Nymphs will eventually become a full-on band and consist of more than just me.  Until then, I’ll settle with my ethereal forest sprite companions.

I’m releasing The Night Wind with Bandcamp’s delightful name-your-price feature, so you may download it for free if you like.  I figure, when it comes down to it, I would rather have many people listening than a few people paying. If this philosophy eventually makes a poor man of me… well, at least my album will still be on Bandcamp?  Ah, we’ll figure that one out later.

In other news, the coffee house games are coming along quite well.  I wish I had art to share with you, but I had something of a cross-hatching mishap the other day and have yet to retrace my earlier design.  Tomorrow Renee and I will venture out to a number of our coffee shops to deliver flyers and take a few photographs, and I am doing my best to have the Kickstarter project launched by then.  I will post another brief update as soon as that happens.

Best wishes, and I hope you enjoy the first ever Street Nymphs album!
Nash

Well, the funding deadline for my Kickstarter project has officially passed, as of 12:00pm yesterday.  Thanks to everyone who participated!  Over half of the copies have already been sent out, and the others are either awaiting shipping information or will be sent out during tomorrow’s trip to the post office.

Here’s a view of my work station, after a long weekend of hand-publishing ghost stories.

What’s up next, then?  I’m still chugging along on my album (see previous post).  I haven’t quite hit the halfway point as far as recording goes, but hopefully sometime tomorrow I will record vocals for the sixth song of twelve, and that will do the trick.  I’ve been dying to get another looping pedal (my previous one went haywire), but it isn’t really a necessity for this album (which is entirely acoustic guitar and vocals/harmonica).  Still, I think I may resolve to purchase another one as a reward for finishing the album, though I’m not certain what kind I will try.

On the writing front, I am gathering ideas in approach of the outlining phase for my Science Fiction novel (which is, as yet, unnamed).  I plan to start writing in November, to coincide with NaNoWriMo.  If you haven’t heard about NaNoWriMo (National Novel-Writing Month), it is essentially a personal achievement in which one strives to write an entire 200 page/50,000 word novel during the month of November.  Participants can even sign up on the official website (linked above) to help keep track of their progress.

I won’t be signing up this year, but I have decided to at least give it a try.  However, I am allowing myself to possibly opt-out if I decide that the NaNoWriMo deadline is too oppressive for me/this particular project, because, simply put, I am an incredibly slow writer.  But, who knows?  Maybe this sort of pressure will be perfect to kick me into high gear for once!  I intend to find out…

That being said, I am definitely not going into November unprepared.  I intend to have a detailed outline of the entire plot, as well as a vivid notion of backstory/setting/characters/macro mechanics.  And that is what I’m up to now.

Now, what is this novel going to be all about?  Well, you’ll have to wait and see!  I’ll offer up a little snippet in a few days after I’ve compiled my thoughts a little bit better and have a more concrete idea of names and such.

Still wandering,
Nash

PS — This post has 425 words.  Successfully completing NaNoWriMo means writing over 1,666 words every day.

Characters

November 13, 2009

This has been a very psychologically trying semester for me, and I realized that this struggle has been bleeding into my writing.  I’m in Advanced Composition, which is an extremely open-ended writing class–though it is still my most challenging so far, perhaps for this very reason.  So far I have produced three different writings: a short story, which is, by itself the longest piece I have ever written, a short play, and a narrative poem.  The writings are completely separate in terms of plot and characters, but there are subtle ways in which they depend on each other and interconnect, so I am inclined to include them in the same collection.  I was imagining this collection to be heading toward some cumulative point, until Wednesday.  On Wednesday I realized what my writings really were.  They are partial psychological profiles of myself.

It just so happened that in Advanced Comp. on Wednesday we were asked to write a short piece that develops one of our characters.  Mine is probably a bit shorter than the requirement, but I don’t think I’m going to add much more to it, and I think I will use this as the introduction / preface to my collection.

Confessions and Regrets

~

It is through situations that we best see into the souls of characters; it is through characters that we best see into the souls of their authors.

~

Y’san in the Market

The marketplace stirred like the clouds of dust that follow the hooves of horses, but Y’san drifted about like an autumn leaf in slow descent.  Ahead of him, two children tossed a stone back and forth between one another.  When a failed toss left the stone at Y’san’s feet, the old man smiled at the children, picking up the stone, and returned it, nodding in respect to the child’s gratitude.

“Rolls today, Y’san?” hollered Pedro as the elder approached his bakery stand.

“Yes, please.  Six coppers, correct?” Y’san replied, once he had finished walking to the booth.

“Six coppers.  Here you are.” Pedro handed Y’san a basket of rolls.

“Thank you much, Pedro.  And your coppers.”

Pedro took the coins and crooked his head.  Just as Y’san was about to turn to leave, Pedro blurted, “Hey, we’re getting together for cards tonight—you should come join us!”

“No, no,” said Y’san, “I’m much too old for that.”

“Nonsense!  You know that some of the finest cardsmen are the elders!  And I’ve heard stories about when you used to play.  Join us!  It will be a good time.”

“Oh, no, no.”  Y’san smiled, shaking his head slowly, and walked away.  That night, the elder watched the wind blow through the ferns and imagined the jokes and stories that would be shared over that game of cards.

On Success

July 1, 2009

I have this problem.  When I write, I keep talking about how our value as humans isn’t based on what we do, and in my heart I truly believe that.  Unfortunately, my head is still working on the concept, and it doesn’t always go so well.

This summer has been the product of a conflict of mine.  I don’t really believe in money as motivation, so when I consider an occupation, if the job is not something that has some other source of motivation for me, I feel like I am selling my life away.  I do know that things like paying for college or preparing for the future are things I should be thinking about, too, but I’m convicted by Christ’s story about the lilies and the sparrows, and I don’t want to be taken away from God in an effort to secure my future.  That being said, I don’t want to squander what God has given me.

My compromise for the summer was this: I would work part-time, at a place that would give me the chance to share love, and I would invest the rest of the summer with a few writing projects, and giving myself the opportunity to go where God takes me.  I found a job at an ice-cream and coffee shop in our city’s downtown area, which hosts a variety of small businesses.  I felt good about the fit.  Here I’d be encountering people–something I need to force myself to do–and sharing joy and food, along with supporting a small business.  I was excited.

Well, I was a bit slow to get the hang of the ice-cream business, but I pushed myself and I did my best.  It wasn’t quite enough.  At first I didn’t get very many hours, and then I got fired.

When your brain is still learning not to try and measure your worth based on your deeds, getting fired from what seemed like a simple job, is a bit rough.  Now I’m out of a job, and I feel like I’m lazy.

I responded by trying to rack up other achievements.  I assigned myself to eight hours of ‘productive’ time every day–basically working on writing projects.  But my basis for what was ‘productive’ meant things that could lead to me getting money or fame or something.

My mom’s birthday was about this time.  This spring I started drawing birthday cards for friends, and I planned to give my mom one as well.  They take a long time, because I am not very much of an artist, but I am extremely finicky with my work.

Well, birthday cards make people happy, and they let people know that I love them, but they aren’t going to make me money, and they aren’t going to get me famous, so I didn’t count working on my mom’s card as productive.  So I set my mom’s card as a low priority, because I felt like I had to do something to be worth something.

My mom’s card was more than a week late, and, even though she didn’t mind at all, I felt like a jerk.  Here I’d been trying to avoid selling my life to money, but I somehow managed to do that very thing, even though I didn’t have a job.

I think a lot of the things that we think are important, aren’t very important to God.  And I think that the things that are important to God, don’t necessarily seem important to us.

So maybe if I reevaluate my society-based priority list, or do away with it altogether, I might be better able to hear Him whisper the things that are really important in my ear.