I’m Starting a Podcast!

By Nathan On June 23rd, 2016 | 78 views
The tentative logo for our podcast.

The tentative logo for our podcast.

Doesn’t this blog’s title say it all?

No? Okay, I’ll explain.

You may recall when I appeared on the 50th episode of Derailed Trains of Thought, the podcast hosted by my friends Nick Hayden and Timothy Deal, that I was featured in several segments. One of those was “Cinema Selections,” a segment that normally featured amateur film historian/critic Brian Scherschel. Since he discussed a Godzilla movie, however, I was invited to join in. While I mostly deferred to Brian since it was his part of the show, we did have a lively talk about the film in question (this one). Tim suggested as he closed the segment that Brian and I should start our own podcast on Godzilla, which I joked would be called “PodZilla.”

That was November 2014. I didn’t think much more about that podcast after that. That is until a few months ago when Brian contacted me and wanted to know if I was still interested in making that a reality. He’d just finished a couple of other projects and was looking to do something new. I told him I was in.

We’ve been meeting almost every week planning things out. I didn’t realize how much work was required to make a good podcast. It’s also because Brian very much wants to make this a high-quality product that people will be interested in listening to. We haven’t had any arguments (yet), but we have had to settle some differences in opinions on how to go about this project. We’ve also been investigating potential copyright/lawsuit issues since Toho, the Japanese studio that produces the Godzilla films, is hypersensitive about protecting its intellectual properties. So far everything looks like it’ll be fine.

PodZillaCast (the name had to change since our first name choices, surprisingly, were already taken) will be a limited series that analyzes and critiques the Godzilla film franchise. It’ll discuss the merits of each film while also putting them into their cultural and historical contexts. Brian and I believe these films are massively underappreciated and underrated by most westerners, and we hope to shed some light on the films that will get more people interested in watching them.

Will we stop after getting through all 30+ Godzilla films? Maybe. I’ve said that if people enjoyed what we’re doing, we’ll turn our attentions to other kaiju (giant monster) films like King Kong or Pacific Rim, but that’ll depend on how our initial project does.

When will the show launch? I’ve no idea. We’re still hammering out some details. I think it should be up and running by the end of the year, I think. So, keep an eye out for us on your podcatcher of choice!

How will this affect my videos? I don’t know that, either. As it is, I’ve been scaling back on how many videos I make, usually limiting myself to one (or two) a month. I simply don’t have the time to make as many. I keep very busy, obviously. “But I Digress…” may go on hiatus. But only maybe.

Anyway, in the mean time…

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Protect Your Writing Time!

By Nathan On June 16th, 2016 | 64 views

I’m once again touching on the subject of time management, but not exactly like I’ve done before. I’ve been reminded in the last few weeks of an important writer’s mantra:

Protect your writing time at all costs.

As writers, our time is valuable. We don’t have more than other people, so we must block out sections of the day (or week or month) to sit at our desk with a keyboard (or typewriter or paper) to do what we love. But, if you’re like me, you have a lot of other things vying for your time. There are chores that need done. Day jobs that must be worked (ugh!). Friends and family who want to spend time with you. It can be overwhelming. It can also be easy to let those other things steal your time, whittling it down until you get to the end of the day and realize you didn’t write any of the 1,000 words you wanted to have completed in your new novel.

Those things, however, are the “good” ones. Writers need to be around people (writers are human, after all), and until they become more successful, they need other jobs to sustain themselves. But trouble comes when other things like social media get in the way. I’m not saying Facebook and Twitter are terrible things that should be avoided, but there comes a point where they become huge time-sucks. You may feel obligated to rummage through 50 notifications and leave 1,000 words-worth of comments on Facebook instead of focusing that energy and time into penning 1,000 words for your current writing project. Trust me, I know.

As Sean Connery said in Finding Forrester, “Writers write.” That requires time. In this (over)busy society we live in, time is even more precious. Writers can’t afford to let it be stolen unnecessarily. It is a treasure hidden in a castle and there are barbarians at the gate seeking to steal it. We writers must stand our ground. We have to set boundaries and, if needed, quote Captain Picard, who said, “This far! No farther!” when something infringes on our writing time. Otherwise, we will miss a deadline and/or regret that we didn’t get anything done.

How can you go about this? I think it depends on your particular personality and situation. If social media is an issue, consider doing a “detox,” i.e. fast from it for a time. If your hobbies are taking you away, discipline yourself to use them as a reward for completing your writing goal. For example, I try not to play video games until I’ve finished working or completed a task. Heck, a friend told me about a couple of apps one can get on a smartphone that turn goal setting into an RPG. I believe they’re called LifeRPG and EpicWin. Those might be great tools for you.

I started this blog by saying writers have to defend their writing time. I ended with talk of role-playing games. Perhaps it’s time for you to “level up” and protect that treasure!

But I Digress…, Episode 36: A Review of ‘Captain America: Civil War’

By Nathan On June 9th, 2016 | 29 views

“But I Digress…”
Hosted by Nathan Marchand

After a host of delays and problems filming this video, I’ve *finally* completed it–a month after the movie in question was released. Sorry.

Anyway, my buddy Sergio and I tackle what is arguably one of Marvel’s greatest films after some crazy (and schlocky) shenanigans.

Additional Music Credit: “There was a Hole Here” by The Wingless

My more timely text review: http://www.examiner.com/review/civil-war-is-marvel-s-best-film-yet

Did you enjoy the film? What are your thoughts on it?

Please subscribe, comment, and share!

 

Press Release for Noble County All-IN Block Party June 25

By Nathan On June 3rd, 2016 | 104 views

No blog this week (sorry!), but I do have a press release for an upcoming event whereat I will be one of many authors having signings. My friend and fellow writer Nick Hayden will also be present.

Well over a dozen authors—all with a connection to Noble County—are scheduled for a mass appearance during the Noble County ALL-IN Block Party in Albion June 25.

Numerous activities are planned around the courthouse square in Albion, as part of Indiana’s Bicentennial year. The authors are one part of a celebration of all that’s good about Noble County, and they’ll be available to sign and sell their books, or just talk about their work. Their booth, along with all others, will open at 10 a.m., and go on until 3 p.m.

The event will also include food, activities, and entertainment by local groups and organizations. Registration begins at 9 a.m., with an Opening Ceremony at 9:30. The event’s Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/NobleBlockParty/

The list of authors planning to attend so far include:

Carol Bender, retired school teacher for Central Noble Community Schools in Noble County, has three published books: two children’s books, The Doctor’s Little Stowaway, and Grace’s Birthday Surprise, and one adult book. In Quest of Gold, the story of a teenager’s journey during the California Gold Rush, would also be acceptable for middle school age children and young adults.  All three books are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books a Million. http://carolbender.com/meet-grace_268.html

Lindsay Bentz writes under the pen name Daisy Jordan and has published 11 YA and women’s fiction novels, including the Spin the Bottle series—YA fiction that adults will also enjoy as a flashback to high school days. She writes about relationships and friendships, and can be found online at http://www.daisyjordan.com/.

Dawn Crandall is an ACFW Carol Award-nominated author of the award winning inspirational historical romance series The Everstone Chronicles, published by Whitaker House. Her books include: The Hesitant Heiress, The Bound Heart, and The Captive Imposter. Her newest release, The Cautious Maiden, will be available October 2016. Dawn is also a full-time mom to a precious little boy, and a baby due this summer. She serves with her husband in a pre-marriage mentor program at their local church in Fort Wayne. www.dawncrandall.blogspot.com

Sheli Emenhiser has written Crushed But Not Broken:There Are Worse Things in Life Than a Mousetrap Hanging From Your Pom Pom. Sheli writes about “how I endured an abusive relationship and how God brought me out of that darkness into His wonderful light. “ She works at Elijah Haven Crisis Intervention Center as a domestic violence advocate, helping other women rebuilt their self-esteem and self-worth, and lives in Topeka with her husband, and has three children. https://www.facebook.com/SheliEmenhiserCrushedbutnotBroken

Beth Friskney tells the story of Rome City and the remarkable people who once lived there in R is for Rome City. The book covers Sylvan Lake as well as Rome City, a resort town that boasted the beautiful Kneipp Springs, famous author Gene Stratton-Porter, and a history of everything from the infamous Blacklegs and Regulators to major league baseball commissioner Ford Frick. Friskney lives on Sylvan Lake with her husband and two children, and is heavily involved in Rome City events and organization.

Nick Hayden is the author of the fantasy novels Trouble on the Horizon and The Remnant of Dreams, as well as short story collections, including Dreams & Visions, and the novella The Isle of Gold. He co-hosts a story-telling podcast, “Derailed Trains of Thought,” and helps run the Children of the Wells web serial. Other books include the fantasy The Unremarkable Squire, a flash fiction collection, Another World, and the fantasy Bron & CaleaVolume 1, with Laura Fischer. www.worksofnick.com

Together Mark R. Hunter and Emily Hunter wrote the local history books Images of America: Albion and Noble County and Smoky Days and Sleepless Nights: A Century or So With the Albion Fire Department. Their newest work takes a humorous look at Indiana history: Hoosier Hysterical: How the West Became the Midwest Without Moving At All. She also helped him produce the young adult novel The No-Campfire Girls and a collection of his humor columns, Slightly Off the Mark. Mark R Hunter also has two published romantic comedies and a short story collection in the Storm Chaser series, set in Indiana. Their works can be found at www.markrhunter.com, or on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Mark-R-Hunter/e/B0058CL6OO.

Rev. Pam Lash is the author of The Voice & Two Hours on Tuesday: What Happened When We Went Prayer Walking. Lash, a certified addiction counselor, has a doctorate in ministry and lives in Albion, where she serves as an associate pastor and worship leader at the Assembly of God Church. She has three children, three grandsons, and a great-grandson. https://www.amazon.com/Voice-Two-Hours-Tuesday-Happened-ebook/dp/B00NHQEICU; Her Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/The-Voice-and-Two-Hours-on-Tuesday-1428332754135581/.

Nathan Marchand hails from the furthest corner of Noble County. He earned a B.A. in professional writing from Taylor University Fort Wayne. His first novel, the military science fiction thriller Pandora’s Box, was published in 2010. He and Nick Hayden are two of the co-creators of the ongoing fantasy serial, Children of the Wells. When not writing, Nate enjoys other creative endeavors like photography, making YouTube videos, and occasionally saving the world. www.NathanJSMarchand.com

R.A. Slone started with short stories and eventually worked her way into writing full-length novels. Slone writes Young Adult Paranormal, as well as Inspirational Fiction and short fiction for the 4County Mall, under the name Rita Robbins. Her website, including her blog and information about her writing, is at http://www.raslone.com/. She will have copies of her YA Paranormal novel, Ghost in the Blue Dress, available at the author appearance.

Greg Smith’s first call to write came in Junior High, but he passed on the assignment until, at age forty, his wife urged him to finally accept the challenge. Since then he’s published three suspense novels: Holy Lotto, Wrong Left Turn, and 3 Times the Sparrow, all available on Kindle, Nook, and in softcover paperback thru Amazon (Nook thru Barnes & Noble). A much asked for sequel to Holy Lotto, Holy Addendum, is ready to go to print and should be available soon. His website is at gregsnovels.weebly.com.

Susan Thuillard was born and raised in rural Indiana and has worked in occupations as varied as ranching, law enforcement, and accounting. She’s published six books that are just as varied, including mysteries and thrillers, which can be found on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/M.-Susan-Thuillard/e/B00JJG4IN6.

Belinda Wilson is a local author of children’s books, who retired from Parkview Noble Hospital in 2015, after more than 30 years. Belinda has been featured at Summer’s Stories and The Wilson Gallery in Kendallville, as well as First Friday events in Goshen. She will have copies of her first children’s book, The Secret Lives of Fireflies, a wonderfully imaginative story of fireflies and fairies, available at the event.

Be there or be square!

NERD RAGE! Episode 1: Captain America Hails HYDRA!?

By Nathan On May 27th, 2016 | 41 views

“NERD RAGE!”
Hosted by Nathan Marchand

In light of the recent revelation that, apparently, Captain America–one of my favorite superheroes–has always been a supervillain, I decided to launch a new show called “NERD RAGE!” This show will focus on me ranting about any stupid decisions made in media and/or the nerd and geek community. This episode features my friend and frequent co-host Sergio Garza. “NERD RAGE!” will have an irregular schedule and have episodes posted sporadically.

What do you think of Marvel’s decision to make Cap a HYDRA agent?

#SayNoToHydraCap

Why George Perez is Awesome

By Nathan On May 19th, 2016 | 74 views

A few weeks ago, I attended Indiana Comic-Con in Indianapolis. It was nice to go to a convention as an attendee and not as a vendor (though I’d love to be a vendor there—I just need to produce my own comic book first). I had the privilege of meeting comic book writers Marv Wolfman and Chris Claremont, as well as the actors Ian McDiarmid, Ray Park, John Rhys Davies, and Brent Spiner.

But by far the most impressive celebrity I met at that con was comic book artist/writer George Perez. Ironically, trying to meet him was also the most frustrating part of my trip.

See, there was so much I wanted to do at this convention this year that I opted to attend for two days. My friends and I stayed in a nearby hotel. I’d met Mr. Perez before several years ago the first time I went to this convention. I had him autograph several graphic novels and paid him to make a sketch of Captain America for me. This year I was excited to meet him because I had Break-Thru #1, an obscure comic he drew in the ‘90s, for him to sign, and I planned to play “Stump Perez” by asking him to draw NightMan, one of the characters from that book.

The problem was the convention decided to sell tickets first thing in the morning each day of the convention to fans who wanted to meet him. These “golden ticket” holders would get first priority, even if they left and came back. Since most of them brought whole longboxes of comics for Mr. Perez to sign and asked for a sketch (which took 10-15 minutes to draw), the line moved slower than a snail. Myself, my friend Sergio, and many other fans stood in line for hours on end for two days waiting to see him. On one hand, we were frustrated as heck. On the other hand, we formed a strange bond. I called them “my line brothers.” We all became friends through this strange sort of adversity. Heck, we even came up with this meme as an expression of our frustration. 😛

IMG_4055

I’m confident none of this stuff was Mr. Perez’s idea, though, because he came to our line twice on the last day of the con and apologized for what happened. Not only that, he took control of the situation and although he couldn’t make us sketches, he promised that he would get us all autographs on up to five items. I was quick to say, “I think I speak for all of us, George, when I say we all still love you!” Indeed, Mr. Perez’s only sin that convention was that he was too nice.

Closing time came, and after wrapping up a few things, Mr. Perez came to our line—which was at least 25-30 people long—and led us through the vendor hall full of people deconstructing booths. Someone joked that he was the Pied Piper, but I said that he was Moses leading us through the wilderness. “Part the Red Sea for us, George!” I called.

Me meeting George Perez. (Yes, that's my 10th Doctor cosplay).

Me (right) meeting George Perez (left). (Yes, that’s my 10th Doctor cosplay).

Finally, he led us to the hallway, where we re-formed our line. I was the third or fourth person down. One of Mr. Perez’s assistants came over carrying a chair and asked him if he wanted to sit. Then Mr. Perez said something that solidified my already growing respect for him: “They did not sit, so I will not sit!” Wow!

This is a man who knows how to treat his fans. He knows he wouldn’t be where he is without them. To know that they suffered and waited patiently when they could’ve done other things (and some did give up, by the way), he made sure to do right by them. I’m not sure how many other celebrities would’ve done that.

I hope someday, if I get that popular, to remember what I saw him do that day and emulate it.

Mr. Perez, you are a wonderful man!

On Shameless Self-Promotion

By Nathan On April 28th, 2016 | 165 views

This may or not not be an artist’s depiction of one of my book signings. :P

I’ve made it no secret no secret that I’m a shameless self-promoter. In fact, it could be argued that I sometimes flaunt it. However, this week I had two interesting thoughts related to that this week. Well, more like one thought and one realization.

First, my self-promotion got me in a bit of trouble. I shared my latest blog in a Facebook group I’m in, and not one but two admins messaged me after deleting my post telling me not to do that since the group had a rule against self-promotion posts (because otherwise the members would be bombarding the group with them). It wasn’t the first time this had happened. Admittedly, it was kinda my fault since I’d forgotten about that rule.

One admin asked me why I promoted myself. “I’m a writer,” I replied. “It’s what I do.” She said she wrote haikus but didn’t go around saying, “Look at me! Look at me!” I had to fight the urge to start an argument.

“Why?” you ask. Because the difference between me and this admin is—at the risk of sounding rude—I’m a professional and she’s a hobbyist (as far as I know). I don’t know if she has a blog where she posts her haikus, but if she’s okay with only a few people reading her stuff, that’s fine. I, on the other hand, want to grow an audience because writing is my trade and vocation. If I am to be (more) successful, I must get people to read my stuff. I figured that since I’d built a community in this Facebook group, that’d be a great place to generate interest. Apparently not. I understand why they have the rule, but I didn’t like the attitude I was getting from the admin. However, I can forgive it because she may not understand where I’m coming from. I know promotion can come across as arrogant—just look at Donald Trump (yes, I went there)—but it’s necessary in my line of work. If you have the right attitude, though, it can work. It may seem paradoxical that self-promotion and humility can go together, but I do believe it’s possible.

Ironically, I learned that even I have limits on my self-promotion, which brings me to my second thought. I realized that when I’m trying to get people interested in books (or anything I make/do), I’m filled with passionate adamancy. I’m a one-man hype machine. But when people come back to me and say they loved my stuff, I almost want to refuse their praise. But…I have friends who are more talented and/or successful than me! I think.

Yeah, I’m weird.

I’m not 100-percent sure why I think like this. It might be because I feel like I’m the lesser of my peers. I’m in awe of their talent and think they’re more deserving of people’s attention and adoration. Or I think that if I was as talented and/or savvy as my more successful peers, then I’d deserve the praise. In other words, I see a disconnection. Does that make sense?

What do you think, True Believers? Do you have similar struggles? How do you deal with these thoughts?

An Open Letter to Nathan Alberson

By Nathan On April 26th, 2016 | 297 views

Dear Mr. Alberson,

Hi. My name is Nathan Marchand, and I’m a freelance writer/author. You don’t know me, but I shared your recent blog post “An Open Letter to Rey from Star Wars” on my professional Facebook page, and it’s become one of the most shared things I’ve ever posted. Sadly, neither it nor you were getting much love. Heck, one or two people erroneously thought I had written it because we share the same first name. (Guilty by name association. Gah!)

When I first read your article, it did make me stop and think. I, too, am not fond of militant neo-feminism (let’s call it “misandry”) and its effects on modern culture. But after seeing the reactions to your article and discussing it with people, I’ve concluded that, honestly, you’re full of crap.

Your post is full of so much misinformation and misunderstanding, I’m not sure where to start. Perhaps I’ll start with your so-called “biblical evidence” since I’m also a Christian.

You cite three verses—Isaiah 19:16, Jeremiah 51:30, and Nahum 3:13—that describe the armies of nations being judged by God as “becoming like women” when facing His wrath. You cite these and 1 Peter 3:7 as evidence of how God designed women as vulnerable creatures. (Ironically, the now more politically correct rendition of the New International Version [NIV] uses the word “weaklings.”)

First, these passages aren’t meant to denote gender roles. In the ancient world, women usually didn’t fight in the army. They weren’t allowed. Culturally speaking, that was a role for men. In such an environment, they didn’t receive training and/or upbringing that made them into fighters. So, if they were to be accosted by enemy warriors, they should shrink back in fear. But that would be true of men who didn’t receive the same training. You’ve missed the point of these passages. 1 Peter 3:7 describes women as “the weaker partner,” which is talking about physical strength. Yes, generally speaking, men are physically larger and stronger than women. In the ancient world, this was why men did the fighting.But at the same time, it doesn’t mean women are helpless.

An artist’s rendering of Deborah from Judges 4-5.

Case in point: you neglect whole Bible stories that feature women being directed by God to take on traditionally masculine roles. Remember Deborah from Judges 4-5? She became the Judge (i.e. leader) of Israel. She liberated her people from King Jabin.

Jael killing Sisera in Judges 4. Art by Felice Ficherelli, 17th century.

Yes, she had Barak as her military commander, but he still deferred to her. It was her who spurred him on to victory. Despite his prowess, he was hesitant to fight. In other words, he was the one acting “like women,” as the verses you cited would say. But Judges 4 features another heroic woman: Jael. Deborah prophesied that Sisera, the enemy commander, would be delivered into the hands of a woman, but it wasn’t her. Jael brought final victory to Israel by driving a tent peg into Sisera’s skull.

You might argue they’re the exceptions to the rule, but the fact remains that these women showed that God is more than willing to use women is traditionally masculine roles if no men will step up to the plate. To paraphrase the Other from Marvel’s The Avengers, “They are not the cowering wretches” you seem to think they are. “I could quote more scriptures about women being vulnerable in ways that men aren’t,” you condescendingly wrote. “I’m not going to bother doing that because you ladies are all capable of reading your Bibles.” Well, I could say the same when it comes to biblical examples of strong women doing exactly what Deborah and Jael did, too. But I know you’re capable of reading your Bible, right?

Which brings me to this point: women, especially in the modern world, have had to learn to take care of themselves. Not because they’re raging feminists who think they don’t need men, but because they have to. They’re single and don’t have a man to protect them. They might live in a dangerous neighborhood. So, they go learn martial arts and/or self-defense. Most hope this is a temporary situation, but even if they do get married, their husbands can’t be with them 24/7 to make sure they’re safe. A married woman could be mugged while walking home from work. What should she do then? Nothing because it means she’s violated her so-called “biblical gender role”? Absolutely not!

Speaking of martial arts, you seem to think that fighting is all about strength. It isn’t. As this video shows, it’s also about speed and technique. Martial arts like judo and jujitsu teach practitioners to use the power of their opponents against them. This is why women learn this and similar martial arts to defend themselves (read this article for more). They don’t require practitioners to be stronger than their opponents. These could be used by small men, too, by the way.

You seem to think that “action heroines” started with Ellen Ripley in the original Alien. This shows a gross ignorance of literature. Perhaps it started in pop culture with her, but female warriors date all the way back to ancient mythology. Ever heard of the Amazons? They’re just one of many examples dating back millennia. Need I also bring up Susan from The Chronicles of Narnia and Eowyn from The Lord of the Rings, both of which were written by devout Christians (C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, respectively)? If I had daughters, I’d want them to look up to fictional heroines like that. (Heck, I’ve considered naming a daughter Eowyn for that reason!)

You note that many of these action heroines fall back into their “traditional”/”biblical” roles as mothers because it’s their God-given nature. You cite Ripley defending Newt like a mother in Aliens and Black Widow in Avengers: Age of Ultron regretting that she was forcibly sterilized as examples. You bring them up like they’re proof that something was violated. I don’t think so. There are countless examples in nature of mothers violently defending their young (ever try to anger a mother bear? You’ll regret it). Human females will also fight to defend their children. The fact that childbearing is biologically wired into them is an undeniable part of their identity, but it isn’t their entire identity.

But this happens with male characters, too. Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings isn’t just a rugged warrior—he’s also a tender lover. That seems to go counter to hyper-masculine heroes like Rambo. Some might even call it feminine.

You want to argue with the great C.S. Lewis about creating an action heroine?

Witch King: “No man can slay me!” Eowyn: “I am no man! You look upon a woman!” ::stab::

You wrote, “[Men] certainly don’t feel very inspired to fight for a woman trying her best to be just like us. She’s worth dying for used to mean something. If there’s nothing precious or exalted about women, why should men bother?” This is difficult for me to address because I have known women who fit this description. I even went on a date with one. I don’t think I’d have described that girl as “trying to be just like a man,” but she was a lady pastor who knew martial arts. Her position, biblical knowledge, and self-defense skills were intimidating because she seemed so self-sufficient, I didn’t know what I could offer her. She seemed to have all the major bases covered. I’m not saying I have to be smarter, stronger, and/or more capable at everything than a wife, but I do want to feel like what we offer each other is equal. So, in other words, I can see where you’re coming from, but I think you take it too far. If anything, it seems like an expression of self-deprecation and self-loathing, which is sad and kind of pathetic, to be honest. I don’t know if you’re married, but if you aren’t, I think I know why. (I hate to make personal comments like that because I despise ad hominems).

Are the heroines you speak of influenced by misandry (or militant feminism)? Possibly. Some have certainly been claimed by neo-feminism. However, all good stories are written in such a way that individual readers/viewers can interpret the characters through their own lenses. I don’t see Rey or Ripley or Black Widow as feminist icons that declare, “I am woman! Hear me roar for I hate men and don’t need them!” Rey is young girl trying to survive alone on a harsh desert planet. Ripley is a space trucker who’s forced to defend herself against a hideous monster. Black Widow is a secret agent trying to recover her humanity after it was stripped away from her. Those are universal human struggles. The fact that they’re women is immaterial. There are many, many examples of the same sorts of stories featuring male characters.

I could probably say more, but this blog has already gone long, and I’ve spent way more time writing it when I should writing my next short story or novel.

PandorasBox04

I bet you’d *love* my first novel!

(Speaking of which, Mr. Alberson, I should send you my first book, Pandora’s Box. It’d make your head explode because it features a tomboyish, redheaded, butt-kicking but still feminine heroine).

If you read this, thanks. I hope it gives you some things to think about.

Your Pal,

(The Original) Nate

Falling Through the Cracks

By Nathan On April 12th, 2016 | 131 views

Get it? :P

I’ve written many times before about time management and how I tend to take on more projects than I possibly could. Well, this week, that bit me in the butt—hard. Remember how I was supposed to have a book signing at the North Webster Public Library Monday?

I completely forgot about it.

You read that right. I didn’t even show up at my own book signing. That’s never happened before. I’m the kind of person who keeps his commitments. I feel terrible if I don’t. I don’t like letting people down. Yet despite seeing promotions for my signing and even blogging about it, it completely slipped my mind. Since I was scheduled to work at my day job, I couldn’t even show up late. I spent the next 24 hours beating myself up over it until I talked with the librarians this afternoon and found out all is well. I’ve been rescheduled for June 6 from 3:30pm-6:30pm.

Me yesterday when I got the call from the library.

I had no excuse or justification for forgetting it. The problem is I’ve had a hundred other things on my mind, from writing/creative projects to family concerns to a ballroom dance showcase this weekend, and everything in between. Something was bound to get lost in the shuffle, to fall through the cracks. It’s not the first time it’s happened, but it was never something this major. It was usually just something like forgetting to blog (I’ve apologized many a time for that) or neglecting my writing time (a greater crime for writers). Never have I neglected an entire event centered on me that was promoted for several weeks, if not longer, beforehand. My only solace is the library is too nice to make me wear the proverbial bag of shame over my head whenever I’m there.

At the height of my metaphorical self-flagellation over this, I told myself I should just cut out everything that isn’t work or writing from my life to avoid more gaffs like this. Now that I’m in my right mind, I don’t think I’ll go that far. I’ll certainly put some thought into cutting back on some things, though. More importantly, I’m going to be smarter about remembering my own schedule. Put it on my calendar or in my iPhone as a reminder.

Or marry a secretary. 😛

The point is I can’t afford to make a mistake like this again. It was unprofessional and irresponsible. At least it only happened for relatively small event. If I forget Gen-Con….

So, be it known that future events will not sneak up on me like one of Master Heeyah’s ninjas. 😛

But I Digress…, Episode 35: A Review of ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’

By Nathan On March 31st, 2016 | 109 views

“But I Digress…”
Hosted by Nathan Marchand

“And there came a day unlike any other”–

Oops. Wrong company and franchise. 😛

Anyway, in this episode I review DC’s much-hyped Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. But I’m not alone. I’m joined once again by my buddy Sergio. Guess which one of us liked the movie and which of us didn’t.

(By the way, Sergio’s awful couch makes skinny people look fat and fat people look…fatter). 😜

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My text review of the movie.