Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Tag

I’m Ok (National Poetry Writing Month 2015 #12)   Leave a comment

I woke up feeling suicidal today.
No really, its fine. I just let the thoughts play.
They came into my mind like a long lost friend,
Except the games they wanted to play were my end.

Flying through images like a Dr. Seuss limerick
Painting a picture that would make people sick.
Drowning in a bathtub, getting hit by a train,
Taking an icepick to my brain.

Movies of senseless violence and gore
Until the thoughts couldn’t be thought anymore.
Then they got up and said their farewell.
And then I moved on. Wait, oh hell-

Seriously, I’m fine. So please stop crying.
I’m not going to do it, I’m just thinking of dying.
No it’s like a hobby, something to pass the time.
Like crochet or video games; a victimless crime.

Yes, I know I’d be the victim; I’m not going to do it.
It’s too much work to actually go through with it.
Where am I going to find a good rope these days.
Security guards block access to upper walkways.

Ok, I know you don’t get it; I know its surreal.
But thoughts aren’t reality. Just ethereal.
I just view life a little more morbidly.
Most people just view it more happily.

But they are just thoughts, so what’s the problem?
No one is hurt if I don’t act upon them.

Ok. OK! I’ll go see the doc!
I get offered meds. I’ll sit down and talk.
If it makes you feel better, I’ll even go today.
But really, I’m seriously, totally ok.

– Shaman Romney 2015

Silver Thoughts (National Poetry Writing Month 2015 #6)   Leave a comment

Silver thoughts serpentine
Through my mind like plasticine.
Trying to mold this fever dream
Into something I think I’ve seen

I can’t seem to make it real.
This dream existence that I feel.
Between my hands, solid as a beam.
This idea that is as true as steel.

They whirl around, instead, like air.
Fool me with pretending they were there.
But it’s only a trick to seem
Like something that should make me care.

Like they are something worthwhile.
Something that would be worth the trial
To work upon; to make it them gleam.
To finally look upon and smile.

But, alas, the thoughts keep prancing.
Never stopping, never chancing
To ever be more than a dream.
So they remain, forever dancing.

– Shaman Romney 2015

5 Things I’ve Learned From A Year Of Blogging   Leave a comment

I posted my first post on this blog a year ago today.

I have been blogging for a whole year. That amazes me.

Maybe it’s just because I’ve got the attention span of a hamster on speed, but I feel like it has been a lot longer than that. Then again, I also feel that way about my last year in general; so much of it has changed.

In the spirit of that change, here are 5 things I learned about myself from a year of blogging:

1.) I’m more of a poet than I am a writer.

I started writing this blog with the intent of changing/enriching the world. I wanted to write about mental health issues, personality typology, psychology self-help, etc. I felt if I was going to start writing, it would need to have a purpose, an end goal.

However, as noble and nice as those goals were, they don’t necessarily get readers, nor did they really get me writing. Doing the daily prompts did help me get a flow going, but it wasn’t until NaPoWriMo that I actually started to take this blog seriously.

It reminded me how much I love poetry. I find it makes it easier for me to express my thoughts and emotions in the moment. Even if, half the time, I end up with a bunch of depressing poems. It worked for Sylvia Plath, right?

But I also find it really fun. Trying to find the right rhyme to end your verse, without forcing things or ruining the flow, is incredibly challenging. But when you get it done right, it is incredibly rewarding.

2.) I talk too much, and I need to write more.

I have a friend who reads my blog. She’s been reading it from the start, and she makes sure to read everything I do. She says that she really enjoys what I write.

I have no idea why though. Not because I don’t think it is good; I wouldn’t make posts I don’t think are ready to be read. But because she is the one who gets to have all my pure, unaltered idea vomit thrown at her on a regular basis whenever we hang out.

Whether its philosophy, atheism, politics or any of the other things I’m interested in, she has heard me go hours and hours of diatribes that would probably make most people lose their minds.

Now, I imagine if I took all the time I spent melting her brain with my rants, and instead took the time to write them down. I’d have three times as many posts by now.

If you were to also add all the times I’ve had a personal rant in my head that I never bothered to voice to anyone….

Well, I don’t think I would have time to do anything but write.

Regardless, I should probably start writing more things down. Which means…

3.) I always should have a pen and paper. (Or start recording myself like a loon.)

I have forgotten the amount of times I have had an amazing idea, the start of a good poem, or a nice melody, and lost it forever because I couldn’t write it down in time.

Many creative people have as well, and it so it is mandatory that we all have a pen and paper on us at all times. I’m getting better with doing that, but it isn’t always feasible. So I’ve tried to expand to my note taking to other forms of technology.

I don’t really like typing notes into my phone, because it takes too long, and I have a crappy, unreliable phone. However, recording my self tends to work in a pinch, especially with how good voice to text has gotten.

With it, I can idea vomit onto a computer at record speed. It is probably the best way for me to get my ideas down.

So why don’t I do it more often?

Because I get most of my ideas on the train, bus, or walking around. People tend to be sitting/standing/walking by me, and so I look crazy. Plus, sometimes I like to write about more controversial topics, and I’d rather not have to fight the bible-thumping MRA republican Nazi Sith lord that may happen to sit next to me some day.

So, until I either lose enough shame to be fine with looking even crazier in public, I will just stick with the writer’s classic.

4.) I do my best writing on the spot, but I should still revise.

I tend to write best when I just throw my ideas down. Whenever I have been able to sit down and get into a groove, I write the stuff that I am most proud of. The things that I have found to be the weakest were things that I planned out, made outlines for and then wrote over days.

It’s a little counter intuitive, but working out what I want to write just stifles my natural creativity.

I know that doesn’t work for a lot of people. They need to create outlines, rough drafts, revisions galore, etc. before they have something they feel is good enough for people to see.

I tend to write how I speak, and I think I’m well spoken. So my writing reflects that.

That being said, you can always clean things up. You can polish up the writing to make it shine, cut out excess bits, change things around to flow better, and just make it a better piece in general. You are able to do the type of things that you aren’t be able to do in conversation. (Although it would be really awesome if we could.)

It’s something I don’t do nearly enough. So I just need to carve out time every week where I can sit down and write. Not too hard, right? Well…

5.) I need to do more to motivate myself.

Last, and most importantly, I need to motivate myself more. I can’t do any of the things I listed above if I can’t get myself motivated enough to actually do them.

Back when I started this blog, I had motivation. I was trying to find a purpose, a direction in life. I wanted to give myself a reason to get up in morning that wasn’t just paying bills. Other blogs and armchair psychologists told me blogging would do that, one thing led to another, and now the plague that is my blog was released on the internet.

But now I have a new, much better and more mentally stimulating job. My self-esteem is at healthy, levels, and am feeling more positive about life.

Because things are going so well, and with how busy work has been lately, I have been letting this blog fall to the wayside. It’s become easy to push a post off until tomorrow, then until next week, and off until next month.

Do I need to write? No.

But it is something that I enjoy. It is something concrete I can point to when I want to feel like I’ve accomplished something. I allows me to leave something behind when I go, even if it’s just in my own corner of the internet.

All those things should motivate me, and they do. But like I have stated before, misery is probably my best motivator, and will continue until it eventually kills me.

So hopefully this next coming year of blogging will be eventful, inspiring, and just miserable enough to keep things going.

As always, thanks for reading.

-Shaman

Posted 02/11/2015 by Shaman in Personal Thoughts, Writing

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Hey, Guess What?   3 comments

Once more into the prompt.

Our free-write is back by popular demand: today, write about anything — but you must write for exactly ten minutes, no more, no less.

(I only edited this for formatting/ clarity. The core writing was all in 10 minutes.)

I got a new job!

The offer came out of nowhere (I had applied by putting my name and resume in one of those cheesy looking ads on the side of a website), and I got the job within a couple of days. The pay is much better than the one I’m at now, good benefits, 8 to 5, Monday through Friday, etc. It is in a tech field doing something I’ve never even heard of, with what seems like an awesome bunch of people.

It almost feels too good to be true. It feels like I’m going to get there and it is going to turn out to be some nasty sweatshop where they beat me with a riding crop for hours on end and laugh at my continual suffering.

Or even worse, it could be a call center.

But, I’m trying to stay optimistic, and I am definitely excited.

It feels weird to leave this job. I’ve been working here for over two years; it feels like I’m leaving a huge chunk of myself behind. In the time working here I’ve become a whole different person. I no longer hate myself; I wake up in the morning and I am glad to see the person staring back at me. I finally am (mostly) in control of my demons.

So I guess this would be the inevitable next step. Once some things in life improve, everything else seems to cascade and fall into place. I couldn’t (and definitely didn’t want to) be stuck in a dead end job forever.

So what does my new job mean for this blog?

I still want to keep it going. This has been a big turning point for me. Making blogging a goal helped keep me focused, and helped keep me from giving up. But I have no idea how much I’ll be able to do with this new job. I’m pretty sure it’ll actually give me more of an ability to write now, but I won’t be able to do so at work anymore.

So, as a heads up, for the next few months content on here may be a little sparse. I’m still going to try to post at least twice a week, and I don’t think that will be hard for me to do.

But it will probably be poems, or small, quickly voiced thoughts. The longer winded diatribes will have to wait.

Thanks for reading. 🙂

-Shaman.

Posted 09/25/2014 by Shaman in Daily Prompt

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The Party Never Ends.   2 comments

A wild prompt appears!

When was the last time you experienced writer’s block? What do you think brought it about — and how did you dig your way out of it?

I am right now, and I’m looking for a shovel.

Writer’s block tends to strike quickly and stick around a long time, like a bad relationship. I suffer it for a while, and then eventually I get sick of it and…

Well, I’ve never really figured that part out.

I have no idea how to get rid of writer’s block. Sure, I’ve tried all the tips, tricks, prompts, and pointers. But they never really do the trick. One day, I just get a buzz of ideas in my head again, and then my thoughts take off and I’m back. I haven’t hit that point yer though, and that kind of sucks. Because I was doing really well writing wise for a while, and now its crappy to be stymied.

As for why it happens, I have even less of a clue than my ability to get rid of it. I think this time it is a mix of melencholy, obligation, and life in general. Plus, it doesn’t help I work full time and try to write blog posts in my down time. It is hard to get a good thought going when you have to stop writing every 5 minutes.

Regardless, I’ll take this moment to say sorry for the lack of content lately. I do have a lot that is almost done. Hopefully, I can get motivated enough to finish it all.

Thanks for reading,

-Shaman

Posted 08/06/2014 by Shaman in Daily Prompt

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Change The World   Leave a comment

Prompt, prompt, prompt I summon thee!

Today, write about any topic you feel like — but you must reuse your opening line (at least) two more times in the course of your post.

I want to change the world.

I have not clue how. I don’t even know where to begin. Large, small, for better or worse; I have no clue.

But still that rings through my head: I want to change the world.

I didn’t really realize it until my last blog post. I went with taking the chip, for what I thought were very good reasons. Add to human knowledge, revolutionize psychology as we know it. Help people. Sure, it wouldn’t be a very fun life for me. Being isolated from my friends. My family. My daughter. Not completely gone from their lives, but it wouldn’t be the same. It would be lonely. But at some level, it would be worth it if I could leave my mark.

A lot of people didn’t think so. They may have had respect for my reasons, saw them as nice; as noble. The typical response was that the sacrifice would be too hard, the downsides too great. Some people even thought it was wrong that the losses I would want to do it.

I can’t say they are wrong. Is the willingness to toss my self aside for the “greater good” really good? Do I even know what good is? Am I even able to perform the good that I keep proposing to do?

I want to change the world. But I don’t know if I can?

But then I start to take a different angle. Have I been looking at things wrong?  I am so focused on changing the world at large. At leaving a grand mark. There is no way I have done that, right?

Wrong. I already have changed the world. Just by living my life. Just by being human.

If I didn’t exist, millions of things would be different. My daughter would be gone, some of my friends would be much worse off, and some may be better. But the world would be an entirely changed for my absence.

Even by writing this now, I am changing things. I can’t know right now how things will change. If it will be big or small. Good or bad. But it will be a different outcome than if I did nothing.

I want to change the world. I guess I’ll get started.

-Shaman

Can I Win With Original Sin?

This is a follow up to my post, God Prefers an atheist, where I clarify points and discuss topics that came up in the comments.

First of all, I love comments. I love discussion and debate. I love that this post did inspire my friends and other to come out and comment. So thank you to everyone who joined in. Since is this is the first time I’ve discussed something like this in detail on my blog, I’m going to more posts, going off of the things brought up during the discussion.

First up is the idea of original sin and hell: As both Brandon and Alex pointed out, the concept of original sin may not mean one is doomed to hell. Only in certain sects of Christianity, typically Evangelical Protestants, do people need to actively convert and accept Jesus Christ, or be consigned to fiery damnation. The only reason this view seems to get said a lot is due to the United States having the largest concentration of Evangelicals.

The main misunderstanding I had was that I confused original sin with guilt. Original sin is the idea that Adam and Eve’s fall in the garden cause the rest of humanity some sort of detriment. Usually in the form of suffering or an inclination towards sin, but it can be as extreme as the doom to hell I mentioned in the other post. Guilt and personal sin are the actions you have in this life, and they are the things that typically get you an appointment with good old Mr. Scratch. As Brandon said, it is a very misunderstood topic, and as Alex pointed out I made a large generalization in my last post.

So here are two examples of interpretations of original sin where I may not go to hell: Mormonism and Catholicism.

In Mormonism, one is only damned to hell for actively turning away from god after witnessing him in his true glory. To put it simply, unless one has gone through the temple and been ordained, they aren’t able to deny god since they don’t know him. Therefore it is after death that they make the decision to convert or deny god. That is the only way to get to outer darkness, or hell, in the Mormon faith. Even atrocities from the likes of dictators would not be enough to deny those dictators heaven, unless they knew god like the Mormon priesthood does. In regards to original sin, Jesus would have atoned for it, and therefore we no longer suffer due to it.

Therefore, according to Mormonism, I would go to heaven, because by then I would actually see and know god and thusly would no longer be an agnostic atheist. Sure, I don’t get to be an eternal spirit being with my own planet, but even the Telestial kingdom is supposed to be nice and chill, something akin to a deathless painless earth.

Catholicism has the Nostra Aetete, which addresses how people from other faiths may still reach salvation through their faith, even if they do not follow the Catholic Church. My friend Alex (the one who left the comment) once explained it to me this way: if a Buddhist was to die, he would go to the afterlife, and Jesus would appear to him. He would tell them that being Buddhist was in line with god’s teachings, and was in fact just another path to god. They would then be allowed into the kingdom of heaven. The same goes for other faiths, although I am over generalizing it a little bit. Original sin in Catholicism just accounts for humans acting sinfully, instead of acting on our divine roots.

When it comes to Catholicism, were I of a conflicting faith, things would be perfect for me. However, the church seems to be very much against agnosticism, and has mixed views towards atheism. Although one could argue using the Nostra Aetete that atheists may also go to heaven, the source I found for Catholic Doctrine on agnosticism isn’t as pretty. So, more likely than not, I would be going to hell according to the Catholic Church, but there is room for debate. Ironically it would be for my agnosticism though, and not the atheism.

So can I win with original sin?

Apparently it is a solid maybe. That is new news to me, and I may in the future try not to generalize beliefs as much in the future. One should instead look at the God Prefers an Atheist post and insert Evangelical or any other sect with those opinions in instead of just Christian. Because the sentiment of the post still remains true. Any god that would force me to believe or go to hell is not worth believing in. As far as how I feel about gods who are kinder than that, that will have to be addressed in a later post.

Now of course, if I have gotten anything wrong, feel free to correct me on the above. I did research, but it was only one or two levels removed from google and Wikipedia. So do you think I’ve got the concept of original sin, or do I still need to learn more?

Shaman

God Prefers An Atheist   6 comments

Would God prefer someone who is ever faithful, but who only does good things because he is afraid of eternal damnation?

Or would he prefer some who does good acts and betters the world, but does not worship or even believe in him?

I’m not the first person to ask this, but it amazes me how many people get thrown off when I bring this up to them.  Usually it is Christians that get thrown, because one of the main tenets of their religion is to seek forgiveness from Christ. As long as one seeks Christs forgiveness, no matter how late in life or how heinous their actions, they will be forgiven.

They always seem to glance over the other part of that: if you are a good person and you do nothing but good in your life, but never seek forgiveness from Christ, your soul is hell-bound.

Thus, the do good things and seek to do Christ’s work because they don’t want to go to hell.

I this that is disgusting. I hate the idea of original sin, especially when it is implied that people are wrong, awful, and need to be saved.

I find the idea of a god who does this to people, and then wants them to worship him to keep him from harming them.

I don’t believe that any god worth believing in would need someone like me to believe in him. Further more, a god worth believing in would never punish someone who doesn’t believe in him, solely for that lack of belief.

Now, the idea of an all forgiving and loving god does not bother me. In fact, it gives me comfort. Two of my best friends believe in such a god, and I have large amounts of respect for them, and they for me. If more people truly believed in God like they do, I think the world would be a better place.

Because an all loving god wouldn’t care what you do in his name. He wouldn’t care that you prayed to him day and night. He would only care about the good you tried to bring to the world.

Now, why do I stay an agnostic atheist? Marcus Aurelius put it best:

Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.

I’m not saying that you can’t live a good life if you are religious. There is plenty of evidence to prove you can. But doing good, to be good, is what everyone should strive for. Were I God, I would prefer someone who has pure motivations for being nice, not the ulterior motives of heavenly reward or eternal damnation.

If I were God, I would prefer an atheist.

I Should Be A Game Designer… So I’ll Be A Writer.   Leave a comment

In an earlier blog post, I talked about how I might try being the Albert Einstein of blogging. I posted a piece of advice Teller gave Brian Brushwood that changed his life. I talked about one part of the advice, and I’d like to cover another part of it.

To quote the book:

“I should be a film editor. I’m a magician. And if I’m good, it’s because I should be a film editor. Bach should have written opera or plays. But instead, he worked in eighteenth-century counterpoint. That’s why his counterpoints have so much more point that others. They have passion and plot. Shakespeare, on the other hand, should have been a musician, writing counterpoint. That’s why his plays stand out from the others through their plot and music.”

I love games. Video games, board games, role-playing games, card games, games, games, games. My favorite kinds are turn based strategy games and role-playing type games. I love the interplay of the rules, and the rich and deep stories. I will dig into the lore of a great fantasy world like Dark Souls, or a Sci-Fi  universe like Mass Effect. I love creating a character with desires, drives, quirks and questions, that pull a game along.

I also, much to other people’s chagrin, love to poke holes, abuse rules, and optimize my characters and games as much as I can. I will find the interplay of skills, ask the annoying questions, and overall try to take your plans and throw them out the window.

I’m not a munchkin by any means, but I will play around with the rules a lot. My favorite character I mad was in a wild west setting. I made a bounty hunter who fought with a lasso and took people in alive. The other smallish detail… he was bullet proof. It was legal by the rules, and made for one hell of a game.

But I am getting off topic. Why do I bring all this up?

Because as I was trying to figure out the plot and world for the book I’m writing, I noticed I had an easier time when I created characters via a character sheet, the magic as a magic system, and scenes as campaign events. If I start to picture my novel as a game and write it that way, the plot flows easier. It also stays much more consistent. I no longer have to wonder what my character can do with his magic. I already know what his powers do, what he would need to do to learn more, and how the laws of the world works. That way if I get to a moment and think,”How will he get out of this one?” I can do it without any trouble.

I get to design my own universe, with its own rules and own logic. At another level, since I want to write something more urban fantasy style, I get to change and redesign this one. I don’t have a god complex, but it is fun.

I get to create my own game system via my writing. I get to live out one of my dreams of designing games. Maybe not in the way i wanted. But I’ll take it. 🙂

-Shaman

What do I have to brag about?   1 comment

Right to Brag

Tell us about something you (or a person close to you) have done recently (or not so recently) that has made you really, unabashedly proud.

I don’t really brag enough.I would like to say that it is because I’m modest, but that isn’t it. I actually struggle with my self esteem. It is very hard for me to see the good in my self, even when everyone around me tells me its there. It is something that I have dealt with my whole life.Or, I only used to feel that way.

I don’t know when it happened, but one day I woke up and when I looked in the mirror, I saw the face of a guy I liked staring back at me. A not half bad looking guy with great hair and a great smile. I see the guy that people were telling me about, and I like him too.

When the hell did it happen? I have no idea. I was dealing with all the same problems, all the same issues, and I haven’t really felt like I made progress. In fact, I have recently felt beat down and drained towards all of it, and almost felt like giving up. I’ve felt stagnant, unchanging, and unsure on what to do.

But apparently, through all of that struggle, I did gain something.

I gained a healthy sense of self esteem.

I think that is something worth bragging about.

-Shaman