Thursday, June 14, 2018

Stuff I'm scared about.

I am truly scared I'm wasting away my life.
I think about my childhood and all the crap I went through to make it.
To make it to this. I motion to myself and my life.
I think the fear is that I haven't done anything that's made me a million bucks.
I haven't done anything that has benefited mankind with a huge impact.
I always think about this when I lay down. I think about how I've followed my heart.
I originally worked hard for money and stacked it up. But that lead me to heartache and disgust with myself and people around me. I worked hard and nothing came of it. The money was spent just trying to keep me distracted from how I felt. Miserable. I drank a lot to mask the pain. It was horrible.
I went to school. I decided I wanted to pursue the things that people have picked up and stood out to them about me. Yes I love art and drawing and being creative. I tried really hard in school to make it work. Which I graduated with honors and in that, I GRADUATED.
In those times I struggled. I struggled hard with finding the perseverance to keep trying.
That's what I find most interesting in my life. Perseverance. This little thing inside me telling me to just hold out. You took one step, now take another. Keep moving forward.
I'm scared I'm dying of some crazy disease. Now this is irrational. I'm fine. The doctor told me with a moderately thorough check up in February.
This leads me to my other fear. My mental health.
I'm scared that if I take the time to get on medication that I end up a statistic of suicide.
I hear that when you finally start getting it together with the help of the chemicals you start to feel normal, and then it makes you realize it's hard to keep going because this feeling is only temporary.
The meds only work so long before you have to switch to something else. Or do something else.
I'm scared that if I went to therapy it wont work. Or that I find that I am truly irreparable.
I am a broken individual.
I think I'm letting the past define me. Let me re-think that though because if that was the case I would be a drug addict, running away from my problems and reality with the haze of drugs.
Although, I think I am an addict. Video games are my escape. I really do enjoy not being myself and pretending to be the protagonist.
I do it with film too. I just want so much to be someone worth more.
There's another fear. I am someone who isn't worth the time or effort.
Why don't you look at me? Why is it when we kiss there's no intimacy? Where's the feeling of being complete? How come you wont talk to me? What did I do wrong this time?
It's hard being me. I'm glad that there's only one of me. I know other people are struggling with problems similar or worse than mine but still. I'm glad no one has to feel exactly like I do.
Another fear is that the only reason I have friends is because they feel better about themselves when I'm around. Like I'm a benchmark of "don't do that" or "something not to be" "at least I'm not that bad"
I'm scared I don't make enough money to live the life I need to live to actually live.
How can we exist with these fucking problems involving money? It's hard to believe people are born and they don't have anything so they die. Kids born and starving to death, or parents struggling, like mine did, to keep the flame lit in our hearts to keep going.
I swear I am destined to fail, everything that led up to this point has been a way point marker showing me "to do is to fail" I guess I'm really good at failing because I'm still here doing it.

Sitting in my car the other day I just was like damn. This is all just a means to an end.
You do this so you can keep trying at the things you do love.
Why can't I just commit to something that I do love with all of myself?
How come I have to spend the majority of my day and life doing something I don't like to attempt to do things I do like? It's fucking backwards. You should live life and be nurtured to be the best person you can be.
You tell the truth because it's the right thing to do, but it's not just the right thing to do, it's the best thing to do.
You do a good job because it's the best thing to do.
You work hard, and do it well because it's the best thing to do.
You don't get noticed for it. You just keep the wheels turning. And the world turns.
But if you died, it's OK. The world doesn't stop. Your world does. But THE world doesn't.
You'll be replaced. It always happens. Look at life and the patterns. You're like a season. You shed all this energy and strife. You plant a seed, you grow, it dies, and you get pulled back from it all, only to repeat it.
What am I saying even. Here's the ramblings of a broken man.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Boy and Monster Story Rough. First real edit to Act 2 and 3

Day breaks and the sunlight shines on Boys face. His eyes open wide as he scrambles out of bed.
He can play more of the game if it's early enough. No one will be there to bug him. He pops out of bed and froze in place.
Mom was at the door, "I've got some errands to do today. We're gonna be gone for a bit. You can play when you get home. Get ready to leave."
Boy gets ready, putting on socks first then putting on his clothes dramatically one at a time.
He strikes a heroic pose and goes outside to play while waiting.
Boy is on the fortress grounds in his sneaking suit checking out the door so he can better get in and claim the treasure. 
Boy realizes that if he could have strong enough companion to hold the door open he can have the light from outside show him the path plus he can make a hasty escape if needed. Who knows what dangers lurk inside and honestly he doesn't want to know...
"Alright! Let's roll!" Mom calls.
Reality snaps in, he books it from across the yard to the car.
"What are you doing over there?" She asks as they get into the car.
He sits there silent.
"Well be careful around there, I don't want you to get yourself hurt." She says sternly.
Boy turns himself to look out the window. "How could I hurt myself?" He thinks to himself.
They pull up on this mega shopping mart.
"I didn't know we were coming here!" Boy says excitedly.
They walk across the parking lot, past the Super Save Mega Mart. Boy is dance stepping. Walking excitedly. They continue walking through the plaza. They arrive at a rundown thrift store.
The thrift store is a treasure trove of awesome. Boy gets a look of euphoria. His eyes glaze over with stars and his smile is so huge. He looks around, his head bobbing around looking left to right trying to figure out where to focus first. Video games, books, toys, magazines, music cassettes and CDs, the place was loaded with a lot of stuff to look at.
Mom pats him on the shoulder, "Just go to the video games like you always do."
Boy bolts it. Not even thinking about where to meet up afterwards or what she's doing he puts himself against the video game case.
Behind the glass case is just a horde of video game cartridges. So much stuff to look at it's like treasure of a pirate piled up. Highlighted video game titles are propped up on a red cloth.
"Double Dust Brothers..." He whispers to himself touching the glass. This game is one of the best games ever made he thinks to himself.
"Space Lord?" Boy looks up at this title. The box art shows a person in a space suit with an arm blaster. It shows the hero running, jumping, and shooting. The space suit person is fighting different alien life. It has an illustration of the Space Lord fighting against a giant green spiked monster that breaths fire! Behind that spiky green monster is a blacked out figure of a skinny winged dragon style monster. "I bet that's the final boss." Boy thinks to himself.
"Monsters and Goblins." He mutters. "Save the princess by overcoming impossible challengers!" The box art shows a knight with a sword running through a series of gauntlets fighting huge bosses.
A man walks by that smells of cigarette smoke. Boy shudders. The thought of him even being here puts Boy on edge. He starts to feel like someone or something is watching him.

He begins to walk around the store. He walks past a series of massive bookshelves, past the music area and into a section with toys and children's items.
There's huge racks of toys and stuffed animals. It's like a zoo. He feels like something is watching him. He looks over his shoulder, "Mom?" He says quietly. Nothing is there.
Boy feels like he's looking at all these caged animals and creatures. He admires the bears and other animals. He sees toy soldiers at ease conversing with themselves getting loud and rowdy eyeing the cute dolls. Cute dolls giggling and laughing with each other looking over at the manly figures. Down at the end of a caged area is a broken cage.
 Boy cautiously approaches. The cage is busted outwards from the inside. What ever this thing is could be massive. Something big got out and that's for sure, but what could it be?
Boys curious mind tries to look for clues. He thinks about his favorite detective, what would he look for? On the cage is a small tuft of blue fuzz. He examines it. It has a coarse texture. This beast must be strong. He feels like an explorer. He looks down at himself and he's wearing jungle gear, khaki shorts, a button up shirt with ripped off sleeves. A survival bag with a canteen and a nice explorers cap. He looks outside the busted cage and sees a huge massive jungle.
"Let's find this beast!" He exclaims holding up a clenched fist. He exits the cage and puts the blue coarse tuft in his satchel. Boy thinks to himself, the beast broke out, so he must be hungry. I wonder what it would eat. Maybe he's thirsty.There's no food bowl or dish in the cage. There's claw marks on the inside of the cage.

Boy assesses his surroundings. He pauses and hears the sound of running water.
He finds a nice little watering hole but it's empty. He decides to drink up his canteen and refill.
As he's drinking a sense of something lurking around hits him again.
He shuffles around his pack, sifting through survival gear.
"Ah, let's see if this works..." He finds a chocolate bar and breaks off a small section. He clears out a section of the jungle floor setting up a clear opening to see what would take the bait. He places the chocolate square down in the middle of the clearing and takes up a covered hiding position.
He climbs in and gets comfortable. We might be here for a little wile.
"What are you doing?" A stern voice asks.
Boy, startled bumps his head on the table he's hiding under. He's in the book section of the store with the massive bookshelves towering overhead. The restrooms not too far from there.
An older man with a furrowed brow and thick mustache who's in the chair next to the table is looking at Boy confused.
Boy looks up at him and begins to speak when Mom apologizes.
"Sorry about that, my boy has quite an imagination." She grabs Boys hand and they begin to leave.
Mom's holding a large bag and a couple of other items from the Super Save Mega Mart.
"I got some groceries while you were looking at the games, I knew you'd be too busy to come spend time with your Mother. Did you see anything cool?" Mom asks.
"Yeah! There's a lot of cool games there and I learned about cool new heroes." Boy says excitedly.
"Don't forget about the one we just got you, you still have a lot of work to do before we can get you another one." She reminds him nothing in life is free and stuff must be earned.
They arrive home and mom unpacks everything. Boy sitting in the kitchen realizes he forgot what else Mom got while there. The large bag just sitting there on the table.
"You can go play now, but soon I want you to finish up stuff in the yard." Mom smiles.

Boy settles down in his blanket with the controller. Boy clicks the system on and continues his story. Remembering his failure, the intro flashes with all the characters he remembers from before. His save loads up and it's before he left town to go to the dungeon. Let's see about allies. He wonders around town and hits up the shops. His character has no money. He finds his merry band of friends in odd places around town. The frizzled haired mage girl was by a huge oak tree studying. The cleric boy was at the Temple where people pray. It's also where you save your game. Not everyone on the title screen could be found so Boy decides to continue on the adventure. The merry band gets into a few encounters before the dungeon. They fight against some wild bugs. Boy learns about some good group tactics through the fights. The mages fire is great against bugs. Like in real life!
They get into the dungeon and the Hero gets stuck in the web but this time the cleric heals him while the mage burns the webbing, freeing him. They are able to fight the boss with ease as the Hero claims the magical sword. The Fire mage casts a huge fireball which causes the spider to real back and get stunned. The Hero uses the opportunity to bring the blade down, cutting the Spider easily.  The band celebrates, they all get XP and the Hero now has the legendary sword. He saves the game in a tent outside the dungeon. Satisfied he turns off the game and gets ready to finish up his duty outside.
Boy cleans up the piles of debris around the yard. He discovers little tufts of blue coarse fur in each pile. This is odd, he thinks to himself.
He finishes the task and takes out all the trash to the dumpster near the street. He has to walk past all the mobile homes in the park. Boy shuffles the bags around uncomfortably as he waddles to the dumpster. Boy tosses all the bags in the trash with some effort and closes the lid to the dumpster.
He bolts back to the yard with the intention of playing.
On the gate to get back into the yard he notices another blue tuft of hair. He picks it off and it blows away in the wind.


As he focuses back he sees the fortress in the distance. I don't have my allies like in the game but I bet I can just get in there and get out. Boy psyches himself up.
He wedges the door to the fortress open with a stick and a rock. It seems sturdy enough to hold.
Boy cautiously wanders into the fortress. Darkness outlines everything but the shape of the door.
Boys eyes can't adjust as he waits on the edge of the light from the doorway.
He doesn't have the courage to step forward and as he looks back the door gives way and slams to a close. Boy stands there startled. Looking around in the darkness he sees little flecks of light coming through the walls. Around the corner he sees a pretty bright light and walks slowly towards it.

Boy feels familiar situation from before. He's alone without allies, he could be attacked and die like his hero in the game.Through the fear and darkness he finds that what he's looking for is easily obtainable.
On a pedestal the items sits with a beam of light hitting it. We can't make it out. but he reaches for it and before his hand reaches the light it's tied up with webs. He tries to pull his hand back but it's met with a lot of resistance. He stumbles backwards and falls through more webs. He lays there breathing heavily, panic on his face. How could he be so foolish? He knew it couldn't have been this easy.
The fear of being attacked reminds him to be alert. He looks at himself and see's that he's pretty tied up in the webs. He looks up at he pedestal. The light beam gets blocked and it's now completely dark. He hears a chittering sound. His ears perk up behind him. Something shuffling in front of him. He's not sure where to focus his attention. He can't calm his breath as he realizes it's game over like in the game. An unseen beast is going to attack me while I can't do anything. How do I fight? He thinks to himself. I have no way. He can't accept this fate. He feels a prick on his leg which causes him to jump. He tries to brush off his pant legs. He's really limited in his range of movement.
That feeling of something watching him sends tingles down his spine.
The beam of light shines again as there's a shift in movement. A giant spider lifts up its front legs as it begins to walk towards the tied up Boy. He can barely make out the shape of the giant spider because of the darkness but he knows he's stuck. He accepts his fate and winces.
A loud crash and a roar as the beast in blue fur uses its long arms to subdue the spider. Through the shuffle Boy can move. He quickly thinks to snag the magical item from the pedestal.
The beast wrestles the spider down and gets bit in the arm. Ooze pouring from the bite, Boy can't tell if it's blood or poison.
The boy raises the magical item into the air and the light hits it. It's a magical sword. With a heroic roar he brings the sword down on the spider cutting it. The spider flings the beast off into the darkness and the spiders head slams down in the light. The beast let's out a weird sound as it dies.
Boy kneels down breathing heavily. Resting his head on his hands holding the sword.
That was close, if it wasn't for that blue beast he would have been toast.
He looks around in the darkness, nothing rustling around. Nothing obviously standing out. Where'd the beast go?
He gets up, "Hello?" Boy calls out. "I know you're in here." He says, holding up the sword.
"I don't want to hurt you, I want to thank you for your help!"
The beast comes down from high up, crawling slowly towards him. The beasts arm cradled close to his body. The boy looks at the monster.
A round body, with coarse blue fur. He's got long arms with these strong leathery hands. The nails are like talons. They are short but they look like they could scratch really hard.
He looks up at the monster and his eyes are big and yellow with a black iris. The monster looking intensely at him. Underneath it's eyes is a giant green nose. A giant sharp tooth pokes out from his lip.
"You're pretty intimidating." Boy says to Monster, nonchalantly.
The monsters mouth curls into a smile.
"Let's look at your arm." Boy reaches for the beasts arm.
Monster pulls back aggressively. his wound does seem bad.
Boy addresses his leg. Rolling up his pant leg he sees that there's a huge mark where it looks like something bit him. There are some faded bruises that were there from a time before. He tries to not think about those as he rolls up a piece of cloth to wrap around his leg.
The Monster watches. Monster wraps up his arm, mimicking Boy.
The shoddy bandage around Monster's arm makes Boy laugh. The Monster let's out an angry snort.
"OK, let's get outta here." The boy begins to hold the door to the fortress open. Light shines in as they cover their eyes. The monster crawls out and easily holds the fortress door open, letting Boy out.
Boy cheers, "Woo! That was crazy! Did you see that, how did we even survive!?" He's excitedly running around Monster who's holding his arm close to him.
Monster holds his arm out and Boy runs into it with a thud and an "Ooof!"
Boy sits on the ground next to Monster. Monster sits down and boy rests his head on him, still chattering about the adventure.

"Oh! I see you found him!" Mom says hanging outside of the sliding glass door.
Boy grabs a blue stuffed monster with long arms, hugs him close and runs inside the trailer. The sliding glass door shuts and we fade to black.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Boy and Monster Story Rough. First real edit to Act 1.

Black screen. Rustling around and sounds of clattering plastic. You hear the sound of an old TV power on. A high pitched whine and then TV static. A loud click of plastic and a scrape of a switch with a 'nick' and the screen flashes a large glowing "S" glimmers for a second and then blackness again. A melody beings to play. A triumphant heroic theme plays.
The black screen pans down to an image of a book. It says "Press Start" flashing.
Close up of a young boys face, big square glasses, images of the TV screen reflected in his glasses as you hear buttons being pressed. Eyes wide and blinking seldomly. The images flash heroic people. A young knightly man with light armor and a large sword. A young girl with large elf ears and frizzy hair in a wizard robe and a big bent witch hat. A small boy in cleric robes and a large gnarled staff, monstrous wolf-man with wind powers, then the music turns dark and scary, images flash of goblins, beasts, flying harpies, and a giant pig-headed warrior king. The Pig-warrior king commands the army to attack with the wave of his arm, there's fire and a loud crash!
The sound and the smell of cigarette smoke brings the kid back to reality as he notices a large figure in his doorway to his room. Startled he puts down the controller.
Close up on a strong jawline, cigarette in the lip hanging out, lit. He hits the cig.
The figure spoke, the voice, a low grumble, "Get your fucking chores done, I'm not telling you again." Smoke seeping from out of his mouth.
The figure has a strong outline, you cant make out features because of the darkness in the room.
The man is leaning against the door frame leaving a little room to slip by. 
The boy jumps up and squeezes past him as he stands there intimidating.
A young boy grabs a rake and begins to rake up leaves and debris around the yard. Piles of leaves and what not are already made from previous hard work. He wipes his head with the bottom of his shirt.
He's a chubby boy with short brown hair. He's got big square brown glasses, hiding blue eyes. He's wearing a two toned white and blue striped shirt, torn blue jean shorts which are a little dirty and a pair of old dirty sneakers that were once white, but now just gray and worn.
He quickly grows bored, trying to rake up more. Realizing all that's left to do is just shovel all this into the garbage he decides it's enough and begins playing with toys strewn about the yard.

The boy's by himself. Running around having a good time.
Boy and this figure are off in a world of their own...
He places him down, runs around and then picks him up again. Talking softly in a hushed gruff voice we can't quite hear what he's saying.
We close up on Boy as he kneels down and starts to crawl as if he's sneaking. The scene pans up and you see a heavily protected fortress with spotlights, cameras and guard posts. No one is there, oddly. It's quiet.
He senses something is watching him, and it's not clear if it's good or bad. He gets a weird feeling.
He looks around cautiously with a furrowed brow. He pulls his cohort close.
"This one's for the commander." He barks as gruffly as he can, he ties a bandana around his head.
He's in a blue sneaking suit. He makes sure the bandana looks cool before he runs off.
He flips and rolls, dodging the spotlights and squeezing past the view of cameras. He tries to find flaws in the defensive perimeter.
Two generic soldiers approach the fortress door. One holds the door open as the other goes through. Then the other one holds the door as it slams behind them.
He sees that even though it's a huge fortress the front door is unlocked. There's no lock at all. But the door needs someone to hold it open.
A spotlight quickly spots him and he freezes in place mid-step.

The screen cracks and shatters like broken glass. The pretend world breaks away.
He's tip-toeing mid-step right in plain sight in the middle of the yard.
A woman's voice is calling for him to come inside for the night. It's getting dark as the sun is setting.
He runs around the yard picking up the rake and putting it next to the shed which the damn door is hard to get open. He struggles to get the shed door open. He squirms in the shed, the shed door slams and he's standing in darkness. He's frightened and hastily puts the rake against the wall. Boy rushes out as quickly as he can, breathing heavily. The shed gives him the willies.
Mom's calling him in and he's hardly done any yard work, how is he going to be able to play his game after dinner? He's realizing that he might have messed up big this time.

Dinner is served and Daddy is cold and rigid, he just sits down at the table, smoke blown down onto the table from his lit lip cigarette.
He seems angry about something. He's just a downright negative force. It's something everyone can sense immediately.
Cigarette smoke crawling out of his mouth as he hits his lip cig.
Mom's trying to make dinner pleasant. Asking about the yard work,
"I see you got stuff ready to be picked up. Lot's of big piles of leaves! I think you're doing a good job."
Mom smiles at Boy, who's looking at her in disbelief.
Daddy lets the fork hit the plate with a jarring clangle.
"I don't think he's working hard enough." He pauses and glares at Boy. He pops the cap off of a bottle of beer. The cap hitting the floor and rolling to a stop.
"I see him out there just running around and yelling, laughing. I told him to have it done today or else." His low voice creating a stir.
Boy knows he's in deep shit now. He should have worked a little harder. He tries to reason with himself. The yard work is pretty much done. He wants to defend himself.
Boy tries to speak, but he can't get words out as Daddy leers at him.
Mom hits the table and the dishes clang a little. They begin to talk in harsh whispers.
Boy looks down at his plate, poking the food and taking small bites. Boy begins to think about the mission. There's something really cool in that fortress.

I bet it will make me a hero.

He remembers the game and begins to wonder about the story.
"Can I be excused?" Boy gets up from the table, cleans his plate into the trash and puts the dishes in the sink.
The table is silent with a cloud of smoke as Mom and Daddy sit there silently. Her arms crossed against her chest. Her body language shows she's pretty pissed but she's silent. Daddy continues to eat as Boy rushes to the bathroom. The night sky poking through the windows as he washes up.
He's getting ready for bed, making a game of brushing his teeth.
Boy counts to ten on one side then opens wide letting all the foam dribble from his mouth to his chin and into the sink. He does it to the other side of his mouth.
He's singing, garbled and mumbling, "Pink in the sink. Pink in the sink. Pink in the sink means you're brushing too hard." He tells himself as he runs the water to clean the sink.
He cleans up and then goes to his bedroom.
Mom comes to the doorway of his room and wishes him a good night as she closes the door.
The house grows silent. He lays as still as he can, trying to hear anything. His ears perk up as he hears footsteps that go to his parents room and the door closes.
Boy kicks the covers off in one motion. He's in his blue sneaking suit. He sits up as he ties his bandana on his forehead.
He kneels by the door to look under the crack. A light is on in his parents bedroom down the hall.
He sits there silently for a couple more seconds. Silence.
Boy rushes up and clicks on the video game. The flashing "S" makes him smile. He's excited to get into the story of this game. The screen flashes and shows a young knight having to take up and become a hero to save the world. His mentor telling him that the only thing that can save the world is a magical sword that's locked away in a dungeon. The mentor, an old grizzled man with an eye patch and a wispy gray beard tells him it's going to be quite a challenge and that he cannot do it alone. He's going to need people to help him on the way.
Boy holds the controller up to his head. He closes his eyes and thinks about what he just saw and read... He wants to be a hero. Nothing sounds more exciting then being someone else. And why not be a hero?
He thinks about the hero in the game. He imagines himself in the armor with the big sword that saves the world. He feels awesome.
He opens his eyes. He wraps a blanket loosely around him and continues the game.
Boy comes along in the story where he reaches the dungeon but he's alone. He continues through the dungeon anyways, the sword is in there and in order to be a hero he needs it.
The boy fights the monsters in the dungeon with no trouble at all. His Hero is strong by himself! Maybe his Mentor was wrong! Who needs anyone else if you can do it yourself!?
He finds a large room with the sword that saves the world. It's locked in a pedestal on a raised platform. The room is dark, webs and egg sacks are in the corners.
Boy moves the Hero further ahead into the room. The sword is in the middle of the room. Webs strewn about the floor, Boy doesn't think it does any harm but suddenly Hero is tripped up and stuck.
A trap!! A flash of the screen and a huge spider boss attacks the Hero. The Hero is trapped and can't move. Boy can't do anything as the Boss Spider keeps attacking his Hero.
Hero's HP is getting lower and lower as Boy starts to get upset. I can't let him die! I can't die here! The spider hits him for the last time as the HP is drained to zero. The screen fades to black as a sad symphonic song plays. The screen lights up. In the background is the dungeon where his hero was slain, as a grave plops up from the bottom of the screen. The tombstone pops up from grave.
It reads "R.I.P." with a skull next to the tombstone. Big flourished letters spell "Game Over" as he puts the controller down.
A little upset he remembers the Mentor did say he needed allies to beat the game. Maybe he can't face everything alone...
He clicks the game system off and slaps the TV button off.
He plops into bed looking up at the ceiling. He doesn't want to die. He touches a light bruise on his arm. He presses hard on it causing him to wince but he accepts the pain.
He rolls over in his bed looking out the window. The fence in the yard covers half the moon with a starry sky. In this moment he feels peace and falls asleep.

We pull away from him in his room. He's laying in bed, his pillows have no pillow cases, they are stained with dark marks. His bed mattress is on the floor with no sheet. The mattress has ripped holes. The room is a little disheveled and not very clean, but his toys are organized and his toy box has cool action figures and cool things in it. We go past some video game cases and we see the cover of one. It's of a brave soldier who's in a blue sneaking suit. The cover of another is of the game he's playing now. It looks like an old otherworldly book with the Hero standing behind it with his sword above his head.
The carpet is rough and dirty. There's a hole in the wall that doesn't go all the way through, and the door to his room doesn't latch close.
We zoom out a little further and we see he lives in a small run down trailer in the middle of a trailer park. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Guess who!?

Ayy, check it out!
When you're finally honest with yourself you open yourself up to get hurt.

Very nice. Very good. It feels good. Knowing you're still alive. The pain reminds you.
It's a good thing.
Today was pretty interesting.
I couldn't get my shit together to draw enough. I was having a rough go of it.
But I sat there and I started just doodling.

Alright, well I drew me. I guess it's a sad commentary on myself. I just think I'm human trash so it's no wonder things are the way they are.
I've heard that if you can't love yourself how do you expect others to as well?
Well, yeah I guess you're right.
The times I actually liked myself was when I saw the things that others liked in me.
So maybe that phrase is just complete and utter bullshit.

Monday, April 23, 2018

A Moth in a World of Butterflies.

A man, worthy of a king, befallen a curse.
The curse of being too much himself.
Too caring, too loving, too blunt, too serious, too playful.
Too much the king he is that it scares everyone away.
A beast, alone and convinced this curse will end him.

The millisecond we met and you wrapped your arms around me...
The friction of our molecules sparked a fire that has not since stopped roaring.
Roaring like I did, crying for what could be in the past.
The fire fed through nothing of my own will.
A force unseen radiating from you.
This fire rages, licking the tips of my fingers as they wish to warm you.
Touching you hoping to join the same fire inside.
Hoping to consume, hoping to grow, hoping to burn bright.
So much that it inspires others.

That moment of eye contact. You flipping your hair on your shoulder.
It felt like you were shooting waves of a unseen force to me.
The vibrations shaking the very foundation of everything I ever known about anything.
I didn't realize I was lost until the moment I made you smile.
Your laughter was like a way point. The compass pointing true north.
I knew where I wanted to go, and where I wanted to be.
There was purpose in the way you looked at me and your lips parted.
You radiating this beauty I wanted to capture and keep in jars.
Seal it up and only to open in case of an emergency.
I sat there stunned. Only able to attempt to reciprocate. Awkwardly, in hopes that you might even have an inkling of the same fire inside.
I sat there, suddenly realizing the pieces are broken but they still work.
Not destroyed, not decayed, not gone.

Not enough.

The voices inside reminding me that I'm not enough.
You will never be enough. The words punching and slamming. Damning. Cursing.
I'm not what you want, I'm not what you need. I'm not anything that could be anything for you.

The vibrations continued as you laughed at my dumb jokes. You peeled away the shit internal monologue with every time you looked at me with your smirk. Every time you flipped your hair.
I felt like I became a different thing. No longer human or anything in between.
The chemistry bubbling away.
A metamorphosis. A moth to the flame. Hitting my self against it repeatedly, unknowingly, operating on just instinct.
A moth in a world of butterflies.
A king turned feral beast.
A true monster.

You unravel me. A simple mystery. Get lost in my patterns, let me leave you clues. Little scales and flakes rub off of me as we interact.
I try to leave a trail for you to follow.
A trail leading to the busted up shack of my heart.
A place built by true actions like loving too hard, caring too much, being too blunt, too serious, too playful. A place where I roared in intimacy, solace, tears, hope, and joy.
A place where now my heart burns there too.

A king. A moth. A beast. A monster. A man.
The man.
My heart burns there, too.

As a first draft, what do you think?

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

April 2018

Hey there reader. It's me! Zach!
How's it been? Well for me things have been kind of building up to this.
I've been working on myself since the beginning of the year and I feel things more. I'm more in tune with myself and I'm building my voice for sure.
Here's a recent picture of me.
I've also go a new vehicle. After a lot of careful planning and working on stuff I was in a position to make this happen.

I got a used 2008 Scion tC.
I'm working on finishing up a side project soon with some illustration. It's been interesting because the editor of the book said that he'd like to see me work on more young adult / kids books.
So this might be a good venture for me in the future.

I also have been writing up a treatment, and developing a story arc for this Boy and Monster project.
I've got a good idea going on for the pilot, and intro to the series.
I'm shooting for something dark, deep and something that makes you think.
If you've seen Over the Garden Wall you'll kind of get a feeling of it already.
I like a lot of the mature tones of Steven Universe and Adventure Time and I find myself being inspired by Pendleton Ward and Rebecca Sugar. I look up to JG Quintell as well. I spend a lot of time watching their cartoons and just dreaming that mine could be up there like that.
I'm doing a lot of writing and sharing with a select few people just to make sure the impact is there.
I want something magical and whimsical but with that underlying thought provoking thing going on.

I'm trying my hardest to find the power to stream on Twitch again consistently.
I just want more than it will give me. So I think that's why I'm hesitant to get shit going on that.

Well, here's me for the next few years. I gotta open up more doors for me while I try to explore myself as an artist, writer, cartoonist, illustrator, human, chubby boi and over all good dude!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

End of Feb and half of March.

Me, smiling cause I'm actually kind of happy. 
Squid Character
My Space Frog!
My Zia T-shirt Design Entry: I submitted the purple and black one.
The last few things I did for the book so far: Two more images, some refining of style, decent colors, and I'm complete!
PS. My design didn't even make it to the finals. A shirt with a Reaper-esk Skull Guy won. It's a pretty solid design. I thought mine would at least end up in the running. Oh well. =)

Saturday, February 24, 2018

How I got punched in the dick today. A short story by Zach Michaels.

Let me just say that nothing in life is ever normal.
Despite things feeling normal it can quickly go off the rails without warning.

I'm 32. I work a regular 9 to 5-ish job. My life is pretty routine.
When I woke up today I didn't think I'd ever be in the situation where I would end up dick punched.
I woke up, crawling out of bed, thinking about calling in sick today. Mainly because I'm mentally exhausted from trying to keep it together. It was cold, I was bundled up in my sweater and pj's not wanting to get changed for work. Today I wore my form fitting and "sweat free" boxers. They are tight and keep everything compact and nice. It's good for cycling and stuff. The morning just unrolls with the typical stuff for me. Convincing myself to just keep going because this is better than nothing at all.
I got together my shit for work, breakfast items, a snack and my lunch. I toss on my leather jacket and get to steppin'. Gotta be a responsible adult, I keep telling myself that. I have to just keep it together. One thing will lead to another and I'll catch a break soon. I sure did catch something, and thankfully nothing broke.
At work, I arrive to find out that most of the morning crew had called out. So it was me, my manager and my assistant manager to run the store for a few hours before the mid shifts arrived. I am on the register, as per the usual, doing my thing. Helping people out makes me feel better about myself because they come in with simple problems that I can fix easily. I can get pretty chatty at the register because I can have people open up to me pretty quickly. I'm an easily approachable person and I like sharing stories with people. But this is just something I do. It's the humdrum of my work. I get in these routines where everything can be the same so I try to make it interesting by chatting with them.
Customers come and go but a woman comes in with a request to pick up her special order and I help her per the norms. "Did you want to shop around before I ring you through?" I asked, with her just replying, "No thanks, my husband is shopping around and he can just pay for what ever he picks up." I laughed and rang her through. He came up as we were finishing up the transaction.
"Nothing today?" I asked. He replied, "No, not today! Couldn't find what I was lookin' for..." I probed him for information, "Well, what are you looking for, maybe we can order it?"
He tells me he's looking for a 7 inch single of Led Zeppelins Hey What Can I Do?
To no avail I can't order it or acquire it for him. So we end up chatting near the exit / entrance of the store. I stand on a raised platform and he's a step below just resting his arm on the counter as we talk about how CD compresses the audio and how the vinyl will have the sounds specific to the instrument. He liked the way it sounded on vinyl because you could hear the guitars strings and the drums symbols perfectly. As we were chatting he leans in asking me if I heard of that specific guitar they used, and while he did he tried stepping towards me.
In slow motion he kicks the step and begins falling towards me.
He is trying to get his balance where he ends up forming a fist as he falls.
I'm stepping to him, to try and catch him because I see this happening.
He lands a punch, full force into my dick, punching me straight up.
He lands on his side, hitting these little wire racks that hold news papers.
With a wince and a lot of physical pain I help him up and get him settled, thankfully he wasn't hurt.
My managers look over and everyone in the store is looking at us.
He's beat red. "Never would have guess I was gonna do that! Huh!? I'm 65 years old!" and he just leaves the store.
My manager asked, "Dude are you OK?" Looking at me dead in the eye.
I'm hunched over and I tell him, "He punched me in the dick."
Everyone in the store busts out laughing. He comes to the register and tells me to take a quick break.
I'm a little embarrassed and honestly I find it super funny that it happened. It's so random that things just play out like they do. I was just trying to play it happy and cool despite the circumstances and I get punched in the dick. I could have taken this extremely negative and been shitty about it, but honestly it made my day unique and interesting.
I'm not happy it happened but I feel like I handled it pretty well despite it all.
This lesson can be applied to a lot of life.
Even though you're doing your thing, life will punch you in the dick.
How you react to it will either make or break you.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

February 2018 Update

Hello reader!
It's me! Zach!!

I realize I've been kind of "away" this month.
I've been really focusing on my job and making sure I'm a valuable resource.
I've been just really hitting it hard with working on my customer service skills.
I've also just been working on artwork.
My job at Zia Records is having this t-shirt contest this month and I'm totally up for making something cool. So I started with rough ideas. I wanted to do a skull and some cactus and for it being something for a record store I needed a music element.

I came up with this cow skull with it's horns rounding a vinyl record.
I liked the concept but I needed to push it further.

I wanted to focus on the details above the skull. A cool desert scene inside the record.
I then learned that it's only two colors. So that added a challenge to the whole design.
I could do everything in white or what ever but I wanted to do some purples and a gray.
So I popped it in photoshop and got to work.

I wanted to find a brush with some texture to make it interesting.

Here's the progress so far. I think the concept is super solid but there are things I need to work on to make it next level.
I am working on some elements to make the record look like a record and I'm also focusing on messing with the element of dimensions. Pushing the desert elements around to create depth.
I was also told that the mountains just look too flat, and that if I were to mix it up with their shape it would make it pop better.
I love the gray and purple, and I'm suggesting it goes on a black t.
More work and progress with that soon.

I made a Dark Souls themed stencil design.
I really like it but I don't think it'll go anywhere. I tried to post it up on RedBubble but they took it down.
I like the piece and it's pretty solid!

Alright, so I did some editing and what not for the pages of the book illustrations. I think it's coming along super nice.
I'm feeling confident about this new year and art in general.
Thanks for the time, I hope you enjoyed reading this months update.
Catch up with me soon. I'd love to talk with you. =)

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The first post of the New Year. Happy 2018.

Hey there reader! Welcome to the first blog of 2018.
I'm Zach, if you don't know me!
I just recently got contacted by an author of a book. They asked me if I was interested in doing some illustrations for their book. I've never done it before, so I said yeah!
I got some rough stuff posted up here. I've been spending a lot of time trying to find a voice and style for the illustrations. I'm still not set 100% on everything at the moment but here's what I've been working on.

This first image is me just messing around with trying to find a sense of style with the characters.

After talking with the author about what she feels is most visually important in her book we agreed to work on a few scenes. The fist thing she said to me was that there's a part involving the main character, a young girl, and her Grandfather. They were together on the porch and it was something to symbolize togetherness.
I wasn't sure what I wanted the grandpa to look like so I did a lot of just sketches feeling out characters.
Got a rough done, and then liked where it was going.
There's just a simple idea of what I was looking for but I'm still not sold on coloring it.
I want to emulate a style with a lot of texture. So I still have some work to do with this.

This scene, when read and described to me popped up so vividly in my mind. I am proud of this rough drawing and I hope to execute it properly.

Some progress of the clean up. Still not sold on the line work.

Here's one last rough drawing of a scene in the book. I think there's about 2 or 3 other ideas to get to but I'm still getting stuff together for it.

I recently had some hardware malfunctions which made me treat myself over the holidays.
I bought a Cintiq 13HD and was messing around with it all day yesterday.

I wanted to work on some lewd stuff with Panty and Stocking. So I started working out this idea of the next 3 pieces.
Panty, showing off her ASSets. Panty, doing the same thing. Then one final piece of them together.
So far the tablet is great, honestly. I love the feel of looking at what I'm drawing right there. It feels so natural. But I still have a hard time separating myself from the laptop screen or monitor. Breaking old habits can be rough.

Got a pose I settled on for Panty, but then we had to wrap up at the shop. It's usually how it goes. I get into the groove and then we have to leave.

The stream on has been put on hold because for some reason Two-Factor Authentication had been activated on my account, causing me to be locked out of it for almost a whole month.
I just recently cleared it up, finally! It wasn't my fault, Twitch and Authy took forever getting back to me. Glad to be back on track.

Hope to start this year out strong and keep the momentum.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

If I Were to do it Part 3

Dear Nicole, Coley!
Thank you for spending the last 10 years talking to me. We've spent a lot of time just chatting and shooting the shit but today we actually made a memory worth having.
We spent the better part of a day finally hanging out and it felt awesome to finally see who you were. I think for once in this bit, I was happy! So thanks for being there for me when I was taking care of some life business. Hope you carry on and keep things good.

Dear Raul I,
You have been a true bud. Your sense of humor has made things easier to bear. It's been good to hang out and talk to you about things and get perspective. You have a good head on your shoulders and you really are destined for greatness.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

If I Were to do it Part 2

To Maya,
Thanks for always being a light in the darkness.
You have your own complex life with your own problems and things, but you have always been so kind to me. I think genuine people attract other genuine people and it's nice to know that there was someone out there that treated me like how I wanted to be treated.
You are a true friend and the way that you always hugged me and said the right things to keep pushing is something I'm glad to have had.
Today alone, you provided perspective to my situation reminding me that I am not garbage. I am a human being that is deserving of things like a genuine smile and compassion. I've always worked so hard to build solid relationships but our friendship seems so natural.
Thanks for that.

To Jesse,
You are a positive part of my week. You're striving just like me to be something better. I appreciate you being a true pal. You're just a good human with qualities I wish I had in myself. Glad to have spent time and made art with you.

To Kirstin,
You were there for some of my dark days, and you were there for some of the light ones. You really did help with making things seem less shitty. I can't say it enough with how much I appreciate you reaching out to me and getting me out of my hermit modes. Glad you were able to get things in your life sorted out and it's nice to know you're on the right path. Sorry I gave up. Just keep fighting, I know it will get better.

If I were to do it. Part 1

If I were to do it, I guess I would write something that reads something like this:

To me Mah,
What a shame, right? I hope you don't think it's got anything to do with you. Because know in my words right now it does not and did not.
You did your best with what you had. I never resented you or anything.
I just wish you worked harder on helping yourself with your mental illness and worked harder on trying to get better. It feels like you gave up and it's hard to see how strong you used to be and see you just give up and not try anymore.
You are worth so much more and I love you.

To Jon,
You either get killed or kill yourself.
You were good to me, dude. I don't know if I had ever even tried to explain how much of a good friend you were. It's like we were brothers from another life and it was destiny for me to have a person like you around.
I'm grateful you helped me out in times of need and I'm super glad you were around to make some of the hardest days not so hard.
We tried. You just gotta try twice as hard now for both of us.

To Barbara,
Even though I know you'd never read it or hear about it, I would hope you think things went better for me.
I would want you to know that our interactions did genuinely make me feel like a regular human being.
You are such a nice person and it really radiates outwards. I truly wish you well and I appreciate the kindness you have shown me. I wanted to cry when you bought me lunch today because I felt like I didn't deserve it at all. You were actually the reason why I wanted to write anything at all.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

These feelings... They can only be described as post convention sads.

It's great when you can spend time doing stuff you like, and then make some money off of it.
Tucson Comic Con was fun. Sold some stuff and made some pocket change, which quickly went to life necessities.
But it was nice to not have to worry or stress about it. I was just able to handle business as usual.
Life outside of it just kind of stinks.
It's like, you do what makes your soul burn. You feel those fires rising up inside you and you want to fan the flames but then reality hits and you realize you can't.
You have to work doing other things in order to make this dream happen.
It's a little depressing.
I just want to be happy.
I guess all the things I do will fill that cup of happiness just one drop at a time.
Alright, well enough bitching. I seem to complain a lot about things.
All things aside. The things in my life aren't that bad, honestly.
I just feel like I expect more from myself and then I get lazy and don't deliver.
I think the core of my issues all start with me and I am just too lazy to really do anything about it. As if I'm too scared to make a change for the better.

 We are all seeking validation in different forms.
I think the convention weekend validated some of my struggles with my emotions, passions, drives, and personal strengths.
I just have to keep working towards the life I want.
Eventually I will be able to be a professional doing the things I adore.

The Rick & Morty print was the most successful one I had, next to the 11 vs Demigorgon.
I think the pop culture items and the hot items of the month are the best sellers for sure.
A lot of people looking for that fresh appeal, wanting something unique.
The sticker grab bags didn't work out like I had hoped. I think people weren't too into taking the risk. It was affordable but I think they were scared of getting something they didn't like.
Overall though I would do con again. Even though I didn't make thousands of dollars I felt like it was a great experience and I'm definitely getting better as time goes on.
Artists were talking about taking advantage of local art shows like RAW and others to get better exposure and possibly come across better opportunity

I'm hopeful for the future with art and design.