Refinement + Evolution = Revolution!

Author: Errol Catanes (Page 2 of 2)

Relieved of duty 30 March 2018

Welps, it happened.  I was relieved of duty about a week ago, but I’m not officially out of the United States Air Force until May 1.  But as long as I don’t go doing something stupid like robbing a bank and taking the Tide-Pod challenge, I should be OK to relax.

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So now “I’ve got tons of time now to write my blog,” he says, even though he knows . . . it’s complicated.

Tangent alert!:  One of the most interesting sentences to use when you aren’t fully committed or don’t want to truly commit to anything, is “It’s complicated.  “So are you guys dating, or serious, or what?”

“It’s complicated.”

“So are you gonna be a writer for real now, or are you gonna do something?!!”

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It’s a conditional proclamation that doesn’t have to have the speaker commit to a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, all at the unbearable chagrin of the listener.  I know I’ve had to keep myself from punching my screen every time I saw “It’s complicated,” on one’s Facebook relationship status.

That being said, now that I’m “retired,” it makes sense that I’d have the time to write . . . but just because I’m retired, doesn’t mean I’m retired.

I just turned 40 recently.  Most of us in the U.S. don’t retire until about 55-60 years old, typically.  Also, being retired from the military doesn’t mean you’re done working.  Well, I mean you can, but, if only your responsible for yourself and don’t mind living with your parents again.  If not, we still need to work.  I got a wife and future kid to feed.

But I’m gonna find time to write.  I’m doing it right now dammit!  Even if it’s in a self-reflective journal form.  I would like not for this blog to only be self-reflective, but if I got nothing else on my mind, whatevs.  However, I got some shit in my head I need to put in print (digital print, that is).  As of right now, here’s my list of what I want to blog about:

Competitive vs. cooperative behavior (pros/cons of each)

The challenge of not using your friends as characters in your stories

Finding the balance between artistic autonomy and fan-service

Thoughts on…

My other goal is to get more savvy about wordpress and design this website so it looks less like LiveJournal and more like . . . the Balance?

Cool!  Until next time.

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Different, or more of the same?

I can’t tell you if “different, or more of the same” is from the Game of Thrones TV show or one of the [A] Song of Ice and Fire books, but it is a line that Jon Snow tells to Daenerys Targaryen when asked whether or not to use her dragons on Kings Landing.  On one hand, she’d end the war quickly, but on the other, she’d risk burning innocent people.  Was she going to be a different ruler, and keep to her word and “break the wheel,” or was she going to be a replacement to Cersei Lannister, and by association, the Mad King?  Am I actually committing towards writing as a career, or is this another phase of mine?

Before I can properly answer this question, I’ll need to address some important issues.  One, I am no longer that fresh-faced 15-year old that thought he could write a story based on who of his friends were Samurai Showdown characters.  I am also no longer that overly self-conscious 23-year old who couldn’t get past his writer’s block, due to the fact that, he was overly self-conscious.  I am now a world-weary but idealistic 40-year old who served 16 years in the U.S. Air Force, and is ready to make a transition back to the civilian world.  Has military life made me a cynic?  If so, then I do still have what it takes to write?  Maybe it’s no longer so much about writing an epic fantasy novel like I wanted to years ago.  Perhaps I just want to get paid to put words on paper.  It’s that push-pull of my dreamer side and my pragmatist side that seems to distract me towards reaching my goals, writing or otherwise.  It is when I can control all that madness inside my head that I am able to focus all of it into letters, words, sentences, paragraphs, and eventually, essays or stories.

The last thing Queen Olenna Tyrell said to Dany was, “you’re a dragon, be a dragon.”  Let’s keep this comparison going by telling me, “you’re a writer, be a writer.”

Almost at the end

In roughly two months, I’ll be retired from the United States Air Force.  I actually learned about it earlier but I didn’t want to write about it until now.  In fact, I would like to make it my new career.

But then I wonder, what makes now different from before.  Will I actually stick to it this time?  I’d like to think I’ve grown up enough to distinguish between a passion and a phase.  To be honest, I’m still not so sure.  All I can hope for is a continued desire to write about anything and everything up to this point.  My only goal at the moment is write something, anything, whether it’s undeveloped plots, half-baked characters, quotes of the day that I like, stream of consciousness rambles, or just what happened that day.

In about 51 days (not that I’m counting), I’ll leave the insane but secure life that is the military and embark on something that is possibly even more insane, but less secure…civilian life.

Here’s to fucking up, and getting better at it every step of the way.

 

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