Comments Purged and Forums Down

Regrettably, due to an attack on the site, I had to purge all comments in order to catch the real participants and keep them here. I’m currently working on stronger anti-spam measures to prevent things like this from happening.

The Forums Page was also trashed due to an unmanageable amount of advertising and spam. I sincerely apologize for any lost work. I too, have lost a great deal of precious time creating and designing the forums.

As soon as I have a solution to evade the spammers, I will have a new forum system up. Once again, I’m very sorry for the loss of time and effort that you may have encountered due to my unavoidable actions I had to take to reclaim the site from those who took advantage of us all in order to advertise whatever it was they were trying to hawk through our name.

I suppose that’s the price of what little fame we have! So there’s an up-side! I’ll get this fixed. Just stick with me. Thank you.

Patriotism and Gang Mentality

Somehow, I feel that patriotism shouldn’t involve gang mentality. Too often, I see people express their thoughts about the wars we fight, only to see them belittled by “patriots” for having voiced their opinions. Usually, the people that criticize such openness use “you don’t know what it’s like so shut up” as their reasons, or “it’s not about what you think, it’s about the person next to you”.

Sure, it can be about the person next to you, and it is. Also, it’s true that some people may never know what it’s like to be in a war. However, isn’t true patriotism being able to accept the opinions of other Americans regardless of their personal experience? Otherwise, what were we fighting for if the fighters tell everyone to shut up?

That’s tyranny masquerading as liberty, isn’t it?
At the very least, it’s gang mentality.

Furthermore, someone once brought up a point that it feels as if we’re fighting for corporate controlled reasons rather than freedom. The person that brought it up was told that they fought for the person standing next to them, as if that was an answer. It’s not an answer. Just because a corporation might control the government, which issues the orders to the soldiers that fight for those who stand next to them, doesn’t necessarily mean that this is a proper rebuke.

I realize this because if it were true, then, that would mean that while our soldiers do indeed fight for those standing next to them, the people that get our bullets are still getting killed over corporate greed regardless of the mentality of those whom send the rounds downrange.

Now, I’m not saying I totally agree with the person that says we are fighting for corporate interests, however, it bothers me greatly that a soldier can reply with a comment that has nothing to do with the original statement, and their reply was accepted without consideration that, at the core of it, wasn’t compatible with the statement at all.

That’s equivalent to a person making a statement that gang members will rob liquor stores in pairs to steal money out of the register, and having the gang member reply “that’s not true! I did what I did for the gangster that walked in with me.” — and somehow, the general public accepts this as an answer even though it really didn’t make sense.

The expected reply from a possible patriot will probably be the default:
“Bryan, you don’t know what it’s like. Until you join the military, shut the *** up.” — regardless of the fact that I already stated I didn’t exactly agree with the original assumption that we’re doing it for corporate greed. ANY observation in a negative light toward the common thought process will most likely be met with near-murderous responses.

Warm welcome to new readers and writers!

I woulWritersAread like to take a moment to welcome Heather to our forums (and writing area). She has taken the time to contribute some really good poetry as well as a fictionalized letter to the president in our fiction section. Thank you Heather, for contributing to Abyssal Books as we rise up from a major restart that will hopefully benefit the writers here as much as the avid readers soon to come. Everyone here is just as important as anyone else. For all newcomers to Abyssal Books, my door is always open. If anyone has any questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to ask me, or any member here. If your questions don’t get answered, feel free to just ask me. We are just getting started and until we get enough content, the forums might be a little tricky to understand without knowing what is supposed to go into the specific sections within. But always remember, any mistakes are tolerated. We didn’t get to be the writers we are today without stumbling and learning; forums, this website, or anything entirely new to someone is no different. It takes patience, teachers, and students alike to get better at anything and nobody will ever by treated badly for putting something in the wrong section or adding anything to a place where it doesn’t belong.

In the process of recreating the interactivity of Abyssal Books that I always wanted it to be, I expect to learn more every single day from everyone here, as well as help whoever I can to become better writers, too! Most importatnly, I hope the stories we weave will captivate our readers in ways they never dreamed possible!

I aim to be the most helpful moderator anyone could ever ask for and I look forward to writing with all of you and/or reading your amazing stories. For the writers, thank you so much for being a part of this. For the readers, I’m glad you found us. Enjoy the stories.

Are you a writer? Do you write? You’re a writer!

writer

You know you’re a writer when hypocritical posers in coffee shops that spend their time making memes about how writers know they are writers — when the checks start rolling in, start to critisize you and then get angry; angry for realizing that you don’t care what they think, because your fictional characters are more fun and meaningful than their opinions of your success — or how much money you make.

I’ve seen a writer torn to shreds and quit writing based on the opinions of others. Every writer know this. If your fingers touch the keyboard, if you strive to be creative, if you are open to learn new tricks of the trade, and if you’re willing to push yourself for your story — you will have a good story and you’ll be a better writer day by day.

That’s what being a writer is.

Being able to pay your rent with your writing is about being a good business man (or woman). Edgar Allen Poe went his entire life without being famous and was well under the radar. Emily Dickenson only published seven poems while she was alive. Make no mistake, these people were writers before they died, and they weren’t living in mansions either.

If you write, you’re a writer. It’s very important to me that this message is made clear. I was too chicken to tell someone off back in 2001 when I watched him laugh at a poor young girl that wrote great fiction, and I promised myself that I would never let anyone else suffer the same fate again if I could help it. Success isn’t a proper measure of your ability to create and produce.

It’s imperative that nobody be let down based on the success of others’. I encourage everyone that want’s to be a writer to write. And when you’re done with the first chapter, you are a writer. Continue being a writer; write the books, stories, poems, and messages and pay no attention to the haters. What they’re doing is hating, what you are doing is creating entire worlds. And if you get famous, remember, you were a writer a looooonnngggg time before those checks came in and you should encourage everyone who wants to be a writer, to be a writer.

A Christian Horror Story

Today just has me drained. I know that not all Christians are like this; of course I do because most of my friends are Christians and they represent the type of Christians I feel should be more prominent in this modern-day. Kind, caring, helpful, thoughtful, and accepting Christians. But I tell you what… When a Christian movie comes to the movie theater, it attracts the type of Christians that could potentially make my Christian friends lose their faith in Jesus along with humanity. I got to see the full spectrum of Christians today from good all the way to bad! The honest, Jesus Christ loving Christians, the God fearing Christians, the Soul Saving Christians, the Hippichristians, the fake Christians, the super-fake Christians that only go to church to get inside some hot girls pants, and finally — the ones that really drained me, the Judgmental Christians, and the God Warrior Christians.

The Judgmental Christians and the God Warrior Christians are the type of Christians that even my best friends, who are honest, Jesus loving Christians would probably feel just as ashamed of for having them included within their own faith. Over the past three days, I’ve had to deal with this. Mainly Friday, and Sunday (today). Opening day of “Son of God” was bad, and the Sunday viewing of “Son of God” was even worse. Both these days, someone had to come up and push my buttons.

I’ll skip Friday and just talk about today (Sunday).

The problem I’m having with the Christian faith is that there aren’t enough honest Christians walking around. In the seven hours I’ve spent today at the movie theater, I’ve seen more of the type of Christians that want confrontation and a reason to judge than the type of Christian that I’m often told about that exist. You know, the Christian that won’t judge; the Christian that is loving and accepting.

Finding what is widely considered a “True Christian” is like finding a four leaf clover. You have to look really hard because they’re all the same color and all the other clovers are more prominent because they are so greater in number. I’ve said this before; I have no problem with faith, I just have a problem with assholes and it givesĀ  a pretty decent illusion that I dislike people of faith. The last three days certainly helped taint my image.

It all started today when I prepared to clean theater nine. “Son of God” was just getting out and most of the masses (pun intended) clapped loudly at the movie and cheered in the wake of the Son of God’s demise. Odd, yes, I know. I read both Bibles and I still don’t understand why everyone was so happy about their role model dying a violent death, but that’s beside the point — most everyone had left but there were small patches of people here and there that wanted to stay to see the credits; that was fine, I just walked to the top row and began working my way down with the dreaded dust pan and broom. None of the audience was near the top two landings so that gave me roughly 12-14 seats to clean without hindering anyone’s viewing experience.

When I got to the second landing from the top, that’s when I was within “conversation” distance from one of the customers and it was all downhill from there. Thanks to the massive mess left behind by all the customers that decided to leave entire dinner trays for me to pick up after, I had to make a run to the trash cans already. But I couldn’t do this at that very moment because a smiling older man and his group of judgmental friends were waiting for me. That’s right, they had spotted me all alone and his pack had targeted me for assimilation in much the same way the Borg roamed the stars in “The Next Generation”. I didn’t make my decision on what type of Christian these people were right away; I always give benefit of the doubt but by the way they just lingered and waited for me, I took a lucky guess how this conversation was going to go and I did everything I could to avoid it.

“That was the greatest movie ever made, you know! I’m surprised you didn’t stop to take a moment to appreciate the most important parts of the movie that were playing during the credits.”

He was referring to clips of the movie that played out in small boxes at the top corner of the screen as the credits were rolling. I decided, I need this job — I’m not going to get drawn into a conversation with him and give him or his group the opportunity to interrogate me further. I nodded the screen and then to my bucket and informed the man, kindly, with a full smile.

“Yeah, I guess I could have but I’m the only usher today and I have sixteen theaters to clean. Can’t get behind. I’m glad you enjoyed the movie, sir. Have a great afternoon.”

“This isn’t a movie, son… This is history!” He said with glee.

I just smiled and walked past him. I made down the next few landings and around the corner faster than his group could walk but let me tell you, I had never seen a group of people in their sixties walk this fast after me before in my life. I had to check my pockets to see if I had a bottle of Ensure with me or something because they were breaking records to get back to me.

Sure enough, they caught up to me again as I was dumping all of the smuggled in food from Johnny Rockets, Target, and Jimmy Johns.

“I bet you’ve seen this piece of priceless history more than once! You do get to see movies for free, don’t you?” His wife asked me — at least, I think it was his wife. So there they were, the man, two women, and some other guy I’ve never seen before. All smiling at me in silence. What the hell did I do to deserve being put into such a situation?!

“I’m sure it’s very interesting,” I was running out of room to wiggle out of saying “no” at this point.

“Well, have you seen it? It’s been out for almost three days now! C’mon. How many times have you seen it?” The old man asked. I couldn’t tell whether he truly thought I had seen this movie more than once and was, for some reason an entertainment center for him and his wife along with their friends, or if they were just searching for confrontation. Either way, they were persistent about it so I gave them my answer.

“Nah, I haven’t seen it.”
“You should!” His (assumed) wife replied. “It’s important!”
“You get to see movies for free and you haven’t seen this yet? Why not, son?”

First off, I was getting angry at him calling me Son. Nobody calls me Son. The only two people in the world that earned the right to call me Son was my Dad, and my Mom. It took all I could to not explode on him right then and there. I don’t know why he was calling me son but if it took turning my back on him and possibly getting into trouble for being rude, oh well… I somehow covered up my feelings and tried once more to wiggle out of the awkward conversation once more.

“I’m busy all the time and when I’m not working, the last place I want to be is here, too. I’m glad you enjoyed the movie! Have a good afternoon. I really need to get back.”

“This needs to be the first movie you see next time! And you need to see it before it’s out of here.” He demanded. I think I even heard one of the women say ‘Amen’. “You look like a true Christian, son and I wanna hear your thoughts on it next time I come to watch it. I’ll be here to see it again! So what church you go to?”

I think the whole ‘son’ thing was really getting to me. I did the ‘I’m walking backwards slowly’ trick but that’s when it got really creepy. It was a dark hallway and the group of four kept walking toward me between the shadows and the light. It was the most ominous, creepy feeling I had all day to be literally stalked like that. It was something right out of a Stephen King novel. I couldn’t take it anymore.

“I don’t go to church because I’m not Christian and I’m not going to see this movie because I don’t believe in it. I read the book before the movie came out anyway and I was none too impressed, especially with the first novel. I’m glad you enjoyed the movie, please, come again soon.”

I should have chosen to tell them this when they were under one of the intense MR16 light-bulbs in the ceiling. That was the worst part because in this really dark hallway behind the stadium seating, all I saw were silhouettes outlined by a slither of light that emanated from the main hallway as it draped across the dull red carpet behind the outline of their figures. I couldn’t see their faces or their reactions, only that they had all stopped walking toward me.

From the darkness I heard gasps of shock and someone even smacked their lips.

Finally the voice of the old man replied,
“I’m very disappointed. How could you not believe?!” He asks. “How do you explain this GODLY movie?”

I started walking backwards once more because I had to stop for a brief moment to take in the eerie sight of their demeanor. I had enough of the creepiness at that point and just wanted to get into the well-lit theater and clean.

“Cameras, a script, a movie company, and the projectors! Have a nice day, sir!” And I ran around the corner.

If “Son of God” left the theaters and went to DVD tomorrow, it wouldn’t be soon enough!

Everything’s falling in place!

I couldn’t be more happy with the way things have been going for the site. It’s been tough going for a little while but once the main programming was done, the site has now become more interactive than I could have ever dreamed possible. With college around the corner, I’m sure I will be learning even more about how to make this site fun with the help of the knowledge I will receive in programming. On the creative side of things, I will now be able to get back to writing Fiction now that most of this site is exactly the way I wanted it to be.

Just today, I was able to add forums onto the site so that other writers can share with us, their stories. There are other websites out there (sites that will remain nameless) that allow writers to put their stories out there, yet, request payment beyond ten or so stories in their portfolio. This is text we’re talking about here! That is just ridiculous, in my opinion. I could understand if we were sharing artwork that took resources in the form of bandwidth, but text is so easy to manage, it would be downright crooked to ask money of people to put their stories out there.

If money is to be involved, I would much rather the writers get paid for their work, not have to pay for it; otherwise, if a writer wishes to gain popularity for posting free work, I say, let it be free! The interactivity of the forums are also going to present the opportunity to help authors get paid if they have stories for sell on Amazon or elsewhere. That’s right! There’s an advertising section on our forums just for writers!

As the advertisment section (hopefully) fill’s up, I’ll use the data to create a more flashy advertising page for authors that need a place to advertise their work. I want it to be easy for readers to find stories of all types and genre’s and make it convenient for the authors to have their work be seen.

Likewise, I have a lot of work to do. I’ve been very creative today with the systems on Abyssal Books and now it’s time for me to get to work. I have a short story, two episodes of “Strange Nights” (the free crazy Vampire series), and of course, Spy Novel to work on with my co-author and good friend, Scott.

This is so exciting! I’m very pleased with the way I have spent my time these past few days. The website is done and running better than I ever imagined. Now, it’s time to start writing!

My Problem With Vaping

By Bryan Holland

Vaping isn’t even a word, to start with. Every time I write the word “vaping”, little red lines crawl under the words to tell me that I’ve made an error in my word processing. Granted, I agree that it’s healthier than having to walk through people smoking cancerous cigarettes, however, it’s marketed as “You can Vape Anywhere!”. And meanwhile, people like me, at my day job have to deal with it. A prime example… This has happened to me three times already — I walk into a movie theater after complaints about people “vaping” during the movie. I tell them they’re going to have to put it out, and all three times, as if religiously trained with the same response, they look at me with indignation and say:

“Well, no. I’m Vaping. I’m allowed to do this. This isn’t a cigarette.”
And they generally act oblivious to the fact that the vapor is clouding up the theater, the residual fallout is being breathed in by other guests, and yet more often than not, they will choose to ignore the obvious because the ad’s pound it into every vape guzzling fad eater that “YOU are allowed to use it anywhere!

I see it at coffee shops, I see it when I walk downtown, everywhere I go. They advertise it wherever they go, and smoke it wherever they go. That’s right, I said smoke… Yes, I know it’s vapor, but in my personal opinion, I think people have gone too far when they wear it around their necks.

Why, oh why, would someone wear their vice around their necks like it was something to be prideful about. It reminds me of an old 90′s television show named “Ghost Writer” where these kids would write to a ghost to solve crimes using special pens that they wore around their necks. The only problem is, it’s a damn drug — advertised to the owners that they can, should, and against all recommendations not to, smoke it anywhere they want.

I recommend watching the very first episode of Star Trek, The Next Generation “Encounter at Farpoint” where Picard recalls what part of history he was in, where, the populace was controlled by a drug that all citizens wore around their necks, and how it spiraled out of control.

Fiction is getting it right. Cell phones, tablets, and vaping… What next? Klingons?

The New Site

It’s been a long road to get this site to where it is, and I couldn’t have done it without the help of David Holland, and a good friend, Tobias. I just wanted to give a special shout out to the both of these kind, knowledgeable people. Without you two, I’d be firmly stuck at square one with no way to actually get the work done before college swallowed me whole.

Thank you!