Side Projects and Public Speaking

Fair warning, this blog is going to be all over the place.

So first off, this blog is overdue. It’s starting to look like a common theme with me, isn’t it? Not even blog posts are safe from my lack of posting. To be fair, though, this wasn’t just laziness or anything. Not only am I trying to worm my way into the working life by kissing as much butt as possible (which means working this late into December and beyond), but also because I was working on a side project with my friend Tweed.

An erotica author/streamer combination isn’t the most favorable, so we, actually a fairly long time ago, discussed where we even *could* collaborate, and settled on critical content. After all, he hates most games (a weird trait for a gamer) and I write informal essays on why most erotica is terrible, we practically bonded over being hyper-critical people. So he does this review of a gaming event called the Game Awards (kind of like an Oscar Awards show for gaming) and this year, I watched it with him and co-wrote the script with him. It was a lot of fun, but the grueling part was editing it, him at the helm and me over his shoulder saying things like, “You should add this text during this shot pointing out guy A’s awkward fumble” or something like that. Either way, everything was put on halt because of that project, but now it’s done, so yay.

If you’re an avid gamer, you can watch the video HERE. If you’re here for the erotica only, no problem at all.

Tweed operates completely differently than myself. He is this spontaneous, dare I say quirky guy, and yet everything is planning with him. “This task will be completed by this day,” “Let’s aim to have this thing done by the end of the week,” etc. I’m not nearly as planned, as you all have no doubt noticed. I just sort of do things, and try to do them in the most timely fashion to the best of my ability. Maybe I need to organize better and be more anal about everything.

Cue the giggles because the erotica writer said, ‘anal.’

So before I sign off on this and go add Chapter 17 to the other sites like I should have done like a month ago, a personal anecdote I’d like to mention. A valid yet interesting criticism I get is that the themes of my stories are too overt and ham-fisted. I find this interesting because I feel like my sin wasn’t making my themes too overt, but rather making those overt subjects seem like the themes of the story. First of all, I’m not a fan of the ‘show, don’t tell’ rule. Human beings talk. You can ‘tell’ something in your story all you want, and if there’s something people, particularly late teens, do all the time, it’s preach. As soon as they have some kind of epiphany about a life theme, they will talk your ear off about it. I can’t name how many times some guy who’s maybe a year older than me will talk down to me about ‘finding your own path’ or something as if he’s lived a thousand lives. It’s incredibly frustrating, and hopefully I’ve conveyed that in the dialogue in my story thus far, even if the speeches have kernels of truth to them.

The ‘real’ themes of BMS for now I’d like to keep a mystery, just to allow you all to arrive at your own conclusions. Plus, many of the themes haven’t come to full realization yet. There were a few things I’ve alluded to before in the story and am waiting on to tie up in the final three chapters (including one thing I dedicated literally three sentences to). For now I want to talk about one of my actual themes of the story, public speaking.

You know how in English class there were those bullcrap stories where all of the good characters wore blue or spoke with a stutter or something? One of the themes of my story has that kind of thing going for it. The protagonists either are or would be good at public speaking. Public speaking is an ability I believe all of us should have in our educational upbringing. I guess it’ll never be truly utilized, but even though I was, truth be told, pretty talentless growing up, one thing I could do is command a crowd and make people listen and respond to my words, and it was infinitely rewarding. I fully believe that if everyone was well versed in public speaking we would be decades ahead of our time. That’s why my protagonists, even if they’re not confident are good at public speaking. Adam is shy and awkward but the first true event of the story climaxed in him winning over the student populace with a speech. Nicole can have anyone wrapped around her finger in an instant. Megan admittedly has a role in the story that is more akin to a girl you would own than be (which is a tad misogynistic in terms of her written style but that’s just the liberal in me bleeding through). Aside from her though, even the secondary characters that you feel driven to respect (even if in a slight way) like Salvador, Carson and Paul all have a command when speaking. This is deliberate and tries to tell a message about communication. Miscommunication is the cause of a lot of the problems in BMS and being good at speech fixes these problems. That is one of the themes of Being More Social. It’s not groundbreaking or anything, but it’s something I had in the back of my head while writing this.

Unless I decide otherwise, that will be the last ‘theme’ reveal I do for the story. My favorite thing about writing is seeing you all coming to your own conclusions, whether it’s something universal (I’ve gotten a lot of e-mails telling me how much of a jerk Jenna is) or something unique. I love hearing it. Spoiling my intentions for the story would ruin that. Plus, who likes an author breathing down the reader’s neck telling them, “You’re supposed to take this from the story”? If I’m writing a book, it’s on the book itself to explain itself.

Time to get posting, then get back to writing. If you have any questions, concerns or even thoughts, feel free to comment, tweet or e-mail me. Thanks for reading this and sticking with me. I’ll talk to you again soon.

3 thoughts on “Side Projects and Public Speaking

  1. Back when I was in college on of my friends was a political science major and when folks like the Studies for a Democratic Society (socialtst radicals) would show up on campus, my friend could debate them at length (and thus keep them from on the defensive and from proselytizing.) It was and still is one of my passions, but back then I marveled at how he so easily expressed himself and felt frustrated that I did not have that skill. I knew the material but if you asked me to speak extemporaneously I would draw blanks.

    As Bashful points out, words are important and they are powerful. In the many years since college I have learned how to use them effectively. It takes knowledge – both of the subject and what’s inside yourself, and the conquering of fear. I still have anxieties and insecurities, but I’ve taken a lot of time to study the things I believe and how to express them. Under my real name I can barely keep myself from arguing politics on Twitter these days. After a conversation last night, I compiled a list of six core principles that I’ll be replying with today. I can answer nearly everything if I truly know what I believe.

    Inspired two years ago by reading Bashful and jashley, I started writing my own novel. It started as a sex story. The story grew and was fairly good, but the writing was bad. I went back and started over, and now I am proud of the quality of the writing as I continue to plow through it. The important thing is that it’s a look back on my life. Where I succeeded and where I failed. How my father and I didn’t reconcile before his death. The girls I might have known but the wonderful woman I ended up with. To get there, I had to dig down, understand myself, be the devil’s advocate, and find words for it all.

    So understand yourself and the world around you. Find a way to express those thoughts to change yourself and the world for the better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! I sometimes forget that some of my readers actually *liked* that story. After I finish BMS, priority will return to that story, rest assured.


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