Posts Tagged ‘blog’

Detective Ruben Vasquez sat at his desk, eating a bowl of banana oatmeal. The sweet flavor was the highlight of his day. The hours had been rather boring, and the most exciting part so far was that he had finally begun the diet he had promised to start months ago for his wife. That’s all he really had to think about for the last few weeks. The city crime rate was very low, with only a couple of minor drug busts occurring throughout the county. It was good that the Force was doing its job and that the population was safe, but it was just so boring. A mixed blessing, for Vasquez loved the action. He wasn’t particularly strong or heroic, but he relished his career—the sheer motion of it all. Now, his life was more or less stagnant, and all he had to worry about was the occasional argument with his wife.

That all changed when his partner, Rick Andrews, walked through the door.

“Got somethin’ for ya, Rubie,” said Andrews, his face showing a clear expression of gravity. “Murder.”

The word immediately made Ruben wish for boredom again. He always enjoyed being a deliverer of justice, but the victims—his capacity for empathy was powerful, even for a cop.

“Let’s have it, Rick.”

Andrews threw a green folder onto the desk. Upon opening it, Vasquez was met with the sight of a grisly crime scene. Lying on top of the dew covered grass was a woman in her mid-thirties. Most of her face was hidden by heavy bruising, but it retained beauty nonetheless. This only added to Ruben’s empathy, coupled with the fact that the woman’s beauty was of a certain kind—an innocent kind of beauty. Though he didn’t yet know the circumstances of the situation, Vasquez believed with his entire spirit that no one deserved to be killed like this, especially not an attractive, innocent looking female.

But something was missing from the crime scene photos, something about the woman’s closed eyelids that Vasquez couldn’t quite put into words.

“Her eyes…”

“Gone,” said Andrews. The oxygen seemed to drain out of the room.

“Someone removed her eyes?” asked Ruben, more to existence itself than to his partner.

“Yeah. The lab thinks it was done with a sharp blade. Probably scissors of some kind.”

Vasquez felt a swell of anger that gave him the sensation of being on fire. He didn’t even know this woman, but he was already wanting to serve much more than mere justice to the perpetrator. He wanted vengeance. Cold, hard, and violent. Some faint voice within said that it was wrong, that dwelling on violence and eventually carrying it out would make him just as bad as the murderer, but he couldn’t help it. He felt such pity for this victim, and, to Ruben, angry thoughts were much easier to deal with than sad ones.

“We had something similar,” continued Andrews, “a couple years ago. Remember? That kid who killed all those animals and took out their eyes?”

Clinical detachment briefly returned to Ruben, a welcome respite from the feelings of pity and anger.

“Yeah,” he nodded, finally taking his eyes off the photographs. “I remember. Mental patient. Had something the doctors couldn’t even classify. He’s still locked away, right?”

“Yup,” replied Andrews. “So he’s not a suspect. This is different, anyway. Look at the pictures again.”

Ruben obeyed reluctantly and noticed something else. He couldn’t believe he had missed it before.

“There’s no blood on her face, Rick.”

Andrews smiled, which Vasquez thought to be in poor taste.

“Totally clean. Which means—”

“Which means,” shot Ruben, “that we have a killer who’s either completely off his rocker, ritualistic you know, or else he knew the victim. Cared about her.”

“Or both,” said Rick. “Our chief suspect—our only suspect—is the victim’s husband. A preacher. His name is—”

“Wait. What’s the woman’s name? It isn’t on the pictures.”

Andrews took a few steps to where he was peering over Ruben’s shoulder. He reached down and flipped through the pages in the folder.

“Pictures must have been taken before they identified her. Let’s see…ah, here. Zarabeth Williams, Beth for short. Husband’s name is Hector.”

Vasquez heard him, but he was letting emotional attachment fog his mind again. Zarabeth…Zarabeth Williams. In that moment, nothing in the world existed but her name. Her name, and the photographs.

“So,” sighed Andrews, “we got ritual, and we got someone close to her. Husband fits the bill.”

Ruben looked up.

“Any other reason you suspect him, Rick?”

“Yeah…quite a lot actually. Seems our pastor has a history. He kicked a married couple out of their church, right in front of everyone, ‘cause they couldn’t afford to tithe. Then, a year later, he beat the tar out of some homeless drunk hanging around the building. He was sleeping in the alley across the street, but he didn’t even get a warning. And there’s rumors—by God, there’s rumors.”

“Like what?”

“Well, everyone in town but his flock says he has a temper. A nasty one. Even uses it on his son, some of them say. Boy’s gone into school a couple of times with bruises on his face.”

Vasquez remained silent, his unblinking eyes focused on his partner and betraying absolutely no emotion.

“There’s more. Tax fraud…but who the hell hasn’t done that? People with money, anyway. And the wife herself—you’re gonna love this one, Rubie.”

“What is it?”

“A couple people say he thought she was cheating on him. No one actually believed it, though. Everyone says she was the sweetest little woman in the county. ‘Righteous’, they say, you know? Then again, everyone’s got their dirty little secrets. Even preachers’ wives.”

Vasquez looked at the pictures again. He didn’t know why, but he felt very strongly that this woman actually had been the paragon of virtue. He could just feel it. But, as Andrews had said, you never could tell.

“Well, that’s basically it, Rubie. We got a suspect. Reminds me why I don’t go to church. Zealots are all whack-jobs.”

Ruben stared silently for a few moments, and Andrews immediately regretted his choice of words.

“Hey, Rubie, I didn’t mean—”

“You think every church is full of secret murderers? Crazies? I swear, Rick, a few people go nuts or hurt someone, and if they just happen to belong to a church…”

“Easy, Rubie. I’m sorry. Let’s just get back to the case.”

Ruben himself belonged to a church, but not to the one they were talking about. His church was in the next county over. He came across people like Rick all the time—people who didn’t realize that bad men came in all forms. Yes, there were murderous zealots belonging to every faith imaginable, but there were also bad cops, bad lawyers, and even bad mailmen. Any person claiming to be of God who made a habit of causing pain or grief to others was no true believer as far as Ruben was concerned. And this Williams guy sounded more like a cult leader than a pastor. Real congregations, like the one Ruben belonged to, didn’t have leaders who passed judgment on their members or caused them pain and humiliation. Yes, there was rebuking and repentance—but any man who beat up homeless people, maliciously kicked out church members, or physically hurt his own son probably didn’t belong in the pulpit. Besides, this church must have been very far under the radar—in his five years as a cop, Vasquez had never even heard of it.

After pondering on this for a few moments, Ruben composed himself and let out a weary sigh. He knew that this wasn’t a time for defending his faith. He needed to think about Beth, her and nothing else. Not his beliefs, not his career, not even his wife—not until they caught the man who did this. Even if—especially if—it was the husband.

“You’re right, Rick. The case. What do you want to do about it?”

“I was gonna ask you.”

Vasquez thought for a moment, preparing himself for where he knew he would be within the next hour. He looked at Andrews and spoke.

“Let’s go to church.”

 

About a week ago, I logged into my wordpress. It wasn’t a busy day for me – work was over and my wife and daughter were at my mother in law’s house, so I had a free day to check my stuff and read as many blog posts as I could. I didn’t expect anything special to be on there specifically about my own blog (though I did expect, as I always do, to read fascinating posts made by those I follow), for I hadn’t made a new post in like two weeks.

But something cool was about to happen.

My good ol’ blog pal, piezoradeon(The Enthralled Cloud of Thought) nominated me for a blogger’s recognition award. Now, I’ve only had followers on this blog for literally two months, have made only a few posts (and even fewer posts about things the populace would be interested in), and when it comes right down to it, I’m the biggest NOOB of them all when it comes to word press. So how do you think I reacted?

Ecstatically.

It feels so good to have people like Piezo and everyone else actually reading the things I write, and I’d like to thank EVERYONE who has ever read anything I’ve posted. Outside the internet, I don’t really have anyone who appreciates my art other than my family. At least not yet 🙂

But my excitement didn’t stop there.

3 days later, A Thought, a Word, and an Eternal Bliss nominated me for this very same award.
A lot of people would say, “Oh its just a blog. Who cares? You didn’t win a real award.”

Not so.

We bloggers are artists(but I’m so inexperienced that I barely have the right to say that!). We all thrive on our art and opinions being viewed and appreciated by somebody. ANYBODY. Because BLOGS START CONVERSATIONS PEOPLE! Intelligent conversations, across thousands of miles, with people appreciating each other’s creativity through an outlet which for some is the only outlet they have to express themselves. At least at first. Blogging gives a person confidence, and it also greatly helps their credibility when they try to send their work, be it poem, sketch, or novel, to a publication company. So for anyone who wants to succeed, blogging is an excellent starting point.
(All that being said, I’m still in no way under any delusions about my blog being great or anything. I wasn’t in a competition, and I didn’t actually win anything, but it just feels good that a couple of people enjoyed my blog)

Let me just say before I type the rules that those nominated for this award are supposed to type that it is an absolute treasure to be recognized by other bloggers, but especially by ones who are as talented and engaging as A Thought, a Word, and an Eternal Bliss and Kushal Gorti(Piezo Radeon). I love both of their blogs so much, and I strongly recommend that you check out their pages.  Now, time for me to post the rules, and then to follow those rules.

The Rules

*Write a post to show your award

*Tell your blog’s origin story – how did it start?
*Write two pieces of advice for new bloggers
*Thank whoever nominated you and share a link to their blog
*Select 15 other blogs that you want to nominate

The Domain: Origin

A little over a year ago, I started my blog for a single purpose – to have my first completed mythical novel read by as many people as possible. Well, that was the MAIN purpose, but I also had one that was far less selfish, albeit only possible if the blog ever became a major success…..to be a place where people all over the world and even in my own humble hometown could post their works of art without fear or criticism, regardless of the medium(by the way, if anyone wants their stuff posted and doesn’t have a blog yet, you can contact me and get your stuff out there through the domain). My idea was for it to be something sort of like the Community Pool, the only exception being that it would specifically be for people like myself who are horribly self conscious and terrified of sharing their thoughts and ideas with the world. Hence my blog slogan: Let’s Slay the Minotaur, One Idea at a Time. This refers to the Greek myth of the slaying of the Minotaur by Theseus, but more poignantly to my own little tweak on that myth which plays a huge part in my novel, “The First and the Last”, which when all is said and done is about nothing more than overcoming life’s many struggles. Well, to this day, that grand dream of idea sharing hasn’t yet come true. But I’m still hopeful. However, the other thing that I wanted actually did happen, surprisingly. A few noble souls have read my posts, and more specifically, chapters from my book. Let me say again that I simply cannot stress enough the amount of gratitude that I feel towards you all. Anyone who has ever even clicked the Like button honestly made my day and gave me strength. But something important to mention is that it took my blog a literal year to be read by ANYONE, at least regularly. I’ll explain more of that later under the Advice heading, but suffice it to say – perseverance. That’s the magic word. But I have learned something very important from blogging that actually overshadows my own desires for success – How to CONVERSE. I have had more conversations on wordpress than I can count, and they were all very intelligent and enjoyable. I don’t really get to talk about things that interest me face to face, because I don’t really know anyone personally who would be interested. Of course I have friends and family – but I’m a loner when it comes to my interests, hobbies, and passions. Hence, the beauty of blogging.
2 bits of advice

1. Take a genuine interest in others. This is a tried and true approach that is crucial to any successful blogger, and, at the risk of me sounding like a barren platitude, is essential to daily life as well. When I first started my blog, I was desperate for attention. I kept posting chapters from my book as well as music and movie reviews for weeks, but it was all for naught. No one even clicked any of it. Then I did what would have been obvious to me in the first place if I had possessed any common sense: I searched through tags and categories and started following people. I really just wanted to get my book read by people, but I discovered something even better. CONNECTION. I stopped fretting over my vacant blog posts and instead read the posts of others. And they were great. They were all just great. Every single person I have followed on wordpress has made at least one post that had me absolutely engaged. Poetry, artwork, books, short stories, reviews, even paragraphs about every day life – its all amazing to me. As I believe I had mentioned previously, CONVERSATIONS are the best thing about blogging. You can easily find people who share your own interests, as well as other people who may spark your interest in other things. I did this for a few weeks and, lo and behold, my blog actually grew from nothing into something. So, suffice it to say that if you take a genuine interest in other blogs and give them feedback, your own blog will inevitably prosper. And don’t just click the like button or comment without reading the actual post. I know its sometimes a temptation to just scroll through and click like a few times, but I have read through every single post that I have ever liked or commented on. You’ll find enough thoughts, ideas, and true works of art through blog posts that you’ll forget all about your own page. You’ll just wanna start some conversations 🙂

2. Community Pool. Post a comment introducing yourself and your page. Then, go through the introductions that others have posted and click on some blogs that look interesting to you. Give them some feedback, and you’ll get some in return. The pool really is a blessing. I found so many awesome people to follow through this, and my own blog almost doubled in feedback.

The Nominees

First, let me introduce the two bloggers who nominated me. The Enthralled Cloud of Thought was the first one to do it. Now I don’t wanna play favorites, but really, who else is as awesome as he is? Nah, I love so many blogs equally, but this guy really is amazing. Every word in his posts is just saturated with wit. You can tell that he’s really intelligent, creative, and has a great sense of humor. He writes all of his posts like a pro, and is just an incredibly nice person. If I knew him face to face, I’d wanna hang out with him all the time.

The second person who nominated me is A Thought, a Word, and an Eternal Bliss. She’s just as awesome and amazing and Kushal and all of my other followers. Very obviously intelligent, very gifted, and very poetic. All of her posts regarding short stories or poetry are just fascinating. She really has a way with words, and she knows exactly how and exactly where to just freakin lace stuff with metaphor. Reading her posts are very good for your imagination, for the imagery she conveys through the words is just stunning

Now, onto the fifteen nominees. This was the hardest part of this post, because all the blogs that I follow are just fantastic. It took me two days to sort through them and make some tough decisions, but if I ever do any other post that recommends people I’ll be sure to talk about everyone else. But literally every blog I follow is already very successful, so a NOOB like me recommending them might not even make much of a difference for them lol. Here are the fifteen I’ve chosen, and with the list I am also going to very briefly explain why you should check out each of their pages and follow them

1. PoeteX
Poetry with a lot of heart done beautifully and professionally. She really knows what she’s doing. A lot of it is very classical and sophisticated. I look forward to reading every new one she so skillfully writes.

2. loveletterstoaghost
Hauntingly beautiful poetry that I believe can connect with ANYONE and speak to their heart. Every single line is excellent. And I just LOVE that name.

3. The Creative Works of James Harrington
The storytelling is just fantastic. He writes exciting books detailing epic struggles between good and evil. He is also very kind and willing to give writers of any kind extremely helpful advice.

4. Relating to Humans
There are all kinds of cool posts on this author’s page, but what’s really exciting is that he is making a war movie with a very well thought out premise that speaks out against misogyny.

5. ericTknight
His book, “Watching the End of the World”, is extremely unique, thought provoking, and exciting. When I’m able to get an Amazon account, his book will be the first one I purchase.

6. Rebecca Elysium
Very dark, fantastic, and unique artwork. But it doesn’t stop there. The poetry that goes along with it is practically perfect. I’ve never come across a page quite like this one. Really engages your mind.

7. (Over)Analysing Literature
If anyone wants a site where you can talk about books, check this out. The content is great. She is quite a skillful writer, and her personality shows through very nicely. She is very well read and has some nice book reviews. Her short stories are fantastic as well.

8. La Audacia de Aquiles
I love mythology, and it was so cool to find a page like this that had such a wealth of information about it. Aquileana really knows her stuff, and she presents it all in a very thoughtful and informative way. She also speaks about a number of great philosophers, including my favorite, Friedrich Nietzche.

9.Gospel Isosceles
The main vibe I get from this blog is intelligence. Passion too. Every post is really top notch, and deals with a wide range of subjects. Awesome poetry, opinions, faith, and so much more. The whole blog is really like a big work of art.

10. Corasteel
Beautiful poetry. The cool thing about it is that it is not only well done, but also REAL. True words from a true heart. Cathartic. I’ve always said that I don’t like any art(especially music) unless it has an edge. And this page has it. Also plenty of other stuff that is just really well written.

11. Writing Dragons
Posts a picture of a dragon every day. And it’s freakin awesome. She always posts pictures of dragons done by fantastic artists, and I haven’t seen a single dud to date. Dragons(dinosaurs in my opinion) are my favorite animals. And this site DELIVERS for a dragon fan boy like me! She’s also working on her own dragon novel, which I look forward to reading.

12. Benjamin Fisher-Merritt(Author)
This blog, among other things, has a fantastic book/saga called “The Starvdale Adventures”. I read one chapter and was hooked. The fight scenes in this story are excellent, as well as the character development, the humor, and the basic story. If you like mythical fantasy, then check out this page immediately.

13. Ultimate Solace
First of all, I’m sure you all agree with me that that name is just tops. Second of all, what terrific poetry! The whole layout of the blog is just excellent, as is the wealth of fantastic, spiritual, and just simply well done poetry! You can read through a LOT of cool things here.

14. Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha
Practically everyday, a post is made that inspires myself and countless others to new heights. Overcoming struggles, breaking free from stagnation in your creativity: you can find anything here. There are also samples from his scifi book/saga, “Echo”, which I wanna buy when I get an Amazon

15. Invisible World

There’s an extremely well written book on here called “The Hashna Stone”, and I highly recommend you check it out. The story arc, characters, creatures, everything is cool. It reminds me of Tolkien in a very good way, but is still a completely original and creative work.