My History With E-Feds And How They Helped my Writing

First, Though: What’s an E-Fed?

A slew of masks from Mexican wrestlers, lucahdors.
Photo by Larry Costales on Unsplash

An Electronic Federation. A wrestling federation that exists online and in the imagination of its players.

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. Slow blogging, and some virus anxiety. Time to get back in the saddle.

Working on these helped me to develop characters and develop characters, in both good and bad ways:

Ace Championship Wrestling

This was in my early 20s, on the precursor to the Internet, a local BBS (Bulletin Board Serice). I would use my analog landline telephone to call someone else’s computer, usually after midnight when it was available to call (I was a night owl back then).

Most of the players just took the names of wrestlers they saw on TV, so there was a Macho Man, a Million Dollar Man, even a Hulk Hogan (he didn’t last long). Even worse: they took the names, but built no real personalities to go with them.

I came in with my creative writing and acting backgrounds, and created a brand new character: the Bullroarer, a masked Aborigine from the land down under, Australia.

I invented catchphrases for him, a whole mystique, and something I was proud of back then, but with the passage of time not:

In wrestling, all that they pretend is called a ‘work. You work a match to make it appear you’re really hurting your opponent . You work your story to make it seem believed… there are other terms like ‘shoot’ and ‘botch’, ‘legit hurt’… but none of them have any import to what I have to say .

Both in email and in person I worked the idea that I really was an Australian, and they bought it. Looking back, the emails written in dialect should’ve seemed fishy (we were young then), but in person… from acting, I picked up many accents.

They’d annoy natives, but local Montréalers? Hook, line, and sinker

One guy caught me near my workplace a few months later. I think that embarrassment shaded our future dealings — but that has nothing to do with this post.

The Bullroarer won a few titles, but vanished into memory — but the creative ideas taught me for the future.

AEWA

This fed is long defunct. I run a long-struggling wrestling message forum hosted by the creator of it. If you’re interested in that give me an email address in a comment and I’ll send you the link (I moderate all comments before they go live. Those won’t).

I started with this nearly a decade later. The Internet was around by then, so it ran as a bi-weekly program in email, written by a stable of writers.

All the characters were original. The main goal was to create better shows than those we were seeing on TV back then (wasn’t hard). Often, we succeeded.

My character, Doug Christian, was a good guy, but bland. He won several titles, was the last World champion, but I doubt he’s remembered.

This post isn’t meant for just ‘war stories’ also for how it shaped my writing. Here, my first understanding of subplot and payoff of them began to form.

Ring psychology (the reason for what’s done) for fiction writing works as well. Why does a character do something, and does it make sense for them?

SWF

I may have the name wrong. If you were there, feel free to correct me.

While the Internet was growing more popular, some of us tried to keep BBS culture alive. I ran a wrestling discussion forum then. In my mid-twenties I was still dealing with the bullying crap I faced from day one grade 3 – grad, so I was authoritarian. Throw in strong ego users, you were waiting for a disaster… but that’s off-topic.

Two of my friends started an e-fed on it to test out new mechanics they created.

I brought Doug Christian to it, but he did well in the champion tournament, then vanished. I created two technical Japanese stars, The Gyroscope and Githiyanqui, they didn’t take off.

===

This post is already long, and I still have a lot left. I’ll make this a 2-parter.

Comicbooks: Modern Mythology?

Not All

Three-headed Buddha statue. I
Photo by Varun Tandon on Unsplash

The latest version of Opera doesn’t keep any cookies, including passwords. Getting back here took much time. Now I’m very late!

Opera’s loss…

Some are amateur in both art and writing, but the others can fit the idea.

The Legion of Superheroes 

I’ve been a fan of this for more than three decades, but it’s been around since 1958. They were created by  SF legend Otto Binder and artist Al Plastino. Over the years, many others have both written and drawn them.

Readers know ultimately Computo is an evil being, kills one of Triplicate Girl. Mordru is an ancient sorcerer with a fear of being underground… for stories set in the far future they have quite a past!

Some could argue these stories are known only to their readers… but outside Norse myth fans and readers of the Thor comicook is Ragnarok common? How about the Fenris wolf? Ygradsil, the World Tree?

Different song, same dance.

Superman

Some say there are many Jesus metaphors in Superman. I find that funny. Like me, the creators of the character, Jerry Siegal and fellow Canadian Joe Shuster, are also Jewish. So’s Jesus… but this isn’t meant to be a theological debate.

More people know Superman than the Legion. Ask many strangers and they’ll know Superman, Lois Lane, Lex Luthor, and Kryptonite. A big chunk of them will know Jimmy Olsen and Perry White. The Daily Planet is a modern–day Mount Olympus.

As I said, he has Jesus metaphors thanks to his death and resurrection to life. He’s also the first superhero, the inspiration for all to come.

Superman has become part of our zeitgeist the way Zeus was to Ancient Greece. The exact stories aren’t important, but we remember the characters.

Retcons

“Retroactive Continuity” is when due to an event everything you knew about a character is suddenly changed to reflect a new interpretation. The killer of The Bat-Man’s parents changed often like this, and whether they’re caught. Superman’s power level was sometimes lowered, or some abilities removed, some events (like the deaths of Ma and Pa Kent) get changed too.

Mythology is like that. I’m not an expert, but I took some Mythology classes at University. This was over 30 years ago. Correct me if needed :

In the Greek Pantheon, many of the goddesses now called Zeus’ daughters were his wives first. They were the goddess of a region until Greece conquered them. To smooth over the takeovers, Zeus became their spouse.

Over time, the mythology got rewritten and changed.

Many years from now, some comicbooks may be unearthed and thought of as our modern mythology.

Wrestling: an Alternate Fighting Style

May Not Be What You Think

All I could find royalty-free was teenagers in amateur wrestling, but this image is for professional wrestling.
Photo by Chris Chow on Unsplash

Before you brand me a fool. hear me out! I’m not saying this is real. I’ve been watching it for nearly 40 years and always knew it was orchestrated. It’s like stuntmen in movies, except matches sometimes go for longer.

No matter, wrestlers can show you a lot about developing a character (a man was always seen as a Russin was revealed when he died as French Canadian), getting others to care about an upcoming match, and even some basic storytelling (yes, a good match tells a story). There’s much to learn.

Origin of This in my Novel

When I created Rigger, Mortiz, and Shivver decades ago, puns were a huge part of the name choices.

When I created Alex Rigger, I thought of him as a former wrestler, ‘Oil Rigger’. 

I’m what folks call a ‘smark’ (a smart mark. Smart enough to know what’s happening, but still a mark for my favorite performers). 

Why a Wrestler?

Some people I know would wonder why I’m writing another wrestler (I’ve created a few). Thing is there is a saturation of former boxers and martial artist characters. I’m trying something different. 

Style

The fighting style is different. Some of the moves are flashy, but couldn’t be used in the real world. They would cause fatalities if they were. 

A lot of real fights would be punches and kicks, with some basic slams thrown in, dropkicks and clotheslines too. 

Another interesting thing about fights using wrestling: as with many Kung Fu fights, many wrestlers have a different style. Some of the bigger guys don’t do aerial moves… some of them do, but it’s considered unusual in the US and just looks strange in Japan. In writing, we just strive for uniqueness. 

In the hand of a good writer (hope I am), this could be interesting. 

I’m going to try to post here more often. I’ll wait until I’ve done a few more to state a schedule, so I don’t let readers down. 

Making Snow-Mageddon Useful

I was shut-in today (Feb. 13, 2019) due to the record snowfall outside (for my American readers it was more than 1 foot of it.

It’s 2 days later when I finish this post, Feb. 15. Belated Happy Valen Day.

Valen on Babylon 5.

Rather than do nothing on my time off, I was as productive:

Continued Ninja Writing

I spoke of that in my last post.

I worked on the next draft of my novel every day. I’m a few days closer to finishing as a result. I also found new things to add to it that I didn’t before. That’s the beauty of rewrites.

Updating This Blog

Although it wasn’t at the speed that I’d like I did this post. Even though the post and the amount of time it took don’t line up, all that matters is it’s here.

Reading More

I fell behind on reading magazines I’m subscribed to, so I’m doubling my daily reading.

So, the heavy snow kept me from travel, but I still did a lot else.

A Long Time Coming Indeed (The Documentary of a Legend)

Courage (for Hugh MacLennan)

Courage (for Hugh MacLennan) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)G

(First posted on Medium.)

Gord Downey, the singer-frontman of the band The Tragically Hip, lost his battle with brain cancer last week. He was 53.

Last night, CTV here in Canada aired the documentary about his farewell tour across Canada, ending in his hometown Kingston, Ontario.

Many Americans don’t know the band because they are more a Canadian phenomenon.

Full disclosure here: in the past, I wasn’t a huge fan of the band — but as I listened to all of their hits, I realized that I WAS.

Before anybody else points it out: writing songs is hard. I can be poetic in my writings, but I’m not good at poetry… and songwriting is even more difficult. I tried to write some in the past, but I wasn’t very good.

Gord Downey wrote songs for over 30 years — for 14 albums and more EPs and singles.

Even more admirable: his body was failing more and more every day; he still performed a concert tour across Canada — plus he performed 90 songs, where most people sing 45 songs at most.

He was one of the hardest working men in the music industry, and one who used his celebrity to bring more notice to the mistreatment of our First Nations brethren.

Spring Cleaning …. in Fall

cleaning products

Spring Cleaning

After the last time that I said that I intended to update this blog more often, I stayed away even longer!

Mea culpa – – but this time, there’s a reason. A good one: since May of this year (2017) I’ve been part of a group that posts on Medium. It’s just like blogging, but it has a much larger potential audience. I will still post here (in fact I’ll re-post relevant content here), but the greater exposure appeals to me.

Here’s my profile on their site.

I also put a new design on this blog, after using the same one for ages. The new one has much less clutter. Do you like it?

 

 

My final post of 2016: Reflections

Here are my reflections on the year passed…

I haven’t posted here since early October. Blog burnout is as self-doubt in writing. I’m experiencing both at the same time.

El domingo 20 de marzo de 2011, a las 17:00 ho...

Lucky me.

Part of the Bad Year

2016 has been a bad year for many of us. Music icons have died. Many.  Celebrities in many other fields died. Just 3 days ago as I write these words

Carrie Fisher at WonderCon 2009.

Carrie Fisher at WonderCon 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Princess Leia from Star Wars, Carrie Fisher, died of a heart attack.  A day later

 

her mother Debbie Reynolds died of a major stroke (though many say it was caused by heartbreak).

There were also far too many terrorist slayings (anything more than 0 is too many). Also, many hate crimes including the slayings at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

I won’t even mention the recent US Election results… sort of. I won’t go into them in detail,  a) because this isn’t a politics blog and b) a good way to burn bridges with potential readers would be to tick them off with partisan rants — so I won’t do any. All I will say is that it was an ugly election, and I hope never to see one like it again anytime soon.

In terms of my writing, as I said 2016 was not great for me either. with these words, you may be wondering if this is meant only as a gloomy post. I’m only explaining part of why 2016 is a year we’d all like to forget, me too. I’ve already started steps to make 2017 a better year for me.

Things to Come

I already have an article ready for a friend’s fanzine, and I’m working on a second one for another issue. I will  =use this to galvanize me to relaunch my own zine from dormancy and to write a few letters for other zines that I’m a member of.

I’ve  created a new editorial calendar to bolster the regular posting of updates on this blog, to get the newsletter for my mailing list more regular… and (I hope) to help me to get my short story done and my novel after it.

Goodbye to 2016. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out – and may 2017 be a good year!

 

I’m back (finally)!

I’m still editing the settings on everything here (including the Theme and sidebar, plus my BlogRoll) but I now have most of  the basics installed, and  I can start posting again.

I missed posting the past month. It’s been too quiet in my head.

Cats and Writers

Today I’ll examine something less weighty; appropriate as it should not be a day for deep thoughts. It is Sunday, after all!

What I’d like to discuss is how many writers (including me) have cats.

My publishing imprint (Bosulliman Press) is based on a cat theme too. The origin of the name I’ll cover in my newsletter. I have a link to another Page on this Blog for me to manually add you to that list if you’re interested. Here ends my digression.

My cat (Garfield) is my third in 25 years. Author Rayne Hall wrote a series of books about writing using her black cat Salem as a spokesbeing; here’s a link (not an affiliate one). One of my friends — a very prolific author in her own right (blog here) has a cat named Ishmael. The number of authors with cats in their bios is beyond number.

So, why are cats and writers such a pairing?

Writing is a solitary endeavor; a writer is often alone for long stretches of time. A cat is only around when it wants attention, then stays away.

A cat purring, often on your lap, seems to calm a writer into more creative thought.

I’ll leave it to more scientific minds to answer this mystery!

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