stories

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Lives torn asunder:

Published November 30, 2015 by AntiqueMystique1

EDITED 12-3-15:

And I sincerely thank a fellow WordPress blogger for clearing up the misinformation about the vet story. From other message boards I read he was a hoarder and stayed in Florida mostly.

The first shocking article I read about came out of New York where a 68 year-old vet traveled to Florida to undergo knee replacement surgery. There were some complications after their post-op and the vet had to stay with a friend to recuperate until he was well enough to return home six months later. And what happened when he did go home in August? He was greeted by an empty lot. The town where he resided for 68 years of his life decided to demolish the vet’s family house they had lived in since they were 6 months old. It stored all of their childhood memories, personal belongings, family antiques and photos (of which the vet will never recover). The vet’s neighbor’s (of just 12 years) came right out and stated the property fell into disrepair, the house was an eyesore to the community, etc.

The vet corrected by stating they were paid up on their property taxes, mortgages on the home, etc.

Since the article left out A LOT what I gleaned from it is a spin on the ‘woe-is-me’ tale. And from doing a little more reading the vet wasn’t bad off (financially-speaking).

In another related article I read about an elderly couple living in Washington who were recently evicted from their place by none other that subsidized housing authority (Section 8). Good or bad, I once had to rely on Section 8 eons ago, and believe me, once I moved and no longer needed the assistance ,I swore I’d never go back. I was always living day to day back then (prepared to move at a moment’s notice) since the Section 8 program has a history of displacing a lot of tenants and the program itself tends to fail and funding runs out.

So why did the Section 8 program want to boot this elderly couple to the curb even after they agreed to buy the property that was going up for sale? Because they’re too old and Section 8 wanted to jump on the house flipping band wagon. Plus they wanted the elderly couple in a one-bedroom, cramped subsidized apartment.

While the new mod-cons may appeal to some, Section 8 in Washington said it wanted to vacate as many tenants as they could, fix up the houses/ apartments they already own and sell them to younger working class people with oodles of money. But there’s a problem. The Section 8 funding can only go so far. Most of the houses/apartments they did end up dumping off sit empty with no takers and haven’t been lived in for months, even years perhaps.

As a society, however, we seldom hear or read about these personal tragedy stories and when we do, we first thank our lucky stars it didn’t happen to us personally, then tend to light up the comment section that exclaims the elderly couple should have gone to work, they should have gotten an education like one commentor did and feels no sympathy for those truly needing government assistance. Commentor was on ‘a’ [non-specified] government training program that taught them a very boring trade, but then commentor joined a union, had a retirement savings, all their kids work, have two autos, a large nice house, no slackers and no laziness here—etc. The article didn’t ever say if the elderly couple were slackers or moochers in life.

But for a lot of people in this economy they can’t get ahead. They can’t find jobs, and if they do, there are certain restrictions on how many hours they can work. Part time won’t cut it. Even on a full time job it is difficult to make ends meet. I do feel for those that must work two jobs just to stay afloat.

But what struck me as curious was the similarities both articles had. The elderly couple lost all of their belongings when the Housing Authority came in and threw out everything they ever owned and they had to ask their adult kids to help raise the money so they could buy their property from Section 8, which as no surprise, asked more than the property was worth. The place the couple lived in since the 1970s was never remodeled or was it ever sold. It still sits vacant.

Do I see a creepy new trend cropping up or are these just isolated cases that leaked into the media? There’s a reason I never fully trusted the Section 8 program and why I never put faith in government programs. Yes, they are there when you’re in an emergency and need food and housing assistance. And these two articles made me seriously think to myself, “Growing old is going to suck.” Growing old doesn’t come with any stability especially not one of the three fundamentals for survival: shelter.

Since the elderly couple’s story was very one-sided and a lot left out there’s no telling what exact circumstances forced them to be evicted by the Housing Authority without so much allotting them a certain time frame to get their belongings and move. As a society we tend to blame the person’s circumstances as being a stereotypical ‘working the system’ sight unseen. Generational poverty gets mentioned in the comments and the person(s) are publicly shamed for being poor and doing nothing to better their financial and/ or educational status in life.

Thanks for liking, re-blogging, commenting, sharing, I sincerely appreciate it.

 

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Character worksheets and creating vampires.

Published October 2, 2015 by AntiqueMystique1

Well, looks like it might be back to the old drawing board as the saying goes. In the last couple of days I’ve had a lot of fun creating vampires and fictional locations for my self-published stories. What does it mean to fill out a character worksheet? It means you get a visual idea of what your character is all about: what they like, dislike, love, their favorite things to do and so on.

But the hardest part was finding a few pictures to ‘visualize’ what my vampire characters might look like. Then I had the fun (and daunting) task of morphing each photo into what I would think my vampires would appear (physically). I don’t have photoshop, so I had to do the next best thing and run all the pictures through an inexpensive photo shop-like program, play with the effects, colors and opacity levels and the end result? I believe I created some awesome vampires with what I had at my disposal. I’m doing this so when I go back into revise my stories I can glance at the worksheets and know exactly who goes where and get an idea of their emotions, what they’re doing, etc.

Right now I am repeat offender of writing in the “God point of view”. Instead of having a character say something I write it in the ‘third person’ which there’s nothing wrong with that, per se, it just shows that I don’t read much.

It would help if I would read—like really sit down and crack open a book. I do plan to find another set of the Vampire Files (by P.N. Elrod, one of my favorite authors), and actually take a step away from writing and begin by reading. How do the scenes flow? How do the characters interact with each other, what’s the basis of the story, what’s the plot about and most importantly, make it flow in chronological order.

When I write… I get inspired or get an idea stuck in my head and feel the overwhelming need to write it down not on scrap paper or even in my notebook, I write it into the story and that’s good if I’m planning to write back material, but I’m not. I’m trying to write a story.

But the character worksheets are a lot of fun! I believe I created no less than ten pages. I still plan to pack my camera with me and take some pictures of a few places, then weave these into my stories. One great thing when you write about fictional towns, residences, and cities, you pretty much write the laws. Yep, if you want your character to ride their bike on the sidewalk and not have to worry about receiving a ticket or a warning, you can write pretty much anything. In real life, (as I’m sure its law everywhere), you can’t ride a bike on a sidewalk, especially not in a downtown district. Recently where I live they put in bike paths and you won’t guess where. The new bike paths are right in front of on-coming traffic, and the city planners brought these paths out so far into the narrow streets that it also hampers motorists who may need to park by the curb.

Thankfully I don’t ride a bicycle anymore. However, I do drive so I’m always extremely cautious when driving around town. I feel the bike paths are a danger not just to the bicyclist, but also to the motorist as well. Oh, yeah, and the city planners also decided to run the bike paths right into the turn lanes, so when you need to make a turn, you may not see the bicyclist until they are right up beside you and since riding on the sidewalks is against the law, I’m waiting to see if these new bike paths will be removed, or what they plan to do about it. So far its received a lot of complaints. I assume this is ‘liberals’ at work.

The good thing about writing is you can make up any law and run with it in a story. And I do apologize if I went off topic there. Main thing is my writing and revising is far from over with. I do plan to leave all my stories up on Smashwords and Kindle Direct in the meantime until I am completely done going through my stories. Then I will upload brand new copies. I’ve also been kicking around some more ideas and really want to change a few scenes in my stories that I would like to expand on. As always thank you so much for liking, re-blogging, sharing, commenting, tweeting, I sincerely appreciate it. 🙂