Nostalgia Critic, the Philosopher

This will be my only post today, unless a poem punches me in the kidney, because I’m exhausted today. I am, however, going to share an absolutely fantastic video with you. Nostalgia Critic is one of my favorite online masterminds, and today he has outdone himself. He and I both have a deep love for the movie The Secret of NIMH, and today he took a (in my opinion) philosophical and brilliantly so look at the meaning behind the themes of the movie. I think he hit the nail on the head with his analysis of the film, and just wanted to share it with you all.

(Apologies, but the embed code for this video isn’t working, and I don’t know how to code it myself.)
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Letters scatter in fear,

scramble in hodgepodge lines  as I crack

my lead whip against the thin,

flimsy white pulp. In formation,

they present their arms with a

still and silent salute

to the critical opposition,

ready themselves for the slaughter.


How will they fair? I wonder to no one

but the whip, now limp and pointed nowhere.

Like the rest. it quips back to me,

they are, after all, but the lambs of your mind.


Intended for greatness,

left in the gutter.

To my lovely followers: What do you want to see from me?


The past month has been poems, poems, poems. The month before that was a lot of prose, short stories, novel updates, and a little bit of poetry laced in for flavor. With such a successful month behind me, I’d like to get more interactive and involved with you, my lovely followers and would-be followers! I want to know what you want from me, what you expect as a reader when you see my username come up in your reader queue.

So, below is a lovely little form (yes, I know, another one; I’m kind of getting obsessed a little) where I’d like to you to pester me. What content from me do you enjoy the most? What is your favorite post from me? Why do you think it was your favorite? What aspect of my work really catches your eye when you see my posts in your reader queue? Would you rather this blog be poetry focused? Do you enjoy my rants and raves on religion, society, and the like? Tell me what you don’t like to see. Give me ideas for new content that you’ve never seen from me before but would be interested in from me. What can I do for you to enjoy your visits to me site.

Let it all out! I want your honest opinion. And… GO!

Thank you to all my followers. I really want to become more dynamic with you all, and I hope this is a good first step. Thank you all for your support and interest in my work. Cheers!




You are the best of me

and the worst of then.

Music to quicken heart’s pace

while words pierce through the chest

to times of ridicule

long since buried.

Lips curl up to high-pitched voices,

mockery of the worst of humanity

and the ironic stupidity consuming the world

we are forced to occupy.

Yet my brow hardens

when old friends are near,

my tongue gets tight to hold back

times when you should have been my enemy,

the one with my fist in your face.


Differences are left to the wind,

cut short by short responses

and diverted eyes.

And it’s okay to find our opposing poles;

it’s only a reminder of the silent creed between us,

spoken once so long ago.


Can I ask you something?

No matter how this turns out,

let’s always stay friends.



I had an interesting epiphany today while talking to my boyfriend. You see one of my roommates is an old high school friend, and my boyfriend is constantly making jokes at his expense. It wouldn’t be too big of a deal if I didn’t know what it’s like to be on the other end of insulting jokes like that and not find any of them funny. My boyfriend had quite a ‘popular guy’ kind of past before we met, and I didn’t find out until quite a few years into our relationship that he put a lot of that part of him behind for me, and drew me into a little bit of that lifestyle at the same time. I realize that he’s a lot like the guys I despised in high school; the guys who would just drill a certain person just because it was a convenient target. It’s not as bad as it sounds, really, but I had to call him out on it tonight because I really don’t think he sees just how much my roommate dislikes it all. And he certainly doesn’t realize how, when he does crack fun at my roommate, that it takes me back to the bad side of high school, the times of nicknames and ridicule just because I would keep my mouth shut, or try to retaliate. Either way, it never stopped, and my boyfriend hasn’t stopped yet. I just needed an outlet to share that commotion, and this poem is the result.

As always, it’s just straight out of my head to the screen, so rip apart as you like. I love the critique, any and all of it.

Haikus again

Last kind memory

counting the turned autumn leaves

hilltops’ jade turned brick

Rust melts to scarlet

nothing to remember but

Crimson and the dark

Bare, crackle umber

surrounds me, consumes my world

ashen heart buried

A linked haiku inspired by Rana, my main character for my Elaseim novel (for those who haven’t been following for long). I’m quite happy with this for now. This may likely evolve into a real series of sorts. We’ll see if I take it farther. Any critique is, as always, welcome and encouraged! ^_^

Foaming Monkeys and What to Write

It was his first out-of-body experience, and all he could think was this was not a good time for it.  He could see the vines pushed away from his face as he sprinted farther into the trees.  His feet lept over mangled roots, planting firmly onto the spongy ground and propelling him after Luke and those foaming monkeys.  There was no way Rog would normally have this coordination.  Hell, he couldn’t even do the Cha-Cha Slide.  But he hadn’t tripped once.  All he knew was he had to catch up to those monkeys, those bubble-foam covered monkeys, and get Luke back.  He had lost sight of them the moment they grabbed Luke’s shoe off his foot and he went tumbling after it.  But that was one good thing about Luke, his voice could travel for miles.  That, and it looked like the monkeys were shedding.

Just follow the soap suds, Rog. Follow the soap suds.


Yay, a new installment of String Warping for Homosexuals! Yes, Luke’s love for his darling plaid Mary Janes has gotten him in a bit of a damsel-in-distress situation.  If you actually want a conclusion to this little clip next post I can do that. I’m having quite a lot of fun just jumping around to whatever they might be up to instead of going chronological.

On another note, I have finished posting my history chapters for my Elaseim project.  As always, critique is more than welcome.  But now I’m in a bit of a dilemma.  I have been reading J.J. Harkin’s Angels of Apocalypse the past few days and it has really got my mind back into one of my other projects.  And what do you know, it’s an apocalypse story!  I’m considering working more on chapters for that project and setting the Elaseim work down for a little while.  To any of you who have been so kind as to read my Elaseim work, would you rather start seeing more of Adalan Eu and the current-time plotline? Or would you like to see something new and get a glimpse at Aisha and Anubis?  For a little teaser, here is a commissioned picture of Aisha and Anubis drawn by an awesome artist and friend, TastesLikeAnya.

So if anyone has any interest in one or the other, let me know. Otherwise I will most likely be going with Aisha and Anubis for a while.  Cheers to all, and thanks for the great discussion on the last post on critique!  Until the next adventure!

~S. Virginia Gray

Close to my Heart: Honesty and Critique

So, this will be a bit of a turn from the usual post, as you can see, but it is one of the most important topics I can write about.  There should be no wonder why a writer asks for critique.  In fact, I am surprised that writers have to actually ask for it at all, especially from other writers.  And yet they do.  They must.  And even with a full paragraph plea for some kind of feedback from their readers, we writers are still left in the dark.

Some consider feedback as a click of the ever-present “like” button.  I consider this little button my most common enemy.  The overwhelming amount of tweets, blog posts, links, etc. a reader must filter through in a day makes this button their best friend.  It is feedback, it is positive, it is fast and easy.  But when I ask for feedback, especially critique feedback, I want the thought behind the “like”.  And I don’t mean the dreaded two-word enhancement, “Loved it!” or “Well done!”  Although these responses are by no means ignored, and certainly appreciated, they are not something I can work with.  Critique for me is a stepping stone to improvement.  I want responses I can learn from; I want to know what is working for me and what I should change.  The more of this feedback I get, the more I can grow as a writer.  As Martin Hall, golf expert and teacher, always says, “If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’re going to keep getting what you’re getting.”

And some readers would say, “But it’s not my opinion that matters; it’s the writer’s work, and only he or she can determine if the work is good or not.”  This could not be farther from the truth.  Yes, a writer’s opinion matters when it comes to their own writing, but a writer does not write for himself or herself.  A writer creates a piece of writing and posts it online for others to read.  If the audience doesn’t like the writing, the writer is doing something wrong, and needs to know what is wrong to make it right.  There is no point in posting writing if the writer doesn’t care what the reader thinks.  And if a writer doesn’t care about what the reader thinks, then he or she shouldn’t be posting it.  Some writers just post for the ego boost of the “like”, the “Loved it!” and the “Well done!”  And that is perfectly fine.  But these are the writers that do not ask for critique, and when they do get critiqued, they become defensive.  That is their problem.  And this is where honesty in critique is most important.

When I ask for critique, I want the full force of it.  If you hate my writing, tell me so, and tell me WHY! Don’t just say, “You suck.” Again, another two-word dread.  I don’t mean that as I’m scared or angry that you don’t like it, I mean I don’t know why you don’t like it.  I want to know what you, the reader, does like. I want to attempt to conform to you.  Perhaps not the specific piece that you don’t like (if you hate my fantasy story because you don’t like fantasy to start with, I’m not going to change the whole genre just to make you happy), but knowing what you like as a reader can open new doors for me.  If you don’t like my narrative style, perhaps I can try a piece in the style you prefer.  A challenge for me and a good read for you is a win for both of us.

On the other side of the comment spectrum, if you love it, and use the two-word dreads I’ve mentioned earlier, I still don’t learn anything.  Knowing why you liked/loved a piece of my writing is a good ego boost, but not a stepping stone.  I want to know where I went right, be it the narrative style, the dialogue, the pace, what have you.  Critique involves detail, the more minute the better.  Even if your only constructive critique is, “I love this line…” that is still a way for me to improve.  Anything is better than nothing, and to me the two-word dreads are simply not much.

So please, when you see the “critique” tag, or see “critique” somewhere in any given post, from me or any writer, give yourself and the writer a couple more seconds and give feedback.  Real feedback.

And yes, critique on this little blurb is greatly appreciated. 🙂


~S. Virginia Gray

Flannel Flambo

The fields were vibrant green this time of year, and the temperature was impeccable, perfect for his khaki capris and sandals.

“Now why did you wear flannel plaid pants again, Lukas?”

The warper jangled down under Rog’s plain blue T as he began to pace down the road before them. He could feel the glare of his entertainment for the evening pierce at the base of his spine.

“You know very well plaid is traditional in Scotland.  I don’t want to walk into the President’s informal ball and blend in.”

“Again,” Rog quipped over his shoulder, “why the plaid?”

The glare transformed into a roll for a moment.  “Do I have to spell it? Plaid = normal.  That’s what the poof collar and purple-pink matching shoes are for, dumb-nuts.”

“Right, because Victorian blouses accented with pajama pants and matching Mary Janes will totally blend in at an informal Scottish anything.”

The clicking of Luke’s heels against the cobbles matched step next to Rog.  “That’s the whole point.  Not lost in the crowd, but not overbearing.  The perfect combo to say, ‘Hey, if you’re interested in a one-night stand with an audience, then buddy you found your Flambo.’”

A little note on the Flambo thing.  This story is in our future, and that is the new slang term for homosexual.  As always, don’t be offended and whatnot, it’s a story and I’m just trying to have fun with it. ^_^ This is where Rog and Luke started out, before the Aboriginies and random string warping began.

Another note, I know these flash updates aren’t always going to be great.  They are fast-written on purpose, and they will not always be winners.  But they are awesome practice and great for any feedback you may wish to give me.  Eventually, when more are accumulated, I may put them all in one place, like goodreads, where my other stories and Elaseim chapters are, but for now they will remain here.

And on that note, just to let you know, the final background chapter of Journeys of the Elaseim is up!  I had a great comment/critique posted by J.J. Harkin on Chapter 4, and would greatly appreciate any other in-depth critiques like his on any of my writing.  I love feedback.  It makes my brain smile.  You want my brain happy, don’t you? 😀

So until next time, read up, comment, and by all means let me know if there are any writings of yours you’d like critique on as well.  I’d be more than happy to give feedback in return for feedback.  Thanks all, and come again!

~S. Virginia

A surprise post!

In celebration of my 100+ followers on twitter, I’m posting another story on goodreads!  This one is very close to me, because I am a major WWII buff, and this is a tribute story to the 101st Airborne.  A reference to this story is also my Elegy to Dick Winters.  All names were changed because it is not set in the actual time.  I hope you all enjoy and PLEASE give me your critique! This story is very old and probably could really use some re-edit, but it’s been so long originally finished, I can’t really find any changes to make.

So, without further ado, here is the link of my story on goodreads! 

String Warping for Homosexuals

PLEASE do not be offended by the title.  God knows it’s not meant to be rude.

So I found a great writing prompt through a tweet, the original location found here.  I decided to give it a whack, and could you imagine? I’m really liking this silly little clip.  This is usually what happens with me and prompts, instead of making a story, I make a teaser.  Which means I’ll have to continue it sometime, which is even better!   So here is my entry, a compilation of all the prompts in 200 or less words.

            The pain shooting up his leg caught in his throat to the footfalls of a child overhead.  Distant, foreign voices called the footsteps back across the concrete, a chain of giggles fading off after.

“Oh, quit being so up-tight.  You didn’t get me killed, focus on that.”

Luke was still with him. Wonderful.  An arrowhead in his knee and he would still have to put up with the nagger.

“Are you going to get up? Because I am not getting blood on this shirt.  I nearly screamed when we landed in a pile of garbage and snotty kids that last warp.”

“Those kids were homeless and starving, Luke. Can’t you have any sympathy?”

Luke gave him that wicked look as he ripped his pants farther from his wound.

“Sympathy? Rog, you invited me on a simple string jump to hit on the president of Scotland.  We are now on our eighteenth string, one of which had too many wet pears and spooning even for me, no home in sight and some random group of medieval-minded warpers trying to kill us because you forgot to save our home coordinates.  I believe I’m the one in need of sympathy.”

Feedback, as always, very appreciated.  And if you really enjoy the story, please vote for it on the link! I’m number 91!

~S. Virginia