Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Lent - Catholic With Protestant Tendancies

Oh boy, it's that time of year again!

LENT!

 
The time of year where Catholics and Christians alike get together to complain about the fact that they gave up chocolate and soda for six weeks.

Anyone who knows me knows that I give up the internet for lent every year. This essentially means giving up social media, YouTube, my webcomics, DeviantART and any other non-work related websites for six weeks.


During this time, I still use Trillian to talk to my friends online, but Facebook itself is put out completely.

This year though, I want to add to that. In addition to no internet, I'm also getting rid of soda and fast food. I like it too much, for one, but for two, I'd like to take some of the money I'd normally spend on that and put it toward a charity for the hungry.

Let me explain.

Right now, I'm teaching The Hunger Games in one of my classes. I've only ever read the first book, but my brother got me the whole set for Christmas this year in fancy foil bound books. For fun, I started reading book two.


Never read Catching Fire for "fun."

In one scene, Katniss and Peeta are in the Capitol eating at a big feast. Katniss tries a bit of everything and gets very full. When she mentions this to one of the members of her prep team, he laughs at her and shows her a liquid that she can use to throw it all back up and eat more food.

Such. A. Waste.

But I realized that we waste food like that too as a society. We WASTE FOOD and there are people out there starving to death. It made me feel sick. I felt like a horrible human being.


I'll admit, I relate a lot to Katniss. She decides early on to keep her head down and fight to protect the ones she love, even if it means lying and ignoring the problems staring at her in the face. The people of Panem look to her to be a symbol for their rebellion, an instigator of war. Gale and Peeta both pick up on this as the books move on.

But Katniss doesn't care. She doesn't see a point to fighting the Capitol because that would mean hardship and likely death for her family. She has no problem breaking the law, but only if that means she can protect the ones she loves.

I sometimes find myself paralyzed like that. Why should I worry about social issues when there's so little I can do as an individual? But that's a poor attitude to have.

I may not be able change the whole world, but I can change the world for one person.

One of the things my church is doing this year is a Change the World banner. This banner is out in the courtyard every Sunday during and it's a place to write how we've changed the world that week. Did we pray for a homeless man? Donate money? Choose not to waste food? Build bridges? Become a peacemaker? There's dozens of things you can do.


This year, I want to change the world for someone who's hungry. Being hungry is one of the most horrible things possible. My goal then, is to donate what I can to the local food banks. No one should go hungry. Not when we have the ability to waste food.

In the meantime though, I'll also be writing, praying, and, as always, giving up the internet.

If you need to contact me for any reason, you can always catch me on Trillian or you can email me at r.a.meenan@zyearth.com.

So for now, I'm off. See you all at Easter! Happy Lent. =)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Ten Minute Freewrites - Prompt #10 The Price

Time for some more...

Ten Minute Freewrites

Yay! Let's try a brand new type of prompt. I found an amazing Tumblr that has some AWESOME writing prompts and I pretty much spent the better part of two days sifting through all the prompts trying to gather up the best ones. Go check out this person's tumblr for some awesome story ideas!

Here's one of my favorites so far.

Let's take a crack at it. It's a bit different than the ones I've done in the past, so let's see if I can handle this new one!

WRITING START

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"Are you comfortable in there?"

Arin adjusted his arm in the tight, mechanized armor. He grinned. Ever since his injury a year ago, he had been confined to a wheelchair, which, for someone as athletic as him, had been its own personal hell. To just be able to stand. What a feeling! "Fits like a glove."

"Good," the technician said. Arin heard beeps in his new helmet. "This one is special, you know."

"Everyone keeps telling me that, but no one has told me what that even means yet," Arin said. "Frankly, it's kind of driving me up the wall."

The technician snickered. "I feel your pain. I don't know what it is either, to be honest. That's the brainchild of Dr. Burns. She'll talk you through it."

Arin rolled his eyes. "The paranoia of the military knows no bounds."

"Tell me about it." Arin watched as the technician made some final adjustments on the suit, then took a step back. Several more technicians stood around him, looking over bio signs and computer tablets, but most of the team that had gotten Arin into his suit had left already.

The lead technician looked him over with a slight frown. "There's an obstacle course behind you. You're welcome to mess around with anything there and get used to the suit. Dr. Burns should be here soon."

Arin lifted an eyebrow. "She's not here already?"

"She got called away on some important meeting and is running late," the technician said. "By the time we got the memo, we were already half way through getting this suit on you. No reason to stop." He waved at the obstacle course. "It's all yours for now. We'll be here if something in the suit goes wrong, but don't expect too much observation. We're not really trained for that kind of thing."

"Understood," Arin said. He turned and faced the obstacle course. Each step almost felt like he was floating off the ground. Despite the heavy weight of the armor, he felt lighter than air. "Be back in a bit."

"I'll let you know when Dr. Burns gets here." The technician walked off, following his companions out of the room.

And Arin let loose. It felt amazing to jump through hoops, scale tall walls, and run up steep slopes like he was a kid on the playground. The suit moved perfectly. Oh to be able to run again! The wheelchair episode had certainly made him appreciate what it meant to be perfectly abled, but by God had he missed being able to walk. He was just lucky that the loss of his legs qualified him for this new suit program. It was utterly amazing.

But not without price.

The voice echoed through Arin's helmet and the pure shock of it caused him to trip on a nearby dumbbell and crash to the ground. He winced. The armor didn't completely protect him it seemed.

He stood up. What was that?

A ghost in the machine, if you don't mind me using an antiquated term.

"What?" He glanced around. None of the technicians were near. And was that voice responding to his thoughts? "Who's there?"

The price, the voice said. For that suit. 

That's when Arin realized that the voice was coming from inside his head.

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Now that's a SERIOUSLY. FUN. STORY. WOW! I can't wait to keep going. Woo! These ten minute freewrites are seriously a blast.

What should I write about next? Give me some suggestions!