Evolving Normal Happenings: Building the Infrastructure for The Characters That Define Us

We approach the end of August, and there is absolutely nothing on the horizon.

Well, except for one thing.
Just, you know, a gigantic year-long collaboration the likes of which the blogosphere has never soon.
Other than that, nothing at all!

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We’ve got huge plans for this project, but we’ve got to get there.

We’re throwing all we’ve got at the year 2020:

  • Feature pieces.
  • Daily Inklings.
  • Modern Designs.
  • Hopefully something very huge I’ve yet to reveal.
  • And of course the cornerstone: 57 incredible pieces for our collaboration.

Right now we are a beautiful city with tall skyscrapers and hip boutique restaurants.
But we have dirt roads and rope bridges.
We need infrastructure.

We’re making the call. We’re moving to a self-hosted platform.

I need all the power of CSS, HTML, plug-ins, scripts, storage space, etc to pull this off. Mad art requires mad power, and I’m afraid WordPress.com simply isn’t going to cut it anymore. Luckily for me, you all are constantly incredible at supporting us on social media, so we’re going to be just fine.

Here’s the deal. I need all the time from now to December to front-load this project. I have to design and write like mad starting right now to pull this thing off. That means I’m pushing all blog posts, all Daily Inklings, all Mario Maker courses — all everything except promoting The Characters That Define Us. I am determined to facilitate making 2020 a year-long thrill-ride of artistic goodness.

How can you help? Just keep being there for us, encouraging us along the way. Keep up with us on Twitter, and share social media posts so others can enjoy this group’s hard work in 2020. And if you want to help us offset the costs, we’d very much love for you to pitch in as a Patreon supporter! We’ll keep you updated on our progress.

You can feel the anticipation rising. The Characters That Define Us — the most ambitious blogging collaboration we’ve ever done — approaches. Let’s do it right.


Did you know we’re part of the best community of bloggers in the world? Now that the Normal Happenings Starry-Eyed Discord is up, we’re having incredible conversations every day! You can join us right now by becoming a Patron of Normal Happenings! Also, $5+ Patrons unlock Snail Mail Inklings and get featured in very special blog posts!

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Hey, Where’s That Novel Project You Were Working On?

Does anyone remember Dysontopia, my serialized fiction novel project? For a while, I was posting about a thousand words of it every week. It has been a while since I’ve even brought up the topic, so I would imagine one or two of you are wondering if it ran away, took an extended vacation in the Caribbean, or perhaps got sucked into a giant planet-eating black hole. Well, Dysontopia looks nothing like the fragments scattered about Normal Happenings anymore.

When last we checked in, it was undergoing a reformat with the intention of me releasing it chapter by chapter instead of in small portions. But here’s the thing – Dysontopia has blossomed into something really quite special. I don’t want to speak too soon, but reworking this novel has completely shifted its core concept into something that I actually consider particularly unique, mature, and sophisticated as far as novels are concerned. It’s more than just that girl named Sydney, though she still remains the focal point of the work. Don’t worry, I love that character too much for her not to be the main protagonist. Continue reading “Hey, Where’s That Novel Project You Were Working On?”

The Supporting Role of a Pure Hero | 0.3

<< On Curse Words in Fiction 0.2Patch Log | Cold Outside, Cold Inside 1.1 >>
Related: About Dysontopia


I want to talk a bit about Millie in Dysontopia because we will not be seeing her again for a little while. She’s an important character for sure, and I very much needed to introduce her early in order to add a stabilizing element to Sydney’s life. Yet, we also need to see Sydney’s chronic predicament of being alone begin development fairly quickly into the piece.

When I started writing Sydney, I had every intention of making her complete chaos, with intentions and motivations that are all over the map. Is she good? Is she bad? Even I don’t know, and I’m the one with relatively detailed plan for her character arc. That’s often what it’s like to struggle with mental illness – it creeps up inside you and tears you apart from the inside out. One thing’s for sure: she is a human being with all the instability pertaining within such a classification. Continue reading “The Supporting Role of a Pure Hero | 0.3”

Rom-Com Week! “What If” and Bantering Towards a Proper Love Story

It’s Rom-Com Week! And I couldn’t be more excited to share my three favorite rom-coms and how they’re symbolic of real life relationship situations.

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Today we’re looking at Chantry and Wallace in What If and how the film uses flirting to accurately develop a romantic relationship. If you haven’t seen the film, it’s on Amazon Prime Instant Video. You’ll derive more enjoyment, of course, if you go cuddle up with your guy, girl, cat, or dog, watch the movie, then come back here to finish reading. Continue reading “Rom-Com Week! “What If” and Bantering Towards a Proper Love Story”

TV Shows, Video Games, and Movies, Oh My! Real Life Follows Culture

We are here because an avalanche of inspiration hit me all at once.

One of the very large boulders in that rock slide was A Geeky Gal’s 30-Day Video Game Challenge. In it, Megan challenged herself to spend every day in a month writing brief posts based on answers to a series of 30 questions. “I wanna do it,” I remember thinking, causing a swarm of blogging nostalgia to come rushing back. Continue reading “TV Shows, Video Games, and Movies, Oh My! Real Life Follows Culture”