This is stupid. I don’t care.

Sometimes life is just dumb and things are funny. This is both. (via nohope.org)

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James Bond is a cold dude.

I am a huge James Bond fan. I haven’t seen all of the movies but I am working on it. Amazon Prime helps, they just made a few of the movies available for April. So I started watching Goldfinger. I’ve seen it before, but it’s been a long time.

The thing that shows me how cold Bond is was this. Bond just finished blowing up some building in the precredit scene. He goes back to his room to “take care of a loose end” or something like that. Those of you that have seen a single Bond frame of film know it’s a woman. So when he gets there, she’s in the bath. She gets out of the bath and Bond’s attention is um… drawn away for a moment while an assassin is sneaking in.

Bond leans in close for a kiss and sees the reflection of the assassin in her eyes. Instead of pushing her out of the way, he uses her as a human shield and she gets the smack on the head with the blackjack. She falls to the ground. He shrugs it off and fights. Cold, but not freezing.

He fights the guy, they rumble all round the room. The fight ends with the guy getting thrown into the bath and Bond tosses a heater into the water, killing the guy. Typical Bond, unperturbed, turns to walk away. “Shocking,” Bond says. Then it gets really cold.

The girl wakes up. He sees it, says “Totally shocking,” and just walks away. This girl will probably die from head trauma or be a vegetable for life and he just leaves. Not only did he use her as a human shield but he left her to die or to wake and deal with the dead body in the tub. I mean, she has to get rid of this body on her own.

Bond is one cold dude.

Suspense and Potty Training

One of my original intentions of my blog was to use it as a platform so you could get to know me and my writing, my likes and dislikes, and sometimes random bits of thoughts. One thing I didn’t plan on blogging about much was my family. I made a choice that putting my family into the mix of my blog wasn’t something that I wanted to do. I don’t want them to be forced into my writing life, even though they are a large part of it, just behind the scenes. So I am going to do my best to draw this blog about my family into the life of a suspense writer.

Let me start out by saying this, one of my children is potty training right now. This, in itself, is an adventure. But I never thought it would be in the least bit suspenseful, let me explain.

I have a personal definition of suspense that I teach my students. “Suspense is the anticipation of the inevitable unknown.” You cannot have suspense without anticipation, you cannot have suspense without inevitability, and you cannot have suspense without the unknown.

When all three are present, suspense is only there to follow. Suspense should have you guessing at all times and it should have you full of ups and downs, thrills and chills. That being said, if potty training is not suspenseful I don’t know what is.

First there is the anticipation. Every morning, I wake before my wife to get ready for work. My first job is to check on our oldest. Since we have been potty training I wake with the anticipation of a dry pull-up. I roll out of bed and quietly walk downstairs. I push the door to my son’s room open and peek inside. I sniff the air, hoping there will be no pungent aroma that meets my nostrils. Most mornings, I push the door open further, happy that I don’t have to meet that stinky menace this morning. But it’s not over. Is he wet? Has the well sprung? I inch closer.

He rolls over and smiles at me. “Hi, daddy,” he says, a smile spreading on his cheeks.

I reach out. He sits up. “Are you dry and clean this morning?” I ask.

Can you feel that tension?

Next is the inevitability. It is inevitable that he will wake up with one of two answers. He will have either dry or wet, clean or dirty, pull-ups. This will happen, it is inevitable. I am ready for one or the other, I know it will happen but I don’t know which as I lean over to pick him up. Some mornings, I have to ask a second time and that usually means that he’s had an accident in the night. Other mornings, he is quick to answer with hopeful and joyful, “Yes.” To which he follows with “Want treat.” I would love to trust him on the answer but I must check. Like ripping off a Band-Aid it is best to do it in one quick rip, so I must check the forensic evidence. Any parent knows this is either a visual or a tactile experience. There is one answer, it is inevitable, but this brings us to the final and most menacing.

Dunn dunn dunn. The unknown. Great suspense is built upon the unknown. There is nothing more unknowable, especially in the first days of potty training, as playing the “what’s the verdict?” game of bladder and bowel control. At any minute during the day my oldest could explode or wet his pants. It could be exciting if it didn’t mean so much laundry.

There is no time where the outcome is more unknown than in the morning because on most days he’s been in bed for over 12 hours. That’s a long time for a little guy and his umm little guys. So then to the checking. After I pick him up the suspense finally pays off. I have my answer.

This morning he was clean and dry, but you never know what tomorrow will bring. And that, dear reader, is suspense.

Giraffe steaks and social media

Social media is an odd thing. I love it and I hate it. I hate it because of how much time it can take up.  As a writer, I can’t tell you how much I rely on it. I use it to tell my friends and fans about my writing. They helped me get my stories into the top 100 in Kindle books (http://www.amazon.com/T.-Marcus-Christian/e/B00BI4QILM/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1). Right now, social media is the only way I can sell my work. I don’t have a marketing budget. My publisher (http://www.electiopublishing.com) definitely helps on that end, so I am not on my own but social media is my platform. Because of social media, you may have connected with me. You may be a fan on facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/T-Marcus-Christian-Author/390961257644530?ref=hl) or you may follow me on twitter (@Writer_Marcus). You may be a friend from college or grad school and I am glad to know you.

Today, social media introduced me to something really interesting. I found out the real power of social media. As a writer, I am very curious. I like to know things. Sometimes I need to know things and Google just can’t answer certain questions with any sort of reliability.

One thing I really wondered that Google didn’t know: What does giraffe taste like?

Now, before you question me as crazy, animal hater, or something like that, don’t get me wrong, I love animals. It’s not like I go to the zoo with my mouth watering and hoping that I could maybe go into the zoo to hunt my next meal. (I have dreamed of that by the way) No, I love animals. I love them baked, grilled, broiled, or fried with a side of anything tasty like more animal or bacon. I’m off track. Let me wipe my drool.

So how do social media and the taste of giraffe combine?

Well, I entered the realm of social media and I asked my friends expecting not much in return. I mean how many people really have eaten giraffe? Is it legal? Is it a delicacy? How would you get a giraffe steak on your plate? Honestly, I didn’t expect a real answer. I expected to be left without an any answer. I did get the obvious answers from a few people saying that it probably tastes like chicken. Yeah, not good enough. Then one of my friends told me physiologically why it might actually taste like chicken. They stated that the taste buds are designed to give things flavors we are familiar with, therefore, many things taste like chicken. (Pretty cool huh?) Still not good enough.

I have a friend (Caren Story) that lived in Kenya as a missionary when she was younger and she asked her friends. A writer friend (J.L. Benet) told me he would ask one of his South African rugby mates. So I waited.

The answer finally came care of J.L. Benet’s rugby mate. It tastes like buffalo. Now, I have not tasted buffalo, but I imagine it tastes like a gamy mix of cow and deer.

So there you have it. Now I have to try buffalo and giraffe.

I can’t tell you how much social media has done for me. What has social media done for you? Please share.