Matt Lichtenwalner

Mobile mapper for Ushr - roaming the US and Canada constantly. Maybe a bit of art and/or writing here and there to spice things up.

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Been a while since I did any Patch images, and I got the proverbial itch tonight, so...

6/24 '20 5 Comments
That came out well!
I love his facial expression.
The shadows on #3 are a little stripy, not sure where the light source is, but the image itself is ... alive and predatory and amused. Reminds me of the t-shirt Houser has that says something about being excited for the zombie apocalypse.
The real take-away for the lighting is that it isn't clear, but just so you have the info, my INTENT was for two light sources: Moonlight or electric (blue) light that is subtle / gentle from behind (to our right) and above and a white light almost directly above (I was thinking 'streetlight').

I'm trying to play around with multiple light sources to add to realism. Honestly, this may be a bit of a mistake since I don't have a really 'realism' style. I'm far too cartoony, generally speaking.

I'm glad his facial expression seems a bit nuanced. Something that... irks me about a lot of wolf / werewolf artwork is that there is zero nuance. Perhaps that makes sense given the subject matter, but I'm a fan of subtle. More than binary seems a good thing. Real wolves aren't either A: I love you or B: I'm eating your face, so I figure werewolves could have additional complexity too.

And thanks!
Sometimes that's A and B. :)
Any time spent drawing is a good time. :)
It's really true. And I have to admit - there's additional comfort with this guy. Like comfort food, or reality tv or... whatever. A little bit of 'coming home'.

Probably my favorite one so far this year. It started when I was thinking about the cliche' image of the masculine hero carrying the Damsel in Distress. I was thinking specifically about how over done it is. Then I thought about reversing the roles.

I started roughing in the forms, and the idea that the male would be Patch (who, if I'm honest, is about as cliche as that original image idea) struck me as a good idea.

So who would the heroine be? Perhaps a valkyrie or angel? I dunno. I was focussed on the forms, and when I realized I was smudging the pencil a lot, I decided to erase the wings. I thought it might be neat to create something by its absence.

In case you're interested, I'm posting all of my Inktober sketches over on my Instagram - even the ones that I'm not a fan of...

10/5 '17

Well crap. Looks like I didn't quite make last night's post before midnight.

Note: I will edit this post Wednesday evening in order to add that night's work to this.

Note II:have added an excerpt below Tuesday's stuff. Waaaaay down below.

* * * * *

Tuesday's book work. Went a bit over my limit and hit almost 1400 words. Used WriteOrDie. Going to have to turn off the sounds in the future. Those seagull sounds will drive me mental if I listen to them for more than a half hour stint.

This is just a rough, and it's a little scene from the book. I've started to write the scenes up in somewhat random order. Kinda a "whatever I'm in the mood to write" thing. Eventually I'm going to have to come up with a story arc, but for right now, this is something to keep me writing daily.

In the book, Patch is going to meet an outlaw biker. He's the Sargeant at Arms for his club, and he's going to be a big influence on the young werewolf. Of course, he's going to die terribly. This scene is intended to be their first meeting.

As a side note: When I'm writing about "Danny", I'm thinking of an old biker buddy "Denny" that I haven't seen in a long time. Denny, however, was not an outlaw (quite the opposite in fact) but a young me kinda saw him like Danny seems to think Patch sees him.

The Diner

Coffee isn't too bad. Especially for this pit. I can't help but think about Frank as I stare into the murky depths of the cup. Looking up, I see all the chrome and mirrors that is typical of a place like this - and strip clubs. Why is that? What else do diners and strip clubs have in common?

Frank screwed the pooch. Again. Every time I think he's got his shit straightened out, he manages to find a way to prove me wrong. This time he might just manage to pull the club down with him. I can't let that happen. I'm not really sure what exactly I should do about it, but I can't let the club go down. If there's one requirement of my job, that's it.

There's a mirror above the window where the cooks hand the meals out to the waitresses. It gives me a view of all the booths behind me. There's a layer of nicotine on it, but it's clear enough to see all the kids in the booths. It's about the only reason I don't mind having my back to the door. I crush out the end of my smoke, take a sip, and see who's here tonight.

There are only a few folks other than me here. It's late, but not quite bar rush yet. There's a couple in the back corner sitting together on the same side of the booth. So cute it makes me want to chuck. There's an old man sitting a bit further down the counter than me. There's that kid with the eye patch sitting by himself in a booth huddled over a cup of joe. Pretty sure I've seen him here before. That eye patch sticks out. Anyway - he's sitting in the booth adjacent to some nerdy kid.

Lastly, there's the nerdy kid. He's getting harassed by some punk rockers - they hover over him like vultures. It's like something out of a bad movie. They poke and jeer. It's so cliche that even I'm tempted to do something about it, but no one does. That is until Eye Patch does.

First I see him look up. That slight motion was enough to draw my attention to that part of the mirror. The look in his good eye? Death. It catches me off guard, honestly. He can't be more than... 16? I half expect him to stand up and pull a blade.

The punkers don't notice it until he slaps his table. He doesn't make a racket - doesn't spill his coffee - he makes just barely enough noise to draw their attention. The old man down the counter from me doesn't turn around. The couple is completely clueless of course.

They look over at him and I hear their tone shift immediately. He doesn't move an inch. He doesn't blink. They notice. He's said nothing, but his threat couldn't be more clear if he had written it in neon letters. I wonder if that's on purpose. Is he giving them the ability to back out without losing face? No one else is aware of what's happening. Hell, I wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't already been looking over at them.

Whether he's doing it on purpose, or not, they take him up on the offer of an escape route. They get in one last jibe at their victim and move further down to another booth - towards the romantic duo, who quickly come up for air and start looking nervous despite the tough guys clearly having lost interest in being tough any more tonight.

My gaze shifts back to Eye Patch. He's looking me directly in the eyes by way of the mirror. He knows I saw the whole thing. Pretty sure I see the world's slightest nod to me in acknowledgement. The set of balls on this kid!

The nerdy kid doesn't take long to request a box for what's left of his meal and then makes his way to cash out and head off into the night. He figures he dodged a bullet. He has no idea that you don't have to worry too much when the bigger monster is on your side.

I light another smoke, take another sip of my coffee, and look in the mirror again. Eye Patch is staring into his cup again with his hands cupped around the brim as if he's trying to store up all the heat he can for the night to come. I can't tell if he's homeless, or if his look is some kind of rebellious thing. Based on the way he is glued to his cup of coffee, I would say it's the former.

I clear my throat while looking in the mirror and he looks up as if I'd said his name. Not eager, but attentive. I gesture with my head that he should have a seat next to me. He cocks an eyebrow, but gets up and moves to the counter.

"That was... interesting." I say, once he's settled in, still looking at him in the mirror rather than turn to face him.

He makes some kind guttural noise but just keeps staring into his coffee. I see. He's going to keep up the tough guy thing, even if his hands are already giving him away. He's looking into his cup, but his hands are fidgeting a bit. He's nervous. I know what I look like. It's a look that goes with riding outlaw. Hell, our prospects are scary to most 'normal' folks. By the time they get their colors? We look like the devil himself. It's been so long since I got my colors, I can hardly remember the day. Still, he did get up and come over.

"You scared of me kid?" I ask. I keep my tone more or less level, but I do put a little bite to it.

He shifts in his chair, but tries like hell to keep his cool. "Should I be?"

"Nah. Not unless you do something I don't like." I nod the waitress over.

"Yeah Danny? You ready for more joe?" she throws the kid a sideways look and has a hard time keeping the sneer from her face. So she knows him. Some kind of history there. I nod to her and she steps over to the coffee machine to grab the pot.

"Hitting the head. I'll be right back." the kid tells me - as if to say "I'm not leaving because I'm scared, just gotta piss, you know?"

I notice he throws a glance towards the punks while he gets up. They're too absorbed in their own conversation to notice.

As she refills my cup, I look up at the waitress. "What's with Eye Patch, Jess?"

She huffs. "Not sure. He comes in sometimes, only ever buys a cup of coffee. Always uses spare change to pay for it. Never tips." The sneer in her tone is palpable.

"Homeless?" I ask.

The look on her face says that she doesn't know, but hadn't really considered it. "Not sure. He seems... too healthy for that."

I nod as he comes around the corner.

He sits back down and resumes his staring contest with the cup.

"Think I'm going to grab a bite Jess." I say before she gets too far away.

She takes my order then gives me a look and glances sideways at the kid. She's asking if she should ask him. I nod.

"Anything for you hon?" Jess should be an actress. If I hadn't heard all her prior derision, I would never have known she disliked the kid.

"Nah. Thanks." he says flatly. There's even a little pain there. He's hungry, I would bet anything on it.

"Get something kid. My treat." I say.

He turns his head and eyes me suspiciously with his one good eye. He takes a few seconds to consider something.

When it looks like Jess is about to walk away, I say simply "Consider it your reward for standing up for the nerd."

"Two over light, home fries, and whole wheat." he says without hesitation, then he resumes staring into his mug. Christ - is he reading the future in that thing? He still seems nervous, though I couldn't say why I think that.

We sit for a bit, just drinking our coffees until the food comes. Calling the food 'good' might be a stretch. It's greasy, and it's hot.

That's good enough.

(ETA: Here's Wednesday's excerpt. I don't want to add the whole thing because, frankly, I don't like tonight's work. I'm tired, my brain is in a fog, and I just have a feeling it's not... good. So far I've been fairly happy, but I still don't have the story arc figured out. I described it to Karen  tonight by saying: "It's like I have boxes and boxes of Christmas Tree ornaments and no tree to hang them on." Seems about right.)

* * * * *

From the scene:

The Aftermath

I cross the street and head down the alley. About half way down the alley’s length, I see the dumpster for the chinese place with the dick for an owner. I push the dumpster under the fire escape. The wheels beneath the big metal thing scream, but it moves, and before long, I shimmy up the side of the dumpster, stretch, and I’m able to reach the bottom rung of the fire escape.

A few minutes more, and I’m on the roof looking across at our building.

There’s no movement at all. Still as a tomb. Which, I guess, it is.

It’s cold as shit tonight. I’ve got a sweatjacket and a flannel coat on top of that, and it’s not enough. The air is damn, and it feels greasy. Every hair on my body feels like it’s standing straight up.

I catch myself pacing back and forth across the roof and wonder how long I’ve been doing so. Five minutes? Three hours?

What the fuck happened?!

I’ve got to get my head screwed back on. Got to calm down and figure this out. I take several long, deep breaths. I think of my friends again, and I gag. There’s nothing to throw up, of course, so it passes fairly quickly.

More pacing and more deep breaths. My friends are dead and I need to figure out why and what happened. I need to… do something.

I go through the mental images I have of the room. My friends all dead. The Diablos. What were they doing there? And who the hell was that other guy? He was wearing doctor’s scrubs. In our abandoned warehouse. Up on the fourth floor. The bikers being there was weird, but a doctor? That make no sense.

I’ve got to go back. I don’t want to, but I can’t think of any other way to find out what happened. It has to have been at least a couple of hours, and no sign of the cops. I have no way of knowing if anyone heard anything, but I’m guessing not. Four floors up in an abandoned building which isn’t attached to its neighbors. And of course, no one in this neighborhood wants to hear anything.

I descend the fire escape and every footstep sounds like it’s making enough noise to wake the dead. I try keep quite, and the harder I try, the louder everything seems to my ears. I damn near break my own neck climbing down onto the dumpster. Everything is cold and wet.

The steps have never felt harder to climb. I only got here about six months ago, but in that time, I’ve brought home several things, including a small reclining chair and carried it up the same steps, but tonight it feels like my entire body is made of lead. I do not want to go back into that room.

I do anyway.

3/9 '16 9 Comments
"Looking up, I see all the chrome and mirrors that is typical of a place like this - and strip clubs. Why is that? What else do diners and strip clubs have in common?"

Bwah-ha-ha ... I love it.

Also, I like that Patch doesn't tip, because a) it gives him room to grow as a person and in his relationship w/this waitress or all diner waitresses, b) it makes me dislike him a little, which makes him more interesting.

I realize that he's probably not tipping because he's starving, but the waitress's assessment of his health belies that a little, which is again, interesting.
Shit. I somehow deleted my response to this. Let's try again.

I liked the strip club thing myself. Came up with it on the fly no less.

Don't want to spoil anything for you, but Patch isn't tipping because he's homeless and has no money. He IS a werewolf (though he doesn't know it) so he stays a bit more healthy looking (yay for miraculous super power regeneration).

But here's the real deal: I REALLY want to focus on showing Patch's change in personality over time. So many books/characters don't really change. Sure, the hero gets more powerful, but they seem to be pretty self actualized in the first book/story/whatever. There are just tweaks over time as the author gets better at telling that character's story.

Me? I'm a very different dude than when I was a teen. I want Patch to change too. Of course there's the whole thing with the word itself - change.

Here, we find the teen-aged Patch a sort of shy (staring into his cup), nervous (and probably even scared of the biker who is being nice to him), and defending others against bullies as he sees the world in black and white. By the time he's a grown man? He'll be bold enough to unnerve people with his stare, he will fear nothing, and he will become a bully himself, and not have the capability to see black or white, but only shades of grey.

He won't go from one end of that spectrum to the other in this one book, but I want to give him a starting point that makes the transformation a bit more clear.
Heh. Just had a thought: even the tipping thing will change over time. Eventually, Patch will have more money than he knows what to do with, so the kind folks who bring him his caffeine? They will likely be VERY happy to see him walk in the door.
Going back and reviewing my comments above, it sounds almost like I'm defending Patch. I'm not. What I AM doing is saying (in a rather overly verbose way) that you're exactly right.
This is more in response to your post than to this comment ... some nights you will be on FIYAH, some nights it will be a slog. Keep going. I read this great interview about writing process ...

This guy, Scott Hawkins, he wrote The Library at Mount Char, which I just read and which may be one of my favorite books. Really. The book is just unique and compelling and violent and mythological (you'd LOVE it) and basically dude just kept throwing his writing spaghetti at the wall until the book came together, then he edited the hell out of it and now here it is, here in the world, and it is SO good.

All of which is to say: 1. meandering and rewriting - perfectly reasonable. 2. Read The Library at Mount Char (you can get it as an audio book, I don't know how much it costs, but you will love Erwin ... and Michael ... and the lions. A lot.
Awesome! - thanks for the recommendation - I definitely will.

I don't mind the idea of rewrites, and I expect some slogging. I just wish my brain would hurry up and piece together the story arc. I can pick apart the details and just WRITE once that's the case, but what I do NOT want to do is write a bunch of scenes that get left on the editing room floor.

Cleaned up/changed around? Sure. Completely dropped? Not so much.
I'm really digging these.
I think you're a really good writer.

And now I'm craving eggs/toast/etc.
Thanks hon. Workin on it. Next time I'm in town, I'm thinking Coffee Station?
Also, sorry to hear about the no-phone til Friday. WTF? Almost texted you today to ask if you were foaming at the mouth yet. ;)

Warning: the excerpt is not for the faint of heart. Allusions to serious violence and the like...

Nothing too extravagant tonight, but wanted to put in a little excerpt like Shelle's been doing. This is kinda a random scene just so that I could get to writing something (instead of doing prep work). I kinda think that the scene I just wrote (including this clip) might be the opening to the book. If so, I'll need to do that trick that some authors do - bouncing forward and backward in time through flashbacks and the like. (Think Pulp Fiction.)


I have to get the fuck out of here.

I stand on shaky legs and stumble over to the industrial sink. I turn on the water and start to scrub the gore from my hands.  Next, I splash the icy liquid over my face to try to help me focus. As the water drains away I see that my face too must have been covered in blood.

My t-shirt is in tatters. There’s more holes than material. What little material there is, is stained dark red. Is this my blood? If it’s not, whose is it?

Once the rest of the Diablos hear about this, they will hunt me down and kill me. Slowly.

I scrub faster.

I pull off the t-shirt and go to my bag. I have another t-shirt, but it stinks to high hell. I’ve rinsed it a bunch of times, but it needs to actually be washed. Fuck it, I think as I pull it on - it’s not covered in blood.

(Edited to fix a couple of painfully obvious errors.)

3/8 '16 4 Comments
High hell, not high heaven. Nice.
Thank ya. Thank ya very much! *Elvis shimmy*
So this is a sequel to Anne of Green Gables, right?
Shit. What gave me away?! ;)

A long time ago, Mark and I had a discussion about movie creation methods, and he said something that I've been thinking a lot about recently as I start to put this book together.
The basic idea was this: There are films that are written, like Gone with the Wind. They're lovingly crafted because there is a story that is crying to be told. Then there are movies that are engineered. Think of any Steven Seagal movie ever. There's a formula to be followed and at the end of the line, you have a "movie" (or in my case, a book) that should be some level of popular based on prior data.
Of course I want my book to be more Gone with the Wind and less Steven Seagal. The problem is that my personal tastes and (I think) writing skill are far more Seagal.
Hell, even as I'm starting to put the book together, the skilled writers among you may have already noticed that there's a sort of assembly happening. Here's the setting points I want to get across. Here's the character development points. Here's what I don't want the book to be.
Not one mention yet of the story's plot. No thought yet to the timeline. Well, not enough thought to put it down on paper anyway.
It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if this turned out a little more engineered than written, but I suspect a good deal of how well I will feel I did will be wrapped up in how far away from the engineered end of the spectrum I manage to get.

3/6 '16 5 Comments
Have you written a book before? If not, use ALL the crutches you can reach. Don't let perfection be the enemy of the good. There is such a thing as a second novel after all.
Oh, and I've never _finished_ writing a book before. Started a bunch over the years.
I like what Shelle says she's going to do: write write write. Finish a draft. No matter what. THEN edit.
Me 3. I've signed up for Writechain as well now. It kinda reminds me of the mindset for NaNo, but with the focus shifted to longevity. Seems like good stuff. I guess the proof will be in the pudding. :)
Absolutely agree. Still, I have done so much reading (especially over the last 3 years) that I don't want to make all of the _obvious_ amateur mistakes.

Going to be tricky doing the one while avoiding the other, but there's only one way to find out if I can...

Going to just try writing for 1/2 hour today. Been too long, and I need to do more blogging. If I try to keep the time limited, maybe that will help get me to just do it and not procrastinate.

More Thoughts on the Patch Book

  • It's the 80s. I really want to create the feel of the 80s in the book. A lot of books that I read 'hold up' really well when compared to t.v. shows. Part of the reason is that there isn't much that provides a sense of the time period. I want to fix that in my book. Reading the Jack Reacher series and the Harry Bosch series of books both have small things: more smoking of the characters, and the use of pagers, for example that denote the era the book takes place in, but even those aren't huge. They don't pull you as the reader into that time period. It's more like stage dressing. For the 80s? I'm thinking about description writing - clothes, hair styles, etc. More zeitgeist-y stuff like opinions on drug use, people slowly becoming aware of AIDs, breakdancing.
  • It's Detroit. Here again, I want to give a real sense of the setting. Not just some light "it's a major metropolis" feel like SO many books do. The Dresden Files start to cover what I'm thinking. But there's a catch, and that is:
  • Patch is not a rocket surgeon. It's too tempting for many first time authors to make their Mary Sue characters 'perfect'. They think of the right answers just in time. They do the right thing whenever facing a challenge. Yes, Patch originally was based (very loosely) on a teenage me, but I want him to be more compelling than that. One way I hope to do so is by making him far from perfect. He'll have many faults, starting with the simple concept of him not being a genius. No, I don't want to make him a mindless brute, but he's just not always going to put 2 and 2 together perfectly. He will be more in the "If at first you don't succeed, break shit."  mindset. Well, later in the book anyway. At first, he'll be more of a scared runaway teenager mindset. Which brings me to the idea:
  • Patch is just a scared, inexperienced kid. There's a ton of YA coming of age stories out there ever since... well, since way back, but I think that the combination of the ubiquity of access to the internet and the Harry Potter books have created a boom in this particular niche. This book won't be within the genre. At least, it won't be in the genre as I currently understand it. It will be graphically violent. It will involve characters making bad choices and having to live with the consequences. It will be... rough. While most of the YA stuff I see out there wants to believe itself most of those things, my sense is that they tip the hat in that direction and then run the other way.
  • Depth of character will be important. I kinda hinted at this in my previous post about this theoretical book, but I wanted to bring it up and think about it again. Whether the character is Patch, one of the villains, a random npc, Patch's motorcycle (which he will first encounter here), or the local diner, depth (and arguably breadth) of character will be important to me. I really don't want a superficial/fleeting feel to things. That seems like a clear sign of an amatuer writer. The trick (it may be obvious, but I want to get it down in black and white) will be brevity while creating that depth. I do not want to be grotesquely verbose in order to create non-superficial characters.

Thoughts on How I Want to Write It

  • Write fast, revise often, and get good feedback. I'm listening to a lot of writing and self publishing podcasts. One theme that seems to come up frequently when the people being interviewed are surviving on their writing money is the way that they have removed the illusions of the 'traditional publishing world'. An example? Authors who create a series need to write fast. While I really want to avoid my first book having the "Holy crap - he clearly wrote this for NaNoWriMo!" feel, I do want to come up with a process where I could (if I love writing long form as much as I think I will) produce rapidly. This combo (fast, but good) seems to be best done by doing two things:
    • Writing consistently, and fiercely. In truth, I'm thinking of taking a bit of the NaNo mindset here by writing for an hour every day, or at least 5 days (to give myself a 'break' weekly). Maybe more, depending on how my drive holds up.
    • Reviewing / editing a lot. When I listen to these interviews, you can hear what isn't being said. The authors will gloss over things like the editing process. Or rather, how they talk about it tells me volumes.

Ok, I actually want to write more (and maybe I will later tonight) but time's up so I have to put the pen down.

3/5 '16 3 Comments
Re: Just do it ... I have been thinking about this post and about your email, and the conclusion I came to is that I needed to kick-start my own writing.

I think #WriteChain would be good for you - you set an accountability challenge, pick a place to post your results (they're fans of twitter) and then do what you said you were gonna do.

More details about the above ...
Hey, this was really interesting.

One of my challenges, on the rare occasions when I attempt fiction, is to listen to the characters and step away from perfect person itis. My lawful good background makes this tricky. I might perhaps be better at it, now that I've seen 45 years of how good people do bad things and vice versa.
That is exactly the idea for me: even good people fuck up. Sometimes even for "bad" reasons. Sometimes on purpose.

I think a big part of the book will be illustrating Patch thinking in black and white when the world exists in shades of grey. That will arguably be the biggest way I will show his lack of maturity. The character will remain someone who sees the world in binary terms (even well into adulthood) but it will be a bit more glaring here in his youth.

As usual, I have roughly 9,873,407,654,870,923 ideas for projects running around in my head. I will sometime record voice notes for the different ideas while I'm working (it's tough to write while driving, but a voice memo...). Sometimes I even have the focus required to transfer those voice notes to written notes in Google Keep. (Side note: I LOVE me some Keep. If you like Evernote, but want something faster/simpler, I can't recommend it highly enough.)

Anyway. One of the myriad of project ideas that keeps floating to the surface (especially when listening to writing focussed podcasts) is that of writing a Patch novel. It would be a kind of 'origin story' - telling readers how he comes to be the character than many of you already are familiar with. But he's still young. He's probably in his late teens at the start of the book. By the end? He's a werewolf vigilante.

It's the 80s. With the whole DARE campaign (and others of its ilk) in high swing, drug 'pushers' become his primary source of income.

With that basic structure in your mind, I've been working on a list of things that I would like to incorporate into the story. These aren't plot points, or story arc, or... well, they're just elements that I think would help to make my story stand out. In  most cases because I haven't seen these elements anywhere else.

  • Patch won't know he's a werewolf. This is usually an element (in most of the wereworf stories I've read anyway) that is glossed over. The character will say something like "I keep waking up with blood on my mouth the morning after the full moon. Holy shit! I'm a werewolf!". Except here's the thing: If that was to happen 'in the real world'? There's no way you would assume you're a werewolf. Werewolves don't exist. You would come up with a large number of (perhaps even more terrifying) reasons, but you would not think you were a werewolf. I kinda love torturing Patch, and this is likely to be a good source of material for that.
  • The audience won't be able to say for certain if Patch is a werewolf or not. If I write it correctly, Patch will come up with reasonable enough explanations for things, or there will be enough 'evidence' that maybe he's just really fucking nuts. Well, he is, but maybe that's all that he is. Maybe.
  • Patch won't know what he's doing. He's a kid. He'll be up against some very bad human beings. Things won't go well. He'll make a LOT of mistakes. Again - most stories I read, there's a training montage, and suddenly our hero is bullet proof. Ummm... no.
  • The villains won't be 2D. This is one which I have seen done well elsewhere, but it's important to me. Mostly because I've never accomplished it properly elsewhere. I've always written about Patch as an outlet for my... aggression. As such, I didn't really want to think too much when it came time to write. That tends to have meant very generic bad guys. This would be a serious effort and thus a little thought/planning is well called for. This brings me to:
  • Life is not black and white, but almost entirely shades of grey; Patch, in his youth and ignorance, however, only sees black and white. Again with the idea of realism in the characters, I want to make young Patrick into the brash "I know what's right, dammit." sort that I was in my youth. He's got a lot to learn in a lot of different senses.

There are a bajillion more, but this is a start for the list. Of course now that I'm trying to think of the long list that has been in my head all day, I can only come up with 5.

2/20 '16 4 Comments
Ugh, Keep. I liked it until it started auto-deleting everything I added to it, a few seconds later. No explanation, no leads, no support, crickets.
Whaaa? Auto deleting? I hadn't heard / experienced anything about that. That would absolutely be a deal breaker (obviously).

So let me make sure I understand what you're experiencing: You enter a new note, return to the list ('saving' the note) and then it's gone?

Nothing like that with old/existing notes?

My inner rebel doesn't want to go with Evernote, but if this starts happening, I may have to reconsider.
Like, I add things to a list, and those items disappear a few seconds later. True for old and new lists. Kept happening after I tried uninstalling from my Android to see if it was a sync issue; my desktop just kept doing it. I'm done with any software that has no proper support and eats my work!

I'm not sure why going with the Googleplex is rebellious. Not that I have a big problem with the Googleplex, my whole life is in Docs.
Oh, the Googleplex itself is pretty far from rebellious, but in the 'note app' spectrum, Evernote seems to be the clear dominant.

Sorry to hear about your headaches. I'm going to be a little extra paranoid now.