Monday, December 26, 2016

Internet Archiving and You - The Necessary Job of Our Future To Make Today Matter

Hello world and internet archivists of the future (by me recognizing your profession, you have to save this blog's contest in the future. That's the rule here in the past. It's true, look it up. First link you'll find is this blog. Citationed). Welcome to another posting in our new weekly time slot of Monday. Maybe. Who knows. I'm trying to get myself to blog just to blog. Not really attach a day on it.

If you just randomly clicked on a link somewhere and you ended up here, and now you're all compelled because I'm talking about internet archivists and such, let me tell ya a little something about me. I tend to not do well with structure, and really prefer to do things when I do them within my ever so endless checklist of wants and needs. I have the feeling that I have an obligation to do things, and I blame it on being allowed to put things in archival lists and queues. It was just steamsale, man. I have like ten more games to play now, and I want to try and rebuild the heavy metal theme park my buddy & I built back in the day on Roller Coaster Tycoon. Why are you trying to deny me that? Anyway...

You would think that expressing myself to a potential audience as a voice shouting in the crowd would give me more drive to actually do it, but man, I got other stuff going on just like you. I have to actually do all the stuff I talk about in order to talk about it. Lest someone call me out about it in the comments one day and go, "Yo that shit's lies, man. Ya dindo shit lolfag" and then I'm the one who's the asshole. No thanks.

But to quote Stan Lee in Kevin Smith's overstated commercial flop and understated cult hit, Mallrats, "You keep reading them, I'll keep writing them."

And more refers to stinkpalms.

So, yeah, Holidays and flash flood warnings, and playing Mass Effect, and trying to find a copy of Christmas Vacation and having to settle on the edited for basic cable where they abuse the hell out of saying non-defecation, "shit," but heaven forbid you let grandpa drop that he drank to deal with Christmas going to hell. I don't really feel like going on a censorship rant for no reason, but the mood may hit me.

Habenero Hot Sauce Tamale Shooters - only @ Black Angus
I made tamales with my family. AND for my first time ever, hot sauce, from my bongwater grown habaneros. We've got the beginnings of a Mexican restaurant from the amount of friends and family asking for some, so that's cool. Ended up with 16 or so dozen out of 75lbs of masa. We ended up doing a number of variations with the fillings. That is to say, when I took over stuffing, I mixed it up with all of the ingredients and stopped being as stingy as my sisters with the filling. My mom & I had a spirited back and forth about spreading masa. She's all into the glop it on and spread method, and I'm all about the nice even layer. I feel the superior tamales were shown in the final taste test. You know what the best part of masa is? The thin little bits that get stuck on the hoja that are all crispy. All I gotta say.

In the hot sauce department, it was cool making something out of a plant that grew by complete accident. Inspiration hit in thanks to catching up on Pretty Good Cooking. As luck would have it, the latest episode at the time was Habanero Hot Sauce. My only deviation from Phil's recipe is I added garlic, substituted lemon juice for lime, and in my final blend, I added cilantro. I feel that really boosted the flavor of it, while giving it a nice look in the bottle. Your food should always be pretty. Picture up above notwithstanding.

Present Day
So, yeah, that's what my week was full of. And serving coffee too early in the day and trying to slang words by night. Still waiting for responses back on all of my pieces. The waiting game sucks. Just silent indifference after an autoreply@donotrespond. But it gives you the opportunity to futz about with other things, as you nervously edit everything down by self doubt, and because you realize that rough drafts are way too unimaginative and stale.

I mentioned last week I have a lot of chapters done already that I haven't posted, so today's ramble about antique computer games and a potentially current discipline within the social sciences that will preserve internet history for as far as evolutionary life will allow us to spread the past knowledge of the internet, our diligent internet archivists, leads us to one of those chapters. Those stream of consciousness, mid sentence asides, are exactly what you came for. Same with meta, fourth wall breaking nods to an audience that was never really there. That one was for the internet archivists of the future that know when I finally abandon this site. I'm really swinging for the fences in this one.

Which is just silly because the chapter today is also silly. We met Trip's trainwreck of a mother back in what was at one point chapter 9 (my novel is going through metamorphosis) and now in, for continuity's sake, chapter 21 we meet Decker's. This chapter is light and airy and still needs some work, but it's meant to be a breather chapter before everything gets all serious (well, as serious as it could be).

Decker's mother is sort of an amalgam of my Grandmother and my mother. As well as how my far more latino friends were treated by their mothers. That on and off switch of, "I love my sweet Angel, even if he is a worthless troublemaker," is what I tried to capture. I really need to work on my Spanish in between classes. Would my audience grow if I switched languages?

Is the English speaking world tired of me already? Am I over conflating the dynamics of grassroots marketing with a lazy and self-driven exploratory energy to make myself seem like, to an internet archivist of the future, on the cusp of my game, ready for a breakthrough? Probably.

I always imagined releasing this novel when I was first outlining it. I couldn't keep up with the schedule of that, so this has worked for me so far. I have until, what, February or something for it to be a year of me posting chapters? Lazily at that? I wanted to release a book online then package it at the end, and when I think about it, that's exactly what I've been doing. I thought of it more along the lines of me releasing chunks of chapters, and adding in notes and such in hyperlink, like above, to hilight where certain ideas were pulled from, in order to give a better understanding and more tangible world to the text. Since this is my first time doing something like this, it's pretty unpolished, and sorta slapdash put together since I'm learning on the fly, but like I said up at the top, I do things at my own pace and be real about it.

And that pace has ramped up to give you the chapter I've been hyping up as if to overconflate its value as a pet scene. How you feel about it may vary, but here's my pet dog in his Christmas cape.

Source: Internet Archive Photo - Dogs in clothes

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Not Entirely Sure What A Constable Is

Hello dear readers. Welcome to our idiosyncratic routine of blog posting.

Man, I was really baked when I wrote that last post. So many sentence fragments that go nowhere. I should probably edit it, but, meh. Too much work. I'll just sound like a disjointed idiot forever in the digital ether.

But yes, I'm brimming with content from not only my month of NaNoWriMo (where I hit my word goal for the month, yet haven't finished Suicide Queen) and the last few weeks of hyper productivity. Because in the middle of last month (a little over exactly a month ago) I got laid off from my office job in thanks to the parent company "cleaning house" after the buyout finalized.

So, I'm fairly bitter about that. I'm also working back as a barista again while looking for writing work and looking down the barrel of my senior year at ASU starting up early January. Barely hung in with a B for Spanish 102. Barely. Still have to take 201 & 202 in the near future. Taking care of my Math requirement, and have to take another science class/lab (not sure which discipline to take yet. Probably Chem, since I've never taken it before) as well as a slew of upper division English courses. I'll be applying for their Media Studies masters program at the end of the year as well. Yay for increasing student loan debt with degrees that sound highfalutin.

In my time of being unemployed, I got plenty of gaming done as well as writing. I blasted through quite a few First Person Shooters from yesteryear. Quake, DOOM 2, Half-Life (full life consequences), & Halo: Combat Evolved. I played through Deus Ex:Mankind Divided, and plan on giving the PS2 version of the original a whirl. After playing the PS2 version of Half-Life, I regret downgrading myself graphically and sticking to the DualShock 2 controller for Deus Ex. Especially since I could probably pick them up on steam for hella cheap and play it on max settings. Eh, whatever. At least it gives my PS2 something to do besides gather dust in my living room.
I'm a little burnt out on playing games in first person perspective, so I finally played Alan Wake for my first time. Hot damn, that was a game about a writer writing his way out of something. It was a fun ride, and I'd recommend it if you like survival horror games. It's not entirely survival horrorish, but it made me think of a lost Silent Hill game, heavily influenced by David Lynch and Stephen King. I also realized I own a slapdash Alan Wake costume out of different articles of clothing I own.
Not the cover.
So in reference to getting some writing work done, I'm shopping another round of shorts to see if anyone wants to publish my work. I'm remaining optimistic, but I'm thinking about just saying fuck it and start self pubbing my shorts as "singles" for $.99 a piece, then collecting them after the fact. Now that I have Scrivner to start making epubs in an easy manner, I'm more inclined to start getting more titles under my name. As of right now, it comes down to another load of work to do, which is tough to tack on when I'm in the middle of a big project I need to get done.

And what project is that? To Slice The Sky!

My good friend/editor/collaborator and I finished hacking apart the manuscript in its entirety. And I'm now working on new draft chapters for the final stage of the story. So, if I continue to blog at a less disjointed and more on time manner, you'll see them all. If I can keep myself motivated (which is a stretch), I might even be done with the novel by the time we catch up with what I have.

I've also been listening to a lot of outrun and played through Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. It was exactly what I needed at the time. In the midst of all these things, I began working on a new short that is very outrun in its feel of futuristic loneliness, on top of fitting nicely into the series. Roplaxive Pharmaceuticals infects patient zero with a graybox virus to use them as a guinea pig. They send him to a corporate hospital retreat in Singapore where everything goes wrong. It came from a long night and morning of dreaming and half-awake visualization. I've got the first page and the set up done. It's going to be a short, and I really want to keep it below 6000 words, but I'm feeling like I need to take them through the streets of Hong Kong or something.

So, that's it for housekeeping. Let's get down to some gritty science fiction action. Dog.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Blood & Tears - A Slayer's Life by Buffy Ann Summers

Let's gloss over supplication over a lapse in blogging. We all know life sucks and shit happens. Let's do this.

So I think it's time to write about Buffy. It's been damn too long, and I'm finally getting back to stalled out watching, all because I was last on "Killed by Death" which is totally a monster of the week, but has some great moments that work in the mythology of the series. So now I'm on, "I Only Have Eyes for You," which is just great horror writing with heart and depth. So now it's time to finally drop some Buffy love.

You know why? Because I'm sick of being pissed off by everything on the internet and I feel like writing about something I love. Obvious Spoiler Alert ahead for the whole show.

Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of the greatest cultural touch stones in the world, and most people don't even know it. It takes the completely ridiculous premise of a cheerleader blonde SoCal girl slaying vampires, demons, and the legions of the undead and makes it the most engaging thing to be on an up and coming tv station with a teenage demographic at prime time. Buffy stands tall in story telling, paying homage to the medium of television as well as being a mishmash of genres.

The series hallmark is its ability to dip in and out of any contrivance and novelty with pure fluidity. It's allowed to go from a tear jerking death right into whimsical or outright silly within a line. I'm trying to keep it strictly to season 2 but it does it during the entire run of the series. And it does as much with a television budget as one can be asked. The '90s truly were an era of incredible television CG. It is stronger for its idiosyncrasies opposed to hampered by inconsistency because it maintains to be consistently likable.

Season 2 is where the show grows its fangs. It plays with being a campy monster of the week while each time chipping away at an overarching narrative in the B and sometimes C plots. The show's team tackled a lot in a one-hour time slot on the WB's New Tuesday, and right off the bat, we're shown what dying for the first time does to Buffy Summers. It then goes on to a deeper understanding of Angel, having both died in the same manner, and ramps up their romance and rivalry into intense metaphors that are layered and nuanced in thanks to a creative team that paid homage as it laid new ground.

The main cast also helps bring it home and delivers such powerful performances at the right moments, and are able to just nail a line. Quite a few of season 2's plentiful whatever'sville episodes, like in between When She was Bad till Halloween. It's in the background of these camp-fests meant to make you laugh, the bubbling darkness of the real story. Sandwiched between an episode about teenage boys reanimating a collection of fresh female bodies to build a girlfriend for one of their reanimated brother, and a Xander episode about a soul sucking mummy that seems to try and recreate the magic of Season 1's The Pack, but falls pretty short, we get introduced to Season 2's part A villains, Spike & Drusilla. Our punk mate, Spike, and his Lolita Gothic Vampire-Princess, Drusilla.

School Hard is the first time that Buffy's mom, Joyce Summers, encounters Buffy in her element. It's the metaphor of her world's clashing, juggling her three responsibilities of home, school & slaying. The interplay between her authority figures of her mother, Giles & Principal Snyder that would be the line Buffy continues to walk. Much like the line of Comedy, Horror & Teen Drama the show nimbly walked the intermingling of the supernatural encroaching upon the daily life of Sunnydale. Particularly in episodes like Lie To Me, where Buffy's old crush moves to Sunnydale to convince vampires to change him. It guest starred that weird looking dude who was '90s hot from Roswell. I don't feel like looking up his name.

That's what helped everything move so great in Season 2. Buffy trying to have a normal life as a sixteen year old girl, while she slays vampires is a theme that grows up during the show, but kinda goes away then comes back again, and always with consequences. Everything is over heightened by her being a teenager, only to have the responsibility of playing The Chosen One to fight back the Hellmouth. That theme culminates in the end of Season A with What's My Line parts 1 & 2.

The two parter throws the first issue where Buffy feels like running from it, as well as placing her relationship with Angel as a priority in his life. It plays very strongly on the relationship theme where everyone paired up in Season 2. And these relationships, Buffy/Angle, Xander/Cordelia, Giles/Jenny, and the ever romantic, but never OTP, Willow/Oz, are just set ups for your happiness to then rip out your heart. It leaves us with Drusilla  returned to strength, and becomes Goth Queen with visions, while Spike ends up in a wheelchair.

We come back to the show with a John Ritter guest appearance in Ted, which shifts the story back into Buffy's home, illustrating that even her mom can't live a normal life independent of Buffy. Ted wasn't built by a villainous trio of mad scientists, nor a constructed body by an ancient corruption demon. Ted was the robot of a genius who also was obsessed with his wife to the point he built an android to keep marrying women to play out a fantasy life until they died. Willow says at the end of the episode that the police found a lot of bodies in the closet, so who knows what went on in the backstory there. But it's amazing how it happened in Sunnydale. What are the odds that someone who looked enough like Ted's ex wife would move to Sunnydale with enough frequency? Or would he hunt them down? Is it just blonde women, or any woman with wavy blonde hair and high cheek bones? There's a lot of unanswered questions in Ted.

Bad Eggs follows that question mark with a good ole body-snatcher story coupled with Buffy and Angle arguing about how they'll never be able to breed. It's a ridiculous episode featuring the first appearance of the Gorch Bros. I guess someone on the team just really wanted a couple of bumbling cowboy vampires on the show. But Buffy and Angle's relationship becomes more troubled as they talk out the difficulties of mating on top of the fact that Buffy's one job is to slay vampires, and just because Angle is good looking and has a soul, he gets a pass.

And that leads us to our mid act 2 reveal for season 2. Surprise has Buffy's 16th birthday, and to "Answer the question, 'What do you get the Slayer who has everything?'" Apparently she gets a severed arm of a big bad unkillable demon named The Judge. After his assembly and attack on Buffy and Angel directed by Spike and Drusilla, B&A have to run for their lives. In their brief respite, Buffy and Angel have the most tastefully cut night of romance and passion, leaving us instead on badass cliffhanger.

Innocence sees Buffy blossoming into womanhood after her deflowering. She has to reject and overcome the immediate feelings of having sex for the first time with her true teenage love who turns out to be the epitome of your sworn enemy. She has to grow up in that moment, because the childish thing would be to curl up and cry about how sad she is about it. Instead she rises to the occasion and kicks Angelus square in his evil vampire nards.

The next milestone of episodes after we find out Oz is a werewolf (and the only appearance of a. werewolf poachers and b. Wolf looking animatronic snout werewolves.) and a valentines episode that leads into an everybody loves Xander silly chase (also Buffy rats) is Passions. Passions shows Angel as his Angelus self in all the twisted glory the show can rain on one character. All of Angel's post-coital interactions are used to emotionally damage Buffy, leading up to the first truly Joss Whedon kill placed into the world.

Jenny Calendar was the first Agent Coleson, though Jenny stayed dead. She's one of those deaths where you don't really see how important she was to the core, and how likable she was. Never get attached to anyone who's whimsically likable in a Mutant Enemy Production. Ms. Calendar, Phil Coleson, Wash... never again. For being the kinda blossoming girlfriend of Rupert Giles, the effects of her death ripple through all of the Scooby Gang, from Willow taking over her class, to Giles being so taken aback and trying to ignore the loss of someone who challenged him romantically as an equal, Xander seeing it as a turning point to where Angel needs to die for what he did, and Buffy finally seeing the consequences of her one night of losing herself to passion.

But Buffy carries that weight. Even when she runs away, which is her number one answer for the first few seasons. When trouble rears its head, Buffy flees. In Prophecy Girl, she threatens to quit slaying when she finds out The Master will kill her. The beginning and end of the season is Buffy figuratively running away from her friends and attempting to isolate herself. While the first time she's trying to run away from memories of her own death, at the end of Becoming part 1 & 2, she's literally running away from her shattered life of expulsion from home and school, and the dissolution of her relationship with Angel... by killing him.

Before we close out the season, there's an episode that would be otherwise known as the, "DON'T WALK AWAY FROM ME BITCH!" episode if it wasn't so powerful and emotionally charged. I Only Have Eyes For You takes a monster of the week as a framing method to get Angel and Buffy in the room to say the things that they wanted to say to each other while possessed by poltergeists. It makes the two-part season finale even more powerful when it comes time for her to save the world from being sucked into hell.

The final moments of season two's climactic battle between Buffy and Angel comes to a halt once Willow completes the gypsy curse to restore his soul. Angel and Buffy's tender moment of pure, unadulterated, love holds with soft piano music as the portal into a hell dimension opened by Angel's blood appears behind his back, with only his blood to close it again. Choosing the world to her love like a dutiful slayer, Buffy kills the newly good and completely reformed Angel as she feeds his blood to the portal on the length of a sword.

Season 2 was a lot of things, and many of them happened all at once. The final word in vampire romance, a meditation on the power and position of women, and action mingled with tears. It proves that the quirky introduction from the mid-season replacement last season has enough emotional weight and engaging story hooks to make it a prime time slot holder. Buffy the Vampire Slayer has its cheesy moments, but they're around nuggets of true televised wonder.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Fist fights with God

Hey cats & kittens. So I actually promised I'd post Sunday and here I am. This is also the last amount of prepared chapter rewrites I have to share with you. I'm currently working on chapter 20 of To Slice The Sky, and I'm about halfway done. I thankfully don't have much in the way of work getting in my way.

To preface tonight's selection, it's the official meeting of the novel's, "Big Bad," that's made some physical appearances in The Raw prior to this meeting. It so far has not been popular in regard to content, and I definitely kinda slacked in tying things together well. I more wanted to be done and get over with the chapter, and I feel it suffered for it. I'll have to go back over this and give it a little smoother transition and more of an ominous tone. I feel I breezed over this important moment, and I've been wanting it to really pop and shine. I mostly wanted to just get it over with because this chapter has been what's hung me up 2 years in a row from completing this project and it just needs to be done. I'm planning on one more pass before it goes off to the editor anyway, so I'll tighten it up then.

I'm just excited that the end is finally in sight, and the look of it is way different than how it started. You've been enjoying yourselves, right? For my beta readers that know what the rough draft looks like, I imagine it's a vast improvement.

In other writing project ideas, my NaNoWriMo book, Suicide Queen, has been coming together in my notes. I've got a good idea of the direction I want to go, but it seems very subdued for the genre it's going to be. It'll come out differently in the mix, and I'll have to work not to impede myself. It's weird that writing a story really is helping to create a living, breathing, thing, and watching it outgrow your own weak aspirations.

I've never gotten the people so timid to get started writing because they don't have a good enough idea. It's not about having a super original idea, it's about just having an idea. There's so many different forms of storytelling out there that as long as you tell it in your voice, that's all that matters. To quote Neil Gaiman's Sandman, "Trust the story, not the teller." The story is always going to be there at the core, but the changes are with the person that tells it.

I've always loved sitting around a table, trading stories, especially ones that involve more than one person in the circle. Tag teaming stories, trading off different perspectives all Rashomon style, the inevitable, "You're telling it wrong." I live for that stuff. Humans share stories and that's how we pass on the wisdom we've gained.

Well, enough beating myself off about writing stuff, here's a completed chapter that needs more work but has still been hit with the rewrite train.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Dude, I would have like three times as many posts on this blog if I posted consistently.

So, what's up neglected yet faithful readers? I have a couple chapters that I want to share still, and I really want to hold myself accountable to post on Sunday again. It's not like I'm doing anything with my time on Sunday anyway. Well, nothing that requires me to not be at a computer.

I've been unenthused to write just out of being exhausted for no reason whatsoever. It's not like I have kids to sap my energy, but working in an office and doing classwork has been leaving me with a strong desire to just switch off my mind, relax, and float down stream.

The downside is that it doesn't afford me much creative juice to forge on ahead in the novel this close to the end. But I'm still determined to have Version 2.0 complete by the end of the year. NaNoWriMo is going to be a serious obstacle, and I'm also feeling worried going into the challenge if I'm going to be successful at it.

So, I'm just going to dive right in. I believe we're on chapter 18 now. Beginning Act 3. The heroes are returning home to cross the final thresholds into manhood. And threshold they meet.

This hasn't won many upvotes, so the chapter probably still needs some work. It was largely unchanged from its original version, and still seems contextually relevant, even though it was inspired by Occupy Wall Street and the suppression of the movement. Especially since the movement is looked at as a failure, opposed to the silencing of the voice of the people, and the turning of the American people against each other again.The heavy handed metaphor of a corporate sponsored rebellion of the slave class that permeates the novel? That's what it was inspired by.

That's another reason why I've been silent for the week. I'm so burnt out on people talking politics everywhere I turn. Especially the partisan answers and how fucking smug everyone's been about it. I worry and fret over the results of this election, because seriously, the damage is going to be great. We're going to be stuck with a tepid fraud or a delusional megalomaniac. I mean, that's not really that different than any other nation's choice, but America has done a pretty decent job of not electing tyrants up to this point. Your feelings on the subject may change depending on if you believe Johnny Booth or Spielberg.

Whatever, we're far beyond the point of voting. A definite line has been crossed in American history at some point, and unfortunately it's as crass as the gang wars of the '90s, all about Red vs. Blue. Once again our eyes are off the real enemies. The slaves fight among themselves to their master's delight. Because at the end of this fight, unless we look at who benefits from everyone salivating at the mouth to lash out at someone who is out of line with their groupthink, we'll end up back in the same old rut.

See, this is why I didn't want to blog.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Just glossing right over it

So here's my dilemma. I finished rewrites on two chapters for To Slice The Sky, and now that I have a moment in between school sessions, I want to blog at least more than a week in a row. So, do I milk out content in a cheap manner over multiple weeks, or do I shove it all down your throat and make it so I have something new for next week?

Well, since you really have no say in this, outside of whether or not you're going to continue reading this blog again, I think I'm going to go for option 1. And hey, what's up gang? Haven't seen you in a while. What has it been, like 28 days? A lunar cycle? Really? Wonderful news!

I just finished session A for my fall semester. Session B is going to run halfway through November, and into NaNoWriMo. I'm all ripped and raring to get started, working on my crime/heist/noir deconstruction, Suicide Queen. It'll be fun writing a story about a trio of outlaws in a Sin City-esque manner. I haven't done an extended Noir piece, but I've always been a disciple of Chandler.

The only thing really on my mind has been politics, but such is life during an election year. This isn't a place for me to indoctrinate you into the reason why anarchy works as a sustainable method, but like any other form of governance runs afoul because of its mitigation through humans. But let's just say, if you're a red or blue, we should be uniting over the fact we're pissed this country is fucked up, and the sides we're yelling at aren't to blame. And that's the most political I'm going to get.

I did a lotta stuff in the last month, and going over it would take a long time, soooo... DOG PICTURE AND STORY TIME!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Ladder to Heaven

Oh shi... waddup?

Taking a break from my 9/11 festivities of playing Civilization and watching Amazing Race reruns on Hulu.

This week blew by but was a whirlwind of stress, frustration, and a heavy workload. Regardless, I still managed to get started on chapter 18 for To Slice The Sky. Nothing substantial, but at least I can cut out the parts I know I don't need, or have changed too much to work as is. It seems to always take me about a year to get up to this point, and all I've done this year is work on the novel in my free time, the small bit that it is.

For class, I'm currently reading Philip K Dick's Martian Time-Slip. I've gotten a little over halfway through it so far and have been enjoying it immensely. It's another mind-bending study on psychology and humanity's future, as well as the ripples death causes through people's lives. It's a very fast read as well,

Last night I watched Kathryn Bigelow's 1991 action masterpiece, Point Break. It was awesome as per usual. I'm fairly certain that Point Break is the greatest action movie ever. For real. Die Hard and Commando aside, Point Break is top to bottom a well put together, gripping thrill ride. And it was most likely the last time Gary Busy acted like a human on film.

Well, I don't have anything to offer for this week. Unless you want to see a bunch of pictures of me taking back America on 9/11.
Coming across the waters
The invasion begins
Splitting the atom
Irradiated wasteland blues.

See ya next week.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Excuses to day drink and start fires

What is up my D-O-G-E's? How does you this Labor Dabor?

Blah blah, sorry missed last week, and this is a day late, blah.

Trust me, not much was missed by me not checking in. Just busy days at work, and busier times at night, learning Español and finishing up The Martian Chronicles. I also finished writing the next chapter for To Slice The Sky. It seems like Act II has mostly been revisions and full on rewrites to accommodate a slumping mid-section that didn't really rise action, and sort of meandered about without much direction.

It's been a pretty mixed bag of emotions doing rewrites for this draft of the novel. Here we are staring down at the last quarter of the year, and I'm 1 chapter away from closing up Act II. Granted, everything for the novel flows considerably better, and should just need a proofreading and slight tune-up around the newer additions to get everything uniform. So I'm sort of exasperated with myself for not being further along in the process, and that I've done such huge sweeping changes on things that weren't working. But on the bright side, I'm also realizing that since I began the outline back in Summer of 2011 that I've thankfully become a better writer during that period and can discern that what I had at first was crap, and now I'm able to craft much more coherent narratives. At least I think I can. You're more of a judge of that than I am.

I've also decided that for the omnibus version release of The Lilim Chronicles wave 1, I'm going to have to go back and do one last retouch on By Starlight as well as Urban Legends of the Future. For the release, not only will I be editing the two collections, but also making some needed changes to make the world more cohesive. They'll be getting new--unifying--covers, and I'll be rebranding myself as well.

I've been working on a writing assignment for my Spanish class, and my original topic was going to focus on Latino/a science fiction authors. I came across two major problems, 1) I needed articles in Spanish, and everything I found on the topic was in English. & 2) Every article was pretty much a repeat of, "Where are all the Latino/a science fiction authors?" A quick look at the name at the top of this website, or the name above the link you clicked to get here, probably has you wondering, "What the hell does that have to do with you, gringo?" Well, my father's European surname and Western naming conventions aside, I'm Mexican from my mother's side. I specifically made my character Decker Mexican-American because pretty much the only Latina character I've had to look up to in Science Fiction is Vasquez from Aliens, and while externally I'm a blue-eyed, lightly tanned, whiteboy I grew up with my mom's family in Los Angeles.

In my writing, I've wanted to express a lot of my frustration with being trapped between two worlds as a mixed race person in America, and try to write a lot about conflicting dichotomies, and while it's all well and good, I don't feel that my voice does anyone anywhere much justice coming from another white guy trying to tell everyone how to live. That, and my current pen name is clunky as hell, and being called, "Chris-py" my whole life is pretty old after thirty+ years. So after two paragraphs of justification, with the re-release of my wave one books, I'm going to be changing my pen name across the internet, borrowing my mother's maiden name. So, my book making moniker will be Christopher Fernandez going forth. Doesn't that just flow so much better? Say it out loud with an accent: Christopher Fernandez. ¡Muy picante!

Reconnecting to a culture that got lost in pre-civil rights era American white washing has been a thing in my adult life that I've tried to achieve, and along with learning Spanish like my aunts/uncles/mom never did, this is just one more link in that chain. Not like I'm planning on changing my actual name, but as far as pen names go, Bollweg just ain't sexy. Which is probably one of many reasons I've never heard it used during intimacy.

Aside from moral queries into what is and isn't cultural appropriation, I finished reading Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles. Man, what a fantastic read. It definitely is a collection that builds upon itself and got way better with each passing story. In particular, I really loved the chapters Usher II (where a former English professor builds Poe's House of Usher on Mars, inviting all the moral watchdogs from Earth on a deadly tour through it), the highly reprinted, "There Will Come Soft Rains," (a story of an automated house when there's no more humans to automate for) and the final story, "The Million-Year Picnic". For being such a fan of poetry, I'm really surprised I wasn't ever as enthralled with the lyric delivery of Bradbury's prose back in high school. It's so flowing and evocative that pages disappeared before my eyes before I realized, "Oh, shit. I was so wrapped up in the flow, I don't know what I'm reading about." And going back, realizing all these beautiful words I'd read were about such bleak and alienating topics.

Even if the science has harshly shown everything about The Martian Chronicles to be a Space Opera fever dream from 1950, the biting satire on Cold War American life, and the destructive tendencies of well meaning Americans when faced with the consequences of our cultural lifestyle, is as fresh as it was 66 years ago. Yeah, sixty-six damn years, and we still haven't learned a damn thing, and are possibly on the verge of making all the same mistakes we've been warned about for over half a century. It's things like that that make me wonder if everything I wrote about representing the Latino-American science fiction writing population is a waste since clearly humanity has learned jack and shit from reading SciFi over the years.

But at least we have smart phones now.

Well, without further ado, here's chapter 16 from To Slice The Sky. Dog:

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Take Meta Mars

I almost didn't blog this week. You know, like last week. But I have a lot of good reasons that don't involve wasting my time playing Civilization. Well, I did that, but I finally finished my chapter, did a ton of school work, fought with financial aid, had a busy work week, and am now sitting here with my dog, ready for the attack of the blog.

So yeah, in a nut shell, I went to work and got prepped for the starting of the fall semester. I'm currently halfway through Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles. I first read it half-assed when everyone else was reading along to Huck Finn in English class. I didn't really enjoy it the first time around, but I also didn't really understand McCarthyism, nor did I really pay it much attention since I had to periodically pretend that I was paying attention. Now that I'm reading it with a contemporary mind aged about 18 years, I'm noticing more to it. Also, I've never really been too stoked on Bradbury from any of the other books I've read from him (Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Illustrated Man, & Dandelion Wine) but something about this book this time around, I'm enjoying the poetry of Ray's prose. While it seems dated in some regards, particularly the romantic Mars of H.G. Wells and E.R. Burroughs, and the pre-space race knowledge of what it was like traveling to outer space, the novel has a certain charm, mingled with a 1950's paranoia and sense of blind optimism.

I don't care who you are, that's a sweet cover.
A Princess of Mars was quite a pulpy and overly dated adventure. Not like I could expect more from Edgar Rice Burroughs in 1912, but despite its shortcomings by contemporary standards, it still has plenty of things that awoke that boyhood spirit of adventure in me. Even if at it's heart it's a story about a Mary Sue former Confederate officer that basically wins everything on Mars by fortune and force of will. He teaches savage warlords how to love, he rises to the top of the civilized and technologically advanced army in one battle, he ends a bloody civil war, and beds the most beautiful and beloved princess on the red planet. All in a days work for our hero, John Carter. It's one of those stories about the white man's burden that really could be about anyone else, but because it comes from a time of social bigotry and backwards thinking, it's unfortunately really a book about systematic racism and power fantasies. However, it's also just a bad ass, ultra-violent, kinda ridiculous, tell not show, sword and sorcery romp on a dying planet, so it's technically science fiction. The main saving grace is the world building Burroughs does. The world of Barsoom and all it's rich inhabitants are just as much racial space opera expys as all the ones from Mass Effect, but I'll be damaged if they're not both dear to my heart. Speaking of Mass Effect, the Krogan are totally just shorter Tarks missing a set of arms. They even keep Caldor's, aka Varrens. Still, choice read if you don't want to think to hard and just get wrapped up in a dumb adventure story that's fun to read.

Besides my playing Civ (I managed to pull off a culture victory as Gandhi after having to eliminate Kamehameha since I didn't have enough time to wait for Polynesia to come under my influence) and reading Mars fiction, I've been overloaded with work from Spanish class. I wish I had a group of six other ethnically diverse people to form a study group and have wacky online adventures with. Maybe we'd even have a catchy theme song sung by some Alt Rock band. I would type something funny for you to toss into Google translate, but I'm sick of halbar Español for today, or however you conjugate hablar in Spanglish. I spent most of my time setting up all the ridiculous hoops one has to jump through when learning a language online for credit. The online third party site, with proprietary useless book that's a vessel for the $150 access code so you can participate in the class.

BTW, if you've been under a rock for the last few decades, higher education is a damn grift.

So, book reviews, life update, oh, right... novel chapter. So I just wrote today's chapter. This is essentially a first draft. Not really a rough draft, but definitely all new material that hasn't had much editing. This actually got an upvote on /r/cyberpunk_stories (which is standard), so I've got that going for me. We say it's not about the internet points, but how else am I supposed to gauge if I'm on the right track with the limited fanbase I'm shilling to?

So let's kick some tires and light some fires. Dog:

Monday, August 8, 2016

I'm writing the report.

Clearly my blog is less important than whatever videogame I'm playing all day.

Instead of writing yesterday, I polished off Resident Evil: Revelations 2 last night. So on the plus side, I get to mention it further down the page for your enjoyment. I spent most of last week at work and being really lazy. I tapped away at the chapter a little more, but deleted everything I added, which is something I rarely do. I at least have an outline for the action sequence coming up, but writing it is the eternal hard part. I keep prodding myself and convincing myself my deadline is a real deadline, but producing work with self prodding is left in the wake of fancy flights. And my flights of fancy? Watching TV shows and playing RTS games.

I'll rip out your heart with love!
Speaking of RTS games, I spent a better part of this week and last trying to gain access to my copies of StarCraft and WarCraft III.
 It was me going back and forth with Blizzard's lackluster ticket system to try and get my old account info tied to my new account. All so I could use my already registered CD keys from the discs I had when people still used CD-ROM's. So after constant pestering my request was granted, and I've been beating Orcs with a 2h Warhammer, "For Honor," ever since. It's a good thing Blizzard makes incredible games, because otherwise, I wouldn't have bothered being stonewalled and just called it quits on them forever. But they make games I really really like playing, so here I am, after wasting hours and energy from my day, playing a 13 year old computer game.

In other bouts of unexpected frustration from life, apparently the TAP cards for LA Metro fares have expiration dates. Didn't know that until Friday, when I found out my card I'd been putting money on for--apparently--three years, was no longer active with a freshly loaded balance stuck on it. Of course there's no easy way of knowing this. I didn't find out until it happened and did multiple searches (after checking the not at all helpful website on the back of the card) and read an LA Weekly article. The article also confirmed my suspicion that the city of Los Angeles has no intention of me seeing the remaining balance ever again.

But you know what, I'm glad those are the most remarkable hardships I had this week. Writer's block, sloth, persuading corporate employees to do what I want for videogames, and being cheated out of bus fare by an uncaring Department of Transportation. At least I'm no longer feeling the soul crushing weight of existential worthlessness laced around every moment of my day. I could be living in one of those villages where a warlord comes and chops off body parts from people and eats them to gain their strength.

My story has built empires.
Who knows, maybe we'll all be under police state martial law this time next year and I won't even be able to write this blog without heavy [REDACTED] sections. Who knows what kind of patriotism we'll be faced with in this dystopic future scenario? Dare we hazard guesses lest we speak them into being?

Many lulz were lost in The Meme Wars.

And speaking of nightmare scenarios, I I watched the first half of Buffy season 2. Basically up to the first two parter, What's My Line. I'm not sure if I want to do another review write up of it halfway through the season. I was planning on doing a two part season review, but it's been weeks since I watched What's My Line, and the analysis would be surface level at best.

That and I've been watching other TV shows in full/finishing up shows I've been hanging on. I finished watching Aqua Teen Hunger Force in all its iterations. Analysis: It is the most consistent show at being inconsistent. Basically after the movie came out till episode 100, the show isn't even playing hit or miss anymore. Some episodes are forgettable as hell, other's are clearly violence for violence sake, and the show is always that [adult swim] brand of over the top and avant garde humor/animation. It was an experience, and I'm glad I finally finished the show. Aqua Teen Forever.

I'm now watching Invader Zim on Hulu, because Jhonen Vasquez is awesome and hilarious. I'm exactly halfway through the show (and I love that Hulu has the episodes remaining counter now) having just finished the Halloween episode before I typed this sentence. Concurrently, I'm taking advantage of Animaniacs being on Netflix. It truly is zany to the max.

So, since I'm wasting my brain watching cartoons I used to watch as a child (well, Invader Zim didn't come out until I was already a legal adult), my ability to add any intelligent discourse to the topic of popular culture is wasted on the focus of Buffy at the moment. And when I do write my Season 2 review, it will give due diligence to a slice of culture. Like anyone cares about what I have to say about Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 2 anyway. Am I going to crack open some secret gem that will make everything in the world make sense? Will I unearth some kind of metaphoric overlaying that is a reoccurring theme through all of human storytelling? Who knows, probably not. I guess we'll find out when we get there.

Oh, I kinda forgot to talk about REvelations 2.
Well, I definitely haven't cursed at the television like that in a while. The game's concept of difficulty fluctuates between overloading you with too much ammo that you can never conceivably carry with no enemies, and then waves of shooting gallery style moments where you have no resources whatsoever. While it encourages one to use resources available to you in the area, it leads more to headbanging do-overs because of bad misses at critical moments, or the trademark weak controls that has plagued the series since the original. Well, to be fair, Resident Evil: Revelations 2 has really smooth combat controls for a resident evil game (which is needed since combat is intense and plentiful) but the contextual controls are wretched. Particularly near ledges, and any time you have to manipulate boxes for simple puzzles. Apparently the Revelations series is supposed to bring back the feel of  classic Survival Horror Resident Evil gameplay, and it has that in some regards. But both the first one, and the sequel still lack the atmospheric tension of the original that the REmakes hold onto. It relies more on the, "How the hell am I going to get out of this?" style gameplay, which has its fun and merits, but when I'm just trying to breeze through a game to see the convoluted story arc play out, dying a lot just keeps the ending away from me.

Anyway, here's a dog picture.
I get the feeling we've been here before.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

The First Breath After The Coma...

I feel like half the openings of my blogs are me apologizing for missing weeks.

So, yeah, I was MIA. Not like I really have much of an excuse. I was at home for a couple weeks, being lazy and lethargic, and mostly playing Civilization when I was supposed to be writing. But life has regained structure. I'm no longer just a blob of matter that likes to day drink and play turn-based strategy games, I have dusted off the ashes and am in my reborn Phoenix form, ready to punch words at you like so many concrete blocks. KIYAP!

So, like I mentioned, I've mostly been playing Civ.
To think they adopted Tit Worship so early.
I've also plowed through a few other games, particularly the original DOOM, which I haven't played... since it came out on PC and had to be started with boot discs. If you're a faithful reader (and why would you be?) you know I'm fond of playing videogames in self-constructed sequences. So, finishing off DOOM was a part of my "history of the FPS" playthrough. Next up is DOOM 2, and I've played through the first few levels of hell on earth. I've never played DOOM 2 without cheat codes, so we'll see how this goes. The first game is actual genius. While Wolfenstein 3D is intense and has some survival aspects to it that add to its difficulty, DOOM is at some points a survival horror/ platformer/ FPS. There's a reason why every FPS that came out after was called a DOOM clone. The action is intense, the enemies are tenacious and frightening, it throws curveballs at you at just the right time. It's free form in regards to how you can attack combat. There's even stealth elements to it at times, and actual tactics you can use to make the game play in your favor, which are necessary on higher difficulties, which are absolutely unforgiving. And it's ridiculously ultra-violent and as overtly satanic as Wolfenstein 3D is overtly nazi, because shock value, like the dollar, had better mileage in the '90s. If you dig retro games, or if you're old enough to where me talking about this is giving you nostalgia, fire up a copy of DOOM. If you weren't counting, including this sentence, I said DOOM seven times.

I fired up the Vault-Tec Workshop in Fallout 4. Haven't really dug too deep into it. I'm building my atrium and have to clear out the rest of the workshops in Vault 88, I've assembled four brave young souls seeking solace from surviving in the Commonwealth. I plan on shooting at least one of them out of a canon into a rock outcropping. There's a lot of space to play with, so we'll see what kind of trouble I can get into as I become the ultimate overseer.

So I started up at the office last week and am acclimating to that environment. I feel it's going well, and everyone around me seems cool. But I always have that sneaking suspicion of paranoia that everyone is merely tolerating my presence while talking shit behind my back. Living in LA definitely breeds that into you. Every social circle is like a house in the great game of acquaintances. Because in the game of acquaintances, you win, or I am like totally calling everyone I know right now. Did you see her shoes?

So far I've gotten mostly compliments on my desk decorum.

Roll for initiative.
It's in its larval stage, and I imagine it will evolve into a sprawl of kitschy gifts and posters I'll receive on birthdays and end of year gift exchanges. Much like my fy-ance made the mistake of becoming a teacher, and as such will receive teacher memorabilia for her desk till the end of time. Gift giving is such a weird thing, as is nesting.

So, I kicked around a bit, avoided my blog for two weeks, started a new job, played some videogames, I watched the first half of Buffy Season 2 and will do my write up of it next week. In all of my confessed sloth, I've also been busy on rewrites for To Slice The Sky. I'm currently working on the subterranean fight scene I've been excited for/dreading. So far it's a lot of talking in the dark, but I'm right on the cusp of the climactic moment where all the world building and heavy handed class war metaphors pay off with a distraction moment. I should be working more on it, but I'm procrastinating with other duties at the moment. What that means for you? Well, the chapter I'm writing now comes after the one I just finished. So today is new chapter day! Yay!

Today's chapter is very heavily edited from it's original version. It didn't play too well when I posted on r/cyberpunk_stories either. But I'll let you decide how you feel about today's offering, after the dog pic.

80% of my life is spent sleeping in weird positions.

Monday, July 11, 2016

"I may be dead, but I'm still pretty."

Alright, let's try this again.

So yesterday I had to format my computer and restore from back ups, all from a virus I got back in April from a bad link in my French New Wave Film class. Had I done that from the getgo, I'm sure the issue would have been resolved easier than what it turned into. But the important part is I'm back online and ready to serve up blogoriffic action.

I haven't written much since the 2-fer last week, and that's mostly from a cavalcade of events that sprung up last week. My life has been event and milestone filled for the last couple of months, and the general shape of things makes me look like I'm doing things right. I finally secured a, "real job", and don't have to languish in a retail environment anymore. I just got engaged to my girlfriend of 6 and a half years. No date set, but everyone has ideas for plans. One of those things I suppose comes with the turf.

Where everything is colorful and fabulous.
I just got back from Palm Springs. We were celebrating my fiance's birthday, and graduation with her Masters in Education. I guess our engagement as well. As for my own schooling, I'm between sessions. Fall starts up middle of next month, and I have a stack of Martian fiction to read for a Science Fiction studies class. I've made a lifestyle out of reading and studying the shape and flow of science fiction over the years and now I'm finally getting some credit for it.

Now Kith.
In gaming news, I'm taking a break from Fallout 4 until the Vault-Tec Workshop DLC is released. I need to go farming to build my conveyor belt musical apparatus anyway, and that's more work than I feel like putting into a videogame all for the novelty of composing a song in the most complicated manner possible. If I understood Logic gates, I'm sure I could make a much crazier one than the one in my head. It's going to take an awful lot of time, patience, and copper. And I still have my "Machete" playthrough of Fallout: New Vegas I started now that it's backwards compatible.
Machete doesn't do rides. 

So in lieu of playing Fallout, I'm playing another Post-Apocalyptic FPS. I'm in the last third of Metro 2033, which I've been meaning to play for a while but kept buying other games first. I was doing a Fallout 1 playthrough, but with having to reformat, I have to redownload it from Steam, so until then, I'm getting my irradiated Russian mutant killing ya-ya's out. It's a pretty fun game, nothing ground
Moscow in 17 years.
breaking. I like the mix of FPS with survival horror where you really need to resource manage, and the staggering difficulty comparison between fighting humans and mutants is a great way to show narrative through gameplay. It's not the best game I've ever played, but I can see why it warranted a sequel (which I may play next).

In case you were wondering about my abandoned Resident Evil playthrough, I'm stalled out on REvelations 2. The game really does a great job of bringing the series back to its survival horror roots, but it also means I'm constantly out of ammo and healing supplies. Until I get better with the dodge and melee mechanics, I can see myself cursing at the TV much more next time I fire it up. I'm only halfway through episode 2. I still have episode 3 and the two DLC episodes to play. On top of RE6, which I've still yet to play more than Leon's opening missions. And now Resident Evil 7 is on the horizon, and the trailer looks pretty freaky.

For writing, I'm staring down the barrel of a fun car chase scene, and a complete scene rewrite/addition. It's been daunting, but during the rewrite process I've taken to rewatching one of my favorite shows of all time, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And with this in mind, I'd like to invite you to follow me past the dog picture and page jump and I'll let you in on the results of the start of this rewatch.
You like what you see?

Sunday, July 3, 2016

A savage journey to the heart of America.

Welcome, welcome. Come in, grab a seat, get comfy. Beer, wine, toad poison extract? Wow, gotta get my blogging fingers moving again.

So, last month was pretty non-stop action with some quick gasps for air. I unfortunately found zero success in my expected output endeavors, yet I managed to blossom in other manners. I went back to the Midwest to visit my dad's side of the family in the middle of nowhere southern Minnesota. I hadn't been back to the farm in about four years, so it was great seeing all my cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents all over again. We ate great food, had stoic and reserved conversations that were rude enough for family but polite enough for company, drank beer, shot guns, rode four-wheelers, and blew shit up. Good old fashioned 'merican fun.

I really do love the family farm. I of course couldn't appreciate it when I was a child, spending my summer or winter break visiting my parents. I always managed to have a great time, and viewed the Midwest as a sort of safe haven from my wild and fast Southern Californian daily life. I never had to go to school out there, I pretty much got to do what I want, my dad works at a college, so I got to hang out in the library since classes were always out of session. Though there were a couple instances where I ran into cool Gen X college kids as a teenager, and I was deemed cool strictly by virtue of living in Los Angeles, versus Janesville, WI (home of Speaker of the House, and former Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan. I know where he lives. His neighbors had Obama signs in their yard in 2012). Those trips to my dad's house, and to my grandparent's farm, weren't always the happiest, as I've always been wrathful and sullen in sweeping fits, but I have far more pleasing, or at least funny, memories than a lot of moments back home in the San Fernando Valley. I guess I have a sort of Bob Crosby, "Way Back Home," mentality about it. Living through it wasn't as cool as I remember it, I'm sure, but being there now was the recharge I needed. And here's a bonus dog picture of my grandparent's farm dog Ben.
Aside from family farm reunions and remembering fond times past of wasting away my days playing Doom and watching cartoons, I got a little work done on editing the first part of Some Call Me... Not nearly enough, but that was in part of enjoying people's company or being distracted by fleshing out other shorts. Well, and popping a Xanny bar on the flight to Chicago. At least I slept a little. I started a new short while sitting at LAX, waiting to take off. Then another as I was in the middle of my layover in Chicago watching Golden State do well while at the bar, but then lose it when I wasn't looking. Not that I'm a super sports guy, but it was a good game of basketball with great room energy (only myself and some dude in a Seahawks hat were repping for the West Coast), and those moments of social effervescence are magical and unique and we as a species should cherish them when they happen. However, once I left that bubble, I remembered I was in O'Hare International Airport, and that place chokes on boners.

In videogame news, I've mostly been building shit in Fallout 4 with the new DLC stuff. I've built myself a bunch of cool settlements, but that means I now have to venture out into the Commonwealth to scavenge more garbage for building components. I've noticed that my entire point of Fallout 4 is to get every single person to think that I'm the nicest guy ever because I murdered everything around the shell of a former town and built up a bunch of shanties with sleeping bags and mattresses, telling people to sleep in huge communal rooms surrounded by automated laser turrets. And I expect them to be happy on top of that. Really only whatever settlement I choose to live in ever gets any cool decorations. But that's because A) I only have so much time available to pointlessly build virtual things no one is ever going to see besides me, and B) I learned the hard way that when you force the game to load so many random items (that you spent hours carefully manipulating into place to give the illusion of life and function to this environment) it starts crashing all the time.

So, yeah, because my game kept crashing on me, I had to pack up and move from my old, super awesome spot, at Coastal Cottage:
Can you believe they're just giving these away?
I support being in control of the guns.

Participant trophies
Support your Local Comic Shop.
Just like the White House.
And now I'm rolling deep at Red Rocket filling station. Yes, I'm showing pictures to validate me spending time doing it:
Open for business.

"Come on, The Cheat. We're blasting off to the MOOOOOON!"

The Blaire Witch must have been here again.

So I went back home, built a bunch of fake buildings that wouldn't pass code, and I wrote the beginnings of a couple short stories. I've also started rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and will be posting season recaps. I don't know if I'm going to do them at a whim on this blog or include them in my weekly posts, but rewatching season one, I have to gush and groan about it. So if I make a surprise post before next Sunday, it'll probably be that. I've noticed that every episode has something redeeming in it, which is appropriate with redemption being a running theme of the series. I can't wait to gush on about it.

But this week is reserved for my own works. In the last three days I've gotten out two quick chapters of To Slice The Sky. Draft two of chapters 12 and 13 are complete, and They're coming up right after this dog picture.

Sunday, June 12, 2016


Last week and this week were full of hard work, setbacks (the posted chapter today had to be re-written twice since I lost about 2 hours worth of work one night because of it not backing up to my cloud storage) and Fallout.
I finished the Far Harbor DLC and have been wandering around the Commonwealth in my dapper suit, topped in a black fedora and glasses. I've been making tons of Jet, since I have nothing else to use fertilizer for, and been peddling it around, making a ton of caps. If you're huffing Jet in The Commonwealth, it's most likely been cooked up at my chem station. So, essentially, I've become the post-apocalyptic Heisenberg. I am the danger. I am the one who knocks.
Been plugging away at school, managing to keep my grades up. I've been reading Babbitt for class, and the satire is all too real in this day and age, which saddens me because it means it was all too real in 1920, which means it's been all too real for a while. In this election year, all it's been is soul crushing image after soul crushing image, with fears being tossed about like bad race slips. My disillusionment with the political landscape of America is back in the red zone, and that's all the political talk you're going to get out of me.
This is the last chapter of To Slice The Sky I'm going to be working on for this month. I'm switching gears completely to try and shave down and edit my NaNoWriMo book, Some Call Me (Steampunk Django on Mars) since has opened up unsolicited submissions again, and they're particularly looking for Space Opera and Cyberpunk. While they won't accept anything that's been published before (so By Starlight was out), I feel that Some Call Me has enough elements of Space Opera, with punk grittiness, to qualify. If not, it's not like I'm not used to the, "It's not quite what we're looking for".
So, without further ado, here's your dog picture:
The American Pit Bull Terrier Dream

I wish you wouldn't use me for page views.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

This is a trick

OK blog. You don't like me, and I'm indifferent about you, but we're going to get through this week if you like it or not.

So this week was one full of uplift, upheaval, realignment of goals, and a shot in the arm for creativity. I'd rather not weigh in on the heavier aspects of it, because, well, this isn't a private blog for me to boo-hoo and say casually offensive things about what makes me angry. This is for the hypothetical future fan to stumble upon, and have enough time to kill and read back entries, and think, "Oh, cool, so this is where that part came from."

Or, I don't know, something like that. That's what I do when I look at people's websites. I creep. But that's the type of guy I am, a creeping voyeur who thankfully has an internet connection and doesn't have to stare into people's windows. I'm simply fascinated how varied people live, and have a generally curious nature. At least I have the good sense to people watch in a way where they don't know I'm staring at them. You know, like a polite creep.

There, I avoided telling you something personal with something else personal. I hope you're satiated hypothetical reader.

Anywho, this week was full of getting writing done, both for school and for rewrites. I'm trying to pick up the pace and make up for lost time a few months back. I've been watching Batman: The Animated Series and Superman Adventures concurrently on Amazon Prime. I've watched Seasons 1, 2 and half of 3 of Batman so far, and the first for Superman. I'm normally not much of a Superman fan, and find it difficult to find him interesting, but the Animated Series version works for me so far. It was a pretty solid first season, not amazing, but good. I do enjoy a little more depowered Supes, since I feel everyone just goes right to invincible and can punch a planet type power level, and that stuff doesn't excite me. I did quite enjoy the Lobo episodes. I recall enjoying them when they aired as well. But Lobo is the main fraggin' man, so there is that.

And let me confirm your suspicions, I did get the idea of substituting fuck for frag partly because of Lobo. Also from the old term for deathmatch kills and fragmentation grenades. Skag is '70s slang for heroin, which I've never done, but I think it makes a great defecation word too. Now that I think about it, I think I heard skag used in some show I watched recently. Can't recall which one, but it'll come to me.

I also just started playing Rock Band 4 again, now that the songs from 1-3 are available. I have so many songs already, and there's even more that I still want to download. Rock Band really is one of my favorite game franchises. I've had so many magical moments playing that game with friends, and moments in the middle of parties getting everyone singing along and having a grand ole time. And even playing solo, it's just a fun damn game. It combines two of my loves of music and videogames, and it's one of the few games where I haven't gotten worse at it with age.

So after all of that, here's your dog picture and chunk of story. Chapter 11 is very close to being done as well and may get sandwiched into this post. Later skaters.