Sunday, January 31, 2016

"You're really pushing my buttons..."

So this week was semi-productive with not much to show for it.

The first thing I know you're all dying to hear, I finished Resident Evil: Revelations. Fun game. Great dynamics, silly story, and Jill & Chris together again. On to number 5 next.

Got back to work on proofing the back half of To Slice The Sky. Completed the proofread on chapter 9. Still working on Chapter 2 rewrites, so don't expect a post of it this week. I know I know, I let you down. These early chapters need a lot of work. Also, now that I have real releases in the world, I have to worry about "dreaded continuity". To think that I've already been fuzzy with continuity between two of my consistent stories already. This is going to be a rough career.

Ultimately though, it's cool going back over something i worked so hard on in the first place. There's a lot of fluff I've been yanking out, but there's much more just waiting for the cutting board. I've realized that I'm not trying to show how hard my science fiction is, but I'm trying to tell a compelling and interesting story that makes people want to read it. So I've been slashing down a lot of the world building that's been done in other stories.

And still shopping around my story West Side Connection. I think it may still be too dark, which apparently turns people off, but I'm just trying to be real. I've always wanted cult status over superstardom anyway, so i guess I'm on the right track.

Been watching my limited Blu-Ray collection today, just because. Ghost in the Shell, Blade Runner, and finishing up Sin City as I type this. Might put on For a Fistful of Dollars next, but we'll see how I'm feeling. And hope you're feeling good. I'll have some progress to show next week.

Here's a picture so I don't have to look at myself when I share this all over social media.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Cheap cop outs

Oh, hello. I didn't see you there.

So, new year. List of things for myself to do this year a few posts back. Talkin' 'bout all those goals, and achievements and some such jazzness. Well, I'm on the path to achieving said goals. This week, the story I finished, West Side Connection, is beginning its rounds for publication. And what this week's post is really about, I have begun rewrites on To Slice The Sky.

I'm currently working on Chapter 2. The introductory chapter has been touched and cleaned up like a good little chapter. And today's post is what stage it's currently at. I'm planing on working on one chapter every week or so. Hopefully more, but we'll see. But here we go... chapter one of my first commercial novel. Engage!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

"I think we all feel like that one time or another"

Greetings and salutations.

Already knocking off tasks from my To Achieve list for the year.

Firstly, now that I'm done with Fallout 4, I'm also one step closer to the end of the Resident Evil saga. That's the one you all wanted to hear about, right? Finished Resident Evil 4 last night. Still the super bad ass and solid game that it was when I first played it on GameCube. I would have played it on GameCube still if my dog hadn't decided to eat my copy within the first week of owning him. Since it's been almost five years that we've had him, I guess it's hard to still be mad at him. And he's a dog. A cute dog at that.

Regardless, since I'm taking the time to talk about Resident Evil, 4 still is the best installment in the franchise. It's one of those watershed moments in gaming that you see echoes of it through other titles, and all through the current and last gens of games. While I was playing it, it felt like a standard current gen game in gameplay matters, with just the little differences that makes it show its age. Like crappy limited camera movement/no twin analog stick support for aiming. Having to use save points (though continuation points when you die was a much needed addition to the series), even though the typewriter save point is a series mainstay. Over the shoulder 3rd person shooting replacing tank tread controls when it comes to moving in a 3D environment is probably the biggest and best change. Also, the resource management is pretty close to perfectly balanced. In between minibosses/bosses, you feel like you're scraping by just to survive with barely any ammo at your disposal. Especially when random drops from defeated foes aren't kind about healing items and ammo. Of course, right before you get to a boss there's usually a save point, weapons merchant, and plenty of items to pick up, but before then, prepare to sweat and aim well.

Its horror is not only from the survival aspect that has been the game's mainstay (and really dropped off come RE5 when it became more of a full on shooter) but also the boss fights as well. The boss fights of the series are usually more of a, "Stand here and shoot your magnum till it's dead." RE4 requires active battlefield movement, weapon juggling and crowd control skills. Opposed to the previous games where it was more a steady progression of swapping out your guns when you got the next one (or being pistol/shotgun/knife for the whole game), in 4, holding onto all your weapons for various applications is actually a boon to you. As frustrating as a game with an actual difficulty curve can be, it was wholly rewarding to give it another playthrough.

So yeah, that's Resident Evil 0, 1, 2, 3 Code Veronica, and 4 taken care of. Next up is Revelations 1, RE5, Revelations 2 and RE6. Then I'll have a full grasp on the convoluted story of the Umbrella Corporation. I'm excited for the upcoming installments since I haven't played any of these games except RE5, which I've only played once 6 years ago. Is there a word like tsundoku for videogames? Because I have that. Books and videogames are definitely things you buy to have and thy just pile up. The more you go through your stack, the more you buy to fill it up.

Okay, enough talk about zombie plague survival horror games.

In other news, I finished the first draft of West Side Connection. I'll post it next week. Still needs something else in my opinion, but as for now, I'm not sure what. I'm also getting back on track with my research book reading. I'm a quarter of the way through Joseph Campbell's Hero of a Thousand Faces. Debating on my next read. Either The Power of Myth, or Robert Rodriguez's Rebel Without A Crew. I haven't begun rewrites on To Slice The Sky yet, but I have the manuscript on my table, daring me to pick it up.

Meanwhile, I'll be working through my media backlog, and getting published. See you next week.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Rockies blue glare.

It's Sunday. I haven't missed it!

This week was a rough wade in a cloudy pool. Finally got some work on the short I've been yakking about. It's tentatively called, "West Side Connection", but I'm not married to it. It needs something that I can't quite put my finger on. I guess another draft is really the answer, but it's one I'm trying to make into a showcase type piece. Maybe putting that much pressure on it is what's killing it for me. I still need to actually write the ending, so there's that too. At least I'm closer to the end.

Aside from that, I started another short that's sort of like a journal of a guy who's stranded on an island after a shipwreck. He's a spoiled brat from a rich merchant family that gets tossed aboard a vessel of his father's to whip him into shape. His ship wrecks because of his incompetence and he's the sole survivor as far as he knows. He finds a trunk of belongings and decides to take up the journal they never started. He doesn't ration provisions since he can't bear to be hungry, and goes into the sea to try and catch a fish, or something because he's an idiot and doesn't know how it works. At night, he thinks he sees something in the water and calls out in hope of rescue. It retreats. The next night, there are more, just watching him. That's about all I have so far.

Getting geared up to work on the novel's next draft as well. It's been almost a year since I finished the first draft. I think. I don't know. Time's getting slippery these days. Either way, it's been a while since I first made the edits to the hardcopy of my manuscript, and I'm finding myself finding stuff I missed. This is going to be a process. Granted, I'm a process kind of guy, so bring it.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

In this foul year of our Lord...

Welcome to 2016.

Things to achieve this year:

1) Working on getting a short actually published in a for real publication.

2) Editing and releasing my 2 novels: To Slice The Sky & Some Call Me...

3) Write and release my first short story collection for Wave 2 of the Lilim Chronicles. I have about four more stories, already plotted out, to write. Wave 2 is going to pull back to the early part of this century and revolve around the Second American Civil War.

4) At least get an outline for the next novel that is still unnamed. It's going to be an oral history of the Second American Civil war told through the eyes of a bunch of different people. It's going to be very multi-stylistic, but more straight up near future science fiction. A little cyberpunk, a little military sci-fi, journalism, BBS posts, microblogging/street level journalism, all tossed into a blender and hopefully making a gripping, yet schizophrenic, tale. No one ever accused me of taking the easy road.

5) In my spare time, finish my play through of the Resident Evil series. I'm on #4 (with Revelations, RE5, RE6 and Revelations 2 ahead of me) which should be super awesome. But too many excellent games came out around the holidays, so it's on hold until I finish Fallout 4.

6) Finally read all those research books I've been sitting on all year.

So, I think that's enough to keep me occupied for most of the year.

Things I hope to see in 2016:

1) People realize that their hate-train bandwagoning on popular things to seem hip and edgy does neither. It's okay, I used to be like you. It's really not that big a deal, random person on the internet reading this.

2) Less assholes in the wild.

3) Less exhausting outrage, more constructive anger.

4) More book sales. And reviews, please.

5) More exposure and cult status. And interviews, please.

6) How the 2016 presidential election will make 2008/2012 look like child's play in ridiculous politicking.

Enjoy your year, folks. See you next Sunday.