Legends of the Dark Crystal

Legends of the Dark Crystal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hey, kids, how you doin’? I’m pretty much just posting to let you all know that I’m still alive. I’ve been stuck in novel mode while working around hell at the day job, so I haven’t really been able to even think about anything to post here, let alone actually post (I was actually meaning to post this bit a few weeks ago).

So, update on things. ‘Stiym’ is making progress, third act should be underway and things should be coming to a close (hopefully). I should be, with luck, requesting betas and proofers soon.

Results for Dark Crystal’s short-list came, and they said I was too awesome for them and they just weren’t worthy of me (their words, I swear). So, Dark Crystal is a no-go, and I’m now left with time to work on already running projects (never stop moving forward).

Last week while in a really shitty mood, I started working on a short set in ‘Natural Selection’ that takes place where everything left off (think of that with said shitty mood, and you get the basic idea of the story)—it will probably undergo a rewrite at some point later, but as it is, I my plans for it will depend on how it comes out—meaning, if I can get it to stand on its own, I might try throwing it at mags before throwing it here (I love you all, but I love your money more).

And… that’s about the gist of things. I’m lost in work with only hopes of finding my way out and getting back to keeping this thing moving.

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This was originally written to be the prologue to something, but I have no idea what. It basically came from one of my many moments where I was reading something and thought, “I can do that better.” And even though I like it, I sadly have no idea what to do with it. I thought maybe making it something for D’arc Lyte, but since I can’t figure out what to do with him either, it sits and does nothing. But, it’s in the notebook that I’m writing ‘Stiym’ in, so it keeps staring at me, and telling me to do something with it… so this is me doing something with it. It might get reused elsewhere, but for now, it’s here…

English: Chest of drawers in the Herkimer Hous...

English: Chest of drawers in the Herkimer House in Danube, Herkimer County, New York. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A smell fills my mind—the memory of a sweet perfume. It calls to me, it rumbles in my mind like a long starvation. My hunger for the flooding tastes of the salty, sweetness with its lasting trace of iron.

I look at my chest-of-drawers—the place where it slumbers. The image of it burns like a glowing ember. It calls for my hand—it calls for my feet—it calls to run free. It calls…

The memories telling me it’s wrong—scolding me to shame as I curl up tighter. I shut my eyes to ignore the burning, but it’s still there to blind me beneath my eyelids, demanding to be served. The memories scold me…

I curl ‘til I feel myself floating—falling. Down into the deep depths of the darkness—my god, the darkness…

It lulls me into submission like a siren’s call—it drowns the memories that tell me “no,” it smothers them as they gasp to silence. And my body responds and I rise…

My existence floats to the chest, slides the drawer where it waits to be brought from its slumber. The objects that hide it are shifted, and I move a false back away revealing its small casket of a box. It creaks as I raise its lid.

I believe it smiles at me as it sees me… and it knows… it’s time to feast.

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Man of Steel

Man of Steel (Photo credit: MuseLed)

Finally watched Man of Steel

A short review on it… Zack Snyder is a confusing director—he keeps insisting on taking on action movies, but he really doesn’t seem to know what to do with them. He actually tells the story well, it’s when the action happens that he just starts falling into piles of clichés. This was one of the few comic book movies I’ve watched where I actually preferred the back-story act… it was well told, and actually made you feel for the character. But then when the action act started up, the clichés spewed out and punctured the movie with plot-holes and nonsensical physics and getting us to pretend to care about the wellbeing of barely significant characters even though every fucking thing was just leveled (“oh, look, those three guys are ok… too bad about the two completely fucked cities, but at least those guys are fine”). Completely leveled to the point that when Zod started saying he should have just let him build a Krypton, I was pretty much on his side about it, ‘cause, fuck, ya’might as well now.

Quick guess how they’re going to introduce Lex in the next movie… anyone? His usual thing is to point out that super humans are more dangerous than helpful… I’m pretty sure he has a good case going for him.

The CGI for a good portion of the action was just sloppy and at some points started looking completely cartoonish.

And the ending… when he gave himself a secret identity… half the fucking movie knows where his mom lives, but lets pretend the secret identity still makes any damn sense.

So… I’m giving this two ratings: Back-story act 4 out of 5, Action act 2 out of 5. I’m a storyteller by trade, I’m easier to win over with stories.

ZumiaoTemple complex - Ip man residence

ZumiaoTemple complex – Ip man residence (Photo credit: dhelling01)

Just watched ‘The Grandmaster’

Out of all the Ip Man movies that I’ve seen so far, this one is just odd. The storytelling of it was awkward and choppy, and just went off on tangents that I could barely even follow. The fight scenes were decent with only a few moments of unrealistic thrown in, but because of the odd story structuring, I had no idea what half the fights were even about… and I’m pretty sure only some of this can be blamed on the rum.

I give this a 3 out of 5, and I have no idea if this would have been different if I was sober.

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The empire was at war, once again. The docking platforms were lined with gun-clad airships, loading to the brim with soldiers and merchs alike.

As I trudged towards my own transport of destruction, I viewed a display of two love-torn kids putting on a drama for the whole place to catch a show. I’ve seen the type before—the boy, so young, he probably never even touched a loaded pressure-rifle before, and would be lucky if his trembling hands don’t blow his own head off the first time—but he read the penny-store novels and rags, and his mind was filled with the idea of battle’s glory.

He tore himself from the girl’s fingers, one-by-one, with such a caricature of love-lulled look on his face. I was too far to hear, but I already knew the lines as if they were reading them off an offstage cue-card.

“I’ll think of you every night,” he’ll say.

“I’ll cry myself to sleep, worrying about you,” she’ll say, while whipping up alligator-tears to make sure it was believable.

And then he’ll say, in some off iambic pentameter, “Good-bye, my love, I will long for the day I will return to you, and feel your touch again. For now, my empire calls…”

He’ll be puking in a corner, crying for his mommy at the sight of the first battle flare.

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Rainwater harvesting systems channel rainwater...

Rainwater harvesting systems channel rainwater from a roof into a storage tank via an arrangement of gutters and pipes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few months ago, a friend of mine, Catrina Taylor (whose books you should be reading), started her own indie-publisher, the Writing Network. It’s still in its very young stages, but it’s being lead by someone that knows what she’s doing.

As one of her draws, she started a Word of the Day Flash Fiction, and while I haven’t had the time to do much with it since she started (because I was writing a bunch of deadlines), I will try to get more into it (especially since I need something to give my flashes structure). Back for her opening, I did do one for the word “sunshine” (even though her rules were a max of 500, I kept my rules of 300):

The sunshine shot deftly through the boarded window directly at my eyes, prying me from my sleep—something that used to be the most irritating way of waking up, but now was a comforting sign that I survived another night.

I stumbled to my feet with my head still spinning of an uneasy sleep, and made my way for the door. After a couple minutes worth of unlatching locks, I let in the new day and walked out into its warmth. My first step was into a pile of ash splayed across my porch—I had to force it from my head for now—convince myself it was only dirt as it seeped between my bare toes.

I walked to the end of the yard where the overflowing rain barrel sat and splashed the sun-warmed water at my face. Staring down at my reflection, I saw a face so worn and tired I barely recognized it as mine.

Then the extra eyes glimmered just over my shoulder.

I barely had time to dodge as the draugr swiped at me from a shadowed corner. I jumped back as it lunged forward, and burst into white flame—instantly consumed by the sun, with only the traces of it ever existing left behind.

I staggered back for the shelter of my home and re-latched the door behind ‘til I could work the courage back up to venture out again. I slumped back to my tattered mattress, and let the beam of sunshine comfort me with warmth. As I lay, I felt the warm slowly turn to a subtle burn across my arm. I sat up, and saw, slightly beginning to smolder, a slight scratch—not much—but just enough. Enough to know this would be my last taste of sunshine.

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Doctor Who: Return to Earth

Doctor Who: Return to Earth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m back. I know, I was gone longer than I said I’d be, but it was necessary.

The Quantum Short was turned in, it got a 4.6 from 5 votes (looking at most of the entries’ ratings, that’s pretty good), but it didn’t make the shortlist.

I didn’t get a submission put together for ‘Cogs in Time,’ because it fell victim to my priority list, and simply wasn’t something that ended up happening. But, the release is Jan. 9, and you should buy it. It is packed with short stories and poems from many talented wordsmiths.

My ‘Dark Crystal’ story was completed and submitted and I am simply trying not to think about it too much until I get a response… so, let’s just leave it with that’s a thing that happened, for now…

Now, we’re in a new year, and new things are to come. I promised you a couple ‘How I Write’ posts that got pushed off by the priority list, but lucky for you, that one didn’t fall off altogether. I saw a couple movies by way of Amazon Instant, so we might have some reviews coming for those… I might even take a moment to shed some tears over Doctor Who (let’s just take a moment of silence for now). Recipes should be forming, at least a couple… tried redesigning my rum balls for Christmas—no pictures were taken… um… it’s still a work in progress.

Story projects to come… I am going to be finishing ‘Stiym’… shut’up… yes, I know I’ve said this before, but I mean it this time. The mess with ‘Dark Crystal’ and other crap has given me a considerable kick in the ass that has me extra determined to get some shit done. I estimate only a month or two of plunging into it, and it will be a finished manuscript ready to get mutilated by proof readers. After that, I will probably try throwing it at Baen, Orbit, and/or Ace, pretty much the Lionsgate and Relativity of the publishing world types, and if they say ‘no,’ then it’s getting self-pubbed (Stiym has been sitting around too long, he has only so much patience left). Then while ‘Stiym’ is in the thralls of waiting for responses, I’ll be working on finishing ‘Ravenblood.’

And then, there are the stories for you loyal blog-dwellers. I started doing flash stories before leaving without even bothering with explanation to why I was doing those—some of it was just to unclog my brain, so I could write, plus it was to give something to keep the blog moving… so I could write. Although, they were for the most part random, I will see about giving them a bit more structure and making a bit more of a thing out of them, since some of you seemed to like them. About the only rules I had for them so far were what I had for the Flash-round (minimum 100 words, maximum 300 words), but with the usual flash rules of being a complete story (contains beginning, middle, and end), and their inspirations come from different things, some of which were songs, or single lines, or a single word, or emotion… but yet, that part is what needs structure most.

And ‘Natural Selection’… I know I said it was dead, but damn’it I really liked the thing. I won’t be doing it the way it was before, and I’m still working on figuring out how it’s going to be done. What I can tell you about it so far though, all canon so far stands… all of it… even the last one. As it is, I need ideas from you people… I need names, just throw names at me (if you’re a follower already and know my usual naming scheme for NS, then you’re a winner in my book, but even other names are good—I’ll redesign them myself)—and I need weapons… pistol-blades, rifle-axes, and pistol-cannons are still a thing, but I need new stuff. Also, titles… I have a title in mind that I kinda like a lot, but throw yours at me, I might like yours more. As it is, I won’t be touching any of this until at least Feb. so I can work on ‘Stiym’ (NS would be too distracting).

And last but not least… St. Jude Warriors… I have $10 so far… this, G+, FB, and Twitter… I have only $10. The money for St. Jude Warriors is in no way for me… at best, I end the Warrior Dash with a shower, which I would be just as ok with being covered in mud. The money is for the children of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and, even though I’m only setting a goal of $300, I would have expected to get that and more by now. But instead, I have only $10. You have no idea how completely disappointed I am right now. I hear many people asking for help with this project and that for themselves, and I do everything I can, even if it’s giving what few dollars I can spare… but here I ask for you to help, not me, but children, and this is the response. I greatly appreciate the contribution that came from Astrea Baldwin, and I will promote the living shit out her book when a publisher finally bites and puts that thing in stores where it belongs… but for everyone else… I’m just very disappointed. Please… everyone that can spare anything at all, please donate what you can.

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I’m crawling through mud and jumping over fire for St. Jude kids at Warrior Dash. You can support my efforts by making a donation today.

I’m not really here, I swear, I’m still completely in full writing mode on everything, but, I must tell you that while I’m away to finish my projects, I need you to be donating to St. Jude Warriors! (I mentioned I’m doing the Michigan Warrior Dash 2014) The goal is at least $300 by July… that’s easy enough, right?

So, everyone please give what you can… and next time I see you I should have at least story in submission stage. And I’ll have posts on everything (I know I skipped out on the promised post before I left, things happened, long story, but I’ll make up for it—especially if you get me to my goal before I get back—hint, hint).

 

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is one of the global leaders in finding cures and saving children from cancer and other deadly diseases. This is why I am competing as a St. Jude Warrior at Warrior Dash. I am going to crawl through mud and jump through fire in order to support St. Jude patients. Will you join the fight with me?

I need your support to help me raise the funds for the kids of St. Jude.

How your donation helps:

  • Thanks to donors like you, no family ever receives a bill from St. Jude.
  • Every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists can use that knowledge to save thousands more children around the world.

Thank you for your support.