Thursday, February 21, 2013

What's the plan, Stan?

So now that Turning Curse is published, what's next?

Well, nothing is set in stone, but right now I am editing two novels. In a dream world, I would be able to publish them at the same time, but after all of the troubleshooting with Turning Curse, I'm very much aware how such plans can go awry.

I don't want to give too many details, because--again--things could change. At this point, one of the novels I'm working on has a similar tone and audience as Turning Curse. The second novel, however, is a little more somber and has a higher age range while remaining young adult. In some ways, I feel this second novel may be the one that will require the most work. The main character is abrasive, which can often alienate the reader.

So that is currently what's in the cards and could change at any moment.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

On Frogs and Creative Desicions

So let's talk about frogs and writing.

I recently talked to one of my closest friends about Turning Curse, and how I knew made some "mistakes," and I'm not talking about typos (though I know I made them too. Curse me for being human and naturally flawed). So let's shed some light on these mistakes, and explain why they exist if I know they are mistakes.

The first and foremost one is "Frogs don't have fingers." Frogs have toes and legs. No fingers. No hands. Yet I constantly used fingers and hands when writing from a certain frog's point of view. I did this because it thought it would be a mouthful to say, "He outstretched his right, front leg" instead of "He outstretched his right hand."  I would like to think most readers, whether they are frog experts or not, know what I am trying to convey. Therefore, even though it is technically incorrect to use hands and fingers when talking about a frog, for the sake simpler sentences, and hopefully easier to understand sentences too, I am willing to make this mistake.

Another one is gritting/grinding teeth. Frogs have teeth, but only on the top of their mouths. Because their isn't a lower set of teeth it is inaccurate to say, frogs grit/grind their teeth, yet once again a certain frog is special. Like the previous paragraph stated, the decision to use such phrases came from wanting to remain simple and trusting the reader. The idea was to show the frog doing a similar motion to gritting or grinding his teeth. Imagine every time he did it if I wrote, "He moves his teeth in a grinding motion--not that he was really grinding them, because he had only his top row of teeth. His top teeth were really brushing his bottom lip."

I'm sure there are still people out there who will cry, "Mistake! Inaccurate!" and honestly, let them. They're correct. If it makes them throw the book at a wall or rant to all who will listen about how some author made an anthropomorphic frog...well, anthropomorphic, then that's what they choose to do with their time. As for my time, I got to get back to work editing some novels.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Love Fest: Charlie Brown

Do I even have to explain why Charlie Brown deserves a hug?
 This poor kid! He never does anything malicious, he usually helps out his friends, and he just tries so darn hard. Honestly, his worst character trait is his depression, and he has reasons to be depressed. Wouldn’t you be depressed if you were him? For crying out loud, candy hearts insult him. 

Really, it is just so painful to watch the Valentine’s Day special when Charlie wants just one Valentine and when he gets it, it’s a pity gift. Yet he still loves it so much. The fact that Charlie Brown can appreciate such a gift makes him deserving of the biggest hug.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Love Fest: Moro

There’s a lovely Miyazaki film by name of Princess Mononoke that has so many good elements in it, one could write a novel on the subject. However, this post is just to celebrate the awesomeness that is Moro.

Moro is a wolf god, who protects the forest that the humans, led by Lady Eboshi, destroys. Fierce and intelligent she has some of the best quotes in the movie. My personal favorite:

"I listen to the pain of the forest and feel the ache of the bullet in my chest, and I dream of the day I will finally crunch that gun-woman's head in my jaws."

Because she is more of a side character than a main one, it is hard to go into detail what makes Moro such an amazing character without giving spoilers. So in the vaguest of explanations, what it comes down to is Moro is a badass who embodies exactly what one would picture a wolf god to be. She doesn’t childishly attack humans because she hates them, but because they desecrate her home. At the same time, while she wants to protect her home, she acknowledges the dangers of going to war with humans. There’s just this perfect mixture of temper, violence, and wisdom that make her such a great character.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Love Fest: Luke fon Fabre

In a previous post I mentioned that I don’t know what to do with this blog. That’s still true for the most part, but after my last post I had an idea. Valentine’s day is coming up soon, so in honor of it I have decided write a few posts about characters from video games, TV shows, and movies that either I love or feel need love—as in someone needs to give the character a hug, not that they are underrated.

So time to spread the love!

  Oh, and there is no ranking system.

Luke fon Fabre:

Oh god! That midriff! I really did not need to see that, especially when it looks so unnatural.  

So midriff aside, I am one of those few people who absolutely adores Luke from Tales of the Abyss.

For those unfamiliar with Tales of the Abyss, it is about Luke, son of Duke Fabre and nephew to the King of Kimlasca-Lanvaldear, who is mistakenly kidnapped one day by a mysterious girl and finds himself in enemy territory (the Malkuth Empire). As Luke  journeys home he learns that Kimlasca and Malkuth are on the brink of war. He soon finds himself at the center of the conflict. With both countries fates in the balance, one wrong move could mean the death of thousands.

So who is Luke, aside from a duke’s son? Due to events in his past, Luke can’t remember anything seven years prior to the beginning of the game. The event caused his family to become protective of him, imprisoning Luke in his manor with only servants and family to keep him company. Because of this Luke is an ignorant brat, and that’s probably how most players view him at first.

I, on the other hand, loved Luke the first second I saw his face. 

That deadpan stare of boredom sent me into a laughing fit. From that moment on, actions such as Luke taking an apple without paying, then becoming annoyed when he gets chewed out for it, made me snicker with glee. Also, that face!

Luke has some of the best comedic expressions!

Besides being humorous to watch, Luke truly is a kindhearted character, but just doesn’t know how to show it. An example early on in the game is when Luke protects a cheagle (think fire-breathing rabbit) from falling debris. When the cheagle thanks him, Luke quickly lies about his intentions to stop the cheagle’s praise.

Not only is he kindhearted, but Luke is one of the rare video game characters who shies away from murder. The first time Luke kills a man, he is sent reeling. He can't believe what he has done, and his companion's accepting attitudes in regards to murder are incomprehensible to him. Even towards the end of the game the thought of taking someone's life upsets Luke. It is such a breath of fresh air. In fact, the development of his entire character is like that.

As much as I gush about Luke, he has his faults. Sadly, I love him for those too, but that’s not the point. The point is that Luke has his flaws, and he is punished for them. The game loves tearing him to pieces only to rebuild him into a hero that players can admire. The selfish, disrespectful, na├»ve brat transforms into someone who isn’t brave and selfless, but someone that despite his fears and his wants realizes there is much more to the world than his existence. A far more human and engaging character than most would expect at first glance.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Those Lovable Gorons

So I have a complicated relationship with the Legend of Zelda franchise, but I will say this: I love Gorons. 

When I played Ocarina of Time I was my most motivated to save those lovable rock-eaters, unlike some other characters who were barely present and/or rude. There is just something so lovable about Gorons. It’s their little quirks like trying to eat the Goron Ruby (anyone else remember that guy?) and curling up into a ball until someone approaches that just makes them so great.

Also, their design is amazing. The big eyes and mouth combined with the pudgy belly and tiny legs give off a teddy bear feel. Granted, you just have to take a closer look at those limbs to see that a Goron could crush your skull just by flexing. Oh, and let's not forget what happens when they curl into a ball and roll right into you with their jagged back. Such deadliness and cuddliness in one body is so awesome.

 I wish that one day I could make a character/creature as lovable and deadly as the Gorons.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The First Real Post

I guess it’s time to finally step out from the shadows, and post something other than a couple of sentences and a picture. So let’s be honest here, I have no idea what to blog about other than myself and my stories.

I don’t have many skills. Though, I am an excellent rambler (that doesn’t necessarily translate into writing). Also, I’m not particularly knowledgeable in any area.

In the past, I have considered giving writing tips, but that always left me with a bad taste in my mouth, because as much as I try to follow my own advice, I don’t always take it. Sometimes that’s good, and sometimes that’s bad. You can’t make anything original if you’re always sticking to the same recipe.

Point is: I’m no writing genius, and I’m not going to pretend to be.

So where does that leave us, reader?

I don’t know. That’s okay though, as long as you know that.

Astounding Rankings!

I just saw this on Amazon.

You guys are amazing!

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