Taking the NaNoWriMo Challenge Again!

NaNoWriMo is the challenge of writing an entire novel in a month  From 11/1 to 11/30, your task is to sit down, and let the story flow out of your hands and onto the word processor.

I tried this in 2014, and while I technically didn’t finish the story in time to complete the challenge, I ended up loving the story enough to keep going.  I even tried getting it published!  I didn’t succeed, sadly, but I legitimately loved this idea, and I wanted it to get out there at the time.

Nowadays, I may have to reread it, and maybe change a thing or two around, but publishing it with KDP is not off the table.

I did have an idea for a project, and I figured that NaNoWriMo might be the perfect time and place to get that idea banged out.  Unfortunately, this idea formulated around the same time Alabasq got canceled again, which I know SOUNDS convenient, but what can I say.

I’ve actually had a couple of ideas in the wings, and since Alabasq ended up not working out, I flipped a coin, it came up heads, and now the idea is in the works.

The only thing I’m willing to say right now is the title: A Majin Among Us.

I’m not especially good at young adult.  I have an attempt at a young adult novel on my harddrive, and I do believe that was the last thing I tried getting for-real published before getting fed up and putting future stories on KDP.  Speaking of projects I need to look over…

Gael was also originally going to be a young adult novel, but between my disdain for whiney teenagers, my love for swearing, and…  Shall we say, certain character traits of one Logan Gray Wolf, it just wasn’t working out.  Fortunnately, I was early in the development process to the point where it didn’t matter anyway.

This time around, though, I think I’m going to try it.  Barring that, I think I’m going to have a high schooler for a protagonist for sure.

I’ll let you know how things are going via my Facebook.  Till then, I’ll see you in December.

Advertisements

The Jellies: My Thoughts Thus Far

I legitimately can’t remember the last time a show with this much promise ended up being this disappointing.  I shouldn’t be surprised in the longrun.  After all, this is Adult Swim.  Rick and Morty is probably the one original show on there that either doesn’t suck right out the gate like literally ANYTHING featuring Tim and Eric, or has officially worn out its welcome like Squidbillies.

The commercial seemed so promising.  I found myself using “Walla Walla!  Doopity doo!” as a sort of accomplishment sound.  Sort of a “YEAH, BOYEE!”, or “IN YOUR FACE, SON!” sort of declaration, you know?  I almost made it the notification chime on my cell phone, but opted for Mr. Meseeks instead.

Then the show hit.  We’re only two episodes in, and I already want my money back.  Yeah, I know, I didn’t pay for anything technically.  And yet, I still feel like someone owes me money for watching this trash.

The adopted son, the only character in the family who ISN’T an anthropomorphic jellyfish, is the least interesting character in the show.  Fuck humans: I want to see what these jellyfish are doing on land!  I suppose the series is still fairly young at the time I’m writing this, but so far, both episodes I’ve seen have focused entirely on the human son.

On top of that, everything about this show seems so dated.  I mean come the fuck on, guy,  Pimp My Ride reference in 2017?  That show hasn’t been relevant since 2007.  I’m not even sure Xhibit is even alive anymore, let alone doing rap.  The fact I even remember Xhibit in the first place is either proof I’m fucking old as fuck, or that I used to have really bad taste in music when I was a teenager.  Though if I knew rap was going to become this bland, manufactured, Migos bullshit, I’d probably have appreciated guys like Xhibit a lot more.

Considering episode two delt with transgenderism to a degree, it’s especially amazing.  How can a show that tackles issues this current feel so dated?  I don’t know, but they found a way.

Throw in a couple other clichés, like the token whigger, hair-brained schemes, and the possibility of a dumbass dad, and this show’s painting by the numbers.  I was kinda expecting a fucked up family dynamic judging by how the parents acted in later comercials.  For the record, that’s not a selling point.  I just saw it on the comercial, and braced myself for it on the night the show premiered.

I’m guessing Rick and Morty has set the bar rickdiculously high.  It proved that not EVERY show on Adult Swim has to be poorly animated, poorly written, and/or involve Tim god damn Heidecker in any way shape or form.  I guess it was foolish of me to expect a year that gave us the long-awaited season 3 of Rick and Morty and the series finale to Samurai Jack to maintain the status quo and continue giving us good shit.  I mean yeah, Tim and Eric Bedtime Stories is still stinking up the airwaves, but at this stage, I’ve just come to accept that those two fucktards are just never going to leave, and that people love them despite the fact they’re so unfunny that it’s literally painful to sit through.  Also, Squidbillies and Robot Chicken got new seasons, but despite wearing out their welcome, I don’t mind them nearly as much.  Hell, Robot Chicken actually still manages to make me laugh on occasion.

On one hand, I want to give The Jellies the benefit of a doubt.  After all, I’m only two episodes in.  If BoJack Horseman has taught me anything, it’s that I should probably give shows like this more of a chance.  The first season of BoJack had a pretty rough start, but if you soldier through the first three or four episodes, it gets way better.

On the other hand…  This is Adult Swim.  What you see is often what you get.  So I’m not optimistic that this show’s going to get any better.

Alabasq is Canceled. Again.

Earlier in the month, I announced that I was going to resume work on a 2015 project I’d originally canceled.  The working title, and perhaps the official title (knowing how I operate) was Alabasq.

A month of rewriting and going over my mental notes later, I regret to inform those who might’ve been interested that the project is shelved once again.  Furthermore, I don’t see myself visiting this project again in the near future.

The new direction, focusing less on two characters and their intertwining story, and more on one specific character, is about as far as I’d gotten.  I rewrote and rearranged the chapters I kept, which unfortunately means a project that had FIVE chapters originally now only has TWO.

I’d begun thinking that I might’ve picked the wrong character to focus on, but after a year of writing The Gael Saga, I thought it was time to focus on a MALE protagonist for a change.  Much to the disgust of neoliberals, and the people in charge of Hollywood this past summer.

The possibility of focusing on the other character is not off the table, but for the most part, I felt like the male character had more going on storywise.  Scifi political thrillers have their demographic, but I’m a man of action, not of sitting around the office and debating politics with idiots.  Although taking potshots isn’t necessarily beneath me, either.

At this time, I just can’t get anything out of the project.  The notes are there, and the idea is solid (I think).  However, I just can’t get this idea to formulate properly.  It doesn’t exactly flow out of my hands, and onto the ole word processor like the first two Gael Saga novels did.  Hell, even the third Gael Saga novel, in all its complication, had a flow to it.

Also, the more I look at my story, the more even I can’t help but think that this is Dune on ice.  I suppose that’d be a great way to market it, but Frank Herbert fans seem like the kind of group who wouldn’t appreciate someone trying to rip off the master.  Even if it IS unintentional.

In the end, I’ve decided to shelf Alabasq.  Maybe I’ll come back to it one day.  I didn’t think I would two years ago, and look what happened.  However, I don’t see this getting worked on here in the immediate future for sure.

My apologies to anyone who was looking forward to it.  This is pretty much the first time in years I’ve canceled a project outright.  Even I’M not entirely sure how to feel about that.  But I’m afraid that’s the situation in any case.

I do have another announcement in the pipeline, and I’ll be making it very shortly.  Stay tuned.  I promise this one won’t be so disappointing.

Well it was Nice While it Lasted

It says a lot about your conditioning as a fan when you see your team is 5-0 in the regular season, and the only team in the entire league with an undefeated record, and the only thought in your head is “Boy I sure can’t wait to see how we fuck this one up.”  It’s a terrible thought, but man, that’s what it’s like being a Chiefs fan.

 

This team, right here, always has me guessing.  It’s always dependent on what kind of year we have.  Which I suppose is better than knowing right out the gate your team is going to suck elephant balls (cough Cleveland cough), but man, it’s a rollercoaster.

 

Literally the only thing you can predict about The Chiefs is that they’re either going to suck this year, or they’re going to have a really good regular season, and fuck up when it actually matters.  Though to be fair, we lost to The Patriots two years ago, and the only shame in that is if you lose with a score of 57 to 14 or something particularly humiliating like that.  Then there’s games like last year, where one specific player got a holding penalty that cost us a two point conversion that would’ve tied the game.  Which reminds me, how the fuck is it we get rid of Jeremy MacLyn for some reason, but Eric fucking Fisher got to keep HIS job?  That’s seriously the kind of boneheaded mistake that gets football fans angry, and talk of sacrificing you to their vengeful football god starts circulating.

 

Six weeks into the 2017 season, The Chiefs were undefeated…  Until week 6, when they took on The Steelers.  To put it bluntly: death, taxes, and Steelers beat The Chiefs.  Enough said.

 

I knew it wasn’t going to last forever.  If not because nobody’s been able to replicate the legendary Miami Dolphins undefeated streak (and don’t even start with 2007 Patriots, because losing the superbowl counts as a loss, and therefore, you’re not undefeated), but because it’s the fucking Chiefs.  This is a team that’s great at building up so they can knock you down.  And we fall for it every year.  It’d be embarrassing if it wasn’t something trivial like a sports team.

 

If you want my prediction, I’ll say that, for sure, we’re making it to the playoffs.  Then we choke against the first team we play, and then sit back and watch as The Patriots win another fucking superbowl.

Big Mouth: My Thoughts

Honestly, when it comes to the hip and popular thing everyone won’t shut the fuck up about, I usually tend to be an avoider.  Case in point, I still haven’t read any of the Harry Potter books past The Sorceror’s Stone, I haven’t watched ANY of Breaking Bad, and I actively went out of my way to AVOID House of Cards.  I still don’t know how I got talked into Orange is the New Black, but long time readers already know where I stand on that.  And if you’re new…  Yeah, the book was better.  Oh yeah, did you know there was a book?  And about four different versions of the book are on Audible.com, weirdly enough.  Not sure WHY there’s four, but there’s apparently four.  But I digress.

I usually tend to avoid the trendy things…  Except in the case of Big Mouth, the trendy thing is probably the most polarizing thing out there right now.  I think the only thing anybody can agree on is that the character designs suck.  I’ll own up to having certain designs I don’t like (IE, football headed characters), but really once you see your way past the character designs, the show is actually…  Meh.

I’ve heard the popular joke/statement where someone says it’s all about those awkward years of going through puberty, and “The last thing I ever want to do is relive those awkward years.”  Yeah, at least you had NORMAL middle school experiences.  Got to go to normal middle school, make awkward mistakes around a bunch of other normal kids who knew just as little as you did, and nobody threw you into a special little asylum school where you were a confused thirteen-year-old forced to coexist with a bunch of sixteen and seventeen year old assholes who fucking resented every minute you were in the same room as them, made fun of you for having arachnophobia, and calling you several variations of “gay ass faggot” for liking professional wrestling.  Yeah, you definitely had it rough.  My life was smooth sailing.

Oi, the sarcasm kills me inside.

In all seriousness, though, the show is…  Okay.  It’s not horrible, it’s not amazing, it’s just okay.

Admittedly, I heard one of the guys who wrote Sausage Party was involved with this show, which was a red flag right out the gate.  As mentioned in Red Flannel Radio, I watched about three minutes of Sausage Party, and Immediately called it quits.

But suppose Sausage Party was a fluke.  Hell, it’s happened before.  I mean hell, Rob Zombie makes some of my favorite horror movies of all time…  But he ALSO made a shitty remake of the first two Halloween movies.  Everybody’s entitled to one fuck up, right?

Well fortunately, Big Mouth isn’t as terrible.  Hell, I’m up to episode 8 as of this writing, and…  Well…  I’m not exactly laughing at every single joke the show throws at me.  Far from it, really.  Yet at the same timeI don’t really feel compelled to turn away in revoltion, either.

There are some aspects of the show that are more annoying than anything else.  Coach Steve is that character I know they’re TRYING to make funny, but boy is it not working at all.  I see what MarsReviews was talking about when they mentioned they have a habit of running jokes into the ground.  Yes, I’m familiar with the comedy rule of three, but things like the “shit covered basketballs” wasn’t funny the first time, and it never gets funnier with repetition.

On the other hand, it’s actually an interesting take on the concept of puberty.  The “hormone monster” is unsurprisingly the character they want you to consider your favorite, and it’s not hard to see why.  It’s very Family Guy esque in how it’s supposed to be an entity only kids going through puberty can see and interact with, but sometimes adults can see him because SHUT UP AND LAUGH YOU FUCKING CRETINS!.  That being said, I’ve laughed more at things the hormone monsters and monstresses have said than pretty much any other joke.

Notgoing to lie, this show is pretty fucking gross.  I personally have made peace with the idea that the human body is disgusting, and anyone who says otherwise is either a fucking liar, or they’re more focused on the outside.  They’re more about your image than about the inner workings and the horrible, disgusting smells and objects the body can produce such as feces, urine, tumors, and children.  Fucking grody, man.

That being said, yeah, there’s a lot of masturbation jokes in this.  And yeah, there’s a whole episode about a girl getting her first period.  The worst of it is probably the episode of Jay getting his pillow pregnant in his weird schizophrenic fantasy world.  Part of me definitely could’ve lived a lot longer without seeing a lot of that.  And another part of me can’t help but wonder why I never thought of that till now?  Oh well.

If you can see your way past the grossout factor, it’s actually not the worst thing ever.  Believe me, I’ve seen worse.  Shit, I listen to GWAR for crying out loud.  You want to talk gross…

At the same time, though, I’m not in a huge hurry to recommend the show.  It’s not terrible, but it’s probably nothing I’m going to watch more than once.  As far as recommendations go…  I don’t know, check it out for yourself.  Formulate your own fucking opinion instead of getting it from a half-blind insomniac who probably ought to be writing his next novel instead of spending his Saturday off watching Netflix and listening to Hunter S. Thompson novels on Audible.com.

New Project, Alabasq

As announced on my Facebook page about…  Two minutes ago, work on my newest project has begun.

Alabasq: the planet of alwayswinter.  Where convicts and traitors to the empire are sent to die, and where “screamers” and “malamute men” reign supreme.  A warzone for some, and a never-ending hell for the rest.

In truth, I’d begun writing Alabasq in 2015.  This was going to be the next thing I attempted to get for-real-published.  Except for the fact that by 2015, I was really getting sick and tired of all the rejection.  Also, five chapters in, I really wasn’t liking the direction it was taking.

I initially gave up on the project, and left it on my harddrive to rot.  Two years later, I’m waiting sorta-patiently for cover art, waiting for something to do with my free time, and one of those things included looking over old projects to see if any of them could be salvaged.  Alabasq, weirdly enough, was the only one in the incomplete folder I still ended up kind of liking.  How I didn’t delete everything else, I’ll never know, but that one, I kept for sure.

Admittedly, I’m writing the entirety of the story from scratch.  The original version focused on two characters on opposite sides of the conflict.  I feel that, in hindsight, it’s a wiser idea to focus on just one.  One coin toss later, the story is still set on Alabasq.  It’s just that it’s going to STAY on Alabasq, and the perspective of the story is less War is hell, and nobody wins”, and more “we must overcome tyranny by casting aside the endless bickering of tribalism.”

I have no idea when this book will be finished.  Ideally, sometime in 2018, but I can’t guarantee anything.  At this point, I’ve only kept one chapter of the original project, and even THAT might be heavily revised to fit the new direction.

I’m also going to be on the hunt for a lot of documentaries and research material regarding wildlife and surviving in the tundra.  Probably going to find a lot of documentaries arguing that climate change is real, and that the Antarctic is suffering the worst…  And I won’t disagree with you guys on that one, but honestly, that’s not what I’m looking for.  All suggestions are welcome.  Leave them in the comment box if you have any.

Till then, I’ll keep you posted on what the progress is like over on my Facebook page as always.  I look forward to seeing where this adventure takes us all.

 

The Hood and the Heroine is Now Available!

 

THATH

 

Roisin O’Malley, better known as Gael, has been released from prison, and joins the army of copycat vigilantes she unintentionally inspired.  Meanwhile, the killer known simply as The Blue Hood continues his killing spree across Sapphire City, leaving an ever growing mountain of dead criminals in his wake.  Dan Adelson: the criminal kingpin the media has since dubbed “The Teal Tyrant”, has joined forces with a cult of assassins known simply as The Diamond Club.  And as if all of this weren’t bad enough, CharKendrick Parks: the serial killer better known throughout Sapphire City and YouTube alike as The Subway Spook, has resumed his murder spree throughout the subways of Sapphire City.  With so many high-profile threats to the city, Gael and The Blue Hood find themselves with quite a bit of common ground, and try their best to build an alliance despite their wildly different outlooks on the true definition of justice.

This is the third, and until further notice, the final chapter of The Gael Saga.  The possibility of sequels aren’t outside the realm of possibility, but without giving too much away, this is DEFINITELY the last book that’ll feature Roisin O’Malley in any way shape or form.

I have had ideas for a possible book 4, and from there, who knows?  Unfortunately, a lot of the ideas I have for book 4 are, at best, scribbles.  I haven’t ruled out the possibility of doing a book 4 further down the line, but for now, everything has been wrapped up in a nice little bundle of completion.  I’m done, I’m done, I’m fucking done!

Not going to lie, this book was an ordeal.  Not an UNPLEASANT ordeal, but this one was the hardest one to write.  Book 1 just oozed out of my head and onto the proverbial paper.  Book 2 was pretty similar in that regard.  Book 3…  Was a lot more complicated.

There were minor inconveniences along the way, like my cover artist unfortunately not being able to meet the deadline I set due to real life and other things happening on their side of the state, and my usual horrible tendency to get distracted by anything shiny.  However, the biggest complication of all was probably actually making it to the finish line.

The Gael Saga is literally the first time in forever that I’ve seen something through from start to finish.  I have several book 1s of this series or that series on my harddrive, but Those books were originally for the for-real publishers.  After months of trying to sell these things to literary agents and publishers alike, I shrugged, said “fuck it”, and went to KDP, but rather than publish all those stories to KDP, I just moved on to the next project.

The Jad Blade Legacy is the first series I’ve written for that’s seen a book 2, and even that one is currently up in limbo due to my parting with Outskirts Press.  I started writing book 3 in 2013, and while I made some degree of progress, I never did get finished with it.

The Gael Saga started in 2016, and ended as of…  Well technically two days ago, but but yeah, it’s officially finished.  End of an era, man.  I’m not sure how to feel about it.  There’s that sense of accomplishment, sure, but there’s a lot of other thoughts in my head as well.  Specifically, where the fuck do I go from here?

All questions will be answered when I get around to it.  In the meantime, enjoy the final chapter of The Gael Saga!

You can get your copy here.

 

Disjointed: My Thoughts

Can I just say, I hate a lot of 1960s television.  A lot of it isn’t even 1960s television’s fault, either.  A lot of tropes at the time were REALLY to blame: the canned laughter, the hokey jokes, the acting…  I’m way to used to 90s sitcoms I guess.  Home Improvement was always my jam.  Mostly because things got all splody when Tim tried to fix stuff…  But I digress.

Disjointed’s approach to the 60s esque sitcom was a sort of red flag for someone like me, but honestly, I’m glad I took the challenge.

For starters, the tropes may be there, but the language, and some of the subject matter is a LOT more adult.  And I’m not just talking about the fact the show is set at a marijuana despensery, either.  There’s plenty of dick and fart jokes, F-bombs, and what not that you’d THINK would clash with the kind of show they were going for, but in fact, works perfectly.

The thing I always look forward to in each episode of Disjointed is the animated sequences.  Most of which seem to exist in Carter’s head, but a few take place elsewhere.  I Guarantee that about seventy-five percent of the show’s budget went into those.

I’d say Dank and Dabby were my favorite characters in the entire show, but let’s face it, they were designed to be everyone’s favorite.  They’re the Jay and Silent Bob of Disjointed.  Except Jay’s a black guy, and Silent Bob is a chick who’s anything but silent.  In fact, this looks more like Jay and Jay than anything else.  Fortunately, these guys don’t get obnoxious despite all the potential in the world being right there.

Stories do get multiple episodes to develop (IE, Pete’s weird obsession with his latest bunch of marijuana plants), but for the most part, I’ve found this is a show you can walk away from for about a week, come back to, and not feel like you missed anything TOO important.  Say for maybe the last two episodes, which are a legit two-parter for sure.  I appreciate shows like that.

All and all, I recommend Disjointed.  Admittedly, they do have some real groaners in there (Kim Jong Un-believable comes to mind immediately), but what sitcom doesn’t?  As long as they’re few and far between, and the show holds my attention, it’s all good.

So Yeah… No Gael Novel.

So…  Yeah…  Unfortunately, there are some last minute complications.  I alluded to them very briefly on my Facebook, and I don’t plan on going any further into depth than that, but for those who don’t get their Thomas J. Black fix on Facebook…  Yeah, there have been some problems.

For starters, the cover art.  It’s not here yet.  I, nor my artist, anticipated real life getting in the way of things.

Secondly, I’m having…  Words, with KDP currently.

The story has less to do with anything going on with book 3, and more to do with attempting to make repairs to book 2.  A reader on Reader’s Favorite let me know of some minor spelling errors I didn’t catch.  I also wanted to fix a very minor continuity error, and I wanted to switch the interior from color to black and white.  Having a color interior so that the title page can have one word written in orange seems kind of stupid in hindsight.  Plus, it’s already like that on the cover.  Also, I have to sell the book for a minimum price in order to cover printing costs, and when you publish a book with a color interior, that minimum price goes WAY up.  Call me crazy, but $22 for a 170 page book sounds ridiculous.

Furthermore, after uploading the revised manuscript to KDP, I noticed the minimum price actually went from $20 to fucking $30.75!  Now that’s definitely not worth charging for a 170 page book in my opinion.

I’m currently in talks with KDP on how to fix this dilemma, and…  In all honesty, KDP seems stumped.  They gave me an idea or two to try, but there’s no guarantee it’ll work.  Also, They insisted my conversation with them was going to get sent up to corporate.  Apparently, wanting to switch your interior from color to black-and-white, and vise versa, is a possibility the board of directors didn’t anticipate.  Leave it to the blind guy to stumble across something nobody ever thought of, right?  It’s iPhone1 all fucking over again.

So yeah.  complications with all things Gael have made it impossible for me to put up The Hood and the Heroine on time.  Believe me, I cannot apologize enough for the inconvenience.  I do hope to get this all fixed before October.

For the foreseeable future, though, I’m thinking of putting up an ad for a new cover artist.  My current artist does great work, and I’d totally recommend him for a gig if you’re looking for somebody, but from what he’s told me, things are getting a bit hectic on his end of the net, and I may want to consider other options in the future as a result.  Life happens.  I get it.

I can’t guarantee when the book will be out for sure.  I do hope to have it up by October, and if I have to upload a coverless version, then so be it.

Stay tuned to this blog for further news regarding this matter.  I’ll try to keep you posted if any developments occur.