A Week’s Passing

Hey, everyone…I’m back.

*crickets chirp*

…Ja. Business as usual.

This week has been…rough, emotionally and mentally. Moreso for Niax than me. I was kinda happy to step away from anything writing-related for a while…with one exception that I’ll gloss over in a moment.

It seems so…surreal. Just last week, I was typing up about how things were gonna happen with our doggo that might cause me to stop posting for a while…I didn’t expect it to happen the very next day.

I think you guys could tell from my Tweet and notice on Wed…the worst did happen. Dylan, our lovable dog, passed away on Wednesday, July 12th, 2017.

I mentioned in a few posts before about how Dylan’s health has been declining rapidly since we got back from vacation. We found him with fresh bite wounds, and he stopped eating around that point, too. Yes, we did have people trying to keep an eye on him, so he wasn’t alone…but it still shocks me that he declined so quickly when we got back. I also mentioned the numerous amounts of fleas we found on him. Well…a little too late to deal with that. Wednesday was supposed to be a normal, vet check-up (well…somewhat normal). However, according to Niax, when he woke up, he found Dylan totally unresponsive (even though he seemed fine when I left for work earlier that morning). He was having seizures. He had to be carried to the car. By the time my husband and his mother got there, the course of action was clear. Niax felt Dylan’s very last heartbeat.

I got the news at around 10am, via text. I had to step out from work. It came by too fast, and for me….the worst thing was that I didn’t get to say goodbye.

It sounds selfish, but I really wanted to be there. I felt like I needed to be there. Even now when I think about it…it still breaks my heart. I can–no, I do–understand that things happened fast for Niax, too, and he wanted me to be there as well…but, like with the difficult choice I made for Utah two years prior, things happened. We miss him every day. It’s been kinda hard for us to drop our habits involving Dylan. Well, I can’t speak 100% for Niax, but for me, it’s been a little more trying. I usually glance at the clock around 6-7pm, making a mental note to either remind Niax to feed Dylan, or for me to feed him myself. We’re also used to letting him outside the moment we get home (that’s when Niax would have his “after-work” smoke from his vape). I keep glancing over to his favorite couch, making sure he wasn’t biting himself too much. This morning, Niax and I looked over to the water dish to see that it was still pretty full. Dylan would drink a lot more than Annabelle. Just the small things.

Sometimes, the smallest things have the biggest impact.

But aside from not sleeping well, we’re doing okay…for the most part. Work has helped keep us distracted, and we usually try to keep each other company. I feel kinda bad about this, but I’ve been trying to take more care of Annabelle as a result. He got a flea bath on Thursday (supposed to be getting another one very soon), and I’ve been using the flea and tick comb I ordered. We’re also gonna treat ourselves a little this week: we’re scheduled to see Spiderman: Homecoming tomorrow.

I haven’t been able to work much on KoB at all. Everything I felt about the series seemed to evaporate at that point. I still think about it, but I’ve lost the will to work on it, for a time.

However, that doesn’t mean my creative thought has totally crashed (or that Keepers of Balance is cancelled).

I’ve been trying to keep myself inspired in some way/shape/form. Mostly drifting about YouTube videos reviewing/analyzing some shows/video games I have an interest in (whether love or hate). I watched a bit of an anime with Niax, and I picked up the only three published Leverage novels in existence. As I’ve gushed about before, I LOVE Leverage. I love the concept, I love the acting, I love the music, I love the writing, I love the characters and their interactions/motivations–I LOVE IT ALL. If I could find a way to express my love for this series in more ways than CapsLock/Bold/Underlines/Italics/all the above, I would do it in a heartbeat. I’ve actually been thinking about writing/recording a series where I talk about each episode in length–what I like, what I don’t like, what I can draw inspiration from, what I observe, that kind of stuff. I can’t call it a “review”…it’s way too biased. I will admit that because of my love for this show, I may tend to overlook some flaws that could make or break a show for some people. In turn, I love the Leverage novels that came out around 2010-2013. I highly suggest giving all three a read, regardless if you’re familiar with the show or not. They may be considered pieces of fan-fiction, but they were written and made with a lot of love. And that’s what I want to interject into Keepers of Balance the most. I’ll provide a list of each novel and author (if you care to look them up, which you should), embedded with a link of each to their respective Amazon.com links:

(This is in no particular order, by the way)

The Con Job: Matt Forebeck
The Bestseller Job: Greg Cox
The Zoo Job: Keith R. A. DeCandido

I’m currently on The Con Job–finished The Bestseller Job earlier this morning. They’re not very long reads–about 4hrs each. But, again, all recommended for light reads.

Anyways, I hope to get back into the swing of things soon. Revisiting one of my favorite novel series has helped a lot, and it helps that every passing day gets a little bit easier. For those who did show support in their own way, I thank and appreciate you. Looking forward to the next several blog posts.

~Arrivederci~

 

Maybe I should just call these “Logs” or something…

Today wasn’t that bad. Actually, it was pretty smooth, for the most part. Actually, the only things that went wrong today was the fact that I was getting hurt (physically) a lot today. I sneezed earlier and hit my head pretty bad on a cooler door (right on a screw, too). Niax kept accidentally elbowing me all day, and I nearly had a plastic container fall on top of my head. I hit my head pretty hard, but I’m fine, for the most part. Just the usual after-work social exhaustion/hunger. And yes, I did just get home at the time of me writing this. I usually try to get started on these posts sooner than later, especially on a work day, because I know how tired I can get, and my tendency to fall asleep soon after getting home. It also helps me mellow out, and reset my brain from all the tedious, tiring social-people-stuff-I-have-to-do. I used to do the same thing when I was in school–I would come straight home and eat and usually hop on the PC. Plus, it was usually just me and my mom by that point. I had friends, but we usually didn’t hang out for too long after school, and if we did, they would just come over to my place, since it wasn’t even a block away.

Anyways, for the time being, the splicing is more or less done. Now I just have to fill in the gaps and edit some more, obviously. I’ve kinda been working on Episodes #2 and #3 simultaneously. It’s been easier for me, mostly because they did swap places. Other than tweaking some plot lines for other Episodes and gathering ideas from all sorts of different sources (as well as getting back into Diablo III), things have been progressing in my usual slow pace. I’m trying to keep myself as calm and collected as possible. I also have to reconnect with my possible school to see what my status is. So with all that said and done, I’mma get some food and get some writing done. Have a good day, guys.

~Arrivederci~

Sunday Something-or-Other

Wow. I dunno if it’s the amount of stress and emotional bullcrap me and the hubbs have been going through (more on that later) or whatever, but I have remembered the reason why I usually try to avoid posting on the weekends. Not only because I usually don’t get much KoB work done on the weekends (despite my best efforts to stay awake after I get home), but also because weekends are usually longer, and more draining on all levels. Ever so often I’ll have an interesting Saturday post (and rarely a Sunday one) but I feel like it’s kinda wasted due to my fatigue.

Above, I mentioned that I usually don’t get too much KoB work done on the weekends. That, sadly, holds true for this week. Today is the first day I’ve turned on my Surface since Friday. However, I discovered when I got home today (which was less than half an hour ago, by the time this post goes up), that I had left both my wireless keyboard and mouse on over the weekend. Oops. Both still work, obviously, but not good for battery life…

Anyways, real quick. I wanna bring up something only because it may interfere with my posting schedule. And because I know a few of the people who read this (and because I yap too damn much), I’m gonna keep it brief (although they may already know what’s up). Our lovely, wonderful, kinda dumb but kinda sweet dog has hit “that stage”. When Niax and I returned home last Thursday, we found him in a pretty bad state, and he hasn’t been able to recover since. Since then, he hasn’t really eaten much, is much less active, and even has a hard time going up and down stairs and beds. We’ve made an appointment with a vet, but…we fear that his time is coming soon. Niax is trying hard to come to grips with things (he…doesn’t handle grief well), and I’m trying to be there for him, keep calm and collected myself, find time to write, deal with work, staving off past memories of my dearly departed cat, trying not to strangle the thing closest to me, dealing with shitty attitudes almost every fucking hour of every fucking day-!!

*takes deep breath*

…It’s stressful. I love our doggo. Not as much as Niax does, but I’ve known him for almost as long as I’ve known Niax. I’m not a fan of dogs, but I do have a fondness for our fuzzball. So I’m trying to remain calm and level-headed, for the sake of our wonderful puppy and my wonderful husband. So, when the time comes, I may be taking off a few days or so to try to help Niax cope with it all.

Aaaand with that said, I’m off. Wish us luck, and with any luck, I’ll talk to you all on Monday!

~Arrivederci~

I call this the “Splice n’ Switch”

Happy Thursday, everyone. Gonna tell you guys now, this post is gonna be a short one–just a quick update on KoB Episode-changing process.

I did some location scouting for where the new Episode #3 (aka, the old Episode #2). It originally took place in California City, but I decided to move the location to a city that’s sitting on the harbor of the Pacific Ocean. I found that city much more scenic, and it actually used to be a Native American settlement, if I’m getting my information correct. I have yet to develop a proper “Leyline Map” for the Keepersverse, but if I did, there would be either a Leyline gathering point OR a really wide Leyline going through the city, mostly because of it’s location by the water. It’s also not too far away from the new Episode #2 location (somewhere in Oregon). Since then, I’ve been carefully splicing bits from the old Episode #2 to the new Episode #2, while editing them in the meantime. It’s a bit confusing when I try to explain it, so lemmie try explaining it like this: imagine you are a genetic scientist–a genetic engineer. You have two test subjects–two specimens. You’re taking specific strands from each and carefully inserting them into the other’s DNA code. If you’re a hacker/programmer, then the same analogy could be used with code. Hell, if anyone here watches Steven Universe (which you SHOULD), you could say that I’m approaching these Episodes the way that the Gem Mutants–or even the Cluster–were created: taking the gem shards from other Gems and splicing them together, forcing them to fuse. Except…how I’m doing it isn’t as creepy or brutal.

Of course, I have to tweak dialogue and pacing to reflect the changes I’ve been making, but that’s why I’ve been editing as I’ve been going along. Once both Episodes have been completed, I’ll have to read through them both and make some more edits before drifting back to Episode #4 and making some changes there.

Whoo. All this back and forth splicing and editing makes my head spin some days. Honestly, it’s daunting, but I feel like the first Arc (as well as Ian and Rach’s developing friendship) is a lot better paced. And one of the things I value the most in stories is the pacing. Sometimes, to achieve this, you have to add some Episodes, take away some Episodes, switch around some Episodes, and even merge some together.

….That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t drive me absolutely batty, though.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention one other thing: last night, after spending literally two hours thinking about it, I learned that I can’t name churches for shit. However, I have to give a nod to this helpful website for giving me some pointers. If you are creating a church for your own story and are having trouble naming it, this site offers some helpful advice for creating a unique (and maybe even memorable) church name: http://www.sharefaith.com/blog/2011/01/call-church-practices-naming-church/

~Arrivederci~

Log Date: 7/4/17

Happy 4th of July, everyone! Even though the Declaration of Independence wasn’t signed until August 2nd, still, take this day to enjoy our freedom or whatever!

Today’s been a good day. I grilled steak, ribs, corn, potatoes, and green beans. All of which turned out really good (though, I had to throw the potatoes in the oven for a bit).

I wasn’t entirely idle today, though. I decided to switch Episodes 2 and 3 around. Since Episode #2 had higher stakes than Episode #3, I decided that the plot and story should be switched. This means, of course, a lot more editing for me.

Aside from those major changes, not much else to say. I hope you all enjoyed the holiday–and I hope none of you had any freak accidents with fireworks! Seriously, if you guys do…then make sure you get it on camera and send it to me, okay?

(No, seriously guys…be safe)

~Arrivederci!~

Vacation Aftermath

The vacation was awesome. Not only did I enjoy myself, but my family seemed to accept Niax as one of their own. He was really worried about whether or not they would like him. However, I came from a family of sarcastic smart-asses, and he himself is a sarcastic smartass…I predicted that it would work out fine.

I managed to get plenty of pictures. The reason why this post is late: I wanted to get through my few days back at work, first. Also, I couldn’t quite decide which pictures to show to you guys. Now, I think I finally got them figured out.

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In 2014, I went to a family reunion. It was at the exact same cabin, with the exact same river behind it. I had a decent camera this year, so I got a good shot of the flowing river. I regretted not having water shoes, though. The rocks were slippery with moss, and the gravel was spiky against my feet.

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Anybody want some ‘shrooms?

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I dunno why, but I love how this shot was composed. Maybe I’m just a sucker for scenic river shots.

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I…I have no words for this shot. Seriously, why did it come out to be this amazing?

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Niax and I had a room on the top floor. Once I stepped out onto the balcony, I saw this mountain line, and I had to take a photo of it.

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Honestly, I didn’t expect this to come out as well as it did. I also didn’t expect this butterfly to stay in the same spot as it did for so long.

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View overlooking the pool deck and the river. Those picnic benches and tables are new, however. You can’t see it, but there’s a fire pit there, too. That’s new as well.

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Another lovely view from out room balcony. Something about this…I dunno…it makes me…happy.

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The yard around our cabin. Because it’s Tennessee, it’s mostly hilly. Still very green and vibrant.

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Shadow Selfie~ Honestly, I’m not liking the way I look now, hence why I haven’t posted a “face reveal”. However, I bought a wooden staff at a shop near Pigeon Forge, and was leaning against it the morning we left the cabin. I thought my silhouette looked cool, so I snapped a couple of pics of it. One of these I posted to my Twitter.

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Aww~ Annabelle really did miss me! Seriously, he would not leave me alone the evening I returned home.

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*dies* N-no…I can’t…so…so cute

The car ride down there took about 12 hours. We left my dad’s place at around 12:15am on Sunday morning. Niax and I slept through most of the car ride there. We ended up arriving earlier than anyone else. So early, that the cleaning ladies who were cleaning the cabin weren’t even done yet. We settled in rather well. It was cooler than last time: even inside the cabin was really cold. It was nice catching up with the family, and Niax enjoyed himself as well. I think my family likes him. The air down by the Smoky Mountains was really fresh. Niax was breathing far better down there than up here in shit-air Michigan. I posted a Tweet while down there about wanting to take all of my co-workers and bosses down there for a getaway. I still mean it. There’s more than enough space for everyone, and I think everyone could benefit from the fresh air Tennessee has to offer.

The family all gathered together to celebrate my grandparent’s 75th anniversary. From what I’ve heard, though, this will be the last family reunion. This actually made me quite sad, but grandma and grandpa are getting older, after all.

I even managed to work on Keepers of Balance while I was away. Not too much, but I was able to start Episode #3 and I got some good ideas for Friaggi and McGill’s backstories. Mayhaps I’ll share more later, but I’m still working out what happens and why they don’t really like each other for the first few months of being together.

Anyways, about this week: Tuesday is the 4th of July, so there probably won’t be a post then. I have Moonday off, however, so if I have anything interesting to post, I’ll do it then. If not, I’ll talk to you all on Thursday!

~Arriverderci!~