Inspiration Manifestation #1

Happy Moonday, everyone! It feels good to be back on my Mon-Wed-Fri posting schedule. I’ve been looking forward to this all day. Work was a little slow, which was a mixed bag of sorts: prep work got done, and it wasn’t so stressful…but the day seemed to drag on and on. Though, I do feel the need to mention now: we really need a “No Dogs Allowed” sign on our door.

“But Cassandra, you work at a bagel deli, right?”

Well, ja, I do. However, because we don’t have a sign about forbidding any dogs (other than service dogs, of course), we keep getting people who brings dogs into the building. Believe or not, we served him…only because we didn’t have a sign that forbade dogs into the facility. We could get into so much trouble for that. I’m not losing my job because some asswipe decided it was okay to bring animals into a restaurant.

Anyways, enough griping. I’m gonna go ahead and list what series helped me inspire Keepers of Balance and how. Only a few will be shown today–some more will be revealed on Wednesday.

(I would strongly advise anyone to check these series/games/books/etc out. They are amazing pieces of work, and deserve their own recognition all the same)

  • Kingdom Hearts Series (all the games, pretty much): Kingdom Hearts. I’m a huge fan of the series. So much so, that I’ve been in near physical pain waiting for Kingdom Hearts III to come out (and I’ve already waited nearly ten years for the Final Mix versions to hit the U.S.). Like how people have their comfort food, I have my comfort game(s), and Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep is a couple of them. Let me start off with the music. It’s composed by Yoko Shimoura, and she is excellent at crafting battle music. However, I love the entire soundtrack. Hell, when I found the complete soundtrack on Amazon, it cost $80. Something I’d usually wait for…but when I saw there was only one copy left, I had to. Not only was it the complete soundtrack (Kingdom Hearts 1.5 ReMix-Kingdom Hearts 2.5 ReMix), but there was only one left. I jumped on it as soon as I could, and I’m glad I did. So much music has helped me set the scene for battles, and other scenes in Keepers of Balance. I love playing the music of my flue (Lazy Afternoons being my favorite), and I love how intense and relaxing it can be. The art style is also something I admire, as Kingdom Hearts art was some of the first art I drew. I love Namoura’s (the creator of Kingdom Hearts) drawing style, and have always wondered what would KoB looked like in that style. The magic (as well as the magical weapons) in Kingdom Hearts inspired KoB in a way. Especially the concept of Light and Darkness, and how Darkness was deemed by most, inherently evil. I wanted to show that Light and Darkness comes from the same place…and how both can be used for good and bad intent…the question is…how far will you go? The story of KoB also had some roots in Kingdom Hearts as well. Three friends, going all over the place, helping people out and trying to save the world/universe/realms along the way. And these friends are different in many ways, in both series. Speaking of friends, the character interactions in the series helped me inspire the character interactions in KoB, in a way.
  • Doctor Who: I’ll be honest: I’m not a fan of sci-fi. Doctor Who is one of those exceptions. In fact, the whole “people traveling all over the place to strop a threat” mostly came from Doctor Who. Matt Smith is my favorite Doctor, btw.
  • Leverage: A show I remember from my youth. It’s on Netflix and Hulu, so there’s no reason to not check it out. I always loved how the entire group interacted with each other (I think Oracle is Hardison, in this case), and how well they could work–and against–each other. Also, it inspired more than a few moments in KoB that required the Keepers sneaking into an area that was off-limits.
  • Naruto: I’ll be honest…I dislike the series (both Naruto and Naruto: Shippuden). (Most) of the characters are boring and annoying, and I was never sold into the world…except for one aspect: the chakras. Ninja powers, to simplify it. There were different elements of chakra you could have–for example, the titular character himself has wind chakra–the annoying emo asshole had lightning chakra. The way these attacks were executed and how they looked served as an important factor, too. I’ll watch the series with my husband…but I’ll only be willing to dive in completely if the video game was present (which inspired many of the battle movements for KoB), and even then it would be grudgingly. *sigh* I’ve always hated the series, ever since it first came out…but I can say I hate it less, now that I have a few characters to like, and I enjoy the games a whole lot more….despite my dislike for the series as a whole being an everlasting thing, in my life.

I have, so far, twelve inspiration sources for KoB. This means four sources a day for the rest of the week. Again, feel free to check these all out, regardless of my silly opinion. On Wednesday, I’ll have four more for you all–meaning four more spaces to crawl into my creative mind.

Speaking of Wednesday, I plan on taking a nap very soon after my husband and I get home for worm becauussseee….I plan on pulling an all-nighter that night. Ep#10 is almost finished, so if I work on it steadily for the next day or so, then I should be able to get it done Wednesday night/Thursday morning. I miss pulling all-nighters. I feel more like myself when I stay up at night, and I feel more productive…more creative. So this Wednesday is my late-night session.

Anyways, until Wednesday, have a beautiful Moonday!

Arrivederci~

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Alrighty, things are looking up a little!

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I usually try to check my WordPress site every morning before going to work, unless I’m adsorbed in last-minute typing for KoB. I saw how many views I had gotten so far, and it brightened my day a little! I’ve only been on here for almost a couple of months, but I’m glad to see that people are curious enough to stop by!

So, *flushes* what I’m trying to say, is…

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR FOLLOWING UNHEARDSILVER!!

Omega Friday #2

*kicks down door* I’M BACK, BABY!

It’s been a tiring couple of weeks with some good and bad, but I’m BACK. Hopefully, this means the return to my usual posting schedule on Monday.

Aaanyways, I’ve got a bit to cover today, so let’s dive right in.

I’ve been working a little on runes and spell tags the Keepers would use to aid in their fight for Balance. I’ve got a few sketches, so I’ll go ahead and slap them onto here and explain as I see fit.

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(The runes for the four Core Elements and both sides of Balance)

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(Runes for the four Sub Elements, Balance itself, Body, Will, and Person)

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(Misc Runes often useful in out in the field)

I think the images above are self-explanatory. Not all of these are final quite yet (Corruption has me stumped), but most of these I’m confident on what these symbols would look like. I have pages and pages within a notebook to go over, so I’ve still got quite a lot to cover. I’ve got runes for the four seasons, runes for stages of the moon, runes for solar and lunar eclipses…it took weeks to get all this information together. I’ve also, in that time, come up with how the runes themselves would be placed–and how they would be written.

Buuuuttt that’s not what I’m showing you tonight. What instead I will show you tonight, is how the “spellboxes” work.

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In order for a rune to become activated and have its true effect, it needs to be placed in something called a spellbox (ignore the diamond-shaped one–I was trying out something different for offensive runes). The box is a container–literally a box–for Natural Energy. For these clothing patches here, you would form the rectangular cloth, charge it with Natural Energy, then sew or etch the runes within the rectangle. Sew it onto your clothing in choice, then activate it (a simple declaration of will would do–as long as you want it to be active, then it shall be. Or, as my husband says “If I will it, then so mote it be”), then you’ll be all set to go!

The spellboxes could be drawn and activated on nearly any surface. Meaning that Keepers were able to make their own spell tags on things such as paper or wood. The healing rune on the top left is drawn on a simple scrap of paper. Remember, the spellbox itself doesn’t have to be perfect–as long as the lines are closed, it should hold Natural Energy just fine, until the runes adsorb and use up all of it.

Now, for the placement of the runes, when using spellboxes and spelltags, is important. As shown above, how you place the runes will determine the effect.

For example: if you wanted to power up Darkness, then you would place the Darkness rune at the top of the box, and the power increase rune at the bottom. If you wanted to protect yourself or a friend from Ice, you would place the protection rune on the top of the box, the Ice rune nestling at the bottom.

What I’m going to announce next isn’t exactly KoB related, but this blog is for all of my projects, so I decided to go ahead and tell you guys about this one.

I usually don’t write fanfiction. I never saw myself very good at it, and always worried about staying within the continuity of the world I’m trying to write. And it seems harder when I have to follow someone else’s rules. However, a rare exception I have been dying to explore is Five Nights at Freddy’s.

I LOVE the series. I’ve never been the biggest fan of jump scares and horror games, but what I love most about the series has influences what I try to implement in Keepers of Balance: lore and mystery.

Five Nights at Freddy’s (aka FNaF) has all of that in surplus, and its so fun to theorize on the events of the games (including the 5th one, Sister Location). I also have a soft spot for the animatronics who are (spoilers) possessed by the spirits of children who were murdered by a worker, working at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzarea. It’s not a perfect series, and the jump scares do get old, eventually, but it’ll always have a place in my heart, and serve as an odd inspiration for KoB as a whole.

So, imagine my own surprise when I come up with an odd idea for a story based on the series. It’s not gonna be published fancy or anything like that…but it’s always been kind of a pet project I would glaze over, if KoB has been stressing me out too much. I have the characters, the plot, and some of the timeline set, but…it’s still kind of a daunting task for me. However, since Sister Location came out, I’ve been feeling the urge to work on it once more. I decided to at least confide you guys in it, despite there being slower progress on that story.

Jumping back to KoB for a moment, I wanna be able to talk about some of the major sources of inspiration for the series, ssssooooo….I think that’ll be the theme for next week. If not next week, then the week after for sure (unless I have something really, really cool to show you all, or just some big news).

Finally, a few miscellaneous things I wanted to share in this post tonight. First off, I wanna show off my cat…so I’m gonna do so!

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This is my cat, Annabelle. I’ve talked about him before, but I never got a chance to show you guys any cute pictures of him, so here’s one. He’s tubby, and a little bit of a salty one…but he loves it when you scratch at the base of his tail.

Next, my dad took me to the newly-built penguin exhibit at the Detroit Zoo, and I got a few that I thought looked good to post onto here:

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(The perfect shot. These guys always just look so hugable~)

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(Reminds me of at work when we’re all gathered by the credit card machine, waiting for our turns)

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(We got to walk through these huge glass tubes that were underwater. It was kinda hard to, but I got a great shot of them swimming overhead)

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(I dunno why, but I really love this shot. It looks kinda trippy to me, with the way the water’s distorting everything)

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(I couldn’t say no to this one–if only I moved the camera slightly to the left…)

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(This crane kept posing the entire time my dad and I were talking on a bridge that passed over a marsh. I think he just really wanted me to take a picture of him)

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(This guy was roaming free within a nearby food court, so I decided to stalk him and get the best shot I could. Luckily, I did so with no hilarious incidents to speak of)

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(We stopped by the gorilla and chimpanzee pen when we saw them wandering around. I managed to get a close up to this one as it was walking past a log and snap a photo of it.)

I took more photos–a lot of photos–that day, but I decided to only pick a few to show on here. I love visiting the zoo. So alive, and taking pictures of animals can be fun…and, at times, rather frustrating.

Anyways, you all may be like: “Okay, this was a decent post you put on here, Cassandra, but what’s next?”

Well, I’m glad you asked, thin air. As I said before, hopefully I’ll be back to my regular posting schedule this week, with my inspirations for KoB being the theme for the week. A quick word on my program scenario, sadly, no Clip Studio Paint, but I’ve been using the generic Sketchbook App for Workspace Inc on Windows to quickly sketch out things such as runes and rough diagrams. Lately, I’ve been playing a game called Faster than Light (FTL for short), a space strategy game where you’re manning a ship and a crew. It’s an excellent time-waster, and it can be quite challenging, even on Easy Mode.

Anyways, it feels good to be back after a couple of stressful weeks. Have a good weekend, everybody, and I’ll see you all on Monday!

~Arrivederci~

Omega Friday

Hey all! After a week of near silence, I’m BACK. I have a lot of things to cover today, but first, I wanna blether a little about how my week went.

Monday wasn’t all too bad, I’ll have to admit. However, due to, ah…problems inside the workplace (i.e. someone not doing all the work they’re supposed to…let alone half of it), it left me feeling drained, so I decided to use the rest of the day to relax…with a nice, three-hour nap (that’s how long my naps usually are) and a hard drink or two. Tuesday and Wednesday were both a little more busy than usual, but by the time Wednesday rolled around, I had decided to save all the content I had to share for today, so I could make up for my silence over the past week. Over all, it wasn’t a bad week, though I would have to say that the highlight of my week was going to a bar, doing a bit of karaoke, then getting cut off when I accidentally broke a glass (hey, I’m not complaining–I think I was the best singer of the night).

Anyways, I’d like to talk about this upcoming week, too…but let’s get this content out of the way, first. The first thing I’d like to do is something that relates to the EVE:

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I wanted to try to polish it up a little, first, but something went wrong with my Surface again, and I was forced to do a system restore. So until I get things straightened out again, I’m stuck with rough drafts. Anyways, it’s not entirely to scale (I’m not that great with floor plans yet), but it should give you an idea as to how the layout of the EVE looks, at least (remember, this is larger than your average RV–custom built none the less). Sorry if you can’t read my writing…again, this is why I wanted to refine it.

The next thing I wanted to show you Ian’s weapon, Tidesplicer…but I realized that the picture wasn’t scanned like I though it was, so sadly, that’s out of the question. What I can tell you is that Tidesplicer is a very fine and sharp katana, capable of cutting through tides, stones, and Corruption alike.

The last thing I have to show you is a sketch I whipped together this past weekend…as well as a screenshot I took while messing around with it in Clip Studio Paint:

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Not gonna say too much here, other than: why does she look so tired and disheveled?

Anyways, what I wanted to talk about next was the Bonus Episodes. Episode 10 is nearing completion, bringing Arc 1 to a close. I’m not sure if I said it before, but each Arc (there’s two) is gonna be ten Episodes long. However, because some of the Episodes have major time skips in between them, I’ve decided to come up with five additional Episodes for each Arc. They’re not part of the main structure, so I’ve been calling them “Bonus Episodes” (or BnsEp). These smaller Episodes are also a way to increase page length for the books themselves (so far, I plan on releasing two Episodes per book). That means an additional requirement I have to fulfill before I even think about publishing anything. Good news is that I have most of the BnsEps planned out for this Arc, and a couple for the second Arc. I just have to finish them. In regards to publishing, I’ve been e-mailing an associate back and forth about cover art. When the time’s right, I plan on trying to give her the series bible filled with concept art so she can have something to work with. However, because that bible took me so long to put together, I’m really protective over it, so I have to be sure I can fully trust this person, first.

Anyways, about next week: next week is the week of Yom Kippour, and I know I’ll be drained as hell dealing with that, so I think I might do the same thing next week that I did this week: build up content for the entire week, then release it all at once on Friday. Hopefully after that, I’ll be back to my Mon-Wed-Fri posting schedule.

That’ll do it for this Omega Post. Sadly, I didn’t get to show as much as I wanted, but I’m still glad I managed to pull this together. Have a beautiful week, everybody…and I’ll see you all next Friday!

~Arrviderci

About the next couple of weeks…

Hey all. I can’t really consider this a post because it’s going to be (so far) the shortest post I’ve ever written on here, but I wanted to let you guys know what’s coming up over the next couple of weeks, and how it will affect my schedule.

This week and next week is going to be very busy at the bagel deli I work at, because of the upcoming Jewish holidays (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur). I’ve been working these holidays for nearly five years, now, so I know what to expect. Not only that, but my husband and I also need to get some cleaning done these next couple of weeks, too, and we have to start trying to find a new place to live. Meaning I’m not sure when I’ll have the time/energy to work on KoB, or much of anything else, really. This, sadly, also means there will be a high chance that I won’t be able to keep my posting schedule over the next couple of weeks. I’ll try to post at least once or twice, but if I can’t, then at least you all know the reason why.

Things like this tend to crop up from time-to-time, so you all have my word: if I forsee a situation that may prevent me from posting for a while, then I will put up a post like this one to let you all know. Hopefully I’ll be able to get back on schedule for a while by the time October ends.

…I’m really grateful for my job. I really am. Without it, well…there’s no telling what would happen if I worked someplace else, but nevertheless, I am very thankful that I have it…but at the same time, I cannot wait until I can finally say good-bye to the day job(s), and say hello to making a living off my passion, by my own terms.

Until then, Maximum Effort!

~Arrivederci~

Completed Trio

Hey everyone. Happy Friday to you all. I hope you all had a good week, despite whatever weather is going on wherever.

Anyways, as promised, I have finished Oracle’s character profile, thus completing the profiles for the main characters. Let’s jump into that before I mention anything else:

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(Ignore the Steam message down in the right-hand corner. Was chatting with a friend when I took the screenshot)

Anyways, Oracle was the last person that volunteered to travel with Ian before they met Rachael. She was his most loyal follower, staying with him even when things went wrong one day. She’s…kind of a ghost, now, but with the help of a witch doctor in New Orleans and some magic (and help within the Leylines neither Ian nor Oracle was aware of), Oracle’s soul was bound to a big sapphire-blue Orb, and she was able to materialize into a tangible form. It took her a while to learn her new form, but by the time the series starts, she’s gotten the hang of her new form. She’s essentially made out of Natural Energy, and has learned to control it. She can even go inside the EVE’s computer systems by going back into her Orb. Hell, she powers the damn RV.

I guess I’ll take a moment to explain what the EVE is. It’s a large RV. And I mean a HUGE RV. Oracle built it herself, planning on getting away from her overly demanding parents. She met Ian very shortly after it was finished, and they left her family home in Michigan in the EVE (btw, yes–all three were born and raised in Michigan).

Despite her disability, she tries her hardest to do everything and anything she can to help Ian (and later Rachael), becoming a very good friend to them both. Sometimes, if Ian and Rachael are unable to step up, Oracle fills in for them. She’s able to keep a level head, so if tensions between Ian and Rachael are high, then she can step in and calm everybody down, bringing them together again to come up with a solution. However, she has a fear of failure, and is worried about earning the approval from those she loves and cares about…and she definitely doesn’t want to fail her closest friends. She’s very intelligent (she has an IQ of 125), and is a Jack of all Trades kinda girl…but the thing she loves and is her passion is making clothes. She loves to design and make clothes, even paying her own way through college for it (against her parents’ wishes).

Something important to mention: if Oracle’s Orb breaks, then she will lose her connection to the Leylines, and her soul will eventually fade away (aaand I just realized I forgot to put down that she can levitate multiple objects, too).

Anyways, onto my whole program situation: I have Clip Studio Paint reinstalled on my system, as well as a screen capture program that I have yet to test out. We were unable to get the video editing software installed, but hopefully my buddy’s gonna come up with a solution for that soon.

Anyways, that’s it from me today. I had a great day, yesterday. Got my ass handed to me in both Yu-Gi-Oh AND Call of Duty (Black Ops II), but it was still a fun night. Now I just wanna relax and play some KIngdom Hearts. Have a good weekend, everybody!

~Arrivederci