Obstacles

EDIT: Well, talk about bad timing. This was supposed to be up the night of Friday, October 6th, 2017, but my lovely Surface Pro 3 ran out of battery as I was cooking dinner and typing this post out. Thankfully, WordPress saved the draft that I was working on, so hooray!

Well, my weekend was busier than I expected. Didn’t help that we had a cleaning crew arrive and I think the chemicals did something to my throat. Been feeling iffy all day.

Anyways, I want to talk briefly about what’s new with KoB.

I’ve decided that the Keepers needed another antagonist of sorts, aside from the main one, Break. One that is a little more reoccurring…and one that would add some levity to the the risks and consequences Ian and Rach could face, if they were ever outed as traveling magical warriors.

The Keeper Order has always been kept a secret for a few reasons: one of which is that they feel that it would be unsafe for the general populace if word had gotten out about their existence. Any sightings of them have been dissolved into local folklore–about the Warriors of Nature. It was also for personal and political safety. It’s not too different in the modern world, especially given humanity’s obsession to see anything different or things they don’t understand as “wrong”. Keepers of either period could’ve been locked up. Some were afraid of the power they held, and outlawed the Keepers altogether…meaning that if anyone found out that you were a Keeper in a Keeper-banned city…it would be a death sentence. In modern day, the sentence won’t be death…however, things such as property damage, breaking and entering, interfering with investigations, and others. While they’re doing it for the greater good, you know how people feel about vigilantes.

So, if Ian, Rachael, and even Oracle, were ever exposed to the public, a lot of governments, especially Interpol, would come down on not just themselves…but also their family. Break is so focused on destroying Ian and Rach because he views them as the only legitimate threat to his master plan of dissolving the world, then reshaping it in his own vision. However, the threat this new character(s) of mine will pose a more personal threat to our modern Keepers. And if Break catches wind of this…he might decide to do nothing about it, because it might help him in some way. Then again, he may not. I haven’t worked out the fine details.

Since I am 100% sure I want these two ladies in my conflict, I’ll tell you a little about them both now.

She wanted nothing more than to be a journalist. She aims to gather “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”. Her desperation to go to any lengths to gather the truth may lead her down to paths less favorable.

She’s a more quieter force, but still just as formidable. When a camera is in her hands, she’s never felt more alive.

I have a third, but I’m not sure if I want to include him, yet. But I feel like this will be a good way to bring the conflict to Ian and Rach in a more personal way.

~Arrivederci~

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Eclipses, Revelations, and Unreasonable Hair

*dries hair* Oh, hello. It’s been really hot and humid up here, lately. My hair has been uncooperative as of late, but maybe tonight, it’ll-

Cassandra's Troublesome Hair

…Oh. Never mind.

Anyways, I managed to see the “Great American Eclipse” on Monday. I didn’t have eclipse glasses, but I managed to rig up one of those shoe box eclipse viewers. It was still something…special. The air and energy itself seemed to be buzzing with anticipation, something…new.

I sound spiritual, as always, but I also feel it within myself, too. In fact, I’ve written more today (this blog post included) than I have in a bit.

I’ve stayed off my Surface for a few days to give myself some time to think without having to rely or be distracted by it. Been mostly multi-tasking between different segments of Keepers of Balance.

I’ve also come to realize…I’ve lot my way. I’ve been writing less, drawing less, feeling like myself less…I’ve been…irresponsible, lately. I know I can recover and bounce back, but…I still feel so lost, even confused. The eclipse helped me realize that in some way. I know, I know, it sounds crazy, but…I do feel…different.

Anyways, since the last time I’ve spoken to you guys, I have also finished watching Avatar: The Last Airbender and have started the shows Avatar: The Legend of Korra and Riverdale. I never got to see Legend of Korra all the way through (though I do know some things that happen later on in the series). As for Riverdale, I used to be a huge Archie Comic fan. When I heard that the CW was making a live-action show out of it, and the dark twist they were putting on it, I was more excited than anything else. I fell out of love with the original Archie comics because…I grew up.

N-no offense to any of the older Archie fans! It’s just…when I realized how much I wanted to tell a story, and when I started to pay more attention to things such as plot, pacing, character typing and development, stakes, actions and consequences…I realized how bland Archie and his friends had become. I mean yes, to this day, I can still relate to every one of the main four characters of the old comics–the try-hard goofball Archie, the girl next door Betty, the rich girl with a heart of gold Veronica, and the burger-loving, sarcastic wingman Jughead. And I say “old” comics because I didn’t know they rebooted the comics for a short time to serve as a prequel for the Riverdale show.

I also understand why a lot of Archie fans hate this show. It’s so different. It’s not Archie. I can see that. But how I see it, is that things change. It also helps that this version is more interesting in this version than any other–maybe because some of us can relate better to these characters. Not everything’s a perfect slice-of-life fairy tale. We all have dark secrets, a past we’d rather not live up to, and an ulterior motive to everything we do. And I love how this show explores that, even tackling some difficult subjects.

Despite that, I would still recommend giving the show a watch.

Anyways, I’m hoping my new vigor can last. I seek to make it last. Still unsure about my school situation…starting to think I may have jumped in too soon with this…

Anyways, I hope you all have had a fantastic week, and I hope you all continue to have an amazing week. Until next time!

~Arrivederci!!~

Rather Mundane

If you guys wanna skip this post, then go ahead. This one is going to be rather mundane. All I have is some tidbits about what’s been going on, and what’s coming up.

So far, the month has started off okay. Nothing too major or minor to report. A local art fair is in town, so we’re gonna be a bit busier than usual.

I’ve been wanting to get fit and work out more. I ordered some basic fitness bands from Amazon on Wednesday, and they finally came in today. I’ve got my eye on a toner belt and some ankle weights. Partially the reason I’m doing this is so I can get my stamina back, and feel better about myself.

There is a couple more reasons for this…one of the major ones being that Niax and I’s 5-year anniversary is in September. September 29th, to be exact. We’ve been talking about a few different things to do, but we haven’t decided on anything concrete, yet. The second reason, I’m not going to mention until later in September, so you’re gonna have to wait a little while for that.

Aside from idle sketching/drawing, I’ve hit a bit of a wall while editing Episode #13. Mostly due to the changes in lore I’ve made for the Corrupted Effigies (Lucems, Tenebris, and Corrupted Keepers). Also have been working my way through Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Silver Eyes. Truth be told, I’m not liking it as much as I wish I could be, but I still find myself wanting to continue, so I have been at my leisure. Also, I’ve been resisting the urge to drop down twelve dollars on the Steven Universe: Art and Origins book that came out a few weeks ago. I love move/show/video game art books like that. Great for a fascinating read, and I love looking at different concept art.

Anyways, hopefully, I will talk to you all again. Have a great weekend, and be safe.

~Arrivederci~

Getting it Back

This is gonna be a shorter post, mostly because I don’t really have too much to say, here.

I had the urge to read through and edit the new Episode #13 (used to be Episode #8). Between that, doing some reading (on the last of the Leverage novels I mentioned last time), and spending some time on other passing “projects”, I’ve gotten myself re-motivated to look back at Keepers of Balance. Episode #13 is honestly one of my favorite Episodes. I know I’ve gushed before, so I’ll try to avoid it for now, but it really captured what I wanted KoB to be like on an Episode-to-Episode basis.

Anyways, our time to bomb the house is coming very soon–hopefully this Thursday. So that means, depending on how the day goes, I might not get to a Thursday post this week. I’ll be sure to let you guys know on Friday what’s going on.

Anyways, regardless of what happens, I’ll talk to you all again on Friday.

~Arrivederci~

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~

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~