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~

Epiphany~

Last night, I had a major epiphany.

I was up really late last night, thinking about story elements for Keepers of Balance, and my possible upcoming college courses. I’m eager to soak up all of the knowledge that they will offer me, and apply those lessons to KoB. This led me to making an important decision that I probably should of thought of ages ago:

I will NOT try to publish Keepers of Balance until I’ve completed my degree at Full Sail University (or whatever school I choose).

I’ve thought this over a lot, and once I decided to take this vow, I felt like a huge weight was lifted off my chest. With that out of the way, I have to make another announcement that I think will be better if I put it like this:

  • Arc 1: Awakening = 15 Episodes
  • Arc 2: Pursuit = 15 Episodes
  • Arc 3: Equilibrium = 20 Episodes
  • Final Episode Count: 50 Episodes

Yep, you’re seeing this right. After a lot of thought (and slight loopiness from the lack of sleep), I decided that 30 Episodes just wasn’t enough to build proper character development (especially building the relationship between the characters), and the more I thought about it, the more ideas that started flashing by inside my mind. Plus, some of the Bonus Episodes I had planned seemed to do much better as regular Episodes, giving me more to play with and mold. I still want to have some extra content, but they will probably just be random one-shots either going into a character’s past or a a day in the life of Ian and Rach. This means now…now, Arc 1 isn’t complete anymore, and I’ve got a lot of work to do, changing episode numbers and the like. I feel daunted, but I think this will work out for the best.

Always remember: Everything works out in the end. If it not, then it’s not the end yet.

~Arrivederci!!~

 

What’s in a Surname?

Happy Tuesday.

I hope you guys had a good Memorial Day (and Memorial Day Weekend). I’ve been feeling better since Saturday and Sunday, but still a little congested. Throat still feels a little raw, too. Yesterday, my husband grilled some burgers. They came out almost perfectly.

Not too much for me to say today. Still interchanging work between the third Episode and the third Bonus Episode, trying to spread the work between them evenly. I’ve also been thinking a lot about the Original Keepers of Balance, and how they met/got their powers/etc. For a long time, the Original Keepers of Light and Darkness had no surnames or last names. I’m horrible at coming up with fitting names at times. A lot of the time, I try to interject some meaning into their names. Other times, I just think the name sounds cool, and then I go from there. When working with foreign, fantasy names, I usually try translating a bunch of words that represent that character’s traits or roles, then try to find a fitting anagram. Or, I use a name generator, get a good list of names, and then try to look up the meaning of the names I picked, and try to pick my favorites from there.

Finally, I have found fitting surnames for the Originals that will do for the time being. Who knows? Maybe the names will be permanent. So from now on, when I’m talking about the Original Keepers of Balance, I will refer them to their surnames, to make things easier:

  • Friaggi: Original Keeper of Light
  • McGill: Original Keeper of Darkness

Again, this is subject to change. “Friaggi” is an anagram of the German word for “peace” (frieden) and the Italian word for “travel” (viaggi). McGill means “son of the foreigner”, deriving from the Gaelic word “gall” (foreigner).

Now that I have the whole surname debate out of the way, I can finally piece together a decent backstory for these two! Yes!

~Arrivederci!~

Taking things to Second Base

Reason for the title: I’m currently at a bar called “Second Base”. So far, I really like it. It’s small, but cozy. The bartender is nice, and they even have a pool table. Granted, I wish they had more than one, but most bars that I’ve been through only have one pool table.

The food here is delicious. I’m a sucker for mozzarella sticks (and fried cheese in general), and they have some pretty good ones. Soon, Niax and I are gonna try some of their pizza, and maybe a burger.

I honestly like bars. Not so much for the booze. When push comes to shove, I’d rather drink at home, anyways. No, I like them for the food, and atmosphere. Bar-hopping would be a hobby of mine, if I had the cash to go to a new bar every week. I find them relaxing, and very casual.

Anyways, enough about the bar. I wanna talk about what happened during my D&D campaign. Last time, we were sneaking into a bandit stronghold through the sewers, and we managed to get into the mansion where the bandits (who were terrorizing a local town) were hiding. They’re not very smart, though due to some bad luck, my character took a bad blow to the shoulder. The mansion is actually important to my character, but I’m not saying a damn thing until it’s been all played out.

I’ve started editing work on Episode #3 for KoB. Mostly reworking the beginning, for now. I’ve always had a hard time starting and ending a story in a way that leaves the reader wanting more. I lack a decent hook, for the beginning, and I’m not sure how well my endings and cliffhangers will do. I normally try to avoid cliffhanger, but I also try to foreshadow what’s to come. Honestly, if there was a seminar of sorts to help writers build a 3-act structure for their stories, I would pay a pretty penny to go to one of those. Even local writing classes would be great, but there aren’t a lot of those in my area…and I have to focus on bills and adulting, anyways.

I’m just hoping the weather in Michigan makes up its damn mind. Seriously, it was nice the other day, now it’s cold and rainy. Michigan’s bi-polar attitude to weather deserves a blog all on it’s own.

~Arrivederci!~