Long time, no see. Oh, and new website coming soon!!!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 7, 2013 by robotkinz

Wow. It’s been ages sense I’ve written here. It’s been sense last September, if I remember correctly. Truth is, so much has happened for me sense I last wrote here. For one, I moved twice – not anywhere where I really wanted to go – but at least I’m slightly more comfortable where I am currently. I had the hard drive on my old computer die out on me, which I wasn’t too surprised of. It was a rather old computer, and I let it’s insides get way too dusty over the five or six years I had the thing.  I now have an HP Compaq, Windows 7 64 bit computer, (still only) 4 gigs, with a Sapphire Radeon HD6570 installed.  It’s not a really heavy duty graphics card like those giant super cards with two fans and feels like it weighs a pound (My computer’s too small for that anyway),  but it does the job for the kind of games I usually play.

screenshot.39

I should mention I also had my wisdom teeth removed, which I did have insurance pay for roughly half of, but it still knocked me back quite a bit. Also, and most importantly of all, I finished part one of TWP several months back. How I’m going to get it published to the ebook world is still somewhat a mystery to me, seeing as how certain rates and services tend to go against my very limited budget. Then again, I may be missing something out there that may work.

The best thing I can do now is to set up a different blog/website/portfolio. I believe I tossed around some ideas before about expanding my ideas and analysis towards various other things. That’s why, by next Thursday, I’m going to launch just that. Granted, the design of the website may take a while to iron out, but regardless on what it looks like, the website will be launched by then. There will be a donation page for anyone who likes my thoughts and analysis on various different things. (I suspect I’ll mainly be talking about movies on Netflix, but anything else that I find interesting is just as up for discussion as well – Like the new season of Arrested Development perhaps.) Anyone can donate any amount they wish, but I will have a model set up where anyone else can advertise right on my website, as well as my Twitter, Facebook (Which I going to commit myself to using it more often, as opposed to hardly ever.), and any other outlet I currently wield, like my extension to Twitter, The Daily Morning Path. 15$ gets you an ad spot by the end of every month, 30$ gets you the mark of a special patron to the website, and your ad will appear by the end of every week. All donations will go towards finally getting something published – and maybe for keeping the website up as well. (This is Squarespace I’m using, after all.)

There’s not much else I can say at the moment, mostly because I’ve been writing extensive articles already for the new site. (I’m currently working on an article about the movie ‘Holy Motors’, which is a crazy french art movie that’s still on Netflix. It’s not for the feint of heart, but if any movie deserves an analysis, it’s this one.)

As for this blog, well, it’s not going to be the main place for all of you out there to go to anymore. That’s for certain,  but it’s not going anywhere. I’ll still have a link on the new website going back here. I suspect this blog will still be the place to go to for more in depth info on TWP, but as of right now, I sorely need to do something different. That’s not to say I’ve stopped writing TWP altogether. Far from it. I just need something else to do take my mind off the daily drip in the bucket, which is what writing a long story such as this pretty much is.

If any independent publishing company wants to contact me directly about their rates and services, send a email over to this address, and I’ll be sure to get back to you:    acd333bf@opayq.com

A short update (with a desktop screenshot)

Posted in Uncategorized on September 28, 2012 by robotkinz

Hello there again. Yes, I’m still here. Sorry I haven’t been tweeting or posting anything lately. I’ve just been hard at work, as you may be able to tell below. . .

Sadly, The Foo Fighters, the anime characters from Stine’s Gate, and that thing that looks like an ad roller on my smaller desktop screen does not include said work.

Sometimes, I find I have no choice but to devote all of my attention to the story, so don’t worry. I’m still going at it full force, but for the moment, there isn’t much else to say other than that. I continue the slow crawl towards finishing the ‘final’ draft of book one, and it gets closer, gradually, day by day, like the trickle of water from a faucet.

Actually, now that I think of it, I’m quite surprised how far I’ve gotten lately. I guess when you really delve deep into the forward motion of the plot, things tend to pick up.

I suppose I couldn’t wish for anything more.

So, with that in mind, please stay tuned for more updates!

(BTW, for anyone who may be wondering, this ancient desktop I do all my work on is a modified version of Windows XP made to look slightly more Mac-ish. I think it’s currently running a mere 4GB of ram at the moment, but I could be wrong. I am certain though that hardly anyone else other than your local library or work area uses XP anymore, so I won’t bother telling you about the skin, but the two widgets that are displayed are RocketDock, and FeedRoller. They are compatible up to 7, but don’t ask me about 8, sense I really don’t see myself getting an Win8 anytime soon. I’m not normally fond of widgets, but I’ve found these two to be fairly useful.)

 

. . . and I’m back. Now what?

Posted in Uncategorized on August 30, 2012 by robotkinz

(Whew!) False alarm, and here I was, freaking out while reading articles about Twitter suspensions, and how they usually take two weeks to six months for those suspensions to go away due to presumably slow customer service. It seems that my account was mistaken as a fake one, and with a single e-mail explaining everything as truthfully as I could, Twitter let me have my account back only eight days later.

Now, you may be asking me why haven’t I tried branching out more and use other forms of social media. For one, Facebook gives me a headache, as I’m bombarded with ADD, and a mountain of texts, images, and buttons that make my head spin. Google+ looks simpler, and I really do think it deserves more attention than it gets, but it still requires a greater effort to use than Twitter on my part. Linked In I STILL have not gotten into, despite the service looking very promising. I’m sure you’ll all see me over there sooner or later. And then there’s Twitter’s upcoming rival, which looks extremely promising, but what do I know? Anyway, it’s App.net, which is going through beta at the moment. I do believe App.net will not be supported by advertisement, but directly by it’s own users. True, you may not reach a wider audience this way, but I say don’t count it out just yet.

However, as for my nice and humble nest on Twitter, I’m not risking any suspension anymore by doing stupid things, especially sense Twitter is starting to enforce stricter rules with API and other content.

I guess that means I have to go back to plan A.

This time though, I’m certain it won’t be so bad. I think I have found my editor at long last over at shamrockediting.com. The rates here are the best I’ve seen so far, at $2 for every 250-word page.

So, let’s do the math here (and please tell me if I’m wrong. Math isn’t my strong suit, unless it has to do with geometry, then I’m a wizard at it.), using the current word count of book one, which is still not finished, but it’s getting there, as always. That number, at the moment, is 72495. Divide that number by 250, you get 289.98. Times that by 2, you get 579.96.

If my math is correct, then getting someone to do some much needed manuscript editing is very, very doable on my penny-pinching budget.

I may very well put up a Kickstarter, but only for some extra backing. Once again, I have next to nothing to offer out as a prize for supporting the Kickstarter, but it has occurred to me that it may not really matter after all. I’ve come across a number of other authors who have had only nothing more but many virtual hugs and kisses and a Skype connection, and they were able to garner enough funds.

So, we’ll see about where that goes, but it’s still too early to say for sure.

For now, it’s all still about finishing up that final draft.

. . .

Posted in Uncategorized on August 23, 2012 by robotkinz

Every setback is an opportunity to jump ahead in disguise.

Despite my main Twitter account being compromised (mainly by my own idiocy), I will return, but for now, this is goodbye.

The Antagonist

Posted in Uncategorized on July 27, 2012 by robotkinz

It never seems to amaze me how slowly the process of writing goes for me. I never have a fully concrete idea of what I want until I just happen to write it.

I know I’ll get done with this thing eventually. I just need to stop predicting when, and just finish it.

Putting that thought aside, I want to get a little bit into some of the central themes I’m aiming for in TWP: GoAG. Mainly, this will only be a hint towards the natures of the main antagonist, and a little of what the antagonist will inflict on the main characters. Truth be told, I’ve been avoiding mentioning much about this, mainly because, in my mind, it does somewhat involve the words politics and allegory, and those words have become incredibly nasty words to me. I won’t name sides in real life, but I’m sure some of you out there may get a pretty good idea what I’m talking about in general.

I’ll try to keep this short.

I hate to say it, because it sounds so cliche to me, but the one thing that left a huge impact on me was The Dark Knight. More specifically Heath Ledger’s Joker.

You know, it’s so much fun to be evil, but just because he was having a good time, didn’t mean everyone else in the movie was having a good time. It’s almost like he was a bad guy or something…

The sheer mystery behind the character is just perfect! You get hardly any back story about him, and there doesn’t really need to be back story when you think about it. The mystery behind the character is what makes him the most threatening. You assume all sorts of things about what happened to him that turned him into the man he became in the movie.

I would say the same goes for Sauron In J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth fantasy world. (Man, I find myself talking way too much about Middle Earth lately!)

Now the same thing can be said about Darth Vader in Star Wars. (Not counting the prequels! They don’t exist here!) This time however, the audience is met with a stunning realization in The Empire Strikes Back. Darth Vader reveals to Luke that he is his father, and now the whole entire conflict changes in an instant. It was no longer Darth Vader killing Luke’s father, and Luke going to save the galaxy and get revenge, it was now that HE was his father. That apparently made things a little complicated, don’t you think?

It’s the complete opposite from Gollum, the thin little creature that appears in J.R.R. Tolkien’s works. (I’m not really counting the movies here, as you can tell.) You learn pretty early on in Fellowship (The Shadow of the Past) what made Sméagol into the deteriorated, addicted, and obsessed character known as Gollum, but his sheer nature (Okay, now I’m counting the movies on this one!) was what made him such a fascinating character. If you read the books beforehand, and then saw the movies like I did, that feeling wasn’t in any way diminished, even with already knowing everything. In a way though, the transformation wasn’t his choice. He came upon The Ring, and got sucked up into it’s power just like anyone else in Middle Earth would if they came across it, so you do feel sympathy for him, even if he isn’t exactly good.

Finally, and this may sound ridiculous for me to mention this, sense I have not really seen the movie all the way through, but then again, maybe I don’t have to. I get the gist of it, and that one infamous shot of him sitting up on a bed, with what appears to be a glass of milk, staring menacingly at the camera as the camera slowly backs away, is pretty much all the inspiration I need…

Anyway, it’s Alex DeLarge from Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. (Yes, I know it was a book before! I haven’t read the book either!)

All of those characters and movies serve up some of my inspirations behind the main antagonist in The Gate of Aru-gara, of which you may only know for now by the code name of “Iktumi”, although that isn’t her real name.

Would it be too much to say she isn’t a pleasant character?

What would happen if you ever happened to cross paths with a character like that? Would you be able to recognize them? Tell them apart from the rest of the crowds?

What if, even after you clashed with this person, and you reasonably felt that you have the upper hand in the conflict, you are proven horribly wrong afterwards?

What if that person had the ability to tear you apart from your friends, single you out, make you the bad person instead of the one doing the tearing apart in the first place?

What if that person had the ability to turn you against yourself?

It’s one thing for different people to have different beliefs and different philosophies on how to live life. It’s another thing to have someone come in and use those different beliefs and philosophies to turn people violently against each other. The reasons why someone would do this doesn’t really matter. Sure, it might help knowing why, but would it really matter when you’re faced with such an unrelenting force, hell bent on breaking you and all the people around you?

Would there be any way to defeat someone like that?

Would there be any way to help someone like that?

In all the crazy things that life may offer you, does anything beyond the bond of family or friends really matter?

Would that be enough?

. . .

Oh wait!

IMDb says A Clockwork Orange is on Amazon Instant Video?

Well, I guess I gotta cut this blog entry short and go watch that! Gotta go! Bye bye! 🙂  🙂  🙂

– Oh, and PS. I’m gonna try to get a forum up and running real soon!!! Stay tuned for updates!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Certain factors that always excite me about a story in general

Posted in Uncategorized on July 19, 2012 by robotkinz

This time, I feel the need to post something a little more informative for any fellow authors who may be reading this, just as a mental guide of sorts. These were things that occurred to me a few days back when I was commenting on a certain headline I came across on Twitter about some authors out there getting too defensive about their work against critics, and I think I made myself pretty clear with what my opinions were about it over there, so I won’t get too much into that. (I have a feeling I’m going to fail at doing so…) Instead, I’ll list some major factors or plot devices that always get my attention with a story. Some of these are things that I’ve always thought were basic knowledge, but with researching what these critics would say about some of the works of those authors who retaliated in response, I felt it would be somewhat necessary. This is also for any of those people like me who wonders about what ‘works’, or likes to keep mental tabs on where they’re gong with their own work.

Believe it or not, there are some times when I write just for the heck of it, without any care or thought as to how the reader can break it down. But sometimes, much later after that, I go back and reread what I had written and find to my horror that things don’t make any sense in the larger sense. Mainly, I think of the reader. I think of what they would want. I think of what would sell best.

And then I catch myself . . . eventually.

Not everything has to be broken down for an audience. In fact, I have to keep reminding myself that this is supposed to be a strong pet peeve of mine, and yet I catch myself doing it all the time.

Also, I have to be perfectly honest, I don’t like the idea of writing FOR an audience. That sounds crazy, I’m sure, but I really don’t think writers can get very far based purely on what they think others like. I liken this to comedian Steve Martin, and his passion for the banjo. You would think an old comedian playing a banjo in a bluegrass band would only attract an old and weathered crowd. You would think people would only want to see him doing what he has always been known for, and yet it seems like his bluegrass act attracts quite a number of people, both young and old.

Why do you suppose that is?

The root reason is passion.

He doesn’t do it because he thinks others have a passion for it. He does it because HE has a passion for it! In effect (or affect? Great. Now I have to go listen to more Grammar Girl Podcasts.), people get excited.

No matter how much people like me love to hate on Fifty Shades of Gray, it works on this principle because it has true passion as it’s driving force. (Not that I would really know first hand…)

You see, you can do nothing but work yourself to death trying to write that perfect novel you just think everybody would love. That novel itself won’t amount to a hill of beans if there’s not something the reader can really chew on. I don’t know about you, but I can definitely taste the difference between real meat and imitation meat. (Otherwise known as pink slime)

So that’s the first factor: Don’t write pink slime! Write something truly genuine, something that is you. (Yes, that sounds a little fruity, but just go with it.)

There’s always another thing that I always think about. I think about the importance of contrast.

Now, you may be asking, what do you mean by contrast?

Well, in a way, it’s quite simple. Most people refer to it as ‘diversity’. In any story, it’s always a good idea to have different characters with different habits and tenancies. It makes your story believable, but I personally gloss over such things. Diversity may be good for some, but what I look for is something much stronger than that: I look for opposing sides to everything! I always find that having characters who greatly differ from themselves to be something that really catches my attention. The world itself is littered with people who greatly differ with one another, and getting those sides together is always the fun part for me as an author, and overall, I think people prefer to see various different kinds of clashes. It doesn’t have to be between the protagonist and the antagonist. For the love of god, we know those two sides don’t get along! I think that goes without saying. I say dig deeper, and take up some dirt and mud from all of your characters! It will be a grand spectacle, I promise you.

Next up is the the issue of being overly pretentious. This is where I sometimes feel I have the most trouble, but it sort of goes back to the pink slime rule. Are you being genuine to what is needed to carry an emotional, heartfelt story, or are you filling it up with too much superfluous dialogue?

Most importantly of all, are you, the writer, really as smart as you’re making your story out to be? Please make sure you are.

In my mind, it also stems from the contrast rule. I don’t want to be bogged down with wild rhetoric all day long, no matter how much I love Radiohead, and that one crazy anime that went by the name of Ergo Proxy. (Good god, that anime was pretentious as hell!) Things sometimes need to be changed up. It can be unexpected things that shed a new and different light on people’s perception on the story, something simple and easy to digest, or something incredibly ridiculous that it leaves me stupefied about how you came up with that crazy plot twist, but it still makes sense in the world you make, and abides to those laws.

Which leads me to the next factor, and I have to admit, I got this idea from reading a certain book full of neat magic tricks

Surprise me! Kick my suspension of disbelief up in the air!

If your story involves some sort of mystery, think of your book as a magic trick, a magic trick being pulled on your audience. People keep seeing one hand do all the work, but they never see the slight slip of hand with your other. They don’t notice it. Maybe they thought it was a muscle flinch or a simple spasm. Then the trick is pulled, and the audience reacts wildly! They had no clue what just happened, and the plot thickens, and the audience becomes invested, wanting to know how you did that.

Neat, right?

Last but not least, my final piece of advice from someone who is completely and totally unpublished as of yet, and yet I know I’m not any more out of the loop on this rule than anyone else:

Finish, and let it all go!

Yes, I’m talking to you authors that get your panties up in a bunch over criticism!

Just let it go.

Period. (I told you I wasn’t going to be able to hold myself!)

Guess who once wrote the following:

“…Some who have read (my) book, or at any rate have reviewed it, have found it boring, absurd, or contemptible; and I have no cause to complain, since I have similar opinions of their works, of the kinds of writing that they evidently prefer. But even from the points of view of many who have enjoyed my story there is much that fails to please. It is perhaps not simple in a long tale to please everybody at all points, nor to displease everybody at the same points; for I find from the letters that I have received that the passages or chapters that are to some a blemish are all by others specially approved. The most critical reader of all, myself, now finds many defects, minor and major, but being fortunately under no obligation either to review the book or to write it again, he will pass over these in silence, except one that has been noted by others: the book is too short.”

This was written in a forward to a second edition to a fantasy book. The fantasy book was called The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. The author was J.R.R. Tolkien. Perhaps you heard of him…

Not everybody is going to like your hard work! Hell, some people don’t like The Lord of the freaking Rings! If you’re a woman, you may prefer to watch that movie called The Notebook. I wouldn’t. No, I am not cold and unemotional. I just prefer to watch The Big Lebowski. That is my kind of movie.

Crazy thing is though, I can give my thoughts on The Notebook out to the internet for anyone to see, or I can openly talk about it to my friends, saying whatever, and it’s my right to do so! If you break up with me because of my disliking of The Notebook, well then . . . okay. It sucks, but those are the breaks. (But just know you are acting sooooooooooooo immature…)

Yes, I know it’s tough as nails to be noticed in the indie world, but just know that if there’s one thing that I know from studying the internet as long as I have, it’s that it will never forget that little stupid fit you had with someone who left a negative review on your Amazon page. It’s like a permanent record. It like the Star Wars Prequels. They will never go away. (Plus ten points if you know who I’m quoting there!)

And please, for the love of god, don’t ever Google yourself! Who the hell would do that? That’s the last thing I would ever want to do! Whatever is out there about me, it doesn’t exist. It’s not me. I’m not there. In fact, I’m not even sure if I exist now…

Alright. No more ranting! BACK TO WORK!

Back at the Helm, and some thoughts on writing more short stories.

Posted in Uncategorized on July 10, 2012 by robotkinz

Alright. I’m back after a week long vacation away from my computer, and I’m trying to get back into the writing habit. I somehow found my head in the process. Thank goodness for that.

Throughout my vacation time, I’ve been thinking about how to format each individual part in a way that makes them have some sort of beginning, middle, and end. Part one is pretty easy seeing how it’s climax is at chapter five. The other parts may prove difficult as the story will expand greatly by part two, but I think I know how to go about this now.

Another thing I’ve been thinking about, although it’s not nearly as crucial as rewriting and editing, is what to title these separate parts. I haven’t thought about naming them at all until recently.

For part one, I’m thinking maybe a title something like ‘The Rabbit Hole to Wonderland’, although a title like that would be too obvious…

I have no clue for part two, but then again, I haven’t gotten back into rewriting it for a long while. As it stands now, part two is mainly just an introduction to the other world at large and the wider cast of characters that occupy it.

Part three, without any shadow of a doubt, will be called ‘Smoke and Silhouette.’ I have a pretty clear vision with everything over there. The end of that part will have the major climax, to say the least.

Don’t ask me about the other parts. Those seem so far away to me at the moment, but by then, things should be much easier. Parts four and five will be…

Well, let’s just say I have some really crazy things planned out over there as this erupting volcano will be pretty ruthless.

Oh, and part six leads into the resolution, of course. A few crazy things may happen there too. I haven’t decided yet.

The only thing I do know for certain about the final part?

Five words.

Coen Brothers Meets Wes Anderson.

Also, whatever movies (or scenes of certain movies) you’re thinking of at this moment when you think of the Coen brothers or Wes Anderson, chances are you’re wrong, but lukewarm nonetheless.

Although, I have to admit, I can’t read your mind. 😉

That’s all I’m hinting at.

Anyway, that’s mainly what’s been on my mind recently.

Well, there has been one other thing. Writing that crazy thing for a certain “<> NSFW <>” book has introduced me to maybe writing more short stories in the future. I already have some vague ideas in mind for some short stores, maybe some in the same (but updated) fashion to Edgar Allan Poe. I would love to do something like that!

We’ll see. I’ll keep you all updated on where I go from there.

For now, it’s back to work…

P.S. I’ll try to start using Facebook more often then next to never. I like Twitter because it’s nice, simple, and short. Facebook is apparently more involved. Even though I’m 24 years old, I act like John C. Dvorak from TWiT/No Agenda towards Facebook, just a bitter old man yelling at kids to get off his lawn…

Georgia About

The best of Georgia

If We Can Sparkle

Please feel free to leave your mark on this blog. Comment with your responses, relevant links, ideas and questions. Share your expertise: I will listen.

C. A. Husted

A jumbled mess of creativity.

S. E. Myers

Only in the darkest places....

The Write Stuff

My Journey From Idea to Publication

The Reasoning

Inferences from facts, premises or just experiences

Media 4 Life Photography

Sunsets, Beach Life and Random Pictures by Freddy Winter

Daniel Luebke

mindfulness / perspective