X-Men and the MCU

I have read this interesting article on Polygon on how to integrate the X-Men into the MCU. At first I thought all of these ideas are horrible because I assumed the article talked about how to use these storylines to introduce the mutants. But if we’re talking about how the X-Men meets the Avengers, then the ideas are pretty solid.

 

X-Men is a really big thing and it is tricky how to bring them to the MCU. This is why I think the upcoming Disney+ series, “WandaVision” and its supposed pseudo-sequel, “Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness” are going to be important. From the small hints given to us, it isn’t too hard to piece together that Wanda is going to push her powers to limits and cause some sort of an interdimensional rift or warp reality.

 

This can lead to the temporary resurrection and reuniting with Quicksilver, their parents, and Vision. Things will start to fall apart and emotional scenes will follow. Maybe we’ll learn that the parents weren’t really their biological parents but their foster parents because their papa, Erik Lehnsherr, was off with his secret Brotherhood of Mutants.

 

Things are definitely going to fall apart. It probably won’t end too well. And that’s where Doctor Strange 2 will kick in, as the Sorcerer Supreme tries to restore the Multiverse, while evading Shuma-Gorath. (“In the Multiverse of Madness” is obviously a play at words with “In the Mountains of Madness” and Shuma-Gorath is technically Cthulhu in Marvel.)

 

Perhaps as the balance is restored some Multiverses are merged. The current MCU and another where mutants exist. When these two universes collide, realities are forever warped. Things can really can get so much complicated. But given Marvel Studios’ track record, they will likely keep things simple.

 

Mutants are hiding all this time, which doesn’t or wouldn’t make sense as superpowered humans have already been appearing for over a decade. Magneto would’ve acted by then. But you know Marvel Studios, they just often shrug things off, just like what they did with the five-year gap explanation in “Spider-Man: Far From Home.”

 

A second Polygon article talked about veteran X-Men writers offering their two cents how to integrate the uncanny bunch to the MCU. Most of them said TV series and that makes sense, in a way. Some said movies, which also makes sense in a way.

 

I’m guessing Marvel Studios will do a mix between movies and TV series. They will obviously kick things off with a super movie and then branch out to flesh other characters. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Storm and I think I’m not alone in that aspect.

They will want the X-Men to shine in its own first and that might mean a massive Avengers-style preparation. Would we get movies for Wolverine? A series for Cyclops and Jean? Marvel has this covered.

 

But what I’m more interested in really, is how will MCU introduce the existence of vampires.

The Last Days of NaNo Month

The challenge to write a full novel within a month is about to close in a few days.

I believe many has already embraced the fact that they will never finish on time. That’s cool. You’re still a winner. You’ve probably written more words than you ever did in the past weeks or months before November.

Your 5,000-word story is probably now, what, 15,000? That’s amazing. That’s no easy feat. Keep on writing until the end of the month. Then grab yourself some ice cream or some iced tea or go out and have coffee with friends, or in solitude. Or, maybe just get your Nintendo Switch and play Super Mario Maker 2, Pokemon Sword/Shield, or some Zelda game. You deserve it. 

Or, if you’re up to it, keep on writing. All that pent-up rage you’ve had for years, channel them into your fingertips and punch those keys. 

Also, it will be December soon. Time to spend with the family. If there’s that person who begins to ask: “Is your hobby making money now?” and “Have you published it yet?” and other frustrating things like that, punch them in the throat. Or don’t. I don’t know. You assess the situation. I’d personally definitely go for throat-punching though. 

Keep writing friends. You’ve got an awesome story. Polish it. Write some more.

… Yes, this is what I tell myself when I break down and cry when realizing my stuff is absolute trash.

Strive

I think it’s different for everyone. I know there are those who would prefer to keep their art hidden in the shadows, away from the scrutiny of the public eye. Afraid to broadcast it, terrified to tell anyone they’re working on something.

There can be many reasons for this. But for me, and I know for a fact that I’m not alone in this, is because when people find out, they ask questions. Not the kind of questions that would light bulbs in your head. The kind where you cringe, the kind that loosen your bowels, the kind that would have you slither into a dark cave and stay there until you’ve filled the world with your tears.

You don’t want people to know about the art you’re creating. You don’t want them to know that you’ll fail, that you’ll have nothing to show for. Their constant “cheer ups” and support might feel you’re being patronized, or their comments can be frustrating because they might not know about the industry and so they cannot fathom pressure of it all. It’s like describing someone what a cosmic horror looks like. You’ve gone nuts and they don’t understand at all.

Sometimes they might ask:

“When are going to publish it?”

Uhhh…

“How’s that book you’re working on?”

Uhhh…

The well of confidence keeps running dry. Every time you lower your bucket into it, bats and spiders and maybe tentacles come out. It’s scary. At one moment you’ll feel the 1000 words you’ve written is fantastic. You’d feel invincible. Maybe for a moment, wonder why you haven’t been published yet. Why? Oh that’s right. It isn’t finished. It’s still draft 0.5. The words you’ve written, you realize, is utter garbage. It stinks. No one would want to read this piece of smoking crap. Time to throw the towel. Show’s over folks, thanks for stopping by and let’s forget that I even attempted to write a story.

There’s really a lot of self-negativity. You’ll always doubt yourself and no matter how much you try to improve, it might seem like you’re stuck in one place and the world leaves you behind.

That’s why I think it’s important to always have people who will keep you cheered up. Telling someone you’re writing a story can’t be easy. Not for everyone. Certainly not for me. Especially when they promise to alpha and beta it, and then get back to you after months of following up, and then blatantly tell you “It’s good” or “It’s like Game of Thrones.” It withers down the little self-assurance that took ages to build.

I think I’ve lost my way while writing this. I was aiming to tell you, to surround yourself with positive people. But after everything I’ve written above, I seem to be unable to just spit it out that way. So I’ll just say, you’re not alone, feeling stuck and full of doubts. There are many writers who feel that way. Go out with friends, have some drinks with them, spend time with family, focus on awesome things that inspires. Don’t be afraid to leave the work unfinished. Take a break and then get back to it when you’re refreshed. For others, spite works well. Has anyone pissed you off? Good, use that fury to type away.

Really, I’m lost and I don’t think I have anything actually meaningful to say. Just some random blog post from a random dude.

Those working hard on this month’s NaNo, you guys are ablaze. Keep at it and be beacons that inspire others to strive on.

If I call you a cunt: Darkdawn review

If I call you a cunt, it means I’m afraid of you. I call you a cunt, it means you’re someone I should never mess with. The moment I call you a cunt, I would be digging my own grave — because I called you a cunt and because you are a cunt, you can hurt me and there’s nothing I can do but shrivel into a pathetic cretin backed into a corner.

Calling someone a cunt, means I know you can rip off my dick, snap it in two, and shove it up my ass with so much force it will shoot out of my mouth.

If I call you a cunt, it might mean I don’t like you very much, because you’re an existential threat to everything I am.

Cunts have teeth and they bite.

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That’s why our little Murder Bitch, Mia Corvere, protagonist of the Nevernight Chronicle, takes being called a cunt with so much compliment. She even explains it in detail during the early chapters of Book One, “Nevernight.”

She will tear the world apart just to achieve her goal. This is my impression of “Darkdawn,” the final book of the Chronicle, and if you haven’t read “Nevernight” and “Godsgrave,” get the fuck out of here, stop whatever you’re doing – quit your job if you have to (I’m kidding, don’t quit your job. Jobs are precious) – and read the entire trilogy. Because it is such a fantastic read.

Did it end the way I hoped it would end? In a way, yes. Very satisfying and very different how I’ve envisioned it. But still a beautiful book.

Australian actress and book vlogger, Piera Forde, has recently released the “Nevernight” trailer. A three-part webseries that chronicles the first book, or a part of it, at least. She kept some updates on the production and everything looks good so far.

Behold the trailer!

 

HERE BE SPOILERS

SOME BIG SPOILERS BELOW

FINAL WARNING

As some people might have pointed out, Mia’s attitude toward her brother, Jonnen, is a little bit out of character , especially that part where she sings to him. I’d like to defend that part. Ever since Mia was a child, her life was turned upside down. The series of plot twists that happened in the books can’t be too good for her mental health as well. So, with Jonnen right beside her, her mind clawed deep into her memories. To a time where everything was normal. Just Mia, getting prepped to become some lady, Jonnen, probably to grow up into a soldier or into some politician, and with both parents alive. That’s where Mia was dwelling and what she was trying to seek. Some sort of normality, during happier times. At least, that’s my take on it. Bugger off.

After digesting everything, I had to sit back and think for a while. This entire story. The way how I see it, it seemed like a peaceful time. The Republic seems okay and the people love their leaders. Sure, there’s some corruption tossed here and there, but what body of government doesn’t have the taint of corruption, eh?

Were the lives lost during the Republic’s fall worth it to restore the natural balance of day and night? Was eternal sunlight that really bad? I guess, so?

Ashlinn’s death was a punch to the balls. I didn’t feel it served any concrete purpose other than deliver us that bittersweet ending. Tric re-dying only to tell Ashlinn how get back to Mia was another punch to the balls. That’s true love, folks.

The biggest positive change to the world in Nevernight – besides the restoration of day/night cycle – is abolishing the Red Church, cleaning off the bad blood, and rebuilding it. Really, the Red Church assassins were the true villains in the books, and the presented main big bad was just collateral, yeah I mean, he’s a cunt, but the assassin teachers are worse.

In the end, to me, the entire Chronicle is less about saving the world. Mia knows this and had no intention of doing it. She was ready to walk out with a big middle finger to sky. But then the manipulative goddess did some things that led to the Republic sinking down the sea. The “Nevernight Chronicle” is true and true a revenge story.

It’s been one awesome ride. Now I’m looking forward to the “Empire of the Vampires,” which I think, is slated for next year.

Refocus

In case you folks don’t know, I have a YouTube channel, under the name FrostburnWoof.

It’s not a very good channel. I post something along one or three videos a week. Most of my energy has been spent on creating these videos, as each one can take hours to make.

I confess, it’s because of this I haven’t been writing much. See, I’ve always wanted into get into the YouTube scene. I’m not very charming, I know, not witty or remotely funny. But I do have some raw gaming skills that I can show off, and, with given practice, could get good at it.

But 2012 wasn’t a good year. Didn’t have the funds to get a decent machine to record. I didn’t even have a console. Or the internet to do so. So I kind of felt I missed out. 2015 came, massive content was born from Super Mario Maker for the Wii U. This time, I had a decent laptop that can record and the office purchased the console and the game for some event of theirs.

Sad to say, it was another missed opportunity. I wished I was able to practice at the game, at least. But there were so many instances that prevented me from doing so – I know, it sounds like I’m making excuses. Let’s move on.

Since July this year, when Super Mario Maker 2 came out, there is absolutely no reason for me not to get into the scene. So as much as I’ve dedicated a lot of time. It’s just not working out. In the initial release of the game, I’ve been getting hundreds of views and one or two new subscribers. Last month, the trickle turned into occasional drips. I’d get up to eight views at most and I’ve been stuck with 13 subscribers for weeks. Oh, as of this writing, at this very sentence, I now have 14 subscribers. Yay!

Mario Maker 1 was a spot where new careers were forged. Lots of great people are popular and making a living after 3+ years making online content. All those people right now are still really popular with Mario Maker 2, and honestly, if I was a casual viewer, why would I spend time with the new folks than those that are already established?

I’ve likened my video content to my own writings. I would spend hours working on a draft and then I’d spend hours more for editing. Some part of me blames myself for wasting hours in making videos rather than writing. It’s a valid argument. But I can’t say I didn’t enjoy making those videos, so much more than actually writing.

The videos will keep on coming, but at a slower pace. I’ll be re-shifting my focus on writing more, especially now when there’s this really big light bulb glowing above me right now. I like this new idea and the direction where I can take Project Red Whale. It’s going to be interesting. I’m actually glad I wrote less and worked on something that made me happy, because I doubt I would have discovered this idea. I’m excited to try it out.

“Just let your imagination take you anywhere you want to go, lots of times I started painting I had nothing but the time of day and time of year.” — Bob Ross.

NaNo Month!

Three years ago, around this time, I started writing “Project Red Whale.” It was supposed to be my NaNo entry.

I began with a simple idea. I watched my protagonist get soaked in fire and blood in the early chapters. I didn’t think what kind of a world it was, I just started writing. And I kept writing and writing. Often, I went back to add a few details. I’d remove entire scenes and paragraphs.

Through the entire month, I ploughed over 50,000 words. I was not anywhere close to finishing it and that was fine. My mind calculated it would take 120,000-150,000 words anyway. And even if I did overwrite, trimming things down would be a lot easier than piecing the words on page.

I was wrong. Kind of.

The trimming process included cutting a lot of excessive words, rephrasing sentences and paragraphs, deleting and replacing entire scenes and chapters. It was bloody work. But in the end, I felt I have a more concise story that will have about 80,000-100,000 words.

Cities rose from the void, cultures were developed, and whatever else I thought was cool. “Red Whale” was built as a sandbox, where everything I ever wanted in a universe is thrown in without thought. It’s all for the pizzazz, the bling, the simple idea of it being as awesome as I can make it be. It was supposed to be a one-off, the practice novel, my training wheels in carving out that “terrible first novel” and get it out of the way, so I can write “Project Ashes” the way it deserves to be written.

Well, like anything (usually) you’ve invested time, patience, and a little blood sacrifice, “Red Whale” became something more than I hoped it would be. That’s why for the past three years, I’ve stuck my thumb into my own poop shoot to make sure I stick to this project and finish it.

And have I finished it? Not even close! I’m perpetually stuck at Draft 1.4.7 – indeed, that number is made up – but you can get the number of minor revisions it had undergone. Not even a Draft 2. Those 50,000 words I was so proud of, written furiously in a month, had wasted away down to mere 20,000. And some part of me feels that Draft 1.0.0 is the superior version.

I wish there was someone to bounce ideas with, but there really is none and I’m stuck at the crossroads in my head. I’ll make due, hopefully. So, here’s to NaNo Month and may the final week I have over 30,000 words.

Bloody Rose

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Nicholas Eames’ “Kings of the Wyld” was an epic blast. It was a breath of fresh air to have really fun but not sardonic characters and going out in wild adventures. At its heart, “Kings of the Wyld” was a road trip story about reconciliation.

So yes, the fool in me expected something similar in the sequel, “Bloody Rose.”

I was a fool.

Humor my poor analogy – my brain has been in the frying pan for weeks – if “Kings of the Wyld” was “The Hangover” (I liked the movie, okay? Fine! “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles,” happy?), then “Bloody Rose is “The Breakfast Club” [1] on the road. [2]

There’s adventure, there’s drama, there’s heartaches. It’s everything that made “Kings of the Wyld” a great book and more. I love the characters and each of their respective arcs. Though some part in me wanted to explore them more, instead of going through a few pages or chapters about them. But in the end, it’s really a story about the newest member of the band, Tam. Okay, okay, maybe not, it’s actually really about the band itself and leaning more toward the frontwoman, Rose, because of plot reasons. But it’s also more about Tam learning more about the world. Like, I don’t know, a millennial getting slapped in the face about the real world.

I kid. I kid! I fucking kid! We cool? Okay.

Look, I don’t think I have anything much else to say but a redundancy of praises. The book has been out for months now, so here’s the spoiler parts.

HERE BE RANDOM POSSIBLY NO-CONTEXT SPOILERS

I’m just glad we got to the adventure part fairly quickly. I mean, it’s going to be obvious one way or another that Tam is going to be part of the band.

That cyclops event was glorious. It’s also a point to remember that stories what everyone knows is very much different behind-the-scenes.

I was curious how their quest will weave into the current Horde, where all other mercenaries are eager to get into. I assumed it was going to be a cliffhanger thing or something really wild was going to happen. And yes, something wild did happen.

Finally, we get to meet the client! Of course the client is sketchy. There’s always something about the client. I bet, she’s a baddie related to the antagonist in “Kings of the Wyld.”

It’s called the “Dragoneater” for a fucking reason.

… And Rose killed that motherfucker like a boss.

Baddie revealed. Called it.

Holy shit, she can keep on resurrecting the dead.

Not only can she resurrect the dead, she has Spider Senses that alerts of her of any incoming danger.

Okay, I can see what’s going to happen here. Tam is going to shoot an arrow straight into Cloud, which is going to pierce through him and kill the baddie.

Okay, that didn’t happen, not technically like that, but something like that, and now I just want to curl up and cry.

Anyway…

The ending was so bittersweet for me. I really like the father-child theme with each character. Tam and the overprotective Tuck. Brune and Cura’s sick fathers. Cloud and his elitist father. Rose and the Golden Gabe from “Kings of the Wyld.” Pardon me while I curl up once more and cry again.

Also, I forgot to mention, Nicholas Eames is a known gamer. He loves “Final Fantasy” and had the galls to include a Tonberry into the “Bloody Rose.” Yes, a fucking Tonberry.

[1] OMG footnotes! Anyhow, maybe “Breakfast Club” wasn’t the best example, considering it kicks off with a bunch of kids getting stuck together in detention. But then again, I guess the essence here is, each of these kids has a story to tell, and we get to know them more one-by-one. Or something, whatever. That’s how I relate to “Bloody Rose,” ‘kay?

[2] Fucking footnotes! Ew! Okay, I just had this realization, only now, that mostly all adventures in fantasy stories are basically road trip stories. Okay, I’m done.