Tetris Effect (Not what you may think)

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These past few weeks, before I write, or whenever I’m stuck in a rut, I open up my phone and go play Tetris. In about five minutes, whether I play bad or not, my mind starts to wander off, and in a sense this helps organize my writing.

Probably it’s the zen state, or arranging descending blocks in a neat order, or pulling some sick tech like a T-Spin are all adrenaline infusers all on its own. It’s weird, I love it. I don’t care what’s happening behind the scenes, if it works, it works.

I have also received this amazing ARC from Angry Robot, “God of Broken Things,” by Cameron Johnston. It’s the second book to the “Traitor God.” It’s due in June and I’ll be posting a review on it soon, in here, in Amazon, and in Goodreads. So far, it’s kick ass.

After finishing “God of Broken Things,” I think I’m going to a re-read of Steven Erikson’s “The Crippled God,” the final Malazan Book of the Fallen. I believe I’ve skipped a lot on it, at a time when I was a too young reader. There’s so much to learn from the Malazan books — but that’s different story altogether.

Now…

My own writing is doing well. A little slow, but making slow progress. I have completed “Part One,” though there are still multiple finishing and polishing that are needed, so there’s still way too much work to be done. I’m still trying to aim to meet the deadline before the Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog-Off kicks off. Epic credit to Mark Lawrence for giving everyone a voice, a platform for every writers and aspiring novelists out there.

Also, both Jay Kristoff and VE Schwab have each posted a picture of being together. Scheming. Both Kristoff and Schwab have excellent books and the possibility of the two of them brewing something up is definitely exciting.

Seems we have veered off from Tetris.

So, in any case, if you have a PS4, then you should totally play “Tetris Effect.” Do you have a Nintendo Switch? Go get “Tetris 99.”

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Captain Marvel

I got to see it.

It was awesome. I love it. Wherever Captain Marvel goes, she walks with a stride of confidence.

Some I’ve spoken with, said Carol Danvers was cocky, especially in how she grins whenever doing something badass. I disagree, this is a woman who has overcome bullshit.

While people are calling it an origins movie – I see it more as an pseudo-origins. Carol Danvers takes flight in full gear. Unlike in, basically every origin where the heroes start off with basically nothing and build up from there. No, don’t point Thor, he loses his powers and spends a portion of the movie without powers as he builds himself up again.

Captain Marvel doesn’t have that. She’s powerful and confident from the get-go, and the only thing she was lacking is control over her powers.

“Control”? Ha. Control can burn in fire.

 


 

Hammer to Fall

I have, what seems to me, a decent draft of a book. I skimmed it again and again, adding and removing things on a daily basis. I am now challenged with including new plot threads to help spice up the book. But what eludes me right now is how loose the main plot has become. So, that would call for several rewrites until I finally figure out how to do it.

In any case, I’ve just been to the Big Bad Wolf book sale. And the place is amazing. There are books of all sorts and all of them priced at a ridiculous rate. Plenty of Isaac Asinov’s The Foundation books are only about 2 USD. I found a ton of Aliette De Boddard’s The House of Shattered Wings. Am really excited to get into that. There’s also a huge stack of The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson. Both priced really low.

I’ve also started two new blogs. It’s crazy I know. One is a dedicated author page, which I think, might end up being boring since all the good stuff are being dumped here. The second blog is geared for books and movie reviews. I don’t know if I’ll be able to commit, if not, oh well. At least I’m writing and slowly, very slowly finishing things.

Finally, 2019 so far has a lot of ups and downs. I try not to ignore the downs and search for solutions the make them ups. If I keep a steady pace, I might be able to finish the Red Whale in a few more weeks, then it’s off to my chosen betas. I hope it makes it to the new season of Mark Lawrence’s science fiction and fantasy blog off.

Empowered by Freddie Mercury, Brian May, John Deacon, and Roger Taylor, here’s the song “Hammer to Fall,” which my 2019 theme song.

Support

On Twitter, Delilah S. Dawson, author of Phasma, Lady Castle, co-authored Kill the Farm Boy, and as Lila Bowen wrote Wake of Vultures, tweets Ten Things to help writers aiming to get traditionally published. And her words are helpful. It made me look at my story, chapter-per-chapter at a different light.

A few days ago her Ten Things topic was about dealing with naysayers and dreamkillers. About the latter of the two, she claimed, were people who meant well but were actually hurting you.

In this regard, memories flashed from several years ago. Perhaps I was in college or even in high school. I was reading a book when my grandfather knocked and showed me a clip out from a newspaper. It was from a publishing house that printed textbooks. And they were offering their services to unrepresented authors. I smiled to grandfather and said my thanks. I told him that wasn’t for me. And it isn’t, not for anyone.

My grandfather has zero clue about how the publishing world works, whether traditionally published or self-published. So he was merely grasping straws here, saw something in the newspaper and thought it was an opportunity for me.

But what my grandfather did was a gesture that I appreciated. It was a sign that he believed in me and I could finish a book and maybe get it published someday. It’s a powerful emotional support that I’ve forgotten, if not for Delilah S. Dawson’s tweets.

My grandfather is well in his mid-’80s now. Last time I checked, he’s 84. Still healthy, but having some locomotive problems. He’s birthday is nearing in a few months. I hope by then I’ve finished whipping up the Red Whale and see it off in a decent self-published manner, and, hopefully, would find a place in Mark Lawrence’s blog off.

Time to finish the book.

2019

Update: VE Schwab is not releasing any new books this year.

It is eight hours since the start of 2019. There had been fireworks and kids hitting anything metal, and cheap trumpets. New Year’s Eve is always loud here. People were still outside despite the rain and that sounded fun, to be honest. And I feel 2019 is going to be a fun year.

There are a lot of good stuff coming out in 2019. VE Schwab, author of Vicious and Shades of Magic, will be releasing a new book. I forgot the title. But I’m excited to see more of her works. Mark Lawrence is prepping Holy Sister. Jay Kristoff with DEVIATE, Aurora Rising, and Darkdawn. There’s also Josiah Bancroft’s The Hod King and Rob J Hayes Never Die.

In movies, well, Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame, and Spider-Man. And more of a list I don’t remember.

As for my writing I am close to completing the Red Whale with a spanking new title. I’m going to keep my goals practical and see to it that I finish one book within the year. I hope the first draft gets done within January too. We’ll see how things unfold. I’ll also kick start back my YouTube channel. That’s going to be fun.

Here’s MMMBop for my 2019 song. You guys have no idea how long I’ve searched this song.

The Poppy War

I’ve read a lot of dark stuff. But this one takes the cake. Not Lawrence, not Abercrombie had been reeling away from the book and leaving me stunned.

The Poppy War by RF Kuang is more real than anything I’ve read. It’s visceral and it doesn’t shy away from every sort of violence. But it’s not violence for violence sake. Kuang explained it on her blog. I can’t do it justice.

The writing itself is fast paced and doesn’t waste details. It punches you forward, chapter after chapter. There is always something important or significant happening.

The first part of the book puts you in a military school. Cause, the schools-genre in fantasy is always fun. There are friendships made and rivals to punch in the face. But we all leave that behind rather quickly as the students are dropped into the realities of the world.

It’s a dark, dark book. But something worth investing.

Here’s Smash Mouth to lighten the mood.

https://youtu.be/L_jWHffIx5E

Words of Radiance (not the sanderson book)

This isn’t about Brandon Sanderson’s Book 2 of the Stormlight Archive.

I read about Ahmed Best in Polygon and Wired. He’s the guy who did Jar Jar Binks. I know, we hate the character. Most people I know, who were little kids when Phantom Menace liked Jar Jar, and thought the whole film was pretty good. I read about Best’s encounters of harassment and his contemplation of suicide. There’s a process in making these films. It’s not as if Best himself directed the prequel trilogy and inserted himself as Jar Jar. The character deserves hate, yes, but not the man behind the mask. There’s a difference when saying “You ruined my childhood” to someone you know, and to someone who just appeared out of nowhere. The original films were made for an audience of that era, same as the prequel and the sequel trilogies. People are moving on and doing great things because they learn to accept changes. Best is making music and has a science fiction podcast, which are awesome. I’m glad he’s doing okay.

A few weeks ago, popular Fortnite streamer Ninja, lost a bunch of followers after deciding to take a two-day break. Fans are being a little too demanding. Give the guy a break. He’s earned his keep. Streaming is hard work. It requires skill in the game and charisma you’d see in movie stars. It’s an entertainment business. Oh well, maybe it’s for the best anyway. All those people leaving Ninja makes room for an audience that actually matters.

I wasn’t supposed to write this post. I even had a lengthy draft and decided to scrape it. Now I’m writing it again, tighter and a bit shorter. It’s exercise, I suppose. But I wrote and posted this after reading Hayley Williams’ pissed off tweet, about some guys following her and demanding she sign stuff, and stalking her in a town she doesn’t know. I don’t think I can add anything to that incident that’s already been said. Celebrities are people, space and privacy, the power of “no” extend to different things, and so on.

In the last three paragraphs, what do they have in common? An audience. A fan base, retaliating, exploiting, and harassing the popular personality. Times like these, when things are changing really fast, I think it’s important that more people stand up. We see what’s wrong, we know what’s wrong, and we wonder how we can fix it. I may be oversimplifying it, but talking about it, seems to work. Not always. But it sometimes does. Appeal to the humanity side, try to bring out the humility. It’s a shotgun blast. You’ll hit some people and you’ll miss plenty. It’s a small progressive step forward, but it’s sharper than engaging into full on flame wars. People are into building drama, creating drama, and living in drama. Trollish attempts to troll the trolls is wasted effort.

I have run out of things to say.