The Year in Solitary Awesomeness

It is exactly five hours to midnight from where I live. 2015 has been, the most memorable year of my life, thus far. All sorts of action and experiences came rushing in, and it was all received with heartfelt thanks.

This year, I got to see the Pope in person. Though, my photo of him was lost somehow in Facebook. Almost as if it was deleted. Weird. I got to see him cause it was part of an assignment from the newspaper I work for.

Of course, in the third month, was my birthday. I managed to get out with my now fiance, and got to see weird-shaped islands as we took a vacation to El Nido, Palawan. It was an awesome place, where we met all sorts of foreigners. There also one fellow in particular, a Canadian from Winnipeg, and lived a decade or so in Taiwan, as a professor, Steve. He was a real character that helped my fiance while she was feeling sick during the tour around the islands.

Within the same month, I proposed. On a rooftop in a parking lot mall, overlooking the highway full of droning headlights. We’ve been preparing for the wedding ever since. I feel blessed to be with this woman, and looking forward into building an even better future for the both of us.

In June I ended up in E3. Three years ago when I started as a technology journalist, I’ve been quite envious that my boss got to E3, year-after-year. 2015 was my turn. And it was awesome. I met folks from Square Enix, , interviewing him about PS4/Vita videogame, “World of Final Fantasy.” I got to try out the PlayStation VR, which wasn’t really what I expected. And I got to talk to, and take a picture with, Hidetaka Miyazaki, game director of “Demon’s Souls,” “Dark Souls,” and “Bloodborne,” and got a peek of the upcoming “Dark Souls 3.”

11407288_10153371097254655_8968967306845299509_n

Hidetaka Miyazaki.

Speaking of “Dark Souls,” I finally finished the game, with over a hundred hours clocked in. It feels such a waste of time, thinking about it now. But it had been a really good run.

June is also the month I got to spend time with my family in the US. We went to Disney Land. It was my first time there since in the late ’90s. And I rode literally, every ride I had ridden, during my first visit.

After California, in June, in August or September (can’t remember which) got to see New York City, for Samsung’s official launch of the Galaxy Note 5. Also, in June, I got to revisit Taiwan for my second Computex. It was… ayt.

11059957_10153507075304655_6441443152741696608_n

Walking the streets of New York, trying to figure out where the first cellular phone call was made.

I missed the Asia Pop Comicon this year, which was a darn shame since I was really looking forward to meeting Monika Lee in person.

2015 is also the year I caught up in YouTube. Spent some time watching YouTubers and Let’s Play videos. PKSparkxx and Uberhaxornova, were the first two I subscribed. Thank you, Super Mario Maker. What an instrument of evil you are.

In this year, rose GameGulp.ph. A videogame and film website I have co-founded. It has added stressful hours into my life. It has, however, added a sense of purpose in life. Within the new year, there will be better content, and it will just grow.

And of course, this year had “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which are both awesome no matter what people say.

Four hours left, as of finalizing the writing of this entry. It has been an interesting year indeed. 2016 is going to be big. From GameGulp’s perspective, we’ve got films like “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” “Captain America: Civil War,” a new “Star Wars” film, a “Harry Potter” spinoff called “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” and dang, I forgot the rest. Videogames will be having a great one too, with the final entry of “Uncharted,” “Dark Souls 3,” and here’s to finally having a PS4 soon. I hope.

I intend to finish the first draft of my novels within 2016’s first quarter. I’ve mentioned before I have two works-in-progress, both of which had hit their half mark. And it’s just a matter to finishing the other hand, before I bare my teeth, and start chewing and spitting words to refine the craft tenfold.

I’ll try to quit all these random posts too. They’re not doing much really than vent out stuff. I’ll be throwing more meaningful content here from now on. Writing progress will remain.

With that. I’ll leave this song, Weightless, by the All-Time Low.

Advertisements

A New Story

It is too easy to begin writing a new story. The feeling to start fresh is tempting, new characters to torture, new worlds to shape, new magic to craft. It’s an amazing process really.

It’s also a terrifying one, and the reason why many stories are left unfinished. It’s much easier to start from scratch with all the liberty you desire, than edit and rewrite that first, second, or so drafts, where the writer is then bound by the rules with an white-hot iron fist shoved up their ass.

The feeling is not pleasant, not at all. There are consistencies to be checked, timelines, characters being believable and interesting, what’s witty and what’s not. What’s funny or what’s plain offensive. These things can hit like a solid brick wall. And it will fall on you, squashing you flat, if you’re not too careful.

This whole part of the process becomes more work than passion. Truth be told. But that’s fine, I suppose. I have managed to retrieve old files from the old laptop. Over 20 important manuscripts had been copied, some of them being merged with the newer versions of their respective stories, creating a really confusing world.

Thank goodness really for this blog that no one reads. It sure is providing a useful outlet to let out some steam.

Anyhow: My writing progress has reached a minor staggering point. My Conductor novel has managed to hit a somewhat respectable 40,000 words. Mostly everything needed has been laid out already and I just need to fill in some huge details in between. It also baffles me that people think that my two main characters should have some romance between them. Sure, they are of opposite genders, and I have tailored their relationship as best as I could, to be strictly a Holmes-Watson thing. No, not the one with Lucy Liu. More Cumberbatch and Freeman, or the Law of Junior.

My second high priority manuscript with the code name Lost Boys, which is part of “Project Bad Father” has reached 25,000 words, after assimilation from both new and old drafts.

The biggest problem is always getting the beginning right. It’s something I keep coming back to. It needs to be interesting and engaging enough to have literary agents flip through the next page – and hope with everything I’ve got, would lead to a request for a full manuscript. I’d be lying to myself if I think it would be anytime soon. Writers with much more refined craftsmanship get their asses handed down to them, what more of a chance do I got?

Yes, I’m in the self-loathing phase. Fuck off. In the meanwhile, the films “The Hateful Eight,” “The Revenant,” and “Inside Out” have sparked some new ideas in my head. All of which, shall be ignored until I finish at least one full novel.

Scattered brain matter

It is detestable, when all the wonderful things planned, has come crashing down in one epic explosion. All what remains after, are scattered, broken pieces, in the crater where it all happened.

2015 was a kick ass year. I got to read awesome books and saw history-smashing greatness, like “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and yes, I am still all psyched about it.

It’s the year when videogames of a vastly different scale were released: I’m talking about stuff like “Bloodborne,” “Witcher 3,” “Metal Gear Solid V,” and a couple more I can’t remember at the moment. This is the year I have finished “Dark Souls.”

It’s also the year when myself and two others managed to launch GameGulp – our videogame and film website. It’s making steady progress, though not the fastest in the galaxy.

2015 is also the year when I actually started reading more. Not just books, or online articles that I only liked. But everything. I visit Wired, Rolling Stone, Kill Screen, Paris Review, and sparingly spent my complimentary articles from New York Times and the New Yorker. It’s not enough, I admit. I read Vogue, once in a while. I try to read a little bit of everything as much as possible.

This is also the year when I started buying those stupid Funko vinyl figures. I don’t collect them. I just get whatever I like. Some of them were gifts, and it has that weight of collecting obsession. My favorites are the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from “Ghostbusters” and Elizabeth from “BioShock Infinite.” She stares at me as I sit here, typing this, instead of focusing on my WIPs. She’s not wrong. I should get back at writing more serious stuff than this random, useless blabbers in my head.

There are other cool things that have happened in 2015. “Naruto” finally ending, for once – the massive surge of spoilers in Facebook and the people that had raged, was quite the popcorn treat. “Star Wars,” creator of videogame “Metal Gear” Hideo Kojima getting kicked out of Konami, “Ash vs Evil Dead,” “Daredevil,” “Jessica Jones,” and I managed to catch up on “Fargo.” Such an awesome show.

But before that: 2015 is a year of fond memories. I got to see the Pope, during his visit in the country, gone to E3 and witnessed firsthand the “Final Fantasy VII” remake announcement, and of course, the year when I proposed. The wedding is set on 2016.

Diving into my writing progress. I had to restart working on 3 stories. My previous laptop failed on me, and my backup were months’ old. “The Conductor,” my 70,000-word urban fantasy managed to retain a decent 15,000-word first draft. It’s painful to go back into writing everything again, though I feel this was for the better.

The second story, comes from the tentatively titled “Dark World” series. In three months, I managed to cough up words in there I thought I was going to die from typing fatigue. The story just clicked. Halfway through, I worked on a sort-of, spinoff – which I also managed to cough up so much words into it I started to think I was writing crap. It didn’t. At least, I think none of it were crap. There were scenes so vivid they burst from my head in wild technicolor. From there, everything expanded, and it did so without my idiotic self creating a backup.

I was a quarter finish with the first book. The spinoff got around a little over a quarter. They both would have been done by now. Restarting from scratch is difficult. I have tried and the experience was never the same. I feel some of the words, scenes, and dialogues, were inferior compared to the original first draft. So, I’m letting the stories boil a little more in my head, until that spark picks up again.

For now, I’m short of 20,000 words in completing “The Conductor,” and while at it, I’m working on a long short story. The latter will be sent to a certain contest. So, cross fingers for that.

Till then. I’ll be listening to Paramore, going to need to keep that pressure.

New gig

In 2013, my friends and I have always wanted to get into this online content thing. We had several ideas. Particularly, areas of journalism, photography, geek culture, and travel. We wanted to focus on those things, and push for viral content. It didn’t happen. We were fresh out of college, not everyone could get a job, and people were enjoying their first few weeks of unemployment a little too much.

So, fast forward to 2015, we managed to bring back the website idea. This time we focused on a single core aspect: Videogames. It was a little vague on how to deal with this and no one was understanding what. But we got it. We tossed in film reviews along the way, just to further spice it up.

Our website, gamegulp.ph, focuses on videogames and film. There, we post reviews, features, and unique content. We’re just having fun with it every now and then, doing what little we can to keep it pushing forward. We’re trying to stand out a little, combining consumer-based interest, taking a scholarly approach, and testing the waters with some Mental Floss -ish.

So far, this new gig has taken a huge toll in my time. But at least I’m having with it.

 

* * *

In other news. I haven’t even started my book mission. I read the first few pages of “The Color of ¬†Magic,” but stopped short. Can’t even explain why. I began reading “Red Skies Under Red Seas” by Scott Lynch instead, only to stop halfway to check out Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff’s “Illuminae,” which is awesome. Go give it a read, like, now.