Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Wrath of an Angry Writer: Aftermath

Greetings, I begin this blog with a brief rant of recent misfortune. Over the past few weeks I decided to go back to one of my earlier works and revise it- rather, scrap the original short story all together- and rewrite it as a novel. It was turning out great actually. Good character development, great characters and interesting plot twists and events to intertwine with the original plot idea that was originally meant for short story reading, which was quite brief and straight to the point.

While I didn't really get much work done in terms of word count, I was really beginning to grow attached to the characters and the way the story was playing out and the amount of effort and thought I put into the beginning rough patch was a lot of work, but it all came to a sudden end when I accidently deleted it by saving a blank document over it, thinking I was opening it up to start working on it again. I hope the characters didn't die with it, and feel like I'll someday return to it, but I don't have the motivation to pick up everything and restart it just now. I feel like this is the universe telling me to hold off, write another book and restart after. So that is what I'll do. Though I am indeed angry with myself, I can't let it get me down so I went through all my works to see if anything else caught my attention. I read it, it was a short short story I wrote for my creative writing class. It inspired me to not let this hold me down too long, and I'll be back on my feet in no time. I went back and gave the story an even better ending that makes more sense being read by an actual audience, so I decided out of the kindness of my heart. (And possibly the irrational thought of an upset self) to unleash this uplifting story to the world. Free of charge. I hope you guys enjoy it. (if I even still have an audience, it's been so long since I've blogged) Go easy on me. It's a quick story I wrote in 1 and a half drafts. I would never show something on it's first draft. So yes, I'll dub this Draft 1.5 to push it to the public sooner. :D Anyways. Here it is:

The Procrastinating Writer


            “Alright guys, papers due next week. Have a good weekend.”  My voice gave off the hint of depression, or perhaps I was just tired, what I knew for sure though was that I was ready for the weekend.

            In college all I ever wanted was to be a writer. I knew I’d like teaching as well, but I always hoped my teaching career would be more of a hobby, than what’s providing for my family. Since then, I find less and less time alone to write. The struggles of being a father, a teacher, a husband, always get in the way. My wife, Ashley, supports my love for writing, but over the years we sort of stopped talking about it. I used to tell her all my exciting ideas, and how my stories would develop, but never put on paper.

            When I get home, it’s the same as every day. Dinner, grade papers, tend to children, house chores, then finally when all the obligations are away and done for the night, I’ll sit down and finally have some relaxation time and work on one of my several models that I’m currently working on. Building models has always been a hobby and stress reliever of mine since I was a kid and now it’s somewhat of an addiction. I love the ability to manipulate and construct pieces together to create something, a car, an airplane, a spaceship.

            One night, while lying in bed I turned to my wife and asked her if she was asleep. She shook her head and rolled over. “What is it Adrien?” She asked softly and smiled. I smiled back, my feelings felt awkward, though, I knew I could ask her anything. “Do you think I’m meant to be a writer?”

            “What kind of question is that?” She asked in a voice that broke my heart.

            “Sometimes I just don’t feel like I’m meant to is all.”

            “Adrien..” She sat up and looked me in the eyes. “…over the past few years, after…what happened... Truth is; I miss talking about your stories. I miss hearing about them and reading them. I didn’t lose interest at all…but also, when do you ever write anymore? What was your last story?”

            “It’s hard with work and the kids and going back to school! When do I ever have the time?”

            “Adrien, you spend hours a day working on your models. Put them aside and WRITE!”


            That summer I took what she said to heart, put away the models, turned on my computer and stared at a blank screen. Ashley came up behind me and kissed my neck, realizing I’ve stared for an hour already. She whispered: “Work on your novel you wrote.” the same novel that was rejected multiple times before. Without thinking I opened the old dusty file and began revising, and after I was done I wrote this little introduction to be placed in the beginning of the book that you now hold in your hands.


            A teenaged boy named Jonathan sits at his computer with his word processor open and the book in his hand, he smiles, inspired. Then eagerly flips to the next page. Starting with Chapter 1.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sim City or Sin City?

So here goes another round of Writer's Block, with Aj Johnson. This time I think I'll write a video game review. I haven't done that before, here or anywhere else for that matter so bare with me. So here goes.

I recently started playing Sim City, the new game released earlier this month by Maxis and EA games. First off, I'd like to put emphasis on the fact that this game is not just a stand alone single player console. It's an MMO! Now, it's not like your typical mmo where you group up, chat, and do what ever with other people but the team work is still there (if you want it to be). The focus of the game is building multiple cities within a region, and making your region the best out of everyone else's. For instance: Cleveland, Parma, Akron, Cincinnati, and Columbus are all a part of the state (or for Sim City, Region) of Ohio. Each city plays a major part in the region's over all economy. Whether you focus one city in the north as being your most industrialized and mining city, or the city across the channel into being your educational University circle type city is completely up to you.

Now the choice is yours. You can opt to join a player populated region. (Some regions allow 2+ cities, other bigger regions allow 16 cities.) With each city able to be ran by a player, and a player can run more than one city. So you can choose to play with a ton of different people, one or two of your friends, or simply by yourself and try to take on the world solo, after all you and only you would know what each city needs to make your region more prosperous right?

You start off your city with a large plot of land and maybe a single road connecting your plot to the other cities around you. From there on you need to build residental zones so people can start moving in, and commercial zones so people can start setting up shop (to build jobs for your city, and to build places for your sims to spend their money.) More money spent = more tax dollars in your pocket. The coolest part about the game's resident society is there are three social classes similar to real life. Low income, Medium, and High. You could actually, if you wanted build a simple low income town, or a thriving nose in air, richy rich neighbor hood. The only problem is getting your city to look nice enough for the wealthy to want to move in by setting up more classy and high maintenance eye candy.

Another cool aspect of the game is the city specializations. You can choose between: Mining, Drilling, Trading, Electronics, Culture or Gambling. Each specialization having it's own pros and cons and completely different way of setting up your city and running it completely different. In a Gambling specialization crime rate is going to be higher than it would be in lets say, a mining city. So you'll want your police forces set to maximum, but in a mining city you may want to have some more man power in your hospitals.

So far I've only played two sessions of the game, for a total of about 10 hours. So I myself still have a lot to learn, but I'm having fun doing it. This game is highly addicting and once you get involved, it's real easy to lose track of time, and Last night I had my first disaster break out, and what better disaster than a Zombie out break?!

Late in the night, Zombies broke free from the city clinic in my Las Vegas/ Cleveland like city and started eating people. The police and fire department rushed to the scene and blocked off the road with their cars and trucks. No one was allowed in or out of the city. The roads were completely shut down and the police were running throughout the neighborhood shooting and killing the zombies keeping them contained. It was actually quite fun to watch. When dawn broke, the zombies died. (I guess they were vampire zombies.) and everything went back to normal, with three deaths.

This is definitely a great game so far, and I highly recommend it to anyone whose ever played any of the older Sim City games, or Sim games before. I give this game 4.5 out of 5.

Rating Break Down:

Audio: The music is pleasant, but sometimes out of place for me, and when you zoom into your city a little bit you hear all sorts of city like sounds. Sirens, gun fire, people yelling/talking. Great social effects 4 out of 5

Graphics: Great compared to older versions. Though when zoomed in the Sims look like characters from Mine Craft. My graphics are all the way up too. :( 4 out of 5

Gameplay: Really easy to get started. Only wish I could figure out (if possible) to rotate items you are trying to plop down into your city. 4.5 out of 5

Fun Factor: So fun 5 out of 5

Co-op: Wish there were an in game chat option and more player communication. But through Origin you can still use their chat, though it's not in game, and it's only with people you friend. 4 out of 5


Oh, I almost forgot about the question of the post: What new game is coming out soon that you're excited about? Perhaps I might write another review soon.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Dark Descent

Alright, so it's been a while since my last post. (22 days to be exact) Truth is, my mind has been going on a one way track lately and I've had nothing interesting to say or write. My fictional writing even took a punch this month and I barely worked on anything. Through the ashes a phoenix will rise though (Cliche I know, but it's simple cliche's that people actually get and make sense) With that I end this brief post with a word of wisdom and a poem. First though, the word of wisdom:

Fear is a powerful emotion. It's a powerful enemy and can be a powerful ally. It causes people to do things, and it also causes them to back down from doing things. Sometimes both causes can lead to good effects, and both can lead to bad ones. Master the power of fear, and harness it. Ironically enough, do not fear- fear. Even though Roosevelt famously said "The only thing to fear, is fear itself." If you don't embrace it at times, you'll never discover what a powerful ally it can be.

And on that note, I unleash upon the world a poem that I had written during my creative writing class a few semesters back. I won't claim this to be my best works, though I do believe it holds a special place in my heart. Enjoy.

The Dark Descent

Into the Darkness I step

Into the Darkness I step, once more


Into the Darkness I step, to gain my power

Into the Darkness I step, through this Dark Tower

Into the Darkness I step, the world unknown

Into the Darkness I step, to claim my throne

Into the Darkness I step, to recharge inspiration

Into the Darkness I step, to complete my concentration


Into the Darkness I fall, a downward spiral

Into the Darkness I fall, my mind’s eye gone viral

Into the Darkness I fall, deeper and deeper I go

Into the Darkness I fall, with a king to overthrow


Into the Darkness I climb, the abyssal ladder

Into the Darkness I climb, Mad as a Hatter

Into the Darkness I climb, the endless night

Into the Darkness I climb, towards a hollowed light


Into the Darkness I step

Into the Darkness I step, once more


Monday, February 4, 2013

Going once, going twice, GONE!

The rule of life, longing, and happiness has always been, (at least from what I've heard) that you never know what you truly have until it's gone. Those who are raised with a silver spoon don't know what living pay check to pay check really means. They take advantage of what they have and would be completely lost if it were to be taken away from them with just a snap of the fingers. This may be a broad generalization, (and most definitely a logical fallacy) but I'm pretty sure *everyone* can take something from that lesson. I'm sure that there is something that everyone always take advantage of and doesn't even realize or take a minute to stop and think what they really have.

A lot of people, including myself, go in day by day in misery. Thinking that nothing can be worse than this, my life sucks, I hate my life, fml, blah blah blah <insert hate my life facebook status here>. Call it depression, call it self pity and loathing, call it miss attention queen of the century. At the end of the day it's all explained by people not knowing what they have unless it were taken away from them.

Sometimes it takes people to actually encounter this ultimatum before they truly realize "Wow, my life wasn't so bad after all.". I mean, I was at the point that my life was completely shit because I don't have 300-400 dollars to upgrade my computer. I know what some of you are thinking. Seriously? Is this guy for real? There are starving CHILDREN out there, people who are dying of disease, losing loved ones in shootings and car accidents, being killed and raped by their own government...the list goes on and on...and my life is shit because I can't upgrade my computer? for a GAME? Now now, that's being a little extreme right? no, it's true. People don't know what they have until it's gone. Now this doesn't mean you're not allowed to indulge in yourself every once in a while. Just because there are starving people, does that mean it's wrong for you to enjoy your 3 or 4 course meal out with your family? No. Just be thankful for what you have and cherish it all. Don't take it for granted. Should I not upgrade my computer? No, I will. In due time. But there are more important things in my life right now, and it took me getting ready to lose it before I realized what I really had. I have somethings I don't ever want to lose: My future wife, My mind, My talent, and most of all, my budding and ever expanding life.

Today's question is more of a self fulfilled question. You don't have to post if you don't want to. I just want everyone to take a moment and think about something that they may take for granted. A mother, a father, their favorite meal, their pets, their siblings, hell even their luxurious items like video games and books. Take a moment and thank who ever made it possible. Hug your mother and or father, thank them for giving you the life you have. Hug your boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse or partner and tell them you love them and are thankful for everything they ever do for you. Don't lose something important to you before it's too late to realize how important it is.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Title: Untitled

Titles play a very important role in story telling for all medias. They are the first thing a person notices right off without any pictures or other context clues. Sometimes I think a title can help or hurt a story in it's success or failure. A title is something that needs to snatch the attention of on goers and would be readers/viewers. In a movie preview at the theater, it's typically the last thing that shows after the trailer so that the video trailer can stir your interest and let the title stick with you at the very end so you can go home and mark the release date on the calendar or what ever you do to remind yourself of a movie or book you'd like to see/read.

A title can be used to summarize the story in order to grab your attention, or it can simply puzzle you, leaving you wondering why the title was given such a name. Was there a purpose? Meaning or thought to the title? Some titles I find to be completely absurd and just blah. "Sucker Punch" for example. Does that summarize the movie? Not really. Does it have any direct meaning to the story? Nah. Does it sound cool and entertaining? Eh... Sounds more like a bunch of guys sat around an oval table and didn't allow anyone to leave for ANY circumstances until a title was decided upon. Now I'm not hating on the film itself. (I actually enjoyed it, was one of the few who did), but I think there is a certain art to titles. It's the spray finish over a painting, the vase to a set of flowers, the cherry on top if you will. Make them pop, stand out and exciting, or mysterious and inviting.

Now I realize this is  coming off to be sorta "advice giving" type of blog post, but really it's just a thought. Ironically enough I SUCK at titles, names even for that matter. I can't for the life of me develop names easily. When/if I have children, their birth certificate would be blank for probably days if not weeks, months and or years until I decided on a name if it weren't for Stephanie. (who already has names picked out 0_0).

True Story: I'm currently working on revising my novel which is still code named SPNovel:Untitled. The entire damned thing is already written and there has yet to be a tail pinned to it's sorry ass. I just hope I don't fall victim to the round table method when the time comes to actually give it a name.

That being said, another typical/bland title I've seen recently for a movie is "Bullet to the Head" starring Sylvester Stallone (Which he totally looks like a bad ass in the movie) but still...I'll probably end up seeing it because I'm a Stallone fan, and I'll probably like it. But the truth is here, the title kind of sets me off to the point that I'll probably just wait til it comes to Red box, or even Netflix.

That all being said:

What are some strange, funny, stupid and or completely misguiding titles have you run into in the past?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Putting a Foot Down

 So today I start blogging. Something I should have done long ago but always had an excuse. "I don't understand it. It's all too confusing. I don't know what to blog about. I'll start one later." Blah blah blah, I'm too lazy is more like it. Well maybe the third one is a little bit true. What exactly would I blog about? I like to think of myself as a fiction writer. I gave non-fiction a try when I attempted to get published on The Voice (Tri-C's School news paper) and failed epically. So I chucked that out the window, along with any other hopes of trying to write for some kind of news paper or magazine. I just simply can't do it. More importantly, I simply don't ENJOY writing non-fiction. So why even bother?

 Well then, why would I try blogging? It's non-fiction (essentially). But this is different. It's about me of course, or things I find interesting and hope others will find interesting as well.

 But I still have a problem. What exactly am I going to blog about? Well instead of using that as an excuse not to blog, I'm just going to let it be a motivation to get up off my ass and think of something to blog about, get my creative juices moving again. Something new and exciting to share to the world, book reviews, movie reviews, maybe even video game reviews. Or maybe even open up and share some of my short stories via blog since I don't have the guts to try and get them actually published just yet. So tonight I'm erecting my victory flag over laziness on the battle field toward glory. Tonight I make a stand, and I put my foot down, and I will stand tall.

 I'm going to dedicate this blog spot to my soon to be Wife, Stephanie King. Who was the one to push me out there to try and get this thing I call a future writing career started. To open up to the world and TRY harder. To take my hand off the mouse from playing online video games (all the time) and plaster my right hand on the keyboard along side the left a little more often than I have been.

 So after I post this, I'm going to homepage a writers forum website. I would like to register for two or three of them. If anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them.

 Also, I think at the end of all my posts I'm going to ask a question. So my very first question is:

What movie or book cross over do you think would at first sound kind of silly, but actually could possibly work? :)