12.22.2009

Schizophrenia!

Alright, I took the advice of multiple people on this one. It fits rather well, so I decided to go ahead and bite the bullet and switch between the points of views of two main characters in my Gestalt novel. For about the first hundred pages or so it will be told from Aimee’s point of view, then switch to Kay’s, then back to Aimee and so on until I’ve finished. This way I can get all perspectives from the protagonists and the antagonists—and also hopefully make the reader struggle within themselves just like the characters about who’s side to take. It also helps me pull in the antagonist the way I want him to be pulled in.

Not to say this hasn’t proven to be a freaking massive undertaking. Writing in first person is something I've never done before, but now having to tackle two completely different mindsets may make me Schizophrenic!!

I’ve found in the first chapter or so that I’ve been writing from Kay’s viewpoint that it’s hard to find her voice while still maintaining the over-all tone of the story. Aimee is the smart ass and sardonic of the two, but Kay so far is beginning to take on the same traits as Aimee and I am not certain if I like it or not—or if it will make them seem too similar. Kay’s story is a little more on the dark side. She’s fucked up beyond all repair when she first arrives. Moving her story along without making her into a whiny emo bitch is going to be hard.

Somehow I have to find a happy medium between the stir of emotions in Kay and her usual bubbly nature.

Maybe I will take a short break in the next few days to do some character sketches and gather thoughts.

Wish me luck . . .

Happy Holidays all!

Cheers!

~Hoshi

12.14.2009

I’m Awake at 6 O’Clock in the Morning . . . Again.

This seems to be becoming a habit for me. I have so many ideas to sort out that my brain kicks into overdrive and I wind up tossing and turning in bed (keeping my fiancĂ© awake) for two hours before I get back up and come back to the computer to hash out another few lines. I guess it’s a good thing my other roommate, Chris, doesn’t sleep much either. Been able to rebound ideas off him a lot.

Since my previous post I have been ravaging the gray matter trapped inside my thick skull for every idea I have ever had concerning my novel-in-progress, Gestalt. Considering its genre is one of those “Girl gets thrust into another world and has to find her way home” novels, I have to find many ways to make mine stand out. Not just for the hopes of having my characters eventually published, but for myself as well. Mainly for myself . . . Ok, completely for myself. Forget the publishers.

So far, I think I am succeeding with the assistance of my muse, Fannin (yes, I named him), some really fantastic new music I’ve found (including the new 30 seconds to mars album) and lots and lots of coffee. There are a few twists and turns that will happen that I am really rather proud of.

For me, the hardest part has been starting over completely. I had a good hundred pages written on it before I threw my hands up in the air and didn’t touch it for three years. Now all of the sudden I seem to be doing my own personal NaNoWriMo a month late. It used to take me months to write a hundred pages of ANYTHING before. I’ve done 100+ in about two and a half weeks. I realize now that I made the right choice for this specific novel when I decided to write it in first person. It’s something I have never done with a novel concept before and due to the massive nature of this specific one (and it’s equally massive cast) it may prove more useful to just throw it down the way the main character sees it all.

The only down side is that I can’t do a whole lot of build up outside of her point of view regarding what’s being plotted outside of her experiences. This is something that’s been keeping me up over the past couple days, anyway. I’m about 115 pages or so in and I still have no clue as to how I will be introducing the main Antagonist. It’s driving me INSANE! I know who he is, I know what his story is, I know why he is the Antagonist and what drives him to oppose my heroine and her posse . . . but I haven’t found his (or his cronies) curtain call yet . There’s only so much basic adversity I can throw at my main character without putting a face to the hardships.

Rant over. Maybe now I can stop beating myself up and actually get something more accomplished.

Oh, one last thing: To those of you wondering, Ethereal Heart is on the back burner . . . probably for a while. Looking around all of the book shops, online reviews, television, etc. has made me want to CTRL + Z the whole damned story. I am all vampired out, even looking at my own writing is pissing me off. I love Ari and Valantis and Oakley and Myra and everyone else, I just need to move the hell on for a while.

Cheers!

~Hoshi

11.20.2009

That's right, I'm posting a Blog about it, too

Those of you who follow me on Facebook (and talk to me daily) have noticed over the past week that I have been OBSESSED with Dragon Age: Origins. Normally, I would apologize for such a thing. This time: No. Way. In. HELL.

I don’t get obsessed with video games. It doesn’t happen. Ever. I enjoy most of Blizzard’s stuff, and love the lore in Warcraft as I have posted before, but no one has ever seen me head over heels in love with a game.

Dragon Age: Origins is the exception to this rule.

What does this have to do with anything? Well, as always, this is a writing Blog, so it must have something to do with the writing, right? Absolutely! If you are a gamer then you are always on the lookout for a game that has a good combination of graphics, action, comedy, drama, and above all: Plot. 90% of all games calling themselves RPGs I’ve found fall short of that mark. They are usually hack-and-slash first and story line will follow up a close second or possibly a close third depending on the engine used to create it. Such is true with Warcraft. The lore is amazing in Warcraft, but the games themselves are very much on the “Level up as fast as you can to get more gear and defeat the final boss—I don’t care about the story” level. These RPGs are fine for the casual gamer and such.

Dragon Age: Origins is NOTHING like this. This game is Roleplay first, hack-and-slash follows. Depending on the character you create in the beginning you can have five or six different ways of being conscripted into the main plot. So, while there are only three races that you can choose from, there are many different paths that you can have your character follow. No matter what you choose here, you will be approached by Duncan, the head of the Gray Wardens, who will whisk you away to fight the coming onslaught of Darkspawn and the Blight that follows. Along the way, Civil war erupts in the country so you have to fight battles on multiple fronts. There are side quests-galore, personal quests from NPCs if they like you enough and a million other things to choose from. Every choice you make in the game will aide (or retract) in deciding the outcome of the game for you. There are several possibilities here, and some are more heart breaking than others. Also, four of the NPCs that join you are capable of being romantic interests for you. Alistair, Morrigan, Zevran and Leliana. Alistair and Morrigan are both Straight while Zevran and Leliana can swing both ways. If you choose Alistair or Morrigan as a romance, things can get dicey, and you may have to make some pretty harsh choices at the end to get the ending that you want.

Every dungeon has a reason, every task has a point, and every friend or foe you encounter will pull you deeper into the realm of Ferelden, get you to care more about the characters and will move you to tears during some parts. Minor characters you find out later kick much more ass than you thought (i.e. Sandal, the . . . idiot savant) while major characters could have no say in their destiny in the end. There is no shortage of comedy in the game either. If you stand idle long enough or are even in between dungeons your party members will strike up conversations, insult each other or ask about each other’s pasts. Most of these conversations are quite humorous, especially if Alistair is on the receiving end of some of the more personal questions. For example:

"Prince Behelen attacks the assembly and is ignominiously killed. Epic fail!" - Dwarven Town Crier

"More crazy? I thought we were all full up." -Alistiar about Liliana

"Let's go find something squishy to throw off a cliff before it thinks I've gone soft." – Shale

“The Wardens were just leaving. And you will be joining them.” – Flemeth “Oh, such a pitty—What?!” - Morrigan

Did I mention the game has an All-Star cast? No? Well here goes: Tim Curry, Claudia Black, Kate Mulgrew and Steve Valentine among them. If you are a Science fiction fan then Claudia Black and Kate Mulgrew should sound familiar. Claudia Black played Vala in Stargate but is most noted for her role in Farscape. She was the perfect choice to voice Morrigan in Dragon Age. Mrs. Mulgrew played the part of the Captain in Star Trek Voyager. If you don’t know who Tim Curry is then walk yourself out to your back yard and impale yourself on a fencepost—you’re lost to all humanity.

If you own a PC, PS3 or Xbox 360: Buy this game. It is a writer’s bible. BioWare has done it again. I officially have inspiration for my fantasy novel again.

10.30.2009

Of Ghouls and Goblins and Other Mischief


First off: shameless self promotion! The first Dreadtime Stories has been posted! The premier Halloween Episode is now live! Check it out here !

This past week has been insane! Everything from Texas Renaissance Festival starting last Friday to tomorrow night's Samhein (pronounced Sow*ween or Sow*wen) gathering has been a whirlwind. So much last minute planning involved with everything that I haven't really had a minute to myself. Fortunately, though, I do now. The boys are both at work and the kitty is curled up next to me while I get a little bit of Blogging and research done. So much to talk about!

TRF was a blast for everyone in attendance I think and, apart from my ass getting kicked by a port-a-privvy, everyone went relatively unscathed. I wanted to share with everyone the gift that I received at Renfest this year. It came from the love of my life and means the world to me. Matt purchased me an Astrolabe. It is about 3in in diameter, made of pewter and is fully functional as a working astrolabe (that would be the picture of what it looks like up there ^ ). So as not to bore you with a full history lesson I will just give you the basic overview as to what they are. I have been fascinated by them since I was in High School and to this day feel a very strong connection to them. Hell, I think even Matt felt the connection I had for it because he walked with me for almost two hours trying to find the goddamn shop again!

"Astrolabes are used to show how the sky looks at a specific place at a given time. This is done by drawing the sky on the face of the astrolabe and marking it so positions in the sky are easy to find. To use an astrolabe, you adjust the moveable components to a specific date and time. Once set, the entire sky, both visible and invisible, is represented on the face of the instrument."

"The Astrolabe was developed at the Greek school in Alexandria about 160 B.C. by Hipparchus. Great scientific strides forward at that time were the result of combining the Greek sciences with Babylonian mathematics. This was all made possible by the conquests of Alexander the Great who established a vast empire throughout the Mediterranean. The Astrolabe was known to scholars from then on, and was used as a slide rule of the Heavens. Direction, time, angles, and the position of the celestial bodies could all be calculated. When Prince Henry the Navigator established his seafaring fleet, he began using the Astrolabe to navigate the ships. For many years, this gave the Portuguese the exclusive ability to navigate open waters, which the other countries could not do. When Sir Francis Drake raided ports along the South American coast he was forced to flee from the Spanish ships. Drake attacked a Portuguese ship and took its Navigator hostage to guide him on his round the world voyage, thus avoiding the Spanish Fleet. All the great voyagers in the age of exploration navigated with the Astrolabe, including Columbus, Magellan, and Drake."

Like Most Astronomical instruments from "The Good Old Days" some people believe that you can map your destiny out with these things. I am a little more practical in the sense that the Astrolabe is just a VERY elaborate compass. You would think that I would be contradicting myself when I told you that the Astrolabe is the symbol for my Spiritual group. In essence, no. I don't believe anyone treats the Astrolabe as having the ability to tell your future or point out where your destiny is pre-ordained. This beautiful piece of work is simply a symbol for us to aide in pointing us in the right direction in times of stormy weather.

I will cherish this gift until I die.

On another note! Halloween is my holiday. From when I was a kid I think I looked forward to Halloween more than I did Christmas (and for a kid, that's saying something). As I got older my ways slowly changed while I was in transition to becoming Pagan. Now that I am and have done all the research I can finally appreciate the origins and meanings behind Samhein, the bastardization it received from the Church in turning it into a day of evil, and well, I can still enjoy a piece of candy or two.

This year will be the second year that we host our Samhein gathering out at Ben's. This will be the first of those two where we will be blessed to have wet enough whether for our mini bon-fire. I say mini because it's only going to be about five feet long and five feet high (before the flames are added). I think that was our biggest worry in all of it. Last year's Burn Ban nixed all chances of us having a fire outside a little metal enclosure. This year we have cleared it with the county sheriff's office and there is no burn ban in effect! So we will Camp out for the second weekend in a row, build a large fire that indicates light in the presence of darkness, welcome the Fae-folk and spirits with ceremony, laughter and song, and just all in all enjoy the Pagan New Year!

Cheers!

~Hoshi


Astrolabe information gathered from http://www.astrolabes.org and http://www.puzzlering.net/astrolabe.html respectively