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Category Archives: Personal

I’m Still Alive!

Hey! Sorry for the lack of updates again, but exams and papers have taken over my life. Fortunately, I am free this Friday, and I will begin to write again in earnest, starting with finishing my edits for The Libel of Blood. Mr. Jacob G. Adams (blog here!) has also been kindly editing stories for Dark Aeons for me, and his comments have been insightful and very helpful! I have been surviving most of my time by playing Dr. Lunatic: Supreme With Cheese Nonstop and by reading short stories when I can, including recently a delightful novella entitled The Cowboys of Cthulhu by David Bain (site here!); well worth the read!

Until I can get back to writing, good luck with life and don’t die!

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2011 in Personal, Readings

 

Imaginaerum

In addition to being super-productive in terms of schoolwork (three papers down in about a week!), I managed to get my hands on a digital copy of the new Nightwish album Imaginaerum! Legally, of course; I preordered the 2-CD DigiPack T-Shirt Litho Sweepstakes bundle, and got a digital copy of the CD a month early.

I must say, I was initially skeptical about it, as it had a lot of untraditional metal songs. Then I remembered I had felt that way at first about “Storytime,” so I kept an open mind, and after a couple of listen-throughs, was pleased with most of the album. “Taikitalvi” was enjoyable, and the transition into the amazing hard metal “Storytime” was flawless. “Ghost River” brought out interesting dynamics, with Marco’s vocals contrasting well with the children’s choir, and was a very creepy and also well-done song.

“Slow, Low, Slow” I did not like. It is not a metal song, pure and simple. It is a ‘5o’s slow jazz piece, which is fine, but not so much in a metal album. It came as an unpleasant shock, and Anette’s voice in this song is husky, which was not a particularly enjoyable experience. This song just didn’t seem to fit with the rest of the album, either. “I Want My Tears Back” was great, with Marco’s vocals and Troy Donockley’s uillean pipes (which I always love) creating a great dynamic. The prominent role of the pipes also pleased me greatly. Additionally, Marco’s and Anette’s alternating vocals made the song a pleasing one.

“Scaretale” was a beautiful example of horror translated into music. I won’t say more here, but it was amazingly well-done, and you should listen to the song to understand exactly what I mean. I felt like I was in a horror movie. “Arabesque” – the album’s instrumental – is my favorite Nightwish instrumental so far, passing “Last of the Wilds” from Dark Passion Play.

“Turn Loose the Mermaids” was very unconventional, acoustic song that I am still trying to decide how  I feel about. It was very unconventional and critically good, but I am not sure whether or not I liked it. “Rest Calm” was also very good, again featuring both Marco and Anette. “The Crow, the Owl, and the Dove” was another very good song, again integrating both vocalists, and letting Marco shine in a lower-key metal song. “Last Ride of the Day” was amazing as well, but “Song of Myself” – the thirteen-minute epic – was, unsurprisingly, the star of the album, blending vocal, symphonic, and metal elements perfectly. It was definitely my favorite. The album’s title song, “Imainaerum,” was a good conclusion to the album and incorporated themes from the other songs, but added little new itself.

Overall, I’d rate this album as Nightwish’s third best. Once is still my favorite of theirs, followed by Dark Passion Play. Maybe with more listens, this album will get even better, but I am glad that Nightwish did not suffer from the syndrome that made Sonata Arctica’s newest album The Days of Grays mediocre. Imaginaerum is a phenomenal album, though it might take some getting used to. At times, I felt that the band was experimenting a little too much, but in the end, it was very original and well-done. I also really liked how Marco played a very prominent vocal role, much more so than in the band’s previous albums. I highly recommend Imaginaerum to any symphonic metal fan!

P.S. If you like Tarot cards, please check out my whopping reading about the Occupy Wall Street Movement on EsoTarot here.

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2011 in Personal

 

NaNoWriMo Done!

Sorry for the severe lack of updates, everybody, but life has been hectic. After falling sick for four days and having to make up a lot of schoolwork over Thanksgiving Break, I focused the rest of my attention keeping up in NaNoWriMo, and a few hours ago managed to finally pull it off, having written 20,000 words in the past three days. I surprised myself. The Divine Madness of Kings is far from complete, however; 50,000 words ended at a perfect stopping point, between what I see as two halves of the book, the first half dealing with Darien’s early life and the second half dealing with his later life. Most of the book as it is written is awful, and will need extensive editing, but some parts are gems. The character of Darien himself is fascinating, and I think anyone reading the book won’t know whether to hate him or love him. I plan on finishing this novel during Camp NaNoWriMo next year if it exists, and if not, then I’ll still try to have a draft done by August.

Now that that’s over, I will be turning my attention to finishing editing The Libel of Blood, with the hopes of finishing that in late December or early January, and releasing it shortly after that. Following that, I will shift my attention to the stories in Dark Aeons, and try to have that ready for release as a free e-book in February. After that, my focus will again move to Tal’kan, which I am very excited for. Now that I am back in the real world – or will be once my exams and papers are all finished – hopefully there will be more updates!

That’s all for now!

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2011 in Personal, Writing

 

What’s Going On

Hey everyone! I’d like to take this time to apologize for the lack of updates both here and on EsoTarot; I’ve been extremely busy of late, and actually haven’t gotten much done. However, I would like to update you all on what has been going on.

First and foremost, I’m back at university and almost taking a course overload. That alone has made getting work done difficult. One of the courses I am taking is an intensive independent study on the evolution of Persian culture from the Sasanian Empire until the Ghaznavids and the Persian Revival, so much of my spare time has gone into research.

Secondly, I will be acting as a Municipal Liaison for NaNoWriMo this year, so I’ve been busy plotting write-ins and other things as well. What little time I have to spare after ML-preparation and university goes either to sleeping, eating, or Astral Tide. As such, I haven’t had time to continue my study of astrology overly much, or edit The Libel of Blood often, either.

However, I have managed to edit some (I have edited through chapter 20/46 at this point), and I have written two pieces of prose poetry that will hopefully be made available to read soon (called “The Playground” and “Lord of Carrion”). I am also (slowly, in between and during classes) working on a third piece of flash fiction called for the moment “Nightmare Fleet.” It is based somewhat on the end of The Libel of Blood, albeit with a very different twist.

Unfortunately, amidst all of this busy stuff, I have become rather stressed. As such, I am making it my goal to, over the next week, try to edit as much of The Libel of Blood as I can before NaNo starts, and then use the time left over to get ahead on my independent study research, freeing up more time for me in November. After November I will hopefully have a lot more free time. I’ll also try to keep you all updates; if you’re not already, following me on Twitter and liking me on Facebook will greatly assist you in stalking me. Adios for now!

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2011 in Personal, Writing

 

Astral Tide

The year is 2286, and everything is gone.

Greetings! Hopefully I am back after my long hiatus. After settling in again at university, I’m finally able to find some time to write, and I’m back to editing The Libel of Blood and writing Tal’kan – which may be split into two books (more to come on this later). I also haven’t forgotten about Dark Aeons, but that’s currently on a backburner.

What I have come to tell you about is my latest project – Astral Tide. The project is a collaborative effort between myself and two other authors – R. A. Wesselhoeft and S. Huang (we may be adding a fourth in the future, but we’ll see). It takes the format of a series of short, maximum-2,000 word stories – three a week, one from each author. Each author has taken control of one ship of five in the last fleet of the known universe, following a terrible cataclysm that caused all of reality to collapse and begin to merge with another dimension. Each ship will have its own subplots, but also will be tied together by fleet-wide events and a shared world. It will be updated Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays – and it’s completely, 100% free. Did I mention that it’s free? Go get started now – the Prologue is up, and my first story, “Born to the Fire,” is released September 14th! Visit us here.

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2011 in Personal, Writing

 

EsoTarot Blog

I was thinking – after getting my Internet back, finally, after a royal fiasco on the part of Comcast and DigSafe, I decided that too much of this blog was getting clogged up with Tarot Challenge posts – which most of you probably don’t care about. So I decided, in my infinite wisdom, to create a separate blog to cover all of my esoteric interests – visit EsoTarot if you’re interested! The Tarot Challenge will continue there, as well as my soon-to-begin Astrology Challenge! I transferred most of my Tarot-related posts there, so you may see some repeats. This blog will now be reserved for everything else. Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2011 in Personal

 

Discworld, Kansas, Torchwood, Summer and Writing!

I’ve been a bad writer. I was freed of my university obligations on Tuesday May 3rd, was busy Wednesday with other things, and then Thursday was spent packing. I moved out of my dorm back home Friday afternoon, and then that evening was at a KANSAS concert in a very impressive Casino. The concert itself was spectacular, and I enjoyed myself a lot. On Saturday I went to the beach and stayed the night in a house, and unfortunately was dragged into doing things that were not writing. I got back home today, and as it was Mother’s Day, was spending time with my mother instead of writing. As such, very little writing has been achieved, but some progress has been made! Now that I am on summer break, I should have a lot more time to devote to writing – I have failed to finish the first draft by the end of this week, but shouldn’t have any problems doing it this week. I hope.

As I was packing and performing other tasks, I have been watching Torchwood – I’m now on Season 2, about halfway through it. The first episode was rubbish, but it got better. I hate most of the cast, but love Captain Jack; I watch it for him. Otherwise, I’m not a huge fan.

The last big piece of news is that in small increments (during classes, between them, during breaks in being social), I have been developing my own roleplaying system! I recently located the Steve Jackson Games Discworld roleplaying book, and have been reading it. Unfortunately, the mechanics are based on GURPS (Generic Universal Role Playing System), which I abhor. So, I threw that system out the window and developed my own specifically for Discworld, with stats for Morphic Fields and Magic and other such fun things. I just finished the first draft with a list of classes and spells. In a week or two I hope to test the rules out on a group of unsuspecting roleplayers! The ruleset I drafted is like a mix between WFRP (Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay) and Paranoia. It should be fun!

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2011 in Personal, Watchings, Writing