Posted in Updates

One Year of Grease

Well, it’s been one year of writing for this blog, and I’m still sticking with it.  Even though my posts don’t always come with great frequency these days, I’m still writing.  Even right now:

I want to thank everyone who has followed me this year, reading my stuff and leaving likes and comments.  I promise to put more stuff out soon!

Posted in Updates

‘Hell to Pay’ goes to Publishing

I’ve been busy this past month.  Mostly playing Black Desert Online, my new drug online game of choice.  However, as the temperatures have climbed up past 100 degrees here, running my $800 gaming rig/heater turns my room into a sauna.  So, I broke out my laptop and started to get to finishing my unfinished projects.

Obviously, “Above a Whisper” is still lacking final editing, but there’s more to do.  Should I mention that it’s almost been a year since I’ve started this blog, marking the one year anniversary of the completion of the original draft of Mother of Mars?

However, I’ve also been putting together another collection, which finally went up today. Readers who were here last fall got to read the first chapters of ‘Hell to Pay’ I put out one chapter at a time.  Well, I went back and finished the story, putting it with a selection of other short stories of a similar genre, calling it “In Dealing With Things Not Quite Natural.”

Unnatural.jpg

I’m proud to announce its release in the amazon kindle store now!  If you happen to buy it, please drop me a rating on the store page- it would really mean a lot to me and help it get noticed.

I’m aiming to get through as much of Above a Whisper as I can by the end of the month before the next Camp NaNoWriMo starts, and I get busy with another story.  Stay tuned greasers!

Posted in Updates

Why I “Disklike” YouTube’s Thumbs Down

Any given channel on YouTube can generate a level of success based on two things: creating good content, and adjusting to YouTube’s ever tweaking algorithms.  This means that content producers that put out consistently high quality content that appeal to a wide audience technically should be able to have successful, growing channels.

Even channels such as John Sudano, who covers songs exclusively with Smash Mouth lyrics, or HowToBasic, who smashes eggs and fists chickens, share in this success.  Some may not say that these channels are a measure of good quality.  Some may say that anyone could do these same things to garner views.  The fact is, they were to first to cash on in this specific style of video that can entertain an audience in a very specific way, which is a feat within in itself– especially in this day in age where creating original premises for videos is a challenge.  These channels also retain their audiences by staying fresh by means of keeping up with popular trends, as well as putting out videos at a consistent rate.  I won’t say luck doesn’t have anything to do with their success, but it’s clear these channels are also very self-aware.

If you know anything about how YouTube’s algorithms work, you’re probably aware of the power the like/dislike buttons hold.  Generally, the more likes a video gets, the more it will be put into recommendations, and how far up it will rank on search results of appropriate tags.  Meanwhile, the more dislikes a video has, the more it will be hidden from people searching for content like it.

The problem with the dislike button is in the name.  When you hover over the button, it reads “I dislike this.”  I find this inappropriate, as it gives the impression that viewers can have almost free reign to allow their biases and personal preferences to shove certain content out of other viewer’s eyes, regardless of the content of the video.  I personally hit the dislike button on very few videos.  I don’t mean this to sound self-righteous.  I just simply don’t continue watching videos that don’t interest me.  I feel that just because something doesn’t appeal to me, it doesn’t mean that it’s bad content.

There are plenty of channels out there that deliver high quality content that don’t fit my interests.  They deserve to be seen.  There is also an equal number, if not more, content creators putting out simply bad content:  Videos that don’t deliver on the premise that their titles, descriptions, or thumbnails describe– i.e. clickbait.  Videos where the creator obviously put in less effort and knowingly produced something of less than appropriate quality.  Videos that are just there to garner views– filler.

Personally, I don’t have the best, sharpest, most expensive camera for my filming, but I definitely try to make up for it in my editing and production.  I don’t claim to know everything about this whole thing, with my six subscribers and all, but I know how it feels to get unwarranted dislikes on something you’ve tried very hard to make well.

Viewers can get off so easy on just disliking a video and moving on.  The content creators, however, suffer, especially when it is essentially baseless criticism.  In my opinion, a dislike should demand some sort of written reasoning for offering it up, and not just a “this video sux.”  It would be a feat difficult to moderate and maintain, but this wouldn’t be the first time YouTube has wanted to pioneer something ridiculous along these lines.

Let me take this time to remind some people that being offended isn’t an immediate pass for them to dislike something either.  While YouTube does have community guidelines regarding things like hate speech and the like, it shouldn’t cater to people who simply like to hide away from issues they don’t like:Sensative Subjects

Heck, I don’t like mushrooms, but I don’t go around flagging cooking videos that happen to toss in some shiitake.

Posted in real life, Updates

Fill in the Blank

Hmm, well it’s almost been two weeks since my last post.  It’s not like I don’t have writing to put out.  I met my goal of 30k words for last months’s camp nanowrimo, so that’s something.  It turned out to be two partial stories and content for my next… release, if you want to call it that.

I actually wrote what I consider a very good piece of work last night, between teeth-rotting sips of Monster Energy drink, which is know is horrible for me, but I continue to like the taste in spite of it all.  I have another story washing around in my head. Unfortunately, I want to put some of these stories in a compilation, which means at least some of them should be exclusive, not having been posted here previously.

Rather than teasing my readers, let’s talk something else.  The new “At The Drive In” album came out today- Inter Alia.  It’s actually their first album in 17 years.  Wow. Partially this is because some of the band members were in a different yet equally awesome band called “The Mars Volta.”

A comment on one of their youtube video called them “post hardcore” which I don’t really know how to describe, but it’s within the realm of punk, and I really like it.  I recommend a listen.

I’m also staring a new job on Monday.  It’s not a deli.  That’s all I have to say on that right now.  Check out the ridiculous video I made to try and sell more of my book!

Posted in Updates, writing

The House by the Lake

Before you read this excerpt, here’s a quick announcement.  The project this comes from is my Camp NaNoWriMo projected called “The Tallboy,” a biographical fiction based loosely on one of my family members.  I am including other writing projects I’m currently working on into the word count goal because I’m not sure I can reach it on this story alone, and because I can’t say no to the ideas in my head.  For this same reason, I’ve also started a second blog featuring various works of manga.  Check it out!


I grew up in a little house by a lake.  I would probably venture to say that many houses in the area were by a lake.  Minnesota is known as the land of a thousand lakes after all.  So, no matter where you built, you were guaranteed to be not far from a lake, be it big or small.

I think saying it was a little house would be a bit of a misnomer as well.  It probably felt small to me because by the time I arrived, it was pretty much packed full.  When I was born, I gained the title ‘baby’ of the family, and ended up holding on to it because I ended up being the last child that my parents would pop out.  By the time my first memories started forming, my two older brothers and two older sisters were already ‘big kids’ as you might say.  So, there we all were, in that little house by a lake.

My father, Lawrence, was a working man.  As a kid, that meant to me that he was always leaving the house going to work.  He managed a movie theater there in the little town where we lived.  Until a certain age though, I never saw it.  My mother, Marinda, was always at home without a doubt, taking care of my siblings and I.  However, she never had enough time to devote to each of us, especially when it was just here trying to run around after all five of us.

My two brothers, Randy and Perry, were the trouble makers. I can remember my mother running around after them the most, trying to keep them from hurting themselves or others.  My two sisters, Sarah and Ilene, were the oldest siblings.  I remember them being the ones who often were taking care of me; preparing meals, getting me dressed.  They probably ended up changing my diapers a few times too.

By the time I was old enough to go to school, I was also helping out my father at the theater.  It was almost like my playground where I could go to hang out after school.  I was often forced to help, though.  My father would spend most of his time fiddling with the two projectors; feeding the reels, checking sound, alignment, ordering new films.  Then he would run around to the front and take the nickels for the ticket price and let people in. Continue reading “The House by the Lake”

Posted in Updates

New Projects

Well, it’s April now, and I haven’t had the chance to actually write much in the way of stories to put up here.  I spent the other day, or at least a good four hours of it, learning Adobe Illustrator and putting together that comic for April Fools (if you haven’t seen it, you should check it out.)

Real life has been slightly busy, messing around with insurance and eye doctor’s appointments and stuff.  Also job interviews- very interesting, but the lead up to them is nerve wracking.  However, the worst thing is that the warmth is starting to creep up here, while I’m still hesitant to pull the wool blanket off my bed.  I prefer winter.

HOWEVER…  none of that matters to you all.  I’m participating once again in Camp NaNoWriMo- you know; the event in which last year I wrote Wall of Trump.  I’m trying my hand at a biographical fiction novel this time, called “The Tallboy.” I’ll try to explain the premise probably some time later when I have a better understanding personally of what I want the story to be about.

I had one last thought on my mind, something that popped in there today.  I’ve been watching people play Breath of the Wild- The newest Legend of Zelda game- on Twitch.tv. Personally, I’m vicariously in love with this game through the streamers I get to watch, including the game’s story.  I have an idea for a fan fiction based on it, as much as I hate to say so.  Personally, even though I’ve barely read any fan fiction, I’ve always strayed away from it because I’ve always tended to think of it as a corruption of the source work. I’m sure there’s good stuff out there, but there’s probably just as many works that are poorly written, derogatory, and distasteful.   But I love the world and characters of BotW so much, I feel as if I can’t help myself.

The biggest problem with this is that if I ever was to try and publish/monetize it under the Legend of Zelda name, Nintendo would be all over me with cease and desists.  They love that stuff apparently.  I guess I’ll see what it turns into.

I hate to bore with walls of text that aren’t story time, so here’s a cool album I discovered today to make up for it.  Hope you like post rock!

Posted in Updates

The Debut

If you happened to see my vlog way back when I was still in Paris, I took a short detour to an anime type shop as well as a manga/video game cafe.  I revealed that I am very much a big fan of Japanese culture and anime and stuff.

I decided that I would take a bigger step.  You see, while I like writing regular books, just putting walls of text on lifeless white pages is just so boring.  Have you ever read a manga?  That shit’s crazy!  I’ve always told myself; that’s what I wanna do!  So, I decided to give up traditional writing to become a mangaka (for you baka gaijin that means manga author.)

For my first work, I’ve decided to convert my story “Wall of Trump” into an action filled coming of age manga telling the tale of our main man Sergio fighting against the reign of Trump himself.  See the first chapter after the jump: Continue reading “The Debut”

Posted in Updates, writing

Get’chur Ebooks

If anyone was still in doubt, I am still a vlogger, despite my paltry view on Youtube.  Possibly I may be making the move to a different career soon too, one that doesn’t involve putting ingredients between slices of bread.

For now, getting those fat (read: purely fringe) royalty numbers from Amazon is nice to see. Getting my own physical copy of the book that I wrote myself, however,  had a bigger impact than anything else.  From tomorrow, the 30th, to Monday, the third, and eBook copy of Mother of Mars will be free on Amazon.  Additionally, if you buy the physical copy for 6.99, you can get an ebook copy for free as well.

I still need to decide what to do, or otherwise give away this copy I do have, but I don’t know how I plan to do it just yet.  It will give me time to work on my signature, though…

Posted in real life, Updates, Vlog, writing

The Full Book Arrives

After going through my third final editorial read-through, I finally decided to stop ‘stalling,’ if you might call it that.  I can’t remember which year of elementary school it was, but my teacher then told me that a work is never done, it’s just due.  And I think Mother of Mars was long due.

I first toyed with the idea of a full novel when I was working a graveyard shift job at a gas station.  I had a lot of time to think about… well, things.  That’s where the premise of the book started.  Finally, just over a year ago, I finally put pen to paper- or rather, fingers to keyboard.  And now the final version is here.

I’m definitely going to buy a copy of the print version for myself, basically to check the quality of the printing they do.  I’ve never gotten my hands on a book published in this manner, so it should be interesting.  After that, though, I plan to sign it and send it off eventually to someone deserving.  Not that my signature has any value yet.  I’ll be looking partially to those who have been liking, commenting, and reading to decide who might receive it.

For now, I’ve already started editing the sequel that I haven’t really touched since I finished it at the end of November last year.  It’s also ten thousand words longer.  Luckily, I just can’t help but be engrossed in the story for myself.

I don’t want to bore you with any more of me droning on about myself and my works, so here’s my vlog from when I went to Sacramento, California for my birthday.  Oh wait, that’s about me too…

Posted in Updates, Vlog

Works of Old And New

March is here!  In two days it’s my birthday.  I’m turning 26.  That also means it’s been one year since I originally took my job at that fateful, greasy deli.  We’re also almost at 50 followers here on the blog!  Thank you all for continuing to read the stuff I put out!

I’m going through the final bit of work putting final edits on Mother of Mars, which has been in progress for about a year now.  I hope to have it ready to put up on Amazon Kindle in the coming weeks.  Incidentally, it’s the perfect timing, being that the Spring Camp Nanowrimo session is right around the corner.  I have an idea of what to write about, but that’s secret for now.

That means I have a month to pretty much write whatever else- and I want you guys to decide what it might be about.  Option 1 is going back to Hell To Pay– the violent, bloody, eldritch inspired historical fiction.  Option 2 is Outland– my more recent writing project, about a man and his mech, exploring a post apocalyptic world.  (If you haven’t gotten a chance to read some of these, click those links so you can catch up on them!) Option 3 is to do more short stories- although these will come no matter what you choose!

Remember to keep any eye out for posts regarding MoM going up! I might even try and arrange a contest of some sort to win free copies.

Until there, here’s a video of my friend and I trying to make food while editing the book.