April 2016 News

I hate spring time.

April Fools!

Spring might be my favorite season.
It’s warming up.
Bugs and birds and trees and squirrels are all getting happy all over the place.
Just good times.

Some friends and I were supposed to get a booth at SC ComiCon on the first weekend of April. My friends do cosplay stuff. I’d have brought books and Silexare swag. Unfortunately, we (more specifically, ALLEN!) didn’t reserve the booth in time. Oh well.

Writing

I’m making constant progress in Turesia. Right now it’s exciting and fun to write, as well as challenging. I’ve found that I achieve a cruising altitude in my writing when I make it a habit. It’s not based on where I am in the story, or how much I like a given scene, that makes writing easy (although fun scenes do help). It is when I’m able to exercise some discipline by putting down distractions that I find my happy place.

All my books and research and notes on ancient Hawaii are finally getting put to use. We’ve met some villagers of Ausgan and we’re getting into their nitty-gritty. I’m in an early enough draft that I can get away with over-writing the details. Later I’ll come shear it back; keep what matters.
I’ve gotten into a groove that’s working out well. I write every other night, rather than try to write every night and burn out. On nights I’m not writing, I play –

Playing

Stardew Valley.
This game is like digital crack cocaine.
As it starts, your grandpa leaves you the keys to his farm and you quit your soul-sapping job in the city to become a farmer in the country. When you arrive, you learn that there’s a ton of work to be done. The farm and land have been neglected for some time. So you begin cleaning it up, preparing it for crops, orchards, grazing pastures, vineyards, barns, silos, etc. So far, (and I’m about a year into the game) this is almost the entire premise.

I’ve always liked Harvest Moon-style, farming simulator games but I’ve never been a HUGE fan. They tend to get repetitive or laborious. Stardew Valley, however, continues to sprinkle in new activities and things to do. Colorful, retro graphics. Great sounds and lighting and atmosphere. Rich soundtrack. Dungeons to explore with weapons and armor and treasures to find. There are townsfolk with whom to build or wreck relationships. A community center to rebuild and a greedy corporation to thwart.

On days when I’d rather consume creative content than produce it, this is currently my drug.

Watching

Vikings
I love this show. I realize it’s not entirely historically accurate. It doesn’t have the biggest budget, and so it can’t shoot enormous-scale battles (although it does well with what it has). But it’s really good. Good cast. Awesome locations (it’s filmed in Ireland). Very immersive into the life of Ragnar Lothbrok and the bloody ambitions and deceit that exemplify viking life in the eighth century.

Batman v Superman
This is a tough movie to talk about. Partly because I don’t want to spoil anything. But mostly because I don’t know how to feel about the film as a whole. I was hoping it would be stand-alone capable. Its title does not suggest it’s a sequel. Unfortunately it tries to be a sequel (to Man of Steel), a prequel (to whatever Justice League crap they’re about to start churning out), and, as an afterthought, a film about two of our heroes going at it. I didn’t find the BvS beef to be the focus. But to be honest, between dream sequences and odd pacing, there were times I couldn’t tell what was the focus.

The action was great. The score was amazing. Ben Affleck as Batman? I guess he works. Didn’t really have a lot of character screen time although I hear a lot of people loved him.

I’m seeing it again soon. I expect it to make more sense after that. Until then, I give it 7.5 batarangs on a scale of zero to Superman.

Reading

I started reading a book called A Sawmill’s Hope. Maybe you’ve heard of it. I ordered a box of books for our SC ComiCon trip. When the box arrived, I decided to sit down with a copy. I always give away my own copies.

It’s interesting to read it again after a long time. Some scenes or lines make me cringe and wonder why I left them in. Some scenes impress me and make me wonder how I ever thought of them. That gives me hope.

Ready Player One
This book pissed me off. I wrote a review on Amazon.com.
tl;dr: I give it 2 stars out of 5. Normally I wouldn’t even finish a book I don’t like. But I was obligated to finish this one. And so my opinion came forth.

I’m also reading Rosalie Lightning. This is a graphic memoir by cartoonist Tom Hart about the death of his daughter, Rosalie. I’m halfway through it. I hope to be able to collect my thoughts by this time next month and tell you how felt about it. So far it’s painfully familiar but not overpoweringly so. I think part of me wanted it to overpower me.

Next Month

I have a tour I’m starting. But not with books. There’s a new musical project I’m a part of. We play bluegrass covers of N’Sync songs. Sounds weird? There’s totally a market for it, believe it or not!

We’re looking to land a booking manager, which shouldn’t be hard at all considering the rapid growth of this genre.
We haven’t done any studio recording yet but my friend took a video of one of our shows. Check it out here! (links to YouTube) #AF

Happy April, fool

David

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