Friday, 29 August 2014

Free E-Book

Big surprise! My novella is now on sale for the reasonable price of free! If you want to read a weird story that is part coming of age and part plain odd, here's your chance!

Get it here!

If you want to know more about it, click on the "Works" tab and check out my past articles on the story. It might be a bit fun, who knows?

See you next week, and enjoy!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Trigun

"My name is Vash the Stampede. I have been a hunter of peace who chases the mayfly known as love for many, many moons now. There is no rest for me in my search for peace. I meditate diligently every morning. The subjects are life and love. I quit after 3 seconds." ~ Vash the Stampede


I promised I would do an entry on the very show that gave my blog a title, so here it is. I'm not certain when I'll be able to regularly make regular entries again so now would be the best time to explain my choices. As most are well aware this is an anime that was released in 1998, based on a Japanese manga (comic) and was a bit of a hit here. I was only about 15 at the time, probably too young to watch it, but considering where my life was at the time, it was fairly tame compared to other things I would dive into. Still, it ended up being a very positive influence in my life, its moral center struck out at me even when I was losing everything else and my grip on absolutes.

Trigun is a space western in the old style. It was released the same time as two other popular anime, being Cowboy Bebop and Outlaw Star which are affectionately known to anime fans as the Space Western Trilogy. They aren't related otherwise, though of the three Trigun is the most western while still retaining a science fiction core at the same time. It also the most serious and deals with the toughest themes.

It takes place in the desert on a distant planet in the far future when the human race is dying out through a series of deathly decisions. Nearing the end of their existence, two forces arrive to claim hold over the destiny of the survivors. The first, is a megalomaniac who calls himself Knives, a being nobody is convinced exists, yet he is able to control the fates of many from the shadows with only his silver tongue to help him. He manages to convince many bent individuals that what the human race really needs is to be cleansed from the purity of the universe. The second, is the man mentioned in the quote above, a wandering pacifist known as Vash the Stampede.

Trigun starts out as more of a comedy with an action bent, to the surprise of anyone who first watches. Vash bumbles through every situation, and seemingly by accident, manages to get through scrapes without anyone dying (sometimes they still get hurt) often doing little but inspiring pure hope in the townsfolk that their fate is much more than dying in the wasteland. Eventually we find this comedic approach is needed to break the tension of the world they live in, as even Vash is very well aware of what lies out in the wilds waiting to strike. As the story goes along, we start to understand more about who this man is, and it isn't anything natural, it's actually supernatural.

Monday, 25 August 2014

This Week

I've got a lot going on this week, so instead of an entry on Friday I will have a special surprise. I wish I could be more specific than that, but when you are dealing with other people's decisions and awaiting them, there isn't little you can do but wait.

I will try to put out something new on Wednesday, but, again, that will depend. Either way, I hope you have a good week ahead.

See you later!

Friday, 22 August 2014

Lyric Break

Because my Friday is going to be a bit packed, I thought I would post another lyric break. Sorry, I just don't have the time.

This time I chose lyrics from one of the most oddly overlooked famous bands, The Beach Boys. I know about everybody knows the big hits like Good Vibrations, I Get Around, or Wouldn't It Be Nice, but few ever mention this gem of a song.

Sail On, Sailor is a song written by the team of Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks, the team behind the legendary Smile album. It was later passed around and given so many facelifts by different people (including the group's manager) that it's amazing the final result as good as it is. A rarity among Beach Boys songs, the lead vocals were preformed by Blondie Chaplin, who delivers a marvelous effort. It was released in 1973 as a single and more or less flopped, to the surprise of nobody, because 1973 was a terrible year for music, so it doesn't surprise me that nobody would pick this to listen to when there were so many terrible songs to listen to instead. After all, it isn't a meandering mess of a song, it gets to the point, and is beautiful, which is something music from the '70s rarely is.

Over the years it has gotten to be a cult favorite among fans, but I truly believe it should be better known. But, hey, that's what the lyrics are for. Give these a read and you can judge for yourself. See you next week!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Ten Things About Modern Novels I Like

I thought I would try being positive this time. Sure there are a lot of reasons to dislike modern novels, but what about the good side? There is a good side, right? Of course there is.

While my other two lists were more negative, I'll try to make this one a bit more positive. After all, it's not like the writing world is in as big of a pit as the music industry or as predictable as the movie industry. In fact, there's quite a lot of good stuff out there.

So here we are, a list of ten things about the modern novel I like, which can translated as things I think the industry is doing well. This was a bit harder to put together as I tend to be pessimistic when it comes to sectors of the entertainment industry, but the positives really are positive. If you asked me to put one through for any other medium, I would probably be eternally stuck at two list entries. There just isn't a lot to say about them as there is for the writing world.

Without further ado, here it is:

Monday, 18 August 2014

This Week

Good day! I got a lot of reading and writing done this weekend. So far I've been really blessed this month with free time, I can only hope I still have it in the weeks to come!

This week I'll be writing a new list and continuing my YA series, so I hope you'll be interested in reading them. Hopefully I can get the posts up a bit earlier this week, but that will depend on how things go.

God bless and see you next time!

Friday, 15 August 2014

Boy Meets World


"Friendship for example, is a real gift. It's given with no expectations and no gratitude is needed, not between real friends." ~ George Feeny

 Here's a secret about me that everyone knows: I am nuts for sitcoms.

While I can get along fine with any genre when it comes to books, movies, plays, or whatever, on television it is the sitcom I enjoy the most.

Why? Maybe because the set up is basically like a play broadcasted to millions of homes at the same time, where we all get to watch the same stage show at the same time. Or maybe because it is the only genre of television that can vary from being hilariously dumb (Married . . . With Children) or uproariously smart (Frasier), and appeal to the old (The Golden Girls) and the young (Boy Meets World) alike. As far as I am aware, there is no other program format on television with as wide of an appeal of potential as the sitcom.

So you may be looking at the title and thinking I've gone mad. "That's a kid show!", "Let me guess, Saved By The Bell reruns are hard to come by?" or "I am over the age of 40. What is this madness I see before me?" are all variations on the same comments I'm sure to hear when this show is brought up. If you're wondering why I've chosen to write about this family sitcom from ABC's forgotten (except by sitcom fans) Friday night TGIF block, then prick up your ears, friends.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Ten Things About Modern Novels I Can Do Without

Most people don't read nowadays, it's true. There are several reasons for this and there are several groups who have their own theories. The literati don't care as the common man is beneath them, the YA crowd think their novels aren't dark enough, and the genre fiction people tend to specialize in their chosen genre to the exclusion of outsiders who are clueless. They don't all do this, of course, but rarely do they appear to have much concern with the fact that their chosen profession is shrinking in size.

I know some people who don't read and while there are many reasons for it (usually because they're rushing from point A to B all the time), there are certain peeves about books nowadays that instantly turn them off, as they do me.

The following is a list of both the things I dislike about modern books, and what others I've met seem to dislike about them. This isn't an all-encompassing list, obviously, but a few of the more annoying parasites in the written story world that just won't go away and in fact seem to be getting worse every year. As always, prepare for strange tangents!

Monday, 11 August 2014

This Week

Most of my weekend was spent reading, writing, praying, and watching Big Trouble in Little China. Safe to say, it was pretty inspiring.

This week my entries might be up a little late, but then, that isn't much different than usual. I'm doing  a bit of furniture moving this week, so I might not have the time to devote to these entries that I would normally like.

I'll be continuing my YA theme this Friday, though, of course, I'm not certain what the topic will be. I'm sure I'll figure something out.

Have a good week.

Friday, 8 August 2014

The Goonies [1985]



There are several surprising things about the legacy of The Goonies. The first is that a silly adventure movie has managed to last as long as it has in the public conscious, the second is that despite releasing in the middle of the 1980s, the height of commercial tie-ins, it has never really been a particularly milked franchise. It's a movie the resonates with people of a certain age and younger, that adults who were already grown up by the time it came out, just don't quite understand.

The director would go on to make more popular movies such as Home Alone and Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone, yet this is the work he would always come back to. Steven Spielberg, who has made more classic films than you could shake a stick at, has even tried several times to spearhead a sequel of some kind, but has never managed to get the feel he was looking for. It never felt right.

So why does it hold up? What makes this film stand out?

The plot is simple. The writing and acting isn't award winning. Yet, it's beloved by about everyone born later than 1980.

The reason it is considered a classic to a generation of kids being passed down to their kids is because it has something lesser movies like Monster Squad don't. It is a pure adventure story where the reward is understanding childhood and growing up.

The Goonies succeeds because of its simplicity.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

King of the Hill


"Bobby, you go pick something from the adventure section . . . anything about a boy with gumption should be fine." ~ Hank Hill

Man, is there anyone out there who isn't a fan of King of the Hill? Simultaneously a satire and love letter to small town life, and full of larger than life characters, King of the Hill is one of the few "adult" programs I watched when I was a kid (Yes, I was that kid) that I still find enjoyment in now.

Why is that?

Well, if you've seen the show, then you know why. If you haven't, then I'm not sure how to explain its appeal. But, I guess I'll try.

"Gun's don't kill people. The Government does." ~ Dale Gribble

Monday, 4 August 2014

This Week

I saw Guardians of the Galaxy this weekend, it was quite a lot of fun. It's probably a bit too intense for younger viewers, but for the older audience, I would say it is worth the watch.

So, continuing with my theme last week, I'll be trying another post in the same vein as that. As for my second post, well, I'm still unsure. I appear to work better working off the cuff and waiting for the last minute.

Have a good week!

Friday, 1 August 2014

"The Outsiders" by S.E. Hinton



 “Things were rough all over, but it was better that way. That way you could tell the other guy was human, too."

I've mentioned her enough so far that I think it's only right to do a post on this misunderstood book, her first and still most popular. I'm not the only one who has been influenced by this book, as basically the entire young adult genre was created simply to classify this novel (and keep it away from "real" novels for "proper" people, no doubt) which has continued to misrepresent not only the book's intent, but the author's entire body of work.

You see, Mrs. Hinton wrote this book when she was fifteen, which, of course, meant that it was aimed at children since you can only write for people the same age as yourself. It also features violence that is not gratuitous, but since it features it at all, that means that it is an inherently immoral book. The main characters are also children (late teens, mostly) with an absence of adult characters which, somehow, means that it is a screed against parental authority.

Oh yes, and because certain kids drink (mostly the older ones, again) and smoke, that it advocates those things instead of pretending they don't exist or dealing with the issue. Basically, this book is full of anarchy and revels in sin, making it the worst thing a child could ever possibly read.

The problem with those assertions? None of them are true. They all emerge from people who have never read the book.

More after the break.