Saturday, December 20, 2014

#MySevenHorcruxes – WHAT WOULD YOU TURN INTO A HORCRUX?


What killed Voldemort? Some might say Harry Potter… or more accurately, Voldemort’s own rebounded spell… but I say that what really did old Voldy in was his need for grandeur.

Voldemort picked awful objects to become his horcruxes. I mean, I get it. You want your most treasured stuff to become your soul-keepers but… why such identifiable items such as heirlooms from the Hogwarts Founders?

That got me thinking, if I were to rip my soul into seven pieces through dark magic, what objects would I choose to turn into my horcruxes?

1. My bass

Dean sunburst, hallow body, fretless… This bass is a beast. I created an album with it. It’s such a mellow bass, not funky, but I’m pretty mellow, too. Even though it has marked lines across the neck, it’s actually without the metal parts that would otherwise separate frets. That means I can make sounds that slowly rise and morph. It’s groovy, and totally an object that I’d make into a horcrux.

With a piece of my soul and some dark magic, any sound that came out of it would cause you to hear the thing you dread the most. For me, it might be the sound of a tree crashing down (I was almost killed by a falling tree once).
           
2. The Large Hadron Accelerator

The LHC would be the perfect horcrux simply because if it got angry, a bit of my soul could create a blackhole to destroy all of existence. That, and imagine the weirdness that could emerge from the combination of dark magic and deep science.

3. The Statue Of Liberty

Wouldn’t it be funny if to take me out you’d have to reenact Ghostbusters? Yeah, like, Harry Potter goes to New York to fight the freaking Statue of Liberty, because the statue is a horcrux and it has begun to rampage downtown.

Of course, Lady Libercrux would have more than just the ability to go giant monster movie style. In fact, it might never move at all unless someone tried to destroy it. What it’s core function would be is to consume the free will of anyone who entered into her. The Statue of Liberty would be a siren, never allowing anyone to leave her island without whispering a dark secret into the mind of the trespasser.


4. A Creepy Doll


This ==>

Also, a Creepy Doll would be the ultimate insanity for something to come to life. I suppose I would have to store the doll somewhere deep within the bowels of Gringotts or something. Maybe I would take an abandoned amusement park and make the doll horcrux the King. It would force anyone near to relive their childhood horrors.


5. a block of solid titanium

The next two are really about security. Voldemort never attempted to make a horcrux that couldn’t be destroyed, however, I believe that a block of solid titanium would be a good way to start. Titanium is one of the hardest metals in the world, and I doubt there are many spells that would harm a solid block of it. Honestly, the only thing I can think to do is transfigure it into something else…. but if it were that simple, why didn’t anyone think to transfigure that lockette? I’m just saying, you’d need something better than the Sword of Gryffindor or a basilisk tooth to penetrate the defenses of this horcrux. I’m not sure what crazy thing a solid block of titanium could do. I mean, Riddle’s journal could write back. The lockette had the eye. A block of titanium… maybe it would reflect imagry on its side? I don’t know.



6. a grain of freaking sand

This one isn’t my idea completely. I’m not sure where I heard this one, but wouldn’t it have been smart for Voldemort to turn a single grain of sand into a horcrux and them cast it into the middle of the freaking ocean? Nobody would have found it there… ever! He would have never, ever died. The end. In fact, while I’m at it, I’m dropping off that block of titanium, which will be concealed in a larger, hollow block of titanium, and all of that incased in twelve inches of plastic. Now, this impossible-to-break horcrux is at the bottom of the sea, and there’s no way anyone will ever find it. The only thing Dumbledore could do is to make a horcrux himself and eternally fight the battle against me, killing me over and over and me him over and over and this has gone overboard…


7. My necklace

My chain is a holdover from my high school days, sure, but it’s still freaking cool. I love this thing. It’s actually the second one, a duplicate of my first necklace. I bought the original one from Six Flags, but I lost it (I think an ex girlfriend stole it). The one I still have I bought off another dude for 10 bucks and a Mountain Dew. I hardly ever wear it because I don’t want it to get lost, and besides I’m not 14 anymore. I still love it. If it were a horcrux, when you peer into the hole in the center of the emblem, you would see memories from my past. If you stared too long then you would start to believe you were me. 


WHAT ARE YOUR SEVEN HORCRUXES?


Make a blog post of your own, leave a comment here linking to it so I can read it, and then post to Twitter with #MySevenHorcruxes as a hashtag. This could be fun!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Living in the St. Louis area during the moment of the Michael Brown Protests


I am not going to intentionally post anything that will ignite flames. I don’t even really want to talk about who was right and who was wrong, because, frankly, I don’t see this as a binary issue. There was wrong on both sides of the argument, and Michael Brown supporters and Darren Wilson supporters both truly are fighting over something incredibly deeper than the particular act of the shooting. 

Do I have an opinion on it? Yes. Will I share it? Absolutely not, publicly. I don’t want to touch the core of the debate with a 20-foot pole. People are losing friends over this by making statements they know too little about. I want no part in it.


Perspective.

What this blog post is about is what it’s like to live in the St. Louis area during all of this. I’m a white man. I’m privileged. What I write here is not a generalization of what everyone’s life is like; this is what my personal observations have been. I’m not even in the city. I live across the river in the nearby Belleville. That’s about 18 minutes to downtown. 
 

Fear.

Many of my white friends and family are scared to go downtown because of the violence. They’re afraid that the protests will come over to this side of the river. They’re scared of talking about anything with black people, because they don’t want to say the wrong thing. Obviously, I harbor that, too. Who wants to be accidentally offensive? Most of my white friends are intelligent enough to understand that there’s no way they could ever understand what it’s like to be black, and so to speak about it with a black person is going into a hot-button topic with a layer of ignorance.

Racism.

White people in STL, it seems, are less scared to say anything they want behind the keys of a computer. On the day that the indictment was decided, there was a slew of blatantly racist garbage posted to social media, by people I would have never thought to feel the way they apparently do. Let it be known, I hate racism. It is ugly. I deleted several people because of how nasty some of the postings were. It doesn’t matter whose side you’re on about this; there’s no reason to be racist. 


Accusations.

I remember when #NotAllMen and #YesAllWomen were trends on Twitter. Men wanted to come out and say that not all of them were nuts after a crazed guy with a non-existent lovelife went on a shooting rampage at a sorority, and feminists responded to those men by saying that it doesn’t matter how good some men are because all women have to face the bad men. That same sort of thing is going on in STL, but instead of women and men it’s black and white people. White people want to say, “We’re not all racists,” but black people respond, “It doesn’t matter because all black people deal with racists.” I can’t speak for black people, but white people feel accused (not me, but in general). They feel like all black people hate them now over something one person did. I can understand why black people might not care how white people feel, because this moment, they probably feel, is about them.


Personally.

Of course, I believe that there is a race problem in the USA. That is an obvious fact. I believe black lives matter. Something needs to be done about it. What that is, I don’t know. I’m not saying anything about the shooting specifically, however white people still have special privileges in all aspects of everyday life. That needs to change. There is no freedom until all people are treated equally. I suppose that is the most important part of all this. I think the conversation is a good place to start. This is my contribution to keeping the talk alive.

BRING BACK THE ICE CLIMBERS! - a best-of Miiverse holiday Super Smash Bros. Special

So, I'm working on something BIG. If that large text didn't emphasize it enough, I'm working on what will probably be the biggest blog post I've ever done, and it's all about my thoughts on Smash Bros for 3DS and Wii U. I'm going to cover everything ever on it, but I have a day job, which means it's going to take another month to finish. With that, I'm also doing a bunch of hand-drawn art to spice it all up, so watch out for that sometime after the holidays...

So, for this month, I thought my blog post would be a simpler one. It's another BEST OF MIIVERSE post (Part 1 is here), and it mostly has to do with Smash Bros. anyway, since that is what I have been gaming recently (also, Shadow of Mordor).

The biggest theme for these is that while playing Smash, I've really missed playing as the Ice Climbers, who were cut from the latest versions.

Here's my plea: Nintendo, please bring them back as DLC! I don't care if they're Wii U exclusive and cannot be played with during 8-player Smash. Just bring them back! Smash just doesn't feel the same without them!

Anyway, here goes:

I tried to draw Ridley....


First thing I drew upon realizing that the Ice Climbers were cut


...I was mad, bro...


Then I began my crusade


This was as positive as I got


Dolphin Shoals has always been one of my more challenging races in Mario Kart 8


Playing some Wii Fit U


Working on the new Mario Kart 8 DLC


Back on topic...


First post on the Smash Wii U


I used to love Garfield


Things got weird


We'll end with another one about Ridley and his size... I really love that you can post Smash screenshots to Miiverse!

Anyway, thanks for coming to my blog. [insert PLEASE UNDERSTAND meme] My next post will be HUGE and well worth the wait and ALL about Smash!

Best of Miiverse Part 1

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Felix Buttonweezer’s Gun Moll



You wake up, one sleepy arm asleep from sleeping on it, the other on the chest of your lover, Felix Buttonweezer. You laugh, clearly remembering that this was all supposed to be a joke. Sure, you’d go out for the night with this thug, this armme de crime, and he’d take you to the shady part of town and show give you a reason to reject him.

Not for me, you think, Felix is really something more. You aim to stick around, to be the next Buttonweezer.

You slide out from bed, pull on your clothes, and cross the freezing, icy, chilly, really quite cold hardwood of his apartment flooring which is under your feet. 

 The wood creaks. You silently enter the kitchen and fiddle around with the coffee machine. It’s one of those single-cup brewers. “Forget it,” you say, and your eyes turn to the picture on the counter:

Felix has two little Buttonweezers. Their names are Criggle and Swarve. A dragon comes, and it is 300,000 times the size of you. You eat it. Pancakes fly through the mail slot, and then the dentures reach out of the camel’s eye and BAM; you’re ticklish on the corn wheel outer chicken nugget for to look more like?

"Oh, I'm kidding."


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Coffee Challenge Ended + Talking About Personal Writing


So, my 37-day No-Coffee Challenge ended. I was successful in not drinking any caffeinated beverages (knowingly, at least) for 37 days. This is the first sip of coffee, which I took this morning:



TOPIC CHANGE: personal writing


Awhile back, my good friend and I were discussing how our lives got to the places we’re at, and he mentioned that he had been writing something every day, sort of like a journal.

I’m the kind of person who writes about my own life. I have f o u r blogs here on Blogger, and this one, A Poet's Revolver, is a monthly blog about the happenings in my life. But those are the public blogs under my name; I also keep two others. One is a secret blog that is public but anonymous, the other is a blog that I keep in a Word file on my computer. The secret blog is a place to publicly express my frustrations about dating, and the Word file is a private one that I go into detail with specifics that I will never want anyone to ever see (like a private diary). These last two blogs are infrequent to the point that I only write in them when I need to feel better (writing is my outlet) or something big is happening in my life.

Throughout my grade and high school life, I used to write in physical notebooks,all of which I’ve kept and am still keeping in my box-o-memories. Gosh, I remember how this started. A girl named Christine started keeping a notebook and listing random goofy things, like rejected Snow White-dwarf names. Stinky. Wasteful. Fuzzy. Most of the names were not PG, if I remember correctly, so I won't list them here, but you get the idea. I still keep physical notebooks, but they're all dedicated to making art and sketching out ideas for my books.

from Camp, after a day of mud-sliding, I'm the redhead in the back
I remember very specifically buying a notebook and writing in it while I worked for the Boy Scouts at Camp Joy. I wrote a page for every single day during the two months I worked there, and I've even outlined a potential book I could turn it into someday. I worked at the camp in 2007, and this was a weird time in my life. I had left high school in 2005, and so during 2007 I was in my college-days, feeling lonely and wondering what I was supposed to do with my life. Camp was so random and I didn't know anyone that it became a real period of growth and crazed adventure for me.

When the Internet grew, 

a photo I took from last month on an orange morning
I began keeping public blogs on some of the old blog-building websites. Most of those I have since deleted because they are embarrassing. When Facebook became a thing, I started writing notes (also now deleted). Haha, that was my political/religious angst phase, where I was exploring all of the different philosophical ways there were to be. Those were fun because I had some crazy conversations with random people.

I quit talking politics and religion once I decided to fully commit myself to becoming an author, though, mainly because I wanted to have a public face that would be welcoming to anyone. So, instead, I created an education blog, along with my book and nerd culture blog. I’ve since deleted the ed blog and replaced it with this life and another blog about creatures from my book. So, that’s where I am today.

But a few months ago, I got a calendar from my work, and it was about the size of one of my old notebooks, so I began writing every day in the day-slot. I write things I do, or random observations, or things my friends have said, or weird dreams, or… anything, really. It’s cool to see EVERYTHING I’ve done for the past few months in big blocks of text.

Now, when I ask myself if October was a worthwhile month, I can look back and say:


giant ketchup bottle
I went to a science fiction convention.
I put up awesome decorations (see them here!).
I started seriously lifting weights and eating healthy.
I was a monster in a haunted trail. (I vlogged this)
I survived being in the middle of a tornado.
I went to a pumpkin patch.
I went hunting for Cakeway to the West cakes at the Giant Ketchup Bottle and Cahokia Mounds.
I went to The Darkness haunted attraction.
I hung out with random, awesome friends.
My goldfish died.
Had lunch with a friend at a local coffee shop.
Had a dinner with family that I haven’t seen in 3 years.
Went to a wicked Halloween party and met a bunch of new people.

 

(the above video is a vlogged account of the aforementioned haunted trail)

So, yes, I had a good month. My life’s time was well spent.

taken from Cahokia Mounds
I like knowing that for a fact. October was a fantastic month filled with doing stuff. This month, November, is already 11 days through. Weird, huh? It hasn’t been all that eventful, but that was meant to be the plan. November is a month I’ve dedicated to working on my book. I really want to get it finished.

I did have an awesome time at my sister’s birthday dinner the other day. We went to Shogun's, where they cook Japanese food right before you on a giant stove in the center of your table. They shot drink into my cousin’s mouth and my sister had to dance with a dragon. It was fun.

I suppose that's all I have to say for today. This has been a bit of a disjointed blog post, for sure, but I write all this for myself more than anyone. I thank you for reading, though. It's nice to think that someone out there is listening.

Leave a comment and tell me something cool from your life! Also, you can follow me on Twitter @Oxyborb

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Halloween Decorations 2014 - The year of BONES

This year my Halloween decoration theme was BONES. I wanted to do something different than my usual, so I bought nothing but a bunch of skeletons and bone-creatures. My favorite is this little skeletal bird that I got at Target for 8 bucks! What a steal!

I also wanted an awesome full-sized skeleton, so I got a really high-quality posable one from Spirit  and stuck a sword through him. I hung a bunch of bones around the house with rope and then sprayed them with this quart of fake blood. I also love the skeletal rats I got, mostly because my novel, The Unraveler, has a skeletal rat in it!



Saturday, October 25, 2014

R.I.P. Ludwig the Blackmoor Goldfish. 2005-2014.



Got him in my first year of college by winning a campus freshmen carnival game. He stayed in my dorms for those years, outliving Hedwig, the goldfish I got with him, and several others I tried to put in his tank since. He also outlived several gangs of snails, a gathering of ghost shrimp, a countless population (literally about 1000 born and died during the many years) of guppies that I bought in high school (the guppies finally died out about two years ago). 

Ludwig was a good fish, no question. He loved swimming into upturned coffee mugs, making poop strings, and eating rocks to regurgitate them later. He will be buried today in the backyard in a shoebox at the time of whenever I get to it. All memorials can be made to Flakes for Fortuneless Fingerlings. Stray cats be warned: He will be sprinkled with hot sauce.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

How to make Mario Kart 9 Significantly Better than 8

Mario Kart 8 has some of the best racing in any game ever. This fact cannot be disputed. The items are finally balanced; even the blue shell is OK. The new courses are extremely fun, the remixed returning tracks are inspired and fresh again with the new mechanics. The anti-gravity is great. Bumping each other for boosts is really awesome. I love the glider and the underwater propeller. I love the racing. The tricks. Wow. Such fun.


All that above is undeniable. Best racing in a Mario Kart, hands down. The thing that Mario Kart 8 lacks in is features and game modes. While the core gameplay is the best it’s ever been, the extras were bare bones. It’s like all of the resources for Mario Kart went into the races, and then everything else was rushed to get the game out faster. Obviously, Wii U needed the game immediately, so I can understand why this happened, but it’s still worth talking about. Why? Because I love Nintendo more than any other gaming company. I want them to succeed, not fall behind. If I’m honest, though, Nintendo is falling behind when it comes to basic features that should be in every game. I’m not hating on Nintendo here, just trying to add another voice to let them know how critical it is that they get their games up to the same level as other companies.

First, I want to talk menus.

They are very simplistic, and not in a good way. The menu systems that Nintendo implements in its games feel archaic, dry. They are: go straight to the races. However, modern companies that accept that online is how gamers want to be should give its customers more than that. A menu system should make the community of people who love that game feel like it’s a living and breathing world.

Monday, October 13, 2014

No Coffee: Week 1


coffee pokemon
So, one week ago my evil friend assigned me 37 days of torture.

Ok, erm…

I decided that I needed a break from coffee. I was drinking too much. It was giving me an upset stomach and making me feel paranoid (not like dangerously or anything, just over little things). Now, I really, really love coffee. Perhaps Seattle had an effect on me, but I drink it every morning. I drink it when I write and when I play video games. I drink it when I draw and when I sit on YouTube. It makes me feel creative and motivated to work. I knew I needed moderation, but I’m bad at moderation. I needed some sort of quick action to expel me out of my routine.

What I randomly decided one morning was to ask Facebook to give me a number between 1 and 50, which would translate into the number of days I would abstain from drinking coffee/soda/caffeinated beverages. The first person to comment said, “37. I've always liked that number. XD” and so I charted off 37 days of torture.

That lead me to November 11th. That will be my first day I’m allowed to drink coffee again. It’s convenient that that day is also a day off for me. What I do plan to do is start on moderation. Instead of using this giant red cup, I’ll use my coffee mug. I’ll limit myself to one mug per half-day (so once in the morn and once in the evening), and that will cut my consumption in half.

So, week one is finished for me. My first day without was not great. I had a head ache. The next few were fine, actually. Sunday was the biggest craving for it I’ve had, and I quelled it with some cocoa.

My stomach has felt better. I have not felt paranoid. I’ve actually started a few other dietary habits in the last few weeks, including weight lifting and vegetable-only lunches, so I’ve been feeling good in general. My muscles have been weak and sore, but that has nothing to do with coffee. I have been excessively tired lately. I went to bed on Wednesday and slept for 12 hours.

That’s pretty much it for that.

Creatures and Monsters of The Unraveler - PART 1

My novel is filled with crazy beasts of my design. On this side project I'm working on, I'm creating nice artwork and describing some of the lesser-seen monsters of my world. So, to show a few of the creatures, I'm compiling a best-of monster list of creatures that exist in my novel.

Click the names to go to the full post about each creature!

Umi

Description: The Umi is the smallest form of a chain of ostrich-like bird-lizards. During the life of the young Umi, its brain divides, it grows two new eyes, and the bones in its neck and skull duplicate. When an Umi sheds its skin, that means that its head is ready to split into two, and from them on the two-headed creature is referred to as a Miras.



Kudanite

Description: Capable of breathing both water and air, Kudanites are highly intelligent beings that occupy the nation of Weskernoth. They consider it a challenge to live on the land, and they call those that stick to the seas as savage and uncivilized. They fight against themselves almost as much as they fight other species, however they still find value in trade, money, and creating allies. They have arms like humans, but with tentacles instead of hands.


Mothroven

Description: Mothroven choose the form they want, so you might see them as as men with two arms and two legs, or as a jumbled mess of limbs and features. Although many people believe that they are ghosts or spirits, Mothroven are not capable of the normal ghost tropes. For example, they cannot walk through walls... they can, however, usually fit under them. Their form-changing, nearly-weightless bodies are flexible enough to fit into the smallest of cracks.


Cauli

Description: Cauli are another creature, like Sneidlatter, that bear the anti-gravity puffball organs called buoyaffs. The puffballs contain a magnetic mineral that push away from the center of the planet, which allows them to defy the force keeping them attached to the ground.



Walking Mouth

Description: With four strong legs holding it up, the Walking Mouth has a surprisingly easy time navigating all types of terrain. While a hunter by nature and a frightening sight to behold, this beast usually never kills its prey. In fact, it only hunts for buoyaffs-growing beasts such as Sneidlatters, Driffon, or Parsers. The Mouth has evolved in this way specifically to snatch off the antigravity organs, which it stores in the sac at the other end of its body. The tall teeth are actually used defensively, more often than not.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

SLENDERMAN DISASSEMBLED

This is an idea I had: Take a cool concept/character/location/object from fiction and dissect it to find out exactly why it is just SO COOL! It's sort of a short literary analysis, only without a thesis. Some of these observations are obvious, but I'm going to list them because I'm going to try and tear apart the concept into its most fundamental ingredients:

drawing by me
SLENDERMAN

The core essence of what makes him amazing:

1. His story is unknown
It's weird how a mind can create its own narrative when there isn't one immediately apparent.

2. He's partially/vaguely human
I think the most terrifying monsters have human traits because humans are afraid of what they might become if they went down the worst of life's roads.

3. He lives in the woods, but wears a freaking suit jacket
Why the suit? A forest is a terrible place to wear a suit, however the suit does make him, in a sense, more welcoming. You don't expect a professional to also be a monster. I can't really think of too many other suit-wearing creatures, can you?

4. He follows
Just the fact that he's always right behind you is frightening. He doesn't come straight at you; he waits until you're not looking.

5. He only makes the kill after he primers you with fear. The fear, to him, is like a flavor
Slender Man stories always start with a few sightings of the creature before the kill. It's like the Slender wants to be seen, like the fear builds something desirable.


6. He is slender like the trees he walks between
The forest is filled with slender life: trees. He's just the right shape to hide amongst the trunks.

7. He disappears and reappears
Teleportation is creepy because it is an unknown. It's easier to be bold against your fears when you know where they are. It's not so easy to combat fear when it can move all around you.

8. Although his limbs are long, he generally attacks with the tentacles on his back
The arms don't move much. They sway a bit, which gives Slendy an eerie effect.

9. He can cause visual distortion
Along with the fact that he can teleport away and not be seen, Slendy can also take away your visual ability. Blindness is frightening, because it causes the world to become a great unknown.

10. He can cause memory loss

Forgetting is one way to renew fear. Without your field of experiences to draw upon, the old scares from before will be fresh the next time around.

11. He inspires paranoia
Even when he's not in view, Slender Man continually makes you look over your shoulder.

12. He is often seen stalking children on a playground

Harming children is the worst kind of crime imaginable, so any monster that goes specifically for them is the worst kind.


Follow me @Oxyborb and check out my website at http://www.harrisonaye.com Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Weird Dream Tattoos and Going On New Adventures


I just re-read my last entry, and I’d say that the last month has been hard. I’ve just been lonely recently. I’ve been sort of clueless as to what to do besides continue working on my novel.

I’m on a huge upswing right now, though.
I decided to take some action and now I have a bunch of plans to go out into the world and do stuff over the next few weeks. I’m making plans for a hike, to go hang out with a bunch of video game nerds, and to go play some tabletop RPGs with a meetup group. I plan on going to a convention that is happening next month. I even updated my OKcupid, haha. Maybe I’ll actually man up and go on a date.
 
So, that’s the update on that. I’m doing stuff. I've lined up some adventures, and it's changed my mood in positive ways. Life moves on, hopefully gets better, you know, the human experience. It’s Halloween; I’m destined to enjoy myself more than usual. I bought a skeleton, haha. If only I could find someone to go to a haunted house with this year!

In weird dream related news (why is this becoming a thing?), I had a pretty good one the other week and I drew a picture to go with it:

"In my dream, I was tattooing a pretty girl at a state fair.

The tattoo was a centipede with a long body crawling down her back, but at the opposite end of the head was a lion. The last leg of the centipede was the lion’s reaching claw, and the lion’s tail made an S up her shoulder. On the bushy end of the tail was a tiny toy King with a sword reaching out the same direction as the lion’s claw. The woman I was tattooing kept shivering and telling me that my ink was cold.”


I wrote the words above before making the drawing. The brain is a weird place, isn’t it?





Follow me @Oxyborb and check out my website at http://www.harrisonaye.com Thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Project Update - #Unraveler #Pixelic and more


Today I completed another major round of editing on my primary writing project, The Unraveler. I’m telling you, it feels good, man. My original goal for having my novel sending-out-to-agents-ready was my birthday (September 25th), but I think I’m going to push that back until spring. 

halloween nears!
For those who haven’t studied the business of writing/selling fiction books, the basics (for an unpublished writer like me) are like this:

1. Write the book
2. Edit the book to absolute perfection
3. Write a query letter that shows how awesome/marketable your book is
4. Send said query letter to an agent
5-. If the agent rejects you, move on to the next
5+. If the accepts you, then the agent will attempt to sell your book to the various publishers
6. If the publisher accepts, then woo-hoo, you’re going to be published


Step 7 and on is marketing and etc, etc. It might even be the biggest/most complicated part of the whole thing, but that’s not what this blog post is about.

I’m on step 2 & 3, and I’ve been there for a while. I’ve been polishing my book to an insane degree, and I’ve spent more time on the editing than I did on writing the book.

The reason is that you cannot send a query letter about the same book to the same agent twice. So, if my book is littered with problems and grammatical errors, then my ship has sunk if I mail out my query letter too early.

So, I’ve been editing, editing, editing…

long past the point where my friends & family who have read it have told me that they think it’s already perfect. Honestly, it wasn’t and isn’t, but I can now say that it’s getting close. I might do a few more read-throughs before feeling OK to send it out, but all the major issues my book had have been fixed. I’ve spent years cutting out the fatty, boring parts and enhancing the awesome. I’ve spent so much time just considering plot loopholes and character perspective and all that jazz, but it’s nearly there.

and the rest of my projects

But I want to have a career in writing; not just be a one-book-wonder. So, while I’m editing The Unraveler, I’ve also created a potential series plan, wrote the first 3 chapters of book 2, and I’m ramping up a second book series called Pixelicand planning out a one-off novel (codenamed  Project HIM). I’m also writing a bunch of short stories and poems that I wish to submit to magazines soon. But that’s not all.

I’m working on a marketing plan for myself (so when I do talk to agents/publishers, I won’t feel completely ignorant), a synopsis of my book, a career path (so I can see the direction I want to take), reading books on book selling/writing as an industry, and I’m creating the foundations for a successful social media world. That, and I’m still working on making my query letter explain in so few words why I believe my book will sell. 

It’s a lot of work. 

Oh, yeah, and I have a fulltime job. lol

I haven’t made much time for friends lately, and for that I’m sorry. I’m basically in a mad drive to get my book completed, at this point. Deadlines are insanely important to me, and I don’t want to be working on The Unraveler forever (but I also won’t quit until it’s truly perfect).

In unrelated news, 

I’ve started reading The Unwanteds: Island of Legends and also I’ve begun Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. Something light and fun and something deep and adult. They are a surprisingly good combination of books to read at once. Oh well, that’s my update.


Thank you to everyone who has and continues to support me in my crazed ambitions. I hope I make it all worthwhile, someday.



Friday, September 5, 2014

Mass Effect - I beat it, here's what I think:

FYI, I only played ME2 and ME3, because ME1 wasn’t out for PS3 when I felt like playing it. So, this is all about the last two games. Also, for ME3, I played Citadel, From Ashes, and Leviathan DLC (I skipped Omega). I played as an Engineer; my most used sidekicks were Liara, Garrus, and Javik. I played on Insanity. I achieved the platinum trophy on ME3, but not 2.

SPOILER WARNING: I am going to litter this with spoilers, so if you haven’t played the game, go play it. That’s all you need to know. Mass Effect is amazing. Go play it immediately.

Mass Effect was beautiful.

I loved the worlds. I loved the set pieces. I loved looking out from where my shuttle landed and seeing a grand expanse of terrain. The views were incredible. Whereas most video games place you in a windowless room to fight through so that they don’t have to worry about creating outside visuals, Mass Effect creates large open windows and allows the player to see the world beyond. I loved looking around and admiring the horizon, seeing the battles unfolding far beyond the space that my character can go. The indoor settings were even expansive… seeing the inside of the Geth Dreadnought and the endlessly large tunnels… Incredible.

The graphics were some of the best I’ve seen on the PS3.

On the critical side of the visual spectrum, I will say that Bioware games have always, for me, had a problem with coming to life by way of motion. Whereas in games like Skyrim, the NPCs walk around, sharpen tools, use the log cutter, ride horses, etc… Bioware games, like ME, usually are populated with static NPCs that don’t move much beyond idling animations. I would like to see Bioware work on this, as their worlds are some of the most engaging and immersive ever created, they deserve to have NPCs that feel alive. Why is the same Volgon always in the Embassy when I show up? Why always standing in the same place? Doesn’t he live somewhere? Doesn’t he have other things to do?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Climactic Moment/The Payoff


I used to play in garage bands back when I was in high school. There was this guy, a kid who seemed to know everyone in the local scene, and he taught me a valuable lesson about art that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.

You need a climax, a moment of extreme payoff, a part of the art that rises above all the rest and makes the whole progression through it slam into one pivotal revelation. 

a Game of Thrones sigil I drew when I was bored one day
I had been writing songs, then. I was the singer in all the bands I’ve been in, and that position usually also made me the songwriter. My friend, Julius, had just taken me into one of his bands. I was adding a slower song to it. Something mellow and unlike anything I had written before.

Julius told me that he liked the song, but that it needed a climactic moment. That, being that the entire song was mellow, the verses and choruses didn’t seem to be building to anything. My tune was good, my guitar riffs were sound, but I wasn’t providing that key moment that would make the listener’s climb to the end of the song worthwhile.

I envisioned the song. I cut the drums and bass out of the beginning. I started it with just my voice and guitar. Harmonizing came on the second verse. Bass came in on the second chorus. A vamp, a musical interlude with different styling, fit in next. Finally, the lead chorus came again, only I added hard-hitting drums and made the instruments fly. Instead of mellow singing, then, I had loud, passionate singing.

It made a decent song into a great song.

I’ve been editing my novel lately, also thinking about other books I’ve read. Payoff is such an integral need in a longer work. When a person reads 300+ pages, they are going to go through sections that are work as well as play. The end must have a climax. It must have payoff. It must have that pivotal revelation.

During this edit, I’ve been thinking about how all the best books have their plots and subplots all unravel into one great climax. The payoff hits and hits and hits, right at the end. I’ve been working on that, and the build up. It’s a challenge to do it right, in a way that weaves all the smaller aspects of the story into a meaningful web. If you look at works like Cloud Atlas (the movie, never read the book) or A Storm of Swords, you peer into the lives of many different characters with different desires, goals, and situations, but they weave together. When the payoff comes at the end, you see that. You understand.

I just want to be that kind of artist. I want my books to have payoff. Just my thoughts today. Hope you’re having a good one!

Follow me @Oxyborb and check out my website at http://www.harrisonaye.com Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Can't Buy Happiness

So, I bought a Playstation 4.
Unboxed it. Set it up.
Played on the menus for about 5 minutes.
Then it died.


No joke. It crapped out on me and became unusable. When I push the power, a blue light flickers and it beeps once, then it dies. I called Sony, and ran their tests. They tried to boot to safe-mode, but it wouldn’t go past the first beep. The only solution was to send me a box coffin to ship it back to them with. They’re going to fix it for free and all, but it still sucks.

I’ve been really, really missing Seattle lately. 

I had been doing so well—making herds of friends and all while I was out there, but then I had to leave it all and return to the cornfield that is Southern Illinois. Most of the old friends I had here moved elsewhere, and I suppose I will move away again someday, but…

My Playstation 4 was supposed to take me back.
I bought a game called Infamous: Second Son, which is set in Seattle. You can explore the city freely—it’s an open world without the linear restrictions of normal games. But, my PS4 died 5 minutes after the unboxing. Figures.

On the car ride over to the video game store, I even said, “I’m just trying to buy myself happiness.”
I guess I’ve been super lonely recently. In some ways, I guess that’s by design. I’ve been really reclusive lately. I’ve felt like doing things but I’m so annoyed about how there’s nothing to do without driving a million miles away that I’m frustrated. I went to the STL Zoo recently, attempting to go out and do something by myself for myself. A self-date, I guess. I wanted to see if I could have fun alone, so I went to the STL Fair and then walked to the Zoo. It was boring. I bought myself a root beer float and sat alone eating it. It sucked. At least I know that I hate being alone, now.

The other reason I’ve been a recluse is because of my writing. I really, really want to be a writer, and I know that I have to work at it full-time, even though I already have a full-time job, if I even have a hope of ever being published. I’ve been working extremely hard at it, and writing is a lonesome activity. All of people you hang out with while writing are characters that you’ve made up in your head. Those characters are all bits and pieces of you. So, writers really are a weird sort of introvert. Self-examining, social creating, but only with fictitious copies of the self. Err.

Well, that’s my life recently. Also, more weird dreams.

I posted the other day, but I had another last night. Here it is:

I was in a giant observatory, and I walked through a painting. On the other side, the painting had become solid and so I could no longer go back. I was on the top floor of a tower, inside a room that looked like Dumbledore’s office. A tall pale man in a pinstripe suit was there, and he spoke to me about how to become immortal. Suddenly, the floor collapsed and I fell into a room surrounded by spider webs. Spiders trickled out from all the walls and gripped me. I wasn’t afraid, though. Suddenly, my dream cut to a giant open field of hilly grass and flowers. Tall women, with thin purple legs were striding over the hills singing. I was walking under them but they kept going. I woke up and Enya was playing on my computer—I guess that’s where the singing came from.



Follow me @Oxyborb and check out my website at http://www.harrisonaye.com Thanks for reading!

Best Of Miiverse....

Miiverse is Nintendo's Twitter. You can draw pictures about your favorite games and upload them so everyone can see. Sometimes your pictures will even appear in other peoples' games. It's a really awesome idea, and I love contributing to Miiverse. Recently, Nintendo added a feature that allows people to post Miiverse posts to their blogs. So, this is that. My person, BEST OF MIIVERSE! The best of my drawings on Nintendo's social network. Enjoy!
I love MarioKart, so I post there often. This one is about the track Grumble Volcano.
I have a weird artistic obsession with Waluigi, apparently... I feel like he's some sort of rejected Dr. Seuss character or something
This one is from when I started my Wii Fit training. I joined a gym and posted the ideal body I wanted to have... OK, so it's a little ironic to have a video game company helping me to lose weight.
Editing the "Stamps" they allow you to use is fun
Ice Climbers are another reoccurring theme in my Miiverse.
Uhhh.... What if there was Wapeach and WaDaisy and WaYoshi...
kek
Me wishing that Geno was in Smash Bros....
WAAAA. Wario and Waluigi are just so gross, it's funny.
More wishing for the return of the Ice Climbers
This is interpretable. Waluigi is a strange man.
BEG BEG BEG. I really cannot wait to see them.
Playing through Nintendoland... Monita was so annoying...



Best of Miiverse Part 2