Going to try to figure out what to do with this now other than just shameless plugs.
But this is mostly a shameless plug.
Chronicles of the Otherworld: Season 1 Audiobook is available now!
Going to try to figure out what to do with this now other than just shameless plugs.
But this is mostly a shameless plug.
Chronicles of the Otherworld: Season 1 Audiobook is available now!
I hate my audiobook.
No. I mean. Mr. Erik Johnson, my producer, did an amazing job and I was floored when I heard my book come to an audible life but SWEET BUDDHA do you know how many times I’ve listened to that damn thing?
Do you know how annoying it was to get every little thing right and you know damn well as I do there’s still going to be stuff that’s off.
It’s somehow worse than having to read your own book over and over.
I want to say like, “oh it was so fantastic that I didn’t mind having to listen to it like 20 times.”
But no. Let’s be real.
There I am jogging on the treadmill, wanting to forget the world, listening to my glorious mix of K-Pop, Eurobeats, and J-Rock…. then BAM
“THIS HAS BEEN CHRONICLES OF THE OTHERWORLD BY A. S. ARAMIRU”
I thought I got rid of all of you cockroaches off my playlist!
You know what?
I hate that guy.
Screw, A. S. Aramiru.
Screw him, his audiobook, and his writing career.
Don’t buy any of his–
“Hey, asshole. You’re supposed to sell your book. You owe me money. I’ll cut you with a f—in’ spoon. A. F@#$in. Spoon.” – My Former Editor
Here’s a sample of the audiobook:
I’m pretty sure I’m allowed to share that. I’m preeetty sure.
The steps to making the audiobook are pretty simple. I did it through ACX, you probably should too unless you know something that I don’t (and if that’s the case please share).
For me, the only fix I needed was having to change the style of my cover.
It only took 14 different variations and getting irate twice at the dumb uploading system.
Yeah, I’ll keep that autocorrect.
And viola! Now I also have an audiobook polluting the internet.
And I can’t help but wonder if my baby will be okay.
And naturally, dream that maybe people will find the little guy and enjoy it.
There’s a lot of moments when doing creative you wonder if you were honest with your work.
Did I do all I can?
Could I have done something better?
But you have to tap out at some point if you want to do create other things.
Like my imaginary therapist would tell me
“Learn to love yourself. Forgive who you were so that you can be who you are. Who you can be is someone strong enough to deal with everything done by who you once were. You have to believe that. Because you owe me money and I’ll cut you with a spoon. A fuckin’ spoon. Fuck censorship. I know where you live homeboy.” – My Imaginary Therapist
I think everyone should try to make an audiobook.
Leave me a comment if you have any questions, comments, or complaints.
Chronicles of the Otherworld: Season 1 Audiobook is available now!
Isn’t it funny?
The idea of love fascinates humans.
Love redefines joy.
Its end redefines pain.
…Isn’t it marvelous?
Maybe that’s why it fascinates you as well.
This inexplicable phenomenon they try to explain as a byproduct of their need to procreate.
But somehow they accept that we, the divine, must be able to love as well.
They have faith—faith—that even He loves them.
When was the last time that He put his loins into anyone?
Some of them say it’s more of a mystical occurrence of their human experience.
A little spark of magic and beyond in their minuscule presence in the endless time and space.
But why invite such vulnerability to their already fragile existence?
I find it all very amusing, Beelzebub.
And I find it very potent.
There is truly a before and an after to humans when it comes to their first true love and the first heartbreak.
Something they wish they’d never experience, and yet, something so profound that those who haven’t experienced it are at a sincere loss of what it means to be human.
Even their foulest have a moment of innocence when it comes to their first heartbreak.
And it is there—yes, there—where all of them can truly realize that life is unfair.
A reality check.
There. Is. No. Magic.
‘Irreversible’ is real.
‘Impossible’ is real.
Something so beautiful is fleetingly ephemeral and yet its damages so eternal.
Not everyone will be involved in heinous violence like rape, murder, or war.
Not everyone will experience detrimental deprivations of neglect, starvation, or incapacity.
All of the other devastating, palpable consequences of free will.
But nearly all of them will experience their fellow human’s freedom to give their hearts and take it away.
“Am I wrong, Beezebub?” Suzie softly asked with a moist voice.
To walk away from the road the two had paved together.
Falling into the pit of desperate denial that everything they had wasn’t meaningless.
“I should just let him go, right?”
But how could the road have meant anything if the destination itself disappeared?
Everything they’ve been working towards.
All they’ve been through.
Beelzebub stared out the window of Suzie’s apartment. Neglecting to acknowledge his brother’s words from beyond. Suzie’s roommates were out for the night. As if in a scene of a movie, it was pouring rain.
“Beelzebub,” Suzie sobbed sitting on her bed. “I wish… I wish… I never met him.”
He had seen her cry before. But never like this. Thick droplets of tears poured out of her eyes. Each droplets draining her.
There are mothers who’ve watched their children die.
Men who stared at their friends as they were drawing their last breaths.
A young woman experiencing heartbreak wasn’t something even close to being comparable.
“I…” Suzie choked on her words.
But the voice of his brother had a point. It was all too common. All too relatable. Palpable.
Never like this.
She’s never been like this.
Beelzebub let out a deep sigh.
Don’t deny of me this Beelzebub.
She’s mine as much as she is yours.
“…I love him,” Suzie confessed. “But I’m scared”
Don’t deny yourself of this.
“He messed up and I… I fucked up too. I feel like if I don’t stop him now… We won’t ever be okay. But… but… what if I lay it all out after what he’s done and he’s not worth it? What if we fight to make this work and it’s all just meaningless? Like, mom and dad?”
I know what you’re thinking you want to tell her.
She’s too young to know what real love is in the real world.
And she’s young enough to find someone else.
Someone she doesn’t have this kind of history with.
This kind of tarnish.
“You’re worried that you’ll end up like your mom and dad?” Beelzebub asked without turning away from the window.
But let her pursue.
“I’m worried that I’m ripping my own heart apart over something I can just move on from!”
She’ll fail like most of them do.
And then we can show her the path. The right path.
“I can move on right?” Suzie asked. “This’ll just be another thing that happened in my life in a month. Maybe a year.”
Don’t. Let. This. Opportunity. Go.
“You’re right. You’re young,” Beelzebub told Suzie. “Your life hasn’t even begun yet. You’ll probably get over this.”
“Yeah,” Suzie seemed to understand what Beelzebub wanted to say. “Yeah.”
“There’ll probably be other guys. Other loves. Plenty of time for all that,” Beelzebub turned around and faced Suzie.
“So what’s there to lose?” Beelzebub smiled.
Instantaneously, Suzie darted out of her room. Ran down the stairs of her apartment. Like the movies, it was raining. And like the movies, she saw him standing in the rain unable to leave for the same reasons she was now standing behind him.
“Jay,” Suzie carefully called out his name.
She worried that perhaps the rain drowned out her voice and he’d walk away.
“Suzie,” He turned around in surprise. She was there getting more drenched by the second. His mind and emotions in too much of a chaos to express how happy and surprised he was to see her.
Suzie searched for words. Anger and doubt still lingered for a moment that felt like it was made of thin glass.
“I love you,” He interrupted her. “I love you. And I… I want to make this work. I’m sorry. And I… I don’t want to be without you.”
The devil watched from Suzie’s room as she ran towards the young man to embrace him. They held each other in the rain under the street lamps. The world around them had stopped existing a long ago.
It was too much like the movies.
People were allowed to have their movie moment.
A magical moment they’ll cherish. A near fantasy others may not believe. But the magic they’ll always have them believing in something beyond what’s there.
Because they were witnesses to it.
They’re the evidence of it.
And because it makes life just a little more than what it is.
The devil had disappeared by the time the two young lovers returned.
“You did that?” Binkle asked Beelzebub in surprise as he handed Satan his bottle of dark lager.
“Why?” Satan questioned Beelzebub.
Satan decided to visit Beelzebub at The Center, Beelzebub’s bar in Hell, after their incident earlier with Suzie. He took the form of what a scotch whiskey and a dark lager would look like as a man from the 80s. The gruff man gave a piercing stare as he analyzed his brother.
“Why? Why? I did what I wanted and it happened to also be what you wanted. You know what you get when you complain even after getting what you want?” Beelzebub took a sip of his drink. Today was a drink that’s equal parts vodka, triple sec, and lime juice. It had a name that was perhaps a bit too on the nose for today’s occasion.
“You get to be Daddy’s least favorite. He’s always hated you.”
“Whatever the case,” Satan stood and raised his bottle. “Here’s to the young lovers. For its blossoming spring and its eventual winter.”
“Seriously. He’s always hated you,” Beelzebub raised his glass. “Y’know, for being a creep.”
Satan finished his bottle in one quick chug.
“And I’ve always found you painfully weak,” Satan placed the empty bottle on the table and the money to pay for it. “Painfully weak and unpleasurable. I’m sure you saw as I did what will happen. You did what’s coming to her as much as I. But don’t fret. It’ll all be for the best. Though I suppose I’m a bit confounded on exactly why you’re being more… nettlesome… than usual.”
“Oh, is it not obvious?” Beelzebub looked surprised. “It’s because of you. Hearing your voice makes me want to pray. Seeing you makes me want to get on my knees and tell Pops that I’m sorry. You’re welcome to free me of this misery at any time.”
Satan smiled. He gave a nod to Binkle, put on his hat, and whistled as he exited the bar.
“I’m surprised you let Satan have his way,” Binkle spoke soon as the door closed behind Satan.
“Love is a beautiful thing while it lasts,” Beelzebub answered as he continued to sip on his drink.
“I’m certain Satan foresaw something in the girl’s future where having this boy in her life will hurt her. Did you see otherwise?”
Beelzebub shook his head.
A person’s future was an uncertain thing. It’s a messy grid full of knots and every direction that only became more of a disarray as the person grew older. But certain choices have fewer detours and pathways than others. And some lead to dead ends.
“Oh,” Binkle froze for a moment. Caught by a surprise to his boss’s response though he was uncertain why. His boss was simply doing his duty.
“Alright then. I guess I should be expecting to see her here sometime,” Binkle smiled as he went on to make drinks for his other customers.
“Perhaps,” Beelzebub finished his cocktail. He stared at his empty glass. He remembered the rain. Not even all the raindrops he had seen this evening would amount to the souls he had seen come and go.
Who could possibly care for them all?
It took a long time to post this.
As always, I apologize for the delay.
The greatest concern with this chapter was regarding if it did appropriate enough job building momentum for the next chapter–the final chapter.
And I guess it’s there, in the final chapter, where I’ll actually discuss my thoughts on finishing this little what-was-supposed-to-be-a-simple-fun-side-project and what the actual process ended up being like.
Thank you always for reading.
See you all next time.
It’ll be sooner than later.
I know I always say that.
O’ Where art thou, my lord?
My king. My savior. My hope.
I’ve asked and received not.
I’ve sought and found not.
And I’ve knocked and still find myself trapped in this rot.
Or was the fly the answer for what I’ve been asking.
The savior that I’ve been seeking.
The angel that you’ve sent to hark my knocking.
Am I supposed to know my lord of your words in silence?
Or am I supposed to find faith in his words that answered?
It was a little something written by Suzie Lee and it was meant to be for her eyes only. But Beelzebub decided to take it off her hands and read it as Suzie watched from her bed.
“I know it’s a mish-mash of Shakespeare and something you probably heard somewhere on TV and church—but not bad. Not bad for a ten-year-old” Beelzebub remarked. “But ‘Hark‘? Is that word being used correctly here?”
It had been a long while since she had seen Beelzebub. To the devil’s surprise, the girl only seemed a bit startled when he appeared from the corner of her room.
Beelzebub thought the room was quite an ordinary room for a ten-year-old girl who summoned the devil. Books, dolls, a desk, and a bed. The walls were painted pink.
“How you doing, kid? Been a while.” Beelzebub sat by Suzie on the bed. “That’s mean. I know you’re not all sunshines right now, otherwise, I wouldn’t be here.”
From the living room below, there was a gentle rumble of noise that’d come and go as if it was the palpitations of the house. Every once in a while either a male or a female voice would shred through the rumble and you’d be able to make out a word or two. And sometimes, both would scream and stomp and Suzie would get embarrassed that perhaps she wasn’t alone as she felt and others would find out. Or maybe they already knew.
“Why didn’t you come back since then? People didn’t believe me,” Suzie asked with a little trace of sorrow.
“Are you mad?” Beelzebub asked playfully. “You know people would literally kill to have me show up. And look at you. Not a drop of blood on you. No goats. No lambs. No virgins. Nada. I should be the one that’s mad!”
“No, I’m not mad,” Suzie answered with a smile. The devil smiled back.
“I figured you were probably busy. Probably doing some important stuff.”
“And I was,” Beelzebub walked by the room’s door.
Suzie’s mom raised her voice. Then the dad raised his even higher.
“Do they ever just go at it?” Beelzebub asked.
“You… are not an angel are you?” Suzie carefully asked. “What’s your name?”
“I’m an angel,” Beelzebub answered. Suzie’s eyes widened. “Though not the kind that you may mean. Name’s Beelzebub.”
“They do. They used to hide it before,” Suzie decided to answer the devil’s after all though she seemed a little confused by what Beelzebub meant. “Can I call you Beezy?”
“No. No you may not,” Beelzebub replied.
“Why?” Suzie asked.
Beelzebub chose not to answer.
An awkward silence wafted across the room.
“I feel like I started it,” Suzie finally confessed.
“I said something. They started arguing. And then mom said something about this is why I lie about you. And I said you were real. Then they started fighting.”
“Ah,” Beelzebub made his way back to Suzie’s bed and sat next to her once again.
“I didn’t even get to finish my lasagna,” Suzie buried her face into her knees.
“So, that’s why you called for me?” Beelzebub’s eyes lit up a bit. “Not the lasagna but because of your parents?”
The child didn’t answer.
“Well, I’m flattered that you’ve thought of me but just so we’re clear. I’m not working for Him,” Beelzebub pointed up. “Whatever you and I decide to do—it’ll be between just you and I.”
“I see,” Suzie’s eyes were moist and left spots on her pants.
“Promise your soul and I’ll make sure your parents stay together,” Beelzebub stood and offered his hand with a grin.
Suzie stared at the devil in silence. Contemplating his offer. The moment lasted long enough for Beelzebub to feel a bit awkward.
“No,” the girl finally answered.
“No. I think it’ll be better for them if they just got divorced,” Suzie wiped away her tears. “It’ll make me sad and I’ll miss having them both very much but it’s what’s best. That’s not why I called you anyway.”
“So what did you call me for then?” Beelzebub sat back down again.
“I just wanted to see again that you were real,” Suzie paused. “And…”
“And I didn’t want to be alone.”
Tears begin to flow down Suzie’s face again. There was a period of time after her infancy where Suzie refused to cry. Even as a child she felt embarrassed and, without being able to form the words for it, Suzie felt like it was a sign of weakness.
Even when she had sand kicked in her face.
Even when she saw her little crush hold hands with another girl.
Or even when her mom and dad said something mean—Suzie refused to cry.
But as she grew older, Suzie found crying easier and more natural. There were more things to cry about than when she was younger. Reasons that she’d never have imagined as a child and types of pain that life can dish out that a young child couldn’t have known.
Life became more complicated and painful as she learned to interpret it. A baby mumbles. A child speaks. An adult expresses. All came at a cost.
But to her credit, crying would be a rare and private affair for Suzie for the rest of her life.
“Is that going to cost me my soul?” Suzie asked.
“Not today,” Beelzebub conceded.
“Well,” Beelzebub thought for a moment. “Unless you want to give me your soul for the lasagna?”
“No,” Suzie giggled. “Why do you want my soul anyway?”
“More the merrier at my kingdom.”
“Hell’s got a pretty bad PR but it’s not what you think,” Beelzebub rubbed Suzie’s head.
“Uh huh,” Suzie brushed away the devil’s hand.
“Why don’t I just tell you a bedtime story so you can fall asleep and I can be on my way.”
“Okay,” Suzie made her way underneath her blanket.
“I’m going to tell you about…” Beelzebub thought carefully about what would be a good bedtime story for a young girl. “…Ghengis Khan. He was fun. Wait till I tell you about what he did with babies.”
“Okay,” Suzie seemed gleeful.
“What’s a PR?”
About three years ago, Michael the Archangel visited Beelzebub’s bar in Hell called The Center after the devil visited the mortal realm to meet Suzie for the first time.
“Brother,” Michael spoke with heavenly grace and paternal stern. “We need to talk.”
“No,” Beelzebub sipped on his drink. “No, we really don’t.”
Other patrons of the bar slowly excused themselves as the gold-haired archangel stared down Beelzebub.
“You know the rules, brother mine,” A seat next to Beelzebub was open but Michael chose to stand. “And you’ve broken them. Why?”
“You see,” Beelzebub clicked his tongue. “You see, Mikey, I don’t relly need to tell you a goddamn thing.”
Michael cringed at Beelzebub taking the Father’s name in vain.
“You have a problem? He has a problem?” Beelzebub walked over to Michael. The devil took a moment to take in the archangel’s anachronistic white robe before grabbing Michael’s hand and folding the archangel’s fingers into a fist.
“Kill me,” Beelzebub said as he placed his forehead on the archangel’s knuckles. “Do it.”
“Don’t be childish, brother,” Archangel lowered his hand.
Beelzebub chuckled. He gave nervous Binkle a look and sat back down. He sipped on his drink and stared at the TV.
The archangel stood and waited for the devil.
“Y’know,” Beelzebub remained focused on the TV. “Your brothers down here and I often wonder why you and Father let us live. Do you even know?”
“I follow His will. I trust that He knows best,” Michael answered.
“So you want to kill us?”
“No, brother. I have no malice in my heart for you and the others. Only pity.”
“Pity,” Beelzebub scoffed and downed his drink. He waved Binkle at for another who glanced at the archangel as he served his master a vodka tonic.
“Get him a juice box or something,” Beelzebub told Binkle.
“You…” Binkle cleared his throat. “…You want a juice box?”
Michael stared Binkle for a moment. Binkle wasn’t sure if his heart had stopped for a moment because of the sheer beauty of the archangel or the fearsome power he posed.
“Yes,” Michael answered. “Do you have the Berry Blast?”
“…Do you have money?” Binkle asked.
“Do you think he has money?” Beelzebub snapped. “Does that robe look like it has pockets? Just put it on my tab.”
Binkle came around the bar and gave the archangel his juice box with the bendy straw. The archangel still refused to sit.
“What is it that you want to do for the girl, Beelzebub? For the humans?” Michael asked after a sip.
“I ANSWER THEM,” Beelzebub finally turned away from the TV. “I. Answer. Their. Prayers. What do you do? When was the last time you were there for them, Michael?”
“It’s not our position to interfere,” Michael placed the juice box on the bar table. “It is against what’s best for them.”
“What’s best for them? Okay,” Beelzebub stood and faced the archangel again. “What do you know what’s best for them? Whatever He told you was best for them? Where were you when a kid prayed for his mother to be saved as he watched her being beaten, raped and then chopped off limb by limb? Where were you when the parents are crying for His grace as their baby dies? Where–”
“Do NOT question my love for them brother!” Michael interrupted the devil. “DO NOT THINK FOR A SECOND THAT I DO NOT FEEL THE PAIN FOR THEIR SUFFERING!”
“THEN TELL ME WHAT’S WRONG WITH THEM BEING HAPPY!”
By now, the bar was empty. There was only Binkle, Beelzebub, and Michael. Binkle slowly descended below the bar table and held his knees tight and hoped that he’d make it through the day.
“Why can’t they just live happy lives? Why can’t we just help them have happy lives? What’s the point? Why all this? Isn’t being happy enough? Suffering will happen anyway so why not let them be as happy as they can be?” Beelzebub asked after what Binkle thought was too long of a silence.
“The meaning of their lives isn’t happiness,” Michael answered. “Life isn’t about being happy. You’ve never understood that Beelzebub.”
“Or I understand fine and you and Him are just wrong,” After a short staring contest, Beelzebub sat backdown.
“Humans,” Beelzebub grabbed a nacho that Binkle had prepared for him earlier. “I don’t think even he knows what he has spawned.”
“Hold your tongue brother.”
“I AM THE PROOF OF HIS FLAWS,” Beelzebub threw the basket of nachos. “Otherwise, why am I the way I am?”
“Or you’re part of his plans,” Michael calmly replied.
“Jesus,” Beelzebub spat and switched his attention back to the TV. “We are the ones who can provide salvation to His slaves. All of us here are proof that something was wrong with His plans. We’re here because we want to show Him that we don’t need someone like Him. We choose to be free. Even if the cost is losing Him.”
There was no point in talking to the devil. Their conversations were echoes from the many similar conversations of the past.
“Answer me, Beelzebub,” Michael said as he headed for the exit. “What is love to you?”
“What is love?” Beelzebub didn’t turn to look at his angelic brother even as he left. “You tell me.”
“Something beyond happiness. Something beyond the present.”
The door closed behind the archangel.
The devil sipped on his drink as he turned up the volume of the TV.
His bartender placed in front of him some olives
There would be no other customers that evening.
Last drinks were served.
The TV turned off.
And the two retired quietly into the night.
Re-reading Part 2 to post on the blog reminded me why I ultimately didn’t push forward with this project when I was working on it.
While I’ll save all of my comments until the end for those who may be enjoying it so far, a short answer is a sort of a writer’s block that I got distracted away from when I had other projects come up.
And just for the record, these are un-edited so it might be rough in some parts and probably would have benefited quite a bit from going through the refinery i.e. an editor as all writing stuff tends to do.
Thanks for reading!
2016 is almost over (thank god) and 2017 is right around the corner (for some of you it‘s already 2017)!
I thought it might be fun for me to do a quick & dirty review of all the movies/TV I watched this year! Just a head’s up, not all of them are stuff that came out in 2016.
But before we get started! To celebrate the New Years both of my books are FREE today & tomorrow!
Black Halo: the Witch & the Guardian (New Adult Contemporary Fantasy Reader’s Favorites called: “… a page-turner full of action and adventure.”)
Chronicles of the Otherworld (An experimental Dark Fantasy Novella that’ll twist and turn your perceptions for the genre)
With that out of the way, here we go! …Hopefully, I don’t forget any.
Star Wars: Rogue One ( 2.5 / 5) – Inconsistent. Perhaps the one of the most iconic Star Wars scene at the end. Certain questionable dialogue choices. Not sure why they chose to do what they did with the characters as it was unnecessary. Final moments of the movie after the famous Vader scene also makes little sense when we really think about it.
Star Trek Beyond ( 3 / 5) – Not sure about the pacing. Villain made little sense. Action sequences were done better in the previous films.
Captain America: Civil War (3 / 5) – Another fun Marvel film. Winter Soldier was a better film since it at least felt different than the typical formula Marvel films have been following since Iron Man. The moral debate between the two sides is weak and unconvincing. [SPOILER] Weak ending where nothing that matters was lost at the end.
Dr. Strange (2.5 / 5) – Tried to do too much with the first movie. Benedict is likable as Strange. Forgettable villain with convoluted motives. The big baddie at the end is a bit puzzling considering his place in the comics. The end fight itself borders between corny and clever. One of the best post-credit “Marvel teasers.”
Batman v Superman (2 / 5) – Too scattered. Too inconsistent. Plot doesn’t even make sense within its own logic. Snyder seemed to have pieced together moments instead of creating a film. While the actor was great, how they decided to portray Lex Luther felt like a mistake by the end. MARTHAAA
Finding Dory (3.5 /5) – Very heartfelt as to be expected from Pixar. Bigger emotional punch than Finding Nemo. Jumped the shark a bit at the end.
X-Men Apocalypse ( 2 / 5) – Very meh especially considering how impressive the preceding film was. Nothing groundbreaking, nothing really interesting, Apocalypse was surprisingly a boring villain. Gets pretty cheesy near the end.
Zootopia (4 / 5) – Funny, witty, creative, and I’d love to live in Zootopia. It handled the message it wanted to send well for what it was. Nick Wilde is also a great character.
Hell or High Water (4.5 / 5) – Just watch it. Wonderful neo-western with a compelling story and pacing. One of the most intense and clever standoffs I’ve seen in a western during the final moments of the film.
Sicario (4 / 5) – Just watch it. Especially if you liked Hell or High Water.
Moana (2.5 / 5) Some of the most beautiful visuals I’ve seen in a Disney Film. Best female Disney character to date. A bit Miyazaki-esque. Songs were generally a miss for me. The song by Lin-Manuel Miranda, however, is brilliant. Very weak ending.
Sky Rising ( 2 / 5 ) A bit too in-your-face with metaphors and symbolisms. Lacks certain Magic and nuance that Miyazaki films tend to have. Pacing is too slow. Unnecessary romance that made no sense and wasn’t even biographical. Voice acting by Hideaki Anno was mostly a miss for me.
Swiss Army Man (4 / 5) – Surprisingly thoughtful and touching. Never thought fart & sex jokes can take a movie so far.
Sausage Party (1 / 5) – Dumber than you think it’d be. People will tell you that “it’s just not your type of movie” or “you just didn’t get the jokes” when you tell them you didn’t like it. It sucked. I wanted my money back.
Corner Gas the Movie ( 3 / 5) – If you’re a fan of the show, it just feels like an extended episode… but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Caché (4 / 5) – Sometimes a bit too much with the message it wants to send (sometimes too subtle, sometimes too blatant) but it’s one of those films for film students. Masterfully filmed. Each shot has a purpose. Engrossing story.
Winter’s Bone (4.5 / 5) – If anyone wants to see Jennifer Lawrence’s acting chops this is a good film to do it with. Powerful and an organic film. Watch it.
Hail Caesar! (4 / 5) – Coen brothers film for all ages (?). Celebrates film industry while also poking fun at it. Charismatic, colorful, and whimsical.
Penny Dreadful (TV)
S1 : (3.5 / 5) – Promising and refreshing. Someone give Eva Green an award.
S2: (4 / 5) – Awesome though the second half of the season is a bit corny. Someone give Eva Green an award.
S3: (2/5) – This would be 1/5 if it wasn’t for Eva Green and Rory Kinnear. The ending is absolutely atrocious. Build up to the ending is horrendous. Rare moments where I felt my time was wasted starting this series. But, seriously, someone give Eva Green an award.
S1: (5/5) – Tight writing, great pacing, memorable characters. Lester is a fascinating character to watch as he twists and turns through the series. Lorne Malvo is basically Chigurh but that’s not such a bad thing and Fargo brings a brilliant Coen brother feel to the force-of-nature character.
S2: (5/5) – As good as, if not better, than S1 but it’ll definitely depend on the audience. It has more “whimsical” elements to the plot that may turn off some viewers–even the fans of S1. And the vibe of the story is essentially different than the S1 as well. It’s more heartfelt and builds much bigger investment into the characters. Every actor is memorable in their own, unique ways. The dialogues are more subtle and also more profound, insightful, uniquely tailored, and at times even haunting.
I think that’s all?
Runner-up: Hell or High Water / Winter’s Bone
Runner-up: Penny Dreadful Season 3
That’s it! Maybe I’ll do books sometime soon as well!
But for now… Happy Holidays! Happy New Year! And I think I speak for all of us when I say…
My first novel, Black Halo: the Witch & the Guardian will be FREE today for anyone who wants it as my Christmas gift to my readers!
CLICK HERE to get your copy of the Contemporary Fantasy that Reader’s Favorite has called”…a page-turner full of action and adventure.”
Keep Up With the Updates!
Hi, it’s me. Your average writer.
You might have heard of me from my past works such as… who are we kidding? You have never heard of me. I’m a nobody. But I’m a nobody with some experience.
Last time, I posted a blog about 4 Same Stupid Questions I See All the Time On Writing Forums. Click HERE to fulfill my shameless plug.
This time, I thought I’d do something a bit more helpful and thoughtful.
I’m going to buy your ebooks.
Just kidding. I’m still poor. And with the money I have I’d rather buy a McDouble and a McChicken at McDonald’s with the awesome Mc2Pick for $2.50! What a deal! And make sure to check out their limited-time holiday drinks!
You already know what this is about. You’ve read the title. Get to the point you’re saying. Maybe you’ve already scrolled down.
This is for all of you out there wondering what exactly some of those answers you’ve received meant. Because the random stranger who gave you the answer left you cold and hanging without an explanation. Like my dad on Christmas.
Let’s get the big one out of the way.
I’m literally massaging my nose bridge with one hand and typing this with my other two hands as I’m trying to explain this one.
Not because it’s particularly difficult to answer, but because it’s so basic.
But not because it’s just so basic, but because it’s so basic and it’s a mistake that I make often and I know for a fact that many other writers who should be above these kinds of things make this mistake as well.
So let’s try to understand WHY this happens.
I have a simple theory: We are describing what we are seeing in our brilliant, gifted minds and forgetting that our jobs as writers are to help the readers experience what we’re seeing and not have them simply understand what we’re seeing. We’re not supposed to be the tour guides but be VR goggles. They want to be inside of our story—not be outside of it.
Showing is taking notes.
Telling is creating worlds.
There are times when you want to “tell” over “show” but this is one of those things where you have to master the rules before you learn to bend them.
And here’s an example just in case:
Jimmy was mad at Moe.
Jimmy’s unibrow furrowed into a rugged U, his hand trembled with fury, and his heart filled with the burning desire to bitchslap Moe.
You want to be a swimmer? Go practice swimming every day.
You want to be a stripper? Go practice stripping every day.
You want to be a writer? Go practice stripping every day.
Well. Why not. Cardio’s important. But you should also practice writing every day.
This somewhat calloused sounding advice exists because most people only talk about writing and never actually write.
They think they can be writers by just spewing their thesis about the craft of ink and paper as they lasciviously rub themselves for their own creativity and avant-garde ideas.
Something about hic Rhodus, hic salta.
Your ideas aren’t worth donkey’s spit on a chicken’s ass if you never actually create something with it. And unless you’re some sort of a Hemingway’s spirit reborn, you’re probably not as good as you think you are.
So how do you “just write”? I personally say do away with the whole “have a word count for the day” thing. You know, when people say things like “just write 1000 words a day”?
Look, fellow grasshoppers, if you’re a professional writer then you know when your due date is so daily word count either makes more sense or not at all since you just have to get’er done by that date.
You know how you work. You can set your own pace.
If you’re a hobbyist it makes less sense because the rigidness and the arbitrary number just turns your hobby into a chore.
But sure. If it works for you—good. Nothing wrong with that.
If it doesn’t—don’t worry about it. And let me recommend, instead, setting up a timed session.
Maybe one hour a day. One hour every other day.
Make it your schedule, like everything else you do in life, and just use that time to write one word or ten thousand words. Or even no words. Just do something writing related. Even if that’s reading for research, doing brainstorms, and whatever. Maybe it’ll be for an hour. Maybe it’s two hours. Just set a time.
This will give you some freedom and some ease with your writing pursuit. And if you have an end goal in mind that’s where you can set a long-term deadline for yourself.
Oh, and, if you’re not letting other people read your work—you’ll never get better. Practice makes permanent and not perfect.
Writing without outside criticism will only make your lack of talent permanent.
So, this one’s a bit FUBAR.
To unravel this, I’ll just first explain where it’s coming from and then kind of go on about why it’s FUBAR. And just a head’s up: this one’s going to be a bit serious.
Like stool samples. Poops are fun and games but sometimes you have to use serious, medical terms like “stool” and “samples”.
When there’s a fad, it’ll start a trend.
Star Wars sparked the sci-fi boom.
Lord of the Rings & Game of Thrones sparked the fantasy boom.
Twilight sparked the wtf-happened-to-vampires boom.
Hunger Games started the dystopian boom.
The whole idea of “write what you’d want to read / don’t follow a trend” is that the chances of you actually catching the trend and having your passions align with the trend… are low.
Why is the chance of catching a trend low?
Because writing is a long process and publishing can be even longer. It usually takes years for someone to finish a book and see it in stores. You really think the trend will last that long? And what about passion? Do you think you can write a work you’re proud of without a passion for it? Even if you’ve missed the trend? Can I add any more questions to this paragraph? Well? Can I?
Writing what you’re proud of—something that you can call your own—can mean more at the end of the day than writing something that you thought was going to sell.
But remember when I said this topic is a bit tricky? With the technologies and how the book market is today… you can basically ignore everything I said up there and maybe you should.
You know why trends start? Because they sell.
People tend to want more cake after they had a slice.
Twilight spawned True Blood, Vampire Diaries, and a bunch of other vampire shows, books, and ebooks in a variety of genres.
Erotica was a popular genre to write for on Kindle for a while because they sold like… well… sex.
Publishers will always welcome any book that’ll sell. That’s their jobs. Publish things to sell. And if the genre’s hot right now, they’ll be looking for more of that genre and might even put you through the fast lane.
For indie writers, catching trends is easier now more than ever because you can instantly check what’s selling well. Check the Top 100 on Amazon. There you go.
Passion? Damn, son. Passions tend to suck at paying for stuff. And I like stuff.
Besides, if you’re a professional writer shouldn’t you have a grasp of how to write just about anything?
Timing? You click “publish” and you’re done.
You want to put more work into it? It won’t be too hard for you to chug out a 40-50k novel that follows a formula for a standard successful storytelling in a month. Remember, NaNoWriMo thinks just about everyone can chug out 50k in a month. You’re a professional, veteran writer. If this is your full-time job, you can do it in 2-3 weeks. During the time you’re writing you can hire an editor and an artist and ding-ding-ding you have a Hot Pockets book.
Besides, talking about passion, do you think there’s a lot of market appeal to a book that’s so personally you?
Sometimes a book is too much you and sometimes that’s not a good thing. That’s when a writer is just doing a self-pleasing (there, friends, I didn’t use the word “masturbatory”) project and hoping that people might like it.
Hell, that writer might not even be thinking of readers. If your protagonist is a half-orc, quarter-dragon, quarter-boar stripper named Borga Do’Kora (stage name being Danger Dick) who’s day job is a tax accountant, maybe you really did not give a chicken’s ass on a donkey’s spit about the readers.
And that’s fine. Writing, in its best form, should be reflective and a fragment of your being. Even if that’s a half-orc, quarter-dragon, quarter-boar stripper who’s favorite food happens to be pickled eggplants.
But if we’re talking about making money, the whole story changes.
Wow, the last one was so damn long. I’ll keep this short. You know how you improve your mile run right? You keep running.
But as you keep running, you’ll run into some hurdles along the way. Maybe your ankles will start to hurt, maybe you’ll run into better runners, and maybe some literal hurdles. It’s called gaining experience.
And sometimes, it’ll hurt. They might say you have ugly shoes, ugly face, and that you look downright silly running.
But someone wise once told me… Just kidding. I read this on Tumblr.
“Writer’s who are afraid of rejection are like boxers who are afraid of getting punched. You’re in the wrong line of work.”
In every aspect of our lives, we should welcome valid criticisms. In writing, we have to take-and-thank any sort of feedback we can get and sort it through ourselves like beggars on the street corners Aurora ave in Seattle.
And a lot of times… the greatest of criticisms will come from our own failures. It’s okay to fail despite what my mother says. What’s not okay is to let failures just be failures. Then you’ve wasted your time.
Don’t give up. Everything’s hard and writing as a craft has been around since the beginning of written language. You don’t have to try to rewrite the rule book, the legacy, or try to be the next big thing. Just enjoy it and see where it takes you.
If someone says you suck–say thanks. What can I do to be better?
If you think you suck–well, I suck. What can I do to be better?
And I’m not saying having that attitude is easy. It’s tough. Hell, I always get salty and pissy and depressed about myself and my life. And sometimes about my writing!
But that’s the process of “Keep Writing”. You’ll get better as long as you keep challenging yourself and keep yourself honest. Make sure the cycle of depression and persistence keeps turning. There’s no fast lane here. It’s just gaining experience.
Or just give up. It’s your life. Why are you doing this if you’re not enjoying it unless you’re trying to pay bills with it?
It’s okay not to be a writer. It’s okay not to be a professional writer. I’m sure your friends and family will be happy to hear that you decided not to be an artist anymore and decided to be a Tax Accountant and go make a happy, comfortable living without having to worry about your future.
But if you’re not going to give up, keep running. As you keep running, you’ll also learn how to enjoy running better. And hopefully, y’know, you’ll keep researching into how to run better because that’s part of keep running.
Like forms and stuff.
This got too sentimental for my taste.
AND I SAID HEY-EY-EY-EY! HEY-EY-EY-EY!
I SAID HEY!
TUPAC KILLED JFK!
Keep Up With the Updates!
Twitter: @ASAramiru <- Your best bet.
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ASAramiru <- I sometimes use this.
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/ASAramiru <- We’re doing cool stuff with this.