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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Books to read.

One of my greatest regrets is not having read more as a child... I missed out on a lot... now that I'm unemployed I'm trying to catch up on that.... between writing and such.
The easiest time to "read" is while working out... Audiobook style, it is how I read many a books... right now I'm rereading Way of Kings that way... I only have a few hours left in that one...so I need a new read...
So I've aquired several Audiobooks of books I've wanted to read for a while... all of them are on a certain list....
http://www.listchallenges.com/npr-top-100-science-fiction-and-fantasy-books?ref=share
On the list of Audio books:

  • Dune
  • Handmaid's tale
  • Foundation
  • Ender's game
  • Neuromancer
  • Stranger in a strange land
  • Starship troopers
  • The moon is a harsh mistress
  • Snow Crash 
  • Ring World\
  • The Once and Future King
  • Rendezvous Rama...

AND MANY MORE!

The fact that Game of Thrones is number five is an insult to Fantasy and Science fiction... don't get me wrong, they're wonderful books... but they belong around 50 or so... But I know a lot of people would freak out at me for say thing: but the only reason it is that high up on the list is because of the TV series sparking a new fantasy revolution.
It is a sad thought but most new fantasy authors within the next 10 or so years will model themselves after Martin, thus making his "style" less unique as time goes on. I hate the fact that he took grit, something that has been present for a long time and made people think he invented it.
Which is interesting, a lot of people look at Martin and think "Oh he's so original...or...HE'S FUCKING TROLLING ME"
I personally think he had some good intent at first. WARNING, SPOILERS TO FOLLOW FOR GAME OF THRONES THE FIRST SEASON...I mean book....

Yes he killed his main character at the end of the first book...so revolutionary? not really. Like every fucking Shakespearean tragedy...or hell, a certain book beat him to the twist DECADES before...hell, I'll argue that book did it better... A novel called Psycho...which you know for the movie... It was a pretty epic twist and they killed the main character halfway through...hell... Ever see the film called Absolute Power? Staring Clint Eastwood?  It was based on a book of the same name by David Baldacci... In what is quite awkward... I remember watching that film with my mother in the 90's... she is a massive fan of  thrillers and books in general... Although she liked the movie, it still pissed her off.
In the book, Clint Eastwood's character dies halfway through anticlimactically... by chance, this book came out just a few MONTHS after A Game of Thrones was first published... Thrillers don't take long to write, perhaps it was inspired...maybe not...
Point is, the idea of not just killing characters but killing them in terrible fashion has been around for a while. Nothing new. It just pops up every so often... trends do that... like the whole gritty reboot thing? nothing new... look to the James Bond movie franchise, nothing else shows the state of cinema at the time better... The Timothy Dalton movies show how in the late eighties, people wanted to be gritty and shit.

Anyway, I never said I didn't like Game of Thrones... I am quite fond of it actually. But unlike a lot of people, I choose to see the flaws in Martin's writing and storytelling in general... and he did get better with time. And despite his novels being called "Gray" by so many people... they sure as hell didn't start out that way... HAR HAR I'M A STARK, THAT MEANS I'M GOOD...HURR HURR I'M A LANISTER, THAT MEANS I'M EVIL.
Can't really blame Martin, that style emulates with people the best. However, Martin did write himself into a corner... killing Ned stark was the biggest thing he did in his novels...hell he would have to recreate that feeling in order to patent the idea...again...and again...and again.

Martin in an interview said he writes that way because: "HEY KIDZ, I DO THAT BECUZ THEM HEROES GET IN A FIGHT AND YOU'RE ALL LIKE...HE OKAY! HE GOT THIS...BECAUSE HE HERO... I MAKE YOU AFRAID FOR THEM CHARACTERS AND...."
Yes, his characters are mortal. Something many authors tend to forget about their characters... I want to argue that Martin has taken it too far. It has become his shtick and he is forced to keep using it over and over much to his reader's dismay.
Martin claims this makes readers care for the characters more? I disagree.
A pattern is a pattern. Displaying a character, giving them a few asshole qualities, then showing how they're not so bad or the opposite of what you thought before... giving them hardship, having them overcome that hardship, have them excel...then do better...better...DEAD.
Cool, so that is what we call a pattern. Martin does it...over...and over...and over. To the point where readers joke about expecting it. and yes...they do expect it, despite how much they deny they did.
Fans of the book are extremely apathetic, they don't care about the characters anymore because they know that if they do, it'll be more painful when the character is killed over something stupid... hell I would argue that the characters do stupid shit to get themselves killed...especially a certain someone.
It made sense with Ned...NOBODY ELSE.
So yes, I love Game of Thrones, but it is quite flawed. if you disagree, then you are biased and need to get that checked out.
It doesn't belong in the top ten of Science fiction and Fantasy. It only made it so far on the list because it is relevant.

Also American Gods, I read it in high school...guess what? I thought it was okay... not mind blowing.
Please get your jaw off the floor. It is unsightly
Toodles.

Fuck you posture

Trying to fix my posture.
Turns out I stick my butt backwards...urgh, time to learn how to push pelvis forward...So I look less fat. perhaps keep my shoulders up too... and learn upwards... I will stand by a mirror and make sure I get it right...eventually.
The things you do when you're unemployed.
Anyway.
I should really stop playing the Dawson's Creek theme while Charlotte watches Fringe...but it is so amusing.
Toodles.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

My arsenal is complete.

So yeah.
Foam wars this Saturday. Fucking pumped.
Today my 75 elite darts arrived. They will stay in the package until Saturday... People kept shooting the darts everywhere and rather than shooting the cheap as shit Busbee darts...they wanted to shoot the few elite darts we had...and the cat loves them...
So yeah, a few elite darts got eaten...
Anyway, check out the weapons I made over the weekend:
Katana, Sword Breaker, Jitte 
So yeah, the Katana design is wicked. the thing is fast, flexible and quite strong. The Swordbreaker is also really cool, I taped the prongs with hockey tape...they might look narrow, but they bend and can catch a weapon very well...although I doubt they'll break one :(
The Jitte is awesome as well...it is a baton with a prong for catching weapons...which I also taped with hockey tape to create grip... it is very light and surprisingly strong... like the Swordbreaker it is incredibly efficient at disarming.


Today, Charlotte helped make my gunbelt, which fits quite well... on it I will hold my pistol, the NERF Maverick as well as the two throwing daggers and the Jitte behind my back.

I will not be taking the Swordbreaker into battle because I don't want to weigh myself down anymore... Although I do want to test it.

I also completed my shoulder harness, which contains my double barrel shotgun...which I will be sawing the end off of... go me. I plan to put a loop on the shoulder piece so that I can put the Katana on my back.

Baha yes I am hardcore... I am also excited.

Yesterday, I had a good day of writing notes for the book after I finish Ardent's Contract... it's working title is Hybrid... it involves machines and shit.

Anyway, that is all for now!
Toodles.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Let's play

This is the first episode of Josh and I's let's play.
Please watch, I hope you enjoy.
Our gimmick is that one of us hasn't played the game. Josh does all the editing! I hate that I keep making slightly racist jokes... the kind that are harmless but you only say among friends... hopefully I stop doing that with time...urgh.
Thank you.
Toodles.

Flowers of Evil

So yeah.
http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/flowers-of-evil/episodes-1

One of my favorite ongoing mangas right now. 6 volumes are out in North America, I own all of them. One of those mangas that only releases a chapter a month but is ALWAYS worth the wait... Flowers of Evil is something else incredible.
13 episodes of an anime... we're lucky to have gotten that. We're even more lucky to have gotten the style of anime we got...eerily realistic... I watched the first episode with Charlotte, we didn't get around to watching any after that... I hate watching anime streaming on some shitty website, I'll usually wait till it is done, download it in HD and watch it on a real TV.
So I think I need to do that now...
But seriously, read the manga or watch the anime...it is amazing.
A story I can't wait to see where it goes.

Why I don't watch porn.

Seriously.
I don't. Even as a teenager...well, I didn't have my own computer till I was 18 so that sure didn't help. I had friends who would sit around and watch porn for the fun of it...Wasn't into that either.
Preteen, I would watch Showcase and Bravo at 2am for boob... in the softcore porn type dealios... We all did that, we would talk about it in junior high among the boys... I'm told girls did the same thing. Interesting, still technically NOT porn...more like, porn with plot? many of these shows would try to be art pieces... so also quite odd.
When I say I don't watch porn, I mean I'm not into watching video, on the internet, DVD, Bluray or VHS of two or more individuals performing sexual acts that are real. Penis goes into the vagina, the whole nine yards. Not my thing.
Why not? Well it is quite easy to explain, you might not get it, but you'll sure as hell understand. So the porn starts off with the plot? yes, the plot... That thing that you don't care about...that nobody seems to care about. But there is a reason for plot, there is always a reason for plot. Even those IDIOTS, who claim it isn't important and it gets in the way of the "Action"... many people may tell you that they only care for the sex, watching the pee pee go in... but that is complete bullshit. Idiots like that should not be allowed to ever film anything. Everything has an introduction, an initial incident, a conflict, characters, rising action, and finally a climax. Well the same exists in porn right? Well, you get a shitty plot, with a terrible introduction and painfully shallow characters... it's not that the actors can't act, its that they feel they don't have to, they don't take it seriously. How jarring would it be if you put in a VHS tape, and it IMMEDIATELY begin with a penis going in and out? nothing else but watching that until they finish? would you watch that? no. You would probably feel pretty weird.
Even porn knows that they have to have the bare minimum... and that is the problem, they go for the bare minimum. Silly conflicts, contrived plots, dumb as shit characters that make no sense...but they can't just skip to the fucking can they? No. they cannot. This is why it fails in my mind, you expect me to feel attached to these "Characters" watch their story unfold and eventually bang? No, I don't care about them or their conflict... I am emotionally unattached from this situation, thus cannot bring myself to care for them having sex. That is why Sucker Punch failed as a film....

Wait, what? Well true, I do hate porn. I find it uninteresting for the exact reasons I state above... But I believe many films, books, stories can be compared to porn. You have some dude, Directer, writer, whatever who has this really cool idea in his head for a scene of fucking/violence... He can't just film clips of "Action" because nobody would enjoy that... We would become apathetic to the whole mess. So they invent a plot, not as a means for the characters or story, but as a way to lead from one "cool action" scene to the next.
This is allowed in porn, hell it is encouraged... not my thing though... but in films like sucker punch (doesn't deserve capitalization) the creator just wants to get from one action scene to the next, so they link it together with as much sap as they can... this sap happens to be called plot.
NEVER should the plot exists to drive the action, the action should be a byproduct of the story, something that happens naturally and isn't forced. THIS, is the difference between a movie that succeeds as an Action movie and is a piece of shit.
I'll use the best example in the book: Die Hard... that film had lots of awesome action right? yeah it succeeds as an action film and a story because all the action is natural and as a result of the plot.
That is the key to writing both good action scenes and good story. If your idea is a little abstract and you really want to have that action scene in that particular way... then I'm sure you can find a way to fit it in... plot can take ideas from where you want the action to happen...but it shouldn't be governed. If something seems so out of place that you cannot justify it...then don't write it. Dark Knight had a really cool scene where Joker is trying to blow up an armoured car... which led to an semi truck being flipped... seems like a lot of spectacul that you would see in a bad action film, not one of the best films of the 00's right? nope. Nolan knew to justify the action using the plot... Harvey Dent needed to go somewhere else... on the way they get attacked... As opposed to NO justification at all and they just get attacked randomly but thugs...

Okay, so in review, if you want good action you need:
-A plot that includes the action naturally.
-Characters that you care about, hero or villain.
-Tension, the characters should be in a difficult situation in which violence is the only answer. This is the reason why critics hated Equilibrium and everyone hated Ultra Violet (same director, second time he took it too far)
-A reason to fight.

Okay one more thing... Lots of people LOVE sucker punch, I mean...they LOVE it... they love it because everyone else tells them it is crap. Their counter argument consists of:
-Oh but it is pretty...- yes that is a given, it was well animated an choreographed
-The action was good!   -No, no it wasn't. the characters were boring and invincible.
-There was lots of meaning and didn't you see the final cut out scene with Jon Ham? Yes, I've seen it... it does not salvage the piece of shit film... In fact it made it even more contrived.

Yes, I compare sucker punch to porn... that was EXACTLY what it was... an action pornography with no cum shot.
Toodles!

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Sunday!

Well, Saturday is a difficult time to post for me...please forgive me...2 readers...love you.
Anyway, Charlotte and I scoped out the park in the middle of nowhere... other than giant mosquitos... I mean fucking giant...bigger than a horse fly big... the place is fantastic...well wooded, open fields... not very crowded...we're expecting 20 or so people for the first foam wars.
Friday night we all got together... Charlotte made her gun holster and belt...it has pink duct tape bows and is adorable... I made my duct tape Katana... my design worked...although the thing is ugly as hell... it is very fast so I consider that a success...also...I made a sword breaker...the thing is fucking cool as shit... It works both as a off hand short sword...and is capable of catching foam weapons...even obnoxiously thick ones... I doubt I'll break anyone's weapon...but if I do...I will squee...

Anyway, UFC event was on last night...parent's PVR is broken...so I'm attempting to download it as we speak... but it is not cooperating...piece of shit...

Anyway, I will be working on the background art for the cover today! After that, Charlotte has soccer...but she is gimpy so we will just watch...
Meanwhile I watch bubblegum crisis on Canadian Netflix! woot.

Toodles

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Wolverine Anime challenge.

God help me.
In celebration of the Wolverine film coming out tomorrow...I am going to watch the Wolverine anime...urgh.

A few years ago, when the first of the marvel animes came out, I got excited... OMG MARVEL BUT ANIME? HELL YES.
But then I watched the first episode of the Ironman anime after it aired...
It might have just been the Japanese dialogue...something I bet the dubbers would have improved...but it was creepish in the way it worshiped Japanese culture...like it was made by the Japanese and...
So yeah, It didn't feel right for a north american audience.
Hopefully they change that bad first impression.

So far, Anime Wolverine looks ridiculous. I'm not talking the show... I'm talking about the character design... MORE TO FOLLOW!
damnit I want a job.
Toodles.  

Note: Most annoying of all... is the fact that Steven Blum is not voicing Logan in this...HE ALWAYS VOICES HIM THESE DAYS...instead...they got...PETER PETRILLI OF HEROES FAME!

Well at least Steven Blum voices him in the Xmen anime.

Money! Money. Money, mooooney monkey

So yeah, Charlotte is back to working at 2:45 to 9...urgh... I miss it so much.
As such, my posts will likely be later. damnit.

Anyway, got a call from the student loan folks today! being 20,000 in debt to them is never fun. it is worse when you don't have money. Anyway, the angel...her name was Stacy... Told me that I could file for unemployment with them and my credit wouldn't be effected...glorious. So yeah, one burden off my chest. I just need to sign up for that shit.
Anyway. Not having money is an interesting thing.
Believe it or not, back in the days of 6-10 months ago I was rolling in money. Charlotte and I had always been very conservative with money while going to school... As such, when I finally got a job in insurance it was a wonderful time. That, and her and I both worked while going to university. So we were doing fine.
Then bam, I get a job that pays over $20 an hour for desk work... plus benefits plus fitness and such. Then we started living well.
Our vacuum was a piece of shit. So I bought a  Dyson.
We wanted to do something together, so we bought a $500 hot yoga membership
videogames, blurays,  books... anything could be ours.
Then I lost my job, at that point we were living well but our expenses added up.
We needed a You-Haul, we needed to store our piano, we needed to get a storage locker for most of our shit... slowly but surely, my payments have come down to three things:
Cellphone 70 a month.
Car insurance 300 a month- on a sad note I switched over to the company that fired me RIGHT before they fired me, because I got a 20% discount with them...I was paying less there with my car fully insured as opposed to with another company and having no collision coverage. (Section C)
Student loans- 100 a month.
My parents, don't charge me rent...thank god.
Slowly, my money has all dried up. I have around 30 dollars in my chequing account, this was after i demolished my savings... my credit card has a limit of 500, and there is about 470 on there.

So yes, not having to pay my student loan off yet is a huge burden off my chest. I just wanted to put that in perspective. I'm at a state in my life, where I'm like a child again... not 8, not 18... more like 12. That point in your life right before your first job, when you're about to find out that money is freedom.
Growing up, I was allowed 2 cans of pop a week, one on friday night, the other on saturday. That is an excellent habit for anyone.
However, when I first got my own money, guess what I started buying? yes pop... not just cans, but bottles... and bad foods in general.
It was such a shock, being able to be independent again.
So here I am again, I am 23 years old, and it is like I'm 12 again. I live at home, I have only pocket change to spend and all my most base needs are met. At least I don't have random urges to watch Showcase or Bravo at 2am just for that weird softcore porn they would play.

I hope I never go back to that point in my life. Where money seems endless... I have come to really like only satisfying my needs and not paying for the things I want to do... that being said, the financial burden is on Charlotte right now and that is not right in any way... hence why I want a job...hence I want to succeed at writing... I want to stop being a burden...but at the same time, I know I don't need it to be happy. fuck, if I was making 30,000 a year and we were getting by and comfortable while living on our own but we were both happy doing what we wanted.. that would be bliss.

I think that is the dream we all lose sight of. We're told to do what we love. but in the end, most people do what I did... they go into something like insurance to pay the bills so that they can be happy with what they can spend it on... Yet they forget that 8 hours of our day is spent doing that thing they hate. Insurance made me not want to return to that ever again.
Unrealistic I know, but that is why they call it a dream, and I do believe it is obtainable.

Anyways! perhaps I'll write again today about less boring stuff! I've got a man date with a bunch of dudes who haven't seen Ghost in the Shell... I just so happen to have it on Bluray.
Also, thank god FOAM wars is cheap.
Toodles!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Foam wars and let's plays.

So yeah, I don't half ass anything.
These happy (and completely safe...teehee) foam weapons are my start to the melee weapons.
We're having a big get together on Friday for the making of foam weapons... I wanted to be ahead of the game.
Your eyes may be drawn to the Tomahawk first. I make thick spines to shape the weapon blades with... I'm not sure if most people do that when they make foam weapons, I didn't look up any tutorials... Either way, it helped because I could give it a stiff blade that keeps its shape even after multiple beatings. haven't tried throwing it yet... but I have weighted it correctly so it should fly. I'm probably going to give it to my friend Logan... It should help me get in his pants.
Next you may notice the two daggers...they're meant for throwing. I put weight in the center so that they were balanced...they work pretty well.
I'm thinking of using playdough to weight weapons... I'm sure the larpers will laugh at me... but I think it is a good idea. it shouldn't hurt to be hit with, even after it hardens... it can be molded into a shape and isn't too heavy, just enough to affect the weighting.
The small Pushing dagger at the bottom is modeled after Major Hugh's dagger from Full Metal Alchemist. That one is meant for show mostly... because I kind of used hard Styrofoam... that may hurt to get stabbed with...or worse yet, break the dagger. Looks cool, that is what is important.

Anyway! Today I've got more editing ahead of me. I've been planning book 2 mostly but I really need to get around to working hard on it. Also I applied at several places so I'll hopefully get a job too. Fuck being overqualified.
Also, Josh and I are doing our let's play again today. Skyrim, He gets to be nice while I'm a dick. Also I've not played much of the game and he's played it to death...so that is our gimmick. I've said it before, Playing the Fools... Youtube that shit.
Thank you folks.
Toodles.  

Monday, 22 July 2013

Foam wars.

So Leo is working on the cover a little slower than what was originally expected.
In the meantime!
I'm drawing more sketches of characters. I will be able to use them as advertisements eventually. I am so very excited and nervous. However, I am planning Book 2. that is going very well... I have had wonderful inspiration. The working title will be Shadow's Gaze. Which I have not googled yet so I don't know if it is anything already. What I was originally planning to be Volume 1 of Book 2, has become incredibly dense... so it might warrant its own book...so yeah, TRILOGY IN FOUR PARTS!
There is also the matter of editing Volume 3 (of Book 1) that needs to be done. I have some pretty basic mistakes that I continuously make, I can edit them out before Emily gets her copy.
Also, Charlotte is proof reading volume 1 and still finding a few small mistakes that we missed. mostly just small missuses of certain words. (Scalding hot instead of Scolding hot... very insulting hot stuff)

That brings us to Foam wars...
Charlotte and I will be organizing a massive NERF gun fight in a few weeks. These are the rules:

Basic rules (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)

1. Don’t be an asshole. If you are, one of the referees will give you the ass hat—Which will be bright, sparkly and all together humiliating (fabulous). You will be required to wear the distracting ass hat until you have proven to be not an asshole, or we have run out of ass hats and someone is more of an asshole than you. IF YOU ARE SEEN WITHOUT YOUR ASS HAT, YOU WILL BE DEEMED AUTOMATICALLY DEAD. 
2. Anything foam goes. That being said, there are limits. If you bring a larp sword, that shit better be safe. If it is capable of hurting someone, you cannot use it. 
3. Your choices in weaponry are Nerf guns, Nerf rip off guns, and any melee weapon made out of foam…. See rule two. Foam accessories are also allowed… if you’re willing to make a foam tower shield, then we won’t inhibit your creativity. 
4. To play, you have to earn your admittance. To do so, you must bring a package of extra darts. Preferably the dark blue ELITE darts which work with any nerf gun and can be bought in massive packages of 71 for about $18. That being said, you will be expected to pool all the darts you bring with everyone else. The more you bring, the more likely a good time we shall have. 
5. If you buy a NERF type gun that requires special ammunition, such as arrows, discs or balls…. Then you are on your own…. But you still need to bring a package of spare darts. 
6. No participates under 18. Why? Because I don’t want to be liable for possible injuries. 
7. Also no alcohol. Seriously guys, we don’t want the cops called on us. However, we will likely be going to the bar afterwards. 
8. You will be required to bring a blue and red shirt. We will divide people up into teams when we get there, so we can divide the teams up equally. 
9. Teams will likely be changed after each round, be prepared to change coloured shirt. 
10. The first round will be starting at noon. If you arrive after that, you will have to sit out until the next round starts. 
11. We will be starting with capture the flag. We will be making a red and blue flag for each team. The flags are on wooden dowels that are about 70cm long, the flag will be quite bright and obvious. To move with the flag, you must be holding it with at least one hand. I know this will affect how you shoot, that is the idea. 
12. Don’t hit anyone with the flag. 
13. There will be a few referees. One at the jail, four on patrol. They will be making sure that people respect the rules and aren’t assholes. Any grievances during the game can be taken up with the referees. 
14. No modified NERF guns. Sanctioned products only. Please see rule 2… If it can hurt somebody, you cannot use it. ALSO, if you paint your gun black, it is your own stupidity that will lead to you being gunned down by St. Albert RCMP. 
15. If you are bringing a Vulcan or Longshot NERF gun, please talk to us about it beforehand. They are the best foam dart guns money can buy and if we do end up having them on the field, we may have to make special rules for them. 
16. This is an invite only event. If you have suggestions for friends you want to bring, please suggest them to us and I’ll likely invite them. It is free to play, except for those foam darts… 
17. People who see us playing and want to join in can fuck off, they will likely not respect the rules. 


Shooting: 

• One shot to the head is a kill.
• Two shots to the body within 30 seconds is a kill. 
• If you get shot in a limb (arms and legs) you lose use of that limb for 1 minute. 

Melee: 

• No head shots asshole. This will earn you the ass hat. 
• Two shots to the body within 10 seconds is a kill. 
• One shot to the heart is a kill. 
• If you get hit in a limb, you lose use of that limb for 1 minute. 
• If you manage to sneak up behind someone and can touch them on their back with your hand they are instantly dead… and should feel bad. 

When you are dead:

• You go to the jail. 
• The jail will be situated at the center of the staging grounds. 
• You are free after ten minutes of being there, or until a teammate saves you. 
• Goes without saying, but you can’t kill or participate while in jail. 
Ammo: 
• Depending on how many people there are and how many darts we get in total will determine how much ammo you start off with. 
• Everyone will start with the same amount. This will account for those people who have 30 shot guns. 
• Any Ammo you find on the ground is fair game to pick up. 
• At the end of each round, we will pick up ammo together and put it into the bin.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Pacific Rim soon!

It is almost eight. I am going to go pick up Leo for our totally not gay date. That is because I'm only gay for Andrew! Not true, I love all the boys... hell they love me.
Women (waitresses mostly) find it amusing. I seem to have little shame, I like it. Plus, when you find a perfect woman like I did... the only thing left are men...(Andrew)
He's in France now. His girlfriend misses him a lot, she is a wonderful woman. The kind that you DREAM of your friends getting. Yes, that is a concern for me. I've seen too many of my friends get shitty girlfriends or god forbid, try to date one of my female friends...which always...for some reason...ENDS IN FUCKING DISASTER. I hate nothing more then when I unintentionally introduce people and they start dating. Always ends poorly.
Odd, since I tried to set up my best friend in Highschool Logan with a girl I think liked him and I think he liked back... Odd since I now think she may have liked me all along. God I fucked up a lot in those days.

Anyways, as per the title of this blog... I WILL TRY TO STAY ON TOPIC.
Pacific Rim, I will post my thoughts on it tomorrow morning. Hopefully I work out, I intend to eat lots of theater shit. Why? Because I do a 1000 Calorie plus workout almost every day and I'm constantly fucking hungry as a result.
I'm still fat.
but muscular at the same time.
It's fucked.

Anyway, soon to be date time. I'm going to leave you with a Manga recommendation. It is the latest new series by an author whom I adore if you're into slightly adult type dealio. Hell, even Charlotte liked her stuff...yes it is a her who writes slightly erotic manga... So they're more...Josei, which means for adult women. Shoujo-Girls, Shounen-boys, Seinin- men.
Josei consist a lot of house wife fantasies, so yes they're fantastic.
Anyways, the series is called:  Yoru Wo Tomenaide
It is incredible, the art is amazing and the story made me tear up slightly with the first chapter. Not much sex so if that is what you're reading for...not much there. 

God, her art style is incredible. 


Anyways, off to go pick up Leo. 

Toodles. 

Self publishing and inspiration

So if you're a writer you've likely heard this before.
I have only known this for a couple months. Why? Because I was always too focused on writer instead of getting published. I figured things would eventually just work out.

Funny that, now I'm working so hard towards it. Truth is, I don't have time to look for a agent. It is extremely hard to get one. I have yet to find my own. It is like finding a soul mate, so far, I have yet to find my muse.

Oh well, I'm sure he or she is out there. They'll read my stuff someday, it'll speak to them in some profound way and they'll stalk me until I give in. As a guy, there have been few times where I have been perused, so I look forward to it.

Nothing wrong with wanting to feel wanted.

Anyways, the yesterday was strange.
Inspiration is something people say strikes you randomly. That couldn't be more true... you can't explain it, it just happens, and like a flood, it takes a little while to dry up.
So I had just gotten back from coffee with my friend yesterday, she's been through a lot of similar things to me so we get along quite well. I was watching Californication, thinking about editing volume three and I looked at my notebook and just started writing down ideas.

I do my best thinking when I shouldn't be. Remember, I'm a day dreamer. Driving is one of the best times for me. In the shower is another. Walking is one of the most common...The latest I've discovered is working out. I can go on an hour long run and I'll at least have a few good ideas.

So when I picked up my coil book, I thought to myself: How should I write my next book. I started by writing the various scenarios I would have to depict in my next book. That got me to needing some characters so I wrote small write ups for about 30 or so new characters... All who would fit within the various scenarios.

Today, I was writing various notes of small ideas I had... and I thought up two character's backstories. I ALWAYS had the idea for one... Why? because I had originally intended it for another story. That is the primary reason I'll tell anyone who writes that there is NO SUCH THING, as a bad idea. even if it doesn't fit with your setting... It may fit with something else, so never forget that.

Once you come up with major ideas, like I did yesterday. The dam is broken, ideas now have a foundation and you'll find yourself coming up with random small ideas even when you're supposed to be doing something else. Driving, watching Charlotte's soccer game, trying to sleep.

Quite funny, I'm sure most authors have a different process, but shit just comes to me. It doesn't happen all at once, there is a catalyst and then smaller ideas that follow over the course of weeks.

By the time I sit down to write down plot and how it all connects together, it is just a matter of logic.

Anyway, that is all for now. Charlotte is off at 12: 45 and we have a date.

Also, Pacific rim at 10:45 tonight with Leo and Stuart.

Toodles!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

More real by the day.

So here I am.
Andrew got his copy of the manuscript, Charlotte was slightly jealous... she wants a paper copy, but I can't afford to pay for another 40 dollar manuscript for her. So she's going to have to settle for a second hand piece of shit Kobo... That is the Canadian Kindle from our book store... it is a piece of shit.
I wrestled with the thing for an hour last night trying to get it to display a pdf without dying.
Anyway, last night I got an email from Leo. He wanted me to try to redraw the cover character, not the background, thank god, just the dude on the cover.
So I did, and it turned out fan-fucking-tastic. Easily one of the best drawings I have ever done. Strangely enough I did it at 9pm while drunk and watching Americas got Talent. As is life. I sent it off to him, as soon as the cover is finished, I can publish the whole thing onto Kindle. I can't wait for when I have money or a fan or three who might be willing to do the drawing for me... then perhaps I'll get pro quality.

Anyways, Andrew was gleeful as shit when I gave him his copy of Ardent's Contract. He was so happy and shocked that it looked so professional. He was expecting a stack of papers held together by staples. Instead I had that shit bound.

Also, I signed up for my author Amazon Kindle account today, gave them my bank info. That might make some people nervous but I've got nothing to give or steal.

My mom is excited to read it, she has a Kobo, which can get stuff off Kindle now. I'm MOST nervous for her to read it. She reads a ton, she's pretty much wheel chair bound so yeah. She is mostly into crime novels and thrillers... you know, the 80,000 word books that James Patterson can pound out once a week.

That being said, there is a bath scene...A BATH SCENE...at one point...when she reads that..urgh... I HATE NOTHING MORE, then when someone reads my stuff in front of me... it makes me want to puke... I'm not joking.
If you've read a few lines in this blog, you probably know I don't have the best self esteem... For some reason I am terrified of my biggest fan.

Speaking of which, I'll probably talk about my mom on another time, I know I say that  a lot... but there is a lot to write. She is former female super soldier who got MS. Her story is an incredible one.
Also I was breach. So from the moment I first took breath I was more of a pain than what I was worth.

I'll never live that one down.

Toodles.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Goals are complete!

Well I'm still broke. but Things are better!

Andrew leaves at 6am tomorrow. And his version of the manuscript is complete. I even called it Andrew's Contract. I have to pay 8 cents a page. It clocked out at 295, 581 and at 746 pages. That would have costed like 60 dolla!  I love Andrew but I don't have much money. So I made it single spaced, and the font size 10. It is now 385 pages. Much better, 30 dolla! Of course Staples tried to upsell me. WHY PRINT IT ON BLACK AND WHITE WHEN YOU CAN HAVE IT ON SUPER JET BLACK ULTRA QUALITY PAPER. They even try to make Black and white look like shit. in the preview, the paper is grey and the lines blurry...with the super ink, the paper is white and the lines HD clear... yeah the super ink treatment would have cost me 111 dollars Canadian... yeah no.
I also finished editing volume one.
Added in a few extra scenes.
Incorporated the art into the whole damn thing.
It looks great.
Cleaned up my basement.

So for the first time in months I feel free! No book to destroy me at the moment so I can relax ... The only thing left to do with Ardent's Contract is to wait for Emily to finish volume 2, edit that....Edit volume 3 one more time, using my mistakes in volume 1 as a reference...have Emily edit it, then final edits....

So yeah, I'm probably going to get to editing volume 3 tomorrow.

For today:
-Work out.
-Go to Canadian government office... Kill myself with Canadian Bureaucracy (I fucking hate that word. Microsoft Word never knows what the fuck I'm talking about...)
 -Take my dear mother to her dentist appointment.
-Pick up manuscript, take to Andrew, cry when he is leaving.
-errr, I don't know. Edits?

-I do need to start planning my second book... Which will be fun. I've been collecting all my notes with the intent of selling them for money on Ebay when I'M SUPER DUPER ULTRA FAMOUS.

Urgh, when Faith saw me writing and the fact that my story was so long... Of course her 11 year old brain immediately goes to: YOU'RE GOING TO GET PUBLISHED AND BE FAMOUS!
I felt sad when I laughed and explained that Fantasy authors don't get famous (Well unless they make an HBO series out of your book and you have a gimmick to  your writing that inspires memes) at best they  become successful.
If I can become published, I will be so happy.

Also job, I need to send out applications.
Urgh.
Toodles.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Dayum. (how to train your dragon)

If you have not seen the trailer for how to train your dragon 2...GO WATCH IT NOW.
Best trailer I've seen in a long time. Seriously, no voice over, no gimmick, just pure awesome... best of all, Hiccup now wears armour while he flies! how cool is that?
Speaking of Hiccup...


Source is Starstealer96 on Deviant Art.
Seriously, look at how handsome he has become! He is a hot piece of CGI ass now.
I will have to do another article on MALE allure and how to write/draw it. Once again, a skill many dudes do not have. Why? Well because there is allure that is meant to appeal to females, and the kind that is supposed to appeal to us boys and our power man fantasies... a good writer can capture both.

Anyways, time to work out and then Edit. I'm almost done and I am excited!
Also, apparently writing over 200,000 words in less than two months is inhuman.
I am a freak of nature.
Toodles!

Had fun last night! GIF TIME!

So I did have a fun time with my brother last night.
Although the payperview had some disappointments (fuck Cena) there were some highlights.

 If Punk can't have it...
  Heyman did this...
 He yells yes every time he does that. 
 LOL LOOK AT CENA FAILRUGHAFLJ 

 The pop Rhodes got was epic. Kid deserves it. 
Best move of the night, sunset flip powerbomb. 
Best moment of the night for me. hell yes. 





So as a normal person, you're probably wondering why I talk about wrestling. 
Soon I shall tell you why adult men like it. 
Toodles. 

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Date with a brother and a new chapter!

Okay, So last night we went to a barbecue with Leo and his girlfriend Dana. Twas fun... there was a obstacle course...it was thunder storming. I wiped out and rolled down a hill before trying to get in the inflatable bouncy thingy...then there was a wall I had to climb with a rope and sad excuses for footholds... Of course I get to the top and fall into a pool of water... but was still fun.
Also I was pretty damn drunk. I was telling a 17 year old boy and his 16 year old girlfriend that prostate poking is the cure for hiccups...my god, what bullshit. Also, they were going out for only 4 months and were pretty cute together... which I'm sure most people would scoff at, but Charlotte and I started going out when I was 17 and she was like 5 days away from being 16, so yeah, I find it cute.
Thank god I don't get hangovers.
Now Charlotte and I are watching Master chef, a wonderful reality TV show. Not to be mistaken for Master Chief, which involves stealing physically adept children from their homes at night and replacing them with shitty clones that won't last very long...training them to be super soldiers and eventually...

Anyway. It is a wonderful time, we love this show. So Charlotte is not going to soccer tonight, so instead I will be watching Money in the Bank with my brother. A WWE pay per view... Should be an excellent time, I have a feeling I will blog on the spot about it. My brother is an interesting person, he is like a slightly older version of me who is more outspoken and slightly douchier... When my sister would bring home dates, we would usually pick him apart...ah good times.

Most importantly of all! Is the bestest monthly manga series had a new chapter released today! It is called Renai Shimasen Ka? or Shall we love? a horrible Engrish title so that is what I shall refer to it...FOREVER. I mean I could take artistic liberties and do something like Break Blade ---> Broken Blade.
Shall we Love? ---> Shall we fall in Love? or Should we fall in Love? either works. but I like Engrish.
Anyway, I've sampled art from the manga before:
This the heroine, she is chunky and wonderfully well drawn.
I love the art. As a monthly series, it really shows the quality. Very few series are like One Piece or Nisekoi and have FANTASTIC art in a weekly series.
When I eventually do that blog on Allure, I have a feeling that this series will be HEAVILY referenced. This is because I adore the heroine, her personality as well as how she is designed is amazing. Seriously, look at her... how many artists, American or Japanese will justify a busty female by adding a little weight to her. Look at those thighs of hers, they're gigantic! Also, note her shoulder, ALSO GIGANTIC. Jesus, it's like most male artists don't understand that few women are given gigantic boobs unless they have the shoulders and hips to support them... mother nature doesn't hate you that much.
She forgot to mention the flabby legs <3
My one concern with this series is the fact that they're going with the Lesbian story line... You know, the classic, oh god, there is a lesbian who is trying to get with the main heroine...despite the fact that she clearly loves the cock. The lesbians I do know, aren't the type to go after straight girls in an attempt to turn them. Not usually at least.
However I understand the purpose of this type of story line. You see children, there are two types of love triangles. We have the kind that is legitimate, both competing parties stand an equal chance of winning the affection of their target. These usually serve as more entertaining stories and are more better quality as a result. You know, because even love stories should have a stake, even if it is just the right to date a single person.
However, there is the second type of love triangle.. Let us call it the Bella? No, that isn't fair.
It is a love triangle that ONLY exists to make one party look better. This is incredibly common in Manga, literature, movies and everything. Look at any romantic comedy. You have the female heroine whom the male is trying to get with... Like that episode of How I Met Your Mother where Ted's ex's husband made a movie about him stealing Stella back...

You had the Mosby who was the obvious bad love interest who was there ONLY to lose because he was a douche. A competing love interest who only exists to bring out the best in the main character, or FORCE him to act.
So Shall We Love? uses this type of love triangle twice! the second one at least. First to great effect to force the Female Heroine to pursue the dude...yes it is one of those and it is awesome.
Anyways, the new Arc introduces this proud creature:
OH SHIT JUST GOT REAL!
Why a Lesbian? Why is she going after the main heroine? Well up to this point the dude has been hesitant in his feelings. So by bringing in a third person to pursue the heroine, it will force him to realize his feelings and go after him so that she doesn't scissor raped.
I'm joking.
The truth is, this girl could have been a dude. Yet How many times when we see a dude that is going after the heroine that we AUTOMATICALLY hate him... just out of principal. He could be upstanding and a much better match for the heroine... yet like rabid dogs we hate him.
Classic SchMosby
I think the author has the intention of making this girl likable and a legit threat so he made her a woman, we male readers are more hesitant to hate on a girl. So far, this series has had a wonderful supporting cast, I hope once he's done with the main pairing the author focuses on them rather than just ending the whole series.
Anyways, interested to see where this goes!
Yes she calls him master, read the manga.
Toodles for now!

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Mecha dreams

Okay let us get this out of the way.
I FUCKING LOVE MECHA. Japanese, American, it doesn't matter!
I have not seen Pacific Rim yet but you have no idea how excited I am for that one, especially since I am running into conflicting schedules between friends. Cannot wait.
Also my second favorite anime is Gundam 1979, I have the whole thing...on DVD, and the movies, and Zeta Gundam as well as Char's counter attack.
Point is, I love the universal timeline, except for Double Zeta, that can go fuck itself.
One of my favorite writing pet projects over the last couple years has been my Mecha story, that takes place in the mecha universe we all made together... Perhaps someday I'll polish that, but I wouldn't ask money for it.
So I had a mech related dream last night. It was amazing, girls and boys  were forced to pilot together, for some reason the girls were the power source and the guys had to control the machines. They were smaller in terms of most mechs, only about 30 feet or 12 meters tall. We fought monsters, so my subconscious is telling me to go see Pacific fucking Rim already.
I like it when I have good not shitty dreams. I find it amusing when  girls have zombie dreams, they're terrifying and involve being eaten alive. When guys dream of zombies, it involves us being awesome and murdering the shit out of the poor things.
As always, there are always exceptions to the rule.
I've started watching Californication while editing, which I guess is pretty amusing unto itself. Anyway, I found myself hating it but being too lazy to change Canadian Netflix...It seemed like a typical writer's fantasy, (You know, us writers have our fantasies, why do you think the Pixie Dream Girl stereotype was created) you know, bangs lots of women and shit...but I actually came to like it as I got further into it.
Seemed less like a male/writer fantasy as it went on. Plus he's really nice to all the girls he bangs.
speaking of Manic Pixie Dream Girls, Charlotte likes to muse that she's one...albeit a high functioning one...What she's trying to say is she wouldn't drown in the rain.


Anyways, Writing! Yay! I am halfway done the edits for volume one! Leo will be finished repairing my cover about next Friday! So soon Kindle, soon.

Also, I want to fix Volume 3 before I print it off for Emily to edit. I make a lot of the same mistakes and I can easily do them myself and make it easier for her in the future. Faster Edits is a good thing.

Anyways! time to get back to it!

Toodles.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Les Miserables

So we had excellent seats. Twas a wonderful 23rd birthday gift from my parents... the show was slightly different, it continuous to change over the years...urgh...I loved Asian Marinos.

So I'm trying to get to my seat, by jumping over laps, and who do I almost give a lap dance? MY INSURANCE BROKER! awesome right? NO, SHE WORKS FOR THE COMPANY THAT FIRES ME, I'm too lazy to cancel my insurance with those assholes.
Also she's been furiously emailing me for not paying my premiums... Because, you know, premiums are for someone who has money...
FUUUUU I NEED TO SELL AND GET MONEY.

Anyway, Go see Les Miz if you ever get the chance. It's pretty awesome.


My brother asked if I wanted to watch "Money in the Bank" with him on Sunday, I thought he was talking about a job that could play me with money.... I'm pretty desperate.

Urgh.
Toodles.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Ardent's Contract: First 13 pages.

Prologue: 

(Note: I am Canadian, I use Canadian spelling. It is a weird hybrid of American and British.)
Also, edited by Emily and Charlotte. She is fantastic. I LOVE YOU WOMANS.


The last lights finally flickered and went out. Only the dim street lights were left on as the night passed peacefully.
      Shadea Hain maintained his brisk pace as his eyes flickered from corner to corner of the dark and empty streets. The night was late, both moons were clearly visible in the night sky. The view from the High City was impeccable as always. From this vantage, the young Parah’Kni Commander could see the Monument.
      The massive fortress that served as the headquarters of the Union floated lazily above the High City. It was metal and cone shaped, point turned downwards with several slender towers protruding from the top. It lay directly in the center of the city, to serve as a reminder to all of its station. Dozens of rivers, some massive and others small, flowed out from the Monument and filled the canals.
      These canals started at the top, in the high city. But eventually they would fall to the Main City, and from there they would branch out and drop to the Lower City. Finally they would flow out and irrigate the farms that surrounded the massive city that was called Vurosis. The pure water that sustained the people of all castes was just one symbol of the Contract; a blessing from Kara’Haku that allowed continued existence.
      Shadea halted suddenly and raised his hand; the dozen or so shapes that followed him in the dark halted as he continued on alone. At only twenty-three, it was a wonder the Commander had made it as far as he had. True he had come from the Coh’Na caste, but his family was gone now. All that was left was a tall and handsome man, with shoulder length black hair that was now tied back in red ribbon, framing his slender face and dark brown eyes. The power armour he wore did not inhibit him; it was meant to boost. It was dark in colour with many plates overlapping each other. A few lights glowed dully, displaying the fact that it was mechanical armour build by the Contract for Parah’Kni such as himself.
      Armour like this was awarded to a Parah’Kni upon reaching the position of Squire. Each set of armour started off looking like it was mass produced, within a few years of service, each warrior would often add new pieces and parts. A Parah’Kni’s armour was more than just protection, it was a unique piece of art which served as a way of expressing themselves. He decorated his own simply, with a half-cape that covered only his left shoulder. The dark fabric went all the way down to his waist, he had brushed it to the side so it wouldn’t inhibit him.
      Shadea continued to the end of the street alone; hand on the fully sheathed sword that was attached by a strap to his left hip. The black handled sword was single edged and slightly curved, it had a circular hand guard and fabric that wrapped around the hilt, the sword was unique. Although there were many swords designed in the same way, Shadea had crafted this particular blade with his own hand, he felt a special bond to it, it completed him like a limb he had never possessed before, an extension of his soul itself. Of course such a weapon had a name, but the Parah’Kni hadn’t shared it, such a thing could only be known by him, like a pet name between lovers.
      It was truly a wonderful night, the numerous street lights reflecting off of the glass buildings of the High City. Having been built for Coh’Na, the buildings were most often tall, with excellent architecture and artistic merit. However, each building looked different and unique, kind of like how no two people ever looked the same. This was because every one of these had been built by a different person.
      Shadea was also unused to the obvious Southern influence in the architecture. The buildings were less elaborate than the most other districts, instead built to display strength and power. As such, they were taller than in the West, thicker as well, built with stronger material such as brick or concrete. The closer to the center of the district, the smaller the buildings became as they gave way to less lavish structures. Now they were made up of  shops and various other businesses that housed Ji’No.
      Reaching the end of the cobblestone street, Shadea’s eyes peered quickly down either side of the splitting walkway. The area was completely deserted and safe to allow his master to pass through. Satisfied Shadea returned to his awaiting comrades.
      “See anything Shadea Reshi-Hain’Kni?” Krez Ravineil asked quickly. He was Shadea’s current master, the one whom his Contract bound him to.
      “No, Krez Seinta-Ravineil’Na” Shadea replied formally, as he always did. Krez was a young, stocky man in his late teens.  The short curly hair that decorated his less-than-average face was cut neatly as per tradition. The well trimmed vest and dress shirt were comfortable as well as practical for a noble, as per Western tradition.
      “I see.” Krez sneered; he was often impolite to his servants and his vassals.
      “Krez Seinta-Ravineil’Na,” Shadea spoke up quickly, his tone held firmness but remained completely docile. “If I may insist, we should head back before we are discovered. We have come far out of our district; the Oordiri will not remain idle.”
      Krez only shrugged in response and replied. “Well if that happens then it is your job, to protect me, is it not Shadea Hain’Kni?” the words cut, but Shadea held his composure. The exclusion of a formal honorific was a verbal sign that Krez was displeased with him.
      “As you wish, Seinta,” Shadea replied quickly. He was surprised at his own words. True it was still correct only to use an honorific when addressing the Heir, but it was still distinctively less formal than he would normally use. Krez only nodded quickly and turned away as Shadea brought up his right hand in a Western style bow.
      “I’ll be behind the troops. Press forward, we will get to the bottom of this tonight!” Krez waved his right hand and disappeared into the crowd of militia that stood waiting. The Parah’Kni shook his head quickly; he had no place to be so rude yet it came out so easily.
      “Miri-Shadea, are you okay?” Synra asked as she stepped away from the line-up of her fellow Parah’Kni. The young woman always preferred to use the less formal Bureaucratic language: To many she came off as blunt.
      “Yes, I am,” Shadea said coolly. Synra Tan was of the Re’In caste, yet this hadn’t stopped her from achieving status as a Parah’Kni Warlock and shedding her old Kana. With twenty Journeys since she was born, she was strikingly beautiful even in her full armour, which had been customized to suit her needs, she decorated it with a long dark sash, which was wrapped around her waist and draped to the ground, she wore her heavy robes with long sleeves and a hood, it dragged on the ground behind her. While Shadea’s armour was sharp and angular, hers was round and curved in places, it was feminine yet still practical, protecting her fully.  
      She was short in stature and quite voluptuous; her soft features were decorated by long auburn hair and deep blue eyes. In her right hand she held her focus spear, a weapon that would allow her to use her abilities to their full strength, the long dark shaft was much taller than her, and decorated with bright scarves wrapped around it and left to flow in the wind. In her other hand, which rested lazily at her hip, was her helmet.
      Behind Synra stood the six other armoured Parah’Kni, that came as an escort, this included Koro the oldest of the squad. At twenty-six-Journeys, Koro Viz had become one of the most accomplished Medics of House Ravineil. Her honey-coloured hair was kept short as per Western fashion and seemed to add to the warm smiles and motherly disposition she always gave off. In combat she kept her submachine gun close and would only charge to help take care of the wounded.
      Koro eyed Shadea, not saying a word. She held her usual look of concern, it was likely that she would be pestering him about his emotional state later. It was obvious this situation was unfavourable to Shadea. Koro stepped forward, quickly followed by Bu-un.                                                                                  
      Bu-un Maynor was the biggest of them all, unsurprising considering his role as the squad’s sole Instigator. His wide jaw and scarred face added to his fa├žade as a front line combatant, willing to cleave through any number of enemies with his large two handed sword. Off the battlefield he was talkative, especially when drunk, and had a distinct weakness for women.
      Unlike the rest of them, he had added more plates to his armour, making it appear much bulkier and square shaped. The thicker armour would provide better protection, even going as far to include wide pieces of metal emerging from his chest, shoulders and back. They were raised high enough to touch his chin, they served as a blast shield that would protect his neck.  
      Bu-un held his usual wide grin, happy for the possible danger they faced. He walked with Koro; although the two of them often argued, they were good friends and depended on one another. That connection was sometimes worrying for the Parah’Kni leader, who had to work hard to get them to cooperate in their early days of working together. However, constant drilling had pressed the fact that they were a team above all else, not individual warriors as many people romanticized of the Parah’Kni. Bu-un glanced back at Silvin, his eyes lingering slightly, the young woman was quickly pushing through the rest of her comrades to get beside Synra.
      Silvin Stiera, who had lived seventeen Journeys, was possibly the most overconfident person Shadea had ever met. She laughed at everything including her own jokes, and would often argue that her good looks-which included green eyes and brown, braided hair-could get her anywhere her weapon couldn’t. Unlike most Duellists, who often preferred slim blades for the purpose of speed and finesse, Silvin carried a falchion, a long, curved two handed sword that had a hilt half as long as the blade. Although seemingly unwieldy, the girl used it like a weapon of grace and caught her enemies off guard.
      As usual, she dragged her comrade Harper alongside her. He was the same age as her and since they were both Squires they would often do things together. However, due to her aggressive nature, she would bully the shy boy into helping her with her whims.
      Shadea smiled to himself. Harper Vaziz was docile as ever. Coh’Na born, with plenty of Kana, the seventeen Journeys old Architect was a vital corner stone of the team when defence was vitally needed. The short sword and pistol he carried were not his primary focus, but the young light-haired man was capable of killing as well.
      Harper looked around nervously; unlike most of them, he was mindful of his surroundings as well as the danger of the situation.  Unlike most warriors, he seemed to prefer the peaceful route when it came to combat. Many would have seen this as cowardly, however, Shadea knew that the young Squire would be firm when the situation required it. Harper let out a small yelp when he realized that Ceviliz stood behind him, looming and silent, finally deciding to make his way into the light.
      Ceviliz Quiri remained quiet and in the rear, a habit that came from his training as a Stalker. He kept his helmet on at all times, its red mechanical eyes glowing dully beneath the hood of his dark robes. Beneath that, the young, handsome man with dark skin was constantly observing his surroundings. In his hands he held a rifle with an attached scope, very high quality and the least primitive gun they could find him. With it, Ceviliz could kill a man from unheard of distances. The long knife on his hip was not for show either; the Stalker could not be counted out in close combat.
      Ceviliz tilted his head towards Harper, who stilled eyed his own comrade with distrust. Rather than fading into the darkness like he usually would, he stood with the rest of them, knowing when to come to a halt when Shadea wanted them gathered.
      Shadea looked over his trusted Parah’Kni. They were all great warriors in their own right, chosen for their specific skill sets. As every Commander knew, having too much of the same would result in disaster, you needed someone for everything. The warriors looked back at him with their various mannerisms. Controlling their temperaments had been the true test of leadership, making them a team worth watching. Finally, Shadea’s gaze fell upon the young Squire most like himself.
      Off to the side, looking uncertain, was young Izhan Dahz. Standing a little shorter then Shadea himself, the newest Parah’Kni in the squad was handsome with dark brown hair and light blue eyes. Confident, yet not overly so like Silvin, Izhan had a strong sense of justice. Anything he felt was worth doing was done without hesitation. On his left hip was a sword like Shadea’s own, but behind his back, on his belt were two duelling pistols-weapons he had proven to be more fond of. Yet most unsettling of all was the sheer amount of Kana Izhan had. He was not Coh’Na, yet he had more than Harper and almost as much as Shadea himself. The difference being that Shadea had trained for years and increased his Kana, whereas this boy was just starting. He only held access to one Gate, after all.
      Shadea turned around and continued down the street as his squad continued to talk quietly. He would have preferred stealth, but Krez had ordered the Parah’Kni and the thirty or so militia who followed to act casual. It was odd, they were clearly in the wrong, yet the young heir expected them to act entitled.
      “Why are we even on this walk?” Bu-un asked no one in particular. Shadea jerked his head to his right, Krez was walking alongside him and ignoring the talk behind them.
      “It is not our place to ask such questions, Bira-Maynor,” Koro responded. 
      “We have no right to reject it,” Silvin interrupted. “But we can question it all we want! For example, why am I not ready for the assessment yet? I’m sick of being a Squire, I’m ready to be a full Parah’Kni!”
      “Calm down,” Synra said to her Squire. Silvin was her best friend as well as her student. “Why can’t you be more like Yumi-Izhan or Yumi-Harper? They don’t mind waiting on Miri-Shadea’s orders.”
      Silvin snorted in response and said.“Bira-Dahz’Kni is ready like I am. Harper-Nia isn’t!”
      “Hey!” Harper cried out, flustered by the rude title bestowed upon him by Silvin.
      “Quiet kids, seriously,” Koro broke out. “If you act like a Squire, Yumi-Silvin, how can you expect to be promoted to a full Parah’Kni?”
      Silvin shrugged and responded briskly. “Based on my skills alone.” 
      “As long as it’s not your looks,” Synra said, giggling.
      The two young women broke out into quiet laughter as the entire group pressed deeper into Oordiri territory.
      After a moment Izhan spoke up for the first time. “Because, Miri-Maynor, we are going to catch the criminals.” Everyone’s face darkened. This was a heavy matter not worth joking about. In series of mysterious fires, many people in all levels of the city had died within Ravineil territory.
      Now that the fires had switched over to Oordiri territory, Krez had dragged his Parah’Kni vassals and a small regiment of militia in the hopes of discovering the truth behind the incidents and solving it himself. He did this partly out of pride, but also because the young heir had fallen out of favour with his mother recently.
      “Exactly!” Krez added gleefully. “And once we do that, I’m sure Mother will overlook this!”
      Suddenly Ceviliz spoke up. “Shadea Shino-Hain,” he said in his usual drawl. “I know we are being watched.”
      “Indeed,” Shadea said as he raised his right hand and balled it into a fist, signalling everyone to stop. He turned around and looked at Synra. “They know our location, Synra Shiana-Tan’Kni. Find them.”
      “Wait!” Krez cut in. “If she is about to do that, wouldn’t that give away our position?”
      “Not exactly, Krez Seinta-Ravineil’Na,” Harper replied.  “A general idea of where we are, but to be more specific, they would have to use Anu.”
      “I didn’t ask you,” Krez hissed. Harper reeled back a bit from the outburst.
      “He is right Krez Seinta-Ravineil,” Shadea interrupted, nodding his head to the young Squire. “And besides, they already know where we are. Do it, Shiana.”
      “Yes, Miri!” Synra smiled as she closed her eyes.
      Shadea felt the familiar sensation of the hair on the back of his neck sticking up as Synra opened her first Gate. As a Herald, he could sense when anyone within a certain distance opened Gates, this sensation amounted to a vague feeling of the general direction of the other Herald. Synra being this close and using her abilities stood out like a beacon in his mind.
Eventually, the sensation loosened as she shut off her Kana flow and closed the Gate.
      Opening her eyes, Synra said. “A group of Parah’Kni and militia smaller in numbers than we are just around that corner.”
      Everyone put their hands on their weapons as a group of armoured figures rounded onto the street. They were followed by their own group of militia, men and women also wearing metal armour and holding bows or spears.
      “Hold up,” Shadea firmly told his men. They all lowered their hands from their weapons and their group of militia backed off slightly.
      “Oh, wonderful,” Krez sneered. “Oordiri watch dogs here to spoil our fun.”
      “This is a serious matter, Seinta,” Shadea whispered as the group of Oordiri split into ranks and allowed two figures to walk through.
      The first was a young woman, somewhere in her early twenties. She had long black hair which she let flow well past her shoulders. Her face was rather round but pretty, displaying her amber eyes. The Coh’Na woman’s clothing matched the current fashion of the South, where House Oordiri resided. This included a low-cut blouse that hung off her shoulders and displayed the extensive amounts of henna markings that took up a large portion of her chest, a short skirt that fit snugly around her ample hips and long leather boots. The people of the South valued the body above all else, thus her outfit celebrated her advantages. Synra was also from the South district and dressed very similar when out of uniform.
      “Well, well, well,” the woman dragged out, coming to a firm stop. She placed her left arm under her breasts, sticking her right thumb against her henna marks, emphasizing them.
      Upon closer inspection, Shadea could tell that they displayed the fact that she was already betrothed and was to be married within three months. “It seems like a few stray rats have scurried out from the West district and found themselves in an unfamiliar place.” She smiled, her smoky eyes drifting from Krez to Shadea to the rest of the men before returning back to Shadea. “I wouldn’t mind if some of you remained.” Suddenly, her voice became clear and hostile. “But the rest can leave.”
      The armoured Parah’Kni that had followed her was fairly tall with wide shoulders and hips. Shadea could barely tell it was a woman because of her heavy robes and the hood and helmet she wore.
      “There are places I would rather be,” Krez said slowly, his eyes going over all the Oordiri soldiers who were now only a few paces away. “Yet in my nightly stroll I happened to get lost, and found myself in the less than desirable South district. In the home of harlots, like you Key Zandi-Oordiri’Na.”
      The silence that fell was only ended by the hostile giggle that Key let out. Shadea could feel a cold bead of sweat going down his face. Krez had just politely insulted the heiress of the Oordiri.
      “Aren’t you pathetic!” Key sneered. “House Oordiri is in higher standing than House Ravineil! How dare you address me as your equal.”
      Shadea glanced over at the Oordiri Parah’Kni. There were only five of them in total, but they were now restless and ready for a fight after the insult Krez had directed at their heiress. Yet the lead Parah’Kni was staring directly at him, her expression hidden by the mechanical mask. On her left hip was a double-edged long sword; while behind her back was the handle of what looked like an axe.
      “Stand aside, Key Zandi-Oordiri,” Krez said, his lips curling into a smile. “I have a walk to finish.”
      Key responded with a pout, yet her eyes were blazing. “I should punish you right now. When I heard from my scouts that Krez Ravineil was in Oordiri territory without permission, I thought to myself: How can I milk this for what it’s worth? And although you are not worth very much yourself, false Heir, your humiliation will bring me some form of gratification!”
      Krez bit his lip in response and looked to Shadea. “I can hardly stand this bitch in court, I rather not drag this out any longer.”
      “I clearly heard that,” Key interrupted as her gaze fixed on Shadea, she added.“Why do you choose to be such a little man’s vassal? You could come be a Parah’Kni for Oordiri.” She licked her lips and finished, “I could find many uses for you; it would be preferable to watching a little boy on his walk.”
      Krez’s hands curled into fists as he went to take a step forward, but he stopped composed himself and replied. “You may choose to insult my House and my own being by trying to proposition me. But I assure you, House Ravineil is favoured by Kara’Haku and it is shown through our Parah’Kni and our contracts.”
      “If you are so great, why are you lower than us?” Key snapped.
      “A simple misunderstanding.” Krez snapped his fingers as the Oordiri militia drew their bows and the Parah’Kni unsheathed their various weapons.
      “Oh my,” Key said quietly. “It seems like you are instigating a fight. Many good men and woman could die this way if we aren’t careful.”
      “Then why don’t we make this simple and solve this dispute right now?” Krez grinned.
      “What are you saying, little man?” Key responded quickly.  
      “I’m saying we leave this up to the Contract. My best Parah’Kni versus yours.”
Key reeled her head back and let loose a small laugh before her eyes locked onto Krez. “You’re serious aren’t you? You think that a Parah’Kni of Ravineil can match that of one of the Four Great Houses? Fine, I’ll humour you.” She clapped her hands. “Fairez-Fuara, I task you with cutting down this fool’s best Herald.”
      “As you wish, Key-Fuara.” The female Parah’Kni who had flanked Key stepped forward. A sSuire scurried up behind and received her robes as she removed them and stood by idly.
      “Shadea Reshi-Hain’Kni, take her out,” Krez said to Shadea as he backed away slowly. Synra shot him a worried look as Harper stepped forward and handed him his helmet.
      The helmet like other Parah’Kni helms would fully encompass his head, it had dark narrow eyes made of a thick glass that would glow red, crossing over them like eyebrows was a sharp V shaped crest, the face was smooth, with vents where his mouth would be.
      “I accept my Seinta’s challenge,” Shadea said as he stepped closer to Fairez. The onlookers wisely backed off.
      “So…” Fairez added as she removed her helmet. Her pretty face was framed by  black hair that was cut short but long enough to form curls past her ears, the curls were decorated with several long braids that varied in length from past her shoulders to chin length. Her amber eyes matched Key’s, yet held an extra degree of danger to them. “I think you are the most handsome thing I have ever had to kill.”
      “I agree,” Shadea responded as he smiled coolly. “Don’t expect me to go easy on you just because you have good taste in men.”
      “These eyes have never served me wrong.”  Fairez batted her long dark eyelashes quickly. “And sadly, I will have to end this quick just to make a fool out of that man whom you serve…why don’t you take my dear cousin’s offer and serve us woman of the Oordiri instead.” 
      “Unfortunately, I am honour bound… hopefully, there will be room for that in the next life.”
      Fairez let out a small giggle as she stepped closer and looked up at Shadea’s eyes.
“I am Fairez Oordiri’Kni. It is an honour to face such a polite gentlemen.”
      “I am Shadea Hain’Kni. It is an honour to attempt reuniting a beautiful woman’s Kana with her family’s.”
      The two warriors nodded as they stepped back from each other, seven paces as per Parah’Kni code. Shadea pulled his helmet over his head, careful to tuck his hair into it.
      Finally, fully armoured, both of them drew their weapons. Shadea drew his single edged sword while Fairez drew her long sword in her right hand and the long-handled axe in her left.
Taking their stances and readying themselves, the two warriors waited four heartbeats before they charged at each other.