Beyond the Waterfall: Published!

It’s done.

It’s finally, finally, finally, finally done.

Words cannot express how happy I am to have Beyond the Waterfall finally in the Amazon.com “review” process. I’ll be doing another post as soon as I find that the book it actually live, providing everyone with links and everything.

For now, it’s going to be an exclusive Kindle publication.

Wow…finally done.

It’s ironic. Jenn Hunt, who’s an amazing professional editor, did the final edits for me. And do you know where I went through them? Mission Viejo Library, the inspiration for the McKinley Heights Library in Waterfall. But for the record, all the drama and stuff was completely fictional, hence the name change. I do love that library.

It’s been a very long week for me. More mounts and fun in WoW and I got to attend the Cinematic Premiere for WoW: Warlords of Draenor. That was pretty damn cool. Even got to shake hands with Mike Morhaime at a New Hire Mixer that night. What I love about him is that he seems like a really normal guy. I suspect he actually is and I secretly wonder if he’s as astounded by Blizzard’s growth as everyone else was back in the day.

I love this darn company. Love it.

It’s been a very long week but with the publishing of Waterfall, it’s finally over.

My next writing project is to finish the rewrite of Stormhaven. And then? I think it’s time to go back to Taylin and get that ready to actually rock and roll. But for tonight, it’s a time to finally slow down and enjoy myself.

So have a PMV!

Good luck and have fun everyone!

I’ll post tomorrow most likely with links!

-rks

Advertisements

Final Considerations

So, you’re probably wondering AGAIN about Waterfall.

Sadly, it’s still in committee. I pray that it’ll be done soon. And I also pray that after I deal with this one, I can get a carte blanche clearance to publish without having to go through legs. But since I’m new, I want to follow the rules exactly by the book. So it’s totally out my hands.

I’m waiting. And that’s all there is to it.

Other writing things? Let’s see…I’m still working on my rewrite of Stormhaven, but I’ve probably allowed WoW to take my lunch time a bit too much. But since the new expansion is coming out soon and there are a few specific things I want to do before launch…eh, it’s a hard decision. I’m trying to go back and forth.

By the way, if you happen to play WoW and you’re interested in assisting me in killing Garrosh just once on 10-Man Normal, let me know.

The Inklings are having a bit of a hard time lately. We’ve lost a few people due to inactivity. If you’re interested in a writing critique group, please let me know. However, we’re still making it work. There are a few who are dedicated to making this work. Some folks believe in summer breaks. They can do that, but I’m not going to. If you’re serious about writing, you need to keep at it.

Pfft. Look who’s talking. *Sigh*

 

There’s not a lot else to report. Things are going pretty well at Blizzard. I’m definitely enjoying my time there…is so much better than Apple. And nothing new for Laura yet. So it’s just me as the provider at the moment.

It’s been a long weekend…and pretty stressful, so this is about all I have left in me right now.

So instead, you don’t get a PMV. You get an official flashback on Season 4 instead!

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t watched Season 4, do NOT watch this.

Good luck and have fun!

-rks

Miracles

I’m a believer in miracles. Why do you ask? Because in the last month and a half, I saw a whole lot of them performed. Some seriously impossible things came to pass. Things that shouldn’t have happened. Things that happened in such perfect timing that somebody had to be controlling it. In fact, God’s a freaking showoff most of the time. If you need further proof, look up at the night sky in the desert sometime. Tell me that’s not God just showing off. So what’s this all about anyway? Well, as many of you know, I’ve been talking about the “Cryptic Thing” for weeks now. I’ve already made the official announcement on Facebook, texted many friends and told people at work. It’s no longer a secret. Blizzard Achivement   That’s right folks. It’s official. As of June 9, I will be working at Blizzard Entertainment as a Compatibility Analyst II. This is what’s consumed my life for the last month and a half, since March 26, 2014. After six and a half years at the Apple Store at South Coast Plaza, I’m finally moving on. It’s still hard for me to believe. But an enormous weight has lifted off of me. Part of me was just exhausted all the time from carrying the secret. Another part of me was just desperate to have it over with so I could stop worrying/doubting/questioning what the final result would be. And another part of me is grinning like an idiot. Even as I write this, having returned my offer paperwork yesterday, it’s still not real. But it actually happened. God got me a job with my dream company. A company can easily see myself working at for the next thirty years. A company who can take their pick of anyone in the world. I’m sure hundreds, if not thousands, of people applied for this position. But God had my resume stand out to my recruiter. I don’t know why this happened. I really don’t. But I am thankful beyond words that it did. This is truly a dream come true to me.

Rawr.

Me standing before the 12′ wolf-riding orc before Blizzard HQ.

In celebration of this amazing event, I wrote a retrospective on my journey to Blizzard. You see, as I neared the end of the process, I looked back and realized that this had been in the works for something like ten years. From the arguments I used to have with my manager at CompUSA about WoW, to sitting at Fry’s during the Wrath Launch, to meeting our baby stalkers, to my honorable mention in the 2011 Blizzard Global Writing Contest to my finally getting Genius after years of work…it’s all led to this moment. It’s a rare moment when you can look back at your life and see all the threads weaving together to form the tapestry of this moment. I am blessed beyond measure to see that. And I thought I should share it with you. Now, as you may know, I’m somewhat long-winded, being a novelist and all. So I’m not going to dump all 6,000 words on you in one swoop. I’m going to do it in a few parts. In fact, I’ll be posting the first part right after this one. I might do the next tomorrow or the day after. Haven’t decided yet. We’ll see. But you didn’t think I’d let you get away without some awesome Pony stuff, did you? The Season 4 Finale of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic premiered last Saturday. And is was one of the most kick-ass episodes I’d ever seen. It shot straight to the top of my favorite episodes, because unlike many previous episodes, we get to see two magical titans going at one another. The gloves were off and it was a full fledged magical brawl. So I’m going to do a little spoiler here. And I’m stealing it straight from Equestria Daily’s Episode Followup of “Twilight’s Kingdom.” Library

If there’s one thing you don’t mess with, it’s Twilight’s books. Or her house. I’m having trouble deciding which one is actually making her more angry. Oh well, I’m sure this dispute between godlike magic users can be decided over a nice cup of-

Magic fireball 1

HOLY CRAP

Oh crap

JESUS CHRIST

Throwdown

IS THIS REAL LIFE

 

The magnitude and the spectacle of this scene can’t be done justice by words. The screencaps themselves are hardly describing how intense what’s happening is. This is like the battle between Luna and Celestia in the premiere but on a much more devastating scale, and a more emotionally impactful one I might argue because we actually don’t know how this is going to turn out.

You're toast.   … Still think this is a show just for little girls?   The moral of the story: Don’t &$@# with Twilight Sparkle.   And now…time for a PMV. 🙂   That’s it for today folks! Check out the Retrospective coming soon! 😀 -rks

The Days Between

Things have happened. I know you’re tired of the Cryptic Thing. And some of you already know what’s going on with it. But the time is coming very soon where I can finally praise God from the virtual rooftops for the ten miracles he’s performed.

I’m almost through the Third Gate. I can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel…and it’s no train.

In fact, today’s entry is going to be a little short because I’m going to start working on my announcement post for the Cryptic Thing.

I’ve already written part of something required for it. Something different than anyone else has ever done. But I can’t be like everyone else can I? I decided there are a lot of people who helped me make it to the Third Gate and they deserve recognition. And they shall have it.

Right now, I have so much on my mind, it’s hard to think about anything else. But my silence must remain for a little while longer.

Writing

The OC Inklings are going strong with three new members. I’m so excited. If you’re interested, know that you don’t have to be from Orange County to join the Inklings. The OC part is just where we’re based for the most part. All you need to do is apply. That’s about all there is for an application process. Just hit the “join group” button. We do that so we don’t get a billion spam bots.

I’m still playing with Stormhaven, but that’s on the back burner since Thursday. Maybe I’ll get some time tonight to work on it. Need to do that, since that’s what I’m going to be submitting to the Inklings. Eep.

Gaming

I got my Wizard finally up to 70 in Diablo 3 last night. Now she can really use all the paragon points and the cool gear I had waiting for her. I was playing a 4-man game with three other wizards…it was bloody insane. Effects were flying EVERYWHERE. I couldn’t even see my character half the time. Heh.

Good times.

Prayers

I ask your prayers for a dear friend of mine, JJ. Health issues have forced her to step back from the OC Inklings for a time. She needs your prayers too, so please, pray for her. But praise for two friends of mine who finally got to take home their baby again after being in the Infant ICU for way too long. She had some sort of sickness…but she’s okay now.

Finally, please pray for me. Pray that the final piece falls into place and I can finally unveil what lies behind the curtain. I can’t wait to tell you all.

Okay, let’s do this PMV.

Good luck and have fun everyone!

-rks

Delay is not Denial

This is from a text message my wife just sent me. It’s a reminder that God’s plan doesn’t work on our time table. And just because it’s not happening when we want doesn’t mean that it won’t happen at all. It’s a good reminder. Especially for me. Especially now.

I’m sorry about last week. I completely spaced on doing this on Easter. That and considering my “Cryptic Thing” occurred on the Friday before…well, I had a lot going on. At the moment, I’m still inside what I’ve come to call “The Third Gate” (borrowed from Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, which is fantastic. Go read it. As soon as your done reading this). I entered the Third Gate on Friday, the last step in my “Cryptic Thing.” It’s been a week and I haven’t heard anything. That’s okay. Especially considering the paragraph above. But still, this has been one of the hardest and nerve-wracking weeks of my life.

So I still need prayers. A lot of them. That I would succeed in the Third Gate. Where I would be able to pass through it victorious. I’m praying at least four times a day about it. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted anything so bad in my life. Well…that’s not entirely true.

You see, if I get this…if I succeed in the Third Gate…it will be the third greatest miracle in my life. The first is finding a wife who somehow puts up with me. The second is having two beautiful healthy baby girls (even if they are a pain in the rear occasionally). This would be the third.

And I want it. Badly.

It’s my desperate dream.

So please pray for me. Pray that I would not lose my mind in the waiting. And pray for my success in this…even if it’s just so I stop being so darn cryptic about the whole thing!

The OC Inklings

Some interesting things have happened in the last few weeks for the Inklings. We’ve done very well and added two new members to the critique group. Totally thrilled about that. Seriously. There also have been rumblings of change. Some people are discontent with how some things are going. The most encouraging part though is that all of them have been praising me for my leadership of the group. That means a lot. I know that a critique group is a hard thing and I know that my job is part organizer, part cheerleader. I have to keep spirits high, otherwise the thing will fall apart. And so far, it’s going well.

And that leads me to my next part…

My Current Writing Project

The Cryptic Thing is now entirely out of my hands. It’s wholly in God’s hands. I can’t do a thing about it. So that leaves me with needing something to do…and in truth, I’ve been neglecting my writing. My imagination has been howling for a while now. And I’ve decided what I’m going to do next. It was influenced a lot by the Inklings, where I realized that my stories weren’t up to snuff to submit to the group. The first thing they ever saw was my most polished piece of prose I’ve ever written. It was editing like 20 times. Probably close to publishable. And while I don’t want that for everything, I don’t want to throw the critiques with oddities like strange spacing, formatting, spelling and grammar and obvious plot holes.

So…I’ve decided to head back to Stormhaven.

Drat. I had this really cool cast photo I wanted to post here, but I can’t seem to find it. Mhr.

Anyway, Stormhaven was originally inspired by “The Wotch” and “El Goonish Shive.” In fact, it was going to be a webcomic done by Laura and I. I would be the author, she would be artist. It’s a spinoff on some of my other stories I’ve posted in other places too (and yes, I’m being vague on purpose).

Here’s a tagline for you…

“When a prank at a Normal Community College goes horribly wrong, Daniel Makkus Junior finds himself somewhere he never expected: in a town filled with non-magical people. Despite being the son of a high ranking member of the Society Circle, he’s expelled from the Magus Academy and sent to an apprenticeship under retired Warlock Jeremy Rogers in the seaside town of Stormhaven. But there’s a catch: something is stirring within Stormhaven, the beginnings of an ancient power forgotten by all but the oldest of the Society of Sorcerers. An ancient power that has only one goal…the destruction of the Society that had bound it millennia ago.”

In some ways, it’s the reverse of the Harry Potter series. A kid raised in magical society is thrown out and forced to learn to live with the rest of the human race.

I had started rewriting it last year, but ended up shelving the project for another Taylin story shortly before NaNoWriMo. And at the moment, “What Lies Beyond Steam and Magic” needs to sit on the virtual shelf for a bit. I need to give myself a break.

I’m probably going to target this series as young adult…but I’ve always liked the idea and thought it had a ton of potential as an ongoing series. And now, it’s time to get a real second draft together. I’m excited about it. 🙂

In Closing

That’s it for now folks. Wow, a writing post in my writing blog. Shocking! Just please send me your continued prayers about the Third Gate…that I would be successful. But you know what? We haven’t done a PMV in a while. So I found a new high-energy one I REALLY liked. So enjoy!

Okay folks…

Good luck and have fun!

-rks

 

Tests of Balance

Work’s been hard the last few days. Can’t really give specifics. I rambled on for a while about it while being all vague, but it just was a jumble of nonsense. I got so annoyed, I decided to restart this post. Yeah, I got that annoyed with the ramble.

So let’s talk about what’s going on other than work, shall we?

The Michael Morones story has gotten pretty big, huh? You’ve probably seen it in mainstream media. Can I just say that I’m proud to be part of the “first responders” group for this poor child? And I’m proud of my community for it. The Bronies are awesome. I’m no longer a closet Brony in the slightest and this was the event that changed it for me. Please, take a moment to consider donating if you haven’t.

Writing

I’m letting “Beyond the Waterfall” sit for a time. A friend of mine who’s a professional editor is taking a look at it and I don’t really want to move forward until I see her thoughts. I’ve never had a full professional edit, though. I’m a bit scared, but I know this is part of the experience in being an author.

Soon, I plan to go back in there and fix the issues with the critiques and such.

“What Lies Beyond Steam and Magic,” the latest novel in the “Crafters of Taylin” series cracked 100,000 words this week. In fact, I had a great whirlwind sprint of 3492 words the other day. That was awesome…and was totally thrilling too. I haven’t had a surge like that in what feels like months. Just the story flowing through my fingertips as if it was already written and all I was doing was copying it from the manuscript in my head. It was wonderful.

I recently finished an ebook called “21 Reasons You Think You Don’t Have Time to Write” which was recommended through my favorite writing podcast “Writing Excuses.” It’s nice and short. And it’s ironically targeted directly at writing parents, which seemed pretty effective. Not quite the age of Caitlyn and Talissa, but still good nonetheless. And there’s one important thing that I forgot: you rarely get a full 2 hour stretch. It’s much more common to get 20 minutes here and there. But that’s still time to use as writing. You can still do it. I remember that I won NaNoWriMo three years doing my writing primarily on my 50 minute lunch and 2 15 minute breaks.

Life

I’ll admit right now that I’m struggling. I’m struggling with my new purpose of family and writing. You see, I do suffer from depression. Writing helps most of the time…and helping others helps too. But I have a lot of trouble keeping those good thoughts in my head. My emotions tend to be extremely overpowering, to the point where I can’t think about anything else. I’m struggling with my writing…especially with both Laura and I at work. If one girl is asleep, the other is awake and needs attention. I find little time to myself…for writing or for simply recharging.

I’ve thought about cutting out video games from my life for a time…but I suspect that would be a bad idea. Gaming is one of my true releases. I can really lose myself in them. But I do need to stop gaming for hours on end and writing for only 30 minutes. That just needs to stop.

The road before me is going to be a hard one. And I don’t think I realized how hard until today.

At the moment, I’m trying to focus on the joy I can get in the moments I can. It’s hard work. Very hard work. My Little Pony is helping. As is the cooing smiles of Talissa and the squeezy hugs of Caitlyn. Even Laura is somehow giving me comfort even after battling the two girls all day.

I don’t really have a powerful end to this blog. The last two blogs have been this big things…focusing on the plight of a poor boy that still needs our help. And in the face of his struggles and trials…

I won’t let myself mentally think about what it would be like in his parents shoes. I can’t. I love my girls to death. And if someone hurt them…

So I’m focusing on what Michael would have wanted instead. Otherwise…it would likely destroy me.

Heh…

This is probably one of my more…rambling posts, eh?

So let’s just call it for the night. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. And hopefully good things will be happening and I can talk about them next week.

So let’s finish with my favorite way to finish: a Pony Music Video.

This one is freaking awesome. Seriously…the effects are utterly amazing. The sheer genius of this community never ceases to amaze me.

I’ve been actually watching this almost every morning before work to try and get my spirits up. And it’s been working. 🙂

Good luck and have fun everyone.

-rks