Book Review – Quit Whining Start Writing: A Novelist’s Guide to Writing

So, are you ready to write that big novel?  I mean, REALLY – no excuses attached.

Now that you’re ready, have you written anything yet?  If the truth was known, you’re probably just staring at a blank screen.  You haven’t even written the first sentence!

The clock ticks and you get up from your seat.  “Oh, I’ll write something after I eat.”  You eat and then you look at the screen again.  “Oh, I’ll write after I do the laundry.”  You do the laundry and the blank screen is there once again, welcoming you.

Before you know it, it is now 10:30 p.m.  You have created a series of productive avoidances, one after another.  As you get into your sleepwear, you are filled with regret.  “Oh, I’ll just write something tomorrow.  Sure, you will.

The next day comes and you suddenly find out that your day is extremely busy.  The truth is, your day is no different than yesterday.  Another day for productive avoidances?  Maybe.

You sit down at the computer and wake it up from the screensaver.  That same blank screen is there from the night before.  “Oh, I don’t have time to write this.  Even if I did, it would be a horrible idea anyway.”

Does this describe you at all?  If it does in any way, then I need you to quit.  Whining won’t solve anything, but reading this book will.  Let me introduce you to Tricia McDonald’s Quit Whining Start Writing: A Novelist’s Guide to Writing.

Now before you say that this is just another writing book, I will advise you.  This is actually a good one.  On the Acknowledgments page, Tricia tells us a little bit about this book.  It is a collection of everything that she considers to be the best advice that she learned about writing novels.  This is research from many how-to books, a few writing classes, lectures from novelists and shared experiences from writers and non-writers all crammed into this book.  And considering how much it would cost in both time and money, this information is quite valuable.

Getting into the book, Tricia shares with us all of the essentials.  In beginning with an introduction of what a novel is and ending with what you need to sell your novel, Tricia provides a lot of good advice, and provides you the tools you need to make your literary journey a success.

Now we all know what a novel is and we all want to sell ours.  But what’s in the middle?  Tricia covers a variety of topics, including the supplies you need for your journey, finding time to write, productive avoidances, outlining, the three points of view, conflicts and what to do when you hit a wall, to name a few.

If you are looking for applications, there are plenty.  At the end of each chapter, there is an exercise associated with it.  So if you’re struggling with “that elusive writing time”, you can make a writing plan, setting a minimum time of ten minutes per day.  If you’re struggling with productive avoidances, you can make a list to resolve them.  If you’re working on dialogue, then you can write a page of it, using two different characters.  From there, you can fine tune it, reading it aloud to see if if the voices are true to who your characters are.

Considering that there are so many books on writing out there, why should you buy it?  I will begin by saying that this book has been quite helpful in my writing.  Before reading this, I was dead set on creating the perfect third chapter of my fantasy novel.  After reading this book, I realized that perfection can come later.  Make a crappy first draft, and revise when you’re done.  On my new book, I kept writing, refusing to revise anything.  Messes can be cleaned up, and being almost finished with the book, I look forward to cleaning up the messy first draft.

Another thing that sold me was the Character Outline in the “Characters with Character” chapter.  In the past, I have never really used a character profile for any of my characters.  I just always had a general idea of who they were, and what they were like in my head.  But I like the idea of the Character Outline.  It lists everything about the character.  Name and birth date, physical appearance, favorites, habits, family….everything.  I liked the Character Outline so much that I am now using it on my main characters and characters that I will develop in the future.

And how could I forget?  Tricia McDonald has published two other books already, so she has made the literary journey twice.  Thrice if you count this book.  All of her books are self-published, meaning that she doesn’t have to deal with a giant publishing company, where publishing your book is not always guaranteed.

So if you’re whining about anything regarding your book, or even have ideas about it, please stop.  Stop whining and get this book.  Click on the book above, buy it, and be cured of the dreaded writer’s block once and for all.  I give Stop Whining Start Writing: A Novelist’s Guide to Writing a 5 out of 5.

Movie Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Every tale has its beginning.  For a couple of unsuspecting hobbits,  this was most certainly so.  Both hobbits began their tale and embarked on a long journey.  A journey that would change both of their lives forever.  First, with Bilbo Baggins.  And then, finally, with Frodo Baggins.  Nine years ago, we saw Frodo’s tale unfold.  He found the ring that was made and then made a long journey to the cracks of Mount Doom, where he was able to unmake it.  With that, Frodo’s tale came to an end, as he made his way back back to the Shire, with his other hobbit friends that accompanied him on his long journey.

But that was only Frodo’s tale.  What about Bilbo Baggins’ tale?  That clever old hobbit of Bag End returned from his journey with a rather big secret.  A secret that would require the telling of his tale to explain.  But this was not the only thing going on in this tale.  Some dwarfs needed to recover their treasure from an evil dragon.  This is the premise of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the long awaited prequel released by Warner Bros. Pictures and MGM Studios.

To start things off, this movie is based off of The Hobbit, a masterpiece written by J.R.R. Tolkien.  He has also created timeless classic The Lord of the Rings.  A classic that is still loved to this day.

While Tolkien has created pure literary gold, acclaimed director Peter Jackson is the one who has brought his classics to life.  We have already seen his work with the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  The movie adaptations are the best that I have seen of any adaptation dealing with the Lord of the Rings franchise.  But how does Jackson fare with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey?  Is the movie a dazzling gem of gold like the trilogy, or is it a smoldering pile of ruins?  Let’s find out.

The movie begins with Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) with Frodo (Elijah Wood), beginning to write the full story of his adventure that he went on 60 years ago.  We then see the prosperity of the dwarves, living in Erebor and their demise, when Smaug the Dragon arrives.  Having already destroyed the town of Dale, he drives all the dwarves out of Erebor.

After this, Bilbo officially begins his tale, with Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellen) pulling a trick on him.  A large host of dwarves enter, leaving Bilbo to feed them all.  The true reason behind all this was that the dwarves needed a burglar for their journey.  Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), the leader of the band of dwarves, is on a journey to find their “long forgotten gold”.  Bilbo wants no part in this journey.  The very next day, however, he changes his mind, almost getting left behind.

The journey begins, leaving Bilbo without the comforts of home.  The group encounters mountain trolls, which end up getting petrified by sunlight.

After this, they encounter Radagast the Brown (Sylvester McCoy).  He mentions how a strange presence that he encountered at Dol Guldur is poisoning the forest.  The group is then chased by Orcs on Wargs.  They were able to escape with the help of a couple Elven riders.

The company then enters the Elven stronghold of Rivendell, where Elrond (Hugo Weaving) was able to interpret the moon runes on Thorin’s map.  He explains that there is a secret door that will only be visible on Durin’s Day.  Following this, Gandalf talks with Elrond, Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) and Saruman the White (Sir Christopher Lee), secretly sending Bilbo and the dwarves away towards the Misty Mountains.

After the Misty Mountains, Bilbo ends up in a cave with Gollum (Andy Serkis).  With Gollum losing the ring, Bilbo finds it and hides it in his pocket.  A game of riddles then begins between Bilbo and Gollum.  If Bilbo wins, Gollum will show him the way out.  If Gollum wins, then he will eat Bilbo.  Does he find the way out?  And what about the troubles that his dwarf-friends are facing?  When will this journey end?  Watch the movie and find out.

I completely understood the length of the movie, considering that nearly three hours was barely enough time to even get to Erebor, let alone the Battle of the Five Armies and the fight with Smaug.  They didn’t even come close to this.  But with two more movies on the way, it is clearly understandable why the plot cliffhanged at the end.  The plot advanced normally, with some other surprises along the way.  The music was amazing.  Especially all the versions of Misty Mountains Cold.

Getting to the characters, they were all portrayed faithfully as they were in the book.  We have Bilbo Baggins, with the Gandalf that we all know and love.  All the dwarves were portrayed well.  Gollum is another character that made the movie for me.  There was the inclusion of Radagast the Brown.  He was a rather interesting character, but in reality had no place in the movie.  Furthermore, while Elrond appeared in the movie as he should, Galadriel and Saruman the White were strangely present. Besides these odd inclusions, the characters were all executed quite well and were all unique in the manner that Tolkien would’ve intended them.

This movie did have a couple nitpicks, but they were not too many.  One of them dealt with the lines when Bilbo was with the trolls.  In the movie, Bilbo said “burglar….Hobbit”.  In the book,  he said “bur – a hobbit”.  I would rather have the trolls call him a “burrahobit” than a “burglar hobbit”.  Another nitpick was the inclusion of Radagast the Brown.  While he is an actual character in the Lord of the Rings universe, he is not anywhere to be found in the original book.  The last nitpick I have deals with the meeting at Rivendell.  During the meeting, Galadriel and Saruman the White were present.  There was no mention of them in the book!  I found this to be fan-servicey and a way to get more familiar characters back in the movie. If all these nitpicks were not there, the movie would’ve been a little better.

How did The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey do?  Looking at the box office results, it’s doing amazing, but it could do better.  Falling short of its $100 million opening weekend goal, it grossed $84.6 million during its opening weekend.  Even with a modest opening, it is still the best opening of any of the past Lord of the Rings movies.  Fellowship of the Ring grossed $47.2 million on its opening weekend.  The Two Towers grossed $62 million and Return of the King grossed $72.6 million.  The current domestic gross of this movie is $92.3 million. In adding the foreign gross of $138.2 million, the worldwide gross stands at $230.5 million.  With a $270 million production budget, it will surely make it back within the next weekend.  With all nitpicks aside,  I really enjoyed the movie.  I loved seeing the breathtaking scenery of Middle Earth again and I loved the music.  Jackson has done it again.  It is a visual masterpiece, complete with breathtaking scenery and visuals.  The reprising of Gandalf’s and Gollum’s role was important to the success of the movie for me, and I felt that it really made the movie.  With all differences set aside from the book, I think that Jackson has the formula.  The formula that he used in the trilogy is used again in this movie.  As every tale has a beginning, I believe that this tale began well.  I look forward to how this tale continues with the next two parts of this amazing prologue.  I give The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey a 5 out of 5.

 

Book Review – Life With Sally: Little White Dog Tails

To all you pet owners out there, I have a book for you that just might be worth your attention.  This book is Tricia McDonald’s Life With Sally: Little White Dog Tails.

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Before I get to the review,  I would like to be very honest with all of you.  Unfortunately, I am not a dog person.  My family’s history with dogs was ended in 1990.  It happened when Bo, our German Shepard got involved in a horrible incident with a neighbor kid.  Bo was provoked, which was the reason for his animosity.  Sadly, he was put to sleep shortly after.

Now, I may not be a dog person.  But I’m definitely a Sally person.  Why, you ask?

Sally is not your typical dog.  She is a silly miniature bull terrier with doggy OCD.  She has a fascination with lawn rakes and toads, enjoys eating June bugs and runs in circles whenever she is happy.  She’s definitely a dog that is full of surprises, and has won my heart over.

The book is laid out in a series of little white tales, which tells us a little more about Sally.  Whether Sally is getting a doggy massage, having ice cream, painting a picture or having fun with the garden hose, the mini-adventures are fun to read about, and kept the pages turning.

The tales are based off of the Life With Sally column, which is published monthly in Cats and Dogs magazine.  Published in 2009, it is a book that every dog owner must have.  While I don’t have a dog myself (I have one cat named Tigger), I still liked reading about the little white wonder.  As a pet owner, I can definitely relate to loving and caring for a pet.  Whether it’s feeding the pet or giving it attention, it is a labor of love.  A labor that’s well worth it.

As Tricia has expressed in her book, she has become a Sally person.  She is not alone.  After reading this book, I have become a Sally person myself, and I’m sure that you will be too when get the chance to read this.  Just click on the book above, buy it and let Sally capture your heart.  I give Life With Sally: Little White Dog Tails a 4 out of 5.

Movie Review – The Secret World of Arrietty

What was that?  Did you just see that go by?

If you didn’t see it, I did, and can tell you all about it.  What I saw was a little person, about four inches tall.  It was a Borrower, borrowing some of my food to bring back to his family so that his family can survive.

Okay.  I didn’t really see a Borrower.  I did, however, see The Secret World of Arrietty, Hayao Miyazaki’s latest animated masterpiece to reach America, courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures.  I say this because Japan got their first viewing of the movie back in July of 2010.

In Japan, the movie was released by Toho (a film distribution company) as “The Borrower Arrietty” (or 借りぐらしのアリエッティ, Kari-gurashi no Arietti if you’re a language buff).  I will get to the performance later.

In moving along, Miyazaki has created several animated masterpieces.  This automatically begs the question: Does The Secret World of Arrietty stand tall among his other works, or is it a miniscule work that is destined to be missed and forgotten?  Let’s find out.

Before I get to the review, I think that it is only fair that I offer you some background on Miyazaki.  For those who don’t know much about his work, Hayao Miyazaki is considered by some to be the Japanese version of Walt Disney.  The animated films that he makes are quite charming and the experience associated with it can only be described as pure magic.  A few of his notable works include Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle and the highly-acclaimed Spirited Away.  Studio Ghibli is the workshop where all these masterpieces are born.  With Walt Disney Pictures partnering with Studio Ghibli, these gems can be localized for the U.S., and can be enjoyed by a new audience.  Now, we will get to the review.

The movie begins with a 12-year old boy named Shawn (David Henrie) being driven to his mother’s childhood home.  Being gravely ill, he is dropped off there, since his parents are too busy to care for him.  He is left under the care of great aunt Jessica (Gracie Poletti), and Hara (Carol Burnett), the caretaker for Jessica’s house.

Meanwhile, a 14-year old “little” girl named Arrietty (Bridgit Mendler) grabs a bay leaf and runs home.  On her way there, she was nearly attacked by a cat but escaped.

Unbeknownst to Arrietty, Shawn noticed her as he was getting out of the car.  He saw the cat trying to attack something, until it ran off after being attacked by a crow.  When he saw what the cat was trying to attack, he saw a very tiny girl.

Back at Arrietty’s house, her father Pod (Will Arnett) takes her on her first borrowing expedition.  The mission?  Get some sugar and tissue paper.  Arrietty’s mother Homily (Amy Poehler), being the worrywart that she is, told Arrietty to be careful.

And with that, the father and daughter borrowers were off.  Pod takes Arrietty above the floor boards and they carry out their mission.

All goes according to plan until they get to the tissue box in Shawn’s room.  As they were grabbing the tissue, Arrietty notices that Shawn is awake.  In a silent frenzy of panic, she drops the sugar cube that she got with her father.  Shawn, in wanting to get to know them better, tells them not to be afraid of him.

The mission was not a total failure.  Arrietty manages to borrow her very first item: a stray pin that she found on the floor.  In grabbing the pin, she holds it like a sword and holsters it into the side of her dress.

Upon going home, Arrietty has failed on one major count.  According to the Borrowers, a Borrower cannot be seen by a “Being”.  Since the young “Being” Shawn saw her, it has awoken his curiosity for them.  Arrietty is then faced with a dilemma.  Should she befriend Shawn and endanger her family?  Doing this could risk her being noticed by other “Beings”.  “Beings” that are not quite as friendly as Shawn is.  So is Arrietty in danger now?  I could tell you, but where’s the fun in that?  Watch the movie and find out.

In understanding the length of the movie, I really loved how the plot was executed.  Two different worlds were presented.  Our world and the Borrower’s world, which is a little bit more dangerous for them.  The music was amazing, and was integrated well with the scenery.

Getting to the characters, Miyazaki once again did this well.  We are given Shawn, a boy with an ongoing medical condition.  We have great aunt Jessica (based off of great aunt Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle) and Hara, the crazy housekeeper.  In the Borrower’s world, we have the somewhat loyal and tenacious Arrietty, with the father Pod being strong and reserved and the mother Homily being excitable with an eye for luxury.  I also liked Spiller (Moisés Arias), a tribal boy Borrower who yielded a bow and visited the Arrietty’s family.  I liked what they did with his voice, in making him speak like a native.  All in all, the variety of characters were all executed well and were each unique in their own way.

While The Secret World of Arrietty was close to perfect, there were a couple things that that I just couldn’t help but nitpick.  My major one was with the music during the credits of the movie.  While I loved the first song in the credits, the second one was total trash.  It’s the fluffy bubblegum pop that Disney calls music.  The song was reminiscent of the crappy Jonas Brothers remix that they did for Ponyo.  Word to Disney.  Don’t mess with the soundtrack!  Miyazaki gets it right, and you have to go and insert your bubblegum teeny-bop crap in the credits.  Besides that, the movie is gold.  All the other songs are fine.  My one other nitpick, albeit being much smaller has to do with the length of the movie.  I really thought that the movie should’ve been a little longer.  More could’ve been done with plot and character development.  Then we would have something akin to Howl’s Moving Castle or Spirited Away.  However, with the G rating, I believe that only so much could be done here.  As it is, a child’s attention span is limited compared to an adult’s.  Being similar in length to Ponyo, they probably wanted to appeal to more children.  I am satisfied with the ending, but I still thought that they could’ve added a little more to the movie.

How did The Secret World of Arrietty do?  In Japan, it did pretty well, grossing 9.25 billion yen ($110 million).  In spite of that, it’s a far cry from Howl’s Moving Castle’s 23.2 billion yen ($231.7 million) and Spirited Away’s 27.5 billion yen ($275 million).  While the numbers for Arrietty were good in Japan, they were terrible here.  With a Borrower-sized $6.5 million weekend gross, this poor film doesn’t stand a chance to the “Being” films that are competing against it.  With numbers like this, I would give this film a month at the most.  Fortunately, this review is not about numbers.  Size doesn’t matter.  What matters is whether I liked the movie or not.  Spirited Away was Japan’s highest grossing movie and was the first Miyazaki movie I ever saw.  Since then, I have seen a handful of them, in eager anticipation for each new one that comes out.  In comparing this movie to other Miyazaki movies that I have seen in the past, I would have to say that I really enjoyed it.  It’s no Spirited Away, but a great movie in its own right.  For the most part, it was localized well, except for that one track that Disney included at the end.  I enjoyed the scenery and loved the story.  It was a heartfelt story filled with adventure, courage and hope.  I give The Secret World of Arrietty a 4 out of 5.

Wild Card Friday: Politics or Prevarications?

With my Platinum Trophy Finally obtained for Katamari Forever, all this free time has suddenly become available to me.

Since that time, I have been thinking about the fate of this web site.  Do I continue with the same “Politics as usual” or do I merely reduce this site as a den of solitude to record all my literary musings? As it is, my site attracts more spam than what the average Hawaiian could eat in a day.

No real bloggers, political and non political alike who visit here, traipsing around the political mire and ooze of our slowly decaying country.  For the record, I only have one real person who visits this blog on occasion.

Should I continue with the political route, I’m afraid it would be just a futile charade that would be updated on a semi-regular basis.  Don’t get me wrong.  I do care about politics, and what’s going on in this country.  I just don’t think my fascination is sufficient enough to reach “junkie” status.

I respect the experts that go out of their way to dig up this stuff for us to sort through.  It’s just that they get paid for it, and well….I don’t.

I hearby dub this blog the Blog of Literary Musings and Prevarications (meh….>_< I REALLY need to work on the title!).  I will talk about politics now and then, but just on a less frequent basis. Oh, and my last words to say about this topic?  A eulogy for our dear departed site.

Walker on Politics – January 27, 2009October 16, 2009

This has been a good experiment, while it lasted.   It’s now time to move on to my true passion: writing. In closing, I guess I can say the pen is mightier than the politician.

Wild Card Friday – Tokyo Game Show 2009 and the Light at the End of the Tunnel….

That’s right.  TGS 2009 is in full swing, and it just started yesterday.  It  offically opens to the public tomorrow, so I may be reporting on what I find out then. In another news, I am just getting over the flu, so this update is going to be a quickie. I’ll see you later for more TGS updates.  If not, have a nice weekend!

Wild Card Friday – The Wait is Finally Over!

What wait?  Katamari Forever! While this game was supposed to come out in 4 more days,  I was able to get it early.  That’s right.  Gamestop just got it in today, so I drove to the mall and got my reserved copy. With that copy, I got a Prince cellphone charm.

It’s supposed to light up when I get an incoming call, but I can’t seem to get it working.  I also heard that it can do this by tapping it against something.  Granted, the trinket is cheap but at least it comes free with the preorder.

I also got a red DualShock 3 controller, so that I could do all the challenges in the game for the Platinum trophy.  One of the challenges requires 2 player vs. mode, so that should come in handy for that. With that, I’ll be playing a lot of Katamari tonight. Let the Katamari celebration BEGIN!

Where the Frick is the Media?

On Saturday,  nearly one million people protested in Washington regarding the health care bill.  These people want their country back!  I want my country back!

But where was the media to cover it?  Okay, CBS did a little blip on the massive Tea Party.  That’s hardly adequate.  How could they ignore nearly one million protesters?  That’s one frickin’ million and they pretty much dismissed it as a footnote.  The Immaculation (Inauguration) was covered to death by the Left!  About 1.8 million showed up and they covered it for weeks!

Why would they ignore nearly one million protesters? I’ll tell you why.  It’s their agenda.  Washington is playing their same old games and they are not playing by the rules.  Well attention Washington!  America is speaking to you!

These people are all united with one common goal: they want their country back!  They are not being paid to do this.  These people love their country and are sick of being ignored. If an event like this goes nearly unreported,  then the majority of media can’t be trusted anymore.

What remains are the underground media like Fox News and talk radio.  Call it fringe media, or an institution of wackos.  That’s what the Propaganda wants you to think.  Stations like this scare them, and the Left will stop at nothing to try to oust their enemy. I guess the statement is true:  “Ignorance is bliss”.  On the other extreme,  overexposure can lead to insanity.  I stand in the middle, between the two so I’m not taken by surprise, nor driven off the deep end of lunacy.

Looking on the bright side,  this turnout in Washington is a sign that America is waking up.  The Left may tell you otherwise, but that’s their agenda.  Nutcases?  Extremist conservatives?  Far from it.  These are people like you and me that are fed up with the way their elected representatives are running the country, and I support them.

Congress is NOW Back From Recess.

And they are faced with an important decision.  One that will impact healthcare in our country as we know it.  They will either vote against this bill, or vote for it. I surely hope that they vote against this bill.  Just look at Britain with their rationing and our neighbor, Canada.  Both countries are an indicator of what healthcare will look like over here if this bill is passed.

Let’s not make any hasty decisions and think it over.  Listen to your people, Congress!  Don’t fall victim to your selfish ideals! There will be more on the healthcare debate later as this thing unfolds.  Stay tuned.

Wild Card Friday – One Million Roses….

For this week’s Wild Card Friday,  I will attempt to explain my 1,000,000 rose ordeal.

What words can describe the agony of rolling a katamari through a frozen ice rink in a seemingly endless circle, in a futile attempt to roll up one million roses?  Well, it began with my recent completion of We ♥ Katamari, the sophomore PlayStation 2 release that I played, in eager anticipation for the upcoming PlayStation 3 release of Katamari Forever.

Having virtually everything done on my mental checklist,  only one thing stood in the way of completing the game: those frickin’ roses.

Okay, two things needed to be done if you count the myriad of objects that I inadvertantly failed to collect in various levels, but that’s a picnic compared to those dang roses. Having pleased every fan in the game, the King of all Cosmos brings a rose to life.  And this tiny rose utters the most absurd request my ears could ever bear to hear:  One million red roses.

So I’m taken to the level, where I’m expected to carry out this ordeal.  Scads of roses adorned the snow covered landscape everywhere.  Single roses and bouquets of 10.  With the counter starting at 0, I think to myself “What the heck have I gotten myself into? This is going to take a long frickin’ time.

It then occured to me that I have completed this ordeal before.  Twice!  Once in 2005 and again in 2007.  This isn’t going to be so bad, right? My optimism faded when I completed 200,000 roses for the day.  Okay.  That’s 200,000.  But I still have 800,000 more of those crimson pests to collect!

The next day came, and then the next.  In each of those days, I coasted along, collecting 100,000 roses a day.  My count was now a slightly higher, but still low 400,000.  Not even halfway there. Then Wednesday came.  I thrust my katamari back into the sea of roses scattered around the frozen ice rink.  I languished in my room, rolling each thousand.  I rolled up a thousand, replenishing the roses with each reset.

I began to lose my sense of awareness with my surroundings.  All I saw was my controller and the screen.  The headaches began as my brain liquefied.    Roll a thousand.  Reset.  Wash, rinse, repeat.  Minute by minute.  Over and over.  The same route around the seemingly infinite rink of roses.

When the day was over,  300,000 more was rolled up.  700,000 roses now.  Almost there. The next day, I cruised along, much in the same way I did before.  Same level.  Same strategy.  Same speed.  Clicking the analog sticks up and down.  Making gradual turns to collect every bouquet of roses on my route.  Averaging 50 seconds per thousand.

In my adament pursuit to collect them all, my total was now 900,000.  Only 100,000 away from the million.  So close, yet so far away. The next morning was the home stretch.  The light at the end of the tunnel.  I inched my way forward and rolled each rose up, becoming ever closer to the million.

Suddenly, the moment was approaching.  I was at 990,000  roses.  Just 10,000 away.  A breath away from a million. Then it happened.  The climax.  The culmination of 16 hours of rolling all boiled down into a triumphant second of victory:  I rolled up a million roses.  The victory was signaled by a ridiculous anthem of bizarre absurdity.  An assorted cacophony of squeals, screams, and singing in Japanese. As I ran my crowned Prince to the other screen to save my game, I knew that it was finally over.  I have done it for the third time.   I have wasted countless hours, in a constant pursuit to reach the absurd goal of that little rose:  one million red roses.

There.  I’ve done it, you stupid rose!  I’ve done what you asked, so what more do you want from me?  If it’s more roses you want, I’ll burn you and your friends!  Understand, Mr. Rose? The trial is over.  The victory, won.  Just what is there left to do now?  Oh yeah, the objects.

And just as I said before,  the objects are a picnic. And now it’s time to feast, then wait in eager anticipation for Katamari Forever to come out.

Wild Card Friday – Video Game Speech and Katamari Mania

Not much to say this week, with this August coming to a close. I have been playing lots of Katamari lately in anticipation for Katamari Forever. I have 100% completed Katamari Damacy and I am currently working on We ♥ Katamari.

Other than that, I am preparing for a speech pertaining to (no surprise) my video game hobby. That’s it for this edition of Wild Card Friday.  See you next week!

Wild Card Friday: For Your Amusement, an Entry About My 25th Birthday.

Having my birthday two days ago and other issues this week, I have not be able to post anything new in the past week.  To make up for it, here is a post about my 25th birthday.  Enjoy!

Today is my 25th birthday!  Since it’s after 8:52,  I have already turned 25. For this year, it was a pretty typical setup for a birthday.  I ate at Genji and had beef gyoza, a super crazy roll, and Lobster Tail and Filet Mignon for dinner.

With it being my birthday, I got a 50% discount on the dinner.  The dinner of course, came with onion soup (or miso soup, which I will probably get next time), a salad with house dressing,  and the dinner, served with grillled vegetables, fried rice, and plenty of yum-yum sauce on the side.

At home, not expecting too many gifts this year, I received a Snickers bar, a Coleman light keychain, a $20 Marathon gas card, a $20 NCG cinema card, and 2 pairs of pants. Cake and ice cream followed.  It was chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, something that hasn’t been done since my 21st birthday.

To balance the chocolate equation, I had two scoops of Bryer’s vanilla ice cream. All in all, it was a good birthday.  Thoughout the day, I played Katamari Damacy.

I will now play some more. Just one more thing:

HAPPY 25TH BIRTHDAY

TO MOI!!!!! ^_^

(x-posted on LiveJournal)

Wild Card Friday: My Journey Through Middle Earth.

Having neglected The Lord of the Rings for much of the summer, I have decided to continue reading this book.  Simply put, this week’s Wild Card Friday will briefly touch on this matter, as well as addressing my absence from this blog.

First of all, I plan on continuing The Lord of the Rings.  The plan is to read 2 chapters a day.  At that pace, the book should be read in about a month.  Knowing how I have stopped reading this in the past, we’ll see how far this commitment will go.

In addressing other matters,  it is increasingly obvious that I have not left any news on this journal since last week.  Chalk it up to being too busy and having a life outside this journal.  Granted, the political climate can be frustrating at times, which is why I have not immersed myself so much in the blogs, newspapers, and broadcast news lately.

You’ll see more news here, I assure you, after I figure out the best way to go about this juggling act. To all of you in the blogosphere, have a good Friday. I’ll see you back on Monday…I hope.

Wild Card Friday – My Journey Back to Copia.

As I mentioned above, I will be making my journey back to Copia.  And so far, it looks like it’s going to be a long one.  For Wild Card Friday this week, I will be discussing my gradual return to Copia in the distant future.

For those of you who are not in the know with my story terminology, Copia is the world where the events of my story The Master’s Chronicles takes place.  In making my journey back there, you might be expecting another excerpt of my story.

Unfortunately, this is not the case.  In announcing my journey, I am referring to my gradual return to continuing on my story. Among other things that currently occupy my time,  I am in the midst of a story that one of my friends have written.  With them currently being in the country at the time, I willfully concede to undergo the task of reading every last page of their story.  An ordeal that could be completed in just a few short days.  The name of their story is Morgavia and I am reading Volume 0: The Chain that Links Two Hearts.  It is an invigorating story of high fantasy and adventure and I have only read the first six chapters in this eighteen chapter volume.

Another obstacle in my path is J.R.R. Tolkien’s magnum opus The Lord of the Rings.  Being almost finished with book 1  of the first volume: Fellowship of the Ring, I am not even halfway through the book yet. Even with these two stories diverting me from my journey, I am determined to reach Copia sooner or later.  While these stories won’t halt the progress of my story completely, they will only slow things down.

In the midst of reading these stories, gradual progress will be made on The Master Chronicles.  It just won’t be as fast as I want to see it. My, it has been a while since I last wrote anything.  In returning to my story, I feel like an artist returning to their easel and canvas.  Having a dried palette, the colors need some moisture added to them.  The trouble then comes with finding the right colors to use.

Before all this is formulated, they are faced with a daunting task.  What am I going to paint? What will I create? The pale pastels just won’t do.  Only the most vibrant colors will work.  They need that moment of inspiration that can’t be squandered.  Once it’s there, they have to run with it.  Just mix those colors, kiss the board with the paintbrush bristles, and create a masterpiece. So is true with me.

When that moment of inspiration comes, I must run with it and create the most vibrant colors imaginable.   And I must hurry, before that bursting flame of inspiration fades into oblivion. When I find that muse, I must capture it and bring it into submission before it escapes.  Because knowing this one reality shared among novices and great writers alike, they do escape.