April 28, 2012
In the annals of evil, throughout all the books and movies, songs and shows that you have consumed, who is the greatest of all evils? What villain has stood apart from the others as the most vile?
It could be Saruman, it could be Torak, it could be Sidius, but it’s gotta be somebody.
April 27, 2012
I’m still playing around with my newish steampunk fantasy setting. Hopefully I find something really nice through all this digging around.
Anyway, I hope you’re enjoying everything, sharing links with your friends, that kind of thing.
See you all around!
April 25, 2012
Please, if you can, consider throwing a few coins in my hat through the donate button on the right.
For now I’m going to shower and make sense of what the hell I just wrote.
April 23, 2012
So, this is a little bit shorter than normal but I’m running into a bit of a wall with Notes right now. I’m not sure where to take it. If you like this, though, please let me know.
Anyway, updates! I went to the Oakquinox event at Stone Brewery yesterday with my girlfriend (it was her birthday) and a few of our mutual friends. It was awesome, great beers all around. It was a huge celebration of barrel-aged beers and they all really delivered. I’m hoping the next event I go to is Stone’s Sourfest, in July. If you’re going, let me know and I’ll be happy to hang out and share a bit of conversation!
Life stuff – still don’t know what I’m going to do for income when my current unemployment line is out. I don’t have a cover artist or any viable cover images which is why you haven’t seen either my short stories or Notes part one up for the Kindle and Nook yet. I haven’t gotten a hold of any potential investors yet but I’ve got some hopeful leads. Today is the first day, and hopefully last day, in a while that I won’t be able to eat while I’m out. (This is hopefully changing sooner rather than later, too – trying to get out of the place I’m living since it game with a lot of hidden costs).
Anyway, on to the story!
April 21, 2012
Let’s talk combat. Specifically, weaponry and tactics. I’ve got a fair amount of academic experience with medieval weaponry. Or, rather, hand to hand and limited ranged and siege weaponry through the Enlightenment when the Smallsword practically killed the rapier. I love to talk about it, I even enjoy talking about newer stuff a little. The form, function, the fatal systems and fine details.
Let’s talk about combat.
April 20, 2012
Today is a little bit of D&D inspired fantasy.
I might do more with this later but I’m not sure. It’s all very…gestational right now.
Blah blah screen still broken, etc.
April 18, 2012
So late with today’s post. I feel awful.
However, for you Steam Sport fans out there, this is the update for you! I settled on a Hunter and I do say I rather like him, though he’s a bit rough around the edges for now.
It’s been a bit hard to write lately for a variety of reasons. I’m not as clean as I would like and I’ve been having more shaking fits in the morning, which doesn’t help. Some life stress (and my laptop screen still being broken) has been interrupting my normal writing reverie. I’ll try my damndest to keep the focus on getting good work to you, my readers, three times a week though.
So, on to the story!
April 16, 2012
Today’s update is for Out of Thyme, that steampunky novel I’m trying to write. Today, our hero arrives at The Vega. I like it a lot, and it’s growing in my mind still as to what it is. Well, other than a bit of Vegas turned up to 11.
More will come in time. I’m still trying to get my writing legs back and my weekend was pretty awful for it. That’s why today’s post is, well, really late.
Hope you do enjoy it, though. It’s a little awkward writing right now but I did my best. I’m still trying to get a replacement monitor for my normal laptop so I had to transfer everything to Google Docs. Though it does give me more flexibility on where to work on it, the speed I have to type at is getting kind of annoying.
Anyway, on to the story!
April 14, 2012
I’d like to start something new here, something irregular, and discuss something a few of you may know that I’m rather passionate about. In short, I adore beer. Beer’s historical importance cannot be overstated, its social value cannot be properly quantified, and its variety cannot be defined. To that end, I explore as many forms of beer as I can with an interest in the unique, the obscure, the delicious, and the intriguing.
Yesterday, with my girlfriend, I sought out such an experience and I was bitterly disappointed.
There’s a brewery a fair bit of a drive from my stomping grounds in Orange County called I&I Brewing. They’re a small brewery in an industrial park with a tiny taproom. When we went in, they had perhaps ten styles on offer, including 3 different India Pale Ales (A standard IPA, an Imperial IPA, and a Double IPA). We decided to sample five of the beers (The Imperial IPA, a Strong Ale, a Tea Pale Ale, a Peach Wheat Ale, and a Cherry Stout) and got one of their (rather attractive) glasses. Mostly because plastic makes beer taste funny and that’s the alternative if you don’t purchase one of their glasses in their taproom.
Before I go any further, there’s one thing I do want to say about the brewery is that they’re not bad. They succeed in making the base beer styles they set out for, but I’ll get into the general problems with the beers as we go further. They do show potential, though, to be at least a solid addition to the microbrew cosmos. I don’t, however, forsee anything amazing coming from them.
The first beer we tried was the Peach Wheat Ale. I feel like it’s bad for me to really get into the flavors in this beer, the peach elements, or the wheat elements since the beer was thoroughly skunked. From the brewery. In their taproom. It was more than disappointing. But in the interests of fairness, I tried not to let this color my impressions of the other beers.
Next we tried the Pekoe Tea Pale Ale. I’m sure a few of my readers will note that Pekoe is not a type of tea, but a size of tea-leaf in the strange East India Company’s tea measuring system. All I could tell from the name was that it was a black tea of some kind, and the flavor of the beer didn’t help at all. There could have been some herbal elements, or flowery elements, that come from jasmine teas or darjeeling teas but it was drowned out by the saminess of the ale. There was a distinct Miller-esque edge to the beer, as if it were brewed with rice or too much adjunct, and it wasn’t nearly hoppy enough. A good Pale Ale is hoppy, even just a bit, and in California it’s surprising to not find any hops in a local Pale Ale (we are the home of Stone Brewery and Sierra Nevada, neither of which shy away from hopping anything). All in all I was disappointed. It wasn’t even a good pale ale, regardless of the lack of tea flavor.
Next we sampled the Cherry Stout. The nose was rather nice, thick and chocolaty with a heavy current of maltiness. A solid stout, in other words. When we tasted it, it was a stout. A decent stout. A successful stout. However, it wasn’t a Cherry stout. There were no cherry elements, either red or black, and there was no lingering flavor to the beer at all. Again, there was a bit of a Miller quality to the beer with an almost obscenely clean finish. It wasn’t that interesting, and it wasn’t that inspiring.
Next we sampled the Imperial IPA, which like the stout was a success at the basic style. It was, in fact, an Imperial IPA with hints of hops and an overarching malt flavor. It didn’t do anything interesting, though, and the hops weren’t strong enough to really meld with the maltiness. The malts were the entire flavor, for the most part, and there wasn’t a floral finish or a bitter finish to it at all. Again, like the stout, it had an extremely clean finish. While many may enjoy the sudden ending of the flavor, part of the enjoyment for richly flavored beers for me is the lingering taste, the after taste, and the way that flavors can shift across the palate after swallowing. None of these beers had that.
The last beer we tried was the Strong Ale. Again, they succeeded at the Beer 101 elements here. It was a strong ale, that’s indisputable. However, it wasn’t a good strong ale, it wasn’t an interesting strong ale, and it suffered from the lack of palate fascination. There were no lingering flavors for the most part and it was like drinking almost a pure malt, no texture or interest in the flavor. It also had a bit of the flavor of adjunct to it, a bit too much of the flat, bland flavor that comes with a lack of spicing. Overall, disappointing.
At the very least, they can brew beer and they succeed at the base elements. They have potential to get better if they get a little more adventurous and hone their styles a little more. If they were asking me, I’d say cut down the beers to just five or six and really perfect them before branching out. Explore methods to do more with palate tastes, especially upper and lower palate differences and lingering flavors after swallowing.
I&I feels like a homebrewer that’s just turned into a business. This isn’t bad, and it’s an important part of microbrewing, but they’re really not ready for the big show yet. I wish them the best of luck and hope that, in a few years, I can try them again and be impressed with at least one beer.
April 13, 2012
I have just finished reading the Belgariad for the…fifth time, I think. Next I’m tackling the Grand Admiral Thrawn trilogy. I’m kind of out of ideas for today, so instead let’s talk about what you enjoy. Specifically, the kinds of fantasy that you enjoy. The setting that I’m most enamored with right now is Royan, my fantasy setting, and I’m culling ideas from as many great fantasy settings as I can. So tell me about the settings and world and fantasies you love.
Tell me how to write a better fantasy.