Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Good news! I figured out how to get rid of those stupid green borders on Chapter 4.2. So now the chapter reads as I originally intended it. Turns out the issue wasn't with the coding in the post, but the actual site template I was using. I guess the CSS was overriding everything else. I'm not too familiar with CSS but it was simple enough to figure out how to change the one part I needed to.
Today I was watching yet another Italian directed horror movie. "Cannibal Apocalypse."
What was going on with Italian directors and music? So far each of the ones I've seen use it in weird ways. I guess maybe I'm just not used to seeing music used in such a forthcoming manner, where its as much a part of the scene as the acting is. Nowadays it seems the only time music plays a huge role in a movie is if its a musical or has a montage. But the problem is that the music used in these films don't always pose a good presence in the scene its used with. In Cannibal Apocalypse for instance, Antonio Margheriti saw fit to have the opening sequence--a violent scene from the Vietnam war--accompanied by groovy funk. What the heck!?
The same happened in Dario Argento's "Opera". After a terrifying encounter with a crazed murderer, the lead woman decides to go running out into the streets (for whatever reason--god forbid we actually have the sense to call the cops and report a murder) and this death metal music comes on...while she's just walking down the street. The music is used for nothing else but THAT. ONE. PART. It was the most ridiculous thing I'd ever seen. I mean...I get why Dario Argento is considered so influential in horror, but I personally don't think its because of his scripts or even the cinematography of his films. It's just that he's RIDICULOUS. Experimental. Wasn't afraid of campiness or over-the-top, not-quite-plausible gore. I don't know if the 80's was the height of Italian horror, but I'd really like to know if there are any Italian directors out there still doing what they want, reality and common sense be damned.
...And I still have to watch David Cronenberg's remake of "The Fly". It's just been sitting on my desk since I've got it on Netflix.
Friday, November 21, 2008
ANYWAYS...the new chapter is up, but I was hoping to have it come out looking nicer. If people dislike it, I'll edit the chapter and just type it up like normal. If not I'll keep it...but will keep poking around for a way to get rid of those silly borders. (grumble)
And for those interested, you can now get e-mail updates via FeedBurner. Just go to my blog and look at the sidebar.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Hey there folks. Just thought I'd help another author out and link to his post, which is on the rather interesting subject of the growing writing community online. He's the writer of "Children of the First" which is a really great fantasy webnovel. Drop him a line and be sure to check back when he posts his finished article!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Well today was...uncomfortable. It started at 2 AM when I woke up and found my tonsils were so swollen I could feel my breath whistling past them. They were so damn big, I kept swallowing reflexively, and every time it hurt worse than if a cheetah were to use them for speed bag practice. Somehow I got to sleep and woke up the same way later. Couldn't eat any more than yogurt for breakfast. Thankfully the swelling went down after I took some antibiotics and drank lots of water, but its evening and it is still difficult to talk.
It was REALLY odd then, feeling this way, and watching Apocalypse Now: Redux. I also managed to see Hardware (finally!) and I really enjoyed it. The last movie I saw on my list of surrealistic, dark films was Videodrome. I drove 40 minutes to get these (including Blackula, and Eddie Murphy's elusive 'Delirious' special). Hollywood Video and Blockbuster both bite sagging nuts because they don't carry a wide enough selection of movies. Netflix--though they offer more--still didn't seem to have either Apocalypse Now or Hardware for some reason. I enjoy these wacked out, stylistic forays into the human imagination. The bonus was that it's given me a few ideas for Chapter 4.2...which will be interesting.
Prepare for heavy linkage!
Apocalypse Now: Redux, originally premiered in 2001, was just an extended version of the original film, which came out in 1979. Though I've never seen the original, I really enjoyed this version a lot. There were a lot of powerful images, and I felt the acting was pretty spot on. The only part about it I'd have to say I didn't like was the plantation scene, which dragged on and on--I literally fast-forwarded through it. Aside from that, it was all just great. Marlin Brando does an amazing job as the disturbed Kurt, and seeing the final scene with him and Martin Sheen was pretty excellent. I'm not a history buff, but the Vietnam War has always fascinated me. Seeing this movie made me want to watch Full Metal Jacket again...then maybe Rescue Dawn. (and just because the last film would have Bale in it, I'd probably run to find American Psycho...which is such a deliciously demented movie)
After that I watched Hardware, which I mentioned on the blog a little while ago. It seemed to parade around its soundtrack a little bit here and there, but for the most part I understand that it was a film mired in alternative culture, and I think the music really lended to the post-apocalyptic setting. I somehow missed ever hearing about Iggy Pop doing a voice cameo, so it was a surprise to see his name come up in the credits. Given the film's budget, Richard Stanley and Steven Chivers did an EXCELLENT job with direction and cinematography. You can see the financial restraints whenever the killer robot, M.A.R.K. 13 is onscreen, but the sonuvabitch is actually pretty creepy in my opinion. The use of color and lighting sucked me in pretty well, so this easily joins my list of cult favorites (right next to Repo Man and The Warriors.)
The last movie I watched today was Videodrome, from good ol' David Cronenberg. It's your basic "body horror"--a kind of niche genre of story and film that deals with severe abnormalities with the body (mutation, parasitism, general gore.) I was glad to see it wasn't as contrived as Scanners, another one of Cronenberg's films, but the man does seem to have a penchant for stories with opposing forces...not so much one character versus another, but one faction versus another. Like in politics, religion...or comic books. Even in his recent film, Eastern Promises, that still seemed quite apparent...but I can't really hate the guy for it. It's pretty common in stories.
Anyways...the film I felt was pretty disturbing in places (which not many horror movies manage to achieve) but around the end it started to lose the creepy feel and gained more of a forced 'epic' feel. The whole 'snuff video making people go insane' was pretty good (just seeing little clips of it made me nervous), but they lost me at the sudden conspiracy theory BS. The special effects, again, were VERY good, making me miss the days when movies didn't leave it all up to computers to make things look cool. I think my favorite scene was when the main character tries to stick his head into his television set...
So hopefully I can come up with some interesting stuff to write for this coming chapter, considering the bizarre things I've seen today. Tack on the fact that I've been feeling exactly as Nyx and Elmiryn have in the story, and the only way I could fail to do a satisfactory update is to put my pants on my head and light it on fire...
...While falling off a building into chopper blades.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Cold and oppressive.
Pushing against her.
Her eyes shifted to the side to gaze briefly at her petite companion, whose mess of dark locks shielded her expression from view, no thanks to the wind. It chased ash around their ankles and the scent of carrion to their noses.
Beneath their feet, the grass crunched and crumbled to dust. ...So maybe it wasn't ash. The blades were chalk white versus the fading yellow of your typical dead grass. The alder trees that sprinkled the fields were much the same, brittle clumps of leaves on their gray branches. How could anything be reduced to such a dismal state? There was literally a line where all this began, separating the green life that spilled from the sides of the Torreth Mountains from the death that affected the lands of Gamath.
Half a mile away, the city could be seen in the distance.
Elmiryn's eyes again shifted to look at Nyx. It were as if she were afraid the youth would drift away like a stray boat, out into a cold ocean that would surely swallow her whole. She felt like grabbing the girl's hand and never letting go. And why the neediness? Why the fear?
The warrior thought of the moment back at the foot of the mountains and her body tensed.
...The girl's face to the ground, her chest not moving...
She had looked like the dead deer.
A short preview. Basically the start of the next chapter. It's subject to change, but I'd just thought I'd prove I've actually got something...
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The story I'm doing is called "Lost Keys", and right now it's shite, but with any luck I'll have it polished and smellin' like a rose next month.
Today will prove a busy one as I juggle school, work, and a social life. I might be able to work on Eikasia a little more tonight, and hopefully, will have a nice little preview to offer you folks afterwards.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I set a goal for 3000 words under 2 hours. I met it! Granted, maybe something more restrictive would have been more impressive. At any rate, my NaNo has progressed! Huzzah!
And don't worry, I've been working on Chapter 4.1 for Eikasia gradually. It's currently at 912 words.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
SOOO...I posted up Chap 3.4 despite general misgivings and the fact that I was half-out-of-my-fucking-skull when proofreading it. I decided if I could go back and edit previous chapters, I can do the same for this one. Graciously point something out to me, and I'll work with it folks. That's what the comment feature is for. ^_^
Sleep deprivation allowed me enough confidence to put a stake in the worries once and for all:
Friday, November 7, 2008
Elmiryn thought, tapping the handle of the skinning knife on her chin. "Let's play a game."
I gave her a deadpan look. "While you're carving an animal corpse?"
"You tell me about yourself. Using single words."
"Five syllable words," Elmiryn added with a grin. Her angular face seemed a little flushed and for a brief moment I wondered if she were drunk again.
"Elmiryn I can't--"
"Of course you can. I bet you can come up with a word for how you're feeling right now."
"I really don't think it'll work."
Elmiryn looked at me. Then shrugged. "Okay. If you say so." That was when she filleted the deer from the gut to the chin.
The beast in me snarled at the sight of red life spilling onto the dirt, the tumble of dark purplish organs, the gleam of the exposed rib cage. The smell that hit me literally made me reel. I spun back around, horrified. "Disquietude! Feelings of anxiety that cause one to become tense!!" Even I could note the lower pitch of my voice, the growl that tinged my words.
"That's four syllables." Elmiryn said calmly. I couldn't see her expression, but I could imagine her smiling. Why did she find these things funny?
"Fine! Pestiferousness; something akin to evil or general annoyance."
If you guys have checked my twitter updates on the main site, you'll know that the next update won't be up till sometime Sunday. I apologize for this and really DO dislike going against my schedule, but sometimes that happens in life, and after this rather eventful week I really have no reason to stop and regret it at all.
I was feeling pretty unmotivated with the next installment before I was hit with a random idea. It literally saved the sinking ship! It also helped to remember that I was writing Eikasia for myself as much as for others (though I truly do appreciate my readers)--It was just getting to the point that I was fretting so much about what people would make of my story that I couldn't even write it. But now I think I've gotten over that (for now, ha!) and the writer's block has magically vanished. I'd stay up to work on this more, but I have work tomorrow so I'm afraid I'll have to put it off till later.
Till Sunday then!
Because it's awesome-sauce.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Being an American citizen feels good now. In fact it feels amazing. My international readers will have to forgive me--sometimes I forget that anyone outside of my bubble of a universe bothers with anything I do. I've been feeling incredibly motivated lately--but not really for writing. The effort of creativity comes easier in spurts. I should probably ease off with the roleplaying on forums. It doesn't help that I signed up for NaNoWriMo too (hoo boy.) So as of this moment? There isn't much of the new chapter. I'm thinking lots of coffee and loud music for tonight.
The odd thing is that I actually DO wish to write. I KNOW what I want to write. But I just...can't. When I get going I either get tired, distracted, or find myself stunted by the need to fact check. I love writing I do. I just hate having to fact check.
I will write this next part, damn it. I can't promise it'll be by tomorrow morning, though. I'm hesitant to say I'll even have something by tomorrow.