Thursday, January 29, 2015

Book Two Status Update: The Journey's End Draws Near

Sometimes, writing a novel is like an epic adventure that mirrors the one your characters are experiencing. You start off at the beginning, all fresh and wide-eyed.
Then, you head out on the journey and encounter all sorts of obstacles and challenges along the way.
 
Eventually, you may even arrive at a point of false victory where you think you've reached your goal, but in reality, you've got a long, long way to go.
But then, after enough perseverance, you finally get to where you can see the dragon's lair a short distance away, and you know that this is it - the end game is near.
That's where I'm at with Book Two. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I feel confident that it can be launched this year, and I'm sticking to that story. Why, you ask? Because unlike the previous time that I finished a first draft, I've read this particular version over again a couple of times now and I absolutely love it, even in its raw state. As you can see from this post, I wasn't too thrilled about the previous version, and the rewriting grinder couldn't save it, no matter how hard I tried.

But now, after a few more minor tweaks, I'll be able to send this draft off to my editor and beta readers. So, needless to say, I'm pretty excited. Stay tuned for more updates!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Public Service Announcement

We now interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you a public service announcement about some really cool things that are going on.

Hey there! It's me, Brian, along with everyone from The Spectraland Saga. First off, we wanted to let you know that our friends at Geek Club Books just released the first edition of The A List, an autism resource guide in e-book format, and we're happy and honored to say that Book One is included in it!
The A List also features other autism-related books and blogs, podcasts, apps, products and services, organizations (including Autism Empowerment - woo), and lots of other awesome stuff. To get your free copy of the guide, all you have to do is go to this link and sign up for their mailing list. Do it now! We'll be waiting here for you...

All done? Great!

So, the next thing you should be checking out is this trailer put together by our friend Ashley Bennett (an early supporter and fan of Book One who happens to be on the spectrum) and his mates in the U.K. for their upcoming movie, Gateway To The Past - Part 1. It looks like a lot of fun!

Now, get your calendars ready, 'cause we'll be telling you about a couple of cool events that are coming up next month:

Saturday, February 7th
Punk Rock Review featuring Second Player Score, Laurelhurst, and Stab In The Dark
Shanahan's Pub & Grill
209 W McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA
9pm No Cover 21+
If you were at SPS's CD release party last November, you saw Laurelhurst and Stab In The Dark, and you know that they totally rock. So don't miss this!

Thursday, February 19th through Sunday, February 22nd
Portland Home & Garden Show
Portland Expo Center
Featuring authors from the Northwest Independent Writers Association, including yours truly
Yes, it's that time again! Come on down and check out works from some awesome local independent authors while you browse the displays that tell you spring is almost here. Seriously, it really is. I will be there to sign copies of Book One (and maybe even spill some secrets about Book Two) on Thursday from 6-8pm, Friday from 6-8pm, and Saturday from 10am-12pm.

So anyway, thanks for listening, and hope to see you soon! We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Liveblogging With Felicity: Gravity Falls

I was going to wait a little while longer before we did another one of these, but I've recently gotten heavily into a show called Gravity Falls on Disney XD (thanks, Star Wars Rebels, for the lead-ins). If you haven't seen it yet, it's an animated series about twin twelve-year olds Dipper and Mabel Pines, who spend their summer at a fictional Oregon (Pacific Northwest, woo) town called Gravity Falls. It's a children's show, but the writing is funny and sharp and there's a lot of subtle adult humor sown in. So, I asked Felicity (co-star of The Spectraland Saga) to do a liveblog of an episode with me.
F: So u finally discovered this show huh
B: Wait, you've seen it already?
F: Ya
B: Why didn't you tell me about it
F: U never asked
B: Touche. Well here we go
B: We'll watch "Carpet Diem"
F: Fine w/me
B: Lol "Calling All Boys Pre-Teen Edition"
F:
B: I bet you had that
F: Shut up
F: I bet you were a nerd like Dipper
B: I still am
F: U said it not me
B: I love this theme song
F: My band can play it
B: Seriously?
F: No
B: You need a fun stick
F: I've had it with the fun stick
B: Good one!
F: Whatever
B: Fight fight fight! I say that when Boots and Mittens are play fighting
F: Where are they anyway
B: Sleeping
F: Of course
B: "Trying too hard - minus 15 suck up points" hilarious
F: U must have like negative one million suck up points
B: oh yeah, well u have negative infinity
F: Ur a suck up ninja
B: no u r
F: I think watching all these shows has turned u into a kid for real
B: Fine with me
F: 
B: This is the best freak out scene ever
B: We need a carpet like that so you and Joel can switch bodies
F: No way man. I like being able to swim
B: Swimming is overrated
F: Says the guy that can't swim either
B: "Wolfman Bare Chest" - i bet you read stuff like that
F: "Why am i sweaty" - that's your favorite book
B: Maybe it is
F: Creepy
B: Lol "That's what they all say"
F: Goodbye childhood
B: Ha
F: Shut up old man
B: Ur on fire today
F: Whatever
B: I bet you told off the Calling All Boys phone like that
F: Maybe I did
B: Creepy
F: Look that's how u get a raise
B: I should try that
F: U should
B: But I need that carpet so i can switch bodies with a pig
F: That would be an improvement
B: Walked right into that one, I did
F: See, even women would like you more
B: Ok I think we're done here
F: I win the liveblog!!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Talkin' With Joel: Most Annoying Zelda Mini-Games (#7 - Honey and Darling's Shop)

On the heels of the announcement that Nintendo is offering a Skull Kid figurine with pre-orders of Majora's Mask 3DS, today we'll be continuing our ongoing review and discussion of what, in my opinion, are the most annoying mini-games from the Legend of Zelda series. Joining us as always is our very special guest, Joel Suzuki of The Spectraland Saga.

B: Hello, Joel! How were your holidays?
J: Good.
B: Did you do anything fun?
J: Yeah.
B: Like what?
J: Saw some movies.
B: Oh, I did too! Which ones did you see?
J: The Hobbit and Mockingjay Part One.
B: Those were the exact same ones that I saw! I wonder if we were in the same theaters?
J:
B: So, what did you think of them?
J: "Them" meaning what?
B: The movies.
J: They were good.
B: I thought so, too. Anyway, here we go with #7!

#7 - Honey and Darling's Shop (from Majora's Mask)
B: Okay, so this is actually three mini-games, all in the same location, and all equally annoying, if you ask me: the Bombchu Gallery, the Basket Bomb, and Target Shooting.
J: Why do you think they are annoying?
B: Because Honey and Darling are icky. And also because the games are really hard.
J: I think they're pretty easy, actually. Easier than the other ones in your list so far.
B: Really? Wow. But I guess I shouldn't be surprised that you say that.
J: Um, okay.
B: What's your secret for these?
J: There's no secret. You just have to time things correctly. I'll even miss the target a few times, but I can still get a perfect score with lots of time remaining.
B: I've heard that there's some sort of trick where you can hit Honey and Darling in order to pause the timer. I've tried that, but it still doesn't help.
J: I'll hit them for fun once in a while, but you don't even need to do that. Seriously, I'm not sure why this one is even on your list.
B: I guess you've never seen me play this one. I'm terrible at it.
J: You probably just need more practice.
B: You're probably right. Anyway, on another subject, did I tell you that Book Two is coming along very nicely, and that it should be out later this year?
J: Book Two of what?
B: Oops, that's all the time we have for today. See you all next time for #6!
J: I noticed that we've been saying the word "time" a lot...

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Ted Forth And I Would Probably Be Good Friends

Last week, as I was lying in bed and contemplating a New Year's Day blog post, I thought, "hey, why don't I write a list of things that I'm looking forward to in 2015?" After all, I had known for a while that there were about six particular things that I was excited about (as you know, the new Star Wars movie is one of them), and what better way to write a quick and easy post ring in the new year than to consolidate them into a fun little list? So, I scribbled a note to myself with my six things, and went back to sleep.

Then, as I was reading the comics page this past Monday, my eyes scrolled up to the strip Sally Forth, and I saw this: "6 Reasons Ted Forth is Looking Forward to 2015." And guess what his first reason was? Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
I thought, "hey, that was on my list!" But I figured, okay, I know that the character of Ted Forth is into geek culture and all, and a lot of people are looking forward to the new Star Wars film, so it's a pretty generic thing to say when you're writing a list of reasons for a character like Ted. What are the odds that more of his reasons will be the same as mine?

On Tuesday, I breathed a sigh of relief, as his second reason was "A Glimpse Into 2025." Now, I'll admit to thinking about the future in a similar fashion, but that wasn't one of my six things for 2015, so I thought, okay, yeah, my blog post is still a go.

Then yesterday, I saw this: "3. Avengers: Age of Ultron." This was also on my list! Yes, the Avengers movies are quite popular, but they're not quite on the same ubiquitous level as Star Wars, so I started to get a little nervous. Will I have to come up with an entirely different subject for my blog post? But I figured, nah, I know what my other four reasons are, and there's no way any more of them will match. Right?
Then came today. And guess what the fourth reason was? "4. Ted Finally Finishes His Novel." I was like, whoa! Because one of my other things is that I now fully expect to get Book Two out this year. Yes, I said it. Now, granted, this is probably Ted's first novel, whereas I already completed my first, but still, he apparently will write 600 pages worth of stuff, which is about the same size as my first two books combined. Freaky...

Anyway, I'm guessing that neither of his last two reasons will match any of my other things, which are: the new Xenoblade game, the new Zelda game, and making preparations to record Second Player Score's next album. If they do, though, I'm gonna totally trip out. We shall see.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!!

Hope you all are enjoying the holiday season. Are you psyched for tonight's Doctor Who Christmas Special? I sure am.
I just saw the latest Hobbit film, and I have to say, despite the fact that I still think three movies for that book is just too much and the high frame rate continues to be a bit distracting, I really enjoyed it. I know that others disagree, and I admit, I did laugh when (spoiler alert?) Bilbo managed to fell a few orcs ("bred for war!") with simple stone tosses, but whatever. Heck, maybe Bilbo should try out for a spot in the Mariners' rotation - then we could trade Roenis Elias for a halfway decent bat.
Book Two Status Update: I am now halfway through the first draft of what I feel is finally the actual version of the book, and I must say, I am pretty stoked. It's shaping up to be a really fun and exciting story, and I can't wait to share it with all of you.

Anyway, gotta run. Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Lists of Favorites

One thing that Joel and I like to discuss from time to time is our "Lists of Favorites" - i.e., a list of books, movies, video games, albums, etc. in the same series or from the same band, in order of preference from most favorite to least. Today, we'd like to share some of those lists with you.
Star Wars Films
Joel's list:
1. Episode IV
2. Episode VI
3. Episode V
4. Episode III
5. Episode I
6. Episode II
My list:
1. Episode V
2. Episode IV
3. Episode III
4. Episode VI
5. Episode II
6. Episode I
Harry Potter Novels
Joel's list:
1. Order of the Phoenix
2. Half-Blood Prince
3. Sorceror's Stone
4. Prisoner of Azkaban
5. Deathly Hallows
6. Chamber of Secrets
7. Goblet of Fire
My list:
1. Deathly Hallows
2. Prisoner of Azkaban
3. Half-Blood Prince
4. Order of the Phoenix
5. Sorceror's Stone
6. Chamber of Secrets
7. Goblet of Fire
Legend of Zelda Games (Top 5)
Joel's list:
1. Ocarina of Time
2. Majora's Mask
3. Twilight Princess
4. Wind Waker
5. Skyward Sword
My list:
1. Twilight Princess
2. Skyward Sword
3. Wind Waker
4. Ocarina of Time
5. Majora's Mask
Iron Maiden Albums (Top 7)
Joel's list:
1. Somewhere In Time
2. Seventh Son
3. Piece of Mind
4. Powerslave
5. Number of the Beast
6. Iron Maiden
7. Killers
My list:
1. Number of the Beast
2. Piece of Mind
3. Powerslave
4. Killers
5. Somewhere In Time
6. Seventh Son
7. Iron Maiden
Spectraland Saga Novels
Joel: Wait, what?