Thursday, December 1, 2022

Baseball Review With April and Lydia: Hot Stove Edition

Back on October 6th, we had a special playoffs edition of our usual Major League Baseball recap since the Mariners actually made the playoffs for the first time in a gajillion years. At the end of that post, I asked our resident baseball/Seattle Mariners fans April Hayashi and Lydia Sanchez to come back for a postseason wrap-up later in the month. And so, we're doing that today, Tuesday, November 29th, even though this post will be published on Thursday, December 1st. As such, moves may have been made in the meantime. [UPDATE: the Mariners signed a relief pitcher and filled their assistant general manager position, but that's about it]
Lydia: They'd better have! I'm getting impatient. And bored.
April: I don't think anything's going to happen until the Winter Meetings next week, at the earliest.
Lydia: But the Astros just signed Jose Abreu! Come on, Jerry and Justin, do something cool.
April: The Teoscar Hernandez trade was pretty cool.
Lydia: Yeah, but what have you done for me lately?
Brian: All right, I think we're getting a little ahead of ourselves. Shouldn't we talk about the postseason first?
Lydia: Meh. Beating the Blue Jays was great, but that Astros series sucked.
April: At least the M's lost to the eventual champs.
Lydia: Small consolation. I hate those guys.
April: It was kind of cool to see the Phillies make it, at least.
Lydia: Whatever. Enough postseason talk. Hot stove time!
Brian: Okay, well, what kinds of moves would you folks like to see the Mariners make? Considering they're probably in the market for an outfielder, a middle infielder, and maybe a pitcher or two.
Lydia: I would like to see them sign Aaron Judge, but I know that's not going to happen. Instead, I want Brandon Nimmo, Trea Turner, and Kodai Senga.
Brian: Going big as usual, huh?
Lydia: Heck yeah.
Brian: What about you, April?
April: I'd say try to sign Andrew Benintendi or maybe Michael Conforto for the outfield, then trade for either Kolten Wong or Gleyber Torres for the second base spot. Oh, and yeah, Senga would be great for the rotation, but I've heard he wants to go to a big-market team.
Lydia: So conservative.
April: Hey, like I said last year, I'm wary of expensive, long-term free agent contracts.
Lydia: So is the team, apparently.
Brian: April, do you think those options would help the Mariners close the gap with the Astros?
April: I think so. And it would allow them to maintain more flexibility financially and roster-wise.
Brian: I assume you're counting on internal improvements, as well.
April: Well, yeah, I mean, Luis Castillo will be there from the start, as will the improved version of Cal Raleigh. Hopefully.
Lydia: And Julio won't spend a month getting jobbed by the umps.
April: Right.
Lydia: Still, though, I want them to make a big splash. Win now, baby!
Brian: Okay, well, I guess we'll see what happens. In the meantime, have a great rest of the holiday season, and we'll see you folks back in the spring.
April: Sounds good.
Lydia: Go M's! Sign Trea Turner!

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Thanksgiving Time Capsule

I was looking through some posts from Thanksgivings past to see what I had written and make sure I wasn't going to repeat myself and I thought it was pretty cool that a few of them reminded me about stuff that was happening at the time, like last year when I was really into this song. So I figured this year I'd just make little notes about what's currently going on so that when I read this post in future years I'll be like, "Oh hey yeah, that was a thing."
The Seattle Seahawks are currently 6-4 and tied for first place in the NFC West with the San Francisco 49ers. The Denver Broncos, who owe the Seahawks their 1st and 2nd round draft choices in next year's draft courtesy of this trade, are 3-7. Will these trends continue? I don't know, that's not the point of this post. And also, I don't want to jinx anything.

I've not only finished the first draft of Volume Seven, I've also just completed a read-through in which I incorporated all the revisions I wanted to make. Now I think I'll let it sit, untouched and un-looked at, for at least 3 weeks or so before I do another read-through.

I just finished Season 2 of Warrior Nun and Part 2 of Inside Job, both on Netflix. Hurry and make more.

The Spring Suite of Four-D is in the can and awaiting mixing.

Anxiously waiting to see how the Mariners are going to address their offseason needs. Maybe Benintendi or Yoshida for left field, Wong or Torres for second base, and Senga for the rotation? I don't know why, but I have a funny feeling I'll be reading this post in the future and seeing that my ideas were completely different from what actually took place.

Anime currently watching: Spy x Family, My Hero Academia (so good), Demon Slayer (newer stuff finally out on Hulu), Romantic Killer

Lunch rotation is largely the same as in March, except the green tea has been replaced by hibiscus tea, the tuna is now the flavored type (Thai chili or lemon pepper), and for some reason Fred Meyer has been out of the 32 oz. bag of precut broccoli florets for some time now so I've had to make do with the "vegetable medley" option. How hard can it be to cut and wash enough broccoli to fill those bags? Then again, I guess I could do it myself, but I'm too lazy, and for whatever reason it tastes better when they do it.

I have a first draft of a novella adapted from the screenplay for Try Again Tomorrow (fka Jinx), the baseball-adjacent rom-com starring April Hayashi and Lydia Sanchez, which I tried working on last week but just felt stuck for whatever reason. Maybe I'll go back to it now that I'm letting Volume Seven simmer for a while. Or maybe not.

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Album Four Status Update

In the last Album Four Status Update post from July of last year, I said "We're trying to push the timeline so that we can get the album - along with, hopefully, the accompanying novelette and card game - out by May/June 2022."

Ha! Ha ha! Ha ha hahaha!

Obviously, that didn't happen.

What did happen was we ("we" meaning my band, Second Player Score) got sidetracked with "The Fear" (cover art below, Spotify link here) and Beer & Ramen, and also of course I was quite occupied with Volumes Six and Seven of the Joel Suzuki series.
But I'm glad to say that today and tomorrow we are back in the studio, finally laying down tracks for the Spring Suite of Four-D. The songs are titled "Fourth Quarter Comeback," "Divide and Conquer," "Battle Royale," and "Everything's Fine."

As for the novelette and card game, I don't think the former is going to happen any time soon (I finally settled on what I believe is the story outline, but at this point I think I want to save the project for later), but the card game is back on and is in process. Will we get it and the Summer Suite done in time for a Summer '23 release? Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Volume Seven Status Update

IT IS DONE.
The first draft, anyway.

It's clocking in at 90,000 words (360 pages), right on target with my outline and tied with Volume Six as the longest installment in the Joel Suzuki series. Which makes sense, given that it's the final volume in the main seven-book story arc and is sort of the second half of a duology made up of the previous book and this one.

It's hard to believe that just four months ago, I was less than halfway done at 42,000 words. Despite my being busy with a lot of other projects (including the launch of the aforementioned Volume Six), the manuscript really started to gain momentum once I got into the third act, and there were times when I just couldn't stop writing - in fact, I broke my record for daily word count many times over.

As I neared the end, it was a strange feeling to be writing the scenes that had been in my head in some form or another for the last ten years or so. Even though I didn't quite know exactly how I was going to get there, I always had a pretty clear vision for what the climactic moments were going to be. It was like I was reaching the conclusion of my own epic journey right alongside Joel.

Anyway, as with all previous first drafts, I'm going to let this one sit and cool off for a while before returning to it for edits and revisions (I already know there are some parts that need fixing up). The odd thing is that this time, I don't have a subsequent volume to work on in the meantime (well, I sort of do, but not really), so I guess I'll just have to turn my attention to other parts of the SPS-Verse, including the recording of the Spring Suite for Four-D, which will take place next week.

Until then!

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Virtual JDC Visit

As part of the ongoing sixth annual Words & Pictures Festival, I had the privilege of doing a virtual author visit to the local Juvenile Detention Center yesterday.
I was joined by my friends and fellow authors LeeAnn McLennan, Karen Eisenbrey, and in a last-minute surprise appearance, Sheryl Scarborough. We had a lot of fun, and not enough time! I'm flattered to say that interest was expressed in not only Joel Suzuki, but Glorified as well, so I'll be donating copies of Volume One and Issue One to the JDC.

Big thanks to Rachael Ries, Branch Manager of the Cascade Park Community Library, for arranging and hosting the event, and of course also to Christy Peterson for organizing the W&P Festival once again. Looking forward to next year!

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Harvest Festival

That's right, more live events! This Saturday, I'll be at the Special Celebrations Harvest Festival in Vancouver, WA from 2-4pm with books, candy, and a big smile.
Details are in the flyer above. If you're in the area, hope to see you there!