Thursday, June 17, 2021

Haiku Hour

Yes, it's time for another Haiku Hour! To recap, a haiku is a Japanese poem that consists of seventeen syllables divided into three lines of five, seven, and five syllables. Traditionally, they include references to seasons and/or have nature as a topic, but, well, whatever. Hajimemashou!
Free donuts, woohoo!
Four kinds of yummy flavors
Twenty-twenty-one

M.H.A. blanket
Guess which character this is
All soft and wrinkled

New to band practice
Keyboards on the next album?
I guess we shall see

Saturday dinner
Salmon, broccoli, and shrooms
Might need more kim chee

Egyptian statue?
Or just two cats relaxing
Write your own caption

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Ten Years of Autism Empowerment!

This month, the awesome and amazing nonprofit organization Autism Empowerment celebrates its tenth anniversary!
I've had the honor of working with them from almost the very beginning, and I'm looking forward to many more years to come. To celebrate this milestone, the organization has put out a special episode of its podcast (that you can listen to here) as well as a feature story in the Summer 2021 issue of Spectrum Life Magazine (that you can read here). While you're at it, be sure to check out previous episodes and issues as well!

(Oh, and by the way - the Joel Suzuki Series is also featured in the Summer 2021 issue of Spectrum Life. See our article on page 26.)

Happy birthday, AE!

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Volume Six Status Update: Plot Holes Edition

Has it really been eight weeks since the last Volume Six Status Update? Yes, yes it has. Since then, a lot has happened. First of all, I got the draft of the manuscript up to about 62,000 words. Second, I discovered plot holes...not only in Volume Six, but *gasp* in an earlier volume of the series as well.
Specifically, Volume Four. Now, as I've mentioned a long time ago, I'm a total nerd when it comes to plot holes, continuity errors, and the like, and I try REALLY REALLY HARD (really) to make my own stuff as air-tight as possible. That said, it's probably inevitable - especially when your plot involves time travel - that some gremlins will sneak through. And sure enough, when I did a recent re-read of Volumes Two through Five (more on that below), I found a minor glitch in Volume Four that can't be explained away with in-universe reasons and probably needs fixing in a future edition. That said, it doesn't detract from the main story (in my opinion, at least) and is relatively hard to catch unless you're paying really close attention (again, in my opinion). If you think you know what it is, I'd love to hear from you, either in the comments below or via email at joelsuzukiseries@gmail.com.

In defense of SOME plot holes, I think sometimes we expect too much from our characters. We think they should know all the answers to every problem right away, but the reality is that sometimes they make mistakes, too. Like when I complained about Voldemort leaving Snape alone in the Shrieking Shack before making sure he was dead...I mean, he's a busy villain, he's got stuff to do and places to be! (By the way, for all you authors out there, JK Rowling has admitted to making mistakes and plot holes in Harry Potter, and she's also fixed some of those mistakes in future editions, so don't feel bad).

Anyway, enough about that. Back to the Status Update! So, when I reached the 62,000 word mark, it was then that I felt like I was starting to spin my wheels and write stuff that had a high probability of being worthless, as opposed to being maybe-probably-good when read back later. It was like the point of diminishing returns, mainly because I was building upon what I suspected to be flaws and plot holes (okay, we haven't left that subject completely). It was then that I decided "okay, now's a good time to go back and patch stuff up from the beginning," and part of that process included a complete re-read of Volumes Two through Five, to get reacquainted with my world-building (since Volume Five was mostly set on Earth, it's actually been years since I was really immersed in the laws of the Spectraland universe). After the re-read was complete, I then went back to the beginning of my Volume Six draft and started building it back up from there. A lot of what I had has been usable so far, especially in the first act, but some of it had to be rewritten entirely - which I was totally expecting, because I've been here before. And now, the draft is back up to 28,000 words and coming along nicely, with less plot holes this time.