Thursday, February 23, 2023

Volume Seven Status Update: Can't Blog, Reading

As mentioned in the previous Volume Seven Status Update from a month ago, I am in the final polishing stage, which is where I read the manuscript over and over again until my eyes bleed before turning it in for a line edit.
I also said that March 7 was the date when I am scheduled to do said turn-in. And since I've been averaging one full read-through per week, that gives me just about enough time for, well, one more full-read-through. And maybe an extra day or so for proofing.

I'm feeling pretty good about where things are at. I've plugged plot holes and generally tightened up the overall story while also trimming excess words and shortening run-on sentences. Still, though, I want to devote most of my focus and energy to completing these final checks, so I'm just going to stop this blog post here.

P.S. That is, after telling you that the cover art is also coming along nicely!

P.P.S. Don't be surprised if next week's blog post is just a cat haiku

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Minor Inconvenience Note

I once said that "I would never want to find, much less use, an actual Death Note. I would, however, more than welcome a Minor Inconvenience Note."

In case you're not familiar, Death Note is a manga/anime about a teenage genius who discovers a supernatural notebook that, in a nutshell, causes the death of whoever's name is written in it. It was one of the first shows I watched when I first really started getting into anime back in 2018. I became such a fan that not only did I issue the above quote (as an attempt at a joke at a music industry gathering) but I also drew one page of a parody comic based on the manga:
Anyway, the reason I bring this up* is that I've recently come across the term "micro-stressors," which are the minor inconveniences, problems, annoyances, etc. that occur in everyday life. Alone, they seem harmless and trivial, but they can add up over time and, if not properly dealt with, cause serious mental health issues (I don't know, I'm an author/musician, not a mental health professional, but that sounds about right).

There are different ways to deal with micro-stressors, but my personal favorite technique is to use the "identify-and-transform" method. This is where I identify exactly what the stressor is ("that person cut me off in traffic") and then think about why the stressor provides an opportunity for gratitude, thus transforming it from a negative into a positive ("I'm thankful that I have a car that helps me get around," "I'm glad we didn't get into an accident," etc.). You may have or require a different method (again, I'm not a mental health professional), but this is what works for me. And that's your unsolicited advice for the week.

* Actually, the reason I bring this up is that I just wanted an excuse to publish this cartoon in my blog

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Random Thought Thursday

Random thought: this is the first Random Thought Thursday post since March, 2019, aka "The Before-Times."
Siding repair: worse than I expected, but not as bad as it could have been. So I'm grateful for that.

In that last Random Thought Thursday post from 2019, I complained about my local Fred Meyer occasionally running out of pre-cut broccoli florets. Since then, they went through a period where they basically never had any at all, but recently they've done a 180 and now have tons, all the time. More importantly: I can't believe I've been eating pre-cut broccoli florets every day for four years (and probably more) now.

Also in that last post, I gushed about the "new powder blue Spring Training uniforms the Seattle Mariners are wearing." Well, they are no longer new, and they are also no longer, having been axed along with the road gray jerseys.

Super Bowl prediction: Eagles 28, Chiefs 24. I mean, have you seen that Philadelphia offensive line play? At one point during one of their playoff games (I forget which), I said to my TV, "I bet even I could run through that hole."

The most recent episode of My Hero Academia said that we are entering the "final chapter" or something like that. But then when I looked it up, I couldn't find any indication that Season 6 (the current season) is the last one and that the manga itself is still ongoing. Does anyone know what's going on?

Genius cooking hack: the Grill Mates Montreal Steak seasoning. Seriously. Hat tip to Second Player Score drummer (and cooker extraordinaire) Kyle Gilbert.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Talking To My TV

If you've been reading this blog for some time, then you know that I occasionally (often) talk to my TV. Usually it's to say things like "what the (heck)??" when plot twists occur or "good job, show," when the story beats line up with my expectations and make me feel stuff. Recently, however, I've caught myself saying other things, like:
Netflix: Hey
Me: What
Netflix: You know we have Season 2 of Demon Slayer now
Me: I know, you keep showing me the thumbnail
Netflix: So why aren't you watching it
Me: Because Hulu's had it for a long time now, along with Season 3
Netflix: You have Hulu?
Me: Yeah
Netflix: Oh
Me: Don't be jealous
Netflix: I'm not
Me: Then why did you cancel Warrior Nun
Netflix: uhh

(While watching the new season of The Legend of Vox Machina on Amazon Prime)
Me: This episode is just like Avatar! The bending one, not the Pandora movies
Amazon Prime: Right?
Me: And Keyleth's dad is even named Korrin, which is kind of like Korra
Amazon Prime: You're so observant
Me: And the show is called "The Legend of...", like "The Legend of Korra"
Amazon Prime: Wow
Me: You're just humoring me, aren't you?
Amazon Prime: uhh

(While watching the new season of The Bad Batch on Disney+)
Me: This episode is just like Breath of the Wild!
Disney+: Um, no it's not
Me: Yes, it is! With the traps and the large mecha creature that shoots a laser beam from its mouth and everything
Disney+: It's a totally original idea, I assure you
Me: I think somebody was like, "hey, I want to do an homage to Breath of the Wild" and so they wrote this episode
Disney+: We are Star Wars. People copy us, not the other way around
Me: Whatever

(While watching Ant-Man and the Wasp)
Boots (sitting in front of the TV): Why are you watching this again
Me: Because I want to get prepared for the new Ant-Man movie next month
Boots: Haven't you seen this movie like, a million times already
Me: No. Now please move
Boots: No
Me: C'mon, man
Boots: Feed me
Me: It's not feeding time, and you know it
Boots: Pay attention to me. Not this movie
Me: I pay attention to you all the time
Boots: No you don't
Me: Yes I do
Boot: No you don't
Me (sigh): Fine

Yes, I also talk to my cats.