Monday Musings 8/31

The summer of Ghibli films, throwing trash against a wall, tell people about your stuff honestly, audio books are too cool, and the Q and A for Hidden Oaks.

  1. Well it has been the summer of Studio Ghibli for my family and I. We’ve gone through Ponyo, Whisper of the Heart, Porco Rosso, the Cat Returns, and Up on Poppy Hill. They’ve been a wonderful distraction from the apocalypse. My favorite one out of all I enjoyed has got to be Up on Poppy Hill. What a real story. It is very powerful, sad, interesting, and realistic. We take for granted knowing our family, communicating with them on daily basis, and having records or history of where we came from. In this film the past isn’t meant to be an anchor holding you back, but a map leading you into the future. I really enjoyed it and I highly recommend it. Every movie is fantastic, and the mind-boggling attention to detail in each frame of animation is unmatched.
  2. The strange thing about this writing thing, and the current plan I have tried to carry out in the flimsiest of ways is that I don’t really know what works. I’m just constantly throwing trash at the wall hoping something will stick. I have been leaning more and more towards just not caring and writing. That mentality is easier said than done. Especially since I can’t write fulltime for a living right now, but have to supplement it with a real job. One thing I’ve noticed about working in the arts is that you want things to be in nice little packages like a 9 – 5 job. Biweekly paycheck, benefits, schedule, and break time are all structures you take for granted when you become a sort of “freelancer” like I attempted for the last three years. It is difficult to make these things work. Producing consistently might be the only salvation.
  3. One thing with marketing I’m starting to realize is that you actually have to tell people why they should even bother with your writing. You have to see the value in it, and then communicate that value efficiently in nearly every way imaginable. Selling books at the conventions is what forced me to create an elevator pitch for the Greenland Diaries. I sold books when I earnestly told people what it was about it. Being honest about your work takes bravery, but it works. This truth makes people more relatable to you.
  4. I am nearly finished with my first audio book from, well, ever. I haven’t listened to a book like this before. It was a new experience. I started this process with a heavyweight choice: Dune by Frank Herbert. It is fantastic. If I had read the book myself, I think I would have missed most of the content. I just don’t have a ton of time to read, so I tend to hurry through the text. I cannot get over how good this story is, how the universe works so nicely. I knew this was a legend in terms of science fiction world building, but I wasn’t aware of how well-written it is to fit this enormous setting. I’m very excited to see what Denis Villeneuve does with this story. I loved Arrival and Bladerunner 2049. This should be good.
  5. We’ll be releasing our Q and A segment for Hidden Oaks some time soon. We’ll be recording it this weekend. I’m already being mindful about how many “ums” or “likes” I’m not going to use. Haha. Ugh. Being prepared is a mixture of prepping and going with the flow. The things you learn doing this stuff. You really only learn it by experience. Thank you everyone who continues to listen to the show and support us. This is super awesome. Season two will be underway on Wednesday, September 30. We’re hard at work with it. Pretty much have written the majority of it. We’re just settling down to get onto a production schedule. This is one hell of a story, and it fits the podcast format perfectly. Listen to it anytime.

Jottings:

  • Octopath Traveler is the perfect reinvention of the classic JRPGs I grew up with in the 90’s and early 2000’s. I mean wow. Visually stunning, but with throwback game play and character development. I’m happy I got that one.
  • My wife and I discovered Brockmire. Ugh. What a diabolically funny show. Very adult. Highly recommend it.
  • Does anyone have a game they constantly revisit to escape the existential dread of our perverse overconsumption society? I do. Street Fighter is my hardcore jam. Any version of it (except the first one on NES, let’s not get carried away) I have in my library to play. I love it. Not only do I like to play it on the hardest settings, but I also just like the nostalgia of it. Super Street Fighter 2 is my favorite.
  • Are they ever going to announce Breath of the Wild 2? Also known as BOTW 2 as the kids are calling it these days. I mean, seriously. I was super jacked that they were making a direct sequel. Now, I have to wait for it to arrive in theory. You want to talk about existential dread…
  • This Thursday, I’ll be debuting my new serialized story on here called Pit 42. It’ll be a first person Metroidvania story. I can’t wait to get it out there. It is the perfect respite from all the third person stuff I’m writing for Hidden Oaks. I love third person, but you’ve got to keep your skills leveled up overall, not just invest in magic or defense. That was a flimsy D and D analogy.
  • Four kids about to start distance learning. Good times. Apocalyptic adaptability is a real thing. Super real. Like almost too real.
  • I hope everyone is staying healthy and somewhat happy. Please be safe and have a great week. Your support means the world.
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