Updates on Things

Hello there friends. I’m back.

The trials of waiting and finding a new phone have nearly come to and end. There is but one more hurdle to leap over, and that would be getting the correct sim card. Unfortunately in my excitement for a new phone I’d mistaken the size of my previous sim to be that of the new one. Unfortunately I’ve been using an oversized one for many years, and technology has long since pushed ahead of such things. But soon enough it shall be replaced and all my worries shall be alleviated. Or so I hope.

As to the book, it is proceeding grandly. The co-author spent many an hour at it and has progressed greatly in that time. They’ve lingered and leered over our words, and have produced yet more. Blank spots, or at least spots that needed filling in more have been. Myself, I’ve made language clearer and have beautified what was already lovely. Or so I think.

Yet the pace I edit will now linger behind that of the co-author. I mustn’t rush past them again. I’ve already re-read and edited multiple times, now I must focus on their notes and changes. It’s up to me to see the story clear on my end, until they finish and then we shall review together. It isn’t surprising to take as long to edit as it does to write. I’ve done this before, though previous attempts were slow due to the nature of the editors I had before.

No one has the time to edit daily, unless like me that’s all they did. Though I’ve no longer the time myself, as work is a thing we all must do in order to hold ourselves in a household. Financial needs sadly outweigh that of creativity. Luckily I’ve a certain amount of free time to work on writing, most weeks that is. There are times when such things are lost to me, and I work more than the average 40hrs. However since that is not the norm I’m able to sit here and type away.

With that said, there is a possibility that I might miss next Monday’s post. A holiday it is, and as such I may be called upon to attend to work. Tis a thing my job entails, as not a holiday goes by where those in my trade are called upon to perform our job. So if I am gone then, don’t worry. I should be back either the next day, or the following week.

But what else is there to tell? Hrm. Well if you are the sort interested in such things I’ve attempted to recall other books I’ve read over the years and have added to my Goodreads. I fear I’m missing many, as I borrowed many over the years, and memories of such are only sparked when I see their covers again. And of course due to previous selling and sorting out my own library I’ve lost hundreds of titles from my shelves. But since my mind lingers on such things a random jumble of author’s names come to me from time to time either while I’m asleep or working. Hence the update.

And also since several of my friends have taken to writing as well, we’ve talked of making a little guild of writers. The chance of more people looking over our work is an opportunity I think we all look forward to, and lets us focus on our strengths. Some of us are better at descriptions, others dialogue, and yet others still better at formating our words into reasonable paragraphs and such. Luckily we have a varied background to our reading list, and that too should make us stronger writers. But putting a name to our little group has been a sticking point. Not that we need one, but it’s something I’d like to do. As it is we disagree on the title. But that shouldn’t hinder us, as an unnamed group is just as valid as one named. But announcing ourselves would need such a thing, not that is needed either.

So with that little rambling post, I shall leave you until next time. May you have a wonderful week.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 78% into editing

Steven Oaks

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Finding a name for music

Greetings and salutations. I have found my way back to the internet.

This week was one that was filled with music. My ears were caressed by sounds that I hadn’t received a name for them to be categorized in, but as with most things they had been.

The first such things that received a name was one called Synthwave. An 80’s-esque sound filled with synth, that apparently was first widely spread from the soundtrack of a movie called Drive. A movie I still have not seen but first enjoyed the music from some years ago.

But this was not my first experience that lead me down this path. First was from an album that had been titled Nivel del Mar – Sounds for Soulsurfers. This collection of tracks from various artists kindled an interest in strange sounds and remixes from other peoples works. They were all categorized as Downbeat, Chill Out, Hip Hop, or Jazz. While you can hear why they would be, there was something different about them. Listening to them you might not see the connection, however Synthwave seems to have come from another genre. That genre being Vaporwave.

The first such instance of widespread internet fame came from a track called Floral Shoppe from Lisa Frank 420. At least in as much as my research has lead me. These early tracks seemed to distort old music to give it a creepy/unsettling feel. Making them sound like they were an old record playing or a similarly old VHS that had been played repeatedly on an old malfunctioning machine, but they at times also gave it a beat. However at that point it was also about the visual aesthetic as much as it was the sound. Marble busts and glitch art abound in their cover art and videos. A strange thing to be sure, however I felt relaxation listening to them.

And to make matters stranger, later a sub-genre arrived called Simpsonwave. These took classic Vaporwave tracks and used them tell a story using Simpson episodes and distort and glitch them. The first one was uploaded and titled Sunday School. And from my limited delving into this sub-genre is my favorite.

But what has this all to do with me? For the last couple of weeks I’ve spent much of my free time just listening to anything and everything I could find in these genres. I find them relaxing, and interestingly enough, when played in a group of friends it seems to stimulate conversation. They don’t drown out conversation, and they can spark thoughts in the listeners. This is very close to the playlist I use to write by. Hence why I find them so interesting. The music I’ve collected to listen while I work on my books have all been either Vaporwave or Synthwave all along. Or at the very least a precursor or an offspring of these genre’s.

Finding a name has made me go back into my library of music and see what I can find. And many of my favorites could be placed in either category. Of course about once a year I tend to get super excited about music instead of just being a passive thing I listen to. So this has apparently been the hyped period for the year, and I felt like I wanted to share my experience. But if you want to know more take some time and watch and listen to what others have to say about the history of these genres. There are many video’s on YouTube that you can find that do a better job than I. Perhaps you’ll find that you too have always enjoyed this type of music.

Until next time, have a musical week.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 76% into editing

Steven Oaks

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I’m Just Complaining Again

Howdy folks. I’m back again.

So what have I been up to? Well I’ve mentioned the fact that my phone was trying to kill me, again. I also mentioned that I swapped it out for an old phone that I had. One who’s microphone didn’t work, who had a dead spot on the screen, and who’s charging port didn’t work. Well guess what? Now the screen keeps blinking, and randomly pressing buttons all over that place. So if I have your contact information it’s likely you may have received a random text, email, or whatever the phone happened to feel like doing at the time.

Time for the next back up phone. This one is even older, and has so little memory that it can barely run half the time. But it will make calls, the screen while small will allow me to read, and it works with wifi and 4G. That being said I can’t install many apps. I just have the kindle app installed, the rest is taken up by android and all the apps that come with that. So if you have tried to contact me this last week with anything besides texting and calls I probably didn’t get it. Heck, even using the built in browser doesn’t work half the time. I have to keep clearing the cache on the phone and browser to keep the phone from lagging so much that I can’t use it at all. Luckily I have an old tablet, that while has its own issues, tends to make up for the phone’s short comings. Though it is a hassle to lug both of them around.

That being said, I’m still waiting on my actual replacement phone to make its way to me. According to tracking it’s still in China, but I knew it would take forever to get here. I just didn’t think my backup phones would keep going to crap. Had I known that I might have paid a little more for the luxury of getting it here faster. Oh first world problems, how irritating you are.

I know I’m spoiled when it comes to having these devices, but man is it frustrating to have conveniences disappear. Perhaps that’s a sign I’m overly attached to them. Then again I’ve always been one to try to adopt the latest and greatest thing. Maybe not the bleeding edge, as my wallet can’t sustain such things, but within a few years time I tend to find myself desiring them.

Without the use of all those social media apps I’m feeling a little less stressed. Certainly the first few days I was craving them. I felt lonely. But then again, loading up a page with all the people you follow isn’t the same thing as talking to them. Now though, I’m not anxiously awaiting the next post. I’m more interested in what I’m reading.

And that’s the thing. I still can use this old phone for reading. Heck, if I really needed to I could use the tablet for that, though these days it seems a bit big for the task. I’d just load it up before I leave to a place without wifi, and I’d be golden. Unless I happen to finish the book. That’s happened, but before I had the option of downloading a new one while on the go. Now, not so much.

There are issues with the old phone, and one of them is the kindle store sometimes refuses to work. I don’t mean it won’t let me read. I mean the store just won’t load correctly, or it crashes when I try to purchase something.

Okay okay, enough complaining for one day. Truly we live in a future world. These issues are really not all that bad. If I really wanted to I could carry around one of the hundreds of actual physical books I own. It just wouldn’t be convenient. But that’s the name of the game these days. And when such things aren’t available to us, we tend to get a little upset.

Moving on. I’ve just gotten through my third pass through of the book. It’s looking good. The co-author was able to do some work on it this weekend as well. Looks like they took a dislike to a chapter and rewrote a bunch of it. So I’ll be checking that out the next time I edit.

Another thing, I finally used the spelling and grammar check for the whole document instead of simply as I went along. You’d figure I’d do that when I was going through it the first time, but I’ve found that tends to mess me up. I like to get to know the story before I start accepting what a computer thinks things should be. And it looks like I was right to do so. I didn’t find anything I didn’t expect. It mostly didn’t like the Norse names I’m using. Other than that, it looks golden. So one more pass through and we should be ready.

Until next time, I hope you all have better luck with your phones.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 75% into editing

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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How I Keep Writing

Hello all.

It has been four years since I published my first book. In that time I’ve released four other books. One of course is the poetry book, which isn’t the usual fare I put out. However the other three were novels. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished in this time, and I’m taking great effort in getting this latest book finished.

At least to me this shows my commitment to writing. I had a few times where I wasn’t sure of myself, and I couldn’t think of another thing to write. Those times I doubted I’d be able to write another book. Fortunately I’ve read of such things and took action to make sure I didn’t quit.

One way I’ve found that keeps me actively writing is to write something else. Whenever I feel I have nothing to add, and I’ve really tried at it many times, I switch to a different book. This has led to several partially started books that I go back to now and again. Some are further along than others, and one was a novel I was really focusing on before the co-author suggested writing this latest book together. I feel I’ve grown as a writer since then, so that book will have to be worked on before I really get back to writing it.

Another way to make sure I keep up writing is routine. I write in the same place, same time, and listen to the same music. Does that sound boring? Well there is a reason for it. I learned this from talking to people about meditation. When you want to return to the same frame of mind, such as in meditating, you make sure to do it in the same way you did last time. That way you aren’t distracted by any newness. This has helped me focus only on writing, and not on anything else.

Speaking of distractions, leave your phone elsewhere. Those constant notifications can take you away from your flow. And if you have a way of doing it, stay away from social media and email if you are writing on a computer. Yes I usually have a browser open when I write, and a huge amount of tabs loaded and ready to dive into, but I mostly use it for streaming my music playlist. Those other tabs are for emergency thesaurus use or checking up on some things you’ve looked up before. Don’t go into the black hole of looking things up in the middle of writing, that’ll take you away from the flow. I generally only research things well in advance of a writing session, then I leave the tabs open to go back for notable things and double checking my memory. Taking notes might be better, but having a tab dedicated to one topic tends to help instead of looking at a list of things I want to include.

Now this is for me personally, but having a window to look out of helps me think. I’m lucky to have always had tree’s and nature to look at, even though I currently live in a city. Just watching the leaves bounce in the wind distracts me and lets my mind build onto the story I’m working on. If I’m ever stuck on a scene all I have to do is glance out at nature and let my mind work. It’s very relaxing to me. Yes distractions are bad, but since it’s just a relaxing scene I don’t have to focus on anything really going on. It’s just nature doing it’s thing. Personally I like a nice sunny day, but rain and snow are good for me too. Though I admit any type of storm can exhilarate me too much, and I have a hard time sitting still.

Mostly I’m saying keep a routine, and don’t let yourself get distracted. That’s what works for me, and maybe it can work for you.

With that I leave you. I hope you have an enjoyable week.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 72% into editing

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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