An End, and working on one

Hello again friends.

This last week has been a challenging one. The place I had been working announced to me in the middle of the week that this would be the last one I would be working for them. I wasn’t shocked by this or anything, as when I started I was lead to believe that I likely wouldn’t be there very long. So here, a year and a half later, they’ve finally decided that it was the occasion for my time there to end.

I’m glad I had the opportunity to work there, as it gave me the chance to exercise to my fullest, at least insofar as walking goes. My daily rounds were around twenty miles, and I can tell you after a few days of that it grew difficult. As my weeks came to an end, I was left with sore feet and legs. So sore in fact that walking was difficult on my day’s off. But, as time went on I grew stronger, and here at the end, while sore, I was not nearly left so weak by the time they decided my time there was over.

I lost weight, which I only finally was able to start doing when I decided that I should only eat two meals a day. My two dinners I called them. One right before I went in, and one soon after I returned home. I cut out almost all sugar, as I no longer had the sweet tooth that I used to have when I woke up to eat my breakfast. I only craved savory things, so that is what I ate. No cereal, no pancakes, no oatmeal. None of my normal morning meals. Sure, now and again I’d have an egg or sausage, which I consider breakfast foods, but very little in the way of grains. I can’t say this is something that others would benefit from, but it certainly did me good.

Now to the book. The final scene is perhaps half way finished, maybe more, maybe less. It’s hard to tell when you aren’t finished. There’s little in the way of it left from what the co-author and I discussed, but I haven’t gotten to the final line yet. That much I’m certain of. I’d like them to check it out, and perhaps add what I may have left out, or what they feel it needs. Then we can discuss further on how to conclude it to completion. I’m unsure where to leave the story, as I like the world built, and I like the characters, so it’s almost a shame to close their story. But of course it must be done, otherwise I’ll just be writing on it forever. Writing lives that would not end until my own does. Not a bad thing to spend time on, but there are other things I’d like to work on too.

So thus ends today’s post. I hope to have the first draft done by next week, then it’s onward to the editing. A job that can take just as much time as writing a draft, and sometimes longer. But we shall see. Since this story was bounced between two of us for this last year or more, we’ve already been editing as we went. But that is not a true edit, that’s merely reading and progressing.

Until next time, I hope you have a good 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 – hhttp://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: 127% of first draft complete.

Steven Oaks

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So very close to the end

Hello all. I’ve come back once more.

The book is going extremely well, and we are very close to the end of the first draft. There is only the final scene to write, though of course the editing process will likely take some time. We might have to fill in certain areas, and take away a few things as we go along, but I’m feeling very good about this book.

It’s been a fun ride, if not a long one to get this book finished. At first it was just a joke idea, then it transformed into something more. Certainly I think this one is a little more jovial than my previous works, but that’s in large part thanks to the help of the co-author. I can be rather straight forward, though I do try to put in little humorous things as I go along, but mostly it’s self-referential. That may not be the best kinds of jokes, but they make me smile. They on the other hand have a sense of timing that I cannot compare to, and an eye for the strange things that make life more amusing than humdrum. I’m very lucky to have been able to work with them more completely on this book than my previous ones.

The co-author had been an editor on my first few published works, but since we came up with the idea of this particular book together, I almost forced the idea that we work together on it. Luckily they agreed, and we’ve been taking turns at the project over the last year. I’d write a beginning, and they’d continue. And we’d both bounce back and forth correcting each others mistakes, and rewording scenes to fit what each of our vision of the story was.

Working more closely with another writer can be difficult, especially for me. I tend to write stream of consciousness, but you can’t do that when you have another person who had idea’s for how the book should come along. I’m not frustrated by this, as we’ve been able to meet and discuss future scenes, as that can make it easier to write towards. However since it’s not just my book, I can’t take my wild tangents without first reflecting upon what we both agreed upon previously. In the end though I think that makes this book more concise, or at least focused on a goal, as opposed to my natural tendency to let the characters do whatever they want. Since it’s two minds working to make these fictional people, we occasionally have different interpretations as to how they’d react. But to my mind that makes them seem perhaps more natural, as they all aren’t just my own interpretation of how a person should react. I’m more focused on the logical side, though I try to throw little nonsensical reactions in if the situation calls for it. Again luckily the co-author is better at reacting with other feelings in mind.

In the end I think this collaboration is helping me become a better writer. I think I might ask them again to collaborate on future works, as we seem extremely compatible. The other books I had been working on before starting this book are calling me though, and unless they want to help more closely than editing as they’ve done in the past, I shall return to them when we finish with this one. I’m encouraging them to work on the books they told me of previously they had in mind, so we may go our separate ways to work on them when we finish with this one. But I think we’ll wind up helping edit those books together.

Until next time, I hope you have a great week. Talk to you again soon!

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 – hhttp://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: 125.8% of first draft complete.

Steven Oaks

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The first draft nearly done

Again I return.

The book is coming along nicely. We’re nearly there, as the first draft nears completion. The co-author wrote a nice chunk over the weekend, and today I did my best to continue. The final big fight is nearly over in the story, though there are a few things that need to be done for the last couple of scenes, but I have a good feeling that I’ll be able to announce the first drafts completion shortly.

It was good to talk to the co-author again. We did quite a bit of it, and generally worked out how things will turn out. Though the final moments I think need a bit more fleshing out. Of course those moments haven’t been written yet, but as it comes to us getting there, we have worked out everything. In fact a thousand words or so more and we’ll be there. But researching the historical, or mythical personalities and areas takes a bit of time, and in writing what I did today took a fair amount of time. Hopefully it won’t be so difficult in later portions, but we’ll see. I’m amused by our tentative ending, and I can’t wait to get there.

Nothing much of note happened over the week. I started reading another book, or series of books, but I can’t get into it. I got it for free on the GooglePlay Bookstore, and the clunky way of writing is putting me off. The first several chapters are one scene, but through the eyes of multiple characters, and the way time keeps bouncing back and forth isn’t helping. Perhaps the author thought it would be an interesting writing device, but I find it hard to want to relive these things over and over again without getting anything too exciting as extra information.

I did rewatch Christine, as the co-author hadn’t watched it before. I still think it’s a very well done movie, at least the music and any shots done with the car. Editing wise it’s a little clunky between scenes, but otherwise a very good movie about a car that kills.

Unfortunately I didn’t do much else. I did get into a kick of watching old commercials from the 70’s 80’s and 90’s, and was amused. But nothing else especially. A bit of Devilman Crybaby humours videos as well, but mostly I was killing time. My schedule doesn’t leave me much energy as the week goes on, and I was especially tired this weekend, so that left me zoning out for the majority of time. Luckily the co-author had time to talk, and also watch a couple of movies, the other being Hudson Hawk. Nothing much to say about it, save I still find it an amusing movie, if not as funny as I recall.

I’m hoping to have the last fight down by the time I post next week. I’ll keep you all posted on how things are going, but for now I think we’re almost there. The editing will take time too, but we are one step closer to getting this book out to you.

I’ll talk to you next Monday, until then, have a good 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 – hhttp://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: 121% of first draft complete.

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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Devilman Crybaby

Greetings once more.

This weekend I watched a new Netflix show called Devilman Crybaby at the recommendation of the co-author. There had been some buzz among the on-line community of anime lovers, so I figured I’d give it a go.

The show revolves around Akira, who tends to cry all the time, as he is very sensitive to others pain. A friend from his past shows up and asks him to join him in revealing to the world that there are demons hunting them down. After a very adult series of events, a demon comes to take Akira and posses him, but unfortunately for the demon, Akira posses him. This all happens in the first episode, which I will say moves rather quickly. I think mostly so they can get into the main story of the newly powerful “Devilman” Akira fighting demons, but it seems like it was a pilot episode. The rest of the series does move quickly, but not nearly as fast as that first one.

I had watched the first animated version of this show back in the 90’s, and all I could recall of it was that it was extremely violent, and this new version lives up to that, and perhaps goes a bit further. I’ve gone back and watched a few scenes from the original, and it made me remember why I loved it. The dub is hilarious, though unintentionally, and somehow they carried that on into this new version. Though not as ham-fisted, it still posses certain beats that made me love it even more.

This show hit all the sweet spots for me. Nostalgic, dark, and sad. Certainly there are a few moments of humor, unintentional and intentional, but for the most part it’s a dark and sad story. The last half of the show had me crying, and feeling very depressed. In fact when I got through it I had to find something to clear that sadness away so I could get to bed. But looking back on it now a few days later, I can say it’s one of the best things I’ve seen in a while.

Now the art style used can be a bit off-putting at first, but as you go on, at least for me, that just kind of fades away. Yes certain movements of the characters looks unnatural, but that makes sense if you realize that they aren’t fully human, or are simply demons in their own right.

If I were to have any complaint, besides some of the more over the top moments, the final scene of the show doesn’t tell the whole story. I had to be enlightened by what it meant, at least more wholly, and when I knew what was happening it made me love the show even more. Unfortunately if I were to explain it here without you having seen the show it might ruin a bit of it, so I’ll just leave it to you to seek out the meaning elsewhere. But I will say that it made all other works before in the Devilman universe that much more enjoyable. Including the original, Devil Lady, and even Cutie Honey, as he appears that as well.

So do I recommend this show? Yes, but I think older anime fans will get something more out of it. Those who’ve never watched anime might be put off by the violence and sex, or they might think all anime is like that, but no. This anime stands on its own these days. I’ve not seen anything like this in decades, even other violent shows. This is Devilman, nothing beats Devilman.

With that I’ll just say there was quite a bit of progress made in the new book, so I’m hopeful in the next month or so we’ll be finished with the first draft. I’ll talk to you next week. Until then be well.

 

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safeClick here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – hhttp://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: 118% of first draft complete.

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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Car Maintenance, and an update

Howdy folks, I’m back.

So this past week I had to take my car in for service. As some of you know I have a new VW Beetle, and I happen to love it. The issue I had was that some console lights started coming on. One was for low tire pressure, which I attempted to resolve by putting more air in the tires. This was not affective. Another was that when it started to get cold a low oil light would come on, until I started driving it for a bit. Eventually it didn’t go away, and another light came on that said I wouldn’t be able to go above 4,000 rpm’s. Of course this all meant it was time to take it in to be looked at.

As I work at night, and I can’t be bothered, or even force myself to do anything when the sun is up, it took a few days for me to actually get it in. Dropping it off before I fell asleep, and then waking up way to early, for me, to pick it up. A rather expensive transaction as I had to get tires replaced, and almost every other maintenance thing done to it as well. Not a cheap transaction, though it was a couple of hundred dollars cheaper than the original estimate, which is good, still my poor bank account took a large hit. But the car is running well now, and all lights have returned to their off position.

Also, I finished Lillyhammer last evening. I can say that the show kept getting better as the series went along, and I recommended it. Johnny kept doing what needed to be done, and continued to stick his nose into everything. As a Mafia guy you’d think it all be intimidation and pay outs, but to me it always seemed he was just trying his best for his new home in Norway and his new-found friends. Sure he isn’t always attempting to help others, and does things that would befit himself, but in the end he isn’t going about things using force without first trying to resolve issues peacefully. You could do worse than having Johnny as a friend, though you might not want to get too close or he might call upon you to do something you might not otherwise do.

I’ve additionally been reading the Bobby Dollar series by Tad Williams. It’s somewhat like a detective noir series with the main character who happens to be an angel. I enjoyed the first book, and that led me to reading the second. I’m still not sure about it though. Instead of being set on Earth/the mortal realm, our protagonist is now searching through hell for the girl he fell in love with. While it does an interesting job of describing the “hell-scape”, and how you really don’t want to wind up down there, I’ve found myself somewhat bored with it. It’s missing some of that noir aspect that I enjoyed from the first, and I’m unsure if I’ll continue the series after this book. Though I still will recommend the first book, The Dirty Streets of Heaven.

This all being said, I’ve only done some editing and adding to what has already been written for this new book of ours. Just going back is letting me see how well the narrative has been worked, and I can say that I find it all coming together quite well.

Until next we meet, have a good 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-safeClick here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – hhttp://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: 115% of first draft complete.

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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Getting back into the swing of things

Hello again friends and readers.

Another week passes, and what do I have to show for it? Well quite a bit actually.

The writing is going well, and we’re back at it at full speed. Discussions of plot lines, and of course more actual writing have been done. The book is finally reaching the climax and should be ready for the first pass at editing soon. Of course I’ve been doing a bit of that when I’m not feeling particularly inspired, or if I’m not sure if the agreed upon next part should be written by myself or the co-author. Not that I couldn’t punch out a few thousand words that would be fine, but at times I think the co-author has a better notion of what should happen next, and that we haven’t discussed enough for me to work with for a scene.

That all being said this weekend was productive. Not only were they able to go back through what I had already written, but they added some details I hadn’t thought about. And of course I had to go through that myself and add things, and/or correct a few inconsistencies with the plot. Just little things really. The co-author writes at great speed and some times thinks quicker than their hand will put to page. Good thing that we have our discussions of plot lines. That means I can go back and put into place what they unintentionally missed. I’m sure I do it as well, but they do a good job covering for me as well.

Last week was another week where I was editing, and trying to fill in a bit more of the world. I started from the very beginning because my brain thought of a few lines I wanted to add. As some of you may be aware those first few words you have in a book have to hook the reader. And while I thought what we had was amusing and interesting, a bit of prose wouldn’t be out-of-place to set the scene. Originally the book took off right from the beginning without any setting, and just let the conversation that was happening lead. Now there’s slightly a bit more of the normal, this is the room, here’s what’s going on, this is what you see. That sort of stuff. But with a bit of flair. I’m not sure how else to explain it without actually writing down what we had, but it’s not time for that yet. The co-author I don’t think has even looked at it though we’ve been sharing the same document back and forth.

Another thing we’ve been thinking about is starting up a podcast. It might not even cover writing though, so I’m not sure it would fit the format of this blog.

We both are fans of anime, and we’ve had this notion a few months ago to do a show about it, but time would be a factor. Time being that I work at night and they don’t. We only usually have a few hours a week where we are both awake at the same time, and we spend most of that talking about the book already. We’ll see. I’ve done a bit of fiddling with sound and made an intro, while they were working on the logo. Also we’ve had a few topics that we’ve put together to make themes for episodes. I think we have somewhere over 10 episode topics planned already, but again time is a factor.

I’ve already liked the idea of doing a podcast, but as you can tell if you’ve followed this blog for a while I haven’t been back to do a second episode of the Oakcast. Perhaps having another person who wishes to work on that as well will motivate me to keep at it, if not we’ll likely do at least one episode, which I hope you’ll enjoy.

For now it’s time I leave you for another week. I hope you all have a good one, and I hope to report back again next time with news of these projects, or at least discuss some things I’ve been watching in the days until then.

Be well.

 

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safeClick here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – hhttp://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: 115% of first draft complete.

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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Bright and Lilyhammer

Hello all, I have returned.

So it’s been awhile since I’ve last posted, and an equal amount of time since I set myself to work on my latest book. Why might you ask did I take leave of such efforts? Well, the winter holiday’s do take a toll, and my sleep schedule had been of course disrupted leaving me in no state to compose appropriate words to tell a tale. Though in that time I was able to passively to consume the visual media.

First I want to talk about a little show called Lilyhammer. With a mixture of Fargo and many a mafia based movie, this series has a charm that is lacking in many a show. Set in Norway, a mob informant is sent to hide from would-be revenge seeking mafia members. There he returns to his criminal ways, though mostly with good intentions of improving the life of those he meets, his most of all of course. His views are challenged, even as he challenges those he meets. I’m currently in the second season, and it still holds its appeal. While “Johnny” is an obvious stereotype, going so far as to quote lines from famous mob movies in most episodes, he has his own charm. If you liked Fargo, and don’t mind subtitles every now and again, I’d say give this a watch. At times it comes off as a parody, but it has its heart in the right place.

I also just watched the Netflix original movie called Bright. I found it to be entertaining, and interesting. Not the most wonderful movie ever, but I don’t think it deserves the hate it seems to be getting from critics. A second movie is in the works, and I will gladly watch it if it is anywhere near as good as this one was. Fantasy meets gritty cop drama in this film, and it does a great job of mixing the genre’s. Give it a watch.

With that I’ll leave you until next time, and hopefully it won’t be weeks from now.

 

 

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safeClick here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – hhttp://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: 113.9% of first draft complete.

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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The Ed Wood Movie

Friends and readers, I have returned. Welcome.

This week I suppose I’ll talk about another movie I watched over my weekend. Ed Wood.

There’s something wonderful about a story where your main character has such a passionate vision that they can’t help but succeed in at least producing what they wished. Not to say that what they make is amazing, but what is amazing is the fact they were able to make anything at all. However, after watching this film about a notorious film maker, I went ahead and watched his most well-known movie. Plan 9 From Outerspace. What an awful piece of work. But amusingly enough it matches with what they showed in Ed Wood.

Now Ed Wood the movie may not be accurately portraying the person Ed Wood, but that almost doesn’t matter. It in itself is an entertaining thing on its own. Johnny Depp is very good at being a quirky but passionate character, but the person who stands out is the actor portraying Bela Lugosi.  Martin Landau is incredible in this. He plays the two sides of Bela so well, and adds much-needed gravitas to such an interesting person from film. In the end I highly recommend this movie, especially if you want to see one of the best, and possibly last good Tim Burton films.

As for the book, it has way over shot where I thought I wanted the word count to be. Then again that isn’t all together awful. It just means that I can trim it down with edits if it needs it easier than if there were fewer words and still reach the size I envisioned. Then again, since this will likely published as an e-book, it really doesn’t matter how long it is, as long as it isn’t dragged down by those words. But as it is now there are still at least 3 important scenes, and a few in-betweens that need to be written up. So who knows when that’ll be finished as I’m waiting on one scene from the other author, and want some input before I begin where I left off today. But it is growing, and I’m liking what we have so far.

Until next time, that’s all I have for you today. Have a good 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-safeClick here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – hhttp://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: 113.5% of first draft complete.

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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The Handmaiden

Howdy folks. I’m back again for your weekly update.

So what should I talk about? How about yet another movie I watched.

I watched a movie called The Handmaiden. It’s a South Korean movie set in a Japanese occupied Korea. A Japanese woman is given a new Korean handmaiden, who unbeknownst is there to make off with her fortune at the behest of yet another Korean man. It’s rather adult, and is in three parts. It can get rather adult in places, but all in all I found it to be an intriguing look into how elaborate a caper could be. I’d say give it a watch, but go in knowing you’re going to see some pretty explicit sex scenes. Fortunately I watched it with a person who has my own sense of humor and we were able to joke about everything, though there was no need, as the film is entertaining on its own. But it’s nice to be able to talk about things that are brought up in any movie.

Also I’m all caught up with the Orville. Rather enjoyable show, and I’m now always looking forward to the next episode. It’s the best Star Trek airing right now, that’s all I can say.

Alright, I’m off for now. More writing was done if you were curious, but I’ll be back next week. Have a good one.

 

 

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safeClick here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – hhttp://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: 112.5% of first draft complete.

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

ce70Twitter-icon Connect-with-SDK-Welding-on-Google+ Tumblr-Iconurl goodreads_icon_256 YouTube-App-Icon