Smartwatches and Beat Saber

Howdy folks. I’m back for the new year.

First I’d like to apologize to those of you who look forward to my weekly post for not doing a great job these last couple of weeks. With work and it being the holidays I didn’t have much free time. That and I didn’t give myself any time to work on my writing stuff. This is my fault, as that time of year makes me want to relax and not do much of anything.

That being said, the co-author put in a ton of work on the book, and edits are moving forward. Today I reviewed a few chapters from what they edited, and things are looking good. This of course means after my little break I’m reinvigorated. So perhaps I’ll hold off a little while before I fully commit myself to starting another book, though I’ve done a bit of work on this new one recently. However, if the co-author keeps up at the pace they’ve been recently, I could see myself just working on reviewing their edits. I’d just be cleaning things up a bit, as they like to add to the story as they go, which means there’s a bit of work for me to look at and tweak as needed.

Now on to a little story. I love smartwatches. My first foray into this tech was the original Pebble. I loved it, but I wanted more. It still functioned, but it was beginning to have issues, and as I can be a bit vocal about my frustrations, my father took pity on me.

He sent me a Moto360, and I wore it for nearly two years. It was bright, pretty, and did all the things I wanted. However, in the last few months it began having issues holding a charge. I looked into repairing it(I would have to replace the battery), but I didn’t quite feel up to the challenge. So instead, I went back to the Pebble. At first it was refreshing how simple it was, and I was quite satisfied by its functionality. I had forgotten that their had been issues with charging, and only after a couple of weeks did it rear its head. While I had gotten it to charge at first, the proceeding times it just didn’t seem to work, and eventually it powered down for the last time.

Then the co-author noting my plight, went to a used tech store and found a Pebble watch for me. They weren’t exactly sure what they had gotten, nor do I think the store knew, as it was a Pebble 2-HR. The very last version Pebble as a company put out. Cheaper by far than I found when I went looking online to see what they were going for these days, so a good buy. Now with a heart rate monitor, it still offers the same simplicity that the original had, though it certainly feels snappier.

Now why am I so taken by smartwatches? To me it feels like having an extra sense. I no longer have to rely on the sound of a notification, I can simply feel it. I can easily glance down and see what’s going on, and I don’t have to take my phone out of my pocket. Or I can simply leave my phone in another room and still remain connected. Perhaps not the best thing for when I’m writing, but I still like to have it. When I didn’t have a smartwatch, I felt cut off. Like I was missing a piece of myself. To me it’s like having a bit of augmentation that I enjoyed removed. Now that it’s back, I feel whole once more.

Another thing that happened since last I posted was I was able to play with a little game called Beat Saber. A VR rhythm game that requires you to slice cubes with light swords. The first time I tried it was with a friends’ HTC Vive, and it was fantastic, even if I wasn’t. Fortunately I have access to a PS4, and at the same time my Pebble watch was purchased, move controllers were acquired. Meaning I could play this game at home now. And boy have I.

I spend about an hour each session slicing away at these cubes. I’ve been getting better and better, and I truly enjoy the music selection they have. There is one down side, at least to me though. There aren’t as many songs as I’d like. If I could import my own music it wouldn’t be a problem, though I understand why that hasn’t been an option. The stages are tailor-made to each song, and then again for each skill level. So far I can generally make it through normal with no misses, and at least make it to the end of each song on hard, but expert mode eludes me. And of course, there is something I call impossible, that being the single saber mode. I can’t see how it can be done successfully. Though I will continue to practice. Maybe one day I’ll get there. And having a smartwatch that notes my activity has gained me more steps and heartbeats that I can have taken down. A bonus to my Pokemon Go addiction, as it now uses my Google Fit data to count towards steps in-game. Thus gaining me candy for my Pokemon, and helping me hatch eggs.

Other than that I’ve done little else, save continue my usual gluttonous reading schedule. I’m around two or three books a week now, so that’s good for my education in story telling, and entertainment. So there is that, though of course when I have a free chance I’m still watching random shows. To list a few that I’ve been watching recently – Lucifer, The Magicians, Grimm, Laid Back Camp, Backstreet Girls, and likely my favorite recently That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime. I’m not going to review any of these here, but I can say I’ve enjoyed each one in their own way.

With that I’ll leave you here. I’ll keep working on this book, and keep reading as always. I hope you all have had a good holiday season, and may this new year be even better than the last.

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: Doing a bit of editing after the co-author put in a great effort. Trying to exercise more.

Steven Oaks

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Happy New Year

Hello to you all.
 
Unfortunately I’ve not much to offer as update. However the co-author continues to edit and is beyond halfway through their own edits.
 
Other than that I’m just here to wish you all a happy New Year. May this year find you well, and may you have success in any venture you wish.

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: Author’s Note complete, working on an outline for a new book. Co-author continues editing.

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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Happy Holidays

Well here goes.

I’m up late as I write this. Instead of having my usual day off (Monday) I’m going into work to do a 12hr shift, and doing the same on Christmas day. So I’m using this time before to try to get something together to write about.

I’ve not worked on anything book related since last I posted, save perhaps a bit of outlining and character creating in my head, so there isn’t much to report. That’s going well, but I’ve yet to write anything down. I really think what I write next will benefit from an outline. A bit of structure goes a long way in directing a story, even if the characters want to go off and do their own thing for a bit.

I’ve also gotten the co-author to begin reading a book I’d been suggesting/talking about. They seem to like it, as it’s gotten them away from The Wheel of Time series for a bit. We aren’t saying Wheel isn’t good, it’s just long, and sometimes you need a break. So instead they’re reading Off to be a Wizard. A rather funny first book in a series of amusing ones. I’ve already finished them all. We’ll see if the co-author does the same.

And since it’s that time of year, I’m going to tell you what my favorite holiday movie is. Hogfather. Originally it was a novel written by Terry Pratchett, now you can watch it as a movie/mini series, since it’s so long. The Hogfather(Santa) has gone missing, and Death has taken over delivering presents. It’s a fun time, and the dialogue is fantastic. It does a good job explaining why belief is important, and I watch it every year. Well, most years. We’ll see if I get a chance to this year as my time is running out.

Other than that, I want to wish you all a very happy Yuletide season, and a fantastic New Year.

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: Author’s Note complete, working on an outline for a new book. Co-author continues editing.

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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Update: Note and Package

Hello again. I’m back, and ready to relate some things.

So first I want to say that the USPS did deliver my package. I know the problem was likely due to it being near the holidays. That’s never a fun time for delivery people, nor to retailers. But everything worked itself out, and I have what I ordered.

I’ve also completed my author’s note. You might find it strange that it’s done while the book is still being worked on, but for the most part the book is finished. At least from my side. I’ll likely give it another run through after the co-author finishes theirs, but for now I’ll be focusing on other things.

What other things? Well I’ve a few books I could get back to writing. I’m fairly sure which one I’m going to go with, and I’ll start with a fresh outline. Looking back on what I’ve already written I’m surprised there’s so little. Perhaps over the last couple of years I added to it in my head, but never wrote anything down. Hence my desire to write an outline. I’ve already an idea of where I want it to start and end, along with some middle bits. I think when I was first working on it I was simply writing what came to me, instead of having any idea where it was going. Now I think I’m ready to flesh it out.

Other than that I’ve been brainstorming with the co-author on the next book they want to write(we can’t always be working on just one book of course). They’ve a pretty good idea of what they want, but it’s always nice to talk to someone else to iron kinks out. I’ll likely be helping out on their book, though it may just be editing. Same for them with whatever next I write. I did enjoy writing a book with them, so whatever they want, I’m willing.

I’ve missed the more active part of creating when first writing a story. Editing can be tedious, though fulfilling, but it’s not something where you make huge changes, though you might. If your original draft is mostly decent, there’s not much else to do but push on. Then again whole new chapters could be necessary, or things may need to be cut, but it’s nothing like that first draft.

Hours of brainstorming. Laughing at all the silly things that you could include, but probably shouldn’t, that’s what I call fun. Through the laughter a story forms, and you start grasping what your story is really about. I’ve a tendency for the absurd, so I sometimes need to have someone rein me in. Another reason to have a person to bounce ideas off of. Even an audience of one can help you find what should be included, and what you really should cut.

That’s about it for now. If you’re writing, keep it up. I hope you all 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 – 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: Author’s Note complete, working on an outline for a new book. Co-author continues editing.

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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An Author and Package Problems

Hello you. How is it going?

Me? Oh, I suppose I’m alright. I’ve just been editing, and after that tried my hand at writing an Author’s Note. How’s that going you ask? Well I think I wrote a fair amount in one day for it. Probably because it’s been a bit since I actually set down to do writing instead of editing. Two different mind spaces, as I think I’ve told you before.

So what is an Author’s Note? Generally it’s about the book. Any notes that might be needed/fun to have expanded upon that couldn’t fit in the story. Well I’m doing that, but I’m also doing a bit of sharing about the co-author and how we came to work together. I’ve found I like reading a bit about the author in these notes, so I’m doing it too. Sure I could just focus on the book, but heck, I think it’s important to give a little backgrounder on who I’m working with. I’ll see if they do the same, or even if they’ll do a note at all, but I suspect they’ll want to respond to some of my comments.

Another thing I’ve done is reading(of course). Now I don’t shout out too many authors, especially those who are still alive, as an author who has passed is one you can examine entirely, but I do want to share something about this one. I’ve not read anything in recent memory that has this element. What element would I call it? Shonen. Basically the name is of Japanese origin, and I’m using it in the same context used to categorize their manga and anime.

This author has power progression that you find in the best of the anime/manga genre down. Someone who is basically powerless grows into someone formidable, and you are given all the steps in between. I’m genuinely excited to read what happens next, and that doesn’t happen all the time. So kudos.

This author is Will Wight, someone I wasn’t exactly sure of when I first picked up Unsouled, but couldn’t put the series down as it went. And now I’m nearly done with his other series The Traveler’s Gate Trilogy. I think I’ll just have to ‘force’ myself to read his other books. (sigh)What a horrible thing, heh. I think any young adult/teen will have a ton of fun reading his work, and heck, if you’re like me and enjoy a bit of that Shonen flair, you’ll probably love it too.

Otherwise I’ve just been working, and having a one sided fight with the post office. Ordering things online while living in an apartment has it’s downsides, mostly that they sometimes don’t want to deliver packages. Add to that me working at night, and not having access to my car during the day so I can’t pick up my mail at the post office even if I could get myself out of bed when they’re open isn’t helping. We’ll see if I ever get my package. If I don’t I’ll be quite upset. Even after giving further instructions it hasn’t helped, but(sigh) I’ll keep my fingers crossed. This doesn’t happen often.

I hope you all have a great week, and get all your mail!

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: Just doing another read through, co-author is being thorough.

Steven Oaks

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Playstation VR

Howdy folks, I’m back.

Since last I wrote here I received in the mail a Playstation VR headset. Since I have a Playstation 4, it was easily hooked up. Otherwise this would have been a pointless venture. Anyway, I can say without a shadow of doubt that I love this thing, and perhaps it’s not for the reason you think.

I had been wanting a larger screen television for a while. I don’t know why, I already have a 42inch screen, older perhaps, but still functional. However, once I put on the headset the first thing I did was load up Crunchyroll. Do you know what it feels like to be in a large theater alone, and look on that massive screen? That’s what it was like. It was huge, and as any good VR does it moved about as I looked around. I was impressed.

Over the weekend I watched my usual list of shows, these days one of the shows I’m is watching Grimm on Amazon, and it is a wonderful thing. Having the ability to do so also allowed me to keep the television muted while I wore headphones, so I can keep even quieter as I watch things late into the night and early morning.

Also I went on to YouTube to check out their offerings, and some of their 360 VR videos. As long as you find the right ones they are impressive. Of course some are not great, and I’ve learned mostly those that are animated in some way, either cartoony or otherwise, seem to look better. Live action doesn’t seem as immersive for some reason, perhaps due to incorrect perspective as some are recorded much too close to the subject, making things seem larger than they should. But otherwise they can be fun.

There is a downside however. It isn’t nearly as high quality as I would like. I tried out a blue-ray I had on the shelf just to check, and in comparison to the television’s quality it’s much lower. Of course it would be hard to reproduce such resolution on the tiny screens that are in the headset, but I was a little disappointed.

I also experienced what I’m referring to as “screen drift”. After a few minutes what was the middle of the screen drifts off to the side, and you have to re-center the video. You can do this by holding the “options” button on the controller and the image will snap back to the center of your field of view. The drifting isn’t noticeable, but after a while you’ll find yourself looking to the side instead of straight forward. Of course this could be in part due to the fact that I was sitting in my more comfortable chair that’s off to the side rather than the couch.

There is also such a thing called the “screen door effect”, and it’s noticeable. This means you can make out the pixels that make up the screen, but after awhile I found it less obvious, and stopped caring because of the massive nature of the picture I was seeing. But if you’re into 4K you are going to be disappointed.

I played a few games, mostly demo’s, as I’m not a huge gamer anymore. The feeling of being there was even more pronounced while testing these games out. Certain ones really make you feel like you could reach out and touch things, and in moments of immersion I reached out a few times and nearly knocked things over on my coffee table.

If you wear glasses you can wear them underneath the headset, and that’s good as I found it nearly impossible to focus without them. However even with my glasses it can be a bit of a nuisance to find the correct focal length, and I wound up smashing the lenses inside against my glasses. Also you’ll want to make sure both your glasses and the lenses are very clean and clear of smudges otherwise you’ll be left looking at a blurry screen.

Having the ability to be quiet yet listen to things as loud as I want and have a large screen is helpful, and wasn’t at all what I thought I wanted. If you have a PS4, I don’t see a reason not to get it if you are in the market for a larger television, though the resolution isn’t the best in the world, though I’m sure it’s as good as any other headset you could get. As for games, from my brief foray into research, Playstation has more than you’ll find elsewhere. Though I’m led to believe that the Vive with its whole room setup has better immersion, but you’ll need a powerful computer to use it to its full extent.

In the end I find the PSVR a wonderful little piece of tech. I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone, but for my use case, mostly watching videos late at night, it’s useful and fun. If you get the chance, give VR a try. It feels like the future to me.

Otherwise I’ve done some editing, and I’ve cycled back around to the beginning of the book again. I’m not sure how many more times I’ll be doing so, but the more I do the better the book shall be. The co-author continues their own editing, and they are much more thorough. So I know we’ll be bringing you an entertaining read.

Until next time, have a great 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: Currently on chapter 36 out of 36

Steven Oaks

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Dragon Ball FighterZ

Hello to all of you. I’m back for yet another of my weekly blog posts.

This previous week I was gifted a game. As I am, and likely always shall be, a fan of the Dragon Ball series, I was quite happy to receive Dragon Ball FighterZ. So far I am an adequate fighter, though I’m no where near in understanding all of the controls. Mostly, as usual, I’m a button masher. This makes me formidable to those who like myself lack a complete understanding of all the controls. However, I fear I soon will fall behind those I fight. For whatever reason I’ve yet to remember any of the specials, though I’ve practiced them. Perhaps I should focus on one character and learn them completely if I hope to remain a challenge to others.

I’ve had a number of matches with the co-author, and I win the majority of times. However, I can tell they are getting better while I remain the same. I’ve even caught them watching YouTube video’s about the game, so I know they are going to be better the next time we fight. We even did a mini tournament and added some CPU controlled opponents, and they wound up defeating us rather easily. I need to practice!

The game itself is a triumph of 3D animation made to look like the regular 2D of the show. While it’s not exact, it’s as close as I’ve ever seen a game get, especially in the Dragon Ball catalog of games. Not that I’ve played every iteration, but I have at least gotten to rent some in the past, and have enjoyed them for what they were. This one to me seems more entertaining, at least so far as the fighting goes.

I’ve played a little bit of the story mode, and I can’t say I’m a huge fan of it yet. That may be due to my own moods, as I just want to jump into the fights. I could care less about the story itself, though probably I should. It seems interesting enough, and the cut-scenes are well done. But apparently I just want to do battle.

Another great thing about this game is the voice acting. I’ve mostly watched the Dragon Ball franchise in Japanese, and it’s wonderful to hear those voices while I fight. I can’t speak on the English cast, as the current incarnation from Funimation is not the one I grew to love. I was and always will be a fan of the English cast from the Ocean’s Dub. That and I haven’t turned on the English voice-over. If that’s even a possibility. I haven’t checked, I just assume it’s there somewhere.

All in all it’s an enjoyable fighter game. A great intuitive list of skills, though I do have issues with the specials. But even without those it still flows nicely from attack to attack, and combos are easy to come by. With a little more practice I think I’ll get the hang of it. And luckily the game has a practice room you can work on your skills without worrying about being attacked. It also offers a list of specials and how to pull them off for whatever character you are playing as. I think I’ll have to spend a bit more time there.

Besides playing this game, I’ve once again come to the end of the book. I can’t reiterate how much help it is to have the computer read back what we’ve written, as I’ve caught quite a number of little errors that may have gone unnoticed had I just been reading it back myself. Thank goodness for technology.

And with that, I shall disappear back into my own world, and continue to try to make this book the best thing I’ve ever written. Have a great 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: Currently on chapter 36 out of 36

Steven Oaks

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Rambling about Writing and Editing

Howdy folks. I’m back.

Not much really to talk about here. The book is still being worked on, and the co-author has written a bit more. I went through the changes, and didn’t find anything really to fix, so there’s that.

Hrm. I have a problem. I don’t feel like I have much to say here on the blog. I suppose I could talk about the books I’ve read or am reading, or even the random shows I am watching, but is that important? That’s the thing, nothing I’m doing seems important enough to talk about. I’m proud that I’m reading so much, as I’ve mentioned before, it is said that you have to read to write. And the things I watch also influence the way I write, but is it important that I talk about that?

You, theoretical person who reads this blog to learn about my writing process, does it matter what media I’m consuming? You certainly have your own tastes, and those will be your influences. But do mine matter to you? Probably not, unless your preferences align with my own and you are on the hunt for entertainment that I like.

Perhaps I’m feeling this way because it’s been nearly a year since the editing(finalizing the draft) has been going on. It’s an extremely important process, and can mean the difference between a good idea that is lost in poor writing, and a good idea that is actually entertaining to read. However it’s extremely different from writing.

Making that first draft, that creative process, is unlike most anything else. It’s not about being correct, or even making sense, that comes later. It’s about looking at all the crazy ideas you have, like unshaped clay, and making a rough shape out of them. Getting all the right pieces together, even if they are in the wrong place, and just trying to tell a story with those ideas.

Editing is about putting all those ideas in the right place. It’s about smoothing out those rough edges, and correcting anything you’ve not shaped correctly. Chiseling away at the bloated mass that you’ve thrown down, until the story is the only thing left, not those random words you may have put down just to keep your word count going for the day. I’ve a bad habit of that, and find excess words in the most random places. This is why I will always say write way beyond what you want your final word count to be, you’ll be pulling out more words than you realize.

Remember, everything you write will have to serve the narrative. It just doesn’t have to be for the story itself, and can be about character development or world building, but there are things that don’t belong. You’ll find those when you edit though, so don’t worry too much about them at first. Let the words flow, and when you put enough together you’ll be able to make something out of it later, but you might find only a short story where you were trying to write a novel if you don’t rein it in a little.

One secret of editing your story is to look at each scene separately. If you were to take it out, would it change the story you’re trying to tell? If not, then cut it. If a cut changes your character in a way you don’t like, then you might want to keep it. You have to make motivations clear. Make sure the audience understands who your characters are. So don’t make cuts that take away from that, but be sure the scene shows that, and has some influence on the story as well. Otherwise you fall into non sequiturs.

Apparently that’s what I wanted to talk about this week. Hopefully it’s helpful in a way, and/or gives you something to think about. 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: Currently on chapter 32 out of 36

Steven Oaks

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Finding Entertainment

Hello all. Here I am again.

Another week has passed, and boy am I tired. I had another weekend of day-shifts, and it sure does take it out of me. Long hours in a time where I see the sun after I usually only ever see the moon certainly doesn’t help my sleep schedule. Honestly it wasn’t so bad, just boring. But again boredom is way better than certain types of excitement, so I’m not going to complain too much.

Anyway, what have I been up to besides working ‘strange’ shifts? Well I finished up watching the episodes of Fairy Tail on Netflix. Decent shonen show, I’ll probably continue it on Crunchyroll here shortly. Also the co-author recommended the animated Castlevania on Netflix, and I watched several episodes last night/this morning while I tried to reset my schedule. I think I like it. I like the writing so far, though I will say some of the delivery doesn’t sound quite right to my ears. Then again I’m generally used to listen to Japanese when I watch something animated, so perhaps it’s just that.

Other than that I’ve been reading, of course. Since I’m a glutton when it comes to the written word, I’m starting to worry that I’m not going to find something enjoyable to read again. Not that I’ve gotten quite there yet as there is a vast ocean of books to read in the Prime Reading category, so I should be able to find something to please the palate. But since my pleasure lies in the sci-fi/fantasy category, and as huge as their collection is, I’m still having difficulty deciding what next I should read. I can’t rely on going through all the books from authors I’ve already enjoyed, as much of those you do have to pay for. So I’m hunting and clicking around much of the time trying to locate a hidden gem. I’ve found quite a few, though I’ve also dropped a number of books that just didn’t do it for me for one reason or another. I just wish there was an easier way to find good books on Amazon. Certainly they have their ratings to go by, but while others may have enjoyed something, it doesn’t necessarily mean I will. As my Goodreads list grows I wish it did a better job at recommending. Oh well, I suppose I’ll just have to keep hunting on my own with little help from algorithms they implement.

We’re still editing, so there’s that as well. It’s going much smoother for me this time around, and I’m not finding too much to change, as I’ve said before. The co-author keeps adding things as well, so I’ll be checking those changes out soon. But mostly I’ve just been re-wording things, and trying to decide if I should add anything, or if there is anything that should be removed. Right now, after re-reading this book around five times, I think it doesn’t need much changing. Of course the co-author could come to different conclusions, but luckily we generally agree on such things.

And with that I shall leave you to it. Have a great week, and I’ll keep working on the book.

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: Currently on chapter 28 out of 36

Steven Oaks

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Still editing, still enjoying

Howdy folks. I’m back.

So, what have I been up to? Well I’ve been editing of course, though I’m mostly going over well trodden “edited” words at this point. There’s very little that I find that needs fixing, and mostly it’s just me re-wording things so they seem more pleasing to my tastes. Only rarely am I finding anything that needs any work, though amusingly enough mostly it’s the addition of ‘the’ before names. I suppose when the co-author and myself are writing we are used to using a descriptor as apposed to a name so we’ve been putting ‘the’ there, but looking back they are easily spotted and discarded. But it does make editing amusing when you here someone referred to as “The” so and so. So much import, for no reason. Heh.

I still can’t express how helpful it is to have an audio version of the book to listen back to while editing. The human eye will not catch any errors, especially after re-reading when editing so often, as our brains will re-word everything into what was meant as apposed to what is there. I wish I had used this method for the last several books, as I assume I’ve missed things I shouldn’t have. But here we are, and I get better each time I write. Perhaps one day I’ll look back in embarrassment at what I’ve already published because of such errors. But the truth is I’m proud that I was able to write at all, and without those first books I’d not be who I am today.

Speaking of this book, the co-author continues to edit. They keep adding to it, and I keep going back to the section they’ve worked on. It’s interesting to see what they change, though mostly it’s to add a bit more characterization. They are very good at world building, and in a subtle way that I still struggle with from time to time. An example would be for me, I’ll write a scene, focused mostly on words, but they’ll put in the background, and focus on what they characters are physically doing. I guess I’m an oddball, as while I read another writers book I almost entirely focus on what characters are saying, and only as necessary am I paying attention to what they are doing. So much so I find myself going back through a paragraph to understand what I’ve just read because I’ve missed something. This is something I’ve been aware of for a long time, and I’d like to think I’ve gotten better, but it still happens from time to time. But since I read so fast it hasn’t made a huge difference in my enjoyment, so I’ve probably haven’t tried hard enough to fix this.

Another thing I find so fascinating about this book, is that I find it difficult in recognizing who wrote what. Sure, there are a few things that stick out, and I know for sure there is an entire chapter that was written by the co-author, though I think I put in a few things there myself. It’s a great chapter by the way, but we blend together so perfectly we entwine our words, it’s nearly impossible to tell who wrote what. Together we are making a really good story. At least in my opinion. I can’t wait to have it published so you all can enjoy it.

And with that, I think I’ll leave you for now. I hope you all have a great 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: Currently on chapter 23 out of 36

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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