Reading, Finalizing, and Aging

Greetings y’all. Time for another installment of “I don’t know what to talk about.”

So this week was filled with fun. And by fun I mean yet again a tire went flat on my car. Yay, right? Well luckily the spare was holding air this time, and while I did have to drive much slower on my way to work it didn’t impede me too much. The tire was eventually replaced, though that apparently is a hassle when it comes to getting them. They had to be ordered specially before they could be installed. And of course the price is always high for such things as tires, especially when you aren’t expecting it.

Otherwise it was just a normal week for me. I read… way too much I’m sure. Ten books since last Monday, a bit much I think. My appetite is voracious I suppose, which has gotten me up to 104 books read this year so far. I wonder what my final count for the year will be. I love Kindle Unlimited…

So anyway, the book is basically done, as I’ve said before. The cover is looking good so far, though the artist is thinking of going a different direction as the last time I spoke with them they were worried it wouldn’t look good as a thumb nail, though I think it looks outstanding in its full resolution. The synopsis still needs to be worked on, though I’ve run through a few things myself. The co-author and I need to finalize that, and maybe I can persuade them to do their own author’s note, mine already being mostly finished. I kinda need to have all of the written things together before I can finish up on formatting, but it’s all almost ready to be published. However the way things are I’m thinking August for the release now.

Side note, my hair is growing thin… Sigh, the troubles of being a guy. I’ve had long hair since around 2000, but it looks as though it’s about time for that to change. Though I’ll be keeping the long beard, the shaved head look will be upon me shortly. I hope I don’t have a weird shaped skull underneath all this hair. But luckily I like hats, so even if I look like some odd alien under my head of hair, a hat should hide that. Ah, aging, why must you do this to me? At least I had a couple of decades to enjoy having long hair, even if it was a hassle now and again, I thought I looked good with it. Ah, to be able to be vain for life. If only, heh. Oh well, change is the only constant.

Anyhow, I hope your week has been wonderful, and may you have yet another glorious one.

TTFN

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: The book is 100% edited. And I’m 37% into the new novel’s first draft.

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

ce70Twitter-icon
Tumblr-Icon
url
goodreads_icon_256
YouTube-App-Icon
Advertisements

Edits Done, and some D&D

Well hello there. What brings you by? Oh, it’s just been another week. But wait, I have things to tell you.

So, first off, I’m happy to report that the book the co-author and I’ve been working on for the last two years, and several months, is finally finished. I should clarify, the edits are done, therefore no more of that anymore. We still need to format, get a cover together, and work on any afterword or such. From what I know, I believe it will be out sometime in late July or early August. If I have my way I’d say August 5th, for reasons, heh. Or if everything comes together quicker than I expect, July 22nd. Sorry for the vagueness, but the co-author and I have other things that take our time. But don’t worry, when we can we’ll be working to make sure you all can read it soon. It’s been a long journey, but I think it’ll be worth it.

Synopsis forthcoming, but for now the Title- You Must Be Drunk-

That’ll be your teaser.

Anyway, the other thing I wanted to talk about was my first real D&D experience. This weekend I was invited over to my friend’s house. He DM’d, and along with his wife, another friend of mine, and the co-author we set out on our journey. Of course it all started in a tavern, but things didn’t play out like I think anyone expected.

The tavern-keeper had a rat problem in the basement, a traditional first quest, and was offering a reward for clearing them out. I, being a bard, really didn’t feel like fighting, as I was already set up to get free room and board for playing some music. The anti-social Firbolg cleric, the Timid Teifling Monk, and the haughty elven wizard on the other hand were looking for some coin. Unfortunately the Firbolg took the request literally, and went to the basement and used his animal speaking ability to tell the rats that they should leave or they’d be killed by someone soon.

They rushed out in an understandable hurry, but unfortunately for them the Elf didn’t want to lose out on the reward, as no one was in a party yet, and rushed after them, cutting them off with a summoned familiar, a cat, and cast burning hands, roasting the majority of them. Thus earning the name Chaos Angel, or Fire Elf, by yours truly, the gnome bard.

However the tavern-keeper was overjoyed, and rushed out to collect the burnt bodies. Then offered us all some stew and coin as a reward. All the while making it obvious to my character that he’d make sure I’d get the best food and room, implying heavily that the stew he was serving to the others was made of rat. Why was he being so friendly to me? Well, I might be overly charming to barkeeps, and having exceedingly high charisma didn’t hurt either, heh. I think he was on the verge of inviting me to bed.

Anyway, another elf showed up and tried to give us a quest to kill the mayor of a town nearby, but none of us were really having it. Save the Tiefling, who accepted when she was told he was a bad man and tyrant. She’s very trusting. The Firbolg on the other hand simply wasn’t having it, and went to bed. The Elf and I wanted to get paid first, and after some very poor charisma rolls, we eventually got him to give us 40% of the reward up front, which we split between us two, without letting the others know.

For some reason though, the Firbolg started casting spells in the night towards the Teifling, and a disembodied voice kept speaking quietly in Infernal to her. Which since she is afraid of her demonic nature taking over, started scaring her into believing she was going mad. As the night went on he kept it up, and the poor monk, who really is just a sweet and innocent thing, blamed herself.

Thus enriched, we went to bed, only to set off the next day towards the town. We all decided to travel together, though none of us have yet to party up. Arriving in town, I of course headed to the closest tavern, and set myself up as entertainment, enjoying free room and board again, while the others wandered about trying to figure out the lay of the land.

While that’s not everything, that’s basically what happened. I didn’t mention the Elf stealing the Teiflings map that she’d been working on, only to return it and receive thanks for finding it. That Teifling really is too innocent for this world. But yeah, it was a ton of fun, and I’m looking forward to the next session.

It took more than an hour before we were ready to play, even with us all rolling characters before we arrived, but now we should be able to jump right into it. I think this’ll be a fun campaign.

Well, that’s about it for now. I hope you all have a good week. Until next time,

TTFN

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: The book is 100% edited. And I’m 35% into the new novel’s first draft.

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

ce70Twitter-icon
Tumblr-Icon
url
goodreads_icon_256
YouTube-App-Icon

Reading, Writing, and Gaming

Howdy folks. I’m back again, as usual. Aren’t you just all plum excited?

Nothing much to report, save the co-author and I are relatively close to finishing up our final edits. We’ll likely finish up with another session or two, so things are right on track. Afterwards we’ll need to finalize the cover, and format the book itself. Shouldn’t take too much, at least formatting. It’s been mostly done as we went. Ah, and then we need to work on the hard part, the description. Not something I can say I’m good at. I’ll likely lean on them a bit. It’s hard for me to write one, as I don’t want to spoil anything at all, and yet you need to know what you’re getting into I suppose, heh.

Writing my new book is going well. I’m a third through the first draft, for one. However, as I write and think about this book I realized I was missing something. Motivation. Not for myself, I want to write, but for the characters. Now I’m not saying that I didn’t have a goal in mind for each character, I just mean that something was missing.

While reading, which I’ve said before I’m doing an awful lot of, I noticed that there were emotional scenes that really got to me. As to the reason they did, well, they were based upon what the character was going through, and their emotional core. Heh, whoops. I seem to forget that people have them, and was writing a logical minded individual, mostly without emotion. The kind of person that I present myself as, at least in public. I forgot there’s usually some emotion going behind each action. But luckily I’m taking that into account now as I write, and will be doing a bit of reworking on the first part of this book. Don’t worry, the co-author made sure these emotions were taken care of in the book we’re editing, I just don’t think to write them on my own… I guess.

So I guess what I’m saying is, don’t forget the emotional attributes your character will have. Otherwise your main protagonist won’t be entertaining… or at least they’ll be a boring emotionless robot. I got a big list of motivations now for mine, and the side characters too. Yay me. Of course they’ll have goals, but they’ll be set by their emotions. So remember that. It’s important. But I’m sure you all knew that, I’m just the weird one that tries to not let them rule me.

Um, hrm… I finished 6 books since last week, so there is that. Not sure if that means anything to anyone, but I think it’s neat. The only thing is that it’ll likely get harder to find new books to read here soon, since I finished reading everything yet another author has written.

When I try to explain that reading, at least the way I do it, is an addiction, anyone I talk to seems to wave it away. They mostly say things like, “Isn’t reading a good thing? How can it be an addiction?” Well, I’m not really doing anything else, save writing. I’m not even watching shows I kind of want to. I wanted to finish up Jessica Jones, and yet I’ve mostly haven’t felt the desire to. It’s not a bad show or anything, I’d just rather be reading. But since there’s a game I have on my phone, one that I’ve been playing for years, that has events that renew early in the morning I tend to put up an episode while I do my daily’s. Since I read on the phone, I can’t read and play the game at the same time. Unless I break out the tablet, which I’ve done a few times. Mostly I run the game and do dishes or make some food instead of watching anything, as it only takes a half-hour or so to work on the events.

I don’t even know why I keep playing. I’m already max level, but there’s so many other things to do in the game. Just in case you’re interested the game is called Summoners War. I like the art style, and the gameplay can be left to itself while you run around doing other things, especially at higher levels. Took me awhile to realize that. I like it, but it could just be because I invested so much of my time into it. I’m not the best, but I’d like to think I’m decent… heh. But it’s mostly up to your monsters and how you rune them.

Anyway, enough of all that. I hope you all find something new and exciting in your life. May you all find things you love doing, and enjoy working at it. Have a great week.

TTFN

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: The book is 93% edited. And I’m 33% into the new novel’s first draft.

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

ce70Twitter-icon
Tumblr-Icon
url
goodreads_icon_256
YouTube-App-Icon

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

Follow me on the things below.

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

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

Follow me on the things below.

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

Playing Pokemon Go

Yes I’m playing this game. If you follow me on twitter you could already probably tell, that and you’d know what team I’m on.

At first I just wanted to experiment with the AR features of this game, but now I’m somewhat addicted to its gameplay. It doesn’t help that my friends and co-workers are playing too. I’m always amused when I come in to work, or when I’m walking to my car at lunch or breaks seeing many people wandering around looking for some Pokemon. They even tell me what I can expect to find, and where to look. So far it seems like a helpful community of players.

The downside for me is that I’m nowhere near a pokestop, or really any gym’s. I must travel a distance to replenish my ever diminishing pokeballs because I apparently have control issues where I must catch anything near me. I didn’t even leave my apartment the first few days of play and still managed to reach level 6 easily. After that it grew more difficult as it requires much more XP for each level, and I wasn’t catching anything new.

Since I joined up with at least one person each trip out it has become much more fun, then again we all tend to wonder away when we spot something interesting. Mostly I’m just trying to get my steps in to hatch these eggs I keep getting. Most exciting, at least for me, I found many Eevee’s around and was able to evolve one to its next evolution rather quickly. As luck would have it I gained a Jolteon, which people tell me is hard to do. Most people seem to be getting Flareon… oh well.

All in all I think it’s a fun game, even if it’s buggy and has server issues at times. I’m getting much more walking in, and it gives me more reasons to leave the apartment. Before I didn’t care about the outside world, I’ve the internet after all. Not that I dislike nature and things, I just am not thrilled to be around other people. Living in a city doesn’t make going out for walks desirable, at least for me. But now when I pass a person looking down at their phone, and we both look at each other with a knowing smile, I know I’m sharing a larger experience with those I pass.

What I’ve published

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: A few hundred words scattered into the new novel. My latest book grows closer each day to being published.. likely it’ll be this month.

“Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. The grave will supply plenty of time for silence.”
― Christopher Hitchens

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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