Prog-Rock?

Hello, I return once again to do this blog thingie.

First off the editing took a bit of a hit this week, though we did have some time to work on it. The co-author had a trip planned this weekend, and we weren’t able to sit down for as long as we usually do. However we were able to make some progress.

Instead this past weekend I spent time with one of my close friends. I had the idea that we should attempt a podcast together, and had invited them over with the idea that we should brainstorm possible topics. That didn’t exactly go as planned.

On previous visits we at times wind up just watching random YouTube videos, and this time was no different. The first topic we wanted to explore discussing was on Prog-Rock. A topic I can’t claim to be an expert on, but a genre of music that apparently I’ve been listening to for years. After he’d shown me a number of songs he knew and liked, we went down a bit of a rabbit-hole.

Now what is Prog-Rock? Well first, it’s short for Progressive Rock. A meaningless title to my eyes, what does progressive mean other than something that progresses step by step. However a few people have indicated a more full definition.

First some claim Prog-Rock is music that is one that has a theme, and is generally long. Meaning tracks usually are far lengthier than pop music or rock ballads. But this could also mean an entire album would tell a story. And yet there are bands and albums that don’t fit this definition and are still called progressive.

Others indicate Prog-Rock includes tracks that utilize more instruments than the standard guitar, bass, drum lineup and use newer technology for sounds. Keyboard and synthesizers would be used, and yet there are bands such as the Doors which wouldn’t be progressive.

And there’s even more. Another thing would be the music itself is somewhat unexpected, meaning they change as the track goes on. And it’s all music that is to be listened to and not danced along with. It’s all rather complicated, and I don’t know if I could point to any song or band that would be considered progressive on my own.

With this all in our heads we explored further and further into the night, but eventually moved on. Sharing music is something we do often, and happens when we get together, especially when we hang out with their parents. I still find it surprising when someone shares a song that I’m not familiar with, songs from the 60’s through the 80’s, as I generally think of myself as a fan of those era’s. But apparently listening to the radio isn’t enough.

Even though my father had what I’d call an extensive collection of Vinyl and Cassettes when I was growing up, there’s still much more out there. My favorite band from that era isn’t as well know either, though I’m sure most people know a couple of their songs. There are even rarer no-hit wonders that have fantastic music to listen to. I’m just happy there are fans who keep their music alive so I and others can go back and enjoy what else-wise would have been lost.

Now the thing is, I don’t listen to music often anymore. It used to be the only thing I’d do when I was driving, but now that time is filled with podcasts. Only occasionally is music included, maybe once a month or when I drive with others. I love music, but I want to learn more I guess. Really the most time I spend with music is when I’m writing, and most of those are the same tracks over and over again, and ones that are not distracting. However, growing up with parents who loved music as much as mine did I couldn’t help but be filled with passion for it as well. I whistle and sing constantly, but it’s always those favorite tracks of the past in my head. But I still love music, and maybe I need to give myself some more time to enjoy it.

With that I’ll leave you. I hope you all have a fantastic week. Go out and listen to some music!

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 21% edited. And I’m 13% into the new novel.

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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

Advertisements

Manga and Goodreads

Hello all. I’m back, though one day late.

I thought I might miss this week, as I had to work yesterday. Fortunately I was able to rest enough to do some editing today, and am able to bring you this post.

This weekend the co-author was able to get some editing in, thanks to the holiday, and today I was able to read through what they got through. Meaning I’m all caught up with their edits. The story is flowing better than ever, and there wasn’t much left for me to do, though there were a few formatting errors I fixed. That and their word-processor seems to like to fix words to the wrong sort, though spelled correctly.

This time through I’m fixing how things are said. Sure, the original draft was fine, but I’m changing it slightly. Making it sound more natural, and less, well, verbose isn’t the word. Complex statements can be streamlined a bit here and there, and I’m doing that without losing the intended meaning. Also, a missing word can change an entire statement, and I’ve found a couple of instances where one thing was said, but really it should have been the opposite. Don’t forget your “not’s”.

Also I’m still adding things to Goodreads. Turns out they have manga on that site. So I’ve been going through and finding what I’ve read, and scoring them. I think I’ve read nearly as many of them as I have books, so it’ll take some time. That and trying to recall them from the top of my head isn’t helping. So far I think I’ve only been adding my favorites, though there are hundreds that are simply good instead of excellent that I’m not remembering the names for. That and I’m only adding the ones that I’ve finished, as there are just as many that I’ve stopped reading for one reason or another.

Since I’m more focused on novels and not manga currently I’m not likely to read many of them these days. Though who knows, maybe I’ll get back into it. I did spend many a year reading them and not books for the most part. Hence why my Goodreads grew a bit stagnant there for a awhile. It wasn’t until this year that I started reading more than a few books a year again.

I’m still watching a ton of anime, though I don’t think I’ve posted much about it here lately. The interesting thing about reading so much manga is that I recognize many an anime series from them. Almost every season there’s at least one that I’ve read first, even if it was just a chapter or two. As I’ve said, I’ve dropped a lot of them over the years. I usually at least watch the first episode, just to see if they did a decent job at adaptation, and most of the time they do. Though I tend to drop those anime as well. I’ve read it already after all.

Well I think that’s it for this week’s post. I hope you all have an enjoyable week. Until next time.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

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

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

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

Update: An estimated 82% into editing

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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

Updates on Things

Hello there friends. I’m back.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

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

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

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

Update: An estimated 78% into editing

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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

Finding a name for music

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time, have a musical week.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

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

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

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

Update: An estimated 76% into editing

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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

My life online

I’ve a new phone. It works. Yay… I suppose. Just another piece of technology that will eventually fail. Already its battery didn’t function when I got it. I quickly got a replacement and now everything is fine, so I suppose there is that.

Anyway, I woke up early and was able to catch a certain individual online that I hadn’t spoken with in a long time. We had a nice chat, and I hope to hear from them soon. Apparently in my focus on writing, and then having a job I’ve lost track of time. It had been more than six months since we caught up, and that was likely six months after the last time. It didn’t stop us from talking like we always do. It’s always like that with them, no matter how long it’s been we are able to pick up where we left off. A valuable friend. One I hope to see again in person one day.

So today I would like to talk about friends we meet in this virtual space we call the internet. When I first started communicating with others online it was all just in text. I’d hop from chatroom to chatroom looking for interesting topics I might be able to have a conversation about. Back then it was all yahoo chatrooms for me. I kept myself mostly in the anime rooms, though from time to time I’d head over to the science fiction sections.

I never made many friends in any rooms save the anime ones. Everyone was role-playing as some character, and you never knew who they really were or what they looked like. We all were using Cheetachat back then, and were able to use customized icons. So you could only go by what they said and maybe what icon they chose. It was an interesting time, and I made quite a few friends, though after loosing my password I never found them again save for the few I had added on IQC or AIM. Though after a system crash, and having a poor memory for passwords I lost them as well.

After that I spent a few years away, but I came back with a new account, and found many people using microphones to talk back and forth, while others would just type. That was the first time I had heard a remix for TANK which was the opening theme to an anime called Cowboy Bebop. So for a few months I kept popping back in, though never saying much. I’d be just hanging out to hear what the next best anime was, or to listen to whomever was streaming music to the rest of us.

At that point I think I realized I was ageing out of chatrooms. Everyone there were teenagers, and I had just entered my twenties. Probably why I didn’t say much. I just wanted to talk about anime, but an adult in such rooms were shunned, and rightfully so. So I stopped. It was many years until I went looking again for such a space. At that point MMORPG’s and other virtual words had taken off, and I had just gotten high-speed internet for the first time.

I played WoW for a while, and it was fine. I just didn’t like the idea of having to pay for a game, then pay for the subscription monthly. So after a couple of months I stopped. But I will always miss my hunter and his owl. Then I got really into Linux, or at least trying out several different distro’s. I recalled how excited I always was when installing a new Windows version, so I went wild and tried a dozen or more on an old machine I had lying around.

Turns out Linux was useful as a browser, but had few games. I then started buying magazines about Linux that had distros, and came across an article about a little game called Dofus. I played that game on and off for nearly five years. I got my then wife and her friend addicted and we ran dungeons weekly, if not daily at points. We made a friend there, and I still talk to him now and again to this day.

Another virtual world was found, and I made a dozen or so friends. We talked for hours, and it was great. We outlasted that world, and we still talk now and again. It’s mostly my fault that I’ve lost contact, but I’m accepted back whenever I make the time.

What I’m trying to say is, it doesn’t matter where you find your friends. In fact at times it’s easier when it’s online. Not because there’s anything worse about live interactions, but you are where you are online because of an interest. The more niche the interest, the more likely you’ll find people of a similar mindset.

I haven’t played a game where I’ve met anyone I keep in contact with in many years. But I suppose it would be possible again. And I certainly haven’t been to a chatroom in about fifteen years, but I think there’s a place for people who wish to interact out there. Fun can be had in these new virtual worlds, and friendships built on the hours you spend fighting together, or just making things is well spent in creating long-lasting bonds. My longest lasting friendship wasn’t built on games, but the majority of my others are.

So thank you to those I’ve chatted with. Thank you to those I’ve gamed with. And thank you to those of you I spent hours talking about the random things I’m likely to drone on about. You’ve made my online time worthwhile.

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: 1,000 words of a new book written. Several pages edited for the yet unnamed novel.

“True friends are always together in spirit. (Anne Shirley)”
― L.M. Montgomery

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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

Cellphone Frustrations

I need a new phone. Why you might ask…. well let’s say that I can’t use it as a phone now. I can hear anything anyone says, so it’s got that going for it, but now I can’t be heard.

Something must be wrong with the microphone, but it doesn’t stop there. The power plug hasn’t worked since I got it. But at least it had the ability to utilize wireless charging. Also the right side of the screen doesn’t work, at least touch wise. And for whatever reason it doesn’t run fast…. well, it runs rather slowly now. I’ve uninstalled several things, didn’t help. Perhaps the update for this phone broke it.

This isn’t cool. I liked my phone… it was neat looking. But now I can’t use it for the original intended purpose. That and since I started using it I’ve not put on it any of my music. Which means I’ve not been able to listen to anything other than podcasts. I don’t mind this, but I do miss having music at my finger tips.

I suppose I could have always uploaded it all to a cloud service. But then I would have to increase my data plan cap. Right now I think I have 2gb’s… and I don’t use much of that. But that was the lowest I could get and still have the ability if I needed it to connect to the internet.

Yes I’m rambling, but I’m rather frustrated by all this. It’s such a strange world in which we live in that something that didn’t even exist a decade ago… smart-phones… can make us so crazy when we don’t have them. Or at least when they don’t work properly.

I’m sure I’ve missed some important calls because of this. Then again they should leave a message then I could text back in response. But sometimes you need to call someone.

I’m done now. Have a better day than I have.

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: 1,000 words of a new book written. Several pages edited for the yet unnamed novel.

“Cell phones are so convenient that they’re an inconvenience.”
― Haruki Murakami

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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

Listening to Music

Music is beyond words. Lately I’ve been going through my old collection of music and listening to random selections. Sometimes I listen to everything I have for a certain artist, other times I gorge on a genre.

I had forgotten how much I love to just sit and absorb the vibe from a song. I’ll sit there and think if there is a story to it, or if there is an expression of an emotion that can’t really be put to words, or at least words without song. It has been fascinating, and revitalizing.

For instance, I’m addicted to KMFDM again. There are so many good songs, and each album gets better and better, though for different reasons. For instance the female singer they have is beyond fantastic. I can’t tell if it’s just how they utilize her voice, or if her voice is just so epic it is an unparalleled instrument. Bumaye for instance, it’s a soft sweet voice that turns into a terrifying death scream of rage. So epic!

But this doesn’t keep me from other bands. ELO still is, and likely always will be my favorite. No one can sing like Jeff Lynne, and the lyrics are epic, if not filled with my favorite mixture of emotions, happy/sad, also known to me as nostalgia. Any time I see a fan made music video with their music, I’ll usually take a chance and watch whatever source material they used for the visuals. Case in point the song “When Time Stood Still” was used to make a music video for “Silent Running”. A Sci-Fi film about a space biosphere ship and it’s crew. Not a great film, but poignant.

I won’t even get into my deep addiction to Anime Soundtracks. We’d be here forever, and I wouldn’t be able to pick just one. That and all the remixes that are fantastic. Suffice it to say that I’m in love with music again. I’ve missed it, and I’m glad to have it back in my life. I just wish I had a little more time to dedicate to its listening.

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: 1,000 words of a new book written. Several pages edited for the yet unnamed novel.

“Without music, life would be a mistake.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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

Day 10

First up I should say that I need to start using different means for labeling these posts. Already the 10th day and I’m still numbering. That being said what shall I discuss today? I’m unsure, I’m just too excited. You see it is finally warm enough for me to venture outdoors once more. And what might you ask will I be doing out there? Why I shall be venturing forth on my bicycle. I always find it a freeing experience, and I get to listen to podcasts, audiobooks, and music while doing so. Certainly I could enjoy the silence that the trail in my town posses, but why not multitask? So I shall simply leave you with an update.

Update: 2,000 words written fast, but still thorough.

I’ll see you guys later, the trail calls to me.

-Steven Oaks