I bring to you what I’ve mocked up as the e-cover for Expansion Expression (Book Five). It’s very minimalist–most of the power comes from the art. Like How to Stop Wildfire.

The process of how I made this one:

To start, I used water colors to give the paper a yellow-y-coppery background. Then, once it dried, I took oil pastels and sketched out the ‘Scorpion’ (the orange pincer). I used two different types of pastels and I smeared them all a little bit. After that settled, I made these little flicks off to the sides of it with a colored pencil and pastel. I scanned it in and did some color balance modifications with GIMP in addition to adding a Bump Map.

Before any photo-editing

The title text was added and moved around many times. I tried putting it in different places that weren’t necessarily centered. The series title/my name are further up/down than in the others as I was trying to feature the art as much as possible. But for the title I gave up as it was supposed to be ‘blaring’ in a way. The font is ‘Edo‘, if anyone is wondering.

Result:

It might …

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The story starts like this:

I write a story.

It takes me many years to get to a point where it is passable. It takes a few more to make me proud of it. It will take less than one afterwards to realize how far I’ve come since it. But we’re not there yet.

I wrote a story and I thought I wanted to share that story. So I shoved into onto sub-par medium (Amazon Kindle) because I hoped everyone would see my care for it. I hoped and hoped and then it never really came, but I didn’t stop writing and growing. It hurt a little to not get the attention, but my writing didn’t need anyone else’s attention on it because it had my own. So I kept going on until I really asked: Why?

I should stop now. I’m rehashing. I’ve gotten over that hurdle. I’m on the other side. The grass is greener. I’m writing and creating for me.

I’m cultivating my passion as a personal project.

As in personal. Sharing is optional.

What personal means is that I can do whatever I want without considering how many people it could reach or …

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I’ve been radio silent lately on most things related to fiction writing. I’ve been the occasional review on food and whatever movie and TV show I happened to have words about, but as far as fiction goes, I’ve been dead. That has primarily to do with pulling in as far as publishing for the public and instead focusing inward.

So what that means to say is that I haven’t stopped writing completely. Editing has been slow on Expansion Expression,  but my focus really hasn’t been attuned to it. It’s been on the formatting of the other books and on a massive personal project I’ve always wanted to do.

That project has been creating a cohesive internal wiki of notes and information. I have an excellent memory so I don’t need to write down much of anything, but having a few notes and wiki allows me to keep track of canon details and plot out well everything.

How I’m creating this wiki is by using TiddlyWiki, a program for taking notes and other stuff. It is very low key, which is what I like about it. I could have used something like Emacs org mode I suppose but I’m allergic …

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As part of my liberation from Amazon and other methods of distributing electronic book copies, I have gained the ability to format my eBooks in whatever way I want to. There are many features and capabilities that exist in the ePub 3 format that have not been present in any Amazon format. Some of them are, for sure, but how to actually get that in an Amazon copy is very annoying. It can be done, but neither easily nor in any sane manner.

No longer concerning myself with such things, I have taken a dive into the possibilities present in ePub 3 and actually executed them. The tool I used for this next-level formatting was iBooks Author. iBooks Author is generally used for making iBooks, an Apple-only format that has even more options for creating books. The iBooks format is being used mostly for text-books and more ‘visual’ heavy books. It has some format locking because of this and because of that and that iBooks can only be distributed through the iBooks Store (if paid), I decided to use iBooks Author tool for making ePub 3 copies. The documentation for the application is mostly focused on the iBook creation, but …

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My day-job is software development and as part of my rite-of-passage to attain that position I had to start a programming blog and write posts about it. For awhile I wrote plain posts doing just that. Vaguely snarky things just going over what I had learned and all that dull jazz.

Then I read a series of programming posts called the The Craftsman Articles.

I was inspired, which is never a good thing. A devious idea came to my Neraq (mind) that was rather insane but totally me. That idea was to write a series about Empirians (aliens) that pretend to be Human on Earth and learn the Human art of programming. Other crazy stuff happens along the way and it gets derailed as usual, but there is code there! Some nuggets of actual wisdom! Personal experiences in the land of software woven into a sci-fi/fantasy/comedy narrative.

The result was The Recordings.

The Recordings are perfectly canon to everything else in my glorious world. It is not set at the same time of the main series–actually in the future, but I won’t reveal too much. The Recordings also add some new details and flesh out the mindset of the …

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So what happened in 2016? More than can be iterated here, certainly, but this is mainly a focus on what transpired in my writing career and how The Adventures of the Trinity and the One developed. Which isn’t short list, to be sure, but it is definitely more focused.

So where to begin?

Well, let’s start with the novels.

Two novels were published! Half the current series was released in 2016 and the other half in 2015. That feels consistent.

But I wasn’t just content with publishing novels–I did my fair share of other writing, too.

Among all the other blog posts I did, some more interesting than others, and the promotion work I did for the SIA book blasts that happened in 2016.

This is all avoiding the elephant-in-the-room. That being, well, the result of my decision concerning what to do with my writing in general. As it is hopefully clear …

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And another Character Interview! Feels belated, but Of Fractured Edges had some intense stuff going on in it and I couldn’t just ask Farrco for an interview so soon after it. I had to give him some time. This is set sometime after Of Fractured Edges, but does not directly reference anything so no hard spoilers. Some allusions, but that is about it.


Interviewer: Shalaeyah, Farrco.

Farrco: Shalaeyah.

So how has the Trinity and the One been doing? After all the events of a few months ago there seems to have been a lull in your activities.

Aye. We are still currently in that lull. We were left in a position where we felt a time of training and inward insight would proven valuable to us.

Is it proving itself to be valuable?

Not as much as we had hoped, but the experience of a lack of immediate purpose and being able to be and enrich ourselves is valuable in a different sense.

Has anything interesting happened? Asides from the fallout of the events of late?

Nothing that I would think the Empire would find interesting. However, King is learning to use his sword and armor. Cyclone has been teaching …

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Lately, I’ve been at a crossroads in this long journey of mine.

I’ve been at a mental standstill in all things I covet because I could not figure out where to go next. This is not at all in a story sense, no, that is all well and good and pure. It is everything that comes after that has spiraled me into questioning everything.

Is this the path I want to be on?

Why am I doing this?

Is this what I want?

What prompted this was merely a poor review of Harmonic Waves.

I don’t care about the review or the reviewer. The opinion does not mean anything to me because I don’t care what this person thinks. I know my work is good and I love it.

It rattled me for a moment, though, because of one little thing called perception.

Because that review will send people away regardless of whether they even agree or have any commonality with that reviewer or not.

Because people I associate with ‘in real life’ might see it upon investigating my claims of being a self-published author and think poorly of me as a result.

Because I feel it misrepresented the …

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When you put yourself out there, you are opening yourself up to criticism.

You are putting your product and passion up for the scrutiny of others. Others that may not be aware of what you were trying to do, may have different tastes, and may just be cruel with their words. This is the game of being a creative, of producing anything. There will be critics.

I am a critic. I have a food and movie review blog. I like talking about my feelings on things for my benefit and for the benefit of the creative. There have been movies and TV shows that I simple don’t like and that didn’t fit my tastes. I don’t usually review them. I say I don’t like them casually, but I don’t write long reviews hating on them. It feels wrong to tear into something out of a fit of angry passion when I know my words mean something to someone. I have torn into movies, but I have positives to balance it out.

That’s what a criticism should be. A thought out explanation of where the critic comes from, any prejudices or bias, what they experienced, what they liked and didn’t like, …

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I’m a Harry Potter fan. Proud Slytherin. I enjoy the mental quest of sorting characters into Hogwarts Houses. So how could I not want to sort my own characters into the Hogwarts houses? I couldn’t! So I went ahead and sorted them into their respective houses.

Short Primer for Non-Harry Potter Fans:

The Houses to be sorted into are Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. They correspond to the general traits of bravery, loyalty, curiosity, and ambition. There are more nuances to them, but I’m not going to go into that much detail on them because that’d be for a different post on a completely different blog or something.

Anyway, onto what this post is designed for! Sorting my characters!

Actual Sorting


slytherin

Cyclone – Slytherin

Cyclone is pretty much a no-brainer. At face, anyway. Slytherin is for the cunning, loyal, and ambitious. Cyclone is all of those things. He is a genius, sly, thinks quickly, and certainly ambitious. Like a Slytherin, he has a strong sense of loyalty to those he calls friends. The strong inclination towards duty, however, may make him seem a bit odd for Slytherin, maybe more like a Gryffindor at times. His intelligence, …

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