The last of the first four afterwords/forewords—the one for Of Fractured Edges. This…this one might be the most intense of them, emotionally. Longest as well for sure. Most spoilerific too, so beware.

Divine Shattering

Anytime I try to explain how Of Fractured Edges means to me to anyone, mostly my internal wanderings, I come to this little anecdote. I don’t remember where I heard it or read it first, but to summarize:

When the Game of Thrones TV series was being made, the show runners were just hoping to reach the Red Wedding. They knew they had ‘done’ it when they had given that event of the novels justice in the cinematic form.

Of Fractured Edges is that for me. I know I said Harmonic Waves was like that, but Of Fractured Edges might be the greatest of those moments I needed to show. The one that had always been in some way.

Because this is to be read after the book is done, I will say it freely.

King’s Kharat name, the one he would never have uttered, the one that is spoken of in mystery but never in directness, is Malnoren. His Kharat name …

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Here we are again. This time with the afterword-thing for Threads that Bind the Tempest. This is probably the most disjointed one of the lot, but it makes sense given what Threads that Bind the Tempest is. I could have put this before or after the book, but I put it after. I don’t know. It made sense there.

Of course, I recorded myself reading it.

A Paradoxical Tapestry

Threads was always a part of the title. Threads that Bind was a running title I had for awhile but I needed to work something related to air or wind into the title. That was to keep with the clear elemental motif I had going on. Fire, water, then, this one, air. Earth would follow, but for then it was all wind and air.

So I threw in ‘the Tempest’. I had a title that rolled in a way with all those ‘t’s, was similar to my envisioning of the title and incorporated air.

I had a title that didn’t make much sense. Threads that bind the tempest. What does that mean, concretely? That didn’t really matter. Beyond all notion of sense, it worked. It worked as a …

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When I made my own copy of How to Stop Wildfire about two months ago, I knew I was going to make copies for the rest of the series. Starting with the next book, of course—Harmonic Waves.

The cover used for the print/e-copy originally was a painted piece of paper that was supposed to look water-y. I was thinking of doing paints again for the cover for the self-bound book, but I wasn’t feeling it.

Then the idea came to me: use stones. Like glass-y stone pebbles. I liked the idea so I went off to the store to find something reasonable. I didn’t pick up shiny, heavy stones but instead went with aquarium gravel. I picked up this huge bag of it thinking I’d do the entire cover in it. Then I realized that would probably be a bad idea. I had tacky glue, but I was really skeptical of how it would hold. So I picked up some fabric and decided I’d mix the two.

At this point, I had the book already printed and bound. I had the holes be made a bit larger which made the stitching process so much easier. I …

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Here I am again with the recordings! This is the second of my additions to the novels. How to Stop Wildfire it felt natural to have a preface to explain the journey to it and explain it. With Harmonic Waves, my thoughts lingered on the content and what it meant rather than the journey so I chose to do a retrospection that is at the end of the novel. There are some spoilers within which is all the more reason it needs to be read following the book itself.

Read…or listened to. Yep. I recorded myself again. Enjoy!

Jumping On and On

If How to Stop Wildfire was practice that I could take a shred of story and transform it into something great through modernization and revitalization, Harmonic Waves was the first serious capitalization of that experience. It was the second, the successor of the messy first that was sourced from an even messier beginning.

How to Stop Wildfire is surely a testament to what I had learned, but it is still chained by it always being a long-time work in progress. Harmonic Waves, on the other hand, was written after I had achieved some semblance of competence …

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This is me reading aloud the new preface before How to Stop Wildfire. Once I get all the books converted Lulu, it will be in the print copy in addition to the new electronic copy version you can get from me.

You can also read it below if you hate listening to recordings like I do:

A Story Before A Story

Once upon a time, there were a few scraps of paper within a notebook that contained a story titled ‘The Creation.’ It had childish humor, a bizarre plot, and characters and ideas very dear to me. It stayed there for many years, gathering dust and the pencil marks slowing fading alway. The memory of it stayed with me, though.

The memory of it and the entire world I had constructed throughout my years. Races. Characters. History.

Stories. So many stories with ‘The Creation’ as just one of them.

One day, I had the mad idea to write out all those stories. Ideas and thoughts that only existed in the confines of my mind–to bring them into reality. To give them form like I had given ‘The Creation’ long ago.

It seemed right, it seemed so utterly correct, …

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A break down of the art I did in 2016. A best approximation of it, anyway. Went off of when I scanned it in because I had no other way to figure out when I actually drew it.

January

None.

February

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March

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April

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May

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June

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July

None.

August

The spike in art is because I started carrying around my sketch notebook on my daily train ride. I tried to keep up with it but I stopped when I water spilt on the sketchbook. Nothing was damaged too bad but I lost the motivation.

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September

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October

None.

November

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December

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Conclusion

So there we go. Kind of interesting what months were popular drawing months and which ones were dead. I’m actually pleased with how much art I did. I’m not sure if I’ve already done more this year. I’m planning on doing more art recaps to trace my progress as an artist. I can definitely see some vague form of improvement over 2016. I think. I …

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It took me awhile, but I got my act together in making a print copy of Expansion Expression. After my exciting divorce with Amazon, I decided to try new things with medium. Yada yada. I bound my own book. I pimped out my e copy. Who cares? It’s very froo-froo. What’s the basic version of this freedom?

Well.

That’s where I went looking. I still wanted simple print copies of the series to put on my shelf/shrine. That used to be CreateSpace….I was thinking about using again, but I reconsidered. It’s a time for change. So I went looking for different print on-demand services. Various articles and short videos were watched to figure out which service was one that I was going to try. This piece, a breakdown of four major POD services, was very helpful.

I ended up with Lulu because:

  1. No ISBN required. The idea of getting another CreateSpace ISBN for something private was distasteful.
  2. Could do 1 batch and configure the distribution settings so it was either direct/private.
  3. Heard positive things about quality in the past.

And so I tried to make a print version of Expansion Expression with Lulu.

The process was kind of icky. …

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In my attempt to further own my work, I went down the path to try to figure out how to make custom copies of my books.

For the the e-copy, I’m now using iBooks author, which is an overall great success. I been able to attach images, create glossaries, and add floating footnotes. All that has been making the book more personal. Now that’s just the electronic version.

For the hard copy version, things got a little bit more interesting. I started out looking at local printing and binding shops. Basically artisan makers of custom books for businesses or even personally use. I learned a great deal by going to the stores and speaking with the owners. There were things I never knew about printing and binding that I learned by speaking with the few businesses that still did it in an artisan fashion. I was highly intrigued as a result; I did more research in bookmaking, binding, and creating artistic copies of books.

After much deliberation, I’d rather try making my own custom copy of How to Stop Wildfire rather than pay someone else to make a copy that was slightly nicer than Createspace copies.

This meant going …

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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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