A Whole New Year

You'll never guess what I'm finally getting to play...

You'll never guess what I'm finally getting to play...

First post of the New Year. Just boning it in.

Raziel4707 has a new blog, the Vampiric Chicken. I’ve updated his link.

I started my diet and work out regime. Just a mixture of eating better and cutting back on calories, as well as jogging and lifting weights at home. My timing was either great or terrible to start this however. I had just one more huge meal to get through for the holidays, as I was drawn into another Thanksgiving sized meal to celebrate someone’s brief return to the states.

But I had seen my sides growing and felt the fat all around me and finally said, “Enough.” So I substituted fruits and Greek yogurt in place of my usual morning pastry, switched to lighter soups instead of my lunch sandwich and have been versatile about dinner. My new iPod Shuffle has made running a joy, even in the cold. I pulled some Kanye West, 50 Cent, Linkin Park and the Yoshida Brothers to keep my mind from getting bored mid-run.

Oh, guess what my brother lent me.

Now that I have an XBox 360, I ran out to the mall yesterday and purchased both Gears of War and Gears of War 2 for $16. I tried the hardcore difficulty and almost tore my hair out of my head because the damn Drones kept shooting me down. One of the things that annoy me about games is that increased difficulty only improves enemy stats. They shoot more accurately and/or powerfully and possess more health, not increased intellect or teamwork. It’s more a test of hanging-in-there endurance than of strategy and/or skill. So I restarted it in casual.

But I’m starting to enjoy the game. The story and characters didn’t start to resonate with me until Marcus Fenix was in charge, and the quips and rib poking became the norm. I think the developers suffered from what I guess you could call stereotyped start up. It’s  a problem very common in books and television, when the writers and actors aren’t entirely certain about the direction of their characters. So they try some clichés to get started and then they develop and grow. It’s not a bad thing, but it usually makes for some slow starts.

Bad news is that I’m working away at my brother’s gift. His computer, the same I built him two years ago, has errors upon problems upon flaws. It was fine when I gave it to him, but then he got creative. A few different OSes were installed, something went wrong with the hardware, then bam. It stopped working. I shook my head out of frustration, and have decided to get Windows 7 for him after I return the spare Motherboard I got for repairs just in case I needed it. He will need it soon. Heck, I still stick with Windows XP SP3 since it’s so reliable, but sooner or later I will have to update.

Also, I’m 20 pages into The Gildar Rift. Where does the time go…

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Music for Writing

What has two thumbs and makes the summer blockbusters epic? This guuuuuuuuuy!

What has two thumbs and makes the summer blockbusters epic? This guuuuuuuuuy!

For about three years, I’ve sharpened my writing skills on first the Black Library’s forum boards (which no longer exist), and then the Bolthole. Well, it’s not uncommon for writers to listen to music during the writing process in order to pump up or inspire them. Music is just creatively inspiring like that.

In the last two years however, I took advantage of the ability to anchor links within words to allow my readers the chance to listen to the same music I did during the writing process. It was a nifty idea only available online.

Still, a lot of talk goes into the kind of music that writers should and would listen to while writing. I’ve personally found that anything without lyrics allows the writer to focus on the work with minimal distractions. So to help out other writers, be they Warhammer fans like myself or doing their own thing, here is a list of twenty music pieces to get the creative juices flowing. It’s up to you to decide what works in what settings. And don’t be afraid to plug the names or artists into Pandora to see what you get.

  1. Epic Themes vol. 3, Dawn of War OST.
    An epic war piece great for action.
  2. Dream is Collapsing, by Hans Zimmer.
    An adventurous piece where things take a bad turn. I trust you’ve seen Inception
  3. Explosive, by Bond.
    A burst of violins with a beat in the background, mixing classical and technical.
  4. Palladio, by Escala.
    You’ve probably heard this before in diamond commercials, so you may want to check out the remixed version.
  5. Daath, by Diatonis.
    Creepy ambient music for horror and ghost stories.
  6. E.S. Posthumus,by  Ebla.
    Need something biblical? Ready for metanoia or the angels to fall upon a foe with swords?
  7. Time, by Paul Cardall.
    A peaceful piece for when you need to build a moment of wonder.
  8. Clubbed to Death, by Rob Dougan.
    Because something is happening and you’re not sure what. It neither slows the pace down nor speeds it up, but keeps it even.
  9. Kodo (Inside the Sun Remix), by Yoshida Brothers.
    For that mixture of fast paced action and the exotic.
  10. Adagio for Strings, by Samuel Barber.
    Do not listen to this unless you feel like being depressed over the results of man made tragedy.
  11. Mind Heist, by Zack Hemsey.
    Because someone is clearly up to no good.
  12. Yeah, kinda like that...

    Yeah, kinda like that...

    Radioactive Sunrise, Fallout 3 OST.
    An ambient piece that is haunting in a way I can’t explain.

  13. Uprising, by West One Music.
    A well named piece that suggest people growing tired with the current status quo and moving towards change by any means necessary.
  14. Requiem for a Dream Remix, by Clint Mansell.
    To be honest, this theme was used in various shapes and forms throughout the whole of Darren Aronofsky’s film. This remix wouldn’t exactly have fit it, but made it into some kind of epic, almost mythical piece.
  15. Def Con, by Immediate Music.
    For when the world’s explosion is pretty imminent.
  16. Preliator, by Globus Epicon.
    A chorus filled piece that I believe was used in the Spider-Man 2 commercials. Good for intense rivalries.
  17. Linger in Shadows, by Wojciech Golczewski.
    Something mysterious that takes a dark, drastic turn into something violent and tragic.
  18. Trailblazing, by Steve Jablonsky.
    Something honorable and sorrowful in one. Makes you instantly think of soldiers forced to do their duty despite the dangers. Probably why it ended up on the Pearl Harbor soundtrack.
  19. Ecstasy of Gold, by Ennio Morricone.
    A building piece that screams ‘obsession.’ If you haven’t seen The Good, the Bad and The Ugly, then shame on you.
  20. Code Red, by Elliot Goldenthal.
    From the soundtrack of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, this track screams mounting trouble.

That’s all for now. I’ll seek out more within a month.