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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

It is WRITING Time!

Ok, I made it. on Monday December 8th, I took my last Final Exam of my college career. Yesterday, I submitted my last Final Paper of my college career (it was a fun paper to write - an analysis of leadership on the TV show "Lost" from a Burkean perspective). I am done with school! It's been a long time coming. To celebrate, I wrote the prologue to my next novel project. This is going to be a fantasy trilogy, and I've been playing with this idea for over a year now! I am so glad I can focus on it now that school is over! The trilogy title is "The Shadow Wielder." I haven't come up with a title for the first book, but probably won't until I'm deeper into it.

So, here is the prologue. Hope you like it!

Viimeinen could feel the draft before the door even opened. His long grey beard rustled to the side of his face, and his dark eyes squinted - not to see who was standing at the threshold of the door of his cottage, but because of the air rushing against him. He knew who had come.
 

“Varjo, old friend, you have returned.”
 

The silhouette didn’t respond, but began to approach slowly.
 

“So the rumors are true: you are the one who has murdered the Wizards of Light?”
 

Again, no response. The cool air coming from behind the robed figure began to feel as cold as ice. The room appeared to grow darker.

Viimeinen’s eyes saddened. “I see you have dabbled in black magic, my old apprentice.”
 

The figure stopped just a foot away. Viimeinen held his ground; not an ounce of fear fell from his brow.
 

At last a deep, echoing voice came from the hooded being.
 

“You speak as if black magic is lesser than your light magic.” The voice paused, but not out of hesitation. His words were cold, his tone like icicles. “But one is not greater than the other. To believe so would contradict universal balance. Is the sun greater than the storm clouds that hide it?”
 

“What happened to you, Varjo?” Viimeinen asked. No bitterness encompassed the question. Only concern and pity.
 

“You left me to die,” Varjo spat. “During the Two-Tone War. The entire group of Light Wizards left me to die.”
 

“You went missing. I personally searched for you for days.”
 

“Among the dead.”
 

Viimeinen slowly nodded. “So many wizards died that day.”
 

“Some were taken captive by the Dark Wizards. All of them died, eventually. After terrible things had been done to them.”
 

“But you survived and escaped,” Viimeinen said.
 

“I found balance and power between light and dark magic, and I grasped it.”
 

Another long, dark pause stilled the night air.
 

At last, Varjo answered. “I was ignorant of such things during my apprenticeship. Just like you are. Just like you always have been.”
 

“And so me, being a lesser being, will now die at your hands because I am ignorant to your balance and power?”
 

“You will not die at my hands, old man,” said Varjo, eyes sparkling in the moonlight. “You will die the same way every wizard has since my escape. By your own hands.”
 

Varjo’s sparkling eyes disappeared as his eyelids shut. A deep exhalation came from his mouth, and Viimeinen noticed an increase in darkness within his room, spilling from Varjo’s mouth. They were distinct shadows. Very many of them, as if dozens of people were in the room.
 

Chills crept up and down his body— not out of fear, but out of pure coldness. He could see wisps of his breath melting into the moonlight, and he continued to get colder and colder.
 

Varjo inhaled deeply, his eyes still closed. Viimeinen, shivering from the deepening chill in the room stepped back slowly. The candlelight illuminating the room shook by wind unseen, but did not fade away. He felt a tearing at his feet. Not a searing tear, but like ice cold knives were slicing the bottoms of his feet. He screamed and fell down, reaching for his right foot. There, hanging freely next to his foot was a shadow: his shadow. He reached his hand toward it, but was stopped short as his left foot underwent the same cold slicing.
 

“What is this madness?” Viimeinen sobbed loudly.
 

“There is no madness here, old man,” replied Varjo. “Just a taste of true power for you.”

Viimeinen looked from Varjo to his shadow standing freely in the air. The candlelight flickered once more and disappeared. The moonlight silhouetted his shadow still, it moved a hair’s breadth away. 


“Goodbye, old friend,” whispered Varjo.
 

Viimeinen, still sitting on the ground opened his mouth to scream, but any sound he tried to make was cut short. His own shadow jumped into his gaping mouth, ransacking his insides like a tornado. His body slumped to the floor, his eyes still wide with horror and pain.
 

Varjo again breathed deeply, and the shadows who witnessed the murder dematerialized back through his open mouth. The shadow of Viimeinen exited the lifeless body and followed the other shadows. Varjo slowly turned away, his dark cape sweeping the floor as he walked out of the room.
 

Thus ended the days of the Wizards of Light and Dark, and only the Shadow Wielder remained.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Writing Jitters

I'm getting them again - the Writing Jitters. I'm pretty sure they're an official condition many people suffer from worldwide.

Leisure writing is something I haven't done for quite some time, and it makes me sad! I am about to enter my final semester of college, and since I've been going to school every Spring/Summer/Fall semester for the past 2 years, I haven't been able to write for fun for about the same amount of time. So it is unfair that the Writing Jitters are attacking me.

I want to continue my latest work, the first book in a fantasy trilogy. While i have chunks and pieces put together along with a solid plot (or several of them mixing together in an awesome Brandon Sanderson-y way), I just CAN'T wait to write, write, write!

So, you may be asking... "Jesse, why don't you just write already?" Trust me, I want to. Very badly. These jitters are driving me crazy! However, I've learned that when I begin writing a particularly good, engaging story, I can't put it down. It consumes my free time. It consumes my thoughts. Not a problem, right? Well, I have a week and a half before my final semester begins. And I've learned that when my focus is on a writing a story, very rarely do I want to switch gears and write an academic paper. In the past, I've tried to balance things. I have failed each time! Something always ends up lacking (like my first novel while I focused on schoolwork, or like my grades while I wrote my second book).

So I have to wait. I have to somehow subdue the Writing Jitters for 4 more months. Then, I can regain my focus and really create a magical story that gets the appropriate love and attention it deserves! That academic writing (as good at it as I am, I don't enjoy it) will have to hold me over until Christmas time. No NaNoWriMo for me this year...

That's OK. I can last 4 more months... right? Thanks for the silent shout-outs! :)


Great. I got that off of my chest. Last bit for this post - if any authors out there (not limited to friends I already know, but hopefully I'll convince some of them) are interested in joining a writing group, I am going to start one up in January. I will be calling it "The Other Inklings." I'll be creating the group on Facebook, then once we have some members, we will start meeting in person and go over each others writing and help each other improve!

Take Luck!

JBB

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Improve Your Life: Don't Impair It

Alcohol is bad. It doesn't do any good. In fact, there are so many negatives involved, I don't understand why it is so prevalent in our world.

My wife's cousin was in a tragic accident on Saturday night. He had taken his two sons to watch the Utah Jazz play against the Washington Wizards. I am sure the game was fun for all three of them. But what happened next probably erased all of those feelings from the basketball game.

A truck, going speeds as high as 70 MPH rear-ended my wife's cousin's car while he was parked at a stoplight - killing his 3 year-old on impact. This caused a chain reaction of 3 more cars crashing. Luckily, nobody else was seriously hurt.

The man driving the truck hobbled away from the wreckage, hoping to mix in with the gathering witnesses. One of the other witnesses saw him and restrained him until the police were on sight to take over. This man was drunk. He'd been weaving in and out of lanes on 40 MPH roads.

Senseless. So senseless. All because a guy had to guzzle some foul tasting drink to let him escape the world for awhile. Well, he won't be escaping the bars he's behind for awhile.

Alcohol impairs judgment. It literally causes one to do things that he/she would never do in a sober state.

"I couldn't help it, I was drunk."
"I can't remember doing that, I was drunk."
"I don't know why, I was drunk."

Three phrases I could likely infinitely multiply with different excuses. In each case, responsibility is shifted from the person to the drink. "I don't drive like that normally, I was drunk."

Is that why people still intoxicate themselves? So they can mindlessly cause problems (big or little) and cast away the responsibilities? What a sad pathetic world we live in.

Even advertisers get things mixed up. "Use a DD. Be responsible." Hmmm, how about DON'T DRINK IN THE FIRST PLACE. Just an idea. I can't think of a better way to be responsible.

Don't even get me started on addiction. Drink enough, and it'll happen to you. I have family members who have this problem.

There are so many other things to do with our time than waste it get wasted. Wholesome, good things. The man in the truck could have decided to improve his life by focusing on his talents, improving and progressing at something he is good at. Or he could have tried to pick up a new skill. Instead, he has his entire life to regret ONE NIGHT in January, 2014.

I don't know if people will listen to this. A lot will likely think I'm ignorant or stupid for writing this. All I'm asking is for anyone who willing consumes alcohol to take a step back and think about what you're putting your money towards. Even if you're a "casual" drinker. Why not put that money you would have spent on a drink towards something of use. Something that can improve your life, not impair it.

So that's my slogan on life right now. It can apply to everyone in multiple ways. But in regards to this post... please stop and think before you buy that drink. Improve your life: don't impair it.