My kind of sunday

This morning was what some people might call an average sunday morning. I woke up late, went for drive, had poptarts and a coffee… yeah pretty dull. At some point an idea entered my head. And, i tell you when i get ideas weird stuff starts happening.

Like every american college guy out there i happen to have built a full on blast furnace in my back yard from dirt, a piece of pipe and a hair dryer. Very Mcgyver, i know. However the thing had never actually run. I tried lighting it once but weather intervened and never got around to trying again. I ended up just carving the original project from aluminum rather than cast it so i really didnt have any purpose to fire it up. It happens to be that inventive, so i made up a project. So i get the furnace lit, cast a small aluminum cannon, before moving on to my real project.

The furnace began to burn hotter, the larger chunks of anthracite coal turning to pea sized super fuel. so i decided it was time. I packed the crucible full of basalt. Yep, that’s right, rock. In a matter of minutes i had home made lava. Working with this was so hot that i was burning myself through welding gloves at the end of too foot tongs. But nevertheless i persisted and art was born. From the fires emerged sculptures cast from molten rock(Which will be for sale on my etsy account: see end of this post).

Through it all the furnace gained strength until it became a runaway miniature hell. It was so hot my dense graphite crucible that is rated to 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit began to melt. Looking into the fire hurt my eyes. Moral of this story is : never underestimate the power of a hair dryer and a piece of pipe.

 

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I’m Baaaack!

All “independence day” references aside, its been a long time folks. I offer my apologies for the year long hiatus. What can i say? Life is crazy. Much has changed in the last year or so since i’ve blogged, some for good, some for ill.

I’m going to kick this off with a quick run down on the last two days to give you a peak at my life.

Friday started at noon for me, a fairly late start as i was free running roof tops the night before. It is a little known fact but climbing buildings is an enormously demanding task. Im a fairly fit guy who has a six pack and all that jazz but i was sore the next day. There i was kinda bumming around the house and trying not to feel the damage of jumping from 2 story buildings when inspiration struck. I topped a water bottle off, put a triple shot of mio energy in it (might also be classified as crack) and started writing away. It was a real break through, the chapter i wrote was one that had me hung up for a week, so logically once i started writing it i couldnt stop. I tell you the key board nearly burst into flames.

Some time around 4 in the morning I finished the chapter, threw myself into bed and had this funny idea that id be getting some sleep. around 5:30 i realized it simply wasnt going to happen and if it did i would end up waking up at the crack of evening the next day. I had the brilliant idea of just pulling an all nighter and going to sleep at a respectable time the next day. (right)

I was faced with the challenge of finding something to keep me occupied in the wee hours of the morning that wouldnt get me killed by my family. I ended up reading some norse myths. I just want to throw it out there now that the movie thor, although stunningly bad, was pretty accurate with the mythology. Made and ate a whole batch of marshmallow, chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast and got to work. I spent the rest of the day making chainmail links from 12 gauge galvanized steel wire and cutting the guard for one of my commissions (a colichemarde<<Pretty nifty “small sword” that is it is in the family of the rapier). So im sitting in my basement, the sawsall buzzing away like a rabid beaver in my hands as im using a rig i threw together to make and cut the rings when my phone rings.

Mind you, at this point its 5:15, im covered in metal dust, havnt slept in a day in a half, and am sore as HELL. My friend sam is on the other end and he says the four words that ruin any chance of sleep for me and save his life. “Boston concert at Foxwoods”. Now im not a die hard Boston fan but i like their music and the band isnt all dead. And then he tells me “ill be by at 6:15” thats right last minute concert. Yep just the way we do things. Somehow i manage to put my instruments of death and destruction away, shower and eat in an hour.

I was probably one of the youngest people at the Boston concert but nonetheless it was legendary. THE GODS OF ROCK DESCENDED UPON EARTH AND BLESSED THAT STAGE. Mind blowing. Now i can say i saw them live before… well … before they are all dead.

Thats right, 2 days no sleep, wrote like a fiend, made chainmail, did a ton of work on a sword im commissioned to do, and did a spontaneous concert.

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Gearing up to write

I’ve been doing a lot of planning for the rewrite and things are looking a bit crazy. Besides deleting and entirely rewriting the first 150 pages, it looks like I am also going to be cutting out an entire major character and combining his role into two other characters. I am converting it from epic fantasy into dark fantasy bordering on horror at some points ^_^. oh yeah and I am adding a heck of a lot of stuff to blur the lines between right, wrong, good and evil.

Thats all for now folks. I need to do a prep work before i get any farther on the rewrite. I think that i might post about another knife tomorrow so stay tuned!

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Heads Up

Hello my faithful followers. Things are going to be up in the air the next few days. I just started a new job and my girlfriend will be visiting the next two days. Never fear , I will be posting again soon.

In the mean time I recommend that yall head on over to Jamendo.com Its a website where up and coming artists upload there music in the hopes of gaining a following. You can listen to music and even download it legally and free. At first i was hesitant when i heard about it my self but a lot of the music ive listened to on there has been pretty good.

Until next time.

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Collaborative Novel Project

To go along with the bear of a rewrite i have to do I am also starting a collaborative novel with a friend of mine.

I will be honest, I have been greatly disappointed every time ive tried to do a collaborative novel. In the past I’ve tried it with maybe a dozen of my fellow writers. The problem always seems to be that the person doesnt have the drive to stick with the project and finish it. Sometimes we only get a few pages in and the person gives up. Whether its commitment problems, other distractions in life, or what have you something always comes up.

This time, i think, will be different. My fellow writer is a friend of mine by the name of John Tyczkowski. A couple months ago we got onto the topic of writing and how he has experienced the same problem as i have. (one of his co-writers gave up at 160 or so pages.) After much talk we decided to co-write a military sifi novel (very different from my normal genre of fantasy). I think the difference lies in that we both have the drive to finish a collaborative novel. We are also taking time to get the general structure of the novel put together first. And to put the icing on the cake, the novel will be founded on our collective areas of expertise (John: linguistics, more sifi experience, cultural and historical knowledge, and world building. Me: Bladesmithing, Geology, general science stuff,  deep characters, and sophisticated plot.). The idea is that he takes the lead in putting together the framework while i take the lead in characters and plot, all the while using each other for a sounding board. Once writing starts it will be a minor thing to adjust writing styles, etc. And, since google docs is so convenient for sharing that will be our medium.

That wraps it up for now. Today is my birthday and it is unlikely I will post until late tonight (yes it is 1 in the morning here).  In the next few days i will upload an excerpt of the prologue.

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Nanowrimo

Hello folks. The tech issues have been resolved and my internet is back up and running, albeit slower than molasses running uphill in February.

Today I’m going to be talking about Nanowrimo. Nope, I am not speaking of a hybrid between nanobots and small fluffy animals indigenous to the norther Tibetan mountains. Nanowrimo is also known as National Novel Writing Month. It is a challenge for those who are not faint at heart. One month, 50,000 words, and a heck of a lot of caffeine. the 50k can be a complete novel or part of a novel and is approximately 175 double spaced pages which is = about 175 pages in a real book.

It sounds easy enough, right? It is, logistically its only 1666 words a day. But then factor in characters, plot, and all kinds of other issues and things can get ugly real quick. That’s half the fun of it though. The idea is to get a rough draft churned out and then worry about making it clad in adamantamium later in other drafts. Whether you are working on a novel, want to write one or some other third thing this is for you if you want to make some progress.

Normally Nanowrimo is in November but there has been a startling turn in events.  The Office of Letter and Light (the nonfor profit that runs Nanowrimo) is plotting a summer time version of the challenge called Camp Nanowrimo. The sister site isnt up and running yet, but from what I’ve learned its scheduled to begin the 1st of july with the site up and running a few weeks before hand.

for more information grab your great dane and head on over to http://www.nanowrimo.org/ to do some meddling. (there are tons of gear, free tools, and other doohickeys to help you on your quest)

I hope you will decide to join the ranks of the legions of Nanoers this summer and November. No quarter will be given, no mercy! Blood and vinegar! Onwards to victory and a a first manuscript!!!! Freedom! *throws sword into air*

 

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Tech Issues

Technology tends to be a fickle beast. It seems to me that it waits until the most inconvenient time as possible to break down. If it happens to be a convenient time trust me it will work fine. It knows and colaborates with murphys law. The result is that everythong that can go wrong will go wrong at the time when it will rub your fur the wrong way the most.

I bring this up because it is why I am furiously typing away on my phone with my thumbs (looking forward to carpel tunnel) to bring you todays post. My internet is down. This means that I will unfortunatly not be able to bring you an entertaining post on a bladesmithing project or even my rewritten prologue. With any luck things will be back up and running soon. When it is I might have something special for you on brewing.

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