The function of music while writing

I have four articles to write today for the Banner, and likely will have to to write tomorrow. Last week, when faced with a similar workload, I discovered that listening to music, in and of itself, won’t necessarily help. When Spotify popped up with a cover of Anna ni Issho Datta no ni, a song I knew from ages ago when Gundam Seed first premiered in Japan, I decided a short writing break was in order. I headed to YouTube and found the original version.

I spent the next blissful hours typing happily away as nostalgia filled my core. Even when I finished my articles, I sat for another half an hour doing nothing but listening to the songs that YouTube pulled up from my childhood. No, not Backstreet Boys or N’sync. I’m talking about anime OSTs.

My first Japanese song ever was Just Communication by TWO-MIX, a song I hunted out because of Gundam Wing. This was back before YouTube even became a thing, so I searched fancies until I found the songs I sought. I was blown away and haven’t looked back since. Where others would be listening to MTV or the radio, I was burning CDs full of Digimon soundtracks.

Today, I’m trying the same thing. I pulled up the Digimon Adventure Tri version of Butter-fly (RIP Wada Kouji, you will be missed) and letting the auto-play take care of itself. I’ve heard Brave Heart and Biggest Dreamer, with Fire! from Digimon Frontier now playing.

I may have to make a Wada Kouji playlist, since he apparently was the voice of my childhood.

Welp

Looks like my previous blog was a bit too soon. It turns out that there’s only so long a person can be yelled at for doing their job before they snap. My breaking point was last Friday, June 9, when I got called back to my department and yelled at for leaving it unattended to do a pick up order. Keep in mind this is common practice, as there’s not really anyone I can call to watch if there’s no one scheduled for the surrounding departments.

I got fed up and, when asked if I worked Saturday, informed them I wouldn’t be. I left my vest and turned in the keys, cleaned out my locker, and walked out. Yes, I was upset and incredulous with myself, and yes, it will be more difficult to pay our bills.

However. The peace of mind I have now – no more working seven days each week! No more stress from a company that doesn’t care about me! – has more than made up for the lack of finances. I know that, with careful budgeting and spending, we’ll be able to manage. It will take self-control and discipline, but we will succeed. I won’t let Walmart have the last laugh.

And… well, how satisfying does it feel to know that I can get my revenge from beyond the grave, so to speak? 11 years with a company gives people a certain… shall we say, repertoire of knowledge concerning practices that are against company policy or downright illegal. To answer the first question, it feels quite satisfying to know that I can get people fired.

Yes, I know it’s petty, but I’m angry. Livid. Infuriated that I felt like I had to quit to get some respite. Before, I feared retaliation. I have no such concerns now.

On the plus side, I have a lot more time on my hands now! I can work on Corinne and Robbie’s story. I can work on Trust’s sequel. Maybe I can do more around the house, even. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Belated updates, whoo

It’s been ages, I know, but I have a good excuse this time.

In addition to being an overworked and underpaid Walmart Associate, I am now a reporter! The Pointe Coupee Banner thinks my writing is good enough to write articles for them, and I’ve been doing it for the past nine or ten months.

Let me tell you, though, writing nonfiction articles is a much different beast from writing fiction. With fiction, if I don’t know the exact circumstances behind something, I can fudge the details under the guise of creative license.

With a newspaper, and especially the official journal of the parish, the details matter. If you’re not sure of the truth, it can’t be printed, it’s that simple. The attention to detail – who, what, where – can mean the difference between an article and an opinion piece. I can’t speculate to make the story more interesting. I can only work with the facts, no matter how bare or uninteresting they are.

All I can do to make my articles interesting is to have a good writing style. Hopefully, the positive responses I’ve received from the articles I’ve written are an indication that my style is good enough to keep people reading. I now have people requesting me, specifically, to write their articles. How strange is that?

Decades from now, people may look into the archives and see what I’ve written. People may clip my articles for keepsakes. It’s… daunting and terrifying. Every author wants to have their writing read in the years to come. Before, it was an abstract concept. Now I have that reality in front of me and I wonder if I’m good enough to deserve that.

There’s no point in wondering, or having doubts. All I can do is keep writing.

Things are happening

Hello again! It’s taken a lot longer than the expected few days to get the ball rolling, but here things are. I have set the official release date for Trust at July 26th, 2014. When it’s officially available for release, I’ll post again to let my wonderful followers know.

After that, it’s back to the grind with normal stuff. More books to write, you know. More writing will be happening. More reviewing, too! My next review victims shall be:

Minecraft (PS3)

How To Train Your Dragon 2

The Lego Movie

Any others you can recommend!

Seriously, I’m kind of waiting for other stuff to come out. If you want me to watch a particular movie or play a particular game, just let me know in the comments. I’ll be happy to do everything I can. 

Until next time~

Not A Hiatus, Just Busy

Exactly what it says on the title. I’m working on several things outside of WordPress. I’m an aspiring author, or so my blog title says. Give it a few days and I’ll be an honest to goodness published author! My book Trust is being re-published due to things. I’ve done all the technical things and within a few days, Trust should be available for sale. Wish me luck! 

Death Comes Calling

I’m sure the internet has already heard, but my dearest publisher, Janrae Frank, passed away last weekend. We’re all still in mourning, but one of my characters decided to take matters into his own hands. 

This short is barely a thousand words long, but I’d like it to be a tribute to Janrae. She was an awesome, practical, no-nonsense curmudgeon and the internet will be a sad place without her.

__________

Being the God of Death wasn’t an easy job. Had Sean Lucason known his destiny beforehand, he doubted it would make a difference. It felt like only yesterday that he had hefted his scythe for the first time. The weight of the souls he reaped made it feel so much heavier than the dense, magical metal it was crafted from.

It was years since then, and now he leaned against the scythe and looked out on Earth. It was an unremarkable part of the planet, buildings and people and cars, just like all the towns around it. Winter had its hold firmly on this part of the world. The trees were all naked, white adorning the tops of each branch. The roads were slush, muddy and gray from the cars rolling along them. All around him, the mortals were bundled up tightly against the cold.

The chill didn’t bother Sean. Being a god, he had to get anywhere he was needed and a little thing like freezing temperatures would only hinder him in his mission. It was only when he hit the poles that he might have to put on a light jacket, and only if he was planning on staying a while.

He spread his wings and felt the wind rustle his feathers. If the mortals could see him, he’d look quite a sight. They’d call him a fallen angel, until his red-brown eyes went ruby. With those, and his almost unnaturally black hair, humans would decry him as a demon.

Sean chuckled at the thought. His wings were the mark of his divinity, and their blackness showed his alignment. He was a Dark God, not an evil one. He’d dealt with evil in his past.

That was over with, thankfully. Sean folded up his wings and looked around once more. Something had brought him to this part of the world. His magic, the threads that tugged his thoughts and showed him where he was needed, had insisted that he be here, at this very moment.

Normally, he’d allow his demons to collect the souls that didn’t naturally migrate their way into his father’s hands. The important souls, or the ones that needed the most comfort, were the ones that he sought. The soul he was after felt to be a mix of the two.

“Death’s in town,” Sean murmured. His tenor voice hadn’t quite hit the deep baritone of his father’s, but it was getting there. Give it a few centuries, maybe, and he’d shatter windows.

Not that Lucifer did that, but Sean always wondered if he got bored.

The time for dawdling was over. Sean closed his eyes and felt at his magic. It would guide him to where he needed to be. He took flight and, scythe in hand, made his way to the cemetery. That was where this soul was, he could feel.

The funeral he arrived at didn’t surprise him. It was a small affair, a few mourners gathered around the closed casket. Off to the side, Sean spied the soul he was here for. It was a woman, in her mid-fifties if he had to take a guess, with wild brown hair and sharp eyes. She was dressed in a hospital gown, which was unsurprising to Sean. Many of his deceased from America had died in hospitals.

The soul gazed at a young woman near the casket and her expression turned fond. Sean sidled up to her and leaned against his scythe.

“People always say that it’s bad luck to attend your own funeral,” the woman said. She glanced over at Sean. “I’m dead. I don’t think there’s much worse luck to be had.”

“It depends on if my dad really likes you,” Sean deadpanned. He held out a hand. “Sean Lucason.”

“Janrae Frank,” the woman returned. Her grip was firm and brooked no nonsense.

“Why are you hanging around?” Sean asked. He looked to the funeral. “Someone you want to take care of?”

Janrae’s smile turned proud. “She can take care of herself, so no. I’m not quite sure why I’m here,” she confessed. “I feel like I need to be back at my computer. There was so much work to get done. My company was about to release a book before I died. There are so many authors and editors to handle. There’s too much left undone for me to just be dead.”

Unfinished business, Sean thought. Out loud, he wondered, “So who’s going to do all of that now?”

“My daughter and her partner can handle it,” Janrae declared. She smiled. “Elaine can, as well. Everyone’s going to take care of each other at Daverana.”

“If you’re so sure, why are you here?” Sean asked her. “I mean, it seems like you’re keeping an eye on them.”

“Why shouldn’t I? I don’t have anything else to do.” She tapped her chin and turned pensive. “I suppose you’re here to tell me that I need to go.”

“It’d be nice,” Sean agreed. He straightened and let his wings unfurl just a tad. This attracted Janrae’s attention to them and she studied the appendages carefully.

“I must say, this was entirely unexpected. You look like an angel, but angels don’t normally have dark wings. That you have a scythe means that you’re the grim reaper, but you’re not wearing a dreadful black robe.” Janrae smirked. “I must say, I’m glad for that.”

“Too grim?” Sean quipped.

“Much.” Janrae sighed and looked again at the funeral. “There was so much that I couldn’t tell my daughter at the end. I wish I could have had the chance.”

“She can’t see or hear you. You can still try to tell her, but it wouldn’t work,” Sean said regretfully.

“I already did, right after I died. I know she couldn’t hear me, but I felt better for saying it.” Janrae brushed her hospital gown off and turned away from the funeral. “I suppose now is as good a time as any to pass on. It would be futile for me to ask you to watch over my family, wouldn’t it?”

“It’s not part of my job,” Sean affirmed, though he was sad that he couldn’t. If he tried to watch over every person’s family, he’d never get all of the souls off of the planet. The balance would be shattered and the Earth would not come out of it unscathed.

Janrae nodded. “Well then, shall we?”

Sean took her hand and led her away.

Not a good sign

So it seems I can’t keep my own deadlines about posting to this place. This does not bode well for Daverana Enterprises – if I can’t keep personal deadlines, how shall they deal with me? I shall try to do better, I promise!

So today is promising to be a random day. By random I mean I have plans for nothing beyond good food later tonight and poking some characters with sticks. That is the story of my days off. Gaming, poking characters, good food, sticks. Yup.

… my life is boring.

Still, it’s a nice life. I have a wonderful girlfriend that is determined to throw me into many uncomfortable social situations, but I shall endure. I have guildmates who adore me (and my old guild can go jump off a cliff. Noooo bad feelings on this end. Just hope they don’t win another territory war ever). And I have plenty of cats to jump on me when they want food.

Today, as a day off, is supposed to be characterized as peaceful. I’m calling it boring. I’ve set a goal just this second of 1k words written today before I get steaks later. If I get 3k done I’ll get my usual cheese sticks with them.

This post is officially filler. Fluff. I’ll just end it before I embarrass myself.

Until next week!