Tour De France 2017

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Image Source: Bicycling.com

Today is the start of the annual three week bicycle race The Tour De France.  I try to watch it every year (when I can).  I really enjoy watching both the scenery as well as the tactical aspects of the sport.  I also enjoy watching the spectators and the countryside as the Tour travels the French countryside for the next three weeks.  There is also an element of nostalgia because my uncle (who instrumental in instilling in me a love of sports and sportsmanship) and I watched this when Greg LeMond won the Tour in the 80s.  We used to watch the abbreviated two hour show on weeknights and the full Tour that they showed on the weekends and I remember I used to watch, enraptured, waiting to see if LeMond could pull it out.

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Image Source: EverymanTri.com

Last year, I watched the lead-up races to the Tour with baited breath.  This year, however, I’ve had other things occupying my time (writing and reading, among other things) and I’ve not kept up as much with the teams, so I can’t say with certainty if “The Sky Train” (the nickname for the Sky Team) will be as dominate as they were last year and in previous years.

Blog entries will still continue (and I promise they won’t all be on the Tour De France–I’ll probably only mention it as a weekly wrap-up of some of the most exciting moments). Most people seem to enjoy the tactics of the teams going up the  mountains, but I really like watching the cyclists freewheel down the mountains and go up and down the hills, valleys, and curves that make up much of the French countryside.  To me, this is some of the most interesting racing available in all the sports from track and field all the way up to motor sports (and this is coming from a Formula One fan as well).  I love the tactics and the way the Yellow Jersey inspires riders to dig into the very depths of their bodies and souls to try to win the Tour for themselves or their teammates.

This is the kind of passion that I’d like to try to find for my own characters to make them real for readers.

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E3 and me: God of War

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Image Source: PS5Home

Sony’s Conference is always the highlight of E3 for me.  I’ve talked at length about my preference for Sony consoles and software.  I really like what Sony does in the video game space (with its Playstation brand).  I could afford to buy other consoles, but I’m not as interested in Nintendo’s and Microsoft’s entries in the video game space (for various reasons) as I am for Sony’s entries.  Sony had quite a bit I’m interested in this year (although their conference was light on show-stoppers). I’ll highlight the two that I’m most interested in to finish out the week.

God of War

The God of War (GoW) game was first announced at last year’s E3 (2016), but this year they showed actual gameplay and elements of the story and it confirms the good feeling that I had about the game.  It also gives a release date of early 2018, so it should be a good game that I use as an incentive to help get me through the Spring 2018 semester.  I’ve not bought a God of War game before, but I have played demos of all the PS2 games and I’ve seen bits and pieces of the GoW3.  I never really cared for the GoW games because of the main character, Kratos.  He, in a word, was a “rage-muppet.”  He was always a one-note character, the very embodiment of rage and anger.  Now, I know his history, which I won’t spoil here, but which is well known in the gamer universe (if you want to find out more, here’s his wiki); however, I feel that characters should be able to express more than one emotion.  The new incarnation of Kratos, however, feels like they’ve really worked on humanizing him and giving him more emotions than just rage.

 

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Image Source: Playstation 

I’m also very interested in Viking mythology.  When I was a child, two of the most fascinating subjects were Greek/Roman myths and gods and Viking myths, gods, and legends.  The Midgard Serpent (pictured above in the GoW universe) is one of the most fascinating things in the Norse mythology to me.  I love the idea of worm that encircles the world, hidden away in the depths of the ocean.

This game has really captured my attention and I’m looking forward to uncovering the mystery of Kratos and his son early next year.

Skin Deep Published in Aurora Wolf!

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Source: Aurora Wolf – A Literary Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy (aurorawolf.com)

SKIN DEEP PUBLISHED!

Just wanted to let you know that Skin Deep, a short-story that I’ve worked on and detailed on the blog has been published by Aurora Wolf – A Literary Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy.  Please head over to their website, read my story, rate and comment on it and (while you’re there) perhaps, read and comment on other stories that I are listed.  Right now my story is on the from page (with the above image – thanks to Aurora Wolf for letting me use the image!).  There is no cost to read the story, or  in other words, its FREE!

Skin Deep has been very much of a long-term passion project.  It was one of the first stories  I wrote with the intent of getting it published.  The story that is published in the 3rd major draft of the story.  My first draft came in the 90s and I submitted it to several markets found in Writer’s Market & Novel and Short Story Writer’s Market.  I only remember one piece of feedback that I received for it from an editor who thought the Psionics (mind powers) in the story strayed too close to magic for her tastes.

I put it “in the trunk” for a while and then I rewrote it substantially around late 2013 – early 2014.  The basis of the current version came from this rewrite.  I had the plot and most of the character, but something still didn’t feel right about the character and her motivations.  I put it up again (not submitting it significantly) until I revised it mid-2015.

As I noted in the blog about the story,  I changed the main character’s name, and really worked to increase the setting of the story and I think that’s what was missing from the 2nd draft–not enough setting to really ground the story.  In all, I’m glad I got to tell Mahalia’s story.  Please go read it if you have a chance–best of all, did I mention its FREE!

CHILDE ROLAND PUBLISHED!

In case you missed it, Childe Roland was also published late last year.  It is still up and, like Skin Deep, it is also FREE!  Please head over to ElectricSpec.com to give it a read as well if you have the time.

OTHER PROJECTS

Lastly, I’m still writing and working on other projects.  As you’ve no doubt realized by the slowness of the blog, I’m really overwhelmed with coursework and classes, but I’m trying to get a handle on the massive amounts of reading and grading that I’m having to do.  I will post more about other projects that I’m working on in the coming months.  Like a business, I need to refresh my sold “stock” with new “stock” if I’m going to make my writing career work, so I have lots of new projects in the wings.  More on these soon.  Well, that’s all for this week, and I’ll try to have a new post up next week (I promise, I really will TRY!).  See you next post!