Do You Have Angst?: January 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

Public Library Contest

When I was young, more than a little while ago, my parents used to borrow very old 8mm film (check out that link) from the library to share the Laurel and Hardy films their parents enjoyed.  I remember going to our local Mid-ContinentPublic Library and wandering through the shelves looking for some forgotten tome that may actually include something magical or unknown.  I read everything I could.  In my grade school library I discovered KingArthur, his Knights and their Ladies, my first introduction to fantasy that was quickly followed by Piers Anthony’s Xanth series. 

After my mom ‘made me’ watch the Camelot musical with Richard Harris on HBO, I found a bound version of the script in my middle-school library.  There was something magical about that book, and to this day Camelot is my all-time favorite musical (next to Les Miserables).  When I was in college at University ofWisconsin - Madison, I couldn’t study in my dorm room, or the ‘study’ area.  I usually had to lock myself into a the cages at Memorial Library in order to focus enough to muddle through my tests.

I’ve always had a love for libraries.  The dewey decimal system, card catalogs (remember those? wow am I aging myself now) and the smell – the smell of print on aging paper, almost as good as the smell of old comic books.  I owe a lot to libraries, and only have fond memories for them.

It’s rare that someone can afford to buy every book they read.  I’ve gotten DMs from Twitter followers unable to find Angst in libraries.  I’m always touched that they look, but it’s unrealistic for any library to purchase the first fantasy novel of a virtually unknown indie writer.  There is nothing I’d like more than to send every library a copy of my first book, but just as libraries have a budget, so do I.   Therefore…

CONTEST TIME!  This one is easy!  Post the name and address of your local public library in the comments section below.  I will randomly choose 10 libraries, contact them, and send them a copy of Angst for their collections.  Contest deadline is February 29th.  This contest is restricted to the United States (sorry).  Feel free to post or tweet questions, and thanks in advance for entering!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Geekiness I'm looking forward to in 2012 (Part Two)

I couldn't hold out any longer, let the nerdiness continue as I share those things I'm most geeked out about in 2012!

Batman: The Dark Knight Rises – (July 20th)  That the first two Batman movies in this series are probably the best superhero movies ever made (aside from The Incredibles – O.O I meant that).  Nolan's take is the Batman I've always wanted to see!  While I don't like all of the leaked footage that has appeared on the internet (for a movie like this the less I know the better).  I also think Tom Hardy has some pretty big shoes to fill after HeathLedger's Joker (heck, I'd even say the same for Anne Hathaway after MichellePfeiffer's Catwoman.)  Even with my petty, trifling concerns, I know this movie won’t disappoint

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – (December 14th) I'm not really sure how much I need to elaborate on this one.  If this isn't on your all-time nerd-list of most wanted movies ever made, then please hand in your geek card at the door. ;)

Halo 4: (December 31st according to Amazon) The music alone gives me goosebumps, and I don't even want to think about or admit to the number of hours I've sunk into, er, been entertained by this series of games.  Halo is probably one of the few games that keeps my interest enough to play through to finishing.  Master Chief is always welcome in my gaming library.

iPhone 5: (rumor only) My contract is up this fall, if the planets align properly with my local iStore this may happen.  There is nothing more I hate than spending money on stuff that isn't used.  A year and a half ago I surprised my wife and kids with iPhone 3GS (I got an amazing deal.)  We all use them constantly, so money well spent in my opinion.  With every iOS upgrade comes some pretty cool improvements and, unfortunately, a slower iPhone.  Whether we end up with the iPhone 4s or can hold out for the 5, I'm looking forward to an upgrade.

DC New 52 – (ongoing) I realize that this started in 2011, but I'm looking forward to more!  I've got a closet filled with comics stacked taller than me, and it has been years since I've purchased regularly.  The soft reboot by DC worked.  My kids and I have all been enjoying the new issues.  While I don't love every title, I enjoy most and I have to admit it's been fun getting every title every month.  I've resolved to do this for the entire year before I start cutting out titles.  (Now if I could get a Marvel reboot.  I’m an X-Fan, but 100 less X-Titles would be welcome.)

Angst 3: Drowning in Angst – (hmmm) Yeah, I went there.  Official title by the way :)  While I'm not so foolish as to give unrealistic expectations about when this book is going to be finished (this time), I'm going to be working on it aggressively throughout 2012.  If I finish Angst 2 on a Monday, I'll start Angst 3 on a Tuesday.  I already know a lot of what is going to happen, it's going to be a heck of an adventure!

Honorable Mentions: Underworld: Awakening (January 20th), Wrath of the Titans (March 30th), John Carter (March 9th), Men In Black III (May 25th), Snow White and the Huntsman (June 1st), G.I. Joe: Retaliation (June 29th), The Amazing Spider-Man (July 3rd)

Whew, so yeah, a pretty fun year for David!  I'm sure there is more, and stuff I'm missing, but this is more than enough to keep me busy between writing sessions. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Geekiness I'm looking forward to in 2012 (Part One)

I'm really excited about a lot of nerdy goodness coming our way this year.  Since I'm being forced to be patient, I figured the least I could do is share this torture that I call waiting.

Game of Thrones - (April 1st) My wife and I are always looking for a new series, and in spite of everyone's best advice we pulled a Battlestar Galactica, waiting until it was over before we started watching.  Unlike Battlestar, this time we didn't wait until the end of the series.  Wow, Game of Thrones is truly TV at its best and I'm looking forward to the second season.  This is one of the few shows I've watched where I have yet to say "oh, I saw that coming".

Avengers – (Release May 4th) Yeeeeaaaah baby!  Avengers is every Whedonesque comic book fanboy’s dream come true.  I simply can't wait for this movie.  Whedon has the ability to actually balance character development, humor, and thoughtful reflection into a tight, action-packed story with more than one character (see Serenity).  The way Marvel has built this up, tying in the Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America and Thor movies together is genius and gives Whedon a lot of solid background to build on.  This one is definitely going to be a midnight viewing!

A Memory of Light: Wheel of Time #14 by Brandon Sanderson – (June according to Wikipedia) I fell in love with the first Wheel of Time book, but by book five I came to realize that this series may never end (a slight exaggeration) so I had to set it aside.  I'm the slowest reader in the world, and my reading time is also my writing time, so I have to be selective - but this series is worth it and I look forward to reading it in its entirety now that there is going to be a final installment. 

Diablo III -  (1st Quarter-ish) I never played I or II, but after a brief flirtation with Torchlight I'd like to give Diablo III a shot for upcoming LAN parties.  I'm loving Star Wars TOR right now, but am more than a little burned out on the MMORPG thing.  I like the games Blizzard produces (recovering WoW addict), so this may be a good alternative.

10" Kindle Fire – (speculation is some time this year) This hasn't been announced officially, but if the rumors are true it is on my want list.  If it doesn't happen (and doesn't have bluetooth for a keyboard, ahem) I may have to pony up for an iPad.  In spite of all the bitching I see around the internets about how terrible the first Kindle Fire is, mine does everything I expected it to do.  My wife and my kids have all used it, and sometimes I get to as well.  $200 not wasted.

Angst 2: Buried in Angst - (good question) Where the heck is this book!!!  lol  I know, I know.  I have to include this because I'm really excited to share my 2nd fantasy novel.  While I can't say it is going to be better than the original, I do think it is bigger in scope.  I'm continuing to grow the world, the magic, and the characters.  The chapters are packed full of Angsty goodness, it'll be worth the wait.

Hey, I'm not done yet!  I'll post the 2nd half after the weekend.  Until then, I'd love to know what you are looking forward to this year!?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A pain in the Angst

They say that a certain amount of pain is supposed to help clarify your thoughts.  Nope!  I disagree completely.  After spending 3 hours in the ER last night with great amounts of pain due to a kidney stone half the size of a dime, the only thing clear to me was how much I hurt.  I'm not going to lie, that was awful.

Whining aside, a lot of what I write comes from what I live.  Which brings me to another pleasant topic: vomiting.  Throwing up has always been top of my list in things to avoid (it's now #2 after kidney stones), which is why you'll find it prevalent in my first fantasy novel Angst.  A good friend of mine who critiqued the first book felt there was a little too much throwing up for her taste.

While she was the only one to point that out, I can understand.  It's pretty gross and one of those experiences I think that everyone can relate to.  With my experiences broadened, I can now raise the bar.  There is now a new threshold of pain and torture for Angst 2 which will include plenty of turning pale, sweating, writhing in pain (picture Captain Kirk rolling around on the ground any time a villain used one of the infamous belt weapons), and my new favorite, a small tear in the corner of the eye.

Fantasy books are about imagination, but a certain amount of realism adds to the danger.  Stories are always more compelling when it feels like there is a genuine threat to succeeding, a cost to the characters' actions.  It doesn't always have to be a death.  Terrible odds with great risks and a bit of pain makes a successful outcome more rewarding.

I'm happy that I can turn my situation into a resource for better book writing.  If facing the pain of this stone helps me to better express the pain my characters are facing, I can at least be glad that something good comes from this.

Now what am I going to do when I have to write about the dragons!?