Izzy -Week 5

Posting from the road! This week Izzy got her final round of shots and is now fully ready to play with other pups. 


We discovered a fun new game where we put the sprinkler under the trampoline and Nik and Izzy have fun for hours. Which is nice in this Texas heat. 


Nik has also taken up more responsibility with Izzy and is in charge of her feeding. Helping to establish the house hold respect and flow. 

He is even getting up with me to let her out to potty. 

Now we are on the road as I said before. We picked up Zack and are headed back home. 


Also Izzy weighted in at 37lbs this week!

Some Light Reading

In which Kris describes his latest distraction to help you, too, not get housework done.

Kris here,

Lately I’ve been reading a lot of light novels. For those of you who don’t know what they are, they’re basically just really small novels which glow much brighter than regular novels. I kid I kid. Essentially, authors from different countries – the ones I’m reading are fairly exclusively Korean with a few others sprinkled in – write books or novels online and release a chapter at a time. I’m not actually fluent in Korean, so I seek out the cool guys who are and that translate them into English for the rest of us crazies. Tina’s been reading them too, and while we both read a few before just recently, it was actually our roommate who turned us on to the site we use that makes it super easy to find more.

Because of the translation, the wording can be a bit silly but I honestly think that’s part of its charm. The language used is often a bit more crude than the stories I’m used to reading – but again, part of the charm. I’m an adult I can say heck whenever I want to as long as my wife is asleep okay.

In case anyone out there is like me and enjoys reading hilarious stories that go a bit overboard with the overpowered protagonist, I’ll list a few I’m reading offhand.
(Also the site we use to find them: http://www.novelupdates.com/)

Everyone Else is a Returnee: http://www.novelupdates.com/series/everyone-else-is-a-returnee/
Easily the most hilarious story I’m reading at this time. The main character has been alone his whole life, almost like he’s invisible to everyone around him. One day God sends everyone on Earth to other planets to get acclimated to mana except him, since his loner ability is so strong God couldn’t even find him. He’s stranded a bit longer than expected and ends up mastering most skills available on Earth before they get back and has to take care of them all because dangit can’t everyone just stay saved for a minute!

Seoul Station’s Necromancer: http://www.novelupdates.com/series/seoul-stations-necromancer/
I’ve always been a huge fan of Necromancers in say, video and tabletop games that I play and I never actually knew I was missing out in reading about them too. This story is about a guy who finally made it back to Earth after 20 years of fighting for survival on another planet as a necromancer. The main character and a lot of the supporting characters are pretty 1-dimensional, but they’re also hilarious and I’m not here for character developement I really just want this guy to raise ten thousand skeletons to wash over his enemies like an undead tsunami

Master Hunter K: http://www.novelupdates.com/series/master-hunter-k/
Humanity is put through a series of progressively more difficult 5 and 10 man raids in which they have to kill a bunch of monsters and a boss-type monster. The main character here is the last of humanity and finally dies only to be awakened in the past immediately before everyone was pulled into the raids. I’ll admit that I probably like this story because I’m a huge fan of video games and I like sometimes reading about a guy just murderating the heck out of everything.

I definitely realize these stories aren’t for everyone. I’ve been studying a few different languages for quite some time and it definitely helps me forgive the little mistakes usually mixed in to the translations and understand different nuances used. They’re also a lot different from a lot of western stories in that in some of these stories, the protagonist just dominates the battlefields and is a force of nature whipping through his enemies like a greased steak knife. Sometimes though, I find I really like to pick something up knowing the main character is about to lay the smack down on some jerk monsters and probably set them on fire.

 

Alas, the wait for these chapters to be translated and released is horrendous and I’m THIS close to learning Korean so I don’t have to wait anymore (plus they make like $35 a chapter holy cow!)

A podcast a day…

Kris here,

I’m going to start out my blog this week with a pretty controversial, I think highly contested topic – so try to grit through it. Housework and yard work is terrible. I said it! I would almost rather pay bills than I would fill up a bucket with hot water to make my floor stop being dirty. To a lesser extent, I can kind of feel the same about commute time – driving, walking, running, boating, the time it takes to travel from where you’re at to where you want to be gets pretty tedious, pretty fast. Luckily for all of you, there’s a quick and easy solution as long as you have some sort of listening apparatus.

So last year sometime I hopped on Google Play and noticed there was an entry for podcasts. I’ve never cared about podcasts or wanted podcasts or listened to podcasts or podcasts podcasts, but I was bored so I figured I’d give it a check anyway. There are so many niche interests that you just don’t go around online finding people talking about that you can dig up in podcasts though, I think everyone should spend some time looking around for something random you like – it’s fabulous how fast my house gets cleaned and how surprisingly not dead I am afterward when I just get a couple hours of episodes lined up and plow through ’em. I know I touched on The Worldbuilder’s Anvil a few weeks briefly, but I figured I’d list a few of my own personal listening library a little more in detail to provide a taste of the things you can find and so you can all judge me to make yourselves feel better today.

* Side note: I’m an infuriating person to read or watch things with because I can’t not talk about plot holes, incorrect science and bad grammar- but after starting podcasts, I think I speak for at least nobody in saying that I’m much more tolerable now that I have an outlet.

Startalk Radio
Neil Degrasse-Tyson has a podcast series, did you all know that? Apparently he has for years and years – his soothing scientist voice mixed with science-y topics is the best.

The Worldbuilder’s Anvil
The guys I plugged in one of my last posts, but they’re pretty hilarious and have a few days’ worth of content, all of which is fabulous if you’re a creative type who likes making up stories, worlds, or lies.
http://gardul.com/category/podcast/worldbuilders-anvil/

Writing Excuses
I honestly didn’t really expect to like this one as much as I actually do – these guys are hilarious and cover a huge array of topics which are fascinating if you’re into story telling and writing. Also, the hosts are authors and some of their stories are REALLY GOOD AND AUDIOBOOKED FOR DRIVING.
http://www.writingexcuses.com/

Grammar Girl
Discussions about correct usage of words and grammar in context? I can’t be the only person interesting in these things…right!?

A Way with Words
You’re all probably getting the gist of a pattern here I’m assuming – most of what I’m interested in is literally language, words, grammar and storytelling with a little science mixed in. These guys are less ‘everyday’ use and more of a ‘ohhhh THAT’S what it means and where it comes from’ type of listen – but it’s relaxing and I like the hosts!

I’ve got a few more I personally listen to, but the point of this post was more about the idea of podcasts and getting deeper into your own interesting hobbies, even while you’re stuck doing something as amazing as sorting through 15,000 boxes that have been stacked in your garage since you were 6. They’re also really good for just filling in the quiet when you’re doing the things you enjoy but don’t make noise, say crocheting or running.

Already listening to podcasts? Let me know what you’ve got on your list and I’ll check it out!
Stay curious out there,

Week One with Zen Dragon!

Welcome back my Brothers of Lore and Sisters of Myth to the Basic Composition Training course. WEEK ONE: Start. This week we begin our training towards Storycraft. Part One: For the Soldier. Today you must find your courage. Your inner strength. That thing inside of you that makes you want to become a writer in […]

via BCT: WEEK ONE: Start. — Soldier – Scholar – Scribe

To write, or not to write

Kris here,

Just to make it clear, I’m a yuuuge fan of reading. I’ve read a diverse array of genres, but I think my favorites are definitely Sci-Fi and Fantasy for sure. More specifically, I’m a sucker for exploring worlds imagined by the people writing those books. I’ll often be hundreds of pages deep in a book, get impatient as to whether or not they’re ever going to expand or if the story is all about this “protagonist” because by god I’ll throw that book at Tina and let her read it! Don’t tell anyone, but I looked up the ending to more than one book before actually finishing it. “But that’s the wrong way to read a book Kris!” I hear my wife telling you all to tell me. That’s fine, I don’t want to do it the right way, I just want to know if that jerk Antorell got punched in his stupid face!

Recently I’ve been building my own world to write stories in so I can sell them to a big publisher and become a billionaire author. The only shortfall in this scenario is that I usually get caught up in the tiny details I’m always hunting for in other books and then procrastinate until my muse finds a hammer big enough to knock me back on track. For example: I’m pretty sure in the beginning I want my main character to have the West blocked to him, he should go northeast to a city. What city, and what kind of reaction will they have to him? Well I don’t know I’ll come back to it in 5 or 6 weeks. I finally manage to get back to building and I figure I’ll work that out later, for now let’s just focus on getting the continents built. Hmmm, except I know I want some mountains and there should be a valley like right over….well whatever I’ll work it out in another 4 weeks.

The moral of the story here is don’t be like me! The best thing to do in these scenarios is to power through the uncertainty and writers’ block and just vomit some letters all over a page or computer screen. In a day or a week from now you’re going to come back and think “well I was clearly experimenting with some wack stuff, obviously the correct words I meant to write are..” You’ll just need to do this every day or every other day for roughly 6 months to a year and then you’ll get the joy of editing the words you wrote. A lot of writers dread editing because of reasons, editing is actually my favorite part aside from the worldbuilding aspect. That’s where I can actually allow myself to hyperfocus and zoom way, way in on those minute details that add up to make a floppy story. Maybe I’ll write a brief section on editing a story right after I look something up on YouTube real quick…

Good luck out there