Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Myth of Greatness

My title bothers me on a personal level. It bothers me because I took it from a Youtube video from vlogbrothers. It bothers me because I don't really have a subject on the matter other than myself. And lastly, it bothers me because it goes against one of my favorite quotes I made up, and it forces me to admit that I'm not great.
Gah, Ok, that sucks, I don't like typing that. I've always told myself, that I've worked too hard to not be great at what I want to be. I could be great at many things, but I'm not yet. Ok, this is sounding like a different rant I did before, where I talked about how I was lazy. That has been written and read. That is boring. Let's try something else... let's start with a new title...

The Myth of Youtube Greatness. 

Dammit... let's try one more time...


Yes, that's a good place to hide away from my fears and doubts. Yeah.

So, where to begin since you've last heard of my project? Hrmm.

I had written two seasons, and was about to start on the third. Well that has changed. I brought Kristi on as my editor (which she has chosen as her career, which is AWESOME for her) and she ripped holes through my story so quick, my story was nearly naked.  
I have since rewritten four of the episodes, whilst needing to write a new 5th, because the former 5th and now 6th episode just doesn't fit without something in there. By now the 2nd part of the story will need to be completely rewritten, because of how good the 1st one is.

The villain was introduced in a really dumb way before, and is now introduced well and works her way into the unfolding story smoothly. Her intentions and side is clearly mapped out, which it wasn't previously. 
The character Ryne has finally been written the way she should be, and is no longer introduced in a quirky, random way... Ugh, Kristi and I have argued about Caridisia and the Stories of Cir more often than actual relationship-y stuff. But we have finally managed a way to communicate without me getting huffy.
Anyway, I know the ^above doesn't make much sense, since you can't read it, but believe me, Kristi has improved the crap out of the story. Anyway, onto "Stories of Cir" which does come with a few spoilers about the world itself.

Here is the 4th draft of the world:
The Wold of Cir - 970

The Year and actual map is not yet confirmed, but it's my favorite so far (this is the only artwork I do, I promise). But this is the planet Cir. My animated story (thus far) revolves around the highlighted regions below:

So, as you can see, there are several parts of the world that is left, well, unattended. Now, I'm not sure if you know this, but I got a lot of stories under my belt, and many more wanting to be released. My idea is to write them into comics or web comics, and have them be released online, sharing the same timeline my animated show is on.

Even going beyond that, it would be a nice way to introduce and create a character through the comic, who ends up being involved in the show.This is something happening way later down the line, but something I'd like to share with my friends and family who read my blog. These are plans for making it a successful show. 

On the same map, here are some stories I've very roughly come up with...

They are all rough stories, not much meat in them yet, but they are ideas, and I really think they can open the world while still being in the same universe. 

... I have since lost my train of thought, as work and other matters have come up. I'll leave it as it is for now.

Couple side notes - I'm finally writing and recording stuff for Fit For a Hero. It has changed a bit, but I really like the outcome.

If there are any map makers who'd like to draw my map a bit better, I'd love for you to message me and lemme know!

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." - Maya Angelou

Saturday, July 12, 2014

18 hours to go.

I am a big Youtuber.
I am a fan of Youtube, I am a fan of the communities, and I am an active member is several of the communities. I don't think I've ever made "top comment", but I know I've gotten really close. I have never "trolled" (gah I hate that word) but I've been tempted. I am subscribed to several members in which I have learned when they post and I even liked one of the videos so much that I redid it on my own. Mine isn't better by any stretch, but I loved that video and I have watched it at least twice since I redid it.
That being said, I spend a lot of time on Youtube. It is the only real video streamer service that works enough at work (Netflix and Hulu drag a LOT), and when I run out of my funny videos to watch, I try to find videos that capture my attention. That is how I found the vlog brothers, TED Talks, Vi Hart and other many many videos.

I consider it my bible of sorts. Not of religious purposes, but of community and inspiration and self-recognition. It helped me in many different ways, nothing real dramatic, and none of which I'll spell out here.

But I wanted to bring that up because not only did a series of YT videos help me realize my fears, a completely separate video got rid of some of those fears indefinitely.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Kristi helped me realize that my ideas that I had had were building up because I wasn't actually doing them. The reason being I didn't like not being good at it. I was constantly getting frustrated because I don't like learning and failing.

Now, the actual video is below; but the message he sends out is fairly basic.
"Take 20 hours of your life to learn something."
Now that is a pretty simple request. It is very reasonable. It's a part-time job for one week. Or an hour a day for 20 days. Split it up how you want, but 20 hours focused on anything and you will be good at it. Not an expert, but good. The key, the video tells me, isn't about being perfect, it's about knowing how to do it. Just try and work and learn for 20 hours, and you will be knowledgeable on how to do it, whatever it may be. That goes with video editing, musical instruments, learning a language, sports, video games.

20 hours of video recording is going to be a chore. 20 hours of editing is going to be a pain. But after 20 hours, it won't be a hassle then. I'll have the ability I need. It'll be easy.

 I am not afraid to learn anymore. I am 24. I am only 24. I have the internet at my fingertips and more tutorials are not available to everyone than ever before. You can learn, literally, whatever you want. And I want to learn video. I want to learn cuts and takes and angles and be a Youtuber.

Join me, will you?

~Just a thought.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

From the Inside Looking Out.

Hey everyone! We're getting colorful today!

So I have a story, but in order to tell that story, I need to tell you another story. This is a rather personal story that has no real merit and it won't change your views on me, but I think it is still a story worth sharing. Here is the first story to help describe the actual story I wish to tell.

When I was 21 I rented a house with a few roommates. It seemed to us that it was a rather large house, two bathroom, three bedroom home. A large portion of the backyard was extended for a separate "dining" room that included a bar, which connected directly to the kitchen, which connected to the living room and old dining room. Basically, it was one large room with hip high separated walls. Anyway, during our time there we had several parties, acquired some beat-up couches that friends had donated, they were upgrading and I just took what they didn't want. It provided a great area for drunk friends to sleep at. At one point I owned five couches, two entertainment centers, two desks, and a dining room table, and that's before heading into my master bedroom. Needless to say, I thought I was doing great, until I needed to move out into a friends spare bedroom. See, I was a very materialistic person at the time. I needed to acquire things and I couldn't let these things go. I had decided to rent a storage unit until I got a house again. After all, what is $40/month for all this stuff! 

However, I did the smart thing and talked to my dad about the idea, and he gave me one of the most insightful advice I had ever received up until that point in my life. He told me to throw it away. 

Now, I was very much against the advice at first. I didn't yell or anything, but that little person inside my brain (not the angel nor devil, more of like the accountant counting my stuff) kept telling me I needed it. Sure, it was beat up, sure friends gave it away for a reason, sure there may have been tears and stains and smells, but it was mine. And I had a lot of it. But, I had always trusted my dad before, and he hadn't let me astray yet (still hasn't), so I brought my roommate out of his room and together we threw away the beat up couches, gave away the spare entertainment center and desk, gave away the spare couches that were only worn. I gave the dining room table back to my family and was left with very few things. When I moved out of my house into my spare bedroom, I had a bed, desk, dresser, and my newer entertainment center, but it was taken apart and under my bed. And I felt free.

It was nothing short of amazing to me. The freedom of lack off stuff. That accountant who was on my shoulder just quit his job.

Now, please understand I have acquired more stuff now than those few items I listed in my story. But also understand that I wouldn't be sad if it were gone. I collect Captain America (CA) stuff like crazy, with a $280 Jacket replica, $100 metal shield, $70 sweater. I have CA stuff hung on walls, I have a CA mouse pad, I have CA glasses still in boxes, two CA coffee mugs and an assortment of CA action figures. But if there ever is a moment a kid looks at this stuff in awe and says he wants one of his own to play with, he'll probably be walking out of my office with a new toy. If I ever have a friend say that we should drink from said boxed cups in celebration of something. You bet your ass I'll be tearing those boxes apart for some memories.

Anyway, back on track. After that day I made two rules that I try my hardest to still follow today.

1 - Never keep stuff you don't need or want. Only have stuff that you use. This rule has been the one rule that allows myself to feel free. Since I made this rule, I've given many things away, including my bed, CDs, Mp3 player, games, books, and a bass guitar. And even if it is not actually in the rule, I always give it away. I don't sell it. I am well enough off to not pander it off to the highest bidder. I give it to someone who I feel wants/needs the stuff.  
Side Note: Unfortunately for some, listening to this piece of advice in the strictest sense leaves you without many sentimental items. I don't care about sentimental items in my life. I have people, friends, family, and pets. This hurts some people, but they love me anyway. 

2 - Take advice from the person who's Outside looking in - This is the hardest of all hard things to listen to. Giving away my stuff was one of the most mentally straining decisions I ever have ever done. But it was probably the best decision I had made at that time. I have since sold my small dog Joey against the love of the guy, broken up with girls who I had strong feelings for, and got rid of my Charger despite the roar of the engine. This is stuff I did not want to do, but family and friends told me to make it. I trusted in their decision over my own brain screaming "No! No! NO!" And it has worked out so far.

Knowing this, this brings me to my actual story. A very recent one actually, yesterday, at dinner. So Kristi took me to a surprise dinner at Oregano's, which ended us at The Spaghetti Company because we decided not to wait an hour and a half. We ordered food and talked for a bit. Mostly about the different projects we have going on in our life. I say projects and not Project, because Project is something specific that you know if you've been reading my blog for a while. ANYWAY, we're talking about our projects in life, her diet, my workout schedule, the Project (there it is!), and then my other video projects that I have rattled around in my head. I keep those projects (lower p) to myself and let them stew for a while. I share them with Kristi out loud so I can hear it being said, and she's kind enough to say nothing opinion-related until asked. So, these are some of the video projects that have been stewing, so you can be where she is at right now:

The Project: Cardisia - Wrote almost two seasons worth that I go over constantly and re-edit to make sure it flows. I will be having a second editor go through them very soon.
Time to completion - Months - Ongoing process with the wonderful group.
Effort - Lots, but enjoyable

Fit For a Hero - Video series of me becoming a superhero. That's right. Working out, working hard, and devoting some screen time to the wonderful heroes of comics.
Time to completion - Weeks - Video Recording, Working out, Challenges, Video editing...
Effort - Lots, but I need to work out anyway.

Hero Days - Another video series my friend and I are throwing around. Crossing Universes between Marvel and DC, just ranting about the other heroes in our Universe while highlighting what is actually going on in the world of comics. No Time frame or effort yet made though.

Vlogging - I watch many vlogs and I enjoy them, and I started thinking instead of this written blog, what about video-blogging? eh?! EH?!
Timeframe - Short (video would be 5 min long), but weekly.
Effort - Minimal, just little edits here and there.

Reading John Green's book "The Fault in Our Stars" - So, I understand this book is fairly popular to the outside world, but I only caught sight of it after watching John Green's Youtube channel. I enjoy watching him rant about feel-good things. He wrote this book called "The Fault in Our Stars" and it became a movie. After I told Kristi about it, she saw the book at the store and I purchased it and read it in two-three days and loved it. So I thought, what an interesting thing to do. I know one person does it on Youtube, so why not I? I loved the book, it wouldn't take very long I don't think, and I could get some followers.
Time to completion - Short (reading requires only a little editing as I have a script)
Effort - Minimal. I have my script. I sit. I read.

So all of those ideas in red are ideas I came up with and talked about with her at one time or another.
When I told her about Reading John Green's book, she said nothing, but silently shook her head. I asked for her opinion, and this is what she said:
"I think when you are considering doing recordings for Youtube, you get nervous and want to start copying ideas instead of doing your own. "Fit For a Hero" is a great idea that you haven't started and you seem stuck in the planning phase, you just keep coming up with different ideas that aren't yours to do. People already Vlog and people already read books on Youtube."

And that's when I grew silent. I was silent because I wanted to argue with her. She asked why I was silent and I told her I was thinking, which I was. I sensed that "No! No! NO!" voice in my head, just disagreeing with everything she said to me. Even though she is completely right. I have decided to take her advice over the screaming brain that just wants to keep my delusion that vlogging and reading books were my idea.

I am scared. I am scared I am no good, scared to ask if I can record in the gym I go to. I'm scared to write something that I can't pull off and get frustrated. I am scared of the work and the effort I would need to put into it. But waiting around isn't going to get it done. It's time to start. Be bad if I must, and improve.

So, I love the few readers I have. And I only share on Facebook and Deviant Art now (One person read from the Ukraine!) But I am legitimately curious how many views I can get in a week. So I have a request. If you enjoyed this colorful blog, share it with a friend. This isn't for Youtube points or reddit points, or anything of the sort. Just my curiosity. Thanks!

It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. - Herman Melville

Thursday, June 12, 2014


So, before you read this. Be aware it is a rant. After watching some videos online I decided I needed to get more internal fears out onto the digital pavement that I have been given. I wrote it once and haven't edited it in the slightest. When I thought of a another fear, I added it, so it might seem a bit broken up, but that's OK with me.

As I'll say below, this isn't looking for sympathy or empathy or anything of the sort. This is for a more personal reason that I decided to release. I wanted it out of my system. An excerpt of my mind-diary.

Side Note: I felt this needed to be said, but this isn't about the Project. The Project and it's crew are going smoothly and we're working on storyboard and colors right now. This is about other endeavors I plan on taking, and I can't get over that stump of "starting".

I'm afraid of the camera. I think people will judge me, they will cringe, they won't watch my videos. I have an online social anxiety of being identified by something other than a good person. My several video ideas are related to comics, I have thrown the idea around of vlogging just to get used to the camera, but I dunno. I am too hard on myself. I expect perfection. To be ignored means I wasn't good. And I'm afraid of that.

It isn't just the recording, it's editing. I am not good at it, I don't like doing things that require more practice. Despite my age of 24 I feel like I am almost too old to go back to school for anything. Everything is self-taught and therefore self-pushed and self-criticized and self-failure. Listening to my voice as I edit bothers me. Deciding that it could be better and then feeling like I need to redo it. I know logically that it wouldn't be something most would catch, but I catch it, so it now matters.

Asking people to help is something seem to be OK with, but I hate asking. I hate asking because I don't have anything to give in return. Whether it is to participate in videos, hold the camera, edit the footage, view the footage. I don't want to annoy those around me.

It's all about the prep work. The prep work is hard. I always tell friends that I could head to the gym every day, if I could just have my gym clothes on during the start of the day. If I could wake up and be there I could do it. But it's the getting ready, setting my music, driving there, knowing my routine, and then finally getting to where I want to be. And that's working out.

The same goes for video making. I built my studio, I have everything I need, it just isn't together. My laptop and cords and camera need to be moved into that one room and set up. I need to find a clean shirt, make up some dialogue, know my dialogue enough. "Don't say 'Uhhm' too much." And don't have too many takes, because if you can get your computer to the studio and set up the studio and record and move the computer back into the office, you'll need to edit. And editing is just prep work for posting. It's mind blowing how frustrating prep work is to me.

It's the first video that's the hardest. That's what I tell myself. I tell myself that because I am hoping after this struggle of finding out what I would find interesting in hoping others would find it interesting too it will become easier.

I think of when I am already popular. My mind doesn't have that milestone of "work hard to get there" it is "when you get there" and I think my brain tells me I am entitled. This would be nothing I would think myself, but I always think of "series 2" instead of focusing on Series 1. With this thought process Series 1 becomes prep work for what I should be doing. And, unfortunately, prep work is irritating.

I don't write this for sympathy or empathy or for people to tell me it'll be Okay or to make false promises in watching my videos that I plan to post. I just want to be able to have my fear recognized.

I am lazy and I hate being lazy. I hate being lazy but I am lazy because I hate chasing my dreams. If I catch my dreams and my dreams become reality and I realize my grass is, in fact, green, I will have to continue to take care of it. Letting it die and envy "the other side" where the grass is greener is just easier.

It is easier to wish on a star and have it not come true because that's what we are taught when we are children. To wish on a star and realize you are already a real boy and everything else is hard work.

It's easier to lose myself in Netflix or Hulu or Youtube. To not think for those few hours through the day before work where I can wish to go home "to be productive" or sleep where I can set my alarm to get up early, only to sleep in again and again. The moment I can get past the prep work though...

I am open minded, but I don't take advice well. I tend to think that I know better at what I want. I try to remain open to suggestion but it doesn't work well often. And I don't know why.

Thank you for listening.

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” 
Frank Herbert, Dune

Friday, May 16, 2014

Plan A

Hey Everyone! I have great news!!

I am quitting my job.

Not yet, mind you. But that's the plan.

August 21st, 2015. That's the date. Why then? Well, first off, it's a Friday. Gotta have that weekend. Second, it is a little after my 5-year mark, which is when the company says you're "invested" and you get to keep your retirement money they contribute. And lastly, well, because that day has been planned since I was 16.

Not the day specifically, mind you, but I have always planned on owning my own business. It has always been my "Plan A". In high school and college I had planned on having my own computer business. Having a small, in the wall place where I work at a desk fixing computers for people's homes. It'd expand and I'd hire on some helpers. Later the plan changed to be my brother and I, just working back to back in a small office. Sure, it'd be cramped, but working on computers and being able to bounce ideas off one another, have lunch every day, catch up, be best friends, man that'd be the life. It didn't work out exactly the way we wanted, but that's OK. I have a stable job in the IT field and he is a dad and has a job elsewhere.

And even though I no longer want to work in the IT field, the idea of making my own hours and producing my own work is still something I want and I won't have it any other way. And now that the project has made some amazing headway the past few months, I can actually see it being something towards the end of the year, which means I have something close to 8 months of saving and funding and planning in order to do it on my own without a bi-weekly paycheck.

Most importantly, it will be something *I* want to do.

I don't have it all figured out, I know that. There is still a lot to get done. But I now have a deadline.

The other thing is just the stress that's been lifted.

Now, when I say stress, it isn't with the job itself. My job is rather easy, I have time to do side, personal projects (like writing this currently) and a lot of the tasks are repetitive and easy. But the company itself is just falling apart. Every day I feared of being let go, desperately searching for a job to make sure I have an income, Every day our boss would give us a new "time filler" task because our Utilization was low that month and our new parent company didn't like the numbers. It is just a high stressed environment with the motivation of, "Do it or your fired." But not anymore. I don't need this job anymore. I'll do my best damn job this year, but only because I have an end to it.

The next thing I'll talk about is the project. I knew you were waiting on an update, don't lie. The project is something that continuously impresses me. We've gone from a good idea to something that is becoming real. We have character templates, and schedules, and planned meetings. We now not only have an animator, but a special effects guy who seems eager to help.

I have some artists dubbed as colorists because of their school schedule, others have just finished finals and are on Template duty again. I had one artist in specific who was tied up in the work/school combo and couldn't help for a few months, but has recently chimed in and said he's back in full force and wanting to do the storyboard. After a few days of impatiently waiting I messaged him and he responds the same day with, "I have some stuff done, but I've redone it 15 times to make it better." And that is just something that... I dunno, it's like a compliment that you just know is genuine. Just makes you feel good.

Speaking of feel good, my older brother Jeremy came over to my moms for Mothers Day and I got to sit with him and talk with him, which I don't get to do often enough. But I got the time that day and I sat with him and told him about my project and showed him a few screenshots from the Group, and he was as happy to hear it as anyone would I imagine. One of those, "I'm impressed! But that's not what I'm into." Kinda like a really cool model train set. Only super impressive when other train model enthusiasts come to visit. Anyway, I showed him and I guess he sensed my excitement and listened to my plans of the show, potential comics and other side stories involved.
What really made me feel good was the text he sent the next day. "Was really cool to see your dream start coming to life like it is!"

I think it just says a lot. It shows he was thinking about me the next day, he's not criticizing, and he realizes how much this means to me. It's the words of encouragement behind the message of compliment, a win-win, a genuine feel good message. And I loved it.

Thank you for Reading, and I'll see you next time.
~Just a thought.

The first step before anybody else in the world believes it, is you have to believe it. 
There's no reason to have a Plan B because it distracts from Plan A.
Exerpt from Will Smith

Sunday, March 9, 2014

One Hour Unbelievable.

I'll admit, I really really want to talk about the project. It is going along swimmingly. Lately we have been making great progress as we're pushing toward the Storyboard and animation side of things. We're still in early stages of development, but man oh man. There's something special to see other people who are working with you take up the reigns and give that silent nod saying, "I want this to happen." It's just amazing. I honestly think that I'll be keeping in touch with some of these people for a long long time. It is strange to think that I'm working with people literally all over the globe. From Vietnam, to Indonesia, to Mexico. There are a few here in the UK and US as well, truly incredible. Thank you Internet.

But enough about the project for now... Cause there are a few other things I can talk about.

My personal life has been pretty grand, the house is set up minus a few rugs we want to find. It took four months, but I'm not worried. We're finally in a routine where we are keeping the entire place cleaned up. Maybe after I get some of my yardwork done we can host a party of some kind. Close friends and/or Karaoke friends. There are a lot of people whom I haven't seen in a while.

The gym is a semi-regular thing now, not on a schedule, but I don't disdain going. I want to go, I want to beat myself up and lose this weight I know I can lose. The only thing I still need to get back into my life is hiking. Linux loves his backyard, but I am sure-shootin' that he is missing the long trails and walks he used to get regularly.

Speaking of Linux, I have officially decided that dogs will always be involved in my life. Kristi and I went to the Renaissance festival this year and we stopped at one of the shops who makes you a custom coin necklace. Basically you choose two of their designs and the guy there essentially hammers the design into each side and you get a rather unique necklace.

It took me forever to choose my designs. I wanted one, but I wanted one that really spoke to me. Then I saw a paw print labeled, "Dog" and I just felt that I needed to have it. I couldn't decide on the other side of the coin to be honest, because none of them were going to fit me so well. I was stuck between a wolf howling at the moon, and the Thor's hammer (The Norse God version). I settled on Thor's hammer, cause it was more interesting and it represented strength and power. But every time I wear the necklace, I love that paw. So much so, I want to get a tattoo of it on my chest.

I only have one tattoo, and I've always planned on getting more, but I want to make sure I get in shape before that happens to help maintain it. My chest is looking better, and I continue to improve it, so here soon I do want to get a paw print there. At first I was going to go with a plain brown, but now I'm thinking I want something a bit more, maybe a texture of red, blue, and teal. Just a bit of color thrown in. I dunno quite yet, but when I do figure it out, it'll be etched into my skin.

Aside from my animation project and my personal life, I have one additional "yay!" that is going on. A fellow DA member is making a graphic novel and requested a writer. I signed on and gave her one of my written works. She liked it and chose it to create a graphic novel out of her school's final project. She sent me her templates that she was doing for the characters and villains, and it is looking great. I told her honestly that I didn't imagine the villains being very much because I wrote the story rather quickly ( an itch in the brain that wouldn't go away), but now looking at her drawings I can really see them being evil. She appreciated the comment and said she'd keep me in the loop of the progress, and that she would not only give me credit for the writing portion, but send me the completed version. I'll be sure to share it once it is completed.

Even though life has its struggles (which I try to refrain from talking about intentionally) Life is going great. I couldn't really be happier. I mean, afterall, I couldn't ask for much more. Except, you know, maybe a beer with a few friends I haven't seen in a while. And if that's the only wish I need to ask for, then it is going pretty spectacular to me.

So what's going on with you guys? I know I haven't heard from half of my readers in the past two weeks. So message me, update me. Let me know how you're doin'. Say hi, hello, hey, or hola. Keep in touch, I want to hear from you, learn about your story of life. Because no one is as unique as you.

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.  - Oscar Wilde.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The scratch of an itch.

I continue to stare at my screen, watching Youtube videos but wanting to write. I just cannot find the drive to be creative at 5AM. Since my partners and I started heading to Paradise Bakery every Sunday afternoon, the need to write while at work has died down a bit.  But this project has become an itch that I just cannot scratch. I absolutely love writing, I just love it. Creating a world, creating the scenario, the problem, the creative solution, the cliffhanger, it is just a drug. I am as much as in love with my characters as I was when creating them.

That being said, tonight, I was reading through some of my old work and it really hit me. Almost every piece of fantasy setting that I have written has lead me up to this project. I unknowingly was writing this series I am currently making. The scenarios differed slightly, but the similarities were astounding to me when I reread them. And it made me happy. It kind of feels like it has always been there, ready to be brought to light. And now it is, slowly but surely.

Even though I cannot share with you my actual story just yet, I would like to show you what I read that almost seemed to correlate with what will eventually happen in my story. The one that brought me joy tonight. It is rough, unpolished, and unedited. I thought about dashing it up to make it a better read, but I have decided to appreciate the rough version better. I fixed one grammatical mistake, but that was it. So again, be gentle with the judging as it is unpolished, but this was probably the very first step into the light that is my project. This was created probably in 2011 when I did not regularly practice, and even still two of the characters in this story made it to what is now my animated series. I hope you enjoy this super sneak peak.
Jaraq walked off his ship as his soldiers around him took the supplies off and set up camp. He walked around this little shore, feeling the sand crunch under his boots. It had been fourteen years since he set foot on these familiar shores. He looked ahead toward the path on the hill and noticed a familiar giant standing on top. General Veraf. Once he was noticed, the general made his way down the slope. Jaraq’s personal guard placed their hands on their hilts, but Jaraq stepped forward, “I hope you are not all that is left to fight Veraf.”

Veraf put his hands up above his waist, “I come in peace prince, for lack of a better word.” And extended a hand.

Jaraq accepted, “How is my father’s finest general? And how is his lands?”

“The land is well and ready for a new harvest. Though rumor has it the heir has returned to take the crown after the kings passing. It has split troop’s loyalty. Between the third son and the first. You look well prince.”

“As do you.” Jaraq replied. Though fourteen years had passed, Veraf looked like the man Jaraq remembered when he was seven. His hair was graying on the sides, and wrinkles of wisdom and war were seen more clearly on his face, but other than those two features he looked the same, “And where does the General stand on this rumor?”

“If the heir has returned to claim his place, then I’ll see to it that he has the army to do so.”

Veraf looked beyond Jaraq and noticed three more ships on the horizon, “And it looks like you have Jaraq, son of King Strivian IV. And who do they hail from?”

“From my friends and allies who wish to see me king. It was their convincing that brought me here. Not my own pride. They are led by Captain Tria from Carsonis and Commander Karthos from Copperhold.”

Upon hearing their names, Tria and Karthos approached from the shore, “And,” Jaraq continued, “My brother, Strivian V”. Strivian walked off the boat upon hearing his name called. He froze for just a second, seeing the stranger with his father’s crest on his chest, Jaraq motioned him down, “He will be a prince when I am king, as he should have been when we were exiled.”

Veraf shook Strivian’s good hand and looked toward the other, “That arm still lame?”

“Always will be.” Strivian said.

Veraf nodded. He looked toward Jaraq once more, “I have a gift.” Veraf said. He released a belt on his chest and reached behind him. The General took out king’s sword and presented it toward the prince, “Flash this sword in front of the Crimson men and they will follow you into battle. Jaraq took it and placed the belt around his waist. “General, you have an army to lead if you are fit.”

Veraf stood and nodded, looking at his new allies, “So it is then. The six people who choose to hold the balance of the world. Jaraq the Heir, Tria the Captain, Karthos the Commander, Strivian the Brother, and Veraf the General.” Veraf smiled, “Are you ready to shape history?  

So that's it. I appreciate you reading, and I am happy to be back at the blog. I haven't written here since... Oct 2013, yep, that sounds right, that's when the project really took off for me. I appear to have been bragging a bit. No one responded to my written offers, but that's OK. No harm no foul.

Writing is my passion. What is yours? What is your passion?

"A lot of guys just don't want to lift those weights, a lot of the guys just don't wanna do it. But you know what? Your blessing in life is when you find the torture you are comfortable with ... That goes with Marriage, it's kids, it's work, it's exercise, not eating the foods you want to eat. Comedy is a torture I love."
- Jerry Seinfeld