Quote of the Moment

"Magic comes from what is inside you. It is part of you. You can't weave together a spell you don't believe in." - Jim Butcher

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Darkness in Star Trek: Discovery

***WARNING: You bet there are spoilers! Hard not to with this series if you've watched past episode one - lol. So, if you don't want to be spoiled, move along. And I'm sorry to those who can't watch this show due to it being on CBS All Access. Honestly, it's worth the price.***

Yes, we shelled out the money for CBS All Access so we could watch Star Trek: Discovery. I have been a Trekkie since I was a kid, when my dad would turn on the Original Series (and promptly fell asleep in his recliner while I watched -- lol). So it was impossible to resist a new Star Trek series.

However, I'm guessing a lot of hardcore Trekkies might be disappointed. It's not your typical Star Trek. No, it's much darker.

And I love it.

While I also loved the old stuff, I'm not one of those people who is going to poo-poo this new series just because it's different and not what one would expect from Star Trek. I feel it's wonderfully written. And oh, do I love the darkness (which is why I tend to write dark myself).

Most Star Treks feel more distant, as you're following the bigger cast for the most part. Discovery, though, feels more up close and personal -- you're clearly following Michael Burnham around. From one ship to the next even. Though scenes aren't relegated to only ones with her in it, she still seems like the central glue that holds it all together. And it makes for a pretty powerful story, in my opinion.

Yet even though she's the focus, the things that happen aren't always done to her, which was well thought out. In the episode where Harry Mudd is resetting the timeline (and killing everyone on the Discovery off each iteration) it's not Michael who realizes what's going on, but Lieutenant Paul Stamets. Of course it made sense that he was aware of it, and it was refreshing to see that it wasn't Michael who first realized the problem.

I do love the show, and waiting a full week for the next episode has been a special kind of torture (the long break was even worse). But that doesn't mean I don't have some dislikes and criticisms.

My biggest issue, even 11 episodes into the season, is the physical change they made to the Klingons. I prefer them looking like Worf. Really a small quibble, if you think about it. I understand why they wanted to make some changes like this, but I can't help but wish I was looking at the Klingons I grew used to in Star Trek: Next Generation.

The other thing that kind of gave me an eye twitch was the false bait in the previews. "Oh, look, it's a Star Trek with a female captain and female first officer." I was super psyched for this. But then by the end of episode two, the aforementioned captain is dead and Michael is stripped of rank for being a mutineer. I mean, it's great story-telling, of course, but I still feel like I was fooled. Now we're on a ship with both a male captain and first officer. Though in the alternate universe, things do get a little mixed up (Emperor Georgiou, anyone?). Michael's actually a captain, and so is Tilly (I hope she keeps that hairdo when she returns to the right universe - lol). Still, that false hope from the previews still has me a little bitter.

OK, enough of the negative. I shouldn't dwell on that because overall Star Trek: Discovery rocks.

I actually re-watched episodes one through nine before the second half of the season started up. And lo and behold, I noticed several things I had missed my first watch-through (I don't read many articles and Easter Egg bits on the internet, so don't raise that eyebrow at me). The biggest was that Captain Lorca has a Tribble! And once I noticed the darn thing in the first episode, I wondered how I'd missed it the whole time when I kept seeing it in subsequent episodes. The noise I had mistaken for a computer was actually the Tribble!

I love Tribbles. I should have named one of my cats Tribble... maybe a future cat. ;)

Anyway, I can't wait to see the rest of the season and what new darkness will be discovered.

What do you think about Star Trek: Discovery? Love it, hate it, aren't quite sure yet? No matter if you agree with me, I hope you live long and prosper!

Thursday, January 04, 2018

2018... What? Already?

Nothing like the end of a year and the beginning of the next sneaking up on you. I'd love to snap a picture of my 1-Year Plan written in my Bullet Journal for this post, but alas it hasn't made it into the Bullet Journal yet.

At least I have a 1-Year Plan, even if it's only in a Word doc right now. Guess what? I have a 5-Year Plan, too! That was pretty damned hard to do, though it's only drafting, revising, and publication goals.

Last year, I jumped into the year with too high expectations for my productivity. I can declare this, since I didn't hit all of my goals. But I'm still thrilled with the progress I did make. So this year, I'm going to be more realistic. I crunched numbers (numbers are fun), and my plan for this year follows how productive I was last year. Yay for realism? Hehe.

Before I get into a few items from my 1-Year Plan, just know, if you're patient, you'll discover which Tarot card won in my survey. You just have to read to the end for it. Oh, the suspense! ;)

I decided I needed a few mantras for 2018. Maybe if I repeat these every day, they'll sink in. And I think they say a lot about where I am in my writing career right now.

2018 Writing Mantras

❦ Slow Down.

❦ Just Write.

❦ Live.

❦ One Word At A Time.

❦ Any Progress Is Good Progress.

❦ All In Time.

Writing kind of took over my life last year, which is why the first one is, "Slow Down." I love to write and I have a writing career to build, but I don't want to sacrifice everything else in my life, including family time. In 2017, I felt like I was scrambling with writing all year and ignoring everything else too much.

With that said, my main writing goals for this year follow! (Note: This excludes any developmental editing and beta reading work -- I do have a limit of work hours per week scheduled for that as well, though.)

2018 Writing Goals

❦ 10 hours per week of writing and writing related tasks. (No more, no less -- though I have some scheduled weeks off.)

❦ Maximum 2 hours per week of critiquing.

❦ Complete revisions and do an edit of Thorns Entwine the Blade.

❦ Draft, revise, and edit the next Fortunes of Fate story. (What card will it be based on? Keep reading!)

❦ Start revisions on the poor, neglected novel, Dead As Dreams

❦ 1 newsletter per month -- each one will include a chapter of the first draft of Chains of Nect: Obsidian's Obsession in mobi and epub formats!

❦ 1 blog post every 2 weeks. (Yup, I'm reducing the blog post frequency again -- I may have a few extras, though, depending on how the year goes.)

That's the main stuff. Oh, you wanted to know about publications? Yes, yes. I still plan to release two titles in 2018, but right now I don't have publication dates. I don't want to stress myself out with firm deadlines. Progress is what's important.

2018 Publications

Thorns Entwine the Blade (Trinity Torn, 2)

Untitled Fate Story (Fortunes of Fate, 7) -- Sorry there's no title yet!

This post has gotten rather long already. So I won't go into my 5-Year Plan extensively, but I will mention some general details. Again, it mostly contains word count goals for drafting and revision along with hopeful publication dates. I expect it to change each year, as a plan like this is mainly just to see where I'm heading and isn't set in stone.

You already know the publication goals for 2018. So... 2019 -- Dead As Dreams and GSD vs. Everything. 2020 -- I'll be working on the draft and revisions of the third Trinity Torn novel for most of the year, so publications will hopefully be 1 Fate story and 1 other story connected to Trinity Torn. 2021 -- The third Trinity Torn novel, a Fractured Fairies story, and a Devil Made Me story. 2022 -- Downward Spiral, the first title in my Urban Unicorn novel series, 1 Fate story, and 1 collection of short stories (old and new).

5-Year Plans are scary, no? I think they are.

OK, I promised to reveal the Tarot card, didn't I? This post is huge! Maybe I should leave it for next time. You can wait two weeks, right?

Fine, fine. I'll be nice.

I had 2 votes each for:

❦ The Chariot
❦ Temperance
❦ The Empress

But there was a card I had 3 votes for. And that card is...

❦ The Hermit

So that's the next one I'll be doing! This will be interesting. Jasp, the protagonist of the last Fortunes of Fate story, was a bit hermit-like. Which means it will be fun to see what I can do to make this next story completely different. The options are plentiful, especially since I can pull from the upright and reversed meanings of the card.

Thank you to all who voted!

I hope everyone excels with their 2018 goals. I'd be happy to hear what anyone else has planned for the year, writing related or not!