Yooka-Laylee is here (and updates are near!)

Hey! I got a game in the mail yesterday! It’s Yooka-Laylee! I made a video.

I will have many more videos over the next week with more detailed thoughts on my impressions of the game. I went on a bit on Twitter about my thoughts regarding setting it up and I think a bit about the actual rollout of the game to Kickstarter backers, or, I might have only said that on Kickstarter itself.

Unrelated, I was thinking recently I don’t post here often enough. I often say that. Not here, though. I don’t post here often enough to say that here often enough. But if I keep saying I don’t post here often enough then maybe I will have said it here often.

I realized I say quite a bit on Twitter and sometimes have updates there. However, not everyone has Twitter. I do not blame those who don’t. I want to put notable or important updates on my website more, but I realized posting on here is just a hassle compared to Twitter. I have to go through several pages, oh my goodness, but mostly it’s just that WordPress is slow. For some reason it loads and moves slow and slows down my browser. I don’t know what it is.

Anyway I’m going to post simple updates here more often, such as each individual Pokemon comic instead of 10 at once (Next one coming tomorrow!). Nnnnot the YL videos, though. That’s a bit much. If you’re interested I plan to just have a new video once a day in a normal week (and some extra ones this weekend) until I run out of videos to post. I also might try to make posts in here when I sometimes run the risk of going on for a bit on Twitter. I need to make this place look alive, after all. It’s way more important than Twitter. Twitter’s just dumb jokes. This is writing.

Oh speaking of updates I’ll also have a new profile tomorrow or Sunday. I’ll be busy tomorrow with birthday shenaginags (oh yeah today’s my birthday) and Sunday I’ll probably go visit relatives but I’m sure I’ll get it up one of those days.

Creator Highlight: Amanda Rosenberg

In this last highlight post until I am again able to remove myself from capitalism for a while, let’s look at another funny person I found on Medium, Amanda Rosenberg. She writes funny stuff and is an editor at some group thing-or-other on Medium, I don’t know how it works, it just has a name, actually, maybe it’s the banner that’s important, which would make sense since it went with the ugliest color they could find, come on, that’s not not nearly the ugliest color. Not nearly gray enough.

She has also written some pieces on depression. I’m here to talk about the funny bits.

Amanda has actually written quite a few pieces of mock company email strings such as from CEOs. I um. I assume they’re mock ups. I assume I’m using that word right. I assume these aren’t real emails. Here’s “Emails From A CEO Who Just Has A Few Changes To The Website“, with infinite scrolling and this amazing section:

What if the homepage was just a picture of a white wall? Think about it. People will be like “Where am I? What’s happening?” and isn’t that the whole point of having a site?

There’s also “Emails From A CEO Who Just Had A Great Branding Idea“, featuring a website covered in human skin. How’s that for the ugliest color to be found?

Next there’s this piece about Apple removing the headphone jack. I have never used an Apple product. I can only assume this is accurate! There are also these amazing “Motivational Startup Taglines” such as “BUILD THE PAST, IN THE PRESENT, WITH FUTURE MONEY,” and “EMPOWER, OVERPOWER, CAULIFLOWER.” Though I prefer eggplant. After all, there is no “can’t” in “eggplant”.

Um. Let’s move on.

Last one, and definitely the most powerful of the bunch, is “My Thoughts On The Brexit Vote“, and if you read this, Amanda, I am in no way trying to downgrade your other stuff in favor of what does appear to be random keyboard mashings! (Because of course I am certain every single letter in that piece was chosen with precision and dexterity? Dexterity is a thing people use to choose letters, I am pretty sure.)

Anyway, that’s some highlights for the sharp-witted Amanda Rosenberg. I’m out for…

Wait, you know what? No. One more thing.

I Replaced The Word ‘Millennials’ With ‘43-Year-Old White Men’ And Now These Headlines Are *Italian Chef Kissing Fingers Gesture*

It’s a pretty simple piece that just changes one term, but, here’s the thing. Apparently there was a little hubbub about a week ago about an editor-in-chief on the news site Mother Jones tweeting about hating millennials because they won’t vote for Hillary Clinton (or something–the tweet has since been deleted).

“43-Year-Old White Men Just Aren’t That Into Hillary Clinton, and it Could Cost Her the Election”

Mrlneh? I think maybe headlines related to Trump are even better. “Can Donald Trump win over 43-Year-Old White Men?” Although just about anything related to the election seems to work pretty well. Unrelated to the election but:

“Will the Left Survive the 43-Year-Old White Men?”

Actually you know the original piece I didn’t find too funny, but apparently when the idea is applied to actual series-sounding titles with possible ramifications on the real world and not just weird faddish articles I find it funny! Look I may be editorializing a little here but I’m pretty sure what we can learn from this is that I’m terrible.

Amanda Rosenberg! Check her out! Her writing, I mean.

Creator Highlight: James Stuart

I’ve just changed the title for this to creator, because I figured, hey, if I’m doing more than just story-authors, why not do comics, too? I read a lot of comics, it turns out. So why not take a look at a comic? Why not took a lake– Sorry, what? I mean, why not take a look at a comic by an Australian pal of mine, James, called Sam the Dawg.

I mean, sure, he has a wonky update schedule where he doesn’t always update, but he’s been updating again, so why not get it noticed so that he can be totally embarrassed if he falls behind again? Yes, I am sometimes evil. I mean helpful.

Anyway! Sam the Dawg is a comic mostly about a dog named Sam. It doesn’t have a particularly established canon really, he generally appears to have an owner who at least has the same name as James. It’s a pretty clever and cute comic that generally seems to be about whatever he comes up with (there have been a few without Sam in the past, as well). James also works on other art and projects (and university) which is why the comic doesn’t always have updates but anyway before I lose track of what I’m saying I’ma just post some comics!

In fact, he updated with one just today. It has pirates!

Like all good webcomics, there are also sometimes video game references.

So I was scrolling through looking for something both good and that wouldn’t need other comics to understand and somehow traveled three years into the past. His art style has changed over time. I remember when he decided to start drawing Sam with a mouth that didn’t look just pasted on!

A lot of 2014 and 2015 had comics related to one another. There was an ongoing story involving a shovel, as well as the start of a short-lived series called Maximum Punch.

And then there’s this classic one that’s just silly.

And here’s a couple fun ones about Animal Crossing.

Anyway, there’s some highlights. I recommend checking out more! Comics from before 2013 have a lot more simplistic style than the later ones, although I wouldn’t say they were worse (note: I only wouldn’t say that because I’d have go look back through and compare them, and I’ve taken too long on this post as it is, as I do with every blog post, so I’m gonna end it soon).

One last thing I’ll note is that he’s also done some animation work. This one is pretty neat!

Oh yeah, and James was the guy who drew the art for the Nobody Ever Visits the Magma Monster shirt for the Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos that’s available, and no I didn’t just highlight James so I could mention that.

Author (or Writer) Highlight: Lauren Parker

Whoa, wait, I started this two weeks ago? This last week kinda blew by. Yeesh. So today I have something a little different, because I realized if I just focus on those writing stories I’ll run out of entries before the month is over. That probably shouldn’t be the case since there’s so many people writing, but the crux is how many are writing good? Side crux, if I find it interesting. There’s also the factor of my wanting to focus on those who may not have a big following, which of course means it’s hard for me to find them.

Anyway! Let’s look at Lauren Parker. She’s a neat lady who writes and says things, but I’m focusing on the write because, ha ha listening to people? I first came across her on Medium, and she has some cool pieces on there! Her writing is pointed, funny when available, and sometimes even inspirational, though still with that zesty tinge of crazy that makes the internet amazing (no, not that kind of crazy, I mean the good crazy, you know, like high-density lipoprotein, aka good cholesterol).

A few examples from Medium: Events I Submit to be Considered for the Olympics, which is a rather quick read but long-lasting due to the images it conjures. It starts out strong and with a cereal I’ve never heard of so I had to look it up and now I have to assume that everything related to the cereal and its company went into the decision to name it mostly because the company is co-owned by the figgin Chinese government.

I think I got off-track.

Apparently there was some guy telling other guys to bother women wearing headphones a little while back, and Lauren wrote a companion piece related wherein she suggests you set yourself on fire. I mean, there’s other parts, including the important straightforward end paragraph, but fire. It works.

The last one I’ll post is longer and more inspirational/haggardational: An Open Letter to Myself. Actually, now that I think about it, this could totally be seen as a short story in second-person voice. It’s a little stream-of-consciousness, but I’d say it’s uplifting in a sideways sort of way. Not everyone can just stop and reflect a mirror at themself.

Okay! Join me tomorrow when it’ll suddenly be next week and I’ll realize that even expanding to “anyone who writes anything ever” I’ll run out of people in a month. I really shouldn’t. I probably won’t. But for some reason it sure feels like it.

Author Highlight: Graham Milne

Oh shoot I went out for a walk around the lake today and almost forgot about this, okay, okay, who’s next? This guy! Graham Milne, a guy who took his given name and made it into a pun for his weblogsite. Good for him! He is opinions and apparently Canadian. I don’t think I noticed that before, or more likely just glossed over it.

What has he done? According to his about me page, he’s written a novel, is working on a sequel, and has ideas for more, and is currently working on getting the first one published. But what actually puts him in a situation where I’m talking about and highlighting and throwing cabbages at him is that there is a full serial story that he wrote: Vintage: A Fantasy Serial. It’s also a pretty fancy serial. It is free to read, which means I read it, liked it, finished reading it, and am now going to talk about it a bit. Because it turns out free stuff captures my attention. It’s what I’m doing, after all. Although I think “free stuff captures my attention” can be applied to 90% of the human race.

Aside from his website, it’s also available on Wattpad. Though Graham I came across simply by wondering around the internet. There happens to be one chapter only on Wattpad though because it is rated euphemism! Taking place in the same world as the novels he’s working n, it follows a French-inspired country trying to cut off magic, and particularly the power of witches, which a government organization sees as a threat to their power. A high-ranked officer whose job is to root out these witches gets to know one and questions his choices, though, and, hey, wait, I didn’t summarize or describe the story in the last highlight.

It’s actually been like half a year since I read Vintage, so let me try to recall my thoughts on it. The story felt like it evolved naturally and nothing felt out of place. This is the case even when some characters returned without that originally planned. (Later on Graham had some reflections and mentioned how the story originally was meant to be only 4 or 5 parts long, and thus he hadn’t made an outline–instead he developed each part as he wrote and, because he posted them as he wrote, he couldn’t go back to tweak things and had to move forward.)

The characters work well together, even–or perhaps especially–the fellow with never more than two words to say. Perhaps the setting could be expanded some more, but with this being in a world that other stories are being written in, I can see that being easy enough.

There’s also French words. Last time I talked about a book with fabricated words and a glossary, now I’m discussing one with real words that nevertheless are French and therefore I have even less of a clue about them. So, um… snails? Yeah, I didn’t really research this part.

I’m looking forward to when he gets his books published, whenever that is, but for now he has Vintage up for free, and, in the end, that might actually be the most important criteria for me having a highlight post about someone! No, wait, awesome story is most important. Free helps, though. It means I have something immediate to point readers to. Anyway, next time I run out of people. Wait, maybe not quite yet…

Author Highlight: Winston Malone

Oh, hello! In less than a week the next Darmenzi chapter is up, but I’m not here to talk about me for once. I’ve recently been reading a lot (or at least several) authors and comics and such things I’ve come across on the internet. I’m still looking, too. I’ve decided that hey, just because I’m not known at all doesn’t mean I can’t bring up awareness of other great creators. Every Friday I’m going to have a post about author I’ve found on the internet. At least until I run out of authors, which will probably happen in a month. Then I’ll just have to expand to other creativors.

So who will I begin with? I thought about it and figured I’d go with the most recent novel I read, over on Wattpad. Honestly I’m not too fond of the website because I don’t consider the text editor very good (but then what website’s IS?) and it kind of slows my laptop, but it seems decent enough to find new stuff to read. (Okay so out of three things I’ve read only one kept my interest but still.)

That would be Winston Malone from Georgia, definitely the hub for sci-fi-fantasy?? Okay look sorry Southern US but you’re not what people think when– What? Yes, I’m in Indiana, why do you– Okay but that’s– Fine, I’ll move on.

So Mr. Malone here has created a novel for a series called Stormfallen. The first book, The Decrepit Forest, has a first draft up on Wattpad, and quite frankly I find it hard to believe that it’s the first draft. It’s pretty good! I mean, you know, not perfect, but certainly at least second-draft level. Then again when I write a first draft I hardly even try to make it good, that business is for draft 2-15. But still, it’s pretty good.

The Decrepit Forest is a pretty character-driven saga, with, if I recall, at least 6 characters given focus at one time or another, maybe 7, plus at least one more with a scene focus. It’s a world without humans (hey, kinda like mine), though there are the Lorrellan. Each character feels full and interesting. They all have a history, and it’s interesting to see them interact. But as there are many characters, there are also many monsters.

Along with the character-driven side, there’s a significant amount of action, too. The world is under attack by a variety of demons, and there’s also political strife and, well, just regular ol’ anger that leads to fisticuffs and there’s also a really big axe. It never overstays its welcome though and remains gripping.

There’s a lot of fabricated words, though, I’ll say that. It has its own glossary, even. Of course, it’s to be expected for an alien world, but just keep in mind you’ll probably want to check the glossary every so often.

Wattpad doesn’t say exactly when the story was completed but it looks like it was just several months ago judging by the timing of some comments? It looks like more is to come, and I can definitely see this going places. I recommend it (that’s the whole point of this post series, after all), and I’ll be watching. Now can someone tell me how to end a blog post? That will suffice? Okay!

Review of Romeo and/or Juliet by Ryan North

A little while ago I finished this book that I got a little over a month ago. I had a post about it; it’s a “chooseable-path adventure” version of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare by Ryan North, a sequel to the same thing but with Hamlet called To Be or Not To Be. I don’t do reviews all that often but maybe I should start. Maybe the best way to make myself better at reviews is to do more of them?? Just note that this will largely be in view of someone who read the first book, To Be or Not To Be, which I also recommend.

First thing’s first, this book actually solved a major issue I had with To Be or Not To Be, which was that in that book you had the path that followed the original play Hamlet, and it felt largely like the other paths were just sprouting off this main one. There were a few places where a totally new storyline would sprout, but for the most part you had to read through a lot of one path to find a number of endings. With this book the paths that deviate from the original early on feel more like their own stories, and there are numerous locations where you can veer off but then return to the original story, so if you want to read to the end of the normal story more than once you have option so you don’t reread a lot of things.

Another area this book improves on the first is simply how it’s designed. The first gave every choice at least its own page, which led to a lot of empty space. This one divides the choices into sections, so most of every page is utilized. There was only one spot where this was problematic, as one section had two choices listed but the second choice was on the second page, so it could be easily missed. Also: I know nobody actually cares about the design. I’ll move on.

This book has not one but two story-within-a-stories (not counting the Romeo and/or Juliet-within-a-Romeo and/or Juliet), and one is about drugs and amazing and has an adorable Puck (thanks to one Andrew Hussie). A few other outlandish things from To Be or Not To Be return as well, such as ghost time travel, but I actually felt the returning outlandish things weren’t utilized as interestingly as in the first book.

But this book does have new outlandish things that are amazing, such as controlling more than one character at once or unlockable characters. Yes, you can unlock a character by completing a certain path. It’s pretty obvious which path it is, though. Maybe next book Ryan can fit an unlockable character into an unexpected path. Come on, let us choose a story using one of those robot suits!

Ultimately this story is hilarious, and that’s the point. Whether it’s the witty or silly characters (definitely the best-written Friar Lawrence ever), the Shakespearean prose reduced to plain English/bullet points/power point slides, or just the ridiculous narration (find out how he gets out of writing a sex scene!!), every path has something to laugh at. In the end I would have to say this book is an improvement on the first, and book scientists that I totally didn’t pay off thought that was impossible!

New book in the mail: Romeo and/or Juliet by Ryan North

Some years ago I had a blog post about To Be or Not To Be by Ryan North, a chooseable-path version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Well, now he has Romeo and/or Juliet! And good gourd this book is 41% off as of my typing this, sheesh. Anyway, I got the book in the mail today and have done one readthrough. I successfully died at breakfast, I am off to an excellent start, it was fully intentional.

For To Be or Not To Be I kept track of what pages I read and tried to figure out which ones I had yet to read. This time I’m being much more thorough. I have a spreadsheet.

RomeoJulietSpreadsheet

Checkmarks are pages I’ve read, the next numbers are which pages these lead to. If they have a checkmark on them then I do not need to read that page again, whether because it’s an ending, I’ve read every page it can lead to, or it’s an extraneous route that leads to a page the previous page leads to also.

This book is a game, and I’m going for 100%.

I play video games sometimes

Okay, a lot of times, but I also sometimes record those games. I used to do it a lot, then I ran out of games and time, then I got some games but my recording stuff was super old, then I didn’t have any time, and now I’m here.

Low quality video for a low quality boss, indeed. I’d like this to become a semi-regular Thing that I do, maybe a video once or twice a week time willing. I’m always busy with writing, of course. And… And napping.

Reader Reviews for Slubes (and a question for indie authors)

In just under two weeks Slubes will be re-released in edition 2: everything’s been improved edition. On Thursday, March 10th, it comes out. Between now and then, though, if there is anyone interested in reading it ahead of time (if you can read 300 pages in two weeks) and then posting an honest review online (whether on Amazon, a blog, Goodreads, or where have you), I will be perfectly willing to send you an e-copy of Slubes to do so. Then when the book is released I can send you a thing so you can officially get the book for free through Smashwords.

Again, this would be an honest review, so if you hate it, by all means. (Just say why you hate it, and it can help others decide if they would agree.) It’s win-win, probably. You get a book to read with no money paid, and I might get some exposure. Just post a comment here or Twitter to me if you’re interested. If you stumbled upon this place with no idea what the novel is about, it’s some amalgamation of humor, science fantasy, and adventure, so if that piques anyone’s interest, here’s the description from the back cover:

When disaster falls, there are only three heroes who, well, know about it. It remains to be seen if they can do anything about it.

The planet Mintop is on the verge of invasion. Three slubes–distant relatives to slugs–find that an intergalactic conqueror is after a crystal of immense power in their town. According to legend, removal of this crystal has always led to a town-wide disaster. When it shatters in the sky, a race begins—the three slubes must rebuild the crystal before a new disaster takes place. That is, if one hasn’t already happened, as the space invader isn’t about to lose such a powerful artifact and aims to stop their collectathon.

Numer, the happenstance hero with a nervous disposition, Cherry, the strong-tailed martial artist, and Professor Zeth, the well-meaning but careless inventor. These three semi-heroes must overcome The Conqueror’s obstacles if they are to save their planet from the disaster of an intergalactic invasion.

The debut novel of Duth Olec and perplexed narrator Wally Plotch chronicling tales of the Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos, and the first of two novels in the Nottle Crystal series.

You know, as long as I’m reaching out to the internet, if any indie authors out there are looking for more people to read their stories, I’ve actually been looking for some indie writing to read lately, authors and writers who are basically sailing the same sort of waters I am. I’ll read just about anything; I prefer to have some humor, but I’ll also read a more serious tale, and I also don’t just read science fiction/fantasy, either. So, you know, whatever, charge ahead.