Saturday, May 12, 2012

Ip Man

Historical inaccuracies aside, this movie was fantastic!

Still trying to find a way to see Iron Sky...

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Upcoming Project: Expeditionary Squad


by Chris Eisenlauer

• • •

Planet 1005 - Former Root Palace

“Lin Sosa. It is your sixteenth birthday. You have been pampered since birth, have been given everything you could possibly want. I will bestow upon you one final gift before you must give something in return.” The Viscain Emperor, Samhain, paused as if to take a wheezing breath. He was a monstrous hollowed gourd, four meters across, fleshy and plump, with simple carved features—triangle eyes and nose, a jagged gash of a mouth—behind which ghostly firelight glowed and flickered.

“Yes, Lord Emperor,” the girl said. Dressed in a tight, long-sleeved charcoal turtleneck and a functional pleated skirt of the same color, she was lithe and her manner pert. Though she was bowing before him in his dark chamber with its gnarled resin walls of infinite height, she said, “What is my gift, and what is my task?” Then, almost as an afterthought, she added, “Lord Emperor.”

The Emperor chuckled, and the chamber shook. “Your impertinence is as atrocious as ever. And, as ever, it both pleases and amuses me. You are what I have made you. A princess. An emissary. And, perhaps, hope expedited.

“All your studies have been for this purpose. You are to lead the Expeditionary Squad. You will set out with this, the Resonance Bell.”

An animate olive tendril issued from somewhere unseen behind the Emperor, bearing with it a bronze bell the size of a balled fist. The slender vine stretched out across the chamber, stopping before Lin Sosa’s forehead.

“Take it, Lin Sosa, and make it a part of you,” the Emperor said.

Lin raised her head to regard the bell, her straw-blond ponytail bobbing with the motion. She gently took the bell in both hands and showed no fear as she brought it to her chest, pressing it through fabric, through skin, muscle, and bone and into her being. The instant she and the Artifact became one was marked by a blinding flash, revealing to Lin Sosa for that fleeting instant, shapes and convolutions in the resin walls that would be the unknown source of troubling dreams for years to come.

“Very good,” the Emperor said. “You are going on a journey, Lin Sosa.”

“To where, Lord Emperor?”

“To The Place with Many Doors.”

“Where can this Place with Many Doors be found?”

Though the massive gourd did not move, the Emperor seemed to shake his head. “You must find it.”

“Can Eris come with me?”

“Of course. That is Eris Anandale’s purpose. She will sort and read the signs, the ripples and echoes that radiate out from the source, from The Place with Many Doors, and reveal the way. Also, though I know you would not say so, you would be lonely if deprived of her company. I would see that you are made as comfortable as possible on this journey.

“And as safe. You will have one more companion, but this one you shall choose. He or she must have the means to protect you. Additional means will be provided in the form of an Artifact so choose well.

“This is a secret mission. No one can know, so this person will not be given the luxury of a choice in the matter.” Another snaking vine issued forth, bearing a bronze circlet. “Take this, the Ouroboros Crown, and place it upon the head of your desired protector. It will make him or her beholden to you, unable to refuse your commands. Once you have made and secured your choice, return to me.

“Remember, Lin Sosa. You have ventured beyond these walls always in secret, with an escort, and under strict rules. There are those who would not understand what you are or approve of your existence. While you may feel and be superior to these, you mustn’t let your temperament overwhelm sense. When you go, be judicious and observe the rules.”

“Yes, Lord Emperor.”

Friday, May 4, 2012

I Really Shouldn't Care...

But for the love of all things holy, sometimes computers are too smart for our own good. It took me forever to figure out how to change my time zone here on Blogger and when I did, it changed the time and date of EVERY stinking post going back to the beginning. Ugh. Anyway, those are the dates the posts were visible here in Hawaii, although the actual dates may differ. Thanks, International Date Line!

It really doesn't matter, but I thought I was safe after experiencing the same thing with iCal.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Blood Solution: Progress Report 8

Approaching Infinity: Book Three
Word Count: 61,800
The Goal: 75,000

That's right, only 1,800 words for the month of April. Couldn't be helped. I just got my computer (shipped from Japan) last Wednesday and now, in the midst of my job search (I sent out like 15 applications and signed up for I don't know how many employment agencies on Friday and Saturday), I have taken up the keyboard once again. Unless I'm overwhelmed by debilitating depression OR I get a kick-ass full-time job that requires my every waking hour, I should be able to make decent progress.

I've also resumed a project I tentatively started some time ago. This one, Expeditionary Squad, is within the world of the Viscain Empire and so may take precedence over The Pauper King, at least for the time being. I wrote 1,500 words between appointments today which isn't bad for a short story. Like Ghost Squad and Blue Squad, I intend to write more than one Ex Squad story. The events in Ex Squad are loosely connected to Ghost Squad, Blue Squad, and The Blood Solution. That's three, count 'em, THREE connections.

Anyway, as far as what I miss about Japan? Exactly what I thought I would: my family and friends. I had an extremely difficult time at the airport, far more difficult than I anticipated. Which makes me stupid. Leaving my wife and daughter for an indeterminate period of time... Sheesh. Faye still didn't understand, which, as I said in my last post, is/was probably for the best. Thank God (or the appropriate developers) for Skype.