Slang Deluxe Edition

On February 11, the day after my birthday, Def Leppard reissued the album Slang as a deluxe edition. When I first heard the album a few years ago, when I first got into rock music, I was very disappointed. 2010 was a strange year. I had finally made the transition from being a die-hard county music fan to becoming a fully-fledged rocker. My favorite band at the time: Def Leppard. I had fallen in love with the band’s music after borrowing my brother’s 2-disc greatest hits, Rock of Ages, and quickly began to purchase their studio albums. On Through the Night, High ‘n’ Dry, Pyromania, Hysteria, Adrenalize, and Retro Active were in my hands by that Christmas. The next two albums in chronological order were 1996’s Slang and 1999’s Euphoria. My brother owned the latter, but at the time I decided against downloading it to my iTunes because it sounded different. The same could be said of Slang. 

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I couldn’t stand the sound of the album when I decided to listen to it via YouTube and quickly considered it as one of the worst rock albums of all time. Released in 1996, the album was a radical departure from Def Leppard’s traditional glam metal sound made popular with 1983’s Pyromania and 1987’s Hysteria. The album was written during a dark time in the band’s career, following guitarist Steve Clark’s death in the early 1990s and the rise in Grunge music from my home metro area, Seattle. With a majority of the glam acts already being labeled as has-beens and long-time producer “Mutt” Lange out of the picture, the band saw an opportunity to express how they were feeling at the time. The result was a darker theme and more acoustic sounding album that went hand in hand with the ’90’s alternative rock scene. I often wondered if the band could have kept their popularity strong throughout the 1990s if they would have sticked to their heavy metal and glam metal roots that made them one of the best-selling artists of all-time.

After a while I began to accept more styles of rock music and appreciate much of the music that was put out during the ’90s. I gave Euphoria a second listen in late 2011 and decided to download it, noticing that it was an attempt by Def Leppard to reestablish themselves with their ’80s audience. It really didn’t differ much from their older collection, except for the more produced sound. I gave Slang another listen and grew to appreciate a few of the songs, but I still decided against making a purchase. Then in early 2013 I gave it yet another listen. This time, I realized that Slang is truly a masterpiece. While it sounds different than anything Def Leppard had done or has yet to do since, and lacked any major hits or good album sales, it still isn’t bad.

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Slang shows that Def Leppard can strip down the twin-attack-guitar technique and the cut out the metal hooks and still make some good rock music. Right from the start Truth? delivers a heavy, dark-themed punch that continues for much of the album. The backing vocals on the song are much “angrier” and less harmonized. Turn to Dust is probably one of my favorite songs from the album with the experimental instruments in the background and the powerful harmonizing vocals from singer Joe Elliot and the ‘good-ol’ boys. Slang is probably the most produced song on the album, although still more organic sounding than their earlier work. It also appears to be the one song on the album that doesn’t have a deep meaning, though I could be wrong. All I Want is Everything shows a side of Def Leppard no one knew existed before.

Overall, the album takes its place with the band’s earlier work as a great, flawless album through and through. With the exception of Euphoria, Def Leppard has yet to make an album since that matches its greatness (with the disappointing pop-album X  in 2002 and the so-so Songs from the Sparkle Lounge in 2008).

The Deluxe Edition also includes some drafts and rough/early mixes of the album tracks. Some of the drafts are actually quite good, such as Raise Your Love, an early version of Slang that may even be better. The album also includes some hard-to-find songs, such as Burn Out, which was released as a b-side for a single from Euphoria, Worlds Collide, All On Your Touch, Can’t Keep Away From the Flame, and Move on Up. 

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The Lost Souls: Part 2: Looking Glass

Sorry for the delay. I have had much going on lately, so I decided to post what I have of the second part to Initiation. It is a little rushed, but I will continue to work on the rest of this series.

North American Space Union, space station: Silver Mountain, orbit over Earth

May 2353

It should have been a sunny day. The swirling white clouds were avoiding the green conifer forests of western Washington, thundering upon the Oregon coast with what would soon be rain.

Correction, acid rain. It would definitely be acid, Ritchie thought.

He took the controls of the telescope, zooming in to the smoking ruins of his hometown. The skyscrapers were missing their upper floors and the network of freeways remained littered with cars and semi-trucks. Bullet trains and monorail cars were scattered along the vacant rails or smashed into the concrete below the viaducts like squashed watermelon. Worst of all, the bodies. Ritchie hated to spy on the resting places of dusty skeletons. The city’s bay was full of green and brown poison-water, dead fish beached along the sea walls.

Seattle.

Ritchie often wished he could go back to the time before the war, before those gray-skinned aliens arrived. That day was one he could remember clearly. A six-year-old boy, he was with his parents at Green Lake park learning to ride a bike. He had fallen a few times, on purpose, to get his parents to take him home. When that plan failed he sucked it up and began to ride on his own, which is when it all happened. The space ships entered the atmosphere and all hell broke loose. Life hadn’t been the same ever since.

“Doctor Scott, stop playing with the instruments and get back to work,” the voice on the intercom told him.

“Yes, sorry Sir.”

Ritchie watched the camera near the door stop beeping as the Captain stopped his spying. He turned the telescope off and stepped over to his messy work station, scattered across the tops of multiple tables. Test tubes were filled with a variety of liquids and substances that had been collected from the aliens. Scales and burners were placed around the workstation and data displayed lit up with plans, notes, and references.

It was Ritchie’s job to help what remained of human government to discover more about the aliens. That included alien technology, for which a separate workroom had been set up across the hall. Ritchie hadn’t been able to make any breakthroughs in understanding, and as a result he was in danger of being fired.

And in this day and age, being fired meant being returned to the dying planet below.

Ritchie had had some progress, however. He believed that he was getting close to understanding how aliens had been able to slip past human defenses without being detected during the invasion. His research just needed a final step. That step required funding and time, however. He knew the Captain would never approve of a mission to benefit his experiments, nor would he be able to convince what remained of the Earth Commonwealth government to grant him some. They had enough on their hands at the moment.

“Good day, Doctor,” an automated voice said as he began to work.

“Is it day?” Ritchie asked. “I seem to lose track of time out here, Terence.”

“So does everyone else, Doctor. Your work may have to be put on hold, I’m afraid. You are going to have some visitors.”

“Visitors? Who…”

“They are on their way.”

Ritchie couldn’t remember a time that Terence, the station’s artificial intelligence, was completely helpful to him. He tended to only have a presence in the station’s bridge and in the engineering sectors, leaving little time with doctor. When Terence did decide to pay Ritchie a visit they were usually very quick meetings with very vague conversations.

Still, Ritchie respected the AI. He couldn’t be sure if it was because of Terence’s endless pit of information or because he had control of the station’s life support and gravity systems.

As Terence had promised, there was a tap at the door and sound of it sliding open. It was followed by the sound of boots and the rustling of combat armor. The man, Ritchie assumed it was a man anyway, grunted to get his attention. Ritchie removed himself from his studies and walked over to the man.

“What can I do for you?”

The man removed his black helmet to reveal his dirty, hairy face. “We have a wounded man. Captain said you could help us.”

“Well, don’t keep the man waiting. Bring him in,” Ritchie said.

“It’s not that simple,” the soldier explained. “He isn’t one of ours. We found him on that incoming cruiser. I’m afraid that you will have to come to him.”

Ritchie followed the soldier just outside the door and across the hall into the sick bay. The station’s medical team was out on a supply run on the Earth’s surface, leaving only Ritchie to deal with the medical duties. The man from the ship was strapped to an operating chair and surrounded by a dozen or so armed soldiers, including a few bear-like guards.

Cherjiks, he thought in disgust. They sure aren’t letting him go easily.

The man’s face was bloodied and his clothes were stained. His armor had been stripped off and piled on the floor and his shirt ripped in various places. His black hair was dripping with sweat and his face had concerned written all over it.

As Ritchie entered one of the men stepped before him. He was wearing a black helmet and visor, but Ritchie felt a chill run through him as he looked where his eyes would be.

“Finally!” The man spat. “Took you long enough doc. I thought you would already be in the sick bay.”

“My apologies,” Ritchie said. “I was not aware of the situation. I was just focusing on my research duties?”

“Research?” The man laughed. “I thought your name was Doctor Richard Scott.”

Ritchie nodded. “No matter, I will take care of the patient.”

The soldiers began to file out of the room, leaving only Ritchie, the man, and the patient. The man took one last glance at the patient before pointing a finger within the “too close for comfort” radius of Ritchie’s face.

“Don’t let him do anything stupid.”

The man rushed out of the room and sealed the door behind him, leaving the room silent, except for the light sound of the ventilation system and the hum of the station’s mechanisms. Ritchie approached the man, many questions burning through him.

“I am Doctor Scott, but you can call me Ritchie. I will be tending to your wounds. Now, please hold still.”

Dreams that remain

Sorry for the gap in posts. I have been finishing up another short story that should be posted in the next few days. For now, you can read some of my reflections.  

Have you had those dreams that seem exceptionally long? How about those dreams that feel real and carry more detail than usual? I had one of those nights. I’m not sure if it had anything to do with what has been going on lately, but it seems like a likely candidate.

As it has been for the past two weeks I had some discomfort with going to sleep. I keep trying to blame it on my ear piercings but I doubt that is the cause. Its like my pillow has betrayed me. No matter which way I try to sleep or how many times I flip the pillow over or try to fluff it out a bit I can’t find comfort. I also had a few thoughts on my mind, but that wasn’t what was keeping me from sleeping. January 29 was going to be Culture Day in Spanish 2 and I had to give a presentation. I hadn’t prepared, but I knew I would do fine anyway. I was very knowledgeable on the subject. 

Eventually, I did find my way slipping through the cracks to the sleeping world sometime after 10:15 PM. I am not one to usually have dreams. I know, my psychology friends would kill me for saying that. Fine, I am unable to recall most of my dreams when I wake up. It wasn’t one of those nights. My dream was one of those long-lasting, vivid ones that feel real. Even though everything was twisted from what it should be, as are with dreams, it felt real. The fact that the dream took place on January 29 definitely helped with that. 

Upon waking up to the loud and obnoxious beeping of my alarm clock at 5:25 AM this morning I could recall the dream very well. Waking up almost startled me to be honest. But the important thing about this dream isn’t that it happened, it is what I am going to do with it. The dream provided me with a foundation for a future novel or novella. What happened in that dream will remain between me and my ideas journal for now. 

The dream almost succeed in escaping from its cage within my mind while my attention was turned elsewhere. I was supposed to write it down, but it had led me to forget. I went through the last day of the semester at school without even thinking of the dream, even when a discussion about dreams had been brought up. But now I have it and I am not going to lose it.

I have lost too many dreams. 

Out my past door: Volume One

This is the first part of a collection of short stories and flash fiction that I wrote a while ago. The ones you are about to read were written when I was in the ninth grade. As promised in an earlier posting, I found them in my ninth grade files. I had forgotten that some of these entries even existed. I am posting them just as they were found, grammar errors and everything. 

~Chase~

Darkness: Written February 6, 2012. I wrote this in 20 minutes during a free write time. I remember sharing this one to the class.

The world was silent. The crimson lightning struck into the distant hills, obliterating a piece of Earth that would never return. The boney trees spoke of death that frightful night, something they know much too well. A thick black mist shrouded the base of the hill like a barrier to the good in the world. The howls of wolves sounded in the night, screaming of hunger: something they know much too well. Even the careless settlers in Angark’s Hollow were fearful of the night, something new and frightening. The great wizard  tried to calm the town, promising a better tomorrow, but not one soul calmed down. How could you when you just witnessed the cold, dark face of the reaper?

Misfortune: Written February 13, 2012. I believe this was an in-class prompt and we had to use the word lugubriousness. I don’t remember writing it, but I do remember reading it aloud one time to someone. 

In the land of Charunte, you may not know, there is a man with a cat, who always wears a hat, and loves to bat when you step on his mat. Silly you say? I say ridiculous! The man is a fake, a different person in the real world than who we see.

You may have seen him by the lollipop tree, waving his pink hat to spread joy. You may have heard him whistle a tune from his smiling lips. You may have even watched him boot scoot boogie with his neighbors. But alas, you have only seen his mask. Let me tell you how he really feels.

That man is a misfortune. He spends his solemn nights alone. Alone, due to an irreversible mishap. Due to his lugubriousness, he weeps into his pillow, hoping to lock himself out of this truly cruel world, from the world that killed his wife. From the world, he watched, as his wife died.

Insanity: Written February 13, 2012. I don’t remember anything about this one, but it was interestingly written on the same day as Misfortune. 

Mirror, Mirror, oh how you saved me

Saved me from myself

Oh how you helped me

See the best of myself

Mirror, Mirror, oh how you have saved me.

You can stop talking to your friend.

That mirror isn’t real, its inanimate.

Listen to me, I am you and you are me.

The world likes you best with your insanity.

The Lost Souls: Part 1:Initiation

Here is a little something that I recently wrote. Science Fiction is not my usual genre, so this is a bit experimental. Enjoy!

Initiation:

It’s time to start again. It’s time to breathe in the air that has been long forgotten, much like the past. He knew it was time. The internal mechanisms of his mind had been calibrated to recognize the thaw command since birth. His mind was soaring over the glittering cerulean oceans of Earth, through the steel and glass towers along the sandy coasts, and the dense leafy forests along the edges of mountains. The images were of a dream, but also a memory. He had never visited the blue planet before, but someone else in his mind had. Someone he couldn’t remember. It was a dream he had grown familiar with, even comfortable. His memory was slowly flooding back: his identity, his mission, his personality.

Leviath. That was his name. He began to sense reality again, his eyes flickering open to the blinding glow outside. Vapor swirled around him, condensing on the thick glass wall before him. He threw his numb hands on the glass, acting on an instinct mankind had always known—trying to escape from the cage. The cryo-tube was just large enough to house his body.

He began to bang at the glass, but his body was too weak. A voice came through the tube’s speakers, although it sounded electronic. It was a woman’s, and very monotone.

“Thawing complete. Starting welcome initiation.”

Leviath began to remember where he was. He was on board a space cruiser or part of it at least. His team had been sent on a mission to scout out a nearby galaxy, or at least his ancestors. He had been born during the return trip, just after they were attacked by an alien race. There had been much bloodshed and communication with Earth had ceased. The slip space engines had been disabled and the ship torn apart. He had entered into cryo-sleep when he reached 30 years of age. How long he had been frozen was unknown to him.

He was wearing a helmet with a visor, which came to life with monitors and controls as the voice spoke again.

“Welcome committee complete. Initiation complete. Preparing for extraction.”

The glass lid began to squeak open and the hiss of gas release hurt his eyes. His skin ached like hell, but he found the urge to life himself up and out of the living casket.

He entered into a bright room, three levels of cryo tubes strapped to the pale walls. The black metallic floor clanked as his combat boots made contact. An observatory box hung partially suspended above him, although he couldn’t see anyone through the tints. The room was empty of life, the only audible noise being the hum of machines and the beeping of computers.

Someone should be here, he thought. I wasn’t alone when I went to sleep.

He stretched a bit, his muscles stinging as he reviewed his cryo status on a nearby data display.

  • LEVIATH INITIATED. SYSTEMS ONLINE. MONITORS ONLINE. EXTRACTION ENGAGED.
  • CRYO BAY 5 MANUAL OVERRIDE INITIATED.
  • WAKE STATUS—SLEEP TIME—23 YEARS—10 DAYS—15 HOURS—31 MINUTES.
  • WAKE-UP STANDBY. OVERRIDE. SECURITY LOCK DISENGAGED.
  • MANUAL OVERRIDE—PASSCODE—EARTH BOUND.
  • 98743127601.981.27.5—LOCATION RECOGNITION—0. AUTOMATIC SYSTEMS OFFLINE. MANUAL SYSTEMS REQUESTED.
  • CRYO BAY 5

23 years! He thought, how can anyone possibly stay alive for that long in frozen sleep?

But one detail startled him. He was manually thawed. It wasn’t like his crew not to send welcoming party. He began to head for the automatic door, which’s sensors were already glowing blue for unlocked. That’s when he heard the rattling.

The first thumps and rattles clanged against the door outside. It was like claws scratching against the metal and the pounding of the wall. Leviath’s heart pounded quickly as he raced for the keypad, punching in a command that locked the door. A titanium blast shield slammed into place as he backed away.

Clearly not the welcoming committee, he thought.

He made his way to the back of the room and peeled the metal blinds open to peer out the window. He knew what he saw from his dreams.

A planet with blue oceans and white whisks of clouds spread out below the ship. Green land masses bordered the seas like a multi-colored marble, but it differed slightly from his dreams. A great column of gray clouded a good portion of the globe, the red glow of fires visible at its base. Glittering objects floated in the planet’s orbit, space junk, and lots of it.

He had little time to consider what was happening. Heavy thuds slammed against the blast door. It began to bend and glow orange like the embers of a fire as the titanium melted. He heard the scattering of clawed feet and the thumps of heavy boots. A bright light blinded him and he felt something slam against him. His knees gave way as he collapsed to the ground. His vision faded in and out as he felt a swipe to the face, his helmet breaking off from his head like glass. Then he felt a punch. He could taste his blood as it drained into his mouth, filling in the spaces between his teeth.

He could see a blurred movement in front of him as he tried to crawl across the plated flooring. A foot pinned him to the ground. He planted his face into the metal, hoping it would end soon. A clawed hand gripped into his head and pulled his face up to view his captors.

A man dressed in dark armor and a slightly tinted visor smiled. He was surrounded by a group of bear-like creatures who gripped some sort of gun, which pulsed with an orange glow. As if they, too, were living.

“Welcome to Earth,” the man greeted him. He bent down and offered his gloved hand. Leviath took it, but felt the cool barrel of a gun at his bloodied head.

“I hope you enjoy your stay.”

“Please,” Leviath managed. “Don’t kill me.”

“No?” The man questioned him. His finger was on the trigger, squirming as if trying to intimidate Leviath. A shot rang out and a flash of orange momentarily lit up the room. It was followed by another shot, brain matter splattering the walls and floors. The man felt satisfied.

Memory meltdown: why I turned onto Writing Street

Sorry for the long post this time, but I think this story has to be told now. I wont usually post anything this long.

Writing has been there for me, even when I don’t want it to be. I love to write, although I’m not sure it loves me back. I frequently develop writer’s block and I always ask myself if this is the right path. I mean, how insane am I to think that writing is my entire future? Pretty crazy. So, maybe I haven’t started to plaster the brown walls of my bedroom with fragments of short stories and maps for my epic fantasy novels, but I have confined them to a large cork board above my desk. I often wonder how I came to this: why I chose writing over trying to become a doctor or an urban planner, yet I already know the answer.

My writing roots

I started writing back when I was in fourth grade. I can remember the exact moment when I found my love for writing. Everyone in my class had to write a short story on a single sheet of poster paper and illustrate it. I wasn’t very creative at the time, after all, I was just beginning to discover who I really was. I wrote a pitiful piece based off of something I had read. It was basically the same plot line, just with myself as the main character and with a new setting. My teacher thought it was great, and I thought that if I continued writing it as a series of short stories , I would be able to impress her even more. So I wrote three short stories based on the same characters living on the same small island in the Caribbean. I shared them with the class to much applause, although my glory was short lived.

One of my classmates, his name was Ricky, was also a young writer. The fact that he was a writer didn’t bother me. I mean, there are lots of writers, right? It was the fact that he was better than me. His stories were twice as long and sophisticated as mine and practically stole the show. I didn’t share any more stories that year, and I stopped writing altogether. Worst of all, Ricky was my friend at the time. We still got along and even I couldn’t get enough of his stories. (I say at the time because it has been 5 years since I have seen him last.)

Fifth grade started off a bit rough for me, although it was the year that I really started to find myself. I remember that I was given detention the first week because I forgot my homework, which was a mistake I didn’t dare repeat. A few months into the school year we were asked to pair up at a laptop and write anything we wanted. I was paired with my friend Nicole as we created a story based off of a game we played at recess. It told of a wolf named Shining Radar-Tracker, a cat named Firetail, and a penguin named Gloria. They met at the Four Trees (total rip off from our favorite series at the time, Warriors) so that they could find some legendary salmon near Avalocalmysticwater. This idea paved the way for a book as I began to write on my own again.

The result was a 63-paged, handwritten book on wide-ruled paper. It had the same characters, although it featured a darker plot involving the fight against an evil tiger named Avakt and his armies. That same year a wrote a fan fiction during class based off of a game I played at the time called Club Penguin. I still have both of these, fortunately, so that I may look back upon them (and want to take an ax to them at every other word).

Sixth grade proved a breakthrough year when I was able to finish a 105-paged sequel, which followed Firetail’s search for his ancestry and his encounter with the vampires of the south. My writing had improved a tid bit, although it still lacked the essentials to a good story.

In seventh grade I began to work on a prequel, which only made it to around page 40. I had developed a severe case of writer’s block, which was the first time I had ever experienced it. Seventh grade was also the year that I became my “modern self.” I ditched the glasses for contact lenses, began to grow my hair longer, I dressed in band t-shirts and I gave up my country music roots for the great anthems of rock.

My quest for a novel

Of course my ambitions for writing got the best of me when I entered eighth grade. I wrote an outline for a new sci-fi series but never actually proceeded beyond the first 12 pages of the story. School took a turn I didn’t expect when I moved to honors classes and began to make new friends. Writing was lost in all the changes.

In ninth grade I tried to restart the sci-fi novel, but never did. Instead I proved my writing abilities through in-class short stories. I proved to be pretty good at early literary analysis and theme essays, but when second semester came around I was ready. At the start of every class we would write a short story about the topic or theme that was given to us. I have the notebook of these somewhere in my closet. (My closet isn’t a mess! My 9th grade stuff is just stored in a bin that I would have to sift through.) I might share these at a later time.

My personal writing during the year was nonexistent. I still called myself a writer, although I thought I was lying to everyone and myself. This mindset carried over into my sophomore year. The only writing I was able to accomplish was a rewrite of the first chapter of the sci-fi series, which also went unfinished. I didn’t even have to write much during english class, so my skills got a bit rusty (the exception being AP US History essays, which were rather boring.)

My current writing

I was expecting my junior year to be in the same vain as the past three. I was lying to my friends and teachers when I still claimed to be a writer. Perhaps it was better to say that I was a writer taking a vacation. But, so far my junior year has gone quite well in terms of writing.

In November I took part in my first National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo ’13). The goal of NaNo is to write 50k words in 30 days. I was nervous about starting it, already predicting that I would fail. After all, I hadn’t written more than 10 pages in a novel for about three years. I did surprise myself, writing 50,016 words in only 28 days. This proved beneficial in a few ways.

1.) My current novel, Prophecy of Misharedra, is the longest thing I have written thus far

2.) It was the first time I had written a novel using a computer and not by hand (and I love it now)

3.) It is the best piece of work I have written

4.) I got cool winner’s goodies

That leads me to now. I am currently rewriting the novel (and at just over 10,000 words so far) and as soon as a finish a chapter it is being reviewed my a friend who is editing it. I also have another friend drawing a book cover and various illustrations.

My list of favorite book series

As a writer, I am also sort of a fanatical reader. I have my favorite authors and books and become attached to the characters and the plot lines to the point that I will try to seek out the unreleased material on the internet and enter discussions about possible movie adaptions. Books are definitely more than just words on pages, they are the gateways to new worlds.

I am a rather fast reader and have plowed through entire series in just one or two days. I also love to reread my favorite novels, even though I already know how it ends. Because, for me, it isn’t the destination of the book that is interesting, its how the writer takes you there.

So, here are my favorite series of all time:

1.) The Belgariad by David Eddings: The fact that I love David Eddings work is no secret. When reading my novels his influence can be seen in how my world works and how my characters interact. The book series, which was published in the 80s, follows a young farm boy named Garion who lives with his Aunt Pol and works in the kitchens. Garion is the boy in the prophecies, however, and he has to help retrieve the Orb of Aldur and slay the evil god Torak. No spoilers here, its all listed in the summaries on the cover sleeves. I just recently read the series over winter break. I had read other books my David Eddings before this and I found the series so enthralling that I read all 5 books in 3 days.

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2.) The Mallorean by David Eddings: Ah yes, another series by David Eddings. This series of 5 books takes place directly after the events in the Belgariad. Accidentally, I read this series first. I purchased the books at a yard sale for a buck each and fell in love with the writing. It didn’t matter that it was the 2nd series. Eddings gave enough background info to where I knew most of what was happening. This series follows Garion, the boy Errand, and their companions in a new quest against darkness.

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3.) Shannara by Terry Brooks: Okay, I could have split this overarching series into each of its fantastic and very different subseries, but then it would be hard to choose which is the best! With over 20 novels in the series, it will take the reader a long way. It is of course an epic fantasy series, but with an interesting touch. It takes place in the future. Three of the subseries, the Word & the Void, the Genesis of Shannara, and the Legends of Shannara deal with the transition between modern-day Earth and the Four Lands. The series really focuses on the downfall of society, the war between magic and science, and innovation. Even better, Brooks lives in Seattle. I started reading the series when I bought six of the books at the same yard sale mentioned before. Now I have read all of them except for the two newest books that came out in the past year. The first novel, the Sword of Shannara, was published in 1977 and the last subseries is currently in the works.

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4.) The Lord of the Rings by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien: What can I say, LOTR is probably one of the most influential works of the 20th century. I read the books, including the Hobbit in ninth grade after being a fan of Peter Jackson’s movie adaptions for many years. Infact, I saw the Return of the King in theaters when it came out, despite my really young age. Tolkien has inspired practically every modern-day fantasy writer, and as a result his influence has become a bit overused. I don’t mind though, as long as I try to steer my books away from becoming tolkienesque.

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5.) Halo by various authors: Yes, they are based off of Microsoft’s best-selling video game series. But one thing that I have found by reading these are that they are even better in book form. The games follow one perspective (two counting the Arbiter) in a combat-only role and usually only in the presence of some sort of forerunner technology. The novelizations follow other storylines, such as the gap between Halo 3 and Halo 4 through the eyes of the ONI and the troubled peace with the Covenant. Even if you dislike the games, I would give the novels a try.

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A dreamer

I have also had a passion for writing, and as a result it has come to rule my life. I wrote many short stories throughout elementary school, but my ambitions to write bigger and better stories got the best of my sanity. My childhood idea of becoming a doctor was lost in the urge to become a best-selling author. Throughout junior high I wrote a few attempts at novels, all of which fell into the fires of not having the right time or instruction to write well enough for my own needs. Now in high school I am working on a novel inspired by my early elementary work. I have participated in and won National Novel Writing Month 2013 with my novel, Prophecy of Misharedra. The novel is still a work in progress, but it is coming along nicely.

I am interesting person, but for more on that please view the About the writer page right below the picture of me at the top of the page.

This blog will mostly feature updates on my writing and my thoughts on things going on in the world. I will also occasionally post a review on a new album or movie. I am going to try to post twice a week if I can. Feel free to follow my blog and share your opinions on what I discuss.

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