Should I stay or should I go?

It’s been six months since my last post. I didn’t know if I was ever coming back. I had debated whether or not to just make YouTube videos and to leave blogging behind.

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I’ve done a lot of thinking recently. Between cramming for my calculus II final on Thursday and finishing out my last week at the school newspaper, I’ve been thinking a lot about my future. Am I on the right path? Have I set myself up for success? Have I made a terrible mistake?

While I continue to work to solve these problems, I’ve realized that I need to do more to create my brand. If I’m serious about making YouTube a priority and publishing novels in the future, I need to start creating a brand that my followers and supports can rally behind. I need to get myself out there into the growing world of social media, but I also need to look back at where I started.

This blog came first.

Before I was on YouTube making video blogs, or vlogs, about my life, before I had a Twitter account or built a following around my photography on Instagram, I had WordPress. I had this blog to showcase myself to the world. Now blogging has taken a backseat on my adventure.

It’s been six months since my last post. I didn’t know if I was ever coming back. I had debated whether or not to just make YouTube videos and to leave blogging behind. I even created a brand new website at https://chasecharaba.wixsite.com/chasecharaba. I still don’t know what I should do. I’ve had this blog for a long time, but it’s lost its purpose. I started it to promote myself as an author, not as a YouTuber.

Even though I’ve been thinking lately about the future of this blog, I’m uncertain. Wix is a better website to host my content on and it would be a clean slate, but I’ve already built a foundation here with all of you.

Best wishes,

Chase

Getting excited about this new novel

It’s only day 2 of working on this novel, and I’m already excited for what’s to come.

I’ve written the first 3,500 words, and I’ve explored some very interesting areas that I wouldn’t normally explore in my writing. For one, this is an urban fantasy of sorts. I HATE

the-human-illusion-cover-2k16-version-3
Just a quick book cover that I made in Photoshop using my own Mount Rainier star photos and some free image light vectors. It’s just for fun, nothing too serious.

writing about our modern world. I prefer to write epic/high fantasy so that I can create a world from scratch and really introduce readers into my full imagination. So, for me to be excited about writing an urban fantasy is really something.

Second, chapter one jumps right into the action. I always include action in my first chapter, but I usually spend a little time working on setting and showing my characters’ lives beforehand. With this one, the chapter includes the discovery that will launch the plot, just so that readers can get a taste of what they’re in for.

Third, I only made a 1 page outline. I usually outline and world build for much longer, and I think that’s partly why the fun has been sucked out of writing for me. This novel has an end goal, and I have enough notes to drive the story forward, but I’m just going to let myself and write and come up with things as I go.

I’m just trying new things that I’ve never done before, and we’ll see where it goes.

As part of my excitement, I decided to make some graphics for the novel, just to really sell it to myself. They aren’t professional, they’re just something I whipped up in Photoshop using my own star/mountain photos and stuff. If I were to actually sell this novel, I’d spend more time making a cover that fits the story better, but for now it’s all about having fun.

Sudden Writing Inspiration

Here I am, minding my own business by watching movies, listening to good music, and rewatching Sons of Anarchy over my winter break from college, when I feel that urge to write.

Whoa. Stop right there. Write? I never write during winter break. Winter break is for doing nothing productive so that I can rest before doing another three months straight of college.

This was a new writing urge, however. I didn’t want to start working on my Egethor series again, which is the series that I’ve been working on for many years now. I wanted to write something different, some removed from the series and even the epic fantasy genre.

I wanted to try my hand at a novel that fits somewhere in the realm of dark urban fantasy, somewhere in the realm of superheroes, and somewhere in the realm of science fiction. Can these three genres be mixed? I dunno, but that’s what’s happening with this new project of mine.

It’s an old project really, one that I tried to write in 2014 and early 2015 before giving up on it. However, I was hit with a new idea and I ran with it, outlining the beginning of a new novel. When I finished jotting down the idea, I realized that the idea fit perfectly with what I had envisioned for my Eskaden series, but it would take it in a whole new direction. This new direction would fix the problems that I encountered in my original draft, which had caused me to stop writing it. There’s new life in the story, and I’m really excited to see where this goes.

I’m currently 1,700 words in, and I’ve already explored areas that my original draft did not. Let’s just hope that I make it past the original draft’s 18,000 words.

Trip to Washington DC – Part One

I went to Washington, D.C. last week for the Associated College Press National College Media Convention.

Throughout the week I’ll be posting about each of the five days that I was there along with a video of my trip.

I hope you enjoy!

Day 1

I arrived in Washington, D.C. on October 19, 2016 at about 9:30 p.m. EST. It wasn’t a terribly long flight, but the 3 hour time change and the extreme humidity threw me off.

We took an airport shuttle to the Grand Hyatt hotel in downtown Washington, where we checked into our rooms after sorting out some booking issues. From there we had a late night dinner in the Chinatown district and stayed up until 3 a.m.

A few things about D.C. immediately came to my attention. It definitely had that House of Cards vibe, and people who walk the streets at night are scary. Also, people drive terribly there.

NBC to cancel ‘Grimm’ in terrible move

When I learned that NBC was to cancel Grimm after its sixth season I’ll admit that I got upset. Yeah, Grimm’s being canceled.

Grimm is one of my favorite shows (and the only one I watch on NBC) and that’s because it was constantly interesting and not afraid to be different from the sameness of the dozens of police and hospital dramas. While still based around police, the show was interesting because of its fantasy elements that combined horror, drama, and comedy.

I was so excited to watch the show when it first aired, intrigued by how different it was. After all of these years it has continued to entertain fans. Beyond that, the show had inspired me to write a supernatural novel. Although I only wrote a few chapters before pushing that project to the side, Grimm played a crucial role in making me see the fantastic elements and the enormous potential of its genre.

To see the show canceled despite good Friday ratings is extremely disappointing. NBC always cancels their best shows. With the passing of Grimm, I will no longer be watching anything on NBC. None of their other shows are even close to being interesting or worth my time.

Consider this my final plea to NBC, a network that I once held in high regard, only to see it continue to make blunder after blunder. Grimm should be renewed for another season or two to adequately wrap up the complex plot and to make everyone happy.

World Building Like Crazy

I spent the last two days doing some major world building for my novel. There were a few details that I had neglected to figure out and I realized that having those details would make it much easier to piece my world together.

I figured out approximate populations for countries and major cities and created maps for two of the kingdoms where most of the story will be taking place instead of just having a world map.

I also changed a few place names around and created distinctive regions in each country.

I also did a little bit of writing in A Clash of Crimson and I was able to add about 1000 words to the story. If I can keep this momentum up I will be looking good for NaNoWriMo.

As a quick side note, I’m attending a diversity journalism conference in Oregon next week. Because of this commitment, I had to refuse an offer for two $50 tickets for row 17 to see Def Leppard in Tacoma on October 1. Ugh. I really want to go to that concert.

In the mood

I feel in the mood for writing.

I tried writing in Clash of Crimson again last week and I failed. I got some stuff accomplished, but then I went nine days without even looking at my novel. I knew that I needed some inspiration and something to get me going.

So, I decided to spend yesterday watching the entire extended edition Lord of the Rings trilogy on Blu Ray. There’s honestly nothing like those films to get me in the mood for writing high fantasy.

Now I’m hoping to get some writing done today and maybe a little bit of revising my outline so that my path ahead is clear.

Then maybe, just maybe, I’ll be ready to write part 2 for NaNoWriMo in November.

Motivation Monday #2

Happy Monday! Here’s another inspirational quote to get us started for the week.

Hopefully this one will motivate you (and me) to write something today.

“It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly.”
– C. J. Cherryh

iOS 10 is amazing

Apple released iOS 10 to the public this week just days after unveiling the iPhone 7. While the iPhone 7 has proven to be disappointing with its lack of stellar new features and the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack, iOS 10 shows promise of what’s to come.

I was reluctant to upgrade to iOS 10 this week because Apple updates are notorious for their bugs that can leave phones or iPads “bricked,” or in an unusable state for a period of time.

However, I decided to take the plunge and see what Apple had to offer. They had a lot.

Perhaps the best new feature is how the phone wakes when you simply pick it up. No more reaching over for your phone and pressing the home button, which usually unlocked the phone because of touch ID.

Other exciting features include redesigned notifications, new messaging features, and the ability to delete those default apps that you’ve never used. You know, things like Stocks and Watch.

iOS 10 also just seems to run faster, and the interface seems cleaner.

iOS 10 is a breath of fresh air, and everyone should give it a try.

 

Writing, Writing Again

I was inspired to write a little bit more in my novel yesterday. A Clash of Crimson has been the absolute biggest headache and the hardest project of my life, and it doesn’t look like it will ever be finished. But, I’m pushing forward.

I gave up on my rewrite at about the 30,000 word mark in the middle of Camp NaNoWriMo – July 2016. Now I’m trying to play catch up so that I’m ready to begin writing part 2 for NaNoWriMo in November. I figure if I can at least get a little bit of writing in each week, then I’ll be in good shape.

September 11, 2016

Starting Word Count: 30,177

Ending Word Count: 30,836

Difference: +659