Saturday, March 16, 2013

Rush - Presto

Rush has been one of my favorite bands since the mid 1970s. This album, which I recently dug out of the shelves, was one I did not enjoy when it was released. This was mainly due to the previous album, which I found very disappointing.
I've been listening to this one in my car whenever I leave the house. I've found a new appreciation for it. Alex's guitar is back to the forefront and the over abundance of keyboards is gone. The keyboards are still here, but they augment the music on this CD rather than dominate. The lyrics are intelligent and Geddy's voice is strong.
Instrumentally, the album is well put together. There is not a weak song on the disc. If I had to pick one song from this CD to add to a favorites list, I would have a lot of trouble deciding.
 Overall, this release is excellent.

The re-work of Shadow of the Ghost is going well. I've managed to find a way to get Lord Ky's real name (the one he couldn't say) into the story. This is something I could not find a way to do in the original version. I'm also trying to do some sketches for the interior. Hopefully, I can find a way to incorporate them into the kindle version.
 The new story is also progressing, slowly but surely. There are some interesting twists in this one. This story takes place within the Eldar forest. It will enable me to delve into the Eldar society a bit and step away from the elders that exiled Lord Ky in the first book.

More later...

Friday, March 15, 2013

New place for blog

I've moved my blog to my website. You can view new entries at Tanner's Blog. This gives me a place where I can better understand how to set things up. I also have a bit more control of the content there.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I'm back

It has been too long since I've posted here. For today, I'll post a little update. Shadow of the Ghost is being reworked and re-edited. When that is finished, I will publish the new version via Create Space. I'm hoping that I can simply replace the kindle guts so that those that have already purchased the original version can download the new version without buying it again. Since I've never redone a book, I'm not sure how that will work.

I'm also working on a new story, working title: Kyrean. This story starts about 250 years after the end of Vengeance of the Ghost. Most of the old characters will be there as well as some new faces. I'll include a sample at the end of this post. The story is about half completed.

I've also returned to college. I'm working on a degree in game programming. If all works out the way I plan, several games will be developed using the world of El-Elasia as a setting.

Excerpt from Kyrean:

Maki lay still. He could not remember where he was or how he had gotten there. It felt as if he were lying on cold stone. He opened his eyes. A canopy of dark leaves swayed gently and silently above him. He could not feel the breeze that appeared to be moving through the trees. Slowly, he sat up and looked around. He was in a forest, but everything around him was black: the tree trunks, the leaves, the undergrowth, the grasses. There was no variation in color. Maki could see a few shafts of light that broke through the upper canopy, but even they did nothing to brighten the landscape.
A strong breeze buffeted him and he thought he heard the word 'stand.' He was unsure if the word came from the breeze or his own mind, but he was sure that he was compelled to oblige. He stood and tried using his senses to determine if anything or anyone lived here.
Maki frowned. He should have been able to sense the plants he could see at the very least, but his senses revealed nothing to him. Once again the breeze stirred around him. 'Walk.'
Then he noticed that the pathway on which he stood differed from all else. It was a dark gray in color rather than black. He started forward. After the third step, the breezed commanded him to stop. He stopped and waited. He had no choice.
Maki had no idea what he was supposed to see, but he searched ahead and to the sides. Frustrated he shook his head.
Maki looked at the ground at his feet, then back where he had started. Footprints. His footprints. The breeze came again. To Maki it seemed to sigh with disappointment.
Maki frowned. The path he walked upon was packed to the consistency of stone. How did he leave footprints. He backtracked and covered his trail and tried again, concentrating on walking as softly as he could. Three steps, stop, look.
Footprints again.
He hid them and tried again. And again. And again. He clenched his fists, angry and frustrated. 'Impossible,' he told himself and turned to continue down the pathway. Before his foot could touch the ground on that first step, the wind blasted him and knocked him back to his starting point.
The back of Maki's head hit the ground hard. The canopy above him grew blurry as the pain of the impact shot through his mind. He tried to sit up, but the dizziness caused him to crumple to the ground again. He lay still staring into the swaying leaves above him until he could see them clearly, then tried to sit up again. Slowly. This time, he made it. His hand searched to back of his head where the pain was the sharpest. Nothing. No blood. Not even a knot.
He covered the footprints and tried again. He started to count his failures. Taking three steps, looking, backing up and erasing his trail. Over and over. He finally lost count. He felt he had been trying for days or weeks to move without leaving a trail. Finally, he succeeded.
Maki walked. The path led him through the silent forest. For a long time, nothing varied. Then he approached an area that felt vaguely familiar to him. 'An Eldar village,' he thought. The moment the thought passed through his mind, he knew he was wrong. There were no houses, no gardens, nothing that would suggest it would be a village. It felt like one anyway. He entered the village moving slowly, carefully.
Again the breeze came. 'Search.'
It had been so long since the breeze had spoken to him that it startled him. He froze, regaining his composure, then started searching. He moved through the village going from one side of the path to the other. Somehow he knew that he could not leave the gray area and enter the blackened forest, so he kept to the path.
The trees that lined the path were huge, completely blocking his view of the forest beyond when he drew near to them. Their trunks had what appeared to be cubbyholes in them. Some had many small ones, others had one or two large ones. They had not been carved into the trunks. Maki could see the bark covering the inner recesses. He had the impression that they had grown this way.
He searched the area for hours, examining hundreds of trees. He could not fathom the purpose of the cubbyholes but he had the feeling that they were like display cases for special collections. None of the cubbyholes housed anything though.
The path he walked spiraled inward. He finally arrived at the very center of the village of strange trees and froze. In the very center, a young Eldar, younger than he was, sat in a strange chair that had wheels instead of legs. Only the boys black hair and eyes matched the surroundings. The boy wore a dark green tunic and leggings and had the same olive toned skin that Maki had. He stared back at Maki placidly. No emotion could be seen in his expression.
Maki tried to go to him, but could not move. Then, as he watched, the boy and the chair crumbled in on themselves. In seconds only a small pile of black dust remained.
Then the breeze returned. It wound itself around Maki's body like a serpent.

I'll post more soon. I hope you enjoyed the teaser.