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Fair Enough


Oh, Hello There

Posted by Cederak , May 23 2013 · 150 views

I've completed my basic training and I can safely say it was one of the most stressful, eye-opening, life changing experiences that I'll remember for the rest of my days. But the pace isn't slowing down much on my end, as I have quite a bit of schooling ahead of me. I expect to be busy with that through the remainder of the year, though my virtual presence will be slightly more....existant. Anyway, to the friends who had such inspiring words for me at the start and along the way, know that I'm doing well and there's still much ahead for me. Stay tuned.


I Am Leaving BZPower

Posted by Cederak , Mar 13 2013 · 545 views

I said I'd be writing up something of a goodbye entry soon, with my impending departure date of March 19 coming ever closer. I'm off to begin basic military training for the U.S. Air Force and I suspect it will keep me terribly busy. Anyway, I suppose I'll cover some history on things before I get to the whole "see ya later" bit.
Over the course of the past seven and a half years, I have been an active member of this community. I have seen people come, people go, people hacking, people banned, and much more. Of the many sections on this website where BZPers feel most at home, my favorite locale is the Library. I began there with a couple comedies, entered the world of short stories soon after, and finally fell in love with writing epics. I think sometimes that I would've made a decent RPer, but it was epics that drew me in first. Reading them, writing them, and eventually reviewing them. I first became an epic critic during the second incarnation of the ECC, when the Library was far busier (as was the site as a whole). After transitioning over to a new ECC with a new leader, I continued to write and build my total works, some of which I am more fond of than others.
Despite my activity on the site though, I wasn't terribly social. I posted when I could, responded to PMs regarding my work or the work of other writers, but my really close friends was a short list for much of my time on BZP. It was that fact and the slow winding down of the site that nearly convinced me to leave entirely a couple years back.
Around early 2011, I was posting my epic Dynamic Paradigm, a piece that didn't really take off the way I had hoped. I put aside and lost a good relationship to focus on that epic, which turned out to be an ironic sense of priorities when the board abruptly went down for a good portion of that year. In the meantime, I continued writing my epic and finished posting it when the board came back online. Late that year, I also requested starting the next ECC, which was an absolute honor to have done. With my life growing busier, I'm confident that I left the ECC in very capable hands.
Into early 2012, I began talking with Velox more, a BZPer that had been on my friends list for several years, but one that I seldom communicated with. He had experience with running critic clubs and I asked him to join the ECC as something of a consultant. Throughout 2012, and later joined by Nuile, we began an effort to stimulate activity within the Library, reform the critic clubs a bit, and establish the Ambage. All the while I was hard at work writing Cenotaphs – an epic that gained such praise and exposure, I was beyond thankful for the support from readers and critics alike.
As you may know, the Ambage went on to introduce contests, publish an anthology, and spearhead the effort to make an OTC a reality. I made some wonderful friends during my tenure as an Ambage host, and I say the same regarding the ECC and SSCC. I wish all of these groups nothing but the best as we look hopefully to the future.
And to you, my friends, I thank you for having stood by me, inspiring me, and making BZPower a better place. I will sincerely miss you.
Farewell for now,


Let's Talk Cenotaphs Season 2

Posted by Cederak , Mar 07 2013 · 227 views

As promised late last month, I said I'd be discussing some things regarding season two of Cenotaphs, my next epic. Now, I want to address this concern very early on. You will not need to read Cenotaphs to jump in right at the second epic. I've seen writers make this promise in the past and I've found that it's really hit or miss as to whether they're being truthful or not. Here's the deal. Cenotaphs is roughly seventy five thousand words in length. I want to keep my season two audience as large as possible, so making season one required reading was out of the question.
Over the past few months, my brother and I have been hard at work writing up a total of twenty two episodes for season two that I think readers are really going to enjoy. My brother isn't a BZPer, but he watches a lot of television shows and I valued his input during the creative process. My initial thought with Cenotaphs was to write it like a TV miniseries, but I don't feel it quite hit that mark. Season 2 will be much more episodic, really having the feel of watching a show while you read the story. I ran through Cenotaphs with my brother and he agreed that we should make absolutely sure no one has to sit through that first epic if they don't want to.
Having made that decision, there won't be a lot of reference to Cenotaphs during season two. If any reference to a major event is made, it will be described in great detail, not with a vague explanation or something. Anything from Cenotaphs will be approached as though the protagonist experienced it earlier in his life and there just simply wasn't a first season at all. However, there will be a few ties to Cenotaphs that won't affect season two in any way that would alienate new readers. This will be my attempt to reward readers of Cenotaphs by including little things from that story. Like I said, new readers will look right over these things and the episode will feel just as complete for them.
Also, a minor spoiler to those who haven't read Cenotaphs, the narrator, Adrinor, will be returning to helm season two as well. Considering I'm not making a lot of callback to Cenotaphs, Adrinor's first person perspective is the only real constant between seasons. So that news shouldn't come as a very big surprise.
Last of all, I want to announce the title for season two. Cenotaphs 2 was the earliest idea, but since this next story is so far separated from all that (excluding Adrinor, of course), I searched for a new name with a new meaning. Sure, I keep calling it "season two," but that's mostly because this is the continuation of one character's story into a second epic. Truth be told, this next epic has a standalone feel to it that was very intentional.
That said, season two has been titled Cynosure. The word means to guide or direct, to be the brilliant center of attention. How that will play into the next chapter of Adrinor's story, well…you'll have to wait for that. I anticipate Cynosure will see its first episode released in the summer of 2014. Until then, I still recommend Cenotaphs as a great read to anyone that hasn't already finished it.
Tune in next week, I'll be saying farewell to BZP in a touching letter or something like that. My official departure date is March 19, which will be the beginning of my super-busy-unable-to-write-fanfiction stuff. Details next week. :)


Canon Error I Ran Across...

Posted by Cederak , Feb 28 2013 · 317 views

I was rereading my epic Cenotaphs recently because I enjoy writing the kinds of stories I would love to read, and...something came to my attention. While perusing BS01 at the same time, I came to the realization that I introduced Kanoka disks to the Matoran Universe roughly seventy six millennia before they would officially be invented in Metru Nui. Not that anyone bothered to point this fact out to me, so either A: readers of Cenotaphs wanted to have a laugh at my expense, or B: Everyone who read Cenotaphs was as unaware to the origin date of Kanoka as I was. At any rate, it's not something I really want to go back and correct,  only mentioning the use of Kanoka maybe three or four times.
In other news, I have a very special announcement coming in March regarding Cenotaphs Season Two! What a treat that'll be, right? Well, stay tuned...  :)


Need Michael Bay's Email Address

Posted by Cederak , Feb 13 2013 · 291 views

So I was thinking again about my casual musing that Michael Bay should slap his name on a cologne (because, let's be honest, his name is already tied to some pretty disappointing stuff) simply called "Explosions - by Michael Bay." I can only imagine it would have a powerful scent, with a hint of gunpowder and a dash of all the special effects Mr. Bay could include in a single spritz. Maybe there'll be robot aliens (alien robots?) for some reason too, who knows. I'm just passively interested in pitching him this idea someday, because I'm pretty sure it'll still turn out better than "Revenge of the Fallen" did. :P


I'm Really Not Scary

Posted by Cederak , Feb 12 2013 · 243 views

So now that I've gotten the overly-dramatic, overly-formal open letter of the ECC out of the way and provided that version of a response, I'm ready to give the more personal explanation.
I served in <daydreamer>'s ECC for a very long time. Back then, I longed to one day run the ECC for myself, overseeing the business of getting reviews to people and inspiring them, really helping them along and working together as a community of epic writers. In late 2011, my wish was fulfilled. I sent in the proper information to Hahli Husky via PM, and I was granted permission to start the sixth incarnation of the ECC. During the second half of 2012, however, I began to prepare for the impending change in my life – the March 19 deadline where I could no longer take an active role in anything BZPower-related.
During this time, I looked for a successor, someone who would tend to the ECC and ensure it was managed honorably and efficiently. I made this decision in fear that someone else would go to Hahli Husky with the aforementioned "proper information" and start an ECC that was lacking. In a sense, I hired a babysitter, someone who shared my values of the ECC that would allow me to eventually return to it in the very same condition I left it in. I wanted the position of ECC director for so long, and letting go can be difficult sometimes.
Around the same time as my search for this successor, I came up with an idea one afternoon. The ECC was generating very little traffic and I wanted to keep the members active. When they first joined the ECC, they volunteered to review work and I wanted to provide a selective service that would ensure the ECC was constantly giving back to the community they wished to serve.
I could say a lot about hindsight right now, but that seems like it might deserve another entry entirely. The real answer to the ECC's problem was recently thrown at us. The first part of that problem stemmed from being overcritical in certain areas. Now, there was some commentary about my fellow ECC members and how they approach a critique. I'm not here to address that, as I have nothing but respect for them. That's not to say I can't own up to my own issues in reviewing, and the lines I've crossed. I've felt myself mentally clocking out already, preparing for the change ahead in my life. The simple answer is that I should've quit if I felt my conviction waning. Again, letting go can be difficult.
The second part of the ECC's problem is how that overcritical mindset appears to have been a driving force in the epic sub-forum's decline. It suggested people were scared of the ECC, put off by the lengthy criticisms and negative words to the point that they weren't reviewing or even writing in some cases. Truth be told, I don't find myself particularly scary at all.
At the end of the day, I made an effort to have the ECC seem approachable. Come talk to us. Shoot me a PM. Ask me questions. Basically, tell me what your problems with the ECC are and I would love to work with you to see that idea realized. My days are limited here, but if I spend some of that time just chatting with people, reminding them that the ECC is always trying to improve, reminding them that they shouldn't have to feel like they have to go over our heads to the staff, I'd be okay with that.
When I leave in thirty-some days, I want to be happy with how I leave the ECC behind. But the best way of doing that is by knowing the epic sub-forum is happy with how I'm leaving the ECC behind. So please, PM me. If you didn't like a review you got, whether it was one you asked for or not, tell me. If a friend complained to you that they didn't like a review they got, tell me. If there's anything that bugs you about the ECC, tell me. I'm completely willing to work with you in finding a common ground, and I think I'd prefer a PM that reads "I don't like you or the current person in charge or how the ECC is run" to anymore silence from the sub-forum I serve. But I'm not a mind reader, so I decided to make an attempt at starting a dialogue here.
Anyway, my Inbox is always open to hear your questions, comments, and concerns.


I'm Leaving Soon

Posted by Cederak , Feb 11 2013 · 286 views

Last night, I posted "Little Broken Words" to the OTC, wrapping up my Crystal Chronicles mini-series and also posting my final work for months to come. My life is headed in a busy direction, with new rules, new people, and a bed that is hundreds of miles from the place I have called home for the past twelve years or so. And as for BZPower...it is a place I have called home for nearly eight years now, but I will no longer have time for it in my new life. I won't be logging in, checking my inbox, or browsing as a guest...BZPower will be a memory for me, come March 19th. So I leave all of this behind with one last story. It's not my longest, my best, my favorite, or anything special. But it is the last for a long time, and maybe that gives it a special-ness of its own. I'll expand upon my departure in early March, but for now, I hope you enjoy the conclusion to Crystal Chronicles. :)


Attention: All Epic Sub-Forum Patrons

Posted by Cederak , Feb 08 2013 · 207 views

I wanted to make BZPower as aware of the ECC's response to some recent events as possible. As such, our open letter is available at this link. Thank you.


Darkness and Liquid and a Fine Story

Posted by Cederak , Jan 23 2013 · 200 views

I don't find many reasons to use my blog these days--or ever, for that matter--but I recently encountered a wonderful three-chapter epic written by my critiquing colleague (and your illustrious Forum Mentor), GSR. It's called The Shadow and the Sea and capitalizes on a post-Teridax-death world of Spherus Magna and the uneasy team-up of alt. universe Light Teridax and fan favorite Toa Hahli. Written with the spirit of the Bionicle story so strongly incorporated through it's fantastic tale, this is an epic I would highly recommend to anyone with some free time and/or interest in some key characters following Mata Nui's departure.


Crystal Chronicles

Posted by Cederak , Dec 18 2012 · 444 views

I have been meaning to find a proper place to compile a mini-series I've been working on for the past couple months called Crystal Chronicles. Each story was written to be unique, using a crystal core as a plot device to tell a story. Similar to the Ambage write off themes, I took one idea and twisted it on itself in multiple ways. There are a total of five Crystal Chronicles, hope you enjoy them. :)
Crystal Chronicle #1: Nascent - A short story, Nascent follows the determined Dr. Skyvir in her efforts to protect the lives of Great Beings, and the knowledge she gains along the way.
Crystal Chronicle #2: Rewriter - A comedy, Rewriter is an AI program's one-sided conversation through the final minutes of a multiverse.
Crystal Chronicle #3: Anhedonia - A CoT flash fiction piece, Anhedonia is a dystopian take on our own world, granted the ability to predict and prevent disasters.
Crystal Chronicle #4: The Garden - A short story, The Garden is the story of a Great Being's child and her search for answers in a world unlike the one she once knew.
Crystal Chronicle #5: Little Broken Words - A short story, Little Broken Words provides an origin to the crystal core through the life of a young man named Garrett.


Just Take My Soul

Posted by Cederak , Oct 26 2012 · 208 views

Or at least a piece of it. I may need the rest at a later date for something important. :P



I'm Done

Posted by Cederak , Oct 24 2012 · 238 views

I don't find a lot of legitimate reasons to use my blog that don't sound like rants or whining. I recognize that a lot of people use social network tools (blogs included) for those purposes, often times very unabashedly, but that's not how I typically operate.

Anyway, this entry is in regards to the fact that I posted the final chapter of my epic/mini-series Cenotaphs today, and I've got mixed feelings on the matter. On the one hand, I accomplished everything with that story I wanted to, and it turned out wonderfully. On the other hand, ending an epic, while leaving me with a sense of satisfaction that I saw my work through to the end, also reminds me that there will be a vacancy in my life coming up. I've been invested in these characters for the better part of a year and they've grown on me. Wrapping up their tale is a bittersweet taste, but I enjoyed the time I spent writing their adventures.

Regarding my epic career, I've been saying "this is the last one" every time I finish an epic for the past few years. Finishing an epic, for me, has become more of a "well, I've done everything I wanted to do with the Bionicle universe on a large scale" since 2008 or so. But then another project pops into my head that I wind up pursuing for several months. At the moment, the above quote sums up my feelings pretty nicely - like I've seen through everything I want to do with Bionicle epics. For now, I'm stepping away from all that to focus on short stories, while continuing to work with the ECC and crank out a charity review every couple weeks.

Writing an epic takes so much out of me that, after all is said and done, I feel drained. I've placed so much of my creative efforts into this epic over the course of 2012, and now I just feel like taking a break from big stories like that. Unlike previous years though, I'm not going to say that this is the last epic from me, because I don't know how I'll feel next year or the year after that. For now, I'm planning to take a break from epics and don't plan on starting another until 2014, if at all. Maybe it'll be a sequel to Cenotaphs, maybe not. Don't get me wrong, I love writing epics and I love the creativity it draws from me. But my mood from start to finish changes drastically. The start is like the first day of 1st grade, so much energy, so excited to confront something new. By the end, it feels like the end of 12th grade, just wanting to get out and be done with it. I usually feel exhausted when I wrap one up, and with this one topping out in excess of 70,000 words, I think the feeling is justified.

I have some smaller ideas that should be making their way to the short stories section of the library later this year, while contributing reviews when I can. If you're a patron of our fine library, I recommend checking out Cenotaphs if you have the time. It's a 15 episode story that I spent a lot of time using BS01 to work into the canon and it was an amazing experience to work on.

Long story short, I'm done…for now. Someday, I might click the "Start New Topic" button in epics again. Anything can happen, I suppose. :)



Playing God...and Other Stuff

Posted by Cederak , Oct 20 2012 · 174 views

For the past week, I've been hard at work crafting a sci-fi piece set in the Bionicle universe that explores some metaphysical themes. It is the first of a few stories that will be connected in a way I'm not going to spoil just yet. Still, if you have a usual interest in our library's shorter fiction (though be warned this story topped out at 9,000+ words) and have some time to spare, check out Nascent. :)



My Ambage Achievements

Posted by Cederak , Oct 02 2012 · 312 views

A listing of all my achievements for the Ambage.

Into the Sky(pe)! - Participate in a Skype Write Off (5 Points)
Theme: Café

Manuscript Kiddie Pool - Post a short story. (10 Points)

It's Close to Midnight… - Write a substantial thriller. (10 Points)

Do. Or do Not. There is No Try - Write a substantial sci-fi story. (10 Points)

Vague Subject Matter - Post a story in Completely Off Topic. (10 Points)
Surrounded, Alone

Here Lies Punctuation - Find at least 10 grammar/spelling errors in a story. (5 Points)
Legend of Loganto

Critical Thinking - Substantially review a short story. (10 Points)
Letter from a Prey

Epic Read - Substantially review an epic. (15 Points)
Legend of Loganto

Can't Look Away - Post in an epic review topic at least 3 times. (10 Points)
The Herald of Darkness

Bring in the Specialists - Make a request from the SSCC. (5 Points)

Repeat Customer - Make more than one request from the ECC or SSCC. (15 Points)
Visitor and Surrounded, Alone

A Lovely Contestant - Participate in an official BZP Writing contest. (10 Points)
SS LSO '12

See it Through to the End - Finish an epic. (45 Points)

Do We Know You? - Participate in 5 Skype Write Offs (20 Points)
Café, Symbiont, Ice, Superstition, Chain

The Typewriter is Dead - Post a compiled total of 10 works across all forums. (25 Points)
Surrounded, Alone, Visitor, Chronicle, Nascent, Truth, Tracker, Rewriter, Anhedonia, The Garden, Little Broken Words

Broad Focus Lens - Post 5 stories in Completely Off Topic (30 Points)
Surrounded, Alone, Truth, Anhedonia, Little Broken Words

Critical Hit - Substantially review 15 short stories. (20 Points)
In the Mourning, Letter from a Prey, The End, O Dark Legion, Eldritch Abomination, In Writing, Special, Something a Makuta Never Does, Betrayed, The Last Memories, Birth of the Kal, Disturbed Zen, Winter Years, Somewhere

Epic Proportions - Substantially review 15 epics. (35 Points)
The Gunsmith, Faux, Spherus Magna Summer Olympics, Legend of Loganto, The Herald of Darkness, Team Curse, Revision, Hero Factory: The Biosteel Chronicles, The Bohrok Chronicles, Shadow War, Daybreak Flower, Vahki Army III - Viral Infection, The Great Legends of Metru Nui, Journey into the Light -- Part 1: The Bohrok-Kal, Lick the Sky

Poetic Soul - Write a substantial poem. (10 Points)

Home Row Heavyweight - Finish a write off story with over 600 words. (15 Points)

Keyboard Abuse - Finish a write off story with over 800 words. (25 Points)

Challenge Accepted - Enter an Ambage-hosted contest. (10 Points)
Tablet of Transit

Generalized Words - Review a story in Completely Off Topic. (10 Points)
Eldritch Abomination

Capacious Taste - Review 5 stories in Completely Off Topic. (30 Points)
Eldritch Abomination, In Writing, Special, Disturbed Zen, Winter Years

Unicycle - Review a story in one of the Review Passes. (15 Points)
In Writing

Open Mike Night - Write a substantial comedy. (10 Points)

I Bet You Think You're Funny - Post a comedy. (10 Points)

Naturally Creative - Participate in 3 consecutive Skype Write Offs. (15 Points)
Chain, Tablet of Transit, Salt-Shaker

One of the Gang - Participate in 15 Skype Write Offs (30 Points)
Café, Symbiont, Ice, Superstition, Chain, Tablet of Transit, Salt-Shaker, Toy, Throne, What the tide brought in, Settlement, Hive
Bring in the Experts - Make a request from the ECC. (10 Points)
Not For the Faint of Heart  - Write a substantial adventure. (10 Points)
The Garden
Epic Win - Substantially review 35 epics. (75 Points)
The Gunsmith, Faux, Spherus Magna Summer Olympics, Legend of Loganto, The Herald of Darkness, Team Curse, Revision, Hero Factory: The Biosteel Chronicles, The Bohrok Chronicles, Shadow War, Daybreak Flower, Vahki Army III - Viral Infection, The Great Legends of Metru Nui, Journey into the Light -- Part 1: The Bohrok-Kal, Lick the Sky, The Beginning, The Shadow and the Sea, Oppression
Heartbreaker - Write a substantial romance. (10 Points)
Little Broken Words
Tissue and Tears - Write a substantial tragedy. (10 Points)
Little Broken Words

Point Total: 430 Points (Jazzed-Up Journalist); 4 Review Tokens



Posted by Cederak , Aug 05 2012 · 198 views

Of all the characters in my many works on BZP, Cederak is certainly my favorite. Able to halt, slow, rewind, and travel through time, yet conflicted by how best to use those abilities, he has always been the closest to me. But I also want to give recognition to my second favorite character, a female Toa of light by the name of Valixia. Leading a Toa of magnetism and a Toa of space (yes, I know that's not a real element, it's a really old epic) into a war that determines the fate of reality, Valixia is strong-willed and very sharp. Her skill with her light scepter is incredible and SPOILER ALERT: she was actually made by the same Great Being as Cederak. A true leader, Valixia is my only attempt at a female lead and I took her across four epics. Perhaps I'll revisit her character and that world some day (in a George Lucas "I want to remake something that didn't live up to what I wanted the first time" sort of way). For now, I'm trading in my username and hoping I confuse as few people as possible. :P

A Directory, For Your Convenience

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You Probably Have The Wrong Address

No? You're actually looking for Cederak? Formerly Toa Cederak? Oh, you don't remember me having that name? Well, that's for the best.

What can I say here that can't be found in my profile? Or rather, what do I want to say here that can't be found in my profile? I could've copy/pasted the "About Me" section here, but if you go ahead and click that profile link just above, you'll notice it's the only dark blue text on the page. Unless there's blue text in some advertisement that loads when you click the link. That is, unfortunately, out of my hands. Besides, what's a little effort on your part to check my profile? Labor builds character, or so I've heard. If anything, it's made me more than a little cynical at times. Hey wait, cynicism is a character trait!

March 2015

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If You Get Tired Of Pming Me...

Random people on the internet want to contact me? Well, how could that turn out badly/creepy?

Skype/Gamertag: Cederak

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