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Letters From the Void



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The Twelve Queens

Posted by Virus #0579 , Aug 25 2014 · 63 views
Divine Strength
Work on Divine Strength continues. I just finished chapter five, the bulk of which can be read here (be warned, it's rather long). This scene involves all twelve Queens coming together in neutral territory to discuss the main threat of the story and how they will each deal with it. The same general material was covered in the prototype story Conference of Divinity, which has been posted both here and on Tumblr if you want to compare them.

And now I'm a little stuck. The next major event I have planned is the alliance moving into Roche, as in the prototype story Alignment, but I'm not sure if I should go straight to that or insert another event or two first. After that, I do have an idea of what happens next, but the further ahead I go the vaguer my plans get. Ah well, I guess I just need to keep at it and see what happens.


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Legend of WHAT

Posted by Virus #0579 , Aug 22 2014 · 156 views

Okay, so they put the Korra Book 3 finale up early, and I watched it, and oh my gosh

Spoiler


*lies down until emotions pass*


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Anniversary #0579

Posted by Virus #0579 , Aug 19 2014 · 90 views

Wait…have I really been here ten years?

Dang.

I was hoping to do some sort of special story thing for my 10th, but I couldn’t get a decent idea together. Ah well.

Hm, what have I accomplished in these ten years…? Well, I’m not an especially prominent member. I can’t say that I’ve participated in any momentous events, and both my proto and post count are less than what you’d probably expect from a ten-year member. Doesn’t seem like I’ve done a whole lot.

But, my member title is “Bionicle Writer of the Month.”

I know it’s seriously not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but the simple fact that one of my stories (heck, more than one!) was considered good enough to win a contest and be featured on the front page just…feels like a wonderful accomplishment. It implies that my writing has improved over these ten years, and that alone makes the whole stay worth it, I think.

So thanks for putting up with me for a whole decade, BZP! I hope we can continue to coexist.


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Ah, Yes, the Queens...

Posted by Virus #0579 , Aug 18 2014 · 86 views
Divine Strength
My next semester is starting up soon. Originally I had intended to have a rough draft of my novel Divine Strength done by now, but that definitely did not happen. At least the realization helped me kick myself into making some more progress.

Part of that has involved me repeatedly posting about it on Tumblr, and answering some questions people have had about it on that website. I’ve shared a rough map of the story’s setting (it is by no means art, just there for reference), posted the names I’ve come up with for eight of the eleven queendoms, and with some help, have at least tentative emblems for all twelve Queens. I’ve also posted a few more story excerpts, and a few other miscellaneous bits of info. If anyone wants to peruse all this, you can check out the “Divine Strength” tag on my Tumblr blog, found here. It’s recently been sorted for easier access, details are over there.

I’ve just begun Chapter 5, and I’m rapidly approaching the point where my short stories left off. It’ll be interesting to see what I can come up with next, but I think I’ll be able to get together something decent. My new goal is to get a draft done by the end of 2014. If I can do that, then I can edit and whatnot in 2015 and maybe work up some courage to try to find a publisher by, oh…2020.

…That was a joke.

I do need to find a way to fake confidence and not be crushed by rejection, at least. But, I have time—I have no idea how long this story is going to run, but this plot surely has a reasonable number of chapters left in it. One idea I’m toying with is going back and adding in chapters from the point of view of other Queens during the early chapters. We’ve been exclusively following the Queen of Light thus far, and I want to give them all at least some spotlight. Though, that could complicate things, adding in additional plotlines that pile up and make it really confusing…well, hopefully not. If nothing else, I know I want to do something from the point of view of the Queen of War later—I have a particular scene in mind that I think will be important in defining her character. Also what I’m envisioning looks cool.

Anyway, I shall continue working. Slowly.


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New Mega Evolutions?

Posted by Virus #0579 , Aug 14 2014 · 169 views

I was going to go with "ORAS ORAS ORAS" for the title, but it seemed too general and I haven't actually watched that anime so anyway

Mega Slowbro is the Magic Conch. Rather than it obeying your commands in battle, you must obey whatever it says. All hail the Magic Conch!

Mega Audino...for some reason, I get the feeling it wants to make a contract with me...

What surprises me is that several of the most recent reveals are for Pokemon who were not introduced in Generation III. I guess I just sort of assumed that all new Mega Evolutions would be for Gen III Pokemon since these are Gen III remakes, and that assumption went unchallenged for some time--barring Mega Diancie, but since she's the newest Mythical Pokemon I figured that was a logical exception. Seems I was wrong! Well, that's not a bad thing, more Mega Evolutions is good news!

I don't really have much to say on Mega Lopunny, other than "Wow, a new Gen IV Mega Evolution, now there are 4 of them! And we're all going to die because 4 is death!" and "But...why Lopunny??" Mega Slowbro raises the possibility of Mega Slowking, but then again, Mega Gardevoir is in a similar situation in regards to Mega Gallade, and nothing has come of that yet either. Very surprised to see Mega Audino, not so much because I don't see a whole lot of love for that particular Pokemon (although...), but because this is the first Gen V Mega Evolution. Since Forme Changes were in full swing in Gen V, I wasn't expecting to see any Gen V Mega Evolutions, at least not during Gen VI. This opens up a lot of possibility--Gen V is now open for Mega Evolving, which means we could see awesome transformations for Pokemon like Gigalith and Chandelure and Golurk. It's very exciting.

So...three more months. What a coincidence.


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Killing Off Player Characters: How to do it Right

Posted by Virus #0579 , Aug 08 2014 · 119 views

As should be evident, this blog post will contain MASSIVE spoilers. Seriously, if you keep reading you’ll spoil a super important and surprising thing that happens in a video game, so do so at your own risk.

At first this was going to be a post opening discussion about what games people felt had effective player character deaths, but then I decided to stop playing around and just openly gush about Final Fantasy V. Well, one aspect of it, at least. The title probably tipped you off, but around the middle (or maybe a little later) of the game, one of the four playable characters you’ve had up to that point actually dies as part of the story. And it’s actually pretty great.

Spoiler


So basically, go play Final Fantasy V. It’s on smartphones now so you really don’t have an excuse.


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Pahrak Joins the Anime Blogging Train

Posted by Virus #0579 , Aug 06 2014 · 114 views

My first thought was to use “densha” instead of train but that would just be showing off :P

I can never recall all the anime I’ve seen at once, but I suppose I could at least make a post about what anime and manga I’m following at the moment. I feel like I haven’t been using my blog as much lately, so this will liven things up.

Manga:
-Naruto: Yes, I know, shut up. I’m following it more out of a sense of obligation than anything else—it was one of the first series I got into when I started to really dive into anime and it…might…be over soon, so I’d like to see it through to the end. I’m a bit torn on its current state: while a lot of what’s happening is kinda cool, I wonder if it’s a bit too cliché. Then again, I think everything’s a cliché. The word cliché is cliché. The world is cliché. …I digress.
-Bleach: Again, obligation. Much more so than Naruto, even. Bleach was actually my absolute favorite anime through the end of the Soul Society arc, after which my interest continued to slip until the point where we got over 20 chapters with the exact same title, at which point I flipped a table and only kept reading to fulfill my contract. The ending of that arc and the arc afterward were alright, though I did have some complaints, but this new arc (explicitly said to be the FINAL arc) is…well, I don’t think terrible is the right word, just…the villains don’t interest me that much (though it feels like the concept could have), and the template for abilities for their species (established in the very first arc) has been completely and totally thrown out the window to make them little more than Arrancar clones. I’m going to cut myself off there—I could easily rant for an entire entry about Bleach. Lost love and all that.

Anime:
-Attack on Titan: Yeah, I know, took me a while. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t see the appeal of this series and mostly ignored it. Well…as best I could. When it was announced that the dub would be airing on Toonami (and in a reasonable timeslot, to boot), I figured I would check it out. I will say this: now that it has my interest, it’s certainly keeping it. My opinions of it haven’t entirely formed and probably will repeat what’s been said in a billion other places on the internet (it’s really, really popular), so I’ll just leave it at that.
-I do watch a few other things on Toonami—I try to at least stay conscious through One Piece, since I’ve been trying for years to get into that. Between AoT and One Piece there’s a few others: Naruto (meh), Bleach (I think Bleach is something that’s really better when it’s watched rather than read…too bad the anime ended before the final arc lol), and…Space Dandy. Space Dandy is weird, just weird, man. I honestly don’t know how to feel about it, but it does make me laugh.
-Sword Art Online II: Watching the subs as it airs in Japan. I never have understood why this series is as popular as it is either, even after watching the first season. But I think I’m starting to understand. My working theory is: rather than coming for great execution of the (admittedly interesting) plot concepts or well-made characters, you come to see things that look cool. And considering that the opening alone for this season gives us bishounen Kirito running around a desert wasteland deflecting bullets with a lightsaber, well…it looks like it’s probably going to deliver on that. Though even in that department, I would still much rather prefer a second season of Accel World. No word on that yet.
-Sailor Moon: Freaking finally. I know, I know, if I call myself an anime fan I really should have watched a series with this much cultural impact a lot sooner. In my defense, I have terrible motivation problems and 200 episodes is intimidating. Neon Alley is putting up two episodes a week and I can watch them there for free, and this pace makes it easier to keep up with while minimizing the feeling of “man I’m SO far behind!!” Anyway. It took me a while to get into the swing of it, but I’m really enjoying it now. The characters and how they interact with each other really sell it, the miscellaneous powers make for interesting fights, and the plot is really beginning to thicken, so I’m excited to see what happens next. Granted, I’ve seen spoilers. This is Sailor Moon we’re talking about. But still, it’s a fun watch; I’m tempted to just marathon the series elsewhere, but considering how far I still have to go, I’ll probably just be patient and keep up with Neon Alley’s pace.
-Sailor Moon Crystal: It just started airing, and it’s obviously a reason why I’m starting to watch the original as well. I think I’m still getting used to it, but I felt the same way about the original at this point in the plot, so I’m not worried.
-I know it’s not anime, but I’m going to mention it anyway. Legend of Korra Book 3: Change! I think I’ve successfully dumped all my negativity from Book 2 in favor of positivity, so I’m really enjoying the series again. I’m glad we’re learning more about the villains, but the remaining unanswered questions still leave a nice hook, and the Red Lotus make for pretty darn good antagonists (not sure you can really use the term “villains” now that we know more about their motives). As for Nickelodeon completely giving up on it, well…the positive spin my sister put on this was that now, we can just say “Nickelodeon is terrible” without putting on an asterisk to make note of Korra being the exception! A little concerned about how this may affect Book 4, but it’s probably nothing to worry about, and I am getting ahead of myself. Though while I’m at it, I do hope that Books 3 and 4 will be more connected, or that Book 4 will connect back to any (or all) of the previous Books a little more. I can sort of understand each Book being a separate story, but I kind of miss the feel of all the Books being tied together in one big plot like in Avatar.

That’s about it for now, and with school about to start back up and more video games being released I probably won’t be picking up a new series anytime soon. But! My local theater is showing Dragon Ball Z: Battle of the Gods tonight, so we’re going to try to see that. We’re a little confused right now, there may have been some mix-up with our tickets…hopefully that’ll work out. If not, I’ll probably make a whiny status update or something. Or maybe I’ll get so ticked that I’ll turn into a Super Saiyan!

…No, wait, my power level isn’t high enough. Darn.


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Let's Try This Again

Posted by Virus #0579 , Jul 28 2014 · 94 views

With all the blogging going on last week, my posts advertising new stories might've gotten buried, so I'm going to shamelessly promote them one more time.

First, in the Epics forum, is A Mind in Darkness. The blog post with a little more info on it can be found here.

Second, in the Short Stories forum, is The Blade of Valor. Blog post here explaining that this is a test run for a concept--I'm really curious to know how people feel about this idea, so please let me know.

And while I'm at it, we just opened registration for the new tournament in Technic Warzone. It's not too late to join!


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SDCC According to Bionicle Fans

Posted by Virus #0579 , Jul 25 2014 · 202 views

Posted Image

BEWARE


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Testing Out a New Story Concept

Posted by Virus #0579 , Jul 24 2014 · 58 views

As promised, A Mind in Darkness is now complete! The whole thing comes in at over 11,000 words. I’m glad I followed through on the idea—maybe there’s something else from that booklet I can use as inspiration…

Anyway, on to the main point of this entry. When I announced A Mind in Darkness, I mentioned that I was working on another new project. In the past, I worked on some stories about humans who could use the power of Bionicle (and other) characters by turning “spirits” into armor—that series is pretty dead, but I still want to do something with the basic idea. Nothing like humans turning up in the MU, of course. That would just be ridiculous. What I wanted was a new world where both humans and Toa existed, and after kicking that around for a while, I got a new idea that I thought had some potential.

But, I’m not so sure there’s an audience for this sort of thing. Not much point in putting a bunch of work into a story if it’s just going to rot in some forgotten corner of the Library, right? Simply asking if there was an audience didn’t seem like the best way to go, plus I really wanted to at least experiment with this idea a little, so I decided to jump in…if a bit tentatively.

The result is the short story The Blade of Valor. Think of this as a pilot episode. Presented here is a rough working concept of a world where Toa are Elemental Spirits who watch over the humans, but when an evil force arises, a priestess is selected to bear a legendary weapon and set things right. I did a solid amount of world-building and prepared some backstory, but I don’t want to go much farther unless I see reason to. If I get a good reaction from The Blade of Valor, I’ll continue working and put together an entire story based on this concept. If no one seems interested, then I guess it just remains a one-shot.

Please read if you have the time, but a few warnings. First, the length: it’s between 4000-5000 words. Interpret that as you will. Second, I tried to make the monster in this story rather disturbing, and while I don’t know if I really succeeded in that, I figured I should at least provide a heads-up.

If you like the story, please let me know. Also, since the material presented is very tentative, suggestions are most welcome—if I do end up pursuing this, then I want it to be as great as possible. If nothing else, thank you for at least reading this entry!






September 2014

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