Current Updates

on Friday, July 20, 2012
Here's just a brief idea of what I've been up to:

- Preparing to make video reviews for my video game blog. Getting Final Cut Pro and a tutorial and starting tinkering around.
- Submitting Half to everything that moves. Had a few decent bites! (woo woo)
- Editing Quarter, doing my second minor edit of Half, and going back to Death's Aria
- NOT writing my middle grade book. I've written almost four books this year already, each on a deadline (all three of them took less than a month each) and I need a breather. Priming the pump or whatever. I'll start writing it once I feel the creative spark to write punch me in the face.
- Watched The Dark Knight Rises. Didn't like it. I'd promise a review, but I promise those all the time and then don't pull through. But I do want to write one.
- Enjoying taking a break from my hobbies. Sometimes I treat them with even more seriousness than my actual job (read: I do this all the time) and the stress is getting to me. A breather was necessary.
- I bought a Dreamcast (actually two Dreamcasts; one of the ones I bought was a model I didn't want...anybody want a Dreamcast?) and am enjoying playing games on that. Also bought like 50 NES games, so I have to burn through those.
- Considering writing scripts for previously mentioned movie reviews. They're gonna be crazy. Crazy AWESOME, or at least I hope.

That's it; just enjoying some laid-back summerness. I'll keep updating the Video Game Blog, but aside from that I'm on hiatus. I hope you are all having good summers as well!

Review: Apparition by Michaelbrent Collings

on Wednesday, July 11, 2012

There is nothing I personally fear more than losing myself. Losing control of my emotions and making a mistake, failing to maintain dominance over my most basic of functions and becoming manipulated by some other, sinister force. I believe this is why the concept of possession is so chilling to many people: you lose what makes you YOU, so you still have to witness the awful consequences of your actions.

Apparition by Michaelbrent Collings is about parents killing their children. I'm not going to mince words here, this book deals with filicide. If that sort of thing bothers you even in the very slightest, you should probably avoid this book, because it will get in your head and royally mess you up. However, if you are the kind of person who loves books that get into your head and royally mess you up, then I really have a novel suggestion for you!

To put it into context: this book starts with a graphic description of filicide. Not so much that I'd consider it distasteful, but absolutely horrific enough to make me squirm uncomfortably. Which, considering I got this book to be scared, I'll write that down as a bullet point for the positive.

The story follows Shane and his two children, who are seeking answers in regards to why parents suddenly snap and murder their children. All the while dark things being creeping into their lives, influencing Shane and putting some rather awful thoughts into his head. Without spoiling much, I'll just say that as Shane gets closer and closer to finding the truth, he falls deeper and deeper into the abyss of madness.

Michaelbrent Collings is a master of building suspense, providing lulls that are still unnerving and then hitting you with big scares. I felt he did this near-perfectly in Rising Fears, while The Haunting had sections that felt a little long for me. In Apparition his pacing is at its finest: starting with a horrific, jolting scene to set the mood, and balancing the brief breathers with the heart-stopping horror. I literally read until three in the morning until I was so tired I passed out with Kindle in hand, and when I returned to the book I didn't stop until I had completely finished it.

While I'd argue this is my favorite of Michaelbrent's books I've read so far, I had two issues with it. The first is I never really had a grasp on Matthew's age, which kept throwing me off. He seemed particularly young considering how he talked (and was talked to) at the beginning, but then he'd observe things in his viewpoint that seemed way too old for his thought processes. A minor nitpick (especially since the teenage daughter was done so well), but enough to throw me off.

The other is the issue that horror masters have been battling since the genre began: that not seeing a monster is far more scary than when you actually reveal it. While I think Apparition did very well by concealing the true identity of the monster until the very end, once the reveal happened it was, as one expects, far less scary than anything I was speculating. A few of the final scenes even came off as a bit corny. This didn't detract from the absolutely bananas climax that Apparition has (not to mention the fantastic, fantastic epilogue that capstones this horror novel perfectly) but I often wonder if a horror book would work where we never actually see the big bad and only witness it's influence and awful aftermath. But that's not a question for this review.

Long story short, Apparition provides exactly as advertised: raw, unflinching horror speckled with gore and a healthy dose of "that's just wrong!" If you have any affinity for the horror genre whatsoever, I high suggest picking up this and all the rest of Michaelbrent Collings' works. Just be warned: this book was the first book I've ever read to give me nightmares, so maybe you should read it with all the lights on.

Four out of five stars. 

Nathan vs Video Games Kickstarter

on Thursday, July 5, 2012

(I'm reposting this from my video game blog. Please consider throwing a few bucks in my direction so I can make some awesome movies! :D)

I'm doing a kickstarter!

Like Let's Play's? Curious what I'd sound like on camera? Want me to play some REALLY AWFUL GAMES (Like PK Out of the Shadows on Gamecube) with commentary? Want to SUGGEST an awful game and have me review it ON VIDEO?

All this can be yours if you just contribute a few bucks to my kickstarter! RAD.


In all seriousness, I've been wanting to do video stuff for a while. I have a ton of video editing software already (hence why the kickstarter doesn't have to be too expensive) but I'd love to get a really nice capture card and maybe some good microphones and do some delicious video content. I can't guarantee it'll be all quality right out of the gate (hey, it's a learning experience) but I'm determined to make some awesome stuff should this get funded, and if anything watching me swear at Donald Duck while playing that awful PK game will probably be worth a couple bucks (in my humble opinion).

If you are interested, PLEASE go donate! As another cool bonus, if you donate $15 or more you get a PERLER BEAD sprite of your choice! Pretty rad, huh?

Share this around and we'll see how it goes! Thanks for contributing; and expect tons more content coming up in the next few weeks!

Quarter, book #10, complete!

on Monday, July 2, 2012

In another three-week (and a day change) book blitz, the sequel to Half, Quarter, is completed! Huzzah and hooray!

I'm hungry and want dinner, so here's some really basic level stats:

Total words: 75,064
Total chapters: 27 (including the epilogue)
New main characters: 3-4
Fight scenes: 7 (if you count the final fight + car chase as two)

So that's it. This is less exciting than the usual book finish posts, but hey...what do you expect? Next on the docket, werewolf uncles. See ya then.