The Ideal Magical Item

Its a rough world out there. What one person has, another can take or destroy. This week, for #wanafriday (I know its Saturday, but I have excuses) the question is asked: “If you could have any magical item, what would it be?” Oh my…a question for nerds everywhere to debate endlessly. Several things pop into mind right away, but then the problems with them come up just as quickly.

My first thought was The Master Sword, of Legend of Zelda fame. The downside is I don't know how to use a sword. It would sit on the mantel and be useless unless Gannon smashed down my door. Also, I've got a couple friends who, I'm pretty sure, would slit my throat and steal the sword.

Next up, The One Ring. Invisibility, long life, untold powers to eventually unlock and rule all the world. That's all great if you think you're a bigger badass than Gandalf. Eventually you're going to have to deal with the past owners who all have codependency issues and skin conditions. Not to mention the great big fiery eye watching you like a creepy stalker every time you try and sneak in the movies.

Well, you can get invisibility without all the extra trouble with the Invisibility Cloak from Harry Potter! This one almost took the grand prize, but I've never really liked invisibility as a power. Its uses are limited if you're not a teenage prodigy trying to get out of curfew. You'd be a fantastic thief, and have a bunch of opportunities to be really creepy, but for me…I'd probably just be sneaking into movies for free. Plus, it can be stolen and probably would be by the first shady government agency to come along.

What about something that can't be stolen? Just about your only option is a magic item that makes you invulnerable from that sort of chicanery. Thankfully this plays into my megalomaniacal desires. The Infinity Gauntlet from the Marvel Universe just about took my top choice.

It's a gauntlet that holds the six Infinity Gems: Space, Time, Mind, Power, Soul and Reality. Possessing the Gauntlet with all the gems basically makes you a god. Unfortunately, no one's going to just let you be a god. This is the one thing on the list that everyone in the world will gang up on you and kill you for. Also, I don't want to be a god. Can you imagine the work?

So, I'm still left with a puzzle. I want a Magic item that's more than just a trinket to hang on my shelf, but that I can use without getting it taken away from me or its power corrupting me. After much consideration, I've concluded there is one magic item that would be more handy than any other.

Assuming a world in which my magic item is the only magic item, the perfect magic item is one that is both innocuous and handy; powerful, but subtle. Thus, my choice is Hewards Handy Haversack! What? Shut up! Its a great choice, and here's why.

The haversack is a magic item that is similar to a bag of holding, from Dungeons and Dragons. Its a backpack that always weighs only five pounds and, aside from the main pouch has two side pouches. Each of the side pouches, while being small, each hold two cubic feet or twenty pounds worth of items. The main pouch holds eight cubic feet of items, or 80 pounds. Plus, the reason that its “handy” is that whatever you're looking for will be at the top of the pack when you open it.

Originally I was going to go with just a bag of holding, which is awesome in its own right. But a five pound backpack that can hold 120 lbs. worth of stuff all of it at easy reach, would be perfect. And since it looks like a normal backpack, nobody suspects a thing…other than I'm obsessively organized. Since it works along the same lines as a bag of holding, all items within it are stored in an extra-dimensional space, which I would think would make it immune to various types of scanning equipment. So, not only is it super handy in its own right, but also the perfect tool for making a mint in the smuggling business!

So what object would you choose and what would you do with it?

So what object would you choose and what would you do with it?

As always, fellow WANAs that choose to add their post to this theme will be added here as they post, so check back or check #wanafriday:

Ellen Gregory What does Ellen take away from Harry Potter?

Tami Clayton What do wands and pickles have to do with each other?

Kim Moser Griffin A very versatile object.

Siri Paulson What's beyond the portal?

Liv Rancourt Very practical, and definitely magic.

Cora Ramos That Magical Fire Agate


Writing fuel: Music for wordmaking

If you haven’t hit play on the video above, I’d advise you to click play.  I’ve listened to the above… I don’t know… fifty times?  More?  What you’re listening to is one of the main themes for Impervious.  Yeah, if you’re listening to the lyrics, you might notice a common word in there.  I’m not a big fan of rap normally, but there’s something about Eppic that I really like.  Combine that with the awesome violin skills of Lindsey Stirling and it couldn’t help but be writing fuel.

Any given story that I’m working on has its own playlist.  Impervious is heavily fueled by Abney Park (example forthcoming), but there are also additions like “By No Means” and  “Some Nights” by Fun.  What makes a song right for a particular story can vary from lyrics, to the overall feel.  What’s really important are the images that it conjures.  City of the Sorcerers featured a lot of Nightwish, Within Temptation and other symphonic metal (my favorite genre of music).  Done with “By No Means”? Here’s some Abney Park and their “Steampunk Revolution”.

I can’t, can not, write without music.  Hell, I’ve got a playlist for just about everything I do, but I need music to get the creative juices flowing.  Edge has even gotten its own playlist lately, featuring a lot of I Fight Dragons.  Not familiar with them?  I suggest you look them up or at least listen to the last video I post here.  I absolutely love that some many independent artists are able to bring their music to the masses through the internet.  Also, suck it RIAA.

What about you?  What music gets the creative juices flowing?  I’ll leave you with a little bit of I Fight Dragons.  I may or may not have posted this in a previous blog… Oh well.

Writing a book is a lot of work.

I've never finished a whole book before. Its still a little thrilling that I wrote a book. Granted, its not a very big book at the moment, but it'll grow. Which is what I'm doing now. I got a lot of good feedback on Impervious and now I'm ready to take another crack at it. I'm starting to realize that writing the first draft was the easy part.

One of the problems that I'm facing is that, by in large, I wrote Impervious by the seat of my pants. Minimal outlining, big drastic changes to the story from one chapter to the next, characters who were on one side at one moment, and on another the next. Which is just about the only way that I was able to do National Novel Writing Month.

So, right now, I'm going through chapter by chapter and figuring out just what needs to be done. I've started a new story bible, free of errors and taking into account just what's going to be happening in the final version of the story. The good news, is that the next book is about 80% done, which helps a LOT in figuring out what has to happen in this one. By my estimates, I need to add another 50k to 60k words to Impervious before I'll have a viable second draft. Involved in that, I need to alter whole character arcs, add in plenty of setting, flesh out my magic system, create a couple new characters, kill a few darlings, and add in a bit more humor. No big, right?

One of the difficulties I'm having is that I have to figure out how to play with certain cliches without hurting the story. One of my main characters is the “Evil Emperor” who I have to fit into the role while still making him one of the “good guys”. While I'm doing that though, I have to avoid other cliches even more because I'm playing with others. Plus I've got more writing craft to learn. Did anyone else know that writing a book was a lot of work? I suppose that I knew it was going to be a lot of work, in my head, but now the reality is catching up with me. I mean, not only is there all this stuff I have to do, but once its all done, I've got a completely different set of things I'll have to do. (Formatting, marketing, messing with eBook stores) Am I even going to have time to spend my massive piles of money? I'll pause while you published authors manage to control your laughter.

So, that's what I've been up to. This month should see some considerable work done on Impervious since I'm doing a 25k month. I'm a little bit behind, but I've made some good progress today. If you're attempting something similar, might I suggest taking a look at WordKeeperAlpha? If you're being extra suggestible today, go take a look at the Edge Of December Kickstarter. We're in our last ten days and almost at our goal. Help us over the edge if you're feeling extra nice.

Have you heard of Van Canto? No? Have a little “Hero Metal”.

You're welcome.

I’m back! I’m back with news!

So, I’ve been “gone” for a long time. Rather, my previous blog on my former homepage had been left to wither and die for months while I poured effort into my projects. The first of which being Impervious (first draft finished!), the second being Edge Of December (we have a Kickstarter!) and the last being WordKeeperAlpha (more on that in a moment).

I’ve been a little quiet on what was happening with Impervious because I’d entered it in a contest for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) winners. The contest was a great idea by Ravven, and others (who I will hopefully link as an edit to this post). Long story short, I won the first phase, but honorably lost to the aliterative and talented Janna Jennings. Even winning the first phase is huge for me, since I’ll be getting a lot of aid that will help me get Impervious out ready for publication sometime in the next year, including but not limited to cover art by Ravven herself! Seriously, she does some pretty awesome stuff. I reccommend checking out her current body of work here.

So I’m going to be kicking a lot of butt on Impervious in the near future, but really, if that’s all I was doing, shouldn’t I at least be half way done with the second draft by now? Maybe. Maybe if I wasn’t making a new tool for authors who want to set word goals and track their progress online! I call it WordKeeperAlpha and its online and functional. In fact, its a large reason behind why I changed hosts and moved this blog to a new site. Still, its free and pretty neat if I do say so myself. And even if it isn’t too neat, its free. Right now, WKA is still in the beta phase, and I’ll be adding features to it every couple months. Pretty high up on the list is the ability to share your graphs with social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. Impervious is my primary goal though. Here’s a little peak at the graphing feature though… if you want to see more go and create an account.

Edge of December has been really busy too. We recently sent Glenn, Court and company to Phoenix Comic-con and by all accounts they had a blast, made friends (also a couple enemies) and made a good showing at our first con. I wasn’t able to join them this year, but when they return next year I’ll be in attendance (hopefully with a book of my own). Also, Edge has a Kickstarter going right now! Go there and you can still get in on our early Kicker opportunities. Save money by backing before everyone else and get not one, but two stories by me!

Now, since I’ve done nothing but talk about news in this post I’m going to leave you with a little bit of happiness for the day. By I Fight Dragons, this is The Geeks Will Inherit The Earth!


Quick Update

Katie and I just got back from celebrating our first anniversary!  It was awesome, but also a little tiring.  I meant to do a blog post tonight to catch people up on my work with WordKeeperAlpha and future plans for Impervious but that’s going to have to wait until tomorrow night.

I will say that I was made aware of a bug (thanks Dad!) that stopped people from registering… Ooops.  That was a little dumb on my part, but its been fixed, I’ve tested it out and everything is working again.

So, if you wanted to register, but couldn’t, please give it another try.  It’s working now.