Saturday, August 22, 2020

Six month update

So, it's been about six months since I stopped writing in my blog, and like it has been for probably everyone in the world, it's been a pretty shitty time.  It hasn't been all terrible of course, but it's teetered more towards the bad than good.

First thing to mention, since this is my writing blog, after all, is my book.  I haven't made much progress on it at all during this whole time. I might have written a few chapters, maybe.  At the beginning of the year, I had hoped to be finished with my second and third draft by now, had it sent out to beta readers, and been working on a couple more drafts of it by now.  Right now, though, I still haven't finished the second draft.  I still hope to have it done by the end of the year, but it's going to be super tight.

It shouldn't need to be explained why I haven't been able to get any work done, but I just want to vent so here it goes.  I suppose I could be called one of the lucky ones that weren't laid off during the shut down as I have been working this whole time.  Unfortunately, the amount of work I've had to do since March has been doubled or maybe even tripled, especially in the first few months as I work in the healthcare industry.

Homelife hasn't been any easier since school's been closed.  I know it's been difficult for everyone but the combination of a 4-year-old child with autism and a wife with chronic fatigue has been even harder to survive.  I come home from a long, hard day at work to find my wife has had a worse day with our son and she immediately needs to take a nap.  As soon as she wakes up, I have to put him to bed.  So at home, when I've had at least an hour to myself to try to write before, I now have absolutely no time alone.

2020 didn't stop there though, as my grandma passed away on my son's 4th birthday, but for the last month, my wife has been dealing with some major medical issues that resulted in emergency surgery just last Thursday.  That's not to mention that massive fires in the next state over that have buried my home in smoke.

Luckily, my wife is feeling tons better now and it's got me hopeful that things will be getting better in the next few weeks.  My son's going back to school next Tuesday, assuming the smoke in the area doesn't shut the school down like it did a few days last week.  I know I'm going to sound like a complete ass hole for sending my son to school during the pandemic, but because of the program he's in, his class is the safest group of kids in school as he's completely isolated from the rest of the student body, located in a bungalow in the back of the campus.  He doesn't even need to go through the main building to get to his class!  Anyway, even if the school's shut down, I'm not worried about him catching anything.

Overall, things are looking brighter in the next few weeks.  I'm hoping to get back into writing soon and returning to my critiquing group.  I've even got some ideas for stuff to write for The Retro Network, who has been awesome enough to accept me even though I've offered nothing to them so far.

Oh and I'm finally getting a haircut tomorrow.  That's going to be weird.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

The Future of Old School Evil

It's been a while since I've posted any real update of what I'm working on now.  I meant to write one after November when I won NaNo, but it kept slipping by me.  In fact, the idea of posting any new content on here has been kinda daunting lately.  Having gone over two months since my last post here made posting again unappealing.  So I've decided to shudder my Old School Evil blog, at least for the time being.  Maybe I'll open it again later, but at this moment, I don't think it'll happen.

What I'm planning to do here is change my blogging focus to my writing and rebrand the site as a Brian Cave Author site.  I'm hoping to actually get some good website design and try to make it professional, considering Old School Evil is pretty generic looking.  I'm planning to post more updates on how my novels are going; writing, cover design (more on that later), advertising, marketing.  I'm not sure how often I'll post, but I'm definitely not trying to make it a weekly thing like I did before and it didn't last long.  I'm not planning to give up my Old School Evil twitter account or Facebook page.  Well, maybe I'll get a new Facebook page considering not many people even know I have one.  

I still do want to write some retro cartoon posts sometime, and to do so I've joined the Retro Network.  I've appeared on a podcast or two there and wrote a few pasts for them already, including an essay contest I entered where I reviewed the Go-Bots/Rock Lords movie.  I've got a few other things I want to write, some lists and movie reviews and I'll be posting them up there.  And this way they'll hopefully get a lot more eyes on them instead of me trying to promote them myself.

Since Old School Evil is closing down, I've decided not to do the rest of Bad Guy Beatdown.  I decided a while ago to throw up the first few battles on Wattpad, so I'm going to just post them all there. I do want to write up the last few battles, but I'm going to post them, sans analysis, on Wattpad as well.  I haven't gotten a lot of readers there, but considering I didn't get many on Twitter or Facebook, I don't see it as a loss.  I don't have any schedule for them, but it'll probably be a few months since I'm busy with the book at the moment.

Lastly, I did want to share some progress on the book.  I think I'm about halfway through the rewrite for Old School Evil 2.  I originally wanted to have it out by April 30th so it would be the second anniversary of the first book coming out, but it just ain't happening.  I don't have any deadline now, but I'm going to try to get through it as fast as possible. I've figured out a cool idea for the covers for the whole series that I'm super excited to show you all.  I think I can do some of it myself, but I'm definitely going to have to commission some artwork for some of it.

So that's what I've got going on right now.  I'm hoping this refocusing on the blog will help me spend more time writing and not worrying about anything else.  I really have enjoyed the time I've spent writing list content and some reviews, but I really am more of an author than a blogger.  I went into blogging to try to build interest in my book, and I think I've done everything I can do myself by now.  

I appreciate all of you that have stuck with me for so long.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Atlantis: The Lost Empire - James Garner Blogathon

Back in November, I wrote a series of posts about Disney villains called Disnovember about my favorite villain songs, deaths, and the like.  Only a few villains made more than one list, but there was one bad guy that showed up on three lists: Best villain death, best villain portrayal, and best overall villain and that was none other than Lyle Tiberius Rourke.  As the commander of the expedition to Atlantis, Rourke led two hundred men into the ocean depths with a cool and collected demeanor, even remaining calm when attacked by a giant mechanical leviathan. That composure didn’t falter, even in the second half of the film when his true nature as a plunderer came through and he was exposed as the film’s villain.

Rourke was played perfectly James Garner, being both the friendly commander watching over his crew and the back-stabbing thief throwing his second-in-command overboard.  I’m not too familiar with his work outside of the Rockford Files and Maverick (both of which I haven’t seen much of), but I only knew him as a good guy, so during his heel-turn after finding Atlantis’s treasure, I was pretty shocked.  After that point, his portrayal gets an almost excited energy, though I’d imagine it would be hard not to have that if you were about to become a millionaire.
Even at the very end, when he’s killing his lieutenant Audrey and trying to do the same to the hero Milo, Garner starts to have some real fun in the role, spouting off some of his best lines in the film.  In my best villain portrayal list, I state that his final lines in the movie are my absolute favorite – “I consider myself an even-tempered man. It takes a lot to get under my skin, but congratulations, you just won the solid-gold kewpie doll.” 


His death is one of my favorites as he effectively suffers two of them. Sliced by the magic-infused glass encasing the treasure of Atlantis, his body is transformers into crystal. Even still, he survives the transformation, only to be shattered to pieces by the rotor of his hot air balloon.  Heck, if Atlantis was a musical, I bet his signature song would have been my favorite as well.
Overall, I placed Rourke as my number 1 Disney villain and it’s in no small part that James Garner brought him up that high.  The slow hinting of Rourke’s ulterior motives, his willingness to abandon his former colleagues underground, to attack Atlantis’s king which led to his death, and then to turn against his most trusted partner is a thrill to watch.
"I love it when I win," indeed.
This post was written as part of the Realweegiemidget Reviews's James Garner Blogathon. Makes sure to visit the site and read the rest of the entries here.