Archive for September, 2014

Ennid BotB Cover

Ennid the Havoc in “The Belly of the Beast” – available in multiple formats for your reading pleasure!

Amazon (.MOBI)

Smashwords (Everything Else)

…at least for a lot of publishers of entertainment media these days. Fallout 3 certainly made post-apocalyptia ‘cool’ again with its first-person-shooter RPG stylings. Tim Burton is lending his name to relative newcomer Shane Acker with what looks to be the seriously promising ‘9‘ (not to be confused with some other movie called ‘Nine’ mind you). Hell, even Oprah Winfrey put her guaranteed-bestseller mark on The Road which is headed for the theaters soon. At least one other movie slated for next year with Denzel Washington already confused people into thinking of it as a Fallout movie (The Book of Eli). All well and good, I say, for those people (such as myself) who couldn’t get enough of it during their childhood, when the only mainstream armageddon around was Mad Max, The Road Warrior and Wasteland (Electronic Arts video game).

So what about those older titles? Mad Max. Now there’s a gem of a title. While not explicitly post-apocalypse [actually more of a dystopia, but more on that subject at a later date], Mad Max gave birth to the detritus-clad punks on hastily refurbished vehicles spreading mayhem while an equally detritus-clad anti-hero out-spreads the mayhem, only against the evil instead of for it in The Road Warrior – an unforgettable classic storyline and the birth of the look for decades to come.

Anyone who gamed in the early 80’s on that lovely machine, the Commodore 64, could probably tell you a little bit about Wasteland (What? You mean it was published for other platforms? There were other platforms?). The game drops you into the action with no more information than you play a team of soldiers that trained in a military compound re-purposed from a federal prison completed when the bombs dropped and there’s a disturbance in the desert. Go find out what’s going on. Sure the game consisted of a whopping 4 colors, and a sprite hopped its way mannequin-style across the desert to towns no bigger than you on the main screen, but the storyline engaged you and really pulled you in. Ditto its “spiritual successors” Fallout and Fallout 2 – while the graphics are certainly better, the rich and involved storyline proved thrilling and darkly humorous.

The moral of this story is: Let’s not forget the good predecessors to the current Post-Apocalyptic hits. Without them, the current hits just may not exist.

(Originally published at the Meltdown Cafe on 5 AUG 2009)

I’m going to start right off by saying I haven’t even purchased the game yet. Do you know why? Because it’s so deliciously yummy looking that there’s NO way I couldn’t head right for the “dessert” of playing for days on end instead if getting my Ennid out on schedule. Brian Fargo, you and your team have outdone yourselves with eye candy alone.

I used to be a huge gamer – addicted. I’ve since weaned myself and haven’t been too excited about anything in the last several years, until I heard about this one. I even dig out my original Wasteland copy just to have the orange cover nearby. And I reread the entire paragraph book again. (I’m going to admit that when I played the game as a kid, over and over, it didn’t take me long to memorize all the correct passwords revealed within it.)

What I’ve decided to do is reward myself only when it’s done. I’ve been waiting for this game for 26 years. (Yeah, I’m old enough to have played the original on its original platform. It’s what sucked me into the genre in the first place, next to The Road Warrior.) So what’s a few more days?

Besides, I have a feeling after playing it for awhile, I’m going to throw a tactical nuke at my schedule to rearrange it for the second Umbra novel, I’ll be too immersed and inspired to let Vera and Shaw and Harris go for long.

Bottom line is, I’m already sold. I’ll add my thoughts later, when I’m playing. If I remember to pull myself away long enough.

I find most sports boring, if not downright abhorrent (people shell out insane funds to watch other people make millions of dollars playing a game).

But… I have a love affair with MMA.

The one thing I truly picked up and retained from my husband, even after the divorce, was an appreciation fighting with the hands and feet using a combination of the bazillion varieties. There’s something very primal and very stirring about watching these sportsman throw down with each other

Very little expensive gear is involved (thin gloves to protect the knuckles, occasional shin guards, a mouth guard for those teeth) and therefore little to stand in the way of every punch and kick thrown (known in the industry as ‘strikes’).  People get hurt.  All of the time.  I was watching during the infamous Silva vs. Weidman rematch -UFC 168, for the belt- when Weidman leg-checked Silva’s strike and it sheared Silva’s tibia. Everyone at the restaurant that night got to see the 18 million replays from EVERY angle showing Anderson Silva’s leg wobbling like it belonged to a rubber doll. I swear, 18 million. Train wreck, folks. Horrifying, but you can’t look away.

One of the other reasons I love MMA are the many professionals throughout. I don’t mean professional as in ‘getting paid’ but in ‘I’m going to pummel your ass into a thin red paste, but as soon as that buzzer goes off, I’m going to shake your hand and congratulate you on a good fight’ kind of professional.  What goes on in the Octagon stays in the Octagon. Clay Guida is one of my faves for this reason, and he would definitely be one of the ones I would wish to hang out with. (Some on the other hand, like Nick Diaz, Jason Miller and War Machine are pricks who, inside and outside, either antagonized one another or committed heinous crimes.  Not cool for the sport guys.  Not cool at all.)  I love (to hate) Chael Sonnen only because he’s the sport’s version of the fisherman with tall tales. Instead of letting his own considerable skills speak for themselves (he was one of the few to give the then-undefeated Anderson Silva a run for his money), he goes around touting himself as the actual champion because he almost brought “The Spider” down. (That part is great, too. They all have nicknames.)  Watching Sonnen fight is always a pleasure, because either I get to see him use his amazing fighting prowess and take his opponent down, or I get to watch someone kick his ass.

My other pet peeve is when they brought two women into the fighting (remaining nameless here, as they do not need the publicity).  The idiot who arranged the fights and the producers played up the Reality-TV bullshit drama of it both of as catty bitches who were gonna “kick each others’ ass” truly soured the sport.  Leave that petty crap on Jerry Springer where it belongs.  Now that this TUF crap is out, there are COMPLETELY taking the sport in the wrong direction, selling it on the sex angle instead of a true exposition and merit of their skills.  It will become a farce just as much as women gladiators (the “gladiatrix“) were in Roman times.  Cheap amusement at the expense of the women involved, all the while trying to sell them as legitimate.  It is a true shame, because a lot of the women kick serious ass, but unfortunately the size of their attitudes or how they look in bikinis will completely override any fighting prowess.  Spectacle.

I don’t go to watch all of the fights; that would get far too pricey and I would always be up past my bedtime.  I pick and choose the matches with my faves and occasionally, if none of my guys are going to show up on the card for awhile, I’ll check out some new and interesting faces.

The bottom line is, my interests inform my writing – sometimes a lot, sometimes just a little, but on occasion, the interest itself gives me an idea that Just. Won’t. Leave. Me. Alone.  And so, I must write, in order to get it out there.  And when that idea was Ennid the Havoc, he kept locking me up in a rear naked choke, and I finally tapped out and gave him his stories.

Oh, and Joe Rogan… shut up!

 

A little background information:

Royce Gracie essentially started the UFC as a coming-out party for his new style of fighting, Brazilian Ju-Jitsu, and it’s been gaining even more momentum.

The top UFC fighter only makes around $1 million a year, and that includes all of the product endorsements.

The octagon was used to differentiate it from all the other martial sports out there, to introduce it as something new and truly unique.

Working on one of my stories much longer than I anticipated, but that dreaded black hole called revision has sucked some of my wordcount into its impossible-to-break grasp.

BUT…

(And anyone who reads knows that the interesting twists come after the word “but”)

I have been working on the blurb. It’s a nice little tool –sorry if the title of this post threw you off– to really hone the story down to its essence.

So I present to you the blurb for your reading pleasure, and certainly, for your tidbits of sage advice:

The world quaked in chaos. Landbound kingdoms waged war over the precious few resources found among the small continents and scattered islands. Pirate fleets swarmed the oceans, pillaging trade vessels and sinking one another as they vied to command the waters. Powers angelic and demonic performed their dances martial just beyond the veil of human sight.

Ennid the Havoc couldn’t care less about any of that.

Three things drove him onward – his mare, his next meal, and his next match. In that order.

He roamed from town to town, sampling the wares and finding someone brave enough to challenge him for the thrill of the fight (and a share of the purse). But when a couple of kids knock him from the saddle and steal K’zirra (that’s the mare), he follows them to a town lacking not only coin enough to buy her back, but nary a young man to fight.

In fact, no young men at all walked among them.

Only when an exotic woman invites Ennid into her world and tasks him with retrieving a rare gemstone does he hope to earn his fortune, buy back his horse and leave the town.

But first… first he must face the Beast.

Oh, and I have updated the cover, again…

Ennid BotB Cover

So… go for it!

Sometimes that first step away from the “normal” is terrifying, but nothing can be so rewarding as chasing – and achieving! – your dreams.

Don Charisma


«Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so.»

— Belva Davis


DonCharisma.com-logo-4 Charisma quotes are sponsored by DonCharisma.com – you dream it we built it … because – “anything is possible with Charisma”

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