Chapter One…

Alright it’s about time that I finally put up or shut up.  I’ve procrastinated this for many years but I finally gave myself a deadline and I’m going to see it through.  August 31st, 2013.

I’ve finally reached a point with the city of Janus, Newfoundland that I’m going to commit it to literature.  I gave myself a deadline to provide two trusted sources with the first chapter of what will eventually become a full length story.  One source gets to critique it for the grammar and structure.  For this task I’ve appointed an English that has been hounding me to do this since I was in high school, cause let’s face it, the writing fundamentals of punctuation and structure are not my strongest suits.  You all know this because most of what I write here on The World Is Broken is hardly ever proof read or checked before posting.

The second source is just in the overall interest of the story.  For this task I’ve selected a person I know to be an avid reader of a diverse selection of genres.  Someone I know personally to get themselves wrapped up in stories with the plot and the characters.  It’s a person who inflicted physical violence on me because I did not warn her of Ned Stark’s fate in the first book for A Song Of Ice And Fire.

Today I feel as though I’ve completed this chapter.  After missing the last few deadlines of other projects that have been talked about on here I decided to wait until this moment before bringing you this news so that I insure that at least I will not miss this one.

The final touches on the chapter had me a bit weary though.  It stands at a flimsy 3500 words.  Looking on my screen I ponder to myself a question, “How long is a chapter supposed to be?”  I believe deep down I knew the answer, but it still bugged me.  I was thrilled to discover that this is a question posed by a lot of writers initially, and the answer stays the same.

The chapter is as long as it needs to be.

I still have no title, and there is still a LONG way to go, but August 28th, 2013 is the day that official Chapter One was completed.

All that’s left is one more read through and maybe touch up some areas but the hardest part is now out of the way.

I’ve been stuck on this for almost two weeks now.  I know a lot of the plot of this beast, and I know exactly how most of the character development is going to be handled, hell I even got a couple of potential twists in mind, all the while still keeping in my head that Janus is a horror-based city… this story is intended to be suspenseful, to actively be able to scare any reader that dares become emotionally invested in the plot.

All this going through my head but I was never able to get a beginning down.  I hope now the flood gates are open and I might even be able to have this thing clued up in a matter of months.

One step at a time though.

Wish me luck!

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The Name On The Marquee: Chris Kirby

Chris-1In province known for its kitchen parties and rowdy, Celtic traditions there is surprisingly a very diverse music scene that can be found.  Hell, you can’t have George St and not have an eclectic blend of music.  One street, 40 bars (apparently as of 2006) most of them offer live music.  You will find everything from gangsta-rap, to electronic synth, to epic metal… and of course if you venture down to a little venue tucked in by Turkey Joes you will find some blues & jazz.

I’m talking about the Fat Cat Blues Bar, this is a cozy little area where you won’t get pushed around because you are shoulder to shoulder with mosh pitters, nor will you hear the uh-tiss uh-tiss pounding through your head all night.  My first experience with this particular locale was actually not even in person, it was a youtube video I found of a young man named Chris Kirby performing on its stage.   I was hooked from that moment

I was hoping to link it here but apparently that video isn’t anywhere to be found on youtube at the moment.  Oh well.

It’s an atrocity that I was not able to finish editing together my video montage of one of the shows that Chris Kirby and his band The Marquee played in my hometown.  I understand there are a lot of you reading this that have never heard the name Chris Kirby before, for you I want you to search youtube.  Immediately you’ll find Waiting So Long, and Wonderizer.  These are two videos that from his most recent album.

Chris Kirby as a songwriter, keyboardist, guitarist, vocalist… is unrivaled.  Not to mention he’s also produced albums for other well known maritime artists.  The guy is a jack of all trades, and never disappoints  an audience.   I’ve never heard anyone say anything remotely negative about this guy.

Legit there is a part of me that simply hopes that some day my opinion holds weight over even a decent number of people so that I can be an actual contributor to getting the word out about this kid.  His talent is too big for it to be contained in the Maritimes for very long.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2v8-0C8qrc&list=PLE7372FC2EFB6987E

If you listen to this and like what you heard please go to http://www.chriskirbyonline.com/ and check out the albums.  I would HEAVILY recommend the Vampire Hotel or Wonderizer.  You just can’t go wrong.  My favorite album though is Sounds Like Wednesday with is listed on  Amazon for sale. (If you don’t get the album, at least download “Remember That Girl” … )

For my non-Newfoundland visitors here, I urge you to check this out.

 

Seasons Don’t Fear The Reaper

Okay, I’ve been listening to some Blue Oyster Cult while titling this entry but the lyric is at least appropriate.  It has been a little over a full month since last I visited my cyber home here at WordPress, but to be honest there really hasn’t been a whole lot to go into.

Audio products also coming soon.
Audio products also coming soon.

In recent weeks I have to admit my life has been rather stagnant.  Nothing really has been changed and the day-to-day conflict I found myself opposing has essentially been just a struggle to maintain the status quo.

I’m still in planning so many projects, they are still upcoming and yet still no true progress has been made to realize them.

Of course there is more to life than future ambitions, so when I say my life has been stagnant I mean everything else as well.  My relationship is still pretty damn solid, I still look at myself as being at the pinnacle of happiness that any man can attain when it comes to companionship.

I have never been this happy with the thought of spending the rest of my life with another person as I have been these past 8+ months.

I’m working graveyard/overnight shifts at the McDonald’s just up the road from my apartment, still hating my job but at least it’s a hatred that doesn’t spoil and taint the rest of my life (like a previous employer did).  It’s still a struggle to find motivation to go to work but in the end I go, I get it done, I get paid.  I’m content for now.

I say this title is appropriate because the other day it dawned on me that there has not been a new season in a long time.  I don’t think many of you are new to my idea about how life is made up of various seasons, (as TV programming works).

I put in my notice with my previous employer, quit there, and the future started looking a little uncertain.  I look back on that day about 4 months ago now and realize that it was a seasons finale.  In this show we see our protagonist quitting his job and there were endless possibilities.. it’s a cliffhanger.  It’s a finale intending on getting the viewer to come back, of course it seems there is a great deal of time elapsing through this off season.

At this rate the viewer will come back to the season premiere to find out that this bold new opportunity where anything can happen, has resulted with out protagonist being only slightly less jaded, flipping burgers overnight.  It’s a very disappointing continuation to the finale, of course that all depends on what really is going on when this premiere actually occur.

Potentially it already has.. and this is it.

My computer crashes, the good old reliable Quad Core HP Pavilion that got me through the last 6-7 years of computer needs, just about every significant computer-related activity I have done in the last half-decade was on this machine, and now it is finally laid to rest… I’ve re-entered the world of portable computing, with my new laptop.

into_the_future_by_the__kyza-d3cwim3In fact right now I am on break at work, and spending it to write this entry.  The thought of being able to type anywhere I go is something that I’ve always envied in my friends with laptops, and now my tech-life has come full circle. It was the absolute failure of my previous laptop (while in warranty) that got my that PC in the first place, (staples bought out the warranty and allowed me 1200 dollars to go towards buying a new machine… at the time I was not really moving around a whole lot so I decided to just go all out on a PC.)

The Janus tale has already been given its first deadline.  I have conceded that without a deadline I will never truly start it.  So, by month end I plan on circulating the first few chapters of this story to a select number of individuals for creative and structural improvements and critiques.

This isn’t an official deadline, but by Christmas the whole thing should be together and hopefully, potentially up for sale.

Anyway, this is just an update, it’s time to get back to work.

I know my little net-troll colleague is looking at this and salivating at the mistakes in punctuation and grammar, to that I say I really don’t care heh, this whole post has just been written with no pre-thought, nor do I plan to re-read and fix these errors.

You’ll all be hearing from me again very soon.

Cheers

A Beast of Many Faces

An apology can be long overdue but I attest that it can never be too late.  It’s entirely possible that you can give an apology long after forgiveness is removed as an option, also it can come at a time when simply the original offense is so far in the past that it is irrelevant.

World Is Broken it’s been a while since I’ve visited here. I have got a good degree completed in the various workings and projects that I mentioned in previous entries, hopefully you guys will be seeing some of it soon enough.

I’m here to get something out of my head.  It has come to my attention in recent days that the therapeutic benefit of writing my thoughts here do not transition well to real life conversations.

fmab__battle_with_envy_by_crimzonlogic-d465xhlThe last few days I’ve become overwhelmed with a new emotion.  It is an emotion that I could not fathom in my younger years, despite having it described to me in great detail by a past significant other.

This intriguing new emotion that has driven me back to the hallowed grounds of my WordPress account is Jealousy.  Yes, I’m aware this is a normal everyday feeling that everyone feels eventually.  Let me explain.

My interpretation of jealousy was always defined strictly as a situation where worry and doubt combine with mistrust.  I never truly felt jealous before because frankly I’ve never been with someone who I didn’t trust absolutely.  In fact it has become a credence for all my relationships.. as long as there’s trust there will never be a reason to feel jealous.

The moment trust is gone, so is the relationship.

The other night I found myself in a discussion with an important figure from my past due to the intense need for an apology.  In a time when I was in a relationship with this person jealousy was an issue but she continued to tell me it’s not due to lack of trust.  With all my wisdom and understanding of complex human emotions I just couldn’t bring myself to imagine a type of jealousy that doesn’t stem from mistrust of the partner.

… That is until I felt it the other night.

I’m involved in what I will swear right now to be my endgame relationship.  I am with a girl right now that I intend to spend the rest of my life with… come together as a family… build a life together.  I vow that this is the it for me… marriage, life, retirement.. until my last day I will be with her. (I know this may be naive as I cannot speak for her as well, BUT to my understanding she feels the same and I have not been given a reason to doubt her)…

She has a child with another man, a man who at one point she was married to.  Of course this is me, when I’m told he’s coming down for a week and will be staying with her, I’m absolutely cool with that.  I’m actually quite happy that their daughter will be able to see her father for the short time that he is here.

I will pre-occupy myself with work, games, and poker.

Then the first night happened.  Her texting and conversation were such that I have not experienced her in such a good mood in a very long time.  Immediately my mind started to wander and I realized that the green monster was creeping in.

Why now?

All that kept going through my mind is, Wow this guy is making her happy.

Of course she reassured me otherwise and once again, I have no reason to doubt it.  But I couldn’t shake the feeling for the longest time.  My present state of mind is a little more logical and I still have the utmost confidence that everything is going to be fine, but this new emotion still intrigues me.

I trust her with my life, she assures me there’s nothing to worry about and yet Tuesday night worry is about the only thing I could feel.   It’s not very often I get the chance to experience a new kind of emotion (I was convinced I’ve already felt them all before).

I’ve vented about this already to her but for some reason I couldn’t shake this defeated attitude. No joke not only has this envy consumed me but it didn’t bring out rage or anger, it brought out lament and angst…

Transferring this from my brain to text helps a lot, so once again cyberspace I am in your debt and my continued sanity thanks you.

I”ll be seeing you all again real soon.

 

On The Cusp

Without question this feeling is the strangest that has ever come over me.  The last week especially has become a little overwhelming.  It is unnerving, yet not anxiety… it’s frustrating, yet exciting…  This is very difficult to articulate with written words.

On_the_Edge_by_petitescargotI’m balancing on an edge not sure of where I will end when I finally stumble.  The most appropriate description of this emotion is that of nearing a climax.

You’re reading a gripping masterpiece, nearing the end.  Everything is beginning to come together, the build up is at its absolute peak and you burn through page after page as the tension grows until you find that sweet release when you reach the point where the loose ends get tied and  the story reaches its climax.

… I just realized how dirty this metaphor can be interpreted…. well even if you’re mind traveled beyond the realm of PG-13, even in THAT context you still understand what I”m talking about.

I’ve been bitten by a bug that yearns for the day that I open up Microsoft Word, hell even a WordPress page, and begin writing the narrative I’ve been planning to write.  The problem is I can’t get release.  The more I try to get myself to start writing the tale that keeps playing out in my head, the more I fail.

Tonight just happens to the first night I’ve been able to recognize this sensation that has come over me.  I need to bring Janus to life.  I have a cast of characters, I have my world, I just need the tale.

I just finished watching an interview with RA Salvatore.  He spoke of his writing methods and I realize that his method is similar to Martin, my own.

“The way I write all my books is I introduce these characters and I know enough about them that I might be interested in them and then I sit back and let them tell me the story.  

When I’m writing a book it’s almost the way other people read a book.  I don’t really know whats happen or what’s going to happen next but it all seems to keep falling together as they tell me their story” RA Salvatore on Sword & Laser 

As I’ve said. I have my characters (mostly) and I have my world.  I feel like a vehicle that continues to get just a little bit of fuel at a time.

When it comes to Janus, after listening to George RR Martin I started getting moved towards writing, and I did.  There are a number of characters that have been introduced to my world since… and now Salvatore has done the same except this time I feel as though the tank is full.

My fingers actually tingle as they interact with the keyboard, they cannot wait to ive into bringing Janus to life.

Salvatore made a lot of sense especially when talking about writing in general and the advice he offered for young writers.

“If you can quit. Quit.  If you can’t quit, you’re a writer.  I say that because if you’re a writer it means that one of the ways that you make your way through life is by asking yourself questions and answering them in your stories.  This is true of every writer some are very aware of it others aren’t.  

It’s almost like your way of making sense of the world.   When you look at it that way, if you’re a writer then there is no way you can not do that and be happy.  But if you can quit, if it’s not that important to you and you can quit writing and it’s more about wanting to make money, forture, and fame, then quit.  This business will kill you” RA Salvatore on Sword & Laser

Reflection on Dead Island Riptide

It’s been a number of years since video gaming was counted among my foremost leisurely activities.  This is due to a number of reasons; part of it is other responsibilities, another part is growing up, and at least some of it is that there has not really been anything eye-catching to lure me back to my Xbox.

Of course there have been exceptions.

September 6, 2011 – The release of Dead Island.  I saw the trailer on Escapist Magazine and could not wait for this title to hit the shelf.  It looked like it was finally going to be the zombie apocalypse game that we were waiting for, especially at a time where zombies were poised to take their place as the foremost monster in pop culture.

It offered heart and compassion in a visceral and threatening situation.  Nothing was going to keep me away from Walmart on the 6th. The days that followed saw a lot of late night gaming (and a few sick calls to work) with  my at-the-time future roommate That Damned Besaw.

If you really want to know what ShallopNewf 2011 thought of the original, you can check out the review here

Let’s fast forward to present day.  Dead Island:Riptide has been released for about three weeks.  Once again with That Damned Besaw I made my return to find myself stranded on another island not too far from Banoi… surrounded by infected.

****************************

It’s been about 12 hours since I finished Dead Island: Riptide. Upon concluding the main story there was a considerably loud discussion between myself and That Damned Besaw about how we felt about it.  This was followed by a drive in the car, spending some time with my girlfriend, and finally playing a number of hours of Kingdoms of Amalur.  Only after all that do I now finally feel calm and collected enough to talk about what I just went through.

images

Riptide is not going to get the same treatment as the original, I’m not going to separate the review into segments and tell you how it ranked because really I’ll just be repeating myself.

Therein lies the real problem I have with this game.

Before I proceed, I need to make you aware that this review is most likely going to contain spoilers.  While I’ll try to keep it to a minimum and not anything too drastic, but really after reflecting on the series there isn’t anything about the narrative that should take you by surprise anyway.

If you like zombies, and you don’t want to have anything spoiled go ahead and play the game. You’ll definitely have a good time.

… Now, where were we?

Ah yes, Riptide.  Well I was asked earlier on Facebook when I made a comment regarding my gaming experience,

“Are you talking about Dead Island, or the new one?”

My response?  “Is there a difference?”

There’s no better way to sum this whole thing up than that.

The Good
I have to give credit where credit is due on this game. The dev team really did do a lot of great tweaks to the whole experience.  The fighting controls stayed familiar, yet the skill tree and leveling system was modified.

I really like the idea that the more you use something the more you would level it up.

The story itself continues pretty cohesive from where the previous game ended, so it really did feel like a true continuation of the story.

A couple of the new sights and mechanics were pleasant.  The bunker style missions where you needed to fortify an area while fighting off a horde of walkers was a very welcome addition, as was boat travel.

New zombies made the experience more unique from the original, especially the addition of the “wrestler” and the “screamer” zombies.

One part of the original Dead Island that I commented on was addressed in spades with this second outing and that is the feeling of that survivor instinct.  There were times in DI that I was surrounded by zombies and died, but I never did get the feel of dread that comes with realizing you are on an island completely swarming with the walking dead.    Riptide, with its continually spawning enemies and more aggressive(it seems) AI, has done that.

Walking through the jungle in Palanai, I really felt like I needed to take my time and hopefully get by without encountering too many.

The Bad

If there was only one major complaint I would have to make concerning the original Dead Island it would have to be directed towards the narrative itself.  The story is superb right up until you start nearing the climax.  I’ll be the first to admit that they didn’t really do anything different with the zombie apocalypse scenario, with the whole government = bad guy mentality but for the most part it was relatively solid until the very end.

The ending to the first game is comprised of a pitiful boss fight that I was able to overcome by just using Sam B’s special ability a single time, followed up by a chopper taking them away.

I really can’t go into more detail than that, but basically for as good as the game play experience was, and how passable the story and characters where… the best way to describe Dead Island is “predictably, anti-climatic”

… Riptide suffers from this and more.

Ripdtide is still far too new for me to be so bold as to actually explain the ending, but it essentially ends of being less satisfying than the original, and yet surprisingly similar.

Really that’s mainly it.  Gameplay-wise the game is indeed solid.  I’m not a fan of the players starting at level 15 since this is supposed to be a new game and not just an expansion…. but narrative-wise that makes sense because the characters are experienced in the situation so that can be excused.

The Same

This is THE main topic of conversation between me and That Damned Besaw.  We both spent 50 dollars to get this game anticipating a great experience that will continue the story in new and thrilling ways.

A couple of nice tweaks does not make up for what we encountered through the game.  It began with just comments here and there, “oh man you know this place reminds me of the jungle in the first one”… “this path is a lot like the resort area in Dead Island”….. “this fort is almost identical to the church from the first one”…

As these comments came fast and furious, ESPECIALLY near the end, we started paying more attention to it.  Entering the “bank” in the city of Henderson was startling when we entered the very same room from the first game when the main characters were talking about how to get to the security desk.

The last act of the game takes place in “the docks” of a city… not only is it very similar, but it is IDENTICAL to the layout of the “prison” from the first one.  There were points when I was going through it based on memory almost.

The entire last act of this game was a carbon copy of the original, the only difference is they changed some textures, they put in big tanks where there once was bars.

As we explored Mr. Besaw and I were labeling what we saw.  As we entered the large room where the final fight was going to take place I remember him welcoming me to the cell block, because it was identical.

Conclusion

I’m actually not as outraged about this as Besaw is, I actually don’t mind the recycling of levels, but when it seems like half the game is like that and you still want to charge me over 50 dollars for this game…. I’m expecting a new experience.

The end result is basically a still-solid gaming experience.  If you liked the first one, you will like this one.. had I the chance to do it over, I would probably wait until this is a 20 dollar budget title before getting it… but if you want to get your fix and see what happens to the immune after the events of the first game there is almost enough going for it to warrant the price tag.

If you can then wait… if you can’t then you’ll have fun but don’t go in with high expectations.

Dead Island Riptide… it’s still a Dead Island game so it’s worth a play,  the gameplay has even been improved, but the extra content just isn’t there and the story is just going to leave you lacking.

I don’t do these much anymore, but for the old times sake, I”ll give it a rating.

8/10 – recycled levels and a tired, bland story hinder an amazing game play experience.  I think it suffers from being rushed out way too early before it was truly completed.

Considering this is a new company, as pointed out by my friend Echo, I will end this with saying that I am certainly anticipating a time when they get everything together.

26,297 Hours and Counting!

Something has gone awry when you feel more appreciated by a massive online word-processor than by the company you have been employed by for the last year.

I wake up and stumble into my last shift approximately 15 minutes late and spend the last remaining hours just on auto-pilot going through the motions till I can leave this place and be free.

I log into Word Press to discover a little trophy icon in the top corner. Clicking it reveals a WordPress milestone, with a short message wishing me a happy 3rd anniversary with WordPress.

That’s right apparently it was May 3rd, 2010 when The World is Broken first went live.  Three years is a fairly lengthy time, and to be honest it feels a little strange.  I’m stunned at how long it has actually been since it feels like far less than three years, and yet I struggle to remember a time in my life when I was not posting something or another here on the World Is Broken.

In the last three years there have been lots of changes.

It doesn’t quite look the way it began and I even tried going with some new names to make it more broadly accepted… The World Is Broken?.. At first glance that sounds like some emo kids live journal page.  You wouldn’t expect to find any depth or true expression.  I’m not vain enough (also I know I’m guilty of more than a couple of emo-teen-rage-rants) to think that my word transcends that description all the time but there’s enough people following, supporting, and continually reading my work that I believe I’m justified in saying that a lot of the times the things I have to say carry some weight.

I usually describe The World Is Broken as my online home.  This is the place you would go if for some reason you knew who I was and wanted to get the inside scoop on what was going on in my life, but upon reflection I don’t think that it is a very accurate representation of what I do here.  This place isn’t where you would go to find out specifically what is going on in my life, for the most part I keep out the specific details like names and locales when it comes to current affairs.

This place is more like a window into my mindset and a jumbled, unorganized collection of the thoughts that swim through the abyss of my mind.  There’s so much that I think, believe and feel and when it boils over to the point where it can no longer be contained the World Is Broken is the waste management system I use to vent the excess.

This website has seen me through a lot.  It began with College of the North Atlantic, it seen me through the ups when things were going great, the downs when I was on the chopping block for expulsion, and everything in between.  When I decided I was going to dabble in the world of reviews, the World is Broken became my canvas and to this day I’m still incredibly proud of my reviews of both the Big Bang Theory and Glee.

When Elaine passed away, this website became the outlet for all the angry and frustrated thoughts that overcame me.  I lost myself in a well of grief and despair, unable to truly communicate with those around me, unable to look pass my remorse and guilt to see anything but a world without her.  It was through taking the mosaic of thoughts and dumping them onto the page here on WordPress  that I was able to truly organize them and begin to deal.

May is still a rough month for me and it will stand as a trial that I will undergo every year until the day I finally come to terms that it was not my fault and there’s nothing I could have done to change the outcome.  The World is Broken saw me through last years May.

The various romantic experiences, from the break up with Candace, even the confusing time spent with Cynthia and the “Brother Zone.”  It’s even still with me now that I have come into what I’m sure is going to be my final “new relationship” with Jess.

My transition from naive, ignorant college student into the man who I am now can be followed and experienced through reading this website.  Sure there are large gaps, sometimes spanning several months, but the one consistent is that I always come back to it.  This website is as dear to me as anything else in my life.

Words are my trade, and despite any strength I have or will obtain in my life words are my power.

I’ve never been “Freshly Pressed”… and I’ve never made a dime from anything put on the site…

WordPress is wishing me a Happy Anniversary… Even though I know it’s an automated message I respond to it with a most heartfelt and sincere Thank You to WordPress being my outlet for the last three years… It’ll be interesting to see where I’ll this path is going to lead over the next three years.

Stay Tuned…