The Quest and The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Hello my Imaginary Friends,

Some days require more coffee than others. Feel free to quote me on that.

The Quest

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A few weeks ago my brother recommended that I check out The Quest. I wasn’t all that interested at first but then I watched an episode.

Let’s just say that so far I’m loving it!

For those that don’t know, it’s a reality show with a scripted storyline, set in a fantasy world. The major reason I didn’t want to see it was my lack of faith in reality TV. I expected it to be filled with bad versions of fantasy with hammy actors and cut throat pretty people as contestants.

I was wrong. It seems everyone involved loves Fantasy and they’ve gone to great depths to make it awesome. The actors are great, the contestants are fantasy geeks.

It does like to spend time on drama and some of the challenges feel a little low budget but it’s a lot of fun.

I particularly like the Hag who lives in the woods. She really got into it.

Watch it on ABC in the US or CityTv in Canada.

Novel?

I have a bad habit of being inspired by things that I like. The Quest isn’t an exception.

While I watched, I wondered what if the cameras were hidden and the contestants started to wonder if it was real or not. Imagine the emotional effect of the end of second act realization that all the “Banished” characters were killed.

Think what it would mean for the characters who don’t understand it isn’t a game.

I really like this idea for a novel and I’ve even written a proof of concept for one of the characters. I was expecting it to be 500 words but it quickly ballooned to 2000.

I’ll post it on Thursday.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

I was challenged and then challenged my wife.

For those of you who live under a rock, the challenge is to bring awareness about ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease or Charcot Disease).

It’s a terrifying degenerative disease that affects muscles. From what I understand your muscles slowly atrophy. It’s paralysing, painful, and those affected have a short life expectancy.

The challenge says that if you can, you should donate $10 to the cause if you’ve dumped a bucket of ice water on your head and $100 if you didn’t.

My video and my wife’s video.

Charity Drain

Last estimates see the challenge having raised over 80 million dollars.

Some people are saying that the success of the campaign has been stopping people from donating to other causes. I don’t want to be the reason that other causes suffer, so I’m encouraging those that can afford to donate to multiple charities at the same time.

I donated to the Canadian Diabetes Association in memory of my Mother who died of complications related to diabetes in 2008. I also donated to the Canadian Cancer Society in memory of my Father who died of brain cancer in 2010.

I encourage those that can afford to donate to:

Even a little bit helps.

 

Would you join The Quest?

Have you or someone you love been affected by ALS?

 

Thank you,

Eric

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Parasnomnia Draft 1 is done. Time to Party?

Hello,

So as the title says I’m finally done draft 1 of Parasomnia. This is the biggest novel I’ve written so far at just under 100,000 words (I hear my Fantasy writer friends laughing.)

It’s such a relief to be done. The last third of any novel is always massively stressful. Even though I know I can do it, there’s a tiny voice in the back of my head that says it’s ok to quit, nobody care about the book, I’m not a good enough writer yet for this idea. I’ve managed to ignore that voice 5 times now and when I write those last few words I’m always awash with relief.

Of course it’s not really done. In late October or November, I’ll pick it up and do a thorough rewrite and edit. The first chapter sucks. I thought I was writing a police procedural at the time and it doesn’t fit with the rest of the story. Also I think I’ve changed characters names throughout the book. I also need to add some foreshadowing.

Once the second draft is done, I’ll send it to the weditor and then do another cleanup. Once that’s done I’ll send it to Beta Reader 1, whoever that will be, and then Beta reader 2 (which I need to find).

The thing about writing, you’re never done. I might have finished this book but I have a list somewhere of several dozen book ideas, not to mention I’ve plotted out the next 6 Elizabeth Investigates books.

I like to write at work, when I have down time. Currently out of four people in my section, two are retiring and one is going back to school. As of October I’ll be doing the work of 4 people. Yikes. For that reason, I’m not jumping into another novel.

I do have a few stories planed and I’m getting close to play testing FADDS.

All in all things are looking good.

Is there anything you’ve read on my blog that you’d like to see expanded or turned into a novel?

Éric

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Character Death

expendability

Dear Imaginary friends,

I made you a promise a few months ago that I would kill off a character in my next story. I jumped straight into a novel. So I need your help to decide what character to kill. There are 6 main characters and 2 secondary characters that you can choose from. I’ll describe them and you vote in the poll below. If you can’t see the poll vote in the comments, or message me on facebook.

Primary Characters

Adelaide

Female. Of Scottish descent, 24, average height orange/red hair green eyes. She’s the floor counselor for the patients at the institute. She has a master’s degree and a secret. She has lived her whole life with an imaginary friend. This fuels her need to understand psychological disorders.

Ashley

Female. Of Hispanic descent, 19, average height brown hair, green eyes. She’s an uber geek who has been hospitalized for violent night terrors. She is the only patient in her group who was court ordered to go to the institute, after she violently attacked her boyfriend in her sleep on prom night.

Kathrine (Kitty)

Female. Adelaide’s imaginary friend that is part tiger part human. She has a penchant for being a little wild and enjoying making sexual innuendoes. She’s playful and has a strange ability to know things that Adelaide doesn’t.

Kiri

Female. Of Maori descent, 16, short with very short black hair and reddish brown eyes. Suffering from a near fatal case of Anorexia and of sleep eating, she’s been at the institute for almost two years. She wrestles with what she knows is true and what she believes is true. She blames her mother, who is more interested in social status and what’s lady like, for most of her issues.

Paul

Male. White, 25, tall blond with blue eyes. After an extremely traumatic event Paul left the police force. In his dreams he smells fire and wakes up coughing ash. He checks into the institute after he starts setting fires while he sleeps.

Terrance

Transgendered (Physically male). White, 16, tall and broad with light brown hair and eyes. Terrance is a sleepwalker. He openly repeats his hyper-conservative family’s views on homosexuality, despite not understand it. He is the smallest and the most passive of four brothers and has been picked on his whole life. It has caused him to close himself off and not admit, even to himself, that his is transgendered.

Secondary Characters

Doctor Campbell

Male. White, 56 tall grey brown hair with grey eyes. The world’s specialist in Parasomnia related disorders and the head of the Aux-Anges Institute. He hides a secret. *Spoiler spoiler spoiler* is his *Spoiler*

Michael

Maile. African-Canadian, 25 average height short dark brown hair and light brown eyes. He is a nurse at the hospital. He’s a lucid dreamer and all around nice guy. He’s the patient’s favorite nurse. Will possibly be upgraded to main character if one of them dies.

So who dies?

[polldaddy poll=7829106]

Thank you for your help,

Éric

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The Runaways

“Let’s runaway” my mother told me two years ago. Her rotund face framed by false blond curls, was aglow with excitement. She had said such things before but this time was different. If only I had known how different it would be.

“We’ll jump into the car and drive. No direction just you me and the open road. We haven’t been on an adventure in years and look how beautiful it is outside. The leaves are changing the air is crisp. Get your camera and we’ll go now.” The mask of her excitement cracked for only a moment, showing just enough worry that I had to say yes.

Before I had even finished nodding she was packing a sandwich lunch. Her homemade purple dress flapped and danced around the kitchen like a tiny purple culinary tornado. I ran to get my camera.

Being in my early twenties and having moved away from home meant I was no longer required to pretend I was too cool for these trips. I had always found them exciting. She called it “Running Away” but we rarely went far and on the rare occasion we did, we were home within a week.

I had a head start on the running away, I had flown it the night before. Running away from my life and growing up. I had just finished University with a degree in English and teaching. My mandatory Term of Service with his Highnesses Royal Army, started in a few weeks and after that I had a ready made, pre packaged life ahead of me. I’d return from service be wed to my genetically compatible husband or wife and teach the school I was most needed. It scared me, I felt like my freedom and life, were ending. Pushing away my worries, I concentrated on my last week of freedom and the only person I wanted to spend it with.

“Do you think we’ll see a T-Rex this time? I can’t believe I missed the picture last time.” I said as we got going. She smiled at me and took my hand, squeezing it and laughed. The one and only time I had seen the endangered species I was twelve and my shock and awe at actually seeing one made me forget to take a picture before it had run back into the trees.

[…]

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Dusting off the old blog.

This blog has been silent for too long. I think I overdosed on writing during NaNoWriMo. Sadly I have yet to touch my novel. I’m scared to go back to it. I will soon and I’ll finish it even though I know it’ll take me twice as long to edit as it did to write.

I’ve decided that I have only two new resolutions for this year. I’ll keep the old ones and continue with them. The new ones are simple; 1. Marry Jen (My fiancée}. 2. Write everyday, other then emails.

In order to encourage the second resolution, I have added the Merriam-Webster’s word of the day to my Google home page. What I plan to do is write 500 words and include the word of the day in it. The writing could me a mini story, character sketch, place description, action scene, etc.

Hopefully it will give me an excuse to write and help me improve my style. Maybe it’ll even give me a good start for a new story or novel.

Let’s give it a try. Todays word is Indubitable

* * *

The forest opened into a small valley, it’s grass was a dark green spotted by tiny yellow flowers. The valley abruptly fell become a sharp scraggly cliff that looked over the ocean. It was dawn and the premature light sluggishly reflected on the surface of the ocean casting double shadows along the valley.

As the light grew stronger so did the shadows and their blackness, a striking contrast to the vibrant greens, yellows, and browns of the valley. Sitting on the edge of the valley in the front seat for the spectacle of morning was a single red rose. Several small drops of dew, still clinging to its petals, fell as the rose opened itself to the new day.

This was one of those mystical valleys that have become rarer these past few centuries. The air was fragrant and once the sun rose out of its dawn a small island could be seen at the distance, the only proof that anything existed beyond the valley. Pigs, dragons, and other shapes flew over the valley, formed of white fluffy clouds. Unicorns could easily have come out of the woods and been at home in the valley. There was no sign that any human had ever touched this mystical land.

Nothing could be farther from the truth however. This valley had been discovered and rediscovered by countless people. Thousands have lain on that grass and pondered its indubitable beauty; it was a secret that no one spoke of. The world stopped when they lay there and for that reason countless had brought their significant others, a few had brought them here to express their undying love.

It was both a place and day that movies try to reproduce but always seem to cheapen. It was a place the Romantics would consider utterly powerful and that the romantics would consider perfect for a picnic. The only thing missing from the valley were insects of the stinging variety, with the exception of the occasional bee, and no one complained.

Everything about the valley was wonderful, beautiful and perfect. It was in stark contrast to the murder that occurred that day.

* * *

Ok I think that went well.

Till later
Aspiring Something

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What a year!

It has been one hell of a full year; a real rollercoaster ride with all the heart stopping twists and turns.

Let’s star with Viridian Sky, after November 24th I stalled completely on the story, since I’ve written maybe 2000 words. It’s not a terrible thing it’s just a by product or absolutely no planning ahead on my part. I have a good idea what’s going to happen from now on I just need a good ending to work towards. I don’t have any illusions, this book is ok and should be a little better after I fix certain things but it’s not great. Writing a great novel wasn’t the point of it anyways, writing a novel was my point and I’ve proven that I can do it. Well almost. I look forward to finishing it and cleaning it up. Hopefully I can do it before February for everyone who wants to beta read.

This morning I was walking to work thinking about the holidays. It’s going to be hard this Christmas. It was my mom’s favorite holiday and it’s going to be hard without her. As I was walking this morning the song, “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” came on my MP3 player and I couldn’t help crying. It’s still hard for part of my mind to realize she’s gone.

I miss her.

Many happy things happened this year as well. I proposed to my girlfriend and she said yes. We planned a good portion of the wedding and I’m very excited.

I spent the year job hopping. I’ve had 5 jobs this year and find myself unemployed. Although I do have several options open right now. Worst case I’m unemployed for a week and get to work on the novel.

On my livejournal I posted my annual Resolutions last year and I though it would be nice to look them over and see how I’ve done:

http://edesmarais.livejournal.com/41476.html
– Exercise more, join a gym. (Maybe if I pay for it I’ll go more often?)
– Write more.
– Draw more.
– Take more pictures.
– Start a D&D group.
– Start a Webcomic.
– Be more positive.
– Take an acting class this summer.
– Take at least one university class in spring.
– Pay off most of my debts.
– Keep moving Forward.
– Propose to Jen

Well I can split this into two groups, those I’ve completed and those I haven’t.

Completed: Write more, Draw more, Take more pictures, Start a D&D group, Be more positive, Keep moving Forward, Propose to Jen.

Not: – Exercise more, join a gym, Start a Webcomic, Take an acting class this summer, Take at least one university class in spring, Pay off most of my debts.

I did pay off some debts but not most and I will be taking a class in Winter… I hope.

Overal 7/12 humm 58%

Well that’s not really good but I’m still proud of the things I have done.

It’s been a tough year and I look forward to the next. I’ll post my new years resolutions some time soon.

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