It suddenly occurred to me that my blog’s anniversary was coming up. As I do every year, I sat down to write up my usual post on the topic. And this is when I realized that this is a mighty big occasion indeed. Ten years ago, on this very day, I started this blog here on WordPress! Yes, the one you’re reading right now! And today, on this most special of days, I’d like you to join me as we reminisce on what has taken place in all that time. Continue reading A Decade of Blogging Well Spent
Hello, everyone. I have something rather nifty to share with all of you, and I completely forgot about it until now. I finished my first novel. Now, in all honesty, it is, in fact, a fan fiction novel, but I still think it was a pretty cool accomplishment. This story is fan fiction for the awesome video game series “Jak and Daxter”, and it stars the main villains from the first game, Gol and Maia. You see, these wicked siblings were not always evil, but were made that way due to studying Dark Eco, a very corrupting substance, for far too long. This stuff warped their minds, which resulted in their decision to try and flood the world with Dark Eco so that they could remake it in their own image. Fortunately, they failed and ended up trapped inside the very Dark Eco silo they were trying to open.
And while it was implied in the “Jak 3” guide that the two were still alive centuries later during the events of the later games and could eventually return, this never happened, and how much can you really rely on what a guide says anyway? Nevertheless, I wanted so very badly to see another game with them in it, but since it appears that’s never going to happen, I decided it was time I took matters into my own hands. Gola and Maia would return, but it would be in the form of a novel I would write, proving all the more that I am an obsessive lunatic. Continue reading The Duck’s First Novel
(Just a note: You may have seen this post a week or two ago. That’s because I meant to save it, but instead, I published it. Then deleted it, so it would no longer be published. So yeah. This is the official one.)
Today’s topic for the 100 Theme Challenge is #9, Drive. This makes me think of several things. One is driving a car, which I hate. I hate driving. I hate green lights. No, really, I hate green lights, not red. There is no certainty in a green light. It means go, unless it turns yellow all of a sudden, and then you must decide to stop and possibly stop so fast someone rams into your backside, or do you speed through and potentially run a red light. I am not good at measuring distances at high speeds (not that I go that fast, but it’s faster than I can walk, and I’m a pretty quick walker, too, seriously, you don’t know how many people have commented on how fast I can walk), so knowing if my car has enough distance to stop safely or not is difficult. A red light, on the other hand, is certain. It means stop. You see a red light, and you have no hard decisions to make. You stop that vehicular transport of yours. Unless it turns to green, and then you have the whole conundrum I just described to worry about again.
The other meaning of drive is what drives you. What motivates you. And that I shall focus on for the rest of this post. So what drives the duck? Well, it depends. Certain things I do for fun. I play video games for fun. It is relaxing. The stories and characters are interesting. And it’s a break from a world filled with frowns. I also play the piano for my own enjoyment, kind of an extension of my video games, as I mainly play video game music on it. (Currently more or less mastered Organization XIII’s theme from “Kingdom Hearts” and can do a slow, crappy version of “The Last Travel” from “FFXIII-2”, which doesn’t sound right in parts without the violin. Who wants to come over and play the violin parts? I’ll even make eggless cookies, which means even the dough is safe for human and avian consumption.)
Ahem. But, while I DO things for fun, I CREATE things for several reasons. First and foremost, I create things because I enjoy it, or else I wouldn’t do it. And I must admit, when I think into it, it seems I also create things for acknowledgement from others. I don’t want to sound like someone who needs the attention of other people. Because I don’t. At least, I don’t think I do. (I like to dress plain so people will not notice me at the grocery store. Don’t look at me! Otherwise, I might possibly get compliments, and with compliments, comes stress.) Despite my usual desire to avoid the spotlight, there are certain things I don’t want to do if I can’t share it with other people. I wouldn’t do something I don’t enjoy just to share it with others, but I am less driven (ha, there’s a form of that word again!) to do certain things I enjoy if no one will ever see it.
For example, if no one ever read my blog, I don’t know if I’d keep doing it. I should do it for my own enjoyment. But, for whatever reason, I want people to look at what I wrote. Even if it’s people I don’t even know. I mean, we all want that. Much of the people reading this right now are bloggers, and so you know how that is. It’s not that we need attention, but we receive a certain satisfaction when someone reads, comments on, and likes what we wrote. And it’s the same for other things, too. I used to like to draw more (I’ve gotten rather bored with it as of late, though, as my efforts always seem to be, well, sucky), and I wanted people to see my pictures. If no one was going to ever see it, I kind of didn’t want to do it. I also didn’t want to bother with my comic, whether it was fun or not, if no one would see it. Which is silly, but I couldn’t help feeling that way. And I love writing fan fiction, but it just would not be the same if people didn’t read my stories. I have such a great time writing them, but if I couldn’t post them online, would I even bother? There’s a good chance I wouldn’t.
So is that what drives me? People’s acknowledgement of what I do? Do I need people’s approval for my work? Is it that simple? Or is it something else? Perhaps it’s not that I do these things because I want their approval. Maybe I do it because I like doing what I’m doing, and it seems more worthwhile if I can share it with others. What use is a fantastic novel filled with suspense and mystery and cake if no one ever reads it or a masterpiece (of a painting of cake) no one has ever laid eyes on? That is not to say my work is that grand, but certain things need others to see it by virtue of being what they are.
And some things just feel a lot more worthwhile if it can be shared. It feels like I’m not simply wasting my time, but I’m actually receiving some kind of payment in the form of others enjoying my work. We wouldn’t go to our jobs everyday if we didn’t get paid for it. I would have less of a desire to continue creating things if I didn’t get the joy of comments and favorites and such from it. It would feel like wasted effort that could be better spent gaming more or learning to not be so crappy on the piano.
So in short, I guess what drives me to do certain things starts with my enjoyment of that thing, and my drive to share it is just that, my, well, drive to share it. Because sharing is good and all that nonsense. Remember that little bit of wisdom (even though it doesn’t apply to germs or gossip, so maybe it’s not so true, after all…)? I am motivated to do lots of things because they are fun, including maintaining this blog, but you, my dear reader, are what gives it meaning. Now, does that not DRIVE you to review?
What drives you to do the things you do?
I’m Driven to Be a Duck, Because “Be a Duck” is a Store Someone Drove Me To, What?!
When reading Naughty Nefarious’ post about him receiving the ABC award, he got to make a nice alphabetical list of things. I didn’t pay attention to the exact rules, if there even were any, and this may be weird to do, since I have not actually gotten this award, but I decided to make a similar post anyway, listing things that come to mind, ranging from A-Z. Here I go.
A: Artist, something I’ve always wanted to be. Art, something I’ve always been bad at.
B: Bowties, which are cool…. Along with bunk beds…. But, blinking is not cool. Because we all know what happens when people in “Dr. Who” blink…
C: Coelacanth. Try pronouncing that. It’s called a “living fossil” because it’s such an old fish. It also got you a lot of money in “Animal Crossing”.
D: “Dr. Who”, a great show. Doctor #11 is my favorite (the current one). He wears cool bowties…. And you thought I was going to say “Ducks”, didn’t you?
E: Elves, something I used to think were neat, and now I just find them silly. I think it was due to the fact that “The Lord of the Rings” exposed me to nine hours of fantasy that I now like sci-fi more. Those movies are so long. So very long.
F: Fan art and fan fiction, two very entertaining pastimes. Not as entertaining as the video games from which I get my inspiration from, but still great.
G: Green. A great color. It’s the color of nature. I like nature. Not to have to be out in it or hear it or otherwise interact with it. But, it’s nice to look at.
H: Hearts, a very misunderstood body part. Why is the heart symbol not shaped like a human heart? When Valentine’s Day comes along, we should be drawing a much different shape on our cards, complete with arteries, not that pointy, bumpy monstrosity people mistake for hearts. Not that hearts have anything to do with feeling affection. We really should draw brains on Valentine’s Day cards. And it’s not on the left side of the chest, it’s in the center! My biology teacher said so! Oh, the lies people have been telling me about hearts!
I: Italian food, something everyone in the world seems to love but me. I don’t see the appeal. I don’t like pasta. Pizza’s good, but not pasta. And I don’t like sauces. Darn Olive Garden has nothing but noodles and food drenched in sauce. Also Ikea. Not a fan of their furniture. Plus, they have the creepiest children’s toys. Have you seen them? Rat plushies. Pillbug plushies. And even these stuffed hearts with arms (once again, people really have no clue what hearts look like). Why have stuffed vermin, bugs, and organs for children to play with? I’m not even joking. The toys there are bizarre. Why not rabbits and kittens?
J: Jammie Dodgers, a treat I heard about from “Dr. Who”. I tried them once and was not a fan. They have a silly name, though. Also, Julius Caesar, who was not the first emperor of Rome, another lie people told me. He was a dictator, darn it! Get that straight! He dictated, not…emperored!
K: K-Mart, a mythical store. I thought I caught a glimpse of one once, but when I looked again, it was gone. Mysterious. And they even have commercials for them every now and then, when everyone knows they’re not a real thing. Why don’t we just advertise flights to the Mushroom Kingdom while we’re at it?
L: “Lawrence of Arabia”, a movie I do not like. Like “The Lord of the Rings”, it is also so darn long. Once my parents were watching it, and I was really sick, and I was laying on the couch, and I kept falling asleep and then waking up, only to find the darn movie was STILL ON!
M: Milk, a really delicious drink, and it goes great with chocolate. But, it didn’t seem to strengthen my bones because, despite it taking me an absurd amount of time to brush my teeth, I still got cavities. You let me down, milk.
N: Nautilus, really cool looking sea creatures. You’ve seen them, right? With the round shells and the little tentacles. They feel like they should be from the dinosaur time period. They’re awesome.
O: Orange, the grossest color, next to yellow and brown. Oranges also taste bad. Everyone likes oranges, it seems, but me. It’s also really disappointing when you get a box of chocolates, and some candies contain orange filling. Disgusting! And no one likes the orange popsicles! Stop making them! We eat the grapes and cherries, and the oranges just sit there, never to be consumed.
P: PlayStation 2, the best console. I love it so much. You have no idea. It’s just so great. The games are so great. It’s little blue and green lights are just so great.
Q: Quack, a sound made by the cutest animals in the world.
R: Rainbow cookies and rugelach. Some of my favorite treats. But hard to make. Along with baklava. But, that doesn’t start with R. It’s like an R, though, if you remove the R’s right leg and flip it upside down. But, that would be inhumane.
S: “Star Wars” and “Star Trek”, two good pieces of entertainment. I like “Star Wars” better myself, but “Star Trek” has Spock. Which also starts with S. Speaking of space-related things, Saturn is by far the most superb and splendid of the planets in the solar system. Swell!
T: Tornadoes, wings down the scariest natural event. Well, behind black holes. And perhaps super novas and erupting volcanoes. And spiders. I had several scares with them. Tornadoes. Well, spiders, too. But, we’re discussing tornadoes right now. Ahem. I never saw them, but I know I heard one outside my house one night as a hurricane was going by. At least, they say tornadoes sound like trains, and I heard a train going by for an hour. Either it was a really long train, which would also be creepy, or it was a tornado.
U: Unicorns, who should’ve stopped being idiots and gotten on Noah’s Ark when they had the chance. Wouldn’t it have been cool to ride around on a horse that can stab your enemies? It would’ve changed old-fashioned warfare. People would have attack unicorns instead of attack dogs. In short, the world would be a better place.
V: Video games, the greatest hobby to have ever been invented. I love them, love them, love them, love them. And they caused me to start writing and drawing. They have changed my life in a profound manner.
W: Water, something I’ve been traumatized by ever since those swimming lessons with the guy who was perpetually angry. Another thing that terrifies me that starts with W are the Weeping Angels in “Dr. Who”. So scary!
X: Xistential. Things I ponder. And yes, I do know the correct spelling.
Y: Yggdrasil, a tree from Norse mythology (not North mythology because that’s not even a thing, silly). I don’t know, it’s a cool word that starts with Y. And I like learning about mythology. It’s fun. Did you know that the saying “between a rock and a hard place” came from Odysseus’s run-in with Scylla the monster and Charybdis the whirlpool? Did you? Did you?
Z: Zebras, one of my favorite animals at the zoo. They’re like vanilla with chocolate drizzle. Or are they chocolate with vanilla drizzle? They’re the black and white cookies of the animal world. The ice cream sundaes of the safari. The Hershey’s hugs (much better than kisses) of mammal land.
D Stands for Duck
Recently, I wrote a post about how I missed doing fan art, due to the fact that my comic was taking up much of my Photoshop time these past few months, and will continue to possibly for years. So I’ve been drawing pictures the old-timey way, on paper, then, scanning them into the computer. But, that hasn’t been quite enough, either. For some reason, I’ve been feeling quite a void in my tummy. Partly, I’m just hungry. But, I think it’s also being caused by something else.
I’ve been reading quite a lot of “Jak and Daxter” fan fiction lately. And I finally decided doing just fan art wasn’t enough. These stories are making me want to bring my favorite characters to life through more than just little doodles. And then I was suddenly struck with a big bolt of inspiration. I had an idea! In my soft, oozing brain meats! I had this idea of a story about the main villains from “The Precursor Legacy”, Gol and Maia. These two had likely once been good people, but they were twisted by prolonged exposure to Dark Eco and made into wicked people that wanted to open the Dark Eco silos to flood the world with the stuff and reshape it. They were then trapped in the silos by our hero, Jak (not assisted in any way whatsoever by Daxter). While the two have still not returned officially, it is still rumored that they survived and could eventually come back. This has caused many people to write stories about their return. As will I.
But, I don’t want to write just another story where they return, cause lots of trouble, then get killed, as entertaining as those are. I want to take a new direction and explore their past selves more and any chance that they can change and become the people they once were, if that is even possible and if they would ever do such a thing if given the opportunity.
So as is often the case, while bathing in the nearby duck pond, all these ideas floated around in my head, not unlike me. In that pond. The story began forming before I had a chance to get paper. And so as soon as I could, I started to write the prologue. And then I went on to write the first few chapters. So far, this chunk of the story isn’t too dreadful, either. I had learned not super long ago all kinds of skills for writing in a more literary style, and I think that helped me a lot. If I do say so myself, and I obviously do, I think it’s not bad. I found out when I asked my mom to take a look that my handwriting is indecipherable to all but me (it seems I have invented a new system of writing; I’ll call it the ducklabet), but once I read it aloud, she seemed entertained, despite the fact that I read largely in a monotone out of discomfort reading in front of others. Of course, she had to like it, as parents are compelled to like what their offspring create, but still.
So I recently started an account on fanficion.net (the greatest fan fiction site there ever was, is, or ever will be) under DuckofIndeed. And I know this would appeal to a very small audience, but I ask that anyone who likes “Jak and Daxter” fan fiction take a look at my story. It will be going up in bits and pieces. I have also posted below the beginning narration from my story, before the characters show up, where I described some stuff in the most marvelous manner I could muster. Mustard. Yum. Please take a look and tell me what you think. Fortunately, my typing is much better than my handwriting.
The first chunk of my prologue begins:
Far, far out in the Wasteland was a place few dared to go, even the Marauders and citizens of Spargus, who possessed spirits toughened to leather by the harsh life of the desert. This particular place had been forest once, centuries past, but the innumerable sands of the Wasteland had finally crept even here and swallowed up all the trees. Now, little stood there but dead pillars of wood, the remains of the trees whose roots had been choked with sand, and dunes that were gradually eroded away by the wind to only be built up elsewhere. And something else. Something else stood in this particular section of the desert and was the reason the people of the Wasteland did not tread here.
Several large pillars, once hundreds of feet high and now made considerably shorter as the sand built up around their bases. They were of varying sizes and of bronze Precursor metal, showing signs of wear, but less than expected from their treatment over the years, though with much of their original shine gone. The Dark Eco silos.
These pillars always filled all who saw them with dread, and who could blame them? These pillars, built possibly thousands of years ago by the Precursors, contained the majority of the planet’s Dark Eco. Such a substance needed to be contained. While it had existed as long as any other kind of Eco, this variation was dangerous. It twisted all it touched, turning all who were exposed to it to something no longer quite human. Or simply killed them. The dark bubbling ooze meant death or worse, and it couldn’t be allowed to coexist with the fragile life of this world. That was why the Precursors banished it away to the confines of the silos.
But, for some, it also meant power, and that was why, long, long ago, two people tried to open the silos. To take that Dark Eco and use it to reshape the world. They tried to play God, and they were punished for it.
And that brings us to the other reason why this was such a feared place. Centuries ago, those people had been locked away in those same pillars they had so desperately wanted to open. Some thought them dead. Some had their doubts. And the rest, well, they had forgotten the two had ever really existed. Their story had turned to legend for a time until so many years had gone by that no one believed any longer that it had ever happened. They were eventually reduced to monsters parents used to scare unruly children. In fact, few remembered anymore that they were even human. Even fewer knew what kind of people they had once been. Centuries ago.
I hope that encourages people to stop on by fanfiction.net and continue the story. Yes? Yeeeeesss? Please, it’s been a whopping 24 hours, and I have no reviews! Why must life be like this!