Is there anything to look forward to in entertainment?

Definitely not an invalid question. I used to have several books per year on pre-order, but so many series have let me down that I stopped sinking money into it. Lockwood? Fifth book sucked. Arc of a Scythe? Third book was ass. Red Rising? Ignore everything after the original trilogy.

So what am I looking forward to? Well, in books, there are a couple of things:

THE NEW EDITION OF THE SILMARILLION

This will match the Illustrated LOTR that I got this year. Beautiful book. The illustrations were done by Tolkien himself. Legend. Comes out in November, mine’s preordered.

DAVE BUTLER WROTE A TIME TRAVEL BOOK WITH MIKE ROTHMAN

Dave tweeted out the pic this weekend. Excellent cover art, and I have enjoyed books by both of these men, so I expect that a collaboration between the two of their sizeable brains will be very engaging. Dunno when it comes out so stay tuned.

LARRY CORREIA HAS TONS OF STUFF COMING OUT

He always does. He’s Larry. There will be more Forgotten Warrior, more MHI, all that stuff. He’s the one author that I trust to constantly provide me with good fiction.

CRITICAL DRINKER HAS A STANDALONE BOOK THIS AUGUST

I love the Drinker. I tried his other series and didn’t care for it due to content issues. This one sounds awesome though. I’ve got the audio on preorder.

I mean, that all right there is pretty cool.

Are there any good movies coming out?

Short answer is no. I’ve got zero hype for the new Doctor Strange. I don’t trust Disney at all. I’m already hearing that it’s been banned in China so they either included Tibet or gay people in it, two things China hates almost as much as it hates black people. Disney will bravely tell Americans what their education laws have to be, but they’ll bend over and take it for Chinese dollars. They don’t get mine.

Disney’s also making a live-action Chip N’ Dale: Rescue Rangers, but it has Seth Rogen in it, and he’s a giant piece of manure, so yeah, no dollars for him either.

There’s that Top Gun sequel, but it’s a thirty-year sequel. It’s just going to be a rehash of the first one with Maverick as the instructor instead of the student. The cinematography will be cool, I don’t trust the story though.

Jurassic World: Dominion…man, Fallen Kingdom was fun but stupid as hell and full of holes. I have no expectations for this to be any better. But I did just show my kids the first movie so if we catch up on the series, we’ll see.

Lightyear? More openly homosexual propaganda. I understand that this isn’t the fault of the animators or the people who worked on it outside of the writer’s room…so maybe turning this movie into a bomb will make them push back against said writer’s room. Stop. Pushing. Sexuality. On. Kids.

(Then again most of Disney’s customers are childless millennials who spend half their paycheck on cat food? Who knows.)

Thor Four: More Thor. Ha. Ha, ha ha ha. No. Just no. Stop.

Black Adam. Hey, everyone’s tired of superhero movies AND everyone’s tired of The Rock, so if we make The Rock a superhero, maybe that’ll cancel out?

Hocus Pocus 2. Up yours, Disney. This movie didn’t need a sequel. The Sanderson sisters are dead, they can’t come back, otherwise the first movie was pointless. And it’s just gonna be woke anyway. The main present-day characters are all chicks.

Black Panther 2 STAAAAAAAAHP

Shazam 2 STAAAAAAAAAAAAHP

Avatar 2 STAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHP

Enchanted 2 STAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHP

Okay you know what, YOU KNOW WHAT, I OFFICIALLY CAN’T ANYMORE. YOU LOOK THROUGH THIS LIST AND FIND SOMETHING THAT WASN’T PUSHED OUT OF THE BACK END OF A DOG. I’M DONE.

GO READ BOOKS.

State of the Dread: May 2022

For the final week of April I was on vacation. It was nice to stay up late and sleep in and do more of what I want to. Considering retirement now.

Writing

I wrote 16,000 words in HOWLING WILDERNESS. It’s coming together. It’s a predictable hot mess, but yeah, it’s coming together. Not going to put a deadline on this one. I’m tired of deadlines. I’m tired of not controlling enough in my own life and my own schedule so I’m just going to do as much of it as I can, as quickly as I can, and go from there.

Maybe if I actually sold books once in a while I wouldn’t have to make all my money off of trucking 50+ hours a week. Whatever.

Reading

4 books total, 2 print, 2 audio. I didn’t read as much in April. Spent a lot of time listening to podcasts. I also tried a manga that I’ve heard of and the very first page was the protagonist male plowing some chick who turned out to be a huge demon monster, so yeah, I bailed on that. I’m back into some good stuff this month, including more Tolkien. Why is there so much bad writing out there?

Art

I finished this really cool drawing of me with my Durango as an Autobot. My next project is for a YouTube video.

Audio

Radcracker Podcast posts every week, except for this last week. Didn’t record while I was on vacation. EofL audio podcasts are coming eventually. Don’t know when, don’t care.

Video

Latest video is here, I talk about some Sanderson books. Managed to add 10 more subscribers this month. Thanks you guys.

Fitness

Didn’t exercise and I ate like garbage. I’m going full Nazi on it this month and I’ll report back on Memorial Day. I don’t care, I DO NOT CARE.

Other

GET BACK TO WORK

Howling Wilderness aesthetics

I’ve had an idea for the Radcracker Podcast that I want to discuss, I just haven’t sat down to organize my thoughts on it. Short version is that part of the worldbuilding/prewriting for a story involves an aesthetics check.

What does the world of the story look like? What do people wear? In a visual medium, what would the color pallet be? In an audio medium, what kind of music would fit the scenery? Things like that.

Anyway, as I’ve been working on the visuals for the characters, here’s some cool stuff I’ve developed for the two main characters.

ANDREW HARTFORD REEVES, JUNIOR–aka GRAVEHEART

Graveheart’s jacket will be a little rougher than this, and in cooler colors, but it’s got the general vibe.
He rides a manticore mimic. I’m working on how to make it mechanical.
The mimic isn’t a hoverbike, but this particular design conveys the bulk of his machine. The general larger front half, the sleeker back half–this artist got it right.
And he carries revolvers. A couple of them. The hammers are shaved so they can’t actually hit the back of the bullet in the chamber. Curious…very curious…
While he isn’t bandaged like Joshua Graham, he does cover his entire body at all times, and he is devoutly religious. I had once thought of designing him this way but I didn’t want to draw bandages every time I did a picture of him. This led to the eventual rendering of a man in a mask, coat, and gloves regardless of the time of year.

The other focal character is MARY KATHERINE LITTLETON–aka STORMCUTTER. But I haven’t found all of the pics I want to use for her just yet. I’ll save her for next week.

Writing Update: Howling Won’t-derness

Have I griped lately about how I hate drafting?

There are three phases when I write a book, loosely-speaking. Once I wrap the research and worldbuilding, the writing itself comes down to outlining, drafting, and editing.

Outlining is easy and editing, while time-consuming, is where the tightening of the screws happens.

But drafting? Boy that sucks and I hate it, especially the first act, the first chapter. That’s where I’m at on Howling Wilderness, and the only way out is to grind until I get to Act 2.

Back at it.

In the meantime, check out the original trilogy here, or subscribe to the DreadPennies Adventure Hour podcast, where I’ll narrate the first three books before launching this one.

Channel Recommendation: ThatUmbrellaGuy

In the last week or so I’ve discovered the channel for That Umbrella Guy on YouTube, who is both a comic creator and a news commentator of some sort. Kind of hard to quantify because he specializes in a few different things.

Mainly he’s gained fame for covering the Amber Heard/Johnny Depp saga over the last two years, to such an extent that he’s even named in the case by the defense (Heard).

He’s also got an Indiegogo set up for his ongoing comic series, which looks really cool, and I’ve backed it at the level where you get all three comics.

Anyway, his commentary is interesting and entertaining, and it’s brought me up to speed on the craziness of this whole ordeal pretty quickly. The trial has concluded its first of what is expected to be six weeks. I’m never one to follow tabloid sagas, but since it’s in a court of law, there’s a level of reality to this “reality TV” thing that is hard to fake.

Plus, TUG is jumping in with Rekieta Law in the coverage, who I also find entertaining and informative.

So if you’re inclined, do check it out.

Decoupling from Amazon: Used Books Edition

Shout-out to my boy Case and his brothers for putting me on www.thriftbooks.com, which is at least comparable to Amazon with its free shipping. The used book market is really good over there, but you can find new releases too.

In my ongoing effort to spend less money on Amazon, this one is a huge help. I bought my first order from them last spring and I’ve done it numerous times since then. Go check them out.

Trying something new with Radcracker

Instead of doing several small episodes per week, I’ve decided to do one big episode of the main podcast. It’ll drop every Friday. Here’s the first one, and the next one lands tomorrow. They won’t all be 45 mins, but hey, sit down and turn on a game and listen to my opinions.

Sanderson Puts TradPub on Suicide Watch

Lol, but also, lmao.

Here’s the ELI5 version: Sanderson is the biggest name in fantasy pub right now. If his next bestseller was called Graham Bradley Is A Turd And I Have The Receipts, I would buy it and pimp it on my channel because it would be a fun book.

His readers all over the world love him. He proved this by launching a Kickstarter for 4 unpublished books, about which none of his readers knew a single thing. He set the goal at a modest one million dollars over 31 days. He got ten million dollars on day one.

A pensive bro might start asking himself why he even needs Tor or Delacorte anymore. Sanderson is now, famously, the one who knocks.

Can’t wait to dig into these books next year.

Update on Sheriff Porter

You probably saw on Insta and my other pages that I finished the cover art for SHERIFF PORTER. Big milestone, I’m very pleased.

This doesn’t automatically mean I’ll have a paperback edition ready. When I put it in physical form I want it to have interior illustrations, and that just takes time. I will however prepare a Kindle edition.

I’m not a fan of ebooks, I don’t really read them, but I’ll make them available for those who like them. Expect an announcement on that down the road, I don’t have a deadline. Especially not since the audiobook is available for free on the DreadPennies Adventure Hour podcast. (Wherever you listen to podcasts.)