Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Black Earth Flash Fiction #4 - Smoking Kills

Back in 2010, when Black Earth: End of the Innocence - Book 1 in my Black Earth series - was released, I also released five separate flash fiction stories that I inconspicuously hid on my website for fans to find. Since close to nobody knew what the Black Earth series was even about, I didn't have much success getting the stories read.

Now that I've dug them out of the vault, here is the fourth in the series, following Daisy Pierce and a mysterious meeting.

Smoking Kills - 
Daisy leaned against the library pillar, growing steadily impatient with the woman’s tardiness. She glanced down at her watch and realized she had already been waiting forty-five minutes…too long. She started down the steps toward the parking lot.
“Going so soon?”
She stopped and turned around. Anya Truth was standing at the top of the stairs, where Daisy had just been, beating a pack of cigarettes against her palm.
“Why are you so flippin’ late?”
The woman, dressed in a short skirt and white blouse, smiled arrogantly. “Does it matter? I have the information you requested.”
“It does matter! I’ve been waiting here for almost an hour now.”
“Last I knew, you didn’t have anything better to do. Besides, I had some dry cleaning to pick up.”
Daisy started up the steps, but the woman motioned for her to stop.
“Stay there. Second hand smoke kills, if you hadn’t heard.” She lit up a cigarette and took a long drag off it. “I will make this brief. The last person that Daniel was seen with before his disappearance was Clyde Fulsom.”
“Who is he?”
Anya shrugged. “Not sure. I can’t find any information on him besides that he lives in Arizona…somewhere. And that he’s male.”
“What good does this do me if I can’t find the guy?”
“I was hired by you to unearth any information I can on Daniel’s disappearance. That’s what I’m doing. I don’t have all of the answers, Daisy, but I will give you what I find.” She took another puff off the cigarette, blowing the smoke into the shape of a ring.
This was turning into a ridiculous charade.
Anya came a few steps down, closer to Daisy. “I’m sorry for your loss, I really am. There’s no guarantee that you’re going to like what you find at the end of this road and my advice to you at this point is to let it go.”
“Let it go? Are you serious? He’s been missing for months now and you want me to let it go?”
“Daisy, dear, take some advice from someone who is a bit older and more experienced in life. I assure you that he is off somewhere on a beach with another dame, okay? You really should move on with your life. You have a wonderful family. Your brother is graduating in a couple weeks, right? Weren’t you telling me you might want to move to New York? That would be great for you! See, these are positive things to dwell on. Your missing slash runaway love is not.”
“Find me proof that he’s alive and I’ll drop this. Until then, you can go back to doing the job I’m paying you to do. How does that sound?”
Anya took a final drag off the cigarette and then dropped it to the steps, crushing it with her heel. “Okay. I’m just looking out for your well being, that’s all. Well, trying to, but you aren’t making it easy.”
“Try dealing with the disappearance of your fiancĂ© and then you can lecture me on easy.”

“A pleasure as always, young Daisy. I will be in touch.”

Copyright © 2010 David N. Alderman

Friday, April 20, 2012

Guild Wars 2 and the Black Earth Writing Marathon

I have been waiting - as have many fans have - so incredibly long for this game to come out. I was mostly pleased with the original Guild Wars, even though I didn't have the time to master the game, so I was pretty excited last week when they announced pre-purchase. I now have a copy of Guild Wars 2 reserved, and next weekend (the 27th) is their first open beta weekend - which I get guaranteed access to since I pre-purchased.

Yeah, I'm stoked!

But I'm also on deadline. Black Earth: Bridge to Anaisha (tentative title) - the fourth and final volume in my Black Earth series - has to be finished by the end of the month, and there are only two weekends left that I can take advantage of to really plug away at the novel. Next weekend is one of them.

What to do, what to do?

I know! A Black Earth writing marathon. Starting today, I'm going to fill my IV with Mountain Dew (Code Red, Baja Blast, and Original), crank my writing meter up to RIDICULOUS, and plug away at this manuscript so I can get it finished by next Friday at noon - the time that the beta weekend starts.

Just writing this, it sounds crazy. I'm only 75,000 words into this thing, still aren't sure where some of the storylines are going, and still have the final scenes to write from scratch. Not to mention the over 250 story notes I still have to go through, all before I can pass it off to my editor.

But Guild Wars 2 is calling. And what better motivation to finish before deadline than the chance to enter the world of Tyria again after years of anticipation?

Here we go! By the way, this means I won't be blogging next week, aside from the Black Earth flash fiction piece #4, which will be posted on Wednesday. Assuming my computer handles the beta okay - I am crossing my fingers - I'll be blogging about my game experience the week after the beta weekend.

See you all on the other side! And leave me a comment if you too are going to be leaping into the world of Guild Wars 2 as well.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Black Earth Flash Fiction #3 - Love Note

Back in 2010, when Black Earth: End of the Innocence - Book 1 in my Black Earth series - was released, I also released five separate flash fiction stories that I inconspicuously hid on my website for fans to find. Since close to nobody knew what the Black Earth series was even about, I didn't have much success getting the stories read.

Now that I've dug them out of the vault, here is the third in the series, revealing Heather Rhodes' true feelings for Nathan Pierce.

Love Note - 
Dear Nathan,
I’ve wanted so long to tell you what I feel for you but

Dear Nathan,
I’ve waited what feels like forever to tell you how much I lov

Dear Nathan,
I’ve wanted to tell you this for so long now, but I haven’t had the courage. That, and I didn’t want to get in between you and Shannon. Before you ask, I’ll tell you the truth: I don’t like her. I think she’s evil, arrogant and stupid, but those are just my honest feelings, and I believe this is a chance for me to be completely honest with you.

Heather crumpled up the piece of paper and tossed it across the room. She dug under her bed sheets and pulled out the remote, turning on the television, hoping for a distraction from this agonizing task.
“…the bill is moving through at an alarming rate and will more than likely be approved by the president. The decision to change the Pledge of Allegiance to omit reference to ‘God’ is one that has spurred national debate from all political sides. The president—”
Heather turned the newscast off, enraged whenever she heard mention of the president and that stupid bill. She covered her bare legs with a sheet, protecting them from the air conditioning that was blowing directly on her, and started her note on a fresh sheet of paper.

Dear Nathan,
I love you. I’ll just say it because it’s how I’ve felt for so long now. I love you, and I’m not ashamed to say it, and I hope that because of this you will dump that stupid

She wondered what an alternate word for the one she was thinking of would be. She didn’t want to lace her ‘love’ letter with curse words, but she wanted to be honest with Nathan. Idiot? No, too light. Harpy? Sounds too Greek. She-devil? That sounds a little more accurate.
She crumpled up the paper and tossed it across the room. This is lame. Since when do girls write love letters to boys? She laughed at the very thought and realized this was a stupid idea to begin with. She knew she loved Nathan. She would just have to find some way of telling him that in person…when Shannon – She-devil – wasn’t around.

She felt herself fuming at the thought of Shannon and of the president. They could both burn in…

Copyright © 2010 David N. Alderman

Monday, April 16, 2012

Beginning Work on Black Earth: Dark Masquerade Cover Design

As much as I absolutely love writing, there are times I don't mind plunging into the design aspects of self-publishing. This includes anything spanning web design, blog design, and cover design. So now that I'm closing in on finishing the Black Earth series - more specifically the third and fourth books - I am looking forward to staring the cover design process for Dark Masquerade, the third book in the series.

About a year ago, I thought I knew what I wanted the cover to look like. That was when the book was tentatively titled Black Earth: The Dark Lighthouse. My plan was to have a dark silhouette of a lighthouse spreading the 'dark light' across the landscape. But as I toiled with the storyline of The Dark Lighthouse, it became clear to me that the title was all wrong. Even though there are mentions of the lighthouses in book 3, they aren't an extremely prominent theme throughout the book.

And then came a scene that had prisoners of Legion - now being used as pawns in a sinister game - crawling out a dark vortex, their faces covered by masquerade masks made of Legion's shimmering black rock. And then came the President's dark adviser, an uncanny supernatural character who pulls the strings and manipulates the President into making detrimental decisions, destroying the United States in the process. And then came a traitor -

I've already said too much. Needless to say, I saw the common theme - veiled enemies. Masquerading villains. Darkness. Dark Masquerade. Perfect.

So no more lighthouses in the title, or on the cover. Now I need to find a good design that incorporates a masquerade mask that resembles the Legion masks referenced in Dark Masquerade. That shouldn't be too hard. My wife and I already have some ideas, and we'll be making a trip to Michael's craft store to see what we can find for the photography.

Of course, I want to keep with the cover theme that's been running through the series thus far.

End of the Innocence, book 1 in the series, was put together with various photographs that my wife took, including the stars in the skyline and the silhouetted tree, which my good friend Jelani Parham helped put on an invisible background. The shooting star was just a simple piece of clipart which Jelani added a nice glow to. And for anybody wondering, the Black Earth font is called Soul Mission and can be found here.

For The Broken Daisy, book 2, my wife took some pictures of downtown Phoenix- yes, the silhouetted buildings on the front are in Phoenix, even though about half the book takes place in Tucson and the other half in Los Angeles. The orange sky is actually another photograph my wife took.

Dark Masquerade's cover will be in silhouette form as well, although we're still trying to figure out what to use as a background once we finally get a nice pic of a masquerade mask. We already know we don't want to use a human model with a mask. The Black Earth covers have a very solitary look to them, lacking people or animals, and it's done that way on purpose since the stories are somewhat post and pre apocalyptic in nature.

I'll keep all of you up to date on the step-by-step process of cover creation as I move through it. I will also be overlapping the cover design for the fourth - and final - book in the series, Bridge to Anaisha, although we have no idea what we want for that cover yet.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Dust - Book Review

When I first saw Dust in my local bookstore, I put it on my list of 'want-to-read-later' books. The description -

On a broken ship orbiting a doomed sun, dwellers have grown complacent with their aging metal world. But when a serving girl frees a captive noblewoman, the old order is about to change....

Ariane, Princess of the House of Rule, was known to be fiercely cold-blooded. But severing an angel’s wings on the battlefield—even after she had surrendered—proved her completely without honor. Captive, the angel Perceval waits for Ariane not only to finish her off—but to devour her very memories and mind. Surely her gruesome death will cause war between the houses—exactly as Ariane desires. But Ariane’s plan may yet be opposed, for Perceval at once recognizes the young servant charged with her care.

Rien is the lost child: her sister. Soon they will escape, hoping to stop the impending war and save both their houses. But it is a perilous journey through the crumbling hulk of a dying ship, and they do not pass unnoticed. Because at the hub of their turning world waits Jacob Dust, all that remains of God, following the vapor wisp of the angel. And he knows they will meet very soon.

- and the cover did enough to spark my curiosity. It wasn't until I actually obtained this book and then put it on my 2012 Reading List that I realized it was merely the first in a series of three novels. And needless to say, I won't be reading the other novels.

If you go to my Goodreads list you'll see I have quite a few books with five-star ratings. I give a book five stars if it kept me interested all the way through with compelling characters, interesting story lines, and plausible events. Even if a book has some flaws, it can get five stars from me if I think the author broke out of the traditional genre box and brought something new to the page.

I also have a few books on my list that fall below three stars. These are books I haven't finished - nor care to, books that are so moddled and uninteresting that I feel my life points slipping away just making the effort to finish reading them.

And Dust ranks there, below the three-star line. Although I'm not certain if I want to give the book one star for all the areas it lacks in or two stars because the story's idea is somewhat original - if one is actually able to understand the idea/plot this book is trying to convey.

The first chapter or two of Dust hooked me. Perceval, an angel (I take it) has been brutally stripped of her wings and captured. Rien, a maidservant, has been put in charge of caring for her. Even though they are enemies, the girls take a shine to each other. At first I thought it was simply a friendship kind of shine, but later I find out they are actually in love with each other, regardless of the fact they are sisters. Oh, when I said love, I meant a sexual kind of love, not a sisterly kind of love. There's a very strange incestuous, same-sex kind of romance theme running through the book, one which I didn't completely follow as I didn't think it added anything to the story itself.

Anyway, I'll brush past that point and move along to the rest of the book. Once Rien realizes that Perceval is her sister, she frees her and they flee to warn others of a coming war. And then the book lost me. Apparently the world is named Jacob's Dust, and is actually a derelict ship parked a bit too close to a pair of stars, one of which is about to collapse and destroy all that's left of creation. There are angels, which are actually programs or pieces of an AI - I am guessing. I felt The Matrix slipping into the storyline here and there, but it wasn't within understandable terms. There are creatures that are completely robotic, species that are symbiotic, and a strange man/woman named Mallory who makes strange man/woman love to Rien - something that I felt was as completely out of place in the storyline and about as random as the ambush sex scene in the first Bloodrayne film.

I couldn't get past the convoluted storyline and the cardboard characters - which I found I cared nothing for. I didn't care if Rien died. Or if Perceval was ever freed. Or even if the world, Jacob's Ladder, was destroyed in the end. Past all of that is Elizabeth's absolutely clunky writing style. First, I literally had to have up when reading this book because of the vocabulary she uses. Second, her writing felt jilted at times. Just. Like. This. At other times, it flowed with the beauty of a soaring eagle. Those were the only times I found myself breezing through the book. All other times I found myself having to stop, reread paragraphs, sometimes entire pages, to understand anything about what was going on. (And I still don't understand most of it.)

And even in the end, with its lackluster semi-battle scene, I found myself rushing to get done with the book so I could move on to the next one in my reading list. There were a couple times I almost threw the towel in and put the book down for good, but figured the novel was short enough for me to read it through to the end so I could write a proper review.

Anyway, like I said before, as much as I hated this book and the time it sucked from my reading agenda, I found the overall premise - of what I understood of it - to be somewhat original, although poorly executed. So, two stars it is. I won't be reading the other two books in the series, nor would I really recommend this.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Black Earth Flash Fiction #2 - Black Butterfly

Back in 2010, when Black Earth: End of the Innocence - Book 1 in my Black Earth series - was released, I also released five separate flash fiction stories that I inconspicuously hid on my website for fans to find. Since close to nobody knew what the Black Earth series was even about, I didn't have much success getting the stories read.

Now that I've dug them out of the vault, here is the second in the series, giving a little glimpse at Howard Grey - and even Veronica Amorou from my Expired Reality series.

Black Butterfly -
Howard Grey ducked down beneath the window as the black shadows moved past the vacant office building. He felt the dark presence of Legion moving through the street outside and it troubled his heart. He held his breath as it passed him and continued on into the city.

He peered up, seeing the empty street and the black sky overhead. It would take him a while but he had to try and get back to his house, get to his laboratory where his time machine was at. It was the only hope their world had left.

Grey turned around and started shuffling through papers and folders that were on the desks in the small, unkempt office. He knew she had put her message somewhere in here, but he wasn’t sure where. After digging around for about five minutes, he found the small purple cylinder with the black butterfly painted on it. She had hidden it in a random, or what he thought to be random, desk drawer.

He sat down in one of the office chairs and popped open the cylinder. Out slid the piece of parchment, rolled up into a small scroll. Unraveling it revealed her final message to him:

I am safe. That is all I can say. You don’t need to worry where I am because I have taken precautions to make sure even you cannot find me. This is simply to ensure my own survival and make sure that I am able to live long enough to fight the darkness that has engulfed our world. I know that you and I haven’t seen eye to eye on things as of late, but that is okay. You and I will always do what we feel is best to protect Anaisha and that is all that really matters.

Please do not concern yourself with my well-being at this point. I know what you are aiming to do and I truly hope that you succeed. I cannot join you on your adventure through time because I feel called to follow another path. Not the path of darkness that you have so kindly accused me of a number of times now, but a path that will hopefully put an end to Legion and its hordes, an end to Evanescence and her malevolent rule over this world, an end to everything evil.

Take care. You and I will always share a friendship, no matter how far our paths stray from each other. I feel it necessary to warn you that the Dark Dragon knows where your house is and will no doubt be watching over it to warn the evil witch when you have arrived there. She knows nothing of what you are up to and I hope to keep it that way.

I will miss you. Never forget the losses that you and I have shared, the friendships we have lost to this gruesome war. My love for David will only grow stronger with his absence from this world, and I will use this love to keep moving forward, to do what I can to save humanity from evil’s tight grip. He will not have died in vain.

May your travels be blessed, now and in whatever time you journey to.

~ Black Butterfly ~

Grey sat back in the chair, holding tightly to the piece of old parchment. I will miss you immensely, Veronica.

Copyright © 2010 David N. Alderman   

Friday, April 6, 2012

Gun x Sword - My True Introduction to Anime

Before browsing the anime category on Netflix, I'd never really gotten the whole 'anime craze'. I mean, I've been subjected to some - albeit minor - anime influence: Yu-Gi-Oh!, Xenosaga, Voltron. A friend of mine attempted to introduce me to Slayers a few years ago - a series I completely lost interest in halfway through the movie. At one point, anime just looked like a bunch of cartoons with mechs, heavenly-busted women and emo dudes running around doing...anime stuff.

I know that comment probably sounds pretty ignorant, but I'm being honest here.

To expand my horizons and educate myself on the finer things in life, I took inventory of Netflix one day and decided to just dive into a series and see if I could get past my hang ups.

I am so glad I started with Gun x Sword.

This series is quirky - as I'm quickly noticing a good portion of anime series are - but just serious and dark enough to keep my attention. The series is comprised of 26 episodes, each running a little over 20 minutes long. And when it was all over, I scoured the internet to make sure there weren't more seasons or episodes that Netflix was hiding from me. I enjoyed it that much.

The series begins with the main protagonist, Van, saving a small town from bandits while on the hunt for the man with the golden claw - a nefarious villain who killed Van's wife. Wendy, a young girl living in the town Van saves, decides to follow Van on his journey as she's searching for her missing brother. Their travels take them across the Planet of Endless Illusion, through seedy towns and sprawling cities. All the while they run into other characters who develop their own reasons for joining Van and Wendy on their quest.

What I love most about this series is its commitment to character development, from Van's mysterious background slowly unfolding through each episode - along with his hatred for the man who killed his wife, to Wendy's somewhat naive and needy nature maturing into the strong and tested core of the woman she eventually becomes. Although each episode feels incredibly short, there is just enough story material and development in each that when the ending theme song rolls around, I feel as if I've read another chapter of a book I just don't want to put down.

Despite certain episodes being what I would consider over-the-top quirky - a group of baddies who fight with their mustaches?! - the antics never felt as if they pulled attention away from the core conflict - Van's search for vengeance and Wendy's search for her brother. Yes, there are busty vixens, and some innuendo sprinkled throughout, but it never felt overkill or as if it drew focus away from the story. The series contains enough twists and turns to stay original and compelling, and even though I've never been a fan of mechs, this series kept me glued to the screen, especially during the epic battles between the Armors. Two other great things this series had going for it was the animation - I am highly picky, and the great music which only enhanced the grand adventure that is Gun x Sword.

If I had a rating scale for anime - which I may employ at some point down the line - I'd give Gun x Sword five stars. It made me appreciate anime for what it can be - compelling and memorable. I was left thinking about this series long after the final credits rolled across my television screen.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Black Earth Flash Fiction #1 - Pizza Ambush

Back in 2010, when Black Earth: End of the Innocence - Book 1 in my Black Earth series - was released, I also released five separate flash fiction stories that I inconspicuously hid on my website for fans to find. Since close to nobody knew what the Black Earth series was even about, I didn't have much success getting the stories read.

I've dug them out of the vault (my hard drive) and am releasing them in blog posts - one each Wednesday for the next five Wednesdays. I also have plans to make them available on my  website in the very near future.

Each flash fiction story pertains to one specific character from the Black Earth series - Cynthia Ruin, Heather Rhodes, Howard Grey, Nathan Pierce, and Daisy Pierce - and each takes place shortly before the events of End of the Innocence unfold.

So without further ado, here is the first of the five flash fiction pieces:  

Pizza Ambush -
“So, Nathan, what did you say you were going to college for?”

He set his slice of pepperoni pizza down on his plate. “Astronomy.”

“Astronomy?” Shannon’s mother asked, startled at the answer.

He nodded, picking his pizza back up. He crammed it in his mouth and took a large bite, hoping that he wouldn’t be able to answer anymore of her stupid questions for a little while.

Shannon, who was sitting to his right, turned to him with a bright smile on her face. “I told my mom that you might want to check out other interests when you actually get down to the college."

He took a few moments, chewing his pizza with a slow regard for the crowd he was with. Shannon’s father, Gary Cook, was at the end of the table minding his own business. He looked up occasionally, giving Nathan an evil glare when he did. Shannon’s mother, Christina Cook, seemed intent on interrogating him until he died there in the pizza parlor, but what could he expect from a psychiatrist? And then there was Shannon, who wasn’t all that supportive of his academic pursuits to begin with. What was he doing with her again?

He was almost done chewing but decided to slow it down a bit, desiring to tally up better things he could be doing at the moment, like playing his Playstation 2 or hanging out with Heather. Taking a walk on the surface of the sun sounded good too, but he would opt for the two previous things first before looking into that.

“Nathan, did you hear what my mom asked you?”

He snapped out of his daze, swallowing the finely chewed pizza. “What?”

Christina adjusted her glasses and glared at him. “I asked what your plans for a job are after you graduate high school.”

“I’m going to apply at the grocery store.”

She scowled. Shannon shifted uncomfortably in her chair. He moved ‘walking on the sun’ to the top of his list.

“Dear, you can’t be serious. You’re going into college on a limited income. You can’t expect to handle all of your finances by working at the local supermarket.”

“I won’t really have any expenses. I’ll be living with my family.”

“What about when you and I want to go out?”

He turned to Shannon. “What are you talking about?”

“How are you going to pay for our dates?”

“Yes, I too am curious how you’re going to take care of my daughter. She may be older than you, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have certain social responsibilities.”

What are these crazy’s talking about?

He glanced over to Gary. The man looked up, glared at him, and then went back to eating his food. Nathan wondered if her cop dad had his gun on him at the moment.

Shannon grasped his arm. “Honey, I really want you to rethink what you want to do with your life. You have so much potential…”

“I’ve been dreaming about astronomy since I was ten. That’s what I want to do for the rest of my life. It’s the interest that God gave me, so it’s the one I’m going to pursue.”

Christina shook her head. “God? Here we go again. Shannon, what did I tell you about this?”

Her daughter nodded, pulling away from him. “I know. It’s what he believes in though, mom.”

Are they aware that I’m sitting right here?

Christina threw her napkin down and excused herself from the table.

Silence spread across their corner of the restaurant. Nathan turned to Shannon. She was cradling her head in her arms, staring at the table with a frown.

“Just so we’re clear, you guys are covering dinner tonight, right?”

Her father looked up from his food and sighed.

Copyright © 2010 David N. Alderman

Monday, April 2, 2012

April Update

I have a plethora of blog posts I want to do in the next few weeks, but for today I'll just give you all a brief synopsis of what I'll be up to in the next month or so.

The biggest project I am working on right now is, of course, the end of my Black Earth novel series. As many of you who follow my blog know, the third book in the series - Black Earth: Dark Masquerade - is already in the hands of my editor. I am also currently in the middle of penning the fourth - and final volume - in the series, and I would say I'm about a third of the way through it so far. In fact, even though the deadline for me to hand it off to my editor is May 15th, I'm going to shoot for May 1st. This will give me all of April to finish things up.

As I start to wrap the series up and hand things off to my editor, I am going to start diving into the cover design for the last two books in the series. I'll be posting exclusive sneak peeks at the cover designs, and the process that goes behind each, over  the next couple months.

While everyone waits for those two novels to come down the pipeline, there are many ways for you to keep busy.

One is to check out the blog posts I did showcasing exclusive draft work from Black Earth: Dark Masquerade. The links to those posts are listed here:

Excerpt #1: Hortus Tenebris - The Dark Garden
Excerpt #2: The President's Dark Advisor
Excerpt #3: The Westgate Plaza Mall
Excerpt #4: Pearl's Sorrow 
Excerpt #5: The Black Cathedral

(I even included an exclusive one in last month's email newsletter.)

For those who are interested in a peek at the draft work for the final book in the series - Black Earth: Bridge to Eternity - I am not going to post any draft work from it until shortly before the book's release, and that's only if I decide to post any draft work in regards to it. There is so much going on in the final book in the series, I may very well end up spoiling many a fine story line if I post anything from it, especially if Dark Masquerade hasn't even been released yet.

Starting this Wednesday, and continuing each Wednesday thereafter until they are all posted, I'm going to post some flash fiction which takes place shortly before my Black Earth series. I posted these pieces a long time ago on my website and pulled them down shortly after due to a website overhaul. Each one revolves around a specific character from the Black Earth series.

Aside from writing, I have a variety of other blog posts I'll be putting together in the near future. I've found myself taking more of an interest in certain anime series lately, and I'll be posting some reviews on series' that I find interesting, when I have time to watch them and write out reviews for them. It won't be a regular occurrence on my blog, but I'll do it when the opportunity arises. The first anime review I'll be doing is on the Gun x Sword series which I just finished. That should be up later this week or early next. (But I will say it was one of the best animated series I have seen in a long time.)

On top of all that, over the next couple weeks I'll be posting a few more glimpses into the trip to California I took week before last. More importantly, I'll be showcasing some of the old books I picked up while I was out there. (Seen in the picture at the top of this post.)

Good stuff! Just wanted to keep everyone updated. Have a great Monday!