Monthly Archives: November 2012

Character Profile 4: Thomaas Kondor

The Kondor family’s fame was far reaching indeed. Whether as a part of the UNR military or the Nicerian Elite Force (which was founded by General Markus Kondor), a member of this great and honorable family always found themselves a part of the defense of Niceria for more than seven generations. Thomaas Kondor was to be no exception.

Following in the path of Markus (his grandfather) and Aryn (his father), Thomaas was determined to become an officer in the prestigious Nicerian Elite Force. At the start of the events of this volume in the Nicerian Chronicles, Thomaas is quickly gearing up for his final examination in the NEF Academy.

An upbeat and optimistic individual, Thomaas consistantly finds himself being the source of encouragement to those surrounding him. His legacy has given him large shoes to fill, as most of his fellow students see him as a natural leader. Where some would be overwhelmed by having a famous military lineage, Thomaas takes everything one day at a time. Instead of seeing the greatness of his ancestors as an intimidation, Thomaas sees his family history as an example for him as he grows into his own man.

If there was one person Thomaas lives his life for, it is his mother. Although she passed away when he was still quite young, he continuously ponders what she would desire of him. Even more than 15 years after her tragic death, Thomaas still dreams of her and feels the pain of losing her like it had been mere days ago.

Living on Niceria, during the time of this story, had its pros and cons. Where the Nicerian people were mostly successful and advanced in their society, there was always a constant shadow and fear of war. This was the world Thomaas was born into, and living in a Cold War society takes a toll. Having been brought up in a military family on a world that suffers from the constant threat of war added an interesting personality aspect to Thomaas.

Where most young adults of his age desired to go to a civilian university and score a favorable occupation, Thomaas had always desired to sacrifice his own life and serve the people. To him, there was no question about whether there would be another war. On some levels, Thomaas hoped for another war. These desires were not because he yearned for conflict; rather, these thoughts spurned from a want to put an end to the threat altogether.

The militaristic, expansionist views of the Vorax were unrelenting. There was no diplomacy, there were no negotiations. Any ambassador the Nicerians sent was sent back in pieces. The Vorax lived in a closed society, never letting any civilian in or out of Vorxian Territorial space. Freedom was a concept they did not, nor desire to, grasp. “A free people are a weak people” was an excerpt from the Territorial’s “Rule by Strength” manifesto (the document that dictates all actions of the rulers, military personnel, and civilians who live under the banner of the Vorax).

From Thomaas’ point of view, there was only one way to ensure the safety, security, and acquirement of peace for the Nicerian people. The utter destruction of the Voraxian Territorial. This brings us to one of his flaws.

Being in a military lifestyle under threat of war from a people different from that of your own can breed a certain amount of hatred. This point of view can be focused on to an entire people and not just on the actual problem area. Even though the Vorax military and government was the root complication, Thomaas always had an issue making a distinction between the government of the Territorial and the civilians who had no choice in where they were born. To Thomaas, and many others in the NEF Academy, Vorax were Vorax. They were all trouble.

This drawback of Thomaas’ had the potential for becoming problematic when help from an unexpected place would become essential for the survival of the galaxy. Will Thomaas and the others find the strength and maturity to set aside their differences to face the greatest threat the galaxy has ever seen?

Well, that’s all I’m going to say about this! I hope you are finding the Character Profiles enjoyable and interesting! Hopefully, I will have some news soon on the status of the book as I continue to make it available to the world! Thank you so much for reading!

Until next time!

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Time, How Fleeting Thou Art…

In recent days, I have been conducting a comprehensive review of how I spend my time. Purpose: To determine the important projects I am working on and organize them in an efficient fashion so that I may better progress on all of them.

Findings: I have a LOT of open projects! Here we go with the list and at what time (if applicable) I can see them accomplished and/or set aside for the time being.

1. The Nicerian Chronicles

My story. Probably my life’s grandest personal undertaking. This is number 1 on the list because it is currently the one single project I have been working on the longest (on and off since 2006). This project is split up into subcategories so, let’s take a look.

A.     Katsukami: Book number 1. All but ready to go – or so I thought. Recently, I have taken to reading through it one last time from cover to cover. My idea was to go through and make grammar corrections and fix any flow issues I find. I’m trying to get this ready for the next level. I know I could pay an editor, but I want to do lots of research and find out what makes an editor qualified to do said job. If I drop a ton of money down on an editor and we make corrections and then I try to publish, how am I supposed to know for sure that the edit was performed well? I am quickly treading into territory of which I know nothing. I want peace of mind that the edit work I have done will put my book in ready-to-go status. Until my research on this issue is complete, I will continue with my self read through and edit to get the book looking as shiny as it can until such time as I am ready to put it into the editor’s hands.

B.     Book 2. Yep, book number 2 has long been in the works. Adding together the amount of worked typed out and the amount written on paper by hand, I am looking at three-fifths (or more) of the second book roughly written. The remaining two-fifths is completely mapped out and ready to be penned. This part of the Nicerian Chronicles project has been stale for a while as I had placed book 1 in priority status. Recently, however, I have been contemplating picking up the pen again as soon as I finish my final self edit of book 1.

2. Korean study.

This one is broad but is primarily geared toward the Korean Language. Truth be told, however, I have been spending an exuberant amount of time reading up on Korean culture and language. FYI, if you didn’t know, I have another blog about my time in Korea and about Korean culture and language that I have learned in my time studying. www.pclar09.wordpress.com
This is not something that can really be put on the back burner, as I am not getting any younger. I have heard that foreign language study gets more difficult with age so, I would like to be fluent as soon as possible. My wife is Korean and her family does not speak English well, so I want to communicate with them as best as I can.

3. Military job specific study.

There are many things in this category that take up quite a bit of time. Luckily, some of these can be finished and then crossed from the list relatively quickly. Ever since I was selected for promotion to Staff Sergeant, I began studying for my upgrade in skill level for my job. I am currently a Journeyman in my career field; but, as a Staff Sergeant, I will be expected to quickly gain my 7 skill level (or Craftsman) in my job. Lucky for me, I have been spending lots of my time studying for this upcoming test and have the test scheduled for December 5. Wish me luck! Once this test is complete and passed, I can close the books for a while until my next promotion cycle comes around (early 2015). This should free up some time for other things.

4. My education.

This one is important as I do not want to be in the military for the rest of my life. In order to advance in the USAF, my CCAF degree (an associates) is pretty much required. Lucky for me, I only have two classes remaining to accomplish this (An English and a Math – probably Algebra). Once these two classes are finished, I will be able to begin working on my Bachelor Degree. I have not yet selected a major, but I would like to get started on this sometime in the next 6 months. CCAF degree first, then Bachelor’s.

5. Family.

Me and my wife~

Now, just because this is listed last, do not think this is least on my importance scale. It most certainly is not. I saved the best for last actually. If you think about it, most of the items listed above are FOR my family. Advancing my career, education, language skills, and writing is not meant for myself only. My goal in life is to give my wife and son (will be born on March 15!!!) the best possible life. I wanted to write for a living. However, until I can become a full time author, the military will have to do the trick for us. I DO look forward to the day when I can be a civilian again; however, I WILL NOT leave the military with nothing but dreams. IF I leave the military, I will have a job lined up and the ability, know how, and plan to provide for my family. My desires mean nothing if they do not allow for my family’s well-being. So I will keep doing what I do, praying for the day when a new path will open and I can do what I enjoy.

There are many other things that I am trying to accomplish on a daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly basis. The five listed above are, in my thought at the moment, the most important. For those of you who are fans of my book, I thank you so much. I will work tirelessly to bring you a good story that will bring you enjoyment, excitement, and (a temporary) escape from reality.

My point of this was kind of personal. As I examine the things I desire to accomplish, I realize that slowly but surely, time continues to press on. I have lots to do and I WILL NOT let them fall by the wayside. Thanks to everyone who sends encouragement to me. It keeps me going forward.

Thank you all so very much. I desire you feedback. If you have any ideas, or perhaps you would like to see more of my story, let me know! I’m here for you!

Until next time!

The “Back of the Book” Description of Katsukami!

Today, I would like to show the short description I have put together for my book! It is set up similarly to a description you would find on the back cover of the book. It is still a work in progress, but this is what I got so far. PLEASE~~~ tell me what you think! Give me feedback! I want this to be intriguing, yet not too revealing.

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A galaxy racked with the pains of constant civil war, Kyosora and the humans therein do not see the coming destruction. A hero from the past has returned to seek vengeance. A mercenary stumbles upon a mystery, leading him to the clutches of doom. A young man dreams of adventure, unaware of his importance in the events to come. Future heroes are unknowingly guided together for a purpose. The Vorax again threaten the safety and security of the galaxy, forcing these heroes to answer the call. No one notices the puppet master behind the scenes, with steady hands guiding the galaxy toward its conclusion.

Katsukami presents a story of humanity’s struggle against each other and the supernatural forces threatening to end everything. Only one man has the power to put an end to all the madness – a man with a shattered mind where only one thing matters: the destruction of the galaxy itself.

Can humanity find the strength to come together and stand against the coming darkness, or will their hatred of each other lead them to their untimely end?

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What do you think? Let me know! THANKS!

Until next time!

Character Profile 3: Ash Xaiden

Every story I write always contains multiple protagonists and antagonists. However in this series, the character of Ash Xaiden should be considered the main “Hero.” In the current format I have set up with the first book, Ash is introduced after the first part of the book (the first 7 chapters tells a short story of special events that took place 15 years in the past of the main story). On a quick side note, I am mulling over ideas in my head to possibly change the current set up of the book. I will go into that another time.

Ash grew up in a small home with his Uncle Hal in a rather large forest on the planet Tornah. There he learned the trade of the Hunters. On Tornah, technology was used only as a necessity. Consequently, the people there lived relatively simple lives. Although most of the indiginous life on the world was docile, there existed many fierce creatures that (if left unchecked) would threaten the safety of the citizens. The Hunters protected the people from these threats while at the same time provided the towns food from the game they hunted. It required a great degree of skill if the Hunter was to defeat these creatures.

Early on, Ash demonstrated a skill for tracking, survival, and swordsmanship. While many hunters would set traps or kill from a distance, Ash lured his prey out and usually fought them head on with a sword clutched in his hand. His patience was unmatched and his strength a site to behold.

While hunting brought a certain degree of fulfillment to his life, Ash had dreams that could not come to fruition on Tornah. Ash’s one desire was to travel to Niceria (the planet capital of the United Nicerian Republic of which Tornah was a part) and join the Nicerian Elite Force. This mercenary/protection group fought as a private entity to protect Niceria, the UNR, and her allies. Ever since he was a boy, Ash had dreamed of traveling the galaxy and becoming a hero.

At the start of the book, Ash is finally getting ready to leave Tornah for the NEF Academy. Timing, however, will prove to be a hindrance as the galaxy inches ever closer to a conflict that will threaten to engulf all life in utter darkness. Many heroes will be called upon to help stem the tide. Only one can bring an end to the destruction. Where will Ash Xaiden, the Hunter from Tornah, find his place? What role will he play?

Are you interested to learn more about Ash Xaiden? Well, I am mulling some things over that may allow me to give out a lot more information on this character in the near future. I hope you are as excited about this as I am! Thanks for reading! I know these are kind of short, but I don’t want to give too much away. If you are interested in the book, let me know! I want to hear lots of feedback!

Until next time!

Making Dramatic Changes: My Subconscious Cure All

I want to back things up a bit. Before I started evaluating the premise and setting of the story and posting the chapter and character profiles, I had been talking about my life as I took time to write this story. I would like to pick back up where I had left off. On my post “A Dark Place in Life” I mentioned how I got a job right after I had completed the first full draft of Katsukami.

During the rest of that year, things got a little better. I was making money and life was not being too harsh to me anymore. My life wasn’t taking any leaps forward, but I wasn’t necessarily losing ground either. I became content, complacent, stagnant. It’s been said that there is no such thing as “standing still” in life. You are either moving forward or you are moving backward. Allowing one self to stay comfortable without making any effort to better themselves only brings about negative habits of laziness and complacency.

Lucky for me, I realized this was happening before it got too carried away.

For more than six months, I worked and made money. I tried to work on my second book as well. On a roll after completing my first book, I immediately jumped into the first part of book 2. Within a matter of weeks, I finished a quarter of the story and had all but completed a very specific outline of the rest. I had the feeling that I was on fire.

New Years 2008

I don’t know why. I was fine. I was doing ok and my story was well on its way. So, why did a sudden depression overcome my mind and force me to rethink my place in life? For whatever reason, every new year I always automatically review everything that has happened to me – not just over the previous year either. On every January 1, I look over my life as a whole. I step out of my little bubble and ponder the places I have been, the people I have met, the actions I have taken, the roads I have walked, and (most importantly) the direction I am going. If, for whatever reason, the evaluation of myself is in anyway NOT good, I change directions. The change is not small in any way. Once I come to this conclusion, I begin taking steps that lead me to a dramatic change before the end of that year.

For example:

January 1, 2005 – I was in college and things were happening all around me that made me rethink the direction my life was going. During this time, I was spending my time at college pretty much year round. I would sometimes visit home on holidays, but typically I stayed at my dorm room, even when school was out. I just worked for the school doing whatever they needed and paid rent. New Years 2005 was the first time my New Years Evaluation occurred and I attempted to ignore it. The issues I was struggling with ate at me until I could not deal with it anymore. My mind became clouded. My attitude became irritable. The people I looked up to started appearing useless to me. Still, I fought against my mind. I wanted to complete my degree and nothing was going to stop me. Eight months later, I left. Literally, I made the decision to give in and was gone in 24 hours. Back to Michigan to start over.

It was happening again.

This time, I didn’t fight. The conclusion I came to after the evaluation of my life was one that shocked not only the people around me, but myself as well. I was joining the military. No one who knew me well believed a word I said when I told them of my decision. The girl I was seeing left shortly thereafter but, I really didn’t mind. Let me rephrase that, I cared for sure. I just could not stop the path I had decided to follow. I knew there would be drastic consequences. So I allowed them to happen without much struggle. My friends and family all said things like “Oh, that’s great!” but, deep down, none of them believed I would do it.

“You’re just not a military type of guy.”

In July 2008, I officially swore in to the Air Force and would leave for basic training in November. Just before I left, I mean literally the day before, I remembered something I had put on the back burner for the last (very) quick months. My story…

I let it slip. I would read it every now and then between January and when I left for Texas in November, but I really didn’t write much that entire year. It was too late now. The free time I would have (or lack thereof) over then next several months would hinder me from moving forward on my writing. It was something with which I just had to come to terms. However, the moment I stepped on that plane that would take me to San Antonio, I vowed that my story was not over. I would not just let it slip through the cracks. One day, I would pick up the pen again and keep writing. Even if it was years later…

Turns out that would not be too far from the truth. My life was changing drastically and I would soon find out how little time I had. Would I ever make the time to pick the pen up again and press forward with my story? Would the changes I made to my life prove successful or did I just waste my time? Those are questions we can look into another day. Thanks for reading! I will be back here soon!

Until next time!