Weekly Update – 03.01.2015

The General Update

I am trying a new tool this week in a way to help me out. It isn’t new per say, but I only recently had the gumption to try Evernote. So far so good. I like it. Maybe the cross-functionality will aid in keeping my thoughts and tasks straight.

Insofar as this site, I have been looking at a new blogging topic. Being as I struggle with topics in general that I can pop out, it came to me this week that maybe I should write about my fitness journey over the last seven months. More on that below.

Music of the week (song or band that’s been this week’s playlist)

Juventa – Move Into Light (Koven mix)

This is a dubstep that I discovered as it was the first song on a melodic dubstep mix on the youtube channel Mrmommusic. I love this song and the vocals are just beautifully haunting.

WIP it

I have been working on tightening up the next installments of both “The Vigil” and “Of Earth and Ice” (click on the links and READ them!) while dabbling a little bit with the rest of my stories. “Tunnel Rats,” a fantasy/erotic short story (yes, erotic… I am trying something new and making it an absolute integral part of the plot) has moved the furthest along. It is a good learning venture too expanding my writing skills in areas I wouldn’t consider myself comfortable with.

Other works are slowly moving along. I am really trying to at least keep the web serials above going on a consistent basis while I finish the major stories I am working on hoping for a release this year.

Currently Reading

alera_codex___nasaug_by_sandara-d3j50puI finally finished “Academ’s Fury” by Jim Butcher and then I blazed through “Cursor’s Fury,” the next installment of Codex Alera. Where books 1 and 2 were a little slow at times, book 3 just ignited. It is an incredible fantasy saga built around the Roman Empire and elemental powers called Furies. I consider it a little mix of Avatar (of Legend of Korra and Airbender fame, not blue aliens) and pokemon. Next I am picking up “Captain’s Fury” where I expect to get through that in a week’s time. I recommend the saga to anyone with even a tolerance for fantasy epics or Roman-based fiction. It is a great saga.

codex-alera-jim-butcher

Motivational Message

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” – Unknown

My Fitness Week

This will be a new addition to the weekly update. I will be starting to write blogs on health, fitness, and motivation as I move forward. It is birthed out of a need for blog topics coupled with my own 7 montht-rex-hates-pushups-t-shirt journey to get into shape again. Being 36 and looking for a more functional style of fitness, I feel that there is a chance that my perspective might help others like me who don’t see a super-athlete-like shape in their future, but want to get healthy.

 

Of Earth and Ice – Ep4

Of Earth and Ice

a sci-fi web-serial

by Jeremy C Kester

edited by Beth Townsend-Smith

4: Decision

“Why do you have such an interest in this girl?”

The question was unceremoniously blunt, but Gerald was prepared.  Calmly, she stared straight ahead and answered, “She is a soldier on unquestionable skill and unwavering determination.  Despite being Iradile, she has proven remarkable capabilities.  I cannot afford to lose that.”

“Even though she’s crippled now?  I worry about you growing an attachment to this scum.”  The councilman’s words were dribbling out slow and thick like blood from the tooth of a feral dog feasting on a carcass.  Gerald sat still and tried to remain completely emotionless, to explain to the council in the most logical of terms why someone in Evie’s caste should continue to be afforded rehabilitation, never mind retain an officer’s rank. “Do you understand the repercussions that we continue to face given what we’ve already given this blight?”

“I cannot commit to saying that she is anything less than an officer in the militia.  Her rank defines her now,” Gerald stated dryly ensuring that her eyes were emotionally dead as she glared at the councilman. “And as such, she has been one of the most decorated and successful in recent memory.  I agree that those of her kind should not be encouraged to follow the same path, but we cannot be so foolish as to deny her better treatment after what she has done for this colony.”

“Yes, yes, Geraldine,” a woman cut in.  It was councilwoman Urbina, an Ariledite and chairperson of the council.  She, along with Gerald, was one of the two highest ranking individuals in the colony.  Though Urbina was also a working co-member of the council, she carried the group as a leader and instructed them.  Gerald was the Colonial Commander, the highest military official and executor of the colony.  It was a form of presidency, but the position remained under council directive.

Urbina had been the one deciding vote that originally granted Evie her officership.  It passed 6 to 5, with only 1 dissenting vote from another Ariledite member of the council.  Each member of the other 4 castes voted against an Iradile gaining any rank.

“You know that I fully support this young lady’s position, but, considering this defeat as well as her injuries, I cannot say that the same level of confidence I had in her before endures.”

“Madam,” Gerald said, “she was the highest ranking survivor of that mission.  Actually, her squad was the only one that survived━”

“A squad she left to die!”  The first councilman angrily interjected.  As in every conference previously, councilman Torrence did not support Evie in any manner.

“Her squad says differently,” was Gerald’s poised rebuke.

“Commander,” the Xepes delegate cut in, “we all read the mission reports.  Every squad member, of course, spoke very highly of your Evie, as has been the case countless times before.  The fact remains, she is still an Iradile.  Any concessions we gave her before are void.  She is a cripple and useless to us.  She should join the rest of her caste now and be left to die.”

“The Iradiles are the only thing that keep your kind’s bellies off of the ground, councilman,” Gerald shot back.  A few of the higher caste members chuckled and coughed.

“Let’s keep this on task,” Urbina urged the group.

Gerald composed herself and faced forward again.  “Council, until Evie can be evaluated on the field, we need to abstain from a decision.  I agree, it is difficult to support a continuance of her position in her current state, but even after being deprived of the same treatments as an Ariledite, she has persevered and continues to improve.  She is a tough soldier and I insist that we recess until I can decide whether she could be cleared for combat again. If she cannot be reasonably cleared, then I will relent my opinion on this matter and defer to the council’s wishes.”

“I think that we can agree to that, at least,” Urbina said.

Most of the council nodded in agreement, though the two who protested continued to do so.  This minority grew increasingly quiet in their defeat, however, as the remaining members sided with Urbina.

“Don’t make us regret this decision, Gerald,” Urbina instructed.  “I don’t want to have to find a new Colonial Commander.  You and your officer will continue to be under heavy scrutiny.  Tread softly.”

Previous Episode: 3 – Steadied

Next Episode due March 18, 2015

Weekly Update – February 15 2015

The General Update

I was traveling this past week for work, so although I got a few random moments that I was able to blast through some writing, I didn’t get much done overall this week. I’d be upset about that, but this is all about learning to do better. As long as I keep learning and growing as a writer, no matter how small the step forward, I can not truly be upset about that.

Regular posts (Wednesday blog and Sunday update) should resume this week.

What I am a little upset about is that I made no good effort to put myself into the gym this week. Though hotels normally do not have much in the way of fitness equipment, it is better than nothing and I did not take the time to do anything. I’ll get back monday though. I just have to design my next routine.

Music of the week

Alkaline Trio has been on my playlist a lot. I have loved that band for a long time but ‘rediscovered’ them after accidentally clicking them trying to set the parameters of the treadmill I was about to run on.


 

WIP it

Gravity 3 (Titled: The Movements of Pawns) is so close to finished that I can taste it. It will go out to my beta readers within a month or two. My other titles that I am working through to push out in one lump dump this year are again moving along. I am still going back and forth trying to decide if I am going to do the big dump or multiple smaller dumps, but we’ll see. I still have a lot of work to go until then including edits, revisions, cover designs, as well as a plethora of other tasks.

Currently Reading

What has been crossing my reading list right now is honestly all of my 5 year old son’s books. He’s got me reading him “The Duckling Gets a Cookie!?” and “The Pigeon Needs a Bath” both by Mo Willems as well as “The Book With No Pictures” by BJ Novak (of “The Office”). One may balk at kids books, but these three are honestly very entertaining and well done. I’ll talk more about big-people books next week.

Motivational Message

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

The Vigil: 02.03

The Vigil

Chapter 2 part 3

Screaming Asshole

I made it back to the warehouse to the sounds of an asshole screaming.  Shakes was yelling loudly enough that it was already making his voice hoarse and strained.  I had to admit that I was more  amused by the whole scene than I was angry.  This place was so deep in no-man’s land that even drug addicts and the homeless found it too far to travel to from their sources of survival.

Daria and I chased them out long ago anyway. And anyone that would come out this way would rather stay out of other people’s shit.

Especially when it involves a man tied up and screaming for help.

“Who do you think is going to hear you?” I yelled as I stepped into view.

Shakes stopped mid-yell and looked angrily at me.  “Fuck you!” he hissed hoarsely.  His voice was nearly squeaking from being so strained.  I chuckled a little.

“And to think that you were so close to putting me down for good,” I bemused.

“I ain’t tellin’ you nuthin’, asshole!  Fuck you, fucking pig!”

I pulled out the bottles of alcohol and sat them down on a small metal table to the side.  There were a few tools that we had used in the past already there.  When it all went down and I was disgraced, I didn’t bother cleaning up.

Calmly, yet smeared with the joy I was suddenly having in the turnabout, I interjected with “You don’t have to talk, Shakes.  I think that we established long ago that you are a tough motherfucker and that you don’t have to take my shit…”  I trailed off a little as I began to pick up some of the various instruments.

Most of the things we used were the unconventional tools.  Cigar cutters were handy for removing fingertips.  Diamond saw wires made for handy wire-like strapping.  There were a few things like box cutters, ice picks, needles for drugs that Daria normally provided.  I had only alcohol.  Gardening tools like saws and pruning shears were also among the bunch.  Scalpels, knives, rope, hammers, pliers, all laid before me. A potato peeler…

A few of them were starting to rust a little.  I also noticed that some of them still had some blood on them from the last guy.

Like I said: I didn’t bother to clean up…

As I was standing there Shakes had his attention directly on all of the tools.  It was where I wanted him to focus.  If he would make the damn thing easier on the both of us, he’d just talk.

Interrogations were always easier if they just talked right away.  It happened often in this way.

Despite my best attempts at pressuring each person into talking, to bully and intimidate them to it, some of them always kept refusing.  Eventually I would break out the tools.

Doing such things was extremely laborious.  Though I was always excited to gain the information promised, torture takes a lot out of me.

Most days after a heavy torture, I would just sit in my kid’s room and stare at her while she slept.  Sure, it’s creepy, I know.  But all-in-all it was the only way that I ever could bring myself back into focus.  It was the only way I ever felt right by doing it.  To keep her safe.

Fuck if that worked though.

I didn’t know how I was going to handle this.  Frankly I was probably more scared than Shakes.  I was at least braver than he was.  He had no choice but to be a captive audience; I had to force myself through the show.

“What’s that stuff?” he asked nervously.

I sighed.  “Just tell me what you know about them, Shakes.”

“Who, asshole?  I’ll have your ass wasted for dis shit if you touch me wit’ dat shit.”

“I wouldn’t worry about telling anyone,” I explained.  “I don’t plan on allowing you to talk ever again.”

He cursed at me repeatedly as I said that.  I could tell that he was scared as he was stuttering and shaking.  Spit was dripping and hanging from his lips.  I almost felt some pity for him.  Both of us knew what was about to happen, and he was on the wrong end of it.

I picked up the wire saw blade and used some larger wire cutters to break it into four sections, on for each limb.  As Shakes continued to curse at me, I wrapped the blade around his wrists and ankles.

“What the fuck are you doing, man?” he squealed demandingly.

I ignored him.  Once the wire was wrapped and tight, I cut the ropes.

The first thing that I decided to pick up was the cigar cutter.  I clicked it a few times and smiled at Shakes.  He cursed at me some more.

“So who’s paying for your protection?” I inquired as I grabbed hold onto his hand and slid his finger through the hole in the cutter.  He struggled vehemently with me, but I was able to make it happen.

“I’m not tellin’ you nuthin’!”  He was being obstinate.  With one swipe and click, the tip of his middle finger was laying on the ground.

Shakes screaming and tensed up trying to pull his hand away.  I could see the wire begin to tear into his flesh.

“Tell me a name, Shakes!” I yelled at him. I was beginning to shiver. I looked at the finger lying there. I cursed myself. I went too quickly into harming him. I wasn’t focused but I was having trouble controlling myself.

There was no answer again other than the screaming and cursing.  I continued until he had only nubs on all of his fingers snapping a little section off at a time.  Little bloody bits of finger were littering the floor in a bloody mess.

Shakes was crying more than cursing at the point where I finished.  Tears streamed down his face.  “Tell me what I want to hear, Shakes!”  I yelled.

“I don’t know anything. I can’t talk. I just can’t talk” he pleaded.  “Please kill me.”

“Tell me who’s paying to protect you,” I insisted, ignoring his pleading.

I walked back over and picked up a hammer.  To keep him off guard as his hands were probably overloaded with pain.  I needed to divert it.  With a quick swing I shattered one of his kneecaps.  Shakes let out a piercing scream.

<– PREVIOUS

Next episode: March 3rd, 2015

Weekly Update – February 1 2015

The General Update

It’s been snowing all day here in Chicago… a lot.

So anyway, I’ve been going through a bunch in the last month or so. For one, I was weirdly stressed out for some time without much explanation as to why. It affected my writing and posts on this blog the most as, well, they just didn’t happen. I am slowly getting back on track and things for me have calmed down, although I am still unsure as to where in hell the stress all came from. Maybe I’ll figure it out someday. As for now, I will continue to push forward to make this simple hobby and passion into something more.

Music of the week

WIP it

I’ve slowed down on Agnes Pyle to wrap up Gravity 3 (The Movement of Pawns). I am trying to work through my open works to actually push some stuff out this year… at least 3 if I cannot manage the 5-1-1 plan I had been organizing since last year. I have that many close enough to ready that I won’t have to do too much more work to get them up onto Amazon.

In the meantime, Of Earth and Ice as well as The Vigil will continue on their monthly updates.

Currently Reading

I wasn’t reading anything for the last month. I stopped. I have resumed pushing myself through Academ’s Fury. Once I am through with that, I’ll be moving along to Issues 1 to 4 of the new Thor. A female Thor? Hell yeah! I am game.

(image links to source)
(image links to source)

Motivational Message

“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” – Babe Ruth

Seems oddly appropriate to me right now.

This guy who writes stuff for you to read…