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Looking For Quacks In The Pavement

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3WA 2019 #3: Scene 03

Noting that I rely too heavily on dialog, I decided to try a tiny scene with no actual dialog taking place.

If I don’t push myself a little, how will I ever learn?

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Impressions From First Episodes: Winter 2019 Anime

I watched a few first episodes from the newly current season of anime, thanks to the modern miracle of legitimate for-pay streaming services. I have some thoughts, or perhaps I should say I have some dire warnings. Let’s get this out there while the memory is fresh and I have the inclination to hold forth on the topic, shall we?

Girly Air Force – Hapless dude who wants to be a pilot gets involved with the cute-girl-looking AI avatars of super-airplanes that fight some kind of enemy super-airplane force and oh boy, it’s Arpeggio of Blue Steel only in the air instead of on the ocean. And cheaper. And terrible. The only thing I really enjoyed about the first episode was the required Childhood Best Friend character, and she couldn’t save this mess. Transplant her into something better and we’ll talk.

Domestic Girlfriend – Is it okay to be done, very much done, with the “incest by marriage” trope going on lately? Because I’m very done. What’s worse, this show seems to be trying to do some interesting and serious drama… except that every few minutes they throw in some kind of brief wacky hi-jinks to unbalance the tone of the thing. No, nothing in here makes me want to stick with it. I kind of dislike everybody except the parents, and the show’s not about them, so.

Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka – This one’s a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, it’s occasionally very violent on a level I don’t really enjoy. On the other, there’s an interesting thread to it about a girl who’s had one save-the-world battle too many against absolutely fiendish enemies, and she’s trying to learn to be less broken. If they could lean on that aspect I might be tempted, but I’m willing to bet that there’s enough of “the old ultraviolence” to keep me turned away. Friend Wonderduck indicated he might be tackling this as a review subject. I hope he does, because I’m very curious to see his take on it and find out how the show pans out.

The Price of Smiles –  Well it’s nice to see Hestia from Is It Wrong To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon is getting more work. Seriously, the character design for the princess character here is nearly identical. This seems like a somewhat fluffy sci-fi giant-robot romp at the outset. I’ve no idea where it goes from here, though. I think I’ll stick around for a bit on this one to find out. Expectations are set at a medium-ish level.

That’s all so far. Hopefully this season will give me something to look forward to with actual enthusiasm… eventually.

I still call this thing a journal for some reason.

Way, way, way back in the distant reaches of time, I started a site under this domain to be a don’t-call-it-a-blog. Mostly I treated it like the way I now treat Twitter & Tumblr: Brief snippets of thought punctuated by memes. Or possibly the other way ’round. Then social media became a thing and I really let this site go to waste. I also created sub-sites, and sites on other domains, and what-have-you. Look, I clearly need adult supervision because every third time I visit Hover I end up buying a domain.

I’m not here to say “I’m back” or anything so absurd as that. I’ve tried that, it never worked out. I’m just here to give a bit of catch-up on various things:

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3WA 2019 #2: Scene 02

My first idea for the “creative writing” side of this year’s project centered on drabbles. Forty drabbles, how hard could that be?

Take a moment to get the laughing fit out of your system. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

At any rate, what follows here is probably the length of story scene snippet you should expect.

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3WA 2019 #1: Scene 01

And now, as John Cleese was paid to intone a number of times decades ago, for something completely different.

Following up two years of review-format posts with a third year of review-format posts seemed natural to me. But what to review? Books, obviously!

But. But. Fifty-two weeks of book reviews? Were I to do an even half-assed job, the reading requirements would be daunting. I envisioned at best being able to quarter-ass the job… maybe eighth-ass. Friends suggested every other week, which seems sensible but then it’s not really a weekly writing project, is it?

After weeks of agonizing over this I found a compromise: I’ll do twelve reviews, one per month on the last Friday of each. The rest of the time? Original story content. Sort of. Which is to say I’m not going all NaNoWriYe or whatever here. You’re just getting moments. Scenes. Dribs and drabs from a story that might have existed were it being written by someone actually serious about writing such a story.

Here’s the first one of those. Please enjoy.

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3WA 2018 #52: Mono Inc. – Together Till The End

We did it, folks. We’re at the end of another year of these Weekly Word Working Assignment posts. Thanks for staying with me through this.

(The both of you who have done so, anyway.)

As is traditional (if “twice” makes for a “tradition”) I saved pride of place at year’s end for one of my absolute favorite things.

What is it?

Together Till The End is the early 2017 studio album by Mono Inc, a German outfit that does a brisk business in English-language songsmithing nowadays.

How does it sound?

There’ll be no sampler mixes when the day is done:

Why this pick?

This is absolutely my favorite record of 2017. Yes, even over Public Service Broadcasting’s Every Valley. (I assure you it’s a slim margin.) I tried to listen critically in order to point out the highlights and low points on the record and kept getting pulled into the groove, forgetting entirely to actually jot down words. It’s amazing this post got written at all.

I can’t even claim that this is because it’s somehow musically superior in some subjective way. Oh, heck no. This record just hooks directly into the grin-inducing head-bop-making toe-tapping center of my brain and rarely lets go. You want to know what I’m into right now? This. This is what I’m into right now. I bought this record early in 2017 and I haven’t tired of it yet.

So yeah, that’s why this pick.

Which songs are the highlights?

“Boatman,” which features Ronan Harris of VNV Nation, was my first exposure to Mono Inc and remains a favorite most of two years later. It’s part of the rock-solid high-energy opening block of four songs on the record, including “Banks of Eden,” “Out In The Fields,” and the record’s title track.

Later in the album we get “Across The Waves” and “This Is My Life,” among other gems.

Which songs don’t work so well?

There’s nothing actually wrong with “There Comes A Time,” it just doesn’t come together as well as most of the others for some reason I can’t quite put my finger on.

The album closes with a mostly-instrumental reprise of the opening track. Your enjoyment of it will center on how much high-pitched warbling you can stand. For me, it wears thin well before the three minute run time completes.

Which album did you almost pick in favor of this one?

There was no other choice. Not that I dislike Terlingua, but Together is just so much more my kind of thing, and I haven’t gone further back into the band’s catalog yet.

And since Welcome To Hell didn’t arrive until partway through 2018, that one wasn’t an option. (It’s a damned good record, though.)

Any final thoughts?

Compare and contrast, even via just the sampler mixes, the music I was into as a kid (last week’s Lindsay Buckingham album) and what I’m into now (Mono Inc, VNV Nation, etc). I’m not sure what kind of journey I’ve been on all my life, but it’s been some kind of.

So, what’s next? How do I follow “animation” and “music” into 2019? Well, it’s a bit complicated: I’m going to do a hybrid project next year.

My original idea was to follow from media type to media type, following “animation” and “music” with “books.” Most of my readership (all half-dozen of you) are into books, right? Right.

Problem is, 52 books is a tall order. I read less than I watch shows and listen to music, so coming up with a roster would be troublesome all on its own. Then I’d have to commit to reading and writing about a book every week, which is… daunting. The first solution to that problem was to simply cut the roster in half and do a project post every two weeks.

But… the 3WA concept starts with the word “weekly” so that wasn’t going to cut it.

Then it hit me: The other idea I considered was instead of doing reviews, doing a sort of serialized bits-of-a-story thing. Not creating an entire fully-fleshed story, mind you, more of a something inspired by the concept of one of Caro Emerald’s albums, Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor. Bits and pieces from a story that might-have-been. The good-parts version, if I may take a bit of inspiration from Bill Goldman here.

So the final result of all this is: Once per month, last Friday of the month, you get a book write-up much like the animation and album write-ups I’ve done up to this point. The other Fridays, you get dribs and drabs from a story which will probably never be completed but you should be able to piece together the key bits of by the time I’m done.

We’ll see how that goes. The first story entry is due next Friday. Here’s hoping.

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