Monday, June 30, 2014

The Past Week

This past week, I got out a total of SIX chapters on Hubpages. That's a lot going since my usual flow is about one or two chapters a week. And it's three chapters each for my Paladin Academy reboot, and my supernatural, action story "Spiritual." Let's summarize what I got out for this week.

For the Paladin Academy one, it was a sort of mini-arc inside the story where trouble of the magic sort nearly brings ruin to Sarah and Veronica's day of fun. They meet someone with a relationship to their mischievous magic teacher who shows up in a big way. I won't say how or what, or it'll ruin the story.

As for the people in Spiritual, trouble's brewed for one of the main heroines of the whole series. Mutant men who were given super soldier drugs go on a rampage across town. There's destruction and mayhem everywhere. And they're tearing Hanako's workplace apart for her. But she's not going to go down without a fight. You can expect some intense action in those chapters.

You can check them out, and all the other chapters available by clicking HERE.

I hope you all had a great week. Until next time.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Haiku: Summer

Today's blog post is a haiku. Since it's summer now, that's the theme of the poem.

Summer

A gentle cool breeze
Relieves sweat from summer heat
Great sunlight bathes all.

Ocean waves rise up
White sands welcome all to play
Lively summer beach.

Bored leaves drift downward
Wind be leaves guide to new place.
Slowly drifting by.

Rivers flow smooth through
Twigs are crushed by children's prance
Trees' cheers welcome them

Soft are nature's sounds
Tree leaves rattle to the wind
Lull Nature's children

Friday, June 27, 2014

Short Story: The Actress

Today, I wanted to share with you, followers of my blog, a short story that I wrote on Hubpages. It's been over a year since I wrote it. I decided to transfer the short story here from Hubpages since it hasn't gotten a lot of readers (only a total of 37 this whole year since it was posted). The story itself, is a bit of a horror story, about an insane woman.

So, without further ado, I present the Actress' performance. Enjoy.

===========================

"Hark!" went the stunning woman in the equally stunning white dress and head veil. She sprang from her large, four poster bed with ornate carvings on the head and front wood. Her gloved fingers lightly hovered over her heart while her other hand reached toward the window and its translucent curtains. "Can you not hear it?"

The vast room that was her prison was dark as all prisons would be. But it had rich carpets and furniture so expensive that a chair could have fed a family for years. Sunlight was the only light that would be coming into the room at this time. And the gas lamps would stay dull until night came and the servant was scheduled to light them.

She kept her face away from the window, but strained her ears for sound. There was barely a tiny whistle of a bird's song reaching the ears of the audience. The trees swayed to the wind. And just barely audible was the sound of horse shoes clapping on dirt ground, the jingling of the metal that bound the creatures to the carriage.

"He's here!" the woman cried out in glee, suddenly slammer her back against the door, her hands clasped over her chest. The biggest smile anyone would ever see was playing on her lips. "He's finally here! Oh, listen! Do you not hear him coming? DO you not hear the birds singing him praise? At last, he has come!"

She rushed to the giant wardrobe of rich wood and master craftsmanship, throwing out most of its contents until she came back out, wearing a different white dress and a different pair of elbow-length gloves. She slammed the wardrobe shut and then hurried out the room in light prances along with the sound of a solo flute performance.

"Oh, happy day!" she said as her feet danced down the left staircase that curved down. With its counterpart on the right, the stairs made a U-shape. Like her room, like the rest of the house, it was dark and dreary from years of neglect. "At last, my prince has come to liberate me of this horrid prison. However luxurious it may be, I would rather lay in filth forever than stand one more day in this living nightmare orchestrated by my captors who desire only my wealth, whilst my prince desires only my love!"

She laughed and danced. Her graceful movements were testimony of her high birth. Totally alone, she pranced in celebration of her coming liberation. Her coming happily ever after.

"Listen to the birds singing praise for him! Hear the songs and ballads of the great hero who has come to save his princess!"

She twirled around in the main lobby, her skirt sweeping in the air around her ankles. Her movements had the grace of a ballerina. And she swayed as such. Then, she stopped, straining her ears again as she leaned one side to the graying double-doors.

"Oh! I hear the horses stop. My prince is here! Now come, my hero! Burst through the doors, sweep me off my feet, and carry me to my happily ever after!"

As timed perfectly, the lights went off, plunging everything into black. When the lights came back on, the woman's dress was black. She was on her knees weeping. Behind her was a black coffin with black roses atop.

"But it was not meant to be," she says, looking up to the heavens, tears streaming from her eyes. "Oh, cursed fate! Oh, unforgiving cruel fate! Why must the heavens forsake me in my most dire hour? Why must it be that I must spend my days alone in suffering?"

She raised her arms, looking over the audience. She was elated to see how captivated they were with the performance. This was what she lived for.

"Oh, can you not hear it now?" she asked. "Can you not see the sorrow? The birds do not sing this day. No. They cry for the loss of their prince, my prince. My hero. Oh, how he swore in his dying breath that he would save me. A promise that he cannot keep."

She got to her feet and mimicked sword fighting with her empty hands. Her movements were the wild, untrained swings of an amateur fencer.

"He came demanding the release of his bride, the noble man he was," she said. "He fought and fought, and fought to his last. His swordsmanship was impeccable. Many had fallen to his blade. But alas, even he could not defeat them all."

She plunged the imaginary sword into her self and fell in portrayal of her love's death. Then she got back up, faced the audience and raised her arms again.

"And now, I must spend the rest of my days in utter misery, utter undeserving misery."

The woman broke down to more sobbing. The lights dimmed to total darkness. After a short pause, the lights flared brightly.

The smiling actress stepped forward to the audience, took a bow, turned around and took to admiring her own stage. Her big performance was at an end. She turned again to face her audience once more.

There was no one there.

There was a scream of madness, and then the woman, too, was gone, forever . . .

OR IS SHE?


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!

(The above image was actually used for the cover of my Shadow Slayers book, another of my horror stories.)


So, what do you think? Leave comments!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Book Progress

So, today, I wanted to talk about the progress I've been making with the books I've been working on right now. Right now, I think I'm making a really good pace as far as I can see with the stories I'm working on in Hubpages. I only started Paladin Academy #1 about four weeks ago and already have nine chapters out. Chapter Ten is still in the works.
Spiritual, Book 3 of my action-packed, sci-fi, supernatural, teen spy young adult novel is already about halfway through. At least I have about close to half the total number of chapters I wanted to make. My self-set general goal is for the majority of my books to have a minimum of thirty chapters. I think I'm doing okay on that front. So far, most of the books I put on Amazon have over three hundred pages, at least by a normal book's standard.
I've been working on Spiritual for two months now, and hope I can finish to put on Amazon with its predecessors(Paranormal and Supernatural) before the summer is over at the earliest.
As for the final book in my Silverwest Manor trilogy, progress has been very slow in the past year, but I'm finally closing in on the end. Just a few more chapters to go, but I'm not sure I'll finish it before I finish Spiritual and Paladin Academy because of how strongly I'm more attached to those two right now. And then there's Quest For the Witch, which was the very first fiction work I started on Hubpages. But for the same reason as with the final Silverwest Manor book, I've put it off in favor for what I'm working on right now. There's also another trilogy I've got going on called Shadow Slayers, a bit of a horror, action young adult series that I've also put on hold. I already published the first book, but haven't started working on the second one yet.
I want to complete everything I've started, and am very eager to put my other ideas into writing. I'm very impatient that way, so will keep on writing as much as I can in as fast a pace I can.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Poem: Walking to Class

Today's blog post is another poem I wrote for my college English course. I think the title's self-explanatory. Enjoy.

Walking to Class

With time growing short,
A journey, I must complete,
to a very important destination.

Sun was so bright
It was blinding
To my eyes.

But things darken
when I walk further
Between two lines of trees.

The green leaves of
Tall trees shield us all
Giving relief to the sun wary.

 I remember problems
That need to be solved
And answered without fail.

There is panic
At the thought
Something was forgotten.

Like me, others are
on their way to class,
or out of class.

There is always
People walking about,
in a hurry, or just resting

talking with friends,
Doing their homework,
Or having their lunches.

Solution, plans, memories
Come to mind
That eases the stress.

Now and then,
A bike comes
and a skateboard passes by.

Birds flock around
where there is food
And peck at the ground.

There are a few wet spots
Coming from the sprinklers
to the concrete road leaking from one side to another. 

Finally, towering over me
There is the dull white building
where my next class starts.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

My Favorite Creations: Characters

Today, I wanted to talk about one of my favorite creations in writing. But it isn't about a story, or a series this time. It's about a specific character that I have been fond of since I first thought him up in high school. As I'm sure my followers know, I've rebooted a series of fantasy novels that I worked on when I first started trying my hand in serious writing. The character I'm most attached to out of all my creations no matter the story or universe, is James Jing Wu from my ongoing Paladin Academy series.
So far, I have him depicted as a sort of moron who has a somewhat extreme mischievous streak. He loves to play pranks on his students, and mostly does his own thing without having to fear the consequences most of the time. I can't really say anymore since I haven't gotten as far to reveal the whole story of Wu, but I can say that there are some aspects of him that I wished I had, like the ability to be an effective talker in front of people. I'm more suited for intrapersonal-type jobs, like writing, but find myself a bit lacking when it came to interacting with others in person, like in an interview or something. You could say that I'm a bit too shy for my own good.
There are other aspects about him that makes him one of my favorite characters, but at the moment, those aspects have not been written down. If you follow along the Paladin Academy series, you might start to see some of those aspects that makes him stand out to me as one of my creations. It'll be a long journey, but a fun one. This, I'm sure I can promise you.

Monday, June 23, 2014

More Future Plans

I know, if you've been following my blog that you've already hears about my "amazing" novel for kids, Country of Dragons. But I can't really right this blog post without talking about it again. As the title of this post says, this post is about what I have planned for the future, at least what I have planned that has to do with my writing. The reason I mentioned "Country of Dragons" is because I'm also in the middle of writing a direct sequel. I'm thinking of putting the sequel on my blog. I'll try to get it out chapter by chapter. It won't happen soon, but maybe when I've finished with the final Silverwest Trilogy book, I'll start posting chapters of the "Country of Dragons" sequel. There are some unanswered questions in "Country of Dragons" (you'll have to read the book to find out what), and I intend to answer them in the sequel.
Until tomorrow.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Here's Another Excerpt

So, today, I wanted to post an excerpt again, this time from my children's novel that I talked about before, Country of Dragons. As I said before, I'm really attached to the story because not only do I believe that it's my best work aimed for younger readers, its setting is based on Chinese culture, which is the culture of my parents. Although I can barely understand the native language of my parents let alone follow along the traditions of my Chinese heritage, I do have pride in my Chinese American heritage and wanted to show it some way. With the exception of my Silverwest Manor Trilogy, at least some of the major characters of some of my other stories are Chinese, or Asian in descent.
The story behind the novel this excerpt came from, as I said in previous posts, is about a little girl living in a world like our own, only more steampunk, sci-fi like, where everything is fashioned late 1800s to early 1900s. When the girl's master suddenly gains unexpected guests, the girl, Xiao Mei, ends up journeying across the country. She'll meet a whole array of unique characters, some not even human. And eventually, she'll get bombarded with bombshells of unexpected truths. You can find out what those truths are by checking out the full novel on Amazon.com.
Now for the excerpt. I actually originally published it on Hubpages, but there hasn't been any traffic on it recently, so I put it on this blog instead. Enjoy.

=====================================
Chief, or better known as The Monkey to members of his triad clan, hoisted what he was certain was the little girl over his shoulders after knocking her out with a neat little neck-pinch trick that he learned from a story on television. She was as light as a feather, despite being limp in his arms.
With his discerning eyes, The Monkey recognized the former empress in her disguise, although it was a very near miss. She was a cunning fox, as to be expected of the former empress of the Zhang Empire. All her years of politics have given her a keen sense and intelligence.
As soon as he realized the relationship between his captives and Miss Lin's guest, a plan formed in his mind for her capture, as he still needed her to complete the set that was to be delivered to the new emperor. And Black Raven's challenge gave him the perfect opportunity to carry it out. No one would suspect that he was the one who knocked out the power as the thief would be the likely culprit. They were all none the wiser when he hit the key on his computer that triggered the electric power to short circuit.
Of course, the adult empress would be trouble to try and snatch away, but the little girl, apprentice to one of his captives, would be no trouble at all. She was just a little squirt. What could she possibly do against the power of adults anyway? And the little princess would provide the perfect bait to get them all to play into his hands. And she would serve as good incentive to keep his still-captives in line in case some of them might be getting funny ideas.
The Monkey quietly swerved around the panicked occupants of the room like a ballroom dancer. He knew that training in blind martial arts was worth something and not a total waste of time like he felt it was during the days of his youth. Now, he was feeling a little bit guilty about having the old fool attacked, kidnapped, and abandoned in the middle of a vast forest wearing nothing but under loins in the middle of the night after all the insults that The Monkey had to endure during his training. But the rescuers were able to find the blind guy okay. Eventually.
With his enhanced senses of hearing and feeling, he was able to avoid contact with the others. Knowing that it was only a matter of time before that phoenix decides to torch the place, The Monkey rushed as much as he could before bumping his back against the door. Because of the noise that was already present, no one heard the doors open and shut after a touch-search for the door handles.
Traveling through the hallway dimly lit by the moon and the blazing color of nightly street life, he was met with no opposition as the police were no doubt in a panic trying to intercept the thief at numerous possible places he could be. Having served the Dragon's Rose for a couple of years, added with a deeply superior sense of direction and intelligence, The Monkey knew the layout of the building by heart. He wisely avoided places he knew had invaluable treasures and artwork close by, sticking to what his employer had called "bland but comfortable" settings. His footsteps against the red-carpet floor were drowned by commotion outside.
Out the back where deliveries were usually dropped off at the building, three large, stereotypical rough-looking men were waiting. Three police officers lay at their feet. From the large space of concrete that they occupied, the clamor of Black Raven's fans and the audience could be heard loud and clear. Their excitable chatter drowned out what would normally be the waves of water sloshing against the ancient stone barriers of the canal. That was the one bad thing about Black Raven's appearance. The Monkey always did enjoy listening to the splish-splashing of the canal's waters. It is this sound that usually lulled the triad leader to sleep at night after a tough day of ruling the country's criminal underworld and terrorizing the masses that dared to oppose his group.
"Please tell me they didn't see your faces," The Monkey said, resisting the urge to cross his arms, which would have resulted in dropping the little girl, while ignoring the chill of night that dug into his bones. Cloudless nights were especially cold this time of the year as a sign of winter's approach. He just couldn't understand how police officers and goons were able to handle such cold on a nightly basis. But then again, they wouldn't be police or useful goons if they couldn't handle it.
"Don't worry, Boss," said the biggest of the three goons, and the brightest, though not by much. "We made sure to knock them out real quiet-like, like a ninja. They didn't see what was coming."
The Monkey took one look at his goons, then to the unconscious policemen. He sighed, knowing that he'll just have to take their word for it. If all went wrong, they would pay by becoming scapegoats.
"Whatever," he said, finally, with a shrug. "Just take the girl."
The goons complied like the mindless drones they were. In spite of being the largest, the leader of the goons, a bearded man with watermelon muscles bulging against his shirt, was very delicate in his treatment of the unconscious little girl. He cradled the child in his arms like a mother would hold her infant and was careful not to let her limbs droop.
Nodding with satisfaction, The Monkey turned to the others. "Now, you two tie me up, gag me, and put me next to those cops."
"Are you sure you want us to do this?" said the second biggest goon, a bald man sporting the bushiest mustache that The Monkey had ever seen. And he's seen some very bushy mustache in his days.
"Yes, I want you to do this!" The Monkey shouted. He froze and glanced sideways to the still-sleeping girl and then to the policemen on the ground. One of them was curled up in the fetal position sucking his thumb. In a lower voice, he repeated: "Yes, I want you to do this! If I don't turn up tied up, it'll defeat the whole purpose of this whole plan!"
"If you're sure," said the dumb brute with an uncertain shrug. He pulled out a white rag from the back pocket of his trousers and wound it around his employer's mouth. While he did that, the youngest of the goons, with the longest hair and the green skin and black eyes of a merman, pulled out rope from the faded duffel bag he was carrying and wrapped the coil around The Monkey. Despite having webbed feet and fingers, the merman's work was quick and without problems.
"But I gotta tell ya, Boss," said Good No. 2. "This all came at such short notice that we didn't have time to find a cleaner rag. We were just about to start laundry when we got the call."
=====================================

So how do you like it? If you're interested you can check out the whole story by clicking HERE.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Poem: Light Within Darkness

Today, I felt like showing you all this poem. It was originally published on Hubpages about over a year ago, but since then, no one's read it. I thought it might be better to make use of it and transfer it over here.

The poem's about appearances and what's within. Light and Dark are metaphors for the kind of soul that resides in a person in contrast to their outer appearance. The poem also makes note of the opposite times, Day and Night, and how both contain Light and Darkness.

Enjoy.
================================

Light Within Darkness
Darkness Within Light.
In the Light of Day,
Shadows come out and play.
And when Day turns to Night,
Darkness blankets all but is pierced
By Moon's Light.
Within the Light of Outer Beauty,
Ugly Darkness may thrive.
Hidden by Outer Ugly Darkness
May Beautiful Light Within Shine.
One cannot be without the other.
Light Within Darkness.
Darkness Within Light.


Friday, June 20, 2014

Hubpages

At the moment, I'm working on a total of three book projects on Hubpages.com, where I publish them chapter by chapter for anyone to check out for free. I noticed that when I started writing on Hubpages, that they were a lot better than when I wrote in private. I guess it's because I actually have an audience when writing on Hubpages, so I keep the audience more in mind in Hubpages than when I was just writing on Microsoft Word. Of course, I try to write my best even when I'm not using Hubpages, and got out some fairly decent work, but keeping an audience in mind does help to ensure that you do your best because you're not just writing for yourself. You're writing for your audience too.
Take my rebooted series for example. It was honestly terrible in terms of writing and plot flow the first time I published it. Of course, I had written them during my high school days, my early days of writing, but right now, I'm seeing major improvements and I hope I can keep on that path.
The rate of chapters coming out of Hubpages is an estimate of one or more a week. That's the minimum rate, anyway. Depending on my mood, I might even end up publishing three chapters. Which story gets more number of chapters out also depends on my mood. Sometimes, its two chapters of the same story, or just one chapter for each story.
I can earn money on Hubpages, but at this point, I'm not likely to reach the threshold to get paid anytime soon. However, Hubpages is a great way for me to spread my wings as a writer. And it's a great way to spread word about my writing since the community is sort of designed so at least someone reads my work outside of my followers.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

How My Writing Is Doing In Terms of Stats and Money

So, today I wanted to rant about how I'm doing stat-wise and money-wise as a writer. Honestly, in terms of stats, I'm doing okay, I think. On a regular basis, the total number of views for my stories on Hubpages are in the double-digits. I've got a regular, loyal audience there. But I only ever earn about half a dollar a month through there.
For the eBook novels I've published through Amazon, about an estimate of 3 eBooks total are usually sold. The book that sold the most frequently was "Paranormal" which was Book #1 of my sci-fi, supernatural, action, teen spy story. It even got a decent review on its Amazon page, if only one. Out of all the stories I published, only two were reviewed on Amazon the second being "Silverwest Manor" the first of a planned Fantasy trilogy for young to teen readers. Ironically, when I used the Free Book Promo feature on Amazon, units usually ranged between two to three digit figures the first time around for any of my books!
For Twitter,I just recently got up to a HUNDRED followers! My Tumblr account has only a quarter of that, though. And lastly, my Google Plus account just has about 22 total followers, including a few friends.
Although, I'm mostly just writing as a hobby right now, I do have a dream to one day make a career out of my writing. But, realistically speaking, it'll probably be years before that becomes a reality.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

What I've Been Up To

So, I think I mentioned in an earlier post that how frequently I write on a certain story depends on how attached I am to it. For the past couple of days, I was pretty much more attached to "Paladin Academy", that kid's fantasy book series that I rebooted. I just finished something like a mini-story arc, just a single event that spanned like two chapters. But then, for this week, I'm in the mood to continuing with the latest chapters of "Spiritual", that third book of my action, sci-fi teen series. Mostly that was because I just saw a movie with Chinese dragons in it and it rekindled my extreme liking of those. I couldn't really stop thinking about Chinese dragons. The main character of the series is a Chinese dragon, so I mostly pictured him in dragon form. I'm probably going to focus a little more on "Spiritual", but will try to get chapters of "Paladin Academy" out each week.
The way my writing schedule work really depends on what mood I'm in. Well, if I wasn't in the mood to write, then it wouldn't be fun at the moment to write. And you gotta enjoy what you do or it wouldn't be very good, right? I think I said something like this in my manifesto.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

College Poem Class Manifesto

So I decided to post this manifesto I wrote for my college class on poetry. It's basically my personal view of art, so if you don't agree, just say so, but respectfully.

==============================================================

Art has always been seen as something only the wise, the scholarly, the genius, and the sophisticated could possibly comprehend. But that really isn't so. Poetry, like any other form of expression is an art. Some works that endure the harshness of time are examined, cut up in an autopsy to be understood. But does there have to be an underlying message in it all? Does it have to really, truly mean something? Does it really have to be so serious?
Of course, those that do take poetry, and any other art, very serious, should be applauded. They are fighting for their souls, after all. And those that fight for their souls, their art, their poems, deserve every ounce of support the world has to offer. But just because art is a passion, doesn't mean that it can't at times be fun, just fun. Why do we start painting to begin with? Why do we write stories on our own to begin with? Because we enjoy doing them.
While the passion in poems, in art, is an incredible great thing that deserves to live rather than forced to endure, one must never forget the one important reason that a person goes into something to begin with: to enjoy and have fun. Poetry, or any other form of art, painting, writing, music, etc., of such origin as simple passing of time, having of fun, nor do the arts made from the depths of artists' hearts, should not have to endure belittlement. Both should be held high and praised.
Let all artists, those with passion, and those who want to enjoy, have their freedom. Let not their works be looked down upon simply because they do not meet the criteria of the rich, the self-proclaimed sophisticated, and those believing they are more educated than others. Art of passion and complexity, and art of simple fun and enjoyment are different, but their origins are the same: from the human heart and the creative (or not so creative) mind.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Feeling Lazy So Here's an Excerpt

Hey, so like the title said, I'm feeling lazy right now, so I decided to just post an excerpt from one of my books. Check it out and if you like, you can check out the full novel on Amazon.
For this week, my excerpt will be from the second book of my Ben and Co. Novels, "Supernatural".

"They were supposed to be dead, after all.
She was there when their bodies were cremated. She was young then, so even with her intelligence, she didn't understand anything then. But the memory of their burning was seared into her brain. How was it possible that they were there? What were they doing there?
"Hello, son," the man said in Mandarin. "How have you been?"
Benjamin said nothing. He just stared at the couple, his hands in his pockets.
"Have you slept well last night?" asked the woman.
They were uncanny doubles of the couple whose funeral Emily attended. But they weren't as lively as their photos made them out to be. Their expressions of boredom and indifference were much like that of their son's.
Again, Benjamin said nothing.
Suddenly, the couple pulled out extremely large knives and sprang at their son. They swiped at him, spinning and dancing with deadly grace, faster than Emily's eyes could follow. To Benjamin's benefit, he was faster and blocked their arms with his again and again, jumping away as they stabbed at him. At first it seemed like the couple was going to overpower Benjamin. They outnumbered him. But somehow, if Emily were not in shock-induced stupor, she would have doubted that they would win.
What was going on? Was this all a dream or something? Emily certainly felt awake right now. First, after all these years, Emily finds the boy she grew up with, the boy she tried to get out of his sealed shell, here in the same country where she was hiding. Now, she was watching as two people whom she knew to be dead, trying to kill their only son in a match of extreme Kung Fu.
This day was getting unreal. What she was watching couldn't possibly be happening.
And then, as if that wasn't enough to blow her mind in a really bad way, Benjamin's hands became gold-scaled lizard claws which, in a uniform sweeping motion of his arms, he used to cleanly sliced their throats. Blood poured out of the wounds, but Benjamin managed to pull back in time before any of it got on him. Only his hands and part of his jacket sleeves were stained. He threw it off and went for the nearest water tap to wash it off.
Emily was gripped in terror. Not for the first time, she felt tears rising, her heart racing. But it wasn't from the frustrations of being the target of unjust bullying this time. All that blood, that fight, and Benjamin slaying two people who should be dead and could be his parents with such cold, merciless efficiency had just broken her mind. She felt like screaming, but what came out was a pathetic whimper.
Suddenly, Benjamin sprang up.
"Who's there?""

So, what do you think? Want to check out the full story? Just click HERE.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Poem: Hurry Up

Here's a poem I just thought of.

Hurry up!
Hurry up!
A long, congested road lies ahead.
People wait.
What should be a short trip
Becomes the longest of journeys.
Hurry up!
Hurry up!
There are better things to do.
Wasting time here and now not one.
Why does fate prolong my imprisonment?
Freedom shortens with each second.
Hurry up!
Hurry up!
At last!
Speed picks up.
And drive to finish errands is long no more.

Friday, June 13, 2014

My Book: Country of Dragons

For this blog post, I wanted to talk about one of my books that I already published.
In my opinion, one of my best novels in the children's category is Country of Dragons, which I published on Createspace and Amazon Kindle just half a year ago. I think I mentioned it in one of my earlier blogs, you know about how one of my detective characters makes his debut in it. Long story short, it follows a traditional doctor's apprentice, a little girl whose master happened to be a former prince of their country on her journey when some unexpected events threaten to tear her family apart permanently. The setting of the story is in a sort of steampunk version of our world called Atlantis. In this world, science is called Alchemy, with which they create robots, weapons that shoot electricity, and give people special power over the elements of fire, water, etc. Did I mention that a major part of the world's population are half-animals? Mostly, the story takes place in Atlantis' version of China. 
For a long time before, I've wanted to write a story that related to my ancestral culture, which is one reason why I have great attachment to the novel. Another reason I'm attached to it is because it's pretty much the kind of book I've wanted to write all this time. It's got everything: action, mystery, unique characters, and some funny scenes. There's also a bit of a twist somewhere in there, but I'm not going to say what. You'll just have to find out for yourself. Just click on either the title of the book in the second paragraph or HERE.
That's all folks. Hope you have a great day.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

My Writing Habits

For this post, I've decided to talk about my writing process. Usually, for my novels, the basic setting just pops up in my mind at some random point in time. My inspiration are either other stories, events, moral lessons, even other inspirations. I want to write my ideas down somewhere, but sometimes when I'm nowhere near a computer or some pen and paper, I have to repeat the events that suddenly come to me over and over again in my mind as a way to commit it to memory. While keeping the basic plot in mind, when I'm actually writing, I tend to write as the ideas for details come to mind, sort of like free writing. Sometimes I consult a basic outline for the story, but mostly, I free write while trying to keep as much as possible to the basic plot. Normally, however, I start getting off-track from the original plan, and my stories end up taking a different direction once they're on paper. The basic plot is still there, just with a different sort of result. 
Take my Ben and Co. novels for example. I had actually intended for the second book's ending to close the whole series, and it was supposed to be over five books. The main character wasn't supposed to become a dragon until that final book, but instead, I put that for the first book. From that series of five books, I instead decided to make it just two books. But then, I once again decided to make it about more than five, and started writing a third one. It's being published chapter by chapter on Hubpages.
Depending how attached I am to a story, I tend to work on certain ones more often than others. I currently have one story, also being worked on in Hubpages, on hiatus because I'm more into the other stories. I do plan on getting back to it eventually. Just not at the moment.
I think I mentioned this in an earlier post, but I'm mostly attached to adventure, fantasy, sci-fi, and mystery stories for kids and young adults. Those are the kinds of stories I like to read, so those are the kinds of stories I wanted to write.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

River, A Haiku

I just felt like posting a haiku suddenly. Hope it's okay.

Clear flowing water
A reflection of life's course
Flows rapid or slow

Sunlight on water
Reflection of heart's good soul
Sparkle with kind light

Turbulent water
The disturbed heart screams anger
Fear river's raging

Storm over water
Like sadness over the heart
Clouds rain sorrowful

Mystery Writing

So, one of my favorite story genres, be it from TV, movies, books, or comics, is mystery. I first took a liking to it when I was a kid and happened to stumble upon a Japanese detective show. Of course, it was English subtitled. One of my favorite detectives was Sherlock Holmes, and I wanted to write a book of a similar style to his stories. And I sort of did just that with a series of short stories I wrote on Hubpages.com.
The short stories on Hubpages are about a Chinese-American paranormal investigator who is a big believer in all things ghosts. But instead of ghosts, he ends up solving crimes that caused things that just seemed like the paranormal was there. Narrating his exploits is his half-Chinese, teenage son, who was also genius enough to graduate college a few years before the start of the series. So far, I have about ten or so stories out. I do plan on writing more, but it depends on when I'm hit with inspiration for another case. So far, that hasn't happened in a couple of months.
You can start following his adventures to where I left off by clicking HERE.
I also wrote a novel about a teenage scholar with Sherlockian abilities who lives in a world called Atlantis. The setting of the novel would classify it as sort of steampunk and science fiction with elements of the supernatural. I already finished the first adventure, but I don't plan on publishing it anytime soon while I'm too focused on other series at the moment. I planned for this Atlantean scholar's story to be a series. Though I already sort of published a story of his, but the main focus of that novel is a little girl whose story takes place in the same world.
That's it for this blog. Have a great day, everyone!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Ritual Poem: Computer Ritual

So, as promised, here's one of the poems I wrote for a college English course that covered poetry. It's a ritual poem about me playing a game on the computer. Enjoy.

1. Turn on the computer that waits for you everyday.
2. Get onto the Internet where others wait for you to come.
3. Answer to the calls for help from friends far away.
4. Log into your favorite game, wait for it to load.
5. When the 2D images appear then begin.
6. You come into a world of fantasy, where you can dress however you like, use whatever weapon you like.
7. Choose between places, where some are medieval, while others are steampunk, and some are even Gothic.
8. Go where you have to go, where friends wait for your aid, where quests and destinies are waiting to be fulfilled.
9. Chat with them, talk story, and be their mentor.
10. Tell them which monsters to slay for items to complete certain quests.
11. Show them where they should go for the next chapter in the story.
12. Fight side by side with friends and strangers alike.
13. Be your friend's support, act the healer and aid.
14. Give them strength and speed boosts with your spells.
15. When your life bar, or the life bars of others are low, use your healing magic so they could last longer.
16. Slay the monsters and finish the quests to save and protect the people of the world where you are hero.
17. For each monster to fall, you get stronger, and your friends who fight along with you do too.
18. Level, strength, and power increase.
19. New spells, new skills are mastered until there's nothing new to learn.
20. Duel with the area boss, aided by friends and strangers.
21. If you die, come back and continue the fight. Keep doing that until you win.
22. Watch as you live to fight another day.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Future Plans

So, for this blog, along with talking about my novels, I've also decided to add some poetry here that I've done for a college course. It'd be a waste to just leave them to gather dust, and a bunch of these got me a good grade in that course. I won't post them all at once. Maybe once in a while. I'll probably create more poems if the mood strikes me. So that's something followers of this blog can look forward to.
I've also decided that I should try freelance writing. You know, hire myself to strangers and write what they want me to write for them for a monetary price at a reasonable or cheap rate. I can do letters, essays, web content, poetry, articles, and maybe even research papers as long as they're the ones that did the necessary work. What I wouldn't do would be threatening letters. Threatening letters are bad.
So, if you need something to be written but having trouble with it, give me a shout in the comments, Google+, or email if you think I'm your guy.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

My Favorite Series

Of all my creations, I believe he Ben and Co. novels, one of the current series I'm working on, is my favorite. At the very least, I'm more attached to it right now than most of my other works. The series is probably one of the most action-packed I've made so far. It's mainly science fiction, but with a lot of supernatural elements as well. So far, I've got two novels out on Amazon, both in paperback and in eBook for Kindle.
Basically, the novels follows the events that happen around Benjamin Tao, a teenager with a lot more skeletons in his closet than most teenagers would ever have. I decided to go with the serious, stoic main character with the tragic past really because I thought someone like that would be cool. Through him, I decided to work under the concept that he was at least a little self-serving. Unless it involves someone he cares about, he's not likely to put himself in danger for any cause. Basically, he doesn't care about the world in general so long as it doesn't affect the livelihood of his family and friends. At first, I wanted his specialty to be just his rad Kung Fu skills and magic tricks (he also leads a double-life as a famed masked stage magician). But then  I decided that he needed powers. I was really fond of Chinese dragons, so I decided to have him turn into that.
In the first book, "Paranormal", this is when Benjamin gets plunged into a world that he didn't know about. By some odd coincidence, he comes across a girl pursued by an organization looking to exploit her powers. Eventually, because of this encounter, he ends up getting taken back along with her, as were his sister and her family as well, upon her recapture. In captivity, he meets a teen spy, and an assassin's daughter. Together, they must work to escape from the organization. It is also during captivity that Benjamin ends up with his powers. I won't say anything more than that because I don't want to spoil any more than this post is probably already going to spoil.
The second book, "Supernatural" is even more full of action than the previous book. I've added some really intense fight scenes. This is also the part of the story where Benjamin Tao is really pushed to his limits. I mean, like close to death limits, and limits that would make even a larger-than-life guy like him feel like slipping. I've also added some new allies, and explored a little more on Benjamin's past. The book was really supposed to be a sort of conclusion to Benjamin's adventures. At least the ending of this book was how I originally pictured the finale. But, I suddenly had inspiration for a third adventure, and maybe even more adventures to follow.
Called "Spiritual", it'll be about Benjamin's new life. I might explore more on his love life, but since romance drama isn't really my thing, I can't really make any promises. I'm currently working on it on hubpages. With nine chapters out. They're available free on vkwok.hubpages.com. Once I finish the last chapter, I'll wait about two weeks or so before taking them all down to publish on Amazon and Createspace, and then work on the next book. That's how I usually do things.
So, you can just check them out by clicking on their titles and tell me what you think on the comments.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

My First Series Rebooted

Hey, all. So today, I want to talk about one of the first series I've ever wrote, called Paladin Academy. I started writing novels for fun and practice back when I was in high school. My goal then was to write fantasy for kids like J. K. Rowling. At the time, I thought that the books were good enough for publishing. Now, however, I could see very clearly that parts of the books that I wrote then, and the overall plot of the series in general needed a major editing. So, I decided to take down the ones I've already put on Amazon, and rebooted the whole series, starting with the very first book.
The point of the series I was writing was to follow the lives of four kids attending a really high class boarding school that also has a magic department. Their teacher is a really obnoxious and annoying magician that likes to play mischief, but also has stuff in his closet that people don't know about in the beginning but will discover over time. One of the four kids who are the main characters is a Chinese American kid who got in through a special scholarship, so stands out a little in the school since mostly kids of the rich and powerful get to attend.
So far, for the reboot, I got five chapters out on Hubpages that people can check out for free. I'm still trying to stick to my original attempt to put a lot of humor along with all the magic, action and stuff. There's still a lot for me to think about in improving the overall plot of the series, make it less chaotic and confusing. You can check out what I have so far starting from this link:
http://vkwok.hubpages.com/hub/Paladin-Academy-1-First-Semester-Magic

So, check out what I have so far, and if you have some pointers you want to give, just post them on the comments either at the Hubpages pages, or under this blog.

Have a good day, all!

Victor Kwok
Independent Author
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00CR58ZC6

Friday, June 6, 2014

Weird Number Coincidence


So, I was just checking out my profile on hubpages.com. According to it, today, I have 66 hubs (articles, chapters, etc.), 66 followers, and I'm following 66 people. Weird coincidence, right? Here's a screenshot from my phone of the profile.



First Blog

So, this is my first blog. I decided to make one because people keep saying it's a good idea for a writer to make one. Can't promise I'll be here often, but let's give it a go. First off, let me introduce myself. I'm Victor Kwok, an independent writer of sorts. I've wanted to write novels since I was a kid in middle school. This desire was inspired after an attempt at drawing comics. My drawings were terrible, but my love for creating my own stories did not die. Most of my latest works are ongoing projects on Hubpages. You can check out what I'm working on now at vkwok.hubpages.com. Or search my name on Amazon.com for the eBooks I already published. My audience aim is for middle graders and teens, for fans of sci-fi, fantasy, action, and mystery mostly because I like reading those kinds of books myself.