Awakened has been kicking my butt. But less so lately.

I really struggled with where to begin on the third book in the Wevlian Chronicles. I kind of knew where I wanted to take things and had some ideas on what characters should endure along the way, but I didn’t have a clear idea of what the book’s villain should resemble, what her real motive is, and how she’ll get there.

All of that has finally been coming together.

I’ve written about 35,000 words (about 1/4 of the book) but I’ve been doing a lot of rewrites lately. As I’ve figured out Kierli’s (the villain) character, it’s been necessary to rewind and rehash how she reacts in certain scenes, much like I did on my first draft of Foreordained.

I’m still very confident that this book will see a release during 2022. And once the King Jason saga of the Wevlian Chronicles are done, I’ll take a break from fantasy to wrap up the Hammerfist trilogy. I’ve had some ideas coagulating for that series, and the sequel and threequel will be just as fun, absurd, heartfelt, and sincere as the first.

Stories I’ve been enjoying

Bioshock Infinite – I’m late to the game on this one, especially since the game was originally released eight years ago. Friends told me that this one had an excellent story much like the first Bioshock, so naturally I had to take a bite. They weren’t wrong, but the story is slightly inferior to that of the original. The reason being is that BI just gets a little too complicated for its own good. If you look at a lot of the stories that have had significant impact on pop culture, such as Star Wars or Harry Potter, you’ll find that the stories follow a pretty simple structure. BI’s story structure isn’t simple at all. Near the end, it gets downright confusing. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy it, but it just won’t have the same staying power that the original Bioshock had with me.

Authentic by Paul Van Doren – This is the memoir of the founder of Vans, the company that makes those dope skate shoes everyone loves. This book is similar to Shoe Dog in that it’s written by the founder of a world-famous American-based shoe company, but Paul’s journey to sneaker success is much different than Phil Knight’s. If I’m being honest, Paul is much more interesting and his story much more engrossing than Phil’s. I’ve also found that his business advice is much more practical and approachable. Where Phil was very sly and savvy, Paul was very smart and practical. I guess that comes with the blue collar, Great Depression-era New England grit he was raised with.

Bluey – Season 2 just arrived on Disney+ in the United States and I am HYPE!! I don’t even have kids and I love watching this show. In particular, the Sleepytime episode has absolutely no right being that good. It’s gorgeously animated, the music is magnificent, and it hits you right in the feels in a way that makes you want to call your mom and give her a hug. Go watch Bluey right now.