Auld Lang Syne, my Dear

2014. What a year.

So as it is the last day of it, I think perhaps it is time to look back a bit, and with our last glance back remember that we have always things to look forward to.

I remember the beginning of the year for me. I was going to another Bible college before the one I go to now, up in Upstate New York. I don’t know if I would do the beginning of the year again, as it was near a lake and therefore felt like the North Pole up until April. But I learned much through it, especially when the Teen Winter Camp started.

I, like a lot of people, volunteered myself for camp counsellor. It would mean that I would be taking on a small group of teens, keeping them safe and happy during the weekends. It was the first time that I would get the chance to be a father figure for a bit. It was certainly not easy, but it had its ups as well as downs. The first weeks I was unable to do much good at all. By the end, I realized something. I enjoyed parenting. I really did! Regardless of the mental handicaps, behavioral patterns and any issues that we faced, I really enjoyed teaching them, guiding them, consoling them when upset and praising them. I even grew to appreciate the time correcting, because I knew it would guide them into becoming a better person.

And then, during that time I found something. I was finding myself to be slowly becoming more and more interested in a lady friend of mine. Apparently she and I were the only ones who saw it coming, as we were so massively different. Me, a hipster geeky, metal lover, and her, a rap-loving, baggy-clothed dreadlocked gangster chick; we seemed incompatible even as friends. And yet, two weeks into the spring semester, we found ourselves going out regularly, and eventually, after a bit of talking, were officially dating. I had known her for some time up until that point, but to be actually dating the person you want to be? That’s a very surreal feeling.

And as quickly as it began, summer came and we had to make a decision now that our paths were separating. Would we continue as before, or would we have to go our separate ways? There was always long-distance, but still…
In the end, we decided splitting up for a while was the best option. And maybe that will return, who knows.

So came summer, and once again I decided to counsel at a youth camp. I hoped that I would get teens again. Apparently I was good with them, or so I thought. And yet as fate would have it, I found myself counseling children not much older than my own nieces and nephews, ages from five to twelve. I was terrified, and thought for a surety that I could not handle them.

And through that I learned something, too. I learned that parents don’t work just on occasion, they work all day, every hour, even in their sleep they are working. I would find myself comforting kids who were missing their parents, singing to kids who needed it, sitting down next to kids who just needed someone to talk to. It’s a beautiful thing, to take care of a child, I think. I can never underestimate the work parents do again, because it is incredibly hard. But it is also incredibly rewarding, and I would do it over and over again if I had the chance.

I learned a lot that summer. I gained friends that I will always remember, a man who I consider equal with my own brothers, and life lessons I will never forget. Most importantly, I gained wisdom that will stay with me for the rest of my life. You age a lot when you’re raising up the next generation for eight weeks straight.

Then came the end of summer. I would have to say goodbye to friends that I had for so long, and find new ones. I would be going into a place so much unlike what I had experienced before. I would be going from a very little known school to a massive one, Liberty University. I remember walking into the cafeteria and thinking, “Gosh, there’s more people here than live in my own hometown. How am I going to meet anyone?”

So I sat down next to a random person, and found out something. I’m not good at making starting conversations at all.

Weren’t expecting that one, were you? Some kind of sappy thing like I was putting before? Hah! Nice try, ain’t gonna happen!

But I kept trying anyway, and now I’m friends with like a quarter of the school. Basically if I’ve talked with you for about ten minutes you’ll find a Facebook request from me. I’m just that kind of person. With college came meeting new friends, cosplaying for the first time (Jack Skellington, since I’m incredibly and increasingly skinny), my everlasting hatred of finals week, and a very short dating period with someone who was already dating someone else.

And to end this brief tale of college, I must talk about the one thing that returned, which is the return of writing my novel Dark Soldier. While I was working on school things, I found out that I truly enjoy writing more than I enjoy my artwork. For me, it was probably the most unusual find of the year. Until that point artwork was my life and my joy and pride. But I came to find that as good as I was, I did it far more often because I was good at it than that I actually enjoyed it. And so now, I pursue things that I enjoy, not that I’m good at. I think life is better that way.

I think this is going to be the beginning of possibly the most epic journey of life I have ever had. And to think, in only a year and a half I’ll be out of college and heading out to find what my life work will be. It’s probably going to be finishing my novel the Soldier Chronicles, Dark Soldier being the first book of the series. Thanks to writing, I’ve gotten tons of friends and fans, in real life as well as online. I’ve gotten a blog, which I love writing for, a Twitter, which I never thought I would get, and over five hundred fans on Facebook! That’s mind-blowing to me. I never thought I would reach such a point. And so, with how much you blessed me, I want to bless you. So I present, my musical end to the year, Auld Lang Syne. Just follow the link, and you find me doing an instrumental cover of my favorite Scottish folk song. I have very fond memories associated with it.

I have so much to be thankful for this year, and with all the heartbreak and devastation and hard work I still wouldn’t trade this year for the world, not a single day.

God bless every single of you wonderful people.

Have Yourself a Heavy Metal Christmas

I like Christmas, I’ll admit. I like Christmas a lot, and perhaps for a metal lover as well that may not make a whole lot of sense, but I tend to make it work. I think perhaps the very best example of this is Gothic Christmas by Nightwish, a song all about the metal side of Christmas. If you have not yet heard the beauty of this sure-to-be-considered-a-hymn classic, look it up. It’s beautiful.

In the meantime, I am really quite excited to be heading home for the holidays as of tomorrow. As much as I love the school that I go to, the roommates that I have and the fellowship of my fellow man, I also love my nieces, brothers and sisters to death. So there’s that. And yet, I have but one final trial to pass through before I should return home.

You see, the person I am riding back home with is… a hip-hop fan.

Now I myself have nothing against hip-hop, depending on the sort of hip-hop we are talking about. I have nothing against hip-hop lovers, as my brother is one and he’s pretty awesome. However…


Which means that we will be listening to the likes of One Direction, Kesha, Demi Lovato and the like as we return to the cold barren wasteland of New York, seconded only by the cold barren wasteland of Canada. And I know Canada. My mother is from Canada and used to bring us up every season. Trust me, there is a reason that next to nobody lives there, even with all the nice people.

So due to this arrangement I will probably spontaneously combust into a ball of flames before we even get to Binghamton. Hopefully not, as that would mean all my friends would miss me and that my book would never get finished. Sadness abounds.

Since this blog is also about the novel, I will finish up on a slight bit about the book. We are going to finish talking about… swords. There isn’t a much higher form of awesomeness in the world of gothic fantasy than epic swords. The very first sword we are going to discuss is Enlightener, which for its look may be a more Christmas-y sort of thing to discuss. Here are the stats, which if you decide not to read, well then, we’ll end this off with a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Enlightener Stats
Total Length: 28 in
Blade Length: 21 in
Description: Pure white sword with aquamarine gem in a six-sided star-shaped pommel. Mainz-shape blade.
Abilities: In the hands of a magi (mage), the blade is able to transform into pure magic energy and lengthen to its user’s wishes. The full extent of its power is not known.
Crafter: Cedric Starkiller

Merry Christmas!

Films and Finals Pt. 2

So close to coming home! I can’t wait! Honestly, I love my campus, and I love my roommates, but I do not miss studying for finals. I personally have been up until 4am and 2am in the past couple days due to… all right, so the 4am had nothing to do with studying. It was just because my dorm-mate is nocturnal and his computer screen shines into my face when I sleep. But the 2am, that was studying. Sort of. It was a drawing that was a final exam for one of my classes. But it’s like studying, right?


I’m a failure.

However, good news in regards to the novel! We finally have one man who is considering the step up to the plate, who has agreed to try out this voice acting thing for the teaser trailer coming out later this month, and that is… Jake Holland of Vine! Perhaps it is surprising that a funny guy like Jake is interested in the role, but he indeed has done similar roles in short films. It’s that beefy body and beard of his, ‘ya know.

Soo to those who actually read these, you all get to have a little spoiler to the teaser. The very first line of the teaser. Prepare yourself.

“What is good but an ideal?”

I’m fully aware that these spoilers do nothing for you but that’s the point. I don’t give spoilers, and I certainly won’t give away a big one this early before its release. Come on, people. I’m better than that.

Further notes on the novel, I CANNOT BELIEVE that we are releasing the first draft to those who request it in only a week! How exciting is THAT? That’s pretty friggin’ awesome. And to those who have not yet requested it, leave me a comment, like “YO I WANT UR FIRST DRAFT SONNN” and I’ll be like “SURE THING BRAH” and give it to you on the 15th. Awesomeness.

That’s it for this week, darklings! Talk to you next time!

Full Steampunk Ahead

For those who were unaware, I’m a steampunkaholic. Yes, that’s correct, I’m coming out of the steam-filled, clockwork-powered sky pirate’s closet of aviator goggles. I’ve always been a fan of antiques and scifi, meaning I like futuristic things like mecha robots and laser cannons along with antique things such as top hats, steam trains, civil war cannons and 19th century upper-class dress. Mixing future and past is therefore one of my favorite things in the world. This is probably why I make so many steampunk-style things in the series I’m writing, The Soldier Chronicles, coming 2016. Expect bronze robots, steam trains, top hats, elves with top hats, elves with Civil War-era pistols, that sort of thing.

But as a introverted college student, I have come to notice something. I personally enjoy sitting alone. It’s not that I don’t like people, although depending on the people I probably won’t. It really all boils down to me not enjoying somebody judging my capability to ingest delectables. I don’t mind it so much with people that I already know. However, those that I don’t know, they’re just not going to catch me doing something, at least probably not, especially when I’m actually hungry and not just eating for social interaction.

Anyway, the point of the matter is that at this college it seems like nobody wants to sit in a group. They must all scatter within groups of two to each table to make absolutely sure that those that want to sit alone or with another friend cannot do so without interrupting their personal space. Not that I’m bitter, mind you, I’m just perplexed at this phenomenon. So there I am, at lunch, drink in hand, trying to find someplace to sit. There is literally no place to sit that there is not someone there already. I could feel the judging glares down my skull asking me “why don’t you have some large variety of friends or ability to socialize that you can’t sit anywhere?” I didn’t actually feel the judgment, but it felt like I felt the judgment, if that means anything. It took me a while of cruising, probably about five minutes, although it felt like forty. Eventually, I did find someone from my own dorm, an awesome dude who rocks his shortness. I swear he is a real-life Tolkien-age dwarf, due to his height and beard. Although, he doesn’t eat very much at all, so he’s not quite at Gimli status.

I have come to realize that I have not posted any artwork of any sort. I will fix that problem immediately. Here is Cyberland from quite a while ago:


There we are. Problem solved. Now you may all bask in the sheer awesomeness of a weird-as-heck cybertech robot breathing out a Utopian city.

I have come to feel like there is not quite enough in this post, so I am adding one more paragraph full of crazy sorts of things. I am unsure of what those are going to be up until this point, but give it time. Eventually I will realize that I wish to make some sort of comment on the current problem of some sort in our current society that nobody cares about at all. I think that seems to be the Christian Goth community. You were probably not aware that there is such a thing. However, it totally is, and for some time I would have considered myself part of it, and still partially do, although I am not quite so high-flung as to be wearing black on all occasions and parting my neon-dyed hair over one eye. (I am not saying I actually have neon-dyed hair. It is a hypothetical suggestion.) The reason they are referred to as Christian goths is their intense love for all things dark and disturbing. How, one might ask, can one fall in love with things that are sinful and continue to call yourself Christian? I do not think we really love death as much as one imagines, it is merely the things associated with death. For instance, skeletons are considered to be something most Christians would not enjoy, because it is a reminder of our sinful nature and the causes of it. Why so? I find that skulls and skeletons hold our bodies together. They are very much a symbol for if not the living, then the thing that once was. We should appreciate them more. I see the same with things like bats, blood, darkness. All are created by God, and he would not have made them if he did not also find them beautiful.

That is all. Have an odd and wonderful week!