Monthly Archives: January 2014

Music Monday: Cannibal

Happy MLK Jr Day! Did you get the day off? Are you enjoying it? 🙂

I’m spending my day off studying microbiology (mmmm bacteria) and cleaning my house (mmmm bacteria). Oh, and writing a blog post about a song I like!

I like much of what Silversun Pickups does, but this song really resonated with me for some reason. Cannibal? Sure!

So here’s “Cannibal” by Silversun Pickups. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Max’s Lair: Wyoming

When Max moved to America, he wanted to build his home in a completely isolated place so he wouldn’t have to deal with things like neighbors or police or SWAT teams–just in case, you know, one of his victims escaped the dungeon. He chose Wyoming, because back then, the only people in Wyoming were Native Americans, rugged mountain men and (eventually) Mormon pioneers who were really optimistic until the winter showed up.

Max’s ranch is near Rock Springs, but how near? Pfft like I know. He keeps it hidden, and he’s been spending a lot of money buying up all the land that he can. His tiny little ranch house is just a blip on the huge tract of land that he owns.

So, where does the most monstrous creature in the history of Earth call home? Check it out.

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Music Monday: Demons

Okay, so it’s not exactly a secret that I lovelovelove Imagine Dragons. “Radioactive” is possibly one of the best songs I’ve ever heard everrrr, and their other songs ain’t too shabby neither.

But this post isn’t about “Radioactive,” because that song has been assigned to a different WiP of mine–one that actually involves radioactivity. But I digress…

If you’ve heard the song “Demons” and paid even the smallest bit of attention to its lyrics, you will already know that the song is about the personal demons that humans must grapple with: an abusive past, PTSD, degenerative diseases, etc. I thought it fit Connor well, because of his ongoing battle with the monster within himself: the monster he could so easily and blissfully become if he allowed himself.

Being Connor is like being a recovering alcoholic locked in a room with a thousand open bottles of the finest booze money can buy. Or in my case, the finest chocolate. Mmm chocolate.

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity-Jig

I spent the last four months in Florida with my parents so they could enjoy the kids (and also so maybe I could enjoy the beach a little).

My parents enjoyed the kids, and I enjoyed the beach!

Mmmm I enjoyed the hell out of the beach.

Mmmm I enjoyed the hell out of the beach.

More importantly, I got to stomp around Sarasota, where much of Vorator takes place. I went back and made sure everything I wrote about is still legit (which it is, as far as I could see).

At one point in the story, Brian observes that Connor is increasingly grumpy about urban expansion out what was once rural Fruitville Road. I took a drive down Fruitville Road, and it’s definitely suffering from urban sprawl. Connor would pitch a fit!

And now I’m back in Utah. It’s very, very cold here. But there’s something wonderful about the cold and the snow. I grew up on the beach in Florida, but I have a weird attraction to deserts and snow. I don’t know what that’s about.

Since I got back, I’ve been putting laundry away (so much laundry) and trying to get things back to normal: heat, the fridge ice maker, my car, the Internet. I just got the interwebs working, so of course I had to come write a blog post. Whee!

The History in the Books

I really like history.

Don’t get me wrong: I hate memorizing dates. Ask me a date for something and I’ll just stare at you. French Revolution? Without Googling it, I’m going to guess 1780something. After the American Revolution some time. Meh.

But I can remember events well. And actually, writing The Herxheim Chronicle has helped me remember dates better. Some dates. Not the date of the French Revolution, obviously.

I Googled it. 1789? Close enough!

I spent a lot of time researching interesting points in history so I could better flavor the Vorator. If you’re going to have a race of immortal creatures spanning the millennia, then you’ve got to make them interesting.

There are some populations that I didn’t get to represent because it seemed like reaching to include them. Australian Aborigines. Inuits. Native peoples of South America (unless you include Aztecs, which I don’t; they were more Mesoamerican).

Boom. Aztecas on the left.

One of the themes of the Vorator is that they were all involved in some kind of tragedy, whether it be large-scale or private. Connor’s tragedy was, at the age of 8, losing his father to WWI and then watching his mother’s suicide. The other Vorator’s tragedies vary–Han Li’s home was washed away when the Yellow River flooded; Sophronia Palaio battled Persians to defend her home in Greece; and Orson Laroche’s family was executed during that pesky revolution I couldn’t remember earlier.

I think one of the best parts of learning something cool is passing that information on to others. I learned a lot of neat stuff while researching the Vorator, and now I want to share what I learned!

So since this is the first day of a new year, it’s the start of my The History in the Books series of blog posts! This will pair up with the The Myth in the Books series, which examines my inspiration for the monster that the Vorator is!

Stand by, stay tuned, and get ready to learn!

P.S. Happy New Year!!