Monday, June 30, 2014

Fast Facts about EMBASSY

I haven't posted something like this about my book yet, so why not start now? Here are some facts about my New Adult Science-fiction novel, EMBASSY.

  1. The first draft was 151,653 words
  2. All technicalities aside, I wrote a vast majority of the first draft in 10 days.
  3. I wrote and revised EMBASSY thirteen times between January 5, 2013, and June 13, 2014.
  4. EMBASSY is currently 76,498 words long, a mere 50% of the first draft.
  5. EMBASSY is required reading at a high school in Kansas.
  6. Hologis wasn't a part of EMBASSY until the third draft.
  7. Roughly 85% to 90% of the final draft wasn't in the first draft.
  8. The idea for EMBASSY came from a short story I submitted to a magazine. In it, Michael and Arman infiltrate an alien fortress and assassinate the leader. Arman is subsequently arrested for money laundering. (As anyone who's read EMBASSY can tell you, the book is completely different).
  9. The tropical, ocean-covered planet Daliona was originally called Dinverst.
  10. Undil wasn't a desert planet in the first two drafts. It had forests and rivers.
  11. EMBASSY is loosely based on a true story.
  12. I like to say the most difficult part of writing EMBASSY was, and still is, inventing names for the fictional food and drinks.
  13. The Narvidian language wasn't added until the fourth draft.
  14. Arman's job on the Ember is based off a job I had at a hospital.
  15. I have completely deleted and rewritten the opening chapter 49 times, while I've changed other chapters only once or twice.
  16. Glacia Haverns was a minor character in the first draft, and wasn't relevant to the story.
  17. There were aliens in the first four drafts of the story.
  18. The layout of the Undil Embassy was inspired by the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and key landmarks in the area.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Why I'm Supporting the Netherlands in the World Cup

Nederland defeats Mexico 2 - 1!!!

I'm rooting for the Netherlands to win it all in the World Cup. I know, I know...I should be supporting the USA -- and don't worry, I am -- but there's a funny reason why I support the Netherlands.

I'm an Eagle Scout. Back in 2010, I was in Albuquerque, New Mexico, preparing for a hike in Philmont Scout Ranch. There were about 20 guys in our crew of varying ages, and all of us were wearing bright orange collared shirts. We were in the parking lot of one of NM's state parks, when all of a sudden this other group of people saw us and ran over.


Of course, they realized we weren't the Netherlands when they got closer. Ever since then, I've been a fan of the Netherlands. Keep in mind that 2010 was when Spain beat the Netherlands in the World Cup Final (I wasn't a follower of soccer back then, though).

Still, it's a good story that I'll always remember. Nederland!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Insane Lightning I Just Recorded

I'm a huuuuge lover of thunderstorms, and I always grab the chance to sit by the window and watch them when I can. Watching the lightning and listening to the rain and feeling the wind are some of the most relaxing things in the world. Tonight was no different. I spent about an hour watching this thunderstorm -- and I captured a pretty sweet bolt of lightning, too. It's only 4 seconds long (if that) so check it out!

As Glacia Haverns (from my book, Embassy) would say,
"Beautiful, huh?"

The Hobbit Airplane Safety Video

Yes, you read the title correctly. I came across this little gem and you should watch it because it's awesome. 
We need more stuff like this.