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An Excerpt from Public misEducation: The Struggle for Justice

Author’s Note

What you are about to read is an excerpt from a book still in progress. Some of the following text may not be in the finished product. For legal and privacy reasons, the names of some individuals have been changed. Although I have been asked before not to use the name of my current place of employment in my blogs, since I am using my real name in the finished product it wouldn’t take much effort for someone to find out where I work. So I will refer to ALL of the schools where I’ve worked by name.

…In my opinion, I wouldn’t be able to say I’m being transparent if I didn’t. As a reminder, this is just a portion of a chapter that I will make available free of charge as an e-book on Amazon next month.

 

https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2030/2809961438_56d48f9969.jpg


 

Chapter 1: The Education Industrial Complex

It is interesting to note the United States is the only developed nation in which Public Education is not a constitutional right. I did an internet search looking for an excerpt from the Constitution referencing education and I could find none. When I realized this I also realized every time an educator told their students “you have a right to education in America”, weather they knew it or not this simply is not true. While there is no federal mandate in this regard, legislation has been passed at the state level in all 50 states granting public education. Notice I didn’t throw the word “free” in at the end there. Anyone who’s had any experience in Public anything knows at the end of the day, nothing is free.

Public Education is no exception.

The CNN Docudrama Ivory Tower lays bare an inconvenient truth about Secondary Education: The true reason for the high tuition cost is for the college experience first and foremost. The reason for that is there are certain expectations by those with deep pockets who send their children off the college. The problem highlighted in Ivory Tower is so much is being spent on maintaining the image that the quality of education itself has been left at the wayside.

The situation is much worse where Primary Education (K-12) is concerned. Due to the absence of proper federal legislation, each state and school district is left to decide best practices and what standards they want to adopt and/or enforce. On the one hand it encourages competition between districts but on the other hand, the generalization doesn’t take students who need a more customized blueprint into account. There is a heavy-handed emphasis in most disricts on teaching as many students as possible using a cookie-cutter syllabus but as every parent and educator will tell you, one size does not fit all.

This is what I call the Education Industrial Complex.

Its purpose is simply to move students from grade to grade (starting at third grade in many districts) using third party tests developed by companies with no investment in public eduction aside from making a profit. The third party test providers get paid weather students pass or fail. Their sole purpose is to provide “the measuring stick”. As many educators have come to understand in the last 20 years, the measuring stick doesn’t have to be fair for all.

What’s also true is there are schools actoss America that have chosen to chart their own–or rather their student’s–destinies. The majority of them are private schools but some of them are public. The Mission Hill School in Boston is one such school. I know because I worked there from 2012 to 2015 and in a different grade each year. The Mission Hill School has an emphasis on not just serving the student’s academic needs but also their social and emotional needs. The school also teaches students to learn, not test. Having worked at other schools in the district, these values are why parents of Mission Hill students hold the school in such high regard.

Buzzwords like “Autonomous Schools”, “Progressive Education” and “Democratic Schools” are thrown around when a school or a district decides to break the mold and chart its own course. Champions of Progressive Education like Ron Berger and Deborah Meier emphasize putting the needs of the student above everything else. It’s on all of the adults in the student’s life to do what they can to help the student on this crazy journey we call life. To not give them everything we can would be worse than doing nothing at all.

I’ll pause for a moment and say although I believe Progressive Education is an answer, it is just one answer. While yes there are progressive schools in America that have thrived for decades, this has yet to be done on a district-wide scale. I say this because although there are lawmakers who would love to use progressive schools as a blueprint, there is not enough data at the district-wide level to make a district-wide policy. It is of my opinion the best way to make headway towards adopting fair and sustainable policies would be legislation at the federal level. This will (hopefully!) provide certain protections and layers of accountability No Child Left Behind (2002-2011) lacked.

Until this is done, American Schools will never have the support they deserve to do the work they were built to do.


 

This is the end of the preview.

The rest of the chapter comes next month during Boston’s school break week. I wrote this chapter myself though in other chapters, I either cowrote it with someone or someone else wrote the whole chapter. As of this blog post I have 3 co-authors: A BPS Educator, a Parent of a BPS Student and a BPS Student. None of them are related to me and none of them have a connection to my current place of employment.

I have been doing research on public education in general since I was in high school. When I started working for the same district I graduated from, certain questions arose in my mind:

Why is there such a heavy emphasis on teaching students to take a standardized test knowing most of the material being tested is not a part of the district curriculum?

Why are students who struggle in Literacy and Math being pushed along grade to grade instead of being given the invdividualized education they deserve?

Why  is there no outrage from the public at what’s been an injustice to give our students what they need and deserve nationwide?

This isn’t an issue of predominately black student districts vs. predominately white student districts. In fact, those who use this rhetoric are not seeing the bigger picture. Those who call it a matter of national security couldn’t have said better. We’re at a very critical time in America where education is concerned. If we do not do something about our dysfunctional education system during this generation, the chain reaction to come as a result will have catastrophic consequences.

I’ll speak more to this in a later chapter.

The rest of Chapter 1 comes next month!

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Writing Updates through December

Putting aside July, admittedly I’ve mostly been working on fan fiction this summer. That’s alright since that was also on my list of things to work on. Here’s an overview of where I’m at with my stories in progress:

  • The Baby Experiments II: It’s done but unpublished. I’m actually considering releasing it along with the first volume as an E-Book on Amazon. I haven’t made up my mind in this regard yet. I have also decided to make a new volume every summer starting next year.
  • Baby of Mine: Honestly, I never touched it over the summer. I looked at it so I’ll be able to continue where I left off, though. I plan to finish it up by the end of the year if things work out that way hopefully. A character introduced in this story is one of the main characters in the following story.
  • Predator of Predators: Man, do I have plans for this story. I realize I didn’t say much in the brief description included with the Legacy Stories so I’ll give you a bit of a background on the plot. Juni and Kyle Parker were close when they were children. A few days before their brother Leon was born, their parents told them about the Nephilim, a race as old as mankind born from a human and a fallen angel. Kyle never believed the stories. Not until one killed their parents five years later and kidnapped Juni. Six years after his family is torn apart, Kyle vows to purge the world of the Nephilim and find out what happened to his sister. Kyle sets off with his brother Leon and the mysterious Laura Alphonse. As whole towns are wiped out, Kyle comes to known as a Predator of Predators.

There’s going to be some overlap with Abyssion Highwind: Dark Blade and Baby of Mine. You’re going to want to read all three stories if you want the full picture but it’s not required. You’re going to want to read Baby of Mine if you want to know about Laura’s parents and you’re going to want to read Dark Blade if you want to know about what happened to Juni after she was kidnapped.

After I finish Baby of Mine I’m gonna do Predator of Predators next. That wasn’t the originally planned order but due to the overlap it makes sense to just do that. When I eventually publish Baby of Mine as an eBook, I will publish it with Alex’s feature story Unshed Tears.

As things get rolling, I’ll provide updates and so on ^_^

Writing plans for the summer

I figure I get this up now before the weekend’s over. This is more of as reminder to myself than you giuys (LOL!).

So anyway, progress on Aurabolt Unleashed was stopped after Chapter 2 was finished earlier this month. Unlike the stories I’ve been writing and posting online, each chapter on average is about 8 pages long. I’ve decided to put off writing it until summer vacation begins at the end of the month. I hope to finish writing the book by the end of July the earliest and early August the latest.

Once that’s done–and it will be my only non-fiction multi-chapter project this year–I’ll get back to work on my other stuff:

  • Superheroes Unmasked: Valkyrie and Permafrost is a short story I started two years ago and forgor about until earlier this week. By “started”, I mean I wrote the first chapter (which is usually the case), drafted a few more and got distracted by other stuff and forgot about it. I never uploaded it so I can time my time writing this one. The story is about a brother and sister pair of superheroes who grew up in Philadelphia. Now young adults, a routine day of saving the day goes wrong and their secret identaties as Evan Green and Clara James (the latter being married and pregnant) is revealed to the world. How they–and the world–deals with the pair of superheroes in their midst is played out in the short story. I also want to confirm it has no conections to my Serene Adventure stories.
  • Baby of Mine is entering its 2nd year of revision this August. I’ve simply been too busy with work to really give this story the attention it deserves and actually finish it (LOL!) but again, hopefully that will change this summer. I have the rest of the story planned out though, oddly.
  • Serene Adventure Baby Stories is a short collection of stories I started earlier this month. Each story highlights a character crossing the threshold into motherhood. The interesting thing about this collection of stories is they are told from the point of view of the mother. In the source stories where they originally take place, the event is from the point of view of another character Ann’s story is on Fin and Katrin’s birth. In the yet to be written Serene Adventure Origins story about their birth, it’s told from Ted’s point of view. I’m working on Celes’ second birth story involving Breanna (formerly named Pearl). When that’s done I will do Gina’s first, Terra’s second, Katrin’s first and a new character being introduced. I expect to finish this collection of stories by the end of June.
  • Washed Up is short story I wrote last fall on Deviant Art. I plan to continue the story past what’s currently written. The short story I wrote was inspired by a picture I found on the site about a pregnant mermaid and her young son getting washed up on the beach after surviving a storm at sea. In my short story, it’s revealed a human father and daughter who’d been caught in the same storm washed up just offscreen from the picture. In Merfolk society, it’s considered a taboo to have an contact with humans but the four (five if you include the unborn baby) form a close bond that changes everything. It will be interesting, to say the least when I convert this to a proper novel.

 

That’s it more or less. I’m of course being mindful of my Fan Fiction workload this summer XD

I also want to announce I have started using Archive of Our Own again, which is a more author-focused story host site and created about 8 years ago as an alternative to Fictionpress and Fanfiction.net. The site hosts original work as well as Fan Fiction and I highly reccommend it. To reduce the time between when I finish content and when I upload it to Fictionpress and AO3, I’ve decided to write ALL my stories on my laptop. I back up my files every day to Sky Drive, Google Drive and Box.net Accounts and every month to my external Hard Drive so…yeah. No chance of files being lost if my computer dies =D

Delaying one story to focus on the other and write two children’s stories

Just wanted to let folks know I have started writing Aurabolt Unleashed in April and I plan to have it ready for publishing at the end of the year. I have also decided to hold off writing Aurabolt: Impossible is Nothing in favor of giving myself more time to write the first book.

That, and I’m going to write two short children’s books, both non-fiction as well. Here’s some info on the two children’s books I’m going to write, both of which feature me:

 

  • The Big Field Day is a retelling of the Mission Hill School’s field day festivities at the end of the 2012-2013 school year. It was prety crazy but I can’t say it wasn’t fun =D
  • The Lost Park is a retelling of what happened to a park I used to visit annually when I was a kid.

 

Due to a few things that have suddenly come up at work, I’ve been forced to put all of my story writing plans on hold through the next few weeks. Well, except The Lost Park. I already took most of the pictures I’m going to use for the storybook and it shouldn’t take more than an hour to write it. I’m going to write it after I take a few more pictures tomorrow and I’ll do it in once sitting.

Both children’s books will be available for free as well.

 

That said, here’s two pictures to get you interested:

IMG_0130 IMG_0138

I took these pictures with an HD Camera. When I go back to take some more videos, I’m going to try to shoot a video blog or two as well. Keep your eyes on my main blog in the coming days.

 

 

One story of The Aurabolt coming this summer, the other later on

EDIT 4/23/2014: Updated in light of the blog post I just made.

 

I announced on Facebook two weeks ago that I would announce on this blog my first two straight to publish non-fiction stories. One will go on sale this summer. The other at a later time.

Now let me tell you about them:

 

  • Aurabolt Unleashed will chronicle my life from the second half of my junior year of High School to the first half of my second year at the Mission Hill School in Boston. As I often say to folks, if even one person is inspired by my story, mission accomplished. At the same time, I’m not the Mild-Mannered Guy I know some folks think I am. I’ve done some pretty messed-up things I’m not ashamed of. And I don’t have a problem talking about some of these “things”. Having said that, certain parts of the book may not be suitable for younger readers.
  • Aurabolt: Impossible is Nothing will give you what’s become a 30-year oddyssey. My life-long battles with death,  isolation and fear itself laid bare from childhood to now. Unlike Aurabolt Unleashed, for the first time ever you’re going to find out what makes me tick. Welcome to my world. This one is mostly suitable for all ages =D

 

And there you have it. I have started writing Aurabolt Unleashed this morning. The plan to write at least one chapter a week and finish by July 15th. That is my hard deadline for that story. I will then start writing Aurabolt: Impossible is Nothing at a later time to be announced.

The plan is to finish the first story and get it published this year. That will decide when and if I write the other.

Don’t worry: Anyone who’s read my past work knows I don’t hold back. They’ll both be worth the price tags they’re both getting. And they will both be published as both physical books and eBooks. I will announce the price of the first book once it’s done.

 

Legacy: Our Family Matters now on Amazon as an eBook!

Click the picture to go to My Author Page on Amazon. A new window will open.

Our Family Matters is what’s available for now. By the end of the month, I will also publish the Legacy versions of As Life Goes On, Origins, and Starry Heavens and Champions. I’m publishing them in the same order I originally wrote them.

A look at My Fictionpress Profile will show you all of Serene Adventure stories except Baby of Mine are no longer there. For licensing reasons, I removed ALL of them from Fictionpress. I don’t mind sharing in advance all of the stories will sell for $5.00 USD on Amazon as eBooks. If you do not have a Kindle, you can still read them using the Kindle App or through your browser. When I have time, I will post a chapter of each story as freebies to get folks interested.

Now let me explain how this effects the new Serene Adventure series. I will post the stories on Fictionpress first and leave them up for awhile once they’re done. A short time after that, I will publish them as eBooks. I don’t want to say exactly when they will no longer be available for free viewing to head off folks who might try to plagiarize my work. As it has been from the very beginning I’m the sole copyright holder of the Serene Adventure stories. It’s my responsability to keep loses of that kind to a minimum.

I want to encourage you guys to both check out my book, the book I’m publishing tonight and share my author page with your friends and family. I have big plans now that I have FINALLY made the jump to publishing.

The biggest is writing about myself. By that, I mean Non-Fiction.

I’ve talked about it before but now that I KNOW in absolute certain terms that I can actually share my Life’s Work with the world, I’m very excited!

All that I can ask of you is your support. That and don’t ask me for a free copy of what I publish on Amazon. ALL of what I publish this month has been available free of charge on Fictionpress for almost 10 years and almost no one gave them a chance. I’ll be damned if someone who didn’t want to bother reading my stories when it was being offered for free on Fictionpress wants to ask for a free copy of my blood, sweat and tears.

Storytelling is EVERYTHING to me. Even those with disabilities have a story to tell. Through Fictionpress and now Amazon, I’m going to share MY stories–Fiction and Non-Fiction–with the world.

 

Taking Another Look at Amazon’s E-Book Publishing Service

I was ordering some physical Manga volumes earlier this morning when I noticed there are almost 5 million ebooks on Amazon. Based on what I was able to gauge the eBook scene is not all that different from Fanfiction.net, Fictionpress, Writer’s Cafe, AO3 and TWCS: A growing trend that is really angering eBook readers is authors selling their stories piece by piece, usually a chapter at a time.

These stories, also called novella are sold this way for one of two reasons: The author deliberately releases a chapter at a time to stretch profits from the same story or due to the provider’s publishing process it’s easier doing it this way or both. With the first one, more and more casual readers have gotten wise to this tactic and simply will not indulge unless the booklet is being offered for free. Even when free you can’t help but wonder if the author should’ve just spent more time on it. With the second one this is where Fictionpress or AO3 would come in handy: You can upload the story bit by bit at your own rate and then when you’re confident with it you can publish the story as an eBook.

As it stands now, the only stories I’ve written that are currently publishable are being revamped. I’m referring to the Legacy versions of Serene Adventure: Our Family Matters and Serene Adventure II: As Life Goes On. I COULD publish them as standalone stories to generate interest in the characters and if I did, I would just publish them for $5 each. On the offchance the stories have a following, I would reconsider publishing The Serene Adventure Sagas as eBooks instead of on Fictionpress.

The obvious “I could use the extra income” aside, I have my pride as a writer. If it’s not worth reading all the way through, it’s not worth paying for. I would also slightly change the titles of these two books plus Origins so there isn’t confusion when  finish a few stories of the revamped series. I’d just drop the Serene Adventure part and just call them Legacy. I would release the first chapter of Legacy: Our Family Matters for free ahead of the rest of the story but include it with the full story for $5. I would just sell Legacy: As Life Goes On for $5. Legacy: Origins would be free,  Starry Heavens isn’t worth publishing as an eBook and though Champions was never finished, I could probably publish it to a certain point for $5.

Before I forget, click here if you want to see my stories as they are now. I took down Champions last summer but I will reupload it after Anime Boston. I will post the chapters up to what will be the final chapter of the story for the sake of me saying I finishing it. I have other stuff planned of course but they’re on hold at least until I’ve finished my current load.

So to recap, I’m considering publishing four of the Legacy Serene Adventure stories as eBooks on Amazon. My question to those who follow me on Facebook is this: How much do you think my stories are worth?

Serene Adventure Spotlight: Celes Toss

Celes Toss Garcia from Baby of MineGiven her feature story Baby of Mine is the first one in reimagined Serene Adventure series I’m writing, I figure do this write-up about her.

First, I’ll take you back to her first appearance in the Fanfic Pokemon World War. In that futuristic story Celes is born to her parents Ted and Ann Toss in the war-torn Johto region. I had plans to use her in that Pokemon Future Past series at some point but things just work working out. That’s when the teenage version of Celes Toss was introduced for the first time on Fictionpress in the story Our Family Matters in 2005. Her story is continued in her feature story Aeris C.

Whew. Looking back at it now I still can’t believe I posted in online. It’s pretty obvious I was all over the place when I wrote it. I had a plan going in but things just got more and more outrageous with what happened with her in both stories as well as the stories that followed. Having written the stories I can say that. Looking back, the plot was so unrealistic and so predictable it’s not wonder few people read it no matter how much I promoted it.

There is a BUT though: Celes’ first trip to Kyomora in As Life Goes On is where her personality really comes out. One thing she inherited from her father is her leadership skills during times of conflict. One would assume it’s because she a family waiting for her back on Earth but as you will soon see in an upcoming chapter of Baby of Mine, she has her reasons for being so aggressive.

Before we move onto the Celes of the present, I do want to say as I did in the Fanfic Toss Family Oddyssey Celes was originally going to become the first Eternal Champion instead of her father. Better yet, I should say how it was supposed to come about. Originally, Celes and Ted would fight for the right to be the first Eternal Champion since they were the first two people who could both use Internal Chaos and maintain their free will while using it. Marie would emerge as a third such person and later Victor Bravo as the first person outside the family demonstrating the ability to use Eternal Chaos. I decided not to have them fight since it was intended to the death and I wasn’t ready to have either of them die just yet.

Having said that, let’s talk about where things stand with Celes now.

By now I mean her new feature story Baby of Mine. As I said when I first started writing it two years ago it is a reboot of Aeris C.  Unlike that story, Baby of Mine has a more realistic plot and there is a far less emphasis on the supernatural. I’ve also retuned the characters to make them far more relatable. As to how that relates to Celes specifically, she’s competative but doesn’t like to take big risks that have big consequences. Ironic given her career choice as a doctor. She learned how to wield a sword from her father but unlike him, she will only draw it to defend herself. She won’t realize it until later but her decision to become a trauma surgeon will greatly improve her swordsmanship.

In regards to where she wants to go in Baby of Mine, Celes struggles with the pressures of getting pregnant and then graduating from high school at sixteen. Literally in that order by the way. In the as of yet unwritten story before this one titled Unshead Tears, Celes tells Alex as much as she would like to back out of the path she’s chosen she’s been on her current path for so long she feels she would get lost if she tried to turn back. That’s the gist of Baby of Mine prettymuch. Both for her and new character Kari Lowell.

Speaking of Kari, her younger sister Sumi offers to help her control Internal Chaos, a mental and physical state in which the subject’s humanity is slowly stripped away until they’re nothing more than walking emotionless killers. I’m going to talk more about Internal Chaos in greater detail in a separate blog post but to make a long story short and relvant: Celes’ case she inherited it from her father. Internal Chaos can be passed from parent to child and is known to skip generations. Those under the effects of Internal Chaos are distinguishable from other humans by their eyes, which turn red when they are under its effects. They revert back to normal once the effect has run its course. There is no cure and the only effective treatments are restraints or death.

Now here’s the silver lining to tge last paragraph and this is a major spoiler for Baby of Mine and another story I’m going to write down the road: A Nephilim whose Human parent has Internal Chaos is guaranteed to pass it on to their children. Sumi and Abyssion are two such people. Unlike humans who show the signs later on, Nephilim whose human parent has Internal Chaos are born with red eyes. While Abyssion is more commonly known as The Sword Demon, Sumi is known in my criminal circles as The Crimson Flash. As Sumi reveals at the end of Baby of Mine, Celes isn’t the first teenage girl with Internal Chaos she’s trained. The first is Celes’ yet to be revealed half-sister Mariko Ebihara, otherwise known as Marie Kwan. More on Marie in a separate blog post.

Anyway, the redesigned Our Family Matters Saga has less of an emphasis on the supernatural and fighting and more emphasis on family dynamics and competing personalities. For example, Celes keeps the whole sword training thing a secret outside family and a couple friends she knows she can trust. She doesn’t mind carrying a sword around but has vowed to only use it to when absolutely necessary. Baby of Mine is interesting as due to her pregnancy Celes is aware she can move as well as she could due to the extra weight and the shift in her center of gravity.

Celes Garcia cosplaying as the Swordmaster class from Fire Emblem Awakening

Celes Garcia cosplaying as the Swordmaster class from Fire Emblem Awakening

Impending parenthood has an interesting effect on her relationship with Alex and Jenna in particular. Alex tries to spend more time with her but after a strange encounter he had with Kari one night, Celes is keeping Alex at arm’s lengtth. As for their mutual friend Jenna, she’s suddenly busy with work at the family business and avoids spending time alone woth Celes for some reason. I know what the reason is of course but I’m not going to reveal that detail here due to plot spoilers. Celes and her older sister Katrin have become pretty close in recent years. The trial they face together in Baby of Mine fully awakens the Force Energy in Celes.

Now that I’ve covered the past and present, now I’m going to talk about my future plans for Celes after Baby of Mine is done. I referenced this a few chapters back but it’s revealed at the end of the story Celes’ new mentor had another student that she trained in Japan. When she sees Celes fight she notices a similarity in the way Celes and her other student fight. In the Serene Adventure Origins story Tokyo Rhonin Princess, what happened to the child born to Ted Toss and Leanne Kwan before she met her father in Boston is revealed.

Fast forward to the Serene Adventure: As Life Goes On story My Father’s Daughter (formerly titled Cheers, Boston). Due to plot reasons I’m not going to get into, Ted is out of town working with Abyssion on something. Damien, Aurina and Zenith are in town as well to observe the Toss Family but things get interesting when love blossoms between some of the siblings. The story’s focus is on Celes, Aurina and newcomer Marie Kwan, who has come to Boston in search of her father. The stories in the As Life Goes On Series takes place Four years after the last Our Family Matters story featuring Fin and Hannah. Anyway, It’s four years later and Celes works as a Trauma Surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital. She’s been living a relatively peaceful life over the last four years with her husband Alex and her four year old daughter Aeris and is expecting her second child.

When wanted criminals with cut-related injuries start showing up in hospitals and morgues, Celes realizes someone highly skilled with a blade has arrived and they’re targeting people wanted by the authorities. After Celes runs into the cause of the incidents one night, a misunderstanding pits them against each other. When each realizes the other can use Internal Chaos, they set out to put down the other before they get killed thenselves. When Sumi and Jenna realize what’s going on they convince Aurina to keep them from destroying each other and the city along with them.

That’s as far ahead as I’m willing to share. After all, I need to finish writing Baby of Mine first. Anywho, this is just the first of many more Serene Adventure Spotlights to come. Most will be on characters though some will be on other things like Force Energy and Internal Chaos for example. Unlike before I’ll put more of an emphasis in letting my stories speak for themselves and make them much easier for readers to follow.

 

It’s been 6 months since I last wrote an original or non-fiction story

Mostly due to work and the fact that I moved across town in August. During Boston’s Snow Day this past Wednesday I went through what I now call the Legacy Versions of the Serene Adventure stories: Our Family Matters, As Life Goes On, Origins, Starry Heavens and Champions. That’s the order I wrote them in and of them, Champions was the only one that was never finished. Our Family Matters and As Life Goes On were both rewritten a few years back (Author’s Cut) and were even turned into Manuscripts for publishing. Aside from my own dissatisfaction with the publisher I was negotiating with at the time, I realized later my stories were not publishable.

Looking now at what I call the Legacy Versions of the Serene Adventure series, I finally understand why they were never popular on Fictionpress, Writer’s Cafe or Live Deviant Art:

  • As I said several times at the time I was writing it, Serene Adventure III: Starry Heavens was the blueprint I wrote for a game I was designing with a friend of mine. It was a text-based game and while we did make a working beta, it never developed past that. I also made a tech demo using RPG Maker in 2008 but like the browser-based game never developed past the demo. I didn’t realize it at the time but the adjustments I made to the storyline and characters for both games I worked on changed the scope of the rest of the series. The big takeaway from the shift is it forced me to make Force Energy a tangible resource used my the characters throught the stories.
  • The overemphasis on the characters’ special abilities was made at the expense of character development. I believe this is why I eventually lost interest in finishing Serene Adventure IV: Champions. By the time I realized what needed to be done, I’d lost track of where the plot was to go next.
  • Going with the above: The characters were too stiff and formal with how the interacted with each other. This played more to my own personality and is the main reason I also write Fan Fiction. Writing Fan Fiction helps me improve my character writing skills, which can then be used to improve my own stories.

 

In the revised Baby of Mine I started posting online last summer, I’ve prettymuch reset Celes’ personality and that of the family members introduced so far. In addition to that I’ve completely overhauled the story itself and the subsequent stories to follow. I’m going to focus less on writing stories in a specific sequence and forcus more on just writing the story itself.

Throughout this year I will slowly introduce you to the new background stories of the Serene Aventure series by stories focusing on them. I expect this to take a while as I will also include a sketch for each character. It’s been nearly 10 years since the Kyomorians were first introduced in Serene Adventure II: As Life Goes On and only two pictures of Kyomorians exist. They’re my characters, after all. The least I can do is make a sketch or two of them.

I will work on my other series as well as develop some new ones down the road. I’m even thinking of finishing my Future’s Past miniseries on Fictionpress. In 2005 I wrote The Baby Trade, a futuristic story in which anyone can be bought for the right price. It was only 3 chapters long but it was a hit at the time. Crossbreeds is the sequel I wrote the following spring with hints of a crossover with the Serene Adventure series. The followup story American Revolution plays on that crossover a bit further but I never got past writing the first two chapters of that story. I will take another look at the miniseries next week but I’m positive I’m going to have to rewrite the first two stories in addition to finish the third this summer.

Just a little something to break things up.

Since I know some folks will probably bring it up later, the only original story I’m currently working on is Baby of Mine though I will get started on The Angel Project later this year. I’ve written enough of Baby of Mine to say it will be completed by the end of the year. The only Fan Fiction story I currently am writing has not been uploaded yet so I can take my time.

The Aurabolt’s got plenty of gas left in the tank and I’m more than a one-genre show ^_^

Revised Baby of Mine now online

Earlier this week  ago I pulled Baby of Mine off Fictionpress to give it a major make over. Almost 24 hours later the revised first chapter was uploaded.

Before I took the story offline the story had been written up to a mysterious woman attacking Celes and Jenna’s cousin Violet being introduced. As of the new chapter 1 the woman has a name: Kara Valm. Also introduced was her younger sister Sumi, who will pay an important role in this story. Alphonse’s daughter is introduced as well. All three characters will return in later stories as well.

This is only the third time I have ever completely rewritten a story I already posted and the first time I’m doing it for a story I didn’t finish writing. I’m feeling pretty excited about to to be honest. Its like bringing the story back from the dead. I’m doing it because it’s necessary.

After I finish Baby of Mine I’m going to get started on the story that comes before it, Unshed Tears. That story will be a single chapter and I don’t expect it to take very long to write. After that I’ll do Abyssion’s story. It’s gone through a couple title changes since I started drafting the story’s progression 4 years ago. The working title I’m using now is Knight of Darkness.  I would’ve preferred just saying “Dark Knight” but since DC Comics uses that phrase in referring to Batman, I don’t feel like getting into it with DC.

As for this story, it’ll be at least 20 Chapters long. The second-biggest complaint folks have with the Serene Adventure series is things move too fast. That’s the main reason I’m rewriting Origins to Champions. It certainly helps aside from Baby of Mine, The Angel Zenth Project and I Go to The Rock (Working title, reboot of Judgement Call starring Fin and Hannah) the stories will not overlap with each other. For example, in Baby of Mine Ted and Ann leave for Korea and are there during the summer. What they were doing is gone over in detail in The Angel Zenth Project.

Also in Baby of Mine Terra, Mark Anthony and Serenity (who doesn’t appear in Baby of Mine) are in Arkansas during the summer with Fin. When Ted and Ann return to Boston in The Angel Zenith Project, Fin leaves for Boston in time for the birth of Nick and Ilana (Due to my 4 year old niece’s name being Alana I’ve decided to switch the character Ilana’s First and Middle names. Originally, her middle name is Ilana but now it will be Ilana Alana Toss.). During his time in Boston he mentions what’s been going on in Little Rock. While Fin’s in Boston Hannah tells Terra and Gina about her life before she came to Little Rock.

Speaking of which: This is jumping ahead a little bit but I’ll tell you how the reboot affects the Guardian Sages and The Force Lords:

  • Originally, Mark made first contact with Kyomora before the events of As Life Goes On. This time he makes first contact with Kyomora in I Go to the Rock.
  • Originally, Mark and Ted visit Kyomora while Celes is giving birth to Aeris in As Life Goes On. This time, Mark finishes his space bridge at the end of Cheers, Boston and visits Kyomora for the first time with Katrin, Ted and Laura Alphonse in Queen of Two Worlds, which focuses on Katrin and Midas’ relationship from first date to the birth of the Midas Eight.
  • The Pangeans, who were conquered 20,000 years earlier and are now a puppet state of the Kyogean Empire make a brief appearance in Queen of Two Worlds. The history of Kyomora, Pangea and the Kyogeans is revealed in Queen Medusa’s story Paragon of Kyomora. The story ends with the Kyomorians deciding to work with the orphaned Emperor Altrius Serdic to liberate Pangea.
  • The fight for Pangea takes place during the events of the reboot of Serene Adventure III: Imperial Revolution (new subtitle). The accompanying side story King Midas focuses on Midas and Katrin resettling the lost continent Starry Heavens. The continent was long thought uninhabited for centuries when Queen Medusa came to power in Palm. Not only are there people living there but there’s even a Kyogean Base. The Midas Eight make their first appearance together in this story.
  • Eve Frost’s story is explained in the other side story titled Tamer of Emerald Eden.

That’s the rundown. Starry Heavens takes place after the main story Imperial Revolution. As a throwback to the original story, the name of the stories in this series is Starry Heavens since almost all of it takes place on Kyomora and Pangea. After I’ve finished writing all of the stories in Our Family Matters and As Life Goes On, I’ll give you a preview of what’s to come in The reimagined Serene Adventure IV: Champions. Expect to wait 2 to 3 years!

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