There was a time…

I feel….old.

Jeez, I’ve missed using random movie quotes to express my innermost desires and moods.  For those of you playing the home game, the title of today’s (long overdue) post came from the movie Lucky Number Slevin, starring Josh Hartnett, Lucy Liu, Morgan Freeman, and Ben Kingsley.  It was absolutely fantastic, a feat of expert storytelling that gives you just enough information to completely throw you for a loop at the end.  The second quote was my introduction and was taken from the first, and only, Pirates of the Caribbean movie that should have ever existed. Seriously. They should have stopped after that one.

So…September 10th. Ha. Yeah. That came and went a LONG time ago, didn’t it? There was a time that I looked forward to sitting down and blogging and creating and writing. I’ll be honest with, well, anyone that reads this (not that many people actually did): I’ve not even opened Minecraft since the last post.

Heck, I’ve barely even worked on my story since the last post.

I feel…old. Seriously, I was, and still am, completely drained. My inspiration dried up, my motivation dried up, life got hard, and I got weak.  I gave up on myself. I began doubting myself again. I began tearing myself down again.  Every negative and awful thing that I’ve ever done to myself started happening again.

My wife is the most fantastic person ever because she’s been there with me the entire time, and I’m sure that it wasn’t always the easiest.

I’m not sure why I felt inspired to finally sit down and type this post.  I have nothing to show off, nothing to be proud of.  I’m not looking for pity, or for support.  Strangely enough, though, the more that I type, the more that I admit, the better I feel.

Maybe I just needed an outlet, a way to process and release everything that has been building up within me. I’ve started focusing on myself again, making sure that I am getting healthier, both physically and mentally. My goal in March is to start getting back on a schedule. I’m not sure what it’s going to look like, but I’m coming back.  After all, we all need our daily dose of movie quotes and other random connections, right?

Announcing: A Break!

I’m pooped! I ramble and make an announcement in today’s post.

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: Mel Brooks is the funniest man to have ever lived.

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Well, in Blazing Saddles, Mel Brooks created a character named Lili Von Shtupp, played by the amazing Madeline Kahn. When we first meet her, she is performing on a stage singing a song about… being tired. Yes, tired. From working. Nothing else. It’s a Mel Brooks movie, use your imagination.

Anyways, at one point she says “Let’s face it, I’m tired!” Then a bunch of dudes come out as her chorus, pick her up, and run off the stage, all while she’s singing about the reasons why she is tired.

Now, where am I going with this, right? Well, my job has me exhausted too. Beyond tired. I’m pooped!  I need a breather to get caught back up on my personal life, my work life, and my writing life and something has to give. I’ll be taking a two-week break from my blog so that I can build up some blog posts, get some sleep, and rejoin the living masses.

I apologize for the interruption, but I’m hoping that a breather will re-energize my power cells so that I can get back to making some top notch posts in my world! I’ve got a bunch of ideas to add in too because, gasp!, I’ve actually been writing! Anyway, I’ll be back September 10th with my regularly scheduled Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday posts!

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What’s in a Name?

I’ve been doing a lot of work on character building and not so much on world building. That’s ok, because I ramble on today like a pro!

Hey, everybody! We’ve made it to the weekend at LAST! Ever have one of those weeks that you think, “Wow, this feels like the third or fourth Monday I’ve had in a row! What do you mean it’s only Wednesday?” Yeah, that was me this week.  By the time that the end of the work day FINALLY arrived, I was looking (and acting) a lot like Robin Williams from Jumanji:

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Seriously. Even my beard is starting to look like his. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Yes, my friends, today, I actually bring you a post that is complete! Yes, it may be almost nine and a half hours AFTER when it regularly comes out, but it’s completed! I’ll be honest, I actually planned on having it posted sooner, but I fell asleep and took a nap.

Yes, a grown man took a nap. It’s not just for little kids anymore!

Anyway, on to the actual story stuff!  I haven’t done a lot of world building this week because the inspiration was just…. meh. I’ve got some ideas, but I’ve been so busy with my real-bill-paying job that I’ve not really been settled enough to sit down and Minecraft it up.  However, that doesn’t mean I’ve been slacking! I’ve made progress!

Before you ask: No, naps don’t equal slacking. Lay off my naps, people!

I’ve spent a lot of time the last couple of days reviewing my story outline.  My process has literally been:

  1. Sit down
  2. Stare at computer
  3. Go to social media
  4. Doubt myself
  5. Threaten to give up
  6. Get a spark of an idea
  7. Write the next four hours
  8. Go back and reread what I wrote and hate it and myself
  9. Sleep on it
  10. Realize that what I came up with isn’t actually too bad!
  11. Don’t touch it again for weeks as I mull over an idea obsessively
  12. Rinse and repeat

Now that I have a better concept of what my antagonist is (see previous posts) and what drives him, pieces of my skeleton have started to align and fall into place.  In fact, I actually think that I’ll be able to finish off the frame shortly, given that I actually sit down, am in the correct mindset, and, *gasp*, actually write!

It’s funny, but when I actually try to write, things get done!

Now, I’m finding myself at a new problem. I still don’t have names for anyone or anything, and it’s starting to become a hassle.  I know that the names that I choose aren’t permanent or anything, but I’m still slightly panicky when it comes to selecting a name for these characters that I’ve been slowly, oh so slowly, creating. It’s been so bad that I’ve realized when it comes to naming future children, I’m in trouble. Luckily, I’m married to the most amazing woman, so we’ll still be ok!

Anyway, naming. Yes, full circle back to the title! Names are hard.  This little project of mine has been amazing for so many different reasons, but what I truly like about it the most is that there are so many small, subtle nuances that go into story telling that I never stopped to fully appreciate before.  It’s forcing me to get creative, and between you and me, I need these types of problems to keep me from going too crazy.

Don’t worry, I’ll let you know what I come up with on the name-front. Just a warning, they’ll probably be awful!

Finalizing the Fountain

Now that the structure is done, I can go in and start to finalize different elements of it. Well, you know me, finalize it…for now!

Edit: Apparently, I did it again.  I thought I had finalized this post and it was nooooooo where near done. Whoops! Here’s another “mostly-image” post! Sorry! -AJ

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Replacing wool with concrete. White wool only, but it looks so much better.

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Top half all concreted up! Also changed purple to magenta. It just looks cleaner I think.

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Trying glass. Gross. Not trying it anymore. Noooooooooo.

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All concreted up, but I’m not sure about the colors… They may have to change. Maybe if I did one blue’ish color with one pink’ish color instead of all blue on one side and all pink on the other…

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Hi!

Fountain Lore

Why am I building this silly fountain? Because it’s a part of my story, that’s why! Today, I want to play around with the lore behind this fountain, see what comes out of the ole’ brain space!

Welcome back to the fountain! Today, I want to flesh out some ideas about this fountain.  Now, remember, I am an idiot. Also remember, that this is basically a glorified stream of consciousness, meaning that my already weak filter is even more non-existent than usual. With that being said, let us begin down this deep dark rabbit hole that is my mind.

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At the base of the “worms,” you see four pillars standing on the platforms.  Each of these pillars is a statue of a hero. These four heroes were a part of a team that defended the city from an evil force doing unspeakable things. The odd part of this team is that two of its members would be human.

Why is this weird? Well, initially, I wanted to make this city populated by every fantasy race imaginable, except for humans.  I wanted humanity to be regarded the same way we, here, view fantasy creatures. In other words, humans would be the fantasy creatures. This leads me to an issue, however…. Who would live in this city? My first reaction would be elves, and I wouldn’t actually be too upset about that. However, I can hear people complaining already: “Elves live in the forest!”

Anyway, the more I think about it, the more I like the idea of this being an elvish city.  Humans here used to live in small, rural places, and now we live in the cities, so perhaps this is a similar progression.  It fits in perfectly with the narrative of conflicts with the dwarves that I’ve already established, so maybe I just figured something out that I’ve been mulling over for a long time… Thanks, internet!

Back to the original starting point, AJ! (See, this is what it’s like in my head. I start one place and very quickly end up somewhere completely different!) These four heroes save the day, and two of the heroes are humans.  They would have come through the portal that is built to the north of the city.  The third member would be an elvish woman of some sort of nobility (maybe), and a fierce warrior.  The fourth, I’ll be honest…I’m not sure yet.  Strangely, nothing crazy is popping in my head right now.

The fourth hero is actually going to be our fallen hero. Have I mentioned that idea yet? Hmm…I don’t remember, but I believe I have. Anyway, after the city was saved, the citizens commissioned this fountain to celebrate their awesomeness.  After the return of the hero, who is now not really a hero anymore, the fountain will remain.  In fact, my plan is for it to help support his power grab.  That’s the cool part with fallen heroes, they WERE good at one point, so what happens to their reputation if they are a) smart and b) not good anymore? Would they be able to shift public opinion to gain support for something that isn’t good?

So, that’s my thoughts with this fountain. I guess it could be described as a corrupted power symbol, sharing the same story of a hero who had fallen.


After some final thoughts, I decided to change some colors around. The gray on the inside gets lost in the ground from above, so I decided that I needed to either make it brighter or darker. With white already a part of the build already, I decided to go dark and was immediately happy with my decision.


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As one exits the palace (that is still not started…), one gets an excellent view of this build. Night time makes it look gorgeous! Next time, I plan on finishing off this build. The biggest change that will occur? Getting rid of that wool!

Fountain Development!

The fountain worms don’t look like worms anymore!

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Today’s post is going to be a little different. I’ve run out of time, so I’ll be presenting mostly pictures of the fountain today with random thoughts.

To begin with, I added some below-the-water feature, but they still kind of look like worms though.

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Everyone needs a different perspective sometimes, right?

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Some modifications!

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Plenty of work left, but this is not a bad stopping point for today. 

Fountain Run!

Time to give the Palace District some love! Fountain decorations, any one?

Whenever I think of fountains, I’m taken back to my college years at Purdue University. One of the staple activities on campus is to run through the different fountains.  While I can’t run through the Palace District’s fountain (you know, because it’s Minecraft), I still find myself thinking back fondly to that time of my life where final exams were the worst thing I had to deal with. Anyway, I want to make something cool out of this fountain, and let’s be real, it desperately needs some work.CK026

Added some pillars…. What else could go here? Honestly, I sat staring at my screen for a good ten minutes before I figured out a possibility.  Here’s what I came up with:

Ah! We got worms in our city! Hmmm…. It’s a start, and I like it, but I need to add something more to this build. 

It’s a start, but I don’t like the pattern. Maybe I should change the two newest additions?

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You know, for having absolutely no idea what I was planning for this section, I’m actually quite pleased with how it turned out. It almost actually looks like a piece of art! Almost. Don’t worry, I’m not getting a big head.

Next time, we’ll be coming back to this fountain and adding some more. Hopefully I like it as much then as I do now!