Random Chat #2

Here is the latest in the mayhem of thoughts that’s my head:

-I had planned to write a lengthy entry on why I liked The Last Jedi, why is a good way to break with the fan pandering and a possible reason of why the detractors hated it -which reminds me of the vitriol spewed online after the prequels. But so much has been written that I would hardly add anything meaningful to the conversation. I will just say that this is not a movie for my generation but a Star Wars for the new one and that the thing that weighs heavily in fans minds is that is a movie that, for us that grew up with Luke Skywalker, confronts is with our mortality and with what legacy we are leaving behind. I suspect that some detractors are having troubles to come to terms with that.

-I got a new rejection, this time for a short story that mixes alternate history and fantasy. I did get a personalised letter explaining what they liked and what not. I resubmitted it to another market.

-I just finished two fantasy stories and I’m working on finishing a science fiction one, this later for an indie publisher planning to release its second anthology. My story has dogs, so you know it will be awesome.

-I’m also working on a horror story aimed to be submitted to a SFWA market before the end of the year.

-There is no current movie me and my wife wanna see this month. We will wait till Black Panther.

-Talking about movies, ‘The Greatest Showman’ is a pretty good musical with a strong cast and good songs. But to enjoy it you have to forget for 105 min what a piece of shit was the real P.T. Barnum and how he mistreated animals (which by the way in the movie are all CGI.

-If I have to recommend a series to binge watch on Netflix is Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. It’s highly addictive and has it all: action, mystery, intrigue, great world building, main characters that fight with their smarts as much as with the fists, secondary and tertiary characters with defined history and a plot where everyone collaborated to save the day. Everyone. And what’s more important and an oddity these days: an ending that feels entirely earned and justified.

-I really need to start writing my novel’s sequel or it will take another decade. G.R.R. Martin I’m not. Sadly something called da job tends to mess with said plan. Bills have to be paid and I’m not a famous author to live from it. J.K. Rowling I’m not.

-My wife got me several action figures I was looking for as Christmas presents. She knows me so well and I love her so much. And this Turtle additional expression is perfect to portray my usual mood with life:

Life is a tower of jenga. It tends to collapse on you. And you have to start anew. You are allowed to yell.

Inside Inklings Tower or when fantasy meets industrial design 

I usually prefer to keep my day job (lecturer at a design school) and my other job (superhero vigilante by night… I mean writer) separated, except when I’m thinking on a particular object (like Alex’s collapsing bow) and try to describe it as feasible as possible, inner workings included. The other moments is when my writing job spills into my day job like today. Well more the work at the writers’ collective of which I’m part, Inklings Press

As you have heard we talk about the inner workings of Inklings Press as the ‘Tower’ (hence the name of the new book). And we have a mascot of sorts, enforcer and manservant Herc the Orc: 

Herc knows his best angles for being drawn as French fries.

Now, last semester, two students selected me as their final year project advisor. They were hopeful I would be open to their ideas for project (at my work they are usually ‘encouraged’ to do boring design as furniture). When they told me they wanted to create sets and creatures for a stop motion film I accepted right away( “finally an entertaining project to supervise,” I said). Then Inklings Press jumped in as client for the project and they started to develop the material for a short promo film (think the Pixar lamp animation at the start of their films). They took the drawing of Herc and created a setting and the characters (that can double as collectors’ action figures) for a film inside the Inklings Tower.

Today, these two gifted students, Alanna & Montserrat brought for a midterm evaluation their work and this is the result:










They will start shooting the film soon.

Meanwhile I’m feeling very proud of them.

This is why I studied design. This is why I’m a design teacher now. For times when my students do things like this. Well done girls!