A #PetsOfWonder Photo Contest!

Hi Folks!

Long time no blog. I’d say I promise to do this more, but that’s not really the point of this post. The point of this post is… puppies!

img_7722 Well, puppies, and kitties, and snecks, and more importantly, books. Or, one book in particular. Right at a month ago, your not-so-humble narrator got himself published in a little anthology known as Skies of Wonder, Skies of Danger: Stories of Airships, Pirates, and Wizards.

This book has it all. Excitement! Adventure! Magic! Romance! Werewolves! More werewolves! Thirteen stories by twelve really great authors and one me-who-might-be-really-great-too.

To celebrate our one month book birthday, I’ve decided to do a twitter photo contest that I thought would be fun. I present to you: #PetsOfWonder.

The rules are pretty simple:

  1. Aquire a copy (e-book or paperback) of Skies Of Wonder
  2. Own a pet (stuffed animals and pet rocks totally count)
  3. Take a picture of your pet reading Skies of Wonder
  4. Post that picture to Twitter with the hashtag #PetsOfWonder by Wednesday 25 July 2018, 11:59PM US/Central

On Thursday the 26th, I’ll randomly draw a winner, who will have their choice of either:

  • A print of our awesome cover art!
  • A stylish Skies of Wonder bookmark
  • A paperback copy of the book, signed by myself

That’s it! If you have any questions, let me know in the comments. Otherwise, I hope to see your glorious #petsOfWonder this week!

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SnarkWrites: “Killing the Gods Within Us” – Drafts 1-3

Hi Folks! So, for the past few weeks, I’ve been testing out using Twitch to broadcast writing streams as Snark_Runner. Since I’m not sure how that works with first rights issues, I’ve decided that these stories will live on the blog, and anyone interested can see the evolution of the story within drafts. Last night I finished up draft 3 of this story, so here we go. (Draft 3 will be first, with the other drafts following for anyone who wants to see how it started.

The prompt is from Chuck Wendig’s Terrible Minds, and was just two words: New Life. After a few passes, this is what I came up with:

Continue reading “SnarkWrites: “Killing the Gods Within Us” – Drafts 1-3″

Music Monday: 2017 top 12

Hey everyone! Time for one last 2017 edition of Music Monday. I know I’ve missed a few, so I’ve decided to collect my favorite dozen songs that I first heard this year. Some of them are older (I think back to 2009) and some came out this year. Most of these will fit into three groups (Writing Songs, Relationship Related Songs, and I Feel Personally Attacked by These Songs) and I’ve arranged them as such. They’re in a rough order, but also kind of grouped along those lines. The last two are my favorite of the year though, so that’s really the point where the order starts to matter.

12) Quitters Don’t Smoke by Blood Command

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kbb9-JUCmP0

This song is just kinda badass. High energy and a great beat. Lyrics like “Let’s go to war, show me your dreams, you are the best thing that I’ve ever seen.” I knew immediately that I wanted this to be on one of my writing playlists, but it’s taken most of the year to find the right character for it.

11) Treasure by Company of Thieves

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCWq1-tvkZQ

Another song that does a great job of evoking a mood. There’s a hint of mystery and danger and lost love and betrayal. There’s a lot of anger too, and sultry smokiness. Really good writing song, and one that I’ve listened to over and over again. This could kind of tie in with a politics list too, but I mostly use it for writing.

10) Not Before Our Time by Tub Ring

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3r6e38JfTbY

This song is the first of the relationship songs. I like the evolution of the feel of a relationship and kind of the us against the world vibe that evolves as the song progresses. I like the wide variety of musical influences that are apparent, and the abrupt left turn into feeling like a musical number.

9) The Sound of Settling by Death Cab for Cutie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pphrk6wE5aw

I’ve considered making a playlist that is “The Worst Wedding DJ Ever” and this is the number one contender for it. It has a really great beat and actually has kind of a romantic feel to it, but on the name alone, it definitely would raise eyebrows among wedding guests that were paying attention. Really cute song though, and fun.

8) So Tied Up (More Bishop Mix) by Cold War Kids

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7PlkjpabQY

This one falls into the relationship category too. It’s more about the destruction of a relationship, and people just being bad for each other. I didn’t realize how bad until I watched the video, and man, that is a whole lot of killing. Between two people? Maybe it symbolizes them being trapped in hell together. Maybe it’s just showing why you shouldn’t date immortals. But either way, you might just listen to the song. I really do like Bishop Briggs voice though, and there’s something to be said about loving a person that constantly challenges you. Maybe not that much though. And if you’re into goofy sexy times and also rope stuff, then maybe this song would be fun to play to. YRMV

7) Paradise Circus by Massive Attack

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEgX64n3T7g

I’m putting this song in the relationship grouping because it more or less radiates sensuality. Sultry is the descriptor that springs to mind when thinking of Hope Sandoval’s vocals. The beats are slow and smooth and swelling and there’s a good rhythm to it. The lyrics are of sin and forbidden things and enjoying them. Definitely a fun song.

6) Rotten Pumpkin by Slothrust

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfneLzHRVIo

This song kind of rides the line between the “Relationship Songs” and “Personally Attacked” songs. It’s a song about seeing the flaws in yourself and your bad behaviors and that you should still be loved and appreciated in spite of it. It’s upbeat, and I like the vocalist. It’s a little weird and a lot of fun.

5) Never Really Good at Sports by Sledding with Tigers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6r_yYdmstok

This is the most personally attacking of the personally attacked songs. “Some day I will learn to love myself as much as I love everybody else”. It’s a song about self loathing and desperation and love and fear of loving and tilting your head back and catching the rain. It’s got kind of a folksy beat and I love the lyrics, even though they hit really close to home.

4) Art School Wannabe by Sorority Noise

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czEjLM9b6VM

Okay, so Present Fred doesn’t really feel personally attacked by this song, but man, College Fred sure would. It’s a song about breaking up and being alone and having an identity crisis and wondering how much of your goth-y dark attitude is your own and how much of it is just being the guy that people expected you to be. Also, being melodramatic about the breakup. Yeah. There’s an epic feel to the song, and another that I could see doing a crazy kind of dance number too. I think I might have a thing for crazy dance numbers. But yeah.

3) A Choppy Yet Sincere Apology by Mike Wiebe, Fadi El-Assad, Ian MacDougal, Eric Green, Rob Marchant

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7ll1mcv4wA

This song is probably the best song that I’ve heard about dealing with functional depression / anxiety that I’ve ever heard. It’s got kind of a rock feel to it. Pop rock, maybe? I don’t actually have much to say about this song because it really speaks for itself. Give it a listen, and if it strikes home, I guess be comforted that you’re not alone in feeling that way, and if it doesn’t, hopefully it helps you understand someone you know.

2) The Criminals by Anti-ape`Flag

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRO4j2Q–ec

Now we take an abrupt left turn. This is the first song that I’ve included purely because of it’s political message. There’s a lot of good songs that have come out this year along those lines. Probably an entire post’s worth. This has been a hell of a fucking year, and protest/political songs are the least we should expect to come from it. But something about this one struck home. Maybe it’s as simple as the beat, or hearing from a band I haven’t heard much from in almost a decade. A comfort, the sound of the time when I was still young and impassioned and idealistic. Maybe I need to reach through the years and take some of that energy from young me. Not that he did much with it. Anyway… fuck nazis. And not like, to massive attack. Just… fuck right off and leave my country alone.

1) I Listened by Apes of the State

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EISsqOF1FQg

Now for something completely different. This song could probably be classed with the relationship ones, but I wanted to call it out as my favorite one. It’s a really goddamned sweet person about a kind of messed up person in love with another kind of messed up person and is doing everything they can to show that they care. I like the vocalist, and the back up guitar is simple and kind of folksy and there’s a lot of passion and it’s raw and did I mention that is was really goddamned sweet? Anyway, it’s real cute and you should give it a listen.

That’s it for me. Let me know what you think or just what are your favorite songs of this year. Hope you all have a great one!

Thanks-Giving Dress-ing Giveaway

Hey folks!

My buddy Lilia AKA Western Whims just funded her Kickstarter for making awesome dresses and western shirts. Part of my reward tier was 4 DRESSES WITH POCKETS (available in XS-5X, and in 7 different prints)  that I don’t actually need for myself. Soooooo…. I’m going to give them away. But not just to anyone. Nope, in the spirit of the season, I’m turning this into a donate-to-charity raffle!

( Link to the super cute dresses picture on Kickstarter)

Want to enter? Here’s what you do:

  1. Live in the continental United States, or have someone stateside that that can ship it to you
  2. Donate at least $5 to one of the below charities (sorry if your favorite isn’t there, but I don’t feel like trying to decide what should and shouldn’t count on a one on one basis)
  3. Send proof of your donation to yostworks [at] gmail [dot] com by 23:59 (11:59 PM) US/Central on Nov 23 2017 with the subject line: Thanks-Giving Dress-ing Giveaway
  4. Be willing to give me your address for shipping purposes (but only if you win because I really don’t want your address otherwise)
  5. (not required, but nice) If you work for a company that matches charitable donations, request a match!

On Friday, November 24th, 2017, I’ll do two drawings with two winners each (for a total of 4 winners). In the first, everyone that has donated gets an equal chance to win. In the second, every increment of $5 gets you another entry in the drawing.

Available charities:

More info on the dresses:

A cotton jersey skater dress that hits above the knee with cap sleeves & pockets. The material is a medium weight 95% cotton 5% spandex jersey and will come in seven color options. Also… THEY HAVE POCKETS!!! They’re perfect for work, going out, and lounging around fashionably.

Screen Shot 2017-11-15 at 7.05.40 PM

If you have any questions, leave a comment on this post.

— Fred Y.

Music Monday: I Am Electric

Hey folks!

Time for the final Music Monday of October! After last week’s not-even-attempting-to-be-spooky entry, I’m returning to form! Or, not. I mean, at least someone is in costume in this video. Maybe more than one someone. I mean, I don’t know how those guys dress in real life. They could rock the investment banker look when not on stage. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Aaaaaanyway. This week’s song is I Am Electric by Heaven’s Basement.

Continue reading “Music Monday: I Am Electric”

Music Monday: Can’t Go To Hell

Hey everyone!

Welcome to another October Music Monday, where I don’t bring the scary but I do have a very loose theme that I’m trying to stick to, if only be titles. This week I’ll be talking about Can’t Go To Hell by Sin Shake Sin.

This song is catchy as fuck. I mean, the beats are upbeat, the guitar work and vocals are simple and repetitive but still varied enough that it’s not a bad thing, and if I’m being honest, I’m a sucker for the clap along beat. This particular song has a pretty notable Queens of the Stone Age vibe, with a dash of Karn Evil 9. There’s also some great lyrics “Too early for surrender, too late for a prayer” especially stands out for me.

This song was a pretty instant add to my pump up / workout playlist, and can pretty easily put me in a fighting mood.

Is this the kind of song that gets your blood flowing? Let me know in the comments what you think.