State of the Blog Address: Summer’s End and New Beginnings

Happy Monday and good morning!

I want to first give credit to the featured image.  The featured image is the album art for

summers end

Featured Image for those on mobile

the band “Summer’s End” self titled debut album.  They’re a metalcore punk band and a link to the full album on youtube can be found here (it’s pretty fucking hardcore so far) Summer’s End (Full Album) and if you like them you can purchase their full album here.

Okay folks, apologies and thank yous are first in order.   First I want to apologise for not being able to write a proper post since I left the UK in June.  I wasn’t able to post because I broke my laptop whilst in England long ago and I didn’t want to buy a new one before coming home because of how annoying it can be to travel internationally, especially coming into America, and I have already moaned about the technical difficulties I had once I got it however this post is not for moaning, so quit it (I yell at myself sometimes, I have to keep me in line).

Thank yous are the second part of this introduction and as they maybe brief that makes them no less heart felt.  First I want to thank all of you who kept checking back and reading my archived posts over the last few months. I’ll be honest, I didn’t even check my stats until yesterday because I was so anxious about how dead it would be but when I finally did check them I was really fucking surprised to have found consistent traffic the last few months and that’s all because of readers like you.  Another giant thank you goes out to my friend Lucian who fixed my computer when I was at “rage quit” level of frustration.

rage quit

I have a laptop but this is pretty accurate. Source

Okay so now on to the main presentation: I’m gonna be pretty much rapid firing from the hip on this post because I have a lot of territory to cover in the next 654 words or so (1).  First I want to say that I really loved my time in the UK and that even thinking about it now, leaving to come come was one of the most difficult decisions I have made in the last few years(2) however now that I’ve been back for a few months and working and generally building a life, I feel as if I have made the correct decision.  The traveling home was much better than the traveling to the UK(3), thankfully, however the transition was much more difficult but a story for another time when I have much less interesting things lined up.

One thing that I’ve found more interesting to think about than juxtaposing my experiences between settling in the UK and settling in the US again was how the face of my consciousness seems to have changed (for the better, mind, or so I believe) with a set of unforseen moments.  The week before leaving the UK, my ex partner contacts me out closureof the blue after almost 2 years of complete silence (the break up left one hell of an emotional hangover(3)) looking to meet up if/when I got back.  This kinda rocked my world because I accepted that this was one of those things in life where you don’t quite get closure so just buck up.  The meeting was interesting.  We got lunch and caught up but ultimately I got what I wanted all along: a little bit of closure (enough anyway).

This loose end tied up coupled with my new found confidence of being an international traveler and having an adult job and a place with no fucking roommates(5) for the first time since my first apartment almost 10 years ago now, I went on a fucking dating tear. I had plans to download and use several dating apps and make a summer article series reviewing said dating apps and I got as far as using about 5 of them for about a month before I met by happenstance someone really special.

I got up early one Saturday morning to try and get to my parents house to fix my computer (needed a working computer handy) but I feel asleep on the train whilst reading and woke up way on the East side and needed to ride back (I live on the south side, my parents live on the west side).  Coming back I switch trains at Forest Park and I am floored by this beautiful woman sitting at the front of the car.  First thing I noticed, even before the numerous facial piercings, was the headscarf she was wearing (a black and grey number) which got me excited because I pretty frequently wear a head scarf as well and works as a good conversation starter.  However I’m not ready for action jack, not at this point.  So I sit across the hall and try to start reading but I’m distracted because out of my peripheral vision I can see the striking woman like staring at me (well I assumed, she was wearing big bug eye sunglasses so I couldn’t really see exactly where she was looking).  And she kept staring.  And kept staring.  After what felt like a few hours of heart pounding mounting social pressure, I got the strength up to turn to talk to her because she’s literally staring at me (I was gonna say something stupid like “Wanna picture? hahaha”) but when I turn and look I realise she’s not quite looking at me.  I look up: the fucking metro train map was above my seat she wasn’t looking at me she was looking at the map.

thought

Story of my actual life.

I couldn’t let this surge of adrenaline go to waste though, I’m pretty sure that’s not healthy.  So I ask her: Where are you going?  She tells me she’s trying to get to the north side which immediately sets off a chain of thoughts (not about the north side of st louis you racist fuck) about how to get her there because we just boarded the blue line going south.  So I tried to explain “well you’re going to take this train for one stop, get off, get on another train going back one stop, then get on another train going west but make sure it’s red this time…” I believe her eyes glazed over before this point but I didn’t notice until that moment which prompted me to say the next thing which changed the trajectory of the entire day: “Know what? I don’t have much going on today, I’ll ride the trains with you until you get on the one going home.”  That was one of the best decisions I’ve made this summer because now its been about a month since I met her and I can’t entirely express how positive of an effect she’s had on my psyche but it’s been a good month so far.

Now that I’ve cleared my plate of personal interests I want to devote the remaining few hundred words to what I have planed for the rest of the year:

  • cannon comics – I’ve been laying plans to introduce a storyline to the adventures of Fin and Louie with a big surprise story arc to end the year so stay tuned. 
  • comic book – I am planning to release an Offbeat On-point Comic Book: Year 1 which will contain all the comics from the previous year, digitally redrawn and pictures of original hand drawn drafts plus previously unreleased comics  
  • interviews – I have some very exciting interviews lined up with a local fire dancer, I am still in talks with Talon from Talon’s tree house (you can check out the preview promo here), and more
  • tenative scheduling – with my new 40+ hr/wk work schedule and specifically being September (birthday month is always a stressful time of year not to mention September is my month for sneezing) I am not able to guarantee a 4 day a week posting schedule at this moment however my goal is to get back to at least 3 days a week (I may drop Rewind Wednesday column in favour of a podcast but I still need to do more research about what music I can play and if I need permissions etc and in fact if you have a podcast or otherwise are an expert on the legality of playing music that I may not own but have access to please write me – see contact page
  • infinite jest – I have finally finished the book for the second time and do feel like I have something intelligible to say about the book and I feel like I have a few perspectives to offer on the book that I have yet to see in my research however because it’s such a widely written about book yet also one which a vast majority of people who start it never finish it, I do realise that writings about the tome sized book is very deep in niche territory but because of these two things I will try to do something different and fun deviating from a normal book review or analysis, no promises on when it will come out but if there is appreciable interest in further writings about Infinite Jest or other DFW books I will continue on   
  • merch – I’m in talks with some suppliers to make coasters, stickers, and t-shirts but beyond that I have no more info
  • contests – I mentioned before (read more here) about doing poetry/flash fiction/fan art contests however I did kinda drop the ball because I mentioned it at a time just before moving home and that is my fault.  Now that I’m back on the grind and much closer to getting some merch, I will start having prizes for contests and monthly give-a-ways. 

In short, thank you so very much my loyal readers for sticking with me through the last few months.  It really means a lot to me for real.

Stay tuned because there’s some good stuff coming down the lines and also don’t forget to check back next Friday 22nd September for the annual birthday comic special! (P.S. If you’re a REALLY big fan, find me on social media and send me birthday wishes on the 23rd of September)

 

See you soon,

Fin

 

Footnotes:

  1. I try to keep my posts 1000 or less words not counting footnotes.
  2. You can read about my decision to not stay in the UK and come back to St Louis here.
  3. Link to my post about leaving America.
  4. Link to a particularly heavy piece I wrote July 2016 on the subject.  I won’t blame you for not reading, it was not one of my strongest pieces.
  5. My view on roommates: convenient at best.
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I’M BACK, BITCHES!

Happy Wednesday!

Okay so this is going to be another short “state of Fin’s life” post mostly going on about how I finally have my computer fixed, have a home with internet (finally), and a working phone. Seriously that’s the meat of the post, the rest is for the folks who are either A) truly dedicated readers (and may it’s noodly goodness bless your heart) or B) just really bored. Either way if you’re still reading, you’re a rockstar to me.

So I got my first “adult job” with in days of touching back down here in the states which is what has been keeping me so fucking busy (though I have to say it is a pretty good job, I’m not complaining) and this week we have a major project to finish before Monday (or someone will place their boots in our asses and my ass isn’t a boot holder…not that there’s anything wrong with that, if that’s your thing). However I will be easing back into a regular posting schedule starting with a mystery Monday post next week.

I still have some interviews lined up and some other surprises for you in the coming weeks plus I’m going to do something special for my birthday (23rd of September). So get excited. Or not. Though I can’t imagine why you’d still be reading this if you weren’t excited but I do respect the effort.

Hope my American readers had a good Labour Day and I will be back Monday!

-Fin

Summer 2017 (Comic and Announcements)

Happy Friday!

Got a comic and some announcements today.

Comic:

summer 2017

Announcements:

Growing Staff, New Columns, and Fan Art:

I have brought on board a co-editor/writer and he will be writing here a few times a week.  We’re still discussing column ideas but we are going to have a dedicated book column on Tuesdays, I will still be doing book reviews on Mondays whenever I don’t have another mystery lined up.  We are talking about doing a Saturday column for poetry and short stories and such.

I am still looking for writers, content editors, etc.  If you’re interested feel free to contact us and let us know why you feel like you’d be a good addition to the obop team.

Speaking of contacting us, if you follow my instagram (@fin.louie) you’ll have seen I got my first pieces of fan art!

Business Card 1Business Card 2

This has inspired me to start a fan art page.  If you would like to send me any fan art, feel free! We love getting stuff like this over here! I got these pieces a solid three weeks ago and I’m STILL buzzin’!

Coming Back to St Louis:

I’ve had my old job offered back to me and a place to stay in St Louis which, being a hobo, I had to follow the work.  I was originally planning to fly to San Francisco for the summer, but not this year.

Speaking of work, I have always had plenty of ideas for the blog, not only how to entertain you in a variety of unique ways, but also help expand my audience base.  I’m going to be making stickers and business cards this summer and leaving them around town.  If you find one, take a picture and tag me on instagram (@fin.louie), twitter (@offbeatonpoint), or facebook (offbeat on-point page) and who knows? I might send you stickers or other swag.

Branching Out into Podcasts/Youtube

I’m planning to make a podcast radio show either in tandem with Rewind Wednesday or in addition to it, either way I won’t entirely drop Wednesday.  Also I’d like to get some interviews on skype or something to upload for youtube, like for a band, or a local artist, or what have you.  Speaking of youtube, I’ve been thinking about trying to make a Fin & Louie animated short.  I have never done animation before but then again I haven’t done a lot of the things I’m doing before.

Tune in Monday for even more future speculation!

 

The Fault in Our Stars By John Green (spoiler free review)

Happy Tuesday!

Announcements

I apologize for the late post, I had a midterm paper due yesterday and I was sweating all weekend and yesterday morning finishing it. Also, lectures started again yesterday after spring holiday and uggh it’s a mess over here. I’m ready for summer.

There are some changes coming down the tubes, I’m not quite at liberty to talk about them yet but it’s all good news.  However I am EXCITED to announce that I have a new writer coming on board to write poetry, short stories, and more on Tuesdays.

If you want to submit pieces of poetry, short fiction, fan art, or if you’re a band who wants to do a press release for your new music video or album, or a young author looking for a new reader, or whatever feel free to get in touch with me. Here’s a link to my contact page.

I’ll tell you more when I have more details worked out.

End announcements

Spoiler Free Summary and Review:

The Fault in Our Stars is a book by the wonderful John Green, well known for the YouTube series Crash Course (Crash Course Literature being one of my favourtes, tied with Crash Course Philosophy with his equally wonderful brother Hank Green).  If you’re as late to the party as I am on this one, published in 2012 and movie adaptation released in 2014, you are in luck, my friend, because this is probably the best romance story you’ve missed. (1)  The Fault in Our Stars.jpg

The Fault in Our Stars is a Shakespearean style love story, as the title implies. “The fault in our stars” is a quote from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, between Hazel Grace, a 16 year old girl with cancer that has spread to her lungs, and Augustus, a boy she meets in a support group,

After some awkward teenage conversation, Hazel and Augustus exchange favourite books to read. They bond over the cliff hanger end to Hazel’s beloved book The Price of Dawn.  Augustus gets in touch with the author of Hazel’s favourite book and puts the two in touch (for those taking notes, this is an EXCELLENT move; get me a personal meeting with Mark Z. Danielewski and I think that might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.)

The story goes on develop the arc of young love, but what sets it apart from other teenage love is that going into this story we have a game of Russian Roulette being played with Chekhov’s Revolver. The three main characters, Hazel, Augustus, and their mutual-friend Isaac, have advanced stages of cancer. The whole time I was, sometimes literally, in tears with anticipation of seeing who was going to die, and wishing the whole time that somehow no one would and that they could all go into remission and live long, wonderful lives together.  However, as per the rules of great fiction: characters have to get hurt.  In this case for me, the pain was worth the pay off.

 

Footnotes:

  1. If you’re into that kind of thing, romance stories that is.  See me? I may have a cold black heart but I’m a sappy sod for a good love story.  Speaking of I’m a HUGE pumping-blood-bleeding-heart for a good real life love story,  so if you have a good story about how you met your lovely partner or former partner and want to share, send me a message.

 

**SPOILERS BELOW**

Continue reading

Burning Man 2016 and Announcements

First order of business, Happy Burning Man to those brave souls making the journey.  I’ve been interested in making it to a burner event, even one of the smaller regional ones, but it hasn’t been in the cards for me.  Not yet.

burning man 2016

It’s not likely until 2018 at the soonest.  My plan is to go after graduating with my BA and before going off to an MFA program.  Who knows, all I know for sure is that this is solid Act II material(1).

Moving on to announcements:

I finally finished the Omnibus of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I realize it’s been a while since I announced it and I appreciate your patience, and I’ve decided to do something a little different with it(2).  Since the book contains 6 distinct stories, with plenty of things worth noting in each, I’m going to start a seven piece series going something like this:

  • The Series Review (w/ links to the individual books)
  • Individual story reviews (1 for each book and 1 for the short story)

I’m also using this project as an excuse to play with some HTML features to hopefully make more interactive future posts (or at least to begin cleaning up the footnote system I’m using).  I’ll be posting the series Mondays for the next two months or so.  I’m going to continue to keep Friday “posting whatever I want as usual” for those who aren’t interested in the Hitchhiker’s guide (or the funnies, there will be funnies which should make them worth a skim at least) or haven’t read the series yet and seeking to avoid spoilers.

Still no word about the visa.  Still sweating concentrated fear. Which stinks.

Good Stuff to come.

Footnotes:

  1. “A Life Lived in Three Acts” narrative theory: A reasonable and healthy age to live to, given my demographics, is 84.  A good traditional narrative has 3 parts. 84/3 = 28 ergo a life can be split into three distinct acts, seeing as 28 is quickly approaching (September 23rd) and with it the end of act one, it’s reasonable to say that this apart of the story arc of act two: Leaving St Louis (working title).
  2. If you can’t tell, I’m still largely in that “lets just try whatever and see what people react to” phase, bearing that in mind comments are deeply appreciated.