‘Eyes of Tomorrow’ – Broken Iris (Grazing the Sky Analysis #4)

Eyes of Tomorrow – Broken Iris

Small little whats-a-whose-it about this band. Very good, very unknown. This is just one song by them that fits into Grazing the Sky‘s universe!

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More than once in this first book does Lance question his sanity. The first is when he is introduced, waking from a strange but disturbing nightmare (a tail grows from his spine shooting out his backside, if you wanna get specific, but that’s just a foreshadow of the events to come). He wakes, then begins to hear a voice. One coming from all directions, one warning of danger to come.

It is here our story begins.

So Lance is kidnapped from a hospital; so Lance awakes to find an inhuman ally. Zidane, half-Spiro and half-Razalek, promises him help. Promises his life to be saved. Lance has been injected with Spiro cells, after all, and it’s these cells that will be the death of him–if help isn’t found, now.

And it seems like Zidane is the only chance Lance has.

After this explanation, after seeing a tail on Zidane and a levitating napkin dispenser, Lance questions his own mind.

But, alas, something that Lance can’t explain is brought up.

And so, the adventure begins.

Read Grazing the Sky FOR FREE on Swoon Reads NOW!

There’s also a spin-off I’m writing where Lance awakens in a mental hospital… Things happen. It’s not finished yet (I have so many projects bouncing around already!)

In the mean time, why not give that little link a click?

Here it is again, just in case you missed it

Down - Socialburn (Grazing the Sky Analysis #2)

Lance is one of my favorite characters to write, hands down.

Not only is he pretty drop-dead gorgeous (totally my type), he’s a skilled musician with troubled homelife, something that ignites that fire inside him and pushes him to excell with music. School? Not so much. School’s boring, anyway (but if there’s any kiddies reading, stay in school! You only go through it once…)

In the beginning of Grazing the Sky, we’re met with two characters: Lance and his mother, Lisa. The second chapter begins with them starting their day together with hecka tension. We are told that a fight had recently broken out between them, Lisa wanting a “better path” for her son. Something that actually paid instead of being a musician.

Lance nearly bites back when Lisa tries to guilt-trip him into apologizing first (another part of their “cycle”). He ends up agreeing to a silent treaty, and the story continues on.

Lance’s band, Carry the Creation, is influenced by a ton of artists (everything from early Being As An Ocean to Pianos Become the Teeth to Rise Against). He and his friends founded the band a few years before Grazing begins, and they’re pretty well-known around town.

I can’t really write music, so I take pre-existing songs and (in line with Grazing’s alternate dimensions) decide that some already made songs don’t exist. They have to be created somehow, so Carry the Creation makes them. From Deadsun’s Begin Again to Socialburn’s Down, Carry the Creation evolves musically over the years.

But that’s another post.

𝕮𝖆𝖗𝖗𝖞 𝕸𝖊 𝕯𝖔𝖜𝖓 – 𝕯𝖊𝖒𝖔𝖓 ℌ𝖚𝖓𝖙𝖊𝖗 (Grazing the Sky Analysis #1)

I’ve had this vision in my head… for a while now.

In eighth grade, I decided to write out a book for school. They called the assignment “Young Authors” in which we had to write a book every year. I’d been doing the assignment for a while now, six years in fact, and I wanted this one–my last one–to really mean something.

There’d been this story in my head, since I was really little. Like, let’s say eight or so. I took the things around me–video game characters, commercials, music (music was a big one, ohmy)–and I began creating. Like an endless supply of sand and a single pair of hands, I began molding. I placed characters in situations that entertained me. And over the years, I shaped everything until it was completely original (you can read more about that here).

For most of my eighth grade year, I was alone. I had gone to a school that taught from first grade to eighth, and I had been with the same kids since second grade. Over the years, I cycled through friendships with almost everyone, and by the time eighth grade rolled around, I was completely alone.

I retreated into music. I hid away and pulled up my sleeves, the cuff of my pants. I self-harmed. Music and my current Young Authors were the only things keeping me going. The two things that kept me from that black void swallowing me and making me end my life.

In terms of songs that related to Grazing the Sky (the full-length, published version of that eighth grade story), Carry Me Down by Demon Hunter hits hard. I don’t quite listen to the song very much, since there’s so many other tunes to tune in to, but when those distorted chords ring out and give way to acoustic guitars, I find a familiar setting painting my imagination.

Roxas has died.

For my main character, I couldn’t quite bring him from my mind to the page during my eighth grade year. Zidane was much too close to me, and what would people say? How odd, how weird, it was that I had kept this character in my head for almost ten years now. These characters were like friends, and they would grow to become like children in time.

So I couldn’t put down the full story. But I knew, if I had had the time to write out the watered-down-version that was The Shadow Thief, I knew our main guy Roxas would eventually die. And his caregiver, the one person that truly cared, would carry him down the church asile.

And thus the lyrics would ring out.

Will you carry me down the aisle that final day?

With your tears and cold hands shaking from the weight?


There’s a section, in this song, that paints a clear picture. In Grazing the Sky, Zidane is a mixture of Razalek and Spiro. Razalek is basically a magical elf-race; Spiros are born from beasts and take on a more human form later in life. Because Zidane is a mixture of these two conflicting races, nearly everyone in his life has looked at him a little differently. Either outcasted or inspected, Zidane just doesn’t get a break. His birth-father is Razalek and (for reasons unbeknownst to the reader) absolutely abhors Zidane.

There’s a scene in Grazing where Zidane, after being separated from his family and being with humans for over ten years, comes to face his father once more. That hatred surfaces, for both sides, and walls began to build. Confessions leak out. People begin to change.

For every word we never spoke,
We have a tear to cry
For every silence’s like a wall between a better you and I

There’s so many little things. If Grazing ever becomes a movie/anime, this song just might be going in as part of the original soundtrack.

The main romance in Grazing is between Zidane and his childhood friend, Zooka. They meet at an orphanage as kids, experience heartbreak and death together (second time for Zidane), and later grow to become weapons/soldiers/medics.

While living his childhood, and before meeting Zooka around 8 years old, Zidane is forced into becoming a thief. It’s his only means to survive, and the person that saves Zidane from the brink of death ends up becoming his worst nightmare. The fact that Zidane is a mixed-blooded freak is literally beaten into him.

Zidane tucks inward, and all the pain from his life is molded into a hardened anger towards everything.

Enter Zooka. Enter a young girl with no memory, no recollection of her past or her name. Enter an orphanage with a spiritual caregiver and enter people who care about Zidane. Enter a single hug from Zooka, who takes “the badness away”.

Zidane vows to never steal again, something that was so ingrained into his very being.

Enter MOCT; enter an underground, human-made system that Zooka and Zidane are drafted into for security.

Zidane and Zooka split, career-choice wise. When they become fourteen, they go from general education to a MOCT specality. Zidane chooses SWAT with a concentration in sniping; Zooka forces herself to become a general medic.

While attempting surgery on a cadaver, Zooka falls faint and, upon waking, confesses she’s worried she’ll never get over her fear of blood. Zidane is there to pick her up again, and at the age of fifteen, they share their first kiss.

So if you see me losing faith…

The faith is always there, between both of them. Faith to do better, be better.

But there is one last connection with this song. And we go back to Zidane’s past, which makes up a huge chunk of the book. Lance, our main guy (you probably forgot about him, haven’t you?) is teleported into Zidane’s mind, and Zidane promises to answer Lance’s questions.

Why are you… you?

What made you who you are?

Why are you helping me erase these Spiro cells from my blood, assuming they’re there in the first place?

In the beginning, we are introduced to Zidane’s mother, Kyrene. She ends up dying, her last breath uttering Zidane’s birth name.

And if you see me losing faith in what it means to die

Death surrounds us. Whether it is a bug squashed outside or a bullet through the brain, death is something… we can’t quite escape.

So, we live.

But that’s another post.

Grazing the Sky is available for purchase here.



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Here’s to the Future (Update)

It’s been forever; I know.

In my defense, I’ve been busy creating! I’m now on YouTube publishing visual audiobooks, which are fun to make. But that’s not the point of this post.

I’ve been revisting my main story, a series I’ve been developing since I was eight (18 years ago! whoo-wee). After some good time away focusing on music-based short stories and random oneshots, I’ve dived headfirst into the world of Grazing the Sky and fallen in love once again with the characters, concepts, and general vibe.

I have a master playlist for GtS. Over 600 songs complied over ten years. A lot of it is stuff I listened to in middle school: 10 Years, early Three Days Grace (Saint Asonia 2, anyone???), Rise Against. This last band is incorporated into the first book of Grazing. The main character, Lance, wears a RA hoodie for a good portion of the book and cites the band as one of his main influences for his own music.

If my fingertips and brain are up for it, I’ll set my playlist on shuffle and produce one post a day for a week, talking about various songs and how they relate to each story.

So cheers, and let’s see how much we can discuss. On shuffle, of course.

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Forever A Fan (A Reflection)

If there’s one band that hits the feels every time, it’s Angels & Airwaves.

I’m currently chilling in my room, blankets a mess beneath my legs, my one-inch tall speaker playing a shuffle of AVA songs.

I haven’t listened to this band in so long, but every album (from their debut to LOVE) just brings back separately powerful memories.

I’d like to say

that you’re my only fear

and when I dream

it slowly disappears.

I was reading some of the past journal entries on my Quotev, and it got me thinking. Right now, I’m waiting to hear back from a friend who’s struggling with mental health, and in reading back the earliest entry (Dec 2017), I realized how much I’ve grown.

I realized how very powerful I am. Time is amazing.

If I had a chance for another try,
I wouldn’t change a thing
This made me all on who I am inside
And if I could thank God
That I am here, and that I am alive
And everyday I wake
I tell myself a little harmless lie
The whole wide world is mine

Do I regret everything that’s happened since 2016? No. I strongly believe I just wasn’t supposed to go to CSUMB. I trained hard and received my first-degree black belt in TaeKwonDo and Kenpo the day I moved in to my shitty 6-feet by 10-feet dorm room with rude roommates who constantly shunned me. Add a nasty and extremely small bathroom shared by four people, and you have a recipe for a wild story that spells “disaster”.

I need to keep living, just to see how life pans out. I need to keep breathing, keep creating, keep discovering and exploring because, dammit, life is calling me. I wanna go on aimless road trips and scream at summer festivals and feel the speeding breeze take the air from my lungs.

I need to keep living, and as long as my heart is beating I promise you, I will do exactly that.

Always.

Behind Closed Doors – Rise Against

Time out, let’s stop and think this through,
We’ve all got better things to do,
A talk in circles run in place,
Answers inches from our face.”

– Behind Closed Doors, Rise Against

If I had to pick, my favorite thing about writing is this:

I love putting characters in situations they don’t understand. Whether it’s a visit from someone that comes from another dimension (Grazing the Sky) or a strange power that breaks the laws of Alchemy (Leave A Scar), there’s something just so fun about watching characters try and wrap their head around something they don’t quite have full understanding of.

For example, take this scene from my FMA fic, Leave A Scar:

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The hotel room was quiet, the hands of a clock filling the silence.

I remained reading, sitting on the couch with both legs tucked underneath myself. Uncomfortable, especially for a long period of time, but the pain building from the position made me focus a little harder. Balancing the selfishness with the weak attempt at help I was offering both of them. 

At the opposite side, Ed lounging on the couch, one leg hanging off the seat’s edge, the other stretched out. His socked foot was relatively close to the leg nearest to him, my right one. I felt nervous about this; did he want us to touch? No probably not. Not with Al so close, but why would he be lounging like this if he didn’t want us to be close? Just enough to act casual? Like there was nothing between us? Was there anything between us? 

Al suddenly spoke, and I nearly jumped out of my skin. I clenched the book in my hands a little harder, feeling Ed’s stare go to me. Around us, Al’s voice rang out. 

“I… I just felt something?”

Ed sat up. “What?! What’re you talking about, you felt something?”

Al stared down at the paper on the table. “I… I don’t know. I just felt… An emotion, I think.”

I searched his face, his paper. “What… What were you doing, when you felt it?”

“I… I was just writing a letter to May,” he responded. He bowed his head a little, becoming embarrassed. The hand holding the pencil tightened a little bit. “I was just telling her how much I love her.”

Ed was already trying to figure this out. He picked his other foot off from the floor, pulling both legs in to a loose sitting position, fanning out slightly. Face concentrated, searching the line in between the cushions like the answers were in between the darkness in the crack. 

“You remember that idea I had,” he began quietly, “about your body getting human experiences?”

Al nodded, hesitant. “Y-yeah.”

“Maybe… That one was powerful enough for you to feel it.”

Al looked back down to his paper. “M… Maybe… Why would it only work now, though? We’ve been writing that for months now.”

Ed looked away, down to the floor, away from me. Still concentrated. Still trying to figure this out. 

“I’m not sure, Al,” he replied. “Whatever it is, we should keep our eye on it.”


______________

So keep running around circles, my lovelies. You’ll bump into something eventually 😉

𝔽𝕒𝕞𝕠𝕦𝕤 𝕃𝕒𝕤𝕥 𝕎𝕠𝕣𝕕𝕤 – 𝕄𝕪 ℂ𝕙𝕖𝕞𝕚𝕔𝕒𝕝 ℝ𝕠𝕞𝕒𝕟𝕔𝕖

For the past few days, I’ve been in a creative slump. My dream has always been to be a bestselling author. I wanted books on the shelves. I wanted a massive line of people, waiting for my autograph. I wanted to be known. 

But I really thought about it and did some research and realized all that stems from ego. It won’t make me a better writer. 

It wouldn’t even validate the quality of my writing. 

I have money coming in, so it’s not like I necessarily need the income. Sure, six or seven figures would be great, but it’s not desperately needed. 

To quote a song… 


“I am not afraid to keep on living. I am not afraid to walk this world alone.” 

So, I’m going to keep on writing because, to quote a famous author, “when I write, I don’t feel like I should be doing anything else.” I just feel the characters and I feel the words that connect them to each other. I feel that symmetry, that flow, and it’s like watching a river trickle over rocks. There’s a chaotic, peaceful pattern to it all. 

And that’s worth writing about.