Category Archives: Blog

Focus, Girl, focus! How do you do it? Just a rant and and ask.

JennyK on her nice new Mac, but what good is it when it's not used for something? :)

Focus! Get at it. Rant time for JennyK — Again. 🙂

Feeling scattered, unfocused, restless. So much I want to do. But what? Which of the many things I want to do should I direct my attention to? O, what a first world problem. 🙂 But still, it’s something that unfortunately becomes bigger the more I ponder it. One day becomes a week becomes a month becomes the seed of uncertainty. Writers block? — Maybe. But honestly, it it was only about sitting down to write because I’m not writing, I could simply sit down and write. But I find it hard to sit down and write when the constant critic in the back of my mind reminds me that I should record those vocals and transcribe those lyrics, world-building for Mother of Crow. And do some social media promotion, update the twitterverse, format my old computer for someone else to take it over, push to find someone to review my book, write an interesting blog on the website, some fantastic reward on patreon, add something on reverbnation, upload a track on soundcloud, do the laundry, organize my backup cds, scan my mail for OCR, call my mother, get the…. —– Whoah there, Fool. This is getting more than ridiculous.. and I didn’t even mention exercising, , writing a 100K word novel, feed the dog, making an appointment with the dentist, deal with paperwork I would rather burn…. and cut my toenails. —- Oh, and podcasting, don’t forget the people who actually do know I’m around and who do hear me, my music, my band and our music, subscribe to my blogs, and perhaps also enjoy my fiction and other rants.

Oh, and I really should be social and call the few friends I do have, make an effort to “get out there” and be interested in the rest of the world.

Well. Should, could, would. Aint gonna unless I — focus?

Here is that point… The point I often reach when I drag it out in the open to look at it and realize how ridiculous it really is.

It’s the point where I balance on the slippery borderline between inspiration and desperation.

I can choose to look at that list and get overwhelmed by it. I can be sad for the people I feel I’m disappointing and despair over the inevitable giving up on me. And I can add to that list this: I need to get better and work harder.

😀 (And we all know how well such a pledge works. It doesn’t!)

Or….

I can take a look at that list and break it into pieces, see them as parts of the whole and realize that at this moment, this second, just now; I can’t deal with all of that no matter how much I try. If I look at those things one at a time I will notice that none of them are a big deal. If I see them separately, they are all good things.

Oh, maybe not the dentist thing.

But seriously; It’s all good.

With focus. Hmm. Back at the beginning. I feel a pattern appearing as I type this. Seeing and dealing with one thing at a time does take some type of focus. And that is where I get lost.

So I ask you, listener, reader, friend;

How do you focus? . What are your tips and tricks to manage all the things when they start to overwhelm you? Do you procrastinate to the point of anxiety and panic? Do you schedule your days and stick to it?

I know I’ve been rambling like a neurotic nut in this post, but I am genuinely curious. Leave a comment and share your thoughts. I didn’t manage to make things much clearer in this rant so I need to sit on this for a while as I’m sure the amazing “back of my mind” is working on it. As long as I let it do that without fretting more just now and then maybe. So that’s what I’ll do. I’ll leave it to you – and my poor subconscious for a little while.

Let me know what you think 🙂 Because I could really use your help. Certainly some other perspective and maybe even the classic kick in the ass. 😀

Jen

November kicks off Mother of Crow — This Sundered World Volume II

So November is here again.

It’s dark and it’s cold. Perfect climate for the introverted artist with a story on her mind.

Even better when there is a crazy story in need of telling. “Mother of Crow” picks up where the first book in the series left off; In the sundered world among death and confusion. So what more do I need?

Oh, coffee of course. Some peace and quiet perhaps. The occasional bit of nutrition in the form of parts of dead animal, bits of brutally mutilated vegetables, and crushed and burnt grain of some sort…. Oh, that’s right, it’s called food.

And after all of that ready, I also need a kick in the arse — also called motivational violence. That motivation can come from many different sources but I find that a community of other introvert artist types going on a month of coffee and poor diet can sometimes be the ticket.
Introducing NaNoWriMo. (National Novel Writing Month) where us lunatics decide to write and little else for the entire month. The NaNoWriMo website comes with every motivational and wordcounting tool you could imagine. Forums, blogs, fellow professional as well as new writers struggling, and all the social connections possible. How could you fail?

Oh, it’s not that hard. But the satisfaction a winner trophy can give after that brutal month is sweet. To become a winner, a certain word count must be reached. (The definition of “novel” is a work of 50 000 words or more.).

So that is where I stand; entering Nano with “Mother of Crow”.

Check out a short synopsis and an excerpt at the novel page here:
Mother of Crow NaNoWriMo page.
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Note: This author has published this post using an external blogging app. As this is the first time using the app and no testing has been done ahead of time, there may be errors and complete fuck ups in this blog. Sorry bout that. Guess I’ll drop in to the site for corrections later. But for now, I will simply push the publish button and hope for the best. Dare to publish cold, prepare to blame someone else after.
Thanks

Jenny

JennyK and Icarus Machine now on Patreon.com. How to support the band. Become a Patron !

Fan funding at its best Patreon connecting fans and the artists they want to support

Icarus Machine looking for supporters. Our fans are what makes us happy. But fans can also help us continue creating. And here is how.

Become a patron!

From our patreon page:

“Icarus Machine is creating Prog-Metal Music and Steampunk Fiction. It’s all story.

After nearly a year of writing and producing our music from our different parts of the world, from Spain, to Canada and the United States, we have released our first album, “This Sundered World”. The first book in the steampunk inspired fiction series of books with the same name has been released simultaneously. Our goal is to continue creating music and tell stories. In This Sundered World there will always be something to tell, whether it is in a fast metal tune about a clockwork guardian with ill intent, a prog-rock dive into insanity or a chapter about Gabriel looking for the end of the world. This is what we love to do and any support will make it easier for us to express the vision we have.”

Check out the rewards. Some cool stuff there. 😀
And it’s easy. Become a subscriber for as little as $2 per month and get your reward
• The album “This Sundered World” 
• The companion novel “This Sundered World” Kindle edition. 
• Your name on our Wall of Guardian Survivors.

Become a patron!

Other ways to support the band are to:
Buy “This Sundered World A Mother’s Heart” by Jenny K Brennan – for Kindle here.

Buy yourself some really cool merch here, or

buy the prog-Metal album “This Sundered World” by Icarus Machine” on iTunes.

Whichever way you choose is okay with us. And money is not everything. Tell your friends, tweet, just listen to what we do, or simply connect with us on
Facebook..

Thank you!
Bill, Jordi, and Jenny. We thank you from USA, Spain, and Canada.

Icarus Machine
Sundered Records 2016

The validity of virtual – A band member perspective

This virtual band – Is it real?”

What does it mean to be an exclusively online band?

There are probably as many answers to that as there are online bands currently online. 😀 But as always, I have my own take on it and and it is slightly troubled.

It is a normal thing these days – collaborations between individuals that do not, and may never, meet in real life. It’s getting easier and easier to pull it off. There are problems with it but in my case, the advantages are overwhelming. Without places like Kompoz.com I would not be on the path that I am. A member of a great band with a serious album release coming up.

But is it as valuable and “real” as a “normal” arrangement where things happen within a studio space, a garage, a basement, or at a gig in the local bar?

Well. Of course it is.

I say that with confidence because I know it is true. But do I say it with true feeling and belief?

I don’t know. And that bothers me.

Or maybe it bothers me more that I would love to jam in the studio with those I create music with and that is something that ain’t gonna happen anytime soon. 🙂

But back to the point; The validity of online bands.

When this phenomena started to appear, they were commonly called “Virtual” bands. And that has done quite a bit of harm in my perspective. The word “Virtual” means “Not real”. And if you don’t think words have power, then think again. Using those words in a sentence becomes a big hole that is hard to climb out of. Let’s just take this short conversation and see what is really going on:

What is said:
“Hey pal, I just joined a virtual band, I’m the guitar player. is that cool or what?”
What Pal is hearing:
“Hey Pal, I just joined a pretend band, where I pretend to be a rock star on the internet, where nothing is real, Is that cool or what?”

What Pal says:
“Yeah? Sounds like fun.”
What Pal is thinking:
“Yeah? You chatting on skype about guitar hero, hoping to get a record deal? Good luck with that!”

Yeah, I know. That sounds really bad. An maybe it’s not quite like that anymore. But moving away from the word “Virtual” hasn’t quite repaired the damage done. At least not for me.

But isn’t the issue more about my personal experience of always believing that music is a “hobby”? -hobby, another word that I wish I could delete from my vocabulary. Another powerful word that in my mind means; “Something that doesn’t matter.”

Yes. I think so. I believe my view is skewed toward the negative. So back to why I am so troubled and what I can do about it.

The trouble is a lack of confidence. This has no quick fix. But it is growing, and here’s how:

By doing what I love and worrying less about what other people think. slowly learning that what I do is okay. And that it has value. Slowly, but surely, I’m learning to say “This is my band, we are the bomb! Come check this!” With true feeling and belief. 😀

By not using that word at all. Instead of saying “Online band”, just say “band” Who would know the difference? Is there really a need to point out that we don’t tour, we don’t gig, and we’ve never met? Really? Because if I really probe at how I feel when I say I’m in an online band” vs “I’m in a band.” Now, I choose the latter.

By abolishing the word “hobby” in the studio. In all seriousness; Working ten hours a day without pay is work. And just because it is work I created myself because I love it, does that make it a hobby? Hell no. But isn’t that the crux of the matter? The definition of work Is “I do this, you give me money.” The work we do is different and the rewards are different. But that doesn’t make them less.

By moving forward.
The truth is that any band, online or not, actually doesn’t have a product to show until the work is done. Rare are the magical appearances of record company representatives offering a generous advance, promising fame and fortune. No. We do the work first, then we let it out, let it live, and hope for the best. And it’s still not free, still no paycheck. And that has to be fine.

And the simple truth is that it is! It has to be fine because the bottom line is: I do what i am, and I am what I do. And at the end of this page, after calling it out in the open, the word “virtual” has somehow lost part of its power. I still can’t say the word “hobby” without cringing, but I am like all the creations I’ve imagined and sometimes brought to life. A constant work in progress.

JennyK. From the Dungeon of curiosities and psychiatry – third padded cell on the left.

The Flanger Perception

The flanger perception.

So there is this song. And there are these wave files that I created by yelling miserably into the microphone, because that is what the song warranted. So I was a bit intimate with the mic. It happens right? And the take turned out just how I wanted it. I didn’t really check the result in the file.

So that’s all fine and dandy. Files are sent to Bill. He puts them in place, sounds great.

Except for this little click I hear. It annoys me. Now, fast forward a few weeks when we go back and forth working on the mixes for this album – This Sundered World. Many things are redone and fixed, and straightened out. But that click is still there.

Bil: “Where? I can’t hear it.”

Fast forward some more. I’m ready to bite my fingers off.
Bill is ready to send me to the lunatic asylum. I’m hearing things all over the place.
Finally we get some other problems taken care of, everything is fine.

Except for that click. That damn click.

Bill: “Where? I still can’t hear anything.”

Silence

Bill: “Well, there is that tiny little click there. I thought it was part of the flanger.”

Silence.

Bill: “Oh. What are the F-ing odds of that? It’s in the flanger. Shut that off and it’s gone.”

Me: “Ah.”

Bill: “the main shape of the flanger setting is rectangular
with no smoothness, it’s got a vertical transition across the waveform axis. All I did was change the shape of the flange and it’s fixed.”

At that point I glazed over and started thinking about other things. Not that I don’t understand it, but there is a reason I sing. I can be a tiresome pain in the ass and in the end Bill will fix the bad I create, and I don’t need to understand waveform politics.

Me: “So it wasn’t all my fault then?”

Bill: “Well, if you had been singing it differently…”

Me: “Blow me.”

So, In the end I’m not going to the asylum, although I’m certain that Bill will find more reasons to send the dreaded men in white to Ontario. But I can deal with that.
more importantly; I will check my files more often. And Bill will never again trust a flanger.

JennyK – From the dungeons of phase shifting and zero-crossings.

The assumption entrapment

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I assume you assume things, I assume

You know what people say: Assume makes and ass out of you and me.

So why do I assume shit? 😀

I dunno. Some of the things are just stupid mistakes such as assuming this video or that audio will work after I publish. Why? Well, it works for me.

Sigh.

Yeah, private videos work for me. But only for me. 😀

And assuming that broken links are just something wordpress makes up to annoy me because they’ve been incorrect so many times, reporting broken links that were only temporarily down. At some point I stopped checking the notifications because I did what? Ah, that’s right. I assumed I knew better than wordpress. 😀

The worst assumption of them all:
Assuming that someone might mention it? “Hey dickhead, yur video isn’t working! You suck!”

I wouldn’t mind that one little bit. I prefer dickhead over nothing. And it is true that “I suck!” if I assume it’s working. After twenty plus years online, I really should know better.

And really, if I really think about what I would do when coming across a broken link, missing video, messed up page…

Um… that’s right. As a rule I do nothing. I move on in search for something else that will work. There is plenty around. 😀

Sigh.

So, basically I suck! But that’s alright, I’m in good company on this thing they call the
World Wide Whereverittakesme.

Cheers.

JennyK

Sundered – Developing the game – From World building to conversation – Interactive Fiction Creation

Sundered – The Game – Creation of.

An interactive not quite steampunk Interaction

Play Sundered in your browser! (Opens in new window.)

There are no downloads for the work in progress. At time of Alpha testing, files will be made available.

Sundered – The concept

It all started in the fall of 2015. This Sundered world is a prog-metal album, a novel, and now I got it in my mind to write this Interactive fiction game with it. Oh, I almost forgot. What say ye of a graphic novel? Huh? Actually, graphic novel might be a maybe. i love the idea but shit, there are only so many hours in a day so that is a loose thread as of yet. the game is related to the novel and takes place in the same universe, but is unrelated in every way from the novel so playing the game will produce no spoilers.

So that is why i set up this page from the start. This game in progress will be playable at every step of the way but there will be little to do to start with. We meet Gabriel. We meet Bird. And we get to know the world in a typical Interactive Fiction condensed fiction fashion. So, if you are interested in following the building of this game, come back every now and then to see what Gabriel is up to and what he is capable of.

Before you click on the link above to play the game, you may want to start this player. “This Sundered World” is as you may guess the title track for the music album under production right now by the brand new band “Icarus Machine”. More information on that is upcoming. Enjoy, as more stuff will come along and fill this game and this page with interesting stuff.

From the game

Excerpts from the actual game play. Including work in progress fuckups coming up as there is more gameplay to draw from.

Call to action

At this point, there is not much game to report bugs on. But I will happily take what you find as well as suggestions. Please add your thoughts on this page.

JennyK