Bonus Level | Power Play Book Sample

The following is a sample from a current work in process called Power Play. This segment comes from the chapter “Bonus Level.” This is a work in process and the final result might be different. Happy Fourth of July!


“NOOO!!” shouted Mason. The machine spewed sparks and flames better than a Fourth of July beach party. He fell to his knees and began to sob. I felt somewhat bad for him. Yes, he was trying to suck the life out of the tournament contestants in order to power his dimension drill, but he was only trying to find his lost friend.

Over Mason’s sobs, I heard a new, disturbing sound: laughter. Cold and cruel laughter coming from Christine, the assistant/Cleaner queen.

“My queen?” said one of the spider-people raising himself a little higher on his six legs.

“Fool!” hissed Christine, and I thought she was going to smack the Cleaner-subject across the face. “Your queen has been gone for many years.”

Christine pulled her fire-orange hair upwards. Along the back of her neck were what looked like black and white mushrooms. I could see pulsating black vein lines along her neck and running down towards her back and up towards her head.

She returned her gaze to us and her eyes, all four of them, were fully black. “You animals have ruled too long. Even the plants and insects have had their time to shine.” She raised her arms towards the ceiling; the drill machine launched more explosions behind her adding to the drama and making her look like some singer during a fireworks show. “Now, the fungus rises!”

The news of this new threat finally reached Mason as he stopped sobbing and slowly returned to his feet. The queen faced him with a vile and mocking expression. “Thanks to you,” she said, “I gained access to the Wyrm. Now, my lovely spores can grow across the Omniverse and once again destroy it.”

“On-once again?” asked Mason.

“There have been forty-one Omniverses before this one; each destroyed in a great Catastrophe.” She then pointed at me. “And it is all your fault.” I felt weak in my knees. How could I have caused some disaster? The fungus-Cleaner queen snapped her fingers. Three more spider-people arrived pushing in an object.

The three spider-people looked similar to the Cleaner queen; black and white fungus grew along their bodies and their eyes were all black like giant pupils. The object looked like a simple transport machine, but it also looked like a child designed it. It was made of cardboard with drawn on levers and buttons. Duct tape held up the corners and joints, and it looked like bubblegum had been placed in areas to act as patches. Laying on top of the toy machine was a familiar looking ratty red baseball cap. I knew it was the one Danny always wore. The one…I gave him as a going away present…back when we were kids.

“Behold!” said the fungus queen. “The machine that caused the time loop.” She sneered at me. “Created by you.”

Mason faced me; his mouth nearly dropped to the floor—and with how decayed the lower portion of his head looked, I wondered if his jaw might actually hit the floor. “You…made a time machine…out of cardboard?”

The ex-assistant ran a clawed finger across Mason’s cheek. “Why so surprised? Humanity can create or destroy worlds with a stroke of a pen; why not a time machine out of cardboard and tape?” She chuckled for a moment then snapped her head towards me. “That is why humans are so dangerous. They possess the most dangerous fuel source in the multiverse…imagination.”


Hope you enjoyed this brief look into an upcoming book (coming after the one I’m currently editing).

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!

Copyright Joe Rover 2020. All rights reserved.


Do you like sci-fi and fantasy? Hungry for adventure?

From July 1-31, many of my books will be on sale during the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale. The participating books will be anywhere from 25% to 100% off. While there, check out some of the other participating authors.

Rough Draft Typing | Behind the Scenes

Today’s post is brought to you by…you. Thanks for all the likes and follows. Thanks for all the book purchases. Thank you!

Every job, or hobby for that matter, has its ups and downs. There is always that thing that makes you groan when you think about doing it. It could be having to charge the batteries to your drone’s remote or having to put up with the demands of your clients.

For me, one of things I don’t like about writing is moving my rough draft from paper to word processor. It feels like “didn’t I just do this?” I want to go on to the next chapter; see the next adventure, but you are stuck typing up what you’ve already done. Now I know you can just type a rough draft and not do a handwritten version. I’ve tried that but the story seemed to slow down as I stopped because of noticeable red lines under misspellings; I knew I had something misspelled, and I had to go back for it. Also, there are a lot of distractions on computer screens with notifications and messages.

One way to help me with the transition from notebook to computer is listening to livestreams or music.

The trouble is it matters which livestream I listen to. If the livestream is full of action, such as a superhero video game or a shooter, I spend more time watching the video than working on the book.

stampylonghead

The livestream needs to be a kind of chill one that is almost like a podcast. However, there are some exceptions. For instance, the Valorant livestream by Blitzwinger. It is a shooter game, but the match format allows me to watch one or two matches; get the idea of the game; and listen from then on.

The good news is that if a livestream is too “rowdy” for the typing period, I can always save it for a break period. The longer video format allows me to have something to watch for multiple breaks; I don’t have to keep trying to figure out what I want to watch.

Ironically, if I’m listening to music while typing, it is the opposite. I need to listen to upbeat or thrilling music, much like “Hero of Our Time” by NateWantsToBattle or “Build Our Machine” by Dagames.

What are some of the downsides of your favorite hobby or job? How do you cope with them? Let me know in the comments section.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!


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The Last of the SpongeBobs | Video Games

If you’re like me and enjoy video games but also don’t have a lot of money to spend on them, you can check out some of these YouTube videos. All of them are pretty good and you’ll get a general idea of the game so that you can talk to your friends about the games and not feel left out.

These are not the only ones; these are just to get you started and give you the idea of what is possible.


The Last of Us Part II

With Commentary

The Last Of Us 2 PART 1 Gameplay WALKTHROUGH – 3 HOURS! (Last Of Us II-Last of Us Part 2 Commentary) by GhostRobo

THE LAST OF US 2 Walkthrough Gameplay Part 1 – INTRO (Last of Us Part 2) by theRadBrad

No Commentary

THE LAST OF US 2 Gameplay Walkthrough Part 1 [4K PS4 PRO] – No Commentary (FULL GAME) by MKIceAndFire

Selected Cutscenes

All Joel and Ellie Playing Guitar Scenes (The Last Of Us 2) 1440p by Gamer’s Little Playground


SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom–Rehydrated

With Commentary

SpongeBob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated – Part 1 – Shiny Things Everywhere! by Blitzwinger

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!


My merch store is finally open! You can buy spiral notebooks, stickers, t-shirts, and facemasks with images designed by me. More to come!

Q&A: What’s with the Costumes

Time to answer some questions that you probably didn’t even ask!

What’s with the costumes? Why do superheroes wear those skintight, often colorful, costumes?

Some might say that they are similar to costumes worn by circus performers. Hmm, maybe. But, the reason is because they are a physical representation of a person’s chi/aura (aka psychic fingerprint). Much like some tribes would paint/tattoo people with symbols that represented their ancestors or spirit guide. The costume is like a second skin allowing the hero closer access to the phantasmic energy that powers their talents. Much like removing your shoes on holy ground–it removes barriers between you and the divine. I’d rather wear a colorful uniform than have to run around naked.

Also, it allows for things like going invisible without having to de-robe. Or growing in size without ripping your clothes.

Psychic fingerprint?

Our bodies produce electrical currents through chemical reactions and molecule vibration; these currents are determined by genetic makeup, blood flow, personality, and more, so each person’s is different–like a fingerprint. The colors are dependent on characteristics and speed of energy flow. For instance, a cheerful person and a melancholy person could have the same base color, like red, but the cheerful person will have a brighter shade of red while the melancholy person’s will be a darker red. 

Everything (not just transbeings or living beings) has a psychic fingerprint/chi because everything is made of vibrating molecules. The symbol/emblem on a hero’s chest is a representation of their “true name.” Everyone and everything has a similar symbol, you just can’t see it because they don’t go around wearing it. Now don’t go thinking that because you know their true name you can control them–like in some fantasy stories. It just allows you to communicate with the person/thing. Much like in physical life. It’s part of why using a hero’s name while crying for help…uh, helps them hear you; just as saying someone’s name in normal life gets the attention of the person you are speaking too. But it is a deeper connection, kind of like telepathy.

That is how things like telekinesis works. You aren’t commanding the mountain to move; you are asking the mountain to move and it responds because it trusts you. People with plant manipulation talents aren’t forcing the flower to bloom but rather encouraging it to bloom. Just as you can ask someone to help you with the dishes, but you can’t force them to do the dishes. They chose to help you because they care about you or scared of the consequences. Here is the difference between light and dark talents/”magic.” Are you asking the water to hold you up so you can walk on it or are you forcing it into compliance?

Why do some heroes wear capes, some don’t, and some wear jackets/longer garments?

Some transbeings (villains wear capes too) are so strong that their phantasmic energy…”leaks.” Their power is so great that it comes out their backs or stretches along their sides like a jacket or robe. This is why angels are usually depicted with wings. They don’t actually have wings but their phantasmic power is so great that the energy leaks out their backs and looks like wings. So, when it comes time for the costume (which is a representation of a person’s chi) to be made…we get capes, jackets, or fancy robes. 

Why do transbeings sometimes call out their attacks?

Part of it goes back to the “asking the mountain to move” that I mentioned earlier. You are asking the air to heat up or the lightning to strike. The other part is focus and strength. When you need to lift something heavy, you use more muscles, but how to you use more muscles when something is metaphysical? Answer: emotions. Emotions are mental/spiritual muscles. So, you can add more omph to your talent by calling it out. It is the same reason why martial artists will grunt when they strike or block; they are adding more power behind their act. *Most of the time transbeings can just think their attack or wave a hand because what they are doing is within their limits.*

What’s with wearing your underwear on the outside?

First, it’s not underwear; it’s armor. It used to be just part of the tights in order to show appearance/color variation, but now it’s armor. Second, um, I’ll just leave it at “sports cup” and you can figure it out. I mean, we are in battle with villains.

Any other questions? Ask them in the comments below.

Until next wormhole…thanks for reading!

Description and Next Book | Behind the Scenes

I’ve edited three chapters of my latest work in progress. Now…I’ve just got about 15 more chapters to go. *groan*

In the meantime, I did come up with a working description for the book. Enjoy.

By the time Brian finished his war on grime, Danny returned from the rugby match. He stomped around the lab, shaking off his…Brain’s muddy shoes, and left muddy handprints along the walls and counters. He even went as far as to activate the anti-grav feature in Brain’s shoes and walk along the walls and ceiling leaving muddy footprints in his wake. Once satisfied with his mess, Danny tossed the muddy clothes and shoes in a pile. Before he put on the new set of clothes, he switched Monday’s outfit with Wednesday’s.—Excerpt from “Freaky Friday the 13th”

Ages ago the dragons hid themselves from the humans who hunted them for their power. Now, the monster hunters have again found them; but this time, the dragons aren’t giving up without a fight. It’s up to Dogboy and his allies to prevent a war that’ll leave the Earth scorched.

Buy “Dragon Reign,” the latest Dogboy Chronicles story, for sci-fi adventure, fantasy action, and a little bit of silliness.

In between editing breaks, I’ve been working on the book after Dragon Reign. In one of the chapters, the main characters, Joe and Sally, are on a date at the movies. One of the moviegoers overhears what movie they are seeing and begins to tell them all about it. Thanks to a new feature in their Omni-Cuffs, a holographic gag with the word “spoilers” is slapped across his mouth and he is muted (only to them). Once the moviegoer is finished spoiling the movie, the gag is removed.

I tell you some days it’d be nice to have that technology in real life.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!


Feeling Lonely | Minecraft Dungeons Review

Blitzwinger
UnlimitedMagic

A recurring gag during a recent Minecraft Dungeons livestream by Blitzwinger was the “Feeling Lonely? Teleport to a Friend” dialogue box. The box would appear every time Blizwinger and UnlimitedMagic separated, even briefly. The joke gave me an idea for a parody on the song “Mr. Lonely” by Bobby Vinton.

Lonely, feeling lonely?
My party is on their own.
Feeling lonely?
Press F1 to teleport.
Wish I had someone to message on Discord.

(I know it’s bad, but it’s still funny…or cringey.)

What I’ve seen of Minecraft Dungeons, it looks pretty good. I don’t think it is groundbreaking; I’ve seen other dungeon crawlers. But, I do like the simplicity of it. It doesn’t seem like a game that takes hours to master. I think most people will be able to catch on quickly, even if they’ve never played a dungeon crawler or Minecraft.

I also enjoyed how the game continued in the tradition of allowing you to craft your own lore. Just like the OG Minecraft, you are given just enough to make your own theories and stories about Minecraft. That is what I like about Minecraft; there is no official lore–my story is just as valid as anyone else’s. Not only do you craft in the game, but you craft the lore.

Granted, there is a little more lore in Dungeons, you are told the Arch-Illager was exiled, but you aren’t told why, as far as I know at this point. You aren’t told where the Orb of Obedience came from (I think). you can still fit it into the universe of Minecraft; it doesn’t necessarily have to be some parallel world. Maybe the events of Dungeons takes place before Minecraft proper or maybe after.

It is kind of odd coming from the world of Minecraft where you can do just about anything you want to a more restrictive world like Dungeons. You can’t mine or craft; and as far as I know, you can’t create your own avatar–you can only chose the ones unlocked.

I do, however, like the ability to choose your difficulty level on every level. You can adjust the level according to your needs; you don’t need to constantly return to a menu screen. The limited number of respawns adds to the stress of the game. Knowing that you have a limited number of tries can push you and make the game more challenging.

Minecraft Dungeons is a nice prototype showing that Minecraft can be more than just a sandbox survival game. It can fit into other genres. The developers did an excellent job of bringing some freshness to Minecraft while staying true to what made it unique to begin with–somewhat; it is still weird that you don’t mine or craft in the Dungeons game. 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!

Who is The Last Ronin? | TMNT Theory

While watching an update video by THE OLD TURTLE DEN about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle comic event The Last Ronin, I spotted something.

In the story, only one Turtle survives some kind of an attack. But, it doesn’t state which Turtle.

THE OLD TURTLE DEN

This ambiguity about the ronin’s identity is further shown in an Instagram post by the_turtles_lair. They claim the creators of the The Last Ronin commissioned the drawing of one Turtle using all four weapons making it hard to know which one. I don’t know for sure how authentic the commission is, but it still shows people’s interest in the ronin’s identity.

During the video by THE OLD TURTLE DEN, I noticed that the ronin is seen with Leo’s swords, Donnie’s staff, and Raph’s sai. Mikey’s nunchaku were probably there, but I didn’t see them. However, it got me thinking that maybe the ronin is Mikey. 

He could be carrying the weapons of the others in order to honor them. If he was, there would be no reason for him to bring his own since he is alive. Plus, Mikey is the goof-off and youngest; he might be carrying them in order to be like the others. Leo’s the disciplined leader, Donnie’s smart, and Raph is the muscle/fighter/protector. You can see from the samples in the video that the ronin comes across with Raph’s typical gruff personality.

Mikey is the party dude. He’d always had the other Turtles or their allies to fall back on–he could be the goof-off–but now that they are gone, he sees that his surfer-dude philosophy isn’t beneficial. He has to step-up and mature, but he isn’t sure how so he imitates the others.

There could also be some survivor’s guilt, especially if his goofing off is what got everyone killed in the first place. He wouldn’t want to be the party dude anymore.

(Or it could be some new Turtle we’ve never seen before and they are just honoring the Turtles by using their weapons.)

Personally, I hope the ronin is Mikey because I think it’d be a great way to explore his character. He is always portrayed as the party dude so let’s see how he reacts to being alone: having to be the leader, having to be cunning, having to deal with loss and anger. 

Also, I’m tired of Raph seemingly always being the lead character. Just like DC seems to focus on Batman and Marvel focuses on Spider-Man and Wolverine is the lead in X-Men movies and events, I feel like they focus too much on Raph. There are three other Turtles with their own personalities and stories. I think they’d make interesting stories if put into different situations.

What are your theories? Who do you think is the ronin? Let me know in the comments below.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!


Dogboy Chronicles is now available for purchase

The Dogboy Chronicles is a series of sci-fi and fantasy superhero tales taking place in the future. The stories follow the heroes as they tackle everything from training to alien invasions to going shopping.

If you’re a fan of fantasy, action, and adventure, check out the latest in the Dogboy Chronicles series available at many online retailers.

Playing with the WordPress Ratings Block

So, WordPress added a star rating block to their editor. 

Time to test it out.

Disney’s Sorcerer’s Arena 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Scoob!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Minecraft Dungeons

MKIceAndFire

Rating: 4 out of 5.

My hype for the 1990’s TMNT cast reunion/30 year celebration

Rating: 5 out of 5.

NASA discovering a parallel world

IGN

Rating: 7 out of 7.

Finding out that NASA really hadn’t discovered a parallel world

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Skitter Comics is no longer locked/banned by Twitter

Rating: 4 out of 5.

COVID-19

Rating: 0.5 out of 5.

You going to Smashwords and purchasing one (or more) of my books during the Authors Give Back Sale (ends May 31)

Rating: 10 out of 10.

That was fun; it’ll make doing reviews easier. It’d be nice if it could allow the reader to rank things, such as the post itself–but I guess that’s what likes and comments are for.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!

What Next

A few minutes ago, I spotted a news article about a robotic “dog” that was herding sheep. Don’t tell Bandit, my dog/sidekick, he won’t take the news–

BANDIT (Translated from Dog for your convenience):
Did you see this?! Now the robots are taking over our herding jobs! First, they take over the sidekick work...I can't tell you the number of Supers that are using robo-dogs as companions! Now, they're taking over the herding jobs! What's next?! Witches with robotic familiars!? (growls) That's it! I'm out of here!

JOE (Me):
Where you going?

BANDIT:
I'm going out! I've got to find a mail carrier to bite before they take that job too!

(Door slams)

I knew he wouldn’t take it well.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!

Copyright Joe Rover 2020. All rights reserved.


Smashwords Authors Give Back sale.
Click to go to Smashwords!

Sky Hog

A couple days ago, Buddy (aka Copycat) told me how he ran into some trouble when he was out for a flight over the city. He was enjoying the feel of the air and listening to the soft wiping of his black cape as it moved through the air. For a few moments he could forget all his troubles.

And then something speed by him nearly knocking into him. He hit a pocket of turbulence as he tried to right himself. Finally, he regained his footing as it were. 

“Sky hog!” he shouted at the offender.

The offender slowed and faced Copycat. It was a pig with wings. Copycat gasped in surprise before it snorted a piggy grunt and flew off towards the skyscrapers.

Once Buddy finished his tale, I rested my hand on his shoulder in a show of support. “Yeah…Those atmos pigs think they’re so grand just because they’ve got an adynaton. But, it’s Heck’s Oinkers you’ve really got to watch out for.” 

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!

Copyright 2020 Joe Rover. All rights reserved.


Good news! The Smashwords Authors Give Back Sale has been extended to May 31! 

You have another chance to buy The Beast of Camp TimberWolf, Gift of the Minion, and now Who Pranked JR for 60% off!