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Old 2013-12-31, 18:08   Link #261
Vexx
Obey the Darkly Cute ...
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
Here's an interesting dilemma. The copyright licensing agency for a song lyric I'd REALLY like to use in my volumes just approved my usage. Great. Now I have to decide if I want to pay the fee (it isn't huge but ...) and then go back and update my published volume 1 to re-include it from my rough draft.

I already know the answer (yes - it really helps the tone of the relationships in the band) but it's annoying it took them so damned long (two months) to do a five minute task of reading the usages and responding.

Maybe I'll go watch the puddles gather rain for a while

edit: I've updated the hard cover edition to put the tune back in. Will update the ebooks and the paperback version next week. The sections really do read a lot better with "No Rain" in the dialog. All the other tune lyrics (like "Rockstar") were much easier to work around.
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Old 2014-01-04, 00:03   Link #262
Vexx
Obey the Darkly Cute ...
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
Volume 03 Chapter 20 ("Legs")

Volume 03 Chapter 20 ("Legs")
Spoiler for vol 03 ch 20 content:


Author's note: this is a really short chapter that just barely addresses my outline for this part of the story. Getting back into gear after the holidays and frankly - a lot of time devoted to marketing volume one and editing volume two as well as getting the photo shoot for volume two complete.
Muddle on ...

edit: I have yet to figure out why once in a while the tldr tag barfs and I have to use a spoiler. I'm pretty sure it's any use at all of any diacritical.
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Old 2014-01-06, 19:17   Link #263
Vexx
Obey the Darkly Cute ...
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
Putting on Viking garb with chainmail gets old after a few decades (35lbs just for the metal itself and that's before the 30lbs of leather, other metal, sharp things, and the 10lbs of helmet) - so I've decided to start a steampunk rocker themed outfit for my goofball moments (which are increasing in number). A fair amount of my wardrobe is already goth/rock/odd so it's a matter of coordinating for effect.

Step One in creating new steampunk wardrobe - acquire one or more odd hats and decorate them accordingly. Hmmm, step two should probably be trim mustache regularly. I have a trenchcoat and several other items. Need to work on the shirts and maybe a vest or jacket.

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Old 2014-01-07, 23:36   Link #264
0utf0xZer0
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Age: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Putting on Viking garb with chainmail gets old after a few decades (35lbs just for the metal itself and that's before the 30lbs of leather, other metal, sharp things, and the 10lbs of helmet) - so I've decided to start a steampunk rocker themed outfit for my goofball moments (which are increasing in number). A fair amount of my wardrobe is already goth/rock/odd so it's a matter of coordinating for effect.

Step One in creating new steampunk wardrobe - acquire one or more odd hats and decorate them accordingly. Hmmm, step two should probably be trim mustache regularly. I have a trenchcoat and several other items. Need to work on the shirts and maybe a vest or jacket.

This seriously needs to be your next about the author pic.
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Old 2014-01-11, 15:17   Link #265
Vexx
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
Yeah, I've swapped out the photo in a number of my website/blog/social media destinations. I'll try to get one more chapter out this month for volume three but I really am head-deep in final edits of volume 2.

I'm making some major changes, not to the meta-plot so much as I am
- slicing out the repetitive (that stuff that works in a weekly serial but not in a collected volume),
- removing some of the filler (day to day stuff that doesn't advance the plot or reveal something about characters)
- structurally changing the arrival of Sashiko back into the band.
- just applying writing techniques I've learned doing volume 3 back to volume 2.

Right now, volume 2's material comes in at over 500 pages, far too many pages to meet publisher requirements (and studies show you just won't sell as many copies of a Big Book With Too Many Words in the 21st century). I want Sashiko established in volume 2 but if I end up stopping the novel at the end of the country fair tour she won't appear at all. So I'm moving her arrival subplot to just before the country fair road trip. She won't go on the tour with them but she'll house sit and learn her parts for the gigs after the country fair.

It's an interesting exercise in retelling a story in a slightly different way.
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Old 2014-01-18, 02:30   Link #266
Vexx
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
Okay, major surgery of volume 2 done, now the nitpick edits (hours and hours of hating your paragraphs until they behave). After that I'll decide whether to end the volume after the Pendleton concert or when they head to the airport for Japan.

Pretty much have the final cover of the work ready - here's a rough of the announcement:


==============================================
"The struggling rock band “The Lost Girls” and a rocker-in-exile join forces to form a new band called “It Really IS Rocket Science”. Join Blar, Tsika, Glycerin, Kpau, and a gang of other misfits as they strive to make it to the top and figure each other out along the way. Adventure, comedy, drama, romance – kind of the way life really happens. Portland, Oregon may be home but the life of a band is on the road as they rumble across the Pacific Northwest and maybe the world.

The Rocket Science people go on retreat to write original music for the band. Do they know enough about each other to be isolated in California's Big Sur for a month? Blar is smitten with Tsika but the dynamics of their relationship with that of Glycerin and Kpau are complicated. What IS going on with Glycerin, the enigmatic shy guitarist? Are there creative ways to get by in life for misfits who care about each other? Follow the band as they work the gigs, the festivals, head to the ski slopes, and get lost in rural twilight zones. It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll."
==============================================
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Old 2014-01-24, 01:38   Link #267
Vexx
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
Meh, looking less likely I'm going to have time before the end of the month to sketch out the next chapter of the currently running "Go Go Godzilla".

Volume Two edit/publishing takes precedence over Volume Three rough draft at the moment. I'll put out a couple of videos as compensation if I don't have something by next week.

In the mean time I'll blow my horn a bit - that's probably the toughest thing to get used to, marketing myself.

I picked up a few reviews on Volume One over at Amazon, the most recent one from a published author -
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deborah A. Stevens
Rocket Science Rocks!, January 21, 2014 By
Deborah A. Stevens "author"
(REAL NAME) Amazon Verified Purchase

Boy! Everything you ever wanted to know about R&R memorabilia! And it spans generations and decades. But that is only secondary to the characters and the story. Tsika, Glycerin, Kpau, and their sexy male mentor Blar come alive on these pages. It will have you wanting to go see them perform, but more than that you want to reach out and heal "The Lost Girls". How so much comedic fun can be blended with such devastating origins is a literary beauty to behold!

"Papa Bear"/Blar has probably bitten off more than he can chew with the goth pixie bassist, the emotionally damaged amazon guitarist, and the blonde firecracker drummer. Poor Blar wants to keep peace between these explosive young female musicians, but is caught up in a sexual revolution where he doesn't know who to touch and who to keep at arm's length. Papa Bear must be taking a lot of cold showers! Can't wait for the sequel to see how poor Blar fairs with his earthy group of band members!

A fun, "zany" (BH Branham's so perfect word) read that jumps off the pages with descriptions of costuming, make-up, and stage performances that leap into your mind and create what I call "word paintings"--but that is such a mild phrase for the visuals BH Branham brings to life in this delicious, energetic novel that leaves you wanting more ... more ... more!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crystal Lanham
Awesome first book!, December 21, 2013 By
Crystal Lanham

This review is from: It Really IS Rocket Science: A Rock'n'Roll Fantasy (Kindle Edition)
A rock and roll fantasy is really what it is! Totally refreshing story-line, this series is about a starting out, struggling rock band. I really love the whole idea of a series of books that follows a band, the happiness, the parties, the fights, all the drama that goes with the rock star lifestyle...we can live it first hand, even if we are just reading it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zachary Harshaw
Rock On, Blar!, December 20, 2013 By
Zachary HarshawThis review is from: It Really IS Rocket Science: A Rock'n'Roll Fantasy (Kindle Edition)


Brad H Branham brings us the story of Blar Umlaut, a world-weary underground rocker who wonders if he still has what it takes to keep it real with his music. A chance meeting in the snow with Russian rocker Tsika puts into motion a series of events that might be enough to reignite his passion, both for music and for life. He agrees to help her band The Lost Girls break into the business, and things get complicated quickly. His growing feelings for Tsika, as well as managing the lives of her bandmates, result in a satisfying journey of redemption for everyone. It's a difficult path, for sure, but you're sure to enjoy the journey. Fans of the music business, alternative rock music, and unlikely love stories will have a hard time putting this book down.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grady Harp
Exploring the underground music colony, December 19, 2013
Grady Harp (Los Angeles, CA United States)
(TOP 50 REVIEWER) (VINE VOICE) (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER) (REAL NAME)

This review is from: It Really IS Rocket Science: A Rock'n'Roll Fantasy (Kindle Edition)
Author Brad Branham has a definite knack for walking the walk and talking the talk of that dark and seemingly twisted world of underground rock bands. Despite his credentials being well lodged in the world of electrical engineering and software development on NASA projects, defense contracting, and scientific pursuits, his gut level response is for raw life fiction and offering other views and stances on those parts of the population that are esteemed by some, ignored by others, and avoided by most. There has to be a degree of music performer in this man to be able to describe his chosen life set of this novel - the underground rock bands. He observes them well and offers a different more entertaining cadence to this genre of novels than most other writers - a reminder of sorts of `The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test' by Tom Wolfe of 1968, but bounced forward some 45 years and with a hefty does of acid rock/goth/heavy metal et al.

The story opens in snowy Portland, Oregon where we meet Blar Umlaut (great name, cleverly devised!) who has been famous as a rock band musician once but his career is in abeyance at present. He meets Tsika, an exotic appearing Russian goth bass player who after a fall in the snow finds herself in the shower and loft of Blar. They have much in common - both are involved in weird garb and weirder music and both have their own concept of bands (Tsika has The Lost Girls - Tsika, Glycerin and Kpau) and it is this nonchalant coming together that leads the two into a different passage through the unreal fantasy world of underground rock as we follow these strange, volatile but ultimately fun and needy fellow human beings around the strange Dantesque levels of emotional highs and lows.

Branham writes well, able to paint the scenery and costumes of these grungy musicians with great skill. And at the core of his book are life lessons about relationships and dreams and fantasies that rise above the odd stagecraft. It makes us wonder where his next volume will take us. Grady Harp, December 13
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Old 2014-01-31, 03:12   Link #268
Vexx
Obey the Darkly Cute ...
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
Right, the reality is I've got to focus on the prep and release of volume 2 for bookshelves over the next two weeks. I've got the outlines for the last part of Volume 3 (the Japan tour) but yeah. Deadlines. At this point, yeah - it is substantial a much more mature storyline and I've had a chance to fix most of the sketchy stuff.

Over the holidays, I remade some of my early videos using what I know now.
These are from the early days (volume 1) - the Lost Girls band and the first month of the Rocket Science band.
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??????
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Old 2014-02-01, 20:18   Link #269
Vexx
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
As part of my social media branding (yes, it's all BS but apparently readers like to have a "personal relationship" with their authors these days), I put out a steady stream of posts in FB/Twitter/Tumblr/wtfever talking about the music industry, bands I follow, what my cover models are doing lately, random excerpts from the book, etc.

I shared this item the other day. The two singers of Black Flag and Black Sabbath in the same place -- it is likely serious pranks followed:
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Old 2014-02-01, 20:34   Link #270
Vexx
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
The model who portrays Tsika on Volume 2 shot a few candid pictures for me last week - the premise is that the drummer Kpau likes to "paparazzi" on Tsika, catching the Vampire Princess in less than perfect moments. So while Tsika wants the world to see her as a perfect little princess.

The second volume will have a collection of Kpau's candid snapshots of Tsika on the back cover as a bonus to those who buy the paperback arranged in a little collage.
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Old 2014-02-10, 00:57   Link #271
Vexx
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Age: 57
Death march, volume two edits. Let's try this. Some stuff I've been posting on social media:

This picture reminds me of Glycerin in Japan --
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Old 2014-02-10, 00:58   Link #272
Vexx
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More Death March diversions:
Something Tsika might be getting from Blar as a christmas gift --
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Old 2014-02-10, 01:04   Link #273
Vexx
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10 year old Zoe Thompson (MiniBand) doing a guitar cover of "Hail To The King" by Avenged Sevenfold. Kids like Zoe and others are my basis for Glycerin being an unearthly talent at 23 -- when you practice every spare hour of the day with such focus: yeah.

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Old 2014-02-10, 01:06   Link #274
Vexx
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Death March diversion. We see it building up in volume 3 but is this actually gonna happen? Hmmm.
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Old 2014-02-10, 01:12   Link #275
Vexx
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I've decided in the course of writing that the band "It Really IS Rocket Science" focuses their original work in the area of psychedelic rock and melodic blues metal with excursions into shred and punk - they shift across several genre.

Bands like Wolfmother, Katla, and Mount Salem come to mind (this piece is by the latter):
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Old 2014-02-11, 19:21   Link #276
Vexx
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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From Kpau's Folder of the Odd and Quirkified, on her list of Things To Do When I Have A Moment:

Tainted Love ala FDD/HDD:
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House of the Rising Sun ala Tesla Coil:
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Christopher Walken *dancing* to Fatboy Slim:
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And finally, a snapshot of Tsika being taken out on the town by Blar in Tokyo (from a photo shoot by my volume two cover model). This is coincidentally almost a pixel perfect description I wrote for her appearance on the date:
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Old 2014-02-13, 15:38   Link #277
Vexx
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
In the world of "how many things can interfere with me finishing Volume Two and publishing it" ... my house drain plumbing exploded earlier this week. When not pumping or vacuuming, I've been spending all day with plumbers and their cohorts with cameras analyzing the problem.

This, of course, annihilates writing time. Apologies to those waiting for the next rough draft chapter of Volume 3. I haven't died, I haven't stopped ... just too many alligators in the swamp at the moment.
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Old 2014-02-21, 05:26   Link #278
Vexx
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Age: 57
I may actually get this novel of Volume Two submitted for printing in a few more days. Argh, it's been really tough beating the shit out of it to make it good.

In the meantime, some pics I've collected:
This is Countess Raven Pride - Gräfin Rabenstolz, a German alt model. She's SIX FEET TALL (1.8m). I saw her pics and thought she had that stance and pose of a tall lovely person so I wrote her and asked. She answered - and seemed happy I was writing a character who was as tall as her in a story. She says she's a bookworm, loves to read stories. I'm just transfixed when I come across real life people who resemble characters I've created.


A guitar Tsika might pick up later ... custom bass axe worth $5000-$10000.


Might be Glycerin in one of her intermediate hairstyles in Volume Two:


Right. Anyway, Finished editing Volume Two - just fitting into paperback format and designing the back cover with the snapshots by Kpau catching Tsika in embarrassing moments.
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Old 2014-02-23, 17:48   Link #279
Vexx
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Age: 57
Came across a model that might pass Aina in her younger days when she and Blar were romancing and running Gothic Fire. Works for me.
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Old 2014-03-03, 23:13   Link #280
Vexx
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
The lesson I learned over the last two weeks is that I was far too confident of work I had not really reviewed carefully. It tells me I need to pace and schedule Volume Three much more conservatively. So it goes. I'm told after the tenth book it gets more automatic <buhahahahaha... yes, we're all mad here>

Just one more chapter of error correction to volume two. More visual distraction thanks to my model friend. She's down in Prague again doing a goth clothing shoot for a store. Seriously, if I were 25 years younger and single I would be courting this little jewel and not just because she's pretty, she's quite funny - - but it's quite fun being a friend, collaborating on projects, and building our business angles. She'll be on the fourth volume cover as well if the schedule works out.



A winter image:
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