Saturday, October 27, 2012

"La Llorona" Hits Me Between The Eyes!

There are some stories that are so visceral and intense that they grab ahold of your mind and won't let go.  I heard one of these stories from an episode of "Grimm", titled "La Llorona."  The show blew my mind, and is going to be the only modern television show that I am going to follow because most TV is junk.  It also introduced me to a Spanish myth that I want to include in my book series.  In it, a woman named Maria drowns her children in a rage after her husband ditches her, only to regret it later and drown herself as well.  She then haunts rivers and lakes as a malevolent ghost named "La Llorona", which means, "the Weeping Woman."  Late at night, she captures and drowns children.  After doing some digging, I was pleased to find out that "Grimm" was pretty faithful to the myth.  The only real difference is that, in the show, she had three children instead of two, which was a change made for plot-related reasons.  At any rate, the story is still haunting me, which is why I am going to include the myth in my own book series.  Even though my series is biblically-based, I am a huge lover of mythology and include those tales as well.  This one will be used for the most dangerous human character whom I have ever created.  After encountering her, I want my readers to feel the same chills which I was given by the "La Llorona" myth.  Now, obviously, I am going to take some artistic liberty with the tale so that it will fit better into my world.  At the same time, the core, creepy spirit of it will stay the same, so that it will still hit my readers between the eyes!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Ronda Rousey "Submits" Dana White! Women Are Coming To The UFC!

I found out earlier today that Dana White is going to create a women's division in the UFC!  In an article on Sports Illustrated's website (which I saw through a link on Twitter), Dana White said that he was definitely going to have a women's division.  He was dead set against it until he met Ronda Rousey, the coolest girl in MMA.  She has slowly been changing his mind, even to the point where he put the preview to her match against Sarah Kaufman on UFC's official site.  It seems now that he has finally "submitted", so to speak, and has agreed to bring women into the octagon!  Thank goodness!  I thought he was going to make us wait until he had a 115 lbs. division, a 105 lbs. division, a super heavyweight division, and a bunch of other divisions which we don't need.  Although, now that I think about it, a super heavyweight division would be kind of cool (Tubby thunder!!!!).  But I digress.  Women are coming to the UFC!  I know everyone is demanding a Rousey-Santos superfight, but I personally think that, without the drugs, Santos is doomed.  What I am more interested in seeing is a "Battle of the Olympians."  In other words, I want to see Rousey go toe-to-toe with Sara McMann!  Sara will probably have to earn a couple of more wins before that happens, but, as an Olympic silver medalist in wrestling, I think that she can pull it off.  At any rate, I am glad that I will finally be able to see the fairer sex open up a can of whoop-tushy in the cage without having to buy premium cable. 

You can read the article for yourself below:

Saturday, October 20, 2012

More Setting Details...

I decided to also hunt through my "Tales of Nineveh" drafts, to see if there are any locales which belong in "Black Swan Origins: Nineveh."  There are 31 total, one for each day of January.  I just finished going through Story 7 today.  I can't wait until I am done so that I can draw the map.  I've toyed with the idea of having the events of the novel reflect an MMA fight, since the school is going to be in the shape of an octagon.  However, I decided that that would be going a bit overboard.  I do, however, need to have a dueling arena for the boys.  I have developed a place where the girls fight to the death to settle personal scores and since this is an extremely patriarchal society, the boys need to have one, too.  I will create one for them as soon as I finish compiling what I already have. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Jones Vs. Sonnen For TUF Season 17?!

Looks like I can't call the light heavyweight champ "Chicken Bones" Jones anymore!  I just read an article on which says that he and Chael Sonnen will be opposing coaches on the next season of "The Ultimate Fighter."  At the end, they will fight for the title.  I want to say that I am freaking stoked for this!  At the same time, there are some drawbacks:

1) Sonnen has not done enough to earn this opportunity, so it cheapens the light heavyweight title.  The UFC 151 situation was different.  Sonnen deserved a shot because he was the only one willing to take it.  Everyone else got their turn in line, so to speak, and wimped out at the prospect of fighting the No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.  He became the man for the job because he was the only man willing to do it.  However, at this point, to shove him to the front of the line before the winners of Henderson vs. Machida and Shogun vs. Gustafsson doesn't make much sense, other than as a "thank you" for being a company man. 

2)  Sonnen is going to be rusty as heck coming in to this fight, since he is not going to have his December match against Forrest Griffin.  The match would have not only kept him sharp, but would also be a confidence booster if he managed to avenge his previous loss to the former light heavyweight champ.  Ring rust is not something that you want against a man of Jon Jones' caliber. 

On the one hand, there are some major pros to this decision:

1) Jon Jones gets to redeem himself in the eyes of the fans.  This is good because, once Anderson Silva retires, he's the one who's going to be carrying the torch. 

2) The UFC will make a ton of money because this match has a built-in, WWE-esque storyline.  The fallen hero, Jon Jones, who had his name dragged through the mud because of the UFC 151 cancellation, gets to regain his honor by fighting the biggest MMA villain of all time.  Also, Sonnen, the man who almost beat Anderson Silva, gets one final chance to prove that he can earn UFC gold before he succumbs to every fighter's nemesis: age. 

3) People will actually start watching "The Ultimate Fighter" again.  Nelson and Carwin simply don't have the same kind of star appeal that Jones and Sonnen have. 

In other words, this is a high-risk move by Dana White that can either blow up in his face, or take the UFC to new heights.  Either way, I can't wait to see what happens!

You can read more about this turn of events at the link below:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My Thoughts On UFC 153

Wow!  Last night was freaking awesome!  We saw five fighters establish dominance in two rounds or less and a battle of wills between a grizzled veteran and a young lion.  I also correctly predicted the winners of five out of the six fights, so my gut instincts, while not perfect, are very good.  Here are my thoughts on each fight:

Maia vs. Story:  Maia managed to take Story down in the first round and submitted him with a nasty rear naked choke against the cage.  I'm glad that Story tapped because when blood dripped from his nose, I was worried that he would get permanently injured.

Davis vs. Prado:  Davis dominated Prado in Round 1 with several takedowns and in Round 2, managed to transition from an arm-triangle attempt into a wonderful (pun intended) anaconda choke with a gator roll.  I hope that he gets another crack at one of the top ten light heavyweights after this.

Fitch vs. Silva:  Fitch controlled most of the fight early with superior grappling.  In the second round, Erick Silva caught him with a deep rear naked choke and I thought that Fitch was finished.  However, the veteran managed to tough it out and get an armbar, which Silva escaped.  He caught Silva in a rear naked choke of his own and survived a guillotine choke.  In the end, it was his heart that won out.  In Round 3, he broke Silva's will with ground-and-pound.  The fight should have been stopped because Silva wasn't defending himself intelligently.  He was just covering himself with his arms and trying not to die, basically.  Nonetheless, it was a great match and Fitch proved that he is still one of the toughest welterweights around, giving the young lion the learning experience of his life.   

Texiera vs. Maldonado: Texiera dropped Maldonado with a left in Round 1 and dominated him on the ground with calculated punches and elbows.  He went for an arm-triangle but Maldonado defended against it.  Maldonado managed to get up and stunned Glover with a left hook, but he had already taken too much damage.  His face looked like someone had taken a hammer to it.  Thankfully, the doctor stopped it at the end of Round 2, but you got to give it to Maldonado.  He not only asked for this fight, but refused to give up.  Glover was very impressive and is clearly a force to be reckoned with.  He deserves a match with a top ten light heavyweight.  Hopefully, that test will come in the form of his original opponent: Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.

Noguiera vs. Herman: Minotauro made a great UFC comeback, submitting Herman with an armbar in Round 2.  He took him down, sink it in deep, and rolled with Herman when he tried to roll out of it.  I doubt that Minotauro will become a champion again, but I can see him being a top five heavyweight for the next two years and hope that he gets a third crack at his rival, Frank Mir.  At any rate, I have definitely become a serious Minotauro Noguiera fan. 

Silva vs. Bonnar: I like Anderson Silva and think he is a funny guy.  That being said, his antics in this fight were a bit much.  When he was up against the cage and Bonnar was hitting him, I thought he was getting hurt.  That was until I noticed the bored look on his face.  I realized that he was just playing with him and was trying to see if he could still dodge Bonnar's blows with his back to the cage to try to challenge himself.  Suffice it to say that he succeeded, pulling matrix-style evastion tactics even after he had allowed himself to be cornered.  As soon as he got tired of clowning around, he smashed Bonnar with a knee to the solar plexus and dropped him. 

I sincerely hope that Silva decides to challenge himself by facing Jon Jones.  Even though he said that he only went up to light heavyweight to save the event and wants to stay at middleweight, I don't see what he has to gain by humiliating outmatched opponents.  I hope that one day, Dana White will finally convince the two greatest MMA fighters to go at it.  For now, I will simply look forward to the Battle of the Strategists: GSP vs. Carlos Condit. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

UFC 153 Predictions

Sadly, injuries have reduced a blockbuster card to a bunch of fun exhibition bouts.  Nonetheless, I still look forward to watching UFC 153 tonight.  Here are my predictions for what will happen.

Demaian Maia vs. Rick Story: Maia had an impressive welterweight debut against Dong Hyun Kim, not only taking down a judo guy, but injuring him to the point where the fight had to be stopped.  I haven't seen Rick Story fight, but after seeing his record on UFC's official website, he doesn't look particularly impressive.

Winner: Maia by submission in Round 1.

Phil Davis vs. Wagner Prado: Hopefully, an eye poke won't ruin this rematch.  The man known as "Caldeiro" looks tough.  However,  "Mr. Wonderful" has a proven track record in the Octagon, his only loss being to Rashad Evans.  I see his experience being the deciding factor in this fight.

Winner: Davis by unanimous decision.

Jon Fitch vs. Erick Silva:  I personally thought that it was unfair to disqualify Silva for one shot to the back of the head when he was dominating Carlo Prater.  It was clearly an accident and Prater was done long before that.  At any rate, the match showed that he is a force to be reckoned with.  Jon Fitch is a strong contender in the welterweight division, his only recent loss being an upset by Johny Hendricks.  However, I see the veteran getting upset again tonight.

Winner: Silva by KO in Round 2.

Glover Texiera vs. Fabio Maldonado:  Finally, I get to see "the Baker" in action, so that I can figure out why the legendary Mauricio "Shogun" Rua was afraid to fight him.  If he lives up to the hype (and I have the gut feeling that he will), then this should be like watching a lion squish a mouse.

Winner: Texiera by KO in Round 1.

Minotauro Noguiera vs. Dave Herman:  When I first saw Frank Mir snap Minotauro's arm like a toothpick, I thought that the Brazilian heavyweight legend was done.  However, I've now changed my mind about him.  He may not be on the top of the heap anymore, but I think that Minotauro will be able to get one more win under his belt before he finally retires.

Winner: Noguiera by submission in Round 1.

Anderson Silva vs. Stephan Bonnar: The Lion vs. the Mouse Part II!  Okay, so you have the most dominant mixed martial artist alive vs. a guy whose biggest claim to fame is losing to Forrest Griffin seven years ago.  Bonnar certainly has brass balls, but he is truly an American Psycho if he thinks that he can last more than one round against "the Spider."

Winner: Silva by KO in Round 1.

Let's see if I am right!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Slow And Steady Wins The Race

I started a new job a couple of weeks ago, so my writing time has taken a hit.  However, I got back on track today.  I'm still plucking out setting details from my current draft to create a map of the school.  In addition, I will have to consult the short stories I wrote in January, since there are a lot of awesome places I uncover in those tales which deserve to be in "Black Swan Origins: Nineveh."  My goal is to have a map of the school and be done with Version 7.0 by December 1. 

For NaNoWritMo, I am trying to decide whether to edit "Tales of Nineveh" into an anthology or work on a King Arthur novel I've been toying with.  I'm really leaning towards the former, because it will allow me to kill two birds with one stone by creating a book and organizing the backstory of Cassandra, Maxine, "The Executioner", "The Countess", "The Siren", and other key "Black Swan Origins: Nineveh" characters.  Not to mention it will include the appearance of Lambert's archenemy, "The Dark One", who is only alluded to in "Black Swan Origins: Nineveh."  I'll decide by next Saturday which one I will pursue. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Discovered Cassandra's Fighting Moniker!

While going through my manuscript to get more details about the setting, I got a brilliant idea for Cassandra's fighting moniker.  I had a couple of ideas before, such as "Swan Dagger" and "Aino", but none of them really fit.  The one I gave her actually used to belong to her cousin, but I figured out that it would be a much better fit for Cassandra.  Even though Cassandra is normally very tender-hearted, inside the ring, she is a freaking monster.  The other girls of her class are terrified of fighting her.  The moniker I gave her instantly evokes fear and terror.  I can't wait for my book to be finished and published so that you all can find out what it is. 

That being said, while I did take a break to write that idea down, I realized that it was just distracting me from my goal to get the setting complete.  So as soon as I was done, I went back to the task at hand.  I actually considered hiring an architect to design the school, but I decided that that would be overkill and way too expensive.  I'll just do it on my own and show it to my beta readers to get feedback.