The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #347: March/April 2022 Question and Answer Session

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #347: March/April 2022 Question and Answer Session

https://archive.org/download/podcast-347/Podcast%20347.mp3

 

This week, we have out last question and answer session!  

My brother, Jeremy, who will be on soon to discuss the film Highlander, returns this month with these questions:

1) Do you have any preference between the fantasy and sci-fi genres, and if so, why do you think that’s the case? I’m asking because some people are strictly in favor of one versus the other, and then there are those who hate traditional “elves and orcs” fantasy but really love Star Wars, which is basically “wizards in space.
 
The Last Starfighter (1984) - IMDb
 
2) The villain of The Thirteenth Hour, Klax, underwent quite a few changes in all of the novel’s drafts, moving from a fairly 2D bad guy to somewhat sympathetic in the final product. What makes a memorable villain in your opinion and who are some of your favorite bad guys?
 
klax faceplateRM
 
 
Why I'd like to be … Tim Curry in Legend | Movies | The Guardian
 
3) What are some of your favorite fantasy creatures? The Thirteenth Hour has dragons and unicorns but not too many other fantastical beasts – are there some creatures that you’re interested in featuring in later books?
 
logan with unicornWM
dragon aurora color small
 
Check out Jeremy‘s work over at Pixel Grotto, CBR.com, and Classic Batman Panels on IG.  You can support his work on Ko-fi and get access to in-depth, exclusive Batman content here.   If you are of the DnD persuasion, his articles on DnD Beyond may be right up your alley.  Thanks, Jeremy, for coming on the show!
 
These next five comes from frequent show guest Adam from @mom_gave_them_away, who was just on the show for episodes 340341 on Rambo/First Blood.
 
4.) I don’t think I’ve ever heard you talk about your favorite superhero. Let hear one for Marvel, DC and an independent publisher.
 
Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider, Vol. 1: Back in the Hood by Peter David
 
Nightwing Admits He Failed as Robin (But Tim Drake Didn't)
 
59e59-01davestevens_rocketeerpromo_100
 
5.) The movie that scared you the most as a kid?
 
Ben-Hur (1959 film) - Wikipedia
Jaws (1975) - IMDb
 
6.) You have to live off of one food forever, what is it?
 
Maruchan Ramen Noodle Soup Chicken Flavor, 12 ct, 8 Ounce (Pack of 12)
 
7.) Your clone, John Rambo, has to live off of one food forever. What is it?
 
GORP - Trail Mix - Snacks - Nuts.com
 
8.) What’s your favorite fictional female character?
 
SpaceCampUSA on Twitter: "Happy Birthday to @LeaKThompson! Or as we know  her, Kathryn Fairly. #SpaceCamp https://t.co/QoouDE1Eh5" / Twitter
 
Find more of Adam’s work on the interwebs at ACtoydesign and his shop of original resin toys.  He does a number of podcasts as well – I Have Spoken (a Star Wars podcast), Death by Podcast (a vintage horror podcast), and You like Toys (a Patreon exclusive podcast about toys and nostalgia). 

Thanks, everyone, for your contributions!  It was a good time these past three months as an experiment to how user generated questions would go.  Patreon members – stay tuned for more of these for the Patreon exclusive episodes in the future or to ask questions for the main podcast.

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #346: Musical Interlude – Finishing “Homecoming” – a Slow, Introspective Synth Track

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #346: Musical Interlude – Finishing “Homecoming” – a Slow, Introspective Synth Track

https://archive.org/download/podcast-346/Podcast%20346.mp3

This week, I’m working on the last piece in the upcoming second Thirteenth Hour soundtrack.  The track, called “Homecoming” is an incidental piece of music I made back in the summer but wasn’t sure how to finish.  But today, I’m wrapping it up by adding two additional layers – a short melody for the “verses” using a xylophone sound (to invoke the feeling of nostalgia/childhood) as well as a choral vocal overlay.  The draft plays at the end of the episode.   A few pictures from part of the book that inspired this piece:

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Next week, we’re going to do another Q and A episode!  If you have questions or things you’d like to share, feel free to email me them at writejoshuablum@gmail.com.

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #343: Musical Interlude – Making a Backing Track for “No Hero” and Playing “Loved by the Sun” from Legend

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #343: Musical Interlude – Making a Backing Track for “No Hero” and Playing “Loved by the Sun” from Legend

https://archive.org/download/podcast-343/Podcast%20343.mp3

This week, I’m working on two music pieces – one of the last tracks from the upcoming second Thirteenth Hour soundtrack.  The song, called “No Hero (The Future is Here)” is basically the equivalent of the soundtrack’s ending track (like a song that would play over the ending credits).   Some previews:

I’m working on the backing synth track today.  The version on the podcast was an early warmup.  At the time of this writing, many, many frustrating recording attempts (and hours) later, I do have a version of the backing track that is 95% done.     

Speaking of ending tracks, I’ve also been playing around with the ending song from the US release of Legend, which we’ll be talking about in the coming week.  The song playing as the movie ends is “Loved by the Sun” by Tangerine Dream and sung by Jon Anderson from the band Yes.  I’m just messing around with on the guitar with my kids in the version on the podcast, but here is a much better orchestral version of the song done by kids with the O’Keefe Music Foundation, a nonprofit that provides free music instruction to children. 

Look for more on Legend next week and the release of Once Upon a Dream later this year!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #342: February 2022 Question and Answer Session

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #42: February 2022 Question and Answer Session

https://archive.org/download/podcast-342/Podcast%20342.mp3

This week, I’ve got a few quick updates and will be digging into the second set of questions that came in.  I really appreciate all the thoughtful questions!

Before we begin, I have finally finished the Lego Rocketeer including their boxes.  Now just need to list them and get them ready for auction for two charity organizations in Dave Stevens’ name.

My brother, Jeremy, who was just on for episode 337 to discuss The Black Cauldron and who will be on soon to discuss the film Legend, returns this month with these questions:

1) What was it about films like The Neverending Story that resonated with you as a child and served as fuel for the style of ’80s fantasy that The Thirteenth Hour represents? In your mind, what do you think is stylistically different about ’80s fantasy films as opposed to the stuff that came after? (like The Lord of the Rings movies or modern day shows like The Witcher).

2) The Thirteenth Hour straddles a lot of genres and defies classification – you could call it a fantasy/young adult book, but that doesn’t quite hit the mark. What are some of the restrictions and quirks of these genres that bothered you as a kid and still bother you as an adult? (i.e.: the tendency for fantasy series to be long multi-book affairs that get a little drunk on their own worldbuilding and politics; the fact that most YA books have to fit within the mold established by Harry Potter or The Hunger Games to survive)

3) Did you ever envision The Thirteenth Hour as a comic? In a perfect world, what would a comic adaptation of the story look like in your eyes? Would you go for a long running series that expands on the mythology that you wrote, or maybe a big one-shot a la Dave Steven’s Rocketeer work that’s self-contained?

Check out Jeremy‘s work over at Pixel Grotto, CBR.com, and Classic Batman Panels on IG.  You can support his work on Ko-fi and get access to in-depth, exclusive Batman content here.   If you are of the DnD persuasion, his articles on DnD Beyond may be right up your alley.  Thanks, Jeremy, for coming on the show!
 
These first five comes from frequent show guest Adam from @mom_gave_them_away, who was just on the show for episodes 340341 on Rambo/First Blood.

4.) Favorite Gene Wilder role, not necessarily favorite movie?

5.) Favorite toy line as a kid?
 
6.) Within that favorite toy line, what’s your favorite figure?
 
7.) Can you nail down your favorite year of the 80s?
 
8.) Did you take piano lessons, and if so, do you remember your first lesson?
 
Find more of Adam’s work on the interwebs at ACtoydesign and his shop of original resin toys.  He does a number of podcasts as well – I Have Spoken (a Star Wars podcast), Death by Podcast (a vintage horror podcast), and You like Toys (a Patreon exclusive podcast about toys and nostalgia). 

Two of my favorite GI Joe figures – Lady Jaye and Snake Eyes from the GI Joe 80s cartoon.

I don’t a lot of the toys from my youth currently with me, but have found a few in later years.  The little blue Prius from Japan is there representing Micro Machines and the Japanese import that was my first GoBot.  The blue robot is a GoBot that was my favorite as a kid, and the Air Raider pilot (which was one of the ones I had as kid), represents all the smaller size figures I liked playing with as a child. 

Thanks, everyone, for your contributions!  It was a good time.  We’ll do it again next month (for the episode to be released on 3/28/22).  If you have questions, feel free to email me them at writejoshuablum@gmail.com.

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #339: The 5 Elements, The Water Tiger, and a Reading from Empty Hands

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #339: The 5 Elements, The Water Tiger, and a Reading from Empty Hands

https://archive.org/download/podcast-339/Podcast%20339.mp3

Since it recently became the year of the water tiger (per the Chinese version of the lunar calendar), I thought for this week’s show, it might be interesting to look at some of the philosophical underpinnings behind the elemental alignments the characters in The Thirteenth Hour martial arts novella, Empty Hands, have (Earth, Wind, Water, Fire, Void).

The original inspiration was Japanese esoteric Buddhism and the martial arts that use that system as a way of figuratively describing different kinds energy.   You’ll find more about this in epsiode 151 on the godai and in texts like The Book of Five Rings.

There is also a separate, very similar system tracing back to ancient Chinese astronomy using slightly different elements (Earth 🌎 土, wood 🪵 木, fire 🔥 火, metal ⚔️ 金, and water 💦 水), widely used in things like traditional Chinese medicine and martial arts.  Those five elements are paired with the twelve zodiac signs to make 60 different signs, this year’s water tiger sign being one.  Since these ideas spread through a lot of Asia, you see them in cultures beyond China.  In that way, they looped back to Japan.

img_6445img_6444

There, these ideas became the gogyo (五行 – “five phases”).  In the episode, I read a section on this topic from Stephen K Hayes’ Mystic Arts of the Ninja (the two graphics above are from that book) as well as a section from Empty Hands, which was inspired by both this and the godai system in creating elemental alignments for the characters as a way of encapsulating their personalities (and in a way, making their easier to write!)

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #338: January 2022 Question and Answer Session

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #338: January 2022 Question and Answer Session

https://archive.org/download/podcast-338/Podcast%20338.mp3

This week, I’ve got a few quick updates and will be digging into the questions y’all sent.  I really appreciate all the thoughtful questions!

These first five comes from frequent show guest Adam from @mom_gave_them_away:

1.) What’s your favorite 80s toy line of all time?

2.) What’s your favorite contemporary toy line of all time?

3.) If you could change one thing about The Rocketeer movie, what would it be?

4.) If there was a new Rocketeer movie, who would you like to see in the cast? Excluding the obvious choice of The Rock for the lead role.

5.) How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?

Find more of Adam’s work on the interwebs at ACtoydesign and his shop of original resin toys.  He does a number of podcasts as well – I Have Spoken (a Star Wars podcast), Death by Podcast (a vintage horror podcast), and You like Toys (a Patreon exclusive podcast about toys and nostalgia).   

My brother, Jeremy, who was just on for episode 337 to discuss The Black Cauldron, returns to drop the next question set:

6.) In a perfect world, if you had to pick just one, would you rather see The Thirteenth Hour visualized as a big budget movie akin to the 80s flicks that inspired you, a long-running cartoon series with one of those badass intros with dudes singing, or a retro video game like the one you tried to make way back in the day?

7.) I know that The Thirteenth Hour Book 2 has been on hiatus for a bit; has the general story changed at all due to side projects you’ve been engaged in? On that note, has the trajectory of characters like Logan, Aurora and the Wayfarer changed at all after everything that you’ve experienced the last two years as a dad raising kids in this crazy new Covid world we live in?

8.) Now that you’re a fully fledged custom toymaker, are there any other projects you want to embark upon with the characters from the book? Making Thirteenth Hour dioramas? The World of The Thirteenth Hour Guide Book? A new short story?

Check out Jeremy‘s work over at Pixel Grotto, CBR.com, and Classic Batman Panels on IG.  You can support his work on Ko-fi and get access to in-depth, exclusive Batman content here.   If you are of the DnD persuasion, his articles on DnD Beyond may be right up your alley.  Thanks, Jeremy, for coming on the show!

Wrapping us up for the first Thirteenth Hour podcast Q & A is one of my favorite people in the world, Doug Bernon:

9.) If Howard and Beverly had a child, what do you think their kid would look and be like?

10.) How do you think Logan and Aurora would have handled a pandemic?

11.) Cliff Secord’s helmet is already pretty magnificent. If you were designing one for yourself today, what would it look like?

12.) What role did the movie The Rocketeer play in your life as a kid? Is that the backstory for Logan and Aurora and The Thirteenth Hour?

You can find out more about Doug Bernon in the pages of Cruising World Magazine (he and his wife have sailed all around the world) and through pictures of bread at https://www.instagram.com/wellbredloafing/

Thanks, everyone, for your contributions!  It was a blast.  We’ll do it again next month (for the episode to be released on 2/28/22).  If you have questions, feel free to email me them at writejoshuablum@gmail.com.

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #270 and Like a Hood Ornament 18: Welcome Author and Comic Book Artist Brian Fies

Episode #270 and Like a Hood Ornament 18: Welcome Author and Comic Book Artist Brian Fies

https://archive.org/download/podcast-270/Podcast%20270.mp3

This week, I’d like to welcome author and illustrator Brian Fies, of works such as What Ever Happened to the World of Tomorrow? and A Fire Story for another installment of the Like a Hood Ornament Rocketeer segment.

I first heard of his work on this episode of The Rocketeer Minute with Jim O’Kane and Hal Bryan (who were on episodes 249 and 250) talking, of course, about the Rocketeer but also his graphic novel, What Ever Happened to the World of Tomorrow?, which chronicles America’s journey in the 20th century from a pre-WW2 sense of optimism in the future of less disease, better living through chemistry, jet packs for all, flying cars, and wrist communicators through the Space Race with the USSR to the gradual waning and disillusionment with space exploration in the 80s and beyond.

We also touch on his most recent work, A Fire Story, about the loss of his home in the 2017 California fires (timely especially now given that US West coast residents are again dealing with the same situation). Here’s a frame from his initial version (drawn at the time of the loss as a kind of chronicle of what was happening).

img_2146

You can check out his webcomic, The Last Mechanical Monster, here (highly recommended!): https://www.gocomics.com/the-last-mechanical-monster/2020/10/07

Find more about Brian Fies at facebook and his blog;  http://brianfies.blogspot.com/

I wanted to finish the short story, “The Last Rocketeer” in time for this episode, since they are tied together serendipitously, as we’ll discuss in the episode.  Some of the lost luster of the early part of the 20th century discussed in What Ever Happened to the World of Tomorrow? kind of reminded me of the quietly reluctant hero portrayed by Sam Elliot in The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot, and I figured all these forces converging together meant I should proceed with my weird idea of combining The Rocketeer with The Last Starfighter after all.  Well, the story’s done, just in time for Halloween, which figures into the end, though I won’t say how.  It’s been a fun ride!  I hope Cliff has earned some well deserved rest and inner peace.  A few of the illustrations, mostly done with the kids in daddy day care art time:

last rocketeer cover actualimg_1490rocketeer kodan dogfightimg_2144

By the way, proceeds from the next Thirteenth Hour LP, Once Upon a Dream, will also be donated to the organization Corazon de Vida (see episode 268).  If you are also interested in helping to support their mission, learn more at https://www.corazondevida.org/get-involved.  Join me and others at the virtual event that Corazon de Vida is throwing on 10/29/20 at 7 PM PST by clicking on the picture below or here.

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #269: October Updates and Most Recent Draft of “Once Upon a Dream”

Episode #269: October Updates and Most Recent Draft of “Once Upon a Dream”

https://archive.org/download/podcast-269/Podcast%20269.mp3

This week, there was so much “housekeeping” business to take care of, I made it a whole episode.  Here’s the lineup:

-I am just about done the title track, “Once Upon a Dream,” for the next Thirteenth Hour soundtrack LP.  I finally figured out what was missing from the backing part.  More synth (there’s a surprise).  Then it all fit together.  It’s odd, in a way, since the beat is fast (120 bpm), but the vocals are actually quite slow, much slower than I anticipated.  So there’s an alternating ascending / descending note progression that can be heard in the background (that’s the new part) that helps to bridge the gap between the tempo of the beat and the speed of the vocals.  This version can be heard at the end of the episode.

-Speaking of synth, check out the weekly podcast, SR Weekly.  Steven, the host, who goes by the alias Synth Redneck, used to host his show on youtube but has since moved it over to an audio only format that is available on major podcasting platforms.  If you check out the 9/16/20 episode, you’ll hear The Thirteenth Hour synth orchestra theme as one of the selections in that week’s set.  If you’re a synth musician yourself, you can submit your music for consideration to be included in a future episode or just check out the lineup with each episode to discover some great new music.

-By the way, proceeds from the next Thirteenth Hour LP, Once Upon a Dream, will also be donated to the organization Corazon de Vida (see last week’s episode).  If you are also interested in helping to support their mission, learn more at https://www.corazondevida.org/get-involved.  Join me and others at the virtual event that Corazon de Vida is throwing on 10/29/20 at 7 PM PST by clicking on the picture below or here.

-Speaking of guests, next week’s we’ll be hearing from author and illustrator Brian Fies, of works such as What Ever Happened to the World of Tomorrow? for another installment of the Like a Hood Ornament Rocketeer segment.  I hope also to have finished the short story, “The Last Rocketeer” in time for that episode, since they are tied together serendipitously, as we’ll discuss in the episode.

-Speaking of other creative folks, check out frequent podcast guest Adam of ACToyDesign on Patreon for an exclusive podcast all about toys, including a lot of retro 80s content.

-This year, Halloween falls on a Saturday, always a treat when you’re a kid (at least it was that way when I was a kid and you could spend all day out collecting bags a bags of candy – one year, I collected two whole pillowcases).  Stay tuned!  I’ll try to come up with something special for the end of the month!

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9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #268: Welcome Hilda Pacheco Taylor of Corazon de Vida – A Positive View of Orphanages

Episode #268: Welcome Hilda Pacheco-Taylor of Corazon de Vida – A Positive View of Orphanages

https://archive.org/download/podcast-268/Podcast%20268.mp3

This week, I’m pleased to welcome Hilda Pacheco-Taylor of the organization Corazon de Vida, which helps to raise funds for a number of orphanages in Baja, Mexico (which are 100% reliant on donations to stay open).   We met in a very serendipitous way, but I thought it would be really interesting to speak to someone who knew more about what life was like in orphanages given that Logan and Aurora from The Thirteenth Hour both grew up in one.

When writing the initial draft of the story, I wanted to create a better home for them in the Aquarian Orphanage than movies and fairy tales often give their protagonists.  In a lot of stories, childhood trauma is used to fuel later motivations, and the lack of parents gives the writer free reign to have the characters do things that most parents in their right minds would never allow their kids to do.

Instead of the usual dark and oppressive views of orphanages and other public institutions, I remember wondering – what would happen if the kids at the Aquarian Orphanage basically just lived there, kind of like an extended summer camp?  What would happen if the staff that worked there actually cared about the kids and tried to raise them as their own children?  What would happen if they went to school there, grew their own food, and were responsible for the upkeep of the orphanage as if it were their own home – since that’s essentially what it was?  What would happen if the orphanage environment were designed to build the kids up rather than just exacerbate the bad things that had already happened to them?

I had no idea when I was teen writing the story if such a place existed.  I figured it could and have seen such places as an adult that gave me hope that such places did, in fact, exist.  And today’s conversation is further evidence of that.  Kids are our future, yet for some reason, when there are funding cuts to be made, often the first things to go are organizations and supports that help children.   Thanks, Hilda, for coming on the show to share your story and talk about the work that your organization does to make a positive difference in the lives of the children in your area.

Proceeds from the next Thirteenth Hour LP, Once Upon a Dream, will also be donated to Corazon de Vida.  If you are also interested in helping to support their mission, learn more at https://www.corazondevida.org/get-involved.

Join me and others at the virtual event that Corazon de Vida is throwing on 10/29/20 at 7 PM PST by clicking on the picture below or here.

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9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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