New Pokémon games? What happened in the Pokémon Direct?

To many, Nintendo’s Pokémon Direct that happened early on Tuesday morning was disappointing.

Being heavily involved in the Pokémon community on YouTube, Twitter and pretty much anywhere else I got to see the reactions to those announcements even while I was unable to watch the actual event. Continue reading

State of the blog

As of this previous weekend, BoosterBlogs has officially become a registered domain. It took a lot of planning on the part of myself and my VP Collin, but in the end I am just happy this side project has come this far.

I originally made this site on WordPress because I liked the name and wanted to start writing independently. Nothing really came of that until I wrote my 2015-16 NBA Season preview, which ended up landing me a gig over on NBALead.

I came back to the website briefly when I wrote a few pieces for a class during my freshman year of college and needed to post them to my own site. It was then I decided to bookmark the idea for a dedicated run on BB for the future.

Thankfully things played into my favor during this most recent semester of college, the end of my sophomore year, so that I had a good amount of spare time on the weekends to start this up. Collin, who I knew previously from working together in NBALead, was also working on his own site and I reached out to see if he was interested in contributing.

What spawned from that partnership is nearly two going on three full months of constant content flowing from our collective brains as the two of us try to build this thing up.

He has anchored the site for nearly three weeks as I have been busy moving back home from college, adjusting to my new work schedule and started more projects for the site.

The state of the blog has never been better over our four-month life span. Here are some things you can expect soon.

Collin is going to be on vacation soon, but his articles will continue. He is our lead writer when it comes to sports and going forward he will have control in that department, barring my occasional column and anyone else we bring on.

My columns will return this week after taking an absence. I have some topics I really want to write about and I think that you all will enjoy and learn something from them.

Our coverage of eSports will be expanding from just our weekly League of Legends recap that Richard puts out. I will start covering more professional Super Smash Bros. competitions and the ELeague Street Fighter V events I watch.

Other content will also be joining our normal content. I am bringing The Gameplan Podcast to BoosterBlogs in the coming weeks. This will feature discussions about sports, video games, eSports and a lot more.

On top of that, I have also started streaming again on my Twitch channel. Those streams usually consist of myself and occasional guests playing games we find fun or interesting. They frequently turn into Q&As with the chat as I answer questions about anything you ask. If you want to talk to me about a specific topic or just need some background noise while you work, that’s the place to go.

After wrapping up all those upcoming projects, I do have one final announcement.

We have only gotten this far due to the dedication both Collin and I have for what we do. We are thankful to each person that reads our work and shares it with others.

That being said, the two of us are not enough to make this thing reach its full potential. We have three writers on staff, one of which is only a weekly column writer, and that will eventually make us cap out to how far the site can grow.

If you know anyone interested in writing that just wants to get their thoughts on a subject or maybe even become a contributor to the site on a frequent basis, please contact us or share our site with them so we can get in touch. Editing is provided and nearly any topic is accepted.

Thank you for your time and support. We hope you continue to like our works.

Signed the Blue and Gold duo,

Collin Loring and Cale Michael.

Why fanfiction is “real” literature

When someone says that they read fanfiction, most people laugh at them and say it is not real literature. However, that would be like saying that reading an article or some magazines is the same as reading fanfiction.

All of those things have one thing in common. They are something based off a source material that the author has given their own spin. Magazines use opinions and small blurbs of information on popular people and topics. Articles usually consist of a person’s thoughts and condensed information about a specified subject.

So what makes them legitimate sources when fanfiction is both? I am not saying that opinions on fanfiction being less than normal publications are unfounded, but people should not be mocked for enjoying it.

Stereotyping fanfiction

Yes, it isn’t rare to find stories on the various large fiction sites that are poorly written or just someone putting themselves into the story for the sake of becoming God.

Yes, it takes some time to get a feel for finding the good stories out of the large quantities that are posted daily, but in my opinion it is well worth it.

Once you find the fandom you want to delve into the site opens up and you learn how to find the stuff that fit your interests.

Despite the stereotyping, no, not all fanfiction is smut written by horny teenagers in their parent’s basement. Pardon the crude wording, but I think it was necessary.

I haven’t personally written anything related to fanfiction since before my freshman year of high school, but since January of 2013 I have been very active on fanfiction.net.

Does this mean I went from being a high school athlete and outgoing person in my community to a shut in? No. Nothing changed except for two things.

The amount of time I spent reading nearly tripled and I learned of new fandoms that in turn led me to watch or read their source material. The only thing I lost in the exchange was sleep on nights when I get hooked on a story.

The stereotype is there and can be proven true, but just because it is present does not mean the majority of the writers and readers can be classified under it.

Don’t judge a book by its cover… even when it is online and doesn’t technically have a cover.

Looking deeper at the medium

For a first-time user that drops into the vast internet library that is fanfiction.net, it can be pretty intimidating. Not hard to believe when a show like Naruto has a basic library of 412K stories and Harry Potter fans have taken it even further with 763K.
It has taken me roughly four year to finetune the system I use for finding compelling stories and even still I read a lot of the bad to get any of the good.

My personal preference of search options feature looking at the most favorited stories that are above 20k words and under any rating. That seems to yield the stories that have the highest reader base and quality on that site.

Digging through a lot of the bad stuff for a few years I noticed my tastes evolve and the number of stories I consume weekly has increased. Reading fanfiction has increased my reading speed a fair amount and opened up a lot of new shows and books to my viewing list.

The time it takes to narrow down your interests and find the good stories in the sea of mediocrity is well worth it.

Bonus to the bad stuff you will need to read though, you will have fun stories to tell and appreciate the good stuff more.

Do I recommend it?

The final verdict for me is based on preference. I love reading how people interpret the stories or expand on the worlds from shows and other media I have seen. There are very few times I have been disgusted in anything I have read on the site and if you have any interest in seeing differing perspectives on established material I highly suggest giving it a try.

Just… be sure you know what you are getting into… and beware any sour, yellow fruit.

How to get past Writer’s Block

Writing something can be an arduous task for many people. Take it from someone who writes for a living and as a pastime, sometimes the words just won’t come out right.

That doesn’t mean you should give up on your project. It might just need some extra work to get it done. Here are some things that help me when I have writing troubles.

Working in the right environment

The place you work plays a huge part in how your mind functions while working. A huge reason most people who work from home either invest in a dedicated office or often go to other places to work is that your mentality changes depending on where you are.

Personally, I find it easier to work in my dorm room or bedroom at home rather than the office I am provided at work. I feel more at ease in my own are where I can control the events happening, but for others this isn’t the case.

I have a lot of friends who are successful enough as self-employed workers that they can afford their own office spaces. This allows them to leave their work in the office and relax more at home. It can put your mind at ease knowing that specific places are for relaxing, while others are meant for working.

I recommend setting aside specific times for working on projects and trying to keep yourself in the same area each time. This could improve both productivity and the likelihood of avoiding more bouts of writer’s block.

Listening to the right music

If any of you lovely readers are anything like me, then I assume you like rocking out to your favorite tunes when doing anything. But most people don’t realize that the choice of music can greatly affect productivity.

Personally, I listen to Jazz or Instrumental music when I really need to focus on something, but outside of that anything works. My roommate can’t do homework when anything with words in it is playing, so he tends to lean to movie soundtracks.

Studies show that people who listen to classical music while working will have higher results than those who listen to rap. Of course, this is subject to change based on each individual person, rap is actually pretty common in the playlists I frequent on SoundCloud when studying.

To help with this I would advise making different playlists for studying and other activities. That will give your brain ques on when it should be focusing on work versus working out for example.

Don’t get discouraged

It is easy to struggle with something and get frustrated or discouraged with the progress you are making. That is normal and is a side effect that comes from the brain when something just doesn’t line up for you.

It will take effort to work around it, but don’t force yourself to push through if you don’t have to. Sometimes work is work and you have to meet a deadline, but for personal projects, the best product is one that comes with ease.

Sure, having to think about something normally means more effort is going into it, and that is true in most cases. However, creativity is a fickle mistress.

Effort is one thing, but the spur of the moment thoughts that spawn the most revolutionary and original ideas can only come if the brain allows it.

Try not to force yourself to think on things if they become stale. Give the thoughts some breathing room and once the air is fresh, take another stab at it.

This list is by no means perfect. In fact, this was written in a single setting at 3 a.m. in the morning while listening to a copious amount of NateWantstoBattle.

Despite that fact, I hope something in this article will give you a boost when next you face the block all creative minds must overcome.

Why I chose to blog; origins of BoosterBlogs

With as much free time as I have in the day, many of my close friends find it odd that I decided to start my own blog while also writing for another and my college newspaper. I honestly don’t blame them for their confusion either, seeing as I write a minimum of six articles a week without counting this blog.

One of my passions in life is writing, if the above statement didn’t make that clear enough. I find it to be relaxing and a good way to let out any emotions I have built up without the need for expressing them outwardly. I like to think I am a friendly and open person, but emotions and I tend to lack an understanding between us.

The reason I made this blog was to talk about things that my other outlets wouldn’t let me put out on their medium. Having my friend Collin and his pal Richard help out is just a bonus that helps me keep the site updating more frequently with content. With the creation of this blog, I allowed myself to open up my horizons and move past some previous attempts at putting myself out there.

Before this blog, I frequently tried my hand at running a Youtube channel, as many people in my age group do. Starting out I did fandubs of popular anime with friends back in middle school before branching off with people I met through those projects to do bigger things. I still offer my voice and talk to many of those people to this day, but my focus has shifted dramatically.

Following that stint, I moved my content into Pokémon related content. Mainly focusing on competitive battling and team analysis, I uploaded weekly for nearly an entire year before school caught up with me and I stopped altogether. It was fun to make content exclusively for my favorite game franchise, but towards the end I just felt that wasn’t for me.

Cue my introduction to DBZL or Dragon Ball Z League. A completely community run league where AIs battle it out in the PlayStation game Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3. The characters in the game are split into themed teams and on the forums the people on each of those teams customize their characters and battle it out like an actual sports league. I saw this and since I was a big fan of sports and Dragon Ball, I jumped right in and started playing.

I made some close friends as I became more active, I frequently talk to many of them. At the start of season six, I decided to make a fan run podcast about the league and posted about it on the forums. Thus, the Y-Cast? Was born. We are currently in the third season of the podcast and have made a dedicated channel for it and any related content. I have taken a step back and rarely involve myself with the league as a player anymore, but I do edit and make graphics for the podcast and keep myself updated on my team.

The last project I truly worked on independently of a joint work was Super Smash League. An offshoot of DBZL where I implemented the same aspects but instead with Super Smash Bros. 4 on the Wii U. I recorded it every Sunday, but do to a lack of interest and scheduling conflicts, I have put that to rest now.

I have a podcast that I still plan on doing once my current semester of college ends, and I hope to continue it through the next school year once I have a format down. It will be uploaded on my personal Youtube channel and SoundCloud, while a post will be made about it on the website once it is updated too.

Outside of the podcasts, none of those forms of content creation caught my interest. I plan on trying a scheduled live stream where I play games with friends and host live Q&As or podcasts soon, but that too is just part of what I want to do.

The videos on Youtube I enjoy the most are the people who can break down a topic in depth and provide detailed insight into why something is how it is or why something happened. I follow dozens of creators who make videos that analyze shows and movies, or breakdown concepts for them. It intrigues me when people that had nothing to with the project can provide such insight into the medium.

I want to try my hand at this video essay style when I get the chance because I feel it is right for me. I don’t care how successful they are; I just want to get my opinion and insight out there on topics concerning more than just sports.

That was the main reason this blog exists. Don’t get me wrong, I love sports and consider myself an expert when it comes to the NBA. But I don’t want that to be my only product.

I like so much more than just athletics. I have vested interests in movies, animation, video games, books, comics and so much more. Limiting myself to only sports on the other two websites isn’t good for my writing style and I will not continue that trend.

As I exemplified with my recent article on the Timberwolves and what they can do to get better, I am not against posting interesting sports articles here. I just intend to make them the minority. Collin is the sports guy on this site, I want to be something different.

I have many ideas that will bring more to the table than just my weekly Samurai Jack review and occasional look into other things. I want to start talking about other shows that I am passionate about, like One Piece, and games that I recommend people to play.

The entire name for the site was spawned purely from the affection I have to my favorite superhero, Booster Gold. His comics are dorky, sci-fi adventures through time, but at the same time provide insight and a deeper understanding for one of the laughingstocks of the DC comicverse. I can always turn to his comics to have a good time, and that is what I want this site to be for other people.

… plus the name was really catchy…

Eventually I will implement video and audio into my content here on the site, but until I can find a good way to do so I hope you readers can still find something to entertain yourself with while you read.

To quote the namesake of my website,

“Well, how about the 411? I’m pure gold, ladies and gentlemen. I am the greatest hero you’ve never heard of… till now!”- Booster Gold