Friday, November 30, 2018

Shhhh! Digital Media Reminder...

by Brian Joseph Johns
Hi everyone.

This is a reminder to let you know that though I keep this blog going I've added little to it for a very long time. That's mostly because I've picked up and moved to a site dedicated to the stories and different media I produce putting it all under the Shhhh! Digital Media brand which essentially covers everything I had here.

I apologize for the lack of posts here but I've really been focusing on Shhhh! Digital Media for quite some time.

So if you're interested in what happened with any of the books and stories I'd written, they've all been moved to the Shhhh! Digital site. I'm actually just about finished a final draft of A Lady's Prerogative Book II: Wounded Aerth and have finished the first draft for the sequel to The Butterfly Dragon I: Heroes Of Our Own which is called The Butterfly Dragon II: What Different Eyes See over the next few months I'll be taking that one to final draft while continuing the momentum finishing up a few previously unfinished projects as well such as Stories From The End and The Legendary Of Xarn.

If you were a prior reader here, I'd really love it if you'd join me at Shhhh! Digital Media.

Brian Joseph Johns

200 Sherbourne Street #701
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5A 3Z5



Tuesday, January 23, 2018

It's Been A Long Time...!

Author Brian Joseph Johns
It's been a long time since I've posted on here and many things have changed and yet some have remained the same.

As most of you may know, the prior (and new) work on The Butterfly Dragon: Heroes Of Our Own and A Lady's Prerogative line of stories and books have moved to their own places on my company Shhhh! Digital Media at Both had their own individual blogs for a while before I moved them both to Shhhh! Digital.

I'm in mid process of some bigger changes soon to come and stretching myself a little thin. That site will hold most of what I've worked on thus far along with a lot more. There's a lot more artwork for both storylines as well as much progress in their individual development. The most current stories for each are Bella's Tarot Reading for the A Lady's Prerogative side of the fence while What Different Eyes See covers tales of the Butterfly Dragon: Heylyn Yates (aka Ai Yuanlin Ying), Alicia Westin, Monique Defleur and of course Valerie Aspen. They're both still as controversial as ever too in case you're a bit on the sensitive side.

I've removed the software Shhhh! For Windows from the Shhhh! Digital site and its currently going through a bit of an overhaul that put it into a unique niche as far as password management software goes.

I've been active a bit on twitter and facebook as well occasionally but I've neglected this site for some time.

I spent yesterday grinding away trying to get the grasp of Java Programming (I currently work mostly in Embarcadero's Delphi and occasionally in C/C++ via Visual Studio). Thankfully there's lots of example code and documentation, and its not as hard when you've got a few languages under your belt, though most of the documentation is geared towards beginners. Its frustrating knowing that you're able to sprint in one programming language and switching to a crawl in another.

With all of that, I'm focusing my efforts on making these media items (A Lady's Prerogative and The Butterfly Dragon) a vehicle to drive charity work and to hopefully get people talking about things that need more discussion in society. The Shhhh! Digital site is setup that way and will be geared much more to that in the future.

When Shhhh! For Windows arrives back on Shhhh! Digital, I'm going to have to think about how that's handled, though it too definitely will cover a charity (most likely Sick Kids Foundation).

Oh and here's another song composition I did a few years ago (January 2011). Its mostly digital with a few samples but I did put down a few keyboard tracks myself on my M-Audio KeyRig 49. I'm still hoping that I can snag a 76 or 88 key midi piano soon on my limited budget. Weighted keys would be nice too... ;-)

Thanks for reading this far if you did and I'll be looking forward to speaking to you again in the future!


Brian Joseph Johns

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Still Alive Here...

Hi, I've not posted here for a long time and it's been a hectic since first being attacked by in person real life trolls (who would have ever thought that trolls would move to reality from the net?).

That's enough of the negative cause I'm sure its been a rough one for many other people as well. I thought I'd just say hi, and I miss all my former readers.

When I started this blog I actually started it as a place where I could post the good that caught my eye and present it. Mostly showing off other people whose effort I found to be creative, inspiring or courageous in some way. I guess when you do stuff like that its kind of hard to put you down online so my guess is they tried to do so in real life. I survived. Just barely. I'll try to return to the original roots here between work on my other blogs.

A lot has happened since my last posts here (even the manic posts about being stalked and abused). I managed to keep The Butterfly Dragon and A Lady's Prerogative going (just barely) with new stories and fresh material.

I know that it's coming up to the holiday season so happy holidays.

Brian Joseph Johns

Friday, August 14, 2015

Picture Proof Of My Computer And Work...

These are pictures I took today of me with my computer desktop and the editor or preference that I use for writing. That's my computer desktop and that's me beside it.

My current desktop at home on my first screen. I have two systems and two screens.

It turns out that what this cult have been doing is trying to push someone else's bad onto me from inside the building, painting me publicly as if I had a drug problem by the cult's form of abuse and harassment in place of this other person as a sort of Crossed Swords which is a variation of the story The Prince And The Pauper. A common dualistic archetypal theme in literature throughout history.

The cult appeared to be using it to steal the credit for my efforts and to apply them to someone else (a group of someone else's all members of a cult who does that kind of thing to people).

So the cult doing so have some form eavesdropping technology inside of the building that allows them to spy on people's computers and then share the output with their local cult members who use it in this community and city wide competition of stealing the credit for that person's work and applying it to others while dumping the worst identity onto their swap victim. The cult then proceed to punish and abuse their victim for the other person's bad or just stalk and abuse them to make the victim's reaction and behavior fit the activities of the other (usually drug related). I don't use, buy or sell narcotics so there should be no contention there.

Had to be a little bit of an acrobat to get the Prt Scr key on my computer to take the picture.

Its how the cult conduct character assassination and destroy the victim's future audience and marketability. A sort of pre-emptive censorship whereby they make the swap victim appear intolerant (I probably do as a result of what this cult has stolen from me in terms of time and abuse by such an illegal effort). This is civilians who conduct it by the way and often very abusively. Some even believe the victim to be "possessed" by the person(s) they've been swapped with so that further complicates things. Its how this cult steal someone else's efforts and credit them to someone else. When you catch onto it and expose it, they might try to turn the tables on you.

A picture from my computer desktop I used when I was writing A Lady's Prerogative and Stories From The End while I was at Heyworth House, a homeless shelter in Toronto, Canada. I was homeless for 8 years but I spent every bit of that time working to get myself off the ground and often fighting for the rights of others and myself including fighting for the right to vote while in a shelter and with little identification. I always vote. This picture was sort of a scarecrow that I used to warn the eavesdroppers to stay away. I don't think they listened. Ironic with poor Cecil in the news having been beheaded by that trophy hunter. Maybe there's a bit of symbolism intended there? I think that this cult steals the identity of people who really try and push themselves to succeed and applies that identity to other people to fuel their lives. In return you usually get pushed into the ground.
On a blog I write that is the official blog for one of my books, The Butterfly Dragon, I cite a list of people I feel who've contributed something good to the symbolism of what is put forth by the book itself. There's some very successful people in all measures of success so the cult would just imply that I was stealing from them rather than making my own way. That is not the case because I wrote and released freely the first draft for The Butterfly Dragon without such a list and had it published for a long time here, on Poetry And Fiction before moving it to its own official blog at

An over-exposed image of my application programming environment.

The cult further were trying to paint me in such because of the culture of my love interest (who is an Oriental lady by the way) and to substitute me for someone else in here to prop them up, while having my family think that I'd fallen into drugs or some other manner of disarray in my life which again is not the case. I have don't use any drugs at all. I rarely drink. My biggest problem and obstacle then is this cult and their very illegal activity in terms of monitoring a person for their form of theft.

So after having been homeless for 8 years while this cult did the same thing, attempted to steal all of my accomplishments, when I finally got housing and managed to get a foot hold that might finally pay off for all my hard work, this cult uses it and my proximity to steal it all and destroy my repute.

So occasionally I get a bit short tempered (never abusive by the way) with their activity and that further serves their purposes I suppose but as long as I can plead my side of the story everything should be find. So there's a group of people in my building who steal what I accomplish to fuel their own lives while trying to disconnect me from my online identity so they can apply it to someone else.

All that in Regent Park, Toronto, I guess that's what they do to guys who were homeless for 8 years after they get housing and have written nearly 7 books (two of which are published on Amazon and the other 7 are to be released over the next five years), about fifteen useful software applications (two of which are currently published and one is for sale) and a whole host of original music compositions. By the way, no mental illness and no, I don't imagine this. Its real and I have witnesses in Toronto as well who've forwarded the information and even recordings and video of the cult's harassment in progress to the authorities as well. I've even reported it as well along with the illegal surveillance. So no, its not a case of me imagining anyone is out to get me. Its a cult that does this as a means to steal their identity from a victim while applying their identity to the victim. They are also racist in the sense that they are against my love interest being an Oriental lady and as you can clearly see, I'm Caucasian and I think that to this cult that is "no good" to put it how my love interest might say it.

There's no good reason for it. I am not a member of any criminal gang or outlaw organization. I completely support a free and democratic process, Government, taxes and the services we need to run society safely. That's not where my gripe is at all. Its a criminal gang that is doing the eavesdropping illegally (though there seems to be a benevolent side to it as well), not the Government.

Its civilians in other words and they're using it to steal from innocent persons. In my community I am a high priority victim of this very frequently. I am not a member of any anti-Government group or ideology so its not the Government, its civilians doing this, and they blame Government because usually the ones who blame Government are the ones who are guilty of doing it to other civilians. They're trying to hide the blame for what they're doing on the Government. I am not even a victim of mental health issues nor do I use narcotics of any kind. I don't even smoke.

I think if I expose it, there's always someone who will try and paint me as being crazy or seeing "black helicopters" and the "men in black" or even a Government conspiracy. I'm probably more a Jose Chung than anything though with a taste for a certain older Oriental lady (and she's a lady believe me!). The cult try to disconnect you from anything that you've been a fan of in the past by breaking away the characters one at a time as part of a social competition they conduct. If you expose it and their methodology, you're nuts. Its that simple. So their thieves and you're nuts. Regardless they're a civilian group that uses illegal eavesdropping technology to spy on your computer to steal from you and then covers it up by painting you as being on drugs or mentally ill when you expose it. I also support Gay rights and Gay marriage as well, something else the cult might be against despite the fact that I am heterosexual.

The cult make it a dualistic means of stealing what you accomplish to fuel their lives, while dumping their garbage onto you. When you have too much of their garbage, they use you as a weapon against others (ie trying to trick you into dumping the garbage that they put onto you onto other people who oppose them).

So for the cult its about taking from you without recognizing your name or your accomplishment. Most people who follow that way of doing that to other people have their name (and picture) on just about everything that they do. Some of whom have financial empires built upon their ideas and ways of doing things. If you truly believe that a person should not be recognized for their efforts and the application thereof, then perhaps the first thing one should do is remove their name and identity by throwing away their wallet, smart phone and anything that identifies you and links you to your accomplishments and assume a number as your name. I believe in sharing for certain because that's what I did with my efforts (even while they were being taken from me without my approval by illegal eavesdropping).

I also believe that there should be a reward for the efforts one makes and when those efforts prove to be prosperous to others, then that should find its way back as well. There's some kinds of exposure that have no price but because we live in an economy where people have to earn money to have a roof over their heads and to eat from day to day so they can have the means to produce whatever it is that contributes to that whole we have to put a price on our efforts. Anyone who disagrees with that then throw away your bank book and income derived from your work.

Its a part of life and it doesn't go away by making someone who speaks up for their beliefs and their efforts when they've been stolen from by making them out to be a "complainer" or "negative" or the hate side of a love hate paradigm or as having "bad blood" in a blood based paradigm. Just because I spoke out in my last post about people who smoke pot in public in proximity to small children and other toddlers during the early part of the day with no regard for their right not to be exposed to it.

A little waft of that in a small body would probably be a very harrowing experience for a little body like that. Keep in mind that this complaint is coming from an ex-smoker too, that is someone who gave it up years ago and I'm not dancing. So hate does not mean love and love does not mean hate by the way.

Even the members of my family and my friends some of whom are more liberal than I am are considerate to that degree and would never impose another person's space in that regard without respect for their rights as non-smokers.

As I put it yesterday, you wouldn't leave your medication lying around on a coffee table for a little four or five year old to find thinking they'd come upon a stash of candy. Why on Earth would marijuana, crack cocaine or any other narcotic be any different?

Keep in mind this is a cult who has chopped off my rights to even be social with Women (me the writer of A Lady's Prerogative and The Butterfly Dragon who has a history of girlfriends most of whom would get monthly full body massages from myself and never, not once were abused by me at all). I've never been promiscuous or even cheated in a relationship and I've never once fathered my own child but I've bore the blame for others who have. And I have my rights cut off in that regard socially but they'd protect a crack cocaine dealer in my place to retain their right to procreate? I can still physically do so and am capable of creating a child, but this cult's activity is geared to isolating their victim so they can use you to fuel the life of someone else they're trying to get off the hook in that regard and by making you pay that price, it makes you appear intolerant. Not objective and protective. Intolerant. Oh and my love interest is someone I used to give weekly full body massages to and never once did I renag on that when we were together. I haven't been in a relationship for 5 years and 2 months and I'm not a casual sex kind of guy so I'm pretty safe. As I've said my love interest is an Oriental lady and that's that.

The cult basically use you as a means to power other people's lives but do nothing to return anything to you for your efforts. In other words you are kept secret to rot away while the cult steal from you secretly to fuel the lives of their members. That means illegal surveillance and eavesdropping to steal your efforts and the credit for them. They do little to nothing in return and when you get to market with the fruits of your labor, they do nothing from that point either. So all the interest you see in what you were working on is just nothing really because it was being credited to someone else's life as if it came from them. So as I said, they're thieves of what other people say and do. Nothing more and nothing less. I've never done any such thing to others and I am not a pirate by the way. Maybe I'll consider canning my books for the time being until I get relocated to a different living circumstance or until the Police or RCMP do something about it.

The cult further make it into competitions of transferring the bad of others between two people who unknowingly compete between them for the burden of that weight. If its something like say. SPOUSAL ABUSE, the cult might have the members of their gang stalk the person whom they are trying to transfer that burden to and try to get a reaction from them that makes them seem capable of such an act. With the members of this cult watching via their illegal eavesdropping or sharing the results via other stalkers, its sort of a gladiatorial game where the cult make people compete for the responsibility for deeds they did not commit. The teams try to make it look credible for each side of the competition by stalking and abusing them so that they can get a reaction that looks credible enough to make that seem plausible. That's how they clean themselves and their members off by the way.

If your beliefs have rules like not to judge others, then the cult make it a competition of trying to trick you into judging others just so that they can setup someone else to judge you. If your beliefs say not to burden others with that with which you would not want to be burdened yourself, then the cult try to trick you into doing so by filling you up themselves by their constant abuse. So this is a very nasty cult that both uses illegal eavesdropping and constant harassment to accomplish their goals. They might sell it as being beneficial, but it is anything but in all honesty. Its about destroying a victim's life by pitting them against various belief systems. As I said, if you report it to the authorities they'll attempt to make you appear mentally ill or on drugs or both by trading your identity with someone who is just that and playing on the negative stigma of either. By pitting you against someone who knows you, they're hoping to get you fighting using the worst that you know about each other. The cult do this especially to couples or former couples and again not for a reason of any good at all but because they build by contrast. That is they build someone else up to be good not by building that person themselves, but by stealing the good of someone else that they knock down. That's their form of masonry. So they don't even use their own bricks because they steal them from someone else's finely crafted house. So kind of like fake masonry that salvages from the lives of others whose lives they destroy for that purpose.

After the abuse I received for the whole day today from this cult, I still managed to release a new update to my application Shhhh! For Windows at 9:15 PM EST which I sell online for a very modest $3.00 CDN of which 25% goes to the Sick Kids Hospital. I actually used to buy a bag of toys and deliver them directly to the hospital while I was homeless by the way and did that every Christmas for five years in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

So that's what has been happening with my efforts and why some of my posts here and in person rants seem so long winded. You'd be the same way too if you'd been targeted like this.

But the above pictures put me with my computer and the editor I use to write the stories and software. I use a variety of programs for composition. It sounds like their effort to destroy my repute and ensure I sell nothing. No books. No software. Nothing. So in other words, this cult wants everyone to be a burden to tax payers and the Government rather than earning their own way. I believe is a social safety net but I don't believe in a social safety net that imprisons those who are trying to become independent of it to earn their way honestly in society. Don't get me wrong, I love my home city but I can't appreciate that such activity would be allowed to happen at all.

Brian Joseph Johns

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Books and software available online. I'm officially in business.

Some of my books have been made available online through Amazon and I have software available from Shhhh! Digital as well.

The first books available are as follows:

A Lady's Prerogative I: The Full Edition is available for purchase from through my Tales Of The Sanctum blog, the official blog of A Lady's Prerogative.

Shhhh! For Windows an account password manager with its own scripting language is available from the Shhhh! Digital site. I wrote the software and have been using it since version and have over 150 accounts in mine. Each account and password stored in it is fully compressed and encrypted so your data is safe and can be instantly recalled via a user definable hotkey combination. You can either have it type your password or a user definable text macro with variables for you, copy it to the clipboard or both. It comes with an easy to use custom built-in help system including a searchable command set for the script engine.

25% of the return on any products or books sold are donated to charity either related to the storyline of the book or in the case of Shhhh! For Windows, to the Sick Kids Hospital.

The blogs I've mentioned above are official and run by myself as the author as well, including the software package above (which I designed and coded for my company: Shhhh! Digital).

During the process of building this in the last five years (the books were actually ideas from my early teenage years), I've received a lot of flack and even theft attempts by some organized criminal elements operating in my neck of the woods who literally can spy illegally on others' computers and share such information for the purposes of theft, and often do so in attempt to steal creative properties like these from those who create them. Much of the grief you may have seen posted here is a direct result of the actions of such an abusive group locally.

There is a local group who make it a game of dumping the responsibility for their actions onto you while stealing the credit for your good, so that when you go into legal business, their "cult" take what they dumped onto you and make it a burden for your customers. That way your business is sure not to sell any products and the cult have a person that they can use as a garbage bag for their activities. So that's how this cult has been attacking business and the efforts of others' getting onto their feet or even succeeding. They need to be formally investigated by the law as the cult locally steal from their victim while destroying their chances for prosperity altogether.

Just to assure my potential customers, this is not a scam. These items are all registered for sale under local and International tax laws. The items for sale are registered under the local Government as well. The charitable donations are logged, tracked and made available for public scrutiny on each of the sites and are/will be updated regularly with details about any such transactions.

Brian Joseph Johns

Friday, July 10, 2015

About My Book Characters...

For those that think my characters come from video games that I play, I'd say no to that. None of my books are fan fiction (though I had started some stories based in the Marvel Universe and the Star Wars Universe that I'd put on hold about a year and a half ago).

I write the story first and the characters I slowly develop as the story progresses. Sometimes, when I am part way through what I am writing, I want to visualize and get a better picture so I try creating that character in a video game. I recently wrote an article about this topic. That starts with a character from my books that already exists, not one that existed in a game world, or that I created for a game. I've never taken any of my characters or the ideas for my books from another creative property.

It would be fun to write for other pre-created worlds and concepts in a fan fiction story, but for now I want to get my own well founded first.

So the Butterfly Dragon and her counterpart the Dragon Butterfly both are my concepts and characters and started from my own ideas (away from video games). The Butterfly Dragon existed as a counterpart to Alicia Westin's Night Style character, and as the foundation of their friendship. Keep in mind that I am doing this on a very tight and limited budget and pretty much by myself. If I could afford to hire artists to work with in developing concepts then I most certainly would. For now its just myself.

So, I just wanted to say that the characters and stories are completely original (not coming from any video game or other source) and the delay in publishing is as a result not my intent, but a result of this cult.

I am Brian Joseph Johns and this is

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Music, Composition And Literacy: Are We Really Composing Or Just Faking It?

Recently I've been getting attacked on the fact that I use a music editor that is used for mixing pre-sampled music quite often. Some of the claims goes to the ends that I can't really play, or I can't play live. If I record a guitar line using my keyboard and include it in my composition, then I'm made fun of in the fact that I'm not really a guitar player.

That's the truth, I'm not really a guitar player at all. I know about 15 chords and that's about it but with my theory background and about a year of practice, I'd be able to call myself a guitar player.

Not that I'm jealous though there's a joke in the music industry that keyboardists are all really just frustrated because they never became guitarists.


Maybe guitarists are frustrated that they never became violinists.

They usually have a come back for that one that goes: we're really not into sax and violins.

It's true though that the electric guitar became the violin of the modern age, so guys like Eddie Van Halen, Joe Satriani and many others really were the virtuosos of the modern violin.

Anyway, this isn't about keyboardists versus guitarists. Its about the fact that just because you use a sample and midi editing software that includes a prepackaged set of samples, are you really creating music?

That answer I'd say is a twisted one but I'd say yes in certain terms but different people do different things with it and for it. Could you play your creations live or in an acoustic set with other session players? I mean something that you composed via sample mixing. Most in that aspect are mixing music and not delving into the world of melody, harmony and rhythm (not referring to the Kybalion brand of rhythm mind you, that some people might use to try and manipulate you), but mixing is a talent and a skill all in itself and a part of the fold.

In most such editors though, there's the option to record your tracks live off the floor or record them via a MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) instrument (like a keyboard) or a step recorder (the equivalent to notation in the world of MIDI, might be a standard notation interface like the ancient program for the Atari ST series called Notator or a step time editor where you can set and delete individual notes in a time line).

The reason that sample mixers and midi editors are so powerful is that they make great scratch pads for jotting down your musical ideas. Usually most people might come up with a motif they like musically or melodically, and work it around into a series of themes and phrases maybe hammering out a structure for the overall piece. Then they get down to recording it. If its a commonly patterned piece of music like most pop music with the structure:

hook intro / verse / transition / verse / transition / chorus / verse / transition / chorus / bridge / instrumental solo / transition or verse / transition / chorus to fade

Not all music follows a structured patterned like that (take classical music, progressive rock and contemporary jazz or many kinds of ethnic music) but that's most common for standard radio airplay tracks and popular music.

Most popular music is composed in short segments called bars. Usually a bar has four beats in 4/4 time of which most popular music is composed for its time signature. The top 4 means that there's 4 beats to a bar, and the bottom 4 means that each quarter note gets one beat (one count). In other kinds of music such as a shuffle you'll find 6/8 time signature or for most rock and roll and blues you'll see 12/8. Pink Floyd's Money by the way is in 7/8 time with a 4/4 instrumental bridge.

In our pop song above, you might figure out how long each section is and what kind of a rhythm section (once again, not the Kybalion kind) you want for that part of the track, so you might compose a drum pattern with one of the midi instruments or VST (Virtual Synthesizer Track) to compose your drum patterns for each part.

Then you might come up with a bass line that goes with the motifs you've come up with. Usually most bass follows and accents the kick drum of your drum pattern, and follows the tonic (the root note of the currently playing harmonic chord) in your motif. Sometimes your bass parts might benefit from a bit of fills and riffs, or even getting into the area of harmony (playing parts that aren't always following the tonic). Billy Sheehan, John Entwistle, Verdine White, Adam Clayton and Geddy Lee are among many bassists who write and play some of the most creative and versatile solid bass lines memorable in pop and rock music. If you want to get creative with your bass lines, listen to their music for an idea of just how unlimited the bass really is and can be.

Each of those parts are called patterns and they're easy to work with when editing your pop song. All of them arranged together to the structure of your song is called your bed tracks. That's usually composed of drums and bass and any other rhythmically oriented tracks.

After doing so you might do the same for your harmonic lines. Those are anything to do with the harmonic composition that compliments and accompanies your melody. Keyboard pads and guitar lines often fill this area. You'd follow the same pattern structure as you would with your drum and bass lines once again for the purposes of editing.

The vocal lines, melodic lines and any solos generally are part of the final was of these means of recording. Vocal lines might include any harmony parts and the all important lead vocal. The instrumental solo just after the bridge and usually played over the musical part of the chorus or verse.

That's structured creation of a song and that's pretty much what you do when you are going for that kind of a sound, in simple terms and explanation.

Now are you creating if you do it with a sample editor? If the melody and the majority of the harmonic parts are yours, then yes. The question is though, could you play it live or in an acoustic unplugged set? If it has a lot of samples that you didn't write or play, then the answer is likely no.

Part of composing music is arranging and that's part of it to. Any great piece of music can be redone into an acoustic version, without production and maybe played with just one instrument or maybe just one instrument and a vocal line. Even the most over produced and latest electronic dubstep and dance music will find a classic audience when that generation reaches their 40s and 50s, you'll see the dubstep generation playing their music on guitars and pianos in acoustic sets. Most of it follows the same idea that a memorable and striking melody line, harmony and rhythm is what it takes.

Not all music is composed in such a "canned" method of doing so and a lot of purists believe that doing so takes the "art" out of composition. In other words, any time that you try to pattern something into predictable time slices of experience and reuse them over a period, you're really taking away from the essence of what art is about: familiar unpredictability. Knowing enough about what you're seeing or hearing to gain some familiarity with it while being presented with enough unpredictable experience so that you're learning or considering something new. A new point of view that you might not have considered.

A musical motif that gives you goose bumps when you hear it. Some symphonies will build on a theme, and touch upon it many times throughout each movement, but rarely the exact same way as the previous passage of that theme or motif. There are different kinds of music for different situations and the amount of time and the atmosphere around which the music is providing a foreground or a background. So that does not make pop music lesser than other styles of music, just more suited to different situations and listeners who invest a certain portion of their time to music. For instance some music combines many elements (such as accelerando and diminuendo) some of which can't be achieved with some software or have to be mimicked (turning the metronome off and playing your tracks live and slowing the tempo or speeding it up gradually as need be). Even some modern dance and electronic music takes advantage of this. Dynamics are an important part to composition as well (how much presence a part has versus how little and how that changes over time). A lot of modern music plays with dynamics on many levels, with frequency filters for some parts (which would be like automating your graphic equalizer to vary itself over time in tempo with the music), and many other techniques as well which were not a part of the tools of yesteryear (though some very inventive musicians learned how to do so with bowing techniques on their violins and string instruments or by making parts for their instrument like the mute of a trumpet or putting a towel on a kettle drum).

When you make music with software there's probably going to be a few people who don't believe that you wrote it, that you just grabbed some samples and mixed them and tada! There you have your shiny new song. That impression is something that many composers must overcome. Being able to play your piece acoustically live (on a piano, synth, guitar or other instrument) is one way of convincing naysayers but you have to ask yourself, why do you need to convince them? What are they doing? There were naysayers when the electric guitar amplifier was invented. There was an outcry when the guitar was first invented just as there was for the piano. Music used to be for the privileged and only those who could afford an instrument and the training to read and write music were allowed to play it and most certainly compose it. Portable instruments were at one time by the

Nobles and the Church had seen as a bane to society and that is not to say that they were bad, but more likely worried about the power to read and write music falling into the hands of the common people. Much like the transition of mass literacy requiring the invention of the printing press and the spread of ancient works for everyone to learn to read (such as many religious texts which actually resulted in the spread of literacy). There was a time that playing the wrong harmonics could get you a death sentence (the famed interval known as the Diablus En Musica). Counterpoint was developed (used in many Gregorian chants) around this idea and around a rigid set of rules for how linear melodies could be combined. If the melodies ever crossed the Diablus, it was seen as an omen or could result in the death or imprisonment of the composer.

Funny enough this mode of thinking was present right up until the evolution of early blues and rock and roll and is why when blues started to spread in popularity, there was an outcry against it. That's because the Diablus En Musica (the devil in music) is an interval of exactly half an octave. This interval occurs in nearly all dominant seventh chords (eg. A7 that is a+c#+e+g) by way of the major third and the flat seventh and is a natural part of the fifth mode of the major scale (Mixolydian). The dominant seventh chord is present in a lot of rock and popular music, but the Diablus interval is present in some of the greatest works of all time as well. So maybe the real Diablus was in those who tried to stop the spread of music and literacy. So every time another tool comes along that puts an art form in the hands of many, there's always going to be some people who try to stomp it in some way. Most of the people who try to stop it are those who want to wield that power for their own or reserve it for a certain few or those who are afraid to try to learn to do it themselves. Maybe even jealous.

Keep in mind there's a whole new brand of theft too that's been taking advantage of technology, that plays upon duality, whereby one group of people might spy upon someone creating, and try to build the same or similar thing at the same time while tricking the originator into contradicting their own creation. That way, you seem not to really be defending your own efforts. Then they make it a competition between the two for the credit despite who really came up with it. Many people and teams play in this sort of competition and as a result and the real creators could end up being at a loss as a result while thieves ride of the wings of those who created it. I'd honestly say to watch out for that if you write or compose. Chances are a lot of the naysayers about whether you are really writing or not when you compose via technology are actually part of that idiom. I am definitely not a member of any ideology that does things that way.

Everything that I compose, I can play live if I had to on the piano or a keyboard because I do nearly every one of my instrumental tracks via recording (except on the rare times when my ASIO drivers aren't behaving and I'm fighting latency issues). I've probably lost more recordings and compositions over the years than I have with me now (at forty or fifty pieces of music I've composed as far back as the pre-computer portable four track era).

Even the stuff that sounds like it was recorded on guitar because I really played it on keyboards, not guitar. I just know enough about guitars and theory to be able to play a lot like a guitarist.

Maybe that's because I'm really frustrated that I never became a guitarist.

I think its because I really like playing with my organ  and I like sax and violins (that didn't quite come out the way it was supposed to).

I mean, I can't keep my pianist down.

Errr. Maybe that's enough for this article.

Brian Joseph Johns

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Of Butterfly Dragon, Dragon Butterfly and character design...

I've been playing games from the Saints Row series. I am a firm believer in the fact that books, movies, television and games are a great way to and that they are make believe. That means that you can peruse them with the only risk being emotional.

They are most certainly a powerful medium and most parents' efforts should be directed towards getting their children ready for when they can make their own judgements about what is right and wrong, and learning to accept the responsibility for their bad choices but teaching them to feel confident enough to make the right ones. The ones that they wont regret years down the road and decisions that they make of their own accord (ie not as a result of peer pressure or their impressions gained by outside influences that contradict their own notion of good and bad and everything in between).

I don't have any children, which means I am free to peruse whatever I like in terms of entertainment (I usually like very good stories, drama and action in my movies though I like story driven movies as well). Some movies and games that I peruse have violence in them but I am not a violent person really. Some movies and games that I peruse have references to drugs (or more recently, drug use in one of them).

When you buy a movie, a book, a television show or a game, you only get to see the cover and short caption related to the plot. When you buy it, you are taking a chance that it is going to be in your tastes and hopefully that it is going to affect you in some way. Challenge your thinking and sometimes even shock you because when it does, it makes you think about things you might not have thought about from the safety of your predictable surroundings though I like predictable surroundings. So they're a thrill from the safety of your zone of predicable safety.

So as I said, I bought Saints Row 4 and Saints Row 2 on sale expecting something a little bit different and it has such a good interface for doing characters that I thought I`ll do up a character of Butterfly Dragon (in Saints Row 4) to how I envision her, and see how it goes. I managed to get her pretty close to the look that I envision but the costume needs a lot more work seeing as it is a canned suit from the game. The character's looks appear almost exactly how I envision her though aside from her clothing.

I`ve done the same in DC Universe Online (I`d do the same thing with Marvel`s games but they haven't put one out where you can design your own hero using Marvel`s system and powers).

In Saints Row 2, I created the Dragon Butterfly to how I envision her (obviously limited by the fact that it is multiple choice really, but I got it very close to her look and she really looks great in terms of design though not enough choices in clothing or tattoos).

While playing the Butterfly Dragon character in Saints Row 4, there is a questionable scene where the character actually gets involved in the "partying", which goes far beyond anything I'd envisioned for the character and the Butterfly Dragon, but this isn't the story of the Butterfly Dragon. It's the story of Saint's Row and I put a character from one of my novels into it and got some unexpected results. So the reason that I am saying this is because if anyone out there that is carrying the "weight" or aspects of the Heylyn Yates character from my book The Butterfly Dragon II: Dragon Butterfly, watch out because some people might try to put something onto you that is not a part of the character Heylyn Yates (Ai Yuanlin Ying).

She's a headstrong girl as she was growing up. She never really got into "partying" a lot because she was always so obsessed with designing and spent a lot of time training for her three black belts (in Kung Fu which I believe does not use the Kyu system of progression, Tae Kwon Do and Goju Jujitsu Ryu). The character does drink on occasion (though rarely excessively). The character does not get involved in much more than that at all.

So if anything comes your way in regard to that, keep in mind that the character, or myself do not condone excessive activities in that way. That just means, its Ok to have fun responsibly, ie don't drive if you're drinking, stay away from drugs and make sure you stay with your friends and leave together (leaving the driving to a designated driver or even better, a taxi). Heylyn rarely does "party" though she loves dancing and drugs are not a part of her being at all. So the Butterfly Dragon has nothing to do with drugs in that way. She helped Monique to get away from a path that could have landed her in a gutter. Heylyn is head strong, independent enough to make her own decisions and she usually makes good ones. After the runway fashion shows she designs for, there is often an after show party where she usually socializes with those in her business over a drink. I myself don't smoke or use narcotics at all and I drink on occasion so don`t expect those things from the character or myself.

I posted this partly as it seems that the cult spying on my computer illegally (again, I am not a criminal or a member of a gang and its conducted by a local collective in the community illegally) seem to have a pretty good idea about the people I used as a character reference for the characters of my books. So this is mostly a heads up to those Women to be on guard for the activities of this cult in relation to the characters. If you start getting stalked about activities that don't seem to coincide with the characters of the book, chances are its the cult who conduct the illegal spying at work. Their reach is quite far and devious though I'm working on getting them "caught" with their hand in the cookie jar.

As far as Dragon Butterfly goes, she too is even more rigid that Heylyn. I can`t say too much without giving away plot details. She is a ruthless killer, who will befriend someone and then quickly dispatch them to seek and ends to her ultimate goals which I will never divulge. In the Saint's Row universe, she'd never get involved in running an empire and be more likely to take them down, though its not quite so simple as that. You wouldn't be likely to meet her in an office party as much as running into her on the street. She'd just kind of show up from out of the corner of your eye.

Again this is just a testing ground to try out various designs for the characters and in case someone is carrying the weight of those characters. I never take anything that I write from a video game. Never. I write first and create the character in the book and start the book off, then after a few chapters in I might try to feel them out in a game or even a 3D program or Photoshop (from scanned hand sketches). Games are great tools for that and giving them a bit of a visual life. The game designers really put some great tools for designing the facial features and body that make a lot possible in terms of character design.

As I was getting to my point about books, movies, television shows and video games. As Forest Gump's Mother used to say: Books, movies, television shows and video games are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get. When you buy it, you're taking a chance. Nobody should ever be penalized for the movies they watch, the books they read or the television or video games that they play. They're make believe. You never know what's going to happen between the beginning and the ending. You might not agree with it, but its part of the experience. I stand by that fact that they are and should be protected forms of expression. Hopefully most people will use them responsibly as such.

I honestly think that games and movies are a lot alike in that aspect and some games like graphic novels and books are designed primarily for mature gamers. In many households across the country, there are adults, couples, game parties and many other experiences that have turned it into a social endeavor. Though I'd be just as likely to curl up with Heylyn on the couch and watch a quiet movie together (in my dreams), I believe in the fact that those mediums of presentation should always be well protected. Years ago some people tried to ban Catcher In The Rye and even The Chrysalids and comic books from Libraries and Schools too. When perusing a form of media like the ones I`ve discussed, you might see something that you don`t agree with, and if it challenges you to think about that aspect of life or another point of view, then its done its job. You have to be challenged by something to consider why it is you disagree with it. Some content is not intended for younger viewers and people have to remember that with books, movies and games.

Though I enjoy the Saints Row series of games, I wouldn't like being a gangster, even if the gangster is the focal point of the movie or game. Then again, does watching The Silence Of The Lambs make you an FBI agent or a serial killer? Does it mean you agree with serial killing? Or even just killing? None of the above. It challenges you to take a trip with characters that you grow to identify with (or don't identify with at all) and then venture with them through a an adventure or trial of some form. They either survive, changed by their experience or they don't survive. In either case can it can be an enlightening experience and perhaps it is one of the most potent forms of learning by the fact that you can have such experiences without the real life risks.

None of my written characters are based upon anything to do with the video games that I play at all. I write, come up with a character in the book, then try to manifest that character in a video game so I can try to embody the characters in the game world.

So to play as a gangster does not mean to agree with them anymore than it means to watch Silence Of The Lambs is to agree with serial killing. Now someone is going to bring up the show Dexter.

I am Brian Joseph Johns and this is

Monday, July 6, 2015

Before Anyone Has To Dance On The Issue Of Racism About My Articles...

Just in case anyone happens to imply that my articles are in any way racist or that I am of that nature, here's some information for you.

First of all, some of the earlier readers of this blog might remember that I had a story on here entitled: The Answer Is In The Keys. It was a story about a war time business owner in New Orleans who sells his family business and buys a night club smack dab in the middle of the New Orleans strip near the French Quarter and Bourbon Street. The character was actually written as an African American. The night club starts out with a thud and he fears that he'll lose his business until one night a mysterious and beautiful lady shows up. She commandeers a drunkard from the audience who turns out to be a washed up jazz and blues all star. They start showing up and performing and the night club starts to fill. All of this to the background of war time New Orleans in the late 1930s. I've been there before (when I was a kid my parents took us). It was a sort of tribute to the jazz crooner Ella Fitzgerald and another fellow Canadian Oscar Peterson. There's also the fact that I am a pianist and keyboardist as well with a lot of other influences. I kind of pictured the lady singer like Rhianna or Nora Jones (both visually and vocally). Zoey Deschannel too (she's got an awesome voice). I stopped writing it on the basis of harassment I was receiving from some people locally in the area and ended up canning it.

In 2001, I actually helped an Iranian lady to get away from a relationship where she was subject to abuse (she'd show up to work at her donut shop with a black eye nearly every time I'd see her). She ended up fleeing to another country I believe with a bit of help from the authorities. I ended up being stalked by her husbands friends for a long time for meddling. Apparently he had some powerful contacts. From what I understand she's living a full and happy life to this day. I still get trouble and revenge attempts related to that situation even to this day. Likely but not certainly the majority of my troubles.

My last girlfriend from five years ago is Korean, a beautiful Woman and a great relationship as well. I was very fortunate to have had such a relationship with her. She ended up getting stalked a great deal as a result of her mixed culture relationship with me. An issue I'd never experienced until recently.

Before that, I was in a very serious relationship with a beautiful Chinese Classical Music and Ballet dancer. She is still a very strong influence on my life and being as well and I don't think a day goes by I haven't thought about her. Certainly a beautiful Woman.

I am single now and have been so for five years living a pretty solitary life though my current love interest is also an Oriental lady.

Lastly, my story A Lady's Prerogative II: Wounded Aerth, one of my favourites for its scope and some of the issues it tackles. It involves a multicultural cast and crosses into the folklore of many different worldly origins. That is a finished recently book (first draft).

The Butterfly Dragon as well, is a story that represents the lives of two Women, the daughter of a Chinese immigrant who befriends an intelligent girl at school and helps her to overcome her confidence issues. The girl she helps goes on to discover a formula that has the potential to cure many degenerative diseases. They end up reuniting to change the world as superheroes, attempting to recover the formula when it is stolen by a corrupted investor. That is a finished work (first draft).

So if you're being forced to "dance" because you read my stuff, keep that in mind.

In my last article I talked about how a contrast is needed to make extremes. There are people in this world who knowingly plan to make someone look worse by abusing them for long periods or victimizing them, knowing that when they break down and react it will serve to make someone else look that much better than them. In other words making someone the bad side so that someone else can look like they are really good. Extremes are also easier to swap. You can't swap the moods, behavior and reputation of someone who is balanced because it has no extremes. So consider anything whereby you might be forced to "dance" on the basis of what you watch, read, listen to, play, talk about or experience as an attack on your being. You're free to do all of those things and shouldn't have anyone teeter you back and forth alone or as a group hoping to tip you over to one of the extremes hoping that you`ll react enough so they can charge you a debt for your reaction. The people who do that are thieves and the only debt they're creating is theirs. They won't get away with it for much longer...

Keep in mind also that as I said in the last post, there's people right now who observe other people's communications illegally (criminal gangs too) who use this observation to steal what they say and do. That's not being paranoid. That's just a warning.

Brian Joseph Johns