Emergency

Hi Blogland.

This summer has been a very trying one. My husband lost his State job in June, I was passed over for a full-time position at the library yet again, my aunts came to stay with us, and then my best friend was hospitalized this week after a nearly fatal car crash.

She was extremely lucky and suffered no broken bones, but a concussion, seven staples on the left side of her head, a small puncture in her lung, and a large liver laceration found her in the ICU. She’s home now, and resting, but it could have gone the other way so easily. I’ve been pretty shaken up over it all, and I’m still reeling if I give myself too much down time.

But, it’s getting better. I’m just exhausted.

I made a writing friend, and we’re going to exchange chapters to workshop for one another. I’m nervous, but really excited to have someone in my town that I can share writing experiences with. Wish us both luck!

Anyway, I’m exhausted and battling some sciatic nerve pain right now. My plan is to do some laundry, play Dragon Age, and get lots of sleep.

I’ll see you soon with a book review of The Glass Magician because I am flying through it, it’s so good!

Until then Blogland,

 

BZ

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Goals Summary Wk 9

Hi All,

I’m gonna keep this brief because my mind is anywhere but here. Tomorrow is the two week mark for the Mass Effect Andromeda release. I am an anxious, impatient, salivating mess. All I can seem to to do is re-watch videos I already have memorized, listen to soundtracks and songs that are reminiscent of space, and my attention span for anything else is just non-existent.

Mass_Effect_Andromeda_cover

Even the cover has me itching to play!

It’s going to be a rough month here at the blog. Probably a rough April too.

So, last week I wanted to:

  • Write chapter 13 of From the  Quorum
    • Done! Finished it up Monday night with 2,992 word sprint.
  • Read The Six-Gun Tarot
    • Not even close. Haven’t even broken 100 pages yet, which is a shame because it’s actually REALLY good so far. Again, no attention span at all.
  • Publish 2 blog posts
    • Done! Last weeks goals post, a general “How’s the Blog Doing?” post, and the book review for The Paper Magician.
  • Continue The Steel Armada edits
    • Done! I’m either on chapter 16 or 17 now, so this area of my life is going very well.

So, last week could have been much worse, and I’m proud of the work I managed to get done.

This week I’m going to be a bit more realistic, because I know myself, and I’m hyper-focusing really hard on gaming, and Mass Effect in particular.

  • Write 1,000 words of From the Quorum
  • Read 200 pages of The Six-Gun Tarot
  • Publish 2 blog posts
  • Continue The Steal  Armada edits

I’m still doubtful that I’ll read that much, but I don’t want to abandon the book. It really is good. But, in my desperation for wonderful, immersive gameplay,  I’ve finished my millionth play through of the original Mass Effect Trilogy, and have picked up The Witcher III just so I can have something to do.

Because I am suffocating without Andromeda. Suffocating. Drowning in lack of gameplay. Like, yes, I love the Dragon Age series, and I’ve played the ever-loving shit out of those games. But, not like I’ve played Mass Effect. I have Mass Effect tattoos. I’ve played the original trilogy five times. I have Mass Effect jewelry, t-shirts, hoodies, and jackets. Hell, I even have Mass Effect socks, and I’m wearing them right now! I have multiple figurines and comics and novels. I’m an avid reader of terrible Mass Effect fan fiction (Dragon Age fics too, for that matter).

This is my all time favorite gaming franchise, and today marks the 5 year anniversary of Mass Effect 3‘s release. I’ve been waiting five years for Andromeda, and now that it’s so close, I’m physically suffering without it.

So, just be prepared for my presence here to dwindle, if not die off completely in the coming months. I swear I will try my damnedest to hold myself accountable and post, but don’t be surprised if I vanish for awhile.

Until Thursday, Blogland.

 

BZ

Book Review- The Princess Bride by William Goldman

All right, I’ve found a couple minutes between reading and writing assignments, so here I am.

My limited free time has found me absolutely obsessed with Dragon Age: Inquisition. This is technically my third playthrough, but my second one only lasted 6 hours before I got bored and deleted it. I didn’t like the decisions or the back story. Humans are so boring, especially in a game that holds so many Elven secrets. So, now I’m over 60 hours into my Dalish Elf mage playthrough, and I’m romancing Solas, because I like sobbing in my spare time.

"Our Love Can Endure" by Mae'thnial Mahariel

“Our Love Can Endure” by Mae’thnial Mahariel

I’m not sure I’ve adequately conveyed my level of obsession. Phone background? Solas picture. Fan Fiction? Following nine different stories all about Solavellan (the name my particular brand of shippers have given the romance between Solas and the Dalish Inquisitor, Lavellan). A playlist has been made, chock-a-block full of sad/angry/confused songs that more or less scream, “WHY?” I’m even a member of a fan page on Facebook. I’ve got it bad.

And I regret nothing.

But, when I’m not gaming for hours at a time, I’m still reading, and so, let’s discuss The Princess Bride!

Princess Bride

Now, this will be an easy review because if you’ve seen the movie, you’ve read the book. I’m not kidding. Most of the dialogue from the film is verbatim from the book, which made it a fantastically fun read. Book Club, of course, loved it.

There were some added scenes, like more fleshed out backstories for Inigo and Fezzik, and though I loved them, I can understand why they were condensed in the film.The book is a little disorienting because the narrator speaks directly to the reader, telling how his father read the story to him as a child, and once he revisited it as an adult, he discovered that his father cut out all the boring bits to tell a tale of “True Love and High Adventure”.

Now, I made an attempt, back in 2011-ish, to read this book, and for whatever reason, was unable to finish it. I was worried as I reopened it that I would succumb to the same problem, and be faced with the hard truth that The Princess Bride, a most beloved film, was based on a boring book.
The Princess Bride

I’m glad to report that the book is anything but boring. I loved it, and now cherish it on my bookshelf, glad to keep it safe there and in my heart.

I know this is a short review, but really, if you’ve seen the film (and if you haven’t, I say this: Inconceivable!) then you’ve read the book. That said, if you love the movie (and if you don’t, I say this: Inconceivable!) please, please, please read the book. You won’t regret it.

Now, this was a Book Club read, which means we’re down to three books left. Next up: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. We have a short month between meetings, so we opted for the shortest book remaining on the list.
Perksofbeingwallflower1

I’m still reading a ton for school, though I’ll admit I didn’t finish Martian Time-Slip. I made it about 40 pages, but the slow story just couldn’t keep up with my Dragon Age addiction.

Moving Mars, by Greg Bear is doing much better, thanks to a shaky romance that reminds me just enough of Solavellan that I can read it with rapt attention.

Anyway, I just wanted to pop in, say hello, good work today, sleep well, I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.

Oh, wait. I’m not the Dread Pirate Roberts…

BZ

Catching Up and Moving On

Well hi there! How have you been? It’s been such a long time it seems, but I’m glad to be back.

So, when Dragon Age: Inquisition was announced, I was still feeling pretty underwhelmed by Dragon Age 2, and was hanging my hopes on Destiny. I mean, an awesome looking sci-fi game with huge worlds and the tagline, “Become Legend”. I was stoked.

And then I played it to find that it had no story to speak of. I’m not sure how one becomes a legend when there is no narrative, and no one is, not even the development team at Bungie. I mean, your character doesn’t really matter in the slightest. And calling them a character is a stretch. They’re an avatar. They make no decisions, can have only the most base interactions with NPCs and ultimately don’t matter. You can be the same species as an antagonist character, and she talks down to you the same as she does to a human character, the dialogue is identical.

And it made me crazy. I didn’t complete the “story” missions. In fact, I haven’t touched the game since my husband admitted that the story never fully develops, and that there’s no real resolution at the end. I mean, really, what’s the point?

I know I’m walking a dangerous line here. People love this game. And the gameplay itself is fantastic. The movement the leveling, the armor, all the actual gameplay elements are great. But, without the story to carry them, I just don’t give a f***.

So, by the time November 18th came around, I was desperate for Dragon Age: Inquisition. I knew BioWare would create and tell a story that would completely enthrall me. They would create and reintroduce characters that became more than a collection of pixels. And I was right.

My Inquisitor

My Inquisitor

I finally “finished” my first playthrough, after about 90 hours of game time. I put finish in quotation marks because there’s still more for my character to do, I just finished the main story line. And, it’s left me reeling. There’s a major cliffhanger at the end, and I know there’s going to be DLC, which I am desperate to get to. Even though it hasn’t been announced, let alone released yet.

I know I’ve talked a bit about BioWare and video game writing here, and I’m not looking to rehash any sentiments I’ve made plain before. I just wanted to mention that, as the credits rolled by, I read the names on the writing team. Out of seven or eight writers, three were women.

Now, three isn’t a big number, but three out of seven? That’s practically half! That’s awesome and I am so proud to be a gamer/writer chick!

Anyway, now that I’m back from my sabbatical in Thedas (the world the Dragon Age games take place in), it’s time to update you all and talk a bit about my plans and goals,

School is over until January 15th… or the 17th. I can’t remember right this second, but over a month! A blessed month of free time! I did well in my English class, which was to be expected. I’m still waiting on the final grade for French, but I’m feeling pretty good.

The Nameless Book Club finally had its first reading meeting. We had a ton of fun! Of course, the wine had a lot to do with that, but we all enjoyed Stupid & Contagious, and I think it was the perfect book to break the ice. We selected Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café as our next book, and we’re meeting mid-January. I’ve already started it, and though it’s not my typical genre, I’m intrigued by it so far.
Book Club

So, that’s all happening. And it’s all good. I emailed my Editor at Caladria, and expressed an interest in writing consistently for them. She was thrilled, and handed my three story options to pursue. After some talking, I’ve got my next short story assigned and have started a vague outline! Also, my first story for them, Hunting Storm, is going to appear in the inaugural issue! Trust me, as soon as I have release and price details, I will be blowing it up here!

I do need to do a deep read through of Hunting Storm to check over some edits my Editor made, but so far it’s looking good. She cut 137 words, which was to be expected. I, like a noob, turned in my rough draft, so I knew there’d be some fixes. Luckily it was a very clean draft!

So, I’ve got my new story assignment, but I haven’t written anything in a while. And since I have Dragon Age on the brain, I’m going to write a one-shot series FanFiction, to sort of limber the writing back up.

I did a few edits on Vessels over the last month or so, which was nice. I’ve been wanting to take a look at Cards, but I can tell it’s still too fresh. I’m shooting for a spring read through. Hopefully the rough draft of Vessels will be completely edited by then, I can’t rightly start edits on a new story when I’m in the middle of another.

In non-writing news, my legal name change is processing with the Social Security Office. In my personal life, I am no longer a Zelkovich, but I’ll be damned if I’m giving up such a unique name in my writing life! Just have to let the banks know I’m still “doing business as” Zelkovich, just in case I actually make money at this writing thing someday.

Anyway, that’s just about everything going on. We bought and decorated our Christmas tree last night, which is one of my favorite traditions we have. I help him string the lights, and he helps me hang the baubles. We sing and dance to classic Christmas songs, and generally drink beer. We didn’t do that bit last night, but the weekend is fast approaching.

christmas tree 2014

Have a great weekend blogland! I am back!

BZ