Wednesday, May 9, 2018

See you in June!

Hi all!

I'm actually going to take a break for the next few weeks. Working on some things, trying to recalibrate my headspace. Etc. Enjoy May! Spring is here, and I'm loving it (except for the allergies, but ah well)!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Insecure Writer's Support Group: All is One & One is All

Happy May! It's the first Wednesday of the month, and that means it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, where we throw our insecurities into a pile and point at them angrily. Something close to that.

I was going to post about my anxiety and nerves about querying again. I've been holding off on it, and at this point I know it's because I'm scared of yet another series of rejections. But I have to pick myself up by the bootstraps and just do it! I'm writing other stories again, too, so I know my passion is still there. I just have to reignite my motivation and willpower.

Back to my first thought, I was going to post about that, but I read Dianne Salerni's IWSG from the 23rd, "Making Rejection Your Motivation", and I'm once again reminded that it's not just me who feels this way!

And that's what IWSG is for: so we know we're not alone! So, thank you, Dianne; I hope you see this, and I hope others read her post and feel the same way. <3

For those who made it through A to Z, congratulations! How did you do? What did you write about all April? Are you taking a break or delving right back into blogging?

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Wednesday Words: Universal Fan Con

I did not plan to talk about this right now. It just came out of my fingers.

I was supposed to be at Universal Fan Con on Friday, but I received an e-mail last Friday that it is postponed because they didn't have enough money to give us the convention we deserved.

I'm still trying to process that, and if you've been on Twitter the past week, you may have seem some more than livid people who were also supposed to attend, some who--unlike myself, who only lives a couple hours from Baltimore and was able to cancel my hotel and parking--are forced to come to Baltimore regardless.

For those who don't know, Universal Fan Con was created for fans of color and other marginalized groups who don't often feel comfortable at the major Comic Cons for various reasons. This would have been my first big convention (Dover has a free one in the Summer), so I had to really build myself up to go. I wasn't even going the whole 3 days, but I've only really lost my original $35 in backing the Kickstarter. Others--fans, vendors, etc.--have lost more.

There are a lot of fingers being pointed, a lot of excuses and explanations that aren't really acceptable, but a bunch of groups got together and are doing a Pop-up Convention call Wicomicon for those who are stuck going to Baltimore this weekend. I've already made plans since, so I can't go, but I really hope everyone has a great time, and it's great that this group is saving the day.

There's still a lot of research I need to do about the people involved, because I'm hearing things now that I haven't before. Something in me KNEW I wouldn't be going to this convention, especially when I received an e-mail for people to confirm their tickets by clicking a link in a previous e-mail I didn't receive because they said they couldn't charge my card (though they did, so that was terrible communication right there). If things turn back around, then perhaps I can trust the parties involved again, but I'm still on a very unsteady fence about the whole ordeal.

Either way, I have off Friday, so I'll be chilling.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Late Night With Wednesday Words: The Belles

So, I was going to go ahead and push this to Thursday because it'll be after 9PM by the time I post this, but I'm a stickler for my blog schedule.

I am currently reading for pleasure again, so of course the first book I am opening is Dhonielle Clayton's The Belles.

This COVER! It's so beautiful. And when you open the book, there is a HOT PINK MAP. You guys know I love pink. haha

Here is the book blurb:

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.

The magic of and in this book so far, and the imagery and descriptions are captivating! I can't wait to read what happens, so hopefully I can steal some time (I think I mentioned already that this is a busy month for me). If nothing else, I'll be on two planes Monday morning, so I'll have time to read then.

I'm 132 pages in already, so as to not spoil anything for potential readers (and myself), I'll use to pick a page up to that point.  Page 71!

Even though I've been dressed and measured and primped so many times, I still hate the feeling in these moments that my body doesn't belong to me. I become a doll--an object to be embellished.

These lines are a good example of the tone set in this book. There's glitz and glamour and magical cosmetics, but something is amiss in the world of Orléans, and I can't wait to find out what it is!

Also, there are teacup animals.

I'll be in Costa Rica next week, so no Tuesday Tales. Maybe the week after, if I feel like messing up my schedule. ;) See you guys in 2 weeks!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Insecure Writer's Support Group: TAKE THE BREAK

Happy April, everyone!

Some people are participating in Poetry-A-Day. Others are diving into A-to-Z. Have fun! My sanity has once again prevailed, and I'm doing neither.

But today is the first Wednesday of the month, and that means it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Please visit the site and the site of our founder, Alex J. Cavanaugh to join us, visit this month's co-hosts, and to meet some new faces.

This month's question is as follows: When your writing life is a bit cloudy or filled with rain, what do you do to dig down and keep on writing?

Hm...this implies that you have to try to keep on writing during those days. I don't buy into the "if you don't write every day you're not a writer" ideology, so if you're in a rut, it's okay. I take that time to dive into reading, do another hobby that isn't reading or writing, so just *gasp* vegging out. Let your head clear. If you have a dire, burning need to write in that time, then by all means do it, but don't feel like you absolutely have to if you just...can't. *shrug*

See you around the blogosphere.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Final Fantasy Friday: Creating a Villain

Happy Good Friday!

On the last Friday of the month, I like to take some time to geek out about my favorite video game franchise, Final Fantasy.

I'm replaying FFIX, and I just passed the point where Garland, the overseer of Terra tells his beta-doll Kuja that he created him with a time limit until MC Zidane grew strong enough to carry out the mission to make Gaia habitable for the Terrans (through war and destruction). As if Kuja wasn't already mad that Garland created Zidane (he threw him off the ship on their way to Gaia, so Zidane didn't have any memory of his origin or mission), so when he heard that he was going to die, he SNAPPED and destroyed Terra in a matter of seconds.

So this brings me to the topic today: creating a villain. Many of the villains in the Final Fantasy games were created by the people around them. Kuja was already pretty bad, but in his case he was literally created to be. Learning there was a caveat just made it worse, and in the end, he redeemed himself.

FFVII had Sephiroth, who was actually pretty chill until he thought humans destroyed his people. That's when he snapped and destroyed Nibelheim. Had he not thought he was an Ancient, his story would've been totally different. Crazy enough, he might've been a main character in what would be a totally different game! We saw a little of that in Crisis Core with Genesis as the main villain. He wasn't as powerful as Sephiroth, and that irked him.

FFVIII has Ultimecia, and going off of the Ultimecia is Rinoa theory I shared during 2016's A to Z Challenge, Ultimecia wouldn't have existed had SEED not killed Squall in the future. Rinoa never would have become Ultimecia and tried to kill all SEED. She wanted revenge.

Though I didn't talk about Seymour in FFX during that challenge and while he wasn't the main villain, he was trying to reach that because of the bullying he experienced being half human and half Guado. He never felt good enough, and so he strove to be better than everyone else and show them up with force.

Most recently was Ardyn from FFXV, who was supposed to be King of Lucis in his time, but they used his soul to absorb demons, so he became corrupted and was cast out for it. Of all of the villains, I think he was the most justified in his reasoning to destroy Lucis. Like Kuja, you can't use people as test dummies and not expect them to snap when you try to discard them.

I could play with "What if" scenarios all day with these five games. Just imagine the possibilities! I'm actually imagining an FFVII with Sephiroth, Zack, and Cloud as a team, and that would've been really interesting. Or an FFIX where Kuja, you know, didn't throw Zidane off the ship, and Dagger as the main character trying to stop them.

Sounds like I should work on some Alternate Universe stories, huh? ... Hm...

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Tuesday Tales: Sitting Down with Brodie

Happy Tuesday!

My mind is a little foggy today, probably because of the weather and a lingering cold in my system. But I have a post to do, so I'm going to push through! I've been asking a few questions of my characters in Fractured Princess, so I will ask the same to my scholar-Watchman Brodie. It's been a while since we've heard from her.

Hello there.

What words or phrases do you overuse?
Brodie: I believe "but why?" may be my most used phrase. I like to ask questions, which you would think is a good thing, but I think I tend to catch people off guard when they think they've spoken definitively about something with no need for explanation.

How do you display affection?
Brodie: I . . . don't? I suppose I hug or give a small touch, but not often.

How do you want to be seen by others?
Brodie: I hope people see me as brave, someone they can depend on and trust, good.

How do you think others see you?
Brodie: Possibly combative, just because I like to question things, but hopefully they don't see me as troublesome because of that.

How do you react to praise?
Brodie: It feels good; I can't lie. You never know how people will take you stepping out of the box, so when it goes well, it's good to know others approve.

How do you react to criticism?
Brodie: If it's constructive, I appreciate it. Otherwise, if it comes from a place of judgment or the like, keep it to yourself, unless you want to deal with my response.

What is your perception of family?
Brodie: I come from a big family. I was raised by my older siblings, and I try not to take that for granted. We don't always see eye-to-eye, but in the end they are all I have, and I wouldn't trade them for the world.

What advice would you give your younger self?
Brodie: Times are going to get hard, but you are strong enough to make it out on the other side. Scars are just symbols of what you've survived.

Thank you, Brodie! I hope everyone has a good week, and if you're stuck in Nor'easter Purgatory with me, stay warm this Spring!