Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wednesday Words: The Clockwork Prince


Good evening!

Well, almost. I've been on a project at work for the past couple of days, and some other work tasks also got me tangled up today, so I didn't have the time to blog at my desk as usual.

I haven't even had a moment to read my library books, though I have started the second of The Infernal Devices graphic novels!


I honestly don't even remember much of what happened in "Clockwork Angel," I read it so long ago. I looked at a plot summary when I remained confused, and it helped a little bit. I need to find a character map, though. So many pointy faces.

As it's that day where I share what I'm reading, let me use Random.org to pick a page to show you all.

There are 260 pages in this graphic novel version of the book, and Random chose page 188. Just spoil it all for me, why don'tcha!


Apparently, basic looking robots appear a little later. Can't wait to see how that happens.

So, what are you reading?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Tuesday Tales: Andyrsn Takes Over!



So, I shamelessly stole Sarah A. Foster's title for her Monday Musings where Jordan Takes Over.

A couple of weeks ago, I threw it out there for readers to ask questions to my characters for them to answer. Sarah, awesomeness that she is, was the first to respond, and I have some more questions from others that I can stretch out for a while. Yay.

So, she asked:

What does Andyrsn like to cook? (One of my characters cooks, too, so I zoomed in on that detail). 

So here he is to answer!

Hey!

Hi, Sarah. Where I come from, we like our food one of two ways: cold and sweet or hot and spicy. The cold and sweet doesn't really take much cooking, so I'm into flame-searing whatever meats and fish I can get my hands on. My favorite dish to cook is called Flaming Chili. Not much to it, really, but you want to make sure you have a good cut of--what kind of birds do you have over there?

Anyway, get a hold of a grinder for your meat. Grind it up and season it. I like to soak mine in pre-boiled chilis and ground red pepper, but some people can't take the extra heat. While that's soaking, you want to simmer a mix of coconut milk and dried baobab. They add sweetness and a hint of citrus. You won't be disappointed, promise. Cut up a couple of tomatoes, an onion--whatever color you have over there--and a few not-so-hot peppers (or the hot ones if you lived a life with no regrets), throw them and the meat into the mix, and let it cook for however long you like. I like letting it sit for a few hours. Makes the house smell like you can eat everything in it, but once that chili's done, you won't have to!

Oh! Hey, do you guys have corn cakes? Perfect match. Not so much with a fish chili, unless you fry the fish in some kinda batter first, but with the other meats? Yeah, it hits a spot or two. :)

Friday, March 25, 2016

Final Fantasy Friday: The 20 Greatest FF Characters of All Time



A short post for Good Friday. I just had to share this list of the Top 20 Greatest Final Fantasy Characters of All Time. I honestly couldn't agree more, even with Lightning from FFXIII. I hated the game, but I loved her as a character. She also made a Greatest Hair in Gaming list, and as I absolutely love that specific shade of pink, I can agree.

So, anyway, have a great weekend! I will see you Tuesday with the post I was supposed to post this past Tuesday (say that 5 times fast).

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Wednesday Words...WAS Reading: Ooku: The Inner Chambers Vol. 1



So, I finished the book I was reading last night, and as I haven't yet started a new one, I figured I would share a little about this one!


Ooku: The Inner Chambers, written and illustrated by Fumi Yoshinaga, is a manga series that initially seems to be about a young man, Mizuno Yunoshin, who is unable to marry the love of his life because of their differing social statuses, so to avoid marrying someone else, he joins the Ooku.

[An Ooku, in short, is a harem of young men owned by the Shogun. A mysterious small-pox-like disease wiped out most of the men in the country, so they are seen as rare, delicate commodities. Only the Shogun, the most powerful woman in the country, can have this harem of men.]

When Yunoshin gets there, he learns things aren't as glamorous as they seem, not only picked on the moment he steps foot inside, but also nearly gang raped in the middle of the night. (Hey, there aren't any girls around; what do you expect us men to do?!) He holds his own and gains notoriety for his honorable demeanor. Then, crazier things ensue, and the Ooku is seemingly about to be turned upside down by the newest Shogun.

I usually pick a page using Random.org, but I'm already done the book, and so it's not with me with right now. Instead, I will share a panel from the book and a one-page illustration that made me almost shout.




What are you reading?

Monday, March 21, 2016

A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal (And a thousand GIFs)


I went simple last year, helping people out with some different colors for descriptions in their stories. This time, I'm making it about me and my gaming habit. So, hopefully, someone reads it haha.

My theme for this year's A to Z Challenge is...

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(Was that dramatic enough?)

FINAL FANTASY!!

I will be highlighting my favorite characters from the Final Fantasy franchise, so I will also be utilizing the (GA) tag for those looking for specific tags on the linky-list. To visit me, I will be over at my April Dailies blog. I hope you enjoy. :)

Friday, March 18, 2016

Final Fantasy Friday: VI


Thank God it's Friday!

I spent a couple of hours into midnight preparing more of my A to Z Challenge posts, and my theme will be revealed on Monday with a bunch of other peoples' (click here to learn about the theme reveal)!

I'm excited about it because I went really dramatic with my reveal. It's Gif City! *giggle*

But anyway, I haven't done a Final Fantasy Friday in a few, so I thought I'd talk about Final Fantasy VI for a second, which I recently just started playing again. (Here is the opening theme with the original version of the music I posted a few days ago.)


In 1994, FF6 was released as Final Fantasy III in the US because only the original Final Fantasy and FF4 had been released here (weird). I didn't have a Nintendo when I was a kid, so I never heard about Final Fantasy until FF7 made its groundbreaking debut with Playstation. But just so you know, Final Fantasy VI is the beginning of the great storylines of Final Fantasy games. FF5 tried really hard, and I don't even remember FF4's story, so I firmly stand behind my statement.

The main character is Terra, a half-human half-esper who is under mind control by the militaristic government at the beginning of the game, but contact with a frozen esper frees her from their grasp. It's a very intricate story about power and love, and I enjoy playing it, so that's why I'm playing it again!

I hope everyone has a great weekend. I wanted to go to Philly tomorrow, but we'll have to see!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Wednesday Words: What I *Was* Writing



I am actually reading, but it's the graphic novel version of a book I already read. Also, my Kindle kicked the bucket, so unless I want to read on my laptop (I don't), I have to read my physical books and hit the library until I can afford a new one.

As you know, I was revising The Crystal Bearer, and it's in the hands of a beta reader. He suggested that I do the story wholly from Ghuli's POV. He isn't the first to suggest it, so I thought I would give it a try. A few chapters into it, I knew it's not right for this story. There are moments that can't be told through Ghui or retold to her without it seeming like info dumping, and there are also moments that make some of her harder-shelled characters blossom so readers can see their other sides.

That said, there were some moments and scenes I created while attempting this draft that I actually thought, "Wait, I like this one better than that one," and where I also was more succinct in explaining things, so I definitely incorporated them into the story. I will be going back through and inserting more of Ghuli's POV in scenes where there is a panoramic POV. It will make the story sharper.

Now if only to get this done before A to Z (oh crap, I still have posts to finish) AND DVPit!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Tuesday Tales: From my Characters?


So, here's a thought.

There are two things that many writers do that I have a hard time doing:

1) Character Q&A, just going down a list of questions about your characters and answering them so you know every inch of who they are. Oftentimes, the Q&As I come across seem to be more for contemporary fiction, not so much sci-fi or fantasy, so I have a hard time answering them.

2) Writing blog posts in the voice of their main characters. I struggle with pulling my MCs out of their world to have them engage in ours. Out of all the weird things I do, that feels weird to me.

Now, Tuesdays were supposed to be for flash fiction, but as I moved into revision mode for my WIP, I didn't need to get my creativity working because it already was again.

BUT, as I was also using it to help you all learn some things about my WIP's setting, what if I opened it up for questions for my characters to answer? I have an MC but also a big supporting cast behind her. I feel like this would help me get in touch with my characters even more while also showing you all who they are as well.

If anyone is interested, I would absolutely appreciate it if you would just post some questions down in the comments, and I will answer them one-by-one weekly with one or more of my characters from The Crystal Bearer.

Also, so you know who they are, here is a run-down of my main and supporting characters to give a basis for questions!

Ghuli: (Princess Ghulien of the Crystal Bearers) The last of her race, sent away by her parents before the metal army destroyed the Northern Crystal Continent when she was 11 mos. old. Raised by her Commanding Watchman, a Human named Aleksandyr (killed in combat when she was 9) and her 1st Lt., Cyan, a hulktroll. Extroverted introvert, loves to interact with new people and places, but loves to find solace in the forest.

Cyan: Ghuli's 1st Lt. Watchman, a hulktroll, orphaned by the metal army when he was 4; appointed as a Jr. Grade Lt. Watchman shortly after to watch Ghuli. Introverted, shy and quiet, but strict when it comes to Ghuli's safety. Has a temper but never reacts violently. Has a tattoo of elk antlers down his neck and right arm to commemorate his first wound as a watchman. Has a half-brother about 30 years older than him.

Laris: (Prince Laris of the Sprites) Ghuli's 2nd Lt. Watchman, appointed by Aleksandyr to help Cyan once Cyan became Ghuli's primary watchman. On Sallendum (kind of a Rumspringa) until his father passes. His brother is currently castellan. Has a wife and young son on the Sprityn bay. Extroverted but soft-spoken. Loves telling stories. Very laid-back but focused.

Brodie: A Human, from the renowned family of scholars (historians and current event record keepers). Father died in battle, mother dead. Raised by her older sisters. Joined the Watch against her eldest sister's will, point of contention between them. 2nd Lt. Watchman. Retains information very well, highly-skilled fighter. Fends off marriage proposals from eager parents. Hot-tempered but very kind-hearted. Has trouble trusting people. Introvert.

Andyrsn: A Human, Jr. Grade Lt. Watchman, son of Aleksandyr. Famous back home because of his father. Best friend of Brodie's second oldest brother. Witty, sarcastic. A prankster but good-natured and caring. Lives with his brothers to help raise his two nieces. Loves climbing trees and going surfing. Cooks. Extroverted introvert.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Saturday Series: WIP Joy Questions Pt. 6



The last leg of these questions! It's been really fun, and I hope you have enjoyed this look into my WIP, The Crystal Bearer. Here we go!

27. Share a favorite image that reminds you of your WIP.


This is Umberto Boccioni's Unique Forms of Continuity in Space. My Freshman year of college, when I was just beginning to flesh out this story, we studied this, and it inspired me regarding what exactly an Iron Giant was going to look like in my WIP.

28. Describe a character relationship you love in your story.

When I first wrote Cyan and Ghuli, I didn't expect them to build their own relationship as I revised. Probably because I don't have a brother of my own, I wasn't aware of how close these two could be. As I said in the first part of the series, Cyan's a hardass except for when it comes to Ghuli. They have a really strong bond, and I'm glad I was able to write meaningful moments between these two.

29. Why are you passionate about sharing this story?

It started out as little ramblings in my dream-world and grew to be a full-fledged story. I want to share it so people can join me in my mind and be entertained by it.

30. Why do the themes in your WIP come from your heart?

They're universal, human themes, when you get down to it. Making mistakes, growing up, being with people you love and wanting to protect them. Those are fundamental.

31. What are some things writing this story has taught you?

Some things will take more time than you want, and if you want them to be good, you have to be patient and put in the work.


Thanks so much for joining me!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Final Fantasy Friday


I haven't done one of these in a while, and I still don't really know what to say. I'm currently listening to my Final Fantasy Radio on Pandora, because it's Friday, and so at work it's Final Fantasy Friday for me! The sky actually looks about the same as in this little picture, and I just want to crawl back into bed and sleep, but days and dollars.

I started playing Final Fantasy 6 again this week, so I suppose I shall share this piano compilation of the songs from the soundtrack. Nobuo composed some great music for this game, and hearing them through a piano makes them even better. Matter of fact, now I'm listening to it! So, have a good weekend, and enjoy!


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Wednesday Words: Now Beta Reading, But Reading to Come



We've been here before!

Except last time I was revising my WIP, but now that it's off to a beta reader, I'm beta reading! I'm already nearly halfway done, so I need to crack down on what I should read next! I have a TON of e-books to read, about a zillion books on my To-Read Goodreads list, and a couple of books I bought on the fly at home or won in a Rafflecopter thing.

Here are some books I'm planning on definitely reading next:

Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler
Chausiku by Pamela E. Cash
Zeroes: A Novel by Chuck Wendig
What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

What are you reading?

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Saturday Series: WIP Joy Questions Pt. 5


We are on the 5th week of these WIP Joy questions, and we're almost done! These have been fun. Let's dive in!

21. You'd love for your book to be made into a [movie/TV show/radio drama/etc.] because...

If you follow me on Twitter and have a great memory, you've seen me say many times that I have a song or actor already picked out "for the movie for the book I haven't published yet." I'm a very visual person, and I've always seen this book getting adapted into a film. Writing for Film/TV was my major once upon a time, as well, so I would love to be in on the writing of the script. It would probably be wise of me to start one.

22. Most epic thing about your WIP.

It's an homage to Final Fantasy. There are tropes that many may not get but hopefully appreciate, but I wouldn't have gotten as far with this story as I did without those games. I guess that counts as epic?

Also, heroes of color! Females on the front lines! I think I passed the Bechdel test. :)

23. Advice given to you that made your WIP better.

It was said more as a grumble with a lot of exclamation points, but not to stray from the plot for side stories. It made the piece much tighter.

24. Advice you ignored because you know your WIP best!

The same person said to get rid of the romance. Pfft. It's actually pretty light on romance, and I made it that way on purpose. I didn't want it too heavy, but I wanted it to be there, so it stays. So there.

25. Shout-out to some people who have encouraged you in writing your WIP!

Oh gosh, well, my friend's mom, who is waiting eagerly for a copy. A bus driver who when I said I majored in English actually DIDN'T say "You want to be a teacher?" but actually knew I wanted to be a writer without me having to correct him. So many people on Twitter and Blogger.

26. You love your WIP's genre because...

The possibilities for fantasy stories (despite the status quo) are endless. If you can dream it, you can write it.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Fast Five Friday


Is it snowing where anyone else is? It's beautimous!

Happy Friday! It is time for another Q&A with Fast Five Friday, creating by the Cover Girls, Dani and Jax!

This week they want to know the 5 things you covet/or would like to acquire.

1. A book deal
2. A husband (real talk)
3. A PS4
4. A full time job (these are almost in no particular order lol)
5. Children before I'm 40.

How about you?

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Insecure Writer's Support Group

Brought to us by Alex J. Cavanaugh,
sensei and founder of the Insecure Writer's Support Group.


It is MARCH! I can't believe it. Can you??

I feel like if I blink, it will be April. I have to finish my A to Z posts, first off. lol I think I Have 5 or 6 prepared, but there are 26 letters in the alphabet. At least there are 31--well, 29 at this point--days left for me to work on them.

I'm almost done revising my WIP and sending it to my beta reader. SO thankful for my CP, because I was able to see so many things differently this time around, even things that didn't make sense. I have a goal to leave no room for questions that could have been answered in the pages.

On the "normal" front, I have a job interview in two weeks for an Administrative Assistant III at the Cardiac Cath Lab in the hospital. I've been trying to get a job at the hospital for so long, and I was pleasantly surprised to finally get a call, especially now that one of my roommates just moved out, and I don't know if the job I have now plans on making me full time. I told my manager and the manager I've been helping since her admin left that I have an interview, and they're very supportive. If that doesn't make them at least discuss making me full time, then it will certainly be their loss, as they'll be down another admin.

Also here's this for a coincidence and/or ordainment by God, lol: My interview is 1 day shy of 2 years after I started my current job.

Wish me luck!! See you all in a few.