Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Wednesday Words: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline



Happy Hump Day!


This month, my schedule is slightly out of order, so this week, I am bringing you Wednesday Words, where I share with you all what I am writing or (more often) reading. After having it in my To Read pile on Goodreads for 2 years, I've finally started Ready Player One.



In 2015, my cousin sent me a sample that I never opened. It's certainly a book that proves he knows me well, though, lol. A virtual world and superfan gamers going on impossible quests? Yes, that is my wheelhouse. I'm only about 10% in, and my sister said this is a long book, but hopefully, I won't take forever to read it. I have a Goodreads goal to catch up on.

As I sometimes do, instead of using Random.org to give a random page, I will share with you some of what I've already read, because it comes with a Youtube video that made me realize, "Yes, perfection description." Without further ado, here is a snippet of the origin of the "Easter egg":

"...Like many early videogames, Adventure was designed and programmed by just one person. But back then, Atari refused to give its programmers credit for their work, so the name of a game's creator didn't actually appear anywhere on the packaging." On the TV screen, we see Halliday use a sword to slay a red dragon, although due to the game's crude low-resolution graphics, this looks more like a square using an arrow to stab a deformed duck.

"So the guy who created Adventure, a man named Warren Robinett, decided to hide his name inside the game itself..."


I hope you skipped to the end lol. What are you reading this week?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tuesday Tales: New First 350



It's been ages (or at least 2 months) since I last did a Tuesday Tales. I've set the 2nd Tuesday after IWSG aside for Character Q&As, short stories, and conversations with my characters. This time around, I will share the new first 350 words of my manuscript Fractured Princess, which has had a big change to establish Ghuli's wants and needs. I hadn't really delved into them before, but I'm participating in a critique group over at Agent Query Connect, and they've really helped me think deeper about making Ghuli more active. It's a fun opening. Most drafts, Ghuli is just playing in the trees, but this time, she's doing something a little more serious.


So, without further ado, here we go.


-----------




I usually went to the Forest of Weeping Willows whenever I needed a moment of peace. Space would have also been nice. My adopted brother and Watchman Cyan only stood a couple hundred yards away on the Eastern Road, pretending to give me time to myself before we went to the market. Apparently, my turning seventeen meant nothing to him. I was old enough to know how far away from the manor to go, which engine sounds to listen for. I wasn’t going to let one of the Contagion catch me off guard.


I shuddered at the thought.


All right. Cyan could stay.


Howbeit, if a vicious stray elk happened by, I could fight it myself. I looked down at the pages of fighting techniques on the tree stump to my right, committed the moves to memory, and focused on the three knotted ropes of willow switches in front of me. Crystal Soldiers had been known for their graceful fighting techniques. As a Crystal Bearer, something in me had to be graceful, too.


I pushed the willow ropes in different directions so they would swing back and forth. Then, I unsheathed the branch I had tucked into my sleeve, advanced on the nearest rope as it swung back towards me, and thrust at the central knot. Its leaves rustled as it bounced against my makeshift sword. I pushed it again and pivoted around the second rope swinging back at me from the right. I slashed at its back then spun around to perform what the pages called an empty fade and attack--one leap back, guard, one larger leap forward, thrust--against the third rope. I was certain Crystal Soldiers leapt higher. I could work on it.


“Ghuli,” Cyan called.


“Still here,” I called back as I kicked the rope away.


I glimpsed the first switches returning and tried the jump spin I’d studied. Several leaves fluttered off their switches with my overhand slash. As I reveled in my successful attack, the second group of switches bumped into my back. I sighed.


“And now I’m dead.”



Friday, August 11, 2017

Final Fantasy Friday: I Finished FFXV

Me on Monday: I should schedule my post.
Me on Tuesday: I should start my post. Friday will be here before I know it.
Me on Wedensday: I should write my post tomorrow.
Me on Thursday: ....
Me on Friday: Oh, crap, my post!




So, I'm bad at this. haha This is usually the week I share what I'm reading with you, but I hadn't picked up The Handmaid's Tale for about two weeks, so I needed to finish that (thank God, I finished it. It was blah), BUT last Saturday, I took the time to finish Final Fantasy XV which, because I was Level 72, took me about an hour, less time than it took me to fight the adamantoise (which took me close to 3 hours).




As I explained in my post about the homages in this game (CLICK), Noctis is told he has to sacrifice himself to get light back into the world. That takes 10 years, so he comes out looking like a cleaner version of this. We had just fought Ifrit here, so he's a little covered in smoke and ash. He's telling his friends to walk tall (though they also don't make it, which I didn't realize until I read someone's explanation of the ending), and he goes inside to fight the darkness, Ardyn Izunia, formerly known as Ardyn Lucis Caelum, Noct's millions-great-grandfather or uncle, something close.

Long story short, Ardyn was supposed to be king thousands of years ago, but he was used to destroy daemons by sucking them into his soul, and because he was corrupted, he was basically banished. So, obviously, he wants vengeance on the kingdom of Lucis, which he successfully starts at the beginning of the game by having King Regis killed.

I'm awesome, so I defeated Ardyn with no problems and a nod to Cloud's Omnislash limit break. But dear God, the end sequences. With a nod to FFVII's Knights of the Round, the past kings, Noct, Luna, Gladio, Prompto, and Ignis all band together in the afterlife to get rid of Ardyn for good, and the World of Ruin (another nod to FFVI) finally ends after 10 years. The credits roll, and we get a conversation around the campfire that brings me to tears. Of course, it's the first time Noct has seen his friends in 10 years, and then, they're on their last mission together before they all go off to die.



Even with the hundreds of side quests, I give this game a 10. Not an FFX 10, but a solid 10 nonetheless lol. The graphics were gorgeous, the music was awesome. I loved the bond the guys had (seeing them do special link attacks together made me so giddy), and because there are so many other things attached to this game (Kingsglaive, Carnival, Episodes), I love the versatility. I even liked the battle system, and I'm very pro-turn based fighting.

I could see a sequel coming from this, but God, I hope they don't do it. Maybe another movie, where we know what happens now that there is no king anymore. I want to know how the world can go on. I could see them worshiping Noct and Luna, and they have the ability to appear at will. Mainly because of the last video clip they gave us to send off the end of the game. Screenshot here:



They finally get to be together. My heart. Be still.

I can also see this being the last game of the franchise. They did so many homages and CDs we could listen to of the old games. It was epic, and I don't think they would be able to top this one with another game. It's the best one since X. I'll play again eventually. Not for a few years, though. It took a toll on my spirit. lol

Once you finish, you get an updated logo on the main screen, where it used to just be the girl, you realize after the above sequence, that it's Luna. Then, Noct's little sleepy body appears, and Fin. *sigh* Such a good game. I'm going to play the end again just because. :)



In my next Final Fantasy Friday, I should have played Episode Gladiolus and at least started Episode Prompto, so I'll let you know how those turned out.

UPDATE 8/31/17: The episodes weren't really worth another post. Gladio's was boring, and while Prompto's wasn't as boring, I didn't need it. I know other fans probably loved them. I'm ready for Ignis's episode, though! Ignis was my favorite of the three, and the story is going to center around how he was blinded during the Imperial attack on Altissia. HERE FOR IT!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

IWSG: Happy August!


I almost forgot it was time for IWSG! Last month went by so quickly.

I had a very chill birthday with a road trip to Tennessee before it and a trip to our state's only ramen shop after it. I didn't even have cake. But mochi ice cream is amazing.

We're at the halfway point of Agent Query Connect's Speculative Fiction Group's Summer Marathon, and I can't believe the things I've been able to change in my manuscript. It's inspiring. I hope this is my last draft before an agent says yes, though.

I hope everyone else enjoyed their July. I miss it already...but I don't miss the heat.

This month's optional question is: What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

I hate coming across something when editing that not only is a continuity error but that I have to do a huge overhaul on a portion of the story to fix. It makes me mad at myself. I had to take an entire scene out of my story because of a very obvious geographical error I made on a world I made up. Who does that?!

Feel free to join us in this blog hop at the IWSG Website and be sure to visit our lead Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh and the co-hosts for the month. Hope to see some of you soon!