Merry Day After Christmas! It's time for another Tuesday Tales Q&A with one of my characters! This time, I'm holding onto Cyan's legs so he can't get away (though Jonnie might answer for him anyway). I took today's questions from The Ultimate Character Questionnaire. It's a huge list, so anyone with Microsoft can download it.
All right. Hi, Cyan!
Cyan: . . . Hi. Jonnie: Stop frowning! This will be quick.
Jonnie, what words or phrases does Cyan overuse? Jonnie: He likes to curse things *laughs*. He says "The damned of you" all the time.
How does he display affection? Jonnie: You'd be surprised how affectionate he is! He is a hugger. He also likes to touch the top of my head.
Cyan: Teorre. I don't like to; 'tis just a habit.
Cyan, how do you want to be seen by others? Cyan:I would like for them to see me as a good Watchman. People have been watching my progress since I was a kid, so I hope I have made them proud.
Jonnie, how is he seen by others? Jonnie:Well, I'm biased because he's my big brother, but he is the best! He may get on my nerves at times-- Cyan: Likewise. Jonnie: --but I know he just wants what's best for me.
How does he react to praise? Jonnie:Oh, dear Teorre, just don't. He has no idea how to handle compliments. Just say, "Well done," and move on. How does he react to criticism? Jonnie: You can tell he doesn't take it well--he frowns and sulks and sometimes talks back. Howbeit, he does consider and incorporate changes as necessary.
Cyan, what is your perception of family? Cyan:Well, I suppose, family isn't just your blood. 'Tis who you can rely on from day to day and who you would die for. What advice would you give your younger self? Cyan: I haven't seen it happen yet, but there must be a day when she will tire herself out, so hang in there.
All right, that's enough out of them haha. There are a bunch of other questions to explore, so I'll probably come back to them next month . . . or should I say NEXT YEAR!?
All righty, so because I posted a Friday post early, I'm doing Wednesday Words this week! This is when I share with you all what I have been reading or writing. I've set down both the e-book and the e-comic I was trying to read, so nothing on that front. But, after NaNo, I did open up my WIP with comments from Jodi Meadows to work on her notes.
I also want to say WHEN this book gets published, I want to do a special book of the draft stages and my favorite comments from her. Some of them still make me laugh when I look at them.
The main problem this go 'round was distancing. I had trouble bringing readers into the POV characters' heads, which I could see right up front. I usually write: "This happened, and I felt like this when it did" when it needs to be more like "This happened, and oh why is happening?" I did better in some areas than others. I have a chat with a Spec Fic group creator hopefully this week to see her thoughts, too, but I have a feeling they'll be about the same.
So, I forgot to post Wednesday Words this week, but I'm also not reading anything, so why not mess up the rest of the month!?
More importantly, Episode Ignis came out this weeeek! Ignis was my favorite FFXV character, and I've been waiting impatiently for his episode! So much so that I bought it before I went to work yesterday morning!
A little backstory: during the main game, there is a major battle against the Imperial Army and Noctis's guard while he's going off to win over Leviathan. His fiancée is killed in this struggle, and somehow Ignis loses his sight.
This episode lets us see what happened, but first, this opening (and Noctis's little face!):
Ignis has been with Noctis for the longest, I believe, and to be honest, he spoils him all through the main game. I was devastated to hear he was blinded in this scuffle.
Playing the game straight through only took an hour. You have the option to venture off and reclaim districts in Altissia, but I was trying to get a handle on Ignis's battle system and also getting up on the roofs without falling back into the water all through the city.
But also, Ignis is a BEAST! I was taking out Imperials with hardly any need for a potion until I had to fight Ravus and then Ardyn. I also didn't realize Ravus had a prosthetic arm, but he thought he was chosen to fight off the darkness and tried to wield the One Ring--oh, sorry, wrong...well anyway the Ring of the Lucii. The past kings of Lucis said, "Nah, fam," and his arm burned away! So, when Ignis picked up the ring to fight Ardyn, I knew he would live, but didn't have any details. He called on the kings to give him power to fight Ardyn, and they said, "Sure, but now you're blind." We were able to fight him off long enough for Gladio and Prompto to find us, and then Ignis collapses from exhaustion.
Rewind: while Ignis and Ravus battle through Altissia to get to Noct and Luna, we run into Pryna, one of Luna's husky-German shepard mixes (no idea what these puppies are), and she either dies or collapses but not before giving Ignis a gift of foresight, so he sees everything that is going to happen to Noctis. This helps to explain in the main game why sometimes it's like Ignis can see after this battle: he's already seen the future happen!
So, as the credits roll and take us through the rest of the game, it ends on a moment at their last campfire where Noctis is telling Ignis that even if Ignis isn't there in the end, he's there in Noct's heart. And then...well watch for yourself. I almost lost to tears:
It's a 5th Wednesday, and that means it's time for me to share with you all what I am either reading or writing.
Firstly, how did everyone do with NaNaWriMo? I set a goal of 500 words a day for myself, and started out pretty well, then petered. I'm terrible at these kind of goals, so I'm not sure why I kid myself, but on the bright side, I have the beginnings of an entirely new writing project! I've been so focused on Fractured Princess, I was starting to lose sight a little about writing. This November helped me break out of that, and I'm excited where this new story will take me.
For now, it's called The Queen's Daughters, a story based off of a dream I had (which is also how FP came to be). I haven't gotten to that particular scene yet, but some other circumstances in my life helped me put down the first few words, so I thought I would share those. They're bleak, just so you know, but here they are.
They killed our mother.
Then, they expected us to live in this place without her and be happy about it. Our father’s castle. This is not our home. It never has been. It’s just a place we visited during the off season so he could look like a good father.
Once, we thought he was.
But she was better. She was always better.
So now, we are taking her kingdom back, little by little. We may die doing it, but we will let the world know that we are Adasia’s daughters, and we will take shit from no one, not even the King.
This isn't really a Tuesday Tales, more like a brainstorm session that I've already gone through. BUT it's something for Tuesday, and it's about my characters, so it almost fits into the category.
For as long as I've written Fractured Princess, my main character has been named Ghulien, Ghuli for short. Now, in my head, it's pronounced JOO-lee. Over the years, however, I've had people read it as GOO-lee. It never occurred to me that in the English language, gh is--as far as I know--always pronounced as a hard g. Somehow, I thought the h would make it soft. But not only is that not how h's work haha; in the Crystalline language, h's aren't silent.
Also, I believe Ghuli was just a name I grabbed out of thin air when I needed one and don't really have much of an attachment to the name besides it's what I've been calling her for 13 years (yeesh, 13 years).
So, I've spent a couple of days thinking of names that 1) follow the rules of the Crystalline language, 2) sound good, and 3) that could be transferred into a nickname. One thing I never thought of is that Ghuli is passing for a Human, and also, her parents had close ties to their Human scholars, so they might give their daughter a nickname that sounded a little Human without anyone questioning it. Also, I still wanted to keep the j sound, so that played a big role.
Therefore, come December (so I can get back full swing into NaNoWriMo) my MC's new name will be:
I hope everyone's doing well who is participating in NaNoWriMo. Save yesterday, I've reached my goal of 500 (I said 1000 last week, but I think 500 is a good start for me) words a day on the days I planned to write (all days but Sunday, unless I'm really compelled). The real task for me will be to keep it up but also to not touch the words I already put down. I'm one of those pesky writers who edits as she writes. It's just how I was raised. ;)
Anyway, it's the 2nd Wednesday of the month, and that means sharing with you all a piece of what I'm reading. Funny enough, I'm not reading anything that can be spoken of at the moment, but I did finish Jodi Meadows's Before She Ignites last week.
I must have spoken of Jodi before because she's in my tags, but at the risk of repeating myself, I had the pleasure of meeting Jodi via Twitter during last year's DVPit when I had a SLEW of likes from agents. Sadly, my work wasn't as ready as I thought, but I did actually receive TWO requests for my full following the initial query, so I know I'm getting somewhere. Anyway, Jodi was kind enough to look over my first few pages and give me pointers. Then, a little later, she gave me a full edit letter! In that time, she also asked me to be a sensitivity reader for the title book, and while I pointed out places she could improve, I loved this book from page 1.
Before She Ignites is about a young woman who has a treaty named after her and so despite all of her awkwardness, obsessing over dragons, and high anxiety, she has to be the figurehead for the people. She discovers a huge secret that brings danger to the islands on which the people live, and is subsequently thrown into prison. We follow her attempts to adjust to now being at the bottom of the bottom and also receive wonderful flashbacks that include dragons of all shapes and sizes. The imagery in this book is so cool, and not to give anything away, I'll just say, Aaru is everything. lol
Because I finished the book and am typing this up at work, I'm going to share a piece of my favorite scene that I still have on my Kindle and that no one will understand unless they've read it, so it's not a spoiler.
I was immense. Immeasurable. Infinite.
I bridged the spaces between stars with my fingertips. I crossed galaxies within breaths. Aeons poured through me like thoughts, and my inferno heart beat with the tempo of the end of the world.
If this was what it felt like to die, it was almost a mercy.
Are you reading anything this month? Are you doing NaNoWriMo?
Where is the time going?! It's NOVEMBER. The first day of November to be exact. It's also the first Wednesday, and so that means it's time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group post. Visit our great sensei Alex J. Cavanaugh and the IWSG site (linked in the previous sentence) to join us and visit the hosts for this month.
November also means it's time for National Novel Writing Month projects! And that is the topic of the question for this month: Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?
I think I've only tried NaNo once and gave up, but this year, I actually have two projects I want to work on: a fantasy piece about rebellion and a rom-com featuring demisexuals. Because of recent events in my personal life, I was actually able to write an opening for the former. The latter, I have smatterings in my head that I can most definitely flesh out. I'll just have to make the time to write 1,000 words each day, which I'm almost sure I can do if I actually focus. Wish me luck!
Have any of you finished your NaNo projects? Will this be your first year trying NaNoWriMo? Would you like to try the not-yet-popular NaNoReMo? lol
It's the last Friday of the month, and that means it's time to geek out about my favorite game franchise: Final Fantasy!
A few weeks back, I realized there was an update to FFXV, so I downloaded and decided to see what it was. Over the summer, they do a Carnival in Altissia. This time, they did an Assassin's Festival in Lestallum. Here's a preview.
Apparently, Noct and Prompto are huge Assassin's Creed fans, but if you know me, you know I'm not a first-person gamer. It gives me a lot of anxiety, especially when enemies are chasing me (one of the reasons I hated FFXII). That's why I gravitate to RPGs. I did try to play this festival a little bit, but the moment the Magitek soldiers started chasing me and I couldn't get away, I knew I wouldn't be able to go on. Others enjoyed it, though, so good. I'll be awaiting the next DLC, which should be Ignis's story!
Happy Third Tuesday! This is the day I've set aside for Q&A with my characters, short stories, and the like. My characters are currently answering a question from these Character Development Questions: What facts about your characters do they prefer to keep hidden? Ghuli* and Andyrsn have already taken a stab at answering, so now I will move on to the next willing character: Laris.
Oh! Hello again!
A hidden fact about myself? Teorre, I do not believe I have any. 'Tis difficult when you are the Prince. Everyone knows everything about you. Well, I suppose this is a not-so-hidden, terribly common fact many of my generation face today: I cannot speak the old Sprityn tongue well.
You see, we Sprites had only occupied our own continent and the Western Crystal Isle, which King Dyeva gave to us after the Crystal War ended, until the Sprityn-Trollic Treaty, and so, my people only spoke Sprityn and Crystalline. My grandfather was King at the time of the Treaty. He thought it best to teach my father the Common Language so that he could communicate with the Trollics and the Humans who emigrated to the Isle. This proved even better when Sprites migrated further south into the Life Continent. Many in the north speak a hybrid of Sprityn and the Common Language.
When all settles on Teorre, I plan to reinstate the study of the old Sprityn language, so that it does not die with me.
I speak Spanglish haha. Is there anything language you would like to learn? I want to learn ASL. I used to be really into it, but it fell off (I think because of Spanish lol).
*This post occurred before I changed Ghuli's name to Jonnie*
It's the 2nd Wednesday of the month, so I do want to make sure I put something up, but I'm still reading N.K. Jemisin's The Stone Sky. It seems like my days want to get busy whenever I'm reading this series! I'll have something new to share next month.
My excitement for this book hasn't waned in the least. In fact, a few chapters ago, I realized something important, which I mentioned in the first part of my look into this book. There are chapters, Hoa's chapters to be specific, which are counting down. The only logical deduction is that Hoa is counting down to the way the world ends for the first time, when he broke the world.
There has been so much going on in his chapters, as well as Nassun's chapters, and I am chomping at the bit and foaming at the mouth in anticipation of how the imagery in this book in particular will be adapted for TV. There is SO. MUCH. I'm so excited.
I don't want to give anything away for myself, so I hit the Random.org button a few times until it took me to a spot I've read already but that was after what I already shared with you all. Funny enough, I shared page 97 last time, and this time, I'm going to share something from page 102, in the same chapter.
Is Kelenli the same? No, the conductors said she was made different in only one way. She has our powerful, complex, flexible sessapinae, which no other people in the world possess. Otherwise she's like them.
This is interesting to me because when we meet Kelenli, Hoa tells Essun that she looks like Kelenli. Back before Hoa's kind were stone eaters, they were called tuners, and were created to tune plutonic engines. What are those? Not telling, but you might be able to guess if you've read the other two books. The interesting part for me is that I am suspecting that orogenes were also created, not natural to this world until centuries of evolution. I think I'm right, but I still have about 40% to read, so I'll see.
Happy October! Fall is my favorite season, so I'm happy it's here. And with a new month comes our Insecure Writer's Support Group, a chance for us writers to share our insecurities with each other! Feel free to join in at www.insecurewriterssuportgroup.com. There you can visit the Sensei, Alex J. Cavanaugh, the co-hosts for the month, and other insecure writers.
For me, I entered DVPit again. It's been a year since I first pitched my manuscript through this Twitter pitch contest for marginalized writers. I had so many hits from agents and editors that I didn't know what to do with myself. Unfortunately, I rushed through revisions that I was in the middle of and queried a manuscript that wasn't ready. So despite actually getting one full request on my query, I still came up with no offers.
Since then, I received a full edit letter from Jodi Meadows, won a query critique from Laura Pohl, and went through a grueling critique group over the summer. You would think that with the work I've put in this year, I'd feel ready, but when I saw those likes comes in this time, I just remember last year and get so nervous. I didn't even get as many likes as I did last year (had my one tweet not had comps, I probably would have had even less). I'm trying to convince myself that things will work out this time, but I'm not really sure.
Hope someone else is feeling more confident than I do! Or not, let me know.
It's the last Friday of the month, and that means it's time to geek out for a minute. Final Fantasy XV developers continue to crank out content for this game. It's becoming it's own franchise! While a mobile Game of War-style game was created for the game (and is trash), there will be a PC, pocket, and real multi-player version of this game out by early 2018! Extra content is being downloaded periodically, so I need to get back into the game to see what's available. The expansion they're doing for this game is proof to me that this will be the last major Final Fantasy game, especially as they're doing the MMO version (FFXI and FFXIV were MMORPGs). It's the end of an era (unofficially, because they haven't said anything of the sort).
I hope you all have a great weekend. I leave you with a trailer for the expansion project!
We're back to the third Tuesday! This is the day I've set aside for Q&A with my characters, short stories, and the like. Two months back, Ghuli* answered a question from these Character Development Questions: What facts about your characters do they prefer to keep hidden? The majority of my supporting cast are soldiers called Watchmen, so I'm sure this is something they all can answer, albeit reluctantly.
I'm actually going to let Andyrsn answer this one next, because he has a hidden fact that I came up with late in the revision stage, and it doesn't come up in the story at all. I'm sure it's something people will ask about, though.
So, I actually don't remember my mom. She left us when I was two, and by the time I was old enough to ask why, my dad had gone off to duty. I did write him once to ask. I didn't really feel like I was missing out on anything--by the time I turned 7, a lot of kids had lost parents to the Contagion, so growing up with less than two became the norm. I was really curious, though. Dad said she just had other ideas of what life should be, so she went to figure it out and never came back. Vague as hell, but I don't think he wanted me to think it was because of me. I don't, but I do wonder what she's doing now and if she's found what she was looking for. It's like, is she still out there searching, or is she not coming back because she's found it, whatever it is? But yeah, that's something I don't talk about with anyone.
Didn't mean to make it a sad post, but there you have it! See you next week.
*This post occurred before I changed Ghuli's name to Jonnie*
It's the second Wednesday of the month, where I share with you all a piece of what I'm reading, and if you haven't guessed it, I'm finally reading N.K. Jemisin's The Stone Sky, the final chapter in her Broken Earth series.
I'm super excited that this series is getting adapted into a TV series. There's so much I want to see come to life, and I hope it's everything I dream. Though I'm sure Nora hopes the same thing.
The language used so far as we go back in time to before (what it seems like) the stone eaters were stone eaters has been BEAUTIFUL, so poetic. Let's see what we can find in these 413 pages with Random.org.
Page 97....Hmm...Looks like this is the way the world ended for the first time.
The conductors explain little beyond what we must know to fulfill our roles. It is enough to know that--small, unimportant we--will help to set humanity on a new path toward an unimaginably bright future.
The hubris of man.
I don't know how big this is about to be, font-wise (I'm on my phone), but hello! This is the monthly blog hop for Insecure Writers. Feel free to join in at www.insecurewriterssuportgroup.com. There you can visit the Sensei, Alex J. Cavanaugh, the co-hosts for the month, and other insecure writers!
I am writing this while hiding in the basement at work. I've been doing secretary work since I quit my data entry job way back when, and I kind of regret it daily. But I didn't prepare well enough and certainly didn't know well enough to find a job I like. I thought I'd get published right out of college. Pfff.
So, while you're writing and waiting, and if you can't afford to not work, definitely find a day job that makes you happy in the meantime. It's no fun dreading going in to work each day.
This month's question has a less dismal answer from me: Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing?
I have! My current WIP in particular has gone places I never expected, and I love it. I hope others will, too, one 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?
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
I shuddered at the
All right. Cyan
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.
“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
*This post occurred before I changed Ghuli's name to Jonnie*
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!
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?!
I keep thinking it's Monday because I didn't work yesterday, and though I said I'd schedule a post Tuesday, I forgot.
It is already the first Wednesday of July! On this day, we insecure writers throw our doubts into the wind and discuss our insecurities, give a little encouragement, etc. Visit Alex J. Cavanuagh, sensei, and stop by the official website to join the fun!
I'm currently participating in AgentQueryConnect's Summer Marathon for the Speculative Fiction group, so I have 3-4 eyes looking at my manuscript at the same time. I'm so glad for it. Hopefully, I can start querying again by the end of the year. I don't want to polish this thing raw, but I do want it presentable and agentable.
It is also my birthday month, yay! I will be in Tennessee for a couple of days of that week, and I look forward to all of my shows and the summer movies coming out that week: Game of Thrones, Insecure, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.
This month's optional IWSG question is: What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing?
I learned to not be so stubborn when others critique my work. Not to say the "grow a thick skin bull" people always tell you, because some people can be mean and condescending when they look at your work, and you shouldn't have to put up with that. I'm talking about when people are giving good, honest feedback. I had to learn to handle that, and now I see others struggling with the same thing, so I try to let them know when they need to stop pushing back at critiques they receive. It makes things a lot easier, and reduces your amount of drafts, so LEARN EARLY.
It is the 5th Friday, but the 4th Friday after IWSG, so that means it is time for Final Fantasy Friday!
As you know, I've been playing Final Fantasy XV, a very intricate game for new and old fans. I'm finally at a point where I have no choice but to stop and do side quests to level up because I am on the final chapter of the game, which was actually the beginning of the game, so now I understand what the heck was happening.
So at this juncture, I have to stop and talk about a few of the homages to the other games that blew my mind. FFIX had homages, too (the crystal returned, skill-based mages designated by colors, etc.), but there was one in particular in FFXV that I didn't realize until I was saying it out loud (it's coming up in a few). So let's go through a few.
1) Light vs. Dark
I think a few of the early Final Fantasy games always dealt with a time where Warriors of the Light had to be called to battle away the overwhelming darkness. FFIII and FFIV are the ones that come to mind most. FFXV is a huge battle of light vs. dark. Noctis (night) from the kingdom of Lucis (light). lol Night Light. OOH, or Knight of Light! I just caught that play on words. Everything in this game revolves around keeping the lights on because if you don't, daemons emerge, and they're quite scary.
2) FFXV Prompto / FFVII Cloud
The top one is Prompto Argentum, super goofy friend of Noctis who has a dark creation story (he was genetically engineered like all of the imperial troopers we've been fighting the entire game, see Homage 4). The parallel is obvious if you know anything about FFVII. Cloud Strife (on the bottom) was a genetically enhanced trooper. Visually, they're that waify blue-eyed figure with the weird spiky blond hair and the permanent pout.
3) Keycard Access
Still looking at FFVII, as I said in the last Final Fantasy Friday, I was in this creepy dark town Gralea trying to save Prompto. I end up in a lab, Zegnatus Keep, where I need keycards to get to the next floor. In the first disc of FFVII (wow, anyone remember where you bought 3-4 disc video games? lol), I take Cloud through Shinra Lab, and I need to fight soldiers all through the place and find the one with the keycard to the next floor. It was very reminiscent of the first time I played FFVII. I really appreciated it.
4) The monsters are people.
In Zegnatus Keep, there are reports all over the lab. Whenever I'm out in the dark and while I was walking all through this God-forsaken place, I learned the empire was growing magitek (the imperial troopers) by infecting humans with a daemon pathogen (WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG). The side-effect was a lot of people turned into full out daemons. In FFVII, in a flashback with Cloud and Sephiroth, we go to Nibelheim to fix a leak in a reactor. The leak was causing monsters to sprout around town. Sephiroth tells Cloud to look into one of the pods sitting in the reactor. There's a monster in there. (Run-on alert) Not only is it a monster, it's a human injected with alien cells to make it a superhuman not knowing the result could be an alien, because it's actually Jenova alien juice that is coming through the reactor, because the stupid Shinra empire thought Jenova was an Ancient and wanted to create more Ancients and ended up with Sephiroth! So they thought they could make more.
5) Bahamut ruins your life.
I actually posted the first video somewhere, most likely last year's A-to-Z. In my favorite Final Fantasy game, FFX, the group reaches a wall filled with people, fayth, who the team thinks are being used to summon something huge. When Tidus touches it, he faints and meets the fayth who became Bahamut (top). He tells Tidus the fayth are actually people and summoners from the old machina war. They became fayth to keep the dream of Zanarkand alive. Now they're tired, and because Tidus is from the dream world and touched Sin, the monster created by the bad guy in the game, he will be able to defeat the whole thing so the fayth can all rest. Of course, that means, they'll stop dreaming, so Tidus, as part of that dream, will also disappear. FFX has the most heartbreaking game ending I've ever had to sit through (FFVII Crisis Core was the most traumatizing, if you're a fan who happened to stumble here via hashtag).
In FFXV, at the heart of the Zegnatus Keep is a crystal, which Noct gets sucks into. There he meets Bahamut, who tells a wonderful story about how one of Noct's ancestors, who is currently roaming the world infected by daemon juice, can only be destroyed by Noct, and by doing so, Noct must gain "Providence" which entails giving up his life. So he must die to save the world. I'm pretty sure the devs did that as a nod to FFX. Bahamut, wielder of flare magic and bearer of bad news. Of course, I haven't gotten to the end yet, so I don't know how this plays out (and don't tell me!). But I will say this is also reminiscent of FFX in that both games have you take this journey to gain more power to defeat the enemy by way of sacrificing yourself! That's what the summoners did in FFX.
6) FFX "Suteki da Ne" / FFXV "Somnus"
This one you have to hear to understand, so just push play. ;)
Push it again.
The quintessential song from FFX is "Suteki da Ne" (Isn't it Wonderful). It's a beautiful song, and very light in its sound and singer. An instrumental version of "Somnus"(Sleep) is the first thing you hear when you turn on FFXV, and if you can't hear the similarity, I worry for you. But what you should also notice is the difference in the tone of the song. It's darker, much sadder. The singer is a rich alto vs. SDN's tinny soprano. I also like how FFXV is almost telling FFX to sleep, which is really what the fayth are doing in FFX!
All right, geek out over. I was very excited to see these nods to earlier Final Fantasy games, and I can't wait to finish and see if the ending wrecks my soul or makes me incredibly happy and excited to play the Gladio and Prompto DLCs. Be sure I'll let you know.
I won't see you before IWSG, so have a great weekend, and enjoy your 4th of July!
I usually set aside the third week of the month for Tuesday Tales, but I've been nominated for the Liebster Award!! Thank you so much to The Manic Writer Shannon. I was shocked to see that in the comments. It's good to know people actually stop by here lol.
Here are the rules for the Liebster:
Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
Answer the 11 questions the person asked you.
Nominate 11 people (comment on their blog to let them know)
Ask the people you have nominated 11 questions
So, I won't waste anymore time. Let's get into these questions!
How did you get started writing? Back in the 1st Grade, they handed out blank books for us all to tell a story in. I told a weird biography/fiction about my older sister lol. But after that, X-Men: The Animated Series came out, and I loved those characters and the stories so much that I tried to do a teenage version for about 7 years. I keep trying to revamp it, but we'll see what happens.
What do you love most about being a writer/blogger? I love when fresh new ideas come into my head and I can actually execute them into something tangible on "paper." It's exciting.
What do you hate most about it? When the well is dry. lol I don't know if it's because of my age, because I remember writing down countless ideas as a teenager, but now, maybe because the many directions adulthood pulls your mind, the ideas don't flow as well as they used to.
If you don’t write full time, how do you manage your writing time and still feel productive? When I have down time at work, I try to sneak in some writing. Wherever or whenever the ideas come, I try to hold onto them long enough for me to write them out.
What helps you organize your writing work the most? Organize? What is that word? Is it real? ;) I'm a pantser, so there's almost no organization when I write. Whatever comes comes, no matter where it falls in the plot.
Name your inspiration. Another author you look up to? A teacher who encouraged you? Someone else? I discovered Octavia Butler in college, and just to read some of the things she said made me feel great to know it wasn't just me who was thought to be weird for writing speculative fiction. I also look up to N.K. Jemisin; her writing has changed my life and made me so hopeful!
If you are having trouble settling down to write what is your go to so you can make it work? See question 4. lol
Do you write at home or away from home? If away, where? I write wherever I can.
Do you let family read your work? I used to. I'm not sure that they're all that interested anymore.
What is your favorite book? Why should I read it? Read The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Read the whole trilogy! The Broken Kingdoms is my favorite of the three books, but sometimes you need context, so start at The Hundred.
What one piece of advice would you offer to someone who just discovered they want to be a writer? Keep writing and start learning.
Questions I have for my nominees:
1. What was the first thing you remember writing?
2. What was the first book you remember reading?
3. What are you currently reading?
4. Do you like movie adaptations of books? Why or why not?
5. (Might be a trick question, but you never know) Was English your favorite subject in school?
6. What was your very first blog post about?
7. How has your writing evolved since your first story?
8. Name an author you couldn't live without reading.
9. Where is your favorite place to read?
10. Where is your favorite place to write?
11. When it comes to writing/blogging where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Wish my sister and I the best of luck and fun as we're off in a couple more hours to audition for Wheel of Fortune in NYC!
It is the second Wednesday of the month, which means time for me to share with you all what I am reading this fortnight (is it always a fortnight, no matter the time of day?). So, sometime in the next couple of hours while on a train, I plan to crack open Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale.
I'd heard of this book most of my college years, and I've heard a lot more of it since Trump was elected. When I saw it was becoming a TV show, I was intrigued. My sister has read the book and watched the episodes currently aired on Hulu. When my cousin, who almost never watches anything, started watching it and commenting her shock, I knew I had to start watching, too. So, after episode 3, I said, "Screw my To-Read list, this is the next book I read!"
So it shall be. And now, I'll share a few lines from a random page. There are 311 pages in this novel, and Random, fortunately, chose page 49. I don't want to be caught off guard but also don't want too big of a spoiler. Hopefully, this page is near one of these 3 episodes. lol
*flips to 49* Ah, it's the end of a chapter.
The hall is dusky, this is a man, his back to me; he's looking into the room, dark against its light. I can see now, it's the Commander, he isn't supposed to be here.
Ah, yes. Just enough to intrigue and not spoil. I wonder how far into the narrative this is. I can't wait to find out!
It is the first Wednesday of the month, where we insecure writers throw our doubts into the wind and discuss our insecurities, give a little encouragement, etc. Visit Alex J. Cavanuagh, founder extraordinaire, and stop by the official website to join the fun!
This month we were asked if we have ever quit.
I've never stopped writing. Writing is something that has always kept me going. Just thinking about never pursuing a career in writing or not writing at all hurts my feelings.
But though I haven't quit, I've thought sometimes that maybe I'm not someone who will get published, or with the luck I've had in the past with CPs, those are signs that I should give up. When those thoughts pop up, I counter them with the thought that these are just obstacles I have to get over. This past year, I had a great experience with pitches and a full edit letter on my manuscript. Things may not be moving as quickly as I would like, but they are still moving, so I just have to do my part. :)
It is the fifth Wednesday of the month, and that means it's time for another Wednesday Words, where I share with you all what I'm currently reading.
Last week I started My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows. I met Jodi during last Fall's DVPit, and we've become good friends since, so I've heard about this book quite a lot. I've had it on my Kindle for quite some time, and I'm glad I finally got to it!
I really like historical retellings, and MLJ has gone beyond my scope of those. Do they call it historical fantasy? I'm not sure. Either way, from the first page, I have laughed at least every other. It's witty, fun, and even at the sadder moments, there's comic relief soon to follow. Also, why don't people like redheads?! *huff*
There are 491 pages in the Kindle edition, and Random.org has chosen page 118, which is 24% of the way into the book. So, let me backtrack to see what happened there.
Last time, the change had been sudden, just a burst of light she hadn't expected, and when she'd finished blinking away the sparks, her husband had been a horse.
Oh, right, I forgot to mention. If you know a little about King Henry VIII and his line, instead of the persecution of Protestants, in this story, magical animorphs called EÐians (pronounced EE-thee-uns, or something near it) are the ones being persecuted. I could see the Prologue play out so clearly, too. If you like comedy and twists on history, definitely pick this up.
It is the last Friday of May already, so that means I am bringing you some Final Fantasy obsessions.
So, the thing they tell you about Final Fantasy XV is that it's a game about friendship and brotherhood. Yada yada yada. What they DO NOT tell you is how fricking depressing it is!
I'm two chapters away from the end (tired of doing side quests, so I'm just gunning it until I'm not strong enough to beat something and have to go do a couple side quests), and here is a list of things that have happened to me: Noctis, Prince of Lucis.
My father, the king, is assassinated (I knew this already because Sean Bean is the English voice actor, and he dies in everything, but still).
Our country is taken over.
I find this all out by reading a newspaper that says my father, my fiance, and I have all died, so when I call home, they're like, "Well, your dad is dead."
When I finally get up with my fiance, she gets stabbed, and the Hydrean Leviathan drowns her! (See R.I.P. My Fiance for the graphics.)
My guardian/chef is blinded in battle.
My guardian/trainer acts like I'm being a spoiled brat and not manning up. (Bitch, my dad and my fiance have died in the span of like, a week!)
My best friend gets kidnapped by the man who killed my fiance (oh, and he also kills my fiance's brother!).
I can't imagine what else happens! And this chapter I'm currently in trying to save Prompto (my best friend), it's SO dark and scary! Rogue robots are jumping out and grabbing me, then exploding, daemons are popping up, and the murderer is taunting me over a loud speaker every few minutes.
I can't take it!
But anyway, here are some screenshots I took. lol
Have a great Memorial Day Weekend! Hug a soldier, think of those who died for freedom. <3
*This post occurred before I changed Ghuli's name to Jonnie*
It's the third Tuesday of the month again! This has been a long four weeks. For a second I could neither remember what I posted last month nor think of anything to post for this one. Then, I remembered Q&As and went to searching. I stumbled upon these Character Development Questions. One that struck me that a few of my main characters from Fractured Princess could answer was: What facts about your characters do they prefer to keep hidden?
Let's start with Ghuli and see how far we get.
Oh, my. Well . . . There is a part of me that I have unfortunately kept hidden even from myself. To explain how I've done it will be a very long story. Just know that deep within me lies a fearsome temper. I wish it were blind, blackout anger, but it is an anger throughout which I am always conscious, therefore I always remember. While it is rare for anything to anger me so strongly, when it happens, it is quite disastrous.
I hope I created a bit of mystery.
This is as far as I'm getting today (the evening before this is posted). I just finished the Once Upon A Time season finale and learned Jennifer, Ginnifer, Josh, et freaking al aren't returning for the seventh season, so I'm beside myself. I also have to rewatch because I wasn't paying attention to the little girl in the Enchanted Forest. *sigh*
It's the second Wednesday of MAY, can you believe it?! That means, it's time for Wednesday Words, where I share with you what I'm reading and/or writing.
I've actually been doing a little writing in my series for Fractured Princess. I have another CP from the AQC, and he's helped me see little things that had been plaguing me but I needed confirmation. I'm glad I went back to AQC. It had been a while. I'm also trying to write in Divided Princess, and I found myself writing even more for what will either open the third act of DP or the first act of Broken Princess, what I'm calling the third book if it comes down me writing one. I now understand why Natalie Whipple only gave us two Transparent books. lol
I've also started reading L. Penelope's Song of Blood & Stone. Here is the AMAZING cover.
I've been waiting to read this for so long. It was the Winner of the 2016 Self-Publishing Ebook Award for Best Fiction, which is so cool. I'm really enjoying it so far. Here is a little more about it on Goodreads.
There are 252 pages in the Kindle version, so let's see what Random.org wants me to share with you all....Page 206 (Come on, man). Yeah, I definitely just spoiled something for myself. Maybe I'll forget by the time I get there.
"What have I done, Usher? The woman I love in the dungeons. Allowing the refugees to be sent back. What does this make me?"