Storm Front by Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files #1)

This is one of the many articles/review that I have reblogged from Caffeine Crew, the collaborative geek blog I write for.  I am in the process of truly posting these here on my personal blog.  While they will be edited for any prior missed errors, I will not be really updating them beyond that so some information could potentially be outdated, erroneous, or defunct.

Finally, finally after much friend recommendations and hullabaloo I started reading Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files Series, and I absolutely love the first book Storm Front.

Storm Front Cover

Harry Dresden is a modern day wizard who plays detective in this well written urban fantasy. He’s been a bit down on his luck and late on the rent when he gets a phone call from a mysterious “Monica,” who asks him to find out what her husband has been up to in a typical “wife is worried hubby is cheating” scheme. Not his normal work, but he could use the money, and one of Harry’s weaknesses it not being able to deny a damsel in distress. He agrees to meet with this Monica person, but before that appointment he gets another more urgent call from Karrin Murphy of the Chicago police about two dead bodies that she needs him to look at asap. Harry also works as a consultant for the Chicago PD. It pays the bills and gets him out of the office.

Thus starts absolute insanity. You’re reading and thinking, “Okay, he’s going to go take a look at these bodies and get back in time to meet with this Monica lady,”  but then he gets kinda kidnapped by the mob on the way back to his office, what WHAT?! and THAT’S THE ENTIRE NOVEL! Stuff just keeps happening to him. Like how he had a date with one woman, forgets about a date with another who shows up at his door right before they get attacked by a toad demon, and he accidentally gives her a love potion that he HAD to make to get Bob the Skull to cooperate. They wind up in a magic circle to ward of the demon and did I mention that Harry is naked because he was in the shower when his date came calling? Yeah, that’s what it is. I’ve heard friends describe Dresden with the phrase “It’s like Harry riding a dinosaur down the streets of Chicago.” This is the absolute best description. The plotting is so twisty, cohesive, and well done (Butcher is a Scorpio, the kings of super secrecy). His snarkiness is appropriate and amusing, and some of the descriptions and metaphors are downright beautiful. They come as surprising in this often very gritty world that still has room for pizza craving fairies.

The main plot thread is Harry tries to nab a serial killer who’s using magic to literally rip peoples’ hearts out of their bodies, bolstering their magic by using the power of storms, and the chase becomes more desperate when Harry himself is next on the list. The B plot is what’s going on with Monica and her husband, and Butcher is a genius at twining these two together. Our resident wizard detective is also trying to keep out of the fire himself since the White Council of wizards is looking for any excuse to execute him. *spoiler* Harry was forced to kill his magic mentor who turned evil, and since killing with magic is a big no no even for self-defense, they decide to put him on wizard probation.*end spoiler*

Many times I felt as though I’d been plunked down in the midst of this world, but I wasn’t unhappy about it. There’s so much on the outer edges that you’re just hoping you’ll find out about as the novels progress. I actually wondered and double checked that I was reading the first book in the series. I was and I intend to read the next and the next until I’m caught up (this is an eventuality.  Life became much busier after I wrote this). Looking back I’m surprised I didn’t see a major plot point all along, but that is the mark of a good writer: being able to throw all the clues in, but still managing to surprise the reader in the end.

4 stars.




The State of the Reader: 6/29/16

<–The State of the Reader: 6/22/16          The State of the Reader: 7/6/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Content Warning: Some discussions of rape as it pertains to narratives.

Books Finished This Week: 2

Title: Windhaven
Authors: George R R Martin and Lisa Tuttle


Review will be forthcoming.  Oddly enough the action and interest dipped and lifted like a flyer in a series of eddies.  I wonder if that was done purposely or if it was just a happy accident of the wind.

Title: Paradise Lost
: John Milton

Paradise LostI’ll be honest with you.  I didn’t finish the volume; I looked up the last two Books on the internet and read the summary there.  I’m glad I did.  I didn’t miss much excitement.  I also didn’t find the direct reference I was looking for (the internet lied to me) about God taking one of Satan’s wings as punishment for rebelling (which if you’ve been paying any sort of attention would particularly interest a fangirl such as me), but I believe it may be something that readers/scholars could’ve interpreted from either the first or sixth book.  I’m unsure, but regardless, Milton’s epic poem was still highly influential in the narrative of FFVII and my second favorite story ASOIAF. 

I think I”m going to do the review for this differently though.  Instead of posting a written one, I’m going to attempt to do  a video one since I have an abundance of notes for this epic and could just talk/rant about it on camera.  I don’t have the equipment for such right now, but the desire to do this might spur this process on.

Books Currently Reading: 3
Change from Last Week: 0

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune

Mystical Qabalah, TheMedium: Paperback
Progress: 63%

Went up one percentage!  Go me!!  I’m still plugging away at this volume.  Maybe I’ll finish it this year; it would be a decade long accomplishment.  After this I want to find a good translation of the Sepher Yetzirah, so if any of you have any recommendations on that, I’d love to hear them.

Title: The Rape of Lucrece
Author: William Shakespeare
Date Added: December 11, 2015
Date Started: June 25, 2016

Rape of Lucrece, The

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 32%

It’s going to be interest noting the progress for this once since I’m reading it from another book I didn’t technically add, The Sonnets and Narrative Poems: The Complete Nondramatic Poetry.  There are many compendium books for great and classical authors so you must either choose adding their works one by one or as part of a particular volume.  I decided to add Shakespeare’s works one at a time, which may inflate my finished “book” count, but I’m not overly worried about it.  While A Midsummer Night’s Dream may not be a novel, I’d still count it as a finished book (Note: I’ve already read Midsummer…should probably make sure that’s on my read list).

It is exceedingly difficult to read a poem about rape, while editing a story about the same 😦  I actually haven’t read any more of this since starting my edit of The Broken Rose.  It’s…just too much.  Once I get far enough in my edit where rape is no longer directly forefront, I think I can pick this back up.  I’m very happy I started reading it though.  This is another one of my so-called “VII  books” (books/stories I read because of FFVII), as the game makes a pretty important reference to Lucretia, though it’s ironically and tragically only discovered during a side quest.  I also think ASOIAF is playing with and subverting the main motif the poem.  I may post a meta on tumblr about this.  I was quite excited about the revelation.

Title: The Slow Regard of Silent Things
Series Title: The Kingkiller Chronicle
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Date Added: October 30, 2014
Date Started: June 25, 2016


Medium: Paperback
Progress: 28%

Sometimes you find a book where the title itself speaks poetry.  Thus is The Slow Regard of Silent Things.  The moniker alone evokes both potential horror and poignant poetry.  Sometime that both has time for silence and slow regard must be long lived in deed.  It puts me in the mind of Lovecraftian horror, as if something dark and horrible is watching, watching, always watching and waiting for what we do not know.

I just realized something else this picture reminds me of: the first time you see the Emerald Weapon in FFVII.  I’m not going to bother to put a link/picture, since I haven’t been able to find a screenshot of that particular moment, but the first time I played and saw it, it terrified me.  You’re in a cave and you just see this great, slivered eye open, look at your characters, then close again.  It’s…unsettling to say the least.

Continue reading

The Devil’s Alphabet by Daryl Gregory

This is one of the many articles/review that I have reblogged from Caffeine Crew, the collaborative geek blog I write for.  I am in the process of truly posting these here on my personal blog.  While they will be edited for any prior missed errors, I will not be really updating them beyond that so some information could potentially be outdated, erroneous, or defunct.

Content Warning: Discussions of abortion and suicide.


A few years ago I was in the Chester County Book and Music Store (which I sadly believe is now defunct going the way of many brick and mortar bookstores) just browsing/wandering as I often do in such places. Bookstores have fantastic energies that feed my writerly soul so if I’m feeling drained or listless I’ll often venture there to recharge. It’s free energy. In that particular venture I thought a key line of dialogue near the end of my original paranormal romance, and I also ended up picking up a book by a hitherto unknown author by the name of Daryl Gregory called The Devil’s Alphabet.

The Devil's Alphabet

Pretty much any title having to do with angels, demons, devils, or gods will catch my attention and deserves at least a quick glance. Most of the time they’re usually metaphors, which I am more than fine with, and sometimes I get really lucky and I find a story that’s actually about such religious figures. This book fell into the former category, but the blurb piqued my interest as did the first few pages..

“Switchcreek was a normal town in eastern Tennessee until a mysterious disease killed a third of its residents and mutated most of the rest into monstrous oddities. Then, as quickly and inexplicably as it had struck, the disease–dubbed Transcription Divergence Syndrome (TDS)–vanished, leaving behind a population divided into three new branches of humanity: giant gray-skinned argos, hairless seal-like betas, and grotesquely obese charlies.

Paxton Abel Martin was fourteen when TDS struck, killing his mother, transforming his preacher father into a charlie, and changing one of his best friends, Jo Lynn, into a beta. But Pax was one of the few who didn’t change. He remained as normal as ever. At least on the outside.

Having fled shortly after the pandemic, Pax now returns to Switchcreek fifteen years later, following the suicide of Jo Lynn. What he finds is a town seething with secrets, among which murder may well be numbered. But there are even darker–and far weirder–mysteries hiding below the surface that will threaten not only Pax’s future but the future of the whole human race.”

How the hell I didn’t buy this book immediately when it’s about a virulent force that either kills or mutates you is truly beyond me given my fandom background on the subject…at the time my financial situation was not well enough to warrant purchasing another book (this was quite a few years ago when I was far less stable in that regard) so I waited until I could download it on my Kindle.

Prior to the events of the story, the prior named “disease” (if it can even be  called that) comes in waves, the first of which left argos, giant 11-12 foot tall people with chalky colored flesh; the second produced betas, hairless, dark red skinned people who resemble seals; and the final changed people into immensely obese charlies.

The main character Paxton Martin is what they call a “skip,” one of the few that both survived and remained unchanged by the virus. He left the town 13 or 14 years ago after the changes occurred and the quarantine was finally lifted, fleeing to Chicago to escape the legacy of a dead mother and charlie turned preacher father. The story opens with him returning to attend the funeral of his once best friend Jo Lynn Whitehall who turned beta, had twin girls, and purportedly committed suicide. Only expecting to remain through the funeral and aftermath before returning to Chicago and his pretty crappy life as a restaurant server, Pax is pulled into the mystery and intrigue of the town where the “clades” as they call themselves have in many ways become segregated, but still coexist and are held together by Aunt Rhonda, a charlie woman and self-proclaimed mayor.

The clades are as different from each other as they are from the rest of humanity, because TDS essentially rewrote their genetic code and DNA structuring. Argos, betas, and charlies are not technically human, and there is some speculation about the condition being an invader from an alternative universe. Betas can become spontaneously pregnant and always produce girls, often two. This is both a relief and despair to Pax when he realizes that neither he nor his (now argo) best friend Deke are the father of Jo’s twin girls, since the three of them had a very strange/interesting sexual relationship after the changes.

Conversely argos for the most part appear to be sterile, which is discovered with Deke and Donna, his argo wife, who are going through expensive fertility treatments in order to prove this isn’t so. As for charlies, once the men of that clade reach a certain age they start producing what’s known as “vintage,” a secretion from their skins that is in high demand from younger charlie males since it makes women sexually attracted to them,  but it also makes Pax insanely empathetic and addicted to the secreted substance.  That…was definitely one of the weirder almost incestuous parts of the story where the reverend’s son is essentially getting high off of his bodily secretions. Kinda gross. And through all of this is Rhonda who has a home for the older charlie men where she collects the it.  Gross.

The running plot of the story is Pax trying to figure out what really happened to Jo.  Whether or not she actually committed suicide or if she was murdered. He’s able to find her laptop, but it’s password locked, and a good portion of the book is spent with her twin daughters trying to figure out a way into it.

Honestly, Pax sucked as main character.  (Maybe his name was too “peaceful.”  Ah language puns…) He spent most of his time being strung out or getting beaten up by the huge younger charlie males for trying to sneak his father out of Rhonda’s home. The vintage made him very empathetic, but it was hard to empathize with him.  He was also not very intelligent, which I hate in main characters. Jo, who’s dead throughout the entire story, is much more interesting.

What I did like is all of the issues this novel brings up. Because betas become pregnant asexually, there was a huge question of pro-choice vs. pro-life. This was ultimately what lead to Jo Lynn’s demise. She was kicked out of the beta co-op for having an abortion and then getting a hysterectomy. There was a faction within there of girls wearing white scarves on their heads who believed themselves to be “purer” betas since they went through the change before puberty, had never had sex with a man, and were therefore having virgin births. Jo’s daughters were the first of the second generation betas who look “more beta” than humans changed to beta, as if the invading cells grow stronger in later generations. They were revered because of this, but also hated because of what their mother did.

To the betas, an abortion was the worst possible thing anyone could do. It was as if their bodies were wired to produce children and nothing else and they wholeheartedly believed this like a cult. The issue of drug use and abuse was brought up, as well, but I feel more glossed over whereas the whole abortion thing was very heavily drilled. Paxton is little more than a junkie who almost gets abducted himself in a plot to kidnap his father (who produces the best vintage) by a couple of younger charlie males who are annoyed that Rhonda is reaping all of the profits from this.

I’m also not quite sure where the author falls on the pro-choice vs. pro-birth argument.  Whether or not he was presenting the “white scarf” betas as a fanatical cult or as a beacon of righteousness, and since it’s been years since I read the story, I can’t remember all of the nuances.  While I obviously do not and will not advocate suicide, I still find it poignantly fitting that Jo took her destiny and body into her own hands in choosing to have a hysterectomy.  I can’t say I wouldn’t have done the same.  It’s a shame she was driven to that ultimate decision because her right to choose could not be accepted.

I really wish the novel had come to some resolution as to what really did cause the changes, deaths, or lack thereof in the people of Switchcreek. It felt like Gregory was building up to it. Each chapter/section was written in such a way to keep you reading more and more because you were waiting for that big reveal, but the novel falls flat in this. We never find out what caused TDS or why certain people changed, why certain people didn’t, why certain people died. If the answer was supposed to remain obscure, I feel that the author could’ve done a better job of keeping it that way. Don’t introduce all of these possibilities and then leave them to blow away in the wind. It feels like he presented a ton of ideas to get your mind racing, but then left you in top gear with nowhere to go. I would’ve even been satisfied with a rumor or a clue of resolution. Nothing big or conclusive. Many scientific mystery novels do such a thing. Throw something in that is possibly the answer, but that’s never confirmed. I don’t think Gregory wanted to commit to anything, but when you have such a marked change in human physiology, you need to make a decision. I was more than willing to accept the parallel universe idea; that honestly was fascinating. I think that would’ve worked very well for this story. Cells from one dimension competing with the others for survival taking the ultimate change/sacrifice and throwing themselves into another universe our universe and taking over human bodies. This novel could’ve drawn on an almost Cthulhu like mythos, while still keeping its steady, southern slow tempo. That would’ve been amazing to see such a thing from that lens of view.

I’d say 3 stars for this one for the ability to hold my attention for the length. I’m not entirely disappointed because as I mentioned above the pro-life/pro-choice issue was very well done, but the main question of the novel was never resolved.




Question of the Week: 6/26/16

<–Question of the Week: 6/19/16          Question of the Week: 7/3/16–>

The Question of the Week is posted every Sunday and will consist of a question followed by my answer and explanation to the same.  Some questions will only require a simple answer that could potentially be followed by an explanation.  Many questions will be writer oriented, but not all.  Everyone is encouraged to answer in the comments and discussions/follow up questions are more than welcome!

What is your favorite language to sing in?

Latin is my favorite language to sing in, but German is a close second.  This means I have a great appreciation for E Nomine, a German musical project that features both Ominous Latin Chanting and their mother tongue.

(Um okay, oh…my…God.  So I was looking up the link for Ominous Latin Chanting above and came across this gem from DIssidia. Squeenix/Final Fantasy loves its OLC)

This…is my favorite song by them.  I’m planning an AMV for it using FFVII and Sephiroth (of course).  I first heard this years and years ago when flash videos were a thing, and there was one entitled Faust. The video itself surprisingly holds up, though I think the song really helps.  I’m honestly surprised I found it on YouTube.  I’ve been trying to locate it for a while and just happened to luck out today.  I think there’s some thing with videos being available between Germany and the US.  I’ve had some friends over there tell me that they can’t see videos with copyrighted music, mores the pity :\

I’ve sung many songs in Latin back when I was a choir girl among them of course selections from Carmina Burana (“O Fortuna” is so overplayed now that I’m not even going to bother with that one.  I actually like the below a bit better probably for the fore mentioned reason).

I can still easily memorize the words even though I didn’t really study nor do I actually speak Latin, but I taught myself the words to the original “One Winged Angel” (which for the unknowing takes its lyrics from selections in Carmina Burana…god I miss singing that).

the Advent Children version

in addition to “The Promised Land,” which is from the fore mentioned movie as well.


I will look up the translation and sing along with the song as it plays, and this somehow carves the words into my mind if I do it enough times.  I think AC OWA took me ten minutes to memorize, but “The Promised Land” was a bit longer.  I’m still trying to commit the Advent hymn “Veni Veni Emmanuel” to memory.

Then there’s Vivaldi’s “Et In Terra Pax” from his Gloria.  This song is absolutely aetherial, and quite difficult to sing.

I feel as though I more answered the question, “What are your favorite songs in your non-native tongue?” instead of my stated question.  Maybe I just answered both.  But I feel as though I’ve neglected my very close second German even though I did initially laud a German based band.  Hm, well, I must say that another song I did in my choir days was by Beethoven, but for the life of me I can’t find it.  For some reason I thought it was called Beethoven’s Chorale Fantasy, but all the versions I locate don’t have words.  I can remember some of the ones we sang, but I don’t think I could spell them well enough to google.

What is your favorite language(s) to sing in that isn’t your native tongue?  It could be one from a second language.  What are your favorite songs in said language(s)?

I look forward to your answers in the comments!

<–Question of the Week: 6/19/16          Question of the Week: 7/3/16–>

The State of the Writer: 6/25/16

<–The State of the Writer: 6/18/16          The State of the Writer: 7/2/16–>

A weekly post updated every Saturday discussing my current writing projects and where I stand with them.  This will include any and all work(s) in progress (WIP) be they creative writing, essays/analyses, or reviews of any type.

Project: Story
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Final Word Count: 274,721
Status: Pre-Editing

Closeup of withered rose on black background

This is another potential cover for the story.  I will have to create a banner as well since I’ll be posting it here on WordPress.  While I like the drooping white rose, it’s not…damaged enough.  I definitely want it to be a white rose, but it needs to be far more shattered than this.

I’m planning on starting the edit of this story either today (Saturday) or tomorrow.  I have a potluck dinner to go to, so I’m unsure what I will accomplish today/tonight or if I will have enough energy to do anything.  Social interactions tire me out, but I haven’t seen certain friends in a while, and I should make an appearance.

As with Northern Lights, I have every intention of keeping and posting my editing process of this one; however, unlike NL, I don’t think I’m going to write it by hand first.  This is a bit ironic I suppose as I fully intend to hand write any future stories, but I believe it will be far easier to keep an editing record in either OneNote or Word alone.  I can much more easily copy/paste particular passages rather than hand writing out quotes in my messy scrawl.  They say that slovenly handwriting is a sign of intelligence.  I must be a super genius if this adage is true *rolls eyes*

I can’t even begin to tell you how long it will take me to edit this.  It’s the longest story I’ve ever written, and I do have quite a lot of editing to do in addition to possibly adding an entire chapter in.  I will be happy if it’s finished by Christmas, and I’ll reiterate that I will not be posting a chapter a week with this story as I did with NL, but rather present it all at once.  The only sequencing I’d even consider would be a daily basis so you’d have the entirety of the tale within about a month, but that doesn’t seem like much of a possibility either.  If anything I’d post half one day and half the next just based on time and tiredness.

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Game of Thrones – Season 6 Finale Predictions

Spoilers for Game of Thrones Season up to Season 6 Episode 9 below.


Content Warning: Very brief mention of rape.

I have purposely avoided any prediction videos since last Sunday’s amazing episode.

Yass slay! Queen of the North!

It was by far the best episode of the season.

I agree with all of this. Sansa may be Queen of the North, but Lady Lyanna is the baddest bitch.

And is a possible contender for the best penultimate episode of all time.

I ship it. Danara forever ♥♥♥

This season saw a grand take back for many of the primary female characters, and by the old gods and the new it was both necessary and satisfying.  It is also exhilarating to note that I did not count a single, solitary rape in the entirety of season either. While I do feel that the story has gone downhill quite a bit, that is one aspect I do not believe is the cause of the decline.

This post is meant to (briefly…gods I hope) go through finale predictions.  As always, I will give credit where its due and where I can find it.  I believe these things will happen in the season ender, but I can not claim to have come up with them myself.  Where I can recall, I will provide links to the source.  So without further ado…

The Mad Queen

There is quite an abundance of textual hints that Cersei Lannister may truly be Aerys, the Mad King’s daughter, instead of being the child of the late Lord Tywin Lannister.  There are many, many theorists who believe this could be true, so I can’t just credit one.  You can search the interwebs to yield quite a few results on forums and YouTube, so I’ll leave you to that work if you so wish.

I can give credit for the prediction that Cersei will burn down King’s Landing in either desperation to avoid punishment for her crimes, rage at her dispossession, disrespect, and need to endure the judgment of “those beneath her,” or a combination of all and others.  Charlie in Westeros discusses it in nearly all of his videos concerning Season 6 so I can’t pinpoint just one.  I’m certain it’s brought up in his latest endeavor, but I haven’t watched that (or any other) video yet so as not to taint my mind with what’s not already in it.  Whether Cersei will burn the city because Tommen is killed or kill him in the process of avoiding judgment, I can’t say, but that may spark the fulfillment of the valonqar prophecy with the “little brother” being Jaime who strangles her to death upon his return.

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The State of the Reader: 6/22/16

<–The State of the Reader: 6/15/16          The State of the Reader: 6/29/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Currently Reading: 3
Change from Last Week: 0

Title: Windhaven
Authors: George R R Martin and Lisa Tuttle

WindhavenMedium: Paperback
Progress: 76%

I’m happy I stuck with this, because it did become interesting again in a bookendish fashion actually.  While I have my critiques that will be discussed during the review, I actually found myself tearing up at a critical and heartbreaking part.  I hope to finish this by next week’s update.

Title: Paradise Lost
: John Milton

Paradise LostMedium: Paperback

Disclosure time.  I only stuck with this book in order to find that part where God allegedly takes one of Satan’s wings as per what a few people said on an FFVII forum in response to why Sephiroth only has one wing.  They insisted it was a Paradise Lost reference.  Well, I looked up the synopsis of the two final books, and Satan doesn’t seem to be in any of them.  He gets transformed into a giant serpent and the synopses only mention Adam, Eve,  God, and the angels, which is so freaking boring.  I know this is messed up, but Satan was 100% carrying that story.  I decided to google “Paradise Lost God takes one of Satan’s wings.”  Nothing directly about it came up, but there was a summary of Book VI, where Michael brutally slashes Satan’s right side.  Maybe there was an implication that that was the result?  I don’t know.  I’m going to see if I can find a review/analysis of it.  Even without that, FFVII still has plenty of PL references, and though I should’ve mentioned this in my paragraph about Windhaven, it was not the first narrative to have the “one-wing” motif.  GRRM may have been the modern progenitor of that, which is just adding more notes to my Song of VIIs comparison.

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune

Mystical Qabalah, TheMedium: Paperback
Progress: 62%

I thought I read more of it than this (at least enough to go up a percent), but I did at least start Chapter 8, which concerns Hod.  Very slowly I’m chipping away at this explanation of the esoteric, though I feel I should carry it around with me for reference even when I’m finished.  Though it is touted as the best and simplest volume on it, The MQ is still quite dense.  It has to for the weight of what it’s explaining.

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The Editing of Northern Lights – The Seventh is the Saddest

These are the Editing Notes for my FFVII fanfiction Northern Lights (which you can find at the end of that link).  I will be discussing a myriad of topics along with my frequently tangential and harried editing process.  You should be able to garner some enjoyment and insight from this without having read the story and/or without prior knowledge of the original game, but if you’re a fan of paranormal romance and/or dark fantasy, you may find it to your liking.  The story will be spoiled in this editing examination, though I will do my best to mark spoilers for any other narratives I mention.  Thanks for your interest and enjoy!

<–Sometimes Seven Isn’t Social          The Second of the Seventh Is Sorrow–>

I know it’s been forever since I’ve made any editing posts, but that was because I was putting all of my effort/energy into finishing up my WIP.  Well that’s done and I’m spending the week playing catch up on whatever I can play catch up on.  My neglected Northern Lights editing entries not excluded.  I’m almost two years behind on this, but life and literature call, and I must always answer. 

Ugh, I need to update quite a few things.  I don’t like the introductory paragraph.  Why the hell am I calling it an “Editing Blog” when this entire site is a blog?  I think I initially thought this blog was just going to be for the editing posts or I was going to make a specific blog just for that, and initially I was on Google Blogger, but since I get more hits here on WP, I decided to post here and also expand my horizons.  Ah, I’ll have to update ALL of them now won’t I?  Yes…I will because I’m super anal about conformity hehe.  Anyway, you don’t want to hear me rambling about this, do you?  Enjoy the editing post below if that’s what you came for 🙂

Content Warning: Brief mention of suicide and sexual assault.

First there’s this.

And it’s fantastic. (Future Narcissist just located its source on Deviant Art by one Saharadesr.  It’s actually entitled Turn or Burn)  I really, really wanted to share this, but I’d offend half the people on my friend’s list.  I’m…weird about that, and not just the offending part.  I’ll try to explain, and I’ll also try to find the meme that really nails it down.

I love Final Fantasy VII.  Like there are no words to truly encompass my level of love for it, but I hate talking about it with people for various reasons.  One, people like to one up each other and say shit like, “Well this Final Fantasy/this character is better.”  Bitch, did I fucking ask you that?  (Ooh…Past Narcissist was really angry that day)  I was telling you about how much I love one thing and the first thing you do is tell me how it’s not worthy of  my love or imply that because I love it so hard there must be something wrong with me?  Thanks, I’m sorry I shared.  I know a great deal of this has to do with the circumstances surrounding the time I first played it, but that certainly doesn’t diminish the reasons.

This.  This right here is it.  And I hate this.  The closest fandom with a similar paradigm is probably Doctor Who because of the different regenerations/iterations of the doctor, yet I still feel Whovians have more of a solidarity.  Hell, they even have a fandom name: WhoviansFinal Fantasy fans can’t even say that.  Maybe it’s because I’m not as deep into Whoville as I am Final Fantasy, but from what I’ve seen, it’s not nearly  as vehement or vitriolic.

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The Woes of War

In the wake of my completed story, time has finally lent itself to be used in the making of macros.  I’ve been thinking about this one for a while.  The quote “War makes monsters of us all” is from my favorite author George R R Martin, and of course, it comes from his magnum opus A Song of Ice and Fire, the fourth installment, A Feast for Crows. 

062016 War Makes Monsters

I searched about an hour for the perfect picture, though I had this one in mind all along.  The picture source is located here.  I have to thank my tumblr friend synthetic-quantum for finding it for me nearly an instant after I posted it there.

If you are (unlike me) someone who doesn’t expend their time/energy in thinking too deeply about video games (which is a shame since many of them like FFVII have rich stories and all narratives are worthy of discourse) or do and just didn’t consider this, it’s another tragic fact of VII that Sephiroth was most definitely a child soldier, an atrocity that is sadly not limited to fantasy/sci-fi worlds nor is it any less abysmal in our own.  Thus are the words from Feast apt, as war will turn even children into monsters, and in both the story and the above image, only the crows will have cause to rejoice.


Question of the Week: 6/19/16

<–Question of the Week: 6/12/16          Question of the Week: 6/26/16–>

The Question of the Week is posted every Sunday and will consist of a question followed by my answer and explanation to the same.  Some questions will only require a simple answer that could potentially be followed by an explanation.  Many questions will be writer oriented, but not all.  Everyone is encouraged to answer in the comments and discussions/follow up questions are more than welcome!

What’s the longest thing you’ve ever written?

I’m asking this question this week, because I’m lazy and have a lot of catching up to do.  I wanted a really easy answer, and since I just finished The Broken Rose I can answer with that.  It’s nearly 275k words, making it the longest thing I’ve ever written by far.  It’s even longer than my paranormal romance novel The Serpent’s Tale even if I add up both of its parts (256,117 words).  This is of course prior to editing, but I doubt the word count will go down that much, especially since I’m planning on adding at least one chapter.

Now I’m going to go back to setting up my new laptop and organizing my bookshelf through Goodreads.

What’s the longest things you’ve ever written?  Is it creative piece, an essay/analysis, an article, or something else?  Is it something you’ve written recently or did you write it years ago?

I look forward to your answers in the comments!

<–Question of the Week: 6/12/16          Question of the Week: 6/26/16–>