The State of the Reader: 8/31/16

<–The State of the Reader: 8/24/16          The State of the Reader: 9/7/16–>

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: 4
Change from Last Week:
0

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune
Date Added: August 13, 2012
Date Started: Unknown

Mystical Qabalah, TheMedium: Paperback
Progress: 82%

I finished the part of the book initially written by Fortune, and while I was  on the fence with whether I’d continue into the Subjective Pathworking section, I’m glad I did.  In many ways it’s more engaging than the book proper.  There are other reasons I’m happy I continued.  I came upon something extremely meta that I never would’ve known about had I not.

Fortune in this latter section strives to explain the concept of Astral Light, and I immediately thought of two other ideas, one bleeding from the other, with the source concept very well known in popular culture:

“It is held to extend like a tenuous yet viscid atmosphere throughout the entire cosmos, interpenetrating all dense substance, and acting as the medium for the transmission of subtle forces.”

I read that and thought, “…wait, that sounds a hell of a lot like the Force.”  *letting the geek flag fly* “And wait again…the Lifestream from FFVII is inspired by the Force…and this book is about the Holy Sephiroth, omg holy meta, Batman, wheels within wheels.”  Do I think Squeenix delved that deeply into this concept?  Probably not, but I do believe they did some preliminary research, nor is it farfetched that they’d use philosophies from the Qabalah, as it’s quite commonly if not knowingly utilized through the fantasy and sci-fi genre.  It’s one of those theologies that’s prevalent in the zeitgeist, though it’s not necessarily named.  I’m pretty sure GRRM is using it to with his followers of R’hllor, the Red God, in the ideas of light and darkness, as there aren’t two trees, but rather the tree and the shadow it casts.

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 7%

I read more, but only a little bit.  Apparently, I didn’t put any reading on my to do list so I didn’t do any (except for what I can from my phone) since Saturday.  Wtf.  I’ve remedied it, but I’m a bit annoyed since I really like this and the one below.

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A Few Chapter Covers for The Broken Rose

This is a bit of an impromptu post.  During yesterday’s editing session I finally figured out what picture I was going to use for my Chapter 3 cover.  As with Northern Lights, I intend to use a picture for each chapter in The Broken Rose.  While this can be a daunting task, I still find it a worthwhile visual puzzle for me to solve.  Locating a picture that encompasses the mien of each chapter can be challenging, but I enjoy figuring it out.  I have an easier deal in TBR as NL also had at least one quote for each chapter, but I decided to forgo such words for my latest fanfiction, though I couldn’t let the work not have two at the beginning.

While each chapter title will obviously be indicated in the post, I still decided to incorporate them into the picture itself, an update I’m planning for Northern Lights, too (possibly as soon as my vacation the first two weeks in September).  I made each of these with Pixlr, an invaluable site for macro making and image manipulation.

I’m very thankful to the Deviant Artist for giving me permission to use this.  I may also utilize the image for the overall story and/or the banner I’ll have to created, but I absolutely love it for the opening chapter.

I’m not as fond of how the words look on this one, but I love the picture.  None of these are set in stone, so if something better comes along, I may do a change up.

00 Chapter 3 - Measure

This was the picture that prompted me to make chapter macros.  It is exactly what I was looking for when I realized I wanted to find a measuring tape.  Sometimes it just takes a simple image to get the ball rolling.

I’m hoping I can meet the challenge for the remaining 20 or so chapters, though I’m unsure if I’m going to do another post like this since some of the titles/images might be spoilerific.  I really liked these initial pictures and wanted to share since I was quite happy that I finally figured Chapter 3 out, and I really liked how that and Chapter 1’s macro turned out.

Let me know what you think and I hope you all have a good day!

It Stays With You

More macros are available here for the interested.

One of my pipe dream wishes for the FFVII Remake (which I’m sadly full of ennui about.  Perhaps I’ll make a post about why in the near future) is for a scene like the below to occur.  I know it never will, that’s why it’s a pipe dream, fodder only for fanfiction and art, but if it did indeed happen, rest assured, I’d never stop sobbing.

00 Regret Stays With You

She is clearly the one saying it to him not cruelly, but rather as an affirmation of grief.  You have to face it and accept it before there’s any chance the wounds can heal (which was the point of the latest episode of Steven Universe that I just watched prior to drafting this), though in the case above, there’d be no true healing, but she’d help him bear the scars 😦

Once again Deviant Artist Dark6Nika provides the original picture entitled “A prayer to mother,” and I recently used the same as basis and impetus for the latest post on my Sephiroth fanpage.

FullSizeRender (4)

The macro’s words (the post above is what I myself dredged up) are from The Name of the Wind by one of my favorite authors Patrick Rothfuss, whose works I’ve reviewed here and here.

A brief note about quotes.  I don’t always put the source on the picture as I often think it disturbs the aesthetic.  This is usually the case where the image contains people.  I double checked to ensure I wasn’t just doing this with words not my own, and I wasn’t.  There are several macros with quotes from Northern Lights that I didn’t source on the macro itself.  Because of this, if the macro is shared, I hope that the entirety of the post is as well.  Not so much to give me credit since I neither rendered the image nor wrote the quote (in some cases), but rather to give credit to the original creators.  I merely put two things together, interlocking pieces that I hope others can see well fit.

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Question of the Week: 8/28/16

<–Question of the Week: 8/21/16          Question of the Week: 9/4/16–>

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!

Who is your favorite non-villain character?

I had to give the caveat of “non-villain” character as opposed to just saying “favorite superhero,” because my favorite character is a villain, my favorite superhero is a captain, but my favorite non-villain character without question or argument (whom I like better than the favorite superhero) is Captain Picard.

I can’t believe I’ve had this blog for nearly two years, and I haven’t yet gushed about my love for Captain Picard.  TNG was my introduction into the Star Trek universe though I had seen episodes of TOS when I was younger.  At the risk of inciting any flame wars for Kirk fans, I’m just going to say that Picard is not only my favorite captain, but I think he’s one of the best.  He’s the most noble person to ever exist, and while we can argue to the Delta Quadrant and back over who broke the Prime Directive more, Picard always did it with only the best intentions in mind (as in the episode “Pen Pals,” which always makes me cry) or when there was no other choice and/or to better a worsening situation (as in the episode “Who Watches the Watchers“).  Additionally, his philosophy and speeches should be studied and noted by anyone seeking a position of leadership and power, nor was he ever afraid to defy those in higher positions to protect the rights of others.

While Picard could be harsh, he was always fair, erred on the side of both logic and reason, but also compassion and doing what’s right   I cannot watch the episode “The Inner Light” without a week’s preparation, and I know I’m always going to cry, because anything about memory and loss pierce me to the core.

I can’t talk about Captain Picard without lauding the magnificent actor who plays him, Patrick Stewart, who is totally and literally a sir (yassss Sir Patrick!).  Similar to the character he plays, he believes in fairness and equality, and due to early exposure of domestic violence, he does work with Amnesty International.

Also his bromance with equally magnificent Sir Ian McKellan is delightful.

I want them on my team for the apocalypse


Who is your favorite non-villain character?  The can be a superhero; I just made that caveat just in case they aren’t.

I look forward to your answers in the comments!

<–Question of the Week: 8/21/16          Question of the Week: 9/4/16–>

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The State of the Writer: 8/27/16

<–The State of the Writer: 8/20/16          The State of the Writer: 9/3/16–>

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
Title:
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 272,761
Prior Word Count: 273,620
Word Difference: -852
Status: Editing
Progress: 2nd edit of Chapter 3

House By the Sea

I’m honestly can’t believe I haven’t used the above picture yet.  It’s almost exactly how I picture the house save for some minor details.  There’s no garage; it faces the sea; and the staircase is slightly different, being split at the top not at a lower landing, but the extensive veranda is dead on, and the luxury is exquisite, though I would not want to have Aeris’s history in this story in order to live here.

The little Cetra gets a brief glimpse of where she now resides, but there’s a much better one in Chapter 5 where she (and the readers) also find out the name of the estate.  When I do my (hopefully) light reedit of Northern Lights, I’m going to use the same name for their abode.  It’s…sad but fitting, and Sephiroth finds it achingly ironic.

I’m making good progress on the second edit.  I was worried it was going to be tedious and nitpicky as the first, but I only had some trouble with the initial paragraph or so.  I’ve mostly been doing a read through with minor edits, which is what I wish all editing could be.  Granted I haven’t yet reached the part where I’ve done extensive additions, so I’ll have to get back to you when I do.

This chapter amps up the sweetness even amongst the heartache.  At the end of it since Aeris is completely bereft of clothing, Sephiroth orders her a multitude of them in addition to jewelry and shoes.  I debated using a picture of the former, but there will be plenty of time for that when it arrives.

Quote: “Her coloring?  Fairer than the mist with the first blush of dawn on her cheeks.  She resembles a tiny porcelain doll with large, deep, summer blessed eyes.  Her hair is chestnut waves down to her knees with bangs similar to mine.  Yes, she’s lovely, beyond so.  Beautiful’s the word I would use.”


Project: Story
Title:
The Threads of Sorrow
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Retold Fairy Tale
Type: Original Short Story
Prior Word Count: 6887
Current Word Count: 6825
Word Difference: -42
Status: Editing
Progress: First Edit 5/6 Complete

I only edited one page last week, and I’m not sure I’m going to get to this tonight.  Since I went to my friend’s book signing, I’m exhausted as is the case whenever I do anything.  I’d need a nap before any editing took place, and I have so much still on my planner to accomplish.  I would love to finish the first edit this weekend, but it may have to happen during my two week vacation, which starts the first full week of September.

I’m also starting to get weird about submitting this for publishing.  That’s all I’m going to say about that for now :\

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Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy Tarot – I The Magician

<–0 The Fool                                                                            II The High Priestess–>

This is my current Final Fantasy Friday post where I’ll be discussing which characters I think exemplify each card of the Major Arcana.  If this is your first time here, please head over to my Final Fantasy Tarot page for explanation.  Now onto the next card!

I The Magician The Magician & Garland

Spoilers for Final Fantasy IX.

I picked Garland from FFIX for The Magician since the card represents an archetype that bridges the gap between heaven and earth.  That was literally Garland’s purpose: to be the guiding hand between the dying world of Terra and the flourishing one of Gaia.  Even though Terra technically exists inside of Gaia (per the wiki), I still consider Garland’s place as the Magician valid since he is facilitating the convergence of two worlds.

I did consider Kuja for this card (since he is a powerful sorcerer, as well), but he was really just a pawn (a fact that was  a major push for his tranced wrath), and The Magician is more of a master of destiny (which makes Zidane the pawn of a pawn.  Gah, Final Fantasy and it’s many layers), and Garland’s destiny and literal creation was to see the people of Terra installed in the new world.

Now that I’m thinking about it…whatever did happen to the souls of the people of Terra?  The heroes save the genomes, but they were (at the time) empty shells.  I need another post to delve into the idea of “growing” a soul, as it seemed the genomes did (as opposed to the black mages of Black Mage Village who for some reason one day just became self aware).  The implications of this are quite heartbreaking since Garland was defeated and their ages old plan never came to fruition.  Were their souls left to die with their world, or did a piece of them manage to survive as the genomes did?

Garland was performing the task he’d been set by the people of Terra in order to facilitate their survival in the bodies of the genomes, and therefore had to be powerful and wise enough to complete this without any further input after their souls slept to wait.  In this he possesses the integral traits of The Magician card as the optimal master of all he surveys.

Alternates: Vivi (IX), Kuja (IX), Seymour (X), Rydia (IV)


Nobody guessed the character this week, but I have to give credit to Mr. Panda and The Otaku Judge for picking the game the card archetype would come from!

Next week is II The High Priestess.  Leave your guesses for whom you think I might pick in the comments!  As with this week’s if you guess the game they come from, you’ll get credit, too.

<–0 The Fool                                                                            II The High Priestess–>

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The Red Rose by Fia Black (Submissive Beth Mysteries #2)

<–The Jade Dragon (SBM #1)                                                 The Missing Orchid (SBM #3)–>

Title: The Red Rose
Series Title: Submissive Beth Mysteries
Author: Fia Black
Genre: Mystery, BDSM
Date Added: August 8, 2016
Date Started: Unknown
Date Finished: August 23, 2016

Pages: 119
Publication Date: August 5, 2015
Media Type: Kindle

Allana Bale dropped off her eight-month-old daughter at her mother’s house and never returned. With a pattern of running away and drug use, her disappearance isn’t given a second look. Until Beth comes along.
Beth, now a professional PI and submissive tries to juggle the two when she is given this missing person’s case. Having to delve into a person’s past can be dangerous but Beth is determined to learn what happened to Allana. Did she run away from the pressures of motherhood or is everything not as it seems?


This is the second book by author Fia Black that I’ve had the pleasure to review.  She provided me with a free copy under no obligation, but I was delighted to have another novel in the Submissive Beth Mysteries series to read.

The main character Beth remains just as intriguing with her “day” work as a PI and her “night” work as a submissive.  If you are not well-versed in the BDSM world, this is a far better series to set your sights on than some others.  It’s incredibly sex positive and non-shaming in addition to presenting BDSM with all the rules of consent in place.

As in the first novel The Jade Dragon, the missing person is someone of “ill repute,” a recovering drug addict and prostitute who seemingly abandons her eight month old daughter before going off on another bender, but there are numerous factors pointing away from what seems the obvious option, and Beth is more than willing to take this case that the police believe is open and shut  As in Dragon the victim is doubly victimized by utter lack of empathy and justice on the system’s part, the latter of which would’ve stood unless Beth intervened.  What complicates matters is our heroine’s rocky relationship with Detective Reiner whose help she needs in order to work the case.

This mystery is a quick read that uses direct and no nonsense language.  The parts where Beth is working her submissive job are so immersive and fascinating, and as I mentioned above, the novel and series as a whole are very sex positive/non-shaming, which is refreshing and needed.

Miss Black’s style of writing works very well for this genre.  It’s quick and to the point with no unnecessary fluff bogging it down.  Beth does serious work whether or not she’s sleuthing a case or satisfying a client, and in both instances, she always gets results.

4 stars.

<–The Jade Dragon (SBM #1)                                                 The Missing Orchid (SBM #3)–>

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