The State of the Writer: 12/17/16

<–The State of the Writer: 12/10/16          The State of the Writer: 12/24/16–>

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: 277,650
Prior Word Count: 277,823
Word Difference: -173
Status: Editing
Progress: Second edit of Chapter 7

dark-rose

I’m still plugging through the second edit of this chapter, and the above was another potential picture.  I like how the rose could be seen either fading into color or fading out of it.  For this story, it would obviously be fading into color, but it is all about perspective.

There’s also a sweet (literal) flower part in this chapter so showing more of them seems appropriate.

Quote: “Do you truly believe their heinous crimes could diminish your purity?  You are innocent forever, my Aeris.  No brutal act of a thousand cowards can change this unalterable truth.”


Project: Essay
Title: Half a Tragedy Is Worse Than Whole
Subject: FFVII Comparative and Meta
Status: On hold
Progress: Outline Completed

I think I’m going to put all other writing/edit on hiatus until after the holidays, because there’s just no way I can find time to get anything else done.  I know I could play less of World of Final Fantasy, but we all know that’s not going to happen.

After Christmas, I want to sit down and figure out a New Year plan for writing since I’m really struggling with getting essays worked on and out, nor have I done anything with The Editing of Northern Lights in months.  I’m also going to do some year end analysis stuff, but I haven’t worked out the details on that yet.


What are you currently working on?  Is it a creative writing project, essay, review, or something else?  Have you just started something new or are you wrapping up a long term project?

<–The State of the Writer: 12/10/16          The State of the Writer: 12/24/16–>

Save

Save

Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy Tarot – XVII The Star

<–XVI The Tower                                                                              XVIII The Moon–>

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!

XVII The Star

the-star-yuna

This was the perfect example of a situation where your guesses/suggestions made me reexamine my choice.  When I first conceived of this project, I had another character from another game in mind (while I’ll elaborate on in the Alternates section), but quite a few things steered me in Yuna’s direction.

The Star is a card of hope and healing, and Yuna offers both of them to her world.  As a summoner she eases the burdens of the grieving by ensuring their deceased loved ones reach the Farplane, and throughout her pilgrimage she serves as a beacon of hope for all of Spira.  The water connection between the card and the character is also a good bridge.  Summoners are universally respected for their utterly unselfish sacrifice at the end of their journey to vanquish Sin, even if it is only for a short amount of time.  The dance continues and the spiral never ends.

Yuna truly becomes hope’s symbol (with Tidus’s influence) when she defies death’s destiny to break the cycle and vanquish Sin once and for all.  FFX, among other things, exemplifies the adage “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds” to the point that there is a literal religion built up around the phrase of followers and fools.

Hm…now I’m considering a project where I figure out a phrase or adage for each Final Fantasy.  Prior to the paragraph above I only have one for FFVII (of course), but the “foolish consistency” is perfect for FFX.


Alternates: Terra (VI)

Terra was my first choice for this card based on the simplified version of the Pandora story that Banon, the leader of the Returners, relates to her.  He tells the young woman that she is the hope that remained in the box after all of the ills had flown out to infect the world.  I believe this works surface wise, but upon further rumination, Yuna is choice with far deeper ramifications.


Everyone wins this week! iplayedthegame, LightningEllen, and Mr. Panda all guessed correctly or you convinced me to change my initial stance.  Obviously, I still have to agree with the character proposed, but your guesses 100% make me reexamine the choices I’ve made 🙂

Next weeks card is The Moon, a symbol of mystery and esoteric knowledge.  I’ll be honest; I’m actually not sure who I’m going to go with for this one.  There are a few contenders, but nothing is set in stone.  Final Fantasy has a lot of hidden moon references, so shine your light in the darkest caverns, and maybe you’ll find the truth.

Happy guessing!

<–XVI The Tower                                                                              XVIII The Moon–>

Save

Save

Save

The State of the Reader: 12/14/16

<–The State of the Reader: 12/7/16          The State of the Reader: 12/21/16–>

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

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

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 45%

I’m still on the Third Branch, and I just keep climbing the tree.  The poetry in this compendium is magnetic.

Title: The Ghost of Buxton Manor
Author: Jonathon L. Ferrara
Date Added: August 16, 2016
Date Started: October 17, 2016

Media: Kindle
Progress: 62%

I’m starting to really not like a particular character whom I don’t want to mention so as to not spoil anything, but I’ll say I don’t think he has Rupert’s best interests at heart.  The eponymous ghost is such an endearing character.  His adorable descriptions of modern objects is so charming, for example how he calls Aaron’s laptop a “futuristic typewriter.”

One thing I’m enjoying about this novel is the mystery.  How the hell are Rupert and Aaron ever going to be together when the former is dead?  I have no doubt Mr. Ferrara will have an amazing solution/conclusion, and even if I’m write about that fore mentioned character, it won’t take anything away from the narrative.

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Series Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Date Added: June 15, 2016
Date Started: November 20, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 42%

I made some serious progress on this book this week.  As mentioned before the ends of the chapters lend themselves to dive into the next.  Additionally, the novel has a serious Beauty and the Beast vibe to it.

Feyre is becoming less annoying, but I have to bring up a particular critique usually unique to romance stories.  Since the blurb already mentioned it, this isn’t a spoiler.  We the readers are made to know that Feyre and Tamlin are going to fall in love, lust, or what have you. The issue I have is how quickly it occurs.  Now, I’ve written enemies to lovers stories…in fact, that’s pretty much all I write (wow really??), and one of my worries is just that: the change is too abrupt, but the one thing I try to do in order to forestall that is establish attraction even amongst loathing early on (this was far more important in my original novel The Serpent’s Tale, but not so much in Northern Lights since the enemies thing was already mitigated by time and circumstance, though I still established early attraction)  This sets the standard and also adds a layer of potential self-loathing/self-criticism for each character in finding their enemy or adversary attractive.  However, when the turn comes, it flows a bit better, because we know there was attraction between the two sides that can be explored once the source of the hatred is either mitigated or extinguished.

My issue with Thorns/Roses is that it happened far too fast with nothing to really lead up to it.  It’s an abrupt change in Chapter 18.  It’s certainly not a deal breaker in terms of me finishing the novel, but it was highly noticeable.


Fanfictions Finished: 0

In Progress Fanfictions Read: 1

Title: I’m the Darkness, You’re the Starlight
Author: runicmagitek
Fandom: FFVI
Pairing: Celes Chere/Setzer Gabbiani

Hoping the author updates again soon.  I’m dying to see how she handles the finale of the game and how Celes and Setzer’s relationship is going to work out in the aftermath especially since the last chapter I read had them finding Locke #lovetriangle

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 0

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 2

Title: The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter
Author: Theodora Goss
Date Added: December 11, 2016

One of my old high school friends marked this as TBR, which brought it into my sphere of notice, but Ms. Goss is already an author I follow on Goodreads and here.  This is a tale of “monsters'” revenge, women created through terrifying experimentation.  If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you’ll know full well that characters created by cruel and obviously unconsenting experimentation is a morbid fascination of mine, and questioning who the true monster is is a favorite pastime.  I’m incredibly interested in this story.

A brief note that may lead me to annoyance.  This book is currently rated at 1 star with no review as to why, and I worry the rater might be a troll.  Even if I don’t finish a book, I don’t give it a rating lower than 3 stars without explanation, because bestowing such poor measure on a novel without reason is detrimental to authors, and as a wannabe one, I’d never subject a potential contemporary to such treatment.  I feel this way about all artists.  I haven’t read a novel by Ms. Goss yet, but I have read her blog, and I find little there to warrant such a meager assessment.

Title: Rest in Piece
Author: B. W. Ginsburg
Date Added: December 12, 2016

This is a debut novel by fellow blogger G.W. Ginsburg that was brought to my attention by the well read Kim of By Hook or by Book.  Ms. Ginsburg (whom I will be following as soon as I finish writing this up) has a blog with the same title as the book here and an informative and creative blog here.  You should know by know I highly favor supporting up and coming authors, so I recommend checking out her blogs as I have done.

The blurb for this story reminds me of The Lake House; even though I’ve never that movie, I’m still aware of that facet of plot.  The two characters are connected even though they’re decades apart, and Louise holds the key to saving a nine year  girl who disappeared two decades earlier.  It sounds like there might be time and space shenanigans going on, and I’m interested and intrigued.


Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 530
Change from Last Week: +2


Books Added to Goodreads To Be Reread List This Week: 0


Books Purchased This Week: 0


What are you currently reading and/or what’s on your radar to read next?  What would you recommend based on my current and recently added?  As always I look forward to your comments and suggestions!

<–The State of the Reader: 12/7/16          The State of the Reader: 12/21/16–>

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

The State of the Gamer: 12/13/16

<–The State of the Gamer: 12/6/16          The State of the Gamer: 12/20/16–>

A weekly post updated every Tuesday detailing my current gaming projects.  I have quite a backlog of games to either play or watch, and I’m hoping a weekly article will assist with my progress as my other accountable posts have done with reading and writing.
I have an account at Grouvee, which is a essentially Goodreads for gamers, so please feel free to friend me there!
Original source of the banner art is located here.

Title: Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls
Series: Final Fantasy
Genre: RPG – Fantasy
Developer: Square/Tose (GBA)
Original Platform: NES
Original Release Date: December 18, 1987
Current Platform: Gameboy Advance
Current Platform Release Date: July 29, 2004
Date Started: November 20, 2016

dawn-of-souls

I…don’t think I played this at all this week.  Last I remember was beating up Bikke and his pirate gang, and then planning to sail to Elfheim to grind for new gear and spells.  I might start doing a DS/GBA schedule like I have with my reading.  I was trying to play DoS and FFIV on alternating days, but it might be easier if I put it on my to-do list, since things are more likely to be done if that occurs.

Title: Final Fantasy IV
Series: Final Fantasy
Genre: RPG – Fantasy
Developer: Square
Original Platform: SNES
Original Release Date: July 19, 1991
Current Platform: Game Boy Advance
Current Platform Release Date: December 12, 2005
Date Started: October 24. 2016

final-fantasy-iv

I’ve made quite a bit of progress on this, which is funny, because I’ve beaten FFIV, but never beating FFI, the DoS version or otherwise.  Logically, you’d think I’d focus on the path not traveled, but Taurus-logically, it actually makes more sense that I’m sticking to what I’m familiar with and greatly enjoy.

I finished up the a batch of side quests.  Final Fantasy IV has those in short supply, and really the only legitimate side quest is looting Eblan Castle (maybe collecting pink tails counts, too).  You have to visit Agart later in the story, but having access to the Enterprise just means you can go there sooner and get it on the map for easier access later.  Mythril is more of a locale to peruse because of the better equipment you can find there.

My next task lies in Troia then the Dark Elf’s Cave where Edward actually proves himself useful.

Title: World of Final Fantasy
Series: Final Fantasy
Genre: RPG – Fantasy
Developer: Square Enix
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Date Bought: October 21, 2016
Date Started: November 5, 2016

world-of-final-fantasy

This is pretty much what I’ve been spending all of my time on.  I took off Friday of last week and Monday of this (not just to play!  I had two days left, but I wouldn’t be ashamed of taking off work to play Final Fantasy and you know it lol) and spent pretty much the entire day playing WOFF.  I neglecting my responsibilities (e.g. working on my “Half a Tragedy” essay) and had a damn fun time dong so.

I found a really awesome tipster on YouTube EnterJayMent (who has some Final Fantasy XV videos up, too) and realized I’d missed a lot.  I had no idea there was Holy Dragon in Icicle Ridge, nor did I realize that the quests you complete in the Girl’s Tearoom opened up new Mirages: Princess Goblin and Undead Princess among two of them.

When I first started playing, like most, I was on a learning curve, and that initial arc didn’t realize that you can catch a Mirage as soon as you engage it in battle.  I thought you had to fight it first in order to obtain its prism then find it again in order to imprism it.  This is how I missed Yurugu(sp?) in the beginning (unless that’s just a tutorial and unimprisonable).  I also believed you had to have an empty space in the case you take with you, not knowing that after catching the new Mirage, there’d be an option to leave it with Serafie.  I also didn’t take advantage of all the Mirages you can catch in the coliseum; therefore, I didn’t have Chocobo or Valefor even though you can easily catch them early on there. Speaking of the coliseum, I manged to unlock and capture Ramuh and Adamantoise, though with the latter, you can find and imprism one while traveling through the channel on the Rainbow Coast, while riding on the back of the talking Adamantoise.  The Coliseum one was just easier (one try!)

I missed the Ghost Pirate ship puzzle on Saronia Docks with the Kupicaroon you can catch there and never knew that if you run around the secret spot in the Nether Nebula that Fritt (baby Ifrit) will eventually show up.  I still need to get Zapt (baby Ramuh), and I’d love to grab another Bablizz since I was able to transfigure the one I won from beating Shiva into Mishiva.  Having a medium and small Shiva/Ice based  Mirage would be bad ass.  I believe you can grab them later in the game, though there are a ton like the male Shiva, Shivalry, and the female Ifrit, Ifritta, whom you can’t ensnare until after the first ending (apparently like XV, there’s a lush after game to World).

I am finally caught up or as caught up as I’m going to be for now.  I’m just about to enter the dessert, so I foresee some cactuar hunting in the near future.  I’m going to try to catch two because I believe that’s what cactrots can transfigure into, and I still never found another one of those little guys in the Pyrefly Forest.

I’m really wondering though if there’s a way to get rid of extra Mirages.  I tried trading and failed miserably at it.  I have two Mandragoras and a Malboro.  Mandragoras transfigure into Malboros so it’s not like I need to keep one as it is and transfigure the other.  I suppose I could eventually have two Malboros, which would be fine, but I’d love to give it to some other needy gamer, and maybe get something in return.  Apparently, my trade didn’t go through because the Mirage I’d have received in return was of a lower level than mine???  I don’t know, and the internet hasn’t been very forthcoming with information.  There isn’t a lot on World yet, because people are still going through it and figuring it out.

I have found this site that has comprehensive information on Mirages as well as the Mirage “family” they belong to and this site that’s a continually updated Coliseum guide.  I like the info on the latter site, but it’s one of those that constantly runs (like many wikis), slowing down your computer.

Whew…so yeah.  Lots to say about WOFF.  I absolutely love it.  I’m enjoying the cameo appearances from all the characters, the references are nostalgically wonderful, and the puns are just great.  I love that Rydia hated and feared fire just like her character did in FFIV, her original game.  I love that Snow had the Shiva from his game FFXIII and used her to created ice bridges (also “Snow” “ice,” “puns”).  I love how Quistis had a similar boat to what the sEEDs used in FFVIII.  I love that Sephiroth summons Meteor, and I cannot tell you how much I love/appreciate the Japanese option with English subtitles.  It feels very anime like during cut scenes..

I’ll be playing again this Wednesday and hope to catch some good Mirages in the dessert.  My play pattern is generally do the next area then go back to the Tearoom and Coliseum to take care of what new quests and fights might have opened up.  I’m hoping “catch up” next time won’t take as long, since I now have some better resources.


Games Currently Watching

Title: Mass Effect II
Series: Mass Effect
Genre: Action RPG – Sci-Fi
Developer: BioWare
Original Platform(s): Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3
Original Release Date: January 26, 2010
Let’s Player: Olizandri
Date Started: November 19, 2016

mass-effect-2

I’m getting into some creeptastic territory with this game.  I just watched the part where Shepherd and crew find the abandoned Collector ship and learn the truth about that species.  I also read a bit of a spoiler today when I googled “Who made the Reapers,” because I wanted to see some theories/speculation about that.  I wound up on Harbinger’s page, but stopped reading before I could spoil it too much.  I’d rather see it in game then read about it.  Since the Reapers are machines albeit sentient, I believe they could have a creator (this could become philosophical and theological for our own creation very quickly, and it also puts me in the mind of that episode of Futurama where the professor leaves the Earth because no one believes in evolution and winds up being the progenitor of a robot race, but now is not the time), and I wonder if it’s suppose to imply that eons ago, when they achieved sentience, they turned on their creators, killing them all to begin the cycle of purge and regrowth that’s been occurring since time immemorial.  It certainly paints a grim picture of limits or lack thereof of AI.

Olizandri, the irrepressible Let’s Player is doing a bunch of the DLCs right now, and I’m hoping he gets to more of the loyalty quests soon.  I want to see Jack’s and Grunt’s.  He just finished Jacob’s and wow, so fucked up what his father did.  I really like Jacob’s character, and I’m more cautiously curious about Miranda’s.

Also on my list of things I can’t look up is the Illusive Man.  I really want to know about his glowing, mechanical looking eyes, but I don’t want to have anything spoiled by looking that up.  If the story doesn’t reveal it, then I will.  I suspect it’s some kind of biotic.

I’m still hoping Wrex will show up again at some point.  While I like Jacob and think Jack is an unmitigated bad ass, there really hasn’t been a character I say hands down is my absolute favorite in this game.  Grunt is a krogan, too, but he doesn’t have the same sarcastic, get-shit-done attitude that Wrex was gloriously burdened with.

Title: Legend of Zelda
Series: Legend of Zelda
Genre: Action-Adventure/Puzzle
Developer: Nintendo
Original Platform(s): Nintendo Entertainment System
Original Release Date: February 21, 1986
Let’s Player: Hungry Goriya
Date Started: Unknown
Date Finished: Unknown

This is a Let’s Play by fellow blogger Hungrygoriya who is the queen of finding retro video games.  I was lucky enough to catch a bit of her playing Earthbound on Twitch a few weeks ago, and I’m hoping she does a full play through of that game for YouTube, as well, since then I and others will be able to watch the whole thing.

I don’t want to make her blush, but I have to mention that she has a great voice and attitude for Let’s Plays, and I think people underrate how important that is.  You want to watch and listen to someone you know cares about the game their playing, and for me personally, it’s not really a matter of getting it right the first time; it’s about how you act and react while you’re going through.  Her voice is super soothing, and I’m really impressed with how well she knows the land of Hyrule.  I’m terrible at direction and would probably need to be consulting a map the entire time.

I’d never seen the entirety of the very first Zelda game, and I’m happy to say that that’s under my belt, and I was able to accomplish it by watching a great Let’s Play.  I also now understand the “hungry goriya” reference!  I didn’t know that was an enemy in Zelda.  They’re called moblins now, and the “hungry” refers to one in a dungeon you have to feed before you can get through.  Old school games were fantastic for challenging your problem solving skills lol.

I also watched her play through of Super Mario Bros. 2, which I can’t believe I didn’t mention!  SMB2 was my first favorite game long years before FFVII ever existed, and it still holds a special place in my heart.


Games Added to Playlist: 2

  1. Final Fantasy Type-0
  2. Final Fantasy XV

Both of these were added because of Cheap Boss Attack.  You blogger friends are going to be the death of me!  Or rather the death of my time hehe.  CBA wrote a kick ass, spoiler free review of FFXV that convinced me I should at least give it a chance.  My biggest reluctance is due to Squeenix moving away from turn based, which I much prefer and love (it was a major draw for me to the Final Fantasy franchise) to more action based.  I was fine with the gambit system of FFXII, but I really don’t like this migration from strategy/turn based.  When I play an RPG, I want to play an RPG.  Sadly, this is the main reason I don’t play Mass Effect as much as I love it. Anyway, owing to the information that you can play FFXV on “easy” where Carbuncle will resurrect you if defeated, I might be able to handle that so I can see what all of the hype is about.  I still have some trepidation, but I don’t want to base my opinion on what’s come into my ken by hearsay.  I’d rather play it myself then read the critiques and decide if they align with how I took it.

The only convincing I needed for Type-0 is that is has a dark mien.  My Gothic heart is already drawn, and my wordsmith soul is trying to make a bad a bad pun using the word “typo.”  I’ll try not to keep you in suspenders.


Games Bought This Week: 1

  1. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture – the Well-Red Mage informed not just me, but the world that there was yet another PSN sale, this one for the holidays.  I may have missed the lowest price of $5.99, but $8.99 for a game that’s the spiritual sequel to my arguably favorite modern title by The Chinese Room, Dear Esther, is a small price to pay.  Hm, I can’t find the original post on the blog, ,but I’m sure it was there!  Either that or the information just came to me through the Lifestream.  That would explain a lot.

What are you currently playing and/or watching? Is it something new or old?  Is it a first time run or a replay?  What’s the genre?  Would you recommend it?  What’s on your radar to play next?

<–The State of the Gamer: 12/6/16          The State of the Gamer: 12/20/16–>

Save

Save

Save

Save

Question of the Week: 12/11/16

<–Question of the Week: 12/4/16          Question of the Week: 12/18/16–>

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 your favorite Christmas/Holiday song?

It’s only fair to have a favorite question after I have a most hated one, and last week’s question caused some pretty awesome conversations.  “Christmas Shoes” is either universally hated or unknown…the way it should be.

My favorite song is contingent on a number of factors, but it mostly comes down to how it’s performed.  I tend to drift towards darker sounding music (especially the minor key), nor do I shy from this position around the holidays.

When I was younger, my favorite song was “We Three Kings,” and while I still love that melody, Pentatonix’s “Mary, Did You Know” is currently in first place.

Just for a bonus, if you want to hear a Christmas song so over the top, disgustingly cheery, you’ll want to vomit candy canes, look no further than the below.

You’re welcome.


What’s your favorite holiday song?  Has it changed over the years or remained the same?

I look forward to your answers in the comments!

<–Question of the Week: 12/4/16          Question of the Week: 12/18/16–>

The State of the Writer: 12/10/16

<–The State of the Writer: 12/3/16          The State of the Writer: 12/17/16–>

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: 277,823
Prior Word Count: 278,222
Word Difference: -399
Status: Editing
Progress: Second edit of Chapter 7

rose-in-chains

I’m happy to report the artist replied to me in the affirmative for the picture I really wanted to use.  She asked that I reference her of course, and I asked if she had a website I could link to.  I haven’t heard back on that, but I”m happy that at least I have permission to use the image.

The above is not he picture I was looking for permission on, but rather something I found while searching the internet for a suitable Chapter 7 cover.  It wouldn’t be for this chapter anyway, but I like the image of the rose in chains as it pertains to this story.

I’m still on the second edit, which I’m finding to be more productive than the first.  I thought that went a bit too easily.  Not that the second is overly challenging, but I’m definitely fixing more than I initially did.

Quote: “Never entertain such thoughts, such horrors, or dark drenched dreams.  I will never allow them to harm you again.  They will not have limbs or fingers to grasp.  I will remove every part that ever hurt you.  Every single one I will hunt down like the monsters I killed this night.  I will rip through their minds and tear out the truth, but leave their wits intact.  They will know what they did.  They will know why they suffer, and they will die unable to scream.” 


Project: Essay
Title: Half a Tragedy Is Worse Than Whole
Subject: FFVII Comparative and Meta
Status: On hold
Progress: Outline Completed

I have this on my planner to work on this week: Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, and I’m off on Monday.  I usually schedule out my weekly plans on Saturday or Sunday, and for essays, I’ll figure out which days of the week I can devote to them and put that on a loop until complete.  Monday and Thursday are days where I don’t have any weekly posts to do.  Owing to what time of the year we’re in, I don’t foresee being able to work on it each of those days, but I’ll try.  I just read a blog post by Athena at AmbiGaming about flawed heroes, which put me back in the mind of Greek tragedy, since that’s one of the necessary elements.  Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of inspiration.


What are you currently working on?  Is it a creative writing project, essay, review, or something else?  Have you just started something new or are you wrapping up a long term project?

<–The State of the Writer: 12/3/16          The State of the Writer: 12/17/16–>

Save

Save

Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy Tarot – XVI The Tower

<–XV The Devil                                                                                      XVII The Star–>

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!

XVI The Tower

the-tower-kefkas-tower

 I played Final Fantasy VI long before I ever did my first tarot reading or even saw my first tarot deck, but the first time I saw the Tower card, I immediately thought of Kefka’s monolith to his own delusions of godhood.

The Final Fantasy series is riddled with nefarious towers, but Kefka’s always struck me as most aligned with the card, which speaks of sudden, disruptive, and potentially disastrous change.  The lightning striking it in the Major Arcana is reminiscent of the Light of Judgment the mad clown gleefully dishes out.  If you give the Devil any power in the previous card, the cataclysm of the Tower is what you then must face.


Alternates: The Tower of Babil (IV), The Shinra Tower (VII), Lunatic Pandora (VIII)

The Tower of Babil from FFIV that connects the core of the (false) Moon to the core of the Earth is awakened by Zemus/Zeromus for sinister motives.  VII’s Shinra Tower is of course the headquarters of the Planet killing corporation, and though the Lunatic Pandora isn’t technically a tower, it certainly presents as an ominous, monolithic structure.

lunatic-pandora

There are even more towers in the Final Fantasy series, arguably at least one in every iteration, but these three others stand out as close to what I believe exemplifies the Marjor Arcana card.


No happy guesses this week, and the series is starting to wind down.  There are five more Major Arcana cards left for you to take your chances on!

Next week’s card is The Star and the light of hope it can potentially bring.

<–XV The Devil                                                                                      XVII The Star–>

Save

Save

Save

Cecil Harvey

These are intended to be brief analysis of characters from some of my favorite narratives, but as you all should know by know I can be quite long-winded or rather long-worded so I cannot guarantee a short read.  They will more than likely spoil whatever story/series they come from so be wary of that if you have not read, seen, or played whatever that might be.

Name: Cecil Harvey
Work(s): Final Fantasy IV, The Interlude, The After Years, Dissidia, Dissidia 012
Work Author/Creator: Hironobu Sakaguchi (Squaresoft/Square Enix)
Genre: Fantasy
Medium: Video Game

kluya-and-cecilia

KluYa and Cecilia

Cecil Harvey is the main protagonist of Final Fantasy IV, the fourth installation of the epic video game series.  His father KluYa was of alien origin from a lost world that dwelled between Mars and Jupiter.  KluYa, with the rest of his people, escaped their civilization’s collapse to create a second (and false) satellite of the Blue Planet.

During early forays there, KluYa met and fell in love with an earth woman Cecilia with whom he also fathered Cecil’s elder brother Theodore.  Tragically, both Cecil’s parents met untimely deaths.  His father was killed by the very villagers to whom he was attempted to teach the technology and magic of his home world, and Cecilia died in childbirth with Cecil.  KluYa’s demise was more than likely a factor in the Lunarians’ decision to put themselves into stasis until the people of the Blue Planet were more advanced and ready to accept them.

cecil-and-rosa-opening-sceneNot long after he was born, a grief-stricken Theodore abandoned his baby brother in the Kingdom of Baron where the infant was taken in and raised as the king’s own.  He excelled in swordsmanship and became the youngest captain of Baron’s elite airship fleet the Red Wings.  The king encouraged Cecil to take up the dark sword and

"We shall slay ourselves..."

become a Dark Knight.  This gave Cecil a bit of a melancholy, but not brooding, nature, as later in his journey, it’s revealed he was ever destined for the paladin’s path.  Defeating his dark side revealed both his true colors and physical appearance.  Cecil is a stunningly beautiful young man with shoulder length silvery-white hair, violet eyes, and a bluish tinge to his lips.  rosa-3He’s mutually enamored of the equally gorgeous Rosa, a white mage of endless devotion and grace who is also the unrequited love of Kain Highwind, the dragoon knight who’s Cecil’s adopted brother and brother-in-arms.

Raised together by the king of Baron, Kain trained to become a dragoon like his birth father as Cecil eventually took up the mantle of paladin like his own.  Unfortunately, like his blood brother, Cecil’s adopted

brother Kain betrays him under the latter’s influence as Theodore’s identity is hidden under the persona of Golbez who himself is being manipulated by Zemus, a Lunarian in the core of the moon who refused the others’ self-imposed stasis. Kidnapping Rosa is among one of their many crimes.

Cecil doesn’t discover the full truth of his origins until far later in his story when he journeys to the false moon and meets up with his uncle FuSoYa, the keeper of the Lunarians’ slumber and possibly the oldest character in the Final Fantasy franchise.

Brothers by blood

Brothers by blood

In this place of his (half) origin, the young knight discovers his antagonist is actually his blood brother and is forced to face the truth of that as he was forced to face his other brother’s betrayal.

Cecil rises to the occasion though despite misgivings.  Throughout the entire story, he is a loyal friend and companion even to those he’s just met, forgiving Kain before the dragon knight can even ask for it, against the mistrust of other party members.  The only time you see him hesitate is when the last battle is won and Golbez/Theodore and FuSoYa are preparing to depart presumably forever.  The paladin struggles to think of the man who was his enemy for so long as his brother, but he eventually does gift Golbez with that blessed name, turning him back to Theodore once again.

Cecil questioning motifs is nothing new.  The game begins with him doubting the mission he’s just returned from where he was ordered by Baron’s king to take the Mysidian’s Water Crystal.  He challenged the highest authority in the land and was punished for it, but it immediately showed the player that this was a character who wasn’t afraid to speak up when something wasn’t right.

After the engineered disaster in Mist, Cecil takes in and cares for Rydia

even though she rightfully abhors him at first for not only killing her mother, but destroying her village.

When later events lead him to wash up in Mysidia, the locale of his first war crime, the (currently still) dark knight undertakes the hitherto impossible task of becoming a paladin at the summit of Mt. Ordeals.  Despite the obstacles and enemies thrown in his way he succeeds, proving himself worthy of the mages’ trust in addition to fulfilling a destiny laid long ago that leads him from the center of his mother’s world to the center of his father’s and back again to take up his adopted father’s role of king.

Cecil’s story is one of origin and responsibility.  He takes up the mantles he must, but even in his dark beginning, he neither strays nor corrupts the light path of his destiny.  Narratives often give covered faces to both inconsequential enemies and Big Bads alike, so it is an interesting turn of trope that the main protagonist of Final Fantasy IV begins in such a way.  His face isn’t revealed until a third of the way through the game, but his nature is plain from the start.  Cecil may be forced to hide behind his armor, but he refuses to accept the role of faceless monster.  The atoner’s path leads to the paladin’s light and eventual truth of his origins as a reward.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

The State of the Reader: 12/7/16

<–The State of the Reader: 11/30/16          The State of the Reader: 12/14/16–>

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: -1

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

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 44%

There’s a forlorness about this compendium that haunts many myths, but that just makes me love them more.  I still have no hope of finishing this before the end of the year, and I only have three books left to fulfill my Goodreads goal.  Judging from the fact it took me nearly half a year to get to less than 50%, I severely doubt I’ll read more than that in the next three weeks.

Title: The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones
Author: George R R Martin
Date Added: January 7, 2015
Date Started: February 8, 2015
Date Finished: December 4, 2016

Media: Hardback
Progress: Completed

I have reached Asshai and beyond.  My time in The World of Ice and Fire is done…for now.  I’m not going to write a formal review of this since it doesn’t really lend itself to that.  I’ll say it’s a wonderful resource to any ASOIAF fans who wish to know a more about Planetos, and it’s compiled as though a maester wrote it.

I currently have no reference books in my possession that I want to read.  There are a number on my list that I don’t own such as the Hyrule Historia, the Sepher Yetzirah, or Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth that I’d love to get my hands on, but I doubt that will happen before Christmas.  I do own The Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking, but I don’t have any desire to read that right now.  Not that I don’t care about quantum physics.  In fact I just saw an ASOIAF video (oddly enough) that was talking about that very thing today, but it’s not something I’m in the mood to read about.  I do have more ASOIAF reference books, but I don’t want to dive into another one back to back.  I think I’m going to just add another reading day to A Court of Thorns and Roses and maybe see if I can get that finished before the end of the year.

Title: The Ghost of Buxton Manor
Author: Jonathon L. Ferrara
Date Added: August 16, 2016
Date Started: October 17, 2016

Media: Kindle
Progress: 55%

I realized that there was a Peter Pan/Neverland connection to this story fairly quickly, but it was brought to my attention recently how deep this connection goes.  Rupert Buxton is a real person.  I knew about Michael Davies, but I had no idea that there was more than a kernel of truth to this tale.  Once I’m finished, I think I’ll hunt this information out.

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Series Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Date Added: June 15, 2016
Date Started: November 20, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 27%

This book grows more compelling as each chapter goes along.  Maas knows how to keep it intriguing and is adept at ending many chapters on a cliffhanger so you need to continue to the next.  That’s how I managed to read three the other day.

As I stated above, since I finished TWOIAF and don’t have another reference book readily available, I’m going to read this on the days I planned to read World, and hopefully next year I’ll have some Amazon gift cards to pick up more references.  Until then, this is interesting enough to hold my attention, and Feyre is becoming a bit less annoying if still impetuous.


Fanfictions Finished: 0

In Progress Fanfictions Read: 1

Title: I’m the Darkness, You’re the Starlight
Author: runicmagitek
Fandom: FFVI
Pairing: Celes Chere/Setzer Gabbiani

I’m not sure whether I’m naming the sections here correctly.  I wanted the “In Progress Fanfictions Read” to be stories that were ongoing that I was up to date on.  I guess I’ll keep it like it is.  I managed to read runicmagitek’s latest chapter this week.  If you’re a fan of FFVI, I recommend.  She’s converted me to another ship 🙂

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 0

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 4

Title: Wake of Vultures
Series Title: The Shadow
Author: Lila Bowen
Date Added: November 30, 2016

She got me again.  Cupcakes and Machetes gave this a glowing, kick ass review and I was snared.  It seems like a hodgepodge of ideas thrown together gloriously with not a trite trope to be found.  I need to do another round of sample downloading to either rave or rue what’s on my TBR list.

Title: Dreadnought
Series Title: Nemesis
Author: April Daniels
Date Added: December 4, 2016

Not only does the premise of this sound amazing (main character inherits the power of the world’s now deceased superhero in what sounds like a better version of The Santa Clause), but the MC is a trans girl.  From what I’m reading of the reviews, the author appears to have done a good job with this even if the story might have some hiccups.  I’ll be on the lookout to see any of the trans bloggers I follow have something to say about this since the lived experience is going to give the best review.

Title: Doon
Series Title: Doon
Author: Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon
Date Added: December 4, 2016

This sounds like an amazing real life fairy tale set in Scotland where the main character attempts to find a reprieve from the mysterious blond boy who keeps popping up wherever she goes.  Even in the land of poets and warriors, Veronica finds adventure to augment what’s been haunting her her entire life.  I want to know how all of these seams fit together.

Title: Mind Games
Series Title: Lock & Mori
Author: Heather W. Petty
Date Added: December 4, 2016

I almost forgot to add this, but my Total Book count below saved me from THAT embarrassment.  It wasn’t adding up.  So this was another recommendation from Kim, and even though it’s the second book in the series, I’m going to give a whirl before the first.  I’m sure you all know by now I have a special spot for former enemies becoming lovers, and if you didn’t know that, well now you do.   I also enjoy Sherlock Homes adaptations especially where character’s identities stir the pot a little bit.  In this one Moriarity or Mori is a dashing, young, female detective partnered with Holmes.  Sounds like a rousing tale.


Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 528
Change from Last Week: +4


Books Added to Goodreads To Be Reread List This Week: 0


Books Purchased This Week: 0


What are you currently reading and/or what’s on your radar to read next?  What would you recommend based on my current and recently added?  As always I look forward to your comments and suggestions!

<–The State of the Reader: 11/30/16          The State of the Reader: 12/14/16–>

Save

Save

Save

The State of the Gamer: 12/6/16

<–The State of the Gamer: 11/29/16          The State of the Gamer: 12/13/16–>

A weekly post updated every Tuesday detailing my current gaming projects.  I have quite a backlog of games to either play or watch, and I’m hoping a weekly article will assist with my progress as my other accountable posts have done with reading and writing.
I have an account at Grouvee, which is a essentially Goodreads for gamers, so please feel free to friend me there!
Original source of the banner art is located here.

Title: Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls
Series: Final Fantasy
Genre: RPG – Fantasy
Developer: Square/Tose (GBA)
Original Platform: NES
Original Release Date: December 18, 1987
Current Platform: Gameboy Advance
Current Platform Release Date: July 29, 2004
Date Started: November 20, 2016

dawn-of-souls

After much gil grinding (I think that’s what the unit of currency is in this game.  It might be GP, but “gil grinding” has better alliteration), I was finally able to afford all of the updated equipment and new spells that Pravoka had to offer.  Beating Bikke and his pirates was an easy feat, and now I have his ship.  Next up is sailing to Elfheim so that I can gil grind for longer in order to buy better equipment and even more expensive spells.  Hopefully, I can find enemies that drop decent amounts of money.

Title: Final Fantasy IV
Series: Final Fantasy
Genre: RPG – Fantasy
Developer: Square
Original Platform: SNES
Original Release Date: July 19, 1991
Current Platform: Game Boy Advance
Current Platform Release Date: December 12, 2005
Date Started: October 24. 2016

final-fantasy-iv

Similar to Dawn of Souls, I’ve spent the past few days grinding for gil in this game, too.  FFIV doesn’t have a lot of side quests, but after you return to Baron and obtain the Enterprise, there’s a brief interlude where you’re not bound by the threads of the story and can veer a bit from the path.  I went to Agart and am now in Mythril, trying to make enough money to buy two sets of Mythril armors for Cecil and Cid.  Afterwards, it’s off to Eblan to loot the empty castle.

Title: World of Final Fantasy
Series: Final Fantasy
Genre: RPG – Fantasy
Developer: Square Enix
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Date Bought: October 21, 2016
Date Started: November 5, 2016

world-of-final-fantasy

Speaking of Agart for IV, I recently visited Agarthir in this game before venturing to Nibelheim per Tifa’s request.  I’m just about to complete the fire cavern in Valley Seven since Rydia took care of the flaming cyclone blocking my way.  I’m half tempted to look up what’s going on with Agarthir since something fishy is happening in that town, but I didn’t discover anything amiss while I was there.  In other news, my husband has started up a game of his own and may catch up to me fairly soon.  He recently defeated the boss of the Ice Ridge.

I’m really curious how I can obtain the two other Mirages you forfeit on when you make your decision whom to fight in the Nether Nebula.  I chose Shiva so I have Bablizz, but I want the two you’d get if you choose Ifrit or Ramuh.  Speaking of the latter, I’m hoping he shows up in the coliseum at some point since a powerful thunder Mirage would be a great asset.

Ah random, but in the English dubbing Jennifer Hale (of Shepherd and Lightning fame) does a voice in WOFF, too!  I don’t remember whom, but if you check out the twins’ room, you can look at all the characters you’ve found and check out their specs.  I think it might be the Masked Woman, but don’t quote me on that.  My husband thinks that she might be the twins’ mother, which reminds me of an ASOIAF theory oddly enough.  There are a few people out there who think Quaithe, a shadowbinder who wears a red, lacquered mask, is Daenerys’s mom so masked moms is now a thing.


Games Currently Watching

Title: Mass Effect II
Series: Mass Effect
Genre: Action RPG – Sci-Fi
Developer: BioWare
Original Platform(s): Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3
Original Release Date: January 26, 2010
Let’s Player: Olizandri
Date Started: November 19, 2016

mass-effect-2

I just saw the part where Shepherd goes to Horizon and faces the Collector threat for the first time.  This was after the intrepid Let’s Player Olizandri rescued Jack from that prison ship, and seriously?  Why they hell would the Blue Suns think they could capture Shepherd?  That was the stupidest ploy ever, and it caused the downfall of the entire penal colony.  There’s also been talk of Liara and the Shadow Broker.  I’m looking forward to that part.  I just love the title Shadow Broker. *adds to list*


Games Added to Playlist: 0


Games Bought This Week: 0


What are you currently playing and/or watching? Is it something new or old?  Is it a first time run or a replay?  What’s the genre?  Would you recommend it?  What’s on your radar to play next?

<–The State of the Gamer: 11/29/16          The State of the Gamer: 12/13/16–>

Save

Save