The arbitrary unit of time we know as 2016 has come to an end to much celebration for many. I am a bit more reserved in my exuberance, since the future bleeds from the past, and the past twelve months have been less than fortuitous. I try not to be a Morbid Mary, but my hopes for the future are…guarded at best. Be that as it may, our little wet rock has taken another trip around its star. Here I present what I’ve accomplished in that time, and what I’d like to accomplish before the next trip comes to a close.
This was a fun, little, weekly foray, and I greatly enjoyed coming up with questions and seeing all of your answers, but I’ve decided to end it. Formulating a query and answering it took much longer than many would think, and I desperately need to dedicate my time to other things. You can find all of the questions at the end of the above link. Please feel free to answer any that strike your fancy! I’m always up for a good discussion.
2016 Goodreads Book Challenge: 20
Books “Completed” Per Goodreads: 21
Number of Books Finished: 18
- The Ghost of Buxton Manor
- The World of Ice and Fire
- The Tales of Yagath
- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
- The Mystical Qabalah
- The Red Rose
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard
- The Invisible Library
- The Rape of Lucrece
- The Slow Regard of Silent Things
- Paradise Lost
- Dreamsongs Volume II
- The Light of the Fireflies
- Dreamsongs Volume I
- The Jade Dragon
Links go to my reviews. The review for The Ghost of Buxton Manor is pending, as I just finished that this past week. I’m planning audio (potentially video) reviews for Paradise Lost and The Rape of Lucrece, which is why they don’t have reviews.
I technically only completed 18 books, since The Invisible Library and Magonia were both DNF, but I guess because I put an end date, Goodreads counts them.
Favorite Book: The Ghost of Buxton Manor by Jonathon L. Ferrara – I haven’t reviewed this yet, but I’ll have a glowing one for your perusal before the year is much older. At initial rating I gave it four stars, but I just upped that to five because it deserves it. The novel is an utter delight, and I highly recommend it.
Number of Games Finished: 1
Number of Games Played: 4
- Final Fantasy IV (GBA)
- Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls
- World of Final Fantasy
- New Super Mario Bros.
This year wasn’t huge in the number of games I completed. The number of games I even picked up to play was fairly small, too, not to mention mostly ensconced in one particular franchise. The one outlier was the new SMB for the DS, which I had to give up on, because I sucked at the platforming. I’m still playing the three other Final Fantasies and am firmly obsessed with World (I’ll probably be playing it later tonight).
I have established a play order, and this year (as others prior) is going to feature a lot of Final Fantasy.
- World of Final Fantasy (current)
- Final Fantasy XIII
- Final Fantasy V (for the continued long term project)
- I Am Setsuna
- The Last Story
I also want to fit some smaller games into the mix. I haven’t come up with a marching order for those yet, but if you keep up with my State of the Gamer post, you’ll stay well informed.
Number of Let’s Plays Watched (including current): 7
- Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks – Olizandri
- Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass – Olizandri
- Legend of Zelda – Hungry Goriya
- Mass Effect – Olizandri
- Mass Effect 2 (current) – Olizandri
- Miracle Warriors: Seal of the Dark Lord (current) – Hungry Goriya
- Faxanadu – Hungry Goriya
I was fortunate enough to discover two awesome let’s players this year: Olizandri, who’s English and bubbly and my blogger friend Hungry Goriya, the queen of retro gaming and the person I’d go to if I needed to find a rare game. Oddly enough Faxanadu was the very first Let’s Play I ever watched years ago, done by Odinspack33 (who’s also Canadian) so it was nice to come back to that. I love that modern technology has granted me the ability to watch the games I grew up with and loved in addition to games I’d never be able to experience any other way.
I’ve wanted to do a let’s play of my own for years, and I’m slowly gathering the equipment I’ll need. I’m planning for the first to be Final Fantasy IV, because it’s one of my favorites and so unfairly underrated. Since I’m such an amateur at this, I welcome any tips and tricks of the trade!
Essays Completed: 5
- The Seventh Is the Darkest – An FFVII Meta and Examination
- Final Fantasy VII Revelations
- Stranger Things – Not Really a Review
- Character Analysis: Cecil Harvey
- Game of Thrones – Season 6 Final Predictions
I completely forgot I wrote that GoT Prediction post lol. I was partially right about some things and completely wrong about others. I need more soothsayer lessons.
- Half a Tragedy is Worse than One – I’m still sitting on the outline for this FFVII/Greek Tragedy comparative essay.
- A Song of FFVII – The last thing I did with this idea was separate the notes out into separate sections since there are far too many similarities to just write one piece. There could still be additions and changes, but this is what I’m looking at so far.
- Missing Mothers, Dickhead Dads, and Lost Children – I probably should find a better description than “dickhead dads,” but I love the alliteration hehe. “Deadbeat” dads isn’t the right term since in the majority of the situations, the father is around much to the child/children’s rue. Even if I went with the term “father,” all I can think of is “fucked up fathers.” I’m open to suggestion 🙂
- Norse Mythology – so much Norse Mythology in both narratives. Nifleheim is “the land of always winter.” I could write a dissertation on that alone. This is one of the sections I want to hold off on writing until I read a prerequisite if you will. In this case, that would be The Poetic Edda, which is already on my list and indeed bookshelf.
- Collective Unconscious and a Thousand Faces – the second part invokes Joseph Campbell’s masterpiece The Hero With a Thousand Faces, which I talk a bit about in this question of the week. The collective unconscious was (I believe) first proposed by famed psychologist Carl Jung, and both FFVII and ASOIAF use it in spades along with nefarious hive-minded entities. Hell, I could throw in some FFIX in the mix, too in discussing the weirwood trees and how they may just be one entity with the roots running throughout the entire world. The Iifa Tree was very similar.
- The Seventh Revelation Song – I’ve already written an essay comparing Final Fantasy VII to the Book of Revelations, and Song invokes this, as well. This will probably be one of the easier essays since I’ve done it before with VII, and the pieces fit nicely together in Song. (Speaking of which, I so love when an appropriate song comes on my iPhone as I’m writing about certain things. “You Can Hear the Cry of the Planet” is currently creeping through my ears.)’
- Qabalism – No doubt or question that I read The Mystical Qabalah because of Final Fantasy VII, which is the first place I heard the name and term “Sephiroth.” It took me some time to realize that Song may have some connections to that concept as well. I might be grasping at straws with it, but I think Melisandre in her binary of light and darkness could be invoking this timeless motif. The Tree of Life symbolism though is everywhere, so as long as I make a proper argument for it, I believe I have a valid point.
- Apotheosis, Dispossession, and Eugenics – ♫Everybody wants to rule the world♫ (or become a god. Personally, I’d be bored after I summoned a meteor to, er, take care of certain things). Dispossession arguably the main motivation in every story ever written. Think about it. Someone wants something or someone they think they were owed (rightly or wrongly), and they’re willing to move heaven and hell to get it or them. Eugenics is fairly obviously in FFVII. It’s a bit more vague in Song and has more to do with selective breeding, but…well, you’ll see.
- Time Circles, Archetypes, and Paradigms: A Final Fantasy Meta – I’ve been thinking this for a while, but the two catalysts for moving forward are “The Door,” the episode of Game of Thrones where we find out *spoiler* ASOIAF is a gigantic time loop *end spoiler* and reviewing FFIV, which is a precursor for many familiar Final Fantasy motifs. The very first game in the series is a time loop, and it made me realize that each iteration is merely a reorganized repeat of the ones that came before. I wasn’t going to do much with this until I completed my huge play through project, but I’m reconsidering, since I’ve played or watched them all now except for V, which is next on my list, and XIII, which is, too.
- Final Fantasy: Whisper Down the Names – Years ago, I thought up names for each Final Fantasy, a title that would encompass what the story was about. I’ve changed my mind a bit on a few of them; I currently have several options for VII; and I’ve also decided to think up appropriate quotes for each, too e.g. FFX’s phrase would be “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
This is more a list than a full blown essay, but it warrants a mention I think.
- Creepiest Parts/Moments of Final Fantasy – I really wish I could remember who helped inspire this idea. I was reading one of your lovely posts, and I believe it was about scary game stuff or perhaps it was that YouTube video I watched about the enemies inspired by Lovecraft (newsflash: Jenova was #8 on that list. I just needed to see what I knew to be validated). Either way, I decided to come up with my own list of creeptastic moments in my favorite series.
I have many more essays than this, but these are the ones I’m going to focus on initially.
Book Reviews Completed: 16
Links to the book reviews are above in the Books section.
Planned: The Ghost of Buxton Manor – Since I just finished this, I have a review waiting in the wings.
Game Reviews Completed: 3
Even though they were done at opposite ends of the year, I did manage to crank out two Final Fantasy reviews within the duration of our planet’s solar journey. FFIV’s review is easily longer than any of my essays. Super Paper Mario is technically not a review, but rather an examination of a particular part of the game. I wonder if I should move it, hm.
Planned: Dear Esther – I’ve had this review planned for over a year; I just haven’t had the time to write it. It’ll be as in depth and detailed as any of my Final Fantasy ones. I absolutely love this game. The monologues are mesmerizing, and I’ve spent a great deal of time (and phone space) recording myself reading them. Yep, I’m that narcissistic.
Finished: The Broken Rose
I finished The Broken Rose on 6/16/16. I always put the date of completion below the end of the text. I really need to start putting the start date at the beginning. I’m still working on editing it as you know and posting chapters as I do. I speak enough about this FFVII fanfiction in my State of the Writer posts.
So. Many. Things.
- Continue/Finish editing and posting The Broken Rose
- Final edit and submission on The Threads of Sorrow – I’ve slacked on this for so long. To be honest, I still don’t feel ready, but I suppose I should try to get myself out there again…into the scary publishing world 😦
- Re-edit and reading of Northern Lights – I’ve been wanting to do an audio recording of this story ever since I finished it, and now I finally have the equipment to do so. I used my Amazon gift cards to purchase a Yeti microphone. There’s obviously going to be a learning curve as I navigate the ins and outs. I thankfully have friends who’ve done this before, so I have resources to turn to and of course the all mighty Google. The re-editing part is going to be light.
I’m going to keep the bullet point list at this. I have more stories I want to work on, both fanfiction and original, but these preliminary plans are good enough now.
I think this year was my best yet in the blogging world. I befriended so many wonderful people I can’t even begin to name you all (I don’t want to forget any of you, so I shan’t even hazard to try). Now I’m part of this epic and awesome blogging community and am so humbled by how nice and supportive everyone is. I was never huge on Twitter, but my WP doings have bled into that often precarious social media outlet.
I do have some minor plans for The Shameful Narcissist Speaks. I’ve been thinking of upgrading to a paid blog for a few months so I can post audio (potentially video) here. One of the ASOIAF bloggers I follow had written an essay and had included an audio reading of it. I love that idea. It was convenient for me as I could listen to it at work, but even more important, people who are visual impaired can have access to the information, as well. Also, I like the sound of my own voice lol. Come on. I am the Shameful Narcissist 😉
I’m also switching up my State posts a little bit, well, one of them at least. To free up my weekends a little, I’m moving The State of the Writer to Thursdays as opposed to Saturdays. I want to dedicate more weekend time to writing essays, and as I’ve been finding myself short of that commodity, some rearrangement was warranted. I’m able to manage the two other State posts during the work week; hopefully, this one won’t be any different.
I hope this is a better arbitrary unit of time of all of you. I hope you achieve whatever goals you set for yourselves and more. Your following and even more friendship means the world to me. Even if I might fall a bit behind in checking my blogs and comments (sorry!), never doubt that I’m always trying to catch up 🙂
Happy Blogging and Happy New Year ♥