Sephiroth: The Character That Defines The Shameful Narcissist

I was beyond lucky to be able to take part in this blog collaboration over at Normal Happenings. It was a labor of love, and I have much appreciation that they were so forgiving with my, ahem, issues with the deadline. I’m glad I was able to make my contribution, sad sack though it might be :p

Normal Happenings

AUDIO

We’re pairing 8-bit music thematically, rather than based entirely on series. You can find this track and more Tater-Tot Tunes on YouTube! Stop by and jam to some great tunes.


INTRODUCTION

Normal Happenings is proud to present The Characters That Define Us, a year long collaboration of 52+ incredible bloggers!

Today we’re joined by a very special blogger, The Shameful Narcissist herself! Don’t let the name fool you, she’s one of the kindest bloggers in the community. Plus, each of her posts are contemplative and academic. That might be why this is the only Characters That Define Us piece with footnotes.

If you’re not following her, definitely go and bookmark her blog. While this is her first NH collab appearance, she’s always been incredibly supportive of Normal Happenings.

Enjoy this wildly creative look at one of video games’ most iconic villains.


1P STARTEditor’s note: This article deals with alcohol and…

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The Broken Rose: Chapter 1 – Desecration

Update: There is new art at the end of the chapter.  I’ll be updating all the chapters with this as a beyond generous digital artist has decided to do fan art for my story.


The Broken Rose Page

<–Warnings and Foreword                                                                       Chapter 2–>

Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII, its characters, and settings are all property of Square Enix so I can take no credit nor claim any ownership of that. I do take some credit for the story’s plot.
Banner Artwork Disclaimer:  The featured artwork for the banner is entitled White rose I and was created by the very talented Deviant Artist RemusSirion who was gracious enough to grant me permission to use it here.  The picture has been slightly altered from the original. All rights belong to the artist, and links are included for both the artist page and the work.
Chapter Artwork Disclaimer: The featured artwork for this chapter is entitled Rose in Blood and was created by yet another very talented Deviant Artist Kawaielli.  The picture has been slightly altered in appearance and to include the chapter number and title.  All rights belong to the artist, and the image is used here with their permission.  Links are included for both the artist’s page and the work.

*******MAJOR CONTENT WARNING*******

Consistent and sustained graphic descriptions and mentions of rape/ sexual assault, sexual slavery/bondage, slavery, human trafficking, physical abuse, graphic descriptions of violence, mental abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, body shaming, starvation, torture, forced pregnancy, forced childbirth, miscarriage, forced miscarriage, abortion, and other potential disturbing and triggering topics.


The arrival of her murderer to what was once her church casts a deeper shadow over the horror of Aeris’s life.

00-chapter-1-desecration

A white rose lays on its side in the middle of the picture with the stem going off to the right. The inner petals are covered in blood and some of this blood has speckled the white background. “Chapter 1 Desecration” in black is to the left of the rose. A good portion of the upper left hand corner is faded to black, and a lesser portion of the lower left hand corner is, too.

“I’ll bind your wounds and comfort you,
‘Cause I know who you are.”
-Mary Fahl “Gravity”

“You have not lived today
until you have done something
for someone who can never repay you.”
-John Bunyan

The instant he saw her he wanted her.  The Cetra was going to be his.  She was naked of course, as all the slaves were, slumped by a broken pew.  They were shackled together, but she was alone, fragile limbs within thick cuffs.  Around her raw throat was an iron collar, and huge chains held her to the floor.  Her bangs, oddly bright, were high on her head, and a coiled braid pooled by her side.

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The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg (The Paper Magician #1) (DNF)

Title: The Paper Magician
Series: The Paper Magician
Author: Charlie N. Holmberg
Date Added: June 17, 2016
Date Started: August 9, 2018
Date DNF: August 9, 2018
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult (YA)

Cover of The Paper Magician by Charlie N. HolmbergPages: 222
Publication Date: September 1, 2014
Publisher: 47North
Media: eBook/Kindle


Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic… forever.

Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined — animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic.

An Excisioner — a practitioner of dark, flesh magic — invades the cottage and rips Thane’s heart from his chest. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane’s still-beating heart—and reveal the very soul of the man.


I wished I’d just passed on this based on sample, but I don’t think I read enough to make the correct call.  The beginning is intriguing enough to draw you in, but as I went along the first chapter, I didn’t get much from the MC Ceony except that she’s a good student who wanted to work with metal instead of the paper craft foisted upon her.  Usually students can choose their material, but because Folding is dying out, she was assigned to that.  It’s a pretty common set up for a narrative, and while I did wonder how Holmberg might bend this ubiquitous motif in a unique way, it just didn’t hold my interest, and after rereading the blurb, I felt less of a draw to find out.

I’m not counting the author out though.  I do like her style, and I have Smoke and Summons from her Numina series on my list.

The State of the Gamer: 5/21/20

<–The State of the Gamer: 5/7/20           The State of the Gamer: 6/4/20–>

A weekly post updated every other Thursday detailing my current gaming projects.  I have an account at Grouvee, which is a site you can use to keep track of your backlog, so please feel free to friend me there!

What I Purchased

  • Picross S4 – $9.99 @ Nintendo eShop
  • Just Dance 2020 – $39.99 @ Nintendo eShop
  • Picross S – $7.99 @ Nintendo eShop
  • Picross S3 – $9.99 @ Nintendo eShop
  • The House of da Vinci – $4.99 @ Amazon

So many Picross games.  I love Pic-a-Pix and this is pretty much the game Pic-a-Pix is based on so it was an easy sell.  I think I actually like it a little better than Pic-a-Pix, and I especially love the color puzzles.  I’ve gotten used to the Mega Picross puzzles after a fashion.  I’m just hoping they have DLCs for this, too, since eventually I’m going to run out of them.  The House of da Vinci 2 is similar to The Room, so if you like that, you’ll more than likely enjoy this.

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The State of the Reader: 5/20/20

<–The State of the Reader: 5/6/20         The State of the Reader: 6/3/20–>

A biweekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Purchased

Yeah, I spent a lot of money on research materials over the past month.  I actually should’ve included the top two last week, but I guess I forgot?  The film studies book has been on my radar ever since I heard about it in a video I watched a few months ago.  That literally screams FFVII at me, and I knew I’d need it for critical analysis of that.  It’s not an uncommon paradigm, and I guess I’m just surprised I haven’t really seen anyone else talking about since it’s such a major influence in that narrative, but video games are a bastard medium *shrug*.  The Jung alchemy book was a must buy after watching Reinstall Paul’s Silent Hill analysis, because (of course) I thought about FFVII and the alchemical influences in that.  I only have/had a passing knowledge of alchemy e.g. lead into gold, but had no clue it was so universally prominent.  Now that I know a little more, I’m picking it up everywhere, so I need to learn more about it.

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Dolor and Shadow by Angela B. Chrysler (Tales of the Drui #1)

Title: Dolor and Shadow
Series Title: Tales of the Drui
Author: Angela B. Chrysler
Date Added: June 16, 2016
Date Started: July 4, 2018
Date Finished: August 8, 2018
Reading Duration: 35 Days
Genre: Fantasy, Mythology

Cover of Dolor and Shadow by Angela B. Chrysler (Tales of the Drui #1)Pages: 588
Publication Date: May 31, 2015
Publisher: Creativia
Media: eBook/Kindle


As the elven city burns, Princess Kallan is taken to Alfheim while a great power begins to awaken within her. Desperate to keep the child hidden, her abilities are suppressed and her memory erased. But the gods have powers as well, and it is only a matter of time before they find the child again.

When Kallan, the elven witch, Queen of Lorlenalin, fails to save her dying father, she inherits her father’s war and vows revenge on the one man she believes is responsible: Rune, King of Gunir. But nothing is as it seems, and the gods are relentless.

A twist of fate puts Kallan into the protection of the man she has sworn to kill, and Rune into possession of power he does not understand. From Alfheim, to Jotunheim, and then lost in the world of Men, these two must form an alliance to make their way home, and try to solve the lies of the past and of the Shadow that hunts them all.


I had started reading this before and Initially thought it was boring or the characters irritated me for some reason, but as I’d barely finished the prologue, I figured I’d give it another chance.  The beginning quote is directly from The Poetic Edda, which I’d recently finished, and the novel itself if rife with Norse Mythology.

The prologue introduces two characters, a grandmother and her granddaughter who are elves or Alfar (as the story calls them) living on Midgard, and there are mentions of Alfenheim and Jotunheim, which are other locales on Yggdrasil, the World Tree.  Gudrun, the elder, is telling the young Kallan about a war between the Aesir and Vanar with the latter on the losing end.  I’m always down for Norse Mythology, so my hopes were high, but they had been as soon as I saw the title had “dolor” in it, which not only means “sorrow” in Latin, but is also used in the Advent Children version of “One Winged Angel,” which has been stuck in my head since I started writing this review.

“Saevam iram
Iram et dolorum…”

The title translates to “Sorrow and Shadow” so I was pretty stoked.

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The State of the Writer: 5/17/20

<–The State of the Writer: 5/3/20         The State of the Writer: 5/31/20–>

A post updated every other Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 0


Project: Story
Title:
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction
Fandom: Final Fantasy VII
Length: Novel
Current Word Count: 252,140
Prior Word Count: 252,353
Word Difference: -213
Status: Editing
Progress: Second edit of Chapter 23

I’ve used this picture before, but there is an excellent reason and method to my madness.  I discovered one of the readers/commenters on AO3 was none other than the artist of the glorious piece above BethanyAnnie who is both on Deviant Art, and ArtStation.  She is a freelance illustrator and concept artist from the UK per her ArtStation account, and I’m seriously thinking about commissioning her for artwork (if I can) if I decide to go the self-publishing route with any of my stories, BUT there’s more.  She’s on Archive of Our Own as OrtumnAllbones with a story called Parenthood’z Nightmare that I’ve bookmarked, which I found out during our conversations where she OFFERED TO DO ARTWORK FOR THE BROKEN ROSE.  Um ♥♥♥  So we’ve been in correspondence once I finally figured out what image I want.  She says she doesn’t charge for fanworks, but I’m honestly hoping she’ll allow me to pay SOMETHING because artists should be paid for their work.  She also has a society6 account.  Visual art is one of the most important mediums we have.  There would literally be no movies, no cartoons, no fashion, no anything without it.  The least I can do is spread the word when someone shows me such generosity ♥

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