The State of the Writer: 10/17/21

<–The State of the Writer: 10/3/21         The State of the Writer: 10/31/21–>

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

Finished Projects: 1


Project: Story
Working Title:
The High Archon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Current Word Count: 771
Prior Word Count: 774
Word Difference: -3
Status: Drafting
Progress:
Chapter 1

Slow going is better than no going.  I’ve spent the past few weeks figuring out ascot/tie knots as it pertains to status/standing because that was a thing in my first novel that this one is the sort of sequel to.  I remembered I had a site saved with a bunch of different ways to do it.

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The Broken Rose: Chapter 8 – Maiden Kisses

Update: We’re treated to another comic from my illustrator for this chapter (in the same vein as Chapter 6!) and I couldn’t be more delighted ♥  You’ll find it in the appropriate spot i.e. the text the inspired it.  Is this a ploy to make you reread?  Mmmm, it’s a possibility 😉


The Broken Rose Page

<–Chapter 7                                                                                                    Chapter 9–>

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.

*******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.


Aeris grows more comfortable with the sight of her skin and finds enjoyment in something surprising.

A pair of flat white shoes with large, white bows on the front. The heel of one shoe rests on top of the other, and they are sitting on what appears to be a hardwood floor and in front of a rough, stony wall. “Chapter 8 Maiden Kisses” in white is in the upper right hand corner. The picture is framed in a fading black edge.

Aeris awoke always with the thought of how long since she’d been saved.  It’s been forty-three days since I was last used.  Only praying that this was no dream, the maid wiped soft tears away.  She stepped in her shower, though small hands still shook running over her tableau of scars.  The water was warm with no trace of sea, which helped wash her grief’s salt away.  She remembered he’d told her of materia that made the waves’ bitterness sweet.  Purify.  Aeris squeezed her lids tight, wondering if it was white as seafoam… Afterwards robed, amidst drying chestnut, she entered her bright, walk-in closet.  Ever and always the maid bled awe that this luxury was now her life.  She swallowed spare tears before they could sting then climbed the ladder to reach a high shelf.

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The State of the Gamer: 10/7/21

<–The State of the Gamer: 9/23/21           The State of the Gamer: 10/7/21–>

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

  • Deemo – $14.99 ($12.99) @ Nintendo eShop

Total: $12.99


What I Demoed

  • Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars – I kept running into the word “Advent” left and right a few weeks ago.  I was watching The Sinking City, a Lovecraft inspired horror game where one of the main throughfares was Advent Avenue.  Then YouTube kept recommending I rent/watch Advent Children, Tales of Berseria had an event called the Advent, and then this game has a Castle Advent.  Granted this is a Squeenix game, which of course means the music is fucking lit.  The voice acting is excellent, too.  The narrator sounds like a crusty, old storyteller.  I’m 100% buying this when it comes out on the 28th.  It’s like Final Fantasy meets Magic: The Gathering (not that I know anything about Magic: The Gathering.  It’s just Final Fantasy with cards).  I spent around three hours playing through the entirety of the demo, and I’ve been playing the in-game card game almost every day.  I like it almost as much as I like Triple Triad, which has long been my favorite FF card game.

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The State of the Reader: 10/6/21

<–The State of the Reader: 9/22/21         The State of the Reader: 10/20/21–>

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: 10

Total: $58.80


Books Finished: 3

Title: The Husband’s Secret
Author: Liane Moriarity
Date Added: August 18, 2021
Date Started: September 15, 2021
Date Finished: September 22, 2021

Cover of The Husband's Secret by Liane MoriarityMedia: eBook/Kindle (Library)

The more I think about it, the less weird it seems that I like stuff like this.  While I definitely have favorite genres, at the end of the day I just want a good story and Liane Moriarity delivers.  This is one of those where I guessed some of the main points, but it doesn’t take away from my enjoyment, because there are aspects of the situation that could go another way (plus I sometimes just know how a story is going to go).  I am noticing a pattern with this author though.  She likes to have a character wind up with or rather stay with someone I don’t think they should.  That kind of frustrates me, but it is what it is.  I enjoy stories that don’t have easy answers or choices, and Moriarity has the talent to at least have acceptable justification for her characters’ (poor) decisions.

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The State of the Writer: 10/3/21

<–The State of the Writer: 9/19/21         The State of the Writer: 10/17/21–>

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

Finished Projects: 1


Project: Story
Working Title:
The High Archon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Current Word Count: 770
Prior Word Count: 774
Word Difference: +4
Status: Drafting
Progress:
Chapter 1

I honestly thought I didn’t have any extra words this week, but I wrote four?  Holy shit!

Most of what I did the past two weeks was trying to figure out clothing materials so I could describe what a tie was made of.  Am I babbling nonsense?  More than likely.  I’ll try to explain.  So in my first novel The Serpent’s Tale I came up with this system of telling a man’s status by both the material and method of how he ties his ascot/tie.  While I didn’t go into too much detail about the knot in TST, I did decide that the “highest” material was silk.  Well in attempting to describe her BFF’s outfit, I had to stop and do some world-building on this whole system, which meant researchng fabrics and reaching out to my fabric/historian friends on FB lol.  I’m still working on it, and because I am how I am, I can’t move on until I have the foundation laid.  I have to know why I’m picking that particular material.  It’s…weird.  I think a lot of this comes from me needing to justify why I do/think things, and that’s carried over into my writing.  Even if I don’t put all the details into the story itself, I always consider, “What if someone asks me why I did this?” so I always want to have an answer.  World-buidling based on trauma responses, y’all!

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The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

Title:The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
Author: Claire North
Date Added: September 15, 2017
Date Started: August 23, 2018
Date Finished: September 21, 2018
Reading Duration: 29 days
Genre: Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Mystery, Drama, Philosophical

Cover of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire NorthPages: 405
Publication Date: April 8, 2014
Publisher: Redhook
Media: eBook/Kindle


Some stories cannot be told in just one lifetime. Harry August is on his deathbed. Again. No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes. Until now. As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. “I nearly missed you, Doctor August,” she says. “I need to send a message.” This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.


CW: Discussions of suicide, torture, and murder of sex workers.


We believed that we could change ourselves,
The past could be undone.
-Sarah McLachlan “Fallen”

When I was a child before any sort of indoctrination took hold, I believed dying was just a reset button, and I would start life over again right where I began.  Upon realizing this was the premise of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, it was like having a religious experience that was less ironic and more absolute.  I do not believe my child’s mind thought I’d retain all my prior life’s memories, but I am 100% certain I would suffer the same in my second life as the titular character and then spend the rest of them trying to do the impossible like Merida in Disney’s Brave and change fate.  This is protagonist’s goal on a grander scale in Claire North’s brilliant debut novel.

Harry August is a kalachakra, a person for whom death and life are an infinite loop.  At the cessation of the latter, they are reborn in the exact same place and time to relive their life anew with the knowledge that they’ve done all this before.  “Kalachakra” was not a term made up by North; it is rather a Buddhist concept that means “wheel of time” (hi Robert Jordan) or “time cycles” with the latter term putting me in the mind of Chrono Trigger, specifically the song “Time Circuits.”

With more insights garnered from video games, I discovered the meaning of “kalachakra” from a video about Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, which is another narrative about time loops not only of the essence, but also necessary to forestall the end of the world.

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The State of the Gamer: 9/23/21

<–The State of the Gamer: 9/9/21           The State of the Gamer: 10/7/21–>

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

  • Tales of Berseria (Tales) – $9.99 for PlayStation 4 @ PlayStation Store
  • The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles (Ace Attorney) – $39.99 @ Nintendo eShop
  • Cross the Moon – $4.99 @ Nintendo eShop

Total: $54.97

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The State of the Reader: 9/22/21

<–The State of the Reader: 9/8/21         The State of the Reader: 10/6/21–>

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: 4

Total: $14.96


Books Finished: 0


Books DNF: 1

Title: Something from the Nightside
Series: Nightside
Author: Simon R. Green
Date Added: July 1, 2017
Date Started: August 27, 2021

Cover of Soomething from the Nightside by Simon R. GreenMedia: eBook/Kindle
Progress: 48%

I DNF’d it the day after I posted my last SOTR.  It was the cliched “two women characters who obviously hate each other” that did it for me (which makes me look like a hypocritical asshole, but it’s why I’m planning a major overhaul of my first novel so…).  It’s such a problematic trope on so many levels and was just the icing on the tombstone for this book.  I did check the reviews before I made my official decision and found a lot of my own critiques there.  I’m at the point now where if a piece of media does not spark joy, I’m not spending more time on it.


Currently Reading

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The State of the Writer: 9/19/21

<–The State of the Writer: 9/5/21         The State of the Writer: 10/3/21–>

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

Finished Projects: 0


Project: Story
Working Title:
The High Archon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Current Word Count: 770
Prior Word Count: 676
Word Difference: +94
Status: Drafting
Progress:
Chapter 1

What?  Drafting progrress??  An increased word count???  WHAT???!

While I didn’t fulfill my goal of drafting Chapter 1 on my two week vacation, I did at least make progress, and there’s actually a lot more done in the background.  Even though I added less than 100 words, I did a lot more work with the world-building, organization, and micro-outlining.  I’m also having an extreme amount of fun writing the dialogue for the main character Maya and her BFF Caemlyn.  It’s this friendly, flirty banter that’s hamstrung in the beginning by the MC’s anxiety about something happening tomorrow.  I’m very adamant about showing as much as possible, so I’m trying to have his reactions to her perceived grumpiness reveal that this isn’t their typical dynamic.  I’m also being a presumptuous prig by doing this sort of metatextual foreshadowing (I implore you to try using that in a sentence without sounding like an elitist ass lol), and I just hope it works out.  I know drafting is just supposed to be about shoveling the sand into the bucket for castle building (editing) later, but I have to make sure I”m laying the groundwork for exactly what I want to build with maybe some surprising embellishments.  I do feel like I can move forward now and continue drafting (when I have the time/energy), and I actually look forward to it, too 🙂

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The State of the Gamer: 9/9/21

<–The State of the Gamer: 8/26/21           The State of the Gamer: 9/23/21–>

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

  • Last Day of June – $9.99 for Nintendo Switch @ Nintendo eShop

What I Demoed

  • Tales of Arise – I have Facebook to thank for putting me onto this.  I had no idea another Tales game was on the horizon.  I’m probably going to buy it even though I missed the pre-order (I still think you can get the perks from that even after it comes out), since it hit today.  The controls are a little different since it’s on the PS4, but it’s still the same concept.  I so wish it was on the Nintendo Switch though lol.  I want everything on the Nintendo Switch :p

What I Finished

Title: Tales of Vesperia
Series: Tales
System: Nintendo Switch

Cover of Tales of VesperiaDate Started: May 23, 2021
Date Finished: September 4, 2021

I can’t sing the praises of this enough.  It was so damn good.  I loved how while following many of the standard JRPG tropes, it was still unique.  The critiques I have about it are minor, few, and mostly have to do with the inability to organize your items lol.  While the high probability of missing side events, sub-quests, and optional items is high, this isn’t a dealbreaker, and apparently, they addressed that in later titles.

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