Two Hearts by Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn #1.5)

Title: Two Hearts
Series: The Last Unicorn
Author: Peter S. Beagle
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 27, 2018
Date Finished: August 10, 2018
Reading Duration: 14 Days
Genre: Short Story, Fantasy

Cover of Two Hearts by Peter S. BeaglePages: 36
Publication Date: October 2005
Publisher: Online
Media: Website


Coda to The Last Unicorn – a novelette. Available for free on the author’s website.


Do not be ashamed of me because I am old.

If there was one work of fiction or fantasy I would recommend to everyone, it would be The Last Unicorn.  Ahead of its time and meta before meta was cool, it is not your typical fairy tale even though it contains all the elements: a mythic creature, a forlorn quest, an evil king, a hero prince.  Yet, there was an elusive awareness embodied in all of the characters not hitherto seen , as if they, too, were aware they lived in a story, but even with this knowledge, they were still beholden to the rules, tedious though they might be.  Written and published in the late 60’s, Beagle professes it took two years to write, and “it was hard every step of the way.”

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The State of the Writer: 6/14/20

<–The State of the Writer: 5/31/20         The State of the Writer: 6/28/20–>

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: 251,669
Prior Word Count: 251,992
Word Difference: -323
Status: Editing
Progress: Finished first edit of Chapter 24

I finished the first edit last night, but I still have a lot to add in.  I’m trying to do the initial edit first method, marking where I need to add additional text, adding it, then doing the second edit afterwards.  I kind of think of it like icing a cake.  You get the crumb coat on first, locate the trouble spots and fix them, then do another coat.  It makes sense in my ridiculous head lol.

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The State of the Gamer: 6/4/20

<–The State of the Gamer: 5/21/20           The State of the Gamer: 6/18/20–>

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

  • The Darkside Detective – $6.49 @ Steam
  • Gone Home – $7.99 @ Nintendo eShop

What I Finished

Title: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice
Series Title: Ace Attorney
System: Nintendo 3DS

Cover for Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of JusticeDate Started: 3/13/20
Date Finished: 4/11/20
Date Completed (100%): 6/3/20

I finished finished this during the two day power outage I mentioned in my latest SOTR post.  I only had one Asinine Attorney case left.  Those were interesting and fun.  More lighthearted and silly than the normal cases, not that AA isn’t silly sometimes, but the stakes weren’t nearly as dire.  Both Phoenix and Apollo had one, so I did Polly’s the other day.  At this point I am entirely caught up with Phoenix Wright, so I don’t know what I’m going to do.  Are they making more?  Are they going to make more?  Should I play Professor Layton now?   Should I google if they’re making more AA games?  *googles*  Nothing new since April 2019??!!?  It says they are making a new game, but there are no details.  I…guess we have to wait.

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The State of the Reader: 6/3/20

<–The State of the Reader: 5/20/20         The State of the Reader: 6/17/20–>

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: 2


Finished: 1

Title: The Valley of Amazement
Author: Amy Tan
Date Added: April 24, 2014
Date Started: March 1, 2020
Date Finished: June 3, 2020

Cover of The Valley of Amazement by Amy TanMedia: Hardback – Library

Amy Tan never fails to deliver.  I wound up finishing this due to extenuating circumstances I’ll get to later.  What amazes me most (besides the Valley, which tbh wasn’t that amazing…) is how seamlessly the author ties threads together with coincidences that don’t seem remotely contrived.  Because we see the present result the past laid foundation comes with a chill and not a shrug.

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The State of the Writer: 5/31/20

<–The State of the Writer: 5/17/20         The State of the Writer: 6/14/20–>

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

Finished Projects: 5


Project: Story
Title:
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction
Fandom: Final Fantasy VII
Length: Novel
Current Word Count: 251,992
Prior Word Count: 252,140
Word Difference: -148
Status: Editing
Progress: Posted Chapter 23

Well shit…I made an oopsie.  I was so set on posting the chapter last night due to being encouraged by correspondence with my illustrator friend I made an embarrassing error.  I don’t repeat chapter pictures, or I didn’t before yesterday; however…

 

Ahhhhhhhh

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The Broken Rose: Chapter 23 – Written in Her Skin

The Broken Rose Page

<–Chapter 22                                                                                                                                 Chapter 24–>

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 by Miss N (TWITTER)/nvalkyrja (PIXIV).  The links go to her respective pages; there is no direct link to the artwork.  THE PICTURE HAS BEEN SLIGHTLY ALTERED IN APPEARANCE AND TO INCLUDE THE CHAPTER NUMBER AND TITLE.  ALL RIGHTS BELONG TO THE ARTISTs.

*******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.


Author’s Note: I’m sorry for this chapter’s length.  I usually try to keep them around 15-20 pages, but there was just no good place to cut this.  Hopefully, it flows well, and you don’t feel overwhelmed.  Thanks ♥


Sephiroth’s lies finally catch up to him for he cannot hide from an Ancient’s dreams.

A fan art of Sephiroth and Aeris/Aerith. Sephiroth is kneeling in front of her with his arm around her waist and his head right below her breast. His face is buried in her stomach and his eyes are closed. Aeris has her hand on the top of his head, and she’s looking down at him with a compassionate expression and slight smile, while his one black wing stretches off into the top left and out of frame. The words “Chapter 23 Written in Her Skin” sit in the top middle. They are pink.

It was another dark eve when the snows fell hard, burying the shore in white. Their veranda and stairs were wholly covered, and the Whispers slept in the weft of cold tears.  But inside the Gate was cozy and warm as ever and always it’d be. The little Cetra slumbered in peace upon her protector’s lap. Up in his office where snow brightened darkness, but emerald eyes cut through it more. His screen dually dulled as he did mundane work, and he smiled as he rubbed tiny fingers.

In the midst of strange dreams, she’d squeeze his great hands and his heart hurt to his murmured name. She wore a white dress.  It was her preferred color, the general had come to know.  This one’s bow was in the front, starting beneath her breast.  It fell just above where the skirt did end, and the straps were as thin as her fingers.  Sheer over silk and whiter than winter to complement smooth, rosy skin.  Sephiroth thought it more than fitting.  She was purity eternal.  Aeris might bite her lip to deny, but he would hear none of it.

“What happened to you was never your fault.  It changes no ounce of your innocence.  There is no act you could perform to sully that perfect state, and such filth cannot taint you.  What one does to another reflects on the actor…never the victim, my rose.”  The general bowed his head afterwards, but Aeris kissed him with tears in her eyes.

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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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