Games Alive: 1980-2017

The Well-Red Mage asks: “What’s your favorite game every year you’ve been alive?”  I’m one of the last to answer, because I’m always late to these types of parties.  I’ve seen plenty of “Favorite Game” posts, but never one quite like this, and it was both challenging and enjoying to put together over the last two months.  I’m one of the oldest people to respond, meaning I have quite a lot of years to go through, so without further ado…

1980 – Pac-Man

This one was more difficult than I’d like to admit, but there weren’t too many games I could draw from at this point in time, which led me to this classic among classics.  I wasn’t very good at this game, but if you stick your finger in your ear and wiggle it around, I think you’ll hear something familiar 😀

1981 – Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong game coverBack when Mario was merely Jump Man and Pauline was a kidnapping victim, long before she was the mayor of New Donk City, there was this arcade classic.  I was better at this than Pac-Man; I’ve always been better at platforming than avoiding random enemies.

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The State of the Writer: 8/20/17

<–The State of the Writer: 8/13/17          The State of the Writer: 8/27/17–.

A weekly post updated every Sunday 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
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 266,548
Prior Word Count: 266,752
Word Difference: -204
Status: Editing
Progress: Reviewing Chapter 11

This is the second “letter” chapter (with Chapter 5 being the first), but as I was doing my preliminaries last night, I ran into an integral question.  Is this chapter necessary?  With writing or more specifically editing, that’s something you always want to ask.  Is this chapter/part necessary to the story?  Is it needed to further your and therefore the characters’ goal(s)?

My idea with the letter chapters was to show the past, present, and future through Aeris’s eyes.  The first letter is all about her horrible past and her struggles to reconcile it with the wonderful present.  There are ideas of worthiness and blame she has to wrestle with along with a sort of survivor’s guilt.  She was saved from that horrendous existence, but she can’t stop thinking about those who are still suffering, and that’s tearing her up inside.  She wonders why she was worthy to be rescued when she could physically “take” the worst kinds of abuse, because she’d just come back, but others would actually die.

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2016 Wrap Up

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.

The Question of the Week

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

  1. The Ghost of Buxton Manor
  2. The World of Ice and Fire
  3. The Tales of Yagath
  4. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
  5. Sigil
  6. The Mystical Qabalah
  7. The Red Rose
  8. The Tales of Beedle the Bard
  9. The Invisible Library
  10. The Rape of Lucrece
  11. Spectrum
  12. The Slow Regard of Silent Things
  13. Paradise Lost
  14. Windhaven
  15. Dreamsongs Volume II
  16. Taggerung
  17. The Light of the Fireflies
  18. Dreamsongs Volume I
  19. The Jade Dragon
  20. Magonia
  21. Chained

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.

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The Editing of Northern Lights – The Psychology of Chapter 8

These are the Editing Notes for my FFVII fanfiction Northern Lights (which you can find at the end of that link).  I will be discussing a myriad of topics along with my frequently tangential and harried editing process.  You should be able to garner some enjoyment and insight from this without having read the story and/or without prior knowledge of the original game, but if you’re a fan of paranormal romance and/or dark fantasy, you may find it to your liking.  The story will be spoiled in this editing examination, though I will do my best to mark spoilers for any other narratives I mention.  Thanks for your interest and enjoy!

<–Chapter 8 and the True Story          Chapter 8 Should Bring Happiness–>

Jumping right in because I want to try to get to Chapter 9 tonight.  I also think I had a dream about the story because I woke up with a conversation in my head, one that isn’t yet in the narrative.  It had to do with Aeris telling Sephiroth that he was the gentlest man to ever touch her (which I believe is somewhere in here, but I couldn’t find it today on my phone), and then Seph jumping to the ridiculous conclusion that Zack had been rough with her to which Aeris assures him is not remotely the case.  It was really the former general going to extremes because of his self-loathing i.e. if he’s the gentlest, anyone prior must’ve been terrible and rough, because he (Seph) is a monster.  I’d imagine Aeris would be in a sort of amused but poignant state, because Zack was way too much of a puppy to ever do anything awful, probably more awkward, silly, and a little clumsy whereas Sephiroth is more graceful and reserved.  Soooo I totally lied about jumping right in hehe.

One final thing (final? Ha…)  I was having a conversation at work today with my friend Andrew (who I’ve mentioned before) about Les Misérable, because that’s what we do; that’s what we talk about.  I was schooling him on some of the intricacies of the story that aren’t showcased in the musical, which we both love; however, Andrew is not quite up and up on the original tale.  So I was telling him how Gavrôche was Thénardier’s child along with Éponine, and both of them were killed upon the barricades.

It was a sad juxtaposition at least with Éponine because prior to Valjean’s arrival, Cosette was the drudge and Éponine and her sister Azelma (who isn’t mentioned in the musical at all along with two younger sons) were pampered and favored.  Then the roles reversed with Cosette living as a young lady of the bourgeoisie.

Andrew was trying to understand how Thénardier knew that Valjean was a convict, and they don’t really explain that, but I figured the former innkeeper probably saw the chain scars on his wrists whereas our other friend believes it might’ve just been “criminal intuition” aka you know your own.  He also might have found about about Valjean’s past in between him collecting Cosette and later.

As fore mentioned Les Mis is a huge influence for this story with the redemption arc, and I started thinking that Sephiroth in Northern Lights is a cross between Jean Valjean (redemption and penitence), the 10th doctor (forlorn with godlike powers), and a weeping angel (pretty obvious). There are many other inspirations, but these are major ones.

Oh kind of random, but I was totally attracted to Hugh Jackman in that role in the latest iteration.  I had this as my background for a while.  Yep, it topped Sephiroth…for a bit 😉


Future Narcissist here.  So speaking of Les Mis, I’ve been listening to it for the past few days because I found this video of Gaten Matarazzo who plays Dustin in Stranger Things (ll be talking more about that later oh best believe…) singing “Bring Him Home,” and he has the voice of an angel.  He plays Gavroche in the Broadway play, and “Bring Him Home” is sung by Valjean, but omg, I can’t even.

He’s too good for this world, too pure.  I can’t wait for Season 2, which has just been announced.  So.  Fucking.  Excited.

I needed to move a part from this chapter to Chapter 10.  The location was really bothering me.  I LOVE the exchange, but the placement seemed forced.  It was Aeris almost having a flashback to the slums and what might’ve occurred had she tried to traverse Sector 2 alone.  She starts trembling in his arms, and Sephiroth reassures the flower girl that he’ll never let anyone hurt her.  I adore the sweetness of it, so I moved it to Chapter 10 where she’s already having a nightmare, and it just makes more sense.

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Writings to Come

I’m in the process of editing the next installment of my Editing of Northern Lights posts (so…I’m meta-editing I suppose), and I noticed that was the last post I put up.  Now, while I know this is of course my blog so my rules, I like to attempt to keep some variety and not post the same type of thing in a row.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the time or the wherewithal to post anything legitimate, so I figured I’d do a “to do” writing/post list just for my own sense of organization, which would be nonsensical to a rationally thinking person though who really is the prime authority on rationality?

Also, if I post what I’m planning here, I will (arguably) be more than likely to follow through though I was pleasantly surprised to be able to check off a few more items on my Writings to Come tab on OneNote.  I’m making progress people albeit slowly.


  • A Song of FFVII – Comparative essays that examine the shared paradigms, motifs, symbolism, and (speculated) inspiration of my two favorite narratives: Final Fantasy VII and A Song of Ice and Fire  Some examples include Norse Mythology, Paradise Lost, the Book of Revelations, and Jungian Psychology to name a few.
  • Fantasy Lost – a working title for an essay that explores the almost blatant inspiration of Paradise Lost on the narrative of Final Fantasy VII
  • What Makes the Best Fantasy – another working title for an essay that attempts to delve into what elements are the necessary foundation for well written fantasy.
  • The Defense of FFVII – while the announcement of the remake has for the most part been positive, there have been some…detractors.  This essay is meant to perhaps not completely silence but offer a rebuttal to often ill-informed opinions about an epic story and game.  It irritates me that I even have to consider writing something like this, because FFVII’s worth is so blatant to me, but I’m always questioning and reexamining so as to stave off the perils of being biased.
  • The Five Fictional Characters I Connect With – inspired by another blogger’s post of similar name (I’ll obviously reference who the blogger in once I write it), this essay/article will explore and expound upon the five (or so) characters in fiction/fantasy that I most identify with and understand.


  • Dear Esther (Video Game) – I have the notes written up for this, I just need the time to put them together into a post.
  • Final Fantasy III (Video Game) – I still need to finish watching the LP of it.
  • Paradise Lost (Book) – currently finished Book IV and about to start Book V.  I have a LOT to say about Milton’s epic poem.

Video Slideshows

  • “Fallen” by Sarah McLachlan – Current WIP.  Another video that features Aeris and Sephiroth but only mostly this time instead of all.
  • “Angel” by Sarah McLachlan – Sarah is a good source for Aeriseph slideshows.  She was my favorite singer/songwriter when I was in high school in the ’90s aaaaaand now I’ve dated myself 🙂
  • “The Last Rose of Summer” performed by Laura Wright – this one should speak for itself if you know of Aeris’s status as a flower girl
  • “Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal” performed by Laura Wright – see above and Laura is another singer whose performance choices mesh so well with either Aeris or Aeriseph.  She mostly sings the works of classic poets like Yeats or Tennyson put to music, and it’s fascinating to me how well the verse and my OTP align.

There are actually a lot more essays, articles, and examinations I didn’t include on here.  The ones so seen are on my near future radar (and my Writings to Come tab), but I may be struck by other inspiration in the interim and surprise you.

If you’re an FFVII or (omg this would be AMAZING) Aeriseph fan, and there’s a song you know that you believe would go well with them, let me know!  If I know it and never thought of that, I love revelations, and if I don’t know I love new music that might give me new revelations and the fodder for new slideshows.  I am also interesting in making AMVs, but baby steps.  I didn’t include the ones I’m considering for that very reason.

Until later dearest blog followers!