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NaNoWriMo: What is it?

Put the ice queens, princesses, witches, monsters, pirates, Doctors, and whatever other costume the kids wore away.  Halloween is almost ove...

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Rambling of Current Events to Unknown

With all the unrest in the United States, I couldn't help but wonder about a few things this week. First, I guess I should explain a small thing, at least, small to me. I don't pay as much attention to current events as I should. It's not just that I don't have television, either. I just got tired of trying to watch the news as a kid for more of the important events and finding glorified horror stories. Quite honestly, if you're a writer and need a plot bunny, you likely don't need to go much further than the evening news.

The next thing I should explain is that when it comes to Facebook or social media of any kind, I am the least likely of persons to actually use said outlet effectively. I use Facebook as an example, but the same is true of Twitter and any other social media site I have an account with. It's not because I don't wish to connect with other people, though. I just don't heave enough time in a day for everything I want to do as well as need to do. And even though I'm of the generation that can still add, subtract, multiply, and divide using either pan and paper or a calculator; I'm not as computer savvy as people seem to think.

When users on Facebook used a rainbow filter on their profile pics back when the United States legalized same-sex marriages, I did not. It's not because I have a thing against it either. No, I honestly believe that so long as a person believes themselves in love with another person they should be allowed to be together in marriage if that's what they truly want. I'm just to lazy to edit a profile pic that shows support to something I'm just not paying attention to in the news because I have too many other things to worry about(like Christmas gifts for numerous nieces and a few nephews!)

So, after explaining that no, I'm not current events aware and that most of my information is minimum secondhand (though more likely fifthhand...) I must admit I started wondering why people have to be politically correct. And by politically correct, I mean the BS of speaking the “correct” term to describe someone's description. If I said a black man did something or claimed that someone is black because that is the color I perceive their skin to be or that someone appeared Asian by look, suddenly I'm prejudiced, according to some. These are most likely the extremists, but it colors our whole way of communicating.

The biggest thing on my mind was when did we decide saying the truth was so offensive as to reasonable grounds to call someone else prejudiced? It's not like we weren't all raised differently based on the values of those who raised us. Our experiences also likely changed our opinions as well as what we've read and watched through various forms of media. I started rewatching some old shows and I've found that when some of these shows have a strong female character, they don't make them realistic. Some books or short stories are the same. If you read fanfiction, I'm sure you've noticed that some of the characters are taken to the extreme “never wrong” standpoint. This actually annoys me and I find myself enjoying shows that center on males.

This is not the way things should be. Yes, jokes about women or blacks or gays are going to be commonplace. Just as jokes about Pollocks, geeks, blondes, and moms (I've heard numerous relating to all of these over my 29 years of life, and don't find them offensive if delivered in a way that indicates the joker is actually telling a joke) are abundant. However, when I'm reading a story or watching as a story unfolds on a screen of any kind, I want to be able to relate to the characters personalities. I referenced a quote in an earlier blogpost, Tyranny through Shamefor what we Read?, about YA reading defenders admitting that part of the enjoyment of reading YA had to to with escapism. I could not and still cannot nor will I argue this point. I agree with it. Lucky for me, this particular point plays to my advantage in this post.

When I read or watch something, yes, by now I'm very well away of what the ending is likely to be. The guy and girl end up together, the villain is defeated, and everyone lives happily ever after. Or at least that is the general premise for most stories. Sometimes it's annoying. Today I find myself looking for the romances that people seemed to fall into with their personalities rather than their hearts (mostly catered to in fanfiction.) I've started looking for more in relationships that are meant to only be either close friendships, frenemy status, or sibling-like. I'm not saying it's wrong. It's just something I'm looking for that's different. Mysteries end up with the lead detective or team figuring out the case. We know everything will be wrapped up with a pretty little bow and “happily ever after”. What we don't know and that which intrigues us, is the journeys taken. That's why we tend to be drawn in. It's the characters that keep us there. I can't get behind a female who is always right, but lords it over her friends or family or both and gets away with it. Characters that are able to manipulate everyone around them and when their victims realize it, the perpetrators are forgiven. They don't even hold or show resentment for what the person had done!

It doesn't seem realistic enough even if it's in a fantasy world. No matter how much time is given or how much someone claims to have forgiven someone, there is still a little piece of resentment in their heart at what was done to them. Mercedes Lackey managed in her Dragon Jouster series to weave it in such a way that while yes the main character held resentment toward and for a certain person due to circumstances outside of their control, the resentment was still there. It would peak through in some of the interactions when they were of equal status again. Yes the character understood and appreciated everything he'd done for him, he also resented that the man had been a part of the system and never seemed to try to fix it.

The journey is what is great. When I read I jump in head first. When I watch a show, my brain keeps trying to see things that don't quite exist or relate it to what I'm aware of. The authors and creators don't worry about being politically correct because they exist in a different world where what they say while expected to be grammatically correct isn't expected to be inoffensive. The characters take on lives of their own and it's a lot more noticeable in written works than it is in a show or movie. The nuances are in both, just more readily received through the written word rather than a visual representation.

I know I got off whatever I was originally going to type up for this post and part of that is because I managed to get sick earlier this week. In fact I got sick just as I was going to finish this post, edit it, and schedule it for posting last Sunday. It didn't happen so instead I'll just have to post this this Sunday and hope you understand what I've ranted about. Feel free to ask for clarification or rants about something else. Yes I still plan to type up Session posts for LANZ, but I'll probably start them back up after the New Year.

Yes I do plan to go over last year's resolutions and decide if they'll be the same this year or if some of them may change. Last year's resolution post can be found as  Resolutions for 2015.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015 6/6

So, this is the last of my NaNoWriMo 2015 updates.  The biggest question is, did I win?

The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write a 50,000 word novel in a single month.  I already rebelled against this by deciding to work on a fanfiction that just wouldn't leave me alone.  Yes this has become perfectly allowable by the NaNoWriMo website.  In fact during their write-ins, fandoms have been just as inspirational for prompts as historical pieces.  Even so, it's not the original purpose of the event.  I also must admit, I have yet to actually reach 50,000 words in the month.

I am proud of what I did get done, however.  I managed to complete a rough copy of the first two chapters.  I also managed a total of just over 25,000 words.  That almost doubled my total NaNoWriMo lifetime word count. (I hope that makes sense to you.)  Anyway, I want to get a few more chapters written up before I start actually posting them on my Fanfiction.net account.

Also, I was working on Saturday, but it was so slow(my guess: people were still eating leftovers,) I started wishing I had a notebook or recording device because my mind started spinning other possible crossover instances.  Like dealing with Agent Booth from Bones, but mistaking him as Angel...or I'm positive I had a few dozen other things that I managed to think of.  If I do end up with more than just it being a Leverage and Librarians crossover, I likely will move it to AO3, where I've noticed a bit more flexibility in stories that would crossover into multiple source materials, including a section that is dedicated to original works.

So for those who met or beat the 50K word goal, congratulations.  For those who did not, look at what you managed to get done and remind yourself it's better than where you were 30 days ago.  You managed to complete something, even if you didn't get the big goal, you tried.  That's winning in my book.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015 5/6

In NaNoWriMo 2015! 4/6, I mentioned that I wished to be working on Chapter 3 by the time of this post.  I'm still working on that second chapter.  One of the problems with the final weeks of November - socialization and family obligations sometimes must take precedence.  Not too mention two people on one computer?  Leaves less time than one would like for writing/typing.

My word count is suspiciously low at less than 20,000, but there's still the rest of today and tomorrow to reach the 50,000 word goal, right?  Maybe if I keep thinking positive and working towards that 50,000 word goal I can make it...then again, probably not.  At least I got the fanfic started!

For those who've won at NaNoWriMo 2015, congratulations!  Enjoy editing all of that work over the next couple of months.  For those who haven't?  As I mentioned earlier in this post: there's still all day today and tomorrow (at least where I'm at in The United States of America,) so don't be discouraged.  Even if you don't hit the 50k at least you got something done that you felt the need or want to share with the rest of the world (or at least those willing to read your work if you ever decide to share it!)

Either way have fun, and enjoy the writing!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015! 4/6

As I type this, I'm really just taking a break from my NaNoWriMo project.  I finally finished the first chapter (just the typing, no editing!) putting me above 12,000 words last week.  I've been chugging along working on the second chapter, but had to type up the scene I had remarked upon in NaNoWriMo 2015: 3/6.  So other than a quick update about reaching 14,000 words since my last post, and a wish of good luck to my fellow writers, there isn't much to write within this post.  I do however hope to reach Chapter three by next post, but it will be little typing time as my husband is off of work and Thanksgiving is this Thursday.

Speaking of, Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers out there!  Now I've got to return to my NaNoWriMo 2015 fanfic, here's to hoping that by next Sunday I'll be working on chapter three.  It's either that or work on a cover for the story, but I'm not that great an artist.  Also, I'll need to figure out a proper title for it.  I think I've made my to-do list even longer for the week, or is that rest of the month?

Sunday, November 15, 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015: 3/6

Finally!  I just managed to finish chapter one of the fanfiction I had mentioned that I would be working on for NaNoWriMo 2015 in previous blogs, NaNoWriMo 2015! 1/6 and NaNoWriMo 2015: 2/6.  I know only getting just over 12,000 words for the first chapter of a fanfiction doesn't seem like much, but currently it's a personal record!

Now, I get to start on the next chapter, or perhaps I'll work on a later scene in fanfiction...  There's a part from a promo that I found for the first episode of season 2 of the Librarians that's just begging for a scene.  I may try to get that done before my work party this afternoon.

Speaking of work, I'd have had more towards my NaNoWriMo 2015 fanfiction typed up if a coworker hadn't gotten the flu yesterday.  Also the first gun deer season in Illinois will be occurring in less than a week, so I'm not sure how much havoc that plus Thanksgiving (American here!) will have on my writing.

Hope any other NaNoWriMo 2015 participants are chugging along, meeting their personal goals if not the overall 50,000 words for the month.  If not, there's still half the month to type or write!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015: 2/6

So it's the end of the first week, and I'm no where near the end goal.  I'm not even on target for the 1,667 words per day.  I am working on it though.  And when a person has to use either handwritten or typed when their husband leaves, it's not as easy as one might think.  It's not even issues with the characters not wanting to work with me, because their constantly tell me to write...when I'm at work or not near any form of recording what they want recorded, damn it, Jacob Stone/Elliot Spencer!

So, yes, this is another promised update from NaNoWriMo 2015! 1/6.  This does not mean I'm giving up on trying to reach the 50,000 word goal.  It just means that when given time for each session on the computer or when I'm able to work on it by hand, I'll need to do more.  Distractions in the form of housework, work work (if that makes sense?), and family obligations are going to have to be minimized.  Even my other hobbies will have to be put on hold at least until I get caught up.

Now, I'm going back to writing.  For those who are ahead or on target, congratulations!  Keep it up!  For those of us who aren't?  Get back to writing!  It's not that hard.  If you've hit a block, try it from a different character or object's point of view.  It might help you to figure out  what the problem is and continue on.  Happy  writing!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015! 1/6

Today is the first day of NaNoWriMo 2015, and I must admit this first Sunday is not going to be an update. Instead, I'm going to give a brief overview of my plans for NaNoWriMo 2015, sinceNaNoWriMo: What Is It? gives a brief explanation and more can be learned at their official website,NaNoWriMo.org.

This year I plan on giving a brief update every Sunday, and yes, I do plan to still give updates on the campaign, which I will soon post update blogs for the previous sessions or you can reread New Campaign: LANZ Session 0 or LANZ: Session 1 . I promise I haven't abandoned it, and the campaign is going strong. This happens when players actually play their character and allow others to have play time instead of trying to show just how awesome their character is.

Alright back to my NaNoWriMo 2015 schedule. So this is the first in a series of six. Why six? Because this year, the last Sunday of November is not the last day of November. The final NaNo Update 2015 post will be made on the first Sunday in December.  Instead of trying to reach the goal of 50,000 words with an original piece, I shall be typing a fanfiction which will hopefully be put on (hyperlink) at the end of the month after editing, most likely heavily. The fanfiction will be a crossover between The Librarians and Leverage TV shows.

I have yet to title it and it will focus of Elliot Spencer being Jake Stone. Things will change within the The Librarians time line. I've decided that the first episode of The Librarians is ten years after the first episode of Leverage. Also, I can't really see Jassandra ( the Jake Stone and Cassandra Cillian pairing), so I don't know if their will be a pairing for Jake, though I could see over some length of time something occurring between Jake and Ezekiel Jones (which I will hereafter refer to as Jezekiel.) The Flynn and Eve pairing is pretty nonexistent in the first season and I'm not sure how well it will translate into my fanfic, but it is a journey I look forward to undertaking.

Now, I follow Kristina Horner on YouTube and she recently posted a NaNoWriMo Tag. It consists of technically ten questions, though two are linked and counted as only one. This gives nine lines for the questions. These questions are for NaNoWriMo and not Camp NaNoWriMo. I will answer as honestly as I can so far as my memory goes or I can find the information.

  1. How many NaNoWriMo's have you done?

2015 will be my third year participating in NaNoWriMo, though I have yet to “win.”

  1. How did you find out about NaNoWriMo?

I first saw the term NaNoWriMo in author's notes in some fanfictions as early as 2010 but it wasn't until 2013 that I took the initiative to learn what it was about.

  1. What was the title of your first NaNoWriMo attempt?

I titled my first attempt Shambles and while it's still a work in progress, it a futuristic setting that relies on the search for one's family history. I managed what I did on it in less than half the month, I think. I know I didn't find out and actually start on Shambles until at least a week into November, anyway.

  1. Give a one sentence summary of this year's attempt.

A crossover between The Librarians and Leverage, where Jake Stone and Elliot Spencer are the same person, or you could just read the first part of this post.

  1. The best writing advice you've been given?

I've seen and heard a lot of advice, especially as NaNoWriMo comes around, and I've heard it from numerous walks of life. There's the time honored “Write what you know.” Or how about a NaNoWriMo fave ”Ignore your inner editor and just keep writing.” Another common one is to stop right in the middle of what you know you are going to type or write up. These are all sound pieces of advice. At least for everyone but me, or so it seems. I've tried them.
Writing what I know annoys me and to be completely honest, I bullshitted my way through papers in high school. Aced most of them, but over half the time I had no clue as to what I was trying to say. Somehow I'd still manage practically perfect test essays.
If I ignore my inner editor, I find myself annoyed at the smallest of mistakes in a piece and I either have to go back and fix it (usually after the bout of inspiration is done,) or give up until I can figure out what is bothering me so much about it. Oftentimes, by listening to my inner editor, I can usually gain some more insight which actually spurs my writing on. Instead of ignoring it, I use my inner editor when I hit some kind of block.
I've purposely stopped in the middle of writing a sentence so that I could return with something in my mind to actually continue on, and found me trying to puzzle out what it was I was trying to say. A couple of times it was because my husband or a friend called me from my work but I've done so on purpose just to see if it would work. It never failed that when I returned (and it could have been a five minute hiatus,) I just could not figure out where I was going with the sentence!
I have found however that there is a piece of advice that works for me: Write from a different perspective, from any other viewpoint. Basically take the scene that's giving you trouble and either tell it as a different type of story (my favorite is as a newspaper of magazine article) or get inside the head of someone or something else in the scene. Write as though you're the sidewalk the main character is being made to lick their bully's shoes upon or write as the bully or their shoes. Write as the wall that is being vandalized after having watched a murder the night before or write as the murderer. No matter what, if you get stuck on a scene not working the way you think it should, just rewrite from another's perspective. A really good example is to think back to those kids books we'd read (The Babysitter's Club comes to mind) where practically every chapter or book was written from someone else's viewpoint. I've got a fanfiction and original stories that make use of these alternate tellings. Sometimes that's what needed to get back into the flow of the story is to explore the story of another character, be it animate or inanimate, human or creature.

  1. Have you ever taken a year off of NaNoWriMo? If so, why?

Since starting NaNoWriMo back in 2013, I have attempted each NaNoWriMo, though I almost did not this year due to the untimely demise my new computer thanks to the Windows 10 update and a lack of inspiration. However, I found a spark to ignite the NaNoWriMo fire, and can always hand write.  Transfering it at random points in time to my husband's computer with good ol' Windows 7.

  1. What is your biggest inspiration when figuring out what to write?

Typically something I see or read sparks some kind of what if, like last year when I listened to the battle rounds on The Voice and the duet of Joliene starting off a capella with one voice male and the other female made me think “What if one of the men this Joliene had seduced had been gay?” Then I thought, “What if she couldn't seduce him but came really close? Ooh, and she fell in love with the man she almost stole him from's brother!” From that came my next project, which again is still being worked on, and even worse, still has no title.  This year's inspiration was actually the lack of Leverage and The Librarians craossovers

  1. Read the first sentence from one of your novels.

Obviously this was meant for those who vlog. I shall however give a quote of the first line of a work in progress, meaning if it ever gets published this line might be changed. “Everyone is jealous of someone or something.”

  1. And finally, why do you love writing?

I love writing because I can get things down and not worry about it strangling my brain. Sometimes I feel I have planets and solar systems and galaxies and universes even striving for my attention, yelling that that's wrong or so and so is described too prettily. It gets crazy for me, but when I go back to read it and find myself enjoying the world I created, knowing the subtle nuances and the manipulations occurring even as I submerge myself into the world I didn't even realize I was creating, it's well worth it.
Sometimes, it's too keep the voices of all the characters waiting for their story from overwhelming me, but others it's to write the story I'm trying to find that I wish to read. A few times it's because a dream overwhelmed me and keeps itself on repeat. Poems just suddenly leap on the page sometimes. It's a joy for me to write, most days, but just about every day it feels a necessity as well as so long as I can do both, I'm actually very happy.

That wrap's up the NaNoWriMo tag. Have a tag you want answered? Leave a link to it in a comment or find me on Facebook or Twitter. Planning on attempting NaNoWriMo 2015? Let me know and buddy me on the site at Ency Peterson. Answer the tag yourself and leave a link to it in the comments!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween Memories of Costumes

Happy Halloween! Yes today is my favorite holiday, and while I have to work and live in an apartment where I can't hand out any treats because no one ever comes to apartments...I will enjoy the intensity that I have of years past.

There are a few things though that I keep thinking of. First, in the last twenty-odd years I've been alive, have I ever been worn out by Halloween? Yes. After my mother moved us half an hour away from the small town that her parents lived near, I was...tired. I can't say that as a fifth grader I was depressed (though sometimes I wonder if I could be considered as being depressed) but I remember I didn't have the spark to dress up that my friends and siblings had...In fact as I think back, I don't think I ever really got excited before high school about dressing up as anything really. Being a princess and queen were easy costumes. I believe I have posted earlier about having siblings.

I think I tried to use Halloween to try to separate myself from the others. I used to justify my distancing of things I enjoyed and could have been a huge fanatic of by the fact that even in kindergarten I knew better than to ask about anything dealing with money. I learned quickly to just go with the flow of things and let numerous things slide. Whenever I look back, I realize that I ended up hurting myself. When the Power Rangers first came out, I loved Trini. She was the first female in a show that I wanted to know more about. Don't get me wrong. I loved Belle, but I wasn't always a fan of the story. I always felt something was missing (and my youngest two siblings playing it every time we put a movie in did not help. Watching it over and over I don't know how many times in one day...I still cringe a little when I think about watching Disney's version.) but could never place what it was.

Anyway, I remember that year as the first one I actively decided not to get dressed up for Halloween until a friend convinced me that I was dressed up as Curly Sue. Thus, it began. I started pulling off easy costumes. In fact, I pulled off Blair and Jo from Facts of Life one year. I wore a suit and hair down, at least until I got annoyed with my hair flowing around my face. Then I just pulled my hair of and had the jacket slung over my shoulder. But as I think back, yes I love Halloween. Some of the costumes I've worn? Not so much.

Let's see...I know I've been a princess. My mother had this rule, though. If you've been it before, you had to do something else. There've been a number of years I've done a witch, but they've mostly been after my mother stopped enforcing the same costume rule. I've been a Christmas tree, onion, one of the sleeping kids from the story about the littlest one shoving them out of the bed, a sorceress, a gypsy, an enchantress, Jasmine, and this year I'm doing Lydia Deetz from Beetlejuice. There's more that I just can't seem to place, but these are the ones that stick out in my mind as I think back on them. The gypsy costume was the last one I wore in South Carolina. It's also the only one I can remember from when we lived there.

If I had gotten to go as what I wanted I can guarantee I would have been more excited but when the costumes had to be made using what we could find at home, I didn't get excited by the dress up. Hope your dressing up as what you want this year, and planning to have an awesomely scary Halloween.

Have you had crazy costumes in the past? Leave a comment about them, or some that you wish you could have pulled off. Like I wish I could have pulled of Trini, that was one I really wanted as a kid. I've also wanted to pull off Hermione(back when the Harry Potter books first came out) and Cimorene(from Patricia C. Wrede's Enchanted Forest books.) I've been a vampire before, too, though I couldn't stand the taste of fake blood.

Anyway have a happy, scary, safe, and treat-filled night tonight for Halloween! Oh, and don't forget about Daylight Savings tonight. Turn the clocks back one hour (this occurs officially at 2am, but most do this before going to bed, or after getting up, depending on if they have to work or be somewhere by a certain time the next day.)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Writing and Road Trips

While watching a video about plot, the first speaker in the video managed to make me compare writing a story of any kind (be it short story, fanfiction, novel, or essay) to a road trip,which in the United States is almost synonymous to what historical novels would refer to as a “trip to the continent.” I must admit, I was in middle school when I first read this particular phrase and it took me until I was halfway through high school to actually figure out that when they referred to the continent and were European characters, they weren't talking about the U.S.

Writing as a road trip, however can be a sound idea, especially with NaNoWriMo 2015 beginning next Sunday morning. In fact each character in the piece of writing being worked on is either on the road trip with the writer or they are someone that you meet as you make the journey. The other thing is that the story for the reader is similar to a road trip as well. After all, unless you're trying to recreate something along the lines of Lord of the Flies, everyone knows it will have a happy ending. No, the journey is the important part, not the ending. As such, the same, in my opinion is true with every piece written.

Ideas and knowing what happens is easy. It's figuring out how that part of the story was reached or why the villain made that choice that can be interesting. Theories abound on why characters that are secondary, tertiary, and even “throw away” are speculated upon more than the main character, whose already had their story told. “Throw away” characters are those who are mentioned once or twice throughout a story in an abstract way that is meant to be considered negligible, such as the students upon a class list(students of Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, Durmstrang and Salem Witch's Academy are first in my mind.)

When working on your NaNoWriMo novel, maybe think about this: if you get stuck on your word count, delve into the life and viewpoint of one of these other characters. Tell the scene from the view of someone watching it instead of in the middle of it. Make a record of the emotions involved by everyone present. Just like on a road trip, if some little thing catches your attention, explore it. That's what writing is anyway. It's just an exploration of things that caught an author's attention and the characters are the people either on the journey or that were met on said journey.

Planning on working on a novel for NaNoWriMo 2015? What do you think you'll be working on?  Leave it in the comments.  Mine is likely to be a Leverage and Librarians crossover this time, though I may return to some of my original pieces!

Friday, October 23, 2015


Terribly sorry about the huge wait on a blog post, but when Windows 10 manages to screw up my computer and nothing seems to help, there's not much one can do.  Now, I'm using my husband's computer, so while the posts might be even more sporadic and random, at least it's better than using my Kindle!

Now as to what I've been up to...well I made a quick blog post about the October Platform Challenge from Writer's Digest.  If you want to learn more it's located on there Editor Blogs: There Are No Rules blog.

It's October.  That means, you guessed it! Halloween.  You may not have realized it yet,  but Halloween is my favorite holiday.  This year there are some plans in the works, and some that are likely to be changed, but overall We have an 80's theme Halloween party on Halloween night and I'm getting costumed as Lydia Deetz from Beetlejuice.  I always did enjoy watching it.

What about you?  Will you be dressing as a beloved character from a favored entertainment piece?  Or a more generalized costume?  Perhaps something inanimate like a christmas tree, onion, or computer?  Leave a comment about your 2015 costume and Halloween plans!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

October 2015 Writer's Digest Platform

At the start of the month I received an email from Writer's Digest.  Said e-mail included a link to their There Are No Rules blog, which would contain daily challenges for writers.  For more information please check it out.  In fact day 3's challenge is to start a blog, or for those who already have one, make a post!

I really must apologize about my lack of posts.  I really have tried, but work 6 days a week and add in a few online classes referred to as MOOCs and it just slipped my mind, and yes the D&D campaign is still running, so I'll try to type up a post about the previous sessions before Halloween.  If I don't, I apologize preemptively and wish you all a very frightful and "happy" Halloween!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

LANZ: Session 1

I know, I meant to type this two weeks ago, but kept finding reasons to put it off...We started the campaign two weeks ago!  As I sat here trying not to allow the local carnival distract me as I try to think of things needed for tonight's session and realized I had yet to update on the first session.  It was awesome to play without arguing with each other over semantics.

In fact it only took us about five minutes to get set up.  It took maybe another five or ten minutes to get the backstories straightened out enough to play.  I have a habit, and the DM's have mostly allowed said habit, of figuring out my character's backstory as we game.  I was already having trouble with this particular character's backstory.  It just kept refusing to reveal itself.  That is until the DM and I talked about the background of the fey'ri race.

In Races of Faerun, the fey'ri were created thanks to power-hungry sun elves of a particular house in the realm of Faerun.  For this campaign, we switched theories.  Instead of sun elves using succubi and other demons to be made stronger, the succubi kidnapped elves of all kinds to use for breeding, trying to increase either certain abilities or the effectiveness of their looks.  It did not work the way they wished.  In fact, the succubi saw these creatures as below them.  They saw them as so far below them that they referred to them as slaves.  These slaves were kept hidden in cells that had anti-magic fields upon them.  They had learned with the first ones that fey'ri had easy access to a number of spells.  They decided to use them for their own goals.  While the fey'ri were never certain of just what their purpose was the older ones were feared even more than the ones who had sword and shield tattoos upon the backs of their hands.

All fey'ri that reached one hundred fifty years of age were "sorted" based upon their abilities.  They were all tattooed with an unfilled heart at birth.  As they were raised to be put to use as entertainment and cannon fodder when needed, the heart would be filled in if the fey'ri were troublesome.  Upon losing their virginity somewhere between the age of one hundred fifty and two hundred, a teardrop would be tattooed either filled in or not, to match the heart.  Often times the filled in hearts went to more sadistic creatures for breeding and entertainment.  They were taught only the weapons with which their first owners would allow.  Every owner branded their own symbol upon the fey'ri and when said fey'ri gained a new owner by being sold to a new owner, the old owner dying, being traded, or just a partnership in the ownership of the creature.

On the troublesome fey'ri would be a tattoo of a skull and crossbones on the back of the neck starting at age two hundred.  Every infraction or instance of disobedience, the tattoo would increasingly be filled in to be a completed skull and crossbones with black eyes.  After the tattoo was completed the infractions would result in the loss of applicable body parts.  Each demon owner held different limits before they would get fed up and punish their piece of property.  Either way, those that would be considered troublesome would be severely scarred and the older ones would be missing parts of their wings, fingers/claws, tongues, etc.  The older fey'ri were feared because they survived and some, not many, were survivors of some of the most sadistic owners.

My character was definitely among the troublesome.  She didn't exactly filter her mouth and seemed to always wish to fight.  She was put in with those who gained the sword and shield tattoo.  She gained a filled in heart and skull and crossbones.  Inn fact she only had one more eye to color in before she would be losing parts.  Her tongue would have likely been first.

Any way, the race mostly managed to escape about fifteen years prior to the start of the campaign.  While they'd been captive, they were kept bald and held to other standards.  None of the fey'ri that had been held captive were willing to sheer their hair after their escape.  They aren't sure exactly how they escaped, but they traveled on different planes until about twelve years ago they managed to find safety on the Plane of Air.  Now, the planes are bleeding into each other and Sul'ri, named for what they are the descendants of, has been sent to find more information on how to keep them safe and been carte blanche to fight those who challenge her.

Luckily, it's now time for us to head out for the next session.  Here's to gaming in D&D 3/3.5e!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Writing Analysis

Winner 2015 - Square ButtonAlright, so what may have been the start of the LANZ campaign didn't actually start and until we do, I won't have an update.

For all who participated in Camp NaNoWriMo July 2015: Congrats on at least participating!  If you met you're goal, like I did...Double CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!  In my case, my goal was only 15K, and I only barely managed to hit the goal early on the final morning(like 1:30 a. m., talk about worrying!  I managed over 5K in those final 2 days as I worked on a fanfiction that seemed to grip me at the moment.)

Now, today on Facebook in a friend's news feed she got a link to something called Personality Insights.  She happened to share it with me and I decided to test it.  First I used the latest chapter that I managed to type up for Camp NaNo.  Then I tried a part from a different fanfiction that is sitting on my computer waiting for me to return to it.  They both received the same analysis:

You are boisterous and social.
You are unconcerned with art: you are less concerned with artistic or creative activities than most people who participated in our surveys. You are assertive: you tend to speak up and take charge of situations, and you are comfortable leading groups. And you are laid-back: you appreciate a relaxed pace in life.
Your choices are driven by a desire for well-being.
You consider helping others to guide a large part of what you do: you think it is important to take care of the people around you. You are relatively unconcerned with taking pleasure in life: you prefer activities with a purpose greater than just personal enjoyment.

Now, this is the funny thing.  The closest thing to artistic that I have is my writing.  Other folks find other ways to vent when they get mad, but I tend to bottle it up because my brain runs rampant with ideas.  I love all forms of art but feel that I'm not able to put what my brain presents into any artistic form.  I have to find others who have managed to portray exactly what my imagination managed to create.  Most times, when I find them, it's close enough that my brain accepts it as what my imagination was aiming for.

While I can and have been in charge of varying groups and used to not have any qualms about trying to take over, there was a memorable moment when I was child that I am still bitter over.  We were put into groups that had to research the environments.  I had grabbed my notebook, even back in grade school, I felt a need to take notes and have paper and pencil in hand at all times.  No one else in the group had grabbed theirs and one of the others in our group wanting to take control over my notebook and pencil.  I refused, obviously.  We didn't do too well on the project because they couldn't put the essay/speaking portion into a feasible format of sentences.  The first sentence I read was actually a run-on that was followed by a fragment.  The entirety of the paragraph was about one individual fact, as well.

I felt the entirety of the project and what had occurred at the time was unfair.  I resented my classmate trying to take my supplies and then not being able to actually put together a decent project.  I resolved even then that my projects would be done to a level of competence that sat well with me, even if they were never appreciated.

I do try to be rather laid-back.  Rushing all the time and not taking the time to enjoy life is annoying.  In fact, that's part of what's been bothering me lately.  I've got way to many things going on to just take a walk and relax while watching the clouds.

I do like helping others, though.  I like to cook for large groups and if it were easier for me to help others, I would easily be volunteering.  I will freely admit to advocating both recycling and conservation efforts before I turned five.  I tried to help others, but when your voice gets overlooked and you can't seem to find support, you give up, or at least I did.

As for the last sentence...I gave up doing anything for myself a long time ago.  Kind of hard to be able to freely enjoy life when you have four siblings that are more boisterous than you.

I will admit that while I like a bit of socializing, I'm just as happy disappearing for years at a time.

Next I used a portion of an original fiction piece that I had started working on way back in high school.  It's analysis went as follows:

You are social, boisterous and can be perceived as shortsighted.
You are assertive: you tend to speak up and take charge of situations, and you are comfortable leading groups. You are unconcerned with art: you are less concerned with artistic or creative activities than most people who participated in our surveys. And you are confident: you are hard to embarrass and are self-confident most of the time.
Your choices are driven by a desire for well-being.
You are relatively unconcerned with both independence and taking pleasure in life. You welcome when others direct your activities for you. And you prefer activities with a purpose greater than just personal enjoyment.

The only difference was the being hard to embarrass and the self-confidence.  It's not that I'm hard to embarrass or mostly self-confident.  It's more that I read so much that in the realm of words, things were completely different than real-life.  I was able to convince myself that what claimed I was and wanted was truly me and my likes and dislikes.  It no longer is true.  I am hard to embarrass because most people try to with sexual innuendos which I freely bandied with my friends and even now banter with my husband.  I am now self-confident in the fact that if someone doesn't like who I am, they can disappear from my life or learn to deal with it.  It's not on me that you can't interact with me in a way that makes you happy.

After that I decided to analyze my first blog post from Jun 1, 2014:

You are a bit compulsive and sentimental.
You are unconcerned with art: you are less concerned with artistic or creative activities than most people who participated in our surveys. You are content: you are content with your level of accomplishment and do not feel the need to set ambitious goals. And you are empathetic: you feel what others feel and are compassionate towards them.
Your choices are driven by a desire for well-being.
You consider helping others to guide a large part of what you do: you think it is important to take care of the people around you. You are relatively unconcerned with independence: you welcome when others direct your activities for you.

Compulsive?  Yes, I am.   Sentimental?  Most definitely have those moments even if I'm only 28.  Content with where I am?  Yes, and wish others would realize that as well.  Empathetic?  I don't know.  Unconcerned with independence?  I like having choices.  Yes, I'd rather be as one of my neighbors put it a "domestic engineer" or rather a housewife, but the world isn't giving me that option at the moment.  Do I want to be told what to do?  No.  Do I like knowing what the expectations for me by others are?  Perhaps in certain areas of my life, but unconcerned with independence?  Not bloody likely(great, been reading too many Harry Potter fanfics again!)

I also had the blog post for the LANZ campaign analyzed as it was the last post before this one:

You are inner-directed and skeptical.
You are unconcerned with art: you are less concerned with artistic or creative activities than most people who participated in our surveys. You are deliberate: you carefully think through decisions before making them. And you are proud: you hold yourself in high regard, satisfied with who you are.
Experiences that give a sense of connectedness hold some appeal to you.
You are relatively unconcerned with taking pleasure in life: you prefer activities with a purpose greater than just personal enjoyment. You consider helping others to guide a large part of what you do: you think it is important to take care of the people around you.

Yes, I am completely satisfied with who I am, even if I still couldn't explain it to others.  I only think through some of my decisions before making them.  Most of the time I think it through after I've already made it.  What does a "sense of connectedness" even mean?  I can't comment for or against something I just don't understand.

Finally, I decided to analyze this post:

You are sentimental.
You are empathetic: you feel what others feel and are compassionate towards them. You are assertive: you tend to speak up and take charge of situations, and you are comfortable leading groups. And you are intermittent: you have a hard time sticking with difficult tasks for a long period of time.
Your choices are driven by a desire for well-being.
You are relatively unconcerned with tradition: you care more about making your own path than following what others have done. You consider helping others to guide a large part of what you do: you think it is important to take care of the people around you.

Definitely have a hard time sticking with difficult tasks for long periods of time.  It's why I have a hard time at winning NaNoWriMo and so few of my stories are actually completed!

When it comes to traditions it's more I lack the memory and experience with them.  While some of them, yes, I don't really see a point, others I just don't want to worry.  There were so few traditions when I was growing up, that the few I wish to have I have to do myself.  My husband is just as unconcerned with traditions as I am.  We have traditions, but we leave leeway for our own changes to said traditions as well.  Why shouldn't we wish to blaze our own trail in the traditions department?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

New Campaign: LANZ Session 0

Getting ready to start a new D&D campaign on Saturdays with a group of friends who live nearby.  Before anyone asks, we play 3.0/3.5e.  I tend to call it 3.25, because there are some things we like to keep from 3.0, but then the bulk of it is 3.5(such as the boots of striding and springing that double base land speed(BLS) and add 10 to jump checks, whereas in 3.5 they only add 10 to BLS and increase jump checks by 5, but the cost is higher.  We've made them greater and lesser boots of striding and springing.)  We'll be playing this campaign approximately every other week so I'm hoping to type a blog for the sessions, that is if anyone's interested, though I may do so even if no one is interested.

I'm creating a duskblade fey'ri with a major titan bloodline trait and two levels of fighter.  Haven't decided much else yet about the character, but the DM(Dungeon Master) is allowing Level Adjustment (LA) buyback from Unearthed Arcana.  The same is true with the bloodline traits.  If we want character flaws or traits, those are being allowed as well, but, mostly, not for me on those.  I'll take the loss of a few(max 3) HD, skill points and save bonus increases in exchange for a boost every so many levels to every level.

I've decided to go with the fire resist and plus two to saves against poison and electricity, but yet to choose the fourth demonic ability.  I thought about the damage reduction.  Being a duskblade, I decided to make her more of a tank, but I don't want to up the LA to 3 instead of 2.  Not sure if it's worth the headache...

Anyway, one of the others in the group is going to be a monk/divine caster(he has yet to make up his mind on which divine caster...last time he was debating between cleric or druid to qualify for the sacred fist prestige class.)  The second one is playing the arcane artificer(last campaign he played the psionic version.)  The final current known PC(player character) is still trying to decide what he wants to play because mostly everything is covered.  There are gaps, but most of them will easily be covered by other abilities the characters will have based on the builds.  I'm not certain on any of the other races, but that's part of the fun.

This campaign will definitely be dealing with multiple planes and planar travel and creatures are going to be commonplace.  We'll be working on characters again this Saturday, but there's a possibility that we may actually start play since once we know what we're playing the rest is pretty easy.

Any suggestions from other D&Ders as to what I should have for my fourth demonic ability?  Leave it in a comment, but my fey'ri is based off the ones from Races of Faerun.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Quick Catch-Up

First things first: I'm sorry to have been silent for so long.  After the death of our friend, things got quite busy.  There were numerous times I wanted to type up a post, but either had to force myself to sleep or wait until I got home.  Then I would be sitting at my computer trying to figure out what the hell I was going to type for the post.  I know I planned to get better and April I almost managed to post only to have RL(real life) work get in the way.  I did try to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo with a goal of only 15,000 words, but only succeeded on hitting 9,000, I think.  I really don't feel like looking it up.  The point is I didn't even hit 10,000 words that month.  I managed to hit 10,000 words last July, so maybe I'll hit 15,000, though I can't promise any updates like I plan for November.

Besides work, we lost another friend.  This time, it was thanks to a drunk driver instead of a heart attack, and recently another friend lost his unborn niece.  It would have been his first which is what makes it so heartbreaking.

Second, it's been a year since I started this blog!  I know, that's nothing compared to some well-known and loved bloggers and vloggers, but I've always been a little technology-challenged and/or impaired.  It's not as though I didn't think about way back then.  I remember setting up a yahoo account in middle school.  In high school, it had somehow managed to disappear from existence.  I don't know how nor did I use the same user name, but I did create a new account.  I've had accounts on some sites for a long time, however not all, in fact most, aren't used.  

I admit it.  I'd much rather read a good story and live within the realm of my imagined world of recreation than keep up with deadlines and the like.  Speaking of which, I should admit that I've almost reached the 1000 word mark for Camp NaNoWriMo, which is great news because it means I've actually had time to sit and type which I plan on doing later today as well.

I thought I'd better give at least a minor update on some of my thoughts, though with everything going on, I have plenty of thoughts.  The question I keep asking myself is...Do I wish to exacerbate a situation I'm not truly knowledgeable on?  So I put forth a question to you.  Just because we read one story and hear folks talking about and making assumptions based off the one story, does that give us the right to tell those within the story that they are wrong or that people need to take a stand?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Circus Peanuts, D&D, and the Loss of A Good Friend

This post isn't really a rant so much as a memorial post for a friend who recently passed away and whom a close friend is planning the memorial gathering seeing as he was cremated and his family has decided that he didn't have enough people that would attend a memorial in his honor.  Obviously his family doesn't understand just how many lives this one man has managed to touch.  For those who knew him, it's a heart-rending loss that he wouldn't want them to feel.

I even remember him saying numerous times that he didn't wish to cause others to get upset.  He was a kind man who was willing to help whomever needed it whenever he could.  He was severely overweight and though he tried to get it under control, it never seemed to work.  Just as things seemed to be turning around for him, he has a heart attack.  But instead of dwelling on the loss, I want to remember the things that made him so great.

He was always sharing whatever he brought to D&D sessions, and that was always a lot of things.  He was always willing to try new foods as well.  The number of things that were bought on a whim because they looked or sounded either good or downright strange.  This man had a huge heart.

There was one thing though that he came up with.  That candy circus peanuts?  He and another friend tried to figure out why they were so good.  This man had a strange sense of humor, a little macabre at times, and his description for circus peanuts fell right in line with it.  See, he and another friend decided they were the souls and tears of clowns.  Because of this, every time one was eaten, it made a clown cry.  So have some circus peanuts, and make the clowns weep.

His interests varied, but one of the things that made us enjoy D&D sessions was how he could take the most simple things and make them bad-ass.  His favorite was using a fighter, especially in gestalt campaigns.  He'd create a double fighter human that could take on a mage of the same level as though the magic were negligent.  He wouldn't be covered with magical items either.

The number of stories that could be told about Eric are numerous.  He was a man who touched the lives of many and will live on in the memories of his friends and for those of us who play D&D the characters that we create.  We will never be able to recreate some of his best or most unique characters, but perhaps we can tell the stories of the campaigns he was a part of to others and they will.  Perhaps his unique outlook on life will be found in the outlooks of others.

I do know though that Eric Reynolds was a great man and friend as he laughs his ass off watching as we play D&D and tell stories about him and how he was to our friends and family.  May he live forever in our hearts and continuously watch over us from his observer's space.