Writing Buddies

So, I don’t really know anyone whose too interested in writing, let alone writing fiction, or even fantasy fiction. I guess I know a couple writers… although every single one of them is online. And, to make matters worse, every single one of them I’ve met through work.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I suck at making friends. I’m not very social. I struggle to maintain the friendships that I DO have; I’m not really looking forward to creating more that I can’t handle. Because, you know, when you grow to like someone, it kind of sucks to watch them disappear before your eyes because you don’t know what to say to them any more.

Regardless, I’m not here to talk about my friendship failures today. Instead, I’m here to talk about how disappointed I am in the fact that I don’t have anyone who is as enthusiastic about the written word as I am.

Obviously it’s not the end of the world. Things will change over time, and there’s always the opportunity to find people who are interested in the same things as I am. So here I am, trying to find someone who likes writing and wants to chat.

Are you a writer? Do you want to talk about writing stuff? Your book? My book? Other books? About how writing works? Want to discuss style, characterization, plot creation? To rant about whatever the writing world has cursed you with today or will in the future? Then you’ve come to the right place! If you just want to talk one time and never again, so be it! If you want to be one of those people who message me every time you fart, so be it! I want to speak to you all, everyone who loves writing and wants to talk about it.

Feel free to add me on skype: tabeteiru

Or send me an email: kisshuquiche@gmail.com

Looking forward to hearing from you!

~Erynn

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The Arcade

During my visit to California this November, I actually learnt a lot about myself. I’d gone travelling for plenty of reasons; I wanted to get away, go somewhere warmer than here in British Columbia, to see friends, and to do whatever else was really worth doing on a mini vacation. Learning anything about myself, in some ways, was exactly what I didn’t want to do– but I guess it still happened, so I may as well tell you about it.

I didn’t really have all that much money to spend on my trip. And really, that’s not a huge deal at all, though most people who go to California want to visit all of the theme parks and probably Hollywood and other tourist attractions. Generally speaking, that’s not me at all. I don’t like doing those things, though I did go with my friend to Knott’s because he had free tickets. So, what I went for was to enjoy myself in every other way.

One thing I did quite frequently was go to the arcade. Truthfully it wasn’t really something I was too interested in– I’d only gone to a real arcade once before, with my cousin– but I went because my friend was super into them and wanted to show me a bunch of games. At first it was his interest that prompted me to go.

At the first arcade we went to, we played dance dance revolution for hours (I SUCK) and I watched him play a few fighting games (I believe it was Marvel vs. Capcom or something like that). And really, though we didn’t really do all that much, it was incredibly fun! Though I still sucked at DDR by the end of the night, there was one thing I knew: That I wanted to go again.

Though we did end up going to the same arcade several more times during my stay, there was another that we went to. My friend wanted to take me there for a specific reason, and that was to show me more games that he thought I’d like. I figured at that point I was already in too deep to turn back, so off we went! Long story short, we played a ton of other games; more DDR, Project Diva, and some others that I can’t remember right now.

My friend already told me several times by then that rhythm games were his favourite genre. I’d always knew he was a weird one– so this didn’t really change anything– but I struggled to understand why until I stepped in and tried not only one kind, but multiple from a very large selection. It didn’t take me long to learn that it was not only incredibly fun, but also challenging in a way I hadn’t really experienced before. You see, rhythm games are all about patterns, though more specifically the beat of each different song you can play. Timing is absolutely key when the goal of the game is to press buttons in sync with certain aspects of the song. Because of this, I’ve started to love these games as well. I still suck tremendously, but I’m enjoying myself, and that’s what counts, eh?

The game in particular that I’ve been obsessing over is Project Diva.

Here’s one of my favourite songs from the game:

I’ll probably start playing different ones eventually… but for now I’m quite content with this game. 🙂

See you guys next week!

~Erynn

Okay, okay…

It’s been almost a month since my last post, and honestly I hadn’t even realized it’s been so long until the other day when I got to my mom’s house and was looking for things to do. You might know me by now– sometimes I’ll do whatever it takes NOT to work when I have to.

And yeah, that. Work. Ugh. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE my work. Sure I’d much rather be writing my own stories, but having the opportunity to bring other stories to life is still so much more enjoyable than the boring retail or fast food job most people my age are stuck with. Let’s delve a bit deeper into work before we move on, though.

I believe I mentioned some time ago that I signed a contract to write for an indie video game company (yay!!), which is one of my primary projects as of now. I PROMISE I’ll post more information on it when the time comes, but for now that’s all I’m going to say. On top of this I have several novel projects on the go– three to be exact– and two more prospective ones that may be coming within the week, looking to be completed before the new year.

I swear, I’m busy. So busy that I’ve barely been able to find time to read before going to bed each night, so busy that I can hardly enjoy the time I spend playing games because I’m trying to get as much studying out of it as possible before I move on to something else.

There’s even more than that! I’ve registered for several online courses (since I don’t believe myself currently in the proper state of mind to attend real university) that I’ve planned to use to enlighten me on several subjects I’m interested in, such as deeper into the musings of Shakespeare, learning more about the ocean, and even about psychology and how the mind works. One course that I registered for- and I’m quite thankful that I have- even cost me a hefty sum of $600. I know that the skills I’ll gain from completing it will be much more valuable than the money (otherwise I wouldn’t have registered!) but I just feel so terrible that I haven’t been able to work on that so much either…

*sigh*

Then there’s NaNoWriMo. I planned on coming back from California and picking it up at full speed to complete on time. Sure, I did… I completed the 50,000 words within the last 13 days of the month… but only about three hundred of those words were toward my own book. That’s rather depressing to think about, isn’t it? I don’t think I’ve had a busier month before this November, and though I’m only a couple days into December, I’ve got the feeling that it’ll be much worse. Work, work, work, work, work. When will it ever end?

I say oh well. Things’ll sort themselves out sooner rather than later, and if I’m not capable of finishing the second draft of my book this month as planned, then you can bet that I’ll be working on fixing myself a regular working, writing, and being Erynn schedule that’ll hopefully get me doing everything that I need to get done without a worry. It’ll probably be with less sleep, though. 😦

The first thing I’m going to do is to return to updating this blog weekly. I promise you that! I’ve already got posts for the next three weeks sorted out!

~Erynn

Why We Game

Most people have a hobby, be it sports, reading, drawing, or playing video games, like myself. I pride myself in being a gamer, not because it gives me any prestige that being apart of any other ‘hobby community’ doesn’t give you, but more to appeal to others like me who enjoy games as much as I do.

Let me say it again: all ‘hobby communities’ have a level of prestige attached to them within that community; be it based off of skill, experience, or time dedicated to the craft. There are many ways to gauge this prestige factor, and truthfully, many people cannot and will not be recognized in their community as someone important or imperative to the future of that community because there are so many people trying to do the exact same thing. But that doesn’t make any member of that community any less important (unless you are, as we say in some games, ‘toxic’, then you aren’t at all valuable and you can leave. We’ll have a party after you go to celebrate the occasion).

Regardless, let’s get back on track. Why do we game?

Well, like all hobbies, there are a variety of reasons, but not everyone can say they do because of those reasons. Personally, I like gaming because it’s entertaining. It’s challenging. It keeps me thinking, using my brain, and working around obstacles that I wouldn’t be able to experience doing anything else. Though, there’s really a lot more to it than that. I’ve never really been the most social person, so activities that involve other people I’m not all that comfortable with… yeaahh, not happening. But it’s different with video games. There’s no faces but your character, you have absolute control of whether you interact with anyone else, and if you do, how you do it. It may seem like something small, but it’s that aspect of control that’s really valuable.

As I already said, everyone  has their own reasons, as everyone has their own reasons for everything. Some people value the amount of skill requires to play some games well, some people just like being able to distract themselves from life or to collect fancy armour in an MMO.

So again, why do we game?

Because like any other hobby, it’s what we enjoy doing. 🙂

Why do you game? Or if you don’t, what about your hobbies keep you doing them over and over again?

~Erynn

My Favourite Video Game: Chrono Trigger

My favourite game of all time is Chrono Trigger, and I give my cousin Chase full credit for leading me in the direction of the game. I remember the experience very vividly…

I was in grade 5, still living in the Coquitlam area. That year my grade was loaned laptops as part of our class, ancient Apple laptops that were terrible, though I was still excited at the prospect of having my own laptop. Of course it wasn’t really mine, but I don’t think my 9 or 10 year old brain quite understood that. Regardless, my cousin being a bit of a gamer, told me that I should play this game, Chrono Trigger, and being as attached as I was at the time, was eager to follow through with this suggestion.

So I was told how to emulate a game, where to go, what to do, and several hours later, voilà! Chrono Trigger was working, and I was ready to play. And play I did.

For those of you who haven’t played the game yet, Chrono Trigger is an old N64 game (I believe) that is considered one of the most beloved games of all time. If you haven’t played it yet, you should. The game was remade a few years ago using the same graphics and dialogue (just with a few add ons) into a Nintendo DS game. For genre, I would refer to it as a Fantasy RPG.

Looking back on the time I spent playing this game (I’ve played through it two or three times since I completed it the first, oh so many years ago…) there was a lot of humour, puzzles, and interesting look on magic, melee combat, politics (corruption and lack thereof), as well as position of people within a civilization, both those at the top and those at the bottom. Of course if I were to go back and replay the game again, I would probably analyse all of those aspects throughout the time I played it. But as I have so many other games to play, I don’t foresee myself getting the opportunity to do so any time soon.

One time I remember very well from my first play through was when I finally reached the last boss. I’d been trying to beat him for a long time, my cousin was kinda there watching, and I asked if they could do it for me. I recall the laptop being handed back to me several tries later with no luck, where I then tried one more time and finally beat the damned thing.

Chrono Trigger is a challenging game, both intellectually and skilfully. What’s the game actually about, you might ask? Well, I don’t want to tell you. Go find out for yourself. There are parts where you want to jump with happiness, shout in anger, and cry with sadness; aren’t those the aspects of a game that tell you it is one to be loved thoroughly? It is truly a well rounded game that anyone with a mild interest in the RPG genre will enjoy.

Again, if you’ve yet to try it, please do. You won’t regret it. And when you’re done, please come back and tell me your thoughts on it.

Have you played Chrono Trigger before?

~Erynn

Writing In Video Games

Something I’ve been interested in for a long time is writing for an actual video game. What prompted me to go out and pursue this recently was an opportunity that I saw; not one that I could take advantage of now, but one that maybe I could be lucky enough to grab in the future. That opportunity was seeing a job opening in BioWare, a department picked up by EA Games dedicated to creating brilliant RPGs and the like. If I was maybe 10 years older, it would have been a dream come true… but lacking the age and experience needed to even interest such a company, it’s something I need to pass on for now.

Just to give you a bit more perspective, they were asking for a minimum of 5 years writing experience in a similar environment (writing and developing stories behind video games), in addition to university education. While I believe I write very good for my age (remember guys, I only just graduated high school this year), I’m in no way shape or form ready to take on such a task.

However, it solidified my desire to pursue something other than novel writing, and that’s why starting yesterday, I started seeking work writing for video games. I picked up a gig several months ago where I was supposed to write the story for a fantasy rpg, but it kind of fell apart. Well, fell apart in the sense that after the guy said he wanted me on their team he disappeared. 😥 Today I got in contact with two different people managing two different projects, one very interested in having me write for them. So maybe it something comes of it in the near future, I’ll be taking a step in that direction that I can tell you guys about.

I’d like to talk a bit more about my experience with that fantasy rpg I just mentioned. While I didn’t get too far into any of the work involved in that project, it was the beginning of a whole new era of writing for me. I opened myself up to the world of script writing (something I had little interest in before), and to the world of real world development. When you’re designing a world for a novel, you only have to see it well enough to write your readers into it. You have narrative readily available to throw your readers into the story, but that’s completely gone in video games. Instead of you writing and describing everything that happens around the reader, the reader is instead a player, and is experiencing the world as the artists pictured it, and it’s your job to reflect that world in the characters.

A video game I finished recently is Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. I highly recommend it if you like diverse combat, but that’s not what I’m here to discuss today. I picked up the game because my boyfriend said I should try it, and he reinforced this fact by supplying me with the information that one of my favourite fantasy authors, R.A. Salvatore, wrote the story for the game. Here’s an article with an interview with R.A. Salvatore regarding his involvement in the game.

What I’ve so far learned about writing for video games is that it’s nothing like writing a novel. You need to show the player the world you’ve spent so long building in a completely different way. Each and every character within the game, whether it be a simple farmer or a merchant is significant. Your story affects everyone, everyone the player touches, and everything that you, the writer, have yet to touch on yourself.

What are your thoughts on the stories behind video games, the writing that is involved in it? Have any of you ever written for a video game before (be it dialogue, quests, or developing an actual story)?

~Erynn

 

The Gaming Rig

Hi everyone!

It’s been a few days since my last post, so I’m really sorry about that- I’ve actually kinda been all over the place. And one of the reasons for that is something I’m going to talk about today!

So, this will be the first real post for videogame Wednesdays. It’s not quite on topic, but I’m sure it’s close enough that we’ll all manage.

In any case, one of the reasons I’ve been all over the place is because I’m in the process of building myself a new computer. I may or may not have mentioned it before, but I’m going to assume that I didn’t. I ordered some of the parts in early July, and the rest of them just came yesterday.

Yay! I set off with my boyfriend and his dad to put the damn thing together. We opened up my brand new, snazzy looking case without a problem and began to feel it up. Okay. There are fans everywhere- two big ones on the top, one big one on the side, and I believe there were a few smaller ones. Remember, this is just on the case- almost every other individual component comes with their own.

Next we figure out which piece goes in first: the power supply. So we crack that box open, and oh damn! I feel like royalty for a second. The power supply came in a velvet bag, and all of the cords that came with it came in this nice, reusable folder/bag thing. With a bit of reading, we pop the power supply into the machine and move on to the next part, which is tricky.

The motherboard requires extra care. Just a little bit of static can cause severe damage to this core component of the computer. In any case, we put down some of those pop up screws (this leaves a cm or so between the case and the back of the motherboard for ultimate air circulation), and the piece clicks in nicely. Now for the processor, which just latches onto the motherboard. Simple step, or at least it’s supposed to be.

Sigh. This is where we started having issues. We couldn’t get the processor to fit. Closing the little case that held it in had a space that just looked too small. So we spend a half hour fiddling with it and trying to figure it out, of course, to no avail. We then turned to the Internet, which served it’s purpose: After some searching, we found that the motherboard and processor were incompatible.

I feel like an idiot. Big amateur mistake, I didn’t realize that AMD and Intel were assholes that have to remain so unique that they make their processors completely different from one another. What a pain in the ass! I bought an AMD processor because it was half the price of an Intel one of the same/similar stats. My motherboard is only compatible with Intel.

We ended up ordering a new processor and have plans to return the one I already bought. I wanted to return the motherboard so I could stick with the cheaper processor, but it was ineligible for returns. 😥

I suppose it’s a lesson well learnt. My new processor should be here on Friday or Monday, where I will swiftly return to building the computer. The hard part was just about done.

A bit of info on my new setup is in order. I currently run on a laptop that can hardly handle gaming at all. A couple hours of league has it burning up, most of my steam games get bluescreened after an hour max, and this is WITH game booster and low graphics, etc. Shitty deal, in other words.

This new computer is an enormous upgrade. Nvidia GTX 770 graphics card, a solid state drive, 16gb of ram, and the new processor I ordered is an i7 core. I can’t wait to finish building it (which is a learning experience on its own) and play some games in sweet perfection.

Another thing to note is that I spent about $2000 on this, which is about $200 less than I could have bought a machine with lower specs pre-made at a store. In other words putting it together requires a lot of time, but it’s significantly cheaper. If you’re in the market for a new gaming computer, I recommend that you consider putting your own together.

Happy gaming!

~Erynn

Videogame Wednesdays!

I thought it might be interesting to introduce a series of posts, or rather, dedicate a day each week to make a post about something unrelated to writing and reading: videogames.

If you’re a long time reader of my blog, then you probably already know that I’m an avid gamer. If not, well, now you do. I play whatever suits my fancy, be it an mmo, a fps, or a puzzle game. It really doesn’t matter what it is, as long as I like it.

Anyway, I’m not quite sure what I’ll do on these days, though of course something about videogames. I’ll probably talk about different types of games, different franchises… games I’m interested in, what’s coming out, stuff like that. It may or may not be something you’re interested in, but hey! once a week isn’t going to kill anyone. Though of course, any thoughts or suggestions for the posts are more than welcome.

I’m not going to do a post today about it even though I have many ideas. I guess it just doesn’t feel like the right time to start… but next week for sure! Maybe it’s something to look forward to if you’re a gamer like me.

In any case, a small update on Erynn’s writing world…

The new Taichiren’s Heart is coming along well. I’ve completed the first/half draft of the 1st chapter and have plans for the 2nd and 3rd, though I don’t foresee having time to work on it for a couple more days. However the moment I get the opportunity to write toward it, I’ll be taking it and going to the moon! (in other words, getting as much as possible done).

~Erynn