A basic writer Q & A

Because they can be insightful, because I have nothing better to do that’s a lie, I should be developing the world of Changeling more, or writing more Abomination, or editing Purity, or starting on the rewrite of Of the Arbour, or–

And hey, maybe it’ll give everyone else more of an idea of just why I do what I do, and where this all comes from.

Taken from the deviantART page of Elisa Nuckle.
1. When did you start writing?

I’ve been writing stories for most of my life. I cleaned out my closet recently and discovered so many little half-baked stories that I’d come up with when I was younger than ten. I’ve known I’ve wanted to be an author since I was 13, but only recently have taken the major steps toward that goal, and actually written something worth publication.

2. When you were a beginning writer, what did your write primarily? What do you write now, primarily?  (i.e. romance, fan-fiction, poetry)

I wrote plenty of Star Wars fanfiction that will never see the light of day. From there, I began to write sci fi stories that were based closely on Star Wars. In grade seven, a friend and I wrote a novel about vampires called Tears of Blood, which was completely scrapped save for one character: Fane, the son of Dracula, who now resides in Purity. I now usually write fantasy, high and epic. Continue reading

An Elder Scrolls limerick

A Prince from Coldharbour comes,

So bring your warriors’ drums.

For he wields a Mace,

For heroes to face,

And smite the villainous scum.

The Elder Scrolls Online is hosting a limerick contest, but alas, only US and EU citizens can enter. Why the hate for Canadians? I don’t know. I only discovered this after my coworker and I spent a good long time thinking up a half-decent limerick. In other news, limericks are really hard to write.

Harvester of Souls

It was I who sent the dreams.

Blackness rent through with torture. Her home, that sweet little hamlet, engulfed in toxic black smoke as hungry fire licks angry burns onto the flesh of her family. Monstrous daedroths hunting the children, devouring them: the blood coursing from their snarling jaws as the skulls crack and their screams are silenced forever.

I am kind to those who obey My Word. They are the ones who will last longer in their mortal realm, at least until they have exhausted their usefulness. I will not tolerate anything less. As the Harvester of Souls, it is My duty to ensure mortals under My sway have done all they can to the world before leaving it for Coldharbour. Their souls are Mine forever.

She was the ultimate tool, My right hand and weapon to wreak havoc across Nirn. But she faltered, as humans are cursed to, and her soul was consumed by My fury. I punished My own daughter for her insolence—why would I not punish My fair, sweet tool?

She could have fled, had I not intervened. Rather than release her from her earthly torment in the sweet black peace of death, I manipulated the soul of an Imperial Legionnaire to find her and convict her of dozens of unsolved murders. She spent five years locked away in the cold, fetid walls of the Imperial Prison, and every night I sent her the dreams. My realm is not of nightmare—I would dare not take darling Vaermina’s duties from her. But the girl was Mine, one of My flock to do with as I pleased. For five years she watched her family and neighbours writhe in their own pools of blood and filth, unable to help as My minions devoured her soul, piece by piece.

She is Mine now, fully and truly. And if she betrays Me again, I may not be so gentle as I was before.

The Dragonborn Comes

To anyone who has never heard Malukah sing the Skyrim bard song “The Dragonborn Comes”, and add the Dragonborn theme, including the bilingual bits, I pity you. To those who have, is she not glorious? I get hardcore goosebumps whenever I listen to her music.

Please. Enjoy. Be in awe of her glory.

Inspiration: where do you find yours?

Whether you’re a writer of novels or short stories, or a visual artist, everyone finds inspiration somewhere. For me, it depends on what I’m writing at the time. Back in the day when I was writing Purity (and I suppose again soon, as I intend to actually finally finish one of these days) I’d listen to darker music, lots of industrial stuff, and watch vampire movies. There was also one particular story I found that was great for inspiring me to write from the main male character’s perspective – it was, oddly enough, an Inuyasha fanfiction, but the way the author wrote Sesshomaru was similar to how I wrote Fane, and it unfailingly, each time I read it, made me want to write so I should probably get to reading it again one of these days, eh?

But for the things I currently write, like OtArb et al and Changeling, which are both deeply entrenched in fantasy – both worlds, religions, histories, etc, were all created solely by me – it’s easier to find inspiration, since this is more my area of expertise. I’ve torrented the epic soundtracks/scores of the Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, IV: Oblivion, and V: Skyrim, and Assassins Creed II, the Hunger Games, Tron: Legacy, and Fable. I’ve also got a few songs from the soundtrack of all six Star Wars movies, and I’m planning on getting some Lord of the Rings tracks. These are excellent, because I separated each song into a different folder, according to their tone. The game music is especially good for this, because obvious fighting songs that play during fights, go into the fighting folder in iTunes. Related to this is games – I play a lot of games, so their universes help me fine-tune mine, and give me ideas how to better describe settings, especially when I’m just frolicking about the countryside.

I also do a lot of these things simultaneously. Before I got my Asus gaming PC – my predator drone – I’d sit with Lappy, my old laptop, and have my writing open while I played xbox games. Now, since everything I do is just on the predator drone, I’ll have iTunes open, headphones on, then write a bit, switch over to Skyrim, play a bit, then return to my main desktop, etc. And sometimes I’ll even have a movie on in the background. I like to waste electricity, is what I’m getting at here.

It works well for me. I listened to the sad Assassins Creed music when I finally offed the baddie in OtA, and I had a good little cry. It suits the mood of writing much better when you have a whole setup.

Does anyone else do the same? What do you all do for inspiration? It’s different for everyone; some people need utter silence, but me, I can’t handle silence even at night.

Woolly mammoths can fly!

Everyone who has ever played a Bethesda game knows this: they are so vast, they are bound to have glitches. It is such an expansive game, including everything an RPG gamer would want and some. However, as with any game of such magnitude, there are going to be bugs. And for Bethesda games, these are sometimes severe, but the game itself is so enjoyable that one can overlook all but the worst, and brush them off with a chuckle.

An example: While I was playing Fallout 3, a red dot appeared on my compass. I was in an area majorly populated by death claws, so I figured since there was only one I could take it. I start heading toward it, and almost as soon as I come within sight, it turns toward me, then launches high-speed into the sky. Red dot vanishes, and so does my prey.

This is one of those minor Bethesda glitches that is more hysterical than anything else.

Today, I experienced one of these in Skyrim for the first time not including giants knocking you 400 feet into the air, which is apparently meant to be.

So I’m at the Sleeping Tree giant camp for a bounty to kill a giant. As I’m going, followed by my wife/companion Mjoll the Lionness, looking boss in the Ebony Mail, I hear roaring and see a dragon circling in the distance. I shrug, paying it no mind, and figure it means us no harm.

I reach the camp and start attacking the giants and naturally the mammoths want in on this hot action. Then a blast of fire explodes nearby, and lo and behold, one of Alduin’s named dragons – Vuljotnaak – the aforementioned fellow peaceably circling us, decided to attack. The giants and one of the mammoths are busy with me and Mjoll, but one of the mammoths is hellbent on fighting this dragon alone.

After the others are dispatched, and Mjoll is hunkered down in the corner to recover, I sit back with my popcorn and 3D specs, and watch the show unfold.

The two stand toe-to-toe. The mammoth does a lot of head-swinging and stamping, but the dragon lands quite often and breathes fire all over him. On a side note, fiery mammoths are funny to watch. Then, it happens.

The dragon swoops in for a glorious airborne attack. It appears to overshoot, and it would have been a glorious airborne attack except for one thing: dragons and mammoths are of a like size.

The dragon noses the mammoth, and sends it flying several dozen metres away, right beside me. I have my bow ready, but the mammoth has eyes only for the dragon, and not in a neat interspecies sexual way.

The dragons comes around, does the same attack, and suddenly –

Vuljotnaak flies away, with a burning mammoth on his back.

Here I am, laughing hysterically, with Mjoll shouting insults at my side and looking incredibly ferocious in black smoky Ebony Mail, while the dragon flies around with a mammoth on its back.

Then it banks, and the mammoth flies off without warning, soars with incredible speed a good few hundred metres, and lands near me. Again, it is only concerned about the dragon.

And is miraculously unharmed from this adventure.

Vuljotnaak lands again, finally burns the mammoth to a fantastic hairy crisp. Movie-watching time is over, so I send a few arrows his way and go loot the remains.

Best thing I’ve ever seen.

Exhibit A: Mammoth hitching a ride with Vuljotnaak
Exhibit B: Vuljotnaak preparing to bank
Exhibit C: Vuljotnaak has had enough

The progression of badassery

I recently discovered just what I can do with torrents. Seeing how it’s stupidly easy,I downloaded several video game soundtracks, which are brilliant for setting the scene while I’m writing. Fable, and three Elder Scrolls: III Morrowind, IV Oblivion, and V Skyrim.

Jeremy Soule has been creating the soundtracks for the Elder Scrolls since the beginning of time. Or at least since Morrowind. And if you’ve every played any of these games, you know how the music effects the game and how you play. He’s a genius, and I want to be his best friend.

The main theme of the Elder Scrolls is the same song, but the tune and tempo and style of it changes with each game, to suit the game itself.

Nerevar Rising: Morrowind is a rugged landscape with suspicious inhabitants who detest outlanders, and is ruled by corrupt Great Houses and dominated by guilds of assassins.

Reign of the Septims: Oblivion takes the hero across Cyrodiil, the glorious and extravagant capital of the Empire, and into the fiery depths of Mehrunes Dagon’s Plane of Oblivion.

Dragonborn: Skyrim is mountainous and wild, and her people are just as wild and natural born warriors. (The chanting at the end gets me every time)

The themes of each suit them  perfectly, as with their respective ambient soundtracks. I’m amazed at what Jeremy Soule is capable of. And each one gives me such goosebumps, you wouldn’t believe.

Having grown up with these games, I’m so pleased to have finally acquired the soundtracks. Each one is amazing in its own right. If you have a chance, listen to them or download them. It’s worth it.

Also, when searching for appropriate examples of each song on YouTube, I found this. Enjoy.

Caution: Construction ahead!

Happy end of the week, blogosphere! I, for one, have had a splendiferous week. Since getting my wisdom teeth pulled on the last of January, I’ve written just under 20 000 words in Changeling – I’ve revealed two major plot points, and started a third and fourth – and I’m most pleased because I’ve reached a point where I get to describe a lot of chaos. As in, destructive magic galore. Like this:

The second man hung back, prepping his bow and arrows, and the first launched at me, screaming in F’lish. I loosed a jet of fire as soon as he came near; when it hungrily caught the cloth of his tunic beneath his leather armour, he screeched and dropped to the ground. The mud did wonders of putting out the flames; as soon as he was no longer burning, I lifted the water from the mud and wrapped him in it, then promptly froze it.

Something whistled past my head and thudded into the tree behind me. Alarmed, I whirled around to see the second barbarian preparing another arrow—this one crackling with electricity.

I lifted my lip in a snarl. Aeromancy. Those who could control lightning were basically pyrophorics’ overexcited cousins. I waited, hands forward and ready, until he released the arrow. With a grunted Gabalic word, I raised my arms and a wall of water sucked from the mud and nearby plants shot up in the same motion. The arrow sailed through and clattered onto a pile of rocks, but its static charge slammed into the water with such force that it nearly knocked me over. Before it could dissipate, I shoved forward and knocked over my foe. His screams were garbled and silenced altogether as the electrified water surrounded him.

Wiping my hair off my sweaty forehead, I turned to see how Hession was faring. He still stood strong, fighting off two of the barbarians. The third had been dispatched and was lying nearby without a head, and one of the two still living was bleeding, ready to fall. To speed up the process, I enfolded him in a bubble of fire, holding it even as he collapsed and tried desperately to put it out. When his sizzling body finally went still, I rounded on the remaining man, who seemed to have gained the upper hand in their fight. Hession was bleeding, still blocking but not finding the energy to make another attack. His healing magic would be keeping him upright. I was impressed.

Rather than watch to see if he could win on his own, I pulled his enemy back and lifted him high into the air. He screamed to be let down, begged for mercy; I released the psychokinetic magic and hobbled through the debris and corpses to Hession’s side.

“How are you feeling?” I asked, slightly out of breath. A scream quieted and something crunched behind me, and he paled several shades.

He sat on a bed of moss and cupped a cut on his side with his hands. “I’ll be fine. Gabal Mages are terrifyin’.”

“Magic at its worst.” As he healed his wounds, I worked my way over to the first barbarian killed, the one frozen in muddy water. I peered through the gloom surrounding him, then melted the ice. His body tumbled to the ground, cold and most assuredly dead. Suffocated, likely.

Aisling is one cold bitch. But she gets the job done, and thoroughly. Changeling is an outlet for my suppressed pyromania. I love having Aisling light things on fire and watch them burn. A little twisted that way.

I also adjusted the spellcheck for Changeling, so apparently I do care enough. Not sure where that change of heart comes from.

So! The main purpose of this idle update is to point out that I overhauled my blog. Took a plain white theme already in the system and just added headers and customized things. Take note: this is my extreme nerdiness showing through. All headers are screenshots taken during my time picking flowers and decapitating elves with Wuuthrad in Skyrim. I like this infinitely better than the generic hippie theme I was rocking before. Don’t get me wrong, I adore colour, but this is so pristine. I love it.

If you think anything can be adjusted, let me know. I’m still tweaking it.

I wanted to take a really pretty screenshot of the Balosar outpost space mission in Star Wars: The Old Republic, but for some reason the predator drone didn’t comply. It captured an image, but it only came out black. So I’ll fiddle around a bit and see what’s up. Not like Balosar is going anywhere. What I really wish I’d taken a shot of was the time I was top of the leaderboard in a PvP warzone. Playing against veteran MMOers, and the whole time unsure of our team’s overall goal, I simply slaughtered whomever I came across and got a lot of awards and points.  Like a boss.

Steam is having a marathon of Skyrim mods today. All free and available. I got a few mandatory ones – like faster arrows, faster weapons, a Dovahkiin retreat – but then there were the dumb ones. I almost downloaded a mod for Assassins Creed: Brotherhood Ezio armour for females. Somehow resisted that one. And mudcrabs in top hats? Really? Though, I got two pretty stupid ones – Psijic robes, unnecessary, and, get this, a lollipop war axe and great axe.

Naturally, I made one and gave it to Cicero. It only does one damage, but we’ll see if we can work around it.

Randomness over. Enjoy the new blog, and enjoy seeing Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace in 3D this Friday, because I sure won’t – my shitty little town can’t handle the badassery. Booooo.

A belated Christmas and an update on life

Merry Christmas, blogosphere! Or rather, Merry belated Christmas! I hope you all had a wondrous, magnificent, and safe holiday from school, work, and what-have-you. Aside from the fact that I only got one day off, I had a dandy old time meself. My day essentially consisted of waking up, opening gifts, playing Sims 3 all day, eating, playing more Sims 3, hanging out, going to bed. Which is a really good day in my book.

And look! How cool are these bad boys?

Pretty sick, eh?

To add to the glory, they also sound as good as they look. So those are awesome. I was also blessed with lululemons excruciatingly overpriced yoga pants that I probably didn’t need but they’re sooooooo comfortable; a massive and glorious Star Wars poster with all the characters who make even the briefest of appearances in the movies – such as Aurra Sing, who spends a whole of ten seconds on-screen in Episode I, during the Boonta Eve podrace on Tatooine – two books, Shockaholic by Carrie Fisher, and the Gendarme, a novel about the Armenian genocide; blue leather driving gloves; three Elvis Pez dispensers; a singing, holographic Elvis ornament; and my very own, shiny copy of Star Wars: The Old Republic. I seem to be very easy to shop for, judging by the themes here: Elvis and Star Wars, anyone?

So, that was nice. I’m still recovering from my turkey coma. Leftovers 4 lyf.

And on Boxing Day – which I learned recently is a Canadian thing, according to my American coworker; so it’s just a post-Christmas shopping day, all you Amurricans – I managed to snag me eight seasons of Seinfeld on DVD for $10 each. I say eight, because for some reason season 6 was sold out. Ouch. It was probably the best season, too. But that was a beautiful happening.

Later on Boxing Day, Bethany joined me at my humble abode. We went to Walmart in hopes of finding Mafia II for cheap, but ended up buying Seinfeld and Gilmore Girls. So we were just going to play LA Noire instead. However, upon going to the living room, she pointed out that she hadn’t yet seen my new computer. I opened it up, got it started, and to prove how fast it is compared to my old computer – or any computer, really – I started up Skyrim.

So Skyrim opens to the menu screen, and to my surprise, Bethany clicks NEW.

Now, don’t get me wrong. She’s a casual gamer. Like I said, we were going to game when she came over. But she usually just fucks around my files, a la Red Dead Redemption, when she wasted the whole two grand I managed to scrounge up and gambled it all away within a matter of minutes. But no. She was going to play Skyrim on her own.

The option comes up to pick a race, when Hadvar is getting you ready to go the headsman’s block in Helgen. I ask Bethany if she wants to be a warrior, rogue, or mage, and explain how each race can do each thing, but some specialize in a certain area. She declares warrior. We make a Redguard, the most naturally talented warriors. She creates Mo’niq the badass Redguard warrior, then starts to just head out and play, albeit with some struggles due to having never gamed on a PC before.

She’s now level 6, and just about never needs my help, except for maybe getting through Nordic barrow puzzle doors.

I converted her! By accident! So proud of my bb.

Speaking of gaming, I recently discovered on Sims 3 that you can change the skin colour, not just tone. As in, the options to have blue, green, and red skin were discovered. Naturally, I made a family of really weird aliens. Then ideas started cropping up.

So… I may just be starting a sci-fi idea now. Main character is a unit commander specializing in the protection and safety of representatives of the Concord – a galactic alliance, if you will. Her name is Analise Jaeger, but we just call her Ana. Her right hand is Sean Pressley, the tech nerd. Currently, Ana and her squad are joining human representative Lang of the Concord to convince the aliens of a hostile desert planet that they need to join the Concord. These are very intelligent aliens, but they are stubborn isolationists, and want nothing to do with the Concord. However, Ana and Sean and Co. come across an unusual specimen of this race, a young woman who is fascinated by human culture, and culture of other alien races. She’s her clan historian, but her innocence and naivety make her the brunt of jokes to her people. From there, where shall I go? Perhaps on another stereotypical sci-fi route. There isn’t too too much you can do with a space opera to make it unique, but God knows I’ll try.

Gaming = inspiration.

The Old Republic is glorious, too, fyi. I’m on the Crucible Pits server, if you want to help me slay things for the good of the Jedi and Republic – if I’m playing as Lacy the happy blue Twi’lek. If I’m playing as Tu’Kira the angry Chiss bounty hunter, maybe I’ll just light you on fire. We’ll see.

Time to get addicted to an mmo, woo!

I have Skype!

Okay. Tired. Past 1 am. Want to game, but will wait for brother to go online tomorrow so he can help me slay angry Twi’lek wannabe Dark Jedi on Tython.

My server is PvP. Daunting.

And that, dear ones, is current events.

Goodnight!

/rant

Anybody who thinks working at a bookstore is slack should be shot in the shins. Why?  Because that’s how I feel right now, after a week straight of working. It’s Saturday, and my last day off was Saturday. My next day off is Thursday. I’m not impressed. Know what we do all day? Stand. Walk. Talk to people. Stand more. Walk more. We don’t get a chance to sit and give our poor bodies a rest until our break, and even then it feels like it goes by too quickly, and isn’t enough to really help at all. My whole body is in pain. My shins, knees and heels from standing and walking all day, every day, and my back from poor sleep and irregular habits, and the usual – a heavy front. Fuck boobs. They’re heavy. I was in so much pain today and last night I wanted to cry. I’m not going to whine to my manager though, because I am apparently literally the only one who can cover shifts. Everyone else either specified they can only work part time, or are going to school. Because I made myself available, and because I’m not going to school right away, I am scheduled for every fucking day. I was supposed to have last Thursday off, but a new girl randomly stopped showing up and I had to cover her shift. I’m exhausted D:

To add to it, coworkers are still having midterms, and Christmas is coming up, and I’m going to be pushed even further. I’m notorious for getting really sick and staying really sick, and it’s a miracle I haven’t been yet, but if I keep getting overworked like this, I’m going to be down for the count for a least a week or two. I already feel like I’m getting clogged up. This sucks. Don’t ever get a job.

It doesn’t help that I’m too tired to properly write, and one of my coworkers, though she’s nice enough, has catastrophic body odour. I fucking choked on it last night. Why don’t people know how to bathe!?

I am really pissed off right now, in case you can’t tell.

If I had more energy, I could devote more time to writing, or to Skyrim, or to watching the Borgias, now that I’ve been informed it’s on Netflix. Francois Arnaud plays Cesare, who I have a total historical figure crush on, despite him being the villain of Ass Creed: Brotherhood, and after reading a book where he’s a total creep, and the fact that, I dunno, he fucked his sister? It helps that Francois Arnaud is gorgeous. And Canadian. Yes, that helps.

Watch the Tudors. It’s worth it.

I need HBO, or someone with an in. I missed half of season 4 of True Blood, and I really want to watch Game of Thrones. Somebody halp!

I’m cold. My extremities are starting to go numb. I love living in the great white north fuck that, I live in Canada’s only desert but even though there’s no snow yet, it’s cold as balls, and for some reason we aren’t allowed to turn up the heat, due to my mother being a thermometer nazi.

On deviantART, an Elder Scrolls poem I wrote in five minutes has over 700 views. It’s second only to the first chapter of my super dumb and cliched vampire story, due to dA not supporting writers. I wrote it as a song for a skooma-addicted character to sing while high, laughed at it afterwards, posted it on dA, and wut? It’s popular. I mean, I like it, but honestly… read something I give a major fuck about.

Jesus Christ on a cracker, I think I’m done. My mother needs to gtfo the tv so I can watch the Borgias on Netflix and ogle Francois Arnaud, and forget for the next few hours that I have to fucking work in the morning.

This is cranky Jessica, by the way. She’s been elusive lately, but physical pain pisses her right off.

Okay. /endrant