Ooh, the end of November!

I had an epiphany at work the other day. I always had a vague inkling of where I wanted Changeling to go, but as with many things, it dawned on me while I was working that I knew exactly what I wanted to happen. I love feelings like that. It’s so satisfying. To add to that author’s joy, Of the Arena is just about done. Woo hoo! I just need to finish my final, more thorough editing to Of the Arbour, since I’m going to be sending it out to publishing houses in January, and all will be well in the world of my writing.

In the world of gaming, I was given a cold shoulder by one of my favourite characters in Skyrim. It was sad. After finishing the Thieves Guild questline, I wanted to chat with Brynjolf, because he’s so precious, but he just says he’s busy and walks away. My face= D:

Ouch, Brynjolf.

I need to play more Skyrim what, what? I’ve been playing far too much Sims 3 for my inner gamer to be satisfied. It’s just so addicting! I have this problem where I need to make new characters. That’s why I haven’t just done everything in Skyrim with Elisabet, the Nord who’s farthest in the game. I had to make several other characters too. I love constructing their appearance, then thinking up a personality as I go. Enter, the Sims. I’ve made a wholesome family, the main characters from Of the Arbour and Changeling, a burlesque 50s style actress, a colourful kleptomaniac… ugh, it’s a disease, I think. Next time I open up the Sims, somebody smack me. I need Skyrim!

But at least gaming gives me writing ideas, right? That’s a positive? Pfft, no.

Aaaaaand there’s an idle update on my life. I’m going to go write the finale to Of the Arena and build up the plot moar in Changeling now.

“My lord.”

Jerking with surprise, Cain glanced up from his son’s head, having not even noticed that he was staring blindly at the dark curls for the past hour, at least. The guard who had been standing by the door had approached the dais and throne, and was down on one knee, head bent.

“What is it?”

“There’s someone here to see you.”

“Did he give a name?”

“No, my lord. He merely said that he was an old friend.”

Something hard and cold settled in the depths of his gut. Shifting Gideon on his knees so the baby didn’t fall off, he sat up straighter and cast the far doors a wary glance. “Was he alone?”

“No, my lord. He was with two others.” The man’s voice faltered, and his head dipped further in an effort to keep from making eye contact with his king.

Cain bit his lip and wished Arcana was here so she could take the baby and hide, should something happen. “Who was he with? Ye recognized them.”

“I… I did, sire.” The guard peeked up beneath the long nosepiece of his helm. “It was the former captain of the royal guard, sire, Callin, and the knight-commander of the Order of the Blade, Vian, and that former prisoner you had here, the blonde one Her Majesty Queen Arcana was so smitten with.”

“Ye’ll not speak o’ your queen like that,” Cain scoffed, but his heart wasn’t in the words and the guard only muttered a quiet apology in return. “Were they armed?”

“Yes, my lord. I suppose the City guards didn’t think to disarm them when they were let inside.”

Cain pressed his lips together. Stride had probably sweet-talked their way into the Castle of Kings courtyard, and from there it would be smooth sailing to get into the castle proper. He hated that charming bastard.

Gideon made a spit bubble and the guard held back a smirk. Cain smiled to himself, hiding the mental turmoil he was facing. Sage was at the castle, accompanied by three powerful warriors who had each graduated from the Arbour and gone on to become legends—Callin, captain of the royal guard; Vian, knight-commander of the Order of the Blade; and Stride, general of a loyalist militia. He was a little surprised Sage hadn’t also brought Ren and Shal with him, but that didn’t necessarily mean they weren’t hiding out on the battlements with ready bows and devilishly sharp arrows.

Well, what could he do? If Sage and company managed to talk their way into getting this far into the City, he owed them an audience.

“Send them in,” he said, sighing in resignation as he slumped back into his throne.

Sims 3 sale on Steam? Yes.

Steam is a benevolent deity. Why is this? Well, my brother informed me that they’re having a sale, which I had a vague inkling of due to LucasArts tweeting about it. So when Spencer ran upstairs to tell me, I immediately thought:

AMG WHAT IF THE SIMS 3 IS ON SALE.

So I checked.

And it is.

Half off everything.

I bought and am in the process of downloading the Sims 3, plus two expansions. I’ve waited so long for this. So long.

Oh shit, I just realized I forgot to download the pets expansion. Oh well. I’ll make do with whichever two I bought, because it’s been five minutes and I already don’t remember.

Anyhow. Steam also told me that I’ve played 75 hours of Skyrim. I should really be shot. I’m such a nerd. But at least I’m getting ideas, right? And I still have a social life, sorta. I’ve been writing a little more lately, which is just awesome! Yay!

Okay. Maybe going to go play Skyrim while the predator drone ruthlessly downloads the Sims. Time to frolic around and steal for the Thieves Guild, oh yes oh yes.

Also! I had a moment of Oblivion love, when in the Dark Brotherhood I was given the daily power to summon the ghost of Lucien Lachance, and then was subsequently given Shadowmere as a steed. Hearing Lucien greet Shadowmere, then having a jolly old time with the two of them, felt like home ♥

Brain sludge

What child/teenager/person in their right mind doesn’t like KD macaroni and cheese? It’s the staple food for college kids everywhere, and children who aren’t allowed McDonald’s. It’s pretty good stuff, albeit full of shitty unhealthy things that’ll kill you without a second thought.

Also, bacon is pretty good. Bacon’s good with anything and everything. I once made a peanut brittle only with almonds instead of peanuts, and bacon made a special appearance. Delicious. Bacon is perfect, heaven on Earth – and in the immortal words of my friend Bethany, “Bacon is just more proof that there is a god.”

So why not combine the two?

Well, Bethany and I often put bacon into whatever we’re cooking, which is usually macaroni. Scrumptious. We also once put bacon in grilled cheese, based on a dream she had. Today, I made macaroni, and I put meatloaf in it. There’s something magical about combining macaroni and cheese with some kind of delicious meat product.

In our neighbouring city, Kelowna, there’s a restaurant called the Twisted Tomato, and they sell gourmet macaroni. Honestly, what gets better? There’s a hamburger macaroni, with ground beef, onions, huge chunks of bacon, and tomatoes; there’s a lobster macaroni, with bits of lobster and peas; there’s a chicken pot pie macaroni, which is pretty self explanatory; there’s a spicy macaroni, with half a jalapeno delicately placed on top; and the good news is, they’ll put bacon in everything. Even into their grilled cheese, which may have been what prompted the dream.

Man. I love macaroni. It’s one of the two pastas I can stomach.

If you’ve never amped up your Kraft Dinner, make it with bacon, or meatloaf. I promise you won’t be disappointed. We can’t eat plain KD anymore. It’s just too… regular.

Anyways, so there are my thoughts on macaroni. Moving on. I wrote more recently, but sadly it was not for NaNo. Playing Elder Scrolls games gives me way too much inspiration for my own good, and I constantly want to make new characters because I love building personalities around them. The first character I made on Skyrim was based off my Oblivion super mage, Lily. Redheaded Breton of destruction and restoration, level 43, Archmage of the Mages Guild, Grandmaster of the Fighters Guild, Gray Fox, Listener of the Dark Brotherhood, Champion of Cyrodiil. But because you can’t specialize what hair colour you want in Skyrim, the red of her hair is faded, and I don’t feel quite like she’s Lily anymore. Still a badass, but she’s just not the same. Lily will always be an Oblivion character.

However, I once had an idea for a rather psychotic Nord. I made her character in Oblivion, but it wasn’t cutting it. So I tried again in Skyrim, and she’s perfect.

The character herself I built up a while ago, and added to while making her and playing as her. Heavy armour, two-handed weapons, skilled smith, avid follower of the Stormcloaks except in that she doesn’t want to reinstate Talos as one of the Divine Aedra (because she totally worships Molag Bal. King of Rape ftw?). Ahh, excellent. I have so many ideas brewing around, especially for Of the Arbour and Changeling due to just exploring the countryside and generally being amazed by the time and effort the landscape team put into the little details of everything. Impressive, as always, Bethesda.

I’m stoked to get these new ideas into my stories. Of the Arena is at such a crucial point right now, due to the bad guy nearly winning and the good guy finally manning up and doing what he’s said he’s going to do for the past ten years. One more final, epic battle, and then the conclusion will tie everything together – and leave open a cliffhanger that will bring about the start of the next one in the series, working title Of the Kingdoms. That one is going to be full of bloodshed – due to it taking place during a very intense war.

Hm. I wish I could play Skyrim and write at the same time. The one fault of PC gaming, gah!

Okay, idle rant done. This should be my only random fangirlish brain sludge for a while yet. And here! Have a screenshot of Skyrim to make your day.

What are the chances I’ll finish NaNoWriMo?

Slim to none, in fact. Let me tell you – I haven’t written anything for The Master’s Son since the eighth of November. I was busy playing Knights of the Old Republic, and rocking it, I might add. And for the past two days straight, I’ve been playing Skyrim.

So here’s a shout out to Bethesda, for making the most glorious game of all time. I love Shouting, and dual casting destruction spells, and making a super gorgeous Breton who is still badass because of her scars. And I love the fact that there are more than 12 voice actors. And Nords don’t just sound drunk, like they did in Oblivion and Morrowind – but they actually have Swedish accents, making them more in line to their real-life counterparts. The dragons are beautiful and deadly, the weapons are glorious, the stabbing cutscenes are brilliantly executed (pardon the pun), and having two spells at the same time? I love having fire and frost together, slowing people and forcing them aflame. And I love having mad fireballs in one hand and a healing spell in the other while fighting dragons, so I don’t get raped.

I also love my collector’s edition – with my giant, badass dragon statue, my huge and also badass concept artbook, and my fancy map. This game couldn’t be better. I found no faults.

It helps that as soon as it finished installing on my boss new computer, a message popped up that was picking which video quality to play at, automatically.

It picked Ultra Max.

Beast.

I took some mad screenshots of northern lights, dungeons, and a wagon fulla cabbages MY CABBAGES! so if you want to check that out, find my Steam account, alterrnative, or go to my Facebook page and follow the links. That’s quality gaming, right there.

Sorry, NaNo. You can wait.

Look how pretty!

Rakghouls! No!

Uh oh. Jessica discovered the magic of Steam.

So, Valve, a game developer who created such lovable classics such as Left 4 Dead, has this wonderful website/software called Steam. Steam has PC games with beautiful prices, that download and install directly onto your computer. I’m a PC convert, and I’m learning how helpful PC gaming can be, especially compared to console gaming. I mean, I love xbox, always will, but really? Everything PC is better.

I’m prepping for Skyrim when it comes out this Friday, and my life goes to ruins, and in order to do so I have to learn how to use keyboard and mouse instead of controller and thumbsticks. Also, my brother and I wanted to see how beast the predator drone is when downloading and running games. So we installed Steam and went to the $10 and under games. Lo and behold, what should I find but one of the glorious, nostalgic games of my childhood that introduced me to the magic of the pre-movie, ~4000 BBY EU?

That’s right – Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, made by Bioware (luv!) and LucasArts.

It’s an old game. Very old. My childhood was defined by my old Star Wars games for the original xbox. I missed Revan, Carth or Kaidan, amirite? Bastila, Mission, Zaalbar, Canderous, HK-47 and the good o’ gang. I didn’t know how much I missed it until we finished installing it (in record time, thanks to my boss computer) and I heard the stereotypical IM DED scream for the first time.

Then, I found myself able to quote even the random Tarisian strangers Carth and I came across as we frolicked through Sith quarantine zones, giggling at the jokes, and just all around loving every minute of it.

I’m never going to finish NaNoWriMo at this rate. I’m going to play KotOR until my wrist falls off, and then Skyrim is coming out, and oh Jesus. Sorry, Stride and Carol. This is consuming me. Although, I’m only a few thousand words behind the daily par of NaNo right now, which isn’t too bad. I’m not too concerned about finishing it on time, since it’s not really an important competition. Do you even win prizes? I have no idea. It’s pretty much just a big writing prompt to me.

More importantly, I have KotOR again, and I get to become a Jedi. Life goal = complete.

I should probably go get my lightsaber and frolic around now. brb.

His father pressed his fingers into his forehead and sighed heavily. The papers laid out on his desk rustled and one nearly fluttered away; Stride nimbly caught it before it could, and delicately set it back where it had been. “Was I? I must have been. It seems I am always looking for you.”

“What’s it for this time?”

“What do you think it is for? I know you will not want to hear this, Stride, but it feels that ever since your mother passed away—”

“Oh, Father, must you?” Stride groaned, leaning back and clapping his hands over his face. If it wasn’t the rage, it was the guilt…

“—you just don’t care about anything anymore,” he finished solemnly. “It feels as though your mother gave you purpose. You know, putting slugs in my sheets and my inkwell is the first time I have seen you actively pursue botany since she passed. It feels as though you are avoiding it, as you avoid your classes, as if it causes you pain.”

“You think I want to do something she did? It’s only been four years since she died. You can’t tell me you don’t miss her. Even you must have a heart. Or was she just a place for you to stick—”

He slammed his fists on the table, and Stride immediately shut his mouth. “Do not think to preach to me about the immorality of lust!” he roared, leaping to his feet and leaning over the table, nearly nose to nose with his son.

Stride’s face contorted into a livid snarl. “And who do you think I learned it from? It couldn’t possibly be Mum now, could it? No, she was the perfect image of holy devotion, wasn’t she?”

“You learned it from no one! You are acting like a child, Stride, not a man! You are so clearly disturbed and immature that you think your relentless jokes and promiscuous nature are going to rebuild shattered confidence and insecurity, but you are sorely mistaken. It will only cause you more pain.”

Stride scoffed and brought up his knees, resting his feet on the lip of his father’s desk. The Master moved back, still glaring daggers into his son. “What would you know of what I think, or what I go through? You don’t care enough to ask. You only assume. Mum always made sure she knew what was going on,” he spat venomously. “You’re a sad excuse for a father.”

“And you would know better? You’ve never been anywhere but here. You have never seen the world. You know nothing of what exists beyond these walls.”

“Whose fault is that? Thanks for knocking up the botany teacher, Dad. Just brilliant.”

The Master’s dark eyes narrowed, and he stood from his chair, pressing his fingers on the desk as if to keep steady. “Do not patronize me, Stride. You think you can keep secret from me the midnight escapades you hold? This is my school; I know of every single thing that goes on within its walls, no matter how devious students think they are. You are my son, so of course I am going to keep close tabs on you.”

Stride rolled his eyes and looked away from his father’s heated glare. “Good, my own father is spying on me. How lovely is that? Can you tell me what time I took a shit today?”

“Do not be petulant with me.”       

“Do not do this, do not do that,” Stride muttered with a long sigh. “Encourage me, for once.”

The predator drone is here, for finally!

Big news: My new computer arrived today. Thank you, newegg and Purolator. It’s an Asus, with all that fun graphics stuff that I need for gaming. Because you know what? I bought this notebook for the sole purpose of playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I originally preordered it for the xbox, but I then realized that because it’s in my favourite game series, and I care, it would obviously be better played on a PC. So this happened. I have 8 gigs of RAM, a 560M video card, i7 Intel inside quad core, and too much memory to handle. I’m set for Skyrim.

This is a big deal. My already minor social life is going to vanish entirely. Yay! 😀

Once Steam has a sale, I’ll be buying the Sims 3, because I am still a girl, and I need to quell the badassery with some simple-minded gaming. Which is still very exciting.

Oh, Asus.

I am now part of the Republic of Gamers, lolol.

Beaut. I have MS Word, my current writing documents, Google Chrome, all my drivers and antivirus software, and all I need now is for msn to finish installing, and I’ll be set until Friday, when I pick up the collector’s edition of Skyrm that I preordered in January.

I don’t want to go to work! I just want to game! D:

And to make it extra special and shnazzy, it looks like a stealth bomber. So it’s name is predator drone.

And it’s snowing. Ew. But, all the more reason to stay inside on my new computer!