I Love You Salem

Initially I wrote a serious blog of much serious things. Then I realized that I want something happy instead. You know what always makes me happy? Salem Saberhagen! And since I’m soon going to be writing a book about witch hunters, then, Salem… Salem..!
Here are some of my favourite images of him.

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Obviously my most favourite Salam picture ever because I use it on almost every social media platform I’m on.

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I’m British.

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I often do this even though I am a woman. A woman pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman. Okay, I’ve never done that, but perhaps one day. Dream big!

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I’m British.

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Memoirs of a Geisha is one of my favourite books. I feel like I also need a quiet weekend with it.

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It’s true, but I’m still waiting for the right moment to use this.

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How I used to feel every Saturday night, before I settled down with the ferrets. Now it’s Midsomer Murders and hot chocolate!

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This is actually my cat more than me. He thinks I’m stupid because I don’t know what salmon + tuna is.

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May very well have been taken from my Myspace profile in 2002.

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How I one day hope my life will look.

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Also how I one day hope my life will look.

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How my life actually looks.

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Where my life is heading.

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Wait this was supposed to be happy!

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Thank goodness for Mr Saberhagen!

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And doughnuts…

Stonehearst Asylum is Happy Happy

Last night I left off talking about a film I was about to watch. The film, Stonehearst Asylum, turned out to be incredible. Seriously worthy of its five stars. It’s based on an Edgar Allen Poe story that I now need to read, even though I know the ending. The twists were so good. Usually there is one twist in a story, so when a second one comes it’s even better. In my experience anyway. You kind of expect one twist, and honestly sometimes I find them pretty dull, only put in for the sake of having a twist rather than it actually adding anything to the story. In the case of Stonehearst Asylum however it was great. Added so much and really left me thinking about it after and how to effectively write twists, as it’s something I so rarely do.

Other than watching Stonehearst I also started watching a show from 2010 called Life Unexpected. I’m really enjoying it, it’s funny but also emotional in parts. It’s about a girl who upon wanting to become emancipated so she can leave the foster care system ends up with her two biological parents as her foster carers. I’ve always thought about adopting when I’m financially and mentally stable, but I’ve read about the negative side as well as the positive. I don’t know. I think that’s a heavier post that should be made when I’m more seriously considering it. Right now though, if you haven’t seen the show I’d recommend it!

The NaNoWriMo project is still in my mind. I partly wish I was using this time to write one of the stories I have been planning on writing for a long time, but that would be the opposite of writing something new and fresh to my mind with no strings attached. That’s how this book feels. A no strings attached writing relationship. I’m not thinking about querying it or ever trying to sell it. It’s just practice.

I’m too aware of time slipping through my fingers though. I’m young, don’t get me wrong, I know that. Even if I only wrote one book every two years I’d still be able to write them all. I think. Wait, let me brain try to math. Okay it would put me in my fifties, but that’s fine. By the time I’m fifty it’ll probably be the new thirty. We’ll also probably be able to put our consciousness inside a robot. I hope I can be a cat robot. No, what am I saying? I want to be a xenomorph. Then my love won’t be seen as so taboo! Oh, xenomorph, come hither!

Anyway, again, as always, well this month always…

Until next time,

A

Oh! And one last thing. Upon watching a video about what’s out this week in terms of comics and toys, I saw a pop for Crimson Peak. I’m pretty certain it spoiled who the ghost is in the film. I’m hoping it didn’t. But, I also found out what happens in Attack on Titan thanks to pops. Thanks, pops. Ruining my dreams. All of them! Dust because of you! (I’m joking, I love Pops. Let’s get married. I’ll be American Horror Story Gimp Suit, you be Elsa.)

Films and Phones

Last night I woke up feeling ill and blergh. Thankfully, today I didn’t feel so ill, just blergh. Although blergh can be irritating webMD tells me that it isn’t fatal, but also that I may have schizophrenia in my toe.

Anyway, so deciding a day of being a potato was a good plan I flopped down and started off playing Assassin’s Creed, which I still think is an awesome game. I took over Whitechapel and I now have a train. Happiness achieved!

After playing for a while I decided to watch some films I’ve had on my list on Netflix for months, here was when I realized that I have a problem. No matter how interesting a film is, I will constantly pick up my phone. I don’t even know why I’m doing this because no one is messaging me. I just pick it up, Google something completely unrelated to anything, or scroll through Twitter. I then look back to my film and realize I have no idea what’s just happened.

It’s annoying and I want to stop doing this. I’m going on a watch and text strike. No more will I have to rewind twenty times just to find out who the main character is!

Because I need to write more than this to be satisfied that I am sticking to writing this blog daily I’ll also quickly talk about the films I watched.

Housebound: Good, silly and scary. Nice ending.

Ask Me Anything: Better than I expected. Good ending.

Stonehearst Asylum: I don’t know. I had just started it when I remembered I was supposed to be drivelling on here.

 

Anyway, until next time!

A

Wordsprint – Writing Rubbish for Twenty Minutes

Wordsprint…Wordsprint… okay, I get it, I’ve done this before. Although it wasn’t for twenty minutes, it was five. yes five. What did I write about then? No, it doesen’t matter. I need to write about something now.

Okay.

Wow. I’m empty. I’m drained. My head is a kettle today that the prick at the office forgot to refill. Aight, okay, let’s run with that.

“You didn’t do what they asked you to though, and you know what that means.”

Mr Francis sat across from Ben with his arms open. He didn’t want to embrace him, he was still seated behind a desk after all. He wanted to show him that he was trying to be honest with him, he was imploring him to understand why he was losing his job. It wasn’t his fault. The people had spoken and enough was enough.

“They asked me to fill the kettle after I had used it, they didn’t say that it would need to come before my work. Is that what you’re telling me now, Sir?” Ben was staying calm. He knew that this wasn’t just about the kettle, it was probably more to do with Mr Francis’ wife bringing him in a cupcake on his birthday. He didn’t even get to eat it. The Chief of the “who left the kettle empty?” brigade had found it on the side and eaten it. That’s okay though, because he’s assisstant to the boss.

Mr Francis stood from his chair, his long slim arms still held out towards Ben. He titled his head to one side and let out an exasperated sigh. “Ben, Ben, Ben,” he said, staring back at the calm brown eyes of his soon to be ex-employee. “We could have made a great man out of you.”

“If it wasn’t for the kettle,” Ben replied. He stood from the leather chair, ignoring its groans as he pushed himself free. “I guess greatness is measured in the units of coffee we consume.”

Mr Francis nodded in reply. A sad nod full of empathy, as though he really was thinking, “Yes, Ben, how much one drinks and speaks about coffee is truly the mark of their success.”

One arm dropped and another stretched out towards him.

Ben took Mr Francis’ hand and almost recoiled in surprise at how cold it was on such a warm day. He shook it confidently. He wasn’t going to be defeated. No. Not by Mr Francis, not by Cupcake the First, and certainly not by a kettle.

Along with the noise of the office, all eyes fell on him as he entered the spacious room with a picture of a palm tree on the wall beside each desk. No one had the nerve to say anything. Not even Jake. Damnit Jake, I didn’t think you were one of them.

His desk drawer clunked open and from inside he pulled out a few papers and pens, a ruler that had come with the stationery set, and a mouldy sandwich. On second thought, and after turning the sandwhich over in his hand, he pushed it back inside the drawer. It could be his own skull and cross bones, a warning to whoever took his place.

The exit to the office was obvious enough, big flashing letters informed any who had forgotten how they got in that it was okay, there was a way out. Ben had started walking towards it with the honest intention of leaving, not saying goodbye, just vanishing. He knew that they were waiting with anticipation for him to leave. They wanted to talk about him, they needed to. It would be their driving force through the day, it would rebuild the bridges of broken friendships and be the kindle to the fire of a new romance. Really, Ben thought, his being fired was doing all of them a favour. The people in the office hadn’t been able to talk comfortably to each other ever since the final episode of Last One Standing Dies Anyway.

He slipped inside the kitchen, smirking with an arrogant pleasure as from behind him someone gasped.
It wasn’t even plugged in. They had made this too easy for him.

His reflection wavered on the clean surface of the kettle and he imagined himself as Aladdin about to take the diamond. No, he was Abu. The minute he removed the kettle the entire office would crumble, they’d slither to the ground and only he would escape on his magic carpet of… This is ridiculous. It’s a kettle and I’m taking it.

The protests that followed him to the exit only pushed him further. He could hear people rushing around the office, talking loudly, and the door of Mr Francis’ room squealing as someone raced inside to do just the same thing.
By the time Mr Francis reached him, it was too late. He was already in the elevator, the doors were already closing, and no, Mr Francis, no. I will not hold them open for you, not this time.

Ben left the building pleased. He may have lost his job but he had not been defeated. He had won and was even taking home a trophy.

He was almost at his car when he heard a familiar voice.

“You can’t take the kettle, mate.”

Ben turned to find Thick Barry looking down at him, a small plastic stick held between his eerily large fingers. He pushed it to his mouth, inhaled, and then became a train. He was a large man, named for his size and not his mentality. Okay, that was a lie. He was childlike, and right now he looked at Ben with large, confused and hurt eyes.

“We need it,” he mumbled, blinking slowly as though he were holding back a stray tear.

The wind had been moderate but in that moment it turned and swept the hair up on Ben’s neck, wrapped around his face bringing the smoke from the vaper with it to momentarily conceal.

As the bubblegum scented smoke began to disappear Ben stepped out from its shroud and placed his hand on one of Thick Barry’s shoulders.

“No, Barry,” he said softly. “No, Barry, you do not.”

Barry watched in awe as Ben placed the kettle in the passenger’s seat of his car, and then with one last smile, took his own place as the driver.

“Goodbye, Barry,” he said as he crawled his car past him.

The sun was still high in the sky and with his new kettle beside him Ben waved goodbye to the grey walls of the office block.

And I’m going to stop writing this here before I start making the kettle speak and say thank you to Ben in a gruff voice because all the over-filling was causing him to develop some kettle type disorder or another.

I guess this was fun. It’s nice to just write and not really think about where you’re going at all. Kind of like that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory scene. Let’s post that, too.

Now We Understand Each Other

Blank pages. You know, I see a lot of blogs start this way, a comment on the blank page. I just did it myself and I can confirm it doesn’t hold any artistic value, it’s just an observation. It’s just a couple of words to make the blank page a little friendlier and give me a way to begin this conversation. I guess it’s an ice breaker. So, really, should we appreciate the blank page a little more? Everyone likes an ice breaker. 6th of August, blank page appreciation day.

I haven’t written here in some time. I haven’t written anything of any substance in some time. It’s all been notes, staring at walls and daydreaming to music. The usual lazy writer stuff. But, I’m not lazy. No wait, maybe I am. I don’t know.

Depression. We all have it don’t we? I mean, I guess we do. Supposedly, anyway.

I’ve been pacing in my room. That’s the kind of thing caged animals do, isn’t it? Walk from one point to another over and over. You get to that point where you think “ENOUGH.” and then there isn’t much else to think. You sit down and you try. You have to keep trying even when you hate it. I hate writing. There, I said it. I hate it. It’s hard. My head isn’t ever clear enough to make sense out of what I’m thinking and translate it to words. It never feels like it is anyway. I end up on the otherside of another type of bars. These ones. And this isn’t me trying to be poetic or whatever other bullshit it might come across as. I’m stuck. I’m alone. I hate this. I just want to talk into the abyss. Hear it echo and imagine it’s my soulmate calling back because they get it. Does anyone “get it”? What the fuck is “it” anyway. This invisible cage. How pathetic.

I feel like I’ve said all of this before.

I have on the wall in front of me two pieces of paper taped together with the word “WRITE” written on it in capital letters. But, what’s the fucking point in telling myself to do that? I know that’s what I want to do, it’s all I think about (well that and locking doors: 1,2,3,4). Stories and characters and scenes. I feel like a quitter and I haven’t even quit yet.

There isn’t an ending to this post. It’s open ended. I guess I didn’t plot it clearly enough.

Neverwinter

Neverwinter

DISCLAIMER: I am a Tiefling Scourge Warlock who once raided Dragon Coast with a band of hooligans and misfits. It is with your own discretion that you choose to believe anything I say from here onwards.

Neverwinter is a free-to-play Dungeons & Dragons MMO that was first released on PC in June 2013. It came to Xbox March 31st this year. I’ve been playing it from the minute it glowed READY TO START, and my eyes hurt. Send help. Please. They’re all bloodshot and everything.

Even though I’m now playing as a scourge warlock I originally created a half-elf devoted cleric, and let me tell you, the character creation is a lot of fun. Your character is fully customisable and you get to choose a religion, area of origin and back story. You also get to write a more personalised back story on your character sheet. I’m pretty good at heart wrenching stories so I got quite in depth with mine and wrote “Grr. Roar. Evil Warlock.”

Admittedly, this game is damn addicting. It’s one of those “just one more quest” kind of games where before you know it you’ve already levelled multiple times and suddenly you’re in an inn with a dwarf who is stripping on a table and a dragon that is shouting about all the ladies that want him (more on this later).

I’m level 19 and so far have only played solo. It’s easy enough to complete the story and quests alone (I have only died once and that was by walking off the edge of the city’s floating island, just to see if I could – you can), and is made even easier when you acquire a companion. I believe you can do this from the start or at least I was prompted to. Unfortunately the website was having a hissy fit so I decided to brave the tides alone. At around level 16 you are given another companion, and this time you get to choose. I decided on a healer, which I thought was a really smart move… the only downfall is that he’s an annoying little brat who keeps asking me to go fight something with a club, even when we’re fighting something with a club.

Although I’m playing solo it is rare that I feel alone in the world. There are people everywhere. It was pretty amazing when I first entered the main city to find masses of folk. Even in the more populated areas like this I’ve had no trouble with latency or connection and my internet is not the best.

The city is large and it’s a little confusing trying to grasp all that you can do, even though it’s your typical MMO kind of stuff. The developers must have realized this because you’re sent on mini quests around the city as you level which makes it easier to find out who sells what. That being said, one thing that still continues to throw me off is all the different types of currency that can be used. I still have no idea how it works and I feel like Oliver Twist walking around with my 2g 49s 10c trying to find any vender that actually wants it.

Speaking of money, I think it is with Zen that the devs earn theirs. Zen is an in game currency that is bought with real money, although from what I’ve seen you can also trade Astral Diamonds for Zen. I haven’t seen anything that you need to buy to progress and from what I’ve read it’s generally cosmetic items that you may want to purchase, rather than need to. It’s a little off-putting, and I don’t like being brought out of the game to think about real world stuff. I wish there was a way to make a one off payment which gives you access to everything in the game, but it’s no big deal. And, just to make it absolutely clear, I’m in no way against the micro-transactions (folk gotta earn some dollar) I’d just prefer not to live in between worlds and I’d like to remain completely absorbed in Neverwinter when playing.

Now let’s talk about the Moonstone Mask Tavern. I love the story behind this place, but the stories you hear inside it? Oh, boy, are you in for a treat! Gather round and listen to the naked dwarf on the stage profess of all the dance parties he has started before; sit in wonder as you watch the naked dragon tell the naked human that she’s doing it exactly how he likes it; and find the lonely barman, offering drinks to all who come by – solace in a cup from the surrounding orgy. Seriously, what the hell is going on in that tavern? I don’t know whether to be amused or horrified by the place. Especially when I see someone switch from one minute roleplaying with his daughter and the next saying that she’s his sex slave. Yet, despite all of this, and none of it being censored, the word “got” is censored… why? Can anyone explain this to me? I’m watching two undressed characters simulate fellatio but I can’t say “ain’t no one got time for that” without being censored. Are we supposed to make time for that? I’m so confused!

Also, for all those people asking how you dance –> LB and down for the chat screen –> Y for emote menu

Thank goodness the controls are so easy (see what I did there? No? Yeah, it didn’t work). Honestly, I was interested to try the controls and they’re great. The devs have really made use of the controller and it’s impressive how many items/spells you have bound to the buttons. As you level you will start making choices to switch between which spells to bind, but then as you level higher you unlock more bindings.

I’m pretty lost when it comes to how I should spec my warlock. So far I’ve been putting points in Temptation with a couple in Damnation. But, honestly, I’m useless with this kind of stuff. When I played World of Warcraft I had my Rogue dressed in leather with intellect because I thought it would help to make her smart… looks like I’m going to go down the same path with my Warlock!

One thing that I hope to try out soon is an instance. I’m silly though and get pretty nervous when playing with strangers. Uh…I mean…

I’ve led a hard life as a tiefling pirate. It doesn’t matter where I wash up I’m bound to be judged. It’s like they can see my past in my eyes. But maybe that’s just the paranoia that I can’t shake from my bones. It remains like the chill from an icy wind and pounds in my heart like the first time I lifted a purse from a noble’s belt. Ha. Look at the nobles now. Begging and crawling about in the grimy streets and alleys of this place. Now they are the ones with no purpose and I am the one making an honest diamond; although, perhaps that is something they never did anyway. But when their eyes find mine my heart beats so furiously I can hear it above every voice in the city. When I look away from them, and it is always I who looks to the ground first, I dwell on the paranoia and wonder if it is instead guilt. Then again, I didn’t feel guilt when I took from them then, and I won’t when I take from them now. Perhaps that is why the chill remains. I’ve left the Dragon Coast, but the cold waters are the waves that push the blood through my veins. Once a tiefling, always a thiefling! <– That’s a long way of saying oh no, oh no, did I just hit need instead of greed? Will this go on my criminal record?

Anyway, I could go on for a long time about this game because even though I’ve only been playing for a couple of days I’ve seen a lot (some things I wish I hadn’t) and there is a massive amount to experience.

Have you recently started playing? Or are you a Neverwinter veteran? Share your thoughts on the game and any tips you think might be useful! Tell me all your secrets! Or just tell me the race/class you rolled and what you think of it. That’s cool, too.

Elizabeth

“I know you…”

I was repeating myself; in my mind, with my voice.

I was saying, “I know you, I know you,” mentally screaming, “I know you!” and I did, I knew her.

The light of a church shone brightly nearby and in it I could see her fair hair, her eyes: their depth and their emotion. The slight figure I had only recently held in the very hands she now restrained; how small and helpless se had seemed then.

My wrists weren’t bound but the pressure of her delicate hands holding them together felt like they were clad by iron.

I could feel the sweat dripping down my bow as I desperately tried to move my fingertips.

Reaching a hand upwards she ran it smoothly over my cheek, feeling the moisture on my face; my sweat, the heat of her breath on my skin.

She inhaled quickly, suddenly drawing her hand down to my throat and within seconds pushing me backwards.

My head cracked off solid stone and although already wet with sweat I knew the liquid now soaking through my hair was blood.

I gasped as her lips came to my neck. As I felt the sharp sting of her teeth piercing my skin, the pain of them sinking into a vein, the sensation of my mind opening to such an impossible possibility as I realised I had been expecting all of this but refusing to believe it to be true.

I felt my eyes begin to blur and body begin to numb, but my thoughts were clear and no, I could not go down this easily.

I clawed at her hair, tangling its waves in my fingers, pulling at the strands with what strength I had left.

I tried to scream, but I could muster little sound, little more than a spluttering that sounded more like I was going to vomit the word vampire than scream it.

Before me I could still see the lights of the church, how dim they were becoming, and with an emotion I cannot explain I realised my body was failing me.

I was but moments away from death…

I felt my limbs weaken, I felt the faintness, I felt the exhaustion, the submission, I felt my hands weakly fall down her back and I felt my lips part as I choked what I thought to be my last words:

“Elizabeth, please.”

“You are too alike. I thought that by ridding myself of you she would be gone; would no longer haunt me.”

I sighed knowing that such a thing to say should be followed by an outburst of tears. But I had cried, cried until I thought no longer tears could flow, and now it appeared as though they could not.

I placed my hand on his head as I felt him stir. It was gently that he did but I felt a rush of content flood through me knowing I had stopped in time. My peace ended abruptly as with his next movement I felt him begin to shake. I had given him my own blood in an attempt to heal him. It wouldn’t matter the type, my blood could heal any I had fed on, a way to redeem one’s self I thought bitterly and grunted a laugh.

I took a deep breath and looked down at him; he looked so weak, so helpless. I wanted to pull him closer, to tell him I was sorry and beg for forgiveness, but instead I chose to do something I thought I would never have the courage to do.

I pulled my coat which I had laid over him higher to cover his neck and the wound which I had caused. He needed to be kept warm. If I had the strength I would have moved him, but from trying to revive him I now had little; I was drained.

Steadying my breath I held my voice no higher than a whisper as I began:

“You know what I am, you always knew.” I said to him, as though replying to his previous comments, only a life time too late.

“But how I came to be, what led my path to yours, the result of which could have been your death in exchange for my eternal life, you will learn only through my story.

“A story I am finally willing to tell.”

You know, just yesterday I was talking to someone about how we get from A to B when writing a story. This is part of my A. When I get an idea, I first get a feel for it in my head, and then I write something in that world. I never have, and probably (unfortunately) never will, go straight to the plotting board. I like to write a sample first, something that gets me into the mood of the story. I found when I wrote my book that the final story turned out very differently to what I had first started writing, and I can’t help but wonder where I would have taken this story.

It was going to be about Elizabeth, our main vampire lady, and the love story that had destroyed her. Nothing new there then, but that’s okay. It was also going to somewhat link in with the Verity story I posted a few weeks ago, but now I know that Verity will be a part of my series, I don’t think Elizabeth will be joining her.

Anyway, about the writing: it ain’t awful. It’s when I was developing how to write. Now, I’m kind of over that over emphasis on everything that I seemed to have enjoyed doing back then. I’m also not so big on writing in first person, which I seem to have also done a lot of in the past. Supposedly, young adults (and I was a young adult when writing most of my Flashback Friday Fiction) relate better to first person, so I find it interesting that it’s also how I wrote. My book isn’t in first person, however. I now prefer to write in third and be a bit of an omniscient narrator (I know all your secrets, mwahaha).

Another thing I’m not so keen on is the switch in point of view so early in the story. It just confuses things and I’m fairly certain that I had planned for the story to be told all from Elizabeth’s point of view. I suppose I was going for some kind of reaction, wanting the reader to somewhat fear Elizabeth and see her as a mysterious character before I introduced her as the main.

I don’t have any plans to write this story. It actually might be one of the only stories that I’ve started and don’t plan to go back to. I think it’s because of how serious I planned it to be. I don’t recall having any characters in mind to add humour and now when I write I like to have those characters. Also, vampires. I don’t believe vampires have been done to death in literature, I just think that for me they have. I was massively interested in vampires as a teenager and read a lot about vampire mythology and, of course, I was a huge fan of Anne Rice. Now, I just feel bored the minute I see something is about vampires. Although, I do still really want to watch What We Do in the Shadows!

Until next writing time machine,

-A