What’s New — May 2018

Happy May, everybody!

Last month I made it my mission to focus on my writing and my health, and that’s what I did. To the point of not really blogging all month. Sorry I’ve been so absent! It was helpful to have a brief hiatus from blogging just because sometimes when I sit down to write my novel, I’ll end up blogging instead. That’s still writing, right? But I needed to not have that as an option, and it worked out well. I’ve made tons of progress on my novel this month and am really enjoying the story as it unfolds (even though it’s still a total mess of a first draft). But now it’s May, and I’ve missed this blog, and I have a lot to say so expect some posts soon. =)

In other news, last month I ran every weekend and prepared for a 10K at the end of the month. It’s one of my favorite runs, as it takes you over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. While I just barely made it — I didn’t actually run the full 6-mile distance until the day of the race — I am really happy that I finished the thing and made a decent time, too. I’ll be continuing to run every weekend this summer to prepare for another 10K later in the year, when I want to beat my time.

April was also the month of the God of War launch, which was a big deal at work as well as in my household! I’ve been playing it since (almost two weeks now?), and while I feel I’ve made a lot of progress, from what I hear from others who raced through the game or are just devoting more time to it, I still have quite a ways to go. This is going to be a long, heavy game, which is great. If you haven’t played it, the storytelling, the dynamics between Kratos and his son, and the graphics are incredible. I’m really curious to see more of these mythical realms, and explore the Norse mythology that’s woven into every setting.

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My character eating a sandwich.

I also started playing a mobile game that I’m obsessed with now, called Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery. Check out how cool it is! You can create your own character, attend Hogwarts starting in your first year, go to classes, talk to professors, make friends… It’s awesome. I actually read a review of it on Polygon a week or so ago, which is what piqued my interest — and now I’m seeing it everywhere. If you like RPGs and Harry Potter, I highly recommend.

Now that May is here, I’ll be continuing God of War, running, and writing my book. I started reading Jacqueline Carey’s fantasy novel Kushiel’s Dart, which is perfection as an audiobook. This month is also Mother’s Day, so I’ll be celebrating that with my mom. And of course the following weekend is the royal wedding. My family are Anglophiles, and I used to live in London, so at some point we became obsessed interested in the Windsors and are now extremely excited to pull an all-nighter watching the wedding together!

In other news, I get to taste wedding cakes this month. =)

I’d love to hear what everybody else is up to in May!

— Ashley

30 Hours as a Monster Hunter: First Impressions

A couple of weeks ago I picked up Monster Hunter: World for the first time. And I’m so glad I did.

I was a few weeks late to the party, because the game wasn’t initially in my most anticipated of the year. I tried to play Monster Hunter on my Nintendo 3DS a few years ago and struggled to keep up — the game pretty much threw me into a huge, empty snowscape where I had to face a gigantic beast armed with a weapon I didn’t know how to use well and an inventory system I didn’t have the knowledge or patience to manage. So I didn’t last long.

But hearing so many good things about Monster Hunter: World from friends, coworkers, and my fellow bloggers, I decided to give this new entry in the series a shot. It’s different than past games for a few reasons — like it’s conveniently on the PlayStation 4, and it features a strong story that keeps driving you toward that next monster hunt.

So, without further adieu, here are my first impressions of the game after 30 hours as a monster hunter. =)

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Why Defusing Bombs is My Favorite VR Experience So Far

It’s my fate in life to constantly be on the hunt for good co-op games. My fiancé and I love to game together, but having burned through a lot of great co-op games already — and being a little picky, I suppose — we always feel deprived of good video games to play side by side.

Last week, he suggested we play a PlayStation VR game called Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes. I’ll admit that while I had heard about the game before, I didn’t fully understand it, and I’ve been hesitant to try a lot of VR games so far. The main reason is that I have a tendency to get motion sick, but it’s also laziness. I love the PS VR headset, but what can I say, some evenings I just don’t feel like putting it on.

But my fiancé convinced me to try the game, and it was amazing. Firstly, because it’s a unique concept that makes great use of VR and multiple players. And secondly, because I wasn’t actually the one in VR this time.

Continue reading Why Defusing Bombs is My Favorite VR Experience So Far

Listening as Reading: My Experience with Audiobooks

This isn’t my typical post about science fiction, fantasy, or video games, but I thought I’d share my experience with audiobooks. I’d still count that as a geeky interest, right?

About a year and a half ago, I started driving to work instead of taking public transportation, and to entertain myself on the commute, I began listening to audiobooks from Audible.

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5 of the Funniest Video Games I’ve Played So Far

Since playing Night in the Woods lately, I’ve been nostalgic about some of funnier video games I’ve played. I always enjoy when a game includes some humor — usually from a side character who cracks jokes, or something along those lines. But there are some games out there that are just about 100% funny. Even if you’re living through a story, getting to know characters in a deep way, shooting bad guys, or solving puzzles, the humor is an ever-present force that makes the game way more fun than it would otherwise be.

Here are the games that have had me laughing out loud the most.

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SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY, and VIDEO GAMES!