What’s New — June 2016

With the start of summer, there’s a big temptation to be outside more — but if I’m being honest, I have so many indoor hobbies to pursue, I’ll probably find a nice balance that swings a little more toward those!

Last month I replayed Dishonored and wrote up my thoughts on the stealth and special powers here. I also finished playing Gears of War Judgment for the first time, in co-op. It’s very different than the main trilogy of Gears games. You can read my review here.

Writing: I was also able to write more in May than I did the previous month, though there’s still a long way to go with my novel. I guess a part of me keeps hoping that if I just kick it into high gear, I can crank this thing out in a couple of months. But that’s just not realistic. So much of a novel comes down to rewriting and even rethinking structure, it’s a constant challenge to find the flow. I think I’m getting there, but I’m still nailing down how I want the first chapters to go and the overall approach I want to take to tell this story.

Plus, writing science fiction is hard. I have an idea of some of the technologies, but I’m not a scientist or engineer, and that’s not really what I’m interested in for this story anyway. It needs to be there, sure — and I want it to be realistic — but my story revolves around other things, like politics and interstellar travel and religion. One thing that helped me feel more comfortable with my writing overall was listing out the tech companies in this world, by name, and pinpointing exactly what technology my main character has on her. I also listed all the weapons my characters carry by name. I should have done that a long time ago, but in any case, nailing down the names of things — even seemingly unimportant ones — can make such a big difference in the worldbuilding and comfort level with this story. Just like I have my iPhone, iPad, Razer mouse, mouse pad from Dragon Age, MacBook Pro, etc… my characters need their specific gadgets too, and some have sentimental value.

Running: This month I’m back to running more often. I kind of took a break after my 10K in April, because I went on vacation and then I just got a little lazy. I’d go to the gym and tell myself I was going to run for three miles, but I’d only get to 1.5 before feeling like I should just give it a rest! This month, I’m challenging myself to run eight miles per week. That feels sufficient for me to push myself, without burning out. I’m not training for another race quite yet, so I do still want to leave time for other types of training as well!

Reading: I’m currently re-reading the novel Altered Carbonby Richard K. Morgan. It was a recommendation from my blogger friend Sam Leung, who wrote a review of the series here on my blog. It’s one of the best science fiction books I’ve ever read, yet there’s also so much about the story and world that feels confrontational to you, the reader. I’d like to write a review of it myself when I’m done reading this time!

uncharted 4.pngVideo Games: As for video games, this month I really need to wrap up my current playthrough of Dragon Age Inquisition! I’m also about two-thirds of the way through Uncharted 4, which is amazing. I started a new playthrough of the Mass Effect series, I’m curious to try a little Doom after watching my boyfriend play, and I’d like to dig into The Witcher 3 more and play the expansions! That’s a lot to cover, so we’ll see how far I get… =)

What are you guys up to this month?

— Ashley

7 Comments Add yours

  1. simpleek says:

    Sounds like you’ll be kept busy this month! :) I’m definitely all about the writing, as we discussed before, but also fitting time for games and maybe some TV show catch ups. I’ve been mostly watching Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood on Netflix and occasionally watching a few episodes of Fate/Stay Night on Hulu. I definitely like Brotherhood, which isn’t surprising because I loved the first anime, but I’m kind of not sure how I feel about Fate/Stay Night. Could be the story or the characters not jiving with me, but I’m going to try to finish the first season and then decide if it’s my kind of anime to check out the next season. :)

    1. Ooh I should watch Fullmetal Alchemist, I remember watching the first episode a couple years ago, when I was trying to get into anime. It’s when I was reading manga a lot for the first time, too. But in the end, I never really committed to any anime series, except Cowboy Bebop! Anyway, good idea to finish the first season, sometimes shows pick up later, like they have to find their footing?

      Good luck with your writing, as always! I’ve been waking up early to write, which is working out well for me now. Helps to have a schedule. :) Are you still writing on your lunch breaks?

      1. simpleek says:

        Both the original Fullmetal and Brotherhood are long series, but I’d say if you want to get back into anime, I highly recommend watching and sticking with them until the end. Characters and story get really good from the very start. I don’t have time to binge watch shows like I used to, but I’m watching one or two episodes a night sometimes. :)

        Thanks! Same to you too! I think I’m still struggling with keeping to a schedule. I have to figure out that one this summer. I am still writing during my lunch breaks though! It’s mostly sketching out potential scenes for my book I may want to use in later developments. I also recently started outlining my villain for the book! I had a hard time figuring out her personality and main motivation. But after having an email exchange with a friend who is a published author, to get some advice on how to approach it, ideas started coming soon after! I got some ways to go, but at least I have something to go on and develop when I’m ready for her entrance into the story! :)

  2. My father is theoretically going to be coming down for a visit sometime in the next few weeks. We plan to see the Warcraft movie and X-Men: Apocalypse together.

    For gaming, I’m going to resist the temptation to start on Knights of the Fallen Empire in SW:TOR until all the chapters are out (I hope), but I may tinker around with more alts. The Secret World’s new Museum of the Occult feature is supposed to launch this month (far sooner than expected), so that should keep me busy for a little while.

    And then there’s the Steam sale. I’ve already got a fair bit to play, so I’m thinking I might not buy much this time, but I definitely want to grab Oxenfree, at least. Saw a friend stream it a few months ago and was impressed enough to want to play it myself, even though I’ve already seen it all. Plus they just added some new content, so at least some of it will be fresh to me.

    Next up on my reading list is “The Sleeper Awakes” by HG Wells, and then I’ll rush off to grab the first book of Ian Irvine’s new Three Worlds trilogy, “The Gate of Good and Evil.” Could not be more excited for that.

    1. Nice! Oxenfree seems really interesting. Hope you enjoy the movies too! I saw X-Men and liked it a lot, and although I haven’t ever played Warcraft, I’m curious to see that movie…

  3. The environments in that new Witcher expansion look amazing. I am excited to check it out, but I plan to wait until I will have a bit more time to dedicate to it. Even an expansion in that game can be a real time sink (in a good way). Hoping to play through the new Mirror’s Edge and Kirby games this month on the gaming front. Excited to see what comes out of E3 too. Will you be there again this year?

    1. No, my company’s not sending us this year! Mirror’s Edge looks interesting, I know my boyfriend will be playing it but the first one made me motion sick. Maybe I’ll handle it better now! haha Anyway I know what you mean about The Witcher 3 expansions! They could be entire games themselves, makes me wish I had more free time…

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