What’s New – November 2016

While I don’t know about the official start date, I’m pretty confident in saying that weather-wise and spirit-wise, winter is finally here. Which is awesome, because this is my favorite season. I realize I may be in the minority here, but I love that it gets dark earlier — longer evenings to relax, guys! — and that the weather is a little moody — enough for me to wear a lot of sweaters and boots and drink too many hot beverages.

Anyway, this November I’d like to focus on myself. In past weeks, I’ve been feeling overly stressed and tired, so I’ve been trying to relax, take a deep breath about things, and get more sleep. I’m going to continue that throughout the month. Luckily, I have a little bit of time off for Thanksgiving this month, and the new season of Gilmore Girls will be on Netflix for a super fun day of marathoning one of my favorite shows with my family!

Writing

It’s also NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and as always, I’m participating. It’s going to feel good, getting back in the habit of writing every day and marking off chapters as I race through my current draft. It’s always a little hectic, but that’s half the fun.

Plus, the NaNo Word Sprints are so inspirational to me. If you’re working on a creative writing project, you can follow them on Twitter here; they are constantly having different moderators take over with word prompts so you can sprint-write for five, 10, 15, or 30 minutes at a time. I’m especially fond of the 30-minute word sprints that encourage you to crank out 1,000 words — very helpful since the word goal for the month is 50,000!

I’ve been revising my outline, which was already pretty detailed but had a few holes that made me nervous. Overall, I’m in a good place with my story — I just need the confidence and dedication to stick with what I have. My worst habit as a writer (at least lately) is doubting my story and scrapping bits of it, instead of working through the fear. I think every writer sometimes worries that what they’re writing is terrible; it’s part of the process. I’m trying to remind myself of all the reasons I want to tell this story — I just hope I can do it justice. I guess that’s what edits are for later!

Writing is so fun when I’m on a roll with it, so hopefully NaNoWriMo will be just the kick I need to stop second-guessing myself and just enjoy the experience, whatever comes out of it. :)

Video Games

As for video games, I’m still playing Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. The story is incredible so far. But it is taking me a little time to play through it, as it’s a pretty massive game and I’m easily distracted by other games that crop up. Last month it was Gears of War 4 (you can read my post about it here or watch my video review here); this month, I’m continuing through the Mass Effect series and would like to play Dishonored 2 when it comes out.

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Dishonored 2

Oh, Dishonored 2. I’ve actually stopped watching new footage from the game because I just want to experience it for myself now! I’d like to play the game as Emily. The previous game’s protagonist, Corvo, is also available to play as, but I’d like to try out a new set of supernatural powers with Emily. Plus, I love playing female characters when I can.

However, Dishonored is known for being a stealth game (now series) that you can complete without killing anyone. Having played the first game twice now — and failing both times at being totally non-lethal — I can tell you that I have no plans to be sneaky in this game. I had a blast replaying Dishonored using all of Corvo’s powers, so I hope Emily’s will let me have as much fun. And hey, after all she’s been through, I can see her having a little bloodlust… right? That’s how I’ll play her!

Television

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Black Mirror

TV has also been high on my list lately, since I’m trying to relax more and all that! The new show I’ve picked up is hardly relaxing, but it’s a fascinating show where each episode tells a self-contained story: Black Mirror. Fellow blogger Simpleek likened it to The Twilight Zone, which is a great comparison. Every episode (that I’ve seen so far) makes a statement about the way we live our lives or where we’re headed as a society. It can be a little disturbing and dark at times, but that’s why it’s so original and fascinating. After each episode, I find myself going over the events that unfolded and picking out the themes; it’s like my brain wants to dissect everything afterwards.

Movies

DS_Endless_Possibilities_Poster.jpgThis month, Doctor Strange comes out. Just the presence of Benedict Cumberbatch in it makes me want to see it, but I’m also intrigued by this idea of a doctor-turned-superhero who seems more cerebral than others. The trailers piqued my interest enough that I bought some of the comics, and I’ve been dabbling a little bit over the past weeks to get a feel for the character. It’s been interesting seeing him wrestle with his conscience over his use of magic to keep this world safe — and the cost of that magic.

Exercise

I have been very negligent with working out lately. I’ll make the excuse that it’s hard to find the time, but that’s really lousy of me. Since this month is about de-stressing, I need to make time for myself — and exercising is a huge stress reliever. Since running season is over for me this year after completing two 10Ks, I’m taking a break from running long distances. My focus is more on strength training, and I’d like to be more creative with my workouts going forward. I have no specific plans yet, but I’m excited to make exercising more of a habit again!

What is everybody up to this month? And what games are you playing?

— Ashley

11 thoughts on “What’s New – November 2016”

  1. I’m with you on welcoming the coming of colder weather. Toronto is so beautiful this time of year; the trees are just a riot of colour everywhere you look.

    I’m always impressed anyone can participate in NaNoWriMo. Just the thought makes me exhausted. I’ve said it before, but if I ever tried to write a novel in a month, they’d find my desiccated corpse splayed over the keyboard sometime in December.

    For gaming, I’m currently knee-deep in TSW’s latest Halloween event (check out today’s post on Superior Realities if you’d like my full thoughts on the matter; it’s been an interesting experience), but I expect to be done with that soon. SW:TOR’s expansion is launching in early December, so I might just keep my sub up until then and dabble with alts in the meanwhile. I want to complete every class story, and I feel like I’m getting close. I restarted my trooper with a better sub-class, and I’ve started a lady Sith smuggler.

    I’d like to work through some of my Steam backlog, too, but I’m not sure I’ll get around to that. And I’m continuing to play StarCraft II co-op here and there. They finally added Nova, and she is astonishingly fun. Also incredibly overpowered.

    I’m also curious about Doctor Strange. I’m not really a big fan of the Marvel movies, but the special effects look amazing in the trailers, so I think it might be a good popcorn movie. I also think I might check out Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them at some point. I really didn’t like the main Harry Potter movies, but since this a new story, I won’t have anything to compare it to. Less chance for disappointment.

    At the recommendation of a blog reader, I checked out a new sci-fi show called Travelers, but the first two episodes didn’t impress, so I’m not sure I’ll stick with it. I’ve also been hearing good things about a show on Netflix called Glitch, so I may give that a whirl.

    1. Oh I’ve heard of Travelers, so you’re not that into yet? I might check it out soon. Haven’t heard of Glitch.

      I forgot the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is coming out soon! That looks interesting. I did enjoy some of the first Harry Potter movies, though the constant director-switching makes some much better than others for me. (Alfonzo Cuaron’s is my favorite, and it also happened to be my favorite book!) I’m not sure what to make of this new story, but I’m definitely curious.

      Good luck with finishing up all of the classes in SWTOR! That sounds fun.

      1. I didn’t really keep track of who was directing what with the Harry Potter films. Remind me which one that was?

        The only one I particularly liked was Order of the Phoenix, which was also my favourite book. They didn’t cut out anything too important, and I really liked the girl who played Luna Lovegood, who was one of my favourites in the books.

        The nice thing about the class stories in SW:TOR is between how the game’s been overhauled and all the XP boosts I’ve accrued, I can just play the class missions and pretty much ignore everything else. Turns each one into a nice breezy mini-RPG. I’ve already done half of them, and have had starts on the others.

        Oh! And one thing I forgot to mention in my first comment: BlizzCon is tomorrow. It feels like Christmas Eve! There will be much to blog about tomorrow, I think.

        1. Oh yeah, Order of Phoenix was good. The one I liked was the third one, Prisoner of Azkaban.

          Hmm sounds interesting about SWTOR and the XP boosts. I really enjoyed that game when I played it about three years ago (or four??). But I didn’t play it for long, as other games distracted me as always happens for me!

          1. Oh, yeah, I seem to remember Prisoner of Azkaban was okay. Not stellar, but at least it didn’t make me nerdrage like Half-Blood Prince’s adaptation did (don’t get me started).

            You’d probably enjoy SW:TOR more now (well, if you can stomach its convoluted horror show of a free to play model, which is a big if for many people). They streamlined the whole game with Knights of the Fallen Empire so you can focus on the story a lot more. It’s become a lot less of a WoW clone MMO and a lot closer to the kind of experience you’d see in Bioware’s single-player games. That’s mainly why I started on it — something to tide me over while I wait for ME: Andromeda and Dragon Age IV: Tevinter Strikes Back (almost certainly not the name it will have, but the name I will use as long as I can).

            Too many parenthetical phrases in this comment. I blame being burnt out from BlizzCon.

  2. Dishonored 2 looks so cool. I love the powers I saw in the demo I watched. I look forward to hearing how it is. I still need to play the first one. I have it, so it is just about making the time to actually play it. I am hoping to play Watch Dogs 2 this month and catch up on some more games I missed out on in 2016 before the year is over. Cool to hear you are doing some strength training. That is where my workouts focus. I envy people who are into distance running. I don’t have it in me despite trying to get into it multiple times now.

    1. Oh yeah, I also want to play Watch Dogs 2! Might save it for Christmas, since I’ll have a little time off to game. That’s cool you do strength training too! I’m really enjoying it. Mainly I just need to be more consistent with it, since that seems so important for making progress and not “backtracking”! Haha yeah, I can understand not getting into running. I used to hate it, and when I take a break from it I always have a hard time getting back into it. But I feel like that’s because it’s hard for me, which makes it my ultimate workout and that’s why it feels worth it to me. Otherwise it’s like I’m not pushing myself quite enough.

  3. I managed to finish Season 1 of Black Mirror just before I left on my vacation. I like the series so far and I especially enjoy the commentary it makes about our society. I agree that after each episode, I just want to dissect it. Think about what I’ve just seen and all. They do leave me feeling really unsettled after each one finishes. I did like the ones about the twist on an American Idol/Britain’s Got Talent reality show theme and the one about people being able to record their memories and play it back any time they want. I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of the other seasons!

    1. Oh we’re in the same place! Yep I can’t wait to watch more too. But the show is so heavy, it’s kind of a special thing to watch an episode, for me — it’s certainly not thoughtless entertainment like some of my TV shows are! haha

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