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

SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY, and VIDEO GAMES!