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World of Keiko 2017-06-27

It has been another week. I hope that you’ve had a good week. My week has been somewhat productive and enjoyable.

This past week has seen numerous people attending Vidcon, which I have followed with some interest on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Some YouTubers have apparently reconciliations and friendships made as a result of people talking to each other. It also saw the shutuptariq hashtag trending in response to a figure that shuts down criticism with accusations of the other party being a “white supremacist” instead of addressing those criticisms. People are fed up with this sort of intellectual dishonesty and with good reason. If a person truly wants to solve a problem, then they should address legitimate criticism of what they say and do.

Hubby and I celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary last week. Soon after, the Steam Summer Sale started and he got me the removing parts of the Saint’s Row franchise. After that, we played some multiplayer Saint’s Row the Third. It was a lot of fun but we still haven’t quite finished that run-through of the game. As such, we’ve been playing together a few hours each night. I may suck at driving and flying vehicles but I at least suck a lot less in the weapons department. I will certainly get a lot better with practice.
What games have you been playing of late? What makes them so enjoyable for you? Have you purchased anything during the Steam Summer Sale? Are you waiting for a discount on any games in particular for the Steam Summer Sale?

In other news, I am back to doing daily lessons at Duolingo. The focus this time around is French given that some of the characters in the book that I am currently working on are French. I studied a little in high school but it is very rusty. I have also spent a lot more time of late studying Dutch and German which is quite a bit different from French. Dutch and German use some similar words, which allows one to assist in learning the other much in the way that Spanish and Portuguese assist each other. I haven’t come across a language that assists with learning French as yet. There is apparently a difference between Quebecian French and Parisian French, but I have no idea what the differences are. My best guess is that Here’s hoping that I can be consistent with my daily lessons.
Are any of you currently learning a language? Are you bilingual? Feel free to post about your experiences in the comments section and social networking.

What sort of music have I been listening to this week? Here is a quick list:

Books? I am still reading Rachel Aaron‘s 2K to 10K book on improving writing output. It is a decent read but I am also working on planning a book in the background. The planning is taking a bit longer than expected actually. Turns out that the planned prologue will also work better as a short prequel story.

That is it for this week. Before I go, I’d like to offer a shout-out to new follower theindianindiehead. Kaustav Ray has a really neat music blog that I encourage folks to check out. I leave you with a live performance of the song ¡Que Paciencia! by Sundayers from their album Cógelo!.


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World of Keiko 2017-06-19

It’s been a while since my last update. It’s been difficult for me to regain much of the momentum that I had before Cyclone Debbie. And, there have been a few things happening in my country of late that have been distracting. Some of the people that follow me on Facebook and Twitter will likely understand some of these things but I won’t go into further detail apart from me saying that some people want to shut down conversation about certain issues. Most of the people involved are good people but I think that they are wrong in this case. It’s also led to some folks and their work being misrepresented. This puts the idea of “journalistic integrity” into question as a whole. Enough of that depressing subject. It is time to talk about what else has been going on in my life.

On the blogging front, I am back in the swing of things now. I might have to increase frequency incrementally until I am back to the amount of content that I was posting before the cyclone struck but it will be a priority from now on as well as some other things. Time management will likely be a challenge but I really need to sort it if I want to have anything to show for my time. Based on some of the content that you’ve seen on my blog, is there anything that you’d like to see more of? I am considering posting about politics on occasion. Are readers interested in me posting that sort of content on this blog? If not, I might start another blog for that purpose.

In gaming news, hubby and I are now subscribed to Final Fantasy XIV. Yes, we were both playing Black Desert Online before that. Over the last four to five months, we’ve been playing less. For my husband, he was becoming less and less inclined to do active play. He didn’t tell what he was thinking but I did notice the lessened enthusiasm which I put down to frustration at the latency issues on experience weekends.
During his recent few weeks off from work, he comes out of the blue and asked if I would be interested in giving Final Fantasy XIV a try. I was sceptical but decided to watch some videos and read up on the game. He’d also mentioned that he intended to use it as a “holiday game”, which meant that he didn’t foresee necessarily taking a liking enough to go beyond the 30 days of game time that you get with the base game.
Then we played the game… and liked it… I found myself seeing logging into BDO as a chore but felt an attachment to members of my guild because they are a great bunch of people. The possibility of leaving them was a difficult one but I also understood how little active play I had also moved into since last Christmas. I jumped on Discord to see if members of the guild were logged on. Nobody was around, so I decided to drop our guild master a private message. I felt guilty but it also felt wrong to not tell them what was going on. In spite of G’s reassurances, I still feel a bit bad about it. My husband and I were guild officers and it felt like we were letting them down. It was an irrational feeling, I know that, but it doesn’t make it less difficult.
In any case, after more than four years hubby and I have a monthly subscription to FFXIV. We like it that much. We’ve also set up a Free Company (the FFXIV equivalent of a guild in other MMORPGs) to allow our toons to swap gear. You Can’t Join. Seriously, that is the name. 😀 It might be tab-targeting and lack the action combat that I liked about BDO and TERA, but there is a charm about the combat and the numerous systems that give me a lot to play around with.
Does this mean that I am discouraging people from playing BDO? No. It does have numerous elements that work well. However, there are some pet peeves that I have. One of those pet peeves resolves around… pets. There are a few other things but they are more personal preferences than anything else. That being said, the game interface has improved dramatically over the fourteen months since the game went live. If you do decide to give it a run, keep in mind that you’ll need a decent computer to run it.
What games have you guys been playing of late? What do you like or hate about them?

Exercise? *sigh* I need to get back into it but I need to focus on the results. One of those is the endorphins released during exercise once you get to a certain level of health and fitness. Good health and fitness also mean that certain things become possible and that barring any accident that leads to death, I will be able to be with my husband longer. Given that I love my husband, I see that as a good thing.

Now, some of you are likely wondering how my fiction writing is going. I decided to move back into the first instalment of Freak rather than focus on one of the other series in the same universe because that other series is merely a prequel of sorts for one of the characters in Freak. With the help of yWriter and reading Karen Aaron’s 2K to 10K ebook on writing, completion of the first draft of book one is well within reach over the next three months. Now, if only I could stop lingering on writing scenes and focus on planning so that I can avoid unnecessary rewrites and cuts later on. I will try to avoid posting more about the project until I have the first draft completed.
Yes, I am aware that another Camp NaNo start up again on July 1st. Given that I am focusing on my current project, I won’t be participating this time around. I will likely participate again in one later on this year or in early 2018. For those that are participating, I wish you the best with your Camp NaNo project as well as any other writing endeavour that you are currently focusing on.

Some other things happened of late that I consider worth mentioning. Sam Garbett has released two new tracks on Jamendo entitled Nostalgia and I Need to Go. Sunday Playlist 03/05/2017 opened with his song The Heat. The two new songs are a must-listen!
Based on a short conversation that I had on twitter with Vitne, the artist that I reviewed an album of yesterday, he is releasing his new album Jupiter in the next few days. Here is a link to the article on his official website where you will learn more about the release. I am looking forward to the release.
We recently saw an upsurge in posts about fidget spinners online. Some of these were hilarious whilst others were somewhat creative. Whatever your stance on fidget spinners, I believe that most of us can agree that somebody is making a lot of money off of a simple idea.

It is time to finish up this post. Before I go, I would like to off shoutouts to new followers Marvellous Fitness (gym inspiration blog), Said Christina (music blogger), Doggys That Blog (canine appreciation blog), nidjihouse, and Andrea Mack (food blogger). I am sorry that I didn’t give a shoutout to some of you sooner. I leave you all with the following clip by ProleteR:


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World of Keiko 2017-05-01

It has been ages since my last update. As some of you are already aware, the Queensland coast was hit by Cyclone Debbie more than a month ago. Our area lost power for more than a week and local farmers now have to deal with ruined crops of cane and months of work building up soil due to fertile topsoil being washed away. As far as my hubby and I are concerned, the creek behind our house repeatedly came up to our back fence. We saw the froth of the topsoil and numerous items being washed towards the ocean throughout that time.
After the cyclone moved south and inadvertently led to Rockhampton suffering its worse flood in sixty years, we saw numerous helicopters flying directly overhead as it moved along checking for where best to send repairs and support teams. Most of the people in the area have a means to deal with power outages, leading to the perpetual hum of generators and the use of portable solar panels. It was yet another reason why I like it here. The people know to plan ahead and prepare for an extended period without phones and power.

In lieu of the extended period of time rationing power and internet, I found myself feeling overwhelmed by the idea of blogging. As it was, the whole thing also coincided with Camp NaNoWriMo. I wasn’t able to reach my word target in time but it at least got me thinking about a character that desperately needed attention. What it has shown me if that I seriously need to get into a regular writing schedule again. This might be put on hold as hubby has declared his upcoming vacation as “three weeks of Hell” as he plans on doing lots of exercise during that time to improve his help. That means that I am sucked into the vortex of health and fitness improve as well. I am seriously going to be sore…

I have also thrown myself back into playing Black Desert Online, forcing me to think of how best to deal with upgrading gear for my toons. I now have three pieces of TRI boss gear. However, I still need to get some Dim Tree Armour. This will make a huge difference to my characters as a whole. I am so glad that my characters can share armour and accessories otherwise this would be even more painful than it currently is. I have changed my node network in order to nab strategic points and also begun production of items such as Jukeboxes and muskets. This will likely change to fit with supply and demand as well as my own supply of materials. I may not be the using the most efficient methods for making silver in-game but it is currently something that requires very low maintenance on my part.


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World of Keiko 02/28/2017

It has been another busy week for me. Due to making the decision to play more BDO in order to spend quality time with some guild members, I spent much of the last five days playing. As such, some recent posts have been delayed.
I also made the decision to move my weekly music review to Sunday alongside my Sunday Playlist post. I figure that this should offer something more for folks to listen to over the next week. I hope that it doesn’t feel like overkill but I suppose that I will have to see what you guys think of the changes.
I will attempt to juggle my time a bit more effectively and efficiently but it might take a few weeks to find my footing. That being said, I am having fun playing the game again. For a few months there, I was a tad burnt out by the grinding for level and shinies. It was nice to have life skills as a back-up in the meantime.
I did manage to at least get an anime review out and am nearly halfway through the next series that I will be reviewing. I forgot how funny the show Bamboo Blade was. It seems that the show also managed to get more complex over time and still holds up quite well ten years later. I suppose that I will have to wait until Friday to tell you guys a bit more about it.

Not much to say on the writing front but I wasn’t really expecting anything special in that department. It is not to say that I didn’t think about Freak or my serial. I just simply didn’t put physically sit down to write. I don’t feel guilty about this because I do believe that I at least made a few relevant decisions regarding how the stories would progress.

Back to the gaming front, I managed to get the awakening for my Ninja this past weekend after sitting on level 55 for a few months. It was a bit of a rush and I found myself really digging how easily the character was able to take out several pain-in-the-ass golems in Mediah. Some folks will know exactly what I am referring to when I say “Wilderness Golems”. For those that don’t, Wilderness Golems are slightly overpowered compared to many of the other creatures in the zone. They also have some rather annoying abilities. What the hell is up with a lot of Mediah creatures having stun abilities?
I also started on the task of getting some other characters in the early 50’s closer to their own awakenings. I should have 3 more toons with awakenings in the next five days. This should be made a lot easier with some purchases that I made in the marketplace yesterday. Hubby gave me a pep-talk, as he often does. It had to happen and it makes a HUGE difference to overall damage output. I am also very thankful that many if not all of the items can be shared with my stable of twelve characters. My next awakening will be for my Sorceress which is two-thirds of the way to level 56. After that, it will be a toss-up between Musa and Valkyrie, with a slight inclination to play my Musa first.

Well, that is it for this week. I will post my creative prompt after this and try to deal with my weekly manga review before I turn in this evening. Here’s hoping that I will be able to post on time tomorrow and for the rest of the week. A big shoutout to new followers Edhein (anime) and shadowoftheoperaghost (KDrama). I look forward to conversing with you and the host of other followers. In any case, I leave you guys with this clip by Allie Farris.


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World of Keiko 02/20/2017

Another week has passed. Across all of the east coast of Australia, many people were dealing with their own share of weather-related issues be it fire or flooding. Thankfully, hubby and I live in an area that is for the most part isolated from such things. There are certain parts of our township that can be cut from for days at a time when we get a downpour but most of the people around her will have some sort of plan to deal with such things.

What have I been up to blog-wise this past week? I wasn’t able to get my anime review out on time again, which leads me to a bit of quandary. Much in all as I would like to write one each week, I also know that my habits have also changed in only a couple of months. I might have to drop it down to one each fortnight instead in order to have some sort of schedule.
I seem to be keeping up with my weekday prompts, with some folks actually checking them out. The process has led to me finding some really neat resources online as well as some talented artists. That is a really neat side effect of trying to release weekday creative prompts that are diverse enough to give folks some wriggle room to play.
I have also decided to post more reviews of Asian Drama and TV shows from now on given that the storytelling style is a bit closer to what I am trying to emulate with Freak.

On the writing front, I still haven’t finished writing the first chapter of Freak Book 1. You are likely wondering what the heck is up. Well, it occurred to me that I was lacking some information about New York City, the place where the story takes place. In spite of seeing numerous shows and films set in the city, I really didn’t know much about this iconic place.
So, I went about looking at maps to make sure that I had some idea of how my characters would get around via something as mundane as public transport. I also learnt a few pieces of terminology specific to the way in which the city is laid out. It was a lot of fun but I still have more to learn. However, what I did learn was enough to get me through the first chapter.
To the word count of the chapter, I am up over 5k now. The word count has fluctuated as I amended certain things to match up with what I learned about the city and about the architecture of large buildings such as high-rise hotels. Given that a large portion of the first novel occurs in a hotel from the staffing side, it made sense to get the description of how they would travel as close to right as possible.

That is it for this week. Before I go, though, I would like to get a shoutout to Civil who is a writer that I connected with on Twitter a few weeks ago. Civil writes some really good short fiction and recently started a Patreon page that I highly recommend that you guys check out. I leave you guys with the following song by the outfit Telepathic Teddy Bear:

 


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World of Keiko 02/13/2017

Another week has passed. Hubby and I still haven’t moved the exercise equipment into our lounge room as yet. I did manage to finish and review the anime series Working!!, which turned out to be a fun watch. It took me ages to get to it, though. I also started posting weekday creative prompts and highly encourage folks see if the prompts are helpful.

To the writing front, I only managed to release the minimum instalment of my serial A Small Town last week. I had hoped to get another one out, but I got distracted with other stuff. I do intend on continuing the serial until the conclusion of the first season. However, the frequency will likely drop to closer to the originally intended weekly instalment.
On top of the weekly serial, I found myself working on the first chapter of Freak Book 1 over the weekend. I am close to finishing the rather lengthy chapter and will likely post it and the prologue later in the week. I will have to do some revisions before then to polish it to a standard that I deem worthy, but at least it will start being released into the wild much sooner than I had initially intended.

That is it for another week. A shout-out to new followers Storytellingcook, BeautifulKittens, and Ultimate Funny Animals. I leave you guys with this clip of the song Fire Inside by the band Ridgway:


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World of Keiko 02/06/2017

Another week has passed and it was a productive one at that. It is a rarity, but it does happen on occasion. That being said, I wasn’t able to review an anime series for a second week in a row, but I did make minor headway with the series that I am currently watching.

First up, I managed to introduce the main story arc for my serial A Small Town. I’d known since writing the first chapter what the main foe would be, but I was getting quite anxious in the lead-up to the appearance of our nasty monster. Now comes the challenge of bringing all of those clues together so that our heroes can end that sucker. Alas, this is made more difficult by our amnesiac Moon Dog, Egg. Okay, you are probably wondering why I added Egg in the first place.
When I started writing the first chapter, I only knew that the first scene would be about a mother and son moving. Then, weird stuff started happening and it transformed into an odd rural-themed Urban Fantasy thing. Given that I am not a true Pantser, I started making some very sketchy notes to plan it out, in the form of chapter headings with a very distinct flavour. This is by no means the most efficient method, but I often feel too bogged down by blow-for-blow outlines. A character outline tends to be a lot more useful to me.
You are likely reading this section wondering what the hell is up. A lot of writers do indeed see themselves as either a Planner or Pantser. For me, the Planner model fails in that it is too restrictive and I find myself taking more time planning out a scene than writing the blasted thing. The Pantser model also fails because there is not enough structure. In the end, you have to do what works for you, and I do believe that I may have found the model that currently works for me.
That being said, I wasn’t able to get out a chapter of the serial today because I didn’t feel very well today. I will try to get one out tomorrow instead, on top of my manga review. It is going to be one busy day, but I think that I am up to the challenge. Let’s hope that the chapters that I post from now on will get better rather than worse. I really want the quality of my writing to improve as a matter of pride, but I realise that this will take some time.

Second, hubby surprised me last night by spontaneously deciding to clean and reorganise the lounge room. Apart from not moving the exercise into the room yet, we are now set up with my old monitor set up for my machine and our plasma TV hooked up to hubby’s machine on top of his Predator X-34 ultra-wide monitor. It is glorious and well worth the several months of waiting around. The only problem is that I now get chilled by the air conditioner that points directly at me from the other side of the room. It is such a small price to pay. Anyway, here it a crappy picture of our new set-up.

Our lounge room computer+TV set-up.

Our new lounge room set-up

These two things may not seem like much, but they were a pretty big deal for me. One is part of that ongoing processing of building a good writing habit whilst the other is a quality of life and productivity thing. These both make a huge difference to my overall happiness. Heck, one of these days I might even money from the latter. (The dream…)

That is it for another week. A big shout-out to new followers MovieBabble and Nia Shopping. I really dig your blogs (yes, I do check out the blogs of my followers) and look forward to chatting to both of you sometime soon. I leave you all with this clip for Think of You by Sam Brown, from his Jamendo release 37 Reasons: