Happy New Year!

)O( WELCOME TO 2016!!! )O(

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I hope all of my beloved pixies had a wonderful Christmas and New Year! I’d love to hear about your New Year’s Resolutions, let me know in the comments below!

This year I’ve decided to knuckle down and get work hard on Book 2, Age of Magic. I’m hoping to have finished the first draft within a couple of months. I know, I know, a lot of people can finish a draft in one month (I’m looking at the fantastic NaNoWriMo participants), but unfortunately, I’m not one of them. I’m too much of a perfectionist, so even though it’s the first draft, things like character or place names, phrases or quirks, have to be absolutely exact.

Blame my Virgoean outlook.

Looking back, 2015 was possible the biggest and best year of my life. Aside from the horrible experience of losing a beloved and cherished friend and pet, I achieved that which I’d been dreaming of my entire life. I was finally able to hold a copy of my own book in my hands and say “Look at what I’ve done”. I was so proud.

Now it’s time to start aalll over again, and continue on a story that needs to be told. Not because the world needs to know or anything, but because if I don’t tell it, I go stir-crazy.

Now I just need to stop procrastinating on Dragon Age, and we’ll be fine…

Blessed Be!

RK )O(

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In Other News

I recently downloaded the new Nightwish album, Endless Forms Most Beautiful. I don’t review music, so I won’t attempt to. It takes a true musician to review music properly.

But wow, EFMB is pretty fantastic. The new singer, Floor Jansen, has a wonderful voice, very operatic, and it takes their music back to its roots (back when Tarja was the lead singer). That doesn’t mean I didn’t like Anette Olzen. When she was their singer, their music was less “fantastical” and seemed to focus more on simplistic styles and lyrics, rather than poetry, folklore and fairy tales, but still they played some great songs. Amaranth continues to this day to be one of my favourite Nightwish songs.

I like both styles. I love all music, if I’m honest. Well… most music. I’ve never been a big fan of R&B or pop.

First song on the album, Shudder Before the Beautiful, has a full choir to provide a majestic contrast to Floor’s softer vocals. That doesn’t mean she can’t seriously belt out those powerful vocals with her awesome set of pipes.

I think my favourite song on EFMB is My Walden. It has a very sweet melody, almost like a lullaby. The lyrics always blow me away. I think it’s mostly the heavy Celtic influence, and the Welsh introduction.

Seriously, check it out if you enjoy well-written music or if you love fantasy. The lyrics read like a Yeats poem.

My Walden is swiftly followed by Élan. I think (if I remember correctly), they released a demo of this one before the album, so I heard this a few months ago. It’s beautiful. It was a taste of the epic grandeur of the new album.

Okay, that’s enough gushing about Nightwish. I saw them once in concert when Anette was the singer. It was a-may-zing! Tuomas smiled at me and I haven’t stopped fangirling since.

 

In other news…

Happy birthday to my best friend in all the world, Tatty! It’s only 9 days until Tatty and Katie Take London 2015: Slytherins on Tour!

It’s also only 21 days until my birthday, too! Eep! I get childishly excited about birthdays. I don’t know if it’s maybe just the promise of cake?

Aaaaaand 48 days until the official paperback release of The Old Ways!!! AAAAAAHHHHH! Who’s excited? I’m excited! Are you excited? You look excited! I’m excited AAH 😀

And it’s out of my system. For now.

Also, I have a little surprise for you darling pixies. You extra special ones who follow my blog and like my posts. Next week, instead of a blog post on Wednesday, there’ll be a super-exciting-special post on Tuesday 18th, where I will…

Are you ready?

antici

Are you ready?

pation

Couldn’t resist, sorry ^-^

 

RELEASE THE COVER FOR THE OLD WAYS!!!!

That’s right, you darling pixies get to see the front cover first! Unless you follow me on Facebook, and even then it depends which page you look at first.

(PS follow me on Facebook!)

BUT YAY OMIGOSH THE COVER! 😀

Super exciting, right? I’ve seen the original designs, it’s pretty gorgeous. Also, I’m still working on Age of Magic in the meantime, in between playing Dragon Age: Inquisition for the billionth time (PS, please Bioware, release the new DLC for PS3!!! 😦 ) and marathoning Firefly on Netflix.

Blessed be, my darling pixies!

RK )O(

My First Ever Comic-Con

Pardon me while I get this out of my system first.

OH MY GOD I MET GARETH DAVID-LLOYD AND HE CALLED ME SWEETIE AND HE’S LIKE THE NICEST PERSON AND HE SIGNED MY DRAGON AGE: INQUISITION COVER AND HE WAS SO FRIENDLY BECAUSE I TOLD HIM I LOVED SOLAS AND AAAHHH.

He's such a nice guy :)

He’s such a nice guy 🙂

Aaaaaand it’s out of my system.

So yeah, my first ever Comic-Con and this happened. It was… an interesting experience. I’ll probably have my own table next year, flogging my book to passersby, shouting at them to come back and offering cookies if they buy The Old Ways.

Probably still fangirling if there are any other famous people there too.

But given that my first sight upon entering the teeny tiny room over-packed with people was an overweight Spock, I had a surprisingly good time. Bought a keyring. And a Loki vinyl Pop! doll. He has a bobble-head. You know the ones I mean. With the black eyes? I tried to find a Castiel one, but no such luck.

Batman was there. Not the real one, obviously. A guy dressed as Batman. But his costume was amazing. He had a full on Dark Knight suit of armour. And a lantern jaw. Pretty impressive. Didn’t get close enough to hear if he could do the voice though.

And I’m proud to say I didn’t fangirl out loud at all, except for one brief moment in which I think I may have terrified my companion. Conversation went thus:

Him: “Do you want to head over?”
Me: “Over there? Sure, they have some cool– is that–? OH MY GOD, THAT’S RUMPLESTILTSKIN! FROM ONCE UPON A TIME! OH MY GOD THAT COSTUME IS AWESOME! HE’S GOT THE GOLD SKIN! AND THE HAIR! AND THE OUTFIT! OH MY GOD!”
Him: “You okay?”
Me: *heavy breathing* “Yeah. Let’s. Let’s just go over here for a minute.”

In other news, Celtic Woman are coming to my neck of the woods. Totally bought tickets. 10 year anniversary gig? I am so there.

In other, other news, I have a new editor, Fiona, who is working on The Old Ways for now. I’ve also been in talks about the front cover. I can’t wait to show you guys. Y’know. All three of you who read my ramblings. You know who you are, you precious diamonds that I hold dear to my hearts. No, heart. I only have one, right? Yeah. Just one.

A bit nervous about the coming months. Big changes happening in my life. No, I’m not pregnant. But, in a way, my baby is being released into the world. Ew that sounds gross. I mean my novel. My novel is my baby. And it’s being released.
Okay, this metaphor is confused.

I’ll stop rambling now. I’ve just realised I’ve made it this far into the day without a single drop of coffee. This must be rectified at once. Author, out!

Blessed be, my lovely little pixies.

RK )O(

RK’s REVISED Highly Biased Review of Dragon Age: Inquisition

SPOILERS ABOUND. BE WARNED. Though the word “review” does kind give that away. And it’s not really a review. More of a… ramble. Anyway. Here be words:

GENERAL GAMEPLAY

I’ve heard a lot of people complain about this game because of it’s literal massive-ness. Admittedly, the Hinterlands is a huge starting base (leading to this “Leave the Hinterlands” meme I’ve seen floating around). And, yes, the Hinterlands is a pretty enormous arena to start new players off with, but it’s only one arena of the game.

People haven’t complained about the size of Skyrim, and that entire landscape is open-world. Yes, it has its dungeons and its caves and its cities, but the whole countryside is open.

“Hey, see that mountain over there? The one at the other side of the Markarth? Yeah, I’m gonna climb that thing. Might take me a while since I’m in Whiterun, but whatever. Come, Shadowmere! Let us adventure! :D”

Sticking with the comparison of Skyrim and Dragon Age, which I’ve seen a lot of:

Skyrim is an a country within the land of Tamriel.
The Hinterlands is a region within the country of Ferelden within the land of Thedas.

(By the way, I am not bashing Skyrim. I love the Elder Scrolls)

Besides, you need so much “power” to get to the next level. (I think it’s 8, if I remember correctly), so one only needs to do so many quests to get out of the Hinterlands. I know, Bioware gamers by nature are completionists. But the Hinterlands aren’t locked once you leave. You can always return 🙂

CHARACTERS

Bioware has never created dull characters, and there’s no changes here. DA:I gives us a veritable rainbow of colourful characters. Aside from your nine companions, you also have your three advisors. Not to mention allies, agents and NPCs. (Oh, Scout Harding ❤ you adorable little squishy scout)

And yes, I’m a massive Cullen fangirl. I’m completely in love with his character development. We watched him go from an infatuated, adorkable Templar intiate, to a mage-hating bundle of angsty, then grow into a stern-but-fair Knight Captain who somehow was still adorably bashful, and finally into a strong, capable, commander who’s haunted by his past failures and Lyrium addiction (which you can help him overcome). I mean, look at this adorable face ^-^

cullen

I find it nicely compares to Varric’s development. While still the Snark Knight, you can definitely tell Varric is blaming himself for everything that’s gone wrong in Thedas. And, to be honest, I can kinda see why. While he’s one of my favourite characters, if it hadn’t been for him mounting his expedition to the Deep Roads, finding the Red Lyrium idol, introducing Anders to Hawke, and leading Hawke to her (I always play as female) confrontation with Corypheus, then I suppose none of the events of Inquisition would’ve happened.

No Red Lyrium. No Elder One. No Warden Corruption. No Chantry-go-boom.

Oh, Varric. My heart broke to see you so despondent </3 😦

I’m not going to go too deep into it, but Sera irritates the ever-loving crap out of me. I think it’s because she has absolutely no respect for a Dalish Inquisitor. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if Sera is romanced by a female Dalish Inquisitor, and then finds out about the Temple of Mythal, Sera actually laughs at her that the Dalish got their history wrong.

That’s cruel, Sera 😦

I went out of my way to make Solas my Inquisitor’s BFF. Not sure why, but I love him. I love how he’s so serious, but he can snark with the best of them. He and Iron Bull have the best banter. They play chess. In their heads. That’s damn cool.

INQUISITOR

I’ve completed two playthroughs so far, (midway through my third) and each time I’ve played as a female Dalish mage. The first time, this was because I always play Dragon Age as a mage and, wherever possible, an elf. IE, Elf-mage Warden and mage Hawke.

I was pleasantly surprised, therefore, to find that this character origin actually makes the most sense in a playthrough. The amount of elvish magic that appears in this game is astounding. The Well of Sorrows? Elven. The Foci? Elven. Numerous temples, veilfire runes, quests, all Elven. And Solas. Elgar’nan, Solas. You… you sneaky little Elf-mage, you.

My first two playthroughs, I’ve recruited the mages instead of the templars. I’ve allowed the Grey Wardens to remain in Ferelden and work with the Inquisition. I made Stroud stay in the Fade instead of Hawke. And finally, I’ve allowed Morrigan to drink from the Well of Sorrows instead of making Ellana Lavellan (my Inquisitor) do so.

In my third attempt, however, I decided to try recruiting the Templars instead. It felt wrong. So very, very, wrong. I’ve nothing against Templars (I always romance Cullen), but I feel like a traitor if I approach Templars to make an alliance when playing as a mage. So, instead, I went through the Templar recruitment mission and saved the game, then went back, completed the mage recruitment mission and continued on the game from there. So now I have two save files for one game.

I must say, the Templar recruitment mission was more enjoyable. It felt like a journey into Lavellan’s psyche. And Cole appears first! Cutie-pie Cole. I’ve heard a lot of people complain about him, but I don’t see how, he’s so adorable and friendly and helpful and oooohhh he’s like a little lost puppy that I want to cuddle!

Sorry. I’ll stop fangirling.

So… this playthrough I think I’ll allow Lavellan to drink from the Well, and I may conscript the Wardens as prisoners.

And never, ever, ever, ever, ever in a million years will I sacrifice Hawke to the Fear demon in the Fade. Sorry, Stroud. But I don’t know you that well, and Hawke has Fenris to look after. Plus, I saw a Youtube video where Hawke died in the Fade, and Varric basically had a breakdown in front of the Inquisitor, crying at the thought of losing his best friend in the world. Mythal, that’s just… no. No. Never. No.

 

So. All in all, I’m in love with this game. I’ve rambled on enough. I could probably go on, but my eyes are aching.

Blessed by, my darling wee pixies

RK )O(

I’m allliiiive!

I liiiiiiiive

 

Okay, so I’ve been a bit quiet lately.  In my defence, I’ve been on holiday. And I’ve been editing until my fingers bled. Slight exaggeration there.

I also overdosed on Scottish butter tablet. Mmm it’s like a sugar cube but edible. I ate a whole box in one go. Recipe is here, by the way!

Returned to day-job after two week holiday to find my desk in a complete shambles. A total pigsty. It was a mess. Crisp packets, Coke cans, sweetie wrappers… vile creatures, leaving my desk like that.

 

How are we all finding Capaldi-Doctor? I like him. He’s like a grumpy grandad. Moffat, on the other hand… *sigh* what can be said?

Apart from–

WHAT WAS ON THE BED, MOFFAT? WHAT WAS ON THE BED?!

 

My nightmares for the next two years. That's what was on the bed.

My nightmares for the next two years. That’s what was on the bed.

 

My friend tried to console me. “It was just a kid playing a joke,” she said, “there wasn’t a monster, really.” Didn’t stop me from being terrified though, did it?

I can’t stop looking at it. Why did I think it would be a good idea to put that screenshot there? It’s looking at me. Make it stop. Quick! Distraction!

Ahhh, much better. Tom Hiddleston and a puppy...

Ahhh, much better. Tom Hiddleston and a puppy…

In other news, the release date for my novel has been decided! Well, sort of. We’re hoping for a release before October 2015. Which means I’d better shift my cute little butt and get editing! Only… *mentally counts* twenty-six more chapters to go! 😀

And then, of course, there’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. The release date has been announced as 7th October 2014. Excuse me a moment.

OHMYGODSICAN’TBREATHTHISISSOEXCITINGOHGODSIT’SLESSTHANAMONTHAWAYOHMYGOOOOOODDDDDDDDDDSSSSSS!!!!!!!!

Thank you. It escapes every so often. Worse when I’m in public. Oh! And Sleepy Hollow starts on Monday. And Grimm comes back on 24th October. Aaaand I’ve started watching Supernatural from the beginning.

I’m such a fantasy freak -_- AH I DON’T CARE! 😀

I’d better go before I babble myself into complete insanity… *snort* I’m way too late for that. I’ve been here a while. With those rooms made of mattresses and those comfy-looking hug-jackets.

 

Blessed be,

)O( RK

Dogs have Owners, Cats have Authors.

Little Luna has taken to her new home almost instantly. She also took to my lap almost instantly. Had to suppress a sneeze for nearly an hour. Which isn’t easy when one has a cold.

"I shall nap here, New Human."

“I shall nap here, New Human.”

‘So what’s new in the world of RK?’ I hear you ask. Or type. Or… whatever, my brain and nasal passages are full of icky stuff.

  • I’m sick, AGAIN. After almost dying from Glandular Fever last year, the hospital discovered that I suffered from something called a Neutropenic Sepsis. Basically, my white blood cells are very, VERY low, and if I were to so much as say “bless you” to someone who sneezed, I would catch something. I was quarantined for two weeks while the doctors and nurses scratched their heads and tried to figure out what I was dying of. (I survived. Obviously). But, now I get sick very easily. It’s not good.
  • I’m up to season three in my Charmed re-watch. I loved this show when I was younger. I was obsessed with it. But I haven’t watched it in years, so I’m going through all of the episodes again on Netflix. Oh, Netflix… where would I be without you?
  • I’m playing Dragon’s Dogma again, and determined to stick it out this time, instead of giving up when I deliver the Hydra head to Gran Soren. I always seemed to sort of just stop playing at that point, and replay Dragon Age for the sixth time or something.
  • SPEAKING OF DRAGON AGE, OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG, WE HAVE A RELEASE DATE AND I’VE PREORDERED INQUISITION! OMG OMG OMG OMG #FANGIRLING
  • Oh, and I finished my first poem in over a year. Yay for me! ^-^ It’s more angsty than I had originally intended it to be, but it’s got a rhyming lilt to it that I’m quite impressed with. Not exactly iambic pentameter, but close enough that I don’t feel the shame when I read it back. It’s called The Queen of Broken Things. I’ll post it below, in case you’re interested.
  • I’ve had to cut my nails. I hate cutting my nails. But I couldn’t type, so they had to be trimmed. I hate being declawed, I feel too vulnerable. So what if I’ve accidentally slashed my own arm in my sleep because my nails were too sharp? Oddly enough, it was deeper than a scratch from Luna, and has actually left a scar. In other words, do NOT mess with this Kitty.

Why yes, I am hyped up on catnip, why do you ask? *twitch*

 

Blessed b– what was that? You hear a noise? Something made a noise. I heard a noise. SHH there it is again. What– noises– wassat?

RK )O(

Queen of Broken Things

She is not afraid of broken things,
Of broken angels with broken wings,
She does not shy from broken toys,
From broken girls and broken boys.

She is a wilful creature of the wild,
Full of passion, full of pride.
With mindful gaze and wolfish smile,
Among the trees to sit awhile.

To crooked paths she winds the ways,
Through moonless nights and sunless days
Between twisting trees with starlit eyes
She walks alone beneath darkened skies.

She is not afraid of broken things,
Of broken heroes and broken kings.
She does not fear what darkness brings,
Those fallen angels with broken wings.

The World As Seen By RK, aka, 10 things you didn’t know about me

I haven’t got much to say right now. I’ve had the flu for a week, so I’m going to do a special blog post that gives you ten facts about me, instead of doing something constructive *evil laugh*

1) I hate spiders. Seriously, with a burning passion. Last night, whilst watching I, Frankenstein (a strange movie, by the way. Basically just watch Underworld and replace the vampires with gargoyles and the werewolves with demons and you can say you’ve seen it), a huge ugly garden spider started crawling across the floor. We paused the movie and got rid of the spider. Ten minutes later, and EVEN BIGGER SPIDER appeared, closer to me this time. And when we paused the movie to catch it, holy crap did that spider run for its life… and that’s why I don’t like spiders.

2) For as much as I love dragons, I can’t stand the movie Reign of Fire. It’s just silly. Now Dragonheart, that’s another story altogether…

3) I’m an RPG player. I adore Elder Scrolls, and I love Dragon Age. I’m so excited for Inquisition to be released later this year, and despite everyone screaming that they can’t wait to play as a Qunari/Kossith, I’m sticking to what I know and love and I’m making my Inquisitor a Dalish elf. Or any elf, really. She doesn’t have to be Dalish. Okay, I’ll stop now, sorry…

4) I still sleep with a teddy bear. Yes, I’m twenty-four years old. Don’t judge me. His name is Bunnykins. No, he’s not a bunny. He’s a bear. He’s called Bunnykins because he’s wearing bunny slippers. He used to have glow-in-the-dark clouds and moons and stars on his pajamas, but now he’s so old, they’ve worn away.

5) I was named after two famous literary characters. Both fantastically bitchy women who refuse to be forgotten or dominated by men. Also, in my day-to-day life, I go by my middle name, which makes for a great Rumpelstiltskin-like game in which I get people to guess what my first name really is. Just… without the whole “I’m taking your first-born child if you can’t guess my name” thing…

Rumpelstiltskin-once-upon-a-time

I also really love Once Upon A Time…

6) My favourite movie of all time is The Princess Bride. I once let my friend borrow the DVD and I didn’t see it again for two years. I just feel like it has everything that makes a movie great. It has action, romance, comedy, suspense, fantasy, unforgettable characters, I just love everything about it. And even though I could probably recite the whole thing by heart, I would watch it again at any moment.

7) I love hats. Winter, summer, any time, I love hats. Big ones, little ones, fluffy ones, sensible ones. The only hat I hate wearing is a cap. Despite having a “head for hats”, as my mother says, I don’t suit caps. Weird, isn’t it?

8) I find Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch to be two of the most attractive men on the entire planet. I truly believe I have some strange thing for sharp cheekbones and long legs. Seriously, those guys are like six-feet-tall or something. It’s also the reason I watched War Horse. I knew I could never watch a movie about a horse without sobbing like a child, but when I discovered those two were in it? Well… you can imagine what happened on my way to the cinema…

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9) I’m disgustingly sarcastic in my everyday life. Not much else I can say about this one, other than I think there should be a sarcasm font.

10) Neil Gaiman is one of my favourite authors. In fact… no, he’s my favourite author. Anansi Boys, Neverwhere, and American Gods are my three favourite novels by him, and I’d love to meet him one day, shake his hand, and say “THANK YOU FOR BEING AWESOME”. In a totally uncreepy way, of course.

This is all I have for now. I can post more when I feel better. In the meantime, pity me, and beware of spiders.

RK )O(