It’s Been A While

I am so sorry for being away so long, I know you just can’t survive without my inane ramblings. In my defence, I’ve been to Disneyland 😀

I know, that’s no excuse, but it’s so hard to concentrate when “Under the Sea” gets stuck in your head for two and a half months. Especially embarrassing when you start humming in front of your MD.

 

Actual footage of me dancing in the kitchen.

So, what’s new in the world of RK? Let me go through it…

Writing: I think I have maybe a chapter (or two) left before Age of Magic has its officially completed First Draft. Then I have to go through and fill in all those delicious plot holes that I spot every single damn time I read through it. I have a list, don’t worry. I do love lists.

Reading: Hoo boy. My New Year’s Resolution is to fall in love with reading again. I don’t read as much as I used to, so I’ve downloaded a very helpful app called BookBuddy, which helps you keep track of the books you’ve read, and lets you rate and comment on them.

I’m currently onto my ninth book of the year. I lost a month or so struggling through a particularly abysmal novel (and the Disneyland thing kinda got in the way too), but I’m back on it. My aim is to read 50 books this year. I… don’t think I’ll reach that target. But I’ll make a good attempt at it!

One of the most recent ones that I’ve finished is Wintersong. Oh, my heart… here are my thoughts on it:

“Beautiful, heartbreaking, and utterly wonderful. A few slow pages after the marriage, somewhat repetitive in places, but made up for with the poignancy and beauty of the words. Almost like poetry. Or music. How apt.”

Movies: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was amazing, Beauty and the Beast was lovely (I cried three times but that’s nothing new), and Passengers was awful.

Games: I’m playing Dragon Age: Inquisition for the billionth time. Can’t wait for the next one where we get to visit Tevinter. TEVINTER. Imagine a Dalish Mage wandering around Tevinter. Should be interesting. Also bought two new games, Until Dawn and The Evil Within. Should be an interesting change-up from my usual RPG games.

TV: OMG did you see Emmerdale?! I’m kidding, I don’t watch TV. Well, I watch Grimm. And Supernatural. Quite disappointed in both at the minute, to be honest.

Music: Disney. Yeah, did you expect anything else?

I don’t think I have any more hobbies… I’m off for a whoooooole week now though, yay! ^-^ Happy Easter to me, we have SO MUCH CHOCOLATE 😀

Time to write, almost at the end!

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(

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(

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.