(definition further explained in this post if you still aren't satisfied)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

In The Gamer Universe Pt. 2

       Eventually, Keesa had finished eating the small fruit. Tero waited anxiously. He listened carefully for any shift in the overlaying music, hoping to discern Keesa's destiny and, ultimately, his own.
       There were no changes.
       Tero didn't like the way Keesa's expression betrayed her pain. The next few minutes, or hours, or however long it was, felt like an eternity.
       The only perceptible change in time was in Keesa's demeanor, because after a while, Tero had to admit that it looked like she was – very slowly – deteriorating. When her breath began to catch in her throat, his mind gave in to despair. Not only was she going to die, but she would be doing it slowly, for him to watch in agony.
       This was the way things had always gone here. You either won or lost. Emotional grey areas didn't really exist.
       The game was going to make him suffer, and why? So that he would grow and develop as a character, at the expense of his team's deaths? He couldn't stand to see this bright shining life be eradicated just for that. To him, it would never be worth it.
       A tear ran down Keesa's face as her breathing began to make strained noises.
       Then he knew what he had to do.
       Tero looked down at his pouch and took out all of his potions. When those were gone, he unstrapped his three most simple and intuitive weapons and his complete collection of ammunition for them, and placed them all next to the pile of potions. Lastly, he began removing his items. He put down rings, a wristband, and two necklaces for Keesa's use, and kept only a single ring and belt for himself. Then he let himself look at her face again.
        It almost broke him.
       “I have to do this,” he whispered to her. “It's the only way you'll have a chance.”
       He feared to embrace her because of her injuries, so he closed his eyes and touched her shoulder tenderly instead by way of a goodbye.
       Then he stood and turned his back to her. He knew himself, and in order to do this, Tero wouldn't be able to look at her again.
       He walked away into the darkness, slow but determined, prepared to take on the world alone.

Monday, January 24, 2011

In The Gamer Universe

Today, I experimented with some creative writing by finding a prompt online.  It had a list of random words to use either in a story or as inspiration, and I chose this list:

level, unconscious, topical, vegetarian, eventually, twice, hip, like, cast, and shift

What I came up with makes for a pretty interesting read, I think.  Even thought it's only a first draft (DISCLAIMER: only a first draft), I like what I have here and thought I would post it for your reading enjoyment.

       Tero ducked a blast aimed at his head, and it hit the protoplasmic wall behind him with a concussive boom.
       The boss he and his partner were battling was ox-like in strength and had a tough, scaly hide that was difficult to pierce, but thankfully, Tero and Keesa had the agility advantage. As much as the brute was defended like a tank, he also moved like one.
       The tricky part was that his aim was disconcertingly accurate if you weren't moving fast enough.
       Keesa, the smaller and paler of the two, looked every bit her part of spellcaster as she darted around the small arena. Ribbons on her outfit trailed behind her as she ran, and ribbons of light did the same as she dodged the powerhouse's blows. White energy charged the air between her hand as she built up a spell.
       Tero took aim with a powerful explosives launcher and fired on the creature to buy his partner some time. Although he felt bulky with the equipment he was carrying, the sophisticated and powerful firearms strapped to his limbs paired with his knowledge and skill made him a force to be reckoned with as a weapons specialist.
       Tero tried not to wish for their former “tank” powerhouse, who had been a physically unstoppable and a valuable member of their team. He had been killed back at level twelve. It was just the two of them now. Tero told himself that they could make it on their own.
       That philosophy worked well until Keesa got hit.
       Tero took his shot the moment he saw it, but just as his blast of ammo made its way to the monster, it caught Keesa in an inferno while she was standing still for a moment too long, building up her power. Tero fired again with his slower, more powerful blaster when he had weakened the boss, but he finished it a few seconds too late. By the time he ran to Keesa, he feared that the worst had already occurred.
       Tero ran to her motionless form, feeling a sob catch in his throat. When he saw that she was breathing, he thought he might be rendered unconscious from relief. He had already lost one of his team members, and if that happened twice, he didn't think he'd be able to finish the game.
       “Keesa!” he cried out. “Are you okay?” It was often impossible for characters to tell if other characters were injured just from appearance, and he was hoping for a pleasant surprise, like the classic bulletproof vest in a crime show after the cop had been shot. Of course, in this universe, the equivalent would be something like a fireproof potion, but he hoped for the best simply because he'd found her alive. Traditionally, Tero knew that this was a very good sign, because it meant that the action would shoot to video, and there was always a chance for redemption in those moments.
       He gazed down at Keesa, this girl who his future was all wrapped up in. Without her, he would be left to face all the terrors of this world alone.
       Her eyes had been clenched tight from the pain, but she opened them now and stared up at him in terror.
       His heart sank. He knew what that meant. There was no potion, no special resistance, no extra life. She wasn't saved.
       Would he be able to do anything about it?
       Tero checked the pouch at his hip in vain, knowing that the potions he kept there did not include one for health. He had run out of those two rooms ago. He cast his gaze desperately around the bio-chamber, hoping to see anything that might have appeared after the heat of battle to help him save her. And there, many paces away, was a tree.
       He was scared to leave Keesa, but if she had survived this long, he didn't think she would leave him when he had stepped away. The way these videos worked, she would either be saved by his efforts or die in his arms.
       The way the tree almost seemed to glimmer in his sight, Tero knew that it had to be a useful object. He could just see a fruit poking out from behind the leaves. This meant more hope, because he knew that Keesa's character was a vegetarian that believed in the value of life in all beasts. The game was providing an item compatible with her character.
       Tero jumped with no success. It took him equipping the Double Jump ability before he could reach what he hoped to be a healing fruit.
       Tero obtained fruit, the screen read.
       He reached Keesa again and ripped off a piece of the fruit for her to eat.
       “What is it?” she asked in a quiet voice that alarmed Tero as she let him feed it to her.
       “It's some topical fruit I found on a glimmering tree,” he told her gently. He knew that she would like that. She's always had an affinity for pretty things.
       She smiled weakly as he fed her.

The rest of the story will be in tomorrow's post at 8:30 am.  Come back then for the conclusion!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Product of Silence: Combustible Friendship

This month's Product of Silence prompt is to "write a letter that you never intend to send".

Dear Marcie,

You gave me a first taste of betrayal.  It's funny now to remember your involvement in my life and the value I once placed on our friendship, because when you demolished all of that you did it so thoroughly.  The pain that once choked my mind is now so distant because of the way that experience repeated itself with new people, making me seasoned in these situations.

I guess that what you are to me now isn't so much a traitor or a liar as just an introduction to the concepts.

You had no way of knowing at the time how hard a chronically shy and insecure girl would take it when you stabbed her in the back, but honestly, I don't think you even gave a thought to the fact that other people had feelings because it was so long ago and at that age everyone is decisively selfish.  Then again, I know more than my fair share of people who never grew out of that, and I can't help imagining that you're one of them.

You certainly held your impact for me when we were friends; enough to leave a lasting impression.  I can still remember both of your names with no effort, which I can't say for anyone else that left my life when you did.  And I can still remember the way your freckles covered every inch of your skin, as if one separate part of you was trying to envelop the original.  You probably don't remember that I ever existed for you because out of the two of us, I was the one looking across whatever connecting lines we'd sown.

I know you were more to me than I was to you, because you had options.  I, on the other hand, was so shy that I had found myself unable to talk to anyone else.  They already had their choice of friends, and there was no room for me there.  That meant that when you talked to me, I felt my world open up in a drastic way.  There was finally some sort of communication between me and the world outside of my head, some rope thrown to me from the darkness that I could just see my end of.  I grabbed hold of it with fervor, desperate to experience what seemed so normal for everyone else I had ever seen.  Before you, I had been spending my days in nothing but loneliness, and to this day that is the one emotion that could make me feel insane with despair because it comes with a lifetime of bad memories.

When you told others how you really felt about our "friendship", I was absolutely crushed.  That one rope, that single hope, had been yanked away right before my eyes.  That was many years before I began developing my inner strength, so at the time, there was almost none to rely on.

I still don't know how I floundered through that darkness after you left.  When you were gone I didn't know if anyone would ever throw a rope to me again, and it was years before someone finally did.  I've had other so-called "friends" do the same malicious things since you, and the story only changes in the smaller details and the fact that I was quickly becoming better equipped to handle it by the time they came along.

That journey must have started with you, putting me in a situation where I would either learn to adapt or be destined never to recover.  The flavors of treachery and disillusionment soon become familiar, but with the power of your destructive friendship, I suppose I never forgot my first taste.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"Why Is My Relationship Failing? Where Has The Romance Gone?"

I know I've been rather absent in the blogging universe lately, but I can explain...

  • I got Sims 2 and its expansions on my computer again, and of course that meant playing the game virtually non-stop for at least five days.
  • I've been practicing on my Rock Band skills yet again.  And it's finally paying off!  I managed to finally pass Less Talk More Rokk by Freezepop today.  Eat that!
  • I managed to finally fix my schedule at school.  I had do so much crap just to get to this point, so I'm relieved that my classes are finally set.
  • Various other complications were sorted through.
Although honestly, you can blame The Sims for a majority of it.

And now, in order to make this more of a real-ish sort of post, here's a thought:

Romantic relationships only differ from friendships in three main ways:  the type of feeling associated with the person, the presence or absence of a sexual aspect, and the pressure we put on the relationship.

The pressure we put on romance is one of the main reasons that those relationships are so likely to fail.

Of course, there's also the "type of feeling" - which leaves a person falling for someone who isn't interested in the same way - but aside from those instances (which almost all of us have experienced and managed to get over), the type of pressure we put on romantic relationships lead to their failure most of the time.

If you're a woman who's friends with a man, you put no pressure on him to spend an inordinate amount of time with you.  If he's spending time with other friends or wants time to himself, it's no big deal, right?  

Of course, if you were in a relationship with him, (for most people) that would be right out the window.

And what about influence?  A girlfriend may find herself tempted to try to change her boyfriend in a way that friends never would, whether she's trying to change his clothing style, his manners, his habits, or any of a number of other things.  This type of thing almost invariably leads to problems that could be avoided if the nature of the relationship was different.

I know there have to be other factors under the same principle, but for your commenting fun, I think I'll leave those to you...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Thoughts On These Old Stand-Bys

One of the world's most ridiculous statements:
 "There are tons of people who would love to have your problem."

Just think about that for a second.

For one thing, it trivializing the problems of the person it's being said to.  For another, who would enjoy a problem of any kind?  It's an obviously stupid sentiment.

Here's a counter-quote:
"If every person in the world put their problems in a pile, most would take their own back."
A person might think they'd prefer someone else's issues, but they would end up learning that no one's problems are fun.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Ripped Me To Shreds

Try reading some (or all) of these stories:

101 Short Stories that Will Leave You Smiling, Crying and Thinking

It only take a few seconds to read each one.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Not Everything Cooperates

I just finished watching the full anime series of Ouran High School Host Club a couple of days ago, and if you happen to be looking for a comedy, this one's a win!  There's 26 episodes of hilarity, cross-dressing, fake twincest, and ulterior motives.  It's available on Hulu (which does have limited commercials.  You can also get this series on sites without commercials, but my computer had problems with them for some reason).

While watching this series, I was reminded of how much of a cold-hearted sadist I am.  In fiction, especially anime and manga, I just love it when the main characters are weepy and miserable and upset over a misunderstanding with their love interest or a hidden fear or something.

Aww, she's sad.  AND I LOVE IT.

Does that count as something wrong with me, or a very basic character flaw?

Eh, I'd rather think of it as a fascinating counterpoint to my more accommodating real-life personality.

That's only one of the things I've been up to.  (Besides having nightmares, which is still happening every night, for the record.)  I also tried to install Flock on my computer.  Nifty sidebar with updates from everything you're subscribed to on the internet, plus lightning-fast page uploads?  I was all "count me in!".

My computer, on the other hand, was more in the mood for a volleyball spike, Gibbs-worthy smack-down.  I said "Look, here's this awesome thing that helps you run fast and give me streaming updates!"  It said:

In the end, Steve had it working fine on both of his computers from the first try, while I have yet to determine why it won't always even bother to upload the sidebar on mine, much less deliver the lightning-fast page uploads that I've seen in action on Steve's computers.  My computer is, indeed, the stubborn and jealous type.

To add to all that fun, I've also been playing Diablo II and the occasional bouts of Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep.

Here's a hint: don't choose Sorceress as your first Diablo II character unless you enjoy dying.  Often.  Because obviously, that couldn't have had anything to do with my personal playing ability whatsoever.

And as far as Birth By Sleep goes, I am currently stuck on Vanitas, who has been the hardest boss for me so far.  On the plus side, I've looked to the internet for help, and am now hopeful that I can take him on with a little more success.  This is exactly what usually I try not to do, since figuring out how to defeat bosses on my own is really my only "gamer rule" (which, of course, I break whenever I come upon a boss that's simply too hard).  What can I say?  Vanitas made me do it.

I hate that guy.

Host Club photo is property of Funimation Entertainment

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What's In A Date?

What if we switched up some holidays?

Halloween for Valentine's Day
Instead of giving me chocolate or a stuffed animal, Steve might try to scare the crap out of me for Valentine's Day.  He could t.p. my house, ask me for candy, and carve a scary realistic heart into a pumpkin.  The phrase  "Be Still, My Heart" would be found on merchandise everywhere.

This concept, however, I'm sure would stay the same.
Easter for Mother's Day
Imagine that instead of getting her flowers or a cute little "thank you" card, you had your mother look all over your back yard for eggs...and then you egged her with them on her special day!  (The eggs came from the "bunny", of course.) 

Thanksgiving for New Year's
Forget the alcohol, because people would forgo it for turkey.  Or, one better, they make the turkey by basting it in alcohol!  (I'm not sure what basting is, but it sounds like turkey soaked in bourbon or something, so let's just pretend that's what it is.)  Those blasting whistles would be filled with gravy, which would shoot out in a celebratory stream toward whoever's the closest victim.

Watch out, guys.  Those things are about twenty thousand times less innocent than they seem.

Mardi Gras for Earth Day
All that guilt you feel for not taking care of the Earth for the rest of the year?  Screw that!  Shake your money-maker until you've successfully knocked down all the recycling bins in your area so that you won't have to look at them anymore.  Buy beads you don't need, little masks you'll never wear again, and trample all that wasted material in the streets when you're done.  The world is your trash can...but only for one day.

St. Patrick's for Groundhog Day
In February, everyone in the world would converge to a place with precipitation, wait for a rainbow to appear, journey to the end of it, and watch the leprechaun to see if he had a shadow.

Labor Day for Christmas
Instead of exchanging gifts, everyone would do absolutely nothing.

all photos found through use of Google Image Search and linked appropriately

Monday, January 3, 2011

Wealth, Romance, Violence, and Dead Bodies

2011 is here, and this is what I've decided to do with it.  It doesn't sound very specific, but when I decide what to do, I'll let you know.  This will probably consist of many nice little things, and you're welcome to join the party!

A big part of all this will be some "finding of myself".  I feel that I have a lot of room for expansion, in a sense.  I have to have more interests than I think I do.  Surely I can do more personal little projects than I have in the past.  And maybe I can figure out what haircut I want and what my clothing style actually is.  (current hairstyle: "growing it out", and current clothing style: "lazy", usually t-shirts)

I'll start with editing my NaNo novel, which I purposefully put off until January in order to get some distance and be able to spot flaws easier.  When I get some good excerpts, I might post a few on here for your fiction reading enjoyment.

On a completely different note, because heck, my mind just jumps around sometimes...

I've been having lots of dreams and nightmares lately.  I know it's because I'm giving myself more time to sleep while I'm on break from school, and I like it in a way, because it's always interesting to see what my mind throws at me.  But it also sucks when I have the nightmares, which come pretty often.  Sometimes, I can see how they reflect my real-life anxieties, but often, they're just upsetting.

This morning, I dreamed that I was driving a truck and two of the tires went off the side of a bridge.  I was hanging there in that dangling vehicle, looking at the ground below and wondering desperately if I would survive the fall and what type of injuries I would sustain from it.  I was certain that I wasn't going to get off of that bridge without falling.  I knew that the people I was calling to for help were too far away and probably wouldn't get to me in time.

Imagine something like this.

Or maybe this.
I wonder why our minds decide to torture us with nightmares.  It can't be some sort of warning, because I'm sure I'm not a psychic.  The only cards I play with have diamonds, hearts, clubs, and spades on them, and those don't stand for wealth, romance, violence and dead bodies.

Why does my brain want to scare me?  Why does it bully me into desperation and fear?

When I think hard enough, I begin to wonder if this particular dream was reflecting some real fears of mine after all.  Maybe, instead of focusing on the truck and the accident, I should consider the people there who were too far away to help me.  I have a guess as to what that means, and it has to do with my independence.  Not the reality of failure, but the fear of it.

I shouldn't be so afraid of falling.  Everyone does it at some point, after all.  And as all the platitudes say, the important part is retaining the ability to get back up from it.

An article I read once on dream interpretation ending by saying that the most reliably accurate way to interpret dreams was for the dreamer to do the interpreting.  If you are the one looking into your own dreams for meaning, you're most likely to find your answers there, because you can take into account all of your personal experiences and feelings that may be factors in the meaning.

Try a little dream interpretation of your own today, and if you don't already have a blog post in mind, feel free to take this as your idea.  If you leave a comment with a link to your dream post, I'll link up in this post so that other readers can get their fill of dream interpretation and/or new blogs to read!

Of course, there may not be anyone that wants to take me up on this offer.  Oh well.  That just means I will be unique today, and this will be the only place you can get your fill of my lovely ideas. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Magic, Creativity, Elves, Stars and A Present For You

There's something elvish in me.

I don't have the pointy ears.  Or the willowy figure.  (Both of which are sad realizations.)  It's not even got anything to do with bright eyes.  All I know is that under the right conditions, that feeling comes out again.

When I'm outside, under the stars - and sometimes, the moon too - that's when it happens.  If the air feels right, like that exciting feeling that comes with autumn and a promising breeze, I feel it well up.  I don't know where it came from, but when that feeling returns, it's infectious and familiar and welcome to me.  And it makes me think of elves.  (Not the Santa's workshop kind, but the regal Lord of the Rings kind.)

It's inspiration.  It is ideas: a bright mind sparking quickly and flawlessly and creatively.  (Even if I come up with something I don't use, it can't be wrong, because it leads me to new and better things.)  All of this feels like magic, and pure excitement.  It's that feeling of fantasy that I haven't been able to duplicate by any other means than this since I was a kid.

Does this ever happen to you?  It's like something's in the air, making you pumped and excited and inspired for seemingly no reason.  It makes you want to stay there forever.  To capture every thought like a bright little firefly in a jar where it's free to grow and fly and yet you can still examine it and learn from it before letting it go to shine in other places too.

And if this does happen to you, under what conditions does it occur?  Do landscapes inspire you?  Frightening situations?  Touching, sentimental moments?  All it takes for me is that particular feeling in the air, that autumn coolness and a sight of the stars.  The promise of rain can also do the trick, or at least enhance the experience.

What gives you that fantasy feeling?  Bring in the new year by connecting with your inspirational moments!

And, if I have enough responses, I could share a list of the things you find the most inspiring in my next post to give you some new ideas.

Just think of it as your new year's present.  Which I am officially inventing as of now.  You can pretty much attach presents to any holiday, right?