Monthly Archives: January 2013

Why Do I Always Want to Write….

….at night when it’s time for bed?

*sighs* I’m going to bed, but here’s a neat piece on a strong female character which, while it appears to be referring mostly to TV and film, could equally apply to characters in books.

Maybe I’ll have some writing for you tomorrow.

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Review: The False Princess

I picked this book up because I wanted to read something that didn’t require me to think too much, and I was browsing the YA shelves at the time, and this book had a nice cover, and I had a giftcard and could afford to blow money on random book purchases, and this is the author’s first novel, a stand-alone novel, at that, as in, one that isn’t part of an eleven book series with supplementary literature.

So, without further ado, The False Princess, the kind of book Gef reads when she doesn’t want to think too much.

The False Princess is the story of Nalia, the sixteen year-old heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Thorvaldor, or so she thinks. It turns out that Nalia is nothing but a replacement for the true princess, who has been hidden away to avert a prophecy that says she will be murdered before her sixteenth birthday.
Her “duty” to the crown thus fulfilled, Nalia–now called Sinda–is cast out of the palace and sent to live as a simple village girl with her only living relative. However, when she discovers that long suppressed magic runs through her veins, she has little choice but to return to the city, where she uncovers a shocking secret that could turn the kingdom upside down. But how far will Sinda go to save the kingdom that betrayed her?

You might imagine that this book is a typical rags-to-riches tale (or riches-to-rags, in this case) which is sort of the case, but not really. While Sinda does end up trading the privileged life of a princess to become the niece of a dyemaker, she’s not the stuck up royal pain in the ass that you might expect, nor does she stay in that state for very long. I know what you’re thinking: “She discovers she has magic and she goes to study at the badass wizarding school they have, right? This book turns into Harry Potter?” and, no, she doesn’t do that either. In fact, there’s a bit of class commentary tied up in gaining admission to study magic: you need to be a noble, so if you happen to be poor and brimming with magic (which is inherited and pretty dangerous if not controlled) you are in deep shit. This is also reflected in how the king and queen deal with Sinda once they know longer need her: she’s discarded, left with a bit of gold, but discarded.

This novel was not supposed to make me think. On to the floofy parts.

Some other things I liked about this book was the fact that there was really only one clear love interest. Oh, sure, O’Neal teases us with a typical love triangle that crops up in YA the way the cold virus has been cropping up inside me lately, but it’s epicly squashed in chapter five. This was very refreshing, because I’m sick to death of love triangles, and I learned a few things about polyamorous relationships the other day, and I think there are many, many, many relationships I’ve read about over the years that could be solved by better “wiring”, if you know what I mean. Consider this a plea for more characters who are willing to give open relationships a try, says the monogamous lesbian.

Anyways, I’m really digressing here. The other thing I liked about this book was that I genuinely did not see one of the plot twists coming, and I can usually spot a plot twist a mile away. There were a couple I did see, but there was one point where I had to do a double take.

Now for the not-so-great, so, yes, the characters are cliche, we have the brainy lead character who isn’t really princess material (that’s how you know she’s not the real princess, natch), the wisecracking love interest, the obligatory eccentric wizard mentor (because who doesn’t like eccentric wizards?) and the antagonist who is somewhat sympathetic until you remember that they kicked a whole lot of puppies to get where they are. Yay. The writing is kind of meh, there are places where it’s bad (I caught a couple of spelling errors that shouldn’t have escaped an editor) and places where it’s decent, but, as usual, it’s not the worst I’ve seen ( in case I haven’t mentioned it, I’ve read the first three Twilight¬†books, and Fifty Shades of Abuse Masquerading as BDSM) but it’s far from the best. Then again, this is a first novel, and writing styles do improve. I used to write awful fanfiction on fanfiction.net, it’s awful. I like to think I’ve improved….a little.

So, yeah, it’s generic, it’s nothing to write home about, but that’s kind of why I bought it. Anyways, as far as a recommendation goes, if you’re like me and you want a generic fantasy that doesn’t require you to use a lot of brain power and can stand a trip to the YA section, eh, give this a look. Get it from the library, maybe? Libraries are amazing.

And that’s one more from my Big Pile o’ Books, creeping ever closer to that money I’ve buried under the pile. Then, and only then, may I purchase a new book for myself.

This is not as easy as it sounds, but I’m doing it.

Of All the Random Game Mashups….

They’re crossing Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei,¬†and it’s going to be an RPG, not a fighting game?

This has to be a joke, right? My two favourite series, together?

*shifty eyes* Okay, who went deep down into the depths of my psyche to retrieve my hypothetical Best. Game. Ever?

There’s just one problem….

WHY IS IT ON A CONSOLE I DON’T HAVE???

T_T

*sigh* I guess I have something to save towards when I finally start publishing my work. *puts Wii U at the top of her wishlist*

I Woke Up This Morning….

….to a province that now has an out lesbian as a premier.

Oh wait, let me rephrase that: The liberals have elected a woman with years of experience as a cabinet minister with a background in mediation as premier, who happens to be a lesbian.

SO MANY FEELS RIGHT NOW!

Oh, and I should also report that it’s currently 2:35 and the Apocalypse hasn’t hit yet, just like it didn’t hit when we legalized same-sex marriage, and winter’s been mild-ish this year, so I don’t think Ragnarok’s coming either.

 

 

So I’m a Publisher Now, Apparently

So I found out that ISBNs are free in Canada, seeing as I am currently looking to publish my NaNoWriMo novel, The Eldermaid, I was just like “What the Hel, ISBNs are free,” and decided to apply for my own prefix.

I received an email today approving my application.

So I guess that makes me a publisher now, er, a self-publisher, which apparently counts as a publisher in Canada.

Do you know what this means?

It means I can, as far as I can tell, publish whatever I want without any gatekeepers lurking around being like “This character is too queer, make them straight!” and all those other things publishers do to authors.

This means that I don’t need to give a traditional publisher a cut….

….but it also means I have to do all the work.

Still, now I can PUBLISH ALL THE THINGS! ALL THE THINGS! IN DIFFERENT FORMATS (I have to assign a new ISBN per edition, though)! I still need to read everything and figure stuff out.

Nostalgia Time: Gef’s First Games

Inspired by a couple videos I watched today (one on one guy’s “Scariest Nostalgic Moments” and the other a Top Ten Nostalgic animated shows list by a different guy) and because I feel like crap, and a bunch of small things are going wrong, this post is about me rambling on about games that I loved (and games that scared me) as a child. Some of these will be “firsts”, others are not.

The very first game I ever played was Duck Hunt/Super Mario Bros. for the NES. At my house, our name for that stupid asshole dog was “Travis”, after the younger of my two older brothers. Like, I imagine, most people, I tried my hardest to shoot that stupid dog. Alas, he’s invincible, the smug little son of a bitch.

Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest was one of the games that scared the crap out of me from this generation.¬† From that creepy sound you make when you die to that password music, OMFGs the password music!

Seriously, just listen to this creepy tune:

*shudders*

Kirby’s Adventure My friend says that I once ignored everyone at my birthday party to play this game. I don’t remember doing this, I remember all of us playing together (taking turns with the controller) but anyways, this is the first game I actually remember beating.

Also, cannibalism is the key to victory!

First PC game: Myst I remember when we bought our first “good” computer, and my mom said to the sales guy. “I want a game for this that’s non-violent.”

And that is how we ended up with Myst.

Those of you who are familiar with this game are probably laughing at this, because while the game is not violent, per se, there’s one particular instance where you open up a box (next to an electrified cage) containing a shrunken head.

That shrunken head gave me nightmares.

I wanted a Super Nintendo so badly, but I ended up with a Sega Genesis. My favourite games for this system were undoubtedly Pocahontas and Ecco the Dolphin: The Tides of Time (despite the latter having the most disappointing ending ever, so much so that I kept playing it to see if I’d missed something) and the former had the whole “be kind to animals and save the environment” thing and getting the eagle spirit was the awesomest thing ever.

I was very easily entertained back then.

Okay, so, back to PC gaming, Septerra Core easily wins the prize for “really trippy world”, even if the respawning enemies were a pain in the ass, but religion played a significant role (even if it was just “Jesus vs. Satan with vaguely Babylonian names) and it was trippy.

I’m tired now, so it’s time to end this.