PC games on sale! Not procrastinating! GOG.com

Snow day! Campus is closed today due to an ice storm. Awesome. I’ve had my coffee, breakfast, and watched half of my hour long Biology lecture video before I lost all focus. The internet informed me that GOG.com (Good Old Games) was having a sale—and I found one of my absolute favorite old games to share with you! A real-time strategy game based in China called “Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom” and it’s on sale for just $6.


I’ve always had a fascination with Asian culture in general. The music and atmosphere of this game is especially nice. Below is a playlist of the soundtrack to the game so you can hear for yourself!


I have a weakness for any Sierra RTS game (Zeus/Poseidon, Pharaoh/Cleopatra).

Pharaoh/Cleopatra is on sale right now for $3.99 (normally $10): https://www.gog.com/game/pharaoh_cleopatra

Zeus/Poseidon is also on sale for $3.99 (normally $10): https://www.gog.com/game/zeus_poseidon

These aren’t affiliate links, I’m not trying to sell you anything—just showing you a deal on some games that made up my youth that I’ve spent (as well as my mother!) countless hours playing.

If fantasy is more your speed (compared to fictional/fantasy historical), may I also suggest another Sierra game called Lords of Magic: Special Edition. It’s $5.99 right now at regular price, and was released in 1998 (you’ll feel it’s age when you play), but it really has some great features. If you’ve played the original version and are cringing (Oh, it takes soooo long to load battles!), do not be deterred, the Special Edition fixes all of that (like adding ‘quick battles’). It also has all of the expansion content, a great soundtrack and atmosphere, and it’s really just a damn fine game that ages well.


Sometimes I really just enjoy sitting back and playing some of my old favorite computer games. My go-to, “cheer me up no matter what” game is Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven. Hands down the best, worst, funniest old turn-based fantasy role-playing game I’ve ever played on the PC. To this day I still laugh like a maniac when I accidently blow my characters up mixing potions or they drink too much and die… Unfortunately this gem is only included in a “pack” with other games (I haven’t played the others), and runs $9.99 when not on sale (I think I got lucky and paid $3 when it was on sale!)



I acknowledge that countless hours went into the building of these games, and I insist that when I say “best, worst, funniest” I mean it lovingly. Might and Magic 6 let me name characters after my literary heroes and live out adventures like never before and for that, Sierra, I will always love you. Even if all of your townspeople look the same. (Wait, am I playing Oblivion?)


If you use GOG Galaxy, my nickname is G4M3RG1R7.

7 Things You Might Not Know About Me As A Writer

Someone will know this first part very well: I stole this blog idea! Or borrowed, or copied, or whatever. I borrowed it from my writer friend JayceGrae. I didn't see any rhyme or reason to it, so here are 7 things about me and my writing that you probably didn't know... 2015-07-01 13.50.19b

1. The only piece of fan fiction I've ever written was based on a comic book TV series called "Witchblade." The quality of the story was awful. I just read it. Living proof that I was once a terrible writer (I wrote it when I was 16? Published on Sep 28, 2001) and that I have only improved. As a general rule, I dislike fan fiction because it can't be published traditionally and I feel that characters and stories should be left with their original authors. The flip-side to that is that it allows you to write with pre-existing characters and a world, so it's actually quite good practice for later, when you have to make up those characters and worlds. So I suppose it boils down to: no, I won't read your fan fiction and I won't be writing any more of my own.

Oh, but I loved that show...


2. I don't like writing before work. This seems like a given, but some people can wake up an hour before work (I'm looking at you, Stephanie) and can open a word document and make coherent words come from their brain. I am not one of those people. The amount of anxiety I have before any kind of day job is overwhelming. That's kind of a boring fact, though.

3. I never went to college because I didn't want them to ruin my "voice." The truth is, college is just too damn expensive, and I was always scared away by orientation and massive debt for the rest of my life. But also because I didn't want to be told how I had to write. I realize, of course, that denying myself a higher education is a disadvantage to me--but there it is. I read, I write, I read writing books when I can and I learn as I go. I'll never be college educated, and I'm OK with that. I get offended when social media tells me my life is incomplete because I haven't attended college. I work a dead-end job, and I write when I can, and I'm also OK with that.

4. Most of my favorite authors didn't even start writing until they were in their 40's. So I have time, right?! I don't have a goal to publish anything before I'm 40, but I certainly hope so. Mercedes Lackey is my inspirational female writer; she worked countless jobs before she finally had a dream that started her writing Arrows of the Queen. I've read most of her Heralds of Valdemar books and her character Talia influenced the name of my own character (Talisyn became Malisyn).

5. I once wrote a story about a princess who pulled out her hair to try and explain my own Trichotillomania. I still have the story, somewhere. It was my way of trying to explain to my teacher, and perhaps my family, how I felt before my OCD had a name.

6. I'm an easily distracted writer. I should love what I'm writing, but it's like anything else I do for long periods of time, once 20-30 minutes has passed, I'm looking for something else to do. It's a constant struggle to keep focused for me. So when I can sit down and write and meet a goal, it's important. Concepts like #NaNoWriMo and #CampNaNoWriMo that initiate deadlines and goals are really effective for me: but I still have to take a break to do something else. Even now, I was finishing up writing a project for #CampNaNoWriMo and I wandered off to the internet and--oh, hey, look '7 Things You Might Not Know About Me As A Writer," I should really probably fill that out, like, right now. SHINY.

7. I was inspired by my parents. My father had an 8th grade education and was, basically, illiterate. I wrote stories when I was in middle and high school, and I have a very vivid memory. I was hiding in the living room (no doubt, I was supposed to be in bed), and my mom was reading a story I had written aloud to my dad. I don't know if they knew I was there, listening, or not. But it meant so much to me to hear my story read to someone who appreciated it (even if they're my biased parents), that I knew it's what I wanted to do.  There were few times in my life I felt my dad was ever proud of me for something I did as myself, and not the child he wanted me to be. My mother wanted to write, and I knew she had books ("How To Write A Damn Good Mystery" was book I  had seen on her shelf) and I knew a dream rested there somewhere. I remember at some point, reading "Arrows Fall," by Mercedes Lackey and just crying like a little girl. And my mom said, "Honey, if you don't like how the story ends--write your own."

And here I am. Writing my own ending. Eventually.

Hey, since I'm on the sadness train...

8. I created Transcendence so my characters, unlike my family, would never die.


Pizzamancer update and a note about inspiration

Update on Pizzamancer - way, way under goal. Discouraged. Not unlike most beginnings to my National Novel Writing Month though. I'm forced to sit here today until I reach 10,000 words (if I was doing this correctly, I'd be at 20,004 words. Right now, I have 7,608). I need to manage another 2,300 words before I fall asleep tonight. I have at least ONE scene in mind (that ends up with our prince in skinny jeans, of which he likes just fine, thank you). If all else fails, I'll do the #NaNoRebel thing and write 2,300 words for The Burning City. So either way, as long as I write, I win. Excerpt:

“Prince—err, Tom! What are you doing?” Suzi yelled as she raced towards the two men. Tom turned to look back over his shoulder at her. “This man insulted me. I have a right to correct his opinion.” “Correct his.... opinion. With your sword? That's not how we deal with people in this kingdom. Put your sword away before you hurt someone.” “But I am going to hurt someone.”

Inspiration comes in many forms.  Sometimes it happens purposefully; you read a scene in a book, you watch something unfold on TV and think I would write that differently, or I wish that character's wife wasn't the most one dimensional character in the history of characters ever. (Yes, I'm talking to you, writers of Sleepy Hollow). Sometimes it may be subconscious. I bought this candle from Walmart a few days ago:


And suddenly, the next time I was writing - my prince has an hourglass necklace, and the sand inside is randomly purple?


The man in dented, marinara covered armor shifted his head to the side and tried to study her through the narrow visor in his helmet. He took a clanging step forward. Over the front of his armor he wore a heavy black cloth coat sewn with the symbol of an hour glass. The sand inside was purple; the hourglass was white. He looked around before speaking. “I am the Prince of Anywhen. I was hunting a fearful beast, preparing myself for a quest. A quest, I'm afraid, that has started early.”

And then I built upon it a little more here:

“Yes. I only have a limited time to find a hero that can save our kingdom, and bring them back with me.” The prince reached again in to the pouch on his belt and pulled out a silver necklace. An hourglass full of purple sand was there. He held it up. The hourglass stayed upright no matter how he turned it, and the sand drifted down like falling leaves. “The spell wasn't cast perfectly. The pizza shouldn't have followed me. It's likely other creatures will follow too—“ “Please tell me I'm not going to have to fight off a taco, or Stromboli.” The prince paused. “A Stromboli would kill us both.”

Although I imagine the hour glass would look something like this:

And now, I must avoid the internet long enough to get some writing done. This is what I refer to as "aggressive procrastination," when my need to avoid something is so great, it goes full circle -- and ends up being something akin to what I was trying to avoid in the first place. Ie: avoiding writing by writing a blog about avoiding writing.

I'm going to make this in to my new quote:

"As long as I write, I win." ~ Michelle Brumley


Have you ever stumbled upon something that cropped up in your story later, on accident or subconsciously? Share your story in the comments!