Writing Prompt #4

Write about your biggest fear

I had to give this one a lot of though, not so much as to what my biggest fear is but how to explain it. I suppose it reality it isn’t that hard, my greatest fear is being forgotten and while that may not seem like much to many, it’s terrifying to me. This often comes up when I think of my grandparents, well the ones that I knew at least, and I realize my own daughter never had the opportunity to meet them and then I realize to her they do not have any meaning and yet they meant the world to me. Now the more I thought about this, the more I realized that eventually, once my cousins and even myself pass (morbid I know) the memory of my grandparents will essentially be gone, there will be no one to remember the great things that they had done and it hit me that I and many others will share that same fate.

We are born, we live out our lives, and then we pass, and only our memory remains but eventually that fades as well except for the outstanding that leave their mark on the world. If you think about it only people you seen in the news, celebrities, even politicians all leave their mark and we remember them for hundreds of years at times while the rest of us fade away into obscurity and that thought alone scares me. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a great actor, I’m an okay artist, and a decent writer in my own opinion, but there isn’t anything about me that will carry on through the generations and while that may seem a bit narcissistic, it’s more a realization that I’ve done nothing in my life that truly impacts anyone other than my immediate family.

Now don’t get me wrong, I know I’ve made at least a small impact on a few people in one way or another, I’ve brightened their day, made them feel better about themselves, but in our modern internet age they are people that once I disappear from the community I’ll simply be forgotten, surrendered to the sands of time. Like I said, it may be a bit narcissistic to have that kind of fear but in reality, I have that fear to spur me on to do something more than wake up, go to work, and come home. I want, and need, to give my life meaning otherwise I’ll simply be forgotten and my existence won’t have mattered…at least that’s how I think, depressing I know but it’s a fear I live with constantly and at every turn try to overcome it.

Writing Prompt #3

Fair warning: I may not be a pro writer, but this scared me a little as I wrote it so…totally not responsible for any nightmares 😛

She studied her face in the mirror…

A single, dim, bulb hung swaying on a line in the bathroom where she stood and cast dark shadows upon the floor beneath her. All around her it felt as if time had stopped, the only indication that it hadn’t was the gentle sound of water filling the cast-iron tub behind her. All around the room was bathed in a mixture of dull yellow from the flickering bulb and deep blues from the tiles around her and aside from the sound of water running no other sound could be heard.

After a long while the girl, who could be no more than ten by the size of her, raised a hand to the steamed over mirror in front of her and pausing for a long moment to take in the pale sight of her own flesh. She couldn’t help but bring her hand closer to her face to inspect it, peeking through her soaked hair as it hung in front of her face and a small tear slid down her cheek. She turned and twisted her hand slowly, inspecting it from every angle she could think of but in every way there was no denying that it wasn’t normal, a pale blue and grey and the tips of her fingers shriveled as if from being in water for far too long. Several more tears streaked her face, turning dark, even red as they dripped to the floor and hesitantly she pushed her hand to the mirror once more, ever so slowly wiping away the moisture on the glass and once again through dripping hair she saw her reflection.

At first, she wasn’t sure if it was truly her, the skin of her face matching her hand and streaks of red running down her cheeks from her eyes…oh her eyes, what had happened to them. As she looked into her own eyes, what were once brilliant blue had died off to nothing but onyx dots as red continued to flow and she tilted her head slightly in confusion. This couldn’t be her, it didn’t look like her, in fact whatever was looking back at her was most definitely no longer of the living and it wasn’t until that moment that she realized that the hair that hung in front of her couldn’t be hers, it was black and her hair was a golden blonde.

She continued to stare at the creature in front of her as dots of memories slowly crept back into her mind, her mother and father, picnics out in the lawn, her puppy bouncing around and constantly licking her face as she giggled. Wait, her face, that face, no it couldn’t be it had to be a trick of the light or even a bad dream but it couldn’t be her because what was looking back was definitely not the blue eyed and blond haired girl that she was.

After what felt like forever she took a step closer to the mirror, once again she slowly touched the glass where the creatures cheek was, particularly where the blood was running down from the eyes and just as slowly moved her hand back to her own cheek an wiped. As she pulled her hand back and looked she could see the smear of blood on her fingers before looking back to see a matching smudge on the creature and almost instantly she began to cry, more memories began to flood her mind as she saw the bathroom in her mind though it was different. She could see the room lit up brilliantly and in perfect order and not the crumbling mess she stood in now, she saw the tub as all it’s glory of gold and silver as it filled while around her it began to overflow and splash on the floor around her. She even saw the bubbles as she remembered relaxing in the tub after a day of playing outside with the pup.

As her memories continued to return she even managed a smile despite the new look she had acquired, even closing her eyes to bask in the warm thoughts when suddenly, and without warning, she recoiled quickly as if she’d just been stabbed yet in her thoughts she could see two hands and nothing more pushing her under the water. Her body convulsed as she tried to fight off the attack in her mind, water beginning to pour from her mouth as she thrashed about the mangled room, the blood from her eyes coming in thicker streaks and almost as quickly as it began the thoughts ended and she looked back to the mirror, some of the flesh from her face having rotted away, becoming more disfigured after the struggle. Worst of all, however, as her dark eyes focused once more and her chest heaved to catch the breath that would not come she saw a new shadow behind her, a man, a tall man, but without a feature to his face and dressed in all black. He raised his hands slowly and she saw the black gloves that held her under the water, the reason for her new and twisted design, and she let out a scream that shattered the mirror almost instantly and began to shake the walls and yet the man advanced on her and as she crumbled to the floor she realized what had happened. She had died, or rather been murdered, she knew she was gone the moment she saw her hand and thought that she was simply cursed to exist in the room of her demise for all eternity, but her death wasn’t an end it was the beginning of an eternity of torment, of reliving that moment again and again and she couldn’t help but wonder as she lay on the floor, sobbing as hard as she could, what she could have done to deserve such an existence…

Writing Prompt #2

“Write a letter to your 14-year-old self”

Dear smaller version of me,

Life is great isn’t it? You’re fourteen, not a care in the world, just about to enter high school, and living in the basement in your own little cave. I’m not gonna lie, those were the best days we had, and to be honest we did kind of waste them. Now don’t get me wrong, spending a lot of time playing video games certainly served a purpose or two. We both know that games were a huge influence in sparking our drive for creativity even before the age of 14, but realistically we spent far too much time on them and not enough time growing as a well-rounded person. We didn’t set ourselves up very well for the future, I know this is not exactly what you want to hear but it’s the truth.

Now this is coming from experience, right now you’re thirty-eight years old and married with a daughter (that’s the good part…well the daughter is questionable but trust me you do love her…most of the time). Anyway, back to where I was, you’re married, you live in a small apartment on top of going paycheck to paycheck as well as barely being able to pay for a car that’s falling apart. I know, I’m not exactly painting a brilliant picture of the future you hoped you would have, but don’t worry, it actually does get better so give me a second or two.

So right now, you’re sitting down and writing a letter to yourself (duh right?), but here’s where it starts to get good, not like stellar or anything, that’ll come later, but for now it’s pretty good. You’ve picked up your writing again, as well as your artwork (fyi, don’t listen to your art teachers, they’re the ones that are wrong you just keep plugging away at it and you’ll get there), not to mention your love of reading and you’ve read some amazing books too, just wait for the Arthas novel and trust me it’s awesome. I guess in the grand scheme of things your life isn’t too bad, like I said, you’re married and happy though you do go through bouts of depression and I won’t lie you’ve tried to end it all on at least 3 separate occasions but you’re still here and it does get better.

You may not be a published author yet, or a known artist, or a renowned game designer but even at thirty-eight all of that is still possible you just can’t give up on yourself. When things get down just remember you have a roof over your head, food in your belly, clothes on your back, friends that are there for you, and family that love you and with all of that combined you can achieve anything.

I’ll leave you with the words of Red Green “I’m pulling for you, we’re all in this together” so hang tough younger me, it’s a rocky road but it’s one worth traveling.

Sincerely,

Old you (that’s me genius)

Writing Prompt #1

“Write about someone who works an average job — but incorporate elements of magic into it.”

Julie sighed again as she stared at her lifeless screen, this was the third time today it had gone down, and she had passed the point of frustration and started to dip into annoyance at the constant interruptions. More and more it seemed her computer was determined to undermine her work at every turn, and she wasn’t sure what she was going to do, every delay brought her closer to her deadline with barely any work to show for it. She reached down beneath her desk and pressed the power button a few times and receiving no results let out a grunt and pushed her rolling chair away from her desk, standing slowly she turned to stare out of her tenth floor window at the city below.

“Every day it’s the same thing, work, home, sleep, rinse and repeat. There has to be something better to get out of life than this.” Julie couldn’t help but muse to herself as she watched the endless drone of people down on the street.

As she mused about her less than exciting life, Julie slowly raised her left hand out and slightly behind her as her coffee mug slowly began to rise from her desk surrounded in a soft, purple, glow and gently floated into her waiting hand. For three years she had worked tirelessly to bridge the gap between humans and Dahlians, the months she poured into dispelling the fears that humans held against her kind so that the two could live in harmony and now, as her work was nearly complete, the primitive tech that the humans provided was constantly failing. Worse yet she found herself increasingly in need of Ned’s assistance in repairing the temperamental technology.

She took a sip of her coffee and instantly recoiled in disgust, her face contorted in ways she hadn’t thought imaginable as the now cold liquid touched her lips and tongue. “Bah! It’s a wonder that humans can drink this swill at all, let alone cold and under ice, how do they do it?” she muttered under her breath as she raised the index finger of her opposite hand to the base of the mug and with a thought brought the black liquid to a boil. “I guess there’s no avoiding it, I’d better notify Ned that my machine is down again.”

Julie turned back to her spacious office and stared into the center, with a snap of her fingers a blazing, blue, portal opened in the center and in a flash it was gone leaving the confused and quite visibly terrified technician standing awkwardly in the center of her office. For the first time in the day, perhaps even the week, Julie smiled, not out of cruelty but out of a genuine sense of joy. As much as she hated to call on the young man to fix her machine she always loved seeing him because out of every human she had met he was not afraid of her for who she was, although his confused and scared face did make her chuckle as well, but that was simply a happy bonus.

This is the first time I’ve ever tried writing from a prompt (since high school actually) but it’s a way for me to practice. I may not have hit the exact point of the prompt but I think I got pretty close, plus I wasn’t sure how much I should write or when a good place to stop was so I’m leaving it as it is. Thanks for reading.

Paperback or Hardcover?

I love to read, no, really, I do even though it doesn’t seem like it sometimes. Now granted I will concede that in the past few years I haven’t had the time I used to have to devote to reading but regardless I still love it. Now as far as what I prefer to read, that changes depending on my mood, I mean I have my favorite genres of course but as far as what I feel like reading that is dependent on my mood for sure. Now more often than not I’m usually reading either Science Fiction or Fantasy, but there’s also been a Biography or two that I’ve enjoyed, Horror, and of course Humor books as well (I’m a sucker for the Bathroom Readers), but no matter what I’m reading I always prefer reading a physical book. I know, a lot of people say print is dead and whatnot in favor of the digital age but nothing, to me, beats holding an actual book in my hands, taking in the scent of a new book almost like a new car smell, and just opening it up to get lost in a new adventure.

After thinking about this, I must admit that I’m curious for those who may be reading who feel a desire to share, but what is your preferred format for reading (if you read that is). Is your preference that of a good old-fashioned physical book and if it is, hardcover or paperback? How about audiobooks? Or what about kindle, or rather digital books? For me personally it’s hardcover books, I love them, everything about them to be honest. I love the weight of a hardcover book, and while the dust jacket is usually hit or miss for me as far as design goes but it’s what’s under it that I really love. To be completely honest, while I would never actually destroy or get rid of a dusk jacket on a hardcover book, I would much rather my shelves just show the books as they are, name on the spine and in all their simple, colorful, glory.

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A personal favorite of mine.

Obviously, the biggest downside is the price, a hardcover book is generally anywhere between $10 to $20 more than their paperback counterparts (at least in my experience) and while that’s the biggest downside to me there are obviously other issues that present themselves for various other reasons. For instance, usually hardcovers are of course bigger and take up more space, I believe I mentioned that they are also heavier which for me isn’t a huge deal but for some I can understand it being an issue especially since on cheaper shelving they can warp those a bit. Even the dust jackets themselves have their own problems since they can get caught if you aren’t careful and rip then there is the issue of buying them from a bookstore (yes they still exist) and depending on which one you have to deal with price tags that can ruin the dust jackets as well.

Now just because hardcovers are my favorite, I of course have a large collection of paperbacks as well for various reasons, price is obviously one of them followed closely by space, but still, it’s a physical book and I’ll take it any day of the week. Now to be fair though, I only own I think two digital books through Kindle and one audio book which I haven’t listened to yet and I am by no means knocking either. Kindle and other e-readers offer an entire library at your fingertips and on the go which is amazing  without question and audio books as well offer the same advantage as well as allowing you to listen to it as your own personal story time and I can certainly respect both mediums and quite honestly I would love to experience them more but right now, in my own case, time seems to be my biggest limitation.

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A stack of lovelies before they sadly had to be stored temporarily

I know, I’ve droned on a lot about how I like to read so I’ll stop there but I will end with mentioning a couple of my favorite books of all time (because I know you’re looking for recommendations after all). For starters, while one of my favorite authors is R.A.Salvatore because of the various Drizzt books, my favorite book (or rather books) of his fall under the Cleric Quintet, an epic story crossing five books about a cleric on a mission to essentially save the world which just happens to fall into the Forgotten Realms. Next, and another favorite author, is Christie Golden and while I have not read a lot of her books, my hardcover of Arthas ranks as one of my top three books ever and the only reason I don’t read it more is not so much time but the fact that I don’t want to ruin my signed copy of it and am waiting for when I have the extra money to get it in another format and quite honestly the book was so good I don’t even care what format that is. Finally, The Fall of Reach, out of all the Halo books this one was my favorite because it was more than just about the Master Chief but about the Spartan program itself. Yes, it still focused on the chief, but it offered so much more backstory which really fleshed out the Halo setting to. Written by Eric Nylund I honestly couldn’t put it down and I’m fairly certain, if I remember correctly, I finished it the day I got it.

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While I didn’t mention it here, this one was a bit of a sleeper favorite. It surprised me with how much I loved it.

Okay one more, mostly because I love talking about the books I’ve read, but the Resident Evil series by S.D.Perry, these novelizations of the games were out of this world and I loved them. I loved them so much that the first one, the Umbrella Conspiracy, is actually falling apart as the pages are falling away from the spine from reading them so often. I take care of my books I promise, I don’t throw them around and I’m careful when I read them but still…sooner or later a book just starts to deteriorate. Honestly the Resident Evil books are high on my list to replace with new copies but again, monies is usually the reason I haven’t yet.

So, let’s see, I covered genres I love, the medium I prefer to read, and some of my favorite books and authors did I miss anything? Probably. Regardless I want to hear from you as well, favorite books, favorite medium, favorite genre…lay it on me cause I wanna know!

~Fallyn Aingeal~

Story Time: You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost)

Well…not my memoir, who’d wanna read that? No, this particular memoir was written by one Felicia Day (I’m sure at least a couple of you have heard of her). Star and creator of “The Guild” as well as “Geek and Sundry” she has managed to become an icon of geekdom in more ways than one but the biggest part of her appeal is the fact that she is who she is without trying to be something (or someone) she isn’t or at least that’s why I’ve always had a great deal of respect for her. I realize that from a review standpoint (and I use the word review very loosely as we all know I have absolutely no grounds for reviewing anything) this is a little late…or a lot late, but I’ve wanted to read this book for a while and never had the money to actually buy it recently. Okay granted I found it in a bookstore that basically buys books that are damaged in some way and marks them down a bit, but I bought it damn it!

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My copy, fortunately the only real damage is the dust jacket is slightly bent at the bottom.

It’s actually been a long while since I’ve read anything if I’m being completely honest but like I said, I really wanted to read this and once I had it I could barely put it down (I mean I did still have to go to work and sleep and stuff…stupid sleep) and it reminded me of just how much I love to read. Also, I should probably mention this is the first book I’ve read that wasn’t Sci-Fi or Fantasy so there is that. I mean biographies, memories, autobiographies, really non-fiction in general really isn’t my cup of tea so the fact I wanted to read it at all is kind of impressive on its own.

Alright I’ve gotten away from the actual book, coming back around now. Obviously for a memoir it’s going to be short, she’s still young and has a lot of life left to live but as a telling of her life so far and how she got to where she is, it’s a wonderful…if emotional at times, adventure. Telling of her upbringing as a homeschooled child along with her brother (well, what would equate to homeschooling) and finding herself in the online and gaming communities as she grew up, every anecdote and story is a joy to read. A lot of her humor is shoved in there but I will admit there were times I felt sorry for some of the stuff she had to go through, being an outcast at times, the rough go at becoming an actress, and I won’t lie I never realized just how hard it was for “The Guild” to happen even to the point of essentially breaking her and wanting to give up.

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Also, I love seeing books without their dust jackets, I like the way they look…and I can totally feel you judging me as I type this (shame on you).

For me I related to it a lot, my friends know me as outgoing and funny I know, but inside I’m always fighting a battle, wondering if people are judging me, feeling terrible about the things I like and hoping people like the same things and it’s usually why I try not to be outgoing so that I don’t have to worry about it. In that regard I always found refuge in games and books, at least there I never had to worry about judgments though I will say that regardless of my love of gaming I’ve always stayed away from forums and online communities for the same reason I stay away from people in general. Honestly it wasn’t until I decided to stream as a way to tackle these issues that I became more involved with both Twitch and Twitter so yay there. I know, I drifted again…I do that, sorry, it happens…stop judging!

Once I finished, I’ll admit I wanted to start reading it almost right away but I had a biography of George Lucas I wanted to start as well (sorry Felicia), but once I was done there was at least one very important lesson to be taken from the pages. For anyone who deals with a little nagging voice in their head, that isn’t always so little, the hardest part is pushing through your own negativity to continue especially when it comes to creative endeavors (but not exclusive to it) but if nothing else that’s the one thing that you have to do especially when it isn’t easy. There just comes a time when you have to say “screw this shit” and move on, to fight for your dreams even when you yourself say it can’t be done and if nothing else I know I personally have drawn a bit of inspiration from that very mindset.

While her memoir may (or may not) have been intended to be inspirational I know I for one felt inspired to continue with my own projects, my comic, my writing, streaming, things that I’m passionate about. Should you read this? How should I know! I mean I don’t normally like reading about other people’s lives, but I would definitely consider myself a fan and I loved it from beginning to end and while some of my friends wouldn’t get much of the gaming references included I would still recommend it time and again and whenever possible.

~Fallyn Aingeal~

Story Time: Resident Evil Edition

I love reading, there, I said it. Seriously though, the smell of a new book and fresh pages, the feel and weight of it in my hands as I sit back and flip page after page, even the texture of the pages, everything about the aspect of reading is a magical experience and I treasure it whenever I get the time to sit and enjoy a good book. Sadly, I don’t have the time like I used to so settling down with a real and tangible book has taken a backseat to a lot of things but I want to take a moment to share my thoughts on one of my favorite book series and that being the Resident Evil series (no not the novelizations of the movies *shudder*)

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Original cover art for the first novel.

Originally released beginning in 1998 there were seven books covering five games and two original stories and all of them written by S.D. Perry and quite frankly I doubt I can accurately describe how much I love these books, so much so that more than one of them is falling apart no matter how much care I take in reading them. Now the five novels that represent the games are as follows, and in order of publication and not so much story order;

The Umbrella Conspiracy

City of the Dead

Nemesis

Code Veronica

Zero Hour

And the two books that stand on their own;

Caliban Cove

Underworld

Where to even begin really, without question my favorite of the series would be both Umbrella Conspiracy and Zero Hour as they both cover two of my favorite games in the series. Umbrella Conspiracy takes you along with Bravo team as they first enter the infamous Spencer Mansion but it does much more than just follow along with the game it adds more depth to the characters and shows the deeper struggle they go through as they fight for their lives. Zero Hour takes place during the time of Resident Evil Zero, one of my personal favorite games out of the entire series and just like all the others it brings a new level of depth to the characters and the story itself.

Now obviously since they are technically adaptations of the games it’s not a scene for scene description, some of the puzzles are omitted while different ones are introduced but all of it retains the feel of their respective games. Another thing to note is that while each novel is based on the games they aren’t canon to the games directly but are canon within their own universe (if that makes sense, and I can’t vouch 100% on that claim just what I had found with some digging). Regardless, canon or not, the game-based novels are amazing reads that really make you feel each member of Alpha and Bravo teams struggle.

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The updated cover art for the first novel.

Now on the flip side there are the two novels that are completely independent in every way and, I must admit, I loved them much more than I thought I would. Both carry along familiar faces but add new ones as well on top of adding new levels of terror along with a deeper understanding of exactly how disturbed of a company Umbrella is. I honestly can not push these books enough and I encourage any fan of Resident Evil to take a look for themselves.

~Fallyn Aingeal~