In Gaming Anticipation: Knights Contract

I was idly browsing through the gaming section on one of our local internet websites when I came across the following new release: Knights Contract.

I hadn’t heard about it at all (and in general I like to keep on top of what’s being released and what’s not) so decided to do some investigation and I’ve been pleasantly surprised and intrigued.
The game follows the story of a witch-executioner in the medieval times who was cursed by a witch whom he had killed with immortality. In order to lift the curse and set things right, he now has to work with the reincarnated witch to overthrow the main antagonist, a crazy scientist called Dr. Faust.

I looked at some of the game play trailers and saw that it seems to follow along the track of Dante’s Inferno and God of War (throw in some female side-kick action and you have Prince of Persia in the mix as well). Both of these (three) games were excellent in my opinion, both in game play and story line, so I have to say that I’m going to be keeping an eye on this one. A review from the destructoid website confirmed what I suspected, continuing to say that it had all the elements that the reviewer liked in a good game.
As I’ve recently bought myself a new television, I can say in all earnest that I’m looking forward to playing this.


It’s Sunday.

And, it always comes with a sense of dread because tomorrow is Monday and then I’ll have to go to work again. But, luckily that means I’ll get paid, as Monday is also the end of the month.

I’d like to remind people following my blog that today is normally Aheila’s Drabble Day Challenge slot. Her world is Analogy today but – I’m at a bit of a loss at what to write for that (my mind keeps jumping to Euology). I won’t be participating, but there are plenty of others who do so. You can find all of their work here.

As I can’t think of anything to write for the drabble day, I also can’t think of anything to write for this blog. I have to catch up on some of my writing goals, I’m not behind, but just not in front of them yet. 😉 Sometimes, pushing to your goals means giving up on other things and that is what I’m doing right now. 😛

So, enjoy your week and good luck with your lives.



Satisfaction in a little car

Of late, my job hasn’t been very satisfying.
My clients are struggling with their own problems which influence how they use our products, we’ve had a new competitor come onto the market which took most of my sales and two of our best people have left the company.
To say that I’ve been dreading every day is an understatement.
But, sometimes – there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
I drive a very small, light car which is always at the ‘but’ end of every joke for my farmers. I have been scolded, laughed at and told of for driving my car where I have to do so for work and the words “Buy a 4×4” comes up more often than I like it. I’ve always had faith in my car and the truth is that if I could afford a 4×4 I’d buy it but as it is, I can’t even afford a replacement for my own.
So, I make do with what I have and sometimes, just sometimes, it’s enough.
On Wednesday I traveled to one of our neighboring provinces to do my regular round there. The weather was terrible, which always makes me uneasy because it means that the roads are extra bad. Due to our recent management decisions, I have been capped on the amount of kilometers that I drive which means that I try to save mileage as far as I go. Driving 60km on good road where I can drive 20km on a bad road won’t happen anymore.
So, amidst storms and rain, I found myself trapped on a dirt road which, truth be told, was far too bad for my car. A heavy truck had been driving there just before and had dug out deep trenches where once there had been a reasonable track. Because the truck was wider than my car, I had to try and drive on either side of his tracks, rather than on the tracks themselves. This plan was complicated by the fact that the truck kept swerving from left to right…As my little car slid and rolled across the road I found myself holding my breath, cursing the truck which had left these horrible trenches. And, not for the first time, I found myself wishing that I did have that 4×4 that the farmers always said I should get.
I was almost at my destination but didn’t feel at ease yet because I knew that there was quite a big uphill waiting for me when I saw a large, stationary truck. It was stuck on the very same uphill that I knew I’d have trouble on and the sight of it made my heart drop to my stomach. I couldn’t turn around, so I had to continue forward.
Praying, I put my car into a lower gear, pointed it up the hill and put my foot on the gas. The little Opel Corsa Lite sped up the hill like a rabid rabbit. I positioned myself so that I could just get by the big truck and closed my eyes, almost biting my tongue off when my back wheels spun and tried to swing me into the truck. I could see the driver looking at me in his side view mirror and I could just see him thinking: That car will never make it up this last stretch.
I knew then that I had to so I kept my car steady, spoke to it as I would to my horse and gently (but quickly) bounced (as opposed to drive) it over the last bit. As I cleared the hill, I could see the truck driver gape at me so, to celebrate my victory – I held out my hand and made a queenly wave.
Satisfaction washed over me like a wave of glee.
I had never felt so satisfied in my life as I had in that one moment where my two wheel driven car beat a large 18 wheel truck.
Who needs a 4×4 if you have my 14 horse power Corsa?
I know that, for now, I don’t!

The Betta Part 3

It’s been two weeks since I’ve purchased my Samurai Fighting Fish (Betta) and I have to say, this is the most fun that I’ve had with less than 5 gallons of water.

Lan is coming along nicely. Not only has his colours sharpened since I’ve bought him at the petshop, but I believe that he’s grown a little in size. I feel that he recognises me when I come into the room, because the moment I do he starts flaring for attention – rubbing against the glass closest to where I’m sitting. His colour still changes from what they call a Cambodian type to dark, cherry red whenever he’s really worked up and I’ve used his energy to teach him to jump for his food. It took about 2 minutes for him to learn it…

I feed him peas once a week, (chopped up bits) and feed him mosquito larvae two to three times in the week. I clean his tank once a week and perform regular water changes. All in all, I have to say that I’ve spend more time on him than I’ve ever spend on any of my other fish. I can’t help myself, he just sort of demands it.

As a genetists (not practicing) I’ve also become fascinated by the types of fins and colours which you can get when you breed different Bettas. Although it’s not something that’s going to happen now, I suspect that I’m going to try and breed them later when I have more space to keep several more tanks (I don’t believe in Betta Barracks’). I recently went into a petshop and saw such a variety of Betta that I just knew I had to try and make my own. 😉

This has truly become a hobby for me and I’m very excited about it because I haven’t had a new hobby (save for irritating my Other Half…) in the past couple of years. Other Half thinks it’s a welcome change. 😉

If anybody wonders whether or not they should invest in one, I would HIGHLY recommend it. My betta has really enriched my life.

The Project: Word count

After an initial bad (or false, depending on how you look at it) my project – in which I’ve decided to try and write my own original story – is moving forward again. I’ve edited the first 4 chapters (all approximately 4000 words in length) and took out the scenes which had been bugging me. In doing so, I did lose a couple of dialogue pieces which I’m sorry about – but I’ve put them in my note book and hope to work them in again at one point or another. My total word count for the story now stands on just over 27,000 words. Considering that I had aimed to write 1000 a week (giving me a total of 52000 for the year) I’m pretty pleased with myself. Now, don’t think that I’m halfway – no. This baby is only getting started.

I use word count as a measure of how my story is flowing and where I am approximately. Couple of months ago, I spoke about using the Blake Snyder Beat Sheet. It’s mostly aimed at screen writing, but I’ve modified it for my own uses (after having a lot of success with it in Script Frenzy 2010). It helps me to establish whether I’m slow with my plot or whether I’m bombarding the reader with it too quickly. Also, you need a good framework on which to build your story and I feel that this beat sheet is it. I won’t be able to completely measure this until I’ve completed my story but it’s a good place to start.

While I was debating about word count, I thought to google some popular works and discovered this great web page. It gives the breakdown of a lot of famous works’ word count. Naturally (and to my pleasure), fantasy word count rules. I like to measure (and imagine) my own works against these – so that I can establish how thick a book I’ll write one day. 😉
For interest, I’ve archived over 680,000 words on my FanFiction.Net account. Which means that I’ve written more than Tolkien did on Lord of the Rings. 😛 I’m not saying my work is as impressive as his, but it’s something to think about when I look at the words on my book case. For your amusement, here are some of the well known numbers that I’ve found:

Lord of the Rings – J. R. R. Tolkien (revised to be in line with the rest)

The Fellowship of the Ring: 187k
The Two Towers: 155k
The Return of the King: 131k

Total: 473k

Wheel of Time – Robert Jordan

The Eye of the World: 305k
The Great Hunt: 267k
The Dragon Reborn: 251k
The Shadow Rising: 393k
The Fires of Heaven: 354k
Lord of Chaos: 389k
A Crown of Swords: 295k
The Path of Daggers: 226k
Winter’s Heart: 238k
Crossroads of Twilight: 271k
Knife of Dreams: 315k

Total: 3M 304k

A Song of Ice And Fire – George R. R. Martin

A Game of Thrones: 284k
A Clash of kings: 326k
A Storm of Swords: 404k
A Feast for Crows: 300k

Total: 1M 314k