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101 Goals, 1001 Days: Short update on books and games

I’ve read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and watched the movie. I like the book better because there are nuances there that you don’t see in the film, which is a shame. I gave the book five stars, but would give the movie three. Read my full review of the book on Narratess

My first book, Tales of Lunis Aquaria, came out nearly a month ago and I just received my first payment. So I finally made money with my fiction writing. I’ve done a gig for non-fiction before, so it’s not the first time I’m making money writing. It’s still an achievement though. I’ve sold 30 books and earned over 50 bucks in total.

A few weeks ago, I planted some seeds and they already came up. I have no idea what kind of flowers will bloom since it was a wild flower mix. My parents brought fresh herbs to plant and I’ve already used up most of it. Now we wait until it grows again. It’s nice to have fresh herbs for once. Maybe one day I’ll be reasonably good at gardening.

I’ve been playing Guild Wars 2 more frequently than before and focusing on the thing I like best, the story. There were still episodes from the Living World I hadn’t done yet, so I’m working through those. I’m currently at the penultimate episode and will do the finale episode immediately after.

Besides Guild Wars 2, Stardew Valley has been on my radar again. I actually bought a second copy, one for the Switch. I’ve been playing that single player, while keeping my save file on my pc for the multiplayer game with my husband.

If I do need my relaxation SP fix, I’ll jump into Graveyard Keeper. It feels like a harvest moon game, but it’s pretty dark. It definitely deserves a content warning since it has cannibalism. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue playing it after I found out, but the game itself is pretty cute. Just don’t think too much about it. Maybe the ending will explain it.

101 Goals, 1001 Days: 2 Puzzlers and a Season

One of my goals was to complete a season in Diablo 3 and I already completed that goal, but this time I completely crushed it. Thanks to my friend Welshtroll who was kind enough to let me run along with him. I finished season 16 yesterday, only a month after it started and with only a few play sessions.

I had just reached level 70 and paragon level 12 when I joined Welshtroll’s game for two or three rift runs. They’re the easiest way to level and maybe find some loot. I gained about fifty paragon level, enough to help me with the last quests. The four chapters are done and I have my butterfly wings. I even managed to do some content that I’d never done before.

Wayward Manor

Wayward Manor, a game by Neil Gaiman, is a game I kickstarted a long time ago, but never played. I’m glad I did. It’s such a cute game. The story is a creepy one, but the art and animation make it more of a comedy horror than creepy horror.

You’re a ghost and it’s your job to haunt the house and open the chest. Scare the family members by using objects in the room. Spike drinks, ruin dresses, haunt armor, and explode barrels by setting them on fire.

Each level has a specific order of things to succeed a scare. Some scares will net you an achievement, but that’s all there is. As far as I know they don’t do anything but look pretty. I didn’t go for 100% so I don’t know what getting all of the achievements will do.

Midnight Mysteries: The Salem Witch Trials

Sometimes you need a break and do something entirely different. Midnight Mysteries is my kind of different. I usually play RPGs, simulation or action games, so doing a point and click puzzle game that’s heavy on atmosphere, history and logic is a real change.

I enjoyed point and click puzzle games when I was a kid although the classics might have been too hard for a kid to finish. The Secrets of Monkey Island was a game I could never beat and I felt motion sick while playing Myst. The movement between the scenes was too much for my brain to handle. I’d like to think I almost finished it, but I’ll never know.

The copy of Monkey Island is still gathering dust in my Steam Library, but now my friend Michael is doing a let’s play of the third game and I’d rather watch that than play myself.

Midnight Mysteries is a mix of point and click puzzles and hidden object gameplay, all of it tied together in a story that mixes history and fiction. I finished it last week while my head was all over the place. But doing those little puzzles and asking me to focus my attention on one task helped me to organize my head a little.

While I didn’t plan to finish this one, I was happy to have finished it. It’s one game less in my backlog. I also quickly played two other games that I crossed off my list. I didn’t play them for long, but know that I won’t play more of them.

I also finished the first of the books recommended by you guys. The review for The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society will appear on Narratess very soon.


101 Goals, 1001 Days: Eternal Senia – Hydrangea After The Rain –

I’ve been playing mobile games a lot since I have Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. Eternal Senia – Hydrangea After The Rain – is one my most recent games and one I actually finished the story of. It’s the sequel to Eternal Senia (free), which is available on Steam, but I found out about that when I was doing research for this post.

Mobile game

Hydrangea After The Rain is a mobile game, which is an odd choice if the original is a PC game. It’s a clicker or tapping game where you have to tap the screen constantly to execute an attack. Activate skills by pressing the buttons after the CD is gone and you filled up the skill point gauge. There’s no way to automate the attacking, although there is a buff that allows you to keep attacking by keeping your finger on the screen. Of course, this requires real money.

Party members

You can bring one party member with you that will attack the enemy at certain intervals. You’re given a nekomochi to help you out after you start, which is a two-star party member. After a few chapters, you’ll gain your first five-star party member.

You can draw more party members from the gacha with gems that you can earn from watching ads, paying real money or taking part in trials. I haven’t spend any money on this game since it’s easy to get gems if you’re patient enough. Every two new party members, you’ll be given enough gems to do another draw as well. And if you have all the elements at four-stars or higher, you’ll have more than enough firepower to kill your enemies.

Upgrades

Leveling and upgrading your weapons are done with the same currency. These are the blue gems that you get from killing enemies, not the purple ones that you need to buy party members. Choose wisely if you want to upgrade your weapons or if you want to invest in better stats for Senia.  I hardly spend currency in upgrading low-level weapons with no skills. It was the four-star weapons that I upgraded heavily. The elemental benefits and the huge increase is definitely worth getting in the later levels.

Expect to have your character above level 60 before you finish the story.

End Game

After you’re done with the story, you can still fight on and do hard mode for earlier chapters. There are also the platinum trials which allow you to score beat other players. At level 60 you can try to earn fairy weapons which are stronger as well. I think there’s enough to do if you like the gameplay. New content has been promised at the end of the credits as well.

I stopped playing the game even though I enjoyed it. I didn’t like it enough to go for the grind to gain a spot on the leaderboard that I don’t care about. I might install it again when the new content is there.

All in all, it’s a cute game, it’s free and there’s absolutely no reason for you to buy the buffs. It is a free game so if you want to support the developer (an indie game dev), buying a buff will help them out.

Check it out if you want a game you can play for a few minutes at the time without feeling like you missed out on anything. There are no log in rewards or events which demand time. And that’s what I like most about Eternal Senia. It’s as casual or hardcore as you want it to be.

101 Goals, 1001 Days: A Short Movie Update

I’ve watched a few movies, two of them were on the list of recommended movies: Interstellar and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. Two down, eighteen more to go.

Interstellar

My husband told me to watch this one, but more people recommend it to just about everyone. I remember Twitter fawning all over this movie when it came out.

I really enjoyed the movie, but I don’t know enough space stuff to fully understand the story. I do believe that if I had known more, I would’ve liked it even more. The concepts of wormholes, blackholes, space/time relativity, altered gravity and fourth and fifth dimensions are hard to understand. Separately, but even more so when they’re all thrown together in a two hour story.

Another problem I have with any movie in space is that some of the cinematography is giving me a headache. I get that there’s on ‘ground’ in space and everything floats around each other, but the rapid movement in the background is enough to make me motion sick. (I had to close my eyes during some of the scenes in Gravity as well.)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

I prefer the first one. I never read any Marvel comics so I only know what’s in the movies. The Guardians of the Galaxy movies both seem a little far fetched, plotwise, but this one seems even more so.

The whole god/demigod thing might just be one step too far. If it was a standalone movie, I might’ve accepted that, but in such a big universe with Doctor Strange and the Norse realms, having one god who could create everything seems wrong. IMO, you can’t have a all powerful god in a universe with a pantheon.

I do like the execution. The cinematography and art direction are great. I love the characters, especially the couple of Groot and Rocket. I just wish the story was different.

The highlight of this movie (and the first) is the soundtrack. It’s filled with 80s hits and I love it. There is a Spotify playlist with all of the songs if you want to listen to it on the go.

101 Goals, 1001 Days Reflection

It’s a little over a year ago since I started with this list and I already completed some of them. That was kind of the point, to pick long and short term goals.

Last year has been full of big changes. I quit my job to start writing and blogging full time while also taking care of my health. The few months after I quit, I was still busy with the wedding. Both before and after. It took up most of my energy just thinking about everything that had to be done. When all of it was done, there was this empty space left. I needed something to work on.

Yes, my writing, I know. But I also wanted to accomplish something on a personal level. I wanted to grow as a person. Using 101 Goals, 1001 Days, has allowed me to do so. Learning Japanese is purely for my own satisfaction (and my brother’s girlfriend is delighted that I’m doing my best getting to know her culture). Trying out new recipes is what will make our day to day life a little more adventurous. Eat something you’ve never eaten before. I want to learn new skills, but which are related to what I want to do professionally.

By combining long and short term goals, I always have the idea that I’m working towards something. Some things are easier to track than others (quality versus quantity), but that’s okay. I’m expanding my Japanese vocabulary and I notice that I don’t rely on the subs in animes that much anymore. It’s getting easier to work out new recipes when I want to substitute an ingredient and I also know how to work with flavor and spices.

I don’t notice my personal growth on a day-to-day basis, but looking at this list, I see that growth. I believe I’m a better person than I was before, but I still have a long way to go. I’m glad that I chose to do this even when the challenge seemed a little too daunting before. You don’t grow if you don’t challenge yourself.

Diablo 3 Seasons

This post is part of the Blaugust Developer Appreciation Week.

I think I’m not the only who was happy to see seasons arrive to Diablo 3. Diablo 2 used to have ladders for set periods of time, but with only the glory of being the best, there was no incentive. The seasons in Diablo 3 do.

Each season has a complete set for every class and two cosmetic items. You can only get one set per season. I think this is a great way to have players come back. The cosmetic items so far have been different every season. The sets are on rotation so you have the chance to get the other sets in other seasons.

You get the rewards after completing the four chapters. Normally this is won’t take up too much time especially when you play with multiple people. I play solo, so it’s taking me longer. Leveling to level 70 does go faster than before because I’m learning when to level where.

One of my 101 goals was to complete a season. I never take the time to complete the fourth chapter. So taking on this goal would force me to do it at least once. I then realized that doing those last few achievements wasn’t that hard. Since then I’ve completed a few more seasons.

101 Goals, 1001 Days: Painting With Inks and Watercolour

Art runs in the family. My sister and father can draw very well. My sister even considered art school, but chose to learn something she didn’t know yet. Now she has work as an animator, which is what she always wanted. Check out her blog at Fish by Night. I chose to stick with writing, but I know that I can do drawing/painting as well, as long as I put in the hours for practice.

I fell in love with the quotes with a watercolour background. A few colours mixed to create clouds of pastels. Some artists even add gold sparks to give it more texture. I want to create those as well. But before I can do that, I have to get better at painting and calligraphy.

Made by Molu

Instagram has been a wonderful source of inspiration. The things that people do is exceptional. It makes me want to try it as well. Watercolouring is one of those skills that I want to get better at. Goulet Pens also had a blog post on painting with inks. The skills are transferable, but the mediums react differently. That’s why I’m planning to use both during my practice.

Various techniques with Lamy Vibrant Pink

I made a card for our friends who were getting married. It’s the first card I made in a long time and I’m happy with how it turned out. It’s not perfect, but I didn’t expect it to be. I wanted to give them something personal and nothing is more personal than a homemade card with heart felt feelings written on the back.

I want to get better with these techniques and practice drawing and painting so I can create more cards instead of buying generic overpriced Hallmark cards. I’ll take more pictures of other things I try to paint and post them later.

101 Goals, 1001 Days: Learning Japanese

I’ve been watching anime for a long time and with Netflix including more foreign programs, I’ve been watching more drama shows and reality series as well. Through watching that, I’ve learned some basic Japanese phrase, but it’s not nearly enough to survive a trip to Japan.

When I first met my brother’s girlfriend she was impressed with the phrases I knew. Most of what I know are the oneliners from anime and manga.

Ohayou, konbanwa, hajimemashite, aishiteru, oyasuminasai.

That’s nothing special, right? That’s why I’m slowly expanding my vocabulary with Duolingo. It’s become easier for me to recognize words in sentences, although the sentence structure is still hard to understand. Grammar (no matter what language) has always been my weak point.

I don’t think Duolingo is the perfect tool to learn Japanese. After the first basic lessons, you will learn harder words and phrases which use those words. But they don’t talk about the words used to connect nouns. So the one thing that I’m struggling with, they don’t explain.

Luckily, through my interest, I’ve already bought some books on learning Japanese. Combining these source has been a great way to increase my mastery of the language and I notice that when I’m watching Japanese series, it’s easier to recognize what they’re saying. I still need subtitles to confirm what they say, but I can look away for a second and know that I haven’t missed much.

I hope that by the time we go to Tokyo I will know how to ask my way, understand directions, know how to order food and read a menu.

Learning Calligraphy

My interest for calligraphy isn’t new. In my early childhood my fascination with fountain pens and calligraphy was already apparent to my mother who bought me a Parker calligraphy set and a book on popular calligraphy (cursive, not hand lettering).

I still have the book, although I’m not sure where the pens are. I now have a wide range of fountains and dip pens with various widths. I have a few brush pens that I can use for practicing line variation. No flex nibs yet, but that might still be too advanced for me. I need to learn my letters first.

I hope to get better at it so I can make my own cards with inspiring quotes. Even though I have learning calligraphy as a goal for my 101 Goals, 1001 Days challenge, I know that this is a skill that takes years to master. It would be weird if I mastered it fully in three years.

Below are a few pictures of calligraphy and handwriting practice. I’m by no means any good (average at best), but I’m working hard to get better. Follow me on Instagram to see more pictures of calligraphy practice, bookish pictures and fountain pens.

101 Goals, 1001 Days: Recommend Me Books And Movies

I need your help for two of my goals. I need 20 books and movies recommended that I’ll read/watch. Will you help me out?

Movies

There’s a catch though. You can recommend me your favourite movie, but if it’s Saving Private Ryan or Victoria (the new Netflix Horror), I’m not going to watch it. I don’t watch horror movies or movies centered around wars. Especially the most recent ones. They just don’t appeal to me.

A few exceptions that I did watch are Pearl Harbor and La Vita E Bella.  I don’t think these movies are war centered, but tell a story with the war as a background. I loved Memoirs of a Geisha and it’s still one of my favourites. The war is ever present, but it’s still not what the story is about.

I have watched a fair share of horror movies in the past. Recently, just seeing a realistic zombie is enough to give me nightmares.

(It happened after I saw the zombie mask in a Loot Crate box and I dreamed about a zombie apocalypse that evening. Not fun.)

So please, no horror movies or movies with zombies. I will not watch them.

Besides these two, I watch nearly everything that isn’t too art house. I probably won’t finish a French experimental movie about two dancers who only talk using dance. I did watch Coco Before Chanel (2008) and liked it more than I thought I would.

Movie genres I enjoy: romantic comedies, drama, fantasy, science fiction, animation (Eastern and Western), historical.

Movies I enjoyed: The Lord of the Rings franchise, Harry Potter franchise, anything Disney, Shawshank Redemption (1994), Stardust (2007)by, Pride and Prejudice (2005), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Angels & Demons (2009)

Books

This is where it gets interesting. I’m a bookworm and I’ve read so many books already, but there are even more that I haven’t read. I’m looking for non-mainstream books. The hidden gems. The names that don’t get pushed by the Big Five. Self published books are very welcome! I review nearly all of the books I read and I’ll happily do so for any self published work.

Even in books, there are genres that I don’t enjoy. I don’t enjoy thrillers or crime. Unless they have something supernatural. I’m all for angels and demons. Zombies in books are okay, but preferably not too many. I don’t read much horror, but I won’t skip over it if someone recommends it.

I will not read erotica.

Genres I’ve been reading lately: fantasy (not the epic kind), romance, young adult, dystopian, science fiction (not the hard kind), historical.

Books I’ve enjoyed immensely: the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, the Dark Gifts series by Vic James, American Gods by Neil Gaiman, the Wicca/Sweep series by Cate Tiernan, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Abarat by Clive Barker.

If you want to know which other books I liked and/or have read, check out my Goodreads profile.

I already asked UnwiseOwl and he recommended Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and someone else said It by Stephen King. Please leave your recommendation in the comments. If someone already named that book or movie, reply to that comment so I can bump it up on my priority list.

I’m looking forward to all your recommendations and widen my view on books and movies, discover new authors, actors and directors.

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Guild Wars 2 Fiction

Miira Lightbringer:
Fried Moa Steak
Quiet Before the Storm

Young Miira:
Tail Tugging Part 1
A Promise Made Part 2
Night Falls Part 3
Grawling Preparations Part 4
Badazar Incarnated Part 5
Graduation Part 6 - Final

Savyrius Belain:
We Meet Again...

Naella Ysangwan:
Dogs and Ogres

The Scarred King by Rose Foreman & Josh Foreman

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