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► Recently, I finished up a replay of Dragon Age Origins! And by “finished”, I mean “finished the main game”; I haven’t done Awakenings or any of the other post-game DLC yet.

This was definitely a more...thorough playthrough than my last one, mainly because 1) I played the ultimate edition this time, and so had the extra DLC to play with, and 2) I actually managed to not miss out on any easily obtainable companions, cough cough Leliana.

I also played it on the PC instead of the 360! Partially because I don’t actually have access to a 360 right now, but mainly because I’d already decided that I’d switch over to playing on the PC for any future playthroughs of the Dragon Age games. I’d...originally intended to keep playing them with a controller, but apparently you can’t do that with Origins? So I used the keyboard controls, and while there was a bit of a learning curve, and I had to remap the walking keys to something that felt more intuitive to me, I ended up really enjoying playing it this way!

(Side-note, but I took a lot of screenshots of this playthrough— 2225, to be precise. Definitely got a bit drunk on power there, but hey, I had to make up for being utterly unable to share how gorgeous my Mahariel was!)

► Now, for a bit (and by a bit, I mean a lot of rambling) on my Warden for this playthrough, and her relationships with the people around her.
cut for length, and also spoilers? maybe? )

► As for the more general events of my playthrough...
cut for length and spoilers )

► There were other things that I wanted to talk about (mainly, things that stood out to me in context of the other games, particularly Inquisition), but this entry has gone on long enough. Next time, perhaps.
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Dearest Writer,

The most important thing that I should mention before I get to my likes/dislikes and canon-specific details is that I do believe that optional details are optional. I do want you to pay attention to my do-not-wants, and would prefer it if you paid attention to my likes, but otherwise, I don’t want to restrain you. Any comments, suggestions, or prompts that I leave are simply meant to inspire.

AO3 Handle: straightforwardly
Previous Letters: 2013, 2014, 2015

cut to spare the flist )
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Dear Writer,

Hello, dear writer! I’m ridiculously excited about this exchange, and I hope that you are too!

Before I go any further, though, I should mention that for real-life reasons, I might not be able to immediately read/comment on my gift when the time comes. I do promise that I’ll try to get to it as soon as I possibly can!

I should also mention is that I do believe that optional details are optional. Please do pay attention to my DNWs, and treat my requested characters with love and respect, but other than that, everything else is simply meant to inspire.

I’m equally interested in tricks or treats. When it comes to tricks, I’d really love something creepy, dark, or otherwise unnerving— though not violent. Subtlety is always key. With treats, I’d just like anything that gives me warm, fuzzy feelings. It doesn’t have to be uncomplicated fluff— there can be hints of complications and darker issues— but in the end, I want it to leave me smiling.

This year, I chose not to divide my prompts into “tricks” or “treats”, mainly because I ended up having quite a few that I thought would be interesting either way. Do feel free to take a fluffy-seeming prompt for a “trick”, or carve out some fluff in a darker-sounding scenario for a “treat”, if you so desire!

AO3 Handle: straightforwardly
Previous Letters: 2015

cut to spare the flist )
straightforwardly: a black & white cat twining around a girl's legs; both are outside. (Default)
► I just realized when I went to post this that this is my 100th official post here. So yay for that?

► I have become so incredibly charmed by the podcast Dragon Friends, which I started listening to sometime last week the other week because I needed something to entertain me when I was trying to get through a tedious-but-necessary portion of an otherwise good game. Whereupon I then got so completely hooked that I basically started listening to it throughout all of my free time, even when I wasn’t in the middle of some sort of menial labor, which is pretty much unheard of in regards to me and podcasts.

And now I'm in love (or at least very strong-liking), and am seriously considering requesting it for Yuletide. I adore pretty much all three of the main characters, though who stands out as my actual favorite keeps changing.

cut for length, and spoilers through episode 2.10 )

► Speaking of fandoms that I’m considering requesting for Yuletide… I’ve also recently played A Little Lily Princess, which is a VN based on A Little Princess— a book which I hadn’t read since I was a kid, but actually reread in preparation for playing this game, as I could remember very little about it.

I played the routes in this order: Mariette, Becky, Lavinia, Jessie, Lottie, Ermengarde.
cut for length & major spoilers for pretty much all of the endings )
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► One bright side about my relative lack of internet is that I’ve been able to get around to reading books and playing video games that I’d never gotten around to before during my free time. Of course, there’s a limit to this— with books, I only have those that I already had on my phone / that I can pick up for free because I am not going to buy a ebook when I already know that I greatly prefer physical copies, or that I can get from my library’s online library, and with video games, I’m limited to those portable games that I brought with me or, hypothetically those that I have on my computer.

Still, I’ve managed to chip away a bit at my backlog, to my delight. I’ve already read, in addition to a truly ridiculous amount of romance novels (I don’t know why; I’ve always read romance novels, of course, but usually I’ll read two or three, then return to my one true love, fantasy), Ivanhoe, Moby Dick, and am now nearly halfway through Les Miserables, which so far might be my favorite of the three, though I’ll have to admit that Ivanhoe did a better job of not running around with really, really long digressions.

cut for length )

► I also mentioned video games above. I haven’t been playing quite so many video games as I’ve been reading books, mainly because it’s much easier to put a book down at a moment’s notice than it is to do the same with a video game, but I have finally gotten around to playing Pokemon Alpha Sapphire.

The short version of my thoughts on it: this is not so lengthy, but it’s being cut anyways )


► Now, I’m playing the GameBoy Advance version Final Fantasy V, which I bought used at GameStop many years ago. As some of you may know, I came pretty late to Final Fantasy as a series, which is kind of odd, considering how much I love JRPGs. I played my first Final Fantasy game, FFX, in 2010, and then played FFIV in 2012, and that’s about it, as far as the series goes. That is, I did play a bit of FFXI on my friend’s account, but I don’t really like online games, and ignore those entries in the series.

Over the years, I’ve also picked up copies of FFI and FFII, both on PSP (which I, unfortunately, didn’t bring with me), FFVII and FFVIII on PC, FFIX on PS1, and FFXII on PS2, but I haven’t gotten around to playing any of them yet. ...Which means, now that I think about it, that I own more than double the amount of Final Fantasy games that I’ve actually played.

Enough babbling about this. Here’s my thoughts on FFV. cut for length— and spoilers, if anyone cares about that )

► This was all written on 23 May, by the way; the biggest change since then is that my DS isn't charging for whatever reason, so I haven't been able to get further on FFV.
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► I am not dead! However, I no longer have regular internet access, and probably won’t for the next half a year to full year. I...don’t like to talk about my personal life on here, and so I won’t go into much detail, but cut for vague discussion of my life )

Honestly, it’s way more frustrating for me that my phone is having internet problems. I bought a new SIM card to use while I'm here, and it went fine at first, but for the last two weeks, my connection has been so weak and terrible, that I can’t do anything with the internet. It’s...really frustrating, as it means that I can’t play Shall We Date? The Niflheim. It’s dumb, I know! But I really love that game, and when I think about all the content that I’m probably missing out on, I just...yeah. I’m pretty sure that there isn’t a temporary event story going on yet, as there was one just before I left, but I know that there’s probably going to be at least two or three before I get back home, and I don’t even want to think about the possibility that I’ll miss those.


► In other news, Homestuck ended! cut for spoilers )

Of course, now I want to read all of Homestuck again, but I can’t, due to said limited Internet access.

Which reminds me— is there any way to download Homestuck fics from AO3 and still have the varying text colors remain? Because right now and for the foreseeable future, offline reading is going to be my primary way of being able to read fic, period, but I can’t really read Homestuck fic when the chatlog colors are stripped away. It throws me off too much. Any help would be much appreciated.

► Speaking of fic, I read the revelations in your skin (Frozen, 105K, complete) by afterism, and holy hell, that was a revelation, haha. It’s Hans/Elsa, which is a pairing that I...definitely don’t ship, but I came across some recs for it on FFA that made it sound really, really promising, so I gave it a shot.

And I am so, so glad I did. The characterization, and the slow way Hans and Elsa’s relationship develops— just, everything was perfectly done. When I think about this fic, I just kind of want to prop my head on my chin and let out a happy sigh. I read it in a single afternoon— in one sitting— because I just couldn’t put it down. I can’t imagine any Hans/Elsa fic—or, hell, a Frozen fic, period— living up to this one.

(Now, if I could only find a really long fic of similar quality for Hans/Anna…)
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I don’t think that it’s a secret that I love food, or that I love baking and cooking even more (especially considering that I have a tag for it... and a private-locked entry full of recipes to-try...and a GoogleDrive folder full of recipes I’ve loved, all (prettily) formatted in the same way, all so I can one day make myself a cookbook full of beloved recipes…), but I only rarely share the things I try out, which I think is a shame.

So I’m going to try to fix that, at least a little bit.
cut for length )

Oh, and one more thing. We have quite a few clementines/mandarins/some sort of orange-y fruit laying around that aren’t being eaten because they taste a bit too-sour. So I’ve been thinking about maybe making something with them instead? Except, I hate orange muffins, and my entire family (including myself) think that pairing fruit with meat (or any other kind of savory dish) is basically an abomination, so… I’m not sure what to do with them?

Poking around Pinterest didn’t help too much, for once. These Clementine Sugar Cookies, and, okay, while it doesn’t actually help our problem at all, these Candied Orange Peels do look yummy. I liked the idea of these Cranberry Orange Scones too, but they don’t really use much oranges at all. So— I’m not sure if anyone on my flist actually bakes/cooks regularly, but in case any of you do— any suggestions?
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► When I promised that I’d talk about Amnesia Memories in my next post, I… had planned on it being much sooner than this. This would normally bode ill for the amount of detail I’d include, since it’s been weeks since I played it, but fortunately, I actually did a liveblog on a (private, locked) tumblr for my own benefit, so I have something to jog my memory with! cut for length )

So, tl;dr, while there were things I didn’t like about it, overall I really enjoyed the game.

► I watched the fourth episode of ERASED the other day, and spoilers beneath the cut! )
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► A new year, and a new anime season! Here’s my initial thoughts: into our smiles )

► Speaking of which— I don’t think I ever talked about my thoughts on last season, did I? In short: the only shows I watched to the end were Concrete Revolutio and Dance With Devils. I thought Concrete Revolutio was fantastic, if a bit messy in the middle, and I’ll definitely be watching when it starts up again.

As for Dance with Devils, it was immeasurably entertaining, and I’d actually argue that it was genuinely good by the end. I could go into rhapsodies over that ending, honestly. ♥ (Also— I was saving this link for a mid-season update I never did, but I have to say, this tweet was such an accurate summation of my thoughts while watching this one, especially in the beginning half.)

► I have a bit more to say (mostly about Amnesia Memories, which I spent the first ten days or so of this year playing), but I’ve been working on this entry on and off for about a week, and I just really want to get it posted now. Perhaps next time.
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One of my old "traditions" that I started up again last year was to do a retrospective on my fic-writing year at the end of the old year / beginning of the new year. Here's the link to this year's write-up:

Writing In 2015


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It’s the last day of the year… which means that it’s about time I started on my usual end-of-the-year posts! This time, I’m going to start off with my yearly favorites.

I know that I usually include movies in these posts, but...I actually can’t remember watching any movies this year? I know I rewatched Labyrinth for the Trick or Treat exchange, and I know I rewatched the Winnie the Pooh Christmas/New Year’s movie on Christmas, but I can’t remember watching anything else.

Everything is in vaguely alphabetical order.

give these clay feet wings to fly )
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It’s that time of year again.

This is a very much barebones and incomplete list of recs, as 1) I haven’t quite finished going through the archive, and 2) I know that there’s some on my to-comment list that I forgot to put on here. I wanted to get this out before the anonymous period ended, but there’s a good possibility that I’ll update it at a later point, once I have the chance to be more thorough.

Anyways. First off, here’s the gift I got this year!:

The Only Thing That Signifies (2004 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Cousin Kate - Georgette Heyer, HEYER Georgette - Works
Relationships: Kate Malvern/Philip Broome, Kate Malvern & Torquil
Characters: Kate Malvern, Philip Broome, Torquil (Cousin Kate - Georgette Heyer), Sir Timothy Broome
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, Fix-It
Summary: What if Lady Broome had died a natural death?

This gift made me so, so happy. All I wanted when I finished reading this book earlier this year was for Torquil to have survived, and this fic definitely delivers on that. It’s just so heartwarming, and sweet.

find the rest under the cut )


Total: 21 fics in 14 fandoms.
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Trick or Treat reveals happened! ...almost a week ago. In total, I wrote three fics in three different fandoms!

what I wrote, plus commentary )


► In other news, I’ve fallen back down the Homestuck rabbit hole recently. Looking back through old entries, I don’t think that I’ve talked about it on this journal before? I marathon-read it for the first time earlier this year, back in March or April, and, for the most part, liked it quite a bit. I read a few fics every once in a while, and that’s pretty much the extent of my fannish history with it.

Which brings me to my point! cut for length; fic recs can be found below )
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How is it already November? And, on a somewhat-tangential note, how is it already almost time for reveals for the Trick or Treat Exchange?

This was my first year doing this exchange (I just watched from the sidelines last year), and, overall, I really enjoyed it! I’ll talk a little bit more about it once reveals hit, but for now, I want to talk about my gifts! I received a pair of excellent fics this year.

A trick:

The Full Moon Never Comes (409 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Pocket Monsters | Pokemon (Main Video Game Series)
Characters: Darkrai
Additional Tags: Isolation, Prequel
Summary: Darkrai found a trainer that didn't fear it.

And a treat!

I'm Just A Dreamer (1395 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Pocket Monsters | Pokemon (Main Video Game Series)
Characters: Hikari | Dawn, Darkrai, Jun | Barry, Bippa | Bidoof
Additional Tags: Recovery, Trainer Pokemon Bond
Summary: When a pokemon joins you, you've made a commitment. Dawn will fulfill that commitment.

They haven’t gotten many (or, well, any, other than mine) comments yet, so if you’re fond of the Pokemon games, I’d suggest checking them out!

I have to say, reading them made me feel so nostalgic for my time in that fandom. All of my Dawn feelings just came bubbling up again. And it's not just the canon— I feel really nostalgic for the fandom itself, too. There were so many great people and writers, and there was such a wonderful sense of community. ♥ I do miss it.
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Dearest Writer,

Hello! Thank you in advance for planning to write a story for me. ♥ I’m super excited about all of the fandoms that I’m requesting, and am really looking forward to whatever you might come up with! Some of these fandoms are new to me, while others are things that I’ve loved for a while now, but all are near to my heart in some way or form.

The most important thing that I should mention before I hit my likes/dislikes and canon-specific details is that I do believe that optional details are optional. I would definitely prefer it if you paid attention to my do-not-wants, but otherwise, I don’t want to restrain you. Any comments, suggestions, or prompts that I leave are simply meant to inspire.

AO3 Handle: straightforwardly
Previous Letters: 2013, 2014

cut to spare the flist )
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► Another day, another entry! This time, I want to share the stories that I personally wrote for White Dwarf Rabbit Hole and Press_Start, because… just because, really.

oh darling )

► So, I said that I’d do a link-dump this post, but now that I’m actually here, I… have no idea how I should start. I need to organize everything somehow, but there’s just so much, and just, agh. I think I just need to dive in.

► Let’s start with recipes! I had a craving for tomato soup the other day, despite it usually not being my thing, and so tried out this recipe for dinner. It...technically tasted good, and my family liked it fine— I might even make it again— but it wasn’t the flavour I was looking for.

Looking up recipes for that did lead me to other soups / autumn-y dishes that I’d like to try out, though! Here’s some of the ones that intrigued me:
cut for length )

As for things I’ve actually made: I made these pumpkin muffins (though I threw in some banana chips in the mix) and these apple scones (though in the interest of using up our garden’s produce, I turned them into zucchini-apple scones) recently, and both were absolutely delicious.

Oh! And I made this watermelon sangria for the American Independence Day, and it was also very, very good. I loved how straightforward the recipe was, and the lack of added sugar.

► A few other food-related links that aren’t recipes:



► As for non-food-related links: I first saw this on the Yuletide fandom promotion post (I think), and while the other tweets from this account don’t do much for me, this one made me laugh:

cut )

► And I think I’m going to leave this here for now— I still have plenty of links to go through, but I’ve made an indent at least, and I’m tired now. I didn’t quite get to talking about Yuletide proper, but oh well. Until next time.
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► Oh, wow— despite my constantly thinking, hey, I should update my DW soon, it’s somehow been over a month since I last updated. A whole other exchange has finished up, author’s reveal and all, without my talking about my gift in it— hell, I haven’t even talked about my thoughts on the fic I wrote for White Dwarf Rabbit Hole, despite saying in my last entry that I would do that soon!

So, that’s going to have to wait a bit longer, because I need to share the fic I got for Press_Start, and, again, for whatever reason, I feel weird talking about my own fic in the same entry where I brag about my gifts.

ANYWAYS. Gift-bragging time! Here’s what I got:



Sleep(less) (2616 words) by Rose Argent
Fandom: Final Fantasy IV
Characters: Cecil Harvey, Rydia (Final Fantasy IV), Gilbart Chris von Muir | Edward Chris von Muir
Summary: One night in the desert when no one could sleep and said nothing, and one night when they said much.



It’s SO GOOD, and so perfectly tailored to my interests! A Cecil & Edward & Rydia fic that touches on the implications of Cecil being a Dark Knight? DO WANT. I loved so much about this fic, but the dark knight stuff and Cecil’s consideration of Rydia is the stuff that’s making me melt right now, when thinking back on it. Seriously, if you have any fondness for Final Fantasy IV, you should go read this. ♥

► Speaking about things I meant to post about, and then never did... there’s the Trespasser DLC for Dragon Age Inquisition, which I played two days after it came out, and had intended to make a game-blogging post about. I’m not sure if I’m ever going to get around to doing a fleshed-out version about that now, actually, unless I play through it again— I mean, I might, as I do have notes for at least the beginning of my playthrough, before I got so absorbed that I couldn’t pull away— but I can’t guarantee it. So, as a quick summary: I don’t think there’s any spoilers here, but I’ll be safe )

IN MORE RECENT NEWS, I think I have become addicted to heartbreaking romances in this game. (Stupid Solas. >_>) Why do I say that? Because I’m starting to notice a pattern. A pattern where I suddenly become 100% more invested in a ship when something makes it really sad, really complicated, or both. actual spoilers for Trespasser/DAI in general beneath this cut )

► My bookmarks are getting really, really cluttered, so I’d intended to make a link-dump in this post, but… this entry’s gotten long enough as it is, I think. Next time, perhaps. I might talk about Yuletide then as well, since the nomination period’s going on, and I’m working choosing my final requests so I can get started on my letter. And I’m going to stop myself here, before I start rambling on for another thousand words, thus utterly defeating the purpose of my deciding to not do a link-dump in this post.
straightforwardly: a black & white cat twining around a girl's legs; both are outside. (Default)
Dear Writer,

Hello! Thank you so much for writing for me! I haven’t done this exchange before, but I really love its concept, and am really excited about it. Perhaps the most important thing that I should mention is that I do believe that optional details are optional. Please do pay attention to my DNWs, and treat my requested characters with love and respect, but other than that, everything else is simply meant to inspire.

I’m equally interested in tricks or treats. When it comes to tricks, I’d really love something creepy, dark, or otherwise unnerving— though not violent. Subtlety is always key. With treats, I’d just like anything that gives me warm, fuzzy feelings. It doesn’t have to be uncomplicated fluff— there can be hints of darker issues— but in the end, I want it to leave me smiling.

Some of these fandoms may have more prompts than the others. That is not reflective of how much I want those fandoms; it just means that I happened to think of more ideas for one than the other. The same is true of whether I have more “treat” prompts or “trick” prompts.

Finally, while I did divide up my prompts into “trick” or “treat” categories, you don’t need to be restrained by that! If one of my treat prompts somehow inspire you for a darker fic, or if you want to write about a sweeter moment within the context of one of my “trick” prompts, then go straight ahead!


AO3 Handle: straightforwardly

cut to spare the flist )
straightforwardly: a black & white cat twining around a girl's legs; both are outside. (Default)


► So, the fics for White Dwarf Rabbit Hole were revealed sometime last night / in the early morning! Which, of course, means that it’s time to show off what I had written for me. ♥


With Unspoken Accord (1412 words) by Katherine
Fandom: Valdemar Series - Mercedes Lackey
Relationships: Skif/Talia
Characters: Talia, Skif
Summary:

When they woke to the sunrise together in the Companions' Field after their third unconsummated tryst, Talia and Skif did not give up on being more than friends.


Basically, this fic was an absolute delight to read! ♥ It has a really soft, almost gentle feel to it, and I left it feeling incredibly warm and cozy. If you like the Valdemar books, and have a fondness for Skif & Talia’s relationship, then you should definitely go read this.

► Apparently, AO3 bugged up or something*, because there was a partial reveal of authors when the fics were revealed. The fic I wrote was one of the ones revealed, but I think I’ll wait a bit before talking about it— I know there’s no real reason to wait, but it stills feels weird for me to talk about the fic I wrote in the same entry that I show off the one I received.

*I can easily believe that’s what happened, considering that I ALSO got hit with a bug during this exchange. When I tried to leave a kudos on my gift, AO3 decided that one kudos wasn’t good enough— but three would do. =P

► In somewhat related news, I revamped my fanfiction master list a few days back— mainly because I wanted a change, and couldn’t resist the idea of using a table code to do it. (I was tempted to use this table instead, but managed to talk myself out of it only because it occurred to me that finding / making an icon for some of my fandoms would be difficult. Still. It could have been really, really pretty.)
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► Solas (and Solas/Lavellan) has eaten my life. I’ve read so much fic in the last… ten days? (Holy shit, has it really only been ten days???)

I’ve also been writing a little, albeit slowly. But I digress.

It’s actually probably a good thing that I came to this game somewhat late; otherwise, I’d have been sitting around pining for more fic to exist. I’ve come across quite a bit of junk, but I’ve also found many really, really good fics, so I want to talk about them!

cut for length, and casual mentions of spoilers )

I’ve read and liked plenty more fic, but those are the ones that stood out to me as being my favorites.


► While reading Solas/Lavellen fic, I couldn’t help but notice some recurring themes / tropes /etc., some of which I enjoyed, and others… not so much.

I’d say that here comes the venting portion of the entry, but I don’t think that I’m annoyed enough for it to count as a vent )

And there we have it! The results of DAI inflicting me with a desperate need for fic are, apparently, a list of gushing recs and a few paragraphs of semi-venting.

.....And the Solas/Lavellan fanmix I was listening to while typing this up just starting playing a cover of "Wrecking Ball". After some brief moments of "wtf", I realized... it actually kind of fits? Wtf, Solas.

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