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Friday, December 19, 2014

More News for 2015

So last month I wrote one of those really annoying vague posts about how I had a lot of stuff going on in my non-blogging life, but then didn't go into any detail. However, I looked, and I did say I'd write about it eventually, so maybe I'll break even with this post.

Upon my return from my family reunion in the fall, I found out I'm pregnant. This was a very much planned-for thing, so we were excited, but then all of a sudden, there's that feeling of being overwhelmed and wanting to RESEARCH ALL THE THINGS and otherwise being distracted, and so on. I made an appointment for my first ultrasound, and all my husband and I wanted out of it was to see a healthy baby growing in there.

And we did. And then we saw the second baby growing right next to him/her. Surprise!

There were a few days of shock, of course, but then more excitement. RESEARCH ALL THE THINGS mode involved even more things to research. Writing absolutely took a backseat, but I can't say I feel any guilt about it.

Now that I've RESEARCHED ALL THE THINGS (well, a lot of them, anyway) and otherwise adjusted to the idea that we are going to have two babies in June (as much as one can adjust right now, anyway), I'm starting to settle down a bit. Obviously, I'm never going to give up writing, but I'm trying to figure out what my best course of action is. Do I try to finish up at least one of my WIPs and get it ready for submission before June, knowing that if I have to revise something, it wouldn't get done for a while? Do I give up any hope of getting something ready for publication until we figure out our new schedule? Is there some sort of middle ground in there?

There aren't any right answers. Luckily, it's not a life or death situation we're dealing with here. For now, the plan is to maybe get a solid first draft done of a WIP, but then hold off on submitting. I might also have some fun with some fanfic (especially since I finished my first playthrough of Dragon Age: Inquisition, more on that in a future post), and see if any good anthology calls come up where I can knock out a one-shot thing. As I said, I'm not giving up writing forever, but there are definitely some big changes coming up on the horizon!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Take Notes, This is How It's Done

Dragon Age: Inquisition arrived at my house almost two weeks ago, and I've been playing it non-stop since then. (The game is MASSIVE, and I know I still have a ways to go. At least I'm getting my money's worth! Writing can wait.) I'll reserve my final judgment for when I finish my first playthrough, but so far, the game is living up to the high expectations and the massive amounts of hype, and I'm having fun.

The reason I wanted to blog about it before finishing, though, is to note that so far I've been really impressed with the character of Cassandra. I was "meh" on her in DA2 (not that she was anything more than a narration device), and I never watched her side movie thing, or whatever it was (though I might check it out once I'm done with the game). She's the first companion you get, and she drives a lot of the plot in the beginning.

What stood out to me from the get-go was that it would have been so, so easy for her character to have been male. In other series or forms of media, she very well may have been. And then it saddened me to realize I was even thinking that. She's strong, she's tough, and she's passionate about her cause, which has nothing to do with landing a man. Her armor actually looks like armor and covers everything that should be covered when you're fighting many violent battles. As the game progresses, she does have her moments when she shows a little bit of a vulnerable or a light-hearted side, and those just make me appreciate her more. Not a single thing she says or does has had "even though she's a woman/because she's a woman" attached to it, which is the way it should be.

Even if I weren't playing a female Inquisitor, thanks to her and the other female characters, the game easily passes the Bechdel test, many times over. Bioware doesn't always get it exactly perfectly right, but their batting average is pretty good, and from what I've heard and read, they do a pretty good job of listening to all their fans, male and female alike. They try, and a lot of times they succeed. No matter what happens later on in the game (fingers crossed that there won't be a colossal flop of an ending like the original end to Mass Effect 3), I'm sure the good will outweigh the bad, and they've already won favor with me for continuing to include female characters such as Cassandra.