Saturday, May 26, 2012

Book Review: The Stone Crow

The Stone CrowThe Stone Crow by Lori Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely adored The Stone Crow by Lori Green. This story is a little on the darker side, but it is so masterfully done I cannot recommend it highly enough.

The story is about a girl named Sara who sets out on the run from her preacher father who has been stealing souls for a dark god named Mourningstar on the promise of immortality. Aided along the way by a man who becomes a second father to her, Sara travels the countryside working in garages as a mechanic to pay bills while staying ahead of her Daddy's advance. She is met by a dark stranger in black clothes and a cowboy hat who tells her he can help her. (view spoiler)

I can't even ruin the ending in spoilers because I want it to be a surprise, but the story is a modern retelling of a well-known story with a twist. I was sucked in from page one, reading along with Sara's story, hearing her history in flashbacks and rooting not so silently for the underdog. It is yet another book I will be buying a copy when it releases June 18th. As a matter of fact, I might just read it again while I wait for it to come out!

View all my reviews

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Game Rage: Fuck Firelands

My new guild has talked me into taking up Arms. One of the tanks talked me into it saying I could do better DPS if I was in Arms instead of Fury.
This is all based off of Firelands, mind you. With the fucking dogs. I’m going to fucking rageface on Rageface. And if Riplimb were a real puppy, I’d fucking punt him off the front porch into traffic. We got Rageface no problem. Fucking Riplimb is a goddamned untankable ADHD roid raging Chihuahua on crack and he can get fucked so hard his MAMA feels it.
They had me chasing that fucking dog through a goddamned MINEFIELD of traps. I couldn’t use Heroic Leap or Charge because I would have run through a trap. My rotation is complicated, but it doesn’t seem to be ANY LESS COMPLICATED than the one I have to learn as Arms. The problem is I have to watch my feet, watch the DPS, watch the screen, watch what other people are doing, bust people out of traps when they step in them, hit the boss, hit the dog, go back to the boss….
Did I mention the roid rage Chihuahua? How he runs all over the field through fire he drops and runs over the traps like they’re non-existent? Did I mention I can’t keep up with that fucking dog when he runs? Did I mention he’s untankable??
Fuck that dog. Seriously.
I started out as Arms on Locke. I went to Fury. Now I have to go back to arms again and it pisses me off that I’ve been busting my ass so long on this spec to get good and now I’m being told I’m not.It just makes me think that people have just been blowing smoke up my ass that I’m not good enough and until now, no one has told me because they feel sorry for me. I’ve asked for help before, asked if I’m doing okay, if there’s anywhere I can improve my character and everyone so far has said that 20k is fine. I do 20k. When I’m not running. If they didn’t have me running my fucking ass off, I would haev been FINE. I can do my charge and leap and have been over on top of it. But if I would have done that and dropped my fucking dumbshit ass into a goddamned trap, I would have gotten my ass reamed.I can MOVE around the fucking field IF there aren’t fucking MINE FIELDS for me to fucking DANCE THROUGH.
I’m going to sleep on it. Right now I’m just pissed off.
So I've said this before and I've posted about it with the same guild I'm bitching about now. *cough*
Fuck. Firelands.
Tonight we went in with a raid leader who didn't know the fucking fight and told us to burn one dog before the other. When we burned both dogs at the same time, we got down to Shannox. When we didn't, we didn't. And we wiped. And wiped. AND WIPED.
After raid, I took my happy ass over and found this video. I can't post videos to my Wordpress because I'm cheap, but here's a link for you to watch it yourself. I LOVE FATBOSS TV SO HARD. Just sayin'. http://youtu.be/HGriNHF1hlg
Anyway! So watching that video, I found that the dogs HAVE TO GO DOWN AT THE SAME TIME WHILE THE BOSS DROPS DOWN TO ABOUT 35%. Once the dogs are down, we drop the boss and it's easy peasy lemon squeezy.
.... the first thing he said was NOT to get the dogs down at the same time. WTF.
Also, the red circle on the ground I didn't know what the hell it was? Yeah. That's the thing you KEEP THE DOG FROM GETTING. THAT'S why you put him in the fucking trap. NOT because you feel like it, but because IT KEEPS YOUR TANK ALIVE.
When we "run this tomorrow at like 9 or 930 or 945 or 10 at the latest", I'm going to tell the Raid Lead he needs to not be a fucking wanker. The end.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

My neighborhood is full of little crotch fruit their parents apparently don't care enough to watch. The little lawn goblins run amok around a couple of street blocks with other neighborhood kids of various ages. When the older kids are out, most of the time they keep the younger ones from killing themselves and each other. When they're not, however, you have to drive about ten miles an hour because the little heathens will come darting out from the woods beside the collection of houses like the Children of the Corn. They run right out in front of your car and then stand looking at you like you should have been watching for them. How dare you be driving down this public street! A pair of the boys, who can't be more than ten, like to ride their bikes out and see how fast they have to go to get in front of the car before the cars hit them. In the middle of the street and not at the stop signs. They like to throw rocks at cars. They try to see if they can get them in through my open windows as I drive by. So far they've been unsuccessful and only managed to chip the paint on my already pock-marked hood. That earned me stopping and yelling at them to stop doing that before they hit someone in the head with a rock and hurt them. I didn't go into property damage.
Now they've stopped throwing rocks and are instead throwing mulch. I guess they figure that's softer somehow. At least it's softer than a baseball.

The kids throw balls across the street, right in front of the car as it's driving through. They run after it into the street as they're playing. I can't tell you how many times I've scared the hell out of myself when a football bounced off my hood and I thought I'd accidentally hit one of them. Some of the littlest ones are barely three or four and they could easily dart out in front of my car and I wouldn't see them until I'd run over them.

At least most of the time they don't form an unmoving horde of kids in the middle of the street and stand talking while I'm trying to drive through. Most of the time. They've done this two or three times before.

One summer, their parents set up bike ramps for them to use so they could teach themselves to use trick bikes. This would be an awesome idea if they would have done it in the driveway or even along the driveway between their house and the next door neighbor's house. Instead, they set them up in the middle of the street. They ride and flip their bikes, dump themselves across the pavement and pick themselves up to do it again. Then they leave the ramps out in the street where we have to swerve to miss them as we're coming home from work at ten o'clock at night when it's dark. My car doesn't really like going over the double one. Neither did the ramp. I think the car was too heavy for it. I saw it in the trash pile the next morning. At least the ramps were kept picked up out of the street from then on. I don't think I was the first to run over one, but I apparently was the last. You'd think these kids would learn to stop playing in the street. When my dad told me to go play in traffic when I was little, he didn't really mean it. I wonder if these kids, like me, took their parents literally. It would explain a lot of their behavior.

Anyway-- Happy mother's day to anyone who has children rather they be your own born children, your raised children, your fur-kids or your nieces and nephews. Happy mother's day to the fathers who play both roles or, like my son's father, plays the role of mother better than his biological mother.

Call a mom, rather it be yours or someone else's and tell them thanks for not killing us when we were children and not freaking out too badly when we almost managed to do it ourselves.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Book Review: Mariposa

MariposaMariposa by C.L. McCullough
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I would like to begin this review by saying I loved this book. I liked it so much I am actually picking up an e-pub as soon as it is released. (I was fortunate enough to have an advance reader's copy courtesy of Lyrical.)

Mariposa is a headstrong woman in the 1930s with a God-fearing, rigid mother who tells her frequently she is the Devil's child and demands she rebuke the witchcraft of her grandmother. Once Mari is old enough, however, she stays with her Gran and learns herbs and medicines and, although she denies her powers, finally finds them with the aid of her Gran's journal, her Gran's cat Grey Malkin and her Gran's friend Willa.

Since she was little, Mari dreamed of a black horse that became a dragon who became a man. She held this vision as her "dream man" and all through a lonely childhood never really found a suitor.

(view spoiler)

I was drawn in by the peaceful beginnings of the first chapter. Mari is a very real character and, despite this being told in the first person, doesn't lose touch with the other characters in the story. I was compelled through the story to read and learn along with Mari and then when the action started to grow thick, I was drawn in. I couldn't put it down. I had to know what happened next. I caught the very early clues to the identities of the main characters and their importance and there were a few red herrings tossed in just enough to make you wonder. I was absolutely captivated.

The scene with Mari and her mother toward the end of the book made me tear up. I won't spoil it, but it's sad and sweet all the same time and, despite the conflict between the two of them, ends up being really sweet. There is a little romance and some suggestion, but no overly sexual wording. Very vanilla.

The very end of the book is, I think, the best part. I do so love happy endings.

Buy this book. Pick it up and read it. If you like a compelling story with a strong female lead and a little fantastical magic, you won't regret it.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

First Edits

A few weeks ago, I sent out a test "first" chapter to an editor to look over. She read through the first five pages and gave me some suggestions to slay the early writing demons. I was rather pleased that she took the bite at my book to begin with, especially with as disjointed as my description was. She was intrigued and she warned me ahead of time she was a harsh mistress. I took it as a good sign.

I can see how she could think I would hate her. She's harsh and direct but it isn't mean-spirited. She honestly sees problems and is making suggestions for me to improve. All of the suggestions she makes I can at least understand, even if a couple of them I believe are wrong. She is ruthless with unnecessary words, which is something I am HORRIBLE at. She also made suggestions for my entirely too wordy run-on sentences. She didn't re-write my book for me, which is what a couple of other editors have tried to do for me in the past, but she made firm suggestions.

All in all, the first chapter I had in mind isn't going to be a first chapter. As she said, it would be too harsh to put in all at once at the beginning of the book. It really IS kinda horrible as far as treatment of the character and I can see the point. The people I've had read through everything are.... um. How do I put this? ... my friends are freaks, weirdos and geeks. Most of them aren't horribly put off by Baby's treatment because they can read beyond it. Pushing it off onto another reader who is woefully unprepared would turn them off entirely. Small chunks would be easier to handle throughout the book. I'm taking her suggestion and going to go through with a hacksaw and machete and clear out some of the dead stuff from the work. At least that much I will have done and ready to go so I can copypasta work in instead of having to re-write it later.

My editor also read through five pages of something that made her very uncomfortable and gave me good, strong feedback in the middle of that. I can't tell you how greatly I appreciate that. The chapter borders on non-consensual and involves a character that is barely, barely legal. She was a hell of a trooper and actually thanked me for letting her read. I sent a letter back thanking HER for reading. She gave up her time without pay to look over a book she may or may not be interested in taking on as a project. That honestly means so much to me, I can't even put into words how appreciative I am. I tried in the email and ended up deleting it because it sounded like I was painting her up to be some kind of Goddess, but I NEED this kind of feedback! All of my friends want to encourage me, but none of them stop and go "You know, this might be too much" because they're freaks and weirdos like me. I have the knowledge that Baby will be okay. The reader doesn't. Fresh eyes can see.

I will be going back through and writing, maybe posting good snippets. I am at least encouraged by the fact she didn't say "burn it with fire" or "never contact me again". She actually encouraged me to bother her later and said I looked to be on the right track. I'm stoked beyond a shadow of a doubt. It has encouraged me to actually write again because I might might MIGHT have a chance at publication.

A day or two after I sent her a message thanking her for her time, she sent back a message a day or two later asking me if I was interested in a con-crit partner. Yes, I'm VERY interested, especially if she is interested in the same thing I am. This author also does urban fantasy and horror, she's also into LGBT relationships and she's pretty passionate about what she does. As the editor said, I hope we both work out together because if there's one thing I need, it's someone who isn't going to sugarcoat everything and blow smoke up my ass. I need someone who will give me actual honest to gods good, strong feedback. I want someone to say "This just isn't working. Maybe try this."

I've found, through my blog, two very nice people who have commented with suggestions so far. Starting up this blog again has been one of the best things I've done in awhile. Sticking my neck out and actually doing something for once has been a positive thing. I'm almost tempted to start going to a writing group and listening in on what they're working on, what they're doing, how they're plotting and planning.

I don't have enough time in my day to go to the gym or to sit down and write most of the time, so I don't know where I'm going to be pulling my time from, but it's at least something more than I've been doing. If I want this, I have to DO this. This is a step in the right direction.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

/gquit

I have a problem. I have been in three guilds over the last year with my main. All of these guilds, for one reason or another, stop serving my needs and I bail. I'm feeling that urge yet again for reasons I can't really understand.
The first guild I joined was an RP guild. I could level and do achievements and whatnot on my own. Sometimes the other members of the guild would run me through things to help me level. When I hit 85 on my main, three of my guildies were there with me.
All though my leveling, there were opportunities for RP. I would tag along and my toon would make suggestions that were always ignored by the higher ups. When there were important goings on, my toons were slighted and left outside to guard a magical door. They were never given duties when everyone else, even minor characters, were involved and given at least a minor duty. We were told if we had questions to ask, but we never saw any of the guild leaders or the RP leads online. On top of that, we didn't know what questions to even be asking. ICly, the characters knew as little as we did. OOCly, we couldn't find anyone to ask. Eventually we got frustrated and tried to play out our own storylines. Nobody played along. Ever. With anything. They were involved in their own RPs and while one of our friends tried to pull us in, Everyone else actively ignored us. So we stopped RPing. We stopped playing and trying to tag along.
We got promoted.
That's right, a promotion for doing NOTHING. Needless to say, we were a little confused. When we actively try and participate, we're ignored and snubbed. When we don't, we get a promotion?! Okay, so we see how this is going.
I stop playing all together. I stop showing up at the random RP nights, I stop participating in storylines, I stop doing everything because I'm sick to shit of everyone ignoring me and acting like my character doesn't exist. I was tired of trying to get people involved in our storyline. Only our one friend was ever involved in anything we did and everyone else started dropping out of the guild left and right. When we'd finally had enough ourselves and decided to go to a raiding guild, the acting guild lead threw a tantrum and told us he didn't CARE what happened to our toons, but he didn't want us to leave the guild.
We left anyway. If you don't give a shit about our storylines, we don't have to give a shit about your guild.
That was my first gquit and I had friends there. I'd gotten to know everyone and we'd joined the guild because two of our real life friends were members. I was terrified that everyone would hate me. I'd spent over a year with this guild leveling and trying to gain guild levels.
Quitting was actually easy once I realized that nobody cares what happened to my storylines. The only people who DID care are my two real life friends. They still RP with me and I even wrapped one of my characters in with theirs. I still play with them, I just don't know any intimate details of anything, not like I ever really did before.
On to the first raiding guild. The GF had quit the RP guild before I did because she was sick of pugging. She went to our new guild because they were running both Firelands and Dragon Soul. She wanted to raid and, since I'd gotten my toon geared enough to run LFR, I wanted to gear up and get in on actual raids. Yay!
Boo. No sooner had I joined than the guild stopped running raids all together. Some of the guild members quit, leaving holes in the team, but the rest of the guild wasn't even willing to TRY without them. They weren't willing to train a new tank, they weren't willing to carry light DPS and they didn't want to run LFR to get the gear to play with a new group. Most of the group was terrified to do anything on their own.
I quit as soon as we found a new guild with the promise of raids.
Enter the current guild. We join. They are active, there are always lots of people online and everyone is doing STUFF. There are old raids, new raids, heroics. There are PVP runs. People are running LFR. There are groups going in to pug random dungeons. I think, "Awesome! I can do stuff here!"
Nope. Nobody needs melee DPS. They all want tanks, heals and ranged DPS. The GF is getting invites to run all the time. Some of their raiders have gone to other guilds to help out and here I am sitting around with my thumb up my ass because I can't tank. Warriors aren't healers, we run up and beat things with pointy things.
I am currently in the process of gearing to tank. I'm TRYING to learn to play. I HATE warrior tanking and he's my main. I WISH I could class change him over to some ranged DPS but I don't know how to PLAY ranged DPS. I've learned all these fights as melee. I've worked my ass off on my talents and my rotations to get my numbers up where they need to be. Our guild was in AWE of a DPS warrior who was doing 50k. He had 400+ gear on. If I had that kind of gear, I could be pulling in those numbers, too. But if this guild isn't going to accept me and let me play, how am I supposed to get the gear? I am seriously, seriously tempted to gquit again and just take my happy ass to a guild who needs a melee DPS on their guild roster. I left the RP guild so I could get max geared and actually DO THINGS. And here I am sitting on my thumbs again.
I am endlessly frustrated with the guild and I've been afraid to play with them because of comments one of my guildmates left on the facebook page. He was bitching that his DS runs were NOT going to be happening anymore and that people would have to TRY OUT for his runs because the runs they had "last night" were bullshit. He has since left the guild and with him went all his toons. I'm just remarkably pissed that someone like him can run these things and I can't even get in on ONE run.
I've gotten nibbles on three other guilds I can go to and I'm really upset because I JUST got past friendly rep with the guild. I've been doing their achievements, I've been running with guildies, I've been working my ass off doing things and no one seems to give a flying rats ass about anything. I'm so tempted to quit it hurts. I've done nothing but bitch about it for three days. The GF says we put something up on the calendar for people who want to run it, but doing that will have a bunch of people sign up and then no one actually show and I'll be disappointed and pissed off and hurt all over again. I want to play. I'm tired of not being able to play. I might as well fucking go back to the RP guild and just call it a day. I get tired of people getting butthurt because someone doesn't ask them for gems. I'm tired of people saying "No, I'll wait for so and so to get on to cut them" when I'm willing to do it for them and that person isn't even online. (The same person who got butthurt because someone didn't ask them to cut their gems.) I'm tired of being passed over because I'm melee. I'm tired of being confused with my girlfriend. "Why don't you jump on -GF's Toon- and..." gets really fucking old. I am not her, I have never BEEN her and I can't play her toons. I'm ME. Maybe that's why she's getting asked so much is because they're lumping her achievements and my achievements together.
I think I need to go elsewhere and it pisses me off because I'm finally in a guild that I SHOULD be able to do things with and get passed over. Every time I think about it or talk about it I get pissed off. I'll give it more time because I never do anything without taking ample time to consider all sides, but I seriously just want to quit and go elsewhere. I think while I give it time, I will also start talking to other guilds about their raid teams and see if they have a place for me. Otherwise, what's the point in leaving one guild for another that will do the same thing?
And I'm done bitching. I think the name of this blog should be WoWBitch instead of WoWRants because I'm not so much as ranting as I am constantly complaining.


Tips to run a successful guild


I've been doing a lot of reading and several themes keep popping out at me. I thought I should share the themes and add my opinions to the pot. If I decide to start a guild, I will definitely be posting here how things are going as we move along.


I found a really good post on the forums by Killerina on how she runs her guild.


Wow-pro has a really good article about guilds I found insightful.  They also have a guide for loot distributions in the guild I have been reading through.


Altered gamer went over the same things as Wow-pro, but had a blurb about doing raider audits that I found insightful.The link to the tool is broken, but I'm sure I can find it on Curse.


For Vent, the best options for me seem to be with Hypernia.


If I do run a guild that other people can join, this guild would have a guild page via Guild Launch where my previous guilds and my City of Heroes guild is hosted.


Our Guild is named Awful Waffles and we are just that awesome.



How not to run a guild



Nothing got better in the guild and, as a matter of fact, everything got worse. The new GM acts like an overgrown toddler, throwing her hands up in the air every time someone asks a simple question. She sucks at communication skills and I get sick to shit of dealing with her childishness. After the last fight broke out in the guild, I quit.
First of all, if someone is kicked from your guild, unless it is a personal matter, the guild should know about it. I, for one, don't want to piss someone off inadvertently and get kicked from the guild. I would actually like to stay in my guild. Second, when someone asks, there are certain ways of explaining things to people that don't involve everyone being butthurt and throwing their hands up at the whole thing. Be an adult and deal with people as adults. Have some good communication skills.
This has led me to search for another guild. While I'm back in my first guild again, I have some decisions to make. The ousted guy and his friend made a guild and offered me an officer position. I wouldn't mind being an officer or a founding member because then I have say in what happens. I could actually raid. I could go to another guild that some of our former guildmates have jumped to already. I've said I don't mind having a ten-man vent channel and paying for it so we can run dungeons and raids.
The GF and I could start our own guild.
This is both a plus and a minus for me. It's a lot of work running a guild and the GF and I are not online all the time. We work. We do this for leisure. We do this to have fun. People who have run guilds before have quit because of the hassles of running guilds. All the hassles of the guild would be on our shoulders. I don't know if that's something I'm up for.
Before I make decisions, I really need to decide what I want out of the guild. I need to talk to friends of ours and see if they want to join the guild. I would make them officers because, let's face it, I can trust my friends. People I know in real life, whose houses I can go to. I would trust those people to run the guild. I would trust them to handle arguments and make decisions.
I have no idea what I want to do. I'm leaning toward starting our own guild, but that's going to be a lot of work to get our levels up. It's going to take a lot of thought. In the meantime... I'm reading up on how to run a successful guild.

Reiki

 I haven't posted in a long while, but I thought perhaps with all the craziness going on in 2020 (which I thought was going to be MY YEA...