Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Behind the scenes

I write stories. I mean, A LOT. Before class, after class, (during class? well only if it's boring. :P) in the car, in bed, with cats, with a mouse, in a house-- whoops! Slipped into Seuss. Sorry about that chief.
I don't just write one continuous story. Oh no! That way I'd be able to finish it! Well we can't have that. I'm sure there's some deep psychological reason for that, but imma move on.

How does one write a story, or many stories?
Starting with inspiration, let us take Wizard101 for example. I am inspired by Wizard101 to write The Adventures of Tristan Shadow. Not only am I inspired by Wizard101, but also I am drawing on the Edwardian and Victorian eras for inspiration as well. Take for example I wanted to have a scene where someone was singing a popular song. So I started researching popular Victorian diddies, and came up with "I do like to be beside the seaside" which was an actual music hall song, and it fit the mood of my scene.

After drawing upon several sources of inspiration, and usually having a conversation in my head that goes something like: Wouldn't it be cool to have a Wizard101 story that was a little film noir, a little Indiana Jones, and a lot of mystery?! Yes, yes it would. With awesome-ly named characters. Always. I start dreaming up plots. What's gonna happen to these characters? What's going to make this interesting? I mostly play with plots in my head right before going to sleep at night, and right before waking up in the morning. Then I can actually see the characters in my mind's eye, running around and working out the kinks in my story.
Then I write.
I like to write by hand. I write down all that comes into my head, refining my general ideas as I go along. This is really where the magic happens. Then usually I leave it. Days, weeks, sometimes months go by and I won't touch the thing. Then I read it again, a new idea comes into my head and I continue writing the story.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
Of course this whole "leave it for weeks at a time" scheme is really not recommended if you are trying to get your work published. This is mostly an exercise, to practice writing and to free your brain from cluttering story ideas.
Well there you go. My normal writing practice in a nutshell. And for being so good and getting to the end of this post you get a special surprise. You get a character preview for The Adventures of Tristan Shadow. Somethings have already been altered (Strider is now Storm and not Fire) but there are still some juicy tidbits in there if you are following the story so far.
(clicky clicky for bigger)

I need to get back to writing this story actually. Must free brain from half-baked plot ideas for darn spy stories.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Kettle Corn Killers

The last time we left our heroine, she was about to embark into the final frontier. This new and foreign land of Player versus Player was full of new and exciting challenges for our heroine and her friends.

As I approached the arena this morning, long before our match was going to take place I was nervous. Our team hadn't practiced. Would we preform well under pressure? Our line up was lacking a major offensive player. Sure we might live indefinitely but you have to kill the other team sometime! I personally hadn't played a 4v4 match since the fall, and I was second guessing my abilities. What about the other team? Would they play by the rules? I could see by their gear and by their attitude that they (contrary to their jocular name The "Noobs") knew their way around an arena. 

Well we all took a deep breath and plunged into a battle that might go down in the books as one of the most interesting and dynamic matches of all time on Wizard101. KBB and Cassandra DragonHeart (our hostess) kindly recored and commentated the match. 

I was so thrilled with how Paige, Ben, Angel and I worked together as a team (with NO practice (and some of us had very little experience in PvP) to boot!). And I was honored and truly delighted to hear such positive feedback on our plays. I was also just really grateful that we had such a very good team to go up against. They played very well and exceeded my expectations with good behavior. Even though they had annoying spritely pets. LOL.

I can't stress enough how grateful I am to my team mates for their exceptional playing today and for taking a risk and entering USWT with me. Because it was a risk. We met it head on. Bravo (and Brava Paige)!

I'd also like to thank Cassandra a lot because she presented a really great challenge (dipping my toe into PvP) in a very successful way. I was encouraged to try something new, and I was certain that I would learn new skills. Bonus! I even had fun.

Umm.... I forgot what I was saying. OH right! Thank you! Everyone who was involved. Thanks Hexy for shouting out "go heather and her frog!" Thanks John for believing that I'd do well in the tourney and helping me farm for gear in prep. Thanks to Donna for a seed that ended up giving me some very useful TCs! Thanks to everyone who came out and watched the match, and everyone who signed up for the tourney. Thanks to my team. And thanks be to Bartleby that I didn't make too many stupid mistakes, or press the wrong button! Hehe!


Thursday, July 14, 2011


I have been spending a lot of time in my Dorm recently. And also I have been on a bit of western kick. I mean westerns. Gotta love 'em. Chaps. REALLY love chaps. And the boots. And the horses! HORSES!
Ahem. Anyway. This afternoon after watching-- don't laugh! actually you can laugh, I do-- Bonanza with Adam West in it and getting a little silly with my friend ("It's BATMAN!" "No! It's Adam West!" "What are you talking about that's not Adam!" "Yes it is!" "No Adam's over there!" "Wait that's Pernell!" "No! It's BATMAN!" "Okay, okay. Be quiet so we can get back to Batman--I mean Maverick--wait! Bonanza. NO! Batman! Oh I don't know what I mean!") I decided to borrow a housing idea. Paige has this super dorm room that's a Marelybonian jail. Well here's my spin off on her idea, a la Wild West.

The Sheriff's office

The Sheriff's living quarters

Sheriff's Office
Okay what a really need to finish this off is a great outfit. HELLO! COWBOY HAT! I don't understand this... We have an indian headdress which goes with nothing, and yet no cowboy hat...

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Final Frontier

As you may know, I'm not really a big PvP-er. 
But when Cassandra DragonHeart announced her PvP Tourney, it sounded like a good time, and a good environment to learn in. So after a little persuading, I set off to create a team. 
After some less than successful attempts, the ever gentlemanly Sir Winterbreeze volunteered to join me. 
I, of course, started thinking up names, and then struck upon Team Kettle Corn Killers in reference to Angel's habit of eating popcorn whenever something interesting happens. I quickly created a this little recruiting poster....
And boy. People sure want to be with you when you have a cool name! What's up with that? (That is my tip, by the way to people trying to scrounge up a team. Come up with a cool/wacky/grooevil (groovy + evil) name!)
So now I'm venturing where none of my wizards have gone before. Into the heart of PvP-Land. I think we'll make it back. Alive? Maybe. But definitely with new knowledge and hopefully with some new memories of spending time with my friends. 
All this sappy talk making you yearn to come and join us? Please do! Grab a team and (HURRY! submissions due tomorrow 7/12! ) submit it. Or just come and watch the matches. You can find all the details right here at Cassandra's blog:
Also check out: "United We Stand -- Looking for a team?" on Diary of a Wizard™ ConnectX: 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sam's Corner

Hello again. It is once again time for your cultural exposure of the week. My name is Samantha Raven, and I have taken over the duty of being a good role model for all the youthful promise of the spiral. This week Victoria has agreed most kindly (how unusual) to read us a Limerick which is a very ancient and renowned form of poetic expression. This particular poem is from the Book of Nonsense (huh, I thought Victoria said she was going to do something down to earth, and not "lofty"...) by Edward Lear the renowned scholar.

WHAT! WAS! THAT! That made no logical sense, what-so-ever. And what was with all the doo-wap-dee-doo-ing in the background! I distinctly told her (knowing her to have vulgar taste) to pick something instrumental! UGH! What a weirdo.
In wands we trust,

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th!

The story continues

It's been a while, but here's the next installment! Action! Adventure! Excitment! Woo!

The Adventures of Tristan Shadow: Strider
Tristan stalked out of the dingy hallway leading to Fiona’s dressing room. He pushed his way through the crowded Air Dale’s and made his way out into Digmoore Station. Tristan paused just outside the wooden doors, and took the envelope out of his pocket. He looked at the smudgy scribbling, and then tossed it away with a sigh.
Tristan was just pressing the button to call the lift, when he heard footsteps behind him for the second time that evening.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Cultural Improvement

Ahem. It has come to my attention that some people are not completely satisfied, with -- alright! Keep your shirt on! That some people are not completely satisfied with level of... how shall I put this... of cerebral and stimulating material on this blog. So I have made a compromise and -- yes! yes it was! Anyway, I've agreed to let my sister Sam Raven, post every once and a while. She has some crazy-- er um. I mean some really great ideas for making the blog more intellectual.  Anyway I am proud to introduce our new cultural segment.

Hello everybody. I am Samantha Raven. I hope your minds have not suffered to much from all the twaddle that is on this blog regularly. This blog is frequently weird, and disturbing. Apparently since no one else feels it necessary to provide the upright role model that children require, I feel it is my duty to try my best to influence the youthful promise for the better. I have called upon the better nature of some of my friends and relatives to help me with my project. Starting today, you will receive a weekly relive from the swill, and enjoy a cultural experience. Without further ado, Lenora Ravenwhisper has volunteered to read us a poem by Edgar Allan Poe. My favorite British playwright.

... That was weird and disturbing. I do not think that was-- UGH. Just when I am trying to improve the culture of the youthful promise of the spiral, all the weirdos show up.
Well fortunately next week I have a different guest ( I won't make that mistake again.) who will provide a truly enlightening experience for us. Until then.
In wands we trust,

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Tell me why

"Why do fools fall in love?" No. "Why you cry and why you lie to me?" No. "Why can't the English learn to speak?" No. "Why--" Are you finished? "... Maybe." Okay then.
Tell me why do they keep messing with my Spyglass?
Stupid sparkle.
You may remember I crafted this wand a while back because it had no sparkle! I wanted it to look like a spyglass. But nooooo. KI had to put a sparkle on. Ugh, if you really want to improve the crafted wands, you could give them some better stats. (I mean it seems obvious...)

Friday, July 1, 2011

O Canada! or Victorious

Happy Canada Day everybody! Since I do come from Canadians, I tend to get into the spirit of this holiday, even more than the 4th of July. hehe.
So let's hear it for all our Canadian players. Woohoo! Happy Canada day to you all.
But I do have other-- more Wizard101 related things to celebrate today. Mainly, Victoria's freedom from the tyranny of romulan outfits. Yesterday I managed to level up to Legendary. Woot. Then I dashed off to the Waterworks because I really wanted some new gear (and Mega Snacks), and after two and a half runs the lucky-duckie had her entire outfit.

Patriotic, eh?

With her new outfit, Victoria will venture back into Celestia and finish it off. Then she will travel to the land of Bears, Wolves, and Ravens, and attempt to work her way through with as little boredom as possible. Then, finally, she'll journey to the foot of the Grandmother Raven's tree to seek adventure excitement and pets(!!!) in Wintertusk.