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My Top Time Traveling Video Games:

  1. The Mass Effect Universe:  I play on the Playstation 3 and love the space feel with RPG playing.  Tali and Kasumi are great characters.  The Tali and Garrus romance is adorable.  And who doesn’t love an emergency induction port?  My go to team is Tali and Garrus.  My personality always leans toward Paragade.  In some cross-story ideas, I think the Portal games take place in the ME universe as an omnitool experiment.  Glados and Wheatley are also the product of Shepard’s sythesis.
  2. World of Warcraft:  I love any game that lets me play an elf.  This also goes to playing Lord of the Rings Online, but I like the WoW world for more diversity in exploration and quests.
  3. Destiny:  I like the game even though I think it could be a lot better.  My favorite class to play is the Warlock. I’m just not a big PVP gamer, it annoys me, and there isn’t a diverse line of quests.  All characters do the same quests, no matter what.
  4. Final Fantasy Tactics:  Playstation 1 or PSP, doesn’t matter.  I love playing for the Zodiac Stones and maxing out all the classes.  You also have chocobos and dragons fighting for you.
  5. Skyrim/Elderscrolls:  Just watch out for your knee.
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Anachronism

While I don’t belong to the SCA, I do belong to the International Wenches Guild and the International Fellowship of Privateers.  What does this all mean?  I’m one of those crazy people who dress up on the weekends and go to renaissance faires.

For the past sixteen to seventeen years, I’ve been visiting various faires across Texas and a couple out of state.  My closet is filled with garb, the costumes we wear, that range from semi-historical to fantasy.  One day I may dress like a pirate, another a snow leopard belly dancer, and then go World of Warcraft elven.  Scarborough is my home faire since it’s the local one to me but it’s not my first.  My first was Texas Renaissance Festival near Houston when I was in sixth grade.  I was hooked, the family members I went with weren’t.  It took a boyfriend of my mom’s and his friends (all adopted like family) a few years later for me to go again.  This time, it didn’t take long to come home with my first set of ren clothes.

The influence the faire has had on me is great.  It’s a hobby that has helped me in my English literature degree; it’s shocked many of my classmates and instructors with the random knowledge and that I go.  Early school interest and knack in world history and cultural anthropology played right alongside.  I have daily clothes that are very faire-like and I wish I could get away with wearing more in public.  I know, it doesn’t help with the ecentric author lifestyle image.  It’s help adapt styles into faire, steampunk, Victorican, boho, and mori (I think that one is right, the new Japanese forest clothes trend).

This is the first stop of the time traveling author.  Weekend time hops minus the TARDIS.

26 Days

Over the next twenty-six days, I’ll be doing a take on the April A-Z blog tour idea.  My timing on these things is always off so I came to the idea after the event started.  I am good with deadlines though!  Trying to come up with a theme also glitched me last year with the tour idea.  This year, as a new author and blogger, it’ll be a “get to know you” list going into May.  Twenty-six days of biography.  Oh stars, help me.

Credit, or blame depending on how you look at it, comes from a good friend who goes by the moniker Nakas.  When asking for ideas on content people would like to see on an author blog, she answerd with three words.  Time traveling author.  This is a description holds multiple definitions when related to me, so I’ll tackle it from twenty-six alphabetical directions.

Anyone worried yet?

*tap tap*

No, this isn’t some flash back to the little tapping paperclip of old Word fame.  Although, there are some minor connections that I might arrive at later.  This is actually a test of the busy writer system.

First, testing out the WordPress app on the tablet.  I know!  It’s about time I started using it for projects outside of a cookbook and school.  One thing I have noticed, spellchecker isn’t active in the edit/posting phase.  I’ll have to go to Author Level 2 and Editor Level 1 to screen for any hiccups or rampant type demons before hitting post and making a fool of myself.

Second test, getting back into the habit of creating content.  My focus lately has been on the weekly essays, working on edits, and plotting ideas for my next stories.  (Yes, multiple.  Ideas are constantly flowing.)  The tap is more of a mental tap of “duh, you have a blog and it’s nearly dead.”

Third, and the connection to the little paperclip, my keyboard for typing instead of relying on the touch screen is a Microsoft product.  Thank you special box sales and geeky product endorsements to move me from consideration to purchase.  Now I have no excuse to write away from the computer because I can take two small things with me instead of a large laptop.

Latest happenings in my world?  Last month was the release of the second Gemina book!  The links are on the My Books tab but you can also search for my name or Tamara McHatton through Amazon and B&N to find it.  Next month, I’ll be hanging around the RT Booklovers Convention in Dallas.  If you’re in the Dallas area, you should check out the Book Fair on Saturday, May 16th, at the Dallas Hilton.  I’ll be there signing with Tamara.

On the school level, I’m very close to finishing my BA in English Literature!  How close?  Well…  One CLEP exam and one eight week class which I started today.  Figures they put the most intensive class at the end.  Nine novels in eight weeks for a course fittingly named The Novel.  The Shakespeare course may rank right up there with it, we’ll have to see. 

I’ve said it before, saying it now, and will probably be said in the future, but I’m making an attempt to be more active and write more bookish and geeky topics instead of keeping them to email discussions with friends.  What fun is it to have a deviously creative mind and not share outside of a small circle?

Bwahahaha

Oven Baked Quesadilla for Pi Day!

Last year was PIstachio Pudding Bread and this year has a bit of kick for dinner.  If you want that recipe, then search my recipes tag or the Food category.

3 left over chicken breast, shredded and tossed with taco seasoning (mine is homemade)
1 can Rotel tomatoes and peppers, drained
1/2 cup frozen corn
large handful of cheese
1 can refried beans

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix ingredients in bowl.

Spray 13×9 glass dish.  Place 2 whole tortillas side by side, cut 1 in half and place edges against pan, cut 1 into quarters and place edges into the corner so entire pan is covered.

Layer on chicken mix.  Repeat tortilla pattern.  Spray tops of tortillas.  Bake 15-20 minutes.

Suggested serving toppings:  lettuce, salsa, more cheese, sour cream, avocado

The Weiser Book of Horror and the Occult: Hidden Magic, Occult Truths, and the Stories That Started It All: Lon Milo DuQuette: 9781578635726: Amazon.com: Books

The Weiser Book of Horror and the Occult: Hidden Magic, Occult Truths, and the Stories That Started It All: Lon Milo DuQuette: 9781578635726: Amazon.com: Books.

First off, I have to mention (by the rules) that I received a copy of this book through a giveaway Weiser hosted on GoodReads.com

With my reading being halfway taken with literature textbooks, this book fits in perfectly.  The set-up is a short introduction of the author and then a key piece of literature by them in the horror genre with occult tones but not focused in one movement (Realism, Naturalism, Gothic, etc).  Going through the book made me wish more of these stories had made into the Norton Anthologies of English and American Literature because they add so much more depth the literary movements covered.  Not including the horror elements through all literary movements makes the subjects covered in classes very bland.  The only hint of horror is the study of the Gothic movement in a short section.  While this text doesn’t go into the movements of the time they were written, there are mentions of the periods.

This text is going on my literature study shelf.  Aside from the occult tones, which is often overlooked when talking about spiritualism that inspired society, the horror aspects are additions to what inspired authors outside of the mainstream.  Many studies in literary movements forget the darker aspects of human life and works.  In this collection, you’ll find a contemporary to Louisa May Alcott who wrote horror and was a lead female author often overlooked. Included is also a story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle of Sherlock fame.

Pirates and Werewolves – ACCC 2014

A couple days later, but here’s my post about going to the Alamo City Comic Con! My new class in the English Lit program started yesterday so there was all the getting situated with that and Sunday night was recovery/unpacking. (Which is yay! I finally get my American Lit II class which is a 300s course when it’s been pushed back since March and all my recent/future classes are 400s for being a senior. Looking forward to May when I’ll have my BA completed, then comes the fun part of finding a job to use my degree.)

Sorry, sidetracked there.

The main reason that I went to ACCC was for my friend. One of her friends from junior high and high school in New Hampshire is an artist by the name of Brota. Amazing artwork but more on that in a bit. She hadn’t seen him in ages and found out he was going to be down here in Texas even though he’s based in Wisconsin. So, she wanted to go down to see him, meet his wife, and introduce her boyfriend to him. I get offered to go with them because they looked on the ACCC site and saw that Greyston Holt (who plays Clayton in Space/SyFy’s Bitten). I got her hooked on the show and she knows I loved the book and TV series, it was my pre-ticket in. I then noticed that Steve Lund would be there (he plays Nick). Plenty of “we’re definitely going” was going on at a pirate party* on Labor Day weekend.

(Another sidetrack, everything happens on the same day! I get home from the pirate party and find out that the same day we’re going to Comic Con, my Evil Chipmunk is having her baby shower for my goddaughter and another friend is going to Medieval Times with her Girl Scouts with an invite for me.)

We met Brota and his wife, marveled at his artwork which is him painting and airbrushing on plexi-glass, and had a great time. You should really check out his website. He even has a couple of books. It was so much fun to see them reunite and getting to meet him myself after hearing all the exploits of high school on the drive down to San Antonio. We kept him occupied a couple times throughout the day and tried to make sure we didn’t steal all his time away from painting and meeting other people. He was a vendor at the convention after all. This also lead to almost getting caught up in the security sweep at the end of the convention when it was closing at 8pm and making plans for breakfast the next day. What else is new for pirates? We usually leave TRF after the fireworks and with their security sweeps.  (The picture below is Brota’s selfie after breakfast on Sunday.)

1922524_10152746489886683_57243819973622511_n And that leaves us with how we dressed! The three of us wore our pirate garb and saw a couple rennies there. One of them was a chainmail vendor so that was cool. Next year though… It’s going to be different. We’re still debating on what costume she should work on but I’m tossing between my Sailor Venus costume and Commander Shepard from Mass Effect on shore leave from N7/Spectre.

Her and I also split an autograph package with the guys from Bitten. It was $50 for two autographed pictures and one photo-op with our own camera. She got a picture of Greyston and I got one with Steve, the photo-op was the two of us with them. Pirates and wolves, what a great way to spend a day. This turned into a whole evening of chattering about the TV and book series. A couple months ago, I asked her if she wanted to borrow my Otherworld books by Kelley Armstrong, the series that Bitten is based on, and she wasn’t sure yet. Now, I’m bringing them all to TRF opening weekend when we go and she can borrow them. Bwahahaha! Corruption! It was really nice to see the guys there with as far as it was and that they celebrated Greyston’s 29th birthday a few days after the Con. ACCC got him a cake and slices were offered to people getting autographs. Yeah, they’re just overall awesome and nice. Crossing paws that they’ll get to make it down again for other cons and that Bitten gets more seasons. (We did get a season two, so yay! And if you want to catch up on Bitten, last time I checked Netflix had season one and the DVDs are out.)

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Now, for the minor downfalls of the con. After spending a few years going to the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention and helping out/having a table, ACCC was still a bit disorganized. Of course, they probably pull larger numbers than RT and they didn’t have all the rooms that RT does because it’s a hotel based convention rather than a convention hall. The Con was also running at the same time as a home and garden show, also happening downtown. Being a nice weekend, you had River Walk and Alamo visitor traffic along with everyday weekend and mall traffic. Parking took an hour to find. I’m really glad my other friend who went with us (her boyfriend) was driving. I would have checked out and been done. They also didn’t list autograph prices at all tables so it made being a shy person a bit more nerve wracking because you didn’t want to just go up and ask. Luckily, my New Englander friend is much more out there than me.  There was also a ton of zombie related things, which isn’t my particular thing, but it made my friend say she hopes my scifi series becomes popular so she can visit me at Con, too.

Overall, it was a great weekend and we’re looking forward to next year.

*Pirate Party: I’m a part of a privateer group that goes to renaissance faires. Most holidays we get together on weekends for parties and get-togethers at our captain’s house. This ensures that we get to hang out while everyone is scattered across the state between ren faires.

Featured Links:

http://brota.net/

http://alamocitycomiccon.com/

https://twitter.com/leven_stund

https://twitter.com/greystonh

http://www.kelleyarmstrong.com/