Winning books is addictive

On February 5th, I won another book from GoodReadsbook giveaway. This time, it’s an advanced, uncorrected version of Graeme Cameron‘s Normal. I can’t wait to read it, and unfortunately, at the pace I read, it’s quite low on my to-read list for now. My goal is to read it before April, when the book is released to the public.

From what I know, Normal is about a man with the façade of an average Joe, and his unusual idea of companionship – keeping a caged woman as a pet. When he meets a certain cashier, he realizes he only needs her, and his ideal lifestyle begins to unravel when the police are hot on his tracks.

I like books and stories… but I don’t like reading?

I wish I could read more, but I can’t say I enjoy reading. I’ve wondered why for a long time, and now I understand: I am easily discouraged because I can’t read quickly.

One reason for this, I’m sure, is because I haven’t read enough to train myself. My high school teacher taught me a strategy to reading quickly – reading every fourth word and using peripheral vision to take in the others. I’ve practised this, but my imagination forms images too slowly. Its best used for skimming over large amounts of texts, like textbooks.

The other reason is, I can’t find a book that holds my interest long enough. I found I read faster, when I’m fully engulfed in the story, especially emotionally when I’m empathetic of the characters; this leads to reading a book in one sitting.

I won’t find those stories until I’m jumped into a few worlds. I’ve composed a reading list according to my accumulating library debt:

The answer to an overpriced book

Last week I discovered that a book I was dying to read had gone through a large price bump, possibly because the author had requested her novel’s rights back from the publisher. This book is Liberty by Annie Laurie Cechini.

In my search for the cheapest copy available, I stumbled upon some ridiculous prices for the book used. As of today, $227 is the most expensive I’ve seen on Books A Million, $140 from Chapters (although $15 new and out of stock), $80 from Barnes & Nobles, and $61 from ($16 for a new book).

I purchased my book from Amazon at first, but I found a far better source – the author’s website.

I’m extremely happy I was able to support the author directly. She signs the book, and writes a message if asked. I left her a message instead, wishing her well for the future. I received my copy in the mail on Monday, with a special note in reply to mine:

 The ‘countdown‘ is actually counting upward, and even though it’s suppose to “be in the vault”, the book is still available. Maybe that’s why the used prices are jacked up immensely. The listings make sense if they’ve been posted before the countdown had reached zero. I don’t think it was intended, but it’s a clever way to sell books. I got a first edition copy, so I think she’s still selling her extras.

Lucky 25 out of 2702!

Won another first reads book giveaway from Good Reads. This one’s called Normal by Graeme Cameron, and will be released March 31st, 2015. I can’t wait to read it!

I haven’t forgotten

Of the time I spent away from here, I have never forgotten about the two blogs I need to work on being active. Posts I’ve thought I’ve posted, I never did. They’re sitting in my drafts!

A new life – June 2014

In the past year, I’ve gotten married. When I wasn’t working, I devoted my time to planning, execution, and League of Legends, with Elder Scrolls Online on the side. Inspired by my husband’s sister’s friend (who planned and did everything for her wedding within three months), I thought I could do the same. I also believe, if I can do it myself, then I will, and if I can’t carry my weight alone, how can I help others who find themselves in the same situation? What I could do, I did myself, but it isn’t a one-person job. My wedding planner did the all the talking, my mother-in-law drove me places, and A. R. Flynn kept me from losing my mind. Thanks, guys. Thanks, bruv.

Good Reads and book giveaways – December 2014

ARF, as I call her, introduced me to the glorious book giveaways from GoodReads, which spawned a flood of books labelled ‘to-read’ on my page. On December 14th, I was joyful when I had won an advanced reading copy: Ian Hamilton’s The King of Shanghai (Ava Lee, # 7) – Hamilton’s latest book. I haven’t read it yet, but I will soon, after I finish my library books.

Writing discovery – January 2015

Excited to join this GoodRead‘s Read-A-Thon on January 24, 2015, I failed to commit to my pledge – before it began. There was a house my husband and I wanted to see as soon as possible, but it landed on the same time as the four hours the read-a-thon began. Regardless, the book I chose was Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger, and even if I did read it from noon to four in the after noon, I would’ve never finished it because of the language Carriger used when writing. It’s not at all difficult to comprehend, but it certainly slowed me down when it was written as if it were a novel from the Victorian era (modified for the modern audience).

This idea conflicted with something I’ve learned from a class I took in university. My professor taught that people from the future learn about the way we speak from the media we’d leave behind, such as common slang, and insults. The conflict makes me think about the way I should write the world ARF and I are working on.

When a real character walks into your life?

In the eight or nine years that Rauden was born as an idea, I never thought about writing a blerb on the physical copy of him walking around in our world. Even though initially, he was inspired by my husband’s best friend, it blows my mind to find that a few years later, they’ve became friends with another guy who has the same amount of silliness, same haircut and texture, same favourite colour, and personality of pushing his friends’ buttons, as Rau does. It’s kind of awesome, but it worries me, am I just squishing Rau to fit into this guy’s mold? Am I just fangirling, trying to make that childhood daydream of meeting fictional characters real?

Never too late

Ahaha, so… I wasn’t planning on doing NaNoWriMo this year because I’ve got a wedding to plan, but things are going wrong and becoming frustrating – I need to wake my mind up and come back.

I haven’t planned for this month, so I’ll be rewriting my story from Camp NaNoWriMo, which is pretty much the same story as last November’s, and the year before that, and so on… And even though I’m a bit tired of it, I want to work on this one story until I find a proper ending. I love my characters, I love this world, and I love the future I have planned for them.

The anime I’ve watched this year made me realize the type of atmosphere I should be writing if I want to keep myself interested and extra motivated. I’ve finished Psycho-Pass, and just recently finished Shingeki no Kyojin (or Attack on Titan). As for books, I adored Brain Jack by Brian Falkner. Although I watched another person play this game, Persona 3 is launching the first of its movies on November 23 in Japan. I certainly can’t wait until that one hits North America.

Well, this is all I’ll write for now. I’ll have to start writing tomorrow.

The official websites are in Japanese, if anyone is interested:
Shingeki no Kyojin
Persona 3

Updates are suppose to rock

Greetings everyone,

I haven’t been active for a while, but I’m still here, stuck in an unmoving cycle for months until the most wonderful thing had happened. But I’ll tell you that in a bit. Regardless, I have plenty of other news to share.

If you have been following AR Flynn’s many accounts and suddenly find an ‘Alyssa Flynn’ in your list, that’s her. Just a rename, is all. And speaking of renames, RE:Faction has been renamed to Revolutionary Effect. We’ve launched the WordPress a couple of months ago, so check it out. Although I’ve been inactive, Alyssa Flynn has been posting with some helpful tips for those interested in authoring stories.

I’ve done my best for HarvardX’s computer science course (CS50), and unfortunately, I was unable to complete it. I took it to see if it was something I enjoyed- something I could go back to school for- but I’m embarrassed to say, I couldn’t get past the third week. The two weekly projects required problem solving and possibly a math background, and those two things are what I have failed at many times in the past, and that hasn’t changed for the present. Don’t let my weaknesses scare you from trying that course out; it’s free, and there’s no harm at all in trying it.

I attempted Camp Nano, and I’m ashamed to say I couldn’t motivate myself to write. I ended with 12 497/50 000 words, stuck on chapter two. Even though I had prepared an outline of my plot, there was too much to write about and too few ways to express my words. My brain vegetated as much as my internet failed to exist.

And lastly, I’m getting married! So I’ll be busy, but I think I’ve got a better idea of what I’d like to post here –  pieces of research and inspiration.


I think that’s it. For now, anyway.

Will you play my game?

First of all, Happy Remembrance Day.

I finally finished my first project for my Harvard CS50x course, and it’s a game, of course. Here’s the link if you’re interested. It’s a simple ren’ai / date sim.

To start the game, click the green flag at the top-right corner of the game screen, and to terminate all scripts within the game, click the red hexagon beside it. To restart the game, click the green flag.

The horribly rushed graphics and terrible music loops I used to make this game was all my creation (the footsteps sound effects wasn’t). I still had too much of E.P.I.C in my system when I started it, that two of the characters came out similar to my dears, Rauden and Phenelia. This game can give you a small taste of their personalities.

I’m not doing so well this year for NaNoWriMo. To be honest, I’ve lost my steam, and I can’t tell you exactly why. There’s quite a few burdens that I carried for it last year, and this year, those burdens seemed to have gained weight. I know I won’t come close to the 50 thousand word mark, but I will do my best to make it to 25 thousand at least.

As a student of HarvardX…

I don’t recall the last time I’ve been excited to take a university course. HarvardX provided a program called Scratch as visual aid to learning. Our first project is making an animation, interactive art, game- anything we choose. I’m sure you can guess what I chose to make. It’s due October 30 (although as one of the students taking the course online, I’m not restricted to that deadline), but at the speed I’m going, I’ll be done soon.

I’ll post the link to my game as soon as I’m done.

Free online courses from Harvard, Berkley and MIT

Yes, they’re free. And if you complete the course with a passing grade, you’ll earn a certificate of completion from the university you studied under. All you need is an internet connection.

I should have shared this when I first found this link a month ago, but I was bumbling over whether to enroll into Harvard’s Introduction to Computer Science I. The only courses that haven’t started are from Harvardx, which begin October 15, 2012.

From what little research I’ve done, this online collaboration of universities only began in the spring of 2012. It’s a non-profit mission to extend education via the internet, and a way of researching how technology can transform student learning.