Space Case: Trying to Solve a Murder in the Cosmos

So, unless you have been living under a rock, you have likely heard of this little game called Among Us. And hey, maybe you haven’t been under a rock, but you aren’t necessarily into games. Or, perhaps, you just keep seeing these little cartoony astronauts everywhere with jokes about venting, being sus, and committing murder. Sure, you could click that helpful link I gave you (hover over Among Us anywhere in this post to see the various places you can get the game), OR you can let me explain.

You’re going to let me give you a TL;DR. Awesome. In Among Us, you play virtually in a group of up to ten players. The players are aboard a spacecraft where they are trying to survive. However, there’s a twist: up to two members of the crew are impostors. (My brain really, really wants this to be “imposters.” However, spell check isn’t yelling at me for either spelling, so I will defer to the spelling used in the game.) What do the impostors do? Cause mayhem both by sabotaging key areas of the ship and by offing fellow non-impostor players. It’s violent, it’s silly, and it’s a riotous good time.

To my surprise, the game has been out since 2018, but it has taken the world by storm in 2020 when we are stuck at home and trying to find ways to connect. A little bit of good clean homicide helps pass the time, right? (I’M KIDDING. CLEARLY, I ‘M KIDDING. Please don’t kill each other IRL.)

So, as a reward to myself back in early November when I was doing particularly well with NaNoWriMo, I decided to treat myself and accept an invitation to play Among Us. I have never considered myself a big gamer because I believed the gatekeeping propaganda that the games I enjoy don’t count. For reference, simulation games are my bread and butter: I was a fan of the Petz franchise back in the nineties and I have played The Sims 1-4 since 2002. I also love puzzle games like Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes, and I had a great time for a few years on Neopets and all of its offerings. Most console games trigger motion sickness for me, so you will rarely catch me playing those barring extraordinary circumstances. Still, I have dallied in PC games; I played World of Warcraft for a bit, and I had loads of fun playing The Sims Medieval which departed from simulation and favored things like quests, feeding people to mythical monsters, and scaring people into following your religion. Perhaps I could drop back into a dark world that pits man against man and try to avoid being slain by someone whom I considered a friend.

I don’t have a fancy streaming setup, but my good pal Eric does. If you have a hankering to watch me get murdered, click the pretty pink button below and skip ahead to about thirty-eight minutes when I arrive fashionably late in a pink spacesuit and a Viking helmet.

It was lots of fun even if I didn’t know what I was doing half the time. I highly recommend.

I’ll be back next week (next year?) with more tales from being quarantined. In the meantime, you can support me by becoming a Patron! If clicking one button today wasn’t enough, go crazy and click this one, too. I appreciate it.

NaNoWriMo 2020: Excerpt #3

Hello and a happy major holiday week to you! In my house, we are ready to go: presents are wrapped, tree is decorated, and stockings are hanging on the wall since we lack a mantle. It’s a nice time of year even though it looks and feels different from years past.

As promised, I am sharing a third snippet from my NaNoWriMo project. These posts should be read in chronological order to make the most sense. Did you miss the other posts? Perhaps you need a refresher? No worries, friends; I have you covered.

Click here to read the beginning.
Click here to read the second post.

Okay, we’re all back up to speed, yes? Fantastic! Here is the third glimpse into Zora’s day.

Continue reading “NaNoWriMo 2020: Excerpt #3”

I have an announcement!

In my quest to become a full-time writer, I have taken a leap and joined Patreon. What does this mean for you? You have the option to support the blog financially and get some cool perks!

I offer three tiers of membership:
1) Official Patron – This is the least expensive level. You can help me keep the costs of the site down, and in exchange, I will send you an exclusive patron-only newsletter. Pretty nice, right?
Price: $1.00 USD per month
2) Subscriber – The mid-level offers you the chance to vote on suggested topics for future blog posts. You get to have a say in what I do while I am at home. Oh, and you’ll get the handy dandy patron newsletter, too.
Price: $5.00 USD per month
3) Mover and Shaker – This subscription lets you suggest activities for me to do. You don’t just get the voting power in this tier; you are the one in the driver’s seat making an itinerary. You will also get the chance to vote on your fellow patrons’ ideas and of course, the newsletter is included.
Price: $10.00 USD per month

Please know that any support is appreciated! If you are unable to contribute, I am grateful for your readership and hope that you will stick around for the long haul.

ETA: now with 100% more working links!

NaNoWriMo 2020: Excerpt #2

Hello, hello, good morning/afternoon/some time of day to you, dear reader! Remember last month when I was drafting a novel? I have good news: this post contains the second excerpt from my project.

Did you catch my first excerpt? If not, click here to read; otherwise, you may find yourself a bit lost. Feel free to leave feedback!

Continue reading “NaNoWriMo 2020: Excerpt #2”

I’m stalling

If you didn’t know, I have the inattentive presentation of ADHD. It’s fair if you were unaware; I personally went most of my life not knowing and only got a diagnosis two years ago.

What does this mean for you, dear reader? It means that I’m struggling REALLY hard to stick to my blog schedule, especially when life keeps happening.

I offer these sweet photos of my fur children while I take some time to pick up pieces and prepare for the holidays to hit me like a train.

Whoops, this gift is unwrapped
Hamming it up since 2010

If you’re hanging around and being patient with me, I appreciate it so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

It’s still Sunday till I clock in for work on Monday, right?

Oops, forgot to stick to my self-imposed weekly schedule of updates. My bad.

However, I have BIG AWESOME NEWS:

50K WORDS!!!!!
I’M A NANOWRIMO 2020 WINNER!!!

I know I only have one excerpt up, and more will follow. I received feedback that the formatting on the excerpt I posted made it difficult to read, so I need to do some magic and make it friendlier to readers’ eyes. If you have been in touch with me at all during this month, you’ll know I have been a busy bee trying to get words in. This is my second time ever winning NaNoWriMo. The first time, I was a senior in high school twelve years ago. I didn’t have things like a full time job, bills, or the crushing reality of being a millennial in the real world. I am so, so grateful for the support I’ve received this year and prior years from friends, family, my spouse, and the writing communities in my hometown and my current city.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your patience and understanding!

I have fallen off the map

So. Funny thing about November: I disappear from everywhere while I am in NaNoWriMo mode, and I’m starting to hit that slump. Good news, though: I’m at 37k and chugging along!

This will be a traditional post of sorts. I did a new thing. If you’re in the U.S. and you shop for groceries at Kroger, you may have been pestered to buy one of those Home Chef meal kits. I’m happy to say that I tried the BBQ chicken flatbread one and it was DELICIOUS.

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who celebrate. Stay home, wear a mask, and wash your hands!

NaNoWriMo 2020: Excerpt #1

For seven of the last twelve years, I have participated in National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. If you are new to the blog or the writing world, NaNoWriMo is simple: write a novel between November 1 and 30 with a minimum length of 50,000 words including all-new content. The idea is to write a rough draft that can be polished later for personal enjoyment or publication.

I am happy to report that this year, I have stayed on track for the first week and written over 13,000 words! As promised, I am going to do something I have NEVER done and am nervous to do even now: share some of my creative writing with the world. Nothing like facing your fears head on, am I right?

One of the things that has stuck with me in many years of wordsmithing is to write what you know. When the goal is words on paper or in a digital document, pulling from your own knowledge base is far easier than making something up from scratch. So, I decided to plop my protagonist in a situation that I have experienced firsthand: being an underpaid and overworked employee of a major coffee corporation that has a mythical creature for its logo. (Not naming it here because I don’t need corporate lawyers coming after little ol’ me.) I was inspired by a tumblr post that I saw months ago that I have since lost in which someone suggested having a customer service person deal with the most hellacious demons and be completely unphased by their awful behavior because that is what working with the public does to you. My protagonist, Zora, is that person.

Without any further ado, enjoy this foray into baby writing that was hastily typed out in the wee hours of November 1, 2020!

Continue reading “NaNoWriMo 2020: Excerpt #1”

It’s peanut butter frosting time, peanut butter frosting time

I know I said I was going to share NaNoWriMo excerpts this month. I will, I promise. However, I am at a measly 1900 words and have not decided how much I will share just yet. Once I get my ducks in a row, the first excerpt will go up on November 8.

For today, I have a fun little story to share about frosting cupcakes. The moral of this story is to scrutinize the measurements of recipes on the Internet.

Last week, my husband celebrated a birthday. When I have the time and the emotional stamina, I like to bake his birthday dessert myself. After perusing recipes ranging from simple to complex, I opted to go with something basic. His favorite candy is Reese’s, so I decided to do chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting. It was just the two of us, so I made a dozen cupcakes. While they cooled, I opted to whip up this frosting.

I thought half of the recipe would be fine. In fairness, it did give me enough to frost all twelve cupcakes, However, what I did not bank on was the MASSIVE quantity of frosting that would result, and I was so grateful I didn’t follow the original measurements. You could probably frost a multilayer tiered cake with that amount, honestly.

This was a somewhat naughty shot of the cupcake batter. Whoops.
This wasn’t even the end of it. I frantically snapped this and sent it to my BFF asking what in the world I was going to do with all of it!

So, once the cakes were cooled and the frosting was made, I filled a plastic baggie and snipped the tip off since I don’t own piping bags right now. In my frustration, I made this video (and yes, you can go follow me on TikTok; sometimes, I post videos of my cat).

Fortunately, the cupcakes were a hit, and I used some store-bought hot fudge to top them off. Husband is a little upset because he believes I ate more than half of them. I didn’t keep track, but we have so much frosting that I could always make more!

Presentation means nothing as long as they taste good IMO

Mark your calendars for November 8 when I find the courage to post my original fiction here for the whole world to read!