Category Archives: writing

Spam spam spam spam spam and articles

The spam onslaught continues. Granted, the stuff doesn’t actually make it to the posts (yay Akismet!), but it irks me even if it just sits in my spam box. Go away, spammer entity! I do not need green eggs, ham, or nekkid pix of some nubile semi-famous starlet or other. Or even of famous ones, come to think of it. It’s all photochopped anyway.

Now that that’s out of the way, here’s the link for my newer, famouser, mega-gaming-audience mind-altering column. First, next the world! Come on Pinky, we have work to do. It’s just an intro — for some reason, it seems not everyone knows who I am.

Final aside, since it’s the weekend and I have things to do and people to see. Brian “Psychochild” Green & Co have been doing a game-design challenge this last month. If you don’t already read his blog, you should. Here’s a link to get you started.

In last-minute breaking news, I’m told Stargrace had snot-coloured pancakes this morning, in honour of Halloween. She claims it’s only food-colouring. Uh-huh. I’ll stick with my GrapeNuts! Her new site design, however, is anything but snotty.

That is all. Have a good weekend and do not get killed and eaten by zombie velociraptors!

Holy Spam, Batman… and other things

So, I hadn’t checked the dashboard for this blog in a few days. Logged in just now — to announce something completely different — and saw 100 spam messages in the spam box.

For this blog, that’s a lot. 2-3 spam comments a day is about normal. But a hundred… ouch. So if there was a genuine comment amid the endless exhortations to log on to porn sites, I didn’t see them. Sorry! Too busy checking out pron, dontcha know.

And now for something completely different.

For reasons best known only to themselves, I’ve been asked to contribute a column to

For reasons best known only to the Mi-Go, I accepted.

A couple of hours after I’d accepted, my brain went AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! And has been doing the same for the last couple of days, albeit at a slightly lower, background volume. Me? A column on a proper site for proper readers? (Sorry guys – I know you’re all cardboard cutouts, I just didn’t want to say anything.) They’re going to eat me alive! It’s a shark pool over there!


While my initial goal was just to share the news with the small weird dedicated readership of this blog and assure you it’s not going to stop me posting here — you know, at the huge volume I’ve been putting out in the last couple of months — I am also unashamedly looking for pats on the back. I’m scared spitless! Only real bloggers do big-site column thingies, and I’ve never actually considered myself a real blogger — just a fringe onlooker occasionally making comments on what interests me. And writing to deadlines? Aieeee, that’s going to hurt. I have enough of those in my RL work.

So there you have it. The big-time beckons and I’m certain I’m going to catch my glitzy new high heels on the red carpet and splat my non-raiding ass all over the floor. The journalists will have a field day!

On the other hand, it’s much more likely that nobody will notice. Which, come to think of it, might actually be worse.

I’ll let you know when I have a column name and URL and whatnot. But first I need another Valium or three.


This is (also) not a blog post

I wasn’t here. You didn’t see me. This way I have deniability.

It just occurred to me that if I managed to post a whole month — with caveats and weekends and obscure Papua-New Guinean holidays — I can probably post a whole month without said getout clauses. Some bloggers do it all the time.

So. Every day. Every – single – lousy – day in September, I shall grace you sorry lot with my presence. Yes, even on weekends, since apparently people do read blogs on weekends, and you’re all very weird for doing it. (Don’t even start on how much weirder it is to be posting.)

Reviews: Ur Doin’ It Wrong


Having seen this article over at Sarcastic Gamer, on the need for platform specificity when reviewing a game — in this case, Dragon Age: Origins, since that’s what everyone is talking about this week — and given that the author feels the need to call reviewers moronic, I want to clarify a few things for such of my readers as may actually give a shit. I’m not taking that article personally at all — the author doesn’t know me from Adam, or in this case Eve, but it did make me think.

(I happen to agree about the need for specificity when reviewing anything that comes in different flavours.)

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll already know that I don’t OWN any consoles. I won’t debate why. I’m not anti-console at all, I just don’t happen to have any in the house at the moment, and that may not change for some time. Therefore anything I play, I play on my PC. Besides which this is (mostly) a blog about MMOs, and last I checked you can’t really play MMOs on consoles.

For those of you who are new here, here’s the 411: I. Don’t. Do. Console. Reviews.

So if you read anything here, you can be 10 out of 10, 100%, A+ certain that it’s about a PC version.

Ahhh, that’s better. I don’t feel like quite so much of a moron now, nor nearly as shameless as I was before.

This post was not sponsored by anyone and I haven’t been paid. (Remember, the Endorsement Police Are Watching.)

Dragon writing

1. It’s Monday morning, where’s my Dragon Age?! I know, I know, they have until tomorrow, but it had better be on my doorstep tomorrow morning or I am having a major hissy fit.

2. Yesterday was Day1 of “Write, bitch, and no excuses this time!” and I managed roughly two and a half thousand words. So I’m relatively happy.

3. I am incapable of getting to the point even in fiction. Aieee.

If any of you reading this have danced around the idea of NaNoWriMo or generally around the idea of trying to write something, but have managed to slither out of it through a combination of apathy, procrastination and terror, then maybe my experiences can be of some help. I’m not trying to bully or cajole anyone into NaNo — for me, it’s helpful to have a deadline and a public commitment, but that’s all it is. Others may find that stifling. Others still might like the competitive aspect, or the idea that you can win some kind of a prize for it (just don’t ask me what it is, I’m not motivated by shiny items).

Perchin_Year_Dragon_pen_101eHowever, getting irritated at an artificial deadline is a sign of procrastination (at least in me). Most author-advice pieces I read have them all saying pretty much the same thing: if you want to be a writer you need to a) write, and b) write even when you don’t want to. Not wanting to is a luxury for those to whom writing is a mere hobby.

I started writing fiction in the 4th grade (thanks to some stunningly great and fondly remembered primary school teachers) and I wrote pretty constantly until about 15 years ago, at which point I stopped cold. I haven’t written any fiction since, not counting game stuff for live events or tabletop campaigns; those don’t count.

I don’t know why I stopped and I don’t know why it became impossible to start again, but there you have it. So for me, NaNoWriMo is an attempt to prove to myself that I can still put out fiction and that writing paralysis can be overcome. Turns out it’s quite easy once you figure out how; the hard part is working out what will motivate you and give you just enough courage to get the day’s pages out of the way. Oddly enough, knowing that thousands of people were also planning, pondering, procrastinating and putting pen to paper did help; it makes you feel less alone while still allowing the solitude many (myself included) prefer when it comes to actually writing stuff.

Note that at this point I don’t care about being read — that’s a whole ‘nother hurdle I’ll face when the time is right. But I’ll tell you one thing: if I can put out 10,000 words during this month, let alone the 50k NaNo demands, then it’ll be about 10,000x as much fiction as I’ve written in the last decade. Quality is irrelevant here: it’s the doing that matters.


homer-doh-squareIt finally — belatedly — occurred to me yesterday that I signed up for NaNoWriMo, which is one thing, but that Dragon Age is coming out next week!

So that’s it. I can’t possibly write anything. I’ll be too busy creating pretty splatters of gore.

Speaking of which, happy All Hallows’ Eve to everyone.

(Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m joking. About the writing, I mean. Not Halloween, which as everyone knows is dead serious.)

(OR AM I?!?!)

Cake– no, Novel or death!

Okay, okay, I’m jumping on the bandwagon. Prodded by people like Syp and Scarybooster, and several others I’m not awake enough to remember yet (oh hai Rivs!), here I am.

Qualifications? Who needs ’em! But as it happens I’ve got some degrees and they might have to do with literature in two languages, which makes me educated enough to have no clue about anything. Also, I’m really mean about books that are poorly edited (let alone poorly-written — everyone’s a critic and that includes me), not to mention books in which the foreign-languageyness is incorrect. If you’re going to include French or German or some other language I can read in your book, make sure you get it right or Ysh will smash. The French really don’t spend all day saying “Oooh la la” — in fact they pretty much never say it at all. It’s not a French expression, at least not in the way it’s used in English. And while I know French conjugations and tenses ain’t easy, that’s absolutely no excuse for a professional publication to get things wrong.

(Oh yeah, you should see me yelling at TV shows too. YSH SMASH!)

All of which means that if I have the balls James Mason gave a fly, I’ll put my money where my mouth is and join up. Wait… the whole body parts association thing in the previous sentence isn’t sitting well. Eh, never mind, I can come back and edit it out later.

screamThe rather precarious excuse I gave last week was that I’d be snowed under with words — err, work. I was slated to have 70,000 words to translate in November and adding 50,000 of my own to that didn’t really appeal. (Why yes, it was a yeller-bellied, lily-livered pansy-ass excuse, but we’ll pretend it was valid.) However, said work has been delayed and my excuse vanished.

You’d think the karma pixies were conspiring or something.

Just as well there’s a couple of days to go because I have almost no idea what I’m going to write or how I’m going to write it. I’ve also been one of those pretentious suffering blocked types for many many years, which I won’t bore you with other than to mention in passing that putting pen to paper has gone from being as basic as breathing to me to being something that will break me out in a cold sweat, literally. Fortunately, NaNoWriMo actually provides a workmanlike, no-nonsense “just write something, dumbass!” attitude that’s much more helpful in these situations than any kind of coddling.

So we’ll see.

I’m pissing my bland-white unisex MMO undies already.

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