Four Years Already?

Hey all, I’m interrupting your regularly scheduled Serial Saturday to celebrate with a post on my 4th anniversary since I started Windborne’s Story Eatery. It’s been Four Years Already?

So first off I’d love to say I was able to make this my fourth year of daily posts without interruption, but as long time readers will know that isn’t the case sadly. Shortly after my third year anniversary post my old Mac Pro, which I had for 9 years at that point, finally kicked the bucket. I lost everything I had on that computer, from my entire iTunes library with hundreds of eBooks that I had gotten in PDF format or dozens of Audiobooks, to all my reviews I had written for Game Industry News and many, many other things. I wasn’t able to recover any of it, despite trying for weeks and frankly it really sucked, I’m still trying to get all the music I lost, 99.99% wasn’t through iTunes due to being from overseas. For those who don’t know iTunes doesn’t allow for you to re-download Audiobooks through them which is why I stopped buying anything  from iTunes years ago.

Now for the reason why I had to take such a long break afterwards and posted pretty much not at all until mid April was due to the fact I was trying to decide whether I wanted to build my own computer or get a pre-built one.  I finally decided to get a pre-built one from Doghouse Systems. It’s not the fastest thing ever, and I know I could’ve gotten a better machine if I built it myself. However I have no idea really how to do that, and I have a minor disability when it comes to gross motor skills, in addition to having my hands shake constantly. My hand shaking has gotten better over the years and it’s not even a noticeable thing unless you really look closely. However I still can’t hold a camera to take a picture worth a damn without it ending up a blurry mess. If I couldn’t do something as simple as that without messing up I wasn’t comfortable with spending money on buying the parts to build myself a computer. So I’ll apologize for having to take such a long break, and then easing back into the daily posts. I took my editors at GiN’s advice and got back in slowly.

While I’m finally back to full speed I can’t promise that I won’t have to do something similar in the future. I don’t know what the future holds, and if something happens that really affects me I may take a break from writing for a while to get myself back together. I’ll write a short post, though it probably will be only a few sentences long. Hopefully I won’t have to do that before writing my fifth year anniversary post.

Now as for my various columns’ futures, the majority of them won’t be changing at all. The newcomers, Serial Saturday and Movie Monday are both column topics I had in reserve for if something happened or I ran out of material for a column. Serial Saturday will be permanently taking over for Sensate Saturday, unless I, for some odd reason, feel like talking about mental health topics in which case I might make a post under that category. Or that might happen when I run out of stuff to cover for Movie Monday, I don’t know right now.

I’ll be honest, I don’t watch a ton of movies anymore, in fact until I had gone to see The Last Jedi on Christmas Day this past year I hadn’t been in a movie theater in over four years. Mostly it’s due to me being highly sensitive to sound and going to the theater quickly gives me a sensory overload. It’s not a pleasant experience for me, or anyone I’m with as I get pretty irritable. So Movie Monday isn’t a long term column I had planned. It was supposed to be a column I used in only the worst emergencies until I had built up a decent enough stockpile of stuff I had read or done until I could move onto something else. Manga Monday might return, and probably will. However it may be limited to my Quick Review style of posting. Whether that’s a temporary thing or not will depend on whether I can find a reliable alternative to Batoto, which had tons of obscure series that I could use for the column.

Couple last things about Movie Monday, it might not be limited to me covering movies themselves. I might talk about production or directorial decisions and whether I agree or disagree with them. I’ll also likely end up breaking my own rule about covering stuff that is really main stream and new, like a Star Wars movie.  I don’t want to resort to such things, and if I can avoid doing so I will, but I make absolutely no promises when it comes to this column. It wasn’t meant to last me forever and I don’t have nearly the time to start binge watching movies just to write about them.

That’s it for my post, and I hope you, my readers, will continue to read my columns whether it’s on Windborne’s Story Eatery or Game Industry News. Your regularly scheduled Serial Saturday will return next week!

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Serial Saturday: Once Human, Now a Parasite Chapters 1-40 by Crow

This week for Serial Saturday I’ve got another series for you! It’s Once Human, Now a Parasite Chapters 1-40 by Crow!

Plot Synopsis: Arthur, an incredibly successful businessman was kidnapped and tortured for months by men his wife hired just so she could get his money. After months of this hell, he was given a second chance, a new life in a different world. Arthur would, of course, rather start a new life; than stay and continue to be tortured…

Plot: Let me point out straight away, this isn’t a story for kids. Arthur is not a nice person and thinks nothing of slaughtering everyone and everything that gets in his way. If that doesn’t make you uninterested, than welcome to a fairly decent story. This isn’t as amazing as Ghosthound, but it still makes Qi Worlds look like something written by a first grader. That being said there are some grammar issues that occur in Once Human, mostly at the beginning as it does get better as Crow continues writing. That being said if you can stick through to about chapter 40 the series does get it’s feet under it by that point. It’s not top quality by then, but it’s better than it starts off.

Characters: Arthur is a decent enough lead, and although he does have some depth issues, he isn’t as bland as Benzhi from Qi Worlds.  The rest of the cast is severely lacking though, except for one character who I won’t name. It’ll be fairly obvious who I mean though once you come across that character.

Overall: Decent, but could use some real work. Has the potential to be quite amazing, but some grammar issues and lack of character depth is a real big downside.

For those who like: LitRPGs, Fantasy, Magic, Decent Plot, Darker Lead Character.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, or Lack of Character Depth and/or Minor Grammar Issues.

Personal Status: On Hold, Letting chapters accumulate so I can binge read it during this summer. Whether I last until summertime before starting it up again remains to be seen.

Serial Saturday: Randidly Ghosthound Chapters 1-40 by Puddles

This week for Serial Saturday I’ve got a real treat for you all. It’s The Legend of Randidly Ghosthound by Puddles!

Plot Synopsis: As the system initializes, the world shifts. Geography is rearranged and mixed, and levels and stats are instituted across the globe. On that night, one young man was walking through an underground tunnel, his mind on the small problems of his easy life. Because of his location during the shift, he starts in a dungeon far above his level, with no knowledge or teacher, or Newbie Village to guide him. Without a class, he struggles simply to survive in this world changed by its new connection to the Nexus. But struggle he will, for he is Randidly Ghosthound, and this is only how his legend begins…

Plot: The plot of Ghosthound is amazing, I had more than a few sleepless nights when I first read the series and while the series isn’t complete yet, I have no doubt that this would sell amazingly well if ever published. These first forty chapters include the foundation for Ghosthound, and while by the end of it Randy has started to grow into his own, it’s still just the beginning of the story. To put it into perspective there are 330+ chapters as of writing this post.

Characters: Randy is an awesome main character, he’s neither stupid nor so intelligent that he’s not relatable. However the rest of the cast is just as amazing as Randy. My personal favorite is Shal, but the rest of the cast is excellent too.

Grammar: The grammar is excellent, and while there are some mistakes, there aren’t more than you’d find in a newspaper.

Overall: If you love any sort of fantasy, or gaming, at all you need to read Ghosthound. It’s one of the best English original Web Novels out there.

For those who like: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, LitRPGs, Magic, Excellent Plots, Fantastic Cast of Characters.

Not for those who don’t like:

Personal Status: Eagerly On Hold to allow more chapters to be written, and to save it for the months of hell called summertime.

Serial Saturday: Qi Worlds by Skully

For my first Serial Saturday post I’m doing the exact opposite of what I did for my Movie Monday’s first post. It’s Qi Worlds by Skully!

Plot Synopsis: The Qi Worlds Project is embarking on stage one. Eleven candidates have been selected to participate, from China and around the world. The Qi Worlds Project is essentially an experiment to develop the qi manipulation skills of the participants, while they are in a virtual environment. Ben is ones of those participants and while he has had experience with meditation, he has little to no knowledge of qi other than what he has picked up from anime and gaming. Ben’s personality has always been a “boots n all” type, he often acts with little contemplation and on pure gut feel. In all likelihood, he will succumb to the life within the simulation and forget about reality, aka “goes native”. Where others fail will Ben succeed?

Plot: Let me get this out of the way first, yes the full title is technically “Hardcore: Qi Worlds”. I’m fully aware of the fact, however nothing in the book ever gets “hardcore” in any way, despite the racy picture above. In fact there’s a lot that the author promises that just doesn’t come to fruition, he promises “Mystery” but the only mystery that pops up 40 chapters into the story comes down to a simple yes or no question. There are plenty of other frustrations that pop up, like the author’s strange fixation on calling Ben’s party “The Vanguard”. Instead of saying “Ben and the others walked to the city” it’s often “The Vanguard walked to the city”. It’s highly offputting and incredibly childish looking for the author, who I can only think believed that saying “Vanguard” over and over again was “cool“. The biggest issue with doing such a thing is you distance yourself from the main characters, who are supposed to be relatable. So when Skully continues to use “The Vanguard did so and so”, it just makes his work look like crap. I could have inferred that from the fact that he decided to post his work on Gravity Tales, but a few of the English original works on that site are actually decent and don’t deserve to be in that particular cesspool. So despite the fact that I read this work on royalroadl.com, I could only find this work as fitting right in with the rest of the trashy behavior from that website.

Characters: Ben is such a stereotypical main character that I was really hoping that the side characters would be at least interesting, but they weren’t. The female love interests are all incredibly shallow and stay so close to the classic archetypes of fantasy characters that they could have been in hundreds of other works and fit right in. The rest of the cast isn’t any better, in fact most of the cast is shallower than a inch deep puddle.

Overall: Stay far away from this pile of rubbish, there are much better works out there.

My Personal Reading Status: Dropped and searching for some brain bleach to rid me of the memory of this terrible piece of work.

Introducing Serial Saturday and Movie Monday

Hey all so I’ve got a post giving a brief explanation of my two new columns, one of which already has a post! Introducing Serial Saturday and Movie Monday!

New Columns? What?!?: Well in case you didn’t read last Saturday’s post, I’ll briefly explain what’s going on. Due to Bato.to’s shutdown I’ve had to implement plans I had in reserve for emergency situations. I’m replacing my Manga Monday and Sensate Saturday columns with something else. These are Serial Saturday and Movie Monday.

Serial Saturday? What’s that?: Serial Saturday is an idea for a column I’ve had in mind for the past year and was planning to have replace Sensate Saturday on my 4th Anniversary of my Blog. However that plan got thrown out the window with the announcement of Batoto’s shutdown last week. The column will cover various Web Serials, or Web Novels, and will focus on amateur authors. I’ll be getting this stuff from around the web, but everything will be written in English. The author doesn’t necessarily have to be a native speaker, and I may do some serious critiques on grammar for those who deserve it, but nothing I post in Serial Saturday will be translated works.

I have a huge amount of content piled up for this column, and it will operate similarly to my Translation Necessary Thursday posts. I’ll cover a set number of chapters each week of a certain series, and I’ll try to switch up between various series. I can’t promise that will always happen, because I might need to restock my supply of chapters. There are some points I need to make, I will try to cover unpublished works, however some of the stuff I’ll cover will inevitably be published in eBook format on Amazon or similar places. So the distinction between Bookish Wednesday and Serial Saturday posts will come down to one thing. Any series that has a professionally produced Audiobook will be covered in Bookish Wednesday. Everything else will be valid for Serial Saturday.

Movie Monday?: Well in case you didn’t read the latest Monday column, I’ll be covering various movies I’ve seen and do my usual thing, I’ll try covering cinematography as well as my usual categories, but I am no movie expert. In fact I have absolutely no confidence that I’ll be able to write this column in the long term. Due to various circumstances I don’t watch movies very often, so I have a very limited stock of material. I don’t have the time to dedicate to watching a movie for a post every week, so if I run out of material to cover before I can resume the Manga Monday column, I will most likely have to forgo my Monday columns. I hope that I won’t have to do that, but I might have to do so if things really go poorly in the Manga translation scene. I’m not a great reader of Japanese, so I can’t judge most series if they are untranslated.

That’s it for this post, I’ll be back next week for my first Serial Saturday post!