The Wrench and the Hammer – Victory! (T-6 Days to ME3)

I’m so thrilled to announce “The Wrench and the Hammer” swept the “Heart of the Author” Contest on the Wyrmrest Accord Forums with the Grand Prize Winner!

Here’s the full winner list:

The Grand Prize Winners! (Heart of the Aspects Mount)
The Wrench and The Hammer, by Lyssinna
A Steamy Romance Novel : Passionate Lies, by Fedjeen

Congratulations, guys. I hope you’ll let me post your stories somewhere, or take the initiative to do so yourselves.

The “Sinphonii’s Choice” Winners! (Heart of the Aspects Mount)
The Old Ones, by Taldin
Unforgiven, Unforgotten, by Arkturas

As I was winding down and fretting about my inability to really narrow things down, my friend Sinphonii stepped in to offer another Heart of the Aspects mount to the prize pool. Well, I sent along my submissions folder and she was unable to pick just one, too, and decided to remedy that by offering two additional mounts. Congratulations, guys.

First Place Runner Up! (Blizzard Store Pet)
Water and Fire : Past and Present, by Ashtivar

Second Place Runner Up! (Valorous Point Item and Magic Lamp)
Heavy is the Head, by Oyam

Third Place Runner Up! (Four Inferno Rubies and Magic Lamp)
Choices Made, by Araindwen

EVERYONE who participated will receive a Magic Lamp non-combat pet, so you’ll always have a reading light handy as you delve into the tales of Azeroth, and have a shining stalwart companion at your side as you live and write your own stories.

Turning Away, by Zaeshural
Mercy, by Siennamae
A Burst of Static, by Markin
The Forsaken Offensive, by Reddwyn
Warstomp, by Lomahnko
Family Matters, by Chazelios
Untitled, by Riparian

I’m completely thrilled to have won. You see, I have some writing confidence issues. The Honorable Mention in the 2011 Blizzard Global Writing Contest was an enormous boost to my confidence and this has sent me even higher. You see, I’ve always had that little voice in the back of my head saying that I’m a terrible author. And now I can say “SHOVE IT!” to that voice and then kick it down the stairs. Then probably nuke it from orbit. Go big or go home, right?

This story was a bit of a rushed job. I still feel like there’s a ton of polish the story needs and a good amount of reworking in the beginning parts, but apparently these folks think I’ve nailed it. I’ve even received several accolades from the various forum-goers including a very well thought-out review by one of the judges.

Your story of Geblin Mekkatorque blew me away. In a stroke, you managed to capture his ingenuity, thoughtfulness, Muradin’s humor, and the political tenseness of Ironforge “under Moira’s rule”. I’ve been slightly inspired to roll gnome several times after reading a snippet here and there, but your tale and integrity have spurred me more effectively than anything I’ve ever heard, read, or seen before.

During Blizzard’s Annual Writing competition, I encourage and implore you to write and submit a piece because I truly believe that you have a hell of a shot at winning.

You’re unlike other humans.
You bleed ink.

Keep it up,

I’ll be very proud to ride this new mount around in World of Warcraft. I think I’ll call her “Authoryna.” Okay, that was just terrible. *Whacks self with ACME Mallet* But my biggest thank you is to the judges and hosts, Aibreann, Thokk and Sinphonii. This kind of thing is hard to pull off and it requires real-world money. I’m honored by their selection and am even more honored by my fellow contest runners who struggled so hard. And to be honest, I’m totally jealous of them having their own READING LAMPS in-game. Seriously, how sweet is that?


Mass Effect

James Shepard has returned from the Omega-4 Relay with his entire team and his entire crew, blowing the Collectors into oblivion. And when you see the Reapers at the end of it…I only have two words:


Seriously, is it March 6 yet? And Bioware really should be PAYING me for talking about Mass Effect this much.

I talked to our wonderful Baby Stalkers all night at their house about it. Caitlyn wore her N7 Onsie while Laura and I sported our N7 Hoodies. Good time. Ended the night with Mass Effect 1 and reading Mass Effect: Revelation.

I’m not obsessed. You can’t prove a darn thing.

Oh yeah…and found a hysterical Mass Effect rap that you just must enjoy. Especially because the guy has an awesome British accent.

Stay until the very ending. Trust me on this.


Anyway, it’s been a great day waking up to that email message and reading through the various comments on the forums. I think I love this server in WoW. I’ll be sad to ignore them for a few weeks as I play Mass Effect 3. Well, I’ll be sad after, because during, I won’t even realize it. 😉

Until next time.





Eight days until Mass Effect 3. You may have noticed I am slightly obsessed with this game. That’s not quite true. I’m actually obsessed with the entire franchise, as I’m writing this while wearing my awesome N7 Hoodie. I wish I had N7 Gloves. It’s FREEZING in the Apple break room right now!

So what’s new?

The Wrench and the Hammer

I am so glad to be done with this story. Not that it was bad, but it was the most rushed job I’ve done in a long time. Even NaNoWriMo didn’t feel that tough, as I only had about a week to punch out this story. To be honest, it still needs a lot of work, but I’m happy with the results so far. Laura was even kind enough to give me a fast edit last night. Oh yeah! And I finally got Lyssinna’s Mekengineer’s Chopper!

I’ll be hosting it up here as soon as I’m done with this post.

Mass Effect 3

The new trailers? They be awesome. The ME3 Hype Train is roaring down the track toward March 6 and it’s going to be huge. I have the next 2 (maybe 3!) days after the launch off and my father will be watching Caitlyn on the first day. I’m planning on attending the midnight release at the Gamestop in El Toro. Lisa-Anne Shepard will then fight to take Earth back! Then Bianca Shepard. Then probably James Shepard while playing Adra Shepard with Laura. Then Marcus Shepard…

I think you get the idea. And yes, I have 6 ready-to-play Shepards. Thank you God that I can do something so crazy gamer like this! 😀

The Coming Week

The coming week my project will probably be updating and publishing short stories here, some of the free ones I formerly hosted on deviantArt. I may decide to work on Orion 2 if I end up happy with the results here. And I’ve just sold another friend on the Mass Effect series.

Did I mention I like this game?



Hammer and Wrench

Haven’t posted in a bit and been a busy week. I had intended to post yesterday, but a family event took out most of my time and I ended up spacing on this entirely. Even though I think I have something on the order of two people paying attention here, why not keep going, eh?

I’m writing a new World of Warcraft short story, called Hammer and Wrench, detailing Gelbin Mekkatorque’s emotional reaction to the loss of Magni during the events of the Shattering. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you’re probably not a WoW player and that’s okay 😉

The important thing is that it’s a contest entry on the WoW Forums. It’s nothing official, done purely for and by the community, but it could have some neat prizes and seems like a good way to connect with people on the server. I’m also trying to join a new guild, called Saga, on the Wyrmrest Accord server. My last guild came from Blackwater Raiders and then disbanded shortly after due to the move and the launch of SW:ToR.

Of course this is happening right before Mass Effect 3 comes out, which will utterly destroy my free time and take me away from WoW for some time too! I’ve linked the new trailer at the end of the post here.

Anyway, had some more family stuff happen. Caitlyn fell again a week or so again and ended up having a seizure from the impact, for the second time. Just like last time, she’s fine. Had another CT Scan and everything checked out. She was acting normal within 30 minutes of the incident. She is now not allowed to play on the couch because we just can’t deal with the emotional ramifications. A week later, my mom ended up in the ER from a bad fall where she had a rather large bruise in a rather uncomfortable area. However, the good news is that Caitlyn got to see her great-grandparents twice in the last two weeks, which is great for all of them.

Other than that, I’m still working on ProjectZ (which is a renamed THE PROJECT because it sounds cooler). I’m thinking of further networking too.

After this story is done (it’s due on the 26th!) I’ll take one day to work on this site, update it and bring over some more stories from deviantArt, then get back to work on Orion 2.

Until then, have fun!

Oh yes…the new “Take Earth Back” Trailer for Mass Effect 3:

The Proverbial Chicken

…with it’s head cut off. That’s what I’m running around like.

My life feels like a constant sprint lately. I get up on the days I work at 5:45 AM. I take a shower, make breakfast and my lunch for the day. Then I do my Bible Study for the day and try to cram in some time for WoW just to get my head on straight before going to work. At work, every hour of my day is scheduled and set. My first break I do BabyTime with my little girl, my lunch I write and try to blog and my last break I have 15 minutes to read my book. At the end of the day, I fight through horrible rush hour traffic trying to get home within an hour of leaving.

Then it’s a tossup. Some nights I get to play with Caitlyn before she goes to bed and I get some time to myself. Or possibly I have small group. Or something else. Occasionally, Laura and I get a free night where we can have fun. And my days off are usually trying to entertain the baby who’s been so fussy lately. Finally, around 10 I crash into bed and try to read a bit before I go to sleep so I actually get some sleep.

I miss the days I had to myself. I really used to use those to truly recharge. To write for hours, read for hours, game for hours or just do whatever I felt like. Even though Caitlyn is wonderful, she likes her Daddy to usually be playing directly with her and doesn’t let me recharge a lot.

What’s the point of this?

Hmmm…not really sure. Maybe that I’m just feeling rushed lately? You see, tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day, when Laura and I are celebrating her birthday too. I’m looking forward to it, but I think I realized that I won’t get a recharge day this week. Yesterday, Caitlyn and I had a great time with my grandparents out in Murrieta. It’s a long drive and she didn’t get to nap very well so she was fairly fussy when we got home. And tomorrow will be very busy as well.  (Stupid Bioware had to pick tomorrow to launch the ME3 demo too. Darn them! And no, I won’t be playing unless Laura wants to play with me. I’ll throw it out there to her, but it will be no-strings-attached. It is her birthday after all.)

So here’s the plan. Right now, I’m going to try and get some work on Orion done. Maybe for 20 minutes. Then I’m going to try and prioritize some stuff for me. Caitlyn and work always come first, but I have a lot of other interests and I feel like they’re fighting among themselves. Like I’m on a big WoW kick right now but I want to get psyched for ME3 and get all my characters set for jumping into the new game.

Okay, going to take a deep breath now and try to relax a bit before going back to the madness of the Fruit.



I really should be working in The Orion Project, but I had to watch the FemShep Trailer twice before even starting this. Yes, I’m that bad. I also love good trailers. I managed to find some of Two Steps From Hell’s works. They’re one of the major companies who produce trailer music. In fact, you’ve already heard them. The last Star Trek movie used their material, as did Mass Effect 2 and 3 now (specifically this trailer, though I haven’t figured out what song yet).

So I’m back at my old Apple Store today. My visit to the Cerritos Apple Store for a week helped. And they have an amazing team there. Cheerful and fun with a great atmosphere. Nothing but positive things. I will say that the commute was horrible. An hour and 15 minutes depending on traffic. My usual commute is something like 35-55 minutes depending on traffic.

I’m also excited. I got to move a step forward in THE PROJECT. Due to possible issues, I can’t really speak as to what it is unless/until it happens, but it’s a good thing. Trust me on this.

Okay, now to stop slacking and force myself to write. I haven’t really written since the end of NaNoWriMo and it’s going to be hard to get back into the groove of writing. It’s a habit that I’ve allowed to slide with other aspects of THE PROJECT and Project14, the special surprise I have for my wife Laura on her birthday this Tuesday.

Time to get in motion.

Mass Effect 3: Reinstated: The FemShep Trailer

I adore the Mass Effect series. I bought my original Xbox 360 for the series. I have 6-7 Shepards, though most of them are female. There are various reasons for this, but one of the first reasons is that Jennifer Hale, the voice actress for FemShep, is fantastic. Her delivery of the lines in Mass Effect 2 blew Mark Meer’s MaleShep out of the water.

This trailer is easily the most epic Mass Effect 3 trailer I’ve seen. And I cannot wait to play this game.

It’s going to be EPIC.

The Mistborn Trilogy Complete

So I’ve been listening to Writing Excuses for some time now. It’s completely changed the way I write and I utterly love the podcast. I can happily accredit a good portion of my Honorable Mention for “Ashes over Stormwind” to their advice.

The head guy, a fantasy author by the name of Brandon Sanderson, had written several fantasy books, though is best known for taking over the Wheel of Time series after Robert Jordan passed away. But I wanted to read his stuff since I had already done Howard Taylor’s Schlok Mercenary series and I don’t care for horror so I wasn’t going to read Dan Wells’s works.

So I picked up Mistborn at a independent bookstore in San Clemente called Mathom Books. And it just devoured me. My bedtime went from 10:15 to 11:30 every night. It was an amazing series. I tore through Mistborn and the first chance I got, picked up Well of Ascension and the third book.

And I just finished the third book, Hero of Ages, last night. I would love to give my full impressions, but I want to save that until later when I have a bit more time. I have never had a book end quite like this. I utterly adored his ending, it was something magical and wonderful.

And if I told you why it was so amazing, it would destroy the entire series for you, so I’m not going to do that. I will say one thing. You simply must pick up this series if you enjoy fantasy, action adventure, or just darn good books.

Great stuff!