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Prophecy Six Blog

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HTC Vive: My Life Is Now Virtual (Review)

After a month of backlog and cluster-frocks that is the shipping system HTC put in place to send out their VR systems, I finally got the chance to explore virtual reality. My inner Trekkie was thrilled when the box arrived around 12:30 PM on Thursday June 2nd. Both Mr. Canuck and I were biting our nails in anticipation for our own ‘holodeck’ and now we both can’t get enough of it.

Now, if you do not know what a Vive is… put simply it is a headpiece that displays images in front of your eyes and makes you feel like you’re inside a game. For more information check out my earlier post regarding this wonder in technology HERE.

SETTING UP THE SYSTEM:

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Super simple and easy to understand instructions that would flawlessly with our computer system. It took longer to move the couch and television out of the living room than it did setting up the Vive equipment.

Why the living room? It was the biggest space next to our master bedroom… and before you asked why we didn’t choose the master bedroom – we did contemplate it and kind of still are.

The Vive also has a great way of knowing where your boundary is. Once the stations are set up and have measured the perimeter of the play space they create a grid like pattern warning you of the places where the play area ends. This could mean stairs are beyond that point (we moved the couch in front of those to prevent injury), glass doors, or walls.

COMFORT:

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The adjustable straps are helpful and the htcviveheadpiece isn’t that heavy. The controllers are easy to us and comfortable to hold. I am prone to hand cramping with my PS2 controllers and that hasn’t happened with the Vive.

The reason I didn’t give a 10/10 for this are for two reasons.

One: the cord annoys the carp out of me. It wraps around my feet and break the immersion of the game. The cord also gets twisted up and pulls on the USB ports that causes the images to stutter sometimes also break the immersion.

Two: the material around the eyes gets nasty and by nasty I mean sweaty. After playing some hardcore archery game or music game that requires a lot of movement you are going to break a sweat… sweat that gets absorbed into the headpiece and makes it really uncomfortable to use.

GAMES:

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OH MY GODS I love the games for this system. Those games that are offered for free and those games you have to pay for all have something to love. If someone was to make a garbage can simulator it would be popular because everything in VR is fresh and exciting. One example of a simple yet amazing VR game is Job Simulator. It is funny and has its quirks but it makes simple tasks like working in a kitchen or fixing cars so much fun.

I will probably do some reviews on the games offered for VR that I’ve played… but if I can suggest one other to try – Tilt Brush. I made a 3D tree and camp fire just by drawing them in this VR world. Mr. Canuck has even found me laying on the floor looking up at the ceiling with the biggest smile on my face while where the helmet because I can draw things that become reality. Yes, I sound crazy… but try it and tell me you don’t feel the same.

With most VR games there is a lot of movement involved. Either you are moving your arms, bending, crawling, jumping… it doesn’t matter what these games get you active without you even thinking about it. I’ve never had a game make me physically tired before, which in my opinion is a great thing. Being active was what the Wii was supposed to do and they advertised that… but VR gets you moving without you even thinking about it.

The only issue I have with the games at the moment is the use of teleport. Yes, there are a few games on the market that actually design their game about using the given space of the room to their advantage but the majority of the game requires you to teleport around. This at first is intriguing but if the game relies mostly on you travelling about a level the teleport feature grows tedious and boring.

The best games I found that I’ve enjoyed require very little movement for your feet and focus the attention to using your arms to aim/ interact with the environment.

OVERALL OPINION:

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Overall this is a great gaming system but it lost points in the Comfort section. As much as it didn’t feel heavy when wearing it, it lost points when it came to losing focus on the main point of a VR system. VR’s main focus is to immerse a player into a virtual world… so it is disappointing when that player has to pause the game to untangle themselves or untwist the cord. I appreciate everything this system offers for the first generation Vive system but hopefully in the future they will design a cordless system that will making playing a lot smoother.

With that said I would recommend this system to anyone interested in VR. If you are a gamer, artist, Trekkie or what have you – HTC Vive is something you should consider checking out.

At the moment they have estimated about 50,000 Vives have been sold and this is a new market for game developers to jump into. I don’t foresee VR going the way of the Wii or 3D television as VR gives a player a raw, fully immersive experience. From the games I’ve played I can honestly tell you that VR is the future of gaming. I’m excited to see what is going to come out for VR in regards to RPG and other open world games. I also hope that in future development that VR developers will come up with better ways than to teleport everywhere. I want to run around and explore… LET ME BE FREE!

That said you must also understand you will appear strange to anyone not using a Vive. As the device only is capable of showing the wearer the image that means they will look like they are flailing around are a horde of bees while participating in their game. Also look out for those walls… they can sneak up on you when you aren’t paying attention to the boundary lines.

Anyways, that’s all I have for now regarding my review of the HTC Vive. If you have any other questions or comments leave them below and I’ll get to them as soon as I can. 🙂

Child of the Light, by D.M. Wiltshire: A Review

The wonderful Marian Thorpe wrote a review of my first book, and I have to say I was both surprised and pleased with the rating. Thank you, Marian. 🙂

Marian L Thorpe

Child of the LightChild of the Light is the first book by indie author D.M. Wiltshire. Falling squarely into the fantasy genre, Child of the Light is set in a well-realized world, Gaitan, where north and south have been at war for generations. Cael, the prince of the north, is suffering from an agonizing illness that is beyond the knowledge of the Master Healer, Caldor. The answer may lie in the medical knowledge of the province of Morza, but in one searing moment on the night of the 200 Year Moon, Morza – and all her people – are destroyed by a flash of light: a judgment from the gods, or a celebration gone horribly wrong?

When Caldor and his friend Foe go to investigate, they find two things: the healer Naygu’s book, hidden, safe, and written in a language Caldor can’t read, and the footsteps of a child, leaving the devastated city…

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Child of the Light FREE on Smashwords

So, I did this a while back but I believe I should post again about CotL being free. I have plenty of reasons why I’ve made my first book free, but the main reason is I wanted to make my book free so anyone and everyone who wanted to read it could.

Child of the Light is 259 pages long. YA Fantasy Fiction – with what I’ve been told are entertaining characters living within a deep but not over-saturated detailed world.

Of course this is what I heard but according to my reviews people seem to enjoy it:

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So, again, I welcome you to download the free e-book at Smashwords and explore the world of Gaitan like so many others have done. Also don’t forget to comment and rate my book – I love hearing what people think of my work good, bad, or anywhere in-between. 🙂

DOWNLOAD FREE BOOK HERE 

Game Review: Stardew Valley – Flash Back to Good Gaming

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Click Picture to be Brought to The Steam Page.

Okay, firstly… I know I haven’t posted since Friday. I know I forgot the Wonderful Word Wednesday… and that I haven’t kept you posted on updates regarding the book. I have a good excuse, I was harvesting parsnips and looking for winter yams. 🙂

Okay, not the best excuse but stay with me.

For whatever the reason people are obsessed with farming simulators. Let it be Harvest Moon for Nintendo back in 1996, The Farming Simulator Series for PC, or even Farmville from Facebook games… we have a strange desire to get out of the busy world of busy dig a few holes and watch things grow. It could also be the quick gratification you get from seeding, watering, growing, harvesting and money that you get from these games that pokes at the very primal parts of our brain… but that’s a discussion for another time.

I haven’t felt this dedicated to a game since Harvest Moon came out for PS2… I love the Easter eggs, the weird events that happen on the farm, the characters in the village you can talk to… and the atmosphere is amazing. Stardew Valley is probably my top game for 2016. Yes, it’s 8-bit… but that’s not what you think about while playing it.

Stardew Valley reminds you of a simpler time in gaming where it wasn’t the graphics that make the game but the game-play and the story. You didn’t care if the game was 2D, all your cared about is if your farm lasts long enough for Grandpa to see in Year Three. You don’t care about blood or gore… you just want to find a frecking earth crystal so you can make a mayonnaise machine. You don’t care if Jojo is selling 50% everything in their store across the way, Pierre’s has been there for years and sure he’s more expensive but at this point its about principle and not cost.

This game reminds me of a time I would play my GameBoy Color for hours. This game is a great time waster, wonderful farm simulator, and flashback to what good games are meant to be. If you have 17 bucks and a PC that can handle gaming I’d suggest picking it up.

I will probably be posting more about game tips and game play later but for now I’d suggest checking it out for yourself. Who knows, you may disappear to Stardew Valley for a much needed break from this world? 🙂

Ambient Noise For Writers

I’ve mentioned before that I love to write in silence, but that wasn’t fully true. Most of the time you will find me sitting on my windowsill, curled up with my laptop tapping away on the keys with the flow of my mental thoughts… but sometimes I put on ambient noise to give me some sense of movement or sound.

When I was young I was inclined to listen to screamo or hard metal when I wrote. There would be music, tempo, and all-in-all sound that didn’t have any distinctive words that would work their way into my work. As I got older I found it harder to concentrate when I had someone from Norway screaming incoherently in my ear… so I moved on to other kinds of ‘music’.

My first introduction to ambient music was probably at age 14 when I was on a road trip with my parents through Eastern Canada. Maritime trips with my parents were one of the biggest influences on me in both what I write, the history I love, and the music I listen to now. I remember picking up a CD with Shanty music – which I do say I did become overly obsessed with. On this shanty CD there was one song that was just ocean waves and people on the beach. It was so relaxing and helpful in developing my mind to imagine pictures of the scene, which has helped me be able to visualize my writing.

It was later when YouTube grew in popularity that I began to collect ambient noise on playlists to listen while I wrote, and now I’ve even discovered some amazing sites that I waste a lot of time on. One ambient noise I listen to the most is the rain. I honestly don’t know why I like the sound of rain. Maybe it is due to it being nature’s white noise? As it washes away the filth is washes away what burdens you have in your mind. It acts as a curtain cutting off the busyness of your mind to allow you to focus on what you find important. Maybe I love the sound of water because I was born Pisces – although I don’t find that a likely reason? Whatever it is, it doesn’t really matter. I know that rain helps me focus my mind and that’s all I need to know.

If you enjoy listening to ambient noises while you write I’ll post some links to some sites I use. One of the links was suggested to me by one of my readers, and thanks to him I now know what a medieval tavern sounds like (thanks DJ Morand for making this suggestion).

List of Ambient Sites:

RAIN MOOD : this site plays rain and only rain. You are able to make your own rain music by combining a YouTube link with the rain of the day. They also offer Rain Music of the day where they take someone’s creation and let the world listen to it.

FOREST MOOD : this site plays forest noises like bird calls, rustling leaves, running streams, babbling brooks, and scurrying animals. If you are suck inside writing and want to feel like you’re writing in nature this is the link for you. Also helps if your characters are travelling through the woods.

NOISLI : I found this link from a VSauce DONG video. Here you can create your own unique ambient noise. They have rain, thunderstorms, wind, forest, leaves, water stream, seaside, water, fireplace, summer night, coffee shop, train, fan, white noise, pink noise, and brown noise. They are all adjustable and can be shared/ saved on your social media accounts.

TABLETOP AUDIO : this site was suggested to me by DJ Morand . They have more atmospheric ambient noise like forest at night, busy tavern, medieval battle, and many others. These I find helpful in figuring out what the atmosphere is like in a scene of my book or helps give me ideas on what noises my characters could be hearing in certain places throughout the area I’ve placed them. I find this more a world building tool than an ambient noise for writing tool.

LIMIT Chill Ambient & Lounge Music : this is a YouTube channel I happened across one of those days I was procrastinating. They are relatively new but they have all kinds of ambient noise videos that last anywhere from 3 minutes to an hour.

Books I Like List

All right. As many of you now know, although I’m a writer I’m not one for reading. I read because I have to most of the time. I read to learn… and it is really hard for me to find a book I actually enjoy reading. So, one of you lovely readers asked me to give you a list of books that I’ve actually enjoyed reading. This is that list.

Feed by MT Anderson

Feed is about a future where everyone is hooked up to the internet by chips in their brains and a group of kids are disconnected for a short time due to a ‘hack’. You want a reason why people shouldn’t be hooked up to the internet by their brain this is a good book to show you the reasons why.

Although the dialogue is hard to get passed with a lot of broken English and slang. This is a great book to give you insight into a different kind of dystopia that may be closer to reality than anyone wants to admit.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Introduced to me by a retired math teacher on one of my family vacations across Ontario, Outlander because a quick favourite of mine. It follows a WWII nurse after the war that gets pulled back to 1743 Scotland. It’s full of romance, adventure, and danger.

As much as I loved the first book… I honestly believe that’s where it should have ended. I didn’t enjoy the rest of the series as it followed similar tropes from the previous book…

Earth Children Series by Jean Auel

This was the first ever series I read. I was thirteen years old and couldn’t escape the prehistoric world of this series. It follows a young girl named Ayla through surviving the post ice age landscape. Also filled with romance, adventure, self-discovery, and history.

I loved Clan of the Cave Bear, Valley of the Horses, Mammoth Hunter, and Plains of Passage. These were all great books, and although the ending to Plains of Passage was open ended – that was a great place to stop.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. There were two more books… The Land of Painted Caves and The Shelter of Stone.

Although I read these two books, I found that they followed the same themes as the other books with no real change. Ayla and Jondalar get in a fight. They split for some time. They pine over one another and get jealous when they are with other people. Other people say they are made for each other. They end up back together. Rinse and repeat…

Sure there are other things going on that are different but the main storyline is the same…

So, yeah… read the first four books and forget the last two in my opinion.

Mitch Albom Books

I am going to list the books I’ve read here and to save time – I love them all. They are each a human story. You feel emotionally invested in the characters and can relate on some level to what is going on. Never have I loved an author so much, and never have I been torn to pieces by writing before. I’ve read the books over a dozen times and even though I know the stories word for word I still can’t help myself from becoming a blubbering mess of tears. In order of favourites:

  • The Five People You Meet In Heaven < 9 times read
  • Have a Little Faith < 3 times read
  • For One More Day < 2 times read
  • The Time Keeper < 1 time read
  • Tuesdays With Morrie < 1 time read

Total of times I’ve read a Mitch Albom book: 16 times…

Yeah… I love his writing. 😛

 

 

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 14 – Movies

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Movies You Don’t Get Tired Of

I’m just going to make a list because that is easier… so this will be about the top 4 Movies I Don’t Get Tired Of:

|ONE| Studio Ghibli 

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Yes, I know this is a animation company and not a movie but if I was to list all of their movies that I love I would be able to publish another book. So, to keep it simple I put them under one title. Young or old there is something about Studio Ghibli that appeals to all ages.

My first Studio Ghibli movie was ‘My Neighbor Totoro’. I was babysitting at the time, and loved the story, the animation, and the characters. From that moment on I aimed to collect all over the studios films.

My favourites out of the Studio would be ‘Princess Mononoke’ and ‘Spirited Away’. These two are both beautifully animated, and have a timeless story that teaches everyone to love and explore the world around them. That every person can make a difference, and you can make a change in the world if you put your heart into it.

|TWO| Fushigi Yugi (The Mysterious Play) Series

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Now, this isn’t a movie… it is an anime series made up of two seasons and 2 OVAs.

Why did I include this in my favourite movies I never get tired of? For one reason. I binge watch all the episodes (which takes three-four days), and I do it once a year.

Yes, that’s right. Once a year I watch the same series and I’ve been doing this for 5-6 years.

Why?

Because it is freaking fantastic, that’s why.

Two girls (Miaka Yuki and Yui Hongo) get sucked into an ancient book (Universe of the Four Gods). The book brings them back to ancient China. One girl – Miaka Yuki – becomes the priestess of Suzaku (Pheonix of Love). The other – Yui Hongo – becomes the priestess of Seiryu (Dragon of War). Both girl have to gather their warriors and complete tasks to bind their god to them before the other.

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Kawaii Nuriko ^.^

It is filled with humour, tension, and love. A high school girl’s dream… which is one reason I fell in love with it in the first place.

That and Nuriko! My favourite sassy, flamboyant pretty boy. :3

If you have the time I would suggest watching a few episodes on YouTube.

|THREE| Nightmare Before Christmas

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Do I have to explain why? Do I really?

Tim Burton. Halloween Christmas crossover. Great music.

For people who love dark and creepy, yet light hearted and family friendly – NBC is the movie for you. While everyone sings traditional Christmas careols you will find me belting This Is Halloween, What’s This, or Kidnap the Sandy Claws. I can’t stress enough how much this movie shaped my adolescent years… I think I still have my purse and hat somewhere…

|FOUR| Phantom of the Opera

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Have you ever watched a movie and it sounded so similar but you don’t know why? Yeah, that’s what PotO was for me. For the longest time I would listen to the soundtrack and hum the songs until one day my mother told me a really cool story.

According to her, when she was eight months pregnant with me, my father and her went to see PotO live. This was the early 90’s and it was a popular Broadway show in Toronto at the time. Anyways, after the show my mother bought the soundtrack and played it often while she was carrying me.

The fact I was fourteen when she told me this helped connect the dots on why I may have had this embedded desire to listen to the music… also why I always felt comfort when hearing Christine sing Think of Me.

This was also the movie that always makes me cry… always…

Strengths and Weakness – Writer’s Edition

I’ve written a lot about how I love to write. There is no doubt in my mind that this is what I want to do. I spent the last six months dedicating myself to my craft.There were countless months of editing… and countless more months of editing… I hate editing… yet here I am.

After all that writing, and editing (-.-) I can say that I completed my goal of writing a book. 78000 + words later, my work is published for the world to see; for them to judge and for me to hiding in the corner suffering from overwhelming panic at what others will think. (Anxiety attacks aren’t fun, people!)

Anyways, with all that hard work I know I want to be a writer. It’s in my core. It’s in my heart and blood to share my words with the world even with the massive anxiety it causes me.

I can easily write 78000+ words about characters of my own creation, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how to market to the real world.

By market… I mean figure out a way to share what I’ve worked so hard for with the world. I’m introverted… I don’t like unfamiliar human interaction. I would rather sit alone on the couch writing, reading or playing video games than go out with a group of people.

So, my issue I’m now starting to realize is I have no idea how I’m supposed to promote this thing. I’ve written blog posts. I’ve tweeted, bookfaced, and pinterested. Yet… I feel like I could do more.

 

If any of you have suggestions on what I can do to possibly spread the word, or places that would review my works – any information would be helpful. I want to keep learning from writing this book and the best way to learn it through peers – that means you. So, let me know your suggestions/ideas in the comments below. You know I’ll reply back. XD

The Good and Bad of Using Pinterest for Writing

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All right, I’ve realized over the past week that Pinterest is both the most amazing site and worst site for my life. Since I share things with all of you I thought this would be a great subject to bring up with all of you.

Asides from wedding posts, clothing posts, and Supernatural posts (#CutSamsHair) – I use Pinterest to find writing prompts, dialogue prompts, and get tips on how to improve my writing.

The Good Parts of Using Pinterest:

It has a lot of information in one location. You can get all kinds of insight on how to improve POV or description. I personally use it to collect exciting/ emotion words to help improve my writing. I also love finding quotes or writer complaints (they hit you in the feels).

Pinterest also helps you organize these resources in boards that you can set as public or private. All mine as public, since I honestly don’t care if people see re-pins.

This site also helps you share your links. I’ve posted plenty of my Writing and Dialogue prompts, which have resulted in some of my readers here.

Hello, everyone! *Waves awkwardly… disrupting the flow of this post*

Anywho…

Pinterest is a great way to find people with similar interests, and share resources with those people. I find a lot of comics and quotes that I share with you on this… which brings me to my last point:

Pinterest helps inspire me to blog. I find something on my Pinterest I want to share with you, or write my opinion on I do that. Most of these rants, quotes, and writing prompts were from Pinterest or sent to be my people on Pinterest.

The Bad Parts of Using Pinterest:

The crippling doubt you get from reading a post about how to write.

These are great to give you ideas but when you read it you realize that maybe you’re writing wrong. Maybe the way you write won’t be thought of as correct and everyone will hate your writing style.

The way to make your characters the best ever and ever!

Awesome, this is helpful… in some ways but when you have developed your characters and then read these posts your thoughts start going again. Did I create a good enough character? Are people going to get my character? Are people going to love/hate this character?

Ten easy steps to writing your first book!

Now this one up here^… this point right above this sentence… I can tell you right now is bull. You know why?

Even though it gives you ten tips, they are the ten tips you already know… or honestly don’t need to know. If you enjoy writing these tips come naturally to you and by reading them you only end up over-analysing what you have written in hopes you have followed these steps.

I know these are for people you have never written a day in their lives… I understand that but when you have titles saying TEN TIPS TO WRITING THE MOST AWESOME-TASTIC FIRST BOOK EVER – I’m going to call bull.

No one can guarantee you’ll write a good book; not you, not Pinterest, not even your mom. There is no guarantee people will like what you write and by writing articles like those just makes you feel more like a failure that it didn’t turn out awesome-tastic.

Summing This Up For Those Too Lazy to Read The Whole Post:

I have a love-hate relationship with that site. It’s helpful but can be damaging at the same time.

The best advice I can give you is write the way you feel comfortable; editing is the part you want to feel scared about.

Rant done. 🙂

Question for the Comments:

What do you find is helpful about Pinterest? Not helpful? Annoying?

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