The Curious Evolution of Jennifer K. Oliver
A stroll through the mindfields
entries 
jenniferkoliver: (Scrubs | JD & Cox)
There's a poet called Natalie Diaz. I stumbled across These Hands, If Not Gods the other night, fell in love, and went looking for more of her work. She's also written Dome Riddle, Reservation Grass, Small Thundering, and Self-Portrait as a Chimera, among others. I dream of using language the way she does.

I'm more than a little taken with Breaking Bad. Oh my word. I get it now. I was trying to think of some little criticisms so this doesn't just sound like a lump of praise, but it really is an incredible slice of TV. Some will find it too dark, but the writing and production and acting is so strong, I'd still recommend it to anyone. (And it doesn't even have a hint of magic or fairies or zombies in it!) I made a few icons, eight in total:



We're done when I say we're done )

I've also been messing around in Final Fantasy XIII again, now as a post-game player. I've tackled Titan's Trials, a set of sixty-four missions on Gran Pulse. I was always a little scared of doing the Trials, but they were surprisingly fun with a couple of genuinely difficult battles. They did get repetitive by the fourth round, but the entire game could be considered repetitive so it's a small gripe. I have to say, I love post-game—my Crystarium is maxed, and I've Omega Weaponed five out of six of my characters. I'm currently gearing up for the Adamantortoises—which I still haven't managed to beat. I might be strong enough now.

Twelve days to New York. Depressingly, I found out that The 1975 are playing in NY the week I'm there, but tickets have already sold out. Woe.

Woman, by The 1975.
22nd-Apr-2013 02:26 pm - FFXIII. This time I went all the way
jenniferkoliver: (South Park)
Final Fantasy XIII is a beautiful, challenging game. Its story is typically complex and angsty, as you would expect from Square Enix by now, and gameplay ranges from breezy and hilarious to hair-rippingly difficult. The characters got under my skin quickly, even though at first I didn't think they would, and while at times they can be quite tropey, the moments when they progress and develop makes the cliches worthwhile.

I've been playing FFXIII on and off since 2009; I restarted a couple of times, but never got past the beginning of chapter nine. This time, I pulled on my big girl pants and finished the game, and I'm so glad I did, as it doesn't really open up to its full potential until chapter eleven or so.

I've listed some of my personal pros and cons under the cut: Eye-candy central, the glory that is Cid Raines and why he's an utter bastard, a world expanded, and battle strategies. With pretty pics! )

The sequel, Final Fantasy XIII-2, arrived on my doormat about a week ago. A couple of characters from the first make appearances, either as supports or mentions, and the new protags are intriguing. I did a quick read up on the general plot and man, does it ever sound twisty. And I thought parts of FXIII were convoluted!

And then there's the third game in this mini-series, Lightning Returns FFXIII, which is due out later this year. I'm already in love with Lightning's spectacular new armour. It'll be great to play her again and see what new skills she's picked up. Also, I think this is my favourite Final Fantasy outfit ever.

I Have Begun My Ascent, by Jessica Curry, from the Dear Esther OST.
jenniferkoliver: (True Blood | Eric)
So I am eyeing Photoshop CS6 for the Mac again. For the gazillionth time. Apparently it's HD Retina compatible, which just excites me in ways I cannot describe. It's hefty on the coin purse at £630, but I use PS a lot—for my web design, and also the random designing I do for my own pleasure (icons, graphics, etc) and occasionally for the amusement of my friends. I'm aware this is sounding very much like I'm trying to convince myself, and I guess I am, because like I said it's a lot of money. In fact, it's tempting to enrol on a short course somewhere, become an official student for a couple of months, and buy it at its student price of £190. Dudes, those price differences are crazy. Hmm.

Stepping away from monetary dilemmas for a moment, a friend recently told me about a new dark fantasy online action RPG called Path of Exile. It's still in beta and it's free to play. I've frolicked in the game a little, though I'm still not sure if I'm a MMORPGer. There are elements that I love—it's visually beautiful, and the character class system not only offers the usual types (warrior, rogue and mage) but also the option to pick a character that combines two classes (a roguish mage, for example). It's designed and built by Grinding Gear Games, a passionate team who understand how complex games work. On the other hand, it's a steep learning curve if, like me, you're not so familiar with the mechanics of desktop roleplaying. And so far there's no support for Mac users. Still, I am recommending it, as I prefer it far more than I did my brief stint in World of Warcraft. Check out the trailer here.

Gradually chipping away at Final Fantasy XIII again. Some of the battles are difficult, and some combat sequences with lower level baddies go on for way too long, but I still adore the characters and their progression, and my god, it's still so gorgeous. Who knows, I might get a bit further through it than chapter 8 this time!

7 Grammatical Errors That Aren't - from Daily Writing Tips. Breaking rules is fun, especially when the rules aren't really rules.

25+ Pieces of Writing Software You Should Know About - Again from Daily Writing Tips.

Walkin' On The Sun, by Smash Mouth.
18th-Apr-2011 02:52 pm - Oh hi! Writing, and Final Fantasy.
jenniferkoliver: (FFVII | Sephiroth)
Took a little step back this past week so I could get some re-writing and polishing done on a couple of short stories, as well as continue to tap away at the Big WIP. One short piece is almost ready to go, and I'm feeling that nervous-squee I get just before submission time. The second story is a revision of a piece I wrote last summer that received helpful feedback from a couple of magazines. It wasn't quite there, you know? But I think it's tighter now, eight months on, and after one more round of beta reading it'll be ready to skate out into the wide world again.

I was thinking, sometimes it's really tempting to re-tweak and re-vamp a piece over and over. That's one of the downsides to progressing as a writer—you can get hung up on old stories. Do any of you read your older works, published or unpublished? I try not to. Otherwise, yeah. Obsession.

There's been much sorting out of the local writing group, too. We now have about 10 people interested in joining and it just keeps growing. At this rate we're going to have to hire out Wembley Stadium to fit everyone in. :)

I've also been sucked helplessly into the marvel that is Final Fantasy XIII on the PS3, a beautiful game packed with action, angst, and loads of weird monsters. Here is a trailer. Isn't it gorgeous? I'm on chapter 9 and already attached to a couple of the characters. I just hope this doesn't end up the same way Dragon Age Origins did—in the freezer, because I couldn't bear to let it end!
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