Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My Thoughts on Alchemystic, A Novel By Anton Strout

Warning: If you have not read the book, there may be spoilers in this post.

 So I just finished reading Alchemystic –Book One of the Spellmason Chronicles- authored by the Uber-Diva Anton Strout, and I’ve got to say, it was a pretty darn good read!  It has a lot of my favorite elements, fantasy, magic, problem solving, creatures and nerds….well, a nerd....named Marshall.  But before I begin with the main theme of this post, please enjoy this slight run-down of Alchemystic....

Lexi is an early 20-something New Yorker with a passion and aptitude to create art.  She comes from a long line of real estate moguls starting with her great-great-grandfather, Alexander, who had a gift for building design and turning stone into artwork.  She's obsessed with her great-great-grandfather's history, creativity, and knowledge, but she doesn’t know the extent of that knowledge until she finds herself in a dire situation.  Only after she is attacked by members of a group who's only goal is to see her family bloodline end, does she cross paths with her families protector, Stanis.  Stanis is a 7 foot tall stone gargoyle with bat-like wings that stretch as wide as he is tall.  He has remained perpetually perched atop The Belarus building, home to Lexi and her family, built by Alexander.  No one else in the family knows about Stanis because he has two rules he must follow; 1. Don't talk about gargoyle club and 2. Don't talk about gargoyle club........just messing with ya! :D   No, but seriously...he can't talk about gargoyle club.  :[    The two rules he must always follow are 1) protect the family and 2) keep hidden from humanity.  After breaking the second rule by accidentally allowing Lexi to see him, he becomes more lax with rule numero two and the fierce-some foursome is formed once Lexi's bestie since early childhood Rory, and Rory’s RPG’er expert roommate Marshall join the team.  Adventures ensue! 

I love this book because it has that video game feel to it.  There are quests and puzzles, missions and battles, and a divert cast of characters.  One of the main goals of the story is to find the four soul stones that are missing from indents on Stanis' chest.  Once all four stones are found, it will make him complete and allow him to remember everything in his past and ultimately make him stronger in body and mind.  To find each stone, which have been scattered and hidden away by Alexander years ago, Lexi must solve clues and puzzles by scrutinizing Alexanders personal notebooks.....which there are a lot of!  With each stone they find and plant into it’s rightful place on Stanis’ chest, his memory heightens, he remembers new emotions and becomes more and more like the humans he is suppose to hide himself from.  Of course while all this is going on, evil is afoot.  Any good story has a hardened villain and this one is no different.  

Kejetan Ruthenia once a man who was seeking out the mystery to eternal life, is bound in an unfamiliar form.  He blames Alexander for his troubles and gripes that Alexander used his powers back in the day to do unholy things.......pfft, everyone thinks they're the good guy, right?  Well Kejetan has a group of minions called the Servants of Ruthenia, identified by a blotchy tattoo on their hand and always bearing a white handled dagger that they use to try to assassinate Lexi.  The Belarus clan and the Servants of Ruthenia go back generations and I don't want to say much more and ruin it for everyone, so that’s all the plot you’re getting outta me.  You have to purchase your own copy and read the exciting details and how they unfold……if they unfold…....dun dun duuuunnn…

Any who, on to MY thoughts!  I'm not sure how I came to these thoughts, probably cause I’m replaying the original Final Fantasy, which is my favorite video RPG series ever…..EVER!  And it’s probably cause while reading all I could think with each turn of the page was “damn, this would make a freakin' awesome video game!”   Coming from someone who was attached to the family Atari 5200 control pad/joy stick since about the time I started to waddle from the couch to the game consoles power switch, that is a top of the line compliment!  So my mind decided to classify the four main characters of this lovely story into RPG form.  I know, I know, there are a lot of RPG classes to choose from that I didn't even touch, but I decided to stay along the old school Final Fantasy classes.  I didn't assign any EXP <, that means experience points>  in each categorey, 'cause...that seemed too hard.....and i'm kinda lazy.  This is what I have come up with for Stanis, Lexi, Rory and Marshall.

Stanis: Warrior 
HP:Very High
MP: Moderate
Attack:Very High
Magical Attack: Low
Strength: Very High
                     Defense: Very High
                     Dexterity: High
                     Speed: High
Since he is a stone gargoyle or grotesque as he likes to be called, Stanis has incredible strength, speed, and defense.  He is a protector and the ultimate warrior, his defense against non-magic adversary's is almost undefeatable.  He does however have a minor weakness to some magical creatures that can chip away at the stone.  He is very strong and very protective when it comes to Lexi, but his protectiveness when it comes to Rory and Marshall can be questionable under certain situations, since they are not official Belarus'ses's. <What would be the plural for that?  Belari?>  Protecting Lexi and family is his first priority, second is his need to stay hidden from human eyes, which can make it difficult for him to participate in certain quests.

Alexandra Belarus-aka Lexi: Mage
HP: Moderate to High
MP: High
Attack: Low to Moderate
Magical Attack: High
Strength: Moderate
Defense: Moderate to High
Dexterity: Moderate
                                      Speed: Moderate
Lexi is just learning to play with magic which can be used as defense and offense.  Her magical skill is spellmasonary, so as long as she has rocks to throw around, she has a pretty good attack.  Her magical skills can also be used defensively.....if attacked by a pile of stone rubble.  Her physical attacks are not the greatest, but what she lacks, she make up in bravery and her budding magic skills which continue to grow.

Aurora Torres-aka Rory: Thief/Rogue
HP: High
MP: Low
Attack: High
Magical Attack: Low
Strength: High
                      Defense: Moderate
                      Dexterity: Very High
                      Speed: Very High
Thanks to her dance training, Rory is swift and nimble, giving her an edge in eluding the enemy.  She has muscles that she knows how to use and has a very imaginative fighting style.  She’s a climber and knows how to move her body to avoid or strengthen attacks, and she is not afraid of a fight.  Her feisty attitude makes her a great ally.  Plus she's found that she really digs fighting with a pole-arm, the only one in the group to carry an actual weapon.

Marshall Blackmoore- Rogue White Mage
HP: Low
MP: Low
Attack: Low to Moderate
Magical Attack: Low
Strength: Moderate
                      Defense: Moderate
                      Dexterity: Low
                      Speed: Moderate
                      Intelligence: High
Marshall was hard to class.  He's not the typical fighter, and he's technically not a Mage, but he has minor strengths in both categories, so I made up a class for him.  I filtered him into a White Mage category, though he doesn't do magic or heal, White Mages are normally the weaker of the group excelling in non-traditional skills.  His skills include preparedness, he's always got his backpack filled with PowerBars, in case they get hungry during a quest, which if you think about it, counts as healing.  He's healing their stomachs from rumbling, right?  He also creates light in dark places (flashlights) and always has rope on hand thanks to his intelligent thinking and homage to Samwise Gamgee.  He's not the most nimble of folk, but what he lacks in physical strength, he makes up with intelligence.

So that's how I would class the characters of Alchemystic.  And yes i do realize that my nerds points have probally doubled.  But ya know what?  I think i'm ok with that.   So now that we have the characters classed, we just need to find a computer genius to make this happen!.......please?.......anyone?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Han Solo: The Man, The Myth, The Scruffy Looking Nerf-herder, and The Crap That Comes Out Of His Mouth.

 *Language may not be approved by some, you've be warned...

Han's got a way with words, always has, always will. He's the true master of sarcasm!  But lets face it, he can be kinda mean. I thought it'd be interesting to take some of his most beloved quotes and rework them a bit so he doesn't come off sounding like such a douche all the time. After re-reading this though, I have to admit, he still sounds like a douche, but a more civilized douche, almost summer's eve-y. Yeah I know, there is no way to improve that magic he spins from between those lips of his, but like I've told you all before, this is my blog, and these are the thoughts churning through my brain at this moment, so just go with it.

::In regards to Obi-wan “Ben” Kenobi::
Luke: Ben is a great man.

What Han Said:
Yeah, great at getting us into trouble.

What Han Should Have Said:
With great men comes great responsibility. I hope this Ben takes this into consideration before he throws us all willy-nilly into unseemly situations.

::In regards to plans after escaping The Death Star::
Leia:It's not over yet.

What Han Said:
It is for me, sister. Look, I ain't in this for your revolution, and I'm not in it for you, Princess. I expect to be well paid. I'm in it for the money.

What Han Should Have Said:
I regret to inform you that once we have you safely secured at a location of your choosing, I must be on my way. I'm a lover not a fighter, and I especially love money...hint, hint, wink, wink. I have some debts to pay off, I have some money?

::In regards to Leia totally burning Han::
Chewie: ::laughing in Wookineese::

What Han Said:
Laugh it up fuzzball!

What Han Should Have Said:
Chewie, it really hurts my feelings that you would take the princesses side over mine. You do after all owe me a life debt, and I feel it is unnecessary and disrespectful for you to carry on this way........fuzzball.

::In regards to Luke finally getting his shit together and blasting a fighter::
Luke: I got one!

What Han Said:
Great kid, don't get cocky!

What Han Should Have Said:
Great job Luke m' boy! There are still some fighters flying about out there, so lets concentrate on defeating them, then we'll celebrate. No one likes a penis-y fly-boy.

::In regards to Han running off to danger, to save his friend::
Hoth Rebel Base Dude:Your Tauntaun will freeze before you hit the first marker!

What Han Said:
Then I'll see you in Hell!

What Han Should Have Said:
Thanks for your concern guy, but my buddy is still out there. Since he blew up the Death Star and is considered a big hero and all, I think we owe it to him to try to search. If by chance my Tauntaun does indeed freeze before the first marker, you can find me in Hell if you need anything. Until then I bid you adieu.

::In regards to Han trying to woo the Princess by angering her::
Leia: I'd just as soon kiss a Wookiee

What Han Said:
I can arrange that. You could use a good kiss!

What Han Should Have Said:
Princess you seem a little stressed by the fact that I will shortly be leaving this hidden rebel base. I don't know if you noticed, but Chewie seems to be standing right under a mistletoe. I wouldn't pass up this opportunity, you know what they say “Once you go Wookiee, everyone else just seems like a Rookie”. I can put in a good word for you if you like.

::In regards to that scene where Leia says I love you, and Han totally blows her off::
Leia: I love you.

What Han Said:
I know.

What Han Should Have Said:
You do!? OMG! Omg! I love you too! If I wasn't about to be flash frozen in carbonite I would respectfully ask to escort you to the cantina of your choice for a meal, and possibly a movie....if we have time. Would you please instead allow Chewie to take my place on an awesome galactic date?

::In regards to the gang about to get capped on Tatooine::
Luke: There's nothing to see. I used to live here, you know.

What Han Said:
You're going to die here, you know. Convenient.

What Han Should Have Said:
You lived here? How about that, the circle of life! From where you started shall be where you end. Neat huh?

::In regards to Luke being a wuss cause he's afraid his daddy's going to catch him::
Luke:Vader's on that ship.

What Han Said:
Now don't get jittery, Luke. There are a lot of command ships. Keep your distance, though, Chewie, but don't look like you're trying to keeping your distance. ::insert Chewie growl here:: I don't know. Fly casual.

What Han Should Have Said:
Calm down there Skippy. This isn't all about you ya know, there are many, many command ships spread through out this vast galaxy, which is far, far away, the odds of your dad being on one of these, right here in front of us are......3-PO, what would the odds be? Wait! Forget i asked, never tell me the odds! Anyway, Luke if it'll make you feel better, we'll try to stay as far from them as possible. We don't want them to know that we know, that they might notice us shying away from them. Chewie, don't let those ships see that we're trying to keep our distance. ::insert Chewie growl here:: I don't know. Fly casual. <can't improve that last line, it's perfect just the way it is>

::In regards to C3-PO man-ing up and finally getting Luke and Han released from the Ewoks spit grill::
C3-PO:He says the scouts are going to show us the quickest way to the shield generator.

What Han Said:
Good. How far is it? Ask him.....We need some fresh supplies too......Try and get our weapons back.....Hurry up, will ya? Haven't got all day!

What Han Should Have Said:
Good. How far is it? Ask him.....We need some fresh supplies too......Try and get our weapons back.....Hurry up, will ya? Haven't got all day! <3-PO is a spaz and deserves Hans rude abruptness>

My brain hurts now. Good night or day til next time....Adieu

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Tribute To Davy Jones

I write some silly stuff on this blog, this post being no exception. Usually i don't care if i offend, everyone has their own sense of humor - to each their own, but this time is different.  I just wanted to mention that I write this post not to belittle or make fun, but with the utmost love and respect to Davy Jones.  That being said, this is my way of paying tribute to one of the first stars to turn me into a crazy fangirl.

Today I heard the heartbreaking news that my first crush ever....well first celebrity crush, had passed away. Though it's been many years since I've listened to an album, or watched their silly TV show, it seems like just yesterday I was a little girl, not even in my double digits yet, sitting on our rickety homemade wooden desk chair listening to a Monkee's cassette tape in my walkman, while doing my homework. (Sidebar: for you young-ins, a walkman is kinda like an ipod, except it only played local radio stations or cassette tapes. Also cassette tapes are small rectangular plastic cases, holding a reel of recorded tape, hence the name cassette tape.....kinda like a VHS tape only for sound not video....but if you young-ins don't know what that is, then I give up, you'll just have to google it to find out) But i digress....Even though it's been well over 20 years since i was that obsessed little girl, I can still remember the lyrics and melodies to all my favorite songs. Davy Jones was always my favorite Monkee, the world will miss him terribly, especially Marsha Brady who will never get to live her dream of becoming Mrs. Davy Jones....though i woulda fought her tooth and nail for that title.

Most of my Monkee Mania memories are from when i was in girl scouts. My troop was divided right down the middle, you were either a Monkee's fan, or a Beatles fan. I was totally Team Monkee's....this was of course way before I realized how awesome the Beatles are, I now have room in my heart for both bands. The Team Beatles in my troop used to say that The Monkees weren't a real band because "The Powers That Be" picked these four gents out of hundreds to form a dynamic group of musicians and actors.  It was because they had a TV show, they argued, that they were actors not musicians! They'd yell this over and over again at us while pummeling us with boxes of thin mints. (Girls Scouts can get mean! For real! I have a story for another time about a 5 year old putting a hit out on me for her cookie money)   All I gotta say about their argument, which technically couldn't be my argument in 1985 but we won't worry about that detail right now.  My argument is, what's the difference between someone creating a band for a TV show or some head honcho creating roving bands of baby-faced-boys-meant-to-drive-teenage-girls-all-lusty-and-ready-to-spend-all-their-hard-earned-cash-that-they-begged-out-of-their-parents-on-assorted-band-paraphernalia?  Yeah, NKOTB, Backstreet Boys, InSync I'm looking right at you.  At least the Monkees could play their own instruments, and they even got to write some of their own songs! Plus their songs were catchy! Try listening to Last Train to Clarksville and not sing along. I dare you sir or madame! I......Dare.......You!

O'kay, since I'm feeling a bit on the over-dramatic side right now, I'm gonna go light a candle and shed a tear or two for one of my all time/ life time favorite singer and heartthrob, Mr. Davy Jones.  I will leave you with this clip provided by You Tube of my favorite Davy Jones moment.  So press play, stick your thumbs way up and sway back and forth to the awesomeness that is Davy Jones! 

I'll Miss You Davy! RIP
Davy Jones, look what you've done to me,
Me, and my whole world,
Davy Jones, you brought the sun to me,
With your smile, you did it Davy Jones,

I'm telling you Davy Jones, something unknown to me,
Makes you what you are,
And what you are is all I could ask for me,
And its good to feel that way Davy Jones.

Thank you Davy Jones, for making the morning brighter
Davy Jones for making the night time nicer
Davy Jones for making a better world for me.

I'm telling you Davy Jones, something unknown to me,
Makes you what you are,
And what you are is all I could ask for me,
And its good to feel that way Davy Jones.

Thank you Davy Jones, for making the morning brighter
Davy Jones for making the night time nicer
Davy Jones for making a better world for me.

Thank you Davy Jones, for making the winter warmer
Davy Jones, for making the music softer,
Davy Jones, for making a better world for me!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My Poetic Poem or The Night of the Snart

Twas a cold winter's night, on a search out for pants
I started at Kohl's for nowhere else would I stand a chance
The aisles were crowded with shoppers and racks
The jeans and folded t-shirts were piled up in stacks

I wandered around finding nothing of taste
I was starting to feel like this trip was a waste
But across the room I saw a shining beacon of light
A whole bunch of pants that for me were just right

I meandered and wandered my way through the maze
Pushing through woman and children and some dude named Dave
When all of a sudden I stopped with a start
For the Woman in front of me had just ripped a Snart!

First came the sneeze, and then a loud pop
I couldn't believe it my heart almost stopped
I tried to be mature and stifle my chuckle
But alas I could not and had to leave on the double

So that's my story about the night of the Snart
I'll always remember it with fondness in my heart
Whenever I'm down and feel I've been booted
I'll just think of the woman who sneezed and then pooted