Tag Archives: astoria

More VN talk!

Heya! So good to be back posting again. My own fault, I had two half-finished blog posts (in notepad files!) waiting for me and I didn’t go back to them. Sorry about that, but I promise I will go back and finish those off probably tomorrow morning and tomorrow evening and there’ll be three posts (including this one) this weekend. And then…

Well, I realised that with the departures – we’ve got another person leaving the development team, and he’ll be leaving in July, to go with the one that’s leaving at the end of this month. And while people are saying we are gonna eventually replace the one that’s leaving in July, we’re still down to three developers in the whole development team. *sighs*

So… Undoubtably, I’m gonna be pretty busy every day at work right now, which means I’m gonna have to make doubly sure that I make the most of my time. Unfortunately, I did also have a bad headache on Thursday, which didn’t help. But Friday, and today… I’ve been getting on with things, and I feel good about getting on with it all.

Basically, I’ve got almost everything that was on my to-do list crossed off. And it’s only Saturday evening! *grins* Was almost expecting it to take until tomorrow morning before I could do it all.

Anyway… One of the things that I had to do – not that I particularly wanted to do it – was to transfer my VN data from the standalone AmeMix applications – Astoria and all that – because they were gonna close those applications down and just have LoveStruck around. The reason being, basically, they’re a small team and they felt they couldn’t really manage maintenance on three standalone apps and the main one that they’re working on now. And, to be fair, I can understand that. I dun know enough about game development to know how much maintenance work they need to do on standalone apps, but considering that Google and Apple are always improving their systems, I guess it probably makes sense that, at the very least, with every upgrade they need to make sure it all still work and everything else.

The good news is, since I first posted about LoveStruck, AmeMix has – very kindly, I thought – decided that the best way to allow those, like me, who bought those stand-alone apps in the first place would be to allow us to read those stories in one go and making whatever choice we want to make, with the need to spend tickets or “hearts” for premium choices. I tried it with another stand-alone app first (Castaway, in fact), before I risked transferring over my Astoria data, and thankfully it all works fine. I’m currently going through Medusa’s story. Again. For about the twelfth (had to look it up – didn’t think “twelveth” looked right…!) time. *hee*

It is different, there’s been a few minor modifications, and the way they handle the change from three sets of six episodes each (plus one free prologue) in one chapter to something like 19 episodes in one chapter means that you don’t get to see the meter that tells you whether or not you’re making the right choices for the passionate ending (if we still even have passionate or thrilling endings any more – I’m currently about two-thirds of the way through the first chapter, and those point of views are now a separate selection in the app) and the fact that you can’t pick to re-read individual episodes any more is a bit of a pain, but… That’s the way it goes. *shrugs* I’m just happy that I’m still allowed to just sit down and read my Medusa stories all the way through without having to wait for tickets or whatever to recharge.

I still don’t think I’m gonna be using the tickets or anything else for the other books – much as I’d like to read Aurora’s last chapter or Serena’s last chapter – because the problem I mentioned before still stands. But as long as I’ve got Medusa… That’s the one that I really really love. And I love being able to read it all. 🙂

What I would’ve suggested is that the developers of these VNs – not just AmeMix but Pixelberry Games and so on – allows the reader choices. In other words, to either be able to read it for free and spend credit for premium choices, -or- allow the read to pay a fixed price upfront and be able to read it all without having to wait or anything. I know if I had that choice, I’d be buying stories from both teams like a shot.

And some stories need that option. I got lost with a couple of Pixelberry’s stories, just couldn’t remember what was going on.

Ahh… I still wish Medusa existed for real. *grins* Oh well… One day, I’ll meet my own Medusa! 😀

Something else I’ve noticed… Every time I see one of those films or whatever that features Medusa, I’m like… “Leave my wife alone!” *lol* I knew… Hmm… Possibly when I was about 10 or 11 that the original story I’d read and seen on telly and all had been… amended… from what the apparent original version was (I say apparent, because we are talking about a story from over 2000 years ago, which had been amended and expanded upon probably numerous times), and since learning that, I had a lot of sympathy for Medusa. But after reading those stories… Yeah. I’m pretty much now completely on Medusa’s side.

I’ve never really been fond of the Greek Gods, especially Zeus, for fairly obvious reasons. I do sometimes wonder just why the writers of those mythologies decided to make the gods the way they were… But then again, those stories have lasted this long, so… Yeah.

Okay, well… I’ll stop here for now. Like I say, I will make another blog post tomorrow morning. Just have to pick one of the notepad files to finish off first! *grins* Probably the one about football, leave the politics one until the evening. In the meantime… Hope to see you soon!

I’m back~~~! And ranting about VNs!

Heya guys! I’m back! *grins*

Not that any of you missed me, I’m sure, you’re all probably just sat there, going, “Huh? Were you gone for a while?” and all that… Hmph!

*grins* No worries, I’m just glad to be back. The week at work and all just took much longer than I expected, and a lot more out of me than I thought it would. Technically, I was all finished with everything from about 3, 4pm yesterday (Sunday)? But I was so tired that I just went to bed and basically ended up alternating between sleeping and reading old Beanos. *hee*

But now, I’m all refreshed and everything! Just in time for probably another long week at work… *groans* *lol* Never mind. Hopefully, from now on, I can really keep everything going as I want it to, with this, and twitter, and everything else.

I had a weird dream overnight, though… I dreamt I basically woke up and as I got out of my room – thankfully, I was wearing a dressing gown and all – I saw people trying to get into my place (which isn’t this flat, nor is it the house I’m hopefully getting, but something larger, with a big garden and all that) before someone came up and pointed them to go somewhere else. Like, up the stairs and all. And then that person came in and started walking towards the kitchen, and I’m like, “Umm… Who are you, and what’s going on?” and he (yes, it’s a he. *shudders*) said he was one of the helpers for the party. I asked what party, and he said the party in the garden. And sure enough, I looked out and saw what was frankly a mess. I asked him why was there a party in my garden and why were people going into my place, and he said “Oh, didn’t you know?”… *smh* Needless to say, in the dream I got a bit annoyed and started yelling at him.

For future reference, should I ever be in the position to have a decent-sized garden and all that: No, I will not be having or allowing any parties to go on where it’s basically full of people I dun know. The only parties I’m gonna have is gonna be with ladies that I actually know. And even then, it’s going to be rarer than a blue moon!

Weird dream, though. People having parties and not even bothering to tell me. I’d be upset about that if it wasn’t for the fact that I’m more or less kind of used to that treatment. (Honest, too many times, I genuinely don’t know what’s going on with anyone…)

Something that I saw this morning, though, and which did upset me a lot, is the news that Voltage AmeMix are transferring all their stories to a single application called LoveStruck. Where you get tickets, tokens, keys, whatever it’s called, and can only read up to two chapters at a time before having to wait hours for those tickets to be renewed so you can carry on reading.

And if you do transfer your stories over, you won’t be able to read your stories whenever you like anymore. You won’t even be able to read specific sections of it anymore.

That is, by far and away, the worst option of all. I also read PlayChoices – like the Freshman, Endless Summer, and so on – and while I do enjoy the stories, I loathes the limited choices of being able to read them. There are times that I just want to be able to go back to specific sections, or re-read blocks to remind myself of where I’d gotten to, and I can’t. You either have to start off all over again, or just plough on and hope that you’re not forgetting something.

I loved the way that Voltage AmeMix were doing their stories. Pay for a specific story once, and you can read everything in it, whenever you want to. You can read specific bits of it whenever you want to. Sure, it’s not “free”, but I’d rather pay more upfront and be given that choice to read whatever I wanna read, whenever I wanna read, instead of having that choice taken away from you. Being restricted to useless “tickets” and only being able to read small blocks at once… No. Thank. You.

There’s been times when I’ve been debating with myself whether to stop or continue reading PlayChoices, because as much as I liked the Freshman or Endless Summer or whatever… I find myself sometimes just wishing I could go back and read specific chapters and I can’t. And far too often, I just wish I could buy the whole story in one go and just be able to read it all from start to finish in one block. And I can’t do that either. I could with Astoria: Fate’s Kiss, or Castaway! but with their – quite frankly, stupid dumb ridiculous decision to switch over to LoveStruck…

…*shakes head* I’m sorry. Much as I love @SailorScooby and as much as I wanna support her and everyone else that she works with (or for – she’s just a junior producer, and it wouldn’t be her choice to move to this horrendous method), and help to contribute to keep AmeMix going with their wonderful stories – and the same goes for PlayChoices and their wonderful stories – this doesn’t work for me. I can barely remember what’s going on with Freshman (honestly, half of the stuff that I’ve read over the past few weeks, I dun even remember the buildup to it, and I feel like I’m losing half of the story all the time) Endless Summer is worse, quite honestly. I dun even remember what’s going on any more. The only reason I’ve been going on with them is because I’m stubborn and wanna get to the end of it. But…

I’m sorry, it just doesn’t work for me. I need to be able to keep reading the story, to be able to go back and re-read specific sections, remind myself of what’s going on (or *blushes* because I loved certain parts of the story… *cough*), and the switchover to tickets… I can’t do it. I’ve been debating for the past couple months to stop reading PlayChoices because it’s not working for me. Only reason I haven’t stopped is because I’m stubborn and I love reading about Kaitlyn and Quinn and Estela and all those.

I’m just really really glad that I was able to get every one of the Medusa stories from Astoria: Fate’s Kiss before that switchover. Shame I’m not gonna be able to get to the end of Serena’s story in Castaway! or Aurora’s story in Gangsters, but… *shakes head* Like I say, I want to, and I wanna support AmeMix and all those people that write those lovely VNs, but… That sort of method of delivering stories just doesn’t work for me. And I can’t keep doing it, it’s not helping me.

I’m not gonna stop following @SailorScooby or giving her all the support I can, because I think she’s a genuinely lovely lady, someone that I love following and I love reading her views, pretty much most or all of which completely resonates with me and what I think (or seeing her retweets of beautiful cats! *grins*). It’s just that I just can’t work with the worst method ever of how to get people to read their stories anymore.

As for PlayChoices… *shrugs* Same thing. I’m probably gonna keep struggling through with Freshman (quite honestly, much as I love Endless Summer, I’ve lost track of what’s going on now, and to catch up I’d need to start all over again and read two chapters at a time before waiting like 4 hours for the keys to be refreshed to read another two chapters…) and hope that I can remember enough of it.

I just wish these companies would give us the choice to be able to buy the whole story and allow us to read the whole story in one block. You know, like how Voltage AmeMix used to with Astoria: Fate’s Kiss and all that?

But I’m just a lonely voice in a sea of “give us everything for free!”. I dun mind paying for things that I love, I dun mind buying stuff when I know it’ll support the companies, I just wish they’d pander to those of us that wouldn’t mind buying these stories and everything else as well as giving options to those who want things for free and dun mind or can cope with the worst method ever of releasing their stories.

Busy weekend!

Heya guys! Today was a good day. Busy, but good. I’ve been spending a few hours just going through piles of papers – and, yes, guys, I did find the pieces of paper with the knee exercises on them, and I’m gonna start doing those from tomorrow! – and cleaning up a few things that’s been left alone for a few weeks now.

Plus, I finally got round to cleaning up the laptop that I’m gonna be throwing out. Kind of. The hard drive’s gonna be destroyed, but the rest of it can just go to the tip. It’s old. It’s about 10, 12 years old, it’s got Windows Vista on it, and I haven’t used to do anything except play Civilization on it (and that was pretty much Civ 2) for the past couple years, ever since it’d started breaking up… And since it’s now more or less falling apart… Yeah. Just gave everything a quick look, did a clean re-install (better safe than sorry, right? – and yes, I know some of the data from years back will still be on there, which is why the hard drive will also get destroyed soon enough) and… Yeah. I’m now down to just my old netbook.

I was hoping to get a new computer late last year, but… *shakes head* What with one thing and another, that kinda got put on the backburner for a little while. Hopefully, sometimes later this year, once I’d (hopefully!) get the house sorted out and settled down and everything.

Plus… I was asking my bestie – who knows more about computers than I do – for advice on what computer to get and she recommended this, like 15in screen behemoth for me, and I’m like, “Hang on, Imma only gonna use it for writing and internet browsing!” *lol* I wanted something smaller, like my netbook is, or a little bit bigger. I like having a small computer, quite honestly. I spend hours just tapping away at the keyboard writing, and it’s just easy with this.

Also, she recommended a lenovo, or something like that. I gotta admit, while I’m sure they do make good computers, I’m a bit wary of a company that would deliberately put malware on their own computers. Who’s to say they won’t be trying something like that again?

So… Yeah. Basically, that’s been put on the backburner for now. That, and a new mobile phone. Hopefully, I’ll get them by the end of the year. That’s the plan, anyway. That, and maybe a Nintendo Switch? Depends on what other games will come out for it in the new few months. There’s only a couple of games out for it that I wouldn’t mind playing at the moment, and that’s not enough for me.

But, yeah, going back to computers… The laptop that I had, my dad originally bought it for me because I was getting into computer programming because I didn’t really have any other choice (as people would tell me, it’s a lot of luck to make it as a writer) and it was something that I moderately liked back then (I was still a teenager then… Sheesh!), and my dad thought it might be useful for me to help me learn to be a programmer. And indeed, I did use it for programming for a few years. Your standard free stuff – SQL Express, Visual Studio Express (like I could afford the few thousands or whatever it all cost!) and all that. But… Yeah. I was struggling through depression and all, so it only really became me using SQL Express and getting into work using SQL Server coding and the like. (I know, I have no idea how I’d got through uni and all…)

So, really, it’s kind of a legacy from the past that isn’t really me anymore. And since it’s now breaking apart… Well, it’s kind of time to get rid of it. Way past time, actually, but there you go.

And I dun feel bad about it or anything. *shrugs* I know sometimes people get a bit sad, as if it’s like losing a friend or something, but… Yeah. I think it’s because it does sometimes makes me think about the past and all that lost time. I kind of want to just leave it all behind me, move on and try to shape my future to be what I want it to be.

There’s a few more things I have left to do, but I can get on with them tomorrow! 🙂

The best news, though, is the fact that I found out that there was a Medusa story I hadn’t read in Astoria: Fate’s Kiss. I dunno how I missed it, though. I means, it’s one of the very first special stories that’s part of the VN, so… *shakes head* Still, I’m really glad I spotted it, and bought it. Mmm… Medusa, Medusa…

Yeah, I know, I know… But one day, I’ll meet my very own real-life Medusa! I just need to make sure that when I do, I’m as ready as I can be! 🙂

Okay… Gonna post this and then… Hmm… Play a game, read a book? I’ll see what I feel like when I log off this computer! See you guys soon!

The “library” dream is over… *grins*

Heya guys! How goes the week so far? Hopefully it’s all going really lovely for you!

Me… Well, work is work – so its normal fun-filled self *rolls eyes* *lol* – and these past couple of evenings, I’ve been casting an eye over some of the books I’ve got, trying to decide if I’m getting rid of them or not. At the moment, the number of books that might be leaving my shelves is closer to 100 than 50. *lol* I did say I had a goodly number of books…! (I’ve never actually counted how many I’ve got…)

But honest… I think – well, put it this way. I know my reading preferences has changed as a result of my depression – there’s a few fantasy / horror books that I’d bought with the intention of reading whenever, but nowadays, I’m just more into otome visual novels and the like. I will gladly read Astoria over and over and over again, rather than go to the shelf, pick out a book I hadn’t read, and read that. And right now, and it’s been this way for ages, I have absolutely no intention of taking those books I haven’t read down and reading them. And if I don’t think I’m ever going to, well… What’s the point in keeping them?

I know the fact that I have books that I haven’t read sounds a bit silly, but that’s the way it’s been for me. And who knows… It might also be the fact that I’m in my late twenties now, and I have been battling depression for a long time, on and off (we’re talking, like, from teenage years). And people’s tastes do change so… Yeah.

The other thing is, I’m not entirely sure I really want to have that much of a library any more. When I was younger, I had dreams of being able to have a room that I’d be calling my “library” with walls covered in shelves of books and a nice comfortable reading area, where I’d curl up into a corner seat, next to a window or light source and just read, letting the time past… And of course, my girlfriend would be right there, her head on my lap, or mine on hers, and we’d just be happy together.

And now… *shakes head* Well, after this, I’ll still have like three big bookshelves mostly filled with books but I can’t really see myself going out and buying that many any more. Not because I dun want to read – of course I do – but because I really do need to check everything out, and I gotta be careful. So that dream of having a “library” is over, quite honest. Maybe a writing area / library, but that’s probably the extent of that these days. Which makes sense, because if I’m gonna be referring to reference books every now and then for my stories, might as well have them in the same room as me, right? *grins*

I was actually at the bookshop this lunchtime – I was on my way back from the bank (I know, I shouldn’t be walking that much with this knee, but didn’t really have a choice…) – and I’d picked a book up because it seemed interesting, but reading the bit on the back made me think again, because I just felt it wasn’t something that I could read. And there wasn’t anything else that I thought looked interesting enough for me to grab.

Thinking about it, I’d need to count, but if I don’t include otome visual novels, I would say I’ve bought less than 10 books this year. Which is a massive difference – in past years, the number of books I’d buy would be much, much higher than that. (Which probably explains why I had so many books in the first place…! *grins*)

So far, about the only genre of books that I haven’t felt the need to get rid of is the mythological and ancient history section (Although those “ancient history books” are still more mythological than actual ancient history). And that, probably because of the fact that I sometimes refers to them when I was putting together my story universe. At the moment, the stories I’m writing aren’t really relating to the myths and legends of time past, but I’m sure they’ll be back soon enough!

Oh, and I picked out some more DVDs to get rid of. I had a bunch of DeathNote anime, and I wasn’t sure about them. Decided to put the first disc in last night, and try watching that… *sighs* *shakes head* It’s just not something that I feel good about watching any more. So those are on the out pile.

I’ve still got Chrono Crusade, Final Fantasy Unlimited, Noir and Madlax for anime, though. I still like them and can watch them! *lol* Dunno why those were fine and not DeathNote, but there you go!

…Well, if I had to guess, I’d say it’s because they have light or funny moments, or moments where there’s a pause. Take Noir, for example, it’s about two lady assassins, more or less, but there’s times where they just sit, have dinner, talk, paint, have tea in moonlight, that kind of thing.

I don’t remember seeing all of DeathNote in the past, but the four episodes I saw yesterday just felt relentless (despite the lack of any real action in the anime) and I just felt tired and down just watching those.

About the only hobby-style thing that I’ve kept everything of is video games. And even on my tablet I’ve got rid of a few because I got bored with them (although they are free ones, so… No loss there!). About the only games that I’ve got on there are like Pixelberry’s games (High School Story and Hollywood U) and a couple of others that I have every intention of going back to. Otherwise, apart from that, I’ve got three VNs – Astoria, Castaway! (both from Voltage USA) and The Freshman (PlayChoices – I have zero interest in any of their other stories so far).

But all the Spectrum and consoles games I’ve got, I’m keeping. I just need to hope that when I do get a wonderful, loving, caring, beautiful girlfriend, and we move in together, I can persuade her to let me have a retro corner for my old Spectrum and consoles…! *grins*

I’m sure she’ll have her own hobbies, though, that’ll require the use of a room of her own, but I won’t care in the slightest! 😀 As long as I can come in and put my arms around her and everything every now and then, anyway! *hee* (Yes, I’m daydreaming! I’m allowed! 😀 )

So… There you go. A little bit more about my changing hobby preferences! *grins* Sorry if it’s a little disjointed, I got kind of side-tracked a bit by the news that Sam Allardyce has resigned as England manager, which I gotta say is a bit of a shock. I means, yeah, he made a massive mistake, but I was still expecting him to just get a slap on the wrist, not lose his job as manager of England.

I dun really have any sympathy for him, though. I means, yeah, he got stung – and I thought sting operations like that by media organisations were illegal now – but he should have never gotten himself in that situation in the first place. The only sympathy I have for him is the fact that when he became England manager you could see the enthuasism he had for the position, and to have that taken away from him after only one match… Yeah. It’s sad.

…Anyway. I’ll see you guys later this week! Might be Thursday, might be Friday. Depends on what happens! *grins* Oh, and I’ve got the physiotherapist tomorrow lunchtime. I’ve got a fair bit to tell her about the knee. Not much good news there, but we’ll see what happens tomorrow. I’m sure she’s got other ideas to try and get rid of the problem… Hopefully ones that will do the job! *grins*

All refreshed and ready to go!

Heya! How goes the weekend? Yesterday… Honestly, I was just really tired all day long so I ended up having a very early night and just slept on and off all night long. And now… I feel much better and fresher for it. It does means I’d basically wasted a precious half-day of the weekend but… Sometimes, you dun really get a choice.

I’m fine, by the way. I know I was feeling a little… cranky… on Friday, on Twitter. *lol* But that’s to be expected. I feel better now after the whole rest and all.

Still, my knee also feel better – the physiotherapist put tape on the knee to try and stop the kneecap moving (because she believes that the kneecap is irritating the cartilage or ligament or whatever it is she said that’s below the kneecap. Which is why there’s still swelling even after over 4 weeks now), but unfortunately, the effect it had on my knee seems to have been the opposite. My knee just felt worse after the tape thing and it has been clicking and everything else so… Friday evening, after work, I took the tape off. It just wasn’t working. But the knee was still fairly painful so the plans I had to do yesterday – which was mainly housework and the like – was kind of put off for a while. The only thing I did do was shopping, and that only because I had to – there were no food left in the fridge or freezer or anything! *lol*

Please note, I’m not blaming the physiotherapist, she was doing what she thought would help. It just ended up that it didn’t help here. I’m still doing the quad muscles exercises that she recommended I do, and I’ll be seeing her again on Wednesday and hopefully there’ll be something else that we can do instead.

She also says that because of the fact that it seems to be below the kneecap, it is likely that it’s gonna be another six weeks before it’s finally healed. Which is not fun. *sighs* But whatever… It’s just something that I’m gonna have to put up with and try and do everything people tell me to do so that it’ll heal up quicker.

I did get some looks and some comments at work last Wednesday, because I wore a dress… *smh* Honestly, I know I typically wear tops and jeans when I’m working, but I’m still a lady! I still have some dresses, and it was obvious that I was gonna wear one so that the physiotherapist could get to my knee without any problems… Sheesh… I bet you anything, they’re going be doing the same thing this upcoming Wednesday!

Today, I’m certainly planning to do some housework – I want to clean up the place, vacuum the floor and everything else – but I’m planning to do it a little bit at a time – like, one room at a time, and then rest and read and try and work my way towards getting the passionate ending for Serena in “Castaway: Love’s Adventures” (the latest Voltage Entertainment USA otome VN) – yes, the same company that made Astoria: Love’s Kiss. At the moment, I’m not all that enamoured with Serena like I was with Medusa, but the story is, at the moment, certainly interesting. A bit of a mystery going on and all. I certainly can’t wait for the two remaining chapters to come out. (One’s coming up Friday, the other’s the Friday afterwards).

My aim is to try and work out how to get that passionate ending. I did everything the way I think I would’ve responded (well… As close as I could, anyway!), but I got to about two notches below the passionate ending so… *grins* Gotta work out what I need to change to get it. So I’ll probably be doing an episode in between cleaning each room at a time. *nods* Probably works out right, I think… 5 rooms, 5 episodes remaining… (I’d done prologue and episode 1 already) Yeah. 🙂

Am I gonna be writing a proper review for Voltage’s visual novels? Probably not… See… The problem is, I’m only remotely interested in dating the lady. I have no idea what happened when you date one of the guys, and I don’t particularly care to. From what I’ve heard, there are differences, but… *shakes head* Still not enough for me to… want to read about “me” kissing and having sex with guys. *shudders at thought* *lol* Sorry, guys, like I said before, I have no problems being friends with you, but anything more than that… Eww! This girl’s definitely not interested!

I will probably try and write about it judging from the ones that I did read. Because I really do love them and the lady that was the main cause of putting together those stories is someone that does deserves a lot more accolade because she had to struggle to get a lesbian (or as she would put it, “WLW” – which is “women (who) love women”, which would cover not only lesbians but also bisexual ladies) route added in her first VN for Voltage – Queen’s Gambit (which I haven’t read, and which is gonna be removed soon), and I think that she deserves it for helping to give us stories that we would genuinely be interested in.

In the past, there really wasn’t that many for lesbians, or at least I couldn’t find many, and now with people like her (I only know her as SailorScooby), we are starting to get more choices available.

And Medusa, I think, is just wonderful. I need more time to decide if Serena is also wonderful, but I’m sure by the time I get through the other two upcoming chapters, I’ll be loving Serena as well! *grins*

I am so looking forward to when the fourth book for Medusa comes out – still got a whole month to wait, though. I know there’s a short story coming up, with Medusa and Aurora, and a possible love dilemma, but… Like I said on Twitter, I am almost ridiculously loyal to those that I love, even fictional characters, so the thought of “cheating” on Medusa… I honestly dun think I could ever bring myself to do that. Course, I could be reading too much into it, and there won’t be any choice like that to make. *grins* I hope not, anyway, because I know if there is, I’m just gonna be picking Medusa all the time! 😀

I will probably try and write something else tonight – I know I kind of wrote about it on Twitter, but there’s been happenings with the Labour leadership challenge here in the UK, not to mention all the stuff that’s been happening with the #BlackLivesMatter movement in the USA and the UK and so on that I kind of feel like I’ve been slightly neglecting my online campaigner status a little bit! *grins* So, I think I’m gonna be writing about that tonight. But first… Gonna get some breakfast, get ready for the day and then start cleaning and playing Castaway!

Hope you guys are okay, and see you soon!

Me and my deafness…

Heya guys! How’s the weekend going? Hopefully you’re doing really well and enjoying your free time. Or, if you’re working this weekend, hope it’s all going well!

Me… Well, as people can probably guess, reading my twitter and all, I’m still kind of obsessed over Astoria: Fate’s Kiss and Medusa and all that, but I’ve also been writing more short stories and scenarios. Most of what I’ve been doing is similar to “Cherise” – that is, there’s no traditional set-up, it’s all been about relationships and friendships and stuff like that. Most of it isn’t worth expanding on, to be honest, but I think most writers have these things… For every one idea that get expanded out into a story, there’s probably a few dozen rejected ideas. But what I’m doing with them is I’m writing them down and keeping them in the story folder. Just because they’re rejected now doesn’t means that the idea behind them should be rejected. There’s every chance that I could take some of those ideas and put it into one that I think is worth expanding on.

And it is that kind of freedom that I’ve been missing from my life for a long while. I’m enjoying it. As well as the Astoria Medusa stories and all! 😀

I haven’t been watching the Paralympics – it’s for the same reason that I tend not to watch the Olympics – I just don’t really have that much interest in those sort of thing. That doesn’t means that I don’t have any admiration for the paralympians – of course I do – just that I just don’t watch it.

But that made me think that I hadn’t actually spoken about my deafness in any great detail. I means, I’ve spoken about it in places here and there, but nothing that actually put it all together, so I thought I should mention something about that.

So… Hmm… Where’s to start?

Okay, I was born deaf, and it’s just one of those freak things that happens. There’s been no history of deafness in my family, and my mum didn’t have any serious illnesses over her pregnancy period. It’s just one of those things. The rest of my family are all hearing.

Due to that, at the time, it was thought it would be better for me to learn to speak English, if I could – certainly, when they tested me, (I honestly don’t know how, but I can say that when I had tests in my childhood and adult years, it’s basically wearing a set of headphones (without aids) and listening for various types of noises, and if you hear one, you push a button and from that, they work out what your hearing range is). Since my hearing range is between 90-100 decibels, they thought it would be possible for me to do that.

…Oh yeah, I should explain a bit about decibels. A normal hearing person typically hears in the 60-70 decibels range. When you’re talking with someone else, that’s the range that your voice’s in. For me, I wouldn’t be able to hear that normally. 90-100 decibels would be comparable to the noise produced by say, I dunno (I did look online for specific examples, but… Yeah.), but from my experience think about things like loud motorbike engines, or those drills used in roadworks and stuff like that. Those were on the edge of my hearing, but I could actually hear those.

Anyway… So, they fitted me with hearing aids and taught me how to speak English. I don’t really remember too much about it. I do remember having to have my hand touching the lip of the speaker when I was learning that young, to pick up on the vibrations.

The official classification of my deafness, by the way, is I have a profound hearing loss. But it’s basically the same thing. As far as I’m concerned, anyway. The only time I would ever say “I have a profound hearing loss” is when I would be applying for jobs. *crosses arms* Basically, the reason for that is, if I just said, “I’m deaf” in the e-mail or something, the reaction that people would get, with me, is that I can’t talk except with sign-language. Saying “I have a profound hearing loss”, sadly, is “better” to those people. And I’d still struggle with getting past that obstacle.

Yeah. Anyway… When I was a little girl, I couldn’t learn how to speak English normally, it had to be done in a different way. Even when I was 12, I was still having to have special lessons in how to speak English – although, by then, it was really only for words beginning with “S”. And that, because there are certain noises that a deaf person just cannot really pick up on. If you think about it, stretch the word out, you’ll realise that the S of, well, let’s use “say”. It’s basically a hiss “sss” and that “ay”. I cannot hear that hiss. So, before that, I was more or less subconsciously replacing the S with another letter. I think for “say” it was sounding more like “day” when I said it back then.

And I’m one of those that was one of the better ones that picked up on how to learn English.

So… I can speak English perfectly well. If there’s a word I don’t really know, I will try and say it, but I probably will need to be corrected in how to say it. While I’m thinking about Astoria, let me just use “Hades” as an example. The way I said it (and still do sometimes), is that I say it similar to “haze”, so it’s all one syllable. But one day, I was talking with my oldest brother about Final Fantasy VII, and I was telling him about how to beat Ruby Weapon, and I said “You’ve got to W-Summon Hades and then Knights of the Round”, and he said “What?” I repeated it, and he said “Haze?” I showed him what I was talking about, and he said “You pronounce it like Had-es not haze”. *shrugs* I don’t know if it is true or not, I think I’ve heard people use both forms of pronounciation, so… I don’t know.

So that’s the speaking side of things for me…

Hearing… Well, that’s a bit different. The way it works for me is a combination of hearing aids and lip-reading. And from when I had tests about it, it appears to be almost 75, 80% of my understanding comes from lip-reading. I know some people might be a little surprised at that, but for me and I would imagine other deaf people as well, that’s the main way we pick up on what people are saying. The “hearing” through our hearing aids are more used to give us some extra clues, due to the fact that when someone’s talking, there are words that basically looks the same when you just shape it with your mouth. Plus, not everyone really speak very clearly with their mouths – and some are worse than others – and stuff like facial features such as beards and the like… They can make it almost impossible.

The hearing aids, by the way, are pretty much just amplifiers. They just pick it up and make it louder so you can actually hear the noise. That, by the way, is one reason why a hearing person should not put on a deaf person’s hearing aid. If my hearings aids allow me to hear at the 90-100 range, what do you think it would sound like for a hearing person? It’s likely to hurt. And that’s an understatement.

But that’s all they do. And it’s all noise. I don’t know if it’s just me or not, but from my experience, a deaf person cannot focus their hearing like a hearing person. Think about a noisy environment, and you and someone else are talking in there. You’re doing it subconsciously, but hearing persons can kind of focus their hearing so they’ve have more chance of knowing what the other person is saying.

For me… If I had to try and listen to someone in a noisy environment, I wouldn’t be able to filter out the other noise and focus on the noise the other person is making.

So that’s a definite disadvantage for deaf people.

But going back to the whole combination of hearing aids and lip-reading. Unless you are very good at that kind of thing, I find that, with most people, I’m having to make guessworks a fair amount of time. I try and pick up what you’re saying, and then mentally, at the same time, I’m trying to fill in the blanks. And sometimes, you’re not really sure what the person said at all. Working out what someone say when the words you’ve got are like… I dunno, trying to think of an example… “Look … there”, if I had to guess, the missing word would probably be something like “over”. But if all I knew was “Look … …”, well… Yeah. Look what?

But that’s why, for me, the best way to talk to me is really, face me head-on, make sure I can see your lips, try and talk clearly – I don’t means talking louder or whatever, I means make sure you shape your mouth clearly, instead of mumbling. And if we can talk in a nice, quiet environment so every bit of noise that I get coming through my aids is from you, even better.

In an ideal situation like that, I’d say I’d probably get about 80% of the words straight off, and we can chat easily. Mumble, try and talk to me in a dark environment, or not looking at me, put us in a noisy environment, add extra people (because I’d have to keep looking from one to another, and in a natural conversation, you’re basically working out who’s talking, and focusing on them after they’ve started replying), stuff like that, and that percentage will go rocketing down. Even friends who known me for a long time make those sort of mistakes.

By the way, having just referred to group conversations, I need to point out the fact that that’s the main reason why I’m so quiet in those situations… I’m basically spending my time trying to work out who’s talking, what they’re saying, that I just don’t really have any chance to say anything myself. I really much rather be with a single person at a time, or when I’m out with groups, I’m talking to one person at a time, you know take her to one side and we’d just have our own conversation, rather than struggle to cope with everyone trying to talk to each other.

After a while, I do kind of tend to get used to how a person sounds, so there have been times when – for example, my family in my childhood – they’d talk to me from behind and you’ve got that memory of what those sounds are like, and you know pretty much what it is. But that’s really rare. Even in those situations, you’re always better off making it as easy as possible for me.

…Not all of my past and current friends and past girlfriends and the like were that good at that, I’d have to say…

My body did overcompensate for the fact that I’m deaf. I’m definitely more sensitive to touch and stuff like that. I feel vibrations a lot more than most. And… *grins* Yeah, I had a girlfriend once who took fullest advantage of that. *sheepish look* She was soo unfair to me… *lol* Enjoyed it, though! Hopefully, whoever my future girlfriend turns out to be, she’ll be even better than that one was. *dreams* *lol* Okay, okay, let’s move on! *hides face*

*ahem* I don’t know sign-language. My parents were all for me learning sign-language, but it was decided that it would be better to focus on my learning to speak English and everything else. Right now… Well, I would like to learn sign-language, and I think I will, but probably at the same time as my future girlfriend, just so that we can talk using BSL (British Sign Language) even if we’re in noisy places. I don’t want to be in a situation where we can’t talk with each other when we need to or anything.

I don’t know many other deaf people right now. I used to go to a deaf youth club when I was a teenager, so if I was gonna learn sign-language, it would’ve been best around then. Now… *shakes head* If I learnt it now, I’d only forget after a while, because there’s no-one else to talk with on a regular basis.

Hmm… I think that’s most everything. If you’ve got any questions, feel free to ask, I’m happy to answer them. *looks up* Okay, maybe not about that, that’s for my future girlfriend to find out and know! *hee* But anything else… *grins*

Hope you have a lovely day, and I’ll write again soon!

More Visual Novels!

Heya guys! Writing a little late tonight (or very early in the morning, whichever one you’d prefer! *grins*) – it’s currently, umm… Nearly 2am, on a Wednesday morning (it’s not Tuesday any more!) and thankfully, I dun have work tomorrow – I took the day off because I have to go and see the dentist for the bi-annual check-up. Not expecting anything worse than a clean and bit of plaque removal – I’m lucky in that I’ve never had any problems with my teeth (so far!) and I haven’t had any complaints in the mouth department (apart from the usual problems that most people get occasionally… you know, like biting your lip and all that)

Anyway, the appointment’s not until the afternoon, so… Yeah. I dun have to wake up early or anything, and… *looks sheepish* Well, to be fair, I kind of lost track of time. *hee* I was reading a VN called Astoria, and playing the Medusa path – which, obviously, is the only path I’m even remotely interested in… *grins* – and… Yeah, it’s confirmed. I am a complete and total and utter hopeless romantic at heart. Not that I think that’s a surprise to anyone that’s been reading my blog or twitter for any length of time…!

It really is so nice to imagine that there’s someone like Medusa out there, just waiting for me to walk into her life and all… Although… I will say I’d rather just have a nice straightforward romance with her instead of having to worry about investigating gods and monsters and the like… *grins*

…Although I have to say, my main story Universe – which I’ve put on the back-burner, but not discarded or anything (I still intends to come back to that sometimes…) – does have their fair share of supernatural beings, so I’ve obviously done a fair amount of research and writing background and information about a lot of them – including the Medusa of Greek mythology. A far cry from the Medusa of the story, I must say!

But yeah, point is… All the things that the main character and Medusa gets up to when they’re together – whether it’s in the bookstore, going out for meals, or staying in together… That’s what kept me tapping away at my tablet eager to read the next bit.

Is it a good story? Well… I know I tends to cry at the drop of a hat, and that’s been the case ever since one of my depression attacks some years ago, but… Yeah, I did have tears going down my face. Mostly happy tears, don’t worry!

…I also tends to get a little bit obsessive over certain things from time to time. There’s been many a time when I’ve obsessively compulsively pored through books or sat down and played a game non-stop, or… *sheepish grin* well, you know, gushing about this or that lady I’ve seen (I really do wish I had more confidence in myself to actually go talk to them, seriously… One day, I promise!). A few days later, and I’m kind of back to my normal self, as in, not obsessing or gushing about that, maybe something new, but whether there is or isn’t… I do tends not to stay in that mood for long. And, yes, my current obsession is over Astoria and Medusa. I couldn’t wait to get back from work and snuggle up in my chair and read more about Medusa and everything else. Plowed my way through book 2. *grins* No, honest, about the only break I had reading that book was to draw curtains and turns on the light.

I’ve finished book 1 and 2 now. There’s one more book to go, which I think will be done later today (Wednesday), and then after that… Well, it’ll stay on the tablet until I wanna read it again – and I’m pretty sure I want to. I did see an upcoming post in-game (they give you quite a bit of spoilers in their text…) about possible future releases, and the latest one said that book 4 is going to be about you expecting a baby. Well, I guess with 5 possible guys and only Medusa being the only lady you could choose to date, I suppose they thought they should go that next step, after what’s happened in book 2 and what I can see from their spoiler descriptions for book 3.

How that would work with Medusa, though… *shrugs* I dunno. Maybe a sperm donor or possibly an adoption. Be interesting to find out.

Edit: Okay, I’ve finished book 3 now. I’d read most of it in the bath… And if you really need any further proof that I can get so lost in a story I forget my surroundings… *sheepish look, biting my lip* When I put the tablet down, I’d suddenly realised that the bath water was cold. *lol* Checked the time, and believe me, you do NOT want to know how long I’d been in there…! *grins* I really did love the story so much, though… Being with Medusa and everything… My heart ached at times and leaped for joy at other times. I don’t want to give anything away, but trust me, it was wonderful.

I’ve read a few VN books by now. Some good, some… not so good. And what’s surprising is the differences in what you get. I’ve read VNs that were completely free and accessible right from the start. I’ve also read VNs that were mostly locked until you pay – and there’s different methods about those too. For example, the simpliest is a straightforward payment to unlock the whole story, there’s a payment to unlock individual books, chapters, whatever you want to call them. And then there’s those that are free, but gives you only a couple of tokens to open the next chapter with at any one time, with renewal phases typically being around 4 hours for each tokens.

…Honestly, I find the token thing a little restrictive. Especially if you can’t go back and read previous chapters again, after already getting that far. I find it more of a struggle to keep everything straight in my head with those.

For example, I’ve read the romance stories (as far as they’ve gotten, anyway) in Choices, and you have to wait 4 hours for each token renewal, with a maximum of two. Considering that the romance section has 20 chapters – including the special date one that I went on, with Kaitlyn – that’s a few days to wait to read everything again.

The one that I’ve been struggling to read currently is from the same company (Voltage Entertainment USA) that made Astoria – Kisses and Curses – and you get a maximum of 5 tokens, plus any that you might want to pay for (or occasionally get for free), but each chapter in the story costs between 2 and 5 tokens themselves. So you’re not exactly getting much of the story in any one go.

If I had to choose a payment option, I would go for the flat fee that unlocks everything within the VN. I wouldn’t choose the multi-pay platform. I have decided to pay for those books / chapters individually when there wasn’t any other option (Astoria and LongStory, for example), but… It’s not something I’d choose to do, and I would certainly think carefully before going further with those stories locked by that payment method.

LongStory, though… I think it got it pretty right that payment method, if they had to do it that way. While the bulk of the story is generally the same, you do have those moments with your choice of romance option, and you don’t have to pay anything extra. Everything related to that book / chapter / etc is all included.

Astoria… I don’t think has it quite right. I willingly paid for it, but I certainly think it’s probably a bit too expensive, in the long run. Thankfully, I’m just sticking with Medusa. I’d shudder to think how much it would be if someone paid for all six options…

While I’m levelling criticism at Astoria, can I just say that the body shapes of the characters looks a little out of proportion? The torso area seems to be a little too elongated. The artwork for Kisses and Curses is better, but like I say… The method chosen to release the story – while free – is sometimes a little hard to remember by the time you’d get enough tokens to unlock the next section. And there’s no way to go back and re-read them either. Probably not until the end of the story. We’ll see. But yeah… It’s hard to keep track of it.

Okay, I’m starting to get a little drowsy. Gonna post this and then try to get a couple hours’ shut-eye before getting started on Book 3 of Astoria.

Hope all’s going well and I’ll write later!