Friday, December 01, 2017

A Surprise at the End! /// Monthly HapPENings: November

How is it that we are now in the last month of 2017? I feel like it should still be summertime or something. But nope, we now have 31 days left in the year. What a thought . . .

Anyway, I don't have an official picture for this post. What else is new, am I right? I did look into making a watermark, but I don't where to make one. I would've used PicMonkey, except for the fact that it now requires a paid membership to utilize the site. If you know where I can make one, please refer me to that site!


You may recall I mentioned that I got laid off in October. Well, halfway through November, I got hired! I now work at a store that sells calendars, toys, and games. I'm enjoying the new job. One of the things I don't care for as much is working by myself, because at my previous two workplaces, I always had at least one coworker to talk to. The plus side of working alone is that I got to work on outlining Digital Pulse during my shift last Wednesday. (More on this later.)

Also, today is actually kind of a special day . . . it's my birthday! To celebrate the occasion, three of my friends and I hung out on Sunday. We ate good food, watched Justice League, did some shopping, and laughed a lot. All in all, it was a really fun celebration.

Aside from those two things and two sibling birthdays (one for Tracey and one for Kaitlyn), nothing super spectacular happened during November, which is fine. Not every month has to be filled with extraordinary events. (And that's not to say what I mentioned was extraordinary . . . you know what I mean! Right?)

Bookish HapPENings

Remember how I said last time that if I didn't finish a book by the time December rolled around, you could all mock me as much as you want?

Well, go ahead. I haven't completed a book.

I will say that I did have a legitimate excuse this time. I was focusing on getting Digital Pulse written, and therefore put reading away for the time being. I hope--like, really, really hope--that this month I can actually burn through at least a few novels.

HapPENings on the Screen


SPOILER ALERT! So my sisters and I are reaching the halfway point in the third season, and things are looking bad for the heroes. But I've got one gripe right now: Henry does not play a good Peter Pan! Like, at all! He tries so hard to come off as a legit threat, but all I can do is laugh at the ridiculous way he talks and acts. I thought, and still think, that Peter Pan is the most powerful villain in the show thus far, and probably my favorite. I just can't stand Henry's version of him


I desperately want to talk about this show, but there's far too many spoilers! Lemme talk about it vague terms: IT'S EPIC AND AMAZING GO WATCH IT WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR YOU HAVE NOT LIVED UNTIL YOU SEE THIS SHOW!

*gasps for breath* No, seriously, quit procrastinating and watch The Flash. I have not regretted starting this show and getting each season on DVD. It's simply phenomenal. And while all three seasons have dealt with timey-wimey stuff, this one takes it to a "whole 'nutha level," as a friend of mine would say.


As I mentioned, I watched this movie in theaters with a few of my buddies. Normally, I don't see a whole lot of movies in theaters. I wait until they come out on DVD. For my birthday celebration, I was debating between Thor: Ragnarok and Justice League. I knew the former would be fantastic; I had my doubts about the latter. However, one of my friends had already seen Ragnarok twice, so I took him into consideration and chose Justice League, hoping it would be just as good--if not better--than Wonder Woman.

Yeah . . . about that? My thoughts on this movie are too much to be summed up here, so next week's post is going to be my full review of it.

Gaming HapPENings

Yep, I added another heading to this post! I asked about this last time around, and I got no response, so I was like, "What the hey?" I'll just be talking about a few of my favorite/most-played games in the month.


Ever wanted to play a shooter but found that they're always too messy? Well, sorry to disappoint ya, but this one's no different . . . except it's messy with ink!

Shooter games are no new concept to North America, but apparently in Japan, they're a little more rare. That's why Nintendo decided to turn the genre on its head by creating Splatoon, a game where you play as a human who transforms into a Squidling (or a Squidling who transforms into a human, depending on how you look at it). You and your three teammates use ink to cover as much ground as possible and prevent the opposing team from advancing.

So not only does this appeal to Japanese audiences because they lack shooter games, but it also appeals to North Americans because it's a twist on a genre we're familiar with. It's a good business strategy, one that they repeated, in a sense, with Breath of the Wild.

I'm not stellar at this game, but I'm getting better. I actually don't prefer guns, but rather the roller, an up-close-and-personal weapon perfect for inking a lot of turf at once. Whenever my team wins, almost all of the time I've got the roller equipped.

The game isn't perfect. There are campers (who pop up in pretty much every shooter game you can find). Sometimes the teams are unbalanced, the system having put all of the high level players on one team. And getting cornered around your spawn point is only frustrating, though I have no qualms with getting close to my opponents' base myself.

Funny story, and then I'll move on from this game: the other day, I had rolled close to the enemy turf. I was wearing my shirt that makes me invisible when I'm submerged in my team's ink. So I hid myself, and soon enough, three players left the spawn point to join the battle. As soon as they passed, I quickly got up and gave chase, my roller ready to mow them down.

As they crested an incline, I caught up to them and splatted one person. The second guy noticed and started to turn, shooting as he did. It was a good effort, but a wasted one. I splatted him as well. The third person hadn't even noticed me, and thus, I rolled over him swiftly. Three kills in one go is no easy feat, so my youngest two sisters and I got a good laugh out of this.


I've playing through the HD version of Twilight Princess, and . . . well, again, I'll save my full thoughts for a review in the future. I want to finish the storyline, because I feel like only then can I give my thoughts properly.

Anyways, what I wanted to talk about Lakebed Temple. Because I absolutely hated this temple. I normally love temples in Zelda games. You've got to really use your head to solve the puzzles sometimes, one of my favorite aspects of the series. Now, many people complain about the water temples, or just water levels in general. I loved the water temples in games like Spirit Tracks and A Link Between Worlds. While it didn't have a full-on water temple, Skyward Sword's underwater sections were pretty good. Even Ocarina of Time's water temple was all right, though to be honest, I never finished it because I couldn't figure it out and I was borrowing a friend's copy.

Lakebed Temple, on the other hand, is a completely different story. First off, the controls for underwater movement are extremely janky. When Link swims up, you can't change the camera angle, which is sometimes necessary. One area of the temple is an underwater maze that took forever for me to get out of.

Secondly, the whole temple was just not my favorite. The concept of getting the water flowing was cool, but I found the whole setting was just sort of . . . bland. And it was absolutely massive, which usually isn't a problem. But when it's a temple I don't like, I just wanna get out of there ASAP.

As I did more and more stuff in the water, I began hoping the boss battle would not take place while submerged in that life-giving liquid. I should've known better. The worst part was Morpheel's first phase. Essentially, he's got an eye floating from tentacle to another. I have to use my clawshot to pull the eyeball out, but in order for me to attack him with my sword, I have to put on my metal boots. No big deal, right? The problem came when I had to escape his counterattack. He puts a tentacle down, and I gotta take off the boots to swim away. But if I so much as to dared to even touch the tentacle, I became his meal--one that he regurgitates, anyway. It was just . . . frustrating.

This temple's one saving grace wasn't even an intentional one. There was a specific room that gave me, Chloe, and Kaitlyn some merriment, and I showed it in the above picture. It's hard to tell in the photo, but the water looked very . . . yellow. And as immature as it may have been, we began calling it the pee room. We were all laughing so hard and acting goofy, it was hilarious. Even during the mini-boss battle with the Deku Toad, we were making the best comments and getting a kick out of the whole thing.

Aside from that moment of joy, the rest of the temple was garbage, and I hope I never have to play it again. (Okay, that may be a bit extreme, but I've got strong feelings about Lakebed Temple.) I shall also move on from video games, because I didn't think I would talk this much about only two games.

Writerly HapPENings

So after I did my Beautiful Books post, my inspiration for Digital Pulse has gone through the roof. I hadn't written anything in November prior to this post, but I certainly did afterward. I wrote about 3,600 words, whereas in the months leading up to November I had only written approximately 600. Tragic, I know, but things are looking up!

I mentioned that I outlined my story events while at work the other day. When I had gone to work, I had no idea how I was going to get from where I was to the ending that I had in mind. When I left, pretty much everything was planned out. I'm going to have to do this more often in the future, because it really helps.

My goal was to finish the story by the end of this week, but that's not going to happen. I'm going to have to shift the deadline over to the end of next week. Wish me luck!

Before I go, I have one surprise for you all. During the month of December, on any of my posts, feel free to ask whatever questions you want me to answer--within reason, of course. If there's something you've always wanted to know about me, now's your chance. Come January, I'll pick my favorites (or do them all, depending on how many I get) and answer them in what is sure to be an insightful and humorous post. There is no limit to how many questions you can ask. Just make sure you specify so I don't answer when I respond to you. Use #KnowJoe when you're asking a question for the special post.

And there you have it! That was my November. What was yours like? For all you NaNo participators out there, feel free to give my a glimpse of your journey through the month. Or if you have talked about it on your own blog, let me know so I can check it out!


  1. Use Canva fro making your graphics, bro! It's fabulous. Also you can find images on Unsplash and Pixabay but you probs knew that already :D

    1. I actually knew none of that, so thank you! I'll have to check those sites out this month so I can actually have a proper graphic come the new year. XD Thanks again for your help!

  2. Pexels is probably my favorite spot to find raw images for use, but I can't say I know of a good place to make watermarks on pictures.

    As far as NaNo, I totally faceplanted and wrote less than 5000 words. However, I did get some good reading done this month and I discovered that I enjoy painting, so November wasn't a total loss.

    I look forward to reading your thoughts on Justice League. I also saw it in hopes that it would be comparable to Wonder Woman and also...well, I'll wait to hear what you say about it.

    1. I've never heard of that site, so I'll have to look into it. Thanks for the referral!

      Eh, happens to the best of us. Well, that's good to hear! What kind of books did you read, and what do you like painting?

      I have a feeling that post might be a bit on the longer side. I'm interested in hearing what you thought of it!

  3. Wait, today - as in December 1st - is your birthday?? Happy birthday! Crazy, though . . .

    I'm glad you're making progress on Digital Pulse - I hope to see it in print soon! Can't help you with the picture, though, mainly because I know less about it than you do. :D I've heard Canva is pretty great, though.

    #KnowJoe (everything after this :)
    How many years did it take you to love writing?
    Which character, out of all the ones you've created, is your favorite?
    What is your least favorite color?

    1. Yep, that it is! Thank you! I had a very good day. :D What makes it crazy? XD

      Same here, on both accounts. :) Well, you're the second person to have recommended Canva, so I definitely need to look into it.

      Thanks for the questions! ^_^

    2. I'm glad you had a good day! It's just weird because yesterday was my birthday too, so I was pleasantly surprised to see another person with the best birthday of the year. And I'm completely unbiased, of course. XD

      I'm really hoping to read Digital Pulse in Five Poisoned Apples. :D If by some egregious mistake it doesn't make it in, are you still planning to somehow publish it? (Please say yes!)

      I hope you enjoy answering them! I'll be thinking of more . . . beware.

    3. Wait, what?! Well then, happy birthday to you as well! We're birthday twins on the greatest day of the entire year, every year. XD

      This may sound biased of me, but I really hope so too! I'm actually planning on writing five full-length retellings as novels, then adding two books at the end where I mash the characters together to save the world. ^_^

      I'm sure I will. The more questions I get, the better! And they can be totally random. XD

    4. Thanks! Yep, it is the greatest day of the year, except maybe for Christmas - I mean, it's hard to compete with Jesus' birthday. :D

      Not at all! Everyone wants to see their writing published! *stares in amazement* That sounds so cool! I love mash-ups, and sometimes I just want to transport characters into other books where they're desperately needed. Everything would go so much better if you could pick the characters needed to solve the impossible problem. XD

      I thought of more! And yes, they're random. That's kind of just how I do life. :D

      Do people ever mispronounce any part of your name?
      What is your least favorite colour?
      What's something very obscure that you know?
      Which Lord of the Rings character do you feel most similar to?

    5. This is very true. Christmas is the best day, then, and December 1st is the second best day. XD

      Fair enough. Thank you! Yeah, that would actually be quite hilarious. XD I'm looking forward to having my characters interact, because they're all very different from one another. :)

      Ooh, yay! More questions! Except you already asked me what my least favorite color was. :P

    6. Should we call it the first and a half best day? It doesn't seem like second best, but I think Christmas is first. I don't know!

      I was thinking about your idea, and something that struck me was that certain characters could solve other's insurmountable difficulties. And it's been giving me so many great ideas! Thanks for the inspiration!

      *facepalms* Obviously, I need mental help - or a break from life! If you want, make it your favorite color instead. :D Wow, I can't believe I actually did that. I think my life has hit a new low. XD

    7. First and a half best day? Sounds like something I'd come up with . . . which means it has my stamp of approval! XD December 1st is now officially the first and a half best day. :P

      I have unintentionally given you inspiration? *pats myself on the back* XD In all seriousness, I'm glad you've been able to get ideas from what I said. I hope they help in your writing endeavors!

      *shrugs* It's an honest mistake. I'll have one about my favorite color and one about my least favorite. No big deal. :P

    8. Hmm. It sounds a little awkward, but it's descriptive. I'm sincerely sorry for you if that sounds like something you'd come up with. XD But now I know what to call December 1st!

      Yes, it was quite subtly done - congratulations. :D I think they will help - if, of course, I ever crawl out from under the pile of work and actually get writing . . . we'll see.

      I'm still thinking up questions for you, but I'll make sure they're new ones. XD

    9. Awkward is good. XD You shouldn't be! I come up with amazing stuff. :P

      Thank you, thank you. *bows magnanimously* A pile of work doesn't sound fun . . . what kind of work is it?

      Good to know. XD

    10. Yeah. I'm living proof, I guess. :D Okay, great! I'll take your word for it. XP

      *gives you a suspicious look* Everything. Mainly homework, though. All the major papers and projects came due the same week. *dies*

      I don't think I'll ever live that one down. XD

    11. *shrugs* I wouldn't know. XD You do that. :P

      Ooh . . . that's pretty rough. Hope everything went well! (Seeing as I took a month to respond to this. XD)

      We'll see about that. :P

  4. I'm so sorry I'm late but HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Hope it was an awesome one!

    I was sooo sad when PicMonkey started charging for their service (because that's what I used for all my post graphics), but then my brother found which is basically just like PicMonkey (but maybe even slightly better?). So yes, I highly recommend that one for editing photos or adding text!

    Congrats on the new job! How awesome! :D

    TWILIGHT PRINCESS!!! One of my TOP favorite Zelda games. Although it's been so long since I've played it, I honestly don't remember my thoughts on the Lakebed Temple. Although, like most people, I detest the water temples in the Zelda games, so I suspect I didn't like it myself. Glad you survived it!

    That's so great you were able to plot Digital Pulse and write a lot in it! :D I do so hope writing the rest of it will go well. YOU'VE GOT THIS!

    Ooooh, a Q&A post. Those are always fun! Let me see if I can come up with some questions...
    -When did you first start playing video games?
    -What your favorite video game of all time? (That was probably an evil question to ask. *cackles*)
    -If you could have been cast as any character in any movie, who would you choose to be?
    -What's your ultimate dream job?
    -What's your favorite instrument?

    1. Thank you! Better late than never, am I right? It was; I had fun just chilling at home.

      Yeah, it was a bummer. I used it a number of times as well. Ah, I've actually heard of that! I'll have to look into it more. (And for some reason, I can't recall if I knew you had a brother or not.)

      Thanks! I'm enjoying it so far. :D

      I remember you saying that somewhere, so I was hoping you'd read my little story about the game. XD Just know it was brutal. End of discussion. :P I barely did . . . you wouldn't believe how happy I was to finish it and move on.

      Same. My goal is to finish it by the end of the week, so . . . thanks! :)

      Those are some good questions! Thanks for participating. The interview/Q&A post should be really fun to do. ^_^