What EWE and Editor Have Learned From Blogging

Hello, mortals!  Well, are we in for a treat today.  You see, my fellow spell-slinger, The Well-Red Mage posted a query to our blogging community, wanting to know the answer to the following:

https://thewellredmage.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/background-typewriter-keys1.jpg?w=399&h=266

Me?  You want to ask me, the living embodiment of snark and cynicism what I’ve learned since I started communicating with you feeble humans?  Oh, now you’re…in for…what’s that sound?  Music?

………

Hello, friends – Editor here.  I thought that the Well-Red Mage’s question deserved some thoughtfulness and introspection, and well…I think we all know that those aren’t the first things that EWE goes to when a query is posed to him.  So, I decided that I would be a better fit to respond for the both of us.  Don’t worry – he’ll be ok.  See, he doesn’t know it, but all I have to do is put on something relatively sad and/or sappy (in this case, “After All” by Cher and Peter Cetera) and he goes completely catatonic.  It’s like rolling a shark over onto it’s back – and since I’ve compiled an entire Spotify playlist of them, he’ll be locked up for hours.  Don’t tell him though – typically he has no memory of it once he snaps out of it, and his denial is rather amusing.

EWE and Editor After All

So…what have we learned since our first blog post?  My goodness – it’s been a little less than a year, but it almost seems like forever.  As those of you who have been following this little literary lark for a while know, this blog began as a coping mechanism.  A short time before, our world had come crashing down at the hands of the person we trusted most.  The resulting depression was very, VERY deep – and but for the intervention of our eternal bestie, Malevolent Moogle, as well as some unexpected kindness from some fantastic folks at IGN, it might have been permanent.  But they brought us back from the edge of that abyss, and then the question became what to do in order to begin to heal the wounds and be able to connect with people again.  Having always enjoyed writing, the decision to try blogging seemed somewhat obvious.

As anyone that looks back at those first few entries can attest to, EWE was firmly in control of our little endeavor – I was only able to prevent him from making any truly horrific mistakes.  And that was a direct reflection of the place we were in – hurt, angry, and alone.  But then something completely unexpected happened, and it leads into what I’ve learned.  As trite as it may sound, I learned that I wasn’t alone.  I was welcomed into the blogging community by so many other amazing, talented writers.  I developed friendships with fantastic people from all over the world, whom I’ve never seen, but who have been there to listen to me and share in my journey back from the place I was in.  And slowly, but surely, they helped to draw the scattered pieces of me back together so that EWE and myself could start to reassemble them.

Hollow
This is actually an incredibly accurate depiction of EWE and Editor – which can’t possibly be healthy.

Along the way, as I found myself again, this blog found its voice as well.  In the beginning, I honestly didn’t know what this would be – other than a place for EWE to vent and melt down without resorting to screaming at stuffed animals like a COMPLETE lunatic.  But as my friendships with so many talented people in the games and entertainment community grew, I found a niche in offering my thoughts on all sorts of offerings in my hobbies of choice.  As someone who has often sought escape from my world into those of others, I’ve always loved books, movies, comics, manga, anime – anything that I could get lost in, with characters I could grow attached to.  And then there was my day job as an attorney – one of the few things that I can claim without feeling arrogant to be fairly good at.  There are my posts about cooking, which grew from something I only liked doing when I could do it for someone else into something I get to share with all of you.  And so, while it may seem like a fairly eclectic hodgepodge of subject matter, it is me.  In sharing all of these things with others, I found that I was opening up more to all of you than I had to almost anyone else, ever.  And while EWE would likely kill me for telling you all this – I’ve been grateful for the acceptance I’ve found in doing so.

Have there been setbacks?  Of course there have.  I’ve been called pathetic some whom I hold very dear; I’ve been mocked by some that don’t see why I even bother with this blog as an outlet.  But instead of letting those define me, I have instead focused on the support I have continued to have from my friends and loved ones, both in my daily life and in the wider Internet community.  It’s a process, and one that I keep working at each and every day.  So in a way, what I’ve learned since first starting my blog is something that I’m still continuing to learn each day.  As Tolkien put it:

Road

And so, I’ll keep following the road, wherever it leads.  And I’ll continue to be grateful for each of you that is beside me along the way.

Now, it would appear that EWE appears to coming out of his daze, which is my queue to quietly step aside.  Thanks to you all for indulging in a little introspection with me!  And remember – don’t tell EWE about our little trick.  First, it’s unlikely to keep working if he were to catch on.  And also, there’s a decent chance he’d be so humiliated that he’d burn the entire globe to a cinder. – Editor

EWE and Editor After After All

Books, Booze, and…huh, I’ll be damned, Bears – Oh My!

Greets and salutes, mortals!  How are we this evening?  Me, you ask?  Oh, I’m experiencing…some rather bothersome discomfort (Editor’s Note: MIND BOGGLING PAIN) brought on primarily by the seasonal weather.  Rather than vent my irritation by converting my lovely apartment complex into a necromancy factory – good idea, that – I have instead settled on catching up with all of you.  Aren’t you lucky?!  The correct answer to that is yes.  Unless you like being set on fire.  Then feel free to answer no.

Now, as the title above would suggest, the first item on the agenda tonight is my latest literary lark.  Actually, lark might not be the best word, considering this is a 1500 page mammoth, but I like my alliteration, so fuck it – lark it is.  Anyway, if you recall WAY back when, I gave my impressions of Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings, the first book in Sanderson’s epic fantasy series, The Stormlight Archives.  I’ll let you read my original impressions on that first book for yourself – but in short, I found it a very promising start to a series, particularly if you are a fan of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time.  After finishing The Way of Kings, I eagerly started the second book of the series, Words of Radiance.

wordsofradiancecover

I am very pleased to say that if you were a fan of the first book, you will definitely find more to love in the second.  My primary complaint about TWoK was that it could be somewhat confusing in the way it blasted the reader with new information, concepts, and terminology – sometimes it required quite a bit of work on the part of the reader to piece these together into a coherent tapestry.  But by the time you’ve begun to read WoR, you have finished TWoK and are familiar with this world and its systems.  Consequently, as a reader you can focus on what Sanderson has shown himself to be a burgeoning master of – world and character building.

All of the major characters left standing at the end of  TWoK return for WoR, and some new ones are introduced as well.  The most developed characters, and likely by intention, are Kaladin and Shallan – but none of the characters lack for significant development here.  One of the elements that I love the most about this series so far is that these men and women are flawed – not in cliche, obvious ways, but in real, believable ways.  As with many epic, sweeping narratives, at this stage it is difficult to identify any card-carrying villains – while some characters actions or plots may seem more sinister, or less honorable, than others, it is made clear that each one is acting for what he or she truly believes is the greater good.  And the world itself is a character – Sanderson’s vivid descriptions and the way in which its harsh and violent nature impacts the characters and action add tremendously to the story.

Speaking of action, I am a big fan of the way Sanderson scripts his action sequences.  In particular, the climactic battle in the closing chapters is an absolute gem – I couldn’t stop reading until I’d finished it.  Quite frankly, that sentiment applies to the entirety of this novel – once I started it, it consumed all of my spare moments until I had finished it.  My biggest gripe is that based upon Sanderson’s website, the rough draft of Book Three is still only 95% complete – meaning it will still be quire some time before we have it in our hands.  Goddammit, Sanderson – how dare your massive creative endeavor take more time than I want to wait!

But what do you need when you are engrossed in a great book?  Why…a great drink, of course!  And nothing says fun like EWE’s Rum Punch!

jamaican-rum-punch,

This fun concoction that is relatively simple to make.  At it’s base, you’ll need Disaronno, Malibu / Captain Morgan Coconut Rum, cranberry juice, and orange juice.  Take a tall tumbler glass, fill with ice, then combine one part Disaronno, two parts rum, and fill the glass with equal parts cranberry and orange juice.  Garnish with a lime, cherry, or both, and enjoy.

But why let the fun stop there?  There are any number of varieties of flavored rum out there from both Captain Morgan and Malibu – pineapple, mango, passion fruit, etc.  You can also substitute other fruit juices, such as pineapple, cherry, etc.  So long as you base it with Disaronno and finish with orange juice, you’re going to be in good shape.  Well, until you have had four or five because they’re so damn good and you don’t notice the alcohol.  Then you might not be in good shape.  But fuck it – you won’t care!

And that brings us to bears.  Now, I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “how can even EWE possibly shoehorn bears into this in any kind of coherent way?

panda
Never doubt me again, humans.

I was humbled and honored to be nominated for a PANDA Award by the lovely and talented LightningEllen at Conquering the Gaming Backlog.  Her blog is a true gem – while the title may give away that she is chronicling her epic journey through the ever-expanding backlog that we gamers inevitably accrue (I feel you, kid.  The struggle is real.  The struggle is real real), giving us her thoughts, impressions, reviews and insights along the way, that isn’t the end of the story.  From touching tributes on Remembrance Day, sharing slices of her life (I’m currently scheduling an Amiibo intervention for you), giving glimpses of upcoming games and demos – it is an absolute treat every time I catch up on your posts.  All of you, minions, go forth and follow her, read her words, and be better for it.  Or I will find you.  And then no one will find you.  EVER.  AGAIN.

As LightningEllen said in her post, this award is particularly special because it was founded by Mr. Panda, a mainstay here in the blogging universe who has always been quick with a kind word, comment, or critique in my short time here as a malevolent omnicidal demon blogger.  What makes this award different?  Well, I will quote LightningEllen, quoting The Shameful Narcissist, quoting Mr. Panda, because I can: “This award is much different from the other chain awards floating around out there. PANDA stands for ‘Play A New Day Award’. I’ll quote the Shameful Narcissist’s quote of Mr. Panda’s explanation: ‘I want to encourage others to play for another day. No matter what is going on, whether in the world, your country, your home, or even in your mind, I want you to play for a new day. We’re all in this together, and we can make it together.’

The rules for the PANDA are quite simple.

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Nominate any number of people for the award.
  3. Encourage them in any way, whether through thanking or complimenting them.

In considering my nominations, I must first note that LightningEllen managed to nominate a number of the same folks that I would have as well – and her words for them would be echoed by me.  But in addition to those fine folks:

Anna at Anonymously Autistic – Autism is something near and dear to my heart, as my youngest son is autistic.  No matter how much I may try to learn about and understand what that means, all the science in the world is not as insightful as a look through the eyes of someone that sees the world in much the same way that he does.  For that, I can never thank you enough.  What you do is an amazing gift for so many people, autistic or not.

Donna at Dine And Rhyme – While it is no secret to anyone that reads my blog regularly that I LOVE FOOD, far fewer people know that I also have loved and admired poetry for most of my life.  My senior thesis in high school English was an original book of (horrendously awful) poetry.  Not only do I admire the work itself, but I have the utmost respect for people that put their thoughts and feelings into prose and then open themselves by putting those poems for the world to see.  Thank you for your blog.

Toreishi at Toreishi Games – told you before about the fantastic reviews over at Toreishi’s blog, but I think I’ve come to look forward even more so to any post titled “This is not a post and the cake is a lie.”  Because I know hilarity is about to ensue.

Beauty Beyond Bones – I don’t know if I even have sufficient words to express my respect for you.  I know something of dark places, and crawling out of them, and while we may not always agree on ideologies, you chronicle your struggles and triumphs with grace and eloquence, and in doing so, you are a source of inspiration for innumerable people that may be in a similar place.  You should be very proud – not just for your own journey, but for offering your experience to others as well.

And with that, my little ones, we come to the end of tonight’s journey.  As always, I am grateful and humbled that you joined me.  Whatever the cause of my sleepless nights – be it pain, confusion, loneliness, or what have you, I take solace in knowing that you are there.  If you ever need someone who has wronged you punished…or their family…or friends…or neighbors…you get the point – I’m your Evil Wizard. – EWE

 

Versatile Blogger Award x2 – with Special Guest!

Hello again, cats and kittens!  As I stated the other day, a recent catch-up on my reader found that I had neglected to acknowledge and respond to some additional award nominations.  Now we’ve already covered that this amount of kindness shown toward a festering ball of cynicism and sarcasm like myself is probably a sure sign of mass mental illness on the part of, well…most of you, really.  But there is another point to address as well – as you may well know many of these awards involve the disclosure of a number of facts about the receiving blogger.  As I have been showered with your adoration recently, it has become somewhat difficult to come up with a unique list each time without beginning to repeat myself about…myself.  Thus, when I saw that both Grimmgirldotcom and Boba and Games had each nominated me for my second and third Versatile Blogger Award, respectively (and with many, many thanks to each of you!) it occurred to me “Goddammit, I don’t even know if I know that many things about myself in total, let alone interesting ones!”  And that led to this very special post.

You see, kids, believe it or not – I have a friend.  Not just any friend, mind you – the best friend.  That wasn’t a typo.  She isn’t A best friend, or even just MY best friend – she is THE.  BEST.  FRIEND.  It’s simply an objective fact – after all, if you can stand to call ME your best friend under any circumstances, you must be the best friend in history.  She is the one..the only…the Malevolent Moogle.

mog-final-fantasy-vi

So, I went to MM and I explained my conundrum and I asked if she would mind making a list of seven things about me that she thought people should know and/or laugh at incessantly.  Her initial response was “Fuck you, douchebag!”  but as that is her normal response to pretty much anything I say, I wasn’t concerned.  And as always, MM came through.  Not only did she list seven things, along with eliciting my promise that I would in fact give them all exactly as she had given them to me – with some additional reaction from myself – but she even threw in a bonus eighth thing as well.  Well, that or she can’t fucking count – the jury is still out.  So, without further ado, the Malevolent Moogle’s list of facts about EWE.

1. “Has a charisma score of 4 (low, very low).”  (EWE’s take: MM is a huge D&D fan, and is decidedly upset with me that I have not yet rolled a character for her to torture, maim, and then finally drive to suicide in one of her campaigns.)

2. “Passive trait: semi-clever.”  (EWE’s take: Huh…that’s actually a lot more clever than I had figured she found me.  Go me!)

3. “Non-combat companion pet that best matches EWE’s essence: whelpling.”  (EWE’s take: A tiny, harmless, ineffectual, fragile, barely functional dragon…so you’re saying I’m a dragon?!  Sweet!)

4. “If EWE was a song, he would be ‘tubthumping’ by chumbawumba.  Because no matter how many times he gets knocked down, he will always get up again.  Also, he is old, and annoying as hell.”  (EWE’s take: I HAD THIS FUCKING SONG STUCK IN MY HEAD FOR THE REST OF THE GODDAMN DAY!  GOD-FUCKING-DAMMIT MM!!)

5. “Is the human equivalent of onesie pajamas.  Cute, quirky, comfy, not good for being in public.”  (EWE’s take: Ironically, this is what my ex-fiance also thought about me…minus the cute, quirky, and comfy parts.  Oh, and MM sees not going out in public as a positive thing – or at least, that’s what she told me when I said “Dude.  Harsh.”)

6. “Is the type of person who would always opt to be Luigi, even if given first pick (you fuckin loser).”  (EWE’s take: Why the fuck is everyone always hating on Luigi?  What the fuck did Luigi ever do to you people?)

7. “Is totally Armin!!”

armin-armout

(EWE’s take: Ok, even on my WORST GODDAMN DAY, I do not whine as much as Armin.)

8. “I’m glad we’re friends!”  (EWE’s take:

kitty

Yisssss – me too!)

True story – MM and her husband saved my life.  Not a metaphor, not figuratively – when my entire world fell apart in one horrible moment, MM was the one that reminded me that not everyone saw me as worthless.  I owe her a debt that I can never repay, and all because on the day we met, I said “tl;dr” out loud about something, and then accepted a piece of (really shitty) imported Japanese candy from her.

Now, on to the nominations!

Forged from Reverie

Toreishigames

Daiyamanga

The Otaku Judge

Conquering the Gaming Backlog

And finally, The Rules:

  1. Write a post displaying the award.
  2. Thank the person who nominated you (including a link to their blog).
  3. Share 7 facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate other bloggers!

Once again, I am truly humbled and grateful for the support from all of you!  And most of all, the evilest of evil thank yous to the Most Magnificent Malevolent Moogle – you’re the best! – EWE

One Lovely Blog Award

Alright, kiddos…it’s time for a chat.  I was perusing my reader today, when I realized that during a busy October, somehow I had managed to miss a few additional award nominations.  First of all, I apologize for my tardiness, which I shall begin correcting forthwith – I feel, well, as bad as an Evil Wizard can feel.  But more importantly, I feel compelled to reiterate – you know I’m evil, right?  I’m not going to kick a puppy or harm a kitty – even evil has standards – but still, this much love for a soulless shell like me?  I mean, I assume you read the blog – you’ve seen plenty of evidence of this – and yet, you strange, wonderful humans continue to shower me with support.  If I didn’t have the rest of my daily interactions as evidence to the contrary, you people might actually force me to reevaluate my abject loathing of humanity.  That is an incredible accomplishment – I humbly thank you.  Well, “humbly” isn’t really my thing; but still, I thank you.

Speaking of thanks, I would like to extend many to The Shameful Narcissist for nominating me for the One Lovely Blog Award!  This award sees the recipient share some facts about themselves and nominate some fellow deserving bloggers – or as Shameful puts it, “creates a potentially never ending cycle of sharing and positivity.”  And you nominated me.  Well, I can promise to continue the “never ending cycle” and “sharing” parts of the process – but no promises on the “positivity” friends!

1. Animals like me.  I can’t really explain this.  They just do.  Puppies, kitties, goats…they just seem to have an affinity for me.  Except snakes.  Fucking snakes.

i-hate-snakes

2. I spent three years as a music education major in college.  I learned to play every brass, woodwind, string, and percussion instrument, as well as sing.  Then it turned out I sucked at teaching.

3. I am extremely loyal.  Sometimes to a fault.  I don’t trust easily, but once I have given someone my trust, I will support them in any way I possibly can.  Which can lead to…

4. Per my closest and best friend, I put others before myself far too much, and do not put myself first nearly enough.  According to her, it is “perhaps my only flaw.”  (Editor’s Note: EWE’s best friend is the closest thing to a living saint that exists, and thinks far, FAR better of him than is probably warranted by logic and common sense.)

5. I would love to one day own a bar.  I would call it “Heaven’s Devils” and I would continue to practice law, then go there afterward to drink and ponder with my regulars just what the hell is wrong with me.

6. I am, for the most part, fairly unreadable – I don’t tend to wear my emotions out in the open.  However, if I trust you enough to be open with you, then I am extremely open and blunt with my feelings and opinions.

7. I use humor to mask insecurity.  Actually – I use humor to mask everything.  It’s incredibly effective.

There, see – that wasn’t so bad!  I mean, granted, that’s probably seven more things than you ever cared to know about me, but hey, I tried to resist disclosing anything mind-shatteringly awful.  So now, on to my nominations!

Special Needs Siblings (as a father of two boys, the younger of whom has Aspergers, these warm even my heart)

Mari Lyn Holistic (a lovely blog by a truly lovely soul)

I Played the Game! (fantastic thoughts on a variety of games)

Jeyna Grace (amazing indie author)

The Magic of Books (reading is my oldest and dearest hobby and passion)

Now for the rules:

  1. Write an article accepting the award.
  2. Thank the person you nominated you and put a link to their blog.
  3. Tell the reader seven facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate other blogs for the award.
  5. Let them know that you nominated them.
  6. Post the rules to let your followers know how it works.

Again, many thanks for all of the support! – EWE

The Liebster Award

Whoa, two posts in one day!  I must have a ton of energy – or a lot of smoldering rage issues preventing me from getting anything else accomplished.  Well, I guess we’ll never know!

But at least this brightened my mood – I’ve been nominated for another award!  My first-ever Liebster Award.  You know, when I started blogging not all that long ago, I honestly never considered that anyone would actually want to read it, let alone think it had any particular value.  But I was apparently wrong – many thanks to moresleepneeded for the kind nomination!

As a part of the award, I once again get to answer a series of questions posed by my nominator, and then nominate a group of fellow bloggers to answer some questions of my own.  Without further ado, more information that you probably never wanted to know about your friendly neighborhood Evil Wizard, Esq.

1.Why did you choose the name of your blog?

Well, if you’ve read it, then Evil should probably be self-explanatory.  Wizard is a reference to the fact that I’m fairly analytical – I want to understand anything I don’t, be it people, situations, or problems.  And passing the Ohio bar exam enables me to add the Esq. to the end!

2.If you could go back in time to experience any event, where would you go?

Hmm…tough call.  I mean, I’ve always been fascinated by space exploration, so one obvious choice would be to watch Apollo 11 lunar landing.  But then, the evil nihilistic side of me might say that I could go back to the very first instant that basic building blocks of human life first formed in the primordial soup of the earth…AND STOP THEM.

3.What subjects do you enjoy finding out information about?

Well, the obvious example given my profession would be law – but the truth is EVERYTHING.  There is honestly nothing I don’t like learning more about.  Gaming, sports, politics, science, history…I’ve never encountered a single subject that I don’t find interesting on some level.

4.What is a mystery you would like to know the answer to?

The existence of extraterrestrial life.  It’s fascinated me since I was a youth.

5.What is the funniest way that you have heard anyone mistake the lyrics for a song?

Hmm…I don’t really have a good answer for this one, but I cracked up the other day when my niece told me that her new favorite movie was “The Wizard of the Boz.”

6.What is the weirdest question you have been asked as part of a Liebster Award Nomination?

See Number 7 below.

7.What is the name of a dance song (which sounds like it was from the eighties) which features energetic music and a deep voice singing “Hold me”?

I…I honestly have absolutely no idea.

8.How do you like to write blogs?

As a pure stream of consciousness – I find the most entertaining entries are when I have a lot stirring inside and just let myself rant.  Alcohol tends to help this process.

9.What would you do if I sang out of tune?

I would stand up and walk out on you – and then immolate the establishment in which you were singing.  So don’t.

10.What is a song that reminds you of a specific time or place?

This is tough for me to answer – not because I can’t think of an example, but because there are so many and most are intensely personal.  I will say “Walking in Memphis”, high school, and The X-Files.  The rest is mine alone.

My nominations go to:

The Crew at Games Revisited (sweet, pure classic game goodness in my veins)

The mysterious master of retr0pia (MORE classic goodness)

The Storytelling Cook at Recipe in a Bottle (so many delicious noms)

Magnificent Millie Schmidt at Coffee, Chocolate & Writing – With Cats (how can you not love all of those things?)

Anna at Anonymously Autistic (a wonderful soul who helps me to understand my youngest son’s precious mind)

As for my questions:

  1. If you could have one more visit with someone who is no longer in your life, who would it be?
  2. If you won the lottery tomorrow and were financially set for life, what would you do?
  3. Where is your absolute favorite place on earth?
  4. What is your favorite game, book, film, show, etc.?
  5. If you lost everything you had, who is the first person you would turn to for help?

Short and sweet, kiddos!  Thanks again for making an old, evil hermit feel welcome! – EWE