A Year of Reading

Howdy folks. I’ve returned again, and boy do I have nothing to say, so here comes the rambling.

So this past week I worked. Oh yes. My schedule was all over the place, and things didn’t get set in stone until the last minute. Not really anyone’s fault, it’s just things have changed a bit at work, and their needs are not what they once were. But I still had several more hours than usual due to the holiday. And yes, I work holidays. I think all of them. Been doing it for years. Yay Holiday pay!

Due to my walking I hatched quite a few eggs in Pokemon Go, as per usual, so there’s that at least. And yes, I still play. Unfortunately I’m reliant on others to get me eggs and the like since walking is what I do at work, and I’m very unlikely to want to do it on my days off to hit up any pokestops. So, thanks to my friends in the game who do. If I do go out I immediately send off gifts to those friends, but since I so rarely leave my home this means they get the short end of the stick in this relationship. I think a few of these friends have realized this, since they don’t send me anything anymore, heh. Oh well, I still have a couple who do. Of course when they don’t go out and play because of the weather and such I wind up with nothing, though at least I can still get candies to level up those Pokemon I already have.

Enough of that. Now to reading. With only a couple of days left in the year I’m probably only going to be able to read another book before it ends. So here’s the count for the year so far. 259. So that means 260 will likely be the final count. NICE! I tried really hard to make this year count, and I think I did a decent job. Had I started earlier in my crazy reading spree I’d likely have quite a few more, but already this is very close to one book per day for a year. That’s madness. Hopefully I haven’t burned myself out. There has been a couple of times when I started getting upset with a book I was reading. But I can’t tell if that was because it wasn’t entertaining, or if I was just done reading. If I took a nap I could get back into it, but eventually I would grow just as irritated. Maybe I need to expand my horizons and read different genre’s, though I kinda did this year.

For the most part it’s been a fantasy year. Though I did explore sub-genre’s in fantasy. Harem-lit, rpg-lit, wuxia, and a few more that I’m having a hard time placing. Not so much in the sci-fi realm, though I did read a few of those as well. Mostly in sci-fi was the wonderful series by E. M. Foner called EarthCent. I think I’ve talked about it before, but it’s a relaxing read about humans joining an intergalactic group of species and their day to day. Like Star Trek, and not because of battles? Give it a read.

Wuxia, now that’s a crazy little genre. I still say the Coiling Dragon Saga is the best, but that might be because it was the first Chinese translated one I read, and the fact that it’s complete. Most others are still on going. Since then I’ve read a few by Chinese authors and English speaking ones. Some are pretty good, others started out well enough, but became stagnant. But it’s still fun to see what these authors do.

RPG-lit. Now this one spans many authors. I’d find it very difficult to think of what I consider the best this year, but I’ll try. Hmm, ah, I got one. The Completionist Chronicles by Dakota Krout. There are a number of good ones in this sub-genre that I loved, but this one has a humor that tickles me like none other. Give it a read.

Harem-lit. Oh dear. This one is hard to recommend. While it can be tame, I’ve found it’s mostly erotica. Not that it’s a bad thing per se, but it’s not something you’d want to talk to your parents about, heh. The best author out there in my opinion is William D. Arand/Randi Darren. Same guy, different names for reasons. Heh. The William name is for a tamer version of Harem. But if you want to read something erotic, yeah, go for Randi. He’s a great writer, and even if you aren’t a fan of the genre the world building is amazing. All his books exist together, even if they are different worlds or universes. It’s fun to see what he’ll do, and who from other books might show up. If you are up for a little bit of the erotic, you can’t do better than him.

With that I think I’ll leave you for now. I gave you a few books or authors to look at. I hope the coming year is fantastic, and get to reading!

TTFN

You Must Be Drunk link to the Amazon store here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07X8KH6WM

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: You Must Be Drunk is published. Find it here. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07X8KH6WM. I’m 63% into the new novel’s first draft. My review over the first part is now done, and I’m back to writing.

Steven Oaks

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Kindle reading, and me writing

Hello there internet. It’s me, Steven.

So what have I been up to? That’s a question I ask myself all the time. Mostly I can confidently say I’ve been reading. So much so, this year I’m up to 253 books read. Go me… I guess. Since last week I’ve chewed through six books, though I’ll be finished with this next one soon enough. It’s a little longer than most, so there’s that.

Anyway, like I said last week I have a kindle. I only had a couple days with it last time, so I didn’t have much to say. Now I can talk a little more about it. First of all, reading on it is fantastic. While it does have a light, if you want, as long as you are in a room that has a light source, enough to read by normally, it’s very easy to read without turning it on. I also feel it’s much less harmful to my eyes than staring at my phone. As for battery life, even with my continued use, it will last several days. I think you can easily call me a heavy user, so most everyone else will likely be able to go without charging for a week or more.

Now there is a downside, at least for me. I find the interface, at least when it comes to finding your next book to be inferior to the app on the phone. Of course it’s slower, it’s an e-ink display, but that isn’t the issue. The store looks different, and I find it hard to navigate. Of course that may just be me being used to the app, but I’m not sure yet. Also when using the kindle, and then the app on the phone there seems to be a bit of disconnect. It isn’t smoothly tracking my reading between them, and I’ve had to manually get back to my place in a book. Also, if you use the app on the phone to find a book, it won’t always show up on the kindle, and I’ve had to add it manually again. I guess it’s just not made for jumping back and forth, but I’ve never had this issue before when I was switching between different phones, or back to my old tablet. My tablet of course having died, hence loving having the kindle now. Heh.

Anyway, the other thing I’ve done was write. Last week was difficult. My schedule was a little messed up, and when I attempted to write it was rather difficult. I was only able to do a few hundred words before my brain just said, “ENOUGH”. But this week I was back into the swing of things. Of course that might just be because in my down time I thought of several things I wanted to add to the story, and having thought about it for days it was easy to write them all down. Of course there was a week of me thinking I’d lost it, and wouldn’t be able to write anymore. Doubt that it was even worth it to keep trying. Bah, not fun. I’ll blame my increased inability to sleep. Luckily I feel better now, but these moods apparently will always follow me. At least I’ve read that many authors, successful or otherwise, have the same feelings now and again, so I guess at least I’m not alone.

Well, I think that’s about it for what I’ve done. I could talk about eating chili, different than what I’m used to, but I don’t think anyone is really interested in that. So I’ll leave you all for now. Have a great week.

TTFN

You Must Be Drunk link to the Amazon store here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07X8KH6WM

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: You Must Be Drunk is published. Find it here. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07X8KH6WM. I’m 63% into the new novel’s first draft. My review over the first part is now done, and I’m back to writing.

Steven Oaks

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D&D again, and a little bit about a Car

Hello you. I’m back, and it’s been a week. A week indeed. Seven days really, so wow.

Heh. Anyway, what have I been up to? Well first my car was at the dealership last time I talked. I didn’t get it back until Friday either. Luckily they allowed me a loaner car, so nothing was disrupted because of it being in the shop. Anyway, things are all fixed up now, save the cruise control has stopped working after they worked on the wiring to fix the blower. Yay. I’ll hold off for now, but I already miss it.

So, after working an additional day this week, I headed over to a friends house to play yet another session of D&D. Fun.

As I said last time, we leveled up and all got new abilities. Level 3 baby.

So we left off after finding that crystal those Kabolds were holding on to. We needed it to give to the wizard shopkeep in town so he could find things in his store. Giving it to him he shoved it inside his golem and we were able to make some purchases. I tried asking for musical instruments, but everything he had was either cursed, or had a murdered ghost or demon lurking inside. Not something I was really looking for. Our wizard still had a book that we’d “persuaded” the wizard we found in the hobgoblins lair to give us. She asked the storekeeper to look at it, and he just laughed and shook his head before giving it back. So I guess we really don’t know what it is, and it probably isn’t helpful.

Our Firbolg cleric got supplies for potion making and headed back to the tavern to brew some up, while the rest of us wandered the town to look for more quests. At the other, poorer, tavern we all took turns asking everyone in the room what they knew. Nothing much it turns out, though they all spoke highly of the mayor for saving them years ago from the goblin attacks, even if every crime is now punishable by death. A little harsh we all think, but the town from what we can tell is fine with it.

The wizard we found imprisoned by the hobgoblin was at the tavern, but after seeing me he wasn’t so happy. Our Elf Wizard tried to talk to him to smooth things out, and while it went well enough he eventually went to hide in his room. No side quest from him after I threatened him I guess.

Going outside, we happened upon an elf on her porch, and because apparently we are rude, we approached and asked her questions. Apparently there was a sacred grove that was overrun with goblins, and she wanted us to clear it out. We figured we’d do so, and headed back to our tavern for rest and a meal. I played for my supper, and apparently rolled well enough to make a decent performance. Yay free food and booze… not to mention a room.

Anyway the next day we snagged a ride from the same farmer we keep using to go out exploring the area and arrived at the grove. Walking closer we saw it was filled with garbage, and one of us spotted movement. The firbolg used a spell to change his appearance to look like a hobgoblin and approached. A bugbear and two goblins challenged him as he walked closer, but not knowing their language he was silent. We he got close enough he used Thunder Wave, killing a goblin, and damaging the bugbear. I ran closer, tried to use my crossbow again, and failed. The wizard ran forward and I think used firebolt and hit for some damage on the bugbear, while our monk Tiefling ran closer, though was too far to do anything. I cast Vicious Mockery and killed him with a hit of three, and the other goblin ran away. The firbolg ran after him and killed him quickly, though I don’t remember what he used.

Apparently the grove wasn’t too overrun, as we likely killed most of them when we had entered their lair earlier. So successful we headed back to town.

I’m very sure I’m forgetting some stuff, but that’s what I remember. Our Tiefling Monk was of course her usual innocent self and somehow made friends throughout even though her charisma is in the negatives, as is everyone but myself. But she’s just so sweet and innocent, and very lawful. So in a town where death is the punishment for all breaking of the rules she seems to be thriving. She did walk me through town like a little child, holding my arms over my head to drag me around. I let her, but mostly only because the bard really doesn’t care. I think he thinks she’s cute so he lets her get away with things.

The cleric is still the same antisocial hermit, so really only interacts with others for his own ends. He shook me down for some gold to pay the farmer to carry us out to the grove, but the wizard paid me back. I see us coming to blows soon. I’ve not been very nice to him either, though he did use me as a lantern and caused me to get shot a few times. Not very nice.

The Wizard elf didn’t go all rogue this time, nor did she set everything on fire, though there was a small one in the grove. Not her fault that her spell caught the garbage on fire. Nor did she harass someone too much while questioning people. Then again they didn’t have much for us to learn.

As for me, I think my bard after this last fight is feeling more confident. His spells are worth something now, and he may forgo the crossbow in favor of them. Weapons don’t seem to be his friend as he misses more often than not. But since we’ve all leveled up since our earlier fights we aren’t as squishy or weak.

Oh, another thing. I have a kindle now. Wow, I didn’t know my phone was hard on my eyes until I started reading with this. I love it! More reading for me!

I could say more things, but I figure this has already ran long enough so I’ll leave you here. I hope you all have an enjoyable week. Back to writing!

TTFN

You Must Be Drunk link to the Amazon store here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07X8KH6WM

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: You Must Be Drunk is published. Find it here. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07X8KH6WM. I’m 58% into the new novel’s first draft. My review over the first part is now done, and I’m back to writing.

Steven Oaks

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A Nightshifter's Dilemma

Greetings. I’m back, and tired.

So what’s been up with me lately? Hrm. Well the blower on the car went out again, and the windows either fogging or needing scraping free of ice has been an issue. This is the fifth time in about a year, so I’ve not been too happy about this. Luckily a gift of a lighter socket powered defogger has been in the car, though it’s very weak. It does little, but enough for just freezing days. Anything more and I’m afraid it would have no affect.

Also, yet again, the engine light came on. YAY. So yeah, today I took it in to have all the issues checked out. I spent around 4 hours at the dealership waiting. Well, reading really. Anyway, after awhile they told me they didn’t have the parts and sent me on my way with a loaner. They said by tomorrow afternoon everything should be good to go. Fingers crossed.

Of course this all means I’ve been awake for a long time and have seen the sun again. Well, not today, it’s raining an awful lot. Good for me, since I didn’t get too sun sick. Though I did go out yesterday morning to try to prepare for today, though it was only briefly to shop for groceries. That was unpleasant. The sun was out in full force and I could barely keep my eyes opened. Ah, the joys of working the night shift for years. I was exhausted by the time I came home, though since the apartment is rather dark, I felt much better quickly. What a weird thing it is to feel ill just because the sun is out. I guess I’ll have to remain hidden, or maybe invest in some sun glasses, heh.

Only seven books read this week. I’m starting to get a little irritable while reading instead of enjoying things, so I did other things now and again. But to get back into the swing of things I hopped around to other authors I like to see if they released anything new, and yup. So instead of the never ending onslaught of wuxia I delved back into other things. That helped. I expect my final count for books read by the end of the year to be rather impressive. Let see if I can keep it up until the end!

I was able to do some writing after I got home today, so there’s that. It’s going well, though since I’m so tired I got distracted easily and it took me a couple of hours longer than usual to get my word count in. Boo tired Steve!

Anyway, that’s about it. I’m a boring guy, with a boring life, who reads way too much. Have a good week.

TTFN

You Must Be Drunk link to the Amazon store here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07X8KH6WM

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: You Must Be Drunk is published. Find it here. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07X8KH6WM. I’m 58% into the new novel’s first draft. My review over the first part is now done, and I’m back to writing.

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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My Holiday Tradition

Hello to you. I hope you all had a nice long weekend.

Here in the states it was Thanksgiving. Now I’ve usually spent it alone, and this year was no different. Such holidays these days have me usually at work, and again this was not an exception. So how does one celebrate alone? Heh, well I can tell you how I spent my very first Thanksgiving by myself.

The year was… I dunno, a decade or so ago, and here I was in my house. All my friends were out doing their own things with their families, and I was alone with little food to tide me over the weekend. A four-day weekend was not something I was used to, let alone being alone without anyone to call upon. So since I was and am a Sci-Fi nerd, I decided to check out a little show called Firefly for the first time.

It was great, amazing, and just fun. The world building was engaging, and I loved the characters. So that whole weekend I spent watching this show, even the movie when I was done, all the while eating ramen, and I think my deluxe meal at the time mac and cheese. I was not a healthy boy back then, heh. Continually smoking my pipe probably wasn’t helpful either. Luckily I don’t do either anymore, though now and again I do grab a box of cheese and macaroni and chow down.

Thus Thanksgivings for me have become one where I try to find a new show to watch the whole day through, if I’m free. Avatar the Last Airbender, and many an anime series have been consumed during those days. But now since I work Holiday’s I’ve not really done it lately. However in my down time before bed I’ll watch an episode or two of something new. Though my new go-to unhealthy meal is even more ridiculous.

Take a flour tortilla shell, crush some potato chips up to fill the insides, and smother it with ketchup. Oh my goodness, I can’t get enough of it. When I tell people about this the responses have been of disgust. But trust me, it’s tasty. But don’t worry, at least this year I had some pumpkin pie, so I haven’t lost all of the normal traditions, heh. Samantha got it for me, so at least she’s trying to keep me a little normal. Though making a pie the entirety of a meal probably wasn’t the intention. Then again I only eat twice a day, so whatever.

Honestly I only have one meal that you can call regular. During the week I mostly make something before work, but when I get home I’m rather tired and can’t be bothered to cook. So that’s where the abomination of tortilla potato chips and ketchup came from. Other wise I just eat a small tub of cottage cheese or something else simple and ready to snack on.

Bah, I’m just talking about food now. But isn’t that the real meaning behind Thanksgiving? Heh. Gorging all day until you can’t stay awake let alone stand up? I almost had that problem when I went to work Thursday. Samantha had the day off, so she made my favorite meal. Masala. Oh goodness, I can’t get enough of it, so I ate until I could barely walk. Then I went into my job that requires walking around for hours. I hadn’t even finished digesting when my shift was over, all thirteen hours of it, and I was still bloated. Fun times to be sure. But that’s me, feed me enough in one go and I don’t eat until the next day.

Anyway, enough rambling today. I hope you enjoyed your time off, and have a wonderful week.

TTFN

You Must Be Drunk link to the Amazon store here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07X8KH6WM

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: You Must Be Drunk is published. Find it here. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07X8KH6WM. I’m 58% into the new novel’s first draft. My review over the first part is now done, and I’m back to writing.

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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