Writing Prompt: Denial #amwriting

via Daily Prompt: Denial

[Not feeling too creative this morning, so this is one of my weakest blurbs, but I did it! As usual, I just sit and write for 30 min. straight, no edits/read-backs.]

Sweat drips into my eyes, stinging and blinding me momentarily.

“Again,” the gruff voice demands.

I groan and raise the bar with twenty-five pounds on each end up and above my chest, breathing out and then in as I lower it. My heart thunders in my ears, my muscles tighten and burn.

My spotter leans over the bar, forest green irises catching my silver ones. “You think you’re done?”

His smirk makes me want to whack him upside the head with a dumbbell. Instead, I grimace and shake my head.

His smile broadens. “Good, two more.”

I very slowly pump out two more before letting the bar fall heavily into its cradle and drop my arms to either side of me with a loud huff. I do not think I will ever be able to raise them again.

I close my eyes and release five long breaths, attempting to calm the nausea roiling around in my stomach, before opening my eyes and carefully sitting up.

Brad, my trainer, comes to stand beside me, hands on his hips, a pleased expression on his chiseled face. “Great job tonight, Anna. See you next week?”

Grabbing my towel off the bag nearby, I wipe the sweat off my face. I shoot him a strong eye roll and mutter, “I don’t know. Kind of like the ability to move and this session might leave me paralyzed.”

His laugh is infectious and I can’t stop myself from smiling.

“Hey, people want trainers because they know they can’t push themselves to get where they want to get. I’m here for you,” he winks and takes off toward the front of the gym, waving and greeting people he knows as he goes.

I try not to stare too hard at his ass but fail miserably.

“So, did you ask him?!” Kat’s perky voice startles me out of my stare-fest.

“Ask him what?” I mutter. Brushing past her to go grab paper towels to clean off my machine.

She follows on my heels, a literal bounce in her step. I mentally bah-humbug how the gym seems to make her even more energetic, which we really don’t need in this world, and only seems to drag me down.

I swipe a few sheets, squirt some cleaner and head back, still refusing to answer her.

As I am wiping the bench press down, she leans over the bar, trying to bore a hole into my head.

I snap upward, “What?” I demand.

She simply grins, used to my grumpiness after a workout. “Did you ask him out yet? Geez, Anna, you’re not getting any younger,” she teases.

At twenty-eight I have my whole life ahead of me, but I don’t say that. Instead, I sigh and roll my eyes again. Crumpling up the tissues I toss them into my bag and heft it up off the ground. It feels like it weighs a ton, my muscles are that sore.

“No, and I am not going to. I have zero interest in Brad,” I grind out.

She’s been harping on this for weeks now and it is beginning to gnaw on my patience. So he has a nice ass, doesn’t mean I want to date the guy.

She falls into step beside me as we head toward the front of the gym. “Stop denying it! I see the way you both look at each other. He’s totally into you too,” she confides.

I trust nothing that comes out of this woman’s mouth when it comes to guys. In fact, if I got a dollar for every bad date she has set me up on, I’d be semi-rich.

“Tell ya what,” I start as I lean against the front counter, twisting to face her. “Get me a shake, and I’ll think about it.” I shoot her a wicked grin.

She laughs and shakes her head, knowing fully well I will not think about it and will keep to my promise of never asking the guy out. Still, she leans against the counter, being sure to flash her most precious asset as Joe heads over to us and then orders us both a berry-belly-buster shake.

After a few seductive slurps for Joe’s benefit, she gives me a side-glance that is all amusement before giving me her fake pout. “You really do live in denial, my friend. My mission is to snap you out of it!”

A mission she will fail at and somehow we are both perfectly content with the game we play.

#IntoTheBadlands S1E1 Review

Into the Badlands, S1E1 – “The Fort”

I have wanted to watch this show for many months now and finally, last night, I watched the very first episode. I am just upset I decided to watch it at 1am, and needed to be up at 8am for work, or I would have watched all of it in one sitting.

Yes, it was that good.

Unlike my review for the first episode of Iron Fist, the martial arts in this first episode blew me away. I was on the edge of my … bed. Since I was lying in bed and surfing Netflix. Daniel Wu is absolutely amazing.

The episode opens up with action and ends in mystery, and I find myself itching to get home to watch the second one.

We encounter Sunny (Daniel Wu), a total freaking NINJA, who comes across a band of what we assume are some bad, excuse my Trump reference here, hombres. I don’t really want to spoil this for anyone who hasn’t watch the episode, but fighting ensues and it is epic.

We are introduced to the mysterious M.K. (Aramis Knight) that Sunny saves (maybe), and then takes to the Fort, where his ‘Baron’ rules. Apparently the Badlands are zoned out areas of civilization that are ruled by dictators (or so we assume from this first episode). Not sure yet if this is some post-apocalyptic tale or a ‘new world’ where things were always ‘this way’. I am curious to find out though!

Anywho. Sunny demands from M.K. why the nomads spared his life (as they are apparently murdering savages), and finally M.K. admits that someone named The Widow wanted him tracked down and brought to her (we later find out she is another Baron from a different zone). M.K. is tossed into Sunny’s world and immediately placed on the radar of those in power (and those wanting to be in power), adding to the boy’s mysteriousness.

What is it about him that everyone seems drawn to? Even Sunny, who has been a loyal servant of his Baron, risks everything to help the boy? We get a sneak peek into what might make him special in this episode, and again … the fighting totally impresses me (no joke!).

So while this boy and Sunny appear to be the main arch of the episode, we also get a little insight into Sunny’s world. His background is a mystery itself. When he breaks up a fight in the ‘yard’ between M.K. and another boy, and takes a medallion that caused said fight that belongs to M.K., it rekindles his questions about his own past and draws him even closer to the boy. It forces Sunny to revisit his own origins (as he was found as a child with no memory of family or home and raised by the Baron). There is also a love interest in Sunny’s life and it looks like things might be taking a dangerous turn there, inciting even more interest in ME.

Other storylines:

The Baron, Quinn (Marton Csokas), is a man used to having his orders obeyed without question but now that his son Ryder (Oliver Stark) is coming of age and ready to rule, he is getting some unwanted feedback/pushback. This is causing strife between father and son. Especially considering that Quinn sees Sunny as more of a son than his own (which of course makes Ryder hate Sunny).

Quinn is taking on a second wife, and his first, Lydia, is planning the wedding. Lydia (Orla Brady) doesn’t seem to care about said second wife (but actually does) as long as she holds the true power over him/their son. She is clearly cooking up something though, and as per most shows like this, there are wheels spinning in her head. I have a feeling she is either going to help Sunny/be on his side or use his downfall for her own gain.

Something is also definitely up with the conniving ‘mistress’/second wife, Jade (Sarah Bolger). She is up to NO good.

These ‘other’ Barons. We meet The Widow (Emily Beecham) and she has me intrigued. She sends a group of skilled assassins after Sunny, and of course, he wipes the proverbial floor with them, making her cliché response “You really are as good as they say,” the only thing that made me snort (ha). She wants the boy and has offered Sunny sanctuary (and something more that she hints at but I have no idea WHAT), in return for giving her the boy. Which, he of course refuses … BUT it is curious that he didn’t kill her on the spot, something he SHOULD have done if he were truly loyal to his Baron … which only increases my curiosity!

The episode ends with M.K. being tossed into prison (I won’t say why!), and then being set free by Sunny (placing himself in great danger for the treasonous act—and WHY?!). Sunny lying in eying the medallion that raises millions of questions, and that hoe-bag Jade up to no freaking good. So yeah … I cannot WAIT to watch this second episode.

So quick wrap-up: awesome martial arts, superb acting, a lot of mystery/intrigue that makes me want to tune into the next episode, the landscape/world setting sucked me in and I need to learn more about it, and overall TRULY interesting characters (not people just there to be there to fill a scene).

Writing Prompt: Champion #amwriting

via Daily Prompt: Champion

(Below is my thirty minutes of writing for the day. Fictional. I simply sit and write for 30 minutes. No edits, no read-backs, so please ignore the ‘suck’).

Dark clouds threaten to unleash Poseidon himself as I rush across the field, cloak clenched tightly in my right hand, basket full of fruit in my left. Slippers seep into the already softened soil from the previous night’s downpour, and if I don’t hurry, I’ll get caught in today’s.

I pick up the pace as a thunderclap echoes across the miles from behind, sending a shiver up my spine.

It is unwise to be caught outdoors when the gods fight, and lately they’ve been having an all-out war, with humanity in the center. Crops are failing, animals are dying and humans are struggling to keep themselves hidden in their rickety domiciles.

Mine is just up the hill, another quarter of a mile to go.

I feel the first drop of moisture as I reach the crescent of the hill, my relief quick in my lungs as I exhale. The small shack that is my home is nestled at the bottom of a cliff, protecting it from harsh winds off the coast, and wild animals from the forest a few miles west.

I immediately pick up the pace at the sight of my home, shoes kicking up mud in the process, basket bumping against my thighs.

Yet as I get closer, the dim light in the only window of the building pauses me. As I live alone, the sight worries me.

I glance every which way before deeming no one is watching and wonder if perhaps I simply left a candle lit in my rush to gather fruit between tempests of rain.

Licking my suddenly parched lips, I grip the basket more firmly, ready to use it as a weapon if the need arises and approach the window tentatively.

Peering inside to the three-room home, I do not see anything or anyone, out of place. Chewing on my lip I gently push in my door and croak out, “Hello?” My voice catching on the dryness of the air.

Silence greets me and with it, a lessening of tension in my shoulders.

I move quietly toward the tiny kitchen, dropping the basket on the counter. As I am removing the berries I spent all morning picking, I keep my ears tuned into the sounds of my home, now very familiar with each one.

By the time the basket is empty, I’ve convinced myself I neglected to blow out the candle, and ignore the niggling feeling that it is at the same height as when I left.

I carefully prune and wash the berries, placing a handful in a plate and moving toward the small table in the corner to enjoy my lunch and dinner.

The loud boom in the sky, followed by a light so bright it illuminates my entire home, startles me. Within moments, the rain is pitter-pattering on the roof, and just as quickly, it becomes torrential. The sound lulls me into a state of exhaustion as the hike to where the berries reside is over five miles each way. That, and last night’s battle kept me awake for most of the night, letting me doze off for only a mere hour or so.

A rumble shakes the small home, causing glassware to tinkle, and forcing me to grip my table. An explosion is fast on the heels, rocking the foundation and sending the other chair toppling over. Another bright light flashes in through the window, blinding me for a whole minute before it is gone.

“Quick,” a voice whispers harshly from my right, startling a yelp past my lips. “You must leave your home.”

I jolt upright so quickly, causing the chair to fall back and land with a barely audible thunk.

“Who… what …are you?” I stutter. The creature before me is clearly not human.

“We do not have time. The cliff above is crumbling and soon your home will be buried beneath it,” the non-human pleads. Pitch black eyes are wide with what appears to be fear, but the clawed hands keep me frozen in place, a blueberry still clenched in my hand.

“Hurry,” it says with more urgency, taking a step toward me as if to pull me from my home itself.

I curl back, fear lodging a scream in my throat. I eye the only weapon I have near me, the plate on which my fruit rested. I wonder if it will render this being motionless.

It must read my decision because in seconds it is beside me, claw hands resting gently on my shoulders. “I will not harm you. I am here to save you. Please,” it begs now.

Another explosion knocks me into this being, my face planting into the scales that is its chest, and I curl back in horror. A scent of day old fish assaults me and I find my face scrunching up in displeasure.

“I am not leaving my home with… with… whatever you are, until you tell me what is going on!” I demand, shocked my voice is steady when all I feel is panic and fear.

The beast visibly sighs and that is when I notice the gills in its neck, expanding and then closing. A shudder grips me and I take another involuntary step back.

“I am here on the behest of the god Poseidon. I am to save you, but I will fail if we do not leave NOW!” The being yells.

My heart dives into my stomach. The last thing any human ever wants is to catch the eye of a god. While some might think it a glorious thing, it only ends in misery and often death.

“I think I would rather die with my home,” I mutter.

The beast’s eyes flash red and its skin goes luminescent before returning to a very pale white. “I do not have time for insolence,” it says before his claws are gripping my waist and flinging me over its scaly shoulders as if I weigh nothing and dragging me out the door, just seconds before a boulder the size of a moon lands atop my home, completely decimating it before my eyes.

The being is carrying me away too quickly and soon the only home I have ever known is both literally and figuratively gone. Moisture pools in my eyes, but I refuse to cry. Instead I allow anger to control my next actions. I begin to beat on the beasts back, my hands hitting solid scale and probably hurting me more than it.

“Put me down you disgusting piece of filth!” I scream, which gets devoured by the battle raging above us in the skies.

Reds and oranges flicker in the sky between the pitch black clouds, giving the world below small glimpses of frightening power. Lightning strikes in our path, but my kidnapper easily evades it and picks up his pace to a mind-numbing speed. My body convulses with the erratic pitching, ribs knocking harshly against the scaly flesh beneath me.

“We are almost there,” the being yells over the violence and my body recoils at the thought of where there is.

Before I can royally freak out, I am tossed unceremoniously onto my feet, stumbling at the sudden motion and almost losing my berries in the process. My hands grip my ribs and I groan before I even realize the other odd thing. The complete and utter silence.

I finally take in my surroundings. We are down on the shore, hundreds of miles from my home. No wonder I feel like upchucking a week’s worth of food, which in all honesty isn’t that much.

Still.

There are more like the thing that brought me here. They all stand at attention along the shore, three long rows of perhaps fifty in each. I stare wide-eyed, never having seen such creatures.

Then my vision lands on the mammoth half-man and half-serpent leaning over a table in the distance. His entire scale-frame is tense as he barks out orders. It is my staring that eventually turns him to face me, as if sensing my gaze.

A smile crosses his horribly handsome face. A face that is both rugged and beautiful, should not be on that body. Queasiness quickly overtakes the anger, and I find myself taking small steps backward as the god Poseidon slithers toward me.

Long black hair reaches to his waist and irises made of ocean blue capture my retreating figure.

“Well done, Mekhail. You managed to save my champion,” he practically purrs. Another oddity considering the image before me.

I shiver at his voice, those thick lashes of his brushing his cheeks as he blinks, taking me all in. “She is quite the vision, is she not?” He seems to ask of no one.

I take another step back, which only makes his smile broaden.

“Cham… cham…pion?” I manage to stammer.

“Why yes. You will help me defeat Zeus,” he says with a nonchalance as if discussing the weather.

Incredulousness pauses me in my retreat. I am a mere human, who at most has wielded a rock to break up the rare meats I can catch. Is this god insane? Oh right. They all are.

I must have a look of utter disbelief because it seems to amuse him.

His laughter dances along my flesh, like a keyed-in song to my body, and I gag in repulsion but nothing comes up.

“Just … send me home please,” I beg futilely.

“You have no home, Ariella. We are your home now,” he adds with an imperious wave of his colossal arm.

The words repeat over and over in my dulled mind and when the darkness comes, I accept it with open arms.

(Okay, I wrote more like 40 minutes, but still…. :D)

#Warcraft Legion Burnout

I think World of Warcraft Legion was great in concept, but when it comes down to it, awful for people who love alts.

As someone who is an alt-whore, I am burned out beyond belief. After leveling up the artifact for ONE (and not my main—I always do an alt first to get a feel for things, then plow through on my main) … I am exhausted and I haven’t even fully completed that first toon’s ‘everything’.

I have been working on my actual main now. I finally hit 110 the other day, and in less than a week I feel pretty worn out between the two… and that IS with the boost for artifact power that they have given us with the latest patch.

That, and while many have already gotten 2 and even 3 legendary items, as someone who has ZERO luck when it comes to drops, I have gotten nada on my characters (and I have played my first consistently since October). I play quite a bit. Most nights for six to nine hours and every three weekends.

I know they were trying to give people a lot to do, so no one would complain a year in about having nothing to do (as with WOD), but I feel like they missed the mark yet again by going too far in the opposite direction (balance is key). I feel so overwhelmed that just the thought of logging in and working on my second (but main) character, has me slightly anxious.

That, and add the fact that I would LIKE to level my other alts … I can’t even fathom doing that right now… which makes this expansion very unfriendly to alt-lovers (in my opinion). This might have been something they were aiming to do, I don’t know.

I do know that my one friend who typically has 2-3 max-geared alts for raiding (he gets on whichever character might be needed for that night to raid), has found this very burdensome and their guild has had to find many replacements/add-on raiders that might not raid each time they do, but ‘cover’ when their class/spec is needed.

Not everyone enjoys raiding like that, especially guilds that are already small. I have read of a few big guilds giving up on raiding this expansion (and perhaps for good), because their core members are just finding it too difficult to be the best of the best with all that is required to get there per character.

If I were someone who focused solely on a single one and that was it, this expansion might be a dream for me. So this is just one side of the coin as to why I am not really feeling this expansion. It just doesn’t make me want to rush online and play my six toons all at once (which other expansions have).

And don’t even get me started on professions. As someone who both enjoys them and enjoys making gold from them, I have felt so very frustrated/angry with how professions are done in Legion. My engineering is stuck at 780 and mining at 785 (which I plan to slowly get to 800 with Darkmoon Faire, because I feel stuck and have no idea how to have it hit max)… the same is true of my main character’s herbalism and Inscription (which has pretty much become the most pointless profession—I actually miss glyphs and deciding which boost is best, etc!). It makes me very blasé about trying to even bother with maxing professions on alts (which I kind of don’t even want to lvl at this point because of reasons above).

Also, I think the community as a whole is dying. Before, guilds were VERY important. It built community and friendships and while games always have their trolls/dicks … I think now it’s like a virus and has just spread.

Most people don’t care why you are looking for a group. They just want their gear or their achievement and have no problems being a dick about it. If your group doesn’t work out? No biggie, we’ll just randomly find another group, abandoning the first, and so continues the mission until you spend three full nights on a raid boss or mythic because people keep coming/going and no one sticks it out OR you have to have an ilvl of 950, and every achievement in the book, to get into a DECENT raid/Dungeon group … and it’s just elitist ridiculousness.

I miss when guilds were integral to the game and people joined to be HELPFUL, to LEARN and to GROW friendships/community. I honestly feel like this has been the biggest killer of WoW … the people that play are just so toxic that one can’t help but WANT to play alone.

Anyway! In a nutshell, what I am saying, is that as a huge ALT-lover … this expansion is just not very fun for me. I feel very anxious just thinking about getting on my TWO characters, never mind the other four, and doing the grind on each and every single one of them. The ‘core’ of what made this game is dying, and it really is sad to see; the people, the community, and playing multiple classes in a single expansion (experiencing each of their timelines, stories, etc.).

Muse vs. Reality

I find the constant battle between my muse and reality painful. Today is one of those days where I really want to write. My muse is sitting in this dark corner in the back of my mind wanting out, but the reality is I can’t seem to put two words together that make any sense at the moment, even with all of these ideas floating around.

I have begun about four different types of books over the last three months, and I just cannot stick to one. I cannot focus. I am gung-ho one second for this YA book, but then my mind drifts and I decide to go a totally different route and begin something new, only to drop that one a few weeks/chapters in.

My brain just cannot FOCUS. I don’t know how to weigh it down and bring out the muse, have her stay in control and see something through to the end.

What’s sad is that I have a total of about twenty unfinished books sitting around on different computers, and between all of them it could probably be enough for three whole books … sigh.

It’s not that I do not love my characters. I love them. There are many that really stick to my mind, even now, and it’s been months that I’ve visited them in my works. I just … I don’t know. This is one of the biggest reasons I could never be a professional author. I am way too flippy-floppy and my mind is all over the place with ideas and it’s like I have imagination/writer’s ADD. Ugh.

How do you stay focused? What keeps you on track and moving forward on a single project?

Flashback Friday: To the 80’s

I loved the 80’s. I loved the movies. I loved the music. I loved the culture.

It was just an amazing decade (probably biased by my growing up in it/90s). This morning on the ride in, I had it tuned into my “flashback” station which plays 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s.

This song popped up and I was overwhelmed with nostalgia (which led to me crying, but that is a whole other story not for this post). This was probably my favorite song, and it happened to be in one of my favorite films, Pretty in Pink.

This is making me want to binge watch 80’s movies this weekend.

Prompt: Passport – 30 Min. of Writing

via Daily Prompt: Passport

The hustle and bustle of the blinding white room assault his already raw senses. Eyes squinting to keep out the light that seems to be coming from every which way, he shuffles forward behind a seemingly endless line.

“Passport,” a gruff voice intones from somewhere to his left.

Risking a wider glance, the man twists himself slightly toward it. “Excuse me?”

“Your passport, sir.” The disembodied person says a little softer, the edge gone.

“I …” The man pats his body, searching for anything that might be on him and comes up empty.

“No,” the entity slowly steps forward and it appears human except for the extremely large pearly white wings at his back, currently pressed into his frame.

The wings look like they are made of thick, ten inch feathers, that cascade down the length of the tall figure, the very tips brushing the floor. The curved cartilage of the top wingspan appears strong and unbreakable, and the man can’t help but stare in awe, reining in his desire to reach out and touch them.

“Am I … is this a dream?” He asks so softly he doubts the figure can hear him.

The entity before him takes a step forward and the aura around him engulfs the man, relaxing him immediately.

“No. You have died, sir. This is the receiving line for entrance into the best after party this side of the universe,” the angel jokes.

The man looks on stunned, his mind immediately reeling from the revelation and then quickly shifts to the other horrific truth. His family. His family has lost him and he has lost them. An ache begins in his chest and spreads outward, overwhelming him.

The second they enter his thoughts, he is whipped away and appears randomly in a room he recognizes well. It’s his bedroom at home and he is lying in the center of it. His face looks so serene as if he is only asleep, but the people around him are reacting quite differently.

His eldest daughter is bent over the side of the bed, tears streaming down her face as she repeats over and over, “I love you, Daddy. I love you so much. You have suffered enough, go in peace. I love you, I love you. I already miss you so much.”

His middle child, the one most like him, sits stoically at the edge of the bed beside her, holding his hand, whispering the same words.

His baby, the youngest of his three is lying alongside the man, hugging his body and crying so hard he gently rocks the bed.

The ache in his chest grows, and he turns to look for his wife, who is at the foot the bed, sobbing and speaking in their native tongue. Her loving words and pain seeming to travel through the veil and striking his heart full force, so harshly he actually gasps out loud.

A loud whoosh and he is back, standing before the angel, the male features softer. “There will be time for that, but now we must get you processed. I need your passport.”

The lump in his throat makes it difficult for him to speak, but the angel notes the confusion on his face and adds, “I must see your soul.”

“How .. how do I show you my soul?” The man’s raw emotion in every word.

“Just, open up. Let me in,” the angel prods.

The man’s eyes widen slightly as he feels the slight pressure all around him. At first he tenses up, but the words ring through him and he begins to let go. Let go of the shell that encases his soul.

A blinding light encompasses both of them, forcing the man to slowly close his eyes, a warmth beginning in his toes and working its way upward slowly until he feels like a star on fire.

“You lived a good life, Manuel. You honored your wife. You loved without question. You worked hard but took pleasure in the small things that mattered. You gave selflessly and reared three beautiful children with hearts that match your own. Your small sins have been greatly outweighed by your overabundance of virtues and you should be happy and proud of the life you lived, Manuel. Your children and wife will have a long road ahead of them, but you have given them the greatest gift they will ever need to battle their grief. Love. Unconditional and powerful. You can rest in peace that they will be okay, and one day … before you even realize it… you will see them again. You were and are loved.”

The angel steps forward and places a large hand upon Manuel’s forehead. Closing his eyes, the angel opens his magnificent wings and wraps them gently around the man known as Manuel.

The peace fills Manuel immediately, followed by that loving warmth. The angel whispers gently, “you can now rest in eternal peace, Manuel.”

(The above is dedicated to my father, who passed away June 9th, 2016 at 3:53 PM. I love you so much, and miss you every single day of my life. It hurts so much sometimes that you are not here by our sides. I do not think this ache will ever ebb away).

Review: Iron Fist S1E1

“Snow Gives Way”

In the very first episode, we are introduced to most of what will probably become the ‘main’ cast. We have the lead, Danny Rand (played by Finn Jones), returning home to New York. His first order of business is heading straight for his father’s company and seeking out his father’s old best friend, Harold Meachum (which he quickly finds out passed away six years prior).

Problem is, everyone from his past believes that he and his parents are dead from an airplane crash fifteen years ago. Not only is he faced with disbelief from friends he always felt were like family, he is faced with constant judgment by all of those around him.

Dressed simply in dirty sweat pants and a rumpled shirt, he also seems to find comfort in walking around barefoot. This immediately makes the world view him as a homeless man and he is treated as such from the get-go, even though his demeanor is nothing like that of a homeless person (as represented by the gentlemen we later meet in the park when Rand encroaches on his spot—the man is the only one to treat Rand with kindness because he too assumes Rand is like him; homeless).

We meet the Meachum’s, Ward (Tom Pelphrey) and Joy (Jessica Stroup), Danny’s childhood friends and now the ones in control of his father’s company. Both openly face him with skepticism but Ward with outright hostility (which makes perfect sense since the ‘real’ Danny owns 51% of the company).

While Joy can see the resemblance of a younger Danny, Ward absolutely refuses to believe it and thinks it’s some competitor company attempting to sabotage theirs. Doesn’t take much for Joy herself to agree with her brother, and both treat Rand with cold indifference, which he accepts with disbelief and sorrow.

It is clearly not the homecoming he had been expecting. He can’t grasp why they can’t believe he is being earnest (he has a very innocent nature about him—which I see becoming one of his superhero weaknesses).

We also meet Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick), the martial arts sensei of a small/struggling dojo in a shady neighborhood. It is weird how he is quickly tossed into her life and this felt really odd. I think they could have developed that a little better and made it a bit more smooth.

The episode is definitely slow as it is setting the stage for what I have a feeling will be a few running themes; power struggle, misinterpretations, sense of belonging ( and lack of), living in the past while attempting to move forward, the ‘hand’ in the shadows, the internal battle that Danny will face on a daily basis of biased views from both sides of the spectrum, his constantly having to prove himself to those around him, his almost annoying innocent naivety (like he is still that child that disappeared 15 years ago) which I am sure will get him in trouble often (not ‘getting’ how the world is, but valid in how it ‘should’ be).

I feel like the dialogue in the first episode was definitely strained. This can happen with a first episode though and I have seen it in a lot of shows. Doesn’t mean the show will be bad. I can say that the second episode greatly improves on this (still strained, but better).

The few fight scenes in this first episode were bad. I was really not impressed. It felt very sluggish and almost robotic. As an ‘expert’ raised and trained for the last 15 years by a ‘Master‘, it does NOT show. Sadly, this did not improve in episode two, but I am hoping it does as the show progresses. This show is about martial arts so hopefully, they put more effort into the choreography/training for these scenes.

For being the very first episode, I felt it was definitely more on the ‘meh’ side, but I decided to go ahead and watch the second one, which had improvements. I’ll post a review of that tomorrow.

30 Min of Writing – Prompt: Fortune

via Daily Prompt: Fortune

My mind is abuzz with excitement, heart racing and thunderous in my ears.

The gown looks perfect. Each dip, sway and twist of the silk fabric molds to my body’s natural curves to look both salacious and classic. The deep green material bringing out the emerald flecks in my honeyed irises and managing to make my garnet locks pop.

Tonight’s ball will be the talk of the town, and this gown will put me in the center of it. A gleeful smile spreads across my porcelain features as I practice craning my long neck to expose the low bust line without seemingly on purpose.

The clomp of hooves on gravel and loud neighing as the horses are pulled to a stop out front prevents me from admiring my reflection any longer.

“Arabella, the carriage here. Let’s go dear,” my mother calls down from down below. Her deep Irish accent still heavy, even though she has lived in England for over a decade.

I quickly snatch up the black cape off my bed and swing the heavy fabric around my shoulders, tying the straps near my neck as I hurry out of my bedroom. I take the stairs slowly, as the last thing I want is to topple down them and break my leg on one of my biggest nights.

My mother and father are waiting patiently in the foyer, each dressed impeccably. Father is his best black tailcoat and vest, pinstriped trousers and gleaming white dress shirt. A top hat in his left hand and cane in his right. Mother, equally breathtaking in her velvet ensemble that is a tad more modest than my own, with a higher bust line and covered arms, but it too hugs her generous curves.

Our butler Jeeves opens the front door as we all scurry out into the chilled night air and pile into the carriage; me first and father last. As the carriage jerks into motion, I stare out at the black night and attempt to rein in my excitement. My entire skin feels electric and even my toes tingle.

“You look lovely, Arabella.” My father’s gruff voice fills the entire cabin of the carriage with its power. As a man of wealth, he is used to being heard and relishes in it.

“Thank you, father. I rather like that red cravat. It matches mother’s dress perfectly.” I give them both a wide smile. “Which, by the way, mother, you look stunning.”

She brushes her hands along the dress’s folds and shoots me a strained smile. “Thank you, dear.”

Mother isn’t too pleased with me. After I turned down a marriage proposal from an American entrepreneur, she has been giving me the cold shoulder and silent treatment all month.

I find I rather like it.

I go back to observing the darkness as if it is the most fascinating thing in the world.

It takes the carriage almost thirty minutes over stoned roads for us to reach our destination; Lord Williamson’s estate.

Lord Williamson is quite possibly the most eligible bachelor in England and I am going to snag him for myself.

A man of immense fortune, it is not going to be an easy task as the vultures will be swooping down around him all night, and so I have to be the one that stands out. Intriguing enough to grasp his attention and then keep it.

A smile tugs on my lips as my mind plays out a scenario of how I believe the night will go.

(And then the thirty minutes ended—and it’s rusty since I haven’t written in a few weeks, ugh).

World of Warcraft

Finally hit 110 on my paladin today. She is my second 110 in Legion. Took me a while because I leveled her from 1 – 110 with no BOA’s. It was fun though and I managed to complete a lot of the zones I need for Loremaster. So, two birds – one stone.

One of the things I love about my paladin, is her class hall. I have played a shaman, a hunter, and a monk and so far, paladin’s class hall is definitely my favoite. Here are just a couple of pictures.

 

Once I hit 110, and now that patch 7.2 is out, Khadgar gave me a quest for a scenario to unlock the new isle, Broken Shore. I have to admit, the scenes were crisp and even beautiful, but the alien invasion feel to it made me mentall go, ‘really?’. It felt like that scene in Avengers and shit is about to hit the fan that would become the Battle of New York. All the big ships come in and hover around and I swear these suckers kinda look like them.

But was an an easy enough solo scenario and it unlocked the isle for me. It’s pretty much like Tanaan Jungle from Warlords of Draenor and Timeless Isle from Pandaria, so I am only doing world quests until I am exalted, because gear I am sure will be worthless. We’ll see.

Here are a handful of screenshots from the scenario’s opening sequence. Really loved how Dalaran looked in the light before the ‘darkness’ came. It was a decent cinematic.


I dont know whether to be sad or content, but in one night I signifcantly brought up my iLvl. Granted I purchased two pieces of gear, but four of my other drops ugraded to warforged … insanity.