Throwback Thursday: My Heart (Part 2)

Hello everyone! Welcome to part two of my memories related to my heart. This time, though, I won’t be talking about my WPW. That’s done and over with! What isn’t over with is my emotional progress, and today, I really want to delve into that. I know delving deep is for Saturdays though, so we’ll keep it light. Let’s talk about my dating history- not too much, but enough to show my growth.

A precursor to understanding my mental state in regards to dating is I’ve always dated online. Yes, even when I was a teen, I never seemed to fall hard for my classmates (at least none that liked me back)… But I found it easy to find partners online. My first boyfriend- who I’m still friendly with online a decade or so later- was when I was a preteen. We did live in the same state, not far from each other… but we were both very young, and meeting just wasn’t feasible. What’s funny is we still haven’t met, but we’re still good friends! Interesting how the world works, isn’t it?

I’ve dated many people since then- some I was working to save up to visit, others I didn’t like quite enough to want to meet. But last year, something big happened. I actually met my special someone in person. We’ve been together over a year now- when we met up, it was already more than half a year. (Wait, doesn’t that mean it’s going to be two years soon!?) In fact, it was just last June that I got to see him for the first time.

See, this relationship has changed a lot of my mind. Unlike with others, I was desperate to be able to be near him. More-so than any relationship before. When he offered to bring me over to where he lives, I was honestly in shock… But also the happiest I’d ever been, probably.

That trip, however, set off a couple of my anxiety triggers. For starters, we couldn’t stop pushing that we’d take the couch so the other could take his bed. We ended up just both sleeping in his bed, side by side. As someone who’s been a quasi-androphobe most of her life, that was a big deal all by itself. But it wasn’t just him in the house, either. I was staying in the family home. Yep, you guessed it, it was basically a mix of ‘meeting my boyfriend offline for the first time’ and ‘meeting the parents for the first time’ all in one.

The fact that I even trusted him that strongly was a clue for my fickle self that I was growing. He’d lied to me about his life in the past, mostly because he was trying to seem more attractive for me than he felt he was. However, when he came out with the truth months before that trip, I wasn’t angry in the way I’d usually be. If anything, I was happy the things he said turned out to be lies. I was happy he was opening up to me! I wasn’t feeling betrayed like any other lie I’d heard in my life!

And then we met, and slowly my fears faded. My androphobia didn’t act up, because I felt safe. I haven’t felt safe with someone other than my father in a long time. Even now, he’s changing me: I get urges to hear his voice to feel closer to him than I am. I crave to be near him once more- even if it’s just to watch him playing a game or something.

Okay, now that I fully embarrassed myself, tell me: How has a relationship helped you grow? I’d love to hear more stories about growing stronger with the help of others!

P.S.: I have plans to visit him again in the coming months. When I know when it is exactly, I’ll make sure to forewarn you since I probably won’t be able to write posts that week more likely than not. I really need to find a way to get my laptop on my plane this time…

Well, take care! I look forward to seeing you all again on Saturday, where I’ll delve deeper into my psyche and the reason I feel this growth is so important!

Topical Tuesday: ComiPo

Welcome to Topical Tuesday, everyone! Today, I’ll be discussing a specific program I use quite frequently. For example, it’s what I used for all my graphics here! Yup, that’s right- today’s topic is Manga Maker ComiPo!

If you’ve never heard of ComiPo- well, don’t worry. A lot of people haven’t. What ComiPo is is an art tool intended to make comics and manga. It uses 3D models and 2D assets to help those who can’t draw (like me) make scenes and stories in a different medium. Now, some comic artists rebuke those of us who work with ComiPo- they think it’s cheating, I guess. The thing is, to really make something good, even in ComiPo, it takes a lot of effort, thought and time. And ComiPo definitely does make you do that.

I’ve been using ComiPo for many years now. It’s grown a lot over the years, but I have hope it’s still growing. I’ve seen it start as simple as can be and slowly moved to things like adding your own models and 2D assets to further customize your work. It’s grown to let you transform the angle of 2D assets, change the size of heads, and even make short animations using it! ComiPo has a versatile area of things it can be used for. That said… Let’s focus on my uses for now, shall we?

I use ComiPo in a lot of facets of my life. I’ve often used it to make cards for my relatives; I’ve got plans to use it in the magazine I work for and have done so before; I use it for pure fun; and finally, I use it hoping to be able to make a sellable comic one day.

For reference, here is some more of my work using ComiPo:

Of course, even a program I love has to have a bad side. For me, that’s mostly its tendency to hate me and freeze up when I ask it to do something. This was an intermittent issue until recently- so I hope it’ll be an easy fix. But there are other little things that bother me about ComiPo. There’s a limit to the type of items you can import; some of its own backgrounds don’t fit the art style of the characters (which I guess some people like, but???); and, just in general, you have to buy a LOT of add-on packs to an already expensive product to vary your character models more. I’ve also had some bad luck with tech support- but I have hope it’s going to get better!

Overall, was ComiPo worth the price? To me, definitely- but it’s even better if you can get it on sale. ComiPo can be used to make all sorts of artistic things, not just comics- that alone makes it worth it to me. Although it’s bad for the wallet in the long run, if you use it right, you might be able to make some money using it.

Please note that the original PC version is has totally been dropped. Steam is the only real method to get it anymore. If you’re interested in ComiPo, please look at their website, as well as their page in the Steam store.

That’s all for today. Take care guys!

Soulful Saturday: High School

Hello everyone! It’s time for some deep diving into my psyche again as we enter another Soulful Saturday. Today, I decided to talk about something that’s not so secret, but something that I can’t stop feeling bothered by: high school, and the reason I failed to finish it.

If you were here last week, you’ll know already about my history of needing psychiatric medication and a hospitalization or two. And if you were here just the other day, you’ll know I was born with a heart condition. That said, I have a slew of diagnoses besides that: everything from fibromyalgia to spine damage, from congenital anosmia to an unusual case of hyperacusia. I have chronic migraines, a hormonal cycle as kind as a nasty mother-in-law, and blood pressure the polar opposite of the high that runs in my family. Basically, my genetic pool sucks.

Here’s where that became a problem for students in the old days: in a time where it was way harder to get an education from online sources legally, I was constantly out sick from school. If I was out six or more days, the quarter of that year was a failing grade automatically- and I failed a lot because of it. It didn’t matter I always had a doctor’s note. It didn’t matter if it was five days in a row because of the flu. If I was out, I was out. And eventually, being out led me to being kicked out. But that’s not the end of this story.

They did try other things, you see. They tried tutoring at the library which actually worked, until they discovered alternative schools for kids with issues like mine. The first one they sent me to was over an hour away from where I lived- if I felt even minorly sick, I refused to go in because there was no way I’d get to my doctor at a good time. Then, they switched me to a brand new one in town. And that’s when I learned something interesting.

Many students were absent far more than me and still passed. Apparently, the rules in those schools were based on the student’s town. It didn’t matter where I went- I was still a student of Paramus High School, even if I never had to step into that building to go to my classes. And because I was a Paramus student, I was held to the same harsh reality: Health was less important, in a way, than education.

I loved school is what’s funny. I’ve always loved learning, and I had great teachers most of my life. Sure, there were some hiccups, but for the most part, I was happy with the staff. I got along with my classmates, too. But once I was nineteen almost and retaking eleventh grade, my town decided keeping me as a student was too costly. I was expelled by their order, and have since not been to school ever again.

This is stuff that happened just under a decade ago, however. It’s not like the results ruined my life. I’ve yet to get my GED due to a multitude of complications, but I managed to get a job despite it because my boss, as well as being a kind person, saw my talents in editing and writing- we met in a writing group, after all! The fact I have this job, despite being disabled and a high school drop out, is more than special to me. Just thinking about how lucky I am to have met my boss and coworkers… I feel like crying!

So, I leave this post as a testament to the fact that, while it’s important to get an education, we don’t all get lucky hands. Play the hand you’re dealt, and remember there’s going to be some silver lining in your future. If it worked for me, it’ll work for you. I’m sure of it.

Throwback Thursday: My Heart (Part 1)

It’s Throwback Thursday, guys! That means it’s time to share with you a memory or two that has brought me to where I am today as a person and writer. For today, I decided to focus on a what may seem like a very vague topic: my heart.

I was born with a slightly unusual heart. You see, I was born with Wolff Parkinson White syndrome- a condition where the heart has more electrical pathways than it should, and causes various problems such as tachycardia. It also works with anxiety in a doomed tandem. There were some good jokes about my heart I always liked to make- but those are no longer necessary. Why? Well, I got it fixed two years ago.

My doctor, when I was a teenager, tried to talk me into a procedure called ablation. In an ablation, they run a thin catheter through your veins to take a look at the heart. When they find potential culprit nerves, they activate it with an electric stimulation- and, once they find the true culprits, they burn it off with radiation or freeze it to death. Point blank: they can rid you of the nerves sending your body into a frenzy.

That said, I didn’t go for the procedure until about ten years after it was recommended. I was too scared of needles, too scared anesthesia would kill me. I honestly felt traumatized for a while that they even wanted to do something to my heart. I suppose it was just my childish view that it was dangerous- because actually, most procedures are much safer on kids!

Well, two years ago in May, I finally got my ablation. I remember the procedure fairly well to a point: I remember convulsing on the table I was strapped down to as they tried to find the nerves with activation. Then, as they were prepared to take out the buggers, they put me deeper under the anesthesia than I’d been before. I was soon asleep.

When I woke up, they were already preparing to move me out of the surgical theater. The doctor smiled at me as I was rolled out on my hospital bed, asking me, “How does it feel not to have WPW anymore?” The words relieved me. It was finally over! Well, mostly.

The hardest part of that day wasn’t the convulsing on the table. It was the fact I had to stay in a very specific position and had to have my legs locked down so that my body could heal from the catheter. I had to stay like that for four hours, guys. FOUR. HOURS. It was so painful to move after growing numbed by the brace keeping it down. I can’t stress it enough. It hurt, bad.

That said, I’m glad I got the procedure. A year later, I was planning a trip to help my emotional heart without any worries that the three nerves I had burned would bother me. As for the details of that trip… Well, let’s save that for next time. Okay?

Topical Tuesday: Travel

Hey there guys! Welcome back, or if you’re new, just a great big welcome! It’s Topical Tuesday, meaning we’re going to talk about something mild and easy. And, thanks to lurking some sites for writing prompts, I’ve got a pretty good idea of what to talk about today.

Today’s topic? Travel.

There are many reasons a person travels, and traveling can vary in national and international ways. I personally have never been out of the United States- I don’t even have a passport, quite honestly. But even if I’ve never left this country, I’ve had my fair share of travels. I’ve lived in two states on opposite sides of the continent, I’ve been to almost every time zone at least twice in my life. The only one I don’t recall ever being in is Central.

I’ve traveled for many reasons in my life. Sometimes it was a relative having a conference and bringing me along. Others, it was because of an extracurricular activity. My most memorable travels, however, are usually the ones I choose to go on to see loved ones. Today, I’m going to give you a quick idea of some of the trips I remember most.

  1. Model UN Pasadena Trip
    I mentioned earlier that I lived on both sides of the continent. When I said that, I was inferring that I lived, for a short time, in northern California. It was an iffy time in my life as I was going through puberty and had a somewhat over-controlled life set up for me. However, I did grow to enjoy the extracurriculars I was pushed into. Model UN, in particular, brings memories I’ll never forget- including finding out two years after it my crush, who I said nothing to about it, always knew and was waiting for me to tell him about liking him. Oops?
  2. A Maternal Disaster
    My second memory of traveling actually happened earlier than the Model UN trip by about a year or two. I was taken by my aunt to visit my estranged mother- and well, there was a disaster at first, but it wasn’t all bad. Still, this is a painful memory more than a pleasant one. My mother hadn’t changed at all, I came to realize- and maybe the real reason I went there was to get closure and accept that fact. I certainly grew some closure… As much as you can when you’re already living in an insane household.
  3. My Beloved
    This trip actually happened in the past year. I’ve dated online most of my life, but I’ve never met up with the people I dated… Until last June, when I went to see my boyfriend and his family for the first time in my life. Needless to say, meeting your boyfriend offline for the first time coinciding with meeting his family is a bit intimidating, but it was a wonderful trip I look forward to making again sometime this summer. To my surprise, Arizona heat isn’t as painful for me as the current heat in our tristate area. I had been to Arizona once before as a child, and remembered it very differently.

    Unlike the child I was, I’ve grown to see charm in Arizona and similar states with arid deserts. I’ve started thinking that if I move out of state, Arizona would be a good destination- and not just because my favorite person is there! No, I want to go because it’s cheaper, and it’s easier on my health problems than this muggy sauna of a state I’m stuck in.

That’s it for today. Those are some of the many travels I’ve taken in my life within our country- and I hope to travel much more in the years to come! If you’d be willing to, I’d love to see a travel story of yours in the comments. Until Thursday- take care!

Soulful Saturday: Why Not To Say ‘I’m Fine’

Hihi everyone! Pull up a chair and relax as best you can, because today’s post is all about things my mental illnesses have lead to- and some of the quirks I’ve grown to have through experiences not all pleasant to the ever curious eye. If you’re easily triggered by things like hospitals, suicidal thoughts, some minor cursing, or just generally find mental illness as a topic too uncomfortable, you might want to skip this soul-searching session.

That said, let’s move on to today’s Soulful Saturday! Let’s show our support for Mental Health Awareness Month!

Before I can go through my story with mental illness, I think it’s important I share with you my list of diagnoses that will be discussed over time, not necessarily only in this post. I’m diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder with panic attacks; schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type; OCD; Borderline Personality Disorder… And I know there was something else, but I’ve honestly forgotten. My memory isn’t that great with all my meds and other health issues!

But there, now you have a base. Today, I’m going to focus mostly on the schizoaffective and the anxiety disorder. Why? Because honestly, I could write a book about Borderline, and I don’t feel like starting it now. Maybe another time.

My schizoaffective was likely the biggest problem for me in my youth. I’d be too afraid to leave the house if my hallucinations were bad (some weren’t scary, others scared my socks off). My mood would (and still does) change on a dime. But really, I want to focus on the schizo part of this: because it’s my schizo that led me to being hospitalized in high school. Well, the schizoaffective and the medicine I was put on because of it.

To The Hospital

For those of you that aren’t aware, I had a heart condition growing up, which I only got fixed maybe two years ago? I was put on a common antipsychotic called abilify- but the warnings on that medicine includes ‘do not take with a heart condition’. My doctor, however, was a total asshat. He threatened to have me taken away from my father if I didn’t take it! I told him about the reason, I told him when my heart problems worsened, and this horrible man just didn’t care a rat’s ass about my health swirling downward instead of getting better.

Now, I mentioned I was hospitalized. This isn’t because of the voices- this is because of my being triggered by mother’s day, which resulted me becoming depressed enough to contemplate suicide, as my homicidal rage towards my mother always made me feel worse. My mother abandoned me- how was I supposed to celebrate the woman that never wanted me outside possibly curing (or at least permanently putting into remission) her Crohn’s? So, after writing my journal about the pain, I shared it with my therapist… Who immediately called an ambulance. I’d been asking for years to go to the hospital, and I was finally getting what I wanted.

I was there ten days, and I saw a lot. One person tried to jab a pencil into their throat to commit suicide. A little kid constantly needed shots in his butt to calm him down. A guy kept eating the paper for the ward’s point system… I witnessed a lot, let’s just keep it at that. I was thankful to be off the abilify (first thing they did when they looked at my health file). Truly, I was. That’s probably why I was only there for ten days.

After the Hospital

For many, including myself at the time, it’s not well known that after you get out of the hospital, you often go to a day program called ‘partial hospitalization’, meant to help you return to your normal life. There were therapy sessions galore, from regular group therapy to art therapy. And I learned some valuable things! For one… I learned to hate the word ‘fine’, and to avoid using it when telling someone how I’m doing.

Now, I know many people see ‘fine’ as a bad term to use because it often means they don’t want to be honest. But there’s more to it, I learned. You see, fine is an acronym. There’s a reason it’s taken as opposite of the term’s meaning. You see, here’s what it means:

Fucked up
Insecure
Neurotic and
Emotional.

That acrostic doesn’t sound like a great thing at all, does it? Ever since learning this at the partial hospitalization program, I’ve stopped accepting ‘fine’ as an answer to how someone’s feeling- because I know what it means: it’s a cover-up to avoid explaining what’s really going on in your life.

And that, my friends, is what I truly wanted to share with you today. I wanted to share how mental health can coincide with your body health, and how a visit to the hospital can teach you and change you. I know I haven’t gotten in as deep as I’d like, but… For now, just digest what I’ve shared so far. If you feel like sharing your own experiences in the comments, I’d love to hear them! But no matter what… please, never tell me you’re ‘fine’.

Throwback Thursday: Artsy Nostalgia

Good afternoon, and welcome to my second Throwback Thursday post! I’ve been thinking a lot about nostalgia lately, to be honest. In recent months, I joined a discord group for people who used my favorite site from when I was young- .hack//chat. They’re a varied group of people, but I knew a lot of them when I was only ten, eleven years old. When I first joined I was skeptical, but now… The nostalgia brings a smile to my face as we talk occasionally about the old days and try to plan to recreate the site that was like home to me once again.

Now mind you, that’s not what this post is about. I just wanted to point out when I started thinking so hard about nostalgia in the first place. While exploring my past in memories and kindred spirits, I started thinking of other things I did back then. One such thing? That was around the same time I started using deviantART for my drawings and poems.

Just yesterday, I started lurking my first DA account (yes, I have two- I was too lazy to delete the old account, and I like looking at it from time to time). I found things that I couldn’t help but ridicule, like my art style- but I also found some poems that made me smile. In fact, I found one that brought me some nostalgia all it’s own, because it was a remake of a poem I’d written the year before at sleep away camp!

So, today, I’d like to share with you my nostalgia from my youth. I have chosen a poem and some of my albeit bad drawings to share with you. I hope you’ll appreciate their childish charm as I do- because really, that’s the main value they have.

First off, the poem: An Ode to Oranges

The lucious color
Bright, pure
The tangy taste
One knows for sure
T'is the orange, ripe
Ready to peel
What underneath the skin
Will we reveal?
I open the skin
Ready to show
The bright color
Under hazy glow.
The orange is peeled
And ready to eat
Let us enjoy
Our tiny,
But delectable feast.

Now, some really sad pictures:

What’s something that makes you nostalgic? I’d love to know!

Topical Tuesday: Manga I Love

Good afternoon, everyone! It’s time for another Topical Tuesday- and today, I have a pretty broad topic to discuss: Manga.

I was stuck on a topic you see, and a friend recommended I talk about my favorite genre- but the thing is, I read manga 99% of the time nowadays, and I have a very eclectic range with it on things I enjoy. While I can never seem to enjoy a science fiction novel, science fiction in manga is regularly enjoyable for me. I read horror manga to fight my anxiety and get mentally stronger. There’s just no end to what manga does for me!

Of course, even I have certain genres that draw me to them when it comes to manga. I have a hard time enjoying sports ones, for example. And there’s a lot of those out there! A sports manga can be great, but it gets boring seeing the drama and not really learning about the sport that much. And I’ve seen that issue a lot in sports manga.

For me, my favorite genres are probably a mix of horror, supernatural in general, romance manga, and good ol’ slapstick comedies. Since there’s a lot of sub-genres and even a lot of crossover with these genres, I’m going to talk about each of them just a bit, just to give you an idea of my mind and what I notice.

First off, horror. I don’t like ALL horror, by any means. I tried reading Corpse Party but something about it just kinda… Didn’t work with me. It’s not necessarily the gore in it- I’ve read plenty of others with gore and creepy stuff. I just didn’t handle it well.

For me, I tend to spend a lot of time looking for and reading ‘play or die’ manga as I call them. They’re also known as “High stakes”. These manga tend to be about some form of a ‘game’ where if you lose, you die. Not all of them are actually games, mind you- but they’re close enough. My absolute favorite of this genre is the lucrative Alive: The Final Evolution by Tadashi Kawashima. Other good ‘play or die’ stories include Dolls Code by Runamu Kinashi, High Rise Invasion by Tsuina Miura, and the renowned King’s Game by Nobuaki Kanazawa (though to be honest, King’s Game: Origins was way better in my opinion).

I like other manga that have horror in them too. I especially like psychological horror that really surprises you time and time again, such as Happy Sugar Life by Tomiyaki Kagisora. The title alone threw me off- I didn’t expect it to be horrific as much as it was. Another really good one that’s more standard horror is the Ghost Hunt series by Fuyumi Ono. It’s a great mix of ghost and ghoul hunting with psychic power and scientific reasoning.

Now that I’ve finished sharing so many horror stories I’ve read, let’s talk about the light-hearted shoujo and comedy manga that I adore reading after a particularly scary horror story. There’s plenty of subcategories and mixtures when it comes to comedy manga as a whole. One example is the manga Yandere Kanojo by Shinobi, a somewhat cliche story about a delinquent and an ace student falling in love. The gags in this one are just far too humorous and regular. I’ve read it probably five times already. It’s a good read if you need a dumb joke to lighten your mood. Another good comedy is Kaeru no Ossan by Zenyuu Shimabukuro. It’s far from any normal manga I’ve ever read. I mean, I’ve heard of half human creatures, but never a human body with a frog head.

Swerving away from the horror and hysterical, I’d also like to talk about some romance manga that swerve off the beaten path in ways you might think they fit the previous categories. Chimoguri Ringo to Kingyobachi Otoko by Abe Youichi is a supernatural romance- that all starts when the hero’s sister is turned into a goldfish by the mysterious fishbowl man. Is it weird enough yet? Let’s say it is, because I could talk about it for an hour trying to explain the insanity.

A less insane fantasy romance is Akagami no Shirayuki-hime by Sorata Akizuki. This is a typical forbidden romance of sorts, as it relates the tale of a woman of lesser standing and a prince. It’s a very complex manga, and at times it’s hard to keep up, but the characters are well played out and overall, I just really enjoyed the series. Seeking a more comedic love story? The Devil is a Part Timer is a great story that starts with the concept of rebirth, and ends with the idea that the Devil isn’t as bad as he’s cracked up to be.

I think I’ve rambled on enough- you clearly get my point. While I read a great variety, I still have certain types in the genre that I pay heed to. For me, getting out of my comfort zone is hard, because I sometimes don’t recognize what it is.

Do you have a genre you recommend, or a book in the genres I listed? I’d love to hear about them from you! I’m always up to hearing your recommendations! Who knows? It might just end up in my next Topical Tuesday! Please never hesitate to comment- whether it’s in response to something I said, or an idea you’d like me to explore in another blog post. That’s all I have to request… and thank you for reading my manga mayhem!

Soulful Saturdays: Why I Write

Hello everyone, and welcome to my first “Soulful Saturday” post, where I’ll be getting into the nitty gritty of my life, my writing, and how they often mesh together to create music no one necessarily wanted to hear, but I feel is needed to be heard. It generally won’t be specific to the part of my life I’m in- but right now, it will be… Because today, I’m going to share one of the things I love most about writing: treating my characters like absolute crap.

If you’re a writer, you probably know as well as I do the satisfaction that can come from making a character go through torment of some kind and even more so when they figure out a way through it. But, whether you’re a reader or not, that feeling can be caused by more than just the fun of literature itself- it can be quite personal. After all, the best way to make a story relatable is, well… Relate to it.

I’ve gone through plenty of pain in my life. Most of us have at least some pain, whether physically or mentally, don’t we? I started writing as soon as I learned to read, pretty much, and many times it was to fight the pain that came from early life’s difficulties.

By the age of eight my parents were separating- not that it changed my life that much, since my mother wasn’t a very motherly person. Still, it was her neglect I’d grown up with, and she was my mother. As a little girl, I thought it was normal for her to be that way… Then she just up and disappeared. Two years later, I was in a car crash with my dad. Dad needed surgery for his spinal damage (we’d been hit a few times in my life by then)… So we moved in with his parents, where there was constant turmoil and fighting.

By the age of ten, I basically lived on the computer to survive emotionally. Sure, I was in therapy, but that only did so much for a prepubescent who had trust issues as it was. Online, I felt safer than I did at home with all the noise and drama. But just chatting wasn’t enough. I needed something more substantial to deal with the stress.

And that, friends, is when I started writing. I wrote stories about children leaving their mothers to deal with losing my own mother to distance. I wrote a poem about how my house was like a war zone to me, and the way each family member made me think of the world as violent.

That’s also what lead to my first comic, I think- because honestly, I’d had the idea for it long before I could make it. I’d written it probably a dozen times in novel form, only to restart it and dare myself to go darker. With every story I write, every character I make, I’m making a part of me that I otherwise struggle to accept on its own. Of course, the stories aren’t solely based on me- but there are moments, just moments, where the things I struggle with come to light… And get dealt with in a way I wouldn’t imagine without my character’s aid.

To this day I continue to write with that as a reason in the back of my mind. I’ve also just grown to love my characters and words as a whole- and that’s why, right now, I’m writing this. Because this is a case of ‘a means to an end’. I was lead to writing by the strife in my life- and thanks to that, I’m here now, hopefully showing someone out there a new way to deal with their own pain… By writing through it as well.

Throwback Thursday: Nostalgic Video Games

While I know this is my writing blog, I also know it’s foolish not to write about myself as a person sometimes as well. And that’s what these Throwback Thursday posts will be for: to get to know me a bit better, and look back on my life as I’ve lived it so far.

Today’s topic? My history with video games.

Video games are a great place to get ideas in writing, and I still play them plenty, but my gaming isn’t nearly as intense as it was when I was young. I had started playing video games often at a friend or relative’s house: my cousins, for example, or the regular Super Smash Bros competition held at my neighbor’s condo in elementary school. Of course, I had my own gaming systems as I got older. It started with Sega, and moved on to Nintendo… Well, you get the drift of things, right? I evolved into various types of gaming.

As I was decluttering recently, I found two old games that were two of my favorites of all time as well. I’ve had three or four cartridges of Pokemon Crystal, and I’m not sure which one I found- it could be one of the defective ones if I forgot to throw them out, or if it’s a working version. Here’s a rundown of my history with it.

The first one I lost as a child.
The second one I lost during a move.
The third one kept eating my saves as I started them.
The fourth worked like a charm, and was my prized possession for a long while.

The other game we found didn’t have that same sort of history, but it’s dear to me nonetheless. The game was Car Battler Joe- a game I played through time after time without getting bored. And, to most people’s surprise, the game is just as the name implies: it’s battling with decked out cars. Well, that’s just part of it though. It’s actually an RPG, I think. It’s just an RPG with a lot of racing the clock and trying to avoid getting shot at… And a storyline that made me cry.

It’s times like this, while thinking fondly of these games, that I think of my other most treasured games that I still hold dear. I never did manage to beat Evolution Worlds- it wasn’t quite what I wanted, but I couldn’t stop trying nonetheless. It would’ve been better if I’d been able to get a dreamcast and the two versions that were molded into the one I had for GameCube, that’s for sure.

The other game that comes to mind… well it’s two, actually. Harvest Moon as a franchise is dear to my heart. My first one, thus one of the most special, was A Wonderful Life. It wasn’t the best, but it was amazing to elementary school me. Then I got hold of Magical Melody, which had a very different style of both gameplay and graphics. It was so chibi and cute! I wish I could pinch the characters’ cheeks. To be fair, I feel that way about Linear from Evolution Worlds too… Why were games so especially cute back then, anyway?

To this day, I play games on a regular basis. Right now, I’m mostly playing Stardew Valley and a rather random game called 100% Orange Juice. One is a farming sim right up my alley, and the other is… Think Mario Party on a sugar high.

What were your favorite games growing up? Tell me in the comments- I’d love to learn about you too, you know!