Daily Archives: November 26, 2007

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Video Game Nostalgia

November 26, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

by Sara Black

When my eighteen year old brother waxes nostalgic it goes something like this:

He turns on the ipod and hands me the headphones. “Listen to this, do you remember this?”

It takes me only a second, the sounds are so ingrained into my psyche. “Yeah, it’s music from Final Fantasy III.”

“Right! Remember when we used to play that?” He asks, as though there were any way I could forget the hours spent with the cartridge plugged into the Super Nintendo, the repetitive theme songs playing on endless loop when we got stuck, the hints found on the internet.

Luckily for Video Game Nostalgics like my brother and I the Nintendo Wii game system has an on-line system where you can download retro video games. They play on a “virtual console” which emulates all the previous game machines nintendo has sold us over the years. These games, most of them at least ten years old, have almost gotten more use from us than the new Wii games.

Unfortunately none of the Final Fantasy’s are available, but we’ve got both Toe Jam and Earl’s, Sonic Pinball, Mario 64, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Dr. Robotnik’s Bean Machine. The boyfriend, who is a little older than me, downloaded some of the games from before my time, like R-Type, Xevious, Ghouls and Ghosts, games he used to play in the coin arcades.

Nintendo updates their shop every monday with four new-old games so there are dozens of old favorites that we haven’t downloaded yet, like Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Legend of Zelda and Lode-Runner.

Thank you Nintendo, for selling my childhood back to me.

Sara Black has a degree in Cinema/Television from USC. She watches far too much television, eats way too much sushi and is always writing a romance novel. This is the eighth in a series of posts on Pop Culture.

Her absolute favorite Nintendo game, Dragon Warrior IV, is unfortunately not to be found on the Wi virtual console.

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A Fantasy Life

November 26, 2007 by in category Archives

by Janet Quinn

I have been spending a lot of time working in Augeas lately and finally have managed to finish story five and six. One is about an inn keeper with secrets. The second is about twins who have very powerful magic. The two tie together, which is the first time I’ve done that with a set of stories. Working with magical children was fun, but as always, working with children is a challenge. Trying to make them sound like children and keeping them from being boring is like walking a tight rope.

As with any society, when there are two races, there is interbreeding. So, the half-breeds are born and along with them societal statements. Are they accepted or shunned? Do they have magical powers like one of their parents or none? If they do have magical powers, can they be as strong as a purebred. How long will they live? So Brencis finally settled on an age. He’s not an Ancient One, however, his father was. He’ll live longer than a human, but maybe not as long as an Ancient One. Other half-breeds might live only as long as a normal human. He has magical powers, but not all of his kind does. His powers are strong, but other half-breeds have weaker powers or no powers. And what do the half-breeds want? To be accepted? To rule? Do they all want the same thing? Probably not since even the purebred can’t all agree on what they want. But the half-breeds bring another layer to the world as they hide and work within the society.

Last month I was talking about the drawings I had made and wondering if my characters wore underwear. My critique partner, Debra Young, and I finally met and I showed her the picture of Dorjan. Her comment was that because of the era, they probably didn’t wear underwear, which makes the picture even more risqué.

This month I have a picture of Carissa. She is a very strong Ancient One in one of the first set of short stories. She is middle aged for her kind with an agenda of her own.

She could see the lord’s guard. They were coming for them. She jumped up. “Grandmother!” she shouted.
All turned to stare at her.
“Quiet her,” snapped Inuus.
“No!” shouted Dyna. She looked directly at her grandmother. “Carissa, we must leave now.”
Carissa blinked at her, searched her mind, then rose.
“Sit down,” ordered Inuus. He stood and glowered at Carissa.
Carissa smiled at him. “I must quiet my granddaughter. For some reason, she is distraught.” Carissa stared into Inuus’ eyes, unblinking. “It is nothing but a fit. I would never consider leaving before we discuss what we are to do.” Her voice came in a low, soft murmur.
Inuus slowly sank back onto the cushion. She motioned to Govert and Elga. “Come.” She beckoned to Dyna.
“We must take the child.” Govert moved toward the back of the house.
“Leave the child.” Carissa swept past Dyna.

With each step in creating a fantasy world, as in adding half-breeds to the mix, the world changes and grows. It becomes an ever evolving society with added intrigue and layers.

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What Inspires You

November 26, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as



Lori Pyne

The first and second grade boys charged down the field in pursuit of the soccer ball. On the sideline, I shouted, groaned and cheered along with the rest of the parents as we watched our boys play their last game of the season.

Although no official score was kept, everyone knew the results of each game. An invisible grapevine wove its way between the players, coaches and parents. Somehow our team had made it to the end of the season undefeated. The only team to have done so.

As my son raced after the pack, his grin was bright enough to light the field. Although he had not grasped all of the subtleties of the game, he knew he needed to be with the group. As a ball bounced off of him and rolled in the correct direction, the other parents joined me in cheering.

At each break, the coached asked the boys who would now like to be goalie. A few hands raised, my son’s included. Usually the coach’s eyes skimmed past my son’s eager wave. That last game, he stared at my enthusiastic boy. Was he certain he wanted to be goalie? A red shirt was tugged over his head after his shouted yes.

Our side was quiet as we watched my proud child jog to the goalie box. I abandoned my canvas seat and trailed after him. From my position at the end of the field, I repeatedly shouted at him to pay attention to the game. My screaming did not dim his joy nor improve his focus. While the other team drove the ball down the field, my son turned around and watched the skateboarders race behind the goal.

One of his teammates raced ahead and turned the ball from my son. As the pack moved back toward the other goal, his teammate stayed back. He stationed himself beside my son. My son mimicked his stance, leaning forward, hands on knees, glaring down the field. His teammate stayed with him the rest of the game, defending the goal while my son took the penalty kicks.

As we walked off the field at the end of the game, I asked my son’s teammate if the coach had asked him to help out at the goal. He shook his head and explained that it looked like my son could use the help, so he stayed with him.

How much better the world would be if everyone responded to signs of need with a generous heart and a willing spirit.

On this Thanksgiving weekend, may each hand you meet be stretch out in friendship.

Lori Pyne is a member of OCC, and a multi-tasking volunteer. She is currently serving as one of our Online Class Moderators, Guest Reception Coordinator and Coordinator for the Book Buyers’ Best Contest for published authors. She is married with one son, and works full time for an entertainment law firm.

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