Inspiration Post VII

Picture courtesy of NASA

Picture courtesy of NASA

Long time no see. I’ve actually kind of missed seeing the finished project of these. I have plenty that were scrapped over the last month for lack of time.

Deviant Art                          Judge by Wlop

Song                                      Red Moon by Kalafina

Song II                                  Time Machine by Girls Generation

Subject                                  Molten Glass Rain on Hot Jupiter

Subject II                             Black Holes

Manga                                   Gakuen Babysitters by Hari Tokeino

Game                                     Notes from the Abyss (DSi & 3DS)

Deviant Art Pose                  Pose by Rika-Dono

Writing Prompt                     Your character wakes up an alley after getting drunk,

                                                  in another state, with no money or cell phone.

Plant                                        Cydonia Japonica

Picture courtesy of Northern Trading Company

Picture courtesy of Northern Trading Company

“All these people we have mentioned received God’s approval because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had far better things in mind for us that would also benefit them, for they can’t receive the prize at the end of the race until we finish the race.”

~ Hebrews 11: 39-40

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Inspiration Post VI

Picture Courtesy of Wikipedia

Picture Courtesy of Wikipedia

It’s National Write month. I don’t intend on participating because that’s January for me.

I’m actually a bit embarrassed to make these post. To be honest I feel like the stuff if common knowledge, especially if it’s something I’ve known about for a while. I always feel like I was late to the party when I learn something new. But I do like to try and frame things in different context. This week’s theme is Change.

Deviant Art                         The Pilgrimage 5 by JungleJulia314     

Song                                      My Lonely Town by B’z

Song II                                  We Were in Love by Davichi and T-ara

Subject                                  Gunkanjima, Japan

Subject II                             The Voynich Manuscript

                                                 The Voynich Manuscript Info

Book                                      Relentless by Dean Koontz

                                                 (I suggest a visit to the library.)

Game                                    Witch and Hero on the 3DS

 Plant                                     Scarlet Oak

Picture courtesy of www.sutton.co.uk

Picture courtesy of http://www.sutton.co.uk

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again.
There is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say,
“Look! This is something new”?
It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time. 

Ecclesiastes 1: 9-11

Character Spotlight ~ Rinoa Heartily

Picture courtesy of Finalfantasy.wikia.com

Picture courtesy of Finalfantasy.wikia.com

I’m not a fan of a game throwing a girl at you while you’re trying to save the world. It’s distracting. However, I knew from the cover that Rinoa and Squall were going to get together so while I wondered how they were going to build a game that was actually fun to play around a “love story” I was mentally prepared to find her a little irritating.

She made a great first impression with her audacity, specifically because Squall was limited in his social skills, not that he was shy; he just didn’t want to be bothered. Rinoa was idealistic and simple in the beginning. She didn’t have the military training everyone else had. Her father was a dirty politician himself. But under his nose, she was starting a rebellion called the Timber Owls.

I knew when she showed up that she didn’t know what she was doing. However it was only an implicit knowledge because I was a kid when the game came out. I expected things to work out the same way she did. I was sure I’d seen something similar in a movie or read it in a book but in the end it wasn’t until I was older than her that I could see the holes in her plans. She was sheltered but she had been watching the Galbadian soldiers mistreat and harass people for a while. She was tired, angry and she wanted ato end things quickly but at the same time she was out of her element.

Of course, she can’t see that. She’s a teenager. Are they known for being reasonable? Granted, there have been many young leaders that were great at their jobs but then there are incidents like the Shimabara rebellion, which ended horribly. She was also Seifer’s girlfriend at some point. Seifer, the emotional extremist… This was a Shimabara rebellion in the making.

I like that the game gives you the option of telling her just how you feel about her “orders” in the beginning. It didn’t improve her management skills but I certainly felt better afterwards. Her management skills didn’t improve until the last of her harebrained schemes landed her in a difficult ordeal with sorceress Edea. 

As a kid I thought it was her execution of it that was bad but I’ve since realized it would never have worked. After you save her from some monsters Sorceress Edea summoned she says she was scared and starts clinging to Squall aka the player. I was initially like “Yeah? It’s gone now; so get off me.”

I didn’t know that the reason she was carrying on about this was because she was surprised by the fact that she was scared in the face of danger. Of course, this was a crucial moment in the game where a lot of characters made mistakes.

Quistis running off to apologize to Rinoa for so thoroughly running through how stupid her plan was even though she was right she seemed to question her own motives behind it and couldn’t get it off her mind until she apologized.

Irvine couldn’t shoot the woman who was practically his mother and he went into this mission knowing but didn’t say anything until it was time to make the shot.

However, I did see a change afterwards in all of these characters or at least a reaction to their realization that they made some terrible decisions. The next time you see Rinoa and Irvine, they’re breaking you out of prison.

Despite the terrible decisions that were made, your loss wasn’t anyone in your group’s fault. The idea that you’d ever be able to shoot her and it would be over is a joke once you’ve played the rest of the game. You were sent to fight someone stronger than you and lost. But while Rinoa was able to shed that bit of stupidity from her, she still had a sense of humor. She was just more aware of herself and the situation.

 You’re still going to have to save her a few more times. During the conflict between the gardens you have to keep a level head and make sound decisions knowing that a girl that you’ve gotten rather close to lately is in danger because so are many other students are also in danger. Squall doesn’t drop everything to save her. He does his job. He only found her by chance. But this time she doesn’t balk or get upset. The situation is over and she’s ready to fight the enemy.

Her character works because she knows that she’s being a load when she’d been a load. She knows that everyone else has years of training over her. She knows that she’s the outsider. But she never gives up and that’s what really gets her out of the fight alive. As many times as you have to rescue her she still comes back strong and ready to fight ans with every set back she tries harder.

 It’s not something to take lightly because she can be safe and comfortable in her own home just by turning a blind eye and a deaf ear like her father apparently does. She doesn’t have to fight for people whose problems have nothing to do with her but she’s passionate enough that she’ll risk her life for the cause of strangers.

She compliments Squall’s personality. They’re both passionate about their beliefs and what’s right or wrong in the world. They also avoid the “damaged and healer” relationship which can be parasitic and destructive. He doesn’t lean on her or use her as an emotional crutch and she doesn’t try to make up for the bad things in his life or “change” him so much as look deeper and get to know what he’s thinking or feeling.

On a final note, if Zell didn’t get a hot dog before that game ended I don’t know what I’d have done. I mean, after a while it’s suspiscious.

Next week I’m going to write a character Spotlight on Kannagi from Arata Kangatari. He’s the type of character I usually despise.

Inspiration Post V

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia

Today is Veteran’s day!

Deviant Art         Mikasa by Alicexz

Subject I              Military Ranking

Subject II             History of the AK-47

Song                      Ash Like Snow by The Brilliant Green

Song II                  Conqueror by Mali Music

Reading                 War and the Soul

                               (I read this book at the library, so that’s always an option.)

Manga                   Shingeki no Kyojin by Isayama Hajime

Plant                      Garlic Chives

Picture Courtesy of Growingherbsforbeginners.com

Picture Courtesy of Growingherbsforbeginners.com

                                An invasive culinary plant that seeds in the Autumn

Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

Romans 13: 7

Character Spotlight ~ Jack Carter

Picture courtesy of sharetv.org

Picture courtesy of sharetv.org

Jack Carter is the average-Joe sheriff in a town where everyone else is a genius. I’m quite used to seeing the opposite of this premise and being terribly unimpressed with it. The TV Genius is often a guy who speaks in sesquipedalian loquaciousness that hides simple but inaccurate formulas that if written in plain English could be disproved by a third grader.

I will admit that they have taken creative liberties in Eureka. However, they did this after showing their work and in cases where the plot hinged on it. They didn’t just throw out a “Reverse the polarity” in every episode to fix the problem.

I will admit, for some geniuses, they come up with some really horrible ideas but their genius is in their ability to execute the idea. Foresight is another area entirely. Foresight doesn’t get you an extra number on the IQ test. But Jack Carter isn’t one of these geniuses, he’s just the guy that cleans up after them, the sheriff.

Obviously, he is an audience stand in. I usually find these irritating. I prefer people just make a character. I’ve never seen an audience stand in I could relate to and it’s not because I’m black and female. It’s because I’m not there for other people to project their logic and opinions on to me which an audience stand in is frequently for. Jack Carter’s got his own opinions and his situation is relatable for me. I’m the below average child of “Mensa qualified” geniuses. Jack is a guy with an IQ score of 111 in a town where everyone else is Mensa level. (The Mensa cut off is 132.)

This is why Jack has trouble getting people to take him seriously as sheriff initially and when some part of their invention has gone wrong. He doesn’t understand their jobs or how most of the stuff works until you explain it to him in layman’s terms so people figure “Well if you don’t understand that much, you probably don’t know how it works,” or “I’m way smarter than you. How could you possibly correct me?” Fortunately, most of the main cast doesn’t act like that or it would make the show unwatchable.

In fact the characters that actually matter don’t see the intelligence difference as some huge divide between them understanding each other or being able to relate. They even treat him like a human being. And eventually they have a great deal of respect for him as he’s saved them from turning the town into a crater on several occasions with surprisingly simple solutions to the complicated problems they create.

My favorite example of this would be the time that Fargo accidentally set a nuclear bomb to head over to Russia via satellite and after spending the whole episode getting the answer out of the inventor who now had Alzheimer’s another one started up with a ten minute countdown. Cue the panicking. Jack might have been panicking himself. He rammed his jeep into it to change its course so it never reached the satellite that would have redirected it to Russia and started a nuclear war.

I probably wouldn’t have done that. I would have been under the impression that a bomb made to withstand exiting and entering the atmosphere before detonating upon its landing would have blown slam up from being rammed with a jeep. Of course, wording it like that might have dispelled the thought for me.

I don’t know the age of Jack Carter but it’s clear that his life didn’t just begin as the show started. He’s been in law enforement before. He’s been married and divorced before and he has a teenage daughter from that marriage who actually has her own character development and is a part of his life.

Even though she is a teenage delinquent in the beginning which must be embarrassing when you’re the sheriff, she’s just doing it for the attention and eventually shapes up. I saw a shift in her character when she refused alcohol from her aunt (the adult in the situation) on the grounds that it was illegal and she’d been taught better. It’s eventually found that she is every bit as smart as the others in Eureka and she gets into Harvard.

Of course the timeline for that may vary. Jack goes through several different timelines yet he always tries to create a safe place of semi-predictability. This safe, normal life is taken from him over and over again as inventions malfunction, people misuse power and their own intelligence and time pushes them in and out of the temporal paradox more than once.

Surely, by the end of the show he knows that he’s never going to find it, that things are never going to be normal that even when he settles down into one life he can wake up at the beginning of those four years or in an alternate timeline where Allison is still married to Stark and his daughter is in jail instead of college. Yet, in spite of this, he always keeps a spark of optimism that pushes him to keep trying even when everything he’e done can be snatched up from under him in an instant. Optimism is a good trait to have in a main character. 

My next character spot light is going to be on Rinoa Heartily from FinalFantasy VIII.

Inspiration Post IV

Picture courtesy of rural-revolution.com

Picture courtesy of rural-revolution.com

I seem to be on time today. This week’s Theme is Creativity.  I hear it’s National Write Month. I’m going to have to look into that.

Deviant Art         Light by GunnerRomantic

Subject                 Hypergraphia

Subject II             Surrealism

Song                      Sakura Drops by Ayumi Hamasaki

Manga                  Arata Kangatari

Plant                      American Beech Tree

“Can you hold back the movement of the stars? Are you able to restrain the Pleiades or Orion? Can you ensure the proper sequence of seasons or guide the constellation of the bear with her cubs across the heavens?”

~Job 38: 31-32