That’s their story and they’re sticking to it

This post is less a review and more just my thoughts on The Last of Us Part II and will include spoilers for the first game, the second, and for the Mass Effect games.

The first time I played Mass Effect 2, I did not have a good time. I remember feeling angry about Shepard’s circumstances at the beginning of the game and carrying that anger through perhaps my most renegade playthrough to date. I disliked the missions, I disliked the new companions, and I disliked Shepard’s role in all of it. It was, however, an intensely emotional experience—which is how I felt most of the way through The Last of Us Part II.

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By the Tropes: Second Chances

Why are second chance love stories so compelling? Is it because so many of us remember the one who got away? Maybe it’s the redemption arc—putting things right once and for all. Or, perhaps it’s that sometimes we know, even when they don’t, when two people really should be together. Watching that realization dawn, whether there is a shared history of hurt and heartache to overcome, or each character has their own past to contend with, can lead us to some of the most hard-won and best-earned HEAs ever.

I wasn’t so much a fan of second chance romances before I started writing them. I’d consider the stories and think, well, if it didn’t work out the first time, what hope does it have the second? I’ve always considered writing something of a puzzle, though, a task where I connect the dots between two people. So, the answer to that question varies. What really drives second chance romances are the circumstances.

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I Built the Same House in Valheim and The Sims

Like many players of the early access phenomenon, Valheim, one of my favourite things to do in-game is build stuff. My first house was little more than a barn, but I’d placed it on top of a hill to take advantage of a sweeping view across the meadows to the ocean. Inside, it had a loft-style arrangement for the bed and a mostly empty downstairs. We’d only been playing for about four hours and had no idea what would happen next, so I left it open to interpretation.

A troll knocked it down the next day—which was just as well. One of our co-players had carved a scar in the meadow to build his own place and totally ruined my view. I moved to the other side of the hill, putting a little more distance between me, the scar, and the troll-infested forest.

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Reporting from Mount TBR (September Edition)

I’ve never been much of a re-reader. I’ll watch a movie fifty times (no joke) but tend to read a book only once. Over the past two years, however, I’ve started re-reading some of my favourites, but have refreshed the experience by opting for a different format. Audio instead of print, or vice versa. I’ve re-read my favourite Le Guin’s just because the stories are so great. I re-read Dune to prepare for the new movie. I’m re-reading the Vorkosigan Saga because Mr. Jensen has been listening to them on audio, and I’m jealous of the fun he’s having.

In between all of this re-reading, I’m still managing to hit the TBR. Not as aggressively as planned, but I *think* I bought fewer books than I read over the past two months. Maybe.

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By the Tropes: Friends to Lovers

When perusing my backlist, I’m always a little surprised by the number of books. I’ve written a lot over the past seven years, and with seeming variety. But when I looked at the tropes, my discoveries weren’t at all shocking. I tend to write certain kinds of stories and I write them a lot.

Because I like sorting things and charting things, I decided to break it down. Check out which tropes I like writing and how often. Because Notion is my new favourite thing, I started there, listing tropes I thought might fit at least one of my books.

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