May Update: What I Have Been Playing, Reading, And Watching

As the weather warms up and optimism grows around the U.S. over a successful vaccine rollout, there’s potential in the air that the rest of 2021 can be salvaged. While I am one of the many eager to step out of self-hibernation and into the world once more, the past few months has been good for video games, reading, and watching. Here’s a brief roundup of what has been keeping me entertained until those summer vibes eventually lure me away from the comfort of my own home.

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The Growing Book Backlog: The Unexpected Ways Your To Be Read List Can Grow

For the past two years I have been ramping up the number of books I read in a year. Books I had either bought or received as gifts have collected dust on shelves or stacks I’ve left on the table. Growing tired of having books that remained unopened, I made it my personal mission to begin ticking off that pile one by one. My ambitious goal has paid off with my list of read books growing steadily, and my list of unread books shrinking. Or so I thought. Just when I’ve been finishing off books I already had, I find myself unintentionally adding a new batch of titles to my to be read pile.

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Under The Microscope: Editing Your Written Work

Spending a year in lockdown has done wonders for my creativity. I progress a little more each day with the YA fantasy novel I’m working on, though, I still have a ways to go before I figure out how it will all end. I’ve managed to finish writing one short story as I currently work on another.

Finishing any kind of writing I do is an achievement. In the past I had no problem starting stories. Finishing them? That’s a separate matter. Having a fully written story, and one I feel is fairly decent, is exciting. All that’s left is the editing.

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One Hundred Percent Completion: Finishing And Unlocking Everything In A Game

The longer I play video games the more I realize I can’t recall a time where I have ever finished a game at 100 percent. There have definitely been games where I completed the main story and even did almost all of the side quests. But being able to boast about finding every collectible there is, unlocking every secret tucked away in a level, it’s not something I can put a claim on.

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Howdy Neighbor: Favorite Animal Crossing Villagers

Animal Crossing: New Horizons has celebrated its one year anniversary since the game released on March 20, 2020. New Horizons went on to become the best selling Switch game of 2020, selling 11.77 million copies, and the predominant game of choice that got people through the pandemic. Although Nintendo celebrated the video game’s anniversary last month, complete with a one-year cake, my one-year with the game is actually this month when I first received it as a birthday gift last year from a friend. In honor of my whole year of playing New Horizons, I list my favorite villagers.

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V’s Got The Look: The Fashion Of Cyberpunk 2077

Three months into CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 and the game never fails to stun every time I load it up and play. Night City is a gritty, neon colored dream (or hell) and it’s easy to get lost in the different neighborhoods that make up the world. One of the things I love most about the game is the many styles and options a player has to dress up their character V. When I’m not busy hacking, shooting, or fighting my way through Night City, I’m spending part of my time hunting down new pieces of clothing to create a unique look for V. My efforts in coming up with the best outfit combinations has led to an ever growing collection of pictures of V nailing each look every time she’s out on the town. Check out my mini lookbook of V in the sleekest and cutting edge trends in Night City.

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Kill Your Darlings: The Process Of What To Cut Out Doesn’t Always Occur During Editing

Every writer will say writing is one part joy and one part agony. There’s a drive to commit your character’s story to the page, but seeing it all come together is an arduous undertaking, especially when you’re writing a full-length novel and not a short story. Writing my own story has had its ups and downs. Sometimes the words flow out of me and onto the computer screen, or I’ll have days when writing a scene or tone in my head feels a lot harder than it should be. A writer might not always have a clear path ahead for where a story is going until it’s written, but you begin to develop an instinct for knowing what should be cut out or reworked as you’re writing it.

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Manga Collecting Revisited: Taking Stock Of The Titles Yearning To Be Completed

Reading and collecting manga used to be a hobby I fell into at the beginning of high school. The hunt for new titles with memorable stories and gorgeous art to drool over were the main reasons I grew my collection over a period of several years. It was an expensive hobby to maintain, using what little allowance I had to buy one volume at a time until I had a complete set, and a solid conclusion to a story I loved. Being much older now, and having a little more money to spare for minor indulgences, the desire to finish the few series I started ages ago still remains.

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Roaming The Streets And Wide Open Spaces Of Cyberpunk 2077

March marks a whole year since this pandemic started. At this point almost everyone is feeling fatigued and frustrated with being stuck at home in an effort to curb the virus. Even self-proclaimed introverts and homebodies are longing for those days when we can gather with our friends and family, or simply enjoy a meal at a restaurant without fretting about following COVID-19 guidelines.

What I miss the most is traveling. Though the vaccines are slowly rolling out in countries all over the world, we’re currently no where near done with this pandemic just yet. What can a person who has serious wanderlust do? Fortunately, there’s video games and Cyberpunk 2077 has been one of the ones that has made me appreciate the art of savoring the places you’re in.

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Book Backlog: Reading More Than One Book At The Same Time

Ever since I dedicated myself to increasing my book reading to be more or less what it used to be during my high school and college days, I would set small, attainable reading goals I think I can reasonably accomplish by the end of the year. Since then my reading goals have grown more ambitious. Last year I finished reading 19 books, and this year I’m looking to finish 20-25 books. What may have helped me is reading two, maybe three, books during some months. Is that how I approach all the books I read? It depends on what it is.

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