It’s that time of year again! If you’re unfamiliar NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month which is November. The aim is to finish a novel in 30 days.

It’s free to join / participate:

In 2014:

  • 325,142 participants, including 81,311 students and educators in the Young Writers Program, started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.
  • 849 libraries, bookstores, and community centers opened their doors to novelists through the Come Write In program.
  • 55,774 Campers tackled a writing project—novel or not—at Camp NaNoWriMo.

Over 250 NaNoWriMo novels have been traditionally published.
They include Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, Hugh Howey’s Wool, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Jason Hough’s The Darwin Elevator, and Marissa Meyer’s Cinder.See a full list of our published authors.


Completion has eluded me in previous years; I usually get to overwhelmed by week three and start to get frazzled. This year, I really hope to get as close to finish as possible – the discipline of continuous writing is almost as important to me as crafting a decent story because this is where I struggle.

Hopefully, I have more than enough material to complete a first draft by the end of the month.

Good luck to all the fellow participants!

Destiny: General Farming Tips

What is farming?

In Destiny, farming refers to spending time in PvE (mostly) game modes with the intention of mass collecting materials which are used to upgrade either your guns or your gear. You can also farm Glimmer which is the main currency system in Destiny, Legendary Marks and just about any consumable.

In this post, I’ll be mostly talking about how to farm Upgrade Materials.

General Farming Tips:

  1. Use a Ghost Shell that highlights the upgrade material type you’re looking for. You should have a Ghost Shell for every type: Spinmetal. Helium Filaments, Hadium Flakes, Spirit Bloom and Relic Iron. It does not matter if your Ghosts aren’t all high level, this is about function and not your over all light level.
    1. Ghost Shell works by showing you an icon over raw upgrade materials on the map – you must be within proximity.
  2. Use a gun with Enhanced motion tracker. The gun I use is the Cordova-HC3 Handcannon, it’s rare and a 285 light level. Enhanced motion tracker will show you the location of raw upgrade materials on the map and chests – most of these perks aren’t standard but can be activated w/ kills or headshots.
    1. Enhanced Motion Tracker is helpful for finding chest locations that are in crevices or in weird places in general.
  3. Know your route. When in an area of a map, be sure to move around. Going in and out of the same 2 chest rooms over and over won’t net you as much results as you making a full loop around the map. If you’re not seeing chest / raw material respawns, it maybe time to leave the area (until you see the name on the map change) and then come back in a few minutes.
  4. The more people in your area; the faster resources will deplete / the higher the chance for someone to find a chest or raw upgrade material and pick it up before you which will cause it to be off map for you if you’re not in very close proximity. If it’s a crowded area, maybe move on to another map section.
  5. For best results use #1 and #2 to maximize the amount of upgrade materials you can get in the time you’ve allotted to farm.
  6. Depending on where you farm, be sure to use the consumable related to the enemy you’re killing so you can also farm glimmer. The aim is get as much out of your time as possible.

Here’s the Hand Cannon I referenced above; the perk I have is: Relentless tracker – I’ve seen a similar perk with the name Enhanced Motion Tracker as well.

Hand Cannon

Hope these tips help you cut your farming time down because let’s be real…who’s spending their precious Legendary Marks on upgrade materials?

Destiny: How to set up “B” on Twilight Gap

Whenever you’re playing an objective game, it’s critical for your team mates to have an idea of what they’re going to be doing as well as what their team mates will be trying to achieve. I’ve been getting lots of questions on twitter regarding the different roles while playing FPS games. I self identify as “aggressive support” which means that I’m generally playing the objective (or making sure I’m alive to revive my team mates (in PVE or Skirmish, Trials and Elimination) but I am also a pretty reliable slayer if need be.

Getting a high number of kills isn’t as important to me as making sure the objective is complete; in the new game types of Zone Control and Rift, playing the objective actually makes a difference if you win or lose and that is what makes it more competitive to me.

Setting ensures that you’re either holding down the main lines of sight for your objective or the path that your objective will lead to in the case of Rift; it can be difficult to hold your position but where you go can influence your team’s spawn points as well as the opposing team’s spawn points so being consistent is key.

In this video that I clipped from Twitch; I show full game play of how my friends and I “set” up Twilight Gap; as you can only see my perspective, you’ll see how I set up and maintain the set up of the Control point “B”.

Generally; there are two team mates patrolling “A”, one team mate patrolling my top “B” platform and mid map (where the special ammo spawns), one team mate at the “B” control point with the remaining team mates pushing them back into their spawn; watching all avenues for flank opportunities.

IF you originally spawn at Control Point C, I would advise you to push A and attempt to flip spawns as soon as possible. The distance between A-B is way more manageable to hold down, unless you’re a greedy lot and want all three control points in which case; do you boo.

Please keep in mind when playing support to not get antsy because you see that you’re not the highest score on the board; try to keep your K/d up and put yourself in a position where you can at least hold down one control point – pull back if you find yourself rushing and feeding the opposing team.

Yes, this is video from House of Wolves IB and not TK.

I write, therefore I am

I haven’t been blogging as much; if you’ve been following me for some time, you know that this year has been worse than usual. There has been a lot of rough patches over this year, starting as early as January that took a while for me to recover from.

Mainly; I deleted most of my work from Evernote and Google Drive. Years of work – everything from story ideas to research, reviews, stories and the major work was the book I was working on. I was more than 100 pages in and it’s gone.

Sometimes I regret deleting it all in that heated moment. I was frustrated with myself, the direction I was going in and the decisions I’d made to get myself there. In some ways, it allowed me to let go of the resentment that lingered due to my lack of success with writing.

When you say to folks “I’m a writer” there are lots of expectations and assumptions about your success or lack thereof. I’ve been blogging since Xanga and LiveJournal; managed forums and was always very much a part of whatever social media platform was hot at the moment but I had nothing to show for it.

I started to use writing as a way to vent, I would only prioritize writing when I was upset so it definitely reflected in the development in whatever I wrote and I hated reading it, editing it and I refused to share it.

I lacked confidence in my ability to write, I was unfocused, I was hurting and I was ready to give up on most things – taking the time off work for myself was a very necessary, very healing process and though I have some reservations about it, I know I made the best decision for me and my family at the time and I’m happy I allowed myself the space I needed to get back on track – to remember my loves and passions and be able to revel in them.

It’s been freeing.

I feel more at home with the term “writer” now, I connect to it more. It no longer is something I say softly and hold my breath for the inevitable snarky comment.

I am a writer.

It’s not all I am but it’s been one of the few constants in my life. Now, I’m so free and open to wherever it takes me – it has made a huge impact on my confidence when writing. I’m okay with writing bad stories, as long as I write them and make way for better ones.

Some of the best advice I got this year came from one of my favorite authors Daniel Jose Older (Shadowshaper – read it and get your life) who simply said “write the fucking story” and I intend to.

Perceptions of Beauty

I’m average. I’m smart, (I’d like to think) witty, funny and I have varied interests but I’ve never been nor will I ever be beautiful. I don’t consider myself ugly, I just know that I’m never going to turn heads with my looks and that’s okay.

When I was younger and going through the angst of teenage learning; I desperately wanted to be beautiful. I was confused by beauty; particularly by the reaction it got from men and women alike; the reaction it got from me.

As I grew into my long arms and legs, I realized that I wouldn’t be a 10 and somewhere along they way, I gave up on the futile quest of hoping for something I couldn’t change and started to focus on what I liked about myself, my passion.

I found love early, with a handsome man who does indeed fit the standard (in my opinion) of above average attraction – I still get stares from women when he introduces me sometimes – it’s a scornful look that almost knocks you down before they say hello. They were looking for the justification of why we ended up together and how we’ve managed to stay together since High School. It’s an awful feeling, especially coming from women that I’m happy to give a compliment to – who doesn’t love being around a beautiful woman?

I’m not ugly. I’m not beautiful. I’m somewhere in between and I’m okay with that but acknowledging that you’re not beautiful doesn’t mean that you’re automatically insecure.

Why is that always the assumption? I’m not talking about this for clicks and RTs; I imagine I can’t be the only woman that feels this way and I’m sure that this isn’t a feeling limited to women either.

I’m insecure about my writing. That’s what plagues me; deciding whether or not I’m talented enough and represent something worth giving to the world. I’m not angry / sad / depressed because I’m not as beautiful as I once wished I was. Being beautiful I’m sure has it’s own set of responsibilities and issues; and I’m quite certain that I’m not willing to add any complications to being an Afro/Indo Caribbean Immigrant that’s trying to make it as a writer. I’m good.

I’m not owed being beautiful and beautiful people don’t owe us any of their beauty.

Thank you to @trvmlyncrl on twitter for raising this topic tonight and inspiring me to write a bit.


No Reason to Reject the Ordinary

As an writer I’ve always hoped for a grander life, so that after I’d passed my prime or relevance, I could write a shocking, interesting memoir and be that cool old lady who had seen the world. Unfortunately, my life has been relatively average in most respects and average is what doesn’t get written about.

I’ve realized like most, that anticipating a life that I could never have, is depressing and it makes you forget to pay attention to the little things, the more important things that happen in your life while yearning for the unattainable.

It annoys me that women don’t really write about women’s issues. Real women’s issues. Like what do I do to help with the discoloration of my arm pits? No one wants to talk about real life. I don’t want every empowered female blog about sex, social issues, makeup and hair but not about questions that I want to ask my girlfriends but I’m ashamed to because they’ve never brought up such topics. And I’m not talking about shamefully doing it in passing, but really openly acknowledging that there are day to day insecurities and issues that impact us. Yes, I know there are more serious things that impact us in a bigger way, but that doesn’t that these things don’t deserve attention.

I wonder why this is. There is a huge separation on taboo topics that are being addressed versus issues that women have that they should feel free to openly discuss with other women. I’ve found a few blogs here and there that tackle these things from a “I’m pushing a product” perspective but generally – the more popular blogs are one or at most, two dimensional.  Articulate, sex positive, real bloggers are out there but what but why is this a rarity? Women blog, women live regular lives, why the silence?

I’ve gotten over my delusions of greatness and I’m comfortable now with being average and regular, I just want to talk about regular stuff.

Don’t alienate the everyday.