October is NaNoWriMo Prep Month!

Hahaha maybe not officially, but October is NaNoWriMo Prep Month for me this year! For those who aren’t familiar, “NaNoWriMo” is short for National Novel Writing Month, which is celebrated during the month of November. Many writers aspire to complete this challenge… but few actually finish it. In several past years I’ve wanted to do this, only to forget or come up short or just abandon my story idea.¬†ūüė®

Writing an entire novel in one month is a daunting idea. Overwhelming, really. Maybe that’s why I haven’t ever completed it. But I think what I often forget about when considering taking on the NaNoWriMo challenge is that the process doesn’t really start on November 1st. Trying to start writing a novel on 11/1 with a blank page and no prep work is going to make NaNoWriMo a scary, scary time.

Which is why I’m writing this blog on October 1st, not next month. Writers need time to PREPARE before they can start writing. Having your plot outline, character overviews, setting and style figured out will make the actual writing process that much more streamlined. So that’s my focus right now – getting ready to write next month!

Here are the ways that I am preparing for NaNoWriMo:

  • Writing Classes: I have been an online student of Coursera for several years now. The classes are very accessible, and while they do charge students who wish to take the course for a certificate, you can also “audit” any class for FREE. The only thing you won’t get is a grade, but you can still participate in the lessons and do the assignments. Learning costs nothing! So I enrolled in a few courses from the Wesleyan University Creative Writing Specialization to help me stay on track for my NaNoWriMo project next month. Having a refresher on the fundamentals is always a good thing.
  • Writing Resources: There are TONS of free online resources, writing groups and forums to join for ideas, inspiration and collaboration. My latest find is Eva Deverell’s website, which features a wealth of exercises and ideas available online to help you get organized. She made a TON of worksheets that you can download for free!
  • Writing Exercises: If that wasn’t enough writing exercises, I must also recommend Novlr.org. I’ll be honest and say that I paid for a lifetime account a few years back, so I don’t know if this is exclusive for paid subscribers, but Novlr recently rolled out a Novlr Writing Course that I’ve been dying to try out. As a side note, if you aren’t familiar with Novlr, it’s a great service for writers. It’s a website that works both off and online and gives each of your writing projects a designated space with it’s own area for notes and outlines. It makes writing a story a lot easier!
  • Tarot for Writers: I purchased the book “Tarot for Writers” a few months ago when I first was learning to read tarot. This book explains ways to use tarot cards for picking a setting, character development, even coming up with a plot line. Many writers often cite the “Fool’s Journey” as a writing template, which is a story arc that is made up of all the Major Arcana cards from a tarot deck in order.

My goal for NaNoWriMo is to write my entire novella based on tarot card pulls. I think it’ll be fun to come up with a story using the magick of tarot! I tried this once before and it was actually kind of amazing how the cards I pulled worked perfectly for the story I was working on at the time. And since I don’t have some BIG IDEA to write about for NaNoWriMo, this will be an easy way to get going fast.

Now my plan is to complete the writing courses I mentioned above during the month of October, as well as create some characters and a basic plot outline based on tarot cards. Then in November… it’s novel writing time!


Facebook Detox

It’s time for a rant. This is something I think everyone should strongly consider!!

I remember the day in 2005 when my small private art college was FINALLY accepted onto a new social website called Facebook. It was hard for my school to get on board with the site, because we were so small. All my friends at major universities were already on Facebook. I was jealous! At the time, you were required to have a college email address from an approved college in order to create an account. (It was initially intended to be an ‘online yearbook’ for students.) Then my nerd friend told me that sva.edu was finally an accepted school email address and I signed up right away!

Fast forward a year to when the iPhone was first released, and the era of the smartphone began. It took me a while to get a smartphone, but when I finally did I regarded my phone as a status symbol. I could now reach the internet regardless of my location! Of course, Facebook was one of the first apps I had on my smartphone.


It’s something about the NOTIFICATIONS. They draw you in. You feel compelled to check them, even when the content they are notifying you about is most likely the most unimportant thing you need to read. On Facebook notifications are literally a RED BOX begging for your attention in the corner. They show a number if you have multiple notifications – “Oh jeez why do I have 43 notifications??” You suddenly feel both popular and important, but also overwhelmed and anxious about having to review them all, and possibly follow up in some way. How did we suddenly feel the need to be this busy?

Our society has developed a form of self-imposed ADD. I noticed this around 1999. When I was in high school I was in a video program and we had some film history workshops. One of the directors I studied was Stanley Kubrick. If you’ve ever watched a Kubrick film, you might recall that the movies feel ‘slow’ by today’s standards. Kubrick’s movies were edited in a way that was not rushed… shots would linger on for many seconds before cutting to an actor saying a line… then another long pause… It was about soaking in the imagery as much as it was about telling the story.

But as the “MTV” style of editing began to gain traction, fast edits were everywhere. If a shot lasts more than 5 seconds on screen today (other than news), I am shocked. It’s constant, flashy cuts with moving transitions and letters flying across the screen… there is no stillness. There is no pause. There is no time to soak in anything. You must pay full attention or it’s likely that you will miss something. So what happened? Commercials got shorter. Today there are commercial spots as quick as :6 seconds long. And that’s just TV – there are flashier ads and content on the internet. You don’t even realize it when you’re watching, but this is so that companies can sell more ad space and shove more content down our throats!

I’ve decided I’ve had enough of this self-imposed ADD. I can’t do much about changing how advertisements are created and sold, but I can control what content I am looking at on my smartphone. I decided to delete the Facebook app from my phone. This doesn’t mean that I deleted or deactivated my account. (The Glux Blog Facebook Page is still there and I have no plans of taking it down!) Honestly, I use Facebook to log into other sites, that I just can’t be bothered with dealing with that headache if I were to delete my account. And I don’t want my friends to think I’ve dropped off the face of the earth, so I still repost my IG photos to my FB profile.

But, Facebook has actually been proven to be detrimental to the mental health of young people. I’m pretty sure it’s also not great for Facebook to be so ingrained in the lives of everyone else, regardless of age. There is a toxic mix of FOMO, Keeping Up with the Joneses, having to be perfect, politics pulling people apart, internet trolls, cyber bullying and mind-rotting memes on Facebook. I’ve had enough. I don’t need to argue with random people about sports and politics. I don’t need notifications distracting me during the work day. I just don’t need Facebook in my life.

Not to mention the recent scandal regarding the privacy concerns with Facebook!

So I deleted my app on Sunday. I still have Messenger to talk to my friends. I still have Instagram to share my photos bc that’s mostly what I enjoy doing on the internet these days (besides blogging of course!). I realize that these apps are both owned by Facebook and my little ‘protest’ isn’t exactly sticking it to Zuckerberg… but I am already seeing positive effects in my daily life. I am not wasting time looking at memes. I’m not getting anxiety because I can’t afford a lavish vacation, fancy car, new kitchen, huge game collection, or whatever else people like to show off on their newsfeeds. I can focus on my own happiness without comparing myself to others. I can focus on work without constant distraction. Not to mention… my phone battery lasts longer now!

This is my Facebook Detox. And I like it.¬†ūüėé

Crate Crazed!

Now for a rare blog post that isn’t about video games. This is more on the general¬† gamer girl theme… I’m here to talk about CRATES. Basically everyone has heard of some kind of monthly crate subscriptions that you can purchase to get a surprise of goodies curated to meet a certain theme or topic sent to you. I think it’s time to start talking about the good, the bad and the ugly of these subscription crates… because let’s face it, they are not all created equal. Plus, I’d love to hear your suggestions for your favorite crates too!

My first subscription crate was Japan Crate. I was a Premium Box subscriber, which was the biggest box they had on offer, and was always packed with stuff! It is definitely a good quality subscription crate, you got plenty of stuff for your money. For a while I was pretty happy with Japan Crate, since I’m a total weeb and I had always heard about crazy Kit Kat flavors in Japan, and things like that. However, after many months of being a member, I realized that half of my snacks were going uneaten. I’m a picky eater and I am not really into eating mysterious corn puffs covered with powdered artificial shrimp dust. One time I did get a dark chocolate Kit Kat, and occasionally there would be a Pokemon themed candy, but overall I wasn’t loving the snacks. Then finally, the last straw came. The company was based in San Francisco, and then they moved to Japan. I’m sure for them it was an important business move that helped them in the long run. In the short term, it meant that my shipments were late. I wasn’t thrilled and I ended up canceling the subscription. But I still go on their website from time to time, because you can order some of the popular snacks directly from them. If you’re a more adventurous eater than I am, this may be a good crate for you!

The second crate I ever tried was the Gamer Girl Monthly crate. I just looked up the website for the first time since I ended the subscription (over a year ago) and it seems they have restructured their subscriptions and now you can personalize what items you want to get. So I can’t really comment on how GGM works now. But I can say that it is more expensive that it used to be – I believe I was paying $13 a month when I was a member. However, the downside was definitely that I was getting items that were not from fandoms that I was into. I would also get a lot of earrings and… I don’t have pierced ears. So eventually I decided to cut the cord. I will say that I did get some SUPER cute items, like the Kirby plush coin purse, Zelda necklaces, and some cosplay quality accessories. If you like girly gamer stuff and can afford the new price point, it might be worth a shot for you!

For a little while, I was on a subscription crate hiatus. I’ve joined other monthly services, like JustFab and Adore Me. However, I’m about ready to stop those services because I often forget to tell them not to charge me, and then I end up with credits that I’m obligated to spend… it’s just a hassle. I hate having to send stuff back when it doesn’t fit. Just ugh. I need to shop in stores more lol. If anything, maybe some day I’ll get Stitch Fix instead.

Anyway, when the calendar turned to 2018, my amazing friend Carney¬†(check out her blog!) and I decided to go hard with planners, bullet journals, self love books, and overall life organization and wellness. We each purchased the planner that we thought was best for us, and went to work organizing our lives. It’s actually a lot of fun and helps me stay on task and work toward my goals. However, as we have been sharing photos of these beautifully designed bullet journals (#bujo on Insta, check it out!!) with expertly drawn hand lettering… I felt a little inadequate. I can’t draw, and that’s ok. I got colored gel pens and started writing in bubble letters. Not QUITE as cute as I wanted it to be though. So what did I do? I went to Cratejoy.

I wanted to find a sticker subscription to help take my planner to the next level. And oh boy do they have sticker subscriptions! There are tons of sticker and stationery crates to choose from. I opted to try out the Stickii Club crate and after only one month, I am so happy that I did! I love it so much that I am considering adding an additional theme to my current subscription, since they are only $10 a month. You can choose from Cute, Retro or Pop stickers. I went with Cute… and it was f’ing CUTE!! They sent me several sheets of stickers with a cute bunny theme, featuring stickers representing different emotions and foods and lots of other fun stuff. They also sent a “Stickii Storage” which is a translucent folder sized for an A5 6-ring Filofax style binder, and it neatly organized all of the cute stickers for the month. So what did I do? I went on Amazon, ordered an A5 6-ring binder, an extra folder to hold more stickers… and I ordered some cat stickers while I was at it. I’m clearly out of control with stickers already, and I’m reliving the joys of my 10 year old self by creating this new sticker book to use with my planner. Whew. Stickers never go out of style!! I totally recommend this club to anyone who ever loved sticker collecting. Your love will be renewed!!

Now that my planner is helping me organize my life, and my sticker collection motivating me to continue to use said planner, things are definitely moving in the right direction! But Carney and I also enjoy reading and thought it would be fun to start a book club for ourselves. (Wanna join? Comment or PM me!) We both had picked up the crazy political expos√© “Fire and Fury”, so we figured we’d start with that. (Brace yourselves, I’m going to post a book report about it here on the blog when I’m done!) But what about next month? We figured we’d try out a book crate subscription.

The Inspired Book Club crate is a monthly subscription featuring a book and some items that are on theme with the book. After some drama of waiting much longer than expected to receive tracking info, I finally received my first crate yesterday. Now, I haven’t read the book yet – saving it for next month’s book club book – but it’s not as long as I expected. But it does say New York Times best seller. I don’t want to post the contents b/c Carney didn’t get her box yet (compounding on the shipping drama!!), but the items that came along seem very nice, good quality… but I have no idea what they have to do with the book. They seem like completely unrelated self-pampering products. Which I’m fine with, but it wasn’t exactly what I expected.

So that’s really the bottom line – these crates often do not deliver what you expect. Sometimes you are surprised and delighted, sometimes you are disappointed or feel like you wasted money. It’s important to read the reviews (Inspired Book Club also does not have good reviews) and remember that some of these crates are shipped out by an individual to hundreds or thousands of subscribers. Other times, the crates are shipped from overseas and have kinks to be worked out, like what happened with Japan Crate. But that is what makes these subscription crates fun – you never know what you might get!

Do you subscribe to any monthly crates? Have you had a great experience, or maybe a terrible one? Please share it in the comments, I’m very curious!!

It’s Video Games Day!

Huzzah!¬† Guess what folks?¬† It’s Video Games Day!¬† Apparently in the USA (or North America?¬† I don’t really know.) today is a national holiday celebrating gaming!¬† Who knew?

Now the REAL question is… how to celebrate?¬† Do you go on a marathon gaming spree playing one game for 6-8 hours straight?¬† Nintendo wouldn’t recommend that if you’re playing a 3DS by the way!¬† (You’re eyes will cross and explode in their sockets.)¬† What about playing every game that you own for 20 minutes?¬† Or maybe you can celebrate by going to GameStop, Toys R Us or whatever, and buying as many games as your bank account can afford?¬† Everyone has their own special way of celebrating Video Games Day!¬† But the important thing is to play your games with pride and without hesitation!


Blog Overhaul

Hello readers! ¬†If you are seeing this post, you may have noticed that my blog looks a little different. ¬†That’s because I’ve decided to change the theme of my blog – I want to expand the focus of my entries. ¬†Instead of my blog being exclusively about my AC:CF town, Shaolin, I want to write about all Nintendo games. ¬†More specifically, 3DS games that I’ve been playing much more lately! ¬†So I will be writing more but I just wanted to give you all a heads up. ¬†I don’t plan on deleting my old Shaolin entries (I don’t want to delete all that hard work lol!) so you can find the info about my town in the archives and in the AC:CF dropdown menu above. ¬†Thanks for visiting, and come back soon for more Nintendo related blog stuff! ¬†ūüôā


Hi everyone!¬† You probably all thought I’d given up on AC.¬† And that would be partly true…¬† I haven’t played ACCF consistently in quite a while.¬† It’s sad, I know.¬† I will get back into it eventually, but for now I’ve just been preoccupied with other games.¬† Pokemon has basically taken over, and I’ve been busy working on the PokeCenter network that I created for Pokemon players.¬† If you like playing any Pokemon game, please feel free to join my social network!¬† It’s free, we have lots of smart players there, a chat room has been added, and there’s contests and stuff!

Anyway, back on task.¬† I know I’ve missed a lot of DLC.¬† I’ll work on catching up with that soon.¬† I wanted to post the newest JP DLC news:

For those who can’t read Japanese, the JP DLC is “Kintarou” and “Kintarou no Haragake”.¬† After a bit of sleuthing I’ve determined that the Kintarou is a wig to make your character look like the Kintarou character from Japanese folklore.¬† I’ll quote from Wikipedia:¬† “KintarŇć as an image is characterized with a Masakari ax, a Haragake Japanese-style apron and sometimes a tame bear.”¬† I don’t know about the bear, but the haragake appears to be a shirt pattern.¬† It should be cute!¬† I can’t wait to visit Orenji and pick up the new DLC next month!

As for US DLC… yeah right.¬† They haven’t even updated the DLC website in a looong time.¬† So don’t hold ur breath.¬† lol

In other AC news, I recently bought a copy of Animal Crossing: Game Cube for $10.¬† I’ve never played ACGC before so I didn’t know what to expect.¬† It is actually a lot different from ACWW and ACCF!¬† There is no ‘rolling log’ effect when you walk around, so navigating is a little awkward.¬† I LOVE my Gyroid Assistant though, it’s so cute!¬† I wish they’d kept that in the newer games.¬† If you’re wondering, I named my new ACGC town something very mature and grownup…¬† “Uranus”.¬† ūüėõ

That’s about all I have to report.¬† Sorry I’ve been neglecting you guys.¬† Feel free to follow my Tumblr blog, as I usually update that with random stuff fairly frequently.¬† And as I wrote before, join up at the PokeCenter if you want to talk about pokemon related stuff!!¬† xD

Shaolin Year in Review

I meant to make this a little sooner but I just never got around to it. ¬†But finally, I have created my first annual “Shaolin Year in Review” video! ¬†Well, it’s actually a slideshow of my favorite photos and events from November 2008 – November 2009. ¬†It’s not very fancy or anything, but I hope you like it!

Note: ¬†I literally have over a THOUSAND photos from the past year. ¬†These pictures are only a small sample. ¬†Please visit my Flickr page to see all my old photos… well, as far back as my free account will allow. ¬†Or go thru the Shaolin Blog Archives, there’s some old photos from last year in those old entries too!


I just found out this afternoon that my friend from ACUKE was infected with the DimentioMsk HDLC Virus.¬† ūüė¶¬† Since I recently visited a UK town to get the new DLC items, I am likely to be infected as well, since my ACUKE friends visit each other often.

The good news is that (from what I’ve researched) this doesn’t mess up my Wii system.¬† The only problem is the fact that this is HDLC, which is of course “hacked” DLC content.¬† That means that the DimentioMsk is taking up a memory slot that Nintendo might want to use to distribute a new DLC item.¬† If Nintendo uses the same exact slot to release a DLC, I won’t be able to see the new item.¬† I’ll only see the HDLC item that is already stored there.¬† Sorry if this is too technical, but I can’t think of a simpler way to explain this.

The reason this is called a virus is due to the way it is spread.¬† Since the hacker who created this code copied an item from Able’s Shop, then this HDLC will go into the shop’s inventory rotation.¬† I might not see the DimentioMsk item in the store for months.¬† The problem is, you can pass on this HDLC ‘virus’ to anybody that you WIFI with.¬† That means that anyone you come into contact with will also get the virus.¬† ūüė¶¬† So basically that means that all my friends that I saw today are probably infected too.

I’m very sorry.¬† I am not a hacker.¬† I don’t approve of hacking code to change the game.¬† I wish there was something I could do about this, but the only way to stop it would be to restart my whole game!¬† I really hope Nintendo finds a fix for this, or at least I hope the HDLC doesn’t interfere with any new DLC coming out in the future.


The Prima Guide is crappy. ¬†I don’t like how all the clothes are listed separately from the matching hats and accessories. ¬†If I had been developing this guide, I definitely would have kept the sets together! ¬†I mean, Mabel usually tells you if you are buying something that will match another item. ¬† I wish I had been writing those hints down, cuz now I’m trying to assemble a list of “costumes” that have matching hats or accessories. ¬†This is in NO way complete, in any order, or definitely correct – it’s just based on my memory, the guide, and what seems to go together. ¬†

PLEASE comment if you know of anything I forgot, or if something was posted that needs correction! ¬†And for fun, I’ll color the items I don’t have in blue.

  • Detective Hat & Detective Outfit
  • Top Hat & Tuxedo
  • Gracie Hat & Gracie’s Top (I know there are accessories too but let’s not get crazy lol)
  • Festive Hat & Jingle Shirt
  • Big Bro’s Hat & Big Bro’s Shirt
  • Lil Bro’s Hat & Lil Bro’s Shirt
  • Chef’s Hat & Chef’s Outfit
  • Combat Helmet & Military Uniform
  • Scholar’s Hat & Graduation Gown
  • Safety Helmet & Orange Jumpsuit?? ¬†
  • Police Cap & Security Shirt
  • Explorer’s Hat & Explorer’s Shirt
  • Captain’s Hat & Captain’s Shirt
  • Outback Hat & Western Shirt
  • Dutch Hat & Dutch Shirt
  • Sombrero & Poncho?
  • Pirate’s Hat & Pirate’s Coat
  • Jester’s Cap & Jester Shirt
  • Witch Hat & Witch Shirt
  • Melon Hat & Melon Shirt
  • Strawberry Hat & Strawberry Shirt
  • Kiwi Hat & Kiwi Shirt
  • Mardarin Hat & Citrus Shirt
  • Watermelon Hat & Watermelon Shirt
  • Grape Hat & Grape Shirt
  • Royal Crown & Royal Shirt
  • Crown & Princess Shirt?? ¬†(maybe?)
  • Fireman’s Hat & Firefighter Tee
  • Warbonnet & Folk Tunic
  • Cow Bone & Caveman Tunic
  • Samurai Wig (or is it the Helmet?) & Samurai Suit
  • Geisha Wig & Kimono?
  • Ninja Hood & Burglar’s Shirt
  • Bunny Hood & Fluffy Shirt???
  • Cat Cap & Cat Top
  • Bear Cap & Bear Top
  • Frog Cap & Frog Top
  • Kappa Cap & Kappa Suit
  • Hero’s Cap & Hero’s Clothes
  • Racing Helmet & Racing Shirt
  • Knight’s Helmet & Armor Suit (but what about the Scale Armor Suit? ¬†Does that match anything?)
  • Roman Helmet & Gold Armor Suit
  • Space Helmet & Space Suit
  • Wrestling Mask & Wrestler Shirt
  • Dressing & Mummy Shirt
  • Red Zap Helmet & Red Zap Suit
  • Blue Zap Helmet & Blue Zap Suit
  • Green Zap Helmet & Green Zap Suit
  • Pink Zap Helmet & Pink Zap Suit
  • Samus’ Mask & Varia Suit
  • Toad Hat & Toad Shirt
  • King Tut Mask & Egyptian Outfit
  • Bridal Veil & Cake Shirt