Yesterday, our house was in the solar eclipse’s path of totality. The forecast was… not great, so I wasn’t expecting much. Some sunlight had broken through in the morning, but by noon, it was gray and overcast.

Behold, half an hour before eclipse time:

An overcast sky where the sun is not visible

Technically, I think the sun is in frame, but I couldn’t tell you for sure because all of those horrible clouds covered it up.

Still, ever the optimist, I grabbed my eclipse glasses, my nice camera, and Mr. M, and we trooped outside to see what we could see.

I didn’t grab a tripod because :waves at cloud photo:

As we got closer to the time, the clouds started breaking up a tiny bit, so the sun would peek through for a second or two. I had a solar filter made for binoculars, so I tried to freehand a photo with it and my nice camera, and that went about as well as you would expect.

This is the best one, and if you zoom in, you can see it’s a rare triple sun thanks to camera shake. Also, light was bleeding in from the side of the filter, so the bottom right looks nice and spooky.

A slightly blurry crescent of sun taken through a solar filter

The crescent of light kept shrinking until finally, darkness fell around us. It wasn’t pitch black (but it never is in the city), but it was dark enough for the street lights to come on and for our security cameras to switch to night mode.

Then, the clouds broke and we could see the sun… or what was left of it, which was just a faint ring of light. Cheers went up in the neighborhood as we all stared in awe. It was obscured by clouds, but totally visible.

A total solar eclipse in a cloudy sky

There’s still a decent amount of camera shake here, but I’m happy with how it turned out. Heck, I’m happy we got to see it at all.

It was unreal. I know people say that being in 99% coverage is completely different than being in totality, but I didn’t believe them until yesterday. As soon as the tiniest little piece of the sun came back, the clouds lit up and the coolest part of the day was over.

The next two total eclipses here in the US are in 2044 and 2045, so you have plenty of time to make plans. :)

Sun Haven

A screenshot of Sun Haven, with my little winged demon character standing in front of a house and above a planted field.
Behold my kingdom! Don’t judge my disaster of a crafting area. :)

During the recent Steam sale, Mr. M bought us a new game: Sun Haven. It’s very Stardew-esque, except it has more of an RPG feel because you level up different specialities (farming, combat, fishing, etc) and you get to choose where to put your points to customize your character.

It’s awesome!

We had to go to Ft. Worth this weekend, so we didn’t get to play too much, but we’re probably ten-ish hours in and having a lot of fun. My only minor complaint—and this might not be a complaint for someone who only occasionally plays co-op—is that the main quest progresses separately for each character.

So while I’ve been moving the story forward, Mr. M has been toiling away in the mines, and he has no idea what I’m talking about. 😭

If you decide to check it out, be sure to set the day length in the options. There’s no stamina meter, so you can do as much mining, farming, and exploring as you can fit in a day. By default, days are twenty IRL minutes long, which feels a little rushed. For a more relaxing experience, you can set it as long as forty minutes, and the game will save in the middle of the day if you need to quit, so you don’t lose progress.

We were most of the way through Spring before we figured out that we could make it easier/more fun by adjusting the day length, so let me save you that pain. :)

I have a barn full of animals I diligently pet every day, and Mr. M has a field of plants, and we just killed a slime monster boss, despite being somewhat ill-equipped for such a difficult battle.

I’m also kind of accidentally romancing one of the villagers. He asked to chat with me privately, and I was like “Sure!” and then it was actually a date. Oops. This is not actually that different from how it worked back when Mr. M and I were dating, lol.

If you like Stardew and RPGs, I highly recommend checking it out!

Slow Monday

I’m off to a slow start today, partially because I stayed up too late, and partially because it’s Monday. We had a very nice weekend, but it was much busier than usual, with social things on both Saturday and Sunday.

For reference, our normal weekends involve a lot of video games and/or all-day pajamas. 😂

It was nice to hang out with friends, though, and I need to be better about keeping in touch because I get busy and then I look up and months have slipped by. If my best friend wasn’t so on top of it, I would very likely become a hermit.

On the video game front, Mr. M and I started playing Last Epoch recently. It had a lot of hype as a “Diablo killer” and… ehhhhhh. I might not be the best judge, because I played hours and hours and hours of both Diablo III and Diablo IV and really enjoyed them, even though they were both kind of panned by critics.

But somehow, Last Epoch just doesn’t have the same hook. It’s… fine.

There are a few things that are super annoying (the fog of war on the map resets every time you teleport back to town, which is infuriating), but overall it’s pretty solid from a playability perspective, it’s just not that fun, and I can’t figure out why, because this game should be my jam.

I have a whole army of skeletons that do actual damage, until D4, and even leading an undead horde, I’m still just like meh. Mr. M is playing a mage, and he’s also sort of ambivalent about the game. Maybe it’ll open up when we get to the endgame—if we get to the endgame.

Or maybe we’ll start a new farm in Stardew Valley when the new patch drops this week. :)

Happy Leap Day!

This week has been a lot, so I’m not entirely sure I’m happy to have an extra day of February, but here we are. The month decided to end on a bang: this week, a friend suffered a loss, and a family member had a health scare, so fingers crossed that March will calm the eff down.

If you’re seeing this on the blog, you might notice the header image has changed. The last one was a little space specific, and now that I’m branching into fantasy, it needed an update. It will probably change again (as my mood changes, lol), but it’s good enough for now. Don’t worry if you don’t see it yet, caching can take a while to refresh.

I finally have the draft contract for Silver and Blood, so it’s edging ever closer to being a book. Publishing moves at the speed of frozen molasses, but it does eventually move. Most of the time. 😂

Book two is started, though not by a lot. It follows so closely on the heels of book one, that I’m sort of half waiting for edits before getting too far in. If I have to change the end of the first book, then it will definitely affect what I’m writing now. But I’m also trying to get a head start so I don’t burn myself in deadline hell this fall. It’s a delicate balance. :)

I also have edits for Books & Broadswords coming soon-ish, so I’ll have plenty of things to keep me busy. I started poking at a new sci-fi idea—two actually—but that’s kind of how my brain works. As soon as I’m supposed to do something, everything else looks so much better. It’s why I refuse to join book clubs: the very moment reading becomes homework, I will refuse to do it.

It’s chilly and gray out today, which hits especially hard when it was sunny and 90°F two days ago. Though, I wouldn’t mind if the rest of the ninety-degree days held off until July.

A girl can hope. :)

But at least it’s the perfect day for potato soup. Mmm, soup. I hope you’re enjoying your extra day!

Monday, Monday

The first Monday after a holiday week is always the worst. Especially since I tend to turn into a vampire when I don’t have to get up for work, going to bed well after midnight and sleeping until mid-morning. This morning’s alarm arrived too early, and I didn’t enjoy it. :)

But Mr. M and I had a nice Thanksgiving. The actual day was pretty chill for us, since we didn’t do Friendsgiving until Saturday, so it was a day for Diablo IV. We’re playing the second season, and got our first character to level 100, then started on a second character.

For me, Diablo has always been a game where I click on bad guys and loot pops out, and this season delivers. There’s an event where you can kill vampires to summon a mini-boss, and it’s in the open world, so random other players can show up to help. If you get a group of like six people, the screen just becomes explosions and loot. It’s awesome! 😍

For Friendsgiving, I made pie, as per usual. After the great Pecan Pie Disaster™ of a few years ago, I always err on the side of too done, but I think I’ve finally got it figured out, and I wrote it down this time! 🎉

I should’ve cooked the pecan five minutes less and the pumpkin five minutes more, but they were both still delicious. :)

A pumpkin and pecan pie cooling on the stove.

On turkey day, I broke down and bought a Kindle Scribe. I’ve wanted one for ages, and nearly bought one in July, but didn’t quite do it. The Scribe arrived on Saturday, and I’m on the fence about whether I’m going to keep it.

Writing on it is surprisingly good, but some of my books don’t support two-column mode in landscape, and that is my preferred reading method for such a large device. That’s how I read on my iPad, and all of my books work there, so I’m disappointed the Kindle doesn’t support it.

It seems to be mostly books I’ve gotten from BookFunnel or ARCs that I’ve sent to Kindle via email, so it’s likely fixable, but opening a hundred books in Calibre and re-exporting them in the right format sounds exhausting, so I might just send it back. Sad face. :(

Today I have to get the rest of the Rocks & Rapiers posts scheduled and then clean the kitchen. It’s a disaster in there and something must be done before they bring in the men in those plastic hazmat suits to declare it a biological hazard.

Wish me luck. :)