All posts by Kiri Callaghan

Are You Sure?

“Are you sure?” is a far from innocent question.

“Are you sure” is a coward’s cocktail of two parts deterrent and one part accusation.

It contributes to our life-long indoctrination intoxication that we cannot trust our own senses and judgement. Our own perceptions denounced, speaking our experience makes us liars, and as we grow our night-lights become gaslights in so much that we get vertigo just by standing up for ourselves.

“Are you sure” enforces the caution that it is paramount we are not speaking before thinking–it assumes your feelings are baseless, it reinforces the mythology that you haven’t given this any thought at all. When in truth it is the only thing that has occupied your thoughts both waking and dreaming. It lingers on you, cropping up at the most innocuous moments, those sleepy and content breaths where you thought you were safe.

We have trouble breathing, choking on the specter of thought that has been haunting us since the inception of realization of our reality.

“Are you sure?”

As if you weren’t so bursting that there were room for doubt within you.

And when you try call them out, they defend “I’m just checking!”

As if that can even pass as some form of repentance. But they never dare to finish the sentence.

“I’m just checking…”

I’m just checking you’re not a liar.

I’m just checking you’re sincere.

I’m just checking you’ve thought this through, because some part of me that I won’t admit to does not believe you.

“Are you sure” is more suggestion than question.

And it speaks volumes about what they never say aloud.

“Are you sure you didn’t provoke him?”

“Are you sure your skirt wasn’t too short?”

“Are you sure this isn’t a phase you’ll grow out of?”

“Are you sure” is both intimidation and invalidation.

It makes you question your sanity and believe, if even for a second, that speaking up isn’t worth the consequence.

Of course, I’m sure.

Please believe me.

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

Hey, it’s been a bit, right?

I’ve had my nose to the ground working on Changeling and a few other things, and also just focusing on my own mental health (more on that at another time, just know I’m fine). I’m really excited about that progress, slow that it may be. Trying to write about 1k a night (not always getting there, but that’s the goal). I feel about halfway finished and we’re up to about 57k.

It’s not a terribly large secret that one of my guilty pleasures are mystery stories, especially murder mysteries. I grew up reading Sherlock Holmes, and through my parents I was introduced to Murder, She Wrote, Magnum P.I., Columbo, Diagnosis Murder, Matlock etc…

So it’s not really a surprise that when I encountered Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries on Netflix, I was destined to fall in love. And that I would re-watch the episodes a million times and be filled with a kind of dysphoria every time I reached the end. Murder? In 1920s Austrailia? An intelligent female private detective outside her 20s still allowed to be sexy and independent? Yes please!

Then Zoe reminded me about the books that the tv show was based on.

I’ve been wanting to create more of a discussion around some of the stories we talk about, and while I would like to approach this with video games, right now there isn’t the time for it. But a book?

I commute about an hour to work and depending when I leave, 30 minutes to an hour back. Audio books, audio dramas, and podcasts  have been my best friends during this time. Great to decompress, and take in a good story.

So why not turn that into something?

I snagged a copy of “Cocaine Blues” (Kerry Greenwood), the first book in Miss Fisher’s journey, and coincidentally, the pilot episode. If you’d care to join me this month (August), we’ll be taking in both the book and the pilot episode and doing a bit of compare/contrast, talking story elements and such the like.

Why? Well, to put it simply…

Bitch, I’m here for the story.

Where’s Kiri?

Hello, you marvelous Curios!

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Ugh. How the time does get away from us. We think we have a hold on it, and then it laughs when we realize it’s actually been five days ahead of us this whole time.

That’s a bit nonsensical, isn’t it? Well, I’m not sure what to tell you, that’s sort of what we do here.

I’m about to make quite a few appearances and it seemed smart to tell you about them!

First thing is first is the signing I’ve been blathering about for nearly two months now:

Alys: The Terra Mirum Chroicles Book Signing

Come join me and hang out, get a book (or something else, I suppose) signed, take a picture, snag a hug, just say ‘hi’!

Saturday, May 20th, 11:30am-2:30pm (PST)
Barnes & Noble (Glendora, CA)
1315 E Gladstone Street, Glendora, California 91740

B*t©#, I’m Here For The Story

We’re heading back to Thedas to help save the world. Dungeons need not slow us down, we’ve got codes and no desire to pause for a slog through a horde of darkspawn. Sure, it’s cheating when it comes to fight mechanics, but bitch? We’re here for the story.

Sunday, May 21st – 7am – 3:30pm (PST)

http://www.twitch.tv/kiriosity

Liquid Tabletop

I’ll be joining The Divvy the Loot crew up in the Pacific Northwest for a very special episode of Liquid Tabletop. Come get your Bard on.

Saturday, May 27th, 8pm – 11pm (PST)

https://www.twitch.tv/dvylootz

ENTER THE GAUNTLET

You helped make me my team’s MVP, and so it looks like (barring any weird scheduling conflicts) Triss, the totally human (what are you talking about these aren’t horns, it’s a skin condition and how dare you even mention it) is venturing back into the Gauntlet to try her luck, and battle new frightful things!

Thursday, June 1st, 6:30pm-8:30pm (PST)

https://www.twitch.tv/hyperrpg

Crumpets & Flagons!

Bethany and I will be venturing across the pond to explore the UK! And we’ve set aside time specifically to meet up with any Curios able to come meet us. I WILL have a VERY small # of books with me. EXPECT MALARKEY!

Tuesday, June 6th, Time 3:30pm (15:30)

The Eagle and Child, Oxford (I believe it’s cash only so be prepared).

OR

Saturday, June 10th, Noon – ?

Exact location pending, we’re looking around the Camden Market area for some tasty tea and such. We’ll meet and explore the stalls!

Update: Location is the food court area under the umbrellas by Gilgamesh!

Out of the Broom Closet

In my most recent letter to Stephanie (video below), I was challenged to do one thing that scared me.

In taking time to consider what I could do that 1. Genuinely scared me and 2. Would not break my bank (ala bungee jumping etc), I realized there was something I’d been… not avoiding per se, but that I had in certain times been very careful to tip toe around.

And I realize that’s silly. Because while I do feel this is something very personal and unique to me–it’s still part of me, so it would be strange for me to AVOID talking about it if it’s relevant to the moment.

And to be honest, I’m not sure when it ever really would be relevant beyond being open about myself and letting people know where I’m coming from. It’s a part of me and avoiding talking about it should it come up would be disingenuous. I’d much rather prefer to just be open.

And in doing this I realize there are other things that I’d like to be a bit more open about as well. But those are for other videos. <3

I See Fire

 

Patrons get song downloads!: www.patreon.com/kiri

This, above all, was an experiment. I filmed audio during a livestream, I wanted to see how hard it would be to do vallaslin by hand (answer: hard) despite that this is totally a LOTR dwarf song, not a Dragon Age Dalish song, and I wanted to see if I had the proper equipment still to do a proper keying/greens screen effect (spoilers, I do not, but I’m still fairly happy with this regardless).

Also I uploaded this prior to putting on the front and end cards because they seemed kinda inappropriate for the mood and because Adobe decided to crash on me no less than four times in the relatively short editing time this took.

The things I have learned.

I hope you enjoy!

Dreamfall Chapters – The Final LiveStream & More!

What: LiveStream of Dreamfall Chapters Book 5: Redux (The final book)

When: January 13th (Friday–Yes, Friday the 13th!), 7:30pm PST (When is that for you?)

Where: http://www.twitch.tv/kiriosity

We’ve come to it. The final book. I’m biting my nails because I’m not ready for this game to end! I’m already preparing for a stream the next day because I’m going to require some serious comfort gaming after this, loves. I will be a bit of a wreck, I’m sure.

Haven’t made it to a stream before? You can catch up here!


As I said, after this I will need some comfort gaming, which means…

Next Stream: January 14th (Saturday), 1pm PST – 5pm PST, Possible Extension: 8pm PST – 12am PST

Game: Dragon Age: Origins

My love of Dragon Age is not a secret. I’ve written two tribute songs (Halamshiral, Lost) and one original (Bring You Home) about my game experiences. Don’t watch those if you haven’t seen/played the game and care about spoilers.

I haven’t streamed or really shared game play of these games because I figured my fangirl level was a bit too high and would not actually be interesting to watch. And then several Curiosities laughed and said I should do it anyway.

Note: I WILL be using mods from Dragon Age Nexus (appearance, some extra scenes etc) but I will be sure to link them in the description of the VODs.

I may also employ the dev console code to get through fights faster. Reason being that while I LOVE the Dragon Age series, I must confess Dragon Age: Origins was not super exhilarating with fights, and skipping past random battles so we can get to the story seems preferable considering the LENGTH of the game itself.

So here we go. Saturday. It’s happening.

We Have Forums!

Hello Curiosities!

Now for a while now, I’ve had a few people individually reach out and ask if I’d consider making a Curiosity Forum, thus creating a central location for Curiosities to gather and chat about whatever they please other than the Twitch chat when I’m streaming.

You have asked and I have answered! Now it’s not the PRETTIEST forum because it’s a relatively simple WordPress integration, but I think it will serve the purposes we need. You can find them in the top bar. Right now we have a community forum and if anyone wants to discuss The Terra Mirum series, I have made one of those as well.

Partially because I’m fairly certain my publisher would have shamed me if I didn’t make a forum for it, and partially because I want to create a space for discussing the books where someone who hasn’t read them won’t accidentally stumble on a spoiler.

My only rules are fairly simple. Be kind. Don’t harass anyone, don’t spew hate, etc etc. This is a place for support and anyone being a jerkface will be dealt with by a swift boot to the pantalones.

How to Register:

Beneath the “Party Members” section on the right panel, you’ll see a “Login” section. Below there are options to register or recover your password. Click Register.

Editing your Profile:

This is a little stranger than it should be because there’s a slight disconnect between the forum plugin and wordpress itself.

To edit your avatar, you’ll need to click your name in the top black bar that appears when you have logged in. It will take you to link a gravatar account.

To edit visible info to the forum, you need to click your name on the right side panel (where the login info was). For some reason, this info doesn’t seem to populate itself when you fill it in with wordpress.

Post any further questions you may have about the forum in the comments and I will be sure to update this blog post with the relevant information.

Thank you!

Rogue Training – Week 3

Welcome to the Training Board!

What is this?

Everyone has their favorite character class. Being a bard, of course I have a special place for rogues in my heart. So with the help of one of my best friends, we’ve devised a training regime that will be taking inspiration from the multiple iterations of rogues as depicted in the Dragon Age series, including specializations. These workouts will be focusing on core strength, dexterity and cardio and are intended to be done in a circuit.

Things to Note:

These workouts are created with a gym in mind. Gyms are awesome because people are there to answer questions, the equipment is maintained, and if somehow you hurt yourself, you have immediate assistance. I would like to eventually add at home alternatives but right now that’s not something I have time for. I’m sharing my exact routine.

I’m basically a 5ft tall Dalish, so you may need to adjust weights or reps to your comfort level. However, do keep in mind these exercises are with a rogue class in mind, not a warrior. It’s really not about uber heavy lifting. =)


Rogue Training

Rogues are crafty combatants who succeed in battle by combining speed, subterfuge, and a wide range of abilities to bring their opponents down in unexpected ways, sometimes before the enemy even perceives danger.

Day 1

WARM-UP:

AMT Machine (level 3): 10 minutes

WORKOUT:

Kettlebell Swings: 40 reps (10-20 lbs kettlebell)
Hollow Holds: 20-30 seconds
TRX Push-Ups : 15 reps (hands holding on to grip in straps)
TRX Pistol Squats into Balancing Stick Pose: 10 reps (per leg)
Statue of Liberty: 10 reps each side (10-20 lbs kettlebell)

REST 1 minute

REPEAT WORKOUT 3-4 times

Day 2

WARM-UP:

Rowing Machine: 800 meters (at your pace)

WORKOUT:

Kettlebell Swings: 40 reps (with 10-20 lbs kettlebell)
Leg lifts: 15 reps (fists under buttocks for support of lower back)
One-legged Romanian Dead Lift: 10 per leg (use 10-20 lbs kettlebell)
Push-ups: 7 reps

REST 1 minute

REPEAT WORKOUT 3-4 times TOTAL


Specializations:

Specializations are sub-class choices that further define and customize characters in the Dragon Age series. They open access to new talents based upon the character’s base class (Warrior, Mage or Rogue).

Keep an eye out for extra info for specializations. These will be related to other aspects of health (diet, mental health etc) to help you continue your rogue training. These ARE optional, and you are encouraged to design your own specializations. These are meant for a platform to jump off from.

Tempest:

These unpredictable experts specialize in using alchemical mixtures that wreathe them in frost or flame. Fast, chaotic, and possibly mad, they wade into the fight and dare enemies to face the storm.

Since Tempests specialize in alchemy, these sections will be focusing on dietary needs and recipes. Remember if you’re upping your exercise routine, food is SUPER important. Your body is increasing activity and you’re sweating which means you’re depleting nutrients much faster. It’s imperative you eat enough calories and as equally important that you’re eating calories that HELP you keep going. Protein, sodium, iron etc–you don’t want to get dizzy because you’re consuming only one food group.

Bard:

Having taken the minstrel’s art to new levels, bards are skilled performers and master manipulators; bards can inspire their allies or dishearten their foes through song and tale.

Bards are all about art and charisma, so for these sections, you can expect artistic and even social challenges. We’ll use this specialization to focus on some good mental health practices. Maybe we’ll collaborate on something together, or you’ll be challenged to watch a movie or read a book–or interacting with the Curiosity Community.

Rogue Training – Week 2

In the future, The Training Board will be posted on Mondays.

What is this?

Everyone has their favorite character class. Being a bard, of course I have a special place for rogues in my heart. So with the help of one of my best friends, we’ve devised a training regime that will be taking inspiration from the multiple iterations of rogues as depicted in the Dragon Age series, including specializations. These workouts will be focusing on core strength, dexterity and cardio and are intended to be done in a circuit.

Things to Note:

These workouts are created with a gym in mind. Gyms are awesome because people are there to answer questions, the equipment is maintained, and if somehow you hurt yourself, you have immediate assistance. I would like to eventually add at home alternatives but right now that’s not something I have time for. I’m sharing my exact routine.

I’m basically a 5ft tall Dalish, so you may need to adjust weights or reps to your comfort level. However, do keep in mind these exercises are with a rogue class in mind, not a warrior. It’s really not about uber heavy lifting. =)


Today would have been my brother’s birthday, so today especially I’ve been thinking about Depression and the harm it can cause on so many lives. Additionally, the last thing I wanted to do this morning was to go to the gym. I forced myself anyway, because I knew the endorphins would help me combat the emotional rollercoaster of the day.

I hard focused on my exercises for the day and my mind remembered a particularly powerful quote about I had referenced in a previous blog post:

“The reason I made the movie was coming to fruition, which was I was gonna get the cancer that killed my father. And in my mind, I feel that when I killed that six-fingered man, I killed the cancer that killed my father. And for a moment he was alive.” – Mandy Patinkin (Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride)

While obviously there are multiple aids to fight depression, exercise is certainly one of them, and because I’m a giant dork, I began to think about assassinating the Depression that took my brother. It sounds stupid, but it helped me get through the work out.

So this week, we’re focusing on the Assassin specialization of the Rogue Class. Assassins need to be able to move quickly and smoothly, climbing walls and finding their footing with precision. Starting on week 4, we’ll be kicking it up to 3 days a week, but remember, go at your comfort level and allow your body to rest in between training days!

“Any rogue can kill a target, but assassins make death into an art form. They specialize in quick, deadly kills that let them slide back into the shadows undetected, or indirect kills that eliminate targets while the assassin is safely away.”

Day 1

WARM-UP:

Stationary Bike: 10 minutes (set to “RANDOM” and adjust difficulty to your liking)

WORKOUT:

Assisted Pull-Up Machine: 12 (set the weight assist to whatever allows you to barely accomplish 12 reps. Use a wide grip)
Plank on forearms (rise to push up position if you start to get tired): 45 seconds
Goblet Squats: 15 (with 10 lbs dumbbell)
Battle Ropes: 30 seconds

REST 1 minute

REPEAT WORKOUT 3-4 times TOTAL

Day 2

WARM-UP:

Running Steps: 500 (10 jumping jacks after every 100 steps)

WORKOUT:

Ladder Drills

2 sets of side step (1 set = both sides/directions, total of 4 reps)
2 sets of ladder cross-over (1 set = both sides/directions, total of 4 reps)
2 sets of side-straddle hop

One-legged Romanian Dead Lift: 10 per leg (use 10-20 lbs kettlebell)

Push-ups: 7 reps

Leg lifts: 20

REST 1 minute

REPEAT WORKOUT 3-4 times TOTAL

 

Optional Tempest DLC:

This recipe is for a post-workout protein shake. Do NOT use this as meal replacement, this is to up your protein intake only. Make sure you’re getting enough calories to compensate for the extra physical activity.

Flask of Frost:

In the blender, add:

1 cup ice cold water (or milk, check what your protein powder requires)

1-2 Scoops of Vanilla Protein Powder of your choice

Handful of fresh baby spinach (the mint should cover the taste)

1 tsp of mint (or add to taste)

1 1/2 cup of ice

New to The Training Board? Start at the beginning.