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ODIN IS AFFLICTED – Weekly (ish) Summary Report

So I’m feeling like toasted ass and my body has basically told me to gfy, so I have been attempting to take it easy for the week. I’m thinking it’s walking pneumonia again, which is only mildly irritating instead of incapacitating. But needless to say, it’s annoying to the fact that I probably shouldn’t be performing my normal routines, including going out in public and exercising.

I have also been subjected to TEA. Which I know does not sound terrible and that I’m whinging “OH WOE IS ME” but I do not like tea. At all. But I get to chase it with elderflower cordial, so it’s not all bad.  This is all because I can’t stand the medical industry in my country and I don’t feel like being judged and told that my weight is why I am coughing. Also since I don’t “look” sick, I really don’t feel like putting on a show in order to get anyone to believe me. All I want is some damned antibiotics so I can get on with my life.

And despite all the work I have to do, I am trying (keyword TRYING) to take the “it gets done when it gets done” approach. But I am not great at this newfangled thing called “relaxing.” I also have a couple of jewelry commissions to work on and videos to record using new fancy shapes on the market that I am far too excited to try. Also June is coming up fast, so I have to narrow down an art brief for the cover artist, so I can have that ready for them to work on while I make preparations for the reveals and preorders.

That being said, Chapter 2 is progressing very well. It is fully plotted, scenes one and two are in beta status, and part three is only requiring a few passes of polish before I pass it on to my readers.

Chapter 3 is also sneaking its way into my focus, and I don’t think that will take me long to chisel away into something readable. I just hope these sections aren’t going to bore readers with exposition. It is taking place on a whole other world, and a lot of Nara’s background is being displayed in a concise package before the action starts blowing everyone’s minds. I also need to explain *just enough* so that references from previous books will not be lost in translation. They key to balance, am I right?

I am also curious as to how those who have read the first book will react to the genre shift. This one is more of a space opera with aspects of cyberpunk technology. It will be a curious experiment I think.

IN ANY CASE! That is all that’s been going on with me, just trying to maintain balancing dumpster fires until something is put out eventually.

I would also like to take this opportunity to mention that if you HAVE read Sleepless Flame, please be sure to leave a review!! Not only does it help me be seen, you will also be responsible for my ecstatic giggles every time I hear what readers have thought of my worlds. Maybe chip a layer of ice or two in my blackened heart.

UNTIL NEXT TIME!

-Odin

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How Improv Comedy Helped Me as a Writer

Like most who know about the artform, I was introduced to improv comedy from the famed TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway? Despite many of the references going over my head at the time, I still found myself bursting at the seams with laughter at the off-the-cuff antics of the performers.

In high school, I was fortunate enough to participate in an improv club, where we not only played common games, but also took field trips to performances and studied techniques from professionals in the city.

At the time, I was goofing off in a cloud of gawky adolescence, ignorant to the fact that improv was not only teaching me how to think on my feet, but how to tell stories. And it clicked in my head that the beauty of improv, as well as the core of storytelling, is all about engagement. Whether you are performing or observing in the audience, improv is a hands-on experience, much like the worlds you build in your narrative and the relationship you have with your readers.

It was only later on in adulthood that I realized I was inadvertently applying these skills in my D&D gaming sessions. It started simple enough with my character creation (and giving my GMs headaches with grotesquely detailed backstories), then evolving further when I started DMing myself. Eventually, it got to the point where I threw out the rulebooks altogether and ran completely diceless campaigns.

After making this connection, I was able to apply my knowledge to large scale writing projects and develop the eyesight to become my own content editor. (NOTE: Don’t depend entirely on your own skills for content editing if you can help it. I am saying I was able to recognize enough to save work for someone else).

These skills not only helped with the writing aspect, but also the business side of being a “Competent Author™.”  Elevator pitches, networking and relationships, public speaking etc. All of this can be improved upon with a little flight from the seat of the pants.

But performance, no matter how small the audience, is much easier said than done, especially if you have anxiety. With practice and a few quick, short-worded sentences tucked in your belt, you can excuse yourself from distressing and overwhelming situations:

“Hey, this was a great conversation, but I really need to be elsewhere right now.”

“Thanks for chatting! I’m headed to another appointment, but maybe we can continue later?”

Though I am speaking through my personal experience, and not everyone can find this helpful.

If you want to start off with playing improv games, try it out with a few close friends just to get a feel of the mechanics. The more you practice in a safe environment, the easier it may become for you. Remember, your replies will NOT sound polished. In fact, they will be clumsy and awkward until you learn what aspects of your personal conversation filter can be shut off at will.

And that’s okay! Improv is not supposed to be polished, it’s supposed to be messy and random. A lot of the most memorable moments can come from spouting off the first thing that comes to mind (in both good and bad contexts). Just like editing a draft, polish comes later with time and practice.

A very good first-time game is called “One Word” where a group take turns telling a story one word at a time. Put a little flair on it by adding a theme or setting to help keep everyone focused. Say you’re making a space adventure and telling the story of a first alien encounter. Or an opposing kingdom is beating down the gates to your castle, what happens next?

A quick google search of “Improv Comedy Games” will bring you a slew of options, but here’s a pair of sites with great examples to get you started:

http://www.bringyourownimprov.com/games.htm

http://improvencyclopedia.org/games/

Many games can be tailored to the fiction atmosphere, adding genre spins to suit whichever needs you want to practice. Focus on setting and character creation, or even use the Question Game (make a conversation only using questions) to practice your dialogue development.

It might be fun to introduce exercises in your next writing group meetings or convention mixers as an icebreaker. But please be mindful of those with social anxiety and be respectful to members not participating! Improv requires a certain level of trust, and some may not feel comfortable for whatever reason they may or may not feel like sharing. Do not take it personally if you get rejected, but be sure to leave the door open for those who want to try.

And on that note, another vital skill learned through improv is the ability to read the room. Improv is not just about spouting off the first thing that comes to your head. It’s also about learning the dynamics and knowledge base of the participants as well as the audience.

For example, any games involving song titles or movies may leave some players out because they are outside of the loop in popular media. It may also be beneficial to stray away from politically charged topics in a new setting until everyone is familiar with each other. It will take some experimentation to determine everyone’s comfort levels, as well as what types of games everyone excels at.

Ultimately, have fun with improv, whether you apply it to your writing or not! It’s a great way to practice interactions and storytelling while enjoying time with others both in and out of the industry. And most importantly, don’t be too serious when playing. It is comedy, after all.


And that’s it from me, don’t forget there are now TWO giveaways that feature my book Sleepless Flame that you can partake of, including some fantastic books from a variety of genres:

And if you partake in either of these giveaways and procure my book, I ask that you please consider leaving a review over on Amazon. It really helps me out being found in their algorithms. According to an individual working with Amazon’s marketing, some of the essential algorithms won’t trigger until a book has FIFTEEN reviews, so please do help out if you enjoyed the book.

The folks over at New England Speculative Writers are still running their giveaway until the end of the month featuring Sleepless Flame as well as thirteen additional titles from fantastic authors on the East Coast. Check out the link here:

https://claims.instafreebie.com/gg/MGKtj5Ue4gPP4E0bRJzy

New England Speculative Writers Giveaway

And if you want EVEN MORE freebies, the group over at SciFi Fantasy Bonanza is also having a giveaway that features my book, and a whole slew of others from a huge variety of authors and genres:

http://sffbookbonanza.com/freebooks/

SCI-FI and Fantasy Ebook Giveaway featuring Sleepless Flame

That will be it, be sure you have also checked out my updated Weekly Summary Reports, since I am no longer going to be posting them in the email newsletters. I post them every Friday, and will do so until the work is finished.

Until Next Time!

-Odin

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MOAR GIVEAWAYS AND ODIN IS A SLEEPY POTATO – Weekly Summary Report

Welcome to the very first Weekly Summary Report of  Sleepless Flame 2.0. Things…are happening. As far as I can tell. My body is currently recovering from the shock of organized scheduling, and I may have taken on too much too soon. What else is new?

In addition to the writing shenanigans, I am attempting another workout regiment while hoping not to feel like death the day after. So far it’s not going well. I took two days off so that I won’t feel like an open can of  Surströmming that’s been left out in the sun for a month when I go to HEMA practice over the weekend.

It also didn’t help that I started after I came back from a rigorous day trip to a Grendel concert. While loads of fun, I found myself unable to muster the energy to move until the last songs. >:

But I got a shirt though. ^^

Despite my aging body, I have chapter 1 in First Draft mode. Which is a nice accomplishment. One of these days I might even learn to take what I can get and celebrate the little things. The finer details at the end scenes need a few more passes, but I am okay to release it to Betas at this point.

She’s a small one, and I may compact it with Chapter two in the long run, BUT WE CAN’T STOP HERE.

I also did a lot of work fleshing out some scenes in the overall story, and added about another 1500 words. A lot of delightful and emotional scenes that I want to work on instead of the chronological Hell I have subjected myself to, BUT WHAT CAN YOU DO?

The initial half of the book I expect to go relatively smoothly. I have about 16 chapters plotted out, but that will most likely change as I flesh things further. Each are slated to be finished in two week blocks with the entire work optimistically headed for First Draft completion somewhere around Mid November. But I will know better once I get to the actual final conflict, however.

HOW BOUT SOME FREE SHIT?

In any case, I still have not one BUT TWO giveaways for you. And if you partake in either of these giveaways and procure my book, I ask that you please consider leaving a review over on Amazon. It really helps me out being found in their algorithms. According to an individual working with Amazon’s marketing, some of the essential algorithms won’t trigger until a book has FIFTEEN reviews, so please do help out if you enjoyed the book.

The folks over at New England Speculative Writers are still running their giveaway until the end of the month featuring Sleepless Flame as well as thirteen additional titles from fantastic authors on the East Coast. Check out the link here:

https://claims.instafreebie.com/gg/MGKtj5Ue4gPP4E0bRJzy

New England Speculative Writers Giveaway

And if you want EVEN MORE freebies, the group over at SciFi Fantasy Bonanza is also having a giveaway that features my book, and a whole slew of others from a huge variety of authors and genres:

http://sffbookbonanza.com/freebooks/

SCI-FI and Fantasy Ebook Giveaway featuring Sleepless Flame

That’s about all I have for this update, hopefully next week I will have built a minute amount of endurance to put myself into a better shape. Remember kids, an Octagon is just a buff circle.

Until Next Time!

-Odin

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THE CYCLE BEGINS AGAIN! And Also A Giveaway!

IT IS TIME.

Time to subject myself to the bittersweet writing cycle again. Nara’s saga has just begun to take shape, and she has a whole solar system to experience. With the shaky end of the publication phase of Sleepless Flame, I barely had any time to recover my wits. But I find myself in this weird creative limbo where I have no desire to work on any side projects. And the lure of the Outline Sirens is calling. ONCE MORE INTO THE FRAY.

THE TIMELINE AS IT IS:

APRIL will be dedicated to outlining and technology development of an alien species. How long that will last will depend entirely on  how well my brain can function. I am hoping no more than the entirety of the month. I will cut myself off regardless to begin the prose.

For those of you who are curious, I am a hybrid outliner and pantser writer. I will outline obsessively for an extended period of time, then decide to chuck everything out and do something else altogether as the pieces start fitting together. Now this doesn’t mean my outlining was a waste of time, it was just a step I had to take in order to get to my destination.

I have written a more detailed post on my writing process, if you are in to that sort of thing.

MAY is when I will start the prose, or earlier if I actually make headway with the storyline. Here is where I will also be writing the art brief for the cover and tease that along the way. As of now, I have the first chapter plotted out, as well as the direction of the story progression. The conclusion, however, is a mystery to me.

JULY is when I will reveal the cover and title to torment you all, and hopefully have set up preorders, at least on Smashwords, since I know they have a 12 month projection permitted. The thought of having a Halloween release is tempting, but I am also not sure if I want to wait until end of 2019. I am sure you feel the same.

After that, it is all up in the air. Sleepless Flame took SEVEN. YEARS. to come to completion, and that was due almost entirely to the fact that I was not considering myself a full time author. I had living situations to deal with, as well as mental health issues. Fun times were not had by all.

Now that this is my “job,” I am using the sequel to gauge a better metric for this bullshit. I’m still foggy about a lot of things, mostly about how to plan a release date while getting reviewers their material ahead of time. A lot of that doesn’t make sense to me, because I am NOT about to put a sub par piece of material in front of a reviewer. Maybe it’s a matter of putting your release date months ahead of your solid “finish date” or something. Any advice is welcome! Reach out to me on the Tweeters.

For now, I will drown myself in a Witch House playlist and maybe try not to go full hermit for this piece.

I may learn to relax a bit. Maybe haunt the local library. I need this print to motivate me.

A post shared by Effin' Birds (@effinbirds) on

OTHER BULLSHIT UPDATES:

I will also be updating the newsletter email frequency so that I do not bombard your inboxes with weekly updates. The Weekly Summary Reports are mostly there to be my public accountability posts, and a personal way to track my progress. Therefore, I will only be sending out emails whenever I make a “meaty” post like writing tips and short stories once or twice a month. But don’t fret, I will also send a link to the Weekly Summary Report archive for you to check out at your leisure. I know some of you enjoy watching my gradual descent into unintelligible eldritch frothing. And of course this is most likely where I will post the release date for Sleepless Flame 2.0

And ALSO! The folks over at New England Speculative Writers are having a giveaway featuring Sleepless Flame as well as thirteen additional titles from fantastic authors on the East Coast. If you want to snag a digital copy of my book for free check out the link here:

https://claims.instafreebie.com/gg/MGKtj5Ue4gPP4E0bRJzy

New England Speculative Writers Giveaway

And I think that will do it from me, if you have read the book, please do feel free to leave me a review on Amazon, it helps me out a ton to let other readers know what sorts of good fun they are in for.

Until Next Time! Well wishes appreciated!

-Odin

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IT’S REAL. IN FRONT OF ME RIGHT NOW. IN THE FLESH

I promise, I promise, I will have actual content shortly, but LOOKIT MY 2LB MASSIVE CYBERCHILD:

Sleepless Flame Paperback Gush
The noises I made were not human in origin

She’s a beast at 514 pages.  I can’t even right now. I am in a glass case of emotion.  My hands are shaking, and I am surprised I can type out a cohesive sentence. Though I am finding myself hitting backspace a lot more than normal. It’s been a real rollercoaster, but now I can say I have seen something to a close.

This first shipment goes out to the people who have preordered here, and they should be out sometime next week, after I come down from this high of elation I am currently experiencing.

And of course, to anyone else interested, you can now find them in most online book retailers, including GooglePlay, Kobo, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. You can also find it on GoodReads, if you have lists you would like to slap it in. My next plan of action is to contact libraries and small booksellers. So if you procure a copy and enjoy it, be sure to leave a review! It helps me out a ton to convince others that I can produce a readable work xD

I just want to say, thank you all who have supported me in this journey, and was patient while I babbled incoherently into the void as I was constructing this machination. You are all rad <3

Now I am going to ride this high of elation while it lasts and procure a celebratory snack.

Until Next Time!

-Odin

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SLEEPLESS FLAME BOOK LAUNCH DAY AND ODIN’S BIRTHDAY!!!!

Welp. There it is. I actually published a deng book. Sleepless Flame is a thing that exists in reality. Despite being a weaver of words, I don’t exactly have a way to explain my thoughts and feelings. Immersive science fiction worlds, specifically cyberpunk, have always been an extremely important part of my life. It has literally kept me alive these years, and I am so happy to finally breathe mine into existence.

I’ve said before, I don’t have much to be proud of in my life, and I find it very difficult to finish projects. I get discouraged easily and give up. But after seven years, I finally saw something to the end. Huh.

And it is also my birthday, so today I plan on partake in whatever debauchery will come my way. (Read: none. I am a boring individual whose idea of a “wild night” is to go out to eat at a moderately priced tavern then go back home before everything closes.)

My SO commissioned a cake for both occasions, and I am crying right now:

Odin's Book Launch Cake

Since finishing the book, I have been put in this weird purgatory state where I have no idea what to do with myself. There are things I *should* be doing, but have no desire to do any of them. I also should be relaxing so I can stave off the years of burnout coagulating over my bones, but I have long forgotten how.

Though another run of Deus Ex sounds like a fantastic idea.

I apparently also occupy my time by making cursed objects:

Demagogue's Beacon Beaded Jewelry by Odin's Bead Hall

I need to start writing lore for these pieces because SERIOUSLY.

LAUNCH INFO AND OTHER FUN THINGS:

Later this month I will also be doing a Q&A Livestream on my YouTube Channel, where I will be destroying a bunch of my past shameful jewelry work. Come and join me, chill out, Ask Me Anything about the book, beading help, or about me personally. But not too personally. Or ask me silly hypothetical questions. You just might get some absurd answers.

Because I am a weird and easily amused individual, I have taken the liberty of re-creating a recently deceased meme using my characters in the story:

McDonald's Alignment Chart Meme with Sleepless Flame Book Characters
I really need to have a hobby.

If you’ve read the book, agree or disagree?

Find Sleepless Flame on Amazon and Kobo! (Other locations pending)

eBook: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B4R1XRJ/

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Sleepless-Flame-1-Odin-Oxthorn/dp/0999834916/

Kobo eBook: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/sleepless-flame

I’ve also looked on my listings on Amazon and the paperback has a “Look Inside!” preview, and that just tickles me :>

If you have ordered a pre-release copy from me on this website, I have put in my VERY FIRST ORDER for paperbacks, and they should arrive to me by the 19th. Then I will sign them and have them sent off to you, so be on the lookout for them!

I would like to stress that if you enjoyed the book, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads! It helps me out SO MUCH in being seen. There are so many indie pub books out there, and your help in exposing this work would mean so much to me!

I was also featured on a Spiffy New Releases List on SFF Book Bonanza, so why don’t you check out the listing there, as well as some other fantastical works of intrigue: SFF Bonanza New Book Releases March 2018

New Releases – Mar 2018

 

I also wanted to take the time to thank all those who have supported me. I had an awesome group of people behind me to push me through this, and without the, I certainly would have given up a long time ago.

THE FUTURE FOR ODIN? ANOTHER BOOK?

So for the immediate future, I am going to be trying to get some R ‘n R (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA) Then working on getting a backlog of youtube content ready so I can focus on the next book. When that will arrive, I have no idea. I have a title, I have a cover concept. I have a general plot outline. After that: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The idea is that March 31st will be the start of the outline phase for book two. I will be making reports again in a semi-regular basis, so if you would like to keep updated, be sure you are subscribed to the newsletter.

I’m still figuring this whole life-career thing out, and I have no directional path that is calling me. This seems like a nice place to be at the moment, but I still have this chronic wanderlust infecting my soul and I have no idea if it will ever be quelled. All I can do is see where this takes me.

Until Next Time,

-Odin

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WE ARE LIVE – Sleepless Flame Release on Amazon

Front Cover of Sleepless Flame by Odin Oxthorn

First off I need to say LOOKIT WHAT THE FORMATTER DID!!! It makes it looks so real and I’M NOT CRYING IT’S RAINING ON MY FACE.

If you need your own books formatted, I HIGHLY recommend Serendipity Formats. She is so great to work with and very responsive.

This book turned out MASSIVE. She’s just over 500 pages, and I had spent a lot of time tweaking the cover art so the spine fit xD

IT IS THE END!!!! The ebook is up for pre-order RIGHT NOW on Amazon:

The release for the ebook is set for March 11th, but you can also grab the paperback print on demand RIGHT NOW:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0999834916/

For those of you who have preordered digital ebooks through this site, you should have an email containing your files. Check your spam filter to make sure I didn’t end up there. If you still didn’t get it, poke me through email and I will make it happen for you~

Those who have ordered paperbacks, your orders will come soon. I have to order my copies, and since this is the first time I have done this, I am not sure how long it will take. Once I get them, they will be signed and shipped off to you! Be sure you are signed up for newsletter updates to get a more concrete estimate.

THE NEXT STEP! ODIN NEEDS *YOU*

I am looking for reviewers to post on my Amazon listings and potentially share with THE WORLD OF THE INTERNET. So if you are interested in a reviewer copy, hit me up in the contact bar down at the bottom of the page.

And if you have already received a preorder from me, you can also add a review, it would help me out TONS. Spread the word! Share the book links on social media! Tell your friends if you enjoyed the work!

AND NOW FOR FEELINGS!

I just can’t believe it’s finally over. It’s been a total struggle bus towards the end, but it is finally here. Thank you to everyone who have supported this project. There have been many amazing people that have helped shove me along this route. It’s so weird to see it finally end.

I have never been the kind of person who could complete projects. I always give up when it gets too hard, or I don’t see myself succeeding. This is the first time I have completed something this important start to finish. It’s surreal.

But enough of that then…

WHAT IS IN STORE FOR THE FUTURE?????

Well, I suppose I should start work on the second book……oh yeah. The second book. I can tell you I know where it is going, I can’t tell you *how.* I have a title even, and a cover concept, but we will leave that for another day.

On we go back on the roller coaster I suppose. As with this book, I will keep you updated with progress on the blog and through email updates, so be sure you are subscribed!

Thanks again for everything and Until Next Time!

-Odin

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I Got Interviewed – Odin’s Writing Process

Greetings all!! I’ve been featured by the awesome  about my writing techniques and inspiration. Check out the article if you want to learn a little more about me.

Author Interview: Odin Oxthorn

 

And while you are there, why not check out her other Enby author recommendations and her own stories?

 

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SLEEPLESS FLAME COVER REVEAL

Don’t mind me, I’m just ugly crying in front of Photoshop while everything is starting to come together and my grip on reality slips.

So here is finally, the cover for Sleepless Flame:

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

*cough* *choke* *sputter*

So a bit of an update before I show you the WHOLE GRAND THING. It’s been tense over here, not gonna lie, been sitting on a pile of jittery nerves for the past few months. My poor editor has had the worst health luck befall them, and has not had the chance to work on my manuscript until recently

BUT HAVE NO FEAR!

Things have moved right on track, and we are slated for release on March 11th (Yes, I did intentionally put it on my birthday. Growing old is getting boring for me to celebrate.)

Now I have pretty much given up on Amazon pre-orders due to circumstance and my running around like a dead thing missing a head that magically came back to life without said head. I JUST WANT THE DAMNED THING OUT.

Whenever I have a link available through Amazon, I will update you here (so you might want to sign up for newsletter updates if you want to be….updated.) That being said, if you wish to preorder now and help out with the last ungodly finances, help fund the sequel, or desire a personalized signed copy, you can buy direct from my shop HERE.

WITHOUT FURTHER ADO –

THE WHOLE GRAND THING:

This was illustrated by the fantastic Karolina Jędrzejak aka RinRinDaishi, and you can find her works here:

https://www.facebook.com/rinrindaishi/

https://rinrindaishi.deviantart.com/

I want to thank everyone who has supported me in this journey so far, and for your continued patience as I bring these worlds to life. I hope you enjoy them and I hope to continue to sculpt the imagination.

The next steps after getting the manuscript back are reviewing the document once more, then sending it off to the formatter for one last level of literary sorcery.

Then a whole metric fuckton of filling out forms. Every form for each platform I will publish this monstrosity at, and the ISBN agency that needs listings.

MARKETING. THE WHOLE NIGHTMARE WORLD OF MARKETING. IT WILL SWALLOW ME WHOLE WITH ITS INKY TENDRILS OF PROMOTIONAL FOAM. SPEAKING WORDS FROM ANOTHER REALM. THE ACCURSED FORMS OF “SYNERGY” “INFLUENCE” “REACH” AND “OPTIMIZATION.” DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RESCUE ME, FOR I AM ALREADY LOST BENEATH ITS OOZY GRASP. I CAN FEEL MY MIND SHATTERING INSIDE THE MURK.

….*sob*

…Until Next Time…

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A Billion Copies of Odin is a Terrifying Thing

We all know me and my love for stealth action games. And for hyperfuturistic games. So I poked around the Steam sales looking for MORE, and I happened upon this fascinating work called ECHO from UltraUltra, which is a Denmark based indie studio formed by veterans of the Hitman series, and not unfamiliar to the genre.

Guess what guys, I have MORE FEELINGS. This is certainly a unique experience that I would recommend to others, but there were a few small hangups that I found conflicting with my play.

Continue reading A Billion Copies of Odin is a Terrifying Thing