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What a Month! | Kestrel's Aerie

What a Month! | Kestrel's Aerie

What a Month!


Yes, it’s been a pretty busy month of November here at the Aerie.

Election Day

First, we had an election. I was pretty disillusioned with both major party candidates for our state’s lone seat in the House of Representatives, so I was somewhat mollified to find an Independent candidate listed. Surprisingly, about  eight percent of the voters in that election were equally disillusioned: That’s a pretty big vote for a third-party candidate in South Dakota. As for the rest of the election…my disillusionment hasn’t changed much.


Then, of course, there is National Novel Writing Month. You can read more about that in the immediately preceding article. However, I’m very happy, and proud, to be able to say I successfully completed the challenge of writing a 50,000-word novel very early (2:30) Thanksgiving morning. As I write this, I still want to add one more chapter to more effectively wrap up the story (for now).

And then comes the really fun part: editing. I already know there are several fairly significant changes to be made (for example, the MC’s best friend will be his (slightly) older sister); a villain will change from a stranger to someone the MC knows; a couple plot holes need filling), and there is a lot of dialogue that probably needs to be changed to narrative. I have a deadline of February 1, 2011, to have a readable second (third? who knows) draft, since that is the day several of us will be exchanging NaNo manuscripts. I should have plenty to read on my flight to New Zealand later that month. :)

I would be seriously remiss if I didn’t acknowledge my two alpha readers, who were emailed every one of twenty-nine “episodes” and unfailingly continued to encourage me by wanting to know when they’d get the next installment. Amazingly, both of them also want to be beta readers. (I guess they must be thinking, “This can’t get any worse, can it?”)


Of course, right smack in the middle of NaNo (well, not exactly the middle, alright?), we went down to Florida. I had much too short a visit with the wonderful Arleen Barros (known to many of you as Bre), her husband Luis, and eight-month-old Alejandro Jesus (AJ). Then I spent the next ten days at my son’s new home in Tampa: Mrs. Kestrel and I babysat our granddaughter for a few days, while Mom & Dad drove down to Key West to celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary. While we were there, Eric and I managed to get some father-son bonding at a Tampa Bay Lightning hockey game and watched the home team beat up on the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs. (No, they didn’t literally beat up on them: very little hockey fighting in that game.)

Once we were home again, I really went into overdrive on the NaNo novel. I had a very good support group, including @tami_moore, @krizzlybear, @pikestaff, @maziltov, @TedtheThird, @Dechion, and @ladygypsy. I also was able to recruit @pinkpixiechick and @rhoelyn into our pen party at the Saucy Wenches Forums. (If you’re a writer looking for a place to hang out, come on in! We don’t bite, and there is always a carafe of coffee and a pot of tea to keep you warm on these cold fall and winter days.)


And of course, we celebrated Thanksgiving. Son Scott came over for dinner, and we were able to talk to the other sons as well. Scott and I bored his mother almost to tears with our dinner talk about World of Warcraft’s “Shattering” event.

WoW Events

But before The Shattering, there was Pilgrim’s Bounty. I was able to complete the meta-achievement on Falconer with no trouble. Also, I was able to get a couple upgrades for him from the instance bosses during the Elemental Invasion event.

And then the world was torn asunder! I have to give props to Blizzard for what I believe was the smoothest major patch ever. Sure, the realms were down well past the projected return of 11 a.m. Pacific time, but there was one update of 5 p.m. PST, and Blizz beat that by an hour. Once I logged in, there was virtually no lag, no hiccups, and I’ve been exploring and questing all over the place, all week, with no issues.1

The redone Shadowfang Keep and Deadmines are a lot of fun, and the mechanic of locating instance quest-givers inside the instance is genius. Falconer’s Gilneas reputation is already halfway through Honored, and I’m hoping to be at least Revered by December 7.

Finally, Kestrel was fortunate enough to add Skoll to his stable of pets, joining Gondria. My second hunter, Sparverius, also tamed Gondria.

And Finally…

Early in the month, I received an email that I thought might be a scam. However, it turned out to be a long-lost friend from my days of playing Shadow of Yserbius!2 We’ve enjoyed catching up with each other and renewing our friendship—just one more thing to be thankful for this month!

So yes, November’s been a busy, hectic, rewarding, fun month. I can’t wait to see what December brings: World of Warcraft – Cataclysm, return to Florida for Christmas with all three sons present, Universal Studios trip (including the new Harry Potter theme park), and some serious rewriting. Maybe I’ll even find time for a blog post or two. ;)

  1. Yes, there are a couple bugged quests/quest lines, but overall, I’d rate the patch a 99.9 percent success.
  2. Feel free to Google it and do the math; I said “long-lost”


4 Responses to What a Month!
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Eddie aka Brig, Steve Hall (Kestrel). Steve Hall (Kestrel) said: New at the Aerie! What a Month! […]

  2. Grimmtooth
    November 29, 2010 | 15:20

    Tampa?!? I’m right across the bay in Clearwater! You could have visited … helped me move from St Pete … watched the cats … something – had I known! :)
    Grimmtooth´s latest blog post is Weren’t a bunch of glubbernubbers- thoughMy ComLuv Profile

    • Kestrel
      November 29, 2010 | 16:49

      Glad I was busy then! :P

      Except for the fact it’ll be Christmas week when I’m there next, I’d try to schedule a WoW-meet for Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater/Orlando folks. Maybe later in the spring or summer…not sure when we’ll be back in Tampa next year though.

      • Grimmtooth
        November 29, 2010 | 17:01

        Yeah, winter’s a terrible time to try to plan anything elaborate due to all the snowbirds hitting the area. Summertime, with 110% humidity and 99-degree temps, you’ll find rooms at discount rates all over the place :)
        Grimmtooth´s latest blog post is Weren’t a bunch of glubbernubbers- thoughMy ComLuv Profile

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