In Which Merawen Aids a Treasure-Seeker and the Largashbur Orc Stronghold

This was a big crunchy session, with three main overall things I did: running the Angarvunde dungeon, doing the Cursed Tribe Daedric quest, and finally properly clearing Arcwind Point.

Killed not one, not two, but three Revered Dragons. Fortunately not all at once. And now I have a very, very large hammer. As well as an increased appreciation for using magic both offensively and defensively!

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Fiddle practice log 10/11/2021

Time practiced

Ten minutes

Scales practiced

  • Two-octave G
  • Two-octave A

Arpeggios practiced

  • Two-octave G
  • Two-octave A

Techniques practiced

  • Singing my bow directions

Tune practiced

Ciel d’automne

Commentary

Decided to switch it up a bit today and jump over to one of my favorite Andre Brunet tunes, Ciel d’automne. Mostly I played with reviewing the A part, because it’d been a while since I last touched this tune.

But I also wanted to experiment with placing slurs in it, to build on what I’ve been learning playing around with Blarney Pilgrim and Feller from Fortune. Ciel d’automne is a very strong example of what I mean when I talk about needing to master how to make a tune just flow, this thing is gorgeous and it needs to have that liquid feel to it.

I didn’t work out slur patterns for all of the A part yet, but I did get a good way into that section of the tune for that!

I also have aspirations of figuring out where double stops could go in this thing. I tried a couple of places, but that didn’t work very well. I think I need to listen to the recording I have of the tune some more and see if I can figure out how Andre did it!

(Oh darn oh darn whatever shall I do, etc. :D)

In Which Merawen Explores North of Windstad and South of Riften

Another low-key session as I continue to look for remaining things I can do before I finish out the main plot. Main action of this run was going to High Gate Ruins for the quest called A Scroll for Anska, but I also got in some exploration along the northeastern coast of the Sea of Ghosts, and found some spots I hadn’t found before!

And I reset my Smithing, and did a boatload of creation of things and purchasing of training to work on building it back up.

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Another long overdue ebook roundup log

This is another one of those days when I look at my overflowing inbox and go geez woman get caught up on your email, why don’t you?

So this is me reviewing my various backlogged ebook purchase receipts!

Acquired from Kobo:

  • The Infernal City and Lord of Souls, which are the two Elder Scrolls novels written by Greg Keyes, released back in 2009 and 2011. The events in them apparently take place between what happens in Oblivion, and what happens in Skyrim. For the interested, more info on the novels can be found on the wiki I follow for my Skyrim playthroughs, here.
  • Bombshell, by Sarah MacLean. Romance. Grabbed this one because I’ve read a different historical romance series by this author and enjoyed it! And also, this review on Smart Bitches, even though they gave it a B-, made it sound fun.
  • The Luminous Dead, by Caitlin Starling. SF/Horror. Nabbed this because it went on sale for $1.99, and because I’ve seen good buzz about it. Taking a shot on it because it’s pitched as a gripping SF/horror story with a fairly fucked-up level of interaction between the two female protagonists.
  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles, by Agatha Christie. Mystery. This is the first Hercule Poirot novel, which I’ve never read. Nabbed it because it was a new edition of the book, on sale for $2.99, and because I really like the cover St. Martin’s Press put on it. (You can see that cover here on the Kobo page for the ebook.)

Pre-ordered from Kobo:

  • Noor, by Nnedi Okorafor. SF. Got this because I’ve definitely enjoyed work by this author before. And buzz going around about this book made it sound like something I want to pick up.
  • The Thousand Eyes, by A.K. Larkwood. Fantasy. This is book 2 of the author’s Serpent Gates series. I really liked Book 1, The Unspoken Name, for splendid worldbuilding, a compelling F/F romance, and an orc heroine! Very much looking forward to this one.

Acquired from Amazon:

  • Bacchanal, by Veronica G. Henry. Depression-era historical fantasy/horror mix, with a story about a demonic carnival. (If this sounds interesting to you, note that this was an Amazon-only release, in case this is a dealbreaker for you purchasing it.)
  • Easy Pickings, by C.E. Murphy and Faith Hunter. Urban fantasy. This is crossover fic for the Walker Papers and Jane Yellowrock series, written by the authors themselves, in which they set up a scenario where their heroines can actually meet. Awesome. Sign me up!

60 for the year.

In Which Merawen Has a Way Livelier Night Than Anticipated

I was in the mood for a low-key and frivolous session, now that I’m between doing Dragonborn and finishing up the main quest. So for this session, I mostly boinged around a lot between various places, moving resources around, buying more resources, and working on building Windstad Minor.

But I also did one of the most frivolous Daedric quests in the game: A Night to Remember, which features the Daedric prince of debauchery, Sanguine!

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In Which Merawen Becomes Thane of Hjaalmarch and Also Defeats Miraak

This session was actually a couple of smaller sessions on the same day with a break between, but for purposes of this post, I’m still calling it one session. And this cycle of play started fairly low-key—but finished with a bang!

Because I finally became thane of Hjaalmarch, not a terribly difficult thing to do when I was level 65. And then I finally finished up the main Dragonborn plot, and took out Miraak!

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In Which Merawen Tells Sapphire About Her Father, and Slays a Dragon in Solitude

This session turned out to be focused entirely on a jaunt back to Skyrim proper. I’d gone over intending to do a circuit of all the houses and sell things, but a couple of surprises turned up!

Not the least of which was my very first incident of having to fight a dragon right inside Solitude.

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Fiddle practice log 10/5/2021

Time practiced

10 minutes

Scales practiced

  • One octave G
  • One octave D
  • One octave A
  • Two octave G
  • Two octave A

Arpeggios practiced

  • One octave G
  • One octave D
  • One octave A
  • Two octave G

Techniques practiced

  • Paying attention to keeping my elbow moving when coming down on string crossings
  • Singing my bow directions to myself to underscore which way I want to be bowing in a passage
  • Working on where to put slurs in a passage
  • Working on possible double stops in a passage

Tune practiced

Blarney Pilgrim just by itself, this time.

Commentary

The most interesting thing about today’s practice was reviewing Blarney Pilgrim, and two overall things about that:

  1. Trying to figure out where to put the slurs I want in the B part
  2. Actually playing with double stops in the C part

And in regards to the second of these–the way the C part goes is that there’s this pair of triplets that starts off the phrase, A-D-D, B-D-D.

I often hear these triplets played as short, punchy notes, to give emphasis and drama to that part of the tune. And I thought: hey. Can I play double stops here? Because it’s mostly open strings, except for that B.

So I tried that, two different ways:

  1. Double stop landing on the A and B in both triplets
  2. Playing the A and B each as single strings, then doing double stops on the Ds

I think, but am not entirely sure, that I like the second way better. I gotta play with this more and see if I can do it reliably.

This is not the first time I’ve specifically figured out a place where I feel like I can do double stops in a tune–that actually goes back to me figuring out the tail end of how Bob Hallett in Great Big Sea comes out of Salmon Tails Up the Water, when they play that tune as a bridge for Jolly Butcher.

However, it feels notable here. Because this is part of regular practice and investigation of how to make a tune sound cooler, and I’m starting to feel like I’m beginning to get the tools and understanding necessary to actually do that.