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  • Writer's pictureDanni Petrilak

February Update

Let's get right into it!


 

Top Music Tracks:

  1. Burn Your Village by Kiki Rockwell

  2. Circus Psycho by Diggy Graves

  3. You Didn’t Know by Erika Henningsen, Shoba Narayan, Andrew Underberg, Jessica Vosk, Patina Miller and the rest of Hazbin Hotel

  4. Bling-Bang-Bang-Born by Creepy Nuts

  5. Punching Bag by Set It Off

  6. Im Not Okay by Citizen Soldier

  7. Where is the Justice by Jeremy Jordan in Death Note the Musical 

  8. Chosen by Aryia

  9. Scarlet Skies by Miracle of Sound


I discovered Death Note the Musical this month and let me just tell you chefs kiss. Jeremy Jordan has such an amazing voice and he fits his characters so, so well. The first time I ever heard him sing was in the Tangled Disney Series when he played Varian, and I’ve had the song “Ready As I’ll Ever Be” in my Spotify likes since 2016. Hearing him come back to play Lucifer in Hazbin Hotel AND Light from Death Note was not something I expected, even though I know the musical came out just over six years ago now. 

There are two sections of songs I haven’t been able to get out of my head that talk about MAJOR issues in our world. The first is from Death Note the Musical: "Where is the Justice" 

“Let the corporation make the regulations

And all go unaccountable when everything goes wrong; 

Let the rich and famous get away with murder; 

Every time a high-priced mouthpiece starts to talk

His client gets to walk; 

Tell me where is the justice? 

Is there ANY justice?” 

For those who don’t know what Death Note is about, a young boy named Light finds a Shinigami's Death Note, which is a creature akin to a God of Death. There are rules specifying the finer details, but the jist of it is whoever’s name you write in the death note will die ten seconds later. Light makes it his life's mission to kill bad people in the world; criminals who’ve murdered and are spending their days lounging in prison, thieves, bullies, everyone he considers corrupt. The Japanese government sees these new killings just as bad as the criminals crimes and want to catch him and try him for his crimes. The entire anime is Light hiding his identity as “Kira” while simultaneously attempting to “catch” the killer with a secret police force. The main question of the anime is about if what Light is doing is right. The musical hits the theme on the head and makes you think about the real world’s corrupt issues. 

The second is from Hazbin Hotel’s “You Didn’t Know.” Spoilers for the plot.

Charlie, the princess of hell, has a meeting with the angels in heaven to plea for sinners to get a second chance if they can prove they’ve changed. The angels reveal they do not know what gets someone into heaven in the first place. Adam makes a fuss about keeping their kind down in the pits of hell “where they belong” despite his personality and beliefs aligning more with a sinner than a soul belonging in Heaven and blows the lid off the secret that they kill sinners for fun. These few lines sum up the issue with religion in our lives today, where corrupt individuals use other’s blind faith under the umbrella of “God told me to” to get whatever they want: 

“If Hell is forever then Heaven must be a lie. 

If angels can do whatever and remain in the sky,

The rules are shades of grey when you don’t do as you say 

When you make the wretched suffer just to kill them again.” 

This show is riddled with heavy topics ranging from religion to sexual assault, but these specific few lines have been rattling around my head for a while now. 


My statistics got a little skewed when I bought tickets to a Set it Off concert happening in April and I started listening to their songs on repeat once again. I’m so excited to hear Wolf in Sheep's Clothing and Why Worry live, you have no idea. I discovered a few new fun songs and artists this month, like Aryia, Livingston, CORPSE, Bleed the Wicked, and Diggy Graves and added more liked songs, bringing my total number to 793 to round out the month. 

Music has always been an amazing outlet for my emotions. Lots of people talk about how music is therapy and how creating and listening to music does things for mental health that traditional therapy cannot and I am 100% in that boat. Without music and without the ability to scream and sob lyrics that are either comical and mean nothing or lyrics that open up the deepest pit in my soul and let that depression clamor up through my raspy voice is sometimes just what I need to be able to get up in the morning.  

According to Stats.fm, my top genres for this month were Octacore, Rock, Gymcore, Alternative Metal, and Canadian Rock. 

 

Books read: 4 of 20…20% complete!

I read two books this month, one by Shantel Tessier and one by Stephanie Garber. Since this update is pretty long already, I’ll only talk about one: Caraval by Stephanie Garber. Caraval—a place I’d love to be invited to, where magic exists and the real world can fade away…except, the real world can be invited in. It lurks around the darkness, watching from a distance, never too near but always right in view, until it’s time for the story to need a little push in a different direction. This plot was full of twists and turns, surprises, and reveals that I both anticipated and was shocked by. While I had to push through the seemingly slow beginning and focus intensely on the descriptions and imagery to paint a clear picture of what was happening, the story picked up the pace and I’m glad I kept with it. You can read the full review on Goodreads, and stay tuned for next month when I read the sequel! 



 

Darkfire Chronicles: 

I know it’s been a while, but I’ll make it up to you. The current story is half edited, but the content is longer than the amount of work I have written for my novel at this point. It’s over 40 pages, while the other stories I’ve created are under 24. CRAZY how every detail is necessary so far. I struggled and juggled with the idea of scrapping the audio drama and turning this story into a sort of novella, but then I wouldn’t have anything to show for all this work I’ve put into it. I’ve decided to keep pushing despite the length of the episode, but I’ve also been considering cutting it into two different episodes for my sanity. They’d both come out at the same time, but it might be easier to digest instead of listening to a 2+ hour audio piece on your way to work. 


 

Those Between the Shadows: 

I have successfully drafted the first 2 chapters of my novel. I’m the type of person who loves to edit my own work, so it is incredibly difficult to let the crappy drafts sit still and work on progressing the story, but I’m halfway through Chapter 3 so I have high hopes. I had AI images designed to help visualize scenes, settings, and characters to ensure my descriptions are good enough. Here's the AI take on a book cover design!

 

Games: 

Oh boy, I’ve played a lot of games this month. From getting back into Apex Legends with some friends from college to starting a crusade in Balder’s Gate 3 that’s devolved into two different playthroughs with a collective 100+ hours in the game…it’s no wonder I’ve had little to no time to work on creative things aside from my workload and gaming. 

My BG3 playthrough has been so much fun, and we aren’t even through Act 1 yet. I am not a huge fan of the top-down League of Legends type UI, but since Sam and I have a joint game going it’s been something I look forward to for date nights. We discover story beats together while I have a separate playthrough trying to romance a different group of characters and just generally seeing if I can find things that are different. In the game with Sam I play as a tiefling druid named Sage, the first ever D&D character I ever made in high school, and have been attached to Gale’s side. He’s playing a paladin, well, and oath breaker paladin now, named Tav, and has Shadowheart following him around like a little puppy. In my solo playthrough, I play a male high elf modeled after the main character in my novel named Crow whose sole purpose is romancing Astarian because he denied my advances in our collective game. It’s so interesting to see the character details we missed out on by doing things out of order or just plainly missing something in the world, like the Vampire hunter near the Hag's house. Sam and I completely missed him on our playthrough but when we went back, Astarian was very easy to talk to in comparison to him physically shuddering at the thought of being with my character during the camp tiefling party because no matter what I did I couldn’t get his approval rating high enough.

There were two big game reveals this month; the first was Shadow of the Erdtree, the Elden Ring DLC coming in June that I bought instantly. I’m going to have to go and play the game again to be ready. The second was the closer March release to the Stardew Valley 1.6 update. 


 

Crochet Projects

My lovely friend Kim at Goblin Hand Studios has offered to sell some of my crochet work at her next artist market in June, and I can’t be more thrilled. She helped me design a beautiful logo for my “company” in which I am called Moss and Cobblestone to go along with her gorgeous pieces of jewelry, bookmarks, and aroma therapy. I’m excited to update as I create pieces for these markets, including Mushroom Dice Bags, Celestial Coasters, and many other objects! 

For now, here’s a photo update on my Nordic Blanket. It’s taken so long to get here, and I’m starting the second half of the pattern to finish it out. I’m being optimistic, but maybe I can have this blanket done by the time the month ends! 


 

Anime: 

Sam and I watched a lot of anime this month. We tried many new shows and stuck with some more than others. Solo Leveling is my new obsession, and I’m so excited for the 8th episode to come out on Saturday. It combines a deep enjoyment of the first plot of Sword Art Online (the only “good parts” of that anime were the initial concept and the abridged version. We don’t need to get into how the main characters adopt an NPC as their child. It’s just weird) like having a video game inventory and level system but in the “real world.” If what I read was correct, it was actually directed by the same person who directed SAO, which makes sense. The animation style and the character designs are gorgeous, but my one gripe with the show thus far is how Jin’s sister doesn’t really notice he looks like a totally different person once he levels up. I know she commented on the fact that he grew like a foot and a half taller over night, but his face shape is WILDLY different than that of the kid from the first few episodes. I very much enjoy this anime and recommend it to anyone who’s been thinking about picking it up. 


Next up is Mashle: Magic and Muscles. The name threw me off at first, but the first episode was incredibly funny and had us hooked. Once I realized it was a direct ripoff of Harry Potter, I got a little annoyed. There’s a bully Draco character with the same green cloak and white hair design who’s better off because of his father’s status. I will say, it was satisfying to watch Mash beat the shit out of him, and then try and bury the Dean under the school as a threat. That was different from good old family-friendly Harry Potter. The headmaster looks like Dumbledore, and the first scene in the school we see is literally shot for shot the same from the Harry Potter movies, the classes, the professors, the students…there’s even a broom flying lesson that ends the same, and a quittage team to boot. Gripes and annoyances for the 1:1 comparison aside, the main character Mash is really solid in his drives and wants, making this anime higher on the list of well-written development. Now we can only hope it strays from Harry Potter and allows for a unique story jampacked with creampuffs and getting away with not casting magic at a magic school. 

Finally, and you can call me crazy for this hot take, Demon Slayer. I don’t like the main character and I just can’t get into the show. We gave it seven episodes, saw him get his cool black sword, but even the fights with him doing his missions aren’t enough to keep Sam and I interested. We had planned on watching the show and the movies in time to catch up and see the movie that came out in theaters, but we quickly realized it wasn’t worth it. I just think it’s overrated. 


 

Thanks for checking in and reading to the end! Here’s to being productive during my birthday month!


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