Westmarch Invitations!

As many of you know, in September we’re inviting new members to join us in the Minecraft community of Westmarch.

* eva does happy dance! * then does it again *

Here is what’s happening: (in case you’ve missed it elsewhere)

– You will have to fill out the application made available by PyroTyger and announced months ago.

– Your name will be put into a poll that will be voted on by a group of senior* Westmarch community members and by the mods of my Twitch channel.

– The poll is completely anonymous and I have no way to seeing who voted for who. Anonymous comments can be added as well.

– In short, you will be selected by the senior members of the very community you hope to join. The most votes wins.

With one exception: if Jonboybob has the most votes, but I am sent a comment informing me that AnonymousMember doesn’t really get along with Jonboybob in online spaces those votes could find themselves ignored, depending upon the severity of the problem. Fifteen votes might get Jonboybob set up to get invited, but one “I have a problem…” could get that invitation canceled before it’s even sent.

While this may seem somewhat unfair, I’m not actually keen on inviting stress/problems/negative crap/tension into my life. If Jonboybob is my personal first choice to invite but, has already shown he can’t get along with (or irritates, or upsets, or trolls) long time members of the server….well…. *shrug* I do realize that sometimes what irritates one person may simply be a matter of jest to another; but a healthy dose of self-awareness is a healthy quality to cultivate too. 😀

– Over the next few months the senior members will be doing periodic anonymous votes on Jonboybob’s continued stay with us.

Impressing Eva doesn’t mean much; getting on with my community members means everything. 😀

Good luck to all the applicants! I shall be watching the results with great excitement. 😀

*Senior is determined by how long a member has been with me, and how active they have been in that time within my Minecraft community, (whether on the server itself or behind the scenes helping me with things). My Twitch mods are included because they do the most work for me, they keep months of logged chat conversations they can pour over, and often know the online community members better than everyone else combined. They are the people that are dealing with chat conflicts and upset and have first hand knowledge of complaints that may come in. (My mods are leetz and I near always defer to their judgment. I’ve usually ended up regretting it later the rare moments I didn’t! My mods are leetz. :D)

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Map of the Clans

I’m attempting to create the four towns/neighborhoods from Rho’s winning story. Here are the beginning choices. The Steppes of Katie O’ Kat
CitiesSkylinesTheSteps

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The Steppes of Katie O’Kat

We have a winner! We’d like to congratulate Lowercaserho for submitting such a wonderful story. Thanks also to everyone else that sent in stories and/or screenshots of their beautiful creations on the Cities Skylines “Kaite” map. You all made picking only one winner a very difficult job. Thank you! 😀 Now… here’s the winner!

***************************************************************************************************

Nobody really knows the old tales any more.

That’s what I’d have told you if you’d asked me thirty years. These days, things are even worse. These days, most people aren’t even aware that there are tales they don’t know. Most of the young people today don’t even use the full name of The Steps of Katie O’Kat. They just say that they’re going to The Steppes. Sometimes, They’ll even say “Katie’s Steppes” if they want to sound formal. I can’t recall ever having heard anyone below the age of twenty five use the proper name though.

There are but a few of us left who remember, now. You came to right place if you seek to learn of the past. Now, make yourself comfortable and I will tell you of our history.

—–

It all dates back to when our town was young and the world itself not much younger. Back then, the town was ruled by four great clans. First among the clans was the clan of the bear, which boasted the town’s largest and strongest fighters. Second among the clans was the clan of the wolf, whose members prided themselves in their teamwork and tenacity. Third among the clans was the clan of the owl, priding wisdom and knowledge above all else. Then finally, least among the clans was the clan of the cat. Unlike the other great clans, the clan of the cat had no unifying trait. Its members were too proud, too individualistic to be so categorised.

One fateful day, a great giant came upon the town, and made a simple demand. The town was to send forth a single warrior to fight him in single combat. Unless this champion could best him, he would destroy the town.

A wave of terror spread throughout the town, for nobody knew of anyone who could stand up to so mighty a threat.

First, the giant approached the elders of the clan of the bear, and he asked “Have you any who dare stand before me?” And the clan of the bear was silent, since they only knew how to fight when they were larger and stronger than their opponents.

Next, the giant approached the elders of the clan of the wolf, and he asked “Have you any who dare stand before me?” And the clan of the wolf was silent, since they only knew how to fight when they outnumbered their opponent.

Then the giant approached the elders of the clan of the owl, and he asked “Have you any who dare stand before me?” And the clan of the owl was silent, since for all their knowledge, they knew of no way to fight such a foe.

Finally, the giant approached the elders of the clan of the cat, and he asked “Have you any who dare stand before me?” And before the elders of the clan could respond, a girl of 16 summers stepped forward. This girl was Kaitlin, of the Cats, or Katie O’Kat as she later came to be known.

“I accept your challenge”, said Katie O’Kat defiantly. “But first, you have to catch me.”

With that, she ran from the scene as fast as she could, with the giant following not far behind her. She was quick and nimble and fuelled by adrenaline, but each of the giant’s colossal strides brought him a little bit closer.

Undeterred, Katie O’Kat ran to the nearest hill and up the narrow, winding path that climbed to its summit. This was not a path that the giant could follow; instead, with each step, he would stamp on the hillside flattening it into steps that he could climb, forming the landscape we know today.

Before long, Katie O’Kat had reached the top of the hill, which by then the giant had entirely transformed into steps. Seeing that there was nowhere else for her to go, Katie O’Kat took a running leap from the top of the steps with the giant in hot pursuit behind her. She knew that she would fall to her death, but she hoped that the giant would follow her and share the same fate.

And that is exactly what happened to the giant, but not what happened to Katie O’Kat. As she fell, the spirit of the Cat surged through her, she twisted in mid air and landed lithely on her feet, as if nothing had happened.

She left the town the same day, in search of adventure, with the promise that she would return one day, when she was needed. Nobody has seen her since, but the steps that the giant formed that day still bear her name.

——

And that’s the story of Katie O’Kat. Now, stay where you are while I go and make some coffee. And then I will tell you how Briar’s Stone got its name.

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Cities Skylines Contest!

The Steppes of Katie O’Kat!

I thought this was such a grand name (worked out and picked by people in my livestreams on Twitch) that it needed a back story, a history. SO… I am holding a contest. 😀

The writer of the winning ‘official Steppes of Katie O’Kat history’ story, as chosen by me (and probably Essentia and Briarstone too), will receive one (1) game of their choosing (within reasonable limits; I probably can’t pay for a $179.00 game) that I will purchase for you and send your way.

Rules & Requirements:

To enter, you will first need to go to the Steam Workshop page for The Steppes of Katie O’Kat map.

The Steppes of Katie O’Kat
(You might want to watch the short video that goes with it.)

Then…

– Subscribe to the map and create your city.

– Send me 5+ screenshots of your completed city along with a short story telling me how the Steppes of Katie O’Kat got its name.

(minimum 500 words / max 1000 (or so) words) to eva.akiss4luck@gmail.com
You must use the Subject Line: Steppes Contest in your email.

Due to my own limitations, only entries submitted in English will be considered. Please do not hesitate to submit a story if your first language isn’t English. I will be judging the stories based on their inventiveness and my own personal interest; using “proper” words and such will not be held against you.

The winning story (with edits by me as required for ‘proper’ English) will be:
– posted on my Steam group,
– on the Steam workshop page for the map,
– here on www.akiss4luck.net,
– talked about in my Facebook and Twitter accounts,
– and read aloud in a Youtube recording and a livesteam in Twitch.

Joining this contest means you are giving me full rights to post (and perhaps edit as required) your story (whether you win or not) and use it on all websites or publications now or in the future connected to aKiss4Luck. You own the copyrights, but you’re telling me I can show it off! 😀

The contest closes on June 21st (Summer Solstice), and the winner will be announced on July 1 (Canada Day).

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Canceled Stream

I’m canceling today’s stream; feeling rather ill this week. Apologies.

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Mods and Shaders for Westmarch

Launcher: ATLaucher

Shader: Sonic Ether’s

Texture Pack: Soartex Fanver

Mods:
Minecraft Forge
ArmorStatusHUD
bspkrsCore
Damage Indicators
Archeimedes’ Ships
asielib
BiblioCraft
Carpenter’s Blocks
Chisel 2
CodeChickenCore
CodeChickenLib
Cookie Core
CustomsNpcs
Critter Pet
Decocraft
DragonAPI
Forge Multipart
Garden Core
Growthcraft Cellar
Growthcraft
Growthcraft Grapes
Growthcraft Hops
Growthcraft Rice
Iguana Tinker Tweaks
Inventory Tweaks
JourneyMap
LiteLoader
Malisis’ Core
Malisis’ Doors
Mantel
VoxelMap
Mouse Tweaks
Morpheus
MrCrayfishFurniture
NotEnoughItems
OpenBlocks
OpenEye
OpenMods
Optifine
Pam’s Harvest Craft
Pams WeeeFlowers
Slabcraft
Staircraft
Statues
Tinker’s Construct
TiC Tooltips
Tinker’s Mechworks
Tinker’s Steelworks
Waila
Waila Harvestability

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It’s Hereee

The new Minecraft server was opened on a day I shall never forget! Easter of 2015 is a day I will always see as a Turning Point in my life. Because it was, yeah? 😀

So Westmarch is opened!

I have been wondering what to call my new country in Westmarch. I’ve considered Kildonan, New Lecleigh, West Lothian, and several sort-of-Scottish sounding things but have been unable to pick just one.

Then this morning while I waited on ground beans and water to become coffee my mind wandered to this time last year and of my growing excitement that a trip to Scotland was rapidly approaching. I remembered castles and sea breezes and hours spent with loving people. I thought of a day in Appleby-in-Westmoreland that fulfilled a decades long dream of seeing gypsy horses with gypsy people. I thought of Craig and I belting out Let It Be and choking on laughter as we drove south into Cumbria on a typical UK morning; one filled with sparkling sunshine and splatters of rain.

Westmoreland! Which sits on the River Eden. New beginnings, filled with gardens and a taste of forbidden fruit. I’m in Westmarch… and…. er… I now have more land? It made me laugh. 😀

And it makes me happy.

Westmoreland it is! I am home.

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Membership Status

I have decided to implement a new procedure in accepting and keeping members of our Minecraft community.

From today on, new members will be voted in by a random group made up of active senior members of Westmarch* and my Mods in Twitch (who are also Officers in my Skype, Raidcall, and other groups).

The acceptance of new members will depend on the impressions made to our community and not just to me. If the community likes you, you’ll get the votes. 😀

(Please read the edited version of “Joining (and staying in) Westmarch” for further information.)

New members will be invited in a probationary capacity. Each month during that period their continued presence on the server will be voted on by active, senior members and the chat mods. The vote is completely anonymous (no names or IPs) and no explanation for a No vote is required.

What we have is a community, and I feel strongly that the community needs an un-pressured voice in keeping itself happy. New members don’t have to impress me, they have to become a welcomed part of the community.

I love the sound of that! 😀

Please Note:
A modified version of this procedure will be instigated within our World of Warcraft guilds, all online chat spaces, and other community games. I think it is better to give long time, trusted members an easy forum to deal with their stresses, than to force them to file complaints before I learn of problems that are kept out of my view.

* Previously Quillbriar and/or The District

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Old and New, Sad and Happy

After a lot of thinking (agonizing) and consideration (trying to avoid it) I find myself making the following decisions regarding Quillbriar and The District…

I am retiring the Quillbriar map.

It is an old version of Minecraft, mods are not supported, and we’ve bumped up against an issue that has taken weeks and many hours of time and it’s still not “fixed’ to our satisfaction. The Quillbriar community has voted to move on.

I will privately continue to build and record on Quillbriar occasionally.

Quillbriar will be replaced with a new, updated map and a new set of mods.

The birth of Westmarch is expected within a few weeks. 😀

I am also closing The District map. And unfortunately it will not be replaced.

The more active members of the District may be invited to join Westmarch in the coming weeks/months one or two at a time.

At some point in the future (when paying for these servers is no longer an issue) I will open another server with no time/building expectations attached and all current members of both servers will be welcomed to rejoin us. All current members are invited to stay in our Skype and RaidCall accounts and continue to share the lovely friendships we’ve created.

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Winterfrost was Fun! A whole lot of pounds worth of fun.

I have been eating my way through all the regular North American holiday excesses and then adding proper Scottish comfort food because I can. Between weeks of eating my way round 4 countries in June and July, then eating too much “convenient” food during renos, Thanksgiving stuff and left overs, and then the insanity of December…. I’ve gained some weight. Which is just an outward sign of some more important issues: I’m not sleeping well, my brain feels fuzzy, I’m coughing more, and I’m feeling stresses more.

While I’m thrilled to report that I have not gained the entire 20 I suspected (I finally faced the weigh-in this morning), I am now staring at 15 pounds of proof that my health is not what it should be.

So I’m losing it. This month. I’ll be posting things in here as a way to share this rather easy and satisfying way to lose the extra bits my friends may be facing themselves, and, more importantly 😀 as a way to make sure I get the job done. If You’re watching, I’ll try harder. LOL

Day 1 Breakfast:
Protein shake (#smoothy? whatever)
A #vegan protein powder, unsweetened coconut milk, and several tablespoons of coconut oil.

It had 26 grams of protein, a ton of calories (all from great-energy fat!), a full dose of the RDA of vitamins and minerals, and was under 10 total #carbohydrates.

A quick instant meal; it’s thick, rich, creamy, keeps me full a long time and tasted like a vanilla milk shake for breakfast. What’s not to like? I love these things! Total cost: about $2.50 US per shake.

Lunch: (which I finally got to at 4:15)
Spinach salad, cherry tomatoes, a Big chunk of full fat cheese. Poured Lots of olive oil all over it, added fresh ground pepper, pink sea salt, and a dried mix of nuts, seeds, and veggies. Also had peanut butter (100% peanuts, nothing added) and sea salt on celery.

High in fat, tons of vitamins, minerals, fiber, #lowcarb (under 10 carbohydrates total), and tasty. I kept eating until I couldn’t eat anymore, calories happily ignored. I feel energized by this meal, instead of needing a midday pick-me-up sugar buzz. And of course one could add all the meat one wanted to this meal with no added carbs.

Dinner: (around 9:00 that night)
Vegetarian stew and Greek salad and cheese. The stew had a rich dark gravy (because of high fat content, since I made it), made from onions and local hunted honey mushrooms, filled with big chunks of broccoli, carrots, celery, onion, cauliflower, green beans, tomatoes, and spices. Meat could be added of course, I just didn’t. Total carbs: under 10!

*********************************

Day 2 Breakfast:
Two scrambled eggs with salsa and cheddar cheese (cooked in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of butter). Romain lettuce salad with tomatoes, salsa and olive oil. Fast (under 5 minutes to make), good protein, high in fat, fibre and vitamins. All under 8 net carbs!

Adding another egg, more salad, or meat (if you need more food) would still make this a low-carb breakfast of awesome. Being high in fats means this meal was filling; I couldn’t finish it all. Bella got some bits of egg and cheese too.

Lunch: Missed it, too busy at work. But I found time for some peanut butter on celery (with sea salt) as a snack around 4:30 (when I finally got a bit hungry).

I’ll add dinner in another post. Enjoy!

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