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What I Did on My Summer Vacation

The Intrepid Fenchurch Fenn, being all intrepid.

I spent most of my vacation time dead in my underpants.

By which I mean, I PLAYED DARKFALL with a fervor that bordered on fanaticism.

Amorphous people-shaped objects would rise in my peripheral vision and SAY things at me, things like, “Joss do you want to go to the beach? To the pool? To eat crustaceans at a seaside bar? To the shark store? To the butterfly museum?”

I would wipe foamy flecks of battle spittle from my crazed lips and holler back without looking up from the monitor: IN A SECOND I JUST NEED 17 MORE ZOMBIE WARRIORS FOR THIS TITLE QUEST AND THEN I CAN—GAHHHH I JUST GOT PK’ed AGAIN AND AM APPEARING IN MY UNDERPANTS BACK AT START!!!!! I NEED ANOTHER HOUR TO RECOUP MY CRAP! BRING ME BACK SOME CRUSTACEANS THOUGH. AND SOME LIQUOR.

So, yeah. A week later, I logged off and came home to two hundred business emails, four hundred personal ones, and more than a thousand spams about my nonexistent penis and another thousand wanting to deposit MILLIONS of Euros into my bank account because I just seem SO DARN TRUSTWORTHY, two attention starved dogs, one seriously sulking abandoned cat, one Boggart who arched an eyebrow and said, “Oh. You were gone? I did not notice,” a weedy flower garden, and a chapter five that isn’t going to DRAFT ITSELF, now is it?

Even so? As I write this? In a window behind this window? My little Darkfall toon, the intrepid FENCHURCH FENN, is herbing industriously away. SO. It is apparently taking me a minute to get my head back in REAL life. SO BE PATIENT WITH ME> I know I have business to attend to and it shall be attended unto prolly this weekend. *makes significant eyebrows*

This ocean was not relevant to my interests.

I was SO deep down into Darkfall that people in my clan, people who live in exotic places like New Zealand and Michigan, FELLOW ADDICTS who were playing DARKFALL with me, even THEY would say, “Hey? Didn’t you say this was your vacation? Aren’t you at the beach? Maybe you should, like, GO OUTSIDE. You could look at a PELICAN, perhaps moisten a toe in the bonny wave-brines?”

And I would say SHUT UP I HAVE TO KILL THIS HOBGOBLIN HE HAS THE SWORD I NEE—GAHHHH I AM GETTING PK’ED AGAIN!!!!!”

I currently have very low skills, so when I shoot you with my little bow, AND I WILL, I am about as a spooky as a kitten pooping unicorns at you. Therefore, I also expended a small amount of energy keeping a list of everyone who killed my little toon. There will, one day, when I am skilled up, be some SERIOUS justice meted out unto them. WOE BETIDE THEE< OH KITTEN KILLING PEOPLE ON MY LIST, is all that I am saying.

The upsides of spending one’s vacation almost entirely in a virtual world:

1) No sun poisoning for the first time in 5 years. I am so PERNICIOUSLY IRISH, so potato colored, so melanin-free, that usually by the end of beach week I am a red-bumped lump of scarlet suet, SPF 50 and not going out between noon and two notwithstanding.

This ocean was VERY relevant to my interests.

BUT THIS WEEK? Because I pretty much only went outside at server down, which was 6 -7 am, I returned as lily white and un-skin-cancerous as I left, lo these 8 days ago. I spent the server down hour surf-stomping for exercise and making friends with a gray heron named Berthold that all the early morning fisherman have bait-fed into tame-itude.

2) I was among my kind. While my parents and sister-in-law and children frolicked about in the aqua waves, my HUSBAND brought components and BUILT himself a new desktop and sat down and played Darkfall with me. My brother sat on my other side, robbing the ore-mines of Bladethorpe of their rare metals.

We had this GORGEOUS view of the Gulf that we could have been appreciating, but instead, the three of us played Darkfall in a DORKLINE on the dining room table, and we closed the blinds every second there wasn’t some sun worshipping beach-loon in the room who wanted to see the OCEAN and whatnot. Monitor glare can cost you your LIFE, sun-people.
3) I HAD FUN. Which, isn’t that what vacation is for?

My character’s name is Fenchurch Fenn, if you play on the NA server, so give me a shout out, maybe mention you like my books as you PK me with your +90 Vorpal Blade of murderization, and take my homemade studded leather armor and send me back to the starter town in my underpants.

Again. *sigh*

18 comments to What I Did on My Summer Vacation

  • sillyme

    that sounds like SO MUCH FUN

  • jeanette

    WOW! And I thought I was bad for buying another Kakuro book and puzzling away whilst my people watched sattelite television during the last two weeks while we were on vacation. Husband and Daughter get all excited about cable/sattelite when ever we travel, as we do not have such money sucking extravagances at home. OK, so truth be told, we CAN afford it, but I don’t tell them that. We moved 3 years ago and cable was not available at our new house and I was just too disinterested to call for sattelite service. (I hate that ugly dish thing they stick on your house!) After a few months without it, I noticed that we were reading more BOOKS (requiring more trips to the library, where I was just lucky enough to stumble upon my first Joshilyn Jackson book…………..need I say more) and Daughter who was 11 at the time seemed to have a lovely and interesting change in personality without the evils of Disney and Nickelodeon!!
    OK, so I ramble without reason.
    POINT I AM TRYING TO MAKE: Glad you had a great vacation. We had a great one too. Yay.

  • Now I can warn my 14 y.o. son that if he doesn’t get out of his room playing Minecraft endlessly, he might grow up to be an author. #hope

  • Sounds like a great time…given the ‘big shark’ reference, sounds like the non-visited beach is right down the road from where I live…enjoyable via the real world or virtual one. And my husband would love it if I would play on-line with him…

  • Sounds remarkably like how my husband likes to spend his vacations. And if you had fun, then that’s all that matters :)

  • linda j

    Wait just a minute you went away?!?!?! why would anyone possibly leave a home where children proudly spill ketchup on their mattresses and brag look mom I missed the sheet??

    Oh sorry that’s my house…

    Glad you are not all lobstery and peeling and itching and skin cancerous and all the joy that comes with the skin that says even paper white make up is 2 shades 2 dark.

  • Beth R

    Mr. Husband for the win!!! And talented geek brothers… even better :)

  • Although I am sure that Fenchurch Fenn would greatly appreciate some clothing, at least she looks good in her underpants. Just sayin’. I do not play Darkfall, and therefore do not know why she has a curly-horned goatish creature as her mighty steed, but I am QUIT SURE that he/she is a trusty and fine companion and had nothing at all to do with Fenchurch Fenn running around in her unmentionables. I am glad you had FUN–whether that involved virtual or actual oceans matters not.

  • I don’t know, unicorn pooping kittens sounds pretty spooky to me.

  • I’m still stuck on Angry Birds. You’ve outgeeked me by far! Way to BE!

  • Frankie

    For what it is worth, my Darkfall-obsessed boyfriend says that the computer/game actually keeps a note of everyone who kills you. He didn’t say where, but I guess finding it could redirect even more energy into overcoming the kitten-unicorn stage!

  • Back when I finished reading “Gods in Alabama” and was raving about it online, my little brother said, “Hey! I played World of Warcraft with her!” Apparently once upon a time you asked him where he was from (Alabama) and then told him about the book. Now he thinks he’s a big shot, of course, since I love your books but he’s actually had a virtual conversation with you. Little brothers… sigh.

  • Brigitte

    In Darkfall-land, those are probably LEATHER underpants. Poor Fenchurch Fenn must be getting chafed!

  • I am not a gamer, but it’s wonderful to feel like you’re getting away with something dark and forbidden on holidays.

  • Miri

    I am happy to see that your dorky-ness is still intact! :) Many people here in Sosaria still remember Pluffina and (hubby’s) Bob McDeath! I thoroughly enjoy your books and I am so very happy with your success! Best wishes to you and the Bob’s *smiles*

  • JMixx

    Is Fenchurch Fenn riding…a bighorn sheep? A goat? A horse with bighorn sheep horns? They both look very intrepid; I’m just confused about her steed.

  • Michelle M

    I totally don’t get it. Not a gamer. I’m a lover of all things beachy and with that beautiful beach outside my window, door, balcony I’d have to be on it or at least looking at it. You wasted it…sigh but glad you had YOUR fun kind of vacation.

  • I’m late to this party because I, too, was on vacation. BUT instead of wiling away the hours levelling up some toon or other, I DROVE through SIX (6!!) STATES in the same car with my husband and three kids. Yes. It was a brilliant plan, on my part, if I wanted more grey hairs. (Although seeing friends and family was fairly win.)