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Wednesday, 1 January 2020 08:00
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
Drop me a line about anything here.
lea_hazel: Angry General Elodie (Genre: Games)
Escape to Princess, a CYOA where you play Narnia for grownups, because being a grownup sucks.

Why Aren't You Happy?, where you play a weird little dragon/princess courtship game.

Both also posted to the AO3, and there's a blog post queued for my main blog as well. I feel good about this.
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
As part of an ongoing effort to assess the strength of my self-promotion, I decided that the only way to keep track of the enduring popularity of my text games is to document it, probably on a roughly weekly basis.

Lots of dull numbers behind the cut )

Next time I will do this is the form of a table for convenience's sake.

(no subject)

Wednesday, 18 May 2016 17:41
lea_hazel: Arthritis: It does the body bad (Health: Arthritis)
What happens is, I think I’m leaving work at a reasonable hour because I’m keyed up and I feel pretty energetic. I go home and on the way I think of all the things I’ll Do. Then I get home and feel myself fading. Feel, in fact, that I had been fading for a while and didn’t notice. And now it’s quarter to six. I have a homework assignment due tonight. If I don’t send it in my life will become Very Complicated Indeed. I am so very tired, but nervous to lie down in case resting/napping will just make me groggy and irritable. There is precedent for this.

At least, I can remind myself, there is always an option of just cutting my losses on this semester and moving on.
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
One of the disclaimers at last night's workshop wrap-up was "we don't analyze personalities at the workshop, but..."

I have a problem with endings. I am not certain what the core of the problem is, other than always being drawn like an insect to The New Shiny. I can recall that I have been, for years now, elated every time I managed to complete anything longer than a one-shot. Some of my proudest points as a fic writer have been multi-chapter fics that I managed to herd into an ending, satisfying or otherwise. Not epics, not novel-length fics. Not those stories that are points of pride for us as a subculture. Just... finished stories.

The Golem of Denerim. A Hold. Stars Shine Above. One older story from a defunct fandom that I never migrated into my AO3. These have served as my markers that I am capable of writing something that resembles a short story, with a plot that progresses and characters that experience growth. These are good stories and I still love them. Why can't I do this again?

At the end of this month, there is a deadline for the 2016 yearly SFF publication. It's not that there aren't other avenues to submit stories in Hebrew, because there are. But those deadlines, the deadlines are like catnip to me. I need them because I need something that forces me to hustle. I mark them in bright orange on my digital calendar, so that when I sit down to write, I always have a ready answer for "what are we working on today?"

Today I am taking a break from short stories. Not least because I have other deadlines looming, and because I had a late day yesterday and will have another one tomorrow. But the morning is still dedicated to writing, in one way or another. Whether I'm debugging a script for a Twine game or listening to writing podcasts, this is the thing that fills my mind most of the time.

And I have my morning words, which I am making more of an effort to get done... in the morning. I was up to a streak of fifty days and then I got distracted and broke it. Bluh. Morning words are helpful, they give some structure.
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
A few weeks ago, I posted to Tumblr a link to a game I wrote in Twine. Well, not exactly a game. This Twine story contains images of the Minor Arcana, the lesser-known component of the Tarot deck. The code allows you to select random cards and arrange them in one of three different ways, the better to exploit Tarot's rich history of symbolism as an aid to characterization.

Normally when I use Tarot cards, they serve primarily as a handy go-to source of writing prompts, perfect for little warm-up exercises when I'm having difficulty revving up the writer's engine. Read more... )

(no subject)

Thursday, 12 May 2016 15:11
lea_hazel: A frowning white theater mask (Feel: Sad Face :()
I am not actually happy with that review but today has been one of those days and something needed to happen.
lea_hazel: Wonder Woman (Genre: Comics)
One of the delightful things that happened at Olamot Con 2016 is that I happened upon a copy of the first Rat Queens TPB at one of the stands. The name rang a bell, so I flipped through it and eventually surrendered to temptation and took it home with me. This title has been vaguely on my radar for a while, but the scarcity of comic book stores and my general disengagement with the medium produced an obstacle of availability. What am I gonna say, there is so much entertainment media out there, you have to work hard to catch and keep readers' attention.

Conventions, however, exist to circumvent the barriers that make mass media vastly more available for consumption than more niche markets, and I took full advantage of this fact. I bought the first two TPBs, covering Rat Queens #1-#10, and a full story arc with a satisfying conclusion. Frankly, that's already more than most comics can boast.

Read more... )

Crossposted to hazelgold.net.

My Level Best

Sunday, 8 May 2016 16:05
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
In two hours I have class. Tomorrow night I also have class, and it's a prep session for the hand-on lab next week. which means I need to have my pre-lab report (and one other piece of homework) ready and printed to put in the instructor's hand. And I need to be early. It will be a fun day. And next week will be a fun week.

Meanwhile: on the advice of my wiritng workshop's coach, I started listening to the "Writing Excuses" podcast on my commute. Today I was listening to an episode about polytheism in fantasy from last year (transcript) and it struck something. Some of the issues around religion and fantasy have been niggling on me for a while, now. The cast links to a tool called the belief system generator. I think I will use today's writing time (or a portion of it, anyway) to test it out.

Right now.
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
This is a story of how Person of Interest worked three long seasons to earn its surveillance dystopia, when other shows of the genre failed to show their work.

This week, Person of Interest returns to the screens for its fifth and final season. After a four season emotional roller-coaster, fans are eager but understandably apprehensive about the conclusion. No one promised us a happy end. In fact, as the show wore on, it became clear that its premise, which initially relied on crime drama with a thin dusting of ambiguous sci-fi, had become radically transformed. Viewers entering the fourth season now knew that the show's world presents a freshly budding dystopia dominated by a conscious and independent artificial intelligence.

Read more... )

Crossposted to hazelgold.net.
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
Diversity and representation have been climbing up the public agenda of late. When it comes to writing disabled characters, there are a few recurring pitfalls that I’d like to address.

Be Specific

You want to write a disabled character. First, you need to know what their disability is. “In a wheelchair” is not a disability. A wheelchair is a mobility aid, one of several different kinds available to the mobility-impaired. That’s your character, by the way. Did you mean, perhaps, that your character is paraplegic? Paralysis due to traumatic spinal injury is, again, one of many conditions that require or warrant the use of a wheelchair. Are you certain that you want your character to be paraplegic? True, this is the thing that most abled people think about (or avoid thinking about) when conjuring the mental image of a wheelchair. However, it is far from the only reason for someone to use a wheelchair.

Read more... )

This essay is not an encyclopedia; it’s barely an introduction. I hope, however, that it has given its readers some food for thought, for engaging with their own writing as well as the media they consume.

Crossposted to hazelgold.net.
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
I wrote like a thousand words this morning. Like. Yeah. A thousand-plus super-gay words about super-gay fairies and time-travelers.

So yeah, I guess maybe the holiday weekend is getting off to a good start.

Holidays

Thursday, 21 April 2016 11:01
lea_hazel: Kermit: OMG YAY *flail* (Feel: OMGYAY)
Passover was approaching with giant, menacing steps and I didn't even have time to make a post about it before it got here and now it's basically here OMG.

Holidays are stress, everyone knows that. I basically have two modes, 'I have to worry about that' and 'I don't have to worry about that yet'. The problem is, once something gets slotted into the second category, it tends to get stuck and stay there too long, until it bubbles up to 'I have to worry about that RIGHT NOW' or 'it's too late to worry about that'. Which sucks.

My medical chores went poorly so that's another things I have to worry about again. And it's the holidays, which means I have to carry all of my mother's stress in addition to my own. And my apartment is so dirty because I am always too tired to clean.

Now I have to choose to forget everything so that I can spend the rest of the morning writing.

Progress

Friday, 15 April 2016 13:02
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
Like most forms of progress for me, this one involved a lot of forgiving myself for things that are not actually crimes/sins.

I am still working on half a dozen projects in parallel. I am still behind on my personal writing missions (i.e. update my Patreon rewards to something more reasonable, queue one blog post per week, editing milestones, etc.). I am still stretched thin between work, school and my writing schedule.

I have, however, collected a few tangible reassurances regarding the basic fact of what I owe and to whom.

Some medical issues have also made themselves apparent, but right now only at the testing stage.

My running projects, for the record, include two Twine games (one more gamey and the other more storyish), three short stories in Hebrew, one short story in English and a blog post. Oh, and the card game I've been trying to play-test for something like six weeks. Which I will probably bring to Olamot later this month, for those to whom it's relevant. And I've started dabbling with ChoiceScript, which is like Twine but more viable.
lea_hazel: Don't make me look up from my book (Basic: Reading)
Last night was sort of the pits of the funk I've been in lately. I talked it out with someone and I feel a little more optimistic. It's the feeling of being trapped into a course of action that gets me down more than anything else. fortunately with enough forethought and creativity I can usually come up with an alternative. And so that's what I'm trying to do now.

Yesterday was also the deadline for Strange Horizons' special queer issue. To which I did not submit a story, as a cause and consequence of the funk I mentioned. I did write yesterday, though, and something I am fairly pleased with. And this morning I drafted my next blog post, the one about writing disability that I've been mulling over for so long. I dread the possibility that it will expand into a series of posts.

Now I have a short break in the workshop which hopefully will allow me to catch my breath a little. And there's Olamot over Passover which is OMG! SO SOON!

Life Update

Saturday, 9 April 2016 18:32
lea_hazel: The outlook is somewhat dismal (Feel: Crash and Burn)
"There's no reason why I can't work, study and write at the same time."

Later: "I can't work, study and write at the same time."
lea_hazel: Angry General Elodie (Genre: Games)
Masques and Murder is a dark historical revenge fantasy taking place in Renaissance Italy. The historical setting lends the game a richness of language, combining with the art and music to give the game its particular aesthetic. The plot is as grisly as requisite. You play a young woman whose family was murdered in a power-grab, where the combined goal of the game is to extract vengeance, as well as escape the prospect of marriage to one of your family's murderers. The game's atmosphere is meticulously put together.

Read more... )
lea_hazel: Wonder Woman (Genre: Comics)
I made a professional call that I have to seriously step up my self-promotion efforts, if I want to continue nurturing my writing career. Like a lot of people I know (a lot of people in the creative milieu) I find this daunting. It's something that I have to keep insisting to myself that I must do and I will do, or else I will easily let it fall by the wayside while concerning myself with other things.

By far my largest following right now is on Tumblr, so that's where I'm concentrating my efforts.

I want to drop some links here, too, because I know that there some bloggers on Dreamwidth who never took to the fandom style of social media.

My blog: Hazel Gold, science fiction and fantasy reviews. Also found for easy following on Facebook and Twitter. My unfiltered personal Twitter account is anthologyofwhat (the name of my old Tumblr blog), and of late I also have a Pinterest board. Please click the links if you wish to support my writing endeavors. Cross-posting to Dreamwidth is not automated, so following the main blog really is the best way to stay up-to-date on my new reviews.

Speaking of which, I should get back to generating content...
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
The latter part of the winter has been pretty busy for me. I work part-time, I have a writing workshop, classes have started up again for the spring semester, and I always have a stack of writing deadlines waiting, not to mention keeping up with blogging. One of my main missions for the writing workshop has been to pare down my works in progress to something less menacing, mostly by setting aside my incomplete works and moving on. Writing is difficult work and if I don't focus, I'll never finish any of my projects.

I love feeling like a versatile writer. I write in different styles and genres. I've been getting into both interactive fiction and game-writing. I've gone back to writing in Hebrew as well as English. Trying new and different things is exciting, but it has to come at the expense of something. As I narrow down my criteria for what stays and what has to go, I've had to consider my own investment but also my potential audience in the calculation of what works and what doesn't.

Which is all just a roundabout way of saying I'm putting the Collar of the Damned universe on ice. This doesn't mean I'll never write in it again. More like, if I'm being realistic, I haven't been writing in it. Of all the projects I've been preoccupied with in the past few months, CotD has occupied a very low rung. Just high enough to weigh on my mind and affect my productivity, but not high enough to write and publish. My last story was published in August. Everything else is half-finished or barely-begun.

Not much will change. I am just formalizing what has been the objective reality for a while now. Much as I love it, CotD has no audience and my affection alone doesn't generate enough interest to sustain it in the long-term. My time is better spent on original short stories, games, and reviews. All of which I will continue to publish to my writing blog and my philome.la account respectively.
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
Stories I have written for workshop, which are delightful in their own way, and yet lack enough cohesion to be exposed to the public:

1) A story about a woman living with the ghost of a WWII-era German Templar.

Read more... )

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lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
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