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)

The Interactive Fiction Technology Foundation runs a yearly competition for interactive fiction called IFComp. Though it’s been flourishing for many years, I hadn’t heard about it before this year, and too late to be able to plan and execute a worthy submission. Still, nothing’s preventing me from browsing the 50-odd submissions and looking for something to catch my eye. As a novice to IF I’ve only had hands-on experience with a very few platforms for writing or playing it. IFComp, though, exposes a whole array of techniques and manipulations that I wasn’t previously familiar with. Needless to say, this affected my play experience significantly.

Eight characters, a number, and a happy ending – K.G. Orphanides

This was the first entry I played. Eight characters is a parser game, where commands can be entered in the text box or through navigation links. Some of the commands are helpfully explained in the in-universe manuals. Some are fairly intuitive, once you catch the trick of it – another effect of my being a novice player. I fussed for a long time over trying to open a simple chest before I learned to adjust to the game’s expectations.

Crossposted to


Sunday, 16 October 2016 11:31
lea_hazel: The outlook is somewhat dismal (Feel: Crash and Burn)
This entire month is messing with my head. Individually, I'm looking forward to all sorts of things (and glad for all sorts of things I've already done). Collectively, October needs to die.
lea_hazel: Kermit: OMG YAY *flail* (Feel: OMGYAY)
Dear author!

This is very exciting, isn't it? Yuletide is very exciting. I always request fandoms that I'm broadly interested in, so most anything you produce is likely to entertain me. When it comes to small fandoms I am easy to please.

Read more... )
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Basic: Science)
Medical history can be fascinating, depressing and hilarious in more or less equal measure. A few of my smarter teachers have touched on it here and there, and it always helps to contextualize the material. It also puts things in perspective, when you’re learning about historical beliefs that represented the best medical thought of the time, alongside the best modern understanding of certain scientific mysteries. Makes you feel like maybe we know as little about the human brain as our antecedents did about germ theory. Someday, future podcasters will laugh at us.

Read more... )

"Sawbones" is a Maximum Fun podcast hosted by Dr. Sydnee McElroy and Justin McElroy.

Crossposted to
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
The business behind being a writer is not my favorite aspect of the whole deal (not surprisingly).

However, I am keeping up with my chores and accordingly I updated my Patreon profile and my page to reflect the status of my work.

Oh, yeah. Zinc Alloy Games is the name I am now putting on all my decent-sized games. A bit premature, maybe, but I like to be prepared ahead of time.
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
This is basically for my own reference and not meant to reflect as any kind of fandom meta, or anything.

Read more... )
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
Wreath of Roses is a 16,000 word text game written in the Twine engine and playable through any JavaScript-supporting web browser.

Wreath of Roses is a project from Zinc Alloy Games.

It is the story of Thalia, a princess on her way to an arranged marriage. The story follows Thalia as she arrives at the kingdom meant to be her future home and gets to know her future husband, tracking her responses to her environment, positive and negative. As the wedding nears Thalia can choose to explore the castle and get to know some of its inhabitants, and at the end of the game the player makes a decision based on Thalia's overall impressions: to go through with the wedding, or cancel it.

This early version of the game is fully playable and features character customization and four different endings.

An excerpt from the game's opening will be available on my Patreon later this month.

Crossposted to and Patreon.

lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
My new phone has a lot more space in it than the one that got stolen, so I have been lenient with downloading apps. For example, I downloaded a podcast app that lets me get new episodes wherever there is wireless, without having to remember what day everyone updates. I was wandering around looking for interesting podcasts and happened across Galactic Suburbia and their episode on the new Ghostbusters. I've been listening to it in bits and pieces since it's fairly long and I usually listen to podcasts on the bus.

It got me thinking again about what I did and didn't like about the movie. It also made me want to go look for a supercut of all the times the 2016 movie referenced iconic lines from the original, but that involves going on YouTube and I bet I don't need to explain why I don't want to do that.

Read more... )

Greatest Hits

Wednesday, 7 September 2016 12:00
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
Some of the posts on this blog receive very regular hits, regardless of how old they are. Hits from Google, or from social media of the shareable kind, where someone might decide to revive an old-ish post and give it second wind. It’s easy enough to trace my most popular posts through this method, as well as by the hit-count which WordPress provides. It’s almost as easy to get to the bottom of why these posts in particular receive more attention than others.

Read more... )

Crossposted to
lea_hazel: A frowning white theater mask (Feel: Sad Face :()
I have a couple of short blog posts queued for this week and next. No big, substantive reviews. Part of me still wants to get that aromantic post out of my system but I'm not sure how well I'd weather the process. Meanwhile I have been playing a lot of 7KPP and Affairs of the Court, which I probably still should review, at some point.

Other things in my tabs: Why Being a Writer is an Exercise in Cognitive Dissonance from Kameron Hurley's blog (via Goodreads). Coffintree Hill has a whole bunch of magazines and anthologies calls for submissions. I have been reading a fair amount of Asexual Agenda posts and links, lately.

Soon I will have a cellphone again.
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
When I put together my Patreon support tiers, I promised some backer-exclusive content. Since then I've been working on putting these things together. There are some updates about my games in progress, and some fresh short fiction. This takes a while because I want to make sure that you're receiving quality content that's worth the price of admission.

Over the next couple of months I'll be posting snippets from a political fantasy text adventure that I've been working on. Later in the year I hope to share something from my next Twine project, which will be much more game-like in structure. I also have some new flash fiction that needs to go through the editing wringer before it's ready for consumption.

Anyway, that's it. I have some exciting stuff in the works and I hope you'll be excited about it, too.

Crossposted to and Patreon.
lea_hazel: Don't make me look up from my book (Basic: Reading)
A few weeks ago I went through a small impromptu historical romance binge. I'm not sure why. Every so often I think to myself that, even though I'm the most non-romantic person I know, I should really get in on this romance novel thing. Support women writers and etc. A few years back this led to me reading Lord of Scoundrels which I quite liked, despite it pinging any number of my f/m cold zones (not actually squicks, just things that immediately disappoint me when I see them).

This time was a mixed bag.

The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean: I actually posted about this while I was reading it. I enjoyed about 90% of the book and then toward the end it fell apart. Read more... )

Silk Is for Seduction by Loretta Chase: The best of the bunch, and the best-suited to my particular taste. Read more... )

Three Weeks With Lady X by Eloisa James: Involves a heroine with trust issues and abandonment issues, so you'd think it would be pretty much up my alley. Read more... )

I feel pretty comfortable recommending SIFS to the semi-discerning reader of relaxing candy books. I still have a small list of some others that I might want to try some day (searching "cold bitchy heroine" on a review site is not very effective). But for right now I have a deep romance fatigue.
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
For pasta, when tomato sauce isn't to be found, or you're just bored of it, and you need something quick and tasty, from ingredients usually on hand. 1 tbsp butter, salt, plus ground black pepper and a little lemon juice.

Salt, lemon and pepper are all things I'm definitely likely to have in the kitchen, pretty much always. I usually have a bag of pasta lying around, and some butter. Good for Saturdays like today, because I don't have to decide in advance what to cook. And I can make as much as suits, based on my appetite at the time.

(no subject)

Thursday, 25 August 2016 22:50
lea_hazel: Don't make me look up from my book (Basic: Reading)
At least I have my tablet back. It's much nicer to read that way than on my clunky old laptop.

Git it

Tuesday, 23 August 2016 12:33
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
I might have sworn, up until yesterday, that I had a GitHub account. Yeah. But I checked both of my Gmail accounts, both by searching for a registration email and by trying to activate a lost password. And nada. Huh.

I guess now is as good a time as any to register.

(no subject)

Sunday, 21 August 2016 20:50
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
I am without my phone and without my tablet and I literally don't own an alarm clock. What the hell.

Not to mention I am now also without an ebook reader. Small comfort that this only happened after I finished an dposted and double-checked my review.
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
Disclosure: I received an ARC of Stay Crazy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The most important thing to note about Stay Crazy, of course, is that the protagonist is insane. Well, yes, of course. It says right in the blurb that she was discharged from a mental hospital. And yet, she is also at the center of a vast conspiracy. It would have been so easy to make this the story of someone who only appears to be insane, when they are in fact the only ones who see the truth. Most often when I see spec fic stories involving characters confined in mental wards or the like, the story is one of false imprisonment, and draws a sharp line between the POV character and all those other people, the real crazies.

Em is as real-crazy as they come. Despite her unflattering descriptions of her fellow patients, she explicitly sets herself among them, the other psychotics. The book is written in a very subjective and often claustrophobic first person narration, dragging the reader deep into Em's periodic bouts of hallucination. It's difficult to immediately determine, during each episode, whether is is delusional or merely trans-dimensional. The silver insects crawling over her boyfriend's plate at the restaurant, the swallowing brown smoke at the bowling alley, even the TV psychologist's hidden messages. Which of these are conspiracy, and which are artifacts of the mind?

Read more... )

Crossposted to

The Stories

Tuesday, 16 August 2016 11:38
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
I was absolutely determined to produce some new material today, so I set aside the morning to be completely offline. Printed out my prompt sheet, which I had generated specifically for this purpose. Packed a notebook and a bottle of cold water. Slathered myself in sunscreen, just in case. Picked up a latte at my favorite bakery and took it to the little playground park nearby.

Of course I forgot to take the printed sheet with me, because I'm me, and I wouldn't be me if I didn't forget something. But I spent a little time recreating it, or trying to. And that gave me the mental process to decide what I should start writing. As par for the course, once the words are flowing then Newton's laws of thermodynamics are in effect, as in, "a wordcount in motion tends to remain in motion". Now my hand hurts!

It was a good morning.

I'll write about my birthday, too, but not until after my thing on Thursday. right now I have a book review to get to.
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
It's been a little over two years since I first signed up for, a site based around the idea of morning writing exercises. One of the classic pieces of advice that professional writers give, is to start every morning by writing three pages, stream-of-consciousness style. This helps unclutter the mind and gets the writing brain into high gear. For people poor at planning it helps set an agenda for the day. For people prone to anxiety or rumination, it sets worries on paper and out of the mind. This exercise has many different uses. One page fits on average 250 words, hence the URL as given.

Read more... )

Crossposted to


lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)

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