lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
2020-01-01 08:00 am
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Contact

Drop me a line about anything here.
lea_hazel: Arthritis: It does the body bad (Health: Arthritis)
2017-05-24 12:54 pm
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Life Update

I feel like yesterday was somehow several days rolled into one, and in general this week so far feels like there has been a lot of it. So I am doing very little of today. I will go out grocery shopping at some point because I don't even have cornflakes and milk. I have some emails and messages I intend to respond to. I am working hard on tamping down the anxious instinct to mentally recite all the things I "should" be doing Arya Stark style. I am reading a review of Daughter of Mystery, which I've been meaning to read since the dawn of time, give or take (actually September or thereabouts).

I wrote yesterday and I wrote on Sunday, and I have a plan for how to go on, so on the whole I's say that I'm capital-O Okay.

Which is all I can really ask for.
lea_hazel: Don't make me look up from my book (Basic: Reading)
2017-05-23 10:30 am
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(no subject)

I'm making steady progress in Upside Down again. I set it down for a while, partly because of depression, partly from being very busy and stressed over other things. And partly because I read Alyssa Wong's story and it was absolutely-- beyond description.
lea_hazel: Angry General Elodie (Genre: Games)
2017-05-19 04:28 pm
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Voltage Lovestruck: Speakeasy Tonight

I tried out the prologue for the new Voltage game. It’s technically a period piece, which is mildly interesting, and it’s prohibition-era, which under different circumstances would probably intrigue me more. Except that there’s already The Blind Griffin, and while it’s very short and has no female love interests, I enjoyed it tremendously the three or so times I played it through. Plus, the heroine of TBG is just fantastic.

Anyway, the new game. Only the first few routes have made their appearance, but the prologue handily introduces all the many, many (many!) love interests. A little clumsily, but at least it’s super clear on what’s going on. There are about seven or eight male love interests, and one woman.

This is the story of a brash and outgoing girl of indeterminate age (if I had to guess I’d say no older than twenty) whose overprotective mother was worried about her hard-partying ways. So she sent her to live with her stern uncle. In Chicago. Which is clearly the best place in which to protect a young girl from the seedier aspects of life, such a good place that they even named a musical after it.

The MC is full of vim, and is meant to be quite clever and qualified. She doesn’t super sell it, though. It takes her the entire prologue to figure out what was immediately obvious to me as a reader, which is that her temperance campaigner uncle is secretly running a speakeasy under his shop. But anyway, she’s a lively and strong-willed girl, and that has its appeal. Runs a little close to “feisty” for my tastes but it’s hard to tell from such a short sample.

Verdict: I don’t know if I’ll get into it. Then again, it’s definitely better than L&L and I read almost a dozen episodes of that before I gave up. The background art is beautiful. The sprites are nice also, a style much more favorable I think than L&L’s had. It also remains to be seen whether there’s an overarching story to the different routes. Bottom line is, Astoria is still the best. If you can’t get more of that, fanfic is the only way to go.

Crossposted to Tumblr.
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
2017-05-10 11:50 am

Life Update

I was so productive yesterday despite waking up pretty late and having trouble getting the morning going. And a random nap at 5:30 in the afternoon. But today I slept even later? And that leaves me in an awkward place where I'm not really sure how to get the day started. Plus I have an important thing this afternoon which I just realized is in only about four hours. Routine is hard. I only got to sleep at about two thirty last night, for no good reason whatsoever, and didn't even have the good sense to feel guilty about it. And I am beyond behind on my schoolwork.

I have a doctor's appointment, both for general checkup and to try and deal with my assorted medication-related issues. Doctor's business is getting complicated again the past few months and it's been seriously messing with the routine I had so carefully cultivated, it's a mess. At least I'm writing and editing and refining ideas, and I have a pretty good idea of how I want to move forward with my creative stuff even if it requires a level of patience that's preternatural for me. I've had a good long think and I'm considering the idea that I might need to narrow my sights creatively, instead of chasing after everything at once. Basically decide whether to focus on pure prose, text games or visual novels.

And ICYMI I finally wrote up my response to a discussion on last year's NaNoWriMo boards, on nonbinary gender representation in fiction and associated tropes. This blog post took a good long while to complete, and I'm really pretty proud of it.
lea_hazel: Pride flag (Politics: GLBTQ)
2017-05-06 09:00 pm
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Nonbinary Representations in Fiction

Nonbinary gendered characters are almost not common enough to have tropes associated with them. Almost, but not quite. The idea of a third gender, bigender, or agender is not actually that recent, after all. It seems to emerge independently, time after time. In modern media, these representations arise just often enough to have a handful of common tropes associated with them. Most of these are tied closely to speculative fiction, where one has the great privilege of learning that one's gender identity is inherently science fictional, alien, unrealistic. Some of them also appear in contemporary setting fictions, although those are less common and even more tied than usual to moral ambiguity.

Read more... )

Crossposted to hazelgold.net.
lea_hazel: Arthritis: It does the body bad (Health: Arthritis)
2017-05-01 10:53 pm
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(no subject)

Would be nice to find a doctor who's more concerned with increasing my well-being than with policing the orthodoxy of my behavior.
lea_hazel: Don't make me look up from my book (Basic: Reading)
2017-04-19 11:29 am
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Bless YouTube

Time to find out whether the Biblical satire I watched as a kid is actually still, you know, funny. Or if it ever was. I'm not sure I trust kid!me's taste.

Israeli TV is weird.

Edit: This is gayer than I remember (most things from my childhood are).
lea_hazel: Wonder Woman (Genre: Comics)
2017-04-18 11:36 am

So, I'm finally caught up on Saga.

Volumes 6&7 of Saga are out in TPB format and we picked them up at this year's Olamot. Naturally I devoured them both at record speed. The next arc doesn't start until sometime next month, so for the first time in literal years, I'm actually caught up with the rest of the world (on this or any comic book).

My brother and I used to get a monthly comics package delivered via subscription. This was a method that more or less worked for us for many years, and my brother especially was a little pissed to see it go defunct. But since I've been keeping up with individual issues less and less for years now, and TPBs are generally much easier to read and to store, I'm not too miffed. There was a time when I would read and reread every issue we got, monthly, sometimes four or five times a month, while waiting for the next package with bated breath.

Now we more or less pick up TPBs only at the cons, twice a year, where the two comic book shops (AFAIK the only two in Israel) both have booths. So we get what we can and whatever they don't have we wait on. That's how I got the three Rat Queens TPBs (I reviewed the first two here), the first volume of the new Ms. Marvel (which I still want to catch up on) etc. etc. Some Star Wars volumes too, which I haven't finished, and one Adventure Time comic (with Carey Pietsch doing art).

Getting back to Saga, after the major cliffhanger that I left off on, the two new volumes were a pretty rough rollercoaster. New characters come in, old characters leave temporarily or permanently. One of the leaving characters was a great favorite of mine, and looks to be as permanently gone as they get. When is funny, considering that the Stalk was one of the first (possibly the first) deaths in the comic, and she's still around in some form or another. And the plot is unfolding in such a way that I can still confuse the Will and Prince Robot IV with each other, because... well, their arcs just have a lot of shared points.

But anyway, Saga is still riveting and if anyone has opinions about it I'd love to hear them. I ight even d a proper review, once I've gotten through some of my backlog.
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Basic: Science)
2017-04-05 05:30 pm

On Writing and Politics

Lately a lot of writers whose blogs or social media I follow have gotten messages from readers saying that they should "stay out of politics" and stick to writing. Every time see a message like that I think back to all the reviews I've read that have described a book as political or politically-themed. I wonder where all these authors are whose work isn't political. How do you write without writing about politics? It is the thing that structures the very reality around us. Perhaps this seems obvious to me because opting out of political thought hasn't ever been an option for me.

Read more... )

Crossposted to hazelgold.net.
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
2017-03-26 10:57 pm
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So, I have news.

I realized that I tweeted about this but didn't post it anywhere else yet, so:

I'm going to be published in Capricious's gender diverse pronouns issue.

*throws confetti*
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
2017-03-22 08:24 pm

(no subject)

Good news, the files off my drive can apparently be salvaged. I got a new external drive and all, since it'll be a while before I'm thinking about a new desktop apparatus.
lea_hazel: The outlook is somewhat dismal (Feel: Crash and Burn)
2017-03-20 03:44 pm

A thing that I forgot

A thing that I forgot is that there's a reason I don't usually leave work before four. And that reason is the lovely suburban parents in my neighborhood who show up in their cars by the drove, to pick up their kids from school. And between three and four (...or five) my street is filled with the cheerful sound of Israeli motorist etiquette. Which is nonexistent, by the way.

In other happy news, last week the hard drive on my desktop finally gave out. I didn't lose much, or at least, not much that didn't bear losing. I will have to recreate the timeline for my NaNoRenO project, once my headache has cleared. But mainly I lost a lot of junk. What with the new laptop, though, I can't really justify buying a new desktop. It's expensive, and I've had a lot of large expenses lately. I'm saving basically nothing working part-time, so there's that, also.

There's other news, and it's much more positive, but I'd need to relax my frame of mind a little, to do it justice.

Last Thursday I went out to replace my earphones, and met someone who went to primary school with me. It was beyond weird.
lea_hazel: A frowning white theater mask (Feel: Sad Face :()
2017-03-12 04:51 pm
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Computer Woes

I am, shall we say, not thrilled to report that my computer decided to start giving me trouble on Saturday morning. I am getting it picked up for fixing tonight, hopefully. I still hope that it can be given another life, despite the many times I've had to have to fixed. I have no idea whether Windows errors of this type are usually terminal or not, but at any rate, I am mentally prepared to rely on my new laptop (which I've only had since November) for the near future. Or medium future.

With a functioning laptop, it's hard to justify replacing the desktop immediately. In the long run, yeah, I'll want to eventually. But in the past I've had times when my single major source of entertainment only ran on the desktop, and that's not the case right now. I could do quite well and I could put it off... for a while. IDK. Maybe I can't justify having a desktop at all, right now.
lea_hazel: Kermit: OMG YAY *flail* (Feel: OMGYAY)
2017-03-01 08:00 pm

EGADS

I am not delusional because I got a 95 on my logic exam. 91 overall.
lea_hazel: Kermit: OMG YAY *flail* (Feel: OMGYAY)
2017-02-28 03:42 pm

I keep meaning to do those life updates...

It helps me think. But there always seems to be too damn much going on, and I always seem to be criminally behind on something.

I took my one and only exam for the semester and it went remarkably well. I am cautiously optimistic about my grade, which I won't find out for a while yet. My next semester starts in late March, a little more than two weeks from now. Much more intimidating, because it's one of the more notorious branches of mathematics. It's a CS requirement, though, and I think a face-to-face class will force me to pay more attention to the lectures, compared to sitting on my sofa and watching the lecture through the computer. Still, it's another shot for my "get ahead of the material in case you fall behind later" plan, which has never yet quite succeeded as intended.

Work-wise I have deadlines and more responsibilities and I'm sitting with the rest of my team instead of in a separate cubicle, so there's progress there. I work hard to get in enough hours a month, not only to stay on top of my workload but also because I get paid by the hour. Working in an office is still a struggle because at a certain point the fluorescent lights and over-exposure to smells etc. starts to wear me down. Bug generally I'm keeping up and getting good feedback.

Writing is exciting. I submitted a short story today. I've been trying to put it together from an idea that surfaced unexpectedly, part-way into outlining a totally different piece for the same deadline. That other piece is partly drafted but still languishing. I also have a rejected piece that I need to decide whether/to whom to submit next. In game writing I did FFS Jam and it was pretty great, but ow I'm losing momentum in the journey to polish the alpha to perfection. And now March is starting and I'm on a team doing NaNoRenO.

More on that last part, probably tomorrow.

I have to remember that writing down everything I'm doing not only reminds me of everything I'm behind on, but also everything I've accomplished. When I describe my life to other people, it sounds a lot better than it does in my head.
lea_hazel: Kermit: OMG YAY *flail* (Feel: OMGYAY)
2017-02-14 10:57 am
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FFS Jam

So, rumor has it that some people other than me entered their games into FFS Jam on itch.io. so here are some carefully curated links to that for your entertainment.

1. Penguin Quest, a cute and silly game about a penguin looking for friends on their birthday so they don't have to celebrate alone. It's definitely in the style of something, but don't ask me what. Browser playable.

2. Corgi Snow Day is exactly what it sounds like, a fluffy cuddle game to brighten your day and warm your heart. It's ultra-short, so I would recommend playing it every morning before getting out of bed.

3. Mao's Adventure, an exceptionally weird game that has to be experienced first-hand.

4. Nature of Colors and Shapes is a strange little puzzle game that involves dragging colorful blobs in certain trajectories. I found it soothing to play.
lea_hazel: Angry General Elodie (Genre: Games)
2017-02-11 07:22 pm
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Wreath of Roses

So rating closed on FFS. At first I was a little disappointed with my game's performance but eventually I realized it's a pretty small jam, and lots of other submissions didn't get many ratings. I didn't expect to get rated very well because the crux of the game is the writing and that's not even really a category. I did get some friendly comments, though, which was nice to see. And posting about it on Twitter generated surprisingly much traffic. Someone even downloaded it, although why you'd download something that's just an HTML file I will never know.

Now I'm looking for an editor. Rather, I'm still looking for an editor.
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
2017-02-10 05:42 pm
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Possibilities

I have the possibility of a new project in the works for probably March, and it's making me nauseatingly excited right now.
lea_hazel: Angry General Elodie (Genre: Games)
2017-02-07 12:09 pm

Life Update

My coworkers have learned of my migraines this week and I'm kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop. In every other respect work is pretty good.

I'm looking into finding a new primary care physician, but for unrelated reasons.

The alpha of Wreath of Roses, my secondary world fantasy intrigue text game, will most likely stay up on itch.io for another week (because I might as well make the date a little symbolic). After that it goes back into "in development" mode while I (continue to) search for an editor. I would like to get it as good as it can be, and I'm also interested in commissioning a new logo by a more experienced graphic artist. Mainly I've been looking on the Lemma Soft forum, home of all things both gamey and narrative-y.

Otherwise things are good. I'm conflicted between plugging on with the short stories I have in progress, versus trying to come up with a new (more modest) game concept. I took a look at my philome.la page when I was doing some promotion, and I haven't posted a new game in ages. I miss it a little. But then, there are other things to consider. Writing is hard.

Anyway, if you wanna play WOR and don't mind the typos and assorted blemishes, definitely do it now.