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Wednesday, 1 January 2020 08:00
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
Drop me a line about anything here.

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Saturday, 14 October 2017 20:35
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
Remind me to never again do a game jam during the holidays.

Writing is hard.

Thursday, 5 October 2017 11:54
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
Writing with chronic and mental illness is doubly hard. Maybe more? It's been a while since I was not either of those things.

I'm anxious about the state of my Yuri Jam game, and that means I have to fight twice as hard against procrastination tendencies, because it's easier to put something off than keep worrying about it. But of course, any time I put something off that just makes it more difficult, and adds a weight of guilt about "slacking" and "laziness" to my problems.

Yesterday I tried to relieve some of the stress by setting aside some time to think about NaNoWriMo. Actually, since the beginning of October for the past week or so, I've been paying more attention as NaNo preparations start gearing up. Found my NaNo forums password. Looked up some of my posts from last year. Scanned some worldbuilding notes. Luckily I had the foresight to organize everything carefully in my Evernote notebooks. I even have access to it on my phone.

Still going with a story about the sister of last year's protagonist (and I've changed her name, now she's called Kitsa). So far don't know a lot more about it, except some character concepts who don't yet have names of their own.
lea_hazel: The outlook is somewhat dismal (Feel: Crash and Burn)
Today existed to remind me that (and why) I will most likely not be able to work a full time job again.

If I muster enough energy for dinner and a shower, it will be a minor miracle.
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
Writing has always been a central part of my life and even my identity, even when I didn't practice it regularly. It's been a background goal for me to become a writer even though all the other ambitions that I've had and discarded. Eventually I had to make a hard decision and I decided to pursue writing as a profession and career, not a hobby. I still have a day job, obviously. And I still hobby write (fanfiction, and other things). But the goal is to write professionally.

Writing is a frequently frustrating occupation. It's hard work, and it's work that's often undervalued, sometimes even as it's in demand. As most fanfic writers have noticed. Still I've had some amazing writerly moments in my life, outside of the aspiration to go pro and alongside some bitter disappointments (in myself and in others). I wanted to write a lot about those, since one of them happened just recently and since I could always use a morale boost to my creativity.

Read more... )

*glances up* What the fuck am I even talking about, who can even tell.

(actual playlist I was listening to when I was writing this.)
lea_hazel: I am surrounded by tiny red hearts (Feel: Love)
I'm experiencing a wave of nostalgia for my old fanfic that is both powerful and inexplicable.
lea_hazel: Angry General Elodie (Genre: Games)
The first week of Yuri Game Jam went relatively well. It's hard to tell at this point how well things will proceed, but I have a team and a solid design and a solid story outline. The biggest challenge (though by no means the only one) will be my inexperience with managing other people. I'm not that great at timetables and such, so figuring out deadlines will have to be a collaborating effort. I expect things to get fairly chaotic at certain points, but I'm hopeful we'll manage through the mess.

I've posted multiple times to Tumblr about my new Discord channel and I'm also aiming to post updates to the jam forums. Might post to Lemma Soft too, if I find the energy to keep up with it all.

Health-wise things are going not great, and there's not much more I can add about that.

Things are work are okay but for various reasons my direct supervisor right now is much more micro-managing than I'm used to.

There's a lot going on but I don't really have the wherewithal to analyze it all.
lea_hazel: Arthritis: It does the body bad (Health: Arthritis)
Probable causes of headaches:

1. Dehydration. Has it been an hour or more since you've had a sip of water? Tea counts. Other beverages do not.

2. Staring at a device screen. Try closing your eyes and listening to some music for 20-30 minutes.

3. Did you tie your ponytail too tight? It wouldn't be the first time. Take off anything that's on or around your head.

4. Does your head feel like it's pulsing? Do your eyes hurt? Does everything smell like it's trying to personally offend you? Probably a migraine.

5. Other: if none of those apply, take an Advil and a ten minute snack break.
lea_hazel: Angry General Elodie (Genre: Games)
It’s Yuri Game Jam season! A season to be especially queer in.

I know I mentioned before that I adore game jams. Deadlines tend to bring out my best work and I love the opportunity to potentially work with new people, not to mention I will jump at any opportunity to stretch my creative muscles. Yuri Jam is dedicated to stories centering queer female characters, which is familiar territory for me. The project I elected to develop, though, is something of a romantic comedy, which dips just slightly into camp territory.

Our protagonist is a self-styled mad scientist, a brilliant scientist who abandoned the world of academic research to recklessly pursue her own projects with no oversight. While she makes her living from the patents she takes out on her gadgeteering, she now faces her most ambitious invention yet. After years of romantic strikeouts, a phone-call from a concerned ex-girlfriend prompts her to take an entirely new approach to matters romantic, and she decides to build herself a robot girlfriend.

Yuri Game Jam is a two-month jam which takes place over the course of September-October 2017. I hope to complete the game, with three full romance routes, by the end of the jam. Accounting for last-minute complications, the estimated date of release is early-to-mid November. I will be posting progress updates on the Zinc Alloy Tumblr blog, and updating more regularly on the ZA Discord channel.

Crossposted to hazelgold.net.
lea_hazel: Angry General Elodie (Genre: Games)
It feels odd to get started on a game, at least two years after it was first published. Still, it’s not as though Little Alchemy is ancient enough to feel outdated or irrelevant, and I can gladly report that it’s every bit as enjoyable and engaging in 2017 as it probably was when it was first released. The only downside is knowing that it’s unlikely to receive any more updates. Once you’ve exhausted the 500+ existing alchemical elements and their combinations, that’s it. And given the habitual nature of the game, you might find yourself marathon playing it for hours at a time, and end up running out of game within a day or two.

Little Alchemy is a lightweight and fun alchemy simulator. Beginning with the four classical elements, it allows you to combine two elements to create a third, sometimes with additional byproducts. Simple as that. To my great delight, it can be played out of any browser through either the official site or indie game outfit itch.io, and also has a mobile version. After messing around with the browser game for entirely too long, I downloaded the Android app and lost several hours of potential sleep to it.

Read more... )

Crossposted to hazelgold.net.

Purity

Wednesday, 9 August 2017 20:21
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
The more I write (and I've been writing for more than fifteen years, half my life or longer), the harder it is to ignore the murkiness of the writing endeavor. I write original fiction and fanfiction, and I also write reviews. The things I look at when I write reviews are sometimes the same as what I examine when I'm writing, but just as often totally different. That can create an absurd type scenario where I criticize a series of books or games for repeating variations on a certain trope, but still be writing that trope into my own original fiction. Not even (necessarily) to subvert it, and on the whole as a media consumer I prefer aversions to self-conscious subversions.

The most obvious case that comes to mind for me right now is a multi-chapter fanfic from years ago that I never finished. This included both a love triangle and an antagonistic, hate-to-love type romance, all wrapped up together. And this was at a time when I had an even stronger aversion to both than I do now. And these were the central threads of the plot, not some supporting B-plot. More recently -- I even wrote a DW post about it -- I was writing a nation of inhuman people as analogues of a real cultural group (my own, but still), which is a thing I've strenuously objected to in the past.

And now there's my Yuri Jam game, if it gets off its feet. When I was coming up with the concept, I was mainly thinking about a cutesy idea of "mad scientists", a kind of character trope that has lost all credibility to the point where it's automatically camp and humorous, in a self-aware way. At least in theory. It's impossible, however, for me to ignore the underlying creepiness of the story, even if I'm trying to tell it from a point of view that places value judgments on the protagonist's choices, and even f the game is built in such a way that it locks the player out of making any truly outrageous character choices. I have to find a way to write around and through it, and address it head-on while still allowing the game to be a little funny.

And I find myself wondering how it is that I keep finding so many corners to paint myself into.
lea_hazel: The outlook is somewhat dismal (Feel: Crash and Burn)
This week so far has been a chain of irritants that have put me disproportionately out of shape, more so with each one that came at me. I don't even wanna get into it because I don't want to enshrine that petty shit, which is one major way that I have changed for the better in the last decade. So, go me, I guess.

In better news: if you're at all interested in my game-writing effort check out my idea thread for a Yuri Game Jam entry I am hoping to gear up to this summer/fall.
lea_hazel: Don't make me look up from my book (Basic: Reading)
"Concerning the Mystic Marriage of the Earth and Sun to Beget Works of Great Virtue and Power...

The title went on for another half page."


The Mystic Marriage is a historical fantasy taking place in the fictional European principality of Alpennia, beginning in the year 1821. Both a romance and an adventure, its primary plot revolves around Antuniet Chazillen, last daughter of an Alpennian noble family that has been disgraced and all but destroyed. Antuniet's life is bleak and devoid of most comforts and securities she'd been raised to. She'd been a scholar and her access to continuing her studies is severely restricted so, like many young women in her position, she makes a strained living by tutoring more wealthy students. The only bright spot in her life, if it could be termed such, is her single-minded quest to redeem her family's reputation through the art of alchemy and her discovery, mostly by chance, of a singular alchemical text.

Read more... )

Heather Rose Jones' Alpennia series consists of: Daughter of Mystery, The Mystic Marriage, and Mother of Souls.

Crossposted to hazelgold.net.
lea_hazel: Angry General Elodie (Genre: Games)
I've written before about the Dark Parables series of hidden object games. They're great games and I revisit them pretty regularly, especially since I started them out by buying the standard editions and was quickly converted to the more expensive collector's editions, which contain an impressive amount of additional content. I still haven't completed my collection, which means I haven't played all of the bonus games. Since my PC crashed and burned in March and I'm operating on a new laptop, I decided it was time to get back to the games again. New installments of Dark Parables come out reliably once or twice a year, and there had been two new games released since I'd last checked.

Read more... )

Crossposted to hazelgold.net.

Links of interest

(no subject)

Wednesday, 19 July 2017 15:52
lea_hazel: Kermit: OMG YAY *flail* (Feel: OMGYAY)
Finally starting to catch up on my reviews.

Work.

Friday, 7 July 2017 13:39
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
My work agenda is getting complicated. For one thing, I want to finish my editing, proofing, changes and additions to my route on BookSLEEPer so I can pass it on to the rest of the team, finalized. I have some story drafts laying around gathering dust, which I need to decide what to do with and/or where to submit. I've started putting together an outline for another game, in Twine form, and it's looking good but still needs a lot of work before I can treat it as proof of concept. I still need to get Wreath of Roses to an editor, too, and I have a short story critique I need to make a decision on.

Then there's all the books and games that need reviewing.

All in all, though, having a lot of work to do is actually a good sign. I just need to keep reminding myself of this.

Name Generators

Tuesday, 4 July 2017 12:51
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
As a writer, RPer, and all around nerd, I have a whole bunch of name generator websites bookmarked, and am always on the lookout for new and exciting ones. Of course I have also tried my hand at creating some small, primitive generators myself, like this one.

But one of the best qualities of worldbuilding, whether in games or in books, is the ability to simulate greater depth than you actually have. No one can build a world as rich as the real one, and if you tried to do it you would never have time for writing the actual stories taking place in this world. The trick is to make it look like the gaps in your knowledge are full of something that you just happen not to have mentioned. Part of it is investing more work into the things your characters have knowledge and interest in, or rather the reverse: make your characters proficient in something you're interested in developing.

What all that means is that most SFF writers aren't conlangers, and they don't need to be. You can simulate the richness of a unique language to the satisfaction of most, usually just by creating a quick-and-dirty phonology guide, and then staying out of your own way by being careful about idioms, puns and wordplay. The reader's (or player's) imagination provides the rest.

Part of my process is that I find it terribly difficult to write about characters if I haven't named them. This means I'll usually have a string of names before I have any kind of set phonological rules to follow. It also means I find it very hard to change those names, even if they were only meant to be working products. What I would like to be able to do is design a naming tool that you could input a string of names into, and it would break them down into an approximation of individual syllables, and then use those units to construct a series of new names.

I'm pretty sure I have the skills to do this, but it would take time and a fair amount of thought going into designing it, instead of just jumping into tinkering with code like I'm used to.

I'm open to feedback on the technical aspects of this project. I'm also interested in discussing the meta theory behind it, but based on the premise that I laid out. I'm not here for "everything you said is wrong, you're not a real fantasy writer unless you build your own language from scratch". Or anything along those lines. Comment at will, if you cross a line I promise I'll let you know.

Deep Summer

Monday, 3 July 2017 17:25
lea_hazel: Arthritis: It does the body bad (Health: Arthritis)
We're having a deep summer heat wave in Israel this week. Not the first one of the year and not likely to be the worst one, either, but it's fraying in the way that weather extremes can be. For me, it means a bunch of different things. For once, my chilly half-buried apartment is not quite chilly enough. I tired easily.

And two things that I forgot about Deep Summer Heat: one is that it makes me angry, literally. The other is, for some reason, hot weather makes me susceptible to motion sickness.

(no subject)

Thursday, 29 June 2017 21:20
lea_hazel: The outlook is somewhat dismal (Feel: Crash and Burn)
I've started taking something OTC to try and help get my sleep schedule unfucked. I'd forgotten how much I hate the smell of it, though.

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