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: 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: Kermit: OMG YAY *flail* (Feel: OMGYAY)
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.

Life Update

Tuesday, 7 February 2017 12:09
lea_hazel: Angry General Elodie (Genre: Games)
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.

(no subject)

Thursday, 19 January 2017 16:25
lea_hazel: The outlook is somewhat dismal (Feel: Crash and Burn)
Yesterday I had such a productive day, but today my head hurts and I don't want to do anything. D:

...behind.

Sunday, 3 July 2016 08:34
lea_hazel: The outlook is somewhat dismal (Feel: Crash and Burn)
I'm rather behind on replies and some other things, so please bear with me. I will get back to everyone, hopefully soon.

(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.

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: 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: The outlook is somewhat dismal (Feel: Crash and Burn)
The first half of February was pretty intense.

I had one exam at the beginning of the month which I very nearly fucked up, but managed to rally for on time and will probably be all right on. I missed the deadline on the last two assignments on my other class. Hopefully though I have still accumulated enough credits to sit the exam, which is in a week.

I started a part-time job.

And I'm starting another writing workshop.

And next month I start my next math class. Joy.

Meanwhile I have been plugging away at a few ongoing projects, a Twine game and a card game (yes, real paper cards in your hand). I have a project in Hebrew which I've been working on translating. And I have a blog post drafted that needs proofing before I post it next week.

I am reading Seanan McGuire's One Salt Sea and I got pretty close to the end before stalling for mysterious reasons. I've also picked up Inkheart, which I've had my eye on but hesitant about for some time. And I've been playing Queen at Arms.

This week, though, I've mostly been dedicated to Fallen London on account of the Feast of the Exceptional Rose. And the fact that I'm finally making progress on becoming a notable person. There's a certain unusual joy to playing an agender poet and detective who's "irresistible, compelling and sagacious" as the game phrases it. Hell, playing an agender anything is pretty compelling.

Results

Wednesday, 25 November 2015 09:44
lea_hazel: Arthritis: It does the body bad (Health: Arthritis)
The results on my thyroid-related things are not encouraging. Therefore I am going to do two things, the first of which is to go to the pharmacy and buy some 1000mg vitamin D gel caplets (and a hot water battle because it is terribly cold in my hobbit-hole). Then I am going to make an appointment for an endocrinologist, by phone, which will be very fun. So much fun!

No, I have not gotten around to watching Jessica Jones yet, although I am confident from reactions that it will probably meet 80-85% of my expectations. Roughly. I have also not yet watched the midseason finale of HTGAWM. And I have not finished reading Baru Cormorant.

In fact, I exited Sunless Sea hell only to immediately dig myself a chest-high ditch in 7KPP alpha hell. Yes, there is a new alpha update and I am flipping out every which way. As usual, with a branching storyline the new content is scattered across multiple playthroughs and so unlocking everything I want/need to see is taking some time. I have had a hard time resisting playing the game late at night on my laptop, which has done my circadian cycle no favors.

Meanwhile writing is proceeding sort of apace with 3-4 stories running in parallel. And writing in Hebrew now, because I'm doing a workshop. And thinking of gathering a local writers' social group for chatty meetings twice a month or so.

Secondary

Monday, 23 November 2015 13:06
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
I wrote today, and all else is secondary.

"You have class in four hours and you didn't do the reading."

Secondary.

"Have you eaten today?"

Secondary!

"Are those dirty dishes from last Friday?"

Completely secondary.

"It's the apocalypse! Oh no!"

...secondary.
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
After much preamble, primarily on my Tumblr, and thanks to the support of several dear people who reblogged my post, today I finally launched my Patreon page. It is a modest page suited to my currently modest aspirations, but I have every intention of growing and developing it over time.

Launching a Patreon as a writer of prose is pretty intimidating. Successful funding projects always seem so shiny and colorful. Graphic artists, comics writers, video content creators, all seem to have more to offer as a reward to their backers. Truth be told, I'm not really certain what my backers want as reward... because I do not yet have any backers.

My Patreon account is an experiment, and any potential backers (that's you) are participating in it along with me. To help me improve the experience for both of us you can comment on my first Patreon post. Read my stories and reviews on hazelgold.net (also linked from the side menu of this blog). My WordPress blog contains all original content, including content not posted to Dreamwidth.

As for new content, stand by for posts about Blue Tea Games' Dark Parables series, and a reader's perspective on binge-watching SyFy's Killjoys while simultaneously reading Kameron Hurley's God's War.

Update

Sunday, 4 October 2015 21:32
lea_hazel: The outlook is somewhat dismal (Feel: Crash and Burn)
The holidays and a short illness have thrown off my work schedule and I ended up not updating for longer than I intended.

Today was a good writing day and I have completed the first draft of my [community profile] femslashex assignment pretty much on schedule. I'm pleased with it right now but let's see how I feel about it in two-three days when I reread it.

My wordpress blog is now linked from the sidebar, alongside my AO3 and Tumblr.

I do still intend to blog about things of a bit more substance, but as it's getting rather late and I haven't yet had dinner, that will have to wait for later this week.

On Blogging

Thursday, 3 September 2015 17:02
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
I am looking at the emptiness of my professional blog and sighing. I cross-posted some recent material but, as I go digging through my years of blogging, I seem to have made far fewer substantial posts than I imagined. Possibly I was always intending to make those posts but once the subject matter coalesced in my mind, I never got to actually putting the words down on paper. Now I'm debating whether an old review for a book that I read years ago (and no longer own) is fit for re-posting.

Look like there's no escaping the need to generate original content. Ahahahah *tear wipe*

Things have been up and down for me but I did not do much writing this week, although I accomplished several important chores. I am no closer to opening up a Patreon account to allow for the options of readers supporting my content. I am also no closer to having a complete work that's fit to be bound into an e-book. It is frustrating, but I know that I can work through it.

The new year is coming up on my calendar. Happy September.
lea_hazel: The outlook is somewhat dismal (Feel: Crash and Burn)
While I deal with a comically long chain of tax-related bureaucracy* in order to launch a Patreon account, I also need to start building my website. So I'm reaching out to ask recommendations for these two things:

1. A reliable place to register a .net domain plus hosting.
2. Freeware FTP software.

*Did you really need those six extra vowels, English? Really?
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
Today I submitted a story to a magazine for publication.

I had decided to do so a while back, and I had the story in question written and fairly well-polished. But I kept procrastinating for no discernible reason. And so today I finally went ahead and did it.

Probably I will not hear back for a month, minimum.

Now I just need to figure out a theme for my next short story -- and stop thinking about games/branching stories that I lack the skill and the discipline to complete.
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
I've been writing for over fifteen years. I think I mentioned that. It was only this year (last month, actually) that I finally decided to commit to a career as a professional writer.

There are a lot of questions that come along with such a dramatic change. I've grappled with some of these questions for years. Do I have the discipline to write every single day, and the work ethic to keep plugging at it, even when I reach the less pleasant stages of writing? Can I generate an idea compelling enough to draw an audience of readers? Can I create the type of work that can be sold for cash on a professional venue, like a short fiction magazine or an anthology?

Today, the questions I'm dwelling on are less abstract, but no less difficult for me to answer. I'm debating issues of my online presence. Crowdfunding is becoming an increasingly attractive option for writers, especially short fiction writers like myself. One of the options I'm considering is opening a Patreon account. Clearly, the critical aspect of crowdfunding is creating an audience, and the only way to create an audience is to publish. So, the main step of creating a successful Patreon presence is still the #1 answer to any writing-related question: write.

In the meantime, I'd like to have somewhere to point people at, in case someone should ask me how they can support my writing career. Patreon seems like a viable option for that, if only in a long-term view. It would also make a handy place to compile links and create a writing portfolio of sorts. Less formal than an official website, which I am also considering creating, but it does create a necessary one-stop destination.

One of the advantages of the social media era of writing is that I feel I have less to worry about the informal nature of some of my writing. This blog, for example, not to mention my Tumblr and Twitter accounts. When I look at the online presence of some contemporary genre writers ('my peers', as I practice saying) I feel there's more latitude given, a less strict standard of what counts as on-topic for a writer's blog. I can imagine someone looking at this blog, or my Tumblr, and not immediately thinking, 'this person is clearly not a professional writer'.

I still have open questions. Should I create a website? Should I include a more restrained author blog, and mirror only the substantial content from my current blog? Should I create a separate Tumblr to include only content relevant to Collar of the Damned and my other original writing? For now, I'm plugging away at my actual writing, and of course this blog as well.
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
25 day streak on 750words.com. I've been using it for almost a year and I've found it to be an immensely useful tool, both creatively and therapeutically. This month I've signed up, yet again, for the one-month challenge -- aspiring to write three pages (or 750 words) every single day in June. My previous attempts at this challenge have been very unsuccessful, but I hold higher hopes this time. Not only because I'm more than halfway through and so far it's been almost easy, but also because for the first time in a while, I'm writing full-time. Ostensibly.

Sunday through Tuesday, I did no writing at all (other than the aforementioned three daily pages). It's my third week being unemployed/self-employed, and my motivation seems to have ebbed more than a little. It didn't help that I was inexplicably sleepy on Sunday and Monday. I spent a lot of time dozing off, half-awake rereading old fanfic, playing hidden object games, drooling over the Steam summer sale and catching up on Sense8 (a truly ridiculous show).

Yesterday I spent most of the afternoon sprawled on my bed, tearing through Naomi Novik's Uprooted like it's my job. I got the sampler booklet at last year's Dragon*Con when I went to see her talk on transitioning from being a fanfic writer to being (also) a pro writer. And proceeded to chicken out of trying to speak to her in person. Lousy move, given that even then I was making plans in the general direction in which I am now more specifically stepping. Of course, if I was aiming to write a novel, my path ahead would be a little bit clearer.

Looking at my June goals, I'm not doing too poorly for being halfway through the month. I completed my [community profile] jukebox_fest assignment, Hail the Hunter, best described as "Florence and the Machine's Girl with One Eye with bonus megalomaniacal dragons", and wrote a whole bunch of Skyrim fanfic. I made good progress on a Collar of the Damned meta essay that's been in the works for about a billion years. I've been blogging steadily.

A little past the halfway mark, June seems to be treating me well.
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
My first proper day of unemployment (actually self-employment, in theory) has been a bit of a whirlwind.

I did some chores and some writing and some slacking off. I made a great big list of my writing goals for June and organized it in a spreadsheet, color-coded. I got some calls about jobs and had to put a fair amount of energy into meeting those demands. Some jobs want to test you before they'll even bother calling you in. I'm used to technical tests being on-site.

Somehow I am trying to balance not hammering the lid on the coffin of my programming career, along with treating the idea of being a full-time writer with the necessary gravity. It's... difficult. The more I talked about the possibility of writing, the less it seemed like an unfortunate fallback for the unemployable dropout, and more like... what I actually want to do. What I've been working towards, knowingly or not, for a decade or more.

But there is always a portion of my brain (and a rather larger portion of my acquaintances) that is pushing for the programming job, because security. Money. Future. Pension. Insurance. Never mind that the weekly schedule of working outside of home leaves me too tired and dispirited to do all the things I love.

*Shrug* For now I am dancing in both weddings as they say. When that starts being compromising, well, I've got more than enough well-wishers ready to lend me advice. And my lease here isn't up, yet, and besides, my apartment in Jerusalem won't be free for a while. Meanwhile it's not like I'm short of unfinished projects to keep me (very) busy.

Such as promising to blog twice a week.

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lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
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