Saturday night, Dre (Andrea) hosted up a nice sex toy company-sponsored party that I attended. Hilariously enough, I think I was the most knowledgeable there, although it was my first time seeing certain kinds of vibrators in person (ones with rotating beads and swiveling heads). I disapproved of some of the products being sold–muscle relaxants, vaginal tighteners, and desensitizers–but out of safety concerns. The rest of the stuff was pretty cool.
Anyway, the party was a blast; Dre seemed worried at the small turnout, but I thought it was great, and her sister was a trip. There was that moment, though… that moment where someone was telling a story or expressing disbelief or seemed confused and I chirped up with what little I knew on the topic, where I was put in the Box. The Nerdy Girl Box. Where I’m suddenly “smart” and other people feel dumb in my presence. Where people feel the need to apologize for liking things they think I think are dumb, like music that doesn’t say much, but has a good beat. Where I’m suddenly not-human and incapable of having fun like other people do. Where people–even relative strangers–seem to feel a need to talk more “proper” in my presence.
*thuds head into wall repeatedly*
This is something I’ve fought for years, especially with cousins and often with other buddies. There are some groups with which it’s not much of a problem at all: these are usually people that know me really well. It happens most often, I think, when I’m with people who suspect I’m not a part of their culture, because I don’t quite fit in, no matter how much I believe I span multiple cultures.
NaNoWriMo is done. I didn’t get 50k words, but I learned a hell of a lot about writing. I’m continuing the story for NaNoFiMo.
My biggest problem was not having a plan at all when I started. I dreamt up characters, kept sparse notes, and plugged away… for about 22k words. As I approached the climax of the story (too soon, at that!), I was having to devote too much mental energy to figuring out what would happen when I wanted to be devoting energy to skillfully delivering that climax.
Um… that crisis, I mean. Yeah.
To make things worse, there isn’t really a good subplot to add complexity and build tension, beyond some background romance. The story had sluggishly climbed towards its current point, and once I ran out of steam, I sort of just starting moving characters around, making the story scatter even more.
I moved my story from MS Word to LyX (after moving from Google Docs to MS Word two nights ago after hours of flaky Internet), and my word count increased by 4%-ish. That’s worrying, because I can’t find what’s making it increase. In fact, it seems to be counting fewer things as words than Word did.
LyX is rather hot. The PDF output of my story (in the “book” document class) is hot. It looks like a book. 🙂 Plus, near-plain text is sexy, and there are fewer things for me to distract myself with in LyX. Fewer buttons and animated things.
If I need a distraction, though, there are always short blog posts about writing and the NaNoWriMo forums, which are hopping right about now.
In other news, I’m taking WO to the airport in a couple of hours, and then I get the house to myself until Friday. Aside from the obligatory male stripper party, what’s a woman to do at home all alone?
I just realized that I totally screwed myself over when my characters start interacting with my aliens in my story. I’ve made the aliens so different that writing dialogue is going to slow down my story progress to a crawl. Oi. (I just couldn’t resist the idea of aliens with a real sense of time, far beyond humans’ usual linear sense of it. Too bad that fucks up sentence tenses royally.)
Oy. If I can keep this up for eight more days, I’ll win NaNoWriMo in time for classes to resume. Lessons learned today:
Having two female protagonists in a lot of scenes together results in a problem: you can’t use pronouns as freely as you would otherwise. “She watched her…” just doesn’t work very well. Growl.
It’s hard to know when to leave out a scene and how to properly make sure the important information gets known to the reader later. There’s a tendency to want to write out every little scene for word count purposes, but that just slows the plot down to a crawl.
Microsoft Word’s Autosummarize feature will fuck up a conversation-heavy story. The result is hilarious. I’ve included a 500-word “summary” of my story below the fold. Emote! Emote! I suspect this is the result of a serious imbalance in my sentence structure. Too many conversations are in the format of <so-and-so emotes> <so-and-so says> “<quote>”.
Now I get to read, sleep, and start with another 5000 words in the morning. If I can get up before noon. Keep reading >>
So we’ve been working on Exploit: Zero Day for a couple of years now, but I haven’t talked nearly enough about it here. It’s a web-based cyberthriller puzzle game where you play as a hacktivist, uncovering and battling against oppression and exploitation.
*innocent whistle* Totally not the sort of game I’d want to make or play, no…
It’s been in closed alpha for a while, but we’re ready to offer a prelude season of paid story: “Headless Swarm”. For details on the plotline and how it relates to the continued free alpha access, check out the announcement blog post over at FPG.
I visited uptown Charlotte tonight, amidst the current protests and unrest after Keith Scott’s death. My friend and I had a few tidbits of info on where people were meeting, but nothing concrete, so we wandered along several streets.
In areas where people weren’t protesting, businesses were closed, and the streets were unusually silent for 20:30 on a Friday night. Troops stood in clumps of three on corners, waving or saying hello when you passed them. The occasional humvee or police SUV drove by.
Things were more lively at the Omni Hotel, where folks had covered the sidewalk in chalk. There were lots of media there: it was clearly an “allowed”, acceptable, media-consumable gathering. I’d maybe characterize it as a space for quieter expression of grief, although it was criticized by another gathering as essentially being for the white people. The writings were names of people killed and sayings that many of us are familiar with: “hands up don’t shoot”, “when will we have justice?”, etc. Religious figures were around, praying with people.
Further down Trade St., past the bus station, a group had gathered in front of some government building. My friend and I stayed there for a while. They were chanting “I am my brother’s’ keeper!” and folks were stepping up to share their perspectives. Four National Guards and a cop stood between the crowd and the building (with the aid of crowd control barriers), utterly stoic when the crowd shouted questions at them.
Folks probably know that I make video games as part of Future Proof Games, but maybe not what we’re doing at the moment. Many, many (many) years ago, Gregory made “(I Fell in Love With) The Majesty of Colors”, a very sweet Flash game about balloons and drowning.
As the site stats geek for FPG, I can tell you “Majesty” remains pretty damned popular. (Hell, it just got linked by Buzzfeed a few days ago.) It’s an evocative game that continues to appeal to folks wanting to explore the soft feelings of a big, weird, sessile alien. Problem is, Flash is finally actually dying — no phone/tablet can run it, and some browser configurations require user action before it’ll run Flash.
So we’re bringing “Majesty” to modern devices: Android, iOS, and Windows/OSX/Linux. And holy crap, this game feels great on a phone; moving the tentacle with your finger just feels real in a way that the tiny, mouse-controlled Flash version doesn’t. I’m excited to test it on tablets.
One of the first pictures taken of my newly-dyed locs.
I did it! I’ve had locs twice now, for a total of almost five years, and each time I’ve gone, “I should be bold and dye my hair!”
But it’s very permanent, especially since my natural hair color likely needs to be lightened for color to show much. Plus, lightening hair can be damaging. Last thing I want is to have my locs falling out. I’ve literally spent years growing these things; I’m not ashamed to say I’m a little attached to them, even if I don’t name them or count them.
But finally, with the aid of recommendations from friends and family on a beautician, I got my hair did.
Ossuary—Future Proof’s first commercial game release—is part of the Steam Summer Sale and will be 25% off until July 4. If you haven’t had a chance to play yet, it’s only $7.50 (USD). If you’re on the fence, the demo, “The Hodge-Podge Transformer,” is also on Steam.
It’s been on Steam for a year and a month now, and it’s been a fascinating experience. After watching a few Let’s Plays of Ossuary and “Hodge-Podge,” we released an update in December to improve the tutorial experience and solve some colorblindness issues.
Our current work in progress is Exploit: Zero Day, a cyberthriller where you roleplay a hacktivist by making and solving puzzles. It’s pretty cool, and our alpha players are making really friggin’ awesome puzzles and stories. If you want in, hop on the monthly mailing list and you’ll get a key in the next newsletter.
After coffee with a yogi friend, I was inspired to start climbing back on the yoga horse. Most yoga studios in my area only have Saturday morning classes, so I had very few options for something in the afternoon.
Whatever. I was feeling brave. I signed up for an all-levels Vinyasa hot class at a studio I’d never been to. Ninety minutes.