One cool thing

Due to my brother’s gentle peer pressure (in which he described it and said someone should do it for Kapcon and then I said I SHALL DO IT!) I am going to do something like this for Kapcon next year.

Who are you and what’s one cool thing you saw….

And in there was Emily Boss who created the RPGirl magazine that I had an article published in. Which is discussed here in a pod cast. I think it’s about 35 minutes into the podcast.

I am excited to make this video already. I think I shall do one for Day of Games. Because I can’t wait.

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Things I Love Thursday

I am excited about readers and writers week. In addition to the Neil Gaiman town hall talk, which I have had tickets for since last year, I have booked to see Audrey Niffenegger talk and also Neil Gaiman in conversation with Kate De Goldi and Margo Lanagan. That last one is going to be on the nature of children’s books, so should be pretty awesome. Also I will be meeting up with lovely friends afterwards.

Doing stuff! That’s nice and vague. Let’s clarify a little: saw two movies at the cinema this week, love doing that (Valentines Day and Sherlock Holmes again), went to see Lee’s play with a heap of friends and had a grand time, hung out with J on Tuesday, drove up Mt Vic look out and then went to the mall, dinner with heaps of friends that night too and coffee after. Lunch with friends plus people coming over to watch movies. I like my friends, I like going out and doing stuff. Say yes more!

I also love NOT doing stuff. In moderation, there’s nothing like a day where you have nothing planned, you don’t have anything you have to achieve and you can just lie on the couch all day watching DVDs or reading or napping. Bliss.

The company of men. Lately I’ve really been enjoying hanging out with my guy friends. This might be more to the nature of the particular boys who are in my life, rather than an indication that boys are fun in general but either way, I like boys. Not to say I don’t enjoy the company of my female friends, but I think I’m seeing more of my guy friends than previously and I like it.

Although I have been slack about it, I have been doing work on my Radical Self Love bible and I have to say that it’s making me feel pretty darn awesome. Talking about this stuff and then playing with writing it down. I got the idea to make a page for each of my big five (three or maybe four) for life and then write all the ways I can work towards each goal. It just occurred to me that I should also write lists of all the things I have already done that celebrate my best possible me as well. That will be nice.

I highly recommend this project by the way, even if you just get a notebook and do some of the easier exercises in it. Everyone needs to remind themselves of how awesome they are. Click on the picture above to get all of Gala’s posts on RSL including the homework assignments.

Honourable Mentions: sunshine, bare feet, going to the movies with 15 minutes notice, eating at Sweet Mother’s Kitchen (esp baby back ribs), The Yes Man by Danny Wallace, house guests, drinks with friends, planning weekends away, looking forward to roleplaying, clean sheets, darling husbands, home made pizza base with yummy toppings and other people saying nice things.

Please add your own list of thankfulness below, we had lots of them last week, let’s try and beat that record!

Writing Wednesday

I took yesterday off writing to spend time with a friend about to go back to London for a year. It was so worth it. We drove up to Mt Vic lookout and then went to the mall. While driving and malling and looking out we talked about various things, including writing. He let me blather on a bit about Rain and what the major themes are and somewhere in that conversation some things clarified for me. It was awesome, and it meant I had no trouble with motivation today.

I did a chapter’s worth of revision, taking me up to page 42 in the manuscript. Then I went back and broke up chapter 1 in one of the places Debs suggested. She has also suggested that I lose much of chapter 2, so I am going to read that again because I think she’s very right. I just don’t want to delete it all because there’s some good moments I might want to cannibalise for later in the book.

I also did some work on my RPG project, the fancy, sellable version of The Silver Kiss of the Magical Twilight of the Full Moon. Steve has given me a number of brilliant suggestions on making that more awesome, so my edit is well guided. I want to get this done so I can send it to my artists (hee!) and they can get started on some doodles for it. Ultimate goal for this is to sell it online as a PDF for a couple of dollars, so watch this space!

Now I think it is time to bake myself in the afternoon sunshine.

Hearty, beefy and delicious writing linky:

A rather lovely little bit of encouragement.

Forget multi-tasking. Could monofocus be the true power of the human mind? (Actually my own experience of turning off the internet to get writing done illustrates this perfectly.)

Loving this article about the word ‘said’. This is something that I pat a lot of attention to in my own writing and therefore agonise over.

Writers describe the positive effect of D&D on their writing from Boing Boing. I haven’t watched the video on that one yet.

This makes me sad, but it also makes me more motivated to keep writing stories about women! Three males to every female character.

“Difference between the right word & wrong word is same as the difference between lighting & a lightning bug.”
– Mark Twain

The Black Hart of Camelot

I played this last Saturday and I’ve been mulling over the experience since then. It’s taken me this long to seperate my emotional experience from a subjective look at the game.

It’s hard for me to say when I didn’t have a good time. In part this is ‘if you can’t say anything nice…’ but in part this is because I worry that I will look like a whiner, or I will insult the people who I gamed with, or the Lovely Scott who ran the game, or the people who wrote the game, if they should find this blog. I don’t want to upset anyone.

But I didn’t have a good time playing Black Hart of Camelot. Overall, that is. There were lots of good things about the game, such as in character moments, the lovely setting Scott, Luke and Sam arranged for us, the effort everyone had put into costuming and the atmospheric weather.

I couldn’t put my finger on why not for a few days. I put it down to having a cold, and therefore feeling fragile when people called me ‘whore’ before and after the game. (In a loving, caring, smack-talk way). I guessed it was maybe because I am over the emo-love thing, and the game for me was about agonising over not being with the person I loved. All my friends who played the game had a brilliant time, after all, so if my experience of it wasn’t the best then it must be my problem.

I also know that I had difficultly getting into character at first. There are so many stories about Guinevere, I didn’t know which would be appropriate to mimic. I also am unsure about the court etiquette and whether I should stand when Arthur did, etc. This is largely my own fault, and could have been solved with more research. I am usually pretty good about immersing myself in characters quickly, so I felt wrong footed to start with.

I had a revelation a couple of days later. Guinevere was isolated. Almost completely. Unlike everyone else in the game who had at least one person they could completely trust I had no one. I’m going to dive into spoiler territory here, so if you haven’t played the game and wish to you should stop reading now.

Guinevere had Arthur of course. But she was betraying him, and feeling awful about it. He also had the power to have her killed, in fact, he would have to if the betrayal got out (so I thought.) Besides that, King Arthur was run off his feet with the number of people who wanted to speak to him. This means that he had almost no time to spend with me.
There was Lancelot, whom I knew cared for me deeply. However, Arthur asked us not to be seen together, to keep up appearances. Lancelot was therefore largely absent from me, and I got to watch him have long conversations with Elaine, whom I knew wanted to make him her king.
My family was there, but I did not feel I could confide in them entirely. My sister Guineth appeared to be all sweetness and light, but she was secretly plotting my downfall and ended up betrothed to Mordred. (ew, by the way. I’m going to be his step-mother/sister-in-law?)
My father appeared to be concerned about me but was actually possessed by a demon.

Most of the other characters either had no need or wish to speak to me or were actively avoiding me because they knew of my adultery.

It turns out that LARPing is less fun when you don’t have people to talk to. Now, for all I know, the character of Guinevere is written in exactly this way to create a feeling of isolation in the player. Or it could have been just the way our particular run of it worked out. Lancelot discovered early in the game that people knew about our affair and he was terrified of the consequences. We agreed to speak to Arthur early in the game and come clean. If we hadn’t done this, perhaps the game would have been different.
I’d love to hear from the previous player of Guinevere, as depending on events within the game, the isolation may not have happened to the same extent.

I don’t regret playing in Black Hart of Camelot. I am a bit scared to post this, because it seems so negative, but at the same time I should express my experience of the game.

The GM and the other players did a fantastic job. I especially want to thank Bryn, Norm, Sophie, Jackie and Donna. It was in many ways, an excellent game. I’m especially pleased that I pursued something that wasn’t a specified goal (do something about my inability to grow pregnant) and Nimue’s gift was determined by the GM to have worked. So, rather than cause Camelot’s downfall, I have actually strengthened it. I’m going to focus on that for my experience of Camelot.

Fall actual play – ‘Reaching my limits part 1’

Alex is trying to do everything: keep her action plan going, keep her parents happy, patrolling. She’s surviving on three hours sleep or so a night.

Friday at school. Green goo covers the field where the monster burst out. Everyone seems to think that Darius did it and is giving him a wide berth in the hallways. People go silent as he walks by and then start whispering once he’s past. Darius is enjoying this. In the cafeteria the jocks aren’t even making eye contact with him, he gets his own table again. Calvin joins him.

C: Have you seen Megan?
D: No. Why?
C: She said something weird to me last night.
D: what did she say?
C: I…just think she got the wrong idea about something…
D: That does happen with us quite a lot.

Alex sits down next Darius with a massive pile of books.
A: It’s been ages since we went to The Limit. We should go there, like tonight.
D: Sounds good.
C: Yeah, I’m in.

Alex goes to the library to work on her essays, grabbing an apple on the way out.

D: I kinda hope they do bail me up in the hallway because then I could have an excuse.
C: sounds like you need to go killing vampires, it’s a good way to vent.
D: yeah, maybe.
Continue reading

Things I Love Thursday

I’m pretty sick of being sick. This Thursday I am especially thankful for Buffy on DVD, codral, hot lemon barley drinks, blankies, sleeping, hot baths and aloe vera tissues.

This rather meta/universal subconscious dream that Morgue had.

Uglies movie is happening! I ❤ those books, and I'm keen to see how they make them into a movie.

I’ve been enjoying the Radical Self Love stuff that Gala’s been linking to and I’m looking forward to completing the latest set of homework. My RSL journal is filling slowly, mostly due to the cold I’ve got and the business of my week.

Roleplaying is awesome right now. Thanks to the Wellington contingent of NZLARPS we have been rich in the live games, besides that I had my Tuesday night game this week (Call of Cthulhu is too scary for me, but it was fun) and another ep of Fall last night (update tomorrow, it’s a good ‘un.) I am enjoying pretending to be other people.

Honourable Mentions: Zombieland, chicken tenders, fries, Noodle Canteen, Yeah I’m still obsessed with Noodle Canteen. In fact, I don’t think I’ve moved on much since last week’s one, because I also want to mention quilting my T shirt quilt, youtube videos, good books, my friends and my husband.

Please share your own list below:

writing Wednesday

In my editing of Rain I have noticed that my first chapter is long: it has a lot of world building and action in it, plus introduces all the main characters and gives them motivations. This is all well and good except, well, it’s long. My other chapters are all pretty short and to the point. Is this a bad thing? Should I break up chapter one and make it more bite sized, or is it OK to get all that drama done with and move on?
Your thoughts are welcome.

I’ve struggled to get as much done as I wanted to on editing this week, battling this minor-but-persistent cold. I’ve just finished doing chapter 6, which means I’m on page 28 (A4) sized. I’ve found a couple of lines that I’ve really enjoyed and I’m liking the characterisations now that I know more about them. Still positive about the manuscript, even if I’m finding it hard to think straight with the cold brain.

Mini linky…. a good article of
formatting tips
for digital articles.

Not about writing but about the importance of writing…Neil Gaiman’s article on free speech is worthwhile.