Things I Love Thursday

jennitalula reading at the launch

Book launch. It really was amazing to have that happen, something I’ve always dreamed about. Awesome. Achieving dreams for the win!

Vines can be awesome. Check it: Batdad.

Public Holidays and the short weeks they create and also having Bryn to watch Downton Abbey with.

jennitalula newt

Halloween is awesome and I love costumes. I went with Newt Geiszler from Pacific Rim this year.

Honourable Mentions: Candy! Halloween cookies! movies! Sleeping, visiting my parents up the coast, going to see awesome movies (Prisoners and About Time) and eating ice cream.

Writing Wednesday

Book Launch!

I had a book launch!

The creepy child short story anthology I have two stories in had it’s Wellington launch today at the Quality Hotel. Four of us read out stories, and I was one of them. I was kind of nervous, it’s been a while since I read in front of people.

However everyone was very lovely and the other readings were fantastic so that gave me courage. I read my shorter story, the strange fantasy about a little boy looking for the end of the rainbow and people clapped and afterwards said it was good, which was very encouraging.

There’s something magical about people asking you to sign a book, because you have stuff printed inside of it! Magical. I think I’m a real author now? I think? Heh.

The turnout for the launch was really good, too, lots of people and warm conversation and yeah. It was a success!

You can order a copy here, if you wish to.

Things I Love Thursday

Roleplaying Fright Night on Saturday was excellent fun – and also I have been having a twitter rp experience inspired by a comment I made about Wolf Among Us and we seem to have drawn in another player and it’s making me really, stupidly happy every time I get a reply.

Wolf Among Us It’s been a while since I had a video game which sucked me in like this, but this episodic mystery based on the Fables comics by Bill Willingham is freaking amazing. I love it. It changes based on your choices, so I started playing the first ep again using the nicest possible choices to see what is different.

Sunshiney days and fresh laundry. This was my weekend. I washed sheets, clothes, quilts and duvet cover, and set my duvet out on the line too to be aired and sunbaked. Everything smelt so freaking good when I brought it back in. Ellen laughed when she saw me sniffing a quilt but she saw why when I convinced her to sniff it as well. So… so good.

Music!
So there’s this social media music website This is my jam and through that I can see what my other friends who are on there are listening to. And because of that I’ve found She & Him which is Zooey Deschanel’s band. They do the cutest videos and their music is all sixties style love songs and I love them. (Also I just realised that they gender swapped their version of “Baby, it’s cold outside” which means it’s the man trying to demur and the woman being suave and seductive, and I find that neat.)

She & Him ~ I could’ve been your girl

Also I just started listening to The Creepshow who do a similar style of song but all about horror and they’re amazing too.

Honourable Mentions: Humans of New York still, always, making CD compilations for other people, watching good TV, the fact that people actually said my flatties and my Jurassic Park video was funny, awesome new literary t shirts, forward planning for Christmas presents, craft and sleep.

Also… a bit of schadenfreude (I’d be exactly the same in this situation, which is why I don’t go to these kinds of things)

And a little reminder for all my lovely friends and readers:

Jurassic Park

My flat is awesome.

We watched Jurassic Park and then we were making jokes and suddenly the plan to remake it with my lego minifigures and various toys from around the house became real. We made up a script, Ellen did excellent casting work with my minifigs collection and we set up on the dining room table with my handicam and made a film.

This is the result of about an hour’s filming and several hours of editing. (My sincere apologies for the sound blowing out during the dinosaur attacks, we’ll do better next time, we just got really excited!)

Ellen as Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Samuel L Jackson, various dinosaurs
Blair as the T Rex, sick triceratops, Hammond and Nedry
Jenni as female scientist, Jeff Goldblum, children and random hissing

The script was collaborative, I did the filming and editing. The title cards are by Blair as is the music from garage band.

The Lagoon is full of sharks

A few weeks ago this happened on a Friday. I wasn’t sure immediately what it was for, but it turned out to be Greenpeace raising awareness of how shark finning is still legal in New Zealand and gathering signatures for a petition.


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It looks awesome, but shark finnning is a serious thing… the whole industry is corrupt and horribly cruel to sharks. I love sharks. You can read more about it at the forest and bird website here.

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Things I Love Thursday

Kaiju!

kaiju jennitalula

Birthdays: I didn’t get as super excited about my birthday as I normally do, for a variety of reasons. But I still had a lovely few days of people hanging out with me, giving me things and something like 100 people wishing me happy birthday on Facebook. It’s a good way to be reminded that you have friends who love you, that’s for sure!

World That Is: I didn’t really know how this session would work, knowing only that I was starting in a position of being relatively screwed, but it went really well. Lots of opportunities to glare at people, deepen some connections and generally have a lot of fun. It really wiped me out though, I couldn’t believe how exhausted I was on Sunday.

Awesome outfits: I dunno. I don’t often care too much about what I put on because I hate being uncomfortable/cold at work, and I sit down all day which for me rules out a bunch of outfits, but I do get a special thrill when I feel like I look extra cool or dapper or something. I had this on the weekend as Drake, and I had it again yesterday where I sort of accidentally cosplayed Cecil…

jennitalula cecil

Honourable Mentions: good TV, lovely flatmates, lego minifigures, Disney movies, weather warming up so I don’t need to wear so many layers and washing gets drier faster and I like hot chocolate as well. Yes.

House of the Rising Sun played with Tesla Coils

and Lavinia by The Veils

Larp vs Tabletop

Here’s the thing. I love to LARP but I find it too limiting.

If I want to play a man in a table top game, I can do it. It’s not a big deal, most of my friends expect it now, even. But I’m not limited, I can play my characters male or female, depending on what I get the best feel for as I’m creating them. I can play a teenage girl, an angelic male, a ridiculously tall, buff guy or an older woman whose had several children. Or, y’know, a bunny or time lord or a monster with three heads, no worries.

When it comes to LARP though, we are all limited by how we look. Especially when we’re playing with people we know.

Here’s the thing, you can do a lot with make up, and prosthetic but there’s a real barrier when it comes to people’s perception of you… which is aided by your physicality.

For example, if a player is physically taller and stronger than me, I cannot expect to be able to push them around in game. Being me, there are a lot of people who are taller and stronger than I am, it’s just a fact of life. But it can be very limiting in a larp. Because if I decide I want to play someone physically intimidating it’s very hard. I can dress to look tough/scary/bad ass… but at the end of the day if I’m shorter and smaller than you, you’re not going to be so worried if I start threatening you. Someone bigger can use their physicality better than I can and be more intimidating.

Character and reputation do come into it though. My best example is my character Drake in The World That Is. Using Han Solo as my base inspiration, my other character homages are Mal Reynolds and Capt Jack Harkness. Notice a theme? It’s tough to find characters who have the same kind of swag, devil may care, roguish charm and are women. And I had no particular desire to try and find them, because those three characters were all I needed.

But when it comes to costuming I can’t get past the way my body’s built, or how my voice sounds. I can use a slightly lower register, but when I’m panicked I’m gonna go back to shrieking.

It’s a pain. And a couple of times I have played a boy with varying degrees of success. A couple of times I’ve been asked before the game starts if I’m playing a boy or a girl by the other players. It’s tough, it really is, and I don’t think there’s an easy answer.. especially for the look I want for Drake. I can’t really put on a beard or stubble without losing some of the style I was after.

I dunno. It’s hard, and there’s no easy answers. But to sum up, this is why I’ll never go down to just LARP. In tabletop I can be anyone.