Showing posts from August, 2014

I hab a code.

It's not so bad as all that, really, more just sinus headaches and sore throat and feeling blah. I'm 99.5% sure it's not ebola, at any rate, so that's something we can all celebrate.

I'm working on getting back into my reading list in some depth, so I've reorganized things and made some piles of books so I can see what I have left to do, and I find this is far more motivating than words on a list. Visual stuff for the win. I have a new lamp sitting beside my chair, and it really improves my whole world. Yay for seeing things!

After taking a few days to read secondary material (so much faster) I'm back to reading primary stuff. I have 9 of the 15 primary novels (the longest sources) that I need to read in my possession. The rest I'll end up getting from the library. I have a lot less of the poetry, but that's a much quicker read, and I've got half of the drama. I'm starting on DeFoe's Roxana today after a round each of secondary sources f…

Affordances and Feminism in Games

I'm currently reading James Gibson's The Ecological Approach To Visual Perception, which seems like it would have nothing to do with literature at all -- except you'd be wrong. (It also seems like it'd be boring, but you'd be wrong there too, amazingly enough.) Basically, this book applies early systems theory to visual perception and moves it outside the eye and into the environment in a very painterly, "what sort of things do we actually see and interact with" sort of way. In it, he puts forward the theory of affordances, which is basically that things give us opportunities or possibilities when we interact with them depending on their physical qualities. That sounds simple enough on the surface, but really there's a wealth of applicability there to things beyond just the environment, particularly when it comes to literature.

If we look at literature as an assembly of concepts (setting, characters, plot, genre conventions, objects), then it's in…

Truth to Power, or that sort of thing.

Soapbox time.

So. We're only human, right? And one of the things we hate (as humans) is hearing about when we've fucked up. We get cranky. We get defensive. We get anxious. We feel attacked, and all those panicky feelings shoot us full of adrenaline and we have to react right the fuck now to make them go away.

Heck, I even feel accused looking at the image I uploaded. Um, sorry about that.

But here's the thing -- sometimes we fuck up. And when we mess up in a way that affects someone else, and that's a fairly common thing, it is often the right and proper thing for them to call us on it. Particularly, as it happens, if it's part of a pattern of error, or mistaken beliefs, or bad choices, or just mishandling we don't realize we're doing. It's entirely possible to be wrong and not even realize it, and our friends are doing the right thing if they call us on that, no matter how icky we might feel inside. The right thing to do, in that case, is not to defen…

Rising Waters, Session 6

Song: "Why Don't You Do Right," Carolina Chocolate Drops

(Honestly, the video is so awesome I had to include it, even though I usually just link. Fantastic performance.)

So after the group left Adelphia's lover's house, they went back to the garage to regroup. Uno was determined to go see the winter changelings trapped in cold storage by Mab as punishment and question his counterpart Ymir, the minor Winter Knight. Zeke agreed to go with him, as an angry Uno was not someone you wanted to see out on their own confronting enemies. (That Mab might be annoyed with their interference didn't really come up.)

Dylan was very focused on making his diving bell, and neither Eldi nor Adia wanted to tag along to the cold storage facility so they stayed to "help" Dylan. Viktor got in touch with his contact on the White Council, but she needed more information before she could definitively help identify any monsters in the deeps of the bay other than "Chessie.…

50 posts, yay!

So I managed to make it to 50 posts! While I'm not posting daily, I'm posting semi-regularly, and that's something in and of itself. Today's post, then, is sort of a general update.

1) GenCon is done. We did well (I won't say we made money on the con as a whole), but we offset a decent portion of our expenses. We sold through nearly all the stock we brought -- we might have sold more had we been more ambitious about bringing material, but then we might have had to carry stuff home, too, so it worked out. I had a great time, my kids had a great time, and all is well on that front. And now on to Chill, 3rd Edition. *grin*

2) Classes start today. We got glowing reviews from the summer course I co-taught, so I'm thrilled with that. I've got Latin this afternoon but that's the only class I'm taking -- so long as I can order my books today, I'll be fine.

3) I've got a ton of studying and writing to do. No really. You don't even want to know.


GenCon: The Rest of It, 2014 edition

So I did day 1, and then GenCon happened, so now I'm doing a recap, because seriously. There's not enough time in the world.

Friday: So Friday was a big booth day for me. I spent most of my day there meeting people and selling stuff. Seriously, we had a great booth that had very little downtime for the whole con -- I'm thrilled with the Indie Game Showcase and how successful it was. In the afternoon, I left the booth and went to a panel on "Intro to RPG Design" run by Mark Richardson, whose game Headspace is currently being playtested with an eye to release soonish. Very pretty, I have to say.

Anyway, the panel was well attended and well received. We were able to give some suggestions on moving from idea to design and design to game. I think we may have been too broad in terms of what people might have expected to be covered, but it worked out well and people said they appreciated it.

Following the panel, though, I had to high-tail it over to the JW. We all ate br…

GenCon, Day 1.

So Matt and the boys and I drove out to GenCon on Wednesday, getting here a day ahead of the official start so we could set up the booth and attend Trade Day and represent the Indie Games Showcase! for the con. Getting it set up was the usual mix of Victory! and frustration, so that was about par for the course. I did kiss a guy on the cheek for bringing me a bottle of water, though.

Thursday morning we head over bright and early to finish setting up the booth -- it takes a village and people with more coffee than I'd had, but we get it running, and then I spent most of the day there. Once we had it going... well, we had a really good day.

Thursdays are normally a decent day, but today was crowded like no Thursday I'd seen before. The hall was packed and not just in a huge queue for the one big thing, but in a lot of lines for a lot of cool things, and then also wandering around. The Indie Games Showcase (#1539) is our booth, and by our I mean Indie Game Designers Network, and…

Garden plans!

So, back to the whole getting the grounds at the house fixed up thing.

Once upon a time, this house was owned by people who enjoyed doing garden stuff. I can tell this, because the things they did were really quite expansive and required a decent amount of money to do. Unfortunately, they got old/died/sold off the house, and no one after that has cared quite so much, and now it's over a decade later and I'm excavating the garden, essentially, to find what they did and whether I want to/care to recreate it.

This year, my sons are old enough and big enough to handle and even subversively enjoy some light manual labor stuff. I have therefore put them to work in the garden to help me with some of the heavier lifting. In the last week they're here, I'll have them help me with planting, perhaps -- we'll see, but at least we can get the beds somewhat ready.

So, the first part of my plan has been to scale back my ambitions somewhat: I can't tackle all of the huge bed b…

GenCon Schedule!

Si says hello.

So, for those who would like to find me at GenCon, I'll be working at the IGDN booth most of the time, which is Booth #1539. Come by and say hello!

In addition, I'll be on two panels:

How to Learn RPG Design: Friday August 15th at 4PM-5PM, Crowne Plaza Union Station in room Pennsylvania Station C.

Looking to get into designing RPGs? Curious about what you need to know? This panel will help you get started! Join Jason Pitre and other Independent Game Design Network members to talk about learning what you need to know to work on RPGs!

GMing as Women: Saturday August 16, 10am-11am, in the Crowne Plaza Union Station in room Pennsylvania Station C.

Are you a woman? Do you GM or are you thinking about doing so? This panel of women GMs will answer your questions and help you get a handle on how to deal with GMing challenges, large and small. Come on down!

Please note that both panels are currently sold out, so that means that standing room/sitting on the floor might be a…

Guardians of the Galaxy!

So, I am not a big comic book goob, unless you're talking about the 90s run of Vertigo, and even then not nearly so much as some. I knew vaguely of the Guardians, but much in the same way I knew of the Inhumans, which is to say names and not much more. I went into this movie neither knowing nor caring about it, for the most part -- but it looked fun and my friends and husband were excited, so here we go.

This movie is awesome. Now, I'm a big adherent to the maxim of "It's okay to like problematic things" because, being a geeky woman who specializes in Gothic and 18th-century British Literature, from a 21st-century and personal perspective, nearly everything is problematic. It's not a question of "if," but "how much" and whether whatever it is exceeds its problematic content by enough for me to put it aside. There were some problematic issues in GotG, I can't lie. Every now and then, I'd be going along and totally into it, and then…

Things and stuff

One of the odd things about working with thing theory is how all-encompassing and yet oddly specific the words "thing," "object," and "stuff" suddenly become. Well, maybe not stuff, at least not for formal discussion. And what's worse, everyone who uses them means something slightly different by them, which only makes sense as we're all just sorta making this up as we go. We know there's something there worth talking about, but the vocabulary to talk about it isn't fully formed yet. Latour gets around this by discussing human and non-human actors, but that makes some people squirrelly about evening the playing field between people and objects (even though I like it).

The difficulty, then, in writing about the ways we interact with the things we make (and what effect those things have on us in turn) is that sometimes we can be specific (i.e., what effect does a soccer ball have on the people who interact with it) but sometimes we have to b…

I seem to have lost the talent for blogging

I know there's a thing where you post something that doesn't have to be much at all, and at least it's
there on the blog, without having to be a multi-hundred word entry. I used to be able to do that on LJ -- the stakes were lower somehow. But now I feel like I need to have a substantial entry of note for each thing I post, as though it were a real publication that I need to justify the existence of. After all, if it's not interesting, why publish it?

Which means that there's a lot of weight in that word, "publish," as opposed to just writing something. I'm not just writing (which is an inherently self-directed/absorbed activity), I'm publishing, which means I'm doing this for someone else. I'm not just diarizing, I'm blogging. I'm courting an audience, sort of. I'm creating something outward-facing. It needs to be impressive, thoughtful, funny, meaningful, or somehow otherwise worth the time of random people who might stop by…

Rising Waters, Session 5

Song:One Less Problem (Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea)

The play session started with everyone meeting back at Moe's for lunch after disbursing to their homes for the evening. There was no luck tracking the third ghoul or finding out for sure if the second had been eliminated, though there's no reason to assume it wasn't -- it was a pretty effective method they used, overall.

The problem came when they tried to figure out what to do. Uno was adamant about not contacting Adelphia, but he wasn't sure who he should be talking to either. Dylan was fascinated by that glimpse of something in the deeps of the bay and felt the ghoul attacks were linked to it, and wanted to investigate further. Zeke wanted to make sure the ghoul wasn't heading around hungry. After discussion, Dylan reveals that he wants to make a diving bell go to down and see what's down there in the Bay. The rest of the group is somewhat skeptical, but it's a plan, at least. They decide to split up …