• Project Update – May 2024

    Is it the start of June already? Things felt like they really flew by this month!

    So, let’s just jump into all of it, shall we?

    Far North

    • Another 12k words added! This brings the total word count to 44k words and around 62 un-formatted pages. For all you stat nerds, that average out to roughly 400 words every day, if I wrote for 30 days. I usually write about 21 days out of the month, so that’s almost 600 words a day for the days that I write. Not bad, I think!
    • I think we’re officially at the half-way point. Maybe. I’ve gotten a little off the timeline lately, so it’s difficult to be sure.
    • No other major updates. Things continue to move along!

    Greenhouse Museum/Nosia Archives

    • This month didn’t see a lot getting done in Greenhouse. There’s editing to do but it took a pretty hefty backseat to other projects. We’re still on track for an August release, but that may change with how much more editing needs to be done!
    • There are still three more parts to go in the Greenhouse Museum series, fyi! They’ll be rolling out over the next few months, so keep your eye out for it.
    • As for Nosia, this is another spot where writing slowed down a bit. I’ve been writing prequel material, basically — backstories for the characters. The thing is…I’m not really sure if this is going to make it into the content I release. So I’m feeling the urge to scramble, scrap plans, and rewrite a bunch of stuff. We’ll see what happens. More updates once I gather my thoughts and settle on the direction I want to take things.

    Exploring Spirit

    • Ok, so, this is the other place I spent a lot of time in this month. A lot of writing went into getting the first part of the Vivekananda series together. All told…I’m still not sure how long this will end up being. So far I have three parts planned: birth through college, his time with Ramakrishna, and then his travels in India after Ramakrishna’s death. That’s still only about half the story, so I would anticipate another two sections or so to get to the end of his life.
    • I finally found a copy of the book I had been looking for! This should greatly help the research side of things and allow me to better present a balanced perspective.
    • As for a post-Vivekananda palate cleanser, I’ve decided we’ll do a little stream about Doreen Virtue’s Earth Angels: a pocket guide for incarnated angels, elementals, starpeople, walk-ins, and wizards. Why a stream? This book contains a little quiz in it that I thought would be fun to do together. So, if you’re interested in a silly little fun time, be on the lookout for that! Whenever we wrap up with Vivekananda I’ll announce a date for that stream!

    Streaming/Vibe Checks

    A four-block schedule announcement for the upcoming 12 Streams of Summer. All start times are 1830 Eastern, 1530 Pacific. June 9 -11 is the LEGO Botanical Tiny Plant Collection build. June 12 - 13 is a series of random cozy games from itch.io. June 14 - 16 chat will play King of the Castle. And lastly June 17 - 20 will be dedicated to play Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood.
    12 Streams of Summer announcement for streams from June 9 through June 20
    • It’s almost time for the 12 Streams of Summer! This is a (kind of new) event I’ll be doing every summer just before midsummer. Much like the 12 Streams of Winter, we’ll spend 12 nights together doing the various things our community enjoys. Some building, some chat plays, and as always narrative driven games! Come hang out with us, try to unseat me from my throne, and let’s have some fun!
    • I did a random Vibe Check this month since it’d been so long without one. Mostly it’s looking back at Palia and looking into the news around Sunnyside and Paralives. Unfortunately, because Sunnyside was delayed until the middle of June, we wont be playing it right away. We’ll likely get to it after my summer vacation though!
    • Lastly, summer vacation! After the 12 Stream series, I usually take a few weeks off from work to just relax and reset. This time around I’ll be off from June 21 until July 7. Then we’ll be back to our regular schedule…with maybe some additional daytime streams thrown in.

    That’s it for the month! Now I’m going to go spend some time in the garden. If you’re not following me over on Mastodon, you maybe don’t know about all the garden updates I post over there. We just harvested the first round of spinach and basil the other night, we’ve got tomatoes on the way, and the mint has been a delight in our drinks for a few weeks now. Come say hi!

    As always, stay safe and sane! <3

  • Project Update – April 2024

    Happy Beltane! To be honest, despite having done a pre-summer cleaning around our apartment, I had completely forgotten about any celebrations. This is usually the time of year when we begin looking at the hurricane forecast and start wondering just when we’ll see storms pop up. Lets hope we don’t have to bust into our rations this year!
    Also, since this will be going out on May 1st, Happy May Labor Day! I know for the US it isn’t Labor Day (though it ought to be), but for much of the rest of the world it’s officially Labor Day. Given how much I support unionization efforts, I think it’s important to remember that without labor organizers efforts on May Day we wouldn’t have the luxury of 8-hour work days and 5-day work weeks — let alone the ability to organize. So, take it easy at work today if you can.

    Let’s get into some updates, shall we?

    Far North

    • This month I added 12k words and 16 pages to the draft. That brings the total to 32k words and 46 pages. I am…shocked, to be honest! There are always days where the writing feels slow or where research seems to eat up most of the time — so it’s rewarding to see just how much work was actually done overall.
    • Surprising thing from this month: unexpected world building. Just some interesting developments in terms of other nations, other cultures, and other hidden societies around the world. I hope that it paints a more believable and living world for readers to enjoy speculating about.
    • Overall, I would say that I’m maybe a quarter of the way through the outline I’ve made? It genuinely feels like I’m not making much progress in terms of tackling the plan, but at the same time moments of discovery about this world and the characters keep showing up. I suspect this book will be longer than Book One and also require a great deal more editing time.

    Greenhouse Museum/Nosia Archives

    • Doing some editing on Greenhouse Museum. Nothing story changing by any means, at least not yet, just fixing errors that made their way into the blog version. It happens.
    • Nosia has had a lot of world and character building done this month. Some writing too, but honestly nothing to really talk about at the moment. We’ve got some interesting places to discover, a few tragic pasts to work through, and a gilded cage to bust out of.

    Exploring Spirit

    • Phew. Just, phew. I have more than enough material for a part one on Vivekananda — from birth to when he traveled to the US. While my notes are finally organized for it, and I plan on beginning writing it this next month, I wouldn’t expect anything final until June.
    • Much like with Mary Eddy, this Vivekananda series will be broken into two parts. I’m still looking for a source — Swami Vivekananda in the West by Chattopadhyaya, Rajagopal — to help me get another perspective on the topic. Rajagopal’s work on Vivekananda’s history in India was incredibly helpful in piecing together the left-out parts from Nikhilananda’s biography. So, if you happen to come across Swami Vivekananda in the West somewhere, let me know so I can see if maybe my local library will grab a copy for me!
    • After that, I think we might take a brief detour into a more modern Christian Scientist: Doreen Virtue. We spoke about her briefly during the Crystal Children discussion we had almost a year ago, so I figured it was time to revisit it with our new perspective into the New Age and Christian Science belief systems. Not sure where I want to begin, but I’ll pick one of her books to work through and — who knows — we might even do a little stream about it! Will definitely keep you updated when a plan comes together!

    Streaming/Vibe Checks

    • First off, just wanted to take a second and say thank you to everyone who has come by the stream lately! I’m one follower away from hitting 100 followers. I know that seems like a very low goal to be celebrating, but to me it’s really big.
    • We have our 12-Streams of Summer coming up soon too! In June, just before the solstice, I’ll be on every night for two hours doing the various things we love to do. We’ve got LEGOs, random games, a new story to check out, and just general fun times to look forward to. Hope you’ll be able to stop by!
    • Also, Vibe Checks…I know it’s been a hot minute since I’ve written one. Some updates on that front:
      • Life by You was postponed until June of this year. This is why I haven’t already done a review of that. Admittedly, I haven’t kept up on why they delayed the release. I can only hope it’s to put out a game they’re proud of.
      • Sunnyside will be released in May! There is still no information (that I can find easily) on what the retail launch price will be. Once it’s available (and maybe had an initial bug patch), I’ll be in the weeds playing it for the review!
      • Still no release date for the following:
        • Love, Ghostie (says 2024)
        • Witchbrook (says ‘Coming Soon’)
        • Paralives (says 2025)
    • If there are other games you’d like me to do a Vibe Check on, let me know! Given that we’re about to wrap up the Wadjet Eye Humble Bundle, I’m tempted to do a Vibe Check on those games. It would definitely look a lot different from past Vibe Checks on cozy games, but it could be fun! Let me know what you think!

    Overall, I think that’s it for the month. Some solid progress, a few ideas for the future.

    Stay safe and sane out there! See you next month!

  • Project Update – March 2024

    This is more a mid-month of March update rather than a full month recap. Still, it’s good to try and have a regular schedule.

    Far North

    • We’re now at 20k words and 30 pages for this draft of Book Two! I’m still only about 1/4th of the way through the plan (maybe less, tbh), so I wouldn’t expect it to be done anytime soon. Plus, there’s got to be plenty of room for the unexpected moments to happen…like the one I wrote today.
    • That’s probably going to be it for updates on Far North for awhile, a word and page count. Maybe quick little bits about surprising things. If you were around for Book One, you’ll remember what the updates on BuyMeACoffee used to look like.

    Greenhouse Museum/Nosia Archives

    • The Greenhouse Museum Complete Collection edition is all assembled into a document, waiting for some finishing touches and an export. I’m currently writing the story of how the uh…story…came to be. Why? I don’t know, it seemed like a nice little extra to include.
    • Just so you know, the part 3 posts are scheduled out through August! Once a month, on the first Wednesday of the month, you can enjoy a new part of the story.
    • After that…there will be new stories from Nosia Archive to enjoy! Think I’ve hyped this up enough in the past, so I’ll refrain from doing so right now.
    • I will say that I finally have some good momentum on the planning front. Got several rough outlines down for a couple of the characters. This series may be slow going, as a fair warning. I would definitely think about it more like your favorite web comic/fan fic than something finished. Once things get underway, we’ll find an upload cadence that works for the project.

    Exploring Spirit

    • This month the last of the Christian Science articles goes live! Again, I want to reiterate, this one does carry a content warning. While I don’t go into graphic detail about the warned content, I just don’t want anyone to be too surprised by it. They’ve truly done some depraved shit, in my opinion.
    • As for Vivekananda, there is a non-zero chance that I spend some time writing out a part one that focuses on his early life and time with Ramakrishna. There’s a lot to unpack there already, to be honest, and I think that would make for a pretty self-contained article. Will update you next month on if you can expect that or not!

    Streaming

    • It’s going to be a pretty full month! We’re back to our regular schedule and have two FF Fridays planned: April 12th and April 26th. This is pretty much going to solely be focused on the MSQ and treating it as much like a regular JRPG as possible. For the story and all.
    • We’re also, slowly, working our way towards finishing the Wadjet Eye Bundle. It took…years, at this point, but we’re down to two games left. We’re playing Resonance now and still have Unavowed to play. Once both Old Skies and Nighthawks get a release date, you better believe we’ll play it!
    • This *may* be the month we finally get around the simulcasting over on Owncast. I don’t want to promise too much though. My GPU has been having some weird issues that I’m still in the process of diagnosing. Once we get that settled and hopefully sorted, then we’ll work on Owncasting.
    • Outside of that, our ACHA fundraiser is still going! No new updates there, we’re still at $125/$500. We’ve still got plenty of time and I really appreciate those that have donated so far. Got something I’m cooking up for over there, so if you’ve donated, keep an eye on it! If you’d like to donate, or know someone who might, please send them over to our page: https://support.achaheart.org/fundraiser/5237326

    That’s it for this mid-month update! Stay safe and sane, I’ll see you on the other side of April the Fool Month!

  • Project Update – Feb 2024

    Phew. Sorry this is already two weeks later than I had wanted it to be, everyone.

    To keep it brief, towards the end of February, we had some unexpected health stuff crop up. Then in the first real week of March, we had some planned health stuff. As of right now, we’re mostly alright and on the road to recovery.

    Thanks for being patient <3

    Far North

    • Did you know that Far North: Running is released?! It’s true! You can find out where to read it (or purchase it) on the Novels page.
    • Book Two is now at 14k words and 20 pages! Can you believe it? I’m kind of shocked, truth be told. I am barely through the first few potential chapters at this point and I know there’s so much room for improvement upon first edit. This is sort of my way of telling you that Book Two might be a lot longer than Running is.

    Greenhouse Museum

    • Another ‘can you believe it?’ moment — all of the Part 3 stories are finished and ready to be scheduled! This little series is coming to a close. Expect to see those in the coming months!
    • It’s very strange to see this project come to an end. This was never something I had intended to turn into a series, but once I got into it, I really came to love these characters. It’s going to be weird to no longer step into this world and write about these boys. I genuinely hope you all have also enjoyed getting to know them and their stories.
    • That said, there’s still some work to do. While a collected cover-less version will be available on Internet Archive once the series is over, I’m also preparing a special edition. This will include:
      • Cover artwork from yours truly
      • All 12-parts in their intended reading order
      • The original Greenhouse Museum story that started it all
      • Commentary on how the series came to be and what inspired it all
    • The special edition will be for sale on itch.io for ~$5 in an epub format. Hope you look forward to it! Don’t worry, the series itself will always be free and you can read it at any time.

    Nosia Archives

    • Not too terribly much to report here. Writing has been slow going, but largely that’s because it hasn’t been the top priority. Now that Greenhouse Museum is wrapping up it will become the new thing I work on daily.
    • When can you expect to see it? That depends on when this first part is finished. I’ve largely pansted my way through this first draft and…that’s contributing to the slowness of the writing. Now that I have a better grasp on the world and the characters, I plan to go back and plot things out a bit more.

    Exploring Spirit

    • The first part of the Christian Science articles is now available! Next month, you can look forward to the second and final part of the Mary Eddy/Christian Science saga. Fair warning: the second part does carry a pretty heavy trigger warning, so please make sure to engage with what you can handle.
    • As for Vivekananda, phew. Thanks to the above mentioned health issues I haven’t had as much time as I would normally like to read. I do, however, have access to multiple sources on his life and am finally reading a more critical biography. Given that I am behind in where I’d like to be, please be patient as I put together this article and the articles on Vedanta and Raja Yoga.

    Streaming

    • Nothing special is planned for this month! After a couple weeks away, we’re getting back into our normal Thursday and Sunday routine. No FFXIV streams are planned for this month, but in April we’ll bring those back on every other Friday.
    • Our ACHA fundraiser is still ongoing! You don’t have to watch the stream in order to donate, either. We are now at $125 out of $500! If you’d like to help us reach our goal, you can find out more here. For each $100 we raise, J and I will be walking 1 mile. So, help us reach our goal of 5 miles!
    • Last, but not least, our next big streaming event is in June. We’ll be doing another 12-streams bash for the Midsummer! Please consider joining us if you want to hang out and play some fun party games with a bunch of rad people.

    Ok, that’s all for now. Stay safe and sane out there! See you again in a couple weeks!

  • #WordWeavers – 4/2 – 10/2

    Hey #WritingCommunity friends! Hope your weeks all go well. This week is my birthday week and…I just wanted to let you all know that next week Far North will be released! If you’ve been enjoying my responses to these prompts, the vast majority of them are coming from the Far North project and I would love if you would consider checking it out. More next week on where to get your hands on it (for free)!

    Let’s get into these prompts then, shall we?

    Feb 4 – What is your SC’s relationship with their parents?
    For Johann – Robert, Christophe, and Claire were essentially his parents. He was ripped away from his parents at a very young age as he was a runt of the litter. I wont get too into it because it would be spoilers for the second book.
    I will say that his relationship with Robert has transformed over the years, but that he’s incredibly loyal to him. They are very close to one another, neither one is really afraid of offending the other, and often read more as close friends these days. Johann is still deferential to Robert at times, but he’s not afraid to assert himself when need be.
    As for Emily, her health concerns meant that she had a harder time emancipating herself from her family. She loves them, dearly, and is deeply grateful for all that they’ve done for her. They don’t see eye-to-eye on a lot of decisions, though, and she’s glad to no longer be living with them and feeling like she has no input. They live further south and west of where she is now, so she doesn’t see them often, but they keep in contact. I wouldn’t say they’re close knit. More that her health has bound them together.

    Feb 5 – Who is the most influential person in your MC’s life?
    For Vic, it would be her father and absent mother. Again, I won’t get too into it because spoilers. Vic is very close with her father and really does look to him for guidance…even when they’re having a bit of a tiff.
    It’s due to him that she has any interest in the North to begin with. He never told her not to ask questions, only really admonished her for dreaming the day away instead of working. He is often the voice that tries to ground her in reality…while filling her head full of scary stories about things that haunt the night.
    As for Robert, he could likely point to a handful of influential people. Christophe, Claire, Tobey, and his own rotten father. That said, the one he remembers most fondly would be the mentor who taught him antique appraisal to begin with. Without them, Robert and Johann would not have the life they do now. And Robert would not be any closer to finding the information he’s after…

    Feb 6 – What smell would instantly bring up a good memory for your SC?
    Emily’s chicken roast in the oven. Rosemary, sweet carrots, and the way the chicken juices all melt together. It’s Johann’s favorite. It’s also not a dish she makes all that often and it’s all for him. Emily maintains a vegetarian diet and generally finds cooking meat detestable, but because of what he is, she makes an exception for Johann now and again.
    Emily and Vic share a love for the outdoors, where they differ is what smell they treasure. While Vic loves the smell of grasses and sun-baked earth drifting on the breeze — Emily loves the smell of violets and peonies. She doesn’t much care for overly perfumed flora as they can quickly overpower her, but the lighter scents are a delight. The garden at Robert’s is filled with sweet, light smelling flowers that — on the right spring day — fill her sewing room with peace.

    Feb 7 – What sound does your antagonist hate?
    My instinct is to say, “what sounds does he love? I can’t think of many…”
    I know that paints Christophe in a pretty unflattering light, almost like he’s a universal Bad Guy that just hates everything. He does enjoy things, I swear!
    But since this isn’t a question about that, I would have to say he most hates the sound of crying and the wyr’s howling. The howling is a distraction, which is why he makes his wyr go off on their own to “bray and pray” as he would say.
    With the crying, it’s too familiar. It has nothing to do with weakness, per se, just that he finds it is the one thing that breaks through his guard. It means responsibility. For someone else. He’d rather if someone needs to cry that they do it far away from him.

    Feb 8 – What kind of touch is the most comforting for your MC?
    Vic finds small touches to be comforting: a squeeze of the hand, a touch that lingers on her shoulder, a gentle brushing of the hair from her eyes. She isn’t someone who finds hugs or big shows of affection to inspire comfort in her. They’re nice, but it’s the little things that bring her a sense of a person, and thus comfort around them.
    Robert is a sucker for those touches that last. Holding on to someone, being wrapped up next to them. It reminds him of his mother. Of being safe against cold nights. The longer the touch, the more comfort it brings.

    Feb 9 – What kind of touch does your MC hate?
    On the opposite side of the touches that last, Robert hates touches that seem to wander and forced closeness. Touches that dance around, or entwine like a snake, and never seem to settle somewhere. When he first met Christophe, he thought he enjoyed those sorts of touches, but quickly came to realize how distracting and discomforting they were. How sinister the motivations underneath them could be.
    Vic hates too much picking. As in, pinching or touches that fuss over perfecting her appearance. Touches that make her feel inadequate. She isn’t a generally fussy person about her appearance, so she hates it when others are. It’s fine if they’re just, for example, trying to keep her hair out of her eyes or helping her adjust something. It’s not fine when it’s done to just treat her as an object.

    Feb 10 – Does your MC have comfort food?
    Potatoes. Specifically, potato soup. Straight-forward, hardy, and easy to make in winter when all that’s really left are potatoes. Vic is just simple like that. Most soups and stews will bring her a sense of comfort, but potato soups in particular just warm in a different way.
    On the other hand, Robert has a sweet tooth. Warm, melted, hot chocolate made with cream. It was a special treat growing up since chocolate and cream were usually imported goods. He hasn’t had it in many years and misses the smell and taste of it, but on the occasions he’s been around it, just holding it and feeling the warmth of the mug is enough. Drinking it now wouldn’t be the same and would just upset his stomach, so he contents himself with just its warmth.

    Alright, that’s it for the week. See you all next week for more! Take care, stay safe and sane!

  • Intro
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  • Project Update – April 2024