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The line editing campaign is now up!

10.04.2015

At long last, it's finished, up, set.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/new-amazing-nightmare-a-novel/x/10471882

The IndieGoGo campaign where I hope to raise money for line editing of the first book of New Amazing Nightmare. I'm sooo anxious, it's been a ton of work and I know nothing about marketing :D Guess it's time for a cup of tea and an evening with research.

Panicking like a ferret on an electricity wire! Keep your thumbs crossed, please, and if you can, spread the word! Thanks <e-hugs>.

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A woman cop I can like!

30.03.2015

I've been sitting on this post for a little while, but there was always something else popping up, the busy streak ending with another pharyngitis (well, it's my personal kind of pharyngitis I've discovered years ago that consists of the p itself, into a fever, into a sneeze, into a cough, until the cycle's finished and I can live).

A few weeks ago I've been watching a new show called the Mysteries of Laura. It's another procedural, and I'm not a huge fan of those (or more like - bored of them by now), but it seemed lighter, so I gave it a try. It's nice. But what made me really warm up towards it was the main character - you guessed it: Laura.



She's a female cop. But man, for a change she's not a total badass. She's not broody. She's not autistic, she's not anti-social. She doesn't have a dark, secret past. She's not a vixen. She's not a man-eater. She doesn't fight crime in high heels and wear perfect make-up every scene (looking at you Kate Beckett). She's not aloof, she's not alcoholic, she's not somber at all. She's a badass, but in a getting-the-job-done way, not look-how-badass-I-am way. And I love it. So refreshing :)

When she went to Karaoke, do you know what happened? She actually wanted to sing! And she sucked at it! And had a blast. She's divorced, because her ex cheated on her, but she's not bitter or angsty. She doesn't sleep around to point out how free and over him she is. She has two kids and a healthy relationship with them. She's lively, she knows her strong sides, she can rock a sexy dress going undercover and feel good about it.

And when she had that, you know, Mentalist-like thing - spotting something, analyzing, coming to awesomely accurate conclusions, it wasn't because she's so speshial. It was because of the kindergarten homework that's "all about shape recognition". And it was funny.

It's a true pleasure to see a female character like that, and I'll gladly see more episodes of the show :)

Also, the pilot didn't have a sex scene in the first 10 minutes! Hurray, haha. I'm growing tired of that. Being Mary Jane (I tried watching it recently) started from it and I just rolled my eyes. It's so overdone.

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Hedgehogery and the fights about
diversity in fiction

24.02.2015

Disclaimer: everything I say here are my own opinions, I'm not trying to speak for anyone else. This also applies to everything else I post... just sayin'


It's a topic that grew to be more interesting, important, and controversial to me over time. I guess, this post's coming was unavoidable. Sooner or later.

Few years ago, those issues weren't even poking my radar, nowadays, it feel like they're everywhere. I've been observing, reading, sometimes debating things related to equality and diversity for a longer while now, and what I've observed is a process that goes like: there's an issue, people debate to prove the issue exists, then they debate to end it, then, for those that can be convinced without issue, the issue ends, and then the first debaters keep debating, and pushing to convince everyone else. That in turn, becomes too much for some of those that were happily convinced at first.

And so the pendulum swings, the spring springs, and the hedgehogs are born.

Me? A while ago I could feel the spikes growing. Every now and then, I read something that gives me that hedgehogy itch. And I find myself having to reason with myself to get rid of it.

What issues bring it out? Anything really. Some pertain to me, some don't. Some are important, some aren't. But what gets me is that at some point in those debates the fighting side (side A, let's say, starting from the underprivileged position) seems to lose the perspective. And they begin to deny other people (side B, 'the primary opressors') the right to their opinion, they refuse to listen, and refuse to communicate. It stops being a discussion with a good goal in mind, and it turns into some sort of vendetta, pushing more, and more, until things stop making sense, or get side B to feel bullied/discriminated against in return.

And no, the past doesn't justify it. Why? Because most of the side B that gets convinced, and is actually honestly supportive towards side A, has never done side A any harm. Punishing people for what their gender/race/orientation/religion/anythingelse did in the past/does nowadays (as in - some people with the side B trait living today), just because they belong to it, is no better than the original discrimination.

I hate the term 'mansplaining'. I hate the term 'whitesplaining'. Just as I hate any sort of derogatory slur directed at another person (but not used in a discussion about the slur, articles, or comedy). Yes, it's not entirely politically correct, because I think no word should be banned from the dictionary. While I believe political correctness a great concept in general, I also believe that recently it likes to cross boundaries of common sense here and there. Terms like mansplaining used in a discussion with another person ARE offensive. They reek of complete disregard and disrespect. I'm sure there are people who deserve to have their arguments summed up this way, but what I'm noticing lately is that people in cultural, respectful discussions get slapped in the face with them too. I could count at least five places/discussions where I've seen it happen in the past few months. And I don't spend that much time browsing the web.

As a woman, I support the efforts for actual, real equality. I am grateful to women who fought for our rights in the past, I'm grateful to those, who still fight the injustice, unequal pay, right to decide about our bodies, fight the harassment, and other important issues. Those women are wonderful people, and I've nothing but respect towards them. As I do for the men, who join those causes and help these brave women. Thank you, guys, sincerely :)

But then there are those women, who go too far. Fight the way in-game characters are clothed, fight for every piece of fiction to contain a strong woman or else, start actions about reading books only written by women, boycott men in discussions, and generally start to disregard every male just because of their gender. They get offended, because they're not privileged. That's not what the others are fighting for, is it? Privilege does not equal equality. And you can't get respect without giving it in return.

And that, I see all over, is causing hedgehogery as well. In men. Instead of equality and respect, some guys, who normally wouldn't mind equality at all, begin to bristle up, because frankly, they feel attacked and disregarded. And nobody likes to feel that way, it causes instant hostility, or at least leaves people disgruntled and non sympathetic.

Before I read (I usually just lurk, as I grew out of loving conflict :P) a few discussions pushing things too far, I had no negative feelings towards any sort of minority. None, zero, nada. I viewed everyone for who they were, and I was happy with it. Then, the internet released the Hedgehog. Yes, even against women. And I am one, so go figure.

Luckily, there are many people in the minorities/underprivileged groups fighting for equality that are level-headed, open-minded, and not offended by things not meant to be offensive. I thank those people and their replies/comments in all of those places for dehedgehoging me. It makes me remember that majority of people in the Side B is not out there to make war and to make the Side A feel irrelevant in the two-way issue/debate. And that makes me feel good. About humanity, and about my writing.

I know that there's already a bunch of Diversity Hedgehogs out there bristling at the inclusion of minorities into a lot of mainstream works, and they ask "Again? What for? Why?". The answer, to me, is "Why not?".

I like diversity, I have plenty of it in my novel, and not because I feel obligated to have it by the trends or whatever else, but because I want to, because it's more fun to write, because the world is diverse, because the plot doesn't suffer from it (quite the contrary), because it may make someone happy to see characters like themselves in a novel. I don't stick anything in where it doesn't fit, but who knew? Albinos are actually common in a race I made up. My protagonist is from a race I can't really identify in earthly terms, cause it's irrelevant in the world, and I just go by a picture I drew. One of the major characters turned out to be wheelchair-bound. It came from her story (the past, and the role in the plot as it develops), not an idea like: "A-HA! I got to have a disabled character... who could it be... oh yea! Check." Nothing like that. And damn, did it flesh her out in my mind.

I'm very much against shoehorning anything where it doesn't belong. If there were no women on ships, don't put a female sailor in that historically accurate story. A story with all-men can be superb. Don't demand racial diversity in a setting that historically had none just for the sake of political correctness. Those are some of the things that go too far, and they're the hedgehog-baits.

I hope that once everything settles down, all sorts of hedgehogs will be placated. Right now, it all feels like a conflict where one side says OMG WHY MUST IT BE ABOUT CIS GENDERED STRAIGHT WHITE MALE AGAIN I BOYCOTT THIS BIGOTED MISOGYNISTIC CRAP, where the other will go OMG WHY MUST THEY PUT EVERY MINORITY IN EVERYTHING NOWADAYS I DEMAND A HALF-ASIAN HALF-BLACK HALF-CHEROKEE HALF-GAY HALF-FEMALE HALF-ALIEN REPRESENTATION RIGHT NOW.

So I hide my spikes and remember that all in all, I love good and nice people. I do. I'd love good and nice Martians if I met any too. And I say suck it, overactive warriors, from any conflict, either side. And suck it, hedgehogs. Write what you love, read/watch/play what you love. Go for crazy diversity if it pleases you, or go for none, if that's what your setting/idea calls for. It's nice to make people feel good, but once there's a diversity in diversity in all the works, there won't be a need or pressure to do so, because nobody will feel generally left out/made into a token. Or so I choose to believe.

All in all, make love not war.

Or at least cuddle.

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Late night update, n reminiscing, n
stuff

17.02.2015

It's been a long while (old website-long) since I've posted an actual update on NAN, so, since I've given up on saving and renaming card files for today, might as well do it now :)

I'll start with the song though, found it randomly via Youtube's Autoplay and fell in love: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwpMEbgC7DA Tom Odell - Another Love.

And so...

I'm very much nearing the finish of everything I have to do before launching the indieGoGo campaign. I've read and reread and rewritten the text again and again and then once more and then included some more rewrites and fixes (and some tiny minor things are still coming, because my brain goes over everything over and over again giving me mini-insomnia... caught two teeny weeny logical errors even, so profit). That was the hardest part obviously.

The cover is done (just need to check one thing with the title). All five are planned out and drafted.

The cards are done (just need to brighten them for clarity in print).

The trailer is done, music and all (just need to modify the voices part a little, it's too loud, and render it again).

The t-shirt designs are almost done (just need to tweak the second one to make it nicer).

The text is done (just need to apply a few tiny fixes for errors I remembered).

The website is done (I can fill the rest out when everything else is off my head). Facebook, Twitter, they're somewhat set up as well.

All that's left is print the trial versions of the cards, the t-shirts, the small calendars, get the mystery gift sample, make a video for indieGoGo, and set up the page there...

And then get to writing the 2nd volume xD

Five years, huh? I think it was 2008 or 2009 when I first started to draft the plot for the cRPG I wanted to make :) Dialogues, characters, sketch of the plot, setting, based loosely on an old universe of mine created for my older novel.

It was all twisted and turned when I decided to make the game's plot into a novel instead. The focus shifted, main characters changed, the setting made a wild jump, and then the actual story began to unfold before me in my head until hardly anything was left from the cRPG story idea, or the world I started with.

I see my first draft was last saved in September 2011 (I'm a digital pack-rat, I have all that junk safely stored in several places :D). I stopped halfway through and decided on major changes. Rewrote it from scratch. Finished in July 2013. Didn't know it took so long, huh. It was the first draft of a too-long (and yet rushed) part of the story that I decided to split into two volumes, and do both of them right. It just didn't feel like a novel at all. I remember back then I still thought I could close the story in two books only :) Good times haha. Granted, the plot was faaaaar less complicated than it grew to be.

Then came the first version of the actual first volume. Finished on January 2014. It had already gone through some minor rewrite as far as I remember, because things were growing more complex, and some others started to make no sense and had to be cut. It was going well until the point when shit hit the fan and everything exploded. A planned 1 month fix, turned into another revamp that basically had me rewrite 90% things from scratch. I think this one came from my actually having learned a lot about writing. I spent quite some time doing research on variety of things, reading some books, and it all mulled and munched in my head, and I realized I had holes to fill that simple patching wouldn't help with.

By the time I was done with it, 6 months later, I knew I had more rewrites to do :D And that way I finally arrived at December 2014 with a final version I'm only tweaking now; a scene here, a dialogue there, a sneaky error pthere...

It's over. The plot for the remaining 4 books is pretty much set. The gaps are filled, the story is whole in my head and notes, complete with the closing sentence.

What a long trip it has been (and how much is still left!). But for now, I stand before the last step of the first step, and it feels odd. It's not so easy to push through though :) I keep getting looped in details. Fix one more scene. Check the cover, maybe something should be done differently. The face on this card or that isn't quite right. The logo design is wacky. The music for trailer isn't right. Always something.

But I'm almost there. I'm almost at the point where I just don't know how to improve on things, or don't have the necessary skills to do so. And so, I have to let it go.

The Reckoning is ahead :D

(I try to look tough on my emoticons, but in reality I'm like a scared kitten under the broom :<)

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I don't hit plasters

14.02.2015

It's a joke that makes negative sense in English :D But I had to, precisely for that reason.

Anyway, this time, a short post, inspired by several conversations with several friends (I almost wrote several plasters here) I've had this week. And yes, we talked about Valentines day.

So, happy Valentines day, world! I think of all the things, love is one of the best to celebrate. And yes, there's commercialism, yes it's a "forced" celebration. As every celebration. We celebrate Christmas in December too, and nobody will say "but I don't want to celebrate that TODAY! It's so *forced*!".

That's the point, yo. Everyone at once, special day. And it's great. Just as it's great that people are generally nicer by Christmas, it's great if they go the extra mile for Valentines day. It's great if they get excited to celebrate love. And if a commercial pink teddy bear or candy hearts make someone smile, then why the hell not use them. Same with black goth teddy bears. Or simple forest walks (with bonus grizzly bears if that's someone's fancy).

And, contrary to what at least two of those friends I spoke to seem to think, doing something special on Valentines day does not mean you can't be romantic, lovely, and nice for the rest of the year. And if spending a nice day with your other half is something forced and unpleasant, well... ;)

And (this entry is sponsored by the word "And"), to all the hipsters, who refuse to celebrate it, to all the singles, who have no reason to, and to all the uninterested for any other reason - happy Saturday. It's weekend. Maybe it's not love, but it's still good enough reason to celebrate on it's own :P

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But isn't a butt but a butt?

08.02.2015

I decided to butt into this butt debate. No buts.

{warning: post may be disjointed, played some LoL inbetween sections and it's also 4 AM :D}

Blogging with posts on concrete subjects was something I didn't initially plan on, but (ha) I guess, it became somewhat of a natural thing. Today, there's a butt on a platter. This musing is sponsored by Riot Games and /r/leagueoflegends.

None of you one person who reads these things know about what spruced the whole mini-drama. So, let me present you DJ Sona, a new ultimate skin for a champion in League of Legends in her non-butty glory:http://www.newsoflegends.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/xPYWJoe.jpg That's one of the new splash arts.


The in-game model: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74Exl5dNz2Q

Now, courtesy of some 3rd party software... behold: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4B4VKDc3M0 THA BUTT.

Alright, so there's that, I kinda didn't pay too much attention to the whole thing (can't afford the skin for one of my main champs atm, so I'm not going to rub it in my eyes!). But then I casually stroll onto Reddit today, and see there's a drama spiking up. Well, hand me the popcorns, not like I'll resist a good drama. I scroll through the posts and find out that the issue is, there are apparently people complaining about that ass indeed being too fat. But not in a "OMG SO FAT MUST HAVE IT ALL" way, but objectifying women way. And then there were sides, and there were questions.

And someone said that Riot actually made the butt smaller on PBE and all hell broke loose. Nothing surprising there, but then came a question of why don't people mind bare-chested guys. Isn't that sexualizing them too? Isn't that objectifying?

Short answer: no. And before I go on, let me say I don't mind DJ Sona or her butt. I don't mind sexualized League characters, it doesn't offend me and it's not going to be a feminist rant. It's going to be an equality request. As in:

<img>"http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/leagueoflegends/images/4/44/Varus_HeartseekerSkin.jpg/revision/20150204195317"</img>

RITO PLS. U GOT IT RITE, KEEP GOING :D

But I want to state a few things that some people seem to miss in their perspective on the subject:

1. Women are more sexualized and objectified in games than men are.

2. Women are offended by it, because of the history of how our gender was treated, objectified in real life, how those issues still aren't a thing of the past.

3. I'll go with LoL examples since that's where it started. Guys like Pantheon, Braum, Lee Sin, they show chest, but it's not for objectifying or sexual reasons, it's not to cater to females and gays, it's to cater to heterosexual men who want to feel strong. There's a reason so many girls I know prefer Ezreal and Varus over those guys :P

4. For the sake of this argument, I'll count Pool Party Graves, though he's hardly sexualized (it's like Pool Party Leona, neither is). That gives 2 males who could be said to cater to manloving crowd through showing some skin in a way that's not either devoid of sex appeal or simply lore-induced (Pantheon).

5. When you compare the amount of fun/weird champions for either sex, it's also striking. Girls, we had Annie, Anivia, and some yordles. Guys had everything from Amumu through Twitch, Urgot, Gragas, Mundo, Kha'Zix, Rengar, Sion, Thresh, and a solid bunch more. Now, it seems to me that ever since LoL grew as a game, Riot has actually started to take other perspectives and possibilities into account. Newest female champions seem SO much less like boy fanservice, and I think it's great. Go Jinx with her different psychique, go Kalista with her Thresh-levels of sex appeal. Go Rek'sai, maybe soon people will even stop instantly assuming you're a boy!

I don't think DJ Sona should be changed, as she has always been the over the top busty sexy champion. Even her voice is pretty much one of a temptress (you can hear if you play her, she's mute otherwise). I don't think there should be less sexy characters in games, because they're games, and people like to watch pretty people in their games/movies, and there's nothing wrong with it.

And honestly I think that all the issues of those who complain about these things will disappear once the game casts will become more diverse. Give us sexy girls, give us sexy guys (SEXY not BUFF and so overly manly they're turning most men-loving people off <most, I'm well aware there are those that would drool all over Braum, and good for you! He's there in all his glory!>). Give us monster guys, monster gals, dumbo guys, dumbo girls, give us a fugly female champion that can rival Urgot, and give us an Incubus who will give Ahri a run for her money.

And yea, everyone should be happy then :) Aside of people who just really want to fight for things to disappear untill everything is homogenized and fitting their over-the-top politeness and PC standards. IMHO, that would be boring. But I'm all for giving everyone who shrugs off DJ Sona's booty an eyecandy that will give them some drool to wipe off the keyboard too.
 

 

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Cry, you comedy-loving buffoons, cry

25.01.2015

Came here to laugh, did you? To unwind, to watch a pleasant comedy for 20 minutes, get some giggle on?

Well, you know what? Fuck you, that's what.

So yeah, I've watched the newest episode of Mom. Spoilers follow by the way.

It's not my favorite show, it has never been, but when it comes to sitcoms I watch during meals I don't have high requirements. This one fell for me into the category "meh, can do". Granted, it was always a little on the bitter side - its main characters are two alcoholic women in recovery, a daughter Christy and her mother who, with her actions and negligence kind of pushed Christy into alcoholism. Those issues are raised, and the downward spiral is shown, but it has always been done with distance, and generally on the comedy-side anyway.

Now in the latest episode suddenly Christy's father dies. And that's with a buildup of how he's reconnecting with his family, how it's important to Christy, how the mother loves him etc, etc, etc. You get it. And then he dies. And it's a sitcom. And then follow two of three scenes with laugh track while I sit bemused at what's so damn funny, and then ensue another 10 minutes or so of depressing talks, issues, and regrets.

No laugh track at least, but it hardly makes it better.

I ask - what gives?

I'm sure everyone and their mother (huehue) knows already how How I Met Your Mother ended and what an outrage it had been. Was it an intelligent way to finish the story? Yes. Did it make sense in retrospect? A lot. Do I think they made the right call? Fuck no. I have loved that show, I did (well, maybe not the last season), but then I felt like I got punched in the gut and kicked in the face as I bent over. I mean, I SNIFFED it. I sniffed it coming during the final episode when it was getting fishily touching. I've seen too many TV shows not to see it coming, so I paused the video and did a fast-forward clicking like I did watching some especially scary episodes of Buffy when something could jump out on me. I fast-forwarded though the hospital scenes, I fast-forwarded through the entire fast-forward sequence of the episode and yet I was still pissed. Because they robbed me of a lovely experience. Because they took my laughing time, and laughed in my face making me cry.

Wanting to make me cry. I didn't cry because I fast-forwarded through it.

I didn't cry on Mom either, because I'm not invested in that show, and because I was too dumbfounded to bring my feels up. I came for laughs. I didn't get my tear box. Sorry.

Now maybe it's just me, maybe I don't have a proper sense of humor to deal with changes in the mood/intent like that. I mean, shows like Nurse Jackie (very good show IMO), Weeds (fun to watch), Shameless (shameless) or Girls are all marked as comedy. Hell, the one about a hospital for old people (can't remember the name right now, I've turned it off after 10 or 20 minutes) where they're shown hopeless and dying and discarded and ignored is marked as a comedy and the only thing it made me want to do was plan to kill myself before I get too old.

I never laughed at Nurse Jackie, I don't laugh at Girls, Shameless or Weeds. I enjoyed all of these shows, I still watch Shameless and Girls, but I don't approach them as comedies anymore, not at all. They leave me feeling sour, bitter, hopeless, empty when I think about such life. Sometimes happy that my life is so different from anything shown there. I enjoy them, I watch them with a tear box at hand for them sorrows, a cable to bite for annoyances, and a glass of my cherry liquor for lurking void.

But the big difference is, these shows from the first episode show what they are. If someone perceives them as comedies - great. If someone sees them as dramas - super. If they make someone cry - whatever floats your boat. If someone thinks they're shit - well, okay, we can't all like the same things. But they don't trick, they don't cheat. You get your perception, you decide whether it's something for you or not, and you are in for the ride or jump off. They change and morph, as all such shows do, but they don't make you laugh for 7 seasons then suddenly go: AHHAHAHAHAHAHA NOW SHE DIES XDDDDDD HOW WITTY EH?? OLOLOLO.

That's like Dexter ending with everyone suddenly jumping out at him and screaming: SURPRISE! WE KNEW ALL ALONG! YOU'RE IN A HIDDEN CAMERA, DEX OLOLOLO. COME LET'S HAVE A BEER AT THE BAY YOU MESSED UP MOFO. GOOD WORK KILLING ALL THOSE BASTARDS.

How would that work?

Well, maybe better than the actual ending kekekeke. Yea, I'm salty about that too. Who isn't? :P

I'm not saying that a long-running comedy can't have more serious touches. I remember an episode of Scrubs that genuinely made me cry, but still did not make me angry. A patient in the hospital, after a funny episode, died, of a pathetic cause. We got to like him, we felt terrible, but they made the episode in such an intelligent way that it didn't jump out. And Scrubs always seemed a touch more serious to me than HIMYM did. But it was a bit of an episode and an episodic character. A moment for reflection, then the show went on. It didn't ruin the show's dynamic, it didn't suddenly feel like a punch. It was graceful, tasteful, and not really out of place.

So can't say that about Mom. So can't say that about HIMYM.

Is this a new trend somehow? That sitcoms will make us laugh only until they decide it's time we feel like we've been hit with a dead puppy on the face?

Cause if that's so, I might just go and switch to watching tragedies, at least I'd come prepared to feel miserable. Or I'll go with My Little Pony. Nobody dies there, right? RIGHT???

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My own little paranoia

19.01.2015

There sure are few kinds of imagination. There's one that lets people draw, there's one that helps them make up stories, there's that which makes day-dreaming so much fun. But there's also that little impish sort that can make one shit their pants. Or look over their shoulder, every now and then (I'm speaking of imagination, not schizophrenia).

Overactive imagination is overactive, that's what I've got to say.

A long-ish while ago, there was a spider in my room, trotting over the wall. I've go a bad phobia when it comes to all sorts of bugs, spiders, crabs, homars, things like that. So, in the moment of bravery, I managed to grab a book and smack it into the spider on the wall. It was just a tiny window of opportunity and desperation before I'd be paralyzed with the phobia and reduced to crying/locking myself in the bathroom and calling someone to come over and help me deal. Either way, book dropped, spider carcass removed few days later by mom, there's still a gut-issue remaining.

Gut issue being a remnant of spider guts plastered to the wall that I can't get myself to approach and wipe away. Several months now :/ Um, yeah. So the other day I was picking something from behind the bed and I look at the gut area. And there are little holes in the wall around it. I look elsewhere, no such thing. Instantly my mind goes through a multitude of scenarios as to what those tiny holes are. Spiders digging through. Egg-nests. Something growing in the wall seeking vengeance. I don't know. Do I want to?

There's also the case of two fishy blue lights on the building I can see from my window. Why are they here? Are they some sort of base of operations? Should I pretend not to see them? What if, if I look at them too long, those behind them will realize I'm onto something and will decide to remove me? :D

And what about those weird red spots that appeared on my wall behind the computer screen? Going up. Is that blood? Who the hell bled here?

And why is my PC volume rising on it's own? DO I HAVE GHOSTS? ARE YOU TRYING TO TELL ME SOMETHING, GUISE? LEARN TO TYPE INSTEAD, PLS.

Maybe I should go help police solve crimes. Worked for Castle, didn't it :D

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Sad day for romance in Baldur's
Gate

08.01.2015

For me, that is. Though some time ago I wrote on my Facebook that I wouldn't install it and play and just enjoy a bit of it in my imagination, that game is my special weakness, so I ended up installing it anyway, and then playing, just a little bit every now and then. I only made it through the Cloakwood mines recently, so that says a lot about the pace (for those who know the saga ;) ). Side note - praise be all of those geniuses working on the BiG World Project and BiG World setup. Wouldn't have the power to deal with multi-mod install without you, and I can't go back to vanilla anymore :)

But what gave me a sad is when I rescued Xan and started playing through his romance included in the wonderful BG1 NPC project. I picked that, because it carries on all the way to the end of ToB. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm absolutely not bashing the mod, or the author, or anything - it's done very nicely, it fits the character, I can't say a bad word about it.

Aside of the fact that it made me feel old. Or maybe too cynical, or whatever else, I don't know. But it lost me when it got, well, romantic.

I think that if I got my hands on it few years ago (I could, but it had no happy ending back then so I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole :D), I'd be absolutely delighted. But now, though I enjoyed the beginning of it, I got disheartened the further I went into it.

From the moment he was so gentle he wouldn't talk to my character when she told the team to go away and give them a moment of peace, through the time when he wouldn't sleep with her without a promise to bond forever, to the description of a moment that would make my younger self squeal and now made me flinch back - elves rising up in a lovely embrace surrounded by nature. I just... couldn't.

When I was younger I had loved elves oh so much. I remember fondly all the stories I had in my mind over the years, and the way I cared about my elven characters in games. I enjoyed that lovely, romantic to the extreme nature, it was what I'd be looking for. And now I can't stand it. Even with the 'drama/angst' surrounding Xan as a character (which is why I even tried that mod, I wouldn't want to play through anything without obstacles, boring), it's just... too sweet.

Which leaves me with question - am I old or am I cold? :D

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The woman's inter-gender feud

07.01.2015

I was watching an episode of the funny TV show "Veep" recently. I can recommend it by the way, if you don't mind swearing and brash humor. To me, it was refreshing in its honesty. But the thing that made me think for a bit was something Amy said - women hate women. At first I was like, nah, bullshit.

But then I was like, she might be onto something. Sure, in society in general many women band together to fight for their rights, many others fight over men, they're best friends and most spiteful enemies. But I had a chance to observe the female relations in a different environment - online games. And over the years, I've noticed that there's more than a grain of truth to that statement :D

I remember playing World of Warcraft for the first time years ago. My friends and I joined a mostly Romanian guild where there was one girl before I came. We became actually good friends later, but that turned out to be more of an exception than a rule of how those relationships go. Some time after we talked, all honest, and asked one another what were our first impressions when we found out we were girls, and now sharing the guild (also known as the man harem that should not be shared with another b*ch :D ).

She, I recall, told me she was mad. This was HER turf, HER harem, and she wanted me to go away :D Of course, she wouldn't show it or say it, we're civilized.

Me? I remember still when she came to show me a way to Lady Vashj (or something in that water raid) and I thought "Of course, the b*ch plays a rogue with a ponytail. How fucking else. I wish she wasn't here."

Cue best WoW-borne friendship I've ever had :D

But the point stands - before we got to know each other, there was definite hostility. It's not even logical, but it's there. And gods, girls like us, competitive sort, we can get beaten in games by guys without drama (surely better to win), but beaten by a girl? Forget food, forget life, this has got to be fixed! Also applies to guys that annoy us though. I think that's the same for guys too.

Now, fast forward some months or years, I'm not playing WoW anymore, but my friend still does. And there come the horror stories of girls that came to the guild after me. Now, she wasn't even that mad anymore at first, because we did make it work wonderfully, but then all hell broke loose. With those new girls came actual fights for dominance in the guild, getting ranks, getting guild members to like them better, sucking up to the guild master, discrediting other girls.

It all seems to actually get down to the fight for men, and I guess, nature-wise, it makes sense. But when I think about it it's rather sad. It's been so long since I've had a serious real life conflict with another girl that would be caused at all by such feelings or behaviors, but that could be because I'm not the most social of butterflies.

A strange thing I've noticed about myself when it comes to that (and some of my friends) is that this hostility appears mostly in the male-dominated places. Computer games being one of those. There was no gender-feud to be seen in university or in schools. I don't see any on forums where everyone is automatically perceived to be on equal footing, male or female alike.

As I grew up I became much less confrontational. And I care about much different things now, and I honestly don't care anymore if a girl is better than me in a game, because my priorities switched pretty hard (might still get a bit salty if it was in League of Legends though, unsure about that :D). I'd be happy to meet girls sharing my interests, because most of my gamer friends are guys. If not all.

But there is still something about games that's just silly. Roles. A guy can play any role and there's absolutely nobody trying to label him. Girls? Different story.

I say these with a wink, but in many years I've spent in these communities, I can tell there's quite some truth to them :P

Girl plays a support in League/some priest healer in WoW - She's the Proper Girl. That's how girls are. All of them. No exception.

Girl plays a midlane/some mage or similar - Attention whore. Trying to impress the guys, be the cool one.

Girl plays a warlock, shadow priest or something darklish - Like above, but worse.

Girl plays toplane/picks a male orc warrior or similar - Total poser, trying to get attention by being a tomboy, proving she's SO NOT A PROPER GIRL.

:D

Make love, not war(craft). Personally, I love meeting girls in women-oriented places. The atmosphere is so different, and nowadays the lack of conflict and abundance of support is so much more enticing to me.

I'm tired of competing, I don't feel like caring to win. And you know what? It feels great.

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