Books and games for vacation

Blog

Part of the fun for vacation prep, for me, is figuring out what video games and books to take along. Here’s my current lineup:

Switch

  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2
  • Octopath Traveler

Well, what are you going to play in Japan besides Japanese RPGs? Okay, granted, that’s most of what I play anyway. I’ve started XC2 and have heard good things about it. I mean, it has the Nopon, who are super-cute.

On the other hand, it has Pyra, who cannot possibly be anatomically correct.

Well, at least there are shirtless men too?

Octopath Traveler is, I’m told, super crunchy. I don’t know if I’ll get around to playing it, but it’ll be good to have on hand if I’m feeling retro.

3DS

  • Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse
  • Bravely Second: End Layer
  • Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
I dig the aesthetic of SMT4

That’s a lot of colons, a lot of RPGs, and a lot of remakes. I still have a backlog of portable games, as you can see. 3DS and Vita seem to be continuing to wind down, and that’s okay with me because games are coming to Switch. Faster than I can play them, it seems. In any case, I’d love to finish Radiant Historia.

Books

  • Necrotech by KC Alexander
  • Medusa’s Touch by Emily Byrne
  • Mixed Signals by Alyssa Cole
  • Masked Possession by Alana Delacroix
  • Pure Sacrifice by Jami Gold
  • Inouye by JC Hay
  • Dangerous Promise by Megan Hart
  • You Only Love Twice by Bec McMaster
  • An Accidental Goddess by Linnea Sinclair
  • Scardust by Suzanne van Rooyen
  • Psion by Joan Vinge

This is mostly science fiction romance with some paranormal romance and some science fiction. I will probably pick up a few historicals as well. Because between planes and trains, who doesn’t want to read? I doubt I’ll read all of them but I’d like to make a dent in my TBR.

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pitching and working

Blog

I was happy to enter Pitch Wars. I haven’t heard anything, but I didn’t expect to: this contest gets a lot of entries. Book matchmaking may be as difficult as finding a good romantic relationship!

I’m off to Japan again in two weeks. My goal is to have manuscript draft v3 done by then, so I can give it at least a temporary rest and potentially start on another story. Figure out whether I even want to continue writing just now, or want to do an independent programming project, or have some other big idea. I don’t have any LARPs that I want to run, though, and for tabletops, I’m not sure where to take my own. All that headspace is still consumed by the world I’ve built for writing.

Work, meanwhile, is more of the same. I think I need to figure out what I’m doing there and how to proceed. Ideally, the trip to Japan will give me some external perspective.

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GrubStreet Writers

Writing

I took a writing class at GrubStreet a few weeks ago. It was on some worldbuilding techniques. I hadn’t taken classes there before, so I was happy to find this class useful, informative, and fun. I loved seeing what ten different people did with the same prompts!

Inspired by that, I decided to try to get things ready for PitchWars this year. That means polishing my first chapter further, writing a query letter, and writing a synopsis…in less than three weeks. I think I can do it? At the very least it will be good practice. The community seems to involve a lot of Twitter. I’m not much for twitter. I would prefer to talk to humans. I’d love to find a writing group. I could find one there, but…again, I like talking to people in person. Especially about craft.

Also, I just realized I need a way to avoid killing the puppy in my next book. I write for myself, but if I ever want anyone else to read it, I can’t kill off the puppy. People have trouble with that even in horror. Maybe I’ll write a draft just for my own amusement in which I am awful.

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Back to writing again!

Blog Writing

I am back to revising after the contracting that got out of control. I had to set a new goal- to finish this draft by early October. Namely, before I go to Japan for vacation.¬†Due to all that kerfuffle, I’m not sure I want to go to ReaderCon. I’m almost finished with Act II. It’s the longest, and I’ve gotten faster at revision and editing. So I’m currently optimistic about meeting my self-imposed deadlines.

I want to work on a short story based in the world of a LARP that some friends run. It’s a different cyberpunk. I’m super lucky to be able to collaborate in different visions of the future with others. Writing can be a pretty solitary experience, and I’m an extravert- I need to spend time with other people.

And, to share in my luck, I’m going to give away a bunch of SFR paperback books! I’m going to lay down a bunch of GDPR-speak in them. Basically, I get your name and address and then don’t use it except to send you books. I’m looking forward to it!

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Too many jobs

Blog

Due to unforeseen circumstances and some ill-timed illness, my contract work is still ongoing. I’ve delivered the first, project, have a second big one I’m still working on, and a third in the works. Several things have had to go by the wayside in the meantime. I’m not pleased about this. Once my programming contracts are done, I’m going to take a break from that for a while. I anticipate being done by the end of May, although I’m really shooting for earlier.

I did take a week of vacation in SD during which I did a bunch of editing. I think I can safely say I’m beyond most revision and mostly need line edits at this stage. I’ve a few extra scenes to write due to things I’ve figured out after some feedback from alpha readers. While I was on vacation, I thought about all the things I want to do with the time I have. I’d like to mentor women who want to learn technical skills but aren’t really in a position to go to school- so mostly older people. My grandmother figured out how to use DropBox. She’s in her nineties. With lots of places downsizing and an infinite number of cheap college grads available for hiring, how do you keep your supposedly non-technical job?

After vacation, I got sick. Suboptimal. It’s mid-April and there’s still the threat of snow in Boston. Spring will no doubt be a Thursday this year.

So that’s a brief update.

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