I just learned today is World Penguin Day. Here’s an illustration from 2015 to mark the occasion.
I started working on my first video game in June 2020. Progress is coming along nicely. I’m striving a balance between pushing forward and fleshing out the first game level’s overall layout while going back and refining existing work. The following trailer contains some new in-game scenes. Tacoma people might recognize a couple of shout outs.
Thank you for following along as I tackle my largest project to date!
It feels wrong to write this without acknowledging the tremendous amount of sorrow that has hit our communities and homes.
Midnight marks a new day and a new year, but it doesn’t erase the pain, suffering, and disappointment.
I spent much of the year grieving, but 2020 brought me so many reasons to be grateful. Pre-pandemic closures, my writing was published overseas for the first time, and in my adopted hometown’s print literary anthology, Creative Colloquy. School closures meant being able to spend more time with my daughter. Changing my work style to accommodate additional childcare responsibilities led to taking new risks. In June, I started work in earnest on my video game. I even got up the nerve to try standup this year (from the comfort of my home).
The moving of meetings online post-pandemic has made it easier to engage in community decision making processes. In June, I successfully lobbied the Pierce County Democratic Party to recognize CS gas and tasers as deadly force. In 2021, I want to see this momentum continue at the State and national levels, and for the first time in a long time, I am optimistic that it will.
Gen-Z has taken to the streets and used social media and other avenues to challenge not only police brutality, but racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, economic inequality, and climate change. Emma Goldman said, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be a part of your revolution.” In the darkest of times, the new revolutionaries have embodied joy, humor, and hope. I am grateful my daughter has such positive role models.
Please stay safe and enjoy the holiday.
Happy New Year!
4 months ago I started developing a 2D pixel art game by myself: the artwork, the writing, the music, and building the project in Unity. I’m still in the early phases of my project timeline, but I wanted to share progress so far.
Thank you to everyone who has given advice and support. If you like what you see, please drop a line in the comments and/or share this with friends.
Fun fact: Removing the box collider from the playable character provoked instant evil laughter from the kid.
A Photoshop lesson for the kiddo on the importance of layers and grouping inspired this.
Sometimes you just have to go where the work takes you.
Summer has been fairly busy. On top of entertaining a kid during a pandemic and planning for homeschool, I’ve had other projects in the works. I was asked to submit work to a by invitation-only call for cyberpunk stories to a journal overseas. Regardless of whether my story gets picked up for publication, it was an honor to be asked, especially as I haven’t written in this genre before. I’ve been volunteering locally as I’ve been able. Remote meetings are a lifesaver for individuals with chronic illnesses/ conditions like migraines, arthritis, and motherhood (ahem), so I hope this trend continues after the pandemic. The ability to turn off the video and audio functions is especially appreciated. A laughing, streaking kid in the house did elicit momentary panic at one point.
In the relatively quiet moments and through the chaos, I have begun to make significant progress on my biggest project to date [Master’s thesis be damned]: an indie narrative game combining many of my favorite subjects.
Here is a peek at the main character:
My last programming class was in high school, more than 20 years ago, so I have been teaching myself Unity, a development platform which is free to users up to a certain revenue bracket. Brackeys tutorials on YouTube have been on repeat for months in the house. They are awesome: go check them out! Thanks to the site Beepbox, I have also been working on digital music composition for the first time. I first started using Audacity for podcasts a few years back, and it continues to be a great tool for artists. [While I’m not ready to share some of my serious attempts yet, my co-conspirator did willingly lend her vocals to this “parenting dance anthem.” It was created using Beepbox and Audacity.]
Other snippets of the game art are up on the No Mine! Studios Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook pages. I’ve set myself a soft deadline of December (6 months from when I started) to get basic art in place so I can focus on research, writing, and mechanics. This game is a one mother show. If you are on the above platforms, please follow for updates, like, and share. Your support means a lot!
It’s time once again for the “oh wait, I’ve been working on everyone else’s projects what about my own website I should really do something about that” redesign. Please bear with me as some links may need to be re-set.
Thanks to a fun year of health issues, from bilateral hand arthritis to glaucoma to chronic migraines and finally getting to experience my first biopsy sans sedation (0 stars, do not recommend), I have been a little preoccupied. It hasn’t been all bad; even the “bad” has provided some great comedy material. I presented for the first time on a panel at Seattle’s GeekGirl Con in 2018 and ran for office. The latter did not go as planned, but it allowed me to address my concerns regarding equity and access in Pierce County. I also left a three-year long career in vocational rehabilitation services, and I’m figuring out next steps.
Fortunately, I have several projects in the work. I am still heavily involved in my community. I have been focused on helping Tacoma’s South End Neighborhood Council undergo some overdue changes in term of outreach, website, social media, and neighborhood engagement. I’m currently working on a historical research project, which will be presented at Tacoma artist Lynn Di Nino’s April 2019 Tripod Series. I’m getting caught up on editing and uploading photos from the past year. And as I have received several requests to help on various political and social justice campaigns, I am once again offering my services as a paid consultant. Other projects will be announced as dates and details are confirmed.
Thank you for your continued support of my work.