Dinosaurs and other Updates

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:

Mini Dino Pixel Art.
Mini Dino Pixel Art (side view). Suzanne Skaar. 2020. All rights reserved.
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Front view Dino character, idle. Suzanne Skaar, 2020. Animation/ pixel art. Work in progress. All rights reserved.

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!

Controlling the Narrative

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Photo by Tacoma Knights of Pythias/KKK member Marvin Boland of Pythians in “redface,” available through the Tacoma Public Library Digital Archives online: “‘Tahmamaiwis,’ a Native American drama, was presented under the auspices of Tacoma Temple No. 58, PythianSisters, at Castle Hall on September 25, 1924. Castle Hall was located in the Knights of Pythias Commencement Lodge #7, 924-26 Broadway. The play was written by Mrs. Laura B. Downey Bartlett of Tacoma in what the Daily Ledger called the ‘inter-tribal’ language. Examples of tribal baskets are also on display. G23.1-069 (Tacoma Sunday Ledger, 9-28-24, 6B)”

In honor of Women’s Day, check out my latest essay on Medium, “Controlling the Narrative: Gatekeeping, Secret Societies, and the Good Ol’ Boys Network.” This work, adapted from my 2019 presentation for Portland’s Drunken Discourse, explores the inherent sexism and racism of the fraternal order Knights of Pythias. This organization’s history, current structure, and practices are too often glossed over, despite receiving taxpayer funds from the City of Tacoma to make archival materials available to the public. I share some of my own personal experiences with the Tacoma chapter which led me to research this topic, as well as a bibliography for further reading.

If, like me, you think this kind of work is important, then please follow me on Medium (@suzanneskaar) and share this article with friends. I am also available to give the full presentation. Please contact me at suzanneskaar@gmail.com for more information.

I appreciate your support.

 

New Work

I am honored to have a poem included in The London Reader’s Winter 2019 issue: “Motherhood: Stories of Love, Loss, & Life.”

Per the publication, “10 percent of revenue from this issue is donated to Women’s Aid, a grassroots federation in the UK working to provide life-saving services and to build a future where domestic violence is not tolerated. Find out more about the charity at womensaid.org.uk.”

To purchase this publication or learn more about The London Reader, check out

www.LondonReader.uk

Thank you for your support.

Suzanne

Tacoma on a Gray Day

I took advantage of yesterday’s moody weather to shoot photos in downtown Tacoma.

Here’s a selection.

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East 21st Street Bridge, Tacoma. Photograph. Suzanne Skaar. 2019. All rights reserved.
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Tacoma rail yard. Photograph. Suzanne Skaar. 2019. All rights reserved.
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Last of the leaves on a tree. Photograph. Suzanne Skaar. 2019. All rights reserved.
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Tacoma Glass Museum and Downtown Marina. Photograph. Suzanne Skaar. 2019. All rights reserved.
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View from under the Glass Bridge, downtown Tacoma. Photograph. Suzanne Skaar. 2019. All rights reserved.

I’ll post more later. Stay warm.

Suzanne

Making Space Panelist Stephanie Anne Johnson

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Album cover courtesy of Stephanie Anne Johnson. Artwork by Riley John Savage.

We’re less than 24 hours from the Making Space panel! Our final panelist, Stephanie Anne Johnson, has performed around the world and on The Voice, and is now touring with The Hidogs. Their CD release in Tacoma is Dec. 20th at The McMenamins Elks Temple.

Joining us for a conversation on Accessibility and Diversity in Geek Culture are panelists Anna Nepomuceno, Naarah McDonald, and Alease Frieson. We start at 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 26, in Room 405 at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center. Get your tickets at http://www.jetcitycomicshow.com

See you tomorrow!

Making Space Panelist Alease Frieson

Alease Frieson
Photo courtesy of Alease Frieson (pictured).

 

Alease A. Frieson is a well-known figure on the Tacoma scene. She is an entrepreneur, producer, content creator, and more. A major supporter of artists and musicians in our community, she is the force behind 733 Arts and On Point Booking. She has been booking independently from Olympia to Seattle since 2005. She also instructs Pilates through her own independent studio.

 

Without a doubt, she knows how to get stuff done.

 

She is also a self-identified nerd, which is why I’ve invited Alease to speak on the panel I’m moderating at Jet City Comic Show: “Making Space: Accessibility and Diversity in Geek Culture.” Come listen as we converse with the equally awesome panelists Anna Nepomuceno, Naarah McDonald, and Stephanie Anne Johnson at 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 26, in Room 405 at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center. Get your tickets at http://www.jetcitycomicshow.com.

Jet City Comic Show

Photograph: (Child dressed as) Batwoman on swing. Suzanne Skaar. 2019. All rights reserved. (Photo shared with Batwoman’s permission.)

It’s official: I’ll be moderating a panel for Tacoma’s Jet City Comic Show!

Panelists Alease Frieson, Anna Nepomuceno, Naarah McDonald, and Stephanie Anne Johnson are on board to discuss the topic “Making Space: Accessibility and Diversity in Geek Culture.” We’ll talk about the importance of making space for diverse content creators, new narratives, and a wider range of characters, as well as how to create accessible and welcoming environments.

Mark your calendars:

11 a.m., Saturday, October 26, 2019

Greater Tacoma Convention Center, Room 405

 

Tickets are available at http://www.jetcitycomicshow.com/ and at the door.

 

See you there!

 

Suzanne