Monthly Archives: September 2022

Okay, now it’s a problem

Yeah, a few attempts at Book 4 have petered out. Caught between a ticking clock and impostor syndrome, I think I might cool it a little. A silly idea for a fantasy novella crossed my brain and stuck there, so I may play around with that for a bit to get back into writing. (I have a random aversion to the phrase “keep the creative juices flowing,” can you tell?)

Because I feel better when I’m working on something, and I don’t want to ignore that.

Finished Ooblets rather quickly, again because I spent every leisure hour on games instead of crafting or writing. Oh well. Not the game’s fault, it was quite fun. Tried Octodad for a very short time, and felt like it was … categorically not for me. Like, I’m sure it’s fun, but “flailing around and getting frustrated and looking stupid” is my default mode for most video games, not a novelty that I seek out for the sake of humor. If you’re used to actually mastering hand/eye coordination, I’m sure it’s a fresh and unusual experience to suck at a game. I’m not even being sarcastic. It’s just not for me. That’s okay.

So I decided to give myself complete whiplash and started Disco Elysium. Not very far in yet. So far, so mostly-lost-but-it’s-fine. Though my game has decided to lock up at a particular plot point, and we may be in trouble there.

Forgot to mention that we stuck through the season of Parallel World Pharmacy. I never did come to hate it. It wasn’t exemplary, but it was fine. I have quibbles, yes. The ~Final Boss~ drops in out of nowhere after a season of setting up fairly realistic challenges, i.e. after several episodes of describing the preparations the kingdom is taking to prevent the plague from entering (the actual Black Death, Yersina pestis, called out by name and described in detail) – screening cargo ships! deputizing other pharmacists! distributing antibiotics! establishing quarantine! — the hero fixes it all by killing This One Guy.


Okay then. I guess in the 1300s we should have found that one guy. Would’ve spared half of Europe. Oh shit, we should find That One Guy now and actually for-real end our current plague.

I mean, I was still That Nerd going “ooh, they’re gonna find penicillin!” so I’m not going to pretend I’m above it all. For all its “everyone immediately believes PhotographicMemory-kun instead of burning him at the stake” tendencies, it did its thing capably. I don’t regret watching it.

Now that that’s done, we’re looking forward to the second cour of Spy x Family, and I’ve also started Laid-Back Camp – a few years old now, but firmly in my wheelhouse. I guess there’s also a DIY hobby show coming up, so I’m picturing This Old House with syrupy anime girls. Which I would watch. I’ll give it a shot.

[Edit, later: !!! Nope, Do It Yourself!! is much weirder than that, which is the highest praise I could possibly give it. It has an odd, unshaded, kind of scribbly/loosey-goosey visual style, and the script is a) lightly science-fictional (??), b) centered on an accident-prone space-cadet human haystack whose name is a strained bilingual pun*, and c) genuinely funny at times. I fear this will doom it in the larger market, considering the larger market tends to want … not this. But I thank the universe for as long as it stays this good.]

[* Her name is Yua Serufu. Yourself. Do It Yourself. They hammer this in at the end of the episode with a pile driver.]

It’s been a year. I mean month.

How about that! It’s been a month since book 3 came out, give or take a few days. It’s going nicely by my standards — about 85 copies sold. I think I mentioned this already, but about 1/3 of the people who bought book 1 have gone on to buy book 2, so I’m curious to see what the ratio (conversion rate? that sounds weird) is for this one. If it’s also 1/3, we’re almost done. Heh.

It’s likely to be more, I think, but that’s not based on science or anything. More a vague notion that if you went on to book 2, this is probably Your Kind of Thing, and so you may be more likely to keep going.

Either way, it’s fine. Book 3 is doing its thing. If you’ve read it, I hope you liked it; if you haven’t, I hope you give it a try. If you want to. I’m not the boss of you.

What have I been doing for the last month? Well, a) stressing about stuff in real life (it’s okay, plans are in the works); b) playing video games far, far too much; c) repainting some rooms in our house; d) writing down some haphazard brainstorming for book 4.

Gamewise, I got through the entirety of Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom, which I enjoyed quite a bit. Dare I say… more than the original? I’m gonna say it. I was not a completist, because eff the bandit quests mostly, but I recruited all but one of the townsfolk and got to the point where money no longer meant anything. So a lot.

Then started Ooblets, a game that I think I’ve had in my bookmarks, “keep an eye out for this” style, for five hundred and fifty years. But now it’s out on Switch! So I’m playing it!

Stardew Valley meets Pokemon” is basically built in a lab to appeal to people with my gaming taste, and it seems almost too on the nose that the titles/UI use the same font as Steven Universe. The character/NPC design and monster design is simplified and cute and weird. I like the not-too-complex card battling mechanic, because I am not a deck-building game person normally. The toddler-speak style of the UI language — item names, confirmation boxes, etc. — annoys me, but not enough to drive me out of the game. I kind of stopped seeing it after a while, especially with the NPCs that use it a lot. I’m at… what I think is the next to last town?, stuck, on the verge of looking up some tips, but still enjoying it overall.

And all the bugs so far have been funny, so I’m not remotely mad about it. Once I showed up on a map looking like my character was 100 feet tall. And this might not even be a bug, but my character regularly loses control of their torso and whipsaws around from the waist up while running in a way that still makes me laugh, dozens of hours into the game.

Probably not going to be a completist for this one either, but I will probably sink a fair amount of time into it by the end.

The brainstorming for Book 4 still hasn’t coalesced into an outline. Because I’m starting to feel scared of starting, I’m jumping in by writing some scenes just to see how it goes. This is not a good idea; do not do this. This is how I started book 1. It took what, like, eight years to write or something. But here we are, and it feels good to try.