Greetings, (title here). Nothing to report.

Writing: Therapist book 3 seems to be stuck in limbo; I haven’t heard from the cover artist in three weeks. I’m going to reach out one more time before I try to commission someone else. Fingers crossed. [Edit: It worked! I feel kinda bad, but at least it’s concluded! So we’re one step closer.]

Otherwise, I’m noodling along on a) a side story for Therapist, which is almost finished at novella length; and b) a long-running side project in the Healers universe.

I honestly don’t know what to ~do~ with the side story, because I’d kind of rather drop a dictionary on my foot than venture into commissioning another cover artwork right now. I’ll probably stick it in a proverbial drawer for a while, and focus on getting the main series out there.

Also beta-read another novel draft, which makes 4 within the last year. I really enjoy that process. And if you’re thinking “yay, time to send SE my first chapter,” I love your enthusiasm, but hold up. I only want to read finished drafts, and even then, only in a couple of genres. Shoot me an email or a Reddit PM if you have a finished draft in light-ish/non-grimdark fantasy or science fiction that is NOT, I repeat, NOT a power fantasy aimed at teenage boys. There are plenty of other people who can help with that. Like…the entire rest of the internet. Good luck.

Gaming: Finished Cult of the Lamb and started Harvestella.

It seems like this game got savaged in reviews? I truly did not expect it to be the Second Coming, and I think it’s fine. I forgot to check my total hours so far, but I’m in chapter 3C.

I wonder if people are somehow surprised/mad that action-RPG combat is a button-mashing mess. It’s an action RPG. What did you expect, exactly? If you want fine-tuned combat, maybe play a full-on action game? There are some janky moments in farming, as well — like being locked into position as you plant — but it’s overall okay. Ditto the English voice acting, which seems fine apart from the loud, repetitive, and sometimes hilariously creepy fairies on your farm. ~See you laterrrrrr *hhhheehhhh*~

Most of all, though, I have actually enjoyed the script/story. Without spoilers, it kind of makes more sense than I expected for a JRPG plot full of crystals and robots and what the hell ever. The translation is honestly quite good. The characters are varied enough in personality, if a bit mopey overall. Your main sidekick is refreshingly salty. There are some funny moments (a playable character who can only speak in “meep meep meep” for several hours’ worth of plot, like Beaker designed by an otaku) and some sad ones (various side bits about unhappy families).

The playable character designs are pure late-model Final Fantasy-style gleeful nonsense, with costumes eighteen layers deep and yet somehow showing odd bits of skin whenever possible. (Except one guy who is just Howl.) It was also driving me to distraction how the younger male characters (but only the younger ones) had wider hips than the female characters, a quirk I finally realized was familiar from FF Tactics.

Your character spends much of their time a) running around righting tiny wrongs for townsfolk randos (playing with children, shuttling letters back and forth, collecting loot from monsters, etc.) and b) coddling your party members through their personal issues, along with c) pursuing the main quest. There is not actually that much time or energy to farm, which is kind of an ongoing sideline to the action RPG part.

I also almost forgot to mention that the scenery is quite pretty in a lot of the sections. The seaside town is a particular standout, so far.

It’s all fine. I can imagine sinking a hundred hours into it and then moving on. That’s all I ask of an RPG, really.