Category Archives: Photography

#WriteTuesday – Taking Some Me Time

This week I’m trying to slow life down a bit to get caught up with things that I’ve been putting off.  To that end, on Sunday I finally uploaded the pictures I took from the second day of ThunderCon to Flickr (they’re in this album), as well as all the pictures I’ve taken with my phone over the last few months.  You can find all of my pictures on my Flickr photostream. 🙂

While going through my pictures (specifically the ThunderCon ones), I was a bit sad that some of them really didn’t work out.  I’m hoping to be able to work on taking better pictures, specifically of people in low light settings, so if I’m taking pictures for them again next year my pictures will be better in the future.  That being said, I still got some fantastic shots (especially of the Fire Eater, but he was outside so I think that helped a lot!)

Along with slowing down a bit, I’m also trying to take this week to kind of reset myself both mentally and physically.  Over the weekend I was eating a ton of pizza (as well as just way too much on Saturday night at a Christmas party).  So today I went to buy some mandarin oranges (they’re my favourite holiday treat!) and some ingredients I need for some no bake energy bites that are great to snack on.  If you follow me on Twitter you may have also seen a few Tweets I’ve sent to  – I signed up for her 30 Day Challenge, which sends you a 15 minute workout every day for 30 days.  I’ve felt super sedentary over the last few months, so I’m hoping to be a bit more active and healthier with her help.  So far her workouts have been pretty great!

On the writing side of things, this week has been rather quiet.  I went for coffee with my brother last Tuesday and mentioned the worldbuilding kinks I’ve been working through with City of the Dead.  As we were talking, he gave me some fantastic ideas, so now I need to see how well they actually work with the setting.  Unfortunately these ideas may have some far reaching consequences for both the setting and the specific story I’m working on for the Make Your Way anthology , so that’s set the story back a bit.  But hopefully I’ll be able to work through everything and be back to writing soon!

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Filed under #WriteTuesday, City of the Dead, Conferences, Photography, Worldbuilding, Writing

Hello 2016!

Happy New Year everyone!!!  2015 was overall a really good year for me and I’m rather sad to see it go.  But hopefully 2016 will be just as good!

Here’s all the things I said I wanted to do in 2015:

  1. Read 50+ books off of The List -partial success.  I read 51 books this year, but only 25 off The List.
  2. Stay in shape – I’m going to say failure.  I did get back to swimming, but really late in the year.
  3. Get 2+ of my worlds that need building up to the point Imezza is currently at – success!  City of the Dead and Faeriia are not done but I can easily write stories set in them.  That sounds like the point Imezza is at to me!  🙂
  4. Finish the screenplay I started – failure because this was going to be a gift for a boyfriend who I broke up with in March (so I stopped caring about it).
  5. Write the Grief Project  – success!  A first draft was completed in my NaNoWriMo blob!
  6. Write a story a month for Apocalypse Madness  – success!  I actually wrote 13 stories plus wrote something with Chat mapper for Apocalypse Madness last January.
  7. Build a game – partial success. After Storynexus stopped being supported I switched back to RPG Maker (which meant switching to a different game).  Tears of the King is not completed, but I’m still working on it!
  8. Figure out Chat Mapper – I’m going to list this as a partial success because I did write that Apocalypse Madness thing in January.  But that was the last time I even looked at the program, so I don’t want to say it was a full success.
  9. Take a Lego Picture a month  – failure.  I stopped taking as many pictures in general this year and miss it, but I just haven’t had time!  😦
  10. Fix up my Red Bubble profile – I actually did do this early in 2015.  So it’s a success, but I haven’t added anything to it since then.
  11. Edit my NaNoWriMo 2012 book – failure.  Lack of time.

No wonder 2015 was a good year for me – out of 11 goals for 2015, I completely succeeded with 4 of them (and 2 of them were quite sizable – writing a story a month for Apocalypse Madness and getting two worlds to the detail level of Imezza!)  I also made a valiant effort on a few others, with only 4 as outright failures!  What’s more, I actually succeeded on more writing projects than I did last year!  (I think my main accomplishment last year was to build Imezza).  So 2015 really was a good year! 🙂

So let’s look to 2016.  This year I want to:

  1. Finish Tears of the King.  That should obviously go without saying.
  2. Write four polished short stories.  I’m very proud of the work I spent writing for Apocalypse Madness this last year.  But Apocalypse Madness is all about writing first or maybe second drafts.  So this year I want to put the time into writing more quality pieces, not quantity.  I’m planning on perusing Duotrope for markets that I’m interested in and writing a story every quarter for one.
  3. Take a Lego Picture a month (and actually post it in a timely manner). I can do it!
  4. Eat healthier.  I’ve been so busy over the last several months in particular and I feel unhealthy.  So 2016 is the year I’m going to try to be healthier.  I’m just listing this here as part of my goals, but don’t worry, I’m breaking this down for myself in better detail!
  5. Be more active.  Going hand in hand with number 4.  Also breaking it down for myself into better detail.
  6. Read the anthologies I own.  Looking through my list of books, i have over 25 anthologies of short stories on there!  So this year I’m going to focus on getting through most of those (if I make it through 20 I will consider this a success).  As a side note, I’m going to mark my Goodreads Challenge as reading 40 books for the year. So that means I hope that half of my challenge will be made up of short story collections.
  7. Build 1 of my worlds that need building.  I don’t really need to do this this year, but I know there are two main worlds that need building (well, one world, one science fiction setting that in reality will be multiple worlds).  If I can get through one more right now, that’ll only help me more in the future, right?  🙂
  8. Edit my NaNoWriMo 2012 book.  This is the same as last year – I want to make it into a coherent narrative that I can share with people.
  9. Take apart my NaNoWriMo 2015 blob.  This sounds a bit silly, but I’ve already put it off for a month.  The blob is made up of worldbuilding, Grief Project, more worldbuilding, and several other, smaller things (stories, a blog post, etc).  I need to take it apart and organize everything (particularly the worldbuilding and Grief Project.  The smaller things are pretty much self contained inside of it).
  10. Work with Chat Mapper. This poor goal has been on my lists for the last few years (since 2013!)  It’s time to actually do some work with branching dialogue!

So there we have it – my goals for 2016.  The first five goals are really my priorities for the year.  Wish me luck as I work to accomplish everything!

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Filed under Apocalypse Madness, Game Development, goals, Grief Project, Lego, NaNoWriMo, Photography, Short Story, Tears of the King, Untitled StoryNexus Project, Updates, Worldbuilding, Writing

It’s That Time of Year Again…

…time to see how I did with my goals and set some new ones for the year!

Last year I set ten goals for myself, but only wrote down the writing-related ones.  But after a bit of a scare (I thought I lost the paper I wrote them all down on), I’m going to list all ten off here, along with my progress on them:

  1. Move out – success!  I got my own place this December.  I moved there with my new cat, Merlin. 🙂
  2. Get to GDC Main in SF – success!  You can read all about it here.
  3. Finish reading 50+ books -success!  I actually read 58 books!
  4. Get in better shape – sort of a success – I was going swimming twice a week all fall, but had to stop in December due to moving out and Christmas.  Will be heading back to the pool this month though!
  5. Clear out my writing magazine stash – success!  I got rid of a lot of them once I knew I was moving.
  6. Fix up my website (and eLance profile) – sort of a success – I fixed it up a bit before GDC, but haven’t done anything new to it since then (except update it with any articles I’ve had published).  For the eLance profile, I don’t think I’ve even BEEN on eLance since the spring…
  7. Edit my NaNoWriMo 2012 novel OR write a new novel using 90 Days to Your Novel – failure.  All I did was look over 90 Days and decide not to use it.  Since that time, I haven’t done a thing with my novel.
  8. Build 2+ of my worlds that need building – failure (sort of).  I spent quite a bit of time working on worlds earlier in the year, and managed to get one up to a point that I think I could write stuff in it.  It’s still not “done” though – there are some aspects that I still need to work on.
  9. Build a game (I don’t care with what) – failure.  I was all gung-ho to build a Storynexus game after GDC, but that fell by the wayside (particularly when I realized the story I had in mind wasn’t going to work).
  10. Figure out Chat Mapper and write some branching dialogue – failure.  I haven’t done a thing with Chat Mapper.

So of the ten goals, I succeeded at five, worked on two, and utterly failed at three.  Unfortunately I didn’t really succeed at any of my creative goals (but I did a lot of work on worldbuilding, which will only benefit me in the future!)

With that in mind, it’s time to set some new goals for 2015!

  1. Read 50+ books off of The List (so that means non-library books – just books I currently own!)
  2. Stay in shape (get back to swimming and keep it up!)
  3. Get 2+ of my worlds that need building up to the point Imezza is currently at.
  4. Finish the screenplay I started.  I forgot to write about it, but I started a screenplay at the end of November.  It was meant to be a Christmas gift, but I ran out of time due to moving.  So now it’s going to be a birthday gift.  I have until August to finish it.
  5. Write the Grief Project.  I had planned on doing this sooner, but my grief for my cat was too great and I couldn’t do it last fall.
  6. Write a story a month for Apocalypse Madness.  Apocalypse Madness is a blog I started back in 2008.  The idea is that every month someone would post a quote, then everyone who contributed to the blog had to write at least one story inspired by that quote.  The blog died in 2011 (due to a number of reasons), but I decided I wanted to revive it starting today.  So for the first time in three and a half years, there is a new quote; hopefully stories will follow!  And if you’d like to join in on Apocalypse Madness, send me an email or comment on this post! 🙂
  7. Build a game.  I don’t care with what (could be Storynexus, RPG Maker, Game Maker, a game book, whatever!)
  8. Figure out Chat Mapper. Same as last year.
  9. Take a Lego Picture a month.  I’ve fallen away from Lego pics over the last while.  I miss it.
  10. Fix up my Red Bubble profile.  This kind of goes hand in hand with  9.

As a bonus:

  • Edit my NaNoWriMo 2012 book. At least to the point where I feel okay sharing it with people.

So those are my new goals for 2015.  This year there’s a lot more creative goals, so wish me luck with them!  You’ll notice that there’s also nothing about getting to conferences.  As much as I’d love to go back to GDC, or one of the other game ones, I don’t think that’s a reality for me this year.  Of course, if that should change, I’ll blog about it. 🙂

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Filed under Apocalypse Madness, Game Development, goals, Grief Project, Lego, NaNoWriMo, Novel, Photography, Script, Updates, Worldbuilding, Writing

“Spring Photography”

My seventh Library Detective column was published today in the Chronicle Journal under the title “Picture-perfect photography books.” This time I decided to talk about my photography hobby, linking photography with spring because there are so many amazing things to photograph this time of year. But while I was writing that article we had a large snowstorm, making spring seem much further away than it really is; that prompted me to open with the line “The signs are everywhere: the lakes and rivers are melting, the trees are sprouting leaves and we know the flowers are eventually going to bloom.” While we still don’t have any flowers blooming, the large snow fall has pretty much disappeared so I know blooms are immanent!

If you’re interested in giving my article a read, you can find it here on the Thunder Bay Public Library’s Library Detective blog.

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Filed under Articles, Library Detective, Photography, Writing

Speak Out with Your Geek Out: Lego Photography

When I first decided to participate in Speak Out With Your Geek Out, I immediately thought about writing something else. Maybe on video games, because I love playing them, or roleplaying. But the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to write about my Lego photography.

I’m not exactly quiet about the Lego photography, especially online. My banner is a picture of some of my minifigures (or “minifigs” for the uninitiated). What started as a quick distraction from my studies quickly bloomed into an all-out hobby. I absolutely love dreaming up pictures with my minifigs, especially out in the real world. Athough that is admittedly a problem at times; when I see new minifigs I then need them for a new pic idea!

Ironically, while I love taking pictures of the minifigs, I don’t really like using a full Lego setting (except in particular cases, such as “And Look at the Two of Us” or “Lenora as Rapunzel – Let Down Your Hair!“. My favourite shots are ones in the real world, particularly out in a natural setting. I love finding the perfect background for a certain minifig, especially when it is coupled with the perfect focus/composition (for examples of some of my faves, check out “So Be It, Jedi,” “Squid Warrior” and “Some Fishing Action“).

But sometimes heading outside isn’t very practical. So I use a set-up with a black clipboard as the background and a flashlight for my lighting (see my set “The Faces of Lego” for examples of this set-up). I’m always amazed when I look back on that set as it shows how much I’ve grown as a photographer; the older shots aren’t as refined as the more recent ones.

Another awesome benefit from my Lego pics is all of the wonderful friends I have made on Flickr. I am always inspired by their own photos and thankful for their inspiring comments.

So if you have a camera, why not give Lego photography a try? Lego’s made it super easy to start with their Minifigures series (Series 5 is currently out). And if there’s a certain special minifig you’re after, be sure to check out BrickLink! But if you’d rather just browse, be sure to check out one of Flickr’s Lego groups, like Lego or Lego Adventures. There you’ll find tons of fun images from fantastic photographers.

And if you see me out taking pictures with my minifigs, be sure to say hi! 🙂

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Filed under Lego, Photography