Category Archives: Unforeseen Dives

NaNoWriMo Hath Started!

Hello everyone,

I haven’t been around in the past couple of weeks because I was planning several sessions for two conferences (which were both last week) while working full time and trying to wrap my head around NaNoWriMo. All of that without killing my social life.

And I have succeeded on all account, though a little bit late on the NaNo planning bit. In fact, I just completed my outline!

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Look it! It has color-coding and everything! One post-it per chapter. Yellow = in the city, blue = at the precinct, green = at home. Pink square = clue for the case (see pink post-its on the left). Purple square = Maybe this belongs in book 2.

I extracted the outline from my first draft of that novel, which wasn’t as bad as I thought but contains way too many dead bodies to keep track off. The result is a more detailed outline than usual, but I’m rewriting from scratch and a lot of this is liable to change since I may keep the last third for Book 2.

I’m halfway through Day 3 and behind on my word count. Hopefully, I can catch up before the end of the day.

In the meantime, here’s the new opening for The Phoenix’s Wake. Hope you enjoy!

My partner Ramses sat on the passenger seat as usual, except he was an egg now. That reality sunk in while I stood in the parking lot, waiting for him to join me with a handful of pretzels.
Rami spontaneously combusted yesterday. He wouldn’t help me solve this case, and when he would come out of his shell, he may not remember me at all.
I wavered and leaned against the coroner’s van for support. Hands on my knees, I took a few quick breaths to fight back the tears. My rib cage struggled to expand as if I was constricting myself with my own tail.
That’s impossible. You’re in human form. Get a hold of yourself.
The thought tickled in my eyes, and I knew my pupils had morphed to their elliptical shape.
No. I refused to disgrace Rami’s memory by letting my mood affect me this much. He hated bad police work. Besides, the dead myth who lived here deserved my full attention.
The early morning sun warmed up my blood and, for a moment, I let the physical sensation override conscious thoughts. Between the sun rays and the caffeine, I should manage to stay awake despite the lack of sleep. The taste of coffee still lingered in my mouth, though. I wouldn’t be able to smell the crime scene properly without a palate cleanser.
I sighed and pushed myself off the van, pooling my willpower to get back in my department-issued sedan, brush past Rami and get the pretzels from the glove box.
My phone vibrated.
“Drea, are you okay? You should be home by now. Please tell me you don’t need a witchdoctor.” Nina’s voice sang in all shades of softness, but I knew she was a little angry. My roommate had been very clear when she ordered me to get straight from the precinct to the house.
“Yes. No.” I shook my head to try to align the ideas. “I got a call from dispatch halfway home.”
“You should not be working today.”
“Thanks, Sherlock.” I yanked my passenger door open. “Someone got killed. We’re understaffed. I didn’t choose any of this.”
As I sat on a corner of Rami’s seat, I wondered if I wanted Nina to cut the mothering out or to keep it going. It felt easier to do things while I was annoyed. On the other hand, I feared I’d launch into a rant that would worry her more.
Our superintendent —a norm— had been eager to apply the new federal law that forced the Myth police to take on human cops for ‘training’ purposes. The idea fooled no one; the norms wanted one more way to monitor us and learn to control us. Now that I was partner-less, the Captain couldn’t dodge the law without risking his job.
If Nina learned I was forced to partner with a norm untrained in Myth ways, I wouldn’t put it past her to storm the precinct.
“If you’re on a case, where’s Eggy Rami?”
I cringed. “Don’t call him that. He’s on the passenger seat.”
Jeffrey, the coroner, had released Rami to my care a few hours ago. No forensic evidence survived a Phoenix’s rebirth, so there was no use keeping him in the morgue.
“Okay. Here’s what we’ll do. I’ll pick up Ramses and organize the Farewell ceremony. You get your scaly ass back here as soon as you can, or so help me Dionysus, I’ll make you slough.”
I guessed that was Nina’s colorful way to tell me she’d tear me a new one. “Deal. I’ll text you the address and leave the car keys with the officer at the door.”
“Good.” A door clicked shut and keys rattled. “And Drea, he will rise again.”
“And remember what he ought to,” I replied, per Phoenix tradition, before hanging up.

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I Play – Lifeline

This Wednesday on Games’ Bustles, I share my design analysis of the text adventure, “Lifeline.” These points kind of apply to writing, too. 😉

Games' Bustles

In the I Play series, I share my thoughts on the games I play. While these opinions may touch on the general fun/quality of the games, they are meant more as learning opportunities than game reviews. I play with my game designer hat on, looking for things to learn or good examples of things I care about in my designs. This means that I’ll find stuff to critique in an enjoyable game and good lessons in less pleasant experiences as well.

Onward to my first I Play article! I picked a small game so that I can get a feel of how I want to write these (and you can quickly see what you’ll get out of these articles.)

I consider this article spoiler-free as I don’t share any specific plot point.

Game Overview

Lifeline is a text adventure in which the player makes binary decisions to help save Taylor, a student astronaut whose vessel just…

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Games’ Bustles Relaunch

For the time being, I’ll be blogging on my game industry blog on Wednesday’s. Feel free to ignore these posts if that’s not your thing or come over to Games’ Bustles to join the discussion. 😉

Games' Bustles

Hey everyone!

Some people may remember that, once upon a time, I had a plan to write a game industry blog. I got an awesome header done by my friend Melanie, wrote down thoughts about the two pillars of this blog (women in games and games’ underpinnings), and then…

Then, life happened.

And by “life,” I mean overtime leading to a burnout followed by 7 moves over 3 continents in 12 months.

Let’s just say I’ve learned quite a bit in the 2 years and a half since my last blog post here. Please don’t mind the dust; we’ll be rid of it in a jiffy.

Fortunately, life has stabilized now and that gives me an opportunity to return to some of the projects I had to let go of. This blog is close to the top of that list, especially since I have upcoming panels and a lecture for

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Internet, How I Missed Thee!

As you may have gathered from the title, I finally have Internet at home again. It only took a full month and a half of back-and-forth. *sigh* This is definitely “first world problem” territory, but since I use Internet to keep in touch with my loved ones in Canada, handle all my bills and bank stuff, and interact with you guys and different writer communities, I really missed it. My phone and the computer at work didn’t do enough for me.

Now that this saga has come to an end, I’ll be able to resume my regular posting schedule with new drabble prompts and stories, the next chapter of A Story About That Guy, and other stuff.

See you all for a new WeWriWa snippet on Sunday! 😉


Life Update (Bilingual)

En français plus bas. 😉

Hi everyone,

I’ve now been in Melbourne for a week and a day, and have hit the midpoint of my first work week at FireMonkeys (also known as EA Melbourne). I wouldn’t say that I’m completely settled in, yet –it’ll take a couple of weeks to fall into a routine– but there’s definitely some stability on the horizon. Yay!

After the little stress caused by my carry-on and its fragile computer components being checked in, I caught all my flights and arrived in Melbourne as planned. Warm weather, warm welcome, warm shower, and 30 hours in transit and 16 hours of jetlag wrestled my face to a pillow. I did some reconnaissance the day of my arrival and slept in intervals to get on the Australian clock as fast as possible. Last Wednesday, I purchased the essential power cords, monitor and whatnots, and jumped for joy when The Smurf, my computer cheekily named after my hair color by my little brother, beeped to life. By Thursday, I had everything unpacked, the jet lag beat and the arrival paperwork taken care off.

I’m getting good at this relocation thing.

Monday brought the first day at the office which, as far as I can tell, is filled with wonderful, easy-going professionals. Conversations flow naturally from work stuff to getting to know one another, all with equal passion and spark. The office coffee machine looks straight out of a Starbucks, but a coworker kindly made my first cup and showed me how to operate the stainless thingamabobs. Though I’m still at the “read everything, listen, learn” stage, I’m beginning to see how I fit here, both personally and professionally.

Okay, okay, truth be told, they had me the moment I saw the Minion drawn on our chalkboard. The world can use more random appearances of Minions.

As far as my writing is concerned, I’m a tiny bit behind what I would like, but within the goals I set for myself. The Quirks may only be posted here in late March, but that’s still Q1. The edits on Oil and Boiling Water are on track although Critique Circle will get Chapter 5 late and 6 right after; I had time to edit, but not to critique enough stories to have all the credits I need to submit.

Done rambling now! Time for pictures!

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My temporary front lawn went from one extreme to the other. 😉

***

Mon entrée temporaire est passée d’un extrême à l’autre. 😉

Bonjour tout le monde!

Je suis maintenant à Melbourne depuis une semaine et un jour, et j’ai atteint le milieu de ma première semaine chez FireMonkeys (aussi connu sous EA Melbourne). Je n’irai pas jusqu’à dire que je suis complètement établie –ça prendra bien quelques semaines pour me trouver une routine– mais je vois définitivement de la stabilité à l’horizon. Yay!

Après le petit stress causé par l’enregistrement forcé de mon baggage à main et ses fragiles pièces d’ordinateurs, j’ai attrapé tous mes vols et suis arrivée à Melbourne comme prévu. Climat chaud, accueil chaleureux, douche, et mes 30 heures de voyage et 16 heures de décalage m’ont cloué le visage à l’oreiller. J’ai fait un peu de reconnaissance le jour de mon arrivée et dormi en interval pour m’adapter à l’horloge australienne aussi vite que possible. Mercredi dernier, j’ai acheté les essentiels (fils, écran et autres) et ai sauté de joie quand le Schtroumpf, mon ordinateur comiquement nommé par mon petit frère Benjamin, s’est allumé. À la fin de la journée de jeudi, j’avais déballé tous mes baggages, battu le décalage et réglé toute la paperasse d’arrivée.

Je m’en viens bonne à ce truc de relocalisation.

Lundi a amené ma première journée au bureau qui, autant que je puisse en juger, est rempli de professionels merveilleux et décontractés. Les conversations coulent naturellement du boulot au présentations, tout cela avec passion et électricité. La machine à café du bureau semble sortie tout droit d’un Starbucks, mais un collègue m’a gentiment fait ma première tasse en me montrant comment opérer les cossins en inox. Bien que j’en sois encore à l’étape “lis tout, écoute, apprend”, je commence à voir comment cet endroit est le mien, autant personnellement que professionnellement.

D’accord, d’accord, en vérité, ils m’avaient dès que j’ai vu le Minion dessiné sur notre tableau à craie. L’univers a besoin de plus d’apparitions impromptues de Minions.

Pour ce qui est de mon écriture, je suis un peu en retard sur ce que j’aimerais, mais à l’intérieur des objectifs que je me suis fixée. Comme toutes mes histoires sont en anglais, je me doute que le reste de mon message vous sera plutôt obscure même si je le traduis. Il faut avoir suivi mon blog pour comprendre cette partie.

Vous n’avez pas ces détails, mais, à la place, je vous donne des câlins. 😉


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