Some thoughts on identity

I announced this on Twitter earlier this week, but I have officially rebranded as “LizCultivates” on Twitter and Instagram as an extension of the “Liz Makes” branding that I’m now using here on this site.

I’ve been waffling on changing it for a while. The “LizWrites” has been part of my identity for so long that it’s difficult to imagine what my online persona would look like without it. But now I’m doing it!

The tweet thread (linked above) explains my feelings on “LizCultivates.” In essence, as I create new things and grow as an individual and person who “makes stuff,” I am cultivating myself. I’m finding my identity and growing into it. Which, if I think about it, is really all I’ve been trying to do here with this blog anyway.

I don’t say anything groundbreaking here. It’s really just a space for me to be. I have projects to tout and cat photos to share. But it’s in service to how I want to live my life and how I want to be seen as a human: that loopy poet type who loves cats and knits shawls and gets poetry-inspired tattoos.

I’m getting there. And this change to @lizcultivates is more than just a social media branding thing. It’s a change in how I am looking at myself and what I want out of the things I create.

And really? All I’ve ever wanted is to find myself.

You’re Invited: JoD4HAP Release Party

Don’t forget!

Mark your calendars: Monday, September 13, 2021, 7 pm EST

Instead of my regular Monday Zelda stream, we are going to host a release party for the second issue of The Journal of Dungeoneering for Hip and Attractive Professionals. Shit’s getting real, folks. The issue is amazing and I can’t believe I get to to share all this awesome work with you.

Follow me on Twitch to be notified when the party starts!

It’s finally here: JoD4HAP Issue 2

I’m proud of this issue, maybe even more than the last. It’s nearly twice as long. It has two interviews with prominent names in the Pathfinder space. It has fiction. It has homebrew ideas.

We are doing this dang thing, fam, and I am floored at the hype we’ve gotten so far. Alex and I envisioned this journal two years ago in a different world. A different universe. The fact that we have been able to carve this thing out of ourselves — with the help and support of our lovely contributors — not once but twice this year is a testament to our dedication and a testament to how well we work as a team.

It’s nice to have creative friends. It’s even nicer to have a space where you feel at home in your creativity. Alex has been both of these for me for a long time, and I’m proud of how far both of us have come.

That is to say…

Get hype, nerds. JoD4HAP is here to stay.

The Journal of Dungeoneering for Hip and Attractive Professionals, Issue 2

Bottom left, Cora the cat holds a toy mouse.

Middle, Soph sits at a laptop in front of a game board. She is dressed as a rogue in cape, bracers, knife. She sits in a forest. 

Right, a lego character holding a red lego staff sits on a DND gaming map.
Click the image to visit the site for download.

Liz Writes: You know what month it’s gonna be?

I know you know.

It’s that time of year again.

Yes, I am talking about National Novel Writing Month.

This coming November, I am once again going to participate in my revised capacity — that is, I won’t be starting any new projects, just working toward finishing the things currently on my plate. I haven’t worked much on my novel from last year in a while, so I’ll need to do a full re-read before November starts. But I’ll have the same goal as last time: finish this dang thing.

It might seem kind of pointless to participate in NaNo when the major tenets of the month (50k words on a new project) aren’t really my goal. But as I explained to someone recently, it’s not really about the bragging rights of being able to say I wrote 50,000 words or anything like that. The community is nice. There are Twitter accounts that host word sprints and groups of affirming people to share excerpts with. The energy around NaNoWriMo is what draws me to it. It gives me a good excuse to drop everything and plug away on my novel.

And damn it, my current project is 72k words and probably 2/3 of the way done — another 50k will put it over the edge and I will be finished with this draft. So I’m going to do it. This year, it’s going to happen.

Be on the lookout for excerpts, updates, and more as November approaches.

Mid-year update: Temperature afghan

Okay, I’m a couple months late on this post. But I wanted to do a mid-year update on the progress I’ve made with my temperature blanket.

I started this blanket at the beginning of this year hoping to document the high temp of every day. That’s 365 strips, and 365 temperatures. I knew it would be a slog, and would take time away from other projects I want to work on. One strip every single day.

As you can imagine, it’s been difficult.

This week, as of this post, I have completed 196 strips, up through July 14. As you well know, it is almost the end of August (whoops). I’m happy with the progress so far and how pretty it’s turning out.

I’m excited to see what the rest of the year holds. This will be a project I look back on fondly. I may even repeat what I’ve done in a few years (or do a scarf-type project so it’s not as big or as daunting as a blanket). Regardless, I am happy with this blanket’s progress. And with my progress, as a human and post-divorce, post-pandemic person. Each strip on this blanket is another day I made it, another day I woke up and chose to continue to search for the happiness I know I need and deserve.

Get ready: JoD4HAP Issue 2

Issue 2 of the Journal of Dungeoneering for Hip and Attractive Professionals now has a release date: September 13.

We tried to get it out in July or August, but in reality, we needed that little bit of extra time to ensure this issue is as good as possible.

And, y’all.

This issue is going to be amazing.

You’re not ready. You think you are, but you’re not. This issue is chock-full of great content, interesting new ways to play the game, essays, interviews, and a fun short story. And don’t get me started about the art. I have been sitting on the ART we commissioned for this issue for months, and it’s been killing me.

Stay tuned for more information about the issue and how you can get your hands on it. Issue 1 can still be found at JoD4HAP.com, which will also get a bit of a facelift in time for the new issue’s release date.

Model: Soph of sophsbadgaming

Get ready, fam.

Bonus Blog: I made Twitch Affiliate!

We did it! As of this morning, I am officially a Twitch Affiliate.

It’s been a whirlwind couple of months. Growing a following, making a stream schedule, and participating in the Cool Gamers Retirement Home has been a wild ride so far — and going from 20 followers to 51 in that time seems wildly unreasonable to me, but here we are!!

So what does this mean for me and the future? First, I’ll be taking a look at how to design my own emotes and checking out the “prizes” function. Second, you can now subscribe to my channel! It’s an exciting, affordable way to support content creators (and, uh, me).

I honestly didn’t think I would like streaming all that much. But the community I’ve found, the friends I have gained, and the chatting/back-and-forth on streams have given me something to look forward to during this stressful period of my life.

So, thanks everyone. You’re all amazing and I hope I can one day deserve your support.

PS. Tonight is the BINGO NIGHT which means it will be my first AFFILIATE STREAM!! Tune in to Island Grandpa’s stream at 7:30 pm EST for the bingo portion, then mosey on over to my channel for the Among Us game.

Here’s a sneak peek at what some of the prizes might look like…

This Friday: CGRH Bingo Night!

The streaming collective I’ve been playing with, the Cool Gamers Retirement Home, is hosting a bingo night this Friday, Aug. 13, 2021!

Yes, that’s right, we’re hosting our event on Friday the 13th.

Tune in to Island Grandpa’s channel starting at 7:30 pm EST. We’ll be playing bingo with chat and we’ll have all kinds of cute prizes available.

Brightly colored perler bead crafts arranged in the shape of floppy disks.
Sneak peek of what’s been going on in the craft room.

We’ll all be playing on Island Grandpa’s stream, then break off into our own streams for an after-hours Among Us stream. If you want to know how bad I am at being sus, join us!!

Bingo! in neon signage

Liz Writes: Seeing the Elephant In St. Louis

Red hair don’t care (actually, that’s a lie, I care a lot).

It sure has been a while since I posted a “Liz Writes” update.

I traveled to St. Louis this past week to support my nephew’s roller hockey team at a tournament called State Wars. It was a crash course in hockey and it was super exciting! I learned so much — about hockey, about my own limits. I came home with a streak of red in my hair and a newfound appreciation for kids’ sports.

We did a couple touristy things while in St. Louis. My partner and I went up in the Arch, of course. And we went to the City Museum with the younger nephew (5), who had a BLAST.

But this is a Liz Writes, not a review of the trip.

As I was looking at the displays in the Arch museum, I came across a plaque depicting an elephant:

I know this is not a good photo. I snapped it because I wanted the text.

“Seeing the Elephant”

As people experienced the wonder, adventure and hardships of the overland trails, they used a phrase in their diaries that expressed their feelings when bad luck, accidents, or outright tragedy befell them. They called their episodes of danger and adventure “seeing the elephant.” Why an elephant?

Elephants were rare animals in America at the time, only seen in traveling circuses. An elephant coming to town was a big event, causing great anticipation and perhaps a little fear of the unknown. On the overland trails, diaries and journals mentioned “seeing the elephant” at river crossings, during bad weather and even after the deaths of family members.

It struck me as a fascinating turn of phrase that particularly applies to my life right now. That feeling of anticipation — of a door opening before you while another shuts behind — of someone whispering just out of hearing.

I have seen a lot of elephants in the last year and a half.

And so I am working on a new piece of writing — poetry or creative nonfiction, haven’t decided yet — about that. I’m glad to have found inspiration and motivation for writing again while in a new city.


In other news, keep your eyes on this space for some updates coming down the pipe. I have been streaming on Twitch as my other internet personality, Internet Gramma / Katryam, and I have been thinking about putting some rough cuts of that up on YouTube. My brand seems to be branching out from the “Liz Writes” persona into something more all-encompassing on the “making stuff” front. I knit/crochet, I write, I make internet content, I publish tasteful and important reviews of tabletop games.

I think this site should reflect the multiple facets of the work I’m doing. So stay tuned for some much-needed improvements.