PSA: PansiePants is playing Zelda

I’ll keep this brief: My best friend, known on the internet in various places as PansiePants, is getting ready to stream some Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Twitch. She’ll be doing it today (Thursday, July 22) at 7:00 pm EST, but will be putting a schedule together later!

Check it out!

I am really proud of her and can’t wait to watch her flourish! Her online brand is in MUCH better shape than mine.

Oh, also: News coming soon on the I’m-publishing-my-novel front. Stay tuned.

In the interest of accountability

Here are several things I am going to do in the near future, in no particular order:

Edit and self-publish my novel in the next couple of months

I need to pick a good date. It’s going to depend on when the next issue of JoD4HAP is coming out (which will be sometime in August).

Publish the next issue of JoD4HAP and host a stream launch party

This is coming along quite nicely and I’m pleased at our progress. Some things have been a little slow just for reasons, but we have a lot of amazing art for this issue, and I can’t wait to show you.

Redesign this site

I’m feeling the itch to look at some new layouts and designs for the ol’ blog. Happens every few years. You’ll know when you know.

Pay off my car

Self explanatory.

Put together a more consistent streaming schedule

I’m loving the weekend streams with the Cool Gamers Retirement Home and want to continue doing it. Not really looking to be famous or anything, I just want to play games and have fun. Final Fantasy XIV has already become a staple in my games diet once again. Very cool, much game.

That’s enough for now, I think. I will update more later when I have accomplished one or more of these things.

And, because I need a photo for this post:

Liz Does Stuff: Stream Schedule

Hello friends! I’ve been busy focusing on my mental health and bingeing podcasts and working (a lot), but this past week I finally decided on a streaming schedule.

First of all: Let me introduce you to the Cool Gamers Retirement Home (#CGRH). This is a chill Twitch collective that grew organically out of a Discord server I’m in — it was very much “You’re doing a thing. Can I also do the thing? Maybe we can do the thing together.” A couple of us were trying to reach Affiliate and we all got to talking one day–maybe we could do this thing as a group instead of alone. You know, as humans have done for ages and ages.

And then, because one of us streams as “Island Grandpa” and I have been kicking around the branding “Internet Gma,” we should just go all in and be a retirement home of folks who have done gaming in the past and are basically still kicking it like the cool kids we are.

The vibe in the retirement home is extremely chill. We are going to be streaming things like Stardew Valley, Final Fantasy XIV, and Minecraft (not me, because I haven’t played Minecraft, but o-Redria-o does, with their MOM, and it’s chill as hell).

Anyway, check us out! So far, I will be streaming at least these days, games, and times:

  • Saturday, 9am EST: Final Fantasy XIV
  • Sunday, 11am EST: Stardew Valley
  • Monday, 6pm EST: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

I’ll edit this post as I add more concrete days. Check out the first FFXIV stream here.

My name in Final Fantasy is “Internet Gramma,” and I am still getting used to it. This came up and I nearly fell out of my chair laughing.

I’m back, baby: FFXIV

A friend I made recently while playing Pathfinder mentioned that he had gotten back into Final Fantasy XIV. I played this game for years and years — my ex introduced me to it, and I played with him and my brother for a long time. We had our own Free Company, raided together, and eagerly awaited each expansion.

Post-divorce, and honestly even pre-divorce, I fell off the wagon. There wasn’t much going on in the Free Company, I worked too much to really enjoy raiding anymore, and my leisure activities gravitated more toward crochet, writing, and spending time with friends.

But my Pathfinder bud has been talking up the merits of the game at each of our sessions the past couple of months, and it’s making me want to play again. My fingers itch to play Monk and Scholar and do my monotonous crafting.

And, lo and behold, I have resubbed.

I moved my character to my friend’s data center/server, and I’m excited to have kind of a “fresh start” with a new Free Company. This group seems lively and active. I even had to put in an application to join! That’s kind of serious! I’m hoping to get back to the nitty gritty of raiding by the time the new expansion comes out later this year. That should be exciting and fun.

I might even stream some of my escapades. That might be cool.

So anyway if you see me (Katryam Ealim) or my fat cat around on Jenova, say hi!

This is it: JoD4HAP is Live

Alright folks. Things have never been more exciting around here.

The Journal of Dungeoneering for Hip and Attractive Professionals is now LIVE at jod4hap.com.

This first issue has been in the making since 2019. We did the first interview in October 2019, and from there, we have experienced setback after setback. I got divorced, COVID happened, some asshole cops decided to be asshole cops. So we’ve been working and waiting and working some more (with some beer and scotch and writing and reading). And now we’re ready to share our work — and the work of our wonderful contributors — with the world.

This issue contains an interview with a psychotherapist who uses TTRPGs in youth therapy, a memoir essay about joining a Pathfinder table, discussion about PFS Organized Play, the introduction to our GMs’ advice column (hosted by a Flumph), cats, maps, book reviews, and more! It’s 50 beautiful pages of art and love.

Our release party is Monday evening at 7:30 pm at my Twitch channel (that’s TONIGHT). Come hang out and listen to us talk about nerd shit. The next release party will be in person, I promise, but this is a great opportunity to chat with creatives and pick their brains about their work.

I sincerely hope you come visit us tonight, but if not, at least check out the accessible PDF of the journal at the website for the Journal of Dungeoneering for Hip and Attractive Professionals.

Announcing: JOD4HAP

Surprise surprise: I’m doing more stuff.

The Journal of Dungeoneering for Hip and Attractive Professionals is finally launching its first issue. (You may remember me posting the call for subs a bit ago, attached to the Most Attractive Photo of Me That Has Ever Been Taken.)

We have a website. We have a tremendous table of contents. It’s going to be AMAZING.

On March 15, join us on our dungeoneering adventure. I can’t wait!

Check the website out.

Can’t wait for you all to read it!

Liz Streams Stuff: Life is Strange

Thanks to the influence of the lovely Soph (of Sophsbadgaming/Uncultured Palate fame) and amazing Mellannada, I seem to be getting into this live streaming thing.

Putting together more of a streaming schedule was on my list of goals for this year, so I am going to knock that out of the park early in the year. Every Sunday for the next few weeks, I’ll be hanging out with Soph on my Twitch stream, until I’m done with this game we started last week, called Life is Strange.

It’s her favorite game, a narrative-driven decision-making game about a high-school-age girl who has the power to reverse time — an interesting game mechanic that functionally serves as an “oh shit!” button for you to go back in time when you make a decision you regret or don’t solve a puzzle in the allotted time. It’s a beautiful game, quiet and introspective and easy to get lost in.

Also I make a point to look in every trash can, and it’s pretty enlightening usually.

Soph is creating a cookbook based on the different kinds of food we see in this game. It’s going to be full of delicious content (get it?).

Join me this Sunday (Valentine’s Day!) at 2:30 pm as we play through Episode 2!

Liz Writes … er … Publishes Stuff

Well, folks. I’m going to do it.

Deep breath.

I’m going to self-publish my novel.

If you have been following this blog for a few years (good for you to have stuck with my ramblings and random hiatuses for all this time!), you’ll remember me waxing poetic (and decidedly unpoetic) about the fantasy novel that I turned in as my master’s thesis. I wrangled a master’s degree in fiction out of that — and I’m still proud of the book that I wrote.

After graduating, I knew I wanted to do something with this piece. It has big magic, big relationships, big themes. I re-wrote it, and re-wrote it again, and re-worked and edited and revised and edited again.

I’ve been thinking about it for so long. I gave a half-hearted attempt to find an agent or a publisher, back when it was still fresh. I know I didn’t give it enough effort, and then life happened. And kept happening, and kept happening. I made excuse after excuse.

Honestly, I’m tired of thinking about it.

I believe in this piece of work. I think there are good things in here. Is it a perfect book? No. Is it a testament to where I was at that point in my life and in that point of my understanding about literary themes, politics, and writing? Absolutely. I think it deserves to see the light of day, if only for a moment, and then we can happily forget all about it. (Or not… I mean, if you’re compelled to read and write a review, please do! I will be crowing about this for a while.)

So, wish me luck! I am going to ask around to commission some cover art and work on the bits and bytes of this project. Stay tuned for more information. (And if you know any rad artists who would love to throw me some art for some money, I would appreciate an introduction!)

Get ready to read BLOODMADE soon!

The Japanese kanji for “mountain” (yama) represents, to me, the fact that I am my own mountain. I need no anchors, no one to tell me what to do or how far to climb. I am embarking on my own journey.

Liz Makes Stuff: Temperature Afghan

I’m working on a new project. This one is guaranteed to take me an entire year.

Last year, I began crocheting and knitting in earnest. It’s what kept me (mostly) sane through pandemic, divorce, finding new love, debt, blah blah blah. There’s something zen-like about taking a crochet hook and moving it methodically through your project, creating patterns where there was previously only a strand of yarn. You already know that I make blankets like it’s my job. It’s something I do to comfort myself. The act of making the blanket and then using it afterward — the calming effect these activities have is unparalleled for me.

I finished one blanket recently, so naturally I was itching to start another. I had seen this tweet about a scarf dedicated to the weather and temperature of every day in 2020 (several people sent it to me — if nothing else, my self-branding is on point) and knew I had to make one — in blanket format, of course.

And so, my 2021 Temperature Afghan.

Crochet hook looking very much like Excalibur here.

I am using yarn colors that I had at hand (which isn’t difficult; I have a LOT of yarn at this point) and following a similar pattern as some I found on the internet. Each color represents a degree interval (in Fahrenheit). Every day, I mark the high temperature for that day, and then add a row corresponding to that color. There will eventually be 365 rows on this blanket — a snapshot of the year and my journey through it.

My partner (who hates the cold) took one look at this chart and said: “I hope there’s no white on that blanket.”

So far, the year is pretty mellow — we’re mostly in the “green” range, so much so that I am worried I will have to purchase another skein soon. Out of 23 rows up until this point (since today is January 23), 17 of them have been green, and six have been yellow.

This photo is from back when there were still only five yellow rows.

It took a while to decide which stitch to use for this blanket. After searching around on the internet for some time, I settled on single crochet with a 5.75mm hook. This stitch is easy, methodical. Plus, after 365 rows, it’s probably going to be a long enough blanket — no sense in doing double crochet or even half double crochet.

It’s going to be a smaller blanket (width-wise) than my last few projects, and I think it might make a good baby blanket someday.

I’ll check in periodically throughout the year — hopefully we get in the “orange” range soon. :)

Liz Does Stuff: Goals!

My friend Soph (of Uncultured Palate and C’est La Cuisine fame) likes to make New Year’s “goals” instead of “resolutions,” and I think the distinction is significant. “Goals,” to me, denotes a more concrete, achievable function — often, resolutions will be something simple like “get healthier” or “lose weight.” This kind of language is not specific.

Goals, on the other hand, are made out of small, easily measurable steps. They’re real. They’re tangible.

I know I’m late with this post, and January is almost halfway over already, but I wanted to share my own goals for 2021. For me, accountability begins with the act of recording what I want, what I need to do — it worked last year (to a certain extent, pandemic notwithstanding), so let’s see where we go from here.

  1. Make a temperature blanket
  2. Pay off my credit card debt
  3. Learn how to drive a manual
  4. Set a Twitch streaming schedule
  5. Post to this blog at least once per week
  6. Finish my novel
  7. Do something with the poetry chapbook collecting dust in my Google Drive

For now, those are my goals. I am hoping to also, in a nebulous way, feel calmer about my life and the things happening in it. Listen to more music. Drink more herbal tea. Focus on how to collect myself.

COLLECT, verb: to regain control of oneself, typically after a shock

To say 2020 was a “shock” is a bit disingenuous. A shock to the system, a shock to society, a shock to me in particular. It would be more appropriate to say that the year was a rocket-propelled grenade shot directly into the center of my life. Some of it was on purpose, some of it was certainly not (see: global pandemic).

In any case, now I have a set of particular goals for myself for this, my thirty-first year of life. Let’s get to it.