I'm still alive! Between IFComp and ebola taking over my work, I've been a busy bee this month, and as a result have taken very little time to do personal projects (that don't involve killing moon baddies in Borderlands 1.5).
But November is always a thrilling month. Not only does it host my very favorite holiday, Eat Day, but it's also NaNoWriMo! This year, I'll be spending my wordcount dollars on my upcoming Twine game: Skylight! You'll hear more about Skylight and see some pure, unedited words from it in the next month, for sure. For now, know that I've made a basic framework for the plot (it's set in a far-future science fiction world), but I'll be confining myself to puzzle design and writing scenarios. I'm leaving most of the top-level stuff and the music (yes there will be music!) to two of my amazing friends.
But that leaves the whole day left in October. What to do with it?
My birthday, Valentine's Day, gets a lot of flak for a lot of reasons, but my favorite is this: why not celebrate a loving relationship EVERY day, and not just Feb. 14? I feel the same way about Halloween. You can dress up like a weirdo, binge-eat Kit Kat bars, and watch scary movies all the time—why set aside a special day for it?
On the other hand, I adore being scared, and having all of it compressed in one, endless weekend is bliss. Glynn Washington, the euphorically amazing host of NPR's Snap Judgment has listed tips for telling an amazing ghost story. The best tip? Ghost stories unravel over time:
It’s like, ‘OK, I have to go tell Jenny a story every night, because if I don’t, she will lose her ghost mind and start tearing up my shit. I’ve got to be there every single day.’ You want to interact with the ghost over time, and make it part of your world.”
I also had the pleasure of watching Absentia last weekend, in a small room with a very terrified person. I don't know if I could watch a horror movie in a crowded theater anymore; part of the joy of being scared is watching myself in third person, freaking the hell out over something that is decidedly fake. Absentia is an amazing flick: well-constructed, well-acted, and with twists that will please horror-jaded folks as well as a smattering of folklore that's convincing.
I don't want to give anything away, but Absentia indulges in some cheapo scares to make way for better frights that are way more convincing.
In honor of ghost stories, I'm going to take some time tomorrow (Halloweeeeee~n) to do a little one-girl GameJam. It'll be good warm-up for NaNo, and I've already got a bit of a framework written up for a spooky game that I've been using as Twine practice. It's called Starshines: coming soon to a browser near you.