Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Five or So Questions on Kiss Her Before the World Ends

ETA: Sorry, now with links! Blogger borked.

Hey all, today I have an interview with Alice Grizzle, who has a really cool name and made an even cooler game: Kiss Her Before the World Ends. I've heard nothing but praise for it and her design since its recent release, so check out what Alice has to say!


A woman with long hair pushed to one side, staring toward the camera with determination, in front of a city setting.
Alice Grizzle, designer.

Tell me a little about Kiss Her Before the World Ends. What excites you about it?

Kiss Her Before the World Ends excites me because it prioritizes how the PC's feel and allows space for all players. My main goal when creating the game was to create a game that encourages romance while still letting everyone play characters like themselves. Be the ace, pan, aromantic, polyam, etc. I think it achieves that.

There are so many games about being a badass, that focus on violence. I wanted to make a game about being vulnerable in front of other people. My hope is that people will see games like mine and realize that relationships and romance can be the centerpiece for your game. Tabletop games have the same ability to be about anything that every form of media has.

What do players typically do and experience in a standard session of Kiss Her Before the World Ends? What did you do in the design to allow or encourage players to play inclusively, whether they are playing characters like themselves or choosing to play characters unlike themselves?

Kiss Her is an emotional game, stressful even at times which is by design. The use of a timer puts a lot of pressure on the players to say what they have to say before they're no longer able to do so. It simulates the same pressure the characters feel really well.

During the design process I had to think of broad definitions for things like what it means to want Intimacy. That's hard enough to quantify, especially while still being inclusive to ace and aromantic folks. I settled on "Intimacy is the desire for closeness" which is open to lots of interpretations. All the definitions for the types of Needs are equally interpretable.

What are the mechanics like in Kiss Her and how do players engage them?

The two main mechanics in Kiss Her Before the World Ends, the ones that control the flow of the game and what the game is about, are Needs and the timer. Needs are the things people want and they come in 4 types: Intimacy Needs, Empathy Needs, Escapism Needs, and Validation Needs. The main focus of the game is the characters negotiating how to get what they want while also fulfilling each other's Needs. At certain points in play the players will clear Needs that they've resolved and replace them with new ones. Priorities change as the end draws closer.

The timer is the outside world collapsing around them. It is what pushes the characters forward, and hopefully towards each other. It also controls the pace of the game. Scenes can end whenever the players feel like they should, but none can go past the length of the timer.

What do you like best about the game and how it plays, from a design standpoint?

Probably the different types of Needs. Those four types and the definitions for them really feel like they incapsulate a huge part of what it is we as people want from our relationships. I feel like they push players into immediately playing interesting, conflicted characters.

I would say I also really like how we've formated it primarily with mobile viewing in mind. It encourages spontaneous play in a way that you just can't do if your game is a full book. I seriously think that books almost always being the default way we present our games is to our own detriment. Games should be presented in the way that makes them most accessible and encourages players to play in the ways you want them too.
Two feminine figures, one lit in sparkling pink from the galaxy-like background, the other silhouetted, moving towards each other as though they are about to kiss. The title is in capitalized white text: "Kiss Her Before the World Ends".
This cover is super gorgeous, and looks great in the mobile format. The book itself is designed to work great on mobile, which has gained a lot of praise from those who have bought the game to play!


Thanks so much for the interview, Alice! I hope you all enjoyed it and that you'll check out Kiss Her Before the World Ends today!

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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Script Change Changes, Reflection

Hi y'all!

I recently made updates to Script Change (itchio) and wanted to break them down a little! You're going to get some of my recent photography with it, also, because I wanna.

All photos by Brie Beau Sheldon (c) 2019.

A tan labrador mix dog standing in leaf-riddled grass, waiting expectantly.
Whatcha got for me? Charlie is ready to go!

Sorting it out

Some of this was just some reorganization - I wrote this document originally starting like 2012-2013 and it went through some shuffles over that time, and some organization for clarity and approachableness was vital. Now there's a more smooth flow, and the layout is tidied a little bit, too. I also added what I think is an awesome table handout with brief explanations of the tools, with larger text so it's more accessible! There are ways I can expand this, but I gotta take my time sometimes.

Figuring it out

I needed to ask what Script Change was doing in regards to addressing different needs at the table. One of the recent discussions about the topic of safety tools was the Luxton Technique, discussed on Google+ (I'm asking the author of that post if they'd like to duplicate it here, since G+ is dying, but that's where it is now), which addressed the ability to not pretend something didn't happen, to give more narrative control, and to change the way we approach when content comes up in game that we don't want to have ruin our play experience.

One way I wanted to address this was ensuring that it was clear you discuss potential triggers, squicks, etc. up front. Since Script Change approaches this with a "control all content, even without triggers" focus I tried to frame the initial discussion as choosing the rating, then addressing categoric avoidance, noting that they should be recorded but do so without listing player names (because for me, personally, being the person with a giant list of don't-wants is actually really upsetting and makes me less comfortable sharing).

I am considering further expansion by making a printable "triggers, squicks, and dislikes" list where people can print it out or save it (make it digitally editable) and have it separated to "do not use, fast forward if used, pause to ask if used" or something like that. This is a challenge because some of this stuff changes, but if I remind people it can be altered at any time, that should be okay. This is a "next time" piece - I wanted to get the latest update out when I did.

A view looking down an incline with tracks for cars, passing through trees and up to a red building on a two-line road with large buildings on the opposite side.
Every release lately has felt like I'm traveling up a steep hill, with no other side, so I gotta get done what I can.
Next I worked on how the actual tools work. I did an expanded explanation of how each tool works, including expanding that pauses can be used for discussion, ensuring that you identify what the content is that's an issue, and noting that you can identify subjects that frame-by-frame is always used for. This is probably the deeper game design part, so I'll try to detail a little more later. I also, however, added a full question and response to address the issue of pretending things didn't happen.

In one q&a, I detailed how you can discuss together what it means when you rewind - is it a dream? is it a prediction of a possibility that didn't happen? Or is it simply cut on the editing room floor? Nonetheless, I noted:
However, final rulings do reside with the person who called for the tool to be used - in some cases, people may want to just say it didn’t happen and there’s no narrative representation. If this is what is safest for them, we must respect that - just like we should respect people in different scenarios asking to have it be represented as a part of the fiction, if they are the one who called the tool.

It’s important to note that the experiences happened in real life - whether it was triggering content or just simply off tone, it wasn’t disappeared into nothingness for us in real life. Do not erase people’s experiences. Script Change is a meta-toolbox, and we must acknowledge reality regardless of the fiction.
I think my language could be refined, so I'll be revisiting this in the kind of quarterly review I do.
The sun flaring down orange and pink in rays and spheres over a log with some overgrown fungus.
I love this picture so much, it punches me in the soul.

But My Feels

Some people have expressed a desire to educate in response to content they might use Script Change for, or even explain their trauma to others, which is a valid want. My issue with this is that I know how easy it is to trigger a friend when you vent your trauma, and also how sometimes when we're in need of support, we ask for it in a place that can't support it. I tried to keep my language gentle here, like I do in most of Script Change.
If you need to talk about it, you can ask for a pause to explain what’s going on, and the other players should listen. It is also good to discuss topics that come up at a Wrap Meeting. Remember to respect each other in how much you ask of each other, and keep in mind that their capacity is just as other players or possibly friends. You should all be generous to each other, and understanding of each others’ limitations.

During this discussion, if you plan to share anything potentially triggering of others’ traumas, make sure to warn people so they can be safe for themselves. If they need to excuse themselves so you can address the topic, be understanding.
Basically, I want people to have the avenue to discuss things, to speak about why they called the tool. But, I also care about protecting everyone at the table, and that includes the people who are unable to handle triggering content for their own private reasons. I know I am often willing to speak up about my triggers and trauma, but I also know I've hurt people in doing it. This section is to hopefully help ensure we can do one without the other.

Other Players

I'd previously addressed whether others would take tools seriously, but I expanded this section to cover something I've written about before - leaving the group, or finding an alternative way to engage, including using a tool other than Script Change.
If you encounter an issue where you are afraid or uncomfortable using Script Change tools with your group, it’s possible that Script Change is not the right toolbox for you. it’s also possible that the group is not right for you, and you should consider finding an alternative option. If you want to press forward with both of them, the best option is to speak plainly about your concerns. If you trust these people enough to game with them, you will hopefully find the day they respond with care to you saying “hey, I don’t feel comfortable.” If they don’t, then you have a bigger problem that needs to be approached with a longer dialogue – or by ending the dialogue.
a wooden sign that says "No Launching, No Fishing" beside some green grass and weeds that butt up against a lake.
Sometimes you gotta have rules on what you're willing to take.
Speaking of other players, I also encouraged people to speak up for other players! This was talked about in the Luxton technique, too, and is something I have personal experience. Once, while playing a horror game, the story turned and headed into a mental hospital. I froze completely, just totally not okay with dealing with one of my worst fears. My husband John knew I was not okay both by looking at me and by our prior discussions about content, so he tagged an X-card for me. Saved me from a real rough experience! So I broke it down a little:

You can use Script Change tools on behalf of other players! If you notice your friend is acting uncomfortable and something is happening in game that might be causing it, it’s okay to use a tool to either check in with them (like a pause) or to directly address the content (like rewind or fast forward). It’s okay for you to do that and say that you feel like it might be making people uncomfortable, and not put any direct light on the person in question, or to just say you personally don’t want to see that content.
Sometimes, we step up for other people, and it makes the game a better experience!
That was important to me, honestly.

Addressing the Crunch

I personally play some games that are pretty crunchy sometimes, where it might seem like the players or even the facilitator are at the whim of the calculations. I also kind of hate that aspect of it - if a mechanical result is going to traumatize me or ruin my fun, fuck that, I want a different option. So I clarified something that I've been hesitant to do, but have been doing for a while: Script Change can change mechanical results. In fact, this has been core in Turn's design since the game's inception. Example:

In our current game of Turn, I'm playing Beau, a cougar Late-Bloomer who has struggled a lot. He's queer, and over the course of the story, he's had to come out to friends and family members in both shifter and queer identity, and also deal with an ailing adoptive father. His biggest upside is he's found his true love, a guy named Diego who is also his best friend. Beau currently has one mark left on his town exposure track, meaning he could be expelled from the town or killed if the roll goes badly, because small towns are fickle with their love when it comes to being different.
a black and white photo of broken pumpkins scattered across grass.
I might have shared this before but every time I feel kind of sad for being weird I think of these damn pumpkins.

I updated the "don't wants" kind of list by telling our Town Manager, John, that if Beau has to leave the town, Diego comes with him - no arguments. If I get to the roll and it's really bad, I could back up the scene using a rewind and approach it differently, and when the roll comes again it could be different. But, at least with this, I know I have the security to get a satisfying end to my character's story - a character who carries my chosen name, who I have played for like a year.

It may not always be what you want, and I can understand how people might fear its abuse as a toolbox function! So I wrote it in like this:

Script Change can also be used for mechanical results if the group agrees to it. There are times when one bad roll, or one potential consequence, would be enough to make a game unpleasant or even upsetting for us. So long as the group agrees to use it in this context, it’s okay to rewind a roll or fast-forward an unnecessarily long combat. It’s important to remember that when you rewind a roll, you will typically rewind to before you took the action that prompted the roll, and have to take a reasonably different action going forward. This helps to ensure fairness in play!
I personally love it! If someone's deeply in love with crunchy games (like me with Shadowrun 3e!) or just gets super attached to characters, using Script Change and knowing it takes some thoughtfulness to use may help them have a less risky play time.

Wrapping It Up

The last BIG change was that I added a lot of detail to wrap meetings! I even offered a list of questions to help guide the meetings, encouraging a supportive environment, one where you ask questions and elaborate as you're comfortable. It includes this section, which I think is important:
If someone is uncomfortable addressing the issue from game during the wrap meeting out loud and at that time, they should be an option to send an email, write a note, or have a later discussion to follow up to make sure that everyone is comfortable and knows what’s happening. This lets people address topics more safely and reduces repeat errors.
I realized just now there's a duplicate later in the actual PDF, so I'll add that to the to-fix. But, this part was important to me because sometimes we don't process our feelings right away, or need to calm down, but still deserve to be heard. So, I'm encouraging using all the tools at our disposal to ensure wrap meetings are effective!

One final change I plan to make in the next revision for sure is changing all uses of GM to facilitator. It was irresponsible to leave it this time - I just didn't feel like dealing with what it might do to the layout, but GM isn't the best term. Added to the list!

So that's that! The work I've done for Script Change has been extensive. I do a fair bit of reading, and a lot of thinking and writing/re-writing. The project means so much to me, and I love it a lot. Every time someone shares and recommends it on social media and tags me on like @ThoughtyGames and stuff, it makes me feel proud! I don't feel proud a lot, so that matters. And it matters most that people are learning about some options for how to stay safer at the table, and have a more fun time. :)

Smooth, silky water pouring over different levels of rocks in a brook, looking almost unreal while green trees poke into view.
It's sometimes worth it to hold still for a while and see what's underneath the surface, and watch the water turn to silk and blur. When you see the rough edges, will you try to smooth them out, or flow with them to create something beautiful?

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Friday, January 18, 2019

Five or So Questions on Wolfspell

Today I have an interview with Epidiah Ravachol about Wolfspell, hitting Kickstarter on January 21, 2019! I actually proofread the original Wolfspell released in Worlds Without Master, and I've been wishing for a fancy new version for ages - though the WWW version played amazing stories about wolves who were once human to start with. I'm super excited to get to interview Epidiah! I hope you like what he has to say below.

Note: The included art is not the art that will be on Wolfspell! There is new art being created by the same artist, Shel Kahn, for the project - that's most of what the Kickstarter is for!

Tell me a little about Wolfspell. What excites you about it?

You were there for the beginning of it, but for the sake of your readers, I'll recap the Wolfspell origin story. I was writing the short story "One Winter's Due" for the second issue of Worlds Without Master. That story is about two adventuring sisters who, along with a small band of family and friends, seek to turn themselves into wolves in order to mete out vengeance without violating oaths that they had taken. I am, obviously, not the first person to tell tales about humans turning into wolves. And this wasn't even that fresh of a take on the subject, but what hooked into my brain at the time--the part I couldn't shake loose when it came time to dream up a game for that same issue--was this idea of these (mostly) aging, well-traveled folk who have seen it all suddenly finding themselves experiencing the world anew through the mind, body, and in particular the senses of wolves. I mean, you would HAVE to play, right? How else would you learn how to be a wolf? You would run and wrestle with each other, pause to scent the wind, and howl just to hear your own, new, voice. Before that moment, you had lead a hard life of killing or thieving or peering into the forbidding dark, but now you are newly born.

I had a dice mechanic sitting in the back of my brain for quite a while, inspired by the Doctor Who roleplaying game from the 90s called Time Lord. In that game, you rolled two six-sided dice and subtract the lower from the higher, giving you a result from 0 to 5, where 1 is the most likely outcome. I really dug how that worked. I posted about it here shortly after the game was released. In Wolfspell I saw an opportunity to combine that mechanic with the spirit of the Swords Without Master tone dice. You roll two dice, one is your Wolf Die and the other your Blood Die, you subtract the lower from the higher, apply the result to a Apocalypse World style move, but the move is determined to some extent by which die is higher. If you rolled well on the Wolf Die, you can act and think in wolf ways. If you rolled well on the Blood Die, you can act and think in the ways you've been used to. But crucially, you need to roll poorly on the opposite die to avoid confusion. Rolling a 6 Blood only helps you if your Wolf isn't also a 6.

A snowy scene with a carved stone. In front of the stone are five swords stabbed into the snow with two crows resting on them. In the snow, there are human and wolf footprints.
One of Shel Kahn's pieces from One Winter's Due,
a fiction piece included in Worlds Without Master.

You mention that the characters are typically aging. How relevant to the story do you think that is and why?

Oh, good! That's a part of my assumptions I've left unexamined. Thank you for asking! Technically, the only way I enforce aging characters in the game is by the identifying phrases players select for their characters during pack creation. They imply, at least to me, folks we've been around and seen some shit. "Many have tested my sword-arm and now wait to mete vengeance upon me in the afterlife," or "I am witness to stranger worlds than most. The arcane and preternatural are to me as wolves and weather are to the farmer," and so forth. They are not all exclusively evocative of veteran adventures, but as a whole, they hint at a certain field of experience. But it's not restrictive. A clever player seeking to play a young, fresh-faced thrillseeker could definitely pull it off.

For me, though, the aging bit is bound tightly to the central theme of rebirth. Witnessing the world anew through the scents and sounds of the wild has more meaning if you've already seen everything through the narrow scope of human vision.

Plus, I just dig stories about old folks. If you want to play young, attractive folk who transform into wolves to wrestle and groom their way through their sexual tension, you can certainly do that with Wolfspell, but there are many fine--damn fine--games out there that serve that purpose. Now if you want to play broken, old, world-weary rovers who shed their skin-tag-haunted flesh in favor of a lithesome, sinewy wolf bod to wrestle and groom their way through their sexual tension, well that field's a bit smaller.

Well-managed tone is something many people recognize in your games, and in this game it feels especially stark to me - the tone of the game blossoms from the moment you start play. What do you think creates the particular tone of Wolfspell, and what makes it flourish?

That's very kind of you to say! For Wolfspell's sense of tone, I blame Apocalypse World. Or more specifically, the Read a Situation move in Apocalypse World. That thing it does where it says, "Here, here are the questions you are allowed to ask and we must answer," is so quietly beautiful that I think I'll be hacking it for the rest of my days. In Wolfspell you may Behold the World and drink it in through your senses. When you do this and roll Wolf, you get to ask specific questions about what your eyes, ears, nose, and instincts tell you--inviting lush description of the world around you. But when you roll Blood, your questions are of a more human nature, about who is in control, what do they want from you, where are you most advantaged--inviting a more analytical response. It limits how you think about the world to the part of you that is most in control at the moment. All of the moves do this in their own little way.

Also, I dig the way the tone presents itself to new players. The first time they roll to wrestle with the other wolves and someone rolls Blood and is awkwardly isolated by their inability to embrace their inner wolf. Or the first time someone howls and the others must howl along with them. Or the first time someone's hurt...but no spoilers about that.

Or maybe it's just this rule right here: "You are now wolves. Describe your coat, your size, your scent and your voice." That's the very moment the tone is set in most games.

The form factor for the game is interesting and very cool! Can you tell me about it, and why you chose it? 

Wolfspell, like everything that appears in Worlds Without Master, is of the sword and sorcery genre (or sword and sorcery adjacent, but one of the superpowers of this particular genre is its ability to seamlessly welcome adjacent works into the fold). In the 70s rock, prog, and early metal bands would spend long hours in the back of van or bus traveling from gig to gig. To fend off boredom, they would pick cheap paperbacks off the racks wherever the had to fuel up or stop for the night. This was the vector of infection for the sword and sorcery and fantasy genres of fiction into these genres of music. They would read tales of adventure, peril and strange magics, and regurgitate them in song. They would see the covers to these books, illustrated in imagined realism, and demand the same for their albums. Shortly thereafter tabletop roleplaying games followed a similar path, drawing on both sources for inspiration. We're all spokes on the same wheel, and I wanted to acknowledge that.

Plus, how awesome would it be to show up at a con with a milk crate full of these puppies?

Another piece from Shel Kahn's work on One Winter's Due.
You've mentioned the struggles these characters face as they encounter inability to be wolf enough, and I wonder if you could talk a little about the parallel to that, or the opposition I guess. Do characters experience positive feelings more as they progress, finding pleasure or even joy in the experience? How does that happen? 

When you revel in your wolfiness there's an inherent reward of being able to explore the world through the mind and body of a different being. I mean, that's why we're all here, right? To roleplay as something else? The rules feed and reflect that by opening and restricting the paths before you. You act like a wolf, you gain Feral. Feral is the only real stat in the game. It is always added to your Wolf die. So the more Feral you gain, the better you get at rolling a Wolf result. And it feels good to cut loose at peak wolf! No stumbling over human concerns or anxieties. Embracing the wild and running with it! A wonderful way to build this Feral is to wrestle and groom with the pack, to celebrate the life of a wolf the way wolves do.

One of the central questions of this game involves rolling to become human again at the end of it all. Here all the Feral you've collected will count against you. Will you return to civilization, your quest complete, or will you be lost forever to the call of the wild?


Hell yes! Thank you Epidiah for the interview! I hope you all enjoyed reading and that you'll follow Wolfspell and then check it out on Kickstarter on January 21!

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Friday, January 4, 2019

New Year Plans 2019

Photo credits to Brie Beau Sheldon 2018.
a pale blue coffee mug on a cofee table in front of a TV and a window, steam pouring from the top, a teabag sitting in it.
Well, y'all, I'm busy and tired.

I'm supposed to start this post with a fired up enthusiasm about all the projects I'm working on and how I'm gonna be awesome and do a great job! But today? Today I do not have that for you.

Here's what I have for you, in the immediate.

I'm working on interviews with Epidiah Ravachol on Wolfspell and Becky Annison on Bite Me! so once those are finished up we'll have something to howl about. I don't actually have further interviews on the docket, but I'll work on it. I always do.

(As a reminder, the best way to get interviews here is to encourage your favorite creators to go to my contact page and send me an email with the info! That cuts out like three emails worth of information exchange and shows me they're excited to be interviewed. Plus, it makes sure that you - my readers - see what you want to see. You can also help me do more interviews and posts of all kinds by supporting via Patreon and sending tips via PayPal or ko-fi! Note: I don't think I'm charging for this post, even though it took a while.)

I have some other posts in mind, like one talking in detail about the updates I've done to Script Change, reviews of a product or two, and so on. It would be cool to know if you have interest in anything, as a lot of the time I'm running on my own ideas here and I don't even know if you're enjoying the posts sometimes! With the ending of G+, this will get even harder for me to gauge. Please comment, share and tag me, and so on!

Speaking of comments, I'm looking at a move to Wordpress since G+ is dying and I have no idea what will happen with comments here, plus the site has been kind of wonky. It's gonna cost money and time, like a lot of it, so it may be a while.

On the games front, I'm currently working on a number of projects. Some of them are personal, some are professional, and all of them have unique challenges. The issue is, few are having successes, at least by my count.

A small group of red berries against a dark grey sky and branches.
First and foremost is Turn, my game I Kickstarted in October, which I'm in the production phase for. Now that the Kickstarter is done and we're into production, aside from a few blips on the radar, all positive feedback has ceased. I've also had to deal with a ton of financial stuff that's very hard for me, our beast artist had to step down so we had to replace them, and my own experience going through the editing process has been rough. Some of this was expected, some of it was not! 

This is hard! It's also exhausting. Especially when I have to dig into my work each day and I find myself questioning all of my decisions, my ability to do my job, and my ability to make this work. 

Second, I'm working on Leading with Class. It's not a game, but it's about games, and we have a ton of work to do on it. We can always use more support over on Patreon to help us reach our goals, and some enthusiasm for the project would be something nice to see. I want to do more with it! Or, at least meet our base goals!

Third, I'm also working carefully or not-working-right-now on a number of other games of varying sizes:

Posers - This is currently at a halt as I can't figure out the right form factor, which has locked up my design. It's a game about performing masculinity, and has a weird knot-tying/untying resolution mechanic. No idea when I'll be working on this in earnest.

At the Lake by Morning - This is a game inspired loosely by Annihilation and is supposed to use water and a mirror in the mechanics, which is going to take some fiddling. I want to explore some feelings I got from the film, significantly looking at self-forgiveness and change. It's new.

The Unhurried Pursuit of Sloth - This I have all the ideas for, just gotta start digging into the mechanics. It won't start in earnest until Turn's finished. It's a game about taking it slow and self-communion.

Laser Kittens Octopus Hack - I've been signed on with Glittercats Fine Amusements to write an octopus themed Laser Kittens hack, which involves the octopus being brought into a marine science lab and (perhaps!) escaping. I'm putting down the first bits of it soon. Glittercats awesomely chose to keep the lights on, so my energy can be more easily directed at this. I'm gonna do my best.

Eldrich Inkling - This is a two-player investigation game where one player sets a cosmic horror story for another, played by mail. It mostly requires research, which takes time, especially with my brain.

Tribute - I recently decided to withdraw Tribute from the Gauntlet Codex as the game is based largely in processing loss of love, and my grief (related to my grandmother's death) won't allow me to publish it through someone else, and won't let me finish it until I resolve some things. It's strong, but there is something missing. It may have to wait until spring - if it does happen at all. I hope it does.
A bird's nest nestled in trees in front of an overcast sky.

And that doesn't touch my home projects - specifically, the be-a-better-person & be-healthier projects. Which, you know what, are just as important as my deadlines! I'm currently doing physical & speech therapy for my concussion recovery, plus diving back into psych therapy to help treat my bipolar disorder, PTSD, anxiety, and various related troubles. The PT+speech takes up a minimum of 10 hours of appointments, home work, and recovery from those appointments and home work each week - that's not counting the normal days I have symptoms from my concussion, or dealing with insurance. With my existing disabilities on top... yeah.

Psych therapy is going slower, but is a lot of emotional work. When you go through cognitive type therapy, you can find you get stronger while simultaneously becoming more sensitive and delicate. Those aren't words I like for myself, but there they are. I'm working on myself as much as I can, while trying to avoid the daggers that are the world - and they are such sharp daggers, and so many! I wish they were something softer.

A tightly framed picture of a fox red colored dog on a white blanket.
I guess where I'm at right now is like, yeah, 2019, lots of plans. Loads of things I have to do, things I want to do, things I'm struggling to do. And hopefully more on the way. I want to be more successful, to help provide for John and me to have a happy life. I just feel like I keep hitting setbacks, and Thoughty can be a casualty of that - it is hard to do this and do everything else and survive. You can bet your bottom I'm trying to reinvest all of this struggle and pain into games and Thoughty - just gotta filter it, refine it, and find a place for it.

I hope that you'll stick with me as I keep making things and keep asking questions. I also hope you'll do those things, too!

And hey, take care of yourselves. It helps me believe that I can make it when we aren't all falling apart together! Let's build each other up, and build a better year.

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