ANNOUNCEMENT: I’m a Chick Who Digs Gaming!

Published August 28, 2014 by Teresa
Chicks Dig Gaming cover illustration by the squee-worthy Katy Shuttleworth.

Chicks Dig Gaming cover illustration by the squee-worthy Katy Shuttleworth.

So, you may have heard about this awesome new anthology being published by Mad Norwegian Press called Chicks Dig Gaming, which is coming out on November 11, 2014! Edited by Jennifer Brozek (Apocalypse Ink Productions), Robert Smith? (Who is the Doctor) and Lars Pearson (editor-in-chief, the Hugo Award-winning Chicks Dig series), this anthology brings together essays by nearly three dozen female writers to celebrate the gaming medium (both video and tabletop) and its creators, and to examine the characters and series that they love. Contributors include: Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland…, Indistinguishable from Magic) examines Super Mario Bros. through the lens of Samsara, the Wheel of Birth and Rebirth; Seanan McGuire (the October Daye series) details how gaming taught her math; G. Willow Wilson (Alif the Unseen) revels in World of Warcraft; and Rosemary Jones (Forgotten Realms) celebrates world traveler Nellie Bly and the board game she inspired.

Other contributors include Emily Care Boss (Gaming as Women), Jen J. Dixon (The Walking Eye), Racheline Maltese (The Book of Harry Potter Triffles…), Mary Anne Mohanraj (Bodies in Motion), L.M. Myles (Chicks Unravel Time), Jody Lynn Nye (the MythAdventures series), and E. Lily Yu (“The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees”). Also featured: exclusive interviews with Paizo CEO Lisa Stevens and Dragonlance author Margaret Weis.

And do you know who else is a contributor? 

That’s right – ME! :) This is my third contribution to a Mad Norwegian anthology, and I’m so thrilled to be among such illustrious company! Chicks Dig Gaming will feature my essay, Who In the Hell is Carmen Sandiego?, about everyone’s favorite Miss of Misdemeanor and why she’s such an important character.

Recently, I had the pleasure of participating at a reading held by DTLAB / Writ Large Press as part of their 90In90 series (90 literary events in 90 days – this one was, like, 54 or something! Yeesh!) at Traxx in Union Station, and I read my Carmen Sandiego essay to a very enthusiastic audience! I have a video of my reading, but as I was surprised by being asked to go first, and didn’t have a chance to explain how my camera worked to the friend I was with, she managed to figure it out and start recording well into my reading. Still, it’s a good three-minute-ish chunk that’ll give you a taste of what you can expect when you read it in full in Chicks Dig Gaming! ;) (Pssst! It’s currently available for pre-order!)

The other thing I never pointed out to my friend? Where the zoom button was. :) Luckily, I’m loud. Enjoy!

POUND BY POUND: Day 18 – Getting Out of a Funk

Published August 28, 2014 by Teresa
Wearily back in the saddle.

Wearily back in the saddle.

So, I haven’t exercised in three days. Come to think of it, I haven’t done much else either. For reasons I can’t explain, I’ve been in a bit of a funk the past few days. I’ve been inexplicably exhausted, not being able to haul my carcass out of bed before 10:30AM, I’ve been bored by everything, haven’t written much and couldn’t even bring myself to blog, and I’ve spent a majority of my time playing Tetris, watching the FX show The Bridge on HuluPlus (PS – it’s a great show), and generally not doing anything productive. Not to mention the fact that I seem to be suddenly afflicted with allergies from Hell. I’ve sneezed more in the past week than I have in my life, I’m congested, my throat’s been scratchy, and my nose constantly feels like I’m breathing through dust. I’ve taken both Claratin and cold medicine, and neither seems to have helped much. Thank God I had a work date at the Burbank library w/my new friends Jenny, Renee, and Alex on Tuesday. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have done any writing at all.

Until today. :)

Last night, I realized I couldn’t let my funk go on for much longer. So I started winding down for bed at 11PM, the way I do on my best days, meditating and journalling. Then I went to bed at a decent hour, and was miraculously not only able to wake up at 6AM this morning, but I wrote 5 more pages of script (which seems to be my average in 2 uninterrupted hours).

Day 18 Finish Screen

Day 18 Finish Screen

Then, I got back to DailyBurn, which in three days has come back around to the workout I did three days ago – Stability and Mobility 2. I definitely felt it, coming back into a Level 2 workout after not having exercised at all in three days. I got a bit worried when I started to feel a twinge in my chest while doing lunges, so I pulled back and stopped going as fast as I would’ve normally. That’s the thing. Every time you stop, it’s that much harder to get going again.

But the point is to get going again, I guess.

I’ll be blogging more later, but I’ll end this one here. I’m just glad that I was able to get back to it. Every time I sweat up a storm like I did this morning, I know I’m doing something good for myself. I need to remember that feeling.

NEW AT BEACON: How “The Heat” Is Less Funny in a Post-Ferguson World

Published August 25, 2014 by Teresa

I posted this over at Beacon on Friday, but was too lazy to promote it wanted it to be an exclusive for my Beacon subscribers first! I recently saw the Sandra Bullock/Melissa McCarthy film The Heat for the first time recently, and I thought it less funny than I might have thought it in the theater since I watched it post-Ferguson.

EXCERPT:

Now, he was smoking a joint (and very stupidly kept waving it around). She was well within her rights to take him in. There’s no question about that. (We can have a discussion about our outdated, ineffectual, ridiculous drug laws another time) Also, it’s clear from their interaction that he’s had priors. They seem to know each other – probably because she’s brought him in before. My problem was in the way she stopped, not for the joint, but for a charge she just assumed he was guilty of, because he was sitting there “in the middle of all the prostitutes,” and greets him by calling him “My favorite asshole.” Then, she finds something to arrest him for, chases him, rams him with her car, and chases him down leaving the white guy free to escape. She never goes back for the white guy – apparently, because smoking a joint is way worse than soliciting a prostitute (I don’t think there’s anything wrong with either, nor do I think either should be illegal, but I digress…) – but she does manage to take the black kid down by throwing a watermelon at him. But we’re commenting on racism by doing this! That’s what makes this funny!, we’re meant to think. 

If you want to read and comment on my full post, you’ll have to subscribe to my work over at Beacon! Starting at only $5/month, you’ll be able to access all my pop culture criticism, as well as the work of 100+ other journalists writing about the topics you care about. Check it out! Once there, please click the “Worth It” button on the bottom of my article! (That is, if you actually like what I’ve written.)

Thanks! :)

HOTPIXEL POST: “HotPixel Welcomes Colorist, Anthony Harris!”

Published August 25, 2014 by Teresa

Anthony Harris.

My latest interview at the HotPixel blog actually posted last week, but I never posted it here, and figured I should remedy that! I did an interview with the newest member of the HotPixel team – the brilliant, illustrious (and super-sweet) colorist, Anthony Harris, who’s worked on films like Spider-Man, Life of Pi, and of course, THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE, Starship Troopers. :) In this interview, he discusses his amazing career, as well as what independent filmmakers need to know about hiring a colorist.

EXCERPT:

“[In] big studios, a lot of the legwork was done before it got to me,” he explains. “So, I’m enjoying being in a situation where there are clients who may not have been doing it for twenty years, or who may not be working for a studio where everything is provided and there’s a person hired to do every single little thing. It’s exciting, because it keeps me on top of my game! I have to know what I’m talking about to be able to help a client, so ultimately that helps me. I think that when you work for a big studio, and you come into the office, and everything’s on your desk and ready to go, and you do your job and walk away, and someone else takes it from there, you can kind of get too comfortable.

“So, the one thing I’ve learned in the time I’ve worked for HotPixel is that, no, you need to know it all. From when the client brings the drive in – and I know this sounds ridiculous – where do you plug it in? [laughs] Where does it go? How do you conform? What are your steps from getting it in to getting it out? And being able to do it all myself, I’ve learned so much in the last month. It’s a very big confidence builder. Anything that you do [in the film industry], it’s a craft, and if you really enjoy your craft, you want to know it all, regardless of whether you need to use those skills every day, you want to be able to know what you’re doing. And that’s what I enjoy most about working with everyone here.”

This desire to learn more and be on top of his game was evident even when he was just starting out. At Sony Pictures, he started out in the model shop. Quickly realizing that the model shop was not where he wanted to be, he expressed this to friends he had at Sony Imageworks, and was hired there as a PA. The first film on which he worked? The cult classic sci-fi film, Starship Troopers.

For the full post, or to leave a comment, CLICK HERE.

POUND BY POUND: Day 15 – Weekends Off!

Published August 25, 2014 by Teresa
Starting Level 2!

Starting Level 2!

This past week, I started a new writing schedule that’s been working really well for me, but that’s also got me waking up earlier in the morning. However, despite going against my nature and forcing myself to be a morning person, I find that I’m more efficient throughout the day and getting a lot done.

Yet, it’s because of this that my weekends have become much more precious to me. On weekends, I don’t want to set an alarm, I don’t want to do anything “productive,” and this weekend I decided not to do DailyBurn. At first, I worried, because I thought I would backslide and get lazy again. But this morning, I got up, did my writing, and did my DailyBurn workout automatically. My work is tied to my exercise, and vice versa, as I’ve started a morning routine that I can keep up with. So, regular exercise continues to be a habit despite my taking the weekend off.

Today, I did True Beginner Day 15, which was the start of Level 2 – Stability and Mobility 2. Remember that challenge I’ve been wanting? Yeah, well I”ve got it! This certainly kicked things up a notch, and I was dripping with sweat by the end!

Day 15 Finish Screen

Day 15 Finish Screen

Later this morning, I’ll be walking to work, and later this week, I may be hiking and going back to jogging at my jogging partner’s request.

Also, I’ll be going shopping to buy the food I need to take part in the DailyBurn Ignite challenge. Stay tuned! :)

POUND BY POUND: Day 12 – DailyBurn Is Better!

Published August 22, 2014 by Teresa
Another workout DONE!

Another workout DONE!

I guess the Exercise Goddess heard my concerns about DailyBurn yesterday, because the site was working normally today! The “Day” matched the correct workout and everything! Here’s hoping it stays that way.

So, I’m on Day 12 of the True Beginner program and did Core 1. Like a BOSS.

This weekend, I’m going to figure out what other regular exercise I can do. I need to kick what I’m doing up a notch. When I’ve figured it out, you’ll of course be the first to know. :)

Day 12 Finish Screen

Day 12 Finish Screen

Keeping this one short and sweet, because I’ve got a busy day. See you all again tomorrow!

POUND BY POUND: Day 11 – DailyBurn Glitches

Published August 21, 2014 by Teresa
Worked up another sweat!

Worked up another sweat!

This is the first time I’ll ever have anything negative to say about DailyBurn

*gasp*

:)

So, I told you about needing to change my time zone on my account. I figured that would be the end of any scheduling issues in my program. However, when I tried to do my workout tonight at around 6PM or so, it said that I was on Day 12, which would’ve been Core 1 again. Now, I just did Core 1 yesterday, because I had to flip it with the day before due to the time zone error, so I wasn’t about to do it again. I double-checked my time zone, and sure enough, it’s now on Pacific. So…why is it telling me that it’s tomorrow?

Here’s my program calendar, which shows the entire True Beginner program:

TB Calendar

As you can see, today (the 21st) is Day 11, yet the 22nd is highlighted (the dotted line around the day) for some reason as my “current” workout. So, my finish screen looked like this:

TB Day 11 (NOT Day 12!) Finish Screen.

TB Day 11 (NOT Day 12!) Finish Screen.

Also, 715 calories burned?! I’m sorry – I definitely worked hard – but where is that number coming from? There’s no WAY this workout burns 715 calories on ANYONE. Unless you’re doing the moves with 20 lb weights attached to your arms and feet or something.

Since I’ve completed the True Beginner program once before, I’m not too concerned about it. I’m just going to stick to what the calendar says no matter what the day counter says. I just don’t understand why the site is glitching like this all of a sudden. I’ve never had a problem like this before. I’m wondering if they’re doing maintenance, and hopefully all these kinks will be worked out soon?

Anyway, I did my workout. Huzzah. And for those of you following along, The “Day” in the titles of my blog post will always be the correct number, no matter what my Finish Screen photos say. *sigh*

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