Linkspam: Friends and Family

I have thoughts and opinions about last night’s Supernatural, but I think I’m going to give them some time to settle – I may blog about it tomorrow or Monday. But rest assured that it’s coming. Oh, boy, is it coming.

So, in the meantime, I’m going to spend a few paragraphs talking about things my friends and family are up to. You’ve probably seen some of these links before – hell, in at least one case, you might have found this blog through the site I’m linking to – but hopefully you’ll discover something new nonetheless.

The face of a white woman with medium-length red hair, wearing a black cloak over her shoulders and a brass tiara ornamented with spirals and leaves upon her brow. Black branches and leaves in red, orange and yellow are painted on her cheeks, and she has yellow and black contact lenses in her eyes. She's wearing pointed ears made of copper wire and ornamented with black feathers.

My costume for Halloween 2011: Queen of the Autumn Fairies. Ears by Alanya Divine. Photo by Katie Hallahan.

In yesterday’s Fangirl Fridays post, I mentioned my sister, Alanya Divine. Alanya’s an incredibly talented jewelry-maker who makes a number of unique, intricate pieces out of copper, silver and assorted stones. She also specializes in ornamental “elf” ears accented with stones, clock parts, feathers…you name it. She made a pair of truly lovely copper ears ornamented with black feathers for my Halloween costume last year (I’m afraid they don’t fit perfectly in the photo; she’s since adjusted them to a much better fit) and I can’t wait to find another use for them. You can find her Etsy shop at; while she does have her own dedicated site, it’s not quite finished yet. Alanya is absolutely dedicated to her craft, and I’m so, so thrilled and proud to see her enjoying such success.

I’ve mentioned my friend Katie a few times (unsurprisingly, since we’re in the same writing group, we both go to Women in Games Boston, and we’re gaming buddies and occasional creative partners), and I’ve linked to her blog each time, but in case you missed it, here it is again. Katie’s an incredibly bright, funny, snarky lady, and I always enjoy working with her. She’s also a vital part of Phoenix Online Studios, which recently produced The Silver Lining, a fan-made sequel to the King’s Quest series, and she and her colleagues are currently hard at work on an original game called Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller. I’ve been privy to some of her other creative work, and while it’s not really my place to talk about it, I’m sure you’ll be seeing a lot more of it in the years to come.

While I haven’t met many of them personally, I’m Internet buddies with a number of the bloggers on The Border House, which focuses on the perspectives of marginalized communities in gaming. While I wouldn’t call The Border House a totally safe space (some of the comments on various articles can be quite vicious, and there have been scattered incidents of harassment during some Border House-connected events, which the writers and staff have been quick to recognize), the writers there are always insightful, and I highly recommend the blog at large. (They also did me a good turn by promoting the GLBTQA Gamer Meetup I’m organizing, so it’s only fair to send what traffic I can back their way!)

I also want to give a quick shout out to a couple other Internet buddies: Maverynthia and I have been following each other on Twitter for a while now, and most recently, she was kind enough to write a loose companion and counterpoint to my own piece on the used product market. (I say “loose” because I would not describe it solely as a companion to my piece – it’s her own article, offering her own unique perspective, and she was gracious enough to link it with mine.) Then there’s Kate Cox, an independent blogger and guest poster on The Border House who has recently joined the staff of Kotaku. Once again, we’ve been following each other on Twitter for some time, and she’s an awesome lady and a great writer, and I’m looking forward to reading her future work.

Maddy Myers is also mainly a Twitter/Facebook friend, though we did finally meet in person at this year’s Arisia (where she sat on the Women in Gaming panel and wore an awesome Gargoyles shirt that made me kinda jealous – oh, Elisa Maza, you are so getting a Fangirl Fridays post of your very own). She’s a writer for the Phoenix, specializing in games and gaming culture, and I cannot recommend her highly enough.

Last but far from least, Amanda Cosmos is a friend and former colleague of mine, currently working at Irrational Games. I have to admit that I am really really terrible about following what she’s up to, but I keep tabs on her on (say it with me) Twitter and see her every so often at Women in Games Boston, and she’s also very cool.

The truth is that I am blessed with a whole lot of amazing friends and there’s no way I can keep track of them all – so if I’ve passed you over, I’m sorry! I’ll try to get to you next time, and please feel free to call me out in the comments. As for the rest of my readers, I hope you follow up on these folks – they’re all incredible in their own unique ways, and I’m sure you’ll find something you like among their work.


Linkspam: Flying Books, Funny Blogs & A Game That Has Something To Do With Thrones

No, this isn’t the Media Mondays post – that’ll come later. I’m planning to talk about Lost Girl, which recently started airing on (sigh) SyFy, but I’d like to watch tonight’s episode before I do that. The series has been airing in Canada since September 2010, but it’s new to American television and I’m forcing myself to watch it as it airs rather than seek out all the extant episodes. So you’ll get the thoughts of a relatively new fan, and if there are any veteran fans reading this, you may laugh or at least smile knowingly at whatever I may have to say.

No, the linkspam posts are more of a ‘whenever I feel like it’ deal. They have a unifying theme, but they’ll only come up whenever I have new and interesting links to share. I’m not going to force myself to find new content on a weekly basis. But as I’ve been watching and reading a few new things over the past couple days, I think it’s time to go ahead and share.

First, while you may have seen this already, there’s a new trailer for the second season of A Game of Thrones on HBO. I’m a big fan of the books and the series, though both can be problematic from certain perspectives (and that’s another future blog post waiting to be written, as I do have my qualms), and I am super excited for the second season. HBO has done a great job of bringing the books to life and staying faithful to the text while still making the series interesting to long-time readers and brand new fans alike, and this trailer is honestly pretty damn good.

Next, a slightly longer piece: an absolutely charming and beautiful short film called The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, which you may recognize from the list of Academy Award nominees. (Sadly, I was unable to embed the film here, so you’ll have to do with a link.) This comes to me by way of EPBOT, the personal-ish/crafty/geeky blog of Jen from Cake Wrecks, and as she noted, it’s “a must-see for librarians”. But as a writer – and someone who hopes to live on through her work, to touch and move and entertain people long after I shuffle off this mortal coil – I found the film spoke to me as well. It doesn’t hurt that I’m a serious bibliophile. But enough talk; watch the film, and be sure to put it in full-screen mode. It’s better that way.

Last but not least, I’ve come across a couple of very entertaining blogs recently. The first, TIME 2 TRAVEL, is a marvelous example of collaborative fiction in the form of a crowdsourced guide to various hotspots and safe houses all across space and time. It’s sort of a Hitchhiker’s Guide to time travel, and of course references to Douglas Adams abound. I don’t know how accurate the historical notes are, but that’s hardly the point. This isn’t meant to be Wikipedia. It’s just a fun little bit of fluff. The guides are entertainingly written by some very talented people, and the glimpses we get here and there of a broader society of time travelers are well-placed and intriguing.

Then we have The Avengers Shouldn’t Text, a Tumblr feed that reminds me quite a bit of Cassandra Clare’s Very Secret Diaries in that the posts offer glimpses into the Avengers’ private lives and depart quite a bit in places from the canon text. The Avengers here are most assuredly the movie versions, so we get to see characters like Darcy from Thor sticking around and raising hell. There’s also a Tony/Steve pairing that’s very endearingly done. And THOR ODINSON steals every scene he gets.

(Note to my friends: I know you may be tempted to start texting like Thor. Please do not start texting like Thor. That goes for Twitter, too. Friends don’t let friends text like Thor.)