Let's Play: King's Quest

I have a new King's Quest playlist up!

- King's Quest 1 AGD Interactive Remake
- King's Quest 2 AGD Interactive Remake
- King's Quest 5 VGA
- King's Quest 6
- King's Quest 7

Let's Play: Stardew Valley | #13 Summer 10 Year 1

Another Stardew Valley video is up! ♡

Let's Play: Stardew Valley | #12 Summer 7 Year 1

Another Stardew Valley video is up! ♡

Open Thread: Bridge Shadow on Estuary


Picture taken two days ago from the South Portland side of the Casco Bay bridge (thus showing the Fore River estuary.

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We have special open threads set aside for discussing various movies, said discussions including plain text spoilers.  These are the current ones:
   ● Captain Marvel
   ● Into the Spiderverse

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Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Let's Play: Stardew Valley | #11 Summer 4 Year 1

Another Stardew Valley video is up! ♡

Let's Play Darkest Dungeon | Week 4-6

Another Darkest Dungeon is up! ♡

Let's Play: Stardew Valley | #10 Summer 1 Year 1

Another Stardew Valley video is up! ♡

Let's Play Darkest Dungeon | Week 3-4

Another Darkest Dungeon is up! ♡

Open Thread: Ripples and Ducks.



It looks like I haven't inflicted ducks upon you all since January.  Obviously that had to change.  Thus I give you two ducks and ripples that they're mostly responsible for.

If you want to talk about the new Star Wars trailer and such, it has its own thread.

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We have special open threads set aside for discussing various movies, said discussions including plain text spoilers.  These are the current ones:
   ● Captain Marvel
   ● Into the Spiderverse

-

Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Open Thread: We're Gonna Have a Star War!

Theories and spoilers within!

Let's Play: Stardew Valley | #9 Spring 26 Year 1

Another Stardew Valley video is up! ♡

Let's Play Darkest Dungeon | Week 2-3

Another Darkest Dungeon is up! ♡

Let's Play: Stardew Valley | #8 Spring 22 Year 1

Another Stardew Valley video is up! ♡

Narnia: He Grabbed Her Wrist

[Narnia Content Note: Misogyny, Coercive Violence]

Narnia Recap: Polly and Digory have agreed to explore a new world at random.

The Magician's Nephew, Chapter 4: The Bell and The Hammer

When we last left off, the kids were in a hall of bodies. Let's finish off Chapter 4 real quick.

   This woman, as I said, was the last: but there were plenty of empty chairs beyond her, as if the room had been intended for a much larger collection of images.
   “I do wish we knew the story that’s behind all this,” said Digory. “Let’s go back and look at that table sort of thing in the middle of the room.”

Let's Play: Darkest Dungeon | Week 1-2

Another Let's Play by popular* demand! ♡

(*exactly one person asked me for it, but I hope you'll like it!)

Open Thread: Light, Mist, and Shadow


I think that's the light of the South Portland Branch Library (there's only one branch, so they're just called the main library and the branch library, no further distinction needed) pouring out into the mist over the municipal golf course.

I didn't actually go over there to check whether I was correct about the source of the light or not.

-

We have special open threads set aside for discussing various movies, said discussions including plain text spoilers.  These are the current ones:
   ● Captain Marvel
   ● Into the Spiderverse

-

Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

April Newsletter (2019)

April! I know I usually do newsletters on the 1st, but I really hate April Fool's Day and don't post anything on or around there if I can avoid it because I don't want people to think I'm trying to fool them. We're now a safe distance away, I think.

According to Patreon, March was a pretty solid month for us! I wanted to ask how y'all are liking the Let's Play videos and how you feel about the posting schedule. Is it okay? I don't want to spam your inboxes with too much stuff. I could just post a link to the playlist and you could check it periodically for new material if the "direct email each time" thing is too much? Let me know in the comments, okay? I know all our inboxes are full.

Fun Thing #1: Earthside. Chapter 1 is up on my Patreon! I wasn't sure if it would be; it's been written for a long time but it wasn't quite right and I got it polished to a high shine and I'm very happy. I hope you like it as much as I do.

Fun Thing #2: Vallis (Fire Mage WIP). I haven't had a chance to sit down with this one yet, but I have so many things I want to share. I've got art and that'll be coming up in posts in the nearish future, and I'd like to have more words to share.

Less Fun Thing: Day Jobs. I've had to pick up a lot of overtime at my day job just to make ends meet, which means my two "writing days" (Tuesdays and Thursdays) are basically not available anymore. I don't know if this is a "new normal" or a temporary thing, but since my back is hurting as a result I'm hoping it's a temporary thing and I can go back to creating soon. I continue to be in grateful awe at your support and patience with me. Thank you!!

Remember: It's a new month, which means new paper books for the $25 patrons and new bookmarks for the $5 patrons! If I don't have your address, send me a message on the internal system or email me at AnaMardoll at gmail dot com. I love sending ya'll things!

Thank you all so much again for being here with me and sticking with me through thick and thin. Oh! I might be officially divorced by the end of this month!

Let's Play: Stardew Valley | #7 Spring 19 Year 1

Another Stardew Valley video is up! ♡

Let's Play: Stardew Valley | #6 Spring 15 Year 1

Another Stardew Valley video is up! ♡

Transcending Flesh: Vampires, Werewolves, and Quick Healers

Note: This was previously published on my Patreon.

a pink and blue sky with a radio tower

This essay is one in a series which focuses on writing gender in science fiction and fantasy settings that provide body modification options beyond our current level of technology. Note that you can download this collection of essays from my website here.

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Transcending Flesh:
Gender and Body Diversity in Futuristic and Fantastical Settings


Essay #10: Vampires, Werewolves, and Quick Healers

Let's talk briefly about people with supernatural healing capabilities. I've written characters with magical powers and super-healing and I put forth that if your characters have super-healing, that power must interface with the body-owner's consent and desires, or you're going to run into trouble very quickly.

"Magical healing" that restores a body to a default state is a medical impossibility that we handwave with magic or magical science when we include it as a power in stories. It's one that can be fun to play with, but it has a history of being used to heap angst onto marginalized people in ways which are harmful, and then forgotten about when that same magical healing would become inconvenient to privileged audiences.

Below is a short list of things I've seen magical healing powers used for:

- Removing an existing long-term disability.
- Preventing or undoing gender confirmation surgery for trans people.
- Making sex painful by regenerating a hymen again and again.
- Enforcing an unwanted hairstyle which caused bodily dysphoria for the person.

Here is the catch. If you're going to regenerate all "damage" to a body instantly without consideration for the body-owner's desires, you cannot have:

- Tattoos.
- Body piercings.
- Tanned skin.
- Muscles.
- Pregnancy.

Oh, and if you're going to regenerate hair growth in ways which cause bodily dysphoria for the owner, you will also need to include:

- Leg hair.
- Armpit hair.
- Pubic hair.
- Fingernails and toenails of socially unacceptable length.

This is what I mean when I say that super-healing is often used to cause angst for marginalized people ("No gender confirmation surgery for trans people! The magic heals them right back to where they were!") but is forgotten about when privileged audiences want something for themselves, like pregnancy or modern hair styles. If you're going to show vampire angst because Claudie can't cut her girlish hairstyle away into something more mature or more masculine, then your sexy vampire ladies also need leg hair and armpit hair. If you're going to grow back a trans man's breasts after a mastectomy, nobody gets to have piercings.

If magic healing expels bullets and foreign bodies and doesn't take into account the wishes and consent of the body-owner, then pregnancy is impossible. Pregnancy involves a parasite which burrows into the lining of the uterus and then feeds from the host for months without considering the host's welfare. Real world pregnancy requires suppression of normal immune responses in order to prevent the body from rejecting the invasive foreign object. The fact that every pregnancy isn't rejected is, frankly, astounding.

Now, you can have pregnancy in super-healers by simply embracing the fact that the super-healing is magic and that magic can be guided by willpower and consent. If the character wants to be pregnant, their talent can accommodate for that. If the character wants to cut, grow, or otherwise change their hair, their talent can allow for that. If the character is transgender and wants to medically transition, their magical talent can make room for their choice and adjust to their self-image as the new "default" state to which the body is returned when wounded. Magic and the mind do not need to be at odds!

Similarly, if a character wants their magical talent to heal a childhood disability or old scars, that's a valid character decision. The problem is not with healing. The problem is with worlds which present the healing as something the character has no input or control over, and which erases their disability or erects a barrier to medical transition options, but then doesn't include foot-long toenails and armpit hair down to the waist because doing so would upset the intended cis and able-bodied audience.

Muscles require injury to the body. Tanning requires injury to the body. Pregnancy requires injury to the body. If these injuries are instantly healed then the muscles don't grow, the tan doesn't set, and the pregnancy doesn't develop. If your character can do any of these things, then there is no reason why they can't also maintain a disability or scar by choice, or seek out medical transition options to confirm their gender identity. Super-healing should not be used as a tool to strip agency from marginalized people.

In short: There's nothing wrong with super-healing magic. The problem is when that magic is used to harm marginalized people for supposed reasons which then evaporate when the result would inconvenience or upset privileged people in the audience.

Writings: The Lost Last Princess of Ravelin (Part 7)

Previously posted on my Patreon.