Tag Archive for grad school

The Longest Winter

Winter has been both fun and challenging. Waded through some major changes and made sure to keep on the horse. Some exciting things have been going on and are continuing to develop into even more exciting things.

December was paper writing crunch time for grad school. Early February I was up in L.A. for script work and I ended up being pulled into a fashion show! I have not done professional modeling in a long, long time, but I managed not to trip on the runway despite the buckets of fake blood that got spilled all over the catwalk from the designer before us. Eek! I walked for the Aneroc label, which belongs to my friend and talented costume designer Corena Gibson. It was a lot of fun, and for me, very nostalgic.

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I also got to drop in on an interview with Camden Toy. Camden is a cool guy and I’m glad that he’s working with us on ADAM 8. I did get some actual work done though, and picked up two new scripts that I’ve been working on since, as well as pitched around some ideas with the writer/producer I’m working with. Fun times in Hollywood. You never know what’s going to happen.

In late February and early March I turned my attention towards the East Coast convention circuit. First up was DREAMATION, hosted by Double Exposure. Wonky website aside, it was an amazing gathering of cutting edge indie game designers and awesome players. It’s the most progressive and positive gaming convention I’ve ever attended. While there, I participated in a Gaming as Other panel, part of a series of panels that tackles the sticky topic of minority issues in the gaming community and within games themselves. As a bi-racial Mexican-American woman who has been a part of the gaming community for a long time, this is a pretty important topic to me, and one that I have a lot to say about. You can watch the video below.

I also got to play some really fun games, and have a strategy meeting for the Super Secret Project while there. The one negative? It was really cold!

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After that was Intercon N, which while not quite so progressive as DREAMATION, was still enjoyable. I sat on three panels at Intercon, including an additional one in the Gaming as Other series, which I don’t think was quite as well received as it had been at previous cons where it was presented. My favorite panel was the one I sat on with other academics, discussing the psychology of playing characters. I could have gone on for hours, hours!

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Overall, I’m sure I’ll be returning to the East Coast. There are a lot of interesting things going on there, and I definitely need more time to explore.

I also submitted to the call for papers for this year’s annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion, the biggest conference in the world in my field. I have been biting my nails ever since! I’ll find out in April if my proposal is accepted, but I really think I might have a chance. How many other people can there be that are experts on the intersectionality of religion with ARGs and LARPs? It’s an extremely competitive conference though, so while I can’t lie and say I won’t be let down if I don’t get accepted this year, there will be many other chances in the future.

And just so the cycle completes itself it’s now time for another graduate school paper crunch. Woo.

The Other Side

Gen Con was a lot of fun. There was a very small turnout for the LARP panel, but us panel members are considering a proposal from the audience to start our own podcast/Google+ meetup thingy that people can listen in on (I am not up to scratch on what exactly Google+ can do yet). We’re all very busy, so I’m not sure it is going to fly, but it would be neat to have a LARP roundtable of some kind, especially one that is friendly to woman voices.  What do you guys think?

I did a bunch of silly things while I was there besides paneling. I larped both Shadowrun and Legends of the Five Rings, and brought back some fantastic art that we’re having framed right now. I’m a much bigger fan of Gen Con than I am of San Diego Comic Con. There, I said it! SDCC is valuable for industry work and for rubbing elbows and hobnobbing, but to really let loose and be a true nerd I found Gen Con to be much more appealing. No one there was posing. Everyone was super nice and friendly, and there were no panic inducing mega crowds screaming for Transformer or My Little Pony toys.

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Also, I was so in love with this D&D drider that I snorked in giggly ecstasy right as the picture was being taken. Lolth and I go way back. In fact, I’m pretty sure this is her. We’ve had a love/hate relationship for probably more than a decade now. If a Drizzt movie ever gets made, I would sacrifice at least five Illithids to be on the writing staff.

When I got back we finished up the Seekers Unlimited Kickstarter. We were funded, and right on the heels of finally receiving our official 501(c)3 status! And we ended only $500 or so from our stretch goal of $10,000. As the fundraising coordinator, I’m very relieved. There were many people that went above and way, way beyond to make this kickstarter successful, most of all our Director, Aaron Vanek. So thank you all, and a special hats off to Aaron. I’m so excited that we finally have a solid budget to work with, and now that we have our non-profit status I can start doing some grant writing.

Tinker, however, didn’t make it’s Kickstater goal this time. I think our audience really loves us, but just has a bit of fundraising fatigue. It happens. It’s not going to kill us and the production will go on. One of the main characters, Lady Cushing, was recast, and Julienne Davis (apparently she was in Eyes Wide Shut, but I must ashamedly admit I’ve never seen it), who was playing a different character has moved into the role. As follows, I am now taking her previous role–which I’m not sure yet I can say what it is? It’s probably not a big deal, but it’s always better to keep your mouth shut. Anyway, did some test footage, and have been in and out of the studio a fair bit recently.

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I also had a handful of heinous writing deadlines to meet, both professionally and for my PhD program. Like, six deadlines. And I met them. It was not fun. Not at all, but I made it through. There were a dark couple of days where I considered the reprieve breaking my hand might give me, but ultimately decided against such drastic measures. I somehow managed to pull all A’s and not have any peer reviewers yell at me yet (though I’m sure that’s coming), but I think next time I will not set myself up to be in such a position.

At the same time I’ve also been helping to retool the script for ADAM 8. Writer/producer Sean Williams and his assistant Jay Taylor recently came down to my place in San Diego and we had a day long hash-out session. I had a lot of fun, but Sean probably wanted to kill me. In all honesty though, he’s great to work with and I love being on the project. I’ve been glued to the script, working the hours away. I probably need to slow my intake of Monster drinks though.

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I finally have a bit of a break for a few weeks until next quarter starts. I decide to get an ultrabook because I was tired of lugging an eight pound brick with a two hour batter life up to Santa Barbara and back once a month. I got a really good deal on it and it’s going to help me get more writing done. It’s a beautiful machine. Here it is with the light reading I’ve got to get finished before class starts.

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I’m really looking forward to African Diaspora Traditions. Any professor that puts Maya Deren on the reading list is a friend of mine. I am also looking forward to Wyrd Con, which is coming up rather quickly. I’ll be NPCing for both Cantina Far, Far Away–a Star Wars LARP–and Masquerade in the Mirrored Hall, which is a 1930’s mafia romp. I’m not sure what else I’ll be playing, but it’s likely I’ll probably be mostly preoccupied with the academic panels. As always, in the fray of things tweet me @the_strix. I look forward to hanging with my fellow Wyrd people, some of whom it’s been a year since we’ve seen each other!

Going forward my speculation is that I’ll likely be involved with an academic census project, actually getting around to writing that short for Crackhorse Productions, hunting for grants for Seekers Unlimited, and tinkering with the call for submissions for Pacifica’s literary journal. Oh, and of course, school. That should be enough to do for the next couple of months.

© 2008-2016 by Strix