Thursday, October 20, 2016

Spiel 2016 - Just a Girl

I've promised myself that from this week onward I will blog once a week until the end of the year. I can't promise it is all going to be about gaming, in fact I am pretty sure it won't be, but I want to hold myself to this and see if I can do it. 

First, I'd like to talk about my experience last weekend at Spiel in Essen. Spiel is the largest board game convention in the world and I've done a recap of how it was for my company on Angry Hamster Publishing's Blog. However, I thought I'd talk about how the experience was for me personally at the con.

Namely, because I had a pseudo-crisis of faith (in myself) there. Let me explain. The first day the con was open I met a blogger who offered to review WFS for me. Two days later he stopped by the booth at the same time a distributor was there and both got into a joking argument about how they wanted to take me on a date. First it was just a joke, we all laughed, and I attempted to steer the conversation back to business. Then, it started to get uncomfortable as they 'fought' about who would get to date me first, who saw me first, and who had a claim on me. This only went on for around five minutes, but by the end of the conversation, of which I was talked over and felt unable to speak, I felt very uncomfortable.

Once they walked away my partner, who was also there at the time, was livid. He asked me if he should have said more, having been able to interject a few times and say I was in a relationship, but I told him no. Mainly, because in these situations I want to be able to speak for myself, have my own voice, and people should be able to get the message that I do not want to date them, even if I do not have a partner. But then why didn't I speak up? I know these guys probably meant it as a compliment and didn't realize what they were doing. I honestly feel no (normal) person sets out to make someone else feel like crap. But does that make it okay?

The next morning I was free from running the booth with my girlfriend Floor. So we sat down at a quiet place at the con with our coffees and had a lighthearted *coughs* conversation on feminism... Cause that is what you want to do at 8am before you have a whole day of selling things to people :P. She was pretty much as bothered as I was when I told her and it always feels good to talk to Floor cause she has such a level head about things. 

The main questions we asked ourselves were - Were we over reacting? How do you maneuver out of a situation like that while remaining professional? Should we just let it go? 

The last question was easy - yes, I should let it go. For the only reason, that while I should address things that bother me, it's better for my own mental health not dwell on them. I have way too many things to do than worry about two guys that made me uncomfortable, honestly it isn't worth my time.

However, the other two questions were more difficult. I don't blog about it, I rarely tell my partner about it, but stuff like this happens all the time. It happens to women all the time. My natural response is to smile and ignore. That is what I have been trained to do from an early age, but is it right? Any of my friends will tell you I can go into a feminist monologue for hours if I am allowed, but that is with people I love who I enjoy engaging in conversation with, where I feel safe and happy to debate. But what about in public? Don't I owe it to women everywhere to speak up when I see something is wrong? My higher brain says yes, you do Liz. This wasn't even that bad, it could be worse, and as a woman it's your job to speak up and make sure this doesn't happen to someone else.

And there she is, the woman in my brain telling me I am a bad woman. However, this voice is coupled with the fact that I was at the con in a professional capacity. One of the men who engaged in the debate was a distributor who could get my book to a lot of people and another was a blogger who had my book and was going to review it. So, how can I say something that will not offend either of them, but still make them stop? Should I even be worried about offending them?

An idea I had at the time was to say something pithy/witty to make them stop. It'd be funny, we'd all laugh, and the who situation would be done. I had tried it a few times and half way through my sentence I was talked over. I could have kept talking, but that would just be awkward. So, what's a girl to do?

Floor and I mused for half an hour or so, drank our coffee, and then went about our day. The conclusion was - damned if you do, damned if you don't, next time I am really going to say something (while in my heart of hearts fearing I am not going to). 

I don't really have any answers in this blog post, but I hope by sharing my experience it helps is some way.  

I can say, as a person who experiences these things, it sucks. We are taught to laugh, smile, and most importantly to minimize. When things like this happen, it is a compliment or a joke and something we shouldn't take seriously. However, when it happen frequently, which it does, slowly it starts to wear at your self worth. It wears down you as a person, scrapes away at your sense of who you are, and makes you feel like a thing rather than a person. For me this isn't a dramatic feeling, despite my flowery description, but for others it can be and it can me much worse. 

Gwen, sing me out...

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

To Inspiration

I have a writing deadline. I need to finish my work. It is not happening. Instead of the 3000 words I need to complete. I wrote this poem -_-

To Inspiration

Inspiration you beautiful monster,
How you slip through my fingers.
Your cruel mockery --
My progress,
Or lack thereof.          
Should I compare thee  to a different beast,
Than the monster for which you are?
Those words would be too kind,
And too sweet, for a wretch such as you.
Yet if you would come to me,
Your praises I would sing,
Hymns to your glory falling from my worshiping lips,
3,000 words to go--

Give me 100. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Gametail: The Swords & Wizardry

I need a drink, but not any type of drink I need a cocktail! But not any kind of cocktail, I need a cocktail based off an awesome game - a gametail :D.

Earlier this week +Stacy Dellorfano posted the cover of the new Swords & Wizardry, which should be Kickstarting soon. I am super excited, because I wrote an adventure for it! And if I do say so myself, it is metal as f*!#. Stacy asked me to make an adventure bridging a story game and an OSR game. I might cover that in another blog post, but let's get on to drinking!

Take a look and the /amazing/ new cover for S&W by Kaos Nest. I used it as the inspiration for the cocktail.

Now look at this beauty. Black and pink, the perfect combination for my gametail - the Swords & Wizardy!

  • 2 parts vodka
  • 1 part Cointreau
  • 2 parts cranberry juice
  • 1/4 part lemon juice
  • Black berries
  • Ice

How to
Roughly crush the berries in the bottom of your glass and then fill the glass with ice. Put all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker (or whatever you have to mix drinks in) and mix. Pour the drink over your ice, top with a circle of lemon, enjoy!

Cocktail fans may notice this is a messy version of a cosmopolitan. The black berries mix well with the cranberry juice and the extra lemon cuts through the Cointreau nicely. For a non-boozy/sweet version, keep the berries and the ice the same, but mix:
  • 3 parts sprite/7up (for people who aren't fans of sweet - I recomend tonic)
  • 3 parts cranberry juice
  • 1/4 part lemon juice

Drink up! And if you make this cocktail I want to see it! Hit me up on twitter @epicxcloth or on G+ +Elizabeth Chaipraditkul

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

What I am obsessed with right now

I haven't done one of these in a while and I promised myself I would try to blog more regularly, so here I go!

1) Fallout 4

I am pretty much posting about this in every non-professional thing I have written in since the game came out. This game is so addictive. Fallout 3 was great, but this really put everything over the edge of notabletofunctionintherealworldneedtoplaymore for me. I have spent far too many hours of my life building up my settlements, because you can build stuff people! Also, I have an all girl gang that comprises of me, Piper, and Dogmeat. We all wear cool red bandanas and we are called Raiders #1. The best raiders in the Commonwealth!

2) Nico Vega

So, I just found this band through Spotify and I think they are great. Anyone who does a cover of a Cher classic pretty much has my attention and their cover is damn awesome. Since I know nothing about music I needed to Google this, but I found out they are an 'American alternative rock band' (thanks Wikipedia!) So, if you like that type of music give them a looksee!

3) The Espresso Martini

I've been trying to get classy and make cocktails. Why? Well, really I am broke from my kickstarter campaign and have no money to go out :P. My solution to this is obviously to frequently invite friends over and instead drink all the half bottles of random liquor I have in my house. A good friend of mine posted about this cocktail from his vacation in lovely, sunny Australia so I knew it had to be good. My permutation took a slightly different track than the cool absolute vodka link in the header. But it is tasty! If you want to make mine:

Liz's Kitchen Cupboard Espresso Martini
2 parts vodka
1 part amaretto 
1 part cold instant 'espresso'**  
1/2 part simple syrup
**instant coffee made with an extra spoonful of granules - super classy!

Fill a shaker with a few ice cubes, add in your liquids, cap on, shake, pour and enjoy!

4) Victoria Junior!!!

I backed this Kickstarter last year by +manny Trembley for a comic about a little girl who finds parents who are monsters. Her name is Victoria Junior and she is bold, creative, and epic! I got my reward for this a few months back and the book is so nice. I really love Manny's drawing style and Victoria is a really lovely character. She is so courageous and definitely has the spirit of the kind of person I looked up (and dreamed of being) to when I was younger. Also, it was super awesome because in the last Kickstarter we unlocked a colouring book and I can't wait to use it... Though I am also slightly terrified, because I don't want to ruin in.

If you think Victoria is awesome and you're sad you missed the Kickstarter - you don't have to be. Manny has made a new campaign for a second installment of the series and you can order the first book as well! Check it out here: Victoria Jr. presents Little Prometheus.

5) Strahd von Zarovich

Wow! Much vampire! So cape! 

Ravenloft will be the next D&D campaign setting! This is exciting news people. Ravenloft! And in honour of this, I am adding Strahd von Zarovich to my list of things I am obsessed with right now. I knew about Ravenloft for a long time, but I never played in the setting till a few years ago when my best friend decided to run a campaign there. It had all the epicness of Ravenloft I expected and one ass-hole, evil, chillingly smooth, creepy, vampire, butthead. Seriously -_-.

If you know me, you'll know that I love vampires and am pretty obsessed with them. Why? I dunno I blame the local library with laxed policies on what they're letting kids check out, hormones, and Anne Rice. So I was super excited when I heard that a vampire might be our main antagonist for the game. And, despite the names I called him up there (which are all totally apt) Strahd did not disappoint. He was everything I imagined an evil vampire lord to be and was dripping with as much Dracula coolness that someone could pack into one character.

What was refreshing for me about the character was that he was, in fact, a throw back to the old-school version of vampires. He wasn't a Lestat, Louis, Angel, Spike, Damon, Klaus, Johnathan, David, or Adam (thought shout out to all you brooding hotties). He was a badass and he was Dracula. He had just enough broody-nes to give me the fix I needed, while being utterly terrifying! And this is why Stradh deserves some love, some obsession, and to die at my hands when I play the next campaign setting. A girl can dream, right?


Friday, January 15, 2016

Reviving creativity & Chill

Hello world! You may wonder where I have been for so long, well rest assured that for the month I have been in the Wasteland I have mainly been working super hard to finish everything for WITCH: Fated Souls. However, I have also been writing for some companies other than mine.

At the moment I have a few projects going and all of them are vastly different. They allow me to be amazingly creative, but they also pose a problem. When someone tells you - make me anything in this theme (horror, fantasy, etc.) it can sometimes be difficult to center your thoughts on what you want to do. I thrive with these types of assignments. An excuse to write whatever crazy thing I dream up? Yes, please.

But  - I was dreamed out for 2015. If I am honest, the closer it got to Christmas the more I wanted to eat junkfood all day and play Fallout 4 (it is a serious addiction, I am considering going to meetings). When you have deadlines this sucks so bad. However, I have a tried a true method for getting out of my writing ruts and I wanted to share it with you!


What is a moodboard? A board where you stick, glue, and tape a bunch of things that inspire you.

Why do a moodboard? It gets your mind thinking differently. You might be a super creative writer, but sometimes when we write we think too much about our concept and the words that surround it. Creating a moodboard makes you think about your project in a different way.

But Liz, what the hell does this look like? Well, let me show you!

This is the moodboard I created for an scenario I am writing for Chill by Growling Door Games. I was a stretch goal writer for their Kickstarter SAVE - The Eternal Society. Chill is a horror game where you play an Envoy - an investigator of the Unknown (think: Veronica Mars vs. the supernatural where shit just got super serious). It was very cool to be chosen to write a stretch goal for Growling Door, because the assignment was unique to anything else I was doing.

Backers of the Kickstarter could share creepy/cool photos on social media and as a writer I got to choose one I was inspired by to base my scenario on. When looking through the photos, I instantly knew the one I was going to pick:
Image from @thaowarra

My adventure is called the Temple of the Skin Man. When I started writing all I had was a really epic picture and a good title. That's it. For a very long time. Ego aside - my title was really cool and the picture was perfect, so what was the problem? Well, I had absolutely zero ideas of where to go from there. And spending hours in front of my monitor only resulted in backing a random Kickstarter, buying a pair of shoes, and re-reading the same posts on social media convincing myself that +1/liking something made me productive.

If this is the point you have gotten to - get off the computer! Wait, get off the computer after you finish reading this post :).

Once I was free from the screen I got a piece of cardboard from the recycling bin and started gluing things on the board that reminded me of - Chill, the picture I was using, and things I thought were pretty.

In summary, the three elements you should put on your writing moodboard:

Something that reminds you of the the book/game you are writing for.
Chill for me is dark, horror, dirt, grime, life, and terror. I smudged the board black with charcoal and added a few roots from the back yard. 

Something specific to what you are writing.
I really wanted to use cards in my scenario. Why? Cards are cool. I also drew out an oubliette for my adventure (the thing in the pic that looks like a turnip). I have been kind of obsessed with oubliettes as dungeons since my friend opened a club named after them and now I had an excuse to use one in an adventure.

Something you think is cool.
This is possibly the most important part of a mood board. The idea behind this is to get you creative and open up your imagination. Just stick some cool shit to the board that fits your theme. Later on when you are stuck with writing, look at the board, pick something out, and use it. Even if it doesn't work and you take it out in the end - at least you wrote something!

Have you made a moodboard for a project you are doing? Do you have any other advice for getting started on a project? Leave a comment!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Old Post New Home: Thegirl who can't write is writing a book

((This was posted on my companies' old blog, which I will be taking down, because it moved. It was kinda therapeutic for me to write this, so I didn't want to lose it. So, if you have read/seen this twice you know why <3 .="" br="">

When I was in ninth grade we got the most awesome summer assignment ever - read three books and write reports about them. Now, while this would not excite the normal kid, I was over the moon. I mean the book list we got had the Hobbit on it! C'mon the chance to read one of my favourite books for the billionth time and then write a report on what I thought about it?! Who would not want to spend their summer doing that?

At the start of tenth grade, after handing in our assignments for the summer, we received them back the next week and the teacher was /pissed/. Everyone had copied their reports from the internet except one person... My face lit up, I was the good kid, how cool was I to write those reports? I kicked those book reports asses, I won!

"And I only know they didn't copy their reports from the internet, because they were written so badly." - Sayeth my first HS English teacher who shall remain nameless

And that was the start of my professional writing career. For the last three years of HS I tried to impress my English teachers and I mean tried hard. I went to an international school, which means that we were all dorks who studied and tried hard (by public school standards at least), but when I wasn't slaying dragons online or drooling over my high school sweetheart I was trying desperately to be a  'good writer'.

I finally realized I was not a 'good writer' in 12th grade when our new English teacher, the one considered the 'cool' friendly guy, was giving back our creative writing assignments and he handed one paper to my classmate who hated English and said, "When writing some of us apply a scalpel, finely plying our words to create a masterpieces and other of us... have a sledgehammer." My assignment was then plopped on my desk.

What was I doing wrong? When I RPed on I was always allowed on the literate forms, I was even banned for a few days for my really cool use of metaphors! Ugh, I was never going to be a writer.

It wasn't till I reached University that I ever dreamed that I would be able to write something that meant anything to anyone aside for me. I kept role playing throughout cause that was fun, but I never really shook the idea that I could not write. However, during one of my poetry classes my possibly favorite professor of all time saw something in my work. Before I knew it she had helped me publish my poems and my dream of writing had its Renaissance.

I had no idea what I was going to do with all my creative gumption, but at least I could write my semi-saucy fiction with confidence now.

Later in my University career I met the ladies who I consider to be my best friends today. I met them through the greatest hobby on earth - role play and we became very close friends. These ladies always believed in what I wrote, even when I sent them pieces for their characters at 4am in the morning and every fifth word had a typo. Each time I sent something I got a yay or a thanks omg I luv ittttttt <3 b="">back. However, I think the best thank you I ever got was when one of these ladies recommended me to a contact she knew who wrote for Wizards of the Coast's Living Forgotten Realms. She told her contact I could write and suggested I should write for them.

Now with having written my share of adventures for another company, I am finally ready to publish my own works and stories. I can't wait to share them with others and I hope you love them as much as I do.

I guess the moral of this story is don't let others who should not really matter in your life get you down. Listen to the people who love you and if you want to write a friggen book about cool friggen people who do cool magical shit while fighting with their own cool soap-opera level drama you go do it!

Friday, September 4, 2015

DIY Tutorial - Mini Doll Houses

Recently on my G+ page I have been posting a lot of pictures of these tiny 'doll houses' I have made. Since I have been so busy in my life etc. making these tiny creations has really been a big form of stress relief for me. You can get one done in an evening or two and the result is totally adorable and pleasing.

I first found out about miniature doll houses on the blog Open House Miniatures. They talk about the history and origin of these things, so if you are interested in that please give their blog a look. There is also a tutorial on the blog, but I found it rather confusing, because I wanted to make my own houses rather than the print out provided in the tutorial.

So... I have created this tutorial for you on how to make your own folding doll house! My only request is that when you have finished one please let me see a picture, I think they are so cool.

  • Card stock
  • Plain printer paper
  • Clear/white glue (like Elmer's Glue)
  • Scissors
  • Markers, pencils, whatever you want to use to draw your doll house.

Step 1
Cut out all your squares of paper, you need 12 in total. I make my rooms 11/4 x 11/4 inch large, but you can make them any size you'd like. I used to make them slightly larger, but I think smaller looks cooler and I was able to buy a handy hole punch that would allow me to make these squares easily.
Step 2
Draw each of yours rooms! In total you will have four rooms that have two walls and one floor. Decorate the rooms however you like :D. There isn't a right or wrong way to do this, for example, here I made a tiny Tardis.
Step 3
Now it is time to start gluing. (A tl;dr gluing guide is at the end of this post.) Take your plain piece of paper and make 7 strips of paper around half an inch thick and double the length of your rooms. These are the strips you'll use to join the rooms together. Then lay out all your rooms like this. As you can see you have four rooms - a, b, c, and d. Each has a wall on the right _R, wall on the left _L, and a floor _F.

Step 4
First, we glue the right walls (R) to the floors (F). Spread a bit of glue along the bottom edge of room aR and attach one strip of paper to the bottom, lengthwise so that half of the paper is still visible.

Then put some glue on the top of the floor aF, place it face down on top of aR, with the glue side facing the paper strip, fold the paper strip over the exposed glue.

Repeat this process for all rooms.

Once the glue has dried trim the excess paper from either side of your rooms.

It is really important that you manually fold the paper strip over your room tiles and that you don't try to guesstimate where you should place the tiles or fold the paper strip in half and glue them on. The method of folding the paper makes sure that you have enough space between tiles so that your miniature doll house can fold together properly. Without enough space it will fold wonky and slanted.

Step 5
Now, starting with room b, glue another strip on the left, back side of bR.

Attach bR to bL using the same method as we used for the floor. Repeat this process for all room except a. Let the piece dry and cut off the excess paper from the strips.

Step 6
All your rooms should now be looking like this:

Now, glue the back of aR to bL.

The glue the back of cR to the back of dL.

They'll look like this when you are done:

Now, glue the back of bR to back of cL.

Finally, glue aL to the back of dR. At this point you can also add some squares of paper to the bottom of the house, to hide the paper strips on the bottom, if you think it would look nicer (I always do that :D).

And there you have it! Your very own miniature folding doll house!

I ended up adding some stamps to mine to snazz it up a bit!

Update: Someone asked me what the doll house looks like folded up. So here is a pic of that and also one where it is folded flat!

I hope you have fun making these and let me see your creations!



Quick Gluing Guide

  • With paper strips glue - aR to aF, bR to bF, cR to cF, and dR to dF. Let dry & trim strips.
  • With paper strips glue - bL to bR, cL to cR, and dL to dR. Let dry & trim strips.
  • Glue - aR to bL, cR to dL, bR to cL, and aL to dR.
  • Done!