Previously, in Trip's Life...

31 March 2018 - Saturday

It's Easter Eve (what? why is that not a thing?) so I went to Monkeycat Mountain a little early to help the children dye eggs. There was a lot of fighting, because siblings, but also eggs became colorful.


  • Sailor Moon S 10: And now, heteronormativity for Rei!
  • The Ancient Magus's Bride: Those Awaiting A Star 2: Rewatch for Marith. Still very pretty.
  • Flip Flappers 9: Yayaka's backstory.
  • My Hero Academia 1.9: The worst foe a superhero can face: the media!
  • ACCA 2: Ayse and Ken like this, so I guess we'll keep watching it!

Beasts of Abigaile vol 1 (Spica Aoki): "Your keywords for this shoujo manga are: wolf, prison, and rose. Start writing!"


Words: 382.

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30 March 2018 - Friday

Perhaps appropriately, The Lost Plot (Genevieve Cogman) leaves the overarching plot of the last few books behind and dives into draconic intrigue. Also, bootleggers. And giant wolves. And maybe some progress on the UST.


I have been putting the harness on Ghirardelli when he tries to investigate the Outside, but that usually results in him sitting down and not going anywhere. Tonight I waited until he got all the way down the stairs without the harness, then carried him back upstairs, put the harness and leash on him, and carried him back to where he was to let him keep exploring, and he did! Not that we got more than about 5m from the bottom of the stairs, but he sniffed hedges and sidewalks and laundry vents very successfully!


Words: 259. I had to walk the cat!

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29 March 2018 - Thursday

Words: 421. I thought I was being clever in breaking this up into scenes the way Scrivener makes easy, but now I think I was wrong. Perhaps tomorrow's writing will be mooshing everything together into one thing so I can get good flow.

Which day's writing will be learning to end scenes instead of writing the whole story in one single continuous shot?

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28 March 2018 - Wednesday

Small Worlds and its continuation (not really a sequel) Strange Cosmology (Alex Raizman) are about a hapless schmoe who, after a cursed life, finds a thing that makes him a god and also responsible for dealing with the end of the world. Things get worse from there.

I am caught up on this and will probably keep reading it, but it didn't get my vote on Top Web Fiction even though it's at second place overall.


Words: 326. But although it is easy to write more on the scenes of how my protagonist came to be in the media of all this res (I am keeping the slowly-remembering-while-discovering-the-extent-of-her-doom opening), I have the feeling that a good writer would edit them all down to evocative snippets, and possibly not in any particular order.

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27 March 2018 - Tuesday

Avalon is still working way too much, but her feets are operational, so that's something.


The Squidder (Ben Templesmith) is set in a world where the tentacle monsters from another dimension have won, but although there is definite horror, it is not nearly cosmic enough.

Generation Witch vol 1 (Uta Isaki) is slice-of-high-school-life in a modern world where some people can do magic. Whatever.


Words: 191.

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26 March 2018 - Monday

I somehow managed to go to bed at a reasonable hour last night, and yet I am still sleepy this morning. That doesn't seem fair.


Heretical Edge is kind of a cross between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Harry Potter and maybe Stargate? (It's still ongoing, so I suppose more genres might get added later.) Secret school, magic, monster hunters (and thus monsters), obscured and dramatic ancestry, getting superpowers from murder, indiscriminate use of memory magic, aliens with strange abilities, interstellar empires, ancient curses, the whole eleven yards. Also, lesbian poly.


Words: 437.

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25 March 2018 - Sunday

This week in PAD&D5, Dave did not have to eschew cookies!

As predicted, there is a big fight (in fact, the big fight, as the Heroines have gone so far out of their way to avoid it that they end up running into it from behind) but hardly anyone dies. Rimardo does not even fall into a deep pit this time, although there is one conveniently to hand. Then, having gained control of some wandering damage combat resources from the [SPOILER], the Heroines decide to throw them into the room they have not yet been willing to assault and set them off (metaphorically speaking). Of course it then turns out that someone they especially wanted to take prisoner is in that room, so there is a tense fight against the most fearsome foe, but Rimardo saves the day with daring and the power of the Crystal Dragon!

Laden with captives (mostly) and loot (a little), the Heroines head back to Yartar.

Apparently that finished off this chapter? wing? of the adventure, so we reaped a great bounty of XP. Level UP!

Some third-level paladin spells are actually pretty cool. Maybe I'll have Lam cast some now, instead of just spending the slots for +4d8 radiant damage.


Made in Abyss (Akihito Tsukushi) is about an amnesiac cyborg from a 20,000-meter pit full of excessive carnivores and ancient artifacts, and the orphan girl who finds him. They seek adventure.


Words: 164.

Weekly total: 2331. But maybe it's all wrong again.

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24 March 2018 - Saturday

We only share about 1/713th of a language, but I think the usual cleaning person is changing jobs, so now someone different will be coming fortnightly. I hope whoever it is appreciates Ghirardelli properly!

Because I was very slow and lethargic, I didn't manage to do grocery shopping in a timely fashion, but on the other hand I didn't have to trundle down to Monkeycat Mountain. They all came to Yuki Sushi for sushi feasting, along with Marith and Earl and Cat! (I got to sit next to Nonny!) Then we went back to Monkeycat Mountain for pie and videos.

  • Sailor Moon S 9: They almost teamed up! But not quite.
  • Nirvana in Fire 31-32: If you want something done right, don't lapse into unconsciousness and leave it to your minions!

Words: 158. But I have sugar-free chocolate cream pie!

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23 March 2018 - Friday

Yesterday was doctor for me, today is doctor for cats. Cats are not good at taking the bus, so I scheduled for when Marith is off and can help transport them, but that meant going in the middle of the day, which meant working from home, which is bleah.

Poor cats! So oppressed! But at least you have crunchyfood now!


Words: 244.

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22 March 2018 - Thursday

I succumbed to capitalism and scheduled my doctor appointment first thing in the morning so I could still go to work at a reasonable hour (for some value of "reasonable"), so I had to get up at a time that by definition was still night. Blugh. Anyway, things are blargh. I should go to other specialists for stuff, and also find some kind of exercise that gets my heart rate up.


Words: 430.

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21 March 2018 - Wednesday

New personal high score!


No Brooks for 13th Age, but Mike brought barbecue instead. (For the record, Brooks's roleplaying ability is much greater than that of a foil container of pulled chicken.)

This session, we got through some more plants and had the fight with the huge pile of cultists, and crushed them all in like three rounds, because mooks. Next session, probably everything catches on fire.


Words: 180. However, being 48 has not apparently made my writing any less terrible.

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20 March 2018 - Tuesday

Words: 566.

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19 March 2018 - Monday

Words: 589. Hey, that was almost like focusing! But am I blathering too much about stuff that should be hurried past?

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18 March 2018 - Sunday

Look, it's a Sunday without gaming! That means I will be completely useless!

As part of being useless, I watched Big Hero 6, which I have had from Netflix for approximately one million years. It wasn't bad, although there were way too many male characters (what is even the point?). The visuals for the [SPOILER] were pretty cool, and Baymax is indeed adorable.


Words: 307. See, useless.

Weekly total: 1887.

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17 March 2018 - Saturday

Apparently Crunchyroll crashed under the load of ten million whippersnappers binge-streaming the 783-828th episodes of One Piece, so we could only watch things we happened to have on physical media. So primitive!

  • Sailor Moon S 7-8: We had to explain to Jus that Usagi thinks there's a rule against girls dating girls, but really there isn't. So who says anime isn't educational?
  • Free! 1-2: Ayse has wanted to watch this since before Crunchyroll was a thing, which is why we had it on disc

What with starting ACCA and now Free! without ending any series, I'm not sure the slot-based method of managing our anime is going to keep working. Maybe I should just keep a list of the last episode watched of each show that has more episodes and call it a day.


Inked Tails and Penned Dragons (Brian Kesinger) are more picture books in the same style as Walking With Your Octopus (for some reason), but about mermaids and dragons, respectively. They are pretty silly.


Words: 374. But at the beginning, it all seems so obvious, and only later do I realize that it is all made of 100% fail.

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16 March 2018 - Friday

I showed up at the St Patrick's Day party for work for a little while, but fled before they could make me participate in any kind of "fun".

On the upside, it looks like the indie bookstore I shopped at in Mountain View is opening a branch right next to where I get groceries, only a few blocks from work!


Words: 329.

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15 March 2018 - Thursday

Avalon still works practically all the time. It is very sad. Also I feel like a loser because I have many hours of free time every week, and never do anything with them.


Words: 109. I know more or less what to write, I just can't stop being a lump. Also, this cat is not helping. (But he is very fluffy.)

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14 March 2018 - Wednesday

We had everyone for Thai food and 13th Age, hurray! This session, we proved not quite cunning enough to find and use the shortcut, but at least we avoided most of the painful parts of the long way around and only lost some time.


Imposter Syndrome (Mishell Baker) finishes the "Arcadia Project" trilogy, or at least seems like it wraps up pretty much everything with the plot, even if the main character is still a huge mess. But she's a slightly more functional mess, and also a triumphant one.


Words: 117. Writing after I get home from gaming is hard. Maybe I should get around to installing Scrivener on my pad and try to write some before gaming? But that is social time. Or I could give up on having a non-deferable daily quota, puny as it is. Ugh.

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13 March 2018 - Tuesday

For the first time in a long while, I went up to the northern office, lured by poached pear sour cream caramel pie (Pi Day, observed). The commute was annoying, but at least it was raining instead of hot, and neither bus nor train failed me.

The pie was pretty amazing.


Tricks for Free (Seanan McGuire) is partly about the fallout from the previous book in the "InCryptids" series and partly about how Antimony can't stay out of trouble to save anyone's life, especially not her own. Plus, theme park madness!


Words: 218. I got back late because northern office, so my brain wasn't working very well. (Yes, yes, goes without saying.)

pie by marithlizard (Thu Mar 15 06:02:54 2018)

That pie does sound amazing, and I vote we should get Ken to make it for us.

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12 March 2018 - Monday

Bah, No-Sleep Monday. Nobody likes it. Everybody hates it. Too many dumb customers.


Words: 433, somehow. By doing individual scenes which I will then try to assemble into the initial flashback chapter, I have some things. Kind of.

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11 March 2018 - Sunday

Ugh, Moonlight Squandering Time. Bleah.


Despite the unnatural hour, everyone was present for this week's episode of PAD&D5!

For lack of a better plan, the Heroines of Red Larch go back down into the [SPOILER], where they end up engaging in a real old-fashioned dungeon crawl: mapping, distinct encounters, all the treasure hoarded by monsters too tough to beat. The final encounter brings them back into conflict with the main body of the [SPOILER], but at least they are able to begin defeating them in detail. Next fortnight, there will probably be a huge fight and everyone will die.


Traveling With Your Octopus (Brian Kesinger) is the sequel to Walking Your Octopus, with the green-haired steampunk girl and her cheerful octopus modelling local costumes and customs around the world.


Words: 145.

Weekly total: 1300. That is indeed a weak total.

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10 March 2018 - Saturday

  • Sailor Moon S 5-6: More monster of the week. Jus scorns the main villain's evil laugh as feeble.
  • Ancient Magus' Bride: Those Awaiting A Star 1: Rewatch for Marith who missed it the first time.
  • My Hero Academia 1.8: Ensemble cast power montage! I caught hardly any of them, but I might still like Frog Girl the best.
  • Flip Flappers 8: Now that we have a firmer idea what Pure Illusion is, we understand the first couple of episodes better, maybe.
  • ACCA 1: Marith and I saw this, but she thought the other might like it, and they seem to. Not sure whether we're going to keep watching it, but we might.

Words: 146. Poke. Poke.

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9 March 2018 - Friday

Yay, Avalon is still alive! Mostly.


Words: 152.

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8 March 2018 - Thursday

Words: Well, complaining in yesterday's entry about how I have no idea how to write things took up 311 words... No idea what I will do with tomorrow. Dying in a pit still seems good, honestly.

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7 March 2018 - Wednesday

Kelsey cancelled at the last minute, unsurprisingly, but we played 13th Age anyway, and also ate tacos until we exploded, after playing a little Codenames to establish that my brain is transparent and tiny (like a marble) but Dave has 80% inscrutibility.

This session, we confirmed the lack of physical evidence at the site of the missing plant, so the magic types did crazy wizard stuff while Kazannethorim rolled her eyes at them. Then we had to go through the magical gate to the upside-down ziggurat anyway, and discover that it is next to a second sun, patrolled by flaming undead, and full of chanting cultists that seemed about to sacrifice a vampire to empower the plant we want. Next session, all the fighting!


Words: 188 into the optimistically-titled restart.txt, but I don't think I can count those as progress of any kind. Maybe I need to restart even further back? Or rather, discard even more of my existing ideas instead of reworking them.

How do you become a supervillain, anyway? As step zero, you need powers and a costume (some powers, like a glowing forcefield or Monster Out, count as a costume as well); without that, you're just a criminal. A nom de spandex is optional, the Internet will be glad to give you one if you're lacking.

But that just gets you to super. How do you get to villain? You can just announce it, I guess, although I don't know what the appropriate occasion would be. Join an existing villain team. Fight a superhero, or at least thwart one. Help a supervillain. And, of course, do a crime. What else? How can I get my main character sucked into a life of supervillainy without meaning to?

Maybe it's just doomed to be uninteresting if her parents are already villains, but I like Slink. Florn!

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6 March 2018 - Tuesday

Because I obviously don't have enough web serials to read, I picked up A Practical Guide to Evil (David Verburg?). In this fantasy world, the gods of Good and Evil sometimes give people the power and luck (not good luck, but appropriate) to live out archetypal roles: the Warlock, the Exiled Prince, the Augur, the Black Knight, the Lone Brooding Swordsman, etc. A couple of generations ago, the dark empire, which was mostly a laughingstock on account of being ruled by people who take names like Malicia or Terribilous, finally got some practical people in major roles, who transformed the Legions of Terror from marauding orc warbands to a professional military, and otherwise tried to get things organized instead of horrifying, and consequently stomped all over everyone. Now a young girl from one of the conquered lands wants to rise in the Empire so she can lessen the oppresion of her people...

The Roles and Names are meta to the readers, but to the characters, that's just how the world works, and they deal with it as best they can, so it avoids being parody by a wide margin. And really, isn't that just the sort of crap gods would pull?


Words: 149, but today I realized that most of what I have written so far is made of fail. I mean, it's always been badly-written and deficient in social justice, that hasn't changed, but very few of the however-the-heck-many words I've written since last October are moving my main character toward being either a supervillain or a superhero. This may mean I should start over AGAIN. Or, you know, die in a pit forever.

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5 March 2018 - Monday

Walking Your Octopus (Brian Kesinger) is a cute picture book about a steampunk young lady and her pet (air-breathing land) octopus. The octopus seems happy to help with all kinds of chores, which makes me wonder about Dave.

The last couple of Spectrums have had a lot of art I didn't much care for, but Spectrum 24 (ed John Fleskes) moves back in the direction of my tastes. it's still very diverse, of course, despite being at least 37% MtG cards by weight (seriously, it seems like WotC is guaranteeing full employment for every fantasy artist with an even vaguely realistic style), but it has less of the stuff I don't like. On the other hand, I didn't feel compelled to buy any of the books whose cover art was selected, so maybe Spectrum has failed after all.


Words: 209.

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4 March 2018 - Sunday

Today, I did nothing! Because I suck!

Okay, I did watch a couple of episodes of Darling in the Franxx, which tumblr has been buzzing about a little. It reminds me of Chrome-Shelled Regios, with the domed cities amid the barren monster-haunted wasteland of the entire world. I'm not sure pair-piloting mecha needed to be sexualized quite that much, though, and I say that as a huge perv. (And why always male-female pairs? And in the same commander(?)-driver(?) roles? (The male lead isn't terrible so far, but I'm pretty sure everything would be much better if Zero Two had picked a female "darling". (Male characters, bah!)))


Words: 508.

Weekly total: 2756. Unfortunately, I have reached the point where I need to know what the antagonists are actually up to. Maybe there's another project I can work on instead?

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3 March 2018 - Saturday

  • Sailor Moon S 3-4: What?! Haruka is a [SPOILER]?! Who could have ever guessed?!
  • Monthly Girl's Nozaki-kun 12: The end! Not a very conclusive one, but then Nozaki is Nozaki.
  • My Hero Academia 1.6-7: Right into full-contact combat exercises on the first day of school, as one should expect from All Might!
  • Flip Flappers 7: Well, that explanation was not very explanatory. But I don't think the characters understood it either.

Words: 264.

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2 March 2018 - Friday

I'm up to book 4 (I Am Half-Sick of Shadows) of "Flavia de Luce" and still liking them okay, although I might take a break. They are very much what they are.


Words: 527.

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1 March 2018 - Thursday

Hurray, it's Avalon! But she still lives far away.


Words: 278.

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