jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

So I was flipping through my Warhammer 40,000 and Warmachine books, trying to decide what to keep and what to discard. And despite the messy cover art of robots abusing performance-enhancing drugs, the Warmachine books also had the following:

  • POV female characters who are competent and sympathetic
  • Short stories where civilian lives and homes were important, and the "warcasters" relate to them as equals
  • People from different backgrounds (and even opposing armies) working together
  • People with very different reasons to be a career soldier, few or none of which were "rabid xenophobia"
  • Photos of towns, workplaces, and homes

Whereas the 40k books are ONLY WAR (TM) to the point where you'd think "faux-Gothic ruins" are the only ecosystem in the galaxy, and there are never any people living in them. Seriously, the artwork in some of the Tau books was nice, but the unremitting violence made me uneasy, and 40k characters in general have the emotional range of a brick.

So yeah, that's something we're keeping in mind as we rearrange our collection. We're also starting to look at potential additions in terms of "is this something I want to display?" and "what can I use this for in other games?" rather than just "does this have good stats?"

... also we keep thinking that we want to sculpt 40mm scale Steven Universe models. Starting with a whole army of Watermelon Stevens.

A screencap from the Steven Universe episode "Super Watermelon Island," showing a small army of watermelons shaped like Steven -- including his hair -- waving their spears and cheering and hugging, on a sandy beach. One of them is a cute dog instead of a Steven. In the background are jungle ferns and trees, and enormous sparkling blue and violet geodes.

Maybe we could even get some real geodes for a diorama.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

So, we read an excerpt from the intro to a history book on the First Succession War, which was a mad scramble for land and resources after a political upheaval.

It reminded us of how much we love BattleTech sometimes, and why:

It was a week before my nineteenth birthday when we learned that Amaris had been captured and the [coup] was over. Naïvely, we thought things would get back to how they were before, in our parents’ day. How quickly we were disabused of that notion. The dukes knew things would only get worse and all the patriotic noise Kenyon had made was soon supplanted by something more authoritarian. We were just the wrong age, the perfect age to serve.

My boyfriend, Joe, was one of those called up that autumn, thrown into a boot-camp and then shipped off-world to fill out a line unit. I never saw him again—he died on Anegasaki when the Capellans killed the Fourth Militia. I was luckier I suppose, drafted into the planetary militia, so at least I was near home where it was safe and quiet. At least at first.

Then Kenyon got a mind to take over all the Star League facilities, following up on the rumors that Kerensky had left vast stockpiles on-world. That may have been true, but after four years spent on that wild goose, with little more than field rations, toilet paper, and SLDF recruitment pamphlets to show for it, the FWLM shifted their attention elsewhere. That didn’t save me from a grilling by SAFE—several in fact—because of who Gramps was, and his involvement with the Engineering Sub-Command. He died when I was nine, but even so, SAFE struggled to accept that a pre-teen knew nothing about SLDF activity. Dad got it much worse, and was held at the facility in Freeport for three weeks before they decided that the English teacher from Durandel High wasn’t going to give them much help either.

In those days, the years before the start of the Succession War, I did wonder: if this is how badly we treat our own people, how are things going to go when we start shooting at people we don’t like?

Compare and contrast, with how 40k portrays warfare. And authority, and nationalism. Even if you read 40k as a dystopian satire, where the Imperium is meant to be seen as brutal, you rarely get such a personal look, at the price that ordinary people pay for you to dress up in armour and play as a "hero." To satisfy your vain ambition, for power or wealth or heroics.

40k isn't alone in erasing civilians and glamourizing warfare, of course. Don't get me started on dudebro shooters. >_>; With the extremely subversive exception of Spec Ops: The Line.

Click here if you can't see the video.

For another good take (IMO) on how BattleTech portrays conflict, check out the short story at the start of the Alpha Strike Quick-Start rules (PDF link). A private military contractor called Wolf's Dragoons catches a desperate foe completely off-guard, and an enemy MechWarrior has an obvious mental breakdown, but there's no guarantee that she won't recover once they've gone past. So Natasha just shoots her mech's legs out and moves on. Even though she has TEH RAEG because of something the other side's employer did to Dragoon dependents.

Finally, if you want to support a PC / tabletop game that tells the story of people who live in the ruins that "heroes" and generals fight over, check out This War of Mine:

Click here if you can't see the video.

Armed conflict is a terrific backdrop for drama. But it isn't a playground or theme park, and it shouldn't be treated as one.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

And our system has, in fact, been updated! We're now using a refurb of last year's fanless, 12-inch MacBook, and it's the most beautiful thing we have ever owned. Everything works so elegantly and consistently, we've had fewer frustrations than ever, and OS X is amazing -- you can assign new keyboard shortcuts to any item in the menu.

(App recommendations: iA Writer, and Notes. Yes, the Notes app that comes with a Mac.)

We want to learn Swift, and AppleScript, and page layout / ePub formatting in Pages and iBooks Author, and you don't actually want to hear about any of this. ^^;

What's more important, at any rate, and had an even huger impact on our life, was being able to spend about two weeks with Alias. We love it so much <3 and we took lots of pictures, although we've only posted most of them in a private Facebook group, composed entirely of Alias' family and their significant others. (We're really camera-shy, and we assume that others are as well.)

We played a lot of minis games, though. ^^; And Final Fantasy XIII. Turns out the reason we haven't done much console gaming lately is because there's been no one to share it with >_>; So now we're starting to experiment with streaming games on Twitch, and considering getting a capture card for our old consoles which don't let us do that natively.

... is that something that anyone here would be interested in watching?

Anyway, we're trying to get back into a regular schedule and form some good habits, which is hard without external reinforcement. >_>; And we keep thinking of how to reformat this blog ... with like, index pages of our stories, essays, and games. And maybe a consistent theme, of self-acceptance and learning how to express yourself. It's what we've needed the most talking-through, and it's what we've been wanting to help people with since our old Become Your Fursona stories.

Which we still have, and are considering formatting some of them for ebook stores. Maybe.

We're also hoping to be able to visit Alias in person up in Canada, towards the end of the year. It's scary talking about building a life and a future together, but it's also exciting to feel like this is a thing that can actually happen.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Does anyone remember the “Become Your Fursona" stories that I used to work on? [personal profile] aliaspseudonym does, and it’s been posting a lot of sketches and previews and things of its own take on the concept, on its Tumblr.

The upcoming fic, called simply “Transformation Story,” stars Gwen, a girl who lives in a computer-simulated world where things like your species can shift drastically just by modifying your tags / variables. After an episode of data corruption removes her species and phenotype tags, her subconscious ends up rebuilding them … just not in the way that her conscious mind expected.

Alias' drawing.

Transcript follows:

Read more... )

Like the old Become Your Fursona stories, [personal profile] aliaspseudonym’s work so far has a dark edge, and is a serious take on dysphoria. We’ve been consulting with it on this story, and we really like where it is taking things so far.

You can see more of Alias’ work at its Tumblr (RSS link), or add [syndicated profile] spinecrawlerrush_feed to your Dreamwidth reading page. It cross-posts the story and artwork to its DeviantArt and FurAffinity accounts (less frequently to the FA one).

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

The following is from me rambling at [personal profile] aliaspseudonym on Skype, after spending hours trying to untangle this cursed mind knot of how I actually feel about different miniatures games. I'm copy-and-pasting it here because it reads like the draft of an essay, which I just wrote extemporaneously.

* * *

‎9‎:‎21‎ ‎PM Jewelfox feels like 40k's story is actually one of its big selling points, but not in the way you'd expect >_>‏

Read more... )

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Having transitioned genders, I now find mansplainers even more insufferable than Mormon apologists.

I also find it very difficult to enjoy most TG TF fiction.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

[The sequel's] indulgent lack of focus and mean-spirited twists beg to be rejected as a conclusion to the work that preceded it.

-- Hope Chapman, reviewing the third Madoka Magica film, and summing up our thoughts on Hate Plus

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

A black-and-white, stick figure-y comic from Cardboard Crack. The Magic: the Gathering player on the left side of the table asks the one on the other side 'Did you see that the character Alesha was revealed to be transgender?' The other says 'Yeah, I can't stand it! Why can't I just enjoy a fantasy storyline without some political statement?!' The first replies 'People aren't transgender to make a political statement.'
Comic used without permission.

Before I came out as trans, I wrote stories about “becoming your fursona,” or a furry-fied version of your “true self,” which were meant to encourage people who were hurting because who they were was not accepted by the people around them.

When I started writing these stories, I was still Mormon. And as someone who’d just entered the furry community, I was getting to know a lot of LGBT individuals, who honestly didn’t seem any different from the people around them despite what I’d been told. This put me in a quandary: How do I encourage people to be their “true selves" if their “true self” is someone the prophets have said is a pervert? [CN: Homophobia]

I had to choose one or the other.

Some of them, mostly orcs, boasted of their ancestors’ deeds and spoke of their pride in adopting those ancestors’ names. She had been so different—only sixteen, a boy in everyone’s eyes but her own, about to choose and declare her name before the khan and all the Mardu.

The khan had walked among the warriors, hearing the tales of their glorious deeds. One by one, they declared their new war names, and each time, the khan shouted the names for all to hear. Each time, the horde shouted the name as one, shaking the earth.

Then the khan came to Alesha. She stood before him, snakes coiling in the pit of her stomach, and told how she had slain her first dragon. The khan nodded and asked her name.

“Alesha,” she said, as loudly as she could. Just Alesha, her grandmother’s name.

“Alesha!” the khan shouted, without a moment’s pause.

And the whole gathered horde shouted “Alesha!” in reply. The warriors of the Mardu shouted her name.

-- The Truth of Names [CN: Violence]

There are those who would say that I made the wrong choice. But the only reason I had to choose to begin with, the only reason trans people’s existence in person or in stories is a political issue, is because the people who say that are terrible people.

And they are afraid that the people around them are not what they look like.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Today I am going out to the clinic to get exogenous hormones (meaning ones produced outside my body) as part of physically transitioning genders.

There are a lot of things that could go wrong with this, and that I'm very nervous about, which is part of why I'm up this late. But the biggest thing is that there's this voice in my head saying:

This is it, this is the magical TG TF transformation serum just like in your stories, and you're going to change into a woman IRL~

When I'd really like it to be saying:

Today I'm going to go out with Yuro to pick up their new Pokémon game, then get groceries with them, then go out to my appointment and go home afterwards.

You might think that this wouldn't be the case, after as much time as I spent reading and writing and dreaming about physical TF in general and "becoming female" specifically. But while my stories seem to have helped other people accept themselves and their need to be genuine, in me they've created this visceral terror at the thought of living in one.

Even though the worst scenario those stories explored -- being thrown out and rejected by your own family -- appears to have already happened to me.

But the biggest reason I don't want for this to be dreamlike and magical is because I want it to already be over with. I don't want to have to transition, in any way. I want to already be accepted as female, online and in person, without needing to explain "pronouns" or other big words some people apparently have trouble with. And I want to be able to see this as something you would legitimately do if you were already a woman, not something you do to become one.

(Yes, I know lots of ciswomen take hormones. It's not usually for this reason, though.)

I don't want this to be a turning point, or a reason for terror or celebration. I just want to get through and get on with my life, and have it maybe be easier once what I see in the mirror doesn't cause me to cringe as much.

... having said that, if anyone wants to throw a party at their own place or send us well-wishing then I won't object. >_>

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Author's Note: This story is inspired by Murrquan's Sonic the Hedgehog fanfiction. You can still find it on archive.org if you know where to look. If you don't, she's not going to tell you.

The character named Shadow, in this story, is a black cat who had no relation to this Shadow when Murrquan created him in 2000.

Content Note: Contains lots of graphic physical and emotional violence, including some that's inflicted on children. Also discussion of suicide and self-injury, mild profanity, and disturbing imagery, including torture.

* * *

Dear Shadow,

It's Tachyon, your former peregrine "pet." I was a tiercel, but now I'm an actual falcon. And speaking of changes, I'm pretty sure that you're dead, but maybe that will make it more likely that you get to see this. It's not like I knew your mailing address, or anything.

Anyway, do you remember the Eighth? The emerald I can't use the full name of, since it's a memetic trigger for you? Well, it is for me too, now. Because it got to me, the same as it did to you.

It wasn't anything like I thought it would be.

Read more... )

About us

~ Fox | Gem | Rei ~

We tell stories, paint minis, collect identity words, and share them all with our readers. If something we write helps you, let us know.

~ She / her ~

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