The Witch's Necklace (WIP)

Happy Friday y’all!!! I’m looking peachy keen to finish editing Ch1 today. To celebrate, I’ll be doing a live-tweet of Circus of Books under the tag #NatalieWatches at 3:30 EST! Come join the fun and learn about how this gay porn shop because the living heart of LA’s queer community. Here’s the trailer for a sneak peek:

EDIT at 3:11pm: SOON

EDIT AGAIN: WE DID IT. Lovely little doc.

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Gay history? Don’t mind if I do!

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Hi all! I missed a week due to how much my nose has been to the grindstone, and this Friday is the last one of Pride! As a send off, I thought I’d post an acronym of book recs that inspired The Witch’s Necklace. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I tweet these all the time. I also recently started following a new book blog, The Quiet Pond, and it’s super active with posting interviews, reviews, and lists, so I thought I’d link to their Pride lists for the year.

  • Lesbian :lesbian_flag: Deadline by Stephanie Ahn is a kinky, witchy lesbian mystery through the supernatural back alleys of New York. I adore this series. Buy here on Amazon.
  • Gay :gay_flag: Death Prefers Blondes by Caleb Roehrig in which drag queens rob the 1% blind in the heist to end all heists! Buy through Indiebound here.
  • Bisexual :bi_flag: Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova is a YA delve into magic, death, and inheritance…with a dash of romance on the side. Buy on Indiebound here.
  • Trans :trans_flag: Birthday by Meredith Russo really explores low-income communities in the South and normative masculinity. This is a tough read, but well worth it for the satisfying and triumphant ending. Buy on Indiebound here.
  • Queer :rainbow_flag: Our Dreams at Dusk by Yuhki Kamatani is like, and I’m not kidding, the best queer manga out right now. Introspection, spiritual growth, yearning: ahhhh it’s so good y’all. Buy here on Indiebound.
  • Intersex :intersex_flag: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides is not the bessst book about the intersex experience, but it won a Pulitzer Prize for a reason. As much a history of Detroit as of Cal and his family. Buy on Indiebound here.
  • Asexual :ace_flag: Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko is me cheating a little because omg this is my friend!!! Adventure into this expansive fantasy of blood and magic; betrayal, and justice. Buy on Indiebound here.

Even more books from the Pond: WLW books. MLM Books.. Ace/Aro/Questioning books. Trans/Nonbinary/Genderqueer books.

A happy Pride indeed! :partying_face: :rainbow:

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can you add save slot please

@KEMAR_SIMMS no plans for a save option as of yet, but, like with other titles, you can pause playing and come back later :grin:

Happy Juuuuuullllllyyyyyyy! I associate this month with peaches, because the peach trees in my hometown are ripe for the picking. I have memories of sitting in front of the television and basically shucking peaches non-stop so we could have a month of cobblers and jams through the winter. Fingers got real sticky, but not moving meant I could have a fan in my face constantly. California’s hot, yo. :peach: :fire:

In any case, because @Eiwynn was kind enough to share my book recs list, this week I thought I’d point y’all to my StoryGraph. I used to use GoodReads with meticulous abandon, but since Amazon bought them I’m happy to move to an alternative site. It’s a slow process, but I’m doing it, haha.

Over the years, I’ve written over 95k in book reviews. Some silly; some serious. Feel free to browse~ . I finished In the Vanishers’ Palace late last night and wrote a review this morning. Five stars! :star2: :star2: :star2: :star2: :star2:

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I absolutely love how you give us different things to see or do while we patiently impatiently wait for this story.

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Thank you! I aim to entertain, haha. :grin: :sparkling_heart:

For this Friday, let’s avoid the muggy heat by watching Elisa y Marcela!

I’ll start watching around 3:30EST and you can follow along on Twitter. My handle’s the same as mine on here. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

EDIT at 2:56pm: SOON

EDIT ICYMI we had a delightful lesbian time. :lesbian_flag:

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Next week…new demo :eyes: :eyes: :eyes:

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I really like how trans-inclusive this game is! That aside, it’s also very charming. 1000/10, would play at least six times.

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Thank you @dumbbidisaster! I’m trying my best, haha. Goodness knows that trans people need more rom-coms! :grin:

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To put it as succinctly as possible, this game is gloriously queer and it has so, so much heart.

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After fixing one of the most terrifying glitches, we have an updated demo!!!

Aaaand I’m accepting any and all feedback! This chapter passed QuickTest and RandomTest, but it’s the nature of the game that something’s going to go sideways. If you see something, say something, haha.

Thank you and have fun :grin: :city_sunrise:

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The ironic verve in some scenes is good, but in others looks more like an inconsistency. For example when choosing the name “Blair” you get a pop reference from a 1999’s film, while in a distant future setting.

The story is still enjoyable, but immersion breaking.

Or instead you could miss the reference, like in the case of Lee and plums. Were my ancestors from Korea or from Virginia?

@CrappyBanana Hey, thanks for the feedback! :grin:

Like with Moonrise, I was going for pop culture or historical references with the provided name options. Is the Blair Witch Project not very well known anymore? Time is like a flat circle sometimes, so it can be difficult for me to judge what media the average player knows. The story is set in the not-too-distant future, so it seems reasonable that movies from 1999 would still be in the cultural consciousness. We still watch movies from the '80s, after all.

The surnames are more generic, because a lot of witches simply don’t have surnames and I wanted to reflect LA’s diversity. Lee is meant to the Westernized “Li,” which translates to plum tree. More info here. I suppose I could change it to “Li” or add the character 李 in parenthesis?

These days, magic and technology twine together to heal the land and try to move humanity back into right relation with nature, after 600 years of poison.

600 years from the industrial revolution, I guess?

Lee is fine, it’s the plum reference that is obscure. Maybe another Asian surname?

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The Witch’s Necklace takes place in 2096–roughly 600 years from 1492, when Columbus first landed in the Americas. It’s not the distant future. That’s interesting you thought that though. I wonder if people will assume it’s distant and experience a moment of horror/shock when they find out it’s not. So far readers seem hungry for more world-building than I initially thought the first chapter needed.

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From the first pages you put a focus on how environment-friendly this world is. So, when thinking of poison I think everyone would do 2+2 and think of the industrial revolution.

Equating Columbus with poisoning the land is not the first thing that comes to mind.

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I suppose. I’ll make a note and see if this is a sticking point for others. Funnily enough, I just read a piece of writing advice about not including numbers in speculative stories because it gets readers calculating and, ultimately, breaks immersion. I could replace “600 years” with “centuries,” or I could make a specific mention of Columbus because he deserves all the pot-shot call outs he gets.

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So, one of your themes is eco-friendliness, the other is…native american’s culture? Because the former is truly delivered from the first pages, while the latter I think I encountered it only with the reference to tongva music (which I googled 'cause was an alien term for me).

Yeah, environmentalism is a big theme! I wouldn’t say indigenous culture is a theme. More like a motif, maybe? I draw on Chumash, Tongva, Gabrieleño, and Kizh’s ways of living as part of the general solarpunk theme. So there’s the music, like you spotted. The PC’s house draws on traditional Chumash dwellings since I placed their house near El Capitán State Beach: “A salt breeze rushes the cattails on your roof and sings through the twining pillars of bone and willow wood.” Mrs. Tobonay mentions tomols, which are Chumash boats. Decolonization, eco-friendliness, accessibility, returning to the indigenous ways of living, and having the tribes be powerful are big hot buttons in solarpunk. These elements all get mixed together to form the genre.

I’m starting to get notifs from CoGs to make sure to give room to other people on the thread. If you have more questions, feel free to DM me. :grin: