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Children’s Book

Heya friendos! It’s been an intense week in the feelings department, but a good one nonetheless. I want to talk a little bit about how it is to visit my hometown now that I’ve been living in another country for a couple of years. Also, there’s some stuff about children’s books!

How Am I Doing?

I’ve had a very cathartic weekend. I attended the funeral of my friend back in the Netherlands and it was weird and beautiful and funny and sad. I’ve bawled my eyes out and laughed my ass off. I saw a bunch of people I hadn’t seen since high school. We dredged up memories of shared festivals, vacations and jokes. Similarly, I rode through my old town and saw sights both old and new.

It wasn’t that long ago that I wrote about feeling melancholic when I visit the Netherlands and see people move on with their lives. This time it was almost the opposite. Many people haven’t changed a bit. Likewise, many neighborhoods look exactly the same as well. But here and there, there might be some new landmarks I hadn’t noticed before, or some new traits on a friend from long ago.

It brings me great comfort that some things never change, but that the world does not remain stagnant either. People grow slowly, but steadily, all at their own pace, as the place they inhabit changes around them as well. Somehow, now I’m more aware of what space I inhabit in my life and those of others. I now feel less like a fruit that fell from the tree into another world, and more like we are all branches growing in separate directions but still share the same trunk.

I think I can safely say that I’ve gotten rid of whatever baggage I might have had whenever I visited the Netherlands. Now it’s just a joyous occasion to see my friends and family, even if it is to say goodbye to one of them.

R.I.P. Petey <3

What Am I Doing?

While in the Netherlands, I helped a friend out with her graduation project. She’s adapting a famous Dutch children’s book series into an audio play. For that, she needed a voice for a character that’s essentially a werewolf ferry operator who is elated that a child wants to use his little boat.

‘Pluk van de Petteflet’ by Annie M.G. Schmidt

Some of you might be aware, but I love voice acting. One of my favorite things to do is make a little gag and develop a character voice that goes along with it. Players that I run roleplaying scenarios for have come to expect that each NPC has a silly little voice as well. Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to help her out with her werewolf needs.

I adored the script. I have a special place in my heart for children’s stories, especially Dutch ones. I’ve found they’re endlessly more creative than most high fantasy slop I read these days. The themes are clear-cut, character development is genuine and easy to gauge and dialogue is playful and evocative.

I got reminded that I actually wrote a children’s book myself many moons ago, before I even moved to France. I think I’ll try my hand at a second draft, and maybe add some illustrations this time. In fact, I might just be inspired enough to write another story in the same universe. My writing is definitely rusty, and I need to be at the top of my game for my next game project, so that would be great exercise.

Why Am I Doing? (this)

Many of my videogame projects end up in production limbo. That’s partially because I love the pre-production to prototype pipeline more than any other development process. I tend to start new projects because I grow bored of all the stuff that comes after. In that sense, game projects might not be the right fit for me, because a game project only really becomes a true game after that pre-production mark is passed.

Writing is different because what you put to paper is essentially the final product after a few drafts. I think I gravitated towards writing because I was sick of not finishing anything. I’ve still yet to publish anything on that front, but at least stories seem easier for me to finish that entire games.

I’m still trying to find a balance between juggling all the projects I’ve started over this past year. I haven’t really found the right course of action but I’m having a lot of fun, so at the very least I’m just going to ride that high until it fades.


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