Sometimes I keep forgetting that not everyone has Facebook or Twitter, so I forget to update things here at the Cafe. But I wanted to announce that I am now part of the editorial staff at PodCastle, the fantasy audio magazine that's part of the Escape Artists family of podcasts (which includes EscapePod and PseudoPod, stories for science fiction and horror, respectively). Along with Ann Leckie, I serve as associate editor in reading slush and doing other duties for co-editors Anna Schwind and Dave Thompson (another Viable Paradise alum!).
Part of my new duties is that I get to narrate stories. And you can now hear my very first narration, "Georgina and the Basilisk" written by Leslianne Wilder. She was the third place winner of this past year's flash fiction contest at Podcastle. This along with the other winners, "The Bear" by Taven Moore (2nd place) and "Wuffle" by Chantal Beaulne (1st place), can be heard in Episode 288: Flash Fiction Contest Strikes Back!
Go over and have a listen. If you like what you hear, let PodCastle know in its forum, or donate, or even become a subscriber (to do so, to go PodCastle's page and click on the DONATE or SUBSCRIBE buttons on the right hand side).. It doesn't cost much, and you get some awesome stories, some that might even be picked by yours truly.
I’m honored to be part of an awesome podcast, and I’m looking forward to this new adventure!
- Current Mood: bouncy
As most of you know, I do most of my writing using Writer's Cafe. It's a great tool I found at the beginning of my writing career when I was looking for something that matched Scrivener, which was only Mac at the time. You can find my write up of that here.
A couple of years ago, Scrivener finally came out with a Windows version. By then, I had become a die hard fan of Writer's Cafe, so I wasn't looking to switch. But I was still curious, so I downloaded a demo and wrote a short story using it. There were some cool features Scrivener had that WC didn't have, but other features WC ruled on that Scrivener was lacking. I decided I was happy with WC enough that I didn't want to shell out $40 for Scrivener.
Flash forward to this summer. WC hadn't been updated for a while, and I found that I really missed some of Scrivener's features. So when I caught Scrivener on sale at Amazon for half price, I snatched it up. I've been using it since. But which is the better writing program?
So without further ado:
CAGE MATCH -- WRITER'S CAFE VERSUS SCRIVENER. FIGHT!!!!!
(Note—I’m comparing Writer’s Café to the Scrivener for Windows version, which I know is a tooled down version of Scrivener for Mac. Yes, I know the Mac version is better, but seeing that I don’t own a Mac, oh well.)
Similarities: WC & Scrivener are both dedicated to the art of writing. You write a whole book in either of them, write short stories, or do screenwriting. You can import text, edit, and export to an external program. You can keep notes, pictures, websites for research, and both programs come with a "corkboard" where you can view outline of your stories. And both have really good support, Scrivener with its forums and WC with its Yahoo email group.
Differences: WC has different 'programs' within itself that you can choose to do your work via different tabs and/or a desktop that has icons to different parts of yourself, whereas Scrivener keeps everything on one place. WC is geared from the brainstorming and structuring part of writing, while Scrivener's emphasis is more on the writing itself. I'll get into more detail starting with Scrivener.
Scrivener's plusses: As I mentioned, Scrivener is focused on writing. It makes for a great word processor because it has everything there at your fingertips. Conceivably, you can open up Scrivener without knowing anything about how it works and just start writing, because the space is intuitive. You can also make it so that you can block out everything except your writing space. If you're a writer who works by scenes, Scrivener makes this super easy. You can move scenes around, split documents into separate sections and vice versa. You can also write a story in a single text document without splitting into scenes. There are many shortcuts and functions that mimic Microsoft word, such as comments and footnotes, plus features Word doesn't have, such as the document and project notes, which I use to store text I'm editing out of a story on the chance I might need to use it again.
Another thing I really like about Scrivener is that you can make a "Scrivener Link" to point to any document in the program. So you can make your own wiki in scrivener, make key words point to notes. I really wish this feature was in Writer's Cafe. It would make cross-referencing my research and notes so much easier.
I'm still working with Scrivener and discovering new things to do as I go, but I already feel I got more than my money's worth. Scrivener as a word processor and writing tool outshines Writer's Cafe, which also have a writing processor, but is buried and has bare bone features.
Writer's Cafe plusses: WC may not do so well for writing stories, but when it comes to researching, planning and outlining, it outshines Scrivener.
WC's strength is its Storylines feature, which is similar to the corkboard in Scrivener in that you can have cards that show synopses of your story, tags. However, WC allows you to group cards according to "storyline". You can hide storylines or create multiples storylines. For instance, I have a storyline showing all the plots in my novel, but I also have another storyline showing a timeline of current events, and I have a storyline showing a timeline of the distant past.
WC's also has Scrapbook, which like Scrivener, holds notes and websites for research. One feature WC has that Scrivener doesn't is the ability to double-click on a URL on a webpage and copy it to Scrapbook (very useful when you're collecting information for research). You can also make a collage...not very user friendly, but good if you want to do a visual character sketch.
There's the pinboard, which gives you a unstructured corkboard to brainstorm lists. And of course, there are the notebook and journal features, which allow you to freewrite to your heart's content. You can use writer's prompts and write using a timer.
If you're a freewriter like me, Writer's Cafe is excellent for brainstorming and planning before you get to the actual writing. WC gives a chance for your brain to play before you get down to the nuts and bolts of writing.
The winner? Scrivener (kind of)
I've used Writer's Cafe long enough that I would go to bat for it in a heartbeat. And I still do. But I have to say, if it boiled down to only one program to buy, Scrivener would be the best program because it's all self-contained. I've completed two short stories in Scrivener, and it was super easy to brainstorm, write, proofread, and export the stories into the right format. Julian, the creator behind Writer's Cafe, had written about upgrading WC to include many features Scrivener has, including a better word processor to make it easier to focus on the writing of stories, but this has yet to happen. And now that Scrivener for Windows is out, I dare say that overall, it functions as a better writing tool than WC. If you don't have a writing program and are looking for one, Scrivener is your best bet.
But I can't completely endorse Scrivener for Windows. I don't know how often Scrivener updates its Window version, but it seems many of the functions that make Scrivener a superior writing program has yet to cross over to the Windows version. And this is where Writer's Cafe picks up most of the slack, because while it's not a good writing tool, it's an excellent brainstorming and planning too.
So...if you can get both, do it. I was able to get Scrivener on sale from Amazon a few months ago, and I found that while I do most of the writing in Scrivener, I still do most of my freewriting, brainstorming and plotting through Writer's cafe. Sort of like a left brain/Scrivener vs right brain/WC sort of thing. Both work well together.
Ironically, I'm not using either program to write this blog post. I'm using Evernote, which is a whole different ball of wax altogether. But that will have to be another cage match.
- Current Mood: productive
My first SWFA sale! It’s a flash story called “Ebb and Flow” and you can read it now for free at Daily Science Fiction!
I wrote this story for a flash contest, back when I was wrestling with feelings of trying for another child. I’m really glad DSF picked it up. Head on over and check it out!
- Current Mood: bouncy
TL;DR version: We’re heading into our final week of our Kickstarter for the anthology I’m in, What Fates Impose, and wow! We just cracked $4000. ONLY 6 MORE DAYS TO GO!!!! Pledge $40 and you will get, along with the book, a handwritten card by me with the personality type of your choice (either Myers/Briggs or StrengthFinders) its description and a humorous fortune written in calligraphy. (Also, if you want to see this post with the pictures, go to my blog at http://tbonecafe.wordpress.com/2013/07/0
But if you want to read the long version, I’m going to talk about calligraphy. And by that I mean, what I really want to say is, I want to thank my parents for forcing me to take drafting in high school.
You see, back when I was in high school, when it came time to choose electives, I was all ready and gung ho to take art, because everyone took art. It was fun. My father, for reasons I have yet to figure out, made me take drafting instead. I wish I remembered why. Something to do with my handwriting, I think. Or was it supposed to build character? I asked him the other day and he said, “Hell if I know.” Which was the answer I pretty much expected from him.
But there I was. A sophomore? Yeah, I think it was my sophomore year. I think I was only one of three girls in the class. I remember getting drafting kits, which involves a T-Bar ruler, a bunch of other rulers, a specific type of pencil, and graph paper. And I remember being very, very disgruntled, because while my friends were making fingerpaint murals and macaroni art and pottery, I was drawing lines and measuring them and drawing more lines and learning how to make capital letters as straight as possible.
I can’t remember what grade I got, but I’m pretty sure I passed it. You ask me what I learned there and I wouldn’t be able to tell you offhand, except that maybe my handwriting got better. Maybe.
I hated drafting class.
Which is interesting because I love calligraphy.
I’ve been fascinated by calligraphy ever since I was a kid. I got several Sheaffer kits for Christmas, you know, the fountain pen kind that came with different types of nibs and different colored ink tubes, and you put the tubes in the barrel and twist the nib on to pierce the tube? And if you wanted to change colors, you were screwed because it meant pulling out the tube carefully so you won’t spill the ink out, then washing out the nib, which took forever, and then screw the new color in, then you had to do the same thing over again so you could go back to the regular color? Yeah, I loved those pens.
I did lots of calligraphy for a while. Mainly, I wrote poems, practiced the alphabet, and did flourishes on envelopes. Probably the highlight of my calligraphy use was when I hand addressed all the envelopes I sent out for my wedding. I was always insecure about my calligraphy, though, because I’ve never had a real steady hand. I couldn’t write in a straight line and my spacing was over the place. Over time, I stopped doing it, but I kept collecting calligraphy supplies in the vain hope that one day, I would pick it up again.
That day came about a month ago, when Nayad, our editor for What Fates Impose was brainstorming on what we could offer as rewards for backers of the anthology. I thought I’d offer a handmade knitted scarf, but I wanted to do something based off my story in the anthology, which deals with the subject of personality assessment. And I thought, “I can write cards that show Myers/Briggs personality types and a a brief description. I can also throw in a short humorous fortune in the end. And I can do it all in calligraphy.”
So I went to my closet and pulled out my calligraphy tools. Since my wedding, I have amassed quite a bit, including a bunch of dipping nibs that I had no clue how to use—I just thought they looked cool. But this now being the age of the internets, I thought it was high time I learned how to use these old-fangled thingies.
And when I learned, I was like WHY AM I KEEPING THESE AT THE BOTTOM OF MY CLOSET? THESE ARE AWESOME!!!!!
Also, ink, because INNNNNNNK!!!!
So then, I made my first mock up, and I grew immediately discouraged because to me, it didn’t come out right.
The lines were kind of crooked and the spacing was off and…
And that’s when all those lessons I took in high school drafting reared up inside me and said. LaShawn, you need to put down some lines and do some measurements. Get some rulers, girl.
And I said, Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
So I got me some rulers, put down some lines, did some measurements, and came up with my second draft, if you will.
Which…actually…still looks lopsided, now that I look at it. Particularly the flourish line. And the personality type still looks shaky (in fact, the first draft, the letters look more stable). But I’m happier about the description. And as I keep practicing, it would get nicer and nicer.
All of this is to say, if you wish to get in on my calligraphy journey, there are two backer rewards left for my calligraphy cards. Pledge $40 and you will get, along with the book, a handwritten card by me with the personality type of your choice (either Myers/Briggs or StrengthFinders) its description and a humorous fortune written in calligraphy. It won’t be super perfect, but I can guarantee it will be authentic.
Oh yes. I want to thank my parents. If it wasn’t for me being forced to take drafting, these calligraphy supplies would still be sitting at the bottom of my closet. Never being used. Collecting dust until, in shame, I sell them to the next poor sop at a garage sale. And I would have never discovered the joy of dipping a nib into ink, shaking the excess off, then sketching the letters into paper just so.
This has brought back the joy of writing.
- Current Mood: busy
As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m doing my part to bring more diversity to the SFF genre. And what better way to do that than a new story!
Fortune-telling is a tricky endeavor. It's the domain of an assortment of characters with various motives: charlatans looking to make a buck, true believers who may or may not have the gift, and powerful oracles who might be inclined to spin the truth for their own reasons. Which prophecies are true? Which are false? The powers of belief and wishful thinking drive the quest for a glimpse of the future--but is it a true vision? Whether the message comes from Tarot cards, tea leaves, entrails, or in my case, personality assessment, how are lives changed when predictions are made?
Nayad has gathered some awesome storytellers to peer into nature of fate. Here’s the full list of contributors:
Introduction by Alasdair Stuart: "Singing from the Book of Holy Jagger"
David Boop: "Dipping into the Pocket of Destiny"
Maurice Broaddus: "Read Me Up"
Jennifer Brozek: "A Card Given"
Amanda C. Davis: "The Scry Mirror"
Damien Walters Grintalis: "When the Lady Speaks"
Sarah Hans: "Charms"
Erika Holt: "Murder of Crows"
Keffy R.M. Kehrli: "Gazing into the Carnauba Wax Eyes of the Future"
Jamie Lackey: "Another Will Open"
Rochita Loenen-Ruiz: "Body of Truth"
Remy Nakamura: "Pick a Card"
Cat Rambo: "To Read the Sea"
Andrew Penn Romine: "Ain't Much Different'n Rabbits"
Ken Scholes: "All Our Tangled Dreams in Disarray"
Lucy A. Snyder: "Abandonment Option"
Ferrett Steinmetz: "Black Swan Oracle"
Eric James Stone: "A Crash Course in Fate" (new) and "A Great Destiny" (reprint)
Tim Waggoner: "The Goggen"
Wendy N. Wagner: "Power Steering"
LaShawn M. Wanak: "There Are No Wrong Answers"
Beth Wodzinski: "One Tiny Misstep (In Bed)"
This anthology is being crowd-funded through Kickstarter. If it gets funded, we’ll get paid pro rates, and if goes beyond the funded goal, there’ll be more stories and artwork.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
Check out the backer’s rewards. Look on down to the $40 level, which is the Palmistry and Calligraphy level. That’s right, you’ll get a little somethin’ somethin’ from me! Pledge $40 or more and I’ll write up a 4 X 6 card from with your Myers/Briggs personality trait and its description in calligraphy. A picture sample is forthcoming.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S EVEN MORE!!!
If you pre-order the anthology before this Thursday, June 20, you will be eligible for a drawing to win prizes: artwork of tarot cards done by Nayad, a signed print of the anthology’s cover, a copy of the book with all our signatures. And as the Kickstarter meets its milestones, there will be even more prizes!
So go check out the Kickstarter, reserve your copy, and spread the word! Every bit helps. All the answers you seek can be found within this anthology. And if it’s not the answer you’re looking for, well, at least you get some darn good stories.
- Current Mood: giggly
My name is LaShawn M. Wanak, and I am a black female writer.
I’ve been making up stories since I was four years old. I’ve been reading fantasy and science fiction when kids were still in their primers. I fell in love with the whole genre and knew exactly what I wanted to be. I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to be a black writer, telling black stories, with characters who looked just like me.
I have been writing professionally now for about 9 years. I’ve garnered some sales. My name’s getting a little known. And most importantly, people are reading my stories and are being touched through them. I’m also learning a lot about the industry I’ve chosen. I’ve seen its wonders, and I’ve seen its darker bits.
I’ve been following what’s been happening in SWFA (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America for my non-writer friends) and the hullaboo over an essay that was printed in its bulletin a couple of weeks ago. The internets exploded in reaction, most decrying the essay. I did not respond because a) I haven’t read the essay because b) I’m not a SWFA member. And because I’m not a member, I don’t feel that I have enough experience to adequately respond to the situation. Besides, there are many, many others who have done so, and done it very, very well.
One of those was Nora K. Jemisen, who referenced it in her GOH speech at a Continuum in Australia last week. If you haven’t read her speech, read it now. It’s brilliant. It’s honest. It’s hopeful. And best of all, it calls for reconciliation within the SFF community. Reconciliation. This is a word I would hug if I could. It’s a word I’m used to hearing since I work in a Christian ministry, but this is the first time I heard it used within the SFF community. To use Nora’s own words:
“I do not mean a simple removal of the barriers that currently exist within the genre and its fandom, though doing that’s certainly the first step. I mean we must now make an active, conscious effort to establish a literature of the imagination which truly belongs to everyone. - See more at: http://nkjemisin.com/2013/06/continuum-g
It got me fired up, because yeah, I can see it, writers using bridges of words to reach those who would never step foot in communities that don’t look like their own. Stories that stretch the imagination, that would represent all cultures, that would stretch minds, put them in other people’s shoes. This is totally what I would say is my calling as a writer.
Common wisdom for such things is to ignore it, to let this guy spew his hate and not respond. But what this guy did was not only name Nora, but he then linked it to SFWAauthors Twitter feed. SWFA caught wind of it and took it down, but the damage is done.
This is more than just a troll. This is an attack. It goes completely against what Nora called for in her speech. It is used to tear down, to discount her as a writer, as a woman, as a black person, and as human.
And do you know what that post says to me?
This is what happens if you try to make a difference. We like our organization just the way it is. And we define how women are portrayed in SFF. We like our bikinis. We like our women stupid and dependent on us. And we like them all white, because their prettier and sexier than you—well, okay, we’ll allow Asian girls, because they’re nice and quiet and subservient.. And if you try to say anything about it, we will tear you down, rip your head off, drag your name through shit, because that’s what you deserve, you monkey you. So go ahead and write your stories, little little girl. You can even join. But keep your head down, don’t make waves, and most of all, keep your fat lips shut.
There are many writers, not just black writers, not just women writers, but all sorts of writers, who will not join because of this.
And this is why I am writing this post.
I’m writing this because I don’t know if I’m going to join SWFA. I don’t think I’m at the point of my writing career where it would be beneficial to me, at this point. (David Steffen wrote a post that sums up my feelings quite well.) But if I do decide to join in the future, it would be because there are writers like Nora and Mary Robinette Kowal and Jim C. Hines and Nisi Shawl and so many others who have paved the way before me, fighting to bring diversity to a genre that needs it so desperately. Because they refuse to be silent, because they call out bullshit when they see it. Sometimes they’re successful. Sometimes they’re not. And sometimes, people would viciously attack them.
I’m writing this not just to show my support to Nora (and did I tell you she’s going to be GOH at Wiscon in 2014?) but to support her vision of reconciliation that is so much bigger than any one of us. And the only way for that to happen is for us to write our stories, our own stories, and get them published, and write more stories and get those published.
I’m writing this because I am a black female writer, and this affects me deeply.
If you wish to show support for the vision of reconciliation in SFF as well, there are a couple of ways to do it.
1) If you are a member of SWFA, you can demand for the expulsion guy who wrote that damaging post. It’s true that he can say whatever he wants, but to use SWFA as a platform for such harmful threats is uncalled for.
2) If you’re an writer of color, or a woman writer, or genderqueer, keep writing. Don’t let this guy dissuade you from submitting. There are markets out there hungry for your stories. And if you’re an editor or publisher, please, make these voices heard.
3) If you’re a reader, expand your reading tastes. Don’t know where to start? The Carl Brandon Society Awards page has some good recommendations. This Tor post is also has an awesome list of POC and women authors in SFF.
It will take a while, but I do believe SFF can one day reflect true diversity. I’m doing my part, and tomorrow, you’ll see how. And if you can’t wait until tomorrow, here’s a sneak preview.
- Current Mood: pissed off
There was a moment at Wiscon when I was dancing with everyone in the dark at the Genderfloomp, that I stopped dancing, looked around, and burst into tears.
These are my people. I don’t want them to go.
I had ditched a family trip to Florida to be at Wiscon. I had a reading Friday night with the Oxford Comma Bonfire with Vylar Kaftan, Michael Underwood and Nancy Hightower which went well. I was on a panel called “Remote vs Intimate Gods in literature”, which had a former Methodist who was now atheist, a former Catholic who converted to Judaism, and a woman Lutheran pastor who lives with her female partner in Tennessee. The discussion we had was wonderful, and I’m not just talking about the panel—but the long discussion we panelists had afterward with each other. I got a taste of the Kindred Reading Series. And I participated at the Sign out for the first time ever. Got to sign four copies of Dark Faith: Invocations. I was so excited, the first signing I did, I misspelled the word ‘ask’. Because I was so awesome. Or maybe tired.
But most of all, the conversations I had with the people. Ohhhh…my fellow black geeks, asian geeks, puerto rican geeks, gay geeks, trans geeks, bi geeks, poly geeks, straight geeks, atheist geeks, agnostic geeks, muslim geeks, christian geeks, pagan geeks. All of us together in one place. Sure, there were debates and arguments and words said that made people get the stink-eye and misunderstandings, but who doesn’t get that in a family reunion.
And this was indeed a family reunion.
That was why, at the Genderfloomp dance, I realized that I didn’t want any of them to go. I only get to see most of these people once a year.
Sean M. Murphy wrote a blog post that better sums up my feelings. And yeah, there’s going to be a few days when I’ll look around and feel glum and feel out of sorts with the normal world. But it’s okay. It won’t be the same, but I will continue to talk to my Wiscon friends on the internet. Occasionally, there’ll be a couple of us at other cons, like Mo*Con, which is like a smaller, room party. And knowing that N.K Jemisen and Hiromi Goto will be the Guests of Honor at Wiscon 38 already has me planning for next year’s activities.
These are my people. They never really go.
- Current Mood: exhausted
When I was a kid, I was introduced to science fiction two ways: through fantasy novels, which my Grandma collected, and through Omni Magazine, which my Grandma subscribed to (though I called her to check and she said she couldn’t remember…it may have actually been my Grandpa).
Omni magazine was cool in that it introduced me to the concept of the short story. Plus it had awesome gorgeous illustrations to go along with the stories. Ask me what story I remember most--I won’t be able to tell you, but what I can tell you was that it was about an angel because there was this wonderful image of an angel in the magazine.
Omni also had neat science articles—most of them went over my head, except one. It was an article on dreaming, and there was a section that talked about how to control your dreams. Something about learning how to recognize that you’re dreaming, and then building up to changing little things in your dream, until you’re able to to make big changes like being able to fly. That article so stuck with me, I ripped it out (Don’t know if my grandma knew) and took it home. I then spent the next several months trying to follow it. I think I did get to the point that I sort realized I was flying, (though I never really flew in my dreams; at the most, I’d hover two-three inches off the ground.) But still, for those couple of seconds before I woke up, it was the most awesome thing ever.
I think my Grandma let her subscription lapse, so it was a while before I learned they stopped producing any more issues. But now, you can read the entire series at the Internet Archive. I’m going to check it out now and see if I could find that dream article again. It’s been a while since I hovered in my dreams.
- Current Mood: nostalgic
Due to a wedding I won't be joining Wiscon until Friday evening, so I'll probably miss out on the Gathering. But here's what I'll be doing when I do get there.
Friday, May 24 9pm Oxford Comma Bonfire Reading, Michaelango's
I'll be joining Vylar Kaftan, Michael Underwood and Nancy Hightower for a reading at Michaelangelo's. I'll be reading my story poem from Dark Faith: Invocations "All This Pure Light Leaking In". This is open to the public, so if you're around, stop by!
Sunday, May 26 8:30am Intimate vs. Remote Gods, Senate A
Is it faith if you run into the god in question while doing your grocery shopping? What is the nature of a god whose existence you don't have to take on faith? What does believing in an unseen god signify? I’ll be joining Heidi Waterhouse, Rose Hayes, Janice Mynchenberg, and Judy Peterson to discuss examples from recent and older literature, including N.K. Jemisin, Mary Doria Russell, Phillip Pullman, and Lois McMaster Bujold.
Monday, May 27 11:30am Sign Out, Capitol/Wisconsin
If you have a copy of Dark Faith: Invocations, bring it by for me to sign. Or just come by to chat, because, really, this being my first signing, I have no clue how to do these things.
- Current Mood: dorky
So you're probably noticed that the Cafe has been seeing more business as of late. It's true, I have been posting more...if not every week, then at least every other week or so. That's because I found something to keep me on task, and so far it's been successful.
I play HabitRPG. And I am getting so Much. DONE.
Pairing task management with a role playing game has been done before. I was interested in EpicWin, but they never released it for Android (plus, I don't think it's updating anymore). I tried the Android app Task Hammer, but grew bored with it. None of the characters were customizable, and there was no real incentive, other than a pretty sound once I completed a level. I use Outlook to keep track of my submissions, which usually keeps me on track. The problem with Outlook tasks is that it's easy to ignore, and it’s a plain ole task list. I can put tasks on, and make tasks from email, but once the overdue time passes, it's still easy to ignore. I'm good with keeping track of my submissions, but any other task, I don't do so well on.
HabitRPG is a website that pairs task management with the incentive of role playing games. But it's much more than just a task list. It helps you to develop daily habits.
As a character, you get an experience bar and a health bar. You do a task, you get points and money. But if you don't do some tasks, your health goes down. Lose too much health, you die. Luckily, get enough experience points to level up, and your health bar resets to full again. You can even form parties with several people to keep everyone accountable.
There are three columns (well, four, but ignore the last column for a moment). Habits are things you want to do overall. You get points for doing them or in some cases, your health suffers. So for instance, I have a plus/minus by use the standing desk. If I do that once a day, I can click the plus button and get experience points. However, if I found I've been sitting all day and I ache all over, I click the minus button and my health goes down (and for reals--if I sit all day, I feel incredibly sore).
Dailies are tasks you want to do every day. This is good if you have big projects that you want to focus a certain amount of time on each day (the days can be also customized so you can do it on workdays or weekends, or two days a week, etc). Dailies are renewed each day--if you have valid ones left over from the previous day, your health takes a hit. If you don't do a certain daily for a while, it turns red. The redder it gets, the more health it takes off. Conversely, if you check off the red one, you get more experience points and more money.
Todos is a regular task list. You won't get penalized if you don't do them in the day. However, they do age--the older they get, the redder they become. Again, the incentive is to get you to do those tasks you neglect, so if you get around to checking off the red todos, you get more experience points and money.
What do you do with those points and money? Buy stuff, of course! The fourth column lists all the weapons and gear you can get--usually to help slow down the health you lose or to increase how much experience points you get. You can also buy pets, although they've implemented a new feature so that you can randomly find eggs and hatching potions by checking off tasks.
What really impressed me about HabitRPG, though, is the community. there's an active blog and forum, and, if you're into geekery and programming, you can go on GitHub and suggest features, as well as go on Trello and see what projects are being worked on. I know for instance, they're working on a Android mobile app—Trello shows me where they are in the process (Plus, it's fascinating to see the programming process it.)
HabitRPG has really been good for me. I like the incentives. I like dressing up my little avatar (which is dark-skinned like me and doesn't have armored boobs getting in my way. I mean, seriously, TaskHammer so ticked me off). And seeing what they plan to put it in, I love to stay with it for the long haul. And once this goes live, it'll be so satisfying about checking off a Blog: HabitRPG box and seeing how much I can get for it.
Maybe I'll get a tiger egg this time!
(Okay so tigers don't really come from eggs, but hey, it's an RPG. Anything can happen)
- Current Mood: productive