A Collection of What-I’ve-Been-Doing

After mentioning on Fistful of Glitter a couple of times before, I figured some of you might like to read some of my work from elsewhere on the internet. Most of it is for a wonderful gaming website called “The Gamers Lounge” which I highly recommend having a look at. At the moment, this is where most of my energy is going, but I’m hoping to start writing here again in the next couple of weeks. In the meanwhile, you can find me at Gamers Lounge or elsewhere (links below).

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Morgan at The Gamers Lounge

Where The Water Tastes Like Wine Review – One of my favourite things I have reviewed this year, and incredibly underrated as it turns out. If you read only one thing from the reviews and articles I have written for Gamers Lounge, make it this.

Light Fall Review – Despite not particularly liking the game, this review definitely inspired some of the stuff I’m wanting to start writing about, both here and elsewhere on the internet. Writing this review was quite difficult in many ways, as I felt very restricted by the review format, so expect to hear more about it (and other Kickstarted games) on Fistful of Glitter

My Gamers Lounge Profile – If you want to go all out and read everything I’ve written for The Gamers Lounge, you can do so here.

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Morgan Elsewhere on the Internet

10 Terrible Movies We Love Anyway (for Taste of Cinema) – A really fun article to write, and one that I’m quite proud of, not only because it’s quite funny but because I managed to sit through the entirety of Showgirls while writing it.

Morgan’s Interview Feature (my interview by the brilliant J.E Skye at Bipolar Writer) – An interview J.E Skye did with me about my experience of mental illness. It’s still one of the things I’m most proud of being part of.

 

I’m planning on adding more to this list as I get more freelance work, so stay tuned.

Games images from Where The Water Tastes Like Wine by Good Shepard Entertainment and Dim Bulb Games

Ten Artistic Women That Deserve Celebration More Than Ernest Cline

Ready Player One is released in cinemas in Australia today. Its author, Ernest Cline, has already been broadly celebrated for his work depicting the nerd community. In fact, he was even praised by The Guardian for making his female lead in Ready Player One less one dimensional than in the books. This is apparently enough to be worthy of praise. Last year, in addition to working on Ready Player One, Cline found time to publish a poem entitled “Epic Nerd Girl Porn”, which includes him referring to women as objects (my original article on the poem can be found here).

Cline does not deserve to be celebrated as an artist or representative of the broader nerd community. To combat his misogynistic views, I would like to present:

Ten artistic women that deserve celebration more than Ernest Cline

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Gal Gadot

Gadot’s role as Wonder Woman was hugely inspirational both on and off the screen. Not only did she play the lead in the first ever successful female superhero film, but she did so while five months pregnant and suffering from severe morning sickness. She’s pretty much a real superhero!

 

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Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher was and continues to be, one of my favourite people to have ever existed. She campaigned for women’s rights and mental health awareness and didn’t care what anyone thought of her. At one point, upon hearing a high profile producer has sexually harassed one of her friends, Fisher personally delivered him a cow’s tongue in a Tiffany box with a note which read, “If you ever touch my darling Heather or any other woman again, the next delivery will be something of yours in a much smaller box.”

 

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Amanda Palmer

One of my absolute favourite musicians of all time. Her book, The Art of Asking, is one of the most beautiful I’ve read and talks about recognising different people’s passions for the art they are. Also, she has a song about female pubic hair.

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Leigh Alexander

A fantastic games journalist who became a fantastic writer. Alexander was one of the many people fighting against the Gamergate movement, even though it would strongly affect the space where she worked, which earns her my undying respect. She also is one of the contributors to Where The Water Tastes Like Wine, quite possibly my favourite game of the year so far.

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Michelle Yeoh

Rotten Tomatoes credits her with being the greatest action heroine of all time, and it’s probably true. Yeoh performs most of her own stunts and was the first big female name in kung fu movies. No wonder she’s gone on to captain a starship.

 

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Jamie Clayton and Freema Agyeman

These two potray one of the most successful relationships ever depicted on a television show. Nomi and Aminita’s relationship is the heart of Sense8 and proves that loving relationships are just as much of a joy to watch as suspense filled ones. The actresses’ friendship in real life is also a joy to watch on Instagram. It’s pretty adorable.

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Lana and Lily Wachowski

The Wachowski siblings (Lana pictured above) are most commonly known for their Matrix trilogy but have also made both my favourite TV show (Sense8) and my favourite film (Cloud Atlas). Their films deal with deep philosophical concepts and often demonstrates the strength of the human spirit. They have a really beautiful, unique way of seeing the world which comes across in all of their work.

 

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Katheryn Winnick

As I said in my piece on her character in Vikings, Katheryn Winnick probably plays the most kickass female character on television today. She does almost all her own stunts for her role as Lagertha, which isn’t surprising given her stunt training and martial arts background. She also got her first black belt at thirteen. When I grow up, I want to be Katheryn Winnick.

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Ursula Le Guin

Ursula Le Guin was a fantasy and science fiction author at a time when men totally dominated the field. In fact, many of her female contemporaries used male pseudonyms in order to get published. Despite this, Le Guin flourished in her field, becoming the first person to win both the Hugo and Nebula award for best novel for the same book twice. Her book Left Hand of Darkness was the first science fiction book I ever read. It and the rest of her work are a huge inspiration for me.

 

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Daisy Ridley

Daisy Ridley is the only person on this list to be younger than me, but she has already achieved so much more. She plays the new heroine of the Star Wars movies, Rey, and has already made her character totally beloved to the franchise. Ridley also suffers from endometriosis, like me, so seeing her talk about it so openly and achieve so much despite her illness is a massive inspiration.

Photo of Carrie Fisher provided by Gage Skidmore, photo of Ursula Le Guin provided by Marian Wood Kolisch, photo of Lana Wachowski provided by Anna Hanks, photo of Leigh Alexander by Hot Grill on Flickr and photo of Amanda Palmer by StaceyHH on Flickr.

 

Where have you been?

Oh my gosh! I have 99 followers! That’s amazing! It’s particularly amazing because I haven’t actually updated my blog since the beginning of the year. I’ve figured that the wonderful friends I’ve made on WordPress, my followers and probably anyone who looks at my blog are owed an explanation, but I’ve been putting off writing one for a while. It’s something that I still struggle to talk about in general, but it is important to let you all know what’s going on.

As some of you know, at the end of last year, I was feeling particularly sick. My muscles were almost always in some form of pain and I rarely had much energy. After the new year, my symptoms became much worse. Worse than anything I had experienced with my chronic illness. I stopped seeing friends almost entirely and I stopped writing on the blog. I was just too sick.

I went to the doctor and he ran a very basic test for a condition called Fibromyalgia, which is a condition that causes nerve pain, exhaustion and a whole slew of other symptoms. I was told I’m highly likely to have this condition (although not 100% confirmed, I’m currently in the process of having it diagnosed properly).

What does that mean for me?

Right now, it means that everything is a struggle as I try to find a new way of doing basic things like cooking dinner, keeping the house vaguely clean and exercising. It means simplifying what I’m doing as much as possible. It also means that I can’t take the medication that keeps my endometriosis under control while I’m in the process of being diagnosed so I’m pretty sick most of the time. Ultimately, I have to prioritise everything I do, including my writing. At the moment, the freelance work I do comes first as that’s what pays my bills. This brings us to:

What does that mean for Fistful of Glitter?

So far this year, it has meant the blog has been totally inactive. I would like to change that. I miss the lovely community here, and I miss writing on my blog. I am going to try and update it as I have things to write about and the energy to write about them but it won’t be the same regular Tuesday and Thursday updates as before. I’m not sure what will replace them, but I hope you are willing to stay tuned and find out.

Thank you all for supporting me, and Fistful of Glitter. With a bit of luck, I’ll have new content for you here soon.

– Morgan

So I got nominated for the Liebster Award…

I got nominated for an award for Fistful of Glitter, which is totally awesome. A huge thanks to Sapphire Wilson for nominating me and coming up with the list of questions!

The rules for this award are:

  1. Create a new post thanking the person who nominated you.
  2. Provide a link to their blog.
  3. Include the award graphic.
  4. Answer the questions provided.
  5. Nominate recently followed bloggers and share your post with them, so they can see it.
  6. Make a new set of 10 questions for your nominees to answer

 

My answers:

The most typical one, but I’ll ask anyway: why did you start this blog? 

I’ve talked about this a couple of times on the about page, so you’ll all have to forgive me for repeating the story, but I started this blog when lots of things in my life were falling apart and I needed a way of reminding myself of the good things. I didn’t just want to keep those good things for myself though, I wanted to share them with others, and so Fistful of Glitter was born. It is a little bit different than it was back when I started it, but ultimately, that’s still the main goal of the blog.

Describe yourself in five words:

Feminist. Nerdy. Writer. Friend. Daughter.

What is your biggest fear? Why?

Losing more of the people I love. As I’ve mentioned on this blog before, my father passed away just over six years ago, and I have lost quite a few family members and friends both before and after that. Losing anyone you love is awful, and unfortunately, it happens to us all at some point. It reminds me to treasure people while they’re still part of my life.

Do you like the job you are in? Or If you are still a student, like me, how do you plan to achieve your goal?

I’ve just started writing full time as I need to wait on a proper diagnosis of what is going on with my constantly terrible physical health before I can apply for other jobs again. I am really enjoying it so far and will have good news related to it announced on the blog soon!

Would you like to change the past or see the future and why?

I don’t really like the idea of doing either that much. Everything that has happened to me, no matter how difficult has made me who I am and though I struggle sometimes, I’m pretty happy with being me. As for seeing the future, as someone who suffers from generalized anxiety, I’m fairly sure seeing the future would just lead to terrible anxiety as I constantly tried to avoid anything bad happening. If I had to pick, I would change the past, as seeing the future scares me too much.

What do you prefer reading books or watching movies? Why?

Watching movies, but mainly because I don’t always have the energy to focus on reading pages anymore. My concentration is too crappy over long periods of time.

What thing is the most precious for you?

If thing includes people, then my most precious thing is my family, friends and cat, Alistair. If it’s just physical things, it would either be my laptop as it has all my writing on it or the second edition of Lord of the Rings I have which I was left by my father.

Are you a people person?

Sometimes, depends on the day, how much energy I have, and how much I miss seeing my friends. Unfortunately being sick means I see less of them than I’d like.

Where would you go for your next vacation?

My other half and I are going on a trip later this year. We’re both massive foodies, so anywhere with good food is great. At the moment we’re tossing up between having an expensive holiday in Japan, or saving that for next year and going on a food tour of Tasmania.

Give a quote that sums up your life.

“Only a true romantic is ever disappointed enough to be a cynic.” Joss Whedon

 

My Questions

What’s your favourite thing to write about?

What’s your favourite media to experience? (Book, video games, movies ect.)

If you had to live in a fictional world, which fictional world would it be?

Who is your all-time favourite character? Why?

If you could have any power from a video game, movie, television show or book, what would it be? And why?

What is your favourite meal?

What is your favourite comedy show or sketch?

What is your name?

What is your favourite colour?

What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

 

And I nominate:

Lightning Ellen’s Release (As her work is genuinely wonderful to read, and we share an appreciation of Alistair from Dragon Age)

Later Levels (As Kim has supported this blog a HUGE amount and her Creative Christmas is some of the most fun I’ve had writing for a long time)

RetroRedress (As I love reading their work, and I’d like to be able to read more)

American of London (As her reviews of horror movies are an absolute delight to read, even if I’m too much of a scaredy cat to watch most of them)

GamersUnited (As Luna was absolutely lovely to write with for Creative Christmas, and linked to my posts a bunch of time to boot!)

And lastly, but certainly not least

TheBipolarWriter (As James was the first friend I made on WordPress, and his writing continues to inspire me)

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Late Week Brunch 11/01/18

This was written for last weekend, but on the day it was meant to go up we had a flood in our apartment! Everything was okay, but it meant having to move out for a few days. Stuff’s more or less back to normal now, so hopefully, the blog will be soon too. 

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It’s a new year, let’s check in what we’ve all been up to in the holiday season and celebrate with some breakfast!

In life…

What a busy couple of weeks it’s been! Christmas, New Year and our first inspection in our new apartment all within a two week period. It’s been hectic but great, particularly as I’ve had my other half back home for most of it after he was away spending Christmas with his family. It’s been lovely to catch up with friends after they got back from their Christmas travels as well, and my group of friends and I celebrated “friend Christmas” (which we do almost every year) on the 27th. Three of my close friends and I have been part of the same friendship group since grade one at school, and it’s a tradition we have of touching base with each other in the festive season.

New Year itself was pretty quiet, particularly as my other half and I were both in the process of coming down with the flu. We even forgot to celebrate midnight because we were too busy watching trailers for bizarre Bollywood movies on Netflix… It’s a strange life we lead. New Year’s Day was spent eating with family, and visiting the Hyperreal exhibition at the National Gallery. It’s an exhibit of incredibly life-like sculpture and one of the creepiest experiences I’ve had in my life. One of the rooms is filled with realistic looking statues of old men in wheelchairs who wheel around you by navigating with sensor lights. It was AMAZING, but absolutely terrifying at the same time.

I also got some very exciting news, which I’m hoping to share on the blog in a couple of weeks, but right now it has a big ol’ embargo on it. Hopefully, it will suffice to say that there is VERY exciting news coming soon!!!

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In games…

I think every PC gamer I know simultaneously looks forward to and dreads the Steam end of year sale. It’s great because games are cheap, but bad because you end up buying so many of them! I managed to restrain myself this year with only six relatively small purchases. I’m planning to talk about a bunch of them on the blog, so keep your eyes peeled for more games related discussion soon.

The one game that I’ve really had a chance to dig my teeth into since buying it is Game Dev Tycoon, which is far more addictive than it should be. I’ve had it for four days and I’ve finished the storyline twice already. What I’m probably enjoying the most is being able to put my own nerdy references in (my favourite so far being an RPG called Time and Space Effect), but it’s also great because you always feel like you’re learning. Even making mistakes in Game Dev Tycoon feels like an important part of the learning process and I find the more I work at it, the more successful I can become. It’s the first management sim I’ve played in a long time that has captured the feeling of rewarding the player for their hard work properly.

I have, of course, also continued playing Witcher 3, which is still amazing and incredible. I’m shying away from the main story at the moment in order to finish off a bunch of side quests, which is fun (but very frustrating when I forget to save).

I’m going to have a lot less time in the upcoming week for games, but I’m hoping to have a look at a few of the other games I bought (The Sexy Brutale and Undertale most likely). Here’s hoping that I’ll have a few new first impressions for you next week!

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In television…

My other half was not only away for Christmas, he was also away for his birthday. I was really sad we couldn’t be together for that in particular and was really struggling to cope in the evening so I turned to one of the things that always comforts me: nerdy TV. I scrolled through Stan until I found an appropriately cheesy looking fantasy show in the form of Lost Girl. I figured I’d watch a few episodes and then forget about it, but I was unprepared for how addictive that show is. It’s been responsible for so many late nights recently it’s ridiculous. Definitely one of the most fun things I’ve watched in a long time!

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In movies…

I FINALLY SAW THE LAST JEDI! I’d been putting it off seeing it until my partner got home as I didn’t want to cry in the cinema by myself (it’s very rare I see Carrie Fisher’s face without tearing up, she’s one of my idols). Avoiding spoilers was getting to the stage where it was pretty much impossible and still things kept coming up so my other half and I couldn’t get to the cinema. In the end, we were both sick in the screening, but it was totally worth it. I really enjoyed it, and I’m looking forward to seeing where they take the films from here.

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Hoping you all have a great week!

ThatGeekyWriterChick

Real Talk: Ernest Cline and Problems in Nerdery

TRIGGER WARNING

I seem to be doing a lot more Real Talks recently, and while that’s definitely a format I enjoy writing in, I wanted to shy away from it a bit more in the next few months. After all, this blog is a place to focus on the glitter in the world, and my Real Talk posts have a tendency to be a bit more on the depressing side. Having said that, I saw something in the last few days that it is so, SO important for me to talk about and raise awareness of that I just had to write this.

As many of you will already know, we have a movie adaptation of the book Ready Player One coming out later this year. I have never read Ready Player One, but I was certainly excited about the movie. Who wouldn’t be with all those awesome nerdy references in the trailer alone!?

But then I saw a post in a Facebook group pointing me toward a poem written by the book’s author Ernest Cline. The poster wanted to make sure the broader community knew about it before seeing the film. I checked it out, and it made me vomit a little in my mouth. It was something written in “praise” of nerd girls, but its misogynistic overtones are obvious to anyone who reads or listens to it. I don’t want to republish the poem without Cline’s permission, and to be honest, I wouldn’t want to put it on my blog anyway, but for those curious to read the whole thing it can be found here (and it should be accompanied by a huge trigger warning for objectifying women, graphic sexuality and misogyny).

The poem is entitled “Epic Nerd Girl Porn”.

It contains the line “They’re objects.” in reference to women who don’t fit Cline’s description of “a real woman”, specifically in porn. The whole poem is pretty much in that vein. It’s absolutely disgusting.

There is a dark side of nerd culture which seems to speak about women that way and to be quite frank, it terrifies me. It doesn’t just terrify me for the women that Cline describes as objects though, it terrifies me for all women (and men who have been in similarly vulnerable situations). You see, in a former relationship, I was the “nerd girl” dating a guy who believed the same type of things that Cline is writing about.

To be fair to myself, I didn’t realise that my ex held those opinions when I started dating him. It took a while for them to come out, just as it took a while for him to start getting angry at me for not being what I apparently seemed to be on the packet. In my limited experience, what Cline and my ex actually mean when they talk about “nerd girls” is a fictional perfect woman who, not only looks perfect but agrees with every nerdy opinion they have, and knows everything about every nerdy thing. I, as someone who isn’t particularly academically intelligent, was simply not good enough so my ex would lose his temper with me, talk over me and call me stupid. He seemed to think of all women in this way, almost like a virgin/whore complex, except it was a nerd-girl/slut complex.

That relationship was so bad I seriously considered cutting myself off from all things nerdy (which I had loved long before the relationship) just to get away from him and some of the people associated with him when it ended. It didn’t help that three of his gaming friends came into my workplace on separate occasions to threaten me and make me feel unsafe. I was SO lucky to have a supportive workplace and incredibly workmates at the time so it never went further than that, but I still have nightmares almost two years later. I worried that all nerd culture was tarnished by men like that who thought it was their right to treat women badly, after all, hadn’t women treated them badly in high school?

At the same time, I happened to start reading and watching a bunch of games journalism and I discovered something wonderful. Those awful, awful people weren’t in charge of nerd culture anymore, in fact, they’re becoming a smaller and smaller part of it, thanks to others standing up to them and calling them out on their bullshit. Slowly but surely, nerds are becoming the accepting community that they were always meant to be. But there’s still a ways to go. Giving a man like Ernest Cline the chance to represent us as nerds of all genders is a step backwards. As much as he claims to, he clearly doesn’t have any respect for women, nerdy or otherwise.  There are better writers and there are better nerds.

I’m not going to end this post with a call to boycott Ready Player One, but instead, I will say: keep yourself informed and let yourself make your own decision. Don’t let him get away with this if you feel it’s wrong just because he’s written a nerdy movie. Gamers are better than this. Nerds are better than this. We are better than this.

 

Creative Christmas: The 9 Days of Christmas

For those of you who missed it due to Christmas and New Year Holidays, recently I took part in the Later Levels Creative Christmas challenge, which was set by Kim. The challenge? To write a response to a gaming based prompt on a daily basis across the twelve days of Christmas and New Year.  I managed nine days (with a couple off for family Christmas celebrations). Here, in their entirety, are my responses.

Day 1: A Gift for Someone Special

Day 2: A Merry Gaming Memory

Day 3: A Helper for Santa

Day 4: A Gaming Soundtrack

Day 5: Of Mistletoe and Lamposts

Day 6: CHRISTMAS EVE (no post)

Day 7: CHRISTMAS (no post)

Day 8: BOXING DAY (no post)

Day 9: Time for Food!

Day 10: A Christmassy Game

Day 11: A NYE Outfit to Stun

Day 12: In the New Year I’ll play…

Day 13 (BONUS): The results are in…

Very special thanks go to everyone that participated in Creative Christmas as well. Let me know which of your posts you liked the best and I’ll link to them at the bottom of this one!