Month: August 2017

Goal Review August 2017

Posted August 31, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Goals / 0 Comments

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Last Month's Goal

I Want to Read:

  • The Lifeline Signal by RoAnna Sylver
  • We Awaken by Calista Lynne
  • Theatre Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

I Want to Write:

  • AHoWW poems to balance out the collection
  • 10,000 words of DemiPrincess editing

Um. Well. Because the final week of August is going to be a bit busy, I think, I figured I’d write up this post a few days in advance. 😀 So I may update this briefly at a later date. As of right now, August 25th, I have failed my reading goals. I’ve read (and reviewed!) We Awaken by Calista Lynne and while I’ve read a number of other books, sadly, The Lifeline Signal and Theatre Shoes have not been among them. They will be glorious when I get to them, though!

That said, I did read a minimum of three books this month, I seem to have regained my reading enthusiasm, I have no more ARC reading obligations and I still have a few days, so I might still be able to finish both these books. It’s kind of contingent on me actually remembering to pick them up to read.

My writing goals, however, have fared a lot beter. I’ve edited up over 20,000 words on DemiPrincess this month and I’ve finished AHoWW and will be releasing it in September! WHOOT! It’s currently available for preorder, so do go and check it out if you’re so inclined. Moar ace romance fluff!

Sadly, my writing goals have now hit the snag of “This is the section that actually needs tons of work and new scenes to really function properly”, so I’ve slowed right back down. Add in that I’m still struggling to balance freelance work with writing and I’m back to crawling. T_T I WILL GET THERE, THOUGH! I CAN DO IT! I mean, I’m SO CLOSE. (Okay, no. I’m about halfway through the current word count and I expect to add a fair bit to make sure the whole story works properly before it goes off to betas and first readers and then I can add in even more stuff most like, but at least that draft should go relatively quickly and then I can finally finally finally move on to book 2 and THEN I WILL BE ON BOOK 2 AND IT WILL BE GLORIOUS and then I can do this all over again AND THEN I CAN WRITE BOOK 3 and IT WILL BE THE BEST THING EVER.)

Watch me finish, like, five other projects between now and the finishing of book 3, though…

Anyway. That has been August in terms of my goals. Other exciting things I’ve done is worked up the courage to share three whole song covers with Patrons and finally started recording videos for the Patreon. First up a quick (and terribly awkward) introduction to what I want to be doing. (Basically “record myself making book layouts to the hopeful entertainment and education of others”. And also maybe occasionally games.) I AM SO EXCITED YOU DO NOT KNOW. <3<3<3<3<3

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Livetweeting Sera Myu Starlights – Legend of the Shooting Stars

Posted August 27, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Not-A-Review / 0 Comments

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Usagi tearfully holding the ginzuishou.

Here‘s the Storify of the Starlights musical, the penultimate musical of the second stage of Sera Myu musicals. It was a lot of fun. It wasn’t perfect with narrative strands kind of falling slightly to the wayside in the second half because there just wasn’t enough room to let them breathe, but I really liked the take the musical took regarding the Dark Kingdom’s revival and the strands of loyalty and betrayal running through them, as well as a slightly different angle on Beryl’s feelings about Usagi now not being solely about Endymion, but focused more strongly on the feeling that she was protecting her people and I really, really, really wish we’d had a musical focused on this version of the Silver Millennium because it sounds awesome and it made sure that everyone

But, anyway, the musical wasn’t that, but that’s okay. It was still really fun because it has all these tiny little moments that were gorgeous, like Mamoru singing to Chibichibi and introducing his (present) backstory that way or Chibimoon talking about how Usagi inspires her (despite their civilian antagonism) and in turn inspiring the Starlights (and even making them wonder who Chibimoon is and oh the juicy juicy narrative potential of that) and Chibichibi being all mysterious and lightening up scenes at exactly the right moment.

And I’m reasonably sure this musical wins “Most adorable Sera Myu song” hands-down because it was almost non-stop adorableness and upbeat cheerfulness. <3 (Also we got rid of the “Everyone is after the ginzuishou because Usagi hearts Mamoru” thing that the previous versions of the Stars arc had going for it.)

And… Yeah. I really liked this musical. It’s by no means perfect, but it’s a lot of fun and, certainly after the way the last musicals disappointed me (especially the revision), it was a very good reminder of all the things that I do love about Myu because it’s got those elements in spades.

Next week, we’re… I’m guessing from the title (The Advent of Princess Kakyuu) that we’re continuing the Starlights’ storyline that’s begun in this musical. That should be really, really fun because I’d love to see some of the storylines here explored more or tied up better, but I guess we’ll see next week!

And now we’ve only got three musicals left and I’ll be all out of old!Myu. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! T_T

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Rerelease: A Promise Broken

Posted August 20, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in News / 0 Comments

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A girl looking out over the sea. A storm is rolling in.

A Promise Broken

Available as Ebook and Print editions

As of today, A Promise Broken is published through The Kraken Collective, a collective of several awesome queer indie authors I’m delighted to be a part of. WHOOHOO! This is something I’ve utterly failed to talk about a lot, and I’m sorry about that. It’s been fairly hectic the past two months. OMG!

But whoohoo! A Promise Broken is rereleased! To celebrate the ebook will be on sale for a week from now until the 27th of August!

What’s changed?

Honestly, not a whole lot. The publishing imprint has changed, so there are shiny new logos and I’d like to think that there are even fewer typos (even though typos are like a hydra; fix one and a dozen grow back), some backmatter book promos of fantastic similar books by fellow Kraken authors (seriously, go check them out <3) and… most notable of all: I’ve added content warnings! No more looking up whether the book has content warnings or not on websites or hoping that reviews will tell you. It’s conveniently available in all editions of A Promise Broken! Now that I’ve figured out a way to include them that I think works fairly well to balance people’s desires not to be spoiled with people’s needs not to be hurt by a book.

And that’s it, really. I hope that you’ll find all of the changes to be awesome and beneficial. 😀

What’s the book about?

Here, let me give you the blurb. You can head over to the book’s page to read part of the first chapter.

It’s a rainy day when four-year-old Eiryn has to say goodbye to her mother. Scared, confused and unwilling to do so, Eiryn tries to summon water to stop the funeral from happening and her life falls apart. Her uncle is always sad and busy; she keeps hearing her mother’s voice asking her to follow; her best friend keeps getting into fights; and some of her classmates hate her for existing.

Arèn never wanted children, but he’s desperate to protect his niece from his people’s extreme caution regarding magic and other races. Kerisaoina children aren’t capable of using it and his niece is no exception. Despite being only half-kerisaoina, Eiryn is already starting to show that she’ll be one of her generation’s most talented magic-singers and those who don’t approve of her existence are trying to take advantage of a young girl’s grief.

Eiryn is determined to make her uncle happy, but it’s hard to make other people happy when you have to struggle through the day yourself. She’ll find a way, though. She’s promised. And even if her mother won’t keep her word Eiryn will keep hers.

She’ll make everything right again.

You’ll see.

What warnings does the book have?

This book contains warnings for:

  • racism
  • bullying
  • depression
  • suicide ideation
  • family death

Not necessarily appearing in that order.

You can read an excerpt on my website here or on Kraken’s website. The excerpt covers funeral rites, so you’re thrown right into the content warning for family death.

I wanted to order the paperback. Where is it?

On CreateSpace! If you’d like to order it from elsewhere, please be patient a while longer! It’ll come back! I just didn’t realise that when CreateSpace said they’d take it down until I re-approved the new Kraken edition, they meant “We’ll take it down everywhere completely because clearly a PoD service cannot keep selling the old version while you’re working out the new one the way it does with ebooks”, so it’s currently cycling its way through being added to retailers all over again and that just takes a while. It should reappear sometime next week, depending on how quickly it gets processed.

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Livetweeting SeraMyu Infinity Academy – Mistress Labyrinth (Revision)

Posted August 20, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Not-A-Review / 0 Comments

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Usagi, Chibiusa, Mamoru and the Inners all on stage singing a song during the revision of the Infinity Academy Mistress Labyrinth musical.

Posting this a little late to Patreon this week because this week is hectic. I may have made a mistake planning a rerelease and a new release two weeks apart because I feel like I’m way behind on everything.

I’m not, but hey when has my brain ever done logic? Anyway, here‘s the link to the Storify of Saturday’s Sera Myu livetweet. This week, we’ve watched the revision of the Mistress Labyrinth musical and… Wow, did I dislike it.

I love what SeraMyu tried to do with these narratives by adding something new and something that’s solely for the musicals and then combining it with a story everyone already knew and loved, but the end result is still that neither story is really done any kind of justice at all.

And… Honestly, I think I like this revision so much less than the others (and so much less than the original musical narrative) because the revision fixes none of the issues I had with the original musical. In fact it may well have made them worse.

I mean, last week, I will remind you all that Sailor Neptune was so bad-ass that she took her violin into battle. This musical? No violin.

It may also have been that the changes in actors negatively impacted my enjoyment too. I don’t normally talk about the actors changing (outside of highlighting who is playing Sailor Moon) because I want to focus on the narrative, but. I won’t lie. Nao Takagi and Kenji Urai’s performances in the original version of this musical were absolute perfection to me and watching the revision a week later was grossly unfair to the new actors playing Uranus and Mamoru.

But mostly it’s just that the narrative was so much the same that I just… didn’t really have anything new to say and it made the issues I had with the story initially stand out more. T_T

And with this livetweet, we’re nearing the end of the SeraMyu livetweets. I’ve got four musicals left of old!Myu. What am I going to be doing with my Saturdays from now on? T_T

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This post previously appeared on Patreon and is sponsored by generous patrons. Thank you so much for your support! It means the world to me! <3 I love you all!

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Livetweeting Sera Myu: Mugen Gakuen – Mistress Labyrinth

Posted August 18, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Not-A-Review / 0 Comments

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Sailor Neptune, playing a violin right before a battle scene.This week’s musical was Mugen Gakuen – Mistress Labyrinth. Livetweet Storify here! It’s an adaptation of the Infinity arc, with several characters unique to the musical. The narrative between the senshi and the Witches 5 more or less follows the narrative of the manga, ensuring that some scenes don’t really make much sense in the context of the musical and the addition of the Hoshino family just means the musical has less space to work out the plot it’s already got, but opens up a whole new reason for Hotaru to awaken as Saturn which is something I really appreciated it. Saturn is one senshi you definitely do not want to get angry with you.

And, basically, this musical follows the general trend of old!Myu where I wish they’d either stuck to the source material or ran wild with their original additions instead of trying to mesh the two together.

That said, after 5 seasons of the Classic anime, 3 seasons of Crystal, 4 new!Myu musicals and at least a dozen old!Myu musicals, a group of aliens in the Sailor Moon verse has finally thought to just try asking Usagi if they can use the ginzuishou’s power to save/revive their planet instead of trying to take the thing by force.

AND GUESS WHAT USAGI SAID.

“Sure. Here you go. I’d be happy to give it to you for the purposes of saving your world.” like everyone but the characters knew she would.

Also Tomoe gets to sing and dance in this musical. He does not get to fly. Foiled again! (Q: Will you ever let this go, Lynn? It’s been like a dozen musicals now. >> A: NOT UNTIL TOMOE GETS TO SING, DANCE AND FLY IN THE SAME MUSICAL. Also if it happens in such a way that I remember it, because I’m pretty sure he did some of these three in older musicals, but I can’t remember if he did all of them in the same musical.)

Anyway, this musical, while the messily plotted storyline I’m used it from Myu was a delight. I liked some of the aspects of the changes, notably Saturn awakening because she’s really, reallyangry about the whole “killing everyone from the planet Grimm” thing and basically just destroying everything because she’s Just That Pissed.

And then Uranus is just utterly defeated and despairing and MY HEART IT BROKE. Also Michiru is so bad-ass she gets to play a violin during one of the battle scenes. (Well, sort of. It was kind of before the battle started and it lasted about one World Shaking or Space Sword Blaster BUT STILL. She totally took her violin into battle to play Orleans no Sei Senshi. Bad. Ass.)

And also Hotaru before she became Mistress 9 used Mistress 9 and/or Saturn’s powers to be all “Hands off my bestie, Chibiusa” and, like, Mamoru was all “Chibiusa, did you make a friend? <3” and Chibiusa was all “Yeah, she’s really cute! Especially when she smiles!” and just d’awwwwww. Chibiusa/Hotaru is the cutest pairing even in musicals where they’ve only met, like, once for all we’ve seen the musical imply.

I have no idea what to expect of the revised musical next week, but I really hope that they won’t take out any of the bits that I really loved. We’ll see!

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This post previously appeared on Patreon and is sponsored by generous patrons. Thank you so much for your support! It means the world to me! <3 I love you all!

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Grammar Geek: That vs That, complicated sentence structures

Posted August 15, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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Grammar Geek: That vs That, complicated sentence structures

Tabitha asks:

When emailing or texting back and forth with people, I often write sentences like “That’s exciting that you’re going to Australia!” But is the double “that” grammatically wrong? (Should it always be “It’s exciting”?) If someone just told me “I’m going to Australia!” I would say “That’s exciting!”, so using an initial “that” feels right to me, but then the sentence as a whole sounds off, so every time I write something like that I think “this probably isn’t correct grammar…” (I don’t really care about my grammar when I’m just communicating with friends, but I’m still really curious about this!)

And, really, this kind of question is my grammatical jam, so… I’m jumping on it. XD

First of all, the short answer: As far as I know, yes, this is totally grammatically fine. Stylistically it’s a little more iffy because we don’t like anything that sounds even vaguely like repetition so ‘that – that’ in this such succession is less than ideal, but that’s a different topic altogether.

And after that it gets a little complicated because there’s a lot to unpack in this simple-looking sentence. So let’s start off with that repetition of that and why it’s okay from a grammatical viewpoint.

It’s okay grammatically because the two words have a totally different function and this kind of repetition is fairly common in Germanic languages in general. In English, another example of repetition that’s grammatically fine would be a sentence like “He had had a bright idea an hour ago”.

See? You repeat ‘had’ twice. That’s because the verb ‘to have’ conjugates the same way when you’ve got a past tense or a participle. We’re okay with it because one of the hads doesn’t actually mean anything. It’s just kind of… there to ensure that the verb is conjugated grammatically and that’s all it’s doing.

The same kind of situation is at work in the sentence “That’s exciting that you’re going to Australia!”

The first ‘that’ doesn’t mean anything. It’s a referrer and it’s only purpose in this sentence is to provide a subject for the verb ‘is’.

The second ‘that’ is a relative pronoun. Now, in most sentences you can apply the following rule of thumb: if your relative pronoun is followed by a personal pronoun or a noun you can leave it out. Even though that’s clearly the case here, once we remove ‘that’ from the sentence, the whole thing falls apart. It doesn’t work. It needs the relative pronoun to be grammatical, so what gives?

Well. That’s to do with the verb ‘is’ in the main clause. You see, ‘to be’ is a very annoying verb that’s the exception to pretty much every single rule you will ever encounter. In this particular instance, it serves as a copula verb. Or a linking verb. It links the subject to a predicate.

In this case it links the first ‘that’ to ‘exciting’. And on its own, that’s a perfectly fine sentence, right? There’s nothing wrong with “That’s exciting!” other than that we need context to interpret it. Otherwise we’ll just have a conversation that kind of goes like this

A: That’s exciting!
B: “What’s exciting?”
A: That! B: But what’s that?
A: Just that!
B: But what does ‘that’ refer to? A: To that!

Did you picture this conversation in your head? Was A pointing at something in your imagination while B was just oblivious to what A was pointing at? That’s your brain looking for contextual clues to interpret ‘that’ in this sentence. Like I said, it’s a referrer, so it needs something to refer to and we’ll instinctively look for something that will do this.

In Tabitha’s sentence, we’ve got both the referrer and the thing that’s being referred to. It just happens that what ‘that’ refers to is a whole sentence. Our whole subject is a sentence: “you’re going to Australia”. Perfectly fine sentence on its own, right? Nothing wrong with it.

But! But but but! English (and, indeed, Germanic languages in general) doesn’t like it when a whole clause is a subject. So we need something in front of it to make it into the kind of sentence that can serve as a subject. Cue our relative pronoun ‘that’.

And we can test how this works too! We just need to shuffle things around a little. Here, look:

That you’re going to Australia is exciting.
* You’re going to Australia is exciting.
* That’s exciting you’re going to Australia.

Notice how those last two sentences don’t really work? I mean the last one is fine if you add in a full stop (and I’m fairly sure most of you reading mentally did so), but as it stands and the second sentence as a whole? They don’t work.

You could make the second sentence work by removing ‘you’re’ so you end up with “Going to Australia is exciting”, but then you’re completely changing the kind of clause you’re dealing with.

Anyway, I fully admit that this is a sentence structure where I don’t 100% know the ins and outs of how to call things. It’s a little more advanced than the grammar I’ve specialised in and, honestly, my classes tended to be more practical than theoretical anyway, but that’s more or less what’s going on in this sentence.

It’s a lot of different rules all bundled up into one tiny package and it’s a very good example of why I try to hammer home the idea that, yes, English is hard when I’m tutoring. Because this sentence? This isn’t stuff any grammar book will ever teach you if you’re just learning the language. (If you’re studying English linguistics… Yeah, it might crop up once you start working on your MA.) And it’s hard to wrap your head around all the rules in it and why and how this sentence has exceptions to those rules.

But this is the kind of stuff I like to geek out about, so I hope you’ve found it fun and entertaining! It’s a little more advanced than the questions I was expecting to get, though, so do please holler if I’m just being confusing or there are terms or ideas that don’t really make sense.

And if you disagree, let me know too! (Seriously, do, please. I really, really like rambling about grammar with people and analysing sentences like this with people would make my day.)

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This post previously appeared on Patreon and is sponsored by generous patrons. Thank you so much for your support! It means the world to me! <3 I love you all!

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Livetweeting Sera Myu: 10th Anniversary Festival – Ai no Sanctuary

Posted August 11, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Not-A-Review / 0 Comments

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All the senshi gathered at the end of the Ai no Sanctuary musicals

Oh, my, this musical was so much fun, everyone. It was everything I’ve been loving about Old!Myu, wrapped into an hour-long original story that actually mostly made sense. Here’s the livetweet Storify!

It’s now Sunday and I feel like I should be able to say something sensible and useful about it, but I’m afraid I’m still stuck on saying “EEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!” and “BUT I WANT MORE MUSICAL T_T” Not that the talkshow wasn’t fun because it was. It’s really interesting to hear previous cast members reflect on their time in the musicals and hearing what their answers to questions are and the sketches seem to have been either hilarious or adorable. (It’s a compilation of highlights from each day of the festival rather than 6 hour-long talkshows, so bits seem to have cut off.) I’d definitely recommend the talk show if you’re a fan of the old Myus. Everything about them is just so full of love and energy.

(Also, I think old!Myu does best when it’s trying to tell a wholly new story all its own. It gets to be every bit as silly as it likes and doesn’t need to worry about plot holes because “the audience already knows this stuff anyway”.)

Next up is a retelling of the Infinity Arc: Mugen Gakuen – Mistress Labyrinth, so we’re pretty much right back to retelling storylines from the manga/anime. I’ve only got about 6 old!Myu musicals left now. T_T NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

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This post previously appeared on Patreon and is sponsored by generous patrons. Thank you so much for your support! It means the world to me! <3 I love you all!

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Preorder Now Available: A Harmony of Water and Weald: a Sea Foam and Silence collection

Posted August 5, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in News / 0 Comments

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A Harmony of Water and Weald: a Sea Foam and Silence collection by Lynn E. O'Connacht

A Harmony of Water and Weald:
a Sea Foam and Silence collection

Available September 1st! 

Preorder your ebook copy now!

Once upon a time… there was a little mermaid who wished for legs so she could walk on land and learn about the strange creatures that lived there. She thought it would be easy, adjusting to life as a human.

She was wrong.

And even after finding happiness with her family, the Sea Witch isn’t yet done with our little mermaid, giving an enigmatic warning about her future…

A Harmony of Water and Weald is a companion collection to the asexual fairytale retelling Sea Foam and Silence, delving a little deeper into our mermaid’s first experiences as a human as well as what happened after her happily ever after.

Note! While A Harmony of Water and Weald can be read as a stand-alone, I wouldn’t advise it.

I have so many feels about this collection I don’t even know where to start. But a lot of readers who’ve talked to me about Sea Foam and Silence were excited for me, so… I figured I’d write you all more. I did not anticipate that I’d write practically a whole novelette’s worth of additional material that mostly comes together to form its own narrative.

I really, really hope that you’ll enjoy it! I suspect that this isn’t the last we’ve seen of these characters, especially the Sea Witch, but when more will come, I don’t exactly know. For now, though, if you’ve enjoyed Sea Foam and Silence, I hope you’ll also enjoy these companion pieces.

Haven’t read Sea Foam and Silence yet, but want to? The ebook version is on sale right now for $0.99 (plus taxes if those are applicable to you) and will remain so until September 8th, 2017 to celebrate the release of A Harmony of Water and Weald.

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Livetweeting Sera Myu Tanjou! Ankoku no Princess Black Lady (Revision)

Posted August 4, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Not-A-Review / 0 Comments

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Ami sitting on the stage with a cup to her face during the revision of the Black Lady musical

A little later than planned (thanks, illness), but here it is: the storify of the 2002 winter special, the revision of the Black Lady musical, a musical reimagining of the Black Moon arc.

Wherein some small bits of plot were fixed and the musical as a whole still just relies on viewers knowing the franchise and bringing both the anime and the manga version of the narrative into this one.

And also more characters get added because it’s not like with, like, 11 main characters and roughly as many antagonist, we don’t have enough characters that need a compelling backstory or personality or anything.

Soon… The Ai no Sanctuary musical. This sounds like it should be a wholly new storyline again. Whoohoo!

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This post previously appeared on Patreon and is sponsored by generous patrons. Thank you so much for your support! It means the world to me! <3 I love you all!

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July 2017 Round-up

Posted August 2, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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Goals

News

Patreon

Posts marked with an * are publicly available at this time.

Culture Consumption

Misc Posts

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