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QP: Writing and D&D.

When creating a new character's backstory, one often dashes up a little backstory. A few sentences, a paragraph, or maybe a bulleted list. I wrote a 9-page short story. Oops. It was fun at least!

(This is another "quick post," which means it's a short update that didn't receive the kind of editing or revision that other, more thoughtful posts would get. Don't worry about it if you're looking for something deeper, but feel free to read on if you don't mind!🧡)

I'm really proud of what I wrote for this character. I put a lot of thought into it, and it's gotten good feedback, too. That said, I'm mostly enamored of the pleasure in writing and crafting it.

But—I'm also obviously eager for positive feedback; I crave that shit. Haha. I may even post it here on the blog or on the socials!

It's got me wondering about getting into writing again. Maybe fiction isn't so impossible for me? Maybe a little diligence is all I need?

Writing more…
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This moment: A tattoo.

So I read Mrs. Dalloway in high school, and it was perhaps the most beautiful thing I'd ever read. One passage in particular, very early in the book, hit me hard with my first experience of the sublime, and stayed with me—and led at last to my first tattoo.
In people’s eyes, in the swing, tramp, and trudge; in the bellow and the uproar; the carriages, motor cars, omnibuses, vans, sandwich men shuffling and swinging; brass bands; barrel organs; in the triumph and the jingle and the strange high singing of some aeroplane overhead was what she loved; life; London; this moment of June.  (Emphasis added; full paragraph included below. From the full text of the novel as made available by the University of Adelaide.)

The paragraph this is from, the 4th paragraph of the novel, is the 1st passage with the stream of consciousness the book is famous for; although self-limited here, the flow is no less gorgeous. In the passage, Clarissa is walking on a street to get those famous flowers herse…

Sarracenia 'Ennui.'

I mentioned in a recent post that even hybrids of the same species can demonstrate disparate variety. Which is the case with the other cultivar I discovered. Yes; there's another.

I could go into how this variety among hybrids should surprise no one, but I'm not here to teach you genetics (poorly). No, I want to talk about my other big cultivar-related excitement: Sarracenia 'Ennui,' or so it's being called for now. I guess it's semiofficial now that I've "announced" it in a blog post. Welp.

(My main hesitation in calling it this is that the name may already been claimed. But I think it's an awesome name for a plant and peculiarly kind of perfect for this one: It's got this muted glamour that feels not only somehow French but also weirdly existential...?)

I found this beauty at Meadowview Biological Research Station. The other half of the main plant can still be found there, by the way, and that nursery has a gorgeous array of other Sarrac…

Revamp, pt 1.

I decided I want to dig in and take this blog, and more broadly the "Palmerpink Brand" as it were, more seriously. Ok, maybe not that seriously, but yeah.

I wrote up a larger exploration on my other blog of initial questions to lay out some basic considerations regarding a revamp, asking things like the What, Who, and Why of this blog. Some of these things I'd explored previously, but I wanted to dig into deeper this time around.

In short, I want to use this blog to share things I find meaningful and hope others will be interested in, as well as reflections and updates about my life; I want to write for myself, but also people who care about me and/or the sorts of things I share about (eg, reviews about culture and such); and I want to commit to my voice mattering, to deciding my blog matters to whatever little degree it can.

(I also floated the possibility of culling posts that are no longer representative of what I want in this blog, as well as any stupid labels... Thi…

Losing Doolittle.

I recently got to spend a few days at the lake house my family used to visit through most of my childhood; we no longer own it, and it turns out I missed it more deeply than I realized.

Anthony and I both got the week before NYC Pride off this year, so I contrived to get us a little time there. The cousins who own Greenshore gave Anthony and me permission to relax there for several days rather than just the 1 or 2 I had expected. Good god, I'm grateful for that.

I missed this place. Standing on the balcony, the porch, or the dock and looking out over the lake, I was reminded of the beauty and tranquility this lake represents for me. The meaning and memories, too.

This was always a place of solace and stability for me. We moved around a lot when I was a kid, but we always came back to this place. It had been in our family for generations before I was even born—if we'd been able to keep it, it would have been a solid 4 generations including mine. This was where I figured out I w…

QP: Fun and frustration.

So I've been playing a lot of Dead Cells, and while it's been crazy fun, it's also been crazy frustrating.

Dead Cells is a roguelike or rogue-lite metroidvania from Motion Twin... Basically, you explore and battle through this ever-changing, randomly generated castle, and when you die you start over. But it's never the same twice, and you improve as you go—new weapons, new tricks, and so on.

I know part of the problem is I lack or am at least weak in some of the basic skills necessary, such as timing and strategy and such. I keep forgetting to dodge or get hit by stupid attacks and all that, and it gets really frustrating.

Re my thread on #DeadCells: I do love it, but I am also struggling. I suspect weak eye-hand coordination and forgetfulness make most action games difficult for me; I tend to rush in swinging blindly, and I'm having to unlearn that here.

But maybe this game can help? 🤔 — Tophie Palmer (@palmerpink) June 25, 2019
Frustration aside, I'm having …

Sarracenia 'Palmerpink.'

So I posted the other day about my rekindled carnivorous plant obsession—I mean, hobby. I mentioned, in passing, that I had "discovered" a possible cultivar, so here's the lowdown on what that means and what I meant.

The term "cultivar" is short for "cultivated variety," and signifies that a particular plant is so desirable and interesting that people want exact copies of it rather than simply seed from it. Some famous American pitcher plant (Sarracenia) cultivars include the legendary Adrian Slack, the massive Leah Wilkerson, and the classic Judith Hindle.

Part of how these come about is that, unlike horses x donkeys = mules and certain other hybrids, Sarracenia hybrids aren't sterile and can be crossed and recrossed without limit. Further, random chance can create crazy combinations of genes such that even hybrids between the same species—heck, even the same parents—can demonstrate quite the variety. More on that elsewhere.

Depending on how easy…