Blush: Consent from kids

The last time I talked about consent and kids, I focused on how to teach kids how to ask for consent. This time around, with the holidays here, I want to remind the adults that read this that the children in their lives are not obligated to give hugs or kisses to anyone.

Image from Elise Gravel, a cartoonist.

For example, our daughter is terrified of men with white hair. This includes her great-grandfather, friends of the family, and, of course, Santa Claus.

Although her great-grandfather is getting older, we managed to get a picture of them by having her sit beside him on her father’s knee. It’s not the snuggly picture that we ideally wanted, but it’s a good compromise that lets her know that she has been understood, but still lets us get a picture of them together.

So remember, at holiday parties this year, that just because there is a child involved, does not mean that they are automatically obligated to give you a hug. It doesn’t matter if you’re a super close friend, parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or stranger; if the child does not give you a clear indication of consent, don’t touch them!

Our daughter’s consent is uplifted arms, or pro-active climbing onto your lap, in case you come across her this season.

Happy Holidays!


If you’re enjoying the Blush blogs, consider learning more with Blush: The Card Game from Renaissance Press.

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My 2016 Resolutions – Mid Year Review

It’s that time of year again; the one where I check my resolutions and see how optimistic I was feeling when I made them.

calvin-and-hobbes-new-years-resolution-comic

1. Write 500 Words a day

½ Accomplished

I’ll give myself partial credit for this one. I haven’t been great at it but I’ve been writing something.

2. Complete Everdome before April

Failed

Ouch… I finished it before July… only 1 and a half months late. But I did finish.

3. Start and Finish a New Novel

Not Yet Accomplished

I’m not sure I’ll finish this year but I’ll certainly start something. As much as I love the disaster movie idea I’m leaning towards a First Person Adventure or a Time Travel love story; maybe a Middle school Novel about being a monster.

I have lots of plans!

4. Read 30 Books

On Track

Goodreads says I’m at 13 for the year. I should be at 14 by the end of this month with means I’m only a little behind. Should be easy? Who knows how much reading I’ll get done with Dragon? Although I do plan on reading to her at night before bed.

5. Write a Monthly or Bimonthly Serial Story

On Track

If you haven’t read Wargrave Island, my mystery serial story, go check it out. I’ve written 6 of 12 parts and people are dying fast.

6. Test, Produce, and Develop a total of 16 Coffee flavours

Success!

I have officially done 16 flavours and I have 2 others I’m playing with.

Check out all our flavours!

7. Develop a simple concept for a Youtube show.

Not Yet Accomplished

So… I have a concept. I have the software. I just haven’t had the time to refine it yet.

8. Playtest the various stages of FADDS and prepare it for submission in 2017

On Track

This is going REALLY well. We’ve tested the early levels and they work beautifully. The mid levels are coming along well and this fall I’ll run oneshots for the higher levels.

The next step is editing for me. I need to go through the book a few times and clean up the language and standardize the wording.

9. Update JenEric-Designs.ca and add a proper webstore.

On Track

I’ve done some major upgrades. Even added a Newsletter. I’m slowing adding more functionality.

There are big changes coming to JenEric Designs. If you want to find out what they are sign up for our Newsletter.

10. Prepare Memories of Faust for submission *New*

For those that don’t know. My first book A Study in Aether has been bought by Renaissance Press yay!

The sequel is a little darker and unfortunately more complex. It needs work and I’m planning on doing some heavy edits later in the summer.

 

So out of ten we have only 1 failure and most are still possible. It’s ambitious but I’m hoping I’ll make it. If I don’t, I’ll just blame Dragon (I’m kidding… probably).

 

How are you doing with your New Year’s Resolutions?

Éric

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My Resolutions for 2016

It’s December 21st, and 2015 is coming to an end. It’s been a year filled with awesome and not so awesome.

Last week I did a review of my 2015 resolutions. I overreached but still accomplished more than I expected.

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My resolutions are goals not ways to change myself. Here are my 2016 Resolutions:

1. Write 500 words a day

It’s been on my list for the past 3 years and it’s worked out pretty well.

2. Complete Everdome before April

I need to finish this novel. Only 20,000 ish words left.

3. Start and finish a new novel

I haven’t decided what I’m writing, I have ideas for a Disaster/Superhero book, which would be awesome, but I’m a little sick of the multiple character novels. I also have the seeds of a post-war fantasy novel. That’s not to mention that I have a large chunk of The Hounds of Bakerville plotted out.

Who know what it’ll be. I have a file of 20+ novel ideas. I’ll decide later.

4. Read 30 books

I find reading extremely cathartic, inspirational, and fun. Unfortunately, sometimes I have to force myself to actually do it. I’m on 31 for this year and that’s good with me.

5. Write a Monthly or Bimonthly Serial Story

I already have 3 options for this. Expect a vote by end of January at the latest.

Here are the three Options so far (There will be more):

6. Test, Produce, and Develop a total of 16 Coffee flavours

Currently we have 10 different flavours available. I’d like to have 3 Standard flavours that we have every CON and 2-4 slots that rotate depending on the size of the event. If you’d like to vote on our CORE (Coffee Offered Regular at Events) flavours, go vote here.

7. Develop a simple concept for a Youtube show.

I really want to take part in the world of vlogging and video. I love the medium and despite my missing this for 3 years now, I think I’ll try again.

8. Playtest the various stages of FADDS and prepare it for submission in 2017

I’ve been working on FADDS (Four Attribute Dual Dodecahedron System) for a long time now and it’s in version 6 and I think it’s close to being where and what I want from a pen and paper RPG.

A publisher has shown mild interest in it and I know of a few others that are actively seeking game systems. If I can get through the playtests and fix it up I should be ready by early to mid-2017 to submit it.

9. Update JenEric-Designs.ca and add a proper webstore.

I’m going to try and take a few days this year to make the site more visually appealing and make it easier to find things like stories.

 

See, 9 is a little less ambitious than 10.

May all your resolutions be worth the effort you put into them.

Happy Solstice and Yule everyone,

Éric

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The Past was like Totally Better

Nostalgia: Sentimental longing for or regretful memory of a period of the past, esp. one in an individual’s own lifetime; (also) sentimental imagining or evocation of a period of the past. – Oxford English Dictionary

Someday we’ll look back on today and think how wonderful the world was and how horrible it has become. I can say that without exaggeration because it’s already happened. It’s happening right now. (I’m looking at you!)

I think it’s part of human nature that we idolize a time where we think we were happier, where life was simpler, where all the horrible things had yet to happen. We latch onto the horrible things in our lives now and glorify the good things of the past.

It’s not that we forget the bad things but their bite lessens with time. We can see it with less bias. There are two quotes that come to mind and I’ll say upfront that I disagree with Doctor Who.

“Great men are forged in fire, it is the privilege of lesser men to light the flame” – 50th anniversary of Doctor Who

“Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I’ve found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay… small acts of kindness, and love.” – Gandalf, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

These two quotes define our cultures beliefs on life. Fire, turmoil, battle, horror, etcetera are what creates great people. It is what makes exciting stories but not people. We don’t define ourselves by our hardships but our successes. When we don’t, we run into trouble.

Back to nostalgia… Nostalgia is our way of whitewashing our past and making sure we mostly remember the good stuff. It’s not that we want to forget the bad but that we want to concentrate on the good. We also tend to make a big deal about stuff that we won’t find important in the future.

A good example for me is writing. When I’m writing I feel stressed to be writing, but excited. I also feel ridiculously frustrated when I first edit. When all is said and done and I have an “almost” finished book (I say almost because my mind will never let me finish. I can always do more.) I feel amazing and only remember the excitement and elation of writing.

In some cases nostalgia is right but in a lot of cases it’s not. The world isn’t worse off than it was twenty years ago. The nineties wasn’t a better time. The internet and technology isn’t leading us to a horrible brain melting doom.

Nostalgia is great, especially with a drink and an old friend, but next time you find yourself saying, “When I was a kid…” stop and try to think of the good things now.

We live in a time of wonder and excitement.

If you need proof:  At the begining of 2014 Biofabrication isn’t Science Fiction.

See you in the New Year my Imaginary Friends!

Éric

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