Monday, April 24, 2017

Boil Maker

So last post, I talked about the dreaded boil that I had as a kid—sparked by Alan Arkin referring to writers as having a boil that has to be taken care of… that’s why they write. Paraphrasing, but not very well.

And the boil squeeze that my mom did to me every morning for what seemed like the entire school year, reminded me of another time. As an adult.

I noticed this black dot on my breast. It grew. It concerned me since my mom died of breast cancer, and it had been drummed into my head to watch out for things on my skin that change color or size… or lumps that pop up. So I headed to a dermatologist.

The doctor was a man, probably younger than I was, and this made it even more uncomfortable bare-breasted, pointing to the black dot, telling him my concern. On his wheeled stool, he came in closer, stood up, took his two thumbs, just like my mother did way back when she got in position to squeeze the boil—and he squeezed the black dot. It all happened so quickly, I didn’t have time to scream, “STOP! What are you doing?” I was petrified that he was going to make my cancerous growth worse. A squiggly white line popped out where the black dot had been. He wiped it away, shrugged, and said, “Just a black head.”

I could feel my face turning 100 shades of red. I stared at my bare breast that no longer had a black spot on it… stupefied… mortified and relieved at the same time.

The doctor went on to explain that sometimes pores fill up with oil, dirt, etc.  What? Did he think I didn’t bathe? “If it happens again, you can just squeeze it yourself.” He left the room. I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry. I got dressed lightning fast and scurried out of the building. I’ve never been back to him… found a woman doctor instead.

I keep telling myself, better safe than sorry.

Boils. Blackheads. But still blessed.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Turner Classic Movies and Boils

The other day (okay, maybe it was about a month ago or more) I was watching a tribute to Robert Osborne who has been the host of Turner Classic Movies… he recently died (okay, again, maybe it was more than recently). They were replaying Osborne doing an interview with Alan Arkin. It was brought up that Arkin had written about ten books, but he claimed he wasn’t a writer. It was something he did to fill the time in between acting jobs. He said a real writer writes every day—like having a boil—when the person writes, the boil bursts—but that boil is always there. The writer must write in order to release the pressure of the boil. Or something to that affect. I wished I had taken notes, but… I immediately understood exactly what he was talking about. I don’t have ten books published, but I am a writer. I do write every day. Oh I may miss a day or two out of the year, but I for the most part (daily) write down my dreams, a spiritual writing exercise and journal… babbling on about anything and everything… what Nathalie Goldberg calls, no wait, it’s Julia Cameron, what she calls, Morning Pages. And if all else fails with journaling, I am always writing a letter to some poor soul.

When I was a kid, I had a boil. On my left, upper inner thigh. Every morning my mom would squeeze that boil in between her two thumb nails releasing the yuck inside the boil. To me this was sheer torture and I dreaded waking up in the morning, knowing what would take place. This big pimply lump was an appendage to my thigh and I thought it never would quit refilling itself. I’d look away as my mom’s hard as steel nails headed towards the little red, snow-capped mountain. Some mornings while rubbing Mr. Sandman out of my eyes, I begged and whined, “Mom, do we have to do this?”

“Oh hush. Yes.”

I’d clench my teeth, eyes watering, hoping there wasn’t much to squeeze out… praying it wouldn’t refill itself again.

So, yes, I get boils… I am a writer you know.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Casey and Hyper Light Drifter

It’s hard keeping up with my creative children… can’t keep everything straight. I recently blogged about Jessica and her sculpture on campus and linked to her website which showed all the other awards, etc., she’s been grateful to receive. I didn't even know about a few until I went to her website!

And now I’m going to brag about my son, Casey and his creative adventures. For two years, he had been part of a team working on a video game, Hyper Light Drifter. (Heart Machine is the company name of which Hyper Light Drifter is under – I think – like I said, I get confused with all the facts.)

My two daughters, Jessica and Rita and I went out to surprise Casey on his 30th birthday, which was in the first or second week of the kickstarter for Hyper Light Drifter. At the time Alex who was Casey’s roommate was away getting some medical attention. But I recall being blown away by the number of backers and the amount of money Alex raised based on a video game. Every day that number kept creeping up and I found out there’s another whole world out there—those who love video games.

I asked Casey if he’d give me all the info so that I could blog about it and here is what he had to say and the links to such. This first link takes you to the Kickstarter page that I just mentioned.

The Game Developers Conference (GDC) is the yearly equivalent of the ECK Worldwide for games. (Note by Lynn: Some who read this will understand the ECK Worldwide meaning, but another comparison, although I might be incorrect is this conference and awards are like the Emmy’s or Grammy’s but for video games.) There are two award shows hosted every year, one for GDC proper, and another called the IGF (Independent Games Festival) which has its eye on the "Indie Games" scene. Think blockbuster vs art house films. 

We were nominated for Best Debut, and had an honorable mention for Best Audio. 
We were nominated for Excellence in Audio, Excellence in Visual Art, and the Grand Prize. We took home the award for Visual Art, as well as the Audience Choice Award, which is like a kind of special recognition category. 


Another high honor from a little while back, IndieCade is an organization and play festival all about indie games that takes place primarily in Culver City every year. We took home the Jury Choice Award, which from what I've heard was like, kind of a special category they created because our game wasn't eclectic enough for their general leanings, but was so crucial that it was unanimously decided it needed to be recognized.

Kind of a big corporate sponsored thing, but also an independantly organized awards festival from a long time gamer guy. We were nominated for Best Indie Game, and Best Action / Adventure Game. The latter is pretty crazy to see, as the other 4 titles are all sequels in huge long standing AAA 3D franchises, and we're just this tiny 2d pixel game.

Others on Wikipedia
Just found out there's a more complete compendium of awards we've been nominated for on the wiki.

And that's what Casey had given me. So in addition to Casey being a part of the HyperLightDrifter team, he creates his own art... which I wanted to share as well. He was accepted in an artists residency in Iceland hosted by Light Grey Art Lab: and those who attended will be displaying their art based on that residency in May. At the moment, I can’t locate it on the website. Maybe it’s a private thing for those who attended the Iceland residency. He’ll also be part of The Lost Isle of Kismet and is now part of the To Be You which you can find on Light Grey Art Lab’s page:
Or you can check out the home page and go from there:

Casey has a website:, but it doesn't look like he's posted much lately. I think he does a lot on Tumbler? (I could be wrong on that one too!) By the way, I usually have to pull teeth to get any of my kids to tell me about what's going on with their art, awards and such. They are rather humble about what they do. Guess I'll do the bragging for them...