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Dear Livejournal,

You have no idea how much I miss you.

You have no idea how much this place means to me, or how dearly I wish anywhere else online came close to the things you offered. The communities, the threaded, genuine conversations, the people, the fandoms, the creativity.

You were a blog, but you were a diary also, you were tiny, one paragraph posts in the middle of the night, famous quotations, gigglefest roleplays, heartfelt apologies, song lyrics and silly MS Paint doodles.

I've been reading through my posts from 2006, 2007, 2008, and finding comments from people I'm friends with now, today, whom I meet up with regularly or at least see IRL sometimes - friendships YOU MADE HAPPEN, Livejournal. Friendships you forged, through communities and comments I've never found elsewhere online. Fandom moved to Tumblr, where people can't just talk to each other or join in on conversations, and where multi-user communities just plain don't exist. Fandom moved to Twitter, which is the most similar place, I think, to this little world we carved here, but it is a platform built for modern, changing times, full of short posts and home to even shorter attention spans. I don't know where else Fandom moved to, but I miss it so dearly, and it aches that there's no way to find it again.

There were trends here, memes and silly quizzes. There was spam, and confessions, and dirty secrets, and lies. You were the place where I discussed so many things, frank and open and honest with the world.

I didn't try to be a good writer, I just needed to write.

I have a lifetime account here, Livejournal. I'd pay for another, and another, and another, if it could bring back the world we once shared here.

I don't post here much anymore, because it feels like shouting over the rubble of a fallen empire, but this place has forever been my online home. I grew up here. I'm so different, now, but I read back through my posts from a decade ago, over a decade ago, and realise that I'm still so very much the same.

You will *always* be my home online.

I miss you so much, Livejournal.

Still here :)

Just got a little paranoid that LJ may purge inactive accounts so I wanted to blow the dust off this place just in case. Anyone else still about these days?

Hello, Livejournal

Man, I miss this place. :(

I blog vaguely regularly over on http://www.reaperfox.com, and I have a Tumblr, and a Twitter, and a Facebook account, of course, but none of them are like Livejournal was. Proper conversation, communities, discussions. Silly icon battles. Actual threaded conversations!

I really miss this old place.

Bridport Hat Festival!

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Yesterday, I was invited along to Bridport Hat Festival by my friend Sarah who went a few years ago and enjoyed it! I had a free day and figured it'd be a fun, different day out, so we dragged Luke along too and made a day of it.

The festival was pretty cute and quintessentially English - full of quirky eccentric people parading all manner of headgear, from store bought Santa hats to fully home-crafted towering pieces of art. There were competitions for best hat, of course, and talks and exhibitions. There was a regular market selling all sorts of vintage and second hand things, and a separate hat market featuring, well, lots of independently crafted hats for sale.

The event was nice and cozy but sadly it ended pretty promptly and earlier than we expected - while the schedule looked really packed full of things to do through 'till night, we actually found ourselves at a loss after lunch and realised most of the crowds had dispersed and the live music was packing up. By 3 pretty much everything was over, so we looked around the town (where I managed to buy four new books in Waterstones!) and headed over to a pub called The Bull, which was hosting a 'Cocktails & "Fascinators' party - basically a cozy pop up tequila bar offering specially 'hat' themed tequila based cocktails! I had a 'Milliner's Mule'.

Oh, and the books I picked up were 'Popular' by Maya Van Wagenen, 'The Maze Runner' by James Dashner, 'Timeriders' by Alex Scarrow and 'Knife Edge' by Malorie Blackman - I'm on a bit of a Young Adult kick, can you tell?

<<< this post was originally uploaded to www.reaperfox.com ! >>>

Mahoosive update from my blog!

Apparently LJ's getting a bit of a revival? Man, I hope so. I never liked Tumblr for actual conversation and having my own blog is nice and all, but this place is where community is. Is anyone still reading?? Hi, if you are!

Here's some stuff from my blog lately if you're interested in that sorta thang~



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I found some new (oldschool!) MLP stationary in Wilco!

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And I drew some new art! Featuring Gnar and a Poro from League of Legends, because cuties!

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My review thingie about the first Doctor Who episode of Season 8 - Deep Breath!

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I went to the Great Dorset Steam Fair!

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I also went to BUCK!

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I wrote a little Tribute to Robin Williams.

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And Moose and I went to 'Digital Revolution' in London!

I'm posting this here because it's the only place I trust spoiler cuts! This probably isn't anything, but I thought it was quite interesting so here goes... Spoilers for the latest two episodes of Doctor Who!

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Oh, and you guys can read my (spoilery) review thingie about last week's episode Deep Breath here on my blog!

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RSS Feed! <3

I still want to post here and I don't think I'll ever let my LJ truly die, but since I do take so long between collecting updates from my blog, I wanted to point out to everyone that I've just set up an RSS feed on LJ for my www.reaperfox.com blog :) It's where I do most of my updating now, and while I DO intend on crossposting everything here, sometimes it takes a very long time and other times I just plain forget, ahem ;_;

So, without further ado!


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Please friend that and you *should* get a direct feed from my other blog. Also, well, it's on Bloglovin' if you use that. And if not? Well, I WILL post stuff here eventually, when I remember to ¬_¬

Marker Card Commissions - batch #1!

I've been creating marker cards to sell on Etsy and lately I've been fortunate enough to take some private commissions for them, too! Here's a batch of cards I've created for some lovely people online! Most of them have been sent off now to their new homes now, but if anyone's interested in one themselves, please do take a peek at this blog post about them! :) Enjoy!












This entry was originally posted on www.reaperfox.com !

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Why I Love Team Fortress 2!

Story time! I'll warn you though, it's a love story, and not just about how much I love this silly, bloody game.
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Team Fortress 2. It's an FPS (First Person Shooter) game on the PC. It's by Valve, aka the Steam Guys or the Half Life Guys or the Portal Guys and it's really, really good.

Growing up, I was never a PC gamer. I had consoles. I had - have - a lot of consoles. I grew up alternating between Sonic and Mario and never truly engaged in the ridiculous console wars of the 1990s. My first PC game of any merit was Sim City 2000, but the PC was always something for work or, later, the internet, and never really for gaming.

I confess, I hated PC gaming.

I hated the constant upgrades needed to stay relevant. I hated how difficult things were, back then, to run. I hated that you had to install things and change settings to suit your machine. Heck, even on the old Amstrad we had when I was super young, all you had to do was type "run disk" and bam!, you were gaming. PC gaming was a dumb chore and I just never really cared to look into it.

Until TF2.

Valve are an amazing company who go all out when they're pushing one of their games, and TF2 of course was no exception. They released videos introducing us to the characters in TF2, which were gorgeous, fully animated shorts. I stumbled across one for the Sniper, and let's just say I was in love!
 
I realised they'd released a few other videos for the characters, but I kept replaying this one over and over. The humour was perfect, the animation was just perfect and I was just absolutely hooked. I had to try out this game! It suddenly didn't matter that I'd never liked any FPS, or that it was a, ugh, PC game - I had to have it! So, that Christmas I had one thing and one thing only on my wish-list. A new PC. A computer capable of, I dunno, handling video games maybe?
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Yep, on Christmas Day, I had purchased The Orange Box (the set of Valve games that TF2 was released with) and by mid afternoon I was downloading it. By Christmas evening, I was playing on an empty server with some friends who already owned it. I had no idea what I was doing, but I was in love.

TF2 became my go-to game. It was simple to pick up, as difficult as you wanted it to be and downright fun to be a part of. We explored the servers together and spent far too long on novelty maps like Balloon Race, Convoy and Mario Kart.

Eventually, we stumbled across a server on Wireplay called ctf_vikings, and sure enough the map lived up to its name. Two giant Viking ships formed most of the play area, with planks between the two of them, giant canons that launched you into the sky and a killer fish in the sea. It was dumb and kind of (very) ugly, but there was a community there of regulars who chatted across the teams and it became my nightly hangout - pretty soon I was as regular as any of 'em.
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It's funny really, back then I was so unsure of myself with online gaming. I really didn't play games online so the community aspect was something new and exciting to me. I was happy to meet people and chat to everybody on Vikings by typing, but I was well aware of how dumb the internet can be to 'omg gurl gamers' and wanted to avoid that nonsense like the plague. I wanted people to become my friend because they liked me, for me, and not because I was a girl. For weeks, I was a regular on Vikings, helped form our "not a clan!", the PoA (Pantheon of Awesome), and got really friendly with a bunch of people there, but I never confessed I was a girl. I never lied or mislead anybody, it wasn't a purposeful thing. It just didn't come up, really, and I wasn't going to announce it unprovoked. It was, as far as I was concerned, irrelevant. These guys were my buddies. We killed each other and ate virtual sandwiches together. It was great.

Eventually, I was chatting to one of my American friends from Vikings and it just came up that I was maybe kinda actually sort of a girl, and he was absolutely gobsmacked. Gobsmacked, but otherwise unperturbed! I realised then that the reason I'd taken such a shine to the regulars on Vikings was because they, for the most part, actually weren't idiots. We were friends. Maybe only virtual ones who had a friendship formed out of murder and intel capping, sure, but friends nonetheless. The PoA was a Pantheon of Awesome, after all. I 'came out' to the server, that night, by using my voice for the very first time in mic chat. After the initial "a girl on the internet??" joking, everyone settled down and resumed bloody murder. It was perfect.

Vikings became my virtual hang out spot. It was the place I'd spend my evenings when I couldn't be with my IRL friends (most of whom played TF2 with me now, anyway!) Some evenings it really was more a virtual chat room than a shooting game, but it was always daft and fun. Vikings would be the place we'd go when the game had a fun new update, the place we'd try out new weapons and techniques. Sure, we'd go to other servers together, but Vikings was the place we all called 'home'.

And the reason TF2, and especially ctf_vikings, is especially special to me? Well, it's where I met the guy I'm kind of crazy about right now. Somewhen in early 2009, though I don't remember first noticing him, a guy called Cauldron Moose! joined the server. He was an old time regular, apparently, and tells me fondly that the first thing he ever heard me say was "Since when did this become a Sniper pissing contest?" - which is every bit as romantic and fitting as I'd like it to be.

We ended up playing together every night, just like all the regulars, really. When May Expo (London Comic Con) came around, I suggested that he and our other Vikings buddy Wrath should come along and check it out. I think I was cosplaying as the Sniper when Moose turned up, as you do at this sort of convention. The second I saw him, my heart did a little embarrassed flutter, but he was a fair bit younger than me and I was just being daft, so I brushed it off.

In August, we arranged a mini Vikings meetup when a Dutch player came along to London for a short holiday. Truth be told, I think he came over because he had a thing for me, but honestly by that point I only had eyes for Moose. By then, we were chatting every single night, texting each other and staying up until the birds started chirping. We met up again at Expo in October, and again I realised I was nuts about this guy. It was painful! It was this absolutely dumb, pointless infatuation, because there was no way this young, handsome guy would be interested in some older girl he met on TF2, right?
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Wrong! Be still my beating heart, in January 2010 Moose suggested he should come visit me (after numerous hints on the subject!) so we arranged a day in Bath to hang out and I went there with my heart on my sleeve, forcing myself to treat this as 'just a friendly meetup' while desperately hoping it would be anything but.

I was terrified. To quote my old Livejournal entry on the subject:
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Well, long story short, it was a date. We went to see Book of Eli (awful movie) and mooched around Bath and I spent the rest of the year feeling like the cat that got the cream.

Four and a half years on and we're still together, still rocking the long distance relationship sadly but still gaming together and enjoying each other's company every day. He's the guy I want my future with, someone I just want to share my life with. We've already made some killer memories together, and I aim for so many more, and it absolutely blows my mind that I'd not have even met him had it not been for TF2.

The PoA doesn't really exist anymore, but a bunch of us still hang out every night on Teamspeak, where we all play Wildstar or League of Legends or Minecraft or Starbound together.

And TF2, of course. The game has changed monumentally since I started playing it, with new game modes, weapons and ridiculous cosmetics that ruined the graphical theme goddamn it (rant for another time, man), but Vikings is still there, and we still play there from time to time.

To so many people, TF2 is just a daft 'hat simulator', a cartoony FPS that doesn't take itself seriously. It changed the world for me, though. It got me into online gaming, gave me some wonderful friends and introduced me to the love of my life.
And all because of an Australian crazed gunman assassin.
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Thanks, Valve! I owe ya <3



This entry was originally posted on www.reaperfox.com !

MASSIVE crosspost summary!

Hello hello! Sorry I've been so neglectful here. I actually read my flist every day as I use LJ as my main rss reader, but I so rarely remember to reblog the posts I make to my website (www.reaperfox.com). Here's some recap for anyone interested! I want my website to be my main blogging platform but I do love LJ so I'll try and cross-post as much as I can (when I remember ¬_¬) I'll probably do some more recap stuff later to just get everything in one place, but from now on whenever I make a new post, I'll crosspost it here instantly so there won't be a backlog.

Anyway! without further ado!:

Makin' Merch - 30th April - lots of photos of my new convention stock!
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My table at DevCon
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June 6th - lots of table photos and convention recap!
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Bristol Comic Expo recap!
- 14th May - just a convention report really!
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Wildstar is dead! Long live Wildstar! </a>- May 18th - showing off my Wildstar beta characters just before the beta closed for good!
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London Comic Con (MCM Expo) recap! - June 2nd - cosplay (including my own!), convention recap and some shots of Canary Wharf :)
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Fun in the Sun - Birthday BBQ! - June 16th - slice of life, and talking about some new games I'd never played before!
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