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Lisa Brunette
Wherever my iPhone thinks I am.
I write, therefore I play.
Interests: Mystery, Writing, Novels, Games, Books, Yoga, Nia, Pilates, Spirituality, Healing, Nature, Farms, Lifestyle, Poetry
Recent Activity
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Borrowing heavily from TV and film, we work as a "writers' room." We discuss and try out characterizations, scenarios, and dialogue, tapping the team brain. We conduct what's known in Hollywood as a "table read," each of us taking a character and reading out the script aloud to listen, critique, make adjustments, and finely hone the text. Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2019 at Brunette Games
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One of the best uses of mulch in my experience is in converting an area of turf grass to nice gardening soil. I use what some people now call the "sheet-mulch method," which is basically a decomposable barrier layer, such as an old wool carpet or cardboard boxes, underneath a thick mulch. I've done this three different times at three different homes over the past nearly twenty years, and the result is always amazing. I can't stress this enough. It's an affirmation of the natural decomposition cycle, proof that nature knows best. Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2019 at Cat in the Flock
My longtime friend and fellow Saint Louis University grad, Lubna Somjee, posted the above recently on LinkedIn. We're honored to be thought of here at Brunette Games, and I'm personally grateful for the recognition. I hadn't realized what a small cohort I'm part of as a female entrepreneur. As the Forbes article Lubna links to says, only 24.5% of U.S. startups in their first two years are owned by women. You can read the full story here, which provides a list of the top 20 cities for female entrepreneurship; St. Louis is no. 1. Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2019 at Brunette Games
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Brunette Games is pleased to announce a new offering in our suite of services: voice-over talent! As storytelling becomes more and more of a focus in mobile games, we see greater need for professional voice-actor recordings to help enhance and heighten narrative. As narrative designers and game writers, it's a natural fit for us to work directly with voice-over talent. We write the scripts they'll be reading, after all, and can provide the right direction and feedback for voicing dialogue that best works for the game and characters. It's a great benefit to clients, who can regain valuable studio time by offloading management of this task. Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2019 at Brunette Games
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When it comes to interior design, form should always follow function and create a space that is equally efficient and appealing. This is why we highlighted in ‘That Finnish Lifestyle Is Hard to Beat’ how the place where form and function meet is important to Finns. Things must not only work well, but they must please the eye as well. With that in mind, let’s look at a few home changes you can make that are both functional and pleasing. And we don’t want to limit your options here, so we are going to look at trends from across the world to give you that bit of inspiration you might just need right now. Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2019 at Cat in the Flock
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A new client for Brunette Games, Jam City brought in our team just before launch as consultants to see what more could be done with the game before release. We've continued to consult on the title as well as work with Jam City on other, unannounced projects. Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2019 at Brunette Games
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An unabashedly insidious, decidedly for-profit venture, Facebook sucks us in with the illusion of connection, networking, and something not even remote approximating true "friendship," while successfully delivering on none of these things. Facebook activity robs us of the chance to share our life events, perspectives, and anecdotes in person with real people who can engage with us in meaningful ways. Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2019 at Cat in the Flock
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This weekend St. Louis hosts PixelPop Festival, a conference featuring independent tabletop, digital, and experimental games produced by local and international game creators. Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2019 at Brunette Games
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Lifeline games are games, but they're also novels. Part of the growing "interactive fiction" genre, the games are entirely text-based, with the reader making choices throughout. It goes like this: A stranded astronaut contacts you, asking for help in the form of a person to talk to as well as ask for advice. Sort of like if "The Martian" were a game instead of a movie, and you got to talk to Mark Watney the entire time he's stranded on Mars. Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2019 at Brunette Games
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I was also a huge fan of the TV show "Medium," about a psychic who helps an Arizona police team solve crimes. Allison DuBois, played by the fabulous Patricia Arquette, often struggles with the limitations built into her gift, sometimes making mistakes. Her fallibility, not to mention her authentically portrayed marital relationship, made the show rise above the fray (for seven seasons!). And there's one more thing. I'm someone whose childhood trauma led to PTSD nightmares, which plagued me for 15 years. So the often disturbing subject matter in DuBois' dreams resonated with me personally. I was used to looking for the truth in my dreams, sorting out the terror from the lessons. Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2019 at Cat in the Flock
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As founder of Brunette Games, I came to form this narrative design and game writing studio with nearly a decade of experience in the game industry. But before the game industry claimed me, I'd racked up 15 years as a published journalist, short story writer, corporate history chronicler, and yes, even poet. That background is reflected in the Dreamslippers Series, a three-book saga (plus novella) about a family of psychic dreamers who solve crime using their ability to 'slip' into other people's dreams. Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2019 at Brunette Games
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When Cookie Jam veteran Michael Witz approached me about helping out on the narrative for a sweet little game he'd been developing with his team at Redemption Games, I couldn't say no–just like the characters in this game can't turn down the tasty treats they're offered. Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2019 at Brunette Games
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As you might remember from our Dragon Flower Farmhouse tour, I'm a huge fan of color. Living in the rainy, grey Pacific Northwest for about 16 years, I took cues from the electric-green moss and Day-Glo orange fungus in the forests and painted my house accordingly. So when the real estate agent who sold us our St. Louis home Instagrammed these stunning pictures of a 'Vivid Living' house for sale, my heart grew like three sizes that day. Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2019 at Cat in the Flock
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These characters feel both fresh and authentic in part because they constantly thwart cliché expectation. Though French's debut centers on a detective driven to solve not just the case before him but the case in the past connected to his own deepest trauma, he remains (or at least tries to remain) detached, even matter-of-fact about it:Contrary to what you might assume, I did not become a detective on some quixotic quest to solve my childhood mystery. I read the file once, that first day, late on my own in the squad room with my desk lamp the only pool of light (forgotten names setting echoes flicking like bats around my head as they testified in faded Biro that Jamie had kicked her mother because she didn't want to go to boarding school, that "dangerous-looking" teenage boys spent evenings hanging around at the edge of the wood, that Peter's mother once had a bruise on her cheekbone), and then never looked at it again. Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2019 at Brunette Games
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At least three of the five eggs hatched on June 24, and here you can see the hatchlings and mother, with the father just outside the bathroom window. Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2019 at Cat in the Flock
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Exciting news: That FeetUp Trainer I mentioned in the post about why you might struggle with headstands is now a whopping 33 percent off! Yeah, that knocks fifty bucks off this cute little yoga inversion prop. Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2019 at Cat in the Flock
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I've spent a good deal of time talking about what we had to extricate from the Dragon Flower Farm, i.e., invasive plants like honeysuckle vine, winter creeper, and even autumn clematis. Yes, it's been at times a tragic tale of what the botanists call "disturbed" areas in suburbia/near urbia. But not everything existing onsite when we bought the house in November of 2017 was undesirable. You might be wondering what we're planning to keep. Here's a list by category. Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2019 at Cat in the Flock
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Psy High is an interactive novel: on the border between a book and a game. As in all of the titles from Choice of Games, you the reader direct the action at every turn: you decide what the main character does and why. Not only that, but you get to choose the main character’s name, gender, orientation, personality, and goals. Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2019 at Brunette Games
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It started with the nest, which went up the last week of May, when the weather was nice enough for Kathy to crank open the louvered window. It's a lovely nest with a classic cup shape. Kathy lives in Seattle, Washington, which is still rainy and emerald this time of year. The nest was fashioned with a layer of twig in the center cushioned by an impressive gathering of juicy green fronds around the outside. Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2019 at Cat in the Flock
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We're still in the throes of a long-term project to replace turf with a blend of plants that are ideally both native and edible, or at least one if both can't be satisfied together. I'll describe the very important turf remediation project in a future post dedicated to one of my favorite topics, mulch. But for now let's talk about the super fun part of gardening: putting in new plants. Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2019 at Cat in the Flock
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I apologize for leaving you hanging--on the fence, so to speak, over the winter, when I mentioned we had another solution in the works to screen the view of the apartment building that looks down into our little 1/4-acre. But here it is: trees. Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2019 at Cat in the Flock
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This past Saturday we had a spare moment to catch our breaths and wound up at a place called Architectural Artifacts St. Louis. I follow them on Instagram (@architecturalartifactsstl), where I'd found out they had a crate of bricks salvaged from the St. Louis Arena, unearthed after 20 years. Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2019 at Cat in the Flock
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We recently signed a new client: Kuuhubb, based in Helsinki, Finland. To kick off our new project together the right way, they flew me to HQ for a couple days' work with the team. Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2019 at Brunette Games
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I suffer from terrible jet lag, as I've mentioned on the blog previously. When I flew to Copenhagen last year, I tried to adjust slowly a week ahead of time, by wearing a watch set to Copenhagen time and psyching myself out that it was actually that time. This is enormously difficult, as your body tends not to buy the ruse - 'What are you talking about? Go to bed NOW? It's totally daylight.' But my jet lag WAS mildly better on that trip, so the effort wasn't for nought. Still, I knew there had to be a better way, so I asked my herbalist, Amanda Jokerst of Forest & Meadow, if she could craft a formula to specifically counter the effects of jet lag. Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2019 at Cat in the Flock
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We came back from Helsinki raving about what an awesome quality of life Finns have, and we'd like to give you a rundown of the three main areas that make it so. Finnish style is both Old World European and cutting-edge modern, and that's reflected in the cuisine, physical activity, and design. Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2019 at Cat in the Flock