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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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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
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We only had about three-and-a-half days to explore Helsinki around the time we'd scheduled for onsite work for Brunette Games. So we felt we'd barely scratched the surface. But I think we chose well, and that our trip was a good model for others to follow when visiting Helsinki for the first time. Here are the top 5. Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2019 at Cat in the Flock
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Helsinki, as we mentioned previously, is a great way to initiate your new overseas traveling habit. But there are 5 things you need to know ahead of time, rather than just winging it. Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2019 at Cat in the Flock
We provide a valuable service to clients looking for top-notch narrative design and writing through a professionally insured, full-service boutique studio. At any stage of the development process, we step in and bring a combined experience of nearly 30 years in game design and storytelling to our clients' projects. We... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2019 at Brunette Games
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We Americans aren't known for our propensity to travel much overseas. While some of us have had the courage to venture across the border to Canada or Mexico, less than 5 percent of us travel overseas to Europe or beyond. Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2019 at Cat in the Flock
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Kuuhubb has also brought onto the project Brunette Games, a leading narrative design studio with special expertise in the visual novel genre. Brunette Games has designed and written four previous books for three other apps, including “Choices,” “Crime Stories,” and a standalone game, “Sender Unknown.” The team is also credited with the narratives for numerous chart-topping match-3 games, including “Matchington Mansion” and “Lily's Garden.” Studio owner Lisa Brunette, who brings to the project 25 years’ experience as a published novelist and journalist in addition to a decade-plus in game writing, will write one of the “Tiles & Tales” books. Three other books are currently in development. Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2019 at Brunette Games
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A curious thing happened this spring here at the Dragon Flower Farm. All manner of daffodils sprouted up and rung their little bells to signal the change of season. It was curious because this is our second spring here at the farmhouse, and last year, we didn't get this kind of show. We think the latency might be because the year we bought our house, the developer who flipped it had basically razed the grounds down to nothing but short grass and nubs. Since bulbs won't flower again if you cut their leaves too early, they might have gone into a bit of shock from that defoliation and needed time to recover. The neighbors told us the yard used to be full of flowers every spring, and now we can see it for ourselves! Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2019 at Cat in the Flock
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But there's one aspect of yoga that never ceased to be a struggle for me--until I wised up and decided to cease with the struggle altogether. That's inversions. Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2019 at Cat in the Flock
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Our house turns 115 this year, and that's something to celebrate. Built in the year of the iconic St. Louis World's Fair, she's a solid, sturdy old gal with a few frills and flounces that tell you her history. Let me give you a tour. Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2019 at Cat in the Flock