pacific northwestern gothic:

  • you drive an eco-friendly car and you recycle, but you leave the lights on all night, just in case. 
  • you find yourself lost in an endless sea of coffee shops, unable to tell corners apart, trapped in a tightly woven web of independently owned shops next to smaller chains, kiosks in every open place they can be wedged. you lose time, lose sleep, and in your delirium, you fill another bunch card, redeem your free latte, and continue your fruitless search for a way out.
  • there’s a new starbucks down the street. there’s always a new starbucks down the street. 
  • no one’s ever heard of your favourite band, because they don’t exist. you could’ve sworn they did, you had all their records - real records, on vinyl, you’re a collector - just last week, but they’re gone now. you try telling a friend to look them up, but you find yourself unable to remember their name. 
  • on sunny days, you feel ill at ease. some things should not be seen in such clear light. your eyes are not adjusted to such brightness.
  • children on a field trip watch the salmon run, their flesh deteriorating from their living bodies as they beat themselves against rocks in a macabre last battle upstream to lay their eggs where they first hatched. the children watch for hours in the cold as the fish, some almost as big as they are, fight to reach their spawning grounds before their bodies fail and fall to pieces. on the bus ride home, they laugh as if they had seen nothing. 
  • your neighbours, your friends, even you, discuss proudly how progressive and open-minded you are, how different this place is from the rest of america - as they decline, we shake our heads, grateful to live in such a liberal utopia. here, things are greener. here, people are kinder. we don’t have dark secrets. you smile, because the state history curriculum doesn’t talk about the laws that stayed on book for far longer than we care to admit. you laugh, blissful in ignorance, or in avoidance, of the fact that we are no better, no brighter, than anywhere else. 
  • you’re tell yourself you’re a good person, who doesn’t judge on appearances. you applaud yourself for your open-mindedness. there must be another reason you feel so disquieted when someone who looks too different from you gets too close to you in public.
  • mount st. helens begins to smoke. something stirs at the bottom of crater lake. there’s a wailing sound coming from behind multnomah falls. 
  • a friend mentions that they’ve been hiking a lot lately, and you say you’d love to get out there more, it’s just hard to find the time. the truth is, you’ll never forget what you saw out there, in that deep part of the woods, at twilight, having long lost the trail. 
  • there’s a flavour you just can’t place in the newest limited edition holiday ale from your favourite microbrewery. you buy another six pack, and drink until you can’t taste it anymore.
  • you laugh at the religious, but some part of you wonders if it would be easier to sleep at night, believing something, anything, was looking out for you.
What I Associate with the Signs
  • Aries:fire, laughter at 2 am, finding new ways, achievements and ambition, distance, playing with hair, sailing.
  • Taurus:the sky, listening to music in the dark, a warm glow, neck kisses, desire, writing letters, traveling.
  • Gemini:paper, soft colors, in love with life, quiet breathing, standing with one foot in the sun and with the other in the shadows.
  • Cancer:clouds, sweater and shorts, the smell of rain, watching the world move on while standing still, learning something new.
  • Leo:wind, the joy of playing with a puppy, going out with friends, pride in ones achievements.
  • Virgo:the woods, perfecting a project, the smell of fireworks, wearing new clothes, being the shoulder to lean on, enjoying hobbies.
  • Libra:the moon, singing in the shower, passionate kisses, strawberry shampoo, sneakers and jeans jackets.
  • Scorpio:water, the smell of the ocean, adventure, climbing trees, feeling invincible, the sound of nature.
  • Sagittaurus:the earth, satisfaction, excitement, being the steady rock in a tormented sea, watching clouds fly past, silence.
  • Capricorn:the stars, talking to someone til the dead of the night, milkshakes, coconut icecream, the joy derived from and smell of new videogames.
  • Aquarius:dawn, writing in notebooks, the beauty of an instrument well played, understanding, going to your favorite concert.
  • Pisces:the sun, confidence in oneself, the taste of fresh watermelon, the feeling of sunshine on skin, the smell of a new book.

Here’s some unused enemy concepts from Attack the Light!

The Strawberry enemy was eventually reworked into a similar design that did make it into the current game (we really wanted a way for him to throw the strawberry itself!), while the red centipede enemies became an important late game character.  Originally the large centipede was to be an enemy that split apart into multiple smaller forms as you weakened it.

more pacific northwest gothic:

  • kids spend recess indoors, playing card games of their own invention with mismatched decks and scavenged objects, paying the playground no attention as the swingset swings by itself in the endless, grey curtain of rain outside.
  • the arm of the man in the checkout line beside you ends in a rough, abrupt scar just above the wrist. he catches you looking and smiles through his somewhat unkempt moustache and beard, and as he turns to go, you see the back of his jacket advertising the name of a local lumber mill. 
  • middle aged women at a party laugh easily amongst their glasses of mid-range merlot, discussing all the horrors they are absolved from blame in, because, after all, they voted against them.
  • whales are sounding off the coast, and for a while, you gaze out at the them, off in the distant ocean, in wonder. yet as their bodies slip beneath the surface and do not reemerge, you find your mind following them under the water, your wonder fading, a sense of foreboding moving to fill the vacancy. your eyes are fixed, unblinking, on the horizon. below, the sea sinks to unknowable depths, and above, the sky rises to an even more eternal blackness. you flex the fingers of your left hand. the flipper of one humpback whale could cover your entire body with room to spare. you feel powerless, and very, very small.
  • there are shanghai tunnels below the streets of portland, their bricks stained with blood and memory. though once used to move goods between the docks and their delivery-points, they lay now abandoned save to vagrants, vermin, and the occasional visiting tour. some may say there is no proof this portland underground was ever used for such nefarious purpose as its more common name suggests, but the ghosts who live there tell other tales.
  • on windy days, the elevators of the space needle slow to half speed. two women share coffee at a booth in the restaurant that spins slowly at the top, talking little, seemingly preoccupied with the softly shifting world just outside and far below the windows. one woman writes something on her napkin, and slides it across the table. 
  • you hear the wail of the air horns, the chiming of traffic signals, and the rush of the tracks, tell-tale signs as the coast starlight approaches station, exchanges passengers, and departs once more. on board, countryside and cities alike rush past, a blur of green and brown and grey. staccato flashes of light outside mark the miles as they grow between whatever you’re running from, and wherever you’re running to.
  • the distant peak of mount rainier is illuminated with a striking pink glow as the sun sets behind the hills across the dock. all around you, the surface of puget sound ripples gently. somewhere farther out, beyond your safe, shallow inlet, under cover of that gathering darkness, an unfamiliar vessel lets go its weighted cargo into the deep, black waters. 
  • there are days and discoveries in the diaries of lewis and clark that have never been read. your teachers always told you they were simply too busy to write every day, but children always know better, and you still wonder what was on the pages that have always been left out.
  • two men are seated at the table next to you, complaining about their recent gambling losses at what they feel had directly been hands of the native tribe who ran the casino at which they had so voluntarily booked their weekend’s stay. you hear one tell the other that he felt it wasn’t right - they’d been cheated, robbed, taken for granted. ‘those damn rich indians’, he spits, ‘took everything from us’. as they carry on, you finish your meal in disbelief, but not in surprise. 
  • your eyes sting and the cloudcover seems to glow. you can taste a forest fire in the air from several hundred miles away. 
  • sometimes you wonder what it’s like to live in whatever fantasy world it is that people live in who can see all of that science, and still refuse to believe that the climate is changing. you wonder what it’s like to look out a window in strange weather, or to see the river, higher or lower than it usually is this time of year, and not swear you can hear our planet’s death rattle. of course, you still drive to work when you could bike most days, but at least you know you’re an agent of your own demise. 
  • somewhere, a child lays awake all night, convinced that they can feel the juan de fuca plate subducting with every breath they take, their small body braced for the earth to crack, the sea to rise, and every peak of the cascades to let loose all that fire they now know lurks all too close to the surface. 

wanting to write poetry that’s too soft for air, the thing you feel when touched just so by morning. whole dizzying unfair gentleness of it, it comes & comes & so does this sadness, a peculiar rightness, the way you remember how clothing looked on the line in summer afternoons going stiff in the light.

Small Town Midwest Gothic:

- Neglected farmhouses that appear in the middle of cornfields. Nobody remembers building them. Nobody remembers them after they drive past.

- Wraparound porches that keep wrapping. There is no end, only porch. It extends into countless dimensions with the same empty porch swing.

- Cornfields, cornfields, cornfields, a cemetery with no entrance, cornfields. The contents of the field never grow above your ankle. The cemeteries contain huge monoliths with the names scratched off, large angels that glare downward, and probably a few forgotten civil war soldiers.

- Small square structures with no windows that used to be something else but are now libraries containing only donated romance novels and murder mysteries.

- The only light that can cut through the morning fog is the eerie green glow coming from the silos.

- Rivers flowing just outside the edge of town that have no bottom. No one knows what swims beneath the murky surface or how many they have killed. There is no sand, only rocks and bones.

Keep reading

Snowglobe and Spyglass

Sigrun’s peaceful moment somewhere in the Deep Roads. I doubt that normal people sleep fully armoured. Even dwarves wouldn’t do it (only Oghren would, but that’s merely because of different conditions of falling asleep xD).

Seems that poor Sigrun became some sort of my guinea pig. I wanted to try another kind of shading. It has its advantages, though it makes me to thrive on bloody details……that was exactly why I was doing this – to avoid those detailing……yeah, I was really successful with that.

Done in summer 2012. (:

See this and much more in my Deviant Art gallery here!