I never get tired of discussing politics. Online, I post my opinions, share ideas I find interesting, and I always try to be in the loop of what’s happening around the globe as much as I can.
Most of the time, this much-needed exercise leaves me teary-eyed and broken-hearted. But THIS time, reading about the manifestations against Bolsonaro all around Brazil, I felt a profound sense of pride in my people.
Those of you who have been following me for some time probably know how much disgust I feel towards the current Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro.
(long post about Brazilian Politics after the cut. There’s a list of amazing NGOs doing awesome work at the end of the text if you can/want to help the situation of the many groups at risk in Brazil right now. They include LGBTQIA+ groups, Indigenous people, Black communities, feminist movements, and NGOs focused on proper education and food for impoverished children).Continue reading “Ele não :)”
At the end of November 2019, I moved from São Paulo, Brazil, to Extremadura, Spain, to build a new, better life.
In March, when the quarantine started, I was one month into my Spanish classes, looking for a driving instructor, and dreaming about the Spanish Summer and its countless festivals. Apart from that–since I was now in Europe–I was also making plans and raking in the money I’d need to fulfill two old dreams. To start my master’s in scriptwriting and visit the Book Fair in Frankfurt.
2020, I told myself, would be the year everything would change for me.
And, well, I was right… but I never, in my wildest dreams, could I have imagined how much.
The first thing I did when the stores and schools closed–and when Frankfurt announced we wouldn’t have a book fair–was to go back to the drawing board and plan my year again. I made time to study Spanish on my own at home, selected online writing courses I wanted to take, devised a plan to increase my income, and studied the scary numbers in my bank account, wondering if I’d be able to survive and for how long. Needless to say, most of my plans and attempts failed or were abandoned along the year, but I managed to fulfill three of them:
- Study Spanish
- Work on my first Visual Novel (A mix of writing, illustration, and programming–three things I absolutely adore)
- Study Writing (My list was composed of character arc, story structure, and English grammar–I study this last one all the time since English is not my first language)
People now say my Spanish is good, and my first Visual Novel, “Love the Guard, be the King,” is published, free, and ready to be played. By the way, it now has more than 11,5k views and an average 5/5 star review, so if you’d like to play it too, here’s the link!
As for my writing…
I don’t want this to become another “diary of the quarantine” kind of thing, so allow me to say just one thing before moving on. On January 1st, while I defined my goals for 2020, I wrote in my notebook, “Win a Watty Award and become a Wattpad Star.”
Well, kids, let me tell you something–that’s exactly what I did.
And Goddess, what a feeling it was to see my book (link for the free version!) showing up in that glorious live-streamed event announcing the winners. What a feeling it was to receive the invitation to the Wattpad Stars afterward. What a dream it was to wake up a week, a month, two months after that and to see that it had indeed happened!
I, who always studied thanks to scholarships and the generosity of others. I, underpaid and overworked from 14 to 28 (yes, years old). I, in the same measure lucky and hard-working. *I* am now the first Brazilian who won the English version of the Watty Awards, one of the biggest worldwide writing contests online.
This is not to say everything is amazing here, because it’s definitely not–in fact, I’d say it’s quite the opposite mentally, physically, and financially, but…
Holy shit, I’m proud of myself.
I’m now 29 (still underpaid and overworked, but hey… nothing changes overnight), and I don’t have much to my name except my books and my bills, but this gives me hope and energy. If I managed to catch the attention of one of the biggest reading platforms on the web, and if people are liking both my book my game so much, maybe I can get there.
And no matter who or where you are, I just hope this can inspire you to think positive too and to look kindly at this new year before us. Sometimes life doesn’t help. Sometimes, the weight is too much to keep smiling… but let’s do it together, all right? I’ll be cheering for you. Maybe we’ll make it this year.
Kids, listen. This is for 2021:
I will make it. We will.
See you all in my next post 😉
Oh, Hey! And if you’d like to receive news about my Visual Novel games, Books, and new projects, make sure to sign up for my newsletter!
Before we begin… I’ve decided to write this post and share my story with the gaming community after seeing and purchasing this amazing game bundle on Itch.io. These eleven developers, together, already helped to raise almost 50k dollars in five days for The Okra Project, and, with 15 more days ahead, I’m sure they’ll help them even more.
Contribute too! All of the money goes to an amazing cause and you even get a fantastic bundle of games to explore different worlds, narratives, characters, and desires.
Go to Itch.io, get 14 amazing games, and spread some love today! 🙂
And now for my story…
I have a bachelor’s degree in Game Design and I’ve worked with a few Brazilian game studios as Art Assistant, QA tester, project manager, and (later on) on the business side of things, as Game Licensing Analyst. Long story short, it wasn’t a great experience for many, many reasons, so I quit the gaming industry and promised never to look back.
I continued to play games–alone–while I moved towards the world of design and writing. As my passion for storytelling solidified through my books, my roots in the gaming world led me to, once more, seek for this unique, active interaction we can only have in games.
In specific, my adult life led me to an old vice.
Visual Novels are a special genre of game that mix everything I’m absolutely passionate about: stories, illustrations, and interacting with narratives–in this case, through choices that can completely change your gaming experience.
Technically speaking, they’re often a static background with drawings of characters (also called “sprites”) on top. The text shows up as you click or tap, and sometimes you have options that may lead you to get closer to a character, to uncover the mystery behind an assassination, or, simply, to conquer the world–the possibilities are endless, just like in books.
Sure, some might be fancier than just static BG+character, but most are not. You might’ve understood my point already: visual novels are much more approachable to developers. Maybe because of it, marginalized developers have found in them a great way to express their voices. This means we’re sure to find in Visual Novels three of the pillars I consider more important in the entertainment world: diversity, inclusion, and bravery.
Like no other type of media in the entertainment industry, Visual Novels provoke and challenge. They question, poke, and cut deep with the visceral desire to express unheard or misrepresented voices. I’ve cried, laughed, and was drowned in thought with them. I’ve fell in love with games again.
But that’s not all.
When I started to create my own visual novel and (admittedly very shyly) joined a community of Visual Novel creators, I saw how different this community is. Instead of seeing the toxic environment I was used to when I worked in games, I saw warm people who really just want to be heard, to tell amazing stories, and to create games.
I fell in love with this community and its members, and I thank them because now I actually feel myself represented in the gaming industry.
My heartfelt thank you to all the Visual Novel developers out there. And if you’re a developer yourself, make sure to leave a comment with a link to your game, so I can check it out. ♥
I’m seeing way too many horrors happening in and outside my country. There is something wrong, on a basic human and moral level, with people who treat other people as if they’re less than human because of ANY REASON.
I’m saying this because of what happened with Marielle Franco, a black Brazilian woman, politician and feminist who was murdered in 2018 and whose murder was never solved. I’m saying this because of João Pedro, the 14-yo black CHILD who was murdered FOUR DAYS AGO in his own living room in Rio de Janeiro, shot by the police. And I’m saying this because of George Floyd, a black man murdered in broad daylight in Minnesota, also by the police.
I’m saying this because humorists in Brazil think it’s okay to say shit about disabled people.
I’m saying this because the beauty industry has been pushing people into absurd beauty standards.
I’m saying this because I’m ALWAYS in a constant state of fear something bad will happen to me or my queer friends.
I’m saying this because there are STILL young girls who are forced into arranged marriages.
I’m saying this because kids are STILL handed uzis and thrown into wars.
And I’m saying this because the French Revolution in 1789 brought for the first time the notion that says, under the feminist writing of Olympe de Gouges:
“The purpose of any political association is the conservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of woman and man; these rights are liberty, property, security, and ESPECIALLY resistance to oppression.”
The political associations we have today, more than TWO HUNDRED years later, are DEFINITELY not giving a shit about that.
We need to resist these oppressions. As writers, we need to speak up about our views and beliefs. As readers, we need to support and spread the word. As humans, we MUST come together and we must SEE, understand, and try our best to be empathic about each other’s pain.
I’m Ligia Nunes and I’m fucking angry.
Still, I have hope…
Djamila Ribeiro, a black, Brazilian masters in Political philosophy, writer, and reporter, taught me that to be a true ally, you have to help those who are suffering in silence by supporting their voices and listening to them. She defends that black people should be the ones explaining their pain, that women should be the ones explaining their problems, and that’s what I’d LOVE to see you doing.
If you already have or if you feel like writing your own story about racism, prejudice, misogyny, etc, please do it, then send me the link. I’ll do my best to read them all and spread the word.
Histórias Curtas – episódio 2
Já fazia três meses que estávamos em Opala, a maior cidade industrial de todos os reinos. Saídos de Malaquita, a principal área agronômica de todo o continente, era difícil para mim e para meus pais nos acostumarmos com toda a fumaça no horizonte vermelho da cidade — uma imagem enferrujada e suja de óleo de pistão, como todo o resto desse maldito lugar.
Infelizmente para mim, este também era o novo centro comercial de Cinco Cidades. Era aqui que meu pai, pioneiro na utilização de máquinas a vapor na agricultura, deveria estar. Deixamos para trás três dos meus irmãos mais velhos e duas irmãs — somos uma família bem grande — e trouxemos conosco somente esse pitoquinho de gente, que agora está esparramado no tapete em frente à lareira.
“Você vem, Ângela?”, mamãe perguntou.
Ergui os olhos e meus ombros saltaram quando eu encarei uma versão muito detalhada dos olhos castanhos de Mamãe. Tirei meu supernóculos e o pousei no colo, junto com meu ponto-cruz. Mamãe, muito mais do que qualquer um de nós, parecia sentir falta do que tivemos que deixar para trás.
“Pensei que fôssemos descansar hoje. É domingo, esqueceu?” Esfreguei os olhos com os dedos, até eles se acostumarem com minha visão normal outra vez.
Mamãe ergueu uma sobrancelha e puxou seu xale, ajeitando-o em volta dos ombros. Ao invés de seguir a última moda em Opala, com suas muitas tiras de couro, cartolas e óculos de aviador, mamãe preferia as boas couraças que usávamos em Malaquita, mesmo que seu visual interiorano destoasse por completo do que um morador da cidade grande deveria usar.
“Não me lembro de ter feito acordo nenhum”, ela disse.
Suspirei, rolando os olhos.
“Escute, mamãe. Domingo passado foi cansativo o suficiente. Você sabe o quanto eu adoro fazer caminhadas e ficar ao ar livre, pisando em poças de água, deixando meus cabelos com cheiro de fuligem e sujando minhas botas nas muitas poças de lama e nojeira que—”
“Você está sendo irônica…”
“É claro que sim!”
“…Com a sua mãe?”, completou em tom pergunta, estreitando os olhos.
Apertei os lábios, encarando-a em silêncio. Só a Deusa sabe em quantas enrascadas eu já me meti por culpa da minha língua afiada. Pigarreei e tentei lhe oferecer uma risadinha constrangida.
“Ora, mamãe, mas é claro que… veja bem, considerando o tempo e a posição da lua no céu… e também a umidade do ar, o cheiro de terra molhada e a textura do vapor na janela…”
Ela não respondeu. Mamãe franziu as sobrancelhas e caminhou a passos leves até o hall de entrada. Ela apanhou alguma coisa ao lado do aparador. Abriu portinhas, puxou capas, fechou fivelas. Quando voltou à minha frente, Mamãe tinha um desafio nos olhos, um escudo nas costas e uma espada longa presa na cintura.
“Vou perguntar outra vez, Ângela. Você vem?” Completando suas palavras, me entregou meu arco e aljava.
Bufei, deixando as costas baterem contra o encosto da poltrona. Coloquei meu ponto-cruz com cuidado no braço da poltrona e me levantei devagar, sentindo os ossos das costas estalarem.
“Nós duas precisamos do exercício, querida. Além disso, Opala tem duas vezes o número de criminais que Malaquita tinha… quem você acha que vai fazer alguma coisa para impedi-los?”
Fiz uma careta, grunhindo enquanto passava o arco por um braço, prendendo-o nas costas.
“Nós vamos, aparentemente.”
“Isso.” Com um sorriso largo, Mamãe me deu um beliscão orgulhoso na bochecha e se virou para a porta de entrada, saindo por ela sem esperar. “Agora vamos. Li no jornal da manhã que alguns membros da adaga oculta atacaram outra joalheria na noite passada e que saíram sem levar nada — exceto um pequeno colar de cobre com o símbolo de Tau engravado.” Ela estreitou os olhos e se virou em minha direção sem conter a animação em sua voz. “Você sabe o que isso significa, Ângela?”
“Ugh.” Esfreguei o rosto com ambas as mãos. “Ah não. Outro necromante não!”
Mamãe soltou uma risadinha e se inclinou para soprar um beijo para minha irmã mais nova. Depois, ela saiu pela porta de entrada, repetindo — de novo e de novo — as regras de segurança em uma luta contra mortos-vivos.
Suspirei e corri para o fora sem conseguir conter um sorriso.
“Lembra do último necromante que enfrentamos?”, perguntei com uma risadinha.
“Como poderia esquecer? Seu irmão ficou com cheiro de vômito de zumbi por semanas!”
Rimos juntas, andando lado a lado pelas ruas estreitas.
Já fazia três meses que estávamos em Opala, a maior cidade industrial de todos os reinos. Mamãe, mais do que todos nós, sentia falta do que tínhamos e de nossas rotinas em Malaquita… mas nossa família ainda estava unida, ainda que não fisicamente.
E isso era tudo o que importava.