6 Tips to Using a Planner for your Mental Health

Hello, I’m Dawn and I’ve been battling my own mental health as far back as I can remember. I struggle to this day with depression and anxiety.

I’ve kept a journal off and on for much of my life. I decided in 2018 to keep one to track my days, so I could stop beating myself up about how much I didn’t do. A few months in, I used it for exactly that, and it worked, pulling me out of a downward spiral of self-hate. In my depressed haze I was discrediting how hard I was working, and looking back in time, I was grateful for what I did manage to do.

Depending on your particular hangups, my routine might not work for you, but I think it could help others. I recommend that you use a daily log, be it a spreadsheet, phone calendar, or physical day planner. Make sure it has all 365 days a year. Other than that, you can use whatever you please. I use a Hobonichi Techo because it had a cool Earthbound jacket, and getting something expensive held me hostage to make use of it.

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[DRAKENGARD 3] Cruel Miracle COMIC

Posting this here because I want a reliable source to upload the art.

Created for the Snow in Summer exchange @drakenierswap on twitter, for kadamidee who asked for angst about Accord knowing about Zero’s bad end. This was a fic that turned into a comic at the LAST POSSIBLE MINUTE because I thought it would work better. I think it does, but because of the quick heel-turn, it’s very unpolished. Oh well, I still like it anyway. :) I hope you did, too!

Zero, from Drakengard, walks with sword in hand, shadow of a dragon flying above her. The narration reads: "Zero, in her habitat as a creature in her own right, could be an interesting object of study. It is in my interest as a recorder to hope that my observations provide perspective."
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Chapter 8: The Hostage, and the TWS soundtrack!

Hi everybody!

Sorry for the delay on updating! It’s been a busy time preparing for the Channel A kickstarter!! So today I’m posting the missing page and the one I should have posted yesterday. I hope you enjoy where this subplot is going!

In addition, my darling Clark Powell has released the Official Those Without Shadows soundtrack! Well, the first part, anyway. There are a few tracks here that haven’t appeared in the story in any way yet! I hope you look forward to some of these. At least one will be appearing in a game in Chapter 9. Please look forward to it, and support Clark!

Now that we’re in the middle of con season, I also wanted to note the cons I’ll be appearing at now that I’ve got that together. You’ll be able to find me at:

DCAF: Dartmouth Comic Arts Festival: August 19th
Capercon: September 21-23rd
Hal-Con: October 26-28th

I hope you come visit me if you’re around!

-Dawn & Team TWS

BACKPOST: Chapter 7: The Conflict COMPLETE!

Hello my darling readers!

Thanks for reading The Conflict! This is the final page in Chapter 7. If it seems like a cliffhanger, that’s because we’re in a three-chapter arc that I’ve been referring to as the “Ganymede Arc”. Unfortunately, we couldn’t solve it all in the course of a single chapter. I promise, it’ll be good!

Now that we’re in the middle of con season, I also wanted to note the cons I’ll be appearing at now that I’ve got that together. You’ll be able to find me at:

DCAF: Dartmouth Comic Arts Festival: August 19th
Capercon: September 21-23rd
Hal-Con: October 26-28th

I hope you come visit me if you’re around!

-Dawn & Team TWS

BACKPOST! Chapter 6: The City complete!

Originally posted 31/05/2018.


Sometime before the previous update of The City game segment, my patreon pledges broke $50 per month. A long time ago I promised that if that happened, I would post the rest of the chapter at once. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice until afterward, but getting the Atini game online was pretty stressful. It was probably for the best that I didn’t worry about having these ready then, too.

But, here they are now!

Stay tuned next week for the debut of Chapter 7: The Conflict.

-Dawn & Team TWS

BACKPOST! Those Without Shadows: Back to weekly updates!

Originally posted 24/05/18.

Hi everybody!

Thank you so much for your patience! Today I’m updating with the next game segment: The City. It might not look like much compared to the other games, but I made it myself! Well, and with the support of Team TWS. Thank you, everyone! Moving forward, I’ve learned a lot about code and will be able to proceed on the game segments faster, by myself! With backup. I really cannot stress how I couldn’t have done this without Sean and Christian.

Now that’s taken care of, I hope to brush up some other things on the site, too. I realize that the game in Chapter 4 is in bad shape, and I can update the credits and about page. Look forward to that too!

From here out, and until further notice, we’ll be doing one page a week again, every Thursday. I hope you stay tuned! :)

-Dawn & Team TWS

[Devlog] PATRIAH The Bachelors #2: The Large Man

Please mind the Patriah content warnings when reading this post: Patriah contains depictions of physical and sexual violence against women. Above all, be safe.

Bachelor #2 in Patriah is referred to as “The Large Man” upon first meeting the protagonist. His name is Paul.

Who is Paul? Where did he come from? What does he do for a living? These are details that are difficult to get out of Paul. He’s a huge man, and the eldest of the bachelors. One thing is certain: he is not thinking about the long-term. Marriage is not his goal. His goal is sex: carnal pleasure and instant gratification.

Paul is based on morally ambiguous bad boys like Mink from Dramatical Murderand Robert from Dream Daddy. They’re the kind of men who have more going on than is immediately apparent. They have personal goals and needs and will do what it takes to fulfill them. Paul, on the other hand, seems pretty shallow. He wants your body and, given the opportunity, he will take it.

In spite of Paul’s aggression about his desires, Paul is inherently aware of the system that has brought him where he is, and the penalties he will suffer if he steps out of line. Where Joshua respects the game and the rules, Paul plays by them begrudgingly and would love to reject them as soon as possible. He is eager for Patriah to fail to play by the rules, so he can take advantage of the situation. Responding passively to his advances may seem safer, if you can endure him, but nothing will stop him (and enrage him) as effectively as polite refusal.

Paul is physically intimidating, and dwarfs Patriah. Compared to him, she looks (and feels) very small and fragile. The threat of physical violence by Paul is very present. He’s the kind of man who might remind women that turning someone down may lead to murder, and avoidance might be the correct response.

Be Careful, but be Kind.

Check out the demo!

[Devlog] PATRIAH The Bachelors #1: The Man in Glasses

Originally posted here, on Patriah’s itch.io page.

If you have played the Patriah demo, you should already be familiar with Bachelor #1, Joshua.

Joshua is a combination of a couple of dating sim tropes, as he is both the Glasses Guy and the Rich Kid. Joshua’s family is very well off, and happens to be a part of the Birth Management System that manages eligible women and their care. Did this connection get him a leg up to be one of your bachelors? Probably not, says Joshua. He believes in the fairness of the system and the lottery.

As someone who is very familiar with the Birth Management System, he knows all of the standards and rules as well as the loopholes. Joshua knows where he can get away with something, but more importantly he values respecting the foundation on which the BMS was built. If Patriah obeys the rules and behaves properly, Joshua is satisfied and content that he can win her over. If she pushes boundaries and defies those rules, he knows the arguments he can make to see no punishment in taking what he wants from her

Joshua is an example of someone at the center of a powerful institution that wants to keep him out of trouble. He is the Harvey Weinstein and Max Landis of an even more dramatic patriarchal system. Joshua will only act on his lust for Patriah when it is safe for him to leverage that power, after she’s stepped out of line.

You can play his route now in the Patriah demo!

Something that will be in the full version of the game that isn’t there now is Joshua’s interaction with the other Bachelors. When Patriah spends time with her other potential suitors, Joshua will become desperate. If you’re curious, I hope you play the full version to see his behavior.

Check out the demo!

[Devlog] Patriah in Overview

A/N: I just realized I hadn’t posted this here, so I hope you enjoy it! Originally posted on Patriah’s itch.io page.

WELCOME TO PATRIAH, and thanks to everyone for your support. I’m gonna use my first devlog post to talk a bit more about what Patriah is and the scope of what it will look like when it’s done.

Patriah is a game that was inspired by the way that, as a woman, I find myself having to interact with men. In conversations with other women, I found that they understood this problem all too well. We’ve all been cornered in places where we can’t escape – like at work – where shunning a man’s advances may mean putting ourselves in real physical danger. But not shunning him puts you in physical danger, too. What do we do?

In Patriah, the protagonist’s entrapment is very real. She’s lived in this mansion her whole life, and she cannot leave. She is finally able to choose her husband who will keep her trapped somewhere else for the rest of her life, where her job will be to have as many children as possible. She really has no say in anything, but the system she’s ensnared in is made to look like she does. I think it’s a case of one person along the way who understood that the women in these houses are people who have no control. Maybe he arranged this choosing to make himself feel better, or reduce the odds of suicide.

Now that I think about it, I made this game thinking about gender politics, but it also contains a lot about agency. I’m crazy about agency in everything I read and write. Maybe it’s a typical thing that you can find in my work, but can you have a conversation about gender politics that doesn’t somehow involve agency and power?


I read a lot of visual novels and dating sims, so I had them in mind over 2016 and 2017 when I played Ladykiller in a Bind followed by LISA the Joyful. I think that these two games happening to me so close together were responsible for Patriah. In early 2017 I started applying for game writing jobs and I needed to have a twine game to show for something, but Patriah was the only idea I had. In the end Patriah didn’t get me a writing job, I just had this terrible monstrosity of a game concept about sexism that I couldn’t shake.

Programming Patriah in its original twine form is also how I realized that yes, I could figure out how to code on my own, and then I spent 2017 learning a lot about programming.

I shopped around a lot to find the perfect format for Patriah. I wanted a game with a lot of choices that was text heavy. I wanted the story to rely on the words so that the reader could imagine what they wanted into a text — so that the men who Patriah encounters were monsters of our own imagining more than what the game wants you to see. Twine was good for this, but then I realized that it might be more interesting to lean into the dating game aspect that I had already chosen to use. That’s when I moved the story into Ren’py over the fall of 2017. I’m happy with how the game works now, with NVL-mode overlay reading long pages of text, and potential bachelors in silhouettes highlighting only one definitive feature about them.

Joshua’s route is available in the demo, and came out at around 6000 words. Once the other bachelors are written and their variables are taken into account in his route as well, I imagine it will be closer to 10,000 words. When complete, Patriah should weigh in at around 50,000 words, the size of a NaNoWriMo novel: one route for each bachelor and a classic “true route” necessary for any good dating sim. I want the true route to be a real surprise, so don’t let me talk about it.

Now that I’ve released the demo I’m going to be taking a short break to catch up on other work I had put off to get this out there. I’ll keep the devlogs coming, and talk a bit about each of the bachelors soon. I hope for Patriah to be released in full before the end of 2018.

Thank you! Check out the demo!

Patriah – Game Demo Release!

Wow, I can’t believe I forgot to mention this here.

On January 4th I released a demo for my very first game! (At least, my first entirely-independent, standalone game that is not a piece of TWS on the web.) Please check out Patriah. It’s a game about navigating relationships, power structures, and being a woman in the feminist dystopia.

Mind the warnings!

Check it out here!

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