SA McNeill

State of the Union Address

Posted by in Uncategorized

I logged in today for the first time in a while and saw that the last time I made an update to this blog was March. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if that was this past March  or March ’16, but my response was still the same.


I haven’t posted much here in general, mostly because I don’t know what to say, but I haven’t been idling. Doing so, especially in the world we’re living in now would only drive me nuts. So in the interest of posting something instead of walking on by, I thought I’d leave a brief list of things I’ve been up to. 

  • Working on a new book in a new genre under a new name that I hope to have out soon. 
  • Outlining the Noxus sequel that I’ll start working on when I’m finished with the above book
  • Playing video games
  • streaming video games which is surprisingly as stressful as having another full time job. This has been updated on my facebook page, though I’m not sure I’ll keep it there.
  • freelancing when I can get it
  • playing with cats
  • exploring when my body allows for it

There admittedly isn’t a lot here, but I thought those were the most interesting events of my life right now (and the least depressing). 

So there you have it. I’m not dead yet. Just busy-ish. 


Taking Time: a Writer’s Introspection

Posted by in Uncategorized

 I’ll figure out what to do with this blog one day. 

I know I’ve gotta post regular content, and I know it’s gotta be interesting, but I guess maybe I’m not that interesting? I don’t know. I don’t have any strong opinions I want to share with the world or won’t feel like I’m just contributing noise. I can’t really review things as I haven’t been consuming a lot. I feel like one of the only things I can actively do to help my writing career other than actually write novels, is maintain a blog but what’s the point if it’s not informative or funny or just attention grabbing? I am not used to having to do anything to grab attention (and that’s not vanity. When a six foot woman is out walking around, people look. The attention isn’t also positive.) I’m not sure how to do it now.

Maybe I’m just too milquetoast for all this. Maybe this was doomed from the start. Maybe… Maybe I already knew that from the start. But I had an idea fling in the it would be this way. But I thought if I tried, it would work. People liked my work. People I didn’t know, who didn’t owe me niceties. But that was before money was involved. Even when they weren’t asked for money, there was something standing in the way of them giving me that little bit of time. Like now that the was a price point involved, even if it didn’t involve them, they had to reevaluate. I don’t know if that’s what happened for sure. It just certainly feels that way.

There are probably things I could have done differently, but not a whole lot that didn’t require a lot of money. Rather than try to campaign for money for short term endeavors, I tried to build buzz, to do all the things they say you’re supposed to. But what they don’t say is that none of these things work if you don’t have money.

I’m gonna keep this blog and this site. I’m gonna keep writing, whether or not it’s the right thing to do right now. And maybe some day I’ll figure out what  to do with this blog.

EDIT: I know gripping isn’t a classy move, but it’s my blog and I’ll cry if I want to

Dealing with Criticism

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I’ve talked about criticism before on this blog. I don’t know if it comes across, but I’m not opposed to it. It’s a crucial tool whenever you’re developing a skill of any kind. It’s necessary as people kissing your butt all the time won’t help you improve. To get better, you need to seek it out.

With that in mind, around the time the hard copies of my book came out, I sent links to my book everywhere I could think of, trying to get feedback (and I’m still looking for feedback, so if you’ve got any, lay it on me.) After about a month, I got something back from this sketch site that I’m not going to name here. This site promised a sort of “standby review” that you can link to your site, sort of like what I have in the what people have been saying section of the Noxus site. It was quite the experience, to say the least.

These comments were made by a self-described older man who apparently didn’t have much to say. He didn’t like my writing; he didn’t like my ideas, and probably wouldn’t have read Rendezvous on Noxus if he’d had a choice.   (more…)

The Real Issue With Fan Fiction is Elitism

Posted by in calm your tits

Fan ficton(n.) –

  1. fiction written by a fan of, and featuring characters from, a particular TV series, movie, etc.
 Those who’ve never written fan fiction or had the desire won’t understand it, but I’ll try to explain. Fan fiction is, just as the definition says, a genre of writing. This isn’t to say that it’s better than any others or any worse. It just is. The difference between fan fiction and any other kind of fiction is that both the writer and the reader know up front that the characters and/or the setting aren’t of the author’s own creation. They’re borrowing it.


Pondering the Podcast

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A while back I mentioned I wanted to create a podcast for a variety of reasons. Creating podcasts seems to be the #1 advise being given to Indie writers right now, and this information’s carelessly oversimplified. It’s true that anyone can make one, just like anyone can make a Youtube video. But it takes more than just a microphone and a camera to make a good, memorable version of either.


Writing’s in my blood

Posted by in personal, the past is passed

[If you know me personally and have heard me talk about all this before, feel free to skip lol]

As far back as I can remember, I loved writing, even if I wasn’t ready to call it that, yet. I used to make up stories in my head or with the few action figures and dolls my brothers and I had between us. I can’t remember when I first started trying to put this stuff down on paper, but I do recall my 4th grade teacher putting a heavy emphasis on writing. (more…)

Something New

Posted by in game review, gaming

You guys may have noticed that that last post was something a little different from what I usually post. Well, it’s exactly what it says on the tin. I’m doing game reviews. I’m not sure how regularly these things’ll be posted. Most game review blogs thrive from talking about games that are new or popular and I don’t play too many of those these days, though this is me coming up for air from Overwatch. (more…)


Game Review: Lifeline Games 1-3

Posted by in game review, gaming, mobile game

Title: Lifeline, Lifeline: Silent Night, Lifeline 2
Developer: 3-Minute Games
Platform: iOS, Android, Amazon

Like most people, I’ve got a mobile phone but it doesn’t get much use. I text occasionally, I make calls when I’m away from home base, and every so often, I play games. I’d seen some mention of Lifeline online, but I ignored them, far too much of a down-low hipster to give into hype, but when a friend sent me a link to the game’s GooglePlay store page, I couldn’t pretend not to be interested any longer.

Lifeline is a series of games you play on your phone. You get mobile messages from a character in peril and it’s your job to guide them through and keep them level headed. The characters are so well written, it’s easy to forget you’re not talking to an actual person. With the first game in the series, messages were infrequent. If the character said she were going to sleep, you didn’t hear from her for several real-time hours, making this game play stretch over several days (can’t say that about too many story driven phone games). When talking to her, conversations can go from 5-10 minutes at a time. They’re mostly one-sided and when you do get to respond, they’re with predetermined answers, but you do get options.

Lifeline follows Taylor, a scientist who gets marooned on a seemingly dead planet when her ship crashes. In trying to find help, her transmission reaches you, the player. She takes you through her whole ordeal from trying to find food to surviving the night. When the game was over, I actually missed talking to her.

Lifeline: Silent Night picks up where the first stops with Taylor getting rescued. This game was a little less enjoyable for me because of how fast paced it was. Granted, given the events of the story, it makes sense that things go by quicker, but there was something alluring about the setup of the first one where you had to wait, holding your breath to see if Taylor would respond at all or if she didn’t make it. I believe the time between messages in this game ranged from 10 minutes to a half hour, but it’s been a while, so I can’t say with 100 percent certainty. The way the game ends is hopeful, leaving you wanting to hear from Taylor again. I, for one, hope she’s doing well. (Note: I’m not sure where I got the idea that Taylor’s female. I honestly can’t remember hearing the character explicitly say so. That’s just the vibe I got. I’m sure there are others out there who say Taylor is a dude. I think that adds to how good this game is. It absolutely doesn’t matter what Taylor is. You can see it as either or nothing and it doesn’t take away from the game at all.)

Lifeline 2 is the first departure from Taylor-centric stories. This time, you’re getting messages from Arika, a witch on a mission, who’s Taylor’s spiritual successor in wise cracks and her dedication to getting shit done. This game was more like the first Lifetime as far as time between messages and the length of time to play. I didn’t find Arika as likable as Taylor, but by the end, I was rooting for her all the same.

Despite the changes through the games, each one was fun and not just a rehash of the stories that came before it.

With the release of Lifeline: Whiteout, I’m trying to figure out if I want to play–no, I am going to play, just not yet. The main character isn’t Taylor (hint hint 3-Minute devs) but I’ve no doubt the game’s still going to be engaging and will keep my glued to my phone until the end.