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Samantha Dunaway Bryant
3,162 followers -
Dangerous when bored.
Dangerous when bored.

3,162 followers
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Samantha Bryant is a novelist, blogger, home cook, old movie fan, geek mom, middle school Spanish teacher, reader, and the lucky one in her marriage. She posts about poetry, recipes, books, comics, wordplay, and her writing life, mostly.

Her most well-known work is her Menopausal Superhero series which now includes 3 novels and a collection of short stories as well as a few individual short stories included in mutli-author anthologies. Each Saturday, she posts a bit of what she's been working on that week in #saturdayscenes #samanthascenes. You can follow that collection here: https://plus.google.com/collection/Y5kMoB

She's moved around a bit, having lived at least briefly in Bellevue, Kentucky; Morehead, Kentucky; Madrid, Spain; Mt. Sterling, Kentucky; Kodiak, Alaska; Kenny Lake, Alaska; Nome, Alaska; Middlebury, Vermont; Oxford, England; Emporia, Kansas; Chapel HIll, North Carolina; and Hillsborough, North Carolina. She'd love to get back to traveling again when money and life circumstances allow.

If you're interested in Samantha's work, you can find out more at http://samanthabryant.com or by following her here or on other social media platforms like http://twitter.com/mirymom1 and http://facebook.com/samanthadunawaybryant and http://mirymom.tumblr.com/
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#dailylight The thing I was dreading most today was shoveling snow so the eldest will be able to get out tomorrow morning and get back to college for her exam that got postponed for snow.

The snow plow that cleared our road had basically erected a snow fort at the end of our driveway.

But, the wall was no match three Bryant women united in purpose. We had it cleared enough for our purposes in under 30 minutes. Then we got cocoa!
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I'm listening to Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen's first novel as adapted into a wonderful Audible original narrated by Emma Thompson today. Thompson and Austen go together like a muslin dress and and afternoon tea, and I'm really enjoying it!

I hit this bit today, which is bit of authorial intrusion that later Jane would probably not have indulged in, but I'm very glad was there: her defense of the novel as an art form.

"Yes, novels; for I will not adopt that ungenerous and impolitic custom so common with novel-writers, of degrading by their contemptuous censure the very performances, to the number of which they are themselves adding—joining with their greatest enemies in bestowing the harshest epithets on such works, and scarcely ever permitting them to be read by their own heroine, who, if she accidentally take up a novel, is sure to turn over its insipid pages with disgust.

Alas! If the heroine of one novel be not patronized by the heroine of another, from whom can she expect protection and regard? I cannot approve of it. Let us leave it to the reviewers to abuse such effusions of fancy at their leisure, and over every new novel to talk in threadbare strains of the trash with which the press now groans. Let us not desert one another; we are an injured body. Although our productions have afforded more extensive and unaffected pleasure than those of any other literary corporation in the world, no species of composition has been so much decried.

From pride, ignorance, or fashion, our foes are almost as many as our readers. And while the abilities of the nine-hundredth abridger of the History of England, or of the man who collects and publishes in a volume some dozen lines of Milton, Pope, and Prior, with a paper from the Spectator, and a chapter from Sterne, are eulogized by a thousand pens—there seems almost a general wish of decrying the capacity and undervaluing the labour of the novelist, and of slighting the performances which have only genius, wit, and taste to recommend them.

“I am no novel-reader—I seldom look into novels—Do not imagine that I often read novels—It is really very well for a novel.” Such is the common cant. “And what are you reading, Miss—?” “Oh! It is only a novel!” replies the young lady, while she lays down her book with affected indifference, or momentary shame. “It is only Cecilia, or Camilla, or Belinda”; or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language."

You go Jane!
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#dailylight Snow day.

My snow day was so nice, y'all. I still had power and internet all day, so being confined to the house with my family (the whole family was here, since the eldest had come home from college for the eighth night of Chanukah) was really just lovely.

We took our morning so slowly that we had brunch at 2:00 p.m. and we meandered our way through a few tasks that weren't that serious or strenuous. School was called off for tomorrow by mid afternoon, so I spent a good portion of the day knowing that I'll have tomorrow off, too, which is a lovely feeling.

Tomorrow might be harder, now that we've gotten some melt and refreeze going on, but today was lovely.
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I finished my day with another new-to-me game: Adrenaline!

This is an all-out battle game. Each player is a fighter and we're in a battle to the death. It's a very straight forward arena scenario: collect weapons and ammo, use them to inflict damage on the other players, and try not to die.

I played a lizard-man, though it doesn't seem to make any difference (at least at the basic level) which character you play. They don't have special abilities or anything, just a cool mini and thematic art. This was a first time play for all four of the gamers, but all of us have played enough other games to catch on pretty quickly.

There are points awarded for getting first blood, doing the most damage, and getting the kill.

I didn't find the card art depicting how weapons worked very helpful and had to ask for the book every time I got a new weapon or power card so I could figure out what it did, but by the end of the game I was already getting better at understanding what the pictures were trying to tell me. I imagine it would get easier to parse if I played it a few more times.

The weapons were creative and cool (I really loved my CyberBlade, and my Vortex Cannon especially) and the board was well designed to place enough limits on how different weapons could be used that a player didn't automatically win just because they picked up a more expensive weapon.

There are some good balancing elements that keep it from becoming a dogpile on the weakest link as well: after a player has been killed once, killing him again is worth less points, so it behooves you to kill someone else this time if you're aiming to win.

All in all, a great free-for-all-no-subtley-kill-the-other-guy game!
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12/9/18
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My fourth game of the day was one I have played and loved before: Kokoro. It's a laid-back game which is not directly competitive. Each player gets a white board printed with the game elements.

You pull randomized cards that tell you what shape line to draw on your board and are trying to connect cute little bugs and flowers to different sanctuaries and to the two gods in the corners. The more you can connect, the better, but of course the cards do not always cooperate by giving you the shape you want.

There is a point system, and a winner, but there's no way to influence how the other players do (no screw your neighbor element). It's a nice, quiet game in that way. I've played it with other gamers and with more casual gamers. It's the sort of game you can play with your Great Aunt Edna and your eight year old cousin as well as with your more hardcore gaming friends. The art is cute and pleasing.

Kokoro is pretty different from most games I have played, so even though it isn't all that complicated, I feel as if you have to play it once before you'll understand how to play. Luckily, it has a pretty short play time, so it's easy to play two in a row: one for learning and one for doing it "right."
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12/9/18
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Game #3 of the day: Mysterium.

I really enjoyed this one which was new to me. Your theme is that all the players except one are mediums trying to communicate with a ghost to solve a murder.

The remaining player is the ghost. The ghost, a la Clue, has chosen a person, a location, and a weapon they are trying to communicate to each medium.

That's where the fun comes in. The ghost player does not talk, but gives you cards depicting dream scenes that should give you a hint which murderer, location, and weapon.

The cards are beautiful and a little trippy, rather like cards from Dixit. They can be interpreted a lot of ways, so what the ghost player saw in the card, may not be what the medium players see in the card.

In that way, the game reminded me of CodeNames, another game where you give clues that your partner-players may wildly misinterpret, revealing how we all think differently. The mediums are allowed to talk to each other and offer interpretations, which is both thematic and fun.

It's co-op in that either we all win or we all lose, even though there is still an individual element of who figured out their part out first for your more competitive gaming friends.

I'd really like to play again and try being the ghost next time.
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12/9/18
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For my second game: Sentinels of the Multiverse Card Game.

Another guest at the party and his wife are enthusiasts of this game, and my husband I agreed to play with them, along with another person. So a five-player game, with two enthusiasts, one has-played-before (my husband), and two newbs (me and the other guy).

I played a character called Captain Cosmos, who in my mind does a shaky yell a la Captain Caveman, using his own name as a battle cry. Captain Cosmos is a mystical dude similar to Dr. Strange who mainly plays a support role, adding power and protection to the other members of the team. He was a good choice since I could contribute, but didn't need to take lead. Useful in a first game.

I did get to make a powerful energy attack twice though, and scored the kill shot on our bad guy at the end.

The other players were Ra (sun god), The Wraith (a Batman-esque device using rich person), Akash'Thriya (who attacks with plants), and Tachyon (speedster). We fought Omnitron, a killer robot. The game comes with many heroes and villains, so it's a game that can become a new game every time you play in that who is fighting with whom against whom is always changing.

I enjoyed the theme, but found that my two enthusiasts were so excited that they didn't give me time to figure things out for myself, in terms of card combinations. So, at the end of my turn I wasn't always sure I understood what had happened or why. I think that means that if I play it again, that game will also still be a learning game.

It's a text-heavy game, all about combinations and power-ups, so probably not a game to play with your non-gaming or light-gaming friends, but very good all the same. I'll be giving it another go, I'm sure.
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12/9/18
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I was at a gaming party all day yesterday. I got to play five different games, which is a heck of a lot in a single day. So, here comes the game reviews/thoughts!

First was Lanterns. My husband bought this one for me some time ago and I pulled it out first when we arrived. We played with two other people who had never played, and it fell to me to teach it. Teaching games to other gamers is funny because it's more a list of categories and comparisons to other games than an actual set of instructions.

Lanterns is a pattern matching tile-laying game, with a set collection aspect. So, you lay tiles (randomly drawn) matching the pattern on at least one side. This awards all players lantern cards, with the tile-layer having the opportunity for the most gain.

That's where it gets competitive: you keep track of what the other players have collected in terms of sets (you're looking for four of a kind, 3 sets of 2 of a kind, or sets of 7 cards including 1 of each color), so you want to lay a tile that fits, and awards you the colors you need without awarding the other players the colors they need.

There are also tokens you can earn by placing a tile with a raft on it (a square at the center with an animal on it). These can be traded in to allow you to trade a card you have for one of a different color.

I like the competition level in this game. It is seldom fierce, but it is strong enough to keep your interest going. The resulting board is always gorgeous, so you feel like you worked together to create a piece of art while you played.

This one is also available on the IOS, where it glows gorgeously on my iPad screen.
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#dailylight A day for playing,

Today was Zargcon. It’s an exaggeration to call it a con, but it’s a little big to be called just a party. It started as a group of people who got together to play games during lunch. For the past few years, we’ve been getting together over a weekend in December for a holiday party that lasts long enough that we can play some longer form games together. That was this weekend.

My plays today: Lanterns, Sentinels of the Multiverse, Mysterium, Kokoro, and Adrenaline. So now I am exhausted. But it was such a grand day.

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12/8/18
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