A gripping origin story of a human bamboozled by brains
When I was very young, maybe six or seven, I remember spending an afternoon sprawling out between the branches of the jacaranda tree in our front yard, my mind reeling. Gazing out over the roof of our house, and breathing in the smell of our garden (rich leaf litter, with the occasional whiff of freshly-applied manure) I spent hours mulling over what my dad had explained earlier.
Despite it blowing my tiny mind, it was a simple concept: that not everyone experiences the world the same way. The shade of blue I saw wouldn't be interpreted the same way by someone else's brain, even if we both recognised it as "blue". As impressed and thoughtful it made me back then, it wasn't until I was fourteen (I still remember the exact moment this hit me, too) that I realised the extension of this: differences of opinion weren't necessarily caused just by differing access to information. Someone could know the exact same facts as me, but come up with a completely different interpretation! Our unique brain structures and lived experiences meant we would never innately share a point of view.
I needed to find ways to explain things, in ways that made sense to everyone else
I was also a child blessed with many chickens.
As a fairly introverted kid who spent most of her free time with her nose in a book or messing around with programming on a clunky beige computer her dad brought home from work, this was actually scary. Really scary. How was I ever going to communicate properly with anyone, when it was so easy to be misunderstood?
This began a life-long interest in finding ways to bridge those gaps - and as an avid writer, my primary medium for this was text. I found I had a knack for breaking down complex ideas into bite-sized chunks. Researching things I didn't understand, then creating little three to four page Geocities websites explaining the things, is something I actually did for fun.
Yeah. I was a weird kid. But it turns out, being a weird kid can work out for you if you really commit to getting very good at doing your weird kid things.
Turns out: people need nerds who like to do nerdy things; like ensuring our code still makes sense three years later, when we need to re-write all our Joomla modules
I spent the early part of my career as a website and Flash game developer, and found myself always being the person who wound up writing the documentation parts, because unlike everyone else, I actually enjoyed it.
I also kept on writing fiction (my main childhood hobby) relishing the contrast to my documentation and coding work. In fiction, the gap between a writer's words and the reader's interpretation wasn't scary at all - it was the whole point! I was fascinated with how my favourite authors could weave such powerful narratives with the lightest of touches: dropping hints about what was happening in a story, but letting the reader fill in so many of the blanks. Jokes were not explained: the setup was there, and you got it, or you didn't.
Geeze. Who's that nerd with a bird on their head?
A good puzzle lets you uncover the details for yourself
One of my robot arm drawings.
If you think of it in terms of art styles, say, a hyper-realistic CG rendition of a face, or a simplified illustration of a face - I prefer the illustration approach. I admire being able to communicate so much with so little. The best fiction, for me, is the kind that hands you bricks and an instruction manual, and somehow you walk away from it having built a house. And the house was full of characters you will now delve into the motivations of endlessly with people on Twitter for the next several months.
This about me page isn't fiction, but I've definitely gone the illustration route: I feel like the paragraphs above give you a better feeling for who I am and what I do than just linking to my LinkedIn page where I reel off my qualifications, work history and hobbies. But if you've stuck around this long, and you want a bit of that, then, here you go:
The part with (slightly) more career history in it
I graduated from university with a Bachelor of Multimedia. Over the subsequent years, I have worked as a website developer, technical writer, copy writer and usability expert for science museums, small to medium enterprises and government agencies, before branching out on my own as a freelancer. I've also worked on indie games, both as a solo developer, and as part of a small team.
I'm an avid tai chi practitioner, and have won gold at state level for my 32-step Yang-style sword and 24-step Yang-style bare hand routines. I'm working my way up to be good enough to compete at the nationals some time in the next couple years!
I love doodling machines (robot arms are my faves) and have a disturbing number of hours accrued in Rimworld.
Title screen for There Are Limits, one of my solo games.
Title screen for Pipe Dream. I contributed over 150K words to this visual novel, as the supporting writer.
I want to own more board games than could feasibly fit inside my apartment.
I love animals, big shady trees, and spending time around both.
In the summer you'll find me snorkeling around the natural limestone caves on the Swan River, and in winter you will not find me as I will be indoors under three blankets, watching the raindrops on the window. As someone living in a drier part of Australia, watching the rain fall never gets old.
Ok, we got out of pure resume territory again. But hey: nice to meet you.