Adobe Font Design coming next year?!?!?

Okay so my source on this isn't awesome. By which I mean there's no reason to think she wouldn't be reliable, and she has video evidence, but that doesn't mean it's coming next year.

Karen Kavett's latest video, "New Photoshop Features From THE FUTURE??," discusses (among many other things) a new software Adobe was demoing that allows you to "design and customize fonts in minutes," according to Kavett. 

The relevant part is at 5m25s. I tried to embed it jumping right to that point, maybe you can't do that anymore.

I couldn't find any other writing about it, in the 10 minutes I searched before going to class this morning, but that makes sense for a new product they've only just announced -- Kavett didn't name the software in the video, so I don't know if it even has an official name yet, or if that's being explicitly withheld.

Anyway -- I couldn't be more excited. Font design is one of the very small handful of functions that I really think Adobe should offer, which they don't. (Other functions include running my whole life.) I've put off getting into casual font design because while I think I could do it in Illustrator, it would be a difficult process in a software outside its comfort zone. I'd be outside my comfort zone, too, since I haven't used Illustrator since high school. (Things I should start getting better at again, number 117.)

Sense8: impressions

I just finished watching Season 1 of Sense8, and I'm glad I got around to it -- I really enjoyed it.

I haven't spent a lot of time with the philosophy and metaphysics of the series, so I may ultimately change my mind. (I'm particularly aware of that possibility with a film by the Wachowskis, because of The Matrix, which has more narrative holes than narrative.)

But I am absolutely in love with the relationship that the series has to its medium. It's like they built the metaphysics of this universe backwards from the question "What can we do with a camera?" It's a really, amazingly, brilliantly film-based series.

(Spoilers hereafter)

In the last handful of episodes, I started to realize that the mechanics also justify the series's action-movie-style events. The standard-issue action hero seems to have several careers' worth of professional experience, including more than one kind of martial skillset, plus the backstory of a normal, well-adjusted person, and a perspective and goals within the realm of sympathy for a standard human adult.

In Sense8, this wild inconsistency of persona vanishes in what becomes eight separate narratives about individuals with their own coherent pathos, plus seven other people's worth of skill sets and temperaments. 

When Wolfgang couldn't lie to get himself another couple inches to reach his gun, Leto -- a professional actor -- took over. When Whispers played chicken with Will's sense of moral obligation to human life, Will let Wolfgang take the wheel (figuratively and literally), granting him a moment of plausible utter disregard for human life without destroying Will's character.

I've only watched through once, but I was paying careful attention when I did, and I noticed a lot of places with blurry material continuity -- like, sensates who are not physically present picking up and handling things when they aren't embodying the present character in the scene. But I don't remember ever seeing a moment where it was consequential -- like, in Episode 12, Kala makes a bomb for Wolfgang and prepares a shot for Will, when she isn't present. The two men just sit there, but Kala noticeably doesn't help by manipulating materials until after they're in a position where they can do it themselves. 

Which is a long way of saying I'm really impressed with the attention to detail they give to their visual abstraction of the sensates' abilities.

Sense8 reminded me most vividly of two other peices of media: Inception, which also used an elaborate metaphysics to explore filmmaking, and the short story "'Run,' Bakri Says," available for free in audio and text at that link, published by Escape Pod in 2012. That story uses a metaphysical conceit to explore the mechanics of video games.

I'm excited for season 2, which I heard got picked up, and I'm excited to start digging into commentary by other people on the show. 

IT'S ALLIIIIiiivve...ish

Solarpunk Press is up and running! By which I mean the website works and there are two posts on the official blog. (One of them's a recording of me reciting a poem.) Submissions still don't open for another week, and it'll still be over a month before we have the Patreon up, and over a month after that before we publish our first piece of original fiction.

In the meantime, we're going to be doing a lot of preparing and a lot of practicing and we're very, very excited.

Back from Readercon with news

Wow, a lot just happened.

If you follow me on Tumblr, you might have noticed that I'm gearing up to open submissions for a new solarpunk web magazine! Submissions are going to open on July 27, which I'll definitely post about here. 

I spent most of today working on stuff for that -- so I have a whole lot to talk about, but I don't want to say any of it just yet. The stuff we've already said out loud, though, is that we're going to pay $0.03/word for stories between about 2,000 and 5,000 words, to do 12 issues of 1 story a month starting in October. We'll be setting up a Patreon account in hopes of making the project self-sustaining, and hopefully of making it bigger, but we feel like even if we have to pack it in after 12 stories it's worth it to get some good solarpunk fiction out there.

Also we're gonna podcast it.

I love Readercon.


If you want to know right away when submissions open, subscribe to the mailing list at tinyletter.com/txwatson. I'm going to send exactly one email out on that list, then delete all the subscribers, so you don't have to worry about ever getting spam from me there.

Decorated squarespace

My new blog looks less different now than it did before. 

The close-to-default look I had this morning was alright -- I mean, it was really nice looking -- but it felt, like, way too professional? Black and gray text on a white field didn't feel like the right look for my blog. 

It felt very unlike my home, and I want my blog to feel like a home on the internet.

I've had the yellow-and-pink archetypal lemonade color scheme stuck in my head for a couple weeks. I thought about getting new sheets for my bed along that theme, but I want to stick to cool colors -- that was the whole point of getting new sheets.

But I really like it here. It feels really close to the yellow and red-orange of the Wordpress, but less stuffy. That old design was starting to feel a little claustrophobic. (And I hated those gradients and shadows that made it all look textured. I'm glad this layout doesn't have it.)

Also, it seems the www prefix might not work for visiting my new blog, so until my URL is all set it's txwatson.squarespace.com.