Ask @yanderegumi:

Hey Lore! Sorry to be asking out of the blue, but do you have any job search advice (am a dropout w no experience orz, I'm probably too picky too, but seeing as you've considered dropping out, maybe you can kinda see where I'm coming from)? Like what to look for, what to be careful of etc? TQ!

Whatever you can think of to list as skills or experience that would be relevant, don't be afraid to put it down. If you know another language or are good with computers, that's often a nice boost. Put your resume and everything on different job search websites (like Monster, etc) because lots of HR companies search those databases and you get called up if there's a job they think you'd be a good fit for. Apply to lots of things, be consistent when you're filling out those personality/character questionnaires that companies make you do, and don't be afraid to try out for something even if you think you might not be qualified for it. The worst that can happen is that you don't get accepted.
My very first job was working as a private SAT tutor for a big college prep company. I got it because I did well on my SAT (98th percentile) and passed this audition process they had that showed I was pretty okay at teaching. I only applied on a whim and it ended up being pretty kushy so yeah, you never know what you might be hired for and honestly any job is better than being unemployed. You can get more experience that way or just at least have an income while you search for something that might be a better fit. Hope that helps!

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Recently I've been told that using phrases in English that use Japanese words like "That sounded so yandere", " senpai notice me", or "I'm gomen" is cultural appropriation. I was also told that taking Japanese classes and eating sushi is also cultural appropriation. What do you think?

I don't think any of those things are cultural appropriation but I'm hardly an expert on this kind of thing, nor am I Japanese, soooo....... If a Japanese person tells you to stop, you probably should.

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What happened to Machina Jewel?

My friend who was responsible for the art kind of lost interest/became too busy so we stopped working on it. It's very dead, haha. For a while, I entertained the possibility of reviving it with a different artist, but I've grown a lot as a writer (and game designer?) so I would have to redo almost everything and it's not really worth it for me. We're both doing bigger and better things now.

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How do you force yourself to write daily? If the words won't come, do you have any rituals or routines you go through to help get them out?

Dee
I split up my projects and set aside things I need to get done as "daily tasks". Like, "Today I have to write these two scenes and code this screen!" If I don't get those daily tasks done, I'm not allowed to do fun stuff like play FFXIV or buy the latest story for my favorite Voltage character. I have a reset ritual to calm myself down and get into a work mindset. Each project I work on has music associated with it and I loop it. For example, when I was finishing up the second BCM demo, I had one of the FREE! EDs on loop and ended up listening to it 200+ times. When I concentrate, I end up tuning the music out, but I need something there as background noise to get me into the right mood. For WWLOS, I've been listening pretty much exclusively to Kis-My-Ft2 while I work. If I find myself getting too distracted, I'll go brew myself some coffee or tea. The act of going downstairs and brewing that helps reset. If I'm still getting too distracted, I get someone to lock me out of social media. I've actually been locked out of DA/TH for more than a week now, I think, lol. That does help!
I don't force it if it's impossible because my work will come out subpar and I'll have to redo it anyway. If, for whatever reason, I can't write, then I'll give myself a break (within reason). Sometimes I'll tackle the problem another way. I'll think of why I can't write, what about this scene is challenging? Sometimes I'll rewrite the outline or get more specific with it. I might come up with a line or two of dialogue and call it a day. I don't want to just quit without trying to do all that I can and sometimes just doing that will make it easier to write the scene the next day.
Most of the time, the reason why I get blocked and can't write properly is just due to a crappy mood from lack of sleep, lol. So sometimes the best thing to do is just have a nap and try again later.

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would you consider characters from your vns to be your ocs? (ex: making a toyhou.se profile for shuuki) if they are different then what distinguishes them? also, would you ever involve your personal ocs in a future visual novel? (sorry for asking such a long question lolol)

A lot of my VN characters are collaborative, so I wouldn't consider them as OCs in the sense that they are *mine* like Aeneas and Orion. They were also created for a purpose, like we needed a more energetic character to balance out the cast, so ___ was born. My OCs are made just for the sake of it or for fun, so it's a different kind of feeling. At most, I'd put Natsume and the Elevator characters up on toyhou.se because I came up with them independently, but I don't think I'd put any other VN characters up. I think of them differently.
I actually would love to write VNs about my OCs sometime, but that would definitely need to be something I commission artists for and would be separate from Cyanide Tea or Lettuce Waltz, etc. It'd purely be a personal project.

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What do you think is the best kind of criticism? In terms of format and content. What kind of criticisms have you received that helped you the most?

Thought-out, objective criticism. I'm pretty open to negative critique as long as it's phrased respectfully. Sometimes people bring up something I'd never even thought of because it's from a different perspective. For example, the crit I got on Viola's route was very helpful. It helps me think about my writing in a different way. Even if I can't apply it to what I'm working on right then, I can take it into consideration for future work.

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Is it better to be loved or feared?

I mean, it depends on what you're going for? Like I'm pretty sure it's better for the CIA to be feared but if you're trying to be Miss America................it might also be better to be feared omfg get those votes from people who are too afraid to vote for anyone else.......................

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Did you graduate from college recently? I notice you keep saying this NaNoReNo that you don't have to worry about midterms and stuff this time around (WWLOS looks amazing btw, can't wait to play it!! :D)

NOPE I TOOK A SEMESTER OFF LIKE A RESPONSIBLE PERSON (I'm not a responsible person). I'm really close to graduation, I just didn't want to deal with school right now so I'm taking a break. I almost feel like I should drop out, but I can't commit to that and I'm SO CLOSE that I feel it would be a waste not to finish, so. lsdfjlsfgjdsf never ask me for college advice, I'm not sure what happened but I fell very far outside the average Asian-American student achievement average.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT THOUGH Auro and I are working very hard on WWLOS and we hope everyone likes it!!

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What was the first visual novel you played in Japanese? And at the time did you find the Japanese difficult to understand?

Technically speaking, it was Starry Sky~in Spring~ but I used a text hooking program so I barely looked at the Japanese text. The first Japanese visual novel I played "unassisted", as it were, was Hakuouki. Umm I basically ignored the text and only listened to what they said, which I only understood about 20% of the time, so thank goodness for otome bloggers and their route summaries.
Looking back, that was a horrible idea, but that experience inspired me to learn more Japanese and now here I am, so??? I guess it turned out for the best.

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Have you ever had a falling out with someone? How did you deal with it?

When I was in my teens, I was really obsessed with how people perceived me. I'd be upset and cry if I got an anonymous message telling me I was a bitch or whatever. Eventually, I came to realize that it's impossible for everyone in the world to get along. Sometimes you have personalities that don't mix well or you disagree on a basic, personal values level. Sometimes you're in the wrong and you can acknowledge that and repair the friendship, but sometimes you're just not good for each other. That's all there is to it. What the other person wants from you is not something that you can reliably give. So yeah, I've fallen out with people.
I try my best not to burn bridges. If I don't think I can be deep friends with someone but they can be a good friend to just... I dunno, talk BL with, I'm not going to cut them off, just perhaps not talk to them about personal matters so much. But sometimes people expect too much from me. The most common case I've had is just friends who were too controlling and possessive. I'm easy-going, but even I have my limits and values that I stick to. When someone wants me to push aside those values, I have to say goodbye.
So falling out with people sometimes can't be avoided. In those cases, if we were close, I'll tell them why I feel we can't be friends anymore, but if we're not that close I'll just unfollow them or whatever. I think the time we had together was valuable. We had good times and I won't let the end of the relationship tarnish that. But we're not good for each other and I can't keep up a relationship that I know is bad for us both. I allow myself some time to feel sad and recover afterward, and then I move on. Life is long and I'll meet many more people who do appreciate me and don't want me to be someone I'm not. So will they. There's no need to be upset forever and I don't harbor any ill will. (I hope this answers your question)

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do u own a vita? have you played norn9 or code realize or any others? if you have what do u think? if u havent whats stopping u from getting a vita to play those awesome otomes¿ ¿( ̄o ̄)¿

I have a Vita! (I often livetweet on @himepls so you can see Vita screenshots there) Or rather, I inherited my brother's Vita. He ended up buying himself a new one and let me have his old one which we used to share. We got this one not too long after the Vita came out. I really like it for the most part! The screen is great and VNs look so crisp and nice. There's a huge difference between the PSP Diabolik Lovers and Vita Diabolik Lovers... I just can't go back to the PSP now, so I actually love all the ports that are happening.
My main complaint is I really hate those analog sticks and now the buttons are too small. Why do we need two analog sticks, anyway???? Playing Uta no Prince-sama is hard because of that analog stick on the right. D: It keeps blocking my thumb so I feel like I suck at the rhythm game now. My hands are small in the first place, I need bigger buttons. T_T

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What would be the best Christmas gift you could receive?

Honestly, I like money or restaurant gift certificates because in-between paychecks sometimes I want to eat something nice and can't quite afford it, haha. Snacks (especially limited edition or just interesting/unique stuff) or things like hot cocoa mix make me pretty happy, too.
...uh, everything is food-related. I like heartfelt cards and books, too, but I haven't had as much time to read books as of late.

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Have you ever considered doing a game such as Huniepop, where it's not strictly a VN, or have you already done such a thing that I'm not aware of?

Break Chance Memento has some adventure game aspects to it and Spirit Parade has mini-games, but uhh yeah I haven't done a game where the non-VN aspects of it are very important yet. I'd like to someday, but I think my programming skills are sadly lacking, haha.

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Favorite EVN you've ever played? Also what's your favorite VN to come out of nanoreno? (Not including your own)

Oof this is hard. Frozen Essence (http://unbrokenhours.com/fe/) holds a very special place in my heart and Venus is such an inspiration to me. (one-woman VN dev army, seriously)
Cupid (https://fervent.itch.io/cupidvn) might be my overall favorite, though. It caters to my tastes so well and it's so polished! I pushed it at anyone and everyone, haha. I'm so glad it won VN of the year for 2015! Cupid was technically a NaNoRenO game, too, but I think only the demo came out during the NaNo period?
A NaNoRenO game that I really liked and still think about a lot is Green Eyed Monster (https://carrogath.itch.io/gem). It's a very fresh and bittersweet take on mahou shoujo without the male gaze moe stuff that plagues...some other mahou shoujo things. Come to think of it, 2015 was a pretty good year for EVNs, huh?

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Do you have a phobia? What is it?

I've gotten better about it, but I'm really afraid of/disgusted by cockroaches. I used to actually cry when I saw one. I'm really bad with most flying insects, like flies or roaches or crickets. Moths, butterflies, and bees are okay, though!
Everything else I'm afraid of is only within the normal limits... Everyone's afraid of heights to a certain extent, for example. I used to be bothered a lot more by flying but since my trip to Australia (so...many...stopovers...) I don't mind it anymore.

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What does true friendship mean to you?

Trust and honesty. Knowing that your friend has your well-being in mind, not just your comfort and amusement. Sometimes you will do/say something horrible or callous or just ignorant. In those times, a true friend should share their concerns with you and guide you rather than just blindly defend you or tell you what you want to hear or, more extremely, cut you off without an explanation.
Sometimes the truth is hard to hear. And on the flip side, being honest and risking confrontation is really difficult, as well. So to me, a true friendship is one where my friend can be honest with me and I can be honest with them. We may not see eye to eye all the time, but at the end of the day, we're always there for each other.

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How many games do you have on your phone?

Yumeiro Cast, IM@S Cinderella Stage, Neko Atsume, and then a bevy of Voltage games: Scandal in the Spotlight (I have it in Japanese and English because it's my favorite), Finally in Love Again, Two Bedroom Love Story, and My Last First Kiss. I actually don't play games on my phone too much nowadays.

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what are the differences between writing about other peoples characters (esp from popular franchises) vs writing about your own ocs? what do you like about creating content for your ocs?

I think the main difference is that when writing about others' characters, I don't have the same feeling of security that I have when writing my own. I'm a huge perfectionist, so I always want to do a lot of research when writing fanfiction, or at least get to know characters very well before I write them (especially writing things from their POV). As interesting as I find AU fanworks and stories that put characters in extreme situations that warp their personalities, my favorite kind of comment on my own fanwork is "This feels like it could be canon!" That's just the kind of writing I gravitate towards, personally, when writing myself.
Obviously, real people don't always stick to a bullet point list of personality traits. People do inexplicable things sometimes and their personality/values go out the window in specific situations or for specific things. So fictional characters should be the same way. I want them to feel like living, breathing people. When it's my own character, I know where those lines are. I know whom a character is more casual around and whom they might be more guarded against, or what might cause a usually reasonable character to turn violent or desperate. However, I don't always know where those lines are with other people's characters. I can make my best guesses, but there's always this worry of "Is this really in character?" looming in the back of my head. It can drive a perfectionist a little bit insane.
In the end, after all, I'm just simulating another person's character(s) and there's no way that I can know that what they're doing and saying in my writing is realistic unless their original creator comes to me and says "LORE, GOOD JOB." Sometimes that does happen and it's very satisfying, but of course it's pretty rare. ;_;
Writing about my OCs is the most satisfying for me because I get to explore these characters that I've very lovingly crafted. My OCs are extremely self-indulgent. A lot of times when coming up with a cast of characters for a VN or other creative project, I have to make sure that the cast is balanced. I have to make sure each character can serve the story in some way. But with my OCs, each one exists almost in a vacuum—at least at first. I can make them however I want and set their story to match rather than make characters that fit into a certain story. I can create the characters and character relationships I most love to write and think about, even if they're trash or implausible or ridiculous. ♥

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