Trisha Lynn, Administration

(aka Trisha L. Renken-Sebastian) …

When I’m asked why I like to write, I can’t help but think of an English assignment I had when I was in the eighth grade.

One of the biggest components of the eighth grade English curriculum at my school was learning how to write different types of essays. There is a traditional format which we had to learn. It consisted of an introductory paragraph (which contained summaries of the body of the essay), three body paragraphs which supported your introduction, and a conclusion which was supposed to relate the topic of your essay to the average reader. However, one of the major problems I had with writing essays is that I thought that the traditional format was boring.

I didn’t want to write essays in a traditional format. I didn’t want to summarize my experiences into a way that could make it relatable to someone else. I wanted to play with literary devices like shifting perspectives, non-linear narratives, and beginning a story in medias res. In short, I wanted to take words and make them tell the stories I wanted to tell, in ways that a reader would know that this story could have only come from my pen (or keyboard).

I remember using most, if not all, of those techniques in a reflective essay where we had to write about a life-changing incident in our lives. My essay began with a third-person description of a hibiscus bush what grew in our apartment building’s complex and told stories about the games a girl and her friends played when they were very young and about a time when that same girl went to hide behind it after a violent argument with her mother—both of which were slightly fictionalized for the greatest impact. It ended with a first-person description of that same bush, describing it from the vantage point of the “mature” 14-year-old I had become.

Looking back on it now, I can see how much pretension and presumptiveness went into that essay. I certainly recall that although it got a passing grade, my teacher rightfully docked points for not sticking to the format. But there must have been something about that essay and all the other essays I wrote in that class which led her to award me with a Golden Quill award, the highest achievement in English that anyone could get in our graduating class.

All throughout high school, I kept writing in an unconventional style. I turned in essays with anecdotal footnotes in the style of Gabriel Garcia Marquez or Terry Pratchett. Dave Barry’s humor columns became required reading for me. One of the best compliments I ever got from a high school teacher was that I was too imaginative for my school work. It’s a compliment I carry with me to this day.

The idea that one must find their own way to tell stories is what led me to create my very first web site where I conducted personal interviews with the anime and comic book fan-fiction writers who were my friends and colleagues. It’s what led me to becoming an editor for the Sequential Tart web zine, and later to a job as an editor for the now-defunct Wizard: Anime Insider print magazine.

It fueled me when I published three volumes of an indie minicomics anthology called Smut Peddler and took some freelance gigs while I tried to build up enough capital to start my own blog and small business as a writer and editor. And it’s what led me to join the Games Omniverse team as a staff writer and all-around administrative assistant.

Because, just like everyone else who is helping to make our games, I believe that, in order to tell a great story, sometimes you have to bend the rules of story-telling a little.

I look forward to telling you more about what we’re accomplishing.

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