All posts by Marina Neira

My name is Marina! ๐ŸŒ Iโ€™m a SFW furry artist and fantasy writer. I'm an immigrant, living in the USA since December 12, 2001. I became a proud American citizen on May 21st, 2021. Iโ€™m in my late 30s and married to a wonderful nerdy guy. Youโ€™re welcome to refer to me as she/her. Iโ€™m what you could describe as peculiar. I talk peculiar, dress peculiar, and have peculiar interests, to put it all mildly. I can be dressed like a five year old, drinking alcohol from a literal sippy cup, while discussing theology or George Orwell with you. Being this way has sometimes made it hard to find people I vibe with (I'm kind of out of place no matter where I go) but it has also led me down some interesting paths in life. I wouldn't rather be anyone other than myself. ๐Ÿฅฐ I'm the author of Meganeea and The Tale of Horus ๐Ÿ“š ๐Ÿฟ๏ธ I like saying that, but no one knows my books, since I'm still working on them. For commission inquiries please contact me at marina@marinaneira.com ๐ŸŒธ

A Happy Little Sleepover ๐ŸŸ๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ–๏ธ

Hi everyone! ๐Ÿ‘‹ How was your weekend? The LAN is over now, everyone is going home. My friend Shelly just left and so our Little sleepover is over as well. We had soooo much fun together! We colored, built a puzzle, played board games, watched cartoons and a Disney movie and ordered Happy Meals! It was the best night ever. I want to tell you all about it on this post.

๐ŸŸ๐Ÿ–๏ธ๐ŸŒˆ Saturday Evening๐ŸŸ๐Ÿ–๏ธ๐ŸŒˆ

Last night, before Shelly got here, I got everything ready with Ricky Parky standing guard over our many snacks, coloring books, board games and puzzles! It was a magnificent spread of Littleness.

I hadn’t brought down my crayons and coloring things in quite some time. It was nostalgic seeing them again. ๐Ÿฅบ๐Ÿ’•

(Umโ€ฆ Iโ€™d rather you keep watch over the snacks from a distance, Rickyโ€ฆ)

I had our first movie all ready to watch. The Great Mouse Detective. I hadnโ€™t seen it in ages! Itโ€™s Shellyโ€™s favorite, and I like it a lot too.

After this movie I introduced Shelly to Bluey. She loved it! Always good to indoctrinate new people into the Bluey cult, lol.

As soon as Shelly arrived, we ordered the perfect Disney movie night/sleepover mealโ€ฆ Happy Meals for dinner!

I ordered a cheeseburger and Shelly had nuggets. For our toy, we both got Lola!

After eating we began coloring while continuing to watch our movie. I colored one of my vintage printed coloring pages:

It was so nice to touch and smell my crayons again and to just, make positive Littlespace memories to replace bad ones. The whole evening was a healing experience for me. ๐Ÿ˜Œ

When we were ready to take a break from coloring, we played the Lucky Ducks game which was really silly and fun!

The pond board even quacked! The mechanism is so loud though, lol.

This photo of Shelly it’s my favorite of the night because it’s so cute:

The game was a bit dumb (in that, there was no real challenge but it was cute and fun regardless and we enjoyed putting the stickers on the ducks. ๐Ÿฆ† Basically each of you gets a shape. The shapes are in the duck’s bottoms. On your turn, you pick a duck. If it’s your shape, you keep it. If it’s not, you have to show it to the other players before returning it to the pond. The first player to find 3 ducks with their shape wins.

After Lucky Ducks we played the Mystery Garden game:

I like this game a lot and it was so nice to be able to play it with a fellow Little. One player plays the Gardener. That player grabs a card, looks at it and hides it. The card shows something in the board. It could be the pumpkins, the dragon, the sun, etc. The other players have to guess what it is by asking “yes” or “no” questions.

Each time the players get a question wrong, the Gardener can move a step on the board. If you guess the card, you get to keep it. The first player to get three cards wins. You take turns being the gardener.

Then we put together a puzzle! Iโ€™ve had this puzzle, a gift from
my friend Kitty (AKA Blankit) for the longest time, but there was never a good occasion to put it together until now.

We had fun building it and had some pretty deep discussions while doing just that. It turns out we had a lot more in common than we realized (including some sad things –but realizing that doesn’t make me sad, it makes me feel so much less alone. Ironically those conversations were the most important part of our time together.)

Here is the puzzle, all done!

I liked that the pieces were big. ๐Ÿ˜ I’m not very good at puzzles.

๐ŸŒž๐Ÿฅฃ๐ŸŒˆ Sunday Morning ๐ŸŒž๐Ÿฅฃ๐ŸŒˆ

This morning we colored a little more and watched Bluey and Courage The Cowardly Dog! Just some relaxing Little time before Shelly was picked up. It was really pleasant.

I didn’t get to finish my coloring because I do so many layers. Maybe next time!

Here’s a photo of Shelly coloring. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’•

It was such a lovely time and I canโ€™t wait for Shelly to visit again. It was everything I hoped it would be. Iโ€™m so happy today!

LAN Time!! ๐ŸŽฎ๐ŸŒˆโœจ

Today is the first day of the LAN! I was up early to head to Gamestop about an hour and a half before opening. I promised Christopher I would do whatever it took to get his Skyward Sword joy-cons. I was first in line!

They only had eight. I was able to get one! Later in the day, the game, which he pre-ordered, arrived too:

After I got home I spent the rest of the day prepping. Finally right before everyone arrived I changed into my usual “first day of LAN” outfit:

Grogu was my little LAN companion. He has a necklace now –I’ll post a photo of that later.

A little later people began to arrive and soon things were quite busy. I accompanied our friend Ezequiel to get cider and he got me an early birthday present, Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings Of Ruin! ๐Ÿ˜

Buuuut… for now, I have something much more important to play first… ๐Ÿ˜

๐ŸŒˆ Back To Domina ๐ŸŒˆ

As you all known I’m beyond excited about finally getting my hands on my Collector’s Edition copy of the remastered Legend of Mana for the Nintendo Switch.

Originally a PS1 game, it is one of the most important games in my life and one of those media experiences that was life-changing: like a good book, there is a time before and after Legend of Mana in my life. To be able to return to this world in HD is simply beyond amazing.

Everything from the art, to the music (most of all the music) is sublime and gives me chills. The moment when you place down the mailbox and the music begins I just truly feel like I’m home.

The story is kind of all over the place, still, I love it just the way it is.

The Sproutling’s description of how you create the world from your imagination is very “Neverending Story” to me (which also happens to be my favorite book.)

Domina exists once again!

But before I actually ventured into town, I went back to visit Li’l Cactus, one of my (and many people’s) fondest memories about this game:

Part of my reason to love Li’l Cactus so much as that growing up we had a cactus exactly like this one. Well, it didn’t have a face or keep a diary, but you know what I mean. ๐Ÿ˜… It bloomed once a year, I think for just one night.

Li’l Cactus, as his bio points out, is of few words. But he will write at length in his diary, as long as you go and talk to him after each adventure you have. It’s a pointless and adorable concept.

I didn’t get to record that bit, but after the above, he hops out of the pot and goes to write on those hanging leaves on the wood beam.

Here’s examples of his diary entries:

Then I did go to Domina, eager to see my favorite character not just of this game, but any and all games I’ve ever played:

I wondered in the back of my mind, why did I like him so much? I was soon reminded. Lol.

Add all of that to his uber-protective streak and he’s irresistible. ๐Ÿ˜

Every character in this game is delightful. There’s funny things and hilarious bits of dialogue all over the place. Repeatedly talking to characters is rewarded.

The first boss! I remember shitting a brick when his massive shape filled my TV screen!

The nice thing about LoM is that, while it has an overarching story (…I think?) it’s comprised of many little ones. So you feel a quick boost of accomplishment time and time again.

With Elazul and Pearl’s first quest complete, it’s time to meet another two favorites once again –Bud and Lisa:

I remember that the first time (just as this time!) I felt terribly having to defeat them, especially poor Lisa…

But, Bud is so thrilled by your might that he begs to become your apprentice:

I’ve played further, but I’ll share that later. I wanted to at least share this bit for now. I really, really recommend this game. Especially to fellow Littles. It’s such a cute and colorful journey.

New Toys ‘N Things ๐Ÿฆ–๐ŸŽˆ

I may have been getting a lot of toys and stuff lately… in my defense some of it was early gifts since my birthday is coming… ๐Ÿ˜… but it does feel like I’m posting about new toys/games/stickers like every single post lol. I may need to calm my titties a tad.

On that note… Christopher managed to get the goodies I asked for during his business trip. With his coworkers, he went all out of his way to go to the Dinosaur World gift shop for me! He got me this awesome holographic framed print. I love it so much!

The other thing I’d asked for was this raptor lamp. It’s so cute!

Today I also went to pick up my new Grogu. He is extremely adorable, perfect to carry in my bag and even be dressed up. ๐Ÿ˜ I’ll make him a bead name necklace soon.

When Christopher drove me to pick Grogu up from Target (he was a site-to-store order) he also bought me this cute game to play with Shelly this Saturday night:

I’ve actually wanted this game for years to bring to previous Little playdates. In retrospective I’m glad I didn’t get it until now.

After I got home I continued LAN prep and fed/cleaned the snail tank:

They haven’t had cucumber in over a month! It’s a big treat for them.

That’s it for this post! I’m tired…

Legend Of Mana: Collector’s Edition ๐ŸŒณโœจ

(Cursed GIF, my apologies.)

Today is an incredible, amazing, long awaited day! My Remambo package arrived with my collector’s edition of the remastered version of Legend Of Mana for the Switch!

I placed my order back in February I think? I don’t remember exactly, other than the game had just been announced and this edition had popped up for sale only on Square-Enix’s Japanese site for sale in Japan only. Now… I’ve gone on and on about this in multiple platforms, but Legend of Mana was a life changing game for me. It’s hard to explain what it means to me and why. It’s the first game I completed. It’s the first game that made me cry. The music still gives me chills.

I paid more for this edition when all is said and done (including shipping, shopping service fees, and the game itself) than I ever have for any game. Now that I’ve beheld what I got for my money I can tell you I could have paid twice as much as been just as happy. It’s incredible.

For starters, while the game was well protected, padding was minimal: the size of the box was almost the size of what I received! Just look at the comparison with the Switch game case. The goodies box is huge!

The sides of the goodie box are made to look like a book, something that is more evident when you remove the beautiful protective cardboard sleeve:

Opening that sleeve, you are greeted by the remastered soundtrack (two beautiful CDs) and of course, the one and only… Li’l Cactus!! ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒธ

The gorgeous CDs have Elazul and Pearl as the CD art:

Close-up of HIM!! Original videogame daddy husbando ๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ’ง

Now for the art book, hardcover and generously sized!

Truly a beauty, I was speechless…

My one and only gripe about it all, was that they didn’t make at least a few of the backgrounds full page. Or even two to a page. That is a missed opportunity to enjoy their beauty if you ask me.

Anyway, Li’l Cactus quickly found his new home upon my desk:

All of this stuff had me pretty overcome. I decided to put the game cartridge in for the hour of truth: would there be an English option or would I have to buy the digital English version? The entire box was in Japanese so I was mentally prepared for the latter.

What I was not prepared for (because I missed the release of it a month ago) was this sublime cinematic, a remake of the original opening:

I was shaking with tears going down my face when it was done, something this game repeatedly has the ability to do to me. This is the original cinematic, which for all its kitschiness (honestly, it looks like a PowerPoint presentation at times) continues to fill me with emotion to this day:

The new version is a perfect nostalgic reimagining, with the character and weapon selection progress flawlessly embedded into the visuals. It is simply perfect. I must have watched it six times already. ๐Ÿ˜…

I did confirm after the cinematic was over that the language selection was there, with English as my default. So truly, everything is perfect. Expect much LoM talk over the next couple of months!

Today’s Odds and Ends ๐ŸŒˆ

Hi everyone! ๐Ÿ‘‹ Iโ€™m still working hard on final LAN party prep. Today I went to the craft store and to do some last minute grocery shopping. I wore a very Little-feeling outfit:

I also got a good walk in, so that was nice. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Hereโ€™s some video and such of Tomoyo being her good old destructive little self:

She seemed satisfied when she was done.

Some postcards I ordered for scrapbooking arrived yesterday!

The packaging was so delightful that I honestly feel tempted to get back into Postcrossing. I was big into it a long time ago!

The store I bought this from, as you can see, is geared towards Postcrossers. So yeah. Might do that again.

They even included a tiny envelope with bonus stamps! ๐Ÿ“ฎ

I canโ€™t get enough of collecting more scrapbooking stuffโ€ฆ ๐Ÿ‘‰ ๐Ÿ‘ˆ๐Ÿ’ง So, uuuh, hereโ€™s some more I guessโ€ฆ

I also made a new necklace today with some stuff I got at the craft store. Iโ€™m really happy with how it turned out!

Not much else to say because Iโ€™m so busyโ€ฆ Iโ€™m sure Iโ€™ll have a lot to post about next week, though!

A Rainy Tuesday: Little Stuff + Ultrasound โ˜”๐ŸŒ

Iโ€™m not dying of breast cancer!

…YET.

So, context. You may remember I started having breast ultrasounds a year and a half ago because my doctor found a lump. That was scary. So it turned out, my breast tissue is kinda fucked up, though it’s not exactly abnormal. I have several cysts.

This isn’t uncommon, but not super normal either. One particular cyst/mass was a bit different and all the ultrasounds are to monitor it multiple times a year for two years. So far so good –today was my third. But today I was very scared.

The reason is that two months ago I began having localized pain in one of my breasts. On a very specific spot. It was bothersome and scary. I was prepared to need at a minimum a biopsy… turns out an old cyst decided to start shrinking, and that’s been causing the annoyance.

When I was told all was good today, they told me it’d been two years and I needed no more tests until 40. So when, 15 minutes later, I got a phone call telling me the doctor wanted me to return in six months, I was apprehensive.

Turns out they’d just miscalculated, and it’ll be two years in six months. So basically that’s my boob story. I’m kind of acclimated to the idea of getting some sort of cancer because I think that’s more common the longer humans manage to live. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ So I’m careful and prepared.

(I say coolly, after pissing my pants in fear for days)

๐Ÿฑ Kitty Ramble ๐Ÿฑ

Look into the void and despair:

She was crying at me because I was leaving the house to go for my ultrasound.

I post a lot about Tomoyo (even though my favorite, my โ€œheart catโ€ is my little Rosie) because Tomoyo is the worst cat Iโ€™ve ever had, in many ways. Her health is, to put it in plain terms, generally “not great”. She almost died as a kitten, I nursed her through a particularly terrible night, lying her on my chest trying to keep her fever managed. She has asthma, and when I call her neurotic I mean that in a clinical, not in a funny way.

She has many destructive compulsions. She is very high strung, almost feral, and responded poorly to the many anxiety meds we tried. Add to her health issues (physical and mental) the fact that giving any medication to this cat is a terrible ordeal. You name it, we’ve tried it. It often ends in blood (ours) and Tomoyo’s emotional distress.

Often, decisions need to be made with our vet in regards to what meds to give and if any, along with how much to feed her (leading to her weight gain) had to be balanced with her behavior: this medicine may improve her life, but is the distress worth it? If we fed her less, she would be healthier, but so destructive that she would have had to be rehomed or put down. They are one and the same, by the way. I’m sure if I tried to rehome her, another person would put her down for serious behavioral issues. And I’ll never allow that to happen. Not unless she’s viciously attacking me, the other cats or herself.

In many ways Tomoyo has made our lives worse and more stressful. My response to this has been to shower her with love. If rehoming her meant SHE can be happier, some of her problems better managed, Iโ€™m sure I would. BUTโ€ฆ โ€ฆit doesnโ€™t. I doubt anyone else would put the time, money and patience we have put into this cat. She wonโ€™t even cuddle with you. I think anyone else might put her down. So Iโ€™ll never let her go.

I hold onto the good moments instead. Such as, after using the inhaler for a few weeks โ€”an experience that invariable ended with me bleeding and Tomoyo hiding for hoursโ€” one day she realized it helped. Now she takes deep breaths and purrs while I do it. (Though she still fights when I grab her to do this, and screams, and scratches me with her back legsโ€ฆ you have to realize this is a mild reaction for Tomoyo. That would give some idea of what a bad reaction might be.)

When she began to relax during the inhaler procedure I could have cried. When she began to fall asleep by my computer, belly-up (this cat that never feels safe enough to relax in that way) I could have, too.

I know I have to love Tomoyo on her own terms. I do my best for her. My closeness with her is directly connected to how difficult she is. But she is also a very loving cat…

Also, a chonky, neurotic, asthmatic devil incarnate.

The interruption in petting prompted an audible sigh and loud, dog-like โ€œHUFFโ€

At one point today, she saw her own butt as she left the desk corner. There is a camera pointed behind my monitor where she sleeps. I like watching her while I work. Well, she FREAKED. She thought she saw another cat (and, well, she did!) but by the time she approached the screen, the other black cat was mysteriously “gone”… lol ๐Ÿ˜…

๐ŸŒˆ Bonus Kotoko ๐ŸŒˆ

The old lady surprises us sometimes by climbing the cat tree.

After the relief of my ultrasound, I went to Dollar Tree and Five Below. I got some more things for the upcoming sleepover with my friend Shelly, some more stuff for scrapbooking, and other odds and ends.

While I was at the store Christopher messaged me so I could pick my goodies from the Dinosaur World gift shop (he’s currently at NATIA and managed to get away to do me that huge favor, since going to Dinosaur World is something that I don’t expect to happen again for years). I can’t wait to show those things off when he’s back! He got me a velociraptor lamp and a framed holographic picture.

At Five Below I spotted a wild smol-spots:

I always, always treat myself after a scary ultrasound (or blood draw/shot). For my goodies I got some Lisa Frank stickers, some animal/critter “mood” stickers, cute bird and birthday stickers, an InuYasha keychain I’ll turn into a necklace, more crayons, three mini Jurassic Park baby dinos and two greeting cards plus a pack of Alphabet flash cards with Sesame Street characters, for scrapbooking. ๐Ÿ˜Š

I got two more really big coloring books for the sleepover –I guess we have quite enough now, but I won’t post those so I can surprise my friend in case she sees this post. ๐Ÿ˜

In the afternoon I finished pressure washing the porch and putting everything back outside. I had to pressure wash the porch while it rained. Because I had all the porch stuff inside and need to clean the house tomorrow, I just had to finish today, there was no way around it. It wasn’t super fun, but it is done now.

I had a wee dinner, but it filled me up. Three little sandwiches and some baked kale chips.

I didn’t get to scrapbook today, but it was an extremely accomplished day all the same. It’s actually been a string of very fruitful days. I also just completed the daily warm-up as I wrap up this post. Time to get ready for bed. Goodnight, everyone!