After WorldCon

It’s been a busy time.

I have another novella drafted (that sound you hear in the background is the sound of me despairing of finishing anything before winter; the drafting went fairly quickly, but the revisions generally don’t, and right now I mostly have a lot of things that need revision). I also went to WorldCon, which was what WorldCons usually are; full of people I did not have enough time to catch up with (some of them have been making their own ribbons!), possessed of fascinating panels with conflicting scheduling, and generally a happy experience. I collected many signatures and made it to the Hugos.

My sleep schedule still hasn’t quite steadied. I expect it will over the next week, and then I will spend the first few weeks back home getting up at 5 a.m. or so. (Yes, I am hoping this works out as writing time.)

There’s an effort being made to create a Hugo for games–you can read about it at www.gameshugo.com–and I’m really hoping that that succeeds. Possibly more thoughts on that later; for now, this was the fifth and final day of the con and I can’t do more than mutter vaguely about “Powered by the Apocalypse”-this and “Choice of Games“-that and “the decision to not give the player character the option to ask about weird and surreal details in Kentucky Route Zero is a subtle but powerfully-effective way to suggest that the strangeness of the setting is normalized to some degree!”-other.

Alright. That’s enough for now.

Failing, better.

So a thing that’s been on my mind a bit lately; I wrote a very small game, and it’s not very good.

I’m figuring out how to be okay with this. It’s not as hard as I expected it to be (the coming to terms, I mean, not the writing).

I don’t know how to fix it, exactly – I have fetched up hard against the taste gap, and knowing it’s not as good as I want doesn’t mean I can tell how to make it as good as I want. And I’m not sure I have the time to learn how to fix it. I mean, I could read up and study and analyze and fix it (or make a new one that was better), but I only have so much time to spend on making things , and ultimately, there are things I want to do more than I want to figure out how to make the game better.

(This feels like a very old-person post, in some ways. The finite amount of time.)

And it was a fun game to make, too. So I guess I’ll give it another pass to polish it, and call it good. It’s useful to know that I can still just do something to play around, and enjoy that.

Free fortnight

My vacation has officially begun! (And I already have a list of things I’d like to do that would take me approximately three months, so managing expectations is going to be a big thing.)

Mostly, though, I’m hoping it will be a pretty quiet two weeks that gives me time to settle in to some heavy editing, get some stories lined up for submission next year, and a chance to sit down and play some video games. (Kentucky Route Zero has really grabbed my attention; I think there’s something to be said for all the questions it doesn’t let you ask, and thus forces you to take as somewhat natural to the setting.)

Take me home.

I’ve just finished a first draft of the novelette (I ultimately didn’t go with the restructuring I was hopping to do, because of time contraints) and given it to my weekly writing group for crit, and this morning I was casting about to find something to distract me from “oh dear god did I actually leave all those things in there they are so goofy.”

Bethesda stepped up.

I was gleeful to start with, and then someone pointed out that at 0:29, you can see a date on the PIP-Boy, and that the year is 2102. In-universe, this puts it 25 years after the Great War and 159 years before the first Fallout.

It’s not that I don’t love the Fallout setting, and the way the institutions have grown up over time (and yes, still ridiculously pleased that the Khans survived New Vegas; they’ve been around longer than the NCR!), but I love the Fallout world, too, and am very curious to see what it was like a mere generation after the bombs fell.

I am so very much looking forward to this.

Make it a pome. Real pomes rhyme.

I have rhymes in my head this morning; a little bit of Poe, a little bit of lyrics from the Traveling Wilburys[1], the perpetual stressed-silver-and-dust chime of Bob Dylan’s “Shelter from the Storm”.

I didn’t get as much done as I’d like to have gotten done over the last few days, but on the flipside, it was actually really relaxing. The weekend felt like it was a weekend, not just a recovery period.

Possibly related to this: the light of my life has set up his controller in my office, and I got to play video games again for the first time in a while. There is a bit of a learning curve with the new controls, but it’s definitely a workable solution. At least for Fallout: New Vegas, which is what I have especially been craving lately.

(Also, I cleaned off everything which had slowly accumulated on my desk. Currently my desk is much neater, and I hope to finish sorting the accumulata by the end of the week.)

[1] I am constantly astounded that I never heard of them until this year. First, I am really fond of at least two of their songs, and second, their lineup is the kind of thing I would expect to have heard of.

Hectic times

Today’s actually been a really good day. It was a low-pressure morning, I got the tracking information for my incoming shinies, I installed and noodled around on Pillars of Eternity, and I went to go see It Follows with the light of my life. (Who discussed doing science to the monster in the car on the way back.)

Pillars of Eternity is fun; it feels a lot like playing Baldur’s Gate back in the day[1], although I haven’t yet resorted to the tactic of summoning kobolds to fight for me and then looting the short bows for resale when they got killed and disappeared in a puff of smoke. It’s a bit crunchy, it feels fairly linear so far, and it has some gleefully creepy moments that I’ve been enjoying greatly. It’ll be good to play through, I think.

It Follows was… I don’t want to say it was surprisingly good, because I wasn’t expecting it to be bad. (Following under cut due to spoilers–mild ones, but it’s a really solid movie and people should get to watch it without spoilers if they so choose.)  Continue reading “Hectic times”

Walking Dead: No Going Back

(Yes, well, it’s the holidays. I can’t use the mouse too much, but games which are heavily or primarily keyboard-accessible? I am all over those.)

So, I finished Walking Dead: Season 2–the story game, not the TV show, definitely not the Walking Dead™: Survival Instinct game which from what I’ve heard is absolutely terrible–and it was good. (I generally find the Telltale Games stuff to be really good; the only work of theirs I haven’t picked up is the Game of Thrones one, and if they ever do a 100 Bullets game I will probably go missing for several hours at regularly spaced intervals. I find they don’t branch as much as the Choice of Games narrative fiction, but they are very good at inspiring an emotional connection with the characters.)

Anyway, the game’s been out for a year or for four months (depending on whether you count from the first or last episode), but I realize some people may not have played it yet, so I’m putting the rest behind a cut. Continue reading “Walking Dead: No Going Back”

Moving pictures. Or static pictures. Or voices on the wind.

So, as I have been reminded, I actually get to nominate works for the Hugos this year.

I think I am okay with coming up for nominations for written work. However, I would love a few more suggestions for art/artists, for graphic story, and for best dramatic presentation[1], both long form and short form.

Will cheerfully take suggestions that are either direct nominations or that are in the vein of “hey, did you know that a whole lot of people are listing their qualifying works over at this webpage?”

(And now I’m going to go have my quiet conniption fit because oh god, I have flight tickets and a hotel reservation and a con membership and it’s all real. Eeeek.)

[1] (Usually that’s movies or TV shows, with the 90-minute mark being the divisor, but it also applies to radio, live theater, computer games or music).

Juggling duties.

Looking forward to the long weekend.  I wouldn’t say my time’s already booked, but I expect I know how most of it is going to go.  Hoping I can get a couple of hours in to sit down and write, and a chance to goof off and relax so I actually feel up to same.

(Running around an alien mothership without your faithful canine companion: totally relaxing.)

I need to reorganize my office again.  My London-and-Mythos shelf needs to become just a Mythos shelf; with the latest anthology, there’s no more room for them both.  Even if I relocate the London stuff, there’s only about another foot of space, but it’ll last for a bit.

Have work for at least a few months, which is nice, since I just found out that Pelgrane is putting out another sourcebook in the vein of The Dead White World. Mind, I’m not sure I would ever actually get to run anything; all the gamers I know aren’t local or wouldn’t be interested.  I wish gaming books were something you could get at the library; it seems like a waste to buy one and then not do anything with it.  They’re not like most books; they’re not just for reading.  More like recipe collections or knitting books.  Buying them and not doing anything with them is sad, and rather cluttered.

Notes from a dying laptop.

Huh.  822 words in just a bit under 57 minutes.  I think that’s actually pretty close to the “two hundred and fifty words every quarter hour.”  Mind, half of them need to be dragged out and shot, but there are words!

Had an interesting discussion about Dale (of Walking Dead), Glen Bateman (of The Stand), and Bobby (from Supernatural) with John, earlier today.  I was frustrated because I didn’t have quite the right words for them, and couldn’t pin down the common elements.  (Besides, you know, all three of them have made me cry once.  Damn characters.)

It’s hard to get into this without getting into spoilers, and my laptop is telling me “shut it down, dummy, you have 8 minutes left”, but the end result of the discussion was that we started with the idea of father figures and what they mean the hero has to do, and from there went through the concept of homemakers on to culture heros, tricksters, and civilizing influences.  TV Tropes has failed me, and that’s okay, because while it’s a nice thing to check in on occasionally I am actually perfectly fine with opinions that aren’t pre-listed on it.  (Still need a better breakdown of pet monster idea, too.)

4 minutes power left, warning light blinking, more later.