Its interesting that, when I think about it, there isn’t very much of the Literary Canon that I’ve actually read. Like, I know the Odyssey back to front, but I don’t think I’ve ever read the entire manuscript. I know it in the abstract, I’ve read books about it, I’ve seen and heard lectures about it, it’s characters and tropes have been the center of many a discussion, but I don’t ever recall reading the whole thing. It’s sort of the same for most staples. I know of them and I know their general gist, but I don’t think I’ve ever read them. Even with things in my genre, most of my knowledge is second hand.
Really that’s all I have to say, it was just kind of a sad and yet profound realization about my professional state that I had this morning.
I mean, yeah, I finished the first draft of my short story/novella thing, but its still not done. Reading over it today the tone is wildly different from point to point and in trying to tie up the plot I seem to have made more of a knot than a bow. Still, its a complete manuscript which I guess is a big accomplishment. Now to edit, tweak, edit, and tweak some more.
Been sketching, but haven’t been happy with any of the outcomes…gonna keep on it and see what happens.
Patch Season! Path of Exile is going to Open Beta sometime in the next three weeks and League will be patching into Pre-Season 3 sometime in the next week. I’m super excited about how things will play out. I want to get a POE guild set up because the game is best played with 3-5 people in a party. The monsters are just tough enough and you can really spec into a role. If you’re up to playing let me know! I’ll likely be playing my Lightning Dagger Witch because well, DPS is the best ever and between her and Shadow I like where she starts more on the passive tree. (check it out by the way, if you’re an action RPG player…it’ll blow your mind).
As for LOL, I’m really excited to see what the changes will bring. The items alone are guaranteed to make waves, but I don’t want to speculate until I get a chance to play. Expect a first impressions the day the patch hits.
Anyway, catch you all next week!
Its a weird, the feeling that I’ve been having recently. I’m sort of content and at the same time, rather restless. I’m full of energy and at the same time totally exhausted. It probably has to do with the fact that today I am twenty five and aside from accomplishments that most people of my generation can claim, I’ve not really done all that much with my life.
I mean, yes, I’m the first of my family to graduate college while going full time. I’m also the first to get into Graduate school, but those don’t feel like accomplishments…not when I’ll pretty much be paying for them the rest of my life. It probably doesn’t help that my degree is apparently useless in a job market that wants engineers and programmers with BS and MS degrees and must not care for grads with 3 years of experience and what amounts to a BA in analytical thinking.
But its not like I can quit my current job to pursue my hobbies more aggressively, make them more than hobbies. Heck, I’m lucky to get my MFA packet done on time, much less do extra work drawing or writing or playing near enough Magic to improve to pro level. Well, I could. I could sleep less (and I’m working on that) , but that’s only short term solution. Really, I need to groundswell, get people interested in what I have to say. I need to get the Deckbuilding Game finished, I need to actually draw a comic and stay on it, and I need to fucking write. Some days, it feels like that’s working…others, not so much. Hell, there are days where I wonder if the blog is even worth typing into. Is anyone (besides Nhat, Family, and spambots) even looking at it? I never hear from anyone. I’d take trolls if it meant that someone was aware that I was half-killing myself.
I mean, yes, by and large I’m not very interesting. For the most part, I’m a by the numbers kind of guy–but I’m by the numbers in so many places I end up with non-by the numbers synergy. Really, my depth in nearly every skill comes down to about the same level. In magic, its building decks that are super efficient at making creatures and turning them sideways. That’s about where I am at drawing. That’s about where I am at writing. I will probably never draw high level fantasy art, I’ve not invested the years into it to make something out of it, but I can sketch what are vaguely human shapes. While I might not be able to spin yarns nine layers deep about political intrigue or symbolic value, I can write a scene of two character’s conversing that feels real. Like I have skill, but not enough to make it stand out. Synergy is my way out and synergy is my strength…
Now to just fucking do.
See ya’ll Friday!
As some of you may know, I write some of my stories in a setting that’s an alternate version of our world inhabited by hybrid characters–visually humans with animal bits tacked on as opposed to full anthromorphs. What you might not know is how much I agonize over how it will be received once I complete something. You might think then that I’m putting the cart before the horse a bit, after all I’ve got nothing to show for the setting aside from a couple story drafts. Well, I’ve had those two stories workshopped and the question that always comes up is: what does Tess being a spider mean?
Of course, to me, Tess being a spider doesn’t mean anything, its just who she is. Yet I get the nagging feeling that’s not how people will see it. While I’m pretty sure I’ve not wandered into dangerous territory of actively being terrible, like this author, I’m still worried that people’s perceptions of what animals represent will cause people to see implied or even overt racism. For instance, suppose a character has lion heritage. Would it be racist if he wore his mane in dreadlocks and was rastafarian? I’m not sure, though it’s pretty stereotypical it’s also something I came up with actively, drawing on both logical and emotional connections (I’m sure all those Bob Marley posters with Lions super imposed over him don’t help). What about something I didn’t even make with an aweness of it, how far off the deep end could it be taken?
I guess in that regard I can’t worry about it. Do my best to avoid I need to get my foot stuck in my throat before I know and that means getting back to writing, which I’ll go do know. Catch ya’ll next week.
I’m plus two weeks on Stonecoast and knee deep in my first packet, but things are a bit…murky. Though happy as a pig in muck, I had something of a realization this morning. When it comes down to it, I’m still thinking of all the reading, the drafting, and the editing as school work—and that’s troubling, though I’m not sure why. I do know I don’t like it. It’s not a pro-creative mindset, just a hurdle-based objective conquering one. I’m essentially just grinding, my natural response to conquering hurdles. As for where it comes from, I’m pretty sure it’s tied to me not having any other context for doing long strokes of work with no direction beyond that. Due dates are the only thing that keep me from floating away into the afternoon sky—always have been really. It’s not like my day job, where I get a ticket, do the work, and move on to the next one.
I know it’s very premature—I do after all have three more semesters—but I’m worried about my post-MFA life. If I’m going to still be serious about writing after I get done with my MFA, I’ll need deadlines. Except I have absolutely no idea where to start on keeping tabs on markets. I mean, I’ve signed up for Duotrope, but the site is moon runes to me. Which would be funny if I couldn’t dive head first into an all Japanese RPG with no issues.
Doesn’t help that I’m worried if I don’t have writing to send in, I’ll just give up on my novels shortly after I no longer have due dates—and I don’t want to do that, but I know me. Without a clear goal I just sort of drift. I’ll keep working on them sure, but the likelihood of finishing one of them will go down pretty steeply once people stop wanting to see stuff from me. So it seems like short fiction would be the way to go except, I can’t write a short story to save my life—at least right now anyway.
All of this angst of course begs the question: Why am I doing this at all then? If I know my only strength is writing novels and I know I’ll just float off at the slightest breeze, why bother? It’s the question I’ve been getting asked ever since I gave up on Computer Science nearly four years ago. And still I can’t help but wave my hands at it, I don’t really have an answer beyond that. There’s no logic to what I’m doing really. I’m following a dream and hoping that I won’t wake up before something awesome happens. Except, what to do with that awesome, should I ever find it? It’s still gone when I wake up either way. I need a way to bring the awesome back. Sitting here at my desk, the past residency and all the energy already feels so far away. A colorful memory in a world that’s grey.
Actually, not really. I’ve not gotten much done in the last week besides reading through Carrie and about half of The Magicians–along with my Manga fix for the week. I don’t even know what to talk about in the annotations either. Well…I was kind of sad Carrie wasn’t what I expected, but that’s likely due to me coming from paranormal romance after my last semester with Nancy. I expected something far more character focused, but knowing (thanks to stonecoast) that horror is about evoking an emotion the set up makes sense. It’s probably why I can’t write horror, I’m more focused on the story and less on the effect I’m trying to get out of the reader. Which might be why I don’t feel like my work has any meaning beyond being a neat idea–and anyone will tell you that ideas are cheep.
Speaking of my own work, after starting revisions on Curse, I’m thinking of tearing out the third, fourth, and fifth chapters and combining them down into one. It’s what I need to do to tighten up the narrative, but I’m not really that happy about having to rewrite most of the story. Sad as it makes me, Curse is really fun to work on. What was once a sex-every-scene porn has slowly, surely become something more. In a very real sense, its emblematic of my own evolution as a writer. Every time I get better I realize just how weak it is, where I myself could improve. I do want to get it done, but I’ll miss working on it.
Anyway, gonna get back to it. Catch ya’ll tomorrow with a [Strongly Jaded Gamer] post.
Just dropping a line since I’ve got some time before dinner and if I nap I’ll probably stay asleep for hours.
First workshop is done–well, I got my work critiqued at least, we still have two days and four people left–and it went well. I’ve got a solid direction for Tess and Kao, so I’ll likely work onHaunting when I get back then try to get Death’s Red Letter (the duo’s Study in Scarlet) drafted. I’ve also got Curse to work on and part of Fourfold is up for crit in the second workshop. So who knows, beyond that I’ll be busy. The presentations have all been wonderful So far there’s been a panel on E-Publishing, a graduate lecture on creating Graphic Novels, and the history of the Tarot deck and how to use its archetypes to help writing–and these are just the ones i attended. There were four other faculty presentations and two graduate.
More than the work though, the feeling of being up here with people who get me more than my coworkers do is a big boost. Granted, my working from home has blunted my already low threshold for dealing with large numbers of people, so I’m very drained, but there’s a lot of positive energy and it is really blowing away the funk. Even so, I still don’t feel like I fit in–something that is likely just as much me as anything else. I mean, everyone smiles when they see me and make casual conversation, but I just don’t know what to talk about beyond that. It just seems to come so naturally for everyone else, even if it doesn’t really. Either way, I’m trying to get over it, I am signing up for a life of talking with people I don’t know and need to get better at it.
Anyway, that’s about it. Gonna go grab dinner before the night’s faculty readings. Catch you all Wednesday
Easily enough said, but far more difficult than it sounds. I’ve got a basic idea and some scribbles for the cast, but as they are, neither will get me very far. It’s the same sort of problem I have every time I want to do a comic, I just don’t have enough of a plan. So this time, I’m gonna get that all figured out. Right now.
Two friends, Keene “TrippleE” Greene and Charles, “Chuck88″ Reed, go to college for graphic design and play league. Coming up on the summer before senior year, the two of them, along with Chris “Swordcore” Li, set out to form a team in the hopes of making it to Dreamhack.
- Keene “TrippleE” Greene
- 1350 ELO
- Mains Blitzcrank, Alistar, and Leona
- Charles “Chuck88″ Reed
- AD Carry
- 1367 ELO
- Mains Urgot, Caitlyn, and Tristanna
- Chris “Swordcore” Li
- 1622 ELO
- Mains Shen, Riven
- Female 1 (Revealed Later)
- Female 2 (Revealed Later)
Timing and Scope
This is going to play out against a back drop of this year, granted that means squat once we get moving since a webcomic with plot that only updates at best twice a week moves slower than a glacier. Its gonna take a lot of time dilation to keep up with the real world version. You would think then that setting it back a bit might be prudent, but then its not as relevant, since I’m not talking about League today or this week even, it might as well mean nothing. OR maybe that’s too harsh, I’m not sure really.
Anyway, going to get back to drawing Hope to have something to show this evening
I am now less than two months out from my second residency at Stonecoast. Something about that statement, that realization, has been an immense jump start to my writing. Knowing that I’m going back, that it wasn’t just a fever dream, is starting to dispel my funk.
Granted, its not a cure all–Work is still draining and a source of endless frustration and the prep for the wedding borders on exasperating–but it’s helping so much. In the last two weeks I’ve had a host of new story ideas and I’ve even gotten the first part of a manuscript into respectable shape. I’m on the fourth draft of the second part of said manuscript now, working on applying what I’ve learned to turn what was a rather limp section in the plot into a more viable start to Act 2. Even so, I feel that I perhaps haven’t capitalized on the the semester. Aside from one piece, everything was something I had worked one prior to coming to Stonecoast. Yet, when I think about that in a more holistic way, that makes sense. I;m trying to gauge where I am and get a feel for where I want to go–and is perhaps a reason that working on Curse feels so good.
Well, Imma get back to work. Thinking about starting up a second weekly segment for gaming, might get that done tonight and up tomorrow.