Sunday, September 26, 2010

trek to track

Well, that was one hell of an extensive pause from writing let me tell you.

So yes, I’m back at it once more with the intention of writing each day and not stopping again until Christmas this year . . .

That is the plan anyway.

And as we all know the best laid . . . yada yada . . . yawn.

You don’t need to hear me rambling, so let me just tell you a little bit about the PC game, Dragon Age Origins, my reward after writing each day. I need incentive to keep at it and an engrossing computer game fits the bill nicely.

Feel free to tune out during the next paragraph as I give a mini-review of Bioware’s awesome newish fantasy game.

Ahem then - Dragon Age is a mix of Baldur’s Gate 2 and Neverwinter Nights. Now this may horrify some and titillate others, but let me just say it is the best of both of those games done absolutely right. Very cool story-driven game with eye-popping graphics for the almost seemingly endless cut-scenes, complete with the best voice acting I’ve encountered in a game to date. There, nuff said. If you like epic fantasy games then this is the one for you.

Okay, I’m back . . . hello? . . . ello . . .llo . . . lo. . . o . . .

Um, so, with the shifting of my mental gears towards writing once more I find I need a bit of a plan to proceed.

Looking back at my old plan I seem to have tasked myself with writing twenty new short stories based on my detective series and my superherorine series . . . er, a very tall order by any stretch and one I am sure not to achieve this year.

The other master plan was to complete my novel and get it in circulation . . . er, well, I’m still working on it, and it will see a completion of its 3rd draft this year. I do take mental notes during our reading nights and these will help me for the 4th draft . . . which will likely proceed next year . . .

. . . novels are such unwieldy beasts . . . why does anybody torture themselves by writing them?

Well, enough from me this week as I get back into the swing of things. I think to start I will conjure up a new short story or two for October’s reading night. Afterwards I will proceed along the original flight path and hope there are no tall trees or mountain tops in the way.

At least I can see the track again as my lengthy trek through the void concludes.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, September 19, 2010

approaching the fall

Well, I’ve tried to kick my own butt several times this month, but I’m just not that flexible.

Seems I should be doing something called writing, but every time I sit down to try I, well, don’t.

I’m giving my rebelling muse until the autumnal equinox to smarten up, then it’s going to be toothpicks under its fingernails and flaming alcohol applied to its back . . .

Somehow the vacation I took at the end of August has slid far into September. The inspiration to write has sort of left me for the moment. I still have a hundred story ideas floating around my skull, but they are trapped there in limbo for the moment.

I suspect a day will come soon when the dam bursts and I spill out ten short stories in a couple of days . . . but for immediate now it’s just not happening.

I think there have been a few changes recently in my life which have caused me to get sidetracked. My wife has started a new job and my little girl is walking to school on her own and back and my parents visited for a week and I’ve started attending the odd auction to find cool old goods - all of this has made writing take a back seat.

Bad, very bad. But this week I did scoop a great manual coffee grinder . . .

I know, I should just buckle down and write every day, like Trollope instructs us writers to do from the grave.

I need to figure out how to reset the habit button, and unstick the snooze one, on my inner clock . . .

Never fear, I will get this thing sorted and my inner writer will get back on track soon.

And I do know that all this doing it stuff comes from the inner you. Nobody can make you do anything. The choice to do something comes from inside. Others can inspire, cajole, prod and poke, but never can they do it for you.

So I’ll keep that in mind as the sands pass through the hourglass and the time of the fall approaches.

The leaves are changing colour around here.

Change is inevitable.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, September 12, 2010

rehab and rehash

Well, the past week was pretty much a write-off.

Yup, not a word written, but hundreds, nay, thousands, perhaps even millions of them directed in and endless stream at my inner ear.

My folks were up for the week and I spend every day visiting them, and listening to them . . . rehash everything they said the year before and the year before that.

I do love them, and I thought I was a broken record, but wow, do they have deeply ingrained thoughts that just never change as the years roll by.

Funny how parents and kids drive us crazy . . . and to think, we are parents and kids as well and most likely driving our kids and parents crazy in equal measure.

So, this coming week is going to be all about rehab. Taking time to detox from the endless audio barrage, read some good books and ease back into the real world again.

Think I’ll take in a couple of auctions, maybe go out for breakfast with my wife, play a game of Monopoly with my daughter, fire up a computer game.

And to think, all of this will eventually come to and end . . . and then tears, and likely regrets . . .

Sometimes I think it would be easier to have no emotions at all . . . or just be a dirty rotten heartless scoundrel . . .

Hey, I heard that!

I may take offense to some baggy-panted teen moron crossing indiscriminately across my lawn, and want nothing more than to see the earth open up and swallow him whole, but I still have a small spark of compassion deep down inside.

I think I would have stuck it to Gollum though . . . that would have changed the end of that book now, wouldn't it have?

Well, as always, the damn lawn needs a mow and the house needs cleaning and . . . screw it, I’m letting it all slide for another day or two.

It’s always been about me.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, September 05, 2010

got conned

Well, as you know from my previous post I was off to FanExpo last weekend and pumped . . .

What a frack’n debacle and let down!

I really was looking forward to the visit a lot. I’ve had great times at all the conventions I’ve attended in the past. This one, or so I thought, would be more of the same.

Boy, was I dead wrong.

First off was the wait. And when I say wait, I mean WAIT - to the tune of just over one a half million yea. . . er . . . hours. Hard for me to even make a joke about it, because it was just so very wrong.

So, after suffering the cattle chute from hell we finally got to the box office to pay exorbitant prices for ourselves and our daughters . . . I know, why did we bring the kids? Um, because it was supposed to be fun and they may get a chance to see Captain Kirk in the flesh . . .

Boy, were we dead wrong.

Shatner was nowhere to be seen and the place was packed worse than processed meat in a peel top tin.

In fact you had to line up (no, not again!) just to buy a ticket so you could line up to see Shatner later in the day . . . WTF!

So, okay then, skip that noise we will check out some of the other stars there.

Off we went, at a quarter mile per hour because of the unbelievable amount of people sandwiched into the place, and finally got over to the signing area.

I was getting more hopeful as I saw Summer Glau, Felicia Day, James Marsters and even Ernest Borgnine . . . and that was about the extent of it. I saw them, from sixty feet away, and I wasn’t even wearing my glasses. They could have been cardboard cutouts, or Jim Henson puppets.

We chose a line that was not busy . . . okay, nobody was in it. It was for that guy that wore the suit for Chewbaca in Star Wars. What an ass! Sorry, but no other descriptor seems to fit. We smiled at him, said it was nice to meet him and our girls had just started watching the Star Wars movies and liked Chewbaca a lot. What we got was no return smile, a positively sour look and an aren’t-you-interested-in-buying-my-picture scowl. For twenty five bucks - you have got to be kidding me x-furball!

I was thinking, you know what Mister wore-a-suit-and-didn’t-even-say-one-line - screw you! And all the stars autographs ranged from 25 bucks up to 50 bucks. Give me a break!

Next Michael Dorn sitting there looking cool and smiling. A friendly guy. I told my daughter to go over and just say hi and that you liked him as Worf in Next Generation. She wouldn’t go . . . okay then, why again did I bring you?

We’re hungry was what I started hearing a lot of . . . kids, sometimes you wonder why you ever had them.

Let’s just wait in line for a few minutes and talk to James Marsters, Spike from Buffy. Wouldn’t you know it, just when we get near the front of the line, he up and leaves. WTF!

So, off to the food area with no seating and prices to rival the star’s autographs. Holy crap - five bucks for a watery hot dog in a rubbery bun! But, when you are with a kid crying out for food you have two choices. Shell out the dough so they clam up and stop irritating you for food, or have them work on you in child grumpiness tones for the rest of the day.

Out went the cash.

At this point, while the kids were chewing down food I went over to see Felicia Day, the only person I was remotely willing to pay for an autograph because as a fellow writer I was hoping she would sign her picture - keep writing - and I would be happy with that.

Guess what? - she had just left a few minutes before and was not returning because of work she had scheduled in Vancouver. Now this is no fault of Felicia’s, but didn’t I just endure over an hour and a half line-up?

That was about the extent of things and we left the star signing area. There was supposed to be the Batmobile and the DeLorien from Back to the Future there. So downstairs we went to at least salvage something of the day.

We asked a security guy where the cars were - he told us that they were through the glass doors yesterday, but looks like they are gone today.

We left - in disgust.

I renamed the event FanExploit since we, the fans, paid a ton of cash and go pretty much nothing out of the event . . .

The kids will likely never want to go to a convention again as long as they live - and I can’t blame them, I may not either.

Well, enough rehashing old miseries.

Until next Sunday . . .