Sunday, February 27, 2011

VII: Uh Oh (Or, Reasons Why I Will Never Be Published)

Here are four reasons why my novel is never going to get written.

Dark Souls
I was a huge fan of Demon’s Souls for the PS3, which was the most punishing (yet fair) game I’d had the privilege of playing in a long while. I’m not an exceptionally good player, but I relish a challenge, and as my skills have sharpened as I’ve gotten older, I’ve done kind of ridiculous things with games I used to find difficult—like playing through Zelda: Ocarina of Time with three hearts and no shield. I consider that, along with Demon’s Souls, to have been my all time low-point in my battle against my masochistic impulses*

All that said, I cried beautiful, harsh man tears when I finally beat Demon’s Souls, and I intend to do the same with Dark Souls.

*well, almost

The Last Guardian

I was a huge fan of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus—two games that verged on “transcendent”—and I really don’t use that term lightly. The art direction and overall “feel” of the games made by Team Ico is unique; there’s a good reason people use Shadow of the Colossus as fodder in the “Video Games as Art” war. That is, of course, another discussion. All that said, most people probably have The Last Guardian pegged (rightly) as an “Old Yeller” waiting to happen.

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
It looks to me as though Skyrim will do most of what Oblivion failed to do. The world seems real—with new wind, water direction, and lighting effects, I can see myself getting lost here. Oblivion’s dungeons—really, most of the world—all began to look the same after the 30 hour mark—a flaw Bethesda seemed to notice, as they’ve hired eight dungeon designers this time around rather than one.

Dead Space 2
I love to be scared. And zombie aliens are scary. I recall the perfect, mind-numbing dread that accompanied me through each of Dead Space’s 10ish chapters—how the fear was this constant, wonderful, terrifying presence, and how even at the end I was jumping.

Y’know, I think it’s that masochism thing again. Dang. I have problems.

VI: Town Sketch

(Impressionism--working on the novel ideas. Things evolving.)

Pines fringed town, the black water –lapped shores and fishing men in white sailed boats. An old man and a Labrador out for the morning walk, shadows etched against the fog and spray. A calm day. Five two story red brick buildings, the eaves frosted with the early winter snows, a clattering diner on the cobbled main road, and a lone figure, pack slung over his right shoulder, walking down the road, cracked leather and flannel and scuffed hiking boots.

Round white stones. The sound of birds and the quiet sough of the lake in the morning, and the sour breath of fishermen. Five men work in a small mine, pointless venture begun generations, a hope of gold or diamonds, kept aloft only by the occasional windfall. Tourists unwelcome. Founded in the latter half of the 19th century by enterprising Frenchmen who promptly forgot they’d built their new home on the edge of the world, at the farthest reaches of hell. It’s a cold town, a drowning town, a whispering town: ten plump middle-aged women, ten greying mid-lifed men, and the few children who’ve stayed to tend the shops and their grandparents staying home.

There are two ways out: the rustling crick across languid waters, or fifteen miles of old pavement, past the parish and graveyard, to the backroads to the seven eleven to the ridges of mountains and rivers. It is this quiet, prized life the wandering man seeks. He walks into the café, bell-rung door, sits on a creaking bench to be seated. Seven AM and the men have gone to fish, the tourists have bought their tickets and the coffee has begun to settle, to thicken. The newspaper is two weeks old; the dark wood of the café smells of smoke and beans, and the air is warm, so the man sloughs off his jacket, rises and rings the bell on the counter.

If you LIKE it, then COMMENT!!! (And if you don't, then TELL ME)

V: The Little Mermaid Part 1

(If you followed my old blog, then this is rehash. I started working on a project with Redmoon Theatre about a year ago--writing the script for a re-imagining of "The Little Mermaid". I went straight to Hans Christian Andersen's classic--no Disney here--and wrote the first half of the play until the project was scrapped. I intend to finish it . . . someday. The following is spoken by the Little Mermaid herself. I've removed stage directions as well, so use your imaginations, why don't you!)

(Message me if you wanna read it. Sorry, but I really want this one to get published some day)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

III: Sam Adamski, A Character Sketch

Every day Sam Adamski wears his Packers cap, blue dungarees and dark flannel to work at Banders Paper Co., a mere five minute drive, or fifteen minute walk, down the road from where he lives, a white two-story house with off-white whitewash and dark grey shingling, the mortgage paid for after the accident by his older brother, well-off, who lives off a well-laid investment in computers up in his apartment in Wausau.

Sam Adamski, in his thirties, his dark beard broken only by a two inch scar beneath his right cheekbone where five years ago men found a pinewood stake lodged, as nearby a half-unconscious Sam complained for the last time through a mouth of bubbling blood that there was a problem with the chipper and would someone please fix it, please. The work of those doctors, who painstakingly extracted it and most of the splinters in his lower gums and the roof of his mouth, is something his wife and father will never forget.

It was not the accident but the infection that stole Sam’s mind. Whether he was not prescribed enough medication or, because of soaring medical bills, his wife took him home for a week’s bed rest until the fever capped—only the lengthy settlement process and Rose’s conscience can truly reconcile.

When he finally woke, something had gone. What was mistaken, at first, for bliss, was something perpetual, something slow. Sam had been a drinker, a thinker, a man they’d pegged to go on to found a business or join something National or International. The words, all there, and still spoken, but delivered with unnatural slur. His eyes dart back and forth in vague confusion as his two daughters, three and five, are brought to his hospital bed. When he rises he wears a look of dawning recognition, as though he’s always about to get the joke.

Banders County Clinic quietly shoves money in his direction, hoping to avoid a lawsuit. His wife packs up their trailer home with the help of St. Anthony’s strongest teenagers and picks a choice piece of real estate situated between downtown Schafer and the Mill, where Sam will likely work until an early retirement. On paper, it’s tragic. Yet every night Rose would spend crying alone is spent in the arms of her silent husband; every evening her children might have come home to find their father drinking cares, he’s pacing the floor to welcome them with open arms. Sign language is beyond him, along with most writing and reading. Yet his life carries on; his drinking buddies welcome him with open arms to work, to all-star barbecues and football on the lawn and, in the winters, hockey out on the lake. On weekends he’ll wear jerseys and walk the neighborhood like a restless dog.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

II: Haiku

lingering question:
with internet forsaken,
will I write this week?


Someone said I should start blogging again.

So here we are.