January

Another month has come and gone during which I wrote every day (with not-too-many exceptions). Yay!

When I started the daily-posting goal with NaNoWriMo, my intent was to pad the beginning of the blog with content of reasonable substance. Many of my posts are indulgent or whimsical, and others actually touch on issues of substance. Still, my need for padding is now done. So what’s next?

Here are the factors

I haven’t (I feel, and friends concur) yet found my voice. I don’t yet have that dialectic consistency that keeps my blog cohesive and homogeneous with catchphrases and callbacks and clear opinions… I think this is one of those things as I once discussed regarding romance. I suspect a pretense that blogs should be artificed a bit so that they sound feel like a consistent person with a consistent headspace, like a character from a TV series. Or at least that’s a necessity to draw a substantial readership. I’m not sure if it is.

Right now this is the Uriel-238 blog, and at some point it may become the Uriel-238-on-politics blog or the Uriel-238-on-dystopian-fiction blog (hopefully with other blogs by which I can sort out the other stuff I write). Maybe the transition will become more fluid. I don’t know. As it is, I have one blog, and whether I’m cranky or elated or moody or artful or funny, it all gets dropped here. And at some point when I’m less focused on creating content in quantity and more interested in creating specific content, that will be when I want to find a way to implement channels and filters. Maybe keywords will do the trick. I’ve been intimidated by WordPress’ meddling with the keyword controls.

I still can’t talk very much about real-world angry stuff. When I try, it becomes a tangled morass of rage and vitriol and facts and the rare logical conclusion, and turning such fodder into something readable with relevant points without being too bitter or too dry is a delicate process I’ve yet to master. Also, it’s a lot of work. Also our political clime is such that it encourages people, even intelligent, careful thinkers, to choose opinions based on team colors (or vested personal interests) and refuse to consider other sides. I don’t want to be such a person, and I don’t think engaging those who are is productive.

I do want to talk about critical thought, and look at less-observed comparisons and contrasts, and (like yesterday) how our thinking is manipulated by others. This used to be an important element of secondary education, even getting academic institutions in trouble (as early as the 13th and 14th centuries) by teaching students to challenge the status quo. (Obviously, those who thrived on the status quo didn’t approve of this part of the syllabus.) And there is a clear relationship between more people engaging in critical thought and our society becoming more egalitarian (both with the advancement of rights and suffrage, and the distribution of wealth). I’d say back to basics, but these aren’t basics and often conflict with basics. But it is retracing steps that we’ve taken before, and backpedaled.

My WordPress numbers (how many followers, how many readers, how many likes, etc.) are not even at a magnitude where they’re worth considering. But I’ve had friends and intimates tell me that I’m better off (smarter, better, faster, more articulate, less gloomy) for writing at my current pace, and so I shall continue at my current pace, again reviewing at the end of the month (the pace at which crises occur in my life has compelled me to keep my goals short-term)

I am (for the moment) resigned to imagine computer game and movie ideas as fantastic things of which I could only dream (Unless a team of developers were to fall in my lap somehow, or someone were to take one of my ideas — please do!*) I do, however, have some card games I’m working on, step by step. And I sometimes look back on the one that’s almost done and fall in love with the game all over again (mechanics and diegesis). Sadly, I’m pretty sure that the written content is way too much for a casual group tabletop. I don’t know when I’m going to resume card development, but I reserve the right to show off cards or gush about game mechanics or post lists on some days, in lieu of my normal blogging. That will increase with time as I re-muster my card-game development resources, e.g. getting my printer working again.

I might write fiction that isn’t in the hypothetical. I actually have several ideas for short stories, but a premise and a handful of cool moments does not make a satisfying tale, and my efforts so far have started with the revelation that I’ve got those things, so all I need to do is flesh out the rest — not so easy. Part of this, I think, is having raised myself on creating modules for tabletop RPGs in which the protagonists are controlled by other people, so I’m used to creating the background and characters and circumstances in anticipation of other people walking in.

So, yeah, January. Probably more of the same. Maybe some different stuff. Happy new month, everyone.

* We — that is the global economy — even now have an industry of IP trolls whose business model depends entirely on extorting small businesses with legal threats and getting them to capitulate rather than face court costs. Even President Obama has talked about it being a problem though nothing has been done, since it the blight reduces competition for the big companies in Hollywood. Despite friends telling me I should hide my work on F&F — or any other games I might publish — until they are good and secured, I recognize it’s not the idea, or even the game model but the work that makes a product.

This is a good moment for that story of when Michael Jackson comes up to John Oates (that John Oates) during the audio production of We Are The World. Michael is super contrite, and confesses that the bass track for Billie Jean is the same as I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do). And it’s really obvious that Michael had been feeling guilty about it for three years. John just laughs and says he ripped that bass-track off some other Motown ditty. He doesn’t even remember which.

The moral of the story is: Steal shamelessly from everyone and make something transformative. The true artists won’t mind.

That said, if you don’t think my conviction to open art is enough to secure your freedom to use an idea, let me know, and I’ll go through the effort to creative-commons it for you, because I’d just be thrilled to see one of my ideas turned into an actual game.

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