Wednesday, May 28, 2014


This is a call for help. No, really! Please! Save me! No? Well then come join me in commercial doom.

Last week one of my housemates bought and brought home the starter pack for the "new" Skylanders game. His reasoning was noble. A good friend of his had recently left the company he currently works for and is now an employee of Vicarious Visions, the creator and developer of the Skylander line of toys and games. He wanted to support his friend's company, keep them in business as it was, and in doing so he may have doomed our entire apartment.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Climbing The Ladder

I have an obsessive personality. By that I mean I tend to obsess over something for a few weeks to months, consuming everything I can about it, and then I move on to the next thing. It's pretty rare for any one thing to keep my attention longer than that, and when it happens it usually means there is something special to it. Writing is one thing that I keep coming back to, but even in that my obsessed -> dismissed nature shows in how I change projects. Why say all this? Because I want you to understand what it means to me when I say I have been an avid League of Legends player for almost three years now.

I'm not sure what it is about the game. It could be the simple to understand premise with the depth of all the characters. It could just be it is the game that friends I have play, and play regularly. Something about League though has kept me coming back since before they started their second competitive season and while I maybe don't play the same raw number of games I once did, it is still the game I play the most and keep coming back to.

So much so that I've even tried my hand at the ranked ladder. My ranking isn't anything special. I'm Silver 3 currently, which means I'm just around the 50% marker for skill in the community. I am average. Half of the players are better than me. Half of the players are worse than me. Not a horrible spot to be in, but not the best either. The thing is though that I've been climbing the ladder lately. In season 2 I dropped as low as Bronze 5 (the lowest possible ranking) and barely made it back to Silver 5 by the end. In Season 3 I never climbed higher than Silver 3 and spent most of my time in Silver 5. I also didn't play ranked as much. Now, in Season 4, I've been bouncing around Silver 4 and Silver 5 until recently I started going a bit more seriously and climbed from the very bottom of Silver 5 to the very top of Silver 3.

Where before a failed promotion series would see me drop rank on a long losing streak until I hit the bottom of Silver 5, I've actually been staying near the top of Silver 3. I've failed the promos to Silver 2 twice now, most recently last night, but I'm still within one win of trying again, and I have a good feeling about this next shot.

So what changed? Mostly my reason and approach to playing. I'm not playing to climb the ladder - though I am taking joy in doing so. Rather, I am playing to see how far up the ladder I can go. I am playing to improve myself as a player. Losses mean less to me now because they're chances to learn. Wins are awesome, but it's just a step along the way.

It is an approach not unlike those shown by other characters aspiring to imrpove themselves. Ryu from street fighter isn't looking to be the best so much as he is looking to challenge himself, and overcome the challenge, of increasingly difficult foes. Maybe someday I'll get to the top. For now though, just climbing is a joy in and of itself. Even with the occasional slide back down.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Callisto - The Monsters Made By The Hero Are The Scariest

I've been sick the past couple of days, and as we all know that means Netflix marathons while I sit huddled up in a blanket and wishing whatever misery was besetting me at that moment would go away. You can of course imagine my delight when I saw that Xena: The Warrior Princess in as near to its entirety as I can tell is on Netflix. Course, this wassomething I apparently had found out a while ago and forgotten about because my queue was set some twenty episodes into the first season already.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Where Do You Get Your Ideas And Why Saving One Does No One Any Favors

Two common questions I see around a lot of creative spaces - well, one question and one statement - and I figured it might be worth it to answer them both to get my own bearings on them, how they work, and just to ground myself in my own work.

Friday, May 2, 2014

On Writing Premises

Here I go resetting the blog as I don't want it to just be about writing and one of the first posts is...about writing. This isn't about me though so much as it is about us. I was doing some surfing online recently and I came across this page. You should check it out, it is basically tips for how to write a premise which is a good place to begin if you want to write a story.

Now I know that everyone's writing method is different, but I'm always exploring new and different ways to plan for stories to see what works well. This way, while it may just be a beginning point to think about, is kind of neat though as it gives you the whole narrative arc in one or two sentences. From that you can build and add side plots and other things as you need.

So, the link again is here, and maybe you give it a check and maybe, just maybe, it'll help you out.

Also, for anyone who isn't aware, Baen Books is doing a fantasy short story contest right now. Submissions have to be fantasy stories of 8000 words or less. You can read more about that right here.

Happy writing folks. More on something that isn't writing later.