sinanju: The Shadow (Default)
So as part of my unofficial effort to read more short fiction, I subscribed to Daily Science Fiction, a website which posts, well, a new SF story every day. They also email them to subscribers. Some of them are great, some not so great. A lot of it is a matter of taste, of course. Sometimes I really, really like a story, sometimes I don't, sometimes I read a few paragraphs and just can't bring myself to care.

Friday I got "Shark's Teeth" by T. A. Pratt in my daily email. It was a story about Marla Mason, a modern day sorceror. So it's urban fantasy, but not typical urban fantasy. To quote from the website, This series follows the adventures of Marla Mason, an ass-kicking sorcerer who doesn’t wear a leather catsuit, doesn’t suffer from low self-esteem, doesn’t wallow in angst, and is almost always absolutely certain she’s right… even when she’s dead wrong. It’s got monsters. It’s got sarcasm. It’s got death, destruction, sex parties, ancient gods, wisecracks, artifacts, oracles, dark alleys, and magical daggers. Come and see.

I really like this character, and I like the writing. The writer's sensibilities closely match mine, so I found the dialogue, characters, and worldbuilding very entertaining. I read a long prequel story online last night, laughing out loud repeatedly. Now, of course, I have to go out and buy all the novels. A very "First World" problem to have, to be sure.

Closer to home, a short story I was working on this week got shunted into the "unfinished, save for later" folder. I tried repeatedly to finish it, but there was no connecting thread holding the scenes together. So I've put it aside. Eventually I'll find a way to finish it, or pull out pieces to use in other works.

I've got a copy of an indie role-playing game called CAPES. (Someone on my friends list used to post about this game, but damned if I can remember who after all this time. A few weeks ago, I found a copy at a local game store, so I bought it.) It's a superhero role-playing game of the "no GM, distributed authority, collaborative storytelling" sort. Today my lovely and talented wife told me she'd picked it up and read some of it, and she really liked what she saw and wanted to try it out.

So tomorrow we're going to give it a whirl. It looks like it could be fun, I agree, and if it is perhaps when our gaming group gets done playing the current D&D 3.0 game, we'll try this for a bit.
 



sinanju: The Shadow (Default)
I got an emailed notice from Livejournal today that my paid extra userpics would be expiring soon. Rather than buy another year's worth of extra pics, I deleted 70 out of 100 pics.

Why?

I'm not playing in any livejournal RPGs any more. I bought the extra pics specifically for the ability to use additional icons to identify my RPG character posts with an image. In the case of my favorite characters, I had a variety of icons to represent different moods or attitudes, depending on the content of the post.

I spent several years having a great deal of fun writing characters in a number of games. [livejournal.com profile] crossing_lostrp (and the sequel, [livejournal.com profile] fandom_isle), primarily. That game was incredibly entertaining, at least for those of us playing it. Take a random but ever-growing assortment of characters from various fandoms and dump them on the island from LOST, throw an endless parade of increasingly bizarre adventures at them--and then sit back and watch the fireworks. It was a blast!

But I also played a number of other games as well. Some didn't last long. Some barely got started before folding. Role-playing game campaigns are notoriously short-lived, especially online. They're ephemeral to begin with, and when life gets difficult, when you have more things to worry about than you can manage all at once, they're often the first thing you give up--and rightly so. But it means that a game is always at risk of having key participants vanish (with or without warning), either temporarily or permanently.

When they work, though, they're great fun. I spent countless hours reading and writing in these games. I got plenty of practice at writing dialogue, action (violence and sex, both), crafting characters--everything but plotting, really. (It's hard to practice plotting a story when the tale you're telling is open-ended and other people are involved as well.) I can look back on a lot of what I wrote and feel pleased with the result.

And it reinforces what Dean Wesley Smith has told me about writing. We...no, I won't speak for anyone else. I wasn't writing for posterity. I was writing to entertain myself first, and my fellow players second, and any lurkers third. I wrote fast, I wrote without editing (much), and as a result I wrote voluminously and for the most part, I think I wrote pretty well. And I enjoyed the hell out of it.

But that's all behind me now. Not just because I'm spending my creative energies on my original fiction, though that's a part of it. It's also because, well, as I said, these things are ephemeral. My favorite games eventually ran down. As have all the others. I'm sure there are many, many other games going on out there and lots of people are having fun with them. But I'm never going to find the same mix of inventive fellow players again. I can't capture that lightning in a bottle a second time.

In fact, it's the loss of that outlet that was probably partially responsible for my getting back into writing original fiction. I really missed writing so much when my games began to fall by the wayside. To some extent, I could carry the ball all by myself. I was writing two or three (or more) regular PCs of my own in most games. I could (and did) often carry on whole threads among my own characters. Sometimes I'd borrow other characters, sometimes background NPCs available to everyone, sometimes other peoples' PCs, either with permission or because they'd been abandoned in mid-scene.

But after a while that began to chafe. If I'm writing all the parts anyway, what do I need other people for? I could just as easily write solo all the time. Then I don't need to worry about whether I'm writing "Fred" the way his owner would like. I can do what I like with him, including killing him off if it suits my purposes. So I began thinking about writing original fiction again.

And so I have. And I'm enjoying it. That doesn't mean I don't sometimes miss those games. But they're a part of my past now. Which means I don't need all those icons. So I deleted them.
sinanju: The Shadow (Default)
I didn't write anything new yesterday (bad sinanju--no biscuit!), but I did work on revisions to a story. Today I continued revising said story, and added a little over 1500 words of new material. It's not done yet, but it's coming along.

In other (role-playing) news, the Crazy & Crazy Detective Agency (don't ask, it's a long story) failed to retrieve two of three mutant plants from the sociopathic blood mage and his sociopathic underlings in our climactic battle in their volcanic lair. We did retrieve one, along with the man they'd kidnapped to tend the plants. And my character's parents, who'd been kidnapped and brainwashed to aid the sociopathic mages.

Alas, we failed to prevent the head bad guy from becoming More Powerful Than You Can Possibly Imagine. Which, on the bright side, means it is now out of our hands. It's up to the world's other mages to grapple with him and prevent him from bringing on the immediate apocalypse. On the dark side, that just means that we can now turn our full attention to thwarting the slightly less imminent alien invasion we've been worrying about. Like Buffy, we have to worry about the plural of apocolypse.


Words Written Today: 1,588
Words Written YTD (since May 1): 60,108
Streak (500+ words/day): 1 Day (My current record: 26 days)
Stories in Circulation: 7
Rejections: 3
Stories Accepted: 0

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sinanju: The Shadow (Default)
sinanju

December 2016

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