Happy Friday everyone! We’re settling in for a crazy blizzard up here in the Northeast. Fortunately, as a result of the Birthday of the Trees seder a few weeks back we still have about three gallons of wine in the fridge, so we’re all set for a fun weekend in. I finished the first draft of the third book in the Craft Sequence (of which Three Parts Dead was the first) last week. This is a much more first-drafty first draft than mine usually are, so I’m looking forward to hearing what the beta reader round thinks of it. I have some thoughts of my own, but after stressing out over this book for the last four months, my thoughts are skewed.
So, for this week I’ve turned my attention to other areas of life. I’m working on outlines for a Seekret Project which should be a lot of fun, which has involved writing a more detailed background and world bible for the Craft Sequence setting. Muahaha. Also chipping away at this weird short story I’ve been working on for months now, which makes the Paris Review’s recent post of Roberto Bolaño’s 12-step guide to the art of writing short stories all the more interesting. Check it out! I’m a Bolaño newb; I’ve only ever read The Savage Detectives, but I liked it, even though I didn’t quite get the ending. Even if you’re not a Bolañophile, though, his thoughts on short story writing are pretty awesome. I especially like the bit about writing nine to fifteen stories at once. Ack! Alternatively: “oh, so that’s what I’ve been doing wrong all these years.” Points 9 and 10 are particularly worthy of note:
9. The honest truth is that with Edgar Allen Poe, we would all have more than enough good material to read.
10. Give thought to point 9. Think and reflect on it. You still have time. Think about Number 9. To the extent possible, do so on bended knees.
What a boss.
Speaking newb-ness, I took the excellent advice of basically everyone on my facebook feed and spent yesterday playing Mass Effect. I’ve never played ME before, and damn, I’d forgot how awesome Bioware could be, and how fun it is to play something in which you have no professional interest! There’s a line in Sandman where Gaiman’s Shakespeare says “Everything that happened to me in my life, happened to me as a writer of plays.” You’d be hard-pressed to find a writer who wouldn’t agree with that statement; I’m tempted to add “or as an editor of plays.” (Or of, you know, fantasy novels. I digress.) It takes a weird kind of concentration to just enjoy books at this point, unless they’re so close to perfect as makes no difference. But, folks, I am lost in Mass Effect. I’m even enjoying the Warthog! That’s how lost I am.
I remember people being frustrated by Warthog segments when the game first came out, but I’m finding them fun in a weird sort of way. I take a ‘broadside’ approach to the thing: when I see enemies on the horizon, I stop moving, turn myself sideways, and move forward or backward (that is, from side to side with respect to the camera angle) to dodge incoming super slow rockets, while returning fire with the main gun. This, by the way, Dear Reader, is why we don’t make super slow rockets.
I mean, sure there are things I could nitpick if I wanted to pick nits. But the important point is that I don’t want to. I’d much rather participate.