rockwood: (Default)
Well, the first episode of Sanctuary has failed to dazzle me, but has some promise. The basically interesting premise seems to suffer from an attempt to include too much.

My overall impression, as drawn from non-spoilery parts, is that they spent the first episode (a 2-hour special) trying to:
1) Sever Amanda Tapping's ties to Stargate and Samantha Carter by changing her hair and eye coloring to the point where it looks artificial.
2) Set up the audience to see her character's organization as a cross between Special Unit 2, the MiBs and the group from the Hellboy series.
3) Establish the 'relatively normal' main character as a cross between Adrian Monk from Monk and Shawn Spencer from Psych.

It just feels, on my first viewing, like they took a bunch of ideas, crammed them together, and didn't spend a lot of time smoothing over the rough spots. However, I'll have to watch it again before I pass final judgement on whether or not I actually liked it. The level of camp may simply be too much, but I want to believe that SciFi can have a good fantasy series for once, and I may be willing to wait for improvement in the near future.

In terms of writing...well, there was a lot of overdone exposition, but that's not a surprise in a first episode. As far as the graphics go, I'd say they vary across the spectrum of modern TV special effects from so-so to pretty good. I think I caught a few that broke from realistic motion, but that could just be that I was watching from a bad angle.

Blessed be,
~Nathan

rockwood: (Smile)
Well, with my midterm for one class fully completed, I spent some time poking around online and stumbled across an hilarious holiday carol by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society

The lyrics are behind the cut, to save space.  )


Incidentally, the HPLHS seem to have a new Mythoscope movie coming out, The Whisperer in Darkness; unlike their Mythoscope version of the The Call of Cthulhu, this one is a Fully Speaking Film! The trailer looks excellent. I'll have to read that story next.

Blessed be,
~Nathan

rockwood: (Tome)
This afternoon's preparation for a group microteaching (essentially, teaching a very short lesson in order to practice teaching at all) tomorrow evening went very well; it seems we have most things down, we're within the proper time frame, and I have the Powerpoint saved in multiple locations just in case technology strikes.

However, thinking about this assignment has got me thinking about group projects in general. From a purely personal viewpoint, they're definitely not my favorite teaching method; coordinating with other people is a pain, the grading can feel unfair,  and presentations can be difficult to practice when they rely on audience participation.

On the other hand, from a pedagogical standpoint, most of those are potentially good things. Learning to coordinate with other people, work around scheduling conflicts, and overcome differences in learning style or level of interest are certainly valuable skills in and of themselves. Group planning, timing, and similar abilities are improved when students have to make educated guesses how long some segments will take, and errors in calculation teach them to modify and revise on the fly. Even having student grades 'unfairly' linked to their group-mates can teach responsibility, management, and leadership.

Of course, if a group is too unwieldy or ill-prepared to face these issues, all that results is frustration and failure, for which the teacher is at fault. Rather than letting that happen, perhaps by starting out too heavy on the project side of things, the teacher can start out simpler: assign small groups that have to coordinate outside of class (only two or three people each), to help them learn how to schedule and manage their time properly; or start with larger groups that meet solely during class time, so they can work on interpersonal and group skills rather than time management. If possible, assigning both individual and group grades may be initially helpful, so that students can see how their personal performance affected the overall result, and moving to pure group assessment will the be less of a shocker.

On my personal list of pedagogical theories, group projects rate somewhere in the middle: they may take more time than their content is worth, but the learning they allow extends beyond the content area. I would save big group projects primarily for sophomore or junior level students, introduce the freshmen to the concept with smaller projects, and then keep a few truly complex or involved projects for the senior level students, giving them a chance to really take over and co-teach for a lesson.

Blessed be,
~Nathan

Fallout II

Sep. 30th, 2008 02:19 pm
rockwood: (Default)
I spent most of the morning dinking around playing Fallout II. I've never actually beaten it, and I may not be in for the long haul this time either, but it's been too long since I spent some time in one of Black Isle's worlds.

I resisted the urge to stack my character solely for Luck and Charisma, since Perception and Intelligence are also so useful in conversations; though I did go with a set of stats I know will let me get all four of those up to 10, eventually. Strength and Endurance are each only 4, but that's what Power Armor is for :-)

So far, his only combat ability is Unarmed; we'll have to see how far that can carry him.

The first two Fallouts (like most of Black Isle's games) are among the few RPGs to actually emphasize the player's ability to make choices that alter the course of the plot; similarly, Black Isle games were always heavier on the text and dialogue than their counterparts from other developers. I just hope that they don't fade from the memory of gamers until some development team actually manages to bring back that focus.

Unfortunately...I should probably do my homework now....

Blessed be,
~Nathan
rockwood: (Default)
One of my friends linked me to these photos this morning; they're a bunch of shots to do with Russia's space program and the city of Baikonur in Kazakhstan, which is "an entire Kazakh city, rented and administered by Russia."

Some of them (especially picture 1) have a cool steampunk look, which increases if you pretend the thing is meant to stay on the railroad tracks :-)

However, 21-23 make me think: Fallout! It's like the old saying goes. "Live in Russia instead of playing post-apocalyptic RPGs."

Also, there's one great comment in reference to picture 22, which shows cows on the launchpad. There's a bunch of jokes in the comments, of course, but...a picture of cows in a spacesport? "the herd shot 'round the world!" (thanks to the commenter identified as Ellen).

And now...to go coordinate a group project at the university library...hooboy.

Blessed be,
~Nathan

rockwood: (Default)
I've recently started reading the webcomic Girl Genius, and have just gotten through part of Book 5, where I come across a cameo by a stagehand named Nod with a familiarly huge nose. Everyone's favorite henchman certainly seems to be getting around these days! At least, with Nodwick's appearance in The Gamers: Dorkness Rising and here too, I seem to be bumping into him everywhere.

Part of the reason that this surprises me is that so many of my gamer friends have never heard of him. Unfortunately, I can't find a really good site to view it on anymore---the old one is gone, and the one I can find doesn't seem to have all the extra stuff, like the character bios and so on---but here's a link to the first comic I can find, which dates back to 2001 and may be the first in the series. It's not the best comic in the world, but it's certainly a classic when it comes to gaming-related ones. I should go back and reread it one of these days...

Maybe I'll do that when I've run through Girl Genius. Which is quite good, I must say; Phil Foglio does an interesting combination of humor and story.

Blessed be,
~Nathan





rockwood: (Default)
This post is only vaguely gaming-related, and strays into general life content very quickly (although that part is, perforce, extremely geeky); fair warning. I'm leaving it unlocked since I welcome any thoughts or commentary, from friends and fellow gamers alike, on my attempt at nerdish wisdom.

"What happens next?" is a line from the movie The Gamers: Dorkness Rising. It's one of my favorite lines (and moments) in the movie because of the circumstances surrounding the quote, but I won't spoil anything here; I can instead say I like that question because it really represents one good attitude towards gaming. Sometimes asking "What happens next?" is a lot more appropriate than asking "Do I win?"

Which, I think, is a generally healthy attitude, even beyond the realm of gaming. Considering that almost no one ever gets what they want, at least immediately or without compromise, it's a lot less stressful to think about life in terms of what I should do next, and what I should be trying to do considering the evolving circumstances of life, rather than to try and twist things around until I get what I wanted initially. There's a whole lot of traditional sayings about this, especially the 'closes a door/opens a window' one, but those don't really work for me. I'm a geek; what can I say? I like "What happens next?"

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, partly because I've seen Dorkness Rising several times recently, but also because I've been trying to come to terms with a lot of stuff I don't like about life in general. The way the world works, in many ways, just doesn't jive with what I want out of life. And I really, really hate just letting go of what I think is important; I don't like ruling out my goals, since it makes me feel like a sell-out, and guilty, and pretty damn stupid.

But I can shift them to a back burner, reevaluate the current situation, and ask myself, "Alright, Nathan, that's how it is. What happens next?"

Blessed be,
~Nathan

rockwood: (Smile)
When the computer network goes down, any class called "Internet for Teachers" pretty much HAS to call it quits.

Hopefully I'd saved my powerpoint before the actual death of the network, but if not...meh, I couldn't have lost much, since I didn't actually add a whole ton.

So overall, a pretty good evening. I wasn't really counting on getting a lot of surprise early dismissals in grad school, but I'll take 'em when they come!

Blessed be,
~Nathan
rockwood: (Default)
This series of articles, the first of which is here, covers unofficial or personally-owned (maybe, if I get around to buying a license) material I'm writing for Cortex RPG games, including new sub-systems, optional rules, and similar.

Disclaimer and notice: If I ever get around to writing my own Cortex sourcebook, I might include some of these ideas, but I put them up here for free in the hopes that they'll see use by other folk, too. Please feel free to link to them or use them yourself. If you want to repost them elsewhere, or you draw heavily on them for your own freely available work, I would both love to hear about your project and would also appreciate being given credit for whatever inspiration I provided, but don't worry about it too much. My only restriction is that you do not publish my writing for profit, or put it into something which requires a subscription or purchase to view, such as a commercial e-zine or similar.

This particular article includes some Bundles, a feature fully introduced in the Cortex Role Playing Game System which debuted at GenCon '08 in a special 'Convention Edition.' Essentially, Bundles are packages of Traits put together because they represent one overall 'thing,' be it a character's species, a blessing, a curse, or another effect that is too complex to be summed up by a single Asset or Complication. The Bundle has a value that can be positive (making you buy it like an Asset), d0 (making it free, as long as you're allowed to take it), or negative (giving you back points like a Complication). There's a bit more too it than that, but that's enough to make the Bundles below understandable.

The Bundles here use the new Traits from the Cortex Core Rulebook, so those who want to use them will have to either wing it or buy the book (shameless plug: buy the book! It's awesome!), since fully reproducing the descriptions of those Traits would be a violation of copyright.

Also: these Bundles are from two Sci-Fi universes I want to roleplay in using the Cortex system, though they may already have their own RPGs....I'll probably do more Sci-Fi Bundles in the future, but these struck me immediately as amusing examples :-)


As always, comments and questions are welcome (about these, about Bundles in general, and so on). Also, if anyone wants me to write up something specific as a Bundle, or wants rules for a particular ability or character, feel free to ask!

Blessed be,
~Nathan
rockwood: (Default)
Because this was a long and awesome-filled week, I'm splitting this up into the general report on the con (this post) and a real-life-friends-related post.

GenCon '08 was a blast, as expected. I spent most of my time at the con itself touring the dealer's hall, but that was plenty. There were even a few surprises, both good and bad.

The Good
First and foremost, The Gamers: Dorkness Rising (or The Gamers II) finally made it to DVD release! It was a lot of fun to preview it two years ago at GenCon '06, and I've been waiting impatiently ever since to get my hands on my copy. I got it signed by some of the Dead Gentlemen Productions crew, but was unfortunately unable to collect the whole set. Fortunately, I did manage to talk to most of them individually and catch up on old times and future plans, however briefly; I'm very much hoping to continue working on Demon Hunters RPG projects, since they're just an awesome group of people to work with.

On the text front, the Cortex System RPG (Con Preview Edition) and the Serenity Adventures books both made it to the convention, which I was glad to see. They both look good (barring some internal artwork I'm not too fond of), though I haven't had time to read through either of them yet in order to evaluate production quality.

Oh, and White Wolf's Hunter: The Vigil also premiered recently, though it hit some stores and cons slightly before GenCon itself. I picked up a copy for my brother, but I'm not sure if we'll wind up using it or not.

And one computer game event managed to catch my attention: the demonstration booth of Bioware's upcoming RPG, Dragon Age: Origins, the 'spiritual successor to Baldur's Gate,' as the demo guy called it.

The demo booth itself was eyecatching, being a plaster faux-stone-walled-keep in the middle of the dealer's hall. It had a barred wooden door guarded alternately by guys in armor and bored-looking guys in t-shirts, which let you enter a small theatre area with exposed wooden beams above and wooden benches inside, arranged before a podium and a large flat-screen. I think it's worth noting that they had an extremely comfortable carpet inside, too.

The demo was narrated by a man in armor while one of the t-shirt-dudes, now less bored, played it out. We saw an in-game cutscene (3/5 stars; good looking, not amazing on the voice-acting front, used in-game graphics, but stuttered occaisionally), heard a bit about the world and the character-creation system (basically a standard fantasy world, but with an emphasis on the idea that your character's background story and early life would be very significant to the story and NPC reactions), witnessed a few in-game conversations (4/5 stars; looked a bit like KOTOR, sounded a lot like Planescape: Torment in terms of 'conversation = important', but I wanted more than 3 options more of the time), and then saw a bit of combat.

Battles were conducted in a manner a reminiscent of of BGII and KOTOR. You get a full party (I saw up to 4 characters grouped, but I'm not sure what the max is), and you control them one at a time in a combat that is real-time, but lets you pause between attacks in order to assign moves and actions to each character, unless you feel like letting the AI handle things. However, according to the demo man, Bioware has thrown the recent move to make games easier to play out the window: just like in Baldur's Gate, if you don't prepare for a fight fully, and then fail to use appropriate tactics, you'll "be eliminated." The game is supposed to be tough. I don't know if it'll wind up that way, but the demo man did die and reload at least once, and in a big fight lost all but one character.

I'm not going to rate combat fully here, since it was clearly an in-development feature of the game. Some AI characters bugged out and stuttered, some had horrible pathing errors where they got stuck on each other, and so on. The spells did both look and 'play' amazingly well, though, and we got to see them interacting with each other, when a Grease spell was ignited into a flame patch by a Fireball, which was then doused by a Blizzard.

The Bad
For some reason I haven't yet researched, Blizzard (of Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo fame) wasn't at the con. I was really, really looking forward to demoing Starcraft II and Diablo III, since Blizzard had a HUGE presence at the con last year, including playable demos of SCII and the upcoming WoW expansion. I was taken in by WoW-card-game related adverts, which I think must have been a deliberate bait-and-switch, but there's nothing for it. I'll just have to wait for the public releases just like all the other mortals who couldn't make it to BlizzCon.

There was also a corset-shop set up right near the MWP booth, so I had to pass it several times; the creepy-old-man proprietor managed to make a female friend of mine a bit uncomfortable. The people in corsets I could just avoid looking at; that, however, pissed me off.

The Awesome
I did spend some time at the con talking to writers, publishers, and artists, including MWP. The coolest stuff includes (in no particular order): I shouldn't have a problem securing a third-party license to do a Cortex sourcebook, I'll soon be getting some income from my freelancing work, an artist I met two years ago remembered me and said he'd be happy to have me commission some work from him, and a friend and fellow freelancer is putting together a writing commune/consortium of some kind which may provide some additional work.

Blessed be,
~Nathan
rockwood: (Smile)
Well, I'm off to GenCon; I'll be back on Monday. I'm staying with some friends (yay!), which is awesome both because I've missed them and because the biggest cost associated with GenCon is the hotel room....

I may or may not be bringing my laptop, but either way, I'll be less in-touch for a bit. Expect a full report upon my return!

To those who need to get in touch with me, my cel-phone and my email are your best bet.

Blessed be,
~Nathan
rockwood: (Tome)
This series of articles, the first of which is here, covers unofficial or personally-owned (maybe, if I get around to buying a license) material I'm writing for Cortex RPG games, including new sub-systems, optional rules, and similar.

Disclaimer and notice: If I ever get around to writing my own Cortex sourcebook, I might include some of these ideas, but I put them up here for free in the hopes that they'll see use by other folk, too. Please feel free to link to them or use them yourself. If you want to repost them elsewhere, or you draw heavily on them for your own freely available work, I would both love to hear about your project and would also appreciate being given credit for whatever inspiration I provided, but don't worry about it too much. My only restriction is that you do not publish my writing for profit, or put it into something which requires a subscription or purchase to view, such as a commercial e-zine or similar. SPECIAL NOTE: This particular post also contains material I intend to use in a work of fiction, which is separate from the Cortex-specific rules. The same disclaimer applies, but there's a higher chance that this will wind up being somehow related to a published product. If you don't want to risk 'giving' me an idea that I might profit from, please don't comment, modify and repost, or otherwise communicate your ideas to me. I put this up here so it can help inspire other people, but that doesn't mean I'm not also seeking inspiration and, someday, some monetary appreciation :-)

This article consists of a very, very rough first-draft (partial first draft, even) of an alchemy system for the Cortex RPG. While I hope the system might be usable in most fantasy settings, I'm designing it for the world of a novel I'm working on. The genre is closer to 'steampunk' than it is to traditional 'sword & sworcery' fantasy. It's grittier, the technological level is closer to 1875 than 1600, and it's darker. In this case, the term 'deathpunk' might be appropriate....



Now, that's all a first draft, as I said. Not all the potions and elixers are fully described, the system could do with some playtesting, and it's generally up in the air at the moment. I hope to post a polished version someday (or publish one), but we'll see. Other possible topics for future articles along this line include the other Lesser Necromantic Art, that of Mesmerism, and Necromancy itself, both of which are involved in the novel I'm working on (well, when I'm not goofing off doing game design).

This is pretty specific stuff, but I hope someone finds a use for it, or can adapt it to their game in the meantime. I appreciate any comments, questions, or criticisms you might have, since I'm sure this is far from perfect! Thanks for reading.

Blessed be,
~Nathan
rockwood: (Default)
Well, I haven't posted in a while, but I have an excuse; I just got back to Maine on Monday, and (for the most part) I was too busy with *Real Life* activities to post for the two weeks prior to that (seeing as [profile] leeflower convinced me to stay in DC for an extra week). The trip was awesome, and included numerous strange and wondrous goings-on. Too strange and, indeed, too wondrous to detail here; that's a tale for another time.

Since I've returned, I have managed to take and upload some additional pictures of my family's house, beach and dock here in Maine; these aren't as awesome as the sunset and fog ones, but they give a more practical idea of what the place looks like. Though I'm hoping for another day of fog amidst all these thunderstorms we're having; I want to get a really good shot of fog around the house itself. I'm not going to link the pictures here, since my connection is really slow, but they've been added to my public gallery for anyone who cares.

In other news, while shopping at a local grocery for pie filling materials, I ran into a stockboy who goes to Earlham; we rode the airport shuttle together last year. I don't really know him (or even his name), but we recognized each other. Small world, eh?

And apologies to those just following this blog for game design purposes; I promise I'll write something gaming-related soon!

Blessed be,
~Nathan
rockwood: (Smile)
According to this Wired article, which I have not yet bothered to look into further, scientists have located microbes that live at such a slow rate they resemble dead creatures more than they resemble living ones. Apparently, they look like bacteria in the same vein as E. coli, but they metabolize and breed at such a slow pace that they might as well not be doing it at all, at least by comparison.

But that's not the best part. The best part is that these creatures "represent a thus-far untapped genetic repository for scientists looking for novel genes for changing metabolism, withstanding cold or synthesizing chemicals. "

Be it real life or Sci-Fi, the idea of genetically engineering humans into zombies---humans with extremely slow metabolisms and able to go without a lot of environmental/temperature control---isn't exactly a new one, but reading this article made me realize something. If a human could go with very little food, water, air, or temperature control for long periods of time, wouldn't they make an ideal slower-than-lightspeed extrasolar colonist?

Just a thought. I mean, zombie astronauts? And someday, zombie space pirates? Why WOULDN'T the UN fund these research programs?

Blessed be,
~Nathan
rockwood: (Tome)
Well, due to several setbacks (ranging from technological glitches that shouldn't bother me so much, to serious health issues for family members), I didn't manage to write more than a few hundred words yesterday, and today I've only added about another thousand. Fortunately, I've managed to complete the initial full draft of Chapter the First.

Though I am considering ditching the chapter structure. :-P

The current wordcount is ~5500. I've introduced two main characters, mentioned three more, begun to introduce the city of Cartholme and the world around it, and dusted foreshadowing and other background details liberally throughout. Microwave until done, or until it explodes like that pig-lizard in Galaxy Quest.

I don't feel the like the end of the chapter is as....good....as I'd like it to be, even for a first draft, but I'm tired, and I just feel like being able to declare the very first draft, in some way, complete. I think the rest of the evening is going to include less writing, but more reading and rewriting (woot for having a printer! I have a tendency to skim and skip parts when reading something on a computer screen).

Maybe I'll make myself some decaff coffee; I've had too much caffeine already to allow for a cup of chai at this point.

Also: Vista bothers me. Getting my own computer back will be wonderful.

Blessed be,
~Nathan

4000 Words

Jul. 7th, 2008 02:40 pm
rockwood: (Tome)
Well, things seem to be going fairly well so far. I've found that, as I mentioned before, it isn't too hard to keep going once I've sat down to write. I ground out about 3000 words yesterday (bringing my total to 4000), and thats despite the fact that I didn't start writing until 5:00 PM, and had breaks for dinner, cleanup, pacing, and making sure my grandma didn't die horribly when she tripped on her suitcase and fell, and started screaming (scary times, but all seems to be well, thankfully). I think the world has come together nicely; hopefully, though, my city of Cartholme won't be too confusing, with it's combination of steampunk-y elements from all across the 1800s jammed into one place.

Also---OMG GELATO! In an actual Italian presentation case, with bits of fruit on top of the tubs! In a coffeeshop with wi-fi access! Where I am right now!

Though after just a small one, I have to swear off ice cream, at least until I hit 10,000 words. Mmmm....gelato. I'll have to try the Blood Orange flavor next time.

Blessed be,
~Nathan
rockwood: (Default)
I've wanted to be a writer for a long time (since about the third grade, really). For most of that time, I've done the majority of my writing here in Maine, during the summer vacation between school years. While I'm almost finished being a student, I don't think Maine will hold any less charm for me.

The area is beautiful and can inspire all sorts of writing, thanks to the many moods it can suggest. Here are two of them, represented by a handful of pictures I took a while ago. Hopefully I'll have more to upload to my galleries in the near future, but I do have to spend SOME time writing, rather than posting about writing :-)
I love the mist over the water. The whole place gets so much spooky atmosphere... though being in an isolated cabin in the woods helps that, too, I suppose.

Blessed be,
~Nathan
rockwood: (Default)
I spent part of today rooting through some of the drawers in my old desk---the OLD old one, a wooden writing desk my parents got me in the fifth grade. Today's goal was to clear out the junk and salvage what I might want to keep; no small task, considering the strata of faded movie stubs and stale cough drops.

Unsurprisingly, a lot of the junk was related to writing in some way. Dozens of broken pencils and empty pens, half-used notepads, ancient homemade business cards....the detritus of a childhood spent daydreaming novels with half-plagiarized plots and shallow characters. But some of it was much more bizarre. Highlights include:

--A packet of 8 bee's-wax candles, one of which is slightly used.
--200+ prize tickets from the arcade at the old mall (you know, those tickets you can spend on junky plastic toys?).*
--A keychain shaped like a gecko, and another with smiley face.
--A half-sized velcro wallet with dinosaurs on it.
--The torn-off-and-saved pages of two calenders, with Dilbert and Garfield comics.
--A melted candy-cane

And my favorite:
An old pencil case containing a paper towel wrapped around several small pieces of wax; specifically, the kind of wax that those mini cheese-wheels are wrapped in. I was a strange kid. Am a strange kid, really, unless you believe all these people who say I'm an adult.

I did find some things worth keeping, notably a bunch of my old buttons. They have slogans like "To Save Time, Let's Just Assume that I Know Everything," "Paranoia is the Delusion that your Enemies are Organized," and "I don't go Postal; I get Medieval."

I guess my family's pack-rat tendencies show themselves in ways like this. However, despite the fact that I'm glad to be getting rid of the stuff I'll never really use, I did enjoy looking through the drawers and sorting the items. Some of them brought back memories. Mostly they were things I'd never have remembered otherwise, and which weren't important, but I'm glad they all got one more moment in the light before I let them go. And I'm glad the junk got saved until now. It needs to be cleared out to make room for MORE junk, but having a physical record to prompt sudden recollections---sights seen, ideas fostered, old friends who disappeared into the aether---makes sense to me.

Maybe I'll find a use for some of these memories in one of my stories.  Maybe in one of my games (some of the notes I threw out were equipment lists for RPGs; what'd you expect from a middle-schooler Nathan, emo poetry?**). But whatever else they've done, they've reminded why I like to be a pack-rat.

Except for the cheese-wax. That just reminded me not to be a moron about pack-ratting.

*I think the arcade, Boardwalk Boulevard, closed a while ago. Darn!
**Okay, there was ONE emo poem I found. But there were a lot more game design notes. :-)

Blessed be,
~Nathan
rockwood: (Default)
Ok, I don't normally post this many times in one day, but....well, this is just too good.

As breaks between sessions of writing, I've been watching bits and pieces of The Da Vinci Code. The disc is perfectly clean and free of scratches, but the thing has been stuttering on and off the whole time. And don't look at me like that; I had to see what the story is at SOME point after all that fuss about it.

Finally, though, I'm reaching the end---or, at least, the big reveal. And the main character says, at one point, "Jesus Christ!" (with the exclamation---it gets said before that point without the exclamation).

And the DVD crashes.

Upon reload, that same spot glitches out again. Trying other DVD players, I find that none of them work at all. The whole DVD refuses to play, skipping over one track to the next and bringing me back to the menu. Ok, I think, it's the copy protection and maybe one invisible scratch. I load it up again in the first player and skip a minute of track, hopefully bypassing the error. And it works

20 minutes later, the main character turns to the leading lady and says, "Godspeed!"

Down it goes again, right on cue.

I'm tempted to try other movies to confirm this apparent evidence, but I'm not willing to watch The Passion. Maybe I'll break out the Cadfael DVDs.

Blessed be,
~Nathan
rockwood: (Tome)
Here we go again!

Having finally been shamed into ending my procrastination (thanks to a friend of mine from the UK, Tina M.), I spent most of the morning today working on the first scene in my novel. I've decided to let myself start it off slowly and not berate myself for going back to edit bits---I'm still trying to find the voice---so I've only got about 1000 words (less, honestly) written. However, the plan is to try and finish this first scene/chapter, which I've been banging around in my head for months, and then move on to the write-a-lot-no-matter-how-bad stage for as long as I can stand.

Hopefully, this marks the overcoming of one of the biggest obstacles I always face on any task, which is simply getting the gorram thing started. I have a tendency to overthink projects, which leads to avoidance and delay---but once past those delays, whatever I'm doing tends to flow easily. I have to take a short break to schedule my Masters classes for the fall, but then it's back to the keyboard this afternoon.

Now all I have to do is try and, you know, write a novel. In my slightly off-the-beaten-track victoriana/steampunk/1800s mix, 'deathpunk' style, which may turn out to suck if I'm not careful.

Wish me luck.

Blessed be,
~Nathan

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