12 March 2005

Incendiary Imagination Implies Inspiration? or Indigestion?

As I mentioned the other day: Positively. On. Fire.

I formulated a character some two or three days ago whilst doing the usual 3/4 mile hike at work. I was thinking about something T Campbell had written - about how he created the character of Catherine from Fans! - and something about that process influenced the development of this persona. I'm loath to be fully candid about what makes her (for now I'm satisfied that it is a she, and tentatively her name is Morgaine - after the player who is leader of the Order of the Dragon guild in Ryzom) noteworthy, but I am starting to realise a grand vista of possible scenarios that she might play a part in. Just this morning something like the following fleshed itself out in my mind:

[I'm not certain of the setting, nor how many are present. Certainly Morgaine and Fred, I'll add other characters and develop setting to better suit the conversation, I suppose.]

(Morgaine flushed even more than normal, and not snuffling as she normally does, sees her moment and launches herself, placing her shoulder very nicely into the hollow of Fred's back [I'll conjure a name later, although there's nothing wrong with Fred], effectively knocking him off his feet. Morgaine has her dagger out now and stands over him.)
Morgaine's voice is rising throughout the first few lines, but rising unsteadily. She's never taken this tone with anyone before, and she's trying to put ferocity into her voice that she knows she might not really have)

Fred: (startled [duh])Uhhh! Morg! What're you...
Morgaine: (trying to be loud and authoritative) Stay there!
Fred: (annoyed) Morg, what's the...
Morgaine: (afraid of losing control of the situation, panics: she screams!) Shut up!
(VERY sudden quiet)
Morgaine: (recovering, but still loud) What happened to Fred?
{OK, Fred not working because.....eh, I'll continue so you can see why}
Fred: (attempting calm, but (visibly?) surprised)Morg. I'm right here, what are you....
Morgaine: (recovering calm but still loud) Fred died yesterday but his body is walking and talking. No-one else seems to have noticed but me, and I'm DAMN well going to find out why. (a palpable hush follows)
Morgaine: (hurriedly: she senses the lull and tries to break it to stay in command of the situation) Who are you and what happened to Fred!!

Fred: (sorrow: starts to weep) I'm sorry Morgaine. I couldn't sustain him any longer.
(Fred puts his head between his knees and sobs)

{Oooh! I just pulled that last line out of my ass, but I like it.
Strike the entire sentence following "Fred died.."... much better.. thats just nonsensical bravado for plot development, its not at all a sensible thing to say.}

And that's just what my brain came up with during a trip to the supermarket! Who Fred is/was and what happened will stay in my notes (after I write it down) for now, but this is just another scenario that my mind has been toying with lately. You may or may not have realised why 'Fred' cannot work as a name: I refuse to even try to dance around phrases like "Fred's dead". That just oozes bad karma. Not even to mention the fact that its been done. In spades.

I've even been considering the media types for these various concepts. For example, the political thriller I mentioned last time would have to be a book; there is simply far too much internal dialogue for it to work as a more visual form such as a movie, graphic novel or comic strip. Since it is the internal dialogue and character development that is the real hook, the visual aspect would fall flat. On the other hand, the scene I wrote above could work as a comic, although a movie might be better for capturing the emotions. I did end up just know writing that rather like a screenplay.

Where the hell did all this creative energy come from? Maybe I can turn it into something lucrative. That'd be a nice change of pace. The downside right now is that I just do not have the discipline to sit down and turn out a story based on the above. Hell, I cannot even seem to clean my apartment.


10 March 2005

The Saga of Chtomelji

My creative bowl seems to be runneth-ing over these days.

Some months ago (inspired by November elections) I had a wild dream. Of that dream I can remember little of value. Shortly afterwards I fleshed it out a bit in my mind, then committed it to paper during rare idle moments at work. It actually came out a lot better than I could have imagined. It is most of an opening scene - potentially a particularly riveting one if it ever hits the Big Screen - in what could be a fairly promising novel. A political thriller at that. I had been at a bit of an impasse for a while - I knew where I wanted the story to go, but knew knothing of the trade that I wanted the character to become involved in. To wit: lobbying.

Lobbying, prima facie, rather offends my sensibilities. What and where, precisely is the fine line between lobbying and bribery?

'Blood and Oil' (current reading) may be the key to progressing. I'm starting to understand how the bastards think. Its personally disappointing for me to learn that the foreign policy of our puppet master administration is merely the fruition of doctrine planted by Roosevelt and developed by Carter and Reagan. I prefer to continue to blame the current administration anyway. Its just as well; their flawed policies and pathetic denials are my muse.

Where was I?
Oh yeah, mind racing and like that.
Well, that germ of a novel seems to have been only the beginning.
As you've probably noticed, my participation in .... oh very well, I'll just say it...
This GAME I've been playing lately (Ryzom) has also proven a willing conduit to my imagination. Lets see... best to start at the beginning for the story to make sense.

I groused earlier about Ryzom having a problem with documentation (in many cases, its absent). I was very impressed with how my first character was going. I had created an entity, and its success was the fruition of my will. Lack of documentation caused more than one misstep though, each one very costly. Finally, I was simply too far behind; skill points that I needed to spend wisely had been wasted, putting me at a severe disadvantage to the 'leveling' curve. Each successive level requires gaining approximately double the experience of the previous level to advance. Had I chosen better, I would have been gaining exp much faster, but instead I was stuck. So I had little option but to discontinue the character and start over. I wasn't happy with that decision, but it made the most sense. I did, however, wish to somehow retain membership in the guild that I had joined. To that end, I created a 'backstory' to explain the relationship between my old character and my new character. What made this a real act of creativity was that the new character was of an entirely different race. That wasn't too hard to explain:

The Saga of Chtomelji

My mother and father met in a wild place between great civilizations. She was a great forager for the Fyros people and he a Matis of Noble house journeying to discuss an alliance with one of the friendlier renegade tribes. That very tribe raised me, and still holds great feasts and tell tales of that day.

A lesser bandit tribe had ambushed them (whether he came to her aid or she to his depends on whom is telling the tale!) and together they fought. The rage of the bandits increased as each of their tribe fell. As they perished, their numbers seemed to be replenished, as others came to avenge the fresh losses. [Many bandit lives ended forever, since neither the Kami nor the Karavan, will succor those that prey on their servants.] The furious commotion that was that shambles quickly attracted much attention. Wild beasts, predators, scavengers and grazing animals, came to witness the fury that raged on, and also to prey on survivor and victim alike. The sun began to set, making the two bloody swords of my mother gleam red with her vengeance as they sang through the air. My father smashed men together or rent them apart with such fury that it was difficult to properly count those he slew. The suns last rays were all that illuminated the scene when the woman I call "grandmother" arrived with guards of her tribe.

The few remaining bandits were driven off. My mother and father were bourne back to safety, as they had been seriously wounded and needed healing. Their wounds required many days of resting, yet they fell in love long before that time was complete. They stayed with the tribe, who welcome them as family, mostly to raise me where I might be shielded from the bigotries of either race. Father knew the Matis people, and his family in particular, would never approve, for they are ever suspicious of the Fyros; even now the peace between them is tenuous at best. My mother is loath to keep him far from his people and position, since he has been a great force in easing tensions between the great peoples. He is away often, in the great city of Yrkanis, but returns as often as he is able. He laughingly complains that every time he returns to his beautiful women he must endure a three-day hangover following the tribe's celebrations.

This troubled time has brought a shadow, even over this happy tribe. A time has come to forget our differences, homins, because unity is all that will shield us from Oblivion. I must now leave these happy people so that I may prepare and grow in strength, for every one of us will be needed in the coming battles. There is much preparation to do, the battles will be hard, and many will fall.

It is my dearest wish that when we finally win (for we must) we will recognize the new bonds between us. Bonds of blood and bone, forged like steel in a great fire. From that moment on we must be true to our new bond, or our precious victory may degenerate to hollow irony.
The old times will be done, friend homins, and a new era began. The old rivalries and hatreds must also die with the past, giving way to our new bonds. We will have a new Golden Age to build bridges and mend fences, and Atys will prosper in ways not seen since before the Great Fire.

When I was born, my parents agreed to name me in a language of the Old Tongues, spoken on Atys long ago - all but forgotten even before the Great Fire of Coriolis.

I am Fyros, and I am Matis.

I am Chtomelji.

It means bridge.

07 March 2005

Ad Astra per Aspartame

Figured out my e-mail problem. Not really "solved" because I dont know if I can recover any of the e-mails that I had before two days ago. Bear in mind that that includes e-receipts, verification of site-specific passwords, ersatz love e-mail from web girlfreinds (if they are female), and even my addressbook. Now the scope of the problem is evident. For the future I'll have to figure some way to text dump everything into a storage file of some sort... but first things second.

Recieved from Amazon and started reading Michael T. Klare's "Blood and Oil", and as I imagined, I've only gone a few pages and am already enraged. Its pretty much just confirmation of what I've already suspected, but having the facts is a good thing.

Had Jiffy Lube perform an overdue oil change last week. They suggested a coolant change (antifreeze) for a mere $79.99. That is ~fucking~ insane. The coolant capacity of the Nissan is 8.75 quarts, which is two gallons and change. I've got that much AF lying around from Oldsmobile projects and thus could change my own for NO material outlay whatsoever!
(well mebbe it was $49.99 - its still crazy)
((fucking would still be appreciated though =P))

Parents are off to Turkey this week for some tourism (and some work-related for dad I think). Yeah, I worry a bit... or more than a bit. However, if you aren't living then you are not really alive, are you? Hell, I wish I could go.

A sudden burst of warm weather yesterday lasted overnight until early this morning. It peaked at 10am and then got overcast and grew colder. Good. I need to do Olds things and I'm not really prepared for it. I still dont know what I'm going to do about that leaky window. I didnt realise it was that bad until after I had the trunk area sealed, then it was ALL wet after a rain. Its really gonna turn out to be a situation where metal has to be added, and theres only one or two good ways of doing that. I can do none of them. I was going to caulk it... last fall. Still haven't done it. I'm getting that old helpless feeling again. There are things that I can do and things that I can't. Its just sad that the crucial things that I need to do have prerequisites of more money than I have.

Something will come to me, but it will probably be another cold.

I haven't got to Pyr yet. Haven't tried walking it since Sat. I want to post the Chtomelji saga, but Word Perfect is freaked out by my current HDD config, which I only need to have for another day or so. Then back to normal. Its mostly written, but I need to add a few details that I had thought of and one I left out because it felt awkward when I wrote it. Fear not. I'll link to it when I post.

Game on. -K

06 March 2005

Fuss! Fume! Fuss! Fume! BASH!! BASH!!

Mozilla seems to have "lost" my e-mail settings. ARGH!

Is it just me? I have no end of frustration getting my e-mail to work properly when this happens. The Ameritech e-mail client is EXTREMELY cumbersome compared to the Netscape/Mozilla style.

During the periods when I give up in frustration, I have manages to get fairly far in my resource mapping. I will soon expand to the north of Yrkanis for various reasons: a lack of resources in the souther areas being a cheif one. Most importantly, it is almost spring, and some transient spring-only resources are soon to appear in one location I know of. Its mostly Choice fiber, but I'm sure theres an Excellent resource there that I havent tapped yet: I didn't yet have the ability/skill to harvest it when I first found it.

Also I am trying to get to Pyr. Not the smartest course of action, due to the big nasties that are on the way. I got relatively close to the border before I "discovered" that those flying javelin thingies will attack without provocation. Damn. I need a respawn point much closer to the border. Anyhow.... game on!