Painting With Shotguns X

P, Q, X, Y I take great satisfaction in that ‘X.’ I don’t know why. It just means ’10.’ Something about it, though, smells of mystery. Solve for X. Jeez, X could be anything. A ninja. A storm-tossed schooner. A walrus who’s lucky in love. You just don’t know.

Actually, that’s the coolest thing about writing, innit? The mystery? The question?

That’s a chat for another day. For now –


Shotgun blast of nonsense, straight to your mug.

  • Damn you, Brutal Legend. Let’s chart my arc with this game, shall we? Begin: “I love it!” Later: “I’m not a big fan of the RTS element, but damn! Cool game!” Later still: “I love the story, but the game is starting to make me want to bang my head into a telephone pole.” The game’s lost a lot of its luster. If it had stayed a fun, innovative sandbox hack-and-slash, I suspect I’d still be in love with it. But the RTS element is so clumsy, so crammed in there, that instead I just howl and gibber, like one of Dagon’s mad childer. I can no longer easily recommend this game. Worse, I feel like it’s standing in the way of me purchasing Dragon Age.
  • Did I mention I want Dragon Age? I do. And, jeepers, isn’t Modern Warfare 2 coming out next week? Sweet fuck. I want Left for Dead 2, too, but I’ll probably stay away — as much as I loved the first one, I loved less the whole “playing with strangers aspect.” If enough folks I know get into LfD2, I’ll join the zombie-sploding throng.
  • Since we’re weighing the pro’s and con’s of pop culture — seeing whose soul has more weight and deserves to survive the walk down my own personal Chinvat Bridge of personal entertainment — let’s bid a fond farewell to Glee. Glee, I think you’re great. I still do. But the World Series came and went, and in that time you failed to air, and in that time I officially defected from your camp and entered the camp of Modern Family. And I will stay there. Because Modern Family is the best show on television right now. I am not fucking with you. Are you watching it? No? Then smack yourself in the mouth. Not hard enough to lose a tooth, but just enough to feel the resounding sting and resultant redness of shame and frailty. Glee, sorry. Catch you on Hulu, little buddy.
  • Dude. World Series. My mascara’s still running. Pour a little on the curb for our homies. Further thoughts here.
  • Back to TV? Okay. The V remake isn’t hooking me, yet. Hot plot. Dull characters. Generic writing. Logic issues. Strong actors. We’ll see. I’ll give it another couple bites, see if I get into a gushy, delicious center.
  • Hey! You a Christian? You thinking that maybe the Rapture is a real thing and that the Book of Revelations is literally going to come true? According to this Christian thinker, you’re sort of an asshole. Good job. (Seriously, it’s worth a read.)
  • Work update? Sure, sure, I can do a work update. Nothing is happening. Okay, that’s not entirely true, but it sometimes feels that way. Here’s what’s going on:
  • Film work? Okay, finished an official fifth draft of this this week, with anticipation that a sixth will come — this interim fifth draft was necessary, though, because we had a Very Special Opportunity That Probably Won’t Come True But We Had To Try For Anyway. The script reads a lot better for it, regardless.
  • TV work? Deals are done, or almost done, or demi-done, and at some point soon I might actually be able to say something about this. In the meantime, my teeth grind to nerve-tipped nubs. I want to talk about it. I also want a pony, so, y’know.
  • Novel work? Let’s be up front and rock the agent count: I’ve sent out 30 queries. I have received 3 pre-MS rejections, and 3 requests for MS. One of these MS requests has come back as a very helpful, very polite “not quite,” with some good suggestions on how to fix some issues — further, that Very Polite Agent is sending the MS onto another agent in the agency.
  • Game work? Finished up 50 pages of scripting for a very cool ARG coming out… at some point… in the future? I dunno when. And I can’t talk about it. I can’t talk about anything. I’m gagged! But soon as word is out, I’ll let you know, because Lance and I did a number on the narrative elements for the game world, and I’m pretty excited. It’s topical stuff, too — no drunken elves or clockwork orangutans or laser unicorns (aka “lasercorns”).
  • I can’t say this enough: you are reading Shadowstories: The Infi-Net Revolution, right? I mean, really. Get on over there. Don’t wait for permission.
  • Back to the Christianity thing. I have no problems with Christianity as a whole — it’s a religion, it’s got a lot of good stuff, and a lot of not-good-stuff. That’s every religion. That’s every political system. That’s every economical system. Nothing’s perfect, and Christianity has enough cool shit going on that it gets a thumbs-up from me (shit, just read the Book of Ezekiel — it’s like a peyote trip). But, I am consistently floored at the people who think the Bible is literal. Floored. Smack me in the gob and call me Sunshine, flooooored. From the get-go, we get two contradictory accounts of creation. We get four different versions of the Jesus story, and that’s only those that have been whittled down from the dozens of Jesus stories out there. It’s like fucking Rashomon up in that biznitch. By viewing all that literally, don’t you lose what’s potent about the stories? The metaphor? The poetry? I don’t read T.S. Eliot and think, Holy shit! That dude was attacked by goddamn Hollow Men. Though, now that I think about it, I would totally love to write a graphic novel or comic series set in a literal T.S. Eliot world. Mmmm. What were we talking about again?
  • You’re going to want to carve a little time out and head over to Rob Donoghue’s blog, where lately he’s been ruminating on the effective (and not-so-effective) uses of villains in RPGs. It’s good advice. And it goes beyond games, and can translate well into any fiction project where a villain is on the menu.
  • Look for a new Holy Shit, Free Thing courtesy of New Friend Julie, tomorrow.
  • I’m hungry. What’s for breakfast?


    • I didn’t just want to love it — I did love it. For the first hour or three…

      And every hour since, my enjoyment has swiftly waned by another 22 pleasurecrons.

      I am now down to -3 pleasurecrons.

      – c.

  • One of my favorite prayers, as a Christian, goes like this:

    “Dear Jesus. Please save me from Your fan club. Amen.”

    While I acknowledge that the Bible is more metaphorical than literal and there’s some scary stuff in there when put in the hands of fanatics and dipshits – or worse, fanatical dipshits – I still think some of the scripture has merit and is worth following. Jesus set a great example of how not to be a dick while not being a total pussy, and if more people focused on that rather than burning people alive or trying to browbeat them into submission, we’d have fewer problems on this tiny rock hurtling through space.

    • Well, that’s the thing, though — I don’t think making it metaphorical sours the message. I think it strengthens it. Taking it *all* literally becomes an absurdist reduction of logic; in the Bible alone you found several “versions” of Jesus that don’t play well together unless you see it as a metaphorical quilt showing us the many facets of the man (or even Man).

      – c.

  • *stands up and cheers for Josh*

    My favorite take on Christianity is The Gospel of Biff. I’m certain you already read Lamb. I prefer to keep that in my head at all times.

    Like I explained to my mom a few weeks ago, I love Jesus. Jesus was a pretty awesome dude. And he’d be absolutely appalled over the shit done In His Name.

    • Jesus was a rad dude.

      Also: Lamb, the Gospel According to Biff, Best Friend to Jesus is great. Christopher Moore is a patron saint of mine. Fluke? Dirty Job? Brilliant.

      – c.

    • Who? Moore? Oh, aren’t *you* fancy?

      I can beat that, lady! I got three books signed by him. (Lamb, Dirty Job, and a UK copy of Practical Demonkeeping.)

      My mates were kind enough to also include a signing by him for by bachelor party (possibly being one of the nerdiest bachelor parties in history).

      Further, we got to go out and have drinks with him in South Carolina.

      During that trip, we went to watch dog racing and dog fights. It was a night of hookers and blow. Always bet on the smaller dog, he said. Lower center of gravity.

      Okay, that last part might not be true. But the rest, totally true.

      – c.

  • I agree with you on Brutal Legend. I really, really, really wanted to love that game through and through. Alas, while the story is enough to make me see this through to the end, I’m still quite angry with Tim Schafer for several things that are bent and busted in that game. *sigh*

    Will comment on the rest after I get dinner out of the oven.

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