Do you compose best with a pen and paper or typing at a computer?
I suspect I do better with a pen and paper but that turns it into a two-step process and I'll often think "Maybe I shouldn't write any more until I type up the bulk of it in word" and that always, always leads to stalls.
This time it was a fairly rote rejection letter and I wonder whether my work just wasn't up to their standards or if they simply didn't have a position for me. I suspect it's the former, since they responded quite swiftly with a firm "Sorry, after looking over your submission we won't be hiring you" once I asked if they'd had a chance to review my work.
I have to admit I'll be wondering what I did wrong but that's how it goes.
Many thanks to everyone who was a beta-tester/critic over the weekend. It's greatly, greatly appreciated. Now all I have to do is sit back and anxiously refresh my e-mail every ten minutes relax.
PS: All the professional animation/design nerds on here (there's like...half a dozen of you) should check out Paprika and Tekonkinkreet. I liked Paprika a bit more but they're both beautiful and fun and come with great soundtracks. Good times.
There's two houses I'm arranging to have rented out up in St. Albert. If anyone is interested, they should drop me a line. I'd be more than happy to show off the properties whenever is convenient. I should be contacted fairly soon, though, because if not I'm just going to take out some ads.
I received a rejection letter from the magazine I sent my short story, "The Architect of Planets", to. It would have been fantastic to have it published but I'm not crushed. It just makes me want to try again. You haven't heard the last from me, unnamed magazine! I'll just do what almost every other writer in history has done: Submit my first story to other magazines, write new stories to submit to you, stare balefully at the current bestsellers list for far too long, and so on.
It's also not as if the publisher stuffed their copy of TAoP into a bottle along with an oil-soaked rag, set it on fire and yelled "This is what we think of your precious story!" while flinging it through my front window*. They actually wrote a small paragraph explaining what they thought and why they didn't take it. I appreciate that they took the time to do so, considering how many submissions they must get.
In the meantime the holidays have been going nicely for me, and I hope everyone else's winter festival of choice went well. A Happy New Year to everyone!
Zero Punctuation by Yahtzee Croshaw is my new favorite series of articles on games. There's places where I both agree and disagree but this is the only "video review" I've ever felt was worthwhile MAKING into a video instead of just writing down. Also because I'm a sucker for minimalist-illustration when it's done right. (Perhaps because my own mastery of the human figure is restricted to crude stick-men)
I'm coming back from Vancouver with 23 more books than I had when I left. I kept calculating the cost of ordering them online versus BC's tax rate (BC's taxes won out, shipping can be awful) and some were from used bookstores but still. I do this every time. I have one or two books I still haven't read from my last visit here.
Highlights aside from seeing Katie (hooray!) were visiting the aquarium and Stanley park again, seeing an Impressionist/Surrealist painters exhibit and the lovely weather. It's been so perfect outside I wish I could stay a few extra days just to soak it in.
On the other hand, I HAVE spent every other day going "I miss my dog" and staring wistfully at the little pooches running around in the nearby park whenever I walk by (Oh yeah, and I miss you guys too).
Edit: I've also been showing Katie Kolchak: Nightstalker and we both agree that the term "Nightstalking" is the kindest possible interpretation of what he actually does. Also that he's awesome.
...I just wish I wasn't so irredeemably terrible at real-time strategy. Why aren't there any big-budget sci-fi turn-based strategy games out there (or did I just miss the best of them or what).
Then again given how I wanted to throw Warcraft 3 into a wall and watch the discs shatter into a thousand worthless pieces after less then three days of playing it, maybe it's for the best that I stay away.
Blizzard put up the teaser trailer on its official Starcraft 2 site. Despite my grumbling I always did like their cinematics' style and this one's pretty sweet. Jesus, the suit design takes me back.
Vacation going well! Brilliantly sunny 90% of the time. Lovely beach. Getting lots of reading done. When I get back we can try a rum cake I bought for all of you (the secret ingredient is rum). It's still strange to walk around in shorts and t-shirts but while my brother has been mauled by mosquitoes, I have escaped with only two bites. Good times all around.
It's about time they started coming out with more merchandise. They've been sitting on the property for years and there's a lot of nostalgia they can trade on to get a decent profit off of relatively easy-to-put-together stuff like this. It's the kind of collectors item I've been waiting forever for. FINALLY.
" And that artbook will contain new material such as ReBoot re-imagined by leading comic book artists, as well as reprinting original character designs, CGI rendered images, promotional stills, and even some stuff that even the most hardcore ReBoot fan will have never seen before"
-Getting about 7 hours of sleep each night, a miracle compared to what 80% of the other organizers were running on.
-Seeing many more people and vendors come out this year than the last.
-Rolling the Call of Cthulhu sanity chart, one of the greatest joys of a COC GM. The game went pretty well too, I think. Thanks to everyone who let me playtest "The Haunting" with them.
-Attending a great RPG game, which neatly ran the line between us players being awesome and us players being total boobs. It's always fun when that happens. And for once, being awesome won the day!
-Jim Bevridge gave me a poster of this, and even signed it, after I lost the auction lot for a framed copy. That was incredibly cool of him.
-Hawkgirl! The 501st Alberta Badlands people came out again and they were cool too but come on, Justice League. (They mentioned they'd been asked to come out to West Edmonton Mall a few days ago to wander around the place during customer appreciation night, when Galaxyland rides are free. I'm really sorry I missed that)
-Getting my copies of Kurt Busiek's Conan the Barbarian signed by Cary Nord, the fellow who actually draws the whole thing.
-The charity auction (for the Edmonton Small Press Association) going even better than last year.
Thank god the planning is over for now, though.
In an unrelated item, my ipod is frozen. I can't reset it or turn it off since it's not registering any button imput. Neither the PC nor Itunes recognizes the Ipod when it's plugged into any USB port (I tried the HUB, the front connection and the back one. Nothing). The Ipod also doesn't react in any fashion when plugged into the port on the Ipod-only stereo, which suggests it's the Ipod itself and not the PC. I'm stumped, and after going through the apple support page I think I have to take it in to be fixed. I'm posting about it here in case someone has a last-minute fix.
I haven't posted much about Pure Speculation 2 yet but I'm looking forward to it. It's been better advertised, there's more guests, and there's been a lot of support from people who came out last year and some new friends. We have a lot of novelists and comic artists out this year. Happy Harbour Comics has been good to us and, among other things, is setting up its Comic Talks pannels there. If you're fans of Minister Faust, he's going to be reading from his new book and participating in the writing talks. I only had a chance to talk to him for a few minutes last year but in addition to having a good storytelling voice, he struck me as a friendly guy.
I really like our selection of writers and artists as creative guests. It's good to have more than strictly LAN gaming*, boardgaming and dice rolling going on. (We have those things though, which of course means that when I'm not panicking because I'm an organizer again this year I will be indulging in some dice-rolling.)
Knights of the Northern Realm are coming out again too. My favorite part of their demonstration last year wasn't the fighting (which only lasted about 5 - 10 minutes anyhow) but the history talks explaining how the weapons they'd brought were actually used and how they lead to newer, more efficient ones. (If you are interested in that kind of thing and are awake before noon on a Sunday, I highly recommend it).
I'm especially proud of the charity auction selection. Last year was a bit of a hodge podge but this year's items are pretty sweet. I'll be bidding on the "regular" Bioware fun pack myself. (By the way Orion, Way of the Rat was concept art hanging in Steven Spielburg's office, not Lucas'. My mistake. Still pretty cool though. Arguably, even better)
*Although the same fellow that organizes Fragapalooza is heading that for us, so god knows if LAn parties are your passion this year is a good time to attend.
FINALLY. (Well, in December but I've been waiting for an announcement on the release date for what feels like forever)
Lego Star Wars II is thoroughly adorable. I beat the story yesterday but there's a lot left to collect. With the exception of the snow speeder level on Hoth (the mechanics for getting from zone to zone were kind of clunky) the vehicle levels are a lot more fun this time around which is good, because there's more of them. Darth Vader's default force power is the force choke, and when he does it his victim's legs kick uselessly before their bodies explode into their component lego parts. I love that.
Announcement here. It happened August 13th but I've just started browsing the net for any length of time today, so.
It's not unexpected since he was in his 70s or 80s, but it's still sad.
When a 16-year old me sent Tony Jay a slightly gushy fan letter, he actually took the time to write back with a very kind reply, thanking me for my fan mail and commenting on a few things I'd said. It was the first time I'd ever written to an artist I'd admired, and I was both amazed and ecstatic he'd written a response. It sounds cheesy, but I'll never forget that feeling.
When I began watching ReBoot and decided that Megabyte was just about the coolest, wickedest bad guy ever, it was 90% because of Tony Jay's voice. I started noticing how many cartoons and videogames he showed up in. He was in a lot of good stuff - ReBoot, of course, but also Planescape, Fallout, Mighty Max, The Tick - and he was always a treat to hear. Tony Jay was a great actor, and the first to make me realize just how much an animated character's personality was at the mercy of its voice.
You'll be sorely missed, Mr. Jay. Rest in Peace.
Addendum: I took a quick look around some of the old ReBoot fan websites I used to hang around to see if the news had spread and found this. It actually has some sketchy details of what season 4 was meant to be, from Gavin Blair himself, and may have a few more coming.
As much as I bitched about the 4th season, I'd love to have a script of the missing episodes. They didn't stand a good chance of being made before, and after Tony Jay's passing away that chance has gone down to zero, but my curiosity dies hard.
Yesterday I stayed inside because I caught a cold and wanted to spend a day waiting it out rather than have it go on for the rest of the trip. Everytime I visit this city. EVERY TIME, something horrible happens to my body. Baby, why do you gotta hit me?
Special secret note to Andrea: I got you a little gift from the Nintendo Store as promised. The whole place was pretty rad. Also jampacked with little kids and a few older sadder nerds like me.
Actually, some others will get presents. Nothing too lavish since I ended up getting stuff for seven people, but they're filled with love.
PS: Changed my mind and totally love Venture Brothers now.