Prepping for IT


And I just watched the trailer for It, and damn, that looks pretty good. I have a certain way of seeing things when it comes to horror films (*and really it’s that I just have standards. Can you blame me?) It doesn’t count if the movie uses sudden movements and loud sudden sounds to freak out the watcher.

No, I’m sorry, that’s not scary; it’s annoying.

Anyone will jump at that kind of stuff. Ridiculous. So yeah, if you want to make a real horror movie (not a “jumper”), it is my personal opinion that you need to really build something scary as opposed to zipping a sudden jump-out-at-you scene. Session 9 does this well. This one looks pretty good. I’ve always been a Stephen King fan, especially after reading his memoir on his craft, On Writing. When I was a kid, there was a period of time in which I was on a King kick, reading several of his strong novels one by one because I couldn’t get enough. The first one I read was Misery, then Cujo, I read Skeleton Crew and one or two others. I remember one of my favorites was Needful Things.

Anyhow, back to the film. It was a book I had always heard about and have wanted to read. I think back then it seemed like just too big. The size was something that, at the time, turned me off since I wasn’t ready for something like that yet. But here and now, many years later, I would very much like to take on that challenge.

And, if you haven’t seen the trailer, you should. In fact, here.

As you know I’ve been reading the entire Wheel of Time with my brother. We just finished Book Three; incredible thus far. I know I’ve dropped the link before, but since I’m already in the habit, HERE IT IS again. You can go here to follow our progress as we roll through the entire Wheel.

Other than that, life is dandy. I finished the first draft of a short story I had worked on for a couple of weeks and it was a relief to get it done. I also had some great writerly friends of mine give me some great feedback on that story. One of those even sent me some of her stuff back so I could get a look at it. I’m slowly getting my way through it, though, good stuff.

Finally I’m listening to the serial podcast S-Town by This American Life. My wife and I got into Serial when that came out last year, and it was really good. But, you had to wait for a week for each episode to come out. In S-Town, all of the episodes are already out. You can, if you’re so inclined, “binge watch them.” I must admit, whatever little skepticism I had about this cast was dusted and washed away after the first (maybe two) episodes you watch. I can’t say any more that that. Here’s the CAST if you want to go ahead and try your chances.

Other than that, folks. It’s back to writing.

Keep at it. No complaints.

-LP

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Regardless


by

L.P. Stribling

Start over, you need to start over.

Not entirely, but with your thoughts,

With where you think you need to be.

Start over.

’T’s cold outside. Empty.

Don’t see many people walking around.

You’re not them. Focus on you.

You’re ready to meet your own people,

Remember, we’re starting over.

I’m a writer. Regardless.

Regardless of what words are,

Written on my lanyard, of what it says

on my driver’s license, my résumé,

or what comes of the mouths of my loved ones

Pertaining to the question of “what it is I do.”

I’m a writer.

And I recognize that,

Because I’m starting over.

Quick drive down. Cut the engine.

Now I’m with them – the only ones who know

Who I really am. I know them too.

We smile, we laugh as we snack.

Because we all get. Regardless.

Regardless of what words are used out there.

We’ve started over.

Holy Cow!


So, I’m not really sure what’s happened, but it seems that I’ve just been sitting here and (voila!) a month has gone by and no post. That’s no good. Can’t have that.

Yeah – let’s change that….beginning now.

Let’s talk about something relevant – airport prices.

Okay, when was the last time you bought food at the airport? Let’s get into this. I’m going to start off by talking about this one time I went to the airport and was hungry, and had some money in my pocket, and had some time, and … well, I was hungry. I walked twenty gates past my gate just to find some place that offered something descent (healthy, well-priced, and tasty – I know, a tall order, but what the hell, I had some time). So I go all the way up and all the way back down, deciding on a quasi-French place called La Brea. They had sandwiches, soups, coffee, salads, seemed to be okay.

I order a veggie sandwich (VEGGIE, not meat, nothing fancy…veggie), and a regular latte.

$17 … yes, SEVENTEEN DOLLARS!

When the customer service representative gave me the price, I thought “What!?” Then I checked the menu, the prices, and yep, with tax, that’s probably about right. Unbelievable. In what world is it okay to charge $17 for a vegetables, bread, and coffee (okay fine, coffee with milk)? But you know what, I was the loser who paid these people. I mean, I’m kind of kicking myself right now. Because they know that people are hungry at airports and they don’t have another place to eat. So, if you put a restaurant in an airport, you get to name your price. Then, somewhere down the line, others put their restaurants in airports, and ideally, the price would go down.

But, if the price does go down, it’s not that much at an airport. I guess that’s capitalism, though, eh? But again, am I the dummy for paying that much for those items, or are they the jackholes for charging that much. Maybe a bit of both, depending on how you look at it.

Next time, bringing my own food.

Thoughts in Early February


Writing despite, Chuck.

Some would consider my living situation a bit unconventional. I live in a house with another…(counting)…14 people. Fifteen in all. Fifteen, in one house.

To answer your questions (one of your questions), my answer is I’m not sure. I’m not sure really how I do it. There are some factors we have to consider here, maybe to help paint the clearest of pictures for you.

Eleven of those fifteen are adolescent boys, specifically boys in the junior/senior age range. Given, that’s relatively easy, since, for the most part, all adolescent boys want to do is play video games, jerk off, and go to sleep. They want to be left alone. No drama, either. I mean, for the most part. But again, I have eleven of them. It’s not that there’s drama, but shit, that’s a lot of stinky grown-up five year olds running around in circles in this house.

There is a certain point of the night where I’d like them to be quiet, or at least lower their voices. That doesn’t always happen. In fact, I’ve yelled at them more than I’ve liked to about shutting their faces, but for some reason, it doesn’t seem to stick. Perhaps I’ll have to sacrifice one of them in front of the others. I’ll pick one of the least hard working ones.

…and they’re watching the Super Bowl right now. I fucking hate football. So, there’s that. There goes another one, deciding to mix some stuff in a bowl and make a cake at nearly 10:00 at night. <sigh>

For the most part it’s good; I’m not writing this to complain about the situation. It’s actually all been pretty good.

There are no rights and wrongs in life; it’s all about how you view it.

I’m reading the Wheel of Time right now with Jer and we’ve recently jumped over to The Dragon Reborn (Book III – the commentary for which you can find here).

Writing’s going well. Working on a short story, draft one deadline is Saturday February 18th. Listening to Roll Play Swan Song as well. If you’ve never seen the show, it’s one of the best sci-fi stories I’ve ever seen.

Thanks for all the encouragement from all you out there. Keep at it. More coming up.

lp

Playing D&D


Some of you out there know that I game. Some of you have just read the first sentence and really aren’t quite sure what that means. Someone who games, in common parlance, is considered to be a gamer. A gamer is a person who games.

Good.

Now, what kind of games does that mean? It probably means video games and some table top games. I play both, but what I was referring to in the above first sentence for this post is D&D – Dungeons and Dragons for the laity.

I have been playing for the past three years (I think) with many of the same guys. Many of you are not up to speed on how the game works, I’ll try and simplify it here. It’s a role-playing game. You make up a characters (there’s a process), then in your adventuring party, you narrate what your character would do in given situations (which may include using his/her voice.

In video games, you control the player with a controller. You press buttons and your character on the screen performs certain actions. In fact, I’ll explain it as I heard a very good game player describe it once: Video games show you what you can do in the game (pressing buttons shows the player what they can do), while DnD shows the player what they can’t do. There are only a few things in DnD that you can’t do in the world. Everything else is fair game.

General gameplay looks like this:

dungeons-and-dragons

There is one person called the DM (Dungeon Master), who is the storyteller/narrator. This person is, for all intents and purposes, “the game.” This person keeps the flow of the game, telling the party where they are, what is going on, and keeps people interacting. The DM basically keeps the gamer from hitting PAUSE. The others are the gamers. They are the ones who are pressing the buttons.

The adventure is not played on a screen, but on a table, and the story is playing out in the minds of each of the players. Players run campaigns, long sessions of adventure running across large portions of the game world. Campaigns (games) can take anywhere between one session and several years, depending on the playing style of the players and their level of strategy and cooperation with their party. It’s all a big game of social dynamics. You can play with people who played before and whom you know very well, or with total strangers. Your game mates can be great to play with or complete dicks. In general you’ll get a hodgepodge of all of these.

One of the big things that DnD needs for long-term play is consistency.

Okay so why am I talking about this?

Because I was hoping to game with my brother this weekend. Didn’t happen, and I’m sad. There were three of us (Me, J, and S) who got together to design a game – a real good game. S gathered some folk from other games and J and I showed up so we could all get together and design out party. Then we had to get to the final questions – is the time going to work for all of us. J and two others conflicted. J bowed out.

Shitty.

No one’s fault, but just a bummer. I know S and I were both looking forward to gaming with you, bro.

So, that was my weekend. Good overall. Went to Costco this afternoon, had an early T-Day meal. Life is good. Bummed I can’t game with Bro, but the gaming must resume. We must game on. He says he’ll come in on some one-shots every now and again, which will be great, and he’s also going to look into getting a game together on R20. I’ll have to see how that works out for him.

The games move along.

School Begins: Game On


…and by ‘game on,’ I mean ‘prepare yourselves!’
My mind during these past few weeks has, now and again, come back to my private space here and I want to simply put aside all this other stuff and get on with things. Writing is calling me, and sadly, I have not been answering. I try not to think about it, to simply let it go and say “well, this is the way things are going now.”

It’s never prudent to make excuses over things you like (or love) doing. That’s why I’m not making excuses. I’m owning it. The words haven’t been raining havoc on the page as they should be. That’s on me and I have to just face up to it. Now, I could sit back and flip through the book of excuses to see which page will best make me feel better about myself, or I could just get back up, dry my eyes, and get back at it. The latter sounds good.

As to the project, the outline is coming along more swiftly than it had been in a long while. It’s the most outlining that has come from this body, and I’m thankful to be in a position to produce.
That’s where we’ll cut it for now. Sleep calls to me. Time to send forth the ‘I Ams.’

Stay in the field of love for what you do and who you are.

-lp

Overwatch, Destiny, and why the hell not.


Overwatch – new game coming out. I’ve spent the past couple of hours watching (actively or inactively) JP play the game on Twitch and it’s looking pretty good. It’s another FPSs, but it looks a bit different than some of the other ones that have come out recently. It looks similar to Destiny in the fact that it’s sci-fi, but it also has huge animated elements to it. Looks good though.

The game play seems to be fast and there are a lot of mechanics that are involved which can help or hinder, it seems. Just like any other FPS, the guns change as the levels increase and you can play co-op, which is an attractive feature for many gamers out there. The only thing that I watched had to do with lots of players going out and going against each other in an all-out kill mode. It reminded me of something analogous to the Crucible in Destiny.

Speaking of which, I’m still playing.

I have been playing Destiny since day one and, like many of the fans out there, I’m not really sure why I’m still playing. I finished the story a long time ago, and now it’s all just about upgrading my character. It’s been about upgrading my character since….well since that first year. Bungie keeps increasing the maximum possible level as well as the kinds of “stuff” you can get. It’s insane how that right there keeps us going. We just get caught up in these traps of “oh, more stuff!” and, well if there aren’t any other games that are going to keep our fancy, then we stay the course.

Anyway, Overwatch comes out for the PS4 at the end of May; check it out when you get a chance. I hope you all had a delightful Tuesday.

Be good.

-lp