Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October 2012

I had it said to me, and then I turned around and said it to someone else. Sometimes when you can't be understood or the person can't be reasoned with, letting them know you are really angry is the second best thing. Maybe they'll just stay away, which is what probably what needs to happen anyway. 

This is a thinly veiled way of saying I've chosen to utterly exclude someone from my life. I have had to do that from time to time since I embarked on this road I'd chosen back in 2009. I always wonder if I'm doing the right thing, but it's a better feeling than knowing for sure that I didn't. 

Last year around this time I had possessed the urge to edit my first book and really push to self-publish. I decided to write another 700k words instead in the form of manuscripts for novels, game design for my Windows and Table Top game projects, and similar. What I've discovered is a truth I probably already knew. I'm even scared to read my blog from back then because I'm sure I made a mistake not engaging the editing and publishing process sooner. 

I've spent the month mourning that decision. Ask anyone with the misfortune to ask me how I've been doing lately, I'm sure they'll tell you. They will probably also tell you I'm not the forgiving or tolerant sort when it comes to failure of any sort really. Okay, I'm done feeling bad about that. It's out of my system. 

I'm a better writer now, which is what I really set out to do. So in that regard I haven't faltered in my primary goals and desires. Yay me. 

I've spent a lot of time pondering gadgets this month and the best computing devices for moving all my projects forward. Being a writer and a creative almost demands that you own a Mac, nothing else can endure my 8-10 hour day. Breaking in a new Windows Machine every 9 months at $1200 a pop seems kinda dumb compared to my three year old MacBook Pro that's outlasted two of my other machines. 

Developing games for the Windows Phone 8 platform requires different hardware entirely. Talking with my partner in crime, the mighty Livestrom, makes me certain it'll require a higher end machine. The new Windows Phones are going to be powerful and emulating them via the SDK is going to be like standing up almost two full operating systems. I'm due for a handset upgrade in February, so I might just wait and push game updates to the device itself for play testing.  

I really love my Samsung Focus though. I'll have to find it a good home if I upgrade.

I really liked being able to see everything in context to the code, how assets plugged in, and so forth. Not having my own SDK capable rig will be like building the game blind in some ways, but I don't know that I want to drop serious money on a machine that contribute to little else in my other endeavors. I don't even game on the PC anymore really so there's not even a recreational incentive for a faster machine. 

If it can make text reliably and run Sketchbook Pro and OneNote I'm basically fulfilled except with regard to end-game assets for the Windows Phone project. For a lot of it I can get by with Matthew Klundt's Sprite Something app, but for the rest there is only the hard-to-not-use Photoshop.

Monday, October 8, 2012


The virtues that give real personal power exist without the benefit of men or Gods, and cannot be easily written down or expressed with words. It isn't the sense of one's self that seems to bring action in domains arcane or banal. I don't even pretend to understand this state of being, and have dwelled there only a handful of times. 

People attempt to convey and explain this peaceful state through their unfailing faith and science of certitudes. Always, it is with panic in their voice and fear in their eyes. No one can bring it into the light and would scarcely blame the shadows for their own sake. 

It's that moment in the middle of the night when we think of how long we've lived, and wonder how much time we have left. That terror of being lost to the stars and everything we are vanishing with us when our mortal coil expires. Only I don't think it really is terror, or fear. It's something else. 

We attempt to give it many names, but the one that fits best is mortality. Any transcendent state would be meaningless without the threat of, or one being subject to, death. If one lived with no fear, there would be no contrast relative to what we mere mortals loosely define as real virtue. 

Therefore, to really know virtue, one must be subject to death. Lots of folks would jump in with how it's part of some Godly or cosmic plan that gives this notion weight. I would argue this: even if there is a plan, such a truth gives human agency a sort of unearthly power that transcends any agenda, temporal or celestial. 

I (just a man) subject to all, can deny everything for my own sake and be at peace. To myself there is only what occurs in the moment that matters. And, I can live forever in those moments. 

Thus, one man can understand the cosmos and everything in it simply by virtue of being born and being subject to death. Of all the religious and philosophical nonsense being spread like like cheap marmalade across the toast of humanity, I like the taste of that idea best. 

Simply, it means that everyone has a chance.

Friday, October 5, 2012

September 2012

I've been doing what I do for three years now. To be honest, I thought I'd get one half-assed book done, burn out and just find another job nine months in. My expectations were low. 

I think what's allowed me to persist this long was a couple of things. First, the craft itself. Writing expands the mind and makes you think more deeply about everything. Good creatives are adaptable. Second, I had a marriage of ten years under my belt. 

You'll live or die as a creative because of who you know. Having someone there to root for you when you can't pick yourself up is pretty important. I'd have given this up two years ago if it wasn't for my wife. Creatives need relationships and allies. 

Choose your spouse and your friends carefully. Ditch anyone or anything that drags you down. 

In that three years I've watched the self-publishing scene go from a little bit of nothing to guys making six-figure paydays. There wasn't much to believe in back in 2009, there was just hope. 2012 is a completely different story. The self-published author gig is a legitimate way to make a living. 

I hoped it would be.