So, it’s been about a week since my last post and for that I apologize. I’ve been focusing my mind on preparing for NaNoWriMo and have been making exceptional progress on actually sketching out what I’m going to be writing; I’m actually quite excited. I’ve been very enthusiastic and I didn’t want to redirect my creative focus elsewhere when I’m making such great headway. That being said, I wanted to get back to my blog and give it some love as well. However, I have several things on my mind, so this post will come off as somewhat scatterbrained and random in many ways. Consider it a potluck dinner where there’s a variety, but some of the dishes might not appeal to you.
First off, I’m very tired of this election cycle. I look over my previous posts and feel that I’ve had a very strident, raging voice. But I feel very strongly about this topic and to be silent or meek would be a disservice to the importance I feel this election has. It’ll come as no surprise if I say I’m frustrated with the popular media outlets and their treatment of the truth. It’s just so much spin, so much smoke and mirrors these days. The problem is that as consumers we are not requiring more of our media or of our politicians. We accept less and so therefore they give us less. That’s sad and tragic and ultimately we are reaping exactly as little as we are sowing.
The election is in a few days and I’m going to be in line to cast my vote. I’m voting for Obama. I don’t believe he has fulfilled his promises as he said he would, but I believe in his potential. No politician is perfect, but I agree with his views.
Romney on the other hand is definitely not right for this country. He believes that the same failed policies that created the Great Recession will somehow magically fix our country. Everything he has said has been a manipulation of perception or a pure distortion of fact. The conservatives cannot argue based upon evidence, so they base their arguments on mistruths. I cannot countenance a liar as a leader so I would never consider Romney as a real leader. Sorry, he destroy things, he doesn’t rebuild them.
But whomever you chose to vote for, EDUCATE YOURSELF. Learn before you vote. Be intelligent and informed. Know the issues and what not only the candidates are saying about those issues, but what the people the candidates speak for are saying. Romney changes his tune more often than Pandora Music, but his backers and RNC masters are always singing the same tune. Think of it this way: you wouldn’t have sex with the first person you meet in a bar, so why would you be willing to be screwed by a politician without first knowing what he stands for. Don’t be an lazy idiot; expend the effort and time to know why you are voting for who you are voting for.
The end. I’ll not be posting anything more about the election prior to Election Day. If you’re reading this, you’ve either already decided who you’ll vote for or you don’t care. I won’t waste any more time preaching to the choir or lecturing the uninformed. Make your choice but know why you’re making it and who you’re making it for. That is all.
I recently finished playing a borrowed copy of this game. As a huge fan of games like Thief 2, System Shock 2, BioShock, and Deus Ex, I was amazed at how well they’ve maintained the emphasis on problem-solving over violence. For those not familiar with this game, it’s a sneak-or-kill first person game where you play Corvo Atano, a royal bodyguard turned assassin in a steampunk-esque dystopian re-imagining of England (or a very similar nation). The game focuses on missions that you are sent on by Loyalists to the assassinated Queen wherein you wreck vengeance upon the people who framed you for murder and sentenced you to die. Along the way, you befriend a capricious deity that grants you mystical powers you can use to accomplish your goals.
There are multiple ways to accomplish these goals and your choices affect not only how the game ends for you, but also the environment that you interact with. Seek bloody vengeance at the end of your dagger? Then the world becomes darker, more dangerous and suffering and misery increase. Seek justice and maintain your honor and integrity? Things slowly improve and you inspire your cohorts to behave more honorably. In game, this is referred to as ‘chaos’ and is measured after each adventure. It is said that the game can be played without causing a single death. Although I did not possess that level of restraint, I can see how it could be possible.
While there are three epilogues to the game -based upon the level of chaos you cause- I still felt that my decisions were born not from a desire for a good or bad ending, but as an expression of who I envisioned myself -and Corvo Atano- being. Perhaps it is because I am currently in a character-building mindset with my writing, or perhaps I am still feeling the influence of Spec Ops and its stark evaluation of violent escapist fantasies, but I played like I felt I would behave were it me.
Above all, the game was exquisitely well-written. I was truly enthralled with the story and applaud the developers for focusing on a gripping tale over superficial and flashy mechanics. This was a tale with teeth and heart and there were points where the story being told deeply moved me and made me think. I think that in this case, the writers wanted to give the player a chance to be a true hero -or a true monster- and did not try to disguise that fact. In many ways it is like Spec Ops, which also ripped aside the facade gamers love to hide behind, except for instead of feeling dirty and horrified, I felt jubilant and cleansed. Simply put, this was an amazing game and well worth your time to play it. Except: be better than me and buy it instead of borrowing it from a friend.
NaNoWriMo starts in just a few days, so I’m soon to be diving headlong into that. Work, Sleep, Eat, Time With Wife, Write. Not in that particular order (wife -of course- always comes first). So, my blog is going to transition into a different mode during November. Obviously, my primary literary focus will be on writing my novel. I don’t want to neglect my blog or my handful of readers though. So for this month, my blog is going to feature smaller posts on the process of writing the first draft of my first novel. I’ll discuss what I feel and am experiencing at various points, to give readers an insight to what NaNoWriMo is like for the participant.
I’ll also include posts written by another blogger and successful writer, Cristian Mihai. I’ve been following his blog for some time and have found his posts insightful. He has self-published, an option I am currently investigating myself, as well as having been accepted by a publishing house. So, I’ll be re-posting some of his work to supplement my own posts.
Anyways, I’m looking forward to the next month with mixed dread and excitement A lot is occurring and not all of it may be positive (Romney might win), but I’m not going to shy away from dramatic changes. Life is about adapting to new realities and I’ll be embracing that philosophy wholeheartedly. I look forward to seeing how I feel on December 1st: whether I’ve succeeded, what I’ve learned, where I am as a person and a writer at that time. Until then…