I like!

GameStop has its own indie distribution line called the Gametrust Collection. Not only that, but they’ve partnered with IndieBox to release them in beautiful steel cases with collector edition extras!

I picked up Jotun yesterday, and it came with the game disc, soundtrack, manual, beautiful steel case, steam code for another copy of the game, and a 10% off code for an Indiebox subscription.

I usually prefer to get games through local retailers, but as far as I’m concerned, this is a win for GameStop.

Writing Journal

Originally written on 27 November 2016.

It’s time to page back through the current story to see where I’ve gone wrong. I’ve hit that point where a pause becomes a block, and nine times out of ten, it’s because I’ve taken things down the wrong path. I need to keep in mind that this isn’t an editing pass, but instead it’s a recon mission. Let’s go backwards.

First suspect is the most recent bit, after they come out of the coffee bar, having gotten the info they needed from Yeong-cheol. Susan’s┬árage and fear and protectiveness catch up with her, and she flips out on Adam.

That was the intent, anyway. I don’t think it came across that way. I do a lot of telling here, instead of showing. I’ve done that a lot throughout this first draft, and that’s all right, it’s allowed to suck.

Thing is, I know who Susan is. Yeong-cheol, for all of his borderline bullying, knows who she is. SUSAN knows who she is. She’s not questioning or discovering that, like Adam is. She’s not rediscovering it, like her sister is.

She’s made the choice to hold on to as much of her humanity as she is able to. She’s chosen to follow love, to follow her living family, knowing full well what the possible repercussions are. Her conflict comes from dealing with the end of things, and that she brought it about. It’s not Adam’s fault, it’s hers. He’s doing exactly what she asked him to do.

Her caretaking of her sister is coming to an end. Her connection to her living family, as a consequence of that, is coming to an end. Her obscurity among her “second family” is coming to an end. Her punishment is coming to an end.

Yes, these are definitely precursors to new beginnings, but it’d be bad to skim over the pain and learning that come with all of these endings. I should be focusing on them.

  • Make sure the scavengers are not a monolithic group of stereotypes.
  • Have a bunch of the scavengers go with Susan to back her up with her creator.
  • During the first editing pass, focus on Susan knowing who she is, but allow her to still fear rejection.
  • Do some more research into OCD.

Fear and kids

Originally written on 19 November 2017.

Terror is built deeply into my firstborn son. I should have made the jump. He had nightmares in the womb. They continue to be his most frequent form of dream. I spent nearly a year convincing him that our home, and especially his room, was safe. I helped him put a toy sword under his pillow every night so that he could sleep. I taught him how to cast mystical baddies out of his room. Now that he’s seven, he scoffs at it as if it were childish.

He swallowed a penny on Thursday, and it got stuck at the valve between his esophagus and his stomach. They sent us to Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor to have it removed. When they put the IV in, it took two attempts. On the second attempt, I saw how deep the rabbit hole goes. Wild, darting eyes, panicked screaming, trying to look away, or reason through it, as Nikki kept telling him to, and him getting more panicked because he couldn’t. I tried to help, to comfort, to connect and share the burden. Tears immediately began cascading down my cheeks and wave after wave of core-level terror tore me apart. I had to leave the room.

I thought I was failing my son. I thought I wasn’t strong enough to do what a Dad does.

The doctors thought I was going to pass out.

Does he live with that terror inside him every second of every day? The bravery and strength that it must take him just to get through the day, let alone have all the fun that he tries to pack in (so much like his mother sometimes)… thinking about it leaves me in awe.

He already things that I say how proud I am because I’m his Dad, and I have to. If he only knew how thoroughly he’s already earned it.

Pro-tip for seven-year-olds: Saliva is not the best solvent for cleaning your penny collection. Catsup comes highly recommended.

I’m exhausted, I’m spent, and I’ve accomplished a hell of a lot, considering. Gonna take me a bit to recover from this one. From all of this.

Not my son, though. He’s already back to bowling and playing Skylanders and poking me in the belly and giving his mom a hard time.

That’s my boy.