New project!

I am incredibly excited. I am bouncing off the walls with giddiness and anticipation. I have a new project, but I can’t start on it until I get home from work travel. This project, everyone, this project!

I’ve been debating getting a Nintendo Switch since it came out about a year ago. I’ve gone back and forth on it, mulled it over during my gaming videos, and debated about it while hanging out in my favorite streamers’ channels. The hardware is beautiful and amazing and I want to pet it all day long. But the games… I’d have to re-purchase any classic games that I’ve bought for my Wii U, and because of the move from discs to cartridges, backward compatibility isn’t possible. Add on to that all of the copyright notices I get when I archive streams of Wii U games to YouTube. But the hardware… oh, man.

The project idea hit me when I was bemoaning this yet again, and asked why I would sink even more money into a game library for the Switch when I have all of these unplayed games in my Steam library? It seemed ludicrous.

So what I really want to do, is to play my Steam games on the Switch. But, meh, I’ve fought to get root and install OS ROMs on devices before, and I moved to an iPhone so I wouldn’t have to do that any more.

So what I REALLY want to do is play my Steam games on a device LIKE the switch. (CAPS.) My brain went pop, and I thought, that should exist! Spoilers, it does, or has in the recent past, or will in the near future, but either not in the form factor I’m looking for, or isn’t available for purchase.

Everyone, I’ve decided to build a hand-held Steam Box. The first iteration will only play those games with the Steam logo in the compatibility list (SteamOS). The second iteration will play all the Windows compatible games, up to and including modern releases.

I’ve got a plan. And, with the help of a good friend, a jumping-off-point in the form of a SFFF (super small form factor) PC ready and waiting when I return home.

Cannot. Wait.

I don’t like most social networks.

There, I’ve said it. It’s true.

I hate Facebook with the passion of a thousand burning suns. I could go on for hours about all of the bad and the terrible. In fact, I have. It’s pretty easy to get me going, in fact.

I fought joining Twitter, until signing up meant that I was more likely to get that job that I was after. Once I did, I was pretty well addicted. I fully embraced it as a microblogging platform, until Gamergate showed how lax they were with enforcing any sort of abuse policy whatsoever. I stayed as long as I could stand it, but eventually a vote was taken, and the citizens of Skippy chose Twexit.

Google Plus was just disappointing from beginning to end. Not only did Google/Alphabet/whatever decide to get rid of my favorite Google products (I STILL WANT READER BACK! YOU HEAR ME?), not only did it force gender-normative real names upon YouTube comments, not only did it replace Picasaweb (IT WAS FINE YOU JERKS), but it ended up being lackluster and bland.

I tried ello. Flash in the pan, and pretentious to boot.

Livejournal was my home from 2001, and I slowly migrated away from it, until its new-ish Russian parent company decided that all users were subject to Russian law.

I missed Vine entirely. I blinked, and it went away. And, yes, I’m going to point out how similar its life was to the length of its videos.

Snapchat? EEeeeeuuuuggghhhh….

Diaspora? Now THAT ONE had my attention. I signed up for notifications, and I wanted to host my own pod, and it was awesome and was going to be the best and… I have no idea what happened. I don’t remember ever getting the notification that it was available for use, or I did and never signed up or… ? No idea.

Mastodon seems to be a modern Diaspora, and the only problem I’m having so far is figuring out which node I want to be associated with for the life of the platform and/or until that particular node goes down for good. I’m unsure about how that data can be migrated if that happens, but whatever. I’m going to give it a try.

I’m not looking for a replacement for this blog, or for my vlog, or for my gaming videos. Actually, I take that back, I’d love to find a replacement for YouTube. But, I’m not expecting Mastadon to be that. I’m expecting it to be a place to connect with friends and view microblogging content and that sort of thing. On a distributed, open source platform.

If you’re interested, check it out. :) I’ll be posting my contact info there soon!

You can come home again.

Do you have a fictional world that you can always come back to? Something that no matter what, you can re-read, or know that the next book set there will be comforting and like coming home, at the very least.

That’s what the Shannara books are to me. I’ve re-read the first few trilogies several times, and I keep picking up more when I hit the bookstore. I wait to read until I have a complete trilogy or quartet, because when I get going, I don’t want to stop until I’ve digested the whole story.

Believe you me, Terry Brooks is prolific enough for me to be able to do that without worrying if it’ll stop the next one from coming out.

But, Skippy, you might say, the first book is awful! Well, dear reader, I’d be hard pressed to argue with you on that one. Though, in my teenage years, when I was devouring R. A. Salvatore and Isaac Asimov and Anne McCaffrey and Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman novels, each in a matter of days, I didn’t even notice. And the second series of books hooked me forever. The first ones may have anchored me into the world, but the second ones spoke to me.

Those are the ones that made the Four Lands feel like home.

I’m on pause now. Don’t give me the side-eye, I’m looking for two more to finish out the quartet. And then, dear reader, AND THEN? I’ll make a trip back to this world and devour that story, and I will be happy.

Where’s your fictional home away from home?

There’s those words again.

THE END.

I got to write them again. I’ve finished the first draft of another novella, and I’m still surprised that this is a thing that I can do. That this is a thing I’ve chosen to do. That this is a thing that I’m still doing.

Something was definitely different this time. This story wasn’t a re-work of something I’d written before. Like The Remembrance, it was a story that I needed to tell, and had characters that I wanted to visit for a time, irrevocably changing everything that they knew. This time, which was different from every single other time, I saw places that would need to be improved as I wrote them. I looked forward to revising. I didn’t just know that revising was a thing that I was going to have to slog through, but I knew that it would give me an opportunity to make it better.

This is something that usually has to be drilled into me from the outside. And from the outside, it’s usually been Nikki.

But, this time… THIS time… it was just a thing. It was “I’m going to make a note about this here, and it should be fixed like this, and I’ll take care of it on the next pass.” So, the plan is to do a light revision when I move the story from paper notebook to digital, and then send it out to my steadfast alpha readers. If you’d like to be added to that alpha reader list, drop me a line!

Writing Journal

Originally written on 13 February 2018

Notes:

How do I want to handle the “last” conversation between Susan and Nat? Nat will have done her homework, and tried to prepare for her journey as best she could, without worrying the police officers too much.

Adam’s not with them, and is likely still sleeping back at the apartment.

Susan is exhausted, even after a day’s sleep. She’s traumatized, much like her sister, and is barely keeping her cheese on her cracker. She knows that “losing” her sister is inevitable, at this point, but it doesn’t make any of this easier.

They’ll start just hugging, I think. Crying quietly. They’ll talk, sort of, about the demon. They’ll talk about what’s in store for each of them. Nat will reveal that she’s known about Susan’s other family, and urge her to leave. When they’re done talking, and Susan is leaving, she’ll turn back to say something, and Nat will be gone, along with the stuff.

Susan will stay upright, with the help of the wall, and then will head off to Yeong-Cheol.

Edits

  • The coffee bar needs to change to the Wormhole in Wicker Park. That neighborhood fits who Susan wants to be like a glove.
  • Car fire should be on the border of residential and industrial zones in the South or West side.
  • Nat’s house should be in Edgewater.