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.

Writing Journal

Originally written on 29 September 2016.

The scavengers congregate outside the silos, masquerading as the gathered homeless. They spend the day inside, if they don’t have another hovel staked out as their personal territory. The silos have been patched with rusting metal and tar to keep out the sunlight, and the doors are barred from the inside to prevent intruders. They value their privacy, and are not kind to strangers.

These are the vampires who turned Cole. The gun had been taken east to the Mother and her brood (Two Vampires, What No Eye Has Seen), and then a raiding party took it back. The gun isn’t particularly precious to the scavengers, but you don’t steal from them and get away with it.

Because of the theft, they have hidden the gun in one of their caches scattered throughout the area. As reviled and scorned as they are, safe houses and supply drops are incredibly useful. After Adam and Susan help defend the silos from the demon, the scavengers reveal the gun’s location and tell them it’s theirs.

Several scavengers will be burnt by the demon as they attack it. Susan will eventually risk the Sight, and through the madness of the demon’s mind, she’ll discover that Walter brought it here from another “dimension.” Adam will be able to sense that tether, the one that’s keeping it there. He’ll sever it, snapping the creature back to its home and breaking its pact with Walter.

Walter’s already pissy from the CPD’s discovery of what he was up to, and he’ll be orders of magnitude angrier when the pact is broken. Will he sense it right away, or will he depend on a more mundane sign? The latter, I think.

Writing Journal

Originally written on 25 July 2016, 29 July 2016, and 06 August 2016

Novella description/blurb

Adam wants you to know that he really, truly has no idea what’s going on. He’s just as freaked out as you are. One minute, you’re reading about him here, and the next, he’s standing right beside you. Something about him seems wrong, but those emerald eyes of his make everything seem okay. Do you even wonder how you know his name is Adam?

He’s impossible. No one can leap from the page. But there Adam stands, real as life. More real. He insists he’s just as confused, and his emerald eyes make him all the more believable. But, wait, he never said his name.

Julia called out to the pool hall’s regular. He waved, smiling for all he was worth. He had every right to be happy; Julia had saved him from a rabid werewolf last Tuesday. She grabbed a menu and set it on his usual table. She’d gotten this job after she drove off some angry ghosts for the owner. Julia was an accomplished witch, and really liked her little corner of Detroit. Then Coll brought in that gun, and everything fell apart.

Julia waved to the pool hall’s regular. He waved back, smiling for all he was worth. He had every right to be happy; she’d saved him from a rabid werewolf last Tuesday. She grabbed a menu and set it on his usual table. She’d driven off a couple of angry ghosts from the place, and the owner had given her this job. She was a pretty good witch, and really liked her little corner of Detroit. Then Coll brought in that gun, and everything fell apart.

Julia waved to the pool hall’s regular. He waved back, smiling for all he was worth. He had every right to be happy; she’d saved him from a rabid werewolf last Tuesday. She grabbed a menu and set it on his favorite table. A while ago, she’d driven off a couple of angry ghosts, and the owner had given her this job. She was a damn good witch, and really liked her corner of Detroit. Then Coll brought in that gun, and everything fell apart.

Julia waved to the regular as he walked in the door. He waved back, smiling for all he was worth. He had every right to be happy; she’d saved him from a rabid werewolf last Tuesday. She grabbed a menu and set it on his favorite table. She’d loved the pool hall long before she’d driven off a couple of angry ghosts, and landed the server gig. She loved her little corner of Detroit, and was a good enough witch to take care of it. Until Coll brought in that gun, and everything fell apart.

Julia waved to the regular as he walked in the door. He waved back, smiling for his worth. He had every right to be happy; with her help, he’d survived his first werewolf change. She grabbed a menu and set it on his favorite table. She winked at her boss as she picked up drinks for table three. Julia had cleared out a couple of angry ghosts, and the owner had given her this job. She loved her little corner of Detroit, and did what she could to take care of it. Then Coll brought in that gun, and everything fell apart.

FINAL VERSION

Julia waved to the regular as he walked in the door. He waved back, smiling for all he was worth. While he was picking a pool cue, she set a drink menu on his favorite table. Her boss waved her over to the bar.

“Listen, about those ghosts you cleared out…”

“Pat, don’t even worry about it. Happy to help.”

“Thanks. These drinks need to go to table three.”

Julia loved her little corner of Detroit, and did whatever she could to take care of it.

Then Coll walked in, right as her shift ended, with a look on his face she’d never seen before. He brought in that gun, and everything fell apart.