Net Neutrality… again.

Net neutrality is under fire again. The FCC is reviewing whether Title 1 (before, trust that net neutrality is in the ISPs’ shareholders’ best interests) or Title 2 (current enforceable regulation) is the best way to achieve an open and free internet. This time, the public commentary is pretty hidden, so John Oliver helped out:

Equal access to online information is once again under serious threat. John Oliver encourages internet commenters to voice their displeasure to the FCC by visiting www.gofccyourself.com.

Writing Thoughts

Originally written on 21 April 2017.

I’m avoiding writing fiction. I’m also avoiding working on re-doing the speech bubbles for the beginning of Fight or Flight. The gaming video and the blog and the shutting down of my LiveJournal have had my focus, not to mention the Disney trip and work and blah, blah, blah.

Second time I’ve sat in Fleetwood this weekend, and I haven’t written a word of fiction. Most of Friday was spent working, and the rest was finalizing the new home network.

Today, though, I’ve just been draining my phone’s battery “making sure videos and posts got to social networks.” That’s not another way of saying getting sucked into Facebook. Not at all.

And here I am, phone down, laptop put away, notebook open, and I’m putting down words, but none are fiction. Am I harshing on myself too much? Am I afraid to keep pushing at recovering my love for making stories? Am I just too distracted by shiny things?

That reminds me. Since it doesn’t look like I’ll have a pressing need to be in Chicago coming up, I’ll need to pick a weekend to roam the Detroit area. Holy cow, are a lot of my old people holed up int he suburban Detroit sprawl.

Should I put up in a hotel in downtown D-town, or should I couch surf, or a combination of the two? Guess I’ve got to pick dates first, before I even know who will be available. A three-day weekend, I’m thinking. Either take a day off, or work the Friday with Paul.

I can’t say that I’ll start writing on my little jaunt, either. It’s too long to put off writing until then, and it’ll put a ton of pressure on me to write, and that is kind of the opposite of the point of a vacation. On the other hand, there are a lot of places I’d love to sit and write in Detroit proper.

Shit, I think it’s time to start the Chicago Adam’s Name over and re-write it, now that I know who Susan is, and what kind of conflicts drive her. I may not know enough about real-world Chicago to know enough about my fake Chicago. I think it’s time to pester some Chicagoans I know, so they can school me on the Windy City. Research and world building are the answer, because of course they are.

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.