3.20.2006

Finite Lives
So I’m one of those folks that has a lot of trouble sitting still for a two hour movie. Good movies are great, but the majority of movies aren’t, and more often than not I’m left regretting the time wasted. After all, why should I sit and watch schlock when I could be writing it?

But in a strange turning of the cosmic cycle, the last week or so has been jam-packed with Harley approved events. Here’s a run down of things seen and done:

The Sisters of the Mercy Show
Even though they (rightly) disdain the title of “goth band,” the Sisters were and remain one of the seminal influences for goth culture. The stage show was comprised of three men, alternately appearing from and disappearing into a thick wall of stage smoke. Everyone in attendance was wearing black, and latex and leather were the norms, not the exceptions. Mohawks, pancake face makeup, bondage gear and a whole bunch of people highly motivated to convince you how tragic their lives are.

I loved it, irony and all, and spent the entire show with an enormous grin on my face. Of course, it’s not very cool to smile, but I’ve never been cool, so no loss.

Hah! That should instead read: Smiling is frowned upon.


“Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s the Muppet Show!”
The HBO Comedy Fest is hosted in Aspen, bringing a whole gaggle (nothing worse than an incomplete gaggle) of entertainers to the mountains of Colorado, where they struggle to make up for jet lag, lack of oxygen, and way too many fur coats.

H and I missed out on most of the festival due to our work schedules, but we did manage to catch an adult improv act performed by Jim Henson’s Muppets.

Just think back to Animal and consider the possibilities.

The venue was set up with a camera that fed into a pair of screens. So you could either watch the stage, where performers held puppets over their heads and spoke into mikes, or you could watch one of the screens --- that cut off the view of the performer’s body. The illusion of life this created was amazing, and despite being able to look back from one to the other, it was difficult to convince myself that they were one and the same.

On stage there was a man with a puppet. On screen there was a living, breathing, blinking, cussing muppet.


Roma, Amor
And last, but certainly not least, I was shanghaied into running lights for the school’s sixth grade play.

Now, my first job was as an actor for the Colorado Ren. Faire, but I’ve never done any theater work with the tech side. Fortunately, the school’s light board is both very sophisticated and very reliable --- a rare instance in the world of modern technology. Our lights were all pre-programmed, so that all Harley had to do was follow the cues and key the lights.

Easy enough.

But what if someone drops a line at the end of a scene? Or walks out of the spot? Or the director decides he needs flame effects for the sack of Rome?

Time to make stuff up. Fortunately, you and I are authors. Making stuff up is what we do best.

All told, I left the booth with a serious admiration for the men and women that run lights at professional shows. There is a ton of work that goes on, and if they do their job right, we never notice it.

Did Harley run a professional grade show?

Hardly.

Did we get off stage without dropping the ball?

Darn right we did.


And Meanwhile …
I’m writing. A lot. Pretty much if I’m not with furry puppets, aging goths in bondage gear, or sixth graders, I’m writing. Because of overlapping deadlines, I got a little bit of a late start on the novel, but that’s mattering less and less with each passing day.

And I’m happy to report that it gets easier and easier. It's neat to pass over that line to where the word count starts looking too short.

Will Harley get the novel? Probably not. There are a lot of better writers than me out there. But this is a great learning experience, and I’m really enjoying the twisting, turning and tormenting of my characters.

Again, I don’t want anyone to be let down when I get the big bounce. Like Kam pointed out, I’ve been paid one thousand smackers for the novel, which is precisely one thousand dollars more than I was paid for my last book. I’d take this opportunity again in a minute, and the next book will be even better.

Whoops. 780 words. See? That would have made my quota for the day. This writing thing is overblown. ;)


GenCon News
Last year was my first time to attend the convention. I'll never forget Joseph Goodman looking around the convention, whistfully recalling when he used to come as a fan instead of a publisher. I nodded and smiled, confident that such a cruel fate would never overtake me.

Hah.

As of Sunday, I'm looking forward to:

-Speaking at a seminar. "How to Write Adventures that Don't Suck"
-Doing signings with fellow authors.
-Running at least two sessions of adventures.


Which is all fine and good. After all, writing games isn't all fun and ... games. There is responsibility too. I never thought I’d get to go to GenCon, much less be a part of it.

But if you’re coming to the show, know this: Harley is one VERY shy dude. Super-shy. Introverted. Major people aversion. If he had the choice of a single super power, it would be invisibility.

Looks like another opportunity to grow.

960 words. ;)

7 Comments:

At 3:13 PM, Blogger Marcy said...

Hey, the Anaheim GenCon is just as close as the Indy one, isn't it? Are you going to go to that one?

 
At 3:22 PM, Blogger Grimbones said...

You know, I've never actually given it much thought. But if Goodman Games was willing to pay for the badge (like they'll be doing for Indy), and if I could give myself the time off, it might make sense.

Plus, _great_ skating. :)

 
At 5:13 PM, Blogger Marcy said...

Nov 16-19...let me know. I figure I owe you at least a good dinner and a beer or two. ;)

 
At 8:49 AM, Blogger ec said...

But if you’re coming to the show, know this: Harley is one VERY shy dude. Super-shy. Introverted. Major people aversion. If he had the choice of a single super power, it would be invisibility.

Looks like another opportunity to grow.


Opportunities to grow--that's a good way of looking at it. Taking emotional risks is important not only for positive growth, but to keep such traits under control. Aversions and anxieties have a way of snowballing if you don't keep confronting and chipping away at them. On this matter, I know whereof I speak.

No matter how much you might look forward to a highly populated event such as GenCon, the fact remains that there's as much ordeal in the equasion as there is enjoyment. Sometimes more.

Of course, someone who falls down on concrete for fun is no stranger to that kind of math. :)

 
At 9:47 AM, Blogger Grimbones said...

...there's as much ordeal in the equasion as there is enjoyment. Sometimes more.

Of course, someone who falls down on concrete for fun is no stranger to that kind of math. :)


*laugh* I've never made that connection, but it works.

A few years ago I made the realization at just how much babies fail at everything they try. I knew that if I devoted myself to any one thing as much as an infant devotes itself to learning how to walk, success was guaranteed.

That read pretty corny, but I think it works. Infants try something hundreds of times a day, fail and never give up. I would be proud to claim the same.

 
At 10:23 AM, Blogger saurus said...

babies don't fail at everything they try, they just find millions of ways of not doing things.

if they do fall down though, i hope it's into a vat of barbeque sauce.. nothin' beats fresh baby back ribs.

 
At 1:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

goat boy forever...
technobi2000

 

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