January 07, 2017

050, "Old Fears New Frontiers"

Hey, it's 2017! I shook off my Wild Turkey hangover and I'm back in the saddle. I started off this week with a couple of days' worth of going onto campus for meetings about my upcoming teaching schedule as well as realizing I actually throw some pretty decent parties.

The shower curtain ended up being disassembled somehow, and all the magnets on the fridge ended up on the bookshelf by the door. Long story.
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I started the year work-wise by releasing chapter 1 of PIONEERS, my text-based game/Twine thread. It's called "Paths Around Town" and I'm really proud of it. It's what I was basically working on for most of 2016 for the most part, and I'm going to be starting work on chapter 2 soon. 

Stripped-down video games like text-based computer games fascinate me for some reason, I just threw one one my cheap around-the-house tablet, and we've been playing the point-and-click game THE LAST DOOR (which I feel like writing about some day) on and off for PC, which reminds me a lot of the era of text-based RPGs and point-and-click horror/exploration in general. There's so much more reliant on your own sense of imagination, and their combination of prose, gameplay, and puzzle-solving (through trial and error) just really ticks a lot of boxes for active brain fun for me.

I'm hoping to actually have chapter 2 done this year (as well as progress on another game I've been tapping at and researching) for NIGHTMARE PARTY, my game "company." 
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Teenagers watch skateboarding videos and try to stab each other with the sticks from candy lollipops. They're all laughing and talking about how they all have the same haircuts. 

 

College students, who are black, are talking about their feelings and disappointments. I can tell they're tired and mad but they want the other person, who's white to really understand. No one is yelling.

 

I tried as hard as I could to make work fun today. I joked and laughed and tried as hard as I could to make them laugh too, to take it easy. I don't know how well it worked, and I'm tired.

I found the above in the notes section of my phone. The date is a few days after the US elections, and it's probably observations from the subway and bus all throughout that day, feeling down about The Fat Orange Fucking Idiot and observing life going on for my students and other random people who were refusing to let their lives be taken from them by garbage. The last observation I remember as being the morning after the elections when I tried really hard to make class as un-depressing as possible for young and ambitious students, many of whom are female, queer, of color, and unsure still of just how to express themselves in a world that wants them, but is populated by shit-eaters who try really hard to deny that through pushback. 
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The to-read pile is pretty big and should hold me over for a while, which is always good.
  • THE BROKEN HOURS by Jacqueline Baker (just picked up from the library), about what life wold be like for HP Lovecraft's housekeeper.
  • THE WHITE CITY by Elizabeth Bear (also from the library). Some kind of spec fantasy fiction murder mystery, set in a highly fictionalized magical Eastern Europe. 
  • CRYPTOZOOLOZY A TO Z: THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF LOCH MONSTERS, SASQUACH, CHUPACABRAS, AND OTHER MYSTERIES OF NATURE by Loren Coleman (a big name in cryptid research) and Jerome Clark. 
  • MR SPLITFOOT by Samantha Hunt (actually one of the books I got my fiancee for Christmas), which has something to do with the supernatural and small-town horrors related to a terror in the nearby woods. I'll be honest, the title (a nickname for Satan) is what drew me to it.
  • THE SILENT GIRLS by Erick Ricstad, some murder mystery we got as a holiday gift, which sounds interesting. 
  • THE CITY OF MIRRORS by Justin Cronin. We're big fans of his work, and the last of his Passage trilogy has been a long-anticipated book for this little weirdo household. 
  • THE SHINING GIRLS by Lauren Beukes, which has been on the bookshelf for a while but I haven't had a chance to get to yet. I heard a lot of good and messed-up stuff about it. 
  • THIRTEEN: STORIES OF TRANSFORMATION, a short story anthology about weird fantasty/horror-esque post-death tales. Occasionally, B&N have some great weird stuff. 
  • MW by Osamu Tezuka, which we randomly got at some Japanese-themed bookstore in Jersey last year and haven't gotten to, but I plan on it this year. 
  • THE SCARLET RUSE by John D. MacDonald, another Travis McGee book someone left in the local take-a-book/leave-a-book lending library.
  • THE G-STRING MURDERS by Gypsy Rose Lee. I don't remember where I found this, but it seems really cool and I started it but put it down last year, so I think I'm just gonna start from scratch with it. 
  • THE LOVE AND ROCKETS COMPANION, edited by Marc Sobel and Kristy Valenti, about Los Bros Hernandez's amazing comic series LOVE AND ROCKETS, which I adore.
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Anyway that's it for now, back to the grind, I have classes to prep for. Stay good to each other, be kind, and keep kicking Nazis in the neck.