Friday, September 29, 2006


“The superrich buy land. The ultrarich make their own,” the article began, which was enough to give Daniel pause. He’d been searching for info about the development for a school paper, and so far his keywords had lead him to the usual dry details like number of islands in the archipelago, the name of the dredgers used to construct them, how many billion metric tons of sea floor were moved.

The slight zing of recognition when reading the name of the island he called home had already worn off. He’d been researching several hours, but for the last he’d grown weary of combing each article, letting his finger lazily tap “Next.” The beach outside his parent’s estate was comfortably giving up its heat as the sun was about to dip below the waves, of late Daniel’s favorite time of day, the colors seeping out over the sky like it was hemorrhaging.

The article was written before the development had been finished, back when oil began its steady climb following the overproduction of the 1990s. Daniel’s parents had influence in Bahrain during those years and had ridden the tide since. When Daniel thought about wealth he often remembered Dune, and he’d wonder if Frank Herbert really meant oil when he wrote about spice. “The biggest addiction next to air and water,” his father would joke.

A strong wind pushed Daniel from his thoughts. The tide seemed very high. He wondered if the island was due for a storm.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

One Month

It's been a month since the folks escaped the event horizon that surrounds the singularity of Bristol, CT and settled in here in Nottingham. I feared they'd feel nostalgic, or begin hating the children after a week, but much more so I feared Dad would create endless problems.

Happily, all's been good. Dad's made some problems and he's chattered on occasionally, but thus far the arrangement has proven out. In fact, I’m going to miss them being around when they’re moved into their place. Mom’s especially helpful, and Dad’s great at playing with the kids.

I must credit Jay and Ken Eddings as well. Without their speedy work and most accommodating natures all would not be well. Any tension surrounding the building of the house would inevitably spill over into the home, and thanks to Jay and Ken there’s been almost none.

Now, I just need to find more time to write with them around. They’re not going to be moving into their place until at least another month goes by.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

White And Nerdy

I know I am, but what are you?  If you’re confused by that question, what this and you may gain insight.  Even if you don’t, you’ll rotflol.  Thanks, Al.  You’re a greatly underappreciated artist.

Grandpa's First Wife

I’m going to give writing in the morning another go.  With all the late night conversation with the parental units I’ve been falling asleep at the keyboard.  

Last night Mom casually dropped a bombshell.  We were on the subject of couple spats, the big splatting kind, and after comparing some comic scenes Dad brought up the time that his father tried to take a knife to Grandma.  I’d heard this one before, though without the detail that Uncle Dom restrained him.  In previous tellings, it sounded like Grandpa Dellario just gripped a steak knife and cursed loudly in Italian, but apparently it went way beyond.  Double points for Uncle Dom, by the way, since that makes two times he jumped on Grandpa to stop him from killing someone, the other time when Dad cut the board too short and Grandpa decided to reshape his skull with it.  

So, as that story abruptly brought the mood down, Mom says, “She was his second wife, and I think he always missed the first, but you know she died after the abortion.”

I didn’t know.  About my mother’s mother, I knew.  For years we all believed that she died from some type of intestinal disease, but after my mother’s father passed away we learned the truth.  And now my grandfather’s first wife died from a back alley abortion.  Mom said she was pregnant with her third child.  I know that Grandpa was poor.  We’ll never know the reason.

I’m thankful that abortion is safe and legal in this country, and I will help to keep it so.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Experimental Success

I knew the suspense was killing you, and like Willy Wonka we all long for that to last, but after popping the pill Friday night I awoke feeling no differently than usual and played well. On Sunday night I tried Phase Two, taking one that night and another in the morning, and again no adverse affects. Whether that's enough to curb the anxiety, though, remains the where's-my-golden-ticket question.


I hesitate to write about issues with the Pop as this blog could devolve further into abject boredom (oh yes, that's still possible), but when the itch won't fade you must scratch. He was testy today for the first time since the move. I'm not sure what set him off; I've never known that, but maybe I'll finally learn, and there're always the theorizing, but I'll leave that for another day .

He's never liked that we use the side door as the main entrance. He bears a fondness for small foyers. Sans jest, he has good points. Foyers lead to the parlor on one side and the dining room on the other. You entertain the guests, and you feed the guests.

We currently lack that setup for several reasons. Reason one, we inherited this arrangement. When we bought the house the previous owners never used that entrance and the bushes were so overgrown that you couldn't get near it lacking a machete. Two, the living room is narrow and long, fine for a media room but crap for conversation. Three, the family room is the right shape, square, sports a lovely fireplace and best of all a wood lined cathedral ceiling. All of our guests have gone gaga over that room, and it's still Amanda's and my favorite in the house. And finally, the side entrance sits right off the driveway, winning points for convenience.

I'm heavily paraphrasing here, but these are my father's responses to the above: 1) too bad 2) you can rearrange the furniture to make that work 3) if I tell my guests that we're going into the living room I don't give a good goddamn if they're having an orgasm over that cathedral ceiling and 4) fuck 'em.

I love and respect my father, but I think I'm better at entertaining than he.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Starting the Experiment

I popped one dose of lorazepam a couple of minutes ago and we’ll see if I can get up to play in the morning.  If I can, we’ll see how I do.

If this works out, I may try a half-dose on another morning.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

A Couple Of Game Writing Presentations

Bless Gamasutra for their summaries of presentations.  I read a couple today that are worth noting, the first for its flaws and the second for its insight.

Mark Terrano argues that games aren’t like other media and shouldn’t be compared with them.  Apples to oranges, cats to dogs, the stuff that collects under your big toenail and whatever that is in your bellybutton.  Then he says that game writers should use many of the same tools are writers in those other genres.  For example, game writers should look to movies for how to control pacing.  Terrano stores about looking to other media, especially movies for answers, which proves he’s wrong about his first point.  

He’s also wrong when he says that gamers classify games differently.  A shooter is a shooter is a game where you shoot people no matter what the setting.  I personally know several people who will play any Fantasy-themed game, but won’t play the equivalent SF title.  Just look at the MMO space for examples of this.  If you remember when Anarchy Online came out, you probably heard friends say, “I just can’t get into it.  I keep thinking that if it were Fantasy I’d be into it.”  

Alexis Nolent gets it all right, mainly by staying with the tried and true:  Writers, he says, be flexible; drop the ego and don’t cling to any ideas.  Write to your audience.  Keep the storyline consistent, and the characters distinctive.  Dialog reigns so supreme that the writer should be in studio during voice recording to make changes on the fly (sometimes is read well on the page but doesn’t work when spoken).

Nolent also correctly presages the death of cinematics and use of more scripted events.

I’ll be looking for more of Nolent’s work in the future.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Settling In

Wow, people will buy anything.

Anyway, things are progressing well here, with the exception of my writing, as I’ve been spending the little free time post-child bedaday talking to the folks.  They haven’t been very into their soap lately.  

Anyhow, they’ve been having more fun playing with the chilluns then I expected, and so far things are going remarkably well.  We threw a little shindig for them on Saturday night and Carol Anne and crew came over.  Btw, Christian has become one hilarious kid.  Seriously, he’s funny.  (And he’s into paintball.  The Frost boys have a paintball course they’ve built in their backyard.  I smell hours of satisfying carnage)  We had a good time, and Mom popped over Carol Anne’s for a visit this afternoon.  

Speaking of this afternoon, Dad and I helped lift the back wall of his home into place.  Walls are heavy.  It’s lucky that nobody got crushed to death.

Anywhen, time for my bedaday.