Hiding

fawn pug covered by Burberry textile between plants

I’m currently writing this under four blankets and I’m debating if I’m strong enough to venture out and get a fifth. It’s entirely too cold for me to function. I’m from FL for Heaven’s Sake, and I didn’t like February back then.

I’ve been writing a lot of fiction lately and I’d like to get back to it, but as I’ve said before… cold.

Trying Productivity methods

brown and white wooden desk with chair and laptop
Because oppressive signage is motivating

For the last two months I have been trying some productivity methods and gotten really good results from them. What are they? I’ll probably be getting into that in the next month or so, but I don’t really like it when people sing the praises of their productivity tools before really letting them settle in.

So why am I talking about this now? Like I said, I’ve been getting some great results out of them and I wanted to do a quick check in post because I realized I haven’t written here in a while.

Operation Read All The Things

books on bookshelf

Read one news article today and burned right the hell out. However, I’ve decided on a new project for the last few weeks of the year: I’m going to clear out some of the pending books in my “Currently Reading” folder on GoodReads.

A lot of them are on audio book so I’ll probably be reading them while playing video games to give my hands something to do while I listen to the story.

I’ll hop back on here and let you know how that goes. Currently, I have six books that I’m “Currently Reading” and more that I actually want to get to before the new year.

We’ve All Got To Start Somewhere

green and white braille typewriter

Want to live a rich and full life? Here’s what you do: get a mason jar. Something big that could be used as a drinking glass. Fill it with bookmarks. The cloth ones you tell yourself you’re totally going to use will get crushed down at the bottom. This is for the best; they rip open book spines because they’re thicker than you think. The paper one’s will stick out pasted the top for easy access.

Your job is to go to the jar every week or so and grab a new bookmark.

That’s it. Everything else will come out of necessity. You’ll get more books to have something to put the marks in. You’ll rotate marks out of the jar as you finish and start books, and you’ll have a cool looking jar on a bookshelf.

Maybe that’s not the only thing you need to do to have a rich and full life, but hey, it’s a start.

Been doing a lot of reading today as my play through of Hades comes to an end. Will write another update in a few days but for now I’m going to hit the books.

Plotting returns

So as I’ve noted before, I’ve been playing a lot of Hades. One thing that I’ve found is that if the gameplay is receptive enough, I can sort of mediate and think about other things.

So I’ve been thinking a lot about TTRPG’s lately. And while I said I was going to wait to go back to my home-brew D&D world, I find my mind wondering back there often. That said, I’m not going to use D&D for when my players return to it. I’m currently still shopping around for a new system.

Fate looks pretty interesting right now for the way I like to run games.

Still in the notes phase of things, but some test games are on the horizon.

In the meantime, however, the AC is getting switched on. Summer has returned to Witch City.

Library Run

Today was a very slow morning for me. Felt like I was in a tank struggling to move. However, I forced myself out of the house and down to my local library to finally pick up a library card. I had one at the hight of the pandemic but it was a temp card and has since expired.

It’s been a while since I’ve had access to a good library and my head is swimming with all the things that I can check out. It’s a cliché for a reason, but libraries really are magical places. The problem is that we live in Late Stage Capitalism world and I forget that there are just free media warehouses just sitting in every neighborhood. And of course now, they have digital lending components as to be even more powerful.

Not really sure where I’m going with all this but to say this is a PSA for libraries: please don’t forget they’re out there.

Halloween Season Starts NOW

silhouette of trees during red moon

Decided to make myself go for a walk today whilst New England pissed rain. it wasn’t too bad and food needed to be had. Spotify decided to play Ministry’s excellent Every Day Is Halloween.

It’s September 1 and while we still have 21 more days of summer, damnit, it is most decidedly the spooky Halloween season. I fought the impulse for as long as I could, but as of now it begins.

Horror movies will be watched, dark beers will be had, and general magic will be in the air. The spring is always an empowering time for me, but this time of year feels like coming home. I think I need a little of that right now.

Hades

So last week I was reading like a fend. I think I plowed through something like eight books, and the only thing that stopped that run was Hades, which is a video game I downloaded on a lark.

It’s captured my imagination. The premise is you’re Hades’ son who’s trying to break out of the Underworld. Each time you die, you have have start over but not before you go back home to be chided by your dad.

I’m a big fan of the gameplay loop of Roguelites – you play the same randomly generated map over and over while unlocking things for your character that makes them more powerful on subsequent runs. This allow you to feel a sense of progression even though you are going through roughly the same areas over and over again.

It’s been done before but the it’s the presentation that makes this game great. Instead of looking like art the greeks would have made, which is almost the default aesthetic whenever the Greek Gods are involved, Hades opts for more whimsical, hard rock album look. (I didn’t say Heavy Metal album as that has a more dower tone then the art in here ever gets to, but the imagery would be at home on a Led Zeppelin album.)

Speaking of music, it’s really good. Just hard enough to get feeling of high concept prog rock without going full bore into pastiche.

That edge is in everything including the writing. It never gives into the inherent darkness but it never lets you forget that’s just around the corner for these characters.

In the interest of full discloser, I should point out that I love Greek Mythology. I was the kid in highschool who had a copy of Graves Mythology in his book bag where other kids had Lord Of The Rings. Hell, I just finished a four year Dungeons and Dragons campaign, where I used the Greek pantheon instead of anything in the D&D source books.

So I’m always a little trepidatious when someone is using that pantheon as I’m always afraid they will portray them as being austere, which was never the point of them. They represent human interactions with cosmic forces and should readily show our human foibles. Luckily, Hades does this with style. The characters have wit and charm and the player is never allowed to forget that most of these people are family with some serious dysfunctions that they are trying to rise above.

And there’s a Gorgon that total has the crush on the player character and she’s too precious for this world and if her heart gets broken I’m going to rage quit.

TL;DR: The game’s well made and a lot of fun, and I’m here for it.