Saturday, January 21, 2012

Weathering the storm

If I manage to get away with the pun I made in the post title, I'll be amazed.

Anyway, earlier today we had a ferocious storm. I planned to do this post this morning, but since the weather didn't want to play nice, I didn't. At least it gave me a topic to talk about. Always a silver lining...

I generally don't like being on the computer in bad weather, as there's always the risk of a surge frying everything. And I'm not sure I could afford a new computer right now, so...yeah.

Bad weather like that doesn't exactly help my writing either, since I do it (obviously) on a computer. So on days like this, nothing or next to nothing gets done in terms of progress. It can be rather frustrating, let me tell you.

It's a matter of short term versus long term. I know it's easy to get into the mentality of "just a little more", especially when entertainment is involved. But I've seen the damage firsthand of what a lightning strike can do, and I would not take that chance.

Tomorrow, I get back to work, and hopefully move my stories forward another step. I don't think the weather will be bad, thankfully. Such a storm is a minor setback, and I'm not about to let it be more than that.

Take care, and remember, lightning never strikes twice! (No references to the Sweet Home Alabama movie, please.)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A tale of two Christophers

And no, this is not about another case of me getting mistaken for another Chris Mitchell, thanks for asking. (Or not asking.) Instead, I figured I might as well discuss my indirect dealings with another fantasy writer, this one quite a bit better known than me.

I speak of no one other than Christopher Paolini, author of the Inheritance Cycle.

Once upon a time, I was a teenage something (what that something was, I'm not sure of). My mother at that point was fairly well involved in a variety of message boards and other online communities (even I don't know all the different ones). As a result, she ended up in contact with Paolini's mother.

The end result of this exchange was her obtaining a signed copy of Eragon for my benefit. This being before he became widely recognized, it was one of the original releases. I read it, and found it mildly enjoyable if not spectacularly good, and moved on with my life. At the time, I thought nothing of it, as I was much more interested in other pursuits. The idea of writing had never really crossed my mind.

Less than a year later, Eragon went big. I vaguely remember being somewhat amused to hear the news, but ultimately it didn't affect me. If I could have foreseen the position I would be in today, you can bet my reaction would have been very different.

I did manage to find time, over the years, to the read the second and third books. Again, I didn't really get too much out of them. It wasn't until a little under a year and a half ago that the idea came to take my own turn at writing.

On the desk near me, as I sit typing this, is a copy of Inheritance, the final book of the series. I have yet to find time to read it, but I know I have to.

I never did, and still don't, think of Paolini as a bad writer, as I know quite a few people do. As trite as it sounds, the true measure of success for writers like me and him is how many people read our stories. And in that regard, he's miles ahead of me.

It would be nice if I could make up some of that ground someday. For now, that means moving forward with my work, and establishing my own path. And depending on how it goes, our roads may cross yet again.

So for Paolini, I have just one message: that I hope, in all respect, that your swords always stay sharp. I know I've tried to keep mine the same.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Where dragons take wing

Welcome to 2012 everyone!

Well, as you might have guessed, like so many other people, I have been playing Skyrim (a video game, for those who hide under rocks) of late. Being a long-time fan of the Elder Scrolls series, I thought I might as well give my thoughts on in, since I admittedly let playing it cut into some of my writing time.

Visually, it has a very similar feel to the Lord of the Rings movies. Very very similar. So fans of those movies will no doubt be drawn in on that account.

Generally, the game was a lot more fun when I went off and did minor quests and random exploration than just following any of the major stories. The civil war plot was particularly boring, due to repetitiveness.

Still, overall it was a fun game. Full of glitches (hint: don't try to get married), but mostly those are minor. Hopefully more patches come along soon and make it better.

And now that I've had my feel of it, I've started scaling back my playtime, and writing has picked up again. So expect me to actually accomplish something soon, as long as I don't take an arrow in the knee. (I had to make that joke somewhere.)

At the least, I was able to use the time to think about some ideas while I played. So while it may not seem like it, it will help my writing in that sense.

Onward and forward, and let the fun continue. Huzzah!