wordy

Tue, Aug. 9th, 2011 07:40
jarissa: (Default)
 Around the end of May this year, I dug out an old file I had for the way a forum-based RPG session could have gone, if the GM hadn't resumed paying attention when he did.  The plot went in a much more heroism-packed direction as it actually played out, and I'm glad of it, but I was always pleased with a couple of the images I created for that alternate scene.  I saved it to one of my reference disks around 2004 and more or less forgot about it.

I was actually looking for something else when I found it again, but realized that my character's actual motivation for visiting Plot City had never gotten addressed.  There's a note at the end of another file somewhere, winding up subplot threads and summarizing results in the dénouement, implying that my character found her original target that night or the next day, imparted information without actually starting a fight, and they very civilly walked away from each other for once.

I actually don't have any other notes that the NPC has ever appeared on-screen again.  And given that he was technically not on-screen for that dénouement, either, and that he'd been designed as a counterpoint to my character's origin before he developed some wonderful personality of his own and then vanished off the face of the campaign....

So I started writing.  At first I was merely cleaning up the original "alternate version of reality".  I figured it'd make a nice writing exercise, antagonistic, slightly smutty, with a lot of body language and some squabbling between people who used to work together and really don't like each other.

Just after the ides of June, I'd done as much with that writing exercise as I reasonably could ... but the story was still going.  The next logical step was waking me up at three in the morning, distracting me when I tried to push my way through the next writing exercise in my list, and working its details out on the main screen in my head while I scrubbed the floors.  Finally I promised myself that I'd go back and remake the first four paragraphs to fit "second attempt to find NPC, day after Adventure, other end of the neighborhood in Plot City."

(I still need to do that, by the way.)

And then I let the story go where it was trying to go.

More than sixteen thousand words later, I realize that "where it was trying to go" is a farkin' novel!
It's utterly unpublishable, of course.  Too dependent on a particular continuity, too many characters in the background and foreground integral to the logic of the piece but owned by someone with better lawyers, too tiny of a niche audience.  And in that audience, nobody's going to be thrilled to read a story centered on Fellow Player's Character.
It's also just getting to the point that the adventurers are starting to get enough of a clue about the A plot so they could maybe dig their way out.  I'm not even halfway done.  In fact, I stopped writing so I could do a little research and worldbuilding:  I'm maybe ten paragraphs away from introducing new characters, a specialized theft-for-hire set who're absolutely not remotely like Leverage, being rather villainous mercenaries of the "Robert B. Parker"+"Dark Champions with some powers" career path.

I've got about a month and a half before my turn at the gamemastering chair is expected to complete, but there's Dragon*Con in the middle of that.  I'd really prefer to be finished with this before the next patootie settles into the GM spot, because I'm starting to wonder if I'm going to be able to focus on any other character or adventure while this book is being made!
jarissa: (Default)
I'm late!

One of the adventuring campaigns we play in our tabletop RPG group is a science fiction setting, full of Star Wars and Lois Bujold's Vorkosigan setting and Frank Herbert's Dune novels and a touch of Firefly for depth.  We don't play on a regular schedule, it's mostly when that particular GM happens to have a worthwhile adventure plotted out for the PCs who happen to be available.

Also, sometimes it's run as a birthday present.

There's a big adventure coming up, scheduled for Saturday the 26th, in celebration of two birthdays in our group.  The opening hook requires the resolution of a long-running joke for my character:  she and a colleague have been trying to figure out whether there's anything to their mutual attraction, specifically by trying to have a date, for ... more than a year, now.  The date keeps getting irrevocably interrupted.  Vanya and Davish have tried traditional "let's go out to a meal" dates (and been attacked by pirates, or the space station fire alarm went off, or work called one of them back to duty early); they have tried going dancing (an assassination attempt on a nobleman at a holiday ball, how extraordinarily gauche); they have tried just going for a long walk someplace scenic (who expects attack of the crazy robots when you're strolling around a nice meadow?!); they have tried picnics in the most remote places they could find (bad guys tried to assassinate someone else, and a stray shot went right into their picnic).

Side note:  Would you believe that TVTropes.org has no entry for the trope "a date gets interrupted by PLOT"?  I wouldn't, either, but I certainly cannot FIND it!  I've searched the Love Tropes section, I've scoured the examples and references on Chandler's Law and Finagle's Law and Unspoken Plan Guarantee, but nothing quite fits.  Yet it's definitely part of the Rule of Drama:  outside straightforward romantic fiction, a pleasant date is very seldom an interesting story, so romantic dates in fiction either get summarized (via montage, maybe, or by cutting to the conclusion), shown only piecemeal to let the characters establish character via pure dialogue, or utterly fouled up by some sort of interruption.

Eventually, Vanya and Davish have one date where nothing goes wrong.  No friends call with an urgent request to be bailed out of jail.  No shifty-eyed types saunter up and insist on passing a secret message.  No bar brawls break out.  No heists ensue.  They get all the way to the planned conclusion of the date, look around for the missing interruption, kiss each other good night, and happily start messaging each other with ideas for their next date now that the unpleasant streak has ended.

I'm trying to average one date story finished, functional, and posted per day in the leadup to the next adventure, but thanks to the Insomnia Fairy I'm behind for yesterday's segment.  Some of the bits are outlined, some are little more than blurbs, and at least one is partially written out ... but I can't tell what of my writing is crap right now and what's okay-with-edits.

I need some sleep, dammit.

(Remember to set yourself a one hour alarm if you click any of the TVTropes links, and a note as to what it was you were doing before you clicked!  TVTropes will not cure insomnia.)
jarissa: (Default)
The chicken fingers at the Publix Deli are pretty good, at least a little healthier than the rotisserie stuff, and we always either get "not enough" or "about two servings too much", so I frequently experiment with ways to use up the leftover fingers. After watching the latest issue from Dragon*Con TV, I was inspired to assemble the following:


Chicken Not-Chowder

  • leftover chicken fingers
  • one can, Campbell's Cream of Chicken with Herbs Soup
  • chicken broth, enough to refill above can (instead of using water or milk)
  • one bag, Jasmine "instant" rice
  • one can corn
  • Garlic and Herb Seasoning (salt substitute)

Implements: second-largest soup/sauce/pasta pan; sharp knife; microwaveable bowl; stirring implement; can-opener

  1. Cut leftover chicken fingers into very large chunks, approximately two-thirds the size of my thumb. Set aside in microwaveable bowl.

  2. In second-largest soup/pasta pan, dump Cream of Chicken With Herbs Soup. Refill can with chicken broth, dump that in as well, stir. Start heating at about Medium to Medium-High on the stovetop dial.

  3. Add in one bag of Jasmine rice, less the bag. Stir. Stir again. Rice needs about eight minutes to cook; stare at it a minute, shrug, go see what's happening in the living room.

  4. Oh crap, the soup! Stir. Slightly adjust stovetop dial downward, but not too far -- no cooler than 4ish. Stir until rice moves freely. Open can of corn, letting juice from can dribble into soup. Pour in corn, stir.

  5. With one hand, chuck bowl of chicken into microwave. Nuke about 1:40. Stir soup. What time did I pour the rice in, again?

  6. Season with Garlic & Herb salt substitute. Stir until seasoning completely disappears. Season again. Stir again. When it takes a while for the seasoning to disappear, it's properly seasoned.

  7. Add chicken. Stir.

  8. Call for a volunteer to taste-test. Stir.

  9. If volunteer doesn't comment that rice is crunchy, then it must be done; pierce soup with stirring utensil, let go, see if stirring utensil remains upright. Show [livejournal.com profile] wookieegunner that wooden utensil remains upright, thus making this more his kind of soup than mine; pose for picture.

  10. Divide contents into serving dishes.

I ripped up a sandwich-sized piece of swiss cheese and arranged the fragments artistically over my bowl of "soup", then left it to cool off enough that I wouldn't burn my mouth; this dish definitely qualified as "comfort food". Perhaps it would've been more virtuous to add some non-starchy vegetables, but they wouldn't have fit in that pan -- I'd have to start with the largest soup pan, or upgraded to a full-blown pot.

jarissa: (Default)
I'm not a visually memorable person -- brown eyes, five and a half feet tall, overweight, longish hair -- so I'm more likely to be recognized at Dragon*Con as "that one broad who was wearing the ...."

(Caveat:  I turn invisible when cameras activate.  Almost never am I spotted on film!)

I can about guarantee that no one at D*C will be wearing anything quite like me this year: better, sure; more impressive, absolutely; but I know I'm a Special Snowflake this time around because I'm designing and making some of my own stuff, following the venerable school of "Let's see what happens if I do THIS!" costume design.

Today I'm sick of sewing, so I'll talk about what I'm sewing, instead:  a variation on Fingerless Gloves.

Ooo, a cut would be a nice thing to do. )
What do you think?  Too ornate already?  Needs more floof?

jarissa: (Default)
Almost a decade ago, back when MSN Chat functioned, I was part of an online gaming group with a really great guy -- primary character name of Kalgaroth.  To make a very long story as short as I can:  MSN Chat tanked, then MSN "upgraded" their Groups service and the operating system on my then-only computer so they somehow became incompatible, and I lost almost all ability to connect with him.  (Or anybody, really.)  I emailed him a couple of times on Hotmail, but never really got any reply, and the friendship faded out of existence.

Crud happens, and I know it.  The man's a fantastic roleplayer, though; an inventive, vibrant plotter and scene-setter, and not given to Special Sue tricks.  Every once in a while, I wonder how he's doing, and wish him well.
jarissa: (Default)
Just about every religion's got a version of it:  The Golden Rule (Do unto others as you would have others do unto you).  The Rule of Three (Whatsoever energy you send into the world shall be returned to you threefold).  The Hindu epic Mahabharata quotes a god's view on piety:  "That man who regards all creatures as his own self, and behaves towards them as towards his own self, laying aside the rod of chastisement and completely subjugating his wrath, succeeds in attaining to happiness."    The Dalai Lama has addressed the concept:  "If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them."  The "little Rabbi from Nazareth" told an entire story about it, shocking some in his audience by portraying good behavior in a character roughly equivalent to a hardcore Baptist in the middle of a neopagan convention.  It's found in Islam, Jainism, Confucianism, the Baha'i Faith, Zoroastrianism, and who knows how many "aboriginal" faiths?

Given its relative universality, and the equal frequency of people in any religion who claim to be good people but don't actually follow their faith, I guess it should not be a particular shock to me when I run into a self-professed Wiccan who thinks themselves perfectly right and reasonable to be hating.

Boy, that sentence is a trainwreck, eh?  Lemme try again.

There're Christians and Muslims and Jews who run around confident that they're behaving as Deity intended, including when they throw their energy into despising, scorning, mocking, sneering, and generally willing negativity onto some third party.  I've seen it, I've got it, I know it's dumb but hey, you can't save anyone who's unwilling to participate in their own salvation, right?  I'd waste more irrecoverable energy trying to ease their rampant, intentional bleeding of energy into psychic ugliness.  Nothing to do but say, "Well, you're a fool," and move on.
So why does it astound me to witness the same fundamental, hypocritical dumb, just because the fool in question refers to Deity as "Lord and Lady"?

Dumb on me, I guess.  Adherence to any belief system doesn't guarantee actual enlightenment, or efficiency of mind, regardless of the operating system.  I know that intellectually, but it's past time I knew it inherently.

Here's to future enlightenment!

jarissa: (Default)
These are going to be as short as I can get away with, just enough to let me spin down and GO TO SLEEP.  They aren't organized because 1) I took Tylenol PM hours ago, and also because they belong in works-in-progress that haven't progressed to the point where this bit should appear.  Grammar is bad, spelling is unchecked, and I'm particularly unhappy with the flow in the middle bit.

Cuts go here:
Are those orders, by any chance, printed on a flimsy? )
(((
Of course, it'd be easier on Doc if one of his patients were a clone variant.  Cleaner chromosomes.  Fewer weird biological responses to medications.
)))

Watch me get into trouble. Didn't they have something like this on an episode of Danar's holovid? )
(((
and of course, whenever I focus on one campaign, another character pops up with loose sentences and scene-fragments:
)))
Rissa )

jarissa: (Default)
Clearly one of the pre-Classical Muses, she has lately decided that my head will be full of scenes and phrases right up to the very second where I try to record them -- by typing, by writing, even by speaking them aloud, it doesn't matter. They all jumble up the very instant I try to let them out of my head. I've been this way for months, worse, and feel this guilty suspicion that the problem may be my own laziness: maybe I'm subconsciously avoiding some hard, but necessary, work that needs to be done.

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