Strange days

I have a pretty consistent writing habit. A bad day for me is any day which produces fewer than five pages. Lately I shoot for something like twenty and usually average about eight to ten (we’re talking double-spaced, by the way). Every other week or so I have what can only be described as “a really good day.” It’s less about page count and more about my level of satisfaction with the content itself. The kind of satisfaction I’m talking about here typically leads to a higher page count anyway.

random movie trailer courtesy of Youtube… you’re welcome

I’ve just had three really good days in a row. Three good days in which every direction seemed like the right one, three days in which every word I chose didn’t require second guessing. My “this just doesn’t feel like a novel” worries are quickly dissipating. I can’t remember the last time I had three good days in a row. If I had to guess, I’d say never.

Strange days, indeed. (Look, I just need an excuse for posting the Strange Days trailer.)

There have been problems with my novel. I tend to prioritize the big ones: this chapter is too boring; that chapter is too long; if I cut half of this chapter and half of that one and combine the two together it all has a smoother flow, but what the hell do I do with the chapter that was in between? In solving the bigger problems, I inevitably create a mess of smaller ones. That’s the bad news. The good news is I only have small problems left.

Other than video games, this blog is the first thing I ignore when I’m deep in my work. And right now I’m pretty damn deep into it. I’m not superstitious so I don’t mind jinxing myself: I’m pretty sure I’m about to have a fourth good day.

Jurassic World still looks like shit.

Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves: The first 26 pages

I spent a good portion of my day looking for samples of Ernest Cline’s Armada. There doesn’t appear to be any. This, however, is the next best thing.

Check it out here and check it out quick. It seems that a lot of things mysteriously disappear from Stephenson’s site.

You’re still here? You won’t be after reading the first line:

The moon blew up without warning and for no apparent reason.

Like I said, it’s a great hook.

Lakeview Cabin Collection is the ultimate 80s splatter camp movie in video game form

I usually deliberate whether or not to buy a game for days. And at the end of that period I usually decide against spending the money. Within minutes of finding out Lakeview Cabin Collection exists, it was in my Steam library. This is the game I’ve been anticipating for a long time, wondering why no one has really made it yet. Someone finally made it.

Before I had any real grasp on the control scheme, my player character was wasted on beer, skinny dipping in a lake. And long before I hit the ten minute mark, all my friends were dead, including the (presumably) virginal heroine who’s supposed to be invincible in movies like this. So in my second playthrough I tried to anticipate the killer, but the game just isn’t as fun if you choose this strategy (which isn’t to say there won’t be surprises anyway). No, it’s a lot more fun to roleplay the clueless teenager who’s about to be chopped into pieces, drinking beer and taking rips from a bong rather than setting up traps and hiding beneath bunks… at least until you discover a friend’s body.

Lakeview Cabin is like a mash-up of the NES’s Friday the 13th and Maniac Mansion. It’s a light puzzler with permadeath and each time you play it it’ll be different. If it had any shortcomings—and it really doesn’t, although ten bucks is a little high—they would be eclipsed by the fun and humor of it. If you still own Sleepaway Camp and The Burning on VHS, you owe it to yourself to buy this game. Just be sure to have a decent gamepad.

What is Enclave about?

I’ve expanded the information about my upcoming novel on the Current Projects page. Check it out. It’s the longest I’ve ever spent on a single project and I just wanted to talk about it some more, particularly my motivations for writing it, since I’ve been pretty secretive about it with everyone I know. I don’t call myself introverted for nothing.

Is the wait for the newest episode of Game of Thrones killing anyone else? Well, that’s probably a dumb question. Of course it is.

The new Descent: Underground trailer will make your nipples hard

Here’s the Kickstarter campaign. As of posting this, there are 8 hours to go and it’s $44,000 away from its $600,000 goal. (Update: 8 hours later, it met its goal with a little over a thousand bucks to spare.)

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Don’t forget: Daredevil just premiered on Netflix today. I’ve seen the first three episodes and while I thought it was going to be a little more R-rated, it’s pretty good. There’s an action sequence towards the end of the second episode which is obviously inspired by the hallway scene in Old Boy and it was surprising to see that level of choreography in a television show. This is definitely more like Batman Begins than Marvel’s other stuff.

Nobody’s hotter than Atari this summer

My parents didn’t get us an 8-bit Nintendo until well after all my friends had one (yeah, I know, cry me a river, right?) so I was strictly an Atari kid in the beginning of my life. I never owned a 5200, but weren’t commercials just better when ad executives were still on cocaine?

I confess to a certain level of nostalgia for Atari. I can only hope the upcoming (and pointless) Blade Runner sequel retains the original’s vision of the future, in which Atari not only still exists, it warrants prominent advertising on the streets. I never really loved Atari’s Pac-Man or many of the other arcade ports, but there’s something endearing about games like Adventure (which I didn’t have) and Combat (which I did have) that show that all kids needed back then was a handful of squares and a healthy imagination. Just look at this simplicity:
The funny thing about the Atari 2600 is I always played it on a black & white television set. I didn’t even know it had color until I was a teenager.
The older I get, the less fun I have with modern games. I miss the sounds. I miss the graphics. I miss the fact that you could buy it, bring it home, and it was complete. Timed DLC sucks.