Writing that is. I am sure it has to do with my mood and general outlook on life, the thing that is killing my writing productivity these days. The alternatives are too harsh to ponder, really; I got lazy. I am uninspired. I’m working like a slave at my day job and on the house.
I’d like to think that there is ONE thing that keeps me from churning out words and if I get that “ONE thing” taken care of the rainbows will replace the clouds and the writing projects will get done. When I really think about it, like now, I realize it isn’t one thing; it’s thousands of little things. From mood, to inspiration, to laziness…to just wanting to chase my grandkids around and play. Right now, I’m not writing for the silliest of reasons: I want to write Shiners stuff and fee obligated to write ZC stuff. Stupid, eh? It all comes around and words on the page are words on the page. Media plays into that too, too much to watch on Netflix; I’ve binged watched no less than three super hero series the last two weeks…and a couple about zombies too. Consume or create, consume or create. I’ve been in a consuming mood lately.
I hit the cons like I said I would last time I blogged. Gamicon was great, I had an awesome time. I played a few long, complicated board games and spent a day in the Dungeons and Dragons Adventurer’s league too, leveling up my Rogue/Cleric and having fun hanging out with new people (mostly males, though the first day the table was 50/50, so things are changing.) I stayed out of the bar and never even turned on the television in the room. I did get a little swim/hot tub time in, which is always nice when the majority of the time is spent in a chair.
Garycon, though, oh Garycon! Is a horse of a different color. That convention has grown from under 500 to over 2000 in just a few years. For those not ‘in the know’ this is astronomical growth for an industry where players are notoriously fickle and, without putting too fine a point on it, cheap. If a normal game convention is a Nissan Versa (Or a Ford Fiesta, take your pick) then Garycon is a Porsche. Badges start at $80 and go up to $5000, though realistically they cap out at $160, there are only 30 badges at tiers above that. The hotel is the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa, no slouch of a hotel, it used to be known as the ‘Lake Geneva Playboy Club and Hotel’. Nerds and skin mags, they go together like the internet and porn. It’s old school homage to two different, dare I say, dying medias. This year at the convention I heard it referred to as the “Gygax/TSR family reunion”, implying it is a way for the fans to subsidize the annual gathering of the family and the various TSR alumni that are still alive (the ‘special guests’ have their bills paid by the convention, i.e- the people who buy badges.) At first, I was mildly offended by the name, but after sleeping on it, I realize I have better things to care about.
I’ve thought for the past couple of years that there really are two conventions going on at the Grand Geneva every year. One is for the old grognards who want to try and get an essence, a whiff, if you will, of what inspired them in their youth. The other convention is at a higher level, the one percent level, where the people who had a huge part of making this microscopic niche industry, get together and bask in the adoration of their grateful fans. The second conners dip down into the masses as they desire and spend a lot of time telling stories and, I suppose, getting a whiff of what inspired them in the first place.
Am I whiffing inspiration too? Absolutely. It’s a rabbit I doggedly chase any time I get. I will never get it back. I will never find anything to inspire or impassion me that way again…but there are sniffs of it around the edges of such games and while my story telling (as a game master and write) has matured, it will doubtless never be as passionate as it was when I was 16 or 20 or 40. Every year it is more difficult to find objectives to reach for, that I care for or about. The world goes on with or without me. I’ve never aspired to be famous our infamous; that’s too much pressure. I do have an insatiable curiosity and the greatest sadness of my existence is that I won’t get to see what happens next. When will Mars be settled? When will it be terraformed? When will the species get out of the solar system? What comes next? One day I will stop being able to find out and that kills me.
So today, in the coffee shop as usual, first time since February, 17th, and I am writing. This blog first and foremost and now that this post is nearly done…I am going to write some Shiners. I need to let the muse spoon feed me and if writing on something I want to write on is the way to get a little sustenance, then that is what I’m going to do.
May all your endeavors be ones you are passionate about. Do good things.