Archive for February, 2010

Formal Proposal

For my story, I will add another blog to the site, and do a post per week on each blog.  The current blog will be my out of character blog, where I would discuss my decisions about the story in each weekly post.  The new blog would be a serialization of my character’s life.  Most posts would follow a chronological order (starting in 1865), but some could deviate from that standard.  The story which I would be using would be the one revolving around Edmond Drake, who is an airship captain in a Steampunk world.



I feel I’ve brutally decieved some of you.  I should have made it clear that I used to play WoW.  When I played, (I stopped about 3 or 4 months after BC came out) I played on the server Kirin Tor and was in the guild Mellonea.  Kirin Tor is an RP server, and especially when I was playing, it was relatively heavy into the RP side of things (outside of Goldshire and the barrens, obviously).

My character was a human Paladin, and I did a fair bit of raiding as well.  We made it into Molten Core, BWL (I was there when we downed the first two bosses for the first time, it was a lot of fun) AQ 20 (only the first boss I’m afraid) and Zul’gurub.  I was raid leader for my guild, and so I led AQ and ZG raids.

I also did some PvP, where I was quite successful (mostly ret build with some in healing), but what was best about WoW was the people in my guild.  We were mostly female, and the average age was something like 30.  This meant there was little drama, and a lot of close friendships.

However, because I am not playing anymore, I am reluctant to do this story.  I don’t want to get addicted again just before my senior year, and I’m loath to take my 65 to 80 for the class.  Also, I wrote a serial with my brother about our characters for an online gaming magazine, and kinda… well,

Blizz may have sent us a “cease and desist” letter

Basically, I wanted to explain to you guys why I’ve decided not to do the WoW story when there was interest.  That being said, I’d be more than happy to write a blog post or two about my character if you are curious, and I could of course copy over some posts I made on the Mellonea forums.


I found this image on flickr, and had to link to it.  My characters are going to be doing some spirited interaction with pirates, believe you me.  When you interact with pirates, a certain language comes in to play, and pictures can often help convey that.

What I’m trying to tell you is that, no offense, you aint no Jayne Cobb, and I ent neither.  So when in my story, I’m talking about why the person with the lemat revolver is grinning and the person with he colt single action army is wet’n his pants, a picture might help.  (While the Colt SAA is a better firearm than a lemat as far as reliability and reload speed, the lemat has a trick up its sleeve insofar as it has a shotgun barrel slung under the revolver barrel.  That makes a lemat into a veritable handcannon for one shot, which can sometimes make the difference.)

In short, I’ll be linking to images or descriptions of various firearms, so you’ll know as well as my characters whats what, and I’m glad that flickr has a few images of period firearms.

Squares and grids surround us in our built environment. Focus in on some squares today and make a photograph.


I must admit, I suggested that Caitlin use this shoebox thing for her grid shot, and she told me it wouldn’t look good.  Well ha!  Now we know that…

she was right.

I still like the shot, because it is a step for me.  My standard reaction ( IE my first attempt) was to stand directly in front of the object, hold the camera at eye level, and shoot.  This shot is an experiment with a different angle, one which in fact is difficult to get with your naked eye, simply because it is hard to cram your face in there.

“An old adage in photography says if you want to improve your photographs, move closer. Fill your frame today!”


As you might be able to tell, even from this single shot, I’m not too hot with a camera, or any editor program.  I took this with Caitlin’s new 15.1 megapixel 12.1 jiggawatt fully armed and operational camera.  The camera in the image is what I’ll be using for the rest of my pictures (probably).  I don’t like carrying a camera.  I carry plenty of things, but the most breakable (by far) is my cell phone.  It gets dinged up and broken pretty frequently (I even once accidentally ran over my phone with my car).  For this reason (fear of damage) I don’t carry a camera, and I’m not in the habit of taking pictures.  So this project is both a nice stretch for my abilities and kinda annoying.

Everything I am I owe to…

I was talking with my mother yesterday about the steampunk story I’ve got rolling around in my head, and she asked me a question after saying how much she liked it:

“what about copyright?”

We’re all writing stories, here on teh intarwebs.  Some of our stories are resistant to plagarism, such as stories about dealing with surgery from a sports injury.  Other stories might get taken and used elsewhere.  In some ways, that is no big deal.  If someone steals the images of me and my nerf guns, no problem.  But if someone took my ideas about my steampunk characters and used them elsewhere, I would not be happy.

I understand that it is of great value to own my own space.  The images on my blog are images I control, unlike images on facebook.  But if I am owning my own space, shouldn’t I be owning my own ideas?  To what extent are the things we talk about our own, and if someone steals them and profits off of it, what recourse do we have?

Decisions decisions

I have more than one idea for what I should do for my story.  The first is one which I have hinted at in various places, and it is the simplest to explain, so I will begin with it.

I have enjoyed over the course of my life a number of computer games which are of interest for their genuine artistic qualities.  I would like to do a blog series about these games where I talk about them not as mere diversions, but as a unique genre of artistic expression.  Even if this is not the focus of my digital story (if I end up doing one of my other ideas), I may end up including sporadic posts on this topic.

Three of my other ideas would be fictional war journals, each about a distinct character in a complex world, either of my own creation within a theme (steampunk), of collaborative creation within a framework (40k game with my brother), or an entirely prebuilt world (WoW)

First, I would like to write a journal for Edmund Drake, a Soldier fighting on the side of the United States during the civil war.  Mostly.  Except, less the civil war and more the steampunk alternate history which I’m designing.  I have a lot of ideas about him, but currently most of them revolve around his life as a trader airship captain during the 1880’s following the war.

Secondly, I would like to write a journal for Septimus Sanguinus, a soldier in the Warhammer 40k universe (which unlike the above universe, is not of my design).  I used Septimus in a roleplaying game with my brother, and he has an extensive history.

The third option is to write a journal for Galinor, a character I played in the MMORPG World of warcraft for a year or more, and someone I also created an extensive history for.

Which of the above I select depends to a certain extent on what folks would like to read.  If you’re a fan of original fiction Edmund drake is up your alley, if you like dark dystopic futures, Septimus will surely please you, and if you’ve played WoW, but haven’t played the other games, stories from Galinor’s past just might fill you in on the history.  If you are a gamer, I’m sure you’ll find something to disagree with vis a vis my opinions on games as art.

Web 2.0's wheat/chaff ratio

I was reading through this article, and in one of the links, I found this quote by Oscar Wilde:

“In old days books were written by men of letters and read by the public. Nowadays books are written by the public and read by nobody.”

I find myself agreeing with Oscar, and feeling like another one I know.  That would be Oscar the grouch.

I certainly know that new media have given us newer ways to tell interesting stories, but the printing press has produced more than just Tolkien, Faulkner, Hemmingway, and Gaiman.  It has also produced Stephanie Meyer, Aprilynne Pike, and allowed us a wonderful look into very interersting, deep, complex subjects.


I appreciate the multitude of links in this article.  I like looking at interesting stories and mashups and such on the internets.  I hate wading through the festering swamp looking for a rare orchid of a story.  Web 2.0 does provide us with useful new storytelling tools.   However, it also provides everyone useful new storytelling tools.

I don’t want to sound like I’m ranting.  What I am trying to say is that while I know good things are out there, I don’t usually trouble myself to try to find any, because the ratio of good to bad is so poor.

Alien in six shots.

The Contenders