Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Two Month Hiatus for me

In response to my previous entry to this blog, I am adding a similar one, but with a bit of writing about my situation first.  I am dealing with kidney stones, and issues with pain keeping me from sleeping.  While I used to be able to use these stretches without sleep with writing.  But at the moment when I am in so much pain I cannot sleep, I also cannot write.  Arthritis and aging go hand in hand, so, it isn't as if I can expect it to go away.   I have a couple of great doctors, so I am not in any way shape or form complaining about them.  Kidney stones and arthritis are mostly not fatal problems, but the pain associated with those situations is nearly impossible to deal with.  Celebrexx just doesn't reach it. 

So, as a result of my life and schedule disasters, I am taking a 2 month hiatus from entries here.  I will return, and I will likely still have the pain when I do.  But the hiatus will allow me to figure out how to arrange my schedule so I can write.

Books

I've continued to devour books in my attempt to educate my mind, and soul.  Albert Camus is the writer who helped me reach contentment with my purpose of life.  I had been dealing with issues with the amount of work I did/do and the relative little reward.  And Albert Camus illustrates how our world is absurd, and that by our understanding of it might fail, but our finding purpose will come with our recognizing that our labors and doing what is right making our own existence worthy.  I needed that, and dealing with various people it allows me to not judge them, that is, our world is absurd, and seemingly a puzzle, but by our own hand we can make it have purpose.  So not everyone has arrived in that place to understand.


Ovid, Roman master poet, Algernon Blackwood UK resident horror writer, Arthur Machen was a Welshman interested in things from a different realm, and William Hope Hodgson was a UK writer who wrote in the genre of Weird Fiction.  All four of these gentleman wrote in ways that cause me to grow, and I deeply appreciate their talents.


And while I've read him before, Brian Lumley's Necroscope scares the shit out of me.  I can't help that I scream like a little girl and wet my pants in the first sign of danger.


Games

Gamma World and Star Frontiers are both examples of table top RPGs where the player isn't playing in a Tolkienesque world.  I point them out because each game has strengths that can be utilized for telling stories that are outside of the norm.  Players may or may not "get it", science fiction games need a strong background and essence of reality, without which it won't work.  My only real point is that playing in such a world or considering it can lead to great, unrealized stories, either written in the gaming dialogue between players and GM, or to inspire and result with great new works on paper.


Comics

I try not to push my favorite comics as much as I have in the past.  The reason isn't that I am struggling or unwilling, it is that I am aware that my taste is not necessarily anyone else's taste.


Savage Dragon by Erik Larsen is continuously entertaining, well written, and fun.

I plan to reread, during the hiatus some of the great Grant Morrison works in the world of comics. 


Music

A couple people wrote to ask regarding my previous entry what young loud bands am I enjoying.  And while there are many, We Are The Ocean, We Are The Fallen, and Deaf Havana are currently at the top of my listening list.   They each have strengths and weaknesses, so I am enjoying the tour.


Video Games

I said that I don't really play video games, and that is mostly true.  But these are my four favorites.  I could Pod Race all day long though, I loved that game.


Movie

Every summer I watch many different Samurai films.  My favorite is Seven Samurai, and I've studied it in detail and still come away from my viewing having learned or gained from it.  It continues to pay a great a harvest.


Friday, August 19, 2016

Living our creed: Read, Watch, Play and Listen

For the last three months I've been dealing with issues, health and work.  The health is bad, but the work is good.  So I've not been able to think long enough to write other essays, since my attention has been divided.

But for those wondering what I've read in the world of comics:


Micronauts is a good read, far too quick for my buying however.  Comics used to be able to tell a good story in a short amount of pages, for what I could afford.  But now I have to pay 4 bucks a pop to get a chapter.  Predator vs Judge Dredd vs Aliens is very good for a first issue.  Beyond that, we'll see. 


While I haven't played games I've looked into collecting the games I've had, that is, finding replacements or adding to a series I was trying to compile.  Microgames from Metagaming were a blast, short in set up, and long in replay.  Some people recognize Ogre in that set above, it was by the game designer Steve Jackson, who created, thereafter, Steve Jackson Games.  All of these I love, but Ice War was/is my favorite.

And the cover of the boxed set of Tunnels and Trolls is displayed for me to mention that I plan to send my son off to college with an RPG system to play, whenever he decides he is leaving the nest.  He is 17, soon to be an adult, and T&T is great for solo play, so it would be a choice well made if I find a copy to send him away holding a copy.  


My son is also responsible for my listening to a lot of music, and many bands are made for his generation and ear.  But I have actually deepened my library of taste with music that is both harder and louder than I am prone to hear.  We are the Ocean, Deaf Havana, Asking Alexandria and other bands of the younger posthardcore, emo, perhaps screamo...

And I like a number of bands from Europe who play metal, but aim their voices to God.  Some argue against the existence of Rock + God, but I am not worried, I don't let other people decide my taste.  Holy Blood is a band from Ukraine and I have all of their music.  Some of it is too loud, but most of it is really good. 


I've written about my love for the work of Yukio Mishima, and I find his work to give me solace, even in the depths of depressions.  His work carved out a niche of intellectual musing with just the proper amount of sorrow. 


I have continued to buy HP Lovecraft works, and that of related Lovecraft Circle writers.  I've even taken to accepting that while August Derleth missed some of the point of HPLovecraft's work, in fashioning a good versus evil motif, his writing is good.


And I've watched some lovely Kaiju movies, and I am unashamed to say, I loved them all.  Every damn one.