I took a nap this afternoon, and at some point right before I woke up, the charming and not entirely trustworthy young priest I’d been shackled with for this particular dream adventure turned to me and said “Well, I’ve got a toad demon chained up in heaven that I’ve been saving for a special occasion…”

I woke up with absolutely no sense of context. Damn.

63K and counting!

My goal for today is to get the section from the beginning to their arrival to Anuket City into one seamless whole, so that I can turn all my attention to the second part. There’s only a couple of gaps that need filing, and one scene that either needs to get re-written from t’other guy’s point of view, or just cut completely, probably both in that order, if I determine that Someone Is Whining.

Played a lot of KOTOR2 last night, since James worked late. Mildly frustrated–I KNOW this chick’s an evil Sith cow, I could have figured it out even without the fifty cut scenes where she blackmails, threatens, brainwashes and mind-wipes my other followers. I even burned Dark Side points so I could kill her in a vision, a small but petty satisfaction. Why can’t I have a “Dude. You. Off the ship. Now.” option, damnit!?

Another example of the way video games are different from books, I suppose. I’ll grudgingly accept that she needs to be around in the game, but in a book, I’d be screaming “Throw her out the airlock! Leave her on Korriban! No one well-meaning knows that much about Sith history!”


And now, back to the grindstone…

Whatever games I’m playing have a tendency to sink into my dreaming brain after awhile. Depending on what I’ve been glutting on lately, this can be anything from just dreaming in WoW interface (which is still a step up from the text-based dreams of my MUD days) to random encounters. “Oh, no! I’m late for a test I haven’t studied for, and I have to kill all these goddamn undead in the way!”

This doubtless explains why I spent most of sleep last night trying desperately to pack up my belongings because the house had been bought by Mandalorians.

Moving dreams still suck, even if you get a lightsaber.

A very quick amusement…


Definitely getting creatively overstretched with the writing–hammering out regular paintings would probably kill me–but I gotta do at least a doodle now and again or I start to feel like an unemployed slacker.

60K! Woot!

Heh–it took me nearly as long to get that last 10K out as it took for the previous 50. Oh, well. At least it’s still comin’, and fifteen hundred words a day or thereabouts is a pretty respectable clip. I shall try not to get discouraged by the fact that I am not in the preternatural inspiration jag of last week.

Now off to paint…yeah…I remember paint…some sort of squishy colored stuff, wasn’t it…?

Ben is a cat with a mission.

Apparently it’s an escort mission.

The mission begins at a little after 8:30, after James has gotten up. Ben attempts to trigger the questgiver–namely me–by walking around on the bed. If I am particularly sloggy today, he climbs onto my chest and purrs. Ben is a very large cat. This will get the mission going in no time.

Once I’m up, Ben escorts me to the bathroom and checks for ninjas. Dangerous things, ninjas. They can swim up plumbing like rats. Finding no ninjas, Ben accepts a quick petting while the questgiver attends to needed bodily functions.

Then it’s down the stairs at a gallop, and an escort to the kitchen. The questgiver dumps food into bowls and replaces water. Our hero is pleased.

I am now free to go about my own devices for most of the work day, provided I don’t move around too much. Ben returns occasionally to recharge on a lap and make sure the keyboard tray isn’t getting uppity. He passes the time by slaying bits of lint and the mighty feather-onna-stick, or by engaging in a little PvP with the other cat.

Should I leave the house, Ben will be waiting by the door when I return. I assume that he treats these as an unskippable cut-scene in the day, and uses it to get a snack and perhaps catch up on his napping.

All bathroom visits put Ben immediately back on duty. Only the vigilant presence of our hero keeps me from recieving a nunchuk enema when I least expect it.

When the work day has ended, the questgiver plays video games. Ben did not approve of Neverwinter Nights 2 (not enough lap available with PC games) and there was too much button mashing in Jade Empire, and hence unseemly gyrations of the lap surface and much accidental clonking of controllers against kitty noggins, requiring him to lay on the questgiver’s legs instead. The questgiver would also scream obscenities a lot. KOTOR2 is fine, however. Our hero approves of this. The questgiver doesn’t go to the bathroom nearly as often when playing video games, reducing the chance of a ninja-related fatality significantly.

Then eventually I go up to bed. Mission complete, Ben is free to pursue his own business, since everybody knows that ninjas never attack people while they’re in bed. Another successful day, a little more XP, and life is good.

Note to self, should I ever find myself in a galaxy far far away:

When the heroine is lugging around a double-bladed lightsaber, can choke people from across the room, and just fought through a bar full of cyanide gas while holding her breath–the phrase “I want to protect you” somehow doesn’t quite hold together in the pick-up line department.

Sadly, it’s still better dialog than anything in the second movie, which I am going to continue to pretend, like Highlander 2, was a hallucination induced by too many drugs and Pink Floyd and bears no resemblance to reality.

The Road To Hell Is Paved With Force Persuade

Enjoying KOTOR2 so far. Combat system’s a little detached–you can eat dinner during battle without missing a bite–but part of that is that I just came off a Jade Empire jag, which is basically the exact same game only with vastly improved kung fu. But generally entertaining. Recommend it so far if you can find it used.

Even if the only person in the whole damn party with a sense of humor–and that includes the Jedi–is the guy from the Sith death squad. Sometimes I think that evil triumphs because good wouldn’t know a punchline if it bit it in the ass. It’s too easy to stand up to grim people in robes. I want a game where the serious test of your alignment tells you dirty jokes until you agree to blow up the universe for a lark. I would go to the Dark Side in a heartbeat if I thought they had better dialog over there.

Naturally, the Dark Side/Light Side thing is mostly a non-issue. No survivor of Prof. West’s 8 AM philosophy classes, taught by a snarky ex-Jesuit who could convince you that down was up and up was morally indefensible will ever be even mildly interested in the cheap social darwinism of the Sith, particularly not when delivered by an NPC whose metamucil I want to spike with arsenic. And I can be kind and charitable to low-poly models ’til the cows come home, because decades of gaming have hammered into me that no milkrun, however lowly, is below me. We live for milkruns. If I ever made a game, it would be a fantasy quest to deliver a bottle of dragon milk across a continent or something.

But Force Persuade…okay…that might sink me yet. There is a seriously unholy glee that comes of waving your hand in front of someone’s face and saying “These are not the droids you’re looking for.” It’s especially bad with your own followers–“Look, I’m tired of digging through these goddamn dialog options, let me just strip-mine your skull for your tortured past and get it out of the way…”

Oh, well.

I’ve gotten up to 56K so far, but some of that extra 6K is pretty fragmented, and there’s a big chunk I haven’t touched yet–a hole in the middle of the story that I’m carefully shoring up around the edges before I plunge in. Still, I think it’ll work. Hopefully.

The psychotic raving fire-on-the-mountain inspiration of last week has passed off–I’m still working on it, but I’m not waking up at 3 AM to think about gnoles. Which is disappointing, because I really, really love that feeling, but probably good because such things are not sustainable for very long…or so I tell myself. *grin*

The hard part of really acute inspiration is not crashing badly afterwards. I’m staying quite productive, though, so that’s good, although I think I may be getting sick–my throat has felt sort of thick for several days–not painful, but kind of sticky–and I’m viewing food with a faint nausea. If it doesn’t clear up by the end of the week, I’ll go check in with the doctor, but it frankly wouldn’t surprise me if I’d just burned out my immune system. The body and brain are not terribly seperate–prolonged creative effort’ll run you dry.

Still, it was worth it. It’s always worth it. I could be puking my guts out by tomorrow night, and in between heaves, echoing faintly down the porcelain, would come the cry “And I regret NOTHING!”

Also picked up a copy of Knights of the Old Republic II. (Man, I think I just love Bioware.) I know already that I will go to the Light Side because I am not into eating puppies and whatnot, but it should be fun while it lasts.

What actually happens to our heroes in Anuket City is crystallizing around a coupla chunks of text. That’s mostly how I write–I get a chunk, I write it and dump it there, and then I kind of write around it, a little before, a little after, until all the bits grow together. Every now and then a bit turns out not to fit, and I have to chop it out, but that doesn’t actually happen all that often.

I generally hold off on writing the climax until the end, though. Gotta have something to look forward to!

Also, there appear to be gnoles. I didn’t quite expect gnoles, but there they were. (They aren’t hyenas, but they’re definitely called gnoles.) If I’m already trying to wrestle D&D words back from the abyss, might as well go for broke, or at least Dunsany.

In this chunk, which may or may not actually occur–we’ll call it an outtake or a deleted scene if I wind up being wrong about it happening–a portion of Slate’s past has finally caught up with her, and she’s tied to a chair and waiting for the worst. (Now, if I just knew the boss’s actual name…oh, well, it’ll come to me.)

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