kilroy: (Default)
2016-11-13 06:39 am

Past and the Future

Two things.

1) My politics were formed during W's presidency, and I learned a lot of lessons then that are still with me. But I'd forgotten the visceral feeling of waking up angry every. single. morning. And that's going to be an order of magnitude worse this time around. With W I was basically just cranky, but this time I need to find some way to channel it or my anger is going to do some real damage to me and mine.

2) My wife said to me yesterday, "I can't believe it took Donald Trump to get you on Facebook." And... yeah. Facebook is too useful of an organizing and communication tool to ignore now. I need to be supporting my friends and facing my enemies, and my circle here is too small for that kind of public work.

Dreamwidth is always going to be where the really personal stuff is going to go. I don't want anyone seeing that other than a few people I trust. But Facebook is where the work is going to get done.

I'm still trying to figure out what that's going to look like. Do I repost news items? Do I reply to other people's thoughtless shit? Do I block people or try to engage them? I'm not sure yet (and I welcome any advice on this score.) But it's time for a little activism, and facebook is a reasonable place to start.
kilroy: (Default)
2016-11-10 08:17 am

Because I need to write something

As I process my shattering grief and my incandescent rage this election, I am only beginning to realize where I am in American history: namely, where we were a century ago.

We are going to relitigate basic human equality and agency again, as we have done every fifty years or so since the Civil War. We are going to fight to break the grip of the ultra-rich, just like we fought the monopolists and the Great Depression.

We are going to march, and riot, and protest. We are going to suffer violence and get thrown in jail. They are going to starve us and deport us, impoverish us and deny us. We are going to be hated and held in contempt.

In my naivete and privilege I thought this would not be my life. That this was not my America. I believed that we were moving forward a little at a time, even when it meant ignoring the voices crying out that it wasn't enough.

I was wrong. We are doing this again.

I may never get my dream of America back. Certainly I no longer expect to see it in my lifetime. I find myself thinking of the First World War, and how the rhetoric and feeling at the time said that it was the war to end all wars. But history repeats itself. I think of myself in fifty years, when the next revolution has truly come and been washed away, and I despair.

But it changes nothing. We will still fight, because the present is unacceptable. We will still fight because every human is worth defending, period. We will still fight because we have no choice.

I lost a lot of illusions this week, and the truth is terrible. Half of America voted to step backwards, and that means that history is once again going to repeat. I don't think most of those people know what that means.

But I'm starting to.
kilroy: (Default)
2016-06-29 07:42 am

Null Point

At some point maybe I'll turn this into a meditation, but I don't have the time or focus for poetry just now.

There are times when nothing is a blessing-- when the absence of a thing is necessary and good. Today I look at the world-- at the things I have to do-- and the emotions that looking triggers are keeping me from doing anything.

The only way I can get started is to push the world away-- to find a small, still, empty place inside myself where there is nothing. Where there is no reason not to begin. From there I can decide to move, and when I open my eyes I find myself already in motion.

So.
kilroy: (Default)
2016-04-13 08:02 am

An observation

There are many kinds of negative life experiences you can make art out of. Exhaustion is not one of them.
kilroy: (Default)
2016-01-05 10:23 pm
Entry tags:

Tea Leaves

There are two times when I really want to get back to writing: when I find a story that's amazing and I want to make more of it, and when I find a story disappointing and think "This could have been so much better. I could have done this better."

This post brought to you by Divergent, for reference, and I'll bet you can figure out which type it was. Maybe I'll resurrect the Rules of Drama. :-P
kilroy: (Default)
2015-12-22 09:03 am
Entry tags:

The inevitable Star Wars post

We finally got to see Force Awakens. I'm still thinking about it the next day, which is a good sign. It was definitely good enough to see, although I'm a little sad I didn't go with one of the super-pumped opening weekend crowds. The energy would have been awesome.

I'm in a place right now where the return of the old stuff really didn't do much for me other than elicit a few smiles-- and there was a lot of homage. The parts that gripped me were where they went somewhere new, and fortunately there was a lot of that too. Even better, unlike the prequels the heart was there. You care about the characters and what happens to them. Kasdan's presence in the writing room is palpable, and it's probably not much of an exaggeration to say that my favorite part of the movie was the humor.

I have some gripes and I'm not one of the OMG BEST MOVIE EVER people, but I definitely left the theater wanting more. I'm genuinely excited for the next one, which should break the mold more and use the excellent framework that this one sets up.

The one thing I'm wondering is how this movie works for kids who've never seen the other movies. I really hope this will be one of those movies for young people, like the originals were for me. But on that one only time will tell.

kilroy: (Default)
2015-11-30 10:08 am

Random noir

From my head this morning:
"The night was heavy. The fog settled in like a lead weight, and the streetlights flickered like the tips of half-smoked cigarettes."

Don't ask, I have literally no idea.
kilroy: (Default)
2015-11-18 08:19 am

Fifth, I think?

For resignation: Mistral

I've generally been thinking of this phase of my life as a temporary detour-- something that will pass in a little while and then I can get back to the life I had before.

This morning I am realizing that this is nonsense, and obviously so. My circumstances are forging me anew into some other person, and even when the fire has died the shape will remain. I will carry the marks of this for the rest of my life.

It's not an inherently bad thing; life is change. But the me that survives this won't want the same things-- won't be capable of the same things-- as the me that preceded it. There is no going back.

Since college I've thought of my life in regenerations: versions of myself that die and give way to new interpretations. I believe this will be my fifth. Today I recognize the change for what it is. I have no idea who I'm becoming, but it will be something new.
kilroy: (Default)
2015-10-27 08:31 am

Anniversary

Today is our third wedding anniversary.

I married her because she brings me joy. But we survived this year because she is a warrior.

All my love to my dauntless companion, with me in darkness and light.
kilroy: (Default)
2015-07-01 10:58 am

Ex Post Facto

So a few months ago I was denied life insurance twice-- by two different companies.

This morning I was for some reason thinking about it, and a thought came with startling clarity: they think I'm going to die.

It is an object of some small hope that the immediate follow-up thought was: well, fuck them.
kilroy: (Default)
2015-04-14 01:23 pm
Entry tags:

Prisoner's Meditation

I feel the limits with my fingers:
the chains of circumstance
that bind me to these walls,
this life.

They are unyielding, bitter, solid--
and I seem made of salt tears
in this cold place.

But if I am tears then I am water,
and water knows
that there is never one way, one shape;
water always finds a way.

No one will release me from this cage.
But cages are built to hold the strong,
and I am only water.

I fit my finger to the keyhole,
let myself turn,
and I am free.
kilroy: (Default)
2014-11-27 11:06 am

Book recovery, part etc.

Anyone have my copy of Swordspoint and Privilege of the Sword?
kilroy: (Default)
2014-11-18 08:58 am
Entry tags:

Gravity Meditation

The world is vast,
and every grain of it pulls me
endlessly downwards.

My body is small,
my muscles weak--
to fight the world is impossible.

Yet I rise from my chair.
kilroy: (Default)
2014-11-12 08:57 am

Resentment

It is really difficult to be productive when you want to punch the world in the face.
kilroy: (Default)
2014-10-28 08:37 am

Two

Celebrated my second anniversary with my wife yesterday.

Words don't do it justice, but: you changed my life, babe. I love you.
kilroy: (Default)
2014-10-17 02:29 pm
Entry tags:

Can a GM list their own universe as a fandom?

I'm having difficulty finding words for a feeling I'm having just at the moment, but it goes something like this:
I am so very, very lucky to be telling these stories-- to be able to live in this world and to be with these people that I've grown to care so much about. It is a wonder, and it is a gift. I love it.
kilroy: (Default)
2014-09-04 05:00 pm

The fight

We do not fight because we expect to win. We fight because we might win. We fight because if we do not, we will lose. 
kilroy: (Default)
2014-08-26 06:53 am

Old Friends

"...are like a familiar voice from a foreign country."

Or so says my inner Ambrose Bierce.
kilroy: (Default)
2014-07-27 02:06 pm
Entry tags:

Collecting some examples

 I'm building a list for analysis. I need twenty or so good universes of any fictional variety that have a bunch of persistent, politically relevant factions with different cultures and/or goals. Help me out?

Things that are good examples:
Avatar: the Last Airbender
Babylon 5
City of Heroes
Defiance
Discworld
Dune
Most well-constructed Dungeons and Dragons universes
Erfworld
Feng Shui
Game of Thrones
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Any White Wolf universe (including Trinityverse)
The Wire

Things that probably aren't good examples:
Star Wars-- it basically boils down to Rebels, Imperials, and Criminals. There are a bunch of alien races, but they all more or less fall into one of those categories. See also Firefly.
Doctor Who-- you get to see a lot of different cultures and factions, but the ones that show up multiple times are usually just villains or backdrops. Designed as an exploration/showcase rather than an integrated universe. See also TOS and to an extent TNG. 
Harry Potter-- the universe has some breadth and depth, but the story as told essentially boils down to everyone-versus-the-bad-guys. The different strengths of the good guy alliance are largely irrelevant. See also Lord of the Rings. 
Fables-- this actually goes too far into motivational territory, where every individual character has an agenda and even people nominally in the same group have only surface-level common ground. See also most superhero universes, Justified, Once Upon a Time, and Amber. 
kilroy: (Default)
2014-07-23 08:38 am
Entry tags:

The Elements of Roleplaying

Getting this down before I lose it. 

Roleplaying games exist at a unique intersection of three elements: triumph, immersion, and collaboration. 

Triumph: Roleplaying games allow players to take actions to achieve their goals against some opposition. They are games-- they inherently limit the options of the players via the system and setting, which makes the players' success meaningful. 

Immersion: Roleplaying games allow players to be part of another world and to inhabit new lives. Where other fictional pursuits require the suspension of disbelief, roleplaying requires the active construction of the fantastic; every player is responsible for making up a person that doesn't exist and deciding what they should do in a world that also doesn't exist.

Collaboration: Roleplaying games allow players to interact with other people to create a shared experience. They exist at the intersection of multiple viewpoints and have a life outside of any individual-- the constant parallel streams of input and feedback from the participants mean the game is always changing.

You can have Triumph and Immersion without Collaboration-- it's called a video game. 
You can have Immersion and Collaboration without Triumph-- it's called acting. 
You can have Collaboration and Triumph without Immersion-- it's called a board game. 

For a player to enjoy roleplaying, they need some level of buy-in for each element. Individuals will focus more on some elements than others, but a complete lack of any one will result in a very frustrated player.