How did I fix my bad sleep habits via video game writing in The Secret World? Behold!
age of conan, anthologies, busy!, creative process, creativity, doetsch, durham north carolina, entertainment, funcom, gaming, impending move, imposter syndrome, impromptu trip, interview, memories, Sizigyy, strangeness in the proportion, the creative process, vegas, video game writing, videogames, writing, Writing & Whiskey
Once upon a time, I listened to an awesome podcast — a full cast, radio drama style bit of lovely called Wormwood: A Serialized Mystery. I was (am!) a huge fan. Now, a comic book featuring some of those characters (Sparrow & Crowe) is soon to be released, and the above full page ad features a creator quote by me. Fandom comes full circle! You can see the ad in the May addition of Diamond’s Previews catalog (in a comic store near you later this week).
I work at a game studio, where conversations are fun. Events at the office today may have caused me to say:
“If I dropped a heavy dildo on my keyboard, I’d end up with a better sentence than that.”
Also, I had a meeting with one of my bosses. I’m doing work on two different games right now, so there’s multiple bosses. The writing meeting opened up something like this (the names have been changed to protect the devious):
BOSS: “Josh, did you cut your hair?”
ME: “Yes I did.”
BOSS: “Hmmm…you got your Greek on. Do you have any Greek in you?”
ME: “It’s possible.”
BOSS: “There’s something about you…a…a sexual anger that’s very Mediterranean. Clara, what do you think? You’re a woman.”
CLARA: “Oh, God…”
age of conan, funcom, haikus, Innsmouth Press, James Lowder, Killer Works, long term, novels, Poe, Present Bias, pseudopod, Rise of the Godslayer, short term, snake brains, strangeness in the proportion, The Book of Dead Things, This Endless Present
Writing a novel is the agony of going against every hard-wired stitch of the cross-hatched, multi-billion-year-evolved survival instinct programming of immediate gratification. Writing a haiku, by comparison, is the bliss of being that much closer to the primal, monkey-brained drive that says, “Yes, I want to eat that snake’s head. I want to eat it now!”
I had recent occasion to experience both. I placed in a novel contest and a haiku contest.
Strangeness in the Proportion
Several years ago, I won a novel contest. Between the then and the now, on and off, I worked on various drafts of this novel with the publisher (White Wolf Games) and my editor, James Lowder. It was hard. Really hard. Nearly busted my brain a few times. Nothing for respect for anyone that has gone through this process.
This winter, my big hunk of scrawling became available. My mutant child is all ready for company. It’s called Strangeness in the Proportion. It is available, currently, as a 17 part serial over at White Wolf’s site.
You can find it HERE.
You can subscribe to the RSS feed HERE.
It’s received some nice comments so far. I will definitely feed it an extra bucket of fish heads tonight.
In my convalescence, as I strained foreign objects out of my liquid brains and funneled it back up my nose (using reversed Egyptian techniques), I wrote something much smaller, entering a contest calling for Edgar Allen Poe themed haiku. It was bliss. A quick burst of creativity, pen scratching, emailing, and then input and accolades.
Here are the haiku I entered:
I-love-you-nots. So in love,
I can’t hear the screams
The Eight Chained Ourangoutangs!
Dwarf love conquers all,
And smells of burnt hair.
“And I held illimitable
dominion over all.”
Red Death sits.
Black Death begins.
They made a mistake
T’was sharp senses, not madness
The heart beats. It waits.
I thank the practice I’ve received from lots of recent twitter-story (short stories in 140 characters) writing. Both forms call for the same discipline in implied story (to be discussed in an upcoming post).
The Present Bias
The human current human brain really isn’t any different than the one that sat in the skulls of our grandaddies n’ mommies who hunted mastodon. That brain still has trouble with the concept of the future. It’s predisposed to the now. That is the Present Bias. Big projects like novels go against that. So when is it worth transcending? When is it worth playing to the strengths of the now (and taking glorious 4th…er…half of 4th)?
Growing pains in the skull, right along the faultiness of the suture-cracks, that’s what you have to look forward too, but the agony is just a reminder that you are on to something better, bigger, if only can keep your focus and—
Google Me…No One’s Looking…
While we’re on the subject of places stained by my ink, let me list some other places that still feature my writing (as a way of assessing myself in the new year, a time to make resolutions of transcending snake brain mastication).
Over at the This Endless Present (an online publication dedicated to dreams), you can read about a nightmare I had (it’s in the first part of the 3rd issue). I don’t know whether to call the piece fiction, or what I should do with it. I woke up, during my first month in Norway, and jotted it all down, as fast as I could go, before I could forget. I don’t normally have nightmares (especially ones that follow so vivid a narrative). I like it though. There was no overactive self-editor, as I was half asleep. I just wrote.
I have an article on the joys of audio fiction up at KillerWorks.com.
And still (Still!) I have a short story up at BloodlustUK.com, titled “Varmints”. It is the first thing I ever had published. Be gentle.
These days, my daytime gig is writing video game dialogue and story. For the last year and a half, I’ve worked for Funcom (in Norway and now in Montreal). I write for the Age of Conan MMO, mostly in the Rise of the Godslayer expansion, and on some upcoming material.
Very recently, I’ve been playing with an idea for an anthropamorphic animal story, but not a kids story. I think it has its roots in childhood viewings of the The Secret of NIMH and Watership Down.
That evil rabbit haunted my boyhood as much as any movie monster.
Sleep tight, lovelings.
away, brown cheese, Chicago, Dr. Skallymagtanomous, epics, funcom, GenCon, home, Indianapolis, Inigo Montoya, island lake, metaphor drinks, montreal, Mr. Inbetween, neil gaiman, norway, Norwegian Fjords, oliver, one-eyed cat, Raven, springfield, sum up, Tamtams, the painted boxing glove
I’m back and in the process of building up my brand new blog (smell that new blog smell) over here at: http://joshuadoetsch.wordpress.com/ having uploaded about 8 years of bast blogage.
If you are reading this at another blog, worry not, there is a good chance that shouldn’t change and I’ll find a way to forward posts there via client, cut ’n paste, messenger pigeon, or by carving it with my laser scalpel upon the flesh of those who cross me. But…if I’m absent again from here (wherever that is), then go to the above link.
Now…the last five months could use a lot of elaboration. There have been multiple continents, projects, and alcoholic beverages made out of distilled metaphors. But there is no time! Inigo, what should we do?
“We sum up!”
Right. So last we left off, I was still in Norway, a year into my gig writing video game dialogue for Funcom. I was getting ready to hop countries, again, this time to Montreal, Canada, to write at Funcom’s new studio there. But there were things to do before leaving Scandinavia. One was to go with Oliver, a British buddy from work, and take a backpacking week through the Norwegian Fjords. This deserves its own post (and perhaps it will get one), but for now, let us say it involved rescuing a caterpillar; drinking in a meed hall; having a Nordic epic about brown cheese read to us by an Icelander and a Norwegian; a terrifying man pointing at us, in the cemetery, and shouting, “Mr. Inbetween!”; and seeing lots of scenery like this:
Before reaching Montreal, I took a month of vacation at home, and made a mad dash to see as many of those I missed as I possibly could. I went to Island Lake, to Chicago, to Milwaukee, to Springfield, to Indianapolis, and other places besides. I also visited GenCon 2010 to get a nice injection of my gamer roots. So much to tell here…but time is short…and my new face itches!
But perhaps I could take a moment to elaborate on…
“Sum up, damn you!”
Right! Moving on.
I moved to Montreal. Much to say. But there is no time! Let me hit some random highlights. I got an apartment and I adopted a one-eyed black cat named Raven.
At a party, a girl from work mixed metaphor drinks. That is to say, there was a large and varied supply of drink accouterments, and she would not accept regular orders. Instead, you had to give her some image or idea and she would make the drink to fit it. I ordered two drinks that night. They were as follows:
DRINK #1: Flying and skidding across rooftops, like a skipping-stone, across the night city-scape sky, powered by wind and umbrella, kicking up roof tiles along the way.
DRINK #2: A dwarf sits in a graveyard, atop a mausoleum, playing sad, plastic kazoo nocturnes to the love he never had, interred within.
Both drinks tasted spot on. We drank metaphors and we were merry.
On more than one Sunday, I visited the park and the Tamtams. It’s a wonderfully gypsy collection of people organically gathering, drummers and other musicians, vendors, and an assortment of others. They play by the statue and if you wander in the woods you come across folks having medieval battles with foam weapons.
One day, while walking down the street, I came across a very long patio that ran the length of what I thought was an apartment building (but now suspect is some kind of hospital). A woman in a bathrobe marched up and down the patio, very officially. A set of giant headphones connected her to a discman. As she marched, she shook a pair of maracas to the beat of whatever she was listening to. A single boxing glove, decorated with very bright paints and designs, hung from her waist. She stopped me to ask the significance of my T-shirt (it was my I’M A NEIL GAIMAN CHARACTER shirt). I said he is an author. She nodded knowingly. “Spiritual books.” No, I said. He’s a fiction writer. At this she shook her head, realizing there were graver duties to be getting to, and she put back her giant headphones and went back to her maraca marching, the super technicolor boxing glove bouncing at her waste. I wish I’d asked her what she was listening to.
That’s all for today, lambkins. The little hand says it’s time to skedaddle.
I have been in Norway for about a year now, writing dialogue for the Age of Conan computer game. Now, it seems, my pen will take me to Canada as Funcom has offered me a continuing gig at their new game studio in Montreal. I’ll likely start there in August—with a trip home to Chicagoland first.
I have ordered French language learning software.
I have purchased a Molskine Montreal city book.
I’m reading this BLOG.
I’m trying to convince Odin that it’s nothing personal.
I went to a heavy metal bar last night, which seems a fitting thing to do while I’m in Scandinavia. This last sentence doesn’t necessarily fit in with its fellows above, except that it happens to come to mind.
Oliver, a fellow Funcom employee—whom I’ve learned to keep my notepad and pen at the ready around, as he inevitably says things like, “Get away from me with your eyes,” and, “I have a theory that you can brew wine from dead flies,” and, “Don’t bum your dad for an orange!”—has offered to show me around England during my vacation, which I may do for a week, before heading home.
I’ll have pen and pad at the ready.
My Friend Ken: Micro-Biographies Of Genuine Imitation Truth
So, I’ve known Ken since 3rd grade. The older you get, the more important it is to know people who knew you in 3rd grade. Ken made a call for short, humorous bios, to be used while he seeks funding and support and personnel for an independent film he’s piecing together.
I offered the following smorgasbord for him to choose from. I have known Ken for decades and can say that each of these bios is 100% true—they are so true, in point of fact, that each is more true than the last (no matter which order you read them in).
Ken Gallivan was sent back in time to stop Judgement Day—the day hyper-evolved pancakes attain self-awareness and turn on their masters. He can only do this by making an independent movie. Please, help Ken help you to prevent the Pancake Apocalypse from ever occurring.
Ken Gallivan makes independent films by day, but by night, he fights crime as the Incredible Carlos. His film career funds his gadgets and the preternatural mustache he can only reveal when he sheds his every day disguise—the very mustache that is the line between harmonious order and heinous, criminal anarchy. Please support Ken’s film career. The life you save could be your own.
If you watch just one film made by a dude named Ken Gallivan, this year, make it this one.
Ken Gallivan was raised by wolves. Please support this film.
Ken Gallivan was created by top Scandinavian geneticists in a secret lab under a mile of ice in Antarctica, in a secret project known only as Black Cabbage. He was designed, honed, and perfected to do only two things: make independent films…and slaughter kittens. Pleas support his film career.
Ken Gallivan is a prime number. Please support this film.
Ken Gallivan is a Time Lord. If he is not able to complete this film, he will be unable to acquire the parts to fix his TARDIS and travel to the past to impregnate your mother, and then you will cease to exist.
Once upon a time, Ken Galivan befriended a savage lion by removing a thorn from the beast’s paw. And if you do not support this film, that lion will fucking eat you.
Ken Galivan is handsome and has a rapist’s wit. Please support this film.
Ken Gallivan is the name of Joy in the hearts and minds of all children. His passing brings peace and the gentle scent of cinnamon. The bears of the north woods call him “forever friend” in their ancient tongue. And though the crocodile lords of the south hate him, dammit, they respect him. Please support this film.
In the time it took you to give blood today, you could have seen Ken Gallivan’s movie. Twice.
a space odyssey, age of conan, chinatown, dr. sbaitso, fossils, fraggle rocks, funcom, gamle aker kirke, golden age of video, hit girl, international jewel thief, lawrence of arabia, norway, norwegian constitution day, oliver, oslo, the pentagon, trilobites
The adventure in Norway continues.
I played video games in a graveyard, had a near hallucinatory experience with the Fraggle Rocks, saw the monolith on the big screen, and found fossils in the woods.
But enough cryptic foreplay…let’s get to it!
Goblin Markets, Fraggle Rocks, Strange Days
Several Saturdays ago, I rolled out of bed, at noon, stumbled into some clothes, and made the walk to grab a coffee at the corner shop. I found the main road closed and full of people in a sort of Norwegian sidewalk market fest. I decided to explore it for a few hours.
Sometimes getting a coffee can be an adventure.
Lots of little shops. Some cool paintings sold on the sidewalk. Various yummy smells. Various fishy smells. A large area of sidewalk was taken over by a radio station doing a promotion. They had this big ramp, covered in snow, with various kids doing ski and snowboard tricks, on the warm, sunny day. I didn’t understand what was said, but it looked fun. The boarders/skiers ranged in age, up to late teens, but the one who rocked the best tricks, and with the most confidence, was the youngest looking, a little girl. She was like the snowboarding version of Hit Girl.
That night, I went into the Funcom office (I go to work to play my video games) to play Conan with some folks from the US. With the time difference, I didn’t get out of there until 3 a.m. And what do my bleary peepers spy when I get to the street?
A bus. Not a normal bus. This bus is rocking. And there are weird lights and mist coming out of it. And loud, ribcage-rattling dance music is pulsing forth from it. In fact, it looks like there is a night club in a pocket dimension, within the bus, full of people dancing. And, as my eyes adjust, I see what it is painted along the whole outer body…scenes depicting the Fraggle Rocks.
Before I could pinch myself, the bus drove off into the Norwegian night.
And where is the magical Fraggle bus now? ‘tis a mystery…***
Womb Breach Day
The end of April saw me turn 31. This means I am just old enough to play a high school kid in Hollywood.
To celebrate, I took my new PSP and went and did what I could never do with past game systems—I played Castlevania, at night, in cemetery by a medieval church built by a viking king. It’s the little things.
The Monolith and the Trilobites
So this one time, a great-uncle of mine found this bone, and smashed this other dude in the head for messing around at his waterhole…and the rest is prehistory…
Through some cats at work, I found the movie theatre that film geeks go to here in Oslo. I have since watched 2001: A Space Odyssey and Lawrence of Arabia, and Chinatown, on the big screen, in 70mm. Loud sound too. I could feel my hair flying back at the height of the 2001 theme.
All in all, I think I could have beaten HAL. Back in the early-mid 90s, I had a face-off with an artificial intelligence by the name of Dr. Sbaitso. Let’s just say…I’m the one still standing.
A few Sundays ago, I went with Oliver, another workmate from Funcom, out fossil hunting. Based on the memory of a hand drawn map that he saw on a WEBSITE, we took a train and hour+ out of the city, then walked for about four miles, looking for some rocks that didn’t look much different than the surrounding miles of rocks, but contained fossils. My hopes weren’t too high, but it was nice scenery. And yet…WE FOUND ‘EM!
We didn’t just find a fossil, but lots and lots of fossils, mostly trilobites (which are arthropods, not a rejected Clive Barker movie monster). One of the fossils now sits on my desk.
Also, a raven (not a city crow…but a real raven) circled above us and croaked a few times.
I am all that is paleontologist!!!
We also saw this:
That’s right! It’s the Aass Brewery. When you taste that distinct, robust, full-bodied flavor…you know you’re in Aass country.
It’s All About Getting the ExP
Do you think anyone will notice that, on my LinkedIn resume, I list one of my past jobs as Infamous International Jewel Thief?
Age of Conan: Rise of the Godslayer
The MMO computer game expansion I’ve been writing on for the last 10 months came out about two weeks ago.
There was a party–my first game launch party. There was much libation. I ended up at various places, and then a long walk home in the early AM (with detailed instructions on where not to walk).
Oslo, May 17th
May 17th is the big national holiday here in Oslo, and I went out and experienced just how many people can fill these city streets. Yikes. Many people were in traditional garb and it was rather interesting. I would have preferred viking helmets and mead-filled skulls, but then, who wouldn’t?
Saturday I tried to make a trip out to the Comic Book Library here in Oslo…but it was closed for the holiday weekend. Looking about and finding myself in a foreign city (this happens every few hours, think Momento, only I don’t have any nifty tattoos for help) I decided to explore. I eventually stepped into a shop with army surplus, roman helms, tommy gun air rifles, a rubber alien set up in an alien autopsy scene, swords n’ knives, and yes, a live tarantula.
This was convenient as it was exactly the store I was looking for.
Some Tweeted Thoughts and Meditations Over the Last Few Weeks
*No, that is not a tear in my wrinkled shirt; it’s my ragged scarecrow chic.
*When life hands me lemons, I make poorly executed metaphors.
*Hate ironing. If you don’t have any wrinkles, rumples, or patches, how do you even know you’ve lived?
*Found out I’ll be a bridesmaid. Strange days. Never know what I’ll be doing or on what continent anymore. Does this make me a bridesman?
*I’m sometimes tempted to write under the name Jack Fatuus…or Haph Hazard…or Penethorne Scrivensworth…or Icky Knock (short for Ichabod).
Howzabout a Moment of Zen?
Watch this. You really should. I wouldn’t lie. Not to you.
[***Note: I have since learned the reason for the Fraggle bus, but don’t want to spoil the mystery for you, just yet.]
Where were we?
Ketchup. Catching up.
I let another week slide by between my half-time break in the recap of all that happened during the radio silence—which means more stuff transpired—so let’s quicken pace to get back to the near present, lest we forever mire ourselves two skips n’ a jump behind the Now…
OK…I’m not even going to organize this with conventional chronology. I mean, eventually our molecules are going to separate and information is going to break down and dissolve—it’s individual moments that are important—so screw organization, I’ll just sloppily jot this down as randomly and quickly as it comes to my brain and fingers.
But to give it a structure, let’s lean on the visual and you can participate in a metaphor with me. Picture a funky deck of cards. Each card is an individual moment-memory-thingy, a Tarot of my recent events in Oslo. See the deck? Solid in your mind? I’m shuffling it…I try and impress you with a nifty feat of shuffling prestidigitation…and bungle the whole thing at an adorably crucial moment and—SNAP—cards everywhere. 52 Pick-up!
What do I grab first?
*The Ace of Plastic Bags*
Walking home from the subway, one night, with the Japanese lyrics of a song about a giant robot from a Godzilla movie stuck in my head…I noticed it…yes…the plastic bag was following me.
Through an odd confluence of wind, the plastic bag was more or less hovering, darting a few feet this way and that, at the level of my head, neither falling nor blowing away, in a kind of American Beauty sort of moment. It followed me for several paces like this…
…so I punched it in the face.
Don’t look at me like that. You have to be stern. Otherwise you’re the soft-knuckled fool in the city that all the plastic bags follow and swarm.
…oh my…the next card is ominous…an archetypal representation of minor pestilence…it’s…
*The Nine of Swine*
Had a bug. May or may not have been the Swine Flu. They take that seriously in these parts. I’ve never had a job demand I stay home sick for a week. I wasn’t that sick. I was ready to beg them to let me back. I was in my old, temporary apartment–four white walls in a cramped room and no internet. Got a little reading done. Went a little mad. Had to go to the doctors to get a note so I could get sick leave. They made me wear a mask and took me to the infectious room where other sad sops in masks sat. Boredom was the worst part.
Give a flu a name and people go nuts.
…and the next card is…oh…that is encouraging…it’s…
*The Two of Positive Press*
Sometimes, late at night, I Google myself.
Hey, don’t look at me that way! It’s just an adult game of Peek-a-boo—a bit of reality affirmation—if I type my name (“Marco!”) and something answers back (“Polo!”), I still exist.
I stumbled upon a VERY NICE REVIEW of my podcasted story, “Blood, Snow, and Sparrows”. [Hmmm…that link does not appear to be working…but trust me, it was sweet review. –THE MANAGEMENT]
Also received a comment on a stranger’s blog regarding that same story.
I got another bit of nice press via Twitter. Yes, Twitter. I know. Yes, I hopped on that. Look, as near as I can tell, the Cult of the Trendy and the Cult of the Anti-Trendy pretty much worship in the same way: they let the actions and opinions of others dictate their actions and opinions. I don’t have time for pretensions (or anti-pretensions), only enthusiasms (the difference between pretensions and enthusiasm is the same difference between the nervousness of a high-stakes investor driving his new sports car, wondering if it’s sending the right image to the world—and the pure joy of a kid riding her sparkling new bike in the mud).
Anyway—TANGENT ALERT—people are still figuring out what to do with these new communications technologies. We’re making it up as we go. And some people are using Twitter to challenge themselves to write ultra-ultra short bits of micro-fiction (whole stories in 140 characters or less). Inspired by my fellows, I wrote up a dozen or so over the last week (fiction stories I make up are marked by a #TCTC hash and not to be confused with the bits of my real life that I make up).
I’ve been linking them to a London Times Tweet-Story contest that is still ongoing. At the bottom of the article, it explains how to enter if you’re interested. And I got noticed. I was mentioned as a favorite in another London Times Article posted Saturday.
…and the next card…oh…it’s one of the Major Arcana…it’s…
*The New Apartment*
I am now situated in my new apartment. I like it. It’s cheaper than I thought I’d have to spend. I get along well with my flatmate and his two Italian greyhounds (a mother and her puppy). It’s in an old, charming apartment building and not an ugly new one…and so has high ceilings (which I appreciate after my last cramped room), good space, and my bedroom has a wonderfully large window. My new bed is a year old and apparently belonged to a diplomat prior. I asked my new bed if it would write me references and it agreed. There is a tree outside my window, and I’m at branch level, and it’s close enough to hear the wind-through-the-leaves sound that trees make if I open said window. There’s also a spooky basement that you have to duck down to walk through to get to the laundry machine—there’s groaning stories down there.
…next card…another Major Arcana…
*The Viking Church*
In my quest to see all the locations in my little Oslo Guide, I visited a little cemetery and church, built by a Viking King in 1080—just a walking distance from my apartment. It’s the oldest standing building in the city, surrounded by an old cemetery on a hill.
Better still…they don’t lock the gate at night.
I had the place to myself. Lit bright in the front, near the church, but dark-dark in the back and full of…atmosphere. Now, I am an atmosphere fiend. Some people have chocolate. I have atmosphere. And atmosphere is not a spectator sport. You get what you give and I can create quite a bit with quite a little…at least for myself (First rule of Josh: ENTERTAIN JOSH…if others get entertained too, so much the better). I did not have to put forth much…this was a smorgasbord of lush, creamy, creepy-bittersweet moods.
I went back, a few night’s later for a more extended stay. I wandered about and when my eyes adjusted and I got brave enough, I visited the dark back of the cemetery by the angel statue and a leaky well. Then the place just seemed charming and inviting and I listened to the last hour of the audio reading of Neil Gaiman’s, The Graveyard Book, smoked rum-dipped cigarillos, and explored every inch of the place (or tried to…I’m sure there are more hidden inches to find).
It was a good…moment…very in the moment…no future or past practicalities to muddle the mind. And the end to one of my favorite recently read novels was all the more poignant.
I bottle particularly good vintages of atmosphere and save it for later.
…next card…oh…it’s a good one…it conveys wandering souls and a fool’s prerogative…it is…
*The Ferry Fatuous*
I’m all about the cheap entertainment and the ferry to the various islands in the fjord of Oslo is free (or at least…I already have a monthly travel pass and it’s covered on that). So I decided to X a few more spots in my guide book. I like the ocean and I like boats and it’s nice to know I can take a boat ride whenever I like.
My target was Hovedoya, the first island, but I stayed on the boat for the round trip (past Bleikoya, Gressholmen, and Lindoya) and hit Hovedoya on the way back.
The island is mostly forest preserve with a few boating places and snack shops on some of the shore. I was in search of the ruins of a 12 century monastary that I read were there—wasn’t sure exactly where—but I found it pretty quickly.
Another spot I definitely liked. Very peaceful. Just a small trickle of visitors coming through here and there. Sat on an old well, covered by boards with a slight crack through them—and I wondered what they were keeping down there…
Mostly, the ruins are just free standing walls that from a sort of ceiling-less maze. But one of the turrets was still standing and (since there wasn’t any sign telling me not to) I went up the stone steps…which led to a little space on the second floor about the size of a really good tree fort. A little window allowed me to look outside. I sat there for the better part of an hour, undisturbed.
I’ll have to remember the spot when the weather gets warmer again…I think it’ll serve as a good reading nook.
…next…card…is…uh oh…it’s Death’s younger, less terminal cousin…
*The Phantom of Indefinite Enforced-Leave*
Funcom had a great purge of employees this last Tuesday. Very sudden. It was announced to everyone at Tuesday’s morning meeting. Then, one by one, we were called down to individual meetings to see if we still had a job.
I survived. I was told my place there is pretty secure.
The plan is now for more streamlined teams and—if things get richer and fatter again—to hire back those on enforced leave.
Friday I moved up to the 4th floor. Where once I was in a dark, barren corner (by myself) I’m now around friendly faces (and slowly learning the finer points of socializing again) have a window view, and even a plant. Granted, I distract easily, but I plan on trying really hard to…hmmmm….what?
Well…there’s probably more cards on the floor, but what say we cal ourselves caught up and start a new hand, yeah?
Gotten a lot of mostly good feedback for the audio version of my story (“Blood, Snow, and Sparrows”), over at Pseudopod.org and more comments over at their DISCUSSION FORUMS. My favorite comment so far was:
“Joshua Alan Doetsch is not good. Joshua Alan Doetsch is darkly transcendent. It was so amazing it was like Ray Bradbury got high and started listening to Nine Inch Nails and decided to write about “the Crow”. I hope to God that Joshua is writing a big fat novel that I can go buy and read.” —Old Man Parker
Every reference in that comment made me grin. It’s refreshing to find that you truly are what you eat.
Quest For Job:
To say that my finances are a mess is a cosmic understatement. The job search is ongoing and I’ve recently turned to job listings for full time writers at video game companies. Recently, a company in Norway, Funcom, contacted me, liked my writing samples and resume, and sent me a writing test. It was rather fun. They liked that enough to give me a phone interview and I should hear back from them this week.
The game I’d be writing for is called The Secret World and it right up my alley, subject wise, and I’m excited at the prospect of doing what I like for a living (maybe even enough to cover myself in soot and dance and sing about it, on rooftops, in a ridiculous accent, "I does what I likes…", etc., etc.)…but not sure I want to move all the way to Norway.
It would be an adventure though…
I’m hedging my bet by submitting to other companies though, in the mean time.
And if you need a private, dedicated word-weaver, I’m in the market, as it were, and quite a genius, and humble to boot, and what the hell ever happened to the rich patron system. Huh? There are plenty of wealthy folk out there who one-up each other with mundane items like houses and planes and mistresses.
Seriously, If you are rich and you want to one-up your rich douche-bag friends this year, buy me…
“This is Joshua Alan Doetsch, my private Bard. And what did you buy, Reginal…hmmm…another sports car…how pedestrian…hahahaahahahahaha!”
Quest for Less Gravity Love:
On the weight loss, training-for-the-bike-trip-come-September front, I’ve pretty much undone my meager gains over the holidays. But that’s alright. I was testing the waters. Tomorrow I start working out again and will do so more heavily and will plan a more specific diet (details to follow).