Thursday, June 17, 2010

Miscellany and Epiphany (in the form of a cat)

"With no-one wearing their real face
It's a whiteout of emotion
And I've only got my brittle bones to break the fall

When the love in letters fade
It's like moving in slow motion
And we're already too late if we arrive at all"

Today is a tidbit trickle of things I encountered - the above is from a song called War by Poets of the Fall.  It's in Alan Wake, as the ending to Chapter 5, and I fell in love with it on first listen.  One of their other songs, Last Goodbye, plays in the credits of Max Payne 2, and it's another favourite of mine.

For me, the appeal is always in a singular moment.  Much as I craft my stories by a feeling or a thought, and expand upon them to create a world and narrative, a single moment is all it takes for me to fall in love.  In the above, it's the last line: "And we're too late if we arrive at all."  It's such a desperate kind of phrase, with a rising tempo behind it, that it sets my hair on end every time, and gives me that little frisson of realisation that I so look forward to when the song first begins.  

Another thing I found today that made me stop to think was this quote: "That is what forgiveness sounds like.  Screaming, and then silence."  I read it as a friend's status on Facebook.  Little did I know it was a line delivered during a conversation between two llamas.  Reading it, in the space of my own mind, it sounds ominous, maniacal, and not a little bit sad.  Hearing it spoken aloud by one of said llamas probably would have been far more hilarious if I didn't already have such preconceptions.  It's a fantastic line, one that conjures up images of intergalactic war but, instead, is about the deaths of people on a cruise ship, drowned by a psychopathic llama.  The gap between what I was expecting and what I actually got is almost as funny as the cartoon itself.  Now, to think of a story I can turn it in to...

It does make me think of The Silent King, in Planescape: Torment.  King of the undead, he was a giant skeleton who sat atop a massive throne in the catacombs under Sigil.  Never saying a word, he ruled for thousands of years.  His last lot of ruminations was so intense he hasn't moved for an age.  As a minor spoiler, when you finally get an audience with him, it turns out he's been dead for the past 20 years, and no one noticed.  That, too, was equal parts funny and sad, but had just enough of a taste of the world-within-a-world that I was happy enough to leave with what I had gathered, without being bored enough to be glad to escape.

I also had the pleasure of playing Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble today.  While some of the writing is a little less than I would have hoped, the mechanics must be fun - I played it for an hour and a half and didn't even want to think about quitting.  It takes the style of a board game such as Cluedo, set in an all girls' school in the 1930s.  As one of the students, you must uncover clues relating to certain schoolyard mysteries while using a combination of Popularity, Rebellion, Glamour and Savvy to outsmart those around you and charm the little cotton socks off prospective gang members (other schoolgirls) and wandering encounters (teachers and possible boyfriends).  In fact, I'd be playing it right now if I weren't simultaneously packing and writing this blog post.

Which brings me to another point of interest - I'm off on holidays for a week, starting on Saturday.  Woo hoo!  I mean... *ahem*.  I'll be sure to make many meaningful posts regarding story and related matters while I'm in the middle of the Pacific on a cruise ship drinking some kind of delicious cocktail.  

The sad part is, since I have an internet-enabled phone, I probably will.  The excellent part is, since I'll actually have time to catch up on my reading, I'll have more to talk about than llamas.  Keep an eye out for a review of The King's Bastard, the new book by Rowena Cory Daniells, sometime in the near future!

And, because it's a cold night and I'm feeling generous, have a picture of my cat asleep in her little fluffy cat-home:

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