At Least You’ll Leave a Beautiful Score

You know what it is.

You’ve played that Level. You’ve played that Game.

That Game can be a mess of crude 3D polygon confusion. Other times it is a beautifully rendered realistic environment populated by generic places and shallow souls. Sometimes it is a two-dimensional caricature where you can jump up and down and turn all around on pre-set paths and pre-determined destinies.

Maybe it is turn-based when it is an organized, reasonable world, or a great bird’s eye map somewhat hidden from you as you get to plan out your strategies but–more often than not–it is a side-scrolling affair of linear time. You have to keep moving forward and you can never go back.

Except in your mind.

So you jump through hoops. You try to avoid the spikes and the pitfalls. You repeatedly hit your head against a golden block: always looking for a different result. That edge near the lava, and those platforms over the abyss become far too captivating and even far more terrifying for their 8-bit sense of vertigo.

But you dodge the fire and the ice, the darkness and the light, the electrified mines and the bullets, the cute little walking bombs and the fake-out illusions. You spend time solving the clever and tedious puzzles below the mountains or up in the sky: so much so that you sometimes fear you will be stuck in those places forever. Your musical theme begins to change or it cycles into a cheery purgatorial loop inside of your mind.

And you haven’t even gotten to the Boss yet. The Boss waits for you at the end of the teleological road though, in retrospect, it was always there for you. It almost always seems to be larger than you. Often, it has more power than you do. You know there is an angle in which to approach it, some kind of slant, but it does its very best to allude you.

And even if you figure it out, your eyes are so gritty, your palms are so sweaty on those controls, and your heart is beating so fast that it is a challenge in itself merely to concentrate: because then you realize that this is less about the Game and more about you and this Boss.

That is when you realize the truth.

Sometimes Life is like a Boss with 99 lives while you are a character with only one. But then another thought occurs to you: that as long as you can knock at least two of those lives off before you go down, or in some way engage it as a multi-player effort before leaving it as such, then it was all worth it.

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I Wanna Cast Magic Missile: Art, Science, Spellcasting, and Making Things

The Dead Alewives comedy skit reference aside, there are two classes of spell-caster in Dungeons and Dragons that have always interested me. I would imagine that most people who are familiar with the fantasy genre know what mages are. Mages are essentially spell-casters that use magic through rigorous study, research, and memorization of rotes and ritual. Much of the phenomenon that they create and observe is practised in a manner not unlike science: although inevitably it is a science based on a different kind of reality and series of physics intrinsically different from our own. Essentially, add animism–the idea of a sentient or semi-sentient spirit–inside all organic and inorganic matter and you see how mages can create a science of pacts, magic circles, and artifacts to understand, classify, and control their surroundings.

Then you have sorcerers. Sorcerers are also people who use magic. However, they can’t learn to harness their power through textbooks or even teachers. Whereas mages have a very stratified and hierarchical arrangement of knowledge–of learning and politics–sorcerers tend to be loners, and have to learn how to use their power through trial and error. You will notice that I make a distinction. Mages use magic and work with or twist the rules that exist around them. Sorcerers have their own power. It is, at least in some depicted worlds, inherent within them. In some D&D worlds, they are considered Dragon-Blooded or something along those lines. Essentially, sorcerers have a power that they can only access through experimentation and direct experience: and the power expresses itself differently depending on the personality and the focus of the person that harnesses it.

I’m also not saying that sorcerers can’t have teachers, but these teachers are generally more like mentors: in that they can give them hints and show them how they use their power, but in the end it is ultimately up to the sorcerer to find their own way.

As you can imagine, mages have an advantage with regards to resources and guidance. They have a craft or a science with very clear rules that they can work with or seek to circumvent entirely. Basically, the most ambitious mage operates on the principle that it is only by knowing the rules that you can eventually get around them, make new rules, or surpass all of them entirely.

However, the sorcerer does not solely depend on a book of spells or external sources to empower them. They have that spark inside of them and, if they survive long enough or adapt to that point, they can summon the power they need and do it in a way that is customized solely to their touch. In other words, no one else can cast magic the way that one sorcerer can. In addition, they do not have centuries of tradition or hierarchy to limit their very perception of what can be experimented with.

Mages are usually part of an academy. Sorcerers are often autodidacts: those people who teach themselves what they need to know. You could make an even greater generalization and state that mages are the academics of a relatively established system of magic while sorcerers are artists of their own personalized mystical arts.

But here is the thing that always strikes me: where is the line?

Let’s say that writing is magic. There is a large amount of theory and documentation about writing. Universities and colleges teach one about grammar, spelling, and various conventions and genres. Schools have teachers. You are taught to view something analytically and you are exposed to various selected texts to influence you. It is also argued that at least in the Modernist era many writers had this form of formal education and knew what the rules were before experimenting with them. You can also apply this model to fine art: learning the basic shapes of various elements before you can experiment with them.

It might be tempted to say that people that work with such matters would be the equivalent of mages. But then consider this. After the academy, the mentorships, and the peer-reviews you are left to your own devices. Or better yet: you were never exposed to these. You were taught just enough to know the basics and then encouraged by something inside of you to seek out those things that greatly interest and resonate with you and work with them. You are not in the classroom with its specialized language and jargon. You often find yourself in strange and unconventional places: perhaps doing even more unorthodox things. You keep recording these experiences inside of you and you express them in different ways: making as though you are dreaming, or screaming, or just being.

But where is the line? Isn’t it possible to have that spark in you from the very beginning: to learn the rules and conventions of an established system and then go out into the world and learn your own words with and beyond that structure? I know that I may have merely described another mage with this extended analogy, but consider when a science and craft verges past that line into personal art. Sometimes a person can’t learn how to use their power of expression through established or conventional means. Sometimes you make or conceive something that can’t be replicated through a formula.

But is it at all possible to learn the basics from a formal education and then use personal experience and that spark–whatever it is and if it even exists–to make something new: or at least a really interesting variant of something that already exists?

I think, for me–in this analogy–that I was born a sorcerer but trained as a mage for most of my life. In my time at the academy, I sought to follow my own work through less travelled paths and eventually came to a point where I realized that I needed to pursue the knowledge I needed on my own. My teachers and my University gave me tools and selected readings and their own perspectives. But I know, after my time in a Creative Writing Program, that while teachers can teach you how to write or how something works, it is ultimately up to you to express your own personal voice. No other writer, artist, academic, book or work can do that for you. It is both a difficult challenge and an incredibly awesome task which, in the end, is entirely up to you.

Therefore, in the end–having gone far past the danger of making faulty analogies and false dichotomies–I feel like a mage with the heart of a sorcerer.

And with that, I cast magic missile into the darkness.

At Night

It’s past three in the morning. Usually, with a rare few exceptions, I’m not up this late these days. But I am usually awake past everyone else.

It is about the only time I have any peace. At this time of night during the weekday everyone goes to bed, the phone stops ringing, my obligations wait for the next day, and I finally have some time to myself: where I can finally have my own mind again for a while … where I can be me for a few hours.

During this time I write something, or catch up on social networking and emails. Other times I just listen to music or pace around articulating some ideas to myself. Sometimes I used to talk to people online, but I don’t do that as much anymore. Sometimes I even dance: like I used to at clubs in downtown Toronto.

It is generally the time where my mind is at its most clear: where things come together more easily and with fewer external distractions. This doesn’t always happen at night however. There are also times when I first wake up when my mind is more intuitive and still far enough into that dream-state where connections and ideas flow far more naturally and I can write something down that’s either been in my head for far too long, or just occurred to me right then.

But it is harder to do that these days. Perhaps it is the late night mitigating my waking time. Maybe it’s just that I have more things to do now. For the most part, I do feel like a new person whenever I wake up: before the memories of the previous day really come back.

As for the night, sometimes it’s like Londo Mollari from Babylon 5 drinking to reduce to the influence of the Drakh Keeper attached to him while at others … it’s more like remembering the times when I felt a lot more alive, the moments when I still do, and the times when I plan to be again.

Considerations and Experiments

Me and my Head

I’ve been busy and thinking about some things this past while.

This in itself is nothing new, of course. I still have my collaboration with Angela to consider–which I have to flesh out into something like a comics script form (the details of which you can find under the “Project” Category of my Blog)–as well as continuing my quest for further publication and employment.

Ironically, I have been going out a lot more often and I will be doing so in the near future. My friends and I have been playing no less than two role-playing games–of which yesterday we played two sessions in a row–and I have been writing stories of our exploits in at least one of those worlds so far. Sometimes I feel guilty about that. I mean, I have sent stories out to magazines and such, but I feel like I am at a place in my life right now where I need to keep making stories that I can actually send out to places.

As such, I have a few experiments (I always feel like Darth Plagueis when I say “experiments” or some kind of ruthless mad alchemist) that I have not really been undertaking because I have been distracted with some pragmatic concerns, which ironically makes them harder to deal with, and so on.

I actually feel like I need to write more about my own life again. This was partially one principle that “Mythic Bios” was founded on, but I think there are some things that I need to express and there are certain ways of doing that that really intrigue me. It wasn’t too long ago that I wanted to make a Twine game or two based on some experiences or “day in the life thereofs” that people like Anna Anthropy have totally inspired me to do. I do know that I am at the point in my life where I can begin to really express my perspective through my writing. I have done so, and I am continuing to do it as well.

However, I’m not sure all of it can be placed on here. What I like about this “Mythic Bios” is that it is safer. It is a purely theoretical place, but one where I can ponder about different things and maintain that veneer of optimism and positivity. A few of my friends and people who know me are probably finding this one sentence hilarious because for the longest time I have not been a very positive person. I’ve been angry, confused, bitter for sure, and definitely sad.

In every incarnation of “Mythic Bios” I have created–both here online and offline in my written notebooks–I have made a point of trying to not let those other aspects completely consume this space. Believe me, I deal with them more often than not and in private. I need to have a space where I can feel safe while expressing a reasonable and somewhat logical mindset: while making the boundary between fact and fiction a little more clear. But I also need to recognize that other side: the side that knows that stories and reality are not that far removed from each other. I need that place of emotion and expression of that emotion and the messiness that comes with being a human being.

I still find myself in that place where I’m torn between wanting to express that aspect and wondering how this will affect my current–and future–audience’s perception of my writing. While I do feel like I should have a separate space and maybe an aspect, I also feel somewhat cheated by that: as though I feel somehow that I can’t be a whole person. Because, like I said before, this–all of this–is not all of who I am.

At the same time, I want to leave some personal space to myself and even make things that I find interesting and aren’t necessarily related to me personally. I do believe that our writing is an extension of who we are and what we’ve done. On the subject of the personal, I know I still get concerned with offending people with what I can make as well.

But let me repeat: I do feel like I have something, or several somethings, to say. And I have this growing suspicion that there are people out there who will totally want–or even need–to read these “somethings.” I also know there are people who will always disagree with whatever I say, or simply not read these things. It would be almost easier if it were always the latter and not the former.

To be a writer, you have to travel that nebulous territory between the personal and the public, as well as the intellectual and the earthy and perhaps more … uncomfortable places that I’ve only touched on. I know, more or less, what I have to do. The rest of it is just details and finally sitting down to replenish my collection of stories.

I can’t sit around all the time and write. It’s just like never sitting down and writing. Something just has to happen. So I plan to write a story or two that’s been on my mind for a while, work on my part of the collaboration with Angela, send a few more things out and … see what I can do.

Other People

Will’s face felt stiff. His smile tightened the muscles around his mouth and looked genuine: at least in his own opinion. When he laughed at another person’s attempt at a joke, he forced it to project into his chest and the resulting hollow feeling only served to make the sound louder. Even so, the clambering background noise of the White Crescent Cafe seemed to drown out everything else and Nor was otherwise preoccupied.

It was a few days after they met at The Club. He watched Nor interact with the others. Will felt strangely deaf without the music of The Club completely drowning out all other conversation. Aside from her one quote from The Day the Earth Stood Still, they had barely talked amid the booming percussion of the speakers. It had just been her hands directing his own to her hips as Orbital’s “Halcyon” reverberated gently and transcendentally into the soft luminosity of The Club.

It was just their eyes as Nor smiled at him and he knew, then, that this was an expression that came easy to her. Then there was the night in his room and the exchange of phone calls that came after.

But here, at the White Crescent Cafe, it was different. The place was trendy with its half-moon caricature eating a croissant and holding a cup of coffee. It was crowded with many different conversations that made it hard to hear Will’s own voice: even in his mind. And while Nor’s acquaintances seemed friendly, Will felt that they were very self-involved.

Will continued to answer generic questions about his job (writing) and his “neo-50s look” (which wasn’t a style so much as what he looked like) until his insides ached. The centre of him was tightening until he felt a hand on his arm and saw Nor beside him.

“I have to borrow him for a moment,” she told them.

“Ah, yes,” Will felt himself wink at them with a cleverness he did not feel, “If you’ll excuse us.”

Everyone smiled and laughed as Nor led will outside the Cafe. They went to the side entrance and came to a stop. Will saw Nor looking directly up into his eyes.

“Are you all right, Will?”

“Yes,” Will said quickly, “It’s nice to talk with your friends and everything. They were just asking me–”

“You know,” Nor said, “it’s okay.”

Will blinked, “…what is?”

“You don’t have to pretend with me, Will.”

He felt Nor cup his cheek. It was almost instantaneous. The knot of tension inside the core of Will untwisted. It was as though Nor’s words and her small touch on his cheek were a knife destroying the great internalized pressure inside of him.

Will stood there as he felt streaks of warm wetness trail down his face like blood. The released pain and discomfort was the most silent of assassins: killing his parody of artifice and granting mercy. The two of them sat near the wall, with Nor holding him and stroking his hair.

“You never have to pretend with me,” Nor spoke softly, “I can talk enough for the two of us.”

For a long while, Will didn’t even make a sound as his released tension dripped out of his face and finally dried.

“T-thank you,” Will managed to reply with a tremendous sense of relief, “Neil … likes to say it’s ourselves, but sometimes it really is other people.”

Nor smiles, “It gets easier with practice and with small numbers. But sometimes, you are right.”

The two close the small amount of distance between their faces and kiss. Then they leaned on each other for a time before Nor came to her feet and pulled Will up to his own.

“We can do that later though,” Nor said, “Right now, let’s just go home.”

“Home?” Will asks with a combination of incredulity and a larger amount of hope.

“Yes,” Nor hooks her arm through his own as they began to walk, “Home. Sometimes, it’s other people too.”

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Credit: artofimperfektion on Flickr … the couple of which whose pictures they really are.

What You Are Left With

So not too long ago I read this post from Amanda Palmer which talks about a few things: but more specifically how Bloggers may be “the next writers,” emails are replacing letters as personal correspondence and how it will be challenging for historians and outside archivists to preserve all of this.

You know, sometimes I look at this. Right here. I look at this: I look at all of this–my Blog, social sites, email and the Internet itself–and I realize how really ephemeral it all is.

I am not a technological or computer expert, but some days I just imagine there being some kind of event that overloads information and backups to the point where this–all of this–is gone. It makes me remember that I don’t back-up any of my Blog posts on here. What I mean is, they are all essentially sent directly onto my WordPress, and if anything happens this would all be gone.

Then I think about the reverse. I think about the Internet and computer technology continuing to evolve: to points where we can’t even dream it will go. Imagine a future where technology becomes more intuitive–as though it is an extension of the human body in how you can easily access it like moving your arm–and all that old information comes with it. Or will it? Will old data from ancient systems survive into newer ones? Would it be the same? I know even from my limited knowledge and terrible chagrin that something like an old USB key can go obsolete.

But let’s say that technology will change to a point where obsolete technology and information on it can be easily passed onward: and accessed by anyone with any degree of knowledge. Let’s also say that this information will be documented and recorded by other people who want to write biographies or otherwise examine the lives of users from this time.

I mean, it is already happening to an extent. Archivists are tackling the gathering of emails and data from websites and online archives. Sometimes, as an exercise, I think about and look at everything I’ve typed up on Mythic Bios and I imagine someone in the future–or even now–trying to reconstruct what I was like as a person through what I allowed to be on here.

Does Mythic Bios represent my entirety as an individual?

I would have to say no.

It does represent a part of me. It represents my interests, some of my thoughts, and even some feelings but it definitely doesn’t have the full breadth and width of me. Sometimes it feels like a really carefully crafted shell or a layer of created artifice. And I enjoy crafting that artifice almost as much as I enjoy writing things on here, if that makes any sense, at least from a writer’s perspective. Amanda also mentions on her Blog that she doesn’t like to tell everyone about what she is doing, or reading, or listening to all the time because she wants a piece of herself for her and her loved ones alone. I think that is part of it too with me.

I think it’s also that I know I am just as ephemeral as my Blog. I am going to change. I am changing even at this moment. I don’t have it all figured out either because of this fact. There is something really comforting about writing a narrative where you place down the facts–“just the facts” of your interests and goals–with hints of the person shining out between them from time to time. I am, if nothing else, also a tease. 😉

But facts and stories can be so much more orderly–and comforting in that order–than an actual human life can be when you are in the process of experiencing it: especially when your other impulse is to chaos and destruction in not always a super-villain kind of way.  So I would be almost comforted if this Blog were to be all that was really left of me, but those human moments of ambiguity–that small amount of embossing–would make me feel a lot better about it.

Now if the Net went down, or suffered a few memory-wipe phases of cataclysm and all everyone had to go by me were the personal things I have written down that would be an entirely different story altogether. I mean, assuming they didn’t think I was crazy, they probably wouldn’t be able to understand me: if only because my handwriting is in ancient Sumerian … also known as messed up scribbling.

Sometimes your hand and pen cannot move as fast as your mind or your imagination.

In some of my more depressed moments, I think all I am going to leave behind are papers and electronic weirdness. Sometimes I think these are the best things about me. I don’t really know just how “inspirational” I actually am when you take the rest of this stuff away. I’m not really doing anything that anyone else can’t do. But maybe it’s just the way that I do it, or that others do it that differentiates us. It’s that mystery of “You-ness” or “I-ness.” I still haven’t solved that mystery yet and you know what? Maybe that’s a good thing:  because that means I’ll keep writing and doing what I need to do. I’ll keep going and when I am not angsty or introspective, I’ll just be ad hoc and silly.

And if that’s what comes through, like I said before, I will be more than okay with that: especially if someone else can relate to it.

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Make-It Me: A Film Review of Wreck-It Ralph

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When I first saw previews for Wreck-It Ralph, I admit that my expectations were not very high. I immediately thought two things: first that the CGI would be an excuse for a poor story-line and that, second, it would be a rip-off of Donkey Kong. I mean: just look at Ralph and Donkey Kong, or even Fix-It Felix Jr. and Jumpman/Mario.

Then after a while, I heard good things about it and there was one commercial that I saw which really got me attracted to it, namely this one:

After that, I couldn’t not see this movie, seeing as I am interested in super-villains and video games and … I admit I imagine having a Boss musical theme. =)

So I saw it and I’m just going to tell you now, that I will be focusing more on how the world of Wreck-It Ralph works more than really going into the story-line: though the two are very neatly together and excellent. As such, I feel obligated to place a Spoilers warning before I continue on.

So the spoiler warning having been said, I do have to go into the plot a little bit. Essentially, there is this video game boss named Wreck-It Ralph whose role it is to destroy a penthouse building while his heroic counterpart Fix-It Felix Jr. (whom their world and game is named for) fixes what he destroys. However, these are just roles. They, and other video game sprite denizens live their lives and even interact in a hub that exists at an internal intersection between their arcade cabinets. Everyone in the world of Fix-It Felix, Jr. loves Felix, but they do not like Wreck-It Ralph: though all he is doing is essentially his job which is just important as the hero’s job. Wreck-It Ralph decides that he wants to become a hero so that he can live somewhere better than his garbage dump home and also gain friendship.

That is essentially how everything begins. Now let me go into how their world works. So each game is its own world and there are borders that need to be crossed in order to get to the central hub where different game sprites can interact. This particular world exists in an arcade: which is now almost an anachronism given that arcades are not as popular (at least in North America) as they once were. Each world continues to exist so long as their game does not malfunction. That means that all heroes, villains, and supporting characters need to maintain their roles and stay in their games when someone from the arcade is playing them. Otherwise they get a dreaded “out of order sign” and their game is shipped away while they either become homeless in the hub or cease to exist entirely.

So far so good right? Well there are also the existence of beings known as “glitches”: characters that “shouldn’t” exist and are somewhat buggy. They can’t even leave their game world and go into the hub: which is something that plays a larger role later on. Then there is one more rule in this world which is very important. Never go Turbo.

I admit, I felt like I knew that I should know what that term meant. I thought it was a reference to a game that didn’t work out or some homage to some really bad character or video game idea from our world. But essentially, Turbo was a character created solely for this film. He was a racer character that was jealous over a new arcade game brought in that was taking attention away from his game. So he essentially left his own game and hijacked the other one. This caused it to malfunction and as a result both his original game and the one he invaded were declared “out of order” and thrown away. Essentially, because of his selfishness and his inability to accept his role he destroyed two worlds. So he is used as a cautionary tale for other sprites that might have similar ideas. It’s actually a really creepy idea and story when you really think about it: but also really cool too.

It also seems like only the really old arcade games were exposed to the “going Turbo” phenomenon while some of the new games with their more graphically-advanced sprites have either never encountered it yet or never thought of it. And some characters, like Sonic Hedgehog, are apparently so important that they have billboards with automated advertisements coming from them. They are “too good” to show up in this world: though I don’t know what that says about the Bowser and Princess Peach cameos. Maybe Mario himself wasn’t even mentioned either because of copyright or because he would take too much attention away from the protagonists. Yes, I am such a world-building nerd. I know.

Aside from said world-building, I think I really liked this movie because–in addition to drawing on the nostalgia and the video game culture my generation grew up with–I could really sympathize with Ralph. It is ironic that while the film is called Wreck-It Ralph, the game he lives in is called Fix-It Felix, Jr. This is essentially a film about a video game super-villain and boss character: made solely for this movie of course. It shows him subversively overcoming his “villain” role to be a real hero while, at the same time, accepting and coming to peace with his true nature and being a villain again: with everyone else accepting that it is just a role and not everything he is.

The character of Vanellope was also excellent. She is essentially a glitch that Ralph grudgingly befriends in another game. What she sees as a liability ultimately becomes a strength of hers. As a glitch, she flickers in and out of existence, or appears from one spot to another. She looks really cool too with glitter in her hair and a no-nonsense but mischievous attitude. She looked like her game’s main character and, well … 😉 She was also made an outcast because she wanted to get into a race with the main characters of that world: showing a caste-system between “sprites” and “glitches”: although I’m not sure if this distinction is only in her game or in the others as well. I relate to her because I knew that her “weakness” was actually a strength if properly applied.

But I think my favourite part of the whole film was that I couldn’t really predict it. I mean, first you have the danger of the Cy-Bug–a creature accidentally taken by Ralph from a first-person shooter Hero’s Duty world to Vannellope’s kart-racing Sugar Rush game–multiplying and spreading throughout all games. You have Ralph trying to get his Hero’s Medal. And then you have King Candy–who looks like a combination of the Mad-Hatter and the Wizard of Oz–tyrannizing Vanellope and keeping her out of his car race.

And then, then you realize that … Turbo is not quite as gone as the video game urban legends around him make you believe and that he has had a lot of time to … hack other games for his benefit. Thus the roles of hero, villain, player character, protagonist, and glitch get subverted and changed in awesome ways while strange new rules are made for strange playable universes.

That is Wreck-It Ralph for me. Aside from what I mentioned, I think one other reason I really like it is because it reminds me so much of ReBoot in concept: a world called Mainframe that takes place in a computer where sprites and binomes live and Guardians (anti-virus programs) from the Net fight against Viruses and other threats as well as Game Cubes (chortles, and the Nintendo Game Cube, not really related to anything here, didn’t exist at the time of this show) that were sent down by mysterious entities known as Users. I always wondered what sprites would be like in console universes: realities totally dedicated to the playing of games. Perhaps they would be something along the lines of “career game sprites.” 😉 Another Hunger Games reference and show parallel aside, the meta-narrative aspects of both ReBoot and Wreck-It Ralph make me very happy inside. I also had to stop myself at one point from saying, “Game over. User wins,” especially when one arcade winner didn’t in fact win. ;P

The fact is, I hope they make more films set in the world of Wreck-It Ralph. I would love to see how they would handle video game consoles and PCs. But I think what really intrigues me is a character like Turbo that can hack into other game-realities, but instead of doing it to gain attention or simply subverting a pre-existing game, they can actually use all existing information and code in that world as part of a pre-made kit in order to create their own game entirely. Think about that: a sprite can use code to rewrite and make their own world where they are the protagonist or the god of their own game. Maybe it is a homage to the Do It Yourself gaming literature I’ve been reading and watching lately. But essentially, what I’m saying is that Turbo was thinking too small and too petty, and with the skills he learned he could do so much more.

I learn the wrong lessons, it seems. This movie was all about accepting a role but also having the flexibility to go beyond and here I am sounding like I want to be a super-villain.

No comment.

But anyway, this movie gets a 5 of out of 5 and I want to see more of them. This is Make-It Matthew continuing on: to the next level, and the sequel that I keep getting promised. And no, I am not going Turbo.

I am going Make-It. 😀

And I Won A Very Inspiring Blogger Award From A Very Inspiring Blogger

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So I was just talking with a friend of mine about having been Freshly Pressed and getting the Reality Blog Award not too long ago, only to find that I have been nominated for yet another Award meme. 🙂

It was the very inspiring michaelallanleonard who gave me this. You should definitely check out his Blog because it talks about comics, has an awesome aesthetic and is otherwise very geeky. It even has an awesome title: “Public Domain.” It is difficult to get much more awesome than that, though the challenge is always accepted. He even has a really interesting story as to how it took him “so long” to graciously accept his Award.

I mean, I could tell you that I was trapped in a self-contained pocket universe of my own design where I was perfecting the art of giving a god-like Being an existential moral crisis, but that would be fibbing really. So no, I think my greatest challenge will be actually fulfilling the requirements of this Award. So that is what I am going to do.

But before I do that, I just want to add that I’ve found that some people have posted a Link to my Mythic Bios on their Blogs. I would like to thank you for that. It was really gratifying to see my Blog in a Blog-roll: like it is all professional or at least interesting to other people. Unfortunately for me, mentioning this will not fulfill one of my requirements on this meme, but I wanted to thank you for giving me more attention and helping to bring others to the fun that is Mythic Bios. I really appreciate that.

So enough stalling:  let me try to write something inspiring! 🙂

The requirements of The Very Inspiring Blogger Award are as follows:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. State 7 things about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

SEVEN THINGS ABOUT ME

Now, the challenge here is that I’ve probably told you all a lot about myself already. I also tend to mostly talk about my writing and less about me on this Blog anyway, given what it is. But I’m going to do my best, go into my head, and find something that might not have quite made on here as of yet. So now, let me see …

1) I have issues with technology: in that I am probably one of those people who need to have a tech expert on hand and in person, or very specific instructions as to how to deal with a situation that doesn’t always make sense. It is not innate to me, though I can experiment with things and find some solutions on my own. But sometimes, I’m left frustrated–very frustrated–with “technological stupidity.”

2) Writing and creating for me can become a kind of meditation in which I am caught up in the moment or carrying a thought–or series of thoughts–in my head that I need to write down. Often I’m lost in those moments and tend to mutter the words myself, or speak them out loud as I write. I am also a peripatetic: essentially doing my best thinking when I have the freedom to walk around or pace. I need to go with a thought and move around and I would, paradoxically enough, go insane if I didn’t have any opportunity to do either of these things.

3) I am actually diagnosed with a Learning Disability. It manifests as dyscalculia–which is an inherent difficulty either learning or understanding Math–and spatial difficulties as well. Basically, I can’t multiply or divide without using a calculator and I do mental arithmetic very, very slowly. I also get lost on my own, but I navigate places through remembering landmarks and a lot of time memorizing a place through experience. I’ve been told that my writing and art skills “compensate” for these challenges. I also require more specific instructions and clarifications before undertaking an unfamiliar task. It’s less that I have a disability and more that my brain is wired differently: or so one theory goes. I see it more as an alternate mindset more than anything else and while it can be challenging, I have gone–and am still going far–when all things are considered.

4) I did my Master’s Thesis on Herodotus in Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore’s works: specifically in American Gods and Voice of the Fire. I looked at how they described and created their own worlds and as such I looked at Herodotus’ Histories from a literary as opposed to historical perspective: though that is a very fine line even by modern standards when you consider that all historical documents are created by narrative, and objectivity does not really exist. I am pleased with how it turned out and I got to throw some theories out there about American Gods and its protagonist Shadow that Neil will undoubtedly prove wrong in the sequel.

5) There was a period of time where I used to go out a lot more, and with a few exceptions these days, I don’t go out as often anymore. While I was never what others would consider a “social butterfly” (unless you count making mountains crumble on the other side of the world, insert Chaos Theory here), after a lot of the things I learned and experienced it’s almost like I was another person back then and it’s weird to remember another person’s memories that, you know, were pretty much my own. I mean this in a very metaphorical sense: in that like anyone else I am not the same person I was yesterday.

6) The strangest and most unique thing I have is another person’s lost dreams.

7) I have a pet budgie with the multiple names of “You,” “Budgie,” “The Fluff,” “The Fluff Creature” and so on. Her original name was supposed to be “Squawkes.” She is a blue and white bird who lately reminds me of a sleeping cloud.

MY FIFTEEN NOMINEES

So again, this is another difficult decision. I am not sure who will actually fill out this Award meme, but I hope my choices will prove interesting and excellent. These are definitely people that inspire me, and whose Blogs and writings are some of the most interesting things I’ve seen. At the very least, I hope by doing this I will offer the opportunity for their Blogs to gain even more of the attention that they deserve.

And here they are:

diannaswritingden

clotildajamcracker

Mythaxis Magazine

Ad Astra Per Aspera

Pretty and Putrid

The Bombers’ Notebook

Live simply, travel lightly, love passionately & don’t forget to breathe

Mandy DeGeit

Impressions of a Princess

geekchick77

The Modern Chimera

HillbillyZenDotCom

Just Think About It …

Sarah on the go!

Auntie Pixelante

I hope you check these Blogs out and thank you again Michael for being Inspired by me. I hope to continue the strange, good work here.