The past week was pretty hellish. I’ve got stuff going on, which I won’t go into, other than jumping through hoops to get govt assistance for my new medication. Some of it is my fault, other stuff is systemic, but I basically didn’t sleep more than a couple of hours or eat more than once a day last week, and I’ve tapped out of social media because I just cannot.
I’ve got a phone call meeting today, and then one thing can be off my list–then it’s a matter of waiting for everything else to hit.
My thoughts have been in pretty dark places (another reason I’m off social media; I very much try not to whine when it’s bad, and also my “jokes” in this state tend to lead to very concerned messages from people). It’s less concerning to actually have them than you’d think, because I treat it like the engine light is on. I’m not at the stage of it being a worry, just that it’s a warning system and I need to pull over and have a look under the hood, but unless you live with those kinds of thoughts daily, it can be troublesome to folks.
So this is kind of proof of life. I’m alive, all is well-ish, but I’m very occupied right now.
If you’re ever in doubt, remember I’ll deal with anything for his sake, including jump through these fucking hoops to ensure I don’t die prematurely and orphan him.
Hell Fire is at 40K (that is not a typo)–I know, I’m surprised too. Honestly it would probably already be done (very, very roughly) because it only needs another 10-15K but…hellish week, yes, plus I’ve got a bunch of freelance stuff to do. Maybe by the end of the month, though, and then it should continue to post regularly at Patreon without delays.
Tomorrow patrons get a Gavin short story, set after Watcher in the Woods. Thankfully I’ve still got several things scheduled there so I can focus on personal stuff (and work).
On the weekend, between freakout sessions, I rewatched TLoU S1, as I’m about to lose the service I subscribed to briefly to watch it. Getting the fancy Blu-ray is definitely on the agenda if I ever have money again because the shitty connection (I think I need a new modem) and stopping/starting made it frustrating to rewatch. Any criticisms I have remain mild (the biggest of which is that they needed one more episode to let things breathe a little more) and I love it so very much.
An early birthday gift came from my friend Liz–the complete limited edition set artist Jake Kontou did from the TV series (he’s the artist of the Uncharted 4/Lost Legacy “Legacy of Thieves” art), and it is hung very, very badly because it was very awkward to do over my desk on my shitty plaster walls, but at least they’re up for now.
I still have plenty of Thoughts as to why the heartbreak of something like TLoU works very well for me when grimdark doesn’t, but I think it’s equally represented in the series as well and boils down to what is interesting is the humanity. The way the show is even shot, everyone seemed to understand that all the gore or scary monsters in the world don’t matter if the humanity isn’t there to react to it. Take the first clicker scene, and the closeups on Joel and Ellie’s faces–their fear translates better to the audience than just focusing on the clickers themselves. The implied violence of Joel killing the kid with the knife in Kansas City works better when the focus is on Ellie’s face, trying to feel nothing while she wipes away tears, than showing the deathblow itself.
And while the game series is plenty violent (I’m sorry, but comically so–I know I was supposed to feel bad, but the more realistic it got, the harder I laughed, esp when they shouted one another’s names in dismay), it has also always understood that the context of that violence is crucial, which is always humanity. ___’s death in Part 2 wouldn’t matter if we the players didn’t feel that love for the character.
So as dark as it gets, and as much as it rips my heart out every time, the humanity of it keeps that thread of hope, and that’s why it continues to work for me.
I could go on and on, including the reasons why in The Killing Beach I was less focused on graphic murder details than the effects of violence on survivors (you could guess at some reasons but others might surprise you) but I’m already at 5K steps for the morning, so I should close this now and get to answering email.
Anyway. Yeah. We’re still here. Endure and survive until next time.