Cat of Space Death

Here I am, finally getting to the blogging even though I’ve been up since about five AM, and out of bed about thirty minutes later.  My mind was going a mile a minute this morning, which is why I was up without really getting out of bed.

Yesterday I spoke of articles that I wanted to write, or that were at least bouncing about in my head bothering me.  This is a hazard that all writers fall into, and many fall prey to their own inability to stay focused upon the story they’re writing.  When this happens, I open up the idea file, write the idea down, and save the sucker for later access.  If I feel compelled to do something with it later, I will.  If not, then it wasn’t a very good idea, was it?

But this thing that woke me up, it all arose from a snarky comment I imagine writing inside said “You’re bothering me” article.  It was my brain going, “Hey, you know, that comment you were going to make?  Do you realize . . ?” and like that, I’m awake going, “Yeah, when did that happen?  Can I really pin down the time?”

Why, yes I can.

The timeline I needed to examine is the Alien Universe timeline, because . . . yeah, I need to find something.  It’s not strange to think there’s an actual timeline–this is the Internet, remember?  Say I want to find a Hello Kitty timeline–bang!  There it is.

While I understand that this might not be the most accurate timeline in the history of timelines, I can use it nonetheless because there will be some moments defined within that are made cannon by dates.  And that’s what I was looking for:  dates.  The kind made of numbers, not the other kind–though the none-number kind would be nice . . .

I found the point in time I’m looking for, as well as discovering the date and place of Ellen Riply’s birth–she’s a Lunie?  Explains the height.  Love of Ellen translated into love of Cirocco Jones and Gaby Plauget from John Varley’s Gaea Trilogy, and today she remains the mold for a lot of the kick-ass women of my stories.

But I also discovered someone else:  Jonesy, the Cat of Space Death.

If you know science fiction, you know Jonesy, the ginger feline who survived the destruction of a company ship and managed to outlive its mistress by a few years–assuming someone didn’t blow his ass out a Gateway Station airlock as soon as the Sulaco was away.  I can imagine he ended up on another ship as their mascot, and was probably responsible for that ship’s destruction as well.  And the ship after that.  And so on . . .

When I ran the game Diaspora some time back, one of the characters owned her own ship, which was good, since the characters needed a spaceship.  She decided that she wanted a mascot on-board, and that mascot was going to be a cat.  There, on the spot, I came up with Jones, Cat of Space Death, and you had better keep the little bastard feed and watered and free from a poopy litter box, else your ship would crash into the sun and the only survivor would be a cat floating about in an escape pod.

The strangeness that fills my mind scares me–


Tales Beyond the Table

With the latest novel out of the way, it was time to get into another book and getting some information together for someone to design a cover for said story.  There wasn’t a lot to do–well, maybe I’m being modest, because there was a lot of hunting for information, and a bit of cutting and pasting, to get the final document in order.  As it was, I passed off about two thousand words of useful information–I hope.

So that’s off to the printer, so to speak.  Probably going to get into another edit tonight:  I want to shape up Replacements, and there’s a chapter I need to write to have the story make a little more sense–I’m putting in some dumb character building, I know, why do I need that shit?  Because I do, that’s why.  The story will get edited, then I’ll put in another requests for a cover . . .

April will see a lot of work towards publishing.  But I’ve got other things going as well.

In the last week I’ve had two role playing games reviews published.  These aren’t new reviews, and they aren’t new games; I originally published them on another site a few years back, and sort of let them sit.  Since they weren’t doing much in the way of traffic, I offered them to someone to post on their site after I gave them a bit of a polish, ’cause lets face it, I see mistakes much better these days.  If you are interested in reading the reviews, the are for the games Diaspora and Eclipse Phase.  Enjoy.

I don’t game much these days.  Actually, I don’t game at all; it’s been a couple of years since I’ve done any serious gaming, and while I’m always ready to jump into something, I’ve encountered the problem of either not finding a game I like, or not finding a group I like.  Both can be a problem, because if you are in a game that’s not your style, or you’re gaming with assholes, the urge to play goes right down the toilet in short order.

Yet I still pick up games now and then.  Why?  Simple answer:  they can be fodder for ideas.

There was a time when the games I ran were my stories.  Trust me:  run a role playing game every other weekend for two years, and you’ll develop a sense for story, for metaplots, and for characters.  You play in their world, but you make it your own:  you build most everything off the structure, then make your cast of characters, direct the action so your players have something interesting to do.

I did this for a couple of decades, and it helped me understand what sort of work it takes to be a storytelling.  I prided myself on my games, and I pride myself on the tales I write these days.

As for these games I still buy . . .

One can find inspiration from anywhere.  One of my first completed long stories took place in a game universe, one that I knew intimately   It could be argued that I was writing fan fiction even though the character throughout the story were entirely mine, but I won’t argue the point.  It was a good exercise for me, and my only regret is that this particular story is lost to me, vanished on a hard drive failure.  Doesn’t me I couldn’t rewrite the story from scratch today, because you always remember your first novella . . .

I hear you out there, however:  so you’re still buying game to steal ideas, is that it?  Inspiration can come from anywhere, as my muse Erin would tell you.  If you find something in a paragraph of a supplement that gets the mental gears cranking, then good for you, because working your imagination is a great thing–maybe one of the greatest things a person can achieve.

Besides, Quentin Tarantino has found inspiration this way for a couple of decades, and some call him a genius.

I already am one, so the calling should come easy . . .