Update

Aug. 24th, 2011 01:56 pm
pikestaff: (Twilight Sparkle - Sadface)
At this point it looks like I'm staying here, the biggest reason by far being that I have no idea how to get my stuff over to Montana. After double checking all around, it turns out that no one in my family can afford a big truck or the gas that said big truck would require, and I don't want to give my stuff away because that would be complicated and would also mean I'd basically have, well... nothing left. Which sounds pretty materialistic, but hey, I'm kind of fond of having, I dunno, a dresser and a mattress and stuff. Anyways, I'm not quite that desperate yet. (Although I might be, soon.)

Unfortunately this locks me into being stuck here for another year. I had a lot of people in my last post suggest I wait to move until I secure a job over there; the downside with waiting to move is that I have a limited window of four months or so where the precarious mountain passes between here and Montana aren't covered with snow and ice. That window is about to close, and then I'll be stuck here, whether I want to be or not, until next summer. And knowing that I'm SO CLOSE to being able to move before I have to bunker down and deal with another long winter here, and then choosing to turn down that opportunity, is tough to do.

So, yeah, it's... looking like I'm stuck here, unless a bunch of money turns up from out of nowhere in the next week or so. I've had people suggest I just e-publish Windshifter already, which I honestly really want to do ASAP if only so I can finally get the danged project off of my back, but remember that Amazon only pays out four times a year or so. Not to mention, I'm not gonna pin any financial hopes on an e-book from a new and untested author. I mean, it's nice to dream, but I've gotta be realistic here...

Anyways, that's sort of where I'm at right now. I do appreciate all the advice and stuff that everyone has been giving me, and I apologize for my panicking and flailing and whatnot... I guess I will just have to make the best of it.
pikestaff: (Rainbow Dash - Do Not Want)
I'm writing this all out here mostly as a way to try and sort my thoughts (and also beg for advice.)

Read more... )

Welp

Aug. 17th, 2011 09:59 pm
pikestaff: (Rarity - Wat.  Ew.)
Tomorrow marks one year to the day that my world turned upside down. It's... not the best anniversary to mark, I guess. xD

So: As some of you may know, I very recently got tired of being, well... here, and decided to focus my efforts on jobhunting back in Montana, with the plan being to move back within a few weeks. I even told my current job I was moving, although I didn't give them an official two weeks notice yet (their reaction upon learning I would be leaving-- a sort of passive disinterest-- left me feeling pretty... not-needed and somewhat jarred, I'll admit).

And so of course while I'm working on finalizing all of this I get a phone call from the Office Max in town (a place I applied at several weeks ago and promptly forgot about) and now I have an interview with them tomorrow. So, suddenly, I might be staying here after all, depending on what I can swing.

I'm going to come right out and be honest and tell them that if they plan on scheduling me for less than 25 hours a week, ever, I'm not going to take the job. I'll probably be starting at minimum wage (It's $8.60 or so here in WA) which is a good two bucks an hour less than I make at Sears on an average day, so even with the gas savings this will only be worth it if they give me decent hours. If they're willing to make that work for me, then I'm willing to stay here in a place I'm not very fond of.

Otherwise, I'm serious about going back to Montana.

Either way, it's time to actually start making money again. I'm tired of the fact that I have one good pair of pants that I wear every single day because I honestly can't afford clothes. And those are starting to look threadbare.

IN OTHER NEWS, I've written 2,669 words in my latest book today, which brings me to a total of 21,492 words total so far this month. Pretty behind; I need to be at about 26k :( I think I might see if I can hit 22k today and then hit up an early bedtime. I'm kind of nervous about the interview tomorrow, because so much hinges on it. I do apologize to Huxley and anyone who has to put up with my nervous BS lately... <3 I hope it all gets better soon.
pikestaff: (Giddy Snaps)
A few weeks back I dropped a couple of hints about a potentially major change happening; well, it seems to be fairly set in stone so I'll detail it here. It... really isn't as exciting as I probably made it sound. xD

Basically my mom's boyfriend is going to sell his house and buy a new, larger one, and he wants my mom (and by extension, all the rest of us) to move in with him. This would be great, because he's fairly well off, and so this would mean no longer having to scramble around for rent, no more heatless winters, no more wondering if we're going to have power/water the next day or not, actual food, and that sort of thing. The major downside is that the houses he's looking at are all even farther away from my job than we already are, and I simply cannot add more to my commute-- the gas and car wear and tear is bad enough as is-- so, this means looking for another job.

The other problem is that there's really no set timeframe on this; he could sell his house tomorrow, or it might not be for another six months. So basically, we're moving, but we're not sure when.

Now I mentioned in the last post that there were two potential outcomes to this. One is, of course, the one I detailed above. The other possibility is moving back to Montana to be with my dad (and a lot more job options, by way of knowing a lot of people over there). This is the route I would probably take if it got close to moving day and I had absolutely no job leads over here. I talked to my parents about this and both have assured me that if this turns out to be the case, they will do everything in their power to help get me back to Montana.

ANYWAYS, that's what's up. Really, I would be happy with either outcome-- either is miles away better than the situation I'm in now. I think it's hard for my sisters... the thought of suddenly having a nice-guy-who-is-not-Dad being the father figure in the house is weird to them, and understandably so! But for me, personally, I think I would be happy with it, especially if it makes my mom happy. And if I have to move back to Montana, well hey, I've been wanting to do that for a year now anyway! So. Time to up the ante on the job hunt, it looks like.

~

In other news, I think I'm going to start making a lot of my "shorter" life updates over at Google+ instead of here. LJ is just sort of dying overall, which is sad because it's still my favorite of all the social networks I've tried, but yeah. Anything super long and rambly (like this) will probably remain over here, though! I know a lot of you have told me that you do read even if you don't post <3
pikestaff: (My Little Pike Pony)
I spent some of my long weekend working on a cover for "Windshifter" ("The end of the month" is still my goal), but I was unhappy with the results, so I scrapped it. The truth is, I'm just not a graphic designer, and my art skills are niche at best. Still, I'd really like to do this on my own, partially to save on costs and partially to prevent any potentially sticky royalty/ownership issues in the future, so I guess I'll keep messing around with it and trying to play to my strengths and seeing what I can come up with.

Anyways, now a completely different topic!

My self-esteem has really hit an all time low over the last couple of weeks/months. I've never felt so terribly insecure about myself and others' thoughts on me before. Now don't get me wrong, I've never been one to toot my own horn or anything, but lately it's been getting bad even for me.

A psychologist would, I'm sure, have a field day with me. He'd probably point out that I was ripped from a job I was an expert in and dumped into one where I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing, resulting in me essentially being paid to feel useless 30 hours a week for months on end. And he'd probably also point out the double whammy of a.) my parents breaking up/my family "factionalizing", and b.) my relationship of six years ending, both of which were tossed at me at nearly the same time, meaning that I've watched every important familial or near-familial relationship in my life prove itself as tenuous and temporary. "No wonder you feel like you can't trust anyone, including yourself!" the shrink would say.

And you know, he'd probably be right.

But the reasons aren't terribly important to me. What's important to me is that I hope I'm not worrying anyone. I hope the people who care about me realize that it's not their fault-- that it's not that they're not loving me enough. My brain is pretty darn messed up right now. Frankly, I could probably really use some professional therapy or something, but I can't afford that, so in the meantime, I just ask that you all bear with me. <3
pikestaff: (Rainbow Dash - Not Impressed)
So the bank that I applied at never called me back, and I'm too chicken to call them (I'm not sure who I would call, anyway, since I applied for a "put me at any of your branches" position), so I guess that's out. I sort of think the next step is to apply at Wal-Mart, though I'm sure the chances of that working out aren't very high because they must get about a billion job apps a week, on top of the fact that they aren't actively hiring right now anyway.

~

I reeeeally wish I could move back to Montana; from what my dad is telling me the job market is a lot better over there so long as you're willing to settle for retail, which I am at this point. Truthfully, the ONLY thing keeping me from moving back right now is that I've got some large pieces of furniture that I would have no way to get over there, and my mom does not want me to leave them here, and I have no idea what else to do with them. They're too large for me to take to a secondhand shop, and the idea of using Craigslist or something terrifies me. So I'm pretty stuck.

I wish that either I or my dad had enough money to get a moving truck over here, but I don't think that's going to happen. Le sigh. Either way, I think it's time to start going through my room and dumping a lot of my smaller stuff. I've moved so many times over the course of my life, and the last five years especially, that I feel like my whole "physical" life is just a mess, filled with things I don't need, duplicates of things I had at one point and can't find, etc. So a mass cleanup is in order. Maybe then I can figure out how to deal with the furniture.

Edit: K-Mart is hiring! Sears and K-Mart are basically the same thing after they merged so maybe I have a shot at this. Definitely applying. I'd save so much on gas.

STORYTIME

Jun. 1st, 2011 10:12 am
pikestaff: (My Little Pike Pony)
Since a couple of people have shown interest in how I wound up with a boy on the other side of the world, I figured I'd detail it here. It's probably far more boring than one might expect, but ah well! At least we'll have it for posterity even if no one reads it, right?

Also this got about ten million times longer than it was going to be originally, so read at your own risk! )

So! That is how I came to be together with a boy on the other side of the world! :3 I'm very happy about this whole situation. I'm not going to pretend it's going to be easy to sort out this whole... other-country thing, because it won't be, but I'm optimistic that we can work it out. Yeah, it'll probably take a few years. I'm willing to wait, though! He is so sweet and supportive and makes me so happy, and we have such fun together. And now that I've embarrassed him thoroughly, I'm sure, I'll leave it at that <3

Day Three

Mar. 11th, 2011 11:32 am
pikestaff: (Devious Snaps)
Day 3 - A game that is underrated.

So this one is kind of unfair because I don't think I could stick to just one. Let's make a quick list, shall we:

Uniracers. Possibly my favorite racing game of all time.
Jet Force Gemini. Combining platforming/FPS before Ratchet and Clank was ever conceived, and doing it with style.
Panel de Pon/Tetris Attack: ...how have so many people not played this one?
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance: I don't even care, I dumped like 300 hours into this sucker. So good.
Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald (3rd Gen): Frequently cited as the Star Trek V of Pokemon, I didn't actually play it until this last summer and it was considerably better than I was expecting. I swear Game Freak can do no wrong.
Zero Wing: Not just All Your Base anymore. I love this game.
Loads of Commodore 64 games that no one has ever heard of: Self-explanatory
That Sonic game for Game Gear
And that game for Sega Saturn where you play as this little clockwork windup toy - y so good
The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse: holy crap I almost forgot about this one this is like one of the best things Capcom ever did. And speaking of Capcom
Capcom vs. SNK 2: omg this was such a fun fighting game you guys have NO idea
Picross: Another crazy fun puzzle game

Oh dear, I could go on and on...


The whole shebang )
pikestaff: (Giddy Snaps)
Because like four or five other people on my friends' list are doing this also and it'll give me an excuse to do something other than bawww every other LJ post.

30 DAYS OF VIDEO GAMES

Day 1 - Very first video game.

Okay, so

There's something you guys need to realize. And that is that I can't answer this question. It gets tossed around a lot at places where I hang out ( *cough* /v/ *cough* ) and I can never answer it. This is because asking me what my first video game was is akin to asking me what color the very first shirt I wore was, or what the very first thing I ate was, or perhaps which oxygen molecule was the first that I inhaled.

I can tell you my first gaming system, and that was a Commodore 64 computer:



We had, literally, hundreds of (mostly cracked) games on this thing. I played most of them at some point during my childhood; and if pressed I could probably make an educated guess and narrow down my "first video game" to one of maybe ten options. Pac-Man, Dig-Dug, Donkey Kong, Pitstop, Mancopter, Jumpman, Fidgets (a typing game that no one else has heard of), or maybe "The Christmas Game", which wasn't actually a game at all, but a demo that you just sat down and watched but that I loved the heck out of for whatever reason. I have very (very) vague memories of asking to "play" this game when I really little-- probably still in diapers.

I played Jumpman early enough that it gave me this awful nightmare when I was about two and a half or three years old that I haven't yet gotten over (that game still scares the heck out of me).

Most of the others I mentioned I played early enough that they wound up in the "Baby's First Games" section of my baby book, in place of more traditional fare like Peek-a-Boo or Patty-Cake.

But first? I haven't the faintest idea.

TL;DR I don't remember a point where I started playing the vidya because I have always been playing the vidya.




The whole shebang )

Hokays

Jan. 28th, 2011 11:30 pm
pikestaff: (Giddy Snaps)
I feel silly for not updating in a while when I've been griping about other people failing to update, SO here's an obligatory life update.

Work and money situation are pretty much the same old.

The "Possibility of Moving Back to Montana This Summer" Plan is still undecided and completely up in the air, I see a lot of pros and cons for both sides of it. I'll give myself another couple of months to come to a more conclusive decision.

I think a couple of my fish are on their way out; this sort of distresses me since I toted my fish all the way here from Bozeman and I was so proud of how well they survived the move and how they were one of my links to "Home", but on the other hand I know it's related either to old age (I've had all but one of these fish for about a year or so now) or in-tank bickering (which happens), so I don't feel too bad. Plus, all my other fish are still doing great.

In video game related news I'm playing Phoenix Wright (finally) and keeping DerpCars open in a tab most of the day.

I'm not sure what to make of WoW at this point in time. I firmly believe that Cataclysm was, by and large, a Good Expansion, but upon getting my main to 85 I just sort of lost interest. I've done the gear grind twice and the thought of doing it a third time is not appealing to me right now, and alts are only holding my interest for so long. But you know, having played it for this long, and with my blog pretty much already stagnant, the idea of "quitting" or "hiatusing" isn't as big of a deal to me as it used to be, so I figure if I want to, I'll quit subscribing for a couple of months and it's no big deal. We'll see. *shrug*

I still am having trouble talking myself into editing "Cricket Song". I'm not sure why. I'm getting fanart up the wazoo for it from my sisters, though, which makes me feel good. Oh, and I now have two competing ideas for Script Frenzy in April. They're both really good. TEST YOUR MIGHT.

Awkward.

Jan. 9th, 2011 06:11 pm
pikestaff: (Time Mage)
Everybody here gives me funny looks when they find out I have a college degree. Not that I go out of my way to bring it up, but it has this tendency to pop up even when I don't particularly want it to.

SAMPLE CONVERSATION:

Them: "So are you going to school?"
Me: "No."
Them: "Do you plan on it?"
Me: "I already graduated."
Them: "...from college?"
Me: "Yeah."
Them: "..."

Then come the optional but always probing questions. Sometimes people will ask where I went, and upon finding out I went to an actual university and not just a community college, always show some sign of shock. Others ask what I majored in.

Then the awkward silences happen. Every freakin' time. Seriously. Sometimes people will break the silence by coming right out and asking questions like "Why did you major in that" or "Why do you work at a hardware store" or "Are you in debt? How are you paying for your student loans?" (Yes, people have seriously asked me those questions.)

I'm not sure why this happens. I mean, sure, in Bozeman I would get the occasional "useless major LOL" ribbing, but by and large it was a college town and everyone was sympathetic to the fact that the economy decided to tank a few months after I graduated.

Here, most of the people I've talked to lean toward going to the local community school to study something like "secretarial office support", if they even go to school at all. And you know what, I am 100% not trying to diss that. I mean, heck, if I had a choice I'd go to trade school in a second, in watch repair or whatnot.

But it seems to have had this weird side effect of making it so my kind are rare, us Kids With Artsy-Fartsy Bachelor's Degrees stuck in a post-recession world. We're like a novelty to point at and shake one's head at. You'd think we wouldn't be all that rare, but to be fair, I did kind of move to the middle of nowhere. I probably wouldn't be running into this problem if I was closer to Seattle. So ultimately I guess people's responses are understandable.

Still awkward, though. Oh, how I dread having to answer the School Question. u_u
pikestaff: (Giddy Snaps)
OKAY, I was bored so I did this super long meme. I guess it was apparently supposed to be done last year, but I'm a bit slow on the uptake. Feel free to skip if it's tl;dr/Cool Story Bro/etc.

Thanks [livejournal.com profile] rewire for doing it and giving me the idea!

---

2000-2010:
A decade in review meme

It's hard to believe it's been ten years! These meme exists to highlight everything that made us who we are over the last ten years. Feel free to fill this out and send it around!

Original + copypaste code can be found here: [livejournal.com profile] awakenedpoet

2000-2010 meme )
pikestaff: (PikaRaichu)
We'll return you to your regularly scheduled meme tomorrow.

Computer Issues: My wireless card gave up the ghost yesterday. It is physically falling apart. For most people this wouldn't be a big deal and you'd just go to Staples and buy a new wireless card, but when you use Linux it turns into a weird game of trial and error and hoping you get lucky with the limited supply at the store.

Anyways, I bought a USB wireless thing to try it out, and have yet to get it successfully working. I kind of think that I'm just going to order a card that I know will work off of NewEgg and then just live with my laptop until that gets here. I mean, all I'm really missing out on by not having an internet-connected desktop is video games... and you can play Starcraft 2 offline... and I think my WoW account is about to expire (again) anyway... so I'll just live with that for a few weeks.

Besides, I think it would be a good idea to reduce my internet presence just a bit. Not like I want to completely disappear, but being Internet-less on my trip reminded me how much I love crap like reading or playing my Game Boy, haha.

TV: Why did I not know about "Cake Boss" before? Or "Cash Cab"? You guys need to keep me updated on this kind of stuff, pffft.

Work: Both the store manager and department manager now know that I am leaving within a month or two. Both are very understanding of the situation and both have said that they will miss me. Store manager said "Hiring a new person isn't going to be a problem. Finding someone as good as you will be the problem." And I was like "Awww <3"

Tinkering!: Yesterday I used the quartz movement from a clock I broke (oops) to invent this silly and pointless little device where a paper bee flies in circles around a decorated cup, once per minute. I had a lot of fun and learned a lot about stuff like friction and other things that I should have paid attention to in school but didn't because I was too busy drawing anthropomorphic chemical elements in my notebook.

NaNoWriMo: I am SO EXCITED for NaNo this year, I got so much inspiration for it on the trip and I have so many ideas and omg I can't wait until November. I hope we're all moved and stuff by then. I have also come to the decision that I want to participate in, and win, NaNo every single year for the rest of my life. I will totally have like 70 novels written by the time I die and it is going to be awesome.
pikestaff: (Devious Snaps)
30 Days Of Meme

Day 03 – Your parents, in great detail

Woot )

The list )
pikestaff: (Profferlink - Thinking)
NaNoWriMo 2010 is in a few months. Despite the fact that my current book is still languishing in editing limbo (lawl), I'm already looking ahead to what I'm going to write about this November (and having a hard time deciding):

Idea 1: Middle grade/young adult-- contemporary world with a few weird twists as well as a brief dip into an alternate universe of sorts. Basically what I was going for, was if Pixar and Tim Burton teamed up and made a slightly "older" version of Where the Wild Things Are. Strives to answer the question that haunts every creative person... "am I unique, and do my creations really matter?" Imaginary friends and other assorted psychological phenomena are involved. As of now this one would be the easiest for me to write, largely because I already have this thing very tightly outlined from start to finish, but also because it's a rather personal subject matter that's close to my thoughts.

Idea 2: Post-apocalyptic science fiction about a boy and his robot. Retells the Adam & Eve story from the point of view that the Fall was Good and not Bad. Also ties it into the idea of artificial intelligence gaining sentience. I haven't developed much of this story beyond that but I think it has a lot of potential. It would need massive amounts of outlining though. But. ROBOTS.

Idea 3: "Windshifter" sequel... honestly, not so much of a sequel as a completely new story with new characters that takes place in the same universe. No idea what I want to do with a story but the main character would probably be female and she'd have a zydekon buddy (cause zydekons didn't get to do enough in the first book)... Profferlink and a few others would probably make cameos or have bit roles; there would mostly be new characters though. Also considering coming from way outta left field and setting it in the same universe a few decades into the future-- "dieselpunk" it. Anyways, I don't really think I want to do this one this year (next year, perhaps) but I wanted it up as a third option just in case.

Decisions!

(Of course, knowing me, I'm going to come up with some wild idea the day before NaNo starts and want to do that instead.)

*hums*

Jul. 7th, 2010 09:37 pm
pikestaff: (Jedi Pooh)
I keep thinking I should update LJ but I'm not sure what to update it with.

Umm, I'm still waiting for my Neopets accounts to come back. I've sorta kinda switched to Teripets, which is a site I've played off and on since 2005. It's basically Neopets except run by individuals out-of-pocket rather than run by a big corporation. It has a fraction of the community and a fraction of the stuff to do, but the art is pretty and it has the basics that I'm looking for (customizable pet site that involves things like restocking/moneymaking) and I'm sure their customer service doesn't take weeks to get back to you =P

Actually, as far as Neopets is concerned, I'm 90% certain I'm never gonna see my Draik again, because in my well-meaning idea to send him over to a side, I inadvertently sent him to a side that had been cracked before, and Neopets gets harsher and harsher the more a certain account has been cracked. So while I think I'm on step 475 of 476 of getting my main account back, I'm still somewhere around step 1 or 2 on the side, and I think they're gonna keep ignoring me. GG, self!

/end Neopets rambles that nobody will care about or comprehend

Ummm my apartment gets inspected tomorrow. Most of my family is gonna head over in the morning with me and help me clean. Then I'll finally be done with the whole ordeal. Except for the unpacking bit...

BUT ON THE OTHER HAND: Toy Story 3 tomorrow! I love that I've grown up with this series. I was in sixth grade when I saw the first. <3

So, Avatar.

May. 2nd, 2010 09:27 pm
pikestaff: (Giddy Snaps)
1.) Was better than I was expecting, primarily because while it did retread "old ground" plot/character wise-- enough that my dad could show up part-way through, ask what was happening so far, and be content with my mom's "It's Dances With Wolves" answer-- it did so in an interesting enough way that it keeps your attention throughout. Plus, I never really had the phobia of cliché plots/characters that a lot of other people seem to have. I mean, if something is cliché or a trope or whatever, then it's probably cliché for a reason (aka, people love to hear the story and/or the story needs to be told), and I don't have a problem with that. That's storytelling, folks!

2.) The special effects were shiny but I honestly liked the giant robot walker things more than any of the Pandora!shiny. But, that's probably just Pike being Pike. >_>

3.) "Jurassic Park" vibes turned into "Aliens" vibes turned into "World of Warcraft" vibes, which promptly turned into the realization that you could easily make a case for the movie being some sort of commentary on MMOs. I mean, let's face it: the guy's life sucks, so he dons a personal "avatar" costume that is a hundred times cooler than he is IRL, and he gets to fly around on epic mounts-- including the raredrop mount that everyone oohs and aahs over-- so obviously he wants to spend all his time in this alternate world. "Can't eat now, boss, I've got a raid!" The "virtual" universe is cool and exciting and you get to be a hero after you've honed your skills and farmed your rep, and the guy's dream is to be a part of the world for real. You know how many nerds have had this dream at some point? (Afterwards I realized that [livejournal.com profile] subsidaryforge made a similar analysis some months ago.)

4.) I freaking love Sigourney Weaver.

5.) I really really like the way the Na'vi were done with the mobile ears and tail. It gave them a very cartoon-like feel while still being realistic. This is one of the big reasons why I draw furries: expression. Ears and tails are very expressive. Animators figured this out a hundred years ago (and comic artists even before that) and it's where all those cartoon animals came from. I like that the movie utilized this to full effect. Frankly it really got me thinking about my "Windshifter" characters, which I always visualized as more cartoony... but the more I think about it, the more I think they could be done Avatar-style-- aka, more human, while still retaining some animal-ness-- and that it would work very well. I think I am going to have to play with this.

So yeah overall it was worth the watch.

MEME TIME

Feb. 16th, 2010 05:36 am
pikestaff: (Default)
from [livejournal.com profile] darkyo

Comment and I will give you five words that remind me of you; then post them in your journal and explain what they mean to you.

Hokays!

Mine are under the cut. whee! )
pikestaff: (Eve and Wall-E)
I was fascinated by machines when I was a kid.

Now most people who start a story with a sentence like that probably go on to talk about how they used to pull everything apart and look inside to see how it worked. I didn't, however. Not because I wasn't curious-- since I was-- but because to pull something apart like that would be horribly wrong. Like vivisecting a live creature. Of course I wouldn't do that!

See, I had this odd deep-seated belief that even mechanical or electronic things were alive somehow. I'm not sure where this belief came from or if it was inspired by "Brave Little Toaster" or what, but it was always there. I have memories of being in elementary school and being given a giant floppy disk, as part of a presentation by a woman who worked with computers. Now, I saw floppy disks every day, of course, thanks to our Commodore 64, but these ones were jumbo-sized and I was quite fascinated with it.

Then the woman who was making the presentation told us to open up the disk case and pull out the tender storage inside so we could look at it, and I was absolutely horrified. How could I profane such an exquisite creation? The kids around me were ripping into their own floppy disks with devious glee, and I felt terribly out of place, so finally I very carefully undid the case and pulled out the inside. I was very gentle with it and I think I was the only kid in the classroom that put it back when I was done. (Some of the other kids were crinkling theirs up and laughing; I couldn't watch, it was murder.)

I knew this odd little "belief" of mine was very unusual. It first of all defied all common logic, and second of all was not something they'd taught me in church, and so because it failed those two tests I figured I was weird for thinking all of this and told nobody about it, save one or two good friends from school. Thinking back on this I find this peculiar because as an elementary-school-age kid I thought nothing of telling people exactly what I believed. This was different, though.

This feeling manifested itself in another way: seeing old, broken down machinery spooked me, like seeing a corpse. Anytime I saw some old and decrepit machine in a book or movie it would honestly send shivers up my spine. Because those machines had been alive and were now dead, and it unsettled me.

Again, though, I always thought this reaction of mine was very unusual and I never told anyone about it.

Over time the feelings evolved and turned into a sort of general fascination with robots and androids, those creatures that really did personify what I'd felt all along-- that there was a soul inside the machine.

Now, of course, there isn't really. As far as I know, anyway. But I do think that there is a sort of link that can be forged between human and machine, one that we often take for granted but that I find to be invaluable.

When I worked at the Photo Lab at Target, you were constantly in an intricate dance with machines. There was the machine that developed the negatives for you, there was the machine hooked up to a computer that scanned the negatives in, and then there was the machine that actually printed the pictures. These machines were incredibly complicated. I say this as somebody who took a darkroom photography class where it took roughly an hour to do what these machines could do-- one hundred fold-- in fifteen minutes. And there was a mutual dependency. The machine couldn't print those pictures all by itself, without you telling it what paper to put it on or cropping photos or keeping the chemicals topped off or keeping the paper full. And likewise, you couldn't develop hundreds of pictures in an hour by yourself.

The photoprocessing machine had idiosyncrasies and a personality and I got to know it very well. I could tell how far along it was in the printing process simply by the sounds it made. Those same sounds could tell me if it was almost out of paper. I'd have the next roll of paper out and ready to load a few seconds before the "Load Paper" warning would pop up on the screen. Things went wrong, sometimes, as they did with any complicated device, but I knew how to fix them. Yes, I knew that machine very well. When I left Target I'm pretty sure I missed that machine more than I did any of my co-workers. I still miss it, sometimes.

My first car always had issues. I spent more money fixing it than I did originally buying it. Aside from the chronic engine/transmission problems, there was also the way the LCD odometer would reset itself to zero every eight miles and the seatbelt warning bell would start binging (also every eight miles), unless you happened to be going very straight and at a constant speed, on a freeway or something.

I won't forget the weird feeling I had, though, when it was about to give up the ghost for good. I was driving along that autumn day and I could tell that something wasn't right. That my car was giving me the last of what it had. I can't describe how I could tell this. I don't know if it was a difference in the way the car handled or drove or if it was the sounds it was making, or what. But I knew it was dying. Two days later... it did.

Because there's a connection that is forged there. If you spend a good amount of time each day, every day, with someone, you'll make a connection and reach a sort of mutual relationship. And it doesn't matter if that someone is a person, or an animal, or a "thing".

And ultimately, I think that's sort of one of the things I'm really going for with the book I'm writing.

"And while you're at it, keep the nightlight on inside the birdhouse in your soul..."
pikestaff: (Clockwork Hare)
Here's some o' those end of the year memes )

...I need to stop starting every entry with the word "so".

BOOK NEWS:

Apparently my 12-year-old sister, who was the "lucky winner" in the reading-my-book-first contest, has finished. I'm still awaiting the verdict on what she thought of it. She did, however, correctly identify all the characters in my shoddy cover art that I tossed up on DeviantArt so I suppose that's a plus. Everyone else in my family needs to read it now...

I also just sent a draft to a fellow blogger who NaNo'd with me. We agreed to do a "first draft swap". That'll be my first review from someone my age, so I'm kinda nervous about that.

I'm waffling about whether or not to post bits of my novel online, via LJ or some other venue, for review & critique. I just feel like I've been staring at it too long and need a new pair of eyes...

September 2013

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