Dancing to Dirges

Depressing and happy things Tim says, sometimes while drunk

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Do something.

Today's my kind of day. Maybe a *touch* too cold, but we've got a steady drizzle mixing with sleet and big, wet snowflakes that burst on the grass like waterballoons. I always have good days in this kind of weather. I think of it as my totem...the god of rain.

It was made sharply clear to me that this job isn't going to get any better. Sometimes I get depressed, and simply despair over what I'm going to do. Not today. Today I'm in a good mood. I see clearly, now, and my course is obvious. Something is being done.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Got my Worldcon stuff together, finally. We'll be staying at the party hotel, so it'll be a short stumble home. There are lots of people I'm looking forward to meeting, some for the first time, some I only see once a year. The internet is a strange place.

It's been a chaotic day at work. A lot of mistakes, and I lost patience with more than one person in the execution of my duties. One of them pulled my boss aside and complained at great length about it. Of course, they did this in the office next to mine, and I heard most of the conversation through the wall. I note that my boss hasn't come to speak to me about this. For everyone's sake, I hope that doesn't happen. I won't apologize to stupid people. Maybe I expect too much of people, but that's only because I don't have shit standards. Of course, I went from listening to that conversation almost immediately to hearing my bosses discussing which specific *lie* they were going to tell the customer to cover up a particular mistake. So maybe I'm expecting too much from everyone.

You! Come to Denver! Buy me a beer!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Predictions for the apocalypse.

I had trouble with chapter twelve, I have to admit. But it's done. From here on out the book is pretty much nonstop madness and tragedy. The kind of thing I do well, that is. So hopefully this will be smooth.

I woke up at, like, three this morning and couldn't get back to sleep. I just lay there, thinking about my job and getting more and more angry. I don't like being dishonest with clients. I don't like junk mail. I don't like sales. I don't like being dependent on other people's sense of responsibility.

I'm working on things. We're entertaining radical ideas. I'll let you know.

Meanwhile, most things in my life are going really well, and that's not even stuff I can talk about extensively. Just say that there will be more things, exciting things. 2008 looks like a difficult, busy, marathon year. 2009 is looking big.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

This is a press release!

Coming at you, straight from the Heart of Veridon! Woo!

Monday, March 17, 2008

People don't want to meet me. Seriously.

I went in to the weekend a little nervous, because I was behind. I've been managing a chapter a week for the last month or so, and that's a really nice pace. But on Saturday morning I was only half through the chapter I was scheduled to finish. My work week for this count is monday-sunday, so I figured that if I worked hard I could get it finished, it would just be a little tough.

And then I finished the thing on Saturday, and that felt pretty good. So I spent the rest of the day painting space marines. And on Sunday I started the next chapter. It's going to be a tough one to write, honestly, because it's got very little movement and tension, and is all character development and conversation and space management. I don't do a lot of that. We'll see.

My boss wants me to start visiting clients. Those of you who have met me know that's pretty far outside my skill set. I'm trying to find a way to say "Um. No." without completely upsetting the apple cart. With luck I'll just be "too busy" to get it done. I'm sure that will work.

Friday, March 07, 2008

But...you can't *win*

Today's XKCD. The greatest ever.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Save versus Enlightenment

I wanted to write something about Gary Gygax dying, but I wasn't sure what. Gaming is very important to me, as I think anyone who knows me will recognize. I wanted to run my own game company for a while, and spent some number of years in pursuit of same. Standing on the dancefloor of the White Wolf party at GenCon in '93 was probably one of the turning points in my life, for good or ill. And that's all owed to Gary, and Dave. So it's a passing I'd like to note.

In my life at least, the most important thing about D&D is that it was the first time I didn't believe something my parents told me. Specifically, that it was a recruiting tool for the satanic church. I was conditioned in such a way that I just believed that, initially, as I believed everything my parents told me in that realm. I can still remember my dad getting angry when I expressed an interest in it. Anyway. I eventually convinced them to let me play Middle Earth Role Playing (MERP) which had some interesting stuff in it, and in some ways was a good system to start with. I played with a bunch of kids from school. Their parents expressed concern, so we had to have them all over for dinner one night, and then they sat around and watched us play for a while, flipped through the books, and asked a bunch of questions. Most of the questions were so...ridiculous. These people simply couldn't discern fantasy from reality. At the time I didn't make the connect, that they were so heavily invested in one of the deepest fantasy worlds created, so I answered their questions with a smile and they let us play. Still some of the best gaming in my life.

The more familiar I became with the game community as a whole, the less I bought into the whole "recruitment" thing. There was just such a disconnect between what I was being told and what I saw, it was hard to respect the more outrageous position.

When I got to college I decided to settle this once and for all, in my mind at least. I rigorously researched all the evidence presented against D&D. I was at one of the premier religious colleges in the world, I had the resources. They were...paltry. The case was built almost entirely on hearsay and popular belief. And the books that were written in prosecution were themselves not researched. At all.

So I gave up. It was the first substantial crack in my armor, and it set me on a path of self inspection. I had been raised just believing. It took a while, but I re-evaluated my life, my belief system. I came up with something that I believed, not because it had been handed to me, but because I honestly believe it.

I guess in a way that makes my parents right. D&D got me out of the church, once and for all. Just not the way they thought.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Gold standard? Seriously?

Something about the way my foreign rights work, and an upside to the weak dollar: First of all, and downside, though. My advance was paid in US$, so the boys in Nottingham are getting a deal. That's fine with me, since it's the same advance I'd get from a US publisher, and maybe it helped them decide to take a chance with me. My royalties, though, are determined by a percentage of cover price. This means that books sold in the UK (and, my god, Canada, what is the world coming to?) are worth more to me per sale. And as the dollar slips, the more those sales are worth. So. Hooray. Now if we can get around inflation, everything will be keen. Double your threat range.

One of my best friends gave her two week notice yesterday, and will be moving to Idaho in order to be near her brother and his family. She'll be freelancing and working on her book. So. Jealous. But I'm happy for her.

Monday, March 03, 2008

How does it make you feel?

Just a midday update. One year ago our biggest clients were mortgage brokers. Those folks are still around, but it's a struggle to get them to do the numbers they used to. The big client we just signed? Foreclosure specialist. That's the cycle, kids. We could probably just use the same databases. Oh wait, we do.

Anyway. I need a shower. And some mouthwash.

No one ate my computer, at least.

I'm back to work today, having taken a week off to make some writing goals. I wanted to finish the first half of the book by end of February, and did so. It was a very productive week. I think the thing I liked best was the time I had. Usually I work all day, rush home, make dinner, eat, then rush off to my office for a couple hours of text time. I hardly see my wife at all. Any time I spend not writing or actively improving my homelife feels like wasted time. Last week I was able to enjoy some of my dusty old hobbies *and* spend time with my wife *and* work around the house *and* write an enormous amount. I can see why this appeals to some people.

I even went so far as to start kicking around ideas for the next book, as a break from this book. I need that variety sometimes. We'll see how everything goes.

But now I'm back at work, and really struggling to get back to that way of functioning. I was missed, but the place is still intact. Always a victory.