The Alabaster Sock

We Will Fight the Threat with Fighting

Archive for October, 2010

Posted by Matt on October 27, 2010

I’ve been attempting to write something every day now. Apparently, blog posts haven’t been among those things. Oh well.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the future lately. What do I want to do with my life? Well, I already know what; the real question has always been what approach to it I should take.

Up until now, I had always imagined that I’d try to get a career doing something that is kinda-sorta like my main goal, or at least enough like it that I could be satisfied with it while I work on the other thing. For much of that time, I thought it’d be journalism; I thought, “Journalism is a sure thing! It’s something I can enjoy, and surely there’s a journalistic job out there somewhere!” You know, I really did think journalism would be the practical application of my love of writing, and that’s why I’ve spent so much time pursuing it.

But you know what I’ve realized? It’s not practical. Getting a job in journalism, any job, especially now, is about as pie-in-the-sky as most of my other career writing choices. So on that end, it’s completely fucked. I’m sure if you really work at it, you’ll be able to find something there, and I have no doubts that the people I know who are still pursuing that career path will be able to make something of it. But the other thing I’ve come to realize is that while I do love journalistic writing and being part of the world conversation, I don’t think I really love it enough to do all the things necessary to really get at it. I’ve come to realize that, for all the education and money-spending and moving and examination and field work I’d have to do to really get into that field…I just don’t think it’s worth it for me. It’s a roundabout way to simply support what I actually want to do…more free form writing. Fiction, non-fiction. Books. Television. Comics. Web stuff.

It’s occurred to me that I should probably just go straight to trying to do that, rather than waste my time going after something that I’ve convinced myself is practical. I don’t want to do something ‘practical’, though…I want to do what I want to do. And I now accept that, and I know what I have to do to do it. And that’s why I’ve been writing, and plan on writing lots more from now on. Something every day. It’s the only way I’ll get better, and it’s the only way I’ll ever get the confidence to move forward. I’m even thinking of trying my hand at National Novel Writing Month again after failing a few years ago. I’m much more…motivated?…now than I was then, so hopefully it’ll work out better this time. In any case, it’s a good idea to take part in it. Whatever forces me to work at this stuff can only be beneficial.

So there’s my life. Stay tuned for more robots, animals!, and getting mad at nerds on the Internet in the future.

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Posted in In My Life, Nobody Cares, Writin' & Other Creativity | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

A Taste of What I’ve been Doing

Posted by Matt on October 17, 2010

….

It was during these talks that it also learned of what the others had seen during the great change. Some reported seeing something move, some large thing of many shapes and colours, unlike anything they had ever seen. From what they had deduced, it may have something to do with these recent events; it came and went just as the change occurred, and the motion they described reminded them of their own. It took this in with great curiosity; although it did not see as much as the others did, it couldn’t help but make a connection between the thing they described with some of the blurred sights it had seen, or it thought it had seen or maybe even what it wanted to believe that it had seen, during the moment of change. Surely, it must have seen this thing as well, if only briefly and obscurely. It began to ponder the significance of the thing, as the darkness provided very little visual wonder to excite its intelligence. The others called out to it during its long periods of silence, asking if there was something the matter. It informed them that it was just thinking. It thought on the same subject, poring over the same set of facts over and over again, trying to further understand them and thus further understand this new thing that has come into its life. It did this for countless moments.

….

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Posted by Matt on October 10, 2010

10 10s, 10-10-10

10 BC
A song from the Pearl Jam album Ten
Ten Dracula
Ghost Rider #10
Ten Little Rubber Ducks
The Tenth Animorphs is called ‘The Android’
Top Ten – kickboxing equipment
An article from ten years ago – Clinton to Sign China trade bill Tuesday
My tenth blog post
Silver Blast Goggles for $10

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Linkin shit

Posted by Matt on October 6, 2010

NPR Blog: In Praise of MODOK

The Best Batman villains part 1 and 2

Some people in Toronto are douchebags

Rick Sanchez is an idiot

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Posted by Matt on October 4, 2010

COMICS READING REPORT:

Beasts of Burden by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson

I haven’t read any of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy books, but I have been planning to do it eventually, as they sound right up my alley. From what I know/have heard of those, this book is in a similar vein: a series of short horror-comedy stories, filled with blood, folklorish/paranormal goings-on, and one-liners. In the case of Beasts of Burden, these surround a group of domesticated animals who fight demons and ghosts, with something larger going on in the background that I guess will be expounded upon in future stories.
Jill Thompson’s watercolor artwork is beautiful, as would be expected, and she can deftly go from the more humorous parts of the stories to the creepier stuff. And there is lots of creepy stuff, to be sure. You’d think cute talking animals would counteract that, but nope, if anything it makes it even creepier. So, hats off to both the writer and artist for succeeding at that.
I think this format really lends itself to these types of stories, too. Having each story be self-contained (to an extent, as I mentioned before that they’re obviously working on building something up in the background) means they get to focus on that particular concept and make it really stand out, like they did in ‘Lost’ and the one about the composite frog demon. You can’t linger on a horror concept, lest you risk normalizing it and removing all the horror, and this is obviously something Dorkin and Thompson understand. The stories within also run a gamut of horror tropes, from witches and werewolves to bizarre demonic forces, so you get something pretty different in every story.

I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly and J. M. Ken Nimura

I had this one recommended to me by people I trust…on the Internet, so here I am reading it. I must say, from a conceptual point-of-view, this could’ve end up being pretty maudlin. But Kelly is able to run with it without making it too mushy, which is something is very difficult to do.
I’m sure there have been a million ‘kid-with-issues-uses-fantasy-to-escape’ stories, but I appreciate that this one (a) doesn’t soften anything, like the anti-social nature of the protagonist, and (b) knows how to build up the reveal of what the actual reality of the situation is. Even when you think you understand what’s going on, there’s another curveball to throw you for a loop. It never really feels like a cheap delay, either. The story is that much stronger because it keeps us guessing.
I’m sure some people might be put off by Nimura’s anime-inspired art at first, but it lends itself quite well to the story, exaggerating when the story calls for it, and then grounding it for the dramatic pay-off. Plus, it stands out, and that kind of stuff not only sticks with you, but also gets other people interested in seeing what it’s about. It recommends itself!

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Posted by Matt on October 1, 2010

http://www.1up.com/news/fumito-ueda-last-guardian-trivia-new-projects

Early in development, the main character in The Last Guardian was female, but the team ended up going with a boy. The reason: they thought it would be more realistic that he would have enough grip strength to be able to climb around, and because they wouldn’t have to worry about camera angles with a girl who wears a skirt.

Quite the imagination on that sucker.

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