Nostalgia

2015-12-17 nostalgia img01“Memories for sale!  Get your reminiscing and musing here!  Memories for sale—!”

“Childhood daydreams, first birthdays, and flights of fancy, yours for only three hundred—!”

“Piano lessons, cooking classes, foreign languages, we’ve got ‘em all!  Get your practical skills now—!”

“Memories for sale!  What’s past is present again!  Memories for sale!” Continue reading

Word Choice

2015-10-8 Word img01

A word is a form blessed with the breath of life
Pregnant with meaning, the gifting-syllables
Shaping minds, scribing thoughts, and shifting hearts
In air, in ink, in ether

One word is not another, nor cannot be
How else to know the thing signified?
Then mind you the flavor, the texture, and taste
Words frame the deed, so speak in accord

Say sorrowful, not sad
Longing, not pining
Wistful, not down
Pensive, not quiet

A rose by any other name a rose may be
But Rose is the name we know from old
Storied, rich, bursting in glory
Choose not a lesser title for a greater flower

Say joyful, not happy
Charmed, not pleased
Enchanted, not interested
Delighted, not glad

What pedestrian measures should tread the tongue
When grander, lusher, still sweeter verba will serve?
Settle not for stale in all your speech
But have a care for plenty, euphony, and spirit in truth

Requiem

2015-9 Requiem img01

Mist swirls about the headstones as midnight draws nigh
The cemetery is tranquil at this late hour,
and why not?
Its residents slumber undisturbed, and their kin lie elsewhere in the long night
Above the worn markers, only beech trees murmur amongst themselves, swaying in the nighttime air
Earth, moistened and gentled by an easterly breath, darkens with hidden dew

A sly fox treads lightly, ears pricked and straining to catch a hint of company Continue reading

On the Differences between Revisiting, Reinterpreting, Retconning, and Retroactively Ruining Stories

2015-7-16 Retcon img01What does it mean to tell a story? Why does spinning a yarn matter, and what kind of effect does it have on both the tale-spinner and the audience? And, of most concern to this article, what happens when a storyteller decides that some tales do not meet a particular need in their current form? This last question invites an examination primarily of means in a creative act; that is, how does an author go about changing or altering something he has already published or released to others? Implicit in such literary activity, however, is also a moral component worth consideration on a case-by-case basis. Continue reading

Inheritance

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Beneath the crust of ages past and gone
And ‘yond the dust of empty chasmed halls
We find the trust of forebears dead at dawn
But hid in ink for better days and dolls.
In pages bound and pressed with gentle care
Preserving laughter, tears, and wintry scorn
For minds too young to know the evening fair
When peace and sanctity are mocked and torn.
That festival of flame so wild and free
Cut loose and lighting every silver hair
Till none are left who know save only me
A world so proud and built on old debris.
When once we breathed our rich and storied past
We also knew that naught would ever last.

On the Art of Storytelling: the Merits and Pitfalls of Interactive Media as a Storytelling Medium, Part II

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Read the first post in this series here.

What’s in a game?  This is a question which has prompted a great deal of debate, particularly with the rise of video games, and it is difficult to say definitively what actually comprises a “game.”[1]  With regard to the new media, many will cite traits such as gameplay, graphics, sound, etc.—but perhaps the most important and fundamental characteristic which comes to mind, particularly in respect to storytelling, is player agency.

Continue reading

Inspired

Peering up, the boy chewed the inside of his cheek contemplatively.  It was uncharacteristic of him to find his attention so firmly fixed on such a still and static thing as a statue, but here he now stood.

Shifting his backpack lightly across his shoulders, the boy pondered alone as the class slowly filtered down the hall filled with canvas and ancient marble.  He’d lost interest in the droning guide and whispered chattering of his peers.

“A thing of beauty.”

The boy turned his head, taking in at a glance the gray-haired man with bright eyes who had appeared at his side.  Continue reading

Epilogue

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Do you remember the end? When the world went dark?

I do. I can’t ever forget.

We played our role well, I think. To the hilt, and beyond, we lived our parts. How could we not, after all? For us, there was nothing but our casting upon the stage.

Adventures and horrors, valor and despair, love and hate. I learned what these things mean, and I can tell you when our journeys educated me. At every point along the road, there was something worth noting, worth saying. It would be a cruel thing to believe otherwise.

But now, someone has wiped it all away. Continue reading

On the Art of Storytelling: The Merits and Pitfalls of Interactive Media as a Storytelling Medium

2014-10-23 Stories img01

Once upon a time, a man left his village and traveled in the wilderness for many, many years.  When his wanderings were done and he finally deemed it time to return home, he found that things were not quite as he recalled them.  Where once the village folk had gathered around fires in the evening and hearkened to the voice of the storyteller, who remembered every line of the epics passed down to him through the generations; where once those stories and many more were written on parchment, and later printed on paper; where once children played games and ‘make-believe’ outside with sticks and stone forts…well, the man found that they still played these games, and read these stories, and heard these tales.  But they did other things as well, like scrying far-off or even imaginary events in little speaking boxes and in glowing windows.  And the man found these novel additions quite curious. Continue reading

Catharsis

2014-00-00 Catharsis img01“It’s late, Will.” A sharp gaze pierces the gloomy air, sweeping the untidy study with a mix of concern and resignation. “Nearly the witching hour.”

William pauses for a moment before he carefully moves his hand to the side. The quill’s dark tip hovers over a spattered square of thick paper and slowly drips a fat drop of sable ink. In the dim light of the smoldering hearth, the dark spot glistens ever so faintly with a deep red cast. When it finally splatters quietly on the creamy but sullied scrap, John is reminded of darker rooms and deeds darker still.

“I know,” William murmurs dully. His watery eyes are fixed on the words that he has written, and on the empty space below them. “Did Meg send you down?” he asks in the same tone: remote and weary.

John shakes his head. “She’s given up on that, I think. The room was dark when I passed it.” He runs a hand through his lank and sandy hair, but he doesn’t mention the solitary, muffled sob from behind that door.

John understands better than she does, and knows what cannot be changed. Continue reading