Tempus, as Scott M-- was wont to say when Latin class ran late, is fugiting.
I don't do very much, socially speaking: board gaming once or twice a week, an RPG once a week, hanging out with a couple of friends of an evening. There are a handful of other events I've been psyching myself up to get out to, and of course there's the neverending search for Cool People To Bond With.
Even so, since mid-October I've been feeling more and more time pressure. It's like I can either write or not-write, and not-writing isn't getting me any closer to my objective. (Not the kind of not-writing that results in posts about my writing, the other kind.)
No matter what I did it never seemed enough
He said I was lazy, I said I was young
He said, "How many songs did you write?"
I'd written zero, I lied and said "Ten."
"You won't be young forever--
You should have written fifteen."
--Lou Reed & John Cale, "Work"
Come the end of May I'll have twelve days of vacation available. May's a busy month: Beach Week with the Arlington Board Gamers, WisCon, and Origins all fall within a three-week span. The original plan was to take most of those three weeks off, and work from work for the time betweek Beach Week and WisCon.
This eats up nearly all of that vacation time. Which would be acceptable... except that someone on the VP list pointed out that the Rainforest Writers Village
still has several spots open. It's three weekdays, which is about the length of the time I'd need to take off for Origins at the end of those three weeks.
Andy sat down to talk one day
He said "Decide what you want:
Do you want to expand your parameters
Or play museums like some dilettante?"
I've been thinking lately about who I am and who I want to be, where "who i am" is defined by what I do. Four years ago I was a gamer. I had several consoles hooked up, I had a room full of boardgames and shelves of RPG books, I even actively sought out new computer games. Now... I'd like to do more boardgaming and role-playing but that's a desire for quality not quantity. I'd happily drop back to one RPG every two weeks if it was a sufficiently good game, and one of the best parts about living outside DC was the really good boardgaming every other weekend. I've decimated the room of boardgames and have every intention of doing the same with the RPGs as soon as I can find them a home. Video games have fallen off my radar almost entirely; I sort of miss them, but (with the exception of "soon i will make time to play Portal 2") not really.
I think I was always a storyteller, and for awhile games were my chosen medium. Thing is, they're a peculiarly passive form of storytelling. They're a way to create someone else's story. Even the best role-playing games are built around someone else's framework. I have no intention of giving them up; they're just not so prominent anymore.
VP reminded me that I don't just want to "be a writer," I want to write
. Which means making choices, which are here embodied in "how I want to spend a lot of money and a not insignificant amount of time": writing retreat or gaming convention?
Really, though, it's not much of a choice. Last year GAMA decided, that having Origins at the end of June meant that people were choosing between going to Origins or GenCon, and they didn't want to force people to make that choice. So they made it for them, and moved Origins back into the school year. This resulted in, among other things, Looney Labs deciding not to have a presence at Origins 2012. Thus at least half the people I go to Origins to see won't be there this year. My original thought was that I could get back to my roots, schedule some one-shot RPG sessions, maybe do a LARP that would go better than the last disastrous Deliria LARP I played in.
Andy said a lot of things
I stored them all away in my head
Sometimes when I can't decide what I should do
I think "What would Andy have said?"
He'd probably say "You think too much,
That's 'cos there's work that you don't want to do."
Given the option of either seeing some people I hardly ever see and doing things that might or might not turn out to be fun, or going off for several days in the company of a couple of folks I already know are pretty much awesome, doing What I Want To Be Doing... well. I don't want to rush into a decision so I'll sleep on it (and talk it over with uilos
when I get back home); there are probably aspects I'm not thinking through.
At least Readercon
isn't until July. I'll have time to save up enough vacation for that regardless.
 Short version: we were members of a travelling market that got ambushed and slaughtered with no chance to fight back, get away, or otherwise save ourselves. One player got handed an inspiring speech to recite before being killed in a particularly gruesome way. We were told afterwards that this speech had a huge effect on the game world. It was quite effectively horrifying, but an empty experience in terms of the kind of role-playing I'd wanted and expected to do. If they'd told me I was signing up for a horror game I might have been willing to forgive the blatant railroading. As it happened, all I could think was "for this I skipped the Icehouse tournament?"