Hello, future me. I hope it all got easier. I truly do.
Yesterday, I wrote the second half of the new Chapter 7 for Alabaster: Boxcar Tales (so now the original Chapter 7 becomes the new Chapter 8). Today, I send it off to Dark Horse. And a two-part interlude becomes a three-part interlude. And all I have to worry about for the remainder of March, mostly, is finishing Red Delicious and putting together Sirenia Digest #87. Also yesterday, I took care of the very last minute questions regarding the CEM for The Ape's Wife and Other Tales. That'll go back in the mail to subpress as soon as Spooky can get it packed and to the post office.
Also, I finished reading Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon yesterday.
A good Kid Night this past Friday. Three "scary" films, and the first two were unexpected gems. We began with Faye Jackson's Strigoi (2009). This is an utterly charming black comedy set in post-Soviet Romania, and it is smart enough to do a lot more with strigoi folklore than use it as a synonym for "vampire." It actually feels a lot like Bill Forsyth's brilliant Local Hero (1983), which has a place of honor on my list of Favorite Films Ever. The parallels are hard to explain. I suspect this is the sort of thing you'll get or you won't. Either way, highly recommended. The second film was William Brent Bell's The Devil Inside (2012). Which is, honestly, one of the few genuinely frightening films I've seen in years. I was aware of how much hatred it had garnered (despite being a success at the box office). And, you know, yeah...if you're the jaded sort who rolls their eyes at the very thought of a "mockumentary," and you're "so over" – well – everything, and you approach a film like this certain that you're much too sophisticated to find it disturbing, then you probably won't like The Devil Inside. The rest of you, give it a try. If you're interested. I'm, personally, not a fan of the "exorcism" genre, but this one works, mostly for the very reasons that a lot of people seem to think it failed. Also, by the way, the Big Bad Reviews were mostly a backlash against Bell's decision not to hold advance screenings for critics. Anyway, The Devil Inside left both Spooky and I so jangled that we were determined to find a "scary" movie so crappy the worst it could do was make us laugh. We picked Ric La Monte's The Tenant (2010), which we at least thought would be silly, campy fun. Nope. Frankly, other than remarking on the monster's remarkably unremarkable papier-mâché mask, there's nothing much I can say about a film this utterly...bad. But it did help at bed time when the lights went out.
I was going to write about how depressing it is watching MMOs getting dumbed down and simplified as the market collapses and the rush to "free-to-play/buy-to-play" opens the floodgates to trolls and griefers who don't actually have an interest in playing the game past Level 20, much less in roleplaying. They just want a place to hang out, harass serious players, and be crude, sexist, racist, homophobic assholes. Just seeing what Trion has done to the starting areas in Rift is depressing as hell. Wonderful prologues – starting areas that were intricate, indispensable story – have been watered down to get people "into the game" more quickly. There's been a lot of fuss on the Rift boards about this, a lot of anger from those of us who've been there since the start in 2011, but it's not as if Trion will reverse what's been done. These days, even WoW's feeling the pinch. But...never mind.
And now, words.
This Day in History,