A Transmission from the Reality Police Band

I often fantasize about taking a hand-crank drill and opening a small hole in my skull, directly between my eyes. I imagine it as a release of pressure, like letting a little air out of a taut balloon. I guess this is a little bit like a prefrontal lobotomy. My cousin, who died of schizophrenia, might have had the same thoughts before he went. Schizophrenia can feel like a massive increase in intracranial pressure. I wouldn’t know, unless of course this is exactly what I’m experiencing now.

It happens the most when I’m unable to sleep. Insomnia is like a crushing wave of aimless guilt. It’s not the same as a lack of tiredness; you’re exhausted, your brain pulses pain, the lightless air caresses your open eyes like sandpaper. But sleep, the ultimate release, won’t come, affording you plenty of opportunity to meditate upon your own shortcomings.

Is this what I’ve become, though? A nonfiction writer? A memoirist, for crying out loud? I won’t accept it. I used to have what felt like boundless reserves of creativity, and goddammit, I worked it until it could no longer walk straight. But it seems that sense for the absurd has left me. I blame it on whatever illness makes me think of puncturing my skull, the flat area between my stomach and pelvis, the base of my penis, and only those three spots, over and over as I dry up in the dark like a used paint-roller.

It’s pointless, though. There’s the rub: it’s all become pointless now. Nothing comes naturally anymore, not least the things that are supposed to bring me pleasure. My days have become tackleboxes filled with carefully rationed activities, not because there’s anything I want to do, but because I have to do something until I’m too tired to keep myself awake anymore. And not a single fucking point to be found among them.

This has been a transmission from the reality police band. You may now resume your regularly scheduled programming.


StoryNexus: Is It Cool?

Do you like gaming? Do you like me? Even a little? If so, then you’re going to be quite pleased when you hear what I’m about to tell you.

I am now a blogger for www.rantgaming.com, part of the Rant Media Network. What does this mean for you? It means that from now on I’ll be posting a lot more content related to games and gaming. But it’s not all gonna be boring old video games with their pew pew lasers and their flashy flashy boom headshots. Oh, no.

Case in point: my first blog post to Rant Gaming, which covers the upcoming StoryNexus beta from Failbetter Games, developers of the delicious dark Victorian story-game Fallen London. StoryNexus is all about letting people with nary a developer’s bone in their body create lush, vivid story-worlds and share them with the world for free. It’s for people who love reading and games and wouldn’t mind doing a little writing as well. See, I told you it would be cool. Isn’t it cool?

Don’t forget to clicky clicky on the link provided to read the article in full. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Oh, my, yes. Just the tip!


A PSA on PSAs

PSA. We’ve all seen the acronym, but what does it mean? Professional Skaters Association? Pish. Prostate-Specific Antigen? Please. Professional Sports Authenticator? Don’t make me laugh. No, a PSA is a Public Service Announcement (not to be confused with a PDA, either a Public Display of Affection or a Personal Digital Assistant, as the situation requires).

What are some examples of a PSA in action? Well, for example, one could say, “Black Clock #14 is a sleek magnum of literary content. I worked on both the print and epub versions, and both are available to order now. It will expand your mind and your chest and might even save you from a bullet one day if you can find a chest pocket big enough to hold it.”

That would be a pretty good PSA, and sound advice, no less. Another classic example is “The British are coming, the British are coming!” As you can see, the PSA is something of a historical tradition. “Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” may well be the first PSA in recorded history, the first of many related to the recall of dangerous or contaminated produce. For more historical and contemporary examples of the PSA, see here. For more on Black Clock, go here. And, once more, sleep safely.


Some Useless Information (To Fire The Imagination)

Feeling dissatisfied? Lack of girly action got you down? Does your choice of cigarette make you feel less of a man?

Have you ever watched the deleted scenes to a movie and wondered why they were so much better than anything that made it into the final cut? Or possibly you were browsing the internet, and found yourself thinking “I would pay money for this. If only this were for sale instead of that.” Or maybe you’re just wondering why all those unwritten books in your head are so much more entertaining than the ones on your bookshelf.

My newest blog post for Black Clock should help. At the very least, it ought to shed some light on the evolving relationship between the consumer (that’s you) and the maker of things to be consumed (that might be you, too). It’s possible that it won’t tell you anything you don’t already know, but it’ll do it in a way that seems informative, which is all you can really ask of an essayist these days.

But hey hey hey, that’s just what I say.


More Than Meets The Eye

I recently published a literary experiment, titledĀ “In Search of an Autobot Poetics,” to the Black Clock blog. You can check it out here.

In celebration, I’ve added a new page to this site: Autobot Poetics. Here you can peruse several works penned (or, more accurately, computed) by Tobo, the emergent intelligence who lives inside my laptop. For reasons of national security (see: verse 4 of “The Impersonal I”), I’ve granted Tobo and indefinite vacation, but the page may be updated in the catastrophic event of any further versifying.