Happy tenth anniversary to the most ambitious comic on the internet, Homestuck.
Let’s look back at some of the series’ finest moments:
I have had this past three weeks “off” work, in that I have to go to City Hall every day and sit there doing nothing but use my computer rather than teach any classes. So in all of my free time, I guess I’ll be uploading a few more random blog posts than usual. Here’s one right now:
One thing I love to do in my spare time, probably my nerdiest and least-redeeming hobby, is to analyze the movie box office and see what movies are doing well, what movies are doing poorly, and how well the movies I love are performing. Even though I’m obviously most invested in what I care about most, I wish for the best for (almost) every movie, even though sometimes you just get pretty big failures out of nowhere.
In the case of the hypothetical scenario I’m about to write about, the first three months of 2019 were considered pretty terrible for the movie box office. There were a few hits– Captain Marvel, obviously, and then How to Train Your Dragon 3, but a few more big movies had major underperformances (Glass, Lego Movie 2, Alita, and now Dumbo) that have dragged the entire calendar down.
So I began to wonder one thing… what if the release dates of three of the biggest movies were swapped around?
In my last article about how I accidentally predicted the future of Nintendo’s home consoles when I was sixteen, I talked about the way that Nintendo pretty quickly moved away from some of the ideas I was most excited for, abandoning the Wii U to die and in effect turning the Nintendo Switch into what may very well become their highest-selling system ever (perhaps behind the DS).
This is something I locked away in the recesses of my mind until recently, but as I was stumbling around old computer files looking for something to blog about, I remembered that I accidentally predicted the future of video game consoles. I even posted about it in my high school-era blog, which you can read here.
It was April 2011, and I was thinking about the next Nintendo console, which I figured would be announced at the upcoming E3 press conference for a release in 2012. I figured what the essentials would be for a new system, what Nintendo absolutely needed to survive in the field after the Wii’s lagging end-tail sales, then what I thought might be able to be enhanced from the Wii era. That brought me to the idea of new controller designs, and thinking about how Nintendo loves to try new innovations, I ruminated on just what they might to to differentiate themselves.
Turns out, for all my teenage weirdness I was a bit of a prophet about the future direction of console video gaming.
First off, oh I don’t post on this blog very much do I? It’s mostly saved for when I have actual news to share, and there isn’t much of that at the moment. ATL: Stories from the Retrofuture is still running smoothly, somewhat close to ending its second big story and moving onto its third, whose title I will reveal somewhat later in the article… but only if you read on!
Nobody is gonna click this, are they.
OK now onto the actual blog topic.
It’s like Christmas morning for any writer, and this weekend I finally got back some beta-reading critiques from a friend on a novel manuscript of mine. Getting your story torn to shreds is always a fun thing to go through as you revisit it for the first time in a while. Highly recommended for all writers.
This friend is no mere commenter.
It’s an old photo of John Malkovich that makes him look really smoking.
I have never considered John Malkovich in my pantheon of hunky male dreamboat actors, but it turns out that he ended up being relatively hunky in his early years after all, if this photo is any evidence.
Is it something about the combination of black-and-white and a suit, or was he actually just a good-looking dude back thirty-plus years ago? It’s hard to tell. But what I do know is this guy right here looks like he’s about to star in a neo-noir film about a dystopian future where the world is controlled by alien invaders who are mining the planet for precious resources, but John’s just a private eye trying to make it through the week on booze and cigarettes.
Also, he kinda looks like Ben Stiller. Weird.
Yes, as the title suggests, the eve of the Cybermancer is upon us. I mean, it’s more like five eves away if you really want to get technical, but in the spiritual sense, we are just moments away from the start of the new ATL story arc, Trials of the Cybermancer! Whoo-hoo!
I want to bring this up to talk about how the writing process here has been a little tough when it comes to Cybermancer, and how its evolution over time has marked my change in approach when it comes to the entire series as a whole.
You probably didn’t know this and couldn’t have even conceived of this before, but way back in the beginning, before ATL was even the title of the story, I had actually planned on writing it as a single novel divided into several short stories and multi-chapter novelettes that told independent, but connected stories all like one “season” of television. I was thinking something around 50-60 chapters, a 300ish page novel in paperback, and introducing the whole world and all its characters with some decent sequel hooks. The first story was going to be a 15-20 chapter-long Social Media Killer and that would take up about a third of the entire novel while also telling the most important story for the rest of the bunch to work. Back then, the story that would become Trials of the Cybermancer! was called “Four Dollars,” a silly filler arc intentionally designed to be a comedown from the larger-scale first story that works mostly to develop the world.
And then… well, the scope got bigger. ATL turned into a web serial instead of a novel, and stuff got more detailed. You know how it is; it was probably inevitable that it would happen anyway. So what was once a one-chapter filler story is now Trials of the Cybermancer!, which you’ll be seeing on your computer screen real soon.
As time passes and my idea of the story shifts, I really like reflecting on what ATL used to look like to me versus what it looks like now. It’s sometimes really funny to think of what has changed and what hasn’t!
For reference, here were the titles of the stories that were supposed to make up the novel that would become ATL:
Maybe you’ll see some of these titles come up again in the future, or maybe they’ll all fall into obscurity, never to resurface except in this blog post. Still, it’s nice to think about what might have been in a slightly-altered timeline.
Just don’t forget– Trials of the Cybermancer! starts on January 29th! It won’t just be a silly filler arc, I promise!
I’m ready to make some crazy money, so… I’m starting a blog.
As you know (you were probably linked from there), I’m currently writing the serial web novel ATL: Stories from the Retrofuture, which has just last week finished its first novel-sized story arc, The Social Media Killer. In the gap between then and Morgan’s next adventure, I thought I’d start a full-fledged blog wherein I will ramble on about various topics and muse on whatever comes to mind. There will probably be 2020 Presidential Election commentary, fair warning. I’ll also talk about my own writing process fairly regularly, especially as I get further into writing ATL.
There might have some more writing news to share in the near future, but… we’ll have to wait and see for that one. There are things to be excited about. That is all you should know.
I’ve lived in Japan for about a month and a half now and gotten settled into the frigid snow of Touhoku, but it was only last week that I started my actual job of being an Assistant Language Teacher at five different elementary schools each week. I’m not very good yet. But I do find it conspicuous that The Social Media Killer happened to end on the exact same day that I started working… It seems too thematically fitting to be a real-life event, this whole “one book closes and another opens” deal, and I am wondering if I didn’t accidentally get trapped in a romance novel that’s still in its first act. I hope I accidentally got trapped in a romance novel that’s still in its first act.
So I ask to commenters on this first blog post, a discussion question: How do you stay warm while also saving money? What’s your preference? Sound off in the comments section. Personally I’m a fan of reading steamy romance novels about English teachers stuck in a small, snowy seaside town. Really warms up your heart.