So Wytche (archer in the MMO I play) just face-raped Jekel: another archer who has much nicer gear. I don’t know him personally, but I believe him to be a nice guy. Nevertheless, I relish being the underdog. It’s awesome to fight against superior powers and win. That’s what makes for great stories. Sometimes, however, the underdog doesn’t win.
Take for example this sort-of-fiction based on probable events from many years ago (or) five years from now, having nothing whatsoever to do with reality or anyone or anything that I know: take your pick.
Jim was the creative director of a third party studio. He entered an elevator with Dick, the producer from the publisher that had been funding the studio’s project.
“But we talked about this two weeks ago,” said Jim.
The producer only shrugged.
“You said we’d get six more weeks to prove our work. You said you wouldn’t pull the plug until -”
“We’re taking it in-house,” said Dick. “Discussion over.”
“But you promised,” said Jim.
The elevator chimed. The doors parted silently for Dick. As if unable to hold back, the producer said, “That’s what I love about you, Jimmy. You’re so naïve.”
At one point I was going to include a scene like this in my next novel simply because I love it so much. It’s horrific. The brutality of cancelation and the profuse bloodletting that it entails, with people’s livelihoods in the balance, is the stuff that crushes dreams. And when it’s real, the implications are far reaching. But I’m not here to frame up all the lessons you can learn from the cruelty of doing business.
Nor is this blog post about letting life turn you into a jaded, stoic mother-fucker (like me). Just kidding. Not really. Ok, I am stoic.
But now we’re getting to the meat of it. The resolution part. Because I do wear a fairly heavy, thick plate of armor to protect myself from events that may or may not happen. Call the armor a reaction to forty years of exciting but difficult road.
Like Jekel (or anyone else) you can invest a lot in protections and upgrades and bulletproofing and still get owned. You can follow trends or adhere to formulas. You can trust the advice of friends and the feedback of test groups. Sometimes, you are going to tank.
One of the ways I often try to bulletproof myself against hardship is to ascertain early on the weight of a person’s words. Because as we learn above from Dick and Jim’s exchange, people are going lie to you.
Shocker I know.
But seven years as a bill collector, I think, made me somewhat over-analytical about this sort of thing. For a long time I sort of assumed by default that everyone’s a cunning deadbeat with plans in place for evasion and exploitation. I’m trending in a belief lately that only a small percentage of people are really clever AND evil enough to lie to you in a proactive self-serving way. (If I’d never done collection work I might not be in the position of making this resolution at all) So what I’m choosing to believe now is that most of the time, lies are spawned by nice people whose ability to fulfill promises or foresee the future is outstripped by their desire to be cool with you and tell you nice things.
Take for example the father promising his kids a trip to Disney Land and then he loses his job.
I don’t typically believe in New Years resolutions because I figure you are who are by the age of 40 and not much is going to change it. But I have decided to resolve to try and be more flexible with the words that come out of people’s mouths. I have a tendency to hold people to their word too strongly.
That’s a sure path to frustration, indignation and loss of friendships. So there you go. That’s my resolution for the New Year, developed in a slow, retarded way over the past few months.
Now, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try and hold myself to what I say! In my last post, I promised you some goodies coming up and I’m about to deliver.
Check it out. Here is the actual font for the Unknown Tongue used in both The Last Page and upcoming Black Bottle.
You can grab it and use it for your personal needs. Each symbol here was hand-drawn by me.
Next up, round about January or February, I’m going to post a full piece of fiction here to promote Black Bottle. Look forward to that.
Cheers and Merry Christmas.