Tuesday, March 17, 2020

I'm just a country boy without angels, I'm just a country boy without gold.

 So, if you're here from the WordPress site, you know what's going down. If not, I'll explain and then we'll get to business.

 Back around the end of last year, I had planned on making a big change with my bunch of blogs. Instead of posting the same thing at Blogger and WordPress, I would keep the News at the latter and use the former for Gibberish. For various reasons - mainly because I didn't feel like it - this didn't happen.

 Sharp-eyed readers will note, however, that there has recently been a change in the format. Specifically, I quit posting the day's Offerings at both sites. It seemed superfluous and, frankly, the writing tools at WordPress are a little better. For the most part, I've just been posting links with the odd wandering when the mood struck me.

 Today's change, however, comes mainly because I am sick to the teeth of writing about, reading about and, indeed, thinking about CORVID-19 and it's impact on society. There's news there to dig into, sure, but it's grinding my gears and making it harder to write something different. The comparison just came to me, but it was like writing about baseball. I enjoy baseball, but it's dull as dirt to write about day after day. It's true, deal with it.

 I went into a little bit of detail at the WordPress site on the particulars and depending on how everything goes, we'll do the News properly tomorrow. For now, let's have a little fun... or try to, anyway.

 It didn't really occur to me until this afternoon's constitutional with Otis that I was suffering from writer's block. Basically, most of last week's Offerings came thanks to squeezing blood from a stone, and the quality mostly reflects that. Saturday was good, but I'm skeptical about the rest. Friday and yesterday especially were difficult births and almost bad enough for me to take a break.

 However, the last time I took a break from writing it lasted four years, so we don't need to do that. There's still a mess of frustration that I can't find a tone or a topic, something to specialize in and concentrate on to make my Offerings unique. I'm still having fun, for the most part, but the ongoing stripping of the gears makes it a chore. It shouldn't be a chore, especially since I'm not getting paid for it.

 So, let's have some fun. I finished Cowboys and Zombies and enjoyed it, mostly. It started off very strong but, unfortunately, it drug some in the middle and the ending seemed a bit muddled. Maybe I missed something, but either some characters disappeared or the author was just sloppy, confusing one character for another. Taken as a whole, the plot could've been tightened up a bit, as well. One character who proved to be pivotal to the ending didn't show up until the last third. Also, I don't think people in the Old West knew what "zombies" of any kind were nor did they say "zillions".

 Overall, though, an enjoyable read if maybe needing a little tightening or a better editor. I haven't read anything else by author W.R. Benton. He seems to concentrate of straight Westerns in the Zane Grey-Louis L'Amour vein rather than Weird Westerns. I might dive into it later, but for the time being, it's time to move on. I'm going to finish off this reading of Rainer Maria Rilke's Letters To A Young Poet before I do anything else. I really recommend this to other writers - and maybe poets, too, I don't know - and there's a lot of inspiration in his words.

 I wish I could tell you he was my favorite poet - I was introduced to him by singer-songwriter legend Ray Wylie Hubbard, for the record - but I still don't "get" poetry. The only poems I really get into is T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock" or Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven," and that's for different reasons. The former's tale of loneliness, alienation and despair just rings so true. The former is no light-and-sunny affair, either, but even that morbid tale of death and loss doesn't equal the starkness of a solitary man slowly wasting away surrounded by a world that just can't be bothered.

  I haven't played any games lately. Still sort of stuck on the ending of Two Worlds 2. Good Old Games is having a sale and, on a whim, I finished off my Ultima collection with 8 and 9. I also picked up Deep Space Battle Simulator from Steam, an indie game on Early Access. I haven't played it yet, but it has an interesting premise. Basically, you control a larger space battleship from the inside with occasional jumps into Wing Commander-style dogfights. Or so it seems. Anyway, it looked interesting enough - and was cheap enough - for me to give it a chance and do the whole support-the-indie-developer thing.

 It's 8:30, so I'm going to go ahead and post this up. I'll leave it open and maybe add more to it as the evening goes on. Otherwise, have a good evening.

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