How to get the good ending
Why, hello there! Yes, I am still alive, despite (a) not having written a blog post in weeks and (b) having died many, many virtual deaths in the interim. It's because my husband's company has asked that all employees work from home (thanks, COVID-19), so I've been a bit distracted by having him around the house all day 😉
No, we're not banging non-stop. When not working, we've mostly been playing video games together. He (with a bit of my help!) recently beat Dark Souls 3, the last in a series of games that are widely considered to be among the greatest and most difficult for current-gen consoles. His hard-earned success inspired me to go back and beat Bloodborne, a similar game from the same development studio, but one that takes place in a Gothic horror universe instead of a medieval fantasy one.
I'd started playing it a few years ago and fell in love, only stopping after it got a bit too scary (i.e., my head wasn't in the right space). But this time around, with minimal screaming, I finished the game and took down the Moon Presence to become an infant Great One.
Yes, I know. You probably don't care, and I should probably stop procrastinating and get on with writing Falling for You. While I haven't been quite as productive as I'd planned, I promise that I have been working on the book every single day, and I'm pretty excited at how well it's coming together.
Still, as a writer, I think it's critically important to experience different kinds of stories through various media. Nothing gets me more fired up to write than to experience someone else's creative work. And while Bloodborne is in no way related to Falling for You (or is it?), the sheer scale of the project, the level of detail and craftsmanship, is truly inspiring. It's disturbing, beautiful, and lovingly-designed. It scared me, frustrated me, and made my heart pound with bloodlust.
It's my favorite game of all time.
Obviously, it required a huge team of people to accomplish. There was one creative director whose core vision (influenced, in turn, by real historical figures, real locations in Romania, H.P. Lovecraft, etc.) was brought to fruition, but he could not have done it without the amazing team of people at FromSoftware. I mean, just look at how many people (65 in the orchestra, 32 in the choir) came together to create one boss theme song. It's absolutely incredible.
(If you have the time, I highly recommend listening to The First Hunter. It's the best song on the soundtrack.)
What an awesome reminder that no matter how daunting a project may seem, people can come together and make beautiful things happen.
This brings me to my next topic.
The Burlfriends series isn't the only set of stories that I'm working on right now. I'm actually working on a far more important story, one that is enormous in scope, and I need your help (and help from millions of others) in writing it. Without all of you, it might have a scary ending, instead of a good one.
It's the story that we'll tell future generations. History.
(Bahahaha, you thought you were clicking on a video game blog post when it's actually about politics!)
But seriously, please vote. Voting is so important. Every person who participates, and whom you can convince to participate, counts. Less than 50% of eligible voters aged 18-24 actually vote in elections (even less in Congressional elections than in Presidential ones).
Like, how crazy is it that we have the right to write our story together, as a nation? To determine, as a group, what we want the history books to say? And yet less than half the population actually participates.
Imagine if you could've voted on how Game of Thrones ended. Which house would've come out on top? Which heroes or villains would have been left standing in the end?
Well, WE CAN LITERALLY DO THAT WITH POLITICS. Maybe our government doesn't have dragons, but there are definitely badasses out there who are fighting for what's right, and who need our support...and White Walkers who need to be taken down.
If you've voted already, no matter whom you voted for, thank you for trying to shape a better future.
But you can still do more. You can get others to vote, too. I don't even mean getting people to vote a specific way (although if you want to make me happy, vote for Bernie, please and thank you). I mean that 60% of adults have never even been asked to register. Surely you know some folks who don't really care about politics, or who think voting is inconvenient, etc., whatever excuse they might have from the figure below. If they're your friends or family, and they're ambivalent about the process, please change their minds. Get them to vote, even if just as a favor to you.
Case in point: my parents.
My parents have been US citizens for decades, but have only become interested in politics in recent years. And we've been talking about it. It's been illuminating to see where we agree and where we don't, and why. Some of their opinions have been formed through the news, but much of it is rooted in how the government has personally affected their lives. Even so, they'd never really voted before because they thought that their individual votes wouldn't make a difference (the third reason in the figure above). But I pressed them and asked if they'd be willing to at least let me register them to vote, to give them the option...and after enough discussion, I was so proud of my father when, just a few years ago, he exercised his right to have a say and voted for the very first time.
It's never too late to start.
It can be scary to have these types of conversations. You never know when someone might turn out to be a Brainsucker, or when you might encounter a Mad One, on either side of the political spectrum. But you have to encounter them, and persist in learning how to deal with them, in order to prevail and get the good ending.
And sometimes, instead of an enemy, you'll find an ally.
Get your parents to vote. Get your siblings, your cousins, your friends and exes, that coworker you've been flirting with...all of them. Registering online is quick and easy, and voting by mail is fairly common now, so you don't even have to leave your house and wait in line (or risk COVID-19) if you don't want to.
Let's come together and write a story that will inspire future generations, instead of disappointing them.