Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Author's Bio

     Do a Google search on how to write an author's bio for yourself.  I'll wait here, but you will be a while.
It should be in third person.  No wait!  First person if you are sending query letters.  Talk about your life, or don't if you happen to be a hausfrau who is only dreaming of being a novelist.  Join a group and pay them a fee so you can out the group's name in the bio, but only if you've been published in that genre and only if you've been published by the right people.  Put in your educational background - but wait, you may not want to if it will alienate your readers or if you are cultivating mystique.  But it's all totally different if you are preparing it for wikipedia.  You can't just do one.  Gotta have fifty and one-hundered word versions.  You have to follow this list.  Any variations and your manuscript will most likely be discarded.  Above all have fun, but don't!
     I understand that it can be difficult to coalesce your life experience into a short blurb, and that many writers are hamstrung by their super-powered ability to take themselves way too seriously, but it just isn't that big a deal.  I was looking forward to it until I started looking into other's opinions on the matter.  Having a blog is way more important than having an author's bio, really.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Like a drag-racer waiting for the lights.

The tires are hot and sticky sweet with the acrid air of the burn out.  The engine sounds great, powerful and throaty, more feeling than sound as I tap the accelerator with impatience.   My skin pulses with electricity as wait for those beeps and watch the lights change from red.  I'm ready.  Beep.  Beep.  BEEP.

I'll be posting daily word counts here.  Today I stand at 21886 words.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Duke Nukem Forever Review- Spoilers within!

No game could meet the pregnant expectation of 12 years of unrequited hype. Gearbox made a wise decision with their attempt to play down those expectations in the release on Duke Nukem Forever. Even with lowered expectations, the game has glaring, nearly unforgivable problems. There have been reports of obscenely long loading screens on the Xbox 360 version, and the STEAM-delivered PC version suffers from an input-locking bug that occurs between each level load that renders the game unplayable without a do-si-do of commands to get the community overlay out of the way. These are not forgivable lapses in a commercially released game, even under a normal release cycle.
However, Duke Nukem himself is unique. He remains an unruffled icon of immature male sexuality, untroubled by modern conventions of manhood. Metro-sexuality does not exist in the Duke Nukem version of Earth. The arc of the action falls in perfect alignment with the arrested development of a misogynistic 14 year old boy, vacillating between porn star fantasy and matriarchal horror with only toy truck play as a palette cleanser in between. He is the perfect cartoon expression of dysfunctional male sexuality. In certain sections he is literally belittled by green vagina-shaped traps, forced to lure his manly, animalistic opponents into the same fate before besting them. In another section, he must battle the "shrink ray" sized male, muscular opponents in order to save a uniformed girl in a fast food uniform. She is a representation of women at his real maturity level and he respects her, and ultimately must save her in his 6" tall form before continuing. The symbolism could not be more glaring.
In the climax of the first act, Duke must best the monstrous "Queen Bitch", not with rockets or guns, the stereotypic projection of male misogynous power, but by sneaking up on her when she is unconscious and forcing her to bite off her own tongue. It's a clear expression of his impotence before the "Queen Bitch's" power. He is relegated to using her own jaws to defeat her, and is nearly destroyed in the process.
In all, I find the experience amusing. It is an apt reminder of the confused period of differentiation as a teenage boy learns to deal with a surge of hormones and unclear or wholly incorrect representations of females around them. The game lapses into Duke's completely unapologetic unconscious fantasy at one point, and that sequence is the most telling. He believes life is a strip club, all women are prostitutes, and if you can find food, toys, and condoms that's all you really need.
Many reviewers have taken seriously a section where some of Duke's female companions are taken into the alien spaceship to be used as breeding vessels for tiny aliens. You are not forced to shoot them. You can proceed through this area without violence toward the women, however the women die anyway when little alien creatures explode from them and attack. Do I need to point out the obvious pregnancy = danger scenario present within this construct?
I left off last night - way too late - after playing through a literal interpretation of the wild-west showdown and I was reminded of a child playing cowboy in his bedroom with action figures, and that is the general level of the narrative. Despite that, the game holds my attention, but for what I think are entirely unintended reasons. It is amusing because I can resonate with Duke's eternal man-child nature, one I find far too commonly expressed in our world and our culture. Duke lampoons himself and his immaturity in a series fun house mirrors. Although, there are lots of cool guns to shoot, big trucks to drive, and "bad guys" shooting back at you - enough for the 14-year-old boy in us to enjoy. However, if you were never a 14 year old (most likely heterosexual) boy there is nothing for you here.