I Really Need Some Help

I hate this sort of thing. I’ve been trying not to drown everyone with it. But clocks are ticking and I have exhausted the last resources I could think of. So, unfortunately, you all get stuck with a whining, begging post, in the hopes that it somehow finds its way to a place that might get some results.

The basics: Things have not been good. Most of you are likely aware of it. Among the things that have occurred due to that scenario is my computer landed in a pawn shop. At the time, things seemed like they would work out; but coming down with strep throat and having my car explode monkey wrenched that.

Now, were it just a computer, I’d probably say “shit happens” and move along. I love my computer, don’t get me wrong, but I’m just pragmatic enough to know that it is just a thing. The problem is that this particular thing happens to have every manuscript I’ve worked on since I started writing on it. It has all the photos, artwork, cover files, PDFs and everything else that goes into a finished product. It has all the software and code to my programming projects. It has all my notes, my trial runs, my finished-but-not-yet-edited books. Some of that made its way to my tablet via the wonders of cloud sync, but not all by any means. Not even close.

In short, it contains the last twenty (and nearly 30) years of work. Hopes, dreams, blood, sweat, tears, all locked in that little box. Unless I can find a way to rescue it from the pawn shop, it all goes down the drain, and (not to be melodramatic) most likely any lingering urges I have to keep trying go with it.

Sad part? It’s not even that far out of reach. Just far enough that someone in my situation can’t do anything about it.

20_years_of_work.jpg

So now I’m begging. If you see this, and you’ve got just a second, please give it a share. If you’ve got $5 or $10 floating around you’re not using and want the eternal gratitude (and a blank check for any favor from me I can conceivably grant) of an artist who just wants his box of dreams back, please click the Paypal to the side or visit my GoFundMe. $700 more is all it’ll take. That’s like $2 per Twitter or Blog follower I have. Even less if more people see this.

There’s a ticking clock, or I’d be content to leave the campaign there, thank folks as it came in, take care of things as I could. As of today, I’ve got a three weeks before the flush. October 11 is D-Day.

Please help, if you can. Give a share. Throw $2-5 bucks in the jar; that’s the cost of a cup of coffee. Send me a bill, if you want, and I’ll find a way to repay it as soon as humanly possible. Anything. But please help.

Link Spam:

GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/kaineandrews

Paypal: kaineandrews@gmail.com

Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/kaineandrews

 

Alien: Covenant – Breaking the Faith

There may be spoilers ahead for any number of films in the Alien franchise, primiarly Covenant, but potentially any of them. You were warned.

I may be stupid. Actually, strike the “may.” I am stupid.

I believed, you see. I hoped. I clung tenaciously to the small part of me that was utterly in love with Alien, thought Aliens was fairly decent, and actually didn’t mind Alien 3.

But that part had been beaten and brusied. From watching a half(?)-human xenomorph try to say “Mama” before getting sucked out an airlock due to the actions of a half-xeno clone of Ripley, to squid-baby abortions, to egg-vomiting into pregnant women to establish a hive in 10 seconds, the part that thought there could be a chance for another great movie.

That part of me is dead, now. After sitting through the bloody mess that is Covenant, I think they could make twenty more Alien movies, and every one of them could be amazing, and I wouldn’t even be capable of caring.

Where to start? Well, the acting is atrocious. Pretty much every character is there for no purpose except to be eaten by aliens; individual characterizations or plot hooks are briefly mentioned and cast aside. There’s only one real winner in the bunch, though he counts as two: Fassbender as Walter and David. They serve to be interesting, have character arcs – though, for David’s, you have to have been paying attention during Prometheus and make some interesting logic leaps – but even that is dulled somewhat by the knowledge that neither is actually in any real danger from the aliens.

The plot is another source of idiocy. I mean, the skeleton’s fine; David and Shaw reach Engineer planet, nuke Engineer planet, David looses his shit and starts playing god, unleashing all manner of horrors which our new intrepid heroes have to deal with. But there’s no logic to it. None. We’re to assume David created the xenos from his experiments… but when he carpet bombs the Engineers, they start turning into neomorphs almost immediately. Then either the environment or David’s curiousity leads to it making the black goo into an airborne virus that, rather than changing the host, creates something else inside the host, that then pops out and makes a mess. Then, again either due to environment, experiment, or combination thereof, they turn into eggs, which hatch into facehuggers, that then have to attack someone, so it can implant a xeno, so it can repeat the cycle. If the plot is David going nuts trying to play god and create a “perfect organism,” I think he’s working backwards.

Further, while on the perfect organism train, seems to me like the neomorphs were pretty good to start with. They seem more resistant to damage than their xeno cousins, they breed faster and without as many opportunities to interrupt their life cycle, they grow faster, and don’t start out as tiny little snakes that – while fast, mean and deadly – can be squished – comparitively – easily; they pop out ready to rock and roll. Why is he making xenomorphs, again…?

We’re just gonna press “SKIP” with a CinemaSins esque “ding” sound effect when the first “real” xeno is born and it basically takes a bow while vocalizing something that might as well be “dada.”

Oh, and that whole thing with the trilobite, the dead Engineer and the Deacon? Nowhere to be seen. Nothing to reference. Just “Huh? What? Nah, nah, you didn’t see that.” I’m guessing that’s because they were originally essentially fan service and as the “big twist” revelaing that Prometheus was in fact a pseudo-prequel to Alien, but still. You can’t just do that and then forget about it. And further, why does the Deacon look and behave more like a “classic” xenomorph than the neomorphs that we see in Covenant?

Biggest problems, though? Twofold. One, the Engineer’s temples and art showcases what are very clearly xenomorphs, and not the half-ass dancing puppet we see in Covenant. They’re the biomechanical monstrosities – including facehuggers and chestbursters, from what I can tell – that are in the films in the later chronological narrative. They are very clearly not neomorphs, or even Deacons.  So if the xenos are the result of David playing with the black goo, how the hell did the Engineers have cave murals of the buggardly things for thousands of years? If he’s recreating or rebirthing an existing species, then what the hell is up with the neomorphs, and why does nothing imply the Engineers were aware of them, when it seems to be the “basic” result of exposure to black goo?

That leads naturally to Big Problem #2; Prometheus takes place roughly 30 years before Alien. Covenant is about ten years later (thus 20 before Alien, give or take.) So, somehow, over the course of twenty years, David is going to perfect the xenomorph as we know it, crash a Juggernaut on LV426, ensure said Juggernaut is loaded with either a Queen (which we have no evidence for at this time) or several thousand eggs (which opens up a whole new can of worms of “where’d they come from”) and then somehow make it look like a several-thousand-year-old derelict, just in time for Dallas and co. to find it and kick off the events of the rest of the franchise.

No. Just no. Logic has completely left, and no amount of Fassbendering can save it. Essentially, all that’s left of Covenant providing any worth is the special effects, and those aren’t worth sitting through the two+ hour runtime for, when you can just YouTube “Covenant death scenes” and get what you want. I quit.

Overall? 2/5. Mainly for special effects and Walter/David. If it was a standalone film and existed in a world where Alien didn’t, it would be more like 3/5; that that continuity destruction hurt it pretty badly in the standings. Wouldn’t waste the time and money, unless you’re a completionist, or able to hold out hope a lot better than I ever can.

Double Tetons

Twin_Peaks_Logo.jpg

He is the arm.

Hey, remember this particular ball of insanity?

I do. I also remember that when it originally aired, I was rather young. Not really able to process everything that was going on. I still really enjoyed it, though.

And for those of us who have fond memories of Dale Cooper and Harry S. Truman pursuing the demonic murderer Bob, or enjoy each little throwback or reference to the series that crops up in more recent pieces of pop culture, there’s great news: In May, Twin Peaks will be getting a new series, featuring most of the original cast (those who survived the show’s two seasons, at least) and handled by the people who brought you the original series.

Better news? Hulu has the original series up. Which means I smell a binge coming. But what I sat and pondered as I worked my way through the first season was this:

How many people did they lose as viewers once the second episode started? I mean, from the first episode, Twin Peaks seems to be a pretty basic soap opera/detective drama. “Who killed Laura Palmer,” the iconic question of the era, is introduced about five minutes in and very clearly seems to be the driving force from there on out. The characters, while a little weird and quirky (c’mon, it’s David Lynch, what do you expect?) seem pretty grounded and logical. All seems well.

Then tune in for the next episode and we start introducing dream investigation, psychic logs and start flirting with demonic backwards talking midgets (who eventually are revealed to be “humanized” severed arms…) and the like. I have to wonder how many people liked the first episode and tuned in the next week only to be left going “WTF did I just watch?” and hurling the remote at the screen.

Oh well. In my opinion, it’s still a damn fine show. Hopefully the new series is just as entertaining.

Dale_Cooper.jpg

Can I get some coffee, black, and cherry pie with that?

Pain

There are two responses to pain. Turtling up, shutting everyone and everything out, doing nothing and hoping it fades… which it generally doesn’t. Not without action.

The other response is to lash out, to turn the pain into a blade to cut and tear and slash at; the decision lies in whether you cut at the things that hurt you, to tear away the weak, broken parts and forge something new, or if you turn it inward on the few good things that remain or to carve away the parts of yourself that matter most.

Being a turtle has it’s perks… though it’s not really living. Time to grab the knife.

 

Another Random Chunk of Doll Abuse

Writing at work is an odd process. It’s not always linear, and trying to decipher the steno-pad sheets I tear off and bring home to type up sometimes feels like pouring over the Rosetta stone, but I am still amused. Passes the time, anyway. Without further rambling, have another little chunk of Little Miss No Name‘s backstory.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

After Mommy hurt me, she was extra nice to me. Dressed me in new clothes, brushed my hair, told me I was her favorite and that everything would be okay now. She tried to make me all my favorite foods, like fish sticks and peanut butter and hamburger sandwiches, but I couldn’t eat them. I couldn’t talk or cry or laugh or sleep any more either, and moving was really hard. Mommy sat me on the bed and tucked me in, but because I couldn’t sleep or go anywhere I’d just lay there and watch her sleep. She’d toss and turn and moan and cry and sometimes scream or say Oscar or Daddy’s name or sometimes mine.

At least she didn’t have her bottles any more. She smelled like soap and the cookies she sometimes baked, or salty if she’d been crying, but not like the brown stuff. One day I saw her with one of her bottles, after she got a visit from a bunch of policemen who walked all over and asked her all kinds of questions about me. Mommy held me close the whole time and some of the policemen looked at me kind of funny, but none of them said anything. After they left, Mommy started crying and wandered all over the house with a bottle in one hand. I tried to tell her no, to make her put it down, but I couldn’t even move my lips or make a noise.

She seemed to know it was bad; she put the bottle to her mouth a bunch of times, but then she’d take it away, crying and shaking her head. Finally she threw the bottle against the wall, and it exploded into a hundred million pieces. They were really shiny, almost pretty, but it made me think about the time Oscar knocked one over and how Mommy hurt him and took him away. I wondered if Mommy would punish herself, since she’d even broke it on purpose, when Oscar had done it by accident.

I kind of hoped she would, even though I knew that was a bad thought and it made me a bad girl for thinking it.

Mommy must have been thinking it, too… she sat me down on the kitchen counter and turned me so I was looking at the place where all the glass was. Then she started taking off all her clothes. I didn’t know why, especially because Mommy had always told me it was bad to be naked in front of people. I wanted to ask her, or to stop her, but I couldn’t talk and my hands only twitched a little. She stared at me for a minute, and it was really scary because it was like looking at the plastic people in the stores where they look at you but not really, and her eyes weren’t teary or angry or anything. Just like she wasn’t there. When she was all the way naked, she went over to the glass and got on her knees in the mess, making a bunch of crunching noises. I’d cut myself once on a water glass and it hurt a lot, and I bet what Mommy was doing hurt plenty, too, but part of me was still happy, even happier when I saw red stuff start spilling on the floor from her knees. Then she just laid down on the floor and started rolling in the glass.

There was a lot more crunching and a lot more blood, but Mommy wasn’t making any noise or acting like it hurt or anything.

I was a little mad. If it wasn’t hurting her, it wasn’t really punishment, was it? I wanted her to hurt, wanted her to feel like Oscar did, or I did. It didn’t seem fair that she could do something like that and not suffer for it. Not fair at all. Something even worse should happen to her, and she should feel it the way Oscar felt it when she hit him, the way I felt it when she put the shiny thing in my chest.

Those were bad girl thoughts, but I still thought them. Worse, I liked thinking of them. Maybe I was really a bad girl, just like Mommy said. Maybe I had made Daddy go away, maybe it was my fault that Oscar had to go in the shed.

Mommy had been rolling in the glass for a while; I could hardly tell that she was naked, with all the blood all over her. She finally stopped, and stood up, really slowly, and started walking to me; I wanted to run away but couldn’t even move a little bit. She reached out to me, and her hands were all bloody. I tried to turn away, because I didn’t want her to touch me and get me all bloody, but nothing happened.

She picked me up and hugged me, and it was gross and sticky and smelly; she was getting blood in my hair and on my clothes, and some of the glass was rubbing against me, like Daddy’s face but not happy. It didn’t cut me, though. She smelled like her brown stuff, and when she leaned her head over mine it smelled even worse than when she used to drink too much of it, and my mouth tasted like I was going to throw up.

Then Mommy did something weird and happy and angry all at the same time. She bent in and kissed me on the head and her lips were dry and gross but felt good.

“I’m sorry, baby. I love you.”

I didn’t know what she was sorry for, or if she was really sorry, but it didn’t matter, because she had said the thing she never said and I think she really meant it. I stopped trying to move, to get away. I laid very still and let her rock me, let her hold me and kiss me and love me in a way she hadn’t done in forever.

Mommy wasn’t always mean. But when she wasn’t being mean were the worst times, because something really bad was coming. Like now.

After she was done holding and rocking me, she took me to the bathroom and turned on the water. She sat me on the toilet, even remembering to check under the lid and show me there were no monsters first. She stepped in the shower and I could see the water turn red right away. She took the soap and ran it over herself really quick, then bent down and did something to the tub that made it gurgle and the water to come from the faucet instead of the shower.

She reached for me, which wasn’t as bad as earlier since she’d washed her hands, and tugged off my pretty purple shirt before she sat down in the tub with me in her lap.

It was nice. Warm. Safe, as the water rose up over my legs. Mommy even shampooed me and used her scrubby to clean her blood off of me.

It was warm and soapy and steamy and happy. The best I could remember. Then she lifted me out of the tub, turned me around so I could see her face and I was afraid again.

She didn’t look like one of the plastic people anymore. Now she looked like one of the crazy angry people on the TV late at night when I wasn’t supposed to be watching, with twitchy eyes and a mad smile that reminded me of the angry clown who fought Batman.

She shook me hard enough that I thought that my head might fall off, and she started laughing. I didn’t think there was anything funny, though, and she sounded more like a tea kettle than a person.

 

My Daughter’s Background

I have no bloody idea where this is going, though I can tell you it factors into LMNN, somehow; it’s rather shoddy and not at all edited, but it’s the first coherent bit of fiction I’ve managed to kick out in a couple of months – happy pills are great, but while they’re fiddling with dosages and assorted medical cocktails involving them, it plays hell on both sleeping and the creative process – so I felt like sharing. Let me know what you folks think!

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Mommy wasn’t always mean. Sometimes I think I remember her pressing her face into my hair and sniffing, laughing with me when I started giggling because it tickled. Other times I think about when she brought the puppy home and hugged us both tight-tight.

But I know I remember her coming into my room one night, and she was all gross and sad with snot hanging from her nose and tears coming out of her eyes, and a big soggy wad of Kleenex in her hand. She said a lot of things then, about being a tough little guy, and how I needed to be to strong.

I remember the brown bottles that smelled real bad. Mommy’d aways had a few of those bottles, there were lot more after that, and Mommy smelled like them a lot more of the time.

I don’t remember my Daddy. He was super tall, so tall he made the sun go away if he stood in front of it, and his face was always scratchy, no matter how much Mommy chased him with the razor. I remember sometimes he’d yell when him and Mommy were downstairs and they thought I was asleep. I remember one time I saw him scratching Miss Winters’ back really hard while they were hugging, and both of them were making funny noises. That’s the last time I saw Daddy, and almost the last time I saw Miss Winters, except that time she came to the door and Mommy got real mad and threw things at her.

I remember Oscar. How he smelled when we’d been out in the yard, playing in the grass that Daddy used to mow, and Mommy didn’t – good – and how he smelled the last time I saw him, when Mommy got mad because he’d knocked over one of her bottles and spilled the stinky stuff all over the floor – real bad, so bad Mommy put him in the shed.

After Daddy and Oscar were both gone, it was just me and Mommy and my dollies. They were my friends, and we had lots of fun. Not when Mommy was home, because she’d get mad and say we were too loud and sometimes she’d come in my room, all scary and sometimes bloody, and kidnap one of my dolls, and a few minutes later the furnace would come on and it’d smell like the time Gina put her pretty Elsa plate on the stove when it was still hot and it got all melted. Anytime that happened, we’d have to hold a funeral, because I knew they weren’t coming back.

Sometimes I wondered why there hadn’t been a funeral for Daddy or Oscar. They went away and never came back, so they should have them. I asked Mommy about it once, but she didn’t answer, just started crying, so I went and hid in my room and asked my dolls, and they said I could have my own funeral for them, so I did. I did a sermon and everything, and then I drew pictures for them, to show them if they were watching like Miss Winters used to say dead people did.

I kept the pictures on my shelf, behind my dolls, and so Mommy didn’t see them at first. Not until I’d had a lot more funerals.

I only had one dolly left when Mommy found the pictures. She was my favorite, so I always hid her when I heard Mommy coming, or acted like one of the others was my favorite when she caught us. I know it sometimes hurt her, so I always apologized and gave her cookies or let her hide under the covers with me to show her she was the best, but I still worried that sometimes she was extra sad about me acting like I loved someone else better.

She was my favorite because she was sad all the time. She had a little tear, even, and always was holding out her hand because she just wanted someone to hold it. I could tell her all the things that were making me sad, and hold her hand, and then she could cry them out and they’d be gone.

That’s why I kept the pictures with her. They made me happy because I knew Oscar and Daddy could see them and would remember me, but also sad because Oscar wasn’t there to wag his tail and lick my face, and Daddy wasn’t there to lift me up and scrub my cheek with his and call me his little Punkin.

I wanted to share them with someone, somebody who could tell me they were good and that they loved me for making them.

Mommy wasn’t always mean, but I didn’t really remember the last time she said she loved me. Even before she got really mad and sad, she didn’t say things like that, even though she acted like it. Sometimes I told my dolly that I wondered if she was just pretending, the way I was pretending that some other doll was my favorite so Mommy wouldn’t hurt the sad dolly, but she never answered me.

The time Mommy was meanest was when she found the pictures. She’d come in my room when I was sleeping, but the door creaking woke me up. I kept my eyes mostly shut, though, because the last time I’d let her know I was awake, she’d sat at the edge of the bed and stared at me for a long time before she started telling me a story, which I thought would be nice, but pretty soon the prince was being mean to the princess and the castle basement was full of monsters and the princess was all alone until she captured some of the monsters and drug them upstairs, but she didn’t make friends with them, she just hurt them to make her own hurt better. It was really scary, and I kept having nightmares about the monsters in the basement coming up to eat me or hurt me like they had been hurt, and sometimes I would think that Mommy was the princess in the story, and maybe me or my dollies were the monsters. So I pretended to be asleep.

She stood in the doorway, breathing funny. It was hard to see her because she hadn’t left the hall light on – the hall light, and my nightlight, had been gone since after Daddy left and before Oscar went to the shed – but it was easy to smell her. I wondered if maybe she’d been sick or had gone and filled up the tub with the brown stuff and tried to take a bath in it or something. If she’d been a cartoon, I bet there’d have been those wavy lines all around her, but this wasn’t a cartoon or a scary story, this was real.

Mommy had two things in her hands. One was blocky and brown, probably one of her medicine bottles.

The other thing I didn’t recognize but it made me shiver. Something about it was scary; the long shape, the little bit of shine coming from it, the way she was holding it up near her face. It looked bad. Badder than what my dollies looked like when I saw them in the trash after their funerals, badder than Oscar when Mommy put the rope around his neck and drug him away, badder than Miss Winters when Mommy sent her away after she hit her and yelled at her, badder even than the sheets on the nights when Mommy’s stories about the princess and the monsters made me sick or wet the bed. It was just bad. The worst bad ever.

“Little bitch.”

Mommy’s voice didn’t sound like her at all. It was gruff and scary, lower and meaner than when she told me about the troll that wants to eat the goats. And she said a swear, that she hadn’t done before, at least not when I was around.

She walked past me, not even looking at the bed, but going to the shelf where my sad dolly sat, watching her with teary eyes and one hand stuck out. I didn’t think Mommy wanted to hold hands, though.

Mommy walked up to my dolly and lifted the bottle to her face. I heard it sloshing, so it must have been pretty full. Maybe ti was an extra, a reward Maybe Mommy wasn’t actually mad, but was having a party or giving away presents. Mommy didn’t seem in the mood for a late Christmas, though.

She took her other hand, the one with the shiny thing, and swept my dolly off the shelf. My dolly went flying into the corner, landed on her head, and her tear fell off. The drawings I’d done fluttered into the air and started falling slowly. Mommy snatched one of them and stared at it for a long time. She started shaking, like she was cold, but it was warm in my room.

I was afraid. I didn’t know what I was scared of, but I knew something was very wrong. I wanted to rescue my dolly, wanted to run away, wanted to do something, maybe even just make everything the way it was before Daddy went away, when they fought sometimes but they were both there and both loved me.

I did the only thing I could. I tried to pull the covers over my head and roll over. I even made a fake snore. Maybe Mommy would think I was sleeping and feel bad that she’d almost woken me up and she’d go away, like a bad dream. Maybe all of it was a bad dream.

Mommy knew. She started talking, waving my drawing around and making flapping sounds with it. I hoped she wasn’t ripping it…

 

-=-=-=-=-=-=-

There’s more, but my hands hurt a little too much from transcribing all of that, so I haven’t had a chance to copy the rest of the pages into Pages or Scrivener. We’ll see where this one goes… wish me luck!

 

I Shouldn’t Have Watched That…

I knew better. I did. James Franco and J.J. Abrams together? Hulu sponsoring and airing? Can’t end well. It just can’t.

But I couldn’t help myself. I sat through 11.22.63,  the miniseries version of one of my favorite books of all time, 11/22/63. My problems started with that titling change; I know it’s a petty thing, but why did it need to be changed? Just a little style difference, but still.

Then it’s time for Harry’s essay, which in the book is full of detail, and the setup and seeing Jake (our hero’s) reactions to it form the first in a long series of emotional sledgehammers that start on page 1 and don’t quit until the last line. In the film, the essay is severely truncated (or seems to be, though later in the film Jake conveniently remembers more of it, which left me twitching.) All I was left with was a vague distaste for the actor playing Harry and wondering why we wasted screen time on certain other characters who will have no purpose, don’t serve to further Jake’s personal narrative, and basically are just there to be annoying.

Then we get to meet Al, and I know I’m in for a rough time. Because once he explains the basics of the time-travelling “rabbit hole,” he gives a warning to Jake before sending him on his real mission to save Kennedy. This was the biggest sacriledge done in the whole film, I think, and the fact that it comes so early and damages one of the key phrases from the book was just making it worse.

“The past is obdurate,” Al warns Jake in the book. Throughout the story, Jake comes to dwell on that phrase (adding another, as well: “The past harmonizes.”) It’s short. It’s beautiful. It conveys the image I love.

The movie replaces that with this: “If you fuck with the past, the past fucks with you.” Ugh. It’s not the profanity. It’s taking an eloquent, almost lovely expression, and replacing it with an idiot hick statement. Thankfully, unlike the line it replaced, it doesn’t come back for encores.

Speaking of the past fucking with you, for much of the book those moments are excellent. They’re well set-up. They’re believable. They work well as warnings, as attempts to deter Jake from his mission without straining the credulity of the past or the overall narrative. These moments get replaced with random gory deaths, a character called the Yellow Card Man occasionally mucking with things, and ghosts. Now, to be fair, the visual medium needs a little more than Jake’s internal narrative to get the point across – especially since the film is, thankfully, lacking in narration – but the inconsistent and frequently nonsensical nature of those moments just breaks it. It looked like Abrams was trying to make a new Poltergeist movie half the time.

Bill Turcotte’s increased role kept alternating between idiotic and brilliant; every time you were just about sick of him, he seemed like he was going to do something either interesting and different, or serve a plot purpose. Then he’d do neither, and let you down again. The seeming implication that he might have been the second gunman was fascinating, and could have been used well, but is then just wasted, like so many other moments in the film.

Then there was the Yellow Card Man himself. Spoiler warning. In the book, the YCM is, essentially, a time guardian. He’s supposed to watch over the rabbit hole and keep the timeline functioning properly. In the book, the YCM can’t hack it and ends up committing suicide; later on he is replaced by the Green Card Man. Now, for the movie, they only had the one, which is fine. I get needing to compress it a bit. But near the end, the movie’s YCM basically claims he’s a fellow time traveller, stuck in a loop trying to change things to save his daughter. That doesn’t make sense for a lot of reasons; due to the rules of the rabbit hole, if he’s hopping back in over and over again, that should be resetting things which would be interfering with Jake’s mission. At least, I’d think so. And how he gets magical time travel, teleportation and manifestation powers is left unexplained. And then there’s the card itself, which has an Oroboros symbol on it, which is interesting and cool if he’s a time cop, and interesting and cool if they had gone with making him the physical agent of the obdurate past, which on occasion it seemed as though they were leaning towards. But if he’s just a crazy guy stuck in a time loop, that’s a decidedly bizarre detail that seems just as nonsensical as everything else Abrams seems to do.

Harry’s exposition dump near the end of the movie also felt heavy handed and stupid; to be fair, the same scene is also questionable in the book, but at least it can be explained that Jake isn’t giving us a blow by blow of it, but speed rapping the info Harry gave him. In the film, where we listen to him ramble for several minutes while getting drunker and drunker, it seems much more idiotic.

And while watching all this, I suddenly realized that 11/22/63, both the film and the book, suffer from a giant “why didn’t the eagles fly them to Mordor?” plot hole. And now I can’t get it out of my head. According to the “rules” of the rabbit hole, each trip through resets everything to the “proper” timeline. Which made me wonder why Al and Jake go through all this. Because there’s a simpler way. Go through rabbit hole. Go murder Oswald. Come home. If it’s fucked, or Kennedy is still murdered in Dallas? Okay, time for the five year plan. If it’s fixed? Mystery solved. If he is guilty, they obviously have no compunction with killing him; that’s the plan. If he’s not? No big. He’ll be back for the next reset. Apologize to him then, if you want.

Anyway. 11.22.63 is definitely not on my recommend list. And now it even hurts to look at the book. Curse you, Abrams. When will you stop pooping over everything I love? *Cries*

Not Certain if this is an Improvement

So, as I noted before, I am officially crazy Got me a diagnosis and a bottle of pills and everything. That’s all fine and well, and the pills do seem to help, but there’s been some unintended side effects.

Sleep, for example. I’ve spent most of my life just not sleeping. I’ve always run on 5-6 hours of sleep, tops, with periods where only an hour or two was the rule. I figured this was normal; I didn’t suffer from any particular ill effects from it, and I merely considered myself blessed. There’s twenty usable ours every day, instead of the sixteen most other people get; sweet!

Well, apparently it wasn’t all that normal. Since getting on the meds, I sleep 7-9 hours. Not by choice, not because I’m feeling particularly tired. I just fall asleep and wake up 8 hours later. You know, like “normal” people do. While I’m sure it’s probably better for me, it’s also kind of annoying; I have stuff to do, and I’ve been used to having an extra couple of hours to do it in until now.

Then there’s the writing. I’ve always gone through phases – and the digital evidence of those phases, from the time stamps on the files and blog posts were something the shrink wanted to take a look at and formed a portion of the diagnosis – where I crap out dozens of blog posts and short stories and dump thousands of words on my manuscripts. Those will last for a while – generally around the same time as I was sleeping an hour or two – and then I’ll have a period where writing anything more involved than a quick blurb about whatever game/movie/book I’m currently interested in is just too much bloody effort. I’d prefer to be permanently trapped in the “I write 50k words a day, and it’s awesome!” phase, but that’s probably not healthy; the magic pills seem to even the whole mess out. I can write a couple thousand a day without too much stress or difficulty, and that’s great, and better than nothing, but I suspect the manic days of cranking out two short stories, three blog posts and god knows how many Tweets, comments and whatnot are gone. Very sad.

All in all though, it’s not so bad. Just taking some adjustments. Though like the title says, I’m not certain if this is a 100% improvement or not. Guess we’ll see as they ramp up the medication to the full strength that they want me to be taking. Keep the fingers crossed on that count, folks.

Anyone else out there had some upheavals in their creative flow when playing with psychiatric meds? Care to share your experiences, hints or tips on how to deal with it, or anything else related? Feel free to drop a note in the box below. Until next time, folks…