Tuesday, December 15, 2015


Never been on the playa. But the playa is on me now. I've been tearing down some speakers that were loaned out to the last Burning Man, and I've gotten more familiar than I want to be with that super-fine, abrasive, and surprisingly desiccant dust. My hands still feel dry after just brushing the stuff out of electronics for a few hours.

Delivery date for Imperial Highway has been moved back. Might even be time to experiment with laser-engraving detail (the basswood model is coming along, but I am concerned about how clean details like the seams between stones are going to be).

I'm still going slow. Three months ago, it was too hot to concentrate after I got off work. Now, it is too cold to want to do anything but wrap up in a quilt and try to get the baseboard heater to do something other than make the air go all dry. But then, last week I worked on the new prop, mixed a show, and built more of my LED stage marker lights for the same guy that talked me into building the first one. However: the last two really cut into my sleeping hours, and catching up during the weekend pretty much nixed me getting anything done then. Got a week off coming up, though. Maybe I'll get something built then.

Followed some random links and discovered an odd relative of Poe's Law. I watched two hilarious parody trailers for a "A Wrinkle in Time" movie (the Madeline L'Engle children's classic), and then a third...which may have been an actual trailer for an actual movie. Because the kind of company that would make a movie of this odd, slightly orthogonal, but also terribly life affirming and blatantly Christian (in a quite non-denominational way) and also Newbery Award winning fantasy is going to pour on the Disneyfictation and emphasize the fantasy adventure and the wish fulfillment "power of love" stuff and make the Christian subtext even more blatant and a lot less sub...which all ends up in an overblown, Hallmark glossy, "In a World" trailer that it is so perfectly a self-parody it becomes impossible to sort from the real thing.

Also on the parody side... I'm 20 Kindle pages in on the first one and I'm already totally hooked on the Samantha Sutton stories. These are far enough on the side of real archaeology that a not-so-veiled reference to the Tomb Raider games is being played by the protagonist's annoying brother. 

Not that Lara Croft nor Daniel Jackson were ever exemplars of the working archaeologist (who is probably doing CRM in any case, there being little funding for full excavations these days). And I've already underlined this in my fanfiction. In fact, I've been tempted to go a little further. It might be an interesting direction to take Daniel Jackson; the universe has been just a little too agreeable, in that every old legend he investigates turns out to be true, and even more, every theory he comes up with turns out to be right.

So I could have him fall too far into woo, falling for all the Pakal's Spaceship nonsense. Or since the plots in the show usually involve the existing back-story he could start seeing Goa'uld and Stargates where there weren't any. 

(Really, this exposes even more how stupid that universe became by the time the series ended. They discover that all the major figures of the Arthurian mythos -- Merlin, Morgan le Fay, et all -- are Ancients. Err, what? What is encountered in the show are practically the modern Cliff Notes versions of the characters of Malory, who descend from Geoffrey of Monmouth's, and we know he was drawing from Welsh and Breton sources -- among others -- but you think that we're going to see Mynyddog Mwynfawr show up during Season Nine? It's not just that there are Ancient Astronauts, it's that the Secret History is also the Theme Park version of history; nobody that you didn't hear about in High School.)

Well, that might be an interesting direction to take Daniel, but I'm in need of something stronger. I made an error over the last couple chapters. I closed off the main internal conflicts. It has been convincingly argued (by who?) that internal conflict is as necessary as external conflict, and powerful writing can ensue when the two support each other. Except I've already brought Lara to a place where she can launch into the events of the third Crystal Dynamics game (Underworld). I don't have a convenient catharsis for her before the conclusion of my story.

And the SG1 crowd -- taken as they are from an open-ended multi-season television show with a stable core cast -- don't have available major emotional arcs I can tap into. Sure, I could break into their characters and take them on journeys the television show didn't. I don't mind going a little OOC, or even a lot OOC (Out Of Character, a frequent phrase in critiques of fan fiction).

But there's nothing obvious right now. So I'm reading up on Gilgamesh and Sargon of Akkad and Geothermal power generation and Decade Volcanos and Lemuria...and hopefully at some point an idea or two about some nice emotional conflicts will occur to go along with the external grapple-line swinging, pit trap escaping, and gun shooting.

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