Oh, But Boy Do I Remember The Strain Of Her Refrain, And The Nights We Spent Together, And The Way She Called My Name
Enough time has passed I believe for me to start this little project up again. I don't know if I truly needed the last two months to collect my thoughts or if it was more of a cooling off period. I know how I get. I know what my writing becomes when I write in the heat of the moment. No good comes of it. It all sounds like thunder--full of fury, but ultimately leaving nothing physical behind. It's not the first time I've lost somebody and I'm probably thinking it won't be the last.
It reminds me that when it comes right down to it there's only a handful of people I can count on. While I can't stop myself from feeling a little saddened by the loss, the loss isn't something that's going to define my life. You can't define your life by what's missing from it. That's like describing a song by what you're not hearing, a painting by what you're not seeing. I have too many people in my life to constantly tether it to the absence, noticeable or not, of an individual. If she comes back, she comes back. That's why I'm not taking down the header because, when it comes down to it, I'm not the one walking away from her. My door is always open, my phone's always on, and she knows where to find me.
What I've been working on for the last few weeks is a little 'ole card game that was inspired by The Name of the Wind, the best book I've read in the last year. It's a trick-taking game called Corners that utilizes partnerships and powers, all aspects I really admire. It isn't my most creative endeavor--there's only so much you can do with a trick-taking game--but it's a solid game and I've been having fun playing it with local friends and friends from my boardgaming group. I don't know if it's going to go anywhere. I want it to, but I know the likelihood that it will be published is somewhat less than a dream right now.
One thing that it does have going for it is that I received encouraging words from the author, Patrick Rothfuss, when I mentioned to him that I had designed a card game based on the one mentioned in his book. He wrote back:
I'd be curious to hear the rules for your game, and maybe even try a hand or two. But right now I'm absolutely burried in work, and if you e-mailed them to me, they'd just sit on my computer while I ignored them in order to get other things done. Then I'd feel guilty.
If you dropped me a line in a couple of months though, I might have a little free brainspace to devote to the project....
So there is that. I mean--the best case scenario would be I design a game he likes and he allows me to use the Kingkiller Chronicle name to promote it. I wouldn't even mind giving up some profits if it meant exposure to the hordes of loyal readers his books have. Hell, I'd feel honored just to have something I created be a somewhat small part of that universe. The worse case scenario would be to develop this project on my own, change the name, and have the only copy in existence because all the companies I contacted find it unpublishable. Even that wouldn't be so bad because I like playing it, and, it being a partnership game and all, I know at least three other people willing to play it.
That's kind of where I'm at right now. Unemployed, unattached, and yet still searching to do something that makes me happy even if it doesn't land me a job or the girl. I don't want to be the guy chasing down every hope only to be hurt again. It doesn't mean I'm going to give up on my dreams of happiness, it doesn't mean I'm not working hard to make my life somewhat more presentable. I'm just not willing to give up my self-respect or my sanity to do something desperate to get my game published or, in the former case, to get somebody back I deeply miss. There's a time and a place for sacrifice, for stowing away one's pride, but I don't think that time has come yet. I'm still the master of my universe and that's a place I'm intent on staying for the foreseeable future. It's taken me two months to realize that just because you don't get who or what you want doesn't mean you need to be sad over it. Plenty of people lose people or dreams that were important to them.
It just means you put your efforts into new projects, into new people. Or, better yet, it just means you go back to those endeavors, those individuals, that you know you can fall back on. Whether that's a friend you've known for almost two decades now and who has been nothing but understanding when you come bitching to her at five in the morning or that's a website you've been working on for the last eight years now--you have places to go to so you can mitigate the sting of disappointment and bitterness. True, you'll always remember the golden days when you felt like you had more than you have now.
But just because you've lost a step or two, it doesn't mean you stop walking forward. You just keep putting one foot in front of the other and eventually you'll be right again.