Blog #7 – Vacation and Wiki Update – The Wandering Inn

Blog #7 – Vacation and Wiki Update

New Wiki Site — https://wiki.wanderinginn.com

 

This is an update, well, one-third into my break. How terrifying! Where did it go? I have two things to talk about.

First is that the wiki is moving away from Fandom to another hosting site to mitigate the impact of ads, and so all links and the site itself should shift—but nothing else will. You might not even notice, actually, but I did want to point out that the wiki is a collaborative effort of many, many people to chronicle the story, and I appreciate all the people working on it greatly.

 

The second part is a mix of personal news, opinions, and random talking, which I assume to be part of author blogs. I don’t know; I haven’t done many of these. I do Author’s Notes, but I don’t expect even 30% of readers necessarily read that. Maybe I should poll that question on the next survey…I’d honestly guess it might be as low as 10%.

I also expect a blog should have something illuminating, be it personal news, insights into the mystical arts of writing, or so on. I…don’t think I have anything new to me, but as I’ve observed, no one really knows anyone else.

And one thing I have realized is that during a vacation I took for about 8 days, where I headed into the realm of South Carolina—best or worst of the Carolinas, I may never know—I was tired.

I now understand why people say you should vacation when you have lots of energy because while I did things like visit family, hang out, even read a great book (more on this later), my reactions were muted. If I were more depressed, you could call it a grey world of meaninglessness, but it wasn’t that.

It was more like the highs and lows were muted. And that’s exhaustion, what some call burnout, but it’s not that. It’s just tiredness in my case, and I know why. Volume 9 was huge, and when I relaxed, all the energy left me, and this is recovery. I’ve not thought much on V10 aside from my notes, but when I did (because I always do, you know me), nothing came out.

Nothing good. Nothing new. This might be what you’d call writer’s block, but again, it’s not that. I’d be more scared if I hadn’t written so long. This is just tiredness, and if my break is long enough, by the end of it I will have those wonderful ideas. But for now I’m just…averaged.

I’d equate it to a manga that everyone’s talking about that has an anime adaptation—Sousou no Frieren. A great work that tells an amazing story with like 3 facial expressions total. Slight smile, slight frown, occasional tears. There are emotions, but I’m like that. Slight smile. Angst of immortality? Not that part, but you may understand.

It’s a bit of a shame because I’d like to experience my vacation at high energy, but the point of a break is to rest. And I am doing that. Now, onto new stories I consumed (I’ve known about Frieren for a while and reread it 3 times while it’s ongoing).

 

I watched two movies, one on an airplane, one in a theater, the first time I’ve done so in years. Poor Things and Mario, the The Super Mario Bros new movie. Here are my thoughts.

Poor Things is…artistic. And by ‘artistic’ I now mean ‘has lots of sex’. Seriously, I know that movie ratings obviously restrict things for most producers, but this had, like, egregious sex even for the story.

…Which wasn’t the best. I won’t rant because I don’t think I care enough, but I thought it was actually sort of bland for a Frankenstein reimagining. Story-wise. The set design, acting, and sound especially were top notch. But the story let it down. I could go further into the commentary and messaging I felt was lacking, but it was mostly just that the movie seemed designed to make you uncomfortable at times—which it probably does for most, including me. It had weirdness, certainly. But it wasn’t…shocking. It wasn’t surprising or challenging, which is a shame.

 

In the same vein, the Mario movie was entertaining on my plane ride; it was literally the entire length of the trip, and despite it being a small screen on a flight, it kept my attention. Mostly. I want to say both it and Poor Things are ‘good movies’…in all elements but the one I always criticize. Story. Why do I harp on it so much aside from it being my thing? Well, let me tell you why I didn’t like the Mario movie. And no, it’s not because Mario didn’t have a funny accent.

It’s…generic. The plot is actually the same as the ORIGINAL Mario bros movie, just revamped slightly. Every single twist you can predict, and you know what? That’s fine for a kids film, right? If it has something for adults that’s great, but a safe plot is fine. Correct? Here I must agree with you and yet—

It had the elements of a classic. But I believe the Mario movie failed to…be a classic, if that makes sense. It felt like people set out to create a new Mario movie that defines the franchise, and they did. Sort of. People liked it, I think, and it’s entertaining—it has amazing visuals, and I did love the world it created, but the characters, and plot, are too normal.

Classics are classic because they are memorable. Like Mufasa getting tossed off a cliff or Frollo singing with creepy awesome hooded latin people—or Shrek having, uh…all the characters. Or because they do it first and best like Lord of the Rings. They have iconic things like Vader’s breathing or…these things stand out to me. What did the Mario movie have, if you watched it? I, having recently watched it, remember the weird blue shell Koopa Troopa. Action girl Princess Peach who did nothing even with the ice flower—is this female empowerment? Uh…racing Donkey Kong people. Annoying Toad, so they nailed that one.

It had a lot of references to the games, but it was also not the games because it has the everyman, low-confidence Mario. He doesn’t fit the hero in Paper Mario or the other games in the franchise, and yet he doesn’t stand out. It’s safe, it made money—I want to bet it won’t be as memorable as other movies, but you know what? I could be wrong.

 

Mini-critiquing over. I realize I complain a lot. I think thinking about stories all the time makes me more critical even when I want to enjoy things. So you know what has a good story?

A Highland Song. Also Laika: Aged Through Blood. Totally different games, but both have good storytelling. Maybe not amazing, but they have great themes the gameplay works with. The games are fun on their own, and I vouchsafe them as good.

 

The book I read that was good was The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold. And it is probably one of the top 100 fantasy stories I’ve ever read. So not ‘good’, or even ‘great’, and if I were more rested I’d be able to appreciate it more. The prose is excellent. I would call it a better Game of Thrones because it is a complete series to my knowledge (I’ll read the other two books soon), and because it has more of the elements I like while keeping the elements of great fantasy in politics, intrigue, while not making it too complex. It is…something to admire and study. And that’s all I’ll say about that.

 

The last thing I shall mention is perhaps the least new to some, and yet something that surprised me in an unpleasant way. Which was learning that one of my favorite authors, Tamora Pierce, who wrote the Tortall books I read multiple times (and some Circle of Magic, but I never found the complete series in my library), has a Patreon.

That’s not a bad thing. Many authors these days are starting Patreon, and it is a good way to supplement income. But as I was told, it was a helpful thing to her, given financial/health troubles of late. And this was the shock: my favorite authors when growing up, whom I knew were popular enough to have books in libraries and thus be famous—they aren’t all rich.

Even if I thought they weren’t rich, I thought they were wealthy enough. But the truth is—when I stopped and thought about it—I knew it. I always knew it, because I’ve now seen and heard of traditional publishing contracts, and they suck. They’re…12-16%. You don’t necessarily make back advances unless you sell well, and starting out is hard.

E-books, Patreon, web serials, have all come and made me very lucky to be where I am because they break traditional monetization, which sucks. The authors who gave me so much imagination and delight when I was younger deserve to be far richer in money—and so I am grateful even more for all the readers and not to have to struggle with that issue long at all.

The point is, I subscribed to Tamora Pierce’s Patreon. I do it too, you know. This is all from me today, and I hope you are all having a good start to 2024. I will try to do at least one more blog with that promised song-thing if I have the energy; I am doing sadly mundane things that are less fun than writing this month. But I’ll also try to get a massage for the first time. Goals…I don’t do New Years Resolutions.

But Silksong might come out this year. That’d be great. Thanks, and see you next…blog post.

 

—pirateaba

 

 

A huge thanks to all the people working to move the wiki and keep it a valuable resource for all readers of the story!

Aliased, AxelTerizaki, Ayutac, Bluemoon, Bookcase, InsertNameHere, J0E, Magma, neon_leitz, Ocean23, SerBear, StoneEdgeGod, Torenity, Wymae


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