On Friday I went out and about in the hip area of Montreal, where I had some time to kill before meeting up with my girl. So, as is my habit, I went browsing a couple of places, just to see if I could stumble upon a nice deal.
It was a dead end all over. Its a weird feeling when you look at items that not that long ago you'd have dished out some cash for, you have them in your hand, you dont exactly have a problem with the price, but the thought that comes to mind is, I cant be bothered.
The selection does not attract me. I have actually fallen off the band wagon a little while back. Its becoming quite a bit more difficult to buy albums, because I have been out of stream for long enough that I dont know any of the new bands. And that's not mentioning the old ones who have not only fallen off the wayside, but actually seem to revel in their state and seem to spend more time digging their fetid pit than realizing that they're in one.
And its not just music; just walking about, I see all these people go by and I quite simply cant relate to them. While normally, the spring weather brings out the more revealing outfits and let the females of the species set off ocular beacons for the male members, if there were any, I didn't notice. I actually stopped noticing a while back. I cant say that current fashion trends help at all.
One of the things I've been splurging on (besides foods) has been books. Tho cookbooks certainly normally make a good half of my purchasing attention, I've been picking up some fiction lately; some Pratchett, because we haven't read all the Diskworld novels yet, but also, I've returned to my old stomping grounds and picked up several novels of Dungeons and Dragons; I wanted to return to my old ways, feel the old magic... but the magic's gone.
Its sad when you get right down to it. Dungeons and Dragons is certainly an influence, and was a motivation, for getting into writing. I'll freely admit that much of what I did write has more to do with heroic fantasy fiction than anything modern or scifi. Its my ballgame I guess. In a way, getting my hands on those books was a way to reconnect with the genre, but also somewhat scouting the field, to see what the "competition" was like. Er. Yeah. No. No no no no no. I cant say that I expected Howard to come out of his grave and write anew. But what the hell, guys?
See, D&D was purchased a while back by Hasbro, who saw money possibilities there, and has been trying to milk it since then. Which make sense, in a business way. But they are treating it just like any franchise, so its all about expanding the niche, getting the Playstation kids and selling more toys. That the novel are related to the product, I get it. But let me put it this way: I have been gaming for 20 years. I'm not through the second chapter yet and I feel the need to pull out the reference books to look up the creatures that are being put in. Also, I feel the need to pull out a baseball bat and take out my resentment on the writers, who are hired to pull out this shit.
I'm out of the spin, I cant connect. I've become an observer and I cant quite understand what the hell is going on. I feel the need for subtitles, just so that I can get some sort of frame of reference. But between you and me, I feel somewhat positive about the future.
Cause if that's the competition I'm up against, then bring it on, guys. Do your best.
And good luck.