Welcome to another edition of the, er, we’ll say bi-weekly mailbag. All questions are from spammers who send their letters via courier, whether that be in Skyrim or New Vegas.
If any humans would like to send a question, PM me here or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Just make sure to let me know this is for the mailbag and that you want your name public, or else I will attribute your question to spammers.
On to the mailbag:
Christian Dating asks:
I feel like I can define the seasons based on the type of insects that invade my home. People say the last day of Summer was September 23rd, but the beetles in my apartment tell me it ended two days earlier.
It’s ants for me. Despite the fact that it’s a 1000 degrees year-round in California, the ants here feel like they need to hibernate. Which means every day from now until winter there will be ants patrolling this Mojave. You can tell they’re getting desperate too, based on the kind of things they classify as food. When I first moved here they’d only sound the alarm if they found a fresh pastry on the kitchen counter. Nowadays they’re sending the cavalry to eat gobs of dried spit.
On a scale of Jecht to Kefka, how bad is natto?
People describe it as something you either love or hate, but I’ve always found it to be rather ordinary. Like most fermented foods it’s somewhat bitter, but if you dump a little soy sauce on it you get a good mix of flavors, kind of like how beer works well with salty foods like pizza and pretzels.
Plus it goes well with rice and miso soup. Granted the smell is a little more pungent than most, so that may contribute to your overall joy or revulsion. In other words, YMMV.
Drug Addiction Treatment:
As a fandom we should be able to buy stocks in video game characters. After playing the Trespasser DLC, I want to sell off all my Solas stock before he does something pants on head stupid in the next game.
I would’ve definitely put Solas at a Strong Buy after the events of Dragon Age: Inquisition. I don’t think it’s a good idea to sell though. Your Solas stock will only become more valuable between now and the time DA4 ships. Although judging by the location of the next game, I would diversify your portfolio a bit by investing in shares of Dorian.
Isn’t pickup basketball proof that people are inherently good? Strangers work together, the rule of “next” is always upheld, disputes are solved with three pointers and you call your own fouls. Sure, there’s always some jackass who cries bloody murder if you so much as breathe on him, but those people are made fun of. There’s a system of social pressure to be good and honest.
The difference is there’s zero incentive to cheat in pickup basketball, whereas millionaire basketball has piles of cash riding on every play. No one’s gonna give a damn about social pressure if calling a few phantom fouls gets you the chip. Referees are just a begrudging acknowledgement of the devil in all of us.
Online Nursing Degree asks:
Why wasn’t The Truman Show set in an alternate time or an alien world? It seems to me the easiest way to keep your star on the island is to limit the amount of technology that allows him to leave. Or better yet, make the surrounding area a permanent dead zone full of zombies.
Well, like all things, those ideas were ruined by product placement and in game advertising. After all, it’s extremely difficult to peddle lawn movers and dishwashers if your show is set in space.
Luckily for Truman, it probably made his transition into the real world much, much easier. Imagine escaping TV Skyrim only to find out that magic isn’t real, cats can’t talk, and all the manufacturing jobs have been outsourced to the Dwemer. The shock alone would probably kill you.
Granted, technically you might’ve survived, but instead of calling an ambulance you stumbled into a convenience store and drank a bottle of fruit punch. Don’t worry shopkeep, I will pay you when I recover my hit points.
Tell me something about Amalee.
Thinks the ukulele is just about the perfect instrument. Was born left-handed, but learned to use her right. Once rode a goat around the hills of Markarth and named him Hjalti. Believes a smile can stave off a cold. Hates it when people chew with their mouth open. Would like nothing more than to hug a dolphin, but she’ll settle for a seal. Had a conversation with a Word Wall once. It was one-sided.
Cheap Cruis Packages asks:
How do you come up with the ideas to write dialogue? Do you preplan it, or do you have to write drabble beforehand to have ideas flow?
While everyone is different, I don’t think I could write my way into a good idea. It’s like trying to draw blood from a stone. It’s much more efficient to look for a plump, bloody meatbag and stick a silly straw in his neck.
Back when I actually cared about writing as a craft, I did my best to pay attention to everything. If I hopped on a train car, I’d listen for the low hum of the engine, or the passenger whining about her in-laws. I’d watch the teenager setting speed records for texting and managing to bore herself in the process. I’d try to come up with the perfect way to describe the coolness of a steel rod, or the sticky feeling in your palm as you grasped it. I’d listen for the drawl of the engineer as he announced the next stop, and watch the knives of light dance up and down the car as it weaved toward an imperfect sunset.
If I were to hop on the same train now? Well, I’d take a nap for twenty minutes and think about what forum I was gonna shitpost in before calling it a night.
But anyways, the technical aspects of writing aside, ideas come from inspiration, and while you don’t know when it’ll come, it helps if you keep your senses on the lookout. And whether it’s an experience you have, a phenomenon you observed, or something as fleeting as a feeling, you can draw from all of it. You just have to pay attention.