Catching Up On Prompts

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I’ve been having a lot of back pain over the last several days, so sitting down to write in the mornings, when I feel the most like writing blog posts, has been a massive chore. I’m trying to push through it to get this post done on Sunday so I don’t fall another day behind. I don’t think of myself as a chronic pain sufferer but over the last several years it’s becoming clear that my freedom of will is increasingly limited by the day-to-day status of my back, and I haven’t quite adjusted to it yet.

Catching up on the Promptapalooza prompts I’ve missed:

What skill do you want to improve on the most? Speaking. Developing speaking skills in 2020 after a lifetime of not having any is a recurring interest of mine, on which I could write lengthy amounts of advice to anyone else interested, but back pain.

If you had a mascot to represent you, what would it be? I have no idea. The concept doesn’t make much sense to me. What is this thing you call a “me”? I should elaborate I suppose, so that I don’t leave any impression of a deep-seated pathological psychosis, but back pain.

Tell us about some of your favorite protagonist/s and explain why. Or, as Endalia suggested, characters in which you can recognize yourself or parts of yourself. (Which, for me, changed the prompt from a safe writing subject into a bit of an anxiety trigger.)

As a teenager, I very strongly identified with the broken anti-hero of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever. I haven’t read those books in decades but I still vividly remember his core mantra, “Don’t touch me.” (Unfortunately I’m quite certain the Thomas Covenant series would be branded “problematic” and thrown on the book burning pile in today’s social climate.)

In movies, I recall seeing Die Hard for the first time and being shocked and amazed to see a heroic main character who talked to themselves when they’re alone and/or stressed out, something I do quite often but had never realized was a common human experience until I saw that movie.

Most recently the characters of Abby and Ellie from The Last Of Us Part 2 are favorites, neither of which are even remotely like me, but I still find parts of myself in them. Any character that has a vulnerability they struggle with is a character that I would find parts of myself in and identify with.

My favorite characters tend to be down-to-earth “everyman” sorts of protagonists with flaws or challenges that must be overcome to drive the plot, and/or impossible choices that must be made. I’m a big fan of throwing ordinary people into extraordinary situations to see if they break or thrive (or both). Hence I tend to like Stephen King stories. And I typically enjoy “war dramas” for the same reason. War is a pretty good meat grinder character setting. I could write about this all day but back pain.

Share the process you go through in order to create content, both mental and mechanical. Mental: I typically just disable the filter that normally stops me from saying what’s on my mind out loud. Inside my head there is a more-or-less constant narrative of thoughts playing from the moment I wake up until I go to sleep. Mechanical: For blog posts, I currently just sit down at my laptop and type into the extremely frustrating WordPress Gutenberg editor until I’m sick of it. Other forms of content (game videos, vlogs, music) have different processes, which I could elaborate on at great length, except back pain.

In gaming, with all the talk of Horizon Zero Dawn’s PC Launch, I picked up where I left off in the PS4 version back in April, and I reached level 16 and arrived at the Daytower. I’ve given up playing Horizon Zero Dawn twice before, but I can’t quite pinpoint what exactly I find unappealing about the game. I’ve been musing about it on Twitter of late. But that’s a subject for another post someday.

The theme of this post seems to be back pain. Ugh. You wouldn’t think it would stop you from typing a lot, but you would be wrong. I certainly never considered that possibility before 2018.

P. S. WordPress now has a “Headline Analyzer” button on the editor which is telling me that this post’s title deserves a 39 out of 100 score. I don’t like it either, but it’s one of those posts that has a million different topics so it’s impossible to think of a title for it.

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