Friday, July 17, 2015

Death Note : A Fun Party Game! by Cecil L Disharoon


Everyone that wants to play gathers in a room, or outdoors, sitting or standing optional.

Take out a deck of playing cards, and set aside one for each player. The deck needs only a single Ace of any suite.
This will be used when selecting L. But first:

L- Accuser
Shinigami-Demon who takes care of the Death Note and messages from L
Kira- Killer
Investigators - All players except the Shinigami

1. Someone has to play the demon, the Shinigami; if you have one handy, give them an apple to remind everyone they are that character.
The Shinigami has two jobs.

2. AT the beginning of play, that person chooses one of the players to give the Death Note, a regular note book and pen. During this point, everyone's eyes are closed and we are all rapping our hands on our legs and clapping to make noise; this lets the demon move freely. On each turn, Kira writes another name in the Death Note, and the cause of death and time if you like. I think the funnier the cause of death, the better. Kira is the person with the notebook, btw.
Selecting L

3. The demon's second job is to take the notebook back and forth from the Kira player to the player who reveals her or his self to Ryuke, the Shinigami, as L. Again, everyone make noise and cover the movement.

L conducts the investigation. To select an L, everyone draws from the deck, and whoever comes up with the Ace is L. Everyone keeps what they got to themselves for now. No one should know who L is yet, except the demon character.
4. L can pick any character to suspect. L's guess is written down (while everyone makes distraction noise, eyes shut) and taken up by the Shinigami (non-player role, not an Investigator). L's identity is the second mystery in the game---a mystery for the Kira player to solve.
All the other players—-the “investigators”--then vote whether or not that person is Kira. If they get it right, game over. But every round, another player “dies” until the mystery's solved.

Double Identity Mysteries
5. Kira doesn't kill the Shinigami, but Kira might kill L, on purpose or by accident. If Kira writes down the real name of the person who is also the “L” player, the Shinigami lets the “Kira” player know and Kira remains Kira, but takes over as L, writing the accusations! A player selected to be Kira secretly might also get the Ace and play both from the start!

6. Each player killed by Kira is eliminated from the game, and can sit and make noise with the rest of the players or leave the area if they are bored now.

7. Once a person's cleared, they can no longer be suspected. Each suspect is voted upon, and if there's a majority of investigators who think this person is Kira, the demon's consulted for a yes or no, for the purposes of our game. An Investigator who is cleared can still vote.

8. Each round, only one person can be held up as a suspect for the Shinigami to verify. The option to vote “no” on a person is there every round, but L continues until everyone agrees to vote on a suspect to investigate.

9. (optional) The players can impose another limitation placed on the number of suspects the Shinigami can be asked about, for example, a “yes” vote to investigate a person can be used in the progress of one round, but if Kira's not found, on the next round suspects can be discussed, but no vote taken. Play resumes pattern. After the skip round, another accusation can be made.

10. When half the players are gone, anyone can propose that L is Kira, one and the same. But if they accuse someone of being both and they're wrong, they're "off the investigation" ---out of the game. And if they're right---they win!

L- Accuser
Shinigami-Demon who takes care of the Death Note and messages from L
Kira- Killer
Investigators - All players except the Shinigami

Game adapted from "The Werewolf Game" (thanks Mo!).
It's far from perfect, but seems like a manageable game and fun homage to Death Note, the Anime.
Created by me, Cecil Disharoon. Any suggestions?
Be Chill, Cease Ill

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

How Do I Handle Writer's Block? Tips

I say, "Cecil, sit down and f--n write."

Sometimes, you write what you needed most to write. And what you thought you should write, if it's to be, will come in time. If you take on commercial deadlines, surprise yourself by NOT putting it off, just catch yourself in an unguarded moment when you were going to entertain yourself with, essentially, a distraction. Start early, so you can work to your heart's content. You may need deadline pressure to finish it, but Blank Page drama is avoided. And sometimes, it'll happen anyway, because it's what you needed to achieve a real breakthrough with after effects in your entire creative body. So don't waste time beating yourself up when this happens.

That's Rule #1, anyway: Be Good To Yourself. Meditate. Do something physical that will make you present in your body, in the moment. Spend time with your pet. You're not there to be your own slave; you're there to FREE yourself.

Photo: TW Hank

Sometimes that means "letting" yourself do your work. But if you can't write, do something worthwhile with the time. That's key. Then your sense of well being will be preserved, and your writing will be an extension of your sense of purpose, which you've just used to keep the foundation of your life around writing stable. Give of yourself to someone who could really use your help, and you'll see your writing continuing that intention. Sometimes, one can't write because some other thing really merits immediate priority. This is part of us being human beings first, which then write.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Sunstrike : the opening of my novelization of the ficticious 70's comic book

I'm in her arms, and we're flying.

One minute, my eyes soak in the view on a cliff overlooking a gaping hole in the earth made bauxite-mining. The next, the Star Man appears, grabs my arm, and I notice his aura grow into a portal to space. Surprised, I'm pulled through this amazing vibrational field filled with soft yellow and orange lights, and I speed upwards, as though I'm flying. What else would you call it?

I lose the sense of momentum that startled me enough to cry out. Feels like an amusement park free fall ride, except I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT'S HAPPENING TO ME. “Alien abduction” is the only thing that comes to mind, based on the flaming light man with the strange turquoise eyes, the Star Man. I swear I thought he was just in my imagination when I saw him in the sky, but the next instant, my world's inside out. Then I feel the arms, a distinctively human embrace. All control of myself flees, and now I am gently but swiftly levitating towards the framed light of the sky's night.

Then I feel liquid clearly all around me, though I am not drowning. Am I even breathing?

We veer through a room made of stone and timber, as the waters part and splash explosively. A very tall man in a rich green garment charges two smaller men with a large shield, to my left. I lock eyes with...a woman, I think. She's got a bow knocked. She's covered in crimson and burgundy. She registers me; she seems to be thoughtfully making some sense of us. A mustachioed man in blue, unmistakably some Viking, points to us as we go through the roof. Suspended, I gaze down at a pool filled with shimmering reflections of the stars, freshly disturbed. The man in blue ducks and throws another man, with a knife, wearing black, hard into the wall behind him. The red one pulls something out of a pouch and glances at it, then me. Then a tunnel comes from nowhere, blackness, stone coldness, broken by a whiteness filled with drifting threads of color, as though dissolving in water.

It's funny how I worry about losing my shoe, into some God-knows-what.

Breathlessly, my human elevator ride stops. As she settles me down, I resist the urge to say “you've got me...who's got you?” I don't know if I would stop babbling if I said a single word. Paradoxical, how utterly disoriented I feel, compared to the lucidity of my perceptions.

Only now do I get a decent look. Her white clothing doesn't fit any ethnicity I know of, but she does seem completely human. She brushes strawberry blonde hair over her shoulder, and watches me with cobalt blue eyes. Her face fascinates me. I feel trust. I have a strange sense of bonding, while my rational mind screams I have just lost control of my life. I wonder if my sanity will go with it, but I don't think I can afford to dwell on that possibility.

A scintillation occurs, to my mind's eye more than my physical pair. I feel her opening to me, to receive my thoughts. I feel the attraction, but I feel how I will have to direct what I think towards that attraction.

“Are you reading my mind?” I ask.
The look in her eyes seems to understand everything I feel. Maybe what I think, too. I feel she needs me to receive her, to get her reply. I wonder how we might simply use our mouths, but something distinctively Other is happening, in spades. I feel a bit like someone who's slipped off a boat deck, deciding the shore is the only hope.

Again, I feel I've willed...something in this exchange. I wonder if I called for her in the first place.

But I sense it's her strength with this skill that's again rescuing me. Or kidnapping me. Right now, I don't see what I can do about it besides shut down and wish, wish, wish it away. The Ruby Slippers craving makes me even more scared than trying to understand what's going on in the moment.

“Only what you're sharing,” she says. “I know how to leave your thoughts to yourself, too. It's just a fact now people don't always share their true thoughts completely.” She looks a little sad about that. I honestly wonder why she'd be disappointed with what I think of as an indisputable fact of life. The kind of thing you should have figured out by the time you're nineteen, like me.

"Merriwyn" says her alto voice in my mind. The word is her name. She continues.
“We'll work on how to speak each others' language when we're not in a rush,” she says. “At least, we're going to have to turn all our concentration on getting out of here.”

“And here is...?”

“My friends, when we find them, might help you comprehend,” she says, turning now towards a darkness-filled shaft of stone stretching before her. “And you may never understand. You may have to live with that. But we are going to get you out of here alive.”

Interested so far?
As ficticiously presented in SUNSTRIKE #1, October 1974 "cover date."
Yes, I used the device of plotting my story and pretending it was a comics series written and drawn by Lue Lyron for seven years, 1974-1981. Now, bear with me. That entirely made-up-by-me series is then the prelude to the events in my novel KEEP IT DARK.

I'm experimenting with maybe writing out the prelude in novel form instead, and possibly presenting some of it to a comics company in script form, in five-to-eight page installments, depending on their format.