Friday, September 02, 2011

The Game

I constructed a game board. This may Boggle some of your minds and you may ask... why I just didn't go buy the game.

Well, for one, it's not on the market. And I want to play it. For two, building the board gave me a bit of a challenge. So being the artistic engineer (woodworking hobbyist) that I am, I set out to build the board myself. It was quite the Operation.

Some may say I'm an idiot. Perhaps I am. I've heard that about my other artistic outlets as well. Writing, chief among them.

I've heard how I'll never get my books published. (I proved the naysayers wrong.)

I've heard that I had too little talent and from others… too much talent. Huh? Whatever???

I realize I'll never please everyone. There will be people in this world who just don't get me. I just have to follow my heart and take a ride on the Reading Railroad. Which brings me back to the game.

My heart was set on playing this particular game. So I decided to make the board and soon realized that building the board was sort of like writing. Like Life even.

First, I got the concept from seeing the game. (Don't take stories verbatim though, that's plagiarism.) Then using my Cranium, I sketched my first draft of the board layout.

After I settled on the layout, I sat down and built a mock up out of Legos just kidding. Might have been fun though. Instead, I drew it up on the computer, till I got the right size and dimensions for a template. But couldn't print it out, 'cause my printer doesn't take such big sheets of paper. I had to change my Strategy.

So it was back to Start, to the drawing board... literally. This time I drew a full scale model. And when I laid it on the board, I realized my dimensions were off. I needed to measure the ends better. More cutting commenced. Saw dust flew.

Writer's have to cut back and change scales on their manuscripts, too. Of course to do so, we don't have to pull out the power tools and slice away. Although at times, it sure feels that way. And who knows it, might make cutting words more interesting.

So I had my board cut and laid out. Bare bones. I could have played the game on the unfinished board then, but it wouldn't have been the same.

I needed to do more.

Just like a writer, I needed to add the lines and fill empty spaces. I had to define the scenery of my board. Homebase. Start and Finish. I had to show the short cuts and make sure I researched and put down the rules somewhere. (So I could break them of course). Then I had to pull out the sander and buff some uneven spots.

I added more designs, drilled out holes for the playing pieces, which I still had to finish by giving them color and character. They, like characters in a book, can't look the same. No one will know who's who on the board.

I sanded and smoothed some more rough edges, filled holes that were drilled too deep my playing pieces got lost like sunken Battleships. I etched more color into the wood with a wood burner and then went to the garage to add a touch of varnish.

Then I had to find some decks of playing cards, and of course, round up players to play my game.

Writers have to add depth and design, we have to give our stories colorful interesting sheen, vivid real characters and editing polish, and we too, must find the players. ie., Readers willing to open our pages and spend the time in our book.

I won't send this game board out into the world, like I hope to do with my books, but hopefully myself and others will get to enjoy the game for years to come.

I hope my stories bring long hours of enjoyment.

While at times I'd like to pass go and collect my prize without all the investment of time, sweat and energy. I realize that a game or a story, will never touch another life if one doesn't take the time and Risk to move beyond the concept, the dreams, the imagination and construct the story. The game.

Who knows? Maybe no one will like the game. Or the book. Or the ________ ( you fill in the blank). I could be Sorry for putting myself out there, and investing so much time.

Maybe I'm just and Idiot. If so... I think I'm in good company.

So write your stories, build your game boards and invest in your dreams.

Play the game of Life. You may find that it's funner than a Barrel Full of Monkey.