Much like a Hollywood blockbuster, today was looking like a bit of a downer until a twist in the denouement game it all a happy ending.
The day started off with me happily liberated from my screenshot farming purgatory, as I was set with the task of just finishing up the news stories I’d written last week. It meant moving from the comparative bliss of Windows XP to that old iMac again but anything for a change of scenery. A couple of the stories were a bit too old for a new issue of the magazine so I wrote two more recent ones (I went for the South Korean guy who died after a fifty hour gaming marathon and the porting of Doom to the iPod). Jon said they were fine so I dropped them onto the team server, thinking nothing of it.
I then had to briefly go back to screenshotting from ScummVM to get some shots from a specific part of Monkey Island 2 to be a background for the feature. I could live with it because Monkey Island rules and it was only a very brief play. I’m actually tempted to start playing through that game again as soon as I get finished with this.
At this point the day started a downturn as I found out that my currently unwritten Great Gaming Moment wouldn’t make it into the new issue because there isn’t space. I’m not sure whether or not I’ll be writing it for the following issue instead, but I’m not holding my breath. Around this time it was lunch, and when I came back I was sat with nothing to do for the whole afternoon. I had my Japanese book on me so I could practice that while listening to the audio of An Evening with Kevin Smith on my MP3 player, and I had Internet access, so it wasn’t all bad. It’s just that I could have sat on the Internet at home…
Home time is at 6pm, and at about five minutes before the end Martin, the editor came up to me.
“I’m really pissed off”, he said.
Shit. What had I done now? My mind was scrolling through everything I’d done today to try to remember what I’d done wrong.
“I’ve just read the newsfeeds you wrote and they’re really good…”
Turns out the reason for his being pissed off was that he was impressed with my writing (somehow having gone ten days without reading any of it) and wished that he’d given me more to write in the last week. He hadn’t actually been told that I was coming until the day before and most of the freelance had been submitted for this month, so there wasn’t much he had to give me. By the end of the conversation I’d been promised some bigger work for issue 37 (due in October) that I can crack on with over the next two days, a new freelance contract, and some more ad hoc freelance in the future. I’ll also be doing some work for them in Japan, but it’s unknown whether it will be paid or for experience alone.
I’m more than willing to put up with a boring afternoon and too many hours on ScummVM when it nets me a haul like that.