The Arcade Cabinet: A Vital Update

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 7.236% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

I can’t just tell you how cool this is, so instead I’ll give it to you through the glory of video:

The weird thing is how much building a thing is like writing fiction.  All I can see are a list of about fifteen things that I could have done better, or things I need to patch before it’s finished.  (Anyone watching me live-blog the story I’m writing in The Clarion Echo will tell you how much I critique my fiction in-progress.)  I’m constantly frowning as crap, that paint job’s a little shoddy, or that gap needs to be shimmed, or that shelf should be leveled.
But then, as happened last night, I catch a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye and see it as if it was the first time I’d seen it, and shit: that’s actually an arcade fucking cabinet.  Maybe it would win no contests as-is, but it’s still way better than I could have done had I never tried at all.
It’s like writing stories.  I’m in writer-mode and it’s all sentence-level stuff – a terrible word, a viewpoint shift, a missed emotional beat.  And yes, those things all need to be fixed, because a story is the emotional accumulation of a hundred details, and the more of them you can get perfectly right, the better the story will be.  And while you’re in that Felix Fix-It mode, the story appears to be a collection of missed opportunities, a heap of wrecked things.
And if you’re lucky, sometimes you read the story after forgetting about it for a while, and all of those beautiful things you mastered shimmered into view and you think, “That’s not bad.”
My cabinet.  It’s flawed.  But it’s not bad.  And like all my drafts in progress, it’ll get better.

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