Surprise, News, Giveaway

Sitting here in the dying hours of the night, before the morning starts to take me towards my day at work, my blog still being here is a pleasant surprise. For whatever reason I believe that it would have been taken down. I don’t know why I thought that it being inactive would lead to it being deleted but there you have it.

So, onto the news. Lately my mind has been a bit of a mess, ideas swirling around aimlessly, taunting me at regular intervals but careful not to be so regular that I could potentially catch one. I’m hoping this means that the next time I sit down to write something properly (probably the beginnings of a DnD campaign) that it will come easily to me. This blog post is sort of a test run to see if I can still do what I remember doing; opening my mind and letting my fingers just create whatever they catch.

So far, it’s not going badly however it’s not going great. I’ve had to correct far too many typing errors already but I’m not entirely convinced that that’s not just because my desk is a little different from when I last did this.

Outside of my mind things have been interesting. Retrokill has provided a fairly constant source of challenges to deal with and work isn’t making things easier, my workload at the moment, while not necessarily traditionally high, has been difficult to keep up with. I don’t know whether this is as a result of the nature of what I’m having to deal with or whether it’s because of the staff changes we have gone through. It could also be because I’ve been sick over the last couple of weeks.

Whatever the reason though, I’m hoping that it starts to get easier again soon.

Back to Retrokill though, a number of us have started to get into the Arma map Antistasi. It allows us to dynamically attempt to take on the entire island of Altis as rebels. So far, it’s going alright, we’re starting to get enough weaponry that we can each pick what we want and not have to worry about running out and taking outposts and resources is becoming easier. We’re still struggling with holding territory though since our AI seems to be retarded.

On my final note for tonight, Retrokill are running a giveaway of R300 worth of steam gift cards. Head on over to https://gleam.io/fb/NLHHj to enter. Good luck 🙂

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Moved, Retrokill

So it’s been a busy couple of months on a completely different scale to when I previously wrote. In addition to the usual workload I have now moved house. The new place was a long time coming and it’s been absolutely worth it so far. It’s bigger, colder and much more mine than the old place was.
Unfortunately it’s also been a mission to get everything moved. There have been a few hitches in the moving process itself as well as a number of other things going on.

The biggest of these things was a trip up to JHB to Monte Casino to watch the stage production of The Sound of Music. It was an amazing trip, one of those times which will stick in my mind for any number of reasons, from the production itself to the atmosphere of the place, to the company I shared.

Beyond those things there is something else that’s been starting to take up a bit of time, although not as much as I’d like to give. A while ago I remember writing about a gaming organisation that I had joined. It’s now beginning to pick up steam and one of our teams are approaching  the top of the National league and by extension the playoffs.
It’s been interesting to watch it grow and it’s going to be fun to watch the organisation continue on its journey. Unfortunately though now is the time where we start to grow our presence.
What this means is that we need people to start following us on social media, and we need sponsors and this and that and so on. For that reason I’m going to sign my posts with something akin to the signatures I used while I was writing the fallen.

Even if you just check us out, that would be great, if you follow us on our social media pages that would be better and if you have some way to sponsor us, that would be amazingly appreciated.

Website
Twitter
Facebook

Prolific

Once upon a time I considered trying to become an author. When that was verbally beaten out of me by various realists I thought of becoming a blogger…
I’ll admit to my naivete in this matter. I never fully appreciated exactly how much work it was. And the worse thing is that the problem is not a shortage of topics but rather a shortage of drive. I find it difficult to sit down and write as I should.

Over the last couple of months I can at least claim that work has been incredibly stressful and I’m getting more and more exhausted as each day goes by. Couple this with the personal load of a number of secrets that I’ve had to keep and the mental strain alone has been enough to make me feel completely and utterly devastated almost every day.
Over the last two weeks insomnia added itself to the mix as well and led to some rather awkward and unpleasant situations.

Currently I’m no closer to solving the problems that I’ve been having, but at least I’ve found some time to try and engage in something I enjoy.

One day hopefully soon I’ll be able to find the time and the drive to write a full blog post, maybe even including some piece of writing or other, but tonight at least I feel like I’ve made a decent start.

Slow Progress

So, for the last couple of weeks I’ve thought of any number of topics, and as per my last couple of posts I’ve been hoping to expand my freedom and write about whatever it was that came to mind.

Something that I underestimated the impact of, however, was the energy drain I’m currently dealing with. Not just the standard “work is hectic” stuff but also a whole bunch of other little things here and there.

Despite my relationship strengthening in some indefinable way and so becoming an energy source over the last couple of weeks the increased work load as well as the strange feelings of fatigue I’ve experienced outside of work have made it so I’m actually a little short of breaking even and so, although before the upturn I was already fairly low emotionally at the moment I’m feeling just generally low as well and lower than I was before.

It’s not all terrible though. I have found that I’m somehow making time for more things that I’ve wanted to for so long. I’m getting more and more into my gaming which is another energy source, I’m eating better (i.e, I’m actually eating food I make rather than pre-made things) and I’ve also started a physical training regimen which I’m hoping will help with my currently ailing stamina.

Speaking of training, I’ve managed to work on my discipline with my Ju Jutsu and have been going even when there are no students. It means that there’s a lot of demotivational moments because I feel like I’ve failed every time there is an empty class but on the other hand the fact that I’m there anyway is something that I’m happy to have achieved.

I haven’t yet managed to get around to actual writing which is something that I would like to get back to, but that will come I’m sure. At some point I’m going to find the time to actually look at what I’ve done so far and continue some of the stories I’ve got lurking around, maybe even the vampire one that I started on here earlier.

Finally I’m looking at getting into a couple of semi-management roles in the near future, mostly it’ll just be helping look after and administrate a Teamspeak server and potentially a website as well but it could grow into a little more than that since the clan that the servers belong to is working on getting into the competitive scene.

Hopefully they do well there 🙂

 

If anyone is interested in joining us on Teamspeak, the server is at retrokill.co.za

 

Candour

When I first started writing here I was open and didn’t filter anything, I spilled my mind and didn’t care who it hurt or who read it.
As more and more people found out about my blog and I gave them links and so on I found myself becoming more reserved and considering each line far more carefully than was ever the intention.

I was fine with that.

But then a moment came where I started to over-filter myself and so every post became more of a mission that something fun and so I slowed down and practically stopped. I felt like there was a standard to try to keep to.
Right now I’m going to try and abandon that standard. If a post is terrible, it’s terrible, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a failure.
While we were in Cape Town there was a picture that I took. It was a moment in time between deciding to take the picture and the actual picture being taken. That candid picture was, to me, far better than the end result and that’s where my mind has been dwelling while coming up with this post; it was dwelling on the fact that candour can be far more beautiful than anything posed.

Of course this doesn’t mean that every candid moment is good.

I’ve spoken before about my webs, my mind’s way of trying to avoid surprises. Recently the webs have been forming again and, like before, they have been complicating certain things.
One of my favourite things about my current relationship is how open I can be about everything from my own insecurities to what I think of other people.
I shared one of my webs though and it has led to an awkward situation since that particular web was apparently one that involved a subject that was a problem already.
On top of that web being a pain certain others which have formed have led to me being unable to calmly handle certain things. It’s not exactly a problem, it just means that while those things are occurring I have to be a little more aware of my own mind and where exactly it is going. So far I’ve worried without reason but the webs are such that that re-assurance isn’t exactly re-assuring.

 

A while back I mentioned a piece of writing that I’d considered uploading. Since this post is all about being open and such, here it is too:

ePub, Mobi and PDF

Hope you all enjoy it. 🙂

Time passes

A week ago I sat here in front of my computer, wordpress open and a post ready in my mind. And then I closed it all up and forgot about it.
Now a week later I’ve been to Cape Town for the first time in my memory, flown again for the first time in many years and met my girlfriend’s father.
And that’s just the big things.

So, where to begin. I’ll start with Cape Town. While I was there we stayed at the Inn at Castle Hill in Kalk Bay. It was an amazing experience just from that point of view. The room was amazing, the people were friendly and in general it could not have been a better place to stay.

We breakfasted at Chartfield each morning which was once upon a time owned by my girlfriend’s family. From there we would head out on our day, doing nothing very much when we look back. But that’s what made it brilliant for us.
We explored the little shops along main street, eating at a few of the restaurants along the way and just generally trying new things in doing so.
On the other hand we also spent a lot of time just relaxing with our books with the view of the ocean over the balustrade of the balcony.

We also visited Simon’s Town Naval Museum and looked at the warships moored in the harbour. It was wonderful to walk through and see the exhibits and we both chuckled at our choice of activity considering ‘the penguins’ were only a half hour or so walk further along. (Neither of us felt the chance of penguins was better than seeing the naval museum.)

Beyond that I obviously met my girlfriend’s dad, who I found an interesting character with an amazing amount of energy and guilt, and a friend of her’s who she practically grew up with. We went over for dinner at their place and had a pleasant meal followed by a movie. All in all, both of my direct meetings as well as the secondary one (my girlfriend’s friend’s boyfriend 😛 ) were great to meet.

 

And now back home. Work was exceptionally busy (which I expected) with tomorrow promising to be the same. My car has been swapped out and I now have a Ford Figo instead. I might be working the weekend as well so it promises to be a long first week back no matter what.

But on the other hand I’ve made a new start on the game that I’ve been wanting to redesign for the past year or so. As I create that I might start putting snippets of it up here as well.

 

Oh, and one more thing. I wrote a short story a little while back. I’m still trying to decide whether to post it or not. Hopefully I make a decision in the next couple of weeks 🙂

Missing

Right now I’m here because I promised myself I would be. I didn’t have anything to write about, I didn’t have some flash of inspiration. All that happened was I traded with myself and this is what I traded for.

But that doesn’t mean I’m forcing myself to be here.

I’ve wanted to write on here again for a while, but every time I’ve geared myself up or gotten an idea for a topic, it either floats away before I can get to my computer, or otherwise life throws a rock at me that shatters whatever I hold.

I’ll write about two things tonight though.

The first is habitica. I’ve spoken about it before, the app that helps make checklists more interesting. Unfortunately I’ve stopped using it, the reason being that the app is unstable on the network connections I have available and this makes it impossible to actually get anything done without spending five minutes fighting with the app to actually accept that things are done.

The second is shadow of war.

Now, the previous game I absolutely adored. I played it through to 100% twice. Most games I don’t even get that far once so you can understand how I felt about that game.

Dropping myself into number 2 I had heard good things. An expansion on the parts that I enjoyed about the first one as well as the addition of an RPG style loot system and skill tree.

What I’ve found however is rather disappointing. The expansion of the nemesis system was wonderful, it’s a lot of fun to hunt down orcs and figure out how to beat them by interrogating worms and so on.

The second two additions however are actually a negative for me. The RPG equipment addition is no more than an inconvenience. You get new equipment, equip it, complete the side objective for it and level it up. This sounds great in theory. In practice you end up trying to achieve the same pointless side objectives for a small couple of points of extra whatever the weapon gives.

The skill tree is even worse. Things that I took for granted in the first game have been made mutually exclusive to other things that I took for granted. One example is the ability to dominate orcs. In the first game you could dominate an orc as well as gain ‘elf-shot’ (spirit arrows) at the same time.

Now, these are two separate upgrades to the skill of which you can only choose one.

In mid battle this becomes highly frustrating.

Those issues are things that I found that are different from the first game that I don’t particularly like, but the game is meant to be different and I can accept that, and I’m sure I will get used to it and enjoy it once I’ve grinded away for a few more hours.

I can even accept the frustratingly inaccurate aiming of the non-aimed skills (draining and dominating often decides to pick a random orc in the background rather than the broken captain right in front of me and free running is annoying to say the least)

What I won’t likely get over though is the bug that I’ve been experiencing. At random times, often at the worst possible times, my game freezes, displays a random menu screen from half an hour before, then unfreezes a good second or two beyond where it froze. When you’re mid battle this means being hit at least once while you can’t even see what’s going on.

All in all I see myself playing a little bit more, but I believe that I’m probably not going to finish this game as easily as its predecessor.

Crash

So it’s been over a month since my last post and unfortunately the reason for that is not a great one. I’ve been through two very different crashes over the last month, one physical, one emotional/mental.

I’ll start with the physical one as it’s the far more minor. On Tuesday this week I was rear-ended in traffic. The impact left me dazed and confused for a moment before I realised what had actually happened. Physically my neck was a little stiff for a couple of days but beyond that I seem to be fine.
The car however might not be. With the value of the damage so far I believe there is a chance that it’ll be written off. It’s a fairly sombre thought since I’ve grown quite attached to it.
And yet now because of someone’s inattentiveness it may be about to disappear out of my life.
On the subject of the other person, she was fine however I’m pretty sure her car was not. She was unable to find any gears and the entire front of her car was flattened.

And now onto the other type of crash…

Depression is something that has been a fairly regular part of my life. It’s something that I’m lucky enough not to have to deal with all the time, however on the other hand it does happen often enough that I sometimes wonder if I should actually see someone about it.
At the moment I’m going through a fairly bad bout of it. I’ve been unable to actually do anything I’m supposed to be doing for a long while. What that means is that my flat is a mess, I can’t face many of the people who I should have no problems with and worst is even the people I can face I feel like I shouldn’t.
The reason for that last is because a lot of the people who I care about suffer from their own problems, and a lot of them have actually given up dealing with their problems.
This leads to outbursts of negativity that actually drag me down further into the depths of my own depression. I sit here and try my absolute best to keep everyone up and when people give up even trying it makes me feel like I should just give up and not do anything at all any more. Abandon everyone and everything and just whither away to nothing.
I’ve spoken to most of the people who were affecting me, and they have responded well. They apologised for what they had been saying and truly considered me and what that’s meant is today for the first time in almost a month I’m feeling more like myself.
Anyway… That’s enough of that.

“I wondered if you would be able to actually awake this time.” The voice continues. “After all, you’ve stirred three times since we took you down.” He sniggers at this revelation and she realises what it means. She’s been asleep for far longer than she should have been.
“How long?” she croaks, her voice broken from the long sleep.
“Forty years darling.” he says joyfully. “Forty years you’ve been out of my way. The world is a wonderfully different place now.”
A new voice cuts in in a whisper and the man falls silent for a while after the whispering stops. When he speaks again she can hear the frustration in his voice.
“I would love to continue this chat however duty calls.” he says bitterly. “Out of respect to who you used to be, I’m leaving you with an assistant. She will help orient you with this new world. After all, being a Prince is no fun if there’s no one to hate you.” he laughs loudly as he leaves. She continues to lie in her sarcophagus for the longest time before finally rising and staring at the young girl standing next to the mausoleum door.
Her head swam but she forced a smile.
“Hi.” she managed before she blacked out once more.

Still Alive

Somehow I am still here. Not in the physical “I’m still breathing” sense, that’s not entirely surprising, but rather in the “I’m still blogging” sense. I didn’t expect to still feel any draw to the site after the first couple of months had passed. And yet here I am, a year and four months later. I’ve shared my life as well as my work on here and I still don’t feel like I’m ready to disappear again.

Which is good I guess.

But on the other hand I do feel guilty for not posting often. And I feel guilty when I post too often. It’s a weird balance that I have to keep in my own mind.

The reason for today’s post though is so that maybe I can get something new started. I’ve been thinking of another story. This one I have not written before but the storyline itself feels fairly familiar to me. It promises to be interesting, or at least, what has happened in my head has been interesting so far. Right now though I’m worried about it since the last time I wrote, I didn’t feel entirely comfortable.

Having said that though, I do want to get writing again.

Anyway, hopefully the next post will be with the beginning of the story, the opening scene which sets the premise for everything else. It’ll be loosely based in the ‘Chronicles of Darkness’ rules and world. I say loosely because I hope not to let the rules get in the way of the actual story.

Soon we shall see if my worry is unfounded or not.

Nothing personal and something intimate

There are two sides to this post. It’s one that I’ve been thinking about for a while, but at the same time one that’s only come to me now.

The first part is simple. I don’t talk to people. There are a very limited number of people who I can handle at any one time. Currently my limit is three. Beyond that my mind starts to drain, I start to get unstable and I end up becoming snappy and unpleasant. And so I avoid interaction with anyone beyond the three people who I can easily talk to without freaking out.

This is important for me. When my mind does snap (when the snappy and unpleasant doesn’t chase people away) then I can’t even maintain a civil conversation with one person and so I suffer, and so does everyone around me.

Why does this matter?

Because there are a couple of people currently who I haven’t responded to. They pushed too hard and I shut down as a result. I had to reboot and ignore them to be able to maintain my own sanity. Which is why I say it’s nothing personal. It’s not their fault, they are trying to be friendly, but I am incapable of that right now.

Which brings me to the latter subject. I’m starting to struggle. That’s what my reboots have told me. Something in my life is draining me and where I can normally handle short jolts of conversation with certain people, now I can not.

I’m also becoming reliant on a couple of people, and of late those people have been experiencing their own struggles. This has led to them pushing me away, in one case really hard and almost intentionally, in the other politely but definitely intentionally.

Now, I do understand what they’re going through, after all I described the same process above, but to have it happen to me, and now when my mind is already unravelling, it’s not ideal.

So what does this mean for me?

Nothing right now. I’m not going to just back down and give up. But if I don’t manage to turn things around soon, it might mean curling up in a corner, closing myself off to everything and fading for a long, long while.

Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.