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.

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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

 

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 🙂

New Project?

So, in amongst everything else going on at the moment, (new part time job, new challenges, new goals) I mentioned a potentially new story that was floating around my mind. Tonight I actually wrote the first part of it. It’s a very short section but here it is anyway.

 

A woman entombed in stone slowly wakes up. She tries to move but finds her body restricted by something cold and heavy. A moment of claustrophobia takes her before memory begins to return.
She’s a vampire.
It takes her a moment to process this revelation, a moment that seems to drag out with images of… something.
As that thing takes shape she realises that she’s been asleep for a long time, in a state that vampires call Torpor. She remembers being beaten by a small faction who opposed her.
She remembers they opposed her because she was the Prince of the city.
Rage sends a pulse through her and she pushes up against the stone entombing her. It resists for a moment but then lifts just the slightest amount. She manages to push it far enough to the side to be able to see and feel the cold air on her face.
Again she pushes and this time the stone lid slides off the sarcophagus and crashes to the floor. The sound echoes weirdly in the room she’s in.
“Welcome back.” A voice says, sending chills down her spine.
It’s the voice of the man who deposed her.

 

I don’t have a name for the story yet even though I have a vague idea of where it will go. The first few chapters will probably follow the protagonist above, but from there I think it might move to someone else. I’m looking forward to writing again.

Ideas

Well, it’s been a while since I went into a blog post without a plan, but my head hurts and I’ve had a nosebleed and honestly I feel like writing. (Don’t ask :P)

It’s been an eventful couple of weeks, with dedication and trust playing a huge role in a couple of aspects, suspicion and anger in others. It’s unfortunate that in the same time where a major milestone was reached could be marred by petty people trying to hurt those around them.

It’s also been in these last few weeks that I’ve started to notice a change in behaviour in my boss. He’s gone from extremely stressed and focused on his stressor, to far less stressed but lashing out randomly. And the way he’s lashing out (and the reasons he’s doing it) make me think it might be a mild form of PTSD.

Now, the trauma that would have caused this is minor, we had someone around that was a habitual liar and would never admit to wrongdoing. Especially when someone actually complained about it.

There have now been a few times when things have occurred at work where someone has been an ass but Dave has immediately turned on me rather than backing me up and trying to find out what actually happened. He has immediately assumed the worst from me.

One of the times was my fault, I’d forgotten to do something that I should have done.

The other two though were not even vaguely because of me. Messages had not been passed on to those who needed to hear them and when that person then turned to Dave with a query about the very thing the message answered, Dave then turned on me, despite me saying specifically that I left a message to that effect.

The reason this has gotten to me isn’t because he’s not backing me up though. Yes, it was frustrating the way he addressed me with the query, and the animosity that he exhibited in the message, but when I answered him, he didn’t just take what I told him and relayed that, instead he seems to have re-interpreted it and so a few minutes later I got a call that I should never have gotten.

I don’t know what the call was about, it was a work matter way after work hours, but the fact that that person was calling me means that somewhere, someone took what I said and turned it into ammunition for their own issues.

And so, I’m going to have to deal with that on Monday.

 

But onto the ideas part of this post. A couple of fairly intelligent people close to me recently lost their jobs. Due to this they now have a lot of time.

This morning I thought of something that for some reason hadn’t occurred to me before. Between the two of them they could quite easily make a PC game with a little guidance. They have the patience and intelligence and attention to detail required, and one of them has the skills to actually guide the process.

If I do manage to convince them to consider it, I’ll keep you all updated 😛

Habits, Deliveries, Leave and Apps

Let’s begin with Apps. Recently I’ve been spending time doing things other than mobile gaming. Since I upgraded my PC the amount of time available for other things has drastically dropped.

Despite this development I’ve found myself hanging on to certain mobile apps that I really enjoyed, one in particular being King of Thieves. I love the game and the concept, and for the many months I played it was amazing.

But towards the higher levels you hit a plateau where, although it is possible to progress without payment, it require a large amount of time in order to perfect certain techniques needed to get through the later dungeons.

This time can’t be spread out over weeks or months and so I slowly lost touch with the game. But I’ve kept it on my phone.

This last week I had been inactive long enough for me to lose control of the guild I ran. Now, although running a guild doesn’t take much (or anything at all) it was still something keeping me in the game. With this loss, I feel like I might finally be able to remove the app.

Onto leave. I’m on leave at the moment for a week. Or at least I am in theory.

The reason I say this is because despite this fact I have had numerous work things to do today, things that I shouldn’t be having to deal with. Phone calls from people who have my work number but for some reason call my personal number. I’m honestly not sure why they don’t call the office but I haven’t answered their calls because I’m on leave.

The other thing that interrupted my leave was a problem where the buck was passed away from the person who should actually be fixing it. Now I don’t understand whether this was intentional on her part, or whether it was a side-effect of the people who were supposed to be informing her of the problem just not doing so.

It’s annoying because this particular problem is not actually something that I’m likely to be able to fix without hours of work.

And I have this horrendous feeling I’m going to be asked to come in tomorrow to do exactly that.

Deliveries. This one is a far more positive subject than those above. It concerns the girl I’m now dating. Today I drove her to her nanna’s house, three hours away. It’s not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things but it was me doing something I enjoyed with someone I like and it ended up being one of the most fun things I’ve done in a while, despite all the wonderful activities that I’m involved in in various places and with various people.

And finally habits.

A while ago I found an app that allowed you to create a RPG out of your life. I ignored it. More recently I had something asked of me and I thought of that app as the perfect solution to the problem.

So I looked into it. And it was okay, but lacked features that I needed. So I looked around.

And found Habitica

I have been using the app for a couple of days now, and this blog post is actually a result of that use. I’ve set myself certain goals so far as habits are concerned, and custom daily tasks that allow me to push myself into doing things like writing (both my fiction as well as these posts or letters or whatever else). So far it’s worked wonderfully and it’s been a really fun experience to set up.

Hopefully I manage to stick to it because if I do, it means I’ll start to write the space story again, and once that’s going I can look at posting it up here.

Here’s to hoping.

The Fallen, etc…

Right, today’s post might be a little longer than usual, it’s been a while since I wrote and there are a fair few things that I’ve wanted to write about. First up, I’ve finished writing the Fallen, and ahead of schedule as well, so at the end of this post will be the links to the full first draft. From here on it’s edits and refinements and expansions and so on. The real work starts now.

And now on the etc…

First off, a friend of mine has gotten herself into a situation where a few people have decided that she’s not actually just a friend. This has led to a couple of awkward situations thanks to the fact that she does actually have someone in that role and so she’s had to deal with expectations that she could not possibly fulfil.

This situation has led me to look at a few of my own interactions with people. And what I found there was quite a shock.

Now, I’ve always had an issue where I often assume more than there actually is, and this might very well just be an extension of that, but a few people who I have dealings with have shown signs of a similar expectation of me, and a couple of comments that have come out over the last couple of weeks are now seeming more ominous than they should.

I’m hoping that I’m over-reacting, or otherwise creating these situations in my mind so it doesn’t feel left out, but if I’m not I have to be wary because many of the people in question have good reasons why I should not be involved with them. Or rather, I’ve created good reasons.

Next, I’ve been gaming a lot lately and I’ve discovered a few things about myself. First off, I battle to stick to one game for long. This is something I’ve always known but I think there are a couple of reasons for it. I find I spend longer in games that have truly fantastical settings, and even longer in games with an open world element to those settings.

Games with closed stages I don’t play for long at all, and games in realistic settings, even those with large open worlds, I tend to play for shorter periods of time. One of these games was Fallout 4.

It’s an amazing setting with a great open world, but it’s semi-realistic. I found that despite the RPG element I got bored fairly quickly. I wasn’t sure why and I’ll probably go back but today I think I’ve made progress figuring out why.

I’ve been playing Ghost Recon Wildlands over the last couple of days in the open beta. Now, ignoring the little bits of the game that are broken and the atrocious vehicle physics (which were actually a source of more hilarity than frustration) I found that I felt alone in the world. Sure, I had three squad members with me, and there were pockets of enemies everywhere, the world was lifeless and bland and scripted.

((Full disclaimer here, I love the game and if it weren’t for being a little cash strapped I would have pre-ordered it))

Now one might say that Fallout is not the same, that there are many random events going on all over the map and sure, that is true. Patrols, random encounters with quest givers and a dog all make the world feel more alive, but still it always felt scripted. There was always a situation to be resolved and it was always fairly predictable. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it makes the world feel rigid.

So I looked at other games, ones that I played for ages. Skyrim and Dragon’s Dogma were the two that I looked at. Skyrim is a giant open world in a fantasy setting so it doesn’t ever feel too realistic. It has random encounters and lots of interesting things to explore and although the side quests tend to be pretty repetitive RPG standards, there was always more to them, a level of writing absent in most other games. Skyrim also had encounters spaced so that you often came across factions fighting or villages being attacked or that sort of thing. And with the modding in of civil war battles it had a lot of promise (before my old computer stopped being able to play it 😛 )

With Dragon’s Dogma it was different. Again an open world, but this one was smaller and slightly less open. It also had various different regions that had to be loaded. But the world was more alive. You couldn’t go anywhere without running into something, and even once I had levelled up so far that nothing was strong enough to face me I kept running through the standard game, start to finish without switching to hard mode, because there still felt like there was so much life in the world.

Which comes to board gaming. Board gaming is fun because of a number of reasons. First off, no scripting. Generally everything happens organically because of the players or the rules of the game. There are often no real ‘set pieces’ that you come across. Even in board games that have set pieces in general, you normally don’t come across the same ones in the same order more than once.

And then tabletop gaming and pen and paper RPGs add more complexity to physically playing nerd games. The only problem is the social aspect. You have to have someone to play with and most of the time at least two other people. This is frustrating when peoples’ schedules don’t line up, or a couple of the people involved keep backing out at the last minute.

Of course then there are physical activities as well. Things like Judo, Ju Jutsu, Bumper Soccer and the standard sports (cricket, rugby, soccer and so on) which are amazing fun or horrible torture depending on a number of things, normally again related to those you are playing with at whatever event it is.

Onto other things, I’m writing a new story now. It’s progressing at a snail’s pace but it’s progressing. I do not know whether I will actually post it as well, at least not until the Fallen is in its final form, but I will find out tonight whether I should or not. I have someone that can advise me 😛

Anyway, here are the links to the full first draft of the Fallen. Hope you all enjoy it and I look forward to hearing feedback of any form.

EDIT: I’m also looking to get a cover for at the very least the kindle version so if anyone would like to submit something I would be happy to see it. Just throw a link into the comments.

The link:

PDF, Kindle, ePub

And as before, my email address is on the about page if you’d like to donate to me.

Death, Affection, Fear, Anxiety and Separation and Chapter Thirteen

Where to begin…

Let’s start with the bits that aren’t in the title. I’ve had an interesting couple of weeks, the story has progressed far further than expected, I’ve almost burnt out at work, a friend that resurfaced has done so in a way that I would not have expected at all and a friend that I held in very high regard turned out to be more than I thought.

I also rejoined a website that I thought I’d put behind me, something I had been considering for a while but that I hadn’t gotten around to. As I finished the paragraph above I got a message asking me back and so I’ve gone back. It’s certainly going to be an interesting experience since the primary focus will be role playing.

Anyway, onto the above.

Death. I’ve always had an odd relationship with death. Very few people have affected me when they have passed, very few animals have either. I tend to get over death far quicker than society would see as normal, especially the social circles that I tend to find myself in. Today was the first time I witnessed it first hand and although I was there only as support for someone else it still affected me in a way in that moment.

But instead of feeling the mourning of passing, I felt relief for what was happening, I saw the future brighter than the present and so the death did not seem like a bad thing. I feel horrible for that fact, and I feel sympathy for those who lost a pet, but beyond that so far as death itself is concerned, I am still neutral.

Affection is an odd thing. It’s something that people show or don’t, crave or despise, understand or fear. Personally I show it and crave it but I do not understand it. I don’t fear it though, otherwise I’d be pretty screwed with the other two parts. One of my biggest problems is always figuring out how, when and who to show it to. Some people look like they need it, but you try and give it and they panic and freak out, or they take it as something it is not.

It’s a dangerous thing despite being something I truly believe is a good thing.

Which brings me to my next bit. Fear. What if I show affection at the wrong time? A few of the elements of my life at the moment hinge on the balance of affection. Too much and it will chase the person away, too little and they will drift away. Where is the pivot? I don’t think I’ll find out anytime soon.

And so anxiety builds. I know that there is a time limit on these things, I’ve had that happen too many times not to know that. But I don’t want to rush anything, there are too many factors that need to resolve, too many thoughts that need to be processed, too many dangers to overcome. So I remain cautious as my mind slowly decays into a nervous wreck.

One of the biggest difficulties is the flight response that I’ve spoken about recently. At the moment there is a separation between myself and someone who I don’t know what to think about and that separation should be eating at me. But it’s not. Somehow it hasn’t really changed anything in how my mind is working. At the back of it there is always that acknowledgement that the separation exists but beyond that… Nothing. My mind is treating this like the separation does not exist.

I don’t know if that’s a good thing yet.

 

Finally, I wrote two chapters in this interval. The pace is picking up and so the chapters are going by quicker so here we go.

Chapter Thirteen:

PDF, Kindle, ePub

And as before, my email address is on the about page if you’d like to donate to me.

 

Rhythm and Chapter Ten

First off let me start by saying that the second question from the previous post resolved positively so I was right that I just needed a little patience for it.

Beyond that I’ve been struggling to find my rhythm. It might just be because it’s the start of the year and this week is the first full week of the year (workwise), but I think there’s something more than that. With my brothers around and a new outlook on life that I didn’t expect to have I might actually be going through a major change and I’m still looking for what I had last year.

Hopefully once the change is complete I’ll be able to get back into the swing of things.

On that note, I have a chapter complete. I’ve had it done since the ninth, so on target for my writing, but I haven’t posted it yet because it’s far shorter than what I normally write. I’ve sat with it for the last two days, staring at it, waiting for more to come but every time I’ve ended up in the same place, with my mind saying it’s a full chapter and not giving me anything more.

So here it is, the tenth chapter. Hopefully the next one is longer again.

Chapter Ten:

PDF, Kindle, ePub

The full link:

PDF, Kindle, ePub

And as before, my email address is on the about page if you’d like to donate to me.

Oh right, one more thing. I got my first comment a couple of days ago 😛 It was spam unfortunately but progress is progress 😀

Indecision

So what does one write about when nothing comes immediately to mind? It’s been a harrowing couple of weeks, with a lot going on, some that has been good, some not so much.

I know that I’ve been lucky, nothing outright bad has happened to me, but I’ve watched friends go through some terrible events and, although I know this is a selfish take on it, there’s been nothing I could do to help.

On the bright side of life I don’t feel so alone, I have a great bunch of people who are talking to me currently, and they are positive despite the things happening to them. They always seem to be able to summon up a smile and that really does help with my own fragile mental ecosystem.

On the down side my ever present need for physical affection has been difficult to control, with bouts of the loneliness that defined most of my life hitting me more and more often.

Unfortunately I’ve also made the mistake of re-reading Palace during this time. Every time I read it I identify with the characters, and seeing their interactions, both the ones who succeed and the ones who are forbidden from succeeding, tends to make me long for what they have.

It’s not all bad though. There’s something overwhelmingly romantic about forbidden thoughts in my mind, and so even if nothing can happen, chatting to people who something could happen with but controlling my own responses and making sure they could never guess has a sort of thrill that normal relationships lack.

There have been a couple of stand out moments recently though. Not to do with romance but rather to do with feedback. When I work I make sure that I do my best to make myself welcome. I chat to people, make sure that I find out about them and instead of each person just being a customer I work on trying to make them feel like I’m one of them, like I’m part of whichever team they are on. Obviously this works better in places where the people actually get along with each other but even in places where they don’t, I listen to gripes and don’t take sides.

This last couple of weeks have seen people starting to accept me in more places and that always makes me feel like I’m doing the right thing.

One last thing and this is definitely a highlight. My mom recently bought herself a gaming PC, a stunning beast with a sixth gen i5, 16GB of RAM and a GTX1060 6GB graphics card. I got to set it up and play on it and being able to return to PC gaming… There are very few better feelings to me 😛

Anyway, enough rambling. I can feel my hubbly kicking in (It’s clean, forbidden substances do not appeal to me) and so it’s time to go work on The Fallen. Hopefully my writer’s block dissipates 😀