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.

Where to restart

So, somehow it’s been a few weeks since my last post. I honestly have no idea how that happened. During that time I’ve been on leave (during which I actually went away) and have had various wonderful and awful things happen.

I’m going to gloss over most of those though.

What I can start with is the fact that I’ve been learning Japanese using Duolingo. It’s been interesting, with a fairly high level of frustration in certain areas. Mostly it’s been going into the sentences, things like “John is American” are not exactly simple to figure out from the hiragana and unfortunately I forget what some of them sound like now and again.

Which isn’t a problem when I’m translating to English, but it’s a huge problem when I’m translating to Japanese. Now with other languages (French for example) when you put in the French words it reads them for you. But for some reason they don’t do that for Japanese, a language that uses what could very well be an alien alphabet when I’m under pressure.

So that’s been interesting as I said before.

Beyond that I’ve still been gaming. I’ve been getting better at both Dota and CS:GO, with the former getting to the point where I’m actually getting a little more confident. The latter isn’t going badly either, although competitively I’m still facing more losses than wins.

Anyway, for now that’s all the updating that I’m going to spill, but below is hopefully the last bit of that dream that I started in the previous two posts. I hope that it doesn’t feel as awkward as the previous section.

 

After what seems like hours of the mindless meandering we arrive in a room which is unlike the others. It lacks the mind-boggling perception of the corridors we took to get here and standing on a table in the middle of the room is a doll’s house, front up hiding its contents.

Slowly we approach the model, my companion seemingly wary of it. I can’t help but understand that feeling as I feel my own heart pounding in my chest, fear clutching at my throat and making it hard to breathe.

Once we’re close enough to inspect it I lean forward and look in through one of the windows. To my horror I see someone moving around inside, checking the windows and staring out at us but apparently not seeing us.

I realise as she pauses at another window that it is the girl from the foyer, except she is unarmed now and wearing a pale blue dress not unlike the one Alice is depicted in in most of the Alice in Wonderland renditions.

“This is a problem.” my companion states matter of factly, looking around the room as if looking for something specific. I turn to look at him, inviting elaboration.

“We have to destroy this model to get out, but when we do the real house will start to collapse. We’ll be able to get out fine, but if we start without her knowing, she could die.” he explains coolly.

“Can’t we get her out?” I respond curiously, leaning closer to the glass as if to try and let her know we’re here.

“Not without going in ourselves.” he replies grimly, “and even then it’s not likely we’d make a clean escape. The best option right now is to leave her be and hope.”

“There must be something we can do.” I can hear the whine in my voice, the hatred of helplessness coming through but he just shakes his head.

“There isn’t always a solution to everything.” he says, walking over to a corner table and ripping off a leg. He returns to the house. “Which side of the house is she in?” I point to the last window I saw her at and he nods.

“Luckily on the same side that we are.” He says before swinging the leg down on the opposite side of the house. A crunching crash shatters the silence and the floor seems to lurch under our feet again. I somehow manage to keep my balance and take off after him as he begins to sprint into the corridors again.

I can hear the house starting to fall, the initial crash now followed by various creaks and smaller crunches that I can only assume are floors, walls and ceilings becoming nothing but rubble. As we run I wonder whether we’ll be able to make it out in time.

As if in answer the ceiling above my head starts to droop and then falls away, the board landing on the floor just behind me before the walls collapse in as well.

“Almost there.” my companion reassures me and sure enough as we round the next corner the entrance hall comes into view. We rush down the stairs, having to dodge the steps that disappear before us but somehow make it to the door and out just in time. There we wait, watching for the girl.

The house collapses with no sign of her.

I stand there staring blankly at the rubble, unable to believe what I had gone through or the fact that the girl was gone. Slowly I start to walk towards the broken building, wondering where to even start.

“I see you two survived.” I hear the commander’s voice behind me, obviously talking to my companion but I ignore it, focusing on not losing my footing as I venture into the rubble and over it, looking everywhere for some hint that she could be here still.

Some time later I finally find her. In what I can only assume was a stairwell she lay sprawled on the floor on her back. She looked like she had been knocked out by falling debris, bits of roof and ceiling lying all around her, a large gash in her forehead. Strangely she’s still wearing the Alice in Wonderland dress.

I move over to her and check her for other injuries before slowly lifting her and moving to carry her out.

Standing on the rubble, looking over me with a glint of approval is my companion. I glare at him, anger bubbling inside me for no reason I can find as I make my way over the rubble and to safety.

Gaming

So over the last few weeks I’ve been getting back into my gaming, which I’ve spoken about recently.

Last I wrote it was still half and half on whether it was going to continue properly. Since then I’ve gotten to the point where I feel like I’m holding my own in matches, both in Dota as well as CS. I wouldn’t say I’m competitive just yet, but at the same time I don’t feel like I’m holding my team back anymore.

What does this mean in the grand scheme of things? Nothing really. It just means that for me it’s a little more enjoyable than it was before. I don’t mind playing terribly. But when you’re in a team of five, any one person not carrying their weight leads to a terrible experience for everyone.

That’s not to say I’m not having bad moments. In the last game I started terribly (Dota), feeling like I was being left behind by the rest of the team. Until we started roaming together, at which point from the kills we managed to score I caught up in levels and net worth and so was able to start providing a meaningful contribution.

What I also found was that I was using my spells in a completely different way from what I was used to. I was using them for utility rather than for damage and that in itself is a great little piece of progress.

Anyway, onto why I actually came here. Let’s try and not screw up part two of last night’s story 🙂

 

Having seen what had been living in the house where I had been staying I couldn’t take it anymore. And so I moved to another abandoned house. This one was a bit more remote. From what I had heard it was tied up in so much red tape that no one wanted to buy it and so despite the fact that it was a mansion, it was uninhabited.

I wasn’t complaining.

I look around, once again waking with a start. I’m certain I heard a footstep downstairs, the entrance hall just outside my door. Cautiously I peer around the corner and I see a lady slowly walking in from the main doors.

My eyes are drawn to her left hand in which she’s holding a hand crossbow with a loop on the front. Although I can’t see clearly from where I am, I catch a reflection off the tip and it confirms my suspicion.

This woman has the same kind of bolt as the man from before.

“You again.” his voice comes from behind me. I turn nonchalantly, trying to hide my surprise at not having heard his approach at all.

“Who is this?” another voice asks, a woman this time, from in the shadows in the corner of the room.

“I bumped into him on my last job.” he explained to the shadow. I turned to look back to the woman in the hall but she was gone. At the back of my mind I wondered whether she was in fact the shadow.

“Coincidence. Get him out of here.” she commands. The man seems to consider this for a moment then shakes his head.

“I don’t think it was. I’m going to keep him with me.” he responds before handing me a hand crossbow from deep within his trench. “Point and shoot, it won’t hurt any of them.” he says with confidence. I take it and stare down the sight before lowering it, keeping it mostly level.

“This is on your own head if it goes wrong.” I sense her leave somehow, wondering where she went considering there were no other exits to the room.

“Don’t make me regret this.” he says gruffly before leading the way out into the corridor. I have no idea where we’re going or even what we’re looking for but I follow nevertheless, crossbow ready, expecting something around every corner.

It isn’t long before we hear a sound that does not belong, a deep sighing sound that somehow doesn’t seem human or animal.

“Shit.” he says as I hear a creaking behind me. I turn quickly, raising the crossbow and firing at a silhouette against the one wall.

The shattering sound of glass precedes the splattering of water and a slight hissing sound.

As the hiss becomes louder the ground heaves and shivers throwing me to the floor.

“Well done newbie, it’s the house.” he says angrily. He grabs me by the collar and lifts me roughly before leading deeper into the house, moving far quicker now.

Somewhere in the distance we hear a scream and then a sucking noise which ends the former. I say nothing, focusing on reloading the crossbow, trying not to think of what may have just happened.

“We need to find the heart.” he says quickly, his voice rushed but despite the fact that I’m already feeling tired, he doesn’t sound like he’s working at all. I follow him at this quickened pace, starting to need to push myself but not wanting to let him down.

As we move further the house begins to start playing tricks on us, the corridors become formless and indistinguishable and I can swear that we pass the same ‘landmarks’ multiple times. I don’t question it only because the man seems to know what he’s doing, although I do notice that if we get to a fork or a turn, he always goes left.

 

Well, it seems like there will be another section after this, although it’s likely to be far shorter.  I do feel like this section is less interesting and less well written than the previous but right now it’s not really about that and more about actually getting this story out there. Hopefully tomorrow evening I finish it and then I can get to the point of this section of posts.

Reflection

Weakness has been a recurring theme in my thoughts on what to write lately. I’m not sure if it’s such a bad thing.

You see in seeing weakness in yourself you can address it, work at it, strengthen those places that need reinforcement and move forward.

On the other hand though you can look at your weakness and loath yourself because of it, hating that you can’t do it alone or can’t seem to ask for help or don’t seem to be able to progress or whatever is the result of your weakness.

I had a dream a little while ago which I thought at the time, I should definitely write that one out. Now though it’s a faded memory with a couple of scenes that stuck in my mind. Why didn’t I follow through on that thought? Because I didn’t think I’d be able to do it justice. Which is stupid.

If you don’t try, you can’t fail.

If you don’t try, you can’t succeed.

So which is more important? Not failing? Or not succeeding? Most of my life I’ve lived by the first. Lately though I’ve had something that’s been driving me to try the second and for the most part it has gone pretty well.

But the last couple of weeks have been hard on myself and that inspiration. I’ve found myself turning inward and losing myself in my own mind more and more often. And it’s holding me back just as it did before.

So now, despite the fact that that dream of mine is a couple of weeks old, and my mind is still telling me I’m going to mess it up, here it comes.

 

I wake up with a start, looking around at the shattered remains of my life; the dark, dingy and abandoned building where I’ve been staying since everything fell apart. I sigh deeply, shaking my head before putting my palm to my forehead. It’s been two weeks since I left my flat, leaving almost everything behind. I still can’t tell you why I did it either, nevermind the fact that I’ve been pondering that point ceaselessly for just as long.

Slowly I stand, something making the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end, that feeling of being watched coming on strong. It hasn’t been unfamiliar in this place but this time it’s stronger than usual and somehow, this time I can also feel something else.

There’s a sense of hate in this moment.

I reached down and picked up my pack, keeping my back to one of the walls as I slowly sidle out into the passage. There I start to jog, heading for the entrance, no longer mindful of what I’m putting behind me, everything telling me “It’s time to get out.”

I do exactly that.

Standing on the street outside I look back at the house, my head cocked slightly, trying to figure out what exactly had just happened, checking at the windows and door to see if I can spot anything that could have been giving me the feeling of being watched.

There’s nothing at any of them.

“You’re lucky to be alive.” A gruff voice says beside me. I jump away from the sound, turning in the air and landing in a defensive stance. A man is standing there wearing a wide-brimmed hat and a crimson trench coat made of what looks like leather. He exudes an air of confidence but more than that he makes me feel distinctly inadequate.

“What are you talking about?” I can’t help but ask. He turns to me, curiosity in his dark features. I can’t see his eyes through the shadows of his hat but I can see the stubble across his chin and cheeks, scars causing criss-crossing patterns of places that have no hair.

“With how quickly you got out, I thought you already knew…” he pauses after he speaks, obviously considering something. “It’ll be easier to show you, come with me.” his voice holds a note of command that I feel it would have been nigh impossible to resist even if I wasn’t curious to see what he was talking about.

He leads the way back into the house, walking with absolute confidence. As he crosses the threshold he draws what looks like a crossbow with a ‘water bolt’ loaded into it. I note a piece of string from the tip of the bolt to a reel on the underside of the crossbow.

As I follow him the feeling of unease comes back, that feeling of being watched by something that loathes me.

“It doesn’t like you.” he says conversationally, not turning back to look at me at all, his mind focused on something else. I don’t say anything in return, I have nothing to say.

Suddenly he stops and turns, lifting the crossbow and bringing it to bear, his wrist resting on my shoulder. I hear a twang and then another before the shattering sound of glass and the hissing of acid follow. Quickly now I duck and turn, looking up at a beast that has half of its face melting away. My mind can’t fully comprehend what it’s seeing, the facial make-up of this thing too alien to process.

I watch helplessly as it slowly topples forward, its body falling towards me. As I brace myself for the impact that must surely come the thing turns to mist and disperses around me.

Silence follows in that moment, my heart in my throat.

When I look back to where the man had been I find only air.

 

Well, oddly enough this isn’t even the part that I remembered. There is another section coming, hopefully soon.

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.

 

Something Beautiful

This post will be a little different to usual. I do not know exactly how it will go or where it will go.

First up, sunflowers. Sunflowers have been an important item in my life for quite a while. Ever since I first saw The Sin Eater I have often had them in my mind and they have had a special place in my heart. At certain times during the year, on my way to Nottingham Road there are often sunflowers along the highway and they always life my heart.

The next bit is where things differ my my normal fare here.

A field of grass and rocks spreads out as far as the eye can see. Everything there is either bland and boring, or hard and cold. Even though every entity there is unique, everything looks the same, each cluster of rocks just like every other, each blade of grass swaying in time with others around it.

Here and there are patches of colour, groups of flowers red and blue, but even here where there is difference, there is still a sameness.

A boulder juts out of the centre of the field, easy to dismiss and like so many others it is unremarkable on its own.

But at its side, standing taller than almost anything around it is a sunflower, its bright yellow petals setting it apart from even other sunflowers in the field. It stands alone near the boulder, facing the sun as the light bathes the field.

As night begins to fall, the flower lilts to the side and for a moment it touches the boulder. In that moment a light dusting of yellow pollen spreads to the boulder and the following morning, unlike every other morning, that boulder becomes as unique as the flower beside it.

A single act can change the world, a single moment that leaves its mark. Something out there will always make the world a brighter place even in this time of grey and green blandness.

 

 

The youtube playlist is a series of songs that played while the event above came to mind. Hope you enjoy it 🙂

Chapter eleven

So, until last night I actually couldn’t write chapter eleven. I had a serious mental block and I suspect it was related to the run instinct that I was fighting. With that spoken about it meant I could move forward, even if I can’t fully get rid of the instinct.

So, without further ado, here is chapter eleven. I believe there will be a total of fifteen chapters by the time I’m finished so we’re getting close now.

Chapter Eleven:

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.

Dream Big and Run

So, let’s start with the the first part of the title. Dream big.

A good friend of mine is a little demoralised by something that keeps happening to her, an event that she keeps gearing herself up for that keeps falling through. My advice was accept it, but there’s more to it than that.

People always say dream big, because if you don’t you’ll never achieve anything big… which is all well and good but they tend to forget that when you’re telling someone that, you really should assume they’re stupid. (I was as well.)

You see, people hear dream big and so they do that. But the problem is, they do only that. They have this big life goal and they make it something that ‘must’ happen. But what they don’t do it look at how to get there. Sure they’ll get a job and save up and so on, and some people will even plan a little, but they don’t actually have goals that are achievable that will lead up to their big dream.

And so they waft, waiting for the circumstances to be right, never achieving their goal and often, never achieving anything else either (or at least, nothing they would count)

So far, so negative.

What I realised today is this: I had a goal, it wasn’t big by most people’s standards but it was very important for me.

And I failed.

It was only recently that I broke it down. I set myself lots of little goals that would make the big goal if not a reality then a very definite possibility. And to my amazement it worked. Something about making these smaller goals made the bigger goal that much easier to approach and that much less intimidating. I’ve made progress on my big goal and I’m even thinking that one of my other goals which I had written off might actually be within reach rather than a pipe dream.

So my advice is this: Dream big, go for it, because those people were right, dreaming big allows you to achieve great things.

But remember to break it down into things you can achieve now and in the short term and when you have created the circumstances for the big thing to happen, then it will happen.

 

Right, now into the second part.

I struggle with some interesting issues. Mentally I am quite unstable and there are many times where to try and heal myself, I start to reject everything. It’s why since December last year I’ve struggled to do anything at all. I’m demoralised and afraid and my mind is trying to fix itself by shutting down.

Unfortunately even though over the holidays I got a decent amount of rest, I didn’t deal with whatever it was that has been bugging me. Instead I avoided it, I ran from my problems and found myself in whatever world my games took place in.

Currently I haven’t fixed that cycle. I’m tired, scared of everything and everyone and overwhelmed the moment someone say ‘hi’ to me. Since I work in IT, and work with people all day every day, this is a problem.

It means that every friend who messages me triggers that overwhelmed feeling, and so every message has the chance of sending me over the edge and when that finally does happen, I don’t know where I will run to. Already my mind is screaming at me to get out, to leave, to go somewhere where no one will find me.

Except that when it says that it’s not actually suggesting that I do that at all. It’s telling me something very specific, something that honestly I don’t want to do. I have options on alternate lives, things I can do that would completely change everything I know and in some ways things would be better for me.

But I don’t want to do that, because although change might be a good idea, I have a very real feeling that if I ever take the most prominent alternate path I would probably end up hating it and loathing myself, which could trigger other responses beyond just the ‘run’ one I’m currently facing.

But on the other hand the ‘run’ option is attractive for a number of reasons. My mind claims that I will be more free, less pressured, more able to calm down.

Except I know that it’s not true. I’ll have fewer releases, fewer ways to vent my own anxieties and on top of that the work that I could end up doing is likely to destroy my soul in a way that the distress I’m feeling now never will.

So I’m stuck, needing to run but with nowhere to go, and so I stay in one place and push everything else away. I run while not moving, neither forward nor back, desperately trying to find that place I need to be without really looking for it.