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 πŸ˜› )

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 πŸ˜›

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 πŸ™‚

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.

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 πŸ˜› It was spam unfortunately but progress is progress πŸ˜€

Return

So… For the first time in a very long time I’ve had a holiday which actually felt like one. It allowed me to recharge in a way that I hadn’t before and so, even though I’m physically tired I’m mentally more stable than I’ve been in a long time.

So much so that I managed to resolve a couple of events that I probably would never have gone near in my previous state.

Or at least, half resolved. The first was asking a question that I’ve had in my mind for a long time, one that honestly made it difficult to focus in many ways. I asked the question, got an answer (not the one I was expecting, nor the one that I expected assuming it wasn’t the first.) And here’s where I really am happy with my state of mind; it didn’t freak out. The question has not had any effect on the way I see the person and our interactions are still as comfortable as before.

The second event, which is the not entirely resolved one, was less successful in that I did not get a response. However, the fact that I actually went through with asking what I wanted to is why I still count it as a success. And there’s still time for a response so who knows.

 

For those of you wondering about the Fallen, I have started writing again after my break and there will be a chapter on the tenth. I’m going to try another system for myself soon and see whether it works. So far I’ve been writing a chapter and then waiting to post it before writing the next one. I want to try and get ahead a little bit now.

Which brings me onto something else, I suspect the story is nearing its close. What this means is that the first draft is almost finished. I can’t see there being more than another two parts, maybe three since there’s an idea floating around my head that I think relates to the Fallen as well. A part is normally three chapters at the moment so I’m probably looking at finishing off sometime in April unless I manage to push through it earlier than that.

This is significant because it will be the first extended story I’ve finished inΒ  a very long time and, assuming I don’t freak out, it will be the first time I go back to a story to start editing it. Once I’ve done that it’s into ‘testing’ as such, allowing people close to me to read it, looking for continuity errors (of which I’m sure there are a few) and English mistakes. Once that’s done then I’ll look at expanding on parts that need expansion and eventually, hopefully before the end of the year, I’ll finally look at publishing it.

So, that’s me at the moment. I hope to share a lot more with you all. Ciao.

Confusion and Chapter Nine

So, last night I GMed a new RPG system called Faith. It was interesting and I think it might have some potential. My gripes with it are small (the rules are set out terribly) and all in all it was a fairly enjoyable experience.

However.

We looked at their webstore to find that most of the stuff is out of stock. Now, normally it wouldn’t be too much of a problem but what it meant for us was that we are unlikely to ever get more into the game, which is unfortunate because we are seriously thinking of doing so. I could create resources from scratch, the system is fairly easy to do that for, but that means that I have to come up with not just the creatures but also all of their stats.

Anyway, beyond the gaming I got home at around one in the morning, which isn’t normally a problem, but the whole day yesterday I believed that it was the tenth, and so I was panicking about the Fallen, since I hadn’t actually written the chapter yet. I knew what was going in the chapter but for some reason I had not been able to actually get the time to write it.

So I sat down and wrote.

An hour later I finally finished. My eyes were burning and I was properly exhausted. So I decided to leave the blog post until morning.

Of course this morning came around and I checked the date -_- I was not impressed with myself.

Otherwise things are going well, I finally got the use of my ‘lounge’ area back thanks to the stuff that was being stored there finally being removed. The day contained a lot of painting and stuff but it’s definitely been worth it. Tomorrow I start actually moving things around and getting ready to actually live here after a year of just staying in one room.

The links below are for the story.

Chapter Nine:

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.

Late? And chapter eight.

So once again this post is technically late. The reason for it this time is a little different to the last though. This time the post is late because I thought I had already done it. I uploaded the story a couple of days ago and a couple of people have already read it.

And so my mind filled in the blank.

Since it’s been such a short time since my last post and since most of what’s happened has been basically reinforcing other recent posts this will remain a short one with nothing but the links in it. I hope you’re enjoying the story.

One more thing, it’s been difficult to write two chapters in a month. My mind rebelled against it and especially once I realised that the previous chapter was shorter than usual due to my smaller screen but I think if I can keep it up I’ll be able to get to a point where I can actually write something from start to finish in a decent amount of time.

The links below are for the story.

Chapter Eight:

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.