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.

 

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.

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.

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 πŸ˜›

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 πŸ˜€

Chapter Seven

Hopefully I manage to find something to write for this post to go with Chapter seven of the Fallen. My previous post has apparently already done fairly well, which considering its content is interesting. I didn’t think it was that great a post πŸ˜›

With two days left until this post… posts I guess I’ve had enough things happen to actually add to it, which honestly I was not expecting. I met someone who has had similar experiences going from a smaller scale technical environment to a much more corporate space and oddly enough their recounting of what they had gone through was quite similar to mine.

It makes me think that there’s a good chance that there are no good corporate spaces for a technician to work in if like me they want to fiddle with anything and everything they can get their hands one, be it hardware or software. (No warmware, that gets dangerous πŸ˜› )

On a different note I’ve finally taking the first step towards hosting a small gaming evening, one that would incorporate both esports as well as board games. I think it could be a lot of fun to run and of course to play in. With games like FIFA and Rocket league on the PS4 and various more complex board games like Arkham Horror and Game of Thrones it could lead to a very diverse and interesting group of people.

Regarding the Fallen, I wrote the entire last section of the now current chapter in one night and I know that at some points it is rushed. Please don’t hesitate to point those spots out as well as any spelling or grammar errors you find.

Anyway, the links below are for the story.

Chapter Seven:

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.

Repetition

One of my big challenges with this blog is that many of the things I face day to day are the same things that I would usually write about. While this might suggest that it should be easy to write due to the huge amount that there is to write about, I hate repetition and so I struggle along, trying to remember what I’ve written before and trying to avoid repeating myself.

Luckily this week hasn’t been as dead as it could have been outside of those ‘usual’ things. I’ve managed to get myself writing far more regularly in the Fallen, averaging a section a day (there are normally about ten in a chapter) since Wednesday. Although this doesn’t sound like much if I manage to create a habit that maintains this schedule it will make my target of two chapters a month that much easier to maintain.

I also had an interesting idea for another character in the story, and a potential answer to one of the questions that had come up in my mind when I was writing it. But that will only come either at the end of this arch (an arch is about three chapters) and even then I can not say for sure since a lot could change in three chapters.

Back in the real world, I’m organising a beautiful gaming machine for someone, hoping to order it tomorrow and have it by the end of the week. With an i5-6500, 16GB of RAM and a 6GB GeForce 1060 card it’s going to be a wonderful machine, and on top of that I’ll likely get to use it often since the person I’m organising it for only has one game that they’d like to play – Obduction by Cyan Worlds.

I also have a very interesting new friend, someone who I’ve known for ages but never really have been able to completely loosen up around. We discovered in a fairly awkward exchange that the reasons we had been so up tight around each other were in fact the same on both side, the worry that the other person isn’t really interested but maintained contact because they had to.

Needless to say that the removal of those limits on the conversation have led to someone new to discover.

And finally yesterday was an amazing day. A group of us went out to the Lion’s River Craft BreweryΒ and had an absolute blast. I’m not by nature a beer drinker, I can not stand the stuff, at least so I thought. The beers that we tasted and then ordered and drank yeserday were amazing. They are carbonated by yeast activation rather than by pumping CO2 through them and so they aren’t really fizzy.

Without the fizz of a standard beer I could actually taste what I was drinking and with the explanations of how everything was made, where the various ingredients came from and so on it made the experience a lot of fun.

Anyway, enough for now πŸ™‚ Time to return to life πŸ˜›

 

Oh, and go have some fun – Get Jinxed