Loss and definitions

So, loss first. Over the past couple of months my life has been going through a sort of spring cleaning. A number of people have exited out of it and for the most part I’m a fair amount better for it.

But there are a couple of people who have left that I thought more of. I believed that no matter what they would still be around. And the reasons they left seem almost trivial to me.

Now, I know that those reasons are not trivial, I am not in any way saying that they don’t have a good reason or that they should not have left. It might have been important to them, it may have been absolutely necessary for reasons beyond what I was privy to, but to me it seems random and unnecessary and in one case hurtful (not that the other case didn’t hurt but that’s because of the loss, not the way it was done.)

The first of those losses I’m pretty sure I’ve spoken of before, a friend who wanted more and who constantly pushed for it even though we had agreed that it wouldn’t happen.
The other I haven’t spoken about recently. In that case it was also because of wanting more that things deteriorated, but in this case we had agreed it wasn’t going to work, at least not in the situations that we were in. And so I thought that we were moving on.

And so I did.

And then that person removed themselves from my life.

It’s a loss that I suspected might come, but it didn’t make it any easier to deal with and I think it might have been one of the things holding me back of late, preventing me from focusing on writing and the like. Keeping me binge watching Criminal Minds and playing stupid games instead of the things that I really want to be doing or playing.

I’ll admit though, the binge watching hasn’t been so bad.

 

Onto the next topic, definitions.

Recently there have been a number of people on social media in South Africa saying stupid things like Colonialism is a good thing because of (insert reason here). First off, there are a number of things that annoy me about the outcry around all of this, and in many cases I’m pretty understanding of both sides.

In some cases I feel like things are taken out of context and then turned on the people in question, the hyper-sensitivity causing an outcry over a message that has been twisted to suit a certain narrative.

In other cases I feel like people are being truly bigoted and purposefully trying to cause hurt and hate around them.

And then in others I feel like people are being ignorant.

Right, here goes me actually weighing in on something.

Recently Helen Zille made a statement seemingly defending colonialism. She said a number of short-sighted and honestly stupid things about the country, distancing herself from the people she clearly is supposed to be a part of. The article I read was fairly scathing of her, and I think rightfully so, but the comments were mostly either apologetic of her, listing all the things she did in the apartheid era, or otherwise defensive with the whole ‘it’s a problem because she’s white’ line.

Now, the point she was trying to make was that good things came of Colonialism. I feel that yes, there were side effects that were not bad, the ones that she mentioned.

However, that was not colonialism. That was scientific progress.

Colonialism, in my view, is the subjugation of nations by another. Subjugation in any form is not something to be applauded.

Scientific Progress is self explanatory and we see it every day. The computers we work on, the TVs we buy, the mobile networks we use, the medicines we take… all of those things are scientific progress, and we did not need colonialism to get the latest gadgets.

Humanity is about experimentation. Through experimentation we have arrived at systems that work, constitutions, judiciary systems and the like all had a number of iterations before they arrived where they are today. Yes, colonialism spread the systems we now take for granted but it was not necessary. In the end, seeing something working and working well for someone else leads to us trying the same and if it works great, if it doesn’t, adapt or find something different. Again, it’s how people work.

So although her point of ‘Colonialism brought these things to South Africa’ stands, it is not a point that can be used to defend the horrors that are colonialism in general.

Anyway, there’s my little political rant 😛

Comments and debate are always welcome 🙂

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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:

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The full link:

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

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:

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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 😛

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 😀

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 😛

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 😛 )

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.

A week

So how does one both write everything they think to write, as well as increase the frequency of the writing they’re already doing?

Honestly, I don’t know what’s the best way but I’m going to try and just write it piece at a time, save the draft and at the end of the week (which I still haven’t decided when that’ll be) I post whatever I’ve written. So here it goes.

Today has been interesting, my mind has been churning, going over a million things all at once, most of them inconsequential but a few of them things that I would love to pursue further. For the most part they are silly things, little projects here and there that should be easy enough to start up.

But then you get the bigger things, those things that I’d love to pursue but would be so bad for me and anyone around me that it stops me from even seriously considering them. Those things are the type that seem to be squirming over the top of all others at the moment. And the worst part is that certain surrounding circumstances are seriously suggesting that those horrible and good thoughts are likely to spill over soon.

 

For the sake of people who might be interested in the above, it didn’t work for me. My mind spun through things quickly enough but somehow none of it seemed to flow well enough for me to add to here. So I’ve decided to scrap this idea and just write when I feel like it. It means shorter posts sometimes but hopefully it will also mean more frequent posts.

One of the things that my mind has been spinning about was something that happened to me recently. Normally, or rather in most normal people, what happened would have led to one of two things. In my case, that thing would have been a progression of what had happened.

But my life is governed by a fear of failure, I’ve written about it before along with the impulsive nature of many of my decisions. One might think that the one precludes the other but unfortunately that’s not the case. The fear is deep enough that the first and foremost thought is always how wrong things would go.

Rejection is probably the form of failure I fear the most. Growing up as I did, outcast and rejected and teased, I expect it from most people and the pain that it causes, the memories it raises, are generally enough to stop me from even risking it.

But what happened that made my mind spin suggests that I won’t be rejected. An amazing night out, conversation that seemed to flow, a lack of judgement. I truly felt like I was welcome, which is rare when I go out.

But that wasn’t what set everything spinning. It was only when I decided to leave that my mind lost its way. I went to say bye to the people I was there with, got the standard round of salutations and then got to the person who had made me feel like I was welcome. I don’t know much about her, what I’ve seen has been on odd nights out or while she was working and so when I said cheers I sort of half waved.

And then she moved forward for a hug, which I returned.

This in itself isn’t really odd, I enjoy hugs as a form of salutation. I come from a mostly Afrikaans background when it comes to social gatherings and so hugs and kisses are standard. Obviously since this wasn’t family the kisses were out of the question.

What set me off was the lingering nature of the hug, a hand trailing down my side and not quite pulling away. I dismissed it, I was convinced I was reading into nothing.

And yet a couple of minutes later, after someone tried to convince me to stay (which I couldn’t due to work) we parted ways again. And again there was a hug, and again there was that lingering hold.

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.

Hopefully this will help.

Chapter six, Bigotry and pessimism

The world is based around complaints and negatives. You go out and randomly select ten news websites and they’ll be reporting on something terrible that’s happened, or is happening, or it’ll be an opinion piece complaining about something that has gotten the author’s attention.

Even out in the world the people I’ve been listening to lately are all complaining about this and that and how things are going to pot. Everyone is bracing for something terrible to happen. (Grand generalisation I know)

Here in South Africa we hear of the student protests, our government destroying the country both inside and out and rampant racism.

And yet every day I see the strength of people. Little moments that show that everyone is living their lives to the best of their ability and will help whoever they can. Today I watched a man stall at a robot. The people in the turning lane, the last car in that lane, got out and helped him push start his car, as did a beggar from the other side of the street.

The man was black, as was the beggar, the people from the car were white but none of them cared. The man was grateful for the help, the people from the car and the beggar glad to give it and life carried on and was that little bit better. In that moment, all involved were merely people and nothing more, not categorised in any way.

Yes, sure, I pointed out their differences here but that’s only to emphasise my own point. People are becoming less aware of the boxes that they are traditionally placed in so quickly.

Who knows, maybe the fairly deathly looking situation that’s out of our control is forcing everyone to realise that fighting between each other isn’t worth it. We’re all in this together and it’s time the change came.

On to the story, as always the links are below. I’m hoping to increase the frequency of both my blog posts as well as the release of my story chapters. I’m hoping to put those up twice a month, while the blog posts I’m hoping to write about once a week. I’m still figuring out the details of both those things, the day I’m going to be posting on and the date for the chapters. Thoughts would be welcome 🙂

Chapter Six:

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The full link:

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

 

Turning

As we go through life, facing the challenges that come our way, we encounter moment when the answer seems so easy.

And yet for one reason or another we shy away from those easy answers. When those easy answers then get backup up by other things in your life, random moments in tv series that refer to the exact subject you’re worrying about for example, you start to wonder whether you should just go with the easy answer.

But for me I’ve always doubted those easy answers, put them down, rationalised them away. Often I’ll look back at it afterwards and curse myself for being a fool but in the moment the stakes always feel too high.

What do you do then? Do you start to take those risks? I don’t worry about their effects on me so much as the effect on other people. Many of the decisions I face involve changing lives in ways that I don’t always think would be beneficial for anyone. But then again, that’s one of the things I tell myself in my rationalisation.

Every now and again I want to take a chance, to plunge myself so deep into the moment that I can no longer see the future or the past. So far, I’ve always stopped myself but it might not be long before I do it. On that day I imagine my world will change, for good or for bad, forever.

Exhaustion

Life always has a way of catching up to you eventually. Whether it’s in a good or a bad way depends on what it’s catching up to. This isn’t to say that everything we get we deserve but at the same time everything does eventually happen for a reason.

And whether you believe that that reason is ordained by God or a god, or otherwise by a random series of events that dictates which of the multiverses we exist in that’s up to you.

The last two weeks have been long. A lot has gone wrong, some things that I fully had control over, some that I helped cause and many things that happened without any warning or reason.

Workwise it’s been full work days and late hours. This isn’t too bad, it’s engaging and I enjoy the challenges that lead to having to keep going beyond closing. It’s one of the reasons I love my job. It is tiring though and today it caught up with me. I got home, ate and then passed out. I don’t know what time I did, but I woke up a little while ago feeling groggy and disoriented.

This is probably a side effect of the fact that over the last few days I haven’t been sleeping well. Although I’ve been asleep earlier than usual on a couple of occasions (and the usual time the others) I still wake up feeling like I haven’t slept. I’m hoping I manage to catch up over the next couple of days without throwing my entire pattern out of sync.

Emotianally things have not been great. I got told I was selfish and manipulating by someone I care about deeply. It actually really hurt, even if I could understand why my actions could have been seen as selfish I still don’t understand how the jump was made to me being manipulating. It was a shot that I couldn’t actually just ignore, one that took the whole situation from being manageable to me feeling like nothing more than a punching bag.

For the first time in a long time it’s made me protect myself.

Hopefully Sunday changes that. I’m going to be going to play board games for the first time in far too long with people who are absolutely amazing. I’m sure it’ll be great, these games always are but it will be the first time I’m playing them with people who aren’t necessarily gamers of some form.

Let’s hope it goes well.

 

((As an aside my project is floating around in my mind at the moment with a couple of interesting ideas but I haven’t been able to put them to paper yet. Looking forward to that 🙂 ))

Chapter four, reunion and catastrophe

So, first up chapter four. This chapter is the first one that I’ve managed to actually complete before my self-imposed deadline, which is actually pretty impressive when you consider that at the beginning of this project I was worried I wouldn’t be able to make a single month, let alone three more after that.

As usual the links are at the bottom of the page. In addition to the usual ones there is a link that will always be to the latest edition (rather than the labelled chapter one.)

This chapter is also the first one that happens post fall as such so new characters are going to start coming into the world, and things will hopefully begin to crystallize into whatever patterns they feel like taking.

 

The friend that I spoke about in the previous post, the one I hadn’t heard from in forever, she actually replied to my email and we’ve been chatting again. It really has been a lot of fun and lifted me the last of the way out of the spiral I’d so recently managed to stop.

She’s doing well and so many changes have happened in her life that it’s actually made me feel like my own has been pretty stable in comparison.

 

And now for the most recent development. The friend that I talk about most often on this blog called me tonight. I can’t say that I expected the call however at the same time I was expecting it to come.

I worry a little that it wasn’t actually the call that I was expecting, and that maybe this is more about me having inadvertently manipulated a situation. With my family being what it is, we’re all pretty good at controlling people. It’s led to some interesting situations in a household where we end up doing things that we really didn’t expect and then figure out later why.

Hopefully this isn’t one of those situations.

 

Anyway, as usual, the links follow below.

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.