I Should Be Writing

If you’re able to watch the video, please do. If you’re at work, or you reading this in bed while your partner is sleeping, or can’t have the volume on for some other reason, you can skip down and I will paraphrase what I mention in the video.

I should be writing, but I’m not quite certain which of my many projects I should tackle first. I’ve been neglecting my writing lately, and I’ve decided to make a real effort to get back into the habit of writing everyday, even if I’m tired. Which has been a big part of it.

Working at the Brown Cow can be exhausting. Even when it’s slow we’re supposed to keep busy, and I’m often so tired when I get a day off that I’d rather nap and veg out playing Skyrim. Skyrim is one of my favourite games ever and I’m having some fun with the Xbox One mods. I’m disappointed that I can’t get the Sheogorath follower mod to work though.

My Dad, who is doing very well in Kidwelly, told me on his last visit that I should write my story. My autobiography. I’m not so sure about this since I’ve always thought my own life wasn’t terribly interesting. I’m aware though that it’s just because I’m used to it that it seems boring and normal, whilst other people seem so interesting in comparison.

I’m going to skip over a bit here and get to the point. I think I’m going to give it a try, but I’m going to add my own twist on the classic format. It’ll be a branchpoint series. The first book will be as true as I can make it, from my perspective. My actual story. The sequels will be ‘what if’ scenarios.

The scenario that immediately leaps to mind when I imagine doing this is the night Monica called me up, at 3am, crying and apologising for sleeping with some other guy. At the time she hadn’t been back in the states that long, we hadn’t actually said we were exclusive. In fact I was surprised that she’d stayed in touch at all.

I think this was a defining moment in my life. I told her that it was okay, we never said we were exclusive. It’ll be alright, we’ll just be exclusive from now on. This meant I was mostly celibate during my remaining time at college and beyond. My only chance to get laid occurred when she or I could afford the flights and the time off to see each other. A rare event.

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What if, instead, I had told her we were done? That it was over? That I could never forgive her? This part is true, I never really forgave her for sleeping with someone else. The first sequel could explore what college life and beyond could have been like for me if I’d never committed myself to a monogamous long-distance relationship.

In addition to the auto-biography, I also need to work on Hermes925, Hermes360, Games and Geekery, a YouTube channel, and this blog too. Even though I’m feeling more motivated to write I’m still not going to be able to make time for them all every day, and work at the pub, and be able to recover from working at the pub, and make time with my new girlfriend too.

Laura, I believe, is part of the reason I’m feeling positive and motivated. The ‘staying single and focussing on writing’ plan was not working. I spent too much time moping. More writing will happen, just not as much as I’d like. At least not while I still have to work.

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I only work part time, and I live rent free with my Grandparents, which is really lucky. That means that out of the $200 or so a week I get from working at the pub, I can save $100 a week towards potential self-publishing costs and still have $100 for food and fun. If I could get some kind of sponsorship, or receive enough fan donations, I could write full time. There’d be a lot more writing and videos.

If you’d like to help, go to paypal.me/AntonyMCopeland and donate what you feel I deserve. If I can generate enough income this way then I can produce more writing, more videos and get my books on the shelves faster. If not then perhaps the articles and videos will draw enough attention for me to get a publishing deal and not need to self-publish anyway. So you can actually help by sharing my content too.

My Sister just challenged me to finish Hermes925 and have it published by the summer. Challenge accepted! I probably won’t actually succeed, but the deadline (even though it was a joke) while help keep me focussed. She’s right. I should finish Hermes925 first. With luck and determination I will have a book published by the end of the year.

This is all about making me a writer. So I’d better get some writing done.

My former stance against “Have a great day” was silly and depression induced. I’m bringing it back.

Have a great day! 🙂

 

 

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The Branchpoint Series

I’m feeling creative, but unable to focus. So I’m currently playing with some minis I bought (yes I’m getting back into 40k. I knew I wouldn’t be able to kick the habit for long!) and writing this blog entry. Not at the same time of course. I write a bit, carve at plastic model body parts a bit, write a bit more, file off some mould lines, etc.

You may recall that I had been trying to decide whether or not to continue writing Hermes925 as it is, or re-draft the entire story with an additional character included. Talking to William today (one of my co-admins and contributors at Games and Geekery) reminded me of an old idea  I had thought about writing multiple versions of the book, each with a slightly different plot. The point in the narrative where on story differed from another was going to be called the Branchpoint.

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The original idea was going to be slightly grander in scope. I would release the multiple versions of the book all at once, not mentioning to the public that there were different editions available. Wait a while. Perhaps a few months, and if it hasn’t begun to spread already, release a rumor via a fake profile (an anonymous tip if you will) that there’s more than one version of the story. “My friend and I both read Hermes925 by Antony M. Copeland, but we can’t seem to agree on how it ends. Has anyone else read it?”. Wait a bit longer and poke again, to see if people catch on that it’s a series of parallel stories and not one book.

One version was going to told from Psy-Man’s perspective. Another was going to have Jaime fall for a different crewmember. A loyal and kind woman with no interest in Psy-man, and (*SPOILERS*) when the time came for him to die on the ship, he’s not alone. His beloved is there with him. Or perhaps I’ll keep them alive and incorporate this old idea with one of my new ones. I was even going to write a version in which Jaime beats Psy-Man in the dual at the bar.

William suggested I continue the numeric ‘wordplay’ in the title and write a Hermes911. Hermes925 is meant to be the product number of the AI on board, but it’s also a play on ‘9 to 5’ since the crew of the Hermes spacecraft can all work an 8 hour shift with a lunchbreak. Unlike traditional space explorers.

Hermes911 would begin at the branchpoint. The portal gate remains open, Jaime falls in love with a different crewmember, and the colony is successful. Many years later we get to follow a group of individuals who have taken on the job of maintaining order and security in the colony. Some of whom commute via the expanded portal gate system. A sort of bi-planetary police force. Then the gateway collapses and the gateway falls out of the sky and crashes into the city. The security force has to help calm a surviving population that is now cut off from earth and the N•Viron system.

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So I’m also going to write a version in which Jaime wasn’t ever using a journal. He was talking to his friend Rook, or to other characters in Jaime’s life. THis will be an expanded and more detailed look at what it’s like to live in a society in which the N•Viron has become such a vital part of it. We’ll get to see Jaime’s world, watch him play games and vote on sentencing for publically arrested criminals. We’ll experience his life first hand, instead of piecing it together from his journal entries. This one will be Hermes360.

Will also helped me come up with Hermes666. A version in which the portal gate malfunctions and opens a doorway to a nightmarish hell-like parallel universe. I’m think that if the crew aboard the Hermes went through the gateway, they would find themselves on parallel hell-earth. When the crew on earth try to begin their shift they find themselves on the Hades!

William also though of a version called Hermes247 would follow a detailed week in the life of a crewman on board the Hermes craft (though now I think of it Hermes 360 would probably cover this).

I, in turn, thought of Hermes008. The colonisation succeeds, just as it does in Hermes911, but then the rat-infested Hermes925 arrives. It may even knock the larger portal gate out of orbit, causing the death, destruction and disconnection from Earth and the N•Viron system, drawing another parallel with Hermes911.

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It occurred to me that I could also pay homage to my beloved Warhammer with an alternative version called Hermes40k in which the crashed portal gate opens up a portal to the demonworld of Hermes666.

I could pay homage to StarWars with Hermes3PO. The nymph technology is everywhere. Users can control them via their N•Viron with gesture commands, but otherwise they go about their business keeping the streets clean (each of them containers a nano-reclaimer). The presence of clouds of Nymphs allows people to perform acts as if they were telekinetic.

A version told like a cutesy children’s story called Hermes123 could be fun too. Especially if it’s illustrated. I’m also toying with the idea that the reason why the crew were picked was because they’ve all been sentenced to transportation (like I talked about in ‘Let’s Make Some Martians‘.

It wasn’t just the “shall I keep writing or reboot” debate that was keeping me from continuing the Hermes 925 plot though. It was the fact that I wasn’t sure what was actually going to happen next. Once more real-life has blessed me with the inspiration. I’m going to fictionalise it of course, and change real events so that they fit better with the narrative. This is going to be fun.

I’ve also, as I mentioned either, begun the process of rebuilding my Warhammer 40k “Golden Sons” chapter of Space Marines. Brothers from that were thought lost to the warp or killed in action by their own chapter and the Imperium, fighting for survival and the glory of the Emperor, and to give other lost and forgotten marines a chance to redeem their failure. Space Marines that are all being fooled by an inner circle of Chaos worshippers.

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A Golden Sons Chaplain  wearing some of the trophies he has collected fighting against chaos. A purified and blessed of course.

I bought the Kill Team set, as well as a box of Chaos Space Marines to do some conversions, and a Chaplain (Chaos Sorceror) to lead them my new kill team. I might even use the rules for a Word Bearer’s Dark Chaplain. Maybe I should wait until I’ve re-acquired the Chaos Codex to actually start kitting them out the models with equipment. Or I can built them pretty and make the rules fit the models :).

Hopefully by keeping myself busy with work, writing and hobbies I can prevent myself from getting infatuated with someone else and avoid leaving myself open to heartache and pain again. At least for a while.

Comments are always welcome. Have a good day 🙂