..for as little as 81p per month!

Here’s my latest live video on Facebook. Hopefully I can figure out how I downloaded the first one I did to the computer, so that I can upload it to YouTube too!

I forgot to mention that, in addition to my personal website, the Games and Geekery blog, the Facebook pages, and so on, I also have a profile on Patreon.com to try and generate a little income from my writing. If you’d like to sponsor me, you can do so for as little as 81p per month right now.

Money will go towards better recording and audio equipment, a new laptop, and more notepads, pens and food for my belly. The goal is to have enough patrons each donating a just little each month so that I can write full time and put Hermes925 on bookshelves!

Please check it out at patreon.com/antonym_copeland and share it with friends. Please and Thank you.

Moving on!

The newest installment of Hermes925 is up! You can click here to read it or scroll up to where it says Hermes925 and then scroll down to the bottom of the drop down menu. It seems to me that clicking the link would be easier!

It was a tricky one to get right. I wanted Hermes to be a different personality from Jaime, and yet I wanted it to be clear that Jaime’s writing style has influenced the AI when he decided to finish writing the journal Jaime started.

I was going to write an article for Games and Geekery also, which is actually gamesngeekery.wordpress.com and not wordpress.com/gamesngeekery like I said in the video. I will be writing an article about some of my adventures in Skyrim. particularly those I experienced from the Clockwork mod.

However, I still want to include the gameplay video from the Xbox. I think I just managed to share it to my twitter feed. I don’t used Twitter very often. Partly because I prefer Facebook, and also because my username is @AntonyMXUK. I thought this was frightfully clever when I lived in the US. I’m Antony M. (Copeland), former resident of the UK. Except I’m not ‘former’ anymore. If the UK were my ex, then we’re back together.

It doesn’t really matter since no-one gets it, but someday I may create a new Twitter account and pick a username that doesn’t taunt me by being inaccurate.

Anyway. I’m going to try and download the video, add an audio track explaining what’s going on, and then write a Games and Geekery article about my current favourite Skyrim Mod(s). Technically I’m also running the Better Vampires mod and the Sofia mod, to name only two.

Because I was a vampire I discovered that I could feed on the Gilded. So I forged myself a silver sword, and enchanted it with turn undead to see if my hunch was correct. Most of the Gilded are too strong for turn undead, but occasionally you can make one run. I also equipped the best anti-undead spell I had.

It’s a great story, with a great super creepy intro and you end up being able to keep the steampunk mansion as your personal in-game home! I highly recommend it. Here’s a picture of a gilded for you.

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And here’s the video I’ve been trying to download/ upload! I’ll write the G&G article tomorrow now since it’s been a long day and I’m developing a headache.Have a great day! 🙂

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Going For It

If you can’t watch the video, this is basically what I talk about. I’m going to actually push myself to become a full time writer. Since I no longer work at The Brown Cow Inn, because I walked out, I now have plenty of time to treat my writing like my job and spend an 8 hour shift or so doing it. Either actually writing something, or looking for writing opportunities form full-time jobs to one-off gigs.

I suppose I could even include any social media marketing as part of that, so I suppose the video I made, plus this accompanying article both count toward my 40 of work this week :). As I mention in the video, most of today was spent, very pleasantly, in the company of my Grandparents. First I attended a superb christmas dinner at The Gables, on Abbey Rd in Barrow in Furness. It was delicious, I highly recommend it.

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After that we went to Matalan. Grandad was going there for a new sport coat, so he recommended I take a look at the suits while I’m there. Laura’s having a masquerade ball theme for her birthday party, plus it’s always a good idea to own a suit. I found a nice looking black pinstripe 2-button suit jacket with matching pants and a vest totalling only £79.

I’m not, as yet, endorsed by either Matalan or The Gables, but I’d be more than happy to be if it meant I could keep writing and get paid for it. I also happen to mention Xbox One, Skyrim, Argos, Bosch and Sony in my video. If Microsoft, Bethesda, or the other companies I just mentioned would like to reward me in some way for mentioning them, I’d be very grateful to them.

Hopefully they see this without me having to send them emails and letter seeking their endorsement, but I realise I may have to do something this to solicit work or sponsorship from businesses. I’ve been determined to become a full-time writer before though, and I still haven’t accomplished it, or even tried terribly hard. I would like it very much if my readers, friends, and family would help keep me on task.

Pester me me for new articles on Games & Geekery, or new personal posts, or more of Jaime’s journal entries in Hermes925. Keep me motivated. I can be my own worst enemy sometimes. Despite knowing that, when I pick up a pen and start writing something almost always comes out, I still find myself unwilling to try if I don’t already know what it is I’m going to write.

I’m not going to do what I’ve done in the past and beg. It doesn’t ever work anyway. I intend to work for every penny I earn. If you want something writing, let me know. Even if it’s just a one-off speech or presentation, let me have a go at writing it for you and we’ll agree on what it’s worth.

I’m going to do some more work on Hermes925 tomorrow. Hold me to it.

Have a great day.

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! 🙂

 

 

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 🙂

 

To Rewrite Or Not To Rewrite? 

I’m in a bit of a dilemma. My book needs a rewrite to incorporate a new character. What I’m trying to decide is whether I should finish writing the current version of the story first, or scrap the story so far and start over.

So far I’ve been writing Hermes925 as a journal. It’s based in the future. Keeping journal is an archaic practice, so it never really made much sense. Even if Jaime were choosing to write the journal on paper so that there’d be no digital record, the N•Viron system still sees everything. Jaime’s audience needs to be different. Needs to be real.

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Some of my original notes, back when the AR device was called the Avalon system

·In the original draft, Jaime was writing the journal in the Hermes spacecraft. The connection to the N•Viron system (spoilers) had already been lost. This would make a little more sense since he has no other form of expression or communication. Maybe I’ll back to that. Maybe he’s not writing it at all, perhaps he’s talking to the Hermes925 artificial intelligence. I always intended for it to be revealed that the AI is the narrator, recounting and reviewing Jaime’s entries after he throws his journal into the on-board reclaimer. If he’s having a conversation with the ship instead it may make more sense.

I also came up with the character “Rook” though. It might help make the character’s more relatable if at least some of it took the form of a conversation between Jaime and Rook. Jaime could be trying to explain the value and purpose of several aspects of their society, including Arpies, conviction by consensus, reclaimers, and even the portal gates. Rook could provide a counter argument that it’s all part of an elaborate conspiracy to control us and manipulate us, and thusly reveal the Orwellian undertones of society to the reader, while making it seem ridiculous enough to be ignored by Jaime.

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This is kind of how I imagine Rook

However, can I really just stop the current version dead and start over? The new version will be better, but I already have people who follow the story each time I publish a new entry. Don’t I owe it to them to finish it? Perhaps on the way I’ll identify other plot holes and imperfections and be able to address them all in one rewrite instead of having to rewrite again when they come up. However, I think when the story changes I’ll find that some of the problems with this plot aren’t an issue, and that the rewrite has all new issues.

So I’m asking for your opinion. Keep writing a story that doesn’t quite work so you can see how it ends? Or go back to the drawing board and start the story over, making it a more traditional story including conversation with other characters, and not just a series of journal entries?

Comment either here on the blog or on the Facebook page, or via email or messenger if you prefer. I’m leaning toward starting over, so if you’d rather I keep working on the current version instead, please speak up.

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Have a great day. 🙂

Active Apathy

Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching too much Mr Robot, but I got thinking about our responsibility for our personal happiness. The show takes place in a world very similar to ours, in America. Everything is run by a giant corporation called E-corp. A group of hackers called F Society try to take them down by deleting everyone’s debts.

The real-life hacker group Anonymous had a hand in creating the series. As much as I like the show, it’s beginning to feel like they’re making excuses for not having actually deleted everyone’s debt yet. The main protagonist is crazy. He sees his dead father who represents an anarchic and proactive aspect of his personality. This personality takes over and triggers the cyber-attack. This implies that only an archive crazy person would do such a thing.

Then there’s the fact that the big evil corporation is still going even after the attack, and the regular people suffer for it instead, implies that such an attack would ultimately be futile.  What I expected to be a rallying cry for the masses, a call to arms if you will, actually comes across as a cautionary tale against revolution.

In real life the big evil corporation is not so easy to identify. The Rockefellers and Rothschilds don’t give us one unified target. It would be so much easier to do nothing. In fact we’ve been taught to be actively apathetic since childhood. We only do what we’re told to do, and even if we can see that something needs doing, we turn a blind eye. If we do otherwise we risk getting in trouble.

There’s a patch of grass at the end of my street. It badly needs to be mowed. I ha en no idea what would happen if I took it upon myself to mow it. Would I be arrested? Fined? Or would nothing happen? Would people just assume I worked for the council? Would people be angry at me? I doubt I’d receive any compliments or appreciation for it. Last night I even imagined a ridiculous scenario in which I would be arrested and sentenced to public service, which would involve mowing the exact same grassy area. If I had my own lawn-mower, I might have been curious enough to try it. I have been known to learn what my limits are by testing them, from time to time.

I’m not a hacker. If I was maybe I could have convinced the credit card company’s computers that I was making regular payments and got my mortgage zeroed out while I was at it. Done the same thing for a few random people so if it was discovered that there was a hack, it wouldn’t be obvious it was me. However,  maybe such a thing would be impossible without a team of hackers working together. I don’t know, since I’m not a hacker. So instead of being able to trick the American  computers into thinking I was wealthy, I had to sell enough of my stuff to buy a ticket home to the UK.

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I can’t do anything personally to upset the electronic financial applecart, but I can write about it. In fact I’m thinking of adding a character to the rewrite of Hermes925. I won’t try to squeeze him into the current version of the story, he’d have to have been there from the beginning. A friend that loudly speaks out against the N•Viron system, but doesn’t actually do anything about it. Actively ignores the pile of dog shit that would get him Arpies for picking it up, and rant about how we’re all being used. He considers himself enlightened, earns his Arpies by convincing others to be charitable and selling the occasional hand crafted item.

Jaime likes this guy, but feels sorry for him. Thinks he’s bought into too many conspiracy theories. The N•Viron identifies his condition as bipolar disorder, which he believes is a part of the conspiracy to keep him oppressed. I haven’t thought of a name for him yet. Feel free to suggest one that sounds like it might be a hippy conspiracy theorist in the future. Someone who claims to want to undermine the system and tear it all down, but actually takes advantage of it to live and lacks the courage to disconnect entirely.

Adding this character will allow Jaime to explain why certain aspects of the N•Viron based society is important. He can therefore explain these same ideas to the audience without it seeming odd. It may help clarify a few aspects of the story that I’ve had to leave as subtext until now. I want the orwellian undertones to be a little clearer. It would also provide a sharper contrast to Psy-Man, a programming genius who likes to exploit the N•Viron system for everything he can get.

All comments are appreciated, especially name suggestions for the new character. I’m currently thinking I may call him “Rook”.

Have a great day. 🙂

Going Well

As the title suggests, things are going fairly well for me right now. I have a job, working at The Brown Cow Inn, my last post on the Games and Geekery has brought a lot of traffic to the page, and I’ve even gained some inspiration to help me write the next part of Hermes925.

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I work here now! 🙂

Let’s start with the job first. So far I’ve worked two 5 hour shifts and a roughly 7 hour shift, and now I have two whole days off. This should give me plenty of time to catch up with my writing and see a friend or two. The crew at The Brown Cow Inn have been very friendly and helpful. I’ve even received my share of the tips already! It’s only been about £14 and change so far, but every little helps. 🙂

I honestly expected it to be harder to get back into the swing of things behind a bar. I thought the established staff may treat me like an outsider until I’d proven myself. However they seemed to have taken to me rather quickly. The regulars too have already began greeting me by name. I’m very happy with the job so far. It’s only been three days, but I feel very optimistic. They let me wear black! 😀

My main worry at the moment is that I’ve developed a pain between my shoulder blades since I moved to Dalton. My Uncle Nick thinks I pulled a muscle while sleeping on my side. I’ve never had that problem before, but I’ve reconfigure my pillows to support my head better. Hopefully it will heal soon and I won’t do anything at work to aggravate it. Having just finished my third shift, I ache all over, both the pain at the base of my neck between my shoulders seems no worse off.

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Can you honestly tell whether this Space Marine is male, female of genderless?

I’m very proud of the last article I wrote for Games and Geekery. It has it flaws, as several people pointed out, particularly regarding my description of the Progenoid glands, but it got 339 views in the first 20 hours. Sadly there weren’t any likes or comments on the article itself, or any new subscribers, but it got plenty of people talking on facebook. The subject was Female Space Marines in the Warhammer 40k universe

A frequently asked question in the Warhammer 40k community, mostly by people new to the hobby, is “Why aren’t there female Space Marines?”. The short answer is because the game’s story says that the process has been designed to be compatible only with male physiology, but I take it a step further. I explain why, if a woman did go through the augmentation process, she’d be indistinguishable from other Space Marines afterwards.

I had hoped the article would generate traffic and encourage discussion, since this particular topic always seems to get people talking. I’m a little disappointed that we didn’t get any new subscribers, but I’ll just keep writing the articles and sharing the links and see what happens.

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This isn’t her. This is a image I found on google that approximately matches the description of Lena in Hermes925.

Sometimes you just have to go for it, see what happens and roll with the consequences. I recently enjoyed the company of a young lady. We’d both agreed that we didn’t want a relationship, but I had hoped that it would last a little longer than it did. She seems to be happy though with the new guy from what I’ve seen on Facebook. We haven’t really talked much since. For the most part my attitude has been ‘easy come, easy go’.

Despite my decision to not let it bother me, and knowing that it’s for the best, I still find myself wondering what I could have done differently to avoid losing her to another man. I could have visited her more often, except I couldn’t because I didn’t have the money to travel. I could have called her more often, but I didn’t want to appear needy since we’d agreed that it wasn’t a relationship. He lives in the same town and can probably afford to spoil her a bit. It doesn’t help anything to dwell on it, especially since it was supposed to just be a bit of fun anyway.

Except, of course, it can help immensely to understand what Jaime will be going through (spoilers) when he finds out that Helena, Lena for short, has started seeing Psy-Man. Originally I had written in my notes that Jaime would have a crush on Lena, but was too awestruck to actually approach her and ask her out. Psy-Man swoops in and takes her before he plucks up the courage.

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In my original notes though she looked more like this.

Now I’m thinking it would be better for Jaime and Lena to have a rather impulsive and sexually intimate relationship before he finds out about Psy-Man. Not only would this give me an outlet for my feelings and be much more interesting, it would also give me the excuse to write some ‘romance’ that one or two Hermes fans have been asking for. So far Jaime has been rather gentlemanly about his relationships. This one is going to blow (tee-hee) his mind, and leave him feeling rather compelled to brag about it.

I’ll be pulling from several experiences, so don’t expect to figure out exactly what the real-life inspiration and I really got up to. It’ll be fun to show what an augmented reality interface can do to spice things up. I might even include some stuff I’ve never actually done and have little interest in doing at all, which I suspect some pure romance writers do fairly frequently. Good luck guessing which is which 😛

Have a great day 🙂