Around And Round We GO

For those of you that managed to catch the previous post before I deleted it, I’m feeling much better now. I had hit a low patch which may have been triggered by this self-help book I’m currently trying to write.

Thankfully work was really busy yesterday making me feel both useful and keeping my mind too busy to dwell on the miserable thoughts I’d been having. I’m not sure how much of my scribblings during this slump in my normally positive and ambitious mood will actually make it to the final version of the book, but I think it was a useful exercise to explore and observe the depths of my depression for a day or too.

I have actually been diagnosed with depression, and anxiety, one doctor suggested I may have hypomanic depression. In which case the times I’ve felt the presence of faeries or other spirits (such as the monster on top the wardrobe) may be just sensory hallucinations, a symptom of my disorder. This is a concept I’ve been battling for some time.

I’d love to continue to believe in majic/magic/magick. It’s comforting to think that you could alter the world around you by willpower alone, or with the aid of Gods, Goddesses, faeries, ancestors or the raw power of the universe. Some belief systems would even blame the negative thoughts on daemons, devils, trickster spirits, ghosts or other malicious entities.

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If these entities, both good and bad, are just illusions produced by mental illness, then the voices are my own. My true self trying to help me make sense of the the world. So instead of trying to ignore these thoughts, perhaps I should listen and discover what it is they’re trying to teach me? What I’m trying to teach me.

I’ve come to the conclusion, for now, that I did make it all up. I know I have an active imagination. The things I once imagined were true seemed true based on what I thought I knew at the time. It no doubt helped me cope. I’m sure I will think about this more in future, and I may even end up coming back to the idea that there is magic in the world after all, and I was just temporarily jaded and delusioned.

I had hoped to spend the last two days I had off getting a lot more writing done, and take advantage of the cold I’d been suffering from. Instead I found myself wallowing in self pity and thoughts of futility. I even considered giving up on writing. What would be the point? Well, the point is, because I can and I like it. It doesn’t matter if I never sell a single book. It doesn’t even matter if I’m madly successful and die rich. Either way I’m going to die.

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What does matter is that I’m alive. I may as well enjoy it, and I enjoy writing. I also enjoy company, and working, and time to myself, and finding time for all of it will no doubt continue to be a struggle. That’s okay. I can accept that. It’s all part of the experience, and there’s no need to be so hard on myself.

Would anyone like to see the binned article? Bear in mind I was feeling very low, almost suicidal, when I wrote it. It’s been pointed out to me that sometimes it’s helpful to see that someone else is going through emotions similar to your own.

I know it’s a pain to comment on the blog, but signing up is worth it. You’ll be able to comment on all of my articles and blogs, as well as the blogs of other WordPress users. You could even create your own blog if you wanted to. 🙂 You can also comment on Facebook or Twitter of course, where I’ll be sharing links to this article. I’m going to make sure my contact info is up to date also if you prefer to text me.

I’m not going to sign off with the “Have a great day :)” that I used to do. It’s sort of condescending, and if you’re not having a great day it’s like a kick in the shins.

Choose your own adventure 😉

A Redefinition Of Success

I want to write my book, because I want to. I like the story and I want to see how it plays out. For a while though I haven’t been thinking of it that way. I’ve seen it as a mission. Get the book written, published, sell it well using every marketing trick you can think of, keep writing, publishing and marketing.

Become a worldwide best seller, pay back my parents for the financial burden I’ve been. Keep writing. Pay off my debts. Keep writing. Buy a big house/ community that any of my friends and family are welcome to live in with me. Keep writing. Make sure my sisters girls are set for life. Keep writing until I die rich, successful and leaving a great legacy to my family and the world.

It occurs to me though, that by trying so hard to reach this goal, I’m risking missing out. I have friends, family, and great experiences available to me. If I don’t take advantage of them now, I may regret it. I need to stop and smell the roses.

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Of course it could also be argued that I’m researching. That spending time with people and having some experiences will make me a better writer. It has already provided some great inspiration. I have a good imagination, but if I can inject a little flavour of real-life experiences into the narrative, it should it more relatable and believable.

Having said that, the way some people talk in real life would be very hard to believe or even follow in a story. It would be thought of as bad writing. For example, a common greeting I here is “Yerite?” which is derived from “Are you alright?” and is often met with “Yerite?” in return, when logic would suggest that the correct response is “I’m well thank you, and how are you?”

In addition to trying so hard to reach a better future that I can miss what’s going on today, I also have a tendency to overthink things. I think both of these traits have caused major problems with my love life. I put too much thought into love, what it means to be with someone, making plans for the future and trying to reconcile them with the plan to become a rich and famous author.

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A girl with an amazing smile

Would this girl as my future life-partner be able to support my goals or will they undermine them in some desperate bid for attention because I’m busy working on our future all the time? And what if I fail? Not through any fault of theirs, but because I lack the skill to pull it off. I would expect her to be justifiably disappointed and resentful.

What if I spend my entire life writing and forget to actually live? For one, my writing would be rubbish. I’ll have failed to become a writer and wasted my life. I’m not going to quit my writing either. I may not succeed in leaving a lasting legacy, and I don’t have too. We only get one life and we may aswell enjoy it. I like writing. I like spending time with friends. I like playing Warhammer 40k. I like naked fun. I need to learn to take pleasure in all of it without putting too much pressure on myself to build it up into something huge and stressful.

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Slaanesh. Where Warhammer and naked fun collide!

So that’s what I’ve decided I’m working on. Leading a successful life. Not measured in how much work I did, or how much I sold, or how much money I make, or how much stuff I acquire. A success based on how much I lived. How much experience I’ve gained. How good it felt to be living it. With no pressure to make it better, or plan out how it’s supposed to go.  Doing so only leads to me predicting that things will go horribly wrong, and me to telling myself “I told you so” when it does.

No more nagging myself. I will do fun stuff for fun, not to make it part of some intense overthought desperate plan to make my future, and the future of my nieces, better. I’m beating myself with guilt because I’ve been spending a lot of time with people instead of being holed up in my room writing all day. That’s crazy!

Do you know what else I’ve noticed about me? At some point I always get sick of being told what to do. Apparently this still applies when I’m the one telling me what to do. 🙂

Do you think lightening up about the writing is the right move? Or am I being selfish, and using this as an excuse to procrastinate and slowly give up? Or am I overthinking again and I should just shut up and allow myself to have fun?

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 🙂