Back on the ‘Write’ Track

It’s been a good week. The client that hired me to ghostwrite some posts for his Cast Iron forum contacted me again to do three times as many comments for his new Reef Tank forum. I’ve only got ten of them written so far, but I’ll have the rest done by the end of the week.

If you happen to be a reefer yourself (yes, that’s really what reef tank hobbyists call themselves) by all means check the fledgling website out and supplement my ghostwritten comments with some genuine expertise. I knew nothing about the hobby when he asked me. I’ve had to watch a ton of YouTube videos and make lots of notes to get my head around it. It’s a pretty cool hobby.

Also, a local pub that’s been closed for a while is getting new owners. They announced on Facebook that they needed some help moving in, so I volunteered! They were really nice people and even gave me £30 for doing it! So I bought myself this:

DarkCrystalGame

I saw a post about it on Facebook and I had to get it. For those that don’t know, The Dark Crystal is one of the best fantasy movies of all time. Every character in the movie, as well as all the plants and animals, is a creation of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.  I’m really looking forward to playing it.

I’m keeping it sealed until I can do an unboxing video. Then after that, my family and I are going to play it. There’ll be a review article written on GamesNGeekery shortly after that. I haven’t been keeping it up to date, but maybe this will help me get back into the habit. Though it may end up just being and occasional whim rather than a regular thing because…

The best part of the week though was going to the Kidwelly Writers group. I was putting it off because the last writing group I was a little depressing. They didn’t seem to talk much about their own writing, or at all. The sessions involved doing writing exercises that the organiser got from a book.

The Kidwelly group, however, was awesome! They were very talkative and friendly, and they seem to actually have ambition! One of them already has a novel out called ‘Not Thomas’ and another of them is writing full-time, publishing his ‘Deathworlders’ series on Reddit. Apparently his fans insisted he set up a Patreon page so they could sponsor him. It took him three years, but now he doesn’t have to do anything but write.

It reassured me that it was possible to build up a full-time income just from writing stories. I had the right idea back when I was writing a new Hermes925 entry every week, but instead of sharing it on Facebook and Twitter, I should have been using Reddit! This is going to take some studying up because I’m not familiar with Reddit at all. In fact the few times I have checked it out it seems like a confusing mess of categories that I’m not even sure how to navigate. Yet.

I’ve already committed to making The Haunted Story: Investigation and Hermes925 into books (I promised the artist that made the book cover for The Haunted Story: Dead Letter that she could do the next few books as well), but maybe I can turn The War on Magic into a Reddit series after I’ve got the knack of Reddit and tweaked my Patreon page.

Time To Write

I know I’m not the only writer that has this problem. You get up ready to write, pull out your notebook and pen or turn on your computer (or both) determined to work on a story that you know has to get written. You know exactly what you intend to work on, but the words just refuse to come.

This is especially frustrating if you know that this is the only time you’ll get this week. The rest of your schedule is filled with prior commitments. Work, family. friends, other writing projects, classes, housework, etc. All vying for attention while the one thing you’re trying to pay attention to refuses to cooperate.

You may be trying to keep to a deadline, a schedule, or a promise, but you just can’t focus. You try to read over your notes, scan over the last thing you wrote, and get into the mindset of your characters. You find yourself just staring, your mind wandering to other worries.

Sometimes I can get around this by working on something else, or updating this blog. Other times I can post a question on Facebook to my fellow writers to figure out what direction I need to take the story in. Most of the time just forming the question is enough to get me going again.

Right now I’m supposed to be proofreading and editing the short story I’m working on for UbiquiCity, the RPG sourcebook I’m contributing to. I have already fixed a lot of it, but I know it needs more. I keep meaning to find the time to read over the stories that have been submitted by the other writers to make sure that my descriptions of the City are consistent, but I keep having the same problem I’m having with my own work. I’m just staring at the screen.

I have four days until the writers meet up again. One of those days I have to be out of the house for about 10 hours for my day job, and on another I’ll be doing the update for my Facebook RP group the City of Gate. I’ve had all month to do the rewrite and I’ve spent maybe 2 days actually doing it. The rest of the time I’ve been working, sleeping, doing not enough writing and spending too much time discussing a new project.

To be fair the new project is very exciting. A series of short-story anthologies called Monolith. The Creative Writers group is now up to 343 members (and probably more by the time you read this) and a lot of them are pumped about writing something for book one. I don’t expect each book to make much money, but the more books we publish, the more the royalties will add up.

Working on Monolith will also give me invaluable insight into self-publishing and allow me to make use of some of my accumulated knowledge on sales, marketing and entrepreneurship. At one point I thought I’d use these skills to attain a corporate position of some kind, or start my own business, but it feels right to apply it to creating a series of books instead.

If you think you might be interested in contributing a short story, please do. You can get more info about it on the pinned post of the Creative Writers group. Eventually there will be a dedicated website to go with the Facebook page I’ve made, but for now there’s a link at the top of this page for submissions. You have until June-August to get it in, so that should give you plenty of time to polish it up and make it awesome.

I should get back to the UbiquiCity story I’m supposed to be writing. If not, then I should at least be working on The War on Magic, City of Gate: Chronicles, Hermes925, or The Haunted Story. I may have too many writing projects!

If you happen to be someone that likes to invest in entrepreneurial new writers, you can do so either on my Patreon page, or by selecting one of the Paypal subscription options below. You’ll get updates on my writing projects and free copies of every book I’m published in if you do. Have a great day 🙂

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Gods Dammit Dad!

I had another great day with my Dad. We had to go back to Kidwelly to get some measurements we missed last time we went to (what will soon be) my parents new home. We decided to come through Carmarthen on the way back to see if I could grab an unlocked phone from a good price from their Game store. We reasoned that it would have a bigger store and a better selection, since it’s a bigger city.

The Kidwelly mission went well, in fact it went much better than we expected. Stuart from Extreme Tree Services was already at the house cutting back the overgrown vegetation. Dad got a chance to go over some of what they wanted done, which was lucky because we had no idea that they were going to be there! The house is getting fixed up for us by the Church in Wales, since Dad is moving to Kidwelly to minister at St. Mary’s (and I think he’ll be in charge of a few others also). They arranged for Stuart to come this week. It was just luck or divine providence that had us show up while they were there. We even found out that, hidden among the overgrown trees was a plastic playhouse for the kids!

We popped into Burn’s Farm Shop on the way out of town. Dad needed his coffee levels restored. You may recall me describing their amazing playground and cafe in a previous article. Follow the ‘last time’ link above if you don’t. 🙂 As I waiting for Dad to order his coffee. A waitress looked up at me and smiled. She did so again later when she came to our table with Dad’s order. She’s a cute little redhead. Dad noticed the smile.

Burn's Farm Shop Playground.JPG

I’m 36 and living with my parents. I have no job, and no money until my writing career takes off. To make my writing career take off I need to spend time, everyday, working on my writing and developing my stories. In the short term I need to start writing short stories and getting them out to magazines that will pay me for them. I don’t have time, or even have anything to offer, for a romantic relationship right now.

If Dad had said nothing, I might have been able to forget that smile, that giggle in response to a throwaway line that wasn’t really funny. When Dad hints, he doesn’t just make one subtle comment. He stacks them up. Layer upon layer of subtle comments until he’s sure you get it, and then adds a couple more to be sure. Dammit Dad! It was a really cute smile though. I know we didn’t see her there last time. I don’t know her name. I need to stop thinking about her.

The rest of the day went well. I got myself a handset for the sim Mum is going to order. It’s an LG G4 Stylus. Still had all the factory stickers on it. Once I get the sim card I’ll have an awesome and fully functioning phone! I also got a new pair of clippers to replace the American ones that went pop when I last tried to use them.

Space Marine
Dakka-dakka!

We even visited the local Games Workshop store where Mike (or is it Mark? Sorry!) and I had a good little talk about the possibility of rebuilding my Golden Sons Space Marine army. I had to sell them off to buy my plane ticket home. He even suggested I write for the Black Library (Games Workshop’s publishing house), which would be freaking awesome!

I’m really looking forward to the move to Kidwelly. I’ll be just a short train ride from Carmarthen so that I can mix it up with my fellow Warhammer geeks, perhaps get a few of them to follow my blog! We’ll be just around the corner from the Farm Shop though too. Trying to find the cute waitress again would be a terrible idea. I’ll just have to avoid the place to prevent myself from doing anything foolish. Especially since I won’t be there that long.

Dad wants to watch a movie together, and then I have to get working on a short story. Should I do the War on Magic? Throw some of my City of Gate chronicles together? Or should I write out the hold-up scene for The Lord Highwayman as a stand-alone short story? I could even do something Church of Daemonism related. What do you think?

If you make any comments regarding the redhead, please just tell me she has a boyfriend so I can drop it and move on. I have writing to do!

 

Modern Wizard

The War on Magic

While watching Stardust today, I wondered to myself “If people live in a world of magic, why doesn’t everyone do it?”. It occurred to me that maybe people just don’t feel inclined to learn. What if magic just fell out of fashion, and no-one wanted to do it anymore? They just chose a different path.

What if that is the real world? Magic does exist, but a long time ago we just stopped practising it. Old power replaced my mechanisms and tools designed to make the job easier. There might even be a small group of surviving students of magic, trying to keep the practise alive, with limited actual knowledge. The surviving texts are old but still written long after true magic left. They may have even encouraged the world to forget about them, in order to protect what’s left from the ‘wrong hands’ or from destruction.

Perhaps that’s the basis for an idea I’d put on the backburner called “The War on Magic”? It was inspired by the Facebook meme I added below. My first instinct was that America would declare it a terrorist attack and declare a war on magic.

What do you do?
I was partly inspired by this Facebook meme.

So what if a legendary half-elven wizard, let’s call him Mann, makes arrangements to divide the world in two. One for people like him that are at least part human, and one for the true fae. Perhaps the wizard makes a separate world for himself and fellow part-humans, the children of Mann.

It might even have been a circle of wizards. Mann, Jaeh, Dzeut, Woldein and Ossrus. The new world. Each of the five responsible for their own group of humans and part-humans, and taking their own approach to taking care of them. Primitive humans were ape-like beasts. Monsters. Animals as far as the Elves and Faeries are concerned. They can use tools and weapons though, so the Fae use them as a labor force.

There are some modern wizards that disagree with this theory, preferring to think that neither of the factions was ‘pure’. However, they’ve lost so much over the centuries and can only have old documents and the vaguest summoned ghostly apparitions of the magical world to refer too. Some believe that this is the real world and that magical realm is a literal product of our imagination, brought into being by our faith in it, and that the ancient wizards are just twisted parodies of the world’s gods.

But one modern day wizard has been studying a branch of summoning magic similar to quantum physics, manages to break through the barrier separating our world from the world of the fae. The immediate result is the dragon bursting through into our reality. Magic itself leaks through also, corrupting the laws that stabilize our world.

Dragon attacking City

The wizard closes the original rift, ending the spell and sealing the tear in reality with magical bonds. Of course trying to keep magic at bay with magic could be problematic, and the damage has already been done. Magic has entered our reality and those with traces of fae dna become noticeably more Fae. The coworkers that look sort of like an ogre, or a pixie, become more so, and get some of the racial benefits.

The dragon’s appearance results in citywide destruction. Mostly this is because the dragon itself suddenly finds itself in our world, and it’s confused. The dragon is killed and removed. People are understandably scared by this series of events, and many of them respond aggressively. Perhaps another ancient organisation relying on old lore that been restudied, rewritten and reinterpreted many times, and merged with modern religious beliefs. These people would be calling for those with magical traits to be rounded up and imprisoned or destroyed.

Modern Wizard

Extremists suggest everything from terrorism to armageddon. Some of them refer to the dragon in the biblical Revelations sense. The Beast. The Devil. People with Faun or Forest Elf dna, who might have cloven hooves and horns, are some of the first victims of the zealots taking matters into their own hands. This ostracism leads to some of the fae-blooded coming together and fighting against the zealots. Escalation leads to several world governments deciding to declare war against Magic, and Fae-blooded with any influence working to undermine their efforts. A new arms race to be the first to reopen the way to the world of the Fae ensues. Some looking to leave this world, hoping they’ll receive better treatment from the Fae, and others seeking to end the war with an attack on the magical realm so devastating that they’ll never send anything against us again!

 

The war between the Humans and the Fae has been delayed for eons. A war that had been imminent before the worlds had been divided. It had started long before when the fae had begun using the primitive humans as slaves, pets, expendable troops and test-subjects. For many reasons, including rape in either direction and magical experimentation, half-breeds emerged. While breeding occurred between the fae races also, they were still Fae, whilst anyone who was born to at least one partly human parent was seen as a vile aberration.

War on Magic

Of course they were still far more acceptable house-slaves and concubines than their full-blooded cousins. Cross-breeding became an amusing pastime to encourage certain genetic traits, and certain pedigrees became very popular. Even centuries later, when part-humans have become a greater part of society, with positions in industry and politics, those who consider themselves pure Fae still look down on them and treat them as second-class citizens.

The conflict comes to a head when it is suggested that, if the humans aren’t happy with the world, they should make their own. Both sides take offense to it and accuse the other of suggesting it. Despite this the idea gains popularity once the five half-breed wizards, Mann, Jaeh, Dzeut, Woldein and Ossrus, come up with a plan that might work. Many of the part-humans remain behind, too proud to give in. It’s assumed they were wiped out. There was no-one alive now in this world that remembered, until the dragon came through. Now the people of this world think they need a preemptive strike against the Fae so that they’ll leave us alone.

What do you think of this idea? Should I leave on the backburner for now, or does “The War on Magic” need it’s own page?