Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year, unclear

(Cross-posted at my Eyliarenn blog)

It's 2012. Great. This time last year I set myself a goal; viz to have a playtestable version (not necessarily complete, but workable) draft of my RPG worldbook completed and ready to present to a playtest group.  I also pllanned to have a good playtest group (not my own) lined up to try it out, put it through its paces, and report back to me what they liked and what they thought sucked.

Update: The worldbook is a long way from being ready to playtest, and I haven't lined up a group yet (which kind of makes sense, as I didn't want to contact any playtesters until I had a complete draft in sight of being finished - four to six weeks away probably).

A year can challenge priorities and remove opportunities (or offer new ones). I made my committment on the back of my wife's coming home from an extended stay in hospital and all the positive feelings for the future that generated. Since then I've survived two restructures at my day job, and had to commit a lot more time to that than I thought I would ever have to again, and my writing has suffered.  The first things to go werre the blogs and Twitter feed, then the actual worldbook prep, then the copious notes I generate in the quiet moments between what I was just doing and what I'm doing next. With the lost time my imagination and, to a degree, my will to push on, dissipated as well.

I've also been hatching plans for creating an online imprint. This has been in the back of my miund all along: I wanted to produce my projected Eyliarenn product line (the main book and about seven or eight supplements) electronically under my own company name before even contemplating a hard-copy release. In the absence of actually working toward that goal, I've been considering what else I could do at the business end. I have nebulous plans of expending the imprint to cover fiction and poetry releases as well as game-related materials. I'm also beginning work toward producing everything we release in multiple formats (ePub, Kindle) instead of just pdf. 

So I guess the year hasn't been a complete loss, but I can't helf but feel like I should have achieved some more tangible goals by now. But this is the time to look to the future, I guess, not the past.  So, here are - in no particular order - the targets I'm going to set for myself going into 2012:
  • Keep working toward a playtestable draft of my Eyliarenn worldbook
  • Get my ebook venture, Aridamely Press, up and running with one or two titles published by year's end
  • Stop devoting so much of my non-work time to work (sometimes a necessary evil, but not something to make a habit of).
  • Try to maintain more of a web-presence (blogs, Google+, Twitter).
So, here's to 2012.  Let's hope it lives up to its promise (and that I do the same).

Saturday, December 3, 2011

How long has it been?

I suck at the whole blogging enterprise. This much is obvious. I haven't posted since February.  SINCE FEBRUARY! And who noticed. Not all that many. I could count them on one hand; and that would me my imaginary hand with no fingers on it (lost to an imaginay combine harvester - oh, God, what a mess; imaginary blood everywhere and bits of imaginary bone stuck in the imaginary gears of the harvester (which is, of couse, itself imaginary), causing said harvester to burst into brightly-hued imaginary flames: I was just lucky to get out of there with my sense of whimsey intact).

I can write that because absoluttely nobody visits this little corner of the web. They just breeze through in their electron-guzzling PCs and their sporty little iThings without so much as slowing down to yell obscenities at this particular rest-stop on the way to somewhere more interesting.

Should that worry me? Aren't I writing this for my self? For my own satisfaction?

Who can tell anymore. Lately I've felt untethered from a lt of important things in my life; work, writing, cooking, friends. Some of this I don't have a whole lot of control over. Other bits I do have a little influence on, but I've been too busy wrestling with the angel that I've forgotten to demand the blessing, forgotten what it was I was going to ask for.

Maybe getting back to writing is how I ask for the blessing. Maybe it's a way to let go of the angel. Maybe everything else can look after itself for a while.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sometimes life gets in the way...

I know that sounds feeble. The fact is, I haven't written a single word toward the rules-part of my world-book, and am reconsidering whether the best strategy is to link to a specific rules set in the first place (which may put me back to square one).

I haven't been completely idle, though. I've been making some notes on the world, mostly with a pretty dark thread running through. I'm toying with teh idea of doing a separate supplement that I'm calling Gothic Eyliarenn. That sounds like I'm making grand plans for a publishing empire before I've even got the first draft of the foundation book down, but hear me out.

The way I imagined this place was as a gritty-realist fantasy setting (I mean, it doesn't even have real magic or gods). One of my keystone directives was that I wanted to create something like a pseudo-magic setting, more science-based, though the science is rudimentary and dealing with processes barely controlled, let alone understood.  The ideas that I have been developing of late have been more 'horrific' in nature than fits the flavour of the Eyliarenn setting, but they do work within the internal logic of the setting.  I don't want to 'pollute' the basic book with varying visions of Eyliarenn, but rather set out a solid foundation that can be built on by myself and others, and that can stand multiple interpretations (I also have in mind an Epic Eyliarenn supplement - I'm not such a fan of the 'bigger than Ben Hur' style of game, but I know I'm probably in the minority among fantasy gamers on that one).

So I am working, just not so much on what I should be.  More to come soon I hope.

(This post has been simultaneously published on my Eyliarenn project blog.)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Not 30,000

The word count on my book now sits at a little over 27,000 words. a little more than it did just before Christmas. I had a really productive spurt for the two weeks leading up to Christmmas. I had hoped to get it up to 30,000 by New Year's Eve, but it wasn't to be - too many family commitments and a healthy dose of relationship maintnenance. No regrets.

Now I'm settling back into work routines and will be writing like some writing fiend in the evenings in no time.  But tonight it's Trafalgar.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Passed the ten thousand word mark last night on my super-secret, hush-hush writing project.  All I'm saying is it isn't a novel (though I may have a stab at writing one at a later date - I have a plot I hallucinated a couple of years ago when I was quite ill and I'd like to take it out again sometime and see where it might go), and it won't interest most people. But who cares.  Less than half a dozen people have read my honour thesis (a fact for which I cm grateful). Basically, I'm writing it for me.  If I can sell it a make a few bucks, all the better.

Yes, Johnson famously said that "No man but a blockhead writes, except for money." so, well, it would be more than just a little bit cool if I could make some money from it, and with money comes validation, I guess.
Yeah, sure - I want to sell it.  Happy?

At least I'm enjoying the process.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Adventures in blogging

I'm the first to admit, I'm an inconsistent blogger. I know I should be more regular in my blogging habits, and everyone who has an opinion on the subject says you need to be posting at least two or three times a day if you want peoplke to come badk regularly (and thereby make any kind of cash from your margin ads).

I was really slack for a couple of months while my wife was in hospital, and I don't apologise for that - I understand that for some people with sick loved-ones, getting all that anxiety and pain and heartache out to their online audience is cathartic and may even help them to get though the rough patch, but Jess is a pretty private person, and anything I wrote about that time would be mostly about her, so I had to respect that.

SInce than, I've still been slack.  There's some upheaval at work at the moment due to an ongoing restructure and "right-sizing" (I'll save my disdain for the newspeak of the corporate world for another post) and I think that it would be inappropriate (and a red-flag for potential future employers) if I wrote about that. But to be honest, that's not what's keeping me from posting either. I'm even making headway with the RPG setting I'm writing (which, for anyone with an interest, I'm going to start blogging about here).

The fact is, I just don't think I'm that interesting.  So instead of beating myself up over not constantly updating The Scoop with all the latest from my world, I'll be concentrating on the other blogs I'm trying to get up and running, and the other sideline projects that insist on my time, like work, and marriage.  This doesn't mean I won't post on The Scoop ever again.  It simply means that when I don get to it, or if I just don't have anything to say, I'll feel a lot less guilty about it.

So, until I've got something interesting to announce, that's me out.