Song (and Story) of the Day – 15/09/2016

I have always avoided silence more than the dark. The spaces I grew up in were safe enough, stable enough, that I knew with the certainty of consistency that nothing lurked in the shadows. There was no fear of the unknown keeping me up at night. The things in my head did that. Consequences of being an introvert, I suppose.

The silence was a void, an endless distance without the friction of distraction to slow my thoughts down, without fences to keep them from escaping. In the silence, my thoughts were not under my control, and they seemed to know it. Unchained, they picked up momentum until they were crashing around my head like a physical force, building and building toward a disorienting crescendo that left me reeling and dizzy.

So I knew what waited for me in the silence, and I looked for a way to keep it away. Continue reading

Site Update: Current Plan

I know I’ve left a lot of you in the lurch by seemingly abandoning my Dark Souls 2 Let’s Play. Truth is, for a while I did. Without getting into details, it’s been a difficult year for me, which has caused me to abandon all my plans multiple times over as I try to deal with the shifts and changes of my life.

My previous plan was to write and complete Dark Souls 2 in my downtime, and then only release it once it was fully complete. I thought this was the best way to go about it considering I’d already stopped it twice and it would be unfair to possibly do that again. At the same time, that would mean even longer without a hint that it was progressing at all.

Though I don’t expect anyone to care about the fiction I write, that particular creative outlet has been a rare light in the dark. A light like that is nice, but staring at it too long is liable to make you blind, which may be part of the issue. It’s not as if I had grand ambitions, but I still needed to do something, and everything else just looked like too much.

If I could do either full time, I’d try to get both done, but that’s not an option. Where I’m at now, it has to be one or the other.

And it will likely continue to be so. I’ve always had more things I wanted to do in this space, each more pointlessly drawn-out than the last. For the longest time, I felt on the cusp of abandoning fiction as well to write reviews of radio dramas and comedies going back all the way to the 1940s. Theatre of the mind has always been a passion of mine that I’d love to share with the world. Of course, that would be even more work, so it will have to wait. If I get to it at all.

Before this gets too rambly, I’ll lay out the basic course I attempting to navigate at this time.

I’m going to hold off on entirely new fiction, and also put the majority of my dozen or so works in progress in a box somewhere. I have one major project that I want to concentrate on right now, something new for me and likely longer than I’ve attempted before. That will be it for 2016. Aside from that, I’ll go through my completed drafts for a final edit (new grammar tools are a big help!) before putting them on Wattpad or something. I may also indulge in the occasional “Song of the Day” flash fiction piece, but those usually come and go in an afternoon, so they’re not a burden.

During the winter months, I will probably have more downtime, and that is when I will resume and finish the Dark Souls 2 Diaries.

After that, I’m not sure. We’ll take 2017 as it comes.

So, that’s that. A little update to keep those who may be interested in the loop. If you have any questions or comments, feel free.

I’m also going to try and stream on my Twitch account more regularly. It will be mostly Battlerite right now, but I may stream whatever else I’m playing if I think it would be at all interesting to watch. Check that out if you haven’t already.

By Your Hand

Imagine a woman. And not just in the abstract; see her in your mind. Her hair, the clothes she’s wearing, her jewellery and makeup, the colour of her eyes. But imagine more than her appearance, because people aren’t their features, not really. To do this properly, you have to ask the most important question: Who is she? What kind of person is she?

It helps to start nearer the beginning. First, imagine her childhood. Something ordinary, the type that’s sometimes happy and sometimes sad, that doesn’t have to lean heavily in either direction, at least at first glance. She had parents who were there for her, but not always. School friends and a pet turtle. There’s more to her story, of course, and we can make it interesting. Add some drama. That’s what you’re here for, isn’t it?

Perhaps she lost a relative when she was young. An uncle who started drinking after a crippling injury. Maybe that’s not enough, though. Spice that up with a dash of organized crime. He used to take her to the track as a little girl, let her lay a small bet on the prettiest horse. Put a smile on her face while he sold himself down the river.

The broken kneecaps lost him his job, but couldn’t stop him from hobbling to the edge of a railway overpass.

What kind of person is she now? Continue reading

Things That Used to be Safe

As a kid, Zero thought he hated dancing. Three times a week, during morning PE, he would have to line up with the rest of his class while the teacher played that same awful dancehall remix of “If I Were a Rich Man”–a joke at his expense that Zero didn’t understand until years later–and perform the steps exactly as dictated. Long, agonizing minutes during which the squeak of sneakers on hardwood overwhelmed drum and bass crackling from blown speakers, and all Zero could think about was how this cut into the time they could be spending on worthwhile activities like dodgeball and four square.

It wasn’t until near the end of middle school when Zero learned that dancing could be something more than the shuffling mimicry of line dancing. His first after-school dance also took place in the gym, the familiar space made nearly unrecognizable by disco lights and a rainbow cloud of balloons hanging overhead. When a classmate made the nervous trek to the usually off-limits boom box and placed his homemade CD in the tray, when the first driving chords of some boisterous pop song Zero didn’t recognize filled the room, he prepared himself for an evening of drudgery. But no teacher appeared to take the lead, and the other kids didn’t spread out to ensure they had enough distance between each other to prevent interference. Instead, they trickled onto the designated dance floor in small clumps of twos and threes and fours. Mostly the girls at first, but the boys followed. As Zero watched, they began to move in time to the music in ways he didn’t understand. There was no direction, only a rhythmic chaos, where nothing had a pattern yet everyone seemed to know what to do.

Milo, his best friend, grabbed Zero by the arm, pulling him away from the snack table. “Come on,” he said.

“I don’t know the steps,” shouted Zero. Continue reading