Forgive me Internet for I have sinned…

…it’s been *mumble* *cough* months since my last entry, and well to a certain extent I don’t feel too terribly guilty about it.  I got swept up in something… really, I’m still in the mid-sweep and it doesn’t seem like this particular gust is going to subside any time soon. More on that in a moment… but first…

How many writing advice sites are there out there in the old Interwebs?  Hundreds?  Thousands?  Tens of thousands?  How many of those are written by professional authors or editors or other people who are in the industry in one way or another?  And how many by hacks?  And who am I?  I’m just this dude, you know… I write stuff when the fancy strikes me and I’ve pretty much been doing it for years.

I entertain no illusions that some sort of genius languishes undiscovered here… I know writing is hard work… talk is easy… crafting a story that works and says something in the process is no mean task.  I’m just not ambitious that way… that’s one of the things I discovered along the way through my participation in NaNoWriMo.

I like to write.  I write everyday… or try to, at least.  I still keep a paper journal and write in it with a ballpoint pen because I dislike gel pens and liquid ink pens; because they run and ruin the paper… they bleed and stain the adjacent pages.  I write to maintain my sanity, to gain perspective on things that happen to me in my life where a different point of view helps in sorting out and untangling the morass… life’s messy and it gets all fucked up too easily, and sometimes you need to take a look at the damned thing but from another perspective.  That’s what writing does for me: it helps me sort the day-to-day stuff, to put my world in order so that I don’t fly off the edge of the wheel as it spins with abandon… that shit can happen too easily too…

I began to doubt that I could supply any advice of merit when it came to writing, despite the fact that beloved family and friends consider me a journeyman writer; the conclusion was simple — there were plenty of others out there offering advice and really I was just duplicating what they said… or making up some shit that sounded better in my head than it did when I read it back to myself from the screen.  No big, right?  Since there’s plenty of advice to be had for free and readily available, I neither need to regurgitate nor aggregate that information here… it’s liberating really.

Likewise I need not restate things best stated first hand via an original source.  So what then?  What of this blog?  What to say, what to say?  Well, for starters: anything I damn well please, thank you very much.  Hah!  That’s me being diabolical… I’m not very good at being diabolical, so we’ll just skip that.  I think it’s going to take a while to really get a concept together for this blog — I mean, I don’t want to abandon it.  I feel minor (very minor) pangs of guilt for ignoring it the way I did, but I don’t want to kill it because it’s something I created.  Just because it’s a little… well… amorphous doesn’t mean it deserves to die.

I’m going to let it meander for a while.  I’m going to play around with this thing and see how it comes out from the other end of the tunnel.  My intention is to keep it going… and, sure, a little writing advice might still slip in there every now and again, but that certainly won’t be the purpose of the blog; that will just be one of those incidental things.  I might just have to give the errant blog a knife and a water skin, and send it out into the wild alone to see how it fares… see if it comes back draped in coyote skin, hardened, and with a better sense of itself.  Hmmm…

Oh yes, “swept up…”  In the intervening time between the last time I committed thoughts to this space and now, I’ve been busy reviving a hobby which has been very meaningful to me over my life thus far: I started up a D&D group due to the inspiration of a couple of people… Servando Pena, a friend whose enthusiasm was the spark which ignited the torch which was provided by Tyler Lutz; whose innocent comment, “there should be a SAPL D&D group,” on a Goodreads review I wrote became that very same oil-soaked brand.  Thank you gentlemen, I hadn’t realized I’d been missing this… Thanks also to Ernest Cline, whose Ready Player One (and the inclusion of The Tomb of Horrors therein) certainly awoke that slumbering beast in the dusty innards of my cobwebbed mind, bid him to rise and take a piss, and see what the state of the world was since his hibernation commenced some fifteen years ago… yeah, THAT long.  Thanks to Peter V. Brett and that awesome Author D&D game at ConFusion 2012 — that motherfucker was off the hook.  Finally, thanks to internet titan, Wil Wheaton, whose Tabletop show for Geek & Sundry encouraged me to say, “fuck it,” and gather up the balls to start a game… well played, sir.

As a bit of a throwback I opted to run a 1st edition AD&D campaign, so it’s like a history lesson and a good time mixed into one.  When you factor in the amount of time it took me to locate all of the rule books, learn the system again (I hadn’t run 1st edition since 1994 when the group I was playing with at the time made the transition to 2nd edition… so 18 or so years ago), and prepare to run a campaign (I completely forgot how much work that was…) you begin to see where all the time went.  Unfortunately, the blog went up on the shelf for a while and collected some dust… so did the stories.  Now I’m trying to find an equilibrium where they can all coexist while I still attend to all of the other responsibilities I have.

NEXT: I got to hear Neil Gaiman speak…Image

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