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Five Bees For A Quarter

January 16, 2013

Here’s a question for you – what’s got two thumbs, speaks (terrible) French and has been an unfocused, confused mess of late? Moi. OK, maybe that joke doesn’t really work as well as it could without the thumb-related visual element, but the fact I still used it is probably just further evidence of the mixed up, fuzzy thinking I’ve been struck with lately. Due to spending most of the last seven days being a muddled-up Goon I’ve failed to come up with a proper blog post so I’ve decided to inflict whatever half-baked, non sequitur filled ramblings I can come up with in the next half an hour upon you instead.

You have been warned.

So, what have I been doing instead of getting a decent blog post sorted out? Well last Thursday I popped along to my local gaming club for an evening of geek-related hi-jinks. Seeing the wargames in action made my promise myself that I’d pull my finger out and get my in-progress armies finished so I could join in properly. I’ve got a Warmachine force (Khador), a Hordes force (Everblight) and a Warhammer 40,000 army (Nurgle Daemons) sitting in my work queue at the moment, all in various stages of assembly and paintedness, but none that are sufficiently progressed to really use in game. Oh, and there’s several DreadBall and Bloodbowl teams there as well. Given I’ve been working on the remarkably small Khador for six months now and the Nurgle Daemons since the 4th Edition of 40,000 (we’re onto 6th now if I recall correctly) I’ve really got no excuse for not having anything finished yet. So the promise was made and here we are seven days later and I’ve not even looked at the models, never mind actually getting round to picking up a paint brush. Did I mention I’ve been a bit unfocused? I’m pretty sure I did. Before I left the club I got to have a go at a new board game, Spartacus – a Game of Blood and Sand. Obviously it’s based on the similarly named telly series and the game seemed like decent fun even for someone like me who’s not a fan of the show or much of a board gamer (see And Then I Rolled A Six for more of my thoughts on that particular topic). I considered doing a mini review of it but can’t really remember enough about it to do so. I hope you’re seeing a theme emerging of me being a bit useless lately.

The uselessness continued on my journey home from the club. After getting off the train I managed to get lost walking from the station to my house. Yep, I’ve lived in my adopted home town for about eighteen years now, and I walk the same way from the train station to home every week day after work and I still managed to get lost. I thought I was being clever taking a bit of a short cut, but after a little while it dawned I had no idea where I was. Eventually I started to recognise my surroundings only to discover I’d spend the last fifteen minutes walking in completely the opposite direction like the High King of the Chumps. In a way it’s quite refreshing to realise that at the ripe old age of thirty-five I can still on occasion surprise myself with my own Goonishness.

The non-blog related writing hasn’t gone much better either.  While over the last two weeks or so I’ve knocked out about six or seven  thousand words for Wyrm Cast these take the form of badly scrawled, hand-written notes I did on the train.  I’ve consistently and studiously avoided typing them up and editing them into something roughly approximating a first draft for a while now – it turns out sitting on my arse watching telly or dicking about on Facebook is a lot easier to do than this editing lark.  I’ve had a go at a few short stories as well, but didn’t really think the concepts through enough. Consequently I’ve ended up with the first couple of paragraphs for three different stories with no idea where to take them. And in hindsight I’m not convinced the core ideas really have legs – one of them’s about super powered apes operating behind German lines in the closing days of WWII. Seriously. I’m starting to wonder if I’ve taken a heavy blow to the head at some point in the last week.  I don’t remember that happening, but then that’s so often the case.

Random thought just occurred to me – looking through the story and chapter outlines for Wyrm Cast I’ve just noticed that as it stands at the moment there’s not really any female characters in it. Mary Shelly and Claire Clairmont are scheduled to turn up in a flashback, but in the main narrative there ain’t no dames.  Personally that doesn’t bother me, and I’m against shoe-horning things in for the sake of it, but I get a niggling feeling that some folk could take umbrage with it – strong female characters are all the rage, don’t you know?  A friend of mine (proper author and everything, she is) wrote an excellent blog about that particular point that I really like, but wether or not I change things up in my book to include a feminine presence is something for me to think on.

 Hang about – here comes another random thought – since I’ve cracked doing the hyperlinky things (two already in this post alone, much to my surprise) I should maybe try to put some pictures in my posts as well. And maybe try to tart the blog up a bit, make it look nice. I’ve tried to do that once but I’m still struggling to find my way around WordPress, what with my chimp-like computer skills. Seriously, I’m impressed I even manage to post these bloody posts in the first place.

Right.  Enough rambling.  I need to get things back on track. But how?  According to the motivational posters I should realise that I don’t own my possessions because my possessions own me, that I’m made of stars and that there’s no I in team.  Turns out that motivational posters aren’t that useful then.  What I really need is a plan.  Therefore I’m going to stick to the following four point scheme.  Honest.

  1. I’m going to start work on next weeks piece about Edgar Rice Burroughs right away.  This includes watching the recentish John Carter DVD I’ve had lying around the house since last November so I can include a bit about that.
  2. I’m not going to write any more for Wyrm Cast until all the notes are sorted out, typed up and edited into a proper first draft. And I’m not going to start on chapter six or beyond until I’ve got the second bloody half of chapter bloody three actually written.
  3. I’m going to avoid starting any kind of short story until I’ve got more or less the whole thing planned out – no more going off half cocked.
  4. I’m going to avoid taking short cuts until I learn how to use the GPS thingy on my Phone so I can hopefully avoid looking like a bit of an idiot in the immediate future.

There we go, that’s that sorted.  What can possibly go wrong?

As a parting note I’d like to offer a prize to anyone who can correctly guess where I got the title for this post from and why it relates to rambling, incoherent monologues like this one (without using Google, you cheeky little scamps). The prize is nothing too special – just a big thumbs up from me. Though you might get a shock when you find out exactly what my thumbs are going up…


From → Musings

  1. A thing I was going to say that I always do anyway is ‘press on’. This specifically concerns getting the draft out, but assuming you have most of a working outline, then you may find it easier to edit from something that’s mostly already there than not. I’ve started book 2 myself with an outline I need to tweak but it was bugging me to not have got an opening sequence up and running. Now, I can tell you, I’m far from happy with it – very much a boat with a leaky hull at the moment, but I won’t be able to do anything more until I’ve got moving with that, just because that’s where my head’s at on the writing front at the moment.
    On your story characters, you have a number of options you can take there. Just have a think about the tale, but be sure not to crowbar anything that doesn’t fit your story for the hell of it. If you like, I’ll happily take a look once you’ve finished your first draft?
    And by the way, I’ve still got a good chunk of Necron army to finish. I just haven’t got around to painting and certain bits of gluing. So you’re one up on me there 🙂

    • Pressing on is undoubtedly the key. I had a pretty big rethink a few weeks ago that caused a big change to the outline, and rendered about 8000 words that I’d done obelete. What can a chap do? Press on. Chip away at it. Get words down. I can’t see any other way to get it done, so press on is probably the best advice a person can give.

      I’m finding having an outline invaluble – it might change as I go but it generally keeps me on the right track. Actually a tweak I made yesterday has opened up a spots for two extra characters – I may well make them female just to put my mind at ease.

      Once my daemons are finished we’ll have to see if we can’t arrange a scrap with your necrons – sometime in the summer of 2016

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