Category Archives: Writing

Character Introductions

As there often is on Facebook, there has recently been a scourge of memes going around, one of which was along the lines of “Tell me a character name and I will write their introduction as if I were writing a novel”. I didn’t want to do that for everyone, but I did want to do some. And so, I present a select few of the ones I have written. Characters are not named, but should be obvious from context if you know them.
Continue reading Character Introductions

xkcd: Life Goals

New year, new things

It’s 2017, I’m still getting used to typing 2017 instead of 2016 by reflex (haven’t even tried writing it down yet), and I have absolutely no resolutions for the year. Not one.

I don’t really believe in the whole resolutions thing. But I do believe in setting some goals for myself, and trying to do better over time. I just find “New Years Resolutions” to be a crap way of doing it.

So this year, I want to achieve some things, and I might take some inspiration from the stand-up meetings we have at work and start keeping a record of how I’m doing on them to keep myself accountable and keep track of what’s getting in my way (besides myself).

With all that in mind, here are my current goals:

  • More gym time, get my cardio up, look at freeweights
    • Possibly try cardio in chain once I’m back in the swing of it
    • Currently blocked by my new gym still not being open but there’s another branch I can use in the meantime.
  • More work on Tixty
    • I need to get the admin backend sorted, and get a better frontend interface done while I’m at it
  • More creative writing
    • I want to try and get some regular creative writing done. Might start looking around for sources of inspiration or ask people for prompts
  • Write and run Heroes Rush In
    • It’s the penultimate event for No Rest for the Wicked, and I’m not alone in writing it but our plans are ambitious and we need to get started on them.
  • Make mage armour
    • I need new mage armour for Empire
    • I need to settle on a design, get someone to help with the bits I need help with, and start working on the rest.
  • Get Magento certified
    • We’re working on it at work, but I need to put in the effort, and I need to push for it to get sorted.
  • Learn Japanese
    • I’ve got a number of events coming up where knowing conversational Japanese would be useful – I need to brush up on it again and get used to using it.

I’ve probably missed some off, but one of the joys of life is that if you forget something, you can always it it to the list later.

 

Featured image from xkcd: Life Goals

30 days of anime

Following on from #rpgaday2015 for blog topics, I’m contemplating doing 30 days of anime, something which popped up on my feed a little while ago. The list is below.

  1. Very first anime you watched
  2. Favourite anime you’ve watched so far
  3. Favourite male anime character ever
  4. Favourite female anime character ever
  5. Anime you’re ashamed you enjoyed
  6. Anime you want to see but haven’t yet
  7. Your anime crush
  8. Favourite anime couple
  9. Best anime villain
  10. Favourite fighter anime
  11. Favourite mech anime
  12. Saddest anime scene
  13. Anime character you are most similar to
  14. Anime that never gets old no matter how many times you’ve rewatched it
  15. Favourite animal sidekick, pet, or summoning from any anime
  16. Anime with the best animation
  17. Favourite supporting male anime character
  18. Favourite supporting female anime character
  19. Most epic scene ever
  20. Anime character that gets on your nerves
  21. Favourite goofy anime character
  22. Favourite weapon, gear, or armour used in an anime
  23. Favourite attack someone used in an anime
  24. Moment that shocked you the most in any anime
  25. Saddest anime death
  26. Best anime fight
  27. Most badass scene from any anime character
  28. Favourite quote from any anime character
  29. An anime you wished was real
  30. An anime you wish never ended and continued on

I may not do these in order, and I may not do them continuously like I’ve been doing #rpgday2015. We’ll see how it goes. I can already answer some, and some would take more consideration – a lot more.

Reasoning for doing something like this is topics, really. Having something to talk about is a useful thing, and writing – even about silly things – means that I’m improving those skills. Plus, I get to talk about anime which can be fun.

Given I’ve binge-watched four seasons of Hunter x Hunter in 12 days, I may be watching a lot of anime at the moment…

Self-censorship

Last week I wrote a 1000 word post on some issues that I felt needed said. I was venting into that post, and it was one of the most inflammatory pieces of writing I have ever written. Three people have seen that post, and the general responses were “yeah, you probably shouldn’t post that”. I set it aside, scheduled it to post on Saturday and let it be.

Then after a couple of days, I wrote it again without the anger and bile, and with a better attitude in general. If I hadn’t written the first one, I’m not sure I could have written the substantially better second version. Having written that, I felt much better about not publishing the first one and removed the first one from my scheduling queue.

It was an act of self-censorship as I’m not going to be saying things as directly or matter-of-factly as I was before, but I’m saying what needs said in a better way – and that’s rather more important.

I’m aware this post is a little cryptic, and I kind of apologise for that, but I’m sure the context can be garnered by those aware of certain situations.

[Requiem] An excerpt from a letter

An excerpt taken from a letter written by Charles Morganti to another kindred.

The advance of technology has been immeasurably useful to my trade. Where once providing a musician for a private affair involved earplugs, blindfolds and other such instruments to disguise the truth of affairs, now technology provides an answer. From the gramophones introduced at the turn of the last century, which enabled music to be played at will at the turn of a crank to the modern electric music devices that transcend such basic principles. In modern nights, I can have a favoured musician play in a private room and their art is conveyed through electrics to a room elsewhere providing the unique experience of a personal musician without the dangers of having a kine musician included in a kindred matter.

You might ask why I don’t simply solve two problems at once and make a favoured musician of mine into a ghoul to provide safety and loyalty. The answers are myriad: I provide discrete services, and even a ghoul being present can break that creed; providing a variety of musical talent in this way would be expensive in vitae; and then there is the foremost reason – the lack of creativity in the ghouled. There is no shame in admitting that the mortal mind adapts better to new situations and creates more readily than the minds of the kindred. Our immortal nature bestows a certain slowness in thought, and the ghouled take on some measure of that. A ghoul is less likely to be original, or to create new works. Even the bond is dangerous as it focuses the kine on yourself rather than the creation of new works. In art and music, you want nothing other than the best unsullied by the nature of vitae.

Of course, the problem with using only kine untouched by the blood is that they all too soon wither and lose their talent. At some point, one must ask oneself whether this treasured artist is at the peak of their abilities and whether you wish to retain them as they are, or whether one lets them continue to create and age as a mortal. This is another solution that technology has overcome to a degree. The ability to store the art of a musician’s craft in electrics such that their beauty can be recounted at any point is itself a marvel and one which I offer freely to my clientèle should they desire musical accompaniment to their activities. As previously described, a personal performance can also be arranged through the use of an insulated music room for the performer or performers which also allows for the composition of original or custom pieces for a particular event.

The scale of technological advancement seems to leap exponentially with every passing decade. There seems to be little now that cannot be accomplished through the power of electrics – the cities quite literally thrum with the energy passing through the aether at times.

Meme stories

Tonight, another iteration of a meme started going around my friends. This particular meme invites commenters to relate the story of how they met the poster, but to lie in doing so. Outlandish tales are far more fun.

Tell me how we first met.
Lie.

I decided to take this a step further, though perhaps not intentionally. I like the constraints of six word stories – how the brevity makes each word more important, and how it can convey more of a story than the six words contain in themselves.

Each reply I have made to tonight’s round of the meme has followed the following three rules (created after the fact rather than before): each is six words exactly, each works independently of the others, and each can be brought together to illustrate a much larger story.

What that story was has been developed on the fly from the origins of the idea of writing a horror story featuring mirrors. The story seems to encompass a war with shadows and reflections, fighting our images who have decided to take over. Of course, winning the war doesn’t seem to be on the cards – merely a harsh survival as I relate how I met each of my (temporary) compatriots in the war.

It’s been an entertaining evening. The little excerpts of this tale are available on those posts I’ve commented on.

[Awakening] All My Life

All my life, I’ve been searching for something.

Something never came, never led to nothing.

Nothing satisfies but I’m getting close, closer to the prize at the end of the rope.

That’s when I found her. She wasn’t the nebulous truth I’d been searching for, she was real and she became my world. I put aside the quest I’d never been able to explain and entered a new life with her. I’d found something real and I wasn’t letting go.

All night long, I dream of the day. When it comes around, then it’s taken away.

Until the accident. Highlands back road, middle of the night, all blind summits and sharp corners on thin country tracks. We were looking at wedding venues that weekend and we were on our way back to the hotel. I still don’t know what hit us or where it came from – there wasn’t anything there when I woke up again. But somehow I survived and she was… I couldn’t let it happen, wouldn’t let it happen, and something broke that night. I found what I’d been searching for, the nebulous truth, and it didn’t help. I made a working that night by instinct, desperately trying to bring her back, to make her whole. All I succeeded in doing was binding her soul here, connected to my own.

Leaves me with the feeling that I feel the most, feel I come to life when I see your ghost.

Ever since that night all I’ve done, all I’ve cared about was finding a way to restore her to life. No matter what it takes, no matter what secrets I must learn, I will find a way.

And I’m done, done, onto the next one.

Done, I’m done and I’m onto the next…

[Requiem] Comfortable lies

I was given the phrase “comfortable lies” to base a bit of fiction off of. What follows appears to be an excerpt from my Requiem character‘s mind, specifically regarding the creation of useful tools and servants. It doesn’t really go anywhere, but does bring up some of his notions about how the kine and ghouls should be treated.

Normally I would share this sort of thing across my social networks, but it’s almost a little too strange for me to want to do that, so I’ll just leave it here and point people at it later.


The human mind is a wonderful thing. Given enough of a push, it can come to believe anything – it can even lie to itself and twist truth and fallacy so completely they become indiscernible.

Push someone to their breaking point enough and they come to accept it as part of their life, they may even come to welcome it. They forget that things weren’t always like this and convince themselves that this is better; they come to welcome a brief respite as if it were a month-long vacation. They tell themselves that the lie is true, that they’re better off, that the respite is better than a holiday.

Push someone to their breaking point enough and they convince themselves that they’re unbroken while they remould themselves in the forge you present to them. There’s no challenge in breaking someone and reforging them; it’s a long process and you often have to start from nothing. Convincing someone that they remain unbroken, that they have chosen this path instead of being forced into it – that is a much more entertaining prospect.

Those who survive the process are fit to serve – convinced by themselves that this is where they should be without the weaknesses of a broken mind. Perhaps they long for the day that they can strike back, but can’t imagine what they would do without you – it doesn’t matter as long as they serve; and the ones who think they deserve to end your existence will fight harder to stop someone else doing so.

Of course, the process also eradicates their candidacy for elevation, at least in the superior clan. The lesser clans may find their twisted nature compatible, but they lack the elegance required for our family.

[Fiction] Preparation

A bit of fiction for my No Rest for the Wicked character, an Imperial Knight pilot.

He waits, the time is not ready yet. The flask of amasec dangles in his fingers. One more swig, and it’s stoppered and away, the ritual focusing him for the moment. Entering his code, he starts the activation process and settles back in the iron throne. Snake-like cables burst out from the chair, seeking their targets.

The articulated nerve plugs hang in the air for a moment, seeking the graft-sockets embedded in his flesh. A pause in motion then the plugs slam into place, whirring locks engaging as data spikes slide into nerve channels, momentary discomfort echoing through twitching nerves as the Throne’s systems become one with his own. His skull, neck, and forearms throb from the new connections.

The instincts of the Throne seep into him, the half-heard whispers echoing down his spine as he begins the transformation to his true self – the iron self that knows true war.

In a true Sanctuary, the Throne Mechanicum would descend into the waiting Knight before the knight is linked into its systems. For a Knight at war, this is less of an option, and he reaches up to connect and lock the hardlink systems.

His fingers twitch as he becomes more than a man, nerves becoming synonymous with circuitry; sensors come up, lighting up his visual cortex; servos engage, replacing flesh and blood with machine and oil. Seeing with the eyes of a god, he strides out onto the waiting field.

Menials scatter as a slow pace becomes a stride then a run. The ion fields kick in, and the shield on his left arm flickers into readiness. The power lance that is his right arm crackles with lightning. The partner to his soul rises up to greet him, his thirst for battle met by that of the machine of which he is part. He is no longer just Trysten Martinus Ariakin, he is Fulgida Lancea and he is charging into war once more.

Straight Razor Cabaret

My new Vampire: the Requiem character for the Isles of Darkness is more than a little based on a character I created for a PBeM Vampire: the Masquerade game.

One of the main differences is that my Requiem character is male, while the Masquerade character was female. One of the things I did to solidify that character in my mind was write the following fiction piece. Some people may prefer not to read it due to triggers or just plain unpleasantness, so I’ve placed it under a cut.

I’m not sure how well it would stand up to being gender-switched, which may be a flaw in my writing – not that I’m going to claim excellent ability at writing in the first place.

For those who might recognise it, some of the character inspirations come from Aurelio Voltaire’s songs, specifically Straight Razor Caberet and Cathouse Tragedy. Continue reading Straight Razor Cabaret