A Business About Storytelling, Game Development, And Other Promises

Aside from the fanfiction I posted the other day in a previous post, it’s been yet another long while since I’ve posted on this Blog. Obviously, a lot has happened since I last wrote here so I will try to catch everyone up.

The LDEEP Workshop actually took another week longer than I’d originally thought. Now I am seeing the head of the program every Monday and Thursday. What we’re doing now is we are working on a plan of self-employment. It is going to be centered around two aspects: assisted storytelling, and the creation of some collaborative works. Basically the idea is that I will be helping other people with their writing, or telling their own stories while making my own with fellow artistic collaborators.

In retrospect, I’d been heading in this direction for quite some time even before LDEEP. Even before it had a name, even before I had a Patreon account, I knew this was something that I had to do. And if all goes well, I may even be able to get assistance for this. But it will take time and effort on my part. I am still not home free yet and, honestly, even when this becomes a reality I still won’t be.

There have been challenges even now. Sometimes I’ve wondered if I am doing the right thing or if someone as numerically challenged as myself has any right attempting to run a business. There had also been times when I was frustrated with LDEEP and how many of its workshops, while informative, didn’t really apply to my ultimate goals. And very recently I had to turn down a job offer that, while it might have given me some money, just wasn’t feasible for me due to distance and misunderstandings.

Yet these things have worked in my favour when I really think about them. I was having a lot of trouble articulating a good business plan. The head of our program told me to “make a story with numbers.” And I struggled with it. I admit, it slowed me down a lot. I wanted to create actual content. I wanted to keep writing on this Blog. I didn’t want to be bogged down by details. And I was looking for someone full time who could help with future administrative duties: to leave me with time to create.

But right now I am the only one that can make this happen. And I realized I was going about this all the wrong way. I’ve mentioned many times before that I have a learning disability: specifically in the realm of mathematics. So, one day after dealing with a lot of other issues, I realized that what I should be doing is writing out “the story” first and add the numbers, with assistance, later on. Basically, for lack of another better analogy, I am working on the thesis of the thing and gathering the research and evidence afterwards to back it up.

It was still work but I managed to create a first draft of a plan. And it is still, like everything I do, a work in progress. And I will definitely keep you posted once I finally make something a little more substantial to work with.

I have also been working on a collaborative game with a team of people who happen to also be made up of some of my childhood friends. And I have accomplished a lot. I have not only created a sample list of pre-generated character names and six factions, but also an extra seventh faction that I hope to use in a tutorial along with a creative event scenario. There is, like everything else, a lot more to do but I am pleased with mine — and my teammates’ — progress. So while I am not a programmer or a graphic artist, I am a writer for a game and so this is actually some game development on my part: which makes me really damned proud.

I also can’t wait to say more about the actual game itself, but I will wait on that until we have more done and when our team leader thinks it appropriate.

The graphic story collaboration I am making with Angela O’Hara is still happening, but we have both had to take time to deal with our respective workloads. But I know we are both still interested in its creation and I look forward to sharing that work as well.

So many promises now, I have to say. I feel like, for all the challenges and tribulations I’ve faced, I have been doing some good work. And that in itself is a reward. But I plan to do so much more: just as I also plan to share so much more with you, my faithful friends and readers.

Until next time.

Looking Outward

I’m Doing It: Towards the Final Week

And now: for Too Much Information Time. If you do not want Too Much Information Time, please stop reading this post. As I’ve said before, there are a plenty of good and viable articles and writings of mine that you can read instead. But if you do go on, know that these are challenges that I am dealing with and, at the very least, there is some positive problem-solving involved. That said, reader’s discretion — as always — is advised. 

I’ve never really been good with time. Not too long ago, I said that it’s an inescapable fact that projects are monsters that can get away from you but really, if we’re going to be honest with ourselves here, it’s time that’s the greatest monster of them all.

Usually, I’ve been able to update my Blog on Mondays and be able to focus on other things throughout the week. But last week, and a good portion of this one have been … something else I have to say. It’s true that I haven’t really kept you up to date about my fourth and, now practically, the fifth weeks of my time in LDEEP: an Ontario government-sponsored program that helps people with learning disabilities find meaningful employment.

One reason I’d been stuck on saying anything is because I reached a … curve, as it were. A lot of the syllabus that we follow is generic government-mandated material: mainly filling out questionnaires to determine our technical and intellectual skills, resume building, possible interview scenarios, and even cold-calling. We also had sessions on computers to look for jobs.

In the beginning, I could understand the questionnaires: as it would help the workers know us a bit more and eventually aid them in getting us the right placements. But after a while, I started feel a bit … restless. It probably doesn’t help that before I get a ride to the centre, I have to use the washroom three or four times before getting paranoid about being stuck in traffic for far too long. Irritable bowel is manageable when you are not facing a lot of stress. I don’t dare eat anything before I leave for that similar reason: even though it doesn’t seem to make much difference and, in fact, it might actually improve my condition.

I don’t mention this a lot, but especially before I even came to LDEEP I developed this feeling that anything outside my immediate vicinity is ultimately unsafe and I have to be on guard all the time. I can’t relax. I need to know where the facilities are and I need to have the freedom to move around and have access to them. If you have seen Toronto, this is easier said than done in a commuter city where public restrooms are few and far between.

It was … bad the first two weeks of the program as my body was adjusting to waking up earlier again and figuring out what the hell was going on. Actually, it feels like hell: a hell of discomfort and anger I have to work through and I am relieved to get around when I finally get to the centre thanks to my dad. But in the beginning I was all right because I insisted on doing work when I got there, despite some of my experiences before that, and I left — with the work there — and with a sense of accomplishment. I did what I needed to do despite my body and the panic attacks. I put them in their place.

By the end of the three week of the program and through the middle of the fifth, I started to have other doubts. One key issue, when you are dealing with learning disabled or gifted students, is that you can never make an educational program that is one size fits all. It’s just not possible. It’s even less possible when you have a results-driven mandate that you need to keep up in order to keep going.

I’m not going to lie. There have been a lot of interesting elements of the program that I’ve filed away out of curiosity’s sake, but I’ve felt that a lot of it just doesn’t apply to me. The fact is, I know what I want. I am a writer. I knew I would need to do some tasks for LDEEP, but I thought that we could take what I was good at, focus on what I was missing or what needed improvement, and have some more one-on-one sessions to get me there: complete with more networking to make employment for me possible.

I’ve said before that I also had to get used to interacting with a group again, and that hasn’t been so bad. I’ve made some really nice connections and the people there — including the workers — are good people just trying to find their way and help each other out. Some of us have gone through a lot. When you get beaten down so many times, you can begin to internalize it. But everyone in my program wants to get past that and get the employment they deserve.

But there have been times, particularly when left to our own devices on assignments I didn’t really understand or felt applied to me that I got frustrated. I will admit that there were a few times I was even tempted to leave.

I’m used to having things a certain way. I’m used to being able to eat breakfast at home and deal with my functions before interacting with people. Especially due to my past as a Master’s student, I’ve gotten used to being independent, leaving at my own pace, and learning the things that interest me. And I am a published writer. I have not forgotten any of this. Sometimes I’ve honestly felt like in pursuing this, I’d taken one step forward and three steps back in terms of my own independence: getting a ride to the centre, needing to get a lunch before hand instead of finding something on the way, and even dealing with different kinds of people and situations.

It also doesn’t help when I have to fight a burning feeling in my gut and not feeling safe until I’m out of traffic and near facilities — kind of like how you’d feel if you were playing a video game and Save Points were few and far between on your journey — just to do something that I don’t always feel applies to me, or get left doing something that Ontario Works had me do without much in the way of success.

I know what I want and what I need. And I did ask myself: “Why am I here? Why am I putting myself through all of this? What am I hoping to achieve?”

On Wednesday, the leader of our program called me into his office. Somehow, I knew he would, and not for any terrible reason.  We get along very well and I enjoy talking with him. But he does get busy. LDEEP itself is very busy and he and the other workers attempt to help as many of us as they can.

We had a long talk that can be summarized like this: he has to find me a job and it has been difficult. But I threw out a few ideas and he is going to help me out with them. One of them is a business plan: which will have roots with some of the things I’d been attempting to do for the past three years. It also helps now that, because of LDEEP, I know what my potential net worth — my salary — actually should be. I’m going to be consulting and editing someone else’s work and using the above, along with some of the program leader’s input, as potential templates.

There is also something else I could do in addition to this that might get some pressure off my back and advance my connections and knowledge further. I know that I am going to have to do some hard work no matter what I choose, but at the very least I can choose what work that will be.

And that’s what it is about for me. Personal agency. The fact is — another fact is — I’ve realized how far I have come. LDEEP’s nine to three schedule makes me keep daylight hours and I actually feel a lot better than I have in years aside from the morning departures. My headaches are more manageable when they happen and I actually go to sleep at midnight now.

It has also gotten to the point where, when I come in to the centre, I socialize and work with my peers and this, along with some directed activities, actually makes me feel better as I can focus on a task at hand: or, really, enjoy a conversation. We are all different in this program, and there is a lot we’ve learned about each other.

I also know what I am going to do now. I’ve realized that I can go to the workers and tell them about my concerns: that I don’t have to do all of this on my own. They are there to help us and I need to remember to do that. I might need some time in the morning and that shouldn’t be an issue. I might need clarification about a task.

And, even better, they might have some suggestions for me. Next week will be our final session. We will have assignments to do, but I have my own assignment now that I can begin to focus on starting Monday. I also feel a growing sense of relief. After next week, I can finally pace my own time again. I will still be going to the centre and interacting with the workers and my peers, but I won’t have to be there as stringently as before. I know my stressors and I can pace myself accordingly.

And look at how far I’ve gotten from where I was. On my Facebook today, I wrote something for my status. I said that I’m starting to feel like my life has just begun.

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So, if you have read this far, here is your reward. As you’ve seen from the article image, I got my copy of Doctors in Hell: an appropriate title when all things are considered. So here is an excerpt below, just for you. I just got the hard copy today.

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Perhaps, when you get right down to it, it’s not so much that I’m trying to get my life back. Rather, I’m beginning to realize that I have the potential to make a whole new life entirely. And that, my friends, is a very important feeling. I think I will leave you with that for now. Until next time soon.

An Interview and A Voice for Hell

I promise that, eventually, I will stop talking about hell. But it will not be this day.

Instead, allow me to present two new developments. ZombieZak, or Bill Snider, and his team have compiled a POETS IN HELL Playlist. Vocal recordings are still ongoing, so look forward to seeing more audio get added to this list. Let me just add that Chris Morris, the primary interlocutor before each clip, reads beautifully with a wonderfully diabolical cackle of glee.

I’m also very proud to say that my vocal clip has also come in. Usually the sound of my own “normal” voice grates on me, making me feel a certain amount of chagrin, but I rather like how this — albeit short — recording turned out. And you get the added bonus of hearing my voice for the first time if you haven’t already.

But that is merely one voice in hell. For the first time ever, I actually had an interview. In fact, not only did I get interviewed by Alex Butcher of the Library of Erana about my work in POETS, but she even managed to get Nietzsche himself to speak a few words about his current existence in Janet Morris’ hell.

It was challenging. I seem to be saying that a lot, but it’s no less true in this case. Having to explain your creative process, especially with regards to how it works in a collaboration is difficult enough, but also needing to speak for a man who has been dead for a century or so, whose original language isn’t English, keeping all of his facts straight, and trying to figure out how to reconcile all of these issues in a supernatural realm really keeps you on your toes. Nietzsche’s character interview pushed me to about a similar limit as it does attempting to write from his perspective in my story. Sometimes I don’t know if I understand it or even get all of the facts right, never mind translating his own particular tone, but fiction can be forgiving and I hope that my readers are, if not forgiving, at least understanding of the matter.

If I could have told myself that one day I would be attempting to write from the perspective of Friedrich Nietzsche, I would have thought that my future self was insane.

Of course, we all know by now the answer to that implicit question.

The very least I can say for myself is that I don’t think that I’m Dionysus yet.

So please visit the Library of Erana with its fine Mage, listen to an account how I found hell and how I find it, and give some time to Nietzsche. He may not be the most modern individual and I don’t always agree with what I understand of him, but he can be genial if somewhat self-deprecating, and despite his experiences there is still a bit of mischief in him somewhere: especially when you consider the things that he doesn’t tell you.

And if that doesn’t catch your fancy, there are other interviews with other fine writers: including Janet Morris and the Devil himself. Now there is the real voice of hell.

Poets in hell press release 1

This Little Party is Just Beginning

It’s been two weeks now since I posted anything on here.

Really, my post before this would could have had a few other alternative titles: you know, like “Fed Up,” or “Exhausted,” or something more responsible along the lines of “I Love You All, But I Need To Take a Fucking Break.”

So let me tell you what I’ve been doing since I last wrote here, and what I plan to do.

The very day I wrote that last post, I went to my friend Noah’s birthday dinner and then hung out with him and my friends at a Tim Horton’s: including my friend Andrew whom I haven’t talked with in ages. We just talked about geeky stuff and nothing more strenuous than that. That was about the last time I have seen my friends so far, but it reminded me that I needed to get more time out that I have, well, honestly been getting.

I’m can’t remember a lot of what I did after that. I kept meaning to write something here and I just … didn’t. I even started to get ideas again and have them become more coherent in my brain. I bought the second issue of The Sandman Overture, and then the book Darth Plagueis: the last of which I’ve been meaning to do for a while now.

And during this time I knew that I had a few ideas for more Sequart and Mythic Bios articles. I want to look at Gwendolyn MacEwen again, at an interesting form of comics, at a Batman fanfic comic and the second volume of the new Sandman. The material is all there. I’ve contemplated writing about women in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, but figured it had already been done before and didn’t include it here: though some of that did make its way into an article on Sansa Stark on GeekPr0n. Perhaps that will happen one day.

I also thought about eventually making that article on Anakin Skywalker and how as a classic science-fiction swashbuckler hero he is at a severe disadvantage merely existing in the extreme black and white Force-powerful Star Wars universe. I have also been meaning to write something for my friend Anthony with regards to his second novel Beloved Demons.

And, of course, after one playthrough so far I also want to look at Zoe Quinn’s Depression Quest. It’s fitting I guess, when you consider that this past while I’ve been depressed.

Me and my Head

At first it was all exhaustion, but then I started to get perfectionist and disillusioned and side-tracked with procrastinating. Also, I began to feel concerned that I would get restless and feel empty again: having no sense of accomplishment writing at least two hundred words a day.

So I didn’t do anything at all.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve been maintaining my one post a week on GeekPr0n, as it is my job but also something I like to represent my skills well in doing, but it’d been a lot of white noise in the back of my head. Of course, that white noise is ultimately a lot of ideas that lack a structure or starting point that threatened to drive me crazy.

But now here we are. I’m writing something on here again. And now, we come to the next part of this post.

I took one proactive measure that I’m proud of. A few days ago I went downtown and made good on my Day Pass to Bento Miso: a collaborative workspace and community. Game makers utilize the space considerably, but there are a whole variety of different people that go there to work on their own projects, network, and attend particular events. I must have the strangest luck in the world in that the few times I’ve visited outside of the Bit Bazaar events, I’ve always come when most of Bento Miso’s members are at conventions.

The fact of the matter is that, as I have said before, I do need a space away from home to work, but not just on anything. There are some other projects I’ve been meaning to focus on and I have not had time or the concentration to do so. And I just need something new. So I decided to join Bento Miso as a cohort. 🙂

I remember that night, walking down Queen Street from Strachan, thinking to myself that the street didn’t feel nearly so old anymore or filled with ghosts. In the spring time, looking at Trinity-Bellwoods Park and walking down the street to take a streetcar to the subway, it felt like it was new again. I mean, here I was outside going downtown on some adventures and a new quest.

I think what I’m trying to say is that for the first time in a while I felt more like me again: no longer hiding and starting that process of making new opportunities and perhaps even connections. Who knows, right?

And I do have plans. I’ve thought long and hard about why my Patreon account hasn’t been followed or supported. And I realized that my work right now, on Mythic Bios, is good but scattered over a variety of different subject matters: all of them geeky, but not always specific or focused. This was always ever meant to be a supplement to the main writing that I planned to do.

Kris Straub, before he created Broodhollow, spent much time creating works to get to that place where he could make something akin to an ongoing master project or, if you’d like to get more profound about it, a magnum opus.

So here is what’s going to happen.

I am going to be writing on Mythic Bios once a week now. I simply can’t always write two posts a week like I used to. I need time to work on other projects and details in my life. I will, of course, break my own rules from time to time, but expect a post either Monday or Thursday. I will most likely alternate.

I will still be working at GeekPr0n creating my articles for them as well and with more time, hopefully, I can send some more … unique work Sequart’s way again. But, more importantly, I am going to be creating Patreon-Only content. My plan is to create a serialized work, or series of works, and make it so that those who Support me will be able to see whatever it is I will post there. Anyone can contribute whatever they’d like and we will see what happens from there.

And that is just for starters. I need to make my Patreon more presentable aesthetically and outline what my actual goals are. Right now I just have what I can offer. These are two entirely different things and with something more concrete, I might be in something akin to business.

You can find my Patreon account right here: http://www.patreon.com/mkirshenblatt

Let me know if you have any suggestions. I have a few ideas for some serialized work, mainly fiction, that I think some of you might actually enjoy. In the meantime, this is just the beginning. There are other possibilities as well. And I look forward to seeing where they might go.

Disappointments and Achievements in the Year 2013

This was the year in which we apparently cancelled, or postponed, the apocalypse.

So I said I was going to make a post before the New Year and here I am. I’ve started this post three times already and I trying to find the best way to continue it.

I suppose I will start off by stating one of my greatest disappointments. After all the fanfare on my part, and the reading, and the note-taking, and the hints, and the story sketches I did not end up sending an entry to The Dark Crystal Author Quest.

The fact is, after all that, I just took on too much. I went as far as writing a crude introduction, far too late, and then I realized that I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t bring the energy and attention to a world that deserved more. So, I’m sorry to everyone who might have been eager to see what I could have brought to the world of Thra but the only things you’ll see now are my story sketches and perhaps the introduction I made when it’s not so fresh. And I also offer my apologies to The Dark Crystal. You deserved better. And you will get it. After spending time on the Community Forums, I know at least that you will get far better than me.

It wasn’t a total loss. I made some friends and acquaintanceships on the Forums, and the task of writing notes and questions to myself about Thra kept me from going insane this summer and onward. That, along with my other story project and this Blog for a time kept me busy and feeling a certain sense of accomplishment roughly ninety percent of the time.

So while I failed my Challenge, I did learn a lot from its failure. For starters, I am never going to work on two major projects at the same time again. The second is that if I do again, I will type up all my notes first and then figure out what to do. The third will be to go out during the more temperate climate to do some writing and not get bogged down by distractions: to give myself a sense of space. In the end, it is one thing to work on a major project and then some minor ones, it is a whole other thing to juggle multiple ones at once. I am no Alan Moore or Neil Gaiman to that regard and even they have had issues with that. Anyone would.

With that unfortunate, but necessary news out of the way I’d like to talk about what I have actually managed to do this year. I went to my first ever Toronto Global Game Jam and made a working board game with some collaborators, and I also attended my first ever 12-Hour Comics Marathon at the Comic Book Lounge and Gallery and completed something there too. I began writing for Sequart and, later, G33kPr0n as well. I got to cover events like the CanZine Ghost Arcade, the first WordPlay Festival, and Bento Miso’s Bit Bazaar Winter Market. I even wrote a review of the first day of the Toronto Afterdark. I wrote an article on Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman Overture #1. I met Neil Gaiman before that. I’ve tweeted with Amanda Palmer, Anna Anthropy, Christine Love, the Gaming Pixie, I wrote a review of the creative process behind Broodhollow and tweeted a bit with its creator Kris Straub, I travelled all the way to Quebec to meet some friends, and I created my first three Twine stories Level-Up, Haunted, and The Treasure of La-Mulana. I made the acquaintance and friendship of Andrez Bergen and I geek out with Julian Darius sometimes. I began reading the books of Anthony Martignetti and started to see more examples of how to incorporate one’s life with mythology to tell a story.

I’ve probably missed a whole lot of other events, but suffice to say I have been busy. It hasn’t been easy and sometimes I still feel as though I haven’t accomplished nearly enough. I know where I want to go, but I don’t always know how to get there.

But look above. I wasn’t totally useless, not everything was completely futile, and I actually did some very cool things, while I also went to many more. So there is that. I’d say, if I had to sum up 2013, I basically did a whole lot of Work. And I don’t see this coming year being any different.

So I will say right now, goodbye 2013. You had your annoyances and stresses, but we had some challenges together as well. Perhaps we planted something together that will begin to show some fruit by the time of your successor.

As for the rest of you, I will see you all, in some form, during the New Year and hopefully back on track. You know, it’s funny. The parting image that I’m going to leave you with is something that was taken in 2007 by a friend of mine I haven’t really talked with in ages, during a time of great transition in my life. There was so much I didn’t know then and I was only beginning to learn.

It seems that, to this regard, nothing ever really changes.  Until next time, my friends.

Looking Outward

What I’ve Been Up To and Where This is Going

It’s been some time since I’ve taken a step back and talked about what has been going on with my creative projects and myself. And while I’m glad I actually had the opportunity to post up some actual fiction here for a change, this has been long past time.

The more the game changes, the more it stays the same: both figuratively and literally. Let me start with the practical matters first. I need a job. That’s pretty much it. I need to find a job and do some volunteering that can help me get more contacts. The good news–aside from the fact that my worker is the first person to ever get a Mythic Bios business card–is that my social assistance program that I’ve been on for a while is actually giving me a little more in the way of concrete advice.

For instance, I have some websites now that seem to tailor more to the kinds of things I do or that I’m interested in. There was at least one job looking for a potential creative writing teacher: which would be a strange role for me given how I have been–and I am still–the student for so long. But that is one avenue. Another possibility that was given to me is that perhaps I can join a newspaper and help create or add to a column that matches with my “Geek” interests. This would be a major boon because I would have something out there in print, get more of my stuff out there, and potentially even get paid for it. I won’t lie: getting paid would be very nice at this point.

On the other hand, I am now motivated to really and truly start asking questions. What I mean is that even if I can’t get a job at one place or another, I can ask “interview” questions to someone about what it is that they do, what I should expect, what I would need to focus on with regards to my resume, and if they know anyone who is looking for anyone. I can ask questions. And I suspect there will be some business card trading. All of this is a focus that I have been fighting to keep clear as time has gone on.

I won’t lie to you. A part of me is scared: scared that I won’t find anything and that my help will run out. But there is another part of me that is also concerned that if I do get a job, it will me take away from the very Projects that I need to get to where I want to go: that my energy and my equilibrium will be so drained after practical work that I won’t want to do anything more. Of course I know a lot of that is utterly ridiculous given that I know what I can do and what I love the most.

Also, I need a change of pace. I need to make a new routine and schedule that will allow me to get out of my house, wake up earlier and have more time to myself and even get more opportunities to work with other people and explore again. It is exciting, even as it is utterly terrifying in a lot of ways. I have a lot of stuff I need to overcome and, in my way and in this past while, I have been endeavouring to do so.

The fact of the matter is this: in order to shape the life that I want and grow and maintain the relationships that I need, it is imperative that I reach my full potential: or as much of it as I can. And oh god is it terrifying to fight that anxiety, but invigorating to also realize that I have so much to actually look forward to.

And I do have things to look forward to. First, I am going to be getting Neil Gaiman’s Ocean at the End of the Lane soon. I look forward to finding it in, or near, my mailbox. It’s the first Neil novel in ages and I am going to enjoy it. I know that I will. Also, for the first and last time, and if all goes according to plan I am going to be seeing Neil personally–along with countless fellow geeks and fans–in Toronto itself: at the Danforth Music Hall. It is his last signing tour for the foreseeable future.

I had to go through some hoops: cancelling an Amazon order to get a Chapters-Indigo order so that I’ll have a proof of purchase and thus be allowed to have that book signed. This tour is also not a free one and it has cost $31. I know that bothers some people and deters them from going. But there was also something else that made me hesitate initially. That fear again. I’ve looked forward, so much, to meeting Neil but at the same time it scares me. It scares me because meeting the person who pretty much helped reshape my writing style in a very paradigmatic way is kind of intimidating. He’s not going to be the writer behind the narrative of his novels and Blog, or the tweeter of his Twitter, or the man in some of the videos I see online. He is going to be an actual human being–which he is–sitting for a long bloody time at a table or something signing books.

And I know I probably won’t sound as eloquent talking to him briefly as there would probably not be that much time. Okay. Fine. I’m going to be a fan-boy. Are you happy now? Neil is the closest thing to a hero that I have and this is his last signing tour. And it makes me sad even as I feel something kind of fitting about how the first time I meet him like this will be the last in a while.

The fact is, I just hope that when I do get my chance to meet him that I can just say to him, “I am really glad I finally got to meet you.”

Now, that aside, let me go into some of my creative matters. I have been insanely busy. I have been working on my Twine novel. Novels are fucking intimating. When you make a novel, you make sure to have an outline of plot and character, or you will go crazy. Also, as you’ve probably heard before, you cannot write each novel in the exact same way. I outlined to you what beginning this Twine Project has been like, and it has more or less continued the exact same way. I am still writing it all out by hand. I have decided all of my creative projects worth making need to have that “automatic first-draft” experience of being ink on paper before being typed into another draft.

But this Project … I set out to expand on the details of all the plot-branches in relative order: from upper all the way to the lower tiers. I have finished about six of the places I want the player-reader to go to and there are about nine or ten more places left that I need to expand on. Also, I did something different: I decided to write the happy ending before anything else. It is the closest thing to a utopia that I have made, and I am not sure that anyone is going to get to it.

Sometimes when I look at what I’m making, I sometimes feel like it is getting too long and what I’m planning may be too exact. .I wonder how many people would see this Twine, play some of it and then click away as they lose their both patience and their interest. Sometimes I wonder why I’m doing it. The content is unorthodox and sometimes controversial and I just wonder if people will like it, hate it, or simply not care. I am not doing it for money or fame. And I haven’t even toggled with Twine yet beyond watching some video tutorials and sometimes I think to myself: why am I working on this thankless thing? What is the bloody point?

And then I remember: I want to work with games and having something like this would be good to add to my portfolio. But more than that, it is something I have to do for me and finishing it will help me grow as a creator.

Which brings me to the last part of this Blog entry. In addition to this Twine Project, I’m going to undertake something else. And it is going to be big. And, when I say it is big, I am not exaggerating. This is going to be big. This totally took me by surprise. And I didn’t even see it coming. But now that I know it is here … I don’t know what will happen with it, or if I will succeed but I can’t–in good conscience–turn this possibility down. Sometimes I think that some things all happen at the same time for a reason, or at the very least they make for a good motivational story.

I’m actually not sure if I can get away with this. I will say, right now, that it will be the basis of–or will become–a novel because it has to be. You have to understand: I have gotten so used to writing short stories and vignettes–which have their own set of intrinsic challenges–that sometimes I can’t even begin to conceive of writing a novel on a professional level. It is daunting. It will take time and energy and, like I said, I can’t turn this prospect down.

I won’t.

If it succeeds, even to a point, my routines will change. If it doesn’t, they will still change. I can never just do things simply. And if it even goes further …

Anyway, I was wondering what I was going to write here today on this Blog and here it is. A whole lot of very daunting challenges and busy days and the realization that I need to parcel out my time. It feels like summer: in so many different ways right now. I also intend to keep up this Blog and let you all know what’s going on: as much as I can.

It never ceases to amaze me to see how many new Followers I keep getting and how many people are starting to read my Blog and its multifarious branches of content. I am definitely going to keep you posted on what is going on with this last Great Challenge in particular. In the meantime, thank you for Following me and I expect to see you again sometime soon. Take care and good night.