May saw me return to writing after a very long break. I have started writing a series of blog posts to support my self-help book ‘Get Over It’, which I’m enjoying. On the fiction front, I decided to return to ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’ as it’s a comfortable place to be.
I have been reading ‘City of Sin’ by Catherine Arnold–a nice bit of history around London’s relationship with sex over the centuries, and ‘Sins of the City of the Plain’ by ‘Jack Saul’ (probably not actually by him), which is a contemporaneous account of the notorious rent boy, Jack Saul’s experiences. Essentially Victorian gay smut. So, some titillating reading.
No, Darkwood and Hobbs are not suddenly going to have a series of sexcapades (disappointingly for them), but sex is a big part of all our lives, and it’s often when we’re at our most honest, and reading about what the Victorians got up to behind closed doors is sometimes much more informative than the dry accounts reported in newspapers and diaries, especially socially and use of language. While some of the sexy talk seems a little juvenile by today’s sexy talk, a time-travelling sexplorer would be able to have just as much fun in 1800s London. A fun return to research! But, on the actual writing side of it all I decided against a blank page…
Having bought the heck out of Fantasy Flight Games’ X-wing, the epic scale hinted at the awesomeness of playing a game with capital ships. Then ‘Star Wars: Armada’ was announced and the circle was complete. Armada is a great game with great miniatures. But I found the lack of the titular ‘armada’ disturbing and the paint job of the Imperial ships displeasing. They’re as grey and drab as they are weathered looking–not the bold gleaming ships of the movies. While the first criticism of the game can be overcome by increasing the point limit, the ships involved more consideration. I think I was in my teens when I last painted a miniature. I was only a learner–and certainly not a master. I’m also a perfectionist, so if I I failed me I would not be as forgiving as I might need to be for my 40 year old hands. I didn’t want the Empire’s prize ruined. Dare I repaint them? If they could be turned, they could look like the powerful playing pieces they should be. Seeing the bright white star destroyer in the trailer for ‘Rogue One’ was a new way to motivate me, and I decided I would deal with them myself…
The first month of 2017 is gone already. Free from studying, I’ve been a little slower at getting back to the writing desk than I expected myself to be. I’m taking time to look after my inner child after a year of neglect. I have a lot of making up to do to the poor guy. So, there has been lots of flumping into my bean bag, drinking tea, eating, and watching ‘He-Man’. That’s been a bit of a rediscovery for me. I love that show. Sometimes, when things have been complicated, it can feel good to go simple. You can’t get much simpler than cartoons. Well, maybe not anime… And there has been lots of fun and games with the husband. Board games that is, you filthy people. Because, I’ve felt that I’ve been neglecting him too. He thought me being on another planet with writing was bad, then I pitched myself into studying and he probably found I was even less present. But, I’m back now, in life, into my interests, and I’m back at the writing desk too…
The internet s***storm over this part work continues, with people who aren’t buying into it taking time out of their lives to like and join the Facebook page just to comment on its price and criticise the people buying it. A month in–what is it actually like? Well, my fella is buying it, so I can tell you.
It’s in bits. And they don’t all connect together at this point. However, issue one came with that cool 1:1 blueprint for the model, so you can get a nice sense of scale by looking at where things are going to go. And really start to think ‘where is this beast actually going to go?!’.