tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Default)
(I noticed the fact about 21 as I was looking for a title of the post, and well, 42 answers everything, so... :) )

Today is Litha. Some call it Midsummer (which it is), while some simply say it's the first day of Summer. All are correct, in their own fashion.

Around a fortnight back, I wrote a post where I explained where I was, and how I'd gotten there. It was a kind of "the state of me" post. For those who read it, it allowed them to see how I'd gotten where I am (conflicted almost-athiest with norse and celtic leanings, and a skeptic wanting desperately to believe in magic). For me, it gave me a chance to analyze my choices that brought me to this point, without the emotions roiling around when an event is fresh in my mind.

I ended that post by saying that I hoped to have something in mind by June 21, because that date has been feeling important to me for over a month now.

Well, it's just past 9pm local time on June 21, and I can sum up my day in less than five seconds: slept, read, slept, played WoW, ate, slept, read, baked, read, slept. I was going to list specifics, but after working on it for 10 minutes, I decided it doesn't really matter. I spent the day alone, slept when I needed to, and spent more time reading than I have in one day in several months.

I don't know much about what Litha means historically. One of my Norse friends just calls it "the barbecue of the gods", and many consider it an excuse to have a pool involved. While I seem to recall that my Norse friend said it was more like Beltaine, because of the shorter growing season, that doesn't work for someone living at the 35th parallel. I could have done some research on it, like I'd suggested in the previous post, but I didn't, because I am still uncertain about what my next step is.

This time of year has a lot of meaning for some reason that wasn't immediately clear when I started writing this post. Apparently, I tend to get things or do things around this time of year.

Four years ago, right around this date (I beleive it was June 23), I got my first hammer in the mail. It was from Alchemy Gothic. I thought it was nice, and a pretty cool hammer, though my Norse friend had a note of contempt in his voice for Alchemy Gothic. I should have ignored that, because it was MY hammer, for ME. I didn't, though, and the fact that I recall that detail four years later is really telling.

Three years ago, on this date, I ordered The Druidcraft Tarot. I like the deck, but I don't "feel" Tarot. I won't say I "feel" the Runes, either, but I get a much better feeling from them, perhaps because of my association with words over images. When I work with the Runes, I'm assembling words and sentences. (Whoa, cool. Didn't see that before I wrote that.)

Last year, I got my Freyja statue for my altar. I love that statue. At the time, I believed that I was fully in love with Freyja. Even now, I feel a sadness at the thought that those feelings were transient. It's simple to suggest that they aren't, if I'm questioning it, but I just don't know. There are varying degrees to which I could have misinterpreted things. It may not have been as a lover. It may have been another deity, and I just assumed it was Freyja (after all, what do I know about all this?). It may have just been my imagination, and I was just finding something to give me comfort in a world without gods.
One thing I did today, was actually something I did NOT do. I have not opened my door or any window since the last gamer left at 100am last night. Normally, I open it for a moment, just to literally stick my head outside and look around. I almost did, but felt an urge to stay sealed away.

As I was reading Dragons of Autumn Twilight, I felt something of a version of myself from years ago trying to return. Oh, with the old book and music, one could argue it was bound to happen, but I was struck by the realization that I could see and touch my more creative side that used to be much more open and exposed. I didn't immediately have a million ideas running through my head. Rather, I felt that I could do that, if I wanted it. I wanted to write a D&D campaign or standalone story. I saw how the novel broke down into a gaming session (and even noticed some glaring typos/misused words), even as I reveled in the walk down memory lane.

This feeling culminated in this post, as a way of chronicling (no pun intended) my day on this special day, opposite Yule (one of my favorite holidays). I don't quite feel different, nor would I really say I feel better. I just am, as I exist right now. I have joy at times. Other times, I have boundless sorrow.

I can say, though, that I am slowly discovering that I am not comfortable sharing anything that looks like love with anyone. My jokes, my wit, my nonchalance about emotions, my burying of emotions that aren't scary, all work together to protect me from being hurt again.

It has occurred to me that this probably goes back to my childhood. My mom left us for California. My father never was there emotionally (except, interestingly, in the ways I listed above). My aunt cut ties because of her husband. My first girlfriend (over the phone -- ha!) broke it off the second she thought I wasn't pretty. My first real girlfriend fucked around on me, for literally no reason but she liked an ex-boyfriend and felt like it. The girl I had a better connection with than any other in my life, was gone from my life after the one night we hung out and cilcked like peanut butter and jelly (and I never learned her name). The list goes on. Whenever I've stuck my neck out, I get it chopped off. After a time, I think that I shifted gears, and became the aggressor, so that at least *I* was the one doing the hurting. Yeah, that helped.
There is more I have yet to discover, but that's probably a post for another time.

Happy Midsummer Solstice, all.
tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Art (Whelan) - Verge)
I have found, in the past couple of days, that I am regaining interest in writing in my blogs. Coincidentally, this corresponds with a decreased presence on Facebook and even Twitter. I have even been spending less time on World of Warcraft. The interactions with other people I've had have -- in general -- focused on interpersonal relationships that I have, both personal and professional.

This focus on writing something daily used to help me get through the day. Back when I first joined LJ (Aug 2002), I posted multiple times a day. Sure, some of them were memes of some flavor or another (back then, quizzes were huge), but many of them detailed my day-to-day life. Friends of friends found me, and we shared our thoughts on each others' pages.

Then came "social media". I resisted it for a long time, pointedly refusing to sign up for MySpace until early 2008. I finally signed up for Facebook back in early 2009, I think, and Twitter in mid-2009. Both services made posting to your account exceptionally easy. LJ, by contrast, still seemed to lend itself to posts of substance (grammatically speaking, even if the topics weren't). Slowly, surely, it became "easier" to post on Facebook or Twitter. Nevermind that saying it was easier was a cop-out. There were apps for phones and the home page asked "how are you doing?".

I've tried different spins on rekindling my excitement for posting in my blog. I branched out from LJ to other services, most notably a WordPress journal that highlights my creative ventures (it, too, has sat unused for months). Through it all, though, I was trying to share back to my Facebook and Twitter accounts. This entry will still post to Twitter, only because I've not disconnected it yet. By doing so, though, I believe that I was trying too hard to adapt my writing tendency to the soundbites and snippits of modern social media.

So, in closing, I thoroughly enjoy posting in my blogs again, and also enjoy avoiding the vitriol that passes for political, religious, and social commentary on Facebook these days. I won't abandon any of my "presences" yet, but I am rather pleased at my renewed creative spark for writing, even if it's just to write about writing. :)
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (D&D - DL - Tanis)
So, [livejournal.com profile] strieson has started his "Skulls & Shackles" campaign, and I believe that I'm taking to a N Half-Elf Storm Druid with the Mark of Storm (from Eberron) a lot easier than I originally thought possible. Of course, my character (Morogh Tiofin, loosely translated from Scottish Gaelic as "man of the stormy seas") refers to himself as a storm shaman, but that's beside the point.

The game was a fascinating one, in which we'd been shanghaied. My character, who grew up on the coast, realized that compliance until the time was right was the best way to survive the situation. As a result, he is poised to take control of the situation, should it become necessary. My only regret was that my attention was hard to hold, for some reason or another. Still, we made it to 10pm, which is a win in my book.

This brings me back around to what I want to do for my next game, or if I want to do a next game at all. Indeed, the "Reign of Winter" adventure path currently running in Paizo's Pathfinder looks enjoyable as hell, what with traveling all over, visiting far distant places, seeing places much closer to home, and interacting with lots of cold weather and monsters. The one thing that I cannot get over is the question that continually nudges me:

"Why not read the whole adventure path, and write a story based on it, instead of running it? You will have more control over the direction you wish to take the story, then."

This is a fascinating idea, but there is something fundamentally enjoyable about sitting down at a table with others and hammering out the story as we go. Perhaps, instead of wanting to make it a story, I want to find a different group of people with whom to play the adventure path?

I cannot be sure, but I only have two volumes of the adventure path so far. I have two sourcebooks to aid making the whole story more cohesive as well. I could very well surprise myself, but some part of me wants a new "cast" to share this story with.

...and to be perfectly honest, part of me wants to create a new story, as a story, with a cast of my own creation, for whoever chooses to go along with them.
tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Art (Escher) - Hands)
Until about two weeks ago, I'd been posting fairly regularly. Things were looking pretty routine, and I liked it. Yet, *CRASH*, here I am, posting about not posting... again.

I'd like to say life has been going on as normal, but for some reason, it's been on a downslope lately. I was having fun, killing bad guys in the game that Scott was running. The story shifted, though, and it was my turn to helm a game for a while. Since I wasn't going to just run a random module, I had to write it. I've always had this idea for an adventure based nominally on the poem by Alfred Noyes, "The Highwayman". Clearly, since the adventure is D&D at its core, it changes quite a bit from the narrative, but the initial story inspired me far more than it perhaps could have, had I not been an irrepressible nerd when it comes to fantasy.

Sadly, I cannot go into more details than that here, if only because far too many of my players can get to my journal here. I don't want them finding it, and I frankly don't feel like locking it, either.

I began hammering out details, but ran out of time for our June 1 game session. However, only Scott and Rick showed up. Somewhat disappointed, but glad for the reprieve (I now had another week to work on it), I ran a D&D Next playtest with them instead.

Over the next week, I began to assemble more parts of the story. I took breaks from creating the story to plot out how the weather would be in the game world for the next month of game time. I also reassembled my "RPG BGM" playlists, so I had proper music for the sessions. Needless to say, I was very happy with where the story was going...

...until I hit a snag regarding a potential encounter. Specifically, my imagination had a conflict with the mechanics of the game system I was using (Pathfinder, aka D&D 3.75). I'm sure I've run into similar problems in the past, but this time, I had a very particular idea for what I wanted and how I wanted it to work, and the game system was not cooperating.

That alone might not have wrecked things, because I can generally come up with some fun stuff on the fly. I would have likely figured out a band-aid cover for the issue, and moved on, had we played. However, only Scott and Rick showed up again. I had been so immersed in the creation of that story, that it didn't occur to me that it was the night of a big birthday bash for some friends of mine. I noted it, knew I wasn't going to be able to go because of my job and an early Saturday morning shift, and moved on. However, the other players (aside from Scott and Rick) either were going to that, or only knew me because of the people who were going to the party. To simplify matters, even though I ignored the party, others who could go didn't ignore it.

What hurt the most was actually that I found out around an hour after I was hoping people would show up. What made it hurt even worse was that I was excited to play this game. For the first time in nearly 10 years, I had written an adventure of my own, and was ready to run people through it. Yet, I was missing people. I became so prickly that I snapped at Rick for dozing off, when we hadn't tried to started before 8pm (he'd been there since around 6pm). I felt very let down. I know it's not fair of me, but I so desperately wanted to tell that story, and I was denied.

At any rate, rather than facing the story again, I have been "researching" alternative game systems that would do my story better justice. I think that enforced lack of writing took its toll. No, really. This is the little nugget of surprise for those who actually read this far, but lately, I've been feeling that writing -- creating with words, even if it's just a blog post -- is becoming a compulsion. Today, I actually had a fleeting glimpse that I won't always be a CSM for a grocery retailer. Instead, I'd be a writer. The sense of calm and happiness was tangible, even if it only lasted a split-second.

So, write I shall.
tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Music - Symphony X)
I worked until 11pm tonight, and by all rights I should be in bed, given that I have to be back at work in the morning at 930am. However, thanks to the storm named Lee, the temperature outside is absolutely delicious. The breeze stirs my wind chimes, and gently nips at my toes, promising that soon the heat will be gone for a season.

It's at times like this that I feel truly at peace. It's cool enough that the world snuggles down to slumber a bit deeper, but not so cold that the world has to fight to stay warm. When I inhale, I just feel clean. Clean air. Clean earth. Clean everything. Oh, it may not be all that clean, since I do live in the city, but this feeling reminds me of good times.

  • It reminds me of those nights in 2004, when I would sit in the backyard at my parents' house, listening to (personally) inspirational music, writing in a journal with a pen, using the full moon for light.

  • It reminds me of being at Festival of Souls last October, when the chill in the air was cutting, but being in that sacred space with so many like-minded people was just comforting. The one night I got to stay, I remember sneaking out of my cabin at 4am, and just quietly smoking while looking out at Piersol Lake itself. The whole campground was quiet, at least out by the cabins, and I could feel the joyful energy suffusing everything. Maybe that was just me, but that's how I felt.

  • It also reminds me of times I don't specifically recall. When I first began doing research into pagan traditions (Wicca mostly at first), it was around October of 2002, and every morning felt magical to me. I'd listen to Blackmore's Night or Loreena McKennitt and just connect with the world itself, unchained from the notion of "having a path" or "having religion." I was simply more aware of the world as a living entity than I ever had before, and I think that I formed my connection with the Earth then. Whether or not I've listened since, I believe that it was those crisp mornings when I came closest in my life to finding that spark of divinity that I so long to touch.
What I find most intriguing about this cooler time of year is that I am more inspired and more open than at any other time of year, almost as if Autumn was the season I should have been born in, rather than the middle of winter in January. I feel alive. I feel as if I have but to attempt something, and I will accomplish it.

Life has been hard for me. I've belabored the reasons in other posts. Life has also been good to me. I don't belabor those reasons enough. I may be overweight, but I have most of my health, and my weight isn't unmanageable. I may be alone, but I have people in my life who care enough about me to check in with me when I've been quiet too long. I may be poor, but I can provide for myself. I may be more timid than I like, but I can muster determination when it's truly necessary. I may work at a grocery store instead of in an office environment, but I've had my job for nearly 17 years, and I'm finally close to being able to make the step into department management. I may not have all the glory that I see others attain, but I also know that the humility I have serves me far better than the glory would. Autumn reminds me of these things.

I don't claim that the following poem is any good. It literally came to me while I was composing this post. Yet, I enjoyed writing it, so that's enough for me. I could tweak it to rhyme more, but it paints the picture I desire.

An Autumn Evening )
tek2way: Nature - Lightning Storm (Nature - Lightning Storm)
I'd begun working on a post about my evening, that even had a nice length to it, but inadvertently closed the window before I could post it or save it as a draft. (I was simply editing a catagory to put it into... that'll teach me. :( )

Long story short, I didn't sleep much last night, came home tired, went to bed early. I woke up around 8pm, talked to [personal profile] driver88junkie a bit, and wasted a couple of hours on Cracked.com. When I was ready to go to sleep, I found I was too hot, so I moved my fan, which lead from one thing to the next, until I had moved an end table in my living room to accomodate my hardy plant. It now as a perch by the window, instead of being on the floor. I also thought of a few other things I could do to redecorate my living room, without touching the things on the walls.

Now, I will go inside and likely get about 4 hours of sleep. I'll wish I had gotten more, and my day will hopefully start calmly enough, like Sundays generally do.

I might take a nap when I get home, because I am beginning to notice that I feel most creative when I first wake up. I don't know if that sounds strange or normal, and I don't care. :) I want desperately to get back to writing on a regular basis, and I want to write more than just blog posts that no one ever seems to read. Even if no one reads my prose or poetry, I feel a growing NEED to put my thoughts for stories and such into print on a screen, or on paper. This laptop facilitates my desire to do so, because I'm not bound at that bulky desk; currently, I'm outside, enjoying the decently temperate evening.

Well, I feel weariness finally creeping back into my bones, and my eyelids are asking me to shut them for a few hours, so I'm going to oblige them and hope that I dream something really wonderful.

This will also probably be the last non-religion post I do on this blog. I am going to stick to what I'd originally planned, and post my journey into paganism in this blog. My LJ will be for my day to day updates, my WordPress will eventually be where I post my thoughts about the writing process, as well as where I post some of the things I write. Of course, Twitter will be my usual day-to-day bitch session, and Facebook will just be there, because it's Facebook. :)

Good night, friends. :)
tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Music - Dead Winter Dead)
I'd begun working on a post about my evening, that even had a nice length to it, but inadvertently closed the window before I could post it or save it as a draft. (I was simply editing a catagory to put it into... that'll teach me. :( )

Long story short, I didn't sleep much last night, came home tired, went to bed early. I woke up around 8pm, talked to [livejournal.com profile] driver88junkie a bit, and wasted a couple of hours on Cracked.com. When I was ready to go to sleep, I found I was too hot, so I moved my fan, which lead from one thing to the next, until I had moved an end table in my living room to accomodate my hardy plant. It now as a perch by the window, instead of being on the floor. I also thought of a few other things I could do to redecorate my living room, without touching the things on the walls.

Now, I will go inside and likely get about 4 hours of sleep. I'll wish I had gotten more, and my day will hopefully start calmly enough, like Sundays generally do.

I might take a nap when I get home, because I am beginning to notice that I feel most creative when I first wake up. I don't know if that sounds strange or normal, and I don't care. :) I want desperately to get back to writing on a regular basis, and I want to write more than just blog posts that no one ever seems to read. Even if no one reads my prose or poetry, I feel a growing NEED to put my thoughts for stories and such into print on a screen, or on paper. This laptop facilitates my desire to do so, because I'm not bound at that bulky desk; currently, I'm outside, enjoying the decently temperate evening.

Well, I feel weariness finally creeping back into my bones, and my eyelids are asking me to shut them for a few hours, so I'm going to oblige them and hope that I dream something really wonderful.
tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Default)
Lately, I've been giving serious thought to my role in life.

I'm single. I work at a grocery store, having dropped out of both high school (got G.E.D.) and college. It has been over 20 years since I was unquestioningly a Christian, and 9 years since I began to consider that perhaps Christianity isn't for me1. In fact, back in 2003, I decided that my "god" was simply going to be outer space. The planets, stars, and other phenomena out there enrapture my soul with their existence, and I've long considered paradise to simply be existing, without form, somewhere in our galaxy, just orbiting the galactic core with the stars. I have strained relations with my immediate family, and frequently feel closer to friends of mine than I do my own flesh and blood. I find reasons to shoot down everything I do, sometimes before I can even attempt them.

Now that you have a glimpse of what I feel being me is like, I come to the point of this post. When I was very young, I wanted to be an X-Wing pilot. At 10, I wanted to be an astronaut. When I was 12, I wanted to go to Narnia and play with the Pevensies. When I took French in my first year of junior high, I wanted to be a translator. By the time I was 15, I wanted to find a way to Krynn so that I could adventure with the Companions of the Lance. In high school, I briefly considered psychiatry. I wanted to be an advisor to King Belgarion and chat with Belgarath and Polgara from the Belgariad. Then it was something in the computer field, though I was leaning towards programming.

After I dropped out of high school, I found work at a grocery store. I figured it'd be a good place to start. I held onto my dream of computers, even trying my hand at college for them (I was far too undisciplined -- a trait that I still have, unfortunately). I continued to work at Kroger, and became full-time. I read Stardust when it came out, and wanted desperately to live in Wall or the Bazaar. I wanted Neverwhere to be real, so that I could live with the folks who lived in London below. I quit the computer phone support job I had and stuck with Kroger. I felt the heartbreaking pain of knowing what it must feel like to live forever without my soulmate, thanks to Philip Pullman's series.

Through it all, I've had a dream. One that I almost dare not mention, for fear that the winds of fate will rip even this from me...

...I want to be a published author. There, I've said it.

I have heard the saying about wanting it doesn't count, because you have to BE one. I frankly don't care. I think about the D&D campaigns I've run, and the one I enjoyed the most was the one in which I put a lot of effort into planning it, even going so far as to create an outline and knowing how the campaigns climatic moment would look. (I ended it before it got to that, which makes me very sad. No one knows what I had in store for my heroes.) I think about the times I've sat and composed poetry that no one but myself reads. I think about all the stories I've started and stopped (for lack of interest, or lack of belief in myself).

The way that the written word affects me, especially in a delightful piece of fiction, transcends age or hobbies. I want to hear that someone read something of mine, and was so into it that they read it over and over. I want to hear that something I wrote motivated someone to become more than they were prior.

Now, none of this will occur if I don't write. I can't exactly publish something if I don't write it, let alone if it's accepted by a publishing house. This is my biggest hurdle: reminding myself that writing is worth it, even if no one reads it, and that I must write lots that people won't read in order to get to the point that I'm writing something that has people hanging on my release schedule.

My second biggest hurdle, though nearly as large: my self-criticism. I am entirely too critical of everything I do, and will shoot down an idea as it's getting started. That I'm posting this on the Internet where someone can see it at all is a step forward. I've had it with that, too. If there's something in life that you want bad enough, you not only have to be prepared to fight for it; chances are that you WILL have to fight for it. I am sick and tired of bowing and scraping before the altar of my failure. It's time to dismantle that horrible thing, and just take that step.

It all ties into a personal saying of mine:

Nothing worthwhile is easy; nothing easy is appreciated.

I'm not entirely sure where I am going to begin. In the meantime, though, I will be posting more frequently on my journal. The posts may not always be so heavy, either. I may post something simple, shallow, and happy sometimes; something long and sad; or anywhere in between.

Now, it's late, and I must get things put away so that I can go to bed. I have work far too early in the morning.

1 - I am not downplaying it at ALL. In fact, I believe that it has a fantastic moral groundwork and that Jesus' lessons cross religious lines. My primary issue comes from what I perceive to be the "politics" behind the pulpit, but I digress...
tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Default)

Yesterday, I woke in a funky mood. When I went to bed Saturday night, I'd dosed myself with a round of self-pity and no-one-likes-me, with a little I'm-not-good-enough for good measure, and it carried through till I woke. Frankly, I shouldn't be surprised. That was a classic Anthony pity-party.

I woke to a text from my girl, telling telling me good morning (something we do almost every day). However, I'd sent her an email the night before, telling her about some problems I was having trouble working through, so after the good mornings were exchanged, it got serious. We texted for about 30 minutes, at which time it was decided that I should get up, dress for work, and head over, so we could talk face-to-face. I'm glad I did.

In hindsight, talking about what was bugging me is just what I needed, and she did beautifully in listening to me, being patient with me, and giving me the love and support I needed. She really is something special. :)

After that, I went to work, where I learned we have two new U-Scan robots. I'd remembered [livejournal.com profile] marius_98 saying something briefly about it last week, before I shut down all talk of Kroger because I was on vacation. It actually worked out rather well, because we now were allowed another attendant down there. Also, the layout of the new U-Scan is a lot more friendly to the attendant standing in the middle to assist customers.

At any rate, I started my shift down there, and spent most of the first part of the day in a register. This worked out, because I needed the mindless work to get back in the swing of things. Ironically, I felt more... "with it" as far as making decisions and being okay with being the go-to second person on the front (since I last posted in January, the management and the CSM have changed, and I'm now the backup CSM). I must investigate this further...

I went to lunch at the cottage with [livejournal.com profile] marius_98 and [livejournal.com profile] una_con_laluna, enjoying the last little bit of Gremlins while I had my double quarter pounder with cheese. Being in that atmosphere, I was very relaxed and felt very safe and loved, and it helped center me and let me refocus for the second half of my shift.

The second half went smoothly. Even though it was the end of the month, as you'd expect on Hallowe'en, the only traffic we had was from folks buying candy. One guy even said he ne'er ate sugar, so the last kid of the night was going to get the rest of what he had in the bowl. OMG, I would've thought I'd hit the motherlode if that happened to me. #fatkid, indeed. :)

Coming home, I cleaned out the Jeep (which I'd been driving while my car was out of commission), because I figured Charles would be driving it this morning. I cleaned the kitchen, made dinner, and tooled around on WoW for a little bit. When they say things have changed, they're not kidding. I spent the whole time figuring out what I was looking at. It was kinda fun, exciting, AND frustrating all at once. :)

I crashed out around 2-230, and slept till I woke up at 630 this morning, when I decided that I should stay up so that I can get my car fixed. I will sleep a lot better knowing my car is driveable again.

So that's my Hallowe'en, or Samhain to some of my friends. Heh, or "Sunday" to still others. :) I'm gonna finish my coffee (Ugly Mug's Good Vibes, with some Carnation French Vanilla creamer and sugar), and see about conquering my car. See everyone later!

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Me - In Real Life 2010)
It has been nearly 10 months since I last used my LJ for anything other than seeing the daily LOLcats (and that's because a lot of you don't post on here anymore, either!). I've migrated pretty fully to Facebook and Twitter. Twitter's more fun, perhaps because I have to figure out what I want to say in 140 characters or less. At this point, Facebook just copies what I tweet.

At any rate, I found a link on Facebook to LJ, and wound up browsing through various user info pages, adding folks. If I just added you, then you should at least be familiar with me. The new default user pic -- which I use on Facebook, Twitter, and the Summerland Grove site -- is recent enough that you should be able to match it to me. I know a lot of you from SG anyway.

The past almost-10 months have been.. different. I courted Christianity again, dated a devout Christian (the former admittedly DID halfway occur due to the latter), wound up giving up my D&D game on Sundays forever (I never have Sunday afternoons off anymore), met a great group of people in what I am apt to call the core membership of Summerland Grove, began smoking pipes for fun, became a pagan in name (I suspect I've always been one in spirit, whether I knew it or not), decided on a spiritual path (Asatru), began dating a wonderful woman, and have grown to despise my job at Kroger so much that I almost went to a job fair (my resume was... well, completely unmade and not gonna be ready in time, plus I got called on to help my girlfriend, which I had no hesitation doing).

Of course, outing myself on my LJ as a pagan could be considered... unwise? foolhardy? I dunno. Anyone with half a brain who has watched my Twitter feed/Facebook posts will have picked up on it long ago, though I deliberately don't come right out and say it, because I live in Memphis, TN, where you're accepted for who you are...

...that is, if you're a monogamous heterosexual Conservative Christian who is intolerant of others' lifestyles and points of view. (I still classify as heterosexual, though that's the only part of that statement that still applies to me.) I have far too many Christian friends on Facebook who I suspect will try to help me "see the error of my ways", so I am mum on the subject there, but I realize I don't give a flying fuck outside of being harassed about it on Facebook. I keep quiet at work as well, just because things already are a cluster fuck there, without adding "OMG IT'S A PAGAN!!!11" to the list. I've not dedicated to a specific god, which admittedly bothers me quite a bit (to the point that I can get downright moody/depressed about it), but I'm reading everything I can get my hands on that I think will help me understand my choice of path more clearly. (I'm currently reading "Our Troth, Vol. 1", and Tyr *STILL* looks like a reasonable choice, though he no longer feels like a perfect fit.)

About two weeks ago, I went to Festival of Souls. I'd never been, and even though I had to work two days and missed the workshops, I had a lot of fun. I made a point to attend the rituals, and was.. well, "blown away" is appropriate, if a little cliched. My brother, Ricky ([livejournal.com profile] titus_the_mage, though he's never used it), went as well, and surprised me. He'd always referred to himself as an agnostic, or as he put it, a "chicken shit atheist", but apparently *REALLY* took to the pagan point of view. I'm still processing that he has come to that realization, though I'm glad to have a longtime close personal friend with me in this new life.

While I enjoyed every ritual, I was absolutely thunderstruck by the candlelight labyrinth held after the ancestor ritual on Friday night. The solemnity covering the field, where the candles were laid out in concentric circles that slowly led to the center, was absolute. I didn't hear any voices (consciously), nor did I have any brilliant immediately-life-changing flashes of inspiration (again, consciously), but when I had gotten out of it, I felt different. Two weeks later, I wish I had the labyrinth still up to walk again, like I have a new appreciation for it, and if I could just walk it again, even more would become clear to me.

On the D&D/RPG front, I eventually had to drop [livejournal.com profile] lordreaibn's 4e D&D game, because work began jumping around on Sundays for me (I don't get to do payroll like I used to, though no hard feelings for the new clerk). I briefly attempted to get a game going involving [livejournal.com profile] nyminal, [livejournal.com profile] strieson, [livejournal.com profile] mfsfreak, and [livejournal.com profile] disker and his wife, but that fell through due to lack of motivation on my part. I just no longer "feel it" where D&D is concerned. I am far more likely to wax nostalgic over my old 2e games, and how engrossing they were back then. Perhaps, when my schedule settles down some, or I change jobs, I can start a game again with some folks, perhaps even including [livejournal.com profile] lordreaibn, [livejournal.com profile] tannenwynn, [livejournal.com profile] marius_98, or [livejournal.com profile] lostgamers. I have access to a larger pool of folks, and if I mix and match 'em a bit so I'm not stuck with the same collection of people I have played with for the last ten years, things might get interesting. (I have *NO* problem with my old D&D group, but the reality is that lack of fresh blood caused things to get stale, and we all know it.)

Well, that's my life this year so far. It's an oversimplification, and you'll notice I didn't post about work. I'm on vacation for at least two more days, so I refuse to acknowledge it until then. :) Welcome to all the new people. I hope that you add me back. I want to get to know each of you better than I have so far.

Oh yeah, I also, at the urging of my girlfriend, am going to begin writing again daily, even if it's just in here. I am one of the worst procrastinators you'll ever meet, but I want this. I miss writing something down, reading it, and going "holy crap, this is GOOD."

P.S. Holy crap. I've had this account for over 8 years now. I feel damned old suddenly. :)
tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Anime - Chibi Kenshin)
Wow.

I'm off today, and here I am, awake at 430am, like a normal work day. I suspect that it's because I made a point to go to bed normally last night (though I think I was a LITTLE behind). I got to bed between 11 and 1130, but because I slept nearly 8 hours night before last, I feel great right now, and rested. Nifty.

I remember dreaming last night, but I cannot remember what it was now. I vaguely remember my dream girl, but that could just be my mind, since she was definitely in my dreams on Saturday night. (I just remember that she was sitting in my lap, kissing me briefly on the lips, saying why we should be an item between kisses...and then my alarm went off.) Oh well, last night can't be terribly important, dream-wise, if I can't remember it. At least, that's what I'm going to tell myself, because thinking that my dream girl was around again does nothing but depress me.

(For those who don't know, my dream girl doesn't look specifically like anyone. Instead, what I notice is the way she makes me feel when she's around. She's been blonde and a raven-haired brunette, and perhaps even a redhead. Yet, I could never completely describe her face once I wake up. I wouldn't know what to do with myself if I ever found her in real life. Oh yeah, I do. I'd marry the woman, or die trying.)

So, as I said at the top of the post, I'm off today. I'm SOMEWHAT unsure what I am going to do today, though I know I need to do laundry. I've given some thought to playing some WoW while it's still early, and then hitting some of my chores today. At some point, though, I'm gonna sit down and work more on my unofficial (as in I didn't sign up) NaNoWriMo dealie. I worked on the prologue yesterday after remembering it was November, and have 582 words now. Not a lot, but if I can maintain something close to that pace, it'll be more than 16000 words by month's end. I've just got to remember that it's less about editing what I've done, than just raw output. I can edit later. :)

Well, I might as well get some WoW in while the kids (around the world, that play) are asleep or getting ready to go to school. Have a good day, folks! :)
tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Art - Hourglass)
Perhaps I'm trying too hard. Perhaps I'm looking at the full picture and worrying, instead of isolating it into little pieces. Whatever the reason, I find myself unwilling (unable?) to do anything with my outline tonight. In fact, I am of half a mind to pull out the world I'd begun creating, years ago, and begin to flesh it out instead. Sure, it's less story-oriented and more RPG-related, but I find the idea of writing a fanfic set in the Forgotten Realms, and filing off the serial numbers, rather distasteful now.

I want (and am going to, by all I hold dear) to have an original world, with an original group of heroes (and they *are* heroes), be the setting for my story. I may take the basic plotline from the campaign, but I won't take much of it. It might have been my memories of the campaign, and how irreverent/goofy they got at times. That is fine for a game. In fact, it's the POINT of a game (humor, not the irreverence).

I may have enjoyed the campaign, but I want something more from this project than to say, "Look, I novellized our campaign. Isn't that cool?"

EDIT: I have decided that, instead of a full world, I'm going to work on a single kingdom/region, and start with that, adding as it becomes necessary.
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