Angels fall first

They say that madness and genius are linked, a fine line, but that is crap. There are correlations between intelligence and mental illness. It has been displayed throughout history. Many of the renowned genius’ of their time carried their own burdens. They own weights of illness.

Mine has been different, like Nostradamus, Socrates, Sir Isaac Newton, Joan of Arc, I have temporal lobe epilepsy which can manifest in religious, or other kinds of epiphany, but for most is an unrelenting hell of seizures than mess with your emotions. Each feeling has to be picked apart and analysed, to discover if its real. And who can really know? I could be justifiably angry about something or depressed about a normal loss.

It all started for me as a small boy. I saw things, heard things that no one else could see or hear. Now, they weren’t hallucinations as such. They were my mind waking up, telling me things that I should already know. The lies that people tell to each other, white and black. The dissonance between word and action. My voices guided me, aided me through what was a difficult time.

And then I grew up and the voices faded, I didn’t need them anymore, I could see it all on my own. But that didn’t end all my troubles, if anything it made them worse. I became bored, violent, increasingly out of control. My life spiralled down and down, and I took refuge in drugs. They eased the constant thrum of knowing in my head.

But there is only so long you can go the self-destruction route before something snaps. In this case someone. I found a purpose in being there, in giving what I could to someone in need and we grew closer. I’m not sure I can call it love, for I have had a long time trying to control my emotions.

The doctors after years of fobbing me of with “it’s just normal adolescence. Hormones. It will pass.” Finally came up with something it could be: Temporal lobe epilepsy.

For those that don’t know what that is, it’s horrible. There are different kinds of epilepsy, some you all know, the light sensitive. The narcolepsy. For me it is different. It affects, memory, mood, emotion beyond the blues, but it comes with odd flashes of insight. Ways of fitting discordant pieces to create more than the sum of their parts. Few things are all bad, what is taken with one hand can be given with another.

But that is not why I write this. The why’s are always important and I will get to it. I will thread it through to tease and intrigue you.

The title “Angels fall first” was chosen for a specific reason. And the reason is grief.

Go to any funeral and someone will say “I wish we had more time.” “They took him too young and he had so much to live for.”

And every single one is a platitude. Oh, there might be real grief hidden behind it, but as humans we fail at grief. We all lose someone or something that means something to us. It could be a person, a family member. It could be a sense of belonging. It could be an emotion. And we grieve for that loss.

Everyone you meet is struggling with something. It may be big; it may be small. And humans instantly want to help. They offer to talk, to help carry the load. Which is nice, but for many conditions it does nothing except hurt.

Like, if someone came up to me and said “you know you are miserable all the time, I have just the fix.” I wouldn’t even stop to think. I would take it.

Depression has been covered by a lot of people, and I don’t need to cover it in depth here. It affects people in so many ways that it is actually hard to notice it creeping up on you. Until a crisis happens, and then you suddenly realise in a jolt. You don’t care though. You just want the end.

For some sensitive types, and I use the term loosely, because it’s not a sign of weakness, and creatives have a strong inclination to bouts of depression, mania, psychosis.

Now, I am both a creative, a writer, and slightly too bright for my own good as well as having depression and epilepsy.  This is not a good combination. It makes me not willing to buy into the same delusions as many other people.

 

Now, I know there is a link. Is it the compulsion to create? The desire to see meaning in things? Is it the sheer amount of information we ingest and process that fills in blanks and leaves others?

It could be any and all, or none of those things.

Many of us are solitary creatures, night owls that rarely see another human soul unless forced. Some have partners, tolerant ones, that put up with us hardly be present as we turn over an aspect of a story or an idea. I find people grate on me especially when they are discordant. When their words don’t match their actions. Part of that is science, we are wired to judge someone by their actions more than their words.

Do we make ourselves miserable with the constant introspection, the virtual words we create?

Do we lack the ability to be here in the present, fully?

I have no answers for these questions so I pose them to you.

Why do the brightest burn fastest?

Why is the suicide rate among creatives so high?

Why does greatness, or something close, kill us?

And finally, why do angels fall first?

 

Some of the greatest artists, scientists, thinkers, people in the whole world are taken too soon, or even worse, live lives of misery from their conditions.

 

I have no reason for writing this other than a desire to write something real for a change. Make of it what you will.

LitRPG again

I dont have much for you this time, but some of you were rather pleased with Continue Online, others might have missed it.

Well, it turns out that FrustratedEgo, the author of Continue, has turned the first book into an eBook.

Its been rewritten, and edited even more, which has turned an already clean serial into a professional book.

I’m not going to gush, I did that in a different post. But what I am going to do is give you all the link and let you make up your own mind.

Continue Online (Book 1, Memories)

Necromancy

So, Ive been busy, with my beta readers on my new book.

Necromancy is a bit different to Magelife. Its short for one thing. 130 odd pages. But it is lean.

I hope that you guys enjoy reading it as much as I did writing is.

Necromancy is live now, so head on over and buy it, if it seems like it might be your thing. If its not, tell your friends and family, they might want to take a shot at it.

Author Update

Well, I’ve been hard at work over the summer. Getting ready to start university and juggling kids, writing, a wife having surgery, and various other responsibilities and emergencies, takes a lot out of a guy.

I’m sure many of you want to know about my writing, (I’m going to tell you even if you don’t).

Necromancy is my new title. Its not a part of Magelife, not in the same world or even genre. Its urban fantasy, and is a rather short novella. My beta readers are in the process of delivering feedback, and depending on the level of revision needed, it could be released in as little as a week. (Not promising that it will be a week.)

My work on something slightly different has been rewarding, to me, and hopefully will be to you too. My skills are certainly sharper, if provisional feedback is anything to go by. Still a long way from the greats, but baby steps.

Adventured and Demonborn are both works that I’ve been tinkering with. Each different worlds, different kinds of characters and plot.

And the long awaited news of MageLife 2: MageWar. Its being written. At a guess, I’m a third of the way through the first draft.

There are reasons it is going slower than even I expected.

  • I’m busy with things other than writing. I have a family, and other commitments. Full time writing is not really possible for me.
  • It is a sequel. Which to many doesn’t mean much, but getting the continuity screwed up is going to ruin everyone’s enjoyment.
  • With it being an established novel, I have a tighter framework to deal with.
  • Writerly doubts.

Its not an exhaustive list either. There are many reasons it is slow going. Even after the draft is done, I want to take the time and care to polish it. I’ve learnt my lesson about proofing, and making sure I name my files properly.

Oh, I also made a facebook page, for those of you that are into that sort of thing. I’m more than happy to respond to questions and such there.

Beta Key

Some of you know that I have friends that also write serials. I have a habit of mentioning them here in the interest of bringing you guys new material to read that may be up your alley.

So, on that note, my friend Maddirose, who wrote Twisted Cogs, and now goes by Inky Llama due to their diversifying into art/drawings and the like, also has a new project that is a little different.

You have all seen my love for the LitRPG genre, and this is in that vein but not quite. Its called Beta Key.

Here is the blurb.

Eight years, five months, three days, two hours, one minute and one second ago, an event occurred that changed the world as we know it. In the blink of an eye the screen of reality glitched, and the humans saw the lines of code that ran the world, saw the stats and numbers and tags that had been hidden from them for so long.

For the first time, mankind could access their character sheets, they could see their experience and life bars, and they realized how discrete the rules of reality really were. They realized they could game it, that it was a game.

The humans called it “The Phenomenon.” The glyches called it an opportunity. The world core called it her birthday. But for Keegan Wright, a nobody in his dead-end job, it was just another way to measure how much of a loser he really was. He had no clue that his world was about to change, just as drastically as the world around him had.

LitRPG: Continued

I did a post about this genre before, and had a very positive response to it. Billy Higgins has been bugging me a bit, so I thought, it might be time to do another.

The genre is young, but it’s growing. Many of you will have seen SAO or Log Horizon, very popular animes.

They deal with the idea of being trapped in the virtual world. It is one way to handle it, and one that works, but it falls flat. The idea of being forced out of the world into one of make believe doesn’t sit right with me. The lack of will, and true desire to be there drains much of the enjoyment from it.

Ark and Legendary Moonlight Sculptor, are for me better, but the characters are single notes. They are using the virtual world to change their life; in terms of money, it’s a job to them, and while the joy and excitement of exploration is there, it is missing depth.

Ready Player One is a very mainstream novel that comes at it from a different direction, a scavenger hunt to win the whole system. It is filled with 80’s pop references and is clever and fun, but it deals with a very real issue that affects our generation. Isolation. Escapism.

Some of the recommendations that my readers, you, have given to me, include the Alterworld books, which have another take on the whole thing. Permas are a key component, people that have spent too long in the game so they remain, impressed as a part of it. It is much more than that, and well worth the read.

I have linked them here before so I won’t go further into depth on them now.

This leads me on to a web serial that I have fallen in love with, so much so that I wish I could chain the writer down and make him write it quicker.

As of today, Continue Online, has 23 chapters and interludes.

The reason that Continue Online enthralls me so much is the main character, Grant Legate. It is not a job, or a trap, it is a journey of self discovery. Grant is middle aged, a workaholic and almost a widower. This is in total contrast to the vast majority of protagonists in LitRPG. He is old, and set in his ways, but there is a depth to him, and his interactions, that grants it more than the currently simple storyline does.

I would advise you all to check it out. I know I will be following it closely.

Editing: go go go

Well, its my birthday and it turns out that the editing is done.  I will have the clean documents in my hands tomorrow.

Now, before people get excited, yes you in the back, that doesn’t mean that it will be uploaded right away. I still have to read through, add bits where indicated, check that the changes match the tone I was going for.

And there is more. As I went the whole hog in getting edited it is way more than just a clean up. It’s a content edit too. So parts will change, in more ways than one. This is the part where it gets tricky.

For those of you not in the know, there are several levels of editing.

Most commonly there are three but some services offer more modular services.

Proofreading: this is just a read through, it catches typos and the like.

Copy, or line editing: this is where syntax, spelling, punctuation and grammar issues are found and corrected.

Content edit: this one has many names, but it all means the same thing. Here is where the story is played with, tweaked into better shape. It makes for a better story, rather than a cleaner copy.

 

I went for all of them. And it cost a pretty penny too, which I’m totally not crying over, at all. But I have hopes that it will be worth it in the long run.

Because I went for all of them, I have several options. I’m going to get the clean copy out as soon as I can, but the content changes need more consideration.  I want to hurry up and move on to getting the draft of ML2 done, but I can’t.

I need to do justice to Tristan’s story, and that means going back in and seeing what needs fixing. Plus if I make any changes I’m going to need to reflect them in the later novels.  It makes sense to do this now.

Stuff: Life, and books.

So its been a busy week for me.

I’ve finished college, and am just waiting on my results so that I can confirm my place at university. Exciting and terrifying.

The sudden excess of time has left me with a list of things to do. Things that have been neglected while I completed my coursework and sat exams. The normal things a husband and father has to do, many of you know them, as well as the less normal things that an author has to do.

I’ve been reading, which has fallen on the back burner a bit since college started, and I’ve been writing. Writing a series grows tiresome and few can stay focused on a single thing to the exclusion of all else, so in the interests of keeping it fresh I have another project that is a side thing. It lets me have a rest and go back into Ml with fresher eyes and renewed vigor.

I managed a 20k week, which is very good for me, in recent times. And they are a good 20k.

Reading the Spellmonger Series, which has a new book, Enchanter, and the new Play to live, Inferno.

Sales are dropping, which is disappointing but not unexpected. I will make a post to announce when the editing is complete for those of you waiting.

Author page

I was discussing things with some other authors and they pointed out the a more focused author’s page would be better than the amalgamated horror that I have here.

I have to fill it with content yet, but it is functional. Decided that it was best to get it going and see how things go.

Here is the link

Heart of the Storm

(Yes, its a little play on words.

Tempest

noun
1.

a violent windstorm, especially one with rain, hail, or snow.
2.

a violent commotion, disturbance, or tumult.)