Sunday, September 30, 2007

Under Pressure (do do do dododo do)

Well, where have I been? I've been shackled to my job for the last month or so. It's not my practice to talk about work matters on my blog (see my first ever post as to why) but needless to say it has been a shitty few weeks, I am not at all happy and it doesn't look like it's getting any less shitty soon. Hurrah!

Well, this has really taken the wind out of my sails when it comes to game design. I still have my milestone to aim for - Furnace 2007 - but in the end I come in from work every night absolutely knackered and usually quite dismayed at what has gone before. Not the best frame of mind to be entering a creative space. There's been precious little fanfic written recently either. In the end my life appears to have been put on hold for the sake of Freshers Week and the travails of the workplace.

I have been able to achieve a few things however. Reading is still well within my grasp and I have been scouring eBay and other places for research material. Sadly there aren't a lot of accessible books on life as a British footsoldier in Wellington's Army but I did discover Wellington's Victories which is winging it's way to me now. I have also been reading Harbours and High Seas and Every Man Will Do His Duty as well as Commanding a Kings Ship (which sits between the overly familiar Hornblower and the exceptionally wordy O'Brien). What was funny is that on my Facebook page, a friend of mine commented on my digital bookshelf that it was not the sort of stuff he expected me to read. And do you know what? He's right!

Despite the assurances of my parents, I have no great memories of being a great fiction reader when I was a kid. Comics? Oh God yes. Maps? I devoured them. Non-fiction books on war and soldiers and snakes and more maps? Yeah, absolutely. Actual novels? Simply not my thing. I remember reading 'The Hobbit' and 'Lord of the Rings', 'Starship Troopers' and 'Citizen of the Galaxy' and a few more, but nothing like my peers. When I did start reading a lot it was pretty standard fare for a roleplayer of my age - Gemmell, Pratchett, Donaldson, May and other random stuff. Later, as I grew older I discovered a liking for SF military novels, like Honour Harrington and the Hope series and also a roleplaying resonance with Urban Fantasy like Laurell K Hamilton and Kim Harrison. However this was all rather, well, predictable. It's what happens when you only EVER look at the SF/Fantasy section of Borders. OK, I might make a foray into the Horror section but not often.

Once I ventured out of the SF section I discovered a massive array of books that I was really interested in. Books about the past. Books about real people and real things, even if they are told in a fictional setting. I've started to stalk the History section of Borders now and they have some very cool things. It's an entire new thing to do - although I am aware that I need to avoid letting my collectors gene loose on this or it could get messy!

I didn't have a very good History teacher at school and it never quite hit with me like it could have. Similarly I only ever had one really inspirational English teacher and he stayed for only a term. I was pretty much a maths and science bod, with a sideline in arty stuff. Maybe if things had gone a little differently I would have taken a different path and discovered this interest earlier on ... and not taken the path that lead to the hellhole of pressue I'm in today.

Yes folks, my problems at work are to do with having a shite History teacher!! You heard it here first.


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