Sunday, September 20, 2015

Bark: The tumbling tumbleweed

You might be forgiven for thinking that it's been a bit too quiet here lately. Because you'd be right. Since my last update things have been a little on the busy side, especially in the last three weeks or so as I've been bedding in with my new classes at work. I've not had any time at all to game, let alone do anything here - given that this blog is an absolutely not-for-profit-but-for-the-love-of-it enterprise. I've also been a little under the weather for the last couple of weeks. It's always the way - going from being well-rested on holiday to being over-worked and over-stressed and surrounded by 1700 disease vectors - or to give them their proper name, students... I'm not fond of being ill. Not just because of the sensation that it reinforces that you're a fragile, insignificant meatbag with a very limited shelf-life, but more because being ill makes me indolent. Illness sucks away my desire to do, well, pretty much anything. And I need to keep myself busy to stop from getting depressed, as that brings on insomnia and I generally become fairly unpleasant to be around.

Thankfully, I'm on the mend and my immune system is starting to do its job properly again, so I have a bit more energy to put into writing things for here, and who knows, perhaps I might be able to put a few hours in on Elite: Dangerous this week. I have briefly tried the CQC beta, but it doesn't really seem like something I'm going to put much energy or time into. I'm going to focus first on finally making the pilgrimage to Sag A* with my main commander, with a bit of pew-pew on the side with my second commander to cheer me up. I've also got a few ship reviews to do for the next release, plus another few installments to do in my "So you want to be..." guides, but they're going to occupy the backburner for a little while, as I have other plans for the blog for the next couple of weeks. Remember how I mentioned in my last update that I'd been working on an Elite: Dangerous novella?

Well, following some feedback from a few pals on the E:D Google+ community, I was suitably encouraged to redraft and extend the story. It's still a work in progress - the original story was around the 30,000 word mark, and it's now weighing in at around 40,000 words - and after a fair bit of internal deliberation, I've decided that I'm going to post it here. Why? Firstly, because actually putting the story out there will motivate me to finish it quicker. Secondly, it's rather unlikely that the story would ever get officially licensed, so I'm not likely to ever make money from it, even if that was my motivation for writing it. Finally, given that I'm telling a story within a pre-existing canon and setting, I'm inclined to be a little less worried about making it public for free. It is basically just fan fic, but hopefully rather better than the usual crap.

If it ever did get published, I'd be putting this quote on the cover from one of the guys who proof-read the first draft for me: "It's really rather good! (sorry to sound surprised but, you know, fan fic...) :-)" - Ollie Clark

I'll be posting the prologue and the first chapter tonight, then one chapter per day until I run out of words - which should take about a fortnight, as I've written eleven chapters plus the prologue so far. I hope you like it, and please let me know in the comments if (and more importantly, why) you do.
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