Rolling Dice in Anger

Heromeet takes place in bar uno at Bangor university it is part games soc reunion part games fest.  I’d been invited to go along by friends who are long time gamers, we boardgame with them quite regularly and had been told that we would be very welcome to join them at this meet.

Friday night was spent playing board games, Ticket To Ride, Seven Wonders at least that’s all that I remember playing there was a lot of general catching up with folks we knew and general merriment.

But Saturday was mainly taken up with playing Dungeons and Dragons.  Oh my freaking squee. Its worth pointing out at this point that I’ve not played ADnD or any RPG for that matter for more than 15 years.  I got adopted into the Games Society at University in Freshers week, they were my people even though I didn’t know it at that point.  All I really knew was that the other girls in my flat had taken against me for no reason that I could fathom and the guys in the games soc were friendly a couple of them were rather cute and they were more fun to hang out with and they were more than happy to have me hang out with them even though I knew very little of table top RPGS or running around with rubber weapons although that would change.

So playing some ADnD at the weekend was pretty freaking cool.  I played a warrior whom I named Catlyn and all was well with the world.  I have missed rolling dice in anger.  I have missed the shared storytelling, the stupidly funny situations which are only funny to your party because you really had to have been there.  I may have bugged the DM afterwards to run us another session in the not too distant future.

There are Role Playing groups out there, but they are all very established and I dont’ have the guts/gall to approach and say, hey can I play and the reasons for that are many.  It always was very much a male hobby.  Or at least the groups I played with were.  When I broke up with my first boyfriend post uni that was pretty much me out of Role playing.  So I’ve been out of the hobby for years.  Lately I’m aware of male friends who have a regular group but when I asked about maybe popping by I was told that the group would probably not be a good fit for me it being very laddish and bantery.

I’ve never had the confidence to run my own games I don’t know enough, they get pretty technical and I wouldn’t want to screw things up for people being a GM is a difficult job. But after this weekend I have hope.  I am going to prod my friend who ran the session and see if he’ll make it a more regular thing. I’ve missed it and I want to play some more.

Outside the Comfort Zone

I wanted to write about reading outside of my comfort zone and it has got a bit weird. Firstly I tried to define what my personal comfort zone is and I couldn’t. If I say fantasy I have to immediately re-qualify it with not all fantasy and I guess that is the thing. Its easier for me to say what I am unlikely to touch which feels negative.

For the last few years I’ve binged mainly on Fantasy and SCience Fiction and all kinds of funky subgenres inside. I’ve dabbled with reading paranormal romance and enjoyed some of it but I struggle with some of the established tropes.

I guess that the above paragraph sums it up although it doesn’t do justice to the breadth and depth of what I do read. I adore ‘literary’ writing as well but nothing shocks me so much as when I dip a toe in a neglected genre and I find I enjoy the novel I’ve found.

I feel like I construct myself from the books I read. If I stay too long in an era or world I will start speaking like a character. I once told my old boss that I would be obliged if she would do something after reading the complete Jane Austen. I seek other times and other places because reading for me is the ultimate escape I regain energy by retreating from reality for a bit. And when I say I construct myself I have deliberately avoiding genres like Romance and Chick-lit because I don’t want to be defined by those elements. That said when I have been persuaded to read something from that area I have loved the novels but something stops me from pursuing more titles in that area. Likewise thrillers and detective novels and manly men grr books also put me off.

I should try and read more widely. I recently read something that would normally be way outside of my comfort zone. Gemini Cell by Myke Cole is probably best described as military fiction meets fantasy. Its set in a contemporary world but magic has been returning and the US government are using magic and jinn in order to create super soldiers. It really isn’t something I would ever have picked up but I’ve been following Myke Cole on twitter, heard him on Tea and Jeopardy’s podcast and he seems like a fascinating guy and so I picked up the book.

The book itself was good, strange because a lot of the tropes deployed were unfamiliar and it took a while to get used to the writing style.  A couple of moments I found somewhat difficult to deal with but for the most part it was well thought out and very enjoyable.

Will I read something like this again?  Yes but not straight away.

2014 frustration in a nut shell

knots

I really didn’t manage to get anywhere near as much writing as I wanted to. The reasons behind this are many and varied. My job is still quite demanding and has not settled into a pattern I can control yet.  Coupled with extended periods of extremely brain busy times which leave me with no capacity to do more than the basics. This sucks but until the situation changes which I’m hoping it will soon then that is going to remain. I am also a creature with hobbies. Musical theatre, board gaming and knitting crochet all of which a necessary to my well being to stop me going completely off the rails. But there is a part of me that feels hugely guilty that I don’t write more.

One of the things I need to do is make space for writing physically in my house I’ve made my office a dumping ground and that needs to change so I am going to have to get my bum in gear and do so sorting of stuff.

Next I’m challenging myself to write something by the end of January. Some poetry or a short story something small and doable. I feel like there is a solid white box sitting in my brain doing nothing but taking up space allowing me nothing but the ability to get the barest of essentials done. The box needs moving breaking down and redistributing but it is swollen and doesn’t want to move.

I’m aware that it sounds weird. Maybe to go with a computer analogy my hard disc is full, I need a RAM upgrade and a defragging. A hard reset wouldn’t go amiss. Though to be fair I could do without the smashing into a wall and dissolving that usually precedes them.

That said the rest over the festive period combined with headcold of doom has meant I’ve had to rest so that should help recharge.