Hail and welcome 2015, a year I once thought I wouldn’t live to see (long story – and my friends may be right that I need to stop saying that and just accept that I’m here and alive, lol).
I’ve been mulling over several ideas and projects recently, some of which I was surprised to find were complete – which is something of a surprise, because I hate finishing things. Not because I can’t, but because I hate to let go of projects… Well, for that matter I hate to let go of anything. I’m a fantastic hoarder, or was. Last year Dave (my soon to be husband) and I decided it was time to clean house and get rid of stuff we weren’t using any more.
I decided to extend it to cleaning out folders on my PC and my creative mind as well. Some ideas are never going to be played with; they are never going to go any further than they have with me.
I didn’t get rid of them permanently… Or for that matter retire them… I found somewhere safe for them, somewhere where they can stay and be out of the way of other things. Bit different to what we did with all the material things we got rid of. (We raised around £300 for the British Heart Foundation with all the stuff we sold off and got rid of, not including stuff we gave away as well. No Dom, I haven’t forgotten about those books ;) )
Suddenly, I have space, not only in my house – but in my mind as well, and that mental space has allowed me to explore some ideas I’ve only just started scratching the surface on.
A few years ago, July 2012 if you want to be close to exact, I dug up a half formed idea and decided to reinvent it. I not only reinvented it, I turned it into a challenge as well. I wrote out a single page giving basic descriptions of characters, a setting and nothing more (other than the instruction to make what you wanted of those basics). For the record, I only challenged one person (other than myself) with all this – my favourite writing buddy Dom Murray.
What we both came back with was… Interesting. Interesting in that the “brain-tubes” had been working and we ended up coming up with a similar plot, and interesting in how we approached a sci-fi setting. Which was all to the good.
Whilst I freely admit to being a big fan of science fiction (film/TV/book/comic/etc) it’s kind of my biggest failing as a writer that I’ve never found a way to express one of the ideas I have. Anything else, horror, historic, erotic, romance, western… No problem. But, the sci-fi genera has excluded me. Well, almost excluded me. There was an exception; Fan-films.
I’ve helped out a couple of Star Trek fan film productions, one in the UK and one in the USA. The one in the UK I was the primary “story generator” – the one in the USA, I did a polish on a script, acted as a sort of technical consultant and also created a few 3D models for them as well:
3D work has been a side hobby of mine for over a decade. My tools of use including 3DS Max, Milkshape and Lightwave. Game mods, fan-film, cover art are just a few of the things I’ve dabbled in with 3D. (Normally with cover-art I use my digital bush and “paint” the picture). Like writing, 3D art/mesh creation draws on a need I have to build. Maybe it calls on the engineer in me, I dunno. As a child my all-time favourite toy was Lego. There was nothing I couldn’t build with them… No item that couldn’t be built and made… Imagination (and sometimes lack of bricks) was my only limit…
Ok, so maybe creating stuff in 3D appeals to the child in me. But I’m pretty ok with that.
Because of my health, problems with my hands (blah, blah, blah) I retired from creating any more 3D models, instead only using those (expensive) applications for the odd logo or bit of cover art. Look at the image heading this blog; it was created as a 3D image that underwent a bit of arty-farty processing to give it the paintbrush effect. Ok, to be honest it’s actually a redress of a scene created specifically for some cover art:
(lol, I know, I know… I work a lot with Dom Murray.)
So… Where exactly I am I going with is ramble? Ahh, yes…
Aside from fan-film-fiction sci-fi was a genera I kept away from as a writer, regardless of any ideas that happened to pop into my head. Back in 2012 when I set the writing challenge and sat down looking for how I was going to enter this universe I’d created, I found out why I struggled so much with sci-fi. I kept over complicating it. It’s a setting, not the actual story… Once my brain got that point the story flowed.
Ok, I know that’s a bit of a “duh” sort of statement, but sometimes the simple answers elude you. And to be fair, I’ve not had the problem with other any other genera. It was too simple to a solution to be obvious I guess, lol.
That, and I twigged that there was a romance element to the plot, and when it comes to writing romance I have no problems *sigh*
I guess this is as good a time as any to discuss my grand plan for 2015 and get to the point of this rambling monologue. Basically and simply I’m going to play on my strengths; build on the sci-fi idea I have and the story I started about Doyle Jekric and Co – and use 3D to build something I have only seen in my mind’s eye: the ship that gave the whole thing its title, the “Galadin’s Pride.”
Fleshing out Doyle, Hammond, Shan, Callum, Heather and Cain with the story idea I have will be nice. Maybe they’ll all shut up after I give them an outing, because they are shouting really loudly at the moment.
As for the 3D side of thing… Yeah, it’s been frustrating not doing that stuff.
I want to do something again. Even if it’s just for me. Although I know how anal I can get when it comes to detail… (It’s sad really, but the hero Trek ship I built for the US fan-film? I built all the rooms behind the windows as well. And the furniture in them. Even the pictures on the wall…) But even if I go overboard on detail, so what? This is something from my mind, something original – not ‘Trek, ‘Wars or any other universe out there. That rust bucket of a cargo ship is going to be realised (in one form or another) and a story is going to be told.
I can work around my “impairment,” work within its limitations – and get myself out of the creative funk I’ve been in recently. It is depressing when you have to limit what you do. But I have been finding ways around things, finding other tools I can use. Talk Type is a massive help. Might account for my rambling though… But that means I can save my hands for the 3D work. Split my time, keep them moving (which I need to do, without overdoing it) and stop myself from going insane from not doing anything.
So watch this space… Things are going to start happening again, world building, character building, storytelling, creating, crafting and even some 3D/art building as well. You know? I’ve gone ahead and started this without chatting with my other-half (a lovely guy called Dave) – or even my writing buddy (the indispensable Dominic Murray). Be interesting to see how they react :)
Don’t know if you can hear my sigh of relief through the interweb, but rest assured it comes with a happy smile as well to be getting back to things.