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  1. Well here, goes. I noticed you guys do a monthly check in for writing progress and word counts, but in my experience, that can sometimes be only half of the equation when it comes to being a writer. I'm a better writer when I'm ... feeling myself ... and no I don't mean that in a weird gross way, but I mean how I feel within myself. The past six or so months had been tough with me. But they should not have been. I've been irritable, to the point where my boss sat me down at work one day and asked "is everything ok?" and this guy has the emotional range of a peanut, so for him to notice something was wrong, it kind of made me take notice. But I didn't really do anything about it. I've dealt with depression before many years ago while living with an ex, and I was starting to get those feeling back once again. I didn't really have any reason to feel this way, but sometimes, even when driving to work, I would break down, or scream, and sometimes I was making up imaginary scenarios that made me so angry I was shaking. I am usually a rather odd fellow with a even odder sense of humour, and I was usually the one person in the group who would never get upset or angry. Calm/cool as a cucumber, that's me. Fast forward to the beginning of the month (July) when I was driving my family back from a day out. My vision had become so blurred that I could not see the licence plates of the cars in front of me, and there was a pressure in my head that made me feel like I was going to explode. My wife made me see a doctor that night. Turns out my blood pressure was insanely high and doing all weird and wonderful things to my eyes, brain and everything else. And I'll be honest, it scared me. It scared the absolute shit out of me. The doctor put in me on medication straight away and told me to lose 4 kilos (8.8 pounds in freedom units) in a month. It's been three weeks and I've lost half of that, which isn't that great, but not so bad either. I've been using three lunch breaks a week to go for an hour walk, and it's sort of become my 'ultimate me-time'. It's an hour when I don't even have to think. But the act of eating 'a little bit' better than I was, and doing just a few walks a week has done more for my mind than it has for my body. My blood pressure is down, partly from the medication, but also the walking, and I'm not getting the irrational anger I had been putting up with over the last few months. The best part is that I feel like me again. I have not written anything since the beginning of the year, but with my head clear, I've found the motivation I had lost. So that is my non-writing July Check-In. Even if no-one reads this, it felt good for me to get this out, and like I said earlier, I feel that grappling with what's going on with us is part of what it is to be a writer. So that's me done in a nutshell, let me know how you guys are going this month? Maybe there's something you're proud of that you achieved, maybe there's something you want to work on. Either way, let's open up to each other and help each other out. We are writers, we are damned weird creatures, but sometimes being a human is hard. -convictedweirdo-
  2. Well, not too weird. Let's dabble with just enough weirdness to not get strange looks on a bus, but just weird enough to strange looks everywhere else. CRAP ABOUT ME: Anywho, I don't really have a pen-name yet, so it's just convictedweirdo for now. It's an embarrassing legacy name from a hotmail email created almost two decades ago, but who's counting? Oh god not me, or am I? I'm from Australia, and most of the things you hear about there are true. I've been an avid writer since I was eleven, when Jurassic Park from Michael Creighton got me interested in reading. I never read fantasy because I (wrongly) thought it was lame and stupid until someone gave me a copy of Magician by Raymond E Feist and begged me to read. It was a major turning point in my life, and I've loved everything fantasy related ever since. My first stories, written on the noisiest electric typewriter in existence, were about mutated dinosaurs/dragon hybrids and magical rifts into other worlds. Ever since, I've loved writing, and still hope to this day that I can someday actually complete something. CRAP I LIKE: My main source of inspiration from fiction is probably the Malazan Book of the Fallen, but I also love the Riftwar Saga, Kingkiller Chronicles, and sci-fi works by Arthur C Clarke and Peter Hamilton. Steven King is also a guilty pleasure. TV inspirations would probably be shows like Stargate SG1 (huge Stargate nerd), Game of Thrones (except the last two seasons when they enabled cheat mode), and Altered Carbon. Music to get me going varies wildly. On the lighter end of the spectrum is artists like Elliott Smith and Live, and on the heavier end, it's various types of rock/metal like Opeth, Parkway Drive, Rishloo, Amon Amarth and Tool. CRAP I DO: My day job has me moving forklifts around, but I spend most of my time writing, world-building, and dabbling in game development. CRAP I'M WRITING: I'm working on a set of fantasy novellas all set in the same universe around different character groups that follow a similar themes. It's... a work in progress 🙂 I'm aiming for a dark and gritty fantasy, where magic has cultivated a sort of technological revolution. There is a sci-fi element to it, but it is very light compared to the fantasy element. WHY THE CRAP I CAME HERE: I love writing, but I also love talking about the craft and helping people with their own projects. In my life, I don't know anyone who shares an interest in writing, so I'm hoping that finding like-minded people online can help me keep motivated to reach my goals, and maybe in turn I can help others reach theirs. On that note, ahoy, G'day, and Jaffa! Kree -convictedweirdo-