I was tempted to pretend like this was a “Hello World” post like I had reset the site, but fortunately the impulse passed.

Hey there. Sorry about the deafening silence from me lately. I know that there are at least two people interested in seeing my stories continue, and I apologize. I admit, I haven’t even touched a keyboard to write since I stood up from my last post, until I sat down to write this one.

If you want a reason… basically, I succumbed to my rather chronic depression. The combination of the stress from the move, the daily battle of living with an autistic child (which I will talk about at length, on another occasion) and… various other moments, which I don’t feel like explicating, had left me in a very dark place.

Fortunately, my wife is wonderful, and once she realized how bad I had gotten, she forced me to start go see a doctor. You might ask me, “Hey, if you knew you were having problems, why didn’t you go see someone yourself? Why did your long-suffering wife have to force you to?”

Well, that’s the thing. When your depressed, you don’t want to get better. You don’t want to improve, or feel healthy again — you just want everything to go away and leave you alone. Possibly permanently. At least, that is my experience, and I’ve read accounts from others who have had the same experience with depression. So there you go.

So I went in to the doctor, and after consulting with him, we decided that I would go on medication for a while. I’m… not a big fan of medication, but he assured me that we could see if it was effective for a month, and that I wouldn’t need to be on it for longer than a year.

Plus, I was in counselling before, and I couldn’t say whether or not it was helping me. So there’s that.

So yeah, I’m on some anti-depressant for a while. (Don’t ask me the name, I don’t remember, and I don’t feel like checking the bottle. 😛 ) It’s fairly mild, as I understand it, and I haven’t seen any of the described possible side effects, so that’s good. Mind you, I haven’t noticed my mood particularly improving either, so meh.

So yeah. I’ve just been trying to recover my motivation for all things, not just writing. Frankly, I dropped a large number of web novels I had been reading, just because I wasn’t interested in reading them anymore. And that’s too bad, because some of them were actually pretty good. Like “The Death Mage Who Doesn’t Want a Fourth Time.” Wonder how that one’s been getting on. Oh well.

So yeah. No new chapters until I get my head on straight. We’ll see how that goes. In the meantime, I’ll try to post something every once in a while, about what I have been doing. Hopefully, they’ll be less of a downer than this particular post. Sorry ’bout that.

I’ve been playing the remastered version of Darksiders on my PS4 the past week or so. Maybe I’ll do a quick review of that.

Thanks for listening, and take care, everyone. 🙂

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A silent wind blows…

There was a vast plain, a savanna of scrub and dust — but the scrub was galaxies, and the dust, nebulae.

In the center of this black, yet elegant plain, a single black-backed jackal slept peacefully. Yet, after a moment, the jackal opened its eyes, revealing the glow of dying stars in their depths.

The jackal yawned widely, and spoke into the beautiful emptiness.

“I am given to understand that you are searching for the creator of this place. You may wonder why he seems to have gone silent.

“Well. It is unfortunate, but the creator has fallen into a depressive state once more.”

The jackal tilted his head in a canine shrug. “Creators are like that, sadly. His actual words were ‘I’m going on a journey, don’t look for me,’ but even I recognize that as a cliché.

“So, those who wonder what will happen to the divergent soul named Gan Zhu, will have to wait a while longer. I will tell you this: that story is nowhere near its end, and it will continue until an end is reached. My word on it.

“There have also been signs of life, if you’ll excuse the expression, from the story of my friend Jurisanti’s favorite servant, the being currently known as ‘Zedda’. Those who seek A Living Will, might just have something to look forward to in the future.

“But, that is for the future. For now, we wait for the creator to climb back out of the darkness he has retreated into. It is not my place to ask patience of you… nevertheless, please be patient.”

The jackal yawned, then laid his head down to sleep once again. A final murmur resounded the starry plain.

“I, too, will soon return…”

The Anubai Hero, Chapter 19

Chapter 19

Civilization on the Balkiri Continent was ancient, and tracing its roots would be all but impossible. Empires rise, empires fall, and mortal memory quickly forgets that they ever existed, even while plundering their remains. And because humans did not change over time, the locations they chose for their new cities were exactly the same as those chosen by their long-forgotten forefathers.

And thus it was, that North Pine City was built atop another ancient city, empty and forgotten. And not just a single city, but many; cities, and other structures less benign. Each, sunken under the weight of some disaster, or perhaps simply lost to the relentless march of time. Some had been built by humans, some had been built by intelligent monstrous beasts, and some had been built by… other things. But history is relentless, and none of the original inhabitants remained to claim their legacies.

But, whether by an accident of history or some other fell chance, bits and pieces remained. Corridors that led nowhere, ancient treasuries that had long ago been looted by brave and foolhardy hunters, murky pools that led much deeper than one would expect — a maze, a labyrinth, formed out of scraps of the past: the Underworks. Continue reading

Sorry…

A lot happened, so, my chapter is not done. I kept losing time to work on it… 😥

I’m about two-thirds done, so assuming I can get some alone time to work on it, I should have it done by Sunday. Fingers crossed. 😑

Sunday Digest: I should honestly stop calling it a Digest.

Because if I’m only going to write one chapter a week, do I really need to sum it up later?

Oh, well, I guess this gives me a chance to talk about some other stuff as well. Anyway, got the eighteenth chapter of Anubai out, so that was good. Thanks again to OhMario for letting me borrow his characters; it was fun working with them. Now, back to my pseudo-CN cultivation nonsense, and some side characters who want more screen time. I’m literally going to be exploring the underbelly of North Pine City, so I hope you all find it cool. And we’ll get to see if I can write creepy stuff, too.

Come to think of it, Halloween is coming up, isn’t it… That seems auspicious… 😀

I also started writing an actual short story, but it still has a long way to go, so why am I even mentioning it? 😛 Continue reading

The Anubai Hero, Chapter 18

Chapter 18

It was a good deal later; although the passage of time, in this strange space, was not something that could be detected or measured.

Gan Zhu walked slowly down the hill. He noticed, absently, that the grass on the hillside was wavering, as though it were a reflection on a nearly still lake. Behind him, the wooden cabin was shimmering in a similar way; the Oracle, whose power supported this small world, was obviously growing tired.

Beside him, Lost Justice marched calmly. The sharp-eyed assassin paid no attention to the visible impermanence of the space around him, and instead watched Gan Zhu carefully. Gan Zhu had no intention of lashing out at his pseudo-captors, of course, and he felt that Lost Justice knew that; but it was not in the man’s nature to take his eyes off a potential threat. That he thought Gan Zhu was a greater threat than the potential collapse of the world around them was, perhaps, a measure of his confidence in the Oracle. Continue reading

Sunday. Was there something I was supposed to do today?

…Oh yeah.

Well, it’s still Sunday, I suppose. Hope everyone had a good week. I got a chapter of Anubai out, yay. Next chapter Friday. I hope. My daughter has one day of school this week, and my son has only two. So, I have to watch them all week, which isn’t exactly conducive to smooth writing. Meh.

I should start studying Korean again. I spent the last few days reading a Korean web novel called God of Cooking (which is excellent, although I’m not sure that it’s actually about cooking 😛 ) and I ran out of translated chapters, making me regret that I couldn’t read the piece in it’s native Korean. Of course, by the time I got my Korean to a level where I could read it, the translator may have finished the series anyway… ^^;

…or not. The translated chapters stand at 168, but apparently there are 676 chapters total, and it’s still ongoing. Hmm, my beginning Korean textbooks are on the shelf over there… 😛

I’ve mentioned in the past that I play Go, right? The very small Go club I belong to has started up again, although we only meet up once a month. So I’ve played a few games of Go, recently, which makes me happy. Although, I’ve won them all, which makes me a little sad… losing games is good for your growth, as a Go player. And honestly, I don’t think I’ve become more skilled, especially since I haven’t been practicing, so is it just that I’ve lost fewer skills than my friends? Weird feeling. :\

Anyway, I’m tired. Have a good night, everyone, and I’ll see you later this week. 😀

The Anubai Hero, Chapter 17

Chapter 17

“The ‘Oracle,’” Gan Zhu repeated wonderingly. “What is an ‘Oracle’?”

The woman with a warrior’s appearance hummed thoughtfully to herself. “That is an interesting question, young man. Normally, I would say that I am a messenger of the gods and spirits; but there are few spirits in this world, and no gods.”

Gan Zhu stared at her blankly, completely failing to understand her meaning. Surprisingly, it was Lost Justice who reacted to her words, straightening up from where he leaned against the wall. “Hey, wait a sec. That ain’t what ya told me earlier. Ain’t we hiding here because ya didn’t want to get caught by the gods of this world?”

“Yes, that is true,” agreed the woman, smiling at Lost Justice. “But the gods of this world are not gods; they are men.” Continue reading

Sunday Digest: The Digest-ening

Morning, y’all. No, I don’t know what the title is supposed to mean, either. Let’s move on. 😛

Sooo… I’m in my new place, now. It is nice. I will be expending actual effort to keep it nice. Go, good intentions. ^^;

As promised, I’m going to stop posting teasers of things I haven’t written yet, and move back into releasing chapters of my web novels… which I also haven’t written yet. Go figure. The next chapter will be on Friday, although whether it is the next chapter of Anubai or something else will depend on… factors. We’ll see. 😉

OK, with that out of the way, let me tell you a quick story. See, as I was preparing for my move, I was absolutely ruthless about culling my collection of paperback novels. Sadly, this did not completely divest me of paperbacks; most of my Terry Pratchett collection is in paperback, for instance, and I’d rather lose an arm than those books. 😛

Among the few series that I decided not to part with, was the Bazil Broketail series by Christopher Rowley. It’s about a war between the forces of evil, and the forces of not-quite-as-evil-as-that, and it focuses on a unit of dragons in the army of “good”. I’ve had the books since high school (the last book was released in ’99, the year before I graduated), and it’s one of best fantasy war series I’ve ever read.

So, seeing that the books now had a place of prominence on my bookshelf, I decided to start reading the books again, possibly to prove that I was right to keep them.

I stand by my decision. These books are great. Well, at least the first book is, and I expect the later books won’t disappoint me too much… 😉

Anyway. As I was reading, I thought to myself, “Huh. It would be fun to start my Let’s Read project again, reading through this book.” But then I thought, “But this series was published back in the nineties; I really wonder if it’s available anywhere.” Because while I would love to post summaries and analysis of chapters, it really would be nice if I could recommend that people read it themselves as well. Kinda the point, really. 😛

So, I checked whether the books were available on Amazon Kindle. And, as it turned out, they were.

Kind of. :\

You see, someone seems to have picked up the property, divided the books in half, and made each half available at the price of a full book. Furthermore, only five of these installments are available currently, which is about two and a half of the original books. The names have been changed, obviously since they need more of them now, and the covers have been “modernized” I guess you could say. Call it my rampant nostalgia, but I don’t like the covers. 😛

(Exception: The cover of Battle Dragons 2: The Doom, is pretty awesome. Even if it is the second half of the first book. 😦 )

Soooo… yeah. I’m not sure if I want to do a full Let’s Read of the series, with such a questionable digital version. On the other hand, the original paperbacks are available through Amazon (the actual store) for just a couple bucks apiece, setting aside the shipping charges, so it’s not like it’s completely unavailable… I don’t know. What do you guys think?

Oh, and incidentally… if I do decide to resurrect Let’s Read, it won’t impact the weekly release of web novel chapters. So don’t weigh that in your opinions. 😉

No further previews…

OK, I found the piece I had been looking for. The bad news? There was less of it than I remember.

Much, much less. 😦

Man, I remember doing so much work on the background of this story — I still have the hand-written notes to prove it, too — but I didn’t wrote more than a couple of paragraphs. I could have sworn I wrote more than this… I didn’t even get to the part where the little girl meets the giant, armored demon overlord… :\

Ahem. Oh, well. Maybe there’s a longer version hiding on one of my drives, somewhere. I’ll keep an eye out for it, but for now, consider it a lost work. Sigh… Guess I’ll see everyone on Sunday. Have a good night.

OK, let me give you something, at least. 😛

So, you know how sometimes you get little quotes at the beginning of chapters? Here’s the one I wrote for the first chapter:

“The Night Guards, who serve the Overlord of Night, in the city of Night, capital of the country of Night: a true triumph of theme over originality.” -Sergeant Elliot Blackspear of the Night Guards

Incidentally, Elliot Blackspear is a character who begins the story already dead, although unusually for me, he is nevertheless not the main character. 😉