Melancholic Nostalgia

Testing connection…

August 5th, 2012

It looks like I’ve managed to fix this stupid connection with Facebook… Now if only the image works on the left…

A surprise fanfic update

August 4th, 2012

The last update for this story was back on 16th June 2008.

Strange how inspiration can hit you whilst you’re resting in a summer home.

So here we have it, Chapter 3 of Life After the Death of Haruhi Suzumiya. A small 4402 words in total, not bad.

The Hero Overemphasis

July 30th, 2012

You’ve seen this in many stories around the world, in every possible language. The amazing heroic boy or man, overcoming all obstacles to defeat the enemy and be victorious.

Sometimes, it’s hard to imagine that these characters are merely fiction. People portray them in films and TV series, you see them endlessly.

For me, it’s easier since I read a ton of manga online, I don’t get the time to read normal books anymore, and manga is a quick fix for a good plotline.

The problem to me is how you are supposed to interpret these heroes as a role model for your children (or indeed yourself).

True, many are flawed, human beings, with their own foibles that stop them for a time, before they finally break free of those shackles and truly become near perfect humans.

It’s similar to the role of women in society, a while ago they were mere homemakers, never to vote or work, child bearers. Nowadays, they are empowered (quite rightly too), given greater freedoms and abilities to perform just as good as, and even better than men by embracing their much hindered masculine selves, for power, wealth and so on.

Men have always been regarded as the gatherer of goods, the salary man, the reliable husband, the passionate playboy.

The fiction we read shows plenty of these individuals, and I’m not sure we’ve reached the stage where men are shown to be fragile too.

Yes, there have been many excellent films and series about the destruction of an individual, their boundaries breaking down until they finally admit what they feel inside. However they are overshadowed by the obvious lure of the above.

To me, there is an overwhelming pressure to become like one of these archetypes, the ideal, heroic, perfect man. The Darcys, Grays and hell, even the Potters of the world. In the end, they always succeed in their endeavours, which immortalises them as heroes. The Supermen.

F04-01-05Perhaps I’ve been reading too much manga where the protagonist (generally a teenage boy, since this is the primary age group for most manga) is overconfident, or if not outwardly, has an inner strength which propels him forwards.

I’ve yet to read a story where the main character has none of this.

 

F04-01-07Perhaps it would not make for a riveting storyline, nor an interesting drama if the person has no goal, let alone any shattered dreams. This can only be the reason for the lack of interest in such things, when there are happier stories out there.

The positive power of the hero is a hundred times greater than that of the negative sense of loss for those who fail. They are not the heroes.

How can one simple human compare to the successful who are able to provide for their family through thick and thin, when others can barely afford enough for food on the table?

The mind of the intelligent and blessed with hindsight hero always makes the right choice in the end, whilst those who picked the other forever regrets his poor decision.

The darkly handsome playboy, always ready with the flowers and passion a woman desires, in comparison to the inept, insecure individual fearful of expressing his love.

guts standingThe boy or man, going through hell, dying many a death, bleeding and suffering, pushes through the pain to kill his ultimate enemy, only glancing back at the one left behind who has not the strength nor will to push himself to that limit.

And usually all because of the love of a woman, which goes to show that heroes make more of an effort when a loved one is in danger.

How can one person live up to such unreal expectations from a role model when people admire the fictional characters almost as much as the real?

Comparing yourself to a person created from another’s imagination is never the way forward, since that creature is a clay model from which the author moulded their old hopes and past wishes to show others what they wanted to be capable of in their olden days.

How can we even tell what the ‘real life heroes’ live through? The celebrity world makes them appear like gods to us, unattainable, and again like the characters from these books, infallible.

Overstating the good, ignoring the bad, are we giving the next generation less reasons to dream, when only the fictional can achieve the impossible?

Only time will tell.

Killing Writer’s Block

July 14th, 2012

I’ve been thinking lately, not surprising really given what is happening around me lately.

A new job, an uncertain political future, money becoming worthless, this endless heat wave, all of these have reminded me that sometimes you need to remember what things you enjoy doing in your spare time.

Writing is naturally one of my hobbies which draws me back in from time to time. In my toughest years, I’ve written some of my best ever work, and also other times when nothing special was happening.

Writer’s block is natural, a combination of reality getting in the way and trying to do all the things you love at the same time.

Well, you’re writing fiction, if the reality is too horrid, sometimes you can’t even see a way to imagine something different since all you focus on is OHGODWHATDOIDONOW!!!! If reality is only slightly dull, you can just let your mind wander off, to let you wonder of fantastical realms, epic battles, powerful speeches, and tragic deaths.

The block is basically another form of procrastination. ‘I’ll get round to that chapter later’ you say to yourself, as you play another round in TF2. ‘That fight scene, it’s easy to just finish it before I sleep’, while you watch another episode of TBBT. The hardest part is recognising these niggles in your mind and actually remind yourself.

“Hey… I like to write too. Why don’t I just write something now?”

And slowly, it starts again. 5000 words and you’ve written a story, or a chapter, even an essay. Starting is the main battle.

The lesson I learned after writing that one shot in my previous post was that I can write well when I want to.

So, I read over some of my old works, the recent ones when I wasn’t such an amateur. I’d forgotten some of the details, the little puns, the odd battle, the philosophical mumblings. It reminded me just how far I’ve come after eleven long years of writing my first story.

I could still understand what I had written, in the sense that these words and phrases are ones I do use in reality, and know how to express in a paragraph. The emotions were still present in those sentences which were written long ago, immortalised, until the day I may choose to rewrite it (admittedly never but an author’s is his/her own worse critic).

It just seemed to me that I had lost that spark which meant I could write that way.

Something was missing. The drive, the ambition, the emotion? Whatever it was, that muse was being suffocated, and my writing has suffered likewise. Without writing, it also feels like I have found it harder to express my inner desires, my dreams, and that insane imagination I have had since my childhood years playing with Transformers and Lego.

These things are also what fuels my writing, so it is a true Catch-22… Mutually exclusive.

Another useful thing about Fanfiction.net is the reviews. I have rarely received bad reviews, a blessing really. Reading them and seeing how those people describe their own emotions as they read through my stories strikes me. I have that effect on people with my words, the ones I have simply typed from my keyboard? If I did back then, why not now?

Truth be told, more intelligent reviewers have been calling me out lately on crazy plot advancements, power ups and out-of-the-blue pairings. Constructive criticism too, though it always hurts, just a little.

The only thing to do is to surface through the murky oil of writer’s block. To persevere and remember what you have written before, that it is possible to reach those heights again.

Don’t stop and let reality crush your imagination again.

Keep living in that dream world… And write about it…

Might as well begin with an update I did last night.

Continuation of the Crimson Valentine fic, White Day is here, but Shiki has finally accepted that he has reached the end of his journey, and his last wish is to help his sister.

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8299503/1/Day_of_Moonlight

Already 2 nice reviews.

Hello world!

July 11th, 2012

Well, all seems to be running rather smoothly. www.cherryhost.eu lets you automatically install wordpress, imported the old xml file and all my old files, and voila!

I made a great saving, either stick with www.web-mania.com for £36 a year (and they joined another company called www.yorhost.com), or join cherryhost.eu for £36, for 5 years.

No brainer really, and I also hate mispelled things to be kool ‘n stoof laik dat…

Good times :)

Fanfiction update

April 15th, 2012

Chapter 4 of ‘In My Arms, In My Heart’ uploaded.

Also, a fan has translated one of my stories into Russian no less!

http://zhurnal.lib.ru/r/rakshas/turbanator__crimson_valentine.shtml

Quite flattered to be honest.

A common part of working in a travel agency, however 1 hour can kill you with boredom.

In between doing my usual complaints and cleaning out the queue, I drew these horrid figments (well, only one really is horrid)

2012-03-05 17.00.41

2012-03-05 17.01.51

Taken with the Samsung Galaxy S2.

The perfect combo?

March 1st, 2012

image

Well, at least that bus stop so won’t be boring any more.

Rents must be going down, because this sex shop was in a dodgier part of Piraeus.

Not that I was a frequent customer of theirs…. Not at…

The moon and Venus?

February 25th, 2012

Agios Dimitrios - The Moon

Just another evening with clear skies…