Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Well, I have a home again...

Despite my fears of a bleak urban exile, I managed to somehow dodge the housing crisis and had a tenancy application accepted this week. And of all the ruined, mouldering reject apartments I fronted up to, along with swarms of other desperate would-be tenants, I managed to get the one I loved, down in my favourite district of Wollongong by the harbour. The most idyllic, ruminative phase of my youth was spent near there, though not so close to the sea as this. I can't believe I'll be living just one block from the harbour. Broken heart or not, I can look forward to a sunny, salty summer. Swimming every morning in salt water certainly takes you out of your head, and puts you back in your body.

One minute's walk from my door...

What is more, I have a large living space, with beaten up old timber floors, alongside a sunny kitchen with weird mosaic countertops. Yesterday I purchased (with obligatory haggling) a large extendable table and comfy chairs. Methinks this will be an excellent roleplaying space...

I also bought a set of double bunks, so that when my oldest boy comes to stay on weekends we can be comrades and talk each other to sleep after long days by the water and long evenings of nerdy gaming. Spike won't be staying for a while, at least not at night. He is still mummy's boy through-and-through in the evenings.

Gamewise, too, I'll be back to basics, having put together a set for OD&D at last. I'm fascinated with those little books, and campaign notes are starting to appear here and there.

I feel ok about it all- it feels like my place, and as though change can get under my skin there. I hope to write here, but hope is a fraud, and only effort will decide how that all goes.   :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Vaults of the Sad Archmage, more like...

Well, I thought I might take a moment to thank you all, friendly followers, so sadly neglected by yours truly, for your kindnesses, and perhaps explain why have I been gone so long, with nary a post.

I have been unwell. That's about the big and the small of it. My life is undergoing a cavalcade of challenges and has been for some time. I can't say I'm particularly proud of how I have handled it all, but there you go. More challenges lie ahead, MUCH bigger ones, and so I don't know whether the lack of posts will be changing much. I'm considering a much more modest approach though. No more "HEY! Look at my cool project, everyone!" Social airing of my fondly held plans seems to be the kiss of death for them every time- I'm learning that slowly.

So my blog, like me, must change.

Well, putting to one side my need to make a positive impression on you all, I shall, so to speak, spill my guts. Just this once. So, erm, dirty laundry alert, everybody...

I turned 40 a couple of months ago, largely without celebration. I am unemployed, and mentally ill (though, as always, most professionals involved are hedging their bets as to a definitive diagnosis). I am in the process of a separation from my partner of fifteen years, and looking for somewhere to live. Both my writing degree and my history/english degree lie dead in the water despite initial successes. I'm no longer at artschool either. Yeah, I have a load of problems, and the bulk of them are my fault and mine alone. Alas, and woe is me, right?

Actually, no. But I feel like, well, this is my blog, and upon reflecting on why it is I let it slide, I found that, as with most things, perfectionism and a TOO fond regard for the esteem of my peers put a torpedo in things. I mean, I could have posted with more modest entries, you know, instead of just disappearing. Like a bunch of people I know, I'm sick of my crap. So some changes might be nice.

Just about the only thing I'm ok with, re: my efforts lately, is the fact that despite the challenges in my life and in spite of an endless stream of distracting new campaign ideas (Fudge, Tekumel, Thieve's World, Labyrinth Luna, Dreamlands Dungeoncrawl, Runequest, Traveller etc etc etc) I have religiously kept that Monday night game going. Every Monday, at the uni, ad&d, sometimes chaotic, sometimes sketchy, but always fun. This is pretty big for me- I haven't managed such regular DMing for any length of time since about 1987. The gameprep is often neglected mid week (read: full time stay at home dad with young kids), but I improvise and forge on, and it has all been fine and fun and CONSISTENT. Interestingly enough, the gaming hasn't been the cause for the conflict with my partner- quite the contrary. She has seen it as a positive thing, a social commitment that gets me out of the house, and something for the boys to be proud of their old man about. Mental illness can be terribly harmful in families with young kids. The gaming is a stable, positive, fun and constructive thing around here. So long as I leave my ego out of it.

Well, that's about the size of it. Not so much fishing for sympathy as outing myself as a nutter, for my own peace of mind. There may well be more stuff here- but no more huge plans, methinks. I let the blog slide to use what time I have for roleplaying in running a game instead of having the snazziest blog. But I can still have a blog. My crazy, sad, game-happy blog, with whatever bits about my games I have time to post here.

That's the end of the dirty laundry, then.   :)

PS: The group are averaging level four or five now, and have spent recent months clearing out the old moathouse and scheming in and around Hommlet. As things stand, they are in Nulb, stepping on toes and prepping for first forays into the Temple of Elemental Evil. Oh, and the nice cleric of the love-goddess Myhriss seems to be courting Lolth as a new deity these days. Go figure...