EGX 2022 (Thursday)

Today I went to EGX with Stefan and Steph from Stefan’s Daily Gaming.

This was my third EGX, but my first at ExCel in London. The other two were at the NEC in Birmingham. So a much shorter drive this time.

The first thing you notice when you walk in is the vibe. Even while standing in the queue to get through security and get our lanyards there’s an electricity in the air. The three of us are adding to it, especially when Stefan sees some of the PlayStation Access team.

We got our lanyards, much better than having just a wristband. They’ve an advert for House Flipper 2, which Steph got rather excited about, and we went into the event room itself.

There’s a lot to take in when you first walk in. There are a few folks handing out leaflets. Cosplayers moving around, not as many as I was expecting, but it’s Thursday and I’d imagine the weekend will ramp it up a bit. There’s a lot of folks in some amazing outfits. While not cosplay there is a lot that are themed as well as those that are just awesome. There’s all the gaming setups right there and they go throughout the space. Off to the left and towards the rear quarter of the floor is the vender stores. This is where we go first.

Now, my cash flow like many of us is shite at the moment so I only had a small budget but I couple of little bits went for a Mystery bag that was £25. Now, what I got in it I wouldn’t necessarily have bought, but I’m really happy with what was in there and it was definitely worth the money I paid for it.

Mystery bag contents

I find I really enjoy looking around the vendors. As it’s a gaming convention most of them are gaming related in one way or another. There was a lot of anime as well, and strangely enough I noticed a lot of vendors selling pop culture themed swords at this con.

There’s a lot of people selling artwork based on video games and pop culture in general. Some of it I found mind blowing. The skill that goes into producing these pieces is amazing and I could have spent quite a chunk of money on those alone. There was a couple of DOOM ones that really caught my eye.

We explored the retro gaming section. This got the nostalgia going big time. The one that really got me was one called Dizzy Egg. Now I can’t remember if this was the exact game me and my brother had on the Sinclair Spectrum ZX as the one I saw today was on a different system. But I had a quick go, and died like four times! But it brought a big smile to my face.

We even had that joystick!

I saw StarFox, Micro Machines, Halo 2, various Super Mario Brothers and Sonic The Hedgehog games. There was a few Batman ones, one of which Stefan dived into (he’s a big Batman fan) and so many more. Aside from Dizzy Egg I didn’t really play any as others were playing them while I was circulating, and honestly my anxiety was rising.

Arcade Cabinet

Steph did wait to play House Flipper 2 and she spoke to one of the developers of the game. I’d imagine seeing people queueing up to play and talk of how much they love the game you’ve worked your arse off must be good.

Now, my anxieties did get to me a little but not like they would have done before. I didn’t have to take a moment and regulate my nerves at any point, although a couple of times I did feel a little overwhelmed.

I’m told I look happy here ☺️

It was such a good day though. I was with two of my dearest friends, and seeing how much they loved it as well made the day even better.

Good Morning, Tuesday 22nd of March 2022

Good Morning!

I have tea, Raven is climbing over my printers while Dizzy is sitting staring at my from besides my chair. A scrap is imminent….but I’m awake. I’ve got a late shift today so I wanted to get up and get cracking early and for once it feels like I have done. There was no ‘snoozing’ of alarms. No rolling over for ‘another five minutes’ which always turned into at least another half an hour. I have an Amaranthe playlist via YouTube playing and I’m ready to get some words cracked out. I’m even dressed!

So, what’s the day got planned for me. I’d like to knock out another thousand words of zombie. I think that is very achievable. Just plug away until about midday I think and then that gives me a little time for lunch, half an hour on GTAV and a few other bits and bobs before heading off to work.

That all sounds really straight forward. It’s not. I’ll be editing as I type of the hand written draft of zombie. So I’ll be having to think on the go and I’m going to try and read the scene before I type it up so I know what point the scene is taking the story to. I am feeling quite a bit of pressure with zombie. This will be my first release and it’s got to be right. I don’t want to be that person who puts something out into the world and it’s poorly put together. Typos, spelling mistakes, bad layout, and so on. I trust my editor, she is incredibly good at what she does and I know she won’t let me embarrass myself.

They’re behaving…….for the moment……

But, I’m pushing through. I’m not letting my self-doubt stop me. I’ve had far too many months where that doubt has had me dragging my heels on writing. I know the why of this, and I’ll talk about it one day but it deserves more than a few sentences in a daily post. I know I can do this. I know it’s time to step up. And I know I keep repeating this, but that is more for myself. It’s me keeping that positivity at the forefront of my consciousness.

Self doubt, imposter syndrome, what ever you want to tag it with, is a prick. It’s a horrible feeling and one that when it takes hold it can shut me down in a heartbeat. But it will not win. It may gain ground by winning small battles but I will win the war.

Scruffy selfie!

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Good Morning(Afternoon), 2nd January 2022

Good morning, folks!

After a late night of gaming I decided to have a lay in this morning, and I think it was needed.

Yesterday I wrote 567 words, I think. It was about that number anyway.

It was a decent session. I hand wrote for the first time in a good couple of years and found it to be quite therapeutic. Last year I was struggling with writing, particularly towards the end of the year so it was a relief to be able to get some words down. It’s a story that’s in a universe I’ve already got set up but I’m not sure just how much I’m going to cross over with the main storyline that I’ll be working on.

I’m quite happy with the scheme I gave this one ☺️

Today will be a little more of a low key day with writing. I’ve got some other bits to work on before I’m going to start writing.

Have an awesome day, folks!

Gaming: Grand Theft Auto V Online

I’ve been playing a lot of GTAV online recently as part of working on my self-care. Gaming for me is an escape for me. It’s one the few things that turns my brain off from everything going on around me.

With GTAV I used to play it a lot but my anxieties would get to me. Mostly I’d just drive around robbing convenience stores, stealing and selling cars, and occasionally working for another player as bodyguard or associate. I had a Motorcycle Gang clubhouse but rarely did anything with it. When I would do the missions I’d get very frustrated when another player would thwart my efforts. And after a while it felt like it was becoming toxic to me. I was literally driving around doing nothing in the game. So I deleted it.

A few weeks ago Stefan from Stefan’s Daily Gaming mentioned playing it so I loaded it up again. Unfortunately we’ve not been able to make playing together happen, yet. But I’ve got a few plans for when it does happen.

The first few sessions I didn’t really do a lot, but then I had my day out at Broadstairs and that realisation that fear is ruining my life and I started doing more. I’ve bought a ID counterfeiting business via my motorcycle gang and have done a couple of the Survival challenges. I used to never do anything like that. The one time I did I got a little shit talking from the other players, and that put me off. Now I don’t think I’d be as delicate to it, but I also think I’m not going to be doing many of these missions with strangers. I think I just need to find my people on there. With Stefan I think it’ll be good. We’ve done a fair bit of gaming together and I think we’ll work well together.

I do love how beautiful this game is ☺️

I would like to have peeps I play with on there. You see others doing it and I think it would enhance the experience. It’ll make earning cash easier as well as some of the contacts for example need at least two people and even the ones that don’t an extra gun would be handy. You can recruit players in game to work for you, with a Motorcycle Gang they start as Prospects. I’ve had next to no luck with this, but I will persist as I want to expand that experience of the game.

At the moment I am building funds so I can expand my empire. I have something that’s beginning to look like a plan building. I’ve done a little reading online for tips etc. and I’m beginning to get an idea of where I want to put my money. I’ve just got to earn it first, and I’m not buying funds from Rockstar. I’m not necessarily against that, but its not for me. A) I don’t really have the budget to spend on games outside of my Xbox Game Pass each month and B) I want to earn my money. I don’t want shortcuts. I want to hustle and earn my wealth.

I did what’s called a ‘gang attack’ which is where you face off against twenty or so NPCs, and used my armoured car as a shield! 🤣

Now, other players do bother me. Some, I think they’r recalled Griefers, although I prefer trolls, are just out to ruin others enjoyment. I can understand trying to screw up someone as they’re trying to transport goods. You earn cash and RP (Respect Points) in doing that. It’s the ones who’ll do that, and then spend the next ten minutes just trying to kill you. These people normally have vehicles which are hard to destroy, like military grade fighters, when all I wanna do is get back onto another money earner. I even had one troll message me on Xbox (not even the in game messaging system) bragging about a gaming chair and calling me a noob. Firstly, I’m not sure what the chair has to do with it, secondly, I’m nearly level 100 on the game, so although I’m not a gifted gamer calling me a noob wasn’t accurate, and thirdly I’m not rising to that bait. I’m past that. I haven’t got time to get in a dick waving contest over a video game. If you’re someone that gets pleasure from ruining someone else’s enjoyment then you really need help. I’ll also not back down. I’m not quitting a session due to someone trolling me. Stuff that, I’ve given into too many bullies in my life, and I’m not going to do it anymore. Especially not on a video game.

I’ve made a few missteps cash wise but I’m on a decent road to recovery with it and am getting close to instigating my next major purchase.

I know I’m not the most gifted gamer, but some things in the game I do well. I’ve found I’m pretty damn good on a motorbike (which is shocking cause in real life I’ve never been on one), but I do feel exposed and would rather be driving my armoured sports car. Especially in a session where there’s a lot of hostility going around. I will admit that when I’m in those sessions I tend to be a little more passive and not as pro-active when running my MC (motorcycle gang), but I think I’ll change that. Loosing a payday or dying in game isn’t the end of the world. I’ve not found anything on this game that can be lost and not recovered one way or another.

I feel like I’ve made a commitment to build something in this game. To be successful in it. It’s not going to be easy and I’ve got to keep a strong nerve and not quit when it gets hard.

Since writing this post yesterday morning I have added a nightclub to my growing empire and I think this is gonna help me step up a level.

NaNoWriMo 2020: Day Thirteen

Yesterday I wrote 1592 words on what was a chilled out day for me. I’m still trying to resist the seductive moves of editing. I will not edit my NaNoWriMo project during November. Nope, not gonna happen! So I’m quite proud of myself for resisting it.

I’m in a difficult stage of this story where I need to get into a action sequence and I’m not quite sure how I’m getting into it. I’m tempted to just start writing this bit and then connect the dots later, but I’m going to have a little play today and see if I can get it connected before I decide to skip and fix it later.

Here’s the latest of my guest appearance on Stefan’s Daily Gaming playing Mario Kart Deluxe 🙂

Today my region has an all day Write-in (which I’ll miss a few hours of for work), so I’m hoping for a big word count day.

I’m at 24200 words for the month so far, so I should smash past the halfway point today.

Right folks, I hope everyone has a super weekend! An I’ll blog yah later! 😀

Good Evening 16th October 2020

Good afternoon/evening folks. I’m writing an end of day post a little earlier today as I mentioned earlier my buddy Stefan is coming over and I know I won’t write it later because it’ll probably be later on in the evening when I get the time.

Despite not having much time today I managed to get 1466 words on Penal Earth written in about 2 hours. I’m super happy about that. I think I’m on the right path with it, it feels right anyway.

Myself and Stefan playing Mario Kart Deluxe. This is video one.

Tomorrow I won’t have much time to write, nor will I Sunday, but I’ll try and find time to get words down. Having written so much today in not a lot of time is encouraging. I know I can get the words out, its just not letting my head defeat me when I sit down to write.

This is the second video in this series.

I’ve included a couple of the videos of me and Stefan playing Mario Kart. I hope you enjoy and consider giving Stefan’s Daily Gaming a follow on Facebook. He’s a bloody good friend that has gone above and beyond to be there for me this year and I couldn’t wish for a better friend.

I’m having a bit of a down day, so I’m looking forward to hanging out with him and beating his arse at Mario Kart 😀

Dizzy not in the way at all!

I am determined to sit down one day next week and get my NaNoWriMo project decided and prepped. I was going to write a novel, but I’m having second thoughts and might do another short story collection. I might even do prep work for both and see how I feel as we get closer to NaNo.

Right, I hope everyone has had a good day. I’m off to murder a pizza!

6th of September 2020

Good evening folks, only 187 words today, that was before work. After work I’ve been sorting a few things and chilling out in preparation to add a few pieces of furniture to my office.

Although tomorrow will be busy with that I’ll still be finding time to write, and I’d really like to get some editing done as well. We’ll see though, although I’ve had a productive month (details here on my Buy Me A Coffee page, free to read folks). This is a little bit of a change of how I’m doing things. Buy Me A Coffee is a site that lets people support people whose work they enjoy, kinda like Patreon, but different. I’ve popped a few random posts up there (which later got shared here as well), but from here on out I’ll be writing a post that gives numbers and some insight into them for the previous month. Will this be the format from here on out? Who knows. I’m trying to keep open minded and fluid with things like this, so we’ll see how it goes. Any money I receive does go straight back into writing.

This blog though, will continue. I pretty much get views each day, but I always get a jump when a new post goes live. And It will never be behind a paywall. I’ve been blogging for over a decade now, I enjoy it and quite frankly I like the journal type format that this has evolved into.

Right, well I wasn’t expecting this post to be much more than a ‘hey I wrote a little bit today’ but there you go. I will just end by asking you all go over to Facebook and checkout Stefan’s Daily Gaming, this video in particular. I guested over there and Stefan and myself play some Mario Kart. It was a lot of fun and a great way to blow off some steam. While you’re on Facebook, maybe go over to my page and give me a like too 🙂

Silent Dawn by C L Raven

Silent Dawn tells the story of Ben, Keira, and Drake and their interest of a video game Silent Dawn, and how the game seems to begin merging into the real world.

This book is beautifully written, paced, structured, and doesn’t hold back from putting the protagonist through their paces. It has a tension that rises as the story progresses and as a reader I was wondering what was really going on with the story. There was times when I couldn’t quite figure out what exactly might be happening.

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The beautiful cover by River Rose

Each one of the protagonist has a lot of depth and all have a very engaging personality. Each one felt very genuine, as did their home lives and what they had to go through when they were at school. These teenagers are not the stereotypical teenagers that you see in the media, and for me that is one of the things that made them more real. That and what they went through when they were at school. Ben, Keira, and Drake are goths and they suffer the fact that they are not afraid to be different from the herd. What the characters went through with their class mates and teachers is so exquisitely handled by C L Raven it felt like I was there with them. I got a little bullying when I was at school but it wasn’t to the extent that Ben, Keira, and Drake go through though.

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Cat and Lynx Raven

Something I really like about how C L Raven have written this is that we don’t really see a lot of Silent Dawn. They keep her as the boogey man type character, and that works really well for the story. As I was reading it I was never quite sure when or where she’d appear in the story.

I’ll wrap this review with a quick comment about the social commentary and humour in this story. The dialogue between Ben, Keira, and Drake is just beautiful. It’s humorous, on point, character building, and just fun. There was more than a few times which had me laughing aloud.

I enjoyed this book massively, and would recommend that people check it out.

You can find C L Raven at their website.