Off and writing

Well, I am off for a while. I have returned to the sequel. I took time off. I don’t really know why; I wasn’t stuck or anyrhing like that. I guess I just needed time away.

Anyway, I am back at it. Here is the Prologue:

Prologue

Keri looked contemptuously at Gerek.

It was a mistake to escort the Dwaran. Such a loathsome creature.

Keri called it a Dwaran, for there was no name for a creature such as he before, after this venture, she hoped she never would see another like it again. The half-human and half-dwarf mix made for a creature that, in her opinion, was an abomination. A little taller than a lad, his hands and feet were too big for his body. In fact, everything about him seemed wrong he had a crooked nose, a patchy beard, his crooked teeth were yellow and brown, his breath was sour with the rank odor of gouk, a thick leaf weed for chewing. He wore a cap to cover his balding head, he wore travel pants, shirt and tunic. His looks were not the only aspect which Keri abhor Gerek. To make matters worse, he barely washed himself the resulting stench was too much for Keri to bear. Most annoying thing for Keri were none of these. No, she could tolerate his appearance, she had seen many strange creatures in her many travels; no, it wasn’t his looks that irritated her most, its constant bickering and droning on and on. Since Keri agreed to escorted Gerek through the Dark Lands three weeks ago, he had not shut-up. His constant whining and bickering began to irritate her. She despised him. For Keri, this was the final insult.

What has become of the world, when creatures such as this are deemed of such importance? In her experience, it was one’s actions and deeds that determined whether one was a great leader, or not.

Keri shook her head disapprovingly.

Keri’s rough exterior was a result of her being a woman in a man’s world. The cutthroat existence that was customary of the roamers. Her black hair grew mid-way down her back which she often wore up tucking her tresses under her hat; she had an oval face with a small, dainty nose, brown eyes, and a wide mouth with thick lips. She was medium built, lean and muscular, she was stronger than she appeared earning her place as leader of her tribe.

Keri was Chief of her people. For the most part, her people considered her a respectable leader. Her expectations of others where high; though no higher than that she placed on herself. She could be quick to temper, especially when irritated; she knew to keep her anger in check. She was not one who acted out of anger. Her people considered her a fair and just leader. One who listened to her people and contemplated her next move before making any decisions before.

Keri regretted her current decision to guide Gerek and his men through Toirmait, or “The Dark Lands,” as it was known by outsiders. The lands were hers; to her and her people, these were sacred lands. The Shaemis kept its secrets.

The Dark Lands, Gerek now knew why people oft referred to this territory by that name. The land was barren, nothing grew in these parts: Charred trees and shrubs were all that remained, they scattered sparsely across the great expanse in a patchy form. The sky was with dark and grey with stratus clouds. Gerek and his men struggled under its gloom. Gerek knew of the dangers within the boundaries of The Dark Lands. Bogs of poisonous gases and water, quicksand and sinkholes, Gorgens and Snarecaps beasts of man-eating flesh. These traps lay scattered the countryside making their trek to Kirell even more dangerous. This was unmapped territory. Gerek relied on Keri’s lead to guide their way safely through the dangers, and for this, he paid her well.

Keri gazed at Gerek and his men, “Hurry up you slugs. It is almost night; we must be there before sunset.”

You cannot believe what fate awaits us if we delay much longer. If you believe you have paid a great price with the loss of half your men, if you do not hurry, we will all surely die.

Gerek shivered, the hair on the back of his neck stood up. He looked to his left, then to his right, and finally turned to the rear.

Nothing.

He chuckled to himself, You dunce, why are you being so foolish?

Still he could not shake the feeling they were being watched.

Gerek promised the men a share of the great treasure to secure their services.

Thieves and scoundrels the lot of them.

Gerek cared not whether they survived this quest or not. He only cared only to acquire The Cau.

The company marched cautiously onward. Occasionally, Keri backtracked before continuing in a different direction; she rarely explained herself to the others mumbling to herself before moving onward.

By sunset, Gerek spied a structure in the distance. Kirell, the Temple of Kael – The Destroyer. They had arrived. Gerek shoved his way forward as he raced toward the entrance of shrine.

Keri lit four torches distributing them to Gerek, two hirelings, and herself. Gerek and Keri took the lead, while the other two men covered their rear. Down and down, and down they went. The walls in the stairway were damp and grimy. They slowed their pace lest they fall off the side to their death. Once at the bottom, Gerek ordered his men to stay.

Gerek and Keri weaved through the corridors until the reach the inner-most chamber.

There ahead stood a statue of two figures, the first figure and the shorter of the two was struggling to reach and grasp the object in the taller figure’s hand.

Keri witnessed the exhibit.

It is as if they were imprisoned for all eternity. What a terrible way to go.

Gerek rushed over to seize the orb.

“Wait you fool,” hissed Keri.

Gerek snarled, “You only wish the prize for yourself.”

Gerek seized the stone from Kael likeness. The stone flared to life. He cringed in pain; the fire began to burn within the palm of his hand.

Gerek realized his mistake too late. Try as he might, he could not shake the stone loose. The fire continued to burn and burn. Gerek shrieked with pain. The fire intensified until it consumed Gerek. He wailed a final time.

The stone dropped to the floor, and Gerek was no more.

Keri grinned smugly.

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My goaI is to continue writing in the evenings and weekends until I complete the first draft.

It feels good to be back at it. In the next few weeks, I will have news that I hope will excite my readers further.

—Robert Confiant  October 2018

 

I’ve been quiet

Lounge

I’ve been quiet for want of a better word… On reflection though, perhaps the word ‘quiet’ sums things up rightly.

I did nothing this past weekend. I hadn’t felt like it. I just wanted to cocoon. Don’t get me wrong – I am not depressed. I just wanted to be alone. I am still in a reflective mood. The only thing making me leave the condo is work and work has been very trying this week with the work load picking up and the department being shorthanded (It always gets busy this time of year). So at the end of the work day, all I want to do is go home and have a beer.

I have been reading a lot. I should be writing, but my heart is not into it. Well, at least reading is sort of related with it being the other component of writing. This is where I find myself: Me wanting to hide out and chillaxing.

I guess some times we all need some alone time. I am off on vacation for two weeks starting next week. For you Americans, it is our Thanksgiving on Monday. I will cook the feast. It will kick off a much needed break.
—Robert Confiant 3 October 2018

I am a re-reader

I am a re-reader. If the book is enjoyable, then I will read it again. I do this for movies as well.

reading

Currently, I am re-reader the Harry Potter series; although, I am not doing so all at once. I do read something new between every book, or two.

I am on a young adult genre kick though. Call it, “Indirect research,” as I write YA Fantasy. I do not; however, stick to just the Fantasy genre. I read other types of materials. I find reading this material helpful to my writing as it has been a very long time since I was a teenager LOL.

I read a lot of fiction. I no longer read a lot of non-fiction, but I do have some mythology references, foreign language references, and some writing references. The references come in handy.

When I first got back into writing, and I began to take it more seriously I decided to take a few writing courses. One of my favorite writing courses was a grammar refresher course at UBC. The grammar refresher was very helpful. Although, I still have a long way to go before I become a good writer. I have observed improvement over the years, so I keep at it (Those who are familiar with this blog will know that “Improvement” is one of the criteria for me to remain doing something, or staying with a thing I am currently doing). Besides I love to write.

I am an avid reader and writer. It can be difficult trying to balance my time between these two activities, but I manage. I used to fret if I spent more time with one over the other. I don’t let it bother me anymore as both reading and writing are important.
—Robert Confiant 26 September 2018

 

 

This writing craft proffession is odd

Awake and writingThis profession called, “Writing,” specifically the craft of writing is odd. Some days, it comes easily and naturally, while other days, one draws a blank. In my case, I pretty much write something every day (I just don’t always post it).

I don’t always post because it is not post worthy in that it is horribly written, or uninteresting. Yes, I jot down every idea even if the idea is crap. Sometimes, I need to think about a revision. If I believe the piece to be salvageable, which if I am being honest, and I am, is not always the case. I am not as shame to admit that some of what I write is crap. I know everything I write needs editing, but if one is not signed on with a publishing, this can quickly get costly. As a result, I do my best to self-edit before I post to my blog.

Ideas, I have a lot of them. That part of writing is not too difficult for me. The difficult part is getting the idea onto paper in an interesting and presentable fashion. This is not always easy, but like every craft, I discovered that one improves over time. You should read my very early stuff. I have and I’ve revised a lot of it. For many of us who call themselves writer’s. I think the issue of: “When is a piece of writing complete,” is a struggle in, and of it. I am pragmatic about this. I post it when the article becomes a complete thought; otherwise, I would never publish.

So, yes writing is a strange craft. I can no longer stop writing; it’s in my blood. I love it. It gives me a purpose. It also leaves a legacy for me. As a gay man without children, I find this has become important to me and I find writing accomplishes this need of having a legacy. I just hope to hone my craft and that I continue to improve to become a better writer.
—Robert Confiant 25 September 2018

The insidious nature of depression

I am in a good place right now, but a few friends are struggling. Depression is an insidious mental illness.

Mental health continuum-mobile

I say, “Insidious,” because, for those of us who don’t have chronic depression due to a chemical imbalance, it creeps up on you, or you go to bed and wake up depressed. For me this is not always apparent at first that I am depressed, it can take me up to a week sometimes before I realize that I am depressed. I isolate myself, I drink and eat more, I stop doing activities that I usually enjoy like reading or writing, I am tired all the time and just want to sleep.

We all get sad sometimes, so that is why I say, “It can take a while before I realize that I am depressed.” Depression is more that feeling sad; although, most people don’t know this. They tell you, “Get over it,” or “Snap out of it,” or the condescending, “Just think of being ‘happy’,” as if positive thinking alone is the magical cure. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not judging these people; they mean well. They just don’t fully understand what depression is.

My depressed states are rare and no longer intense as they once were. Before, my depression stemmed from a lack of self-confidence and a strong sense of hopelessness. I no longer feel this way.

My bouts of depression are a result of Seasonal Affect Disorder. I bought a lamp for this, which helps, but not completely. Fortunately, I have coping mechanisms that work to help me out of depression. I talk with someone (and not necessarily a professional), I go out and socialize (just small outings, nothing big), I control my drinking (alcohol is a depressant), and I try to keep positive (I usually do, but I try not to dwell on the fact that I am depressed).

I am not too sure why I chose this topic to write about. I think it was because I know is people who are currently struggling. I just wanted to share my experiences to help those who have never experienced depression to understand.

To those suffering right now know that you are loved. Please seek help if you require it. Virtual hugs.
—Robert Confiant 20 September 2018

A day in the life of

I am not quite awake yet. I think it’s “another coffee,” kind of day. I am commuting to work on public transit.

It’s coming on to the fall season. It is getting dark in the evenings and pitch black when the alarm goes off in the morning. It’s also cooler now. I took down the screen I taped up in the living-room to keep the cat from falling out while the window was open (the window opens outward with a gap of four inches) with nothing below it. I also placed candles and other knickknacks in front of the window to keep her away (It worked).

Fall, the season is different here in the Vancouver area. While some trees change colour and drop their leaves, many other trees remain green. It also rains in late Fall and Winter months, but the Farmer’s Almanac is calling for a colder winter across the continent, so it’s going to be a “wait and see,” kind of year. I don’t do well with snow. I cannot walk in the snow anymore, so I am hoping not.

I do walk better than I ever had thanks to my Dantrolene prescription. I tried exercising again, but then my hips, knees and back hurt. Even with just the cooler weather, I feel aches in my knees and hips. It’s a no win all around. Sometimes, I hate getting older. I wish they had known about the drug a lot sooner, then a least there might have been less impact damage to my hips and knees. Oh well, bothering to be done about it…

So, it’s just a bus ride into work. It’s the same old routine of going to work. This is what comes to mind. This is what I write. A bit boring I know. It’s just another ordinary day in the life of “me”.
—Robert Confiant 19 September 2018

My complete coming out story

I’ve written about parts of this in other posting here on this blog, but I haven’t put the whole story together.

gay & disabled

I first came out to myself where I really admitted to myself that I preferred guys over girls. I hated myself. I tried to pray it away – God, how I tried. I cried and prayed. I did everything I could think of hoping I would change. I did not want to be any more different than I already was. I think this was one of the reasons why my downward spiral began.

High school was okay, I wasn’t teased or anything like that it was fine. I had a handful of friends, but I still felt like I was always on the outside. I grew up in the projects and I know that if it came out that I was gay; it wouldn’t have been good for me. It was different times. It was the mid-1970s. It was never mentioned, but it was known to be frowned upon. I grew up Catholic, so you can imagine what that was like. So, I kept quiet with things being what they were. Still, I had good friends; not a lot of friends, but I kept the key aspect of my life private. I didn’t tell anyone. Not even my closest friends. My disability avoided a lot of unanswered questions.

For a lot of my life, I remained celibate. I never dated; although, I did start to fall for one or two guys over the years, with one who “scared me straight” for quite a while. He was older. We never told each other outright, but the feelings and the flirting were there. He invited me over one night and I am sure that the only reason nothing happened was because he was waiting for me to make the first move something I wasn’t ready to do at that time.

When I was in my late twenties, I was ready to come out. My brother beat me to it. My parents soon asked me if I was gay, but he came out because he was sick and I didn’t want to cause any further worry, so I said, “No.” I should have said, “Yes,” and gotten it over with. I am a hundred percent sure that my parents would have been cool with it (the way they dealt with my brother leads me to believe my parents would have been okay with it).

When I moved away and eventually came out. It was freeing. Imagine the one thing you don’t want others to know about you and then imagine it getting out to everyone. At first, you think, “That’s it, no one will like me now,” but it is also freeing. Everyone knows. You’ve reached the point where either they do accept or they do not. Those who don’t; well, one has to wonder… Doesn’t one?

Anyway, that’s it in a nutshell is my full coming out story.
—Robert Confiant 18 September 2018