¦ dialling in from a cafe ¦
Early morning and I’m watching people disgorging from bulk transports and walking off on the last leg of their respective journeys to work. I am not one of them. I’m sitting here with a laptop filled with fiction. And I am thinking: this is a very strange way to make a living.
Headphones are clamped to my skull. Listening to a Spotify playlist for Cyberpunk and Shadowrun: https://play.spotify.com/user/dondemon/playlist/3upJSeV6lAHhMTuraNg5J4 which is really rather good. A pleasing recommend from music producer and tech-geek Bjorn Fogelberg (Twitter). Which itself is a nice twist of the wires of fate and the Internet. Back in 2001 I downloaded some ambient electronica – when Mp3s were still a fairly new concept – and one of my favourite tracks was a mix by Mr Fogelberg. Now, 14 years later…
Going back to my earlier point. There is a lesson to be learned here: be careful what you wish for. I’m used to working in big companies with a myriad of personalities – the blending of corporate culture and creative people. For the past 12 months my world has revolved around wherever I sit with my laptop. Either alone in the Skybunker or surrounded by random strangers in a variety of cafes in Bristol, Newcastle or the occasional overseas location when I decide to fly for a change of scene. It’s taken a bit of adjustment to get used to. There have been moments where I’ve felt like I am going batshit crazy – working on a game and fiction novel(s) day after day. The trick, I’ve now learned, is to ensure you line up enough friends to meet with during any particular day. Sanity cushions.
Meanwhile, there’s a chance the Skybunker may shortly be no more. I’m looking into selling the house and moving elsewhere. New chapter. More adjustment. There’s an alternative idea that involves staying put. I’m still mulling over the options. It’ll be strange (yet exciting) to find a new mancave – writing room – study… the Skybunker has been host to me writing the RPG Yellow Dawn and it’s globe-spanning campaign book Shadows of the Quantinex. The room has also seen me write the novels Edge, Dog Eat Dog, Living in Flames, The Black Lake, The Social Club, and Oakfield. Basically, the years since 2007 have seen me create the majority of my products. The only products before this are: God Seed (1996), Dante’s Fool (1999) and Iron Man Project (2005).
What I am experiencing now is a sense of reaching the point of turning a new page. I’m near the end of a big chunk of effort on writing a 3rd edition of Yellow Dawn – The Age of Hastur. About to drop into a less intensive phase of playtesting and tweaking. So, I either clatter onto some new tracks and start working on a new novel or I place myself back in a corporate environment for a dose of non-fiction reality. We all have the power to shape our current state of existence and influence the course of our future. It’s about balancing gut instinct, facing fears, managing risk and the notion of “getting too comfortable” – what do you want versus what do you actually need. Those two statements can often be mutually exclusive. I guess: watch this space…
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