Having left this to marinate for some months, I think a good way to start, or to have any start at all, is to provide an update on my main interests as I described on the main page.
Progress on the Big One is slow to non-existent, as ever. I envisage it as complete but get bogged down when I try to write and it just doesn't feel like it should. It'll get there, perhaps I could do with a schedule (though simply lacking motivation sometimes wouldn't help). I know that I know what I have to do (lol). I first invented this story 7 years ago and at some point I have to put a stamp on its evolution and stick with one thing. To once and for all halt the marker that really doesn't know where to sit on the line of Gritty Realism and Anime Nonsense. And to somehow extract the uncanny feeling that all characters that live in such a bizarre world mixing these two things should feel and put it to page. I almost have that down- a recent development I introduced is that whilst the villagers prefer to do absolutely nothing about what is going on under their noses, several of them are obsessed with trinkets for no particular reason. No reason at all...
What has occupied more of my headspace is the Great Gothic Regency Academic Romance story. Its structure is still nebulous at this stage but each of the characters keeps coming into being one by one. I visited an event with horses a few months ago, thought 'I should have an equestrian character' and this story is where she has come to reside. I think this is the start of me not feeling I have to pack all of my ideas into The Big One. Whilst I feel romance has become quite a significant element in The Big One, I intended GGRAR as more of a pure romance in an alt history setting that I could just go ham on, and yet... the SF elements are creeping in. It seems that both ways, I cannot write one without the other.(I realise I'm vague about what both of these actually are but maybe I'll go into more detail in future)
I'm also thinking about possible meta elements in both my stories and this is absolutely at least partly due to an existential crisis I've been having since I played AITSF:NI and not made any better by Xenoblade 3. Great games (so far, in XC3's case). But both together have sent me on a spiral of 'what even is the meaning of life. why are we here. what's the point when we only have limited time.' These games are meant to make you think and for me that is great, they have a magnetic attraction for my personality. My problem is thinking too deeply about these big questions and losing sight of what is important. I've done it all my life. Perhaps the question for me should be 'why am I like this?'
I don't know how much I want to talk about them. Since 2020 I have kept a google doc of reviews that I keep to myself for now. I think because I feel opinions on books can be contentious.
I read one book recently that was worth the hype. Although (in general) I hate reading people's reviews and seeing them talk about... the portmanteaus of 'book' and social media site names. Feels really culty like much of social media, though it's also exactly how I glean if something is 'hyped' or not since I don't use social media for that myself.
Still really into collecting art and pins, painfully aware of the inherent materialism of doing so, and the potential environmental cost...! (At least I don't fly in private jets, I recite to myself.) But as a non-artist, I enjoy supporting artists who essentially provide content and entertainment for free, otherwise- and it provides physical reminders of their work when I am online less now.
And now there are figures too, because I went years having like 2 and now they are making a bunch for my favourite games. I am determined that my Space should be Pretty. But there has to be a limit to these things. I have seen the extremes of these collecting hobbies and do not wish to approach it. I want to achieve a balance of enjoyment in life between both the material and immaterial.