June 2016: Still Here.

Been a while since I held my latest post. Things haven’t been easy for me physically or mentally the past week, although overall I had a good couple of days, particularly the weekend when I went out to Alnwick Garden with my family and my girlfriend Vicky for a wonderful Sunday meal at the Treehouse. Hands down best restaurant food I’ve ever had. This again will had little structure to it (More centralized posts are in production, don’t worry!), a similar mould to my Random Thoughts of the Week posts.

Tennis

  • Have to start off with the French Open. And big surprise who won that…Novak Djokovic. Hardly surprising giving just how far ahead he is over the rest of the field, I don’t blame people for being turned off the men’s game right now just because it’s so predictable. Full credit for Djokovic achieving the Career Slam and tying Roy Emerson on 12 Grand Slam titles, but dissecting his draw at Roland Garros this year, he could not have it handed to him on a silver platter. All the threats to him were on the other side of the draw (The only remotely dangerous threat in his half was Nadal, and he withdrew with problems with his wrist.) His draw this year was atrocious in how easy it was, and it showed.

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  • Despite the predictable outcome, it was still an enjoyable tournament with some interesting things to watch. Despite losing the final, Murray had a great tournament and played an incredible clay-court season; Stan the Man got over his recent tennis troubles to make the last four which will only boost his confidence, and Goffin/Thiem had great runs too on the clay. Overall, a good tournament, but I severely doubt anybody has a chance to stop Djokovic equalling Nadal and Sampras’s tally this year. He’s the No.1 pick to take Wimbledon and the US Open by a long shot, and nobody really can go toe to toe with him in a best of five set format. People talk about the Big Four in tennis. That no longer exists. It’s now the Big One. Murray is the undisputed World No.2 at the moment, but he can’t hold a candle to Djokovic. Nadal has serious injury problems, Federer is rapidly declining (though still a threat on grass) and Stan is too inconsistent. With no serious talent breaking through to Grand Slam level, things are looking iffy for men’s tennis currently.

Writing

  • Now we move onto writing. Things have taken a bit of a downturn with my main novel lately. While it hasn’t stopped completely, I’ve bit the dreaded “self-defeating author bug” on it, and I wonder if it’s good enough. This could just be editing blues though, and when I start editing on it properly with my editor, maybe we can get it ironed out. After a series of talks with my writing friends, maybe releasing a beta reading release may help me a little bit. Overall I’ve had good feedback from betas so far, though all agree it’s probably a bit too complex and wordy early on. This I certainly understand.
  • Morpheus Tales though has accepted one of my short stories for their Taboo magazine, my contribution they said they “really liked” which is cool. It has a planned release for July-August, though with no TBA date yet. Regardless, it’s a good company and I’m pleased to be working with them. Here is the link for it. http://www.morpheustales.com/
  • My Science fiction project has completely stopped, and I’m thinking of stopping it completely. Maybe I’m just not cut out for that at all. The good news is, I did a lot of world-building through it for my new world, so I’ll be putting it to good use. I still think a story can be made from it, so I have some positives. One rule, NEVER delete your work, no matter how bad it is. You never know what help it may give something else down the line!
  • I’m writing for a couple more anthologies, hopefully will receive acceptance for them too. While I work on my main fantasy series, this will further my field and hopefully gather more fans. All the stories I’m writing are set in the same fantasy world. Some are in different timelines, so maybe I can expand on it? I’ve been working on a new world/landmass, and thinking of making it the far future version where my series takes place, especially as a new “Dark Age” is happening. I think I have decided on it being in the future of my “Counterbalance” series, where a cataclysm has doomed my other two continents, forcing a mass exodus to my new world. Very happy with it so far, in some cases I’m more happy with it then the one which my series is based in…

 

Gaming

  • I have been playing rather a lot of games lately. First of all, I LOVE Witcher 3’s DLC Blood and Wine. This is how it should be bloody done. 20-30 hours of content for a low price? Worth every penny. Take note of this, CA and EA, I’m looking at you both (glares). My favourite DLC of all time was Shivering Isles for Oblivion, but Blood and Wine is cutting it very close indeed.
  • Speaking of Witcher 3. I love the game, I really do, but I do understand why others may not like it. The combat and controls are pretty clunky, and would turn off any player. But I adore the world and its immersion. Being used to Skyrim/Fallout, I was a little irked that none of the commoners really talked to you, but it made sense in a lore-manner of speaking. Gwent is an incredible side-game on the level of many full-priced games too. Although I’ve had very few graphical glitches/problems with it, the new patch did bring me a lot of grief in the graphics, with stuttering and flickering galore. Hopefully, verifying the game caches will fix the problem, as I’ve yet to boot it up by the time I’ve written this blog. Fingers crossed!
  • GOG.com’s new Connect system is fantastic. Linking up steam and getting them transferred over to GOG.com to get DRM-free copies? Sign me up! Very limited choice so far, but will improve over time.

 

That’s all for now, join me again soon!

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