I have Space Marines on my mind.
Not literally, because obviously they’d crush my head like an overripe watermelon. They’re pretty big lads, after all. But over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been contemplating them more than I’ve done for a while.
My Silver Skulls got kind of put on the back burner whilst I was writing Valkia the Bloody, so it was a delight to root them out for the short-short story Skin Deep that recently featured as part of the Black Library’s Angels of Death series. This series is a fabulous idea: daily 1,000 word short Space Marine stories, each focusing on a different chapter.
(Note: even as I was in the process of writing this, Fifty Shades of Geek posted up a review of the first handful of stories – including Skin Deep – here! Clearly I’m tapping into the collective consciousness without knowing it. Must stop that. Curse you, precog super powers).
Writing that little story fired up my enthusiasm for writing Space Marine goodness all over again. There’s one or two things waiting ‘in the wings’ as it were and I’m alarmingly hungry to get my mitts on them. This is good. This enthusiasm has been sorely lacking for quite a while and it feels amazing to have that drive injected again.
I’ve been writing steadily on Project: Carpark and I’m reaching a stage now, about halfway into it, where I’m really starting to get a feel for the protagonist. Up until the scene I started this morning, I wasn’t really liking him all that much. Now I’ve found out what it is that makes him tick, I may find it easier to write on. That, coupled with the fact that I’ve just introduced what is likely to be the breeziest, most light-hearted character of the piece, means that I’m quite looking forward to the next ten thousand words or so.
Project: Carpark is different from anything I’ve written before. It’s different because there are no prescribed guidelines like there are to writing in the Warhammer universes. That in itself makes it an astonishingly daunting task. It’s a little like walking a tightrope with the safety net burning beneath you. But, you know. Challenges are cool.
So Space Marines. Big, clunky, oversized monsters of the 41st millennium. I was flipping through the new codex the other evening and getting a delighted tingle every time I saw the Silver Skulls get a mention. They sort of feel like my babies. Obviously, they’re not – they’re anybody’s – but when someone contacts you on Facebook and asks questions about them so they can paint up their army in the most ‘true to the book’ way, it’s incredibly flattering. Also, this guys army looks phenomenal.
The Husband painted my Silver Skulls army for me. My attention span means that I get one arm done and immediately discover a whole list of things to do. Determined to build and paint an army of my own, I picked Necrons. So far, my entire Necron army consists of a single Immortal. I’ve decided that he’s simply ultra-hardcore and will kick any opponent in the nads before running away, giggling.
I was in discussion with someone at work the other day about why Warhammer is such a good hobby. It incorporates so many things: the need to understand a pretty comprehensive rules set, to design your army, to build and paint your army and then to develop game-playing strategies. It’s a sociable hobby – no matter how the media tries to portray it – and I pretty much love the vibe I’ve got from most Hobby Centres I’ve been in. Also, and it has to be said, I’ve generally found that the kids in most GW stores are more pleasant and socially aware by far than those who hang around outside the chip shop terrorising little old ladies.
As well as the game, there’s obviously the Black Library books to go alongside it. The Son has been making his way through the Horus Heresy series (although he broke off to read ‘1984’ on a whim – I wasn’t going to stop that) and seems to be enjoying it. I’ve fallen hugely behind in my BL reading, largely since I started writing it. Not entirely sure why that is. Time, mostly. That’s why a series of 1,000 word shorts has been a joy for me.
But it has made me hungry for some boltgun and chainsword totin’ action…