So, another birthday. Another year older, but certainly not another year wiser. Not STRICTLY true: there’s been a couple of situations this year that I have learned lessons from without question.
One of my favourite phrases to cite is ‘being an adult is mandatory, growing up is optional.’ I like the fact that I can be as childish and silly as the situation demands. It’s good for me.
There’s a school opposite the hospital where I work. Sometimes, at playtime before I moved offices, I would look out the window and see the kids running about without a care in the world. There was one little boy on one particularly memorable day who spent a full ten minutes running around going ‘AAHHHHHHH’ a’la Macauley Culkin in ‘Home Alone’. It was immensely entertaining and I was outstandingly jealous.
Why don’t adults like to play? I know that’s not true for all of us. There are roleplayers and LRPers amongst us. But where are OUR break times? Where is our work’s playground and opportunity to burn off steam in an outdoors area? Why is it, that when we leave school, we leave behind the world that we’ve been conditioned to for eleven years? Playing is good for you. As parents, we try to encourage our kids off the consoles or the TV and to play games of make believe. We encourage the use of imagination and the moment we take our tottering steps out of childhood into adulthood, imagination is no longer appreciated – at least in most places.
I reckon that if we were all allowed fifteen minutes in the morning and fifteen minutes in the afternoon to go outside and run around screaming, we’d all be much happier in our worlds. Of course, I also appreciate that working for the NHS means that this might not be looked upon as anything but slightly inappropriate. Still, in the confines of my head, I’m running about like a lunatic. I have a naturally playful streak that means I love excuses to be silly. Laughter is the best thing in the world.
There’s a delightful article on the BBC News website today that details companies who have tapped into that adult sense of creativity and have created environments where grown-ups can be anything but. It would be interesting to take statistical comparisons of creativity and staff morale.
So… what else can I talk? Well, Project: Loophole edits are all done and dusted and back with my editor. As I mentioned quite some time ago, Project: Loophole is a Silver Skulls novel, which should hopefully see publication sometime next year through the Black Library – watch this space, as they say!
The other big news is that I am finally able to mention Project: Carpark. This is a little thing called ‘Heirs of the Demon King: Uprising’ which I am writing for Abaddon Books and is due for publication in June of next year. It’s an alternative history/fantasy cross breed, whose alternative starting point is ‘what would have happened if Richard the Third had won at Bosworth?’ Tie that interesting concept in with an England where the practice of magic is A Thing and… yeah. It’s been a hell of a lot of fun to write, something which I hope comes across in the final read. It being my first proper, full-length non tie-in novel, I have absolute jitters over it, naturally.
There’s quite a few other things in the pipeline – more Gilrain for Fox Spirit for one. I’m looking forward to revisiting Gilrain. His utter uselessness and tongue-in-cheek adventures are a great writing release.
2013 hasn’t been as insane in terms of writing workload, which has been something of a blessing. I think that having written three novels, a novella and a bunch of short stories pretty much back-to-back from 2010-2012 almost burned me out completely.
It’s been a good year, all told. I am hugely grateful for everything in my life and all the new friends this year has brought me. Christmas is just around the corner and next year beckons with promises of more fun and games.
Because fun and games are… well, fun!
Keep playing – and a very happy holiday season to all of you.