Writing, Life & Memories.

It doesn’t matter how much you want to do with your days, sometimes what ‘needs’ to be done takes over from what ‘wants’ to be done. By the time you get all those ‘needs’ done, it’s time to collapse in a big heap and all those lovely ‘wants’ are left neglected for another potentially free day, though those pesky little ‘needs’ build up once again and before you can blink it’s Monday morning and the bus route medley is beckoning.

However, sometimes these ‘needs’ of ours can be useful little friends, in the way they can inspire creativity from the most unusual of places. My most recent adventure into creating ‘needs’ into ‘wants’ has been fueled from a container clear out, apparently there is a TV show a little like this, but this is something I am unfamiliar with so I’m unable to express any similarities. So lets paint a little picture for you, a shipping container, stacked with boxes of mine and my parents belongings which sit forlornly in storage, until it is forgotten. Initially this container was full to the brim, yet over time many items have been parted with and found new homes. A few fragments of furniture remain, car boot items and childhood memories…

Memories, that is what inspired me here and what I wanted to write about. Among these boxes, my boxes, are a savage horde of gaming memorabilia. Mainly Games Workshop and D&D, some old, some not so old, some crap, some valuable. *All* precious to me personally, yet I painfully culled my collection, parting with a suitcase and a rucksack full of items. (insert long sigh)…

I have touched upon this subject in earlier blogs, the fact that my desire to write, make up tales, characters, worlds, languages and more all stemmed from my love of Role Playing Games in my teenage years. Indeed, after 28 years, I still find myself writing about the same characters, these are my friends, my family, my muse… And now, this source of my muse has gone from storage, all those games, my precious half painted figures… Gone…

(insert second long sigh)

Today they start a new journey, out of the dust and old boxes, out in the open, to be given a new lease of life. It hurts, naturally it hurts, that might sound stupid! To connect emotions so strong to a collection of items, but I feel they have been with me for so long…

So how do I hang on to what has gone? To keep what I horded like a dragon guarding it’s gold?

I write, I list my old characters, I recall their adventures, their loves, their lives, rivalries and deaths. There are a lot, 28 years worth. I can not possibly recall everyone and everything… But unearthing these treasures to part with has triggered memories which have fueled inspiration…

… Would that have happened if they had remained in dusty boxes in storage?

 

Anne Harrison 09.05.16

 

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Why?

Last week, just for some fun I decided to follow the post I had written about Characters with a little gallery of images portraying my personal favorite characters. I thought I would focus a little bit more on these white haired heroes (and anti-heroes) of mine.

Not just so I could google more images of them, that was just a pleasant distraction from my lunch, I wondered why we connect to characters? Why do we hold imaginary literacy and films and games and cartoons and TV shows (etc…) in our hearts? Why do we cry when they suffer, even though they appear as nothing more than words on a page? Why do fangirls get jealous if the writer introduces a love interest?

Truth is, I honestly don’t know, I’m no analyst or psychologist, I do not know how the human mind works or why (or how) we form relationships with make believe people, creatures or aliens. I only know that we do and I have.

There are many popular examples in literature and movies… heroes, rogues, scoundrels, The cocky gunslinger with attitude, I don’t need to name examples. Everyone has their own personal favorites and their own stories of discovery and passion.

I can trace my passion for Fantasy Role Playing Games right back to two very dodgy old ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ books from around 1988. ‘Darian – Master Magician’ & ‘Issel – Warrior King’… I was hooked … With the introduction of HeroQuest from Games Workshop I started to develop my own characters and write my own stories… Although my love for all things Fantasy and Sci-Fi predates this time period, to the very essence of my childhood, with Star Wars, Flash Gordon and a whole host of Gerry Anderson puppets. I even designed and wrote adventures for my own cartoon character as a child, called ‘Bug’ … I suppose I could still draw him if I tried… It was my introduction to HeroQuest which really flared my creative soul into action, my characters took on a life of their own as I carefully penned adventures which I ran with my friends after school.

Yet my characters were also inspired from existing characters from well established authors. I was a totally addicted and to this day, my characters still haunt my dreams from time to time. I painted miniature figures, rolled dice, read books, completely disregarded the rules and created my own gaming system, which was crap! But I thought it was decent enough to work a whole A-Level Design project around (I got a Grade C).

I think you get the impression, how my love developed into an obsessive passion, how my characters took on a life of their own, even (or especially)  those ‘loosely’ based on existing literacy characters. Yet I still can not answer ‘Why?’ they resonate so deeply with me. However, I’m nearly out of lunch break and I haven’t even began to explore the five characters I picked out as my personal favorites in the previous post…

… That will give me something to do tomorrow then!

Anne Harrison 13.01.16