More in May

As most of you might’ve noticed (if you are still around), this blog has been very quiet during April. I had encountered a literary traffic jam and didn’t go anywhere with my writing, which included my blog, my script frenzy and my personal project.

In an attempt to try and salvage what is left of my skills, I’m going to go back to basics. I’ve abandoned Script Frenzy (rather adding my written words to my script and seeing if I can make up my page count that way. If I can’t, then that’s alright. If I can – then I’ll be pretty surprised, lol.

I’m not going to post any blogs for the rest of April but, from May onwards i’ll be back to my usual pattern of attempting between 4 and 5 posts a week. Also, I have a new program which I’ll set up to give the blog a little bit more structure. J I find that that works with blogs…

So, watch this space – I’m not gone yet.

I hope you guys had a great Easter.

Alyss

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So it must be done…

I’m struggling a bit with my Script Frenzy task and have fallen horribly behind on my deadline. It’s quite uncanny for me… though I suspect that it’s because I’ve come to realize that I’m not terribly good at ‘play’ writing. I tell a lot of my story in the heads of my characters. I struggle getting things together visually.

To get inspiration, I decided to watch the 1st Pirates of the Caribbean movie again (any excuse to look at Johnny Depp is a good one) and it is almost daunting to watch. It was written very well. The story is quick and in the span of ten minutes the writers tell you almost all you need to know about the characters that you’ll be working with. It shows you that Jack Sparrow’s a pirate 60 seconds after he appeared on the screen. You can see that Will and Elizabeth have… unfinished business (read smooching). And you see the type of man that Commador Norrington is. Less than twenty minutes into the film and you know all that you need to know so you can sit back and enjoy the ride.

And what a ride it is.

I’ve seen this movie a thousand times. I’m serious. I’ve watched it over and over and over again. And I don’t get tired of it.

I didn’t like the sequels (and have little hope for the next) but this movie, this original story was a gem among many.

And introducing Lara Croft…

The History

I can still remember the day I met her. I was eleven, going on twelve and I was hunting for my birthday present. It was always a serious task, hunting for birthday presents, because I always felt very strongly that I had to get my presents just right. It was before my internet years (and yes – before Facebook, there was such a time) and instead of browsing websites, I used to spend quite a lot of time browsing stores. I wasn’t such a fanatical gamer back then because the computer that we had wasn’t really geared up for anything short of Tetris. I was writing even then so when I did find myself in front of a keyboard I was busy creating my own adventures – not living someone else’s.

As it turned out, that year – 1996 turned out to be the turning or rather changing point in my life.

I hadn’t meant to go over to the game section but I idled over anyway and randomly picked up a newly displayed box and let it be known that my first encounter with Lara Croft was one of disbelief. I couldn’t believe that they would do something so ‘cool’ as create a female gaming character. This was far beyond Sonya Blade from Mortal Kombat, this woman, this Lara Croft had her very own game.

I had to have it.

And, after some extreme negotiations which involved almost all of my savings, I got it and thus began a 15 year friendship for lack of a better way of putting it, with the woman we now all know as ‘The Tomb Raider’.

The Course of Events

Needless to say – I played all of the games in the franchise, some with varying degrees in success. Things changed slowly and at some point, I felt that the games were getting a bit… Lame. Or, not lame, but perhaps I got too used to the course of events and the story. I finished Angel of Darkness with a sense of dread – thinking that there could be nothing left to do for the series.

I was so wrong. Crystal Dynamics took over the franchise from Eidos and started a new set of games – starting with Tomb Raider Legend – the 7th game in the franchise. Unlike a lot of fans, who criticized the ‘new Lara Croft’ (they changed her history significantly to make it more parallel with the Angelina Jolie movies) I loved it. I loved the game play, I loved the new side characters and I loved the new Lara Croft. Things were starting to look up again and they just kept getting better with the subsequent release of Tomb Raider Anniversary (the 10 year anniversary of the first release of the game) and the amazing release of Tomb Raider Underworld. I had purchased a PS3 especially just so that I could play the game and I was not disappointed. It was like looking forward to spending time with a good friend and having the visit end of on a much better note than you anticipated.

The Discovery

Subsequently, Crystal Dynamics had released one more game to Tomb Raider (and addition to Underworld) which only came out on Xbox. I was crushed, because I began to suspect that – like God of War 3 with the PS3, the next games might only be released to the Xbox system.

Wrong again.

Lara Croft is set to appear in a new game called simply Tomb Raider. I discovered this while I was at work and I couldn’t focus for hours from the excitement. And, it’s to appear on most of the gaming platforms. I’ve seen some screen caps and it looks AMAZING.

The release date is set for November 2011 – (if all goes well). And I can’t wait.

Waiting to Breathe

Ever since I was a child, I’ve had asthma. It’s not severe, or crippling, usually I can continue with my life as most people with only the odd attack. I was told that I’d grow out of it, but as it turned out, it got worse as I got older – probably because the air that we’re breathing has become much much worse.

I had an episode this weekend, without warning, without real cause. One moment I was laughing with my friends (we were quite hysterical actually) and the next I was coughing and choking, desperately trying to breathe with lungs which refused to take in any oxygen. My Other Half, who’s had to deal with this before, raced to get my inhaler and I was left, alone.

Waiting.

Waiting to breathe.

Those moments are always endless. My every breath is normally followed by a violent spasm of coughing. My instincts scream at me to breathe faster to gasp for air yet I have to remain calm and try to keep my breathing in a steady rhythm. Slow and calm for all the panic that is pushing through me.

Last week was a bit like this, my life threw a metaphorical asthma attack my way, sending me sprawling in all directions trying to organise home, work and everything else that happened in between the lines. My heart raced every moment and I found myself holding my breath as I rushed from one end of my life to the next, waiting for that breath which would come to relief me. Everything stopped as I waited for relief. I stopped writing, stopped blogging, even stopped doing Script Frenzy and letting myself get terribly behind with my page count.

It was a survival mechanism, just as the one which I have to breath slowly and deeply when I have an asthma attack.

Now, the moment’s passed – and I am back. I suspect that I will lose the Script Frenzy challenge I had gotten myself into, but that’s alright. I will still make 100 pages before 30 April.

And I will write, and blog, and carry on with my life.

Because I am breathing again.