Today marks an anniversary, and not a very happy one at that. It was exactly a year ago today that my mum lost her fight, and we, in turn, lost her.
It's been a tough year to say the least.
This year also marked the tenth anniversary of losing my dad. When he passed away, I dealt with it in my usual way. I was a mess for a while, but the week before he died I'd signed the contracts with Eden to write the new edition of Conspiracy X, so I did possibly the most unhealthy thing you can do and I compartmentalised. I knuckled down and wrote, and edited, and wrote, and compiled, and managed to get those four core rulebooks beaten into shape. I worked through it... and when Conspiracy X was finished I stumbled onto another project, and another project. Anything to keep my brain busy and to stop the harsh reality from catching up with me.
It did, of course.
Last year, I didn't have any projects that needed to be done. Sure, I had WILD to write, but that was for me, it wasn't really commissioned or contracted. There was no distraction. So I actively went looking for it.
I volunteered to blog for SyFy, attending press screenings and even a celebrity premiere so that I could write reviews for the site.
I put together pitches for roleplaying games that would never happen.
I signed up for NaNoWriMo, writing a novel in a month that acts as the background setting for WILD, which not only helped to shape the game but also gave me a vent for fiction where I could pour all my crazy thoughts, my dreams and fears.
But when it came to writing WILD, I just struggled. I'd stare at the screen, and then find something else to do. The washing up. The vacuuming. Lego. Staring at the feed on Twitter. Anything.
Which is odd, because I've been working on it for a couple of years off and on, and it's still something I'm passionate about. It's a game where your dreams are your reality. Where anything can happen.
Maybe that's why I like Inception so much, as only two* people really die in the whole film. It's not the carnage of most Hollywood blockbusters (*Maurice Fischer and Mal - everyone else who gets shot in the movie never really existed to begin with).
I found my tastes had changed, I spend time in the cinema concerned for the people in the tower blocks that were getting smashed, or in the cars that were being totalled in the car chases. Just don't get me started on video gaming, we'll come to that in my "Bad At Games" posts...
It's only over the last couple of weeks that I've managed to gain some progress on the game - finally finishing the character generation chapter, and now drawing roughs of the cards that'll allow me to test the process.
But the anniversary has come again. And my thoughts are not my own, as they say. The hurt is still there. That weird feeling is still lingering that your childhood home is no longer there to return to.
All I can do is remember, and soldier on. To keep writing. To be there for those I care for. And to hopefully produce something that would make both my parents proud.