When I first came to Bali in February I wanted to do a climb and there are a few volcanoes and mountains to explore in Bali. There is the Gunung Batur where within the caldera lay the stratovolcano Batur which rises 700 meters above.
Then there was Gunung Agung which is located east of Batur and from everything I read it was a longer and more difficult climb. Batur is for the tourists because its views are stellar and it is a short easy trek of two hours to the summit.
Whereas Gunung Agung stood as the holy mountain and at 3,033 meters high it is the highest point on Bali and the 5th highest volcano in Indonesia. It is the home of the mother Temple of Pura Besakih from which all the rest of the 9 directional temples spring as these 9 temples act as the island’s guardians from evil spirits.
I had seen it from Nusa Lembongan before and knew I had to get there, I tried in February but the rain made it impossible and now having done it I am so glad I didn’t do it in the mud or rain. It would have made a challenging trek into an impossible one with the risk of injury increasing with every step.
There are three primary routes you can take one the starts close to the Besakih on the west side of Agung and can be 6 to 7 hours up and another 6 to 7 down. With the other 2 main trekking routes starting south at Pura Pasar Agung. This route splits off into two routes one you hit the caldera one circling the crater and the other leading to the actual summit.
I met a young guy named Eric on couchsurfing and we both wanted to climb Agung. It was the reason both of us had come to Bali, to summit the Volcano and meet the rising sun.
To meet the sky and awe at the holy mountain that towers above Bali is a gift, a wonder and a moment to experience.
When you travel for awhile and you have a choice we both wanted to earn the view in comparison to trekking up Gunung Batur it meant more to have to work for it than having it just be given to you through a stroll.
So what did we do to prepare, we were told to bring a sweater as we would be picked up in Kuta at 9 pm and start the climb at 11 pm so we could make it to the summit by sunrise.
I am not 100% sure but I think we started at Pura Pengubengan Besakih which is north west of Pura Besakih. From there if we were trekking in a straight line it would be 5.26 km but Eric’s iPhone fitness tracker measured us going a total of 11.1 miles or 17.8 km up and down starting at about 1,045 meters above sea level and climbing to more than 3,033 meters at Agung’s summit.
I hadn’t really prepared for a long hike, the last time I had done anything physical was when I had my last muay thai fight at the end of January. So I didn’t know what it would take.
The other Eric had done his research and we debated just going up to Besakih and find a guide there or arranging it through an agency. We ended up doing it through Dartha Mount Agung Trekking.
Their website had good information and although we probably could have done it cheaper by just going to Besakish ourselves since we were splitting the cost between the two of us and we were doing it last minute we thought it was as good as we were going to get.
The costs was 700,000 for pick up and drop off at your hotel, then 1,200,000 for the guide. This was the cost for one or two people, so we choose this one because doing it together was cheaper than doing it on our own and they provided headlamps, a walking stick and some food during our breaks as we climbed.
We were told to bring 3 L of water, so 1.5 L up and another 1.5 L down, snacks for on the way up and down. I ended up bringing an electrolyte drink and a can of some local drink, some cookies, sugar tablets because I am diabetic and some chips.
I was worried about what it would take to do this trek because I have been trekking before and faced a low blood sugar which thankfully didn’t happen on this trek.
I took insulin once at dinner and didn’t end up taking any insulin at all until I had returned to my hostel the next day. My blood sugars were normal to a little low so I kept on snacking as we climbed.
It wasn’t until we had come down and finished that my blood sugar became high. I didn’t think I could go around 20 km up and down without facing the diabetic repercussions but I did and I didn’t think I could go eating without taking any insulin and I still wonder why that was.
Our group got started the long climb at 11 pm on April 22nd, 2016 right after the moon head reached it’s zenith a day before which provided some much needed moonlight instead of being in the darkness of a new moon.
I was worried about climbing in the dark but I think many people that have done it would say that the darkness was a blessing in disguise because it hid the sheer length and height of the climb ahead.
If I had known how high it was then I may have had second thoughts. Most of the trek was through forest. It wasn’t up until we were 2 hours away that the forest gave way to volcanic rock and a seemingly sheer 45 degree angled climb.
I can’t imagine doing this climb if it had rained because that would have made it near impossible to get up and even more so down without falling or slipping. So it is a good idea to check Mountain Forecast for what the weather conditions would be like during your accent to the summit.
I didn’t realize how high we were going until I saw the trail on the way down. The path usually followed a deep line cut into the forest floor that rose higher and higher with it feeling like there would be no end in sight.
Although I think I am fit I have never been fast and I would say that my only super power would be being consistent, more slow than fast but a steady pace.
I have tried not to think about my diabetes as a limitation and I choose to see it as a reminder, of how fragile we are and the balance I need to maintain which I am getting back to.
We climbed it in the light of a full moon and were greeted with astonishing views of Bali, Nusa Penida, Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan, Gunung Batur and in the far distance east of of Bali you could see the peak of Gunung Rinjani in Lombok which from Gunung Agung’s peak was 105.27 km away. It beckons to the adventurer in me to climb and summit it’s peak as we had just done Bali’s.
Although Gunung Agung can be done in a day it is not just a mountain but a volcano that deserves respect, awe and humility if you attempt to rise to it’s peak. I would say that you need a guide if only because they know the path to take up.
Not just following the trekking path laid out before but the way to get around roots, obstacles and rocks. I often found myself as I was last not knowing how to get around certain areas even though my guide and my friend were just 7 or 8 meters ahead.
Then just a few hundred meters to the summit the forest faded and was replaced with lava rock and stone up an accent that seemed angle 40 degrees up at certain points.
It was an amazing climb that as I wrote this I could still feel in my legs. Going down was probably harder than going up because I thought the sheer exhaustion and the ease of slipping while going down was more risky than when we were going up.
I think we really earned these views and as the golden glow faded and we took our pictures to prove we were there everyone knew that they had to repeat the same task going down, that although we had risen skyward we were only half way done.
There was about 10 of us who had made it up from the 3 major routes, us from Besakih, and the other from Pura Pasar Agung. On the way up we saw human’s impact as trash littered the trail and I remember in myself to respect the mountain by keeping it clean, so that only my footprints and the photos are the proof I had made the climb. As the holy mountain, as the protector of what Bali was, who it’s people are and what it means I think you can do no less than that.
Going down was quicker because we were no longer in the dark of night and you could see what we had just climbed up just a few hours ago with little but a light and a path to follow.
Looking east you saw Rinjani and then as you looked east you could see Gunung Batur and the epic scale of the caldera and the crater lake and the new Batur peak rising from within.
I was going to take pictures as I went down but there came a point where I knew if I stopped I knew I wouldn’t want to get going. So our guide and the other Eric went faster than me going down. I wasn’t going to fast I took my time just tried to be consistent.
It just felt like it would never end but there comes a point when you don’t even feel your legs anymore when they are so tired that you can’t feel them at all. That is a small miracle, to find a way to keep on walking, as you slide beneath the rocks, gravel and roots that litter your pathway down to realize how steep it was at points and to realize that you had made it there and just had to get back.
I say if you want to see Bali in all it’s glory then you have to take on the challenge of Gunung Agung to marvel at the beauty of this island itself and the people that call her home.
I had wanted to climb a volcano for awhile and Agung was not the volcano I sought to climb when I stepped off my plane, knowing that I could do this means I know I can do Rinjani.
Just as you could see Rinjani from Agung, it calls to my spirit, to rise to see how Agung looks from Rinjani as now I know what Rinjani looks like from Agung’s peak.
Maybe I won’t get to Rinjani this time but I will get there at some point. Gunung Agung is not an easy climb but it isn’t so difficult if you are reasonably fit. If I as a diabetic can do it then I think so can most.
I would recommend this to anyone who wants to experience the exhaustion and exhilaration of getting to her summit just as the sun rises to meet you. It isn’t for those who just want a photo op, it is for those who respect the mountain and who understand that for the hours of ache and sleep deprivation those brief moments of wonder are worth pain because it isn’t easy and because it must be earned.
Below is a test scene that I wrote to bet a feel for writing fiction a bit more. It’s not the first time I’ve done it but it’s still rough as hell and the balance between exposition, action, dialog and thought isn’t there yet. I am not explaining everything in it yet cause that’s not what it was for but I just wanted to see what it would sound like. How bad it is so I can improve.
This isn’t a short or a story at all, there is very little tension, it happens really quickly but since its just me working more on my voice and how to frame the scence the only thing I am trying to do is learn how to balance all those elements which I am a novice at, at the moment anyway. If anyone has any feedback please let me know, whether its good or bad especially if it’s bad I want it and need it.
When the End is the Beginning
The line is quiet, almost the entire facility has already been packed up and the bots were just preparing to move what was left out of here. Will’s grandmother Vivian York had started Flight Span decades ago as a custom ship yard whose prices for ships where a third less than that of the big companies.
Will father sold the company to Thaden Areospace when he retired and the only condition was that Flight Span would remain independent and Will did a great job of making Flight Span relevant but times have changed and the name wasn’t enough to save it. So after years of downsizing this is the end.
Laura and I were watching everything being packed up and the last bit of work being completed, Will was pacing in his office yelling at someone over the comm.
Leaning over and seeing the near empty hanger I said “I can’t believe it’s over.”
Laura’s eyes were still red from the farewell party yesterday. “Me too, we gave it everything we had.”
I couldn’t look below of what had been my life for the last 5 years and longer for a lot of us. Thaden Areospace told Will and the entire company that they were looking to downsize or sell off Flight Span a year ago. We were hoping for a sale but there were no buyers at the price Thaden wanted.
Flight Span has a great reputation for our ships but the revenue had been dropping as most people went to AI based ships that were so good that space flight training wasn’t even required. I hate that shit, what is the point of being in space if we can’t fly. That’s why I worked my ass off hacking my way here to one of the few organizations outside the military that still does manual piloting.
A month ago this entire facility was humming with activity but now it was an empty husk, as if we were never here to begin with. The board had decided to close our division, Will had tried everything he could to convince the board that we could continue but they went with the AI projections over all of us.
Suddenly my ARM band started to flash. “Hmmmm I have to go.”
Laura stood up straight “What’s going on?”
I had no idea why Will would want to talk to me and seeing him pacing in his office didn’t exactly make me want to go over there but he was still our boss. “His AI told me to get to his office right now.”
Will was a great boss, he cared for everybody here and the last few weeks have been hard on him because he thought he failed to keep Flight Span alive.
Laura gave me a little smile and held me shoulder for a sec before walking off back to work.
A few minutes later I was almost in front of his office and I could hear his screaming “Everyone gets an 18-month severance, they’re some of the best in the business.”
I really didn’t want to interrupt and was about to turn around and walk away when his damn AI opened the door.
“Look we’ll finish this later, this isn’t the end of it.” Before the person on the other end of the comm could respond he hung up.
Will took a breath as I stood in the door fame “Come on in Eric, take a seat.” Motioning me to sit not in front of his desk but on the couch instead.
As soon as I took a seat he collapsed in the recliner and just then you could see how much the fight to keep Flight Span operation had exhausted him.
He skipped his ARM band and suddenly instead of a clear view of the hanger floor became blurred. He had turned on the privacy shield.
“How long have you been working on Red Shift?”
Leaning forward and looking him in the eye I still didn’t have any idea what this was about. “It’s been about 4 years.”
“What do you think about or little tech demonstrator?” His eyes gazing at a model of the Red Shift that sat on the coffee table.
“She’s fast, modular and has adaptive I’d say you can’t have better.”
He smiled and picked up the model and tracing its lines with his thumb. “You know I designed and built her, worked on her with my mother before we were sold.”
I was still not sure what this had to do with me. I was a mechanic who worked on ships but I preferred to be called a pilot no matter how archaic that title may have today.
Looking at the model in his hand “Well she’s brilliant, a joy to sim with but even better in vacuum.”
He put the model down and looked me straight into the eyes “You know everything has been sold, all the assets and IP but as the former owner and CEO I retain certain rights and assets and Red Shit is one of them but I can’t do her justice anymore.”
Will then brought the coffee table into display mode showing a list of everyone whose worked and piloted Red Shift. “Impressive you’ve clocked in more hours working on her, in the sims and in flight than anyone.”
He was right, Red Shift was rare in today’s market a completely modular design framework that seems more military than commercial or private.
“You and the rest your team have made extensive modifications to it on your off time, why?”
Before I could respond will leaned in “You knew that it wouldn’t fly again, we told you that, so why continue working on her?”
I knew the answer before I said it. I grabbed the model and said “You have a crew of tinkers and I can’t now work on her while I have the chance. Laura’s been able to get military like performance out of a commercial SCD. Mohammad’s AI work has been amazing we are all going to keep on going until you kick us out.”
Leaning back in his chair he slid something to the display, it was the ownership certificate “Red Shift is yours.”
Just then my AI said ownership transfer complete. “But why me?”
He stood up and the privacy shield went down and the hanger floor came into focus. “There are few pilots out there, everything is done by AI but I didn’t make Red Shift for those people I made it for people like you and me.”
“Flight Span may be done but Red Shift is mine and I want you to keep on flying her since I can’t.”
Everything that is left here now is you and your team’s.
Suddenly a manifest appeared on my terminal of everything in the hanger. There was a custom frigate in the aft hanger which was put on hold 3 months ago.
“Your giving us all of it but why?”
Will turned around to face me, putting his hands on my shoulders. “I’m still CEO and most of the assets that belonged to the company have been moved. My AI caught wind of what was happening and I bought out as much as I could. The Odyssey became Flight Span’s when the clients cancelled their order we returned a portion of their funds minus a substantial fee and I bought it instead and had it finished. Now it’s all you and your team’s free and clear. Think of it as a fuck you to Thaden.”
I couldn’t process what I was hearing Will had just given us 3 ships and enough material where we could start our own company. I had to pick up my jaw off the floor.
“Everyone on your team has just got the notices, Red Shift is yours and yours alone because you treated her like a lady should be treated and I’ve created a company out of the transferred assets with you being the majority shareholder, so the Odyssey is yours free and clear of Flight Span.’
“So that’s why we are here and no one else, that’s why they’ve been packing up everything and putting onboard the Odyssey.”
“Yes but I wanted to tell you first, your team is coming up now and I’ll go over everything with all of you but you’ve been great to my ship and I am happy it is now yours. The ships are yours, the rest of it has been deemed as scrap. I had my AI doctor the results, so to Thaden everything that is lest is worthless even though you and I both know better”
“Why me, why us?”
He motioned the screen up and flipped a video so I could see “Because of this.” The video just showed cameras from all the labs in the complex. It showed our team in our lab working. There was always a few of us in session, that I knew because I clocked in a lot of all-nighters as well working on Red Shift.
“You were working on the engine module and you guys got near military grade performance on what once was just a standard commercial SCD. That is unheard off. That kind of work is why I did it, why I know you’ll do Flight Span and me proud.”
He shook my hand and smiled “Now let’s tell your team.”
When you create a story you start with the structure, the idea, the hope. It is never easy and it is always a challenge to go from zero but you are not going from zero. You are starting from your experience and he possibilities that exist and are informed by who you are, where you are going and what that means.
Today I start with a foundation built from what if, today I start with watching, observation and the human condition. That is the beating heart of every story. It is what gives me the power to take the steps I need to see, to feel, to be and to write.
So you never start with zero, you start with emotion and I start with joy. I start with hope. I start with a mission to craft here and now something worth reading, something worth being and something worth existing.
This is the journey, this is the mandate and this is why I write who I am and what I want to be. So it doesn’r have to start with some grand beginning but maybe it just starts with a single moment. Maybe it starts with waking up to the day.
So these are the words I wrote yesterday and this is where I begin as I start to go not from zero, not from nothing but to somewhere.
Speed is my weapon, momentum is the edge and maneuverability is the skill that makes me move. I hear the music in the vacuum so that I become the ship as it is me so I can dance in the home of the stardust.
Ever since I first felt my feet lift off the ground all I’ve wanted to do was go higher, faster and further. To reach up and discover where we have not set foot so I can make a mark to remembered and revered.
There are so many people who have made the last few years worth while and where do I start but with the people I first met that have taught me about kindness and self-worth, that have been an ear when before I had none. Who have shown me that our value isn’t defined by what you do but who you are and how you choose to see the world.
To Pascal who I met in the summer of 2013 as we were both in Bangkok at the time and who I would see again a few weeks later in Khao Tao. He was young, idealsitic and searching for who he was but had more courage than I could ever muster and I envy him for it.
To Shazaan Bahrainwala who I met randomly through couchsurfing which led to a few nights out on Khaosan road. He’s a great chap, with great stories and not afraid to meet people unlike myself.
To Anna from Sagion, you were quiet when we met in Bangkok and it was awesome seeing you a few months later in your hometown. Thank you for showing me around, for your kindess and the buffet. It was amazing.
To David Tjemerlang who hosted me when I was in Medan, you were generous to a fault which I didn’t deserve and that was the first time when I shaved my head. It was a privilage to meet you and your friends and that was my first time couchsurfing with anyone and if I learned anything is that I will repay the kindness shown to me to any who cross my path.
To my boy Mike who I met in Taiwan who was learning to speak Mandarin and whose suggestion to learn muay thai changed my travels more than I could have thought possible.
I have to give my thanks and gratitude to Bee the owner of Charn Chai Muay Thai for putting up with more for over a year and a half. I remember when I first got to your gym. I saw everyone training and I walked back to town and waited till I had the courage to go begin to learn muay thai. It has been a life changing experience, it has helped me do something I never thought I could do.
I remember seeing the guys fighting when I first arrived and thinking that could never be me but that’s what happened and I will have to go back for another go because I have 2 wins and 2 losses so you know I have to own up to it and tip the scales in my favour without question.
Thanks Ryan for spending those times with me before you left to train me at the gym, I sucked but I kept con coming and that was half the battle. I learned that I had discipline to spare and could bring it to bear.
To Arcangelo, my crazy Italian friend (what other kind are there), he is your brash and a fighter at heart. He has the spirit the blazes in the dark and a passion that can’t be matched. If you ever fight I will find a way to be there because it will be an epic showdown. I hope you are doing well and see you back in Pai at some point.
To Daniel and Geir, it was nice living with you Daniel, it was great chatting with you among the chaos we had in the last few months and chatting about philosophy and random things. Geir what can I say about my broken friend I will always remember you as the cripple because you could barely walk when you came back to Pai the second time.
Hey Annamoon how is school treating you so far? Hope all is well and that you get a chance to return and see how far you can push the envelope
So James how are those camels treating you in Australia? hope you can do your training and do what you always wanted to.
Gotta say can’t wait to see Mango Dave fight it out in the muay thai ring this summer man. It was great having a canuck at my first fight so long ago. I think that is the only video of me fighting at all which is probably a good thing.
To Paco I think we were all jealous of your abs and your impressive ability to party and train the next day. I’ll always remember those words you told me after my second fight when you had just gotten back. How you said you never thought I would do it and that you were proud. That meant because I never thought I could either and sometimes it is good to hear that you can prove people wrong, that your fate isn’t written, it is defined by you as much as it is through anyone else.
To Louie, Bee and Kerrie-Anne’s then baby and now toddler it was an honour seeing you go from a baby to a future Lumpinee champion and the next in line for your Dad and brother’s muay thai name.
To Andrew who is editing a video back in England, such a nice guy whose experience I envy as I try to find a way to tell a story of my own.
To Sammie the secret lethwei champ I can’t wait to see a video of you in the ring with no gloves. I will cringe as I see those hits but I know you will give as good as you get and win with the will and power of a true fighter in every sense of the word.
Hey Kate who I saw at Mountain Bar and later lived next door too. You are so kind and have an ability to connect with people which is a skill I wish I could steal so I could do the same.
To Adam the Austrialian marine who last I talked to had ended up in England, you are an inspiration for what you could do. I remember you leaving and always wished you came back to get into the ring maybe next time.
Hey Annemoon how is school treating you so far hope you get a chance to explore the world again and make it back to Pai at some point along the way.
Hey Nikita, we never did hang out that much but it was great meeting you and seeing how you could make a place your own. I always stayed so closed off you remind me to open up and not be afraid to just be yourself and screw those haters.
Then there’s Bami who has to put up with all us who suck at muay thai while he was always preparing for the next fight. It was awesome seeing you take it to them every time you were on Max Muay Thai.
Another one on the muay thai banner is Dan whose commitment to the sport, your focus and passion is evident every time I saw you train.
To Joey man meeting another diabetic on the crazy muay thai journey was nice and I hope you do come back to fight one day.
Hey Raul, I’m so proud of how much you had grown from when you got to Charn Chai Muay Thai not just in the ring but as a man. I hope you go back home with a new focus on who you are and what you want to do.
To Guy who cornered my last fight and who was such a good dude. I didn’t know you all that well but you have a brain for the ring and a passion that is infectious.
To Ju from South Korea I hope your script is going well and that it is a way for your to focus yoru creative energy. I know your time in Pai has ended but I hope you find whatever it is you are looking for out there.
So Mathias, how is the hand and hope you are back to kicking the bag but be careful about those hard heads next time.
Hey June how are you in South America, I can only hope I can be as open to the world so maybe I can find a way to be my best self even when it seems impossible. I kind of had a little crush on you when we first met but I bet you got that all the time #LOL.
Hey Richard how are things back in Canada, hope to see you back here at some point. It should be easy for you since your family gets good deals on flights.
To Garth and all his stories that I listened when sitting at mountain tattoo on many an evening. You have great stories and I hope you get back to the gym at some point.
So Alan you think after diving you will head to Thailand and give muay thai and a fight another go I hope you do because I remember you were so got the fire for it after awhile so keep it up man.
To Khembottra who taught us to meditate at the meeting house in Taipei, how goes your plans to take over the world. I want to make sure I am on your good side when all the shit goes down.
Hey Nestor how has your brother enjoyed Thailand and what are you up to these days. It was nice seeing you in Bali man and hope you get your Internet venture going soon.
To Ben the fighter who is now in Chiang Mai happy you are back in Thailand how goes it and when are you geting into the ring next.
To Sikkersoq my girl from Iceland how goes the writing? Or are you in the same boat as me which is stuck between the rock and the hardest of hard places.
So Tu my Austrailian friend when are you going to go back to Charn Chai and get into the ring. I know you want too.
So Eddie and Brooke how are the two of you making it out on the island life. I see your post often and I only wish I had your spirit.
There are so many people I can talk about who have made an impact however small or large.
To Matthew you were at the gym when I started and back when I left hope you get a chance to train some more now that your back is better. You know more than most what’s it like to be on the road constantly so to the adventure no matter where it leads.
There are so many people to thank, I wish I knew what I was going to do or who I was but I have a much better idea of that than I did before and it is becausse
To Christie man we never could meet up even though we were on Bali at the same time. Maybe next time.
To Kaew it was great seeing this Thai guy go on TV and fight the good fight at Max Muay Thai. He is one of the trainers I really miss.
To Kong who left Charn Chai Muay Thai more than a year ago to end up in Japan teaching the kiddies how to kick some ass I am glad that you have been able to experience more of the world.
To Jacqueline who gave me my first pair of muay thai shorts in exchange for pics. I hope you have a good time at songkran this year.
To Joy, happy birthday and hope all is well for your and your family and that business is better than ever. You are always so kind and everyone always knew your place had the best food in town.
To Clement I hope you got some good recipes this last time you went to Pai and to another Clement who had fought and was doing a worldwide tour of martial arts i hope one day I get to see whatever you create from that time.
To action man I mean Steve who is back in Pai, who has abs of steal if you have any tips for climbing Rinjani give them up I will need them.
Hey Jordan and Frances are we going to climb that volcano or what LOL. Congrats to the bride and you too Jordan I hope Amsterdam is treating you well and we get to catch up soon even though it hasn’t been that long ago.
This is what travel is not the places, sights, sounds or food although it is all that but the people both local and not that make it worth exploring. To the adventure. I guess I am writing this now just before I begin to nail everything down for the next phase.
I have never been a super social person, I’ve always kept to myself so I could keep my distance. Which is something that I need to change and everyone here and even more that I can mention here are the reason I keep on going as I seek to craft a story that will change my life and me it one worth the kindness shown to me so I can give it back the same way.
I give up my desire to be anything but me and to focus on what I know I must do not because it is easy but because it is what I am called to do. Thanks for moments drinking, fighting, training, meditation, did I mention drinking, laughter and relaxing.
I m going to focus on the story to and hope to return the kindness I have been shown by so many people at Charn Chai Muay Thai and across all my travels. This is what makes travel worth doing, all of you.
So I keep on going back to the world, I’ve done a ton of world building over the last year or two and what was just a concept has ballooned into a universe and it is killing me. I created a science fiction universe from who the science works, to the state of Earth in the future but I am stuck.
It is as if in becoming the creator of this world that exists in my head I lost the ability to tell the story or I would say find the story. Unlike most writers I didn’t start with the story and build out I built the world and have to find the story within it.
It is much harder to come up with the story after you’ve built the two, usually you would have the cbasic premise first and build the world in tandem with the story. I think doing it the other way is just harder because you are not as focused.
I guess because I am a gamer building the world and figuring out how it works was the rabbit I started to chase and I just couldn’t stop. So I already built a world now comes the challenge how to make it interesting enough for someone else besides me.
So I’ve decided to create characters that exist in the world and write a moment in their lives. Now I think for the most part these characters will exist in the present of near to where I have ended the timeline but not all of them.
I think I will write maybe a third of the chracters as people that existed in the universe prior to the start of the story if only to flesh out the world itself. So what I plan to write doesn’t have to be a epic or anything but a moment, a defining moment for that chracter.
There is a few reasons I want to do it this way, one is so I don’t have to have to know or invent their entire history. I just want a moment that matters, maybe it would be the first time being in a space ship or seeing the lights of the ships every evening but something that matters.
It can be traumatic, it can be joyous or maybe it was a word or an event that helped to shape who they are. Now I don’t necessarily think I am going to use all these characters but if I create them, then to me they exist.
They will not all be connected, some will not be connected at all but I hope this is a way I can get past my writer’s block and start filling my universe with voices. It will be hard to make them feel different. I may have to approach each one differently.
I think I may approach this as a way to test different approaches to character development, tone of voice and even basic structure. This way I can get to it with the pirmary focus on experimenting with style, substance and structure.
Because of how I started this process I feel like this is the best way for me to move forward. So my goal will be to each week write two chracters. I don’t know if I want to share what I write because I know no one will read it but maybe I will put up a little bit of it, if I think I need some advice or feedback on it on certian platforms like Wattpad just to get some feedback.
So here begins the real beginning. All the background information is the foundation now comes time to start filling it in.
Looking to find my voice as a storyteller, discover who I am and live for today not tomorrow.
I'm a writer who loves words, stories and who is living the dream travelling the world. Currently I am making Pai, Thailand my home while I train in Muay Thai something I never thought I would do.
I train because I want to test my limits and see how far I can run with it, can I get good enough to actually go in the ring....who knows at this point but I am going to find out.
I never thought of myself as a writer until recently now its time to see if what I see within can be made into a reality. That's the real trick, one that many of us stuggle with all out lives.
I was always looking for a job but now I know that isn't the only way. A job is great for stability while being a freelancer means you have to get scrappy and fight for every piece of meat you can smell.
So I've been to 11 countries so far. have had all my stuff jacked (passport included), was almost arrested, been harrassed by hookers, ripped off by tuk tuks, had a drug dealer try to rob me and almost went into a coma while on a trek in Ha Long Bay.
I've also seen the wonders of Ankor Wat, the Taj Mahal, Hampi, Sigiriya and learned about a history I never knew existed. I've traveled from Sagion to Hanoi, been to the Full Moon Party, learned to dive in Kho Tao, been to the jungle, seen tea plantations, gotten lost in many foriegn lands, trekked in the Himalayas for 2 and a half weeks walking more than 200 km and going 5460 meters up.
I've met amazing travelers, locales who showed me new worlds and have had my eyes open to how lucky I am and how truly special we are to live in such a diverse world with so many different ways of living.
Right now I want to infuse what I've seen and experienced into a few story ideas I have, not sure what form it will take but that's half the fun. Before this I survived but did not live and I feel like now I am living with no worry about what will come, just going for the experience and trying to push past my own limits.
The creative spark has to come from the reality of my own experience, until I live whatever I write on the page will not feel real and I hope I am no the path to making what I write feel real.
I know nothing and I make no apologies for that, I am the spunge, I will learn something new each day and live where my passion burns for the experience, that's my difference.