It seems like a good time to keep you guys updated on the goings on with my various projects. There’s been a lot of change over the past year or so, and some of it is pretty exciting.
Firstly, as some of you already know, I recently published a 2nd edition of Singularity. This is something I’d been wanting to do for a while, to reformat the book to a more compact design, using less paper and making it more affordable in the process. I’d always had other projects on the go and, since I have trouble focusing on more than one thing at a time, this idea of a 2nd edition was always lower on the to-do list. But the five-year anniversary was the kick in the pants I needed to do something not just to enhance the product but also to celebrate it.
This year also marked the publication of my first book ever done during NaNoWriMo. Vampires Vs. Dragons was more of an experimental project, seeing if I could start a full-length novel from scratch and finish it within a month (including any editing and revision) entirely on my own. And I’m happy with the results (bizarre as the book may be in some places, let alone the premise itself).
I enjoyed the process so much that I already have another story in mind for this year’s NaNoWriMo, and I’m looking forward to the prep work beginning in September.
I’ve also spent the last few years working on one particularly long fantasy novel which (I think) is finally in the last draft of editing. Hopefully to be available before the end of this year, if I can avoid thinking of more things to add or change. This particular project is one that started as an objective of having one fantasy world that I could use as a template to base other fantasy stories off of, so that I’ve got a common language for how certain kinds of fantasy creatures operate. (In fact, some notes I already had written down for this story were used as reference when writing Vampires Vs. Dragons, making the process of establishing rules quite a bit easier.) But the problem with world-building of that magnitude is that it does make the first book in the series take quite a bit longer to complete, because it’s not just the individual story you’re telling but entire species, cultures and languages to boot. Which is why this project has been on the go for a few years already, but if all goes well I’ll be able to share it with you guys soon.
In keeping with my goal of getting a new book out each year (roughly), I’ve been working on other projects as well while this larger one is in the works, and NaNoWriMo would help me achieve that goal much more easily if I do it consistently, which is my plan moving forward.
Perhaps the biggest change since the last time I posted a general update here is that in 2019 I began a Youtube channel, presently simply called “Benjamin Collier.” To date, the channel is 100% videogames. To start I was posting recorded fights between custom-made characters on the game Soulcalibur VI, which I still do, even taking requests from viewers who want to see me try to create certain characters to battle each other.
All that required was using the Capture feature built into the PS4, transferring the data to a stick, then onto my computer to upload. The next step for me was figuring out how to trim and splice videos using my laptop’s built-in video editor.
That’s when I began “Skyrim (But I’m A Wuss)” – a series of videos starring a Khajiit named Mr. Floofypoopsington Jr. on his never-ending quest to avoid getting into fights. Skyrim Let’s Plays have no shortage of variety, but so far I haven’t seen anyone take the Wuss approach, something I think I do a pretty good job of.
The next step from there was to purchase a microphone and start adding my vocal commentary to my gameplay, and I’ve been slowly working up the courage to let people hear what I sound like. I recently posted my first commentary video when I did an “unboxing” of the latest DLC for Soulcalibur VI shortly after it dropped. And I’m also started a series called “Battleborn (A Farewell Playthrough)” as I tackle the game’s story mode one last time before the servers go offline and the game becomes unplayable.
So yeah, it’s been busy, slow, fruitful, surprising, and a bunch of other things. I can look back and see quite a lot of work behind me and look forward and see a lot of potential. Some of it is daunting, but mostly exciting. I’m trying to learn from each experience and carry those lessons forward into future projects. And I guess as I get a bit older it gets a little easier to see how each step leads me to where I’m supposed to be.
I hope y’all are doing well, and you should be hearing from me again soon. Take care!