Last week was intense. Like a rich espresso paired with some 80% chocolate, it was both delicious and almost-too-much.
I wrote, taught, presented, read, drew, coded, meditated, socialised and more - throwing myself into what each day held with abandon. There was lots of laughter and plenty of tears. I’ve worked really hard since leaving my job to shape a creative life and it is now definitively coming together (with the small exception of earning money to keep it going!). Last week was a no-holds-barred culmination of many things that had been in the pipeline a long time. Along with the heart-warming wedding of two lovely friends and a spirit-uplifting Zen meditation workshop, I did A LOT:
Dublin Twine & Jam
Along with Paul and Dave, I organised this event to teach people how to use the Twine tool to make interactive fiction. It was a free event, with everyone bringing along something delicious to share on the day so we could have a shared feast together. With participation from the game dev community, our experimental fiction course and the general public, it was a great day and we ended up with 17 games you can play, many of them made by people who had never made a game before. It was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday and kick off a hectic week! With the waiting list as long as the attendance list, we will definitely be running another one of these in February so let me know if you would like to be informed when there is more information.
Monday saw me attending a Coding Grace Unity Workshop organised by the fabulous Vicky and given by my favourite person Owen to learn how to create 3D worlds for games. It was extremely tough for me to begin with, as I am often quite challenged in the spatial awareness arena. But I persevered, and ended up creating a secret glade that I am ridiculously proud of. You can wander around it here:
First Public Reading
I’ve been attending a brilliant writing course over the past two months with the genius known as Dave Lordan. Focusing on Experimental Fiction, this course was a real springboard into creativity. Everyone in the class has a unique voice and approach which Dave nurtured and brought to the fore. On Thursday last week, we had our first public reading. My piece, The Guardians of Ireland, details the exploits of seven magicians who set themselves free of time and space in 1913 to influence Ireland ... but their shared mission has become fragmented. I was very nervous about performing it in public, but there was tremendous support from my classmates and the attendees and great relief to have done it.
State of Play
On Friday evening, I presented on Twine to an audience of several hundred people for the State of Play gathering of Irish indie game devs in DIT. This was nerve-wracking: presenting on something so basic and easy to a room of people who spend their days deep in code and art assets. But I was excited about it, enthusiastic about reaching the few people in the audience who despaired of being able to make a game themselves and giving them the knowledge that through Twine they could make and upload a game for free in a few hours and have hundreds of playthroughs within a day. I really enjoyed the other presentations on the night, there was a definite running theme of "Do what you love" underlying the majority of the work, from the freeware stylings of thecatamites' Stephen to the multi-million-dollar ups and downs of Introversion's Mark Morris.
This week, it’s back to steady work on my novel and the break has done it good. The pieces fell into place much more readily yesterday than they usually do, and some plot holes just fixed themselves while I wasn’t looking...