One year older, none the wiser.

Dwalin Esspressoshield III

Oh… hey. What’s up?

 Long time no see…

I know, I know, it’s my fault. I have just been so caught up with waaaaay too much shit to really go into.

No, no, that’s ok. Everything is totally fine between us. In fact I’ve really, really, missed you. Have you missed me?

If the hallowed blog (all hail, all hail) and myself were friends then what you’ve just read would be the conversation it and I would be having right this very minute. Well, it’s probably a little more stylised, dramatic and post-friends American sitcom than the conversation would actually be, but the message is there.

It’s been a long old time since I’ve managed to sit down and add some words to the glory that is SFJY and that, folks, is something which saddens me more than a little.

I thoroughly enjoy this little enterprise of Bif and mine; it’s a good way for me to flex some sense of creative muscle amidst the turmoil of a burgeoning sense of normality. Creative and artistic output is something I truly believe is something of incredible importance to all of us. It’s why I’ve devoted many hours of my life to learning the guitar, playing the guitar and using the guitar as a means to construct music. It’s why I’ve embarked upon writing a myriad of pieces intended to flourish into fully fledged works. It’s why I’ve engaged in all sorts of interesting and odd things over the years. Hell, it’s why I love RPG’S, tabletop gaming and all of that assorted nerdery you see splashed all over these pages.

The thing with creative output is it can be fucking difficult to actually complete shit. In the case of the aforementioned guitar-y-write-y malarkey without a boat-load of time alone to sit, ponder, procrastinate and widdle, nothing of any major worth can be created. That’s cool, that’s the way those things are meant to be and I’m absolutely sure many would argue that the hours an individual sacrifices to create the epitome of themselves in such artistic endeavours is an intrinsic aspect of the creation themselves. Life is suffering and art is the embodiment of this, etc. etc.

The problem is between the crippling need to work in order to survive this modern society, the demands of a craving for human contact other than colleagues and the ever-so-fucking-worth-it life I’ve got going on with this fatherhood stuff (seriously, it is pretty darned epic), time to create stuff is rare.

That does not mean I’ve stopped the guitar stuff (expect an epic prog/jazz/fusion/shred/death/blackened/gnarled – core album from me at some point in my life) nor does it mean I’ve stopped with the ideas for books / graphic novels / philosophical bullshit. It just means that stuff is harder to fit in to the day-to-day, particularly as it often requires additional things like a house devoid of others so I can crank out the jams. You know what it less hard to fit into the day-to-day though?…

Blogging.

I definitely do have valid excuses for not kicking into gear in recent months; not only has there been that change at home but I’ve also had some shifting about at work and have recently started commuting by bicycle again; you’d be surprised by how many posts I wrote on my phone on the train!

Hell, it feels good to get my writing on though.

So why have I just regaled you all with such a story? A few reasons really:

Firstly I guess I wanted to share something about the process of this blog with you all; it answers an element of the questions some (maybe even we) have regarding not only why we write this blog but how we do it.

Case in point… you read the awesome battle report Bif did this week? I did and, seriously, it’s fucking awesome. Something struck me whilst I was reading it though; the narrative.

Bif and I have discussed how much we love narrative in games plenty of times and it felt right to us to reflect this in how we deliver the accounts of our games; it always felt right to us to construct stories which provided a volition for our tinkering with plastic soldiers, why the fuck wouldn’t we want to write about them this way. Why did it feel right? Well…we clearly love art – creation.

So if nobody ever reads this blog, well, that’s not the point of it. The beauty in our words lies in the fact that we have done something purely based upon our own creative thought. We have flexed the unreality contained within our minds and generated worlds, ideas and moments which would not have existed without us. That’s what this blog lets us do.

That’s pretty fucking cool.

So the second reason this post exists is to outline something else about this blog, creativity and doing sit.

We started this blog to help inspire us to do more stuff. That meant more gaming, more listening to music, more reading books, more learning and… just more with our lives. We felt chronicling our endeavours would add some kind of element of culpability to ourselves; if we don’t do more shit we can’t write more shit. This odd, oxymoronic, distillation of doing stuff into one great aspect of doing stuff has actually fucking worked.

In the past year since we started SFJY we have brewed beer, lots of really good fucking beer. We have played more games than we had over the past 10-15 years. We’ve met interesting people we never would’ve met (our brewer buddy from Late Knights, for example). We’ve critically analysed and dissected TV which has played a huge role in who we are and what we like. We’ve painted models, built armies and made up stupid names for them. We’ve tried phenomenal beer from small time producers, not only meaning we’ve had some great, interesting, beverages but we’ve also invested in a do-it-yourself attitude that fires the fuck you in our bellies – and we’ve written about it!

We’ve read books, listened to podcasts, watched TV and films and done it all with the keen eye of trying to develop periods of time where we feel like what we do for ourselves actually benefits our minds and our interpretations of who we are and want to be.

…And you know what? All of that happens even when we don’t blog about it. Hell, some of that happening is the reason we haven’t managed to do some writing! There are plenty of games we’ve played and things we’ve done which haven’t made their way to these pages. I’m comfortable in saying, though, that the reasons these things have been happening to the degree they have and the sense of vigour we have for doing shit is partly SFJY. Setting up this blog fucking inspired us.

So, all in all then, I would say SFJY has been pretty fucking successful. Wouldn’t you?

So, we should totally be hanging out more often again; I’m sorry if I drop off the radar every so often though man. It’ll probably happen, what with life and everything.

*sfjy talking, sfjy talking* Bro, that’s all totally cool. I’m always here for ya whenever you want or need me though, man.

Sigmund Freud is judging anyone that now thinks Dwalin is a big ole wimp; he also judges anyone that doesn’t celebrate the birthday of this blog.

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