|A piece about my characters and the worst natural/manmade disaster in recent history.|
I’d say it’s high time for an update on things, wouldn’t you all? [WARNING: THIS IS LONG.]
Well, this day, August 21st, marks a bit of an odd anniversary for me. Six years ago, on this day, I posted the first chapter of my original story; “The Dolphin’s Pearl”
Six years since I started something that I never could have predicted would become such a major part of my life.
After minimal activity for the last 5 years, I feel I owe a bit of an explanation to those of you who watch me; especially those of you who were originally drawn in by my writing, and were possibly expecting more.
Quite simply, college beat the living hell out of me. The decidedly brutal coursework that comes with a Mechanical Engineering degree that consumed almost every spare hour of my time did a pretty good job of quelling any motivation I had to write and draw. Thanks to an incredibly brutal sophomore year, along with nearly constant doubts that I chose the wrong career but lacking the courage to change it, I developed a rather deep existential depression that is still with me to this day; five years later! That year, I failed a course for the first time in my life, along with getting D’s in two other classes. My parents thinking this happened because I was lazy at first did very little to help my rather precarious mental state.
I even considered suicide once or twice. During the summer after my sophomore year, I was in a pretty dark place.
And then…My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic came along. XD Yep, the summer of 2011, I discovered this show, and immediately went full Brony. (Even if I did try to deny it for months afterwards. XD) It was exactly what I had needed. After the worst year of my life so far, I actually felt truly happy for the first time in a very long time thanks to this show. Looking back on the road that I was heading down mentally, I am rather certain that this awesome show saved me from quite a lot of bullshit; even from myself.
Throughout all this, The Dolphinfriend Series was always there, in the back of my mind, brewing, developing; whatever you would call it. I would write down an idea here and there, but nothing of note happened regarding it. Life just wouldn’t let me try.
Graduating, searching for work for nearly a year, finding a job, losing said job 3 months later, and being unemployed for almost another year is pretty much the broad strokes of my life to the present day. Aside from Bounty Hunters, I have done no writing since I stopped halfway through the sequel to The Dolphin’s Pearl. I was beginning to believe that this little idea of mine would be lost like so many ambitious projects before it.
And then, just a couple of months ago, something happened; one day I was browsing through my old files and came across The Dolphin’s Pearl. Feeling nostalgic, I read through it for the first time in quite a long time. At the end of my read, one thought was on my mind: “Wow, there was a time when I thought this was publishable?” XD
Just to give you an idea of how bad it looked to me: several years ago, I rewrote the love scene in the story in an attempt to make it of better quality; that single chapter out of the ten of the story takes up 1/3 of the story now.
After rereading it several times over the years, I have always felt that it was woefully incomplete, and quite simply, rushed. I have tried time and again to think up ways to expand on the story, but nothing seemed adequate.
Also, there was always something that never sat right with me about the story; those of you that have read it will remember that after forming a “mind link” with Afri, a patch of James’ hair turned aquamarine, signifying their bond. I now admit with great shame that I blatantly ripped that idea off of another dolphin story that I read on this very site. It is something that I have privately felt quite bad about for some time.
I needed to revise their designs to make them characters I could truly call my own. After thinking for several days, I finally came up with something that I felt fits far more naturally into the world, and is something far more original and creative. I was finally content with their designs. Little did I know that this was just the beginning.
After finalizing this design change in my head, I began to wonder how this would change events in the stories. I can’t fully describe what happened, but something just fell into place as I realized what this change meant for this story series; it changed almost the fundamental framework of the series immensely for the better. The enormity of the implications absolutely floored me. In an almost manic state, I wrote down almost every idea I could about this new change.
I felt something that I had not felt for nearly five years: true inspiration. It was wonderful.
That revelation broke some kind of dam inside me. The ideas absolutely FLOODED out of me. Now, two months later, I currently have well over 50 pages of lined paper filled out front and back with plot details, world-building ideas, character ideas, you name it! I now have the rough ideas for six stories in my head and on paper! Although It may be a while until anything of note happens, I have some real hope for this series for the first time in a long time.
I want everyone to know that although that it looks like, for all intents and purposes, that I abandoned these stories and characters long ago, nothing could be further from the truth. Over the past six years, there has hardly been a day that has gone by where I haven’t thought about James, Afri and the seemingly countless characters that I have thought up.
I do indeed plan to finish writing these stories someday. The only thing is; I just don’t know when it will happen.
My order of business for this little series is to first rewrite “The Dolphin’s Pearl.” After that, there is so much more that I want to say about James and Afri and all the other stories from this weird little world I have dreamed up.
I don’t know when it will all happen. All I know is, it will happen someday. I will never abandon it. I can’t.
It’s an inseparable part of me. Abandoning it would almost be akin to amputating my own hand at this point. I can’t let it go; I have six total stories planned for the series, almost three of which I could write by feel if I could just work up the motivation. I've gone too far to give up on it.
To all my watchers, I’m so sorry I couldn’t do more these last 5 years. Life just wouldn’t have it.
As for the future of my work on DA, I want to eventually try getting back on the horse, both in the writing and art department. I’m going to try dusting off the old pen tablet in the coming months and I may eventually upload some old sketches of mine, along with some sketches having to do with The Dolphinfriend Series, as well as some art from the Bounty Hunters universe. It might not pick back up immediately or even much at all, bit I will try to do more than I have done the last five years.
That's all I have to say for now. Have a good one, everybody!
Current Residence: Valparaiso, Indiana|
Favourite genre of music: Rock, Classic Rock, Alternative
Favourite style of art: Anythin' Unique (IOW all art)
Operating System: Windows 7
MP3 player of choice: iPod
Favourite cartoon character: Carl (Aqua Teen Hunger Force)
Personal Quote: "You don't need no instructions to know how to ROCK!"