Scripta In Review– One Year On

(Artist unknown)

So apparently, this blog turned a year old a few days ago. As of writing this today, I’m admittedly a little shocked that I’ve kept at it for this long, and that it has been getting the visits and likes that it has. The rest of this blog is going to be me boring you with several paragraphs of retrospective and reflection.

When I first started this blog, I did it for a number of reasons, the primary one being that I wanted/needed a project to focus on. In part, this was because I had felt that my writing had gotten somewhat rusty, and that I needed a means to keep at it with semi-regular blog posts. In part, I really wanted to just share my overwhelmingly nerdy side, and had been inspired to do so by a lot of the 40k blogs I frequent. And in part, it was because at the time, I had been suffering from intense depression, and I needed something external to focus on, to create, and to hopefully be consistent with. My girlfriend suggested the name “Ars Scripta,” which in retrospect, seems like the height of pretension: I don’t think anything I’ve written can qualify as “written art” by a long shot. Unfortunately, it’s a bit too late to change the name or the domain now.

I would like to say I’ve been proud of what I’ve achieved so far– and for many posts, I am — but unfortunately I have let myself fall behind far too often on this blog. Mainly, this has been due to a very tight schedule: most weekdays I work from 9 to 5 (plus two hours of transportation), then come home, walk the dog for an hour, eat dinner, and am too thoroughly mentally and physically exhausted for much else. That is it: that is essentially what my day boils down to, and it means that, except on weekends (where my ability to focus on anything at all flies out the window), writing one post can stretch across several days. My seemingly limited downtime/mental energy to devote to said downtime has been a sad state of affairs for these past two years.

The other half of things has just been my age-old enemy, indecision, as I often struggle to decide on what I want to write on. Unless it’s a batrep, or a random one-off post, or (more recently) an RPG recap, I haven’t felt that I have had anything worth saying lately. I have been told frequently by other bloggers and writers, however, that the trick is not to think of something worth writing, but just to write, period. Hence, what I am doing right now.

So, here is what I hope to do over the next year for this blog:

Write more, period– I have always wanted to find an outlet to do more in the way of writing– whether it be short stories, pretentious essays, or full on novellas. However, I have always been hampered by real-world time constraints, having other things to focus on, or simply suffering from good, old fashioned writer’s block. The end result is I’ll have a good idea, and then just sit on it, all the while my exhausting daily life continues to beat me down.

Moving forward, I hope to change that. I want to get more writing done: this is not because I have any pretensions of becoming a great novelist (I am far too terrible for that), but rather because it is something that I enjoy, and something I simply want to become better at. I am considering trying to write something short every weekend, or otherwise stretching a short piece out through the space of a week and seeing how that works out. Either way, I hope to have more fiction, or thought pieces or whatnot, contributed to this blog, so that hopefully it might at least superficially live up to its name.

More RPG recaps–  I have been involved in regular RPGs for a while now, and it is only recently that I started doing recaps of them for the Rogue Trader campaign I’m running. I was partially inspired by the lengthy write-ups that a friend of mine started doing, so I figured I would try a hand at it myself. Expect more RPG recaps, from the ones I’m running and from the ones I participate in.

More reviews/commentary– whether it be book or film reviews, or army book reviews (like the one I did for the current Drukhari book), I want to write more in the way of reviews, analyses or even just getting my thoughts down on a particular subject. Part of it is, I want to get more comfortable with getting my thoughts down on paper, and part of it goes back to my point about wanting to write more– I want to become more practised, and thus better, at writing. I general, I also kind of want my blog to evolve into something more than just a 40k-centric site, and as such I want to become more comfortable writing about more divergent topics.

More project logs– Earlier in the year, I started up on some project logs on my Sisters of Battle and Drukhari…and I pretty much let that fall by the wayside. Part of that is because lately, I’ve simply had no energy to do any modelling or painting, and as such my progress has been at a glacial pace. I honestly have no idea how much of this relates to stress and/or depression on my part or not. It hasn’t helped that, between damage incurred by my carrying cases and a few years of neglect, my Drukhari remain in shabby, non-photogenic shape. So, as a mini new years resolution, I am going to try to accomplish more on the modelling/painting front, get my minis painted to an approriate level of smexiness, and more importantly, to post more about it. Cool? Cool.

Other assorted stuff- In particular, I want to get a little more creative with writing articles. I already made a good head start on my “Your Army, Your Story” series with two articles, both of which I am happy to say I have received positive feedback on, so I want to try my hand at more that. Beyond that, is anyone else’s guess.

Things I look forward to doing– On the 40k side of things, I have been gaming only sparsely, and want to get more Kill Team games in, among other things. I am also particularly excited about (1) the upcoming Chapter Approved 2018 and its updated Adepta Sororitas list, and (2), Games Workshop’s upcoming Vigilus campaign, which will be the first worldwide campaign I’ve participated in since Medusa V countless years ago. On a personal front, I also have been more active in looking for my own place after a lifetime of living at home, and I might use the blog as a vehicle for chronicling my observations, hopes, frustrations and thoughts on that particular endeavour (plus I am hoping that writing about it will encourage persistence on my part).

 

Beyond that, to anyone who is subscribed to this blog and/or follows it regularly: thank you so very much for reading thus far! I am privately quite shocked that anyone would even be following anything I write, and so you must know that your readership has been quite appreciated. I’ll try to give you all more stuff to feast upon in the next few months. And if I fail to do so — or rather, fail to increase my volume of posts– then please bear with me. As I said, I often find myself working against my own intense schedule and mentally/psychologically draining weekly life, though I am trying to fix that. Hopefully, at least, writing more for this blog will be something to help me get through all of that.

Thoughts: The return of Jean-Luc Picard and the current state of Star Trek

(Photo: CBS/Getty)

 

So, I wanted to share my thoughts, as a lifelong Trekkie, on the news of Sir Patrick Stewart returning to Star Trek. As has been reported by a million and a half news outlets now (here it is on The Verge, just for your edification),  Sir Patrick has signed on to a new Star Trek series in the works that will explore ““the next chapter of Picard’s life.” As someone who practically grew up watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, my initial reaction, of course, was giddy excitement, a lot of jumping up and down and indecipherable whooping noise, but once the initial excitement settled down, I pondered, and became a little more perturbed on the issue. At the moment, my opinions on the return of Jean-Luc Picard are somewhat mixed.

I say this for a number of reasons. On the one hand, as I mentioned before, this is very exciting news for a fan of TNG. Patrick Stewart’s Jean-Luc Picard was the face of the show, the moral and ethical centre that held together a crew of scientists, engineers, and occasional philosophers. While Picard was not a perfect captain by any stretch of the imagination (there are lengthy debates among Trekkies over how selective Picard was in his adherance to the Prime Directive), Stewart delivered his lines with such gravitas that it was impossible not to pay attention to him– I recall one commentator saying that Stewart could read a grocery list and make it sound compelling. A plethora of endlessly quotable lines  (“Engage,” “Make it so,” and any time he called Commander Riker “Number One”) and admittedly quite powerful speeches simply cemented Picard’s status as, arguably, the pillar upon which the show rested.

However, as far as anyone knows, Picard’s return will be a solo one, without any of his old crew there with him. As of this time, there has been no confirmation of any of the other old TNG cast returning for this show. On the one hand, I am fine with this, as I don’t want to see them try to make “TNG: Part 2.” However, the fact that Picard’s return is a solitary one, happening in a storyline that (presumably) takes place years after the events of TNG, feels strangely jarring to me. In my opinion, the season finale of TNG and the movies rounded off TNG and gave it….maybe not a satisfactory ending (Star Trek: Nemesis was anything but that), but a sense of closure all the same. To suddenly bring Picard back after years of TNG being off the air, after I had long accepted that his story was done, feels strange to me and disrupts this feeling of closure. I had always worked under the assumption that if I ever wanted to look at Picard’s post-TNG years, that I should turn to the various novels, comics, etc that the franchise has churned out. Now that they are actually answering this question with an actual show, I’m wondering if those said books and comics will be nullified from canon, much as the expanded universe of Star Wars was when the newer batch of movies came out.

Then there’s the nagging feeling that pulling Picard back into Star Trek is in and of itself an act of desperation. The last time an old character was brought on as major character on a Star Trek show, it was when they brought Worf onto Deep Space Nine…and that was a transparent attempt to bring back viewers. This feels like the exact same thing: “Hey, we know you have all have mixed feelings on Discovery, but hey, Picard is coming back! Exciting, huh?” Some may argue, though, that adding Worf to the show did in fact boost its ratings, and his presence did a lot to bolster the storyline by bringing in an entire Klingon subplot and cast of side characters (including Martok, the greatest Klingon to ever grace the screen), and I will admit that Deep Space Nine, especially in its later seasons, competes fiercely with The Next Generation as my favourite Star Trek show. Even so, Worf’s presence on the show, lengthy as it was, never felt any less forced or artificial for me. Perhaps the new Picard series may be just what Star Trek needs as an alternative to Discovery.

Speaking of Discovery, the current writing and directorial team in charge of the franchise leaves me feeling uneasy (despite the fact that Michael Chabon apparently is on the writing team for the new Picard series). I won’t hesitate to say that my enthusiasm for Discovery went cold pretty quickly, and while it is not a terrible show by any stretch of the imagination, it is not one that managed to sustain my interest either. Between horribly transparent plot twists, a protagonist I fell out of love with fairly quickly, a central plot that wasn’t sure what it wanted to do and a cast I really didn’t care too much about (barring one or two characters), Discovery brought nothing new to the table while at the same time doing nothing to give me a reason to stay. Of course, maybe the show just needed a season to find its feet, and will improve with time. Maybe they will apply the lessons they learned to the new Picard show. Maybe.

I’ll keep my fingers crossed, of course, and hopefully, whoever will be writing the new show will know what to do with the bestest captain ever (I will fight anyone who says otherwise). But until then, I can’t even be cautiously optimistic. Just cautious.

Think of the Children! A response to Warhammer Adventures and the ensuing panic

 

So, as usual, it feels like I’m late in responding to an issue that hundreds of others have already given their two cents on. Life, and horrible writer’s block, prevail again it seems. Anyway, for anyone who hasn’t noticed the latest “controversy” in the world of Warhammer 40,000, Games Workshop has recently unveiled Warhammer Adventures, a pair of book series aimed at “boys and girls aged 8-12,” with what looks like a series each for Warhammer 40,000 and Age of Sigmar.

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Opinion: 8th Edition’s Increasing Lack of Imagination

So recently, GW has been wheeling out previews for the upcoming Deathwatch book. I have to say, I’m interested, especially since I’ve always liked the background of the Deathwatch (ie, why choose which Chapter to play when you can play ALL the Chapters?), and have toyed with the idea of including a Deathwatch detachment to support my other Imperial forces. However, in the aforementioned previews, I couldn’t help but notice one of the Warlord traits the Deathwatch had access to:
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Next Projects

With the new year looming ahead, I’ve found myself practically bursting with various hobby ideas and things I either want to get start or get into…and finding said ideas running up against things I’ve already started, or a limited budget. Here are some of the projects I’m considering getting into over the next year or so.

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