A Merry Ramble (and the Mystery of the Thousand Hondurans)

Beneath the Floor - December 2020
Wallpaper forest

I could get used to this. Two weeks off work over Christmas has provided a much needed break. Sure, it’s been crammed full of Christmas logistics, and finishing up some DIY, but it’s been amazing just to take my foot off the gas a bit and just enjoy myself. I don’t think I realised how much I’d been throwing myself into my job, stuck in a feedback loop of project after project after project.

Still, it can be a tragic world we find ourselves in at the moment. Cases rising, environmental disaster looming, economy in a downward spiral. If you’re anything like me, you need to take a break away from the news to avoid surges of helpless anxiety. Humanity’s problems have become too large for the common person to even understand, nevermind impact in a positive way. So perhaps the only thing we can do is step back, and try to create some good in our own small spheres of control. Family, friends, community.

This blog post took an existential turn very quickly didn’t it... I was supposed to be talking about Christmas. At least it won’t be long until we can say ‘good riddance’ to 2020, but I think we still have a long road to travel before we have anything close to normality. FIngers crossed though, eh?

Some bizarre news - we solved the Honduras mystery. Over the past few months, my adoring hundreds of Honduras fans had become thousands, with more pouring in every week, and leaving me thoroughly scratching my head. But, alas, they had not come for me. Some pesky Honduras chicken restaurant had stolen the code for my website, including my google analytics link! So, whenever somebody visited the Chicken website, I got a hit. They say imitation is the finest form of flattery, so I guess at least the chicken restaurant liked my website. Quick fix, problem solved. I’d be lying if I said the drop from thousands of visitors a week - back to a much more realistic fifty or so - wasn’t at least a little painful, and I suppose I won’t be getting the Honduras National Award for Literacy any time soon. Better return my blue-and-white tuxedo.

Over my break, I treated myself to a game I’d had my eye on for a while; Control. I’m having a blast with it, and the world has quite a few parallels with Floor Fifty-Four. I also noticed a similar theme in the upcoming Loki series - which looks insane amounts of fun - so I guess it shows there’s suitable demand for shadowy bureaucracies meddling in supernatural affairs. I should probably crack on.

It can be tempting when I see these well sculpted worlds to compare them to my own, still a tangle of ideas and potential. Something I have to actively fight is getting sucked into spending too much time world building, and not enough time crafting good stories. I want to actually release the books at some point, after all. Having 54 ‘Floors’ in my shadowy bureaucracy gives me a lot of freedom with that. For now, I just have to construct a single floor. The more I can detail in my mind, the better, but one of the things that really excites me about this world is I have the bones already, and can just keep refining as I go. Rome wasn’t built in a day, as they say.

I hope you’re having a good break too, if you’ve been lucky enough to get one. I think everybody needs one after this year... So long 2020. Bring on 2021 - the official year of “surely it can’t be any worse??”

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