Wednesday 19 February 2020

To the Memory of an Excellent Man

When you run conventions, you get the sense for those who are like you, who would love to play the games on offer, but know that someone has to be there to make sure it all works, or others can't have any fun.

Most of the volunteers I know fall into this category.

But there are some who literally never get to make it to a convention to enjoy it, and those people have an understanding, a bond between them that it's not about them, but their people.

Vince Kingston was such a man. When we came to run the Yavin open and asked for who people would recommend as Judges, there was no one more highly recommended.

When I met him, I knew that he and I had the same goals in what we did, and we talked often on the nature of what it was that we did, of that service to others that makes our lives better because everyone else being happy makes us happier.

I learned tonight that he passed away quietly at the age of 43, no details yet, but the world is a far poorer place for the loss of him.  We will not forget him or the fairness and calm that he stood for, we will go on making things better to honour our friend and all he did.

So say we all...

Monday 17 February 2020

You don't notice that you're dying when all you're doing is surviving...

Well, I made the mistake of trying for something better, in a place that wasn't ready for what I was planning.

Nothing wrong with that, but I've done the same thing at this place two times previous, so when I took the new job back in June last year (notice the coinciding of my disappearance with the taking of that job), I told them that if the only thing that had changed in three months was that I was working twelve hours a day, five days a week, then I'd be going back to what I was doing before.

Three months came and gone, and there'd been opposition from people at work who didn't understand what it was we were doing, or how we were doing it, so against better council, I gave them three more months.

Twelve hours a day, five days a week.

You don't notice that you're dying when you're doing your best to survive, it's not how the human brain works, and trying to survive is what I've been doing for more than six months.

Well, that and help run Worldcon, organise Dragonmeet, help with Eastercon, and take up a supporting position for Contingency.

Normal stuff, y'know...?

So I stepped down about a month back, went from 60-90 (that's the ETA in minutes for getting someone out to one of our jobs, not recommended hours to work a week.) down to less than thirty.  Finished off one novel in between writing a grand space opera that's going to end up larger than any of the other books I've written so far, and started to see that there's things I can do that don't involve me giving my health to a job that won't adapt with me.

Things are doing better than they were by an order of magnitude, and so last week, I took Jude to the Blackthorn windmill down in Oxford for valentines.  This is the way the world should be, good times, better people, and work that makes a difference, not just for me, but for all those around me as well.

For those who've inspired me always to do better.

Many people have a spirit animal, something that guides them and protects them in times of need.

I have a Jude...

And now there's a brighter morning, and a better world awaits.

I'll be around more often, promise, and for those wondering when the expo rpg submissions are opening, they're already open...

Games for the Dice Gods...

And here's the thing, I didn't feel that bad when I was working all those hours, I revelled in making the difference every day. Even when I couldn't see what it was doing to me, especially when I couldn't seen what it was doing to me.  We have friends and family for a reason, and when they tell you that things have gone bad, listen to them, there's every possibility that they can see something you can't...

Equally though, when they tell you that something is good, listen to that too, because all too often we can't see the things that are best for us till they've gone sailing past...