Finding the right words to use as the opening of my return to blogging following such a long hiatus is much harder than I thought it would be. The reasons for my extended absence are complicated and involved; maybe I’ll share them here one day or include them in my memoirs, but for now – for a number of reasons – I’ll just say that a tumultuous year severely impinged upon my ability to coalesce my thoughts and experiences through the use of this blog.

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On the teachings of Confucius

I quite often quote the great Chinese philosopher Confucius and his statement referring to finding happiness at work: “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”


This is a statement I very much believe in, but not something I have yet managed to achieve. I wouldn’t want to be misconstrued here as I enjoyed my time in Her Majesty’s employ: It was a career I chose, I gave it my all, made some lifelong friends and I have no regrets. However, I don’t think I was ever truly happy there. I’m also grateful to be employed in the position I currently hold. I’m in well payed employment which bears a commensurate amount of responsibility and I effectively take care of myself (if you exclude the passengers travelling on the trains that I try to keep running to time). Despite all of that, I can’t say I’m in the job I imagined I would be doing while at secondary school, where – had you have known me then – you would have met a naive daydreamer who chose to spend an inordinate amount of time surfing, roleplaying and chasing conquests.


I still smile to myself when I think of the picture of baffled amazement I must have presented to the recruiting Sergeant on my second visit to the Army Careers office (I’d been told I was too old for Junior Leaders on my first visit). The Sergeant had just finished extolling the virtues of different corps and regiments to me and rather than sit back and ask questions, I proceeded with some panache to display my profound lack of knowledge on all matters military and replied, “But I’m just here to join the Army?” With a rather bemused expression, he checked my grades and showed me pictures of helicopters and tanks, at which point I was sold and my career in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers – REME for short – began.


However, life and experience have taught me a lot of lessons since then and slowly but surely I am beginning to take my first tentative steps toward changing my career, with the aim of finally achieving the fulfilment at work that Confucius alludes to in his statement. In fact, it will be life-changing for team KPLangers also; I will be able to work from home at healthier hours of the day, which means I will be where I need to be to support my amazing partner and our wonderful family. I keep reiterating the point, but my friends, family and loved ones support in this is invaluable and I really can’t thank you enough. I’d particularly like to take the time to thank Mr and Mrs J for their editing work and Chris Birch, founder of Modiphius, for the excellent advice and insight he has provided as I find my feet.


Plans are rapidly gaining pace, although I still can’t share too much here yet. There’s lots to be done and the learning curve is just as steep as ever, but my diligence, passion and belief have already paid off as I now have two fantastic digital artists, Arthur Tanga and Toma Feizo Gas, working with me to see my plan through to fruition. Please take the time to check out their work at Arthur Tanga Creations and Vulcan Deisgn Forge. To say that I’m excited to have them on board is an understatement and I think you’ll agree their work is first rate; I’m really looking forward to seeing my concepts come to life under their artful expertise.


Next steps for me are finalising a video submission to the prestigious publisher of roleplaying products, Paizo Publishing, before then working furiously to finish the work I’ve undertaken in readiness to approach a second publisher for licensing. The video presentation will be submitted shortly and I promise to keep you apace of developments.


“Wait a minute,” I hear you cry, “What of your other submissions?” Still no news on either I’m afraid, although my current project will supersede one of them. Rest assured, as soon as I hear more I will be sure to update you; if you haven’t already done so, please head over to my facebook page to follow me for more regular posts. I’ve also promised you a review of the Fate Core rules system, published by Evil Hat Productions, which I will ensure I deliver. Having had several conversations about this system with some close friends I’m very much looking forward to taking an in-depth look at it.


If you do stop over at my facebook page, it may well be worth taking some time to read the article that I have linked from James L. Sutter, managing editor for Paizo Publishing. It is an informed and well constructed argument concerning the unwritten contract between author and fans of their work, written in response to the furore that arose over Neil Gaiman’s 2009 blog entry, in which he stated to a fan that “George R. R. Martin is not your bitch.” As an aspiring author and publisher it certainly gave me pause for thought and plenty to consider.


Do you have any thoughts on Confucius’ statement, or another quote of his that you find pertinent? Perhaps you are one of the people that Confucius refers to, having found the fulfilment in your working life that means you no longer view your job as a necessary evil. Or maybe you have your own story to tell of youthful naivety? I’d love to hear your thoughts, stories or comments on this please.