Charting a path – Book Update.

My book is currently on its second revision and out with volunteer readers for feedback. The plan was to do a third revision, then a proofread and finally…well, that depended on what my readers said.

I’m realistic about this. I am not an author. This is the first book I’ve written and I don’t really know if I am any good at. I am bad at self-criticism and the plan always was to make a decision on how much effort to put into publishing once I knew whether people liked it.

Problem is, that feedback isn’t coming.

Now it will. It’s not been in the wild for that long but the lack of early responses has been surprising. I was always concerned the initial few chapters weren’t strong enough and I am now confident this is a problem. I suspect once my readers get a few chapters in they are likely to keep going but my belief is that a weak first few chapters are slowing that adoption.

I was able to get some solid feedback from a reading group I am a member of. I have had a small amount of feedback prior to this and while appreciated, the feedback provided by the writing group was rawer. I understood there was too much exposition but I didn’t realise how much of a problem it was. I understood I introduced too many ideas, but again, I didn’t realise how much it was hurting my writing.

I’m inserting a new step as a result, an additional draft that will involve going through and trying to deal with these mistakes. My plan is to focus on the following areas.


  • Remove Exposition
  • Delay information until it’s actually needed
  • Reduce Adverbs
  • Reduce ‘said’ synonyms
  • Fix speech grammar


The speech grammar is an interesting one. I genuinely thought “ could act as a sentence ender. I.e. if you wrote


“Hey” she said “What are you doing”

This would actually be valid but instead it should be

“Hey,” she said “What are you doing.”


I don’t know how I got this far without realising this. I genuinely didn’t know and so this issue persists through the book.

I still plan to do a revision based on reader feedback. I do expect to get feedback, I just think the weak start is slowing it down. The first three chapters are currently posted on this blog but at some point I will be replacing them with a third revision. I’ve already rewritten the first chapter and the cuts were savage, almost 800 words were cut. Is it better? I hope so, but we are back to that same problem, feedback.

The first few chapters need to be good. The nature of the story makes it difficult to start on an exciting scene (Though I am considering a prologue) and thus to draw people in, the start must be tight. I cannot keep rewriting and asking people to reread it, especially since I am having trouble getting people to read the first version.

I think my writing group can help with this. I am doing my best to read other people’s work despite my limited time so that I can request help in return. So far this has worked okay and it is how I managed to get the feedback I needed. There is also the potential of paying people to read it but I’m not wealthy. I could only consider doing that if I knew that investment would give it a good chance of commercial success and to know that I need, yup, feedback. It’s a catch 22 and something that has been genuinely causing me a lot of stress.

Fortunately, the feedback from my writing group has reduced that stress somewhat. I feel like I have some idea of what I need to do. I know if I can fix some of the issues I mentioned I can make it better, but I still don’t know how good it will be in the end.

I may post the revised Chapter 1 here at some point but there are not too many people watching just now. Certainly when I get the first 3 completed I will replace the preview copy in the sidebar. It’s a stressful time but I mean to see it through. I fully intend to finish what I started.

When grimdark is too grim and too dark

Grimdark is popular these days. This did not begin with Game of Thrones but it certainly encouraged writers to consider more fatalistic story telling. It seems everyone wants to be gritty and serious and while it can work, I think it often falls flat.

Life is almost never truly grimdark. It can feel that way at times but even when we are on our deathbeds, it is often human nature to face the long night with humour. Setbacks hurt, but they tend to hurt more when we were genuinely hopeful of success.

I think this is often a problem with Grimdark. For the kick to really hurt, there had to be a realistic hope that the outcome would be positive. When the fifth awful thing happens in a row, not only can it seem trivial due to the existing situation, it becomes expected. Relentless grimdark is predictable and there were points in Game of Thrones (TV at least, I’ve not read the books) where I honestly lost interest due to how expected some of the deaths became.

It can also lead to unsympathetic characters. People surviving in grimdark universes are often shown at their worst. We don’t see the bright points of their personalities and the humour that often exists in real life is rarely present.

I want to use Star Gate Atlantis as a counter example. Bear with me, it’s a good one, I promise and if this is as geeky as you think this blog is going to get, wait till I put on my weeaboo glasses.

Star Gate Atlantis is not grimdark. It’s an adventure show using a plot of the week structure. One of the characters in the show is called Rodney McKay and he was there primarily as an engine for humour. He was awkward, arrogant and neurotic but ultimately sympathetic and entertaining. Over several series they built up another character, Katie, who was attracted to him despite his flaws. She was shown to have a seemingly endless supply of patience.

In season 4 there was an episode called Quarantine. In this episode, Mckay was trapped with Katie as the base went into lock-down. His neurosis and paranoia went into overdrive and over the episode, bit by bit, he finally managed to wear her down. What had been a cute ‘not quite relationship’ failed in a genuinely heart wrenching way. It was powerful because it had started on a high. Had Atlantis been a ‘grimdark’ show like the failed Stargate Universe (Apologies, I know it has its fan) then the effect would have been far less potent. If we didn’t like Mckay and didn’t care about him, this scene wouldn’t have been that memorable.

Grimdark can of course work. There have been several spectacular examples recently and it’s that success that draws so many people towards it, but I fear many looking to emulate that success are missing the pitfalls. Grimdark is not a style to be attempted loosely or you end up with Star Trek Discover (Apologies to the Star Trek Discovery fan as well!)

Style versus Convention

Writing has unspoken rules. Mix your sentence lengths. Show don’t tell. Don’t switch POV between chapters without a robust structure. Okay. Perhaps unspoken is the wrong word. A quick Google search will easily find these and more.

I was recently reading a book excerpt on a writing group I’ve joined. It was written in a style reminiscent of Pratchet and as a result a lot of conventional wisdom did not apply. It was a difficult piece to critique because structures that should not work did, and each place a rule was broken, it seemed a valid stylistic choice.

It begs a second question. If style can trump convention, should convention be discarded more often? Additionally, is an absolute adherence to convention a bad thing? Do people develop a unique voice through their ‘mistakes’ If everyone’s work was broken down by an endless march of editors would it become like a blurred average of faces. Beautiful but unremarkable?

This isn’t the first time I’ve considered this question. As mentioned before I have a condition called aphantasia. I have no visual imagination and cannot picture things from memory. When I write, I cannot see the scene and instead run logically through a list of events that I want to happen. This naturally has an impact on my writing and it tends to be very logically ordered as a result. Additionally, visual language is perhaps lacking while a focus is placed on characters thoughts and feelings. Is this a problem? Or is it in these flaws that I gain my style? It’s difficult to say, and I genuinely don’t have an answer.

I’m not suggesting we discard convention, and if in an attempt to develop your voice you decide your next piece will drop full stops in favour of a single ten-thousand word run-on sentence, well, I wish you the best of luck. I think however, it is worth considering if something might be lost in the search for perfection. Perhaps by letting some flaws through, we may show more of ourselves. We are after all, only human.

Why Write?

I found myself in an interesting conversation recently which essentially boiled down to ‘Why Write?’

I don’t mean ‘Why Write’ as in, why bother doing the activity at all, but rather, what are the motivations behind writing? What should the motivations be and are they all equally valid?


Advice I once read was ‘Write for yourself first’ This isn’t some nugget of ancient wisdom. I am sure you have heard the same worded in many different variations from a plethora of sources, but I think it’s worth examining.

The concept is simple. If you write for yourself, if your goal is to enjoy the process, it doesn’t matter what happens at the end. Don’t write what you think other people want. Don’t write what you think is popular. Write what you want, try and make the process the goal rather than the result.

It makes sense, right? And I certainly took it to heart. The choices I have made with my novel boiled down to writing the kind of story I like. I like shape-shifting as a theme so the characters are were-foxes. I prefer female protagonists. I toned down some of the elements to try and increase the appeal but ultimately, I took a route that I knew would turn some people off. An approach that some people would find too weird to consider reading.

So, I took that advice right? I was writing for myself. That was the answer to ‘Why Write?’


Like most things, it’s more complicated than that. Now that I’ve reached the second draft and the core process of writing moves on to editing, I can start to examine that answer. Why Write? Was I really only writing for myself?

Before I started writing seriously I spent a lot of time drawing. Like many people, I have a creative streak and originally art had been my main outlet. Unfortunately, I have a condition called aphantasia and despite making great strides, I struggled to get good enough to get any real attention. Sure, I wanted to become better for my own satisfaction, but even when you are proud of your own work, I think we all want the acknowledgement of others. Art in a vacuum feels wasted. You ultimately want to entertain and I cannot help but be disappointed when a piece I am proud of receives no response.

My natural disadvantages do not really manifest in the same way when writing. I decided I was going to pursue that instead. I did set out following that advice, to write first for myself, but can I really be satisfied with my own self-entertainment. Is it okay for my work to exist in a vacuum?


In my cse, I’m not sure it is. I took that original lesson to heart. I wrote the kind of story I would like to read using themes that I enjoy, but I still want it to be a success. I think hearing people enjoyed it would mean more to me that any financial boon it might bring. Perhaps that’s a sign of a shallow heart, a need for approval that stems from a psychological flaw, but it is who I am and if there is anything we cannot deny, we each are who we are.

In the end, there are multiple reasons that I write and some reasons matter more than others, but I think it’s interesting to ask yourself that question. So, Everyone. Tell me. Why do you write?

Cherry and Rosa Hazelwood, Supernatural Detectives

It’s no secret that I have been working on a novel for the last five months. In fact, if you count the time i spent writing short stories in preparation, I have been at it for almost a year.

The plan always went write the first draft, produce a second draft and send it out for feedback. Produce a third draft and then…something.

That something is a hard question. Do I self publish? (probably) do I try and go the more traditional publishing route? (I suspect not) do I burn it in an industrial incinerator and hope everyone forgets how bad it was? Well, fingers crossed its not that bad.

But that’s where we are. is it any good? What route should I pursue based on it’s quality and could it be moved up the chain from Incinerator to Self publish to Traditional Publishing with more work?

This is my first attempt at a novel. I am a new Writer. I do have a support network but its not enormous and I have little knowledge on what I should do when I decide that’s it. This is the final draft. It’s time to go.


After discussion with a friend considering a similar path, I decided I should open up the first few chapters of my work to open criticism. This should help me get feedback on what needs to improve but if people enjoy it perhaps it will also help me get a little attention. If it feels a little bit like shilling, I cannot deny there is an element of that but I am a complete unknown, and my end goal is to entertain, so, hopefully everyone wins. I get advice to improve and you discover a potential work you might like in future.

Regardless of anything, whether you read the first paragraph and stop, whether you don’t read it at all but took the time to read this post, I appreciate it. New writing is produced everyday and the number of self published works on Amazon is staggering. As hard as I’ve worked to reach this stage, it feels like it is only the beginning. At least if I want this to be more than a self satisfied anecdote where i can proclaim “I wrote a novel you know!”

So! What of the book, What of the three chapters I am offering up?

It is a tale of two were fox detectives taking inspiration from the likes of The Dresden Files, World of Darkness and a number of other sources. It is Urban Fantasy at heart, a genre I enjoy and need to read more of. I offer a short, inexpertly written blurb below.


Setting up a detective agency seemed like a good idea. It required no qualifications, modest initial costs and demand was only growing as the supernatural world merged with the mundane. Unfortunately, a series of overlooked costs, the fact that people expect supernatural detectives to be mages and sudden, unexpected competition, meant that the predicted rocky start has become downright hazardous. Fortunately, Cherry and Rosa are shifters, a race of were-creatures with powerful senses that can help compensate for their lack of training, but if they don’t get a good case soon, none of that will matter and they will have no choice but to close the office.


I am offering the first 3 chapters but if there is demand ill post the fourth as well. Any feedback is welcome be that ‘I enjoyed it’, ‘I thought it was rubbish’ or ‘I only read stories written in second person presented in future tense’


Rosa&Cherry HazelWood Supernatural Detectives 1-3

An Introduction to Force of Will

Force of Will, more anime than an inappropriate card alter on a basic land.

Force of Will is a somewhat new TCG to the scene though information about it is surprisingly hard to come by. Only a few fan sites provide regular updates and incredibly it does not have a Wikipedia page (Except in Italian for whatever reason).

Force of will launched on the 1st of December 2012; a hilariously difficult piece of information to source. The game is on its 4rth Block; named ‘the Lapis Cluster’ which contains 2 sets with a third “The Return of the Dragon Emperor” due to be released in March of 2017.

There does seem to be some activity with many of the serious TCG shops stocking product and more importantly selling singles. There are a few active blogs and a busy subreddit. Organised play, however, at least in Scotland seems to be thin on the ground with few shops running regular events.

Magic by any other nameValentina_conv.jpg

Force of Will Co, I fixed your card for you. …actually there wasn’t enough space to fit all the mechanics on.

Force of Will clearly takes inspiration from magic and that is not a bad thing. Magic has stood the test of time in a way no other card game has because fundamentally, its mechanics create a compelling experience with an immense amount of depth and strategic options. Unfortunately, it suffers from some of the issues many magic clones have by having to avoid the use of certain terms making cards confusing. Creatures become Resonators (is that really the best they could have done), Artefacts become Regalia and Sorceries and Instants become Chants. Tap-ing becomes resting as well as other keyword changes. This sometimes makes things a little goofy and confusing when things are given odd names to just be different from magic, other games have creatures Wizards, Get over it!

That is not to say they are the same game, though, they are similar enough that you are safe to assume that almost everything not mentioned here works the same as it does in magic, stack included.

Not quite the same


Did anyone read these cards, a 4/4 for 1u? these cards are broken.

The biggest difference between the games can be found in deck construction. It functions much more like EDH with your deck being led by a ‘J-Ruler’. Your J Ruler is a double sided card which functionally starts in play. The initial side of the card functions like an enchantment offering certain abilities and advantages while the other is usually a powerful creature (I am not going to call it a resonator, I refuse!). Flipping it typically involves spending mana.

This brings us to the second difference. Your deck is split into a spell deck and a ‘magic stone’ deck (lands). The magic stone deck can contain basic magic stones as well as the equivalents of non-basic lands. You hold a 5 card hand instead of 7 which makes sense when you consider it is a landless deck. Magic stones are gained by taping your J-ruler which places the top card of the stone deck into play.

Combat is similar to magic but there are a few, key differences.

  • You can direct attacks at tapped creatures. I think this is a rather neat idea and it definitely adds tactical depth to how you use those low defence, high-potence tap effect cards.
  • No gang blocking. Boooo this is definitely a mistake, gang blocking adds a lot of tactical options in magic and I think its absence is unfortunate.
  • Creatures tap to block. So this isn’t the worst idea, it means you do have to decide between blocking with a creature and using a tap effect, however, although I have not tried it, I cannot see this having anything other than a significantly negative effect should you play FoW multiplayer. The fact you can attack tapped creatures means that if I block with a creature not only is not available to block against the next player but it is vulnerable to attack.
  • Yu-gi-oh numbers. Why! Why do games do this! Creatures have a power and toughness that are almost always a multiple of 100. You could divide all the numbers in this game by 100 and it would affect very little. You start this game with 4000 health 4000! How many dice do these people think we have?
  • There are a variety of other small differences like summoning sickness ending at the end of your turn rather than your upkeep, only a single main phase, no official upkeep (and yet the opening phase sounds very much like untap, upkeep, draw). Most other questions can be answered by how does it work in magic? Do Regalia (Artifacts) have summoning sickness? Do they in magic? Well no then.

Questionable Costs


Do you need someone to rewrite your flavour text? I am looking for work.

Most games not called Magic the Gathering fail to stick around, even the ones that seem to make it. I remember Raw Deal being quite successful for some time during my Uni years but it too eventually suplexed its way into the sunset. Even games like Pokémon which seem to have stood the test of time have functionally died and been relaunched, though it’s currently going fairly strong.

If you like magic, a new game could be fun to mess with, especially since its core mechanics are so similar to what you already know but money spent on another game is unlikely to hold its value in the same way magic would, so how much money would we be looking at to play?

At first glance, it seems not too bad. Boosters are £2.50-£2.75 on sites like Chaos Cards. Still a little too close to magic pricing for just messing around sadly unless you want to treat the game more seriously. This, however, starts to look a little worse when we look at box prices. The price doesn’t drop nearly as much from single boosters as magic boxes do, suddenly it’s getting much closer to price equity with magic (who buys single magic boosters?) and THEN you realise there are only 10 cards per booster instead of 15. If anything this game is actually more expensive than magic and I think that is a pretty major issue.

So are there any upsides to FoW pricing model compared to magic? In short yes, the price per booster is not the whole story. Each FoW booster contains 2 rares per 10 card booster instead of 1 per 15. That is 1 rare every 5 cards, 3 times more common than Magic. Each super rare; the equivalent of Magic’s mythics, replace a rare roughly once per 3 packs. This is a pretty significant boost over magic’s 1 per 8 packs. Combined with the smaller pack size, super rares are 4 times more common than mythics.

This would make building your tournament decks much easier as rare card cost is going to be a lot lower. That is not to say that FoW doesn’t have its money cards, with 2 escalating levels of foil, super foil chase cards go for significant value.

The problem is card value can only be maintained if FoW is successful. The ease of building tournament decks doesn’t really matter if there are no tournaments. The simple fact is that the value of cards in most TCG’s plummet if and when…and for almost all games it really is when the game dies.

So is it worth playing?


If there is a local tournament scene, you’re much more likely to get useable cards from boosters than magic and as long as you don’t want to bling out your deck, the nonfoil singles should be much more affordable. Additionally, if you’re going to copy your mechanics from another game Magic is a good choice allowing an easy point of entry and a solid level of depth right from the start.

FoW could be a fun game to draft. A group of magic players (and even some non-magic players) would be able to launch pretty much straight in without any prior experience, treating it almost like unhinged or any other stand-alone set of magic. Okay, the cards might not be worth much and you might get limited use out of them outside the draft but drafts themselves can be a lot of fun. If you look at the booster price as the cost for an afternoon’s entertainment, it may well be a worthwhile consideration. On the other hand, at 4-5 boosters per person, drafting is going to be relatively expensive, very comparable if not slightly more so than magic. That is going to make some people question the value compare to just drafting their game of choice. 4-5 boosters per person also means that a box does not divide nicely across a group, the result is that the group will probably have to buy some individual boosters, slightly increasing the cost or cover the excess boosters left over from not using the entire box (which in fairness could be used as extra prize support)


I at least think that the entertainment may be worth the cost, even just for the novelty factor. I intend to investigate demand to see if running a FoW Draft would be viable. Should I be successful expect more Force of Will posts to follow.



To stand before Eternity

So something I am considering doing is regular(ish) Writing prompts. These are story titles or suggestions that people post of Reddit for people to base short stories on.


This one was [WP] You decide to actually touch something in a museum now unfortunately if you write for an already popular writing prompt your story might not be seen as it below a lot of other stories. If you write for a fresh one you won’t really know if its popular by the time you finish. as a result, it might mean this is the only story written for this prompt (and this is the case at time of posting)

To stand before Eternity

I was not sure whether there really was a word to describe it, well…Black obviously, but that didn’t seem enough, it wasn’t just black, it seemed to absorb light from the surroundings, releasing none in return. The object was so dark that it appeared completely two dimensional, no definition at all, which honestly gave me shivers as I walked around it.


I was not the only one with an obsession with the sphere, half the room seemed to be crowded next to it but then it was interesting for more than just its color.


Eons was an unusual place, technically a museum, it was built on a geostationary asteroid forced into orbit around the moon Titan. Where most museums exhibited the past rather than the present, Eons essentially did both at the same time.

Visiting Eons was eye-wateringly expensive, something not really surprising when you consider that each of the exhibits still exist in their original periods. The glass cases here were not really glass and the exhibits were tiny pieces of reality warped to be in synch with the object on show. That 12th-century vase really was here in front of me but it was also simultaneously in the 12th century.


I adjusted one of the pods in my ear. It had taken almost 3 years working maintenance on a hotel ship just to afford my entrance fee and I wasn’t about to waste it. Life was…kind of difficult for most people, there weren’t a lot of jobs and those that did exist were usually dirty and dangerous. I had kind of an obsession with the past, it just seemed so romantic compared to today. I wondered sometimes what it might be like to just work behind a desk or stand with a roman army, you know, as opposed to reducing the oxygen levels in my room to 80% to save money.

“The sphere is by far the most unique item in Eons” stated the voice in my ear, I could hardly believe that a museum this modern would still use ear pods for the audio tour but I guess you have to save money somewhere.

“As we have described previously the process for syncing areas of space is more art than science. Locating objects to put on show is done by skilled archivers. The ‘Sphere’, as it has been named, is to date the only object we have managed to retrieve from the future, an act widely considered impossible”


Wasn’t it ironic? My love of the past brought me here but look, here I am, obsessed with the only thing from the future.

“The spheres purpose is unknown, theorized to perhaps be some kind of future energy source, it is so dense, so heavy, that it defies measurement. It captures all light directed at it, even hawking radiation. Unfortunately, the object is too dangerous to study beyond basic measurements”


It wasn’t just light or ‘hawking radiation’ it attracted, it was attention. I guess I couldn’t blame myself for being so fascinated with this mystery object, I mean…so was everyone else.

Suddenly without warning, the lights went out. I could sense a feeling of panic in the air as people began to make uncomfortable noises, me? power cuts were almost a weekly event back on the Hotel, I really struggled to understand how they made money sometimes. As I expected, a few moments later, the emergency lights came on. A baleful red glow which cast sinister shadows across the room.


I looked around the sense of unease almost a physical force, additionally, a number of people were heading quietly to the door. Most people here I guess were pretty rich, the entrance fee wasn’t such a barrier to them and this was not something they were used to…still fewer people meant I could see better even if all the exhibits were bathed in crimson light.


Except the sphere, it remained unchanged.

The sphere captured red light just as effectively as white. The black surface remained perfect, exactly as it had been before. Somehow it seemed…more sinister, more than could be justified by the red light, there was something I couldn’t quite put my finger on.


“Alright this way please” came a calm voice “We will refund half your fee or let you in tomorrow for free, just see Amber at the reception”


I looked back to see a youngish looking man in blue overalls, I guess people were being filtered out…It didn’t bother me though I wanted to stay. I spun round to look at the sphere one last time before leaving and my eyes widened slightly.


There was a ripple across its surface…It was slight, barely noticeable but the darkest black you can imagine would stand out like the sun against this things surface. Then another…then another…


I gasped as I noticed something else, the security grid preventing access to the sphere was disabled. All the little lights that ran up its surface waiting to project an electrostatic barrier to anyone who got top close had switched from green to red.


I…Honestly don’t know what got into me. I moved forward and flipped the lid. I think someone was shouting at me? It’s hard to say, it felt like time was moving slower, like the world itself was muted. I extended my arm, slowly, driven on by some unknown need and touched it.


Touched was the wrong word. How can you touch something like that, I had focused on the orb so hard it almost took a moment to realize that the whole world had gone that perfect black. I looked down…I wasn’t there. I couldn’t see myself, I couldn’t see anything, just…nothing…just this eternal void.


Slowly…I don’t really know how to describe it but my eyes started to adjust…something came into focus. I started to spot little plays of light, sparking around me, little waves of energy that grew and faded in the darkness.


I frowned slightly…thinking I had heard a voice and looked around…There was still nothing there.


Another wave of energy caught my ‘eye’…wait. I frowned hard thinking back to some of my failed Astromech classes…was…was that a quark? There was another burst of energy to my left and then just in front. They were getting more frequent and reality as far as I could see was beginning to get brighter…the blackness was becoming awash in subtle colors, reds, yellows though mostly white.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing” shouted an angry voice. I was in the room again. Someone had pulled me back from the orb…my finger hurt, oh god, did my finger hurt and the orb…oh…it wasn’t just rippling, it was starting to glow and a few others had started to take notice.

Suddenly something clicked “Wait…n…no it couldn’t be” I said completely unable to hide a rising panic


The man gave me an odd look “You’re lucky you did not die, and frankly by the time we turn you over to the solar patrol you probably will wish you were”


I shook my head angrily and grabbed his overalls “The Patrol?…d…don’t you see what it is?…t..they were right….they…the great crunch…the”


The man ignored me and shouted back towards the entrance “Something is happening with the sphere, Can we get the shields back up? I don’t want to have to get it disconnected, we will never get it back again”


“It’s the universe!” I was babbling now, don’t you see “It’s the /entire universe/…Carl Friedrich was right…the universe it’s…it’s going to collapse into a single dense point and there will be another big bang…” I point at the orb in panic “Can’t you see?..t…that is a bomb with all the energy in the entire…”


I didn’t get to finish my sentence, the world went white for a second and there was pain, more pain. I had been struck by some kind of taser and had collapsed to my knees groaning

“Can’t get the shields back up Al, these energy readings are off the charts, they are screwing up the equipment”


The man gives an annoyed noise “Fuck, well…better evacuate just in case. Give the order and call security over for this idiot”

And so, I found myself, hands trussed behind my back. My hand hurt so bad, my stomach felt burned where I’d been electrocuted. I was being slowly marched away from a boiling, perfect white sphere. So perfect it seemed almost 2 dimensional, so bright that it burned your eyes to look at and as I walked away from it, it gave me more than shivers.