My name is Charlie, but if your looking for my work, I go by C. E. Dorsett. I write scifi, fantasy, and a touch of horror. I like to play with gothic, steampunk, decopunk, epic fantasy, and wuxia. I love to tell stories and talk about books, movies, series, and music.
Feeling alive is a big part of authentically being ourselves. Everyone of us has something that makes us feel alive.
When I started writing this, Everything louder than Everything Else by Meatloaf from Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell came on. I love it when serendipity lends a helping hand.
If the thrill is gone then its time to take it back
I know that I will never be politically correct And I don’t give a damn about my lack of etiquette As far as I’m concerned the world could still be flat And if the thrill is gone then its time to take it back If the thrill is gone then its time to take it back Who am i? Why am I here? Forget the questions someone get me another beer
It is so easy to get caught up in the big questions. We get distracted from living in the search for purpose and meaning. I know what you are thinking, didn’t say that we want meaning and purpose? that those are prerequisites for happiness?
Yes! But we will never find those things by sitting around trying to figure out what they are.
It is more important to live authentically than to be able to describe who you are in words.
It is more important to follow your bliss than to sit around trying to figure out why you are here?
While those are important questions, the answers are learned through action, and not thought.
You gotta learn to dance
Whats the meaning of life? Whats the meaning of it all? You gotta learn to dance Before you learn to crawl You gotta learn to dance Before you learn to crawl
I experience by bliss and live in passion most profoundly when I:
- Am telling stories.
- Attending conventions.
- Listening to music.
- Watching movies and series that matter to me.
I didn’t figure this out by sitting around and thinking about, but through doing it.
I started DMing AD&D in middle school. I loved telling stories so much that I wrote my first novel in 8th grade, my second by 12th. My third and fourth about 2 years apart. I never would have learned how much I loved to tell stories if it wasn’t for AD&D and Vampire: The Masquerade.
I am mortally afraid of public speaking. I never would have started this blog and our podcasts if Shore Leave hadn’t put me on a GLBT in Fandom panel, forcing me to do it. I enjoyed it, and starting blogging and podcasting shortly there after.
The lesson is: We discover our passions by doing things that make us feel alive.
If you are curious about something, try it. If you enjoy it, keep doing it.
Army of the Night
So sign up, all you raw recruits Throw away those designer suits You got your weapons cocked, your targets in your sights There’s a party raging, somewhere in the world You gotta serve your country, gotta service your girl You’re all enlisted in the army of the night
Consider this your draft notice! Somewhere, someone is doing something that will enrich your life to a degree you cannot even imagine.
- Find it
- Figure out what about it you love
- Discover your passion
- Find ways to do more of it
Take it from someone who knows. Authentic living is better than any other high.
I aint in it for…
And I ain’t in it for the power And I ain’t in it for my health I ain’t in it for the glory of anything at all And I sure ain’t in it for the wealth But I’m in it ‘til it’s over And I just can’t stop If you want to get it done, you have to do it yourself And I like my music like I like my life Everything louder than everything else
Always remember what you are doing it for. It isn’t money or power or fame. It is because your heart beats to the rhythm of that drum, and you have to keep the party going.
Life is for the living! If we are not alive, we need to find that spark and ignite it again!
Acting our Age
They say I’m wild and I’m reckless I should be acting my age I’m an impressionable child In a tumultuous world And they say I’m at a difficult stage
But it seems to me to the contrary Of all the crap they’re gonna put on the page That a wasted youth is better by far Then a wise and productive old age
I really truly believe that if we follow our bliss and live our passions, we have actually set ourselves in accord with the cosmos. We are doing what we are here on this earth to do.
Everything in life is a challenge. Are we going to move forward or move back. If moving forward requires us to sell out who we are at our very core, then that is the wrong path.
A youthful spirit and a mature intellect are the most valuable tool we could have in life. Don’t let anyone take them from you, and NEVER give them up!
The three I admire most…
If you want my views of history Then there’s something you should know The three men I admire most Are Curly, Larry, Moe Don’t worry about the future Sooner or later it’s the past If they say the thrill is gone then its time to take it back If the thrill is gone then its time to take it back
Now that you have discovered your passion, see if you can find a couple people who make a living doing that and study how they do it. Establish a plan, and work toward achieving it.
Everything louder than everything else
Now is the time to just sing along!
So sign up, all you raw recruits Throw away those two bit suits You got your weapons cocked, your targets in your sights There's a party raging, somewhere in the world You gotta serve your country, gotta service your girl Youre all inducted in the army of the night And I aint in it for the power And I aint in it for my health I aint in it for the glory of anything at all And I sure aint in it for the wealth But Im in it til its over And I just cant stop If you want to get it done, you got to fight for yourself And I like my music like I like my life Everything louder than everything else
If I Close My Eyes Forever
It's funny how music can touch you in such a deep way. I was sitting at my desk listening to music, and "If I close my eyes forever" by Lita Ford and Ozzy Osbourne came on. I know what the song is really about, but it resonated in me intensifying my feelings of confusion, and focusing me on the future.
Is it love that's on my mind or is it fantasy?
Baby, I get so scared inside and I don't really understand Is it love that's on my mind or is it fantasy? Heaven, is in the palm of my hand and it's waiting here for you What am I supposed to do with a childhood tragedy?
The future is the topic de jour at the HQ lately. We have a lot of plans, hopes and dreams, and we are trying to find ways to make them a reality.
I have written stories since I was in the second grade. In fact, when I was in the third grade, I wrote the third and fourth grade plays. I even wrote the commencement for my fifth grade graduation. In sixth grade, I started my first novel. I wrote my second and third in high school, and my fourth after graduation. Liquid Sky was my sixth.
I know what I want to do with my life. I always have. I know a lot of you feel the same way. We talk in email about your dreams and ambitions, and how to achieve them. That is the real problem.
Heaven, is in the palm of my hand
That line is literally true for me. Writing is my heaven! I fall into my stories. I feel the characters highs and lows. It might be impossible for me to call myself a great writer, but the letters I get about my books show me that they do the most important thing: They connect with readers.
Isn't that what we are all wanting?
- To connect with others.
- To feel like we are alive.
We need to find ways to help each others dreams come true. To keep our dreams alive!
Sometimes, its hard to hold on
Sometimes, its hard to hold on, so hard to hold on to my dreams It isn't always what it seems when you're face to face with me Like a dagger you stick me in the heart and taste the blood from my blade And when we sleep would you shelter me in your warm and darkened grave?
It isn't always easy to hold on to our dreams. The reality of what it takes to achieve our goals can be daunting.
If I had known when I started writing I would be plunged into convention politics and foisted into a position of leadership in a GLBT fan group, I probably would have stopped. Honestly, sometimes, the thought still overwhelms me.
I have to remember: this is about more than just me. The group needs an advocate, and if it is not me, then who will it be?
Realizing our dreams/following our bliss is a full-time job. Most of us already have one of those, and it is not easy to add on a second. We have to remind ourselves that we are worth it.
Taste the blood from my blade
The harder it is to live our passions, the more important it is to do!
Life thrives on the survival of the fittest. When we get knocked down, we can either stay down, or bounce back fighting. Stand up, laugh at the pain, taste the blood on the blade! That is your life blood. No one can take it from you without a fight.
Be proud of your dreams! They course through your veins for a reason. Passion is life. If you feel like you have lost your passion, you are wrong. Someone took it from you. You need to take it back
Would it all remain unchanged?
If I close my eyes forever Would it all remain unchanged? If I close my eyes forever Would it all remain the same?
If you close your eyes, and leave your passions to the mercies of others, don't be surprised by the vacuum it leaves in your life.
Wake up! Find some friends who have opened their eyes too (or help them to open theirs) and start moving forward.
The one who leaves the pack is always the one the predators come for, so build yourself another pack. If your friends put you down, find new friends. Find a community where people will support you. You deserve the best life has to offer. Hunt it out!
Wipe the cobwebs from my eyes
I know I've been so hard on you I know I've told you lies If I could have just one more wish I'd wipe the cobwebs from my eyes
Standing strong, we have to move past the lies we told ourselves. It is time to walk forward. We can get where we need to go together.
With eyes wide open
- What is your heaven?
- What challenges do you face?
- How can we help?
Costumes, Role Playing, and Unity
One of my absolute favorite aspects of fandom is the costuming and roleplaying, and I would have to say they are the two most maligned and stigmatized things that we do. Let's start with the most accepted by the popular culture and proceed to the least understood.
Computer Roleplaying Games
Mass appeal of video games have normalized RPGs on the computer, and why not. Final Fantasy, Mass Effect, and Knights of the Old Republic were all such brilliant games, it is hard to see how they couldn't have had a mass market appeal, but in the one place where Roleplaying should flourish, it is all but extinct.
There was once a type of game known as the Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game (MMORPG). The problem is that these too entered the popular culture, and they spawned a new bane: badge collectors. A sizable number of the MMORPG players became obsessed with their statistics, what badges they earned, and what loot they could get. The software companies saw these players as their core audience and in some cases, there only audience.
The games were increasingly designed for these players and not for the fans of story. Coinidentally, the acronym was shortened from MMORPG to simply MMO. Players have done what they can to keep roleplaying alive, but they are generally isolated to a specific server or guild, and they are not aided by the software designers who more and more are crafting games that challenge your prowess with a keyboard and mouse and don't require any thought whatsoever.
This is one of the reasons I am so excited about Star Wars: The Old Republic and Stargate Worlds. They are trying to bring story into the games and make it front and center. I wish them the best of luck.
Table Top Role Playing Games
Table top RPG fans are the geeks that geeks love to hate. Don't believe me? Listen carefully to a lot of the podcasts out there. It won't take you too long to find people having a geeky conversation about their favorite tech and occationally mocking TTRPG players.
Table Top games are not as easy to play as their computerized bretheren, but they are a lot more fun. There are more requirements to play:
- The Rule Books
- Friends who have free time to come over
I didn't stutter at the end, and no, I am not padding the list. Creativity is the ability to think originally, and imagination is the ability to see with the minds eye events as they are described to you.
I think those last two more than anything else makes people not like tabel top games. Personally, I love them. I run an Earthdawn game at the house every Sunday. Nothing brings friends together for a good time like a shared adventure built from the collective imaginations of everyone there.
Live Action Role Playing
Live Action Role Playing (LARPing) is penultimate expression of role playing. There are numerous systems for LARPing and they all generally involve renting a location, playing in a park, or the storyteller's home. Most LARPers dress up in elaborate costumes and carry props to aid in game play.
I used to play Vampire: The Masquerade both as a table top game and as a LARP, and I have to say, the LARPs were always more fun. We played at local conventions and I ran a chronicle that spanned various players homes, parks, and a few businesses who allowed us to use their establishment.
Who doesn't enjoy getting dressed up and spending a night as someone else?
One aspect of the LARPs I've played that made them so fun was that they were locked to the locations they took place. The story was handled through notes given to the players to explain what happened between sessions, and a couple players who agreed to play according to the scripted motives I provided for them. To this day, some of my favorite memories took place at LARPs.
We were a part of a LARP network where storytellers coordinated large scale events between cities, and at conventions our players would play through pivitol stories. The largest LARP event we threw had 500 players in attendence. 3,00o players made up the network. We coordinated through a email list.
LARPs are emense fun, and I miss them terribly. I had hoped that MMOs would provide a platform for virtual LARPs, but so far, they haven't.
Some people just love dressing up. They don't roleplay at all, they just wear the costume for enjoyment. For some, it is an uniform. For others, it is an expression of their identification with the character or race they are recreating. And others do it for the challenge of recreating the costume.
Steampunk is an entire movement built around costuming for the sheer fun of it.
Fans who Play together Stay together
Most of the deep, personal relationships I have developed with fans over the years has been between fans I have roleplayed with. We share an experience that is truly unique to the players who were there. Memories of events that are not replecatable in real life.
All these years later, I still run into people at the conventions who remeber the night my Taleison should have seen his reflection in the mirror and went mad. We talk about it like a moment from a movie or series that we loved, but our connection to the event is so much more personal because we were there when it happened.
So if you haven't before. I hightly recommend to gather up your friends and play a game with them. Feel free to choose the type, but make sure it is one that will build those memories that will last a lifetime.
D&D 4th Edition Goes Online
June 7th is slowly approaching and with it the impending release of D&D 4th Edition. I am concerned that simplification of the rule set will not take the richness out of the games and the various settings that rely on them. The most exciting part of the release it the coming D&D Insider:
To start with, the digital initiative, which is called Dungeons & Dragons Insider, will, for the first time, make it feasible to play a game of D&D with your friends over the Internet and without having to pull out the thick, iconic, hardcover books that have for so long been an essential element to the experience.
That makes my whole body go woo! I would love to run some of these games. There are no details about pricing or game mechanics as yet, but the idea of setting up stories that can be played online is a thrill. I have tried several virtual table tops, but none of them have been worth the price.
The images I have seen from the D&D Insider character generator are exciting and the reported customization options thrill me. I am curious to see how easy the dungeon maker is to use, and what level of control and how time consuming the DM tools are to use. I wonder if it with have a voice chat built in or if Skype or something else along with it.
I signed up for the game which in not available for download yet.
Finally, something in gaming to get excited about.
Gary Gygax, Dungeon Master for the Angels
The Creator of D&D and the roleplaying game as we know it has died. I credit Gary Gygax with the birth of my imagination. When I was about 7, my sister gave me a copy of the 1st Edition Monster Manual. I began collecting and later playing D&D and AD&D.
Gygax creations have influenced and entertains countless numbers of people. He will be missed