From Blogger to Wordpress - and beyond.

1 May 2014

I've been thinking about it for a while now, and I've finally decided to do it. Over the next few days, I'll be cleaning up and transferring the pages and general content from this blog over to my official author website at www.hjstephens.com. I'll leave my past posts here as a look into the past, but I won't be posting here anymore. 

This will allow me to keep that website more current, and keep all my blogging and writing at one site. I know that I haven't been posting here much as of late, but I intend to rectify that with this new move. I'll be setting up a special posting calender, with a new post at least once a fortnight, hopefully once a week. I'll also be extending into my craft hobbies, with tutorials and looks into my projects.

I hope that you can join me over there. Knowing that there are people in the world that appreciate my work gives my writing a special purpose. Every comment, no matter how little, brings joy to my heart. As an independent writer, I know that it is very unlikely that I'll ever make it big in such a saturated market.

But that's not why I write. I write for you, for my audience and I am highly privileged to have you all as an audience. This blog began as a very small thing, a place to simply post my poems I wrote in school. Now, it is a big part of my life. I have met many great people here, and have been extended many opportunities.

I can only hope that the future is as blessed.

I hope to see you on the other side. Until then, 




Liebster Blog Award x2

25 Feb 2014

Thanks very much to Ginger, the much loved and respected blogger of Quirks-and-Irks for the second-time-round nomination for the Liebster Blog Award. :)  

 

The rules of this award are: state 11 facts about yourself, answer 11 questions (asked by the nominator), ask 11 questions and tag 11 other bloggers for the award.

11 random facts about myself:

1). I get ridiculously ecstatic when I manage to talk to a checkout assistant, or a random person I walk by when I'm out... even if it's just a hello, how are you? Being afraid of social situations makes me oddly accomplished when I actually gather the courage to actually put myself in those ordinary situations.    
 
2). I can solve the 3x3 Rubik's cube in under a minute but I really, really want to learn how to solve this: 

 
3). I love green apples, but hate red. 

4). I've decided in the last few years that the most important trait a person can have in this world is patience. Whatever it is that's going to happen, will happen. Nothing you do will change that. Ignoring it's happening, or trying to go against it just makes your life more difficult. You just have to keep going, and let things happen as they do.

5). I have to literally scrub my face and feet before I go to sleep, even if I have just had a shower half and hour before. If I don't, I won't be able to sleep properly. It drives me insane sometimes when I just want to curl up in bed and go to sleep. That said, I could have a really bad habit that was detrimental to my health. At least my habit keeps me clean.
  
6). I keep a stack of notebooks by my bed because I usually get great ideas just as I'm dozing off to sleep. I often annoy my sister with which I share a room with my scribbling in the dark at one in the morning.

7). I can't swim.... let's hope it doesn't flood here anytime soon.

8). Locking myself in a house and just spending the rest of my life improving my knowledge is sounding more and more appealing as the years go by. And with the internet and the modern delivery systems... I probably could get away with it.  

9). To this day I can not understand Fractions, but I love Trigonometry... even though Fractions would be slightly useful in day-to-day life and Trig is utterly useless unless I'm going to some day go into engineering. 
10). I stress out far too much and think about things far more than I probably should.

11). I have the mental profile of a super-villain. An INTJ personality type, and apparently 48% a psychopath. You have been warned...


The 11 questions to answer: 

 1). What song is stuck in your head at the moment?


At this precise moment, The New Periodic Table Song. Really educational, but it just has a way of sticking itself to the weird gooey thing that is my memory.  

2). How many languages can you speak? 

Just English, unfortunately. I do know some German and Arabic but not enough to hold a coherent conversation. It's one of my many goals of the future to become multilingual. 

3). Do you believe in any conspiracy theories or other debatable phenomena?

To some degree... I believe that life exists on other planets, but I don't believe that they are controlling our planet through mind-control or shape-shifting. The universe is too big, and us so insignificant in regards to all the other wonders of the world/s around us for there not to be other life out there. Whether we'll one day meet these other lifeforms is another situation entirely.    

4). What would you study/train to become if college was free and you could be guaranteed an ideal job afterwards?

Oh... everything. But I suppose I better narrow it down to a few examples (don't make me choose one, I beg of you; it's impossible.). I'd really like to study anthropology, archaeology or psychology, maybe expand more on my current humanities degree by going into sociology or human rights. I'm also really interested in gaming/website design and coding. I think game design would be an amazing job.    

5). Which job would you be least suited to?

Something to do with heavy manual labour. I'm not very strong, and my strength is definitely with my mind over my body. So... mining or something. 
  
6). Which places in your own country would you love to go, but just haven't gotten around to?

The Blue Mountains in New South Wales and the island of Tasmania. They just have this raw beauty that I can't get over. And of course there's the snow... I want to see snow at least once in my life.   

7). If you had to move to a different time period permanently, which one would you choose?

This is actually a pretty hard question as I can't really think of any time in history where I wouldn't be in danger of being maimed, or infected with a dreadful disease, or killed... or something equally as awful. Probably somewhere in the south-east Mediterranean/West Middle East in the 8th/9th century. This golden age was the start of a lot of modern technologies and cultures and I think it would be pretty amazing to live in those times.

8). What if you only had to go there for one week?

I've always had a love for Japanese culture and history so I suppose I would like to visit Japan during the Tokugawa period, somewhere between the 17th and 18th century. 

9). A surprisingly topical debate: do you pour the milk or the cereal first?

Cereal, every time. Pouring the milk first is just wrong.   

10). If you had to participate in a gameshow, which one would you pick?

Mmm.... the only gameshow I really watch and enjoy is QI so I suppose that one.

11). What are the worst first names a person could possibly be given?

Probably something like Calamity, Mediocre or Failure. And yes... these have all been names given to children at some point or other. Makes me wonder what the parents were thinking.  

The 11 question my nominees have to answer:

1). In a chess game, do you prefer to play as white or black?
2). What is a habit you have that annoys the daylights out of you, but you wouldn't want to give up?
3). What's something you would never, ever do?
4). What's your favourite computer/board game and why?
5). When eating a jelly-baby or chocolate figure... do you eat the head or the legs first, and why?
6). If you had to transport yourself into any book/movie which you would live in indefinitely, which book/movie would it be? 
7). What if it was just for a day?
8). If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently? 
9). Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?
10). Have you ever cried at a movie or because of a book? If so, what was it?
11). Batman or Superman?

 My nominees:

BohoBookLover
Calisha
Fatima Hayat
Ghazala 
Hannah 
Izdiher 
Muzlimah09 
Nabilah  
Shahidah
The Lone Dudette  
Youngjoo 

Wow... I actually had 11 people to nominate this time... 




Red-Shirt Rememberance Day

1 Dec 2013

It's the 1st of December. The National Novel Writing Month of 2013 has finished. It also means that it is Red-shirt Remembrance Day.

As I've stated before; those of you don't recognise that 'red-shirt' reference, it is a Star Trek one. If you see a random, nameless red shirt in Star Trek... he will die. It's inevitable, it nearly always happens. So in dedication of all the red-shirts in our stories,

We miss you, but you die for the better good of our word counts and stories.


Now, on to this years tribute. WARNING: For those of you who are yet to read my novel When There's No Tomorrow and do not want a major character death ruined for you, SPOILER ALERT FOR THE REST OF THE POST!!

*******
 
This 'Redshirt' has a name, but she doesn't get a single line in the story, or at least no verbal lines.  Her name is Gul, and she's a child whose life has been destroyed by war, her voice stolen from her by injury.

I didn't want to kill this character, though from the very beginning of the story I knew I would.  Her death gave my main character the reason to act, the push to change the way things were. Every book needs these moments, and unfortunately Gul's death had to be that ugly act of war to get the story rolling.

EXCERPT: (this happens just after Gul takes a bullet meant for my main character)

  My legs finally working, I stumble over to Gul’s side and collapse. My arms feel like lead, and I sit there just looking down at her limp body for what seems to be hours before I finally convince myself to turn her over.

Her usually rich caramel-coloured skin is now a whitish-grey brown. Her lips are pale and slightly drawn apart. I touch them briefly with my fingertips before scooping her up into my lap.

‘Gul?’ I whisper, hoping against everything for a response and hating the silence that follows. ‘Gul?’ I choke out as I hold her close, caressing her blank face. I hold her to my chest and cry, my tears softly falling onto her face, trickling down her skin.

I don’t know if she’s still alive, but I know she’s gone. There is no chance that she could survive this; I had seen enough war-victims to know this. Holding her slightly away from me, as far as I can bear, I look at her face, at her eyes and nose and mouth. My gaze is drawn to the damp cloth around her lower chest. The part of her shirt that is redder than the rest. I hate red. Red is the colour of suffering and pain. Red is the colour of death.

Her fingers flutter, and my heart jumps. ‘Gul?’

Her eyes open, and she looks at me, eyes dark with pain. I stroke back a lock of hair, the pesky fringe that won’t stay put. Her lips tremble as they move in silent words. I place a finger over her chalky lips. ‘Shh,’ I whisper, lowering my forehead to hers. ‘It’s all right.’ It isn’t. It isn’t all right. It isn’t anywhere near all right. It is so . . . wrong. So, so . . . wrong.

‘I’m sorry,’ I whisper. ‘It’s my fault you’re here. I shouldn’t have come with you. You shouldn’t be here.’ She shakes her head before grimacing in pain. A single tear trickles down her left cheek, and I brush it away, catching the sparkling drop on the end of my finger. I stare at it, imagining a world trapped away underneath the glinting surface. Did they have war? How could they when their home was so calm. Yet taking away of its beautiful demeanour, a tear was produced from pain and suffering. So why was it so peaceful?

Skin brushes against cheek and I look back to Gul, the teardrop falling from my finger and onto the floor where it explodes into hundreds of individual drops, into a hundred more worlds. Her hand is floating in front of my face, aimlessly reaching towards the ceiling. I grasp hold of it and bring it to my lips, using it as a muffler for my sobs. Her eyes are dim, empty.

 To the beautiful little spark of light in a world cast in shadow: Gul, forever, you shall be remembered.

 
 
 

Nano Update - Week 4

30 Nov 2013

As of midnight tonight, Nanowrimo will be over for another year. And that is unbearably sad news. I love Nano, and count down the weeks until it every year. 50,000 words in one hectic month... it sounds crazy, but it really is an amazing experience.

So, I mournfully present the final Nano update for this year:


WORDS: 50,632... I won!! 
CHAPTERS: 20
PLOT: Slowly leaving the train tracks... but that's what December editing is for.
CHARACTERS: I.... I just don't know anymore. Half of them are in the slow process of dying, the other half have committed mutiny and disappeared from the story. And yet more and more villains are flooding in wanting a part of the plot.

Here are the top 3 of my favourite sentences from this months writing:

1. We sit in quiet once again and I listen to the wind as it howls around us, mourning the loss of the world. 
2. Some of them recognise my body, I can see it in their eyes; but they don't recognise my mind, the being that sits and controls this flesh and blood.   
3. I want to be able to one day look my grand-children in the eyes, and say, I’m proud of the world I helped create for you to live in.




Nano Update - Week 3

22 Nov 2013

Week three:

WORDS: 32822 
CHAPTERS: 10
PLOT: Took a few twists I didn't plan for. I'm not sure about them either, but there is plenty of time for revisions in December.
CHARACTERS: Still hanging around, despite my best attempts to kill them off.  Which is really starting to be frustrating. We need to get the novel moving again characters, so please...

Until next time,






Nano Update - Week 2

15 Nov 2013

So, I'm two days into the third week on Nanowrimo. We passed the mid-way point yesterday. So, how did I go for week 2? 

WORDS: 21063
CHAPTERS: I was halfway through Chapter 7 as of the end of week 2.
PLOT: Though at the end of last week I wasn't sure how my plot was progressing, and about halfway through week 2 I was frustrated with my story, I'm really happy with how is has developed from that point. Now, I love my novel. Although... more than a few plot-bunnies died to get to this point. I just didn't want the story to go down that way!


CHARACTERS: I love my characters, more than I should. I'll be sad to see them go. Unfortunately, I have a death scheduled soon and I don't want it to happen! But it needs to, so with regret, I will have to succumb to the power of the writing sword sooner rather than later. I'm already drawing it out as it is. So, I'm so sorry beloved character that I shall not name for fear of spoilers!! Your sacrifice will be remembered.

On that point, I have an idea to make a 'Red-shirt Remembrance Day' annual post here. Each year I will dedicate a post to a character that had to die for the story. I'm thinking the 30th of November, or on the 1st of December as a tribute to all of the writing that happens in November.   

For those of you don't recognise that reference, it's a Star Trek one. If you see a random, nameless red shirt in Star Trek... he will die. It's inevitable, it nearly always happens. So in dedication of all the red-shirts in our stories,

Keep writing.


Nano Update - Week 1.

7 Nov 2013



So, today is Day 7 of the National Novel Writing Month. A week has already passed me by, I can't believe it. So, how am I going?

WORDS: 11008.
CHAPTER: 3 and a half.
PLOT: I threw the outline I drafted up in October out of the window somewhere in Day 4. Since then, I've just been letting the story go where it wants to go. So far this has worked quite well, though there have been times where I have had to backtrack and start a new direction due to writing myself into a corner. Unfortunately, that means that I have to delete the words I had written in the process.
CHARACTERS: I really don't know anymore. They are doing there own thing, living their own lives. Minor characters from WTNT are popping back up in this sequel, even though I had no prior plans for them doing so.

So, my novel is kinda writing itself at the moment. I don't know what's going to happen the next time I sit down. But this is Nano, and not knowing what happens next is half of the fun.

Until next time. 


 

50,000 words. One Month. It's NaNoWriMo!

31 Oct 2013

 
It's close to midnight, and NaNoWriMo's lurking in the dark
Under the moonlight, your lack of outline almost stops your heart
You will not scream, your inspiration comes because you'll make it
You cannot freeze, your novel looks you right between the eyes
You're energized
'Cause this is NaNo-oooo! NaNo night!
And no one's gonna save you from the plot about to strike
You know it's NaNo! NaNo night!
You're writing for your life to share a marvel, novel tonight!
~
As of midnight last night, Nanowrimo2013 has officially begun. If you are participating in Nanowrimo this year, I wish you an abundance of words. If you're not, SIGN UP NOW
I guess I better explain for those that don't know about it. Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month. The whole principle behind it to write 50,000 words in the month of November. That's the goal. You can write poems, a novel, a collection of short stories. You could write 50,000 words of advertisements if you wanted to. All that matters is that you write 50,000 words. 
I wrote When There's No Tomorrow for Nanowrimo2011. I finalised it and redrafted it in Nanowrimo2012. If I hadn't participated in Nanowrimo, I probably wouldn't have published a book by now. I wouldn't have even finished one. This year I'm working on the sequel to When There's No Tomorrow. And, at 12:15 this morning I wrote my opening paragraph: 
In the stories, you wake up slowly. Eyelids flutter, or a finger twitches. Someone close by bends over you, stroking back your hair and whispering comforts in your ear. You don’t wake up screaming.
Chills down the spine! Needless to say, I love this challenge. Nanowrimo is a highlight of my year. I've got myself booked to go to an author talk tomorrow so I'm hoping to pick up some tips for adventure writing. I'm also planning on going to the write-in (nano writing groups) every Saturday at the local library. I get more social interaction in the month of November than I do the rest of the year.
So, considering I just wrote 274 words in this blog post when I could have put them towards my novel, I better go start working on that. I'll keep you updated as to my progress. 
Keep writing!

A Child With Autism Becomes a Teenager With Expectations

25 Oct 2013

I don't usually re-post other's articles on here but I couldn't resist with this one. This article by Priscilla Gilman, published by the New York Times touched my heart and opened my mind.

With my introversion and quirkyness I really related to it as I have often felt like Benj does. I need my private free time. I'm not a 'normal teenager', whatever that means. I have no wish to be. I hate large social events and have a fear of the phone. I can spend all day researching something as mundane as a Foreign Law or the history of Schizophrenia. I don't get people, no matter how hard I try. But I'm okay with that. And anyone that is remotely different than the supposed 'social norm', should be okay with it too.      

Read and enjoy. And remember, being different is perfectly acceptable.

***

A Child With Autism Becomes a Teenager With Expectations. 

The night before his 13th birthday, Benj came to the door of my office and knocked in his typically abrupt way. “Mommy, I need to talk to you,” he said. “I’m really worried about tomorrow.”

Benj is on the autism spectrum, and special days cause him more than the usual trepidation. I rushed in with reassurances about the specifics that had concerned him in the past. “What’s worrying you, honey?” I asked. “I’ve told the school to do the special gluten-dairy-free treat for you, and remember we’re going to have the home party this weekend.”

But it was not the mundane details of the day that were on Benj’s mind. “Mommy, I’m nervous about becoming a teen.”

“Nervous about becoming a teen” is such a typical Benj way to put it. I’d shared his anxiety when he was younger. For children with communication difficulties, what could be worse than the social maelstrom of middle and high school, with its cliques and pressure to conform? As social situations became increasingly complex and his peers increasingly sophisticated, I feared that literal, innocent, honest Benj would be picked on, manipulated, or excluded.

But as those years actually approached, my fears were largely allayed. Benj is in a small, special education class where each child’s unique set of strengths and challenges is understood. The school has a no-tolerance policy for teasing, ostracism and bullying. There’s no in group or out group and no norm or standard or box to fit into because these kids are all quirky, each in his or her own way.

So I felt no sense of impending doom at the prospect of Benj becoming a teenager — but he did. “When I’m a teen I’ll have to have hang-outs with my friends all the time!” he told me. “And I’ll have to date people! That’s what teenagers do. They hang out with their friends, and they date.”
 I wondered where he’d picked up these conventions about what it means to be a teenager. It was only this year that at the suggestion of his school counselor, Benj began to call get-togethers with peers “hang-outs,” chiding me if I referred to them as the now babyish “play-dates.” “Hang-out,” with its connotations of relaxed, mellow, easygoing camaraderie, is a bit misleading as far as Benj is concerned; socializing with peers can be challenging and arduous for him. More “hang-outs” means more stress. I can’t imagine what he thinks dating holds.

I reassured him that becoming a teen did not mean he had to start dating immediately. “You can date when you’re ready, sweetheart,” I told him, “and that might not be for a long time. And, of course, you can have more hang-outs if you want them. But it’s important to remember that you also need your good alone time.” Benj is a classic introvert who needs long stretches of private time in his room, reading, playing Solitaire or noodling around on the guitar.

Benj thanked me for understanding that he needed his private time, but then insisted that he needed to make sure he was having some hang-outs. He decided on “2.5 hangouts a month” as the right amount. I wondered what would constitute a “half-hang-out,” and then realized that mathematically inclined, precise Benj was averaging the number of hang-outs: 2.5 a month is 30 a year.

“Benj, I want you to know that there isn’t one set definition of what a teenager is. When I was a teenager, I spent lots of time with my friends, but Daddy didn’t have lots of hang-outs or girlfriends when he was a teenager and he was happy that way.”

Parenting Benj, a child very different from  the one I’d imagined having, has impressed upon me just how important it is to move beyond normative expectations about what our children will or won’t be, should or shouldn’t do. But again, just because I’ve realized that doesn’t mean that Benj has. Social norms are powerful things, and as much as I may think he isn’t hearing the siren call of “normal,” his surprisingly conventional definition of being a “teen” is proof that he isn’t immune to fears about fitting in.

Our most essential tasks as parents, in fact, may be to recognize our children’s individual temperaments, needs and aspirations and to help them resist prescriptive conventions and imagined ideals in figuring out what’s really right for them. When E.E. Cummings wrote: “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are,” he described the sort of courage I hope to foster in all three of my children, one that enables them to attain the maturity that comes when we identify our own natures and try to live in accordance with them.

“People are different,” I told Benj. “There’s no one right way to be a teenager. And there’s no set way that you have to be, Benji, ever. I will always support you in doing what’s right for you, Benj, not some idea of what a teenager, or a man, or a person should be doing.”

Benj’s 13th year has been one of amazing social growth for him. He had his first phone conversation with a friend, invited a girl to his school’s winter dance (just as friends!), and enjoyed regular “hang-outs” with peers thanks to his social skills group. And he continues to derive a great deal of satisfaction and happiness from his “good alone time.” He’ll even smilingly call out as he ducks into his room: “I’m going in for my private free time!”

Did he hear me, when I promised him he never had to learn to conform? Who knows. Whether you’re turning 13 or 50, it can be difficult to ignore who the world expects you to be — or who you think you’re expected to be. But so far, Benj is managing. He’s growing up into who he really is.


Source: Gilman, Priscilla, 2013. 'A Child With Autism Becomes a Teenager With Expectations', Viewed 25 October 2013, http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/20/a-child-with-autism-becomes-a-teenager-with-expectations/?smid=pl-share




Absolute Stupidity

21 Oct 2013

If I were to ask you if you thought it possible for a court of law to ban a newspaper from using the name of God, what would your answer be?

The fact is, a week or so ago an Indonesian court banned a Christian newspaper from using the term Allah, which is the name of god both Muslims and Christians use all over the world. This law reversed an earlier law stating that the newspaper could use it under free speech legislation.    


The court's excuse? Justice Mohamed Apandi stated, "Our common finding that the use of Allah is not an integral part of the Christian faith, so we find no justification for why they insist on using the name or word in their publication." He also went onto explain that the three-member appellate court panel had decided that allowing non-Muslims to use the word would 'cause confusion and could jeopardize public safety'.

Seriously?

Arab Christians use Allah, and various versions, as their terminology for God. In early gospels the word Allah is repeatedly used. For a lot of Christians, Allah is just as much a name for god as it for any Muslim. For some, it's the only name they know. The editor of the Christian newspaper Fr. Lawrence Andrew stated he was "disappointed and dismayed" at the courts decision. I feel the same way. Frankly, it's cringe-worthy.


In my opinion, putting this law into place will cause more 'public safety' issues that if it wasn't implemented in the first place. The law will cause for strains to form in the relationships between Christians and Muslim groups. These two religions have a lot in common, and yet they have some of the most controversial history. Why? Because people focus on the differences, and like this new law is doing, keep driving the knife in deeper.  


How can you ban the use for God's name in the first place? It's not like you can copyright it.

So basically, I think this law is utterly, absolutely idiotic. And that word effectively wraps things up.  



Giveaway winners!

7 Oct 2013

All things must come to an end, and with this in mind, I am pleased to announce the winners of the When There's No Tomorrow giveaway. 

The winners, drawn at random, are:  

First prize winner is: Laura Mukasheva. She will receive a signed paperback copy of When There's No Tomorrow.

Second prize winner is: Shayenne from Boho Booklover. She will receive a free e-book of When There's No Tomorrow.

Third prize winner is: Kareena. She will receive a signed When There's No Tomorrow bookmark.

Congratulations to the winners! And thanks so very much to everybody that participated! Your help and enthusiasm was amazing to see and is greatly appreciated. Hopefully you will all have a chance to read When There's No Tomorrow in the future. Keep your eyes peeled as this won't be the last giveaway! 




When There's No Tomorrow Giveaway!

24 Sep 2013

Want a chance to win a free copy of When There's No Tomorrow? Keep reading to find out how you can!
This is what you can win! 

First prize: A signed paperback copy of When There's No Tomorrow.
Second prize: A free e-book of When There's No Tomorrow.
Third prize: A signed When There's No Tomorrow bookmark.

Here's what you need to do. Complete at least one of the following list and fill in the below form in a comment below. Or if you don't feel comfortable sharing your email with everyone use the contact form on the left about half way down the page. That way, your details will go straight to my email and will not be seen by anyone else. After the event, all information will be deleted for the participants privacy.

So, you can:
  • Become a fan on Goodreads.
  • Like my Facebook page or share a post. 
  • Share this blogpost on Google+ (follow my blogger profile to my page, all of my blogposts can be found there). 
  • Follow this blog (if you haven't already)
  • Share this post anywhere else! (just tell me where you have)  

Name:
Email (so I can contact you if you win):
What you did:

Once you have done this your name will be written down and put in a bowl. Old fashioned I know, but it works. At the end of the giveaway I'll randomly pull out three slips and announce the winners.   
Hope you can all participate! I look forward to hearing from you!  


When There's No Tomorrow Release!

12 Aug 2013


A few months ago I mentioned that I was my book 'When There's No Tomorrow' was getting published. I am proud to announce that it is now on sale on various online bookstores. It's my goal to get it into local bookstores over the next few months as well. 

You can find my book on the Angus and Robertson, Amazon, Book Depository, Xlibris and Barnes and Noble bookstore sites. It's also available on Kindle, Kobo and Nook if you'd like it as a e-book.

If you missed my previous post, here's a look at the front and the blurb.  You can also check out this website for more info on the book.

The economy has collapsed, Earth’s population has been reduced to practically nothing and the world is split between two factions – The Nationals and the Forgotten.

80 years ago the worst war in human history began. 10 years ago it ended. At least that's what the history books say. But everyone knows; history books lie. The war never ended. It's still going; there just aren’t enough people alive anymore to dispute it. 

My name is Kalina. My father is chief of my people, the Forgotten. The rebel scum, you may know us as. Pirates and swindlers. But we're not. We're just people fighting together to make a stand against injustice. Making a stand for our freedom. 

But it's not that simple though; freedom and justice. Who chooses what is and what isn't right? Who chooses who lives and who dies? 

Someone once asked me, who are we to stop a war? I ask you, who are we not to? 

Sound good? I hope so! Feel free to comment or ask any questions.