Fired Up

“In this game, fire represents your life. And when your fire is gone, so are you.”–Jeff Probst

Fire, water, shelter, food. Fire, water, shelter, food. Fire…

In that order.

The keys to ultimate survival. Fire, always being the most important. Without fire, there is no life. Game over.

I’m not a “die hard” survivalist. I’m not a prepper. I don’t own any books on “off-the-grid” living. There’s no secret, underground bunker on my property (yet–muwahahaha).

I do, however, firmly believe in contingency plans.

To directly quote one of my characters, “contingency plans are always welcome, even if never needed.”

I do believe in back-up planning. At least three moves ahead. Within that planning mentality, I find myself more focused.

It took some time, but I now enjoy the simple living. I’ve found I thrive in a minimalist environment. We’ve been in this new home since mid-July and all my personal items are still packed in boxes. I don’t need them. If we ever host a game night, I know right where the board games are. For now, they stay in a box in the back corner of the basement.

My clothes, books, and my laptop on a desk within a confined sitting area, with a lit candle nearby, is the center of my universe.

I won’t deny I do have some material possessions: a couple of gaming stations on the main floor for Nancy to watch her shows, and those rare moments when I need to mindlessly shoot zombies, and unwind in the living room. A couple of TV’s.

Last month, for our third wedding anniversary my wife surprised me with a mini-fridge for my writing lair. We do have a small, comfortable residence.

Shelter is covered. I have the shelter.

Fire is also covered. I can make a fire, in the pouring rain if I need to.

I now see my reality as one gigantic, live action, role playing game. The best, most in-depth game I’ve ever played. Completely immersive. A limitless “sandbox” world where the possibilities are endless.

I chose the character I wanted to be, and custom designed my style of gameplay. I have a long, struggle filled primary campaign to finish. I call the finish line, Point Z. It won’t be easy.

Before me, I see multiple side missions and small quests to conquer. Varying distractions to muddle through, or ignore altogether. I recognize the monsters, demons, and NPC’s, and with the small collection of armaments and mediocre tools at my disposal, I pick and choose my battles wisely, and as calculated as possible. I have to think, and assess, before I take action. Be wary of who I interact with. Be willing to stand up and keep fighting when knocked down. Be tactical when it’s demanded. I have to weigh all possibilities, and look fives move ahead. Sometimes reach out to another player to take a big boss down. I use the provided, in-game currency wisely.

It’s a lonely adventure. But, for me, it’s a game worth playing. I love the life game.

My game begins with the fundamental understanding(s) of the core, key, primary building blocks of living. Fire, water, shelter, food. Around these areas, is where I focus.

I mean… I have to be honest with myself. I’ll never step foot inside a movie theater, ever again. I will not shop at my local mall, ever again. Some stores in my area, I will never frequent, ever again. Some restaurants will never get my business, ever again. Impulse purchases are now a thing of the past. We create our own entertainment. We don’t travel. Human interaction is at an all time, record low. Money spent is on utilities, and necessities.

2020 has opened my eyes to things about myself I didn’t understand before, or once ignored… thinking I wouldn’t ever need to explore them. Those things I’m actually capable of, and thoroughly enjoy. New fires sparked to life.

To properly exist I must be able to adapt.

My fire centers around the subjective interpretation, of those things I deem important to existence. Everything outside that (not counting friends and family) is unnecessary to my existence. I don’t need things anymore. I require fire, water, shelter, food, friends, family, and writing.

We’re planning out a section of the property for gardening, this coming spring. I’m all fired up about it. Nancy and I, and a couple of friends, are tracking down canning materials, and working toward something else I’ve always wanted, but never had the time, energy, or currency to try. Growing and preserving my own food. I remember tending a garden in the backyard, in my youth, working with the old farmer across the street when he needed help, and the memory of those experiences have always been a splinter I could never dig out. I need to have a garden. I need to work soil. It aches inside my caveman bones.

Well, I suppose that’s enough for today. Between now and Point Z, I still have a lot to learn and a lot to tackle. But, I’m trying to make progress each and every day. I suppose that’s what counts. Keep on trucking along, right?

Quick update on the novel. Waiting for art, for both the Surrender Game and the companion. I’m a father of two daughters and three years into my second marriage so patience for me comes easy (chortle). I do have an end date I’d like to focus on, but nothing is etched in stone, yet… I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, I reconnected with an old friend from the “good ol days” and she is now my beta tester for both books. I’ve received some pleasant feedback thus far, and anticipate future conversations with her. It’s all quite exciting to say the least.

Time to get back to it.

Peace 🙂

Thank you for reading and joining me on my journey. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts by email or feel free to follow me on Twitter @jeremymorang, or like my Facebook page to read up on a character’s journal entries, and receive information about the Surrender Game and other installments to come. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

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