... when I chose to finally settle in this place called Gaia.

It was a day off for me: the children had their midwinter break, and the administrators at the school told me to take a day and relax. So of course, I spent most of the day doing the three things I love the most: sleeping, writing, and smoking. It wasn't until the sun went down and I looked over to my phone that I realized that I had missed a call from a very old friend of mine - of course I called her back and had a splendid conversation that took up a gentle hour of my life. She spoke of her concerns with an old lover and the tragedies of time, how loneliness pervaded her life when only a decade ago we were surrounded by loving friends. I could only sympathize with her as the regular comments flew from my mouth, and with a "take care, don't be a stranger", we both hung up the phone.

Now I'm not the warmest of individuals, but even I enjoy talking to an old friend. She was from a writer's association many years back, where I first took up the pen and began to consider myself an artist of words and expressions. I've explored the internet since that time of my silent disappearance, seeking out new skills and new forums in which I might spread the pleasure of the holy word of a good read. This place, Gaia, has always been put on the backburners - it's too big to establish a close relationship like the small forum where I first began my work, and too general for me to find my signature niche amongst a hundred other like-minded workers. Over the last few years, however, I've fallen into a slump, and found that the old ways that once nourished me were soon running dry. My life is different than it was then - I was a young boy, a tutor under the masters of words - but now I come an older fellow, a bit more experienced, a bit more used to the apathy of the real world. I didn't come to Gaia for friendship or fame, but with an honest goal of inspiration. Anywhere people gather brings forth ideas, and ideas are all I need to build a story.

I seem to have gone off on a tangent, but I'll return to my daily life.

I was smoking outside while the snow fell - the beautiful, soft sort that only falls on a windless, slightly warmer night. While I was partaking in the flames of modern day ennui, I considered the future of my current project. I had inherited the work (I use inherit lightly here, in the eyes of my peers, I very likely stole it) from a dear, long-gone friend of a time past my lucid memory. I remember the girl like a remember a dream: a smile, a gentle word, a kind look, and a genius pen. Oh gods, how she was a god amidst worms, mere worms! We honored her, prayed to her, hoped only to catch her gaze and find her words directed to us. She was our Princess, and as close of the great three to perfection as could be. The Big Three, as she had coined it, was that Princess, myself, and another friend that I'll refer to as our Knight. Between us, we created a world so beautiful and so exquisite that as a modern-day pessimist, I should have seen the cracks form as it began to crumble. Too much love can hurt, and so did our community hurt the Princess, and caused her to vanish. Of course, the Knight and myself, who had always been at her side, abandoned her long before, out of parts duty to another world and in my case, some jealousy.

Another tangent, how nice.

I inherited that girl's story at the beginning of this year, 2013. I had hoped to take it, restructure it alongside the Knight, and perhaps work on it in manga form, as she had once hoped it may become. Sadly, today, with the sad month of February coming to its final stretch, this project seems abandoned. The Knight juggles his many tasks and responsibilities, my artist's inflated pride finally burst, and my own hand hesitates as it attempts to make beauty once more. So as I stood in the snow, a trail of brown-gray smoke flowing from my lips, I contemplated the future of this project that was so dear to me.

"I think it's time. I think it's time for a break.

My dearest love spoke to me earlier today, telling me with such extravagance that she had joined an RP in this place. She told me the details, lush and lovingly, and told me I should watch carefully as my brunette beauty worked her own magic with her pen. Of course, I loved that she was happy, and did as she wished, reading with increased fervor these RPs that she so enjoyed. And then it struck me - why not I take a look at these RPs and perhaps go back to my roots? Forum stories, short and sweet and pertaining to the user's pleasures. I'll look at my love's RPs and many others and find the gems with which I can work with to create lovely words once more.

So, Gaia, let us be kind to one another, and let us craft a beautiful world.