I had my very first Horus Heresy meeting yesterday. No, I’m not going to tell you what it was about, or what project it concerns or any of that stuff. Sorry, I just can’t. I can say that it was the coolest meeting I have ever not been to.
I had to attend via Skype. I’ve always been dubious about teleconferencing, most of the times I’ve been involved it’s worked very badly. This time it went like a dream. Not quite as good as being there, but not far off, with the added bonus that I could take my lad Benny to the park at halftime. Yes, despite being a parent for five and a half years, I still managed to agree to a meeting bang in the middle of the Easter holidays. To be fair to me, ordinarily this wouldn’t be a problem. Emma’d take some time off and take care of Benny, but she was away up in Yorkshire ahead of our move there (I booked the meeting before the Great Migration North was on the cards, really I did, really!). Credit due to junior Haley that he behaved so well. Good boy.
Although not a week goes by without me reading of how work, powered by the internet, is creeping deeper into personal time, my work/life balance is playing out nicely thanks to digital technology. In my case, it’s a powerful tool to allow me to do things I otherwise couldn’t, like being able to parent and yet still be involved. I suppose I’m one of them there digital artisans cutting edge types write about. Long live the third industrial revolution. Hopefully it’ll benefit everyone eventually, then we can all spend more time mucking about on the swings.
Usually, I would attend a meeting like this, primarily because it’s just nice to get out of the house. Human contact’s low in this line of work, and I need it. And to sit with giants, in whose mighty company I no longer feel ashamed! Dan Abnett, Graham McNeill, Gav Thorpe, Nick Kyme, David Annandale, Laurie Goulding, Lindsey Priestley… most of whom I’ve known for years. Even so, I’ve not had very many meetings on shared creative work beyond magazines, especially ones like this where we all have an equal stake (by which I mean I was not in charge). I was a little cautious, partly because I’m still not convinced I’m wholly up to speed on the Horus Heresy, partly because I didn’t really know what to expect, especially from myself. I can suddenly become irritable and defensive, you see, because I’m a terrible misanthrope half the time (and an awful attention tart the rest) who likes to get his own way.
But it was remarkable. The others were very supportive despite my first-timer gaucheness. Ideas were flying, and not simply good ideas, but ideas that built on each others’ to create something greater than we’d manage on our own. Like a night in the pub full of whimsical storytelling, or a great RPG session, only this time, we’re weaving the universe. Weaving it! Like cosmic Norns man! Far out!
Another aspect of my 50/50 personality is the split between vile cynic and irritating optimist. Mr Cynic lost out, this really was quite something. I can’t wait for the next one, or for you to read what’s going to come out of what happened yesterday. I can honestly say I want to do more work like this. Lots more. Thanks chaps for such a positive experience.