My Winding Journey | Creating Age of Sirene

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I delved into my own mental health which brought me on a winding journey while I made my light novel/ comic, Age of Sirene. I didn’t expect to learn about myself but rather to impart what I had learned. However, I learned quite a lot and am still learning.

Nash Volk Sirene Series

The Age of Sirene Gallery

I built Age of Sirene with a simple basis about a girl with difficulty recognizing emotions within herself and others to mimic my own inability to recognize emotions.

My tiny winding journey of self-love was incorporated into the apocalyptic setting of the light novel.

Even when I’m not actively analytic towards myself, I subconsciously find ways to reassess my own situation, opening more avenues to understand myself. I believe that our mind always moves, the cog is always churning out possible answers. Although we may not always understand the solutions presented to us, maybe through dreams or sudden epiphanies, we’re always trying to figure ourselves out.

When writing Age of Sirene, I had only wanted to convey and give a voice to a different voice that I was seeing in myself. I didn’t realize that it would create new inquiries I had of myself.

Nevertheless, here we are. It’s been around 9 months since I began this journey to tell Asena’s story of the apocalyptic disaster that engulfed her country. And through this journey, I got sick, I got tired, but I never burned out.

I think the reason for this was that I wasn’t just writing about myself. I opened myself up to stories about other people who were going through a similar struggle with their emotions. My attempt to write about my encounter with Alexithymia opened new doors. It brought me to people in the Autistic Community. I listened to their stories. I related to their experiences.

As a result, I began to wonder about the depth of my own woes. How much did I truly relate?

My Winding Journey with Asena.

Asena only had that one character flaw- the flaw that made her overpowered magical abilities less magical in an apocalyptic world. Otherwise, it was never a flaw. It only became a flaw once people started contracting the zombie disease, which I call the Maurtnam Virus. But I digress.

I had always seen this profound discovery within myself as something that made life a little difficult but otherwise, I was okay. I had lived my life knowing emotions well since I was hypersensitive. It wasn’t until COVID did I start to develop a sort of numbness and delayed processing of emotions. The truth is, I was only made aware of it then.

When I think back to my childhood, I have always had difficulty relating to people. People often told me that I looked mean or stuck-up. There was never a time in my childhood when I didn’t have to think hard about trying to understand others. And over time, I came to bridge the gap by accumulating the knowledge needed to be “normal”. I had forgotten all about that until now.

With this realization, I hope to better convey the different neurological diversities of the world in my light novel.

Age of Sirene tackles a variety of diseases already. It was something that I really wanted to touch on with the added sparkle of magic. But now, I also am exploring the mind. When writing The Bird Song, I struggled a lot to convey the characters I was calling “Inflicted”. I hope that with the bits I get to explore in AoS, I’ll learn to finally write TBS.

Please consider checking out my comic on Tapas to get a better glimpse at Asena’s struggles, growth, and change in her perception of life.

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