Another Shadowrun Episode

Hi, folks.

Quick update on the gaming: If you liked the last episode (or if you haven’t seen it, you can check that out by clicking here), there’s another episode of Shadowrun up and ready to be watched.

As usual, we are not a PG bunch when it comes to language. But if you’d like to hear what I sound like in person, or get some GMing tips off the master, Paddy, then you can listen to the latest episode here.

Liberation Industries also has other games available for your perusal, should you be interested.

Realism in Fiction

“The difference between reality and fiction? Fiction has to make sense.” – Tom Clancy.

Or any of the other variants by Lord Byron (Truth is always strange; stranger than fiction) or Mark Twain (Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities, truth isn’t), or any of the other similar attributions. I ended up finding about five or six different attributions for similar quotes, including a couple of unconfirmed attributions.

Continue reading

A Quick Shoutout

Hi – I’d like to draw your attention to something.

I talk a lot on this blog about things I have learned from gaming and GMing in particular. I also particularly enjoy these things.

Now, I wasn’t GM for this one – that honour goes to the excellent and talented Patrick – but I was involved in this game.  So if you’ve ever wondered what sort of stuff I get up to in games, if you’ve ever wanted to know what my voice sounds like in real life, if you’ve ever wanted to know how exactly to fit puns into the setting of Shadowrun, here’s a link you might want to check out.

Shadowrun Anarchy: Ep. 1 – Practical Accounting.

A Shadowrun game, made by nerds, for nerds, of nerds.

Catalyst Labs also does other games, which I haven’t been involved in, but are no less excellent for that (probably in some cases better). You can find their other work in the sidebar of that link.

Fair warning, our language is not PG, by any definition.

Teaching Descriptions

Easing back into this blogging gig with a good old getting-high-and-mighty about writing.

One of the questions I got a lot when I was tutoring was ‘how do I write descriptions’. Description, I feel, falls victim to two problems. First, as always, incomplete and misleading common writing wisdom, and second, overemphasis on certain techniques of description. Continue reading

Naming the New Year – 2017

Last year, I started a New Year’s tradition for myself.

Resolutions never really seemed to ring true for me. I tend to set goals rather than resolutions, and, well, I do that all the time. I still wanted to do something to mark the new year, to make it all feel a little more final, so I had to do something other than setting goals. Therefore, I decided that I would henceforth name my years, based on what I intended to accomplish over the course of 12 months.

Last year was the Year of the Harebrained Scheme, where I started up projects and threw myself into plans that I’d been previously too hesitant to start up. It was the year where I wanted to get things moving, mark a few items off the bucket list, and maybe push myself just a little bit.

It seemed to be a bit more true for the world at large than I would have liked in many ways – there are many ways I would like to be very slightly prophetic, but Brexit and killer clowns were not among them.

But we’re now on the brink of 2017, and I need to come up with its name.

I declare 2017 to be the Year of Brace Yourself.

In 2016 I put a lot of things in motion. 2017 is the year I need to buckle down and see them through. I’ll be trying to gain new followers for the blog as well as keep up the buffer. I’ll be finishing off a few writing projects, so I have plenty of writing content to be going forward with. I’ll also be consolidating work plans, finding a place where I’m financially stable and hopefully in a place where I don’t need to be making plans to find money for a little while and can concentrate on other things. And, of course, I’ll be trying to make sure I get above my required marks at uni, so I don’t need to stress out in future semesters.

So that’s my 2017 plans. Hope everyone is having a great holiday season, no matter what you do or don’t celebrate. See you next year.

If it’s Not Fun

Writing is weird. All hobbies are, I think, once you start doing them with the intent to improve your skills. After all, trying to improve means trying new things, and of coruse a keen awareness of your imperfections. Since writing is a creative, solitary and very personal pursuit, there are very few universal yardsticks for progress (perhaps the only one is “I gave this to other people, and the flaws they pointed out weren’t the same ones they pointed out last time”). So writers often end up with a litany of ‘Is this hobby for me?’ ‘Do I have a chance to get good enough at this to meet personal goals (or, if you’re that way inclined, to get published)?’ ‘Am I allowed to consider myself a “real writer”?’ Continue reading