Friday, 12 November 2021

Big Little Wars

Big Little Wars is a set of rules to play games in the Gate Walker universe. It has become the main focus of my working day since I started being able to string two words together.

While this is not directly related to the next novel I'm writing, it has set me the task of working out what the everyday world is like for the average person living on Earth, circa 2071.

Clearly the world is large enough for the adage, the future will not be evenly distributed, to apply.

From a miniature gaming perspective this makes for interesting conflicts. For someone living circa 2071 it sucks. Because living in the middle of a world of proxy wars while shopping is the very definition of suck.

So I use tech levels to differentiate the disparities that arise from asymmetrical access to technology.

Anyway, my document tells me that the current word total is: 19,677 words; though the project counter only says 19,401 words. No doubt there are good reasons for this, but I haven't a clue why they differ.

Arguably, I don't have much of a clue about anything these days.

So while doing this project has completely sidetracked work on my next novel, the upside from all the work is that it has got me thinking about a lot of stuff that counts as world building stuff I will need to know for later stories.

I'll take that as a win.

Sunday, 24 October 2021

Post-Truth: Why Facts Don't Matter Anymore

This is from 2016, but still appropriate, if you're up for the watch. This is a useful examination of the current communication difficulties that social media has magnified by Derek Alexander Muller, a science explainer who I follow. 

Friday, 17 September 2021

Understanding Stories

The Die Hard Pitch Meeting above is quite funny, but it was one of the first Screen Rant pitch skits that made me realize they're not as clever as they think they are. There again, I'm not as smart as I think I am either.

Still, fun to watch.

So this is another state of the writer post. I'm in a better place. The best place mentally that I've been in for a long time.

Several years in fact. Those few followers who have been reading my blog know I've been stuck, and not making much progress on finishing the next novel.

Part of this down to the medication, and part of it is from taking the time to be kind to myself. Allowing myself time to do other stuff. Getting back into my hobbies and learning new painting tricks, which you can see on my other blog

The link between the two being that making models of my ideas then sparks other ideas. And, after much procrastination, I've figured out some important story development for my Gate Walker series.

Let me explain.

When I had the idea that spurred me to write Bad Dog, by the end of the story I also knew where the next two books would go, as the first sequel drove where the next novel would go too.

During the writing of the first story I knew that I wanted to set the stories in a holographic multiverse. From this came the pillars.

I even figured out what they are and why they do what they do, but this is not actually their true purpose, or the reason why they exist. 

However, I didn't bother with working out the details of why they exist, because I didn't need to know why for the stories I was writing. Any characters guesses are just that, their best guess.

However, the next novel is developing the whole holographic multiverse setting.

When I fell ill, my ability to think went into the mental equivalent of the trashcan. I had ideas, but they didn't float my boat.

Good news, I've started having ideas again over the last few months.

In better news, I'm having ideas that excite me. There's nothing worse when writing if your ideas feel humdrum to you then they'll certainly feel humdrum to the reader. So that's the current state of me, the writer.

Now all I have to do is get back in the saddle. I'm working on it.

Thursday, 26 August 2021

An Epiphany and Revelation


A moment of sudden and great revelation or realization.

‘Then, as if we all have an epiphany at the same moment, we simultaneously yell out.’


Used to emphasize the remarkable quality of someone or something.

‘seeing them play at international level was a revelation’

I couldn't resist the Agent Smith call out for the title. Consider it a Mum joke. The change forced on the Wachowskis's while making their movie to change humans from CPUs into batteries, is now a meme.

The joke is that social media marketing algorithms exploit human behaviours to turn us into 'batteries' to power businesses is a tad ironic. Here's a link to a book extract on Amazon I read:

 Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now

Makes you think.

Tuesday, 24 August 2021


Holiday memories: another time, another place.

We're having a staycation.  Susan took some time off so we can stay at home and chillax, as the kids use to say, because I'm sure that if I know the word, the kids have moved on to another. That's what the young do.

Hey, even old fogeys like me can learn new words, though I no longer feel the need to differentiate myself from the older generation.

That must be what it means to be mature. Acceptance of who you are. I don't know.

The only thing I'm sure of is that I was born, I've paid taxes, and one day I will die. That, and I know there's a lot of stuff I don't know. Stuff that everybody else thinks they know, but they don't really know as much as they think.

So, I'm painting, which has become my therapy in these troubled time. My time to put aside thoughts and be mindful.

As a result, my mood is lighter. It helps that the treatment for my rheumatoid arthritis is working and I can now hold a paint brush without pain. The simple things in life bring joy. Especially so when the pain stops.

Normal service will be resumed soon.*

NB: for definitions of soon that remain undefined at this point in time.

Saturday, 7 August 2021

State of the Writing

New news: I've managed to get my ass into gear and I'm now working on my Cthulhu mythos novel, The Bureau. Currently editing/revising chapters: three down, a bunch more to go.

Two Moons is in the equivalent of pre-production hell. New ideas, new science discoveries, and new unintended consequences are driving the project around in circles.

I have also gotten to grips with one of my stalled short stories, but other projects are taking all of my time.

Being the long time SF fan I am, who went to her first convention in 1976, I've also been working on making and painting models for playing tabletop miniature wargames, see here. And let's not start on all the other things I'm into.

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Ask Lovecraft - Metaphors

Metaphors are the terrible fate that comes to take reason and sanity from 'English majors,' assuming they had any to begin with. Considered yourself warned. Step back from the metaphor.

This has been a Public Health Warning for Metaphors. Stay safe, avoid analyzing stories for metaphors.


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