Positive Watchfulness

I’ve been having the occasional comment wend it’s way to me about how positive I’m being at work, how untroubled by all the stresses around us.

Truth be told its mostly because being cheery and positive is less exhausting than brooding on everything. Yes, there’s a small amount of denial, but I choose to interpret that as actively picking my battles.

A few days ago, myr s confessed they weren’t happy that I had to go in to work and risk infection. My only answer is that I feel safe enough in my work environment, especially with the barriers, cleaning, masks, and distance enforced while there. If anything it feels safer than going to the shops, and that’s in no small part due to control of my environment that I can exercise while at work.

Semi-related to the above is the descriptive fragment that bounced around my imagination this morning: “he was so optimistic that he expected anyone coming from Woking to be woke”

Time for bed I think.

Planning For The Weekend

Work is busy at the moment, so I’m distracting myself a little with thoughts of the game session to come. I’ve floated the idea of a somewhat unusual scenario and had a positive response, so I’m currently doing some broad brush plotting for the Festival of Last Frost.

At heart it’s going to be a seasonal festival welcoming the Spring, so the whole local area will be filled with events and challenges for the whole community. Competitions will include feats of strength, skill, luck, and whimsy.

I think it will be a nice break from all the dangers and give them a good opportunity for roleplay and shenanigans. If nothing else I suspect there will be competitive knitting, and pinning the tentacles on the mimic. We may even get an answer to why certain people are known as “benchslayers”

Unexpected Smiles

The week is rushing ahead, even if my knees are creaking, but at least it’s nearly payday. This week we’ve mostly been trying to support staff in writing their supporting statements ahead of the restructure.

What has been an unexpected pleasure in what is an onerous task has been the morale boosts. People are being reminded of just how much experience and how wide a skill set they have. Watching those realisations dawn on people’s faces has been a delight.

For many of the older staff this is the first supporting statement for a job re-application that they’ve had to do in decades, so there’s a lot of concern. Going through this process has calmed a lot of fears, so that’s a good thing for all concerned.

Winged It

I had so many tech issues yesterday when I wanted to prep for the game. Both laptops decided it was time for multiple updates and reboots so preparation time was technically reduced to about forty five minutes. This was an issue because one of the players for the Goblin game was unavailable and so we were going to flip back the main story. Which I needed to write.

Fortunately I already had a good idea for some creative chaos, and a pre-prepared encounter saved in DNDBeyond, so I added a few elements to existing maps and away we went.

As usual we had the Twitch stream hosted by Lady B, and pushed it through to YouTube as well, and we launched with my giving a brief recap of where we’d left the DDC.

Which is how the weary adventurers, fresh off the train found themselves running to the assistance of a mugging victim, only to be counter ambushed by thugs claiming to be sent by “Mrs Friendly” and “Mr Nice”. As the group had no idea who they were this led to confusion and bloodshed in equal amounts, and the watch arrived to pick up the pieces.

So far so relatively normal, but in getting home they had some new mysteries. A new bench had been placed in their front garden. Thorin’s towels had disappeared when he took a shower. Other items were also found to be missing or jumbled up, and suspicion briefly fell on Shriken the faerie dragon as the mischief maker.

Which was when Shriken led Caeluma to an upstairs room where a new item of furniture had appeared – and quickly revealed itself to be a mimic when disturbed. A very chaotic and messy battle then broke out, including the revelation that some minor objects recently found while tidying up were also juvenile mimics.

And of course the heroes won, but they were very confused… Go have a listen for more details.

Ouch ouch ouch

Today I am grumpy, aching, sleepless, and in pain. To add to the fun my laptops have both decided that today is a good day to update and reboot everything sight. My back hurts, my knees hurt, and I now have… two hours to prep a whole new scenario for the game tonight as we have someone unable to make the one point five shot. There will be a lot of winging it this evening.

Grump, grump, grump…

Unexpected Sale

I sold my first original yesterday – I was on a Discord server chatting to people and posted a recent sketch I’d done to illustrate to the channel the sort of things I do. This led to an enquiry about sales, so I linked to my RedBubble site, assuming they might find something they liked up there. Instead I got a direct message asking to buy the original sketch.

This was an absolute first. I’ve sold tshirts and some artboard prints through the shop, but a physical artifact? I had to make sure they understood that this was in an ordinary notebook, and posted a picture with my fingers and the rest of the page for scale. This was deemed acceptable, and a price was agreed.

Me, worried?

So I bought a card on the way home to protect the piece of paper, and this morning sent my first physical sale off to its new home by recorded delivery.

I’m somewhat blown away. It’s one thing to hear people admire the things I scribble, but for someone to put their hand in their pocket for something I’ve made – well that’s kicked my imposter syndrome between the legs and no mistake.

I may even have included a free mini addition on the card, mostly because getting me to stop drawing is the hard part…

Where Am I?

A year ago I was reading reports of some new virus that was starting to spread, and felt that we’d probably be okay if we were sensible. I never dreamed that a year on I’d be wearing a mask nearly all day as a key worker, and as of this morning breaking the news to staff that another colleague had lost a close relative to covid.

Sometimes I’m numb to it, sometimes I’m angry. I’m grabbing humour where I can find it. Sometimes I wish I could work from home, but most of the time I’m glad I can get out of the house. I remind myself I’m very privileged, even as I want to curl up and hide under the blankets.

But hey, someone yesterday asked to buy the original of one of my sketches, so that’s a nice thing.

Phoneless Day

I left my phone at home today – not for any great reason, but just because I was in a hurry. As is usual in such cases, I only realised when I got to work, so just shrugged and got on with it.

It did mean that my peers had to use the branch landlines to get in touch with me through the day – and in the process I think it all underlined how much of our job is based on communication and consensus.

I did manage to get some work done for wider projects currently underway, as well as prepare a bit for the reapplication my job that an upcoming restructure is promising, so it was a productive day – but I did feel a little lost without being able to quickly check mail and news at a moment’s notice.

First world problems…

Fiction Fragment: Try Again

“Come back when you’ve got your real face on. You’ve done it once, and you’ll feel better for it.” Robert hesitated at the door, nodded compliance, and closed it behind him. Quiller sat back and let out a sigh he’d barely noticed had been building.

Half an hour later, there was another knock at the door and the sound of someone clearing their throat. This time it was Rebecca, and she looked nervous until Quiller ushered her in and offered to put the kettle on.

She settled in the chair by the window and waited while he fussed with the cups and their contents. The proffered beverage, when it came, was hot and sugary and just the right temperature to warm all the way down. Quiller stayed quiet while she sipped at it, and then opened a notepad.

“Better?”

“Better.”

“Let’s start again then shall we? You said there was something odd going on?”

A Few More Spoons

Today feels a bit better than yesterday, which saw me make a grand total of 97 steps according to my phone. I’m still trying to get rid of head fog, but I’ve done the washing up, cooked lunch, hoovered the living room, and engaged with a few people online, at least in passing. I’ve even attempted, and will continue to attempt, to write. I’m currently editing through more short stories, aiming to bring them to around the 5000 word mark each as a starter. It feels like an iterative approach for these is helping, because I’ve actually completed the whole structure of them and can now flesh out and fill in gaps and leaps to even the pace.

So, today feels like I have a few more spoons.

One conversation I had yesterday pulled together a unified theory of cutlery that I’m sure some of you will have encountered as I’m pretty sure its not actually anything brand new. Spoon theory is about the parcelling out of personal energy to perform individual tasks across a day. These tasks can include social interactions, self care, household maintenance, and work. Fork theory is about the same thing, but is exclusively for helping other people – explaining how sometimes we have no problem at all helping other people with things while feeling unable to manage ourselves. Then there is Knife theory, which are spoons borrowed against the day to come to deal with emergencies, but which then lead you to eventually running out of energy and needing more time the next day to recover back to a normal (for you) operating level.

By that set of measurements, yesterday’s near collapse and today’s quietness is connected to low spoons and low knives, with a few forks rattling around from where I’ve been helping other people as well.

In the same breath, I can now confirm that within the DDC we are now referring to being unable to get out of bed as being trapped by mimics. Just roll with it…