Game Prep and Blog Updates

I’m enjoying a lovely day off while the rest of the world outside my window is drenched in rain. I’ve even been productive: I did the washing up, emptied the bins, took out the recycling, and did the shopping. I’m justified in spending the rest of the day making up encounters then. That’s not a question.

What it has prompted me to do has been to get round to starting to update the pages on this blog relating to the DDC – Well That Happened… You might notice there’s a new entry on the main menu at the top of the page that takes you to the related pages – expect more to appear there soon, but today has seen an updated transcript of Valenia’s letters home which detail their view of various sessions, as well as additions to the notable characters page.

Now to do a couple more maps to have to hand if the group goes off piste tomorrow and I’ll be ready to go.

Proud Blog-Father

My daughter has been in lockdown in Oxford Brookes University since everything kicked off, and like so many of us has been trying new things out on the cooking front.

Today I had a quick note and link to an article she just had published on the Oxford Brookes Student Union website about her “student-approved” baking recipes.

Being a proud father to a fellow writer, I of course have to share this with you all. Go have a look at and enjoy both the quality of writing and the baked goods.

Ko-Fi Time

As much out of curiosity as anything else, I’ve set up a account for anyone who wants to fling us a handful of change in return for anything they’ve liked seeing here. It’s purely voluntary of course, and I’ll be frankly amazed if anyone does – but the link is if you’d like to do a little bit towards supporting me in my odd little corner

Seven Years Gone

Someone asked me how I first started this blog: with an introduction to myself, or just launching into it. I couldn’t remember so I’ve just spent about five minutes scrolling back in the app on my phone to have a look.

It turns out that on the 23rd September 2010, the first post on this blog was:

*dips toe into the blogosphere and nods when nothing immediately falls off*

So there we go, seven years of my waffling into the darkness here. Doesn’t time fly?

Changes Are A-Coming

This site has always been a labour of love – with all the ups and downs that go with that statement. Well shortly I shall be gathering help on that front, with opportunities for Lady M and Mre B to contribute as guest bloggers as the mood, wit and whimsy takes them.

For the most part it’s likely to be extra bits of fiction as we bounce things off each other, but who knows? This, as they say, could get rather interesting…

How Do You Deal with Stupidity? by Tim Maidment

So here’s a little thing I wrote for Lady M’s blog last month, published this month…


This, sadly, really is a question that Lady M seems to be asked on a frequent basis, often by work colleagues. No, really, would I lie to you? It’s obviously a joke right? I mean, at first sight it’s a simple enough question, and one that is mostly posed with tongue at least slightly in cheek.

Unless she is faced with unequivocal evidence of it, her usual response is to ask how the enquirer is defining stupidity. With perhaps only a few conversational prompts, this is frequently sufficient to tie her interrogators up in semantic ribbons and bows long enough for her to walk away long before the penny drops.

We all know stupidity when we see it, at least right up until the point we don’t. I think that’s because our own incompetencies blind us to our deficiencies – it’s at the root of the old joke about how…

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Fiction Fragment Updates

I’m in the process of typing up fiction fragments and adding them to the page here. They’re mostly one or two sentence pieces done as block breakers or to remind me of a random idea during the day, but most have made me smile at some point so I thought I’d share.

I’m mostly doing this as part of my drive to get back into the habit of writing here – both as a blog, as a depository of game write-up material, and for the wider fiction and non-fiction that I do.

Enjoy the whimsy

Visitor Statistics

Out of sheer curiosity, I thought I’d take a look at the visitor statistics for the site. Since adopting a more regular posting schedule we’ve nearly doubled the page views here since last year to 6754 as of time of writing.

This is a huge leap, and while it may feel small beans, it’s truly impressive considering this is mostly just me wittering away to myself in the corner.

Not only that, but the number of individual visitors for this year is only 300 short of the total number of page views for last year. 3360 people have been curious enough to come take a look around this year. Thank you all very much, whether you’re human, bot, household pet, or extremely unlucky extraterrestrial. What on earth are you all doing here?

For all that, there’s only been 30 (moderated) comments on the site. I’ve had a few on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and G+ where the links to these posts appear and it seems people are happier commenting there.

I’m obviously not particularly contentious, so perhaps I should start writing the occasional deliberately contrary post to see who I can tempt out of the woodwork. Or not; I’ve enough going on without manufacturing drama among those who “have read your blog”…

So there we are, a bit dry, but I’ll no doubt ruminate more nearer the end of the year. Good night, and may the stats be ever in your favour.

Cheering From The Sidelines

Lady M has been busy this week – just one way I can tell she’s on the heal at last. She’s been laying the groundwork for a little while for a project that is very close to her heart. It’s called Today’s Women In Tomorrow’s Technology, and as of this week the blog and twitter components have gone live.

At the heart of her project is a desire to inspire, guide, mentor and bring new and existing women together working in the Technology industry. She’s already gathering attention and support – and I think that in part it is a case of the right idea, at the right time, that is capturing people’s imaginations.

She’s asked me to write a guest spot on there in the near future – but don’t let that put you off. Go take a look, and engage if you like the ideas or want to be part of a wider discussion.

And Now, The Liebster

Liebster Award Logo and RulesI mentioned this the other day, but I got nominated for a Liebster Award – and given that I have an unexpectedly free Sunday afternoon and it’s raining out there, I suppose this is as good a time as any to do something about it!

The Liebster is one of those congenial collegiate mega-like indicators used as a good excuse to highlight people who you think could use a little more attention, and its rules seem to fluctuate generally from time to time. As this seems to be more down to personal preference than the dictates of the Elders Of The Internet, it appeals to the more anarchic elements of my personality – but I’ll aim to satisfy most of the goals on the list.

To be honest, I feel a bit of a newbie, because it’s the first time I’d ever heard of the Liebster (although a quick wander across the search engines of choice soon educated me on the many, many, takes on this award.

In any case, thank you to swtswtsue for the nomination. I’ve been following her blog a relatively short time – but that’s mostly because she’s only been writing for a while. Go have a look and enjoy a very genuine person’s thoughts.

So, the way this works is that there are eleven questions she’s asked – once I’ve answered them, I’ll pick out some people who I enjoy reading and who probably won’t mind the extra attention and post some questions for them too. Who’s ready for a Q&A session?

Q: What is your absolute, without-a-doubt favourite movie of all-time (and what is it about this movie that makes it your favourite?) Yeah, I know.  That was sneaky  😉

A: Oh, starting with the tough ones. It depends on my mood. For the longest time it was the film Aliens, which had a near perfect mix of action, horror, suspense, and dark humour that hit my teenage self between the eyes like a hammer. I still have a soft spot for that film, even if these days I’m more likely to reach for The Nightmare Before Christmas or Guardians of the Galaxy.

Q: How long have you been blogging?

A: I started back around 2001 on a simple journalling site that I honestly can’t remember the name of. At the time, I was recently diagnosed with depression and was battling with self harm, and made the mistake of both writing openly and letting people at work know about it. Yes, I know: when I’m ill, I’m the dumbest smart guy in the room. After that, I shifted to Livejournal which allowed me to set multiple permission levels and be a little more careful with who was reading it. I took a few years break, because Reasons, and then started this blog at the tail end of 2010 when I started writing professionally. Wow, time really has flown…

Q: What kind of impact has blogging had on your life?

A: It’s been both a useful tool and a pain in the arse, frankly. It’s been a great way to blow off steam, to rant and rave, and to be more introspective too. The enclosed echo chamber can be dangerous though for certain moods, which is why I try to vary what I write about, and to use this site for other things such as the gaming and writing. I’ve used my blogs to talk openly about my journey through depression and Bipolar wobbles, as well as my diabetes and weird and wonderful emotional life, and having it as an outlet has helped spread the load away from family, friends and professional counsellor. It must be working, as my ex-wife described me recently to Lady M as the sanest lunatic she knows.

Q: So far, what has been your greatest triumph in life?

A: My daughter, The Charleesi, who has grown to become a talented and formidable young lady. A slightly less fluffy answer has been my recovery from self harm and the rebuilding of my life from the lowest ebb possible.

Q: What is your dream job (and why)?  I know, I know.  I did it again.  😉

A: Being a well-known published novelist; a dream I’ve had since being knee-high to Jimminy Cricket. The paid writing I currently do is a really big step in the right direction. To be honest, my current combination of writer and library work is pretty sweet, despite the pay.

Q: Favorite band?  (I know I’d have trouble with this one so I’ll allow you 3, haha.)

A: Queen, Foo Fighters, Professor Elemental

Q: How would you describe your personality?

A: Quietly laconic

Q: What is your favorite thing (personality trait, talent, physical feature, etc.) about yourself?  Yep, you guessed it – and why?

A: This is a very hard question because I struggle to acknowledge anything positive about myself a lot of the time. My deadpan sarcasm, writing and drawing all generate the odd moments of accomplishment when people say nice things. In general, I’m rather pleased that people tend to listen when I talk, and that I take responsibility for what I say and do.

Q: How do you feel about medication (mental illness-wise)?

A: Oh gods, it depends on the mental illness and the severity of what you’re dealing with. For depression in particular it’s a bloody useful band aid until you can get to the real healing that comes with talking remedies. By and large, work with your doctors and therapists, and if they give you medication, bloody take it. At the same time, educate yourself on its intended and side effects so you can work in partnership with the health professionals.

Q: What’s your favorite personality trait in others (what draws you to certain people?)

A: Humour, definitely humour, followed by geekiness, and a filthy mind in no particular order.

Did you enjoy answering these questions?  I sure hope so!

A: Took me a while, yeah, pleasant enough.

And now, eleven random facts about me:

  • I draw and doodle on pretty much every blank and not so blank piece of paper that comes to rest in front of me.
  • I am usually a lot less confident than I appear.
  • For the first six or seven years of my life, I was 80% deaf.
  • I really like the taste of butterscotch.
  • I judge people by how they treat books.
  • I prefer to cook my own meals because I’m a fussy eater.
  • I’m normally nocturnal, but force myself to keep largely to my partners’ active hours to maximise time with them.
  • My favourite colour is purple.
  • I still flinch at unexpected physical contact, but I’m a lot better at hiding it these days.
  • I get bored very easily.
  • One of the few things that anger me is someone not owning their issues or mistakes.

And now: the nominations:
Well, actually, no – at least not yet. I’m composing this on a tablet, and have been for a few days, so I’ll finish this in the morning with an edit and proper links to go with a further set of questions.

See you soon