testing short codes
5 June 2021 | 12:00 pm

Lately I’ve been getting back into running some solo rpgs, just for my own amusement. I really enjoy reading other people’s actual play’ reports so thought I would configure the blog so I can better post mine.

I found some great scripts here, and again, thanks to David who runs Blot, I’ve managed to get most of them working. The colouring isn’t fantastic, and for the life of me I can’t get the spoiler css to change the way I want it to, but I think it will do for now.

Stay tuned for some actual actual-plays…


This is my story!


[story title=“This is my story…” style=“fancy”]

This is my [fancy!] song, written by a [fancy!] bard, la la la



these are my dice


and these are [dice style=“inline”] my inline mechanics [/dice]

[spoiler title=“here’s a spoiler”]

spoiler stuff


Winter but not blue
31 May 2021 | 12:00 pm


Wow, look at that. It’s the first of June somehow, already! It is freezing, here in the southern hemisphere, I’ll give you that. There’s a southerly sweeping through at the moment, which, in these parts, means an antarctic blast that makes you just want to stay indoors. And drink lots of coffee.

While I am mostly keeping inside at the moment, I did venture out over the weekend for a very cool darkroom workshop here in Wellington. You may already know but I regularly develop my own film (b&w and colour) but I’ve been in a long, drawn-out process of trying to set up a darkroom so I can do some printing as well. I’ve got most of the gear, having lucked out on a Trade Me auction some years ago where someone was getting rid of their darkroom, but it had been a really long time since I’d done any darkroom work. (High school days!) So it was great to work in a cool space with three other people plus instructor, and learn all of the best practices (because frankly most of them had gone out the window).

So, I’ve got all the darkroom gear out again and I think I’m going to make a proper go of setting it up. The main thing I need to sort out is the dark’ part of the darkroom, getting some blinds or covers of another sort over the bathroom window. I’m really hoping to do this without having to sew curtains, because after having sewn curtains once, I realised how much I hate trying to sew with large swathes of fabric on a small home machine.

Anyway, the photo above is the picture I spent the weekend working on — I shot a roll of 35 mm and surprised myself by asking the guy in this photo if he would mind if I took his picture. He was working in a container as a bike repair guy, but must have been between customers, because he was in his workshop playing the trumpet. It looked like such a cool place and I loved the music wafting out of there. The repairs are free to anyone as well, which made it even better.

I have to get back into town to pick up the prints though — tomorrow’s the plan. Really looking forward to seeing them up close again. There’s something about printing; it really takes your breath away when you see your pics on beautiful paper, a print you made with your own hands.

I’ll give you a close-up once I’ve got it! :)

25 May 2021 | 12:00 pm

I’ve been a bit stressed lately, with my calendar getting rather busy for the weekend, and also the week beyond. I haven’t made a lot of progress with the short story either (for the writing group anthology I may have spoken about last week), and I can feel myself slipping into a few bad habits…things that don’t necessarily hurt anyone, but aren’t really the best use of my time, especially when I get to the end of the day and feel a bit depressed that I haven’t actually done anything massively productive.

Don’t get me wrong, I make school lunches, dinners, do dishes, vacuum, fold laundry, all the rest of that jazz, but in my mind that’s all a bit…peripheral? I feel good if I’ve done some writing in my day, or failing that, some paid work, or ticked something off a list that I’ve been procrastinating about for a long time. But anyway. Yesterday I lost a chunk of time because I went down the rabbit hole of writing random rpg tables in Python. They are sort of addictive. I’ve never done anything with Python before but it’s relatively easy to track down some examples to tweak, and go from there.

Today I had to stick around in the kitchen for a chunk of the morning, as I’d prepped some sourdough last night and had a couple of loaves to bake. It was FREEZING this morning, in the vicinity of 3 degrees celcius for the little pocket I live in, and being in the same room as a cranking hot oven didn’t feel like the worst idea in the world. While I was there I decided to bash out an hour of testing; testing vocal commands for a device being produced by a large company I unfortunately can’t mention. But anyway, it was pretty cozy and I managed to get through the work. (I do enjoy it, but once you’ve been through a few different cycles it gets very repetitive.) Coffee and fresh bread were on hand.

The story has been getting me down a bit though, as I mentioned, and I thought, ok, let’s just do something different. I looked up some writing prompts online, found something that roughly set me off in a slightly different direction, stapled some scratch printer paper together, and set the timer for five minutes. The timer startled me a bit the first time, as usually I try to do twenty-five minute pomodoros.” I duly circled the bit in my last writing sprint that I would use for the next writing session (as described by Peter Elbow with his freewriting method, either in Writing Without Teachers or Writing With Power, I can’t remember), and I was off again. I very specifically was trying to write almost without thinking, trying to get into freewrite mode. Maybe something would show up that I could use for my story. If not, hey, at least I wrote today.

I think there’s something there. Not ready yet to touch it or label it or hold it up to the light, but after writing six pages of longhand I’m feeling happy about this process. If it turns out that this one’s a dud, so be it, I’ll just keep going with this until something is unearthed.


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