17 January 2016

Quinjet Assembled




The recent obsession with Lego construction continues. I am increasingly in awe of these kits - just beautiful, and so much fun to put together. 


16 January 2016

Writing Fuel


I love coffee. If there was a ecological disaster and it disappeared I don't know what I would do. True, I might get more and better sleep, but fewer words would get written, and I would be decidedly less cheerful in the morning. 

Anyway, today is a big writing day, so it's time to get the serious brew out. 

12 January 2016

First Steps Made Long Ago

I was reminded recently that this ancient relic contains my first published work: Necromunda Magazine, Issue - 12,  2002. It was a small run, irregular mag and I did some fiction for an article. It was fairly rough stuff, and no beam of light came from the heavens, and the Angel of Freelancers failed to turn up to pass me the secret key to unlock my the Gates of Publication. I was very proud, though; people were going to read my words! That feeing of excitement stayed with me - it still is with me - and though I didn't know it then, I had taken a first step on a long road.

7 January 2016

The Shadow of RPGs


This wonderful slice of darkness turned up recently, and sparked equal excitement and nostalgia in me. Shadow of the Demon Lord is a traditional, pen-and-paper RPG (roleplay game, like Dungeons and Dragons if you must). It is written by Rob Schwalb, who - if modern RPGs are ruled by a pantheon of super-powerful supernatural beings - is a demon lord of RPGs. On many levels Shadow of the Demon Lord is my kind of thing; it has demons, and a grim take on fantasy, and a polished game system under the hood. On another level just picking this up and reading through it made me smile, and do some reflecting on the past.

I used to run a lot of RPG games, and collected source and system books to the extent that they took over the room I rented when I was a student. I also earned my first real money and writing credits working on RPGs. Coincidently one of those first writing jobs was with Rob, on a little game called Dark Heresy. I won't lie - it was great. I learned how to hit a deadline, how to survive an acidic review, how to collaborate with other creatives, and all kinds of other things the books don't tell you*. I also got to work with a gab bag of talented people: Alan Bligh, of Forge World fame, Mike Mason, who now holds the reigns of Call of Cthulhu at Chaosium, Kate Flack, Owen Barnes, and Rob to name only a few,

That was ten years ago this year, which seems an implausible length of time, but the calendar tells me it's true, and so it must be. Looking through Shadow of the Demon Lord it does not seem that long ago at all. It seems like yesterday.

*Thinking about it maybe I should write down some of those lessons, maybe even on this blog. 

5 January 2016

Nurglings


It shouldn't come as a surprise (given some of the books I write) that I love painting small metal and plastic miniatures of things that don't exist. This is the latest batch, a cluster of tiny plague daemons all piled on top of each other.

4 January 2016

Books Aren't Born From Neat Plans


They are born in heaps of scrawled notes, and random ideas jotted down at 2am, and barely legible sketches of places that don't exist. 

3 January 2016

The Algebra of Lego





Time off with family + a large box of Lego circa 1988 + gifts of more Lego = space ships + strange bands of heroes.





2 January 2016

The Coffee of Heresy...



2016 began yesterday, but time and energy are lagging. It's raining, the sky is grey and all of the things that need doing don't need doing yet. The only answer to such such seasonal sludge is coffee served in a mug worthy of the Warmaster himself.