Three Pieces Of Creative Writing Advice For School Children

Marie Phillips (@mpphillips), author of Gods Behaving Badly, tweeted the following this morning:

Preparing my first ever day of Creative Writing teaching for teens for First Story Any advice welcome!

Well I figured I’d bash my advice out, random and uninformed as it is, as a blog post, and then tweet that. So here […]

Strictly Week One: Thoughts and Musings

Last night, my other half and I finally got round to watching last Saturday’s Strictly Come Dancing (what the rest of the world calls “Dancing with the Stars”) on catchup. It eventually came down to a dance off between former tennis player Martina Hingis and former policeman and now TV presenter Rav Wilding, with the […]

On The Simularity Between Signing Queues and Bus Queues

One of the many misconceptions that people of other nationalities have of English people – Americans chief among them I’m afraid – is that we’re all so reserved and private that we’d rather die than exchange words with a stranger.

Like most such stereotypes this is, of course, rubbish. It’s people like me from the […]

The Old New Labour Playbook

I’m not a fan of Margaret Thatcher by any means. Hell, while back in the 1980s my teen-aged self might not have considered her to be the Antichrist, I probably would have figured her as the Antichrist’s John the Baptist. Now, whilst still disagreeing (sometimes quite violently) with the probably the majority of what she […]

Last Night’s Game

Towards the end of the weekly start-of-game discussion in which I try to remember what we were doing last time…

Me: [stumped] Sorry, why are we buying a load of cleaning equipment again?

TAFKAC: That’s you saying that, right, not your character? You’d better not be saying that in the shop. If you say that […]

Saving Stone: Six Gods Sit Down To Spend Another Evening Roleplaying Really Badly

Back at the start of the year, I released in PDF form a free novella-length prequel to my novel Game Night. The 30,000 word novella, Saving Stone, told the tale of an earlier adventure by Game Night’s roleplaying gods and their poor, confused mortal “characters”. What are Saving Stone (and Game Night) about? Well here’s […]

On The Difference Between Conjuring And Lying

On Wednesday evening Derren Brown did a show where he apparently predicted the results of the national lottery. Yesterday evening, he promised to reveal how he did it.

Now it was always going to be a trick, and those people who are apparently now upset that it wasn’t done by some kind of mystical means […]

Last Night’s Gaming Session

We’d parked ourselves in an extremely expensive, albeit dubious, club, and had dinner. Post-dinner, talk had moved onto the bill.

General Tangent (GM): The waiter tells you that the bill is three pounds.

[A discussion ensues about the size of the bill. It is eventually, and reluctantly, accepted.]

General Tangent (GM): [To TAFKAC] Okay, make […]

Beating the Truth Out Of Users

In my time as a programmer, I’ve spent quite a lot of time on the phone talking to users who are attempting to report some kind of problem. It can sometimes be very frustrating. People say that programmers can be poor communicators, and that is often true; but the same accusation can equally be made […]

A Vet’s Guide To Treating Dinosaurs

A friend of mine, Andrew Knight, is a vet with a sideline in writing, and a few days ago he sent me a link to one of his latest articles, written after a visit to the Natural History Museum had started him thinking about the injuries dinosaurs could suffer and how one might treat them.