Monday 12 December 2022

Hunter getting nearer...

I've got the eariest sketch of an idea for metaplot for the Hunter game I want to run. It's not going to be as incredible as the meetaplots my GM creates, but that's ok: I'm learning, my players are learning, and it doesn't need to be so beautifully detailed and twisting as that.

At least one of my players is aware of my blog, which makes me feel like I shouldn't talk about it here, but then again I like talking about it and I'm excited about it and a huge part of the purpose of this blog is to talk about things I find exciting (without having to see the look of glazed-eye boredom I'm normally faced with). So Sophie (or other players) if you're reading: you're welcome to continue, but I trust you not to metagame (which means to use out of game knowledge about the game in the game; like having a map for a maze that I'm asking you to ignore and enjoy the exploration instead).

This is probably inspired by playing in Scion, combined up with Husbit rewatching Supernatural and I'm watching Lucifer, but I think I'd like to slowly involve my players in a war between gods. I'm undecided whether it'll be a conflict within a pantheon, or involving multiple pantheons. It's set in Wales, so looking at Cletic, Roman and Christian mythology. I don't need to decide straigtaway because this is something to creep in, for them to slowly realise some of the messages are coming from gods (or their Scions), until eventually they realise they're pawns in someone else's war.

I'm really excited about this game. I've ordered dice for my players, because they're new, and I've picked up some cheap notebooks for them. It feels welcoming to me to do this: I want to bring new people into one of my favourite things and I want them to feel happy in it. I've got three people, all aerialists, tentatively lined up. I want to start in January, run a session maybe monthly and hopefully on Saturday evenings. It feels a bit stupid, but I almost don't want to tell them in case they don't actually want to play or they aren't free, and then my dream is burst. It's like with writing: part of what frightened me before was the sense that it couldn't work, so it was better to enjoy the dream than actually try. Because I have achieved something with writing, I'm trying to fight the fear of losing the dream and actually get my group together.

Writing that was enough of a prompt. I've set up a little chat with my prospective players. Am psyched!

Monday 5 December 2022

Busy Writing

Cloaked Press have released the cover art for the anthology my story is being included in.

Book cover image. Book title is "Winter of Wonder: Fauna". The dominant colour is blue. Snow covered pine trees are in the foreground. A stag with glowing antlers is the main image. "Fern K L Goodliffe" appears among the list of author names at the bottom

Isn't that beautiful? I'm really excited about it. The kindle version is already available for pre-order. I'll keep you posted regarding the physical copy too.

And also about their next anthology, Depths of Love: My Enemy. I'm not a fan of the "enemies to lovers" trope (although one of my favourite love stories in any TTRPG I've played in is probably Taji and Fury, and it's definitely got enemies to lovers vibes), so it was challenging to try and write for it, and the first idea I had, I just couldn't find an entry point that worked for me (it's an idea I'm going to keep in the back of my mind, though, because I still think it's got potential). The story I eventually submitted arrived in a rush and includes a poem, a playground-rhyme style, which is also way out of my comfort zone. And they accepted it, and that made me really happy.

And then I wrote another piece for their Spring into Sci Fi collection, and I think it's the first piece I've written where I've felt as though, if it isn't accepted it's not because it's bad writing, its because it's not right for this collection. It's a decent bit of writing, and someone will want it. That's a really good feeling.

I'm working on a short story about a small group of orcs. As I write, I'm realising so much about them. Did you know orcs are blue blooded, and that across all orc culture it is taboo to eat other blue blooded creatures? It means they feel that all red bloods - the humans, the dwarves etc - are kinda dirty because they eat other red blooded creatures. This makes me think I'll write more in their world.

Things are going well in my writing world at the moment. That's not to say things are easy in general, but I'm glad to have one area where things feel good. I've got a lot of ideas and the fact I can find dedicated writing time means so much.

Friday 2 December 2022

Fiction Friday: Moments of Connection

It’s cold. I play with my breath, fogging in the air, pretending I can make smoke rings. The cold air burns my nostrils as I inhale, warms my mouth as I exhale. My hands are shoved firmly into the front pocket of my hoodie and my cheeks sting against the chill.

I pop into the shop, pick up the few pieces I need. It’s quiet; the few other patrons carefully ignore me and each other. The shop assistant looks directly at me and smiles without managing to hide their boredom. I return the smile, hoping to show sympathy. Pay, stuff the items into the small tote bag, and leave. Tote bag over my shoulder, I secure my hands back in my pocket and start back down the hill.

Silently, a jackdaw flies over my head to perch in a tree. I dodge the shit that falls from it as I step under the bough, and it flies away again.

There’s not as many cars on the road as normal, but enough I have to wait a moment. A white car slows; the driver lifts her hand from the wheel to indicate I can cross. I wave a thanks back, and our eyes meet. We share a smile that feels deep and genuine. Something inside me makes me feel as though she needed it as much as I did. It’s fleeting, gone as soon as I’m across the road and walking on the other pavement. The cold still stings my cheeks, but the warmth of connection stays in my chest.

The road ahead glides out of the fog as fast as the road behind falls into it. The smile stays with me until the looming delivery van’s door opens into my path. The driver steps out and brushes past me as though he didn’t see me, as though I wasn’t even there. I sigh, breath briefly obscuring my view, but keep walking.

Home. Put the things away. Put my favourite mug by the kettle, then head back to the front door to put away my hat and shoes.

There’s that sudden sense of sparkling presence that interrupts me here sometimes; a flash of colour, an exclamation as though shouted through water. It’s gone again by the time I get back to the kitchen, but I’m not surprised to find my mug is back in the cupboard.

There’s another presence here, and I’m not sure if they’re the ghost

or I.