Happy Birthday to Me!!

It was my birthday today! I’m now 38 years old. If I want to leave an impression on the world before I die, I have less than 50 years left to do it in. Assuming I get the chance to die of old age instead of being run over, blasted by a nuclear missile, stabbed to death, fallen victim to cancer, lost the fight to my own occasionally suicidal thoughts, or a meteorite impacts the earth and kills everyone.

A little dramatic and negative for my birthday perhaps, but it’s still a thought I have. I’m not going to mope about it, or wring my hands worrying about it. I’m going to get things done! I’ve already started adding weekly updates to my work-in-progress on ‘The Haunted Story’, and created a new Patreon page to help gain support for it.

For those that don’t know I wrote a short ghost story called ‘The Haunted Story’. S0 many people liked it I decided to expand on the premise. The short story was renamed ‘Dead Letter‘, the first story in the haunted series. The story I’m working on now is called ‘Investigation’ and you can read parts 1, 2 and 3 by following the links, or by going up to the tab labelled ‘The Haunted Story’ above.

The basic premise is that Mark Anderson has studied ghosts and decided to deliberately become one. He aims to increase the strength of his manifestation by binding his soul to the story of his traumatic death and subsequent ghostly apparition. Anyone that hears the story will become haunted by him. ‘Dead Letter‘ sets up this premise, having been written as if it was the note found with Mark Anderson’s grotesquely mutilated body.

‘Investigation’ follows Detective Janet Burrows. A homicide detective who has been assigned to the case and told to treat it as a murder case, despite the suicide note. Given the horrific nature of Mark Anderson’s death, it seems highly unlikely he did it to himself. Janet needs to find his killer, but the prime suspect seems terrified of something no-one else can see, and he kills himself shortly afterward. Then she begins to see things herself.

If you think this sounds right up your alley, please follow my progress and let me know what you like, and don’t like, about the story so far. If you can show your support by becoming a patron, you’ll get email notifications whenever there’s an update, and a signed free copy of the book when it’s published. If you can’t afford to do that, you can also buy the Kindle ebook version of The Haunted Story: Dead Letter on Amazon for just 99c. A review would also be greatly appreciated.

You can still check back every Saturday to see what I’ve added the night before, even if you’re not able to contribute financially to the project. Your feedback and encouragement would be very helpful and just a valuable to me as any monetary donations. You can also help me immensely by inviting others to this website to check out my work, and sharing ‘The Haunted Story’ with them.

Don’t worry, Mark Anderson’s ghost isn’t going to show up and scare you to death. You and those you share it with have nothing to fear. It’s just a story. 😉

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My writing career isn’t the only thing I’m taking positive action on. I need to make some friends in this town. I love my family, but it’d be nice to get out of the house and play some games or just hang out with people on my wavelength.

I realised during a conversation online that I was unlikely to find fellow geeks in the local pubs. We’d be far more likely to be at home, online. Luckily, the town I’ve been living in since January has a Facebook group in which the townsfolk post public notices and ask each for favours and recommendations. So I made a post of my own, asking for help finding geeky new friends.

The response I got was amazing, and we soon had our own separate Facebook group with 40 members and a meeting scheduled in one of the local pubs I’d helped out as an odd-jobber! I’m looking forward to the first meeting, and getting to know some of the local geeks and gamers.

If you happen to be from Kidwelly in Wales, and a fan of Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of The Rings, the MCU, Rick and Morty, Supernatural, Doctor Who, video games, tabletop games and anything else even remotely geeky, feel free to join Games and Geekery of Kidwelly and come along to our first meeting on 7th May at the Masons Arms. It should be fun 🙂


My birthday was fun. I got to play the card game ‘Bears and Babies‘ with my nieces, and to spend time with my sister. For my next birthday though, I hope the have a reasonable circle of friends I can share it with, and possibly be able to afford to buy my friends and family awesome presents when all their birthdays roll around.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate your continued interest in my writing and my life.

Have a great day. 🙂

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Games and Geekery

Most of you already know about the Games and Geekery facebook page. Up until recently it had just been a share dump for everything I liked online that could be loosely categorised as being related to either games or geekery. This started when I was still married. My wife wanted me to stop sharing everything on my timeline, so I created separate pages for everything I liked. That way I could still share these articles with like minded friends, without having to piss her off. 🙂

Games and Geekery has recently received a slight change of direction. Not only will I continue to share anything that I think will be of interest to fellow gamers and geeks, but it will also host original content written by either me or my friend William. William dabbles in music and video editing too, so his involvement should bring some interesting elements to the new website.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m having another friend look over this website and make it a little easier to navigate. Her name’s Jade, and she’s officially been invited to join this blog as an administrator. I don’t expect her to write any articles, though if she wants to she could join the Games and Geekery team. However I know she’s going to make the site look awesome!

Here’s the new Games and Geekery website welcome page. Take a look and see what you think. If you like it, subscribe to the blog. I’d also appreciate it very much if you’d like and share your favourite articles, regardless of who wrote them :P. If you like the website so much that you’d like to be a part of it, then send me an article to show me how awesome you’d be as an official Games and Geekery contributor.

At the moment I’m using old articles I wrote back when I was contributing for Don’t Hate the Geek as filler, but I’ve already written 3 original articles since, including the welcome page, a commentary on highway zombies, and a piece about X-Men: Apocalypse. William has a fan theory about Batman he’s going to share with us soon. I can’t wait!

This website will now be dedicated to my writing and personal experiences. Anything related to Games and Geekery will be hosted on the new website instead. Enjoy!

Have a great day 🙂

 

 

 

Custom Combat Lightsabers

Kyberlight is not your usual custom lightsaber company. Their lightsabers are engineered to withstand the rigours of combat! Their probably a little overkill if you’re only looking for the standard cosplay fare, but if you’re looking for weapon you can use for Star Wars live-action roleplay or complete your utility belt as a real-life superhero (or villain) then Kyberlight sabers are the way to go.

Like I said, these lightsabers aren’t just a pretty prop that will fall apart the first time you take a couple of swings with it. Kyberlight builds durable custom sabers that are built to last. Don’t just hang it on your wall to look pretty, light that sucker up and go to war! Each saber comes with a lifetime guarantee. It will last as long as you do!

Just to clarify, just in case you need to be told. These are not ‘real’ lightsabers. You’re not going be able to chop off any body parts with them. You might raise a nice welt and leave a few bruises with one though. They’re designed for simulated combat and play fighting, and not as an actual offensive weapon.

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Having said that, how cool is this? You can choose from a variety of grips, pommels, and hilts from their accessories shop to trick out the standard ‘knight‘ pack, but their ‘master‘ pack already comes with a nice selection of interchangeable custom parts. Even the ‘knight’ has 20 built-in colour changing options, allowing to easily roleplay a character switching from the dark side to the light, or vice versa, or even progressing through the ranks of the Jedi order.Kaberlight offer.jpg

They even have a special offer running running right now, but you better hurry because it expires August 31st. Go to their website kyberlight.com and enter the promo code ‘Master4FB’ to get 4 free bonus accessories when you order the ‘Master’ pack or better. The bonus accessories include a red day blade, and green, blue and purple grip sleeves, picture above.

I haven’t been asked to write about this. I have no reason to promote them except for the fact that I stumbled across their post on Facebook and thought they were awesome! I haven’t tried them for myself yet, but if you want to donate a little to my Kyberlight fund, I’d be more than happy to buy one and follow up to this article with a review. If you do, please include a message telling me it’s for the Kyberlight review, so I don’t go spending it on something else 🙂

Let me know what you think, and have a great day.

 

 

Blog of Definite Purpose?

I used to write for a popular Geeky website. I learned a lot about blogging in the process. It was fun. I could do what I already did, which is trawl through Facebook and the web in general looking for geeky/nerdy things. All I had to do was write one article per day. On a good day this was easy, even with working a 40+ hours per week day job. On a bad day I couldn’t find anything I’d want to write about, or someone had covered it already, or life just got in the way.

I decided to do my own thing, and write about whatever I wanted. This has resulted in a lot of self-indulgent nonsense and has occasionally hurt people’s feelings. I think it’s time to go back to geeky articles. I enjoy it, and I actually have the time to commit to it. I’m no-longer working a full-time job as well as trying to find time for my own writing, and a social life as well.

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These new articles won’t be about my progress as a writer, or about the emotions I’ve been processing, or any self-centred pretentiousness. They’ll be about Books, Games, Art, Science, Technology, Comics, Movies, and anything else that I find interesting. I’m going to try and keep it to new developments, rather than re-hashing articles you’ve already seen show up on your timeline at least a half-dozen times already. However, occasionally I might find something that’s already been discussed, but I have something I’d like to say about it anyway. You may still see posts about my story ideas too, from time to time.

I’ll be making use of categories and tabs to make the articles easier to find, and sharing them to topic specific Facebook Pages I already had set up from forever ago. I may have to add new ones as the need arrises. For example. Today I saw an article about the classic 80’s teenage vampire flick “The Lost Boys” getting it’s own series on the CW. I don’t currently have a page set up that fits this news.

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If I end up writing an article on it, it’ll probably end up on my “Gothic, Morbid & Beautiful” page, though at some point I may also have to make another page for anything TV & Movie related. I had considered slipping the details of the TV version of “The Lost Boys” into the tail end of this article, but I’m thinking it deserves one to itself.

Feel free to send me any suggestions, leads, or geeky topics you’d like me to rant about. I’m still just trying to get myself out there, so I won’t charge you for product reviews like some other blogs do. I’ll take a donation if you’re offering, but the way I see it, you’ll be doing me a favor by giving me something to write about that could draw more traffic to my page and get build an audience. Click the ‘Contact Me’ me tab at the top of the page or this link.

If you’re new to this page, take a look around. If you’re a sci-fi fan you might be interested to know that I’m working on a book called Hermes925. Click the drop down menu above to read what I’ve written so far. Follow me so you don’t miss what happens next.

Have a great day.

 

Mum’s Back!

I’m going to start with a video. This is the first 5 minutes of my Dad and I driving out of Pontgarreg this morning. Just because.

Mum has spent the last four nights in Dalton visiting my Grandparents and making sure the guest room at the bungalow will be ready for me to take up residence. The nieces were gone too, spending time with their father. They all came back today on the same train. Sometimes the trains here in the UK are a little weird.

The train they were on was supposed to split into two shorter trains at a town in Wales called Machynlleth. Don’t ask me how to pronounce that. I know that the double ‘l’ is pronounced softly and sounds more like ‘hl’, and the ‘th’ doesn’t sound the way you expect either.

Anyway, they were supposed to have two drivers, but they didn’t. As a result the half of the train that was supposed to continue on to Aberystwyth, where we’d already arranged to meet them at the train station, was cancelled. My sister has her own car, so she went up to Machynlleth to collect our Mum, and her daughters. Dad and I got a little more guy time in.

Last time he and I were in Aberystwyth, there were two stores we wanted to look around in weren’t open. It was a monday, and they only open tuesday thru saturday. We took the opportunity to check them out. Pic dump!

As you can see from the pictures, both stores contained a joyous mish-mash of geeky stuff from various fandoms. DC, Marvel, Game of Thrones, X-files, Dr Who, Game of Thrones, Family Guy and much more. Rickety Ramshackle even had Laurel and Hardy! Dad walked away from Other Dimensions with a Doctor Who coffee mug and a clockwork spinning Tardis!

I rather like the new phone I picked up while in Carmarthen, and decided to get a pay-as-you-go sim card for it, so I’d have a fully functioning phone while I’m waiting for Mum to order the spare one from her plan. Here’s some other shots of Aberystwyth and other places between there and Pontgarreg.

I’ve skipped a bit. Before we could go back to Pontgarreg, we had to meet up with my Sister, Mum and the girlies. They showed up right as I got my new minutes loaded. I couldn’t resist loading up Pokemon Go! to test out my new data plan as we all walked back into Aberystwyth. Dad and I wanted to introduce them to the cafe we had gone to on Monday, MG’s. Just as before the food was great, even though we could only get ‘light bites’ at that time of day.

Mum was exhausted from her trip back from Dalton with the little ones. We decided to go back home. I’d used up all my Pokeballs before we got back to the car, so I missed out on a Muk. I managed to hit some Pokestops as we drove past though, but then used all of them up when we got back and found a Drowsee in the driveway! No-one else in the car was even remotely interested.

Today’s poke-haul was a Paras, 2 Pidgeys, a Ponyta, a Weedle, a Kakuna, a Pidgeotto, an Eevee, and of course the Drowsee. That last one got me to level 5. This is only the second time I played, the first being while wandering the airport. You may recall that prior to having nothing to do for nearly 12 hours in an airport I was skeptical of Pokemon Go! Besides being disappointed, but not really surprised, to discover that there are no pokestops or gyms in the village of Pontgarreg, it seems like harmless fun. I just now caught another Weedle!

After she’d rested and recovered from the trip, Mum and I talked a little about the layout for my new room in Dalton, figuring out where my bed, desk an Xbox might go. We also talked a little about my recovery, my writing (she loves it), and one of our favourite books ever, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrel. It’s nice to have Mum back. Dad and I have had some fun, but now we can really get things done! She’s always there for me.

Dad did point out that I had a few words missing from my Hermes925 excerpt, so here’s the updated version, now with comments enabled. Click here!

Daleks, Demiro’s and Dude-time

Dad and I had another guy’s day out. This time we went to Cardiff, Wales to see ‘The Doctor Who Experience‘! It wasn’t just awesome, it was awemuch! If you are even a tiny bit of a Dr Who fan, you must come check it out. I wouldn’t consider myself a Whovian, in fact several of my American friends are way more excited about the last of the Time-Lords than I. Despite that, ‘The Doctor Who Experience’ is pretty epic.

*Spoiler alert – skip down to the paragraph beginning “After that..” if you’d rather see for yourself*

The building is located in Cardiff Bay. Before you even get in the building, you can see a Tardis standing out in the bay on a slim structure. When you get inside there’s several daleks, including one built out of lego, another Tardis, and a couple on costume replicas in the lobby. You start out you’re in a Gallifreyan museum, in which a curator hands you each a pass and advises you not to touch anything ‘because we don’t know how your human dna will react with Gallifreyan technology.’ After a brief celebration of the Doctor and his many faces, they track the Tardis and bring it up on screen. We get to watch helplessly as the Tardis is attacked by space dwelling time-squids.

The interaction of these creatures and the Tardis causes a time-space rift to open in the museum. The curator is genuinely shocked to discover that we can enter the heart of the Tardis itself. The Doctor himself, his 12th regeneration, notices our intrusion. At first it seems he’d rather leave us trapped in the labyrinthian corridors of the Tardis, but he soon realises he could make use of us. We are to find time-crystals that have been scattered through time and space to strengthen the Tardis and stop the aliens.

The Tardis materialises within itself to allow us a way out, and we find ourselves in the control chamber. The Doctor talks us through working together to fly the Tardis to the site of the first crystal. It’s a bumpy ride, but we land safely on the Dalek’s home planet Skaro. The damaged and destroyed husks of Daleks are everywhere, and the first crystal is lodged in one of them. A brave volunteer removes the crystal, but the Dalek’s are alerted and we a forced to flee quickly to a time corridor to our next destination.

We emerged in a dark and heavily wooded graveyard. Tombstones marking the graves of Amy and Rory, and two of Clara’s stand amid several Weeping Angels. The second crystal is held in an Angel’s grip, and my Dad steps forward to retreive it! The Doctor contacts us once more to inform us that the aliens are causing the universe and time itself to fold in on itself. He gives the curator some instructions and we follow his lead, finding ourselves back in Cardiff.

Something’s different though, and it’s revealed that we’ve been transported back to 1963. Time and space are still overlapping though, so the dirty alley we’re in also contains a view screen from the Tardis and the device waiting for 3 time-crystals to be placed in it. Luckily we find the third crystal right there in a barrel of trash. The three crystals are set into place, and the alley wall explodes. Weeping Angels, Daleks and time-squid aliens tumble through the rift, lashing out at us as they go. Then the rift is closed, the wall restored, and we’d saved the universe!

Then the curator (who never broke character), leads us out of the alleyway, collects our passes and ushers us into the real museum. Starting with the control room set from the first ever episode in 1963! The place is a treasure trove of original props, sets and costumes from the series all the way through to present day. Several versions of the Tardis and it’s control room. Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans, and many other classic and modern enemies of the doctor, along with costumes worn by companions and all 12 Doctors. It was amazing!

After that we went looking for somewhere to eat and found Demiro’s. They serve traditional Welsh food as well as Italian and Spanish inspired cuisine. We happened to be there while they were preparing for a 60th Birthday party for someone, which helped make the mood seem even more celebratory! I had Calimari followed by Spaghetti Carbonara, and Dad had Crabcake then Spaghetti Marinara (containing fresh mussels, shrimp and calimari), and it was all delicious.

Another great day with my Dad, with lots of good talk both there and back. One of the things we talked about was doing short stories. I know of several publications offering money for short stories, but so far I’m putting all my effort into this blog and (slowly) my two big story projects. If I put the big stuff on the back burner for a little while perhaps I could churn out some short stories and bring in a little money? Dad pointed out that Isaac Asimov, one of the greatest sci-fi writers of all time,  got his start with short stories in magazines too.

With that in mind I have a question for you. Should I switch my focus to short stories, at least for now?

I look forward to hearing your replies, and please follow me, if you haven’t already to be kept up to date on what I decide to do. Perhaps you’ll even get so see my first drafts and help me polish them up!

Have a great day.