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. 🙂

Back on the ‘Write’ Track

It’s been a good week. The client that hired me to ghostwrite some posts for his Cast Iron forum contacted me again to do three times as many comments for his new Reef Tank forum. I’ve only got ten of them written so far, but I’ll have the rest done by the end of the week.

If you happen to be a reefer yourself (yes, that’s really what reef tank hobbyists call themselves) by all means check the fledgling website out and supplement my ghostwritten comments with some genuine expertise. I knew nothing about the hobby when he asked me. I’ve had to watch a ton of YouTube videos and make lots of notes to get my head around it. It’s a pretty cool hobby.

Also, a local pub that’s been closed for a while is getting new owners. They announced on Facebook that they needed some help moving in, so I volunteered! They were really nice people and even gave me £30 for doing it! So I bought myself this:

DarkCrystalGame

I saw a post about it on Facebook and I had to get it. For those that don’t know, The Dark Crystal is one of the best fantasy movies of all time. Every character in the movie, as well as all the plants and animals, is a creation of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.  I’m really looking forward to playing it.

I’m keeping it sealed until I can do an unboxing video. Then after that, my family and I are going to play it. There’ll be a review article written on GamesNGeekery shortly after that. I haven’t been keeping it up to date, but maybe this will help me get back into the habit. Though it may end up just being and occasional whim rather than a regular thing because…

The best part of the week though was going to the Kidwelly Writers group. I was putting it off because the last writing group I was a little depressing. They didn’t seem to talk much about their own writing, or at all. The sessions involved doing writing exercises that the organiser got from a book.

The Kidwelly group, however, was awesome! They were very talkative and friendly, and they seem to actually have ambition! One of them already has a novel out called ‘Not Thomas’ and another of them is writing full-time, publishing his ‘Deathworlders’ series on Reddit. Apparently his fans insisted he set up a Patreon page so they could sponsor him. It took him three years, but now he doesn’t have to do anything but write.

It reassured me that it was possible to build up a full-time income just from writing stories. I had the right idea back when I was writing a new Hermes925 entry every week, but instead of sharing it on Facebook and Twitter, I should have been using Reddit! This is going to take some studying up because I’m not familiar with Reddit at all. In fact the few times I have checked it out it seems like a confusing mess of categories that I’m not even sure how to navigate. Yet.

I’ve already committed to making The Haunted Story: Investigation and Hermes925 into books (I promised the artist that made the book cover for The Haunted Story: Dead Letter that she could do the next few books as well), but maybe I can turn The War on Magic into a Reddit series after I’ve got the knack of Reddit and tweaked my Patreon page.

The Haunted Story Continues!

 The Haunted Story: Dead Letter is my first work of fiction on Amazon. If you’re into horror, ghost stories and gore, then this book is perfect for you. Especially if you’re just looking for a quick read, and it’s only 99p!

Dead Letter cover.jpg

I’m currently writing the story of Janet Burrows. The homicide detective that’s been assigned to this case. I’ve been writing a little more each day, even when I don’t feel like it or it’s been a hard shift at the night-job, or I’ve been dealing with drama in the Creative Writers group (it’s inevitable with a Facebook Group this big)!

I want to get Janet’s story up quickly. It’s a full story, not just a letter. It will show you, the reader, what Mark Anderson can do now that he’s dead! Originally I was going to try to write the story in journal entries and case notes written by Detective Burrows, but that’s not the way it’s coming out.

Book 2 is written in the third person perspective, which allows the reader to be able to see the big picture and see what the characters don’t. First person might have made it feel more personal and immediate, but based on the way the story is taking shape, I think people are going to still be reading the book while under a blanket, clutching a pillow and yelling, “No! Don’t do that!” at the book!

I’m not sure what to call book 2 yet. I may just call it ‘The Haunted Story’ and leave subtitles for the supplements (like Dead Letter). However, I’m also planning to write a sequel following a journalist/ blogger that’s determined to get the details of the case for an article. Maybe I should name each book for its main character?

This would make the story I’m writing now ‘Detective Burrows’ or just ‘Burrows’. This sounds good, but that would also mean changing ‘Dead Letter’ to ‘Anderson’. This sounded ridiculous in my head, but now that I’ve written it, I think I like it.

I had intended to begin publishing Hermes925, but apparently, Janet really wanted to tell her story! I also found out that the ‘Diversions from Drudgery’ magazine project is still a go! I already agreed to publish the story through them, a few entries at a time. The revisions I was planning to make can wait. If I make any changes now, it will confuse readers that have already started reading the current version.

I’m also pleased to see that the ‘UbiquiCity’ project is making progress too. The  Sci-Fi RPG sourcebook, which includes a short story written by me, should soon be available on RPGnow.com. I’m sure I’ll end up writing an article about it, and another for the first issue of DfD, as soon as they both become available.

‘The War on Magic’ and ‘Timechain’ stories have both been put back on hold, for now, though I’m sure I’ll dip back into them if and when the mood strikes me. For now, ‘The Haunted Story: Burrows’ is my priority.

I have, however, also been trying to update my social media presence. Both LinkedIn and GoodReads have been recommended to me by fellow writers. LinkedIn to expand my professional connections including fellow writers, editors, games designers and movie-producers. GoodReads to find and interact with my audience, and also to cross-promote with other writers.

Updating my LinkedIn profile already allowed me to notice an opportunity I wouldn’t have been aware of otherwise. A writing job working for the company that designed my favourite game system. It’s been on my ‘dream jobs’ list for quite some time. I haven’t heard anything back yet, but it’s only been four days since the deadline. If I don’t get it, I’ll keep networking and writing, and try again the next time a similar opportunity arises.

I’m still playing with GoodReads. In fact, this blog post is motivated by the fact I just linked my WordPress blog feed with my GoodReads author page. If you’re a fellow GoodReads Author reading this, and you know how to update the cover image for my book (it’s already changed on Amazon, but hasn’t updated on GoodReads yet) please talk me through the process as I have yet to figure it out myself.

If anyone has any more tips on using GoodReads and LinkedIn, or recommended cross-promotion groups, I’d love to hear them. I am, of course, still on Facebook and Twitter.

Have a great day 🙂