Write Your First Adventure | Call of Cthulhu, part one

This is the main reason for my Creative November, Storytelling Collective‘s Write Your First Adventure – Call of Cthulhu path.

It’s another creative thing I’ve always wanted to have done. Write a Call of Cthulhu roleplaying adventure to a professional standard and have it for sale through DriveThruRPG or similar. It doesn’t even need to be available for sale, but if I’m putting some real effort into something then what’s a bit of financial renumeration?

Anyway, there’s a handy workbook to work through (and who doesn’t like a workbook to work through?)

The first so many days are all prep work with the actual writing commencing around day 7 or 8.

But I’d like to post some of the progress here too.

The first activity is a bit of personal reflection.

Activity One

How do you currently feel as you embark on this workshop?

I’m nervous. But excited.

What is one thing you hope to get out of it?

A completed Call of Cthulhu adventure of a reasonable quality, that other folks can enjoy too.

Also, to have another completed project under my belt. I’m not good at finishing things.

What do you feel nervous/anxious about?

Just the uncertainty of a project I’ve not done before. I’ve written wee scenarios and adventures for RPG gaming in my teens but nothing coherent.

Write a positive affirmation for yourself.

I can do this. Others can and I’m not an idiot. I’m a creative person. And I can finish this if I apply myself.

I’ll post the next one later.

Call of Cthulhu
Storytelling Collective

Creative November, Part One

First things first, I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year. But I am doing a Creative November.

What does that mean?

Well, a bit of writing everyday.

It doesn’t have to be main story stuff. Could just be a bit of worldbuilding, some character work or expanding on some in-world terminology.

I’m using a new notebook I treated myself to a week or so ago. I’m a whore for a new notebook. 🙂

So, yesterday I put the first few hundred words down on a new story. It has no proposed length but I have an end(of sorts) in mind.

There’s no pressure, just committing some mental resourses to something I used to enjoy. Also, it’s good for the mental health to have something to do that isn’t just the mundane housework.

What’s the story?

It’s starting as a police procedural type on a distant, recently settled world. I have some mad ideas to add to it. No wizards or giant robots though. I don’t think it’s that kind of tale. 🙂


A Few Bad Poems

My daughter is home/remote schooling at the moment due to the Covid-19 situation here in Bonnie Scotland and part of her school work today is to write a poem, as it’s Burn’s Day. I’m not much for Robert Burns or poetry but, in an attenpt to encourage the child who isn’t either, I’ve written a few bad poems for you.

A Mean Old Man

I’m a mean old man
so my daughter says.
I make her eat her greens but only
every other, other, other, other day.

Her room she will clean
when her feet can’t be seen
from standing down below
under her first floor window.

Washing? Behind her ears?
One of her deepest fears,
to disturb the potatoes growing there
that are handy snacks. (For when her dinner isn’t on time.)

There’s never enough.
Dad! is the cry.
There’s nowhere good in the house to hide.
(It’s not that big and I think she knows all the better hiding places.)

and there’s this masterpiece:

Little Froggy (or desperation in story-telling)

Oh, the little froggy,
croak, croak, croak.

Down to the shops
to get some smoke.

That doesn’t make sense
but at least it rhymes.

Poor little froggy,
Crimes, times, chimes.

No, YOU’RE welcome.

Robert Burns – Wikipedia
Burns Supper – Wikipedia

Ghostland – NaNoWriMo 2020

Howdy, folks.

In recent years I’ve been dodging NaNoWriMo as I’ve not really seen its worth, or not worthwhile for me, at least. (NaNoWriMo, for those who don’t know, is National Novel Writing Month. A challenge to write a 50,000 word novel, or 50k words of a novel, through the month of November. I successfully finished it, I think, in 2008.) And that was my intention for 2020.

But, as is the case sometimes, I have a story idea that I just can’t shift.

It came as a title.


I think, if I remember correctly, that I was looking at ghost story novels and collections, and the title popped into my head. I had no inkling that it was going to be a working title of anything. That happened over the course of a few days.

And then I thought to myself, “Maybe I should try NaNoWriMo this year?”

So, there we are. 🙂

And the tinkering with story ideas and doing some writing fits nicely with 356 Days Of Writing. More on that later.


365 Days of Writing – Day Two

It was my 45th birthday yesterday. And I set myself a mad, unattainable goal for the full 365 days that I’ll be 45. I’ll write something every day, to keep my hand in, and make myself a bit more focused.

Lockdown has been easing in Scotland, and the ladies of Casa Desertofzin are back at work/school so the days are a lot more peaceful. I have time, is what I’m saying, for an small daily project until I’m back at work.

I didn’t post yesterday but Day One had me writing some notes on a story for a Black Library submission window. It’s for the Warhammer Horror imprint, a few novels and short story collections of which I’ve read and been really impressed by.

So, that was yesterday, typing out some ideas, a character or two, and trying to get the feel of it down.

Today, Day Two, I’m building on that. Trying to get a more solid foundation for the story to sit on. If I’m happy with my progress I might try to throw down actual words.

the most adjective thing in the world

My wife is training to be a teacher this year. And tomorrow, on her placement, she is teaching a lesson on variables for a 3rd year class. Oh, it’s Computing Science she’s teaching.

She has asked me to throw together a story which she, and the class, can use for plugging data into.

The variables, if you’re interested, are name, place, adjective, object, number, comment.

And here it is, just for fun.

Travelling /Name/, the salesman, approached the door. The box almost slipped out of his grasp as he used his elbow to push the doorbell. /Name/ held his breath. Was anyone home? It was the first house he had tried since leaving /Place/.

A light flickered on through the frosted glass.

He could hear muttering, two voices arguing. He tried his best salesman smile.

The door opened.

“Have I got a bargain for you,” /Name/ said.

“Please, go away,” said the man whose house it was. “I don’t want any trouble.”

“I don’t bring trouble, friend,” said /Name/. “I bring opportunity!” He patted the box. “This.”

“I don’t…” began the man.

“This,” repeated /Name/, louder this time, “is the most /Adjective/ thing in the world. And it can be all yours.”

“I’m really not…” stammered the man.

“Interested?” finished the salesman. “You haven’t even seen it yet…” And before the man could say another word he opened the lid of the box. A golden glow shone from within.

“It’s so /Adjective/,” said the man. “/Adjective/ /Object/. I’ve never seen so many.”

“I’ve /Number/ of them.”

“How did you fit them all in?”

“Well, /Comment/,” he said with a wink.

update : writing

Let’s be honest here. My interest in writing anything at all died on its arse. Sure I’d have moments where I missed the thrill of putting pen to paper but generally? Nah. Forget it.

So, has anything changed in that regard?

Maybe. Kind of.

There was a recent submissions window for the Black Library, which is Games Workshop’s fiction publishing arm. They were looking for a 500 words of the start, or thereabouts, of a short story based on one of their main properties. In previous years when they’ve done this I’ve shown an interest but never had anything ready in time. This year I thought it might be interesting to try but as I mentioned above, my heart really hasn’t been in the whole word bashing thing. So I left it.

And I don’t know what changed. On Sunday I thought, why not, and I bashed out five hundred words that afternoon. I polished it up and, with a summary of where I thought the story would go, I submitted it Monday evening. Now, I can’t actually believe I did that as THAT’S NOT SOMETHING I DO.

But it was on Monday.

So this isn’t me saying that I’m back on the wagon. Far from it. But if another submission window comes along that raises an eyebrow or a weird idea pops into my head that just won’t leave me alone, then I might bash some words out for it. I’ll see.

As for the Black Library submission? It took me by surprise. The whole actually submitting part of it. I’m not exactly expecting anything from them, but you never know.