gishwhes

(I’ve been posting about this on my social media handles since I set up the fundraising page, but I’m writing about it here too.)

GISH (formerly GISHWHES) is the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt and has, for as long as I’ve been taking part, had a hunt item each year that’s about raising funds for a noble cause. This year we’re raising funds to clear landmines in Laos and provide prosthetics to survivors.

GISH has set the goal of collectively, across all teams, of raising at least $150,000 to help the people of Laos.

Each team is encouraged to create their own donation page that feeds into the larger campaign, as part of the hunt task. We need at least 10 people to donate to our team’s page in order for us to qualify for the item in the hunt.

So… if you have $10 to spare, please help Team Swords In Lakes to #ChangeALife this year. We’ve had 4 donations so far, putting us over 25% of our $100 fundraising goal.

Once GISH is over, I’ll share some of our highlights here (I’m not allowed to share most items before the hunt is over).

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Helping to #ChangeALife with GISH

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Comics, Podcasting, TV

An open ice hockey rink.

This past week (while falling ill with one of the worst ear infections I have ever had as an adult) I started a short form, should-be-daily podcast called Hockey and Stuff. The podcast is about ice hockey and other stuff in my life.

A lot of people have been surprised that I’ve gone deep into ice hockey this year, but I think it was inevitable. I’ve been circling ice hockey since reviewing NHL 12 back in 2011, and then a combination of things happened this year that really got be interested:

  • I started playing more NHL 18
  • I started reading the Check, Please! web comic
  • I discovered you could sign up direct through the NHL’s website to NHL TV to watch games through either the site or their mobile app

Oh, and I am part way through getting an ice hockey tattoo on my right leg. Line work is done and I just need it coloured, which is happening later this month.

But with all that going on, and the new NHL season starting, I figured a short form podcast about ice hockey would be nice to do. Plus it saves me from clogging up my main podcast, Nerds Assemble, with talk about ice hockey – which it really isn’t suited to.

I chose Anchor, because the app and site have been calling to me for a while. With its smartphone recording ability, and it’s on phone editing and ability to add in various sound bits – it’s quite easy to use and versatile. Plus Anchor users can call in to a podcast and those calls can be used in episodes. It also can distribute to a lot of podcast platforms.

It’s best listened to on the Anchor app. You can listen to Hockey and Stuff here. The site also links to where else it’s available (Stitcher, Pocket Casts, Google Podcasts, and more) and its RSS.

Hockey and Stuff

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Writing

I never really stopped writing fiction

A laptop keyboard

I haven’t updated in a while, I get that. I’m not about to make any promises here about increasing my blogging output, but I thought I’d come here and tell you all a thing.

I have written a lot over the past three years

I’ve written almost a million words of fiction in the past 3 years. It wasn’t commercial fiction, it was and is fanfic/fanfiction.

A couple of things led to this, in no particular order…

  1. Becoming a fan of Supernatural in 2015
  2. Pulling out of National Novel Writing Month in 2014
  3. My grandmother dying in 2014
  4. Becoming part of Supernatural fandom culture in 2015
  5. Stress

Fanfic writing, an activity predominantly occupied by people society would identify as female (while individual fanfic writers may not), is something I’ve previously described to myself as junk food writing.

This I’ve come to realise as I adjust to a major life change this year (I started at a new company this year, first switch in almost 6 years), is an unfair assessment.

Writing fanfic is more like the writing equivalent of stew. It’s filling and warming, making you feel good on those days that you need something to help you feel good.

And the feedback you get for posting fanfic is mostly like really well made suet based dumplings. I say mostly, because there are still terrible dumplings (commenters) out there.

But I’m not just writing fanfic

February saw me reach just over 10,000 words on an original novel. I’m hoping to have a complete first draft by the end of the year.

But I don’t think I would be writing it now if I hadn’t had the reassurance of my regular fanfic readers (yes, I have fans) who have really enjoyed what I’ve written over the past few years, and who have confirmed that my writing in general is enjoyable to read. Writing can also be a really lonely process, but fanfic writing is in this nice place where it’s as lonely as you make it. So I’m using some occasional fanfic writing to reassure me that I do definitely have skill and ability as a fiction writer.

Oh, and I’m not writing the next 50 Shades that is definitely not my kind of thing when it comes to something I’m writing as commercial fiction.

What’s the novel about?

It’s a sort of urban fantasy, southern Gothic thing set in Cornwall. I don’t want to get into specifics here as of yet.

I will also have to extensively rewrite the first few chapters after switching from third person limited to first person. Joy.

Will you hit a million words of fanfic this year?

Quite possibly.

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gishwhes

Miss Jean Louis: A Tale of Fire and Thunder, pt 1

The night of Miss Jean Louis’ birth was a most dangerous one. Her parents, whose names have been lost to the tides of history (much like many aspects of Miss Jean Louis’ life), had sought shelter in the castle home of King Arthur. This courtly location was one of the most well fortified in England at the time: Cadbury Castle, Somerset. Or as legend has come to regard it (depending on who you talk to):

Camelot Continue reading

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