Felix’s War Diary: 11 November 1918

Monday 11th

It was a great civic reception “Poincare” got yesterday. it was fine weather and aeroplanes overhead dropped messages into the square. To-day just before marching out, we had the news read out to us that hostilities would cease at 11AM to-day. We left at 11AM. and marched 19 kilos to Quievy with full packs up. Everyone is smiling now the war is over. We go on in the morning to Beauvais.

Diving Under The Sea

The sun was shining bright and clean, which was part of it. The warming day felt like memories, not so cold you’d flinch, not so hot you’d ever slow down. Just right, and you squinted as you checked the sky was still blue, and you were a kid so the blue went up and up forever. 

Walking with my daughter along the riverbank, our dog pacing nose-low through the uncut grass, and she said “Daddy, let’s play a game.” We held our breath and pretended to dive under the water as we walked. I made the sound of bubbles, enjoying the sight of her unbrushed hair tipping over her forehead as she pretended to swim ahead. And then she surfaced and turned to me with an amazing smile and asked, “Did you see it?”

There was something happening, I could sense it even then as I replied “I think I saw a shark,” and she said “The shark is still far away, but did you see the skeleton? Come and look!” She dived below the surface again. 

I followed. And we went down below the water together.

A bridge ahead of us softly hummed the wheel-songs of mid-morning traffic. Alongside us, our dog inspected the long grasses on the bank with one paw lifted and tail stiff. The river calmly tried on new dresses, giving each shimmering gown one moment then discarding it forever. 

There was a skeleton in the water. It was deep enough that the colours were all washed out, but still light enough to see. Sand beneath us, and waving long fronds of sea-weed, brown and soft green, and the slow progress of water snails. The skeleton was sitting against a rock, empty eyes gazing out at my diving companion and me.

We surfaced again, and our eyes met. “I saw it,” I said to her, and she told me that the skeleton was probably old, maybe from pirate days and there might be treasure there, but that shark was coming closer so we had to be quick – and I agreed and she took a deep breath and down we went again – 

– a long moment, swimming into the shadow of the great bridge. We came up for air again, and she said to me – “we made it”. 

And without waiting for any reply she swung ahead of me, skipping to catch up with the dog.

I wanted to stay down there, but the skeleton dissolved into images and my footfall bore my weight again. A child, and a dog, and the big blue sky. I’d felt it. 

I remember how it was, to play. On weekday afternoons I look around my old schoolyard, now hers, while I wait for the last bell to ring, and I can sense the ghosts of distant planets and secret tunnels. I remember what we did, and what we said, and how easy it was. But I don’t remember how it felt. Perhaps we have to lose the feeling, as we get older. We start looking too hard at the world, seeing more of it than we once did, but always less as well. And yes we can still choose to imagine, can hurl ourselves into imagination in ever greater ways, but how it felt when we were children – that slips away.

But I’d felt it. Something about the rhythm of it – disappearing into an unknown, silent and separate, and then bursting into the air and telling each other what we’d seen – some barrier fell away. I caught her, just for a moment. And I knew that feeling, I knew it from a long time ago. It was something I’d never expected to feel again. I felt blessed, and uplifted, and calm.

With the dog on a lead, we walked across the bridge to the other side of the river. Cars and trucks passed by, engines raw. I watched my daughter ahead of me, up on her toes to look over the side and down at the river. And I looked down too; down into the water.

Just hanging

“Going viral” is such a weirdly unpleasant phrase for content spread on the internet. Like, the metaphor works of course – except for the bit of the metaphor that equates a funny youtube video with getting really sick. Ah well, I guess it won’t be too long before the association between “viral” and “sickness” becomes so obscure it becomes a pub quiz question.

(Of course there will be pub quiz nights in the future. They existed in the past as well. What do you think all those mysterious hooded strangers did to pass the time between handing out quests to brave adventurers?)

I had a wee taste of virality last week when my 200-word roleplaying game “Holding On” suddenly started getting shared around Facebook and Twitter by people in the roleplaying hobby community. And I’m being a bit silly by even using the v-word, because the community is small and the section of it that shared my game was a tiny subset of that – this Facebook post had eighty-plus shares, this tweet had around a hundred. I have no idea how many people actually saw it, but I scanned through many many comments, and I was contacted by a few people saying “hey, is this yours?” Very gratifying.

The game is a funny little thing. Two people play, and one of them is hanging over an abyss. The other is holding on to them so they don’t fall. It was intended to work as a metaphor for any situation where someone is slipping away forever, but primarily as a very literal representation of the subject matter: someone is hanging on with nothing below them but a very, very long fall.

This isn’t the first time I’ve played with this imagery. Many years ago I wrote a very short story called “Hanging Tough” in which some teenage guys are trying (and failing) to impress some teenage girls by, you guessed it, dangling themselves over an abyss. I intended this as a shorthand caricature of the kind of dumb risktaking engaged in by Those Foolish Youths – again, a metaphor, not something real. Somewhere in the back of my head was that scene in The Lost Boys where they hang on to the underside of a rail bridge and one by one lose their grip, dropping into the mist below. Of course, Kiefer and his gang could fly. Real people wouldn’t so easily take that sort of risk – even for Those Foolish Youths, this is surely a step too far.

And then those photos started coming out of Russia.

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Oh heck. I can hardly even look at them.

Anyway. I’m not really going anywhere with this. I guess the takeaway is, hanging over an abyss is some potent stuff, and I’m pleased I made a game about it. That’s right, I have the lucrative “perilous dangling” subgenre all sewn up! Yay for me.

Those climber pics are from here. Rolling Stone talked to these climbers in 2014.

You can find the game Holding On, and some designer’s notes, at my Taleturn site. (Taleturn is where I put all my game/story/interactivity stuff. Check it out, and follow me on Twitter…)

And you can find the story “Hanging Tough” in the anthology Urban Driftwood, which is now available free in PDF from Dan Rabarts’s site.

Wee Beastie 2015 Omnibus

On Facebook I share random snippets from life with our Wee Long-leggedy Beastie. Here’s the 2015 collection.

(Old omnibus editions: 2013 part 1; 2013 part 2; 2014)

Jan 13:

Wee Beastie has been in bed for over 90 minutes. And her voice comes ringing out from her bedroom: “Let it go, let it go, let it go, let it gooooo…”

Jan 14:

WB: I’m trying to decide whether I’ll be a paleontologist when I grow up or whether I’ll be like you.
Me: Well, you could be me, but also a paleontologist!
WB: Nope. I’d be like you. Boring daddy.
Me: Boring daddy!!
WB: Yes, I’ll be boring daddy. Just doing what you do.

Jan 16:

Wee Beastie is setting up a house for her toys.
WB: Keep passing me things dad!
Me: I’ve already given you all the furniture.
WB: But I still need all the cars.
Me: Cars?
WB: You know, those mechanical driving things? Let’s go!

Jan 16:

The Wee Beastie continues to be uninterested in actually going to sleep:
WB: DAD!
Cal: My darling, you should be asleep!
*pause*
WB: I AM ASLEEP!

Jan 17:
Via Cal:

waiting for the paddington movie to start.

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Jan 19:

Playing Snakes & Ladders with the Wee Beastie. She calls rolling the dice “wiggling”. And she keeps predicting the number she’s about to roll! It’s uncanny. “I hope I get a four! Yay now I’m wiggling! It’s a four!”

Jan 19:
Via Cal:

My Wee Beastie writes me beautiful cards, with a nod to the existential. As dictated to Morgan Davie

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Jan 20:

Summertime! Wee Beastie and Mae the dog.

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Jan 27:

Wee Beastie and I have invented a new dessert. WB calls it “Chocolate Mixup”. Take some banana and mash it up, then mix in some crumbled weetbix. Melt some chocolate and mix that in too. And then add a few tiny marshmallows. Spoon into greased tiny muffin tray and chuck into the freezer until they hold together!
They are pretty nom. Well done Wee Beastie.

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Jan 30:

Wee Beastie: There’s only one way to hide bread from a dog.
*dramatic pause*
Wee Beastie: Eat it up!
*devours the bread*

Feb 2:

Wee Beastie just asked why we don’t fall off the Earth, because it’s a ball and we’re on the bottom of the ball. She listened carefully as I explained gravity as clearly as I could. Then I told her she asks great questions. Her reply:
“It’s because I have three brains. They are called Charley, Sue and Amelia. Now what if a kid flies out into space and eats the moon?”

Feb 13:

Wee Beastie has been figuring out death for the last month or two. It pops up at random times, like today, without warning:
WB: Dad, make Mikey say “I love you too much for you to die out”
(Mikey is one of her cuddly friends)
Me: What was that Wee Beastie?
WB: Make Mikey say “I love you too much for you to die out “. You know how you die and get put in the ground? Like Poppa? He died. Like that.
Me: “I love you very much and I don’t want you to die.”
WB: “Oh, it’s okay. It’s a long time.”
Me: “It won’t happen for a long time?”
WB: “No it will be a hundred years.”
Me: “Oh. Now I feel a bit better.”
WB: Okay. Dad can I watch a DVD?
This is how it goes. Kids are always thinking.

Feb 14:
Via Cal:

wee beastie and her best friend

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Feb 20:

So yesterday just before dinnertime the Wee Beastie fell at a playground. It was a pretty big one, well over my head, two metres plus.
I have two thoughts:
(1) Man, that sure is a special kind of stomach lurch when you watch your child fall. Not keen to feel that again any time soon.
(2) Kids are obviously made of rubber or something. Only injury is a few face scratches.

Feb 20:

Wee Beastie pulls a blanket over her curled-up body.
WB (muffled): I’m a blanket!
Me: Oh, look at that blanket on the couch. That looks comfy. Maybe I’ll lie down on it.
WB (muffled): No, no, pick up the blanket and put it somewhere soft!
Me: Hmm, maybe I’ll put this blanket on the big bed.
I scoop up the blanket complete with lump of child, and put it on the big bed. I smooth it out.
WB (muffled): Now lie down on it!
Me: Ahh, now I’ll have a rest.
I lie on the bed next to the blanket and carefully drop my arm over it.
Me: What a comfy blanket.
WB (muffled, quiet): And the blanket was very happy.
Being a dad is pretty choice some days.

Mar 10:

Wee Beastie: Do you know why they are called Girl Guide biscuits?
Me: No, why?
WB: Because there are girls who sell them, and they are for guides, which means when you are guarding something. You have them when you are a guard.
Me: What kinds of things do they guard?
WB: Oh you know. When there are dragons that want to take the jewels on a necklace. And so you have a Girl Guide biscuit so you don’t get hungry while you do the guarding.

April 2:

My birthday card: “Dear Dad, You’ve been the best Dad in the whole world. Love from Wee Beastie and mummy and Mae. And have a nice time however old you are.”

April 8:

Wee Beastie currently taking surveillance-type photos of toys she intends to kidnap. This game is weird.

April 15:

Wee Beastie dancing around the back garden singing about how much she loves playing “cheerio fetch” with Mae the dog, and playing cheerio fetch at the same time. (Cheerio fetch is a game she made up where you throw pieces of cocktail sausage, and the dog runs to eat them, that’s the whole game.)

April 18:

Wee Beastie was looking up at the hills that frame the Hutt Valley.
WB: I want to go right up a mountain.
Me: And what would you do when you got to the top?
WB: I would grab hold of a cloud and hold it tightly against my tummy.
Me: And what would you do with it?
WB: I would run back down to the bottom and carry it home and put it in a birdcage and then I’d hang the birdcage from a tree in the garden and then whenever we wanted things to be wet we could go and stand under it.

April 25::

Portrait of Cal Greaney by the Wee Beastie.

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May 7:

At a beachside park after rain, Wee Beastie sees a rainbow. It comes down just over the trees, on the beach!
WB: You know that there is always a treasure at the ends of a rainbow.
Me: Is there?
WB: Yes! The rainbow always puts a treasure at the end. We’ll go and find it! Come on!
The rainbow disappears as we walk towards the trees.
WB: Quickly dad! We need to find the treasure first! Can I run ahead to the beach and search for it?
Me: Sure.
She runs down to the beach. I wonder how long it will take before she gives up the search, but about thirty seconds later she skips back.
WB: Found the treasure!
She has a small bouncy ball with stripes. The stripes are in all the colours of the rainbow.
WB: The rainbow found a ball and put rainbow colours on it!
She is delighted. And so am I.

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May 13:

Wee Beastie busily turning her dolls into elephants.

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May 15:

Wee Beastie decided to start a mammoth tidy-up/cleaning/vaccuuming session and has just spent last ninety minutes encouraging me to keep up with her. It’s upside-down day everybody!

May 28:

Wee Beastie: I drew a picture of you when you were a baby and only had seven teeth, four on top and three on the bottom.

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June 9:

Wee Beastie has made a picture of how we should spend the afternoon. It includes:
Gardening
Going to Percy’s Reserve
Writing words on the whiteboard
Blowing bubbles
Drawing pictures
Buying mummy a new dress
Doing her hair
Make Randall a birthday present
Take pictures with a camera
Draw some faces
Pick up Mae the dog
Bake Randall a tiny birthday cake

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June 12:

Wee beastie sickness hits day eight. (Best day so far.)

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June 17:

Wee Beastie excited by postcard from Paris from Alasdair Sinclair

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June 20:

For reasons I still don’t understand, Wee Beastie took home a Power Rangers DVD from the library this week. She’s really into it. She calls them the “Nature Rangers”, also for reasons I don’t understand. She also enjoys spotting the Sky Tower when it pops up in the background. And I find it quite entertaining too! As WB DVD choices go, this one is a solid success.

June 20:

Ella Munro is wanting more warm fuzzies and kids and pets in her FB stream. So here’s the Wee Beastie and Mae the Dog.

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July 3:

Grinning Wee Beastie cavorts around the room to Lorde. Abruptly stops, turns off music mid-track and comes over to me with serious face.
WB: Daddy. I’m so happy because one of my dreams came true.
Me: One of your dreams came true?
WB: One of my wishes. I danced just how I wanted. Every time I looked down at my feet they were going to just the right places!
Me: That’s fantastic.
WB: I’m so happy right now.
She runs back to turn the music on again and resumes.

July 3:

Walking dog with Wee Beastie a couple days ago, suddenly realise she has stopped skipping about and is hovering extremely close to me.
Me: What’s up?
WB: There’s a man behind me dressed as a killer.
I turn. There’s a slender, unassuming young man wearing a camo-pattern jacket. He overtakes us.
Me: I don’t think you need to worry.
WB: You’re right, you’re right. Because he’s only half dressed as a killer, right, okay.
She starts skipping again.

July 10:

“Nurse, would you please blow my nose for me?”
Playing doctors with a sick Wee Beastie. Stupid cold has taken up all her first week of holidays. Bother.

July 21:

Thanks to some DVDs inherited from James H. Liu, the Wee Beastie has discovered Pokemon and has immediately become a Team Rocket apologist. It’s Randall Boggs all over again. (Which was Scarface Claw all over again.)

August 3:

Wee Beastie has scraped her knee.
WB: There’s blood! I need a bandage, so no-one will know.
Me: What do you mean?
WB: If you have blood then you need to cover it up so no-one knows there is blood.
Me: Why do you need to do that? Why don’t you want people to know?
WB: Because if people see you have blood they’ll be sad. And you don’t want to make people sad.

August 6:

WB just told me we’re playing “Doctor Roctor, Rock Doctor”. I’m Doctor Roctor.

August 6:

Wee Beastie getting changed:
“Aren’t these undies beautiful? These undies are as beautiful as a slug!”

August 14:

Wee Beastie at play:
“Down that way is the Wheelwoods. It is a very scary no-good forest. There are pumpkins that drive, and bash you in the face.”

August 19:

“Why did the pink paper cross the green road? To meet the purple dog! Good one right dad?” – Wee Beastie joke time

Sept 28:

Two Wee Beastie-isms:
(1) This weekend, Grandma asks WB to greet her aunt & uncle as they come to the door. WB replies: “Sorry Grandma, I’m not really into that.”
(2) Today, WB goes past a display of gift balloons, and says: “Look, that balloon has Spider-Man’s face on it! I used to like Spider-Man, but that’s not my style any more.”
Is my child a four-year-old hipster?

Oct 11:

Colouring in together with a Youtube Taylor Swift playlist on the TV. Leave room for 90 seconds to take a call from Cal. By the time I return Wee Beastie has taken off all her clothes and is dancing like a naked happy lunatic to Nicki Minaj.

Oct 14:

Wee Beastie has taken two of her Pony toys on a car journey.
WB: Dad can you talk for this pony?
Me: Okay, sure.
We both assume pony voices
WB: “We are going to have a great birthday party today!”
Me: “Yes we are!”
WB: “And then we’ll find the surprise!”
Me: “Ooh, what’s the surprise?”
WB: “You don’t know what it is.”
Me: “Can you tell me?”
WB: “Okay, do you think you are real?”
Me: “Of course I’m real, I’m a real pony.”
WB: “No you’re not.”
Me: “What do you mean?”
WB: “You’re not real. You can’t talk.”
Me: “Then what am I doing now?”
WB: “That’s Giant Daddy talking, not you. You’re just a toy.”
Me: “What?”
WB: “You’re a toy, you’re not real.”
Me: “But we’re talking!”
WB: “No, I’m a toy too. We’re both toys, we’re not real at all.”
Me: “But… but…”
WB: “Are you scared?”
Me: “Yes!”
WB: “You’re really really a toy. You’re not real.”
Me: “But that’s impossible! The implications are too horrible to contemplate!”
WB: “I know.”
Wee Beastie drops out of pony voice and says softly, to herself:
WB: But the pony didn’t know it was just a trick.
(This was a few days ago, so this won’t be as word-for-word accurate as these usually are. But it won’t be too far off. There was also a whole song she made up that I wish I could share because it was amazing.)

Oct 30:

Wee Beastie has found my copy of Heroquest. Let the monstrous tea parties commence!

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Oct 31:

Halloween open for business! At Wee Beastie’s grandparents’ house.

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Nov 7:

Wee Beastie, contemplating death & dying:
“I think when people die, they come out of their bodies and they jump into the wind. And then they become part of the wind.”
(This was a few months ago; a visit to the cemetery yesterday reminded me.)

Nov 11:

Just overheard Wee Beastie in the next room: “Fear is the enemy! If we just believe in ourselves, we might just beat them, those lousy power rangers!” Apparently she’s giving inspirational speeches to the bad guys. Again.

Nov 13:

Wee Beastie’s epic My Little Pony game now has pony figures spread all over living room and kitchen. There’s a zombie pony causing mass panic, and it turns out some ponies are secretly Power Rangers. So we’re shaping up for a major Power Ponies vs Zombie Pony showdown. Better get back to it.
[in comments an hour later] Well, if you’re wondering how the showdown went, you’ll be pleased to hear the Sylvanian Families had a lovely picnic. 4yo children don’t hold with any of that modern plot continuity nonsense.

Nov 16:

Continuing her habit of renaming things*, Wee Beastie has today told me about “Monster Hide” (Monster High), a story about monsters who are really good at hiding. Works for me.
* She calls Power Rangers “Nature Rangers” and, inexplicably, is insistent that Lego Friends is called “Eema Girls”

Nov 29:

Proper summer vibe at our place, and it feels like Pearl Jam weather. I throw on Ten. Wee Beastie dances about. “This is pretty good music, dad. It’s really monstery.”

Dec 3:

Me: okay Wee Beastie, by the time I am out of the shower you’ll be dressed for kindy, right?
WB: Yes dad!
Instead, this.

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Dec 11:

[via Cal] About to start decorating the tree. This could take some time…..

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Dec 11:

[Via Cal] Done! Very happy!

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Dec 20:

[via Cal] She’s five!

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Dec 23:

Last day of kindy was Monday. The Wee Beastie was excited, of course. It was a special day. Moera Kindergarten is a treasure and we’ve been privileged to be part of the community there.

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Dec 24:

[via Cal] sprinkling reindeer food

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Jan 1, 2016:

Serious discussion

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Happy New Year from us all!

“True Love Match” launches today!

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I’m excited to release into the wild the full edition of my game of romance and reality TV, True Love Match. Yep, it’s The Bachelor: The Role-Playing Game.

You and some friends move between two rooms and pretend to go on dates with each other, and if it works right you all end up with nightmares. NO, I mean you all end up with FUN STORIES TO TELL yeah that’s it.

The game is also a demonstration of the power of interactive experiences, which is what this whole Taleturn thing I’m doing is about.

It’s free to download and released into Creative Commons too. If any of this sounds interesting to you, go grab it! Or spread the word to those who might be into it.

Taleturn has launched!

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Introducing Taleturn – exploring the intersection of story, interactivity, and social psychology.

For a few years now I’ve been mustering all my efforts in games, writing, social change, etc under the name Taleturn. (That’s the name appearing on my invoices!) Now I’ve finally shifted that identity into the public sphere. Feels good!

Taleturn.com is the website. It’s partly a portfolio site, and partly an ongoing blog where I can share whatever I’m thinking about games and engagement and so on.

There’s also a twitter feed, @taleturn, where I’ll share links to interesting content in the games/interactivity/social psyc arena.

Please do check it out, and give me an RSS or twitter follow if this seems like your sort of thing!

Flick Kick International

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Flick Kick Football Legends, the football-kicking free-to-play mobile game I wrote for, has updated and is even more fun. I particularly like the International Cup, where your team goes to Brazil to compete after your national team gets abducted by aliens. I wrote almost all of the dumb dad-joke commentary, and the absurd little storylines that run in-between matches. I love every character, but I think I love the mad Doctor most of all.

Get the game!

That Was The Was That Was

Lots of people I know had a rubbish 2013. Sometimes a really, really rubbish 2013. Mine was pretty rough in many ways, but next to what other people were going through, it doesn’t seem so bad. So that’s something!

A lot of good stuff cut through in 2013 as well. My name was attached to some very cool projects:

I contributed a story to Baby Teeth, a horror anthology for charity. The anthology’s been getting nice reviews, too.

I co-wrote a scary adventure called Silent Night for Dale Elvy’s brilliant horror role-playing game, EPOCH. Pay what you want, all proceeds to charity, and Dale’s already turned the first batch of revenue into something concrete. Do take a look if this is your kinda thing!

I have sole credit as writer for Flick Kick Football Legends from PikPok, which is a bit of a cheat because I didn’t actually write a few tiny things like, um, the central storyline. But I did write a lot for it, and I’m proud of my contributions. it was a fun project, and it’s a fun game to boot.

I released Providence Summer, 1961, a free series plan for a role-playing game called the Dramasystem. It’s the first thing I’ve ever put out under Taleturn branding – there will be more under this name, for sure. Plus: I did the graphic design by myself and didn’t screw it up too badly! Hurrah!

I’ll shortly be kicking off the month-long buildup to Get Prepared February 22, which is an annual reminder to sort out your disaster preparedness kits, on the anniversary of the awful Christchurch earthquake. It’s still a small thing but it feels worthwhile and sustainable, and I hope it will grow.

I released into creative commons my first novel, the teenage Hutt boy saga in move. A fair number of people read along with the serialisation, and before the file host removed download stats it was clear a lot of people had grabbed the ebook. So I call that a win.

I was a foundation contributor to new blogsite The Ruminator. I used the opportunity to push myself for some more ambitious pieces, the highlight of which was my essay about kids, toys, and gender. I’m very proud of that article and it was shared pretty widely, which was extremely pleasing. I hope to write more for The Ruminator but time has been depressingly short for quite some time now.

And last but not least, the Wee Long-Leggedy Beastie was a solid source of entertainment.

So. That’s not bad. And best of all, I’m already working on some other stuff that’s even more exciting.

So here’s hoping for a hearty 2014 for me and for everyone. See ya later 2013. Thanks for the good times, get out of here for the bad times.

Wee Beastie 2013 Omnibus (part 2)

(Link to part 1)

July 3:

While on the phone to grandy I can hear Wee Beastie chattering away to herself in the lounge. At the end of the call I come in to hear her saying to herself with much glee: “And that was the story of the three bear humptys!”
A fairy tale/nursery rhyme mashup? Sounds great! I ask if she can tell me the story of the three bear humptys.
“Ohhhh… I don’t think so.”
So it appears the tale of the three bear humptys has been lost to history. Sorry folks.

July 4:

My daughter, ladies and gentlemen. At 10pm, in the dark, reading ALL THE BOOKS. Staring at the illustrations and doing the sound effects.

Needless to say there were no books on her bed when she had her goodnight kiss some hours earlier.
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July 11:

Wee Beastie driving a train. Grandy in the caboose.
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August 3:

Wee Beastie knows we bought some treats home from the supermarket – English breakfast muffins, and mini ice-blocks.
“So what do you want for breakfast?”
“I want a…. ICE BLOCK!”
“How about a breakfast muffin?”
“Yes please! And after that, a BREAKFAST ICE BLOCK!”

August 12:

Wee Beastie’s favourite toy right now is a wooden plane. She puts her small animals and people in the cockpit, and balances more on the wings, and flies it around the room narrating the adventure they are having.

This plane is in fact a spaceship built by my grandfather, to my design, three decades ago. (It is in scale with my Star Wars figures and has a compartment in the back where a bounty hunter could put his prisoner. Oh yes.) She found it in a cupboard and claimed it for herself, and it makes me _indescribably happy_ to see her playing with it. Thanks Percy!
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August 28:

Wee Beastie has found a 30cm ruler made of transparent plastic. She is wandering around holding it up to her eyes: “I’m looking at things through my measuring glass”.

September 16:

Wee Beastie walks one of her Little People up to a toy playground swing. She does voices for both.
Person: I would like to swing!
Swing: Yes. Here is your change.
Person: (kicks over swing) But swings don’t have changes!
Person proceeds to toy playground slide.
Person: I would like to slide.
Slide: OK, here is your change.
Person: (kicks over slide) But slides don’t have changes either!

September 18:

Wee Beastie lines up all her cuddly toy friends.
WB: We are doing a show! You can sit right there.
Me: Great! What is the show about?
WB: They are all asleep and then they wake up and go to a show!
Me: Excellent. What do I do?
WB: You just sit there in the theatre. The show is about to start!
Me: Okay!
WB: The show isn’t starting yet because they are all asleep. They need to wake up to start the show!
Me: Shall I help wake them up?
WB: [angry] No! They are asleep at the start of the show! [thinks about this] This show is stuck.

September 24:

Me: All right Wee Beastie, if you’re not coming, I’m going to pick your socks. I pick… these ones!
WB: (several rooms away) No! I don’t like those ones!

September 30:

**Wee Beastie has a toy helicopter.
WB: Daddy daddy! I have a rescue helicopter! You be this doggie and you need to be rescued!
Me: OK. (as the dog cuddly toy) Woof! Help! I need to be rescued!
WB (as helicopter): I don’t think so.
Me: What? Help! Help!
WB: You have a sleep. I might rescue you later.
**WB flies helicopter away.

October 3:

Wee Beastie obviously did some rearranging of books and friends after we said goodnight…
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October 9:

Wee Beastie frequently talks about how her favourite character in the Hairy Maclary books is Scarface Claw, and how he is nice really, he just needs a friend.
Now she’s become obsessed with Monsters Inc., where her favourite character is the unscrupulous Randall.

Oh no. She likes bad boys.

October 15:

Wee Beastie starts kindy today! (That’s preschool for you overseas types.) She is very excited. We leave in five minutes..

November 16:

Wee Beastie watching a DVD. Two armoured knights enter pitched battle, swords clashing!
WB: Oh oh! They’re not sharing!

December 12:

Wee Beastie in the back seat of the car today, screaming and screeching in argument. The argument was between her left hand and her right hand, who were not sharing the cracker she was eating. Eventually they agreed to put the cracker back in the plastic container and save it for another day. And all was quiet again.

December 25:

Merry Christmas all! From Wee Beastie and her new friend, the Talking Frog from Monsters Inc.
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The Wee Beastie turned 3 just before Christmas. I look forward to 2014!