Share. A poem.

Would that I could share this success with you?
All the excess and fortune
Pointing to moments unsolicited
And gratuitous and circumspect
All these worlds and words
Of self doubt and self pity
Replaced by self esteem
And confidential confidence
Would that I could share this success with you
Even if only for one last time.

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Upstart Photographer – Distressed

Photography and poetry – a two for one deal, but for a short time only 😊

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Distressed. A poem.

Your interminable display
A marriage of metaphor that
Adds rings to eucalyptus fingers
As the elements play out
A millennium of bad hair days

So stand tall and despair
Oh lady of distress
For your long day into night
Is just another season of many
In your constant pantomime

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Sunlight. A poem.

Clouds upon an onion soul
A lattice of incidental grief
Whispering and blowing
Winds of contentious intent

Shimmering summer rays
Cannot pierce this veil
This black hole that crushes
All in its event horizon

Each season cries “winter”
An icy arctic freeze
Knowing no end or beginning
I’m frozen in time and place

But then the break
The dappled beams that slice
Through these clouds
And warm me to the core

Your sunlight is
The furtive spotlight
I’ve been waiting for

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Laidback DM: Curse of Strahd 2017 – Week 15

Hi all,

Over the last few weeks I’ve been posting some warts-and-all email summaries of the Curse of Strahd campaign I ran in 2017. This is the first campaign I started sending summaries to players by email after each game (I was a bit lazy prior to that).

Some of the summaries may be dull, some may be amusing; some are written in present tense, some in past tense – these are unedited emails, so please forgive their somewhat chaotic nature and poor sentence structure/grammar.

If you’re a D&D fan you may enjoy them, but I warn you: I’m not Mathew Mercer and this is not Twitch.

Game on!

Steve 🙂

Week 15

Barovia, Barovia, we so love Barovia
It’s dark and foggy, we’re so fancy free 
So sunny, so bright, please won’t you save me
Barovia, Barovia, we so love Barovia
It’s chock full of wolves and so much desperation
Damn the devil Strahd and his cursed temptations
Barovia, Barovia, we so love Barovia
It may not be as good as we made out before
So give me some wine or I’ll show you the door
– Barovian National Anthem

Curse of Strahd continues, inexorably, to its exciting conclusion…which is actually a fair way off. In the meantime:

The party argued over whether to go to Berez and face the Witch, or to go and save Baron Van Richten, who they learned had been taken hostage by the Vistani and was about to be delivered to Strahd. Eventually, they agreed (begrudgingly, in some cases) to undertake a rescue.

On the road they fought a couple of berserkers (obviously the Druids at Yester Hill were still a bit miffed about them hacking up their Gulthias Tree…), capturing and interrogating one, whom they then killed (such a pleasant party).

Savid the Dusk Elf led the party to the Vistani Camp outside of Vallaki. On the way, they came across Van Richten’s carnival wagon and signs of a battle. They found an absolutely fascinating page of the egotistical Van Richten’s journal and his dead sabretooth tiger.

A quick wereraven/Paladin reconnoitre of the camp showed the Vistani were mostly drunk and a bit lax at guard duty. Sneaking (and riding) into the Vistani camp, they met with the Dusk Elves’ leader, Kasimir Velikov, still peeved that Strahd killed all the women of his tribe hundreds of years ago and pining over his dead sister Patrina, who wanted to be Strahd’s bride. Kasimir explained the Amber Temple might hold the secret of Strahd’s curse, and he would willingly escort the party there.

In the meantime, the party needed to rescue poor old Van Richten from the clutches of the Vistani. Natasha’s Gnomish Druid changed into a spider and snuck into the Vistani leader’s tent, where Van Richten was being tortured. That’s where the plan started going a bit askew. Meanwhile, Mark’s Gnome Bard tried a distraction (amazing juggling, by the way) and Dan’s annoying Halfling Monk hid under the eave of a building(!).

A big fight ensued, with William’s Dragonborn Paladin riding in on his skeletal spiritual warhorse and slaughtering Vistani left, right and centre. Isaac’s reticent Tiefling Warlock provided support and it was on for young and old. Dan’s monk managed to dispatch the assassin leader, and eventually took out the Vistani second-in-command as well.

Unfortunately, poor old Van Richten was killed. Oh, well, you can’t make a Barovian omelette without cracking some vampire eggs (or so goes the old Barovian saying…). The friendly wereravens, who had been following the party’s progress, stopped the Dusk Elves from slaughtering the fleeing Vistani (seems the Dusk Elves have long memories…).

So, now the party can get down to what they really need to do. Looting!

I know I said don’t level up, but I’ve decided you’ve all done a lot over the previous few weeks, so I’m changing my mind. You can level up to 8th. Yay! Why? ‘Cause I think you’ll need it…

See you all Wednesday night, same Barovian Time, same Barovian channel!

For more Laidback DM, click here.

All Laidback DM products are now on sale at DrivethruRPG.

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I Suck at Social Media.

I have a confession. One that’s obvious to some, especially those who know me.

I suck at social media.

Social media as a forum is both a treasure and a bane. It’s an information and networking portal and a source of disinformation and anxiety. Not to mention underhanded data collection, stalking, cyber bullying and echo chambering.

To be ‘good’ at social media means taking the bull by the horns and engaging on a regular basis, making contacts, commenting, reading, and generally using up time that I would consider better used writing or reading books. But social media is an essential marketing tool for those of us with online businesses, and the time we spend on it is an essential investment in our work.

And that’s where I fall over.

Without the interest or inclination to do more on social media, my network and business contacts are meagre. My reach is limited and as a result my business is as well. This became readily apparent in my last promotional campaign, which struggled against larger and better social mediated projects. My product and materials were good, but my reach was ineffective when faced with powerhouse competition.

I know I have to make greater efforts to utilise social media the way it should be. But my naturally introverted self shies away from the narcissistic tendencies required to run social media sites properly (I’m sure many of you will disagree on this point, but let’s not kid ourselves: social media is generally about self promotion).

So, I’m going to try. I’m going to try to use social media a little more effectively. I’ll still suck at it, but maybe, just maybe, I’ll learn a bit as well.

I can only hope.

The Book. A poem.

There’s a lot of typing here,
Exposition to be done.
A hard fought war on grammar
And literacy that’s often won.
Occasionally a photo finish
(A second or a third),
Or an error left in print
That’s obviously absurd.

Another book is done
And another now begun:
Eighty thousand words or so,
The constant to and fro,
Endless drafts and rewrites
That bring confidence undone.
And, eventually,
As sure as sunrise on the sea—
The hard fought deadline battle
That’s always lost and always won.

The long night’s fever dreams,
Burning, stinging with ideas,
To fingers poised on patient keys
Just waiting to break free.
Where wilful thoughts give wilful birth
To each line’s encoded worth.
A literary child of hate and love
And inspiration from above.

And soon the war is won.
The book is finally done.

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Why? A poem.

I can see your place
When I turn the corner.
I’m shifting gears,
Downshifting and slowing,
Braking and breaking
To the sound of singing tyre tread
And siren goodbyes.

Such a short time,
But what a time.
And how we wished
It would last and would be different
From all the times before,
When empty promises and vague circumstances
Made the weight of everything
So much less
Than ought.

Defences raised,
A call to arms,
And suddenly every scrutiny
Seemed ridiculous
And uncalled for.
Lingering at the door
Without a last word,
All left for text messages,
Bound to be misconstrued.

Every fire burning (b)right
Was put out in the storm
That followed.
Harsh rains
And lightning wit
To paint a picture
Few artists would admit to.

And that was it.

Another tally on the board,
But not one you or I wanted
To be scored.
Not a picture perfect ending,
Not a thank you or goodbye.
Just a shopping list
Of indignations,
And a lonely question:

Why?

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Bittersweet. A poem.

You were there
You were gone
We had sung
Our last swan song

Now a whisper
Just a pall
Just an echo
Heard in the halls

I did wrong
So did you
Two separate paths
Two lonely fools

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Just a poem
Just a memory
Of bygone days
Of bittersweet whimsy

Worst Enemy. A poem.

All the hells that we conceive
Nurture in our heads and breed
Far worse than any promises
That the end could throw at us.
My greatest and worst enemy
You are mine and whole in me.

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

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