Yesterday there was no blog because I was in Brighton at the time when I would normally have been blogging.

Because yesterday was a Bard day! Yep, I got together with a few Bards in Brighton and we chatted and had drinks and food and played a few games of Bard, then chatted more and had more drinks and more food and played Scrabble.

Good times, my friends. Good word-and-story-oriented times.

Here’s the thing – I kind of gave up on Bard a while back. Well, to be more accurate, I gave up on myself. Which meant I stopped pushing Bard. I stopped blogging about it. I stopped promoting it. I even stopped researching print costs and potential rewards for crowdfund supporters.

The truth is, I got scared.

Bard is huge. Or rather, it could be.

Everyone who’s ever played it loves it.

Except my mother, but she hates games so we’ll count her out as a statistically irrelevant anomaly.

Everyone else who’s ever played it loves it.

They really love it.

So why did I stop working on it?

Well, in all honesty, I felt like I had taken it as far as I could go. I didn’t (and still don’t) have the money to invest in a full print run. I felt the art wasn’t good enough and I also didn’t (and still don’t) have the money to invest in professional artwork. And the amounts of money required seemed really too big for me to have a hope of raising through other people, even via Kickstarter.

I have yet to get an updated quote on print costs, but all told I’m probably looking at around £10k.

That’s ten thousand pounds.

Sterling, just to be clear.

It’s a lot of money.

And the thought of putting my little game out there and asking hundreds, if not thousands, of people to help me get it off the ground makes me feel ill. Because I don’t have enough friends to make this happen purely through my own circle of friends and acquaintances. Which means I have to impress complete strangers with this crazy little game – people who don’t know me, have never met me, and more to the point, have never even seen the game, let alone played it.

Thinking about that makes me sad, because it makes the whole thing seem so impossible.

And yet, it’s the only way to make Bard a reality for people who don’t know me, have never met me and have never even seen the game.

It’s the only way I’m ever going to reach those people. Those incredibly creative people who just need the tiniest spark, the most basic jumping-off point from which to jumpstart their creativity. From there it’s only a small step to the next generation of desperately needed, world-changing ideas.

So there have been conversations. Conversations about reward levels. Conversations about the artwork. Conversations about who might be able to help with a fundraising campaign. Conversations where I realised there’s nothing wrong with the artwork and that the only thing standing in Bard’s way was, well,… me.

So I hereby announce that there will be a Bard Kickstarter.


But it will run to term this time. I won’t give up on it like I did before. I won’t get scared and decide to play small and run and hide from it, from this big crazy thing I decided to do.

Because everyone loves this game.

I do need to tweak the card design to make the suit and chaos icons more easily visible but I’ve already started on that and I’ve figured out how to do it so it’s just a matter of getting the details sorted.

I need card printing quotes which I’ve also started work on getting. Ideally I’d get runs printed in both the US and the UK, and maybe in Asia, too – posting stuff between the continents just seems to be horrifically expensive – but we’ll see what happens.

Currently I need to give some serious thought to reward levels – I don’t want to overcomplicate things but there’s a certain amount of backer expectation around Kickstarters. I need to provide a range of rewards for a range of pledge levels – just need to figure out the levels and the rewards.

Obviously there’ll be decks of cards. I think extra cards would make a good stretch goal. Original art based around the existing cards could make for a good reward level, over and above the cards themselves. Beyond that, I’m a bit stumped.

What do you think? And if you have any other ideas, please do let me know!!

If you would like to join me in my Thirty Days of Creativity, please do! You can find me on Twitter and Facebook and I’ll be tweeting at #30DaysCreative. If you’re curious about my mentoring services, please feel free to check out this page. Any questions, you can get in touch with me there or via social media at the links above.


Day #21 – Mulling stuffs #30DaysCreative

by Mhairi Simpson on August 28, 2016

I think I’ve figured out a couple of issues with the necklace. As S.J. Higbee pointed out in a comment on yesterday’s post, the central stone doesn’t shine – I suspect it’s a bit buried among all the decoration stuff. So that’s one thing. And I think a section of decoration on the right hand side needs to come off as it unbalances the piece. Shouldn’t be too much of a hassle to sort that. The potential over-decoratedness, on the other hand, is something to think about, as taking bits off will be a lot more fiddly than putting them on was.

So there’s that to think about.

In the meantime, I drew a dragon:

Dragon sketch web

This is quite possibly the most successful dragon I’ve ever drawn. Thank you, Bob Eggleton. It’s a sketch, nothing to write home about in terms of art, but I’m really pleased with it – it feels a lot more dynamic than dragon images I’ve come up with in the past.

I feel strangely discombobulated today and I really couldn’t say way. The weather has turned, it’s cold and grey, but that doesn’t bother me. I had a lie in this morning, although I was awake around half eight anyway, but still. Maybe it’s lack of exercise (oh the irony – I’ve actually only worked out four times this week because of being SO FREAKING TIRED).

For whatever reason I find myself feeling rather meh. But at least I drew a dragon.

It could also be a comedown from ‘finishing’ the necklace and realising it really hasn’t worked for me. As a finished piece, I mean. But, as S.J. also pointed out, maybe when it’s properly finished it’ll be more the thing.

I doubt it. If I was going to love it, I would love it.

I think a big part of the issue is the colours, too. They’re gorgeous, but really not me. Most things I make, in fact everything I make, is something I would be happy to hold onto myself. This one, not so much. Autumn colours, with their yellow tones, do me no favours.

We’ll see. I’ll see what I think about it when it’s properly done and we’ll go from there.

Still got that dragon, though, so I’m calling today a win and I’ve only just had lunch!

PS. If anyone’s in Brighton tomorrow, we’re having a Be A Bard afternoon/evening get-together at the Verano Lounge in Hove and you’re more than welcome to join us!

If you would like to join me in my Thirty Days of Creativity, please do! You can find me on Twitter and Facebook and I’ll be tweeting at #30DaysCreative. If you’re curious about my mentoring services, please feel free to check out this page. Any questions, you can get in touch with me there or via social media at the links above.


Day #20 – When a win doesn’t feel like a win #30DaysCreative

August 27, 2016

I have finally finished the necklace. Well, kind of. Okay, it’s not actually finished. But the creative bit is. So now all that’s left is the ‘finishing’ part, where I take off the bits of backing maille which didn’t get used. Yes, this involves a lot of swearing. 3mm rings, remember? Anyway, I’m looking at […]

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Day #19 – The value of time with friends #30DaysCreative

August 26, 2016

Today there has, once again, been no actual creativing. That was meant to say creating but my fingers knew better. Moving on. This morning was walking the dog, visiting the chiropractor (back is doing great, yay!!) and driving my mother to Chichester for a hospital appointment. The trip took an hour there, but only half […]

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Day #18 – Figuring out why The Thing isn’t working #30DaysCreative

August 25, 2016

There hasn’t been any drawing today. No painting. No chain maille. Kind of a little writing, but not really. I did, however, get a big thing done. I figured out why this novel isn’t getting written. And no, it’s not because I’m not writing it. Well, it is, but that’s not what I’m referring to. […]

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Day #17 – What to say when there is nothing to say #30DaysCreative

August 24, 2016

Today there has been no creativity. I have nothing new to show you, nothing you haven’t already seen. Today I walked the dog, worked out, and hung out with a friend for a couple of hours. And then I came home and moved things around in the house so that my now ex-sweetie can collect […]

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Day #16 – Experimenting with colour pencils #30DaysCreative

August 23, 2016

Yesterday there was 1500 words. I am frickin PROUD!!! Today there was colouring pencils. I sketched this lady out the other day and shared the pic here, but here it is again: And here she is after colouring: I was rather scared of trying this – it’s a new thing and I wasn’t sure how […]

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Day #15 – Doors closing, doors opening #30DaysCreative

August 22, 2016

I’ve been rather distracted the last few days, as I’m sure has been obvious from the less-than-stellar quality of my posts. The fact is, stuff has been going on at home and my heart just hasn’t been in my creativity. Mostly it’s been in chocolate, to be honest, but I’ve actually exercised a considerable amount […]

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Day #13 – Creativity isn’t a cure all but it is a light in the dark #30DaysCreative

August 20, 2016

Nearly two weeks now. There’s been stuff going on over here. Tears shed, big changes, saying goodbye and mourning the loss of beautiful things which just weren’t right for me. Through it all, I have, somehow, managed to work on one or other (or several) of my various creative projects every single day. This is […]

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Day #12 – Almost forgot!!! #30DaysCreative

August 19, 2016

Crapsticks!!! It’s super-late and I’m doing this from my phone because I was half asleep when I remembered I hadn’t yet blogged today. So, no photos. Sewed some zig zags down three seams on the bag-that-will-be to quilt it and hold everything together. It’s now SECURE, which is the main thing. Means I can haul […]

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