Wednesday, December 9, 2015

It's December and we have no snow

Despite my comments to the contrary, I ended up doing NaNoWriMo.

I started my novel on November 18, and in fact made the 50,000 mark. On the 30th, in fact, writing 8600 words that day.

It's a draft I'm so far happy with. Space science fiction,  near-ish future. Per my usual NaNoWriMo habits, it's currently "trunked", pending finishing at a later date. It doesn't have a title. It has a lot of plot kinks to work out. But the bones are there, and that's pretty cool.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

October report and NaNoWriMo doubts

All right, so October didn't really go as planned.

I mean, it kind of did. I sent out 21 submissions, 2 of which were queries for The Last Song. That's good progress, right? I've gotten 12 rejections back already, many of which came in the last week or so. 2 were personal, 10 were form.

But. In the middle of October, my organs staged a revolt (I am now acutely aware of where my kidneys are) and I'm still getting back on the horse from that. I haven't been reading anything, just watching stuff on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Other than yesterday's workshop, I haven't written a damn thing three weeks. So. It would seem NaNoWriMo isn't going to happen for me this year. Which is okay. I think I'm still pretty numbed from being sick and wanting to sleep all the time (okay, I still kind of want to sleep all the time).

My life isn't creatively bereft, anyway. We've got a lot of gaming going on still (I only missed a couple sessions of our assorted Pathfinder games through my sickness), including a new Shadowrun story in which I'm playing a decker (though not the same decker depicted in this post). It's probably the party role I've enjoyed best, though I did really like my brief stint as the Face (which is the person who arranges jobs and payments, does the risky purchasing, liasons with contacts, etc.)

Friday, September 11, 2015

Quotable Quotes from Gaming Life

A lot of gaming quotes are really only funny in context. I know it, you know that. Some gamers don't.

Then, there are some gaming quotes that are funny regardless. May I direct your attention to: Out of Context D&D

We frequently have D&D going in my household (well, Pathfinder), but we've also had Shadow Run and most recently Fading Suns going on in our gaming group. I thought I'd wade through and find some gems from there.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Flash Fiction Finalist (or, Close But No Cigar)

I post every once in awhile about how I take part in Janet Reid's 100 word flash fiction contests. Well, after some stiff competition this summer, I still didn't win, but I was a finalist for the final one of the season.

Even though I haven't gotten mentioned a whole lot, I do try to enter each one of Ms. Reid's contests. Writing a story in 100 words, beginning-middle-end, is damn hard. It's a writing muscle challenge, to be sure.

The words to include were: remove, escape, away, lull, spare  (can use the word as part of a larger one)

And this is what I came up with:

When Becca was removed from her family and set up in our spare room, she was too old to be a kid and too young to be on her own. The only comfort she accepted was the lullaby of Grimalkin's burbling purr.

A person's ghosts are hard to get away from, but she was almost okay. Then the whispers started again. The knocking. Grimalkin hissed arched-back at empty corners, a tuxedo asterisk.

We labored over her escape plan, and there was no margin for error when we sent her off to prom, barred the doors, and set the fire.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Some quotes, mostly from work

Coworker: Jen's necklace is full of pixies!
Me: Well, they're probably dead by now, so the chiming you hear is the sound of their bones.
Coworker: You're fucked up.

Housemate: So there's this guy named Minotauro, and I wonder how you get a name like Minotauro.
Me: Well, your mom fucks a bull....
Housemate: Yeah, that's fair.

Coworker: "Who's the bad guy in Star Wars that's dressed all in black"? No, that question is too hard, the kids won't know it.
Me: Look, if those kids are so ignorant they don't know who Darth Fucking Vader is, your next program is showing them ALL of the Star Wars movie.
Coworker: Okay.
Me: Clockwork Orange style.
Coworker: ....oh

On August 6:
Me: Today is the anniversary of when the Enola Gay dropped Little Boy on Hiroshima.
Friend 1: ....oh
Friend 2: the only trivia I have about today is that it's Soleil Moon Frye's birthday.
Friend 1: Who's that?
Me and Friend 2: PUNKY BREWSTER

Coworker: *holds up magazine with a picture of a platter on it that has a 3d dinosaur in the middle* it's for...with candy?
Me: It's a shame the sides aren't higher, you could fill it with dark chocolate pudding and it'd be like the La Brea Tar Pits.
Newest Coworker: ....well that's....morbid....

And finally:

Two men were talking a little too loudly down the hall, while my coworker and I were dealing with a line. I finished up, and then the comment that broke the camels' back: "...hasn't been touched in 45 years!"

I went down the hallway to confront the gentlemen, and realized one of them was holding a fire extinguisher. He was the fire extinguisher maintenance guy. I got their attention and said "I'm sorry, but we need you to be a little more quiet than that, especially after your last comment, which could really be misconstrued.

They looked at me, looked at each other, and cracked up.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

My flash story "Adventuring" in Episode 65 of Far-Fetched Fables

So who's got two thumbs and has a story in a podcast with a story by Aliette de Bodard? THIS GUY!

That's right, episode 65 of Far-Fetched Fables contains my flash fiction story, "Adventuring", which first appeared in Daily Science Fiction a few months back.

I'm at work, so haven't listened to the podcast yet, but I'm sure it'll rock your socks! I've loved everything I've read by Aliette de Bodard (she's won two Nebula awards and a Locus, amont others), and of course I'm pretty fond of my story too.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Keep writing stories, and keep sending them out

I learned today that has two different form rejections, one a little less form than the other, and that's the one I got today.

Along with the regrets that the short story they read wasn't quite what they were looking for, and luck sending it elsewhere, it includes the line "Please send us more of your work in the future."

I read an interesting article not long ago about the gender split of story submission behavior. It claimed that men, when they receive an encouragement like that, try to follow up as soon as possible (some markets want a gap between your submissions, as a for instance, a week, a month, etc.) and women will sometimes wait up to 6 months, if they submit to that market again at all.

I'm not sure how true it is. I'm not saying it isn't true either. I honestly don't know.

There are a lot of women writers getting published out there. The women who are successful, or becoming successful, could not possibly have been such shrinking violets when it came to submitting their stories. They had to have kept trying, kept sending them out (or been so goddamn brilliant they got published the first time out. I'm sure that happens to some people as well).

And then there's this blog post on The Missouri Review about perseverance (Okay, "stubborn" might get bandied about a bit). I feel like writers who are successful even a little, they persevere. They get the rejection and go "Okay, where can I send this next". Or, "What changes do I need to make so that this becomes a better story?"  I try to do both of these. I've been submitting stories for ten years or so by now and have had one acceptance. It isn't like I'm going to stop writing, so I need to keep being stubborn.

Onwards and upwards, my friends.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

October Submissions: the final report

You remember my October Submissions. Submitting a story every day in October, blah blah. I finally got my last response, so can finally give the full picture on how things turned out for me. I know you're excited.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

30 Days of D&D Day 30: Best DM You've Had

Well, it's the last day of the 30 day D&D challenge. I'm glad you came on this journey with ended up being far more nostalgic at times than I'd anticipated!

So today I'm talking about the best DM I've had. It occurs to me that throughout the month, I never actually mentioned what "DM" stood for; I assumed you'd known the lingua franca. But, "DM" means Dungeon Master. It's a role which also might, depending on the system, be referred to as the Game Master or the Storyteller. Same dude. He's the one telling the story, the one who comes up with the setting (if not using one of the published ones), the one who runs the NPC's (non player characters), the one who runs the enemies and monsters when combat occurs.

Characters are important, but the DM is obviously the lynchpin of the whole deal. We players can make our own fun, certainly, but the DM's descriptions and stories are what keep us coming back and rolling those dice. And the best DM I've had? It's my fiancé, Jim.

Friday, May 29, 2015

30 Days of D&D Day 29: What is the number you always seem to roll on a d20?

 What number do I always seem to roll?

I seem to roll 14's an awful lot.

Some nights, though, it's 7. Or 6. Or 4.

Other nights? I'll get a natural 20 not once, not two times, but three times. Four if I'm super lucky.

That's the funny thing about the dice. They're random, and that randomness seems fickle. A low rolling night will follow a high rolling night. Or some characters are never lucky, until, say, you get dominated and start killing your fellow party members. Other characters are extremely lucky, even missing out on that early levels clumsiness we're so typically faced with.

So 14 isn't such a bad number to roll. Depending on what you're adding, it's more than sufficient.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

30 Days of D&D Day 28: A Character You Will Never Play Again

A character I'll never play again? Well, pretty much everybody I've named here is a character I'll never play again. Maybe we'll go back to the game with Dolly in it, I dunno. Probably not. And that's kind of the way it is in my D&D circles (and my gaming circles in general).

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

30 Days of D&D Day 27: A character you want to play in the future

Oh boy, there's any number of characters I want to play in the future. Infinity characters.

More tieflngs, of course. I mean, they're right there in the core book! Why not, right? And also more fighters, of course. As I said, I haven't made one in 5th yet (though I did draw the fighter in the quickstart, but we only did 1 session of that? 2?)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

30 Days of D&D Day 26: Favorite nonmagic item

My favorite nonmagic item is Baatorian green steel (Baator being the Plane of Nine Hells, according to wikipedia) It's something I first heard about when I was playing Planescape: Torment, because one of the companion NPCs you can get has a green steel sword that you can change in a couple of ways. Green steel is not magic, but is special in the way adamantine or mithril might be, where it's a special material which has its own properties without enchantment. Dolly, my 5th edition Tiefling Rogue, had a green steel dagger which did short sword damage (I think it's had different properties in each edition). She would dual wield it with a regular dagger, and once scored a fantastic critical hit on an undead minotaur with it.

Second favorite is the clockwork gun reloader that Kate Walker made in our original try at the Age of Worms adventure path. It was what it sounds like, a specific holster which had the reload and the black powder, and when she slapped a gun into it, it would take a round or so to reload the gun (which is one reason she had a lot of pistols, once gold flow allowed), and then bing when it was done, so then she could draw and shoot. Granted, the reloader then had to be reloaded in order to work, but she made it herself and that was awesome.

Monday, May 25, 2015

30 Days of D&D Day 25: Favorite Magic Item

I don't know if I'd considered before whether I had a favorite magic item. But in a way, of course I have.

It might sound silly, but one of the favorite things I've ever had a character have was the +1 longsword named Hoardmaster from Gorgoldand's Gauntlet, that Brigid got in the Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil (Hoardmaster was kind of the payoff for losing that bastard sword). She used that sword for the entirety of the adventure (it didn't stay +1, but those changes come from one of those places where Jim blurred the adventure path and his elements of story and setting).

Sunday, May 24, 2015

30 Days of D&D Day 24: Favorite Energy Type

Favorite energy type? That's....weird. Do people have favorite energy types?

I guess "force" might be my answer. Non-elementally typed damage. So, what Magic Missile does, say. It bypasses most basic damage reduction (or did in previous editions? 5th does interesting things with resistances, I think. Though we've only seen a little of that so far), it doesn't leave you stuck with only fire spells to fight the red dragon, etc.

That said, I have seen electricity damage put to amazing use. "Touch of the Eel" was a spell our wizard would cast on me in the Temple game; the next enemy struck would then take my weapon damage plus the spell damage. At one point I literally exploded a 4 armed gorilla (I forget what they're called) when I walked into a room and rolled a 20 on that trusty purple die while Touch of the Eel was cast on me. Then there are the majestic lightning bolts I've seen cast (and have, on occasion, cast myself).

Saturday, May 23, 2015

30 Days of D&D Day 23: Least Favorite Monster Overall

My least favorite monster? Let me tell you a story about my least favorite monster.

I've talked about Brigid in many of the posts her. She was my formative D&D character, the Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil game really my formative D&D experience. It is what it is. This has been a fabulous nostalgia train, actually.

Friday, May 22, 2015

30 Days of D&D Day 22: Favorite Monster Overall

My favorite monster overall, hmm?  This monster thing might be getting a bit tiresome. As a player, I tend not to just page through and read the Monster Manual. I like being surprised, and a little bit scared. I like not knowing what the terrible beasties might do to us. It lends a sense of mortality, and danger, to the combat. These things aren't cakewalks, and one tends to want one's character to live through things, to achieve hopes and dreams.

But....favorite monster overall. There's a couple I'm fond of, that I didn't touch on in the previous posts.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

30 Days of D&D Day 21: Favorite Dragon Color/Type

It's funny that it took 'til day 21 to reach the "dragons" in "Dungeons and Dragons". Granted, they might not be something every party faces. But not a single dragon fight I've been involved with is ever easy, and I could think of 10 off the top of my head. There were almost certainly more. When a critter is as big as dragons tend to be it has a lot of attacks. When a critter can fly and the players (frequently) can't, that adds another dimension to the battlefield, and another advantage on their side.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

30 Days of D&D: Day 20: Favorite Monster (Humanoid/Natural/Fey)

I've actually had very, very little dealings with the fey in context of D&D. Like, there was a grig in one Pathfinder game (we were actually trying to do the Temple again, if I remember right) wherein I was playing a fey blooded sorcerer. But the grig was only a very small part of the story, not the main focus in any way. He was a nifty little guy, anyway. If I was inclined to run games, I might do a fey-oriented story, but I find I'm much better at writing stories than telling them.

I think my favorite humanoid  (is it natural? whatever) monster might be the gnoll. Gnolls are, essentially, hyena people. Which can be very interesting when you consider it, since hyenas are very female dominated, and even scientists who study them have trouble differentiating between males and females. Depending on your DM, the gnolls then might be a roving female band of marauders, which is like equal opportunity monstering. Depending on alignment and culture, they might be available as a playable race in a game. If they're adversarial, they might also do things like have hyenas they use in combat/keep as pets/whatever like the hyena men in Africa.

Additionally, There's another kind of gnoll, or a cooler kind of gnoll, called the Flind, which tends to be more intelligent if a bit smaller,. and they even have their own special weapon called the flindbar which is a bit like nunchaku I guess but don't tell them.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

30 Days of D&D Day 19: Favorite Monster (Elemental/Plant)

My favorite D&D Monster that is a plant is the myconid.  They're technically a fungus, being a mushroom, but close enough for government work right?

I actually haven't run into them very many times. Once in a game in the steam world, where we were all fighters (which is a very interesting kind of game to set up and play, actually. There's a lot of variation and individual characterization there). My character soloed one, as the others were dealing with a Displacer Beast. I felt kind of bad, actually, as he (it?) seemed rather mournful. But when monsters attack you in D&D, you tend to fight back so your character survives.

Once in the game where I played Agatha (that was the game where Snik made his appearance), the party got directions down the continent from one. And most recently, the party stumbled into an underground mushroom cave that was the myconid's food farm. At least I think that was a myconid.

But. Mushroom people. They're really different. They're not necessarily an automatic violent adversary. They don't have an anatomy which you would expect.

Monday, May 18, 2015

30 Days of D&D Day 18: Favorite Monster (Immortal/Outsider)

When it comes to Outsiders, there are several I like, but a couple which really stand out.

I already discussed tieflings, which are actually considered "native outsiders" (well, provided you're playing on the plane on which said individual was born. A tiefling born in Sigil but come to the Forgotten Realms, say, would be a plain ol' outsider I guess). The other side of the tiefling coin is aasimar, which are people descended from angelic influence rather than demonic or devilish. They have similar abilities (light instead of darkness, a different handful of small elemental resistances, etc.) and though they don't have a rad historic d100 table you can roll on (that I know of) you can kind of extrapolate; vestigial wings might be white-feathered instead of batty, as an example. That kind of thing.

Other than that, though, I really like Night Hags. Hags in general, I guess. We've had a couple of games which featured them heavily, and they're a thematic I enjoy. They have all that terrifying folkloric flavor I tend to enjoy, and are also not a terribly overdone beastie. They're powerful without seeming unable to be overcome, they're sinister and intelligent and more than capable of reason and diplomacy. They're a great baddie to have, because depending on the party, maybe they can just get along? But if they don't, it's sure to be an interesting and ruthless fight.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

30 Days of D&D Day 17: Favorite Monster (Animal/Vermin)

Well, I can't say that I have a favorite "vermin" type when it comes to, well, anything. With animals in general, it's dogs, but most "normal" animals aren't in play very often when it comes to D&D. Horses, I suppose, and the occasional mule. So, I'm going to bend this one a little bit and pick my favorite Magical Beast, because that's kind of on the animal line.

My favorite magical beast is the Cockatrice.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

30 Days of D&D Day 16: Favorite Monster (aberration)

My favorite D&D monster which is an aberration is the Cloaker.

It's one of my lifelong game goals to make friends with a cloaker that I will then wear as a cloak, and it'll be my buddy that watches my back in battle and in tight situations.

Cloakers are kind of nasty beasts to fight, in that they'll wrap somebody up entirely, grappling them, and it's possible it'll just strangle that person to death while they're in its clutches. It's then particularly difficult for the other people in the party to fight because, well, few of us like stabbing our friends.

Friday, May 15, 2015

30 Days of D&D Day 15: Favorite Monster (Undead)

What is my favorite Undead Monster? Well, I do warn you, as a player and not a DM I'm going to perhaps have different insight on the monstery end of things.

Well. I was actually a little surprised to find I had one which came immediately to mind: the ghoul. They're humanoid undead which has a paralytic touch, a pretty bad stench, and a long terrifying tongue with which to lick the marrow from bones.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

30 Days of D&D Day 14: Favorite NPC

My favorite NPC (non player character) is a fighter named Agnor we picked up in the Fire Temple (I think) of the Return to the Temple of Elemental evil. He'd been a mercenary, and was doing it for the pay, not because he'd believed in raising the ultimate evil to come and rule the world or whatever. So he surrendered and then ended up coming along with our adventuring party as we sallied forth through the rest of the temples, and eventually he and Brigid hooked up. He's the reason Brigid didn't end up killing the party's wizard during a vampire fight, when the vampire case "Dominate" on her, she of course failed the save, and got to stabbin'; Agnor ended up getting her into a grapple before the final damage was done. But anyway, I'm sure after we "won" the Temple, they rode off into the sunset and lived happily ever after, as retired adventurers do. They do, right?

Though we've had other magnificent and memorable ones.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

30 Days of D&D Day 13: Favorite Trap/Puzzle

Let's see, my favorite trap or puzzle. Though my favorite play location is in fact ruins, and that seems like the most likely place to find traps and puzzles, I had to rack my brain a bit for this one.

And really, it's an odd question, because I find traps to more of a "I hope this doesn't kill me/us" far more than "ooh, a puzzle!"

Monday, May 11, 2015

30 Days of D&D Day 11: Favorite adventure you have ran

I'm sure, if you've been following 'til now, you'd know the favorite adventure I've played in is Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil.

It was published when we were in college. My fiancé, the one who ran it, remembers remarking that he'd always wanted to run one of those old school big adventures. We were at the mall, in Waldenbooks (before it became Borders, before it closed), and I said/thought "well that would be really cool" and bought it.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Saturday, May 9, 2015

30 Days of D&D Day 9: Favorite Character You Haven't Played

I at first thought this was worded kind of oddly, "favorite character you haven't played", but I figured it out. We're frequently required to interpret the wording on things.

Friday, May 8, 2015

30 Days of D&D Day 8: Favorite Character You Have Played

The favorite character I've played?  Can I do a top 5?  Top 10? Sure I can!

(I'll do as many as I want, apparently. Every time I thought I was done with this post, I was like "no, what about...")

These are in no particular order, other than Brigid.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

30 Days of D&D Day 7: Favorite Edition

Favorite edition is another hard one for me. I started playing in 3rd edition, and there are things I remember fondly from it. I play with people who started in 2nd, and I've heard their stories throughout my gaming career.

3.5 fixed some stuff that 3rd hadn't gotten quite right, but it also bungled some of them. We actually had a couple campaigns running when the change happened; one DM had us change, midstream. The other did not.

Overall, the edition I'm most familiar with is Pathfinder. It's 3.5 compatible, technically, though we've never mixed any of the 3.5 books with it. I have a good handle on the rules for a variety of classes and situations, and in a way I think it's what we played the most games in, anyway. The online Pathfinder SRD has also been a game-changer (figuratively and literally) because it is free, many people have smartphones and tablets, and though we do purchase most of the books it's nice to have them accessible, searchable, and alphabetical. You don't have to look at 4 books to see all the spells your Witch has access to, say, it's just there on that page of the SRD. You don't need to look at every single book to look at the feats, the feat requirements, etc. etc. because it's there alphabetically. I only hope 5th edition does such a thing as well.

5th edition has a lot of neat things going for it, and a few odd changes, gaps, and discrepancies. It's too early to say if it's "the new favorite", or even what the table is necessarily sticking with. We've started the Princes of the Apocalypse adventure, a 5th edition in the Forgotten Realms corollary to the 3rd edition Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil which was such a formative gaming experience for me.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

30 Days of D&D Day 6: Favorite Deity

Favorite Deity? That's a tough one.

I actually tend not to play religious characters. Maybe it's a holdover from my Catholicism? I don't know. D&D is playing pretend, it isn't demonic blasphemy. I know that. You know that.

(you should know that)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

30 Days of D&D Day 5: Your Favorite Set of Dice/individual die

Favorite die or dice is an interesting question. Some gamers are very superstitious about their dice. We met somebody once who was affronted if another person deigned to touch his polyhedral pieces of plastic. Don't get me wrong; anything that's a repetitive ritual gets superstitious attachments to it, whether you mean to or not. While at the table, and my die is "in repose", I set it down 20 up, regardless of what die I'm using. Maybe it's a mental thing; I think positive, I think 20, I roll higher (you want to roll higher, typically). Maybe it's a physics thing; the plastic settles so the side opposite the 20 is heavier, and rolls higher. Regardless. It's a thing I do. It doesn't mean I don't have dice I lend to people.

Monday, May 4, 2015

30 Days of D&D Day 4: Favorite Gameworld

Favorite Gameworld is a tough one for me because a lot of play at my table, regardless of DM, has been what's referred to as "homebrew" worlds. Meaning, the games don't necessarily take place in a published Dungeons and Dragons setting. So, I'm going to have to have a couple of answers for this one, actually.

Favorite published gameworld is a split between two I've never really played in (a single game session or two each, not games that took off): Ravenloft, and Planescape.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

30 Days of D&D Day 3: Favorite Playable Class

Fighter. Hands down, my favorite playable class for a very long time has been fighter.

The first character I put on paper, but did not play, was a human fighter who was escaping fighting pit slavery. The character I played to the highest level  I've to date attained was a human fighter. It was a great class for me to learn the D&D systems, learn how combat and the battlefield worked, and be able to have a pretty straight dotted line when it came to decision making. 

(this is kind of a funny point of comparison here, for me, as a gamer. I stuck with fighters in Dungeons and Dragons at the beginning, because of their lack of complication and their perceived ease. In Shadowrun, which we play once a week, I've been playing a Decker, which many other people at the table think is the hardest role to play. It's interesting, to see how different systems might appeal to you differently, and also to realize and recognize how you might have grown and changed as a gamer)

Saturday, May 2, 2015

30 Days of D&D Day 2: Favorite Playable Race

My favorite playable race, hands down, is the Tiefling.

They aren't straight up half demon or devil, just....a little off. Something wrong in the family woodshed, as it were. Or right, depending on your alignment.

One reason they're interesting is yeah, they can be evil. You could be evil willfully, or as the product of your environment, whatever. But. They can be good too (or chaotic neutral, frequently a fun one). But their appearance is an immediate count against them. Walk into a room or down the street as the one with horns, and there's going to be whispers and opinions immediately formed. And that can bring an interesting dynamic to the person you're playing. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

30 days of D&D Day 1: How you got started

I didn't start playing Dungeons and Dragons until Sophomore year of college, and the Spring half of Sophomore year at that. Until that point, the only thing I'd done in that area is play the collectible card game, Magic: the Gathering. Well, I'd free-form roleplayed in the chat rooms designated for such on Prodigy Internet, but I've yet to meet anybody else who did. Or who would admit it. Or who heard of Prodigy Internet. I have known some people who RPed on AOL, anyway.

But my now-fiancé, then boyfriend, Jim was running a 2nd edition game for some friends of ours. I wasn't deliberately disincluded, but I was ignorant, and there was a point at which I asked to be taught. I never did join that 2nd edition game (though I did put a character on paper for it), and 3rd edition came out or at least caught on in our college gaming culture at about that times, so once the door was opened, D&D was on the table.

(get it, on the table? Tabletop role playing? Yeah. I'm here all month!)

Monday, April 27, 2015

May is going to be D&D month

The title says it all. See, somebody I'm Facebook friends with shared a post from Tumblr that had this picture in get the idea.

Rather than post on Facebook, I figured I'd mine this for daily blog posts for a month, or 30 days of it anyway.

When I say D&D, I mean the spectrum of D20 based fantasy I've played, which spans from 3rd edition D&D, to 3.5, to Pathfinder, and now to 5th edition. Pathfinder was still "D&D", ish, as it was published using the D20 open gaming license.

But, I've talked a little bit about the characters I've played before, and thought answering these questions in blog form would be fun.

Also, it's funny that the die pictured is a 30 sided die, not 20; the only use I've ever seen for a D30 is a racing board game which was, I think, from France. I do not own a D30, nor do I aspire to. I wouldn't mind owning one of these rad metal D20's, though.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

oh, the synopsis

I'm working on my synopsis for The Last Song, and I stumbled upon this lovely picture. It's beautiful and says everything I need it to. The trick is making people forget this is how things end (provided they know/recognize the myth to begin with). At least one of my readers was, in fact, "fooled" 'til the last line.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

My First Publication! "Adventuring", in Daily Science Fiction

I put off telling you guys about my acceptance, because I've been burned before.

But, it's really happening! Happened, rather. My fantasy flash fiction story, "Adventuring", is today's Daily Science Fiction story. Go read it. It'll be quick!

Daily Science Fiction, if you did not know, publishes scifi and fantasy every weekday. You can get the daily free story right in your email (as I do) or visit their site each day. My understanding is they have a monthly digest available for Kindle. A lot of people, when they read the story, do comment about it on their Facebook page. You can also follow them on Twitter. Daily Science Fiction is a Science Fiction Writers of America qualifying market.

"Adventuring" was one of my October submissions. I sent it in on October 29, and got the acceptance on December 7! Its inspiration came from a couple of places...playing Dungeons and Dragons, of course(5th edition is pretty fun so far, by the way). A Chuck Wendig prompt, I think, but I can't remember what one and did not, of course, record that bit of information.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Branching Interests

Sometimes, there are topics I gain interest in seemingly out of nowhere. Space was kind of gestured at me (I met an astronaut, Pete Conrad, when I was very young) but not really supported in any kind of long reaching way. Nobody influenced my interest in things like shamans and cave paintings, for example (and I still need to finish Mircea Eliade's book Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy, which I only read about half of and put down. So really, I need to restart it and read the whole way through.)

But, whatever the source, I am interested in shamans and cave paintings, and so was stoked to see this article from the Smithsonian about a full scale replica of Chauvet Cave that they've constructed in France (where the original Chauvet is, natch). If you don't yet know why this is amazingly cool, get thee to Netflix or your library and find The Cave of Forgotten Dreams to watch. It's incomprehensible just how amazing a space it is. It also amazes me that Chauvet Cave was discovered in 1994, but I didn't hear about it at the time.

But there are a lot of things I didn't know about at the time. For instance, the International Space Station, which captivates a lot of my interest now, was built while I was in high school. Piece by piece constructed in orbit, and I had no idea. I wish I'd become a space nerd far earlier, really I do. But a thing my dad would have thought was really cool is there's an intersect of space and beer coming out on April 13; namely, Ninkasi Brewing in Eugene, Oregon is releasing Ground Control, which is an imperial stout they've brewed from yeast they launched into space.

That I can tell, the yeast wasn't left in space, but rather was launched (encapsulated in vials), reached a certain space altitude, and returned to earth. So, kind of gimmicky sure, but it was yeast that went into space and survived, remaining healthy enough to be used for brewing. Yeast can be kind of sensitive, so this does hold some real interest beyond "fuck yeah, space beer." They don't seem to have t-shirts or hats or anything, which is disappointing. It's also going to be a limited release, so I don't know if it'll come to my area or not. There are a couple places here in town which have fairly good beer selections.

Of course, I'm not particularly into beer, though I am inclined to be a beer snob on principle. But I dislike dark beers far less than I dislike light beers, and as I mentioned last week, I did drink an Irish Car Bomb on St. Patrick's day, which was interesting. The Guiness on its own tasted all right, it wasn't aversive to me when I sipped it before taking the plunge (to make sure I could). The hard alcohol (it's half a shot of whiskey and half a shot of Bailey's, essentially) was all right as well, probably because of the Bailey's. And the two together? Cancelled out the things I dislike about each other. So that was kind of cool. I'm not saying it's My Drink™ now or anything like that (I don't really have one of those. Whiskey Sours are....okay anyway. Rum and Coke might be the closest, I guess, if it's the dark spiced rum like Kraken or Cockspur).

Friday, March 20, 2015

There is no party like a Goldberg party

Me: Have you heard of Resting Bitch Face? I pretty much definitely have that.
Newest Coworker: I haven't heard of that. I feel like I have resting Morose face, but I'm not a morose person.
Me: Well, on Tuesday, a friend accused me of having Resting Judgement Face.
Newest Coworker: Oh, I see it now. I think what you have is Judging Bitch Face

(oh, apparently it's actually "Bitchy Resting Face", not Resting Bitch Face. Fucking whatever.)

"Look honey, we came to the Barrens to choke a bitch." ~ From the Shadowrun game

Me: I had my first Irish Car Bomb on St. Patrick's Day!
Coworker: I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you. I thought you said car bomb?
Me: I....I did. It's a drink.

Coworker: Oh watch, now you get to see Jen go be mean, you haven't seen this yet.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Selective Listening

I talk a lot about how I listen to music while writing. I won't say I make a playlist for every new project I have, especially since I have a much-evolved playlist I created for my first NaNoWriMo and manipulated a lot since. I don't always use that one, but it's there to fall back on while I'm writing. It tickles the right things.