28 April 2006

My Cup Runneth Over (with Mucus)

I've been sick. I think I mentioned this in my last post; in fact, I'm sure I did. The illness has finally tapered off. Though I'm not entirely comfortable, I am able to function somewhat more effectively than I could at this time last Friday. Only thing is, my respiratory system is producing vast quantities of nasty slime. The sheer amount and varying viscosity of the substance is appalling, especially right after I climb out of bed in the morning.

In a word: disgusting.

In other news, tonight is Alan's Shackled City game. We postponed last Thursday, due to my illness and Adam's required presence in the workplace. We rarely play on Friday nights.

The kicker is that we're also playing the last session of Shadows of the Past tomorrow night. Poor Mike! He'll be coming down two days in a row, at an overall distance driven of 400 miles (both ways). He may as well get a hotel room. Maybe he can sack out on someone's sofa.

So I'm on my break at work, filling ya'll in on the world and how it's been treating me. Which is to say, not bad, but not particularly well. If not for the past nine days of suffering, I'd give it a grade of A-. As it is, I can really only say that the time deserves a collecive D+.

23 April 2006

Hand of Shadow

In case you didn't know it, I've been working on my half of Hand of Shadow for the past couple of weeks. I had to do some creative project juggling, but Hand is one of the books I've wanted to do for a while now. The writing is done, now, though I daresay some revision might be in order.

Hand of Shadow is liable to be the last Midnight book I work on for a little bit. I've got two fairly large (not to mention, Top Secret) fish to fry in the coming months, one of which is truly massive in scale. When a peer told me early on that this would be a busy year for me, I wasn't aware of just how true his words would ring two or three months later.

I do hope that Fantasy Flight Games sees fit to invite me back for more Midnight projects when the time comes. I've enjoyed working on every single one of them, to one degree or another. I'm not sure if that shows in my writing or not.

In the meantime...I've got to focus on some research now. Keep in touch!

21 April 2006

Children of the Horned Rat Previews

Black Industries has posted a couple of previews for the up-coming WFRP supplement, Children of the Horned Rat, on their web site. In specific, there are excerpts from the book on the preview page, designer notes (written by myself and Steve Darlington), some of the book's art in a new gallery, and some player handouts on their downloads page.

Take a look-see!

20 April 2006

Marcus Calls In Sick

I'm going to have to miss tonight's Shackled City game at Alan's place. This is due to a horrible plague that I've been afflicted with, spread to me by my beautiful (yet obviously diseased) son. At least, I'm hoping that whatever it is I've been stricken with is the same thing that he had, because he got over it and I'd like to think that I'll be getting over it soon, too.

So, yeah. My throat is scratchy, my lungs feel like they're full of sand, and I slept for about two hours last night while spending the balance of my time laying there, wishing that it would all end.

I did come to work, though. I'm typing this from my little half-cubicle right now, in fact. Time for lunch, and even though I'm not particularly hungry, I should probably eat.


19 April 2006

Legends of Shadow Comps

My comps of Legends of Shadow are here. I haven't had a spare moment to read the book in depth, but I look forward to doing so.

For now, rest assured that the book looks fabulous.

15 April 2006

Pushing the Envelope of Non-Productivity

Five words:

"I got nothing done today."

Holiday weekends make for busy weekends. Normally, there would be plenty enough daylight left to get some writing in, but I've got company coming in about 90 minutes. Someone tattoo a big "L" on my forehead.

There's always tomorrow. Up at 6am, to the shop by 7am, write until 11am, to Easter dinner at 11:30am, ham and Easter trimmings until 3:30pm, back to the coffee shop by 4pm, and then they close at 7pm.

It sure sounds workable "on paper," but I'm sure something will muck up the plan.


14 April 2006

Pink Floyd Depresses Me

I really do like the music, though.

I'm already predisposed to a certain amount of gloominess. I don't curl up into a ball and weep; I don't stab myself in the leg repeatedly while flushing the toilet again and again. The romantic part of me wants to say, "It's the poet in me," and leave it at that.

When I write, I listen to music. I've got a vast collection of MP3s (all honestly acquired), so I've got a good selection to choose from. Tonight, I started off with Disturbed, and then switched over to Pink Floyd's Mettle after about a half an hour. I got started late tonight, and odds are that I won't be getting much more done before the coffee shop closes (which is why I'm posting in the first place).

Now, Mettle doesn't really depress me. The top depressing PF albums, IMO, are Dark Side of the Moon, The Final Cut, and The Wall. In that order.

When I'd had my fill of Mettle, I switched over to Dark Side of the Moon. I feel much gloomier now than I did when I arrived. What a silly monkey I am! I should have put on something happy, like Carnival of Chaos by GWAR.

Just rambling, just rambling...

I'm on the final leg of my latest endeavor for the Midnight product line, and I've got a good start. Much of tonight was laying it out, getting an idea of what I'll be doing over the next couple of very busy days. Cripes, I wonder if I'll manage it all.

Tomorrow: laundry and housework, followed by a session of my own Midnight campaign. Sometime, between the chores and the game, I need to sit down and get a few thousand words written.

Sunday: Well, it's Easter. It didn't occur to me that the coffee shop would be keeping wierd holiday hours, but I guess they deserve time off just like everyone else. I'll need to work some writing in then, too, either before or after we head to my mom's place for Easter festivities.

Monday and Tuesday are the last two days I have to devote to this chapter. As long as I can manage to get 65%-70% of the work done this weekend, I should be clear to finish things up early next week. Joy! Rapture!

As it is, I need to save this post and get my stuff packed before they push me out of here with a broom.

12 April 2006

Legends of Shadow Update

Oh, and by the way (when I'm not bitching about word counts)...

According to this post on the Against the Shadow forums, Legends of Shadow is shipping. This means that I'll have my comps in hand fairly soon. I hope that my efforts at fleshing out Aradil are met well by the fan base. I'm a bit nervous, and looking back on things, I may have gone a different direction. Hindsight = 20/20, I suppose.

I continue to get Midnight-related work, so I guess my turnover wasn't too horribly terribly bad. Hand of Shadow is a different beast, entirely, and I mean beast.


The more copy that I write, the more firmly I believe in an evil entity that forces authors to over-write to one degree or another. I'm sure he's a gleeful little jerk, perched invisibly on the shoulders of folks with serious deadlines and word count restrictions.

Two years ago, the fear was thus: "A million words?! Holy pickles! How the hell am I going to write a million words?!"

These days, it sounds more like this: "A million words?! Holy pickles! How the hell am I supposed to keep it under a million words?!"

09 April 2006

A Blur of Typing Fingers

That's what this weekend has been to me. I took two nights off from writing -- Thursday and Friday. I so needed a couple of nights off. Thursday was Alan's Shackled City game, where Adam's bard was smashed into so much pulp. He was, perhaps, destined to meet such an end, considering that his hit points were still in the single-digits at 3rd level.

Poor Talmin. We mourn his passing. No longer will he be the butt of many jokes. We will always carry a piece or two of him with us...at least, until we wash our clothes. With the force of the impact from that blow, I'm sure there was a crimson Talmin spritz covering everything within a fifteen foot radius.

Adam will return next time with a magic user, filling a niche in the party that has long been vacant. At last, we'll have some heavy artillery.

Back to writing. My work on the Wizards book was finished a week ago today. I spent the following Monday pitching in on TGM's Arcane Quarter, which should be out fairly soon. It'll be nice to have my name attached to the third in the City Quarters series, regardless of the size of my contribution.

I hadn't planned to do any writing on Tuesday, as that was my wedding anniversary, and my wife and I had plans to go out to dinner. Dinner was great, but we managed to get back home before 7pm. I felt obliged to do some work, and so I went over to It's a Grind and made a little progress on the current Midnight project.

That's what I've been doing all weekend, as a matter of fact: making progress on the Midnight project. I've managed to get quite a bit done, which is good; the deadline is fast approaching, and I want to make sure I'm on time with my turnover so that I can go on to the next project I've got lined up.

Nicole at Green Ronin sent me the preliminary game schedule for Gen Con Indy this year. Once it's been approved by the Gen Con folks, I'll make sure I post my game dates and times. In case I hadn't mentioned it early, I'm running Thieves' World for GR, and doing a little bit of work at their booth.

August seems so far away, until it occurs to me that its only four months down the road and we're already four months into 2006. How the hell did that happen? The busier I get, the faster the time seems to pass.


By the way, Amy and I picked up a copy of FFG's Fury of Dracula boardgame yesterday. When the game was announced, I read the product page and thought, "Hey, this sounds like Scotland Yard with vampires." Scotland Yard happens to be one of Amy's favorite childhood games, even though I've never tried it. We'll need to iron out a time to try it out at some point.