23 June 2006

Time To Get Cracking

I have decided that it is time for me to go back into overdrive. Work lately has been sporadic, due in part to my birthday blues. It's time to get the old motivation back, to live up to some kind of ideal. After all, there is work to be done.

You might recall I was tired yesterday. I went home after work and had a short nap, and once the boy was down to bed at 7:00, I went back to bed and slept until 5:30am (with a brief spell of activity between 10 and 11). I feel better for the sleep, though I'm still a bit tired.

22 June 2006

Drag Arse Tired

I've got another fifteen minutes until my lunch hour expires. I should've spent it sleeping. My son continued to be sick and cranky last night, a condition brought on by an adverse reaction to a recent innoculation. I didn't get to bed until about midnight, and he was restless and fussy much of the night (which kept both my wife and I on pins and needles).

Sleep? I have a vague memory of what it must be like.

He does seem to have improved somewhat, so here's hoping that tonight is a bit more restful than the past two nights have been. As tempting as it is for me to beg my manager to let me go home early, I can't really afford to do that.

If I can manage to get a nap in after work, I plan to go to the coffee shop and get some work done tonight.

So that's that for the time being. I'll be in touch...

21 June 2006

Comp Copy Update

No, I haven't received my copies of CotHR (or of TiT, for that matter).

However, I did hear back from Black Industries, and I guess I should expect them to be sent out soon. It's not exactly the, "They're in the mail, and you should get them any day," answer that I wanted, but it's far better than, "We decided to donate your comps to a local animal shelter for use as cage-lining."

I'm staggering through the day in a sleep-deprived haze right now. The boy has been sick since last night, after suffering a reaction to his latest bout of innoculations. Unfortunately, there's not much we can do but administer Tylenol and TLC in equal doses. Should I go out to write tonight, I fear that I will merely end up shorting out my laptop when the drool from my slack jaw pours out onto it.

Campbell's chicken and stars soup for lunch. Yum!

18 June 2006

Getting Started is (Often) the Hardest Part

I tell you, I've been tired lately, and not a little bit down in the dumps. It's that damned birthday coming, I tell you. At least I don't lie about my age (though there was a time when I was certain that I was a year older than I actually was; what a relief it was to find out the truth!).

Anyway, I'm sitting in the local coffee shop, outlining some work, sipping an iced coffee, and trying to settle into ye olde writing mode. Some days it's easier said than done.

Oh, by the way. To those who might be interested, I've been to every game store in the county and I haven't seen a single copy of Children of the Horned Rat on the shelves. Amazon lists it for sale, with a 24 hour turn-around. I'm not sure what this means. Maybe someone can enlighten me?

In any case, it's Father's Day here in the States. My wife took me out for sushi last night to honor my second Father's Day, leaving our son at home with his uncle in the babysitting role. The sushi was good, and it was nice to have some time alone with my gal. Given that I've got other things on my mind, it's not always easy for me to enjoy the time we have together.

This morning, my son and I went to my mother's place, and I cooked breakfast for my stepdad. It turned out well enough, for your typical cholesterol-laden morning meal.

What was I saying about writing? Oh, yeah. I guess I'd better get to it. Chop, chop.

17 June 2006

One Night in Sanctuary Pre-Indy Playtest

I've managed to recruit a group of local gamers to help me playtest the Thieves' World scenario I'm going to be running at Gen Con this summer. I'd planned to run the game at a local shop, Game Empire, which is more or less central to the folks who will be playing.

Unfortunately, it appears as if weekends are the time of tournies at the game store, and the management won't allow me to reserve a table for the four-hour event. I was told to call in the afternoon so see if tables were available; this doesn't do me much good, because it means that any manner of planning with a coherent schedule is impossible. The other option, I was told, is to run the game during the week. Fat chance, considering work schedules.

The manager of the store (I reckon; if not a manager, he was still someone in authority) was playing a computer game in the back, and seemed somewhat annoyed that the employee who was helping me would be bothering him about this. Wonderful customer service, that. I've got no problem with the fellow who took time to help me out, but the manager's obvious unwillingness to help -- or, at the least, to be congenial about the question -- was all too obvious. Color me unimpressed.

If I needed another reason to shop for my game books on Amazon, Game Empire's management has handed it to me. Let's see what Amazon has going for it.

Reduced pricing? Check.

Large selection? Check.

No need to drive thirty miles to browse the shelves? Check.

Oh, and no need to deal with owners/managers who would rather play video games than help a long-time customer out? Check!

Allow me to be somewhat annoyed. I understand that these miniatures and Pokemon tournaments bring the store money, but at the price of alienating patrons who don't play those types of games. The store has a pretty large room set aside, but it's not big enough, I guess.

There are few enough game stores of quality in the area these days. The one most local to myself, Pair A Dice Games, is geared heavily towards CCGs. Game Empire, obviously, is more worried about customers who play minis and Pokemon. Game Towne, my former employer (in the distant mists of time), has recently closed down its tiny little game room (according to the rumors I'm hearing). Not many other options remain to me.

15 June 2006

Hand of Shadow At Print

As mentioned a couple of weeks ago on Against the Shadow, Hand of Shadow is at print. Amazon.com lists a street date of June 25th.

14 June 2006

On the Cusp of Thirty-Three

I'll be turning 33 in just over two weeks. Another year behind, and who knows how many more years ahead. Not to mention, Father's Day is this Sunday. It will be my second Father's Day as a father.

It's hard to believe how fast time is passing. Used to be a month was a long time, and a year...well, a year was an eternity. No longer is this the case. The older I get, the faster my life seems to slip away. It's like the vortex around the drain at the bottom of a bathtub: the closer you get to the center, the faster 'round you go.

I got an email from Amazon.com this morning, suggesting that I order a copy of Children of the Horned Rat, since I've previously ordered WFRP products. I was like, "Hey, no fair. I wrote it!" Well, part of it, at any rate. I keep having dreams (nightmares?) that my copies of the book show up, but I can't recognize any of the writing as my own.

This little evil test is making the rounds. I figure I'll join in and show you folks just how benign I actually am. It's sort of embarassing.

You Are 28% Evil

A bit of evil lurks in your heart, but you hide it well.
In some ways, you are the most dangerous kind of evil.

I've been reading a lot lately. Not "a lot" compared to some folks, but for me, yes. Good stuff, too. Unfortunately, it's research for a project and I can't really divulge what it is I'm reading up on. I'm such a tease.

So, GenCon comes closer to being a reality. I've recruited a crew of strangers for a pre-con playtest of my Thieves' World scenario. All I need to do now is nail down a venue for the playtest to take place. I'm aiming for Game Empire, a FLGS down in Clairemont Mesa. I need to head down there soon and see what I can dig up on reserving a table...if that's even possible.

And so it goes. I guess I should get back to work.

02 June 2006

My iPod as a Magic Eight Ball

I don't own an iPod, but I do have iTunes. So...check this out. It doesn't really make much sense, but maybe I can overanalyze it into doing so. My comments (if any) are in italics. The titles don't always hold us much weight as the songs themselves.

Instructions: Go to your music player of choice and put it on shuffle. Say the following questions aloud, and press play. Use the song title as the answer to the question. NO CHEATING.

How does the world see you?
Wiser Time – The Black Crowes
Ummmm...ooookay. Let me think about this. Moving forward, not looking back?

Will I have a happy life?
Close (to the Edit) – Art of Noise
Not many words to speak of here (except for the occasional, "Hey!" or "Tra la la"), so I guess since the song makes me happy...I guess the answer is yes? Either that, or I won't be happy until I've closed (to the edit) or drawn closer to some ephemeral edge.

What do my friends really think of me?
A View to a Kill – Duran Duran
I was voted "Most Likely To Become An International Spy" in my senior year.

Do people secretly lust after me?
Kizmiaz – The Cramps
I guess not.

How can I make myself happy?
Threshold – Front Line Assembly
A song about political corruption, martyrs...ultimately, a pretty depressing techno-industrial tune, and not altogether promising.

What should I do with my life?
Eat Steel - GWAR
Should I be eating the steel, or making other people eat the steel? Now I'm confused.

Will I ever have children?
This Was My Life - Megadeth
It's obvious that I've had children. Perhaps this means that my life was leading up to having kids..? Or, perhaps, my life is now going to be all about my kid(s).

What is some good advice for me?
Golgotha Tenement Blues – Machines of Loving Grace
This seems to tell me to stay the heck away from the big city. Another not-so-happy song.

How will I be remembered?
Prophecy – Queensryche
It's not like I'm Nostradamus or anything.

What is my signature song?
Canary in a Coal Mine – The Police
Ah, finally, something I can agree with.

What do I think my current theme song is?
No Sign of Yesterday (live) – Men At Work
My loves of yesterday, lost and forgotten?

What does everyone else think my current theme song is?
Sick of You – GWAR
Oh, please. I'm not that big a jerk. I don't think.

What song will play at my funeral?
Brother (unplugged) – Alice in Chains
I guess I don't get this one, either. It's not as if I'm estranged from my family or anything.

What type of men/women do I like?
The Happiest Days of Our Lives – Pink Floyd
If this is to be read rightly, I guess it means I like school-age ladies. Or school teachers. Hrm.

What is my day going to be like?
Submerged – Synaesthesia
Ambient music, so no lyrics to interpret. Does this mean I'll be drowning in a short while? Or, more likely, I'll be drenched in sweat (as I'm wearing the uniform tomorrow).

In any case, I call B.S. Yet it does prove how absolutely bored I am, if I'm willing to run the thing, post it, and then (to make matters worse) try to shoehorn meaning into it.

I'm going to bed now.

I'm Still Waiting

To see a copy of Children of the Horned Rat, that is. From his posts on RPGnet, Steve Darlington is just as bereft of his comp copies as I am of mine.

The sad truth about freelance writing and complimentary copies of the products you produce is that you rarely (if ever) get to see them before they are released to the general public. On one hand, this is hardly an issue; technically, I am able to see these books, albeit in a somewhat raw and fragmentary format, months before the average gamer will be able to slap down his money to purchase a copy.

On the other hand, it's almost like fathering a child, yet having to wait until the rest of the family gets to see it before you do. You'd love to be handing out cigars, but you don't know if the baby is a boy or a girl yet. You hear a lot of things from the folks who've seen the kid: "Oh, it's just adorable!" or "It's got its father's eyes!" but you've no way to make your own judgements on the baby's appearance. For all you know, it was born with six eyes, buck teeth, and an extra nipple.

I very much doubt that Children is a book I'll be ashamed of. From what I've seen (of the final drafts, way back when), it's going to be on par with the incredible standards of quality and excellence that is practically synonymous with both Green Ronin and Black Industries. That fact makes the waiting even more miserable than it would be if I didn't give a toot one way or the other.

And so I whine, on and on.

This weekend, I start (and finish) work on another non-RPG project before going back to the figurative trenches of Ye Olde Uber-Secret Booke. It was tough to get rolling, but now that I've made some progress I'm feeling a bit more confident about the whole thing.

Break is over. Back to work. See you on the flip side.