Jan
8

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Reading Aloud

The oldest drove back to college yesterday afternoon and the house is already much emptier. It’s strange how quickly that happens. It’s not just his physical presence, absent, it’s his energy. I’m very fortunate to have a good relationship with both of our children.

He sure gave us a wonderful gift this year, a mini-roleplaying campaign of about seven episodes that I’m most likely to turn into a Dabir and Asim novella.

When not gaming or writing I’ve been reading my way through The Big Book of Locked-Room Mysteries. I may have to pick it up and permanently add it to my collection. Not just because it’s really too big to read when borrowed from the library, but because there’s some masterful stuff in here that I might want to read again. The most interesting, so far, are a Sherlock Holmes pastiche by none other than Stephen King which is one of the finest pastiches I’ve ever read (“The Doctor’s Case) and the best Manly Wade Wellman story I’ve ever read, a mystery set on an Indian reservation, “A Knife Between Brothers.” I’ve yet to read a real dud, and even the minor ones still have me nodding my head in approval.

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Jan
1

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Clean Slate?

Ready or not, 2018 is upon us. It’s not so much a clean slate as a continuation of what’s come before, but the end of the year is a good time for reflection.

After that long gauntlet of deadlines I took a lot of time over the last four weeks and did house work, spent time with family, readied for the holidays, read for fun, and wrote some short stories. This morning I stepped back to the long suffering novel and think I’ve finally tweaked an argument at a turning point in the book so it works. It was the last sticking place, I think. I hope to know my editor’s take in just a couple of days.

2017 was a strange beast. There was a lot of personal stress that I won’t go into, but there were a lot of achievements as well, the first being the successful launch of Tales From the Magician’s Skull. I’m delighted to be the magazine’s editor. I spent the majority of the year thoroughly revising one novel — and that entailed rewriting vast portions of it — and then finished writing a second one. I was invited to write for and assemble a collection of World War II stories for a secret project that will shortly be announced, and I did that, and it was a blast. I’d never have thought I could pull that off, much less that I’d have an opportunity to try, but I’m pretty pleased with the result.

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Dec
22

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Twenty-two

Here we are twenty-two days into December and as I look back on the first day of December things around here have changed a little.

My first-born’s back from his first semester as a junior in college, which is mind-blowing. He’s been re-reading the Dabir and Asim novels and short stories with an eye towards running some role-playing adventures for my wife and I — with her playing Dabir and me playing Asim. That just sounds like a whole lot of fun, and he may try running the first one tonight.

That’s assuming that we’re not working late on dinner prep, because we’re hosting the extended family Christmas dinner at our place this year, for the first time. That’s meant that a LOT Of my spare time over the last three weeks has been dedicated to some deep cleaning. The house needed it, even if I didn’t, so much. After that really long run towards deadlines through both October and November I was hoping for more downtime. Read More

Dec
13

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Treasures

All kinds of cool treasures are rolling in these days. It’s nice to have friends.

I’ll save more detailed descriptions for a day when I have a little more time (I’m determined to finish most of my new short story today).

First, though, the new Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea is a thing of beauty, a work of art. I spent thirty minutes last night just flipping through and soaking up all the artwork. If it’s not THE go-to sword-and-sorcery rpg at this point, it’s tied for first place. It just oozes the right vibe. In the next little bit I’ll post some pics. Read More

Dec
11

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Return to Normalcy

It may be beginning to look a lot like Christmas, but after a week simply doing some house cleaning/fixing, reading, and some board gaming, it’s more important to me that I’m beginning to feel a little more human. I was driving at a lot of deadlines all at approximately the same time. I knew I was stressed, but I didn’t realize HOW stressed until the last week, when I started to feel normal.

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Writing

More Drafting Thoughts

Friday, April 22, 2016

In writing about rough drafts the other day I realized that I breezed over an important step — outlining. I’ve discussed outlining on the site before (just search through my Writing…

Rough Drafts

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

I’ve continued to experiment with rough draft methods. The goal is, naturally, to get the rough draft close so that you make as few passes as possible between rough and…

House Rules

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

If you’re not a tabletop gamer or have no interest in tabletop gaming you should read no further unless you want to be bored or roll your eyes….

Hard Writing Lessons 6 – Head Games

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

I’ve been writing fiction since I was in grade school, and I noticed the other day that my first published novel hit the bookstores in 2009, which is a…

Hard Writing Lessons 4 — Word Count

Friday, April 1, 2016

I’ve been busy drafting the new novel but not very busy blogging. When things are going smoothly it’s easy to whip up a quick blog post and still…