The Writing Life

Things have been a little more quite on the web site here as they’ve gotten busier in the real world. I’m involved in promotional efforts for The Bones of the Old Ones— far more time consuming than I would have realized a few years back — and I’m putting a polish on the first two-thirds of the third Dabir and Asim novel. I wish I was polishing all of it, but I don’t have all of it written.

As of this weekend, though, I must switch gears to begin work on my next Pathfinder Tales book for Paizo. As I’ll be busy with that for several months, I don’t want to come back to a bunch of messy first draft pages on book 3 of Dabir and Asim (with plot arcs that fizzle, character names that change, and long slow bits that don’t go anywhere) so I’ve spent several weeks shoring things up and doing some tweaking.

It may be because of my work on the upcoming Pathfinder novel, but I’ve been feeling a real itch to do some gaming. Or it may be because I’m feeling a little stressed and need to decompress. The sitcom stereotype is, of course, that when women get stressed they go shopping for clothes. Me, I open up the closet of cool strategy and tactical boardgames I never get to play because I’m always so busy, and sigh longingly.

Last night, instead of writing some more e-mails or revisiting my Pathfinder Tales outline, I was surfing online for information about all sorts of great looking strategic and tactical wargames that I don’t own, wanting to buy them. Much like the sitcom shoe shopping woman, though, I know full well that anything I buy would end up in the closet with all the other shoes… where shoes equals cool games that are being unplayed, like GMT’s SPQR or Chariots of Fire, or Victory Point Games’ Zulus on the Ramparts! or Astra Titanus, or DVG’s Field Commander: Napoleon or Thunderbolt Apache Leader.

I traded a bunch of old comic books and role playing books on Ebay to pick up the GMT and DVG stuff at about this time of year in 2010 and 2011, and I’m sad to say that I’ve played Chariots of Fire exactly once, and Astra Titanus a half dozen times (it plays much faster). Chariots is a game of bronze-age tactical combat, where you’re managing entire armies. In Astra Titanus, you’re commanding a starfleet desperately fighting off what is essentially the Doomsday Machine (or for those of you with no appreciation of Star Trek history or the BEST STAR TREK EPISODE EVER, a Borg cube). I loved them both and want to play more, and these other games look great, but being a father, husband, and writer doesn’t leave much time for fighting imaginary battles. There are too many real world goblins that need taming or slaying.

Maybe I’ll allow myself a break over winter and lead some kind of paper army into battle. For now, though, I must press on with the everyday battles.

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