Tag Archives: Dungeons and Dragons

This is going to be a short one, folks

Greetings, readers. Unfortunately, this is going to have to be a rather quick post today, because time has gotten away from us. Rebecca and I were checking emails, Facebook and Twitter as we normally do on Fridays and between needing time to back up files and Rebecca’s leaving early for an appointment, we have to type and leave time to edit. So here we go.

First, the weather. I checked my weather source on the computer this morning and found out that on Tuesday the high temperature will only be 47. The low, thankfully, will be 42. I say thankfully because on Tuesday evenings I meet a friend for coffee, and if the temperature would go below freezing that meeting would be called off. No change of plan is needed. Today started out sunny and beautiful, but a minor storm rolled in and clouded up around noon. People keep telling me we need the rain, and I suppose if I want to see my green grass and nice flowers, I will have to accept their judgement.

Sports playoffs are going on right now. I know my Pittsburgh Penguins made playoffs, but I am not sure rather they won their first round series or not. As for the NBA playoffs, Pittsburgh doesn’t have a team and I’m not much into basketball anyway. My favorite sport is baseball, but of course you probably could have guessed that, being that the MLB video game franchise is my favorite game to play on PS3. Yes, I love my baseball.

Continued prayers go out to the families and friends of those lost on Malaysia Airlines flight 370. I read just the other day that the country is officially calling it a salvage operation now, and I was reassured to hear that they are not going to quit looking for the aircraft. Readers, it’s got to be down there somewhere.

Finally, a little bit about my weekend plans. On Saturday is Dungeons and Dragons gaming day, which is always fun. My character, Donaar, is a dragonborn paladin and I have really gotten into playing that character. The game only goes up to 30th level, so when we reach that I will have to retire Donaar. I think I will actually miss him.

On Sunday it will be a day of rest, recouping, and trying to get this apartment in some kind of order. It seems that every time I take one step forward in cleaning this place, something happens and I am pushed four steps back. I promised myself that this task would be done, so good luck to me on that.

Our next blog entry will of course will be on Wednesday, and as of now the topic is unknown. So until then, take care, have a good weekend, and happy reading.

1,101 words since Friday evening

Greetings, readers. It has been a long time since I have been in a writing groove like this. Yippee! I’ve finally come up with a project which is fairly easy for me to do and it contains characters I’m familiar with. I am trying something brand new with this project. I am keeping a daily log of how many words are written each day. Wednesday I had a big fat goose egg of zero words on the ledger. 😦 And for the first time, I can actually say it bothered me. So, even though it was late last evening, I did get 220 words completed on the script, including having to go to Google Docs and translate two lines of dialog into French. unfortunately, I could not copy and paste from Google Docs to my document. So I had to type in French, not having any of the accent marks; those will come later.

I am embarking on a television script for Star Trek: The Next Generation. Yes, I know that series has been off the air since 1995, but part two of the project will involve turning it into a novel. It will be my third attempt at writing a novel.

My major sticking point is the creation of characters. That’s no problem here. They are created for me already. The next big step will be creating characters of my own. That has been my big sticking point problem up until now. When I wrote my play, Kimberly, the story line was certainly strong enough but the four characters were as flat as pancakes. Especially Lyle, the husband. Even after four drafts, I couldn’t make him any stronger. Thanks to Darren, who’s currently turning that project into a novel; he has fleshed them out and given all four characters much more depth. I’m extremely pleased with what he has done so far.

My writing surge, if you will, is thanks to three people. First of all, Rebecca, for her constant and gentle encouragement. Second, Darren, who has lit a fire under me with the wonderful progress that he has made. And lastly is a man named Ron Jones, who helped compose and put together the Star Trek: Next Generation music on compact discs which I am using to inspire me and get me into the Next Generation zone. That has proven to be quite effective.

Before we sign off, just a quick note about the weekend plans. On Saturday evening is D&D gaming night with Darren and Rebecca. 🙂 Since it is the evening session, that will leave me several hours to continue my work on this new project. Gaming night relies on the weather being good. So far the snow storm predicted for the weekend is apparently going to track south of us. Today is sunny but still dang cold. Spring, please get here soon.

Until next Wednesday, have a great weekend, stay warm, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: New face around here

I am doing the blog entry today because Joe is working with my husband Darren on some ideas for Joe’s work. It is Darren’s first day. Joe and I are used to each other and work very well together, but we have also gotten in a rut. We need someone to bring in new energy and ideas to shake up our mind-set and habits a little bit. Darren has agreed to a trial period of working with Joe to see how much he can advance his writing career. He will work with Joe one day every week or two. Darren is an idea guy and already has a couple of ideas for us to explore. I’m excited to see where we end up in a few months.

There are a couple of challenges to this arrangement. The biggest one is that Joe doesn’t have a suitable seat for Darren in the apartment/office that we usually work in, so they will have to work in public. Right now we are all three working in the community room of Joe’s apartment building, so there is background noise and people wondering in and out. In the future, they might need to work in a noisy restaurant, hopefully with a good internet connection to help them do research, that may be very distracting.

Another question about them working together is, will their styles clash or mesh? From the conversation they are having right now about ideas for an airplane-crash-with-ghosts story, they seem to work together well. They are really cooking today. If they keep this up, and he can follow up on the inspiration, Joe will have a great piece of writing next year.

Actually, this isn’t the first time that Joe and Darren have worked together, though it is the first time they have worked on Joe’s writing. Joe has been doing Dungeons and Dragons (mostly 4th edition) with Darren and me for over two years now. Darren is the Dungeon Master and Joe and I are the players in the game. For four months this last year I was the DM while Joe and Darren were the players going through the adventure. We will start another adventure with Darren as DM next month. So they know each other and have been partners, but they are having a conversation now that they never had before, about writing styles and genres.

We will keep you updated about how it works. Welcome to the team, Darren!

Joe will do another blog entry either tomorrow or Friday. As he would say, take care and happy reading.

I got my vacation pictures back and the students are back

Greetings, readers. I am back in the flow of working again and it feels good. I spent a wonderfully productive morning typing one of the new camp book stories. Speaking of camp, I got my vacation pictures back the other day and all but one clunker turned out beautifully. I had taken shots not only of the trip to Maine and Bear Spring Camps, but also several pictures when I stopped at Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. I got pictures of the waves, of the sand, a couple of birds, and as far as people, I purposefully did not take any close up shots of strangers. Boy, has Hampton Beach changed since I had last been there. Let’s see, last time I was there was 1975. It obviously is much more built up with shops, eateries and motels. And of course, everything is more expensive, including food and parking. Still, I would not have traded those couple of hours for anything; a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

One of the pictures, most likely the shot of my cabin, will be the cover photo for the upcoming camp book; while other very cute shots, such as the sculptures of a moose and black bears at two rest stops in Maine, will definitely be used inside the book. I  believe they will be just as beautiful in black and white as they are in color. Also in the photo packs were pictures of the grand nieces and nephews, as well as other members of my best friend David Trost’s family. While not all shots turned out great, I will choose some photos to include inside the book. I will also ask Peg, the owner of the camp, if I can include some photos of the camp ground itself. Oh, how I love those one-time throw-away cameras with the high shutter speeds. They allow me, even with my wobbly hand, to take decent pictures.

Part two of this blog entry, deals with the end of summer. Or at least summer as I know it. Yes, the Penn State students are back in town. Gone are the nights that are quiet; back are the nights where whooping and hollering will be heard until the wee hours. I suppose though that after seven hours of classes that the students need to let off some steam. We have a pub right across the street from my apartment building that can get quite crowded on a Friday or Saturday night, especially on a football weekend. But this is a college town and these kids do support the local economy. And I do understand that lots of students the PSU football games, which I also enjoy on TV, unless I’m at Rebecca and Darren’s place playing Dungeons and Dragons.

By the winter time the football season is over and the town calms down a little. However I still enjoy the time from early May until the third week in August. Yes, there are students here taking summer classes, but places like Panera and the Diner don’t ever seem to be as crowded. On football weekends I don’t even try to go to Panera anymore. Lines are out the door. Enough said about that. I am done ranting and raving.

Until next week, have a great weekend. Enjoy the good weather if you’ve got it. Take care and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Words were coming slow today

I thought of a few different topics for this blog entry, but none are really panning out. I am on the public computers at Schlow library and I am running out of my allotted time. So, this will be a short post to basically say hello to you all.

I just saw that Joe posted on his Facebook page that he was at Southington CT last night and is doing well. He plans to be in New Hampshire sometime today. Yay Joe!

I don’t know how many of you know a role-playing game called Dungeons and Dragons, (D&D) or its companion game Pathfinder. Joe has been playing D&D with my husband Darren and me for two years now. We have a lot of fun on our Saturdays around the table with our character sheets and dice. My husband Darren has played the game since he was a teenager. He is the Dungeon Master, (DM) which means that he takes the players (Joe and I) through the adventures and play all the characters that the players don’t play – like the monster we battle or the tradespeople that we get goods from. I have been playing D&D with Darren for about 10 years, since Darren introduced me to it a year or so after we started dating. Darren is a great DM, but he has wanted to be a player. So I agreed to DM if he did all the prep work and all I would have to do is run the game. I didn’t feel like I could do a good job of getting the adventure ready myself – there is a lot of work to it. Unfortunately for me, I still have to do some studying to learn things that I will use when running the game. And I also need to read through the adventure to be prepared for my players (Darren and Joe) when they get to each section. I will be playing the monsters that are defeated for treasure and experience points. Exciting; once I have done my homework! We will start the adventure when Joe gets back from Maine.

I am off now to feed Keekee, give her some petting if she feels like it, and organize a few files. Until next week, have good days and great weather.

Happy Friday to all! 11/2/12

Greetings, readers. As I begin my usual Friday blog post, a number of things are weighing on my mind. First, the weather forecasters tell us that we are still going to see a fair amount of cloud cover today, and our first sunny day since the storm won’t be until tomorrow. Note to Lord: I am a depressed person. I need my sunshine!

Second, work is finally proceeding nicely. This is putting me in a better mood. For a while it was feeling like I was pulling teeth just trying to write two sentences that weren’t crap. Writing assistant Rebecca has been a source of inspiration with suggestions and exercises; most of which are paying dividends.

Third, I am looking forward to tomorrow’s weekly Dungeons and Dragons gaming day. When I first started playing, almost two years ago, I didn’t think I would get into it as much as I have. It’s quite fun on a Saturday afternoon. We laugh, we joke, and we kill some nasty beasties.

Lastly, as the month ahead needs planning, I must sit down with pen and paper and plan out as best I can my spending schedule for the rest of November. Recently I have been a spend-thrift. This must be slowed down. You see, living in a small apartment, going out is nice, but with the price of coffee on the rise, places like Panera Bread, Ye Old College Diner in downtown State College, and Dunkin’ Donuts must be cut back. : (  Actually, learning to make my money go further has been a goal of mine. So everyone please wish me good luck on this.

Have a great weekend. Please do chime in to any of my recent posts if you wish. Take care and happy reading.

Should a writer have a secret project?

Greetings, readers. I have often pondered this very question. Should I, or any writer, have a secret project that no one else knows about? In my earlier years, I said no. Why wouldn’t I want a friend or an editor to read what I am writing, as I progress, in case it is mostly garbage. But now I’m not so certain.

In the last six months or so, certain things in my life have transpired to make me re-ask this question. Should I have that secret project? It would be the project that I could put on my earphones and, in my own little world, dive into writing. My own personal movie theater, if you will.

A few weeks ago I sat at the local coffee shop with tablet in hand and thought to myself, ok, if I am going to do this, what will be the topic? I came up with a few good ones and a lot of clunkers. A little more thought must to put into it before I determine whether this private project will be undertaken.

I am going to ask that either later today, or next week, friend Rebecca chimes in with her two cents on this question. And of course, any of my readers who wish to reply as well, please feel free to do so.

On to news of the weekend, very quickly, the Penn State Nittany Lion football team is at Virginia, and I will be gaming (D&D) with Rebecca and her husband Darren on Saturday as well. Sunday evening is dinner at Godmother’s as per usual; I always have a nice time there. And wouldn’t you know, another week is in the books. Until next Wednesday, take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: While Joe is away

Hi, Joe’s readers. While Joe is away at Bear Spring Camps, I will write a few blog entries. This will be the only one this week, and then I will write at least two next week.

I am writing this at the Schlow Centre Region Library in State College, on one of their public computers. This library is one of my favorite places in the whole world. I have been coming here since I was a child. I love books and I love reading. I especially love mysteries. Right now I am re-reading the J.D. Robb series and the Mrs. Pollifax series by Dorothy Gilman. I could browse in libraries and bookstores for hours. My husband also enjoys books and reading, as well as games like Axis and Allies and Dungeons and Dragons.

I am spending time with Keekee, Joe’s cat, while he is away, talking to her, and making sure she has food and water. She spends a lot of time sleeping on top of the refrigerator. She ignores me a lot now, but I think she will want a lot of my attention by the end of next week.

I haven’t talked to Joe yet today, but he called me yesterday just before he crossed the Piscataqua River Bridge and the Maine state line. Those of you who read his first camp book, Picking Up Where We Left Off, will remember that he mentioned that bridge and how much it meant to him.

Joe, if you are reading this from camp, imagine my arm waving at you. Hi, Joe!