Waiting

October 17, 2021

I’m waiting for the gunshot on October 31 at midnight so I can start writing. I have the characters ready to go: the casting is done, the playlist exists…now everyone’s milling around waiting for the settings, the scenes, to speak the dialogue and do the actions.

I have the beginning and the end, but the middle, not so much.

In December, on Small Publishing In a Big Universe, I am going to be interviewed for my new book Carnival Farm. Well, it’s been recorded and it just needs to be edited. Also Carnival Farm’s audio book might be out in December. And also on December 11, I will be at the author expo in Pawtuxet/Cranston, RI. It’s a dialysis day, so I’m probably going to be a wreck. I have to find a dress I can wear.

Speaking of dresses, I went through my clothes and donated the ones that don’t fit anymore, or that I’ve had for “work” and haven’t worn for the last three years. I discovered some clothes that were my favorites, but I was ruthless and tossed them in the bag to go to the Goodwill. I brought them down before I could change my mind.

I will have a special NaNoWriMo website set up which will have my work. I could, if I wanted to, submit this to The Storyteller’s Vault which allows fan-fiction of Vampire, Werewolf, and any of the other RPG’s. You need to pay for the license to get paid, though.

I’ll stick to offering it for free, raw and unedited, all 50,000 words or so. Trust me, it’ll be bad.

NaNoWriMo Planning

October 1, 2021

All of a sudden, I have a hankering for LARPing. Ah, the nostalgia of my college years, when Vampire: The Masquerade was all the rage and Mind’s Eye Theatre had a foothold in Brown University. Instead of doing it, I collected the books and stayed on the fringes. Far be it for me to be of the same ilk as Brown kids.

I still have all of my White Wolf books, the V:TM core rule book. The Player’s Guide. Mage: The Ascension first edition. Vampire: Dark Ages. Changeling: The Dreaming, first edition. Werewolf: The Apocalypse, first edition. Somewhere is Wraith: The I Forget, but I can’t put my hands on it right now. I pulled down all these books and paged through them, remembering the good old days when I would create a character and…nothing.

I had in my head at the time a story which I now know would be considered fanfiction. The Giovanni vampires took over Rhode Island. An old Gangrel who had been Prince of Providence comes back to see how things are going. Providence is a mess, with Sabbat packs roaming the streets, crime up, everyone in the Giovanni’s back pocket, and all the Camarilla scattered “in hiding” around the state. (Now, RI is as big as some counties, so it’s not like they’re far away from each other.)

In 2005, I was on a tear for anything V:TM or Mage-related. I know this because there is a digital RPG site called DriveThruRPG that I downloaded a ton of source books and novels at that time. They’re still in my library, all the .pdf’s. So I downloaded them all and read most of them.

What if I wrote the story that was in my head from the 2000’s? Scenes and bits are still there in the recesses of the corkboard of my brain, ready to be used. Thus, Prince of Providence is in gestation.

I pulled out a 2-subject notebook (on clearance at BJ’s Warehouse, doncha know). The first section is characters. The second section is plot or brainstorm. No scenes yet, because if I write them out, I might as well start the darn book. And I can’t until November 1. Then I printed out sheets for each character.

Boy, was that a mistake.

I now have a pile of RPG character sheets, which, although good for keeping my characters in line, created a huge cast of characters that I probably won’t use half of them. There’s Camarilla and Sabbat and Mages and Lupines. For a week, I’ve been filling out RPG sheets, getting inklings of characters, sitting with each and every one, making notes on their idiosyncrasies. I didn’t bother doing “Merits and Flaws” because that’s shoehorning them into something more strict. But it’s like D&D: Charisma and Intelligence and Strength.

There is “Nature” and “Demeanor” that I find indispensable. Nature is what the character is on the inside; Demeanor is how the character presents themselves to the world. This is how I plan on keeping the characters straight. “Concept” helps too. That’s what the character is supposed to emulate. For instance, the main character, Ragest, has a concept of “Adventurer”. Then there’s details: skills, abilities, and knowledge.

My plan is to “play the game” while writing. If I get stuck, I’ll roll the 10-sided dice. Example: Ragest has to figure out how to get into a laptop. He has one “Computer” related die, and four “Intelligence” die. I roll them versus a difficulty of 8 (6 is average, but because he’s not a computer guy, I increased the difficulty). If he gets three out of five successes, he wins. If not, it’s a loss, and he’s got to hand the laptop to someone else with better computer skills. If they all fail, it’s a “botch” and he broke the computer.

What this will do is cause me to do twists and turns that I normally wouldn’t do. It’s totally random and unpredictable.

This is gonna be fun.

Pantser, Plotter, Plantser

September 15, 2021

I’m not a pantser anymore. I have a poster up on my corkboard that has “My Contract With My Reader”. The first thing is: “I will not waste your time.” Ergo, “I will not waste my time.”

As a pantser, that’s what I did. I would write myself into boxes, toss half of it away, and start over. Frustrating as all hell. So I tried plotting, and you know how that goes (read some past posts).

I plot with a lot of wiggle room. I have a point where I start, and usually a point where I finish, and how I get there is…open. Most of the time. There are a few times that I there are certain things that need to happen, and I make room for that.

However, with this newest WIP, I’m creating a “bible” that has all the background information. The story is told in the main character’s POV, and she hasn’t got a clue really what’s going on. In an attempt not to infodump (which is what my first draft was) I’m trying to spread the information out a little bit at a time. But I have to put the background somewhere.

I have a 3 subject notebook. The first subject is characters. The second subject is scenes behind the scenes, that the main character doesn’t know about but that I have to clarify for the other characters to move on. The third subject is for the live plots in the story.

I’m still working on the character page. Right now I have:
Age:
Relationship to MC:
Titles:
Family:
Personality and Skills (Thank you GURPS and Vampire: The Masquerade)
Physical Description (Which is the name of an actor/actress from IMDB)
What chapters they are in and what they do.

So yes, Jason Momoa and a “Raiders” Harrison Ford are in this book. I’ll let you figure out who they are.

I haven’t written down any background scenes and I’m still organizing the plots.

Oh, and what is the WIP about, you ask?

Imagine that the northern part of Maine, north of Route 95, are all feudal societies. Some live with technology and no magic; the rest live with magic and little technology. What if a person is able to use magic in the technological world, and technology in the magic world? That’s the Taurin. Among other things.

I’ll give you a few more snippets of the story another time. My editing is going slow now because I’m doing podcasts for Small Publishing in a Big Universe and my own Dark Mystic Quill. SPBU is a showcase for my publisher’s wares. DMQ is the same thing it’s always been: Writing, Witchcraft and Woe. Maybe not so much woe anymore.

So I am off to get my hand looked at. Carpal Tunnel, here we are!

CBD, medical issues, and Afghanistan

August 22, 2021

Three top things in my life right now. I have arthritis in my left thumb. It hurts when I move the thumb toward the palm, or I extend it to pick up something wide (oh, like Tarot cards????). A friend of mine suggested I try CBD. She’s an Earth Mother type of person, totally organic, wears Crocs, and recycles EVERYTHING. So yeah, marijuana is good for you! It’s natural.

I went with her to the local CBD store. No, I don’t smoke or vape it. I bought a balm to rub on my thumb and the muscles of the thumb. Nothing. Nada.

At the same time, I ordered a CBD cream for joint pain. Tried that. Nothing. Nada.

Then I used both at the same time. That works, for a short time. I think I’ll go back to Tylenol.

My dry weight (that is, my weight when I leave dialysis) has increased because I’m back to eating 3 relatively small meals a day. After a year of the shakes, it was just too much. I couldn’t stand them. I have a case of them left. Maybe after a few months of eating food, I’ll go back to them.

Afghanistan. I wrote about Afghanistan in my first published book, and in my hopefully eventually to be released Director’s Cut of War Mage. I knew the Taliban were going to take over. They have a culture that wants them to die. It’s a holy thing if they die. Like the Norse and Greeks, warriors go right to heaven. The Afghan National Army didn’t have that culture. That’s why they gave up and ran.

Presently, it’s an odd way to think, to have such deep faith. The ANA (aka, the West) forgot faith. The West needs a faith, something that will bring us together and make us fight. We had a reason to fight until we got our revenge for 9/11, and then we tried “Nation Building” with a culture that’s full of tribes and ancient tradition. Soldiers are not social workers. They’re warriors. Whole different skill set.

In War Mage, Brent is turned into a social worker, and the book is about how he spectacularly….fails? Succeeds? You decide.

Dark Mystic Quill Returns (again)

July 30, 2021

My podcast has returned! Take a listen to it on iTunes (er, Apple Podcasts).

Whatever you do, don’t go to the website darkmysticquill.com. It’s a mess. We’ll get to fixing it soon.