Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Birthday, Chickie!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Short Story becomes an RPG

So, this short story I'm writing is turning into an RPG. So far I'm only working on character creation and brainstorming the rest. I think Carl and/or Dave will have to help either build a mechanic or find one that suits it. Carl has suggested that I read Wild Talents, so I will probably do just that as soon as I have everything that is in my head typed up, written down, hammered out, etc.

It's pretty good so far, because it seems like it could be a light one-shot or a long-term psionics or supers game. We have to build character advancement suited to the "Class Schedule" character creation, but that seems like it will work relatively well.

In the meanwhile, yes, I'm still working on the teeny animals patterns. I'm a little bored with the puppy, I think I"m going to work on the octopus next. Which reminds me, I used most of my wiggly eyes for Christmas ornaments, so I should probably buy some more, at least of the smaller sizes.

I'm still deciding what to do with the actual short story itself, I'm thinking of posting it as a blog, but I'm not quite sure how to handle that. Plus, I'm kinda afraid people will like it. I'm not a writer, what if they want more from me?

Tomorrow I have the day off and I'm looking at putting some serious time into putting the living room back into order, there's only a couple of weeks before the tree trimming party. I need to at least have the bathroom and the downstairs in order for that.

I also will probably get started on crocheting Nibbler, from Futurama. Should be interesting. At least I have practice at making eye stalks from the Traxxian. After a sweater, an afghan and most of a vest, I'm itching to get back to some 3D/doll work.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Gotta love the internet.

So, having just posted a few minutes ago that I was totally stumped about what to do for work for Christmas, I spent some time playing around on some craft sites and I figured out what I'm going to do. North Pole sign posts! Craft sticks glued to candy canes, how easy!

Projects moving along!

The short story is going well. Added three more sections tonight. (I hesitate to call them chapters even though I'm numbering them that way, because it's only 12 pages so far.) As Dave said, conflict drives a story and so far I've got the antagonizer (yes, I meant it that way, I know the correct term is antagonist.) introduced and I'm working on setting up our dear narrating main character for her downfall. I'm know, I'm evil. I don't think this is going to have an entirely happy ending.

Her biggest conflict is in her own head and I don't believe that I am a skilled enough writer to be able to carry a story long enough to solve that one.

I'm thinking that since it's not likely to be economical to print this thing. I certainly can't ask anyone to spend $8 on what's likely to turn out to be about 20-25 pages and actually, in good conscience, expect them to pay for it.

Also, the living room is coming along nicely. Slowly, but nicely. I didn't get much done tonight, but that's because I was making soup out of the over-abundance of green tomatoes that I brought in the other afternoon.

The baby afghan is nearly done. I just have to finish the border. Yay!

Still brainstorming on the set of patterns to go along with the little bunny and the puppy. For some reason I feel like it needs to be a set of 6 or so, related but different patterns.

I need to think of something to do for work for Christmas. I made candy cane reindeer last year and I want to do something for everybody again, but I don't want to do the same thing, because there's so many people who are still here from last year. I was debating Hershey kiss angels, but I'm afraid that they might be too time consuming and expensive. Candy cane mice would be cheap, they're tedious. I'm looking for something with only a couple quick steps. Sigh.

Oh, well. I guess I'll come up with something eventually.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Story is taking off and the cookbook is getting written.

So that crazy dream I had the other night is turning out to lend itself pretty well to a short story, I have eleven pages so far. However, I found myself suffering from some sick twisted form of writers where I'm not technically, but the story is trying to write itself from end back in my head. I know where I want to go, but I'm not sure how to get there.

I should stop and ask for directions.

On the plus side, I did get some work down on the OMG cookbook, it has not been a completely wasted day. Woo.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Tales of MU

The following is a copy of the first chapter of the online story Tales of MU, posted here by invitation of the author. Please note that while this teaser is safe for all ages, the rest of the story is intended for adults. If you enjoy this chapter, the address to read more is ... and please spread the word by sharing the link or copying this entire message to your own journal, blog, forum, or personal webpage! Permission is given to post the first chapter only, without any cuts or edits, and with this entire message attached. Note: e-mailing to friends and printing out copies are also acceptable forms of distribution.

TALES OF MU 1: Welcome to MU
"In Which We Meet Mackenzie"
by Alexandra Erin

Despite the presence of cardboard signs trimmed with crepe paper and balloons, I completely missed the front door of Harlowe Hall and instead ended up in a big spartan lobby/hallway that linked three different residential buildings. I thought that’s where the sign had been pointing... later, I’d find out that Harlowe’s entrance was actually below the ground level, off a sort of sunken patio that was screened from view by the shrubbery I’d walked past. Nobody ever wandered into it by accident. The lobby was full of people, bustling among the front and rear entrances and the three large hallways branching off from it in every combination of to-and-from. Most of them were carrying at least a suitcase. Some of them were trundling luggage trolleys, often with a mini fridge and/or TV.

I stared around blankly, hoping for a sign of where I was supposed to be. Luckily, somebody spotted me and took pity on me.

"Hey, frosh!" a sharp, but not hostile, voice said. I spun around and saw a preppy-looking guy without any baggage. "What you looking for?"

"Harlowe," I said.

I caught a look that was a mixture of surprise, disgust, and fear, but he hid it pretty fast. He pointed to a set of double-doors leading to one of the hallways.

"Thanks," I said, keeping my voice as neutral as I could. He had helped me, after all.

I lugged my suitcase, backpack, and duffel bag down the hall. The staircase was easy to find, and it took me down to a big glass-fronted common room that was positively packed with people. Surprisingly little sunlight reached in through the windows. Most of the people there were sitting around in the second-hand sofas and chairs, or just milling around. It looked like most of them had already checked in. There were three lines of people leading up to the long reception desk, but the longest one only had four students in it and they were all moving quickly.

Fragments of conversation reached me over the general murmur and buzz as I got in line.

"I’m actually taking nineteen hours of classes this semester. That seems like a lot. Does that seem like a lot to you?"

"You know, this was my safety school."

"Can you believe they don’t even let us have candles in our dorm? How are we supposed to..."

"Did you see the weapon policy? They’re pretty strict."

"Name?" the woman asked me when I got up to the counter. She had a nametag which read "Gwendolyn Rodrigues - Resident Advisor."

"Mackenzie Blaise," I said.

"Is Mackenzie your first name or your last?" she asked me, turning away from me to a table against the back wall, covered with large envelopes.

"First," I said, adding unnecessarily, "Blaise is my last name." What can I say? It was my first day at college, and I’d already made what felt like one giant blunder, even if nobody knew about it. I was the tiniest bit nervous.

She found the packet labeled "Blaise, Mackenzie" and handed it to me.

"This is a copy of your class schedule, a calendar of events, coupons for the student union, and emergency phone numbers," she said. "Now, you’ll need to read and sign this statement about compliance with the university’s weapons policy." Even though she was obviously a student and only a few years older than me, she already had the voice and facial expression of an officious bureaucrat. I could tell that being an R.A. was only one step in what would doubtless be a very fulfilling career for her in the field of interfering with others’ lives.

"Of course," I said, barely glancing at the slip of paper before signing it.

"And, of course, I have to see the weapon you’ll be using."

I reached into my coat and pulled out the knife, the twisted bronze hilt protruding from a lambskin sheath, and laid it down on the counter.

"That’s your main weapon?" she asked me, eyebrows raised.

"It’s the only one I’ve got," I said, with a silly grin.

"Only it’s not very big, is it?"

"I’ve never been much impressed with size," I told her.

"It’s barely enchanted," she observed. I wondered if she could tell that at a glance, or if there was something under the counter telling her that.

"The policy I read just said a magical weapon, it didn’t specify how magical it had to be," I pointed out. I’d been expecting this reaction, but it didn’t make it any less irksome.

"It’s just... life on campus can get dangerous..."

"I’ve never needed anything bigger," I said testily.

For a few moments, she looked at me like she wanted to say something... like she was going to invoke some little-known rule to throw me out until I came back with one of those absurdly huge broadswords or big spiky maces, but finally she just said, "All right. But there’s a nice little weapon store in town, if you change your mind."

"I’ll remember that," I said.

She held out a small manila envelope slightly larger than a business card.

"Here’s your room key and a pass card to get in and out of the building after dark," she said. "Though it’s best not to wander around campus too much at night. Stick to the lighted paths, and travel with a friend as much as possible. It’s all in your campus security pamphlet."

"Yes, thank you, I’ve read it," I said, reaching for the packet. She still looked doubtful, but she finally handed it to me.

"You’ll be needing this back, too," she said, handing me my knife, hilt-first.

"I’m actually hoping I won’t."

"Oh, yes, of course," she said. "Welcome to Magisterius University, Ms. Blaise."


Um, yay, I think.

Well, the living room is done, mostly. We ended up with a green accent wall. The edging needs a second coat and we have to paint behind the radiators and the parts where the Spackle wouldn't dry, but otherwise it looks good. The entry way will be yellow eventually too.

Also, I had the craziest dream the other night and I told a couple of people about it and they thought it sounded interesting and said I should write it down. I did and it was going really well, except now I've fleshed out pretty much everything that was part of the dream and I don't know where to go with it. *sigh*

Maybe if I give it some time it will figure itself out.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Yellow Walls! Here we come!

So the boy human is still sanding, but almost done. It looks like there's a good chance we'll have a yellow living room by tomorrow night. I'll be happy if we can get the Gripper and one coat of yellow up, but I honestly don't see why we can't do all of it. Especially if we get a good early (ya know, not noon) start and if the couple people who said they might help actually show up. Woo!

We finished sanding!

It took ya' long enough!

So, we're finally getting the living room painted. We have vacation this week and figured there wouldn't be a better time.

We're sanding tonight and painting tomorrow. I'm posting this while I take a break to eat dinner. We haven't gotten much accomplished yet, but Dan brought over two electric palm sanders, so it should go much quicker from here. Sanding blocks are great, in theory, but have I mentioned that my living room is huge? And has a 9 foot ceiling?

Anybody want to help?

The cat will probably never really forgive me for the noise from the sanders, but he'll get over it a lot when he sees that his humans are happier.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Happy Birthday

Today was hubby's 37th birthday. So, I made him a cake. A Chthulu cake in fact. It was fun.

It had marzipan tentacles, and red gel eyes.

And was pink with gooey filling inside.

And took a shitload of green icing dye.

(hubby is the middle picture)

We also re-playtested Retail Hell and made some changes. Things seem to still be moving forward, but I need to pest my artist and still haven't emailed the guy about using the font.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Woo! Just in time!

As happens every time I have off on Thursday, I got up 10 minutes after I should have already moved my car for street cleaning. But like always, ran outside wearing my clothes from yesterday and got my car moved with like 5 minutes to spare before the Parking Authority ticketed me.

That's the thing about living in the city. It doesn't matter if my car's in the way when the street cleaner comes or not. If it's somewhere it doesn't belong when the APA car comes by, then I get a ticket. Usually the APA person is just ahead of the street cleaner, but sometimes they're a couple blocks or more and sometimes they come back after the street cleaner, just to make sure nobody moved their car back before the signs say you can.

On top of that, the new mayor did us the huge "favor" of making street cleaning year round, not that they actually do it when the weather's bad anyway.

Then there's the great snow removal plan, which as winter approaches, I'm really hoping that they won't use again this year, because it sucks. Rather than plowing as the snow falls and cleaning up the plow piles on what would normally be a no-parking, street cleaning day anyway. They wait until the snow has totally stopped to do anything and then they, apparently randomly, select days in addition to street cleaning that the roads will be no parking and come around with a mutated combine and pick up all the snow.

The pick up all the snow idea is great. Except that I had to call in to work because I couldn't get off the block I live on because they hadn't plowed at all. And except for the fact that when they finally did plow, they plowed me in so hard that even with the help of a guy with a little Bobcat plow it still took up 3 hours to did out my car because I had to crawl under and use my ice scraper to get the snow and ice out from around my exhaust system.

Can you tell how excited I am to live in the city, where we supposedly have "better" snow removal than everybody else? My best friend's parents live on top of a mountain and have less trouble leaving their house in the winter than I do.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

speaking of stuff that's awesome

So awhile ago I found an online novel called Tales of MU. Go check it out, it's awesome. And while you're there, check out AE's other projects.

wow, so no game last night

So, due to a caffeine headache, an unspecified illness, an inability to return phone calls and a misunderstanding in which "we're gaming at 5, but I'm not sure what's for dinner" might mean we're not gaming, we didn't game last night.

Which sucks cause I wanted to playtest the Retail Hell rules tweaks this coming week, but Carl has his heart set on doing the thing we were supposed to do last night. *sigh* I guess we'll see.

I still need to email the guy about the font I used anyway.

OOH! I did find a great CD this week though. Seastories, by Minnie Driver. Yes, that Minnie Driver, the actress. Apparently, she's a pretty talented singer/songwriter/guitarist because she wrote all the lyrics, most of the music, sings on every track and play guitar on most of them too. And it's REALLY GOOD!

I've been telling everyone about it and my husband's probably tired of hearing it - me talking about the CD and the CD. I have a bad habit of listening to a new CD over and over and over until I have it mostly memorized.