Updates on Various Fronts

Today, my school is hosting a mock debate, with a stand-in for Bush and a stand-in for Kerry. It should be quite interesting for an hour… the second hour of it is what worries me.

I have 160 poll-ballots ready to go for after the debate, so with any luck, we’ll get a much more accurate poll than we’ve ever gotten before. This one is simple, with only four or five questions — but there’s no ninth grade on campus today, because both varsity soccer teams and the varsity football team are away this morning. There’s hardly anyone on my dormitory.

In other news… my apartment is a mess. I have piles of clean laundry that I haven’t had time to fold; there are little mess-piles of student papers in the living room, by the computer, and in the study; the dining room table is still buried; there’s dirty laundry filling both laundry hampers; I haven’t finished unpacking from WordHarvest yet (has anyone seen my green packpack filled with all my chapbooks from the last ten years???); and I really need to empy the dishwasher, find a desk that I can actually use, get some 3-ring binders from Staples, and take my shirts to the dry-cleaners.

But other than that, the apartment looks fine.

What I really need to do is what my mom calls “Decrapinafying.” I need to do a ruthless sweep-through, throwing stuff away, putting stuff away, junking things I don’t need, giving away stuff I don’t want, and generally improving the living and working spaces of my apartment. I need to go through all my clothes and throw away the ragged-looking socks and underwear, get rid of the color-dulled t-shirts, and throw out the thread-bare collared shirts. I probably need about half the number of clothes that I actually seem to have these days.

It won’t be today, unfortunately. Maybe I can do some of this tomorrow, when I’m off duty. My mom thinks I should hire a cleaning person, since I have neither the time nor the focus to get all the cleanup done by myself — when she was here on tuesday, her dust allergy went off the moment she walked in the door, and I’ve noticed with the coming of cooler weather and the shutting of windows, that I too am beginning to suffer. Having a cleaning lady is not such a bad idea. I won’t be able to start this month, though — I need to think about that for November.


In other news, I’m starting a role-playing game session on Monday nights, from 6:30 to 9:30ish, in my apartment. This is part of the reason why I’m thinking about cleaning up this morning. If I’m going to have guys over to play games each Monday night, I want a space where they’re going to feel comfortable coming over to play.

The current plan is to use the D&D 3.5 rules, which is fine. I’d like to learn either World of Darkness/Storytellers/Exalted rules forward and backward, or D&D 3.5 forward and backward. I’m already writing for White Wolf, so learning their system thoroughly would give me some ability to expand from the Exalted line into writing for Werewolf, WoD, Mage, and so on. Learning D&D and D20 would give me the ability to write for Wizards of the Coast, or for any one of the various game companies producing D20 supplements, or to create my own for sale at RPGnow.com or elsewhere.

WIth that in mind, the game on Mondays will be D&D 3.5, probably with a lot of alternative rules and classes available. I’m planning on using not only the three basic books — PHB, DMG, MM — but also Arcana Unearthed, and Oriental Adventures. What such a game is going to look like yet, I don’t know. If you’re interested, and can come to northeast Connecticut on Mondays, please feel free to comment, and then show up.


As part of my prep for National Novel Writing Month, I’ve been putting together an old-school style composition book with character names, working titles for chapters, chapter summary pages, location pages, rough maps of places, bits of poetry that will go into it. I’m trying to write a two-paragraph summary of each chapter, on the theory that each paragraph will be a day of writing, since I’m planning on fifteen chapters. I could have done ten chapters, and made each chapter three days of writing, but I think this will be a better way of doing it.


The Worcester Review sent me a nice letter, asking for some revisions on two pieces, which I think I’ll make. Whether they’ll publish them or not, I don’t know, but we’ll see. It’d be nice. I have to find time today in my busy schedule to edit the two pieces, put them in RTF format, and send them in. I think their changes will make both pieces better, actually. It’s going to be good.

27 comments

  1. Re: NOW you’ve done it!!!

    Well, it’s more than appreciated. I will return it as soon as I get work after completeing school (the final bit is an externship: 160 hours of work for no money, but school credit…whoopie!!!)

    re: NaNoWriMo, I did the same thing when writing some poems…i forgot to have a villanelle

  2. Re: NOW you’ve done it!!!

    I do know it’s been important in the lives of other people I’ve done this for, so I’ll make it happen. The $60 is yours. Money’s tight for me, so I really can’t do more than that, and I’m sorry it’s not more, but feeding kids and self is important, and so on.

    In the meantime, congrats on signing up for NaNoWriMo. I’m so glad you’re joining the madness. Have a great time…. and do try to do some planning ahead. Last year I tried to write straight through, and failed after about 20,000 words. I forgot to have a villain.

  3. Re: RPG!

    Several years ago I helped organize a LARP based on Sesame Street. Someone had murdered BIg Bird, and it had become a vitally important matter to find out who it was, because Big Bird 1) had all the money, and 2) had been blackmailing all the other muppets. He was the head of the street’s crime syndicate.

    The game became infamous for a little while.

    The more I read of UA, the more clear it becomes that magic is most differentest in UA, and they may not be reconcilable. I think I’m going to stick with OA and PHB, principally, at least for a while. Which means I have to get my PHB back from the kid who borrowed it.

  4. RPG!

    Hey Andrew,

    How do you intend to reconcile the differences between magic systems in the PHB, AU, and OA? Actually AU has the most “differentest” magic system. I’m not sure how well they blend.

    If you really want a challenge, everyone has to bring a different base-book and you have to make it all work. 🙂

    Oh! Last night I came up with the coolest idea ever: d20 Seasame Street!

    Monster, Cookie
    CR 14
    Special Abilities: Swallow Whole
    Tom

  5. RPG!

    Hey Andrew,

    How do you intend to reconcile the differences between magic systems in the PHB, AU, and OA? Actually AU has the most “differentest” magic system. I’m not sure how well they blend.

    If you really want a challenge, everyone has to bring a different base-book and you have to make it all work. 🙂

    Oh! Last night I came up with the coolest idea ever: d20 Seasame Street!

    Monster, Cookie
    CR 14
    Special Abilities: Swallow Whole
    Tom

    • Re: RPG!

      Several years ago I helped organize a LARP based on Sesame Street. Someone had murdered BIg Bird, and it had become a vitally important matter to find out who it was, because Big Bird 1) had all the money, and 2) had been blackmailing all the other muppets. He was the head of the street’s crime syndicate.

      The game became infamous for a little while.

      The more I read of UA, the more clear it becomes that magic is most differentest in UA, and they may not be reconcilable. I think I’m going to stick with OA and PHB, principally, at least for a while. Which means I have to get my PHB back from the kid who borrowed it.

  6. NOW you’ve done it!!!

    After hearing many people talk about NaNoWriMo…(or whatever it’s called) I went and signed up. If Andrew’s not afraid to do it, maybe I don’t have to be so chicken shit!

    (p.s. thank you SO MUCH for the offer of grocery money, you don’t know HOW much that will help…or maybe you do. Thanks, thanks, and thanks again!)

  7. NOW you’ve done it!!!

    After hearing many people talk about NaNoWriMo…(or whatever it’s called) I went and signed up. If Andrew’s not afraid to do it, maybe I don’t have to be so chicken shit!

    (p.s. thank you SO MUCH for the offer of grocery money, you don’t know HOW much that will help…or maybe you do. Thanks, thanks, and thanks again!)

    • Re: NOW you’ve done it!!!

      I do know it’s been important in the lives of other people I’ve done this for, so I’ll make it happen. The $60 is yours. Money’s tight for me, so I really can’t do more than that, and I’m sorry it’s not more, but feeding kids and self is important, and so on.

      In the meantime, congrats on signing up for NaNoWriMo. I’m so glad you’re joining the madness. Have a great time…. and do try to do some planning ahead. Last year I tried to write straight through, and failed after about 20,000 words. I forgot to have a villain.

      • Re: NOW you’ve done it!!!

        Well, it’s more than appreciated. I will return it as soon as I get work after completeing school (the final bit is an externship: 160 hours of work for no money, but school credit…whoopie!!!)

        re: NaNoWriMo, I did the same thing when writing some poems…i forgot to have a villanelle

  8. It is. I know that I can (barely) keep to the 1,666 words-a-day goal implied by 50,000 words in a month… but that I write much better if I have an outline to work from. So that’s what I’m doing, making a comprehensive outline so that I have a chance of finishing the damn thing.

    Good luck to you.

  9. Ack. You are so more organized than I am! I have my four main characters fleshed out – but only in my head. I have a rough idea what’s going to happen over the course of the story. I know what kind of flow I want the first few chapters to have (where I’m introducing the main characters) – but otherwise? I don’t know how much more I’m going to flesh this out in the planning stages. I probably should though, becuase my goal this year is 4k / day so that the thing is actually novel length when it’s finished… of course, I’m a chronic procrastinator and I have yet to make my daily word goals the past two years… still, exciting isn’t it?

  10. Ack. You are so more organized than I am! I have my four main characters fleshed out – but only in my head. I have a rough idea what’s going to happen over the course of the story. I know what kind of flow I want the first few chapters to have (where I’m introducing the main characters) – but otherwise? I don’t know how much more I’m going to flesh this out in the planning stages. I probably should though, becuase my goal this year is 4k / day so that the thing is actually novel length when it’s finished… of course, I’m a chronic procrastinator and I have yet to make my daily word goals the past two years… still, exciting isn’t it?

    • It is. I know that I can (barely) keep to the 1,666 words-a-day goal implied by 50,000 words in a month… but that I write much better if I have an outline to work from. So that’s what I’m doing, making a comprehensive outline so that I have a chance of finishing the damn thing.

      Good luck to you.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.