Chuck Wendig of Terrible Minds has issued a challenge.  He wants to collaboratively build a world.

The rules are pretty simple (go to his site and see!)  As a GM and a writer, I am very intrigued by this idea. I have decided to participate. The entries are in the comments and BOY! are there some really good ideas.
I’m so excited! I can’t wait to see what all comes out of this. 🙂

Here’s what I wrote:

Blackbloom. Hmm.

The planet is home to two sentient races. One is a human-like people. They call themselves the Watu. They are an intellectually and technologically advanced people.
The other race are darkly opalescent energy creatures. These number far less than the Watu. They call themselves Roho. Not much is known about them, except their claim that they have always been there.

The sun is blue dwarf star that has swirling, black energies coruscating across its surface. Every three thousand years these energies flare, enveloping the planet and killing almost the entire Watu population. Those who are left are plunged back into a savage hunter-gatherer status. And the Roho guide them back (again) to their previous intellectually and technologically advanced society.

The Watu have no idea about the star’s destructive tendencies. But the Roho do.
They always have.

What is love?

What does love look like?

According to that video, love is badly dressed people running amok in a castle while an emotionless man lip-syncs his own song. Which I gotta believe, ain’t the truth of anything, much less amour.  So. What is love?

Now, that’s a serious question meant from a writer’s perspective. What does love, being in love, loving your mate…what do those look like to you?

I’m pretty sure that it doesn’t look like what you see on television. Here’s proof: those people kiss (passionately, even) first thing in the morning.
I don’t know what happens in your house?  But in mine there is teeth-brushing before there is tongue wrangling. Morning breath. Ew, ew, ew.


I know that for me, love is this constant, low hum of content. It is coming downstairs to find Mister Man stretched out on the couch and laying down on top of him to snuggle. (If I can get an “OOOF!” out of him, so much the better.) It is giggling together in the morning. It is nomming on his eyebrow – zombie camel kisses. Cheering when either spies the other naked. Talking about life – school, work, the Girl, bills. Bringing him a cup of coffee while he showers. It is always trying to resolve arguments before we go to bed.

Are all those things “normal” expressions of caring? Are they things that I should include in my stories? I have an extremely difficult time writing love scenes. I would much rather write about tentacles and murder and potentially undead bosses and drug use.

*reads that last sentence again*

…Maybe I can’t write a love scene because I am disturbed in some way.

Never, *EVER* Google the phrase "Tentacle Love" unless you are prepared for the consequences.







I figure that there must be some sort of learning curve on writing a believable (note I didn’t say “realistic”) love story. Where and how do you pick that particular skill up? Are there lessons taught by descendants of Rudolf Valentino? Does Cary Elwes show up in a black mask and a semi-attached mustache to be your Love Muse? Why the hell not?

I'll be your huckleber...excuse me, Muse.





Frumpy? You’re soaking in it!

Here’s a question: who determines the rules for fashion & hair style? They seem so irrational. As if they are designed to squelch unique fashion, while at the same time promoting a look that is designed for only young, hot people. Older folks* are pretty much expected to curl up in a corner and pretend that they don’t exist, except to buy clothing for young people.

I ask because I am in somewhat of a quandry. I am a 41 year old Mom with a kid in middle school. Therefore, I am expected by the fashion industry to look somewhat like this:

"I'll take a half-caff, half-fat soy latte grande with rose-scented syrup and whipped cream made from the milk of sacred cows."









But, I am also a tattooed gamer with a love of goth and stompy boots. RPGs, snark, Sci-Fi (not to be confused with Syfy, which is apparently a disease of the intellect) and music with a BPM higher than 140 make me super happy.
According to much and more on the internet, all of this also makes me a “dork.”

Wait. What do you mean that's a boy? PFFT. I know a goth-mommy when I see one




There is always room for Marilyn-mocking.





The actual problem:

I am re-entering the professional workforce; or rather, attempting to re-enter the workforce. That means interviews. Which means that my lengthy, still somewhat streakily blue and yet gray at the roots hair should probably be styled. Or at the very least, snipped. Furthermore, I am getting touch tired of waking up with my hair wrapped around me like semi-sentient mummy bandages.

Bring Mommy the brush!








What to do, what to do. I would like to get my hair styled. However,I know that walking into any standard stylist will be a frumpy mistake. And walking into a non-standard one will be a costly one.

“Oh, so you want to re-capture your youth while not looking like you are trying to do so? Bettie Page bangs for you!”
“You did notice that my face and body type are neither Betty nor Page, right?”
“Don’t worry! You’ll love it. That’ll be a beeeeelyun dollars, plus tip.”

Pictured: Not my face.

How do I convey to potential employers my value, my skill and my abilities without scaring them off because I don’t look like what they expect?

Let’s not even – right now – get into the whole ageism in the workforce. That is a post for a whole ‘nother day.

Feh, I say. Feh and fist shaking.

I am off to get a hair cut. When I return and if I like the results, I’ll post a picture of the outcome.
In the meantime, wish this “old” gamer good luck.

* – No. Forty is NOT old. I don’t buy into the whole “old” thing except as a measure of how you feel.

Seriously, WordPress?  The formatting of the images and text looked great until I published it.

To Run or Not to Run…That WAS The Question


As you may remember, I picked up running earlier this summer.  I have largely hated it, but I was told that it would grow on me. That it would be fun. That it would be uplifting. That the runner’s high would kick in and I would find I actually for real and for true, love it.


Actually, that isn’t true. They aren’t lying. Their experience tells them that what they were telling me was the honest-to-goodness truth. For them, running is this almost religious experience. A way to connect to the temple of their body.

Pictured: The temple of my body

Unfortunately, the temple of MY body is apparently dedicated to the Laughing Buddha, who is FAR more interested in happiness than any particular form of exercise.  I never, ever got to the place where running gave me anything but aches and pains. I liked what it was doing for my body in terms of toning, endurance and fat loss. But I would often spend the rest of that day in a considerable amount of discomfort.

I thought all was pretty much lost. And I was actually bummed about this. Because I really, really want to do better by my body. Its given me 41 years of pretty good service, in spite of the –ahem– trials I may have put it through. I’d like to make sure the next 41 or so are healthier. Or at the very least, treat it less like a no-tell motel and more like an actual temple.

Then I found out about speed-walking.  I gotta admit…I was a touch skeptical at first. How could walking compare to running?  Well, if the way I sweat and blow like a winded horse are any indication – none too shabbily.  I have been doing the speed walking thing for the last few runs. And I gotta say, creaky joints or not, I am in far less pain coming in from a run than before.

Not having to gobble Advil like they’re candy = WIN!
Less overall damage to my poor joints is also major win. The longer I can put off the total knee replacement – the better.

For the curious: I am still using a C25K program. I have downloaded and have started using Podrunner: Intervals as my music of choice.  The higher BMP (as compared to the music I had been using) means that even at a ‘walking’ pace, I am getting a better workout. For example, Week 1 Day 1’s BMP and playlist looks like this:


5-minute warmup @ 128 BPM
60 seconds @ 142 BPM
90 seconds @ 128 BPM
60 seconds @ 142 BPM
90 seconds @ 128 BPM
60 seconds @ 142 BPM
95 seconds @ 128 BPM
65 seconds @ 142 BPM
95 seconds @ 128 BPM
65 seconds @ 142 BPM
90 seconds @ 128 BPM
65 seconds @ 142 BPM
90 seconds @ 128 BPM
60 seconds @ 142 BPM
95 seconds @ 128 BPM
65 seconds @ 142 BPM
3-minute cooldown @ 128 BPM




01. Antix – Forever Changing – Vibrasphere Remix
02. Liquid Soul – I Get a Rush
03. Fernandro Gullon – Piedras
04. Beat Bizarre – Error
05. Perfect Stranger – Diamond in the Rough (Perfect Stranger Edit)
06. Invertika – Momentum
07. Tristaum – Shiver (Therm’s Trippy Mix)
08. Sterio, McGrath – Gulfcoast (Mike Brin Remix)
09. Da’Others – Tribal Man (Da’Others Edit)
10. Cafu – Vista Style (Original Mix)
11. Ron Carroll – Making Love (Richie Heller Mix)
12. Chadwick Strange – Conducive (Recursive Remix)
13. Behind Blue Eyes – Shadow Environment (Original Mix)
14. Casa Flava – De Moma De (Dust To Dust Mix)


I will continue to find new and fun ways to exercise. Later today will be yoga. Tomorrow will be some interval strength training. And maybe more yoga. Somebody once told me that yoga is best practiced daily. 🙂

A Tiny Update and a Bit of a Poll

GM Supplies --> Coffee? Check. Dice? Check. Evil Laugh? Check. Nefarious Plans? Check.

Yesterday, I posted a smidgen of flavor text from an RPG module I had written. Would more of that module be something that you kids would continue to be interested in? Because, believe me, there is quite a bit of Retribution – NPC information (stats and backstory), game paths, outlines, the doom of man – the works. I will be more than happy to share it with you guys. While the setting is not mine – Talislanta belongs to Stephan Michael Sechi and P.D. Breeding Black – the information in the module *IS* mine.

Let a GM know. 🙂

In the meantime, I am also writing up a new campaign (same system) for a current group. They’re enjoying it and so am I.

The difficulty is that I am blending game two very different systems:  Talislanta 4th ed. and DnD 2nd ed., to be precise. (Some of my readers are going to look at that sentence and be extremely confused.) At any rate, the blending is…well, interesting. Essentially, I am running two games in one setting. I will continue to hammer on the mechanics of this over the weekend. Because otherwise, my brain might explode.

In other exciting GM news, I found a new-to-me site yesterday:  Gnome Stew.    Holy cow!  Not only is the name and graphic awesome, but check this! It’s an entire website dedicated to helping out game masters.  They have tools that make scaring PCs  game play efficient and fun. I found templates, blogs, product reviews of things I didn’t even know were out there. Did I mention awesome?

*does a shuffling GM-Dance of Joy*

On the home-front, I think The Girl has given me her cold. I am not best pleased about this but, eh. What can you do? Even when they are teens, your kid sometimes just needs to snuggle against Mom for comfort.

Fiction: Game Module, Talislanta

This is flavor text I wrote for my Talislanta game module, Retribution.

FYI: Aaman and Zanth are countries and a people diametrically opposed in almost every way. The Aamanian people are pious, monotheistic zealots. The live in a theocracy, led by The Heirophant. The Zandir are polyglot, polyandrous libertines. They are ruled at the whim of the Sultan.

As you can imagine – the two countries detest each other.



Aspirant Aabas
Personal Journal Entry
Ardan 31, Year 624

All-Seeing Aa has shown me the Way! I see it so clearly, now!
Only through the conversion of the unfaithful will Aa’s Light be spread. His Law shall shine down upon the sinners and they will be uplifted to glorious heights. With their uplifting, they shall be grateful – and we shall benefit as well. Only when we are independent shall we have victory!
Aa! Most Victorious and Noble Aa!
No more shall we depend upon the whims of the mineral traders! By controlling Shattra, we shall be able to bring the merciful and just Law of Aa to the masses who await their redemption! From Shattra, we shall shine Aa’s Holy Light into wretched Zandu and destroy the herectics!

I have seen it!  I have seen it!



Coded Message
From: Aabas, Monitor of Aanu, Newest City in Aa’s Domain

In the knowledge that Aa the Omnipresent will deliver this safely into proper hands, written on this 17th Day of Drome, Year 625.

Most HOLY,

In the wondrous city cities of Aaman and especially in Aamahd, all praise to Aa the Omnibenevolent!,  the great work moves forward. The perfidious Zandir know nothing of our plans; may Aa smite the eyes from their heads! Captured infidels are being placed in the Halls of Penance at a constant pace and are being shipped to Aanu every day to supplement our newest city. They praise Aa the Omnibeneficient  at their chance to convert other infidels, as is proper. As discussed, no traders or merchants are being detained. It is our thought – assuredly given by Aa, Most HOLY – that by the final week of Jhang, all will be in position and ready.

In Aa’s Holy Light,
Monitor Aabas of Aanu


Inscribed on this Glorious Day, the 35th of Drome

Most Blessed and Magnificent Sultan,

As the captured missive indicates, it is perhaps in our best interest to find out what those idiots are doing. I have not heard of a new city being raised in Aaman. May I humbly suggest an infiltration party? I have some….candidates in mind for this particular job.

By my hand,
Palitarus, Master Seneschal



Inscribed on the 37th Day of Drome

I am busy with my newest wife, who is the light of my eye and has the roundest bottom I have ever seen. Her breasts are as pomegranates and her aim is WICKED.
If you are not getting my hint, leave me out of this (for now.)
Do whatever you think is necessary. But lest you forget your place, please recall your predecessor.

I will not tolerate incompetence.

Scribed verbatim

<Sultan’s Personal Seal affixed here>





Blast From the Past: 2007

I have long had insomnia issues.



At any rate, I was going through some folders and found this gem from way back in the day. I am totally sharing it because it made me giggle like a mad thing.

*lights the incense*

Mar 13, 2007

Dear Gods of Sleep….You know…I have been nice. I have followed all Thy rules. Even when they seemed to conflict with one another.
I have eaten of no food right before bed.
I have eaten a large meal right before bed.
I have gotten out of bed when it seems that Your will did not include me.
I have stayed in bed when your blessing had been withheld.
I have read boring texts in an attempt to court your affections, as prescribed by your clergy.
I have discontinued the imbibing of caffeine after noon, most esp. in the form of regular coffee – which is repellent in Thy eyes.
I have taken the sacred Benadryl, the sacred Dimeatapp, the sacred melatonin AND the sacred warm milk. Even though the last one made me barf like a high pressure hose.
None of these rituals have seemed to have helped. You have appeared to abaondon me.

Please, Gods of Sleep. Grant me thy absolution for whatever sin I have committed in Thy sight. Give me sleep in quantities of more than 3 hours at a whack.

Yr. Obedient and Forgotten Servant,