I started with the best of intentions and a kind of need to prove I could do it again. That I still had it in me. Probably the biggest obstacle I was facing was that I had only the roughest of ideas for a story and not even a sketch of an outline.

The road clung to them like a jealous lover in an unfamiliar tavern. Dirt and sweat and stink along with three nights of sleeping rough and the accompanying bug bites to prove it. The horses were gone, along with their saddles, bags, and harness. Lost somewhere in the Cairn Wood. Brael had a handful of coins left in his money bag, his kit, and about three bites of hardtack remaining when they finally walked back out of the wood.

“Well, you’d think a damn big stack of rocks would be easier to find. That’s all I’m saying,” Glauston said as they stood within the shadow of the forest gazing out over the meadow.

“Forest is a bit, more, than I was expecting,” Brael said with a shrug and a grin. “Besides, that horse was shit. And we found half a dozen stacks of rocks, it’s gotta be out there. Somewheres. But we made it back out and the timber lane can’t be more than two miles off. We’ll be back to civilization within half a day.”

“Somewheres, indeed. The horses might have been shit, but my gear wasn’t,” Glauston said. “I’m inclined to think you owe me a saddle.”

Brael slapped the big man on the back and stepped out of the shadows. “Let’s go. And I’m not buying you shit.”

They found the Timber Lane right where they expected and after brief exchange of opinions decided that they were probably north of Lara and should probably keep heading away from the village.

“It’s entirely possible that the whole Cairn of Tharham story was just to get us to leave,” Brael said as they stopped to share their remaining bread and tack.

“Bah,” Glauston dismissed the idea. “We hadn’t even been there a week. We were good for another three or four days, I tell you.”

“You did punch that guy’s cow.”

“It was a bull. I wouldn’t punch a cow. Standards, Brael, you’ve got to have standards.”

“Oh, I’ve got standards, big guy. You didn’t see me punching anyone’s livestock. Besides, even had you knocked it out, instead of pissing it off, what was the point?”

Glauston spit a bit of gristle over his shoulder and grinned. “No point. Just a bet.”

“You’re an idiot.” They both laughed. Glauston at the look on the farmers face when he walked over and punched his bull. Brael at the sight of his friend running back across the field and hopping the fence to get away from the angry animal.

I just started writing, with hardly any idea where I was going. I tried to keep things on the rails and write toward some amorphous cohesive theme. Basically, I needed to build toward a group of five characters doing a thing successfully. But get there through a series of partial successes and outright failures. My lack of planning made the whole thing feel like an uphill climb.

“I’ll let you a bed, but you’re not sleeping on my blankets until you’ve had a wash. The two of you stink like you been sprayed by a trollskunk.”

The two exchanged a look of shared revelation. “Trollskunk,” they said in unison.

“I’m not going to say that we weren’t,” Brael said to the innkeep. “But I am just curious, are trollskunk’s good eating?”

The innkeeper laughed and shook good naturedly. “They’re better eating than possum, a bit bony, but they’re a little tricky to catch. Seems you boys figured that bit out, though. Next time, look for a rabbit. They’ve got more meat and less stink. Now, about that bath.”

“You’ll not get an argument from either of us on that point,” Brael said laying out three of his remaining coin.

The bath was brought to their room and their clothing was taken away to be laundered.

“You were a farmer, Brael, how did you not know about these trollskunks?”

Brael looked up from his scrubbing and got an eyeful of Glaustons nakedness. “Dude. Maybe sit in the chair and not on the table.”

“What? I just washed. You worried about tasting my ass? Maybe, don’t put your food right on the table. See, I’m a problem solver. No worries.” Glauston grinned and continued to clean his kit.

“Yeah. Thanks.” Brael said. “The only skunks I ever saw were the black and white variety, but then, like you said, I was a farmer. There is not a lot of farming that goes on in the forest. Mostly, we do the farming out in the cleared pasture and meadow lands.”

“Maybe next time, we don’t try to hit those,” said Glauston setting aside his sword and taking up his mail coat.

“We?” Brael questioned. “If I’m taking the blame for losing the horses, which was so not my fault, for the record, then you can own up to trying to smash the skunk with a log.”

“It was dragging off my pack,” Glauston said, “what would you have me do? Wave it goodbye and do nothing? Like you did with horses. A normal animal would run away when you throw a log at it. How should I know. I wasn’t a farmer.”

“I was up the tree. You were in the cave. I don’t know what happened to the horses. One moment they were there, along with all our stuff, the next minute they were gone. Something either chased them off or they wandered back to the farm we bought them from. Neither is good and neither is my fault.” Brael said as he stood to rinse off the soap.

“We should keep our ears open. Maybe we’ll hear of someone finding our horses and things in one of these villages along the forest. I mean, nobody will admit that they showed up with our stuff, but maybe we can get lucky.” Glauston handed across a towel and glanced up at the sound of a knock at the door.

The maid came through the door and bought them a bottle along with a platter of bread, meat, and cheese. Brael recognized her, but couldn’t remember her name—Dorrie or Kaerice or maybe something starting with a Th sound. He couldn’t remember, but he was certain they’d stayed at this inn in the past.

“Your clothes will be a bit longer, yet, as I’ve hung them out to dry,” She said, looking over each of the naked men before her appreciatively. She closed the door with her foot and set the tray down on the edge of the table. “Is there anything else I can do for you?” she said handing Brael the bottle and squealing as Glauston wrapped a hand around her waist and pulled her toward him.

It kinda keeps wandering along like that for 5,000 words or so. Then I hit a spot where I didn’t know where to go and I just stopped writing. This is my official announcement, I’m not even trying to get to 50k at this point. Consider me a NaNoWriMo washout.

I think I like the idea enough to keep going… but I need to outline this thing to do so. And that means I need to make time to sit down and do that. We’ll see where it goes.

November is National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo is the shorthand version of that. What it amounts to is an annual Internet-based creative writing challenge wherein participants attempt to write a 50,000-word manuscript between November 1 and November 30. We’re almost 19-hours in and I haven’t started yet. Probably, I should post this on the blog and get going on the writing.

Here’s the inspirational book cover one more time…

Everyone wants the latest gossip and news of the province or the next town over. The local kids all think they can join up and be part of the band. The local law thinks you’re just trouble waiting to happen. Everyone is friendly, right up until you’ve done whatever they ask or rid the mill of gricks. They they want to know when you’ll be leaving, how long you’re staying, and why you haven’t left yet. Being a traveling adventurer is great. Being a trouble making scavenger isn’t. The problem is that they’re the same thing and the trick is to get out before the villagers turn on you. This is a story about that life.

The Five towns province as a populated region is 300 years old and occupies a 4,050 square mile area with an ample population density of 60 people per square mile. The area is roughly 33% arable land and has a population of 240,000.


  • 1,333 arable/settled sq. mi. (853,120 acres)
  • 2667 wilderness sq. mi. (1,706,880 acres)
  • Total Population: 240,000
    • Isolated Population: 4,800
    • Population living in villages (475): 213,600
    • Population living in towns (5): 21,600
  • Towns: (5) distance between each 28 miles
    • Northup (pop. 7,350)
    • Easton (pop. 5,880)
    • Middlemost (pop. 3,675)
    • Ottercove (pop. 3,175)
    • South Downs (pop.1,520)
  • Villages: (475) average distance between each is 3 miles, average population of 450
    • Bettle (pop. 800)
    • Brige (pop. 750)
    • Cela (pop. 600)
    • Del (pop. 525)
    • Glorian (pop. 575)
    • Lara (pop. 725)
    • Mildre (pop. 550)
    • Shirl (pop. 650)
    • Thelmat (pop. 575)
    • Tiller Fane (pop. 500)
    • And 465 others (average pop. 450)
Five Towns Province map

Natural Features:

North Cairn Wood

This large dense forest is the primary source of lumber for the Five Towns region. The wood is home to woodcutters, foresters, huntsmen, and a wide variety of wildlife, both dangerous and mundane. Several villages of faern exist within the wood and there are said to be both fairy circles and ancient monoliths located within its depths. The forest stretches north from the Bristol Rock River for 40-miles and extends west beyond the valley and into the Bristol Foothills.

South Cairn Wood

While part of the same great forest as the North Cairn Wood, the area south of the Bristol Rock River has become a far more sinister and dangerous place since the coming of the darkness. The curse is said to have originated in the forest but has since spread far out into the surrounding lands and created a blight the likes of which have not been seen in the province for hundreds of years. The creatures of the southern Cairn are less timid and more dangerous than in any other area of the Five Towns. Travelers have been avoiding the roads and trails of the wood for a dozen years and have avoided the forest itself for twice that long.

Reed Marsh

The eastern shore of Lake Reedmace was always a swamp, but with the building of the great dam to the east fifty years back all the southern lands have become an enormous marsh. The rising water table swallowed villages, castles, and roads. Undercut small dams, drowned crops, and changed the landscape entirely. With the changes have come beasts and monsters which make the everchanging land their home and hunting grounds. Some of these have come in from the river, others have simply expanded from the lake, and still others have slunk in from the darkness that has infested the neighboring South Cairn Wood.

Inland Breakers

The stretch of rolling hills that flow from the cliffs along the Emeralt Bay west to Middlemost, north beyond Ottercove and south to the borderlands are home to many vineyards, farms, and mines. The region is well populated with thorps and villages and the town of Ottercove is located in the northern area of these hills.

Lake Reedmace

Lake Reedmace is the largest lake in the province, being 7-miles wide north to south and just over 10 miles wide at its widest point. There are several basins in the lake, reaching 25 feet, 30 feet, 45 feet, 85 feet, and the deepest being 125 feet, with all five basins having relatively steep side slopes. There are several shallow bays on the lake that are less than five-feet deep and two large islands.

Active Fortifications & Ruins:

There are six fortifications scattered about the province of Five Towns. The three active fortifications consist of two keeps and a tower. All of which are used to house the king’s troops or garrisons for the empire. The remaining three structures, a castle, a keep, and a tower, are all abandoned to the wilderness and to what use is unknown. Below you will find a closer look at each of these structures.

Fort Theel

Or as it is better known to the locals, Theel Keep. Built 100 years ago, this is an active military outpost of the Kingdom. The fortress is located just north-east of the town of Middlemost. It represents the power of the Empire and casts a protective shadow across the town below it.

Theel keep is a large stone fortress that forms the fortified center of the second largest defensive compound in the Five Towns province. The keep itself is 7-stories high and sits on 7-levels of subterranean storerooms and dungeons. In addition to the viscount, the viscount’s family, and their retainers, Theel keep has a regiment of 90 men-at-arms.

The fortress is built on top of a hill and surrounded by both a water-filled moat and stone walls. Integral towers fortify the keeps corners and are accessible from within; these provide enfilading fire and strengthen the keep’s structural integrity. The keep and towers are round to better deflect attacks by battering rams or catapult missiles. The rooftops include crenellations to protect defenders as they fire ranged weapons at attackers.

Green Lake Tower

This free-standing 6-story square, stone tower sits on the eastern shore of Green Lake, some 6-miles northwest of the town of South Downs. The tower is both a garrison of 12 men-at-arms for the Kingdom and home to the local Magus (5th level Mage), her family, and their retainers. While there is no wall, there are a half dozen buildings (stables, workshops, and storage buildings) surrounding the tower and making up the campus.

Sunrise Tower

Sitting high atop the cliffs of Elizabeth Island, the keep known as Sunrise Tower acts as a lighthouse, lookout, and lockup for Otter Cove; both the town and the body of water. The compound is built from and carved into the stone of the island. The keep itself is 4-stories tall and has 4 basement levels used for securing criminals and political prisoners alike. Sunrise tower is supported by a pair of round towers and a thick defensive wall which runs along the cliff face. There is a standing force of 64 men-at-arms but has the capacity for 3-5 times as many. In addition to the soldiers, the fortress is home to the baron, baron’s family, and their retainers.

The keeps location, sheer rock walls, and single road up from the dock make assaults against it near impossible. Perched high above and overhanging the cove, the crenelated towers of the keep are able to rain destruction down on any who seek to assault it. It is said that in its 250-year history, that none have been able to breach its walls through strength of arms.

Reed Marsh Ruins

The ruins of Castle Werthingham were once the ancestral home to Lord Crichton, Earl of the Vale. The fortress has been abandoned for the last 50-years and continues to sink ever deeper into the marsh. With the conquest of the Empire came the damning of the Bristol Rock River a hundred miles south of the Five Towns and with that damn came a rising of the water table around Lake Reedmace. That series of events flooded the fertile lake valley in which the castle was located, washing away the low hill the castle sat upon and dragging at its foundation. Eventually, pulling the fortress from its hilltop throne and dragging it into the cattails. Rumor speaks of strange reptilian creatures having taken up residence in the ruins.

The Norei

Located on the western shore of Lake Reedmace but spared the fate of the far bank is the abandoned tower known as The Norei. Over the last 300-years, the squat 3-story tower has been a monastery, bandit haven, garrison, and home to the Witch of Huldra. Today, few people are willing to approach it for fear of ghosts, ghouls, and other restless spirits thought to dwell within its shadow. The tower itself is surrounded by the remains of both wooden and stone walls, an assortment of smaller structures, and a series of winding trails that seemingly go nowhere of note.

The Watch House

Before the darkness engulfed the South Cairn Wood and all communication with Chadrian ceased, this imposing fortress kept watch over traffic on the Bristol Rock River. Today, it is a looming, dark shadow on the southern bank from which erie sounds and foul odors emanate. The keep is a gathering of four square towers connected to a larger fifth by high stone walls. Each of the smaller towers is 3-stories tall and the keep itself is 2-stories taller than these. It is known that there are at least two layers dug out of the stone beneath the fortress. The portcullis has been closed since the darkness came and no one has dared approach closer than the far bank of the river.

Roads & Bridges

The province of Five Towns has been in existence for 300 years and is crisscrossed with footrails, dirt paths, and roads both stone-paved and bricked. The highroads in particular are paved, cambered for drainage, and flanked by footpaths and drainage ditches. Both the Empire and the Kingdom take seriously the need for well maintained highways. Here you will find a brief description of the most important roads and bridges of the province.

Angels Bridge — Nine miles north-east of Ottercove can be found a truly marvelous carved stone span. This high arching bridge soars high above the Lime River and is renown for its beauty. Many travelers take this route simply to see its majesty and wonder. It has been rebuilt 4-times in the past 300-years and each time it has become grander and more elaborate. It is wide enough for three wagons to cross abreast, 400-yards long, and is constructed of the palest granite so that it seems to glow even in the light of the moon.

Breakers Road — Between Easton and Ottercove, rolling over the hills of the Inland Breakers is this well-travelled and highly patrolled stretch of road. Most of this road is through arable land and many friendly villages, roadside taverns, and farmsteads are along this route.

Bridgeway Highroad — This is the road that travels between the Fiends Bridge at the southern end of the province and the Angels Bridge at the northern edge of the Five Towns region. This road passes through the towns of Ottercove, Middlemost, and South Downs. To the north, 20-miles beyond the bridge, lies the town of Clayton and beyond that the city of Staedholm. The name and nature of the Highroad changes at the Fiends Bridge, beyond which it is known as the Dark Road and the lands under the sway of the darkness.

Dark Road — This is the name given to the forest road that follows the southbank of the Bristol Rock River and plunges through the Southern Cairn Wood. Some say it is dangerous and others say it is haunted, whatever the case, it is avoided by those who live north of the river.

Earls Road — More commonly called “Muckmire Trail” by travelers. On good days, this road goes south 28-miles to Herons Crossing. On bad days it turns into an uncrossable morass 15-miles south of Easton. Once a commonly used mercantile path that has become a seasonal shortcut with the building of the damn on the Bristol Rock River.

Fiends Bridge — This is an impressive stone and wood structure which spans the Bristol Rock River at a point some 10-miles north and west of the Watch House and 6-miles south of the town of South Downs. Over the last few years it has begun to accumulate mold and rot, but it remains a sturdy bridge and is wide enough for two wagons to pass each other upon it. Due to its location, it has become a haunt for trolls, who like to nest beneath the bridge. These beasts have been driven out or slain many times, but they continue to recur.

Northton Road — Crossing the northern swath of the province between Ottercove and Northup, this stretch of road is well maintained, despite crossing a relatively unpopulated stretch of wildlands. Kings patrols are not uncommon, but the traveler should be aware that the further one goes from either end, the more dangerous it becomes.

Reedmace Road — The Reedmace splits off of the Bridgeway Highroad and crosses along the north shore of Lake Reedmace before connecting to the Tradesway Highroad northwest of Easton. This is a low traffic road that crosses through some wild territory, as a result it is not the best maintained or patrolled road for travelers. It is not unpopulated, but it is a very rural trek.

Skirtswood Road — This north-south stretch of road runs between the towns of Northup and South Downs. Along most of its length the road is populated with lumber villages due to the closeness of the North Cairn Wood just a few miles to the west.

Tradesway Highroad — Running from the heartlands through Northup, Middlemost, and Easton to the border of the Empire and into Hesepe. The border town of Frowen is 30 miles east of Easton at the Treaty Bridge and the city of Galestmore is beyond that. Much interstate commerce travels the Tradesway and it is well patrolled by the Kings soldiers.

It’s all handshakes and free drinks when you arrive. Everyone is all, “what’s the news” and “tell us where you’ve been.” Everything is great. You’re a herald, a hero, a breath of fresh air. Then you screw the mayor’s daughter or beat the shit out of some oversized farmboy maybe take too much advantage and suddenly you’re the villain. See here. Let me tell you something that maybe seems like common sense, but apparently ain’t. The trick is to leave before you lose the crowd. That’s the real life of adventure, let me tell you!

…and don’t come back

Inspired by the first two books in the Witcher series, I’m imagining this as a collection of shorter pieces. How many, I’m not sure. Could be as few as four or as many as eight or ten. At one point I was thinking as many as 30, but that seemed to be both too many and stories that would be too short. So, how many? I’m still working that part out. I’m also still working on exactly how they will be intertwined. What I do know is that these stories will take place in the Five Towns setting that I showed you a few posts back and that they will center around a group of five characters. Each tale will tell one part of how these five people have come together, become a team, and the final tale will be one showcasing them doing what they do and being successful at it. Mostly what they do is get into and stir-up trouble.

The characters in question are going to be, and these are still just very rough outlines at this point:

Alarik Hearne – Magician, wander, scavenger, and cock-sure son-of-a-bitch. Alarik is a journeyman wizard; classically trained by the former Head Magus of the College of Astral and Ethereal Studies. Alerik is charming and charismatic to those who meet him in passing, a braggart and know-it-all to those who have spent any considerable time with him, and to those who consider him a friend, he is lacking in most of the admirable traits of the common man and a damn fine manipulator. But he is loyal to his friends, in an overly assumptive way and always ready to exploit a situation. Alarik has a romantic history with Juliet and a companionable friendship with Brael. He likes to think of himself as the leader of this scruffy band of scavengers, but in truth he is more the instigating force behind most of their adventures. It is his constant search for the spellbooks and lost libraries of the wizards of the previous age that pushes the group forward and drives most of their adventures.

Brael Kavan – Affable and polite. He is a bastion of common good sense, a positive soul, and a cold emotionless fighter. Starting life as a farmer who became caught up in the war, he quickly found the chaos of battle and conflict to be an environment in which he could thrive. Disillusioned by the rank and order of the empire’s military he became first a mercenary, then a pirate, brawler, a thief, and that path took him to scavenging. Being both tough and friendly, he caught the attention of Alarik, who was looking for just such a companion, and so formed the core of the band. Brael is a genuinely good person to be friends with. He is easy going and likeable. But there is a switch inside him, that he can throw in an instance, wherein he becomes an ice cold assassin and deadly opponent without mercy.

Channa Rosin – The accidental scavenger and a bad woman to boot. Never really sure what she wanted, always stumbling over society’s expectations of her, and pretty damn fed up with it all, that pretty well sums up the lovely and talented Crosstown Channa. While only 25, she’s been a wife, a mother, a tavern owner, a free trader, and a mercenary agent, none of which worked out quite the way she thought it should. Now she’s out to find herself a future and a fortune by slaying monsters, looting ruins, and fighting other peoples battles. She was the inspiration for Juliet and has been in on the plan since before there even was a plan. Channa is a friend of Juliets, but prior to joining the band had no connection to any of the others.

Glauston Mineola – Being a soldier is a stinky job, don’t matter if it’s at sea or on land. You get damn tired of the stink, but most men either don’t care or just get used to it. He didn’t get used to it and did care, enough to pack a bag and walk away. He doesn’t particularly like this job, but he’s had some success at it, and it’s far better than living in the woods and eating nothing but rabbit, squirrel, and venison. Which was what he and Brael had done for close to two years before they were separated by a clever sheriff and a dozen guardsmen. He’s happy to not be breaking legs and collecting coins, the smells are better, and things are never dull.

Juliet Blyth – The pretty girl who is burning with fury at a world that insists on keeping her silent and usurping her power. She is the heart and soul of revolution. Rage and anger and rebellion against a world seeking to destroy her thoughtlessly by smothering her flame. If she were noble, she would be a queen, sought after as the power behind the throne. But she is a poor girl from a broken world who has given up on the roles assigned to her. She has set out to define herself and control her own destiny. It is she who pushed Alarik towards the unexplored ruins, dragged him if truth be told. And was herself inspired by her friendship with Channa.

who knows who

I sat at lunch yesterday and worked out some ideas for this years NaNoWriMo. I came to the recording with a kernel of an idea and if you’d like, you can listen to me walk myself through the idea. The pauses are a bit longer than usual and some of the sentences just seem to drift off into the either, but I’ve listened to it twice now as I edited and I think there is some entertainment value here. But this is definitely me thinking out loud about a writing project. You’ve been warned.

It’s going to be a fantasy novel, low fantasy or possibly dark fantasy, though definitely not grim dark fantasy. It’s not going to be that kind of story, or rather, that’s not how I envision it. I’m going with a working title of …And Don’t Come Back

The rest is revealed on the podcast.

This is not stuff that I’ve done. Really. I still have no idea what I’ll be writing.

I found this years NaNoWriMo graphics on tumblr of all places. Since I couldn’t find them on the NaNo website, I figured I’d share them here. Because, you know, this is Grand Central Station for all the novelists out there. Not.

Take these and use them as you will. They are not mine. I’m just sharing them. I’m going to drop this first one on the front page somewhere. I’ll add a word counter there as well. I put the pixel dimensions under each of these. In case that matters to you.

555 x 555
1280 x 474
851 x 315

In other website news… I changed my gravatar image, fixed a couple of pages, changed some graphics, and downloaded new backups that seem strangely incomplete. I love having a website. It’s just so much fun all the time.

Lady Ronn is at school giving the premiere of her short documentary film. I’m looking forward to seeing it when she gets home. Later.

something from pinterest

I spent a good part of yesterday working with the lovely Lady Ronn on her video documentary. We did shot a bit of B-roll, bounced ideas around, and did more than a few takes of the interview. As I write this, I can hear her editing video in the kitchen. I’m very curious to see what she comes up with and anticipating the final product. Hopefully, she’ll be happy enough with the final cut to let me share it with you.

I’ve got to be honest with you, and I know this is a timing issue, we did not shoot all the shots I wanted to do. It’s due next week and at some point you’ve just got to work with the footage you have. Maybe she’ll let me have the raw video and audio footage, because I’d love to take a shot at editing it together and see what I come up with. Not that I think mine would be better, but it would probably be very different. We have dissimilar opinions on what this Ronn McCarrick: Creative Investigator documentary should be. Also, she’s far more serious than I am.

Today, I cleaned up the backyard a bit, but mostly I fought with this damn website. FTP isn’t working the way I expect it to, the graphics are still wonky in the header, my media library is a mess, and a thousand other little things. It is the very definition of a chore that can never be completed. But rather than breaking things more than they already are I did laundry and took the trash to the curb.

I’ve been stewing around a mess of thoughts on the November novel and I haven’t been able to pick a good idea out of the pot. Right now, my inclination is to just pants it, but I have a very ugly history with doing that. Inevitably I get 10,000 words into an unoutlined project and it just dies on the page. I don’t need a hard-and-fast, set-in-stone outline, but I do need some road signs and distance markers to keep me going through to the 50k mark. So I will continue to stir this pot until I come up with something. I mean, I’ve got, like, 11-days. No worries.

found on pinterest

I slapped together a NaNoWriMo 2019 cover based on my last book cover template. I took the liberty of replacing the viking helmet on the NaNo logo with an arohen.com baseball cap, but I kept the iconic blue and brown color scheme. Let’s all hope that this turns into something more inspiring in the next 10-days.

because i still don’t know what i’m writing

I was looking for inspiration so I generated these 10 Opening Line Ideas from the online Plot Generator. I’m not sure if any of them are exactly what I was looking for, but they are a lot shorter than some of the plot summaries I was able to generate.

  • I don’t feel I was particularly evil as a child.
  • My name is Effrosyni Deleuze no matter what my cousin tells you.
  • There are only three things in life that truly matter: Randolph Reppo, Randolph Reppo and chocolate.
  • 236,242 people died in 2657.
  • If I’d become a painter, I’d still be able to see my kids.
  • She hadn’t been known as Shirani for months.
  • I feel I was particularly honest on the night that I met her.
  • Addison was known for stealing other people’s husbands.
  • Do you find me capable yet?
  • 20 years old and I’ve never missed anyone as much as I miss Huw.

I mean, I could make a few of those work. But I’m not going to. And is Huw a name?

In other news, I watched another pair of movies. And as you probably know, I don’t give out great reviews of these things, but this time, I actually did not like one of them.

Godzilla: King of Monsters. The first thing that I must say about this movie is that Lady Ronn chose it over Chris Hemsworth and MIB International. That was a surprise. I was surprised. Very much so. But that is neither here nor there. The movie itself was better than I expected. I mean it’s a monster movie. There were monsters and they fought each other. It gives you what you expect to get. It’s not great, but it was watchable and the effects were good. The people and the story were nonsense, but we don’t watch monster movies for them. I mean, it would be a better movie if the thing had a real story and actual characterization. It doesn’t work on those levels. I’m giving it 3-stars because the monsters were pretty cool and they destroyed a bunch of stuff. Also, it expands on the whole monster universe thing and sets us up for Godzilla vs King Kong, which, let’s be honest, that’s what we’re all waiting for.

Godzilla: King of Monsters

Batman vs. Two-Face. I didn’t pay attention to the title of this one and mistakenly thought I was watching the first 1966 Batman animated movie, which hopefully is better. This one was not good. I did not like it. Perhaps my memory of the old Batman series is faulty, but this was not it. It was more a parody of that show, which was pretty much a parody itself. Sure, it stars the voice talents of Adam West, Burt Ward, and Julie Newmar, all of whom were in the original TV show doing it better. And yes, we get William Shatner as Two-Face, but I’m not sure that’s something we wanted. Honestly, I don’t feel like the voices of these people added anything to my enjoyment of the movie. I had this on in the background while I was doing some other stuff on the computer and I still found it to be annoying. My big issue with this is that it was bad and I did not like it.

Batman vs. Two-Face

I’m out of school and I’m stuck in a rut. I am doing nothing. I’m not working on my projects around the house. I’m not working on any of my craft projects. I’m not doing much for the website. I’m not writing. I really don’t know what I do between 5 o’clock and 10:30. The time just seems to evaporate into YouTube videos, web surfing, and watching TV. This is not a place I want to be, especially not with winter coming on. I’ll end up being 400 pounds by the time spring gets here. Time to shake off the blahs.


Whatever could this be leading up to?

National Novel Writing Month is almost here. That would be November for those of you not in the loop. I haven’t had much luck with the writing, what with the being in school and what not, so I think this year I should have more success. Besides, I need to do this. To set a goal and accomplish a thing. My last win was 2014 and my last attempt was 2015. At this point my NaNoWriMo record is pretty miserable, 3 wins – 11 losses.

Let’s consider this me officially throwing my hat into the ring. I’m going to write a novel in November. I don’t know what that novel is going to be about quite yet, but I have some ideas. What I do know is that it’s going to be something new. I’m not going to rehash, refresh, or recycle any of my old novel ideas. That particular strategy has not worked out very well for me in the past. So, probably, I shouldn’t use that strategy again.

Time to start brainstorming some ideas, sketching an outline, and probably putting together an inspirational book cover.

I’ve been getting updates for a few weeks now, but yesterday came the announcement that the Nation Novel Writing Month website is officially up and running for 2016. So if you’re ready to soar into your creative universe, head on over there and get things set up. Announce your 2016 today and get ready for the wild ride in November.

National Novel Writing Month Site Liftoff

Between school and work and everything else I’ve got going on around here this year, I will not be joining you. That’s right folks, I’m not even going to try. I’m not setting myself up for that particular failure this year. Count me out. Too busy.

I will however, happily cheer you on if you choose to participate this November

i cannot imagine finding time to NaNo

I started a notebook last night for Shadow’s Play and put down my first notes about who, what, and even a little bit of why. Nothing like waiting until the last minute. But some things are starting to gel in my head.
Saturday is the writing conference at the library and that should add further inspiration and motivation. I’m planning on starting some practice writes next week, probably a thousand words a night. Little bits of stuff that won’t be in the story, but which may influence the story. I may or may not put that stuff up here. It kinda depends on what I get and the quality of what I got.
I returned Star Wars Aftermath and used that audible credit to pick up something writing related. This is a book that I’ve heard good things about but didn’t have on my writing shelf, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. Finished it already, it’s pretty short, and I enjoyed it and found it to be motivating, if not terribly insightful. By which I mean, I enjoyed it but didn’t come away with the secrets to writing a best selling novel revealed to me. But that could be a product of the sheer number of How-To books I’ve read through the years. It did, however, make me interested in Anne Lamott’s writing. So I’ll probably seek out some of her work in the near future. As always, the secret is to write and write some more and get out of your own way.
I decided to follow that up with another bit of writing advice, this time from Stephen King. I’ve listened to this one several times. In fact, I have taken the time to edit out all the memoir stuff out and create a ‘writing advice only’ version of the book. I like the way King says, either write or find something else to do. Take your writing seriously or don’t bother. My words not his, I’m paraphrasing. Again, this is nothing I haven’t heard before. I’m just trying to get my head in the right place for the coming NaNoWriMo and the inevitable resolution to keep at it and make a writer out of myself.