Category: Rambling


House Keeping 1/7/20

Still getting used to it being a new year. A little silly, but it happens every year so it isn’t surprising.

Had a lot of things on my mind this past week. Couple things that I’m not quite sure how to deal with. Couple things that feel so big they might blot out the sun.

Nothing insurmountable.

There used to be a record store in the side of town I lived in, Charlemagne Records, a little shop in the space above a restaurant. It was nice, good selection, well maintained, and the people were always friendly. Walking up the stairs to it kind of felt like passing into a different world, the kind of place where people knew and cared about local rock shows and would tell you about them if you were curious. The kind of place where you could find bands you’d never heard of as well as old favorites on CD or vinyl or tape.

They closed New Years Eve after more than forty years in business, a victim of rising rent as hotels and apartment buildings try to take over that part of the city.

I got to visit one more time before they closed. Found some really cool albums and some stuff I have no idea what I’m going to do with. It was a lot of fun, but in that bittersweet way where I didn’t want to leave but really had no excuse to stay. I guess I’m sentimental like that.

On a happier note, I passed all my classes. I’m sure I’ve mentioned that before, but I still don’t quite believe it. Partly that’s because no one bothered informing me that I had to apply to graduate, so I kept worrying that something had gone wrong with my classes. Just have to turn in my graduation application and get my diploma and everything will be on it’s way to awesome.

Over on things related to the blog directly, I’m hoping to have a book review up sometime tomorrow. It might get put off until Friday depending on how well the writing it part goes. There will be a “Sunshine’s Journals” post up Thursday. And I’m planning on resuming dice reviews this coming Monday. I had a bunch of dice from Kickstarter projects arrive over the holidays and I can’t wait to talk about them!

Which, after my weird stroll into near maudlin reminiscence, leads us to the end of this week’s house keeping.

Standard stuff, if you like what I’m doing here feel free to leave a comment or a like. I feed on positive feedback and stories. And, of course, if you really like what I’m doing here you can feed my caffeine addiction and buy me a ko-fi. In either case, have a great rest of the week!

House Keeping 1/1/20

Part of me wanted to write a year end retrospective and talk about all the weirdness of 2019 in my life. Part of me still sort of wants to do that or something like it, but it feels a bit out of place.

I haven’t reviewed a book here in months, something that’s going to be changing soon I hope, exception given to Yule Love Her because I actually wrote that and scheduled it ages ago I just wanted it to post a thematic time. Funny, back when I wrote that review I figured that I’d have to post pone something else to make room for it or maybe fold it in to some kind of Blogmas celebration like I try to do for Halloween. Didn’t really work, but I have a couple of reviews I want to get written and a sort of comparison piece in addition to them that sort of ties in.

In a bitterly humorous sort of way seeing myself just not being able to read or write anything about books while working and doing classes made me miss being unemployed. I like my job and all but it was the variable it felt like I could have dropped easiest if rent wasn’t a thing.

But then I started talking about dice as an attempt to sort of pull myself out of that and I’ve wound up with a really fun collection of dice as a partial result. It worked for the most part. I’m looking forward to talking about some sets from Kickstarter and the November Originals box set coming up soon. It’s sort of a situation where I can just relax and ramble about something that isn’t likely to have any major faults, something that I can be positive and excited about without worrying about fangirling or if I’m being too hard on a set. It’s fun in a way that reviewing books sometimes isn’t, because sometimes books just aren’t as good as they should be or could be or any number of things.

And, of course, the Sunshine’s Journals posts. I really enjoy sharing those because it’s a lot of fun to sort of dig into Sunshine as a character and figure what she would say about game sessions. Not sure how many of those we have left. The campaign is winding down and, as much as I want to keep playing her, I’m not sure what’s going to happen as we get closer to the party facing Eebaku. It’s exciting and leaves me a little nervous for the party. I’m hoping that after the Caskfire Expedition is all wrapped up I’ll do a better job of fictionalizing the next World of Darkness campaign than I did with the last one. It looks like we have at least one more story in the Birmingham Saga before those characters get retired or move on to other stories entirely.

I think, at the end of the day, I’m excited to build on the things I started in 2019 as well as trying to get back to reviewing more books. I still love what I’m doing here and I want to see what all gets woven into the blog this year.

I guess I really wanted that year end recap after all. I guess there’s no harm in it, but let’s end this on a familiar note, yeah? I mean, I haven’t done this all decade.

If you like what I’m doing here feel free to leave a comment or a like. I feed on positive reinforcement like the Bumpus hounds on a Christmas turkey. And, of course, if you really like what I’m doing you can feed my caffeine habit and buy me a ko-fi. In either case, have a great rest of the week and a fantastic start to the new year!

So, just yesterday Dice Envy posted up a thing on their blog talking about how they plan on dealing with the fear of missing out effect of limited edition dice. Essentially, they’ve chosen to reprint their limited edition dice so that people who missed out the first time around don’t have to worry as much. Just ask for an alert to when they’ll be available again so Dice Envy can gauge interest.

That means that if you wanted the recent Frost Dice, you can hit a button and get an email alert when they’re available again. Either set of the Healer’s Edition infinity d4? The ever out of stock Alpha Dice?  Same deal.

It’s a really cool idea that I hope other dice shops pick up as well. So, the best thing to do is to encourage them on this. Give it a read and let them know how cool their approach to this is at the post itself.

Nothing really to say this week. I’m still picking away at both getting a book review written and getting financial aid in order so I can go back to school. There’s dice on the way thanks to a lucky break and the Dice Envy affiliate program.

Things are going pretty much as usual.

I’ve been feeling kind of mopey lately, I admit. It’s a little like, there’s a million things I need to get done or want to get done or just could do. But it gets a little overwhelming. So I sit and watch videos or I nap or I start another crafting project and I wind up ignoring all the other things.

It’s something I need to work on. Actual work on, not just say that I’m going to and then let it slide.

But, all that aside, there’s a guest post coming this Friday.

I’m going to get a review done again eventually.

Everything else is just details.

So, standard stuff, if you like what I’m doing here feel free to leave a comment or a like. I’ve branched out a bit and want to see what people think once I’ve got everything balanced out. And, of course, if you really like what I’m doing here you can feed my caffeine addiction and buy me a ko-fi. In either case, have a great rest of the week!

12th of Spring, Year 256

Good news! We have Eclair back and Azurei seems to be feeling much better.

Less good news, Eclair doesn’t seem terribly happy about the situation with Chonck’s new vocabulary. Can’t blame her really. She’s not real pleased with the ‘sticky book’ situation either, but that at least has been taken care of for now.

We’ve convinced Chonck that, given he figures the priests stole the book from its rightful owner, then the good thing to do would be to return it to One-Eyed Jimmy. So, Azurei escorted him to One-Eyed Jimmy’s house and we owe Chonck a book with pictures. Possibly two.

With that promise secured, the rest of the trip to White Hall was quick. Though it did take awhile to get Chonck harnessed up, since he was all but dancing with excitement and kept trying to dash off to get on the way. Getting him to not bowl over the walking traffic after we got there was also a minor issue, but easily dealt with.

We’ve got both the trade agreements for Dunhill, the village we stayed in yesterday, and White Hall and, of course, the first batch of trade good from White Hall. It’ll be a good boost to Caskfire’s supplies.

We’ll be heading out in the morning. Tonight, we make like the elf and drink.

(Added in a somewhat shakier hand, presumably later)

Make a point of explaining rules to Chonck before punishing him for breaking them. Bad idea to expect he’d understand the spirit of the rule rather than the word. Bad idea Sunshine.

Late posting this, yesterday didn’t really happen. The “And Another Thing” is something I’ve been wanting to write something for for a while and I’ve been meaning to go back and talk about this since I realized it, but haven’t really taken the time to put it to paper as it were. So now seemed like a great time to get this done. This is sort of touching on an older review, you can find that here. I might make this a semi-regular thing for books that I couldn’t get to everything reasonably or series after I’ve already reviewed the books that make them up. It could be a lot of fun, this one was at least.

So, one of my big issues with Free Chocolate was pacing and information related. There would be long stretches of nothing new, of repetition, of the reader being reminded that Bo is in trouble because of the Zamite’s usually eating stowaways or of the corporate assassin calling her to remind her that he’s going to kill her family if she doesn’t get the cacao beans back and provably destroy them. Of how she doesn’t know as much about her boyfriend as she thought.

It hit me some time later.

Each chapter is an episode of a soap opera.

Each chapter.

And I missed that on my first go round with the book.

This is a thing that could have been brilliant. But I feel like it’s let down by the novel format and, as a result, becomes a letdown of a read.

One of the big things with soap operas is getting the viewer to come back every day. So, there’s a lot of characters and a lot of plot lines running constantly. Even if one plot line ends during an episode there’s still several more going and chances are that the ending of one will result in the start of another. It’s a constant cycle and characters are continually being introduced and developed and moved out of the story.

It’s a daily thing and needs to keep people coming back daily. But it’s also only a half an hour to an hour daily, so small amounts of all of this can be twined together and stretched out. But it loses something if you’re watching episodes back to back to back. Things fall a little flat because tension doesn’t work if it’s kept cranked up over a long amount of time. Plus, a lot of the repetition on a soap opera covers if you miss a day here and there.

Same thing with Free Chocolate. Since every chapter is an episode and soap operas require continual high tension it winds up being clunky. Plot lines and information are continually reintroduced. Characters are continually gone back over.

It feels like it could work really well over the course of a couple of months. Just like, post one chapter a day and have it go from there and I think the pacing would have worked a lot better.

House Keeping 3/13/19

I’ve got boundless amounts of nothing going on. Some applications in for jobs, some ground work laid to get back to school, lots of hurry up and wait.

Boundless amounts of nothing and it feels like it’s stretching out into forever. That’s clearly not the actual case, I mean, I’ve got another con coming up in June, there’s a potential gig I’m hoping to hear back about for tomorrow night, and there’s always Friday night game night. Things are happening all the time, I just need to get myself grounded in them.

So, on to more relevant things.

Review is still coming eventually, I’m just going to make myself sit down and finish it. This is absolutely not a reflection of the writing’s quality, I’m actually really enjoying the writing, it’s just a matter of getting myself to start doing anything.

Much like the review, reviews for the January and February Second Star Books boxes are also still coming, same for the box opening videos. Same reasoning/excuse there.

I’ve got a couple of article’s partially written, I’m wanting to go back and finish those and polish them up.

And new stuff!

Since I’m not DMing the current campaign for my game group, I’m going to be keeping an in-character journal for my character. So I figure I’ll post that up here once a week, I’ll probably schedule it for Thursdays so that I have time to clean it up a bit. It’s not going to be a blow by blow of things, so much as a retelling of the important bits. It should be fun and, of course, if folks have any questions I can always clarify things.

Related to that, I’m excited to announce that I’ve been accepted into Dice Envy’s affiliate program. I actually ordered one of their mystery dice bags before I found out I’d been accepted, so I’m really looking forward to showing those off. You can follow my link here to the site, I’ll include more about it when I show off the dice mystery bag early next week.

That’s about it for now. Standard stuff, if you like what I’m doing here feel free to leave a comment or a like. And, of course, if you really like what I’m doing here you can feed my caffeine addiction and buy me a ko-fi. In any case, enjoy the rest of the week!

A Couple of Thoughts

I find myself wanting to talk about a thing that feels like a trope but might have just been specific to one author. I know I’ve seen it from more than just the one guy, but I can’t for the life of me remember how common or not it is. Either way, it’s a great way to annoy me greatly in a single scene.

If it’s not a trope, I really want it to be.

Another thing, I kind of want to revisit a couple of books that I’ve previously reviewed and talk about things that I either hadn’t thought of at the time or that I don’t feel like I gave as much time to as I would have wanted.

That and I also find myself wanting to talk about series and how they work overall once I’ve reviewed all of them. It seems like fun.

2018 Books I Dig

I’ve put off posting this for two days, but there weren’t any entries for the giveaway.

Unfortunate, but I might could have planned a better time for it. And it isn’t like that’s going to stop me from trying again at the end of this year, so I’m going to try and make 2019 better than 2018.

That starts with planning things out and figuring what I can do, what needs to be postponed, and how to make a schedule of some stripe work for me.

In any case, everyone have a great rest of the week! Posts will resume next week.

House Keeping 9/5/18

Not a ton to talk about this week. I’m hitting the point of stress where all I want to do is sleep and binge creepy YouTube videos. Unfortunately, there isn’t a ton I can do about it just now and some of it I have no control over one way or the other. So, I’m doing my best to roll with it, there may be more weeks where I’m late getting a review out or where I just don’t have one ready. But it’ll get better at some point, a lot of this comes from things changing at a rapid pace. Most of it’s good changes any way, so the stress is just from trying to keep pace rather than bracing. You know?

All that said, I’ve got a couple guest posts coming up for you all soon. One is a returning author talking a little about his other passion. The other is part of a blog tour for a new release. I’m pretty excited for both of them.

There’s a handful of things I’m going to work on catching up on. No promises on when they’ll get posted, but I do want to get back to doing more than just this and the weekly review again. Plus, Halloween is coming up so I need to start planning for that.

I also need to get started on those posts I was going to do for the lead up to the up coming World of Darkness campaign. The Pathfinder campaign ended sooner than expected, so I’m sort of having to accelerate my planning. This isn’t a bad thing, I’ve got most of the beginning stuff planned and a plot skeleton, it’s just a matter of getting NPCs stated out and some early game threads for the group to follow written out and solidified. So, I guess, look forward to the back ground posts for this coming up soon-ish.

Standard stuff, if you like what I’m doing here feel free to leave a comment or a like. This especially with the World of Darkness stuff coming up. And, of course, if you really like what I’m doing here you can feed my caffeine addiction and buy me a ko-fi. Anything from that is currently going towards a replacement video camera so that I can work on video book talks. Have a great rest of the week!