Tag Archive: Tympest Books


So, I’ve been sitting on these dice since they arrived because I’ve been in no shape to words well, this is the set from Dice Envy’s Original Box for August. This is only my second set of metal dice, so it’s been fun to play with these.

Millennial Gold 1

The colors on these are fantastic, both the gold coloring on the metal and the sort of creamy sparkly green for the enamel work gorgeously together. I love the swirls in the green too. It’s just sort of visually soothing.

Millennial Gold 2

Being metal, the weight on this set is fantastic. More than that though, I like that the corners on most of the dice in the Avocado Toast set are blunted or rounded. It feels a lot less likely to damage my dice tray or a play mat and, more importantly, just feels nicer in hand. Unfortunately,  the d20 is one of the two with sharp corners. Though there isn’t much that can be done about that given how many corners it and the d12 both have.

The way these roll is interesting. I think a good chunk of it is just that I’m not used to metal dice. I tend to sort of toss roll my acrylic dice, which works well enough for these as well. They sort of thunk down and I find myself not wanting to roll more than one at a time to avoid damaging them, I’m sure I will shed that as I get more used to metal dice. They also feel really well balanced, so I’m more than okay with rolling them one at a time.

Millennial Gold 3

So, my response to this set is overwhelmingly positive. They look nice. I continue to love the color combination, the green is lovely and well complemented by the gold. They feel nice. They’re just pleasant to handle and the weight is really nice. And it was really just a fantastic surprise to get a set of metal dice in the Original Box. That leaves the Avocado Toast or Millennial Gold dice set with a five out of five.

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House Keeping 9/17/19

Good news! I’m mostly recovered from being sick.

It’s great and I’m hoping I’ll be able to accomplish a bit more now that I’m rested and recovered. Still have class stuff to catch up on and, of course, I’m having to get back into the swing of work. That’s all fine though.

I’ve got a dice review coming up tomorrow morning. It’s for the Dice Envy Original Box from August, and it’s one I’ve been really excited to talk about.

“Sunshine’s Journals” post should be up Thursday. It’s the first of a two parter that was a lot of fun to play through.

I don’t have a lot beyond that. Not much happens when you spend a week getting a month and a half’s worth of sleep.

So, standard stuff I guess. 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 any buy me a ko-fi. In any case, have a great rest of the week!

42nd Spring, Year 256

We had been back just long enough for Chonck to disappear into the library, presumably to pull himself back together, when Churt ordered the party back topside to deal with an invasion of wild boar that had been eating their way through the fields and destroying any fences in their way.

The vast majority of the militia dwarves were already out dealing with their own assigned fields. There were waves upon waves of boar rushing in. Most of them just seemed lost or desperate to find food. The last few seemed driven forward.

Were driven forward. I do not know how we wound up dealing with the only dire boar in the lot of them. Thing is bigger than Chonck and so battle scared that I had a hard time telling the difference between the arrows that he’d been hit with and the ruff of fur down his back. Smart too. After Azurei used one of her brain melting spells on him and failed to kill him, he avoided her. But then when Eclair used one of her last eldritch blasts on him, he saw she was tired out and charged.

The elf managed to calm him down enough to catch him. There were remains of a Goblin harness on him with his name inscribed on it, it translates to something like “Bear-render.”  So not only is this dire boar strong and smart enough to run off a celestial warlock, though an admittedly exhausted one, but he also earned a name before we ran the Goblins out of the area. It seems that Bear-render is going to be a good addition to the fortress.

That said, this is going to put us irreparably behind on growing crops for winter, I fear. At least we should have enough salted pork and mushrooms to keep the fortress fed. I am also a touch worried that the other animals that the Goblins were eating will have similar population explosions that we will have to deal with.

For now though, I have to clean the hog droppings off the crossbow I borrowed before the quartermaster will approve repairs to mine.

House Keeping 9/10/19

So, I’ve been sick the past week. Like, calling out of work and class and just trying to sleep it off sick. Mostly better now, I’m just still coughing a lot and have lost my voice.

Good times.

That’s a big chunk of why nothing went to plan last week. I got hit really hard with the sick and just sort of disappeared from reality.

But I’m trying to come back now. No promises on what I’ll get done this week, I do have a fair amount of school stuff to also catch up on, but I’m hoping to finally have something out for you all.

That’s about it for this one.

Have a great rest of your week!

House Keeping 9/4/19

It’s the start of a new month and I’ve got more of the same stuff still going.

There’s been a bit of an issue that is eating my free time, so I’m likely to be away from the blog more than I already have been recently. Not sure how long it’ll last, but it’s going to be longer than I’d hoped. It’s going to be a rough start to the month.

That said, I’m hoping to finally have another “Sunshine’s Journals” post up some time tomorrow and, hopefully, the dice review for the week up on Friday. I’ve gotten my Originals dice box for the month and really want to talk about the set.

That’s about it for now. I might post pictures of the crocheting project I’m working on, or ramble about something. But those are nebulous ideas that are just as likely to not happen.

All the same.

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

 

Guest Post : L. A. MacFadden

As promised, if a little late, here’s the guest post I mentioned back on Tuesday! Here’s L. A. MacFadden talking a little about what gets her interested in writing stories. Enjoy!

Myth Agent cover

Way back in the 1970’s I read Time and Again, by Jack Finney. I have a copy of it, but I haven’t ever read it again—it has stayed with me since that first time—as have a few other great books, such as  John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath—which changed the way I looked at the world when I read it in eighth grade. When I set out to write Myth Agent, I didn’t want to replicate any part of someone else’s book, but I did want to write something that would stay with some readers, like those books have with me.

I love to read old newspapers. The news stories of days gone by add to the history I have tucked away in my mind, but the advertisements in old papers from, say, 1850, always fire me up. Some flesh and blood person so long ago actually dipped their quill pen in an inkwell and wrote an ad for, let’s say, a room for rent. Then someone carried the advertisement to the newspaper office on foot, on horseback or some horse-drawn conveyance. And when the paper was printed and distributed, someone read it and made their way to the address in question to inquire about the room. Who was the person who wrote the ad? Why did they suddenly have a room to let? And who was the person answering the ad? What were their stories? It doesn’t take a lot to get my imagination working overtime.

I’ve spent plenty of time in antique shops and have hauled plenty of old merchandise home with me. I suppose it stands to reason, then, that part of Myth Agent is set in an antique shop owned by a woman named Odessa—the shop is called Odessa’s Quest. When I needed certain antiques in a few passages in the book I was able to refer to some of my own collection for details. It can’t get much handier than that! Another part of the book focuses on dreams; maybe because sometimes I wake up from sound sleep remembering very vivid story dreams. I guess Myth Agent combines two ideas—the writing advice I’ve read and been told so many times to ‘write what you know’—with my own advice to myself—’write what you don’t know but your brain just conjures up!’

People close to me are used to having me write things like the happy short stories I wrote for my children when they were young, or light-hearted romances ending in happily ever after. But the real reason I started writing the soft science fiction Myth Agent, is that I just wanted to shake things up! Now I’m working on the next book in the series, because I have to find out what happens next!

LA MacFadden author pic

About L.A. MacFadden

I was raised in small towns in Oregon, Washington, and Montana, and I am still a small town person at heart. I married my high school sweetheart in 1975, and after he got out of the Marines, we settled in western Oregon. We have two grown children, and two wonderful granddaughters. Being part of this family is very important to us.

Our home is out in the country, near the Columbia River Gorge. The wind here is frightful in the winters—sometimes it roars at eighty-plus mph for days. The fury of the wind causes boughs to grow only on one side of the evergreens! But the calm days here in this beautiful area make up for it. We live in a small house situated between forest and pasture, with a lovely view of Mt. Hood in the distance. When it’s quiet—no high winds—I’m in the perfect writing place. I’m not one of those people who can write in a crowded coffee shop—although I do frequent coffee house drive-throughs!

Myth Agent on Amazon and Goodreads!

House Keeping 8/27/19

Still busy with classes and work, things haven’t quite evened out yet. But I think I’m going to do alright. Gotta practice a speech for class later this week, which is a bit nerve wracking, but doable.

There should definitely be a “Sunshine’s Journals” post on Thursday.

I’m working on a book review, but don’t know if I’ll be able to finish it for tomorrow. It’s an interesting book, well written and plotted. There’s just enough going on in it that it’s difficult to talk about without spoiling anything.

Friday’s going to be fun though. I’ve got a guest post for you all.

That’s about it for this one.

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

I’m more than a bit late on this one. I’ve been excited to talk about these though, they’re from a company that I had seen a few times on Kickstarter but never had the chance to back until this set. Little Dragon Corp is actually running another Kickstarter now, if you want to check it out. In any case, enjoy!

Bloodstone 3

This is a set of dice I was excited to back. Little Dragon Corp has run a number of Kickstarters in the past and the dice always look nice. The colors are always good. I just haven’t had the opportunity until the Hidden Gem Dice.

The color here is interesting. The set is meant to resemble bloodstone, which is dark green with flecks of red in it. The green is really pale, presumably to keep the dice transparent and let the red swirls show through. Which means that the red doesn’t stand out as much as it could, but it is still a really nice shade and it does still complement the red. The inking is well done, clear and clean and easy to read.

Bloodstone 2

As is pretty standard for acrylic dice, the Hidden Gem Dice feel nice in hand and roll well. There aren’t any bubbles in my set. I admit, I spent a while just spinning them around to look at them from different angles and play with them.

Bloodstone 1

My excitement for this set skews the score up somewhat. I really like this set and the overall theming for the rest of the Hidden Gem line. The dice feel nice. They look nice. And I find myself really wanting to roll up a dwarven character to play with them. So the Hidden Gem Bloodstone dice get a five out of five from me.

Guest Post Grant Price

Hi all, this is the first post in a while I’ve gotten to host that focuses in on the getting published side of things. I found it interesting and hope you all do too. Enjoy!

The new end is the new beginning

“Too bleak. Pass.” When I started querying agents for By the Feet of Men, my dystopian cli-fi novel, this was the response I received from three different people within the first week. Okay, I thought, it just wasn’t for them. No need to worry. But it wasn’t until the fourth agent emailed me with feedback after requesting the full manuscript that I realised: I was going to have to rewrite the ending. Because it was indeed too bleak. As the agent said, it gave the reader nothing to cling on to, offered them little reward after spending 300+ pages with the characters they had become invested in, and effectively stated that the world I’d created was entirely devoid of hope. I perhaps should have realised that this is not the kind of message—especially in this day and age—anybody wants to walk away with.

The problem was that I was done with the dystopian world I’d created. I was exhausted after having spent two years sketching and erasing and colouring and shading. I didn’t want to go back in there, especially after my definitive (and naïve) gesture of christening the file “Draft 6_final”. Yes, I could have ignored the advice and continued to query. I could’ve taken heart from the stories of writers like Heller, Plath or Vonnegut who ploughed on in the face of rejection and refused to bow to the pressure of rewrites. But once a professional who looks at hundreds of manuscripts a month has taken the time to point out exactly where the flaws are in your story, you’d have to be pretty confident or (more likely) foolish to keep going down that same road. Artistic vision is great and all, but it’s better when other people get to experience your vision, too.

In the end, I thanked the agent, hid myself away and, even though I never wanted to look at it again, reopened the manuscript. Perhaps most surprisingly for me, it didn’t actually take long for a natural conclusion to appear. By the time I was finished, I had ended up adding three new chapters. They were good. They worked. They held up under the weight of the rest of the novel. The next time I submitted it, I received the following feedback: “strong ending with potential for a sequel”. That feedback happened to come from my future publisher. I signed the contract a week later. My new ending signalled the beginning of my career as an actual novelist.

With this in mind, here are my four tips for rewriting the ending of your work-in-progress even though you’ve sworn you’re absolutely, positively done.

 

  1. Listen to the advice you were given.

I touched on this above already, but it bears repeating: never be so unrelenting in your quest for artistic purity that you don’t listen to the advice of those around you. There is a difference between believing in a message that you absolutely want to tell the world and a story with a flabby midsection that requires a nip and tuck. Try not to take it personally, either. If somebody has made the effort to give you feedback, they probably did it because they found something in there that they believe is worth salvaging. Save your indignance for when you sell the thing and then start getting advance reviews from people who take just one sentence to trash your novel. And your dreams. And your belief in the goodness of humanity.

 

  1. Find enough enthusiasm to get it done.

Yep, this one is easier said than done. Enthusiasm doesn’t come in a can (unlike energy, which does). If you’re looking at that icon on your desktop and dreading clicking on it, it’s worth taking the time to think about why you wanted to write the thing in the first place. What compelled you to spend months hammering at your keyboard? What was it that got you believing that it was a story people should read? Writing a novel is like any long-term relationship: sometimes you have to remember how things were at the start to fall in love with the object of your affection all over again. You’ll then be able to see how far you’ve come – and to understand that it would be a damn shame if you threw it all away now.

 

  1. Go somewhere completely different to write it.

This is linked to point number two in that if you need to kickstart the engine that gets your fingers dancing over the keyboard once more, a good idea is to leave your usual haunt and try tackling that rewrite somewhere entirely different. For me, it just so happened that I went to Thailand a week after I received the feedback from the agent. I ended up sitting in a glass studio in the middle of nowhere with no Internet and no distractions, and wrote those three new chapters in just over a week. All inertia was banished thanks to a simple change of scenery. Of course, it doesn’t have to be a different country altogether; it could just be a park or a coffee shop where the barista tells you to wait a few minutes before drinking your beverage so you can “really taste it”.

 

  1. Compromise, but not too much.

The last item on the list may be the most important. Yes, you should accept and listen to feedback, but ultimately your book is your baby and you (hopefully) know what’s best for it. In other words, these rewrites become a balancing act. On the one hand, you may have to compromise on your artistic vision a little bit; after all, there’s a reason your novel hasn’t been picked up yet, and a fresh pair of eyes is much more likely to spot a thread in the tapestry that’s the wrong shade of blue than you are using your colour-blind tunnel vision. On the other hand, not all feedback is equally valuable, and if the response calls for you to rip up half of your manuscript and forget the reason you were writing it in the first place, then it may be worth taking a step back and looking at what you can change for the better while retaining the soul of the piece. If, for example, somebody doesn’t think a character works and they outline exactly why they believe this and their reasoning rings true, then this is a good basis for a rewrite. If, on the other hand, somebody simply doesn’t like a character because of the way they speak or act, this isn’t necessarily an invitation for you to lobotomise that character or do away with them entirely. Ultimately, you’re the boss.

By the Feet of Men cover

Amazon Link

House Keeping 8/20/19

Classes started this past Friday. Still excited. Still terrified. But I’m on top of things now, so it’s just a matter of staying there.

Work is going pretty good too.

I’m at a good place for everything except getting things done here. And I’m working on that.

Speaking of, I’ve got a guest post coming up for you all tomorrow. It’s a good one, so I hope you all will enjoy it.

“Sunshine’s Journal” post should be up as usual. And I’m hoping I’ll have a book review done for next week. Same for dice reviews, I just didn’t get the one for yesterday finished in time.

That’s about it for this one. I’ve got a lot going on, but not a lot to talk about.

Standard stuff then. If you like what I’m doing here feel free to leave a comment or a like. Feedback is always good. If you really like what I’m doing, you can feed my caffeine addiction and buy me a ko-fi. If you don’t want to do that but are about dice, I’ve also got a Dice Envy referral link you can use. In any case have a great rest of the week!