A Game Between Friends

February 29, 2012

So I’ve run into a couple of pertinent problems that I’m hoping that my readers may be able to help me with. One is finding a reliable source of income when I do not own nor can safely operate a car most of the time, I have a chronic pain problem, and most of my experience working is as a help desk analyst and PC technician. Oh, and writing, which you can see here. I’m hoping that as soon as I get cover images and responses from my test readers I’ll be able to put out a few ebooks but I have no idea how regular that could be, income wise.

The second problem is that I had nothing to post today because of feeling like hell from allergies. To rectify that, I’m going to write something fresh. Right now. Right here. I hope you like it.

I asked my Google+ and Facebook streams what I should write about today (and if you’re interested in interacting with me on a regular basis, including seeing my work in progress more…in progress, be sure to Circle me on Google+ or Like my Facebook page at the right). Thus far, I have gotten no response from anyone on there but I forged ahead anyway! This is what I came up with; a young woman’s travails in becoming a recognized wizard and academic in an unnamed fantasy world and her fight against The Order, the establishment of existing wizards and their social rules that seem counter to everything she’s been told growing up.



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That may or may not be true, but it certainly feels that way. What follows after the fold is the beginning of my rewrite of the Perseus myth. I’m sure quite a few know it, but you don’t know who it is or what it’s about because the story itself lacks any real identity. Theseus is largely the same way but that’s more to do with the fact that Minos is such an iconic setting and Theseus is not a really iconic hero. He’s no Herakles, Jason, Leonidas, Hector, Achilles, Odyssius, etc.

Here’s the short version of Perseus, though;

Perseus was the son of Zeus and Danae. Danae’s father, King Acrisius, set Danae and her son adrift on the sea because of a prophecy that Perseus would kill him. The two were taken in by Polydectes, the king of Seriphus. Polydectes later conceived a passion for Danae, but was unable to force his attentions on her because Perseus had grown into a redoubtable protector. To get rid of Perseus, Polydectes sent him on a quest to bring back the head of the Gorgon Medusa, a snake-haired maiden who turned all who saw her into stone.Perseus

Perseus accomplished his quest with the help of Hermes and Athena. He went first to the Gorgons‘ sisters, the Graeae, who had only one eye and one tooth which they shared among themselves. Perseus took the eye and the tooth, and agreed to give them back only if the Graeae helped him in his quest. They helped him acquire a pair of winged sandals, a wallet or satchel, and the cap of Hades; the sandals enabled him to fly, the satchel was to carry the Gorgon’s head, and the cap conferred invisibility on its wearer. Wearing the cap, he approached Medusa, looking only at her reflection in his shield, and cut off her head.

As he flew back over Africa on his way home, he encountered Atlas; in the course of a struggle, he used the Gorgon’s head to turn Atlas to stone (thereby forming the Atlas Mountains). He also dripped blood from the head onto the sands of the African desert, giving birth to the deadly vipers of that region. Later in the journey he saw the maiden Andromeda chained naked to a rock by the sea as a sacrifice to a sea monster. He fell in love with her and bargained with her father, Cepheus, for her hand in marriage if he killed the monster. He succeeded in slaying the beast, but at the wedding feast Phineus, a jilted suitor of Andromeda, angrily demanded the bride. In the battle which followed, Perseus used Medusa’s head to turn Phineus and his followers into stone.

When he returned to Seriphus, he found that Polydectes was still persecuting Danae. He used the Gorgon’s head once again, and turned Polydectes to stone. He then gave the sandals, satchel and cap to Hermes; he gave the Gorgon’s head to Athene, who emblazoned it upon the aegis which protected her in battle. Finally he returned to Acrisius’ kingdom, where he fulfilled the prophecy by accidentally killed the king while throwing the discus.

Thank you Encyclopedia Mythica

So, at some point for some reason I decided this was a good thing to rewrite as a short story. This is the most convoluted story I’ve ever read and it’s turning into the most convoluted fantasy piece I’ve ever designed. Tomorrow I’ll probably post my framework, the kind of short blow by blow I’ve developed, so you can see it. Today it’s just the opening.

The name of the story, though, is something I’m kind of proud of. I’m going for a kind of Conan vibe, before the advent of history when the world was still young, still shrouded in myth, and still full of things that were yet to be forgotten.

This is the story of The First, and Forgotten, Hero. The story of Farla, the last princess of Atlantis, and her adventures with the poets Homer and Taliesin.


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I’m curious how many people out there that run into this blog are RPG players. Not console or computer RPGs (which I enjoy, mind you, and I’d love to discuss them with anyone at some point) but I’m talking about table top RPGs. Dungeons and Dragons, Tunnels and Trolls, Vampire the Masquerade (or any of the Creature the Verb White Wolf games, the two Mage games being my favorites), Burning Wheel, Legend of the Five Rings, Cyberpunk/2020, Shadowrun, Rifts/Palladium etc…any of these things.

I’m asking because I’m considering doing an OGL product, a rulebook, that jokes about one of the earliest problematic and racist books from D&D history. Just about everyone I know that has played since at least AD&D remembers just how, well, racist Oriental Adventures felt. It’s a classic example of exoticism and racial worship at the most common target for these things – Asia.

I, too, will admit I once idolized Japanese culture. No longer, though I do have a deep love for it in general from that period in my life.

As a bit of a backhanded homage to that, and a way of having fun with D&D, the d20 system, and privilege in general, I want to write an RPG manual for adventures in the savage and inesecapable West called “Occidental Adventures.” It’d include all the rules for playing as well as notes where it’s different from its (nonexistent) parent system. I’m considering naming the parent system after two things that are alliterative and part of classic fantasy and mythical discussions of somewhere in Asia. I’m not sure where yet, but it’d have to be deserving of being the “Imperial power” in this little cultural in-joke.

I’m sure this is offensive to someone and, if so, I’m sorry. But I’d love to write a description of the exotic and noble Knight. 

So, let’s chat about it.

Today is going to be a bunch of my flash fiction. This is all unedited, all short, and all from my G+ stream (it’s my fiction, just stuff I’ve posted there).

At some point today I’ll be working on something, probably, but for right now I’m gonna relax a bit and try to let the ol’ machine between my ears rest a little. The frustrations of life, the body, and the mind are taking their toll this week.


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There’s no new writing today, unfortunately. I think I may be allergic to the place I’m living in and unless I can start getting together a better income every month, I’m kind of stuck there for the time being. Especially since it’ll probably cost $1,200 a month to get a small apartment, power, and internet access that I can rely on. Yeah, that’s not including transportation, washing my clothes, doing anything but sitting at home, or eating. Orange County is ridiculously expensive. Anyway, this is depressing and the long and the short of it is I have an allergy problem that is reminiscent of an awful head cold.

So instead I’m going to tell you all about the other thing I’d like to do with my life. The business I’d like to start if, somehow, I could find some investors that are interested in completely off the wall business ventures rooted in things that make a lot of sense, once you get past the zaniness of the plan at first glance.


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More Work in Progress

February 20, 2012

So I don’t have anything more to post that’s anywhere near completehowever, I do have some more work in progress. This is for another myth rewrite that I’m still working on designing. And I believe this is just the opening. The voice is going to be much different in the rest of the story. ‘Cause I love confusing my readers, you see.

Had a great day for visits yesterday, almost 50. The most I’ve ever had! On a Sunday! And a great comment from M about my writing and what I can do to improve it, all things I plan on keeping in mind while I edit and go through my work again. As well as writing new things.

A few things; still trying to get covers together to start putting stuff up on ebook markets (and now that I need to do some more editing passes, it’ll be easier to pass that time). I do have the blog here syndicated on the Kindle now, though. If you search for The Writing Engine under blogs you’ll find it. Searching for it lead me to find out that I accidentally used the name of a book about writing, as well, which makes me kind of sad. I may consider changing the name here to be less…the same. So if you have any writing-oriented steampunk style suggestions, let me know!

In the mean time, enjoy the beginning of The First and Forgotten Hero.


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By that I mean I do not have any finished writing available to post today. But I do have something really raw that I’ll post. It’s what I’m working on for a fantasy fiction contest. I could use the prize money and, well, exposure right?

This is The Grey Paladin, a fantasy story that I’m doing a lot of world building for and something I’m playing with ideas for. So, I hope you enjoy it but please remember that this is really, really raw.


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