Gaming and Writing

July 8, 2014

Hello my Imaginary Friends,

I may have way too many things on my mind right now. It has nothing to do with being busy and everything to do with my mind working in overtime. I blame running oneshots and preparing to run a new campaign.

Gaming

After nearly four months of not running or playing in any games (pen and paper games like D&D) I ran a oneshot two weeks ago and another yesterday. Oneshots are short adventures that take an evening to start and finish.

I’ve learned some valuable lessons with both games. The first being that rules light games are harder for people to grasp as a first gaming experience. Second is that I’m very rusty with the D&D 3.5 rules. It took me forever to make characters.

I also got the Emerald Spire Superdungeon in the mail from Paizo. It’s the special Kickstarter, leather bound edition. It’s beautiful and exciting. I can’t wait to run my group through it on Thursday.

Hobbies

I’ve noticed most authors I know have another creative outlet. It varies from person to person, there’s gardening, sculpting, drawing, painting, music, acting, web videos etc.

I think it’s important to have an outlet that lets you do something other than writing. I’m still not an official author but I’ve noticed that writing sort of steels a section of my brain. I’m constantly thinking of scenes, stories, novels, characters and other things for what I’m writing or want to write. It’s exhausting and sometimes builds into stress.

If I don’t do something else with my mind, I often feel guilty for not writing. Writing is a combination urge, craving, and need.

The closest thing I have to another creative outlet is gaming. It allows me to use the same parts of my brain that create stories for another purpose. A good gaming session, or preparation session feels like I’ve rebooted or defragmented my brain. It’s great.

I’ve also greatly enjoyed working on my own gaming system called Four Attribute Duel Dodecahedron System or FADDS for short. I’ve talked about it before but I’ll be doing some playtest at the end of August for the game.

I’m toying with the idea of filming a playtest oneshot to see how well it plays.

fadds

Parasomnia

On the note of writing, I’m hard at work on chapter 20 of Parasomnia. It started out as a Supernatural Suspense but I think I’ll have to re-classify it as a Drama Fantasy. I also started writing it for Adults but I’m fairly sure it’s better suited for Young Adults, or that odd new category called New Adults.

The book should have roughly 23-25 chapters and I’m going to do something with it that I’ve never needed to do before and that’s edit the crap out of it before my Weditor (Also known as my Wife) looks at it.

Unlike the Elizabeth Investigates series, I find this book needs a lot more cleanup. It might be that I have 5 POV characters instead of 2 or maybe the others need it and I didn’t notice. Either way once I’m done I’ll have a few weeks’ worth of work before I send it to the Weditor.

An author I know, and respect, sends her beta readers her new books one at a time. So she’s already edited what the first one says before she sends it to the second one. I think this is a brilliant way to get a book edited and that’s what I’ll do with this one when it’s done.

It’s been a hard book to write. Each of the five main characters is fundamentally broken. I don’t mean a fatal flaw but a mental problem that hampers their development and their ability to deal with the world. It’s hard to include those things and try to make them realistic without caricaturizing them.

There’s still a strong dose of action and adventure throughout but this book has more character introspection than I’ve ever attempted.

I’m very proud of it so far and I hope it will be well received.

That’s it for today.

See you tomorrow with more random topics.

Éric

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The Ridiculous Adventures of Felix Felicis – Part Three

July 4, 2014

Part 1 | Part 2

“DINOSAURS!” yelled Felix. The woman had forced him to come to work on his day off, which turned out ok since his house exploded, and then dragged him around town avoiding people who didn’t know how to spell and now she was blaming it on dinosaurs?

“Keep your voice down Felix. May I call you Felix?”

“No you may not. I’m leaving,” he stood up thinking that although she was attractive and saved his life, it was no excuse for him to stick around and listen to her crazy statements. But there was one thing he needed to know, “Why are ‘they’ after me and why does the news think I blew up my apartment?” He was standing now and was mildly impressed by the lack of interest people were showing in his loud and insane conversation.

“Mister Felicis. Please just sit down and I’ll tell you,” she sounded like a grade school teacher chastising a student. Her voice was calm and eyes narrowed.

He sat down.

“Good good. Now the police believe you blew up the building because they found a bomb inside your apartment. Or I suppose remnants of a bomb at this point. The Dinosaurs put it there.”

“And?” He had never tried to hide his impatience with her and he didn’t try now.

“Oh, I’d love to have an ice cream cone. I haven’t had one since two-thousand and twenty five. Oh and they make them with real milk here. What a treat.” She stood up and went to the counter to order her ice-cream cone.

Everything she said sounded odd but she talked about two-thousand and twenty five as if it was in the past. This worried Felix but he wasn’t sure why. When she came back he asked her, “What year do you think it is right now?”

Again she gave him a condescending look and replied, “Two-thousand and fifteen, April 1st.” she was right and ignored his confusion.

“Where are you from?” why was he asking these questions? He knew he wouldn’t like the answers.

“The future,”

“No. Try again.”

“Uhm… I come from the future.”

“Time travel isn’t possible. Any universe that would allow time travel would be messy and filled with paradoxes. In the end it would destroy itself.”

“I’m sorry but you’re wrong. The universe isn’t some priceless vase. It won’t crack that easy.”

This time he didn’t say anything he just stood up and left. The door out squeaked and cool air felt nice on his face. It was early afternoon now and he just walked. He had no idea where to go or what to do but he needed to get away from Miss Eris and her crazy theories.

It seemed that his subconscious had decided what to do when he saw that he was walking towards his brother’s home. Once there he’d explain everything to his brother Dean and his wife Sam and they’d formulate a plan.

Maybe the reason Miss Eris didn’t want him to go to the police was that she had planted the bomb in order to feed her sick fantasies.

His brother’s home was a small stand-alone house not far from downtown. It took Felix less than ten minutes to get there. It was small but cozy and despite Dean’s inability to organize, Felix still enjoyed visiting.

As Felix turned onto his brother’s street there was a loud whistling noise as if someone had built a sky scrapper sized tea-kettle. Felix fell to his knees and covered his ears. When the sound was over her looked down the street and blinked several times.

Standing in front of his brother’s home was a thirty foot tall gorilla. One of its eyes had been converted into some sort of laser pointer and one of its arms appeared to be made of metal. Attached to its hunched back was a saddle, sitting in this saddled was a small scaly reptile. Its yellow lizard eyes focused on Felix and it lifted what looked like a machine gun from an old gangster movie.

With a hissing voice it said, “Felix Felicis, you are tried by the Sauren court and found guilty of crimes against time and space. Prepare to die.”


Happy Canada Day 2014

July 1, 2014

Canada turns 147 years old today.

I’m hosting a party that will probably have me barbequing in the rain, but it’ll still be fun.

Hope everyone has a great Canada Day and for those who aren’t celebrating, check out our greatest superhero:


The Author, Belle, and I – An Adventure at ComicCon

June 27, 2014

This story was inspired by real events. Someone posted something similar but much creepier on the blog of an author I like and it inspired me to write this story.

It’s an attempt at both an obvious moral and a romantic story.

Comments and criticisms are encouraged.

*All the events and characters in this story are made up. Any resemblance to real people is purely coincidence. Except the Pirate, he’s based off a friend M.F.*

Read the rest of this entry »


Recommendation Wednesday – How to Train your Dragon 2

June 25, 2014

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Last night I went to see How to Train your Dragon 2 for the second time. I loved the movie both times but appreciated it more the second time.

The first time I was hung up on one character being super awesome at the beginning and not doing anything later on. I made the mistake of equating Ecological Zeal, Talent with dragons, and acrobatic skill with ability in combat. The character wasn’t a great fighter but I assumed she was from her ability with the dragons.

The movie’s pacing was fantastic. The moment you think it’s getting slow it adds action.

Where it really succeeded, with me, was in the little moments, the interactions between the characters when their lives weren’t in peril. There are three or four beautiful moments of interaction that make the movie for me.

If you can, I recommend you go see it. It’s my favourite movie of the year so far, beating out The Lego Movie and Captain America the Winter Soldier.

If you’ve seen it, what did you think?

Éric


Happy and letting others rant for me

June 24, 2014

Hello my Imaginary Friends,

Letting Others do my Work

Today I don’t feel like ranting. I’ll let others do it for me:

On stupid comments and other stupidity: This Behaviour is Not OK! by S.M. Carrière

On a similar note, in that it includes retail customers: Maybe You Get Bad Customer Service Because You’re a Bad Customer By Matt Walsh

If you don’t want to read these two awesome posts, just remember that being nice to people in customer service shouldn’t be the exception. Also let them do their job without getting harassed sexually, verbally, emotionally, physically, or spiritually.

Good Mood

I’m in a good mood. You might think from this blog that this is a huge exception and you’d be mostly right. I get worked up and protective a lot. Probably more than I should.

But today I’m happy. You might be asking why. It’s simple, spent last evening in a bookstore with my wife, a good friend, a baby, and a famous author. (There were a couple hundred other people too.)

Our Friend, K.R. asked us to go to a book signing with her. My wife said yes without even asking me (K.R. has an adorable baby boy and my wife can’t say no to being around babies) When I found out who the author was I was pretty excited.

I haven’t read anything by Diana Gabaldon but I had heard great things. Her Outlander Series is said to be one of the best Romance, Action, Adventure, Historical, Time Travel series ever.

I wasn’t expecting too much (Writing and public speaking aren’t skills that every writer has). She was hilarious, interesting, and intelligent. She probably has one of the coolest stories on how she got published (I’m Super jealous) and had no issue making “Men in Kilts” jokes.

The series is also partially inspired by Doctor Who and one of my favourite companions Jamie McCrimmon.

Overall it was a great talk, and a wonderful evening.

frazer14

Publishing

I’m still waiting on word from the publishers that I submitted my novel “A Study in Aether” to back in October. I’ve decided I’ll email again next week and if I don’t get a response from them by end of July, I’ll look into alternates. Every time I think about them I flip flop between three thoughts, “They hate it so much they don’t want to reply”; “They think its ok and are considering it but don’t know”; and “They completely forgot about it”.

Expect me to not mention this until end of July. Unless I get an email soon.

Once I get a response, if it’s a no, I’ll have to decide if I want to go back to submitting to agents, pay for an editor and resubmit to the other company that was so nice, or self-publish. Each one of those is scary for separate reasons.

 

Well that’s it for now.

Hope you’re having a great day.

Èric


Naked Models and Meat

June 20, 2014

Every year in Ottawa there is an event called Ribfest. It’s a festival, of sorts, with vendors from across North America who come and sell Ribs and Chicken. There is also a protest every year from groups like PETA.

This year’s PETA protest bothered me but not in the way they wanted it too.

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The concept is that they’re trying to make people realize that animals are similar to humans. They have the same parts and the same feelings. I’m not going to debate that. The protest’s intended message is lost in the “Sexy” aspect. People stopped to take pictures, people talked about it and a bunch of people sat nearby and watched the half-naked models while they ate their meat.

The message that seemed to be more prevalent from this protest, and what bothered me about it, was that women are just like animals. Instead of humanizing the animals they effectively dehumanized the models.

The naked people were all woman, all white, and all model shaped and sized. To the guys taking pictures and catcalling these models, they are effectively pieces of meat.

In my opinion the protest was misogynistic, and badly thought out. PETA loves to have nakedness in their protests. I know it’s done for shock value but I still think they’re missing their mark.

What do you think? Is it a thought provoking protest or something else?

Éric

***Edit for clarity: The models were all volunteers and members of PETA.