I am become Full Nerd

My lovelies. My darlings. My dearest readers. I have a confession to make.

I, up until recently, had never played Dungeons& Dragons.

::gasp::

I know. A gross oversight on my part, but one that I assure you, I have rectified. A couple of my friends convinced me to play over the summer. We’ve had two sessions so far, which were conducted virtually, and they were quite fun. We’re planning an in-person session in the next few weeks.

I wanted to come and talk to you all about the story telling aspect of the game. I’m just a newbie, so I’m not running the show by any means–no dungeon mastering for me for a while. However, it’s really a great game to play to help build writing skills.

The role playing part of the game is especially helpful. You create a character and a backstory and have to react to what ever the Dungeon Master throws at you, as well as the reactions of other characters. This is great way to improve character development, or to get you unstuck in terms of finding character motivation.

As a DM, it helps you build plotting skills. You come up with a setting (one within the rules of the game), various conflicts and challenges for the characters to overcome, as well as an end goal.

It’s really quite fascinating from a technical perspective.

It also really just pumps me full of creative mojo. Mojo that I want to share with you all…metaphorically. Not in a creepy way. Never that.

I am so immersed in our campaign–the story of the game–that I decided to write out scenes as we played. It’s really fun, and I want to post them here, on this blog, along with my observations about learning  the game.

I can’t guarantee a posting schedule,but I will try to keep you all as updated as possible. Check it out here:

The Campaign.

Now, I have a disclaimer: This is just me, writing a narrative for the campaign I am playing. The write-ups will be only loosely edited, and some things may not make total sense, and really unexpected things may happen because we are at the mercy of the dice. Also, the people I am playing with are as strange as I am.

So, just strap in. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

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Check out my bookmarked handbook for easy reference!

Wibbly-Wobbly Story Development

All right, my hearts, it’s time for a writing update. I’m developing a new fantasy series, but it’s going rather strangely. I keep getting ideas fits and snatches, and from different parts of the series.

Allow me to explain. I have the trilogy mapped out extremely loosely. I know the cast of central characters, their motivations and relationships, and the general flow of the plot over three books. But the details keep coming in scrambled. I’ll get a scene here, and snatch of dialogue there. I have short stories fermenting that have nothing to do with the central plot, but are key to the world building of the series.

Does this happen to anyone else? Where your creative juices go full Dr Who and timey-wimey themselves into oblivion?

I mean, it’s a fun time, don’t get me wrong. I just wrote out an opening scene for the third book, and it’s beautiful, if I do say so myself. (For my two extreme beta readers: NO SPOILERS!) It may change later, of course, but I am happy with it at the moment. I would just really like some linear writing to happen. It’ll help in the long run.

I also have this fable that I am about 1,000 words from finishing that I hope to release in support of this series. Would anyone be interested in a fable about a fox? I am excited about it, at the very least.

Anyway, I just wanted to check in with you all. Happy plotting, everyone!

 

I had the opportunity to visit Seattle a few weeks ago, and we went to the REI Flagship store. They had an outdoor trial area for bikig and hiking which was this great natural oasis in the middle of the city. The thing I loved most were the fir trees. The were full of magic and had such wonderful stories inside them. I hope I can capture that magical vibe in my own writing.

 

1,000 Words: Travel

Poetry Month: “Weight”

I am sharing this again because it feels particularly poignant today.

The Spidereen Frigate

In honor of National Poetry Month, I’ve decided to post this poem. Remember, poetry is for everyone.

“Weight”

I carry it with me.

It’s in my shoulders,

The knotted muscles that pull the s  p  i  n  e,

In my face, clenched jaw and deep fine lines.

I carry it with me in my hair,

Brittle, dull and undefined.

I carry it with me everywhere.

This burden only I can bear.

It hangs heavy—

This constant weight.

I carry it with me.

It’s in my guts.

The twisting pain that leaves you ragged,

In my chest, stiff ribs and shallow breath.

I carry it with me in my arms.

How small it looks, but oh, what heft!

This burden only I can bear.

I carry it with me everywhere.

It leaves me empty—

A   c  h  a  s  m   wide.

I carry it with me.

It’s in my hands.

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Find a Refuge

My commute to work is usually long and irritating. But today, as I rounded a curve in the road, the sun hit the red and orange treetops at just the right angle. The trees looked like they were burning slowly, like a small campfire. After another quarter mile, fog crept up the trunks and draped the canopy, and it looked like the trees were glowing.

It was a brief moment of peace and reflection during a stressful part of my day.

And then I got to work. I read the news; I got into the daily grind. I saw some rant on social media about politics. People shouted at me with digital megaphones: Murder, death, disease, and political outrage—social outrage—personal grievances.

My good mood evaporated. I found myself surrounded by negativity and it hurt. It physically hurt.

The news will always have disturbing headlines, and there is plenty of justification for social and political outrage, and an individual’s personal grievances should be addressed, always. I’m not saying these things shouldn’t be out there in the universe, or that I need a perfect, idyllic world to function in to feel good.

What I want to remind you all of is that it’s okay if this digital cacophony is too much sometimes. It’s okay to take a step back and remember the glow of the fall foliage in the sunlight. In fact, it’s needed.

Take a moment today to find a refuge, be it a peaceful moment in nature, a favorite passage from a book, or those first precious sips of coffee. Find the magic in your everyday life, find your joy, and take a moment to savor it.

Share it with others.

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