Anyway, I DID get a chance to do some light re-reading, and it was nothing if not inspirational, causing me to update and several items in my Companion (I did do some work). The book: Hassan but the esteemed (or at least commercially successful) author Piers Anthony.
As a kid and teen, Mr. Anthony's novels captivated me as much as any role-playing game...I found his work to be just wht I needed even into my late teens. I read most of his Xanth novels with relish (despite my loathing of puns), his Apprentice Adept series, and the first three or four novels of his Incarnations of Immortality (always thought I'd finish those someday...). But as an adult, I've found myself somewhat cooled to his works...actually "frozen" might be a better term. For the most part, I just can't stand his stuff anymore.
The exception is Hassan. Re-reading it again...either the 3rd or 4th time I've done so...I was surprised at how enjoyable it is. Maybe because I love Arabian Nights-type entertainment (his novel is based entirely on one of the original Arabian Nights tales, Hassan and the Bird-Maiden), perhaps because it's a somewhat more mature piece of work (despite being one of his first published novels), perhaps because the story just resonates with fortunate slackers like myself. Whatever...I dig it.
And, like my recent foray into Dragonslayer, it has provided me with inspiration for my game. As I wrote earlier, I'm trying not to fall into the trap of simply making my set echo earlier works (Mentzer's BECMI, Gygax's AD&D). I've said it before and I'll say it again: I feel B/X is the true inheritor of OD&D, and as such has much more "wide open" potential than just doing "basic" knock-offs of AD&D systems and "goodies." Not that I don't do SOME knock-offs (some spells, critters, and magic items are too cool or achetypal to leave out). But when one has the opportunity to do something cool versus "same-old-same-old," well, hey, let's err on the side of something cool.
All right, more later (as always). ("real") Work's been pretty busy today, and promises to look the same tomorrow, but there will be more coming this week, I swear O My Brothers!
All glory to Allah! (or whomever you like to worship)