Friday, November 10, 2023

News & Notes

Good morning! Hope everyone fortunate enough to have the day off today is enjoying their holiday (it's Veterans Day, here in the States). My kids are out of school, so they are sleeping in this morning...I, myself, woke up at 6:30am (not unusual) and went back to sleep till 7:40 (very unusual). Brewing myself some coffee at the moment...ratio of decaf-to-caf is approximately 5:1.

I appreciate all the condolences and kind thoughts expressed over the passing of my dog...thank you so much. Life continues to move on (as always), and everyone here is fine (more-or-less). It's still a little odd the small ways I miss her...many of my habitual behavioral patterns (closing doors, locking gates, guarding food, sealing off trash cans) were adapted over the years to compensate for my incorrigible rascal of a dog, and now every time I brush up against that, I feel a small void of emptiness. It's a bit more immediate than the loss of my mother...though it brings up a similar feelings, as this is the kind of thing I would get on the phone and call her about, causing me to confront (again) her absence. 


ANYway...moving on to the "news and notes." Apologies for not yet get my AP reports out from the Cauldron convention; those are still coming, and should get typed up (*hope*hope*) before the end of the month. Others (Ghoul, Melan, Prince) have provided their own post-con reports, so if you're interested in the German, Hungarian, and Dutch (respectively) perspectives on the event, I'd direct you to their blogs:

(yes, they're all written in English)

For myself, I've been rather busy lately with the current writing project (writing? What a shock!). The deadline for the NAP III contest draws near, and I have only begun writing up my entry. It's a rather large one. My first NAP submission (Hell's Own Temple) was all of ten pages and 18(ish) numbered encounters. My second NAP submission (Ship of Fate) doubled the number of encounters and ran to 17 pages PLUS an additional six pages of pregen characters. Those I knocked out in a couple-three days.

This one's...a bit bigger. Double+ the size of my last adventure in terms of numbered encounters, three appendices, plus a dozen pregens. The thing is currently in a "mostly outline" state, and it's already 14 pages. 

Have not yet started the stocking spreadsheets; have not yet drawn a single map.

Instead, I've spent the last ten days "sharpening the axe," diving deeply into the lore and figuring out how...really how...the adventure works and interacts with my own campaign world. There may not be a lot of the Emerald Empire in the thing, but there will be some. The adventure is set in the Idaho Deathlands, after all. Troop numbers and resources and geography are all being drawn from my home setting. It's a doozy.

And while I'm pretty sure I'll be able to finish the thing with alacrity (my push to have adventures ready for Cauldron showed me what's possible), I am running up against an additional time constraint: my imminent trip to Mexico. The family is leaving town next Friday...the first time we'll be traveling to see our family and friends down south since 2020 (2019? maybe). Everyone is, of course, excited. But if I don't have this thing knocked out (or mostly written) before I leave Friday morning, chances are slim that I'll be able to complete it before the end of November. Polishing I can do in my in-laws house. But scanning maps? No...and I'm not going to be bringing a bunch of books and reference materials either.

SO...six-ish days is about what I have left to finish the thing (we'll be back on the 27th, but a day or two to recover from the trip will mean almost no time before hitting "send" on the email). And it's not like I have six full weekends afford me very little time to write. The bulk of my work comes when my kids are at school and the wife is at the office. 

Or early mornings. Hmm...maybe I shouldn't have slept in...

But, there it is...I'll be pushing through and (if the blog is sadly silent) my readers won't be wondering whether I've fallen off some cliff or something. Just busy. In fact, I should probably log off now and clean the kitchen. The damn dishwasher broke down a couple days ago and I have to do all the washing up by hand...and last night I cooked a rather large feast of pork shoulder, Brussels sprouts, and mashed potatoes.

And...oh, crap. It's my birthday in three days. The Big 5-0. And I'm sure the fam wants to do something for me. Something that will no doubt eat into my time. Crap.

All right, all right...I've got to go. More updates in a few days!


  1. Veterans' Day is November 11th, sir.

    1. Ha! So it is! But my wife and kids got the day off today.

      Wasn’t looking at the date.

    2. Because the 11th falls on a Saturday this year, the 10th was Veterans' Day (Observed).

  2. Hang in there with that NAP3 entry! Drink more caf if you must, but do not quit, true oldschool goodness must flow! :)

    1. Oh, I’m not quitting…just need to get up earlier in the morning!
      ; )

  3. Happy Birthday.

    Glad your production is chugging away. Still holding out hope for Cry Dark Future

  4. HAPPY BIRTHDAY J.B. Hope it's an adventure unto itself.. :-)

  5. Condolences to the loss of your dog, Jonathan. I have lost a dog through separation from my then-GF two years ago and at times it was unbearable. As you write, it is their constant, intensive presence during the smallest of activities that suddenly gets replaced with void. Routines become bare, where before they were shared with a nosy and irreparably happy companion. It is not easy. Hang in there!

    Oh, and happy birthday!