It’s rough this week because I don’t have anything all that strong to write about, but the truth is, I do. I’ve got plenty to write about, and that’s what I’m going to do about it. Lately, in the last couple of weeks, things have been relatively surreal. My niece Katie went and had herself an impromptu wedding. She lives in Orlando, and her parents live in Juno. In Alaska. That Alaska. I’m scheduled for a new set of braces, as the ones I came home with (that I’ve written several first drafts with) has developed an enlightened civilization on it, and I’ve gotten a renewed interest in Dungeons & Dragons, so I’m going to have to start developing that shortly as well. I’ve discovered a new community service called Discord that I’m still learning to use. That’s confusing enough, but it might be my key to getting into and getting started, some gaming sessions.
My niece who moved to Orlando, and is a successful teacher, and I remember the day she was born, and was a flower girl at my bedding, got married several days ago. I like the guy fine, not that my opinion matters, and I knew they were engaged, but all of a sudden a wedding happening next year at some point became now. She’s got her reasons, and she’s a smart girl, but it caused an understandable ruffling of feathers around the place.
My sister and brother-in-law flew down in a monumental effort to beat Katie to the justice of the peace to show their support. I don’t know how I’m going to gather all this into a story because I tend to write science fiction and fantasy, but you know life can sometimes be stranger when you look at it. I used to call my journal Truth is Stranger Than Fiction, But I didn’t have anything to go in it, well not much, but now I sure as heck do.
My brace, the one I write with, that has a stylus attached to the palm with a little sleeve, one of my last real artifacts from my eight months at the Shepherd Center (Okay I got the T-shirt, and I earned that puppy!) in Atlanta is dying. They were cast from my arms, then the molds were taken to create them. Mostly now, I use the right one to write. It’s coming apart. Straps are loosening, it has an enlightened civilization living in it. I think it might be found in a thousand years harboring life, orbiting the forest moon of a planet in one of my stories many years from now.
So we ordered new custom braces, that we couldn’t pick up last week. We’re rescheduling now, it’s not a problem, but the guy keeps going out of town. So I’m practicing more with another stylus and my Apple Pencil. I got these egg-shaped balls of rubber to go on them. They are supposed to help people who can’t grip pencils or pens who have trouble, and they are working. I’m able to use them pretty well, though I’m not strong with the wrist and that’s what’s slowing me down with them for the moment. They just get tired.
The interesting thing though. I think I might get my words in for the day with my regular brace (old or new when it gets here) and then switch out and start working the wrist… maybe it’s time for a new run on Plants Vs. Zombies again?
This was brought to my attention this week. I’ve been known to paint an RPG miniature on occasion, though I don’t know if my eyes could deal with that these days, I think we’re into the paint again…. yeah it’s watercolors for me. I don’t want to paint whole rooms and people like she is here, but I love this segment.
The very name of this service bugs me.
Discord, a disagreement between people or the lack of harmony between musical notes… Yeah, that makes me want to try it.
The other side of being such a jarring sound for a communication tool is that among having what seems like a really great multi-person video chat feature, it seems to be where gamers are going in droves for discourse (ah… now that makes sense). It’s got ‘servers’ instead of pages or message boards, but they are essentially the same thing. I even found one for NaNoWriMos in Georgia, getting ready for November. It’s possible I may be able to plug myself into any number of hobbies I’m looking for input on here, and I have to say, being on something like four of them so far, the alerts are already going berserk. (I’m assuming I’ll get used to it. I’m also not enjoying the fact that the software likes to be running, and taking up resources all the time.
So primarily I’m interested in getting together one or two weekly Dungeons & Dragons gaming sessions, to be played either through Discord itself as a multi-person call, or through a service like Roll20 where all the players are on camera and I might occasionally use the map. It’s easier said than done though, because a) I’m out of practice, and shy about it, b) my friends who gamed with me have all gone their separate ways, and c) in the day of full-blown home MMO games it’s hard to get interested people together for a game played essentially on paper.
I’m very grateful for the Beyond Edition, published digitally as I still can’t turn physical pages. Besides, errata updates? No problem. They just update the books themselves, tools, and web versions. New update? Downloading… it makes the entirety of the game plug-and-play in a way I just love. Before I bought into D&D you could go in and technically just buy a single class or race if you wanted to. The basic rules are free, sort of Creative Commons in nature, then you buy the warlock, or the rust monster or whatever you’re into.
I can create web game plans now, complete with URLs directly to assets within the game. I need to use that more.
What it doesn’t provide you with (certainly for me) is the ability to recruit new players by bringing my hardbacks to the cafeteria anymore.
I’ve started creating a town though, for a new wave of heroes to adventure from. It’s built-in the smiling crack of a cave in the side of a mountain that used to belong to a two-headed dragon. There was a large-scale battle during which the dragon was slain, JT the treasure was so immense that far from having the trouble of how to bring it out safely, the party of adventurers responsible decided to found the town right on top of it all. The lair was huge, easily large enough to support a town. So it all starts there. I think it’ll work.