A kindred site.

Posts from April 2007

The next book in the Inquisitive series is Night of the Long Shadows, written by the esteemed South African-dwelling Scottish chap Paul Crilley. It's a night-time murder mystery set in Eberron's most famous locale, Sharn, City of Towers. There's lots of rain, running around, and sleuthing. Do check it out.

On my own front...just last night I reached the 80k word mark on my book, The Darkwood Mask. The target number is 90k, yet I do have a few hefty chapters to go. I'm hoping that target number is a bit flexible.

posted on 04.29.2007

I'm sure I'll talk a lot about books and writing on this website, but also a considerable amount about music. Musical layman that I am.

There was something called the RPM Challenge that invited amateur and professional musicians alike back in March to "record an album in 28 days, just because you can." The goal: write and record 10 songs or 35 minutes worth of music. Some people I know did this, and one of them was my brother, John. Being a perfectionist and punctilious procrastinator who is often outpaced by music-composing glaciers, this was a good exercise for him: write music and write it fast. (And it has also given way to another upcoming project of his which I'll talk about another day.)

Music is strange. And one's taste in it (or indeed, one's degree of interest in it at all) varies more from the next guy's than one's fingerprints. At least fingerprints are always curvy and layered no matter who they're on. Not so people's opinions on what bands are any good.

Still, if you've got a sense of humor or even just some respect for music as an art, you might want to check out some of my brother's music. The songs can be played in low-fi on his VIRB site. But you can actually buy individual songs for $ each (or $6 for all of them) at his INDISTR site. I actually even did some singing, if you want to call it that, on three of his songs (and helped with the lyrics on some). But most of the singing and all the music is the product of John E. LaSala Jr.

I can especially highly recommend the following, if you're not game to spend a few bucks on some guy's brother's music:

  • "On Your Left (You'll Notice Bugs Taking Over the World") - If you think you can handle it. I dare you.
  • "The Somnivagant" - A really catchy song.
  • "His Name Is Bandit!" - A song about a loveable and goofy dog who recently turned 10. Happy birthday, MacGoocher.

If you check any of this out, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Even if you hate it! My brother has a +5 natural armor bonus from his skin alone.

posted on 04.24.2007

I am not a beach person, as surely as I do not possess that sports gene٭ that most guys inherit across the universe. But when I went to Maryland this last weekend we had a brief but enjoyable time visiting an Atlantic beach without the need to vie for space, ignore legions of strutting kids, or burn in the heat of summer.

I tend to visit places off season. Usually by accident. And generally this creates an eerie sense of abandonment in places otherwise teaming with people. I like the feeling, though. Of course, whenever you visit a town or city largely empty of people it immediately makes me think that these places would make great locations for zombie movies. That's how I think.

٭ I am speaking, of course, of the gene that engenders a strong interest in team sports, following said team sports, and gathering in large numbers with others who follow said team sports.

posted on 04.22.2007

I very fondly recall a text-based adventure game, evidentally actually called "Adventure" that my grandmother had on her DOS-based IBM years ago.

It was mostly cave exploration, involved an angry dwarf who "throws a knife at you" and a bridge-guarding toll troll, and introduced dungeon-like words like "fissure" into my vocabulary. It was amazingly fun to play, hard as hell to beat (I never did finish it), and moreover fueled my imagination. No frills, bells, or whistles to it. Just white text against the pseudo-black background of one of those old 80s computers. Even though I can only remember it in fragments, I loved adventures like that.

Flash forward a decade or two and here I am doing something similar, but it's even more fun. I've just begun a play-by-post game of D&D in the world of Eberron (I'm calling the campaign itself Dark Echelon) and recruited a handful of friends who I never expected to be able to game with. It's only been going for six days now and yet it's in full swing. A good bit of distraction and escapism. All with just some text (okay, and occasional Photoshopped images) against a black background. Thanks to Josh, Ed, Lara, Darren, Jeremy, and Paul for already making it enjoyable! My list of potential players was a bit bigger, of course, but not everyone has the time or inclination to get involved in something like this. I expect players may come and go over time, but it's just too soon to be sure of anything.

If anyone else would care to be a spectator (although I'm not sure how fun it is to follow a game you're not actually in), you can do so here. If you have some interest in joining, let me know. I don't want to have too many players in the game at one time, but if slots ever open up, I'll keep your name.

Of course one of the most amusing aspects of this game, for me, is the fact that I got Josh--Josh Wentz, folks!--to actually play Dungeons & Dragons. Hahah! I win!

posted on 04.16.2007

Now that Bound By Iron has hit the shelves, all four books of the series are listed within. Needless to say (but I'm saying it anyway), I'm happy to see mine included among the rest. About time! And hey, I guess I'm allowed to say the title now.

I'm particularly fond of my book's release date. Heh.

posted on 04.10.2007

I spent this Easter over at my parents' house in Corning, NY (a 5 hour drive from NYC), where we were graced with snow flurries and a light frosting . Upon returning home, there was no snow to be found but the air is nice and cool.

New York City (all 5 boroughs) has a population exceeding 8 million, so this puts me very firmly in the minority who's happy it's still nice and chill out in April.

posted on 04.09.2007

Whatever you find yourself doing during this ever-shifting holiday: whether coloring eggs, pondering the love of a long dead man who may just have been the offspring of a god, watching holiday-appropriate movies like this or this (that one's for you, Josh), eating gifted chocolate (might I recommend the new white chocolate Reeses), or shaking your head at the whole notion...or even just going about your weekend like every other...

Enjoy it!

Comment functionality has been enabled! Retroactively, too. (The Cosmic Enforcers send their gratitude to Pete Akins for his artifice!)

So give it a try. Rebuff me!

Edit: This is just to torment Paul Crilley:

posted on 04.04.2007

The cover art (and wallpaper, if you want it) is fully accessible now for Ed Bolme's Bound By Iron. Check it out right here.

I look at this and still marvel that my book will be part of this same series. Dang, that's cool.

posted on 04.03.2007

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a pretty hardcore Rush fan. The first concert I went to——probably for any band——was during their Roll the Bones tour in 1991/92, back when I had to ask my parents for permission to go along with my brother and his friend. It felt like an adventure in itself (for goodness sake, it was only a drive to New Jersey!), but more importantly a wonderful and terrible discovery: there were other Rush fans in existence. I returned to West Point and vicinity, and wouldn't learn until I went to college a few years later that, in fact, the concert hadn't been an illusion. There really were other people who even knew who Rush was. I think I'm starting to get used to it, at last.

In any case, I've just purchased tickets for Rush at Jones Beach, a very cool rooflless stadium backlit by the Atlantic Ocean, for July 2nd their Snakes and Arrows tour. I can't wait. Section 1, Row A, seats 1-5. Was I the very first person to purchase tickets when they became available? Hah!

I've been to many more concerts over the years——U2, Yes, Queensryche, Jars of Clay, The Creatures, Brendan Perry——but I'll always look forward to Rush the most. For the uninitiated, they're the best band this side of the constellation Cygnus X-1.

posted on 04.02.2007