A kindred site.

Posts from February 2008

Well...not quantum, perhaps. And maybe not forward at all. But a leap year, anyway. Tomorrow is an extra day. Well, an extra day on our year, not an extra "free" day to do with what we will. Which it ought to be, right? The only immediate benefit to an extra day in the otherwise short month of February a tiny bit more time to work on their deadlined projects. Like me. Except that I'm a bit distracted at the moment, because...

As the picture above proves, I have just received author copies of The Darkwood Mask...which will be in stores on Tuesday. Expect to hear from me again then! Have a good weekend, folks. Happy birthday to Ed Gentry! And to the multitudes who are sick right now (and there are a lot of you!), take care of yourself.

posted on 02.27.2008

Last night we saw The Spiderwick Chronicles, which I fully expected to be a visual treat but perhaps not a great deal more. But it's also a pretty great movie, too. It absolutely taps into the same children's fantasy style of movies like Harry Potter (a little bit), A Series of Unfortunate Events, and more recently, A Bridge to Terabithia. But this is a genre I want to encourage, though I'm still worried Hollywood will grow sick of them and stop making them.

More importantly, I was first drawn to this movie because the books (and hence the movie) is the vision of the artist Tony DiTerlizzi, whose work I was familiar with back when TSR introduced the campaign "world" of Planescape. His vision of the denizens and architecture of the D&D multiverse came first...

...But now with the Spiderwick Chronicles he's a sort of alternate Brian Froud. Good stuff! I don't usually appreciate fantasy art that I consider "cartoonish," and DiTerlizzi's art does go that direction, but somehow I just really really like it.

I also enjoyed this movie because it's about faeries, and draws on real faerie folklore (brownies, boggarts, etc.) and I've always enjoyed the capricious nature of the fey world. In fact, my current writing project taps into this more than a little bit.

Anyone else see Spiderwick?

posted on 02.24.2008

I won't say it never snows here....it's just that it won't, sadly, last too long. At least it looks good for a day or two. Not so good for people on the road.

What's YOUR weather like?

posted on 02.21.2008

With thanks to Pete Akins and Josh Wentz, this website has just had another upgrade and is looking a bit more spiffy! They've hacked into the Ashlock.org circuitry, fiddled with some things, so now there are:

  • Feature items (i.e. my most recent works) are listed on the right, with a link to purchase. How cool is that? Promotion is fun.
  • My Writing page now includes thumbnail images. Between Sidedown products and Dungeon Crawl Classics, that sure is a colorful page now.
  • There's a Contact page over there now, too. In case, y'know, you ever want to...er...tell me I'm a jerk or something. Should be working soon.
  • This main page only shows the last few weblog entries, so it shouldn't take too long to load.

Here is a haiku to commemorate their work:

Josh & Pete — who're they?
Guys who make this website cool
Do they like turtles?

Seriously, thanks guys. You've really helped give me a home here on the InterWeb. All my base are belong to you.

posted on 02.19.2008

I know lots of artists. And they're all nuts.

For example, the RPM Challenge is a "creative challenge offered yearly to musicians" to write and record an album's worth of music in the month of February. Some of my friends are doing this, as they did last year. For a really cool preview of some of this craziness, check out Downcast episode 87. Thirty minutes of free previews, including a sampler of the Very Us Artists' contribution this year.

So click here to listen!

And on March 4th, on the release date of The Darkwood Mask, I'll be curating another episode of Downcast myself, specifically showcasing music that inspired or otherwise has some personal connection (to me) to my book.

posted on 02.19.2008

February is a busy month all around. Lots of creative people working on stuff. Writers writing, musicians musicianing, designers designing, painters painting.And I'm no exception, fighting to find time amidst the rat race to work on my writing project——and on a shorter deadline than I've ever had for something this size.

So if you're a creative person, go create or something!

But before you go, you should absolutely watch the first Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull trailer. Good things to come!

Oh, and Happy V-Day, if you're into that.

Wait...what did you think I meant?

Given the snow-then-slush-then-rain conditions of Manhattan in the last couple of days, I'm glad that gargoyles don't wear socks. Yeah, not even argyle, which may surprise you.

Though I did have a good laugh at this one suit's expense. Stepped his whole shoe into a big slush puddle. "Watch that first step, sir. It's a dooozy!"

Anyway, call me old fashioned, but winter just isn't what it used to be. That's all I'm sayin'.

posted on 02.12.2008

GenCon (Indy), that 4-day convention in August, is an extremely geekazoid* event, but it's the only automated vacation I ever take. All the gamer weblogs out there are already yapping about GenCon: who's going, who's not going, etc. Well, we've (Marisa and I are both going) got our badges purchased and our hotel stay booked. That's a good feeling. (*My wife's term for it.)

I get to promote my book this year. And by promote, I mean, walk around lamely with a copy and say, "Hey, I wrote this." I don't know if Wizards of the Coast will organize a book signing for its authors in attendance or just leave us to cough something up ourselves, but the very notion of a book signing is a strange thing to me.

Anyway, are you going to GenCon this year? Do you put jam on your toast, don't you put jam on your toast? If not, why not, and since when?

posted on 02.05.2008