A kindred site.

Posts from June 2010

More than a year ago I announced that I was starting work on a novel, one of my own. I termed the project Savant, and stated that it would be published through Blindsided Books. This is all still true.

Life circumstances have continued to push it in the background, and though it's been slow-going, it's very much alive. I mean, it's really just one first book in a saga and setting that's pretty much my personal pet lifelong project. Means a hell of a lot to me.

That said, we've put out an issue of Blindsided's HEY Quarterly zine dedicated to Savant. It's essentially a preview of the novel, including a draft of Chapter 1, a Q&A with me and my brother, Savant Scrawlings 1-4, some concept art by Michael Keegan and myself, and so on.

Please feel free to check it out and support the book!

posted on 06.29.2010

After several years of haunting and moderating the place, the Worlds of DnD website and boards are going away. We've kicked off a goodbye thread, but since the link won't last, I'll repeat some of what I said there:

I've been on those boards both as a fan and as an author...but mostly as a fan. And I've had a blast. I suspect that the edition update to 4E is what first dropped off a number of members—which is ironic, because we never much talked game rules a lot here—and then WotC's waning support for Eberron and other, older settings seemed to have turned the downward road into a slippery slope right off these boards. Okay, that's too many metaphors.

In the end, it was just a fan site, not something sanctioned by any of the powers that be. Just some fantasy enthusiasts who formed a community for a time. It became a place for discussions about the game, about the novels (particularly Eberron novels), and about speculation for things to come.


What's going away: the Worlds of DnD website.

What's NOT going away: our love and enthusiasm for the game and the worlds that came of it, no matter who owns the copyrights.

We'll all still be out there, and hopefully we'll bounce into each other now and again. I'm grateful for the friends I've made here: Jim (Aureon) and Steven (DragonReader), JoeInPalmSprings (Joe Rixman), and a bunch more, not to mention some fellow writers, like Don Bassingthwaite, and my fellow Inquisitives, Marcy Rockwell, Ed Bolme, and Paul Crilley. And of course Mr. Creator Man, Keith Baker.

You know what else isn't going away? The Worlds of DnD Facebook page. So if you're on Facebook, join up. Perhaps we can find some sort of continuance there?

I owe a lot to Worlds of DnD. Not merely as a forum for discussion, but as a career stepping stone. Connections were made that have helped snowball into a number of writing opportunities. I'm honored to have spent time chatting with folks over there.

posted on 06.23.2010
posted on 06.06.2010

Today my family's dog, Deja, passed away. She was a tough old girl, a Shetland Sheepdog who lived 2 years beyond her vet-given expiration date. One could say that she was just super-strong and staved off cancer like a trouper. But we often joked that she just didn't realize she was sick, that she was oblivious that she was supposed to be moving on from this world...some time ago. So she stuck around for quite a while and surprised everyone.

She made it through 15½ years.

My family, we're dog people, and we're the sort who consider our pets as family members. Our dogs get portraits painted of them—by my grandmother, Libby LaSala (you rock, Nana!)—and they each seem to have more photo albums than either my brother or I. We loved our dogs.

We lost Thumper, our previous dog, after only seven years—much too soon. It was a heart-breaking and fast-acting incident. But Deja? She more than doubled Thumper's age, lived out a long and happy doggy life, replete with good table scraps, sprinkler chases, frisbee-throwing runs, an endless stream of mischievous antics, and of course a hand-puppet penguin archenemy. (All dogs need their own nemesis.)

Her full name was Déjà Vu. I think we named her that, in part, because we tried to have another Thumper, and it's no coincidence we chose another Sheltie. What we got was no replacement, just another wonderful dog.

My brother, incidentally, wanted to name her Jabberwocky. Another day, John.

Deja was a howler. Shelties normally aren't. As a newborn pup, she hung out with a litter of Alaskan Malamute (the Siberian Husky lookalike breed), and they taught her their wolfish song. We heard it often: whenever she was lonely and sometimes, it seemed, just for the hell of it. It also became an unwelcome rooster wake-up call set to go off well before any conventional alarm clock. My parents, and many houses guests, can testify. It was sometimes adorable, but usually it was annoying, heard most often in the wee hours of the morning. Now we'll miss it badly.

And fondly remember 16 years of good memories. I was a junior in high school when we got her, just a fuzzy little dog in ball form that stuck to our family like canine Velcro®. Since 1995, I've only seen her when I've seen my parents—on holidays and occasional weekends.

My brother called Deja a positive force in the world. And she absolutely was. She was a furry little piece of the animal kingdom set loose in our civilized world. A tiny piece of the wild, a shard of chaos and levity running amok in our home that kept us sane with her insanity. Most dogs are that way. And Deja's particular brand of sweetness and sassiness made everyone like her. She was friendly with everyone, once she stopped barking at them. She embodied man's best friend.

Sleep well, Deja. We dearly miss you.

And say "hi" to Thumper for us, would you? She's most likely hanging out by the food bowls, eating the other dogs' breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Doggy Elysium.

posted on 06.03.2010