Write-Brain Workbook: Exercise 2

Exercise Two: Resolution Revolution

In this excercise I was asked to fill out a set of blank lines with randomly dispersed letters in it. I have highlighted these letters and attempted to end the lines similarly to how they end in the book.
Use each letter as you get to it. Start with: New Year's resolutions makes me...

New Year's resolutions makes me think
back on the year . I wonder if evErything
I did was what, hoW, and why. 'He's crazy,'
You think, but if you break it down it
makEs perfect sense. What I did that year
is all the Activities and events I attended,
aRranged, and participated in that year. The
how of the years is about how Specifically I performed
and appeaRed during those events. Did
I do good? Or rEally good? Thinking poSitively
on this can bolster my cOnfidence, but
I focus on what I didn't do well,
either. Finally, the why explains jUst the reasons
and rationals behind the choices I made.
With all these elements in mind, I can
now thinking about my new resOlution for this
year. Where can I improve? Where
can I maintaiN? It's always important to remain


New Year's resolutions are passé. Think of New Day resolutions instead. What new writing-related thing do you resolve to do in the next 24 hours.

I resolve to stick to fleshing out my female heroine in the next day. Give her a personality, a past, a face.



Write-Brain Workbook: Exercise 1

So for my birthday (which was, admittedly, a while back) my mother gave me a book that intends to exercise the right part of my brain and increase my faculty with writing creatively. I figured I might as well use my blog to post my work, and to keep me accountable. Later on, I can go back and see where I began and if I have progressed any further. I'll still post other stuff inbetween, but I expect and hope to do one of these activities once a day (seeing as there are 366 of them). So here we go!

Exercise 1: Circle Game One

Circle (bold in this case) the one word that most appeals to you:
Alabama * Banister * Carousel * Diesel * Exorcist

Circle another word that appeals to you:
Flatulence * Garage * Harried * Insensitive * Jambalaya

Circle yet another word that you find appealing:
Keepsake * Lamb * Massage * Nonsense * Oriole

Use these three words in a story.
Start with: Sometimes I feel just like a gerbil, running around and around on his wheel!

Sometimes I feel just like a gerbil, running around and around on his wheel! Everyday I wake up just a few minutes too late to be comfortable. I can never find my keys or wallet or shoes, depending on what is most important at that moment. When I do finally get dressed and groomed enough to enter the general population, I have to make like a bat out of hell to maintain my schedule. Going down the stairs is always a gamble, as I have to half slide-half fall down the banister because I'm too preoccupied to watch where my feet are stepping. Grabbing a poptart or nutrition bar for a so-called breakfast, I bolt out the door and hope I haven't left anything flammable on upstairs. Choking down the dry, barely nutritious meal, I hop into my car and try to secure my belongings. I feel so harried by my trappings, honestly. Always a bag strap to choke me, always a piece of expensive electronics to fall. I can never go anywhere without a menagerie of irreplaceable and regrettably necessary possessions slowing me down. I back out of my driveway with admittedly little concern for the rules of the road, though I always manage to wave and smile at the neighborhood children. My one bit of solace being up at a time that in college I didn't know existed is that I get to see those kids playing. But then, after I leave my cozy and boring little suburban crèche, I am out in that big, bad concrete jungle. Bumper to bumper action the whole way to my job. Hot weather rises with the sun and tempers, making me sweat in my suit. One of these days I'll learn to leave just a BIT earlier to avoid this traffic, but for now I have to deal with this nonsense. After an extra thirty minutes onto my commute thanks to triple-delayed construction, I arrive at work...to finally remember that it's a federal holiday. I guess all that hoopla was for naught. Great, a whole morning shot. I could've slept in, I could be at home watching trashy talk shows. Now I'm stuck out on this side of town. It'll take at least an hour to get back home. This is definitely not how I wanted to spend my holiday. Oh, but what's that? A used bookstore, a little rundown storefront I never noticed before. Maybe it isn't so bad to be out, after all. What an amazing holiday this will be...


In terms of writing practice, what type of gerbil are you?
  1. Running round and round on a wheel
  2. Avoiding the wheel
  3. Fearful of leaving the wheel
  4. Running freely without need of a wheel
I believe I avoid the wheel, mostly. I don't know why I do, I just know that something about a regimented writing practice schedule seems alien to me. Maybe it's because I can think so freely and imagine so readily I just believe I should be able to write just as easily. But writing isn't easy. At least, good writing isn't. It takes practice, talent, patience, and bravery. I'll develop those attributes, I will or die trying.

If writing practice were an airplane instead of a gerbil's wheel, what would you do differently?

I'd take that sucker of autopilot and test my wings. I know I want to start with barrel-rolls and barnstorming, but I need to learn how to fly first. Go the distance, maintain and endure. The hardest trick for me to learn, it seems, is the fundamentals of writing.



Projects ahoy!

I was working on a post for like two weeks, constantly saving it and coming back to it. It was something complaining about OOC vs. IC technical language for rulebooks. Blah blah blah. I lost interest in it about halfway through but felt some misbegotten need to follow through with it. I gotta get past that! My writing needs to be dynamic, flowing, and expressive, not stagnant or formulaic. That's why I don't have a posting schedule of this stupid blog. So, we move ahead to my next big idea/project/time-waster.

Graduation is looming upon the horizon, beautiful, majestic, terrifying, and inevitable. Sometimes I wonder what will happen after I graduate, where my career, my life, will take me. I worry about getting a job, starting a career, moving out, financial situations...blech! But then I also worry about getting buried in the mundane morass of professional life. I don't want to be a 9-5er for the rest of my life (not that there is anything wrong with that, it's just not for me). Accounting is such a weird career path for me, and my dreams in it are limited by licensing and lack of opportunities. But like I said, I can't just worry about that, I've got something entirely new to worry about.

What will happen to my writing when I am no longer in a scholastic setting. I wiled away my hours in class thinking up new settings, characters, stories, and plots. I'd sketch out storylines and doodle images that I wanted to translate into written word in my notebook margins. But if I am working, like really working, am I going to be able to muster the mental energy and creative intensity to actually produce anything? It's a scary, and sobering, thought that sometimes keeps me awake. So I decided that with the lack of homework, research projects, and assignments I am going to take a lesson from my mother.

My mom would always ask me when I got home from school if I had homework. If I said no, she'd say to make some up. It got to the point of where I'd just pretend like I had homework. Back then, I always thought she was being mean or just didn't know what to do with me. Now I understand it. An unoccupied mind is a mind wasted. You need to make up homework for yourself so you stay sharp, keep thinking, exercise your cognitive faculties lest you become a corporate zombie or vegged television-junky. This is the way I will avoid falling into torpidity once I am out of school. I will make my own writing assignments and keep to them...or at least try to.

Which brings me to the real purpose of this post. I am going to list a number of fandoms I have (fandoms being series and settings I am a fan of, and have a fairly extensive knowledge). My friends, or whoever reads this, will make a request for a story concerning this fandom. I will list subgenres as well so that I can exercise showing the differences in writing style I would apply to different aspects in the same setting. So 'ere we go!

~The Fandom Fic Fiasco~

The Rules:

  1. I will list all the fandoms I currently own up to and am willing to write about. Some fandoms will have further subfandoms if the suprafandom is quite large.
  2. You will pick a fandom/subfandom and request a short story from me.
  3. You can request specific events, a plotline, or even a character concept for the story.
  4. I will write the fic as fast as possible and post it here along with the specific request.
The Fandom List
  • Alien vs. Predator Universe
  1. Colonial Space Marines
  2. Xenomorphs
  3. Yautja
  • Babylon 5
  • Fallout
  • Farscape
  • H.P. Lovecraft
  • Mass Effect
  • Outlaw Star
  • Star Wars
  1. Clone Troopers
  2. Old Republic
  • Warhammer 40,000
  1. Adeptus Arbites
  2. Adeptus Sororitas
  3. Chaos (Space Marines, Lost and the Damned, Daemons, Cultists)
  4. Eldar
  5. Dark Eldar
  6. Imperial Guard
  7. Inquisition
  8. Necron (That'll be difficult!)
  9. Orks
  10. Rogue Trader
  11. Space Marines
  12. Tau (Including Kroot and Vespid)
  • White Wolf
  1. Demon: The Fallen
  2. Vampire: The Masquerade
  3. Werewolf: the Apoclypse
  4. Wraith: The Oblivion
The numerical sections posted under some of the fandoms are more specified subgenres that I enjoy within that series/work. Of course, you don't have to pick from these listings, and can throw a wrench at me, but I reserve the right to say "nuh uh" to any requests. You can also request a basic storyline, or plot, or characters. I only do original characters, though, so please do not ask for something like a story about a specific character from the series.

Looking forward to your requests,


A case of the crazy lazies

I don't even want to look at how long it's been since I've updated. So I won't...until later, I am sure. It has been an amazing month spent with Rosie, filled with nothing but joy, love, and fun! This isn't really an environment conducive to the lonely task of writing and creating, however. Not that I am complaining, not at all. I wish it could've been months, years, DECADES of time with Rosie, even if I never created again. I am just giving an excuse as to why I haven't really written anyway.

Seeing as I am probably one of the few (read: only) people who reads this blog, I just realized giving an excuse as to lack of productivity is bordering on the schizophrenic side. But that's how we roll in Ridley Island, so lets get down to the bizzy bones of this blog update.

I am currently working on a bunch of stuff for an upcoming 7th Sea Campaign for my new gaming group, which awesomely enough is composed of elements from my last three gaming groups! Got lots of ideas out on paper and docs, just need to bring them together and start divvying up episodes. I am expecting a long term campaign on this one! In fact, Rosie even made an AWESOME character for this game. I just need to have the players make their characters and make a few props (maps, mostly...wait and see, you'll LOVE it!)

As for my other projects, still a lot of stuff flying around up there. I really need to start packing a small notebook again, I am afraid I am losing my best ideas because I am not writing them down. But I should be up to posting character ideas later this week or maybe next month. Who knows!

For now,


So, get this...

Designing an RP system is a difficult process. You have to design it from the ground up and hope to heck you're not somehow ripping off another system. You have to come up with a way to track the physical attributes of a character, their skills, thoughts, belongings, and God knows what else depending on the system. Then you have to divine some sort of halfway decent fighting system, because if that is bunk, you've just lost out on a HUGE audience. Even the most angst-ridden, drama-dripping storywhore is going to eventually want to get those vampy claws in action. If the system turns out to be more complex and about as fun as a mathematical algorithm, you've gone too far. If it has so many rules and bonuses that figuring out how hard you hit takes over five minutes, you've gone too far. On the other side of the coin, if your system is literally the other side of the coin (i.e. - pure chance) then you haven't gone far enough. The system has to be smooth, easy-to-use, and, lets face it, pretty darn cool. Gamers like things like cinematics and movie stunts, so its cool to include them into game. But I digress.

I think what makes a system great is modularity, variability, and fluidity. I am surprised those are all actual words. So, what do I mean by this? Lets break it down.

  • Modularity - I think if a studio puts out a product, it should theoretically be universally playable across their line. Most companies do this, though I think White Wolf and Eden Studios did the best job. Technically d20 did this to the greatest extent, but those of you that know me know I don't particularly like that system. So, I think that if I am making a system, I want to use it for every line I release! Of course, certain modifications will have to be made due to the nature of the setting, but all in all it should be relatively easy to modify and convert.
  • Variability - Every gamer is different. Some may want gritty realism, others may want something more akin to a Hong Kong blood opera. Blood, guts, and adventure are different in everyone's eyes, either as desirable traits in a game or deterrents in playing. So my idea, my passion, is making a system that has variable settings for each aspect. You can make something realistic and gritty or fantastical and cinematic, any everything in between. If I allow a system to be variable like this, I'll be able to reach and hook more gamers than if I was on a deterministic system. If I can work in something that will have heavy rules all the way to light rules, I can get the combat monkeys and the rules lawyers as well as the dramadorks and storywhores. It MUST be done!
  • Fluidity - My biggest issue with d20 is the fact that it is so rigid. You pick a class, and though you can multiclass, you're pretty much stuck on a pretty predictable path. Levels are even more ridiculous, and totally destroy any sense of progression or realism for me. I prefer a nice point-buy, or even better, a skill progression device! Besides leveling and progression, a system should specifically flow. Rules should be light and the rules present should not stop the action. Any rules I add to be system will be there to enhance, not hinder, the story. That's probably going to be the biggest issue of them all.
Once a system is completed, it has to be tested. This is the same for any creation. Structures must be stresstested to make sure they can handle their task and any unforseen complications. Software must be debugged, literary works proofread. It's the same across the board. That's where playtesting comes along! However, game designers, especially soloists like me, don't always have a pool of playtesters chomping at the bit to try our their works. Most just want to game, not subscribe to the stop-n-go nature of these tests. That's why I've decided to create a pool of characters for testing my rules. By creating characters for these testing roles, I can give more personality, more oomf to my examples. It'll be more interesting and fun for me as well. So, in the next couple weeks, I'll probably post some character profiles up here for my various testing purposes. Hope you enjoy!


P.S. - Rosie has opened up commissions again! You should go and check out her information concerning them. I have a ton already on my wall and they are friggin' gorgeous. I'll post pictures when she gets in town...which will be in THIRTEEN DAYS!!! Amazing stuff, go check it out.


Projects in da mix

I am kinda in a creative mood right now, thinking of new story ideas and RP settings. The big project I have on my plate are my RP forums: Nightbreed and Seattle After Dark. The first one is done, but needs players to populate, while the second is still being implemented. The initial slog of designing an RP forum is always so tedious that sometimes it gets put on the backburner. It really takes the realization that the forum is not the project, the RPing afterward is! When all the players are weaving these wonderful, horrifying stories, that's when you really know your art is applied and enjoyed. It's slow work, but I really think I do a good job and it's very satisfying. If you get a chance, you should check them out. They require audition posts to join, but I am sure anyone reading my blog will be a topnotch writer.

The other project I am working on is kind of secret, it's under the project name of Verge. As a project, Verge is still in that young, energetic, and infinitely fertile stage. I have to be careful to not let it spin out of my control and try to put enough boundaries around it where it stays an actual project but still grows. It is all too easy to let a project stagnate and die, but just as easy to let it become infinitely mutable, just a daydream. Look out in the future for more posts of Verge as it starts to develop. If I say Verge is dead, don't worry. I always use the fertilizer of my past projects to help the new ones grow!

Baked with Lovecraft, the webcomic collaboration I am working on with the beautiful and talented Rosemary Grossblatt, has seen a lot of attention lately. The second story arch has been skeletized out, waiting for some flesh and blood to cling to that marrow-y frame. This weekend will mark the scripting and storyboarding of the first story arch! I will always keep readers abreast of that project as it is very near and very dear to me. In fact, I'll do some character writeups in here to give you guys an idea of whats on the plate for BwL.

Finally, I am working on some older projects, namely the derivatives of Iconoclast. The space opera and cyberpunk aspirations that came from my most complete setting will be getting a lot more attention as my schedule has evened out this semester. I am carrying notebooks with me to write down more notes. I am working the cartomancy of the ferromagnetic gypsies in my setting, namely designing the Tarot inspired cards for them. Everything else is still in the mad mix of my overexcited imagination. Yet again, expect more posts later concerning these two projects.

So, as you can see, my creativity is getting quite the workout, and I couldn't be more thankful. I honestly attribute it to my good friend Tracy and Rosie. They really engage me in being spontaneous, satirical, and all around productive in the realm of creative writing and worldbuilding. Thanks a bunch guys, I really appreciate. To everyone else, thanks for the read and I hope you stick around!



A new beginning...again

Live Journal, Myspace blog, Twitter, Facebook Notes...and now Blogger! It seems I am always starting up some new online writing project and quickly forgetting all about it. I don't actually hold all that much hope for this blog, but what the hay, it's free. The biggest reason for starting this up is to continue my reign as Rosie's biggest fanboy! But I figure that I can also post some stuff I am writing currently here, much like I did with my LJ writing blog, God is Not Mocked and Memento mori.

I am not going to provide a schedule of updates or plan anything specific here. If I feel I have something to write, I'll put it up, if I don't, I won't post. No skin off your nose, right? Right.