Rick Jones' Journal|
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in
Rick Jones' LiveJournal:
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|Sunday, April 29th, 2012|
|Monday, March 26th, 2012|
|Beginings and Endings
So, I'm going to be a part of a play-by-skype M&M game, which means that my character ADD is in full swing. I initially pitched a teenage paragon type, like Clark Kent in Smallville or Connor Kent in Young Justice. But then the little ADD voice said "but what about...." and proceeded to drag out around 50 character concepts. Sigh.
And now some thoughts about the ending of Mass Effect 3 ( Paragon, Schmaragon, I"m the one with the gun.Collapse )
|Thursday, March 8th, 2012|
|Campaign Ideas I Won't Run
Obviously inspired by the upcoming John Carter movie.
Cowboys and Martians, presumably the Savage Worlds Mars setting.
The pitch: In the waning days of the Old West, a ruthless gunslinger called "Redface" for his ruddy-red complexion, was finally caught and due to be hanged come dawn. But in the night, he broke out of jail, killed a couple of guards, and headed off for his hideout in the Badlands. The sheriff's dead and one of his deputies formed a posse (of the PCs) to catch that varmit. You tracked him down to a cave (cursed, if you believe the natives) and followed him in.
The cave turned out to be a tunnel, but on the other end there were two moons, red sand and rock as far as the eye could see, and hey, is that a bunch o' six-armed green fellas headed your way?
|Wednesday, March 7th, 2012|
Anyone else with the PC version find it to be occasionally buggy? I had it lock a follower behind a door that couldn't be opened in the first mission after the tutorial and set Shepard back to 1st level once.
TL,DR: So far, it's as good as my expectations could be.( Spoiler Thoughts & Predictions Behind the CutCollapse )
|Tuesday, March 6th, 2012|
|State Of Me
Life: Looking forward to spring break with The Boy.
Reading: Lots of audiobooks from librivox.org - it's got scads and scads of public domain stuff in audio format. Also, Tales of the Far West (as an ebook). OMG, I was only sort of paying attention to it, but now I wish I'd ponied up in the kickstarter. I knew it was a mashup of cowboys and kung fu, lightly frosted with steampunk, but I had no idea the setting was turned up to 11. Kung fu gunslingers are capable of feats that would make the folks behind The Matrix and Equilibrium drool. Can't wait to finish it.
Watching: Picked up Justice League:Doom. It was neat to see the JLU voice cast (plus Nathan Fillion as Hal Jordan) back together. (Oddly, Flash was Barry Allen not Wally West, so it's not in the JLU continuity.) Some cool moments, some disappointing ones. Totally worth a rental. Not sure about full price. Also watching lots of DS9 on Netflix. The show really picked up when Worf joined the cast.
Gaming With Dice: Missed a few sessions of the Tuesday game due to real life intrusions. But I will be there playing Pathfinder tonight. And I was one of the folks on the Vigilance Press Podcast - Marvel Actual Play Demo.
The new Marvel game is nifty. I like the Doom Pool / Plot Point economy a lot. Not sure what I can do with it, but I like it.
Gaming With Pixels: MASS EFFECT 3. W00t!!! Got to play a little this morning before work. Josephine Shepard (Paragon Vanguard) is kicking butt and taking names again. I had a couple of glitches - once I lost a teammate on the other side of a door that wouldn't re-open and once when I loaded up, it'd lost my characters' level and power layout. But the story is compelling, the stakes are higher than ever before and the band is getting back together (along with a couple of new faces).
|Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012|
|Why Don't He Write More
Well, part of it is the slow, steady decline of LJ activity in general.
Reading: Mostly comics these days. I'm back on the getting-floppy-comics bandwagon, currently reading Action, Batman, Justice League and Scarlet Spider. Overall, I'm actually reading more Marvel these days, Bendis-era Avengers trades, plus I want to dig out my copies of The Crew. Oh, and I'm reading Carrie Vaughn's After The Golden Age. I liked her Wild Cards work, as well as the Kitty Norville books. I'm pretty early into the book, which is entertaining, though One Of The Stories I'd Like To Write Someday is about the ordinary son of two Big Darn Superheroes. Lastly, I'm listening to Proven Guilty.
Gaming With Dice: Owlcon sapped all our energy, and with player absences (myself included), we only got back to our regular games last night, which I had to miss again. But I will be playing the New Marvel Heroic Roleplaying game this weekend over Skype for the Vigilance Press Podcast. I am still digesting MHR and want to see it in play. I like it quite a bit, though I want to see one of their "Event" books (even if it is Civil War, blech) to see how they intend longer games to run. The game comes with the "Breakout" mini-event (Bendis' New Avengers 1-6).
Writing: Finished "Six Guns" - a team of cyborg mercs usable in your Mutants and Masterminds game. Soon to be downloadable from Vigilance Press. And I want to write MOAR. I'm also committing gross acts of fan-fiction, inspired by the Breakout event. In my world, the New Avengers are: Cyclops (leader), Beast, Human Torch, Ms Marvel, She-Hulk, Wasp, and a new Nomad (revealed to be Josiah X / Justice from The Crew). In my head, Civil War will happen very differently, largely by changing the SHRA and de-douching Iron Man and Mr Fantastic. In My World, the SHRA boils down to "masked crimefighters have to register with SHIELD". No one gets drafted or thrown in the Negative Zone. Also, it's largely fought in the courts. Heck, the only Marvel character who seems to really hide his ID these days is Spider-Man anyway.
Games with Pixel: Mass Effect 3 is not installed on my computer yet, dang it. The demo is. Haven't tried multiplayer, but it was nice to see good ol' Shep kicking butt. Re-playing Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions just to jump through enough hoops to unlock all the costumes, which will be a bear.
|Tuesday, February 14th, 2012|
|Campaign Ideas I Won't Run
So, a few years ago in Marvel, the Scarlet Witch (a mutant who can alter probabilities) went nutso and in the process, some of the D-list Avengers died. Later, she was found hiding in Genosha with Magneto (her dad). The X-Men and Avengers roll in because she's a time bomb waiting to go off. In a panic, the Witch re-writes all of reality on a scale she'd never shown the slightest capability of doing, creating an alternate history called "House of M" - a world where mutants run the show instead of humans. Eventually, the good guys remember the old timeline and the Witch undoes it all. But before the end of the series, she says "No More Mutants" and disappears. So, instead of the million plus muties in the Marvel Universe, only 200 or so were left (strangely enough, most of them were starring in Marvel Comics).
So I had the idea, what if instead she said "We're All Mutants" and instead of depowering a bajillion D-listers, every human on the planet gets mutant powers. Now, most of them are minor changes, like purple skin or the ability to move a penny with their mind. But like Magneto intended in X-Men 1, now everyone is a mutant.
Now, to make things easier, all of the non-mutant supers (like Spider-Man or the Hulk) got their genes rewritten so that they have the X-gene as the source of their powers. Folks like Tony Stark or Dr Strange either get cruddy little powers or evolve so they don't need their devices. (Iron Man as a ferrokinetic, for instance.)
And now there's a world full of super-powered people.
Thing is, I have no idea what the heroes of the game would be.
|Monday, February 6th, 2012|
|Owlcon After Action Report
First off, thanks to the Owlcon staff for a well-run con. Sorry I couldn't be around more. Secondly, beware my ever-expanding ego. I had a couple of folks say they signed up for my stuff because previous years were so awesome. Then another guy told me something to the effect of, "last year, I was looking at the program and saw your 'Crisis of Infinite Batmen' round, and I thought it was going to be awesome or horrible. Then I saw you were running it and I knew it'd be awesome." ( Justice League Unlimited Season Three, Episode One - Mystery In Space.Collapse )
|Friday, February 3rd, 2012|
|Twas The Day Before Owlcon...
Well, for me it is. Can't wait to run my M&M game. I'm all nervous and stuff. ;-)
Reading: Lots of digital comics (legal, mind you). I'm working my way through Amazing Spider-Man and when I'm done, I will go back and read the X-Men.
Watching: I've had DS9 on while cooking and cleaning and when I wake up at 5:00 AM. I just got up to Worf's arrival. It's just so nice to see Worf again, like an old friend you haven't seen in a while. I just got season 1 and 2 of Justice League, so I'm gonna be all over that too, but I can't carry it around on the ipad like I can DS9 (via streaming netflix).
Gaming With Pixels: Nothing much. Can't wait for Mass Effect 3, tho.
Gaming with Dice: I'm eager to see what the new Marvel RPG will be like. There are some preview bits on the web page. I like the simplicity of what I've seen of the system (and its other relatives in Cortex+ - Leverage and Smallville). What I've found most interesting is that they're taking a very different approach to writeups of the Marvel cast. Instead of going the "this is the iconic build of Wolverine", they're saying "at this point in the Marvel timeline, Wolverine looks like this." So the build of Spider-Man in the core rules (which is Pete just when Bendis made him an Avenger) will be different than Spider-Man in the Civil War sourcebook that comes out a little bit later (what with the whole Iron Spider suit Stark made and blowing his secret ID to the world). And it's not a level up sort of thing. It's kind of a shame I really despised Civil War, since that's the first set of supplements.
But it does have me sort of wondering what sort of alternate universe game I could run, starting at the point of the great villain breakout in New Avengers 1, but a universe where a different team of heroes come together "to fight the foes no single superhero could withstand." Imagine if instead (he looks at the list of folks in the core rules and picks at random), we got something like Black Panther, Cyclops, Human Torch, Ms Marvel, Beast and Iron Fist. I always thought that Cyke would be an awesome Avenger.
|Wednesday, January 25th, 2012|
|Game Trailers; The Kerberos Club
So I've narrowed my play-by-something-as-yet-to-be-determine
d game as Mutants and Masterminds 3rd (aka DC Adventures) in the Kerberos Club setting.
For those not in the know, the Kerberos Club
is a Victorian steampunk super-hero setting. The Club itself is a gathering place for "the Strange" (meaning, supers) and members are obligated to fight badness. The heroes are the sample PCs from the rulebook. (A brillaint chemist transformed into a chimp by Weird Science, a guy turned to living stone by Weird Science, a little girl who made friends with the Fair Folk and they've been keeping her alive for over a century because she entertains them, and Victorian Batwoman.) The villains are The Oktobermen
a super-villain team that so easily translates to the KC setting all they'd need is a change of wardrobe. ( The Trailer is rated S for SteampunkCollapse )
|Friday, January 20th, 2012|
|The Media Report
Reading: Mostly RPG stuff (Steve Kenson's The Retconquest for Icons, which would be a great first adventure for any super-hero team - the first of the Power Profiles for M&M - some Champions stuff to help me get ready to make a character.) Plus comics - the last Star Wars: Legacy trade came out, so it's time for Cade Skywalker and Darth Krayt to have a last showdown and if Cade will finally fall to the Dark Side. I'm glad the story got to have an ending, and it doesn't feel particularly rushed. I'm also looking forward to Ostrander's next Star Wars project.
Gaming With Pixels: Jack got some racing games for Christmas (Split/Second and Burnout Paradise), which I've been playing. I never liked racing games before, but I like these.
Gaming With Dice: Bailed on the Tuesday Owlcon Playtest due to extreme crankytude. Still working on a character for Champions. Originally, I was going to make a mashup of Ben 10 and Dial H for Hero character, but even with the Hero Designer software, it felt too much like doing my taxes to make just one character, so I'm going to pick a concept that I can stick with. I'm probably going to wait until the rest of the gang has their concepts down and pick one that doesn't overlap. Based on what I've seen so far, it may be that I'm going to be the straight man in a gang of oddball heroes.
Watching: Lots of Deep Space 9 on netflix.
|Monday, January 16th, 2012|
|Back In The Comics Shop Again
For long and various reasons, I'm going back to buying a comics in floppy form, as well as trades. Most of what I get will be trades, but there are a few things we (the Jones clan) will be getting monthly.
Action Comics - While I'm probably one of the few folks on Earth who didn't like All-Star Superman, I do love the new take on Superman's early days.
Batman - Been on a Batman kick since Arkham City, and Batman looks to be the best of the new class of Bat-books. (Also the most kid-friendly. No face removals, for instance.)
Plus Possibly - Justice League and Defenders.
For The Boy:
Jurassic Park - Because what little boy doesn't love dinosaurs eating people? And the IDW series' main characters are grown up Lex and Timmy from the first movie.
Ghostbusters - Takes place after the two movies and the video game. A LOT better than I'd expected. The art is a little cartoony, but it feels like they made a Ghostbusters TV show with the main cast.
For My Beloved:
Scarlet Spider - (Well, I'd probably get this too.) Houston has its own Marvel Superhero who's not a bad cliche. (Rangers, I'm looking at y'all!) Kaine, a bad idea from the infamous Clone Saga, apparently got de-crazified in the last big Spider-Story, and is on a path to redemption. We got to meet Chris Yost and Ryan Stegman at a wingding at the Alamo Draft House. Sadly, there was no new news on Avengers:EMH, but we got the first issue for free and it was pretty good. I like the tagline as well "All of the power - none of the responsibility." And they do plan on showing how a web-slinger can get around Houstopolis.
Side note: Chris Yost was incredibly friendly, and has some kind of mutant power that made both of us (who would naturally just clench up and mutter "thanks" before exiting, stage left) able to talk to him for a little bit.
Astonishing X-Men - My Beloved used to read this during the Whedon run, and we gave it and Wolverine and the X-Men (who the folks on the War Rocket Ajax Podcast had gushed about) a try. I must confess it was the Claremont/Byrne X-Men that got me into serious comics collecting, and a part of me wants to just roll up to the counter and say "gimmie everything with an X in the title.)
|Monday, January 9th, 2012|
|Making the Clickity-Clack Sound
Merlin Mann (I think it was him) said that his job wasn't to write stuff, it was to sit at the computer and make the keys go clickity clack. Which is what I've been doing. I've got a project in the works for Vigilance Press and it's been slow going. I put some absolutely horrible prose down this weekend, but it can be fixed. The pitch was very well received and I've been a busy boy. I'd guestimate that I'm about 25% done (in terms of wordcount) - maybe more. I've got statblocks to fiddle with some more.
It's fun to be back in the freelancer saddle again. Sure, it's work for hire, but the thing that kept me from putting my own stuff up for sale on the web is that I don't know the first thing about layout and hiring artists and such.
Playtesting DC Adventures tomorrow. My Saturday night session at Owlcon is sold out. Sunday morning, not yet, but that's to be expected.
|Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012|
|I don't wanna go to school today
First day back at work after a week off. Urg. So very tard.
Reading: Ages ago, I'd bought a CD collection of all of Amazing Spider-Man from Amazing Fantasy #15 up to 2004ish, but I'd only read a couple because it wasn't a fun experience. But now that I haz the iPad, I've been reading a few issues a day. Loads of fun. I also read Chris Hardwick's The Nerdist Way. It's quite good, really funny, and I'm going to try some of the tips in there.
Watching: Nothing much, though I did get seasons 2 & 3 of Batman:TAS on DVD for Christmas, and I plan on devouring those.
Gaming With Dice: Playtest tonight of my owlcon round. I'm also setting myself a goal of starting a PBeM early this year.
Creative: A pitch for a short project is on an editor's desk. Here's hoping.
|Friday, December 23rd, 2011|
|I can see the holiday coming at me, kinda like a freight train
Edited to Clarify: I'm not dreading Christmas. I'm really looking forward to it. Sometimes I wish there was a "I'm trying to be funny here" tag so folks wouldn't fret.
This Christmas has been pretty unorganized. But it's something to work on for next year.
Reading: Kerberos Club (FATE Edition) & Star Wars: Omen. KC is a really cool setting I'm thinking of pitching as a PBP (probably not using FATE, but M&M, which is my supers system of choice - probably want to use Aspects tho). I think I described it on the blog as "steampunk super-heroes" or "if Alan Moore hadn't been on a public domain shopping spree when he made the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen." My initial reservation to KC was that I was stuck on the whole "what do I do with this incredible setting" (same problem I had with Day After Ragnarok - I totally locked up after the first adventure). But then I realized not to think of it as a steampunk setting with supers, but to think of it as a supers setting with steampunk. And I can do supers. SW:Omen is okay, and the whole "Jedi suddenly going schitzo" plot better have a good explanation. I like that the book kind of addresses the "hey, we non-super-people are sick of you Force Users taking over the galaxy, and I don't care what color your lightsaber is" question that's a sore thumb in the setting. (The other one being robo-slavery.) Sadly, the loudest proponent of the anti-Force faction is an ex-Imperial villain. I'd have been much more pleased if the absolutely rational stuff about how being a Jedi isn't a license to lop arms off wasn't coming from an ex-Evil Overlord.
Watching: I have blown through Burn Notice on streaming netflix. Gosh, I love the show. It almost reminds me of the way Christopher Priest wrote the espionage parts of his comics. Sure, Michael and his merry band run rings around the "case of the week" villains, but when they're facing the Big Bads of the season, they have to be paranoid and think seven steps ahead. Now I have to find some other show to watch when
We also so Sherlock Holmes 2. While I am delighted with the films, I have to do it in a sort of "this is not the real Holmes" sort of mindset. I get that the bits they emphasize did happen in the books. (Holmes was a badass boxer. Holmes did use disguises all the time. Holmes was a little bit crazy.) But there's just way too much explodo and Holmes Fu. And I am terribly disappointed that the Jeremy Brett Holmes series isn't on streaming netflix anymore.
Gaming with Dice: More shootin' up in Cowboy Adventure land. Convinced the super-luchador that he was on the wrong side, and then showed the Tongs that their Poisoned River Kung Fu was no match for us. Got my character figured out for the upcoming Champions game. Now all I have to do is the math. Sigh. I just look at the Hero 6th rules and my brain just wants to take a nap. It should be okay in play (character creation is always the hardest part of Hero).
Gaming with Pixels: My uninspired play-through of DA:Origins continues. I will say, however, that the scenery in DAO is lightyears ahead of its sequel. Even the little towns like Lothering or Redcliff are just plain pretty to look at. I love the windmill in Redcliff. Still not looking forward to the Deep Roads (or the long slog in the Fade in the Mage's Tower). I'm changing things up to keep it a little more interesting. Going to keep Morrigan as the primary mage instead of swapping out for Wynne and Zevran instead of Leliana. I may go completely non-traditional and leave Alistair in camp and take Sten with me, even though Al is so much better.
And I have to say, it's REALLY hard to avoid the call of Star Wars: The Old Republic. My buds from my City of Heroes guild are having a ball. But I think it would completely eat my head.
|Friday, December 16th, 2011|
|Games Of Paper and Pixel
Games with Pixels: Bought the Legacy and Mark of the Assassin DLC for Dragon Age 2, and blazed through them, mostly ignoring sidequests. And I've just fired up DA:O again, getting around to the Human Noble origin and looking forward to the doomed Alistair/Cousland ship. (Ahh, the angst.) Totally wishing I had gotten SWTOR, but realizing the DOOOOOM that it would bring.
Games With Dice: Finished prep for my Owlcon round, and playtest is scheduled for after Christmas. Hopefully, the fights will be balanced, though I'm assuming that I'll have to re-work the Big Boss Battle at least a little. In other gaming news, I've come up with a character for the upcoming Champions game. I confess I had been leaning towards the Batman Inc concept, but when Greg pretty much predicted I'd change characters in mid-campaign, I took it as a challenge to make a character that I would not get bored with. Enter "Brightstars". On an alternate Earth, Lord Darkstar is an evil overlord who imprisoned a bunch of his enemies in a magic amulet, and then cast said amulet through the multiverse. The amulet coincidentally (???) was found by Lord Darkstar's alternate universe counterpart, who can use the amulet. It works more or less like the Omnitrix from Ben 10, except it's got imprisoned super-heroes in it, as well as some supervillainous rivals. Automatic path for ADD curing.
Games of Paper AND Pixel: Sometime in the upcoming year, I want to take another swing at some kind of online game, not sure exactly what format to use. (Google+ has gotten some good reviews for that sort of thing.) Probably supers, with Dresden being a strong second choice.
|Monday, December 5th, 2011|
|Tuesday, November 29th, 2011|
Reading: After polishing off Revan, I started book one of the current Star Wars multi-book saga. I did like how Luke got called on how easily the Jedi forgive fallen Jedi who cast off the dark side. And on the face of it, "he's not guilty of blowing up a solar system because he was possessed by a thousand year old force ghost" is kind of a lame explanation, and has the added benefit of being something only other Jedi could sense. Frankly, I understand why the Jedi are resisting the changes the New Republic is forcing on them, but dang if there's not a good point there.
Gaming with Dice: Missed last week due to a stomach virus. More Adventure! tonight. I also went ahead and put a pitch for an "Ultimate Star Wars" game. It's another galaxy far far away, one with the cool Star Wars Stuff and all of continuity is tossed. Plus, it'd be running the Dawn of Defiance adventure path, so most of the heavy lifting's already done.
Gaming With Pixels: After completing all of the quests in Arkham City except the Riddler's, I accidentally deleted my save file. I'm replaying Arkham Asylum on regular difficulty instead of easy. I was also in the Star Wars MMO beta test this past weekend. My initial thought is that it would easily consume me. Gameplay was fun. Being a Jedi (or any of the classes, really) is loads of fun. And the storytelling (at least what I saw) is up to Bioware Standards.
TV: Finished X-Men Evolution while I was sick. And I recently discovered Burn Notice on streaming Netflix. Entertaining, but I wouldn't mind if they chopped the gratuitous girls in swimsuits out.
|Thursday, November 17th, 2011|
|All the News Unfit to Print
Life: My beloved Purple Saturn is mostly dead. Some charity is going to get it, and my Mountain of Debt now has an "Ironman Silver" Hyundai Accent added to it. It's a nice little car.
Reading: As a huge fan of the original Knights of the Old Republic game, I pretty much HAD to get the new "Revan" novel. It's the canon followup, starring Revan and the Exile (though I have to confess I've never bothered to play KOTOR2 based on what I've heard), and we get some backstory to The Sith Emperor, who's supposed to be the Big Bad in the upcoming Star Wars MMO. Enjoyable, and I can practically hear Bastilla and Canderous in my head while reading.
Gaming With Dice: Our Adventure! group got two new PCs, a crazy old prospector with a magic divining rod and the captain of the American Naval Airship Valkyrie. It's almost hard to believe that we've been playing Adventure! this long without a zeppelin. We're also having introductory discussions about what game will take the place of the Dawn of the Temple of Elemental Evil campaign. For once, I don't think I'm going to pitch. The games I'd like to run (Star Wars Saga Edition, Mutants and Masterminds, Werewolf and The Dresden Files) are outside the strike zone of the group. Not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you. I like the games that do fit, but I'm not particularly interested in running them. And some of the discussions about what people do want to run are pretty nifty, so I'm really looking forward to that.
That said, I just re-read the "Welcome to Manitou Springs" Werewolf demo adventure I wrote back in 2005 (GASP, time flies) and really want to run it, either as is in Werewolf or adapt it to the Dresden Files setting. I think it's really some of my best RPG work. And there were some things that didn't make it into print I could put back in.
Gaming with Pixels: Finished Batman: Arkham City on Easy. Now I'm doing some post-finale cleanup of all the side quests that I didn't complete before the Big Finale. I do wish Batman (and Catwoman, since the Riddler quest requires you to play as both) had gotten a shower and a clean suit after all was said and done, because they look like hell. I was shocked when I played a few of the challenge maps to see them looking fresh and clean. Oh, and in case folks hadn't heard, the Star Wars MMO had a beta testing weekend and is going to have another one real soon. A bunch of web sites are giving away beta codes.
Watching: I've been pushing my way through X-Men: Evolution. It's strange to see the X-Men as teens and enforcing a Masquerade. But, I'm about halfway through the series, and the cracks in the Masquerade are showing. Either way, it heavily features Cyclops, Nightcrawler and Shadowcat, so I'm all over it.
|Tuesday, November 1st, 2011|
Reading: Mostly the Dresden Files RPG books. I did finish "The Starter" (book 2 of the Galactic Football League series) and Summer Knight as audiobooks. The long drive is really eating into my reading time. When it's time for Jack to do his daily reading homework, I've been reading The Big Sleep, but only then.
Gaming With Dice: Missed last week. Should make it this week. I also heard the Greatest Idea for a Call of Cthulhu con-round EVAR. The PCs are all psychotics in a mental ward. Each player gets an MP3 player with a pre-recorded soundtrack of the voices in their head. So at certain points, the Keeper would tell a player to play Track 3 or whatever, and get an earful of the crazy.
Gaming With Pixels: Got Batman: Arkham City, though I'm not too far in it - largely because it was nigh impossible to get The Boy to let go of the controller.
Life: Had the flu. Missed the planned trip to the RenFest last weekend, which was disappointing. We should be up for this weekend, so long as I didn't infect anyone.
NaNo: We're in the middle of a major server room expansion at work, and a second enormous pile of work has landed on me, requiring even more time gone. I am going to try to write a little, but I won't get the 80K this year. I have all my character notes and some research done, so the world may yet see my "Monsters vs Cthulhu" novel. (Core idea - fighting Cthulhu-esque creatures will rip the sanity right out of a human being. But vampires and such lack whatever it is that looking at a shuggoth destroys in the human psyche.)