Summers Fly, Winters Walk

12/31/03: Here's to the mellow and cheerful ending of a very happy and pretty productive year. Sandra and I have been spending most of our evenings, recently, watching the Firefly DVD set. When Firefly was airing, it quickly became a regular snuggling ritual for us, and it's good to relive that (and see the three episodes that never aired) and toast a great, lost show as well as a great year that has earned its rest. If you never saw Firefly on the air, or only caught bits of it, give it a looksee if the opportunity arises. There's some excellent snuggling material in there.

Work's been satisfyingly hectic; I haven't been taking much in the way of holiday breaks ... The Risus Companion is officially released this evening, and I'm really grateful for the warm response it's been getting from the folks who lined up to purchase it in pre-release. I'm beaming about it like a proud parent ... Since it's Risus, there's a comfortable pajama-party freedom to it, because while there's a standard of quality to uphold, there's no standard of decorum. Good combo, I daresay.

For the next short stretch, I'll be tearing up the track on the last lap of Points in Space 2, and the rest of the year my writing will focus on some new Uresia material, Fly From Evil, and two or three surprise projects I'm excited about (including a whole 'nother roleplaying game I'll be telling you more about soon).

So, here's the traditional virtual champagne toast. Auld Lang Syne and all that. See you round the bend!

Merry Christmas

12/25/03: I've got a little break between toasting the almonds and pulling the ham out of the oven, so it's as good a time as any to say hi to anyone dropping by. Merry Christmas! My Mom is visiting us from Tulsa for the holiday, and it's already been a great one (yesterday, Sandra accidentally created what is now my Favorite Christmas Memory, but I've been told that I'm not allowed to describe it).

Of course, those of you on the Risus Mailing List know that the long-awaited Risus Companion is "long-awaited" no more, as of a few days ago. I'll give it a general public release in a day or two, but in the meantime there's Christmas to have. A very merry one to you!

Rambling in Autumn

11/19/03: It's starting to feel like autumn - on some days, anyway - here in the capitol of Texas. We've had some genuinely chilly days mixed with scattered relapses of summer, and on those chilly days I feel energized ... Sandra always notices it even if I don't say anything. Cool weather throws a big switch in me, somewhere. Traditionally, it also gets me in the mood for traditional fantasy gaming. Not sure why. I think I like imagining my fantasy characters wearing coats.

Life has been a mixed bag for family and friends, these past few weeks. My Mom was in a car accident (she's recovering, though); our good friend Shawn was in a car accident (he's recovering, likewise), and there have been assorted other bits of sad news. As we get closer to Thanksgiving, all these events provide sharp reminders of all the people Sandra and I are thankful to know. Here's wishing lots of hugs to everyone who checks in on us here at the web pages. And some extra hugs for anyone else who could use one.

Sandra and I have been fine, plus or minus a possible sore throat in Sandra's case. Cool weather is good for snuggling, and we've got a wedding anniversary in a few days to snuggle towards!

I've been working at a fever pitch lately ... A mix of chill-weather drive, self-imposed deadlines, and that rush of speed I get when I'm on the homestretch on a project (in this case, I'm on a double homestretch with both the Risus Companion and Points in Space 2 both in their final laps). Here's a quick state-of-the-union on each of my major project tracks:

That covers the important bases. There are a few dozen smaller side-projects, secret projects, and maybe-so-maybe-no talks going on as per usual, but nothing else fit for public announcement just yet.

To close, here's a little recipe to warm you up if it's feeling autumnal (or downright wintry) where you are. Among the many charms of this time of year is the food, and Sandra and I have been cooking this up for breakfast on may a chilly morning, lately. Enjoy it, and I'll see you here again soon.

Hexes for Home

10/16/03: Had a cool thing happen the other day ... Cumberland Games got its very first order from Cumberland, Maryland. That's the little city I'm from, back east, and the town CG&D is named for. So naturally I showered the customer with extra freebies and we discussed the town a little. Felt nice, although ironically it turned out he hasn't been a gamer for many years - he was buying HexPaper to help with some plumbing layouts! Kinda cool.

Speaking of freebies ... if your Uresia: Grave of Heaven campaign involves a lot of caravel travel, the little navigation maps I've added to the Scrolls page of Blue Lamp Road may come in handy; it's down at the bottom of the page by the character sheet.


9/19/03: In honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day (if you need some help, click here for a good primer on nautical lingo), I'm happy to release Yellow Jack & Rum over at the Cumberland site. It's one of those genres I've wanted a Sparks set for forever, but this year's nautical vibe got illustrator T. Jordan Peacock in a pirating mood! So, check out the new set, talk like a pirate, watch some pirate movies, sing the theme to SpongeBob SquarePants ... whatever gets you saying "Arrr."

Real American Hero

9/17/03: I've begun to chip into the mountain of emails I have clogging my inbox, and I came across an excellent new Risus page I've neglected to mention before. John Payne's spiffy G.I. Joe adaptation is now a permanent link over on the Risus homepage. Yo, Joe!

Cute Evil Soy Cookies

9/5/03: Sandra and I had a fun evening tonight poking around the First Thursday festival - it's a blast seeing South Congress overtaken by arts-and-crafts stalls, blacksmiths, belly-dancers, street magicians, roller derby girls, and the usual throng of musicians of every stripe. We took in as much as our feet could handle, brought home a strawberry-scented soy candle, and called it a day. Soy candles are very big with the arts-and-crafts crowd these days (if you like candles at all, get some; they burn clean and last half of forever).

It's been a good day for ego cookies, too. Kenneth Hite gave Uresia: Grave of Heaven a very generous review in his Out of the Box column, and I've had online questioners asking me "Hey, did you see that?" all day. Kenneth and I are no strangers to giving one another good copy (read this review I wrote of his excellent Nightmares of Mine) but I haven't heard from Ken in ages, so it was a pleasant shock. On a milder but (to me) no less astonishing note, I ran into a Star Wars page - a Jedi database of sorts - that gives a full page each to Nason Laric and Niquon, the two Jedi in my "Jedi's Legacy" adventure from Star Wars Gamer #10. There's something very strange and lovable about fandom, when a magazine solo adventure (from a magazine that died as soon as they published me!) can achieve a tiny spark of Internet immortality like that.

In other linkage, there's a new Pokethulhu fan-site online today (complete with what looks like a pretty complete adventure). It may cause some browsers to blink in terror and confusion, though, so be warned. Such is the nature of eldritch horror - even the cute kind.


8/20/03: Just a "Hi again" sort of update. One of our very dearest friends, Tim Driscoll, is down visiting from Virginia, so I've been away from the keyboard most of the time since Friday. Tonight we had a particularly fun time at the Alamo Drafthouse, catching a snake-hunting documentary in Alamo style (in this case, "Alamo style" means the documentary was accompanied by a live rattler-handling show and chunks of fried rattler to snack on ... very sinewy beast, the rattlesnake).

Not much in the way of world-shattering news. Cumberland's doing pretty well this month, I've got a game to run tomorrow, Sandra's doing well although I fear she may be catching some version of the flu I had recently ... Here's hoping it's something milder.

More soon. I'm making an effort to get back into the update habit, but I'm not promising anything since that's a sure curse on actually getting around to it. I will say, however, that there's a nifty new swashbuckling Sparks set on the way, so that's bound to get me posting sometime soon. 'Til then!

The Month Law

8/7/03: Okay, there isn't actually a law that says I need to update the Blue Desk at least monthly, but there probably should be. I've actually done a number of little updates (including adding my homebrew Uresia character sheet to the Blue Lamp Road articles section a few days ago), but not much worth listing anywhere. A really, really, really nasty flu hit me over a week ago, and I'm just recently to the point where I can go without a coughing fit for an hour or two at a stretch, so that's been a big part of it.

Icky flu aside, life's been the same mix of Sandra-snuggling, game writing and Austin that we like around here. Yesterday had a nice twist: a long-time correspondent that I "met" through the Blue Room dropped around to visit for a few hours, giving me a chance to show off a few bits of Austin, and someone new to cough on.

And tonight, after nixing a couple of gaming sessions due to illness, I get to play Fly From Evil again, so that's cool. And the new Font of the Month is finally up. And now I've done a Blue Desk update, so I think I'm getting caught up.

Are You On My List?

7/7/03: Here's hoping everybody here in the States had a good holiday weekend, and that everybody abroad had a weekend just as good (but with a less glaring color scheme). I got the Free Font of the Month up a few days late this time, but it's a fun variant on the Temphis Runes set. Those of you on the Cumberland Games mailing list know that I've had other freebies than that up recently!

Coming up in a day or two is the release of Uresia Arcana, the mapping-and-graphics set I mentioned last update. It's finished (and even technically available, as those on the Uresia mailing list already know); I just need to get the web page done for it! Eek. Life's been busy, and I've been working constantly to keep up with my project list. Busy busy busy, but happily so.

Yeah, I'm pushing the mailing lists this morning. They're good for what ails ya!

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