Ancient Mutant Ninja Turtles

12/30/00: A while back, I posted my Untaken Treks page with the sad knowledge that lots of the work there is kind of odd when taken out of context . . . And context, unfortunately, is something only the other writers can provide. James Maliszewski did just that this morning when he generously provided a link to his original Chelarians piece. He wrote it for Final Frontiers, and it provided the seed of inspiration for my own description of the Chelarian homeworld of Rigel III. Now that both are finally together, it makes a very fine little read!

Holly Jolly Christmas!

12/21/00: I'm typing this in a warm haze of pecan coffee and blinking lights. Sandra and I went out strolling in our Santa hats tonight, and came back in for warm no-more-work-for-a-couple-days snuggles (a cold front dipped down into Texas over the past day and it's pleasantly cold). Things are nice.

Sandra and I are still newlyweds (we still act like it, anyway) so it feels strange talking about traditions just yet, but we definitely seem to have a couple of Christmas habits forming into them. A favorite has been attending the Trail of Lights at Zilker Park, and we did that last night. If you live in Austin (or within an hour's drive of it) and haven't done this yet, please do so. Saturday's the last night, and it's just absolutely magical. They did a new thing with the ending this year, too, that had us walking out in a murmer of "wow." Just great stuff. We'll hit 37th street soon, too!

Our second tradition-in-the-making is our Soft Pretzels, of course. Since I'm all diabetic and whatnot these days, I can't overindulge the way I'd like to, but we'll be visiting friends on Christmas this year, so it'll be fun to make a batch to take along. Baking always smells so good, and I can have one, just not (as I'd prefer) six or seven at once! If you're in a recipe-reading mood, don't overlook the eggnog!

Anyway, hope this finds you as cozy and well as we are. Not everybody has a great time this year, though, so if you are doing well, check to see if your friends and neighbors are, too. Gather the folks you love around you, let them know how much you appreciate them, and have a happy holiday.

Hiding Out?

12/11/00: It's been nearly two weeks since I've stepped in here to say "hi!" - yeek. I've been working constantly in that time, mostly doing production work on Points in Space 1 and some writing for the upcoming Voyager eBook Don Mappin's assembling. It's looking like a New Year's Day release for Points . . . I could probably shove it out a week or two sooner at this rate, but it (and Sparks Interiors: The Space Station) seems like a good way to kick off 2001 . . .

It's exciting, and exhausting, to be finishing my very first full-fledged eBook. I've written a lot of things over the years, but actually making something from top to bottom is different, and it's doubly so when it's something I get to keep after it's made.

After all that's done (sometime this week, I expect) I'm back to full-bore work on the home stretch of my swords-and-sorcery project for the ultimate roleplaying system, Big Eyes, Small Mouth, which is exciting for a host of other reasons I'll get into when the time is right!

Anway, just wanted to say that I'm not in a coma or anything, just busy covering a lot of paper and soaking up the colors from the Christmas lights. Hope this finds you as happily busy!

Post-Turkey Mellow

11/28/00: The holiday season is here, and it feels good. The weather has been just heavenly, too. I try to get out of here whenever possible to work outside, but I'm even quicker about it this week, eager to enjoy that good air. Despite my current deadline-juggling, I'm relaxed and productive. Or maybe I'm still under the hypnotic spell of the Tryptophan Feast (in which case we should stock up all year round) . . . A couple of things to share:

On the Fontworks page, I've happily placed the initial release of Newfie, a (freeware) TrueType font companion to my very first font, Lunatic. Regular visitors to the Blue Room will be able to guess instantly who's handwriting Newfie is based on! Yes, she even writes cute!

Correspondent and general friend-to-the-Blue-Room Mark Cogan lamented the long hibernation of the Blue Room Crossword, as do I. He took action! Give Wild Wild East a try!

Remedial Writing Refresher

11/20/00: That last update (below) turned out to be an "oops, I spoke too soon" sort of thing. I was very productive on the 15th, but the stuff I wrote was horrible. I mean just bad. But, "creativity" is mostly a process of revision, and . . . that didn't apply this time, either. It was so bad I just scrapped it and started fresh the next morning. That worked. It was mostly a matter of readjusting my approach, remembering to enjoy what I was doing and to just think about one thing at a time, instead of swamping myself with my entire project list in one day.

One of the embarassing things about being a writer is how frequently I need to re-learn lessons I've already learned (and re-learned) in the past. I'm developing a theory that only a dozen or so guiding principles can fit in my head at any one time, and the best I can do is try to rotate them like nitrogen-poor soil to best suit the project at hand! This would explain why my grasp of grammar goes out the window when I'm really doing well . . .

From the Blue Desk . . . Stretchin' Out

11/15/00: I feel extra-good this morning. Yesterday wasn't so hot; I had a slow work day, and didn't accomplish as much as I like, and that leaves me feeling restless and grumpy. It got all better when Sandra got home, though! After a quick supper and setting the VCR to watch Buffy and Angel for us, we went out for a nice long walk through some of the neighborhoods just northwest of here, arcing from the north end of South Congress through the Travis Heights area and down the I-35 frontage road, ending up with coffee and 5x5 (a tie game!) at Denny's before heading home again. Lots of dark streets and cool air; and it was a pretty good hike, especially on a weekday. As a bonus, we got to see a fox pretty close up (it was loping across the grounds of a public park we were crossing through) and that was cool, especially after the bunch of deer we saw the other night walking east of Brodie (South Austin has a lot of busy wildlife this time of year, it seems)!

After all that, my restless noggin was peaceful again, so I'm up at a decent hour this morning to pile into work and make a good go of it. I'm in a maps-and-adventures kind of mood, and there's certainly plenty of each to be done! That, and more walking . . . Hope things are good where you are, too.

In Blue Room news, there's two new mailing lists to join, if you fancy it: one for Cumberland Games in general, and another for Fly From Evil. Click here for the former; here for the latter.

Hot Cocoa Season

11/10/00: I'm really enjoying this weather, lately! Autumn seems to have settled in for good, now, with cool days and cold nights and all the rain the trees can eat. I'm not a big fan of rain, really, but I like overcast skies and cold air, so a little rain is a good trade. In weather like this, my writing productivity gets a good healthy spike (usually just enough to counteract the happy distractions of the holiday season, but it's still kinda cool to feel the pen itch so).

So, with warm beverages and inksmears as the prevailing motif, I can observe the political madness of the recent days with a resigned shrug (well, once I get back on a diurnal schedule after glazing 'til 3AM the other night).

Things here are nice and busy, and I'm looking forward to an interesting winter with the Cumberland Games stuff. The fonts have been doing pretty well, the eBooks are chugging along at a good pace, and I'm close to ink on an agreement with a writer who's work I'll be very proud to present alongside my own stuff. I should be able to make an official announcement about that, soon.

This morning, I added a few pages to the Star Trek section of the site - the unpublished chapters and snippets from the books that were frozen by the lost license. Alas, little Trek RPG, we hardly knew ya.

Beneath an Amber Moon?

11/1/00: Christian Maillefaud, a Brazilian GURPS gamer, brings another Unlimited Mana translation to the World Wide Web this week, this time in Portuguese! Very attractive page design, too. RPGs are a big-time deal in Brazil these last few years, so it's nice to be part of the festivities. Big thanks to Christian and the GURPS Módulo Básico project!

Speaking of festivities, the Halloween gathering up on 6th street was as cool as ever last night, and Sandra looked so cute with her electric devil horns! We wandered the strip a couple of times admiring the costumes. Marvel upon marvel, I tell you! Good fun.

Happy Halloween!

10/31/00: Just wanted to say hi on my way out the door to write this morning; Happy Halloween! Judging from the fluttering leaves and grey at the window, it'll be a good day for walking, though I don't trust the forecast that says no rain 'til tomorrow . . . Note to self: plastic bags for the books, just in case . . . Hope everybody has a good night tonight!

Sunburned & Rusty

10/29/00: Sparks takes on a new genre this week with Sunburned & Rusty, a full wild west/wierd west set illustrated by newcomer Matt Drake. I'm very pleased with Matt's choices of characters; he cuts from one end of the western genre to the other in a comprehensive swath that strikes an excellent balance of PC-types and foe-types (and those who'll easily serve double-duty). His bold ink-style is a bonus, too, since it makes for very clear, evocative imagery, even at tighter gaming scales. Take a look, and enjoy!

In other fonty news, Flagstones is now available for the Mac! In other non-fonty news, I'm so busy I could pop . . . Tonight, while Sandra is asnooze, I intend to wind down by curling up with the Crime Classification Manual in front of Gun Crazy (both research for Fly From Evil) and take notes. When curling up and taking notes is my idea of winding down, I should probably take it as A Sign of some kind. Yeek! But it's still fun! More soon; this will be a busy week for Blue Room updates!

From the Blue Desk . . . Let's Go Bats!

10/23/00: Sandra and I caught an Austin Ice Bats game the year we first came to Austin, but after the car got trashed, we never got out there again, since the Capitol Metro doesn't go that far out of town. A couple of weeks ago, somebody pointed out that the Capitol Metro does, in fact, go that far out of town. D'oh! And we ride the system every day, all over the city, and never noticed! Suffice it to say, Sandra's next step was to snag tickets for the game, and we had a ball watching the Bats work the ice (and the mascot, Fang, work the crowd) to a 3-2 victory over the El Paso Buzzards (you gotta love Texas hockey-team names). From now on, we'll be catching games whenever we can swing the ticket price; it's a great night out! Plus, Sandra got to meet another Texas Newfie!

Back here at the Blue Room, there are a few new things to click on since I last came by the Desk: a couple of fresh links on the Risus Stuff page, a new freeware font at the Fontworks, a placeholder for the soon-to-be-released Points in Space 1, and probably a few other things I've forgotten! Stay well.

From the Blue Desk . . . Spinning Plates

10/16/00: This should be an interesting work week. I'm writing a Pokethulhu adventure and other items that will appear in the Cumberland and Dork Storm editions of the game; barreling into the depths of the Genre Sourcebook portion of Fly From Evil, some urban-fantasy material for my BESM book, and writing a kind of "thank you" piece for the Star Trek RPG fans: a short Narrator's Advice section for Don Mappin's Star Trek: Voyager eBook project. Back when LUG was still with us, Don was going to be developing the Voyager line for real, but despite all that's happened, he's determined to assemble a professional-quality Voyager book for the fans, on his own time. Several folks are donating time to pitch in, and I'm happy to be part of that group! The final book will be available (for no charge) this winter sometime.

Cold Rain and Dungeon Floors

10/9/00: I feel well-rested after a weekend that left me well in need of rest! The weather has turned into what passes for cold in Austin (and what does a reasonable impression of cold in many other places) with high's in the 40's and plenty of rain. The sky is grey and the wind is sharp and I think it's just about the most beautiful weather there can be. So, we were out enjoying it on Saturday, walking up South Lamar with shoulders to the wind, warming ourselves for lunch, braving the weather again, warming ourselves at a used bookstore, braving the weather again, then heading home for warm drinks and blankets and other recuperative things before heading up to Joe's Generic on sixth street for a Saturday night of blues. On the way home, the rain was even colder, but a slice of pizza at Roppolo's warmed us up again, and we slept hard when we finally got home!

In the background to all of this, some last-minute needs by a publisher had me scribbling in my pocket notebook over lunch and sketching and snickering at home ... On Sunday, we stayed in and warm most of the day, and I got that thing done (felt good to see it go)! Except for a quick walk to the grocery store, Sunday was a lot of work followed by a bit of curling-up-watching-TV (the excellent documentary Hands on a Hardbody, which we loved on the big screen and finally got on video). We also kitchen-tested a soy-flour variant of Whole-Wheat Cornmeal Bread to answer a question posed by a Mailing List correspondent, and the experiment went well! Just replace half the wheat flour with soy, drop the water by maybe half-a-cup, and be sure and bake a long, French-style loaf (to insure that the bread bakes properly without overbrowning). When you're at home on a cold, rainy day, baking smells extra-good!

And now it's nearly 8:AM on Monday morning, which means I'm running late, as usual, getting the heck out the door to go write some more! Ah, well . . . It's nice to sit here for a bit and share some good news: Flagstones, a font I've been building and re-building all summer, is finally available! It's a kind of second-cousin to HexPaper, and I've been having lots of fun doing things with it now that it's finished!

That's all from this end. The rainy streets beckon once again, and I'm rarin' to go! More soon.

Baking and Sparking

10/4/00: There's a new article on Gourmand Bleu this morning . . . Whole-Wheat Cornmeal Bread is a very hearty, filling, high-protein bread I've developed recently, and it's tasty stuff! Makes very nice rolls. It also has a softer glycemic impact that white bread, which is important to me these days!

I'm also very excited to announce the the Dan Smith Sampler, the world's first paper miniatures font set, has been retired to the dustbin of gaming software history. In its stead strides the new Dan Smith Stockpile! The Sampler was an experiment, a little set of 10 paper minis presented in a new way . . . But since then, the Watch the Skies!, Dungeoneers, and Macho Women sets have set a new standard for Sparks, so I wanted the "Smif Signature Set" to come up to speed. The Stockpile is a full A-to-Z Sparks set, and it includes some of my favorite Dan Smith art ever (like Mushroom Man and Saucy Jack) and a dizzying array of genres (including a modern-day police officer, by popular request from Sparks users)! I also left the price at $5 instead of the usual $10, to let this remain a good "starter set," just as the Sampler was. Go see!

My GM ran Fly From Evil . . .

10/2/00: . . . And all I got was this crummy T-Shirt! The fine folks at CafePress have built a bandwagon worth jumping on, so there I am. There's a certain Cool Factor in being able to have t-shirts and mugs available for a game that isn't even out yet. The net is wierd.

Just Play It Cool, Boy

9/25/00: This past weekend was really nice in a lot of ways; Sandra and I explored some more residential areas in north/central Austin on foot on Saturday, and on Sunday we were back home on the south side of town, with the gang over for a cool session of the fantasy campaign. The game went very well; with a few sessions under our belt, the character relationships are starting to really take shape, and it was cozy and fun; I really got into it. I was sighing happily over the whole thing during grocery shopping last night, as Sandra will attest (I was still sighing when we were curled up watching anime tapes, later on). But the wife-snuggles and good-game vibe weren't the only things that had me sighing . . . Cool air had me sighing. In the middle of our gaming session, late yesterday afternoon, the cold front we've been promised finally hit, coupled with a friendly torrential downpour. We game in the apartment clubroom, here, and had plenty of window around us to scope out the arrival of cool breezes and cool rains to cap off the cool weekend. After the game, Lilian was the first to venture out into it (the rain had finally let up) and declared it good. The rest of us filed out happily, making assorted loud noises of delight.

This happens here every year, but not always in the middle of a good gaming session. Bonus.

Anyway, nothing much else to report. Good game (complete with Interiors, natch), good weather, good wife-snuggles. Good roast beef (which Sandra made) on good wheat bread (which Sandra made) on a good sandwich for breakfast as I write this. Good day of writing ahead, with lots of fresh air involved! Hope this finds you all well.

Big Walls, Free Sparks!

9/20/00: I've been playing around in the guts of the Fontworks and other paper-toy sectors of the website over the last couple of days, preparing for the arrival of Sparks: Dungeon Interiors (a non-font companion to Sparks: The Dungeoneers) and Sparks: Free-For-All, the new all-in-one demo font for Sparks, available for both Win and Mac. These items are now officially available via direct order (for Dungeon Interiors) and free download (for Free-For-All), with more soon.

Something more official: I signed a contract this morning with Guardians of Order to write an original swords-and-sorcery world for Big Eyes, Small Mouth. This project has been bubbling around under the surface since early this summer, but it's finally a done deal! Since I'm head-over-heels for BESM these days, I'm already having a lot of fun with it. More soon!

Rockin'!

9/9/00: The incredible Dan Smith, Artmeister, Sparks wizard, and all-around High Priest of Fun, has entered the rickety halls of game design with a mighty stride that promises to rattle a few windows and crack a few timbers. His new card game, Battle of the Bands, is finally available to an unsuspecting public, so I wanted to pass along a plug to get people suspecting, before it's too late. Go forth and game!

Where to Begin?

9/7/00: It's been forever (or it feels like it) since I've done an update here, and there's a million things to talk about. I'll pick a couple of favorites . . .

First off, the Spawn of Pokethulhu contest is ended, and the winner, Mark Cogan, will be rewarded with his gen-u-ine Squishy Brain Edition of the game, autographed by myself and the inimitable John Kovalic who, as it happens, cast the deciding vote! This is the same kind of choice gaming artifact that recently sold on eBay for what can only be called noticeable markup. Yikes. And on top of the normal yikes, there's a the-winning-bidder-lives-in-Germany yikes. Under the circumstances, I told him not to worry about any additional shipping charges, and I'll probably throw a little something extra in the package out of guilt (I do that whenever my eBay auctions go too high; I'm too sappy to be a proper capitalist).

Mark's entry, and all the others (there were ten, all told) will be enshrined permanently on the Blue Room soon, at the URL where the defunct contest page currently sits. Some of them are very funny, so look back soon for that. In the meantime, visit John's new pokethulhu.com site!

The reason I've been so behind on updates is, of course, Fly From Evil. The first major chunk of the game (the core rules) are completed, and I'm stuffing copies into envelopes tonight to be delivered into the steely jaws and gleaming talons of the playtesters. I can almost see them on the horizon, shuffling in restless packs, stirred by the smell of blood. I'm on schedule (slightly ahead, in fact) on Fly, but that's put me a bit behind on the Blue Room! This week I'll be doing some catching up, I hope.

More soon!

Up to Speed

8/12/00: After a couple of days of Being Swamped By Stuff, I finally got around to updating the Updates page. The Italian Version of the GURPS Hedge Magic rules is cool, but the most interesting item to most will be the Spawn of Pokethulhu contest! You can win the only spare copy of Pokethulhu I've got left by having a fun couple of minutes designing your own Pocket Eldritch Horror! Plus, it's just a fun little PDF, if I do say so - complete with a new Pokethulhu ("Ulthar") that didn't appear in the original game.

Here on the homefront, Sandra and I are nearly finished with our orientation and training from Literacy Austin, and we've been assigned our students. We're kinda-nervous and definitely excited about it; we certainly expect to learn as much as we get to teach. I'm due to meet my student tomorrow, and Sandra meets hers on Thursday, so I'm sure we'll have plenty more to tell as the weeks go on.

Meanwhile, I'm jumping around all excited because the first phase of Fly From Evil playtest will begin in early September, just a couple of weeks from now! And here I am, spending entire mornings stressing over genre details like the section on police cars! Must . . . focus . . .

Dust Off the Sun and Moon

8/13/00: It's been one of those really nice, mellow weekends.The Zilker Hillside theater ran the final shows of this summer's production of West Side Story, and Sandra and I hiked over to watch that under the stars last night, and then wandered back along Barton Springs Road, just enjoying the warm air and the city skyline across the river. At home, we got some more time in down at the swimming pool, and then here at home, playing video games on an old SNES I got off of eBay and just generally being cozy. In the in-between hours, I've been playing around with custom mezzotints in Photoshop to work out a new way to make attractive fantasy maps, so thank heaven for the beckoning outdoors!

Somewhere north of here, GenCon happened. Hopefully, Phil sold lots of copies of Pokethulhu and will return to Austin with happy stories of satisfied and amused gamers. Online coverage of the con has been very scant this year compared to last, so I'll just wait to absorb the anecdotes from my correspondents . . .

Squishy Brains

8/7/00: I have a Squishy Brain tonight! Sandra and I got in from our first training course with Literacy Austin, and it was quite a trip. The class was fairly long (2-½ hours), but they kept it very interesting. Since they're teaching us teaching, it's good to know they've got the stuff, themselves!

For those who haven't heard of this kind of thing: Just about every town has a similar program (I was involved through school with one in North Carolina, and would have done it in Virginia except the program there required investment in cash as well as time, and cash has never been my strong suit). The gist is: adults who have trouble reading and writing come to these places in need of tutoring, and these places, in turn, need tutors. If it sounds like something you'd find interesting or challenging, I heartily encourage you to try it out. Just ask any librarian about what kind of thing is in your area; they know.

I also have another Squishy Brain . . . a proof of the layout of the Pokethulhu Adventure Game that I mentioned several days ago! It's Mighty Groovy, and there will be a small number of the first run signed by both myself (the designer) and John Kovalic (the rockin' illustrator) available at Gen Con. Steps are being taken to make the game available through game shops, too, very soon. More news on that as it coalesces from beyond space and time.

Welcome to Hultog

8/2/00: Up today is the latest release in the growing freebie-library from Cumberland: Ring of Thieves, a "retro" swords-and-sorcery solitaire for Risus: The Anything RPG. It hints at the upcoming commerical Risus releases, and includes a new "interim upgrade" of Risus itself, in plaintext. Grab some dice and curl up with a copy, then drop me a line to let me know what you think.

I'm heading out the door this morning for what I hope will be a full writing/design day working on both Fly From Evil and my new Guardians of Order project (more on that later). Then, when work's over, I'll be hooking up with Sandra to attend orientation with a local literacy program. I've been meaning to hook up with the Austin group for ages, and finally did. It's my favorite kind of volunteer work - and this time I'll be doing it along with Sandra, which should make it even cooler.

Anyway, busy busy day ahead. Hope this finds you well.

Strange Aeons, Indeed

7/28/00: A number of things are bubbling up and being assigned points on the calendar, so I do hereby Spread Rumors about them! Certainly, the oddest work I've done lately is the Pokethulhu Adventure Game, for Squishy Brain Games. You've thrilled to the popular TV show about kids taming Elder Horrors and using them for sporting competition amid the crumbling gables of New England, and now, you can play the game! Is your Shoplifting score good enough to sneak a page from your opponent's Pokénomicon? Is your trained Jigglypolyp powerful enough to defeat a devolved Fungal Cluster? It'll be available at GenCon and, hopefully, lots of other places (or at least online) after that. And better still, it's illustrated by the one and only John Kovalic, master of Murphy's Rules and Dork Tower. Utterly cool, entirely ridiculous, mercifully short and dirt cheap.

Troubled Times: Chivalry & Sorcery in the Grand Duchy of Muscovy (that's my Russian-Fantasy C&S book) has a release date: May of next year. A bit of a wait, but the C&S gang doesn't rush anything. They gave me a year to write it; I sure don't mind giving them a year to develop the mechanics, make it look right, and get it out there! Keep an eye peeled.

And finally, a plug for cool freebies! Back in May, the Blue Room Mailing List was treated to a helping of Sparks Dice for a laugh . . . and now Guy and friends over at MicroTactix have upped the ante to ten-siders with their excellent (and just as free) Cheepdice. Go snag some!

Summer Heat

7/24/00: Those of you who've followed this site over the last three years or so remember that the Blue Room started out when I was back in Virginia, and may remember that the heat here in Austin took me a while to get used to. As of today, I think I'm 100% officially used to it, and what a strange transformation that is. I used to hate warm weather (let alone hot weather)!

I was out writing this afternoon, at a coffee stand just up the highway from where we live, and decided to walk back along the interstate. The glare was incredible, the sun was furnace-hot (it's 99° on the shade of our balcony as I write this). I try to get in a little walking every day, though, what with the whole diabetic thing - plus I like to stand on the overpass and feel the trucks whoosh under (and most of them will honk the horn if you signal to them, a fact I discovered when I was 9 and haven't grown tired of yet).

Anyway, the gist of it all is that as long as I've got a hat and sunglasses on, this weather feels really good to me these days! Crazy. Mind you, I still sigh dreamily when I think of thick clouds, two feet of snow, and a sharp wind against a backdrop of grey buildings. But this sunbleached-and-rusty aesthetic has something going for it, too, especially when you toss in a taco al pastor from a corner vendor, and a cold iced tea. I really like it here.

And when Sandra gets home, I think it's time to try out those spiffy new swim-goggles she got me, because summer's even better when you're dodging it in the pool! Hope this finds you all well.

Paperwork

7/19/00: This afternon, a trip to the office of the County Clerk for Travis County, Texas, made Cumberland Games a legally recognized identity under which I can do business . . . a "Proprietorship" with Yours Truly as the proprietor. It feels kind of wierd, being "legit." I'm not a game company exactly, since there's only one of me, but I'm something that I wasn't this morning. Poorer by the amount of the filing fee, mostly. But it's still kinda cool!

CG&D isn't nearly "launched" yet, apart from the fonts. But the playtesters have already been given their first "warmup" and I'm mailing some hardcopy out for the next thing this week. So, step by step, the experiment begins. Did I mention I was terrified?

Face Front, True Believers!

7/17/00: Sandra took me out for Indian food and the X-Men movie for my birthday. Both were really very good. I highly recommend both the X-Men movie and a return to your favorite Indian restaurant at some point in the near future. After years of campy, shoddy, and miserable attempts to put Marvel characters on the silver screen (half of which seemed to go straight to video), we finally have a genuinely good one. Sandra loved it, too, and she's never read a Marvel X-book in her life (although, after we saw the movie, she snagged the promo comic out of my hand and devoured it before I even had a chance to, which, again, Says Something).

After we saw the movie and before we saw it again, I should say.

It was my birthday; she indulged me :)

So, feeling the warm glow from my No-Prize for the first time since my teenage years, I can also report that Sandra's health is definitely improving, and mine is almost entirely fixed. My sleeping patterns are still wrecked, so I'm tired all the time, but that's the worst of it. Sandra's been scarfing antibiotics that the doctor gave her, and, with a few bumps and dips in her condition, is basically on the mend. Thank you, all you nice folks who wrote us with get-well wishes. The Great Ross Plague of 2000 is nearing its end, thank goodness.

Wolves and Ravens

7/10/00: It's the wee hours of the morning as I write this, and my poor sweetie is awake on the couch, sick as can be. She's definitely getting better, but she's got a little ways to go, so I'm here with her making sure she's okay, and passing the time fiddling with the Blue Room and adding stuff to the FAQ page.

As long as I was fiddling, I figured it was about time I put Wolves and Ravens up for download on the Cumberland Fontworks. It's a cute little freebie I finished a few months ago, but I forgot it entirely and didn't remember it existed until just tonight, rummaging through files trying to clean up the hard drive! Yikes. Anyway, it's a groovy little "carved/runic" sort of fantasy font that harkens back to my old D&D days. Since D&D has wandered back into our collective consciousness lately, I figured you guys might get a kick out of it! Enjoy.

News From Home

7/6/00: There's been so much Risus stuff floating around here lately (from the piles of offsite pages by other writers to new downloads like the character sheets and so on) that I finally broke them off onto a page of their very own. The Risus Stuff page is the new home for Risus links and downloadable miscellany. Big thanks to the gang on the Risus Mailing List; their enthusiasm and input have been inspiring!

On the much-less-cheerful-news front, my Newfie Cutie seems to have caught some version of the virus that knocked me on my backside for so long. Since I've been out of the woods for a while, we thought we'd gotten lucky, but it looks like my Sandra will be sick for a while . . . Wish us luck. Hopefully, her version of the virus (which is already acting a little differently in her than it did in me) will be milder than what I had to go through.


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