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Monday, middle of summer.

Fabulous Publisher Babe™ wanted to get up early this morning to start a writing marathon. Half-marathon. Something. Lots of words this week. Got up at 6.

Krain Corner doesn’t open until 8, so I went down to The Kettle in Enumclaw instead. Under new ownership, so still sorting out their menu. I’m working my way through it finding things I like. Lots of food. A bit overcooked, which was odd as I was the only person in there at 7am. Granted, Monday morning, but eggs over easy are supposed to be runny. Barely, today. Chicken fried steak was decent. Reds were overdone.

Still, good breakfast. And their scrambles are both huge and pretty good.

It’s the muffins that rock. Cranberry/Orange this morning. I still prefer blueberry, but damned good.

Then home and writing. About 47k into Corsac Fox #4. And mostly set up on the kickstarter for Corsac Fox #2. Need to write and record my video, and finish a few things over the next few days, then I’ll share links everywhere for folks that want to sign up for the launch.

This one will run about 80k. Like the other three. Still not sure if this block ends after five, six, or seven. Got a lot of notes, and it’s not like the story ends there. I could keep telling stories about Uly and Dan for decades of their lives. Might, since I’ve been getting nice reviews and comments from folks.

Don’t want to burn out on Uly, like I did Lazarus and Jessica Keller. Hard to think about continuing those.

Also, my game-designer partner went shiny/squirrel on me last week. I kinda knew it was coming. He’d found this new fantasy rpg called Shadowdark, which, to hear him explain, is a lot like D&D 1st edition, with elements of 2nd and 5th.

Much more grim, dark, and gritty game play, as you have ten slots for equipment, and a torch takes up one of them. Go in, do your thing, get out before the lights go out. Go back to town, buy more torches.

Or something.

He’s distracted, and let me know he’d be distracted, so I’m not upset.

Instead, I took everything he and I had done and put it aside for now. Went back to the “other” original idea I’d been pursuing, and went from there.

Because Wizards of the Coast announced that they won’t be printing rule books for “6th Edition” when it comes out (whatever they call it), you’ll have to rent those books. Monthly. Until hell freezes over.

As in, you don’t own them, and they can turn off their server any time they want, leaving you no recourse. I’m not opposed to spending money for books that last. I still have my first edition rule books from 40+ years ago. A few second. Some third. MOST of fifth.

Not renting Sixth.

And I’m not alone, because a lot of folks are coming out with their own takes on OGL and other rules to replace D&D 5 and 6. Lots of them will be Tolkien based, because face it, D&D is LOTR with just enough serial numbers filed off that the estate couldn’t sue. (They tried, btw)

I’m taking a different tack entirely. Setting it in a 7th Century Tang Dynasty China with magic, like a good wire-fu WuXia movie. And using only d6 instead of the d20 stack.

I’m always surprised when people talk about how much better games have gotten. Compared to 1990, D&D is much better these days. Compared to what I was playing in 1990, D&D sucks. Even 5th edition, which I like.

There were other games doing things. They fell victim to the usual bankruptcy problems of expanding too big too soon, and then crashing when the market turned. Or getting onto the treadmill of content and and and…

I’m going to build this, finish it, and publish it as part of my larger, multimedia empire. And it is an engine with a context and a setting, so I can do other settings and then branch out into other contexts. (Setting = Tang Dynasty China. Context equals Fantasy RPG. Modern Thriller Espionage would be another context, with James Bond being a Setting. Make sense? Good.)

Because I’ve thought about this a lot, I’m making good progress. Will probably sit down with Rich later this week and have him poke holes in what I’ve got. He’s good at asking piercing questions that way.

Then he and I will do some dicing at some point. And work out numbers. And and and.

Do I know any artists that work reasonably cheap? I’m looking for a bunch of Chinese fantasy type pencil line drawings. Eventually one cover wrap, but I need line art for the interior mostly.

Reach out. Or forward me to your friends. I’ll have a budget when I get there, but not for $100 per piece when I need fifty or one hundred pieces. We’ll do a second edition or special edition or something if the game takes off like that, and get some serious cash into someone’s hands, but I’ve got to keep this cheap today.

Not much past that. Still doing Kung Fu (Tai Chi Chuan plus Hsing-i at this point with Bagua coming in the fall, I think) and weapon forms. Learning lots. Staying in shape. Having fun.

Working with English Paul on song #3, and need to see what’s holding up song #2 (Time To Say Goodbye) from release.

What’s your Monday shaping up like?

shade and sweet water,


West of the Mountains, WA


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