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Time for a new weekly writer’s roundup of my works-in-progress and those ready to read!

Not much movement on the novel to report this week. I edited the 1,700 words I wrote on Vivian’s last weekend, and then added about 500 more to get the fourth chapter to the point of introducing a new character.

This character will be the first (non-animal) changeling the reader encounters that isn’t an orc. Although Cricket is only present in chapters four and five, she’s being inserted into the book in revision, so I think it is well worth my effort to weave her in aiming to make her presence as seamless as possible. Exploring options on how to do that siphoned writing time, but it was worth it.

Beyond that, Lauren has started her annotation of the new chapter three. She hasn’t been able to finish it yet, but as I’m still buried under the need to write new chapters, I’m content to wait for her feedback while I dig myself out. :-)

And as far as the novel goes, that’s it. Why so little progress? My short answer is… Side Quests.

My creative focus over the weekend became divided between several other projects I’m involved in. However, unlike the situation a couple weeks ago, these are creative projects I’m involved with willingly. So devoting time to them isn’t unsatisfying, even if they do sap momentum away from getting my book done.

The biggest of these side quests involved the PortCon convention where I’m running 16 hours of tabletop role-playing games from June 22nd to the 25th. I’m authoring all of the sessions myself, using the Five by Five rules system. Unfortunately, the unexpected task of adding new chapters to the book has lead me to ignore my responsibility to finish getting them ready, even after beginning with a good start on them early in the year.

Things came to a head Saturday, when a plan to run a multi-game master mega game was abandoned. This created a scheduling gap, and necessitated that I create an additional RPG session to fill a 6 to 10pm slot.

From scratch.

And get it submitted in five hours’ time.

Fortunately, I had a prior idea that I’d thought-up as a contingency plan… the efforts to make the mega-game a reality were always lackluster, and I’d lost confidence that it would happen. So I fleshed out my notes, submitted my pitch, and low-and-behold The Great Dragon Escape is now on the convention docket! :-)

The rush to get that done illuminated my need to get these games ready. A big part of that is providing my wife with the info she needs to design the handout materials for the sessions, which we hadn’t done. It’s always fun to collaborate with Kim, and before I knew it most of my weekend was gone after we were done brainstorming.

However, a lot of my anxiety about being unprepared for the con was gone too, even though I’ll need to devote a good block of man-hours to be finally finished making the games.

And that’s the biggest reason why work on the novel was in a low gear this week. Barring any surprises, next weekend I hope to focus on writing the book exclusively and get back up to speed.

So what is the final lineup of games I’m running at PortCon this year, you may ask? Read on…

Toys Against Darkness

You were won. All of you were. Taken off the shelf behind the crooked carnival game where you have sat for so very, very long. But even as you are given to an overjoyed child, you can feel HIM watching. Held in the car by sleepy hands, you and your fellow teddy bears from the stall know that HE is coming to claim HIS prize tomorrow night. He always does: You’ve all witnessed it powerless and inanimate before. But now you have been given the duty to protect your children. You know what is at stake. And when HE comes tomorrow at midnight, you MUST find a way to STOP HIM FOREVER!

Chaos at Camp Changeling

August 11th, 1989, 9:30 pm: Almost three years after “The Change” began, a group of young teen “changelings” trek through the moonlit woods near Moosehead Lake, Maine. Variously labeled as elves, dwarves, orcs or goblins, they’re an oddball group. Having snuck away from the Camp Changeling summer event for “special” youth, they approach a supposedly haunted cabin they’ve been dared to spend the night at. Their plans for the evening include junk food and an all-night game of D&D… But before dawn, they’ll find out that not all monsters are imaginary.

NOTE: Chaos at Camp Changeling is set in the same universe as my novel Vivian’s Last Cigarette. ;-) None of the characters in the book are present in the adventure, but there is some crossover in terms of themes. My inspiration on this one are The Goonies, Stand by Me and a mélange of horror movies. ;-)

The Great Dragon Escape

Madam Maggda’s dragons are by far the greatest attractions of her traveling menagerie. Captured before they had even hatched fifteen years ago, the only life they’ve ever known has been spent in magical cages. But the dragon younglings are as intelligent as any human their age, and have been plotting an escape from their cruel mistress for years aided by the ghost of a cowardly knight only they can see. After befriending a pair of sympathetic young jesters and pickpockets, is tonight the night when the dragons will make their daring breakout and escape to freedom?

Godzilla: Invasion of Monsters

The members of recently defunded A.D.I.A. –the American DaiKaiju Intelligence Agency– are reactivated by emergency order after MOTHRA destroys Air Force One and kills the President mid-Tweet. As a handful of agents answer the call in Washington D.C., none other than GODZILLA himself wades ashore and attacks the Capital! With Congress and the White House leveled by nuclear fire, the government is thrown into chaos. But when a mysterious psychic child appears, the agents uncover signs of a sinister extraterrestrial conspiracy that threatens all of humanity. Unsure of whom they can trust, can a small team of heroes turn the tables and overcome titanic odds to save the Earth?

Alright, time for me to stop blogging and get back to writing some more fiction! Take care!

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