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Undead Son

On the hillside you'll hear my roar. . .

2/8/16 04:47 pm - Kasar Kell Calyx

title cut 4 copy

Uncloned 5th child of the ancient Calyx House.  The Kell Line possesses just one single world as their dominion, and Kasar inherited only a small moon for her fief.  Ambitious and restless for adventure, she gave up her lands and traveled to Zor Prime to take up the life of an Imperial Guard.  House Calyx was in open revolt against the Darkier Line of Emperors less than a century ago, and so many still look on them as little better than outlaws.

She is hard and muscular, with golden skin and hair that is highly unusual for a Zor noble, but a traditional affectation for her Line.  She has been well-schooled in blade and pistol, and is an excellent star pilot.  She is open and honest, very proud, and often lets her mouth get her in trouble.

Campaign is off to a slow start, please donate and/or share!

2/7/16 10:38 am - 44

Birthday today, and I am at that annoying mid-part of the decade where no number sounds exciting.  25 is a milestone, 30, 40, 50.  But 44 is just kind of there.  It doesn't feel much different than 43, to be honest.  The difference is in the details.  This year I am not just thinking about moving out in some abstract future, I am deep in the planning stages.  I am not just looking at being on my own in some hypothetical future, but in like a month, assuming everything goes well.  The planning is complex, and every day it seems like there is some new bump in the road that necessitates some improvisation on my part.

Second birthday since my mom died.  Saw my dad yesterday, and he is doing all right.  Better than I would have expected.  Lots of times widowers just kind of fall apart, but he seems to be coping.  I deal with it less, because she was not in my life all the time.  But sometimes I will see someone out and around who looks a bit like her, or I will see something and think I should mention it to her, and then I will remember.  It hits at odd times.

So does breaking up.  Most days I go about my business.  But sometimes things will sneak up and hit me.  I cleaned out a drawer and found all the checks I have used to pay the mortgage since we moved in.  I pay over the phone, cancel the check, and then I habitually toss them in a drawer because I'm not comfortable just throwing them away - too much info on them.  I meant to burn or shred them and just never got to it.  So now I have a stack of old checks that I have to destroy.  Seven years of my life in a pile of canceled paper.  How much things have changed from then to now.

I don't mean to be maudlin.  I'm not really.  I am not having a sad day.  It's just right now my life is full of Serious Stuff, and it can be hard to be light.  Today I am going to lunch with a friend, then I will get some gifts.  It will be a good day.  If you want to give me something, then go on over the the campaign and pitch in.  That would make me feel a lot better.

2/5/16 07:10 pm - Long day

Got up this morning and have been run ragged ever since, driving across town four times and then meeting up with my father in law and then the mortgage company trying to keep everything running smoothly.  I'm trying to help Naamah straighten out her issues with her meds, running errands when she can't.  Now I am wiped.  Come home, realize I never made the post on Adventurotica last night, make that, and then I make the SM rounds boosting the new campaign.  Slow start, but not too bad.  Going to make some info cards about characters and places, fill in the world a bit for people, like so:
Card 2 copy
Cool, eh?  I am getting better with the PS tools.  Learning as I go.
If you can, head on over to the campaign page and join up, or just help me boost the signal.

Everybody have a good weekend.

2/1/16 05:11 pm - Call of the Crimson Empire

Title 4

New campaign is up and live!

In the heart of the Zor Empire, there is turmoil and treachery.  The Empress has been assassinated, and opportunists, traitors, and schemers vie for control of the succession.  Into this chaos comes:

Kasar Kell Calyx - Daughter of an ancient but impoverished noble house, she has given up her fiefdom to come to Zor Prime and join the Imperial Guard, not knowing that malevolent forces are at work hunting down and destroying that proud force.  Her mouth gets her into trouble her sword cannot get her out of, and so she falls in with three outlawed guards.

Shirda Shang Krull - A wanted killer, Shirda was conditioned to be an assassin but she escaped and hides her criminal past beneath the red cloak of a Guard.

Rel Glar Gorganon - Son of an illustrious line, Rel was sent to study the mental disciplines of the Psion Temple.  When he left before his training was completed, he was disowned by his family, and now only the cloak of a Guardsman protects him from the wrath of the Temple.

Tor Torus Molok - A red-skinned giant from the desert world of Sard.  A man of vast temper and humor.  An outlaw on his homeworld under sentence of death, now he uses his strength in service to the throne.

Together these companions must venture to a desolate world in search of a lost heir to the throne, even if all the forces of greed and deceit stand in their way.  The last of the Imperial Guards will answer the Call of the Crimson Empire.

Before this campaign is over, I will be out on my own, and I need this to work!  Come see and join me!

1/18/16 03:57 pm - Tyrants of the Monolith

My next story is up at New Iron Age.  Go and see it!  And if you like and want to help out, consider becoming a Patron.  I tell you, I could sure use every buck, as the next few months are going to be hard in a lot of ways, not least being money.  Sigh.

But I am proud of the story.  It pleases me.

1/15/16 08:47 pm - Taking Down the Past

So I went and did the thing I have been dreading this year: I took down the Xmas tree.  It seems like a small thing, and it usually is only a Thing because our tree is this 9 foot monster and is a handful to wrestle with, but this year is different, because this year is the last time.

I'm moving out of here.  Next month sometime most likely.  I remember when we first moved in here, 7 years ago.  We busted our asses to get in before Xmas, and I remember we got the tree up and took a picture and it looked so nice.  Cozy.  It felt like home.

Now that's all over.  I am going, and a 25 year relationship is going as well.  I took the ornaments down, and it almost broke me, putting them in separate bins, dividing up what I never thought would be divided.  I took down the lights, the tree topper, the skirt.  I stored it all away.  Then I muscled the whole thing down, took it apart, and stuffed it back in the garage.  Another year down.

I remember all the years sitting out here on Xmas morning, opening gifts.  I remember the things I got her, much more than most of the things she got me.  I remember the look on her face for each one.  Memories.  What seems like a lifetime of them, even though it isn't.

We moved in here in December of 2008.  By December 2016 we'll be divorced and I'll be living somewhere else.  This part of my life is over.  I knew it already, I could feel it coming, and I knew it would be hard.  But taking down that tree was the hardest thing I have had to do.

Usually we don't know when we are at the last of something: last time we see a friend, last time we say "I love you", last time we hold a pet, or visit a place we love.  But this I know is coming, and even as that lends it a certain grace, it has it's own costs.  It does.

1/11/16 04:13 pm - Hunting High and Low

Well, apartment hunting is a whole bunch of fuckery.  I had forgotten.  Spent Saturday driving around, looking at places, jotting down numbers on signs, and today i started calling.  I am trying to find something off the beaten track, something not in a huge, impersonal apartment complex.  So it involves more legwork, more poking around and looking in little hidden corner neighborhoods.  I can only do it because I have lived in this town for 20 years, so I know where all the little hidden places are.

It's the usual cascade of "they want HOW much for that?" mixed with the "Ugh, not this place" and "Oh that's nice but it's rented".  I looked at one place that was so skeevy I practically got PTSD imagining living in that shit hole.  Saw a sign on another place and called and it was already filled, but was too rich for my blood anyway.  Plus a few Craigslist entries that were pure scam territory.  Ah, well.

I am once again doing the arcane mathematics of trying to figure out how much things will cost, dealing with the unknowns of bills in a new place, cooling and heating a 650 or 800 square foot place as opposed to a 2100 square foot house.  Factoring in gains from paid bills versus higher rents, trying to see what I can possibly afford.

I posted a new article over on New Iron Age, and there will be a new story next Monday.  Some action on my Patreon, but not much.  If you can head over there and pledge a few bucks, I would be forever grateful.

1/4/16 04:53 pm - At the dawn of this New Iron Age

So I am launching another fiction project.  While still keeping Adventurotica going, I am starting a new site called New Iron Age, which is a blog where I will post Sword & Sorcery stories twice a month.  I have attached a Patreon, and am hoping to garner enough pledges to make a dent in the rent I am going to have to pay after this next month or two.  Plus it would be good to have some source of regular income.

I started a Patreon before, for my writer's advice blog The Writer's Brain, but I am shuttering that one.  Keeping the posts thematic and then having the stories relate to that was a good idea, but too much work on top of what I am already doing.  Maybe if I was not getting divorced this year, but as it is, I have too much on my mind.

But I love Sword & Sorcery, and when I contributed to Barbarian Crowns last year I realized how much fun it was to write in that tradition.  There are not many outlets for it now, so I have made my own.  If you are interested, come and check it out.
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1/2/16 12:14 pm - Unhoming

I do so really detest January, with a kind of cordial detestation from long familiarity.  I have likened this time of year to the equivalent of Monday morning.  The Holiday season is like a Friday night, and you put off worrying about things until the weekend is over, but now Monday has rolled around and the bright light of day shines on everything you have been avoiding.

I am moving out, and moving on.  I put off looking for a new place because well, why bother doing that if I am not going to move until like February?  Nobody will hold an apartment that long.  But now the time is here, and all of the theoreticals become actuals.  I need to start looking.  I was looking around my room at the mess built up over the holidays, and I thought "I need to clean up in here" and then I realized that I might as well call it "packing", because that is actually what it is.  I need to clean this room up, but I will not be cleaning it up again.

My mom used to call this "being into your no-mores", whenever a change in life was coming.  You will inevitably do something and think - either in pleasure or regret - that you will not have to do that again.  It can be a good thing, looking at things you dislike and are leaving behind.  I will not have to deal with the lawn here again.  No more mowing, no more trimming.  I don't have to worry about the gutters, or the chimney.  A lot of the things I have been worrying about for many years will no longer be my problem.

And I must say, the prospect of having the mortgage off my shoulders is liberating.  I have lived in a deep fear ever since we signed that paper.  I never had a mortgage before, and I really hate it.  People would ask if I owned my own home and I hesitated, because I didn't - I owned part of one.  As long as a bank owns half your house and can take it away, then it's not really yours.  It never felt like mine, and I remember I spent several years not able to sleep well because of the terror this induced.  So it will be good to have that lifted.

But my marriage is ending, and that is not a good "no-more" to contemplate.  I suppose you could say the marriage ended years ago, and this is just the formality of dissolving what is left.  It bothers me that I can't remember a moment that really said it was done.  I can't tell when it happened.  I still love Naamah, even if it is not that kind of love anymore.  But everything I feel like I am losing, I have already lost, I was just hanging onto the echo for more years than I care to think about.  I have been a part of the same "we" for the past 25 years - more than half my life - and unplugging that mental circuit is a slow and sad process.  I have to go back to being just "I", and I have not been that since I was 19, really.

I'm going to be on my own, and I have not been for a very long time.  I have to hope I remember how to do it.  Some of it will be good, and some of it will hurt.  I don't get a say in any of it.  So that's my new year.

12/8/15 02:04 am - The Forbidden Island!


At long last the ebook is here.  If you contributed to the campaign you should be getting the code in your email right now.  If not, contact me and let me know.

I mostly just wanted to post the cover, because I am pretty proud of it.  I have had to really step up my PS game to do the covers and graphics, and I am gratified with what I have been able to do.
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