When I tell people that I play Dungeons & Dragons, it is not uncommon for me to come across skeptisism. I'm sure many of them visualize pentegrams, evil chants, demons, holocost cloaks... maybe a wheelbarrow or two.... (Princess Bride pun).
I won't say that you can't summon satan through a D&D game, if you take it too seriously. But, really, and as I have found for myself, D&D is a way for the players to participate in social experiements... aka, "playing pretend". It's just like what kids do when they play house or go on imaginary adventures, learning how to react to different senarios, people, and problems, but D&D's "playing pretend" is in such a way that an adult can enjoy it and feel "adulty" doing it.
I'll not use any more time to detail what this TEDx Talk explains so beautifully, so I'll just leave this video right here and let you guys check it out and form your own opinions.
I've been doing some job hunting around town, and you know what I've found? A lot of people are eager to hire me, but they want me to fill out these stupid applications... and, as I look at my answers on some of these applications, I'm afraid I may be too sarcastic for anyone to consider hiring me....
Q: "Do you prefer part time or full time?"
A: Doesn't matter to me, because, for the wage you pay, both options are just slavery in a job's clothing.
Q: "Why are you applying for a job with us?"
A: Because authors aren't appreciated until they've died tragically, or of natural causes. With how poorly your employees follow health and safety protocols, I figure this is the best place to make a tragic death happen. That, and I've heard your business provides more than enough suspicious content for an author with writer's block to write an entire series of spicy crime novels.
Q: "Why did you quit your last job?"
A: Do you "quit" the mafia? No. You don't. But slavery is illegal, the mafia is sketchy, and I'd like to actually make some money for the work I do. Just don't tell my former boss that, or you and I both might end up swimming with the fishes. As far as he knows, I'm still working for him.
"To apply as a real estate content writer, please submit two short property descriptions."
Property 1 description: "This piece of land has real potential as a cactus farm, and, because of the abundance of naturally growing, gorgeous prickly pear, you'll never have to worry about kids walking through your yard."
Property 2 description: "One word, dude: Marijuana. I found a massive stash here, and the highest bidder will get the map with the hidden location."
Example newspaper report on the FFA livestock competition:
The pigs were cute. The cows were cute. The animals were all cute. The kids were not so cute. The levels of methane and armpit stink were undoubtedly at unsafe levels, and the building really needs more windows and an air conditioner. I'm pretty sure I have mold and fungus growing in my nostrils now. The city needs to cut the crap and upgrade their stupid outdated equipment in these public buildings before they get called out for endangering public health and safety.
Example news report on the recent football game:
I got food poisoning from the concession stand and gas from the cheerleaders who weren't cheering and weren't wearing bras. These are the scores that I saw flash across the board between dry heaves....xxxx..... and WHAT IS WITH THE CANNONS, PEOPLE?! Is it not obvious by all the screaming and cheering and Facebook posts and the car littered streets that you are all watching a football game? Must you have cannons as well? Must you announce to the world through endless cannon fire that you are in your place of worship and observing the sacred ritual of the pigskin?
You hopeless barbarians.
Example news report on recent oil activity:
XXX Inc. drilled a hopeful new oil well on the 20th of June. "This is very good for the business. It's been a long time since we've had a well that could pump 50,000 barrels a day." The head honcho dude with a full name told me the day after they struck oil. The company told me then that they hope to increase the output of oil by putting the well through a fracking process. The frack job was scheduled and done on August 2nd. Now, after those fracking frackers fracked a perfectly good oil well, it is now producing a massive, fracking 20 barrels a day.
"It's the most disappointing well we have EVER had." Said the fracking head honcho after the fracking job got fracked up. The business has informed me that they intend to keep the oil well alive merely for the fracking government subsidies to pay for the fracking job.
"Please write an example letter of reminder of payment due..."
Hey! Do you live under a rock? If you don't, you soon will be! If you don't pay your electric bill soon, your electric will be unplugged, your frozen TV dinners will thaw, your microwave won't work to cook them, and your TV will cease to function. Without your TV, you won't know when the aliens attack! And without your frozen TV dinners and microwave oven, you won't be able to outlast the alien invasion!
Don't give the aliens a chance. Pay your electric bill. Keep your freezer and TV on. Save the world. Thwart the alien invasion.
Payment is due by ...xxxx....
If you fail to comply, the alien invasion will begin and you will be Predator's first snack.
This is your final warning.
Have a nice day!
I was cleaning up my documents on my computer when I ran across this random story. I have no idea where I was going with it, I don't even remember how I came up with it, but it had a certain charm to it that prevented me from deleting it forever. So, I brushed it up and decided to post it on here.
“They’re going to lock me up. I’m going to be locked up. I’m a freak. I’m the stuff horror stories are made of. They’re going to lock me up.” She kept repeating the last part over and over again in whispers.
He thought a moment. He could feel her fear. She was overwhelmed with it. He knew how she felt: in her mind there was no end in sight.
“Yes, they will lock you up,” He said.
She went silent instantaneously.
“If you continue to submit to your fears, your nightmares, and your anger, then yes; they will have no choice but to lock you up. But,” he added “If you step out of your comfort zone, take control of your fears, learn how to be yourself again, and use your power for good, then no one will ever be able to lock you away. Not mentally. Not physically. Not ever.”
A blue dinner plate sized eye looked out at him, moist and glassy with tears, and the serpentine slit contracted, focusing on him.
“But… I’m so, so…” The curtain she hid behind shivered as she did. “I don’t want to be locked up again. I don’t want to be a monster. I’m so scared.” She whispered the last part.
He nodded. “That’s to be expected. I don’t believe anyone blames you for feeling that way.” He held his hand out toward her. “You don’t have to face this alone, Nova. You have friends, and they are ready to help you. I’m ready to help you.” He added the last part slowly.
She stared at him for a long moment, then she shifted and moved. Slowly, a giant, clawed, scaly paw moved out to meet his. As soon as the light hit her paw, she froze, staring at it in horror. He pushed his hand out farther, drawing her attention back to him. He gently wrapped his fingers around one of her massive digits, giving it a reassuring squeeze.
She swallowed hard, loud enough to plainly hear, then she took a deep breath. “Okay. I can do this. As long as someone is willing to give me a little help, I can help myself.”
He smiled, “That sounds like the Nova I know.”
A faint smile spread over her features, then she moved out from behind the curtain and into the open.
Her scales glittered as the light touched them and the wings on her back trembled lightly. The end of her long tail twitched back and forth anxiously. She crouched low on her four powerful legs, and her head hung close to the floor.
He reached down and put his hand under her jaw, gently pulling her head up. “A dragon does not bow her head so low to the ground.” He said as she slowly lifted her head to his eye level, “She carries it tall, with a grace and strength and confidence that will make her ancestors proud.”
“I don’t feel very confident.” She said in a soft, quivering voice.
He nodded. “You know that. I know that. But nobody else has to know that, right?”
She stared at him for a moment, her eyes twitching as she thought about his words, then she lifted her head and stood to her full height, pushing her chest out and folding her wings in tight.
He smiled at her. “That’s what a proud dragon looks like.”
I am getting oober excited about book number 2 in the Tales of the Wovlen! It won't be long now before it hits the printing press!
Today I couldn't think of anything else to post, so I decided to share a small snippet from book #2 featuring one of our favorite and most endearing characters, Annaka.
Annaka carefully walked from the kitchen with a tray full of food in her hands. She made her way toward the stairs that would lead up to the guest quarters where she would find Keegan’s room. She saw a movement out of the corner of her eye, and she quickly picked up her feet, determined not to get caught. Before she made it to the stairwell, however, Arden darted in front of her and blocked her path, planting his fists on his sides.
“And just where do you think you are going?” he demanded.
Annaka’s mouth flew open, and her first thought was to cross her arms and stomp her foot. When the tray almost toppled from her hands, she quickly corrected her posture and pulled the tray in close to her, gripping it tightly.
“I am…going…nowhere. Nowhere of your immediate concern anyway,” she replied.
Arden crossed his arms. “You’re taking that to Keegan, aren’t you?”
Annaka gripped the tray tighter and raised her chin, looking at Arden with defiance.
Arden dropped his arms to his sides. “Aw, Annaka! You’ve taken Keegan his meal two turns in a row! It is my turn now, so hand it over!” He reached out for the tray, but Annaka swiped it sideways, almost toppling the soft-boiled egg. “Hey! Watch it!”
“Be careful now! You almost made me spill the whole thing,” Annaka said.
Arden rolled his eyes. “You can do that all by yourself. You don’t need my help. Now give me that tray before you really do spill the whole thing.” He reached out for it but paused when Annaka pursed her lips and raised her eyebrows and shoulders, moving the tray back a little further.
“Don’t touch it, or you’ll wear it!” she warned.
Arden’s shoulders slumped forward. “Aw, Annaka! Come on! Don’t be like that. You promised this would be my turn.”
Annaka stood straight and raised her chin. “I did not. I promised I would consider it, which I did, and decided I liked my way better. A girl is so much more polite and dainty when presenting someone with food. You boys just seem to drop it into the guest’s lap and expect him to hork it down.”
Arden grit his teeth. “What? You sneaky, conniving girl. See if I ever take your promises for face value again!”
Annaka’s mouth dropped open. “Calling me names? How rude!” A smug smile played on her lips. “But, you should have known better after you gave me your hard-boiled egg. They say it’s all downhill after the first boiled egg.”
Arden narrowed his eyes. “You weaseled me out of my hard earned, hard-boiled egg.”
“Which just proves you are gullible, my dear boy, of which I forgive you. Now, step aside and let me do my duty,” Annaka said.
Arden snatched out his hands and latched onto the tray.
“Give me that tray.” He pulled it sharply toward himself.
Annaka glared at him. “Never!” She yanked the tray back her way.
“It is my turn, Annaka!” Arden snarled.
“Not by my royal opinion, Arden!”
“Whoa, whoa! That’s my egg you’re threatening to flatten!” Suddenly Keegan came between them both, swept the tray up, and began walking away. “Buttered toast and fresh juice as well! How nice!”
Annaka and Arden stared at each other in shock for a moment before simultaneously turning and running after Keegan, who was sauntering straight for the stables, picking food off the tray and eating it as he walked.
“Are you supposed to be up and walking?” Arden asked.
“It’s so wonderful to see you doing so well, Keegan!” Annaka exclaimed.
Keegan took a bite from his toast and slurped down half of his juice before replying.
“Ah, thank you, Annaka. And I am not for sure, Arden, but if I can walk, then I see no reason to stay locked up in my room.” He drank down the rest of his juice and finished off his toast. Just before they reached the stable doors, he stopped and turned around, offering the tray back to the young couple. “Here you are. One of you can have the egg if you so wish. I don’t really care for soft-boiled anyway.”
Annaka blinked, taking the tray awkwardly. “But, Keegan, you haven’t even…”
“Wait! I’ll take that egg!” Arden snatched the egg from the cup before Annaka could finish her sentence. He then smiled at her slyly.
“Oh, I’m sorry I argued with you, Annaka. I stepped out of line. To show my sincere regret, you may carry the tray this time.” Arden clutched the egg close to his chest as he made a low bow with a spark of mischief glinting in his eyes.
Annaka clamped her mouth shut, her whole body stiffening as she glared at the older boy. She whisked a bowl of porridge off the tray and slapped it over Arden’s head with a messy splat.
“Here! Eat that too you uncouth scamp!” With that, she turned on her heel and stomped away with the tray.
Keegan had a coughing fit as he laughed, holding his ribs tightly.
Arden pulled the bowl from his head and wiped the dripping porridge from his face.
“Keegan, I’ve known girls who were hard to get along with, and I have known girls who were tricky and spunky, but Princess Annaka is queen of them all!”
Keegan put his hand on Arden’s shoulder, clutching his ribs with the other as the pain cut him short of breath.
“Well, Arden, all I can say is that you have finally met your match. Now, go clean up before I crack some more ribs just by looking at you.”
Arden shook his head as he walked away, holding the empty bowl in one hand and the egg in the other. He mumbled something about how unfair it was that girls could get away with being brats while boys had to be mature.
“The red dragon knows we are here...”
A witch on the hunt.
When the Princess Erewhon is taken captive, Keegan must set out to rescue her. Little does he know that he is playing into the witch’s hand.
Nightmarish monsters, dead dragons, dragon slayers, and insane warriors are nothing compared to what lies in wait – a red dragon so terrible, even Pharrgon and Walneff dread to face it. If he somehow survives, then Keegan must still face the witch who has sworn to kill him.
It seems the only way for Keegan to win this battle is to die.
He must pay –
THE DRAGON’S DUE
Wow. This is THE LAST of the Writing Challenge series. It went by a lot faster than I thought it would. Now I'll have to find a new challenge to do!
So, the last and final challenge is: You finish your WIP and an agent/publisher wants to buy the rights for it and challenges you to write a sequel. Write a one sentence summary of a possible sequel to your WIP.
Well, they wouldn't have to challenge me. A sequel - several sequels (even a few prequels and spin-offs) - are already in the works.
A one sentence summary of the 3rd Tales of the Wovlen book would be: The witch and the princess walk hand-in-hand with plans to slay the beloved dragon and curse the land.
A summary of the 4th Tales of the Wovlen book would be: Gillion, Vliron and company decide to go on an adventure and find out just what's on the other side of the White Mountains.
And the 5th Tales of the Wovlen book might be something like this: Wow. Demitreah wasn't such a bad guy after all. Especially compared to this new guy.
Yeah. Eat your hearts out, Wovlenites (<-- those are my fans - "Wovlen-ites").
And so, this concludes the Writing Challenge series! I don't know how many people have kept up with this challenge (other than my family - y'all don't count), but it was a fun and easy thing to do to keep my blog active, and it also gave the Wovlenites some great sneak peak opportunities.
On to the next challenge!
Check out Pilot's story and learn a little more about him at Dog Of The Day!
Don't forget to check out the previous challenges: The Writing Challenge.
Today's Challenge: Does your current WIP have a happy ending or a sad ending?
Can I plead the fifth?
Well, considering my WIP is actually part of a series and I want people to stay hooked to it, and also keeping in mind that I am a sociopath with psychopath tendencies and no energy to go out and start a anti-batman gang.... My two current works in progress both have slightly sad endings.
What can I say? Happy endings are for fairy tales. But, don't worry! Everything does eventually work out. I am planning a happy ending in the very last book.
Author of the fantasy series, Tales of the Wovlen, Kathryn spends a great deal of time in the world of her imagination, having tea with fire breathing dragons, writing books on flying space ships, and practicing her mad scientist laugh with gusto. However, on occasion,she returns to this world just to play with her dog and blog about her fun.
Grab a Button!