Q4 Week 7.5: Come What May

Last week went well. This week, not so much.

Sick Human, Sick Computer

On Sunday, I scored the two comics I needed to catch up on the Mary Sue project; I’m now back to a steady goal of two comics per week.

On Monday, I collapsed with a headache, the fruit of a cold that had been growing all weekend.

The cold was under control by Tuesday, but my computer wouldn’t start — I did eventually get it working, but I suspect the hard drive is starting to give up the ghost.

I suspect I need to spend some time looking after everyday things.

That “side” project

Technically, you are under sentence of death.

The law of the Six Cities states this point very clearly. As clearly, in fact, as it forbids executing citizens for your crimes.

Sadly, the courts are not obliged to release you when they realise this.

Instead, they offer you a pardon — but one with strings attached: If you serve one of the great Lords on the frontier, and work hard and faithfully for seven years, you will be allowed to go free.

If you refuse to serve, you will be left on the Hulks until the slime and the sea claim you.

Eventually, even the Black Mountain seems a better choice than that.

(Source on conditional pardons)

This Australia-inspired roleplaying scenario continues to haunt my spare time. At this point, I think it’s well and truly replaced the programming project I was working on.

But it is also getting closer to “finished” — as much as a game can be without meeting players, anyway.

In light of that, I’m putting my programming goal on the back burner for now. The roleplaying stuff needs to be finished by the 17th, so I’ll try and switch back to programming over the Christmas holidays.

Updated Goals

These are my new goals for the next few weeks:

  • Assemble rules and treasure lists for my roleplaying project (by December 17th).
  • Continue scoring two webcomics per week for Mary Sues.
  • Write two short pieces (or for two evenings) each week.
  • Decide what to replace my computer with (by December 5th).
  • Hold off on working on these for the next couple of days so I can start to recover from the cold.

Good luck and happy writing!

Q4 Week 6: Press On

For this week and the coming week, my goal is to catch up on Mary-Sue scoring, and do a bit of writing if possible.

While I did write two sonnets, I still haven’t finished scoring the comic I was stuck on, The World in Deeper Inspection.

However, I am almost there. With any luck, I should finish that comic tonight. If I can manage two more later in the week, I’ll be back on track: 6 weeks to score 12 comics.

Last week was busy enough to tire me out, which will hopefully keep the side project out of my thoughts while I catch up.

Good luck and happy writing!

Q4 Week 5:

My focus this week was my new roleplaying project — or more accurately, on preparing to work on my roleplaying project.

The Side Project Grows

I spent the better part of two days’ holiday trying to buy a non-reproducible blue pencil, which I thought would be handy to make notes on paper maps.

Maybe it would be, but I couldn’t find a shop that had one to sell.

When I finally admitted defeat and sat down to work on the dungeon, I realised I had no idea how to structure something like this. I’ve written adventures before, but this one is build on very different principles to those.

That meant several evenings reading blogs and rulebooks to get my ideas to crystallise.

Then I decided I needed an adventure analysis program to check my work against these new principles.

Today, I finally got a couple of hours work in on the dungeon itself.

That was enough to realise that this is actually a substantial project. I thought I was cutting out a lot by just doing the first level, but even that might take a whole week’s worth of spare time to finish.

Progress

While I did write a couple of sonnets amongst all that, I did next to nothing on the Mary-Sue project. Aeldardin Rooms got nothing at all (although the tools I did write are a step towards my long-term goals for Rooms).

Goals For Next Week

Given how big my roleplaying project is turning out to be, doing it in bits and bobs of spare time isn’t going to work. It needs serious focus, and I can’t give it that without taking the time away from the webcomic Mary Sue project.

And while I’m getting bored of scoring webcomics, I really don’t want to abandon what I’ve done. Not only is the way to finishing it relatively clear (unlike my half-finished stories), I suspect giving up will compromise what little scientific integrity the project has.

If I don’t finish this, I’ll always wonder what the results might have been; and if I look into Mary Sue tests further, I’ll have to ask myself whether I’d have found different conclusions if I had finished the first time around.

For that reason, my goal for the next two weeks is to catch up with Mary-Sue scoring. I’d still like to do some writing, but I’m happy to let programming slide if it will get the Mary-Sue work done.

Good luck and happy writing!

Q4 Week 4: A different kind of writing

The Empire is ruled by the Six Cities. Each one gobbles up the wealth of half a continent — and, like cherries, each nugget of wealth carries a poisoned pip of crime.

No-one — from the great Lords to ordinary people like you — can get by without bending the rules a little.

The Lords, however, can avoid getting caught.

You couldn’t.

Once you would have been executed, but a citizen of the Empire cannot be put to death. Instead, they sent you to the Hulks: floating ship-prisons where the convicted wait before they are shipped out to the colonies.

That was six years ago.

Now, you are finally being transported, to the worst place possible: the Black Mountain.

That’s a from my current project: a roleplaying scenario that combines Australian history and a standard Dungeons and Dragons situation.

Unfortunately, that’s about all I can post here. The rest is maps (which I need to keep secret), or game-specific notes that won’t be much of a story until the players run into them.

Goals and Progres

Between that roleplaying intro and poetry, I did met my writing goal for this week; and while I’m starting to get bored of the Mary-Sue stuff, I did do enough on that to keep it ticking over.

The loss this week was programming, which got pushed out of the way in favour of more roleplaying notes.

But I made progress on something, so it’s all good. :-)

Good luck and happy writing!

The One Loved

A force of love feared she was incomplete,
And sought, and caught a soul in tight embrace;
Lifted her darling from his mortal feet
And laid him gently in a web of lace.

The web was torn, and brighter than the Sun
Her eyes were lit with rage and righteous pain.
She sought the forts where slavery had begun
And taught their tyrants terror — but in vain.

Her sweetheart was not taken as a slave.
He had been mortal, and he had grown old;
Had seen her love would stretch him past the grave,
And chose to face a fate that he controlled.

Upon this secret, spend no further breath.
We dare not let her think to challenge death.

After Q4 Week 3

This week, I got very enthusiastic about OSR (Old School [Dungeons and Dragons] Revival) roleplaying-related stuff. Some of that enthusiasm spilled over to my programming project, but the rest of it messed up my writing goals — I spent most of the weekend reading rulebooks and drawing maps instead.

The Mary-Sue project continues at the same slow pace of scoring: one and a half comics per week. It looks like I actually had 10 weeks to go last week, so I now have 9 weeks to score the remaining 14 comics.

Good luck and happy writing!

After Q4 Week 2

This was a tiring, but productive week.

I had a burst of inspiration on Tuesday, and wrote two substantial pieces: one dream that could become a story, and one post on my other blog. Sunday saw a little more work on my programing project

Mary-Sue wise, I scored another one-and-a-half comics. This leaves me with 16 comics to score, and 9 weeks to do it in.

And here are a few words for the week:

Feast-tables laden with too much hot-house fruit
Warm loaves on dung-heaps (rye is so last week!)
Four walls become fourteen. What to fill them?
Glue the clocks shut! Why wind, when you can buy them ticking?

Good luck and happy writing!