D&D Gone Off the Rails

English: A twenty-sided die (d20) as used in w...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s no secret that I’m a nerd and a geek, but I’m pretty new to the gamer scene. In fact, my first Dungeons & Dragons experience was at Gen Con a few years ago. And it was a lousy experience, to tell the truth. The scenario was written so badly that even the GM (assigned to run it, not his choice) realized that it wasn’t possible to save it.

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Earth Day, and I’m off to the Northern Colorado Writers Conference

Grass

(Photo credit: DBduo Photography)

So for Earth Day today, I didn’t mow my grass.

Okay, so I probably wasn’t going to mow today, anyway. I have real grass, the grass that was here when the bison were still eating it, and it don’t need no stinking fertilizer and it don’t need no stinking water — during last year’s record-setting drought, it stayed green long past the time when most grass and many trees in central Indiana were dead or dying — and it’s tougher than most mowers. So it takes a bit of mental gearing up to challenge this grass. Continue reading

I Ran for Freedom. And I Didn’t Collapse.

So this morning was the 5K run to benefit International Justice Mission, combating modern slavery. (Yes, real slavery still exists today. In higher numbers than ever, in fact, but thankfully also as a smaller percentage than ever.)

International Justice Mission charity run

Yes, that’s a six-year-old. Ahead of me. Shuddup.

What you have to know is that I don’t run. Really. So this was a really good cause for me to even sign up. I had planned to do at least a bit of training beforehand, but a rotated pelvis nixed that. And that’s my best excuse for why I was able to take a photo of a six-year-old in front of me in the pack. Continue reading

From (Deep in the Heart of) Texas Hill Country

English: Texas Hill Country, on Route 187 head...

Texas Hill Country, on Route 187 heading North, just north of Garner State Park. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve spent the last few days in Texas Hill Country, visiting my aunt and working on a project. But before I tell you about that, let me walk you through her ranch.

My aunt Margie lives on a small ranch immediately outside of Utopia, Texas. When she first moved there a couple of decades ago, the smart-aleck kid I was thought the name was doubly appropriate; the idyllic climate and beautiful countryside were indeed paradisaical, and the location was, just like the original meaning of utopia, nowhere. Continue reading

An Outsider’s Perspective

Study for The Quarrel of Oberon and Titania by...

Study for The Quarrel of Oberon and Titania by Noel Paton: fairies in Shakespeare (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just came home from opening night at the Indiana Reperatory Theatre‘s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I gave it a glowing review, but I wanted to comment on a technique they used which made the play more accessible. (And let’s be honest, Shakespeare often unnecessarily intimidates potential audiences, just because of the language and reputation.) Continue reading

Ben-Hur: Drama, Conflict, and Parody

Cover of "Ben-Hur (Four-Disc Collector's ...

Cover of Ben-Hur (Four-Disc Collector’s Edition)I love Ben Hur.

I love Ben-Hur.

Yes, it’s become somewhat fashionable in recent years for critics to wave their hands disdainfully at the film which was previously held in such esteem. Fine, they can have their pretense of superior taste. And okay, sure, trends in acting have changed in the last half-century. But I still love the film.

No, seriously, I once calculated that I’ve spent maybe half a week or so of my life watching Ben-Hur. Step aside, amateurs. Continue reading

Achievement Unlocked! Goals Met (And Some I Didn’t Know I Had)

Freak Out

This is how I feel, but in a GOOD way, because I’m so excited. (Photo credit: Frau Shizzle)

A while back I wrote a humorous post about goals which would let me know I’d “made it” (whatever that means) in my writing career. Since then I’ve passed some pretty impressive personal milestones, and while I wrote that post primarily for my fiction writing, it would be wholly ungrateful of me not to acknowledge the great things which have come my way thus far in my non-fiction work as well.

Sometimes we achieve goals we didn’t even mean to set, and it’s good to find the joys of these surprise achievements. So here are some awesome things which have really happened, some of which I hadn’t even thought of as goals until I was delighted by them. Continue reading