Apr 30, 2012

Z is for...

 "Free at last," the nameless god's voice whispered through the endless void around me, barely heard and deafening all at once. "Free to end the chaos of the world, to bring true order in death and unlife, free to-"
"Excuse me," I interrupted, ignoring the warnings my system was displaying. It was still calculating my odds of survival despite having already reached the conclusion that I no longer existed with ninety-nine point nine nine percent accuracy. I would have to ask Pip to look that over once I got back. "I believe there may have been a misunderstanding."

A dark chuckle emanated from the space around me, the glowing eye shifting to focus all of its weight on my person. "Oh? And what might that be, little metal man?"

"Well, you see..."

Sean's head snapped up. "No," he whispered in disbelief. "No, that can't happen."

I smiled, slowly looking up from my twenty sided die, meeting his eyes as the rest of the group looked on in hushed awe. "Oh," I said, the beginnings of a maniacal laugh flirting with the edge of my voice. "Oh, it's on now."

Apr 28, 2012

Y is for...

"Yuan-ti?" Isaru whispered, pulling back from the edge of the corridor. "Why are there Yuan-ti abominations guarding the throne room?"

I frowned, running the numbers through my central processor. "There are estimated to be less than ten thousand of the snake people in Eberron, although census data is severely lacking around the marshes and forests of Xen'drik. It is probable that they were smuggled in by the wizard and coerced into helping him bring forth the nameless god."

"Fat chance," Pip ground her teeth over the words, bristling. "Yuan-ti are all highly psionic, especially the abominations. No, they know something." She rubbed at her horns absently, thinking. "Yuan-ti are all about bringing on the destruction of the world. Which means that they think the nameless god is going to bring it one step closer." The little Tiefling gave a bitter laugh. "They probably volunteered."

Gorma shifted from foot to foot nervously. "I don't deal well with psionics, sometimes they can get me to-"

"We know," Poppi snapped, rubbing at an ugly scar on her upper arm as she scowled at the half-Orc. "We remember the mad Kalashtar of the shadowed tower."

Gorma blinked at her in confusion. "The what? Hey, what are you doing?!" she demanded as Pip jumped up and plopped a strange helmet on the barbarian's head. Several lights lit up and gears began spinning with frenetic energy.

"That should help," Pip said tersely, priming her healing gun. "We need to get in there and disrupt whatever he's doing."

"Very well, mistress Pip." I rose, pulling free my hammer. "I shall do everything in my power to bring down the guards so that we may breach the wizard's sanctum."

Apr 27, 2012

X is for...


So this was a video game that I enjoyed immensely, back in the day of the original Playstation. It was developed and published by Squaresoft, back before they became Square Enix (you may know them for a little series called Final Fantasy).

Xenogears is a dark, psychological, science fantasy game in the same vein as Evangelion. A combo based combat system that ranged from fist fights to fist fights with giant robots made for some interesting gameplay, and the story (which included reincarnations, memory loss, and the works of Nietzsche and Freud) was certainly complex enough to hold the attention. And even if the music was nearly identical to that of Chrono Trigger, it was still some of the best of its age.

You can read the plot synopsis as well as I can, but let me just say, this game had one of my favorite villains of all time, and if anyone ever asks you, "Do you desire power?" just say yes. You'll make some good guy very, very sad.

Apr 26, 2012

W is for...

Worldbuilding! Specifically in how it relates to The Will of the Elements.

Okay, so once upon a time, I sat through a lecture or two on The Lord of the Rings and the Inklings in general. One of the concepts I really took away from there was that in order to create a good book you need three things. First, you need to inspire a love of the world. Second, you need a catastrophe. Third, you need a eucatastrophe, or a catastrophe for good (get it? because Tolkien was a linguist, so he played fast and loose with the English language and was wont to slap things like "eu-" onto words).

So step one is obviously building a world that people will become invested in, that they will want to see preserved because there's something special about it. So I took our world and found a catastrophe... specifically some truly horrible episodes of Heroes. Now yes, they were painful to watch, but they got me thinking. I asked myself, "What if these random people with elemental powers evolved into something more? What if they became living incarnations of the element they were associated with?" So I thought this over. Maybe they would feel compelled to overthrow the civilization that tore the earth asunder, drank her blood and reshaped her bones. Maybe they wouldn't be so cool with the way mankind enslaved lightning and chained fire for their own benefit and comfort. Maybe water and wind should be paid a little homage, being necessary for life and all.

And thus began the War of the Elements. Oh man, let me tell you, it was epic. Earth awakening when he got pushed off that building, Wind manipulating Fire into blowing up that oil tanker to secure her aid, and all of them coming together to bust Lightning out of that cell where the government was milking him for electricity. And then their offensive, it was... oh, wait, I haven't actually written any of that yet. Basically, I came up with this story and realized that an urban fantasy adventure wasn't something I was comfortable writing just yet. But sci-fi, now that was a different story. I mean, I was triple majoring in math, physics, and chemistry for a little while back in the day, until I decided that I'd rather graduate than spend 60 hours in lab a week. Psuedo-science I could do. So I jumped forward by about five hundred years.

Apr 25, 2012

V is for...


Now, I put off writing this until the last possible minute, so it's going to basically just be a regurgitation of facts, some more interesting than others. Here we go...

First off, there are two distinct types of vultures: old world and new world. I'm specifically going to talk about new world vultures (i.e. turkey vultures and condors), mainly because I know more about them off the top of my head. But just as an aside, old world vultures are more closely related to eagles and hawks than their new world cousins, an interesting example of convergent evolution. Both fill the same ecological niche, but while old world vultures rely entirely on their eyes to spot their next meal, new world vultures have an amazingly good sense of smell and can find carcasses entirely by scent when the need arises. Fun fact here: most birds have little to no sense of smell. It's one of the reasons owls can safely prey on skunks. So if you've ever heard someone say that you shouldn't help a baby bird that's fallen out of its nest because the mother will smell you on it and kick it right back out, you can forget about that. Help the bird, or call animal control.

Apr 24, 2012

U is for...


"By the Hedgehog... They're everywhere," Pip whispered in a tone of hushed awe as she eased back from the edge of the building we were spying from. "You're sure this is where the temporal anamoly is coming from?"

I nodded my head solemnly. "Indeed, mistress Pip, this is the building." I swept my ocular intake units over the city administrator's tower. It really was an impressive army of the undead. They manned the balconies and stood in neat ranks before the main doors, lifeless eyes fixed on the street, well-kept weapons and armor gleaming in the odd twilight that had descended on the city. The same subtle aura that clung to Pip and I hung around them like a shroud, shielding them from whatever spell was slowing time.

I ran the calculations again and shook my head. There was simply no way anyone could get through something like-

"For the Hedgehog!" Gorma exploded from a door on the zombie legion's flank, tulwar a blur of steel and death. Or possibly re-death.

At the same moment a tiger leapt from a window below us, an orange streak that left broken corpses in its wake.

"Oh no," Pip groaned, fumbling with a gadget and cursing under her breath. "I swear, those three are going to be the death of me."

Isaru coalesced from a cloud of green mist in the midst of the legion, flames roaring around his sword as he swept it through broad arcs of fire and fury. He laughed scornfully at his foes as his blade took the heads from three undead at once.

Apr 22, 2012

T is for...


“It's time,” Sean chuckled, rolling a set of dice from behind the dungeon master screen. “The party is divided, the end is nigh!”

“I don't like it when the GM gets that look in his eye,” I ventured, trying to peek around the cardboard barrier. “I've had that look in my eye, it never ends well for the party.”

“He's already rolling for something and throwing out the cheesy phrases,” Tony said incredulously. “We haven't even started yet.”

“Wait, this is all wrong!” Steph exclaimed from the kitchen. “You're out of diet Coke!” I winced. That practically took our barbarian out of the game.

“He's planned for everything,” Michelle muttered as Sean began cackling madly, furiously scribbling down something on his note sheet.

“I've got extra dice.” Erin shook her head sadly, no doubt privy to what her husband had planned for the game. “I think we're going to need them.”

Apr 21, 2012

S is for...


Well, I figure I should probably do a little more writing about the stories that I've published. You know, for kicks and such. So here goes...

The city of Sanctuary is where Ezra Hawkins, the protagonist of Wind-Scarred, grew up. They believe that they're the last enclave of humanity on Earth. They're wrong, but that's not important right now.

Sanctuary was birthed from two main ideas. First, every person who was part of the founding of the city was a tenacious genius. They had survived a war with godlike beings and clung to their technology in the face of insurmountable odds and dwindling resources. They were scientists, inventors, and all around really smart and stubborn people. Second, scarcity. All of these people were suddenly isolated from the rest of the world. Sure, they had a peace treaty with the things that had beaten them so long as they didn't venture outside their new city, but that really didn't help put food on their plates. For that matter, after seeing things like San Francisco sink into the ocean (or the bay, take your pick) they didn't have all that much peace of mind.

So based on these ideas, I figured that the people who would rise to power would be the ones who knew how to keep the bad things out and keep the city going.

Apr 20, 2012

R is for...

Rodents of unusual sizes? I don't think they exist.

I can only assume that Wesley stated this because their size isn't unusual. So let's talk rodents.

I'm sure you all know about the capybara. I mean, as I write this post on my phone, even the iPhone suggestions know about the capybara. Blah blah world's largest living rodent blah can weigh up to 150 pounds blah blah blah preferred prey of everything from the jaguar to the harpy eagle to the anaconda.

So let's talk about the coypu. You may know it as the nutria, or more colloquially the river rat. Sure, they only reach weights of 20 pounds or so, but these guys have a big presence. You can tell it isn't a muskrat because the coypu is about five times the size of their semi-aquatic cousin and lacks the laterally flattened tail. It's also smaller than a beaver with a distinctive rat-like tail.

So here's the thing. These started out in South America, but because of fur farms that were not as successful as they were hoped to be (people didn't want rat-fur coats, who would have guessed?), they've been introduced to North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. And are they ever invasive. A coypu consumes 25% of its body weight daily, year round. They also go for the roots, killing off the entire plant before moving on. Combined with other factors (fires, floods, storms), coypu are helping destroy wetlands the world over. In fact, the state of Louisiana has a standing bounty on coypu tails of $5, seeing an average of 304,000  tails turned in per year.

So remember, when you go venturing into the fire swamp, there's a popping sound before each flame spurt, the lightning sand looks different from everything else, and keep the tails.

Apr 19, 2012

Q is for...

Quality Assurance!

Now, I'm a programmer. I write software for a living (well... and apparently do business analysis and manage projects... but that's not in my job title), and even though I'm sure that it always works flawlessly, sometimes the world is a flawed place. Once upon a time, I worked at a company that had no QA department at all. Every single piece of code was tested by the developers (usually the one developing it) and promptly pushed out to the users.

Anyone who's ever worked in software development is probably cringing right about now. So I'd just like to thank all the testers out there. I now work with a great QA department that does regression testing and has unit batch tests to make sure that when I'm tinkering with the the secondary market UI to pull in daily investor prices I haven't thrown a wrench in the loan locking mechanism that it's called from.

Like I said, the code always works. But when it doesn't, QA people, I salute you.

Apr 18, 2012

P is for...


“Pip!” Gorma yelled. “Get back here this instant!”

“No! That was the last straw!” the Tiefling screamed back. “I've had enough of your crap, and if I never see you again it'll be too soon!” She stomped off toward the artificer district. “Come on, Glitch.”

“My apologies, lady Gorma,” I rumbled. “It would seem as though this is where we part ways. I believe that you-”

“Just get out of my sight,” the half-Orc growled, spinning away. “Like we needed you two anyways.”
“Now hold on a second,” Isaru gave me a sickly smile. “There's no need to just rush off and-”
“Glitch!” Pip yelled impatiently.

“Master Isaru, lady Poppi, it has been a pleasure practicing my prevarication with you. I too hope to never see you again.” I smiled at them. That was a good one, after all.

“We'll be at the Whirring Wheel Inn down by Hunter's Landing while we're searching for this guy,” Poppi said, glancing over her shoulder at Gorma's rapidly retreating back through the Dargoon crowd. “Try to talk some sense into her and meet us there, okay?”

“I shall do no such thing,” I responded solemnly, waving my hand in a fond farewell. Hopefully Pip would listen to reason. Turning toward the artificer district, I let out a long, creaking sigh and made my way after our artificer.

Apr 16, 2012

O is for...

Ospreys! And owls! And...ornithology, I guess.

Let's start with the osprey. Here's some things you may not know about the osprey:  first of all, they have zygodactyl feet! This means that they have two toes in the front and two toes in the back, like a parrot. This is incredibly useful for catching fish. Speaking of fish, they have a very special arrangement with the bald eagle. Namely, the bald eagle will wait for an osprey to catch a fish, then fly over and harass the osprey until it drops the fish, taking the fish for itself. I can't imagine why Benjamin Franklin didn't think that the bald eagle would make a good symbol for America (of course, he recommended the wild turkey so...yeah...). Hmm, more about ospreys... They mate for life and continue to grow the same nest throughout their lifetimes, and their children's lifetimes, and their children's children's...there are some nests that have been in use for over 70 years. 

Owls! Owls are really cool. You probably know that they can see in the dark. What you may not have known is that in order to have enough cones in their eyes to pick up enough light at night to see, they have lost the ability to move their eyes. To compensate for this, owls have a set of extremely flexible vertebrae in their necks that allow them to turn their heads 270 degrees (3/4 of the way around a circle). Something else you might not be aware of are their ears. You know how your ears are on either side of your head, in about the same place? Well, not so much with owls. One ear is higher and the other is lower, specifically so that they can pick up sounds above and below them accurately. To further help with this, have you ever seen an owl's face?

See those discs around their eyes? Those actually help filter sound to the owls ears, which helps them accurately find the position of sounds in front of them. Speaking of sound, most nocturnal critters have pretty darn good ears. Do yourself a favor one day and find a diurnal (active during the day) raptor's feather. Give it a good flap. You know what you hear? Sound. Now find an owl feather. Notice the soft down over the surface? This does more than make them cute, fluffy, and cuddle-able (NEVER CUDDLE AN OWL!!!), it also lets them fly silently at night. Bottom line:  if it's night-time, an owl knows where you are, and it is like the ninja.

N is for...


New cover for book 1! Newly released book 2! New is the new new! ...Has 'new' stopped looking like a word to anyone else?

Wind-Scarred and Water-Seer are also now available on Smashwords and (soon) B&N/iBooks.

Also new...The Legend of Korra:  The Next Avatar! If you haven't watched the original series well...stop reading this and go watch it! You will thank me later. Words cannot express how much I'm looking forward to this series. I'm already loving the art direction, the music, the action sequences...even the cheesy cartoon gags.

That's all I got. New!

Apr 14, 2012

M is for...

Magic the Gathering!

Okay, so for those of you who don't know, Magic is a card game. Each player assembles a deck that is composed of land, creatures, and spells. Land is used as a mana source to fuel your spells, and can be used each turn. There are 5 basic types of land: Plains (white mana), Mountains (red mana), Forests (green mana),  Swamps (black mana), and Islands (blue mana).

In the upper right hand corner of a card is the mana cost. A number over a gray circle indicates that many mana of any color. All other mana costs appear as a colored symbol. You may (generally) have a limit of 4 of any one specific card in your deck, with the exception of basic land. So if you have 4 Shivan Dragons, you are not allowed to have any more, but you can put other types of dragons in. Depending on the type of game being played, there is a lower limit of 60 cards in a player's deck... which means that even if you pour tons of money into building the ultimate deck, there's always a chance that you'll just be dealt a bad hand.

Basic game play goes as follows:

Each player begins with 20 life points. The object is to be the last player with life points after all other players have been eliminated. A player may be eliminated by reducing their life total to 0, by attempting to draw from their deck when it contains no cards, or by receiving 10 or more poison counters.

Each player has a starting hand of 7 cards. Each player takes a turn in a pre-determined order. A turn is separated into the following phases:

Apr 13, 2012

L is for...


“Okay,” Erin said, coming back into the room. “Finlay should be down for at least an hour. Let's get the dice and get rolling!”

Sean snickered from the kitchen, pulling the Guinness cupcakes from the oven, setting them on the cooling rack and taking his seat behind the dungeon master screen. “All right, so when last we left off...”

“Don't remind me,” I grumbled, glancing over my notes. Honestly, it wasn't my fault. I had been in character, darn it.

“I think you could still use some work on the whole lying thing, Glitch,” Pip said, sounding exasperated as she tested the ropes.

“My apologies, mistress Pip.” I glanced at my arms and legs morosely. They really were very nice arms and legs... a pity about how they weren't attached to my body anymore. “I have cataloged this event and will use it as a point of reference before attempting any further prevarication.”

“I'd personally just really like to see this lesson hit home,” Gorma panted from where she was shackled to the wall. “So, Glitch, in the future, when a tribe of goblins asks if we taste good, what are you not going to say?”

Apr 11, 2012

K is for...

Kinkajou! I choose you!

Okay, not really. I mean, I would choose the infamous honey bear of the tropical forests of South America in a heartbeat, obviously, but I'd probably provide him with some nicer digs than a Pokeball...

So for those of you who haven't ever heard of a kinkajou, it's a small arboreal mammal that lives in the treetops. Related to the raccoon, kinkajous boast a fully prehensile (meaning it can grip objects and fully support the animal) tail, making it one of two living animals in order Carnivora with such a tail. They primarily eat fruit, frogs, the occasional bird, and smaller mammals, and have been noted to enjoy honey in captivity. They also...

J is for...

So I was researching the etymology of some words the other day (that's a thing that normal people can do for fun sometimes... don't look at me like that!) and I discovered that "jinx" was rather interesting. Most probably stemming from a subspecies of the Picidae family (the family that contains woodpeckers), the birds of genus Jynx, also known as the wryneck birds, are pretty interesting.
Aside from having the the nifty ability to turn their heads 180 degrees and hiss like a snake (or possibly because of it...), they were often used in witchcraft, which led to the term “jinx” as applied to a curse that we find in use today.

In fact, if we go back even further, we find that the wryneck has been getting the short end of the stick for quite a while. According to Greek mythology, Iynx was a nymph... or possibly one of nine maidens. Depending on the story you're reading, she either enchanted Zeus to fall in love with Io and was punished by Hera, or she and her sisters entered a musical contest with the Muses. Either way, she became the Eurasian Wryneck, and has been singing, hissing, and helping to curse the unwary ever since.

So what do you think? Did the bird make the name unlucky, or was it doomed to an unlucky fate with a name like Jynx?

Apr 10, 2012

I is for...


You know, like that friend you had who was always causing trouble when you were... what? Numbers? Oh, you mean the ones that mathematicians spent centuries ignoring!

It's true! I mean, for a long time mathematicians didn't want to admit that zero or negative numbers were useful either, but that's another topic entirely. So, back in ancient Greece, this guy, Heron of Alexandria, taught at the Musaeum (you may heard of their library, it was kind of a big deal). This guy was cool. As in, he was researching cybernetics back around 50 AD and invented the first vending machine. And he quite possibly discovered imaginary numbers.

Apr 8, 2012

H is for...

Heavenly Hedgehog!

 “Not that I'm doubting the words of the Heavenly Hedgehog, but you're sure it said the Dead Plains' kruthik nests?” Gorma panted, wiping the bug juice from her tulwar with obvious distaste.

I glanced over at the half-Orc from where I stood holding open the entrance to the lair. “I personally find this place rather dismal,” I lied, wedging the kruthik queen's corpse into the oddly organic door and stepping back. “It has been most disappointing altogether.”

“Shut up, Glitch,” Poppi snarled. She was probably just jealous of my new helm. I hadn't been sure that the queen's hollowed out skull would work, but once Isaru had rinsed it clean with acid it fit quite nicely. “I'm never getting this stuff out of my fur,” the shifter continued, looking down at her hands in dismay.

“It says right here,” Pip insisted from her perch atop a pile of rocks, the small book of prophecy open in one hand as an army of tiny bots cleaned her dress. “Let's see... yes, here it is: 'So sayeth the Heavenly Hedgehog, defender of the fuzzy belly and keeper of the pointy quills. In the deep places beneath the blighted ruins of a long forgotten kingdom, the swarming darkness shall serve as the first messenger of the nameless god.' Honestly,” she rolled her golden eyes, snapping the book closed and tucking it into a pocket. “Do you really think I would have picked a place like this if there had been any other way?”

“Maybe you owed Glitch a good turn or something,” Gorma growled, picking through the remains of the kruthik nest, scowling ferociously. “You'd think that we would have at least-”

Apr 7, 2012

G is for...


Folks, let me tell you a little story, a story about a man of the mathematical cloth who lived way back in ancient France...

Okay, I'm not just going to rip off Stefanie, the Ballad of Galois, by the Klein Four Group... by the way, if you haven't heard their mathematics acapella, you're living 1 nth of your life, where n is inversely proportional to your love of math (for some n between 1 and positive infinity, obviously).

Evariste Galois was a radical mathematician, in the teenage mutant ninja turtles vernacular. At nineteen, the man had practically invented a new branch of mathematics (group theory, it's cool stuff), or at least laid the groundwork for future mathematicians to explore. We're still finding ways of applying his theories today, in everything from image processing to music theory to molecular orbits to the solution of a Rubik's Cube.

He was also a political activist, a Republican who spoke out against the reign of Louis Philippe in the early 1800s. He was imprisoned for his political views, denied admission to the most prestigious college for mathematics in France because his instructors couldn't follow his reasoning, and was expelled from the only academy that would take him after publicly criticizing the school's director.

And after all that, he was killed in duel over the honor of the woman he loved. So here's to Galois, the thinker, the lover, the fighter. We salute the memory of what you were, and lament the dream of what you might have been.

Apr 6, 2012

F is for...

Fermat's Last Theorem!

Even if you're not into math, you've probably heard of this one. Back in 1637, Pierre de Fermat conjectured that no three positive integers a, b, and c could satisfy the equation a^n + b^n = c^n for any integer value of n greater than two. He scribbled this conjecture in the margin of a copy of Arithmetica. Fermat went on to claim he had a proof for this, but it was too long to fit in the margin. By the time of his death, he had not produced this proof.

A few mathematicians tackled this problem over the years. Okay, more than a few. More like nearly every mathematician for the next 358 years. Finally, in 1995, Andrew John Wiles managed to prove it... his proof was over 100 pages long, took seven years of research, and made use of techniques that did not exist in Fermat's time. Wiles was knighted for his contribution to mathematics.

I remember my first encounter with the Last Theorem. Back in high school, in the first linear algebra class I'd ever taken, on the first day of class, we were asked disprove the theorem as homework, the equation scrawled on the whiteboard in the last few moments of class as if it was no big deal. Now, back in those days my Google-fu was weak and my work ethic was strong, so I went at it with a gusto. And I arrived at class the next day feeling utterly despondent, having found exactly zero solutions and having no idea why. Oh math... I think that's the day I fell in love with you.

I feel like I should talk about Fourier analysis and how it can do anything if you're clever enough, or Fibonacci numbers and how they're already doing everything whether you're clever or not... but instead, I'll just ask this: do you think Fermat had a solution? Or was he just another mathematical rebel without a cause (more on that tomorrow)?

Apr 5, 2012

E is for...


Okay, so I'm not really talking about those elements... but that song would have been pretty short if it was about my Elements. In my series, The Will of the Elements, I like to think that there 5 prime elements: Earth, Wind, Water, Fire, and Lightning. I know what you're thinking. Lightning? No, Sky, you misspelled "Heart" (or possibly Aether or Metal or Void, depending on your school of thought). So let me break this down.

To paraphrase the Greeks, an Element may be defined as the most basic unit of any material thing. Of particular interest to me is the human body. Let's say that the human body is composed of the four classical elements - earth, wind, water, and fire. Earth for the body, wind for the breath, water for the blood, and fire for the warmth. Well, the ancient Greeks (in addition to many other other cultures) said there was a fifth element, something heavenly and unchangeable. The Egyptians called it the soul, in Hinduism it is Akasha (Ether), to the Japanese it is Spirit. In the world I created, I considered the human body, the nervous system and the brain, and the electrical impulses therein. And I decided that the fifth Element should be Lightning.

Apr 4, 2012

D is for...

Dungeons and Dragons!

Silence reigned in the crypt around us. I glanced back at the solid wall of rubble that had been a hallway a moment earlier. "I was not worried," I said, my deep, mechanical voice echoing oddly off the dark stone coffins around us.

The tiger growled, and I smiled down at her. I liked the Druid when she was shapeshifted; it meant she never had anything bad to say.

"Of course you weren't, Glitch," Pip, the artificer, rolled her eyes, dusting off her dress and gingerly checking her horns for damage. "You're made of metal. That cave in wouldn't even have dented you."

I frowned, thinking it over. "Mistress Pip, I'm afraid I don't understand," I queried her, confused. "My previous statement was a lie. I was actually very worried. Does the fact that I needn't have been concerned negate the lie?"

The little Teifling sighed, checking over her healing gun critically. "No, Glitch, it was a very good lie."

"Because, you see," I continued, wanting to perfectly clear. This was deliberate falsehood we were talking about, after all. "When that imp triggered the trap our expected group probability of survival dropped by forty eight point nine three percent. If lady Gorma hadn't knocked that support pillar through the wall, I fear that one of you may have suffered a severe malfunction."

"Injury, Glitch," the swordmage groaned as he reformed from a puddle of acid, shaking his head tiredly. "Living things suffer injuries."

Apr 3, 2012

C is for...


Cats are weird. Well, maybe it's just that my cats are weird. People like cats, right? Well, here are mine:


He has far too much energy. And he chews on things, wags his tail when he's happy, always moves at a run, and rolls around on his back waiting for tummy rubbings every day when I get home. Yes, my cat is actually a dog. He even tries to eat like one... and then pukes when he gorges himself. This happens nearly every day.


She's a pretty cat. Do you see those eyes? Yeah, they're different colors (blue and green/gold). Astrid is a cat's cat: she sleeps all day and only shows any affection when she wants something. Of course, normally what she wants is attention... and she normally wants it when I'm busy. She will jump on the back of my chair and body slam my head while I'm playing video games, grab my arm and gently nip my elbow while I'm writing... She's also incredibly quiet, unless she and Hiccup are fighting. Then she screams like a banshee.

Apr 2, 2012

B is for ...


Aren't betas awesome? You get to see content early, get to help with the creative process, get to tell lazy authors that breath and breathe are actually two different words and that no-one likes the phrase "gaping like a fish"...

So my hard-working beta readers are probably diligently working their way through my second book, pointing out how I shouldn't *spoiler* or *spoiler*, and that the relationship between *spoiler*, *spoiler*, and *spoiler* is incredibly unrealistic, especially when they end up in the *spoiler* without any *spoiler*, what with all the heavy breathing and barely concealed *spoiler*. Considering two them are women and all. So in honor of their noble sacrifice of time and energy, I'll share some of my current beta experiences.

Apr 1, 2012

A is for...

Apple Pie!

So I'm clearly not a very good blogger. I mean, seriously, look at my update pattern... and I say pattern in the most generous sense of the word. So I'll give this blogging from A to Z thing a try, I guess, and maybe it'll make me a better person. Or blogger. Probably not both.

So I'll just be writing about a few of my favorite things. You know, like raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens or... Damn it, I always get my favorite things confused with Maria von Trapp's

One of my favorite things is apple pie. What's not to love here? It's delicious, I can fool myself into thinking it's healthy, and it's so easy to make! See, look: