2014 : Day 20

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Somehow yesterdays post was lost in the ethereal limbo. It should have saved as a draft, but didn’t. Actually it should have just published…but it didn’t. Barring that, it normally saves as a local draft but magically disappeared.
Oh well.
Have a bad migraine today and it is playing havok with my thought processes.  Especially my writing.

Yay me!

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Hilarious little comic.

Speaking of comics… visit fallen comics for a little window into our world. You can also visit our fanpage here.

Also check out www.gamers-heaven.info. They are a good source of video game fun and knowledge. There is also a group on FB, if you’re so inclined. 

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Squee!!!!

I did finish The Raven. Really damn good movie. Can’t help that I almost teared up at Poe’s death. He has been one of my literary heroes since I first started reading.
Also watched Kickass 2 last night. It was ok…but nothing to go on about. Really only recommend it if you’ve seen the first one.

Well that does it for me today. Migraine making it difficult to focus on any more. Until tomorrow. …

~ Harbinger Owl of Syn

2014 : Day 18 or W.I.P.s

Since I have decided to try and ePublish this collection of short stories after I am done with the Legion URPG ePublishing project, I need to decide which stories will make it into the book and also brainstorm a few others to add real meat to the bones of the book.
I currently have 3 stories In Situ that can be finished and incorporated : Gecko”s novella, The Nautilus, and Cass and the 16th step. All of them are based in the same Arcology ( the first wasn’t planned this way but all three so far have had interlinking ties and I suppose I subconsciously kept them within the same “‘verse”. )
I would like to have at least 5 stories of varying lengths make up this book. I might well add more later, or write another collection for a second book. These 5 stories should vary in length between short story ( no more than 15 pages maximum) and novella length ( no more than 100 pages).  Even at 4 stories total: 3 short and 1 novella, I am looking at about 72500 words total. This was derived by taking the maximum page count for each story by approx 500 words per page ( I need to figure out what the average word count per page truly is).

This got pushed back a little longer, but is still on track. The biggest setback was the tablet adapter that didn’t work. Leaving me with the virtual keyboard and USB keyboard. My phone was also screwed and now waiting on the replacement phone to be sent to me. I should also be getting my mini HDMI cable to have my tablet all on my HDTV. 12/5/13

12/6/13= this test is evernote with the usb keyboard, mouse and the HDMI connector to my little HDTV. There seems to be next to no lag now as there was using GDrive when i did my other test about an hour a go or so. This works for me as I am glad that the setup will be workable for my writing needs. Now to test and see if it will scroll as I type, and it sure did. the only real issue I can state that I have, is that the HDTV view does cut off a tiny bit of the screen on top, bottom, and each side; and since there is no way to choose the ovescan mode for HDMI, i suppose I am stuck with it. Still, not a bad and minor compromise for having a much bigger screen with which to do my writing, especially since the type comes in crisp and clear and is much bigger on the TV screen than it is on the tablet.

 201311081514: 
This is the plan to finally publish Legion Universal Role Playing Game in an ePublishing format, especially a digital format (specifically for Amazon platforms and Kindle devices). Originally I intended to give the game away, but realized my dream of finally getting published and Amazon has made it incredibly simple to publish writing works in a digital format. This will also allow the Core Rules Document (henceforth referred to as the CRD) as well as the Character sheet and further expansions or Plug Ins (for the mechanics portions and possibly “generic” game settings and worlds/mythos. 
The new plan is to:
Rewrite portions of the 2.1 CRD to allow for a quicker set up
Rewrite portions of mechanics to streamline game play to a more rules-lite approach while retaining the URPG aspect of the game
Write an updated foreword giving a brief history of the game and its revisions
Find copy write free artwork to include in the CRD (and further documents) or artwork from the Creative Commons for internal portions of the entire document set as well as Cover Artwork for each book.
Reformat the entire 3.0 CRD to fit withing the KDP and Kindle ePublishing model and guidelines
Add quick character Templates to make it easier to play the game quickly
Reconfigure inherent game tables to be either in a better read format (that supports and is supported on digital devices) or remove them altogether
Add the stock *(read as redesigned) Character Sheet to the 3.0 CRD
Pricing for this book should be between $3.00-$5.00 USD (all subsequent expansion, plug-in books, etc should only be $1.00)
There is no need for a players handbook, per se; but I hope to write a fairly comprehensive guide for Judges to better run the game mechanics and also any genre they chose to with Legion URPG.
Additional Resource Guides (henceforth referred to as RGD) include: Magic and Ley Spheres, Psionics and Superpowers, and Plug-In RGDs include: End of Days, Medieval/Fantasy, and Futurist/Cyberpunk. There may be other RGDs planned for later {possible} publication.
I also plan to work on and publish a website (not sure if I plan on buying a domain or using a free webs format again) to support the game launch in publication format and I will still retain the proboards website for the game as it has the history to back up just how long the game has been in production.
I have looked through the RPG books and documents available on Kindle and through the Amazon website for digital copies of games. I was shocked to find 2 things:
There aren’t many RPGs available for kindle devices
Because of the formatting involved heavy image documents didn’t work well across all Amazon platforms, or spotty work in PDF format, made most games virtually unreadable or load took forever.
I set out to resolve these issues using Legion URPG as a testbed for my writing (it is the most complete WIP I have and closest to a published format) which would not only allow me to start getting published, but also get my works out for others to read, enjoy, and share. I do not plan to make tons of money from this, nor do I plan to become famous using this platform. I may even have to change up the ideas and formulas as shown in this outline to better accommodate gamers and consumers. As a writer and gamer on a shoestring budget, I can understand the need for having the most robust version of document possible for the most inexpensive cost appropriate. I also WILL NOT be adding DRM to this project, and understand that it will probably be made available for free by Amazon from time to time and may very well have bootleg copies freely distributed. I also know that the subject matter I am tackling by making my first publication a tabletop game that most people choose not to/will not play which seriously compromises the ability for it to be seen. My goal is to make tabletop gaming still comparable to other forms of gaming, extend the longevity of gaming with imagination, getting new players to try a game like this, and keep the monetization of said project to as bare a minimum as possible. I also hope to be a trend setter in making gaming books more available to digital markets on devices which are already out there in the public, in other words: I do not want the Kindle devices to be tarnished further and make it aware that gaming books can indeed be made to work well in digital format on kindle devices with no hassle. I will be keeping the game format in D6 format as it is the easiest way to keep the game available so that ANYONE can play it or run it.

Maybe more to work on too.

~H.O.o.S

2014 : Day 17 or … Yay, it’s the weekend again!

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The weekend is upon us once again. Thank you Valued Readers for all of the recent views to my blog. It is indeed getting somewhere, slowly but surely. Be thankful that most of you never have to endure a city bus full of school age kids chattering like crazy. Makes me feel like I am in an international zoo on wheels. 

Still don’t have a very valuable topic today. But I have thought of doing a short survey. I am requesting someone, anyone of my Valued Readers send a 20 questions survey and I will answer it here for all to see.

Jusr something to spur the juices of creativity, let people who don’t know me in person get to know me a little quicker. Here is where it gets quirky…no questions are off the table. I’d be willing to answer most any questions. If that isn’t a loaded gun waiting for me, I don’t know what else could be.

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Www.fallencomics.com

In other news… Fallen Comics has had some issues that have slid us all back a little…but we persevere. Our site is being reworked and should be up very soon. If you like your stories with intelligent flair and great artwork, them you need to check us out. We also give back to the community with our Wingüd Society division. 
What’s the use of trying to make the world a better place if you don’t start closer to home.

Help us make a difference and find something entertaining simultaneously.  You can also find our fanpage on FB.

I will have a much more comprehensive post for you tomorrow and  I look forward to those 20Qs. Send them in.

~Harbinger Owl of Syn

2014 : Day 10

A foreword:
Not really feeling it today. Not feeling very well and have a lot of body pain. Plus, I have to go to work. I was scheduled off but my being sick Wednesday allowed the woman who normally works today to cover my shift and I am now covering hers.

So while I had hoped to make a longer post today and go on a good tangent, I don’t have much energy and that also means that neurons aren’t firing like they should. I feel uninspired.  This is not an unusual feeling. I had just hoped that it would not be something that visited me so early into the year.

Interesting new year that it has been too. This weekend I just plan to relax and finish getting over whatever is plauging me currently.  I can’t do much about the body pain, sadly. I know it is getting worse and I know it will continue that way. Getting old sucks, especially when your younger self pushed many limits and damn near broke your body before you really got to live or enjoy it.

Not that I regret any of it. I am better psychologically for the rewards of experience far surpass the joint and muscle pain. Still fi ding ways to push the limit anx bend the envelope.  Such is life, no!?! Humans beings define their realities through suffering and pain. Is this because we crave feedback? We have to feel something in order to define that we are alive or otherwise awake?

It can be said that feedback of any kind: bloodletting through emotions like anger or sadness give us a sense that we are in our own bodies. Pain is a feedback system, illusory or not. It prevents us with a decent baseline of trouble and impending danger. It lets us know which body parts are running less efficiently and will remind us of our laziness in taking care of our holy temples.

I say illusory because there is much about our realities, separately and combined, that are mere illusions. Memories, how our sight works, even the illusion of tranquil peace of mind…all minor illusions to give us a sense of ownership in our realities. Much like an argument between fate and destiny, we must consign ourselves to believed choices. We understand that choices may have a real effect, even if the cause and effect relationship is never really experienced beyond our own Phaneron. 

Never experienced by or within the sphere of someone else’s Phaneron. We are all interconnected just as we are also interconnected to everything else. The root is there and yet we never come close enough to it to make a big enough impact. In order to get close enough, one must realize just how interconnected EVERYTHING is. This is not light knowledge and once gleaned, can never be forgotten or ignored.

The issue is strength to continue to keep your channel clean and as positive as possible…
And not just when others are looking.

Blessed Be Valued Reader
I shall see you on the morrow…
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2014 : Day 9

Ok…So I failed myself a little. I was ill yesterday and didn’t post like I should. I don’t count a double post on Day 7 to take it’s place…nor will I pretend like it was saved to draft and just didn’t post.
I broke my challenge. I was just too tired to post yesterday and slept. Think I may have the flu or ate something bad. I’ll spare the details for your protection. 

Hopefully you, Valued Reader, won’t hold it against me missing a day.

Feeling slightly euphoric today…and no, I haven’t taken any nyquil. 
I was able to purchase the newest Tomb Raider game for PS3. Yes it is almost a year old, but I was able to get a bundle from PSN (with my sister paying half as she wants to play it too). Which means I will also be reviewing it for all of you. It is currently downloading and installing as I head to work. 
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I found Batman!!

Til next time kiddies

~H.O.o.S

Happy New Year: An open welcome to 2014

While some of the world is already celebrating a new year, it has yet to come to pass in Arizona, USA. That’s the home of this Harbinging Owl, full of Syn and optimism that this new year will bring welcome changes.
   Not that I just expect them to land in my lap with luck, I know that things have to be fought for and sought out to reap the whirlwind and gain the success that is so wanted. So, here is to all of us who truly intend to better themselves in the coming year. I hope to finally realize a dream I’ve had most of my life: to be published. I am currently workin on a few projects that I WILL be getting published in 2014.

I know, because I refuse to give up on them and I am so close. Perseverance is key. May we all rise from our ashes anew and eager to realize a dream, only tl add more goals and keep moving dynamically forward. Blessed Be and Happy New Year (under a New Moon, no less).

-H.O.o.S

Dichotomy and the Possibility Engine

I love dichotomies. I have to assume that most other people do too. Dichotomies, by their very premise attempt to narrow a subject into a split differential, usually polar opposites of said subject : Night and day, black and white, young and old, real and unreal, etc. However, to truly appreciate dichotomies as a whole, one must first truly understand where they come from.

First, they are labels. Humanity loves to label, subjectively, everything. Semiotics, language, logos, and more are all measurements, maps, and models to better allow our minds to envision and comprehend ideas, concepts, and items. They allow us to convey information to others in a sensible manner with the most efficient effort available. Humans as thinking self aware creatures tend to rely on illusions for most everything. We can find justification in our actions, even for no reason but to justify our lack of responsibility to those actions and their outcomes. We like to blame and we like to describe.
Humans describe something in terms of language and symbols because it allows us to ‘conquer’ in some small way that which we are describing…even if we do not understand it at all. If you haven’t ever eaten a specific meal before and wish to know what it is, what it is made of, and how it is prepared, you’ll seek information from whatever sources you can find until you are satisfied with some relevance. Someone telling you what a meal is in this manner will do their best to provide all the information you seek and find some relevatory information for you to build on in order for you to better comprehend it without actually experiencing it for yourself. I can tell you everything you would like to know about a movie or book based on my experience of it and using some common relevance to what you may or may not have experienced before, but it will always pale in comparison to you actually experiencing it for yourself. Your reality is different from mine. Your subjective take is different from mine. Your relevance points from something are different from mine. Though we may be able to have common denominations of something that are very closely aligned or incredibly similar, they are still in fact different by shades minor frequencies.

…TBC…

I am tired (old writing from Oct 2011)

It’s not really about giving up.
I cant lie, though. Giving up is partially what it is.
The other portion is pressure.
Its the largest portion of at least the feelings that create this.
I refuse to play third wheel.
I refuse to sit idly by and be treated as a doormat
To be talked to in the manner that i am.
Not just by you, but almost everyone.

I am tired of it.

I hate that i am treated like dogshit
that someone found on the bottom of their shoe.
And thats exactly how i have been made to feel lately.
How would you feel?
How would you feel?
I am tired of it.

Daily pressure is constant,
But getting stepped on.
Getting kicked in the face
Is not my idea of a grand time.
Its not just your words
But how you say them
The sting you provide with them
The barbs of jealousy
The distrust for simple things…

And your lack of support for anything i do,
because you feel it is out of your grasp
You dont even try
Nor give the effortless support a loving wife,
and supposed soul mate
Should provide.
How would you feel?
How would you feel?
I am tired.

If the third wheel is neglected too long
Left to rot in the sun
No oils
No care
No shade from the elements of the world
Of the thoughts that can devestate someone
Shelter from the storm of stress
As it were.
How would you feel?
How would you feel?
I am tired.

Organizing Life?!

Is there really a way to truly organize life without some form of OCD or anal retentiveness becoming forefront? I use a few items to try and keep myself as organized as possible.  I am a Libra after all, and whether you go in for the astrological approach to various personalities or not…it has become someway fitting for me as a creative to balance a fine line between messy creativeness and organization of visual filing cabinets. Between my Google Calendar and Google Drive folders and documents,  I also make rather extensive use of Evernote, Pocket, and even Springpad occasionally. Evernote is really indispensable as I can take any notes offline, pictures of important documents, verbal dictations, etc for later filing and they can be accessed on various devices and PCs. I can only usually afford the free versions of most apps. Evernote and Skitch are made by the same company and the free versions are packed full of features. Eventually, I will be able to afford the premium edition which has a monthly fee ( something I usually shy away from) but I have used their products for a few years now and bvd found them to be comparable if not better than any other note application and even better than many office suite applications on mobile devices.  Granted, you cannot do xls, db, or power point type presentations on it per se…but now they added .pdf integration and markup functions for better working on rough drafts for later publication in numerous formats.

I have even allowed others the ability to look at writing projects I have in the pipe, with access only as I allow and while they can review it, thankfully they cannot copy pasta or otherwise make any changes unless I give them future permissions.

Google Drive has also become incredibly favorable to me and especially the team at Fallen Comics. It has allowed us unpresidented access to work and projects that would otherwise get bogged down or lost in spam folders or whatever amounts for the lost file formats online anymore.  We can easily save our projects for use anywhere and anytime, allow others view and even write permissions…plus you can highlight blocks of text and make specific comments directly about the highlighted info. It is IMHO, the best free office suite program I could ever hope for.

To be fair I have to provide a little bit of background, especially if this your first visit here: I have sadly been without a PC/laptop for a few years. I found that the vast majority of my work could be done from my smartphone. It is an old DROID 3. I have had to rework a few things here and there to keep it in the highest working odds especially. I no longer have regular service on the device through any carrier, so I grab a wifi access point wherever I can that will allow me internet access to do most of my work. I may be a freelance writer for now, but I am also old enough to know that this still has yet to pay my bills on a regular interval and I seek normal banal work to pay my dwindled bills.

If only finding work were as easy as that anymore. Try being unemployed for over 6 months and you’ll quickly find how fast people Do Not want hire you. Could just be my experience,  but it plays hell on ones’ psyche. Especially with depression so close to the surface so readily. 

I suppose that is why I have strived to write at least 30 minutes a day again. Not just to keep my writing skills sharp, but to just keep my wits about me. I have so much creative energies of late and I find myself struggling to find proper productive avenues or channels for it. I find myself starting projects and then losing steam somewhere in the middle…the eureka moments of inspiration seemingly lost to the æther. 

Not that I intend it at all, quite the opposite…until the Muse takes full control of me and makes me stay consistently on point to a fault of my healthy will I feel as though I can complete many of the projects I have started or want to start.

Such is the train wreck of mental boxcars in my head being driven by a caffeine and nicotine addicted driver with ADHD and some mild autistic symptoms. Not that I don’t trust this driver, but I have story characters that interrupt my dreams and travels demanding that their chapters and books be finished. They need to know that their fates/destinies are worthwhile to be completed. They have done enough time in the oubliette of my brain…they have been waiting for their release for sometime…especially those that have taunted me since high school or even before.

Stories that have been stolen by others or just flat out lost. Annoying as it is to any writer to lose very inspired work is the inability to rewrite that work that has been lost to various predicaments of youth. The words refuse to materialize again, the story threads are taunting…but seem to be phased out once they are ready to be rewoven within a tapestry. They deny the loom of mental acuity. They tease and dance within my head as vignettes and solid .gifs or even animated dioramas…but then flirt off where I cannot grasp them to give them proper accord.

Writer’s block some might say…but is it really writer’s block when you’ve already written it before, only to lose it in the way it was once and forever intended and it refuses to be rewritten again because it isn’t the proper structure?!

I leave that to the reader to discern and for other creative creatures to discuss.

~H.O.o.S.
(Come on baby, don’t fear the Reaper!)

I am a G.M.

G.M. or Game Master. It is an older term for anyone who runs tabletop or Pen & Paper RPGs (Role Playing Games). As a natural storyteller, I was drawn to the 1st edition AD&D. I had played the tabletop DnD too, but found it awfully limiting in scope. With Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (the older TSR products) you were only limited by your imaginations and were free to get out of the dungeons. It allowed for far greater story themes and epic chronicles. 
I had even written my first PnP RPG game mechanics and world setting by the time I was 10 years of age. It was influenced by those medieval hack and slash adventures with a wonderful twist. I moved on to over 40 other game systems created by others. Everything from Traveller and Call of Cthulu to ElfQuest, and Shadowrun. So many games. I found I preferred Science Fiction, Cyberpunk, and Horror games especially. I even modded Shadowrun rules into White-Wolf’s Storyteller system to make the games even more interesting and very nasty.

Since 2003, I have been working on my newest game. Legion: Universal RPG. I have folded many of the older games I have created within its engine/mechanics and have made it easy to play any genre/setting. I did allow it to be downloaded for free to help push RPGs as a wonderful way to spend time with friends, entertain imaginations, and to do my part to spread the joy of real RPGs. I felt they were a dying art, and in many ways; I still feel that way.

I am now in the vein of restructuring the rules a little. Streamlining them for easier gameplay and fleshing out areas that need a little meat. With the advent of much easier self publishing (via internet and especially epub), I plan on hopefully getting the core book published into a few formats, especially on Amazon, and allow those with tablets/smartphones the ability to play and run games still on tabletop without much need for actual pencils and paper.

So, I am indeed looking for Playtesters in the Tucson, AZ area. Everyone who playtests will not only get their names mentioned in the credits of the game, but will also get one digital and one print copy of the core book(s) for free. My move to getting published means that I will indeed be charging for the revised game, but I will not be charging very much at all. Again, I am a gamer and I understand the need for inexpensive gaming habits. I know piracy being what it is that I won’t make much money on it, and I am no artist. I hardly have any commissioned artwork in the game, and have had to use whatever copyright free images that are suitable.

I may also eventually have another interesting publishing format available down the road. More on that at a later date.

Inspired by Tolkien and other authors who went above and beyond the scope of merely creating characters and a few set pieces, I really enjoy the creation of worlds and settings. I love Role Playing games in their truest forms where anything is quasi probable. Where Player Characters drive the plot and action and allow for suspension of disbelief within the confines of Free Will and Imagination. To me, there is nothing more pure than a group of friends coming together to collectively tell stories and engage their creative minds. There are no real linear rails, no right or wrong way to play; no true winner or loser.

I, like many GMs, used to play with pre-written adventures…but found them rather limiting too. I prefer the wonderful ad libbing and impromptu nature of gaming on the fly of stream of consciousness. I like to keep an outline of where the game might be headed, but allow the players to shape how and where the storyline is headed. Give them a great sandbox and allow them to play. Give them the descriptions that tease their minds eye, engage their 5 senses of their characters…and make the game world a living and breathing thing; and you’ll have gamers that will keep coming back for more.

As of late, I have been looking at free Apps for smartphones and tablets to help run games and I am chomping at the bit to play almost any tabletop RPG right now. Aside from playtesting Legion, I am looking for other games to play and troupes to play with. I need to get my game on…
And soon!

~H.O.o.S
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