Monday, February 5, 2018

Anarok & The Silver Hell 3

The tent was blue.
Midnight blue.
It should have stood out in the silver wasteland, but it had been cunningly erected in a narrow ravine that seemed perpetually lost in shadow.  The blue tent seemed to wrap the scant shadows around itself, shrinking back from the light.
Anarok crouched down and peered at the tent.
It was not large. It could, perhaps, accommodate two or three people who wouldn't mind living in close quarters. There was no sign of campfire or mounts. Indeed, the tent appeared quite lifeless, the midnight blue ghost of some poor soul, damned to wander the Silver Hells for eternity.
The thought made Anarok shiver.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Anarok & The Silver Hell 2

An hour after setting foot on the silver sands, Anarok was starting to think she had made a bad mistake. Even though the moldhounds' baying had drifted away, the houndmaster had wisely decided not to pursue her into the Silver Hells, the heat was oppressive.
Sweat poured off of Anarok.  The reflected light from the surrounding landscape was blinding. She took off her threadbare shirt and wrapped it around her head.  It did nothing to help.
By the start of her second hour in the Silver Hells, Anarok knew she had made a mistake. The moons were sinking into the west and, as hot as the Hells were by their light, Anarok didn't want to think what the place would be like in the day.  Especially at noon.
She started looking for a place to hold up during the coming day.
That was when she saw the tent.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Anarok & The Silver Hell

The Silver Hell stretched before them, a bleak, bright desert that had claimed untold lives over the centuries. Anarok did not care.  She could not afford to care.
Behind her, she heard the baying of the moldhounds. It was a wet, terrifying sound. Anarok imagined she could smell them on the still air, the wet stink of their hybrid bodies.  If they caught her, she knew she would be subjected to a slow, painful death.
But, and she turned back to the Silver Hell, if she tried to cross that landscape there was a chance - an infintesimal chance - that she might survive.
At the very least, she would live longer than she would in the hand of the moldhounds' master.
Her mind set, Anarok drew a breath and placed a sandaled foot on the shimmering silver sand.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

2018

Good evening, gentle readers! And a belated Happy New Year to you all!
So, let's be honest. 2017 was a pretty shit year for a lot of people. There were political upheavals, wars, terrorist incidents, etc. Sometimes, it felt like whoever's supposed to be in charge of the world just walked away from the controls to have a drink and came back sort of drunk.
Yeah, 2017 was not a great year.
So, what's in the cards for 2018? Something better? Something different?
I'm damned if I know. All I know for certain is that, now that the holiday season is over, I'm finally starting to feel a bit Christmassy.
I know.
Awful.
Right?
Right.
But it's the truth.  I'm wandering around my house humming Christmas carols and we're halfway through January. Someone told me I should convert to the Russian Orthodox faith as they celebrate Christmas after December.
Sadly, I'm not sure I can do anything orthodox.
So far, though, 2018 hasn't been bad. Just cold. Too cold. I live in the South, I don't want to hear the word 'snowfall.'  If I wanted that, I'd still be living in Alaska. I wouldn't have come back home.
Also, I'm now a year older. I went walkabout on my birthday. Just got in my car and drove. I had planned to go visit a monastery near me, but that didn't happen. Instead, it turned into an extended car trip which included encounters with people who should probably never ever contemplate having children.  Seriously.
And I'm looking for someone to rent a room in my house. Do I even have to tell you what a freak parade that's turning out to be?  I have very little patience with applicants who don't read my ad on Craigslist. I don't respond to people who send me a one line text from their phone asking for more info from me.
Fuck 'em.
They don't even have the brains to read and comprehend an advertisement then I'm not even going to bother replying to them. Idiots.
Honestly, I don't even want to rent the room out. I'm thinking of putting my place on the market this spring and seeing what I can get for it. That would be harder to do with a renter, cluttering up the joint.
But that's the future, the "undiscovered country." I'm not worrying about the future.
And then there's the writing. Last year, my D&D stuff pretty much devoured this blog. I enjoyed it as it was a steady creative outlet, but it was, literally, all the fucking writing I did. So, this year, I'm trying to branch out a bit and get back into writing an actual story.
We'll see how that goes.
And that's pretty much it for me.
What next?
Your guess is as good as mine.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Problem Child

Good evening, gentle readers.
Over the last few months, D&D has pretty much devoured this blog. Mainly because it's my primary creative outlet.
But tonight, I'm going to talk about something different.
Tonight, gentle readers, I'm going to talk about my Problem Child.
The Problem Child is the laptop I am currently using. She wasn't always a Problem Child. Once upon a time, not that long ago, she was my 'baby.'  I would lie in bed with her, attempt to write, promote things on Twitter, watch the occasional Netflix show.
Then, in October, the problems began.
She began to lose her connection to the wifi at my house. Just at the house. Not anywhere else. I could even connecting using the POS network at my local bookstore, when I was there.
I thought the problem might have been physical. Perhaps my wifi card was going bad? Perhaps my network adapter was on the fritz? I had them checked and, no, everything appeared to be fine.
It was just at home that my problems persisted.
I tested my home system. Every other device I used had no trouble connecting and maintaining a stable wifi connection.
So, the problem must be with this computer. This laptop. This Problem Child of mine.
Having eliminated network issues and environmental issues, I started poking around on the Internet, seeing if anyone else had similar issues.
I found that I was not alone.
A lot of folks were having similar, or worse, issues.
The culprit seemed to be the Windows 10 operating system.  Windows 10 is a bit of a Nazi program. You can't tell it what to do, it does what it wants. It downloads updates without you having any real control over the downloads.
Since their Fall Creators Update, which included such marvelous things as a 3D paint studio(WTF?), a lot of people have had their wifi screwed up. And Microsoft, after their fashion, has refused to accept any culpability in the matter. Even though their forums are flooded with people, complaining about the issue and looking for help.  They tend to regurgitate the same 'solution' to every problem, none of which seem to work for everyone.
After two months of dealing with this horseshit from Microsoft, I've pretty much given up using my laptop as I would like. No more languishing in bed, taking my ease as I flit between writing and the Internet. Oh no.
Now, like a caveman, I have to go downstairs and physically connect my laptop to my router. I sit, crosslegged, on the carpeted floor, and go about my business.  It feels like I've been transported back to 1995, only not in a good way.
To say I'm a bit pissed at Microsoft regarding this matter would be an understatement.  My anger with them and their piss-all service and support has gone beyond the boiling point.  It has even gone beyond the cold icy hatred normally reserved for certain individuals. My anger with Microsoft has entered hitherto unknown regions for me, a sort of void where I lie in bed and smile as I think of their programmers developing some horrible wasting disease that consumes their lives, slowly and methodically.
Now, this is very atypical for me. I am not normally given to thoughts of vengeance and retribution. So if Microsoft and their crappy Windows 10 can produce such a response in me? Well, I shudder to think what some other people out there are going through.
And I cannot help but wonder if Microsoft invests any of their billions in fortifying their buildings with shatterproof glass and reinforced security doors? Because, honestly, ladies and gentlemen, if I were them, that would be something I would be doing.
As for the Problem Child? As long as I'm not trying to use the wifi at home, she seems okay. But if the problem spreads? Well, I might have to start looking for a new laptop. Maybe one that doesn't have a Windows OS. Only time will tell.