Giving Up, a New Story, and a Change of Direction

Chris Van Deelen

Well, so much for NaNoWriMo.

There is no chance I’ll meet the goal this year. I’ll be dropping out of it and working on my untitled novel without thinking about the deadline this contest imposes.

The reason is I have been too busy at work to be able to write! And with me training my students three nights a week now, and then gaming on Friday night, that really eats into my writing time.

Furthermore the weekends have been booked solid. My wife always has a list of things she wants me to do, or places she wants me to take her so…

Ah well, no big deal. It still won’t take all that long for me to write the novel. I have the ideas and the plot outlined – for the most part.

Let’s see… oh yeah – as I stated, I am now back to the two entries a week for New Mutant Monday. That’s the way it will be for the next several weeks, until the new year rolls around and I start on volume 3. I’m still waffling if I’m going to try and make it a theme, or if I will just continue to write up material based on images sent to me or posted on my favorite Facebook pages.

Last week I posted the Umbrals and Cheogchu Sailen.

Say it with me, yes the next two are written and will be posted tomorrow.

I am going to try and work on the mutation books on the weekends. See… the sooner I have those in Mikes hands, then the sooner I can get the various mutant monster books to him. That way I won’t have a ton of duplication when it comes to mutations appearing in the various books.

Thankfully I haven’t seen any new kickstarters for me to waste my money on. Yes I said waste my money. I really went overboard with Kickstarters the past several months and found it difficult to justify my spending… so I backed off a great deal.

The last one I backed is still only around $300 and has only 16 backers. I tried to help the creator by posting the Kickstarter through my author page as well as my Twitter account, but obviously it did not gain any backers, and he had what I thought to be a bit of a bad attitude… maybe it was just his wording, as if my attempt to help was a waste of his time.

Meh, if it fails, and it kind of looks like that is going to be the case, it’s a shame. If it does and he tries to re-launch in the future, yeah I’ll try and back it again, although I doubt I’ll attempt to push it as I have.

His loss.

Today my wife and I went to see the movie ‘The Accountant. Essentially a movie about an autistic accounted / hitman. I will admit I really enjoyed the movie and found the premise to be somewhat refreshing, even though I did predict one of the major plot twists.

Worth seeing? Hell yeah!

Now I still need to find the time to see Doctor Strange and Jack Reacher – although neither is one I am super hyped about, not like Rogue One.

Oh yeah I finally got around to posting ‘Failure’. This is my latest short story and it is essentially Ronnath explaining to an unseen listener, or listeners, what has happened to him over the past few decades and just how much it has hurt him.

My regular readers will also know I typically read one or more novels a week. This week was no exception.

I finished two books, the first being Alive by Scott Sigler. I have read a lot of his works, with the exception of his SF football novels, and have really enjoyed them. This one fell flat on its face and I found it – dare I say it – boring! I really hate that too, because as I said I have enjoyed his books!

For the life of me I could not generate any sympathy for the characters! They were very well written, acting the way you would expect people their age to act (I can’t say much without giving away spoilers), but they also came across as horny teenagers without resorting to sex.

There was a twist of course and everything is explained, but I was bored. So much so I probably won’t bother with the rest of the books once they are written and published.

Sorry Scott… I do like your work but not this trilogy.

The other book I read was Brothers in Valor – book three of the Man of War series by H. Paul Honsinger. It’s pure military space opera, with your typical commander who does not play by the rules and as such tends to succeed.

It was quite entertaining and even if most readers might find the way the commander and his crew manage to get out of impossible odds annoying, it was well written and logical.

I don’t know if there is going to be more in the series but I certainly hope so… the war is huge and can easily encompass many more novels.

Unlike my first review, this one I can recommend!

The folks at Skirmisher also published a new supplement this week. 100 oddities for the Apocalypse. It went to copper best seller in just over a week.

I hope they will soon get to publishing my 100 oddities found in the trunk of a car!

Still it’s always good to see a product do that well that fast!

Over the past few weeks I have discussed various aspects of Post-apocalyptic games I really like. This week I’m going to discuss locations.

The beauty of the system is you can have every-day locations, like towns, forests, mountains, deserts and the like, but can also throw in massive ruins, filled with all manner of creature, radioactive deserts or even normal-seeming locations. You can set the game in space, on other worlds, and of course even create strange and bizarre locations to confuse and vex your players. What if a seemingly normal forest had gravity three times normal due to some sort of weapon used during the war? Or an arctic location filled with a lush jungle which has adapted to life in the cold?

And like dungeons of Fantasy, military, scientific, manufacturing, government and so forth could make great locations to set a typical dungeon crawl!

Thing is, you can have such in a fantasy setting as well, and of course, same can be said for a science fiction setting.

The thing is I do prefer science fiction over fantasy by about a billion to one, but I rarely get to play in such a setting, as most of my friends prefer to do fantasy.


Take a dungeon filled with all manner of undead, guarding powerful magic and treasure. Do a flip and instead of it being a dungeon, it’s an old underground bank, filled with robotic security and security measures to thwart any would-be thieves from making away with the gold bullion, precious stones and works of art or anything the depositors might have deemed as valuable.

One really great aspect of this type of game is you could quite conceivably take any fantasy dungeon crawl and with a little work, turn it into a high-tech adventure through ancient ruins!

So that is my thought on the matter for this week.

I won’t get political but I was not really surprised at who won the election in the states. I am very disappointed in the news I keep seeing however, like the protests and riots. Then again it would probably have been the same if the other candidate would have won.

I don’t look forward to seeing what is going to happen over the next four years. As much as a Racist, bigoted, hateful asshole Trump is, as is always the case I want to see him succeed now and hope for the best.

Maybe, just maybe he’ll turn out to be a good leader. I seriously, and I do mean SERIOUSLY doubt it will be the case, but you never know.

So that’s it for now.

Stay warm (if you live in the colder locations) and try to stay happy. Life could be a lot worse, no matter what you might think.