Skin Games, Writing, Movies, and Charlatans?!?

Chris Van Deelen

It’s been interesting trying to get back into my usual routine ever since I returned from Houston just under two weeks ago. Life has been really busy for me, and it has been in a good way.

After nearly five years I finally managed to get back into a role playing group. Then again it was not like I was really trying to find a new group, it was just that I was unable to game during the weekdays and that is when most of the people I used to game with got together.

But this new group with an old friend of mine is meeting on Fridays, which is perfect for me.

But hey, I finally managed to finish off my short story ‘Hunt’ this week, even did the first round edit on it! The final tally for the story was 13,588 words long. Nearly four thousand words longer than I had intended it to be, but as I have stated numerous times over the years I write until the story is done! I find it really hard to confine my story to a certain number of words.

Tomorrow I will be starting work on my next short, this one entitled ‘Hunger’. Again I am aiming for 10,000 words but if it goes over that total, then so be it.

This week saw the release of my latest issue of Wisdom from the Wastelands. This is Wisdom from the Wastelands issue 40: new races 2. I have added another five new races to the game. Already I have received a review for it, courtesy of Eric Fabiaschi for this issue. It’s been a hell of a long time since any of my issues have received a review, and as such it is a nice change.

Also, since this has been released I will be updating the Wisdom from the Wastelands Index to accommodate this issue.

Unfortunately my Alternate Radiation issue will not be released until issue 42. So that means July if I’m not mistaken.

I’ve also sent off the incomplete Alternate Advancement Options issue to two people and I’m currently waiting on feedback from both before I finish the issue. I fresh take on it will hopefully point out things that I will not have thought of and as such I hope that it will make the issue all that much better!

And I have another idea for an issue, although considering that my non weapons and tech based issues do not sell as well as I would like, I do not know how well it will be received. Thanks to inspiration from Eric, I am thinking of doing an issue devoted to alternate types of currency for the game.

Only time will tell if this comes about.

And my extremely long project of posting conversions from Movies, Games, Television, books and comics is nearly at an end. I began to post these conversions way back at the beginning of November, 2013 and it has gone this long. I have only 9 conversions left, and once they are done I will no longer be converting creatures and posting on a daily basis. This does not mean that I end the project entirely, but instead there will only be a couple of conversions a week instead of one a day.

There are still plenty of critters for me to discover and convert out there and I will continue to do so. But at a much slower pace.

Last week also saw me taking in three movies. That’s nearly a record for me. On a good month I’ll see maybe two or three, but in one week? That’s quite the feat for me.

On Saturday, my wife and I saw X-men: Days of Future Past. I found it quite entertaining and it was neat to see how such an iconic story-arc from the comics translated into a two hour movie. It certain was better than either of the two Wolverine movies and the atrocity that was X3!

Then on Sunday my best friend and I saw ‘Maleficent’. Now that movie really took me by surprise and I will not deny the fact that I loved it! A very good take on the classic ‘Sleeping Beauty’ tale. I think a lot has to do with the fact that Maleficent reminds me of a Tiefling, and since the main character in my novel happens to be one… Still, despite that fact I really did enjoy it immensely.

Lastly my wife and I saw ‘Edge of Tomorrow on Wednesday. Managed to score a couple of free passes to that movie. You know, it was fun! The whole ‘Groundhog Day’ has been done numerous times over the years in both movies and television shows, but this one really kept my interest. Hey, it made me laugh on more than a few occasions. Go see it for yourself and do not let the idiot critics sway you from doing so.

Yes, I called the critics idiots. Most of them are in my opinion.

It would have been four movies that I caught except ‘How to train your Dragon 2’ does not hit the theaters until next weekend.

I have been eagerly awaiting that movie for about a year now!  At least I have ‘Defenders of Berk’ to keep me satisfied until then.

Oh and how could I forget… ‘Skin Games’ came out last week and yes I finished it off in just under two days. My second favorite of the series thus far and I was pleased that Jim Butcher was able to write a book that was on par to ‘Changes’.

Now it has come to the part of my weekly blog where I talk about something that has caught my interest during the week. It is two things actually and they are related. Faith Healers and so called Psychics.

I loathe both types as they are charlatans and con-artists that prey on the weak minded and the gullible. And yes there is a sucker born every minute.

See its very simple. If faith healers were as they say they are, who would need a doctor? Those who are sick and dying would just need to go see one of these people and whatever ails them would be cured. No one would be dying of anything. But no, the charlatans use ‘plants’ in the audience to come up and act as if they are crippled or infirm and with the laying on of hands and a few ‘righteous’ words, these people are cured and suddenly can get up and walk or what have you.

All in the name of the mighty dollar in order to gain more converts.

Again, this is my PERSONAL opinion and does not reflect the views of the other editors, authors and staff of Skirmisher.

These charlatans are going to find their reward in the afterlife is not what they were expecting, that’s for damned sure.

And so-called Psychic’s fall into this same category. These people use all manner of tricks in order to divest gullible patrons of their money. And the worst thing is how many people fall for this! If they were as good as they say they are, they would be able to predict the lotto numbers, know when major disasters will take place and so forth.

But no, they do not and they always come up with what seem to be very plausible reasons as to why they did not see these events coming.

A great novel that sheds some light onto these charlatans is ‘Repairman Jack book 6:The Haunted Air’ by F. Paul Wilson.

Sadly enough, there will never be an end to these types of people because there will always be the stupid and gullible who will fall for the tricks of their trade.

Anyhow, that’s it for another week. As always I would like to invite any new (and current) readers of my blog to like my personal author’s page on Facebook, and to follow me on Twitter. I still don’t post often on Twitter but that is because I have only one follower!

Until next week, Peace!

Chris Van Deelen is the author of the Skirmisher Publishing LLC sourcebook Creatures of the Tropical Wastes sourcebook, co-author of its Wisdom from the Wastelands game supplement and contributor to the 'Sword of Kos: Hekaton' Anthology.