Ramblings from the Gryphon Rose

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Home again, home again

We got back late last night, and yes, I’m back at work today.

The trip was very good. My lovely wife has put up a fairly detailed rundown on her LJ, so you can check it there if you’d like.

The short version:
The weddings were both excellent and very different, and we were delighted to attend both. We got to see lots of friends, which was great. I had very good steak and very good barbeque, which makes me happy. The kids had fun running around, and got to hang out with several other kids. I wandered up on campus and stopped by the English Department, where I got to catch up with my old mentor, James Gunn. I did see several other professors I recognized, and resisted the urge to kick them in the shins. The wife and I got a little time to ourselves for our anniversary, which was nice but got cut short because our son was having mommy-separation issues and screaming the whole time. Oh well. The car handled well, the hotel room was huge, and the flights were fine despite a minor delay on the return.

And that’s about it. :)

Now I have to get back to the writing. I’ve got one project due the end of this month, another I said I’d have in by the end of the month or start of next month, one due mid-November, and one due mid-December. Whee!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Back to Kansas!

No no, only for a visit. :)

We're flying in tomorrow (Thursday the 19th) in early afternoon, renting a car, and driving on up to Lawrence. I expect we'll be there and checked in by 3-3:30.

Our fourth wedding anniversary is Friday. One of our friends' daughters had kindly agreed to babysit that night so jendaby and I can go out by ourselves for a change.

We have two weddings--yes, two!--to go to on Saturday. Busy busy day.

Other than that, we're at loose ends. So if you're in Lawrence or KC (or want to drive down), give us a holler. jendaby will have her cell phone, for those that know the number. If you don't know it, email one of us with your contact info and we'll send ours back. We'd love to see the rest of our KS friends while we're there, and we've got plenty of time and a car. I'm expecting to spend at least one evening at Munchers, and we're up for lunch, dinner, and anything in between any day except Friday (all good until dinner) and Saturday (booked solid).

I'm also not bringing any work with me. Which will make a nice change, and a real vacation.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


Today was my 37th birthday. I kept meaning to plan something but kept forgetting. Fortunately, it’s a Friday, and that means a few of my good friends (including xochitl42 and qadgop) were coming over to game. feiran was over as well, since she’d been babysitting our daughter so my lovely wife could get some things done around the house, and said she’d stick around for food and dessert. And my wife was making me a Grasshopper Pie, which has been one of my favorite desserts since I was a kid. So I was looking forward to a nice evening with some close friends.

I got home around 6:30, after going to the store for a few things. qadgop showed up a few minutes later, followed in quick succession by xochitl42 and the rest of the Friday gaming group. My youngest sister called to wish me a happy birthday.

Then we got food—we were doing deli meats and cheeses and salad and chips and such for dinner, nice and easy for everyone to make their own.

Shortly after I sat down with my sandwich my middle sister called. While I was on the phone with her the doorbell rang and Mook went to get it. I was still on the phone, and turned around—to see my youngest sister! She had come all the way down from D.C. to surprise me!

That was a shock but a nice one. Then, maybe twenty minutes later, the doorbell rang again. It was our friend Kim, who claimed she was just stopping by to say hi. A little bit later our friend Amy showed up, as did feiran’s boyfriend, who I’d met at lunch a month or two ago. And then my aunt showed up as well.

And that was when my lovely wife revealed that this was, in fact, all planned. It was a surprise party. She’d apparently been planning it for months, and had completely fooled me! Our friend Raphy even called from Brazil and said he was sorry he couldn’t be there, so he knew about it! I was the only one who didn’t.

We all had food and cake and pie and lots of fun, and then I opened presents. I got many excellent books and DVDs, but easily the coolest present was the one from my lovely wife. She had compiled a scrapbook for me, with thoughts and memories and comments from many of my family and close friends. I was utterly amazed! I haven’t had a chance to read through it properly yet, but just seeing the pictures and the names is a real thrill.

She told me she wanted me to have a really nice birthday because I hadn’t really celebrated it the last few times. And she apologized for the fact that many of our friends didn’t show for the party, and that many she’d contacted hadn’t sent anything for the scrapbook. But I was so impressed, both by everything she’d done and by all those who did respond.

My wife rocks. This may have been my best birthday ever.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Ego-boost or shopping list? You decide!

A company recently asked me for my publications list, with links where possible. It took me an hour or two to assemble that, but I'm sure it'll prove useful in future. If nothing else, when I finally get my professional site up and running I can just paste the thing in.

In the meantime, I'm putting it here. :)

I was pleased I managed to find links for almost everything. So if you've been missing any of my books, now’s your chance to fill in the gaps.

I did wind up excising a few items that are not available online, mainly older, smaller-circulation things. But if you notice anything else missing please let me know.

Hour of the Daemon. Black Library. December 2007 (projected)

untitled StarCraft novel. Pocket Books. December 2007 (projected)

untitled WarCraft novel. Pocket Books. May 2007 (projected)

"Night of the Daemon." Black Library. January 2007 (projected)

"Queen of Blades." Pocket Books, 2006.

"Day of the Daemon." Black Library, 2006.

"Tales of the Last War." Anthology. Wizard of the Coast, 2006.

"Exalted: The Carnelian Flame." White Wolf Publishing, 2005.

"Star Trek S.C.E.: Creative Couplings, Book II." Pocket Books, 2005

"Star Trek S.C.E.: Creative Couplings, Book I." Pocket Books, 2004

"Star Trek S.C.E.: Collective Hindsight, Book II." Pocket Books, 2003

"Star Trek S.C.E.: Collective Hindsight, Book I." Pocket Books, 2003. Winner, 2003 Psi Phi Award, eBook Hall of Fame

"Some Assembly Required (Star Trek: SCE, Omnibus Book 3)." Pocket Books, 2003.

"Imaginings: An Anthology of Long Short Fiction." Pocket Books, 2003.

"Legends of the Pendragon." Anthology. Green Knight Publishing, 2002.

"Bubbles in the Middle." The Powerpuff girls plus you club. Scholastic, 2002.

"Star Trek S.C.E.: the Riddled Post." Pocket Books, 2001.

"Grace and Guidance, The Storem Dragon Covenant Book." Eden Studios, TBA.

"WarCraft Alliance Players Guide." Sword and Sorcery Studio, 2006.

"WarCraft: Lands of Mystery." Sword and Sorcery Studio, 2006.

"Thieves' World: Shadowspawn's Guide to Sanctuary." Green Ronin, 2005.

"The Deryni Adventure Game." Grey Ghost Press, 2005.

"Lord of the Rings: Helm's Deep." Decipher, 2005.

"Blue Rose Companion." Green Ronin, 2005.

"Races of Destiny." Wizards of the Coast, 2004.

"Isengard Sourcebook." Decipher, 2004.

"Fields of Battle: The Guide to Barbarians & Warriors." Decipher, 2004.

"Relics and Rituals: Olympus." Sword and Sorcery Studio, 2004.

"Realms of Norrath: Dagnor's Cauldon." Sword and Sorcery Studio, 2004.

"World's Largest Dungeon." Alderac Entertainment Group, 2004.

"Realms of Norrath: Forests of Faydark." Sword and Sorcery Studio, 2004.

"Mythic Vistas: Trojan War." Green Ronin, 2004.

"Relics and Rituals: Excalibur." Sword and Sorcery Studio, 2004.

"Advanced Players Guide." Sword and Sorcery Studio, 2004.

"Vampire Players' Guide." White Wolf, 2003.

"Star Trek Role Playing Game: Creatures." Decipher, 2003.

"Fell Beasts and Wondrous Magic." Decipher, 2003.

"Asylum: Eastern Seaboard." Clockworks, 2003.

"Dark Inheritance." Mythic Dreams, 2003.

"Realms of Norrath: Everfrost Peaks." Sword and Sorcery Studio, 2003.

"EverQuest Role-Playing Game: Game Master’s Guide." Sword and Sorcery Studio, 2003.

"Creatures of the Wyld." White Wolf, 2003.

"Shields of Justice: A Hero's Almanac." Guardians of Order, 2002.

"Silver Age Sentinels Roll Call Volume 1." Guardians of Order, 2002.

"Horrors of the Wasted West." Pinnacle Entertainment Group, 2002.

"The Great Weird North." Pinnacle Entertainment Group, 2002.

"Call of Cthulhu Gamemasters Pack." Chaosium, 2002.

"Gamemastering Secrets." Grey Ghost Press, 2002. Winner, 2003 Origins Award for Best Game Aid or Accessory

"Dead From Above." Pinnacle Entertainment Group, 2002.

"DC Universe JSA Sourcebook." West End Games, 2001.

"Chosen." Clockworks, 2001.

"Sins of the Blood." White Wolf, 2001

"Jack Vance's The Dying Earth Roleplaying Game." Pelgrane Press, 2001.

"Gotham City Sourcebook." West End Games, 2000.

"JLA Sourcebook." West End Games, 2000.

"Spookshow: Outside Standard Channels." Clockworks, 2000.

"Nights of Prophecy." White Wolf, 2000.

"Asylum: The Staff Manual." Clockworks, 1999.

"The Price of Freedom: The United Federation of Planets." Last Unicorn, 1999.

"Tales of Magick: Dark Adventure." White Wolf, 1999.

"Spookshow." Clockworks, 1998.

"Asylum." Clockworks, 1997.

"Hong Kong Action Theatre! Film Festival #1." Event Horizons Publications, 1997.

"Hong Kong Action Theatre: Cinematic Action Role Playing Game." Event Horizons Publications, 1996.

Age of Empire. Epitaph Studios, 1996.

"The Strange Files of Dr. Sorcis," Mind Ventures Games, 1996.

"Periphery: Science Fiction Roleplaying on the Edge." Epitaph Studios, 1994.

"Thomas Hobbes: An English Philosopher in the Age of Reason." Rosen Publishing, 2005.

"Madeleine L'Engle." Rosen Publishing, 2005.

"Colleen Doran." Rosen Publishing, 2005.

"Dave Mirra: BMX Superstar." Rosen Publishing, 2004.

"Taig Khris: In-Line Skating Superstar." Rosen Publishing, 2004.

"Gamal Abdel Nasser." Rosen Publishing, 2004.

"Cryptologists: Life Making and Breaking Codes." Rosen Publishing, 2003.

"The Yom Kippur War." Rosen Publishing, 2003.

"Kick Scooters: Techniques and Tricks." Rosen Publishing, 2004.

"Mountain Biking: Techniques and Tricks." Rosen Publishing, 2002.

"Advanced Skateboarding: From Kick Turns to Catching Air." Rosen Publishing, 2002.

"A Beginner's Guide to Very Cool Skateboarding Tricks." Rosen Publishing, 2002.

"The Bermuda Triangle." Rosen Publishing, 2002.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Toddlers with wrapping paper

This weekend was good.

My darling daughter turned three on Friday. We had the usual gang over that evening, plus my dad (“Grampa!”). The lovely wife made pizza, (one of the toddler’s favorites) and cupcakes. Then there were the presents. My daughter was very excited and enjoyed herself immensely. Of course, Sunday morning she asked me for more presents and then, when I told her those had been for her birthday, wanted to know when her next birthday was. She was not pleased to discover she had to wait an entire year for it to roll around again.

Saturday we went to the Bronx Zoo. Wow. The place is huge—we spent five hours there and still didn’t see all of it. tashaar joined us for a bit, along with her husband and their son, who is our daughter’s playmate. Then our cousins showed up with their two kids, fortunately before tashaar left so my daughter had companions her own age the whole time. We went all over and had a lot of fun. Her favorite thing was the Bug Carousel but I think the tigers were a close second. And the kids did very well, with only minor meltdowns toward the end—and it was five p.m. by then, after a full day of activity and no nap. She went to sleep easily that night. He was okay for a bit but woke up in the a.m. and forced the wife to stay up with him for several hours.

Sunday was quiet during the day, just catching up a bit—on sleep among other things. I got another chapter done on the novel—almost finished now. Last night we went out to dinner with my dad, my aunt and uncle, and some cousins (not the same ones who came to the zoo, these are my dad’s age). That was chaotic but fun—the waiter had a sense of humor, fortunately, otherwise we would have driven him bonkers. Our son had some issues, allergies and teething as usual, but was happy and burbling for part of it. Our daughter had a good time. And was even more excited when she found out Grampa was staying the night with us—she loves it when people stay over.

Not much else going on this week. I’ll have the novel done in the next two days, which is good because I’ve got another project in the works already that I want to finish before our trip next week. My dad’s here a few more days, which is cool. My birthday is Friday but I haven’t had time to really think of anything to do and it doesn’t like there are any movies out I really want to see right now. No biggie—I’ll see the usual gang of friends that night, which is always a pleasure, and the wife has promised me Grasshopper Pie, one of my favorites which I haven’t had for years and years.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Not a lot else going on right now, other than the fact that I finally caught the cold the wife and kids have had all week. It’s not too severe, though.

I’m working on finishing the novel, and starting on two other projects that are due in the next month. I’m going to be busy through the end of the year, which isn’t a bad thing. If I can stick to the schedule I devised I’ll be able to finish everything without too much stress, just nice steady output.

The toddler’s birthday is this weekend—we’re going to the zoo on Saturday, which should be fun. My dad’s also coming up this evening and staying through next week, which is always nice.

We’re settling into the fall TV season. So far the only three new shows we’ve picked up are Heroes (not bad, fun but not overwhelming), Studio 60 (Excellent—Sorkin is finally back!), and Jericho (enjoyable). For returning shows we have Veronica Mars, Lost, Supernatural, CSI: NY, and CSI. Eight shows total, which isn’t horrendous, and I feel I can miss CSI: NY without concern, at least.

Fairly quiet otherwise. :)

Strange disconnect

I had lunch with some friends today.

Nothing strange about that. It’s Wednesday. I have lunch with friends—the same group of friends, in fact—every Wednesday. We have for years. Always the same time, always the same place.

Except this week.

This week our usual hangout—a diner that, admittedly, has only so-so food, though their desserts are excellent—was closed for renovations. I got there to find two of the others standing outside. We waited about fifteen minutes, collecting four more people, before leaving a note on the door and heading over to a dumpling house a block away.

The food was considerably better. And comparably priced. The seating was a little trickier—we wound up split into two groups—and the place was too loud for easy conversation, but it was still fun.

And it was a pleasant reminder that I have lunch with these people not just out of habit or some vague notion toward networking but because I genuinely like them.