On the road again
Heather’s father died last year and this will be the first Christmas without him, so it goes without saying that she needs to be home on the East Coast for the holidays. While the filthy lucre of publishing might be flowing like sweet wine, it wasn’t flowing that sweet, so a second plane flight was out of the question. Instead I’ll be driving up to Wyoming to spend the holidays with my brother and parents. I’m the evil son that never writes, calls or visits, so it will be good to see my family.

Which puts me on the road.

I had vague plans to hook up with friends last night, but I ended up at a punk bar instead. I did more people watching than drinking, taking notes for the vampire book and relishing the frantic, desperate way we humans throw ourselves at each other. The girl working the bar looked like she was counting the days to her fourteenth birthday, had two purple pigtails and wore the same yellow, ducky galoshes you might seen on Paul Kemp’s kids.

By the time I had had my fill, I had missed my window for finding my friends, along with a warm place to crash for the night. I drove back onto campus, unstuffed the sleeping bag and slept in the car.*

Woke up to frost on the inside of the windshield. Fitting punishment for getting distracted with people watching and forgetting my prior commitments, tentative though they may have been.

Tonight I arrive in Wyoming and settle into seven days of hardcore writing. Vampires staff my dreams. I’ll be away from the internet, but if you need to reach me, both Ashlock and Gentry have my number. :)

Happy holidays, everyone. Be safe, and I’ll see you in the new year!

* There are millions of people out in the world that aren’t so lucky to have the choice of sleeping in their car; Harley “playing homeless” is an insult to all those people. And yet, some small part of me delights in the charade.

Something else to go to hell for.

This post has been syndicated to livejournal by the nubile and flexible Harleybot.


I don’t write for the money …
But I love it when the check comes in.

Ask anyone working in the publishing business and they will tell you that making the jump from part to full-time freelancer is not a decision to be made lightly. When even those with regular novel gigs keep their day jobs, you get a sense of how great the gap is. Still, I suspect that each one of us, in our secret (or not so secret) heart of hearts still yearns for title of full-time freelancer.

In case you were worried, Harley isn’t making the jump any time soon.

The upside to being unknown, broke and ugly, is that every sale – and I mean every – feels like a giant step forward. It’s like the first time you kissed the girl. Archangels trumpet from on high, the stoplights all turn green, the cop lets you off with a warning for skateboarding.

The soft cover edition of Dave Arneson’s Blackmoor campaign setting isn’t due out for a few months, but that didn’t stop the co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons from paying Harley’s rent for the month of December. (And remember, I live within avalanche distance of Aspen.)

Part-time or full-time, that’s pretty fun.

And in other news …
I spent last night doing setting work (inking and coloring a 2 ft. by 3 ft. map for a campaign setting that is due for release at the next GenCon) and I realized the reason that I love doing d20 work: the opportunity to draw.

Silly, but there it is. I’m not professional grade by any standard, but the mere act of preparing maps of professional cartographers is a joy, and something that’s lost when I write straight fiction.

You may recall that before the setting gig came along I expressed a desire to step away from d20 work and get back to writing more. That’s still the case, but I hope I have the opportunity to the occasional d20 job on the side. I spent my childhood doodling on graph paper and I'd hate to give it up now. :)

This post has been syndicated to livejournal by the devoted and unflagging Harleybot.


Blogger Meets Live Journal
Won't work unless I pay $19.95 to upgrade to a paid account. Or I get so popular that LJ syndicates as a public service. ;)

Ed and Marce have solved this challenge by posting a link to their blogs from their LJ accounts, but they could also do solve the problem by cutting and pasting blogger posts to LJ accounts.


Viva La Vie Boheme
I’m sure there must be missing accents on that title, but that’s what I get for copying and pasting from Google.

The weekend is here! All day Board retreat on Saturday (that’s one 5 ft. step, so that we don’t incur attacks of opportunity*), and then let the writing commence! All day Sunday to drink coffee and spill thoughts out onto a keyboard. And we get paid for this? We are the luckiest people ever.

A big, Deathy welcome is due to Paul Kemp for taking time from his busy schedule to stop by. You should all stop by his blog at http://www.livejournal.com/users/paulskemp/ , if only for pictures of his children.

Also, a big thank you is due to everyone that offered words of encouragement during the last weeks of the White Wolf contest. I’m still a far cry from the worthies that have published/ are in the process of publishing novels, so it is generous of them to suffer my company.

Okay. So maybe that last bit was little over the top. But it’s true to Harley’s emotions. I’m thankful for everyone that hangs around. :)

What else? The setting work really starting to take form. It’s akin to a heating a pot of water: for a long time it seems like little is getting done, then you cross that critical threshold and the water erupts into a rolling boil. Last week the waters were placid, but this week it’s boiling – maps being handed off to the cartographer, manuscripts are being cross-referenced and the cover art has been commissioned. That, and I still have a 24k adventure to write for the setting. And a book about vampires. And encounters for the GenCon tournament. And an adventure for February’s DragonCon.

Have I mentioned I love my night job?

Let’s all hear it for a two-week winter break. Which brings us back to the title of this quickly written, sloppily edited post:

Viva La Vie Boheme! I love you guys. Write hard, fall down on concrete for me, and I'll see you all on Monday!

*Stupid gaming joke. Sorry.


I want you!
...to playtest my modules. >:)

Chris and Chrissy are hard at work on the Spellburn setting, so I'm short my usual suspects. Anyone else interested in playtesting a module, lvls 7-9?


Post ‘Em If You’ve Got ‘Em
What a fantastic time to be alive. Good friends, good work, and writing as far as the eye can see. Thanks for being around for the show.

H and I went to see “Walk the Line” –the Johnny Cash biography– last night. For those of us who like to consider ourselves artists, it hits pretty close to home. Namely, I almost didn’t go to the movie with my wife because I had so much writing to do.

Given my melodramatic bent I probably took more from the movie than intended. Regardless, it served as both a warning and inspiration.

Still waiting to hear back from my new friends at White Wolf. This is actually just fine since I’m still trying to clear my writing load for the new year. My plan is to finish 2 modules and the remaining setting work by the end of December, freeing me up for the final leg of the White Wolf contest. It’s important to complete my contract obligations before I begin chasing contest dreams. It’s never too early to begin behaving like a professional --- even if I still dress like a coffee shop refugee.

Still, I find myself daydreaming about the World of Darkness, which is my way of doing foundation work to the actual writing. Armed with a bomb-proof outline, I’ll begin hammering away in the last weeks of December. If you have any outline suggestions or advice, feel free to post them.

BTW, anyone know if Indianapolis has a skatepark? A little physical exertion would be just the thing to take the edge off GenCon.

In other Con news, the fine folks who published stories in Realms of the Dragons II will be hosting a group signing sometime during the Con. This is a great chance to get meet 10+ authors in one fell swoop, and since many of them are currently writing other novels set in the Realms, it isn’t an exaggeration to say that they are the next generation of Realms Novelists. They have been generous enough to invite me along for the ride, but I’d feel like a bit of a pretender. Thankfully, the opportunity to hang out with these fantastic writers far outweighs any lingering self-esteem issues. I hope many of you can make it.

And finally, a rousing, Deathy shout-out to Ash and Marce. Fingers and toes crossed, kids.