Q: What were you for Halloween?
A: On fire.

October. I love it. Cool days, comfortable nights. If there is any better skating weather, I don’t know it. Add to it the best single holiday of the year, and things are hopping around the Stroh house.

This past week the school held its Halloween celebration. Games and fun, along with a fairy-tale walk for the wee ones, and a haunted house (put on by the 8th grade for the older students). A good time was had by all.

H and I acted out the Rumplestiltskin story. We did it in 3 parts, beginning with ol’ Rumple spinning gold out of straw. Then, led by the maiden, the walkers snuck on Rumble as he danced around his bonfire, cackling and shouting into the night:

Today I bake, tomorrow I brew
Today for one, tomorrow for two.
And still that pretty little dame,
never guess Rumplestiltskin’s name!

Finally we closed out our skit with Rumple approaching the maid and demanding she guess his name. She got it right (on the third guess) every time this year, but we’ll see if she’s so lucky next time around.

We were a 2-person crew, so in between our skit I would stoke the bonfire before hustling back to the spinning wheel. Late into the night, probably the 4th or 5th skit of the evening I was dancing around the fire, flaming brand thrust high into the night sky, and smelled something burning. Turned out ol’ Rumple had managed to set his wig and beard on fire. I finished out the act then batted myself out before scurrying to act 3. In my rush to complete the skit, I must have missed a few embers because as I acted out the last of the skit someone noted:

“Um, Rumplestiltskin, you’re on fire.”

Clearly an overstatement. My immolation was greatly exaggerated.

Raising Hell and Bales
This weekend I got to help out with a bale-raising. Straw bale construction is a big deal in this climate. Bales insulate well, and are renewable. All you need to make a building then is the framework and workforce.

Probably half a dozen families turned out to help stack bales into 11 ft. walls. It was a great community event, especially when you get to see immediate results from your work.

Plus, I’ve been missing the physical labor. This was a good chance to get out and do some honest work. That, and chainsaws were involved.

Above the Chemist
I just received a copy of a German DCC by some guy named von Harley Stroh. Into the Wilds, Deutsch, will soon be available. Collectors unite! Given the move to 4E, this may be one of the last conversions we see of the 3.5 adventures.

Behold my shipping weight! I could annihilate you in an instant!
Five years and 500,000 words later, Castle Whiterock is hitting the stands. I found out about this project way back at Gen Con 2006, and Doyle was working on it long before that. If you had a chance to get your hands on the pre-print copies at last Gen Con you have an appreciation for just how big this one is. Thicker than a phone book, this adventure might just stop low caliber bullets.*

Foolish claims aside, Whiterock was my chance to write a Greyhawk-esque town to rival my memories of the box set of the Old City. Writing the town was a last minute bid in a project that was already way over word count. The publisher likely would have been just as happy (or happier) if I left the town out, but you can't do the setting justice without it. The 20k came as a surprise to everyone else, but I think the box set is better for the writing. I fervently hope you guys agree.

*Don’t try this at home. Before you go building a Whiterock flak vest, I need to test this one out at home.

And finally, as noted last post down, this weekend I'm headed down the mountain to sleep in the back of my car, skate, write, and hang out at art installations/tattoo parlors. Does it get any better?

I think not.



At 8:43 PM, Anonymous Dieter said...

Harley, you're always on fire!

At 12:50 PM, Blogger Matt said...

Nothing important to add.. Just saying Hi. :)

At 3:35 PM, Anonymous Cassandra said...

You lead such an interesting life, Harley! I've never known anyone before who set himself on fire. ;)

My husband looked into the effectiveness of hay bale houses and really wanted us to build one, but it never worked out. Never known anyone before who helped build a bale house either. You're just unique!

At 10:36 PM, Blogger Grimbones said...

Nah, Cass. I'm just the happy product of a great environment. :)


At 1:22 AM, Blogger saurus said...

If goodman will send me some copies, we'll test various calibers of bullets on them.

it doesn't stand a chance against my 10 gauge though.


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