Triple F: It’s Boring, but Not for Them?

How’s your week been? We’ve got some left before the weekend hits, so…

Let’s get to it.

Today is Fabulous Fiction Friday.

As far as work, for me that’s much the same–looking after other people who are coaching writers, prospecting, and what-have-ya.

In the weekly Dungeons and Dragons campaign, we’ve gone toward resolving our fighter being dead, and gotten introduced to the airship the campaign is named after. All the while another thread has formed (a new character) that has yet to be tied in with what we’re doing, and things swapped back and forth a bit to keep track of both.

There’s many reasons why I write so much about D&D…one is, a lot of it connects to writing, storytelling, and/or business in one form or another. And I’ve discovered life is, a lot of the time, some mix of eat/sleep/work with occasional fun stuff thrown in…otherwise it’s pretty much the same.

Then again, that’s all a matter of perspective.

Your prompt for this week’s Triple F is:

Your character invites someone else to a boring activity to keep them company, and they have an awesome time.

All right. To the fiction. You’ll have backstory, gender, and what-have-ya to throw in here, as well as details about the boring activity (and also a few hints about why the character considers it boring). It could be they associate it with being bored from childhood, or something else.

You’ll also have to determine whether it was the activity or the other character that generated the awesomeness here (I was kinda thinking the first one, but you can do the other one if you want to).

Another thing to think about is why the activity is here in the first place (since for many people, if they consider an activity boring, they usually skip it if they have the choice to).

Maybe something like:

Stacy invited Russ from Accounting to fold napkins for her cousin’s rehearsal dinner. She didn’t know why he agreed to come–there’d be a thousand excuses she would have thought up, if he had asked her.

That is, until she saw him perfectly fold napkins into a ten-foot pyramid. And she didn’t believe for one second the line about “I like making order out of chaos.” Okay, maybe. But the other 65% of his reasoning was something else. It had to be.

Or maybe Will invited Hannah to organize his dad’s tools for the estate sale. It happened in a week, and he didn’t know if he would make it in time. He felt sorry for her, and stupid for asking, because sorting tools would be long, boring work. For some reason, she genuinely seemed to enjoy it, which seemed odd, but he’d never really talked to her.

She also talked about the history of a lot of the older pieces. He’d take her out for dinner as a thank-you…but mostly so they could talk some more.

Of course.

That’s enough to get the mental snowball rolling down the hill, I think.

May 2019 has one more week.

Make it a great weekend with good memories, all right?

Until next time (and week),


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We Finally Made It to the Namesake of the Campaign…

How’s it going? We ended up inching toward a solution to the “Frederick’s gone now” problem with last night’s session of Dungeons and Dragons.

Let’s get to it.

The fighter even said “It’s not Frederick anymore” when someone mentioned his (former) character’s name…that really brought things home for me.

Our druid got our now-dead fighter back to the Tricky Crayfish Arms tavern, plopped him into his bed, and gathered us up. It’d been hours since his death, so the one minute or ten minute limit or what-have-ya for revivify was definitely long gone.

We ended up going to see Mr. Black, a dwarf gun dude/assassin type who stayed at the Arms too. He took us to the church in town where bad luck, there’s no one who could help.

There was one who probably could–the Dervish King. But we’d have to go back to The Oasis, which took us a whole week by wagon last time we went from there to get here.

That’s when Mr. Black said he had an alternate, faster form of transportation for us.

An airship…more specifically, based on what I’d been able to figure out–the Onyx Feldspar (which is also the name of the ship from the first campaign of D&D I took part in).

Our barbarian wanted to stay behind in Giva to continue the hunt. Our druid thought that’d be a bad idea, and my brother (the DM) said that Crooked Armstrong was #5 out of 6 of the lieutenants in town. If someone that far down the ranks could kill one of our party, what would the higher-ranking ones be able to do?

So he ended up staying with the rest of us for this trip.

I asked him again about spilling his guts to the town guard, and he said he never claimed to be great at roleplaying. I said I wasn’t good at it myself–I just wanted to know why he said what he said, if he had a plan behind it. No matter what, it was in character, which was pretty awesome.

The interior of the ship looked familiar to me, my brother said. I asked why.

Turns out it looked just like the inside of the place where I got dumped after I was kidnapped…meaning the bad guys have their own airship.

That also means we have confirmation that the evil cultists did in fact steal those blueprints to make their own boat.

I relayed this info to Mr. Black and Ulrich Skythorn, and they weren’t too tickled about it (I’m pretty sure Skythorn got slapped).

Once we got to The Oasis, my brother reminded us we could put Frederick into our Bag of Holding now that he was regular size. So we did that.

The Dervish King and dwarven champ Sir Allgrim were there talking when we walked in. Oh boy.

And I had to be the one to tell them everything…

And then our druid dumped the body on to the floor as proof.

Very in character for him, and very in character for me, as well as the dwarven champ, to be horrified by it.

The Dervish King was going to see what he could do. Meanwhile, I’m in charge of finishing Frederick’s mission to take out the evil cult, even at the cost of my life. I’m under Sir Allgrim now, and Frederick’s three retainers/footmen are under my command, apparently.



An expert with guns and grenades needed backing for the invention of a combat gauntlet and such. After some negotiating, he’s paid 3,700 gold to make a couple prototypes and so on, to be mass produced once they’ve been proven. He’s got his funding, and he also has scars on his face–so much that his left eye’s swollen shut/scarred over by it.

This inventor and tinkering rockstar is our fighter’s new character, Jack Hargreaves (I think he said his name after the stream ended last week).

The pointola?

It’s interesting moving on from different situations in stories, emails, and more…even tragic ones. This brought home to me, that yes, things were bad, but also yes, they can (and will) be moved on from and rectified as best we’re able.

The mission will continue–most of us are still here.

And the guy who played our fighter did say that if the fighter Frederick got resurrected, he’d run two characters.

Tomorrow is Triple F. Be sure to stop by.

Until next time,


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Episode 46: What I’ve Learned from Dungeons and Dragons So Far…

How’s it going? It’s podcast day.

Let’s get to it.

Today’s episode is a bit of flashback, and I attempted to do a roundup of everything I learned as a result of playing Dungeons and Dragons (both about the game itself, and other things too).

Here you go:

Until next time,


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Some Other Things My Great-Uncle Reminded Me Of…

How’s it going? It was super warm on Sunday (I thought it was at least mid-70s here) and only 55 yesterday, so that was something I tried to weather (ha).

Let’s get to it.

Something else about yesterday’s post got me thinking a little bit. I know it’s a bit selfish (or it may sound that way), but sometimes when I learn about people I care about passing, I’m sad for them, and sad for me…

Not only because I won’t be able to see them anymore, but because it’s a reminder that life is fragile. Deep down, I know there’s more to do, and I sometimes let the day-to-day take up more of my brainpower than I know it should.

(I don’t know if you’re like that too.)

On the other hand, sometimes I get so caught up in what I could or should do, what I’ve already done goes by the wayside–almost like I’m constantly looking for the next thing, without remembering what came before that I can reference or tell others about.

Maybe it’s good on some level, and maybe it’s not.

Personally I think you need both, without neglecting one or the other.

Tomorrow is podcast day. I think I’m planning a bit of a flashback, but not as far this time.

Until next time,


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One Last Time Is Never Enough, and Here’s Why

How was your weekend? I actually want to talk about something that happened last week.

Let’s get to it.

Early Friday morning (apparently), my aunt left me a phone message…which I didn’t get until about 2 that afternoon.

She told me my great-uncle Wally passed away.

He was 84. He would have been 85 in a couple of months. He was having trouble with food getting caught in his throat and stuff, and an operation to get his esophagus widened out went sideways. He ended up in a rehab place with tubes in his chest out both sides and never recovered.

We didn’t spend a lot of time together–I’d see him and my great-aunt at a couple family functions or what-have-ya. But we never had regular contact or anything like that. I saw him at my other great uncle’s funeral (which I wrote about over here).

I’m pretty sure my uncle Wally’s dad owned a silver mine in Nevada somewhere. He worked in hazmat/disposal for years and years (which is of course an extremely dangerous gig). He also loved Coca-Cola, and drank it a lot–from what I’d heard, to the tune of several cans a day.

I talked to my aunt about other things too, because she also told me there’d be no funeral held or services of any kind for Uncle Wally. He didn’t want to have one.

A part of me wanted him to want to have a service, so I could go see him one last time. But of course that’s something each person has to decide for themselves.

Which got me thinking (which is actually the pointola of this post and why the title is what it is).

I said “one last time,” but the thing is, I didn’t know when that one last time would be. Nobody does. We can make guesses and so on, but those aren’t always 100% accurate. Some cases are more easily predicted than others too, of course.

A part of me does feel guilty, but I realize that people do what they can to have relationships with others.

And no matter what (unless you’re writing books or stories) those relationships have to end.

Which is why you carry with you what you can.

Until next time,


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Triple F: This Mail Slot Leads To…

How’s your week been? We’ve got just a bit more of it left.

Let’s get to it.

Today is Friday, which means Triple F and a prompt for you.

Other parts of my week were pretty normal–D&D was a blockbuster though. Our enlarged fighter got killed, and he’s now being transported in our druid’s stomach in an attempt to get to a safe spot and plan our next move (and the other three members of the party, including me, officially know nothing because we were in another location).

And the bigger part of that started with…a mail slot.

Your prompt for this week’s Fabulous Fiction Friday is:

Your character finds a mail slot and discovers it not really for mail.

Now, we fiction (for some reason I use that word as an action sometimes).

First question here would probably be “Well, what is it for?”

Anything else may relate to character, backstory, or what-have-ya.

Of course the answers for both sets of stuff here will be what you decide, which is the cool part.

Maybe Maddie finds the mail slot on the front door of her aunt’s house. It’s been hundreds of years since houses were built with one. From the inside, it leads outside, but from the outside, it leads to a fairy kingdom populated by sentient cats. Only these cats know what humans are (instead of thinking of them as awkward, useless cats). Why has no one discovered this before? Or is this where crazy Uncle Clyde disappeared to 10 years ago?

Or Louie discovers the mail slot on his own house not only doesn’t open–it’s nailed shut. The landlord mentioned some weirdo he kicked out 25 years ago did that, and nobody’s come around to rent the house since. Just what is inside there? And why is an entire town afraid of a mail slot on the door of an old house?

That’s enough to get the mental snowball rolling down the hill, I think.

May 2019 is a little over halfway over.

Make it an awesome weekend with good memories, all right?

Until next time (and week),


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We Missed a Visit from a Little Birdie, and then This Happened…

How’s it going? The weekly Dungeons and Dragons session went down last night, and let’s just say this post may get a tad long.

Let’s get to it.

Our fighter and druid followed a map they were given to the lair of the one of the cultists’ lieutenants, an orc named Crooked Armstrong. Before they went inside, the fighter tried his earring to communicate with the rest of us…nothing. Meaning we weren’t within 600 feet of one another.

He wanted us to meet up.

The druid got hold of a bird and asked it nicely to go find the rest of us (the barbarian, our wizard, and our warlock–me).

While they were doing that, the barbarian suggested we wander around town some more to see if we could find any other clues or any other cultists. The wizard and I said sure, despite my misgivings about not waiting for the bird.

The bird got there after we left, and relayed to the druid it couldn’t find us.

The barbarian, wizard, and I ended up finding the cultist that the other two bumped off the last session. We’re examining the scene when my brother tells us we hear footsteps outside. I got a natural 20 on a roll for stealth, which was pretty cool. They wouldn’t find me, whoever they were.

It ended up being the town guard…and the barbarian told them everything about our plans to snuff out the evil cultists, how we were on a mission from the king, blah, blah. I was shocked.

We were found around the vicinity of a corpse, which looked pretty terrible. The barbarian ended up setting the building on fire (as a storm herald barbarian, he can do that).

So we got out of there and went back to the hotel to lay low for a bit.


Our fighter and druid went inside the compound (after the druid turned into a rat and popped through the mail slot).

The fighter used a potion of growth and another one of frost giant strength (after he had used a potion of invisibility so they could sneak around). When the fighter was invisibly sneaking, our druid happened upon the kitchen (and some combat).

The two of them were able to take out the lone dude in there…and then the druid summoned 8 little raptors when they’d heard other people coming down the hall.

Crooked Armstrong and his gang had come calling–and the party was half down because three of us were elsewhere. Turned out ol’ Crooked wasn’t the problem…not really.

His cleric was.

So our fighter was many feet taller and stronger too. It took some time for him and the druid to rip through everyone.

The cleric had cast Thunder Wave a couple times, too. Players have to roll a 15 or so on the 20-sided die to take half damage from that one (so some damage is usually taken no matter what).

So the little dinos got obliterated.

While fighting the orc, even after healing himself with his partial paladin-ness, our fighter went unconscious.

When you go unconscious in D&D, you have to make death saving throws–the goal being to get 3 successes (I think it’s 10 or higher) before you get three failures.

He rolled a 3. First fail.

Around this time, he told our druid to finish the mission and knock out everybody else.

The druid had summoned a second set of little dinos, and that’s when it happened.  Another Thunder Wave, which bumped them off.

But our fighter was in range of the blast too, and took some damage. When you take damage in D&D when you’re unconscious that counts as

And then the dude playing our fighter said these words:

“Guys…Frederick von Steuben is no more.”

And there wasn’t a thing the rest of us could directly do to stop it.

Death in D&D isn’t permanent…we might be able to find someone at a church who could help.

That’s why our druid turned into a massive snake and swallowed the fighter (still in his large state from drinking the potion of growth) and shuffled on out of there.

We also have to determine:

If the fighter really wants to come back–the major part of his mission to investigate to see if the cult exists is now over

If the Nine Hells regent he kinda sold his soul to would enforce his contract (which was not officially given to the DM), which would complicate a resurrection, since you need both body and soul to do one of those

Or other complications…

The pointola?

It would seem, based on the title of this post, that I’m trying to connect us missing the message from the little bird and our fighter kicking the bucket, perhaps temporarily.

You’re darn right I am.

In one way, I wanted things to happen differently. When he collapsed, I would have rushed over, despite his protests, and healed him anyway.

I would have been there for him, to help him.

But I wasn’t.

And when he died, I’m pretty sure I could have cast revivify on him to bring him back.

But I didn’t, because I was nowhere around.

So there was nothing I could directly do.

So it happened.

Our fighter died.

And I had to helplessly endure the consequences.

And then I realized none of this is real–these characters are made up.

But I still felt the way I did.

A lot of life is uncertain.

And sometimes we flub things and lose–albeit temporarily.

Even with all that, it still hurts though…definitely.

But that’s the power and emotional connection of D&D.

Tomorrow is Triple F. Be sure to stop by.

Until next time,


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Episode 45: Cars and Humor…

How’s it going? Today is podcast day.

Let’s get to it.

Today’s episode is another flashback one (this time about cars, of all things). Not to mention a bit of humor here and there, of course.

Here you go:–Humor–and-Better-Writing-e41cmp

Until next time,


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Didn’t Know There Were Two of These…

How’s it going? I did the yardwork yesterday and realized a simple thing had somehow escaped me–for years.

Let’s get to it.

I discovered a second lilac bush here, by the building I put the mower and gas in.

Lilacs are an awesome flower (at least in my opinion). I don’t know why I didn’t recognize this before–I’ve had to mow around the thing all the time I’ve lived here. It never left.

Maybe I never saw it in bloom. Yesterday I did, in all its purplish glory. So now I know.

The pointola?

Sometimes you don’t recognize something (or someone) is at work behind the scenes, because you only see the finished product, not the individual parts. Writing and business are two of these things, but there are many others.

Tomorrow is podcast day.

Until next time,


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The Downside of Taking Time Off…

How was your weekend? I ended up taking mine off, so there’s not much that went on, except me resting…kinda boring if you think about it. That’s what I want to talk a bit about though.

But before all that, if you’re a mom and you’re reading this–Happy Mother’s Day (even though that was yesterday of course).

All right…

Let’s get to it.

Sometimes we need boring.

That’s especially true if you’re the type who likes to go, go, go. It also works for others who work at a slower pace as well, of course. In my opinion, the faster you go, the more benefit you get from slowing down.

Taking a little time off is cool because you get as much done as you can beforehand and don’t think about anything until you get back, because it’ll all be there for you.

The tad uncool part of it is the “it’ll all be there for you.”

That’s the downside.

You have to deal with/catch up on things after you come back from being recharged, but since you get more energy from slowing down, maybe it all evens out in the end.

And I always feel refreshed after taking time off. If you do too, drop me a line in the comments with your favorite “time out” activity.

Speaking of which, I have to get to the “catching up” part now.

Until next time,


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