Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Month: May 2018

Day 4 on This

Hendrix the Cat

Not another picture!

The title of this thing is something of a celebration of my (minor) achievement with this daily posting thing. I honestly didn’t know what to expect of myself and seriously thought I might not make it to 4 nights in a row. But it’s Hump Day and here’s the post! Yay!

I wish I could say I’ve been fantastically productive, but I can’t. Though, I did manage to do a number of things I needed to.

Before going to bed this morning (at around 04:30 or so, iirc), I finally managed to get the most recent adventures my character Xylorian’s had in the D&D campaign DMed by my pride friend Kit. I’m fairly certain I’ve mentioned this group before, but I can’t remember all what I’ve said. Suffice it to say that I met all the players in this group, and the DM, through the Utah Pride Center. I’m the only one with a substantial amount of previous experience playing D&D among us players, and Kit’s a “new” DM; we’re his first actual gaming group. Still, we’re doing fairly well, I think. Kit’s very involved and keeps up with us and on the ball with what we need to know.

So, I did that, then idled for a time, fiddling with nitpicky things on one of my world’s worldbuilding before going to bed. And I stayed in bed until 13:00. My sleep wasn’t the best, though, and it rarely is when I go to bed so late, so I spent a bit of time napping after I got up. At one point, a one of my pride friends reminded me about our usual weekly Magic: The Gathering session and I arranged to pull another friend who sometimes joins us in.

Thus, at 17:00, I was at Oasis Games with Cayden and JJ. We played one long round of MTG with a young man who sometimes joins us. D— is still quite young, so I’m not providing his name here. Suffice it to say that he’s got pretty powerful decks and regularly trounces us all. I had a headache and begged off a second round, so we broke for the day and Cayden and JJ headed out to Trax to begin their trips home together.

Back home, I was greeted by my cat, who was very happy I was home. I laid down for a little while to see if the headache would go away, and it did fade. D— is also very enthusiastic and loves MTG, so he tends to stress me out a bit. As a result I thought just getting home where things were calm and relatively quiet (I had music playing, as I almost always do) would help me feel better.

Once I felt better, I got Chapter 21 of DH02 posted on Wattpad, though I didn’t edit the next chapter of DH03 as I’d originally planned. Mostly ’cause I needed to email a friend to coordinate a grocery trip this weekend. I also wanted to call my Mom, which I did, and we were on for about half an hour. She received Primary Election voter information and seemed confused on its purpose. I’m not sure I cleared things up for her as well as I thought I had, but we moved on to other topics and hung up after a nice chat anyway.

Not Much Done Today, Except . . .

Balloons from the Pride Center

Balloons are fun!

Today wasn’t a very productive day, at least not on the writing front. I had my volunteer shift, though, so that’s what I did. Like I have been recently, I went in early. This time I got in around 15:00 or so, I think. Not really sure. Kevin, the front desk coordinator who oversees the late afternoon to evening hours, drove me home as has become usual.

It was pretty busy tonight. We had our regular groups, then a bunch of people there on and off who were helping with Festival prep. The Utah Pride Festival is this coming weekend, and they’re doing quite a bit of setup. It’s a major event for the pride center, and it usually takes about a week for them to set things up for it. They’ve also been getting last-minute deliveries of equipment and things like the tee shirts the Festival volunteers will wear.

Originally, I’d intended to take some D&D stuff to work on, but I’m so glad I didn’t. Things were really too busy for me to sit in the back of the reception area sketching up floor plans as I’d half-planned on. I took one of my crochet projects instead, and I was able to get a couple of rows on it when things calmed down a bit. Lots of new people unfamiliar with the center came through tonight, and I had to show a number of them around so they could find their way. At some point tonight, someone offered a bouquet of balloons that had been left behind, and I accepted them.

Got home a little after nine, and now I’m trying to figure out what to focus on until I go to bed, though it probably won’t be anything. I’ll probably be up past midnight like usual, and all I have planned for tomorrow is editing a chapter of one of my stories and posting a different chapter of the same on Wattpad, as I’ve decided to move post-night there to Wednesdays since weekends are really too busy.

So, that was my day. Until tomorrow!

Nothing Really to Report

This day could have been productive if I’d slept at all well last night. Instead, my sleep sucked, and I’ve been zoning on incomplete wips all day. I should sleep well tonight, though. Nights after exhaustion days are almost always nights of excellent sleep.

Trying a New Thing

Nosedrool

My D&D Character for Lynn’s D&D group, Nosedrool the Gnome Monk

I’ve been considering trying a new thing on my website for a while now. Daily posts. Little mini-updates. Mostly for myself, to make me accountable for doing things like actually doing something with my writing daily, sitting down to read a bit, getting to my crafts and things. We’ll see how this goes. Gonna start this with a post tonight.

Reading

I’ve been saying I want to read, but I never actually do so, and I didn’t do any today. Just figured I’d start this report off with a (mildly) humiliating fact about my day. I really have no excuses for not reading. I could have done some when I got home around 17:45 tonight.

Writing

Didn’t actually do any writing on my fiction, either. I honestly hadn’t planned on doing any today, so there’s that. Today’s slated writing task was Blog Post. Which I’m doing now. And hopefully daily from now on.

Gaming

Figured I’d include this since this is a major part of my life now. Most of these updates will be about D&D, I think, but I’ll probably also have stuff to say about other games I’m playing on occasion.

I’ve mentioned that I’m DMing for a group of friends and that I’m in one group with a bunch of friends I met at the pride center. Well, in the last week or so, I’ve joined another gaming group made up of people from both groups and a square dance friend who’s DMing.

We woke up in what was apparently a slavers’ camp. Fought our way free. And then the DM started referring to my character Nosedrool as “Nosebleed.” LOL

The Sunday group is, so far, composed of myself playing a Gnome Monk named Nosedrool, my friend Phil playing a Human Ranger named Ander, my one pride center friend Cayden playing a Halfling Cleric named Page, and Kit playing a Tiefling Bard named Eskel. Our group currently has two NPCs running with us, a Dragonborn Barbarian named Dval’lhk who was captive with us, and a Diviner-Drow youth named Malicene whose family was massacred by unknown baddies.

I’m still cracking up over how Lynn kept referring to my character as “Nosebleed.” Yeah, she’s a bit too short for doing that to the humans who captured us. LOL

(Nosedrool is in nonstandard clothing ’cause I hated what HeroForge had to offer for monks.)

Busy Few Days

I’d like to offer my apologies for not posting anything except this apology today. I’ve had a busy and sometimes exhausting few days and I wasn’t able to get a chance to write my blog post.

Housing Recertification

I live in government subsidized housing, and could literally not afford to live in almost any other apartment. My building is in the Mod Rehab program of my city’s Housing Authority. I’m not exactly sure just what “mod rehab” means, aside from the fact that the owner of the building has to keep the building up to certain standards in order for it to remain under contract with the Housing Authority.

This is not the first time I’ve lived in this building. I moved into my current apartment here sometime I think in July or August of 2014. So that I may continue living here, my apartment must undergo an inspection and recertification process each year. The current caseworker who manages the paperwork for my building and its tenants at the Housing Authority is a woman who keeps up with things very well.

Jasmin had me in for my actual recertification appointment last week, on, I think, the 7th. For this, I had to take in some verification of income paperwork. This basically meant I had to take in a letter from the VA stating my income through them, as Jasmin can access my Social Security income statement on her own.

The next step is for my apartment to be inspected. My inspection is slated to happen next Tuesday, from 09:00-13:00. Basically, an inspector who is certified with the Housing Authority will show up and test my appliances for functionality, ensure the smoke detector still operates, and will ensure I’m keeping my apartment tidy enough it doesn’t contain any health or safety hazards. It won’t be any trouble for me to pass this inspection.

Once the inspection is complete, Jasmin will to through all the paper work and the inspection’s results and adjust my income. Then, the month before my move-in anniversary, she’ll send me my rent adjustment. After that, I’ll be able to live here for another year.

Dungeons & Dragons

Years ago, back in the 90’s, when I lived in North Carolina before the Navy, I played D&D* with a bunch of friends I’d met through Star Trek fandom. This required me getting a ride out to my friends’ home, and sometimes me spending the night. I don’t recall much about those games, but I do recall the fun I had with my friends. This all ended for me when I made an unwelcome comment I don’t recall about how they were raising their child.

Ever since then, I’ve wanted to get involved in D&D again. Oh, I’ve been gaming for about ten years now, but in the Vampires: The Masquerade system. I have no idea who publishes it; all I do know is that the GM** for that has been struggling for a while now with coming up ideas for us to play. We—my current longtime gaming group—have also had a taste of the Rifts role gaming system, but the GM for that flaked out on us within a few months and hasn’t been back. Honestly, none of us really care if we ever see him again. Our old Vampires GM does want to GM the Rifts system for us though, but it requires multiple books, and he, like the rest of us, has little extra money, and he has to use most of it on things that are more immediate to his needs.

So, when Oasis Games bought the building where Utah Pride Center used to be on 4th South, I started getting interested in D&D again. A demo game by one of the employees of the store only whetted my appetite. Enough so that I conceived the idea of DMing* for my longtime gaming group. This was back in December. I got the Player’s Handbook back in December, and by January had the Monster Manual and Dungeon Master’s Guide.

As a result, for the past few months I’ve been making slow progress with writing up plans and such for the first adventure I’m leading my gaming group on. It’s been fun, though I have to admit that I wouldn’t have wanted to do this if 5th Edition hadn’t come out.

I’ve also gotten into another D&D group where I can regularly run a character. That’s been a lot of fun, and I’m stealing DMing ideas I like from the person who’s DMing it with his position. I’ve got to get to Oasis Games some day when the employee who DMed the demo game to get ideas from him. There are some questions about different aspects that I have to ask him—and, actually, another person who I know GMs a Star Wars role game for his friends.

So excited about all this. It’s going to be such fun!

*Dungeons & Dragons
**Game Master – Used as a general term for someone who directs the role game when the official title is unknown.
***Dungeon Master(ing) – The title of the person who directs a D&D game.

One Week In

Well, I’m one week into my new writing habit, and I’d have to say it’s gone fairly well. Not perfect, but not too badly either. I’ve done something with my writing almost every day over the past week, and I’m pretty pleased about that. The only day I think I missed was Thursday, and that was because I was so completely exhausted that I just couldn’t focus on anything by the time I got around to working on my writing.

So, over the past week, I’ve looked at the last few chapters of Unwritten Letters, hunted out the sketchy “outline” I made for the last few scenes, and have determined (yet again) I need more because the leaps between the scenes are too great. Since Wednesday, I’ve been backbraining what I need to fill in the gaps. In the meantime, I’ve edited a chapter of DH02 to to up on Wattpad later, posted DH02CH17 on Wattpad, and worked on some side stuff for the D&D campaign I’m running a character in with my pride center friends.

Unfortunately, due to the appointments I’ve had the past week, and all the other stuff going on, I haven’t been able to work much on my own D&D campaign for my long-time gaming friends. I hope to get that done a bit this week. There’s maybe half the dungeon they’ll be going through to finish, and right now I’m going through the Monster Manual page by page to add some variety to their adventure.

This week, I plan on getting at least 2 plot cards on UL, working at least 3 days on my D&D campaign for my friends, and writing out a “letter” about the most recent adventure my character had in Kit’s D&D campaign (pride friends). I’d also like to read a little more of the Monster Manual. On Monday, I have an appointment, and I’ve got my volunteer shift on Tuesday, a Housing recertification appointment on and then meeting a friend to play Magic: The Gathering on Weds, with quilting on Thurs. I’m supposed to fit crocheting in there somewhere. I’ve sort of taken up the duty of coordinating D&D with my pride center friends, so I’ve got to finish coordinating with them for our gaming session that’s supposed to happen next week. And I’m going to try to fit some crocheting time in there somewhere; probably at my volunteer shift.

In case you were wondering, one of my goals with this weekly posting is to make myself accountable. Even if nobody reads this, I’m hoping that posting my weekly writing goals and my progress with my writing will help keep me focused on the writing goals. I’m doing this because I’ve noticed that I tend to focus better if I’m accountable, and I think that even though this is something I’m doing on my own, knowing I must post here will help me become more disciplined with my writing. the main reason why I’m including mention of other things is because I want to show, in a loose fashion, what other things I have as goals. But, really, any appointments I have, my volunteer shift, and my writing are my priorities.

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