Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Tag: Dungeons and Dragons (page 2 of 2)

A Better Day

Sunday was a better day. I was better rested, and had a fun time gaming. Wanted to write too, but that never actually happened, though I did read a bit.

Missed A Couple Days

Quilt Blocks!

Kaleidoscope Quilt Blocks!

I missed a couple days, and I’m not going to bother going over them. They’re in the past. Besides, I can’t really recall exactly what I did during them, especially Tuesday. That’s way too far away, and on the opposite side of an exhaustion day for me, and I had to think too long to remember what I did Wednesday as well. All I do know for sure is that I forgot for the second week in a row to post a chapter of Discordant Harmonies. Oh, well, there’s always next week. I think I wrote too, but beyond that, I’m not sure, though I probably paid MTG with some friends and I know I painted D&D minis with Kit at some point.

So, Thursday. It was a good day.

Got up in time for my friend Katie to pick me up so we could do some quilting at her place. Spent a good 4-5 hours there working on my first quilt and making plans for it. Originally, it was going to just be a Kaleidoscope Quilt, but today we discussed other options for it. Things to make it more fun for me to do and more visually interesting. It’s greens and blues with black, and for a while I considered adding reds and yellows to it, but Katie suggested laying out the blocks I have already, and when I saw them together, I agreed with her—it’s going to look good with what I’ve already got going into it. After that, we got to debating other options for it, and finally settled on making a kaleidoscope pattern center with some borders: 1 inch of solid black; 6 inches of some other pattern, like perhaps a multicolored stripe of some sort; another inch of solid black; and finally a row of kaleidoscope blocks with I think we decided on solid black trim. It’s going to look fantastic, I think.

We also discussed the Block Of The Month Quilt she suggested we do together for me. We’ll be using fabrics I bought years ago for it and a Block Of The Month pattern she’s used herself. That quilt’s going to be wild. LOL I’m looking forward to getting started on it, and Katie seems enthusiastic too. Katie also said she’d teach me how to cut fabric to size with the Block Of The Month Quilt, and I’m excited to learn how.

I also took the first two fabrics I got for the Puff Quilt I’m making for my niece to show Katie. She liked them. Then I bowed to the inevitable and asked Katie if she could store the fabrics for me and told her the facts of my apartment and how long it’s going to take for me to get everything I need for quilting here at home. I think if I get a bin for the fabrics, I’ll have someplace to store the ones for my niece’s quilt, but I need to get a full-sized ironing board and figure out a place to store it (I have some ideas). This was aided by a chat with Mom earlier tonight, where she suggested I cut the fabrics downstairs in the auxiliary room my building has for tenants to use, which I thought was a good idea. So I’ll be able to tell Katie I’ve come up with some ideas for how to work around the limited space in my apartment and such, which I’m sure she’ll be happy to hear. LOL

And I wrote a little bit. Less than 500 words, but I’m glad I was able to write at all today. The opening to an Urban Fantasy Gay Romance. We’ll see where it goes.

Earlier this month, I got some of those glass bead/gravel things people put in aquariums for character tokens for the D&D campaign I’m making for my friends. I’ve been meaning to bring ’em to a mini painting session with Kit, but forgot. So tonight I remembered I had some acrylic paints my friend Anita gave to me along with some other painting equipment—paintbrushes and something to use as a palette. So I put Hendrix and his accessories in my bedroom, fetched my art stuff, and set to painting designations on the beads with different colors of paint. Took maybe half an hour or so, and though it’s kind of sloppy, they’ll serve until I get minis painted up for them. So glad I remembered those paints. Was wondering how/when I’d get a chance to paint them with Kit because I don’t think we’ll be able to meet again until after he gets settled into his new job, and that might not be until after I run my first D&D session.

A Day Late

My mini for Kit's games.

Xylorian!

I fully intended to post yesterday’s report last night, but I was exhausted and totally zoned it before I went to bed, so here it is now.

Monday was an unintentional exhaustion day. I was so excited over getting Xylorian on Sunday, I couldn’t sleep. Couldn’t wait to show him off at Monday’s D&D game with Kit. Yeah, I know his paint job isn’t the best, but there was actually a point where he looked worse. LOL

Over the course of the morning hours, I wrote a couple scenes on something new. It was fun, even though it’s a gay romance. Really trying to go with the flow with these and doing my best not to be negative about it in my commentary about what I’m currently writing. I also read a bit.

We had a bit of a snafu with getting the game together. Kit woke late and had to do laundry, so we didn’t get started until 13:00. Katie wasn’t able t join us ’cause she was not feeling well, so we floated her character, which was fine. There weren’t any battles, but she missed the wonderful job Kit did with the temple where my character was raised and trained. We packed up the game around four or so and I hung out with Kit until his ride came to pick him up.

Back at home, I wrote some more, on the same story I’d worked on before going out. Then I stayed up until around 23:00 before realizing I wasn’t going to write any more.

A Good Day

Red Dice

D&D Dice!

Sunday had something of a rough start, but not due to depression. I just went to bed later than I should have Saturday night and had to get up early. Still, I slept fairly well.

First thing I did today was go grocery shopping. My friend Ross took me. I probably didn’t get all the food I need, though, because I didn’t use a grocery list. Also, I tend to cycle through cravings and I think I’m between two different menus dictated by those cravings.
Since I didn’t yet know where we were gaming Monday—Kit hadn’t called or texted about how his conversation with Katie went—I got our sodas. They’ll get drunk regardless of where we game.

I didn’t even bother putting all my groceries away when I got home. Because I hadn’t wanted any of the food I did have for breakfast, I needed to eat, then I had to head out to Oasis Games for the day’s D&D session with Lynn. When I got there, I sat out front because I forgot Lynn rented one of the store’s 2 private rooms for gaming. Kit and Cayden joined me shortly thereafter, then Lynn arrived with Phil and Dan. Duly reminded of where we were gaming, I joined everybody else in the private room, and a new player joined us. Michael was supposed to come last week, but something came up where he wasn’t able to make it. I didn’t find the session as fun as I usually do, mostly, I think, because I was still feeling a little tired.

When I got home after gaming, I pretty much went right to bed for a nap. I was pretty pooped and was down for about 2 hours, and rose feeling refreshed. Came out to the living room to work on my writing, but it was a no-go for a number of reasons: 1) I’d pretty much beaten dead my creative mind over the past few days with writing a lot; 2) I was struggling to read my wips, which I need to be able to do so I can figure out what previous scenes to spring new scenes off of; 3) and I was mentally comparing my writing to that book I described back in the 15th’s post.

Chatted with Mom on the phone, for about half an hour. It was a good chat. Also contacted Kit about painting minis, which we set up for Wednesday. Left a message for Greg about gaming. Emailed Phil about something he mentioned for our gaming sessions on Saturdays for the future.

It was a good day, overall, but now it’s after midnight and I’m still not tired ’cause of that nap! LOL

Rough Start

My Pillow!

I sleep on this thing.

Though my mood is generally up right now, I do occasionally experience spots of depression. That happened Friday morning, so though I woke naturally around 09:00, I didn’t actually find myself able to get out of bed and face the day until almost 10:00.

After the productive day I’d had yesterday, I wasn’t expecting much of myself. Days after I do a lot of writing tend to be ones I don’t do much writing at all. So I settled in to read a bit, finishing one book I’d started yesterday. I also read through the wips I’d worked on over Thursday.

Tried reading one particular book that I especially liked. It’s got a good story. Characterization is strong and consistent. Technically, it’s well-written (probably due to a good editor, I think). Unfortunately, execution is definitely First Book level. Not nearly as bad as I remember my own early books, but definitely not up to the standards I write at this point in my life. Still, I enjoyed the book—and its sequels in the series—enough to reread them all several times when I had them on my Nook. On my Kindle, however? I find myself skimming passages that get a little silly, and it’s not the ereader’s fault. However, I suspect if this desire to read goes on much longer, I’ll eventually be able to read the book without any problem because it really is an enjoyable book to read.

I chatted with Mom for a while. Not sure how long.

Also tried to coordinate D&D hosting with my friend Katie, but got no answer and no response. She hasn’t called back yet. Will try again over Saturday.

Poked another friend to see if he’d gotten an email I sent requesting a ride to groceries. Ross responded that he had and we arranged to go at 09:00 on Sunday.

And I did eventually write. Thursday, I bounced between two stories, but Friday I worked only on one of them. They’re gay romances. Actually enjoying writing them. Basically took a couple of favorite characters from a series of gay romances I’ve read and told my creative mind to spit out a couple of different versions of them. It looks like one of these is going to be about a novella, but the other one seems like it’ll go longer. I’ll be happy with whatever length these turn out to be, mostly because I feel so optimistic about finishing them. LOL

So Tired

D&D Dice!

My favorite set of dice.

It’s been a really long day for me today. Was up past midnight working on D&D stuff last night, and I didn’t get to bed until almost 04:30. Night meds didn’t actually kick in at all, which led to four restless hours in bed. I slept a bit, but it wasn’t deeply. After a fantastic dream involving the player characters from Lynn’s group and a bunch of random extras, I woke up for the last time and decided just to get out of bed since the quality of my wakefulness was such that I knew I wouldn’t get any more sleep no matter how long I stayed in bed. That was around 07:55 this morning.

Did mu usual Sunday morning routine—fed and watered cat like every day, then did pill sort. Finished setting up my new binder to take with me. Tucked the 5e Player’s Handbook and the DM’s Guide into it with my dice. Finished preparing the tea I wanted to take with me, then headed out.

When I got to Oasis Games, I read the DM’s guide a little, until Kit and Cayden arrived. Kit had meant to bring my Xylorian mini, but forgot and apologized. Lynn was late and texted that it was his fault, but not by much. Phil and Dan came with him, as he’s kindly driving them to and from the gaming. We commenced play at about 10 after 12:00. We played until about 15:45, so we’d have time to do XP and level up stuff—we’re all Level 2 now!

During a break, I’d purchased a package of 2 unpainted minis. Male Human Wizard minis. As we did our leveling up stuff, Kit, Cayden, and I arranged to meet tomorrow (Monday) to paint our minis as Cayden’s custom mini is due to arrive tomorrow morning. The moment their leveling up was done, Cayden packed it in and headed out. The rest of us chatted for a while, and Lynn gave us a sneak peek at the map of the region where our characters now are—he’s not providing them in-game to make things more interesting for us players. Then Lynn packed up and he, Phil, and Dan departed.

I stayed and chatted with Kit until his ride came to pick him up. Came home, fed Hendrix, then settled in at my desk. Idled for a while trying to tease out ideas to write on. Wrote a scene, then did some searching online for Dragonborn Druid minis, which apparently don’t exist outside of HeroForge’s custom offerings. Wrote another scene.

So, a pretty full day! And now I’m going to take my night meds and put myself to bed.

I’m Exhausted, and I Wrote

The title says it all. I’m exhausted, and I wrote. On D&D stuff, and on fiction. And now, I’m going to bed.

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.

Remiss

I have been horribly remiss in keeping up with posts, and I apologize. There will be no promises that I will do so from now on; I’m not going to promise something that may not happen. Suffice it to say that the rough period that I’m dealing with right now isn’t over.

This rough period began back in October. I’ll be honest here and admit I struggled through November. Even though I did participate in Nano, and I did find the writing somewhat easier than I expected, it was a chore to write each day, and I experienced several days throughout the month when I didn’t write at all. About a week or so toward the end of the month, I threw in the towel. In part because I’m near the end of the wip I was working on for November, which always is a struggle to write, because I don’t want the story to end, even if there’s a sequel. The rest was just emotional exhaustion. To be vulgar, I simply had no fucks to give by that point. Since it had been such a struggle to write on fiction, it was even more difficult to keep up with blog posts, which takes more out of me, even if my post is relatively short.

December has been no different. I’ve written a little, but nowhere near as much as I wanted. I was hoping my creative mind would “switch on” sometime around the 15th, but that didn’t happen. And, to be honest, I don’t really care. I still don’t have any fucks to give about writing. To be honest, this blog post is the most I’ve cared about any writing all month.

Instead of writing, I’ve been doing other things. I spent most of the month making my mom’s Christmas gift—a bunch of wash cloths—in crochet sessions with a new friend whom I helped teach how to crochet. The Pride Center is officially closed, aside from a therapy office in another building they’re renting the space from while their new building is being renovated, and the games store that bought the old building has opened up in the ground floor. Katie went in to check things out and as a result, I joined her and her husband for a D&D demo game DMed by one of the store’s employees. Oasis Games sells board games and a variety of role games and things like miniatures that go to the role games. They’ve installed a cafe and also sell other items related to games and gaming, including Funko Pop figures, dice, and Magic: The Gathering cards.

That visit to Oasis Games with Katie has inspired a new interest in D&D. I purchased a Player’s Handbook with part of the money from a gift card my sister sent me for my birthday. That demo game kicked ideas into my head—ideas I need to be a Dungeon Master in order to execute, so I’ve brought up a suggestion to my Vampires gaming friends that I DM D&D for them, and they’re tentatively enthusiastic about the offer. I just need to get the Dungeon Master’s Guide and the Monster Manual. In the meantime, I’ve been reading the Player’s Handbook from cover to cover, usually in reading sessions with the bottomless cup of tea Oasis Games offers. I’ve got some notes, a number of prize items, and I need to draw up a map for the first quest my gaming friends are going to take their characters through. To be honest, I have mixed feelings about DMing, but most of them are positive, and I’m feeling excited to do it. Even just a year ago, this is something I wouldn’t have considered doing.

Another thing I’m trying to do is schedule my days. Thinking it would be quite easy to switch my sleeping habits around, I originally scheduled myself a rising time of six in the morning. Mornings like this are flukes for the most part—though I did put myself to bed last night, I didn’t actually sleep all that much; overactive mind. So, in paying attention to my natural sleep habits, I decided to rework my schedule for a ten AM rise. Much as I like being up early in the morning, it just doesn’t happen with any regularity, and the fact is, I tend to get to sleep more quickly if I go to bed later, so even on nights when I got to bed around ten PM, I was still getting up at around ten the next morning because I simply didn’t fall asleep until one or two AM. I don’t understand it either; this is just the way my mind works with regards to sleep, and I’ve decided I’ve got to learn to live with it because trying to twist it around into something it wasn’t and couldn’t be was only stressing me out.

I’m glad about a few things, though. The D&D thing, for one. And I’m crocheting more. It’s been nice to wield a hook again, and I’ve even made a bit of progress on my monster bedspread afghan. Currently, my “portable” project is an afghan that’s been languishing to be finished that I’m going to give to a friend in return to all the kindness and patience they’ve bestowed upon me. I’m looking forward to giving it to them and am sure they’ll appreciate it.

So I’m dealing with my lack of interest in writing in constructive ways that are taking me out of the house more frequently, which is another reason why I’m not upset about not caring about writing. And I think all these things are signs of an improvement in my mental health state, which I’m sure everyone will agree is a good thing. The rough period may not be over, but at least I’m dealing with it in healthy ways—another improvement in my mental health state. And, to be honest, I’d rather have that improvement than a regular writing habit, mainly because I can teach myself to have the latter, but the good mental health status comes only with time, the correct medication regimen, and a lot of effort in therapy.

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