Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Tag: Dungeons and Dragons (page 1 of 5)

Fits and Starts Whee!

Well, the title says it all. My writing hasn’t been steady. I either have a god flow of ideas, or none at all. This wouldn’t be a problem if I could wrap my head around my plot cards like I’ve sometimes been able to do in the past, but even those aren’t helping.

I’m not working on my speculative fiction either. My brain switched gears hardcore toward the end of July, and I’m not working on gay romances. My usual habit with these has been to run with an idea and write on the story until it fizzles out because I don’t have a solid ending. Yes, the goal is to get the couples matched up by the ends of their stories, but I need to know the details as each story ends a different way. I’ve also been trying to insert some discipline into my gay romance writing and have been doing plot cards before starting to write on the projects. Not yet perfect, but I actually think that’s unattainable at this point, so I’m telling myself to be pleased with the successes I’ve had.

However, I will say that when the ideas flow, I write pretty much every day. I got I think about two weeks (5 days each) of writing in when I did write. One story I’m rewriting from an older version with updates to my style and skill, including moving the conflict to the spots where it needs to be instead of deflating that aspect of the story within the first few chapters. I like what I’ve gotten so far on that rewrite, and I’ll probably make the original version available as a freebie somehow if I ever publish the new version.

Other than that, I’ve not been doing much with my writing. This focus is so complete I can barely even make myself read the off-the-shelf D&D campaign I’ve got to prep for—2 weeks left for that and I just cannot get into the campaign book ’cause I’m so focused on gay romances. LOL

2018 Overview and 2019 General Goals

2018 was not a good year for me in a number of ways. One thing that really stands out is my embarkation as a DM in the D&D world, and admitting that I’d defeated myself with my leaping feet-first into a homebrew campaign. That was really hard to do, but I wasn’t having fun with it any more, and I knew if I tried to push myself, my friends wouldn’t have fun either due to my lack of preparation. I didn’t give up completely, however. My solution was to get an off the shelf game and speed-prep what I needed for it in a week or two so we could get to gaming as soon as possible. Half those plans fell through—we weren’t actually able to start the new campaign in December due to various people getting sick or not being able to show up. I myself spent a week with some weird illness where I felt physically drained and slept pretty much all day for something like five or six days straight. We are set to game tomorrow, though, which I’m glad about. Nobody’s ill, I think I’m as prepared as I can get, and we’re all desperate to play D&D together.

One thing that did go well, at least toward the last quarter of the year, was my writing. I made I don’t know how many false starts early on in the year, where I’d commit myself to completing something, then pretty much immediately failed to do so. Finally, at the end of August, I was fed up with that crap, and I decided I’d spend September reading through as many incomplete WIPS as I possibly could and then decide which one to work on. I focused more on those I had outlines for and eventually decided to work on Unwritten Letters starting in October. This I’m calling my Fool’s Errand, which I’ve been posting about on Saturdays here on AEP.

Also, I’ve made lots of new friends. So many people in my life now, I can barely name them all. I’ve started learning how to quilt, gotten more regular with crocheting, and have been cooking more. All because I have more friends in my life.

I continued using a Bullet Journal through most of 2018 as well, but to be honest, it was a struggle before the end of 2017 in some respects. Much of the Bullet Journal format is repetitive and labor-intensive, which made it seem like work, and thus not much fun, to work on. So I adjusted it. I don’t do the month overviews or lists of major things I want to get done every month. At about the same time I started reading through my WIPS, I decided to trim my Bullet Journal down to three primary things: Monthly Budget, Weekly Log, and Daily Log. I also obeyed an impulse I had and started listing completed tasks below the Task List, instead of just marking them as done. This proved to be a good instinct, because I find the act of actually writing out the name of the task to be more motivating than just marking the task as complete. I don’t just keep it to tasks I’ve listed as needing done, but also list things that I’ve done that weren’t on the Task List to begin with. And I don’t sweat the stuff I don’t do.

So those are the highlights of 2018. I’ll post more about my writing on Saturday. Until then, here are my general goals for the year, in no particular order:

  • Continue DMing for my Thursday Gaming Group.
  • Cook more frequently.
  • Continue pursuing my claims with the VA.
  • Read 12 books over the course of the year. More if possible, but at least 12.
  • Learn to play the flute. Poor thing’s probably rusted by now, it’s been so long since I used it.
  • Keep up with language practice for Spanish, German, and Norwegian.
  • Take walks more frequently, for at least 30 minutes a day.
  • Pick up work on my homebrew D&D campaign again.
  • Draw more often, at least once a week.
  • Continue volunteering at the Utah Pride Center once a week.
  • Get back into my Tarot lessons.

And that’s it!

9Nov18: An Exceedingly Productive Day

I got a lot done Friday. In part due, I’m sure, to the fact I pretty much slept all day Thursday and as a result didn’t get tired or put myself to bed Thursday night. Over the morning hours, I knocked out almost everything on my list, leaving only quilting to do, and I even got a couple things not on it done. That includes my 250 words, started a book by my friend Zette, calling Mom, doing a tarot card, getting my prompt up on my MeWe group, editing Chapter 14 of DH03, doing my languages, doing a chapter for GIMP, posting Chapter 10 of DH03, and doing some D&D prep. At noon, Katie picked me up for quilting. We stopped at a vendor of tacos on the street and got massive burritos, and then to her place for quilting, where I did two blocks. When I got home, I read through one of my incomplete WIPS and edited Chapter 15 of DH03. It was a really good day!

5Nov18: Exhaustion and D&D

Monday was another exhaustion day. Though I put myself to bed, I ended up bored out of my mind and got on Instagram and hit MeWe on my phone before giving up on sleep and getting up again. I managed to make the day productive though. Did my languages, called Mom, got 2 plot cards on MOTS1, and got my Fool’s Errand goal. Also went to Kit’s D&D. And that’s it!

1Nov18: Another Long Day Out

Thursday was an unintentional exhaustion day. I took my night meds, but never got tired, and instead of putting myself to bed, I stayed up because I was hooked into doing prep for my next Fool’s Errand project.

What was that prep, you ask? It was the map of the grounds of the University of Magic where one of my characters lives. I also did my languages and got my 250 words for the day.

Though I was supposed to go to game with my longtime gaming friends, I had made an appointment with the All of Us people to return Thursday and finish up my enrollment. It turns out I was supposed to do a “Basics” module in addition to getting the consents all done, so I took care of that before giving my blood and urine samples. It took about an hour or so with all the waiting for the tablet to function. Their carrier network isn’t the best, apparently.

I realized that if I went to join my friends for game, I’d get there about the time they were packing up. Also, I didn’t even know if they’d met to game. Because of that, I took myself into the pride center and hung out there for a bit, working on D&D prep. Originally, I was going to leave around 15:00 or so, but I was told about a new volunteer coming in that night and agreed to stay to help train them. Since I didn’t know exactly when they’d be getting in, I texted Daz to ask him if he’d be kind enough to feed Hendrix supper before he went to game, and he promised he would. Things went fairly well, and Kevin drove me home.

So it was a pretty good day. Especially since I was in bed by 23:00.

31Oct18: Much Accomplished!

Wednesday was a very productive day, and I’m saying that even though I took a 2 hour nap in the early afternoon. I had an appointment at 13:00, that I left for around 11:00 after doing my morning routine and calling Mom. Even though I arrived an hour early for the appointment, they got me in right away—basically, I walked in the door, and was shown directly to the room where my hearing test was to be conducted. I swear the booth I got shut in was just the same as those they brought to my elementary school for hearing tests when I was a kid. LOL

Right after I got home, I took the nap. Basically, walked in, turned on the computer for music, and conked out on the sofa with Hendrix curled up behind my knees. It was a great nap, and I felt much better when I got up.

Made a second call to Mom to tell her how my outing went, then proceeded to idle away a couple more hours. I finally buckled down around 18:30 or so, and I accomplished quite a bit!

– D&D prep in the form of updating and revising a deity synopsis (which wasn’t on my task list for the day).
– Got my 250 words for my Fool’s Errand goal.
– Did a tarot card for the first time this week.
– Read through a chapter and followed the instructions for manipulating an image in GIMP using GIMP for Absolute Beginners.
– Practiced all three of my languages.
– And got around to doing my All of Us (the medical research database thing) consent stuff (which also wasn’t on my list).

The only thing I didn’t actually get done off my list was crocheting, and that’s because doing that requires shutting Hendrix into my bedroom so he doesn’t get into my yarn, because I felt bad for leaving him alone all day Tuesday and part of Wednesday. I gave him lots of cuddles too, whenever he hopped onto me over the course of the evening.

All in all, an excellent day!

28Oct18: Tired Sunday

I got a whopping 5 hours sleep Saturday night, so I was still tired when I got up Sunday. Much as I wanted to sleep until 10:00 or 11:00, I couldn’t, because water was being shut off for repairs around 10:00 and I didn’t want to be home during any time it was off, so I headed to Oasis at around 09:55.

So I did Lynn’s D&D, and I canceled Movie night ’cause Daz was too tired to join. I got my languages done, but did little else. Mostly idled away the hours, even after I took a 2 hour nap after arriving home. Went to bed a little after 01:00.

24Oct18: No Pathfinder

I didn’t get much done Wednesday, but even with that, I did get more done than I expected. Since I got up around noon, I thought the day would be one of those when I didn’t work on my writing at all. I chatted with Mom briefly about an appointment for my VA claim evaluation. Did a tarot card. Played MTG and did languages. Unfortunately, Kit couldn’t make it to Pathfinder last night due to working late and Kaydan opted out of it as well. This prompted discussion of possibly postponing Pathfinder until at least Kit can return, because he’s playing our toughest hitter, a monk. Most everyone else is playing a support character. Since I’d had enough of MTG, I hung around a little after Dan, Dave, and Phil arrived, but not for very long. I left Daz playing MTG with them in lieu of Pathfinder—luckily everyone had brought MTG decks. Oh, I did happen to hear from one of the employees of Demolition Games that MTG was developed specifically to pass the time while waiting to play D&D, which was interesting—that’s supposedly why there’s so many things referencing D&D elements in MTG. Anyway, I came home and wrote 250 words, found another evaluation appointment email and forwarded it to Mom like I’d done the other one, and basically waited for Daz to come home. We made a cooperative meal and then spent some time working on my Pathfinder character’s new character sheet, which I’d done absolutely no work on due to completely forgetting about it. So, yeah, in a way, it was a good thing we didn’t play Pathfinder last night.

21Oct18: Another Exhaustion Sunday

I seem to be going through a period where I sleep little or not at all, and Saturday night was a night of no sleep, though I did put myself to bed. Sunday was productive though. Got groceries, crocheted while watching Forensic Files on Netflix, went to Lynn’s D&D, did my languages, posted here to AEP. Only thing I didn’t do was write, mainly because I need to do another plot card for UL, and that takes a different type of mentality to do, and exhaustion gets in the way.

20Oct18: Another Productive Day!

Saturday, I ended up bingeing Forensic Files on Netflix so I could crochet, and I made a lot of progress on it. Daz came up for a visit midway through one of my viewing/crocheting sessions and watched about an episode and a half with me while we chatted. I also took some time to read through 2 of the character background questionnaires I’d gotten from my D&D players and emailed one of them to arrange a meeting to discuss her character’s background in more detail; I’m giving her an opportunity to help me develop her Paladin’s deity for the game. Also did my languages, tried taking a nap twice and succeeded one of those times I think. Got my 250 words as well. And I even managed to edit 2 chapters of DH03 for future posting on Wattpad. Another good day!

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