The blog is twelve years old today. A child entering first grade when I launched it back in 2005 would graduate this year. (Assuming they didn’t flunk at some point. You know how it is with hypothetical kids. Always letting you down, hypothetically.)
I like doing retrospective posts like this one because it gives me a chance to note the passage of time, which for me is happening at an ever more terrifying rate. On the other hand, it’s sort of annoying how the anniversaries are all bunched up in the same general part of the year. The Patreon anniversary is in June, my birthday is two months later in August, and the blog itself is just two weeks later in September.
So I’m usually out of retrospective-y kind of things to talk about by the time this anniversary rolls around. I sometimes ask my Patrons for questions. This time Paul Spooner came through. The questions below are from him:
How are your allergies doing these days?
I’m actually doing fantastic. I got a new drug for my asthma. Breo might look like a 1980s science fiction prop, but it’s also a dang good medicine. It’s the only thing I take these days. August / September is usually the worst time of year for me, but this year I’ve barely noticed. I got a little sniffly like most people with allergies, but I haven’t had any asthma trouble. Which is good. I really enjoy breathing.
Any hope for a new book?
Here’s the thing with writing books: Per hour, the Witch Watch was probably the most profitable project I’ve done outside of working in an office. However, writing books is, on average, a huge loser for me. The problem is that since 2003 I’ve started something like six or seven books and finished just two. (Free RadicalWow. The Free Radical site gets more broken every year as (adherence to) HTML standards change. That site REALLY needs an update. and Witch Watch. I also finished How I Learned, but that’s not a fiction book and is kind of a different thing entirely.)
See, if a book stalls then the months I put into it were wasted. Meanwhile blog series are usually (but not always) much smaller in size. If I start to get sick of a topic I can wrap it up quickly and move on, and I’ll still get some content out of it.
I’d like to write some cyberpunk again. I’ve got tons of ideas for settings. I’ve got lots of cool characters. I do okay with dialog. But I struggle with creating the overarching structure. I have trouble coming up with that big thing for the characters to overcome, or with figuring out how they overcome it. I write good scenes, but bad stories. I think that’s why DM of the Rings was such a win for me. Someone else provided the structure, and I just filled in the blanks. Same goes for my Let’s Plays.
Or maybe I’m just too critical of myself. I analyze my own story and think, “A is too muddled of an idea. B doesn’t have a strong enough link between the protagonist and the struggle. C sags too much in the middle. D is way too obvious.” I’ll get a few weeks or months into a project, recognize the fatal flaw, and lose interest.
Any hope for a new programming series?
I dunno. I’ve been doing a little coding with a friend. I hope it goes somewhere, but there’s nothing to write about yet.
 Wow. The Free Radical site gets more broken every year as (adherence to) HTML standards change. That site REALLY needs an update.
The true story of three strange days in 1989, when the last months of my adolescence ran out and the first few sparks of adulthood appeared.
WAY back in 2005, I wrote about a D&D campaign I was running. The campaign is still there, in the bottom-most strata of the archives.
Quakecon Keynote 2013 Annotated
An interesting but technically dense talk about gaming technology. I translate it for the non-coders.
Mass Effect 3 Ending Deconstruction
Did you dislike the ending to the Mass Effect trilogy? Here's my list of where it failed logically, thematically, and tonally.
DM of the Rings
Both a celebration and an evisceration of tabletop roleplaying games, by twisting the Lord of the Rings films into a D&D game.