And sometimes I even write stuff...


Artwork & Crafting

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Technically off-topic, but, if it please you...

I know a lot of us have Deviant Art galleries (mine's here, for instance), but I know a lot of us are also in to that whole "writing" thing just as much (if not more).

So, why not a thread to chat about such things and draw attention to our endeavors? The folks here are particularly awesome when it comes to support and constructive criticism, so I figure: Let's do it!

I'm currently serializing "Number One With A Bullet," a ~14K word classic-Gibsonian-Cyberpunk novelette over at my fiction-specific tumblr:

Like Madness In The Spring

Additionally, I'm doing some game-world related essays at my blogspot link:

Dispatches From Deep Space

What about the rest of you folks?

What'cha got?

Shadow Lodge

Scintillae and I are writing a collaborative story that has kind of spiraled out into a fairly-large to-be-written storyline and setting. We're about halfway through the first plot (out of what's ended up somewhere between twelve and fifteen, depending how we hash it) and paused for some revision as well as IRL intrusions.

She and I as well as a couple of our gaming group members are also poking around at writing a campaign plot like an AP, but that one's still in the planning and brainstorming stages. It's centered around daemons, but other than that and a very skeletal plot we don't have much yet, and again offline obligations and distractions have prevented it from advancing at a faster pace.


Let us know when it's ready so we can read it! :D


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At the rate we're going? Attention Deficit's a terrible thing.

In addition to the collabs, I have two fantasy settings - one very mundane and urban, the other a middling-to-low-magic heavy political with a one-shot focused around a deposed heir trying to regain the throne and a series about a bored heiress who essentially turns to smuggling. And a mundane high school students centered slice of life handful of stories.

Also trying to draft two campaign ideas - one a huge prison-based dungeon crawl, the other very Roman-empire inspired political intrigue.

I'm also pulling two jobs. Writing hasn't happened much.

Shadow Lodge

Yeah I'm in the same boat. In addition to the things I mentioned in my first post, I have a sizable handful of other stories I'd like to tell in some format - written, played out in a PF game, made into a video game (I like to tinker around with RPG Maker), or who knows what else - that I for one reason or another haven't gotten around to telling, and am constantly dreaming up more.

I also am partnered with another friend to do a series of webcomics together, with me writing and him drawing, but due to his military service that hasn't gone anywhere for a couple of years now.

Yeah I have way too many ideas that never come to anything at this rate >_>


Hey, I have many of the same problems, but I'm managing. You can too!

(I am the sound of Jem's Rah Rah Cheerleader Mode)

But I do understand the nature of that particular beast, let me tell you.

We can't be the only three... here's hoping the thread picks up and others contribute their works. It'd be nice to get a little community creative-sharing-jam thing going on, you know?

(And if you drop by my links, please do let me know what you think!)

Shadow Lodge

I will be having a look when I get home from work =)

Silver Crusade

I'm one of those guys who comes out with novels of backstory for their characters. Maybe I'll publish someday.

hmm. only two arrows with fast typing. have to work harder.

make that three.

now five.


Currently writing a roleplaying game called Steamclock ("Reloj de Vapor", more precisely, since it's still in Castillian), a long-standing project I've been working on for a while.

It's set in a fictional 1883 where, among other things, time travel is a possibility and used carelessly. It's got a pulpish sort of demeanour and it's been a blast to work on, though it's also required endless amounts of research. I expect to release the 4th test version before the year is over (uses a custom system based on d12s), which will finally include a good set of proper art, now that I got an artist on board. God willing, I'd like to finally finish it in 2014.

Also writing other stuff, mainly a series of 30-page short supplements for Pathfinder (the first one, "Ottolf's Handy Manual of Everyday Magic", is ready and just waiting for the final pieces of art), and something which I think is supposed to be a campaign setting but really I'm just writing for the fun of it.

Silver Crusade

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A friend of mine's ex-wife wrote a book based loosely on a campaign that I ran.

Check Out "Fury" by Susan Westerlund and never underestimate the value of taking notes during a game again.


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I started an urban fantasy series, called Shift. Two books in it at the moment. Shift: Elijah's Story and Shift: Election Weekend.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/159085 Linkage for Elijah's Story...

and...

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/20582

For Election Weekend. Strangely enough, Shift: Election Weekend was the book of the month for the Peoria Library in the sci-fi department in 2011.

I'm working on the third book when my job doesn't have me exchanging chemicals around.


Awesome!

*marks it down to check out*


I'm hoping to be a career writer some day. I've, aside from edits, finished one novel and I'm already writing the sequel. It's sorta poopy at the beginning though, and also set in the Old Republic era of star wars, so very low chances of publishing it for all the money. Still, was a great experience, and I've gotten somewhat attached to the characters.

I also tend to come up with pages on pages on pages of backstory for all of my characters, but it's not all that coherent. Just sort of a string of ideals and events and names from said character's past that I couldn't put on a piece of Open Office without lots of work. In addition to that, I've created lots of game ideas, and will probably be a creative consultant when my friend, a hopeful indie dev of sorts, starts to make his own games


I can't write fiction for beans, but I have a lot of fun writing "monographs" on mythical/fictional critters. And I can edit anything.

I'll also venture into poetry, when the mood strikes.

Actually, you know what I'd love to do? I did a semester's independent study on the Black Death in grad school - not just how it got to Western Europe, but how both the social and meteorological circumstances had changed to allow and even promote the ideal conditions for the pandemic. That was fun. I'd love to do that for a pandemic in a fictional setting.


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.
.
.

*Shuffles in....*(>_>)

I'll...just leave these here...

Flight or FIGHT! (Short, one off action piece set in the realm of "Iron Kingdoms")

Hunters, hunted (Unfinished and unpolished piece set in the realm of "Iron Kingdoms")

*Quietly shuffles out again*

Again, very much thanks and best wishes to Ollibolli and Diinzumo. You're awesome.

(<_<)


I used to be a writer, well that's not entirely true. I've self published two novels, a third is on the way, and a fourth is actually compleated (not realted to the first three).

But they all suck

It's not that I used to be a writer as much as it is that I was never a writer, and have been for most of my life a deluded moron who thought he was a writer.


Don't you think you should let the reader decide if you're a deluded moron?

I mean, a friend of mine said the same thing, and now "The Martian" is slated for world-wide release.

Don't make me get out the pom-poms. I will.


Thank you, I appreciate the kind words. It has been over 30 years, the reader has spoken.


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I wrote a few short stories. I haven't done anything with them in a while but if your curious here they are.

All positive reviews are welcome, negative reviews are of course
unwelcome but necessary.

Murder On The Border.

Used Airships, Half Price

An Unexpected Detour.

A Problematic Event


Week two of "Number One With A Bullet" is live over on my fiction tumblr.

It's cool if you like it. It's cool if you don't. But I hope you do.


C'mon, folks. Surely there's more of us doing this writing thing (I've been perusing some of the stuff posted here so far as I find time between waves of crunch-time at work and I like it!).

Share yo shtuff!

But for those of you playing along at home, Week 3 of "Number One With A Bullet" is live.


Justifiable Thread Necromancy for this:

Running a contest over at my Deviant Art page, because apparently a lot of people like a character that I actually hardly describe in any detail, but turns out to be very popular nonetheless.

Winners (two!) get a year's paid sub to DA.


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Terquem wrote:

I used to be a writer, well that's not entirely true. I've self published two novels, a third is on the way, and a fourth is actually compleated (not realted to the first three).

But they all suck

It's not that I used to be a writer as much as it is that I was never a writer, and have been for most of my life a deluded moron who thought he was a writer.

Getting published and being a good writer are two very different things. Many of the books on the stand each month are excrementally bad. Got it? Commercial success and skill at writing are not only divorced, they live on different planets. For extreme evidence of this, read 50 shades of Grey. Okay, Terquem?

If you want to be a writer, try again. It is a career you can start after 20, you know. Do the work, get the courses, submit for criticism in a writer forum. You can.

But... most important: Nobody is a moron for not managing to sell a self-published book. Marketing is a huge part of success.


I always felt that if my family and friends could get excited about my writing, then I could struggle onward. They're not, never have been, without a support network (of close friends and family) it is difficult to keep telling myself that I should keep writing.

I like the things I write for the many games I participate in here, but I no longer consider myself a writer. I just can't do that anymore, it hurts too much.

But thank you for the encouragement; it is best directed to younger, more courageous individuals.


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Nah. Writing is hard. Too many people don't read. So, don't take them not reading your stuff as a failure. If you tried thirty years ago and failed... try again. The internet will make reaching people much, much easier than you think. Sod feeling bad about it. Find others who will give you feedback. It is both easier and harder to be a writer today. The mere fact you got something written puts you miles ahead of most wannabe writers today. Okay Terquem?


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Terquem,

Big emotional revelation time:

I suffer from a condition known as Dysthymia. It is, essentially, chronic, relentless, depression. Most people, they recover from depression within six months to a year. Me? I've had it for going on half my life. I won't go into the details of where it comes from or why, but:

I know what it's like to try and do something that you want your friends or family to get excited about, and then watch as they greet your massive achievement with enough apathy to fill a bathtub (or, since it's apathy, wander away from the bathtub because who cares?). I can sympathize with what you're feeling and what you're going through. I can't know for certain what's going on in your head and your heart, but I can understand it from my own perspective.

Writing "Number One With A Bullet" and posting it up live for all the world to see took more courage than I thought I had in me. I've written for games before, sure. Not a lot of it has ever seen the light of day due to contracts, or issues with this game line or that, but I have never really thought of it as "Writing" inasmuch as it was something I was paid to do. It wasn't until someone said "You WROTE that, and it was GOOD, and you should be PROUD of it," that I realized that I had something else to offer besides just the infrequent game-work commission.

I am absolutely terrified that people won't like my stuff. Heck, I have gotten hardly any traffic to my Tumblr or Blogspot blogs - and judging by traffic alone, it would be a fairly good indicator that I do, in fact, suck. And that no one, in fact, is reading my stuff.

But I know that there are a few people who are. And they like it.

I may never be famous because of this. But the people who read it, they like it. And that's something.

I'd like, ultimately, to put together a collection of short stories, package them up on Amazon, and give them to the masses for cheap. I am pushing myself to do this. Not because I have a huge fan base, but because - as has been said very eloquently by Sissyl - Writing is not something limited to youth. The industry, thanks to the internet, has changed to the point that I can be guaranteed that somewhere out there, a market for my writing exists. Someone wants to read what I have. I will do this.

Even if I never make a mint, I will have proven to the demons that live in my head that they were wrong and I was right.

And really, my friend, isn't that all that matters?

For what it's worth, I believe in your ability to do this. Even if you don't.


Thank you both very much.


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Yay jemstone! You rock!


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Dunno if it matters, Jem, but every creative thing I've seen you post on these forums has rocked.


Thank you, both.

Hidden for semi-emotional serious stuff:

My intent is not to call out my own fears and head-goblins, but rather to point out that I have them, and I know what it's like to suffer from them. To be perfectly honest, part of my therapy and recovery is to do exactly what I'm doing - putting my work out there, regardless of the fear.

I know a lot of what Terquem must be going through. I go through it (or something like it) myself.

There is a real big difference between things like what Kryzbyn says, and what goes on in my head, though. Up in my forebrain, where rationality lives, I can see his compliments and accept and appreciate them. In the back of my mind, though, where the goblins live, it's an entirely different story. I've poured my heart and soul into a lot of my work, and when I take it to the people who should be supporting me, and am met with apathy instead of any kind of enthusiasm... well, that's really hard to take. Motivating yourself to submit work to reviewers, peer-groups, publishing houses, and the like - especially when the people closest to you, who should be on your side and encouraging you are instead showing you absolutely no interest or enthusiasm - can be incredibly daunting and depressing. I imagine it's much the same for folks like Terquem and myself.

I've fought, and am fighting, the same fight that Terquem is. I know how hard it is. I choose to fight it, though, because I have a lot to share with people. And like I said, even if only a few people like it, that is something. And that's what counts.

All that being said, I still want to know if folks are enjoying my fiction or my game-theory blogging. And I still want to see Terquem's stuff. And all the rest of y'all's, too.


People who have watched me on here know I write smut.

Right now I'm applying that inclination towards NaNoWriMo.

More specifically, I'm doing a novel for sake of noveling and telling a story, without having to excise the sex, because the core conceit of the story is actually a tale of reproductive woes, and the byproducts of same. The other part of the project is a revamp of the Sha'ir class, on the chassis of the Summoner rather than the Sorcerer.

I have a miscellany of stories that are online, in varying degrees of completion, but run into issues staying focused on them for completion.

Being out of work is a bit of an ironic convenience.


New posts up!

More world-building for "Under Sleeping Suns" over on blogspot.

Also, "Number One With A Bullet" will be ending in four short weeks! After that, it will be a short break, and I'll be back with a Post/Trans-Human Pulp-Noir Detective tale! Whee!

I hope you're enjoying these. They're good work for me, and hopefully good fun for you.


Ugh. Depression. I've got a similar deal going on, and it impedes my writing. I recently started a couple of threads to try and deal with my difficulties in getting stuff done.

I've found it rather helpful, although it would be more helpful if more people posted and if I got some criticism here and there. It can't be all good, right? I don't mean to sound like I'm begging, but I really do rely on external responses in order to keep writing. If I try writing 'alone', I just end up lying on the floor for hours, wondering why I still exist.

My worldbuilding thread is here (please check it out and comment on anything posted so far).

It's working so far. Maybe the same method could work for others, too? It does require others to take an active interest, though, so it might not be the most reliable.


Umbral Reaver wrote:

Ugh. Depression. I've got a similar deal going on, and it impedes my writing. I recently started a couple of threads to try and deal with my difficulties in getting stuff done.

I've found it rather helpful, although it would be more helpful if more people posted and if I got some criticism here and there. It can't be all good, right? I don't mean to sound like I'm begging, but I really do rely on external responses in order to keep writing. If I try writing 'alone', I just end up lying on the floor for hours, wondering why I still exist.

My worldbuilding thread is here (please check it out and comment on anything posted so far).

It's working so far. Maybe the same method could work for others, too? It does require others to take an active interest, though, so it might not be the most reliable.

Ugh, you ain't kiddin'. I've trained myself not to look at my Blogspot traffic stats more than once a day, lest I get all down in the face.

Still, I'm a bit sad no one's giving feedback on the world-building blog. Maybe I should start reposting them here?


Only three installments left on Number One With A Bullet. Thought I'd give folks a little blurb from The Widow Wore Gold - A Charlie Danger Mystery. Some of you might even like it. ;)

"…The client was one Mrs. Muriel Von Staten, wife of the multi-planetary philanthropist and four-time Federation’s Most Charitable Person Award Winner, Stanley Reginald Peter Joseph Adelaide Von Staten. His friends called him Mr. Von Staten, but his wife kept referring to him as “My Beloved Stanley.” She was a hell of a beauty, walking into my dusty office one gloomy Saturday morning, all legs and fur coats. Talk about fantastic gams, the dame had six legs that went all the way up, strong and sure, right to her thorax. Seems Stanley had married himself a Bug, a Jaxi-Vass, to be exact, but hey, who was I to judge. I was the only Private Dick in Old Town who’d work cross-species cases. You do one job for the Roach Cartel, and you get labelled the go-to guy for this sort of thing. Didn’t matter, though, because money was money, and I was low on scratch…"


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I've got several stories I'm working on including Wild Lands,a fantasy story revolving around an missing artifact that is keeping an overpowering empire out;Barren,a post-apocalyptic story about a brother and sister heading to California from New York because they have heard rumors of a device that could restore the United States to its former glory;and Wild Seas a companion series to Wild Lands about a enslaved man who discovers he has great power and befriends a strange,misunderstood sea beast,becoming a Robin Hood of the seas.

Shadow Lodge

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jemstone wrote:

Only three installments left on Number One With A Bullet. Thought I'd give folks a little blurb from The Widow Wore Gold - A Charlie Danger Mystery. Some of you might even like it. ;)

"…The client was one Mrs. Muriel Von Staten, wife of the multi-planetary philanthropist and four-time Federation’s Most Charitable Person Award Winner, Stanley Reginald Peter Joseph Adelaide Von Staten. His friends called him Mr. Von Staten, but his wife kept referring to him as “My Beloved Stanley.” She was a hell of a beauty, walking into my dusty office one gloomy Saturday morning, all legs and fur coats. Talk about fantastic gams, the dame had six legs that went all the way up, strong and sure, right to her thorax. Seems Stanley had married himself a Bug, a Jaxi-Vass, to be exact, but hey, who was I to judge. I was the only Private Dick in Old Town who’d work cross-species cases. You do one job for the Roach Cartel, and you get labelled the go-to guy for this sort of thing. Didn’t matter, though, because money was money, and I was low on scratch…"

My brain instantly processed this as "Tracer Bullet in the world of Spaceman Spiff". Which might well equal awesome.


Orthos wrote:


My brain instantly processed this as "Tracer Bullet in the world of Spaceman Spiff". Which might well equal awesome.

That's... actually not all that far off. I mean, any comparison to Bill Watterson's works makes me happy beyond belief, honestly, so thank you. But it is absolutely a pulp-noir detective story set in a post/trans-human environment. AI's, nanotechnology, common alien/human interaction, and the like, all coupled with a relatively hard-boiled detective and his holographic secretary.

Funnily enough, also, through a series of unconscious decisions and random happenstances, it turns out that Number One With A Bullet, The Widow Wore Gold, Time Off For Good Behavior, and Crows In The Field (the latter two will follow after TWWG) have all ended up taking place in the same universe, just at different points in time.

I didn't set out to do this, but I'm not going to complain about it.


This weeks World-Building Blog Post deals with dark and nasty things. Monsters, even.

Creatures From The Id, you might even say.

"As Loris is a world that runs in cycles (or at least, appears to be), and one of the primary points of each cycle is a war in which one half of the world goes for the jugular of the other half, I wanted to have the "monster" population be different from the normative tropes you'd find in just about any other Fantasy RPG. Shakespeare's "The Tempest," along with the cinematic homage "Forbidden Planet," are two of the primary sources of inspiration for the way that things work in Loris. Specifically, the concept that Man is his own worst enemy, and the dark fiends of his own psyche are the ones that do the most harm. With this in mind, I decided that the "monsters" in Loris would tend to take the form of other people..."

Clicky!

Shadow Lodge

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Funny thing is, for my own homebrew world, I went both the same and completely opposite. I wanted a world that was anything but humanocentric, but where that demihuman wolfman or spider-bodied woman or hybrid plant creature was no more or less a person than a human. A world where the bizarre and otherworldly was considered the norm. I wanted a world where everything, even things as mundane as "the family down the street", still read of the fantastic, where as different as creatures could be in appearance they still (for the most part, there's always exceptions and places where You Don't Look Like Me Therefore You're Wrong still reigns, places where Black and White partner up and hate on Green, to borrow the words of Pratchett) in many ways were the same, if even just in an alien way.

So I basically ended up with a world where the bizarre, the "Freak Show" Party of nonhuman PCs, was a standard everyday encounter. Lots of racial options, many of them outside the normal Standard Six, and many nonhumanoid - lots of Monstrous Humanoids, lots of Fey, and a handful of other things. So far my players have been loving it.


Orthos wrote:

Funny thing is, for my own homebrew world, I went both the same and completely opposite. I wanted a world that was anything but humanocentric, but where that demihuman wolfman or spider-bodied woman or hybrid plant creature was no more or less a person than a human. A world where the bizarre and otherworldly was considered the norm. I wanted a world where everything, even things as mundane as "the family down the street", still read of the fantastic, where as different as creatures could be in appearance they still (for the most part, there's always exceptions and places where You Don't Look Like Me Therefore You're Wrong still reigns, places where Black and White partner up and hate on Green, to borrow the words of Pratchett) in many ways were the same, if even just in an alien way.

So I basically ended up with a world where the bizarre, the "Freak Show" Party of nonhuman PCs, was a standard everyday encounter. Lots of racial options, many of them outside the normal Standard Six, and many nonhumanoid - lots of Monstrous Humanoids, lots of Fey, and a handful of other things. So far my players have been loving it.

That sounds awesome, and I'd love to see it in play. :)

Something I forgot to mention in my post last night:

Fanfare and Trumpets

It's Question And Answers Time!

I'm really wanting to drum up some conversations on the essays I've written, so to do that, I'd like to take some questions from the readers (*cricket noises*) and provide answers. I know all of the stuff that needs to be known about Loris, all stuffed up in compartments in my head, but that doesn't mean that I'm necessarily providing all of it in the essays I've written so far.

So I think going out to the readers (*more cricket noises*) and letting them ask me some questions with which to give me prompts for more exposition might be just the thing.

Orthos, I'm looking at you especially, but I'll take all reasonable (and some unreasonable) questions from all comers. :)

Post them here, or there, either place. So long as I see 'em, I'll make sure they get answered.

Shadow Lodge

I'll see what I can do when I get home and can browse Tumblr, it's blocked here at work =)


Is Blogspot?

You can just go directly to the game-building blog.

That being said, I'd love for some love over on the serial fiction tumblr, too. But the two are separate sites. :D


Okiedoke, Question Rangers!

Go have at it!

Ask 'em here, or there. I'll check back on this thread periodically until next Sunday, when all your questions

Spoiler:
NO YOU CANNOT HAVE A PONY
will be answered!


Cut-off for questions on the "Under Sleeping Suns" blog is tomorrow at noon, Pacific time. After that, I get into answering things. I have a few good ones so far, but could use more!

If you're interested, head over to Dispatches From Deep Space and give a go-round, eh?


It's up! And it's a Big 'Un!

"...So, last week, I opened up the floor for some questions about what sort of things I have in mind for Loris (and Under Sleeping Suns as a whole), and while I didn't get nearly the inquiries I'd hoped for, I did get a few good questions - a couple of which are of the really good, deep-digging variety. I'll save those for last, as they're the best, and that's what you do with such things.

Okay! Let's dive in!..."

Clicky


Final installment of Number One With A Bullet is up! I hope folks like it! If you do, let me know! If you do not, well, let me know!

Short break now, and then in the 2014 year (starting sometime in January), The Widow Wore Gold: A Charlie Danger Mystery starts. Aliens! AI's! Romance! Danger! Inter-species relations! Gumshoe detectives! And more!


In which I wax rhapsodic about The Complete Priest's Handbook and how it changed my game in so many ways (all for the better).

You click here now!

Question:

Would this one thread be better off as perhaps two separate threads in gamer talk or perhaps one of the "compatible" or "other rpg" sections, do you think? I don't want to take up too much of folks' space or time, but I wonder if visibility is right, here, or if the section is properly assigned, is all.


This week: Monuments in a game world, and how to make them in such a way as to not completely replicate the Earth-based reasons for their existence. Special guest star: The Egyptian and Nubian Pyramids!

"…So let’s say that you’re an aspiring (or well-seasoned) GM, and you’ve come to a point in your game where it’s time for the players to encounter a long-dead (or heck, thriving and alive, just unusual and unknown) culture through those most lasting of endeavors: the enormous stone edifice. Whether it’s a Henge, an Obelisk, a vast and forgotten temple complex, or the most easily recognized of all of them - the Pyramid - it’s important to know where these things come from, and why. Today I’m going to talk about the reasons these things exist in Loris, and hopefully give you some ideas on how to integrate them into your game without having to completely replicate the how’s and why’s of their creation here on Earth…”

Click The Link!


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The new serial "The Widow Wore Gold: A Charlie Danger Mystery" is up and live over here:

Like Madness In The Spring

I have fourteen weeks worth in the hopper, and will have more (and may even be done) before that runs out.

Feedback is, as always, highly regarded and sought after.

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