Fantasist's Scroll

Fun, Fiction and Strange Things from the Desk of the Fantasist.


Year End 2002

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Pig which is in the late evening.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Time for the obligitory reflective entry.

Well, here we are at the dawn of the new year, so, of course, I’m obliged to look back at the past year. Why is that? Damn traditionalists.
It’s been a fairly decent year, actually. I found a new, better webhost. I actually produced content for the website. Hey, I even did real work in the role-playing game industry! (Of course, there are some doubts in my mind about that ever being more than a “protfolio builder”, but still, I did the work.)
I gave up some bad habits this year and started to develop some new, better ones. Maybe 2003 will be the year I actually get off my fat butt and write a story again. God knows, I’ve done a bunch of reading that was geared toward research this year. I should start messing around with the Story Starter I have on this very website. After all, I put it here to help writers struggling with Writer’s Block, and that would mean I qualify.
But, other Good Things seem to get in my way when I try to write. Things like my lovely wife, and our daughter, and the holidays, and our house which needs some repairs, and our yard which is in sad shape, and my day job as a computer geek. You know, LIFE. Ah, but hope springs eternal, so I keep the dream alive.

Like I wrote at the begining of this entry, it’s been a pretty good year. Sure, I have lots of room for improvement, but who doesn’t? So, next year, I get to work on the improvements.

Happy New Year everyone!


Hobby Money

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Horse which is around lunchtime.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Can you make money at a hobby?

Well, that’s an interesting question which I hope to answer in the next year or two. I’d like to see my terrible mapping habit pay for itself somehow. Oh, I did a couple of maps for a game company, but they didn’t offer much and the project is on hold, so I’m not getting paid. I’d like to find a way to make maps myself and sell them off my website. Is it feasable? Is it worth the effort? I don’t know. And, if I never try, I’ll never know, so try I will. Eventually.
If I could just get my butt in gear, I might turn out a story or two that I could sell. Of course, to make my writing hobby pay for itself, I’d have to churn out a few novels. Between the hundreds of books I’ve read on writing and the software and the computer hardware, I can’t count how much money I’ve spent on writing! But, I’d be happy with enough money to pay for my Writer’s Digest subscription, a subscription to Locus, and dues for the SFWA. That’s not a lot of money, but it’s not chump-change in the writing arena, either.
And, finally, I’d like my terrible addiction to role-playing games to pay for itself, too. Maybe I could write some nice adventures and sell them. Dungeon Masters always need new adventures. And, I used to be fairly good at original, themed adventures….. Well, the idea has merit, but who knows if anyone will actually pay money for my work? Only one way to find out, I guess.

All of which leads me to say, “stay tuned”! Who knows what lies on the horizion when I set sail on the ship of crude mercantilism!?



Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Monkey which is in the late afternoon.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

Ah, the ever elusive balance.

Everytime I think of the Highlander movies, I can hear Sean Connery’s voice in my head singing “B-A-L-A-N-C-E, balance!” It’s quirky, I know, but it rings so, so true. Balance is so important, yet it seems to be so hard to find.
For instance, trying to balance a day-job, writing, and managing this web site without losing track of where my wife and checkbook are is quite a balancing act. One that I’m afraid I don’t do very well at all. I always try to err on the side of my wife and my checkbook, but that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes, the day-job wins. Occasionally, the website wins. But, unfortunately, writing almost always loses. Sad, but true. The funny thing is, writing is what got me started on this website! I originally had the idea that I would use it to showcase my writing and the writing of other unknowns who were trying to break into print. It’s pretty hard to showcase writing when I’m not!
But, balance is maintained. I have a good job, which pays for this site, incidentally. And, I’ve really been enjoying my wife’s company lately. And, even though I was out of work for a year and ran out of money, I’m getting caught up in the checkbook department, too. To accomplish all that though, something had to suffer. Hence, no writing. Maybe that will change as things settle down in my new job, but I’m not too worried. After all, Grandma Moses didn’t even start painting until she was over 60. I have plenty of time. In the meantime, of course, I will content myself to update the website and dream.

And try really hard not to beat myself up for not writing.


Phoenix not reborn

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Monkey which is mid-afternoon.
The moon is a Full Moon

My favorite comic shop is closing.

I called yesterday to find out if Phoenix Comics and Games had the new Dungeons and Dragons Third Edition boxed starter set and they told me that they’d be shut down by the end of March. I was a little surprised and disappointed, but I guess it really makes sense.
The economy isn’t all that great right now and comics and games are all about disposable income. Less disposable income = less comics and games sold = lower profits. Sooner or later an equation like that leads to a dead business. Which, sadly, seems to be what happened. I know I didn’t go because I was out of work for so long. I had virtually no disposable income for the past year. Well, really, I didn’t have any, but I didn’t realize it at first. In any case, my family and I will have to find somewhere else to go.
I have a replacement in mind, but they tend to be a dusty place which is hard on my wife’s allergies. And, they’re not quite as convenient to one of our favorite lunch spots as Phoenix was. But, still, if I want comics, I’ll have to go somewhere.


Save Wil Wheaton!

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Save Wil Wheaton!

I saw Wil Wheaton on the Screen Savers last night and was very impressed. I think for a lot of us, poor Wil is sort of frozen in time as Wesley Crusher from Star Trek. But, he’s really a whole lot more.
First of all, he’s done a lot more than just Star Trek, of course. He’s really quite an accomplished actor.
Secondly, he’s not the kid I think so many of us percieved him to be. He’s actually pretty cool. And, unlike a lot of stars, he has a fairly good sense of where he fits in the world. He can even make jokes about himself!

Last night they looked at Google search stats for the past year and someone made a comment about how so many people had searched for Will Wheaton, the jazz musician. Megan Morrone, from the Screen Savers, made the joke that everyone should go out and search for our very own Wil Wheaton and improve his listings for next year. Wil joked that he was sure “everyone” had time to worry about his search listings on Google.
Well, when I got done laughing at his self-depreciating humor, I thought, “well, why not?” And, indeed, why shouldn’t we all help Wil out? All it would take is for everyone who has a blog or web page that enjoys Wil Wheaton to put a link to Google like this: Wil Wheaton or like this: That way, every time a spider hits our pages, it should, in theory, hit Google and do that search. Viola! Increased search hits for Wil Wheaton! Hey, why not? It could be fun to use their own spiders against them!

Note: I’m a lazy bastard. I copied this directly from my blog at Now you know.


Repent Sinner!

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Forgive me, it’s been two weeks since I blogged last.

Where does the time go? It seems like it was just Thanksgiving and now, here it is almost Christmas! At least I have almost all of my shopping done. Of course, I cheated and sent a bunch of stuff from Bells Farm again this year. I look at it this way, those folks up North have to pay a small fortune for fresh fruit and it’s cheap down here. Everybody wins!
My wife and I have one more gift to get, for her sister. It’ll be like pulling teeth to get her out to a store at this point, too. But, we’ll get it done in time, or my name isn’t Howard Johnson! (Er, sorry, bad reference to “Blazing Saddles”.)

One cool thing that’s been happening, though, is that my step-daughter has expressed a serious interest in learning to play Dungeons and Dragons. So, I’m sure Santa Claus will bring her something that has to do with D&D. The other cool thing is that it gives me a reason to get off my big, fat butt and learn to play the new edition. Great to have some motivation! And, I’m sure I’ll start designing adventures again, so we’ll have cool, original dungeons to crawl. If I do well enough with them, I might even offer them via this webiste. Maybe, even as shareware. (Insert dramatic music here.) Or, maybe not. Motivation only goes so far, then I have to actually do the work. Well, we’ll see…

Happy Holidays!

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