Happiness

While I was drinking my tea today (apple, if anyone’s interested), I had an interesting realization.

I have been happier in the final weeks of March and April than I have been at any other time in my adult life. Probably more so than at any point in my adolescent life, either.

Some of this has to do with a spiritual re-awakening, since I’ve been more involved in my church and the Scriptures, but a lot of it has to do with simple changes to my life.

I write about two to three thousand words a day on average. I’m more or less equally productive on my previous projects, but I have taken up blogging regularly.

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Learning from Man’s Search for Meaning

I’ve been reading Victor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning (affiliate link) recently and I’ve been struck by how powerful his account is. I was turned off by the foreword of my edition, which I found fairly stuffy and difficult to process.

Once you get into Frankl’s work, however, the power of it is incredible. He is honest, open, and incredibly transparent in what he felt. He does nothing to diminish his own guilt or paint himself as a hero, but instead acknowledges with clinical precision how he acted and felt during the Holocaust and the horrors that had enveloped him. Although a prisoner, he refuses to be a victim.

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Goals (April 16-April 22)

As with last week, I’ve been keeping up my output over on steemit. I’ve also made some good progress on things, which I’d like to quickly highlight.

First, an early WIP version of the Hammercalled Character Sheet is now available to help facilitate playtesting. There are a couple small issues, but making major changes to the sheet is non-trivial.

I really need to get the velotha’s flock advanced guide done. That’s my main priority this week. I didn’t really do anything significant on it last week because the notion that Hammercalled would be ready for playtesting sort of overwhelmed my creativity and everything I had was devoted that direction.

velotha’s flock advanced guide (Priority 1)

I just need to finish the character examples. That shouldn’t be too hard, right?

Uuuuuuuuugh. Why do I do this? I’ll probably knock them all out in thirty minutes, come back the next day and say they’re really quite good, then kick myself for not getting over this stupid block.

Hammercalled Settings (Priority 2)

The Rules Reference is out now, and there are still things that need to be tweaked, changed, and expanded. For now, however, my first goals are two-fold.

Segira

So if I say I didn’t get anything done for Segira, I’m understating things, but there’s nothing new in the Segira document. Rather, a lot of the changes I was making in Segira wound up back in Hammercalled.

So we’re closer. The PDF just isn’t rolling along quicker yet.

The Ashen King

I’m going to start using WorldAnvil for The Ashen King sometime this week. I found out that my .odt I was using for it lost a lot of progress during a crash (why), so I’m really on a back foot here. We’re probably on track for an end-of-the month reveal of the setting, though it’s not going to be like Segira.

Living in History

Life does not exist in a vacuum. Every living organism is the product of complex chemical and biological mechanisms that we are just beginning to truly understand.

Minds, likewise, do not exist in a vacuum. Our days do not unfold in a vacuum: they are not sequences of events disconnected and disengaged from each other.

Yet we live, for the most part, like our actions do not connect to reality. We pretend that the events that unfold around us are something that we have no control over.

We pretend that we have no history and no past, because it lets us shape our future according to our whims and our fantasies.

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Wrapping Up an RPG Campaign

One of the things that I’ve been asked about a few times is ending a campaign of D&D or other roleplaying games.

It’s the sort of thing that comes up from time to time because of the fact that many of these games are entirely open-ended. There aren’t any real stopping points or times to end the campaign scripted into most games, and barring a catastrophe that kills all the player characters (deserved or not), it’s hard to reach a point where the game comes to a satisfying conclusion.

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Fall of Babylon

in myriad ten-fold they stood to watch their leader

“trust in me” he said, holding armageddon in his hand

so they trusted, looking to the skies with war straightening their spines each held a lance and each wore a crown because they were free as they followed their leader they wore crowns

they did not know God or the cosmos or the order of creation they did not know the path to peace nor did they care to learn it and they stood with their backs straight and their souls empty

only the wailing of the children left behind remained

Enjoying Writing

Yesterday I talked a little about writing as a Stoic, which is all about self-discipline and making choices because they’re what you should do to become your ideal writer.

Today I’m going to talk about how to kick back as a writer and really enjoy it (or at least the things that help me destress, relax, and create a “contented plan” for the future when I am writing).

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The Writer as Stoic

Stoicism is an important philosophy in the founding tenets of the Western world; it is frequently tied into Christianity owing to the religion’s nature as part of a Roman tradition (albeit one that grew to outstrip the political entity that eventually adopted it).

Stoicism involves the pursuit of morality and virtue above all else (which certainly helps explain its appeal to Christian scholars who saw a link between it and the teachings of their faith, leading it to be preserved for centuries with a great deal of fervor as a sort of secular proof of the rightness of a moral life).

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Goals (April 9-April 15)

I’ve been keeping up my output over on steemit. I’ve also made some good progress on things, which I’d like to quickly highlight.

First, the Hammercalled Rules Reference is out. This is the first public playtesting document for Hammercalled intended for general use, and it’s also a tool intended to allow people to make their own game using the Hammercalled ruleset.

Second, all of the advanced guide for velotha’s flock is done except for the sample characters and a quick editing pass before it’s out for testing (that means a public release, for free!)

Without further ado, here’s what I’m working on:

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Overcoming the Self

I looked at the scale, and I knew intuitively that my weight was going to kill me. I had been having problems sleeping because I couldn’t get comfortable. I was dealing with minor, but persistent, pains that were impacting my life choices. I wasn’t happy with how I looked.

I knew something had to change.

Of course, I’d try changing before, so what made this time different?

Well, for starters I was reaping the full consequences of my actions. Homer Simpson-esque jokes about pitying my future self were less amusing when I found myself as the butt of the experience.

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