Bookwyrm #3

This weekend I’ll be attending Bookwyrm Gaming Convention in Fresno, a friendly little free gaming con at Woodward Park Library. I’ll be running both adventures I’ve written: Pathfinder’s PFS #09-22 (Grotto of the Deluged God) and D&D 5e’s DDAL #08-15 (Forge of Fangs).  I’ll also be talking about writing for games, with the awesome Kate Baker.

I love Bookwyrm because it supports gaming and the local community and literacy. Bookwyrm debuted my novel Gears of Faith two years ago, playtested my adventure last year, and I’m always excited to come back.

Forge of Fangs

I’m pleased to announce that my D&D Adventurers League adventure, FORGE OF FANGS (DDAL 08-15) is now available for purchase at the DM’s Guild website.  You can get the PDF, for hours of fun, for a mere $4.99.

cover of "Forge of Fangs" adventure

I’ll be running this adventure for the first time at the upcoming Bookwyrm Gaming Convention, coming to Woodward Park Library in Fresno, CA the weekend of April 6-7, 2019.

My contact info is on the main page of the blog if you’d like to chat about having me come out and run this adventure for your organization or convention. 🙂

I’ve been a D&D player since Mr. Lawrence, my third-grade teacher, introduced us to the game in class. I’m over the moon to have the chance to officially be a part of the world and its lore.

If you play it, please drop me a line and tell me about it!

Adventuring Time!

Total strangers played my D&D adventure last weekend at Winter Fantasy, a convention in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

And it’s up with credit on the official Waterdeep Adventures page:


Writing this adventure and working with the DDAL team has been such a learning experience! It’s exciting to see it start showing up on convention schedules, and I’m looking forward to running it, too.

If you want me to run it for your group, let’s chat!

Attention, Adventurers!

I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve signed on with Wizards of the Coast to write an adventure for the Dungeons and Dragons Adventurers League!

I can’t share much at this time, but:

  • I’m really excited to have the chance to be cruel to a whole new audience of players!
  • I’ll share more news here on my website as I can.
  • As with my Pathfinder PFS scenario, I’ll be happy to run it for your gaming group / convention if you help me get to you.

Additionally, for those who got here through my newsletter and were promised that they could “find out more” at this link:

  • The adventure will be available in PDF format at the Dungeon Masters Guild.
  • It will probably involve humanoids and/or monsters, and at least one quest.
  • I’ll be working with some very talented designers.
  • If you print out the adventure, I’ll be happy to sign it for you.
  • EEEEEE, I’M WRITING FOR D&D! My inner 8-year-old, who first learned D&D in Mr. Lawrence’s 3rd grade class, is bouncing off the walls. 🙂

Subscribe to my mailing list to get more info as soon as it’s available.

Writer Fuel

Writing recipes still counts as writing, right?

Sometimes chicken soup for the soul isn’t enough, and we need chicken soup for the body. Or non-chicken nutrifying liquid.

I couldn’t even manage to keep buttered noodles down last night (hopefully just a 24-hour bug — I did get my flu shot!). Though I’m not much of a cook in general, I made soup this morning, because throwing things into a pot seemed like a better option than driving out for a can of greasy yellow water with processed chicken flecks in it. I am not a food blogger and I’m not giving you a convenient recipe format here, but this was easy enough that I could put it together while sipping weak mint tea and generally feeling like crap…and I’ve been experimenting with my Instant Pot enough that I might as well have a place to collect the experiments that have worked.

Here, then, is some very informal, low-effort, Instant Pot (Frozen) Chicken Soup.

(with soft noodles)

one successful chicken soup experiment

* Place 3 frozen chicken thighs (we keep boneless skinless thighs as our go-to frozen chicken. breasts or whatever are fine) in the instant pot with a cup of water. Close. Heat on manual (high pressure) for 10 minutes.
* While chicken is pressurizing, chop up an onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms, bust out a bag of frozen veg of your choice, or all of the above.
* When chicken beeps, release pressure and remove chicken from the pot. Turn off the pot. Using hand protection, remove, empty, and rinse the pot insert.
* Put 3 tablespoons of butter, margarine, ghee, oil, or your sauteing product of choice, into the pot. Once it melts, which should happen quickly because the pot will still be toasty, dump in the chopped veg. Hit the Saute button and swish the veg around for about 5 minutes / until soft.
* In between stirring the veg, cut or shred the chicken. Ignore any begging housepets that smell chicken and want to be your new best friend.
* Once vegetables are thoroughly conditioned, turn off the pot. Add 3 cups water with 2 bouillon cubes (or just 3 cups of chicken or vegetable stock).
* Dump chicken back in, along with seasonings. These can include salt, pepper, ginger (2 slices or 1 teaspoon), garlic (2 cloves, minced), oregano, rosemary, bay leaf, and/or a dash of cayenne.
* Add 8 ounces of egg noodles or similar pasta type object. Egg noodles come in 12-ounce packages, so this is kind of annoying. Add all 12 if you want, but add another cup of water with that.
* Pro tip: At this point, stirring is in order. If you let the noodles all sit on top of the other ingredients and out of the liquid, they will be unpleasantly crunchy in the finished product. I discover these things so you don’t have to.
* Close the pot up again, and set the release valve back to pressurize. Hit the Soup button and then leeeeeean on the minus button to bring the cook time down from 120 minutes to just 4.
* When the timer beeps, release the pressure. Et voila, it is soup!
(In case your noodles didn’t noodle, submerging the noodles into the broth and cooking for another couple of minutes saved my noodles.)

Essence becomes Aether

A while back, OF THE ESSENCE rights-reverted to me. I’ve been alternating between working on other projects and pondering what the best thing to do with it would be. It contained proprietary creatures and content from the HELLMAW setting, so any future action is going to require some significant changes.

Well, thanks to a handful of talented fellow authors, and a stack of very helpful reference books, I’ve found that angle. I’m currently about a third of the way through a new first draft, and excited about the way things are going. There’s a chance that you’ll be able to hold Quills’s story in your hands in the not so distant future. And then? She might have sequels. So . . . stay tuned!

Can it sell?

I’m going to be offering a new service to NaNoWriMo participants this year! If you’re writing for National Novel Writing Month, I’m offering to check your manuscript’s saleability.

Let me explain.

There’s no point to copyediting a first draft. The manuscript is going to change too much before it’s a final product ready for submission.

So…what’s helpful for first draft NaNoWriMo manuscripts? A general critique. Maybe a list of stylistic/technical/editorial issues to watch out for while you revise. And an acquisition editor’s perspective on whether your book is on the right track. Is it a publishable concept? What would make it more interesting/viable/sellable?

I’ll be offering this service at a rate of $10 per 10,000 words. I’m happy to look at a chapter, an outline, or an entire novel.

I realize there are communities for peer editing and critiquing, and I fully support the peer effort. But if you want a professional opinion, I’ll be fair, constructive, and honest.


Bad News Good News

The bad news: unfortunately, I’m not able to make it to DragonCon this weekend for personal reasons. I was excited to be an Attending Professional, with programming! And to debut my awesome General Leia cosplay. But, hopefully they’ll have me back next year.

The good news: I’m able to attend StrategiCon here in LA, where I’ll be running the Pathfinder Society scenario I wrote (at least two tables of it) and playing other assorted games.

Next year in Atlanta, my friends!





A while back, I wrote a mythological/historical fantasy story for an anthology called The Bard’s Tale: Stories and Recipes from the Black Dragon Inn, about one of the Fates and her interaction with a very special young girl.

That story is now available as a reprint on Curious Fictions, along with a lot of other great short stories by a lot of great authors. You can read for free, or opt in to support the site or specific authors. I hope you’ll go take a look.

(Of course, if you want to see the recipe that goes with the story, or the gorgeous story art by David Szilagyi, you’ll still have to buy the anthology. I recommend it.)

Taos Toolbox, day 0

Yesterday I met up with two other workshop participants in Albuquerque and drove them up to Taos, and then up up up some more to the Angel Fire Resort. After some kerfuffle, I got settled in and met up with the whole group for orientation and dinner.

We’re at 8300 feet or so up here, and I felt it more than I expected to, but less than would be worrisome. My manuscript is up in the first day’s round of critiques, and I made sure that I’d re-read the other two manuscripts before bed. I don’t sleep well my first night in a new place, but a couple random coyotes sang me to sleep. When I peeked out the window in the middle of the night, the stars looked low and close and bright.