Friday, July 4, 2014

Four Things on a Friday: R-Day & July 4th

We're going camping this weekend.  It rained all night, and it's supposed to rain again today, but after that, it should be a good weekend.

The good news is that I talked Sally and the girls into waiting until after the thunderstorm to head out for our trip.  The bad news is that everyone in the house was pissed at me last night for being a spoilsport all night long last night.  Some of our friends are already out there, and it drove Sally crazy thinking about them having fun without us.


Truthfully, I'm not liking the way this weekend has started out.

Despite the inauspicious beginning, it's still the Fourth of July, and that makes it our nation's burthday.  In celebration, we'll have FOUR things on a Friday this week, not five.

1.  Wednesday was R-Day at the Academy.
In English, that's Reception Day, the day new plebes arrive at West Point.  The Academy live-tweeted the event.  Most of those pictures were terrific.

The pictures from right before and right after Reception were even better, but I'm not gonna repost any of those here.  I wouldn't want that stuff immortalized on some stranger's blog if it was me reporting to the Academy.  That day is hard enough without adding in the wackiness of social media to it.

Speaking of social media, the Class of '18 has had a Twitter account since before I joined Twitter.  Curiosly, they've been silent since posting this:


Good luck, Class of 2018.  It gets better.  It takes a little time before you find your balance, but it's a good journey, one you'll be proud you took.

2.  Twitter has a new CFO.
Speaking of the Academy and Twitter...

From Business Insider:
"Goldman Sachs banker Anthony Noto is Twitter's new CFO. 

Noto led the Twitter IPO when he was at Goldman, and before that he was the CFO for the NFL for nearly three years."

Not a bad job if you can get it.

3.  The new edition of D&D is out!
It's just the basic rules, and it only covers the very basic aspects of generating a character in the new edition, but it's out there, and you can read it and start working up your new character right now if you have a mind to.

"Part 1 is about creating a character, providing the rules and guidance you need to make the character you’ll play in the game. It includes information on the various races, classes, backgrounds, equipment, and other customization options that you can choose from. Many of the rules in part 1 rely on material in parts 2 and 3.

Part 2 details the rules of how to play the game, beyond the basics described in this introduction. That part covers the kinds of die rolls you make to determine success or failure at the tasks your character attempts, and describes the three broad categories of activity in the game: exploration, interaction, and combat.

Part 3 is all about magic. It covers the nature of magic in the worlds of D&D, the rules for spellcasting, and a selection of typical spells available to magic-using characters (and monsters) in the game."

I read through the new ruleset yesterday.  There's not much that's different from what was published with the last version of the Playtest rules, but that doesn't make them bad.  In particular, I think Wizards of the Coast has done a very nice job introducing backgrounds and character motivations in the new version.  I'm looking forward to using those aspects of D&D in our home game with my kids.

4.  Writing Update
I finished re-writing the first half of my book earlier this week.  The book is arranged as a series of connected short stories, and I still have to read and start re-writing the last, longest one, "The Crown of Pluto".  Still, the first half of the book is basically done-in-draft.  It could use a copy-editor, but I'm satisfied that the story works, and that the language is as good as I can make it.

I plan to spend the rest of the month looking for an agent/publisher and then take "Pluto" with me on vacation in August, which is when and where I'll read through that story for the first time.  I have a few leads to start chasing down on the agent/publisher front, but I have a feeling that it's still going to involve a series of cold submissions emails and that sort of thing.  I am not looking forward to that.

Happy Fourth of July!  Enjoy the fireworks and stay safe.

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