Dollhouse Cafe Table

Wow, this is a monochrome photo.

This is my second attempt at a dollhouse table, made at 1:12 scale. I like to think I’ve made a lot of progress since my first attempt, especially when considering the legs. While it might not be much to look at on a screen, I had to shape each of those legs by hand with a pocket knife! That takes a lot of work for someone who isn’t used to such tools.

My plans now are to make a proper scene, rather than just upload pieces of furniture. So that means next I’ll need a couple chairs, some decorations, and a backdrop. I’m confident I can make all of those, though.

It’s also worth noting that I’m still very new to this craft, so any advice would be greatly appreciated :)

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Roleplaying Games as Storytelling

Beyond being a writer, I am a storyteller. Sometimes, those stories need a different medium.

I have been playing tabletop roleplaying games – Dungeons and Dragons specifically – for close to twelve years now. As such a long-standing hobby of mine, I naturally have plenty of stories to share revolving around the games I’ve played and would like the chance to discuss those a little bit with all of you, if you’ll bear with me. But before I jump straight into those stories, I should catch those of you who aren’t in the know up on what a tabletop roleplaying game is like and, more importantly, what it means to me.

Most rule books for these sorts of games I’ve seen start with a beginner-friendly “what is a roleplaying game?” section. While that is certainly useful as a base frame of reference, tabletop roleplaying games, no matter the specific game, are games of the imagination and as such have as widely varying tones and themes as the people who play them. As such, I think it will be most useful for me to instead describe what these games are like when I play them.

A tabletop RPG is a game for anywhere from two to six people using dice with different numbers of sides, paper to keep track of things on, and sometimes a board with pieces. One of the players is in charge of playing the part of storyteller for the other players. Some games call this person the dungeon master (DM), game master (GM), or even simply Storyteller. Where the GM is in charge of the story, the other players are each in charge of a single character. These player characters (PCs) are the protagonists of the collaborative story being told around the table. Over the course of play, the PCs overcome challenges set forth for them by the GM, and eventually a complete story is told. There are numbers assigned to characters to help with conflict resolution. If my character is pushing a boulder, I use the Strength stat. For tracking a monster across a forest, I use Wisdom. There are many more numbers and attributes assigned to characters, but that is the general idea.

So why do I love tabletop RPGs? First, they’re a fun way to pass an afternoon. Spending time with friends and working on something both entertaining and creative is a great use of time, after all, and that’s just what these games allow me to do. Second, they serve as an outlet for those stories that wouldn’t quite work in a more traditional medium. Through my years of playing tabletop RPGs, I’ve played all sorts of characters, from a magically animated doll to a humble wandering monk. Third, the chance to run games for my friends also gives me an automatic audience for the story I wish to present. In a lot of ways, running a tabletop RPG is a lot like sharing a story in a writing group. However, unlike the writing group, the other people at the table are also actively shaping the story being told and this causes the plot to veer off in unexpected directions. While the resulting story might be a bit of a mess from a written perspective, it is nonetheless our story, and that makes it special.

And that’s why I play tabletop RPGs. In the future, I wish to explore specific facets of the games themselves, as well as some of my favorite characters I’ve played over the years. I know this isn’t directly about writing in the traditional sense, but I think you will all agree that when viewed as a medium for telling stories, this makes perfect sense to be included.

 

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Editing Services

Map-Making Services

June Updates

Hello and happy June to everyone. This month has a lot of activity set to start in my writing endeavors and I thought I’d update you all on that.

Alright, on to the news I just mentioned! The Channeler is still being edited at the time of writing this, but I suspect it will be done before summer’s end. That will still leave me enough time to meet my personal goal of publishing it before the end of the year. And I would like to remind everyone that while they’re waiting for that book to come out, I do have another one they could be reading.

Poems are going well, too. I’ve lately been taking old poems I didn’t share yet and polishing them up, usually by fitting them into an established form. So far, I have a villanelle, haiku, and Shakespearean sonnet I’m especially proud of. Those three are currently making the rounds with various literary journals and anthologies, so keep your fingers crossed they get accepted.

Now on Fiverr

As the title suggests, I am now offering some commissions through the website Fiverr. At the moment, I have two different products available: Editing and map illustration. Both have descriptions on the site, but I’ll put some explanation here, as well.

Editing is more or less exactly what it sounds like. If you have a piece of writing and you want to make sure it’s the best it can be, I’ll be happy to give it a thorough round of editing. You can learn more here.

If a map is more what you’re looking for, I can supply that, as well. I can map out any fantasy realm you’ve imagined, whether it be for stories, games, or anything else you need one for. If that sounds like something you might be interested in, you can read more here!

My hope is that these links will get into the hands of those who could really benefit from the services I’m offering, and to that end, I would be endlessly grateful if you all could perhaps share them with others you think might be interested. Thank you very much and I’ll see you all again when June is upon us!

School-Age Psychopomp

I recently read a very moving poem by PeriodicFable. I felt a strong connection to the poem and needed to express that connection in some verse of my own.

From a technical standpoint, I like to think of this poem as a semi-sonnet. The line structure is the same as in a Shakespearean sonnet, but I opted to release it from the usual rhyme scheme. I did try rhyming but felt the result interfered with the mood.

If you would like to read the poem this is a response to (and you should), you can find it here: A little less conversation

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Find Me on Fiverr!

Hello again, everyone. Did you know that I do work as a freelance editor in addition to writing my own stories and poems? If you’ve ever wanted a top-notch editor at a very affordable price, your search is over. Just head over to my page on Fiverr, where you can find all the options I’ve made available to customers. I hope to see you there!

https://www.fiverr.com/brigardine

Chronicles of a Dwarf Fortress

I’ve started playing this game called Dwarf Fortress lately. It’s the most ponderous, difficult to understand game I’ve ever seen and it’s beautiful. The relationships and stories that emerge through the silly dwarves going about their daily lives are both hilarious and tragic. This is the first of three short stories I will be writing to chronicle my first attempt at a fortress, the imposing Barrowkeep.

Also, I don’t actually know what category to put this in. It’s an original story based on some randomly generated dwarves and the antics they got up to, but it’s also based on a game I didn’t make. Is this fan-fiction? I don’t know!

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