Careful What You Fish For


You can get this design on RedBubble.


Stop Motion GIFs

I decided to play with stop motion this week and made a few GIFs that I thought would be fun to share.



This was my first one. Aside from the obvious white balance issues, I still think it’s my favorite.


There’s an important lesson buried in this one: go for the head first.


This little, climbing robot GIF, I thought, was off to a good start, but then my camera ran out of batteries. :/


I resized the images, added text, compiled the GIFs using a python script that I wrote. The script is pretty messy, but if anyone is interested, I can clean it up and share it. Let me know if you would like to see it (you’ll need Python installed and the images2gif and PIL packages).



A little bit of an introduction, I think, is necessary on this post.

I played a small amount of Dungeons and Dragons the other day with my brother. I had forgotten how much fun it was, and hope to continue in the not-too-distant future. Obviously, the first thing that one does when playing D&D is make a character. In the 5th edition, you pick your race, class, and backstory from lists of options with various sub-options and that sets up the skeleton of how your stats work, what items you start with, the spells and cantrips you have available, etc. The player then picks (again, from a list) personality traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws that seem to fit. Then it falls to the player to fill in the personal details of the character’s backstory. It is all very neat, and fits together fairly well assuming you don’t mind doing a little reading and/or have an incredibly patient individual to walk you through it (Thanks, brother!).

Any of you who know me or have been reading my blog for a while know full well that I have this compulsive need to find backstories that fit for EVERYTHING. From the characters that exist in my stories, to the random people I pass on the street, right down to the forgotten toy on the sidewalk… every single one of them has a story and I can’t help but to wonder about or make up a guess as to what that is. So, obviously, I couldn’t half ass the backstory for Xalworth Lobin-Yoslin Podon the druid forest gnome. I immediately had a full length novel idea, but was able to slim it down to the just under 6,000 word story that follows. I liked how it turned out, though it may be a little under-edited, so I decided to share.

Keep in mind while reading that gnomes in the D&D universe are not tiny people with pointy hats and garden implements, but instead they are halflings that stand about 3 feet tall.

If you are curious, the skeleton that I generated using the player’s handbook is as follows (MAY HINT AT SPOILERS):
Race: Forest gnome
Class: Druid
Bakground: Folk Hero
Defining Event: Stood alone against a terrible monster
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Personality Traits: I judge people by their actions, not their words. If someone is in trouble, I’m always ready to lend help.
Ideals: Freedom – Tyrants must not be allowed to oppress people.
Bonds: A proud noble once gave me a horrible beating, and I will take revenge on any bully I encounter.
Flaws: The tyrant who rules my land will stop at nothing to see me killed.

You can download the story as a PDF. Enjoy.
As always, I appreciate any feedback, comments, or concerns that you may have.


141102_203900Had he looked up from his phone when the hoards of people running the other direction in terror brushed his shoulder, rather than tweeting about how rude people were, things may have ended up differently for Jack. Since he was scrolling through twitter at the time, had he been following anyone that cared about anything other than posting pictures of boobs, he may have gotten, at least, a hint that something was wrong, instead of some light tingling in his groin.

He did eventually look up when the monster’s thunderous roar failed to be canceled by his headphones, but it was too late. Had Jack done any number of things differently, then the headline the next day which read “16,542 KILLED BY THREE HEADED MONSTER” may have started with the number 16,541 instead.

It would have been some consolation for Jack while his body was torn to shreds, had he known, that the image accompanying the headline would be the one Jack snapped on his phone and uploaded instead of running away.

The whole world saw that image. He was famous.

Lake Polpo

140111_221717The water was still. Not smoothed over like “glass,” as they called it, but it was the middle of winter, so there were no boats and the wind wasn’t more than a light breeze where Jack stood on the dock. There were ripples moving over the surface of the lake, as there always are with a living body of water, but they were small enough to only make any given line of reflection dance back and forth a little without breaking.

It wasn’t the fact that he could clearly see the reflections of the far bank on the surface of the water that made him strain his eyes, looking out over the surface, while feeling his pulse slowly climb in terror. The glass hadn’t surprised him at all; that was normal, maybe even expected, this time of year. No, Jack’s eyes flitted around the surface of the lake in panic because of the disturbance he had seen way out there. If it was closer, others may have assumed that it was a fish, but as the rings spread out from that one violent splash, he made the estimation that it had been at least a thousand feet off shore. For him to have noticed it at all, it had to have been big.

The feeling of that cold tentacle slithering up his leg and taking hold crept into his mind. He tried to think of other things, but its sickening grasp was fast this time, unlike that summer when he had been a boy; that summer when five kids had gone missing over the course of a month, pulled down into the depths, their bodies never recovered. He had been the lucky one, the one that, for some reason, the creature had felt and not taken. Perhaps he lost the creature in the murky water when he swam for shore, or perhaps his scrawny legs hadn’t had enough meat on them. He wasn’t sure, but he knew he was luckier than at least three boys and two girls that summer, whatever the reason.

The disappearing children had been attributed to changing downwelling in the lake. Jack had known better, he had felt that slick appendage wrap around his leg and tug slightly before letting go. The rash of drownings had only happened that one summer thirty years before, that Jack could remember, but he had done some digging in the archives. It happened like clockwork, every three decades.

This was the year.

He could tell somebody, but who would he tell, nobody believed what was coming, and thus, nobody could stop it but him.

As he dumped his dive gear and harpoon gun into the front of the boat, Jack reminded himself that he still had a few months before the tourists started showing up and recklessly zipping around the lake. The tourists that were loud, obnoxious litter bugs with no respect for anything; the tourists he was struggling to save.