Those Were the Days

While going through some boxes that were in my closet, I came across an old binder with a folder and some papers in it. I opened it up to see what was inside. It was a bunch of old character sheets from D & D. Some of them were filled out. Some of them were blanks.

I took a few minutes to look at some of the characters I had created.

There was Shade Bladesinger, a Neutral Evil halfling Bard/Assassin. Another was Danalia, the chaotic good female half-elf who was part fighter, part cleric. Hell, there was one character that had 5 different classes. I don’t remember ever playing that one, but that sounds like it would suck to play. Even at high levels, it would be someone who could do a lot of little things, but nothing very powerful. “Look! A dragon! I’ll do one point of damage to it with my magic missile!”

I remember my D & D playing days fondly, for the most part. Yeah, there were some problems with other players on occasion, but overall they were fun times. It was freeing to let your imagination run wild while chance dictated your moves. Before my original gaming group went to shit, that was probably the most fun I’ve had playing any kind of game.

Then, life and time happened.

I would like to play a tabletop RPG again, whether it’s D & D or something else. The problem is finding the time and the right people to play the game with.

Unfortunately, I don’t see either of those things happening any time soon, so I’m stuck reminiscing about the good old days. On the bright side, walking down memory lane from time to time is fun too.

Diversify

I’ve got a few writing projects going on at the moment, but that hasn’t stopped me from also reading two different books (one at work, the other at home). A guy I work with asked me how I was able to read two books at once. “Don’t you get the characters or the plots confused with each other?”

Honestly? No.

And it’s not because I feel like my brain is too sharp or powerful for such a thing. That’s certainly not it. I’m one of the most scatterbrained people I know. For example, if Mrs. Revis asks me to do something right before she goes to bed (like empty the dishwasher or switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer), unless I do it right away, I’ve forgotten it about five minutes later. Then, when the morning comes, I am the recipient of an angry glare and I don’t know why until she reminds me of what I was supposed to do.

No, the reason I don’t get them mixed up is because they are nothing alike. Other than the fact that at least some of each of the two books takes place in Texas, they have nothing in common.

The one I’m reading at work is The Deceivers by Alex Berenson. Here is the back cover blurb for it as it appears on Amazon.

The target was the American Airlines Center, the home of the Dallas Mavericks. The FBI had told Ahmed Shakir that his drug bust would go away if he helped them, and they’d supply all the weaponry, carefully removing the firing pins before the main event. It never occurred to Ahmed to doubt them, until it was too late.

When John Wells is called to Washington, he’s sure it’s to investigate the carnage in Dallas, but it isn’t. The former CIA director, now president, Vinnie Duto has plenty of people working in Texas. He wants Wells to go to Colombia. An old asset there has information to share–and it will lead Wells to the deadliest mission of his life, an extraordinary confluence of sleeper cells, sniper teams, false flag operations, double agents high in the U.S. government–and a Russian plot to take over the government itself. If it succeeds, what happened in Texas will only be a prelude.

The book I’m reading at home is Night Shift, the third book in the Midnight, Texas trilogy, by Charlaine Harris. Here’s the blurb for hers.

At Midnight’s local pawnshop, weapons are flying off the shelves—only to be used in sudden and dramatic suicides right at the main crossroads in town. Who better to figure out why blood is being spilled than the vampire Lemuel, who, while translating mysterious texts, discovers what makes Midnight the town it is. There’s a reason why witches and werewolves, killers and psychics, have been drawn to this place…

So, basically, one book is about a CIA agent trying to stop terror attacks and the other is about a small Texas town that has vampires, werewolves, psychics, and witches in it.

Not similar at all.

And that got me thinking about all of my books. It’s the same with them too. If you were to look on my bookshelf, you’d see Harlan Coben books next to Jurassic Park, Dungeons and Dragons novels next to The Lincoln Lawyer, and Star Wars novels next to books written by the fictional Richard Castle.

And that, my friends, is how you avoid getting burnt out on reading. You diversify your library.