Friday, November 27, 2009

Boreal Level Sample: Wynsom's Icicle




Here is a new magic item sample from the Boreal Level due out in December.  Text sampling by me and the illo by great ole Andy "Atom" Taylor.


Wynsom’s Icicle

This is the permanent habitat of Wynsom the ice-sylph.  She was imprisoned herein by the Frost King, Iraggo, many years ago; and he at times summons her to answer his questions of what she knows, or to entertain him.  He has earlier informed her that the more she cooperates with his desires that the more likely he will be disposed to releasing her from the containment.  Wynsom has been no fool, however, and she often tells the giant only fragments of what she perceives he wants to hear and often couches her advice in the riddles of her kind.  The latter infuriates Iraggo, but he has kept an ever-growing journal (see the entry for Ice Sheaves) of their back-and-forth communications.  Most of these unsolved riddles are just the indecipherable remains of their banter, but some have within them traces of truth and wisdom that Irrago cannot fathom.

The icicle has a flat base and tapers to a point at 9” in full height.  Operating it requires setting it base-first upon one’s palm.  However, the icicle emanates an extreme coldness that damages the holder for 6hp/round held.  During this time no concentration can be maintained to invoke the icicle’s power and thus summon her presence. Only those employing protection from cold (i.e., spells or similar) may wield its powers without harm or interruption.

When first observed, its outer surface portrays an opaque ice, rough and encrusted with an icy film.  If held in one’s palm for more than a turn, the film begins to noticeably melt, and as the liquid runs down its length the encrustations are replaced by a clear and polished surface.  An image of a silver-haired and blue-eyed lady rises from its depth, a miniature but animated bust of a white clad elfin-like figure, which is Wynsom. ...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Shipping Update: Dungeon Sets & Other Orders

Just to let everyone know, I let many of the orders accumulate and will be shipping all of them between Monday and Wednesday of next week.  This rather than making run after run to the Post Office.  There were a lot of orders too, and it has kept me pretty busy.  :)

So, get ready for some playing and reading while munching on your "turkey specials".

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dungeon Set #3 Update/Dungeon Trappings Insert

Dungeon Set™#3 (levels 13-18) will be released at the end of December/beginning of the New Year with The Boreal Level.  Ramsey will be finishing he maps by the 3rd week in December.  As previously announced, we are pleased as pixie-punch to announce that Gene Palmer (of Old Guard Gaming Accouterments) has designed a special 2,000 word+ DUNGEON TRAPPINGS™ insert for it, detailing many bits of magic and treasure that can be used immediately in stocking these levels or can alternately be used in a DM's campaign however they see fit.  I read Gene's first pass with glee, in fact, and wrote him back that it was spot on.  Gene will be doing some design work for the DUNGEON TRAPPINGS™ full sets and is a very fine writer and very creative, so we welcome him to do as much for us as he likes.  More on this as the 'TRAPPINGs take form.

New (Old) Map For Original Campaign/Boreal Level Update/Other

I am redrawing a very large level (see sample) that EGG adventured on with his group back in the day.  The original was lost so I am redoing this from memory:  "The Orcky Level" (or aka, "Grumch's Grotto").  It was originally placed 100 miles NE of the City/Castle.  This is where EGG found the Iron Bands of Bilaro (from Unearthed Arcana).

After I do all of the penciling I then outline in black ink and place secret doors in red and down-slants in green.  I will update on its progress at various stages.  Just like my memoirs I try to do a little on it each day.




Also, the manuscript for The Boreal Level, the first in the Original Castle™ level releases, is over 5,000 words finished and I should have this in the pipeline for purchase by December (mid to late). We have a Frost King, a "strange" white dragon, ice imps and more, but for dessert:  white pudding...  ;)

Also:  The Cursed Village.  This is a cooperative design between myself and another (as yet unrevealed) designer.  My task has been to create all of the history, monster detail and framework (including mood, background, specific adventure/map details and salient magical/curse treatment and introduction) which is about 4,000 words of matter. Then the co-author will give this the once-over, then back to me for the finalization and editing/additions.  I am  currently 2,500 words into the treatment; and then we will announce who is helping with this when it's finished on my end.  The Cursed Village is a design I envisioned for the Original Campaign™ back in 1995, so it is a late addition, but it's quite deadly as a 4th-7th level adventure, and expands upon the release of one of the NINE from the Original Castle™by my old PC, Lord "R". The good thing about this one that I hit my creative stride with it and this will be great for the co-author.  Usually, and as my friends know, if I start a project it will reach its end only if I am satisfied with its total design (i.e., it maintains a consistently high creative component throughout) or else I will not force it. For those who have always wondered why about this, I am kinda like the commercial for Paul Masson done by Orson Welles (though PM is a horrid wine in most cases) where "I never release a project before its time" (or prime).

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Heartening Letter (Partial): Reigniting Imaginations

This today from a person returning to D&D and rediscovering the enchantment again of creation:

"I  am really keen to try out the megadungeon for an online gaming group.  We use Fantasy Grounds II as a virtual tabletop and Castles & Crusades for rules.  Once we've got things kicked off, I'd like to come back to you for [Dungeon] Set #2.  Of course, I will also be interested to check out future related products.  This line of materials is exactly the kind of thing I've been looking for."...

"I stopped gaming in the late 80s and 2e and 3e passed me by.  It was only when 4e was published and the guys wanted to get back together with their sons joining in that I thought of D&D.  The OSR has rekindled my interest in RPGs in general and older editions of D&D in particular.  What you appear to be doing at Pied Piper will help relative novices like me reignite our imaginations."...

I would like to add this as an answer to the above and as a further inspiration from us to creative and imaginative DMs everywhere--from OD&D's Forward by EGG, written just a tiny bit over 36 years ago to the day:

"ONCE UPON A TIME, long, long ago there was a little group known as the Castle and Crusade Society. Their fantasy rules were published, and to this writer's knowledge, brought about much of the current interest in fantasy wargaming. For a time the group grew and prospered, and Dave Arneson decided to begin a medieval fantasy campaign game for his active Twin Cities club. From the map of the "land" of the "Great Kingdom" and environs — the territory of the C & C Society — Dave located a nice bog wherein to nest the weird enclave of "Blackmoor", a spot between the "Great Kingdom" and the fearsome "Egg of Coot". From the CHAINMAIL fantasy rules he drew ideas for a far more complex and exciting game, and thus began a campaign which still thrives as of this writing! In due course the news reached my ears, and the result is what you have in your hands at this moment. While the C & C Society is no longer, its spirit lives on, and we believe that all wargamers who are interested in the medieval period, not just fantasy buffs, will enjoy playing DUNGEONS and DRAGONS. Its possibilities go far beyond any previous offerings anywhere!
While it is possible to play a single game, unrelated to any other game events past or future, it is the campaign for which these rules are designed. It is relatively simple to set up a fantasy campaign, and better still, it will cost almost nothing. In fact you will not even need miniature figures, although their occasional employment is recommended for real spectacle when battles are fought. A quick glance at the Equipment section of this booklet will reveal just how little is required. The most extensive requirement is time. The campaign referee will have to have sufficient time to meet the demands of his players, he will have to devote a number of hours to laying out the maps of his "dungeons" and upper terrain before the affair begins. The third booklet of this set will be of great help in this respect, for a number of helpful suggestions regarding how to accomplish it all have been given in order to help you accomplish the task with a minimum of time and effort. There should be no want of players, for there is unquestionably a fascination in this fantasy game — evidenced even by those who could not by any stretch of the imagination be termed ardent wargamers. The longevity of existing campaigns (notably "Blackmoor" in the Twin Cities and "Greyhawk" in Lake Geneva) and the demand for these rules from people outside these campaigns point towards a fantastic future. Tactical Studies Rules believes that of all forms of wargaming, fantasy will soon become the major contender for first place. The section of this booklet entitled Scope will provide an idea of just how many possibilities are inherent in DUNGEONS and DRAGONS.
These rules are strictly fantasy. Those wargamers who lack imagination, those who don't care for Burroughs' Martian adventures where John Carter is groping through black pits, who feel no thrill upon reading Howard's Conan saga, who do not enjoy the de Camp & Pratt fantasies or Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser pitting their swords against evil sorceries will not be likely to find DUNGEONS and DRAGONS to their taste. But those whose imaginations know no bounds will find that these rules are the answer to their prayers. With this last bit of advice we invite you to read on and enjoy a "world" where the fantastic is fact and magic really works!
E. Gary Gygax 1 November 1973

Tactical Studies Rules Editor Lake Geneva, Wisconsin" 

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Allen Koszowski Samples & Link

I really love his inks and stippling.  Here's his link.

Monday, November 16, 2009

DUNGEON SETS™ Design Contest

With the advent of our new line we will be accepting the most interesting of submissions from DMs who use our Dungeon Sets™ in their games.  Here's how it works:

1)  Submit a keyed encounter describing it in detail.  Don't send boring stuff, only if you feel that in your estimation you've done something unique. 

2)  With it, send a scan portion of keyed area of the map so we know where to insert it.

3)  When we have at least 50% of all areas needed for an adventure, Rob or Ramsey will finish the remainder and publish it as a Cooperative release.  All contributing authors will get co-author credit and 2 copies of the book that they contributed to.

4)  Make sure to include your name and address in all communications.

The scope of this is to create a totally unique product where different levels of creativity and imagination work together.  It is also an avenue for encouraging truly unique design and independent design work that reaches beyond the norm, which is the idea behind creating and stocking your own dungeons, cities and outdoors to begin with. 


NOTE:  Always give us 2 weeks to respond to your email submission before querying us.  We will get back to you.  Send all email submission and queries to:  here.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New Drive Update: Issued Numbers

I'd like to thank all of our loyal fans for participating in this drive!  :) Here is an update on the early numbered issues:

#1 of Dungeon Sets 1 & 2 went to:  Franklin Mallory

#2  of Dungeon Sets 1 & 2 went to:  The "Toadman" Zach

#3 & #4 of Dungeon Sets 1 & 2 went to:  Stu Davis

Saturday, November 14, 2009

NEW DRIVE ANNOUNCEMENT

At 12 Noon CST tomorrow (the 15th) our ordering platforms will be live for purchasing DUNGEON SETS™ 1 and 2.

Please note the FRONT PAGE news and the HELP FILE.  I will be on hand monitoring the whole affair and will immediately answer questions emailed to me during the process.  Please note:  If you are not transferred to PAYPAL and pay there, then the order did not go through.  Follow the instructions in our HELP FILE for completing the payment.

> I will be signing and numbering 500 Limited English Editions for each set.<

(Thanks to Allan Grohe for reminding me to post this.)


I wish to thank everyone who has encouraged us in this new product line launch.  We have received dozens of emails in so short a time period and it is encouraging to say the least.  This is but the start of an eager endeavor for us to bring a line of products to bear that will creatively grow with the needs of the DM and his or her players.  We look forward to your participation.

Rob Kuntz
President, Pied Piper Publishing

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Samples of Paul Lehr's Fantastic Art


I have always been a fan of his work.  It always seemed to portray the isolation so inherent to space and the strangeness, always perked up by his Van-Gogh-ish use of color.  I am looking for a comprehensive site of his art, so if someone has a lead, do post it here.





Connecting

I receive many invites from old friends, associates, past partners and fans to connect at various places on the internet.  I am currently on Linked In, Myspace and Facebook.  I will not subscribe to all placess as I do not wish to be spammed endlessly.  I do not maintain a Yahoo or Gmail mailing account (or other) and for the same reasons.  There is also a Q&A forum specifically dedicated to me on Dragonsfoot where questions may be posted.  Our old forums will be reconstituted into a newer format sans Yuku's involvement, but this is a great chore so right now they are getting little or no attention, but I still do ocassionally get an email through that board's extended services.  To make it easier on me, consider direct contact through the email link provided below.

My email is here.

I receive hundreds of fan mails a year and generally answer them all and quickly, time permitting.  Otherwise I can not offfer connecting outside of these mediums and methods, sorrry.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

EGG Anecdotes/Remembrances Of (selected from my Memoirs)

Copyright 2009. Robert J. Kuntz. All Rights Reserved.

"'Rob, I could give two pieces of coon shit what people think of me."-- EGG in an email to me circa 2003.

... This nature was so true of EGG. But it also true that this did not suggest a lack of caring attitude or warmth, for which he was noted to have in great abundance. His detractors, mainly in my estimation jealous piss-ants found at various fora on the internet, were very vocal, but also very cowardly as they seldom if ever, unlike in the days of honored exchange in magazines or by post, ever had the gumption to say anything to the man's face or to direct their enmity towards him in personal exchange; and of course this example betrayed the very nature of the acts and the people behind them. Gary was a heated debater. His letters to the editor in Panzerfaust magazine, the International Wargamer or in The Courier, often developed into slugfests, with a notable one carrying on for many pages and issues between Jerry Pournelle (before the latter's rise to fame as a SF author) ...'"

Sunday, November 8, 2009

So Many Paths

There have been some concerns or guesses (speculation?) that our new line of products equates to me no longer crafting adventures. This is not so. The OC levels are still planned, and one named the Annex is in the works as is Dhalt. I have received lots of complements for my adventure crafting. Then again, a time does arrive sooner or later that a general design plan for my upcoming years will kick into effect. I wish to write essays and am doing so, instructive works, my memoirs, special projects and fiction, non-fiction and other. I do not have time to do all, so I must weigh against what makes me happy and what fans want (some at least) and arrive in middles. And I've always avoided middles, as one gets run over from both directions...

It has been 42 years in the industry (AND) in thinking, pondering and writing on many, many subjects other than RPG--I have always been a writer and a deep thinker first and only a designer second. That is a long time by some standards at least. I have a lot of thoughts on my life experiences, and only a fraction, not even a percent if I had to quantify it with haphazard human measuring systems, has been expressed. And I consider these the essence of my being and worthy of expression.

I've recently admitted to myself that the many mss and notes and maps and other that are contained on disc (3 cds) from my various auctions to date, well, there is going to be no way that this matter will get published as a greater whole in my life time--there is just not enough time and resources for it, even though there is great interest on my part to do so. Because of this, and at some future time, I will hand off these discs to someone who is competent in reordering and classifying/arranging their contents so that these could then be offered to the public. So this has been a recent question mark as well, and not only by myself but by close associates and friends.

Back to Dungeon Sets/Dungeon Trappings.

Historically, I can sense things changing but yet, again, remaining the same. DUNGEON SETS is also, in some part, a comment by me. At the beginning there were no booklets, EGG and I and Dave Arneson drew maps and invented things. TSR lost the early vision as they bought into the adventure business as influenced by outside forces (Palace of the Vampire Queen, et al, and then the plethora of JG material for AD&D). Then when the vision workers left TSR the whole marketing machine kicked in (like WotC has emulated today) and pumped out gobs of stuff, mostly junk in my estimation. What had happened was the pursuit of the dollar and that will always pinch out the truly creative kind and products spawned by them. I had always remained true to the vision and promoted quality above quantity; but surely without a staff of excellent designers and vision workers such efforts rarely succeed in making but a modicum of push in a market/sales driven model of OLD TSR's day or WotC's today. However, we have a game which on different levels is appreciated by all, including the idealistic creative types like me. It is extra painful for myself to watch the vision I helped create be raped over and over and then regurgitated as a truth to be bought into by others who will so readily listen and believe. To me it is a sin against all of what was the truth back then and an insult against the years spent working towards an unselfish end as comrades and friends. Adventures are becoming like pancakes, even in our grass roots movement to "FIND" the past--just add adventure batter and water and stir. There is no blame here, for look at what the model historically rests upon by comparison. Indeed, it is time for true creators and teachers to start creating and teaching again and to show the way to the youth who always inherit the "before-time"; and the barbarians are at the gates threatening the young as I type. "Back to basics" has only one meaning to me. Draw and craft and learn which is the only path I had in 1973. Very simple. Others rise to their own level and/or for their own reasons. But that's my level and a lot of other DM's levels as well. Ultimately it is all about fun, yes. But we also set the examples for the future, and in this I will speak only for myself as this is my truth and mine alone.

So I am returning to the start that I neever really left, part as an example, part out of hope, part of fear that we may be carried away in the tide of exhuberance too often noted when TSR rose and then so quickly fell. Negative? No. Just look at the examples. History has repeated itself time and again within this industry. Everyone has once again discovered the fountain of youth and the grail. Remember when...? And yes we do. Many "ancients" returning to their boxes in closet, basement, attic or garage remember fondly the FUN on many levels, and that includes crafting such adventures themselves.

Now if I had a PR Manager he would have shot himself by now, as I seem to be railing against my own existence as a publisher of booklets at least of the type I abhor on so many levels. But I have been doing this for years. Up the Bar, push the envelope, reach for excellence. It can only create more good and thus spur and inspire more positive growth. DUNGEON SETS/DUNGEON TRAPPINGS will allow me to get pieces of my creative mind to paper sooner than longish adventures would. That is both good for fans and for myself, for I always look at what I do with the idea of outdoing myself in the next round. :)

Though I have carried on a bit, ranted only slightly, and came close to uncontrolled egoism several times, I remain Galadriel... Uhhh... RJK ;)

"There is nothing at the end of twisting, twiddling paths; it is on the journey to Ithaca that all is revealed." -- Sah The Estranged.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sample & Updates to DS Line




We are excited about this new product line. This has been thought out carefully and Ramsey and I have discussed the possibilities of this line by phone and have traded many, many emails to get it down right and into production. Andy Taylor has been commissioned to draw all exterior and interior art. We may have other "spot" artists doing some add-ins here or there.

Future DUNGEON SETS™ will include 1,500+ word inserts on heavy card stock, three-hole drilled, entitled DUNGEON TRAPPINGS™ This matter will resemble in type what we will be including as separate DT set releases, which as discussed in the news release will be supplemental material of various kinds, such as new magic, spells, monsters, tricks, traps and special set pieces, etc. There will generally be a pleasing mix matching the range of each Dungeon Set. I will be contributing heavily to this material in their special DS forms and as separate releases (I am already 1,200 words into DUNGEON TRAPPINGS™ #1 and have contacted another crafty designer to help with future sets). For my design end this will also include primary matter gleaned from my Original Campaign files dating back to 1973, with salient art re-rendered from my illustrations done then. None of the information will be duplicated from one line (DS>DT) to the other, but each insert will be numbered for sequential ordering and different colors will be chosen for the stock as well. We are looking at no less than 65# color stock for this, and as noted, these will be three-hole drilled, making them easily organizable in a 3-ring binder for storage and reference/extraction.

DUNGEON SETS™ Product Line New November 15th





PPP Will Launch a New Product Line. DUNGEON SETS 1 & 2 will be available November 15th. See You There.


DUNGEON SETS™ was an idea conceived to bring maximum game value to each DM’s table, whatever FRPG system they are currently using. These are un-keyed, color maps with integration notes and a comprehensive legend that are presented as a contiguous, and exacting, dungeon setting. In studying the needs of DMs who all have specific campaigns with real histories, characters and plots of their own, it became apparent that the idea of mainstay adventure modules, such as many based upon TSR’s old model of assumed expediency, has shifted greatly with the contraction of that market and an ever present need over the years for specific game material created by each DM. In keeping with that honored ideal, PPP will make a leap in two areas: in presenting challenging maps for expansion along different creative lines by individual DMs; and in offering supportive materials for these, such as booklets containing new and innovative monsters, NPCs, spells, magic items, magical areas and set pieces which can be incorporated into the map designs as each DM sees fit, thus expanding the range for them to continue “branding” their own campaigns as creatively unique.

The last part of the term, ‘Dungeon Master,’ is ‘Master’. Thus PPP sees this product line, and those others forthcoming that will support its implementation via each creative DM, as not only sound as it is keeping with the actual vision of the game as first earmarked for the public, but these will allow an immediate expansion of the DM’s design process which until this point has had its purchase in a pick-and-choose, or almost scavenger-like, basis, the last in the sense that DMs cannot always use specific adventures offered by small publishers (let alone larger ones) and that they glean what they can in an endless search for good, or more importantly, “useable” material to extract from these.

DUNGEON SETS™ is the first step towards making sure that we as a publisher are doing as much as possible to reach each individual DM’s needs and to thereby inspire their immediate and imaginative use of our products, this rather than letting “NICE, BUT…” products from us languish on their bookshelves as collectibles or until a time arrives in their campaign, perhaps years later, to use them. One of the key elements in this game has always been “utility” and with its inclusion in the design and implementation of each campaign DMs’ creations tend to soar as they continue to find and hone their imaginative juices. This is of course what our grand game is all about, reaching for creative horizons while having fun on its interrelated levels. Pun intended!

The Future of Dungeon Sets™

I will be designing sets such as the Fortress of Fyarz and the Cloud Castle of Aer (as noted in the Bottle City). Ramsey will also be creating increasingly imaginative and challenging sets to test the tenacity of your players! The integration notes for DMs will increase as each set expands upon the base we have realized. They will include creative additions not seen at “basic” levels and in concert with supplemental source material will allow for an ever-expanding range of imaginative material to be used in stocking these dungeons and settings. Within that context, Ramsey Dow and myself have concluded that a treatise—an in depth essay—on dungeon-crafting in its many facets should be of interest, so we are gathering notes to add to my already 10,000+ word MS which describes the creation of Greyhawk™ Castle, Castle El Raja Key and Maure Castle™. This historical and instructive treatise will cover the beginnings of this honored endeavor and track some of the changes that have taken effect with the modernization of the game.

We wish to thank the hundreds of loyal fans for continuing to support our diversified game through the purchase of our products.

Happy Gaming!

Rob Kuntz, President
Ramsey Dow, Production Manager for the Dungeon Sets™ Line


Greyhawk and Maure Castle are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. Their use here is for historical reference only.
Dungeon Sets™ is a trademark of Pied Piper Publishing.



Friday, November 6, 2009

Books That I am Reading/Want to Read

In between the mounting chaos and perilous journeys of the mind, body and soul that I have experienced over the last two months either corporeally or otherwise, I never lost sight of the books that I have been perusing (or stacking about me in piles, neat piles, however). They include but are not limited to:

The Selected Writings of Lafcadio Hearn
Selected Poems of Luis de Gongora

Selected Poems of Antonio Machado

sample:

We thought that we could
make our love a grand festival,
kindle new aromas
on unknown mountains,
and hide the secret
of our pallid faces,
because in the Bacchanalia of life
our cups are always empty
while the golden juices of the vine
laugh with a crystalline and foamy echo.
A bird hidden among the branches
of the lonely park
whistles mockingly…
We squeeze
the shadow of a dream into our glass…
And something that is earth in our flesh feels
the moisture of the garden like a caress.

Deep Play by Diane Ackerman (a monumental book IMHO)

Deep adj. Play n. : 1. A state of unselfconscious engagement with our surroundings 2. An exalted zone of transcendence over time 3. A state of optimal creative capacity

Fantasists on Fantasy (highly recommended, especially Moorcock's essay on humor in Fantasy)
The Philosopher and the Wolf by Mark Rowlands (given to me by a friend)

I am also teaching myself conversational French (no kidding!), though with my schedule the way it already is this seemingly will only be accomplished if I am able to duplicate myself. I'll have to read a book on that latter process... I'll let you know how it goes... :)

The Lord of the Blog Has Returned

Well, The Lord of the Blog has returned.

If you believe I was on vacation, guess again. :)

With the failure of 3 free-lance manuscripts (2 of which PPP paid a heap of advances on) to materialize I have been about staunching the wounds and now announce that with Ramsey Dow's help, that they are staunched. Six Weeks of schedule reordering to redo the schedule, art ordering, cost estimates, etc. was but the start. Then came the new products, two of which will be released the 15th of this month and which some of you know about (more on that in another post), and the ordering of the release schedule for the new line (DUNGEON SETS™) and the re-convening on my GH Castle levels (which were pushed in the 9 month slash of time and revenue as a dominoes effect of the previous aforementioned products not materializing).

In between I suffered great fatigue and a bout of depression (No Kidding). I had encouraged others to post here, but, alas, no one has opted to do that. So, between fire and foe and burning flesh (to Odin and Thor) we are finally rolling again, and with solid wheels.

For those who believe a life of an artist is easy, couple that with self-publishing and doing all the work (now with Ramsey's help) and you would be wrong on both counts. In fact on my birthday I was at home writing and planning, did not have a drop of liquor or cake (someone ate that a long time ago...), and would not have remembered it if the Facebook crew and those here had not wished me one. Thanks again, btw.

More... I have agreed to a very, very, very long interview and am readying notes for that, I have rough-designed an award that will be presented at next years Texas RPG Con (which I will be at as a guest and DM and as the presenter of said award), and I have started writing my memoirs (a two year chore which I am long-handing on vellum with a M200 Pelikan fountain pen--I long-hand about 2 pages/day), I considered a relationship in between, thought better, and instead made linguini in clam sauce....

I am at the moment drinking coffee (can you tell?), though I do not consider it coffee so much anymore, rather blood as it appears to have replaced my own these days. That should bring me right up to date for the moment, plus or minus 10 other things.

More posts to follow after my caffeine high has subsided. :)

RJK