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Prisoners of the Wailing Tower

Novella by Deby Fredericks, cover image by Tithi Luadthong

Minstrels of Skaythe is one of my favorite fantasy series.” — Alden Loveshade

Guest post by author Deby Fredericks.

PRISONERS OF THE WAILING TOWER

Alemin only wanted to help an innocent. Instead, he was caught by the dreaded hunter-guards. Now he finds himself flung into the Larder, where the very walls are steeped in nightmares and his fellow inmates are vicious killers. Worse, Warden Ar-Lizelle seems intent on tracking down his friends, the Minstrels, who have devoted their lives to undermining Skaythe’s tyrannical regime.

On the outside, the renegade mage Lorrah receives a premonition of Alemin’s plight. She’s desperate to save a man she cares for, but the Larder is commanded by someone she has hated for years and can’t bear to face: her cruel sister, Ar-Lizelle. Luckily, Lorrah is not alone. She has help from the fierce women warriors of Badger Squad. Yet even their combined forces might not be enough to get Alemin free from Dar-Gothull’s Larder!

Many thanks to anyone who would be inclined to share the news, post a review, and otherwise shine some light.

Opinions in guest posts are those of the author.

 * * *

The latest Minstrels of Skaythe novella, Prisoners of the Wailing Tower, is now available on Amazon and in different formats at Book2Read.

“Did I mention this book is dedicated to me?” — Alden Loveshade

 

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Me on MeTV

Toon In With Me (rights belong to MeTV)

Yes, some of my artwork/graphic design is scheduled to appear appeared (see below) on Toon In With Me on MeTV. Note that they share art by professional artists–and by kindergartners. And by people who share a photo of themselves in front of their television sets. Or a pic of their stuffed cartoon animal.

So yeah, it’s fan art. But still, it’s fun. My art appeared Tuesday, November 9, on Toon In With Me on the MeTV network. That’s at 7 a.m. (07:00)  Eastern Time (it airs at 6 a.m. (06:00) Central Time).

– – – – –

My Description sent to MeTV:

“I started with a basic rectangle, triangle, and circle. And with–oops!–wiggling a cell phone camera while trying to take a photo of the ground and a bush, and went from there!”

My Art:

Alden Loveshade’s art for Toon In With Me on MeTV

Clip of the end of the show featuring my fan art–and jokes inspired by it! (Rights to the clip belong to MeTV).

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FnordCon 4 Coming This Weekend Online

Steve Jackson Games’ FnordCon 4 is scheduled online for 2021 November 5 – 7 (depending on time zone).

Information below is from, and belongs to, Steve Jackson Games, and may change. Listed times are in Central Time (and keep in mind Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend). For more details and to check the current schedule, see here.

Friday, November 5, 2021

Friday Events

  • 1-4 pm – Guest check-in and equipment testing
  • Afternoon – Tabletopia is active (for MIB training)
  • 5pm – Discord server goes live: ( https://discord.gg/CcdNThsk )
  • 6pm – “What’s New” Panel (Steve and Phil)
  • 7-9pm – MIBs will be teaching/running Hack & Slash, Zombie Dice, Z-Shot, Deadly Doodles, and games from the Random Fun Generator.

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Saturday Events

  • 9am – Get the day off to a casual start. Test your Discord setup, chat with attendees and staff in the Con Suite, and meet our dealers.
  • 10am – 4pm and 6pm – 9pm – MIBs will be teaching/running Hack & Slash, Zombie Dice, Z-Shot, Deadly Doodles, and games from the Random Fun Generator.
  • 10am – RPG (GURPS/TFT/Girl Genius) Panel (Sean, Peter, & Douglas)
  • 11:30am – The COVID Economy and the Game Business (Phil, 30 minutes)
  • 12:30pm – Car Wars Sixth Edition Two-Player game using the Vehicle Guide. (Jimmie/Hunter)
  • 2pm – Ben’s Car Wars Hobby Stream (Ben)
  • 3:30pm – Munchkin Panel Q&A and Previews (Will Schoonover/Devin)
  • 5pm – Meet Katie Cook, whose art appears in Deadly Doodles, Munchkin Kittens, and Puppies, and many more – as well as comics like My Little Pony! (Katie Cook Panel/Live Drawing)
  • 6:30pm – Closing chat. How did we do, what are you looking forward to tomorrow, & suggestions for improvement.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Our Discord server will still be open for chatting, but a variety of online gaming will also be offered throughout the weekend!

We will be hosting games of Zombie Dice and Hack & Slash on Tabletopia, taught by our staff and our Men in Black volunteers. Information on accessing the games will be available during the show from our Discord schedule.

Eric will be taking on Ogre challengers on Steam.

Sunday Events

  • 10am – 2pm – MIBs will be teaching/running Hack & Slash, Zombie Dice, Z-Shot, Deadly Doodles, and games from the Random Fun Generator.
  • 11:00am – Curious about how to write material professionally for SJGames RPG properties? Join the GURPS and TFT Line Editors, as well as Doug Cole of Gaming Ballistic, for a one-hour Q&A about what makes for a good RPG submission! (Sean ‘Kromm’ Punch, Peter von Kleinsmid, and Douglas Cole)
  • 1:00pm – Illuminati Confirmed Preview/Q&A (Derek Pearcy, moderated by Hunter/Jimmie)
  • 2:30pm – Car Wars Sixth Edition Multiplayer Game (Hunter, Jimmie, et al)

FnordCon and the FnordCon image are the property of Steve Jackson Games. The image is used here to promote the event.

 

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Traffic Stops for Profit

Yes. it’s Halloween, but here’s something really spooky. Some cops pull over people just to make money.

It happened to me. I was driving through a small Texas town, and was slowing down to make a left turn into the parking lot of a mini-mart. The cop car’s lights flashed behind me, and I pulled into the parking lot but did not look at my speedometer. I didn’t check my speed because I had no concept I was about to get a speeding ticket–I had been following the speed limit even before I slowed down.

As it ended up, I found out someone my family knew had gotten a ticket from the same cop immediately before me–for the exact same speed. I knew it was a scam. She contacted the city clerk (who was her friend), and I did some legal research and went to court. Both tickets were dropped. So the city had to make its money off other victims.

Not everyone is so lucky. People have gotten arrested and even injured for questioning bogus traffic tickets as you can see here.

Note that, as a journalist who covered crime, I’ve dealt with some highly qualified, dedicated police officers. Frankly, it was a shock to me when I first dealt with a cop who wasn’t. Unfortunately, I’ve dealt with several since.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/demand-money-behind-many-police-154149510.html

Police image is by Anna Velichkovsky

An opinion of a member of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.

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GURPS Fantasy Folk: Elves by Alden Loveshade

GURPS Fantasy Folk: Elves

Steve Jackson Games calls this “the consummate guide to all things elven.” Did I do that?

GURPS Fantasy Folk: Elves is a supplement that SJGames has wanted for a long time, and that I wanted for a long time. I just didn’t know I’d have the honor of being the one to write it!

It features well over a dozen varieties of elves, including wood, sea, winged, shadow, sky, deep, mountain, high, half-elf and more. It features elven weapons, mounts, elven religion, psychology, etc. While it’s written for the GURPS role-playing system, much of it can be used in any role-playing game with elves. What kind of game? One that features medieval fantasy or science fantasy or old west or steampunk or horror or science fiction or….

http://www.warehouse23.com/products/gurps-fantasy-folk-elves

An opinion of an individual member of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.

Posted in Crime and Punishment, Discordian and Ek-sen-trik, Education and Learning, Family and Friends, Games and Conventions, Gaming, Health and Medical, Love and Sex, Media and News, Politics and War, Religion and Philosophy, Science and Technology | Tagged , , , | 21 Comments

Science and COVID-19

COVID-19

I saw a Facebook post about how a certain doctor said that several people being treated for COVID-19 had been vaccinated. Another doctor questioned the effectiveness of coronavirus vaccinations. The poster presented this as evidence that groups such as the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were wrong.

I’ve seen a lot of that type of thinking. If every single person in a particular scientific field doesn’t agree with every single other person in that field on everything, then you can’t trust the vast majority. You should go by the few voices, or even lone voice, who disagree.

Below is my response.

This is how science works.

When AIDS was headline news, one researcher reported that they believed that AIDS/HIV, contrary to the standard scientific belief, was spread by casual contact. At the same time, another researcher reported that they believed AIDS/HIV was not communicable.

That’s science. Science is never absolute–if a belief becomes absolute, it’s no longer science, it’s religion. There should always be someone knowledgeable challenging the established thought–that’s how progress is made.

But when it comes to people’s lives, people in the medical field in various parts of the world are trained to follow the best and most supported medical information. They are trained to save lives. Thus even though someone purports to have evidence that drinking gasoline is good for you, doctors and nurses don’t tell their patients to drink gasoline. And even though it’s possible that a bullet shot through the cranium can help remove a cancerous tumor, they don’t start shooting patients in the head.

The overwhelming evidence is that vaccines save lives.

On a related note, after posting the above I created and added Alden’s Obscure Facts no.362 below.

Covid-19 face made by A.L.; feel free to use it if you want to.

Alden’s Obscure Facts no. 362 is under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license.

An opinion of an individual member of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.

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Creepy Joe Biden, God’s Man Donald Trump

Joe Biden with books, Donald Trump with the Bible. Public domain images.

FIVE POINTS that PROVE

 JOE BIDEN  is  CREEPY

 DONALD TRUMP  is  GOD’S MAN

 

 

1) Joe Biden was accused of sexual assault by a woman who was later verified to have been lying under oath.  CREEPY!

Donald Trump was accused of paying off more than one woman, including a prostitute, to keep quiet about him having sex with them. He also bragged about kissing women without permission, and about grabbing women by the genitals.  GOD’S MAN!

 

2) Joe Biden in the 1980s made a few exaggerated claims about his early life; he later admitted his past mistakes.  CREEPY!

Donald Trump made almost 500 false or misleading statements in the first 100 days of his presidency alone. He didn’t admit lying or being deceptive on any of them.  GOD’S MAN!

 

3) Joe Biden made a comment that an underage girl sat like a “little lady.”  CREEPY!

Donald Trump was reported by several women and girls to have barged in unannounced while Miss Teen USA beauty pageant contestants, some underage, were undressing. Witnesses said he did not apologize, and his daughter Ivanka Trump said, “Yeah, he does that.”  GOD’S MAN!

 

4) Joe Biden whispered when answering some questions in a news conference.  CREEPY!

Donald Trump has often spoken incoherently in news conferences.  GOD’S MAN!

 

5) Joe Biden often attends Mass. He said while he had doubts of faith when his first wife and daughter were killed, his Christian beliefs are very important to him.  CREEPY!

Donald Trump said he doesn’t remember ever asking God for forgiveness for anything, even though that’s a fundamental tenant and even requirement of the Christian faith. But he’s been photographed several times holding a Bible.  GOD’S MAN!

An opinion of an individual member of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.

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Dallas Cowboys and Cleveland Indians

Chief Oghema Niagara Thunderwater (Cleveland Thunder was proposed as the new name for the Cleveland Indians by his great-great-great grandson.)

Which of these American sports teams is your favorite?

1) Cleveland Indians

2) Los Angeles Mexicans

3) Houston Negroes

4) New York White People

Only one of these names is real, but it’s not going to be real much longer. The Cleveland Indians is becoming the Cleveland Guardians after the end of the 2021 season.

The Washington Redskins has already changed its name to the Washington Football Team, so it’s about time for this. It’s long seemed weird (and insulting) to me to name a sports team after a racial/ethnic group. Hopefully the Minnesota Vikings will change their name next (yes, Virginia, Vikings are real).

Once we’re rid of racial/ethnic group team names, maybe we can then move on to other misleading ones. Do the Dallas Cowboys run to the field to herd cows? Do the Houston Astros play in the International Space Station? Do the Texas Rangers still arrest people and fondly miss their former member The Lone Ranger?

And how could the Baltimore Ravens  down the New York Jets–by getting caught in their propeller? No, I don’t think jets have propellers. And where could the Baltimore Ravens and the Indianapolis Colts and the Miami Dolphins play each other–air, land, or sea? And when the Boston Red Sox go for a spin with the Chicago White Sox, why don’t they both become the Pink Sox?

OK, so logical team names ain’t likely. I’ll stick with being happy getting rid of the racist ones.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cleveland-indians-guardians-name-change/

An opinion of an individual member of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.

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GURPS Fantasy Folk: Elves–Interview

As the cover for GURPS Fantasy Folk: Elves has yet to be decided, this is the cover of Steve Jackson Games Third Edition GURPS Fantasy Folk. Copyright by Steve Jackson Games.

I and one of my characters from GURPS Fantasy Folk: Elves are being interviewed!

We’re among several being interviewed by Titania, Queen of Fairies. It was a fun experience (I did it last year too). While the book is primarily written for Steve Jackson Games’ GURPS roleplaying system, much of the elf material can fit virtually anything elven. It touches on elvish things from over 1,000 years ago to the future (literally, as the not-yet-published book contains material never seen before!)

Comments on this particular post are turned off here, so please comment there!

http://wyrmflight.wordpress.com

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No Pledge of Allegiance

I do not recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag.

It is not that I don’t respect the American flag. I do.

I was trained to respect it both as a young child and in Boy Scouts. I display it on Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, Independence Day, Flag Day, and other days. I’m careful to not let it touch the ground. I try to put it up quicker than I take it down. I don’t fly it at night unless there’s a light shining on it.

I wouldn’t fly it upside down (unless there was an emergency, for then that’s proper). I don’t wear it as clothing, don’t spit on it, and don’t carry things in it. I store it where it can stay dry and safe and not get torn.

I have never burned an American flag. I would not do so unless it was no longer in a condition to be displayed with honor, and then I would either give it for proper disposal by burning by a group like the American Legion or the VFW, or burn it properly in a private ceremony.

But I will no longer recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.

While it existed in some form earlier, the Pledge was not officially adopted by Congress until after America got involved in World War II. The phrase “under God” wasn’t added until 1954.

Currently, it reads: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,”

The “under God” portion to me violates the principle of Freedom of Religion/Separation of Church and State. So does the motto “In God We Trust” which wasn’t made official until 1956 when it replaced E pluribus unum which had been the de facto motto since 1776. Those phrases gained favor in the 1950s with its “America is God’s country” and thus “America is the greatest nation on Earth (i.e. we’re better than you)” philosophy. America then meaning, of course, non-Hispanic White America.

But beyond that, I will not pledge allegiance to an object. To me, that speaks of idolatry. Allegiance to a group, a cause, a philosophy, a nation; those I can understand. But not allegiance to a rectangular piece of colored cloth. If I had a choice between saving an American flag or saving a human being, I would not chose the flag. I would choose the person.

An opinion of an individual member of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.

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