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January 15th 2014

Update for Jan. 2014

I just wanted to make a quick update about the current state of my site, and the last post.

Obviously, I’m a slacker. My stated New Year’s resolution for 2013 was to research more Scandinavian and German foods that matched up to recipes available in the video game Skyrim (which draws from historic Nordic culture) and do posts on the topic.

First, my blog. Anyone reading this might have noticed that I started read more »

January 5th 2013

Historic / Skyrim Cooking – Introduction

Recently on my Facebook account, I announced that as a personal goal this year (not a “New Year’s Resolution”—I realize its just semantics, but psychologically it feels different to me) I would like to start doing more research on cooking and dishes from German/Saxon and Viking cultures in the Middle Ages and before. My motivation stems from 1) a desire to do more research on my persona (German, probably Lower Saxony, circa 1500) and the roots of that culture for the SCA, and 2) über-geekery stemming from the video game Skyrim, which is based on Norse culture, and my casual research revealed that the creators of the game had done their own research and kept things decently accurate—but how accurate?

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May 11th 2012

Characterization – D. Marshall Snow

This is a character profile that I wrote up for a recent Trail of Cthulhu game. It’s not really polished, but it was a fun writing exercise. Marshall really wasn’t based on anyone in particular, but Celeste’s character was based on a friend of mine that I used to hang out with in the ’90’s. I should mention that those similarities are only in appearance and personality, and not events.

Dwight Marshall Snow was born in Provo, Utah but raised in Las Vegas, Nevada after his father got a job there.

He was an average 21-year old Freshman at BYU in fall of 1993. He had returned home from a mission for his church—the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints—to Rome, Italy in early 1993. He was majoring in Psychology with a minor in English. It was during the end of his first semester, at a combined singles ward activity that he saw her. Celeste Moody was probably the most beautiful woman Dwight had ever laid eyes on. She stood about 5’3”, had chin-length deep red hair, pale skin, a flannel jacket tied around her waist, and rocking Dr. Marten boots. The sight of her caused him to feel things that he’d tried to suppress for two years on his religious sabbatical. read more »

March 5th 2012

Characterization – Pogranax

The following is the background story I wrote for a Pathfinder Societies character, a Half-Orc Fighter that wields a two-handed greatsword. In a nutshell, his specialty is cutting things in half.

Pogranax was born a bastard in the harsh landscapes of Kellid. His mother was a victim of a brutal attack from an Orc tribe, in which her husband was killed and she was forced to conceive at the hands of one of the strongest warriors in the raiding party. While she was not the only woman subjected to this brutality that day, she was the only one read more »

February 26th 2012

Report on SaltCon 2012

Last week marked the fourth or fifth annual SaltCon (I don’t know which year they’re officially counting from), two days of tabletop gaming in Salt Lake City, Utah. I attended last year for the Saturday session and while I had an okay time, it left a lot to be desired. My chief complaints were read more »

January 17th 2012

The Black-Eyed People

Recently, I was listening to a series of radio show episodes from Darkness Radio that have been put online as podcasts. For those of you familiar with Art Bell’s Coast to Coast (now hosted by author George Noory), this show is slotted the hour before and deals with the paranormal as well. It is hosted by “Darkness Dave,” who is also the Senior Judge on Paranormal Challenge and is at least acquainted with, if not friends with, a lot of the bigger names in America’s paranormal scene.

Dave was talking about a phenomenon that he said has come to his attention fairly recently (within the last six months, I believe). The phenomenon goes by two similar names, “The Black-Eyed Children,” or “The Black-Eyed People” (commonly shortened to BEP). One of the large collection of stories regarding the BEP can be found at read more »

October 2nd 2011

What’s In a Name

I recently made a series of discoveries that I’m fairly certain will change my life, my outlook on life, and indeed my outlook on my entire family. Well, at least on my father’s side.

To understand what I mean, indulge me while I give a little background.

I’ve always had an interest in western European medieval history, mainly in technology and architecture, but in my young adult life this branched into a desire to know more about the culture and daily life of those people. I’ve always been told that our family originally came from Ireland, despite the fact that the records we had claimed that our oldest known ancestor lived in Norfolk, England around the 1400’s. Of course, the Ireland theory was based on some bad information from a World Book Encyclopedia and because “Cory” (an older spelling of our last name and how we still pronounce it, despite the fact that it has an “a”) probably just sounded more Irish. read more »

June 8th 2011

Roll for Creativity Check

I haven’t written on my blog in a while. I apologize. I’m certain all of my loyal readers would be filling my inbox with inquisitive messages as to my well-being if we weren’t already friends on Facebook.

I suppose that isn’t entirely the truth. I have a few blogs in the old “pending” queue that I’ll probably never post. Sometimes I just don’t know what I’m thinking when I write these. Yet here I am again.

Occasionally, finding something to write about is hard. It’s not just time constraints or other projects, although that’s part of it, but sometimes its a struggle to think of something that I care enough about to actually attack with the keyboard. Luckily, some of those other projects encourage creativity to help keep that part of my brain at least somewhat pumping.

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January 26th 2011

Fiction Snippet: You Know How I Can Tell You’re Crazy?

The following is a snippet of fiction that I wrote for a book I’m working on. Any correlation to real people, events, or other works of fiction are merely coincidental. I would highly appreciate constructive criticism in the comments.

Paul sat on a worn, pleather-upholstered bench, his full concentration devoted to the pristine white coffee cup in front of him, contrasted by the dark liquid filling it, as the bright afternoon light lengthened the shadow. It was easy to keep pace with the smudge of dark gray across the speckled surface of the table, a lone vessel on a silent sea of flame. First the tip touched this large speck of orange, then the fleck of yellow next to it, then a different shade of orange chip. It crept onward like the march of a snail.

The coffee cup, however, did not move.
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January 10th 2011

Book Review: Mr. Monster by Dan Wells

Last week I reviewed I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells, and aside from a few minor criticisms, I highly enjoyed the book. It should come as no big surprise that I also enjoyed Mr. Wells’ follow up, Mr. Monster. I would even say I liked it more. A lot more.

The second installment of the John Wayne Cleaver series has our young protagonist struggling with the repercussions of his decisions in the first book while his small town recovers from the string of brutal serial killings. The vast majority of the townsfolk believe that the “Clayton Killer” remains at large, but since the murders have stopped they are beginning to feel more confident. That is, until new bodies begin to show up. Troubling to both John and the police, these corpses have a vastly different MO than the original killer.
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