There was a plot whoops in Blackwood with the Dark Brotherhood, so I did some headcanon for it. Enjoy! 🙂Shadow Pawns (5398 words) by worthyadvisor
Fandom: Elder Scrolls Online, Elder Scrolls
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Elam Drals, Eveli Sharp-Arrow, Original Dunmer Character(s) (Elder Scrolls), Original Argonian Character(s) (Elder Scrolls)
Additional Tags: Headcanon, Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood, Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind, Dark Brotherhood (Elder Scrolls) – Freeform, elder scrolls online – Freeform
Velyn Nass is a new initiate of the Dark Brotherhood, sent on a mission to Blackwood from the guild’s newest Silencer, but then finds herself pitted against Elam Drals.
Hello. I know it’s been a bit. July was…
Well, just ugh. There’s been a lot going on for me and The Wife (not all of which I can talk about here).
I took a trip to a hotel for a few days to have some me-time. Took the train to a town called Bad Ragaz here in Switzerland, which was very beautiful. The hotel was great, food was good, and all that. I did really need the time out, for sanity’s sake. Unfortunately, though, I got COVID, even though I was careful, wore my mask, and avoided large groups of people. We think I probably got it on the train going there, since I was sick when I came back. *sigh* I’m glad that both me and The Wife are vaxxed and boosted, since we both got a relatively mild version of the damn thing, but even the mild one hit me like a ton of bricks. Still have the “tireds” three weeks later and I’m finally done with the sinus ick. I’m taking it easy, though. I am definitely NOT going to rush my recovery.
Then, to our horror, the week after I got back from my trip, our espresso machine broke. As in, non-functional and non-repairable. The Wife ordered a new, but not so technically advanced, espresso machine and grinder. I also paid for a service that would bring the machine, set it up, and take away the old one. Of course, Swiss customer service being what it is, it’s taken two weeks for them to deliver the thing. But, as of tomorrow we will have espresso again.
While The Wife has been nerding over the espresso machine, I’ve been nerding out on non-standard coffee brewing methods. I’ve now got a Turkish cezve and I’ve successfully made a pot of coffee in it! It was pretty good, too, and very different than I expected! I also have some proper coffee spices and am going to try that soon. I was surprised how well this worked with our decaf espresso roast.
My other coffee obsession has been Vietnamese-style coffee. I ordered the metal phin (filter) and a bag of ground Vietnamese coffee and have been using it every morning so far since it got delivered. It’s nice to make a single cup of strong (caffeinated) coffee. I don’t use sweetened condensed milk, though, because of the sugar, but Swiss coffee cream or my barista oat milk work really well, especially for iced coffee. (If you’re wondering, I use monk fruit for sweetener.)
For my other obsession, the most recent pen-related thing I’ve bought at the end of June was this amazing desk lamp from Blue Star Crafts, and I adore it! Old timey looking bulb (it’s LED), with a drawer for pens! There’s also two USB ports on the back and the lamp is dimmable. I love it!
Aside from coffee nerding, pen gear, and getting sick, I am still writing. The next series of books is coming along, and it’ll be an epic sequel to the first four books.
The first set of Survey books are nearly done with editing. There’s only one left to finish with the proofreader and then The Wife and I will do the formating, cover design, and publishing wherever we can publish it. It’ll be in ebook form and paperback-by-demand first. I’m also planning to do an audiobook. We’ll be releasing that in podcast form initially (for free), then cutting it together to sell as a regular audiobook that will be in the usual outlets.
I’m excited and nervous for these books to be out, but the excitement of people finally getting to read these books is winning out over the nervousness. I can’t wait to hear what folks think of them!
In between writing chapters, I’ve been playing Elder Scrolls online. I’m on both the PC EU and NA servers, so if you play, feel free to ping me there, especially if you want to run some dungeons or delves (username is @worthyadvisor)!
And finally, the end of July was our 4th anniversary of moving to Switzerland. It’s amazing that it’s been four years already! It’s one of those things where the time has gone by really fast, but it feels like we’ve been here forever. I mean, Switzerland isn’t perfect, but you know, it’s not so bad.
Stay safe, folks and make sure you’re boosted. Trust me on this one!
I wasn’t sure what to write this month, since my books are still in the editing process. Life has also happened. We’ve had some family issues in the last couple of months that have been difficult, but we’re hanging in there. For me, I’m just taking it day by day, writing book #5 when I can, taking care of The Wife, and playing Elder Scrolls Online. (If you’re on PC/EU, feel free to friend me there if you like. Username is @worthyadvisor.)
What’s mostly been on my mind lately, besides the family stuff, is the news coming out of the US. More mass shootings, the January 6 hearings, anti-trans bullshit, anti-queer bullshit, racist bullshit, and so on, ad nauseum.
I can’t write about it anymore. It’s all stuff I’ve written about for years on this blog. There’s the right wing fascists who want to kill people like me and my wife and create a theocracy. There’s left wing fascists who demand ideological purity and still want to kill people like my wife (who is transgender). I feel like I’ve lost my country. There are days where I want to march to Bern and hand in my passport. (I’m not going to do that, though, because that would make my life way more complicated than it needs to be.) My wife’s lost her country, too. And it’s not entirely from the Tories, either. It’s because TERFs have taken on positions in the the UK government, and there is massive anti-transgender sentiment in the country now (fuck you JK Rowling).
It’s exhausting. I mean, at least, being in Switzerland, we don’t have to worry about getting shot.
I’m tired of writing about compassion and spirituality and feeling like I’m talking to brick walls. I’m tired of having to prove that I’m perfect when it comes to anything progressive. I’m tired of people being shitty with each other and not giving people the chance to change and grow.
I want to have more hope. I want to think that we can get ourselves out of this rut of hatefulness that we’re in. But it’s hard to see any end. Things sometimes seem to look up, but then nothing happens. The priest in me wants to fix everything, but it feels like nothing can be fixed, or that what people try to do to fix things just won’t work.
I try to put hope in my stories and I’d love it if I’d inspire people to strive for something better. But right now, change seems so very far away.
It’s May 2022. Good lord, it feels like it’s been a million years since I last posted. Lots of family stuff in the last few weeks, which I won’t get in to, but it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster.
It’s been a few months since I finished my first 4 novels. They’ve been in the editing process since January, and I’m still hoping for an end of summer release of the books. I’ll say again, that my editors are awesome and have been really great about everything.
After the editing’s done, it’s time to do cover art, formatting, and uploading.
The books will be available via Amazon and as many other formats I can do as ebooks. And yes, you’ll be able to get dead tree versions as well.
Yes, I’ll also be doing audio books, but I’ll be originally doing them as a podcast. When the podcasts are done, I’ll be cutting them together so I can upload them to the usual places for audiobooks. That way, there’s a free version if you don’t mind the podcast format and a regular audiobook version for folks who like it that way. To start with, I’ll be doing a podcast of “The Four Keys” and I’ll let you all know when it’s going to come out. The podcasts will be available from the usual places (Apple, Stitcher, etc).
My brain’s been a bit scattered lately, so I’ll keep this short. And a reminder: the pandemic isn’t over yet, so wear your masks and get vaccinated!
Thankfully! Hopefully that’s the end of the weirdness for awhile.
I am back from Mallorca, although the Wife will be there for a little while longer.
Still working on book five and waiting for edits to come back for the first four. Writing is going slowly, but life, you know?
Hope you all are doing well!
Writing is going slow, but that’s because I’m also in the middle of working with an editor and proofreader. Response to the books from folks who are helping with the editing process has been awesome. I feel like the novels are now getting closer to publication!
Next, though, comes formatting, cover art, doing dead tree proofs, then, finally, getting it out to you all! My impatient self wants them done RIGHT NOW, but my rational brain knows that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. So, I try and work on the 5th book between edits.
One interesting bit for folks who like journaling and RPGs: I was introduced to this journaling RPG called “Over the Mountain” by Marz Corbeau, and it’s been fun to play with it. It might actually be the start of a totally different type of novel (read: Non-Survey Universe). I also had to bring out my pink sparkly dice for it, but it’s been fun. I’m not doing a full version of the game (I’m mostly doing the time/place/person prompts), but some of my other friends are and love it! I also like the fact that you “win” by filling the journal! I have plenty of journals and notebooks that I could fill with a game like this!
Also been playing a lot of Elder Scrolls Online. If you’re on the EU server and want to say hello, ping me and I’ll give you my info.
OK, back to the grind…
Look at all this! Most of this was birthday haul, since my birthday was in January. Yes, I know, I’m a pen and ink addict. Obviously.
The dip pens in the front are my new obsession, since I can use any ink with them, including shimmer inks (which tend to clog regular fountain pens). The the three fancy ones came from Papier Plume in New Orleans. The black one is a glass pen. The green handled pen takes metal nibs, and I bought some artist nibs that work like regular fountain pens and hold a lot of ink. They both write really well! The brass dip pen came with a regular metal nib, but I recently got a special brass dip nib (that works like a glass nib) from a Japanese company called Kakimori. I also got the round bottle of ink (their #2 torori) which is a great ink, and the clear and gold demonstrator pen. It’s a pen made by Sailor for Kakimori. It’s a nice pen, and inexpensive, and writes rather nicely, with a bit of feedback.
The wooden dip pen was an antique ebay find from Russia, and I love writing with it. It’s light, but rather well balanced.
The pens with the orange and pink caps are Pilot kakuno pens. They are mostly styled as pens for kids, but they are really good writers for being cheap and cheerful! I have some Pilot pigment inks in them right now, and they seem to be fine.
The light blue and dark blue pens on the left are both from Ferris Wheel Press. The light blue is the Carousel fountain pen, and it writes pretty well and is pretty similar to the kakuno pens. The dark blue pen, the Roundabout, is a rollerball pen that you can fill like a fountain pen!! To my surprise, to works really well! Although, it only really like Ferris Wheel Press ink, so you’ll want to buy a bottle of ink to go with it. Speaking of ink, the two round bottles are also from Ferris Wheel Press. They are both jade green inks, but one has silver glitter and is called Moonlit Jade, and the other has gold glitter and is called Sunlit Jade. They are such beautiful inks!
The white pen is Lamy’s new Dialog CC capless fountain pen. I love it, and it’s so much better that the Dialog 3, in my opinion. It’s a Lamy, too, so it just writes, and writes well.
The large pen behind the Lamy is the Opus 88. It’s a dropper fill pen that holds a massive amount of ink. It writes a lot like the Lamy, although you have to remember to open up the knob on the back of the pen to release ink to the nib (works kind of like a vacuum fill pen in that regard).
The last pen is the orange and black glittery pen, which is the Foxglove fountain pen from Benu. It’s a beautifully weird and wonderful pen, with a lovely nib. But the sparkle is awesome!! If you love glitter, Benu pens are for you!
Most of the inks are from Diamine, and I’ve gushed about Diamine inks forever. They’re one of my favorite ink brands. The strange looking bottle is “Seaon’s Greetings” which is a Diamine sheening ink from their Blue Inkvent collection, and it’s rather lovely. Sheens a lot like the Sheen Machine ink. It’s really cool looking under bright light.
I’ve also gotten the three newest colors of the Pilot iroshizuku inks, which are beautiful, too, and my other favorite brand of ink.
The last ink bottle, the square one on the right, is the Sailor Manyo ink called “Haha”. To be honest, while I do think the ink is a beautiful shading blue, I mostly got it for the name.
Still writing snail mail letters to folks and still loving my pen collection, so if you’d like a letter from me, let me know!
I’ll post more of a writing update in the next few days, but for now, enjoy the pen porn! 🙂
Happy New Year! I hope you and your families had a wonderful holiday season despite Covid. It was quiet here at our home in Zurich, and to be honest, I like our quiet holidays. The Wife and I like our little cozy Yuletide.
As you saw from my previous post, I got a lot of pen stuff for Yule, which is awesome! I’ll have a birthday pen haul on my next post!
Yesterday was my 46th birthday and it was a lovely day! Slept in, made myself pulled pork and black beans for burritos, watched a silly 80s movie, and had cake. Then I played Elder Scrolls Online for many hours. I call that a good day! It also shows that you can take the girl from California, but there are some California things that stick around. Mexican food is one of those things. The thing is that I have to learn how to make it all from scratch because, well, Switzerland is NOT California. The next thing I need to learn to make is mole sauce, because, OMG, mole is amazing!
On the writing front, the Wife (who is my agent, first editor, cover artist, and technical consultant) and I hired an editor to go over the first four novels. I’m hoping that this means we’ll be able to publish the books sometime this summer. I’m not committing to a date yet, since the books will be done when they’re done and no sooner. (No matter how much my brain wants them out RIGHT NOW!)
I’ve been taking a break from writing other stuff, but I have many ideas that I hope will pull together into a more coherent plot. Writing has days when the book more or less writes itself, and days where the plot is nowhere to be found. It can be infuriating and awesome all at the same time.
One thing of note is that I’m back on Facebook again. If you want to keep up with book news there, you can check out my author page (although, you’re more apt to hear about announcements if you sign up to this blog via email). If you’re someone I know outside of social media, or someone I’ve known online for a long time, feel free to send a personal friend request.
Hope you’re all getting your vaccinations! I ranted about this on Tumblr and it seemed to go viral a bit. It’s still amazing to me how many people deny the facts of science, but well, that’s how the 2020s are going…
I write fanfiction, too (all PG/PG-13): AO3 Fanfiction
Survey Foundation Series
Survey: In the far future, on a globally sponsored science station, a woman discovers the key to making a functional AGI work in the midst of political unrest. (First Draft Complete – with Editor Kate)
Unity: A military chaplain and her bodyguard get embroiled in a major conspiracy that threatens the humans colonies of Unity and the AIs Nation of Survey. (First Edit Pass Complete – with Editor Kate)
Colony: After the events of Unity, Jenny returns to her home colony where she, Lulu and another agent realize that someone else was also behind the New Harmonists pulling strings. (First Draft Complete! –with Editor Kate)
Consortium: After the events of Unity, Jack and Marsha get assigned by Survey to help an AI who had been exiled and has asked for help. (First Draft Complete– with Editor Kate)
The Wife knows me so well, and she is the Awesomest Penabling Wife (fight me!). Share my pen squee! 🙂
This is an Esterbrook 407 Dip-less pen! It’s an antique from the 1940s (ish) and it writes like a dream! I cleaned it well, and filled it with the Pilot Iroshizuku ink “shin-ryoku” which is a beautiful blue-green ink! You fill the glass bit with ink, and then use the lever to fill the pen, and you have a perpetual inkwell! It’s so awesome! Also, the base is bakelite!
I love this letter opener! It’s so cute! The Wife says that her great-grandmother had something similar! 🙂
This is a wax seal burner and a wax seal with my initial on it! I’m so excited to use this for my next round of pen pal letters!
It came with a whole bunch of wax, too, which I’m looking forward to trying!
This is a French antique dip pen set with a letter opener and wax seal (plain with no design. We think that it was for sealing ribbon). It is so beautiful! It’s so different to write with, but it’s so comfortable to use! The Wife says that it’s probably around 100 years old!! It’s just so gorgeous, and this picture really doesn’t do this set justice!
I mean, look how cool my desk looks now! Squee!!! 🙂
(Oh, the little bottles of ink are from the Diamine Inkvent Calendar. They are really good, and I like a lot of them, and hope that they do larger bottles for at least 2 of them!)
Blessed Yule everyone! 🙂
It’s November, which means the fog and rain and cold has come down on Zurich. Not that I really mind, as I love Fall, Winter, and early Spring more than Summer. Me and hot weather don’t get along very well.
The best part of Fall and Winter is the food, and one of my favorite winter foods is my Memere’s (Grandmother) Cretons recipe (aka Guntor in my family). It’s basically a pork pate with cinnamon, clove, onion, and garlic. It’s takes about 6-8 hours to cook, but OMG, it’s so worth it! You have it on toast with a good mustard, and it’s just amazing. It also makes your house smell amazing when you cook it (it really drove the Wife crazy the day I made it).
I am deep into NaNoWriMo working on my 5th novel (a sequel to the first 4). It’s not too bad this year, but the novel is coming to me in a really random way. I write a part here, then another part comes that happens before that part, and then I have to re-write another part. Then a day later I figure out more of the plot line for the first book and get an idea for a second. Ahhh, the writer’s life, amirite?
My other writing project has been writing to various pen pals that I’ve met through various fountain pen enthusiast websites. It’s been fun writing with all my fancy inks, pens, and paper to people all over the world. And, well, I have to admit that getting snail mail that isn’t a bill is pretty awesome!
The Wife, who is the awesomest wife ever, saw my letter writing and decided to get me an early Yule present of an antique Victorian stationery box! I mean, look at this thing!! The glass inkwells are gorgeous, and there’s blue satin in the lid of the box. I’ve given the wood a good polish with museum-grade polish, and cleaned the brass on the inkwells as best I could. I actually do have ink in the inkwells right now (Tools To Liveby Iron Gall ink. Red on the left, blue on the right). And yes, I’ve been using dip pens with it, as I have three of them now. Sometimes I like using the dip pens for writing letters, since it gives my hand a break from the regular pens.
The other beautiful acquisition I’ve gotten recently is a Writer’s Box from Blue Star Crafts! This box is so beautiful! It smells so good with the handmade wood and leather! I’ve had it personalized and it also has a lock and key! I’m not sure exactly how I’m going to fill it yet, since I’m not traveling right at the moment, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out.
The last thing I’ve gotten was the Diamine Inkvent Calendar, and it’s been sitting here since the end of October, taunting me! I’m looking forward to opening an ink a day when December gets here! I also got an Advent calendar of nail art supplies from Madam Glam. I recently learned how to do my own fake nails (using polygel) and they look really good!
Since it’s coming on Winter, I’m also picking up my yarn spinning again. I got a Woolee Winder for my electric spinning wheel, and OMG, it’s so awesome! It basically makes it so you don’t have to keep stopping and moving the hook on the flyer! 10/10 would recommend! (And I’m going to get one of them for my Louet Victoria, too!) Although, I wouldn’t recommend it for a beginner. It takes a little fiddling with the wheel to get it going just right.
Well, it’s time to get back to writing! Hope all my American friends have a good Turkey Day!
I write fanfiction, too (all PG/PG-13): AO3 Fanfiction
Survey Foundation Series
Survey: In the far future, on a globally sponsored science station, a woman discovers the key to making a functional AGI work in the midst of political unrest. (First Draft Complete – with beta readers)
Unity: A military chaplain and her bodyguard get embroiled in a major conspiracy that threatens the humans colonies of Unity and the AIs Nation of Survey. (First Edit Pass Complete – with beta readers )
Colony: After the events of Unity, Jenny returns to her home colony where she, Lulu and another agent realize that someone else was also behind the New Harmonists pulling strings. (First Draft Complete! –with beta readers)
Consortium: After the events of Unity, Jack and Marsha get assigned by Survey to help an AI who had been exiled and has asked for help. (First Draft Complete– with beta readers)
Nemetona: A lone Captain and his AI answer a distress call from a sentient species who are dying. (Writing — 10864 words — NaNoWriMo Project)
Mercury: The Mercury Generation Ship begins it’s journey to the Andromeda galaxy. (Started, but stalled.)