Dragonlords of Dumnonia

Ryanon's Base Camp

Newsletter 19

August 16, 1999

(Revised 1/14/02)

The Dragonlord's Forum

The world of Centuria is copyright ©L.A. Malcor 1994

Welcome to the Dragonlords of Dumnonia newsletter for Ryanon's Base Camp. The following is information to keep you up-to-date on what's happening around Centuria. Good luck to you in battle or adventure.

Events

These are upcoming online events. Please check the message board on the main site and the events schedule on the Members Only site frequently. Dates do change occasionally, and other information you need to enjoy the RPs is linked to each event. We don't want to clutter your mailboxes with all of this data, so please make use of the website as much as you can.

Note:  This month's RP will be held on Delphi. Note the change! If people like this new system, we will abandon IRC and go with Delphi permanently. You should have received your invite in your e-mail, but not all of you have visited the forum yet. Please do so prior to the event if you have not done so already. If you need an invite to the forum, message me at Legend@malcor.com.

Terran Date Centurian Date Event Description
July 26, 1999 (Postponed until August 16) 11.10.1999 Fast of the Dead; Horse Races at Red Bluff Castle; need additional plot.
August 23, 1999 16.11.1999 Feast of the War Goddess; Battle Dance at the King's Camp in Dumnonia, Rainier's Base Camp in Rashtar and Krin's Base Camp on the Other Continent.
September 27, 1999 (Postponed until August 16) 6.13.1999 Feast of the Elven King; Battle (Ryanon's, Darrell's and Talon's Base Camps on the Dumnonian Front Line; Krin's and Gavain's Base Camps patrol the Other Continent; Rainier's Camp patrols Rashtar); Aftermath.

If you have suggestions for additional plots or for other activities that you would like to see during the online RP sessions, contact the online coordinator, Dragonlord Krin, at Legend@malcor.com.

Adoptables

Here are the characters who are currently available for adoption. Message Dragonlord Krin at Legend@malcor.com if you'd like to give any of these folks a home!

FROM THE DRAGONLORD

Greetings!

This month's essay is devoted to something that plagues most writers from time to time: block. A lot of writers talk about block, but many times they are actually referring to another problem entirely. True block is not when you sit down to write but the computer screen remains blank. True block is when you are playing your fiftieth game of Civilization at Emperor level or cleaning your refrigerator for the eighth time today or doing absolutely everything except sitting down to write.

There are essentially two situations in which a writer can develop block:

  1. when you are writing on your own schedule and
  2. when you are writing "live" or against an immovable deadline.

When you are writing on your own schedule, there are certain things you can do to prevent block from developing.

  1. Establish a place that you write. I can write anywhere when I have to. (In fact, I frequently carry notepads with me in case I find myself waiting for a meeting or a meal to be served in a restaurant or in some other situation where I'd rather be writing than doing nothing.) But I also have a specific space in my den where I go to write. The place is connected in my head with writing. While I know it's generally impossible to devote a space exclusively to writing, I try to take non-writing projects away from my desk, such as to my dining room table or outside on my patio. If I'm doing something else when I'm sitting at my desk, I have a little voice in my head that says "You really shouldn't be doing this here; this is your writing place." When I was at college, I had three places I associated with writing:
    1. my desk in my dorm room,
    2. the computer room in the library (I knew it was impossible to get the same terminal every time, so I linked the whole room to my idea of a place to write.) and
    3. a certain "coffee shop"-type snack bar (I absolutely never allowed myself to go there just to eat; I had to eat and write or eat and talk about writing.).
  2. Establish a writing schedule. This can be a set amount of time you write each day or a set number of pages you must turn out each day or whatever other daily goal you think is reasonable. Different goals work for different writers. But, I can assure you, all pros have some sort of schedule. I've had students tell me that setting a schedule "blocks" them. That's really not the case. Something else is doing the blocking. (I'll discuss a couple of examples in a bit.) Try thinking of your schedule as the time you "get" to write rather than the time you "have" to write. If you are truly a writer and love writing, I promise, this will work for you.
  3. Work on several projects at once. If you have thirty different projects going, it's almost impossible to get stuck on all of them at the same time. Also, "The Great American Novel" or whatever project is your pet, should not be the only thing that you count as writing. Answering e-mail requires you to write. Sending out marketing letters to sell your work requires you to write. Designing characters and outlining plots and other such things require you to write. The point is that in your writing place and during the time that you've set aside to write, you should be doing something that involves perfecting your ability to communicate whatever is in your head to other people through the medium of writing.
  4. Don't forget you can edit. Most writing is editing. Beginning writers often think that what they put down needs to be perfect the first time out and that, consequently, whatever they put down must be perfect. Hogwash. I have yet to see anything that was so good the first time out that it required no editing. I grow extremely leery of any editor who tells me my writing is publishable "as is." An editor's job is to keep you from looking stupid <g>. Your editor should be your absolutely best friend in the universe, looking out for your back every inch of the way while you are in the editing process. While you are in the early stages of preparing a manuscript, that editor is often you. You have to learn to split yourself, to separate yourself from your "baby" and look at what you wrote with a critical eye. What would you think if someone else had written this? If you can enlist someone outside yourself to read the MS (manuscript) aloud to you, so much the better. You can often hear things that you can't see. True friends don't tell you that what you put down is great. They tell you that you are missing a comma or that you used the wrong word or that your character would never say such a thing or that you've used the same noun, verb or adjective five times in one paragraph and twice in once sentence, or something else that's useful. Last I checked, the number of infallible deities walking around on this planet was extremely small, which makes it very unlikely that you were one of them <G>.

So what do you do when you are writing under a deadline you can't move for whatever reason, you simply can't get block if you wish to be rehired?

  1. Settle for good rather than expecting to be great. Practice, practice, practice, and then go practice some more so that you know how to be technically proficient at expressing your ideas under pressure. Someone who is consistent will get many more jobs than someone who turns out a lot of junk with flashes of brilliance.
  2. Know what you are writing about. If you go into a situation well informed, you have a much better chance of being able to write something coherent than if you are completely unprepared. This is what's going to save your backside if you are a lawyer in court who needs to pass a question to a partner to ask a witness on the stand and you have once chance to get the question right. The more you know, the more prepared you will be.
  3. Don't be afraid to let the person who is forcing the deadline on you do the editing. Producers love to put in their two cents. So do actors. So does every editor I've ever worked with. Give them something decent to work with. (It does occasionally work to put down something completely stupid that you can then talk about, but generally you want to provide something that is closer to the mark for the finished product.)

Now, I promised that I'd talk about the cases that are not truly block, and this is that point.

  1. Writing has to be what you really want to do. If you don't want to write, you will find every excuse in the world not to do it. Professional writing is not easy, seldom fun, and often a literal physical pain in the back. To write professionally, you have to want to do it more than you want to do anything else in the universe. If you are cleaning your refrigerator or playing AD&D or doing something else during your writing time or in preference to writing, then writing isn't really what you want to do. Sit down and figure out your priorities. For me, I'm getting a whole lot less writing done since my son was born because he is more important to me than writing. TV went away; I almost never watch it. Pleasure reading is drastically reduced. Game playing, though I love it dearly, is confined to specific times each week. What time I have that I'm not working to maintain my family and my house and to support my religious beliefs is devoted exclusively to writing. Maybe that makes me boring, but if I were a banker, I'd be devoting at least two-thirds as much time to something that I probably didn't care about. As it stands, when I write, I'm doing something I love because I love it, and, miracle of miracles, there are some people out there who will actually pay me for doing what I love.
  2. Know what you are writing about. Yes, I know I mentioned this before. But this is the number one "real" reason behind "writer's block." If you don't know what you are talking about, you are reluctant to commit your thoughts to writing. For nonfiction writers, research a topic up one side and down the other and then pretend that you are explaining that research to someone who knows zipdiddly about the topic. For fiction writers, know your character. Be able to get inside the character's head and be prepared for the character to pick up the story and take it somewhere you weren't expecting. If you know your character well, you should never have block. You should be able to write what he would do, say, etc. in any situation anyone could throw at him. Do not under any circumstances be a slave to your plot. Be a slave to your character. Plot comes from character. Anyone who says that character comes from plot is feeding you a line. If you want a certain plot, then design a character who will generate that plot. Anything else is going to sound fake and discourage you from writing.
  3. Allow yourself to be human. To borrow from The Magic School Bus, "Take chances! Get Messy! Make Mistakes!" If you are human, you are going to screw up from time to time. Give yourself permission to screw up. The world is honestly not going to come to an end if you fail to get a piece of dialog just right or if you don't ask the exact right question in court the first time out. Making the mistake may inspire the right written expression. At the very least you will have identified one of the many wrong written expressions. One less to sort through before you get to the right one!

For Dragonlords in specific, I get very tired hearing that people don't write fanfiction or attend RPs because they don't completely understand the world. Heck, I don't completely understand the world. I doubt I ever will. I've been involved in other fandoms for several years now. Few fanfiction pieces are perfect Misty stories or McCaffrey stories or ElfQuest stories or whatever else it is you are trying to write. Very few Dragonlords members have requested and read my extant novels. Fewer still have read all the character sheets and logs. Only a couple have toured the almost 1000 pages of the main site, never mind the materials that Dragonlords makes available to its members. That's part of why I keep such close tabs on the fanclubs. For RPs, I edit all the logs to make sure that they are consistent with the stories that I've written (I'll even prompt you during an RP if I spot something that is amiss.). For the 'zine, I edit all the stories that come through to make sure they are consistent with my world. I'll get back to you if something needs to be fixed. Don't fret about it! Centuria is my world. I'm not going to let anything happen there that I don't want to happen, and I'm going to work with you to make what you want your character doing fit my world. If you don't try, sure, you can't fail. But you can never succeed either. So if you want to write, then write. Attend an RP. Submit to the 'zine. Sure, you might fail. Then again, you might surprise yourself and do just fine. But I can guarantee that you will never know which will happen unless you try.

Eternal Death to the Dark One!

Dragonlord Krin

If you have a suggestion for an essay that you would like to see in this column, send it to Dragonlord Krin at Legend@malcor.com.

Birthdays

For Members:

August: None.

September:

21--David Rhodus
26--Chad Barnard

October: 1--Nancy Hubbs-Chang.

For Characters:

Month 13: Feast of the Elven King

  1.13.1936--Dragonlord Darrell
  1.13.1941--Master Beasy Guilder (Jockey) Rayzel
  2.13.1966--Journeyman Beast Guilder Ruta
  3.13.1979--Apprentice Caravaneer Jana
  4.13.1992--Noam (child)
  5.13.1885--Dragonrider Maclane
  5.13.1940--Lord Geyron
  6.13.1976--Apprentice Beast Guilder (Jockey) Uri
  8.13.1950--Dragonrider Faryed
  9.13.1944--Servant Bel

Month 14: Fast of the Lost

  7.14.1969--Journeyman Beast Guilder (Jockey) Razi
  7.14.1944--Kings Camp Rider Annas
  8.14.1997--Keli (baby)
  8.14.1954--Master Beast Guilder (Jockey) Zalman
  8.14.1940--Lady Lihana
  11.14.1964--Lord Janix
  11.14.1969--Journeyman Beast Guilder (Jockey) Paine
  11.14.1989--Kasie (child)

Month 15: Feast of Plenty

  1.15.1902--Dragonrider Qiti
  3.15.1984--Apprentice Beast Guilder (Jockey) Oren
  4.15.1976--Mage Histukel
  8.15.1974--Journeyman Smith Drax
  10.15.1977--Lord Diren
  10.15.1937--Dragonrider Panier
  16.15.1946-Lady Rislyn

Month 16: Fast of Want

  1.16.1974--Dragonrider Aulsa
  3.16.1712--White Dragon Icestone
  5.16.1992--Lady Lije
  15.16.1951--Dragonrider Jehiel

Month 17: Feast of the Dark One

  3.17.1967--Lord Sheehan
  3.17.1940--Master Beast Guilder (jockey) Zvi
  7.17.1964--Exercise Master Danal
  7.17.1966--Dragonrider Rainier
  9.17.1797-Servant Lorian
  12.17.1040--Arion (Unicorn)
  14.17.1986--Lady Haileigh

Positions Vacant

These positions still need to be filled. We'd really appreciate the help!

  1. Banker: If you are great with numbers (or if you simply know how to use Excel or a similar program) this is the job for you! We need help keeping track of all that treasure you folks are picking up in battle, what you are buying at market days, what you are winning at the races, and all the other little details that go into making Dragonlords run smoothly. Any budding moneychangers out there <g>?

  2. Timeline Keeper: We need some help reconciling the timeline from the Centuria series with the club timeline. The job involves going through the books and short stories to detail what happened when. Anyone want to lend a hand?
  3. Proofreader: As you noticed in this month's essay, we need people to help proofread the character sheets and other materials for glitches. Any budding editors out there who would like to lend a hand?

Contact Dragonlord Krin at Legend@malcor.com for more details.

Awaken the Dragons!

We need stories and art for Awaken the Dragons!, the fanzine for Ryanon's Base Camp. . The current issue will be sent out shortly. The next deadline is September 30th .

Send stories or poems to Lady Zara at amberfocus@hotmail.com. Artwork should be sent directly to Brass Dragon Majidah at SlideNSpin@aol.com. Remember, you need to file a release form with L.A. Malcor prior to the publication of the 'zine if you contribute text. (No release is necessary for artwork.) Release forms are available online at

http://www.dragonlordsnet.com/release.htm

Full submission guidelines are at

http://www.dragonlordsnet.com/submit.htm

Please remember to send all submissions in ASCII or .TXT format.

Ads

"DRAGONPROPHET" PUBLISHED (Again)!

The first of the Centuria stories was published online by Eternity Magazine.

"Dragonprophet" was nominated for Best Story of the Year for Eternity Magazine. It will also appear in a trade paperback anthology of The Best of Eternity, scheduled for release in Fall/Winter 1999. Cover price will be $19.95. You can preorder copies at $14.95 by using this form: [Plans for anthology canceled June 2000.]

Also, remember that members of Dragonlords are entitled to read the completed, yet unpublished, Centuria stories. Contact Dragonlord Krin at Legend@malcor.com for your copies.

Other Publication News.

"Unfair Trade" has won fifth place in the Pulp Eternity Dragon Fiction contest.

From Scythia to Camelot, the nonfiction book about King Arthur that I coauthored with C. Scott Littleton, will be going into paperback. Estimated release date is September 1999, and the cover price will probably be somewhere around $25.95.

My article on Lucius Artorius Castus, the Roman soldier who I think was the historical figure behind the legends of King Arthur, is online at

http://members.aol.com/heroicage1/Issue1/halac.htm

The follow-up article will be published soon.

Dragonlords Webring.

Dragonlords has started its own webring. You can find out how to join the ring at

http://www.dragonlordsnet.com/wrdlords.htm

Only members of Dragonlords may join the ring, but they may add as many sites (business, personal, or to another group whose sites are maintained by a Dragonlords member) as they please.

Dragonlords' Chat List.

Dragonlords has started a new chat list where you can discuss the Centuria books (or anything else <g>) with L.A. Malcor. The URL to join the list is

http://www.dragonlordsnet.com/chat.htm

Dragonlords' Bookstore.

If you want to buy a book online, remember that Dragonlords has a store in association with Amazon.com. When you buy through our store, Dragonlords earns a fee. All money goes to help defray the cost of running Dragonlords so our memberships can stay free. The URL of our bookstore is

http://www.dragonlordsnet.com/bkstore.htm

Dragonlords' Video Store.

Dragonlords also has an online video store in association with Reel.com. You can look up filmographies of actors and directors as well as buy videos. Proceeds go to help defray the cost of running Dragonlords. [Discontinued March 15, 2000]

There is a new special section for the Academy Awards. Check it out!

Dragonlords' T-shirt

Dragonlords has covered its expenses and is starting to earn enough money for us to do something fun for our members. The BOD has decided that what we would like to do with the extra money is subsidize T-shirts for all members of the club (We may be able to buy the shirts outright for people; it depends on how many folks want them.).

If you would like to submit a design for the club T-shirt, send your suggestion in .gif or .jpg format to Dragonlord Krin at Legend@malcor.com. Try to keep your design suggestions to four colors or less, since that will significantly cut our costs. Since we received no submissions the first time we tried this, let's try it again . Submissions will close June 30th, 1999 at midnight. Krin will put the suggestions up on a webpage so we can vote on what we like best. Once the design is chosen, Krin will put up a sign-up sheet so we can see how many people actually want the shirts. Pricing will vary, depending on how many shirts are ordered.

Additional Ads

The following ad is run as a courtesy to another fandom. This fandom is not connected to Dragonlords, and Dragonlords is not responsible for the content of the ad.

Battlestar Galactica

There are fans who remember seeing it for the first time on TV. And there are the fans who have seen it only on video and in syndication. And there are even those potential fans that love science fiction, but haven’t had the opportunity to see it!

One thing is certain: There are many people who want BATTLESTAR GALACTICA revived. Be a part of it. Join the effort and make it happen!

Richard Hatch has committed his time and money to bring back the original series with the original cast and themes. Contrary to what you may have heard, no decision has been reached on who will bring the show back. (One of the web sites below will shortly be displaying the Battlestar Galactica copyright information, which shows Universal is still the sole owner.)

Universal is considering allowing a new Galactica to be made by Glen Larson (who is responsible for the now-cancelled "Nightman") and Todd Moyer (who brought us "Barb Wire," "Virus," and "Wing Commander"). Their plan is to discard the original cast except for a couple of short cameos and to change the theme! Even the "Galactica" itself only has a cameo! It won’t work: Remember "Galactica: 1980"?!?

PLEASE HELP US MAKE UNIVERSAL STUDIOS UNDERSTAND THAT WE WANT ALL OF THE ORIGINAL CAST AND PREMISES BACK, AND THAT SOME NEW CHARACTERS CAN BE AN ADDITION--NOT A REPLACEMENT--TO THE ORIGINAL ACTORS!!

Richard Hatch understands that, and Glen Larson could, too! Wouldn’t it be great if he came on board with Richard Hatch and brought back the show we all love!

For more information on the Internet, check out:

RICHARD HATCH ENTERPRISES
http://www.richardhatch.com

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: RESURRECTION
http://www.angelfire.com/vt/bgresurrection

JACK "BOJAY" STAUFFER
http://members.aol.com/bsgbojay/event

BATTLESTARPEGASUS.COM
http://www.battlestarpegasus.com

BATTLESTAR CALLISTO
http://www.dls.net/~rick/callisto

ALSO: THERE IS A MAILING CAMPAIGN UNDERWAY! EVERY TUESDAY SEND A LETTER OF SUPPORT TO EACH ADDRESS BELOW IN FAVOR OF THE RETURN OF GALACTICA’S ORIGINAL CAST AND THEME.

Mr. Barry Diller
Universal Studios Syndication Dept.
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608

Mr. Richard Hatch
c/o Su-Shann Productions
P.O. Box 461519
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Mr. Scott Stubbert
Universal Studios Theatrical Dept.
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608

REMEMBER: YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE WITH YOUR PARTICIPATION.

[END BATTLESTAR GALACTICA AD.]

Photos of Battlestar Galactica stars and fans at Dragon*Con.

Richard, Jack and fans Colonial Warriors
Jack and fans Colonial Warriors confront a Cylon
Richard and fans

You have completed your assignment thus far;
continue to strive onwards.

Until next forum,
keep safe!

Brass Dragon Majidah

(This issue of the Forum compiled by Dragonlord Krin for Brass Dragon Majidah.)

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