Assorted project updates

Been remiss, but for once this means I’ve been doing some work.  Huzzah.

Project Zero: Finally heard back from Adam C. who is doing the layout.  Unfortunately we’re not at the place I had hoped we’d be by the point (i.e. DONE).  Instead, I’ve worked with Adam to find a pair of experienced volunteers to take some of the load off his shoulders.  Do I have a new estimate for when the Masks Companion will be done.  Sadly not yet.  Hopefully the extra layout gang will have some happy progress news for me soon… I’ll post more when I have it.

Project 1: The Tractor station… I’ve been thinking a great deal about this but that’s about all the actual progress I can report.  I usually have a long period of contemplation followed by a nice sustained burst of work when I get to this point in a project- let us hope that is the case again.  Sorry Dustin.

Project 2: Nothing to report as I’m not putting much effort into this until publisher who shall remain nameless makes progress on other fronts.

Project 3: Done some helpful research on all topics and have a general outline of both the pieces I’m working on for the Unspeakable Oath.  I only have until the 18th to get these done so I’ll be plugging away until then.  I’m happy with what I have so far and am hopeful they will be well received.

“Project 4”: (Do not laugh).  Yeah, I take on too much as once, but I like to work when inspiration strikes.  I had an idea for a piece involving New England cemeteries for one of the CoC licensees.  I’ve done some preliminary research, including mucking about a few old burying yards (one of the perks of living in New England).  Not a priority right now but I think there is enough there to keep this one on the steady burner for a while.

Other stuff: Amusingly enough I finally got in touch with a couple other Cthulhu authors in my neck of the woods only to discover one of them is my neighbor.  Literally.  To celebrate, we’ll be playtesting Dan Harm’s Fury of Yig campaign.  I’ll post oblique updates (since I don’t want to spoil it) as they warrant.


Ken Hite on “The Colour Out of Space”

Since I’m dawdling in posting my comments on TCOoS, I figured I’d post a link to Ken Hite’s comments:

Also, you can listen to the Atlanta Radio Theater Company’s adaptation of the same story HERE.  Groovy, eh?

Inspiration: The Museum of Russian Icons

I recently made a trip to the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, Massachusetts and found it to be an interesting artistic counterpoint to the Soviet aesthetic that underpins MTS.  In my original version one of the communities affected by the Colour was a village of Old Believers and I think there is something to be gained by perhaps adding a mad icon maker to their ranks…

While in Clinton (which is oddly enough a town on the edge of the Wachusett Reservoir (yeah, I’ll get to “The Colour Out of Space” soon)), I recommend Lou’s Diner which has truly excellent french fries.


Going to the well, literally?

My monograph was inspired by a mix of Lovecraft’s story The Colour Out of Space and taking a course on 20th century Russian history.  One day my brain made a connection between the Colour’s unnatural effect of corrupt growth then decay on its environment and, well, Stalinism.  Everything else stemmed from that concept and it is the anchor for the piece.

So, now that I am working to revise the monograph, I figure I should carefully reread, again, The Colour Out of Space… I’ll post more on that when I finish.

Any suggestions for other fiction that used the Colour well?

We can make it better than it was before. Better, scarier, faster

When I ponder revising my scenario “Machine Tractor Station Kharkov-37” (hereafter MTS or Project 1), I have several considerations to weigh.  Firstly, how do I improve on the scenario, which I was ultimately generally happy with, without exceeding my alloted word length or losing those key elements that I think are its strengths?  How to I craft it to be as appealing as possible to potential buyers?  How can I do these in as timely a manner as possible?

On the first question (and I’m assuming here you’re read the original otherwise go buy it now to support my Faberge Egg habit), I see several areas of possible improvement, namely:

  • Adjustments to pacing, either as options for the Keeper or built into the scenario itself (or both).
  • More guidance for Keepers; it’s a somewhat unusual scenario considering that most of the dangers are posed by other people compounded by the likely foreign quality of the setting (apologies if you’re well versed in the USSR circa 1930).  Most of the questions I’ve read posted at various places online touch on this issue so, at some point, I should probably get more feedback here.
  • Notes on running a campaign in the Soviet Union.  I know I can’t give it great detail, but a little material here goes a long way to increasing the book’s utility once the scenario has been played.