The Latest Stuff

Just an update on what’s been going on.

First of all, April was lousy. No major tragedies, mind you; just of a lot of little grinding unpleasantnesses, including the joy and pleasure of getting a tooth crowned for the first time.

Some people find that they feel pretty good the day after getting a tooth crowned. Other people might find that the pain lasts for couple of months. I am not the former, alas, but also not the latter (and there was great rejoicing). And you know how toothaches seem to move around in your jaw, so that it’s not always clear which tooth is actually the culprit? I was more or less convinced for a week or so that I’d be getting a second crown immediately after the first one. This now seems not to be the case (and there was great rejoicing).

All of my hopes for Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis’ book Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word. I’ve been getting up early every day to spend time in study ever since Easter Tuesday (including Saturdays and Sundays!), and I’m regularly astonished by the blindingly obvious things he pulls out of each line of the text—blindingly obvious after you’ve seen them—that I had never noticed before. I’m keeping notes of my reflections; some of them may appear here in the future. (As some kind of indication of the depth of Erasmo’s writing…50 days after Easter, I’m not quite to the end of the third chapter of Matthew’s gospel.)

Finally, I’m still working George’s Saga, my RPG, in which George, a naive but promising young man of low birth and high destiny, encounters such characters as the grim Sir Fred, Hogworth the peasant, Cyneros the dark wizard, Magister Mayhem, and Princess Floribunda. The game is becoming increasingly goofy. When George applies to Magister Mayhem for quest, he is told:

Magister Mayhem looks at you sourly. “Another adventurer,” he says.
“Just what I needed. Well, at least the Sewers have been restocked.”

He harrumphs a bit more, and then says, “OK, let’s take it from the top.

“The town of Floobham is in desperate straits. I’ve not had breakfast,
and everyone knows that I get nasty when I’m hungry. So you just go
down to the sewers, and see if you can find me a Tasty Egg Maguffin
in one of the chests. Bring it back to me, and I’ll see what else I
can think of.”

He doesn’t look enthused at the prospect. As you turn to go, he adds,
“I’m sure a naive but promising young man like you will have no trouble
finding the entrance to the sewers. You can, heh, keep anything else
you find down there.”

Later, George travels the short distance to Floob Castle, where Princess Floribunda is in dire straits. George goes speedily, eager for a quest that doesn’t involve sewers.

It seems that one of her father’s guests has unleashed cosmic evil within the castle. The princess could resolve the problem easily, she says, had she her magic ring…but she dropped it, and it fell down a grating, and, well, it’s in the palace sewers:

Sewers. More dirty, stinking, filthy, rat-infested sewers. Just what you
needed. You take a deep breath, out here where the air is clear.

“Very good, your Highness. So how do I get into the sewers?”

“Well, that’s the problem,” she says, still staring at the grating.
“I’m afraid you’re going to have to go through the palace.”

She turns to look at you.

“Good luck,” she says. “You’ll need it.”

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