A New Adventure in Modern-Day Solitude

Meet Cari, a typical twelve-year-old growing up in Solitude. Her favorite subject is History, so she was really looking forward to her class field trip to the city’s historic district. She’s breathtaken by the ancient Bard’s College, in awe of its past, but is she prepared to be part of it? Find out in Part I of “The Harp’s Call,” available here!


Elspeth’s Terrific Fanfiction Site

Hey folks, I’m still working out what my next story is going to be (more on that in another post), but I wanted to take the time right now to introduce you to a Skyrim fanfiction site I’ve really been enjoying.  Skyrim: The Rise of House Sigeweald is the work of Elspeth Aurilie, who describes it as “[a]n epic disaster, as told by one Elder Scrolls addict and unapologetic hack.”

Elspeth is too modest.  This is wonderful work, and there’s tons of it:  two novel-length series, plus short stories and different artists’ renditions of her characters.  I’ve been reading for more than a month now, and I don’t think I’m even halfway through!  One of the things that’s fun about fanfiction is the vast variety of ways you can write it.  In the stories I’ve read so far, Elspeth’s plots include a number of characters included in the Skyrim game, and she gives them depth and dimension far beyond what the game developers were able to do.  My favorite example:  All Skyrim players are familiar with the eye rolling, sarcastic Lydia, but Elspeth puts us at Lydia’s side and shows us not only Lydia as a Housecarl, but Lydia as a Nord, a guardian, a friend, and a woman.  That alone has kept me reading through her stories, and wanting more.

So, with no further ado, here’s Skyrim: The Rise of House Sigeweald. You’re going to love it!


Stunning Elder Scrolls Harp Music

So, I was doing a little browsing this morning, and came across this post by Shaun M. Jooste on the AIR Entertainment site, introducing us to twin harpists Camille and Kennerly and their medley of Morrowind and Skyrim theme music.  Really stunning stuff, especially if you’ve never seen concert harps that can be worn or carried (and I haven’t).  Be sure to give a listen, and browse around on the site for lots of gaming news, reviews, etc!


Calling the Cattle in Ancient Scandinavia

Hi Folks, I’m still working on what the next story is going to be, but in the meantime, here’s something interesting to listen to, and to think about.  A few months ago, someone on Emma’s Elder Scrolls Forum posted a video of a Scandinavian field call used since ancient times to summon herds.  The name for this call is Kulning, and it’s a really haunting.  While you watch and listen, imagine someone, early one morning on Skyrim’s tundra, calling the cattle home.  Enjoy!



A Hand to Hold, The Conclusion

At long last, I’ve finished “A Hand to Hold.”  Readers might have noticed I spent quite a few words talking about Lady Mara in this story.  It was an idea that kind of grew as I was writing the installments.  While in-game, Priestess Dinya Balu has the player crossing Skyrim to kindle or rescue romantic love, I thought it might be interesting to explore some other aspects of love that Skyrim didn’t go into.  I don’t know if anyone else has explored “Maric” thought in any depth; I’d be interested in hearing about it of someone has!

Anyway, to read the conclusion to “A Hand to Hold,” please click here.

To read the previous installments, please click on the following links:


Still Working on It!

Hi Folks!  I’m still working on the conclusion to “A Hand to Hold,” trying to tie together the loose ends, and for want of a better phrase, trying to get the flow right.  I appreciate your patience!  In the meantime, here’s a wonderful hammer dulcimer performance by a fellow named Joshua Messick.  Enjoy!


Fallout 4, Finally

So, the House Appropriations Committee (of one) approved my budget submission to purchase Fallout 4 a few days ago; I consider it a combination Christmas/birthday present.  While I managed to get through Fallout 3 and most of the way through Fallout New Vegas, I hadn’t paid much attention to people’s opinions of Fallout 4, or even what it was the player was supposed to do.  But so far, I’m having lots of fun, and the graphics are really impressive.

Have any of you played Fallout 4 yet?  And more to the point, does anyone know what to do about a Raider wearing T-45 Power Armor?

Time of the Season (a Little Music)

Hi Folks, I thought I’d share a little seasonal music with you.  While I don’t know that much about it, I’ve always like choral music, and according to the notes attached to the video I’ve linked, this is one of the pieces that bridged the Renaissance and Baroque periods.  Here it is:  Monteverdi’s “Magnificat.”  Happy Holidays, everybody!

Fan Fiction, Practicalities and Pitfalls

Hey everybody!  I’m still working on the final installment of A Hand to Hold, I promise. In the conclusion, we’ll find out why Miki’s mission was so important, and we may have another surprise or two besides.    This story isn’t going together quite as neatly as the previous two stories did (although neither of them was exactly tightly put together, either).  I’ve noticed my installments are running longer and longer, which means I’m running the risk of producing hopeless, windy rambles.  That’s bad news for a short story.  Anything longer than six installments might work better as a novella, and that seems like a lot of work for a piece of amateur fan fiction.

You’ll notice I didn’t say “mere fan fiction.”  I’m aware that some fanfics are superlative, and have enabled their authors to find success with their own original works.  I don’t presume to be reaching those lofty heights any time soon.  I imagine most fanfic writers are doing it for practice.  I know I am.

But why fan fiction?  I guess that for me, at least, it makes things a little easier.  Writing in the Elder Scrolls gives me two things:  a setting, and the bones to hang a plot on.  Anyone familiar with the Elder Scrolls will have at least heard of the regions described in the stories, and will know enough lore to understand what I’m building the plot around.  For me, I guess it’s kind of like riding a bike with training wheels – it saves me from stumbling on essential parts of fiction writing, and allows me to get better at the other parts, like plot and characterization.

Of course, there are dangers to this approach as well.  If I ever want to put together a truly original story, I’d have to learn how develop a meaningful setting, and how to hang an effective plot around it.  Eventually I’ll have to take those training wheels off, and that could be scary!    But if I want to write original fiction, it’s something I’ll have to do.

Oh, before I sign off, thanks for reading, and I hope all of you have a wonderful Holiday season and a great 2019!