Fanfiction… has it really been 25 years?

I recently took a look back at how long I’ve been writing fanfiction… to be fair, I think most of us have written fanfiction LONG before we knew what it was – quick stories dashed in the back of our notebooks between classes, happy endings for movies or television series that we’d seen.

But I started posting fanfiction WAY back in the ’90’s, on the old Usenet groups., to be exact – a splinter group off the original when the fanfiction started to drown out the discussion threads… and I posted and read and posted more.

Some of you already know the story, so I’ll keep it short – a reader sent me a lovely fan email.

Always answer your emails, authors.

I wrote him back. He wrote back. He called. I answered. We sent letters, cards… he sent roses and came up to see me.


A short look at my stories on can show I transplanted a lot of them off of atxf into on March 13, 1999. A LOT. I’ve been told that one story, Little Helper, has the notorious claim of being the oldest story on


I’ve got 169 stories there, others floating out on old Myspace and Geocities when I had no access to websites. (Yes, there was a time when not everyone had a website! Google it!) Add in the Dragon series and there’s more than 200 stories out there. Not to mention a few newspaper articles and the like

And I haven’t stopped. True, I’m doing original fiction more often than not, but every once in a while a story grabs me by the throat and demands I write a quickie… especially the hopeless romantic in me.

So it’s been 25 years since I penned my first official piece of fanfiction and had the guts to post it. 15 years of being a published author, and 19 years of marriage – 25 if you count our first meeting through my stories.


Because you never know where fate will lead you…


The MVP was… me!

Yesterday my Pathfinder RPG group got together and went forth into a small tower… former resident of a wizard who had bested a black dragon, from the murals on the walls we passed on the way down. As usual, my skills as a rogue came into play as I led the party into areas that weren’t just trapped… but had some very deadly protectors of the wizard’s treasure! Ruby golem, stone golems… there was a definite trend as we made our way through. Thankfully, we found some goodies along the way – unfortunately our party was made up of a samurai, gunslinger, archer, myself, and a two-handed weapon fighter warrior woman who lived to kill… no spell slingers, so some wands of healing sure came in handy during these battles!

But the best one was in the final room… a huge black dragon skeleton on a pedestal faced us as we opened the door. I crept around, as one does, looking for traps. The mural on the pedestal repeated the one from the entrance, but with one big difference – while the original story stopped at the end with the wizard besting the dragon in battle… this one noted the dragon being forced to guard the treasure!

So… of course the skeletal dragon came to life! The encounter could have been pretty fatal for everyone involved, but for the keen actions of Holtz, my rogue! A tanglefoot bag thrown at the base of the skeleton kept the dragon at bay for a brief time as it tried to pull free, allowing the warriors to get in some hits on the dangerous creature – but major damage almost took down our samurai as he closed in to hack at the bony dragon with his keen blade!

Another tanglefoot hit and I had to consider my strategy – the warrior woman was scoring well with her maul, but the archer and samurai were unable to make much headway, their damage being cut in a third due to their edged weapons. The gunslinger was pistolwhipping the monster with great success, but all I had was a sling – and would the meager amount of damage be enough?

I whipped the grappling hook from my bag, rope already attached, and threw it at the dragon’s head. It embedded itself in one eye, and I used all my strength to yank the creature’s neck down and around, giving it a disadvantage to attacking the fighters. The dragon bucked and tugged, but I refused to give way. A quick dash around a nearby brazier gave me better traction, but it wasn’t long before the dragon broke free…

… dying a few seconds later as the maul plowed into the bony skull and cracked it open!

Much treasure was found nearby, enough to make the dangerous trip worthwhile.

And I don’t mind saying that if it hadn’t been for Holtz’s trick with the grappling hook, we might have lost one of our party, or maybe had to retreat… that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!


Rogues – We Do It All.

Later, gamers!


Game Review – Maiden’s Quest

It’s been a while since I did any game reviews and I’ve decided to get back into it – with one of my new favorites – Maiden’s Quest by Wizkids! I snagged this last year at Origins – actually, I ran to the booth the minute the dealers room opened to buy a copy, because I was so excited about it!

And I wasn’t disappointed… so let’s take a look!

What you get in the box!

Maiden’s Quest is a solo game, with a small option for doubles play, where you take on the role of a maiden trapped in a tower… but you’re not going to sit by and wait for someone to save you! Hells, no! You’re breaking out and taking everything you can to fight your way down to the bottom and defeat the big baddie – or escape through an exit door!

Building your deck is as simple as picking a princess and a bad guy – directions on the back of each card dictates what barriers and bonuses will go into your final deck. Zombies, vampires, allies and useful weapons all get shuffled together and then you begin!

Look at the first card and see what you have – game play consists of slipping the first card to the back until you hit a big baddie, or a princess that allows you to upgrade some of the cards behind it. The cards have wonderful artwork, and can be flipped and/or turned to allow each card to represent FOUR levels of usefulness. Some are spells, some life points, some weapons and upgrades… and some provide exits from the tower!

Combat consists of first deciding if you want to fight – if you choose not to, you can take a penalty listed on the card and go through the deck, flipping life point cards over to take damage. But if you do decide to fight, fanning out the four cards behind the enemy gives you the arsenal needed to take him/her out. If you do, you flip the card over and gain whatever’s on the back. When you reach the end of the deck, you shuffle them and begin again – special cards signal when you’ve gotten to the end and what level you’re on, affecting the level of bad guys and girls you’ll be facing.

I’m simplifying it a bit, because it’s a complex game to master. I have to admit, when I raced back to my hotel room to play, I was annoyed and disappointed at the rule booklet included in the box. Hopefully they’ve done a better job with newer versions, but I ended up watching the VERY USEFUL Youtube videos on how to play. But once I got past the wobbly instructions, I found myself addicted to the point that I purchased a small black bag so I could carry my current deck with me everywhere – allowing for the chance, small as it is, that I could meet someone and gain a treasure offered by a card in the game allowing for someone to sign off on the card for duo play.

I do highly recommend you go straight to the videos – they’re well done and answer a lot of questions you’ll come up with – I really found them much more useful than the game rules!

And there you go! An excellent solo play game, once you get past the badly written rulebook – and one where the woman doesn’t sit back and wait to be saved! Four out of five big dragon claws up for this great card game!

Saying goodbye to an old friend…

I received word the other day that the Library at the Origins Game Fair was being shut down – for a number of reasons, which I’m not going to go into here (and disagree with, to a degree) and I’m going to miss it. Even though last year I wasn’t invited to participate (along with many of the regulars) Origins is going to be missing a good source of entertainment.

But maybe it’s all for the best – last year I got to attend as a gamer, and it was a hell of a great time. I discovered the Call of Cthulhu RPG and fell in love with it, so much that I got all the sourcebooks and began running sessions for our small group, giving my hubby time off from his Pathfinder campaign. It’s a great game and if you’re looking for a new RPG, I heartily endorse it!

We also got to have fun finding new games and that’ll never get old – after over a decade of attending the convention without missing a single year, we always find something new and exciting. Every year we plan around our Columbus trip, making hotel reservations a year in advance.

And it was good to be at the Library – I made some good sales, met some wonderful people and chatted with new authors, encouraging them to keep on writing. It’ll be sad for them to lose the Library, but maybe it can be resurrected in the future. There were a lot of flaws with the current system and I’d like to see those addressed if someone brings it back to life.

But we’re already planning for a week of great gaming – and while I’ll miss selling books, I’ll get in more gaming – and who can complain about that?