Tuesday, January 08, 2008

My Old (We)blog

If you've come to this page, then you've found my old weblog. Feel free to peruse it; I had it going for a couple of years. But I've since set up my own full-blown website, Ashlock.org. So go there!

Oh, and this thing over on the left? That's my first novel, published by Wizards of the Coast. Feel free to visit Worlds of DnD message boards to talk about it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Set the Clouds In Motion

Now Showing! At an ISP near you! Don’t miss it!
Regrettably, the reemergence of that website has resulted in the loss of this one:

Ashland, 2.5, of Blogger, WWW,
reached its end Tuesday, March
13, 2007.
It is survived by its
older cousin, Ashlock.org.

Incidentally, until the Comment functions are enabled at Ashlock.org, please feel free to stick any feedback, suggestions, or complaints right here in this final post!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Sounds For A Rainy Day

Rain is awesome. Sure, it messes with your hair and is largely unwelcome when it's too cold out, but it brings an ambience to your environment that nothing else can. It's hard to define. There's a retrospective melancholy about it.

With that in mind, there's some free music to be had that encompasses both the city and the rain (in my opinion), so don't ignore me on this one. This is creative fun stuff you really ought to tap into:

A free podcast (click here to hear it!) featuring music from Josh Wentz, my brother John, and a few others. Incidentally, my brother does an interpretive and dramatic "reading" of sorts of a short story I wrote in Hey!Quarterly, "The Rise." The whole podcast is artsty and weird but you'll enjoy it, I swear. Just listen to it. 22 minutes of your time. The theme of this podcast, and the zine is ties to, is Cities.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Four Stars, Two Bars, and Some Off White

I know a lot of creative people. People who can churn stuff out that normal humans have to spend a great deal of time on and is only half as creative. One of these people is Jw (Josh Wentz for the Sidedown layperson). There's two things coming out now that may interest you if you like innovative music.

One of these is an album written and recorded within a month's time, Four Stars/Two Bars. Don't just take my word for it. Click on the name and you can listen to some samples. Do it! (Then you can actually get the whole batch of songs for $5 right here. Take that, iTunes!)

The other is an even more ambitious endeavor, because it was in the works for a while now and involved a lot of different creative people. That would be Des Sovere. Yeah, I did some brief lyrics for it, but my brother's on there, too, quite a bit. Check it out!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


I have an understated fondness for breakfast cereals. Really, I could probably just have cereal each as my main meals, and supplement it by things like fruit or vegetables or occassional meat.

I'm not sure what it is—some elusive, ascetic appeal? Colorful colors? Bright friendly characters hawking tiny crunchy or flakey fragments, which may or may not contain sundry bits of fruit or marshmallows. Maybe it's just because you can make a whole meal with a bowl, a spoon, and some milk. No heating anything up. Easier than instant oatmeal (don't get me wrong, oatmeal's great)!

Maybe it's the commercials. There have been some good ones. I fondly recall the Gremlins cereal, and C3POs, and my all time favorite: Crispy Critters. Sure, the cereal was decidedly Kix-like and tasteless. But look at those cute little yellow animals! Count me in!

Or maybe it's because there's a bazillion different ones to choose from. And c'mon, it's the best aisle in the store! I still have many favorites. Maybe I don't have the ultra-sugared ones, and maybe I use skim milk now, but it's still good stuff. Cracklin' Oat Bran, Super Golden Crisp, Frosted Mini-Wheats, among others, or any of the fun imitations of these. I love the alternate names the imitation brands have. Marshmellow Mateys, for example.

So what is/was your favorite cereal??

Edit: I never liked the Lucky Charms and Trix commercials. Those kids were mean! I was ashamed to be one myself! I think the rule is, if you're featured on the box and the cereal is named after you or inspired by you, you're allowed to eat it. Geez!

[In the year 2000]: "U2 will admit that they wrote the song ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’ after going to three supermarkets looking for Boo-Berry cereal.” — The Edge

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Beware the Ides of March

I'll admit, it was pretty darn cold the last couple weeks. The photo above was taken on my street just before the deep cold set in and froze our minimal snow. But with the sudden increase in temperature, I fear this may be the turning point. Alas for the Snow Dog, who isn't as victorious this year. My arch-nemesis, the Summer, is waving to me in mockery from the far horizon. I won't let it come without a fight.

The end of this weblog is near! It is almost time for rebirth. Fear it!
In the meantime—and I'll be talking about this more over at Ashlock.com when it's up and running—you really ought to check out Hey! Quarterly, a zine put out by the esteemed Mr. Wentz. Another bunch of cool people contributed. Myself included.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Dark Echelon

All right, so. I've been DMing (Dungeon Mastering, refereeing, for the laymen) virtually non-stop since I discovered the D&D game when I was about 11, taking an unintentional hiatus in the hobby only during my shadow years.*

While I've always wanted to play (not referee) in a game or two, I never had the opportunity....but the truth is, I love running a game. I've been running a single tabletop D&D campaign (mixing Forgotten Realms and Ravenloft and even Planescape) for more than 7 years now, and it's had its ups and downs, laughs, and tears (really!), and I'd invested an unimaginable amount of time on it over the years. In fact, the game is still technically going...it's just that we (all six of us) have a very hard time meeting up anymore for a million and one reasons. Yet my need to create a story endures....

So. I'm selfishly throwing together for myself an upcoming play-by-post game set in the world of Eberron (I'm too invested now in this setting NOT to choose it!), in which I've gathered** together a cadre of Web-present friends who I'd never have otherwise been able to game with. Being a play-by-post game, it will play to what I hope is my strength (writing) and avoid what I know is my weakness (speaking).

This campaign is tentatively titled Dark Echelon. Now, I'm still in the middle of writing an Eberron book. In fact, as far as sheer wordcount goes, I'm just about exactly halfway. So as incentive to get it done, I won't be starting this Eberron game until I've made a substantial leap forward. I'm hoping to have Dark Echelon built into the upcoming new face ofAshlock.org so anyone who's curious can check it out. I even snagged me acouple other WotC authors for the game. Suckers!

* College.
** Some would say shanghaied.

NYC vs. Winter

NEW YORK—The Big Apple braces for the coming fury of the powers of Niflheim, the Norse realm of ice, heralded on Wednesday morning by a fall of light sleet and a thin layer of snow upon the ground.

Mayor Bloomberg says New York is armed with hundreds of snowplows and salt spreaders and ready to take on the frost giants of Thrym and the ice devils from Cania, the Eighth Layer of Baator. The mayor told reporters at City Hall that there are 1,000 sanitation workers on duty tonight to operate 365 salt spreaders, which he calls "our first line of defense against the snow oozes and ice toads." The city has about 185-thousand tons of rock salt stored at 38 sites in the five boroughs. The city will also have 2,000 trucks with snow plows attached ready to go by midnight tonight, though none of these will be defendable from the frostfell yetis expected to soon run rampant.