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Home of DaveTheFoxMage's Writing (And Other Creative Stuff!)

6/15/2024 - Happy Pride Month!

I hope everyone is having a happy Pride Month, so far! Whoever you're into, and whoever you are inside, keep being you, and keep being awesome! :-)

The next version of Belrye and the Summoner is going to my editors today. This will be a massive update, with over 100 chunks being added! Since this is the first build on both a new computer and a new OS, a lot of the focus on editing this time around will be on "mechanical" things, like making sure page links work, jumps between books send you to the right place, the zip file for the whole-version downloads on the website can be opened on different computers, etc.

Looking ahead, the next Gloria story will be posted on 6/23, with the next version of BatS being posted on 6/30. After that, we get into July and starting to get ready for Gen Con! There will be more information as that gets closer, but I would love to bump into people there. :-)

Anyway, I need to get back to it. I will be back to doing these weekly updates, going forward!

5/31/2024 - BatS Version 202405 Posted!

Hello again everyone! BatS 202405 has been posted now! Also, I'm almost fully up and running on the new computer - about the only thing I still need to do is to get my posting script pointed to that machine instead of this one. This will be the very last post from this laptop, before it gets factory-reset and given away to a friend, lol.

I should be back to my normal weekly update posts starting next week, now that I'm on a computer whose OS isn't held together by duct tape and hope. ;-)

5/23/2024 - One-Off Story Tomorrow (and Computer Issues)!

Okay, let me start with the good news, in case the title made you nervous. Nothing is lost and I still have all my files. A career in IT really drills in the importance of backups, even on your home machines. :-)

I had a whole long thing typed up about the computer issues I've been running into, and what was my last straw with Windows 11, but this month it crossed the line from "annoying but I'll deal with it," to "I consider this completely unusable." There we go - three paragraphs of ranting summed up in one sentence, lol. I'm going to be picking up a new computer this weekend, and after a few days of getting Vim/LaTeX/Python installed and configured on it, this laptop is getting shut down for good. This one isn't Linux-friendly, so I have no use for it, but I'll be seeing if any friends want a freebie laptop.

Anyway, tomorrow I'll be posting my one-off story called "Table for One". It's a very different subject, as well as a very different writing style from normal for me. It's also my first story written in first-person! And unlike everything I have posted so far, it is SFW.

A week from tomorrow, the next version of BatS will also be coming out! Sadly, with the amount of time I spent fighting with this laptop I didn't get as much added as I had hoped, but it is still 92 new chunks added, as well as fixing some typos and other issues along the way. :-)

Huh, I just realized this means my website is gonna need a new tab alongside the ones for Gloria and BatS, lol.

5/2/2024 - Major Problem Caught and Fixed!!!

A major problem was just found in the most recent Belrye and the Summoner update, that broke the pathing between books. This has been fixed now. Sorry about that!

4/30/2024 - New BatS Update Posted!

It's the end of the month, and you know what that means. It's time for a new release of BatS! This update adds roughly 60 more chunks, so there are some new options to explore.

Looking ahead to next month, my May is seeming like I should have plenty of writing time, so I'm planning to add a ton more. BatS currently has 738 chunks, if you can believe that. Next month, I'll definitely be breaking 800, but I'm thinking breaking 900 should be very doable. Time will tell, though!

4/23/2024 - Important Update

Just a quick update on two things. First, the next version of Belrye and the Summoner will be coming out a week from tonight! This version adds roughly 60 more chunks, and editing has been going well so far. :-)

For the second news, I hit a bit of a wall with this month's Gloria story. Like I restarted from scratch three separate times this month, but no matter what I did, I couldn't get it to come out right. I'd like to do a clean/SFW one-off story, as sort of a "creative reset". It's an idea I've had in my head for a long time, and I'd like to actually write it. So, I apologize for the lack of Gloria-and-Friends related shenanigans this month, but I hope you enjoy the story that will be coming out instead!

Just to emphasize, the Gloria series isn't going away or anything like that. My plan is to take a bit of a breather while finishing final edits to the next version of BatS, then next month write a special one-off. In June, I'll be back to the usual series!

4/13/2024 - Belrye and the Summoner Goes for Editing Tomorrow!

As the title says, BatS is going for editing tomorrow. Good times! This version adds a few dozen chunks, along with some edits to existing ones. I felt some of the shorter ones could use some fleshing-out, especially toward the beginning of the story where you have several choices in a row. Later on, chunks will actually tend to be a lot longer. You could kinda think of where we are now in the story as "character creation", which is why it may feel like not much is happening between choices. :-)

Once BatS goes in for editing tomorrow, I'll be turning my attention back to Gloria and her friends. I've got a few ideas for the next story, so it is just a matter of narrowing it down. After all of the characters that have been introduced since the beginning, I want to mainly focus on Gloria, Robert, Ally, Marci, Sally, and Three. The others will certainly make appearances, but to me those 6 are definitely the main characters. Who knows, though - maybe there will be a spinoff sometime with the grand adventures of Clara? I have too many stories I want to write and not enough time to write them all, lol.

As a random tangent, I've actually started getting into writing things by hand, over the last couple weeks. The actual stories still get written on the computer, start to finish, but I'm finding doing brainstorming or roughing-out plot ideas with an old-fashioned pen and paper is very helpful. It is something I had read quite a few people recommending, and honestly it feels like it is working well for me, too. I also find I'm using it as a "cool down" after a writing session - writing down ideas for where I want things to go, notes for things I don't want to forget between sessions, etc. Just some fun behind-the-scenes detail!

I know it's a bit early to say this, but I'm already thinking ahead to NaNoWriMo. I'm kind of torn. On the one hand, I could do another Gloria novel, which would be fun. But on the other hand, I could come up with an equally ambitious goal to do for a month in BatS. For example, maybe adding 500 chunks? Just like last year, nothing would be posted in November, but it would be posted in December after editing.

If you would like to nudge me in one direction or the other, send a message or drop a comment on my FurAffinity! I know the Gloria series gets more views (partly because it's in the main gallery, and not in scraps as a work-in-progress), but plenty are into BatS too! Either way, you'll have plenty of new stuff to read at the end of December!

3/31/2024 - Gloria the Goat pt. 13 Posted!

Hello again! Just a quick message to let you know that Gloria the Goat pt. 13 has been posted! This is a pretty tame one, but it focuses on some character development. This was a fun one to write! :-)

3/24/2024 - New Version of Belrye and the Summoner Posted!

Hello again! As the title suggests, there is a new version of BatS available! One thing that has changed with this version is that I'm using different version numbers, consisting of the year and month (so this one is "202403" because it is coming out in March of 2024). The first reason for this is that it makes it clear how old or new a version is, and the second is that it lets me sidestep the age-old question of "when do I declare it my 1.0 release?" :-)

This update isn't as big as the last few, because March has been unusually busy for me this year. For April, though, things should be back to normal again. I've got big plans for that. ;-)

In other news, the next Gloria story is coming along nicely. I'm currently expecting to have it ready to post by a week from today. As always, though, if I need to delay it a few days to put out a story I can be proud of, then that's what will happen. At this time, though, I don't expect a delay like that to be necessary. Just to give a bit of a hint, this month's story focuses mainly on a certain nonbinary horse!

So enjoy the new version of BatS! And the next story in the Gloria series should come out a week from today.

3/18/2024 - Progress!

First of all, I'm not dead! These last few weeks have been busy, both with day-to-day life and with writing, and I decided my available time was better spent writing than posting updates about why writing isn't happening, lol.

Though as long as I'm here, I might as well talk about the writing piece of why I'm a bit behind. :-) Toward the beginning of writing Belrye and the Summoner, I wrote a program that does a whole bunch of checks for errors I catch myself making, then runs all of the LaTeX builds in parallel to spit out the PDFs). As the project gets larger, this will of course take longer, but the amount of time it was taking was drastically worse than expected. I ended up ripping the program apart and rebuilding it, which took quite a while to do, but it means my builds won't become inconveniently long for quite a while yet.

So, here's what to expect for the rest of March. This will be another month where BatS gets posted before Gloria, just because the newest BatS version is closer to done (it's with my editors now.) It will be a smaller expansion for BatS than the last few have been - closer in size to the last new months of 2023. Still decent-size, but nothing too crazy. The next version of BatS will be posted on the 24th, with Gloria pt. 13 coming on the 31st! :-)

Anyway, I finally had some time to post an update just to let everyone know I haven't fallen off the face of the planet, and that I'm still on track to post my normal stories for the month!

2/29/2024 - Belrye and the Summoner v. 0.12 Posted

Hello again, everybody! BatS version 0.12 has been posted now. As mentioned in the last update post, I have removed the character portraits. It would have taken an immense amount of time to get them ready to handle species changes, and that was more time than I wanted to spend on something not directly related to telling the story.

2/22/2024 - Gloria pt. 12 Posted (and BatS news)

First of all, Gloria part 12 is posted! This one is a bit of a tone-shift from prevous ones, and also includes a type of content that has been mentioned in the background in prior stories, but has never happened "on camera", so to speak.

For Belrye and the Summoner, there's a big change coming next week. Not long ago, I had added character portraits below the stat boxes. Well, those are being removed again. As I sat down to modify them to handle other species in preparation for the species change options, I got about 40 hours in, looked at where I was, looked at how much I still needed to do, and estimated it would be several hundred hours in total. This would be hours taken away from, you know, telling the story. Between always drawing you as human and Belrye as a goat, or removing them, it was decided that removing them was the better option.

On that note, BatS v. 0.12 will be posted on the 29th, a week from today. Right now we are in the "explosion of books" phase. Every chunk added 5 choices deep, 10 choices deep, etc. is the start of a new book. So there will be periods where no new books will be added for quite a while, followed by times where new books are added at a very rapid pace. This upcoming version brings us from 12 books to 325. No, that's not a typo, lol. And in fact, it's going to mean a bit of a redesign of the BatS section of the page to accomodate it in a way that finding, say, version 0.17 book 173 easy.

As a final, random side-note, today's my birthday - woo!

2/14/2024 - Happy Valentine's Day!

It's that time of year again - the time of chocolates, cards, and candy!

Whether you're spending this evening with another human, Gloria and her friends, dabbling in summoning, or keeping that whole bottle of wine for yourself, I want to wish everyone a happy Valentine's Day. :-)

2/10/2024 - Progress Update

Progress on part 12 of the Gloria series is coming along nicely, with it about 1/4 done being drafted. This is a very big tone shift from prior stories, focusing almost entirely on character development. There may or may not be shenanigans that take place, though, lol.

For Belrye and the Summoner, this will be another very large update. While I was over-optimistic about how much I would be able to add this month, many routes will be able to progress one step further. It will be going to my volunteer editors tomorrow, for them to start digging through it. I also have been working behind-the-scenes on the plot much deeper into the story. Can't talk about that too much without spoiling things, of course!

There are also a couple of "housekeeping" things that are happening with this BatS update. For one thing, the FA version will actually have a pointer at the end for where you can find the complete story. And for a second, I'm going to be somewhat reorganizing the page for BatS. Mostly, this next version is many, many more books than version 0.11 was, because every new chunk after your fifth choice is the start of a new book. What works well for 12 books doesn't work all that well for a couple hundred... So, I'll probably be splitting each version into its own sub-page, but I haven't quite figured out how I want to do it yet.

I'm also looking forward to getting more into the transformation part of the story. After all, so far there's not much point to the stats and diagrams, lol. We just need to get through the introduction-type stuff first!

I think that pretty much covers things for now. I hope everyone's enjoying reading! :-) I am currently planning on releasing Gloria pt. 12 on the 22nd (my birthday, coincidentally), and the BatS update on the 29th.

1/31/2024 - Belrye and the Summoner 0.11 Released!

BatS 0.11 has now been released! Be sure to check out the updated text/instructions on the BatS tab, since it is now multi-book! :-)

1/29/2024 - Gloria Part 11 Released!

Gloria pt. 11 has been posted! This is a fairly extreme one, as I mentioned in my update a couple days ago, but since the next story in the series is going to be a pretty big shift in tone, I figured why not? ;-)

1/27/2024 - Two Releases Next Week

We've got two releases coming out next week, and one of them is especially big!

On the 29th, Gloria pt. 11 will be coming out. This has been an interesting one to write, and some might find some of the kinks in it a bit offputting. The next story in the series is going in a completely different direction (and may actually be nearly SFW, which feels weird to say, lol), so I decided to let Clara go a bit overboard in this one.

On the 31st, Belrye and the Summoner version 0.11 will be coming out. This update pretty much destroys my previous record, with 152 new chunks. No, that's not a typo. This update is sort of a perfect storm, where everything I needed to finish book one were gender-swaps of already existing scenes. This version of BatS will be multi-book, meaning that for the first time, the FurAffinity version is not the full story (for reasons discussed in previous updates). This version is one fully-filled book, and eleven beginnings of new books. The next version will focus on advancing the story further. :-)

Besides a huge expansion, this new version also fixes a sort of embarrassing number of small issues that sneaked past myself and my editors previously. I've massively beefed-up the error checking my little builder tool does as part of turning the LaTeX code into a PDF, which has caught a ton of pronoun mistakes and even a few places where the wrong "equipment" gets referenced in text! As a side-note, I now have a deeper knowledge of writing Regular Expressions than I ever thought possible. It turns out that after writing a few hundred of them, it actually does become natural, lol.

Before I go, big thanks to MisterTanuki (previously VolcanicTrashGremlin) for an excellent idea he gave me on how to handle species changes. So if you'd like your summoning experience to be a bit less goat-like, you'll have him to thank for that in future versions. ;-)

1/20/2024 - Gloria pt. 11 Slightly Delayed

It is looking like Gloria pt. 11 may be pushed back a few days. It will still be coming out this month, but it will probably be the 29th rather than Wednesday like I was planning.

As you may have guessed from the last post, a huge amount of time this month has gone into BatS, which unfortunately means I'm a little behind on Gloria for the month. Nothing I can't catch up from, of course, but a few extra days will be needed. :-)

That aside, Gloria pt. 11 is going well. The next story after this one is going to be a pretty major tone-shift, so I'm going a bit more all-out with this month's story. Plus, neither Clara nor Lewis are really the "holding back" types, lol.

Anyway, a bit of a brief update compared to the last one, but just wanted to give a heads-up about the small delay!

1/14/2024 - Belrye and the Summoner goes multi-book!

Well, I've talked about it off and on for quite a while, but in a couple of weeks I will be posting the first version of BatS that spans multiple books. The idea is that every five choices takes you to a new book. (Make your first four choices, the fifth choice takes you to a different book, make four more choices, etc.)

On that note, progress has been coming along nicely. The new version will be sent to my volunteer editors on Sunday, and I am expecting to post it on the 31st. In the end, I also did decide to make the downloadable zip version to make it easy to grab a self-contained copy of the whole thing.

There is one small piece of bad news, however. No matter what I tried, I just couldn't seem to get clickable links between books working. So if it tells you to go to book seven, you need to manually open it. I figure it's not a big problem, but just wanted to mention it in case you are wondering why clicking "Book 7" doesn't go anywhere.

Back to good news, this next version also includes a ton of cleanup. I've been working on adding a bunch more automatic error checking to my builder tool, which has really been paying off. Obviously a lot of things are much better for humans to catch, but computers are great for catching things like "the stat box says male in chunk XYZ where your character is nonbinary". This has helped to find places where those types of things have slipped through the cracks, so I can fix them. :-)

As for Gloria pt. 11, that has been started, but I am expecting to do the bulk of it once BatS is in my editors' hands. This one introduces another major character, but after this the cast will be nearly complete. (I do have one final character I'd like to introduce, bringing the major cast to ten, but I am still fleshing them out, and it will be a while before the point in the story where I want to bring them in.) So there's definitely excitement to look forward to in the "Gloriaverse", too! ;-)

12/31/2023 - Belrye and the Summoner v. 0.10 Posted!

The newest version of Belrye And The Summoner has been posted! As I mentioned in the last post, there's plenty of new stuff in this one - not only new chunks, but also the first (still in progress) version of character diagrams to help visualizing things as the transformation part of the story becomes a bigger thing. :-)

12/30/2023 - Updates and the Future

As the year draws to a close, I want to talk about the year, as well as what to expect in 2024. For starters, 2023 has been far better than I could have imagined, with both my writing and my youtube channel taking off better than I had even hoped for. It has been an awesome ride so far, and this is just the beginning! Thank you all so much for enjoying my stuff and being awesome. :-)

Now, with one day remaining of 2023, tomorrow will be the release of the next version of Belrye and the Summoner! This version adds 31 chunks (you may have noticed, but I try to target one chunk per day in the month), as well as the first crack at character portraits. There are still pieces that need to be added, and I want to also give them more detail, so they are definitely not complete yet. They will continue to be refined over the next several versions, I am sure.

Speaking of BatS, I promised I would give more detail on how it will work as a multi-book story, and here it is. (I will also be adding this to the BatS tab of the website.) Both due to filesize restrictions for uploading to FA and the fact that some viewers struggle with too large of PDFs, I will be splitting it up into multiple books probably for January's version. The way it works is that when you reach the end of the book you are in, rather than a page number, it will say something like "Book 5", which will be clickable to take you right there. I am breaking them up in such a way that you always start a new book on page 1.

One important thing to note is that you have to finish reading in the same version you start with. So if you are in the middle of 0.17 and 0.18 comes out, you can't jump from book 5 of 0.17 to book 5 of 0.18. Page numbers and even which chunks are in which books can and will change between versions. I will be keeping past versions up on the site for at least a year, though, so there's no need to feel rushed! The links between books will take you to the right version, so no worries there! I have debated making a handy zip where you can download the whole set for a version for offline reading, but haven't decided for sure yet.

Specifically for people who are reading thru FurAffinity, there is one extra wrinkle. I am only posting the first book there, because FA's upload policies don't allow duplicates, and I'm not sure they would accept "But this link changed!" on books in the set that didn't have anything new added. I currently plan to still post the first book there monthly, just to keep the version there fresh. At the end, it will say you've reached the end of the demo (some of you have already seen this message, since it is already at the end of the chunks that are five choices in), and that the full version can be viewed on my website.

So, let's talk about 2024. The Gloria series will be continuing - there are two different plot threads that the novel left off with, and I will be doing the chronologically next one of those for January (trying to avoid spoilers for those who haven't had a chance to read or finish it yet).

For Belrye and the Summoner, I will be continuing to work on character portraits and will also be adding a bit of visual flair to the title page. Nothing crazy-fancy, because I'm not an artist, but just a simple illustration that I think gets the theme of the book across. I also want to see if I can maybe increase the number of chunks being added each month. I don't want to commit to a specific amount yet (I have a day job and multiple projects I am juggling), but I'm excited to get further into the story. My second editor coming back from taking a few months off will help a lot with that, too!

For those following me on youtube, I plan on going from one video a week up to two. I will be continuing my "Casual Doom" series, but I have some other ideas I would like to do too. For example, I'd like to blow the dust off the series that started the channel, and I've also been talking with a buddy about maybe doing a co-op series in the same theme as "Casual Doom". After all, it could be fun testing out wads for co-op play, seeing which ones softlock and which run smoothly, which are well-balanced for 2-4 casual players, etc.

Finally, I had hoped to do a revamp of my website and FA page before the end of the year, but with all the holiday craziness that hasn't happened. I'm setting aside some time in January to do a full remake, including better support for phone-sized screens, updating the "About Me" page, and maybe making the whole thing a bit more visually appealing (while still going for a clean, simple look). I'll also need to reorganize the BatS tab, to better handle the multi-book-ness, lol.

Anyway, I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday season and a great 2023, and I wish all of you the best for 2024. I'll still be here, and I hope you all join me in whatever comes next! :-)

12/18/2023 - Gloria Part 10 is Posted!

It feels really surreal to say it, but the first Gloria the Goat novel is posted! I know it's at the bottom of the novel size-range, but it still feels just as awesome to say. :-)

We've got a bit more than a week until the next version of Belrye and the Summoner is posted, with that coming out on 12/31. That one will probably be posted fairly early in the day, before the NYE parties start. This has definitely been a year to celebrate!

But for now, after weeks of writing and editing at a much faster pace than normal, I think I'm gonna spend the rest of the evening doing absolutely nothing, lol.

12/16/2023 - Gloria Editing is Done!

Good news, everyone! The Gloria holiday special has been edited, and is ready to be posted Monday. Counting just the story itself (not the title, my standard disclaimer, etc.), it comes out to 50,269 words, making it the longest thing I have ever successfully written! :-)

For those looking forward to the next Belrye and the Summoner version, there is good news too. I was able to make far more progress on character silhouettes than I had expected, so the ones in this version are mostly "parts-complete". There will be fine-tuning and I still need to add a few more things, but with the holidays I am thinking those will be things for the January update.

On the topic of BatS, the character silhouettes have also pushed it a lot closer to needing to be split into multiple books. My guess is that the split will need to happen with either the January or February update, and I will be giving much more detail next week about how that will work.

Finally, sometime before the end of the year, I want to give both my FurAffinity and website a refresh. Things like "about me" sections, my FA summary, etc. have gotten a bit stale and are due for an update. So you might see some things looking different soon. :-)

Anyway, that's all from me for now. Look forward to more details next weekend about the impending BatS multi-book split!

12/9/2023 - FurFest and Announcements

Hello everybody! FurFest was awesome this year, as always. The con is always a highlight of my year, and it is fun to meet and talk with so many people over the weekend! But I'm back and have been working away at writing. :-)

As far as this month, I am going to be posting the Gloria novel on the 18th. With it being a holiday-themed story, I figured it made sense to post it earlier in the month than normal. The next version of Belrye and the Summoner will be coming out New Year's Eve, since there is a lot of work going into this one.

A good amount of that work is adding the new character silhouettes. Drawing those using LaTeX has been a huge challenge, but the nice part is that once everything is done, it handles them automatically. The overall process (if you're curious) is that I use the character stats to build a rough table of offsets, and then build a picture out of basic shapes. It's a slow process (both for me and for the computer), but I think it will really improve the experience for readers as more transformations start to happen.

Editing is coming along nicely for the Gloria novel, and I will be focusing quite a bit on that next week while my volunteer editors are working through the new BatS update. So far, there haven't been any parts that have need major rewrites, but we will see how long that lasts as I continue. :-)

Anyway, just wanted to give an update that things are progressing very nicely here, as well as announcing when things are getting posted this month!

11/28/2023 - Heading to Midwest FurFest Tomorrow!

First of all, if you've wandered here during or after Midwest FurFest, welcome! I figured I would do one last update before I leave for the con tomorrow, and I probably won't have a chance to post again until I get back home. At this point, I'm mostly packed except for the clothes that are in the washer now.

I should get to the con early afternoon, since it's just a couple hours' drive, followed by an evening of relaxing, finishing drafting the Gloria novel, and wandering around. Like I mentioned Saturday, you can see what I look like on my "About Me" page, so if you happen to bump into me (I can often be found at Diana Stein's booth in the dealer's den), feel free to walk up and say hi!

The biggest thing I have planned for this year is getting a fursuit on order. I have just a few final details I want to get ironed out at the con (what I have in mind is rather unusual), but then I'll be placing my order and getting into the queue. :-)

Also, as the year draws to a close, I will be posting later this month about my plans for 2024. I've got some big ideas, both for my writing and for my youtube channel, and I can't wait to share them! But as a quick teaser, I have one or two non-adult writing projects in mind, and I'm looking at expanding into new territory in youtube!

Well, I just heard the washer kick off, so I need to be going. Hope to see some of you at MFF! :-)

11/25/2023 - Preparing For Midwest FurFest!

Hello everybody! As NaNoWriMo is wrapping up, it's time to get ready for Midwest FurFest. This con is the one I look forward to most every year (yes, even more than Gen Con, but it's close, lol).

If you are hoping to see me at the con, it might help to check out the "About Me" page to see what I look like. I spend a fair amount of time at Diana Stein's booth in the dealer's den, so feel free to stop by and say hi! Otherwise after things have closed down for the evening, you can probably find me sitting somewhere with my laptop, working on writing.

Speaking of writing, as I said, NaNoWriMo is wrapping up, with just a few thousand words left to go. I will be arriving for the con on Wednesday, so I plan on finishing the last few hundred on Wednesday evening. What better way to finish a furry NaNoWriMo story than at MFF?

Next month, I will be working on the next version of Belrye and the Summoner, as well as editing the special full-length Gloria novel I spent this month drafting.

By the way, there's something very special getting added to this next version of BatS. It is something I wanted to add before, but I ran into a bit of a wall with it (which has now been solved). I am adding simple character illustrations below the stat boxes, for both you and Belrye. It will take several versions to get as elaborate as I have in mind, but eventually you will have a rough to-scale silhouette for both characters. I know it can be hard to have a good feel for proportions from a bunch of measurements, so this should help! :-)

11/18/2023 - Home Stretch of NaNoWriMo

Well, it has definitely been a challenge, but I'm in the home stretch of NaNoWriMo! As of right now, my current word count is 33,682 out of 50k. Definitely closing in! Today was a huge writing day, and I will probably be putting another long day in tomorrow, too.

As an experiment, I tried doing my writing today with the Pomodoro method, where you do four bursts of thirty minutes with a five minute break between, with a longer ten minute break between each set of four. And honestly, I had no idea how much it would help. Being forced to stop when I was in the middle of a thought meant that during the breaks, I had a constant stream of ideas in my head. So when I sat back down, I was flying through it!

This is my first-ever NaNoWriMo, and I've learned so much about myself as a writer from doing it. I've found things that work well for me and things that don't, and it's made a huge difference for me. If you are interested in writing, yourself, I would strongly encourage you to give it a try. I know 50k words in thirty days sounds like a lot (and it is!), but you will get so much better because of it! :-)

For now, I'm going to relax for a while before bed. Just wanted to give an update here first!

11/11/2023 - NaNoWriMo Progress

Hey, me again! NaNoWriMo has been going well, and I am currently sitting at 17,242 words written out of 50k. These next two weeks should be my most productive, especially Thanksgiving weekend! Aside from the holiday itself, I am not one to hit the doorbuster sales, so the rest of the weekend is usually pretty quiet around here.

I would say the biggest challenge has been trying to make that much time for writing. I have been averaging a few hours a day, with a good chunk of every evening being dedicated to working on the Gloria novel. I love writing, but I'm definitely going to feel relieved when I hit that 50k finish line. :-)

Speaking of the end of the month, Midwest FurFest is coming up starting on the 30th! I am looking forward to it, and am planning on ordering a fursuit while I am there, to get the ball rolling on it. It is something I have wanted for years, but one thing or another always got in the way. Not this year, though!

Anyway, I should get back to writing for now, and Zola is looking at me with that "feeding time?" face. For any of you who are working on your own November projects, I wish you the best of luck! :-)

10/31/2023 - Belrye and the Summoner 0.9 for Halloween!

Hello everybody! Funny enough, I didn't plan this, but the next version of the choose-your-own-adventure story about demons is out on Halloween!

This version is still about catching the new gender options up to the story with the options that were already available. Getting those caught up has been a bigger undertaking than expected, and they aren't fully caught up just yet. This new version does add 31 new chunks, though, so a ton of progress was made. :-)

One important thing to announce is that there won't be a BatS or Gloria story posted in November. I will be focusing next month on the full-length Gloria novel, with both that and a new version of BatS being posted in December. So lots to look forward to! I will continue to post weekly updates both here and on FurAffinity, talking about progress on the novel. Also, my Doom videos will still continue to come out on YouTube every Monday.

10/24/2023 - Gloria and Friends pt. 9 Released!

Just a quick announcement that part 9 has been released. Enjoy! ;-)

10/21/2023 - On Track for Gloria and Friends pt. 9 on Tuesday!

Just wanted to give a quick update that things are still on track for Gloria and Friends pt. 9 to be released on Tuesday. NaNoWriMo preparation has taken a lot more of my time this month than expected, but it will help everything go more smoothly next month. :-)

Part 9 is going to be a whole lot more tame than some of the most recent stories have been. For those who are into the more extreme stuff, think of this as the calm before the storm that will be the full-length novel (which will be drafted for NaNoWriMo and edited/posted in December), lol.

This one will also give some more background on the world itself, so if you've been wondering about this "World Change" everyone keeps mentioning, stay tuned!

10/14/2023 - Upcoming Change to my Youtube Channel in December!

Hello again! This has been a bit of a busy week, between working on getting ready for NaNoWriMo, editing for Belrye and the Summoner, and working on the ninth story of the "Gloria and Friends" series. :-)

One big thing I want to announce is that my Youtube channel will be getting bumped up to two videos each week, starting this December! Mostly, I have an ever-growing pile of Doom wads I want to try out, and it is growing much more quickly than I can actually complete them at my current pace, lol. I will see how uploading two videos a week goes, given that I don't want to pull too much of my time away from writing.

This is just a short-and-sweet update, this time around. Also, Gloria pt. 9 will be released on the 24th, and Belrye and the Summoner version 0.9 will be released on Halloween (which was completely unplanned, but seems appropriate, lol.)

10/8/2023 - NaNoWriMo Preparation and a Question

Hey everybody! I've been working on getting ready for NaNoWriMo, including what the overarching plot and individual scenes should be for, but I have a question and need you (yes, you!) to give me your input.

So, I post stories both here and on my FurAffinity page. One limitation with FA is that PDFs can't be viewed directly in the site, but need to be downloaded and then viewed. Those of you who have been reading Belrye and the Summoner are already familiar with this. If you aren't, head on over to Scraps and check it out! :-)

I have been thinking about switching over to that same format for the Gloria series. To me, it looks more professional and polished, and also has things like page numbers, clearer chapter-breaks, etc. But I just want to know if my readers have a preference. If there aren't any strong opinions, I lean toward PDF myself. But I am open to either option!

Part of why I am asking this early is that if I go the PDF route, I'll need to do some preparation first. I use LaTeX to make PDFs, and I like to organize them by putting all of the formatting code in a separate file from the actual content. I want to make sure I've got that built so I can hit the ground running November 1st with the actual story!

So, if you would like to weigh in (or give any other comments, feedback, etc.), head on over to FA and send it my way! :-)

9/30/2023 - Gloria and Friends pt. 8 Posted!

The eighth story in the "Gloria and Friends" series has now been released! Compared to previous stories, I ended up trying a it of a different style for this one. Since it takes place over a longer period of time, there are a lot more time-skips than I would normally have. If you like this style or not, feel free to let me know over on FurAffinity!

Also, I want to announce this again just to make sure it doesn't come as a surprise. No stories will be getting posted in November, as I will be doing NaNoWriMo. The upside of this, though, is that Gloria pt. 10 will be a full-length novel, released in December! It will be drafted in November, with editing taking place over December. This will be roughly five times the length of recent stories in the series, so be sure you get comfy when you start reading it! :-)

I will still be posting weekly updates on here and weekly journals on FurAffinity, though. After all, I don't want anyone thing I've vanished or run off to join the circus or something!

9/23/2023 - Belrye and the Summoner v0.8 Released!

Behold, Belrye and the Summoner version 0.8 has been released! As mentioned before, this version is entirely focused on adding options for nonbinary/trans characters, along with the ability to use neutral pronouns for Belrye. Since this is a lot of variations of existing scenes, it is actually the largest update so ever (in terms of raw chunk/page counts added)!

When it comes to "Gloria and Friends", the next story in the series is currently in the drafting phase, which is coming along nicely. I am doing more with timelapses in this story than I have done before, since it takes place over a longer time than the usual ones that take place during an evening or two. When it comes out a week from today, please let me know what you think over on FurAffinity!

I also mentioned Inkscape in my last post here. I actually picked up the basics without too much difficulty, so over on FA I can finally start putting thumbnails up to make my stories a bit more eye-catching. Good times!

For now, though, time to get things posted, followed by a nice relaxing evening. Enjoy! :-)

9/16/2023 - Belrye and the Summoner v0.8 Coming Next Week!

Hello again! I've just got a couple things to talk about this time around. First off, the next version of Belrye and the Summoner will be coming out on the 23rd. Like I mentioned last time, this version is entirely focused on adding options for nonbinary or trans characters, as well as the option to use neutral pronouns for Belrye. It adds 30 chunks, making it the largest single update ever in terms of raw page count. It doesn't fully catch those options up to the current story, but next update should catch them up completely.

The next story in the "Gloria and Friends" series will be released on the 30th - it is still being written, but is coming along nicely. This one will be focusing on Ally and Marci, as well as introducing a new character. I am not sure if they will become a major character yet, but time will tell!

I'm also going to be starting something new when posting to FA - thumbnails! I'm downloading Inkscape as I write this, to give it a try. It was recently explained to me why I couldn't find an art program that made sense to me anymore - apparently what I grew up with as a kid were vector art programs, and nowadays almost everything is raster. Armed with that new knowledge, I've discovered there are still art programs out there that seem to be Dave-friendly! :-)

In other news, I am in the process of getting a writing workspace setup at home. As nice as writing on a laptop sitting on the couch is, having an actual desk and a nice keyboard should be much better. And especially with NaNoWriMo coming up, I'd rather have a "real" keyboard, lol.

Anyway, that's what has been going on around here. Look forward to the next BatS version coming out a week from today, and the next Gloria story a week after that!

9/9/2023 - Progress and an Announcement!

Let's start this off with the progress update. Belrye and the Summoner version 0.8 is currently going through the editing process. It adds the ability to play a male gender/female sex character, vice-versa, or to play a nonbinary character. You can also now use neutral pronouns for Belrye, too! This version adds 30 chunks, which isn't enough to fully catch the new options up to the current story, but it is as much as I want to inflict on my volunteer editor for one version. Next version I am thinking we should be caught up.

As for "Gloria the Goat (And Friends)", the next one is still in the rough draft stage, but has been progressing nicely. This one will focus on Marci and Ally, and features a couple of new things I haven't written before. (Dun dun dunnn!)

Now for the announcement! I will be taking part in NaNoWriMo this November! The goal is to write a 50,000 word rough draft in a single month. It will be a bit of a push, but I want to give it a try. My current plan is for it to be a part of the Gloria series. So what this likely means is that there will be no Gloria story posted in November, but a full-length novel in December. I make no promises that it won't involve mall-Santa costumes, Krampus, or reindeer! lol

Anyway, that is this week's update. Time to get back to it!

8/31/2023 - Belrye and the Summoner Version 0.7 Posted!

The next version of Belrye and the Summoner has been posted! A lot of paths will now be able to go a step deeper into the story now. Steady progress!

Version 0.8 next month will have a pretty major addition, though. I will be adding in the ability to play a character whose gender and sex don't match (starting with male bits but female pronouns, or vice-versa), as well as the ability to either play as a non-binary character (with they/them pronouns) or to use gender-neutral pronouns for Belrye!

All of the writing I have been doing for Ally in the "Gloria and Friends" series has given me a lot of practice with neutral pronouns, and it is something that even from the beginning, I wanted to have in BatS. It won't take long to catch those paths up with the current storyline, but I'll give more updates on that as September progresses.

Also, if you are a player who downloads the book to read/play it, you may notice there is now a "1" in the filename. As you might guess, that is a change in preparation for the story being expanded into multiple books. Later on, there will be a few changes to how the BatS section is laid out on the site, to make it easier if a new version comes out while you are in the middle of playing. It isn't needed until it is multiple books, though. :-)

8/24/2023 - Gloria Part 7 Posted!

Just a quick update this time, to announce that Gloria part 7 has been posted! Also, for those watching for the next version of Belrye and the Summoner, it will be posted a week from today! :-)

8/19/2023 - Cruising Along

Writing has been cruising along nicely, both for Belrye and the Summoner and the Gloria series. So, Gloria pt. 7 will be posted on 8/24, with the new version of BatS being posted on 8/31!

One thing particularly eagle-eyed readers will notice is that one editor has been temporarily removed from the acknowledgements page. She has had a lot of life-stuff that kinda hit all at once, so she is taking some time away to deal with it all. I am guessing she will be away for two or three months, but she will be taking however much time she needs. My other editor and I are still making sure to thoroughly check everything, of course!

As Gen Con fades into the rearview mirror for the year, it is time to start looking forward con-wise. The next one I am planning to be at is Gamehole Con, which runs from October 19th through the 22nd in Madison, Wisconsin. I went on a whim last year for a day and had a great time, so I am going for at least a day (possibly more) this year. After that, I'll be hitting Midwest FurFest! So yeah, good times!

8/12/2023 - Back Home From Gen Con

Hey everybody! I'm back and caught up from Gen Con. It was another awesome year, as always! I came back all fired up to work on my writing, so that has been cruising along nicely this week.

This next story in the Gloria series is going to be a bit different than previous ones. It is a bit of an experiment with having a different character as the main focus. After all, a certain horse does seem to be going through a lot lately! The main character of the series will be Gloria, of course, but it might be interesting to occasionally give the other characters a starring role.

I have also finished getting my helper-tool for Belrye and the Summoner to be able to break it up into multiple PDFs. We are still probably at least a few months out from needing to split it up, but it is good to know everything is ready well in advance. I'll go into this more when the time comes, but the split is done in such a way that when you advance to a new book, you always start at page one. No messy "Go to book 7, page 63" stuff here!

Anyway, time for me to get back to it. Lots of progress being made this week, though! :-)

7/31/2023 - Gloria pt. 6 Released

Just a super-quick announcement while I'm getting ready to leave for Gen Con that Gloria pt. 6 has been released! And also, if you haven't had a chance to take a look at my last update about Gen Con, definitely take a look!

7/29/2023 - Gloria pt. 6 and Gen Con

Hello again! There are two big pieces of news, this update. The first is that Gloria pt. 6 will be getting posted on Monday after I'm done with the day job. It has been edited and everything is ready to go, but I usually like to try to leave a week in between posting stories. While this is a tame one, this one has a lot going on in it, so be sure to check it out! :-)

Second, Gen Con! As I've mentioned earlier, if you happen to see me, feel free to walk up and say hi! You can often find me helping out at Diana Stein's booth, but otherwise I tend to wander all over the place. You can also find me at the ass-crack of dawn Friday morning for the Orc Stomp! Of course, if you have no idea what I look like, check out the "About Me" tab. It would be awesome to bump into you at the con!

Well, I've got a giant pile of stuff to do before I leave for the con, so this update is pretty short and sweet. :-)

7/22/2023 - Stories Reversed This Month

I just wanted to quickly mention that this month's stories will be coming out in the reverse of the usual order. The sixth Gloria story is going to need a bit more polish, but the next version of Belrye and the Summoner is pretty much ready to go. I will be posting that on Monday, with the next Gloria story coming out the Monday after! :-)

As I am starting to get ready for Gen Con, I also want to mention that it shouldn't have any impact on my posting schedule. I will be pre-recording the "Casual Doom" video for when I get back, so that will be going out on its usual Monday afternoon schedule.

Finally, you may have noticed my "About Me" page now has a picture! I figure if I want people to walk up and say hi if they see me at a con, it might help if they know what I look like, lol.

7/15/2023 - A Lot of Progress

Okay, lots of progress to talk about this week. For starters, Gloria part 6 is coming along nicely. As I have said before on FurAffinity, this is going to be a much more tame story than the last few have been. It includes things like suits, ties, and explicit jazz content! There might even be *gasp* hand-holding! ;-)

On the Belrye and the Summoner front, this month is going to be another massive update, on par with going from version 0.4 to 0.5. This update is again focused on getting the shortest paths caught up. It will be good to move forward next month, because I think if my editors have to look at the section where you get your bed delivered one more time after this, they might hunt me down and kill me. lol

This has also been a big week of story planning. Though you are seeing the very beginning of the overarching story, you haven't seen much of it yet. One of the things I have done this week has been really nailing down the major plot. I had mostly known what I wanted to do, but it has been a lot more solidified now.

Lastly, I am going to be at Gen Con in a few weeks! While I am going as an attendee, I can often be found helping out at Diana Stein's booth. By all means, walk up and say hi, or give me a knuckle-bump or high-five or something! If you enjoy what I do, I'd love to talk.

7/7/2023 - Blowing off the Dust

Okay, time to blow the dust off this place! So, the last time I updated this site, I had pretty much just started Belrye and the Summoner and the Gloria the Goat series. Here we are now, with both the 5th Gloria story released and BatS sitting at version 0.5!

While I will still be posting all of my stories to FurAffinity, BatS is going to need a bit of special handling, and it is something I've been spending a lot of time thinking about. There are a couple of things that limit the size of a book posted to FA.

  • FurAffinity has a 10mb limit on PDF files
  • A lot of PDF viewers start to break as files get larger

Because of both of these limits, BatS needs to be split up into multiple books. The problem is that every version would have some books that change and some that won't. FurAffinity doesn't want people to post a bunch of duplicates (or near-duplicates), which would lead to horrible versioning issues. So the plan is that once the first book is done, I will have that on FurAffinity as a "demo" of the story. The entire thing would be available here (for free of course, just in case you were worried it wouldn't be!) We're not to the point of multiple books yet, but my guess is that it will hit that around the end of this year.

Anyway, fully updating the site and getting what I've written so far moved over to it will happen on Saturday, but I wanted to let everyone know that the site is finally getting a much-needed update! I'll probably change the visual style a bit too. I dunno about you, but as someone who uses dark mode for everything I'm a little tired of getting flashbanged by my own site. ;-)

Me with my pet snake

Who I Am

Hello, I'm Dave! By day, I am an IT professional, but by night, well, this website happens, lol. If you're wondering, the snake is Zola, my pet ball python.

How I Got Into Writing/Games

As a kid in the 80's, I got to experience the excitement of the early video game era. As I played games, naturally I came up with ideas for things I wanted to make myself. I remember a day in study hall in high school, seeing a guy looking back and forth between his graphing calculator, a notebook, and the calculator manual. I asked what he was doing, and he said "making a game".

It was like a lightswitch flipped in my head. Somehow, after all that time, it had never occurred to me that everyday people could make a game. That night I got home, commandeered an ancient Mac Classic (the old all-in-one), and borrowed a book from my dad who was a programmer himself. It was slow going, but a bit at a time, I learned to program.

As for writing, at the same time I was doing quite a bit of that too. I had a book I was always working on, but if you've ever heard of the "50 Page Wall", I could never break through it. I would get to about 50 pages, look back at what I had so far, be unhappy with it, and start over. I don't know how many times it happened, but it was a lot.

Eventually, the computer I was doing all of these things on died, and those things fell by the wayside for a while. In the meantime I did a few internships and got a job working in IT for a company that ended up being a soul-sucking horror show. After several years of that, I started working off and on again on games on the evenings/weekends as a form of escapism.

Long story short, I'm no longer there (my current employer is pretty awesome), and my writing and stuff has really picked up steam!

Any Other Projects?

Until recently, I actually had an adult text-based game hosted here called "Carnal Chemistry". After some laws that got passed recently about adult online stuff, I decided to take it down until the dust settled from that. At this point, it seems like it's safe to come back out of hiding, lol. I still have all of the code and stuff for that, but that was a very time-intensive game to work on, similar to Belrye and the Summoner now.

I also have a youtube channel, that is currently focused on casual Doom playthroughs. I have other ideas for things I would like to do there too, but there are only so many hours in a day. I've also been watching a few tutorials on Doom mapping, and would like to try my hand at that.

You can also find me on DoomWorld as FoxMage (there was an issue when I registered, so I grabbed "DaveTheFoxMage" got taken but then I couldn't complete the registration and... yeah, lol.) At the moment I'm the current record-holder for one category there - a no-monsters run of Nostalgia map 2. I might be trying for a few more in the near future. :-)

How I Got Into Furries

As you may guess, I am into furries. The art, the cons, I love it all. If I had to guess, it probably started with cartoons as a kid. The animated Robin Hood comes to mind, and I know I'm not the only one who got their start from watching movies like that. Once I discovered the term "furry" and typed it into a search engine, it was like a whole new world opened up for me!

Long Term Goals

I love to create, just for the joy of creating and seeing people enjoying my stuff. My dream isn't to make money from this, but it would be awesome for someone to recognize me at a convention and BS together over a beer. One thing I would call a medium-term goal is that I've been working toward a very early retirement from the office world. There was a period of about a year where I was fully self-employed, doing a mix of game development and a bit of DoorDash, which was a dream come true for me. I would love to get back to being able to focus on my creative projects fulltime.

Welcome to the one-offs page! Anything I've written that isn't part of a larger series goes here. This section will undoubtedly grow with time. :-)

Table for One

Magic Fox Games logo

Logo by the very talented Sabrina Stein! Check out gonecohub.com to see more of her work.

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