Board Games, Books, Video Chats With Family . . . Making the Best of This Holiday Season.

I’m a day early on my post this week, but that is okay. Today is Thanksgiving, and continuing with my thoughts from last week, I’m grateful for technology. This year rather than a large family get together in one place, we’re doing our family get togethers using technology. Just yesterday, I played a board game with my brother over a video chat. Not only do I really like books (writing and reading), but I also like board games.

The game I played this time was The Awful Green Things from Outer Space. For anyone that hasn’t heard about it, It’s reminiscent of the movie Aliens. The game is two player, and one player is the crew, who just happened to pick up a green rock on a planet they visited. That green rock grows into green monsters. The game is mostly chance with dice rolling, and for me, seems a bit weighted toward the green monsters. When the crew dies, they’re dead, but the green things lay eggs. Those eggs become babies which then become adults that lay more eggs.

To win, the crew can use various weapons found around the ship, but they don’t know the effect of those weapons until they use them the first time. To find the effects, they draw them from a cup at random. Some are great, such as “5 Dice to Kill,” while others are not so good, such as “No Effect” or “1 Die Fragments.” When a green monster fragments, those fragments grow into babies.

I played yesterday afternoon with my son, who was the crew, and he wiped out my green things because one of the area effect weapons ended up drawing a “5 Dice to Kill” effect. When I played against my brother in the evening, he was the crew and out of the twenty-two crewmen, he managed to take eight of them on an escape pod.

When I’m not reading, writing, doing karate, or working, I like a good board game. Playing The Awful Green Things from Outer Space, with the experimentation the crew player must do, reminds of a few books I have read. One that sticks out is by John Scalzi, called Redshirts, which is kind of a spoof on the old Star Trek shows where the guy in the red shirt was always the one that didn’t come back. That’s kind of like this board game. The crew must experiment, but if the weapon doesn’t do well enough, they’re a sitting duck for the green things.

In closing, here are some updates on my progress. I have written just over 75,000 words in my time travel book project. I’ve got a large spreadsheet where I keep track of the locations and times and what page that happens in the book. I’m having fun with it, and trying to keep it flowing as a good story. It is just a rough draft and will need some cleanup before it’s published, but I have time. I’m on track to have my next book, still untitled, out by the end of December. My time travel book will be out by the end of March, after its edited and revised.

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