Besides work and shoveling snow and getting up early to watch Olympic hockey, what have I been up to?
Writing - Doug and I have been working on some projects together. Yesterday was Doug's turn to edit one of our projects. Today was my turn, so I spent most of my free time together reading, checking, revising, re-checking, etc. This involves a lot of re-doing all the math, re-looking up results, and checking all page refs. It's not bad, and I actually enjoy the process to a degree, but it's hard work and it's what, in my opinion, separates good execution from bad execution.
Doug and I also heard another silly thing we did is officially in the slushpile for Pyramid, which is good news.
Ultima IV - I've been playing this recently in my spare moments, after I remembered I'd gotten it for free from GOG. Good stuff. My cousin (player of Vade, Blackstar, and other PCs I've mentioned before on this blog) used to have this for either his Atari 800XL or Apple IIC, and I co-played it with him. Basically, my job was to navigate, advise, and write all of the stuff down. So I can coast a lot of memories, but I never did get to see the game get finished. The only Ultima games I played start to finish were III (my first) and VI (my favorite). I'm making extremely quick progress, mostly because I already know what I need to do (mostly) and how to achieve partial avatarhood in each of the 8 paths. Yes, Valor is easy and Justice is hard. But it's fun to re-live it, and sometimes I just need to interact with a screen and not write, read, study, or whatever. I'm totally cheating by using someone's complete map. I'm not translating the cloth map by hand again, that wasn't even that fun back in the day.
Reading - I'm re-reading the Prydain books by Lloyd Alexander. Once I finish those, I have non-fantasy related things to read. But those books have some legitimately interesting magical items and cool bad guys (huntsmen, cauldron-born), and I highly recommend them.
Game Prep - I'm working my way through my Felltower stuff to make sure it's all prep'ed for next game, too. No major work so much as ensuring I wrote notes about what happened and adjusted the contents for the passed time. It's more tedious and boring than it sounds, but it makes for much more fun gaming sessions, so it's worth the tradeoff.