Tabletop Day 2017

Tabletop Day 2017

Yesterday, Les and I celebrated International Tabletop Day hosted by a local group. We don’t usually do a lot of socializing, but we definitely look forward to this yearly event. It gives us a chance to enjoy games, old and new, with people that love playing games. This year, we played four new (at least to us) games. I’ll provide the recommended player counts, length of gameplay, and ages. Then a quick rundown of gameplay and our opinions of these games.

1. Boss Monster

Boss Monster - Box - Tabletop Day 2017

Players: 2-4. Play Time: 20 Minutes. Age: 13+

We were introduced to this one with the quote: “Remember the old side scrolling games? You’re Bowser.”

Boss Monster - Boss and Two Rooms - Tabletop Day 2017

You start the game by drawing one of the Boss cards and placing it in front of you, then drawing a hand of room and spell cards. Once the game starts, Heroes are drawn from a deck and placed in the Town. There are four types of Heroes: Fighters, Mages, Thieves, and Clerics. Different Bosses and Rooms will lure different Heroes to your dungeon. It is your objective to build a series of rooms to protect your Boss from the Heroes. You win by collecting ten souls before your Boss suffers five wounds.

Boss Monster - Heroes - Tabletop Day 2017

This was a lot of fun and a great way for us to start our Tabletop Day. We plan to add this to our own game collection in the near future.

Available on Amazon.

2. King of Tokyo

King of Tokyo - Box - Tabletop Day 2017

Players: 2-6. Play Time: 30 Minutes. Age: 8+

Pick a monster and start attacking the Japanese capital! This game let’s you live out any dream of being Godzilla or any of the mightiest Kaiju. The rules are simple. Once a monster has taken control of Tokyo, they must defend themselves from the others while any of the other monsters fight to take control away. You start the game with 10 life and 0 Victory Points. You win by collecting 20 Victory Points or reducing all of the other monsters to 0 life.

King of Tokyo - Les Deciding Which Dice to Use - Tabletop Day 2017

King of Tokyo - I'm About to Win - Tabletop Day 2017







King of Tokyo - Deck and Dice - Tabletop Day 2017

A very fun game that is quick to learn and very easy to play. We only played it with just the two of us. I would imagine the game really starts to shine once 4-6 monsters are battling for control of the city.

Available on Amazon.

3. Carcassonne

Carcassonne - Box - Tabletop Day 2017

Players: 2-5. Play Time: 30-45 Minutes. Age: 8+

Carcassonne - Meeples Everywhere! - Tabletop Day 2017To start the game, you randomly draw a land tile and place it on the table connected to the already present field. On these tiles, you will find fields, roads, cities, and chapels. Once the tile is placed, you can choose to play one of your meeples to claim a feature. Once the feature is complete, you earn points and get your meeple back. Fields, roads, cities, and chapels all score differently and require different conditions to complete them. Your objective is to simply outscore your opponent(s).

Carcassonne -Finished Game Layout - Tabletop Day 2017The came already has many expansions to allow for more land tiles and even more players. The base game allows for up to five players. All expansions combined allow for up to eight players. The game does work perfectly for only two people. Which is important for us since most game nights are just the two of us.

Carcassonne will be the next addition to our Tabletop collection.

Available on Amazon.

4. Secret Hitler

I didn’t get a picture of the cover. We were drafted, last minute, into a nine player game of this one. Therefore, I only managed to get one picture during gameplay.

Players: 5-10. Play Time: 45 Minutes. Age: 13+

This is a more complicated game than the other three on this list. First off, you must have at least five players and the closer to ten, the better the game plays. Secret Hitler falls under the category of bluffing games. You are randomly assigned one of three roles: Liberal, Fascist, or Hitler. Once you know your identity, all players close their eyes. Then the Fascists all open their eyes and silently identify each other. Hitler keeps his/her eyes closed and indicates to the Fascists that he/she is Hitler (a thumbs up or what have you).

Once the Fascist know each other and who their Hitler is, the game begins. One player is named President and they nominate a Chancellor. All players vote Ja (yes) or Nein (no) to confirm or deny the nomination. If declined, the next player is named President and the process repeats until majority approve the Chancellor nomination. Then the President selects some policies that have to be silently narrowed down to one by the Chancellor.

Secret Hitler at Tabletop Day 2017

Five successful Liberal policies and the Liberals win. Once three Fascist policies are enacted, if Hitler is successfully nominated to Chancellor by the majority, the Fascists win.  However, the fourth and fifth Fascist policies passed allow the President to execute one of the players at the table. If Hitler is killed in this manner, the Liberals win.

Les did not enjoy this particular game. While I liked the concept of this game, it is the opinion of both of us that The Resistance delivers a more enjoyable game of this style.

Available on Amazon.

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Writing Prompts for Settings: April 2017

Writing Prompts for Settings

We’re back with new writing prompts! Sorry about last week. A wee virus snuck onto our computer and wouldn’t let us use our internet browser. Thankfully, with the advice of a more tech savvy friend, the little booger was taken care of and we’re back in business! This week, we offer three story starters that take care of the settings for you. Don’t forget to share your stories and artwork with us. We’ll be happy to share your hard work right here at the Hideaway!

As for what else I’m up to, the first draft is still taking up most of my writing time. And, honestly, I need to be devoting more time to that writing time. I fell out of my routine and I’m struggling to get it back together. Unless, by some miracle, I can write nearly five chapters today, the first draft for the Brix & Gregor novel will not be completed by the end of April. But the end is near. I said I wouldn’t do any flash fictions until it was done, but I will do my best to get a new segment of Saving Time ready by Friday. To be honest, I feel like the workplace inspired satire has kinda gotten away from me. Part of me just wants to drop it off as it is and move onto something more enjoyable to write, but I’ll try to pull together some kind of ending for Bobby.

Writing Prompts for Settings-Apr2017-This was her secret place. Anyone else who knew would die.
This was her secret place. Anyone else who knew would die.
Writing Prompts for Settings-Apr2017-In the garden grew the most beautiful flowers; and they were all poisonous.
In the garden grew the most beautiful flowers; and they were all poisonous.
Writing Prompts for Settings-Apr2017-By the early light of dawn, obscure shadows flickered between the looming parapets.
By the early light of dawn, obscure shadows flickered between the looming parapets.


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Tipsy Scribbles: More Tipsy Knitting

More Tipsy Knitting


The ocean baby blanket and knit octopus from last week was a success. I also included mesh laundry bags to wash the blanket and toy in, but those are good for almost everything.  I printed my out my own care instructions using the symbols on the yarn label and tied it around the project using twine. Feel free to use this label for your own projects and handmade gifts or use it as a guide for making your own label.

Cotton yarn hand knit/crochet garment laundry instructions label - handmade gifts


This week I’m working on two more blankets using the ten stitch blanket pattern on Ravelry. The pattern is available for free, but the creator, Frankie Brown, insists that anyone who likes the pattern donate to the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation. I have already made my donation and will probably make more donations in the future for her other patterns. There is also a very helpful YouTube video on this pattern by VeryPink Knits.

The first blanket is being made with a beige acrylic yarn on size 5mm DPN (double pointed needles). I have no idea what brand or exact color this yarn is, or if it is a pure acrylic or an acrylic blend. This was yarn I had bought and stashed away, but it is softer than most acrylics, which is why I chose it for the baby blanket. Cotton or soft acrylic or acrylic blend yarns are best for baby blankets. They are durable, soft, and washable (the true winning feature).

Ten Stitch Blanket in beige
Ten Stitch Blanket in beige


The next blanket is being made with a mint green shimmer texture acrylic yarn with size 4mm DPN. I do believe this yarn was on sale when it was bought, so the chances of finding more are slim to none. It’s possible it is a baby yarn, the yarns that have “baby” printed somewhere on the label, but what brand I’m not sure. This yarn type is not the easiest for this pattern. It is difficult to find the place to attach the rows because the yarn is so textured, but it is also very difficult to see any mistakes in the pattern (I must have missed a stitch because there is a big hole in my corner).

Ten Stitch Blanket in mint green
Ten Stitch Blanket in mint green


I felt bad for not having any artwork in the past two weeks so I whipped up a little watercolor jellyfish called So Jelly. My friends Sara says “so jelly” all the time and “so jealous” is never my first thought. I’m not as cool and hip as her! I love you Sara!

So Jelly - watercolor on paper - Tipsy Scribbles - A picture says a thousand words when wine loosens the tongue.
So Jelly


“Knitters use knitting to value-add to the world.” –  Stephanie Pearl-McPhee


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Tipsy Scribbles: Tipsy Knitting

Tipsy Knitting


Last week I had mentioned the baby blankets I had begun to knit for my expectant cousins. As one baby shower nears, my anxiety grows. The first blanket was inspired by a crochet sea turtle blanket my friend Elizabeth had shown me. I cannot crochet. I have tried and tried and tried and maybe someday I will try again, but today is not that day. I found a ripple lace knit pattern alternative for the crochet blanket and tweaked it a tad. I added two extra rows between each “wave” and the “beach” is the stockinette without the wave patterns. I also mathed and found that each wave is composed of 18 stitches. If you account for the bordering stitch (6 stitches on each side, 12 stitches total) you can reduce or enlarge the pattern without cutting off a wave mid-pattern. I reduced my pattern to 102 stitches, using I Love This Cotton brand yarn and US size 9 bamboo circular needles. I did not measure my guage, but the blanket ended up being about 27 inches by 27 inches square. When you start this pattern, and if you want the ocean and beach effect, start with the dark ocean color. The colors I used are 95 Antique Cream for the sand, 6 White for the foam, 68 Aqua for the shallow water, and 98 Bright Teal for the deep water. If I ever redo this style, I think I want to add another color between the dark and light ocean color to help with the gradient effect.

Beach Waves Baby Security Blanket
Beach Waves Baby Security Blanket


The sea shell was fairly easy. The instructions were very straight forward. There were some things in the pattern I checked YouTube for a quick tutorial. I would say this would be for a skilled beginner, already knowing the basic stitches. I used a size 2mm bamboo needle (and it didn’t snap, but I was holding my breath!) and the I Love This Cotton brand yarn in 6 White.

White Knit Shell
White Knit Shell


I could not find I small baby sea turtle knit pattern that really impressed me. I will say this, there are so many adorable crochet patterns for them! Unfortunately I had to opt out for the cute sea turtles, and instead decided to make an octopus. One of my other favorite sea creatures! This was the only knit octopus pattern I could find that did not require double pointed needles. I did not like the tentacle design and went for the curly look instead. The original pattern for the curly I-cord called for 3 stitches but I bulked mine up to 5 stitches, keeping the slip stitch in the middle on stitch 3. I used 306 Dark Denim I Love This Cotton brand yarn and size 3mm bamboo needles. I used the same for the head pattern as well. When this is finished, I am going to give it stitched eyes, rather than plastic to be on the safe side.

Knit Octopus Navy Blue
Knit Octopus Navy Blue


This is all for now. I will add a photo of the finished product to one of my upcoming Tipsy Scribbles. Until then, keep knitting and cheers to creativity!


“A baby is born with a need to be loved – and never outgrows it.” – Frank A. Clark


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Fantasy Writing Prompts: Easter 2017

Fantasy Writing Prompts: Easter

It’s Easter weekend! A three day weekend filled with family, friends, and fantasy for Les and me. So we took some of the Easter traditions and put a fantasy spin on them for this week’s writing prompts!

I’m still determined to complete the Brix and Gregor draft by the end of the month. We’re at the halfway mark of the month and there are ten chapters remaining. I may have to postpone the next Saving Time for a week to really focus on ending the first draft. I’ll make the announcement by Tuesday if I decide to postpone.

Happy Easter and Happy Writing!

Fantasy Writing Prompts-Easter2017-Let the dragon egg hunt begin!
“Let the dragon egg hunt begin!”
Fantasy Writing Prompts-Easter2017-Once a year, the rarely seen Jackalope will venture out to lay its multicolored eggs.
Once a year, the rarely seen Jackalope will venture out to lay its multicolored eggs.
Fantasy Writing Prompts-Easter2017-The children raised their weapons to slay the invading swarm of bloodthirsty bunnies.
The children raised their weapons to slay the invading swarm of bloodthirsty bunnies.


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Saving Time: Part 7 TGIF

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Re-read last week’s!

Saving Time - A Flash Fiction - READ FREE

It’s finally Friday!

That had been everyone’s mood today. No one did much of anything except the occasional shuffling of random objects from one spot to the next to appear busy. They were riding out the clock, keeping an eye on the time while doing as little as they could without getting reprimanded.

I, on the other hand, sorted my papers at a fold-up table in a dark and dusty corner behind Darlene’s desk. Blue Tie had found the table shoved in a long forgotten supply closet. I had to sweep off the cob webs before he would touch the damned thing. A wobbly table was better than sitting in the floor.

The door bell chimed and I didn’t bother turning around, thinking Darlene would do her job, for once.

“Excuse me, I need change for this,” called a woman’s voice. I looked back to see a frazzled mother of three: an infant strapped in a harness to her front, a toddler perched on her hip, and another child clinging to her leg. She smelled strongly of baby powder and dirty diapers, and a red sucker was glued to her pants with sugary spit.

She waved a crisp one hundred dollar bill in front of her. Darlene never acknowledged the woman and vise versa. I crossed over to her and took the bill.

“Darlene, I need change for this–”

Darlene hit a button on her keyboard and a money drawer popped out from under the counter, ramming into my knee caps. I pulled out five twenty-dollar bills and held them out to the woman.

“What good does this do me?” she spat. The woman looked at the twenties like they had been fished from a toilet bowl. “I need money for the quarter machines. Are you stupid? You’re job is not that hard.” Two of the three children began to cry while the third suddenly started running in circles.

After counting out her one hundred dollars worth of quarters, she slammed her hand onto the counter. “How dare you try to steal my babies’ money! I saw you put that money in your pocket!”

Before I could defend myself, a coworker –the petite girl with the foul mouth– marched in to join the drama-fueled screaming match. Darlene pulled her phone out from between a sweaty fat roll and began filming the entire show.

I just want to go home. I walked away to return to my monotonous work.

The door chimed again, barely audible over the commotion, and Mr. Acetone walked in. His face immediately stretched into a ferocious smile and his eyes grew wide. The man looked as if he had just won the lottery. He scanned both women up and down several times as he approached the counter beside them.

“Excuse me ladies, how are we today?” He didn’t seem to notice he was being ignored by everyone present. He walked around to the mother, almost colliding with her child still twirling in circles. “That is a lovely perfume you’re wearing, ma’am.”

“Thanks,” she said without looking at him. “I’m a little busy at the moment,” then continued with her shouting, that had dissolved into nonsensical blather.

I glanced at the time on Darlene’s computer. Our shift ended in five minutes. I wasn’t planning on staying to see if this drama-fest ever resolved, so I pretended to sort papers when the door chimed again.

“Give me all the money!” a muffled voice bellowed.

A man in a ski mask had a gun held in his outstretched hand, pointing it snakingly at the mob of dysfunctional adults. The twirling child peeled his sucker off his mother’s pants and gave it to the robber.

The door chimed, again. A male police officer, who appeared to be thirteen months pregnant, walked in. He held a large doughnut box in one hand and a pizza box in the other. He didn’t seem to be in a rush. “What’s all this about?” he asked the group, powdered sugar cascading from his neatly trimmed mustache.

Never taking his attention from the women, Mr. Acetone took a hundred dollar bill from his pocket and handed it to the robber. “So, about those drinks, ladies? I’m buying.”

Offering a smirk to the police officer, the robber pocketed the money and shoved his gun down his pants.

“Sorry to interrupt.” The police officer belched. “I’m here for the weekly pick-up. Everything ready to go?”

“It’s probably in the back,” Mr. Acetone said. “Look for the fella with the tie.”

The officer offered the group, robber included, his left over pizza and doughnuts before departing.

I declined as politely as I could and looked at the time. On the dot. “Mr. Acetone, can I go?” But I didn’t wait for an answer.

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Tipsy Scribbles: Prayer



Sorry about last week’s lack of Tipsy. I have once again swamped myself with projects. Women know there is a certain point in our monthly cycle where we feel like we can do anything and everything. It may be called “nesting” but we’re not building nests. We’re building a tower of projects that will eventually crush us with the unbearable pressure of our own anxiety. Right this instant, I am juggling six projects: three baby blankets, two art commissions, and one art project for myself.

Early this month – or the end of last month, it’s all starting to run together – I found out three of my cousins were expecting! Two of which are expecting their second child. The third is actually my cousin’s wife, and this is her first child. Her blanket will be a knit version of the baby sea turtle blanket. I’ll elaborate on that project later, providing links to patterns and sharing any tweaking of my own. The other two blankets will be the ten stitch blanket. Again, I will share all the links to the blanket patterns later, possibly next week.

Before I had started all of this, I had decided to attempt my first person pastel. So far my subjects have been scenery or animals. It is not complete, I have had to put this on hold until I can manage to get everything else finished. This is my own project and it has no deadline. I will admit this: the most difficult challenge is replicating skin tones. It is a challenge that is frustrating and addictive, which means this will more than likely not be my last human pastel. I have censured this picture for all our viewers.

Prayer - censured version - 8x10 chalk pastel on paper - Tipsy Scribbles - A picture says a thousand words when wine loosens the tongue.
Prayer (censured)


“Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening.” — Mahatma Gandhi


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Romance Writing Prompts: April 2017

Romance Writing Prompts

We’re back this week! And we are offering four new romantic writing prompts for your inspiration. It’s time to write your very own love story or add a romantic subplot to an ongoing story! Don’t forget to share your stories and artwork with us!

I have set myself the goal of finishing the Brix and Gregor first draft by the end of this month. I have eleven chapters remaining at the time of typing this. The story is going to need a lot of work. My excitement over the project has certainly waxed and waned to dramatic extremes. Once the draft is complete however, I plan to take a couple of weeks away from it before trying to make it readable. In that time, I will begin drafting a new story for Detective Peirson.

Romance Writing Prompts-Apr2017-Their love forbidden, they lived side by side as victims of a cruel fate.
Their love forbidden, they lived side by side as victims of a cruel fate.
Romance Writing Prompts-Apr2017-Her lips were petals of flame against the icy fingers of her lost love.
Her lips were petals of flame against the icy fingers of her lost love.
Romance Writing Prompts-Apr2017-He knew this was only a spell but the damage had been done; he was in love.
He knew this was only a spell but the damage had been done; he was in love.
Romance Writing Prompts-Apr2017-This love was so pure it would smolder within their hearts for all eternity.
This love was so pure it would smolder within their hearts for all eternity.


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Saving Time: Part 6 Human Resources

Need to start from the beginning?

Re-read last week’s!

Saving Time - A Flash Fiction - READ FREE

I walked with determination to the Human Resources building. Something about what the kid said yesterday morning had left me feeling uneasy. Surely no robots were going to harm Sharron, but the kid seemed very scared regardless.

Finding the location of the HR department was excruciatingly difficult, which did not help relieve my “funny feeling”. When I had asked Darlene for directions, she replied, “It is not available at this time,” in a monotone voice, void of any emotion.

Luckily, my access to mass amounts of paperwork paid off. A fax from the HR department was tucked into one of my stacks. It simply read “5318008” with a header of an address at the top of the page. Located four blocks down the road in an old boutique once named Toot-A-Lou, the store had only been operational for a week before being bought out by Saving Time.

The sign on the door, like the other building, had a hand-written sign reading “Human Resources and Complaint Management” taped over Toot-A-Lou. The notice of pending eviction was still taped to the door, signed with two flourished letters: JA.

I pushed the door open and was immediately greeted by gunshots. I jumped back, wide-eyed, looking for a robbery only to see a violent video game being played on a large screen mounted to the far wall. Behind the front desk, the back of a leather chair was facing toward the door. I could see a pair of sneakers propped on the desk.

The chair’s occupant called out, “Hold on, I need two more kills.”

“This is kinda important,” I said. “Do you think you could pause it?”

“For Christ’s sake!” he yelled out. “You can’t pause an online game. I said two kills.” He laughed then raised his hands, one of them holding a controller, in a victorious fashion.  He threw the controller down and spun the chair around. “Now, what is it–,” he started to snarl but stopped. His entire demeanor flipped, “Well, hello, beautiful,” he said with a toothy grin. “What can I do for you today? Or tonight?” and gave me a wink with sparkling blue eyes.

I forced my own eyes not to roll upward with repulsion, “I need to speak with HR about something that happened yesterday.”

He completely ignored every word I had just spoke. “You know what ‘HR’ stands for? Hot and ready.”

Don’t throw up. “I need to report–”

“An all you can eat buffet?” He waved his hands over his upper body, “Open 24/7.”

Good god, I need a  human resources to report the human resources!

He motioned to one of the chairs in front of his desk. “Have a seat, babe. Tell me all about this ‘report’.”

I remained near the front door, wondering why this kid seemed so familiar. “You’re human resources?”

“Uh, yeah. Dad said something about managing all the complaints or whatever,” he said, air quoting all the work-related words.

“Dad?” I asked. The smile, the eyes, the cringe-worthy pickup lines all added up to one thing.

“Jack Jr.” He looked around his cluttered desk and placed a wooden name plate on the edge of his desk with pride. Engraved on the metal plate: Jack Acetone Jr., HRR.

“Are you even old enough to work?” He certainly didn’t look like it.

His smile faded, but only just, “I’m sixteen, baby. I’m old enough.”  Then the family smile returned.

“I think I’m gonna go thank you bye!” I scrambled for the doorknob.

“Wait,” he called out and jumped over his desk after me.

I was already heading to my car to get my cell phone. I got in and locked the car doors behind me. I fished around in my glove compartment for that business card the weird girl had given me and keyed in the number.

The line rang three times before a foreign voice answered, “Ciao. Cos’è?”

“It’s Bobby, I work at Saving Time,” I replied, not understanding what he had said. “This girl gave me your number for HR–”

“Ah, English,” he said, the Italian accent still thick. “This Conscience Cleaners. We make mess disappear! Who the problem?”

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