erin's blog

Almost $1000 Short of November Goal for HatBox


It's almost the end of the month, we have bills coming due and people to pay and we are still short about $1000 on our monthly goal.

So if you can help, it will be appreciated. We have several ways to send us money in the right hand column (unless you have turned that off). :)

Hugs and thanks again,

Gaming blog...

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The ship was lost on a subterranean ocean when out of the darkness came a ghastly sight, a phantom ship crewed by a LOT of unkillable, leaping, cuthroat vermin.

"Fireballs away," ordered the captain but the bugganeers managed a boarding party anyway.

After trading a few blows, one of the players called to pause the action. "Wait, wait, I need to ask something."

"Yes?" said the adventurist.

"We're fighting Undead Ninja Pirate Spiders?"

"Yes," agreed the adventurist.

Bian - Return to a World of Difference

I reposted the book page of Bian today with a new title Bian - Book 1 - The Bright Road. This is in advance of new chapters of Book 2 - Three Walls that will soon start posting. Current plan is one or two chapters a week.

While I haven't been writing just story chapters since book one finished posting, I have been working on world design and I now know more about such distant places as Yezbuul and Altarema, Preuz and Fars-Hind. And more about characters like Lilakatye, Ur-Alenna, Rotgar and Henrik Blodde.

Hatbox Deeper in Debt


We've had to borrow money to pay bills this month. And we're still short $1200+ on the month's goal with only four days to go. More bills due this week, and we are not being able to pay down our debt.

If you can help, it will be appreciated.


Use this link to send us a gift:
One-Time Gift

Use this NEW link to subscribe through the Hatbox Membership page:

Hatbox and End of the Month


Thanks to everyone who has contributed this month, we're only behind on one big bill and paying ourselves so we can keep doing this without taking other work. We're still short on the monthly goal as you can see in the right hand column. That shortfall comes out of the money budgeted to paying off the $30,000 in debt we've built up by doing this for nearly twenty years. Anything we get for the rest of the month goes toward that.

The info on how to send us a gift is below and in the column to the right. And thanks.


Off to be a wizard...


Well, I'm off to be a wizard... or a cleric actually. :) My gaming group is meeting for the first time in two months and I need the break. I'll be gone six or eight hours but Piper and Cat will be looking in.

Y'all play nice and please, PLEASE, try to stop trolling each other about the current political situation. My unpub finger is getting tired.


August Hatbox and the last week of July


We've nearly made it through the month. Amazon and Kindle will pay us in a week and we will be able to make our bills in August with the regular flow of gifts to help.

There's just this little bit of July left....

We've got about $125 in the bank, Piper, Cat and I have not paid ourselves this week and there are one or two middling size bills out there to pay.

So if you can help us out to get through the week without taking out a loan, it will be greatly appreciated.

Hatbox and Hardware


We're doing better this month than we have in several months, money wise. Main problem lately has been massive time-sucking troubles with hardware and software. It has been a general pain keeping the site up and running and some days it has been down as much as six hours while we all got some sleep.


Hatbox Story Contributions Needed


This is different. :)

We're getting ready to launch a new and somewhat improved Hatbox as a repository of premium stories donated to us. For that, we'd like to have some new stories. I'm working on a couple myself. If you're interested in contributing stories to be read first as Hatbox Premiums, you can contact me or Cat Lochley via PM. Stories made available to Hatbox subscribers can later be published to BigCloset (for free) or DopplerPress (to earn royalties).

Erin and Cat

Hatbox: update last week of June


{update June 25}
We have about $150 in our accounts right now. As long as we don't hit another unexpected bill before the end of the week, we will be fine for another week or two. :)

I want everyone to understand something. BC's debts are my debts. All the borrowing done for BC is in accounts with my name on them. If we don't make it to the end of the week on what we have left in the accounts where we put the money BC brings in, the shortfall will come out of my personal accounts which are pretty thin right now too.

Phishing Scams



I've been getting phony emails purporting to be from Docusign asking for my signature on a document. Problem immediately is we don't use Docusign; although we do send out documents for signing, we use a different service.

Also, Docusign's place on the web is These emails come from a website that is NOT Docusign.

Beware. At least one of the one's I received claimed to be an attempt at a money transfer which, if I had opened it, would probably have turned out to be an attempt at getting my bank info.


Free Kindle Reading Apps for your computer or laptop

Blog About: 


If you want to buy Kindle e-books at Amazon to read but don't have a Kindle device, you can read e-books with these handy applications for your computer, phone, tablet or laptop:

And here is a good page to start looking at: Transgender eBooks from DopplerPress


Sparky Is My Hero

Originally posted February 13, 2000 on Original BigCloset

"Sparky Is My Hero"
by Joyce E. Melton
February 13, 2000

Hired Girl - Part 1?

That was a toughie. Sorry it took so long.

Writing this latest chapter in Harold's story was a big chore. I wanted it to feel like an important turning point but not the end of the story. The story kept wanting to make it an ending and yes, it is a good enough ending, but there are other parts of Harold's story I want to tell.

I hope I hit a nice compromise and in a week or so, I hope to be able to start posting Part 2. :)


New chapter of Bian posted

This is the end of the first "book" which I think I will call "Castle and Road". Next chapter will begin book 2 which will concern the city of Lundenna.

I've had some more fun with the language in this chapter though I left one word untranslated. People can probably guess what it is from the context.

Real life Bloddish?

Two things for those who have been following my story Bian in which I play with a language I madeup called Bloddish:

1. Yes, I am working on the next episode (along with work on the next episodes of Vector and Hired Girl and other outside work, besides the other stuff I do around here and on DopplerPress. :)



Because Sephrena is an important part of the community here, people should know that there is a situation involving her that may turn more serious or may be soon resolved. We're not comfortable sharing details at the moment but will try to keep everyone appropriately informed.

Hugs to all,
And especially Sephrena,
Erin and the crew

Sunday - Expect brief outages


Piper will be tuning the intranet and switches connecting our various servers; so expect brief outages, probably lasting no more than a few minutes as she disconnects and reconnects various cables and occasionally reboots machines to activate new configurations. Please be patient and forbearing. :)

Thanks and hugs,

We're Off!


While Piper, Cat and I will have our phones and laptops with us, none of us will be home for several hours. Piper and Cat will be at the server farm, installing equipment and getting things ready to move our servers into our new cabinet. I'll be goofing off at a friend's house playing boardgames and drinking coffee.

Zombie, Ninja, Pirate Spiders - Sept. Challenge - LAST DAYS

Some years ago I was running a tabletop RPG in which my players were exploring an underground ocean. They had their own ship and were attacked by another ship. The crew of the pirate ship seemed to be made up of human-sized spiders carrying cutlasses and firing muskets. Except some of them seemed to come out of nowhere and attack with nunchuks, sais and shurikens. And some of them seemed to be undead and unkillable.

During the course of the battle one of the players said, "Wait, wait! Stop! We're fighting Zombie, Ninja, Pirate Spiders?"

Spacing between paragraphs

Please put spaces between paragraphs and don't make paragraphs longer than 5 to 7 lines because reading on a screen is hard.

If you're using MS Word or other word processor, there are options that fake a space between paragraphs while viewing the file in the word precessor. Those are not visible when converted to HTML. You need actual blank lines.

Suicide Squad and the Critics


Went to see Suicide Squad Thursday night, it was very good. Good story, good atmosphere, good acting. Okay, the dialog is a bit weak but the actors nail the characterization and hold the script up.

The critics and a certain subset of comic book fans dislike it; that mystifies me. A movie is supposed to be entertaining and I found it very entertaining. So much so, that I'm going to go see it again while it is still on the big screen.


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