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Artwork by Arthur Rackham - public domain


Sweet Mary
by Larry Heyl


Sweet Mary was born in the spring. Her parents were well off and unconventional. Which in itself was strange because Mary was quite conventional. She occupied herself with being a very normal baby until Christmas. Even though she was only nine months old when Kris Kringle came she got a big sparkle in her eye and you could see joy radiate from her and light the room. She was brighter than the tree.


As she grew she remained very conventional. She would read, draw, and walk in the forest. And when Christmas came each year Kris Kringle brought her books, paper, charcoal, crayons, and walking boots. It wasn’t the presents that made her glow. She just loved Christmas in an extraordinary way. It is normal for children to love Christmas but for Sweet Mary her joy of Christmas was unconventionally exuberant.


And so Mary would walk in the woods, reading and drawing, and the years drifted by. Until one fall, at the top of the hill, she found a fairy circle of big beautiful mushrooms and unknowingly she walked through it. She made friends in Feyland, Puck, Took, and Willow. For fairies they were still young and the four of them would romp through the woods playing fairy games almost as if Sweet Mary belonged there. But she loved her parents very much and after a few hours she would always go home. She was still conventional enough not to eat between meals so she could always find the fairy circle and the path back to her house. When she greeted her parents she had that sparkle in her eye they had only seen at Christmas and they very much approved. They quickly grew used to her radiating joy after returning from her walks in the woods.


Then one year she grew up, as girls do, and in the fall when she found the fairy circle she was a maid, even though she didn’t really know what that meant yet. Puck, Took, and Willow knew what it meant and since they were in Feyland it wasn’t long before they were enjoying themselves as fairies do for fairies have no thought for the future and no concerns about morality, they live and love in the present moment only concerned about their own pleasure and enjoyment.


And Mary in Feyland was the same. Conventional no more she also lived for pleasure in the present and greatly enjoyed Puck, Took, and Willow.


When she came home for supper her glow would light the room. Her parents could see she had changed but they were unconventional and left Mary to her pursuits. Mary said nothing of her time in Feyland to her parents. It was her secret.


But when winter came and the fairy circle was gone and her belly began to swell it could be a secret no more. Her mother loved her very much and took her into her confidence explaining the ways of the world to Sweet Mary. But she did not ask after the father because she feared if they found the father he would soon become a husband and take Sweet Mary away. And Mary did not talk about the father either, whether Puck or Took she did not know, and she certainly did not know how do explain her time in Feyland.


In early summer the babe was born and it was a good thing Mary’s parents were unconventional because little Pookie was clearly fey. Her parents were well aware of the dangers of raising a fey child and so they set up all night, every night, taking watches, so the fairies could not steal the babe away. And Sweet Mary, with a babe at her breast forego her trips through the fairy circle, perhaps Puck, Took, and Willow missed her, perhaps not.


In fact, her parents were well pleased with their grandchild. They were unconventional and aware of the fey blood in their own ancestry, weak as it was. They married each other to preserve their heritage and were glad for the fresh infusion of fey blood into their family line. And they were overjoyed when they set up the tree and the babe just smiled and giggled, loving the Christmas spectacle.


So when little Pookie was three and safe from abduction they encouraged Mary to go back to the woods where she once again walked through the fairy circle. Puck, Took, and Willow were most pleased to see her and Sweet Mary once more enjoyed afternoons full of pleasure and companionship. But she said nothing of little Pookie. She had learned, in her life, to keep secrets.

There's always room for improvement, especially on any web project, but I have all 4 legs reaching the ground so I'll take a minute to explain our new aggregated RSS feed featuring always new content created by Gamer+ gamers.


Most blogs, podcasts, and video channels have RSS feeds. (or atom feeds, same thing but different) When people follow a podcast so they don't miss any episodes they often use the RSS feed so their podcast is updated in their feedreader or even auto downloaded to their device.


Many of the gamers on Gamer+ are content creators. I am, Carl is, The EvilDM is, and lots more. As you will see. So my idea was to find a way to promote their work right here on this site to make it easy for gamers to find the podcasts, blogs, videos, etc. that other gamers on Gamer+ are creating.


So I installed Tiny Tiny RSS and TheEvilDM and I have been busy subscribing to all the feeds we can find that other gamers on this site have available.


If we missed you let us know in the comments. If you start a new web project let us know. Even if it doesn't have an RSS feed let us know. We want to feature your stuff.


So the four legs of the stool are:


1. A scrolling auto updating display of all the new posts on all the feeds we have subscribed to on Tiny Tiny RSS. This is on the left above the banner in the footer.


2. A link list to the homepages of 12 of these creators that changes each time you load a page. This is on the right above the banner in the footer.


3. An auto updating link list to 60 recent posts from the Gamer+ creators. You can access this link at the bottom left of item 2 above, the bottom left of the right block just above the footer. There, is that confusing enough? I think I'll just post the link here.


View last 60 items here


4. A manually updated categorized link list of all the homepages of every feed we have added to Tiny Tiny RSS. This is on the bottom right just above the banner and also on the far right in the footer next to Mobile version. And here's the link for that.


Gamer's Homepages


Did you notice I said manually updated? No, I don't type this stuff in. I run a program I wrote on the exported opml file from Tiny Tiny RSS and the program types it all in. Still it's a thing that has to happen so it won't always happen just as soon as the RSS feeds are updated. And it might happen before the RSS feeds are updated because there is often a delay of about an hour before new posts are displayed.


I am not done working on this but I am happy with it. It's really good. It's all there. It could be better. What else is new?


Like I said, if you're on Gamer+ we want to add your stuff. And if you're not on Gamer+, join, so we can add your stuff. There's a lot of content on Gamer+ already and more all the time. But the amount of content in these feeds that you can easily access right from the footer on every page is more than you will ever have time to consume.


So, Enjoy! And add a comment below.

AEIOU posts in the_dungeon_show at Tenkar's Tavern


@Bruce_Lombardo The Dungeon Show has ended its famous run and is already dearly missed.  @Carl Heyl (Wild Games Prod)  has a new project (or a few new ones?) that he's working on.  This space has been subleased for a weekly Monday chat regarding G+ (Gamer+) with @hairylarry .  It's a nascent social media hub that holds considerable promise for the gaming community.


Carl Heyl adds


Gamerplus is something dad and I thought up on the way home from North Texas RPG Con. I hope it works well for people
It's at gamerplus.org


Bruce Lombardo says


I like Gamerplus.


LaramieWall chimes in


Sub-Pexx Laramie will be transitioning this space from Dungeon Show to Harry Larry's new plans .


AEIOU jokes (I think)


Hairy Larry's Nefarious Plan for World Domination would be a good working title for the channel


hairylarry replies


If I had the ring I could rule the world Bwa ha ha ha ha.


I would like both the voice and text chats to be renamed Gamer+
Looks like you can use minus signs (-) so plus signs (+) will probably be ok.


Right now our only event is the Monday night Inspired Unreality Open Game Chat. We plan on having occasional guests and I have an under my hat idea for a monthly podcast as part of this event.


I also have plans for an Actual Play event called If You Play You Win. This would be one offs, jump in and jump out, with rotating DMs. The DM for the session will pick the game system. It would be really cool to have DMs playing their own modules or even their own rule systems.


At Gamer+ we have international gamers and also some early risers and off to work folks so we might experiment with the time slots to include them. Not for Inspired Unreality but definitely for new events.


How's that for riveting dialogue?

Ok, if you scroll down you can see what I've been working on right above the banner in the footer of each page. The left hand box is an aggregated RSS feed including blogs, podcasts, and videos made by Gamer+ gamers. The right hand box is a link list to the home page of these blogs, podcasts, or video channels.

There are so many creative people here doing so many things I wanted to feature their work. By reading, listening, and viewing what they do you will get to know them better than you can just browsing Gamer+.

I have ideas to make this better. I'd like to put up a page that's a categorized link list with all the links in one place instead of just 12 at a time. So if you're looking for something to read you can check the Blogs category, if you want to listen while you're cleaning your office (lol) you can check the podcast category.


If you have ideas to improve this project or others please post them below in the comments.


It's really a big world out there and nobody has time to check out all the creative work that even some of us do. I can't even keep up with what my kids do! So after you listen to a podcast or watch a video give it a mention here on Gamer+. That will give others an incentive to make that connection.


And if you have a creative gaming endeavor, even if it doesn't have a feed, please post in the comments. I am going to devise a way to include links to projects that aren't feed friendly like fiction, art galleries, or other major projects.

We have had a nice influx of new gamers in the last couple of days and many of them are "in the business".

If you have a gaming company, big or small, money making or aspirational, Gamer+ is offering Free ads. Ads will continue to be free until we have a lot more members.

To place your ad I need a 200x1200 banner, the name of your company, and the link you want your ads to link to.

My email is hairylarry@gmail.com

Thanks
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