Bringing it All Together

Next Tuesday marks the last day of my Passion Search workshop. By that time, I’m supposed to have my final homework completed. This consists of two things: One is something visual that’s supposed to remind me of what is important to me. The other is at least one “vision statement.” For the latter, I can pick from an assortment of aspects about my life to make the vision statement about. It could be a statement about my path in life, it could be about work, it could be something else entirely.

In a rare moment of studiousness, and following the instructions I’ve been given, I’ve gone back through all the notes. I also listened to the one workshop session I had remembered to record. (So I got to spend 45 minutes “enjoying” the sound of myself talking. Ugh.) I’ve picked out keywords, written them on note cards. Then I wrote on the back of each of the cards what those words mean to me. And now I’ve been staring at these cards infrequently, trying to find some sort of meaning in it.

This has mostly resulted in a wave of panic hitting me. In my mind I’m flinching back and flailing my hands in front of my face in a vain attempt to protect myself. I haven’t literally done that. It’s just the best description I have for my mood.

All I’ve been able to figure out is that it involves “stories” some how. That’s what I’ve managed to pull together after almost two months.

Guh.

Tentative Schedule for Norwescon 2015

I’ve been invited to Norwescon as a panelist for the first time, and I’m super excited! I’ve received my tentative schedule, which I’m providing below. Times and dates are subject to change. I’m also not including the two instances of the the writing workshop, where I’ll be participating as a pro. (Yay!)

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My Attempt at Being a Booth Babe

Last October, I came across an ad on Craigslist. It’s been taken down, but here’s the content of it:

EMERALD CITY COMIC CON BOOTH GIRLS!!! (Seattle)

compensation: $100 per day cash
We are looking for SMOKIN HOT!!!! SUPER FUN!!!! ENERGETIC!!!! Booth girls for the 2015 Comic Con!!! This is our first year at Emerald City and we are ready to rock!!! We have a blast at San Diego Comic Con and a rip roaring great time at Star Trek Con in Vegas!!! Are you a gal who likes to work hard and play harder? You into selling merch, and drinking booze?!?!? Not at the same time of course!!! Then, we want to party… Work with you!!!! Join us for three days of radness!!!!March 27th – 29th 2015!!! Please send a head and body shot!!! This… Will… be…. AWESOME!!!!

I’d love a chance to go to Emerald City Comic Con, so I figured I’d apply. Sadly, I didn’t get a response. I don’t know why. But I thought I’d share my email with y’all.

Hi! I’m really excited to submit my head and body shots for your consideration. Some of these photos are older, but I’m sure I can adapt my look in time for the con if needed. I think I fit all of your needs. I look forward to your reply.

headshot1 headshot2 bodyshot1 bodyshot2

Daddy Issues

I didn’t know what to expected when I started the Passion Search workshop I’m doing, but I don’t think I expected it to be as emotionally challenging as it has turned out.

A lot of the homework has involved reviewing high and low points in my life and trying to understand what helped or hindered me at that time. It’s brought up a lot of memories I just hadn’t put much thought towards, and I’m finding that some of them are more painful than I realized. Mostly stuff that involves my father.

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The Quest for a Title

I’ve been struggling to try and come up with a title for my sequel to Kensei. The general theme of the sequel is about family expectations. Or, at least, that’s what I’m trying for. Who you want to be versus who your parents (or grandparents, or whatever) want you to be. A lot of family legacies come up for Jamie and other characters.

Mixed into this is that my villain is an Italian WW2 supervillain brought into the present. I worked with an Italian friend to develop the character, and tied the villain into the Italian Futurist movement, which later had connections to the Italian Fascist movement. Especially since there’s an element of breaking away from the past. So I thought I might also tie into that.

Some titles I cribbed from the Futurist Manifesto include:

  • Sing the Love of Danger
  • The Love of Danger
  • The Cure for the World
  • Demolish Museums
  • Useless Admiration of the Past
  • Our Insolent Challenge

 

From looking at quotes about ancestors and inheritance, I turned up, The Violence of Our Ancestors. And then I had also jotted down Heir Apparent and Heir Unapparent, both of which have been used many times.

Thoughts? Alternatives? I appreciate any help I can get, especially from friends that have been beta readers.

Kensei: Rereleased


KenseiTwo years after being published in the ebook bundle titled Cobalt City Rookies, the rights have reverted back to me and I’ve been given permission to self-publish it. It marks an opportunity for me to do some new things with the book that I couldn’t do when Timid Pirate put it out. First among these is the opportunity to offer it as a stand alone book with a print edition.

Where can you get a copy? I’m glad you asked! It will be distributed a bit farther afield as time goes on, but here is where it is currently available. I will update this info as more options become available.

  • Goodreads Giveaway: I’m giving away five signed print copies! Winners will be selected December 25th.
  • Patreon: Patrons who support my Patreon page at $5 or higher get immediate access to the ebook, as well as every other digital book I’ve put out either as myself or as Mad Scientist Journal. Those who are backing me on December 31st at the $10 will receive a print copy as well.
  • Amazon: Available on the Kindle or in print. Those who order the print version will also receive the Kindle version at no extra cost.
  • Other eBook retailers: Smashwords, Txtr, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, Oyster, Scribd, Inktera
  • Other Book Stores: Barnes & Noble. Within six to eight weeks (so, around January) this should be available through other book stores. It’s unlikely to be on the shelves, but you can special order it.

Kensei Universe?

Ever since a friend suggested on my Patreon page that I do a Kensei serial, my brain has been picking away at the idea. When it first came up, I pitched it to my wife, Dawn. Any writing I did on it would have to go through her for editing. Assuming a weekly short of about 5,000 words, could she handle that on top of the work she does for Mad Scientist Journal?

The short answer is “No.” But we compromised and said, “We’d do it for the right amount of money.” So I put it as the second milestone on Patreon. (The first is to cover the costs of Mad Scientist Journal.) Mostly the money is intended to compensate my lovely wife for helping with another one of my weird schemes.

Since then, I’ve been poking around ideas for what I would write. I have a lot of little seeds for sub-plots that I’ve jammed into my Kensei books. I don’t necessarily know how I’m going to resolve them all in the other two books I have planned. It may be easier to just turn them into plots for serials.

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Space Cowboy Archetypes

After watching Guardians of the Galaxy a few times in the theater, I’ve felt more inclined to try and dust off my idea for a space cowboy Apocalypse World hack. I’ve yet to successfully complete an Apocalypse World hack of any sort, so this might be a dubious effort. But I figure I can at least poke at it for a bit.

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D&D Starter Set!

I recently ordered the new Starter Set for D&D 5th Edition. In part to get a cheap look at what the new version was like. In part to check it out before I tried buying one for my niece. It’s a pretty big box, and looks like it’s filled to the brim:

D&D-box1

After a cursory glance at the stuff on top, I dug out everything to see what all they included. And I ran into this:

D&D-box2

It appears that the majority of the box is really just that filler box. The actual contents are just two booklets (the basic rules and an adventure, which has some GMing tips), a set of polyhedral dice (though only one d10, even though it notes you’ll need to do percentile rolls in the book) and a few pre-gen characters.

D&D-box3Somehow I thought they’d include something like a grid mat, maybe some cheap cardboard miniatures, something. Nope. This box is mostly filler.

I’ll probably still buy it for my niece. It looks like it’s an approachable intro. I’m just underwhelmed by the presentation.