Flotsam and Jetsam. Not Eels.

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Been a while since I’ve blogged, and I’m very sorry about that. Have been neck-deep in a maelstrom of change, deadlines, and life upheavals. With the dust settling, let’s just say that I’m a touch behind… Our new place is great (everyone here treats us like gold) and we’ve managed to get the kitchen, master bath, and living room up-and-running. The rest of it, though? HAH, HAH, HAH! Still need to sort through my art supplies and get caught up with “Oh, I should have done that years ago.” For example, to decorate the broom I made I bought these gothic mini-book charms from Etsy. Gee, maybe I should have polished that camping axe in 2008? Yeah, that. Welcome to the Land of Mundania. All these things I conveniently forget–and now have to deal with. Otherwise? How can I be expected to make messes start anything new? Hee.

As you know, we’ve been working on the Firefly RPG launch. I have some news to share on that front. Here’s a picture of a pallet of corebooks being crated for safe shipping! Huzzah!

Firefly RPG Corebook

We’ll be making some announcements soon. I’m pretty sure you’re going to flip out and be supremely thrilled with what we’ve got going on–especially since the corebook will be available internationally! In the meantime, our friends at DriveThruRPG.com are having a big Christmas in July sale through Monday. The Firefly RPG line is 25% off in digital. Shiny! I was thrilled to find an actual play video courtesy of Matthew Tyler-Jones where a shiny Crew dives into my Episode, Friends in Low Places.

Speaking of DriveThruRPG.com, I have a new book out! Unframed: The Art of Improvisation for Game Masters is climbing up the charts. Twenty-three writers and game designers, including yours truly, contributed to this book of essays. Check it out!

In other news, I’ve put down the beads and music and artwork (Yes, this is me hanging my head in shame for…sadly…I have not unpacked those yet… But I DID win a design-a-onesie contest! Don’t ask, it was an alternate universe.) and picked up my controller. My anti-stress relief has been Age of Reckoning: Kingdoms of Amalur. I am min/maxing this game like nobody’s business. Haven’t gone to jail yet–this is a good thing, mind you. But, I like the side quests and all the surprises that are in store for me. Does it have a mini-map. YES. Does it have a world map. YES. Does it have a local map. YES. Can you improve your relationship with merchants over time. YES. Can you give the villains a serious beat down? YES. I think it’s a good prep for my winter play-through of the game with no end: Skyrim. Here, the gameplay is like a cross between Dragon Age and Skyrim, which is really good for somebody like myself who hasn’t played World of Warcraft.

I should probably get back to writing since (you guessed it) I’m behind. The GOOD news is that I finally reached the point where I’m having so much fun I’m writing in my sleep again. THIS IS AN EXCELLENT THING. I may pretend to be a planner, but really? I’m a pantser. When I’m having a blast, that’s when all the crazy comes together to be unraveled… And there’s a lot more coming. Hee.

BEFORE I GO… (Are you sick of me yet?) I kinda sorta had a moment of: “I want to do something awesome for my cat, Rimmon.” Black cats are the least adopted out of all the felines simply because they have black fur. This superstition is rooted in 19th century advertising for Halloween and may stretch back even further, based on the fact that black cats in particular have a very distinctive cry and were thought to be witch’s familiars because of it. Their cry evolved so sympathetic humans would bow to our feline overlords put out food for them at night. Because of the superstition surrounding their black fur, most shelters won’t allow them to be adopted during the month of October due to a long and sordid history of abuse. **NOT** COOL.

Anyway, in response to all this, friend and cartoonist Ursula Murray Husted made this for me, for the Black Cat Society. The link’ll take you to her Tumblr page. We’ve also got a BCS: Black Cat Society FB Group set up, and if you’re a proud owner or appreciator of black cats? You can join us! I’ll be adding the links to the sidebar on my blog, too.

BCS Black Cat Society

That’s all for now! Back to the grindstone…

    Mood: Guilt of a 1,000 Freelancers
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: There can never be only one.
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Well? Um…
    In My Ears: There’s a fan. And Lady Crescent Moondragon’s tank.
    Game Last Played: Age of Reckoning: Kingdoms of Amalur–with realistic corpse-twitching!
    Book Last Read: A stack of gaming books for work.
    Movie Last Viewed: Huh… *scratches head*
    Latest Artistic Project: Cue dead silence.
    Latest Fiction/Comic Release: Last Man Zombie Standing
    Latest Game Release: Mortal Remains
    What I’m Working On: Primarily tie-in games work, original comics, short stories, and novels.


The Update and Nexus

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Well, sixty-five boxes of books…and counting…are packed. Several trips to Goodwill, filing’s still behind, and I’m realizing that I won’t be as prepared for this move as I thought I was.

At least Rimmon’s happy.

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To say I’m preoccupied is an understatement. Moving is turning out to be a bigger deal than we thought it was going to be on top of deadlines and what-have-you, because we’re also shifting our home office, still need to work full-time, and deal with 5+ years of stuff. Plus, I was really sick for two weeks, and other unexpected hilarity. Because of all this, both Matt and I withdrew as Nexus guests a few weeks ago. We are still listed on the website.

I’m sorry that we won’t be able to see our friends and fans of the games we’ve worked on; I hope to reconnect with you in the future. Right now, it’s looking like GenCon will be the first time we can resurface. It’s hard for me to put myself first, but in this case I really have to.

    Mood: Black, black as my soul.
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Not. Enough.
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: In the box. In the garbage. Move the box. Stack the box.
    In My Ears: Silence
    Game Last Played: Samurai vs. Zombies and Samurai vs. Zombies 2 Yes, I’m at level 80. And?
    Book Last Read: They’re packed. I has a sad.
    Movie Last Viewed: Edge of Tomorrow
    Latest Artistic Project: Posted pics a while ago. Will do more after I’m settled.
    Latest Fiction/Comic Release: Last Man Zombie Standing
    Latest Game Release: Mortal Remains
    What I’m Working On: Primarily tie-in games work, original comics, short stories, and novels.


About that Story in Mortal Remains

Thought I’d share some photos of the interstitional fiction from Mortal Remains. I had a blast designing these pieces and putting together the art notes. The idea behind the fiction was to take a group of everyday hunters, and toss them into a situation where they find they’re in over their heads. In this case, it’s a murder investigation. Each piece, which precedes the chapter, offers a clue to the overall mystery and reveals a little bit about what an encounter, or evidence a hunter might find. Some antagonists, like the Mummy, never cross paths with the hunters. Others, like the Changeling, try and make a deal or know more than they’re letting on.

As I’m wont to do, there are layers of meaning represented in each piece. The second-to-last piece, which was the Last Will and Testament, serves as the ending and wraps up a lot of loose ends. The devil is in the details, I suppose. Har, har.

Anyway, here’s some photos of what a few of the pieces look like in the premium print edition of Mortal Remains. They’ll fill your screen if you click on them. Hope you enjoy the supplement!

Mortal Remains 1

Mortal Remains 2

Mortal Remains 3

Mortal Remains 4

Mortal Remains 5

New Shinies Sans Sniffles

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…and I’m back for the next segment of “My Life as a Writer.” For ten minutes, at least, since I am STILL dealing with the worst kind of con crud imaginable. Yes well, I whine. What can I say? That’s what gets me through it. Hee.

Anyway, trying for fresh air today and I thought I’d give a brief update about Oscar Wilde, Stud Cat. Oscar has been given a clean bill of health, and he’s going up for adoption this weekend. There are currently 17 cats available for adoption; the staff really likes him and I’ll share a link when that goes live. If you’re considering rescue, please think about it. I found out just how common pet abandonment is, and a lot of time landlords don’t know a pet has been left behind right away. This is just not cool.

I’m good, really. Behind, but sane. I had a great time at WisCon last weekend, mostly because I was able to see people I knew and meet new interesting people. Haven’t gotten the chance to follow up with a living soul, though, because the way my week’s been going. For me, WisCon is the type of show that works well, when I have people to see already. Media-based shows, like a GenCon or NYCC and what-have-you, those I can fare well on my own because there’s always something for me to do, even outside panels. And here? I’m not sure what my contribution would be to a show like this, other than to boost the signal of the folk who are already there. That’s more being self-analytical than anything else, as I’ve pulled back from promoting for the sake of promoting–I don’t have a novel out just yet. Perhaps when that happens, I can talk to some trusted friends, and figure out what folks might be interested in. I suppose that’s every writer’s worst fear, right? Oh, you want to meet me? Um… Hopefully, I’m fabulous in person. Hopefully.

On that note, I’m planning an event for ConText 27 in Ohio that I hope will be the first of many. More on that later! But, for now? I want to share more of the jewelry I’ve been making. They’re clickable, so you can check out each one if you so desire. Shiny!

Vintage-Inspired Necklace

Helm Bracelet

Netted Bracelet

Wire Wrapped Pendants

Pocket of Posies Bracelet

Crystal and Leather Bracelet

    Mood: CON CRUD MUST DIE
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Well? HAH.
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Up down left right up up down down.
    In My Ears: A computer fan. How droll.
    Game Last Played: Samurai vs. Zombies and Samurai vs. Zombies 2
    Book Last Read: *eyebrow raise* There was something…
    Movie Last Viewed: Antz Why? I really don’t know.
    Latest Artistic Project: You’re looking at it.
    Latest Fiction/Comic Release: Last Man Zombie Standing
    Latest Game Release: Mortal Remains
    What I’m Working On: Primarily tie-in games work, original comics, short stories, and novels.


The Story of Oscar Wilde, Stud Cat

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Pictured above is Oscar Wilde, who came to our door for help last week. We were hoping he’d find his way home, but after a few hours it was clear it wasn’t going anywhere, so we put out some water for him, a towel and some food. He is extraordinarily friendly, and didn’t exhibit any of the other signs feral cats tend to do. No ear mites, good teeth, etc.

He came back the next day. First, he was spotted chasing a squirrel of enormous size. (We do have rather large squirrels, mind you. Some as big as a small cat.) I didn’t see the result of said cat chasing, but when he showed up again a few days later, we finally escorted him into the Dane County Humane Society. Now, the shelters have odd hours and, as it turns out, MANY places in town either don’t take cats or aren’t no-kill shelters. In Oscar’s case, we suspect he might be local to our neighborhood, and may have been accidentally abandoned when the owners moved out. We were advised not to bring him in, especially since we have two other fuzzballs already, but we were told he’s very healthy.

So what’s next for Oscar Wilde? Well, the shelter is going to try and find his owner first, then keep him under observation for a week. If you ARE the guardian of this cat? That’s where he is, and I hope you have a happy reunion! Then, if they can’t find his owner, Oscar Wilde will go up for adoption for the next thirty-odd days. When he’s listed, I’ll post the link to share.

It’d really mean a lot to us if we can find a home for him. I’d hate to think we rescued him, only to find out he can’t be saved.

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