Monday, August 23, 2010

Admirable Mentions

How do you know if you're on the right track? When people you admire, admire you back.

I have a fairly small circle of friends because, in spite of all appearances, I am a private person. I am friendly and outgoing, but only a few are let into my 'world'. I love my friends like family, and love my family with all that I am. That is why, with all that I do, I ever seek to inspire recognition and respect from those I have drawn near to my heart. It is in my greatest moments of frustration and discouragement when I am most rewarded for my devotion and affection, something for which I am ever grateful. I have also come to realize that in times of 'peace', people are often easy to dismiss the hands that hold them up when they falter. I pray I never find myself complacent and unappreciative of my friends.

I wanted to write a few words about the kindness and support of a few people who I respect and admire in my life.

Zachary Houghton is a brilliant and genuine man with a strong and true heart. He is a wonderful GM and a devoted father and husband. I am honored to call him a friend and am always uplifted by his easy smile and energetic conversation. On any occasion he may wear the hat of commentator, judge, or writer in the vast and complex field of RPGs. His opinion is widely respected by many more wise than I. For all of these reasons, I am flattered by his mention of my appearance at GenCon on his blog and his support over the weekend. http://www.rpgblog2.com/2010/08/zacks-gen-con-liveblog-day-1.html

Louis Lamp is the owner and orchestrator of Paradice Games Inc., based in Portland. He is ever patient and always full of ideas, energy, and whimsy. He's an example, steadfast and true to his dreams and beliefs. I have been happy to work with him for this past year, and have found his encouragement and tolerance inspiring in so many ways. I appreciate his recognition on Paradice's page. http://www.paradicegames.com/?page_id=160

J.W.Braun was an intriguing and intelligent author that I had the pleasure of meeting at GenCon a few weeks ago. I found his conversation refreshing and animated, and his accomplishments commendable. Though I have not known him long, I look forward to following his progress and hope to see him at future functions. He is an accomplished author and a kind man who flattered me with his recent praise of my book in his blog. http://jwbraun.com/blog/?p=784

To so many unnamed others: thank you. I hope in time to put a face to everyone who has been there for me in all times of my life.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Energy and Enthusiasm

As appears in the Divine Guardian Chronicles Blog.)

I think my friends and family are growing weary of my obsession with the upcoming 3-day Novel Contest. I brought a folder of magazine clippings to work that had photos of people I thought looked like the characters I was outlining, and showed them to everyone. I pulled out my 3x5 cards that had the characters and their physical descriptions on them. I also showed them the 3x5 cards with world concepts and general knowledge listed on them. I have a 'coupon organizer' with these cards and other random informative and inspirational information neatly organized. Every conversation eventually directs back to the world I'm working on, the story I'm detailing, and the contest in which I'm immensely eager to compete.

Becoming super-excited about a new project is by far not new to me. I tend to obsess and burn out with just about everything I do. I only hope this fire burns steady for the next few weeks and caries me through the marathon weekend. That being said, I wanted to share some thoughts I posted on the 3-day novel forum about the upcoming event.

My biggest concern is how distracting my location of choice will be, but I have no better options unless my sister manages to get air conditioning upstairs within the next few weeks. The problem: she would have to rearrange the furniture upstairs and find an air conditioner that would fit in their tiny, weird windows.

I keep thinking that come September 7th, I could be the 'newb' who spent a ton of time preparing and planning only to end up with 2000 words. I hope that's not the case. I type fast and have had little difficulty staying up all night before to reach a writing goal. I hope that my past experiences of writing draft#1 of "Quietus" in two months and draft #1 of "The Fallen Shadow" in 3.5 will help me. I went by an outline on those, though.

This is writing blind and seeing where it goes. I may not even reach the ending I imagine, but wind up somewhere completely different. I've never really done anything like this before. Usually I know where I'm going and have a mostly clear idea of how to get there. The story evolves on it's own, but there is a guideline I stick to. Here, I have a very clear starting point, characters I want to introduce along the way, and a vague idea of where they're going... but with no real plan to stick to that if it deviates.

Three days straight of writing WHATEVER comes to mind WHEN it comes to mind. It's an interesting and inspiring concept. I suppose that's why I'm looking forward to this so much... I'm breaking out of my mold a little.


My level of enthusiasm toward this contest is impossible to describe. I am giddy and hyper, talking incessantly about my plans to anyone who will listen. I hope fervently that I do not let myself down and fall short of my marathon goal.

Wish me luck!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Falling to Earth

I attended GenCon Indy for the first time this year as a vendor with my lovely and talented friend Nica serving as my booth-babe and Midia expert. We were located in Authors' Avenue, in the very back of a massive Dealers' Hall. Though my placement was poor due to reserving the last available table, I felt a decent number of people passed by my booth within reach of my often-too-chipper greetings and comments. I met a lot of very interesting people, saw some spectacular costumes, and had several very rewarding conversations with other authors on a similar level as myself.



Recounting the full four days of activity would be tedious and would quickly become tiresome, so I'll just list some quick highlights here: A minstrel played his lute for me and my booth-babe, a rowdy pirate and a fair maiden and child shared the booth next to us, and a 'crier' peddled his wares at all unsuspecting passer-byes. I donated a book to charity, was offered to enter an anthology, was given three books by other authors, and gave a book to my friend Ed Greenwood (a prolific author and neat character). My booth-babe wore four wonderful costumes to awe and inspire our patrons, and on Sat. I also wore an outfit that may have made some wonder of my questionable moral character. I met Ruth Thompson, who's art I've adored for over a decade, and had some good times with my friends Anne, Trava, and Tim. I met a German with an awesome accent, and a 'Jew from Jersey' of whom I've heard many interesting things.





When all was said and done, I sold enough books and met enough people to consider the weekend 'not a total loss'. I had fun, got to play an 'author' for four days straight, and got to hang out with my good friend and co-author, Nica. The only sad part of my 4-day GenCon experience was that come Monday... I had to fall back to earth.

I believe that my working weekend has inspired something in me, something mostly dormant until now. I'm done nibbling at the bit. I'm finished dabbling. I am ready to dedicate my life to the writing craft and wholly throw myself at earning my keep with my pen. I want to be an 'author' every day of the week and not have to fall back to earth after a few exhilarating days of getting to be Kimber Grey.

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