It All Starts Somewhere

Tonight I have the joy of going to see one of my now favorite bands, Murder By Death, in a town up north called Fort Collins. I was introduced to the band by my friend Matt Maenpaa whose name has a bunch of fucking umlauts over all the vowels like Finnish words do. I am thankfully seeing it with him and his wife Zoe. They are both far better writers than I am and far less haphazard to my “Write 10k words a day, you lump” approach.

The book first draft is written. It’s in the hands of an alpha reader who I expect will tell me I am trash, but he’s also a better writer than me so that’s good. I also told him to tell me I am trash though it isn’t my kink. Matt Goetz is phenomenal and you should definitely check him out especially when he allows me to put him on as a referral page.

This isn’t a big update. Just a “Hey, we wrote 90k words in 12 days. That’s something nuts, right? Okay. See ya in R'y’leh.” Or some shit. I hope the people who I post job applications to read these bonkers updates just so they can read it and go “Well…he said he wanted to be a marketing manager, but fuck, this dude is real weird. Maybe we, like, call him and tape it to play around the office. Cool cool cool.”

Words in motion

So I promised that I would have some kind of update this week about what it has been like to write this first draft.

At the start of the week I promised myself to write at least 10,000 words per day. I reached out to the amazing Mike Ryan at Privateer Press on my way back from Idaho and he told me to shoot for 90,000 to 100,000 words. That seemed daunting when he told me, but I wanted to write a book. I said to myself that I could do this and he told me to update him every time I made 10,000 words of progress.

On September 11th I message him to let him know that I had written 30,000 words.

The next day I told him that we were over 40,000 words. It was here that Mike told me most authors average 2,000 words a day. I had a sense of pride that I was writing 5x as much, but worried if my book was going to be shit. He assured me that all first drafts are messy, but have beginnings, middles and ends. I see the end of this first draft coming next week.

I texted him on the 13th to let him know I hit 52,000 words. I didn’t tell him I had actually pushed beyond 60,000 that night. I had written close to 20,000 words that day. That was yesterday. Today I let him know that we were around 65,000 but as of writing this I am at 71, 418 words. Thanks built in word counters!

So what have I learned so far? I produce a fuck ton of content. I don’t know if that content is any good yet. I am sure I repeat myself and that I’ll lose 30,000 words after the draft. But I am going to polish and polish this until it’s ready. I am so grateful to have amazing people supporting me. I have the contacts to make this happen.

I still feel like a loser, but when I’m done I can say that I wrote a book even if no one ever reads it but me and the people who edit it.

Lasso the Moon Preview

The votes were in. People wanted to see "Lasso the Moon" as the spoiler. Sorry to disappoint, but it may not actually have to do with lassoing a moon.

 

Waters motioned toward the doors and opened one of them with their left hand. “Off you go. Take care out there. Don’t fuck it up, please.” Waters chuckled at himself when he said this. This whole thing was one colossal mistake. Everything that could go wrong very likely would. That was the way of things.

Their eyes peered to the west and they saw the mountains reflecting the sunlight in places. They were a nice, deep red similar to that of Mars. They were known as the Flatirons for good reason. Beyond their peaks, Riastrad’s eyes were drawn up into the sky. Floating high beyond the reach of their atmosphere they could see what looked like an asteroid field. A band of scrap and metal orbiting the world. Hidden among the shrapnel, illuminated by the blue that contained it, Riastrad could see the moon. It sat in a lasso of metal. There the moon loomed like an unobtainable beast. The only thought that ran through Riastrad’s head was that they would need to pull it down in those metal ropes.

“Best of luck...and skill.” The rasp of Riastrad’s voice reverberated in their own skull. It was something they had said long ago. They took a few steps past Waters who just stared.

“What?” Said Waters as their right hand lifted to scratch their head. “What does that even fucking mean?”

“A good friend of mine always said it. They made my eye and the gun. They believed that if you had good skill then you didn’t need luck. I started saying good luck and skill because it turns out having both is advantageous.” The mage stepped out into the daylight that they had just shielded themselves from. They definitely stood out on the corporate street like some kind of western clown wearing a poncho and snakeskin boots. “Off to the rodeo. I’ve got to lasso me a beast.”

 

I hope you've enjoyed this entirely out of context spoiler from Chapter 4: Lasso the Moon. Next Friday I'll give another chapter spoiler or talk about the writing process so far. See you then!

Chapter Titles & Numbers

When I first started writing this book, I started with the end. I wrote the very last paragraph of the book and said to myself "Yeah. I know how we get here" and somewhat outlined the chapters in my head and slowly gave them titles. To create suspense, I will also spoil a paragraph in one of the following chapters based on what people ask for on social media. Whatever gets the most wants gets a paragraph. Every chapter expresses a concept that isn't necessarily as forward as the title may suggest. Does the book have a name? Not yet.

  1. Sediment and Stone
  2. Unknown Waters
  3. Waiting to Bloom
  4. Lasso the Moon
  5. Underneath a Pale Sky
  6. Diving Deep
  7. On Foreign Shores
  8. Where There's Smoke
  9. Barren Fields
  10. Powerful Names
  11. Calling Out Shadows
  12. I Can't Go Home
  13. Cherry Blossoms
  14. Rectification of Self
  15. Rivers Freeze
  16. Spring Thaws Break
  17. Disappearing Ghosts
  18. Bottling Light
  19. Tempests Die
  20. Dust Flows

There may be more chapters as I find the need, but I am shooting for around 2,500 to 4,000 words per chapter as they make sense. I hate writing scenes that go longer than necessary. Let me know what you want to read based on these titles.

What's Next, 2018?

It feels a little weird to be writing this shortly after GenCon and the other announcement. As of this point, I have submitted somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 resumes. I'm doing something wrong, despite getting professional resume help. So I ended up in Idaho Falls, Idaho helping two amazing friends fix some problems with their new Point of Sale migration.

What does that mean? Well it means that as of August 31st, I started a novel. Probably because I am an idiot, but I was inspired and it only made sense. So I'll be writing that over the coming weeks and hope to have a novel finished by the end of September instead of November. Well, my part of the novel. Then it's going to need editing and pitched to publishers and all that weird nonsense.

I often forget that this section is for me, but I still shouldn't curse. Because apparently that turns people off of you. I may not be a great editor, but I can write. So just accept my curses. They're just flavoring participles like ums, likes, and noise.

Anyway, I'll be posting pieces of it as I go. Once a week, at least, I will have some kind of update about it.

GenCon 2018

First post for the website and first time writing something for you to read under my own banner. The most important thing, regardless of anything else I write in this post, is my attempt to understand my position right now in time. So, what I write here is important to be looked at from that point of view, but also should be decent and reasonable years from now. 

What a fucking trip GenCon is every year. Last year I was working for Privateer and that booth scarred me 3 times over on my arms. It was arduous, but also let me appreciate this year. Then, I had mostly contained energy in one area kicking ass, selling product, and talking to people. This year, I walked about 10 miles every day all over the place to interview people, try games, and more. I even played games for myself this time around!

Most importantly, I had breakthroughs in my own thoughts. It was this show coupled with countless people telling me beforehand that I should open my own business again. I had the skills and I did it before. I know when to find someone else for the job, etc etc. It could go on and on and it was all unprovoked by me. So, what's the verdict? Well, a lot. The first bit is a hope to make the world of gaming as inclusive as it was meant to be.

Divergent story related to the above: I submitted a panel to Pax West about the importance of transparency in communication for the gaming industry. I talked about it in huddled forums at GenCon, but I was hoping to get to have this grander audience at Pax. They didn't go for it, I have found out, which is fair. It's fucking heavy. I also don't blame them one bit. If I were to be presented that topic at that time, I'd likely vomit and do something else. Elisa amazingly got me in contact with both Emily and Mitch Gitelman. Jessica Price (Yup. See where this is going?) and I talked to Simon Berman and Laine Garret. It was going to be fucking amazing. Then, two weeks after submitting it the shit went down with Arenanet. I was fucking floored. The EXACT thing I am wanting to talk about is happening, in real time? Cannot be a coincidence.

So back we go to inclusivity. I want people to be proud and able to talk for their companies, regardless of gender, skin, etc. We're all fucking people. Your company should back you and support you if they hired you. You also shouldn't be beholden to communities 24/7. We're all people. That was the thing I absolutely hated most as a marketing manager. When interacting with communities I always had to be on. I couldn't have my own opinions in public. I couldn't necessarily be honest. I had to be a shill and that cannot work if you don't agree. It's okay to not be okay with a project, but ethically you have to be on board. Sometimes I wasn't.

Here we are now. I recently announced with partnering with a previous coworker and friend, James Arbuthnot, to start our own company. We announced it on our social media the other day for our own friends and family. I said these words:

"In a partnership with @James Arbuthnot, we will be building a gaming company to achieve our dreams that went unrealized during our time working for others. We will strive to build a company that speaks as transparently as possible, empowers its employees, and creates products that we would all be proud to see on the table. Our goals are to help elevate those seeking entry into the games industry while simultaneously allowing veterans a new avenue for their most passionate projects. 


We aim to make gaming a more inclusive, safe space where everyone can have fun. We look forward to bringing original worlds to life that everyone can enjoy exploring. With that, we implore our friends to reach out if interested and help us on our journey. The only way to game is together and we're definitely not going to do it alone. As we travel, we'll update you with new websites, product information, and more. For now, it is our time to live our dreams and do the things we always wanted to do."

And so we go. I realize this wasn't as exciting as it could have been, but it was honest. GenCon was a big deal, but it's also too big of a show in some regards. With that said, the industry is too big in certain ways and needs to be...divided in some regards. My hope for us is to be on the wave before people realize it is even there.

 

If you don't do it, someone else will do it. That's what they say. Whoever they are.