An Expected Journey

Okay, so, let’s just skip past the fact that I’m obviously incapable of updating this with any kind of regularity and get right to the part where I talk about going to GenCon. Oh, yeah, I’m going to GenCon again this year! Did I mention that? It’s true. In a couple hours the wife, youngest daughter, and I are all packing up and heading down to Indy. Sadly, oldest daughter is staying with baka and deda because having both of the Tsarinas with us on this trip would likely lead to us selling them both to gypsies then drinking ourselves to death. Pre-schoolers and infants and high-strung parents don’t mix well at GenCon, kids. Anyway, since I’m gonna be there, let me tell you about what I’ll be up to.

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Only the Harebrainedest Schemes

On a Roll


Awwwwwwwwwwwww, yeah. The kids’ll love this one

So, you guys have known me long enough to know that every so often I get a harebrained scheme into my head and then go crazy at it until it either gets done, I run out of steam, or get distracted and go ride bikes. Some of them, like my Savage Robotech conversions, actually worked. Others, well, let’s just say I ride a lot of bikes. Not this time, though. No, this time it’s for real. I know I’ve mentioned my good friends and colleagues Ross and John before. Solid dudes. Good designers, good writers. Well, the three of us have the best harebrained scheme. We’re making a game! An actual, factual, really real RPG that, if the Good Lord is willing and the creeks don’t rise, you will be able to buy, with money, and actually play inside of a year. Seriously. Would you like to know more?

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On Isolation

nell-1994-01-g“Tee inna win” is not recognized by spellcheck…

You guys know what the best part about freelancing is? Working from home. You know what the worst part is? Working from home. No, seriously. I know you’re all, “Man, it must be awesome to just work at home in your jammies and not have an office or annoying co-workers.” Well, you’re right…sorta. Yeah, it’s nice that my commute consists of my walk downstairs from the bedroom to my office with a stop in the kitchen for coffee and breakfast. It’s nice that I can work at my own pace, listen to my own music, wear what I want, eat what I want, talk to the dog, and spend a whole day without putting up with someone else’s banal stories about their favorite television shows or their uninformed political opinions. What’s not nice is the utter and constant isolation of working at home. I know some people can do it, and that kind of peace and quiet and isolation is nice at times, but too much time alone and I turn into fucking Nell over here. How do I combat that? How do I mitigate freelancer loneliness with needing to get shit done? Well, I’m glad you asked!

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Well, that happened…


Shown above – The last few months of 2012

Yes indeed, children. 2012 is gone and it certainly was A Thing. Bye-bye 2012, it was nice knowing you, take care, don’t let the door hit you where the good lord split you etc etc. While it wasn’t particularly bad per se, in fact it was pretty great all around, it was pretty weird. It was a year wherein a lot of changes happened both personally and professionally, where I broke up with my therapist after seven years of head shrinking, where I had a long work dry spell over the summer that led to a total freak-out on my part right before GenCon, and where after GenCon all the work came in and I didn’t turn down a single assignment. Of course, I completely over committed myself, dropped the ball, got behind, suffered a massive computer meltdown right before Christmas in which I lost a ton of data including some manuscripts. Then the holidays which are stressful at the best of times, and despite all my great plans to improve myself and get my shit together before New Years I entered 2013 with my ass on fire and my hair catching, as it were. Now here we are, it’s the tail-end of January already for all love, and I’m still behind on deadlines and struggling to get back on top of work and home and dadding and music and all the other things I need to get back on top of. So, let’s talk about that.

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In the Town that Walt Built…

Pretty as an airport.

Never in the history of mankind has anyone described something as “Pretty as an airport”, and with good reason.

(Note: I did, in fact, write this in the air. Sadly, I couldn’t actually figure out how to post it from there, so you get it from my comfy room in downtown Orlando. Enjoy.)

Well hey there, friends! So, here I am, somewhere around 25,000 feet over Ohio in a cramped, oversold 757 speeding south to Orlando. Now, truth be told, I don’t care much for Florida. In fact, my opinion on the whole state can pretty much be summed up by Bugs Bunny and his giant saw. Having said that, I’d suffer all kinds of indignities for this trip, including sitting behind an incredibly obese, red-faced, middle-aged meathead with his seat back aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall the way reclined, encroaching on what little space is available to me for work. But I digress. Anyway, here I am on my way to the Sunshine State to talk about space. Yep, tomorrow is the day join some of the greatest minds of our generation to talk about what to do with the International Space Station. Crazy, right? I mean, seriously, it’s like a reverse of the “not my job” segment on Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me. You know, where a bunch of radio dorks invite someone super important and accomplished onto their show to ask them ridiculous questions about the history of astrology or butts or whatever strikes their fancy. In Orlando, it’s going to be all this brain power, all these eminent scientists and engineers and rocket surgeons and thinkers….and me. A dude who writes about spaceships and giant robots for a living. I’m not going to complain, though. Because, seriously, I’m super stoked about it. Honestly, this is as close to being an astronaut as I’ll probably ever get, and being an astronaut was the end-game of my whole life plan when I was in fifth grade. That was a good plan too, man. Waaaaaaaaaaaaay better than the Cylon’s plan. Good grades, Air Force Academy, flight school, F-16 pilot (I’ve always had a soft spot for the Viper, but now I’d probably rather be an A-10 driver), major by the age of 36, then bam!, astronaut time. But then reality set it, it turned out I was terrible at maths, then what with the distractions from girls and RPGs and model airplanes and books about dragons and obsessively reading about aircraft and all I got kind of sidetracked and here I am. I guess I don’t have any complaints, though. Hell, in hindsight, I’d have made a terrible military man what with my low tolerance for bullshit and even lower tolerance for authority. Anyway, so, yeah. Gonna talk about Space. I’ll write more about it tomorrow night after the conference, give you guys a taste of what went on, then probably do a larger post about it next week sometime in between writing about Orks, SPEHS MARINES, and future-past wild west demon apocalypses. So, stay tuned. This should be pretty good. You know, if I don’t just break down and start babbling about space like the Space Core.

Amalgamated Fiction – Detroit Goes Space!

Well, not actually all the way to space, but close enough. I’ve been offered the amazing opportunity to sit on a panel of scientists, engineers, rocket surgeons, thinkers, writers, musicians, philosophers, and all-around turbonerds to discuss our ideas for the future of the International Space Station. Pretty cool, eh? How did this all come about? Would you like to know more? I bet you would!

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This Just In from HQ!

So, just a quick shout to talk about some upcoming projects/products from Amalgamated Fiction. I’m currently working on a sample to send to Shane and Clint at Pinnacle Entertainment to show them that Amalgamated Fiction – Detroit is worthy of using Savage Worlds as an officially licensed SW company. If the sample is good enough and they agree to let me use the license, I’m going to dive straight into bringing AEGIS vs. SPIDER to market. What’s AEGIS vs. SPIDER? I’m glad you asked! AvS is a setting I’ve been dicking around with for years. Taking place square in the middle of the Cold War in the 60s, the players are super-powered espionage agents working for the American Espionage Group for International Security, a super-secret organization put together in the wake of World War 2 to deal with a perceived “Super Gap” with the Soviet Union. Their primary antagonists are their opposite agents within the SPDR, a shadowy Soviet espionage group not officially part of the Politburo whose motives are unknown to nearly everyone, including the leaders of the Soviet Union itself.

The world in which AvS takes place is mostly our own. Technology is slightly more advanced, but there aren’t any laser rifles or space stations or teleporters…at least not that you know about.Supers in AvS are relatively low-powered. No cosmic entanglements, no alternate timelines, no aliens, no gods. It’s more Batman than Superman if you will. It’s a bit James Bond, a bit Secret Six, and a whole lot of Cold War cloak and dagger skulduggery. It’ll be full of exotic locales, devious and dangerous opponents, double and triple crosses, and tough looking Slavs in trench coats and fedoras demanding to know where you’ve hidden the microfilm.

I’m shooting to get my first product, a pack of playable AEGIS agents, out by the beginning of July through DriveThruRPG. If those sell well then I’ll do some SPDR agents, a canned adventure or two, hell, maybe even a full setting book. So, yeah. Keep your eyes peeled.



Let’s just check our to-do list and…oh…

See that up there? That, brothers and sisters, is what my project list looks like currently. I’ve hit that bane of freelancers everywhere, the dreaded dry spell. Remember months and months ago when I bragged about having deadlines from here ’til March? Well guess what, it ain’t March anymore. I busted my ass for those months, turned in those manuscripts and then…nothing. The first week was great. I lazed around. I played video games. I wasted time. I luxuriated in my new deadline-free life. Then there was a second week of no deadlines, which was nice. I worked on the house, played with the kid, played a lot of music, got my motorbike running for the season. Then there was a third week, and I was like, uh oh

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Do You Sons of Bitches Want to Live Forever?

For the Emperor!

For the Emperor!

Aw, yeah. Look here, children. That’s my latest project in the flesh. Only War lets you play members of the Imperial Guard as they slog between stars on a galaxy-wide tour of the shittiest battlefields and warzones imaginable. All I can say right now is that it’s totally rad, so keep your eyes peeled for more info as it comes out.

Abashed the Devil Stood…Playing Bad Guys

It’s been a busy night. After the shock and anger of finding our home invaded and the majority of our wealth stolen, we acted quickly. Some would say we acted impulsively, I prefer to think that we took the initiative, and struck while the iron was hot. With the dust of the road and the stink of Stymos still on our clothes, we set about finding the men responsible. Now here we are. After a night of violence we have our man, or one of them at least. Lashed to a chair in the back room of the chandlery, his wife dead, his children sold into slavery, we make it clear to him that if he talks, his death will be swift. If he remains silent, well, let’s just say that the Coranan Lia Kavair can extend an interrogation session as long as it takes. He talks, the words come out in a rush. All the while he is staring wide-eyed at the rendering vat Kezner uses to make tallow, and knows full well how this will end.