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.
Here’s where I pretend like it’s January 1st and none of the mistakes and bad decisions I made over the past couple of months happened. It’s an all new year and I’m totally not grinding my teeth into dust every night. Since none of that is happening, let’s talk about what was good in 2012. Work wise, save for the summer dry spell, things went pretty well all told. This came out, and this, and finally this was announced along with a bunch of other stuff containing my name, all of which I’m sinfully proud to have worked on. GenCon was great and I went to some great seminars, met some great people, and made some great contacts. On the Amalgamated Fiction front, well, not much happened, sadly. It wasn’t until late in the year that I finally figured out what to do with AF-D, and by then I was so underwater with other work I couldn’t get to my personal stuff. We’ll talk about that later, though. Also, and this is totally work related, I fell deeply, madly in love with Savage Worlds this year. I went on a tear in the late spring and summer of converting all the Robotech stuff I did for Palladium over to Savage Worlds rules, and ran some Savage Robotech games for my friends here at home, and even did some pick-up SR games at GenCon, including one at Savage Saturday Night. So, yeah. Except for a couple of bumps in the latter half of the year, things went pretty well for me professionally.
On the home front, I settled further into my stay at home dad role. A role that, I’ve gotta say, I was totally made for. The deal is that I split my time between writing about spaceships and giant robots and raising my kid and keeping house. I was already pretty domesticated before, but now I’m up to my neck in menu planning, budgeting, baking, canning, pickling, copious amounts of laundry, play dates, and child rearing. That latter thing, that child rearing thing, is probably the hardest and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. Good thing I enjoy it too, since the wife and I doubled down and The Kid has a little sister on the way at the end of this coming April who is going to perfectly fill a hole in our roster. I’m also neck deep in my band, as usual. We grew and improved, performed at Mardi Gras in New Orleans, took part in a documentary about Detroit, and did our usual East Coast fall tour. I’ve improved as a musician and have taken on a larger leadership role and overall am feeling pretty happy about it. Plus, you know, I get to wear all of the black and gold glitter and sequins as part of my band outfit…all of them.
There, I don’t want to belabor the point, so there’s 2012 in a nutshell. Now, what about 2013? I’m glad you asked! So, 2013 is going to be a much better year than 2012, whether it likes it or not. There’s a whole bunch I want to do this year, and I’m going to take this opportunity to tell you all about them.
Professional Stuff: Right. Okay, I’ll admit, I developed some really bad work habits last year. I’m not going to go into too much detail but let’s just say that a perfect storm of hubris, aggressive indolence, a sad tendency toward procrastination, and my well honed ability to justify anything led me into all manner of poor work and bad decisions. That shit, that shit right there? Not happening in 2013. I need to get better organized, and I need to actually implement the work schedule I made for myself and stick to it come hell or high water (or super nice riding days or brand new vidya games or important cat picture viewing). Also, I’m going to read more. I don’t read enough, not anymore. Reading is at least half the work of writing, since it helps me keep my brains limber and other writers’ work inspires me to get off my ass and get things done. Also also, I’m saying it right now, 2013 is the year that The Thin Blue Line, my Detroit-based modern horror RPG using the Savage Worlds ruleset goes to press. I’m not sure how or when I’m going to get it done, but done it’ll get, and it’ll have the Amalgamated Fiction – Detroit logo right there on the cover. Bank on it. Along with all of those things I’m going to do more and better work, develop new clients, update this here blog more regularly, get a DBA for AF-D, make every single deadline this year, and, hopefully collaborate with my colleagues John Dunn and Ross Watson in setting the games industry on fire. I have my work cut out for me.
Personally: Ah, yeah. Well, most of this can be summed up by repeating what I said up there about bad work habits. Also, I need to practice my horn more, be a better dad, a better husband, a better friend, a better game master, and improve my work/life balance. With the new tsarina on the way, I’m going to need to get my shit all squared away so that I have time to do everything I need. Of course, what I really need is probably twelve more hours each day, but I’ll have to work with what I have. In addition, it’s time to get swole, y’all. In the past eighteen months I’ve had two friends and colleagues suffer traumatic strokes, both of whom were under 40. That freaks me the hell out, so it’s back to the gym for me. My goal right now is to lose thirty pounds in thirty weeks, lower my blood pressure, stop drinking so much goddamned coffee, lay off the High Life and the Wild Turkey and the slivo, eat my veggies, and generally lead a healthier and more active life. ‘Cause, seriously, I’m going to need to be lithe and tough to keep up with two young willful daughters.
So, yeah. Onward and upwards, kids. Instead of letting the year happen to me, I’m going to happen to 2013. I’m going to grab fortune by the forelock and hang on for dear life. Stay tuned, won’t you? It’ll either be edifying and uplifting or a huge, hilarious train wreck that ends in me running screaming naked down Woodward ave brandishing a machete. Either way it’ll be a fun ride.