I had a lot of ideas for both this website and projects when the year started. I was going to do regular flash fiction here, share story concepts to get feedback, and generally blog about topics related to writing and geek culture. There are two other domain names I have purchased, and I was hoping to launch projects related to them by the end of the year. As it turns out none of that happened. When Covid struck one of the projects I had in mind became impossible with the lockdowns, but the other creative endeavors could have occurred. I just found myself drawn into the events of the world and struggling with motivation. Going forward I will try to do more regular updates on what I am working on and what to expect.
I have made guest appearances on GamersTable and Gaming with Gage. I am still a regular host on both Fear the Boot and Funnybooks with Aron and Paulie. These are generally weekly shows but have not been quite as consistent this year as they both have been in the past. These shows have had to adapt to the changing world. For example, the Skies of Glass Actual Play went from being recorded with everyone around a table to being recorded online. I’m not certain what this has done for the quality of the recordings, but it has certainly changed the dynamics of the game. In the case of Funnybooks there was over a month with no new comics being released.
In addition, early this year I started releasing a short weakly podcast called Fear the Boot: Game Notes for the $5 a month and up Patreon backers of Fear the Boot. This has been a consistent release with no late episodes or missed weeks. I have found it to be both a learning experience and something good for me from a routine standpoint in an unstable world. The podcast is focused on both sharing how myself and other rpg gamemasters prepare for games as well as sharing insecurities. While recording I have explored my own thoughts on running games and really examined why I do the things I do. It is a project I am truly proud of and if anything has given me a sense of accomplishment this year it is this podcast.
Late last year was the start of a new experience for me. When the podcast GamersTable did a Kickstarter for their new season one of the goals was a weekly streaming show on Twitch called Big20. It is a roundtable conversation with GMs every week on a different topic while interacting with viewers in the chat room. I have been a host on this show many times introducing me to live streaming on camera.
I have been involved in actual play podcasts for years, but this year I have joined a game that streams live on twitch. It has been very different having a live audience and being on video while roleplaying. The game is an East Texas University game with people I met through GamersTable.
Most of the writing I have done is on the roleplaying game Skies of Glass. Two beta versions have been released to Patreon backers of Fear the Boot. My contributions are combination of transcribing rules and writing setting as well as basic layout. The project is coming along nicely but much slower than I would like.
I expected with working from home exclusively since the pandemic that I would have gotten quite a bit of writing done. This has not been the case. I am not working any less than I did when I drove into work. I have however gained time I would have spent driving and have been using that to cook my own meals and improve my health. I have written a flash fiction story that I have not submitted anywhere yet and done some editing on previously written works, but I have not done much writing on my own projects this year. I hope starting with this update to turn that around for the rest of the year.
I started the year running a Dresden Files campaign for my regular weekend gaming group. When Covid first hit I lost two of my players and this game had to be put on hold. My Dresden game was serving as a creative outlet more than I realized until it was paused. Every week I created a newsletter for my players writing articles about game and world events as three different reporters each with their own writing style and focus. When the game was paused, I sat down and put all the story and NPC details in a document so I could return to it someday. Doing so I really fleshed out quite a bit including a whole food truck scene with intermingled drama.
With the temporarily smaller group I started running a Superhero game in the Masks system. The game has been going very well, but all the extra out of game creative work like the newsletter is not a part of this game. I find the mechanics and just using a lot of genre traps makes this game fairly seamless to run. The game has been great, and I do think I have come up with some fun ideas and concepts, but it is not the creative release of the Dresden Files campaign.
Last September I started building Gundam models. This initially started at the Japanese Festival when I went to an event and built my first one. I enjoyed it enough that I started picking up kits and eventually expanded to paint pens and panel line markers. I am still not in any way artistic and do not do much more than slightly improve the look in some cases. I have a problem relaxing and tend to need hobbies that let me relax while keeping my mind just occupied enough that it does not wander.
I still find Lego kits work wonders for relaxation for me. This year I have built a Space Station, Voltron, a boat, and various small kits. I have worked my way through most of my backlog of Lego kits.
Nothing quite gives me the sense of accomplishment that creative projects do. With that in mind it is well past time to get back to writing. I plan on doing quarterly updates here at the minimum and aiming for monthly. I will start sharing some of my writing snippets and work to schedule things more regularly. Feedback and interaction with my creative projects help keep me active and motivated. Deadlines and expectations also work wonders in that regard.