Well, its barely been two weeks since GenCon 2021, and we’re gearing up for the next big show, Indy Comic Con. It will be held likewise at the Indianapolis Convention Center. I believe there are still tickets available at https://indianacomicconvention.com/. This year’s guests include the legendary William (Capt. Kirk) Shatner.
As you can see, I’m busy getting new product ready for the show. I’ve added some exotic woods to the dice trays and deck boxes including, Bloodwood, Purple Heart, Padauk and Hard Maple in addition to the Poplar, Oak and Aspen offerings I already have.
We’ll also be demoing games along side our friend Scott from SnyderGaming.com, as well as a few surprises.
Come find us at Booth 1036, smack in the middle of the exhibit hall.
Well today is the last day of GenCon 2021. It’s family day so the ticket prices are reduced to $5. Come on downtown and enjoy some fun at the convention center. We have free dice and meeples for the little ones — while supplies last of course.
I’ll be honest, yesterday was a bit of a downer. While the exhibit hall was fuller, we saw less people at our booth. We really need a good showing to finish the Con strong. Otherwise, packing up is going to be a chore.
It’s been two years and change since the last GenCon hit Indianapolis’ Convention Center. This week, it returns with tempered celebration. By tempered, I mean that there will be fewer attendees, fewer vendors, and fewer hours to spend during the Four Greatest Days in Gaming.
Still, I’m excited to be there in Author’s Avenue again. Come see me and Kat at booth J. In 2019, we ran out of Book 1 by early Sunday Morning. We’ve stocked up, but it would be really exciting to see it happen again this year. So, tell all of your fantasy reading friends, to stop by and get an autographed copy of Guardians of the Silverwood.
For all of you gaming aficionados, today I launched The Game Collector app for Android devices on Google Play Store and soon Amazon Market Place. This app allows you to store you personal board game/card game (any game really) collection, and keep track of players and games played.
If you can’t make it to GenCon, we are currently planning on attending Indy Comic Con in October along with Snyder Gaming. Looking forward to seeing old and new friends alike.
The latest book in the Silverwood Chronicles series is done and we will be launching it at the Monroe County Fairgrounds during the Christmas at the Fairgrounds Gift Show on November 14th, 9am-3pm. I will be signing books and answering questions about the series.
We will also be showcasing my card game, Super Computer and the latest expansion. There will be great deals for the holidays, so I hope you will plan on stopping by and seeing what we have to offer.
Many things get accomplished when you rearrange and cleanup your office. The workspace is refreshed, which for me sparks a new surge of creativity. Items that have accumulated finally get put in their rightful resting place, usually the trashcan. Items that have managed to survive such previous purging now have the opportunity to be revisited in hopes they survive the current round.
This is where we begin. I have accumulated a lot of paper. Now, most people garner their fair share of bills, tax returns, school papers from their thirty-year-old’s fourth grade math assignment as examples. In addition to all of the above — yes I’m guilty, I still have papers from my oldest’s (not thirty yet) elementary school days — I have manage to write a lot. Unfortunately, it has been left scattered to various binders and folders over the years, but this week, I consolidated.
What does that mean? It means I kept one copy of the fifteen copies of the same one page poem and eliminated the others. It dawned on me that I have more unpublished writings than I do published which I am sure is true of every author. My intent with this series is to explore some of these lost gems of yesteryear in hopes that I spur some fond memories in those individuals that I many of these items touched.
My first product that I want to reminisce is the largest theatrical endeavor I believe I’ve ever undertaken. Some of my prose readers may not realize that I began my writing career in the theatrical genre. Many of these flashbacks will cover some of the plays that I’ve written. Mary & Joseph, started out as a simple effort to craft a new play for Christmas. What I ended up with was a two act, nine scene musical with eight original songs. The story was just supposed to be a modern day retelling of the Biblical account of Mary and Joseph from Luke chapter 2. Simple, right?
Let me step back and give you some history. I had just closed down my computer business at the start of the year, and I had taken a new job in downtown Indianapolis working at the Indiana State Department of Health. More specifically, I sat in a basement office underneath the sidewalks of Meridian Street, where, when it rained hard, we had to throw plastic sheets over our monitors so as not to destroy our computers.
Another cool sign of the times were smartphones were becoming all the rage. I had procured a Samsung SPH-i500 flip phone.
This phone had the ability to recognize a certain handwriting style called graffiti. You could literally, write letters in the little gray square above the number pad and it would translate them into characters on the phone’s apps. Needless to say, this is how I wrote the vast majority of this musical’s dialog, while sitting in the Indianapolis Arts garden on my lunch breaks.
As the dialog began to flow, the idea for some songs came along with it. Before the end of spring 2000, I had written most of the scenes and all eight of the songs’ lyrics, but this is where things got real challenging.
I love music. I was in choir most of my life. I took piano lessons when I was younger, but I was not a composer. Time was limited, so I grabbed an old Casio keyboard that ran on double-A batteries and stashed it in my car. Now, instead of the peaceful, inspiring atmosphere of the Arts Garden, I spent my lunch breaks in my burning hot car, plucking notes out on that keyboard day after day. Even after weeks and weeks of cooking myself, I still barely had a melody line for four of them.
This is where Pastor Ben stepped in. Pastor Ben is a musician at heart, and he knew that I was trying to create something . . . above average. So, he put me in contact with one of his old friends named Greg. I believe Greg was affiliated with the Symphony. He invited me up to his home/studio and I sat down with him for a couple of hours. I explained to him what I was trying to accomplish, and I shared with him the notes I had jotted down.
What he did next blew me away. After studying each score, and asking a few more questions, he sat down at his keyboard and started playing precisely what I had heard in my head all those days I spent hunting and pecking on my Casio keyboard in that car.
Unfortunately, we were only able to do a handful of the total songs, because I had simply ran out of time. Pastor Ben and his daughter Ashley composed the music for my favorite song of the whole musical, “Anytime Now”, which announced the birth of Christ.
To this day during the Christmas music season, I will find myself recalling the lyrics to that particular song. I know there’s a recording of it somewhere. Maybe someday, I’ll stumble across it.
September 24th, 2020, marks the 20th anniversary of Mary & Joseph first rehearsal (at least by my records). 13 rehearsals later would be our first of two performances on December 15th and 16th of 2000.
Many people from my church came together to pull this production. So many helped out. In looking at the program, I was amazed that we were able to get it all together.
The title of this post is in reference to the old adage, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, did it make any sound?” This is to say, I’ve not been actively updating my blog for some time. My absence should not equate to inactivity, quite the contrary. I have many projects I would like to share with you regarding updates.
Book 5 of the Silverwood Chronicles, Savior of Dayspring, is now in production. I have high hopes that it will be available sometime in September. This is huge for me as this completes the five book series that I started back in 2014. I can remember on several occasions during one of the many planning sessions with my creative consultant (also known as daddy-daughter dates), that I was never sure I could get to the end. I knew what the end would look like, sort of, but I personally was never confident that I would make it. However, after 82 chapters, 428,140 words and over 1728 pages (I don’t have the final page count for book 5), I made it.
Next on the list is in the area of game development. Designing and building games is a passion of mine that I thoroughly enjoy, but requires a different aspect of my brain than writing does. Super Computer, the card game, has been a fun project. Along with the Core set, I have been able to produce a small expansion that allows the players to attack other system builders. The latest expansion is a step back in time. Builders get to add retro parts to their computer builds to score big points. This expansion is nearly complete, and should be available through my distributor or this website in time for Christmas. I have an third expansion in the works as well dealing with the Internet, but that development has stalled as other projects have gained traction.
Staying with the gaming genre. I’ve been working on a Silverwood game. I’ve gone through several prototypes, and I’m finalizing the rule sets now. Look for demos and opportunities to see this game coming up at future shows.
Finally, I’m looking at an old manuscript and dusting it off to see if it can make a nice Novelette. It happens to be that first fantasy story I wrote long ago, but there’s something about that story now that is hitting me as worth polishing up an telling. We will see. All it takes is time and with Covid limiting the external excursions, I seem to have a little bit more of it than usual.
Its only 5 more days to the greatest 4 days in gaming, Gencon 2019. I’ll be signing books again in Authors’ Avenue inside the massive vendor hall — Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10 – 6, and Sunday 10-4.
In addition, I have some things to give away including FREE E-books and introducing my new Novelette: Prelude to the Chase.
Opportunities like this do not come along often in one’s career, so when the opportunity came to share my story as part of an advertising campaign for a service I use, I took it.
Backup for just a second and let me give you some background information. A couple of years ago, I registered with a website that provides various learning tools to authors called https://www.authorlearningcenter.com. This website is home to a plethora of webinars, podcasts and whitepapers to help aspiring authors along their journey regardless of where they are in that journey.
I originally tried it because I was looking for ideas and ways to build my brand. What I found was way more than that. The site is constantly adding new content and ways to help authors continue to pursue their craft and be more successful in it. One of the fun features the site has is called the “Book Launch Tool.” It’s essentially timeline tool that helps you track your progress through the book creation and publishing process. I’ve been using it on my last two book projects and while it hasn’t necessarily changed the way I write, it does help me keep on track and get a realistic picture of where I am on any given project.
A month or so ago, someone from Author Learning Center contacted me about being part of an advertising campaign on YouTube. They wanted to know if they could include my journey as part of a ad that would run. It seemed like a no-brainer to me and so I answered a series of questions and shared with them some photos and what you see is attached is what is running.
I say all of this to encourage any of my author followers to check out the site. They have a 30 day free-trial option that gives you pretty much access to all of the features and after that its like $10 a month. They are always adding new content and features. There’s even a way to reach out to other authors and create circles that can be used to bounce ideas and review works in progress.
Christmas At The Monroe County Fairgrounds
On another note, now that November is here that means Christmas cannot be far behind. My last event of the year where you can get an autographed signed copy of my book or meet me in person will be at the ever growing Christmas at The Fairgrounds Event at the Monroe County Fairgrounds on Saturday November 10th.
After this, we will be taking a break from events for a few months as we try to finish up book 5. In the meantime, I hope to roll out a Silverwood Chronciles prologue piece, Free to the internet, by Christmas.
This summer has been amazingly busy for me and the creative consultant. There have been a number of events that we’ve attended both locally and abroad not the least of which was GenCon 2018, but more on that later.
The highlight of the summer thus far has to be my recent trip to India. Because of recent changes in my job, I was given the opportunity to travel to our remote partner’s office in Cochi India. It was here that I got to meet, some for the first time, around 30 co-workers who partner with my organization to support our IT department. Many of these fine people I’ve had the pleasure to talk to for years via internet conferencing, but I have never met face to face.
The seven days I spent there were both amazing and overwhelming as my friends treated me like a superstar. Most of them knew that I had written several books, and a few lucky (or unlucky, depending on your perspective) had received copies of one of my books. In an effort to set things straight, I had planned a surprise for them. I had ordered in advance a case of books and had them drop shipped directly to the office there. Then during my last day there, I treated the team to donuts and a complementary book signing. View all the pictures here.
Signing a flurry of books for my friends.
Everybody, had a great time and everybody got at least one of my books. There was one special individual who went above and beyond the call of duty during my trip there and made my stay a world-class affair. Arjun earned, and that’s putting it lightly, a full set of the Silverwood Chronicles.
Arjun holding his Silverwood Chronicles Set.
In case you noticed, it also coincided with a traditional celebration at the office, so in the spirit of cooperation, I dressed up in a traditional dhoti. You can go to my India Gallery to see many more of my friends.
Fans of Chel & Riley and the Silverwood Chronicles
A close second to this was my opportunity to show my books at GenCon 2018, the greatest four days of gaming. The CC (creative consultant) stepped up her game and cosplayed Taya from the Silverwood Chronicles. We also meet some repeat friends from the recent InconJunction event who were ready to by the next book in the series.
Nathan and the Candy Conspiracy
We also got to share some time with other great authors. I was very blessed to be near some great people that were there not just to sell books, but where very much interested in establishing relationships and having a good time. Nathan was once such author. He had a gimmick that included a cookie/candy jar in
the form of a TARDIS (Dr. Who’s famous time machine). We got hours of comedy from the fact that no matter how hard Nathan tried, guests at his table were intimidated by the candy offered and had to be compelled to open the lid and see that there was indeed candy inside for the taking. Thanks Nathan Marchand for the many laughs and being a great sport about it.