Monday, January 18, 2010

Autumnal Carnage, November Fallout, and the Dead of Winter

It's been a pretty tumultuous four months or so for me. Most of it very pleasant, some of downright scandalous. I've been writing many hours every week. I am kind of exuberant at developing as a writer as I always am. At the same time, my organizational skills as a publisher take up most of the time and resources, and is most likely to fall off to the wayside as some daily-life emergency crops up.

November 6th through the 8th, Peryton and I drove to Fairlee Vermont to enjoy Carnage 12. We had a wonderful time, even did some gaming. Friday night I ran SPACERS, with a whole new crew with a variation of "Episode 1: Meeting at Ice Point Zero," which was a wild success. At midnight, I did WHAP!'s "The Mars Incident", well started it really the players were sleepy and one had a headcold, so I wrapped things up at the plot twist, and awarded everyone playing with free TAG scenarios from various game settings. Saturday afternoon's game I had the world's hardest time with a group that was both hostile and aggressive towards my game and my "don't sweat the small things" philosophy as a GM, as well as frankly distracted and uninterested in the game. I think the antics of the hostility guys was the cause of the disinterest in the session by the other members. But what I pulled away from the rough time, besides now having a "all players must bring own dice and pencils" rule (really this group tied up the game for 30 minutes having me dig through my bag and then running back to my room and back), is that I have been getting lazy as a GM. I hit the booster rockets and got back my head back into RPG orbit to held things together and actually got the group as a whole together and got the plot moving to a point where I could say "this is a good spot to wrap this up and roll credits." Later one of the distracted players said that the session was "not that bad, really. Felt like a movie in the old west ." That evening no one showed up for my planned T&T game, so I drank and did a chariot race with some great guys, Mongo and Marius(?), using Circus Maximus rules. A little pixie from Hungary named Zsuzsa, Z.Z. from now on, adopted Peryton and I as party-mates. I was the envy of all single men with two, then later three Anat13 from the RPGBomb, beautiful women hanging out with me. All in all, as a GM, I'd award myself a "C plus" in performance, though in my heart of hearts I know that I am an "A" (maybe an 'A minus" but an "A" all the same).

But the convention was definitely a Godzilla of a get-together. The area is great, the resort has great facilities and is larger than one would think, and the Carnage group is a serious group of gamers, some of the higher caliber, even the contentious ones, that I have encountered in the six years of goofing off that I have been doing this travel to game hobby. RPGBombers were all over the place, and Dr.Nik frankly amazed me with his organizational skills. Andre, also known as "The GM-Artist Known as Andre" in my mind, impressed me with his powerful presence and magnetic draw to CoC audiences-- I could learn a lot from him. I had made five serious friends by Sunday AM, and a score of other people that I want to get to know better next year. We took our time driving home, touring southern New York that Monday.

I once again got busy with the ways of life and back to writing the November "write a novel" national exercise that has been going on for a while. This was a break for me piecing together stuff like an editor/formater So for a few minutes to a couple of hours everyday I worked on something that I call "Ork-Pork." The title is only a working title. A novel kicking around my head since the early 90's, the angle being that it is the typical orkish invasion of whatever fair lands from whatever Tolkien-driven fantasy setting, but from the orks' perspective. Got about 136 pages overall done. Still had a third of the story to go, and was sick of it before the end of November.

The end of November led to some of the biggest drama in my time with the T&T clique since I have been there. A publisher of "unofficial" fan works of T&T, James Shipman II, "Shippy" to us at Trollhalla
has been increasingly a person who has taken to pirating others works, ideas, and, most amazingly artwork, to sell as his own. He's been an on-again/off-again friend since 1998 of mine, but since about 2006, when I disliked his publishing of a work using the title "Tunnels and Trolls" as much for its content as the fact that it was not his to use, I let my contributions to his more legit work, fanzines for the small community we share, drop off. In 2008, when he added a little disclaimer to his website about owning all rights to works submitted to the company, I figured that with a friend like this it was best to find a pet. After a silly attempt to claim something that I had written a decade ago as wholly his, he got busted using copyright-protected artwork without permission on most everything he published over the past six years. A lot of people in our community have been hurt, in some cases more than feelings, by his actions. He's since rescinded any claim on my works and has stated in writing that he will not republish those works. yet at the same time he'll try and slip out a "Best of" bit here and there. Since being caught, he's tried to make printing anything relating to T&T impossible through a favorite source with false allegations of a claims of ownership, or fictitious court cases. Sigh. Oh to be the pantomime villain, I hope his cape is red, because when everything dies down, he's going to be needing a community theater group to act up with. Sadly, as someone who knows him from many days of private conversation when he was my only friend, visiting me in a town where I knew noboby, in a chatroom, I can understand his passion. But luckily I have Peryton to keep me based in reality.

And my cat, one of eight, Clodia Pulcher died. So there is my real excuse for not having anything out just yet.
She's still around the place hunting zoogs I think.

And now in the dead of winter, I am back to putting stuff together. TAG's Crawlspace and its Zombie Zig-Zag is this close to being published. Dino is bugging me about getting his "Freddy Tampa Call Me- Passion" published out in WHAP! issue 1. And I am writing fiction like it's therapy, and happy with the results, so small press magazines look out for another year of submissions of my own. I hope to finally reach the magical number of one thousand rejections before I die, at which point to attain Buddha-hood and will never see another rejection again. So far I am at only a 33% rejection rate over my past thirty years of becoming a writer.

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