31 December 2013

Another Year Gone

I don't place much stock in the new year. I never make resolutions, but as much as I'd like to keep my eyes forward, I always end up looking back.

This was the first full year I've spent back in my home state of California since Amy, the kids, and I left for Virginia (and EA Mythic) in 2007. I'll admit, I like the familiarity of this place, even if a couple of things have changed since I was away. I'm not all that fond of Santa Ana weather (then again, I never was), and I could do with a bit more rain.

As far as my job goes, WildStar is a lot of fun... not to mention a whole lot of work! I continue to learn a lot and improve in my craft (I hope). There are a lot of great people there - folks from 38 Studios, folks from EA Mythic, and many, many folks I'd never met before I started - so I'm in awesome company.

One good thing that happened this year is that I was given the chance to freelance again. So far I've worked on four projects, and I've enjoyed the hell out of them all. I figure they'll start to hit the presses in 2014, and I'll have my name in print once again after all this time. That'll be a trip and a half, let me tell you.

Gaming... I've done some this year, though not as much as I'd like. Feels like there's too much going on, and I'm not as young as I used to be. After all, I turned 40 this year! Life goes by so fast, and it never seems like there's enough time to do all the things I want to do.

I'm trying to learn guitar, but I get increasingly frustrated at my fat fingertips. Practice makes perfect, I suppose. If I can write well, I can learn to play guitar... right? RIGHT?

So there it is. Not a lot to say, really. Not much of a retrospective. But it's the thought that counts. I'm looking forward to 2014, because there's a lot of great things on the way. As those freelance projects begin to come together in a more official capacity, I'll be sure to let you all know about them.

Happy New Year!

14 July 2013

Victory... for the Time Being, Anyway

I've forgotten just how exhilarating it is to hit a deadline. It feels pretty good, actually.

Even a small project (which, admittedly, would have still made me nervous back when I was originally starting out ten years) is nice to wrap up. Not that my current gig is completely wrapped up - I still have a few things to do - but I'm meeting my obligations as well as enjoying myself.

I've got my fingers crossed that this leads to more work. I appreciate you crossing your digits on my behalf, as well. Every bit helps.

I tried a different coffee place this time around - The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in Oceanside. It's small, though there is abundant outdoor seating. If my monitor was easier to read in bright light, I might even sit outside. My impression is positive, overall. The staff is friendly, and coffee refills are a dollar. The wifi is a little on the slow side, and you have to refresh your connection every couple of hours, but that's not really a problem.

On a non-writing tangent, I was able to see Pacific Rim. It's about what I expected it to be, which is to say, I wasn't disappointed. No, it wasn't a particularly original film, but I still enjoyed it. It's riddled with a lot of cliches and the dialogue isn't always awesome, but I'm almost certain that was intentional given the film's roots. I enjoyed the action sequences a lot... how can you beat giant robots fighting giant monsters? It was all very well done.

Anyway, I'm going to wrap this up and get back home. My kids have demanded ice cream, and who am I to deny them?

07 July 2013

A Lot Out of Date

I just went through all the links to the right side of this blog and cleaned them up. The ones that didn't lead anywhere are gone, and some of the others have been updated.

About the only thing I haven't touched yet is my little list of published work and the links therein. Most of those products (if not all of them... sigh) are out of print. I'll have to go through and see which ones are still available out there, but I doubt many of them are.

Oh, well. I guess it goes with the territory. I've got a respectable body of work, but the nature of the industry -- the constant influx of new editions and versions of games -- means that there's a lot of "out with the old, in with the new" when it comes to the work I do.

I'll be adding new works to the list eventually. I suppose it depends on how easy I find it to slip back into the freelance mindset, balance it with both my home and work lives, and please the clients and companies that I'm writing for.

I want to do it. I know I can do it. Now it's just a matter of making it happen.

06 July 2013

Back in the Saddle... Again

When last we left our intrepid hero, he was jobless and thousands of miles from home.

Fast forward to just over a year later and he's back in California, employed by Carbine Studios, and working on a wonderful project. I suppose bad times come and go, and last year was one of the worst. Things turn around, though, eventually, and with the help of friends and whatever gods we pray to, we manage to get back on our feet.

This first post in, what...? Fourteen months? It's more or less a warm-up, of sorts. In addition to working at Carbine, I'm dipping my toes back into the pool of freelance writing and game design (and maybe even editing, given enough interest). Truth be told, extra money is always welcome... and if I get to work on an IP I love, that's gravy.

I can't say anything about the current project, except to say it's relatively small (in comparison to my past works), but it's an easy way for my client to try me out and see if I can produce what they need me to produce to the standards they require.

I'm also sitting inside an "It's a Grind" coffee shop in Carlsbad, of all places. Before I left CA for VA and EA Mythic, I used to do all of my freelance writing at the It's a Grind in Vista. That location went out of business, either just before I left CA or right afterward, but it was a great place to write.

The jury's still out on this location... it seems nice, overall, but we'll see how it feels to me once I've been sitting here writing for a couple of hours. Yelp reviews are largely positive, with one particularly scathing tirade amongst all the fanfare from someone who seemed to be protesting a bit too loudly. The iced coffee I ordered is really good, though.

Anyway, I better get to writing. I only have a few more weeks to polish off what I have to do, and I'd like to get it done ahead of schedule. First impressions and all that, after all...

Oh, and yes... I am gaming, actively. Not as much as I'd like to, but what else is new?