Way to Go, LEGO!

When LEGO Friends first came out, I ranted a bit. It’s not that I don’t like the toys—if my daughter were a bit younger, I have no doubt they’d be all over our house. What bothered me was that LEGO Friends didn’t solve the problem of so few female minifigs in regular LEGO sets. In fact, it created a new line of LEGO sets that were dominated by females, with only one dad to represent all males. I know of several boys who would love to play with pink and purple LEGO sets with cute little animals, so this was just another kind of exclusion based on gender.

Flash forward a few years. The latest catalogue recently showed up in our mailbox, and it made me really happy. The LEGO movie introduced a ton of female minifigs (sometimes more than one in a set!), plus in other sets there’s a female thief, several female police officers, a female train engineer, and even a firefighter who appears to be female but that they didn’t feel the need to identify as such. Then I got to the LEGO Friends section, and there are two male dolls now, and they aren’t dads! (There are also a bunch of princes in the Disney section.)

I know there have always been a few female minifigs, but they’ve been relatively rare and often only part of sets that cost at least $40, usually much more (this is why we don’t have a LEGO Black Widow).

But in stores I’ve recently seen a new little LEGO set that has a princess minifig and is fully compatible with regular LEGO bricks. And adding Arwen to our cast of Lord of the Rings minifigs didn’t break the bank.

Many of the sets in the new catalogue are $30 or less—often much less. You pick out a cool LEGO set that’s affordable, and you just happen to get a female minifig. If you’re playing with LEGO Friends, boys now exist in that world.

No, it’s not perfect. Female characters are notably lacking in the Ninjago line, for instance. But I feel like it’s still a significant step in the right direction.

Does it really matter if LEGO sets are more inclusive? Yeah, I think it is. And while I could illustrate that through my own kids, it was a couple kids I don’t even know who really proved the point for me. Before the holidays, I was browsing the toy section of Target. A woman with two young girls walked through the LEGO aisle, intent on getting to a different aisle—but the girls got distracted looking at the City sets.

“Come on,” the woman said a bit impatiently, “don’t you want to get to the toys for you?”

“But there’s a girl on this set!” one of the girls pointed out.

“Well, yes, of course you could play with these toys too,” the woman backpedaled a bit.

And then they all moved on to a different section. No, they didn’t buy a City LEGO set. Maybe they never will. But the presence of a female minifig was enough for a young kid to challenge an adult on her unconscious gendering of toys, and that challenge was enough for the adult to step back her thoughtless comment. It’s often through these baby steps that real and lasting change takes hold.

So, way to go, LEGO. While I’m still hoping for an affordable Black Widow set, these changes make me really happy.

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Endings and Beginnings

A short post to commemorate a transition in my editing career:

About ten years ago I started helping Cam Banks edit the massive tome that is Price of Courage, a Dragonlance module. I went on to edit many other Dragonlance books published by Sovereign Press, and I continued to work with the company as they transitioned into Margaret Weis Productions. I was there when Cortex Plus came into being, and I worked on Smallville, Leverage, Dragon Brigade, Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, Dramatic Roleplaying, and most recently Firefly. I’ve spent many a Gen Con in the MWP booth, telling anyone who would listen about how great the games are.  In those ten years, editing has gone from a hobby to my fulltime career, thanks in no small part to the faith Margaret Weis Productions has always had in me.

As I worked on the Firefly corebook, I was also getting Alex Perry ready to take over as the editor of the Firefly sourcebooks (the Echoes of War line has always been in Sally Christensen’s capable hands). Last week, Monica Valentinelli and I agreed that Alex is ready to take over. He’ll be seeing the corebook through the final stages of editing, and my participation is done.  This is something that I’ve been working towards—I’m focusing more on smaller projects and fiction now, so I’m ready to move away from the long-term licensed lines that MWP tends to produce—but it’s still kind of sad to say goodbye since my editing career has never before lacked a MWP project somewhere in the schedule.

Many thanks to all the people I’ve worked with over the years at MWP. I’m a better editor for the experiences I’ve had with you. Thanks for putting up with me as I learned on the job!

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In Praise of the Quiet Ones

A decent amount of my identity is as the mother of geeklings (a bit like the mother of dragons, but with less fire. Usually.). I’ve realized, though, that if you primarily know me online, you might think that I only have one geekling. I talk about my daughter a lot. She’s the kind of person who really puts herself out there. She helped start a game group at her school where she’s one of the GMs. She wrote an editorial for her school paper on sexism in geek culture. She doesn’t mind when I post pictures of her cosplay and LARP adventures. She’s happy to film little videos about games I’ve worked on. She’s a natural born performer and will be Nori the dwarf in her school’s production of The Hobbit. She has strong opinions, and she’s not afraid to share them with you. In fact, she’s frequently looking for an outlet for all the stuff she’d like to say.

But, for argument’s sake, let’s say there’s another geekling in our house—one who doesn’t like people to take photos of him, and REALLY doesn’t like them posted on the internet (although you may catch a glimpse of face behind tousled curls or peering out from under a hat in some pictures with other people). One who would rather I didn’t talk about him all that much. One who rarely speaks up in public and would prefer I didn’t share too much either. In respecting this hypothetical child’s wishes, he might start to seem invisible.

This gets me thinking a bit about the quiet ones. (Note: I’m not talking about people who are systematically quieted because of gender, race, orientation, socio-economic status, or anything else along those lines—that’s a whole different discussion that’s well covered elsewhere by others with more experience and knowledge than I. For this situation I mean people who are quiet by personality and/or choice.)

There’s the saying that “still waters run deep” and in some ways it applies. The fact that the quiet ones aren’t speaking loudly doesn’t mean that they have nothing worth saying. In fact, hypothetically, this quiet child in my house often has very insightful things to say. He might have noticed on his own that you can draw some parallels between racism in our world and the treatment of the mutants in the first X-Men movie. He may have very strong views about the gendering of toys, even though he’s unlikely to write an editorial about it.

He may also be very creative in his own way, channeling it toward inventions using every day office supplies or computer programs he hopes to write someday. Although musical like his sister, you’d be more likely to find him playing rhythm guitar in a rock band at school than acting in a play or singing a solo.

He’s a deep thinker, a problem solver, a truly empathetic person who can put himself in other people’s shoes better than most adults I know, let alone people his own age. He may be less flashy than many, and I think that means that people often overlook or underestimate him. And I fear it sometimes seems like I do that, because I’m trying to respect his wish for privacy.

It’s a hard line to walk. Being a private and/or reserved person in a world of social media where people very publicly share the minutia of their lives can be really hard. I’m not nearly as reserved as my hypothetical child that I’m not really talking about, but I can understand how he feels. Not everyone does things that are easily publicly celebrated, but that doesn’t necessarily make those things less important or useful. Not everyone is comfortable talking about their own success, or even letting others talk about their success. Not everyone has the desire to be in the spotlight, to share the things they do.

So I want to take a moment in praise of the quiet ones. A moment to appreciate the people who add to our lives, to our gaming community, in subtle ways. Our world is richer because of them.

 

 

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Gender Discrimination in Geek Culture

This is an article my daughter (who just turned 13!) wrote for her school newspaper. It was published before a boy tried to tell her that girls don’t play Minecraft, so it doesn’t include her impassioned argument on that topic.

If I said I liked imagining I fight dragons, reading graphic novels, and playing with Legos, what is the image of me that goes to your head? From the info you just read, would you imagine me as a boy or a girl? I actually surveyed a bunch of people and the majority of them said they imagined boys.

But I am NOT a boy. I’m a girl. My favorite color is pink.

This is a problem. There is this ridiculous stereotype that only boys like games and adventure and interesting stuff, and that girls aren’t cool enough to participate in that kind of thing, or are too delicate to even think about playing games with swords and shields, let alone battleaxes. Unless they’re the one who is helpless and needs saving. It’s all a pile of junk.

The art for these games and graphic novels is even worse. Part of that ridiculous stereotype is that players and readers like to look at pictures of female characters that are dressed inappropriately. It makes me uncomfortable, it’s sexist, it’s biased, and it’s just not okay. I am not going to include any pictures of this, but below is an example of art that does it the right way. It’s from D&D Next.

D&D Next

The following are the art of front covers of games my parents worked on. The art there isn’t gender discriminant either.

Fate coreFAE

However, I must give DC Comics some kudos, because they tried to give Wonder Woman pants, so she was wearing something other than that ridiculous, uncomfortable-looking metal leotard. But they were beaten down on the attempt by people saying that they can’t do that, it would break tradition. Phooey on those people.

In the new video game The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, the slogan was “Willst thou get the girl, or willst thou play like one?” They changed it later, but that doesn’t make it okay.

And have you read The False Prince? I loved it. It’s one of the Young Reader’s Choice books this year. But on the back, it quotes the LA Times saying that it is “chock full of alluring details for adventure-loving boys.”  My mom and I loved it. Neither my brother nor my dad shows any interest in reading this book. See something wrong with the picture?

I feel uncomfortable with all of this. If I was going into battle against orcs, I would not be wearing a chainmail bikini. It’s a one-way ticket to impalement. Women need to be shown as strong people, not just another pretty face to look at. I would be perfectly fine with them just being shown as people.  We can make our own decisions, we are not just an object to make men feel good. I have spoken to many people about this, and it makes them uncomfortable, too. It is NOT okay!

Nicole Leigh Verdin from the movie The Shroud

Nicole Leigh Verdin from the movie The Shroud

I can't find attribution for this one. Anyone know where it's from?

I can’t find attribution for this one. Anyone know where it’s from?

Look at these pictures. THIS is my armor of choice!

 

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Metatopia 2013 Schedule

We leave for Metatopia in a few days! I’m really looking forward to it. I’ll be on a total of eight panels, as well as attending panels and hanging out and probably participating in some impromptu playtesting.

Here’s the schedule of panels I’ll be on, in case you’re interested:

The Care and Feeding of Freelancers

with John Stavropoulos and Ryan Macklin

D006 Friday 10:00 – 11:00

You’ve reached the point where you’re ready to hire some professional freelancers to help you complete your game, whether as writers, editors, or artists. How do you find freelancers, how do you work with them, and how do you keep them happy to work for you? 

 

Working with Family and Friends

with Cam Banks, Kat Miller and Michael Miller

D012 Friday 12:00 – 1:00

The game designer life can be stressful, and sharing the tough times with loved ones can either make it better or worse. The panelists present several good ideas for maintaining your relationships while getting the job done.

 

How to Work with Editors

with Ryan Macklin, Cam Banks, and John Adamus

D014 Friday 1:00 – 2:00

Everyone needs an editor. How do you hire one? Once you have one, how can you work with her most efficiently? How does somebody become a great game editor themselves?

 

Publishing Fiction

with Jocelyn Koehler and Nicholas Tulach

D020 Friday 3:00 – 4:00

Learn how to go from premise to published novel from the folks at tiny press Hammer & Birch. This panel will show you every step in the life of one book: from settling on a concept to finishing the writing, the editing process, cover design and formatting, publishing, and selling it to strangers. Some things we’ll talk about: the craft of writing, the value of beta readers, creating a realistic budget, how to do art direction, working with an editor, how to speak Amazon, where to market, how to engage readers, and what to do in the dark of night when you just want to give up.

 

Designing Games for Kids

with Tim Rodriguez and Krista White

D026 Friday 5:00 – 6:00

Designing games intended for younger audiences doesn’t mean dumbing down. What are the additional challenges involved in making products to appeal to the younger set?

 

What Goes Into Your GM Advice Chapter?

with Ryan Macklin, Kevin Kulp, Brennan Taylor, and John Stavropoulos

D047 Saturday 2:00 – 3:00

There’s one in most every role playing and story game. How do you teach the art of Game Mastering? What assumptions do you make about your audience? 

 

Inclusivity: Inviting Women to the Table

with Julia B. Ellingboe, Lillian Cohen-Moore, Elizabeth Sampat, & Shoshana Kessock

D051 Saturday 4:00 – 5:00

During last year’s Gaming as Women panel at Metatopia, the conversation turned to how men can be good allies, encouraging women to join their gaming groups and supporting safe, inclusive space in their communities. Join us for more conversation on this topic. Shoshana Kessock will facilitate this round table, populated by our women Guests of Honor and other women from the community. We invite you to join us for a detailed conversation with practical advice on how to foster communities that are inclusive to women rather than alienating. 

 

Role Playing Development from A to Z

with Kenneth Hite, Darren Watts, and Dave Chalker

D078 Sunday 1:00 – 2:00

The designer of an RPG makes the basic mechanics and structure. Then, the development comes in. Sometimes this is the same person, another person, or a whole team of people. Development then makes sure the RPG has everything it needs to be played, and also playtests the heck out of it to identify any flaws that need to be patched. Come learn what it’s like being an RPG developer on games both big and small, how every RPG can benefit from a strong development cycle, and what to look for in game development.

 

Designer Vs. Publisher: Which Side Do I Really Want?

with Ryan Macklin and Darren Watts

D083 Sunday 3:00 – 4:00

So you’ve got a game. Now you have a key question to answer- how much do I really want to be a small business owner? Is self-publishing really for me, or should I get somebody else to do that job?

 

 

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A Tale of Two Cons

This summer marked an evolution for our gaming family—we took the kids to two game conventions, Origins Game Fair and DEXCON. And this was the first year we brought the kids but not my mom (she came to Origins with us in 2011 and 2012). Here are some thoughts and lessons learned.

Confined Cons

Both Origins and DEXCON are all in one building, as long as you stay in the hotel attached to the convention center, which we did. At 11 and 12, our kids are independent enough that we could let them wander a bit on their own. They have cell phones now that they’re in middle school (we can argue about the wisdom of that elsewhere, but it was a welcome bit of security this summer). Although in some ways I felt bad leaving my mom behind, the kids no longer need a sitter. When the boy bashed his head on the desk during the evening (yes, he continued to bunk out on the floor under the desk), one phone call and we were upstairs with ice—and they already had things pretty well under control and barely needed us. But I’m still glad they called.

There’s no way we’re taking them to Gen Con any time soon where the convention is spread out over several city blocks. Maybe when they’re 15 and 16 or something like that. But in the relatively confined spaces of Origins and DEXCON, I was quite comfortable with giving them some autonomy. However, during Origins, we found those confines a bit hindering for us as some of our friends spent their evenings at neighborhood bars rather than hanging out at the Big Bar on 2. Until the kids are a good bit older, we intend to be an elevator ride away.

Friends

This year, Cam and Jessica Banks brought their boys along to Origins. Although we’ve lived states apart for years now, our families have always had a special bond and our kids are good friends. So it was fantastic to hang out with them, and Columbus is a more manageable road trip than visiting each other’s houses. As always, though, more people means more difficulty making decisions. And with more kids in the mix, it was that much more challenging especially as exhaustion started to overtake enthusiasm.

Now that we all have a better idea of what to expect, I think we’ll be able to plan a bit better in the future. Cam and Jess were both working at a booth, and I did not envy them the juggling that resulted. I’m glad we’ve managed to minimize the business we need to handle when we’re at a convention with the kids.

We also got to meet Filamena Young and David Hill’s three kids, which was lots of fun. We learned that there are no good places to meet up and hang out with seven kids in the Columbus convention center, but we all made do and the kids got along great.

Planning

It’s so tempting to wing it—to assume that, with so many options, you’ll all just find stuff to do. Every con we go to, we learn more things we should have planned better. It’s not easy to make decisions on the fly, and that gets exponentially more difficult with each person you need to take into account. Of course your schedule should be flexible, but it’s important to at least figure out what several things are most important to each person and then make sure those things happen.

This was our first time at DEXCON. We could only go for the weekend, so we showed up mid-con. I’ve heard that it’s the best convention to take kids to, but more than any other con I’ve been to, it requires planning. They aren’t kidding when they say this is the con for gaming—it hardly felt crowded because everyone was playing scheduled games all the time. We hadn’t signed up for anything because our decision to go was so last minute (and we usually don’t sign up for scheduled con games anyway), so at first we felt pretty lost. Luckily, we knew lots of people who were there and eventually got our bearings and had a great time—but we will absolutely plan things out and schedule games next time, even though there are challenges to signing up for scheduled games with young gamers (but the wonderful people at DEXCON are working with me on making that easier for parents!).

Kids’ Room

The kids’ room at Origins is amazing. We never bothered to use it before, and our kids have pretty much outgrown it, but they spent some time hanging out in there with the Banks boys. It’s a great place for kids to run around, to play and touch and manipulate things in a way they just can’t in the exhibitors’ hall. The people who volunteer there are wonderful and are all vetted well. It felt safe and welcoming. They even handled a fire alarm and evacuation incredibly well!

If you’re a game designer or retailer, it’s totally worth it to see about getting your kid-friendly games into the kids’ room. One of the volunteers taught our kids how to play Candamir and they absolutely fell in love with it. Not surprisingly, it’s now on our game shelf.

Origins Awards

Marvel Heroic Roleplaying won two awards, so that was exciting. But the awards ceremony itself was really not fun. My date for the evening was my daughter because tickets were $30 each (no, that 0 on there isn’t a typo). She and I used the comp tickets for working on a nominated game, but Clark and my son missed it because there was no way we were paying $60 so they could be there.

We sat with the Banks family, so there were three kids conspicuously sitting at our table in the not-crowded room. And Kevin Sorbo, who hosted, proceeded to make an “orgy awards” joke. My daughter, who came to the awards last year when James Earnest hosted, leaned over to me and said, “I thought he was supposed to be funny.” Sorbo didn’t even attempt to pronounce the names of the nominees because that was apparently beneath him and we should also have found these ridiculous names hi-lar-i-ous.

Although I’m pleased that Marvel Heroic Roleplaying got some well deserved recognition, the ceremony felt insulting. At least it was short.

Travel

The kids are getting pretty good at this long distance travel thing. We’re also learning that long breaks can be your friend. We took a two hour lunch break and wandered through Cabela’s on the way to Columbus and it reset the kids’ endurance for sitting in the car. It also gave us a trial run for letting them go off on their own in a public place which helped us plan better for how to keep in touch when they were on their own in the convention hall.

On the way home, on the other hand, they were utterly exhausted and slept most of the way, so we stopped as little as possible.

Here We Go Again

We worried that two cons was just a bit too much for our summer to handle, but I’m so glad we were talked into coming to DEXCON for the weekend. Next year we’re absolutely going for the whole time.

The kids spent the drive home already planning what they want to do at DEXCON next year—although of course this needs to be in addition to (absolutely not instead of) Origins. So don’t take your kids to a convention unless you’re pretty sure you’re prepared to add it to your annual schedule!

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“All Ages” Isn’t Necessarily “Kid Friendly”

When we were at DexCon, the kids and I got to play a board game in development called Game of Thorns. It combined the themes of hobbits, gardening, and Game of Thrones to see who would be ruler of the rose garden. Another kid and adult joined us, and the last player was an adult without a kid in the game.

We had a lot of fun, but none of the kids were familiar with Game of Thrones, which meant they didn’t get the conspiring and backstabbing aspect of it. So they simply didn’t do that. Within an hour, the game was over because my girl (playing “Daynearus”) persuasively explained that she wouldn’t kill us with her dragons as long as we invited her to our garden party. So we all wisely said yes, worked together, and won the game as a team. While that was awesome in its way—and preferable from my point of view because my kids have a limited attention span and an hour or so is plenty for one game—I felt bad for the non-kidded adult who didn’t get to actually experience the game the way it’s intended to be played. He was a great sport, but that’s not the experience he signed up for.

As more and more gamers start bringing their kids to gaming conventions, I’ve definitely noticed the atmosphere, at least at the conventions we go to, getting more family friendly. There are a lot more activities for kids and a lot of things available to all ages and explicitly welcoming of beginners.

Our kids are a weird age, though. Most of the stuff aimed kids is really aimed at much younger kids, like early elementary and younger. Most of the “all ages” stuff applies to content and not to the realities of tweens around the gaming table.

Our kids want to play grown up games, but they haven’t quite mastered some of the skills required for that—like sitting still for 4 hours and focusing on what everyone else is doing without dropping your dice on the floor, repeatedly bumping the table, and making distracting noises. At home, we’re prepared to deal with that. At a con game, you can’t assume that the players and the GM or moderator are actually signing on for that kind of experience. It’s nerve-wracking for the parents, frustrating for the kids, and potentially annoying for other gamers.

At Origins, we deal with it by not signing up for any scheduled games. We play in the Board Room and in the hotel lobby with just our family or with friends who know they’re sitting down to a game with kids. At DexCon, that approach left us without a lot to play at first.

We do, however, have amazing friends who can make anything kid friendly because they’re cool like that.

Shoshanna Kessock, John Adamus, and the rest of the crew in the Dresden Files LARP provided my girl with an incredible first LARP experience. She played the role of Ivy (the Archive) and had the time of her life—unsurprisingly, this wasn’t an all ages event, but since they had invited her to play they were ready to deal with a 12 year old wandering around well past her bedtime in the midst of werewolves, vampires, wizards, and a variety of questionably intentioned fae. Because the moderators were looking out for her, a late night LARP about the impending destruction of the world became kid friendly.

When Clark and I wanted to playtest The New World with Bill White (which was arguably all ages, but definitely not kid friendly), Tim Rodriguez hung out with our kids and played Star Munchkin and playtested his own card game with them. Because he’s patient and a good teacher, it was one of the highlights of the con for them, even though learning the game was challenging. Playtesting can absolutely be kid friendly, if that’s what the playtester is trying to do.

As anyone who’s ever been in middle school is painfully aware, there’s this weird middle ground where you’re ready to start acting like an adult some of the time, but you’re not quite up to doing it all of the time. When you have middle school kids at a game convention, they’re probably not going to want to get grouped in with the little kids—they’re ready for more, and for them to grow as gamers we need to offer them more. However, they’re often not ready to game like adults, at least not consistently and predictably.

You’ve probably heard people talk about how video games are threatening the future of tabletop gaming. That kids these days would rather play on some game system than crack open a game book or learn a new board game. One way to attract young gamers is to make them welcome at convention games, giving them a place where they feel like they belong. This is less about appropriate content and more about the atmosphere at the table.

Maybe this can happen by the convention itself ensuring that there’s a track of games that actively welcome young players and is labeled accordingly. Or maybe Games on Demand could offer a family slot aimed at encouraging parents to bring their kids to the table. Perhaps it’s just a few GMs each labeling a session or two as aimed at young players. I’d love to see a “kid friendly” or “young players welcome” designation for convention games because, as a parent, “all ages” doesn’t give me the necessary information to know if my kids (and the people playing with my kids) will have a good experience.

Games that welcome young players should have:

  • a patient GM or moderator
  • a flexible GM or moderator who can deal with distracted players and streamline things as needed to keep the game moving
  • players with an expectation of some silliness and a certain tolerance for noise, movement, and distraction
  • a limited timeframe—probably no more than 2 hours for board games and RPGs
  • a clear statement that this game is not a babysitting service—children under 11 or so should be accompanied by an adult

A kids’ room like they have at Origins, while fantastic for younger kids, doesn’t solve the problem of tween players. My kids want to experience the convention, not spend a weekend in one room, no matter how many crafts and games are there. My hope is that a “kid friendly” or “young players” designation would help parents find convention games for their kids that are appropriate not only in content but in expectations.

 

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Roomier Character Sheet for Little Wizards

Little Wizards 02When Richard Rogers was getting ready to play Little Wizards with his 7 year old, they found the character sheet provided in the book to be a bit cramped. So Kelly Vanda designed this gorgeous landscape character sheet with lots more room, which is especially useful for young writers.

I have their permission to share it with you, so here you go!

Little Wizards Character Sheet landscape

In case that doesn’t work, here’s another link:

Dropbox Link

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Two Years In

It’s time for the more or less annual update on living the life of a freelancer. I’m sure you’ve been waiting anxiously.

It’s been about two years since I started editing full time, and I still have a lot to learn about how best to balance all of this. Summer, with the kids at home and my schedule shot to hell, is the biggest challenge.

Last summer I figured the best way to find time to work was to put the kids in every camp I could find. Instead I spent most of my time trying to keep track of a schedule that varied wildly from week to week. So this summer, I tried to scale back. Somehow, we still ended up with an incredibly hectic schedule.

Nevertheless, I got a lot done. Often that was because I simply prioritized my work. I had deadlines I had to meet, and everyone else just had to deal. My kids are old enough now (11 and 12) that, while they may not like it, at least they get it. I worked at a state park while the kids swam with their cousins. Clark picked up a lot of slack while I spent late hours editing. My parents took the kids when they started climbing the walls.

It certainly wasn’t a perfect summer—as it came to an end, I was utterly exhausted to the point where I lost about a week to frequent napping and possible con crud. I had trouble keeping up with Reads 4 Tweens and I totally gave up on trying to keep this blog up to date. I have a lot of catching up to do in the things I do for me, not for clients.

But I did get a lot of work done:
The Firefly Gen Con Exclusive for Margaret Weis Productions
Lady in Pearls by Elizabeth Cole
Little Wizards for Crafty Games
Sally Slick and the Steel Syndicate by Carrie Harris
A Heartless Design by Elizabeth Cole (coming next month)
The Paranet Papers for Evil Hat Productions (in layout – coming in early 2014)

Clark and I also made it to three conventions, two with the kids and one all on our own. More on those in a later post.

My main takeaway from this year? I need to plan better so I have a much shorter list of stuff that needs to get done between May and August. I have a good steady flow of projects I’m excited to work on, so my third year of freelance life will be all about managing a calendar and my deadlines so they don’t occur quite so close together. And possibly better organizing my workspace, which should help with that.

We’ll see how it goes. I’ll check in again next year.

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2013 Gen Con Schedule

So, yeah. Summer has been a bit…hectic. This is perhaps a bit on the late side (I’m writing it from a hotel in Indianapolis) but here’s my Gen Con schedule in case you want to say hi.

Tuesday

ARRIVE AT GEN CON!

Wednesday

  • Diana Jones Awards at 9:00pm

Thursday

  • Margaret Weis Productions (booth 1619) most of the day except for:
  • Crafty Games (booth 619) from 1:00-2:00
  • I’m going to try to show up at the Evil Hat panel from 5:00-6:00 in the Crowne Plaza, Hay Market B.

Friday

  • MWP (booth 1619) from 10:00-11:00
  • Family Fun Pavilion for a Little Wizards event from 11:00-12:00
  • The Campaign Doctors panel with Jack Graham, Robin Laws, and Luke Crane in the Crowne Plaza, Grand Central Ballroom A/B 1:00-2:00
  • ENnies! Union Station Grand Hall
    6:30 reception
    8:00 I’m hosting the awards!

Saturday

  • MWP (booth 1619) most of the day except for:
  • Crafty Games (booth 619) from 1:00-2:00

Sunday

  • MWP (booth 1619) most of the day except for:
  • Crafty Games (booth 619) from 1:00-2:00

Monday

  • Head back home

 

If I have no place else I need to be during the evening, you might find me hanging out in the Embassy Suites lobby. As other wise people have said, please (re)introduce yourself if we’re not close in-person friends—I don’t mean at all to be unfriendly but I’m not fantastic at quickly putting together faces and names and Twitter handles and how I know you! I will return the favor.

 

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