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July 21, 2008

I spent the entirety of last week in Los Angeles, helping out at Massively for E3. E3, if you’re not familiar with it, used to be the premiere videogames industry event. Held every year at the LA Convention Center, it was an over-the-top show full of new games, huge televisions, and scantily clad women. It’s now a purely media-and-business focused show, with a focus on giving the attendees a chance to focus on the games (instead of the spectacle). This is, in theory, a good thing. A problem has arisen, though, as developers and publishers begin to hold their own events throughout the year. Other industry events like the Penny Arcade Expo, Comic-Con, and even Gen Con have taken up some of the slack. You can see some excellent analysis of last week’s announcements in the Bonus Round posted this past weekend.

As for me, I essentially spent every waking moment trying to get stuff on the site with the exception of Friday. Friday early morning found me at Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles having some really delicious foods. If you ever have the chance to consume their “chicken”, which is really unicorn meat, do so. With gravy. Friday morning I saw the Dark Knight with my co-bloggers, which I greatly enjoyed. It’s a fantastic movie, really stretches the bounds of what you think of when you consider a super-hero movie.

As per the norm when I get back from covering an event, I’ve got a ton of stuff to get done today. Thankfully, it’s pretty much just today – I’ve kept on top of my material pretty well. Hooray! So when I get through the content early this week I should have a schedule clear enough to tackle the other projects I’ve got to get done for the end of the week. Good times.


Last Week’s Writing

June 9, 2008

Brian recently asked that I start doing a weekly wrapup of stuff that I’m particularly proud of. I don’t think that’s a terribly bad idea. Here’s the update for today through last week:


Scribere ergo sum

June 5, 2008

I won’t bore you with the particulars of the many thousands of words I’ve been writing this week, but suffice it to say that it’s some deeply nerdy shit. Nth level geekery, of the stuff five years ago I never would have even dreamed being paid to write. Today, not only am I getting paid to write it, it’s my primary means of maintaining my lifestyle; I haven’t gotten my first paycheck from a full month of freelancing, but I expect it to be ‘not bad’. “Enough”, rather.

Certainly with this week’s efforts I’m working to make my second paycheck even more adequate. And it’s all because I am now allowed to string words together into (semi) coherent sentences about a subject I feel passionate about. I’m a blogger, yes. I’m a games journalist, maybe. But mostly I’m a writer. The only time in my life I was ever stupid enough to think I could be a writer professionally was at the tail end of my freshman year in college. It lasted all of … maybe four months? And yet here I am.

One of the clearest memories I have from my first Gen Con is sitting in a corner of the Wizards of the Coast castle listening to Ed Greenwood tell stories. Ed’s gotten a lot of flack over the years, but I respect the hell out of him for sheer number of words he’s put out there. To say nothing of the Realms themselves; as strange and pulled-at as they’ve gotten over the years, he’s made a life’s work out of his home campaign. That’s freaking amazing.

Ed’s telling stories, and he gets asked a lot of questions over the course of the hour or so I have between play sessions. It’s free to sit there and listen to him, and he’s expounding on the Realms, stuff he ran back in the day … many things. Someone asks him, kind of jokingly, “Hey, so how do you become a writer? It seems like a sweet gig.” He laughs, and says the one of the few ‘life lessons’ that has remained burned in my brain all these years. His response was something like:

“It’s actually really hard. Being a writer isn’t a choice. If you have to write, if it’s what you have to do, every day … if what you do is write, then you’re a writer. Writing is an action, not a job or a state of mind or a profession. It’s an act. And if you do it, you’re a writer. And nobody can tell you any different.”

I think I’m pushing something like 30,000 words for this week. It’s utilitarian, it’s incredibly boring to vast swaths of humanity, and is impenetrable jargon to most of my friends and family. But … it’s writing. I’m a writer.

Utterly weird, and completely wonderful. Thanks, reality.



May 30, 2008

Somehow, beyond all imagining, I’ve returned home relatively unruffled. My major goals in leaving were accomplished, and I actually got some work done while I was there. Almost inconceivable, but there you go.

It was a really interesting experience, and you can see the fruits of my labor over on Massively. More content goes up Monday-Wed.

Best elements from the trip:

  • Smooth as silk flights, with extra spaces and exit rows abounding.
  • No illness, as far as I can tell.
  • Lots of folks paying my new gig compliments.
  • A view of a very strange hotel amenity: a touchscreen information board on every floor and all around the lobby:

Overall, the whole thing went really well. Glad I went.