Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Why, yes, it is snowing

I'm sitting here playing catch up (mostly Sam's Dot stuff), and watching the snow outside my window. It started snowing last night, and it's been pretty steady all day, although it seems to be picking up a bit now. I'm guessing we have about eight inches right now, and I'm pretty sure we'll end up with more than a foot by morning, but in reality, this storm is not all that Colorado snow storms go.

Monday, October 26, 2009

MileHiCon day 3

The last day started out as quickly as the previous. At 11 in the morning I ran a game of Ephemeris. It looked like we wouldn't get enough people, but I ended up having six players with me, which is exactly what I was looking for. I had Ian Brazee-Cannon, creator of Ephemeris: Critters & Pests, Howard Brazee, Flying Pen Press publisher David Rozansky, Stace Johnson (for an hour), and James Van Pelt's two sons...who I'm afraid to say I didn't get their names. We played for two hours, had a lot of fun, and by the time we were done, my voice was going.

But that didn't matter because immediately after the game, I had a panel called Stories, Art Direction, & Web Design for Online Magazines. Unfortunately, our moderator didn't show up. Lucky for us, Carol Hightshoe quickly volunteered me, and everyone else on the panel I moderated a panel that I hadn't even given any thought to. Luckily, it was a panel I knew something about, so I was able to wing it, and I think it went pretty well.

After a quick lunch, we caught the 20 lb. Critter Crunch, which the kids always really seem to get into...and for that matter, so do the adults. After that, we had about an hour to kill, so rather than walk aimlessly around the con, we went to the room where they were going to hold the closing ceremonies and decided to hang out there. Before anyone else showed up, Marc Gunn (the musical guest of honor) showed up and put on an impromptu concert for us...which was VERY cool. Nothing like having a GOH perform for just your family.

Then it was the closing ceremonies, and everything came to an end. I didn't get to see anyone as much as I'd hoped to, but I did want to mention a few people that I did get to spend at least a little time with...Laura Given, Rose Beetem, David Lee Summers, Ian & Sarah Brazee-Cannon, Howard and Patricia Brazee, David Boop, Carol Hightshoe, David Rozansky, Stace Johnson...and a cast of hundreds.

Normally I use the old digital camera to get some pictures, but it's been giving us some problems, and we had some disposables that I picked up from the Office Depot by us before it we decided to use those. Very bad decision! Rebecca called a little while ago to say that almost none of the pictures came out...

MileHiCon day 2

Hit the ground running for day 2. My panel was at 10 am, and this one was GM 101: A Thief, a Mage, and a Paladin Walk into the Tavern. It was about being a game master and running RPG's. It was a fun panel and had a much larger audience than I'd expected...with a lot of good feedback from the audience. I plugged Ephemeris as much as I could without being truly obnoxious.

Immediately following my panel was my signing. Luckily I was sitting with David Boop and Carol Hightshoe. Since we all knew each other, it gave us something to do since there were very few people coming by. I think the biggest problem, and this was echoed by a lot of the authors I talked to, was that the signing table was not in the Dealers' Room this year. I realize with Nancy Kress and Barbra Hambly, they need the room out in the atrium for all of the fans, but for the rest of us, being in the Dealers' Room where people are actually looking to spend money makes a lot more sense. Moving us back into the Dealers' Room would be my main recommendation for next year.

After that, it was mostly doing stuff with the kids. Superhero costuming, superhero gadgets, mask making, and face painting. Our oldest had bracers painted onto her arms, while the youngest had zebra stripes painted onto her face.

We then went to the Marc Gunn concert, which was very entertaining. That was followed up by the Masquerade, which I thought was a bit of a let down this year. Not many costumes, and a lot of them seemed thrown together...still can't believe the Predator didn't win.

As we were getting ready to go home, we ran into an old friend of mine who I hadn't seen in many many many years. I didn't even know he would attend something like MileHiCon, but there he was, and he seemed to be having a good time.

MileHiCon day 1

I had planned on blogging over the weekend, but we got home late every night, and I was exhausted. Overall, the con was good, although it seemed a lot less energetic than usual. Attendance was down a bit, and I don't think people had as much money as for those of us hoping to make some money, it didn't go so well. Plus the kids kept acting up for some reason...haven't really figured out why yet.

The first day started with the 100 Years Since Darwin panel. Most of the discussion was about how SF gets Darwin right and wrong, although we did finally get into the whole Darwin/Creationism debate. Of course, it wasn't really a debate since most everyone in the room comes down firmly on the side of Darwinism. I think Courtney Willis had the best observation when he pointed out that this is really only a debate in America. Most of the rest of the Western world accepts Darwinism, and the whole "Intelligent" Design argument doesn't even exist.

Later in the night we went to the opening ceremonies, which are always entertaining. That was immediately followed by the Odd Austin concert. They seemed shocked that we were actually staying to watch them, but they're always entertaining. You can think of them as young Weird Al's. We had to pick up their first CD while we were there too.

During the opening ceremonies we'd let the oldest go off to a panel on her own. This was a kids game that they were going to be playing revolving around Rangers. It let her have more fun at the con, and gave hopefully gave her a sense of independence that she might not always feel. Unfortunately, there were some issues between the Rangers and the ConCom, so they had some problems playing their game over the weekend.

After the Odd Austin concert, we had planned on going home, but apparently the Rangers were getting together for a meeting during the we went to that as well. This is where people build their own little boats and race them in the hotel pool.

Overall, day one was quick...but fun. More about days two and three later...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Getting set for MileHiCon

The Con starts in just a few hours, and we're getting all of our final preparations done. My first panel will be at 4. If you're going to be at the Con, be sure to say hi. If you're not, you'll be able to follow my progress on Twitter at

If I have time, I'll blog about the con over the weekend, but it might be early next week before I get to it, because we're going to have a very full weekend.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Species Sourcebooks

I've now finished all six of the species sourcebooks for the Ephemeris RPG. This has been a pretty big undertaking, and I'm now glad that they're done. I'm currently working on finishing up a low level adventure that we'll play at MileHiCon. After the con, the adventure will be available to the general public.

I'm really enjoying all of this RPG work that I've been doing, but I have to admit that I'm starting to miss writing fiction. Hopefully I will be able to get back to that fairly soon.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Last night we took the girls to the circus. I have some very mixed feelings about the circus. I remember having a great time going as a kid back in Ohio, but I also know that circuses have a long history of animal abuse, although I haven't heard any "direct" accusations made against Ringling Bros. in quite a while. Still, it always makes me wonder if going to these things is a good idea.

However, kids don't understand this stuff, and they had a blast. With all the financial issues we've had over the last couple of years, we haven't been able to do as much for them as we'd this made it worthwhile.

Still, given the things I was hearing from people around me, I have to wonder if seeing animals perform gives the general public the idea that that's what wild animals are here perform for us...

Of all the crazy things we saw last night, perhaps the craziest happened before the show even started. Now you get to go down onto the floor and meet the clowns and some of the other performers. While we were down there, I ran into one of my old college be more precise, one of my favorite professors. He and I got a chance to talk for a few minutes, and it was pretty cool. His Abnormal Psych class has had a huge influence on my writing...

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

My MileHiCon schedule

No word yet on whether or not I'll be hosting a game of Ephemeris, but here's the schedule as I have it now...

Fri. 4pm 100 years since Darwin
Sat. 10 am GM 101: A Thief, a Mage, and a Paladin Walk into the Tavern
Sat. 11 am signing with David Boop and Carol Hightshoe (with the three of us, it should be entertaining)
Sun. 1pm Stories, Art Direction, & Web Design for Online Magazines

Hope you can all make it!!!

An Ephemeris Update for early October

Yesterday, the Melanathee Sourcebook for the Ephemeris RPG was released. This is the fifth of the species sourcebooks I've written for the game. Each features information like character classes and skills that are specific to each species. They're small PDF books that are available at Hopefully I will have the Tulmath Sourcebook done in the next few days, and then we will have all of the species rounded out.

I think these books will give a nice little twist to the game that we just couldn't include in the initial rulebook. Even though the book is just over 400 pages, the Ephemeris universe is just too damn big to fit in those pages.

In the future, we will be releasing sourcebooks for each of the classes, and Ian Brazee-Cannon (who wrote the Critters & Pests book) is working on a Smuggler's Handbook that we will hopefully have out by the end of November.

I'm hoping that I'll be hosting a game of Ephemeris at MileHiCon in a few weeks. If I do, please feel free to drop by...we will need players, and I'll have copies of the game with me for anyone that might be interested.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

H1N1 and other news

This last week has been a long and tiring one. Our oldest started running a fever and generally felt like crap. We finally got her into the doctor and they confirmed that she had influenza A, and 96% of the influenza A cases in Colorado are H1N1, so the odds are that she had the dreaded swine flu.

Now that she's feeling better, I have to admit that were I kid, I would much rather have swine flu than the more garden variety of flu, because other than a sore throat, some congestion, and a fever, she had no other symptoms. She had a little bit of nausea at times, but that's where it stopped. I remember being a kid and having the flu. I also remember having to keep a trashcan by the bed.

I realize that at some point H1N1 might mutate into a very deadly flu strain, but the reality of the situation right now is that this flu is not that bad. If you look at the stats, fewer people are dying from H1N1 than die from the regular flu. This is another case of the media blowing things out of proportion...and yes, I realize it could get bad, but people certainly don't need to be in the state of panic that they're in at the moment.

In other news, this has slowed my progress on creating Ephemeris supplements. I was hoping to have the last of the species sourcebooks done in the next couple of days, but instead, I still have two more to finish. Still, I would ask that if there are any gamers reading this blog, check out the game at I really think we've created a very fun game.

I should be receiving my MileHiCon schedule any day now, and once I get that, I'll post it here as well. I'm hoping that I'll be hosting a game of Ephemeris at this year's con.