My 2017 Publications

Hello everyone,

It’s that time of year! Today, I take a look back at what I’ve published in 2017. This year, I’ve had a busy but rewarding schedule. Let’s see how this year shook out for stories, games, and comics!

This year, my summer travel was pretty intense. Thanks to the fine and upstanding individuals at RopeCon in Helsinki, Finland, I was able to travel overseas to talk about my work and chat with fans. Plus, I was at CONvergence, GenCon, and Geek*Kon as well. I’ve already put together a tentative 2018 schedule that wraps around a few conventions I’ve never been to before, but the shows will be further apart for sure.

As luck would have it, my 2017 list of publications wound up with a stronger emphasis on gaming publications than fiction or non-fiction. That said, there’s a lot happening behind-the-scenes. My agent, Jennie Goloboy, recently announced she’s switched from Red Sofa Literary to the Donald Maass Literary Agency, and I have recently signed a new contract. I’m excited despite (what I feel) has been a lower productivity year for multiple reasons, and it’s something I am holding on to as I move forward.

Games Released in 2017

This year, role-playing game material was the bulk of my publications. Here’s a list of what was released in 2017 thus far–with the caveat that I may be missing a few short adventures.

  • LEGACY OF LIES, Vampire: The Masquerade Dark Ages 20th Anniversary Edition, 2017, Onyx Path Publishing/White Wolf Entertainment AB (Developer)
  • OVER THE EDGE, Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, 2017, Wizards of the Coast
  • RUSTED VEINS, Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition Playtest, White Wolf Entertainment AB (Consultant)
  • DAGGER OF SPIRAGOS, a Scarred Lands adventure for D&D 5E and Pathfinder, 2017, Nocturnal Media/Onyx Path Publishing (Developer)
  • DARK ERAS COMPANION, Geist: Sin Eaters “Forboding Lands”, 2017, Onyx Path Publishing/White Wolf Entertainment AB
  • UNKNOWN ARMIES 3rd Edition Books 1, 2, & 3, 2017, Atlas Games

Of Note

Though my releases were sparse in other forms, I did move forward on fiction and non-fiction, both behind-the-scenes and in unique ways. For fiction, I kept busy promoting Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling which launched late 2016. I also managed to kick off a serial work called Diary of an Aspiring Alchemist, which is available for free on WattPad.

In non-fiction, I self-published eBook called Make Art Not War Challenge: Rules, Essays, and 31 Creative Prompts. The latter is a continuation of this year’s blog initiative and posts linked to my Make Art Not War Challenge.

I also sold two original short stories which will debut next year, a cool bit I’m doing for a card game, and an essay to an upcoming anthology. I do have more news to announce, but for the time being I’m holding off until long after the ink is dry. There’s more to come!

If I’ve learned anything this year, it’s that I’m human after all. (That realization incurs two eyebrow raises and a sip of tea!) Many thanks to friends and family for being so supportive during an interesting and turbulent year.

I’ve left comments open on this post if you’d like to share your news. Hope you’ve fared well, and your future is everything you hope it could be.

New! December’s 30 Day Challenge to Make Art Not War

Wow! What a year it has been! For several months, you’ve learned some things about yourself as an artist. You’ve made art! And, you’ve stuck with me on my artistic journey. Now, I have one last challenge for you. In lieu of a theme for December, I’m offering a series of fun daily activities for you to complete. Each one touches on some of the tips, advice, and themes I’ve offered throughout the year. Enjoy!

MANW Check-In Week 48: November’s Progress and Finish Lines

Make Art Not War November 2017

Hey, how did your November go? Mine went pretty well, despite two weeks lost to the flu. This month’s theme was FINISH, and by now you have either finished what you started this month or you’re struggling. There could be a lot of reasons behind your lack of motivation or slower progress, and I’ve often found that it’s important to record them. The point of finishing is not to hyper-analyze how you reach the finish line. Sometimes, it’s more important to type “the end” than it is to write it with a flourish or add a bit of poetry. From there, from your failures or setbacks, you might discover new goals or behavioral techniques you can use to move forward.

Here are some examples of setbacks and solutions:

Setback: Falling Behind. Your goal was to reach 50,000 words for a novel this month, but you felt overwhelmed and couldn’t figure out what to write. By the time you got that sorted, you fell behind.

Solution: To prepare for a month of writing, try your hand at outlining and character sketches beforehand. What do your characters want? What stands in their way? Where does your story start and end? Outlines can help keep you on track as you write, because they’ll offer goal posts where you didn’t have any before.

Setback: Lack of Focus.
You knew what you wanted to write, but it was hard to focus. Every time you started, you quickly lost interest and didn’t want to write at all.

Solution: Being resistant to the work happens to all of us. To get past that mental block or stubbornness, you could try warm-up exercises, changing your environment/music, writing something else for fifteen minutes to half an hour, etc. Usually, when you’re slow or can’t focus there’s a reason for that. It could be something as complex as anxiety/depression or a consequence of heavily relying on online tools. It could also, however, be something simple. You’ve never written in that genre before, or haven’t used that technique. Fear can definitely be a factor, even on a subsconscious level, too.

Setback: Can’t Finish.
You have no trouble getting into writing, but you can’t seem to finish what you start no matter how hard you try.

Solution: Try writing the end or middle of your story first. You might also benefit from mini-tasking, or taking your short stories and breaking them out by scenes instead. You might also plan to write for shorter periods of time, lke 15 or 20 minutes, until you rebuild your concentration. If you get distracted, I also find that having a journal or a tool like Evernote next to you can really help. That way, if you have a to do item you forgot or suddenly remember an important task you can write it down and get back to your manuscript.

The next time you have a setback, try identifying what it is and cooking up your own solution. This week’s check-in addresses some of the finer points I’ve been dealing with. Tune in later this week for a brand new 30 Day Challenge!

Weekly Check-in

My Original Make Art Not War 2017 Challenge pledge:

  • I pledge to devote one hour a day to my original art.
  • If I don’t feel motivated, I pledge to write down the reasons why I wanted to take this challenge for fifteen minutes or one-to-three pages whichever comes first.
  • I pledge to mark down on the calendar whenever I complete a day’s efforts.
  • As the challenge creator, I pledge to create a weekly accountability post every Wednesday beginning on January 9th. Comments will be open. Hashtag #makeartnotwar2017 #manw2017
  • I pledge to check into social media twice a week for personal use, and once a month with my local community of artists and writers.

Here’s my current status:

  • Diary of an Aspiring Alchemist is going strong. William Sand finally got the job after a confusing and rocky series of appointments. He’s currently stuck in an archive, reading old books about alchemy and the occult
  • Motivation hasn’t been the issue for me, but I did have a challenging time trying to work while I had the flu. I’ve got a strong routine down now, and need to add back in a few other things. Looking forward to it!
  • So, I’ve been using a new technique on Evernote to mark down progress. It’s been very effective!
  • As the challenge creator, I pledge to create a weekly accountability post every Wednesday beginning on January 9th. Comments will be open. Hashtag #makeartnotwar2017 #manw2017
  • I’m good re: social media. I’m mostly using it for work right now, and I may extend that into 2018. We’ll see how this month goes!

Hope your month went well and better than expected. Write soon!

Mood: Focused. Tired. Deep-fried.
Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Going to hit the caffeine hard. Vrooooom!
Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Some walking.
In My Ears: Us Against the World by Coldplay
Game Last Played: Pokémon Go
Book Last Read: A mega-ass ton of anthologies.
Movie/TV Show Last Viewed: Lucifer Season 3
Latest Artistic Project: Make Art Not War Challenge eBook now available!
Latest Releases: Over the Edge for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, Legacy of Lies for V20 Dark Ages.
Current State of Projects: Read my latest project update. New project update coming when I get time.




[Recommending Reading] Writer’s Yearbook 2018

Cat and Fish

December is a great time to reevaluate how the rest of your year went. I’m opting out of such a summary, if only because 2017 had more ups and downs than a rollercoaster. That said, I find it’s always a fantastic idea to take a pulse and see how my methodology and experiences measure up to other writers.

The other day, I picked up the Writer’s Yearbook 2018 from a local bookstore. (You can find it in the magazine aisle.) There’s a lot of material in this handbook, and the advice is spot on. Some gems:

  • Just Say No to Click-Bait. pp. 48-49. Written by Brandon Ambrosino, the article specifically focuses on the issue of chasing volume. He writes: “Because such [e.g. click-bait] content is fleeting and flames out quickly, writers feel compelled to churn out more and more of it in order to remain viable in a writing landscape that is largely sustained by social media.” The article goes on to offer solutions that help writers be more proactive and make better decisions with their time.
  • Get Down to Writing Business. pp. 51-53. This article takes a nuts-and-bolts approach to the business aspects of writing from a ghostwriter’s perspective. John Peragine writes that: “The key is to view yourself not as a contractor–always at the mercy of the next job–but as a business: in control of how you operate.” This type of operations management may seem intimidating, but I felt the article is applicable to any writer.
  • 101 Best Websites for Writers. pp 68-78. This is a descriptive list of websites separated into several categories: Creativity, Writing Advice, Everything Agents, General Resources, Publishing/Marketing Resources, Jobs & Markets, Online Writing Communities, Genres/Niches, and Just for Fun. There is a lot of information jam-packed into the list, and a few sites you may not normally consider.
  • I feel that this is well worth your time, and there’s a lot of advice mixed in with practical experiences from seasoned writers. If you’re mildly interested in getting a leg up in your freelance writing or authorial career, be sure to check it out.

    Mood: Too much ho-ho-ho.
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: I’m drinking decaf tea. It’s a sacrilege.
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Some walking.
    In My Ears: Some coffee house mix designed for teenagers.
    Game Last Played: Pokémon Go
    Book Last Read: A mega-ass ton of anthologies.
    Movie/TV Show Last Viewed: Beauty and the Beast live action. It was something.
    Latest Artistic Project: Make Art Not War Challenge eBook now available!
    Latest Releases: Over the Edge for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, Legacy of Lies for V20 Dark Ages.
    Current State of Projects: Read my latest project update. New project update coming when I get time.




    [New RPG Jumpstart Release] Legacy of Lies for V20 Dark Ages

    V20 Dark Ages | Jumpstart | Legacy of Lies

    Two Princes. Bitter Rivals. And a Coterie Caught Between Them.

    Marcus Verus, the vampiric Prince of Chester, secretly prepares to go into torpor. Should his plans be made public, the Prince knows the wolves — both real and imagined — would launch an attack, threatening all within his domain.

    That’s where you come in.

    Legacy of Lies is a jumpstart for the Vampire The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Dark Ages Edition corebook. This standalone jumpstart is a taste to whet your vampiric appetite. It includes:

    • Basic rules for players and Storytellers
    • Introduction to the V20: Dark Ages setting
    • Introductory adventure
    • Characters for players and Storytellers

    About Legacy of Lies

    Marcus Verus, Prince of Chester, is secretly preparing to go into torpor, and wants to ensure his house is in order. Verus does not wish to make his plans public, because he knows the minute he announces his desire to rest, the wolves will be at his door, and all would be threatened within his domain which was entrusted to him by his sire, Mithras, the King of the British Isles. Instead, Verus is assessing who will be worthy to take the reins of leadership once he leaves Chester by appointing a council of peers to rule in his stead. Of course, such a position carries a price: Whomever sits as the Baron of Chester will have to answer to Mithras, himself.

    First, however, Marcus Verus needs to convince a group of vampires (the characters) to carry out a secret mission on his behalf. Verus, a seasoned warlord, is not a vampire of many words; he will test the characters by asking them to question an informant hiding in Rouen and take further actions if necessary. What the characters do not know, is that Verus is already aware of the secrets the informant possesses. He’s more curious to know what they’ll do next.

    What secrets will your characters unravel? What dark decisions must they make? Whose favor will they win? Find out in Legacy of Lies!

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