The Life Update

Emily Strange Avatar

2013 was a great year for me professionally, but crappy personally. It did end on a high note, though, and there is that! But, the dread pirate Apathy sailed into town, and got stuck in the ice. Bad winter, terrible mood all around. Now that it’s well past Spring (and into 2014, already), I’ve been taking advantage of the thaw to kick Apathy where it hurts and blow a hole in his ship. Some changes, like my stepping down from my position as John Kovalic’s business manager, and my conscious decision to not highlight my “support” gigs, were decisions I made to focus on the reason why I’m here, alive, and kicking — writing. Everything else I’ve done and continues to do allows me to write, either full-time or part-time. Others, like f-bomb’ing moving, came up suddenly. Now I’m in a whirlwind of change, which is forcing me to focus on what really matters.

This is all a good thing. Apathy blows. Apathy is, by far, the worst possible beast to fight, because when I stop caring, I stop fighting, and some things are worth fighting for. Still, I think apathy also came into play, because there are SO MANY THINGS to fight for or about, and I hit decision paralysis. The thing is, I do care about what’s happening, but I don’t have time to participate in every discussion, and more and more there is always something to be outraged about. (As I mentioned yesterday.)

So instead, I plan on doing something about it. Being an online activist is not worthwhile for me, because I don’t feel it’s a productive use of my time, and I can have a bigger impact by focusing on what I can do in Real LifeTM. When I am near a computer, I have to write. That is my job. Instead, I am figuring out a battle plan to compartmentalize and choose “Yes, I want this!” and go forth and do. (See or for the general direction I’m thinking of.)

Right now though, I’m feeling like I’m being swept up in a tornado. Probably won’t get around to volunteering until the Fall, but so it goes. A lot of change on the horizon, and landing in Oz isn’t necessarily a bad thing — just… Whiny, I suppose. Whiny, because getting settled in is going to take a long while.

Thankfully, I am taking a break today and have a full day of art classes lined up. Then, I’ll be heading to C2E2 tomorrow to talk about Firefly, meet up with one of my comic publishers, see my artist, etc. It promises to be a good weekend, for sure.

Overall though, I’m feeling…disconnected a bit. Head is down, focused on this very specific list of things to do, and whatever kerfluffle is going on? That I can do without. But, I want to read what’s going on with folks, to stay on top of what’s happening, etc. Not sure if that means I need to do more conventions or just zero in on some patience for the next couple of weeks, but I’m here and I’m chug-a-chug-chugging. Seeing friends really helps. And cat smothering. But, um…


    Mood: The day star is bright and it needs to go away WTF.
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: I think three.
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: HAHAHHAHHAHHA
    In My Ears: A nagging reminder I should feed my fish.
    Game Last Played: Eternal Sonata (stupid onions)
    Book Last Read: Love is the Law by Nick Mamatas
    Movie Last Viewed: The Eagle or some Rome re-enactment movie with terrifyingly awful accents.
    Latest Artistic Project: Art classes TO-DAY!
    Latest Fiction/Comic Release: Last Man Zombie Standing
    Latest Game Release: Firefly RPG corebook
    What I’m Working On: Primarily tie-in games work and novels.

Progress Report #4: Time Machine

If you’ve been following my progress reports, you’ve probably seen a lot about Firefly – with good reason. This has been the primary focus for my efforts last year. In fact, it was SO busy, I mis-numbered my progress reports, so you get a retro version of all that’s been happening.


Last time, I mentioned I have a number of games and supplements in development. The ones listed here are either on my immediate “you must do this now” horizon, the second (or third) draft has been handed in, or it’s out in the wilds. I also pitched a video game, and hope to hear something back in a week or two on that.

  • Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn RPG – Ironically, Mr. Sanderson was at Gen Con but we never connected. I haven’t received feedback yet, but my understanding is that this new supplement is still on the horizon.
  • Echoes of War: Friends In Low Places – Will be running this at brand new Nexus convention in Milwaukee.
  • Free Interactive Crew and Ship Sheets – Offered this for fans recently. Free download!
  • Firefly RPG – Digital is out. Waiting for feedback on print.
  • Echoes of War: Freedom Flyer – Debuted Winter 2013.
  • Echoes of War: Bucking the Tiger – Next adventure in the hopper. We’re potentially looking at a May release for this one.
  • Things Don’t Go Smooth – Planning a GenCon release for this one.
  • Echoes of War: Volume 1 – Collects the first four Echoes of War releases into a print edition. Also looking at a GenCon release.
  • Vampire the Masquerade: Red List – Working on it! Writing, writing, writing.
  • Hunter the Vigil: Mortal Remains – Waiting approval right now. I wrote and designed the interstitial fiction for this supplement; I also edited this book.
  • World of Darkness: Dark Eras – Wrote the Hunter: the Vigil supplement for this book for 1690s Colonial America. Waiting feedback on third draft prior to approval.



Lots going on here, but nothing new to announce just yet. I turned down a comic that…well, let’s just say the contract was not good.



Nothing to announce just yet. I am focusing on long form, but have opened up to anthology invites.


This will be the last time you see a consulting update from me. I am continuing to work behind-the-scenes at Onyx Path Publishing, but I’ve since stepped down from my role with John Kovalic. Any support positions I take on will be invisible, primarily because I’m focused on writing and continuing to find work in that creative sphere. That doesn’t mean I won’t do consulting, it just means that in terms of highlighting all that I do, I’m focused on sharing what I write with readers like you. I’ve learned, the hard way I suppose, that there’s a difference between being in a support position and a creative one. The two don’t play well together reputation-wise.

Next time, though, I’ll talk about the conventions I’m attending. ‘Til then? Here you be!

Because Art is about Connecting

Emily Strange Avatar

Haven’t been blogging lately and I do apologize for that. I’ve been dealing with life, the universe, and everything in the form of GenCon deadlines, upcoming move, getting ready for C2E2 and Mo*Con, and thinking the mighty thoughts about my personal work. Also, trying not to get pissed off about things like this (while this happened), this, or the 1,000 other things that are happening right now. Because, let’s face it…there’s no shortage of crap to get pissed off about.

This article, however…this is good.

Social equality activists argue for more representation of minorities in fiction. There are many good reasons to do this, but for any creator, the biggest reason should be “to make better art”. When the same old characters are dancing to the same old plots choreographed with the same old tropes and the same old twists, only the same old segment of society is allowed to see themselves reflected in art. And even that segment is only allowed to get the same messages they always have about themselves. The mirror is cracked and the reflective backing is faded. It ceases to be useful even for the intended audience. — SOURCE: Reflected in Ice: An Aspergers Review of Frozen

Somewhat related to the topic, sharing a few links. This is awesome. (Explore the site, by the way, there’s a series shot for Women’s History Month, too.) And this, which was a recent discovery, followed by this (which probably means more to me than to you).

And now that I’ve shared a few links that aren’t Hulk smash-y smash-y, that are worth checking into? I need to get back to writing, to reading, to creating instead of consuming, by falling into the TRAP that is social media. TRAP! After all, I am here to write my proverbial bum off. Either way, I rather like sharing kick-ass things to check out that aren’t a) viral, temporal b.s. and b) rage-inducing. Hrmm…note to self: do more of that. Also, wear a mood ring. APPARENTLY.

Well, butter chicken first…because really, what is life without butter chicken? This may be the greatest mystery in the history of the modern era.

    Mood: [F-bomb] times 1,000. Pissed at self for getting distracted. Then double-pissed because I got distracted because I got pissed. [F-bomb] squared!
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Um…do I REALLY NEED TO DISCLOSE THIS?
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Um…
    In My Ears: Too much peripheral noise caused by panicked screams. Yes, those are coming from me… Really… NO RY’LEH.
    Game Last Played: Eternal Sonata
    Book Last Read: Love is the Law by Nick Mamatas
    Movie Last Viewed: In Time
    Latest Artistic Project: National Craft Month
    Latest Fiction/Comic Release: Last Man Zombie Standing
    Latest Game Release: Firefly RPG corebook
    What I’m Working On: Primarily tie-in games work and novels.

Yes, I’m working on a COMIC!

Hellboy Avatar

I’ve mentioned my desire to write more comics before; right now I have two floating around in my head. One is definitely a webcomic/comic; the other is a dark science fiction story that I’m adapting into a novella. (Partly, because the latter doesn’t have a home in a script format, and it’s the kind of tale that’s better as a screenplay/comic. I have a better chance of selling it in prose, actually.) I’ve also said, however, that writing comics requires something else — an artist, letterer, inker, etc. The creating good art part of my brain has long since fallen into disrepair; art direction is no problem for me, mind, but all those skills associated with drawing and graphic design are now rudimentary at best. I make stick figures cry.

Enter my friend Mark Stegbauer. Mark volunteered to partner with me, and I’m giving him a co-creator share. I may be bubbly about this comic and whatnot, but as I’ve explained to Mark, I’d prefer not to make any announcements until we’ve got content down. The business side of the equation is sorted, but with comics? If the creative aspect isn’t done and we’re not ahead of the game? No point in getting folks excited — even if it’s ONE fan — and have nothing to show for it. Not cool.

Yes, that is a more conservative tack. Especially since everybody’s aggressive about announcements and whatnot. Thinking long-term, as a newbie coming into the field, however, I’d prefer to take the freelancer’s approach and do-as-I-say rather than say-and-maybe-do. After all, this is my original work and my paying projects do take precedence. Right now, this is a hobby that I hope will turn into something way cool. Either way — EXCITING!

Be sure to check out Mark’s website: Wooo-hoooo!

    Mood: I [F-bomb’ing] hate moving.
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: *coughs*
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: I went for a walk.
    In My Ears: Ummm…
    Game Last Played: Tetris
    Book Last Read: Love is the Law by Nick Mamatas
    Movie Last Viewed: Captain America: the Winter Soldier.
    Latest Artistic Project: National Craft Month
    Latest Fiction/Comic Release: Last Man Zombie Standing
    Latest Game Release: Firefly RPG corebook
    What I’m Working On: Primarily tie-in games work and novels.

From the Ferrett

darkwing duck avatar

My friend, Ferrett Steinmetz, has some words of wisdom on his blog today. (Linking to this does have a somewhat not-so-hidden agenda, in the form of high praise, for the Ferrett has sold a novel! Huzzah!)

There’s a common sentiment that goes, “Nobody can make you feel bad without your permission” – generally trotted out when someone’s been hurt by a mean thing that someone said.

The idea, I believe, is that we are all rational, robot-like beings who can control our emotions – and thus if we get upset by someone’s assholic statements, we have chosen to be upset. We could have shrugged it off instead.

Problem is, people don’t work that way. — The Myth of Nobody Can Make You Feel Bad Without Your Permission

Say it with me: resiliency is a learned skill.

    Mood: 10,000 directions at once.
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: I REFUSE… 5th AMENDMENT!
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: GORRAMN IT ALL.
    In My Ears: Lips Like Sugar by Echo & The Bunnyman
    Game Last Played: Tetris
    Book Last Read: Love is the Law by Nick Mamatas
    Movie Last Viewed: Captain America: the Winter Soldier.
    Latest Artistic Project: National Craft Month
    Latest Fiction/Comic Release: Last Man Zombie Standing
    Latest Game Release: Firefly RPG corebook
    What I’m Working On: Primarily tie-in games work and novels.
Next Posts

Looking for Monica’s books and games that are still in print? Visit Monica Valentinelli on Amazon’s Author Central or a bookstore near you.


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