It has been quite a while since I last posted. I would usually take this opportunity to apologize for being so lazy, but this time I cannot. I have been anything but lazy to be honest. I have made some choices recently which have several different impacts on my life; I will be away from my beautiful wife and glorious daughter more than ever, I have taken on a significant amount of responsibility with a new adventure, and I accepted tangible goals for my writing through this new adventure.
If you follow my tweets, you will have undoubtedly noticed that I am now tweeting about a group called DungeonCrawlersRadio. DCR (as the cool kids say) is an internet radio show that discusses all things Geek. The show has been going for several years now, and has a really high number of annual listeners (over 100k). Every Thursday we hook up a soundboard at a local game shop and sit around a few tables talking shop. We have a celebrity interview each week as well, either via Skype or in person (there are a lot of really successful geeks in Utah). To wrap up the end of each episode, we answer questions that our amazing fans send in to the show – this is called Gamer Forge and typically the answers deal with roleplaying games rules issues, gamer group issues, or something within that vein. We collectively bang our heads together and try to answer these questions as well as offer advice when necessary. This is my new adventure – my new path. I am now an official member of the DCR show.
This opportunity came about in the weirdest sort of way. I was at a client’s open enrollment meeting in which the insurance broker designed the presentation to be Super Hero themed (one of the marvel movies had just come out). I sat down next to this unassuming redheaded guy who had a Captain America logo as the background for his iPad. I told him that I thought it was badass and we started talking about the Marvel movies. The insurance broker happened to be nearby, came over, and told me that this guy, Daniel, had his own podcast that talked about this kind of stuff all the time. I was intrigued, so after the meeting Daniel and I chatted it up for a while and he told me all about DungeonCrawlersRadio. I thought it was cool, but figured it was just a little thing that he did every now and then.
Fast forward a year or so and I was commissioned to be a theme developer for a board game that is soon to launch. The project was a very interesting process – being asked to provide my subject matter expertise to a set of game mechanics, and begin defining and shaping the world in which the game is set. I did some things really well. I did some things very poorly, but learned from my mistakes along the way (this was a completely new experience for me). I hope to have the opportunity to work with this particular game producer again, as well as work with others in the industry. When everything was done, I felt that something had been taken away from me. There was something missing.
Fast forward another year. I am at the same client’s open enrollment and run into Daniel again. We catch up. I tell him about the project that I worked on. I tell him about my writing and how I want to take that to the next level. We keep in touch after this meeting. Not long after reconnecting, I get a text from Daniel about FantasyCon, a comicon style convention skewed heavily towards fantasy content. He asks me if I want to go all three days for free. I nodded so hard that my head fell off. He told me that in exchange for getting the Special Guest pass, I would have to be a guest panelist for a couple different subject panels; Nerds versus Geeks, and Geek Chic. I was nervous, but he reassured me that he thought I would do just fine. And I did. FantasyCon was a blast. I met some amazing people. I left with excruciating pain in my feet. I left with a rekindled love for this stuff – role playing games, cult shows like Firefly, snarky t-shirts, and my writing.
After the weekend raps up, I get a text from Daniel letting me know that if I ever want to swing by on a night the show is broadcasting, they will provide me with a mic and let me get geeky with them. I was hesitant at first, but I finally joined them on a glorious Thursday night. I was a timid guy at first, completely against my alpha status and my general love of getting to know new people. The show starts, and about a half-hour into it, I started to find my voice.
I attended a couple more shows, then was offered the illustrious Special Guest pass for Salt Lake Comic Con. This time we were not asked to join any panels, but we had a booth. I helped at the booth, helped with some interviews, and did my own thing a little as well. It was a blast. I felt at home (except that I would NEVER have a home with over 100k people coming and going, seeing as how much I hate crowds). These were my people. I talked with Daniel, and he invited me back to the show whenever I wanted. A few weeks later, after doing just that, I was asked to join as an actual member of DCR.
Whew – that was a lot of backstory. I am sorry for the length, but I wanted to show how organic this entire process was.
We are a geek show that talks about geek things. We are geeks. So we decided to do what geeks do. We started a roleplaying group with the five of us and a few friends. After the first session of gaming, I stayed behind to help Revan (Daniel’s geek handle) clean up his basement a bit. It was late-ish. His wife, who is an outstanding person, come downstairs after watching and managing 14 kids while we gamed (Revan has 7 himself). She plopped herself into a chair, undoubtedly exhausted form the day’s chaos. We all chatted for a bit. Then she made an off-handed comment about the show and how much time it takes up from Revan’s life. She said, “if only there was a way to make money with this show.” A lightbulb went off. It was partially due to the fact that what little filter I normally use was completely gone at this point. I just blurted it out. “Why can’t we?”
The magic happened. I talked for quite a while, both Revan and his wife just sitting there listening. I was not sure, judging by their faces, if I was on to something, or if I was, in fact, talking in tongues. I had the skeleton of a plan to start making money with the show. Revan was starting to bounce ideas back at me. His wife was smiling widely and may have had tears in her eyes. Revan and I spent the next three hours coming up with a mindmap and flowchart for what we wanted to do and how to make sure that each project fed into a larger project. We locked in on a major concept which would, once complete, be the springboard for several other amazing projects.
I cannot say too much more at this point, as we need to play a few cards close to our chest initially. Once we are ready to launch a few things, I will discuss more, but most likely over at the show’s site, which is undergoing some major reconstruction as we speak. This new path has already opened some amazing doors. I have met extremely successful writers, actors, musicians, and others. I have rediscovered my geek roots and remembered the vast amount of love that I have for this culture. I was part of a roleplaying group with Larry-freaking-Correia after Comic Con. I have made friends with an independent game designer and am joining his roleplaying group. I am making geek friends of the caliber that I had back in Michigan. I feel like I belong again.
So, for me, I will still be writing. In fact, I will probably be writing more now than I was previously, due to the fact that our first major project for DCR involves a SUBSTANTIAL amount of it. I have a new goal. It is satisfying to work towards – it tastes divine. I will post updates here, I promise. They may just be, initially, cryptic like this one.