Category Archives: Uncategorized


Kickstarter: Elegy for a Dead World

Elegy for a Dead World is a game about fiction and writing prompts. You’re an explorer, last survivor of a doomed mission, writing about the relics of dead worlds and sharing your work with others. It looks cool, has 9 days to go, and is at the 70% funded mark.

Check it out, and it it does it for you, go ahead and donate a couple bucks to it.

Questions? You are invited to either leave a comment below, or ask directly through the comment form.

Playing the Backstory

In a role-playing game, a character’s emotional connection to the world is often limited to an academic understanding of their backstory. A more natural, more immersive result can be reached by playing through the characters’ upbringing.


Questions? You are invited to either leave a comment below, or ask directly through the comment form.

Windy City Obscura: Exploring Chicago

There are a number of reasons why I’ve taken it upon myself to wander the streets of Chicago. Writing’s a sedentary job, and health is a big part of it. Every day I see studies and articles about how sitting all day is basically worse than chain-smoking bags of crack flavored razor-blades, and there are a lot of things I want to write before my slow and inevitable death. I could use the exercise.

Also, I’ve lived in this city for two years, grew up in the suburbs, and I’ve only explored a small fraction of what’s out there. There’s a lot of weird cool stuff hidden around, and I feel like I’m wasting it if I don’t go check it out.

This is how it’s going to work

My only real regret is that I didn’t start on this sooner, while the weather was still nice. Maybe the snow will make for more dramatic photos. Still, I’m going to try to get out for at least an hour every day, longer if I run across something super-cool.

I’m not really sure how it’ll pan out long-term, but the plan so far is to live-tweet my excursions throughout the week, and post summaries on the blog here every Sunday. I might go alone or with other people. Depends.

I’m already breaking my own rules

I know I said that these would be weekly summaries, but I’m eager to get started, and blog entries without photos are boring. I’m going to wander around my neighborhood and take some pictures to spruce it up and sort of get a feel for things.

Update: 4:00 pm

essanyfacadeBack. It was a nice walk, if a bit chilly. I live down the street from a huge cemetery, but I’ll save that for next week. Today I just walked up and down some residential streets, including past what used to be Essany Studios, where they used to film the Chaplin movies. Today it’s part of St. Augustine College, and I’ve heard they’re doing some kind of restoration thing, though I don’t know the details.

I saw few people out and about, which makes sense because it’s a work-day, but it seems like there were fewer than I expected. Maybe it’s the weather. I don’t know, I really haven’t just gone out and walked. With the grayness of the skies, everything had a very isolating deserted mood to it. I won’t lie… I like the relative privacy.

essanysignNext week I think I’m going to try and stick to early afternoon during the week, when there are fewer people around. I feel a little self-conscious taking pictures while being watched. Something I should probably just get over.

Questions? You are invited to either leave a comment below, or ask directly through the comment form.

The Full Moon Jam

The Chicago Fire Tribe’s Full Moon Jam happens, as the name implies, every full moon between Spring and Fall at Chicago’s Foster Beach. It’s been going on for a decade now, growing in size, spectacle, and popularity. I’ve been going for the last two years, and its growth even in a short period has been astounding.

The October 2014 Jam occurred under perfect weather conditions, balmy with clear skies and an unobstructed full moon. There’s drumming at the Jam to accompany the performers, but it didn’t come across so well in the video so I added a sound track.

Writing keeps me cooped up most of the time, so I don’t get out much, but I always try to make time to make it to the Jam.

They’re talking about doing one more jam in November, weather permitting.

Here’s a video I shot while at the last Jam. The hardest part was cutting it down from 30 minutes to six.

Questions? You are invited to either leave a comment below, or ask directly through the comment form.

Windy City Obscura: An Epistolary Experiment

trainI’ve got in my head this concept for an epistolary story experiment that makes use of social media, such as twitter and facebook, to tell a story. Maybe this is what everybody does with social media, and I can’t just do that because I’m so wrapped up in the head-space of authorial intellectual bullshit, so I need to hem and haw and justify perfectly normal human behavior.


The true genesis here is that I have a lot of irons in a lot of fires: fiction, filmmaking, web serials, and book review blogs. I’m trying to work up the logistics of a kickstarter for a trans-media web series, all the while maintaining the basic human living stuff like maintaining my health, relationships, housekeeping and shopping.

Does that sound overwhelming? Because it is. And it’s anxiety-inducing. Fortunately, I think I have a solution.


Questions? You are invited to either leave a comment below, or ask directly through the comment form.

The Feng Shui 2 Kickstarter is tearing it up

Atlas Games’s Robin D Laws designed classic cinematic action tabletop RPG Feng Shui 2nd edition kickstarter went live an hour or so ago, and in twenty minutes they’d blown past their $8,000 goal. Their stretch-goals fell like mooks in its wake, one after the other, and only a few hours later they’ve broken $35,000.

Now that’s Kickstarting in style.

If you liked the original, or even if high flying, guns-blazing, neck-snapping action appeals to you, I strongly urge you to kick a few bucks and check out this awesome game.

Such Fond Memories

Back in the day when I gamed on a regular basis, Feng Shui was one of my standard go-to games. We didn’t always play in the supplied Secret War setting – I remember Legend of the 5 Rings L5R being a total blast – but the simplicity of the rules and flavors of the mechanics appealed to us.

Now if Atlas would just run an Unknown Armies Kickstarter…

Questions? You are invited to either leave a comment below, or ask directly through the comment form.