Katie Made A Thing

IMG_20160622_164625

“I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best both for the body and the mind.”

Albert Einstein


This weekend is Midsummer, one of the biggest holidays in Finland. Technically, Midsummer was Friday; everything closed at noon, there were cookouts and bonfires, people headed off to the woods to camp, and the great weather was appreciated and celebrated. It’s a long weekend thing, though. Everything remained closed on Saturday, and some things are open limited hours today. Life will be more-or-less back to normal on Monday, but to be honest, everyone gets on vacation in July. A lot of mom-and-pop shops are closed for the whole month, and a lot of businesses are open limited hours per day or fewer days per week so that can operate with less staff.

Some people who’ve never lived here think these long vacations are lazy or decadent. They’ve never been through The Long Dark. They’ve never experienced the harsh winters. No, fool, when it’s warm outside and the sun is shining, you go outside! The hang out in the woods or down at the lake, and you soak up as much of that sunshine as you can, while it lasts. For the sake of your sanity, you need to appreciate the summer, and use the memory of it to help you hang on through the winter.

And when it rains, you sit by the window and do arts and crafts!

Lush

IMG_20160615_193810

“If you’re an original thinker, you are going get told ‘no’ a lot, and you have to be able to hear ‘no’ many times from the bankers and trust that at some point, someone is going to recognize that you are an artist and not a can of soda.”

Nick Offerman


There is a point in every long-form (book-length) writing project where I get lost. I forget what I’ve already written, and lose sight of what I’m building up to. I inevitably try to start writing something I’ve already covered in a previous section, or jump the gun and begin to write about a topic that isn’t supposed to be covered until a later chapter. I get myself turned around, and the project becomes confusing.

That’s why I’m an outliner. I need a map. If I realize the ideas bouncing around in my head belong in a different part of the book, I can still write them, but as notes, and stick them where they belong. If it goes in a section already written, it can be assimilated in the next draft. If it goes in a future section, I’m still making word count on the overall project.

Periodically, I need to stop and re-read what I’ve already written. Start to finish, the whole thing. It feels like a waste of time, especially when there’s daily word count to be made and a deadline to be met. It’s not. For a start, it’s extra passes on copy editing. It helps the whole thing hold together, and makes the flow of the overall book better. It also saves me work, because I don’t wander off and get lost, writing things I’ll need to cut or rewrite later.

NOW AVAILABLE: Understanding Alignment

Twitter - UNDERSTANDING ALIGNMENT

Download your copy now!

Alignment is possibly the most hotly debated element in traditional roleplaying games. Many people find it to be a useful way to get a handle on character motivation. Others find it far too vague to be an effective tool. It is literally two-dimensional and absolute; a person is either good or evil, lawful or chaotic, or a perfect balance. There is no room for subtlety or nuance in the rules as written.

Even different editions of games using alignment offer varying explanations of what combinations are possible, and what those mixtures mean.  In systems that otherwise provide numeric representations and statistical models for success and failure, alignment is open to interpretation. Aside from some restrictions on and prerequisites for character abilities, it’s left for players and gamemasters to sort out.

Yet alignment remains virtually unchanged where other elements of classic fantasy roleplaying have either evolved or fallen away. The reason is because arguing about alignment can be fun. We want alignment to make sense. People like to discuss whether a celebrity, historical, or fictional character is one alignment or another. Memes are shared, online quizzes are generated, and motivational posters are created. All of which goes toward developing some meaning and practical utility.

This is not the definitive resource on alignment. The topic is so subjective that nothing could be. What this book presents is one possible interpretation of alignment, and a system for using it to enrich your game. It presents an alternate way to describe alignment, as a means of customizing your character’s personality, goals, and beliefs. There are simple mechanics to reward characters who embody the tenets of their alignment, and penalize those who stray. If it doesn’t answer all of your questions about a character’s stance toward morality, you should at least find enough fodder to continue the never-ending conversation.

*Portions of this book were previously published as The Forager’s Guild Guide to the Nine Alignments by Asparagus Jumpsuit.

Download your copy now!

Glorious

IMG_20160615_211128

“A good artist should be isolated. If he isn’t isolated, something is wrong.”

Orson Welles


The greater the effort it takes to explain why something isn’t racist, sexist, homophobic, yadda yadda yadda, the more assuredly it is exactly that.

Right now I’m incredibly frustrated. I’ve lived with chronic pain for 37 years, and while I’m not always pleasant to get along with as a result, I take ownership of my moods. When I feel pain coming on and know that it’s going to make me grumpy, I apologize in advance. If I act like an ass and am rude to people, I try to apologize afterward. Whenever possible, I just try to withdraw from being social so I don’t make a total fool of myself. That’s why I get so incredibly angry when people in pain use it as an excuse to treat people like garbage and behave like tyrannical toddlers. It annoys me endlessly when other people give them a pass, as if the pain absolves them from having any responsibility for their words or actions.

I also about blew a gasket when I had to hear about someone that’s social-circle adjacent writing laughably bad erotica on a hosted web service. In the past 30 days I’ve published four books, three of them bestsellers in their catagory. The latest one was only released today, but I fully expect that it will be a bestseller as well. I’ve got professional, hosted websites. But where’s my parade? Where’s my medal? Someone who can’t keep up with her other life responsibilities can find time to crank out amateur porn and she gets talked about, but I do all of the cooking, the cleaning, the shopping, the laundry, write books, run a small business, and struggle to keep the rent paid and groceries on the table and no one’s even looking in my direction.

That’s why being a grown-up is, kids. Busting your ass to be a responsible adult and do something good and getting no recognition for it.

Ducklings

IMG_20160615_211018

“Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.”

Thich Nhat Hanh


Officially I have no opinion on the Brexit, because I am not officially European. I just live here, by grace of the Finnish people. That said, I know many British people who very much enjoy the benefits of being part of the European Union. Should the vote go to Leave, I will be concerned for them… as well as the immigrants currently living inside the United Kingdom. Especially the ones that are non-white or Muslim. Other than that, I really don’t know that Europe would be worse off without the UK. Politically, things there are giving us a preview of what life in the United States might be like under President Trump. The racism and xenophobia are palpable and painful.

This week I am under what Warren Ellis (speaking of Brits who wish to remain European)  refers to as the work death march. I have tight deadlines and little time for either pleasantries or nonsense. This is my 10 minutes of daily rambling. I’m down to a mere 4 books left to comlete before the end of July.

%d bloggers like this: