Oh, hello, didn’t see you there…

Hello friends, it’s been a while! Blogs tend to come and go, you’re familiar enough with the reasons for that, so I’ll instead give a little update on what I’ve been doing in the last two and a half years!

  • Publishing games and doing what I do at Phoenix Online Studios
  • Writing reviews for The Walking DeadFear the Walking Dead, and (formerly) Legends of Tomorrow at 411mania.com
  • Got a new fulltime job working on the new Mass.gov website
  • I had a kid! Yeah, I buried the lede, this is really the big one. His name’s Rowan, and he’s great.
  • Generally figuring out what life looks like in this new phase. Turns out having a kid will kind of redefine everything.
  • Started working on a novel!

Since Rowan came along, finding time to be creative has been hard, but in the last year I missed it dearly and made a point of finding time for it. I’m happy to say it’s been going well and I’ve been putting a lot of work into not just writing but into outlining, plotting, and asking a lot of questions about my writing to help me improve it. I’ve also been working (admittedly more slowly) on a new game design.

Since this has gone relatively well and I’m dedicated to pushing forward, one of my resolutions for 2018 is to resurrect this blog by posting once a week. That’s the goal, we’ll see how I do with it! Once a week seems doable, though. I’m not locking myself in on any specific topics or days for these posts. And hey, if there are special requests, please let me know in the comments.

I’m looking forward to getting back to blogging. Happy new year!



In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Motion.”

It’s back! A quick refresher, I used to hit up The Daily Post every Friday to see the lovely photos submitted to their weekly photo challenge. Not being a photographer but finding some real lovely pics in there, I started using one picture each week as inspiration for a short piece of writing.

This week’s challenge on was “Motion,” and my inspiration is this picture by danbochat–lovely work!

Lighting the wick within the paper lantern, I was surprised at how effective the small heat source really was at inflating the balloon, at how quickly the lantern in my hands felt eager to lift into the air. Watching the other around me begin to fill the night sky, they were like falling stars in reverse, and it seemed that this was how wishes should be made: on the stars we send into the ether, letting them go, letting them leave us, and trusting that they would bring that wish out into the world. Like the flap of the butterfly’s wings, perhaps, the heat of that small fire would lift the lantern and affect the wind patterns and set off the chain of minute events that lead to the wish it carried coming true. It would be carried off to where it needed to go, lifted by hope and faith and one wish, one tiny flaming wick.

Something about that idea felt more genuine than the path of a star falling to the earth, leaving the heavens to crash to just one point, burdened by the wishes of so many. This lantern now leaving my hands, this was mine and mine alone. And it shared the warm night air with so many others, filling the view above us with our stars and the ones already in the sky, all of them taking flight together, but each with its own wish and its own mission. Not stars that were fading and ending, but stars that were just being lit, just beginning their journeys.

Thursday Tropes: The Love Triangle

The Love Triangle.  Because we all know that love and relationships are only complicated when a potential second suitor comes along, and apart from that, it’s all rainbows and good times and everyone gets along.

Waaaait a second.

Why hook up with the still living when you can have the undead popsicle, amirite?

My beef with the love triangle is how overused it’s become. Now, do love triangles happen in real life? Of course they do. And do they keep fiction interesting? They certainly can. But it’s become a staple, it often seems, rather than a useful tool among many others in the writer’s toolbox. I get the impression that a lot of them are added in because that’s what people are told will sell books (or other media), rather than it being in there because it helps the story and develops naturally.

Of recent love triangle fame is, of course, the Twilight series. Which is funny since this is a triangle that isn’t a triangle. Yes, I read them, and yes, I’ve seen the movies. Yes, I think it’s awful. It’s like a train wreck, I can’t look away! Plus the unintentional hilarity is fantastic. But I digress. This now hugely famous love triangle isn’t one because at really no point does Bella ever seriously consider Jacob. Briefly in New Moon, when it looks like Edward’s gone forever, but hot damn, she literally jumps on a plane to fly halfway across the world the second she learns that’s still an option! Jacob, buddy, that should’ve been your first enormous clue that she was just not that into you.

But thanks to this series, love triangles have taken on new life as a given in YA, it feels like, becoming cliche, boring, and overused in the process. Read more

Unexpected Steampunk

A little work on introducing a character I’ve been thinking about for a while, who would be introduced not in Ghostlight, but it’s sequel (though he is mentioned in Ghostlight a few times). I tried keeping spoilers about Ghostlight’s ending vague enough as to be nonexistent.


I live with ghosts in my everyday life, witnessed more than one impossible murders firsthand, was a murder suspect myself and get dark looks if not outright threats to my personal safety every day at school. Just to give some context when I say that what I saw upon opening the door on an afternoon in late April was the last possible thing I could have expected. Read more

Thursday Tropes: Pretty Hurt

Part of my new attempt at a schedule, I’m going to aim to talk about a TV trope on Thursdays. I say “TV” because it’s largely inspired by the website TV Tropes, but these might come from books, movie, TV, games, any media or entertainment for mass consumption there is, really. Plus, Thursday Tropes has some nice alliteration to it.

I know, I know, today’s Friday, deal with it. I’m just getting this thing started! (Glee and The Killing spoilers ahead.)

Also, check out the new look! What do you think? The background is from Cutest Blog on the Block.

Read more

DIY PR: Learn How to Write (Press Releases)

You know how to write! Of course you do! You can put letters in order and they form words others can read. Writing to get someone else interested in what you’re doing is more than that. It’s presentation, it’s word choice, it’s grammar and punctuation and spelling, it’s being descriptive while being succinct. And it’s important.

1. Spelling Counts. So Do Grammar and Punctuation. 

Thank God for the backspace key.

That means spell things correctly, have your commas and semi-colons in the right places and craft your words with careful thought and consideration. Don’t take shortcuts, and do have someone proofread. Have them do it twice. Then you should do it twice, no matter how smart you are, or how often you’ve done this, because you are not perfect. Case in point, I titled yesterday’s post DYI instead of DIY at first and didn’t notice until someone else pointed it out. Doh! Look at every word and dissect it to make certain it’s correct! Personally, I draft my important emails and press releases in a word doc program first — no chance of hitting send too soon!

Read more

Do-it-Yourself Public Relations (or, DIY PR)

This morning, I had a notion.

Publicity is important to any endeavor that seeks to make a profit. Regardless of the reason for that profit, whether it’s to sustain a creative endeavor, earn an income, bring attention to a cause, share a thing of interest, or something else entirely. But getting publicity is notoriously difficult. There’s a lot of competition for people’s attention out there, and in the past, only certain channels have had the power of broadcasting your endeavor to the masses.

That was the past. This is now. And now is a world where the eager masses can give $3 million to an idea that is presented well. Where social media can sustain revolutions. Where anyone can tell the world what they have to say, and the world can hear it.

I ended up doing PR in a weird way. Ten years ago, I joined Phoenix Online as a volunteer staff writer to make a video game. A pipe dream from my youth, something that sounded fun and creative while I was in the funk of temp jobs and living at home following graduating college in 2002 as an English major with a tacked on Philosophy minor. Over the years, I ended up one of the Directors of a fledgling company, and roughly two years ago, I inherited the job of running PR.

And I kind of freaking love it.

Here’s the thing: This isn’t what I studied. I had the work of those before me to build off of. I’ve had help learning how to write a press release and reach out to the press and getting contacts to build my own press list. I’m not the kind of person who can easily go and talk to just anyone out of the blue. I don’t even like calling people on the phone. The night before my first ever interviews at PAX East 2010 I hardly slept because I was so freaking nervous.

Bottom line? I’m no expert. But despite all that, and that I almost always feel like I’m winging it, I’m certainly doing alright, and more and more lately, I’ve felt I actually have enough knowledge on how this stuff works to be able to offer advice or help people out. If I got here in a non-traditional way, anyone can.

So I’m borrowing a page from my friend Cassandra, who has successfully adopted a schedule model to keep her posting regularly on her blog, and once a week I’m going to post about things I’ve learned about Public Relations. This is no college class, this is no formal education, this is just my experience and what I’ve learned from it, and hopefully it can prove useful to someone else.

Coming now and every week: Do-It-Yourself Public Relations!