Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Juggling Act

The Flying Karamozov Brothers live!

I may be overextending myself.

I’ve got a lot on my plate right now.  It’s incredibly gratifying – I don’t think I’ve ever been in demand like this, either as a writer or a person – but I am having to learn new time-management skills.  I beg the indulgence of all of those who are relying on me.

Summer is a surprisingly busy time for me.  Between work and family, there’s a heckuva lot to do.  With luck, the early autumn lull at work and the beginning of the school year will free up some time.

Happy Wife, Happy Life

My top priority at all times in my life must be my lovely, indulgent wife, +Robin English-Bircher.  We’re both kind of estranged from our families and don’t have any children, so we rely on each other with an intensity usually found only in newlyweds.  I don’t like getting too personal on Wine and Savages, but there’ve been some annoying setbacks around here this summer, and sometimes we really, really have to go to the Texas hill Country for our mental health.  We have friends in the wine industry up there, and sometimes you really have to go “where everyone knows your name” (as they sang on Cheers). 

I an addition, of course, Robin writes for Texas Wine and Trail Magazine, Lifestyle of Comanche Trace, and her own wonderful blog, Vitis Poema.  If she’s going to support my writing, then it’s only fair I support hers, and that sometimes means prioritizing going on behind-the-scenes tours of wineries over writing about elfgames.  (Oh, the horror!)


  • The #1 priority here is obviously The King is Dead.  I am so close to finishing the initial player packet (that I think I’m going to instead call the Primer) that I am sorely tempted to go without sleep.  Once I finish the oh-so-close-to-done text, I need to figure out a stopgap for my lack of proper desktop publishing software, insert some clip art, and get this off to Pinnacle so I can get approved as a licensee.  I think I’ll release it as a pay-what-you-want product on DrivethruRPG; I feel pretty confident in the new rules and Edges, so I’d be happy to just get it out there and start drumming up publicity (and a little bit of cash).
  • The #2 priority is Steamscapes: Asia (since I will actually get paid for that), but +Eric Simon  has assured me that I’m a little ahead on things there.  When it comes time to ramp up production, I’m going to have some fun “research” materials to watch; Hulu has recently added Ryomaden, a live-action drama about Meiji revolutionary Ryoma Sakamoto, and Samurai Jam: Bakumatsu Rock, a completely absurd anime about the same guy that casts him as an anachronistic rebel rock star.
  • Meanwhile, +David Larkins, +David Schimpff, and I have been kicking around ideas to develop Miyamoto Academy Combatters into a full setting.  Work on The King is Dead has kept me from keeping up with this as much as I might like for the last couple of weeks; I probably need to set a schedule where I split writing time between the projects.
  • Similarly, +Charles Akins has organized what promises to be a fun little round-robin blog thing.  I’m not sure what I’m allowed to share about it, but that should appear in mid-September.
  • Finally, has anyone heard about the plans for the next +Savage Insider?  I’m really looking forward to writing something for that, and am champing at the bit to find out what the theme will be.


  • Duet gaming is, as always, an important part my marriage; it is, in the end, part and parcel of “Happy Wife, Happy Life.”  Princess Errant crashed and burned, a victim to the juggling act I’ve gotten myself involved in.  Making up a whimsical fantasy world on the fly was too much work, so we’re paring things back to a Victorian adventure setting.  That should be a lot easier to do; I can not only draw on my own knowledge of Victorian adventure fiction, but also Gaslight, Rippers, and the old Pulp GM’s Toolkit.  (Somebody remind me to write up my version of Quincey P. Morris, vampire cowboy.)
  • I also belong to a local gaming Meetup, the San Antonio Sci-Fi/Fantasy RPG Gaming Guild.  For the first time in my nearly 41 years, I’m getting to be a player in someone else’s game.  Right now, the only campaign I’ve been able to commit to is a wacky Ravenloft/World of Darkness: Dark Ages mash-up GM’d by +Alan Vannes   Well, I’m not sure it was meant to be wacky, but it’s gotten that way since my character got involved.  (I may just be a terrible player; I’m not sure yet.)  Every game is a milestone for me, as I had literally never played a PC for two consecutive sessions before this campaign.
  • Unfortunately, that all means that I’ve had very little time to develop the mecha/kaiju campaign I’m hoping to start with fellow local Savage +Curt Meyer.  The need to stick closer to home now that Robin’s back at work might free up some time for that, but I also need to get a The King is Dead game going once The King is Dead Primer is complete.  Maybe I can also conflate some campaign prep with an article somewhere or find some other way to monetize it; that would really help justify the time.  Thankfully, some other members of the Meetup have expressed interest.
Man, being popular is tough work.  J


  1. Wow, I'm in a very similar boat. Overflowing with lots of projects, both writing and gaming, plus making sure my lovely wife doesn't feel like she's suddenly lost a husband. Plus, summer is my busy-time at work as well, and like you, I'm looking forward to a slowdown there come September/October. But busy is good, so I keep juggling.

    I think I'll take a page from your post and set a day every week to focus on _Miyamoto_. Otherwise, it's just too easy to let it get away from me in the face of other, paying work, and I need to start pulling my weight over on that Google Doc!

    And I certainly don't want to encourage sleeplessness on your part, but I cannot _wait_ to get my hooks into _The King Is Dead_ primer! :D

    1. I am so tempted to try cutting back on sleep.


Wine and Savages Team Now Co-Lead Developers for Savage Rifts®

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