The last two months of have been a whirlwind.
Things got kicked off with Comikaze in Los Angeles. I was there as talent for Tinker. It was a lot of fun and I met a lot of great people in the industry including Chuck Patton, who is my absolute hero for being an animator for both Spawn and Captain Planet. That show warped my mind with its environmentalist agenda, and is essentially how I wound up in the Peace Corps! We got to hang out and talk for a while, and it was really great.
There were lots of great photo ops, and I even manage to snag a pic with the actual Power Rangers! Weirdly, I also had a conversation about Jungian psychology in popular media with some guy from Universal. You just never know at these things.
Then there was the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion in Baltimore. This was a heavy hitting academic conference, and a complete 180 from Comikaze. I was non-presenting this year, just so I get get my legs under me and see what it is like, but next year I will definitely be submitting an abstract. There were many, many wonderful panels and there was just not enough time to attend them all. Several of my favorites talked about ethnographic studies of possession and mediumship, experiences in field work, and state exams in feudal China. Really, really fascinating stuff. Baltimore was way colder than I would have liked, but it turns out their beer isn’t so bad. Several professors and fellow students from my program were also in attendance, and it was pretty fun to roll as a group. Pacifica was very well represented, and I was proud.
Finally came LosCon 40, a science fiction convention also in L.A. I presented there last year and it was a pretty good experience, so I was looking forward to running some more panels. We ran “How to Date a God” and “Surviving Nightmares” and they both went over really well. There’s actually a lot of mythology involved in the landscape of dreams and nightmares, and it was so fun getting to share that with others. It was, however, our first run of Nightmares and I was a little nervous. It’s a dicey and often times very personal subject, but it was really great to see the audience connect with the material and wordlessly create a safe space for the subject to be talked about by all of us.
So that finishes up 2013 for me. However, I’ll have nary a pause. There are a few exciting things coming up.
In January I’ll be NPCing for the Steampunk Murder Mystery at the Steampunk Symposium, which is always tons of fun. The Symposium is staged on the Queen Mary, and it doesn’t get more cool or spooky than that. I will also be COMING OUT OF GM RETIREMENT to help the venerable and talented Mike Young run a LARP at the Symposium. I retired from GMing in 2010 after years of running a Legend of the Five Rings network. It had been very rewarding, but also tiring as hell, so I decided that I would take a very long, maybe permanent break from GMing. However, it looks like this one time (and this one time only!) I’m going to be chipping in and helping Mike run the show. You really, really don’t want to miss it.
In early spring I will be attending the Dreamation and Intercon N circuit. This is my first trip out to the East Coast gaming scene, and I’m curious to see how things are done there. There’s a lot of indie folks out that way, and they always seem to be up to something interesting. I may or may not be sitting in on a variety of panels. I think we’re talking about maybe two right now, but I’ll let you guys know as that develops.
Other things that are going on: I’ve joined onto another project with director/producer Sean Williams. I’m not comfortable giving away any details yet, but it’s a really interesting script and I can’t wait to get working on it. It’s nothing at all like ADAM 8, which is the sci-fi feature currently in pre-production. I’ve also joined an indie game project headed up by game designer Brennan Taylor. It’s also a secret for right now, sorry! But I can tell you that it does have something to do with my roots in Legend of the Five Rings. I am super, super stoked about this project, and I think we’re going to have a beautiful end product. I can’t wait to talk about it!
Otherwise I’m still doing the Ph.D. thing full time. Somehow. Have some abstract deadlines coming up for a few conferences and publications. Have joined a couple of independent study groups on top of that. I’ve also decided that I’d like additional language acquisition on top of the Spanish and the little of Kichwa that I know. I was thinking German but now I’m no so sure. Suggestions?
See you kids around,