Pokemon Go Will Save The World

Pokemon Go Will Save The World

Let's get real here, gang, the world looks like shit. Girl has runs in her stockings, her makeup's a hot mess and that hair is fried. Between the terrorist attacks around the world, Brexit, the American election, the tensions between police and citizens.... just what? What is there left? Celebrity gossip? I just don't think this Swift girl is good for my Thomas, and that's all I can stand. 

Full of Squee

Apparently, this is how you do it. By Zach Reddy. So last week kicked some ass on a personal level.

First off... my brother-in-law saw a post where I said that I'd have no idea how to illustrate a Pajamazon in order to make a logo. Well, he heard that as the clang of a gauntlet.

The other kick ass thing? Well, that requires a bit of back story...

So Friday nights are Game Night in my little tribe. We get together, have dinner, and play some games. Many are the times we play Sentinels of the Multiverse. Sentinels is a deck-based cooperative game where the players are comic-style heroes fighting evil. Each character has his or her own deck with specialized powers and equipment. Together, your team uses these powers to help one another and kick the ass of a villain in a hostile environment. (Both villain and environments have their own decks that run themselves.) Each hero card has a quote of "flavor text" on it that comes from a "comic book" featuring that character. (Those comics don't, at present, exist, but it's amazing and the flavor text is really fun.)

It's a really fun game with immense replay value.

Many are the nights we play this game and speculate what it would be like to make a deck for {insert popular character here}. For example, I'd love to make a PowerPuff Girls deck, a Townsville Environment and a multi-villain deck that includes Mojo Jojo and HIM.  Because we're total geeks, we've spent many Friday nights statting out such ideas.

So last night was Friday and we got together as is usual. And we sat down for Sentinels (again, totally normal). When we sat down, though, my buddy Jeff had this idea. We were going to pick characters in a new way. The person to your right would choose what character you were going to play. Okay, that's pretty cool. Most of us have played several characters, but admittedly have favorites, so it would be nice to stretch out a bit to try someone new. So we pass the box around the table and (making sure no one can see), everyone selected a character. At the same time we all slapped down a deck in front of the person next to us.

Sean had Haka, the Polynesian Power House. Kevin had Setback, the sidekick with a bad luck streak. Jeff had the ChronoRanger, a time traveling hero. Brian had Wraith, a brooding woman with a lot of tech at her fingertips. And I had... a deck still in shrinkwrap?

Huh? And in a white box? What the hell? So I go to open it and everyone's staring at me. I'm not entirely sure why, but they're grinning like idiots. That's when I see "Nerdmaste" written on one of the cards. And the name of the character...

Cat Sharp.

Cat's deck and character card based on the new Wild Card cover.

My friend Jeff had made a deck for Sentinels based on my heroine Catherine Sharp.

Holy. Shit.

We dove into the game and I played the deck blind (meaning that I didn't immediately sift through the cards to see what each of them was, but let myself be further surprised with each draw.) Every time I pulled a new card from the deck, I let out a squee or giggle.

This doesn't appear in the books, but dude, does Jeff know me!

"Mack Truck" from Unveiled.


Cat's flipped character card for if she dies in combat.

Jeff did an amazing job. He used the cover art of the new Wild Card for Cat's main character card, and a zombified version of the old Wild Card cover for the flip side. (When your hero dies in game, the card flips and you as a player have a few things you can still do to help your team). The rest of the cards be built in Photoshop. He took my character and made a spectacular deck that is true to the writing, and even included a couple of special nods to me (the Technomantic Phoenix shown above) and to our friends (a tiny "Easter Egg" on one of the cards, I won't say which.) And to top it off, he used quotes from the books for the flavor text!

Not only was the deck really fun in terms of seeing my character made into a playable, Cat Sharp was effective in terms of game play. Found out that not only had Jeff built the deck, he playtested it with Brian, Kevin and other friends! (They'd been in on the surprise for months!) But they took time to play the deck and make sure that Cat could throw down as an effective character, and wasn't over-powered. She fits perfectly into the game and would be more than just a novelty item for me or a friend. For players of Sentinels of the Multiverse, she's a strong character choice.

How fucking cool is that!

If you are curious and want to see all of the cards in Cat's deck (WARNING: THERE ARE UNVEILED SPOILERS!) and even print off your own for free, you can go here and do just that.

This was an amazing surprise and may take the cake for Best Fan Art Evar! And also, now I'm thinking "what if Flynn/Marius/Karma had their own decks? And a Vegas environment. OOH! Or what about..."

Yeah, this is fun. Thank you so much, Jeff!

PHX CC '13 - Stalk Me!

910x485xfullevent_val.jpg.pagespeed.ic.VUbhWwboJoI'm so fucking excited for Phoenix Comic Con. I didn't think I was going to be able to go. Then 2 weeks ago, I got word that my husband and I have the ability to ROCK IT! So, while I won't be at Phoenix Comic Con in a professional capacity (this year), I will totally be all over the place. If you're going to be at the Con, come find me, say hi and have some fun. Here's a rundown of where I'm going to be. NOTE: I WILL NOT BE PARTICIPATING IN ANY OF THE PANELS AS A PANELIST/PROFESSIONAL. I will only be at the Con as a fan due to the fact that I didn't think I'd get to go, so I didn't pursue the Author track. (Yes, I'm kicking myself for that. Hard.)


6:00pm - Books & Authors Kickoff


12:00pm - Cherie Priest Spotlight 3:00pm - Author Chair Dancing 6:00pm - friend's bachelorette party 9:00pm - You will either find me watching my friends perform at the Talk Nerdy To Me Burlesque Show OR the Captain's Cantina: Zocalo at Babylon 5 event. Considering the bachelorette and money is on the burlesque show.

It should be noted that during the day on Friday I will also be taking my daughter to some youth panels. We have yet to plot out an exact schedule for her. It should also be noted that her teacher is awesome. K told her teacher that Comic Con was this week and her teacher flat out told her, "You don't have to come to school if you're doing that." Seriously! So she'll be enjoying a day with the folks, cosplaying and getting her little geek on as well.


10:30am - Panel - "I've Sold My First Novel. Now What?" 12:00pm - Panel - "Magic Methods" 1:30pm - Panel - "Different Approaches to Non-Traditional Fantasy" 5:00pm - Panel - THE BABYLON 5 REUNION *happy dance* 9:00pm - "It's a Trap!" Trivia Game -- Tentative. I may have other engagements depending on what some of my friends are doing that night.


10:30am - John Barrowman 12:00pm - Panel - "Keeping Urban Fantasy Alive" 1:30pm - Wheaton and Scalzi, Together Again

I don't intend to be doing any of the autograph or photo op lines, so any time that I'm on-site and not in one of the above events I will either be found in the gaming area or in the exhibitor's hall checking out costumes and saying hi to friends. If you want to meet up and say hey, chill or catch a panel, SAY HI. Easiest way? Email me!

So yeah. I'll be busy and spending lots of time in the car to and from the Con, but I'm so damn happy to be going.

Peace out, guys. I've got stuff to plan and prep.


Postcards From the Edge

Antartica: Day 51. Our rations are running low. We lost Thompson sometime during the night. Morale dwindling. The men speak of mutiny. But I must persevere.  Ahem. Sorry...I'm a little off today. And by off I mean absolutely fucking batshit crazy. Why? Well, let me tell you a story (or four).

Approximately 5 and a half years ago I played a game called Shadows Over Camelot.  Fun, cooperative game where 3-7 players are the Knights of the Round Table (quite indefatigable). Players fend off invasions from Saxon hordes and quest for legendary trinkets. Generally entertaining and has a lot of replay value, especially when you put in the "traitor" mechanic. (One knight is secretly working against you. Maybe. *shifty eyes*) So, anywho, I played this game once many moons ago and the next day I had a baby. (Disclaimer: Any correlation between Shadows over Camelot and pregnancy or childbirth is coincidental. If you experience a Grail quest that lasts for more than 4 hours please see the rules because you're doing it wrong.) I haven't gotten to play it since. Friends have pulled the game off the shelf in the interim but never while I'm around and when I've suggested it, I'm overruled.

So, Friday night, we had some friends by to game and hang out. We ended up playing on the Wii rather than doing any table top gaming, but my friend Jeff brought Shadows just in case. He accidentally left it here and I "accidentally" forgot to take it to a party I knew he'd be attending on Saturday.

Yesterday, after taking the kiddo to explore the under sea wonders at the Sea Life aquarium (I saw a starfish's feet!), I decided that I wanted people to come to my house and do my bidding: PLAY SHADOWS!!! I posed the invite on Facebook and got a few people in on the action. What was cool was that a dear friend of mine brought along a guy I gamed with at Phoenix Comic Con who brought a long a total stranger who rocks. There was pizza, caffeine, laughter and a successful game of Shadows. (Finally!) Well, we were all having such a good time we got out Thunderstone. And played til 12:30am.

By that time, I was wired. Couldn't even think of sleeping. Stayed up til 2:30 and decided to try that going to bed thing. At 3:30 I was still awake and listening to the awesome thunderstorm outside. I listened to it until it started to peter out around 5am. By that time, TyGrr (my stripey kitty) wanted snuggles and worship in the form of tummy rubs. And Sean's alarm started going off. When TyGrr was appeased, Sprocket wanted her tithe and it was about 6am.

So, as you can tell by my Twitter feed, I haven't slept! I've caffeinated and right now I feel like a jittery drunken Kung Fu master. Or a particularly insane zombie who doesn't crave brains but cascades on Bejeweled.

When I get tired ... like really tired... I get what I call "your mom" tired. I call it this because at that point, I'm likely to answer any questions with YOUR MOM! I've passed that point and gone straight to Arkham levels of mentally unhinged. And yet, I'm bouncing about like Tigger with a Starbucks IV drip.


I wanted to tell you... so, my daughter (5, small and cute) woke up this morning. As I usually do when I'm about to make our breakfasts, I asked her to feed the cats.

Her: Okay. I'll do that while you get my breakfast. Can I have toast and butter, please? Me: Sure. Thank you for asking so nicely. Her: You're welcome. *gets cat food and puts it into the bowls* Me: Orange juice or milk today? Her: Orange juice, please. Me: You've got excellent manners today. (This is something we're working on as it has slipped recently.) Her: Thanks. I know I've been kinda bad the past few days. I just wanted to show you that I can be good.


With an attitude like that, today's going to be great even without any sleep.

And now, I have too much blood in my caffeine system. Time to go do mom things with a stellar kiddo and hope for the best as far as energy goes.

Have a great day, kids!

Pimp It!

Today I'm doing a post solely for the pimpage of others. I encourage you to get in on the act. Leave comments to hawk for writers/bands/people/whatever that you like. (No Porn, dude, this is a family show.) If you want to pimp yourself, go for it. Just be hospitable, k?In no particular order...

1) The Scientific Mom: My friend Amy has started a blog to keep track of the many things she's been doing with her daughter over the past few years. Seriously, I'm jealous of the mom Amy is. She makes me feel lazy. Anyway. Amy has been homeschooling her daughter for...well, ever...and the results have been amazing. For a long time she just posted about her adventures on Facebook, but recently she decided to share her magic with the rest of the world. Amy is a terrific friend, a spectacular mother and one hell of a teacher. 2) Absence of Time: My friend Chris started a garage project of making jewelry. Because of this, we all win. His steampunk-inspired jewelry is not just fashion, it's art. I love his work and wish I had oodles more money to throw at him. He does original work as well as commissions. Earlier this year, mutual friends got married and the bride had the spectacular idea of commissioning jewelry for her bridesmaids. I got this stunning hair clip to add to my collection of AoT bee jewelry.

Good Night Gracie  Fort Wayne, Indiana. I used to march drumline with this guy named Dan McCoy. Fun, tattooed, terrific player. Turns out that when he isn't being a dad, starting a curling league or growing out an epic beard, he drums for Good Night Gracie. Rocktastic band, tons of fun. GNG throws a great party and pleases the crowd. They do a lot of covers and you can listen to them on their site. Go. Like now.

3) Friends' Bands: 

  • Collectible Boys Iowa City, Iowa. Again, I used to drum with their drummer, Chris Wood. He's got a few other projects, but this one stands out as particularly stellar. The vocalist for Collectible Boys, Renee Zukin is nothing short of amazing. Their debut album Sense of Redemption drops this week. Indie band with a lot of talent behind it. Check out the teaser tracks on the link above and buy the album!
  • The New Guilt Indianapolis, Indiana. Fairly new band still growing a following. They're a bunch of talented guys who found one another and are building a foundation for boss work. My friend Brian "Shadows" Burke (formerly of Valhalla) takes lead guitar on this one. Check 'em out. Friend them on Facebook and go see them if you are in the area.
  • Clay Colton Band  San Diego, California. Again, I used to drum with the drummer, B.J. Morgan. Like Dan of Good Night Gracie, B.J. helped me refine my set technique and pushed me to be a better player. Check out their summer tour dates and see when you can experience them for yourself.

Book Country - Writer's community initiated by Penguin Publishing. You'll find a lot of talent here and great feedback for your work. Fantastic place to connect with other writers. Go. Friend me so I can read your stuff. :)

4) Guise Knights: So yeah, I'm involved with this one personally, but hey, it's a group thing. Guise Knights is a Phoenix, AZ based gaming organization. What started off as a group of friends getting together weekly to shoot the shit and kill things with dice has turned into a larger group of people scattered about the state (with a few friends in other states that we bring in for events because they rock). We go around to conventions and make the gaming awesome. Our members run and teach several kinds of games, from Dungeons & Dragons, to big box games like Doom and starter games like Dixit. GK also provides game reviews. So yeah, if you need a gaming fix...Guise Knights can help you with that. 5) Artists/Writers/Writerly Things: Okay, so I can't narrow this down, so here's a list of people I think are phenomenal. If you don't see your name here it's probably because I'm just forgetful this morning.

  • Gail Carriger - Writes the Parasol Protectorate series (Orbit). Fun steampunk with vamps and weres. I recommend them.
  • Candace Ganger - Strong woman whose blog is a delight to read.
  • Julie Summerell - I heart her Twitter. She makes me laugh a lot and also makes me hungry when she talks about her cooking.
  • Michelle M Welch - Podcast "Theme and Variations", has a trilogy of books out that starts with The Confidence Game. Great wit. And today's her birthday! (Going to her party later. Go show her love.)
  • DeAnnaKnippling - Writer of "Choose Your Doom: Zombie Apocalypse". She writes about zombies and it's really fun. Plus, she's starting her own epublishing gig. Her tweets brighten my day.
  • Johanna Harness - Writer, blogger, inspiration. Johanna started the Twitter hashtag #amwriting and maintains for all of us word hounds. She has a lot of good things to say on craft and navigating the industry. She genuinely wants to see people succeed at their goals.
  • Zach Reddy - I love his work. Have some on my wall. And he's my husband's brother. I'm particularly fond of his ideas for the 13th doctor. Was very happy to see him in his booth at Phoenix Comic Con this year. He shared that booth with...
  • Emma Lysyk  - Comics and jewelry with quirk and style. A ton of fun.
  • Britney Lee - Found her work on a whim and fell in love. She has this series of prints of Hawaiian deities and I LOVE it. Wish I had more money to throw at her, too. PLUS! She's living the dream and working as an animator for Disney. She also does paper art now which is stunning. Go look for yourself.
  • Bald Pirate Photography - My friend Eric Fiallos started doing photography a couple of years ago and he's really flourished. Of course, I am slightly biased, he did my wedding photos. Eric also does more intimate work. He has a talent for making everyone look sensuous and natural.
  • Captured By Sable - My stepsister has started working on photography as well and her work just gets better and better. Her concepts of composition are unique and delightful to look at.
  • Monique Reddy - My sister-in-law, married to Zach Reddy. Her photography is, in a word, stunning. She has a terrific sense of the moment and a gift for finding light and color to make a shot go from a digital picture to a work of art.
Alright, so that's my list. For the moment. Add to it. Leave comments pimping out friends, family, co-workers, yourself... whatever. Go thou and explore!