Ramblings from the Gryphon Rose

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Bio-nic Vision

A gaming magazine I’ve written for is making a comeback, and as part of the revival they’ve asked all of the writers to submit a one-paragraph biography that “encapsulates you, your attitude, and your writing talent.” It’s supposed to be snarky and aimed at the 12-35-year-old gamer. I thought some of you might be amused to read the one I submitted, so:

[The Gryphon Rose] has been writing forever. At least, that’s what his wife claims when she wants him to step away from the keyboard. Certainly he spends more time writing than he does eating, drinking, or sleeping—breathing is debatable. Eleven years ago [the Gryphon Rose] graduated from gamer to game writer because he was itching to inflict his stories and worlds upon the unsuspecting masses. He now has over fifty gaming books under his belt, which is the only thing holding his pants up since he often forgets to eat. [The Gryphon Rose] also writes educational books, because being a game writer isn’t time-consuming enough, and he writes Star Trek books and fantasy novels when he wants to take a break. He lives in New York with his wife, his one-year-old daughter, and his cat, unless they’ve moved out while he was chained to his desk again.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Seeing a Little Red

I got my redlines on my novel just before I left for Vegas. I admit that I’d been dreading them.
Not because I object to revisions. Actually, I always worry when something goes through without alteration, because I know that my writing, like anyone else’s, can always be better. And a good editor will really make it shine.
But this was my first novel. And there was always the chance, despite outlines and samples and all that, that my editor would get back to me and say “sorry, but I really don’t think this is going to work out.” Okay, a slim chance, but it was still possible.
Not anymore. He liked the first draft. Sure, there are a few things to punch up, but those are more about keeping it in line with the established setting and the game’s rules than about my style. He told me that he enjoyed the read and thought it was nicely crafted, and didn’t foresee any problems with the revisions.
Which, to my mind, means this is now a reality. And proves to me that I really can write novels.
Little wonder, then, that I went to Vegas in such a good mood. And my editor was at the show, which meant that we got to chat in person—and he told me the same thing as he had in email, that he’d enjoyed it and thought I’d done a good job.
Yay, me!

Back from Vegas

Last week I went to Vegas as usual, for the GAMA Trade Show (GTS). I got back from my trip late Thursday night, and this is actually the first chance I’ve had to post about it.
The trip was good. Hectic, though. I got in at about 4pm on Sunday and went straight to the bag-stuffing, a tradition I helped start about four years ago which involves people voluntarily helping to stuff promo/freebie bags for the show. It’s a chaotic mess, and lots of fun. And I didn’t really stop moving until I left Thursday at 2pm.
A lot of what I was doing this year was seminars. I was asked to serve on two different freelancing seminars (beginning and advanced) by my buddy, freelancer extraordinaire Matt Forbeck. Then at the last minute he asked me to help him out with another seminar, The Seven Signs of Highly Effective Freelancers, which we had created last year. Each one ran twice, and the beginning and advanced seminars were each three hours long. Which, when you add it all up, is a lot of time I wasn’t in the exhibit hall.
It’s interesting but normally I’d say that I spend about half my time at this show doing Clockworks stuff and the other half doing stuff for my own career. This year was more like 20-80. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I usually come back with three to five follow-ups—this year I came back with sixteen.
The Riviera, where the show was held, was okay if a bit seedy. The exhibit hall was decent, though it seemed sparse, and the seminar rooms were good. My wife and daughter didn’t come with me, so I was up until about 3 each night hanging out with other industry people. I had several very good dinners, went to two parties (one very cool, the other very cheesy), caught up with some old friends, made some new ones, and generally enjoyed myself.
And, much to my wife’s chagrin, I barely gambled at all. And when I did I lost. I told her it’s just not the same without her there.
It took me the weekend to recover, especially since I went to work Friday as normal. Now I’m back, and starting those follow-ups. If even a third of them come through, I should have a very busy—and very profitable—year.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Technical issues

My friend Lois pointed out that the Comments don't seem to be working on my blog. I'm not sure why that is--I've got them set up the way the instructions suggest. I'm trying to get it sorted out. So if you have tried to reply and were not able to, thanks and be patient.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Forward Slight

So Monday my friend Glenn calls me at work. Some guy from a Jewish newspaper called the Forward called him and wants to talk to us about Creative Couplings, our two-book SCE story, because it features the first Klingon-Jewish wedding. Glenn asks if he can give the guy my contact info as well and I say “sure.” Sounds amusing.
Yesterday at lunch I discover that this guy has not only talked to Glenn, he’s also interviewed our editor and our rabbi (who consulted on the wedding details). But he hasn’t bothered to contact me. You know, the guy who wrote the other half of the books.
Today the article is online, at http://www.forward.com/main/article.php?ref=gross200503091018
Clearly this guy Max Gross is a moron.
Not only does he not bother to talk to me—which is like interviewing Penn and Teller about their Vegas show and speaking to Penn, their stage manager, and an old buddy who they bounce ideas off of but never even trying to talk to Teller (who does speak, and very nicely, off-stage)—but he screws up details.
According to him, Esther Silvers (the bride) is the main character of the SCE series. *BAP!* Wrong answer, Gross. She’s a minor recurring character, not on the team, and has only been in a handful of books. Then he states that her grandfather, David Gold, is in charge of the SCE fleet. *BAP!* Two for two there—Gold is the captain of the DaVinci. Scotty is the admiral in charge of the SCE as a whole, though I don’t think anyone would ever claim they had a whole fleet.
I considered sending a nasty letter to the Forward’s editor, suggesting that they find reporters who actually take the time to research their topics and speak to the people they’re supposedly interviewing. But why bother? He does get our names right, at least, and Glenn was good enough to say “us” several times, so between that and Gross’s specious comments about “the writers” and “he and his co-author” (specious because they make it sound as if he spoke to both of us—which would then suggest that I simply didn’t say anything worth repeating in print) I haven’t been completely exempted from taking credit for my work. Isn’t that nice.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Chirp chirp

Sorry I haven’t posted much lately. I turned in another big project at the start of last week, and since then I haven’t been doing too much—rewrites on one project, outlines on another, brainstorming for a third, and review-critiques for something else. It’s been a nice little break.
I’m off to Las Vegas this coming Sunday, for the annual trade show. Just me again this year—my wife and I agreed that Vegas is not a good place for a toddler, and there was no point in all of us going if two of us were going to be sitting in the hotel most of the time. And, in addition to working the booth as usual, I’m going to be doing three different freelancing seminars. You’d think I was an expert or something. The show should be fun though, and I'll get a chance to catch up with some of my friends.
Anyway, I was telling my wife the other day that the one thing I don’t like about doing this blog is that I can never tell if anyone’s reading it, and I miss hearing from everyone. So, since I’m posting to all of you as often as I can, take a minute and dash off a quick email letting me know how you’re doing too, okay? Thanks.