So, it’s been a while since we had a big “Where is Jen and what is she doing?” update post, but there’s quite a few things going on in the coming weeks and months, so I wanted to do one now. I feel like a lot of things have sort of happened all at once over the course of this summer, and really just this past month. I am excited for all of them, and, uh, let’s just say it’s a really good thing I like to be busy, because I think I’m going to be.
Starting in chronological order here, September 8th, 9th, and 10th, I will be a guest at Queen City Conquest, Buffalo’s own tabletop gaming convention. That means it’s about one week away! If you are in the Buffalo, NY area or can get to the Buffalo, NY area, you should absolutely come to this con. I’ve attended for a couple of years now, and it’s always been a great time. I’m running seven games in seven different game systems, because I, uh, hate myself or something. Maybe I’m just crazy. In fairness to me, some of them barely require any “running” from me at all, like Fiasco. But I’m still running 21 hours of gaming in 3 days. Wish me luck and also caffeine.
This is my first convention guest gig, which is pretty exciting. I’m hopeful that it’ll generate some buzz for my games and this blog (plus I’m going to get to meet some extremely rad people, including Stacy Dellorfano, founder of ConTessa!). I’ll also be appearing on my first panel, which I believe will be recorded – if it is, I’ll embed a video here to share with you all. You’ll get to hear my voice, which I assure you I have thus far shielded you from by choosing to have a blog and not a podcast (you’re welcome).
In November of this year, I’ll be doing NaNoWriMo again – my fourth year in the Buffalo region and hopefully my fourth year finishing (not including Camp NaNo). I’ll be writing not just as a participant this year but as one of Buffalo’s Municipal Liaisons. I’m looking to set up numerous write-ins throughout the month of November and throughout the Buffalo region (which, as far as I’m concerned, “Buffalo” could be said to be almost everything until you hit Canada, Pennsylvania, or Rochester, but we’ll be centrally focused on Erie County). I’d really like to increase the number of Buffalo wrimos, help guide others to winning NaNo, and start working towards having a year-round writers community here.
If you haven’t heard of or done NaNoWriMo before, I’m talking about National Novel Writing Month. Across the world (the title may be a relic from when it only took place in the US), people convene to write a novel of 50,000 words in 30 days. This is, understandably, a daunting task, so there’s write-ins, meet-ups, forum chats, and more to help encourage people to finish. NaNoWriMo is not about producing a “finished” or “publishable” piece of work. For comparison, 50,000 words is about the length of Slaughterhouse-Five and about half the length of To Kill a Mockingbird. Very few modern published novels are that short, and to be frank, most end-of-month NaNo-winning novels are only slightly better than word vomit, mine included. NaNoWriMo is about cultivating the discipline to make writing a routine, and – this is the key – to FINISH something. Many would-be writers never finish anything they start, and that’s really what separates the would-be’s from the “real” writers (as much as I dislike putting any kind of barrier up there – if you write, you’re a writer).
So, if you’ve never written a novel before, but you want to, you should check out NaNoWriMo. If you’re not in my region, odds are you’re in someone else’s. You can look it up on the website to see if there’s write-ins and meet-ups near you, and I highly recommend going. Not only is NaNo a solid push to actually finish something for once, it’s a fantastic opportunity to meet other local writers. These people are your community; these people understand you. I’ve made great friends through NaNoWriMo (as well as other local writing programs), and I bet you will too. And if at any point throughout the month, you want encouragement, tips and tricks, or a good old-fashioned verbal ass-kicking to get back to writing, let me know – I’ll be happy to provide.
These last two things, I’m not sure how much I can say about them yet, or how much I should say about them (I do like to surprise people, you know). But, uh, look out for Stuff from me in 2018. Big Official Published RPG Thing Stuff. In fact, look out for two of these, for wildly different games and from very different publishers. The fact that these both came together in the same week (one on Tuesday and one on Friday/Saturday) still kind of has me reeling. One of them is something I never thought I would be approached to do in a professional capacity; the other is actually a kind of second chance at an opportunity I thought I missed out on back in February/March of this year. I had seen that opportunity, and it was one of the first times ever I really thought “Wow, I would be perfect for that” and then I wasn’t chosen for it. I was heartbroken for a little while, but here we are, actually doing something that’s even bigger and better and more exciting, and it just goes to show that you never know, right? Closed doors, opened windows, etc.
You can expect further updates from me on all of the above – although I don’t typically do write-ups of my convention games, I’m going to for this year’s QCC. You’ll undoubtedly get some novel updates for me from NaNo (I already have my concept in mind and I’m starting to outline). And as soon as I can Officially tell you about certain gaming things, you’d better believe I will.