Thursday, January 12, 2012


We did a silly super hero themed art jam at work a few weeks ago. There were some AMAZING entries including the brilliant Owlnipotent and Sweetums. Here is my last minute addition to the chaos.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year! Lets write a novel!

First off, let me make something very clear: Im not a writer... to be honest, Im barely a reader. Almost all of my favorite books have far more pictures than words and nearly every great story I have been exposed to has come in the form of comics, graphic novels, video games, magazine/website articles or movies. The last great book (without pictures) I read was... I will have to get back to you on that.

Why and how to write a book, by a guy who knows nothing about writing a book:

I was arguing with my brother, who is a high school teacher, on the phone about story telling in games. He always has lots of reasons why certain stories are told better than others. So I ask, "Why don't you write a story?" We talked about how most people want to do something but they don't know where to begin or they start and lose motivation with no end in sight or they just over think everything to the point of no commitment. "I have a solution for all of these problems!" 

I watched a great, simple TED talk given by Matt Cutts where he talks about creating 30 day challenges for yourself. He wrote a book in 30 days. So I proposed we try to do the same thing, but make a game out of it while killing the commitment issue entirely. On Jan 1st (today), I will write the first chapter of a story then send it to my brother who will continue the story by writing chapter 2 on the 2nd (tomorrow) then send it back to me. So I will write all the odd number chapters on the respective days. So at the end of the month we will have a finished book. 

The Rules:
-No planning or speaking about possible outcomes. 
-No killing off newly introduced characters or entire casts (regardless of how bad they are)
-No completely changing direction or storyline by dream sequence or any other random scenario.
-No breaking or changing the style or believability of the world.

So I'm doing chapter 1 tonight. I need a starting point so earlier today, I asked each of my family members individually to write a random word on a piece of paper. A noun from Jaz, a verb from Sasha, an adjective from Kayla and a characteristic from Liz. So I have 4 words to base an idea from: Goop.... Chuck (as in throw) .... Fancy .... and Compulsive.

All right, this is going to be fun and terrible at the same time!  :)

Creating a new monster

In my neighborhood ball tag is kind of a big deal. And Im known as 'the King' when it comes to all forms of tag around these parts. The fact that Im the only adult and most of our participants are little girls between the ages of 7 & 10 is irrelevant! I am still the KING!

 We have created many versions with different rule sets. The latest incarnation is called 'Hide and Seek Lottery Balltag'. I came up with this as an attempt to add more strategy than the usual "get the slowest kids" formula. Normally the amount of hiding in Hide and Seek Balltag is based on who is it. If a slow kid is it, nobody is hiding. Everyone is out calling positions "Hes over by the mailbox chasing so and so!" For this version, I made small cards (cut paper) each with a number ranging from 0-9. Each player gets 2 cards at random. The goal is to have both your cards total 4 or less.

The rules: Don't tell other players what your numbers are. When you get tagged, the person who hit you gets to trade their highest number card for one of your cards. You can hold your cards face down and they have chose one without knowing what they are. So they may end up with a worse card. No tag backs. hehe. Then I did an example tagging to make sure everyone understood. "Thats it! Now run!"

15 minutes into the game there were already a ton of card exchanges and players screaming in agony while others jumped for joy at their new cards. A few minutes later I saw my daughter Sasha standing under the car port. I ran over and whispered "Thats a terrible hiding spot! You better get out of there!" Then she broke it all down for me. "Im hiding here on purpose because I have bad cards. The players who are in the best hiding spots have the best cards. The players with the worst cards are trying to get tagged to get rid of them. Some players are purposely getting tagged to figure out what cards everyone has." Some of these kids were actually counting cards and figuring out which cards were traded based on expressions during exchanges. They turned ball tag into a card counting gambling fiasco. Kids are just to smart for their own good these days.  :)