Monday, January 21, 2008

Off To The Red Rocks

Wow. Three days off. What a strange idea!!!

I have to admit, it's been a good couple of days for sure. I've had the time to work on a project I've wanted to kick off for some time over on my Frontier's Horizon blog. More and more I'm finding myself interested in what I like to call not necessarily roleplaying but collaborative storytelling. I blame a large chunk of this on the influence that Chris Engle's Matrix games have had on me. In short, I've done both the rule-centered, dungeon mastered games and the much less restrictive Matrix games where everyone comes together to tell a complete story. I prefer the energy and creativity of the later much more then the former.

My work takes me to Sedona, AZ tomorrow morning before the sun comes up. If all goes well, I'll be in Sedona before noon and running a small event for my employer. This is my no# 2 as sole event coordinator. It promises to be fairly intense for a myriad reasons and the time away is pretty extended this time around. On the plus side, I'm trying to figure out how to take my camera on the chance I get an opportunity to do some photography in the area.

One thing I am going to try and do is to update here through the course of the event. They may be short, exhausted, and sleep deprived but they'll be updates!

On the family front, I'm about ten minutes away from sitting the kids down to start what I hope to be an ongoing gaming session with all of them. No#2, AKA - The Bink, is about to pop out of excitement. More on that after it takes flight. I'm trying some new stuff with them which will NOT be your typical roll, hit, and take the treasure kind of roleplay game. I'll see how it goes and post more as I can.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

That Was Last Year...

2007, on a personal level, was quite the transitional year. Of course, you could say, “That’s a cope out. Aren’t all years, by default, transitional?” My answer is yes, yes they are but some are more then others! A lot happened this year. Not as much as SOME of my past years but still, a lot more then normal.

At the beginning of 2007, I was working part time and barely able to keep the lights on. The stress of those financial burdens was something I do not wish to go through again. In the face of possible eviction and lack of substantial groceries, I had to face some real hard decisions about my dream to become a freelance artist and writer as a step-dad in a family of five.

By March, I had taken a full time job I was not really fond of just to try and keep the boat above water. I started traveling a bit with it and then, by September, that job turned into something more. By October, I was on the way in a position I enjoyed and traveling all over the country. In relation to that, the boat’s gunwhale began to rise above the waterline as well.

I won't bore with all the details but so much more happened throughout the year. So much...

In October, I lost my grandfather, my Pa-paw. He was a very bright star in my life. Peaceful, watchful, generous, and quiet, I was by his bedside with my family as he passed. It was the most transitional and transformative event in my life. He is missed but I know that he is much better off and very happy. When I think of him, I still smile.

Underlying all of this throughout the year, I was struggling with something. It was hard to nail down at first. After deciding to hang-up the freelance guns due to finances, I realized I was dealing with a very serious loss of faith. It wasn’t, per se, a religious faith. It was a spiritual faith. IT was the faith that had caused me to leave my previous job and make a leap of faith. A certain trust in the Universal system that I had tested, adopted, and had seen work many times in the past.

I will say this, the fall through 2006 was fun. Long days of artwork, photography, and writing. Staying at home, taking care of the house, the kids, and looking for a way to make it work. Yet, by the beginning of 2007, with everything falling apart, I started having thoughts that caused me to doubt some fundamental beliefs in my system. I had to chew up and swallow the fact that I had failed. This stuck with me and built throughout the entire year and would worm its way around, whispering shadow thoughts in my ear at night.

That was the beginnings of the collapse. Other thoughts began to pour in. "If I was wrong about X, then what if I'm wrong about Y?" "If I was wrong about my intuition to pursue this dream, am I wrong about my other beliefs?" This continued until I was spending late nights thinking, "What if, really, there's nothing at the end. There is no continuance. This was my one and only shot at this Life?"

This sort of cleansing fire quietly burned for several nights. I say cleansing because, looking back, I can see that it most definitely needed to happen. Why do I say this?

Because nearly all of those thoughts began to disappear and dissolve after the events leading up to and past the event of my grandfather's death. And on the one night I came home after them, the minute I stepped out of my car, the sky above me was filled with stars and the coyotes began to howl.

Things became much more clear to me afterwards. Alot of things fell into place. I like to think of it as my grandfather's final gift to me.

As the year wrapped up, I was running in a straight line through four different events and four different cities around the country. We were dealing with a crucial family decision which kept me up late into the nights where, through the week, I had only 4 hours of sleep a night. Daily life began to blur and distort to the point that I really can't remember my life, day to day, in that period of time. Then, in mid-December, the wave broke all around me and I was surrounded by several days of peace, family, and resolution.

Looking 2008 squarely in the face I feel more solid, more grounded, more confidant, then I ever have before. I feel that, finally, I have something to share with folks. I have something to really share. That, with my life experience so far, I really do have something to give back, to help with. Something with peace, beauty, and maybe... just maybe.... some wisdom.

I hope so.

Saturday, December 29, 2007


Wow, I have REALLY stepped away from the journal writing. I'm not really sure what did it. So many times during a week I will have ideas for a journal post but then, once I get the time to write them, they do not come. Even now it's sort of like pulling teeth as I sit here, stare at the screen, and try to come up with something to say that might somehow be humorous or entertaining.

It might have been moving to the more then full time job. It is no coincidence that I finally get a chance to rethink things (and actually post) while I am off a full week for the holidays. And now that I actually have the time, once again, I don't seem to have anything to say! It's rather maddening. Regardless, I am sitting here and hammering out a few more paragraphs in the hopes that some things will get kick-started. If not now, then perhaps down the line.

The past several days have been, well, peaceful. Semi-peaceful. We returned home after several days up at the in-laws homestead in Indy where model rockets were flown, old movies were watched, and gingerbread house was crushed. All very exciting! Once home, it's been a good mix of recharging and reorganizing.

As the new year comes steadily onward I'm finding myself doing what a lot of folks do this time of year which is review. You know, going through old piles of things that have sat unattended, sorting through old ideas that have floated in the corner waiting for their time to come, as well as looking what can be revamped and maybe brought back to the fore of things. Maybe my next post should be a review of my year past?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Heading to Atlanta

This morning -- 10:05 AM

I’m sitting in the Indianapolis airport trying to get to Atlanta. My adventure started at 4:30 this morning. The pick-up car couldn’t find my house, I nearly stranded my wife by taking the car keys with me, the driver then couldn’t find my co-workers place, and then, after getting to the airline gate with PERFECT timing, the flight was delayed four hours due to “electrical issues.”

And here I sit. We’ll be boarding soon on a flight switch-up and finally headed southward. I had the oddest thought when the driver mentioned that their company’s normally functional printer had stopped working and that when he called me, he couldn’t reach my home phone number. I had the thought, “Oh, I’m not supposed to get on this flight.”

I guess I was right!

When things like this start to happen, I’ve learned its better to just relax, kick back, and wait for an opening to clear for you. I watched as so many fellow travelers threw fits of frustration. Panic and anxiety do nothing for you. Also, it’s times like this that I am so thankful for my laptop. In the time sitting here I’ve been able to review what I need for the event, get some writing done, and worked on this blog post. It’s all in how you look at things

To add to the backdrop of this adventure, we are headed into Atlanta which is currently in a state of emergency (or close to it) in regards to the severe draught and water shortage. We’ve been told that the situation at the hotel is not too bad and that we should be fine through the totality of our visit there.

I wonder if the folks flying into New Orleans were told the same thing? I doubt it. Paranoid images of fighting for my life against crazed Atlanteans trying to survive without water are probably further off then my imagination would have me believe. Heh. Crazed Atlanteans looking for water…

That’s funny stuff.

My flight boards in fifteen minutes so I’m shutting things down and heading for the little travelers room. Then, I’m on a flight and airborne.