MAGFest 2017

MAGFest 15 was this past weekend.  Situated on the cusp of Virginia and Maryland in the Gaylord Convention Center, it was as it always has been, a celebration of video games, gaming culture, and the music that ties them together.

MAGFest is always a party, always the highlight of the year for me (both personally and professionally).  It’s always a chance to see friends and to connect with people in an industry that I love.  And yet, this year was noticeably different previous years.  With the direction of the winds of the world, I half-expected this year’s Mid-Atlantic Gaming Music And Gaming Festival to be a somber affair.  To my delight, it was anything but.

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MAGFest!!!  This weekend!!!

Hello! Welcome to 2017! Here’s to hoping it’s a better year than 2016. I think we say that every year. I came across a post on Facebook back in 2014 where I was saying the same about 2013, so there’s certainly a cyclical nature to it all. Hindsight is always cynical and frightening in the short-term, I suppose. But none of that matters right now because this weekend is MAGFEST!!!

If you don’t know what MAGFest is, A) shame on you and B) it’s the greatest thing to happen to the world since light. Seriously, Prometheus brought us fire specifically so that we could use it to create technology, culminating not in the space race, 3D printers, automated food production, and water purification, but so we could bask in the greatness that is THE GREATEST PARTY IN THE WORLD.

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Towards The Future

2017 is on the horizon, so I thought I’d talk a little about what I’ve got planned for it. I’m not one for New Years’ Resolutions so much as a set of projects and goals I will attempt to get completed. Typically I manage to get at least half the list done, so anybody want to start a pool on which projects actually make it? Here we go:

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Anime USA, this weekend!

Good morning!  This weekend, I will be in Washington DC for Anime USA!

I will be promoting my books (Rhest for the Wicked and Samifel), my monthly short stories, and pre-orders for my newest book, RocKaiju!

I have panels all weekend as well!

How The Meiji Era Created The Modern World, Friday at 8pm in Panels 5

Beginners’ Guide to Martial Arts, Saturday at 2pm in Panels 3 (prior experience not necessary, but bring some comfortable clothes to move in)

Top Ten Transformers Episodes, Saturday at 4pm in Panels 4 (covers Gen-1 through season one of Beast Machines)

Writing 101, Saturday at 8pm in Panels 3

Ten Best American Anime Series, Sunday at noon in Panels 3

I’ll also be about and around, saying hi and hanging out (and promoting my books).  Lots of fun stuff!  Please come to AUSA and say hi!

November 9th

When this goes live, I’ll be turning 35.Way back in 1980, at about 6:15pm on an otherwise unremarkable Sunday in Florida, I was born. One aspect of my origin story that I particularly like is that the Dolphins were playing that day and, had the nurse come into the waiting room at a different time, I might have been named ‘TOUCHDOWN!’. The Dolphins would go on to defeat the Los Angeles Rams, thanks for asking.


In a lot of ways, I’m surprised I’ve lived this long. An artistic type with Depression has become cliché but I’ve genuinely been fighting it my entire life. And I do mean ‘fighting’ and ‘entire life’. My first depressive crash happened when I was five. That I would survive the next thirty years is something I’m quite proud of. I mean, I am fully aware of how fortunate I am. I have friends who have grown up in poverty, in abusive households, in war-torn hellholes, etc. I had no such struggle. Actually quite the opposite, I’ve been quite advantaged by being a straight white male in the United States. But I feel it would be a little disingenuous to ignore that a part of who I am that actively works to undermine everything I do. So yeah. Making it to thirty-five is not a trivial milestone for me.


So where am I now? What’s the state of all things RVA?

Well, for starters, I think I’m finally getting things back into alignment with this website. There have been a lot of false starts and hiccups with this thing, but I’m hoping to finally be making some headway with productivity. I’ll go into more detail another time, but for starters, I’m going to start releasing new fiction again, starting in January. Rather than run stories like Red Moon Rising which are independent from my printed work, I’m going to be writing stories connected to my novels (which right now is Rhest for the Wicked and Samifel). Next year, I will be releasing the fifteenth anniversary editions of the Crossworld Saga, so there will be some Crossworld short stories too. Original works will appear as well.

Stories like Red Moon Rising and APT Responders are not getting shelved, but I still haven’t found a format for them that I like. The longer serials I was experimenting with earlier this year just weren’t clicking with me, or most readers. Yet going back to the shorter, daily serials is just unsustainable. Still, rest assured, Neo-Romance, Deadman, Self-Alignment, Epitaph for a Memory, all of those stories will be back, and hopefully sooner rather than later.


I’m also going to start sharing snippets of my panels. In February, I’ll be at Katsucon as part of the Japanese Cultural Institute, followed the very next weekend at MAGFest. I’m going to share excerpts from the panels at both those conventions, just so people can get an idea of what the panels are like and what sort of subject matter I tend to talk about. Plus, while I prefer fiction, writing nonfiction is fun all its own.


Outside of my birthday, for me, November is about Thanksgiving (that holiday after Halloween and before Christmas that more and more people are marginalizing, if not eschewing entirely). It’s one of my favorite holidays because, whatever dubious historical origins it may claim, it is a holiday about being grateful for what one has, in every sense of the word. 2014 was a terrible year for me and 2015 has been so very good to me. And for that, I’m grateful.


And, right now, 2016 is on track to be a great year. Thank you for hanging in there with me and I hope you enjoy everything that’s in store.