The Pixar Theory Timeline

One ofj the more interesting things I have read in quite some time. (be sure to read the entire theory, not just this timeline).

Jon Negroni

Pixar Theory TimelineSince the initial release of The Pixar Theory, there have been countless changes and updates to the Pixar Theory timeline. Since it can get a little complicated (and nutty), I put together a new and improved outline that follows the book and includes all of the recent and upcoming Pixar movies. Enjoy!

View original post 165 more words

Organizing Life?!

Is there really a way to truly organize life without some form of OCD or anal retentiveness becoming forefront? I use a few items to try and keep myself as organized as possible.  I am a Libra after all, and whether you go in for the astrological approach to various personalities or not…it has become someway fitting for me as a creative to balance a fine line between messy creativeness and organization of visual filing cabinets. Between my Google Calendar and Google Drive folders and documents,  I also make rather extensive use of Evernote, Pocket, and even Springpad occasionally. Evernote is really indispensable as I can take any notes offline, pictures of important documents, verbal dictations, etc for later filing and they can be accessed on various devices and PCs. I can only usually afford the free versions of most apps. Evernote and Skitch are made by the same company and the free versions are packed full of features. Eventually, I will be able to afford the premium edition which has a monthly fee ( something I usually shy away from) but I have used their products for a few years now and bvd found them to be comparable if not better than any other note application and even better than many office suite applications on mobile devices.  Granted, you cannot do xls, db, or power point type presentations on it per se…but now they added .pdf integration and markup functions for better working on rough drafts for later publication in numerous formats.

I have even allowed others the ability to look at writing projects I have in the pipe, with access only as I allow and while they can review it, thankfully they cannot copy pasta or otherwise make any changes unless I give them future permissions.

Google Drive has also become incredibly favorable to me and especially the team at Fallen Comics. It has allowed us unpresidented access to work and projects that would otherwise get bogged down or lost in spam folders or whatever amounts for the lost file formats online anymore.  We can easily save our projects for use anywhere and anytime, allow others view and even write permissions…plus you can highlight blocks of text and make specific comments directly about the highlighted info. It is IMHO, the best free office suite program I could ever hope for.

To be fair I have to provide a little bit of background, especially if this your first visit here: I have sadly been without a PC/laptop for a few years. I found that the vast majority of my work could be done from my smartphone. It is an old DROID 3. I have had to rework a few things here and there to keep it in the highest working odds especially. I no longer have regular service on the device through any carrier, so I grab a wifi access point wherever I can that will allow me internet access to do most of my work. I may be a freelance writer for now, but I am also old enough to know that this still has yet to pay my bills on a regular interval and I seek normal banal work to pay my dwindled bills.

If only finding work were as easy as that anymore. Try being unemployed for over 6 months and you’ll quickly find how fast people Do Not want hire you. Could just be my experience,  but it plays hell on ones’ psyche. Especially with depression so close to the surface so readily. 

I suppose that is why I have strived to write at least 30 minutes a day again. Not just to keep my writing skills sharp, but to just keep my wits about me. I have so much creative energies of late and I find myself struggling to find proper productive avenues or channels for it. I find myself starting projects and then losing steam somewhere in the middle…the eureka moments of inspiration seemingly lost to the æther. 

Not that I intend it at all, quite the opposite…until the Muse takes full control of me and makes me stay consistently on point to a fault of my healthy will I feel as though I can complete many of the projects I have started or want to start.

Such is the train wreck of mental boxcars in my head being driven by a caffeine and nicotine addicted driver with ADHD and some mild autistic symptoms. Not that I don’t trust this driver, but I have story characters that interrupt my dreams and travels demanding that their chapters and books be finished. They need to know that their fates/destinies are worthwhile to be completed. They have done enough time in the oubliette of my brain…they have been waiting for their release for sometime…especially those that have taunted me since high school or even before.

Stories that have been stolen by others or just flat out lost. Annoying as it is to any writer to lose very inspired work is the inability to rewrite that work that has been lost to various predicaments of youth. The words refuse to materialize again, the story threads are taunting…but seem to be phased out once they are ready to be rewoven within a tapestry. They deny the loom of mental acuity. They tease and dance within my head as vignettes and solid .gifs or even animated dioramas…but then flirt off where I cannot grasp them to give them proper accord.

Writer’s block some might say…but is it really writer’s block when you’ve already written it before, only to lose it in the way it was once and forever intended and it refuses to be rewritten again because it isn’t the proper structure?!

I leave that to the reader to discern and for other creative creatures to discuss.

(Come on baby, don’t fear the Reaper!)

When I Grow Up

Wonderfully written with great life lessons.

The Other Courtney

I am excited to post a guest entry today by a man who has been both a door to door salesman, and worked in the future weapons department at the Pentagon. He has sold shoes for JC Penny, and navigated drug busts by aircraft in foreign countries. He has a pet chihuahua named “Teddy”, and is currently a senior executive in the Department of Defense. He also used to change my diaper. Yep, this man is my father!

No matter what I’m struggling with, my dad has always been an excellent person to turn to. He gives honest advice while still taking feelings into account, something that is crucial with four daughters. Because of his varied life experiences, I asked him to write a post for The Other Courtney.  I left the topic open ended and couldn’t be happier with what he chose to discuss, I think it’s something that…

View original post 1,286 more words

I am a G.M.

G.M. or Game Master. It is an older term for anyone who runs tabletop or Pen & Paper RPGs (Role Playing Games). As a natural storyteller, I was drawn to the 1st edition AD&D. I had played the tabletop DnD too, but found it awfully limiting in scope. With Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (the older TSR products) you were only limited by your imaginations and were free to get out of the dungeons. It allowed for far greater story themes and epic chronicles. 
I had even written my first PnP RPG game mechanics and world setting by the time I was 10 years of age. It was influenced by those medieval hack and slash adventures with a wonderful twist. I moved on to over 40 other game systems created by others. Everything from Traveller and Call of Cthulu to ElfQuest, and Shadowrun. So many games. I found I preferred Science Fiction, Cyberpunk, and Horror games especially. I even modded Shadowrun rules into White-Wolf’s Storyteller system to make the games even more interesting and very nasty.

Since 2003, I have been working on my newest game. Legion: Universal RPG. I have folded many of the older games I have created within its engine/mechanics and have made it easy to play any genre/setting. I did allow it to be downloaded for free to help push RPGs as a wonderful way to spend time with friends, entertain imaginations, and to do my part to spread the joy of real RPGs. I felt they were a dying art, and in many ways; I still feel that way.

I am now in the vein of restructuring the rules a little. Streamlining them for easier gameplay and fleshing out areas that need a little meat. With the advent of much easier self publishing (via internet and especially epub), I plan on hopefully getting the core book published into a few formats, especially on Amazon, and allow those with tablets/smartphones the ability to play and run games still on tabletop without much need for actual pencils and paper.

So, I am indeed looking for Playtesters in the Tucson, AZ area. Everyone who playtests will not only get their names mentioned in the credits of the game, but will also get one digital and one print copy of the core book(s) for free. My move to getting published means that I will indeed be charging for the revised game, but I will not be charging very much at all. Again, I am a gamer and I understand the need for inexpensive gaming habits. I know piracy being what it is that I won’t make much money on it, and I am no artist. I hardly have any commissioned artwork in the game, and have had to use whatever copyright free images that are suitable.

I may also eventually have another interesting publishing format available down the road. More on that at a later date.

Inspired by Tolkien and other authors who went above and beyond the scope of merely creating characters and a few set pieces, I really enjoy the creation of worlds and settings. I love Role Playing games in their truest forms where anything is quasi probable. Where Player Characters drive the plot and action and allow for suspension of disbelief within the confines of Free Will and Imagination. To me, there is nothing more pure than a group of friends coming together to collectively tell stories and engage their creative minds. There are no real linear rails, no right or wrong way to play; no true winner or loser.

I, like many GMs, used to play with pre-written adventures…but found them rather limiting too. I prefer the wonderful ad libbing and impromptu nature of gaming on the fly of stream of consciousness. I like to keep an outline of where the game might be headed, but allow the players to shape how and where the storyline is headed. Give them a great sandbox and allow them to play. Give them the descriptions that tease their minds eye, engage their 5 senses of their characters…and make the game world a living and breathing thing; and you’ll have gamers that will keep coming back for more.

As of late, I have been looking at free Apps for smartphones and tablets to help run games and I am chomping at the bit to play almost any tabletop RPG right now. Aside from playtesting Legion, I am looking for other games to play and troupes to play with. I need to get my game on…
And soon!