Hodgepodge: w/ Emily Schikora

Hi everybody,

Despite being absolutely dead silent on here, things have been very, very busy over the last… while.

One of the things I’ve been working on is getting a quarterly fiction reading going. It’s called Hodgepodge, and we have a slot at The Jade Lounge. Our next reading is on the 22nd of April (this Saturday!). We’ll have an open mic this time, so if you’re in the Portland area and want to hear some words come at your ear holes, you should head over.

Our last reading was back in January, and this weekend, hit by a sudden onslaught of motivation, I finally got the audio carved up and thrown onto Bandcamp: https://hodgepodgewritersgroup.bandcamp.com/album/w-emily-schikora

Side note, if you or anyone else knows a better way to record than putting a Yeti mic in front of speakers, let me know.

Cards: The Attackening!: The Kickstarter: The Reflection

So as you may know, I was working on a card game with my buddy, Josh Robinson. It was created out of a serious need to make something visible, tangible. (At least on my end. There’s only so many short stories and fledgling novels you can come up with before you start thinking that you should go into carpentry, or something.)

It was a great idea – and it remains a great idea, I think. However, there were a couple of problems that we didn’t think about. But first, before I start talking about what went on at the end, let’s talk shop:

For those of you who don’t know him from Unadulterated Hyperbole, currently on hiatus while half of the casters get set up on the West Coast, Josh is obsessed with card games, video games, and games in general. He wanted to create a game, I forced myself into the process, and from that, Wanton Walrus Productions, LLC was born.

We contracted Kyle Olson to do the art, become even more psyched about the project, and started the Kickstarter.

And then the Fates, seeing how awesome our project was going to be, decided that it had to be stricken down. Josh was called away to an undisclosed location to train ninjas, I moved across the country in search of… stuff, and, as a result, we couldn’t put a lot of time into working on marketing the Kickstarter.

As of typing this, it’s sitting at just over $1,500 raised out of the $4,500. It’s a bummer. We had a great start, exploding at the start, and then, after a great first week wherein we raised about a grand, we plateaued.

There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth. Josh claimed that I was willingly sabotaging the project by “hexing” potential backers. I claimed that Josh was performing arcane rituals that were backfiring and resulting in the destruction of everything we hold dear. Stuff happens, you know?

So, after the wounds were scabbed over and healed (mostly), Josh and I had a talk and tried to work out what we did wrong.

We came away with a few salient points, most of which we agreed on, some we still don’t agree on. The most important ones are:

  1. Marketing!: We didn’t contribute the necessary amount of time to putting the Kickstarter out there. Most of our backers came from discovering the ‘starter through the front page, and when our numbers (i.e., frequency of backers) started dropping, so did our popularity, which… well, you get the point.
  2. Demo decks: We totally blanked on this one. We were so sure that everyone would love our project (and, to be fair, we had about 40 dudes and dudettes who did), that we didn’t think we needed to send out demo decks. SPOILER ALERT: We needed to.
  3. Backer Rewards: We thought we’d go with humor as a draw, and, despite the fact that we knew this probably not the best way to go about it, we stayed the course. As a result, everyone who backed the project backed the tiers that were directly related to bettering the card game. For some reason, this surprised us.
  4. Print-and-play: This is a source of contention in Wanton Walrus HQ (somewhere in Kansas, going geographically), and negotiations are still going down.

So, after talking about it and realizing that both of us are still really psyched about this, and after confirming that Kyle is still psyched about it, we have come to the conclusion that the show must go on. We’re going to look at what we need to revamp, what can stay the same, what can be altered – and then look at launching Cards: The Attackening!: The Phoenixing in the first quarter of next year.

So, to everyone who contributed: Thanks so much! It means a lot to know that people other than us think there’s promise in the product. We’re going to be working on gathering all your contact information via nefarious means, and then getting back in touch in a couple of months.

Thanks again,


Treatments and Scripts

Hai thar.

So MTV and Stan Lee have a contest¬†going on. The ultimate prize is to work on a script for a series with The Generalissimo himself. Now, as you may have been able to pick up, I care about comics. More so, if you’ve known me for more than a day, you’ve probably heard me shout “Excelsior!” at least once. So, it goes without saying that I’m going to be entering the contest.

In fact, I plan on working on my script entry in moments.

It’s an interesting learning process, though. I’ve only tried to write a treatment once, for the Justice Trio comic I pitched to Dark Horse and never heard back about. [Shakes fist in generic rage.] I know, it’s basically a summary, but it’s all professional-sounding and whatnot. A bit daunting, that: thinking of myself as trying to be a professional writer. Sure, I’ve sold stories in the past, but the pay’s been just enough to splurge at Wendy’s. Then again, I suppose it’s all relative.

Anyway, I’m putting the treatment after the break. It’s based on Lee’s own treatment, and I think I’m going to have some fun working on the script for the contest, which you can view at the link above.

Whaddya think? Good stuff? Bad stuff? Will my writing always be destined to lurk in sub-obscurity?

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