Be Legend Ragnarok: Print-and-Play Edition is Here!

Box cover v2

“All life has ceased to exist on Earth. Now, from the dead and broken pages of both history and fiction, it is time to decide Earth’s Greatest Legend. “

So this board game project I’ve been involved with is really starting to take shape. Our first edition print-and-play is now available for you guys to download. You can grab your copy here for free, minus your own personal printing costs, which we’ve worked hard to make as minimal as possible. The entire game should print out on fifteen legal sheets, and although color is recommended so that you can view artist Rafael Domingos’ gorgeous artwork in all its glory, it isn’t required.

Rather than bore you with my chatter, I’ll just leave you with a bit of info about the game and then let it speak for itself. So go ahead, download a copy, print it out, grab some friends and have some fun. And of course, stop back by here or our website and let us know what you think. Good or bad, we’re always looking for constructive criticism, and seeking new ways to make the game more enjoyable for all.

Cheers!

Be Legend is a deductive, programming combat system for 2-4 players. Players will use cunning and clever deductions (and perhaps just a hint of luck) as they choose cards to play during each round from a spell book customized for their chosen Legend. The actions will resolve in turn as players use direction and movement cards, as well as their Legend’s basic and unique abilities to engage in combat, vanquish their opponents, and become the ultimate victor!

Please visit our website and download your copy today:
http://belegendgame.com

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New Review for Come Fly with Death

Come Fly with Death Book Cover - Kindle

I honestly don’t know how I missed this, but there’s a new review for my poetry chapbook, Come Fly with Death: Poems Inspired by the Artwork of Zdzislaw Beksinki. I maybe shouldn’t say “new” review, as it went live way back in January. Okay, so it’s not exactly new, but if I haven’t seen it, it’s still new to me. Well anyhow, nearly four months later, I am quite pleased to have discovered it so I can share it with all of you, brag about it a little bit, and of course, dance the happy jig.

This review comes from author and publisher, Christina Escamilla, and was posted to the Christina Escamilla Publishing website on January 15, 2015. I’d like to give a huge thanks to Christina Escamilla for taking time to read this little chapbook and for posting this wonderful and very insightful review!

Here’s the first part of the review, followed by a link to the full review:

“Come Fly With Death is a collection of poems based on the artwork of Zdzislaw Beksinski.  The synopsis of the poetry collection gives more insight into Beksinski’s work by simply stating it is “surrealistic and graphic.”  That’s true, but beyond that Beksinski’s work also has an underpinning of death and life, beauty and ugliness.  If anything it is the ability to see that this duality is what makes life, well life.  To fully and truly appreciate life one must understand that life also comes with death, wrapped in the horror and ugliness and the realities of the world; whether its the knowledge of death itself or what humankind will do to one another.”

And the review also says this (yes, I’m bragging just a little):

“There is a darkness, a blackness in these poems, and to that end, they are not for everyone, but there’s no doubt – they are exceptionally well written and deeply memorable!”

Go on and Read the Full Review Here.

Find the book on Amazon, or grab a signed and personalized trade paperback from my website.

Cheers!


Be Legend – Ragnarok: An Introduction

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Be Legend – Ragnarok Base Set (Box Cover)

Today I’d like to introduce you to a project I’ve been collaborating on. This is something quite different than anything I’ve worked on previously, but it is a project that’s quite close to my heart because it is, in fact, a board game. Now, I love board games and tabletop gaming for many reasons that I won’t elaborate on here (perhaps in another post). Really, I’m just excited to show it off to you and I should probably stay on topic anyway. So without any further delay, let me present: Be Legend – Ragnarok.

Be Legend is a programming, deductive combat system created by First Legend‘s Lead Game Designer, Mark Laufer. It is based on legends, myths, historical figures, and other various works of fiction, and we’ve come up with an interesting story to tie all these together. Our base set, Ragnarok, is centered on the Norse mythology, and will include some known favorites such as Odin, Loki and of course, Thor. Other Legends in the base set include: Surt, The Fire Giant; Freya, The Enchantress; and Fenrir, The Great Wolf. In all, the Be Legend – Ragnarok Base Set will include a total of 8 customizable characters for you to pit against each other in this unique game of epic conflict and clever deductions.

One thing that really excites me about this game, aside from the intuitive, programming combat system, is how the game manages to capture the feel of each of these individual characters. Each Legend you have to choose from has two unique ability cards which boil down how it feels to be that character in combat. It sounds almost impossible to accomplish such a thing, but let me tell you, it really works and it’s this specific characteristic of the game that, in my opinion, really makes it something special.

In a future post I’ll go into detail about how the game actually plays, what encompasses a typical game round, and of course, how to decimate your opponents and snare ultimate victory, but for now I wanted to give you a quick introduction and show off some of the gorgeous, original artwork by Rafael Domingos. So, let’s have a look, shall we?

[All images made larger by clicking.]

Here’s our Game Board:

Publication1

Sample Player Boards (Works in Progress. Text shown is filler text only.):

odin_player_board_front Surt_player_board_front

A few Unique Ability Cards (Card Text not Finalized):

Disenchant LightningSpear World tree Judgement flaming sword

We’re steamrolling toward our Kickstarter Campaign, expected to launch in June, but if you’d like to give the project an early boost in the mean time, please visit us at gofundme. Any help you can offer is greatly appreciated. And if you aren’t in a position to donate financially, that’s cool, but you can still help by spreading the word. Heck, even telling just one other person would be awesome!

Also, visit the Be Legend Website for more information on the game itself, view more of Rafael’s gorgeous artwork, and sign up for the print and play beta! Also visit and like our Facebook Page for updates and of course, share, share, share!

Thanks for checking out Be Legend! I’ll be back soon with more information!

Cheers!


Another Light – Published in Bete Noire Issue #18

BN 18

Better late than never, as they say: Bete Noire Issue #18 is available now (since March 1st, actually) and includes my poem, Another Light. This is a revised version of the poem originally published in Phantom Kangaroo issue no. 9, July 2012.

And for those who aren’t familiar, Bete Noire is an engaging quarterly publication from Dark Opus Press with a tight focus on “…stories that are well written, character driven and have a dark bent to them.” So head on over to betenoiremagazine.com and grab a copy of the current issue, browse the back catalog, or even grab a subscription.

Cheers!


Free Today and Tomorrow – No Foolin’

Come Fly with Death Book Cover - Kindle

Hey folks! My little chapbook of horrific poetry, Come Fly with Death, is free today and tomorrow for Amazon Kindle. If you haven’t grabbed a copy yet, now’s your chance!

Here’s the rundown:

Come Fly with Death is a chapbook of 20 poems inspired by the artwork of the late Polish painter, Zdzislaw Beksinski. Up until the time of his murder in 2005, Beksinski created a fantastic collection of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and photographs, specializing in the field of utopian art.

Like Beksinski’s works, the poems contained here are surrealistic and graphic. They are at times horrific, Gothic, even erotic, and apocalyptic. Above all, they attempt to serve as a rare glimpse into the heart of our most beautiful nightmares.

Contains poems new and collected, including reprints from: The Horror Zine, Twisted Dreams Magazine, Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine, Indigo Rising Magazine, Gothic Poems and Fiction, Death Head Grin Anthology Vol. 2, and Fossil Lake: An Anthology of the Aberrant.

Thanks! Now go spread the word.

Cheers!


NaNoWriMo 2014 and Something, Something…Instagram!

Participant-2014-Twitter-ProfileI fizzled out on NaNoWriMo this year. I know, I know, I can hear you saying, “But it’s not over yet!” Okay, good point, but for me, it’s just not happening this year (despite how badly I want this “Slay 50K” T-Shirt!).

I have tons of excuses, all of which are just that, EXCUSES, and none the more probable truth that I just got lazy. But for laughs, let’s say we analyze a few of these excuses:

 

  • With my project this year to finish my Nano novel from last year, I quickly realized there wasn’t another 50k words left in it and feared that I was severely padding it. Participating in Nano last year was a great way to get started, but now I think what’s best for this novel is to do what I should have done in the first place, and that is slow down and finish the story at my natural writing pace, which is nowhere near 50k/month. (Make no mistake, I will finish this draft, but not before November 30th.)
  • After only one week, I felt like I was starting to burn out again, and didn’t want another eight months of barely writing such as what I experienced after Nano last year.
  • I’m stressed out over trying to find a new job. (I like this one, it feels very genuine!)
  • Perhaps it was just my way of distracting myself from the goal, but for some reason, my creativity was pulling me towards poetry. Being a true believer in following the muse and writing where the greatest energy is at the moment, I gave in and have let my recent focus drift into poetic verse. (Queue the opponents of  “hippie-dippie baloney.”)
  • I discovered Instagram, and have since found an uprising community of poets sharing their work to a receptive and welcoming audience. I have been enjoying the work of others and have also started to share some of my own. (Okay, not really an excuse, but makes for a nice segue into the rest of this post.)

Now for a word or two about Instagram:

Instagram

I still have no clue what I’m doing exactly, but have nonetheless been attempting this blending of media, writing and photography (even if it’s bad photography). I like that I can share my work in a more visual and striking manner, and it brings another element of creativity. Handwriting adds another personal touch (despite my atrocious handwriting). This has further kindled my desire to learn calligraphy, and eventually, with enough practice, I’d like to blend this art of beautiful handwriting with my words, perhaps even incorporate images to create something akin to the contemporary form of Japanese Haiga.

In just two short weeks on Instagram, I have been truly inspired by the work of some great writers, poets, artists, and photographers. Suddenly, my creative gears are spinning in exciting new directions and realizing a trove of possibilities. Honestly, I have no idea where this thing is going. For now I’m just learning, trying to post something every day, and happy to be part of this growing community of creative souls. So if you’d like, please join me and let’s take this journey together.

[P.S. Wasn’t this post supposed to be about NaNoWriMo?]

The Death in Me – Published in Bete Noire Issue #17

BN17I’m a little late in posting this, but Bete Noire Issue #17 is out now and it includes the first-time publication of my poem, The Death in Me.

In case you don’t know, Bete Noire is a great little quarterly magazine full of “…stories that are well written, character driven and have a dark bent to them.”

My poem, The Clog was first published in Issue #6 back in 2012 and it’s great to see this publication not only going strong, but getting better and better with each new issue. So pick up a copy of Issue #17 in print or digital format, and if you enjoy the stories in this magazine, (which I have no doubt you will) consider supporting this small press publisher by grabbing a subscription so you will never miss an issue again!

[P.S. In January look for a slightly revised version of my poem Another Light (first published in Phantom Kangaroo issue no. 9, July 2012) to be included in Bete Noire Issue #18!]


Hor·ri·fic Po·et·ics

HP

So I went and started a new blog. This one over at Tumblr. While I occasionally post poetry on here (and will continue to do so) I decided I wanted a virtual space dedicated to posting poetry, specifically that stuff I sometimes write with a darker edge to it.

Thus horrificpoetics.com was born.

I wanted something with a clean interface where I can just let the words speak for themselves, so you’ll find no fancy graphics or flashy images, nor any long-winded descriptions or endless explanations. Just poems (along with previous publication acknowledgments, if they exist).

I have installed the Disqus platform so I do encourage comments and/or questions, and I’d be happy to delve into conversations about each work or whatever thoughts or fears they may bring to mind.

Currently, there are only three poems up on the site, but I do plan on posting regularly, hopefully weekly. At least in the beginning, the content will primarily be previously published material, but I may sneak in some new stuff as well. If you don’t see a publication acknowledgment at the end of the post, it is previously unpublished and likely still a work in progress.

So head on over to Hor·ri·fic Po·et·ics, check it out and let me know what you think. Feel free to leave a comment over there and if you see something you like, share it with a friend!

Thanks for reading!


Free for Halloween: Come Fly with Death

Come Fly with Death Book Cover - KindleNow through Halloween you can grab a free Kindle copy of my horror-themed poetry chapbook, Come Fly with Death: Poems Inspired by the Artwork of Zdzislaw Beksinski. This promotion is for two days only, so don’t delay!

Oh, and tell your friends!

Book Description:

Come Fly with Death is a chapbook of 20 poems inspired by the artwork of the late Polish painter, Zdzislaw Beksinski. Up until the time of his murder in 2005, Beksinski created a fantastic collection of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and photographs, specializing in the field of utopian art.

Like Beksinski’s works, the poems contained here are surrealistic and graphic. They are at times horrific, Gothic, even erotic, and apocalyptic. Above all, they attempt to serve as a rare glimpse into the heart of our most beautiful nightmares.

Contains reprints from: The Horror Zine, Twisted Dreams Magazine, Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine, Indigo Rising Magazine, Gothic Poems and Fiction, Death Head Grin Anthology Vol. 2, and Fossil Lake: An Anthology of the Aberrant. Also includes several poems never before published.

Sample Poem:

COME FLY WITH DEATH

Come fly with Death
and feel the splitting as you come apart
with turbulent screams bifurcating bones.

Flee further from this life–
unfurl your wings and soar
with tangled feathers cutting the night.

Join his skeleton beak,
slicing stabs at airless wind,
and wield its dashing spine.

Stay near to glinting shroud and glide,
knowing tattered wings will guide,
as whispering scars are left behind.

Go now into that hollow abyss,
but do not pass the dark in calmness;
break the barrier with raging clamor!

Do not scrape or merely crawl.
Come fly with Death–
and swoop, and yawp, and bawl.


NaNoWriMo: The 2013 Wrap-up

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The hardest part about National Novel Writing Month was dragging my lazy ass out of bed. That and, well you know, actually writing.

With another NaNoWriMo looming just around the corner, I thought it was time I posted my 2013 Wrap-up:

The Overview

2013 was my first attempt at participating in this chaotic, month-long writing marathon to churn out a 50,000 word novel in just thirty days. Along the way I learned quite a bit about myself, about my writing, and about my own abilities as a writer. I learned that I can write from an outline (granted, an outline thrown together in the week before the event), and still have the freedom to “pants it,” find surprises, and drift from the script now and again. I learned that I can set a writing goal, and I can achieve it. I learned that I can write (almost) everyday.

While I didn’t actually complete an entire novel, I learned that I have the ability to write a “novel-size” manuscript in just thirty days. And I learned (or rather reminded myself) that large quantities of coffee and energy shots can in fact replace sleep.

Overall, it was a great experience (from what I remember anyway, the entire month is all still very much a blur).While I technically “won” the event by hitting the 50,000 word goal on November 30, I’m certain there are some things I could have done differently, not necessarily better, to make the experience even more rewarding. So let’s take a moment to recap my adventures in NaNoWriMo 2013.

The Plan

I signed up mid-October on a whim, and started throwing together a quick outline from a story concept I’d been harboring for some time. I’d never tried to write “fast” before and had never really tested myself to see how many words I could cram out per hour, but I guessed that if I was typing at a good rate and just letting the stream of consciousness flow, just writing whatever came to mind without second guessing sentence structure or word choice, that I could probably hammer out about a thousand words in an hour.

So I planned to give myself roughly two hours per day to write, in the early morning hours before work and before the family started to stir. I hoped to reach two thousand words per day so that I could take Sundays off and not fall behind on word count.

The Process

My NaNoWriMo 2013 Starter Kit

My NaNoWriMo 2013 Starter Kit

Depending on the day’s work schedule, I would wake up anywhere between 4:30-6 a.m. I’d brew my coffee and take my place on the sofa, working on a T.V. tray set up as a desk with my iPad and a Bluetooth keyboard. I had my music of course, ear-buds plugged in to my phone cranking out Pandora. (For some reason I was listening to a lot of Alt-J, Mumford and Sons, and Dave Matthews Band.)

Most days I found it easy to hit my word count in the given time, and I do believe my estimates proved pretty darn accurate. From what I remember, I was averaging right around 1,000 words/hour. There were a few days that I found time to write in the afternoons and those sessions would put me ahead. Me, being the lazy, procrastinating person that I am–instead of using these moments to really take off and up my word count–found opportunity several mornings to only write for an hour or so and then go back to bed for another hour prior to work.

I planned on blogging the whole experience along the way, but became so engrossed that I only managed to poke my head out once for a Week One Update. After that, there was only writing, coffee, and then darkness…

The Aftermath

2013 WriMo Stats
As you can see from the above image, I stayed on track and hit a total of 50,041 words on November 30. I ended up writing every day except for two days, day #10 and #28. Despite that, I never fell behind in the overall word count goal for any given day. I think this is really a good point to take home for anyone attempting the event this year. It is very important to keep your head above water. If you want to write ahead, write ahead, but don’t skip a day if it’s going to put you behind thinking you will make up for it tomorrow. That is, write for credit; don’t write yourself into debt. While I have read a few other writers post about falling behind and then making up for it in a final, glorious surge near the end, writing from a deficit only makes an already difficult challenge that much more challenging.

The Result

2013 WriMo Stats 2
So, what do I have to show for all this, aside from the satisfaction of knowing that I am now officially a WINNER! (With a t-shirt to prove it! Yippee!) plus all that ooey gooey knowledge and creamy-center-filled confidence I gained? Let me tell you: I am now the proud owner of 50,041 words of a half-finished “zero” draft novel that I haven’t looked at since and can barely even recall writing let alone remember what the hell I actually wrote. It is probably complete orangutan puke, but it is mine. It is mine to finish. It is mine to rewrite, edit, and revise. It is mine to turn into something perhaps worthwhile, something that could even one day be yours as well, and if it wasn’t for NaNoWriMo, it might never have existed.

If you have never done NaNoWriMo before, don’t kid yourself, this is a very difficult challenge. By December 1, I was exhausted, burned out. With family obligations and a full time job, there’s no way I could keep that kind of pace going for much longer than a month. Even only writing a couple or three hours a day, it just wears you down, both physically and mentally, trying to keep pace and consistently make your word count. But if you can hang with it for the whole month, win or lose, it is extremely rewarding. And yes, I will be “competing” again this year. (As I’ll discuss here in a few days, this year I plan on cheating. Shhhh…)

How about any of you? Done NaNoWriMo in previous years? Care to share your experiences, good or bad? Or, if you’ve never done the event but are thinking about it, please feel free to share your thoughts or ask questions in the comments below. While I’m still somewhat of a NaNoWriMoNewbie, I’d be happy to chat about the issue, and perhaps we can pull some real veterans into the discussion along with us.

Thanks for reading, and until next time, Just Write!


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