Tuesday 18 June 2019

Ne'er Cast a Clout...

...'Til May be out, etc., etc., etc.

I know there's some debate as to whether that's May (the month) or may (the blossom), but all I can say about the month is that it was yet another busy one. June is shaping up exactly the same, which is why this blog is a teensy bit late in coming.

First: back on the hieroglyphics. Slightly rusty after a bit of a break, and one of our tutors is still insisting on giving us tests every fortnight, but it's still great fun translating dead people's wishes from ancient monuments. (We're currently only having classes every fortnight rather than every week). We even got the joys of rave Godzilla as one of the hieroglyphs - allegedly it was supposed to be a baboon, but the carving was appalling and looked far more like everyone's favourite kaiju bopping on down.

As I knew I was going to be at UK Games Expo, I even plucked up the courage to ask our more serious tutor what the ancient Egyptian for "Don't read from the book!" would be, just in case anyone asked me to sign a copy of Masks of Nyarlathotep. He was very obliging, even though he didn't entirely understand why I was asking and why one of my classmates got a fit of the giggles when I made the request.

In the end, no one asked me to do any signing that required hieroglyphics, but I can now yell the correct phrase in ancient Egyptian at a mummy, should the need arise. It sounds really cool, too...

A goodly bit of May was spent finishing off my last large scale piece of editing for Blue Rose for the foreseeable future. As my job role at Chaosium changed from 1st June, while I can still do bits of freelancing for other companies (and Chaosium are very happy for me to do so), I no longer have the time available for big projects.

Or, rather, I probably could squeeze them in, but they wouldn't get the time, care and attention I like to give to my work, meaning I'm not prepared to do it. Books are needy creatures and require a lot of editorial input - even the really well written ones - and I'm not going to sell the book, the authors, or myself short when it comes to a large project. We all deserve better than that.

I've thoroughly enjoyed working with Green Ronin, particularly Blue Rose's line managers, as their Benevolent Dictator in Chief: first with Steve Kenson and then Joseph Carriker, both wonderful, generous, creative men who encouraged my nitpicking and endless questions. I hope to be able to work on Blue Rose again sometime soon, albeit in a reduced capacity. It's a game I'm very proud to have my name on.

I was also busy editing a Call of Cthulhu scenario that will be available at an upcoming convention (to be announced shortly), and organising various convention visits. I'll be popping over to Poland (Wroclaw) in Mike Mason's stead for DNI Fantastyki as a guest of the lovely people at Black Monk Games, Chaosium's Polish licencees. I've not been to Wroclaw, but my hubby has, so I know all about the gnomes and plan on spending a day hunting out as many as possible!

I was also interviewed for an upcoming Call of Cthulhu magazine (more details when I know the release date), and spent some time implementing playtesting and proofing comments on Children of Fear before we headed off for our day at UK Games Expo.

I always enjoy booth work, especially at larger conventions, where the sheer number of attendees can be a bit overwhelming. Having been doing it for a while now, I also know a lot of people, if only to say hello to and ask them how their current campaign is going. This year, I saw a very old familiar face: Jared Earle of Nightfall Games.

Those of you who know me know that my gaming history is closely tied to Nightfall and SLA, and they were the first people to give me a paying job in the gaming industry. I even still have a photocopy of the first cheque they sent me! So, it was lovely to see Jared and get to spend time catching up with him in the bar on the Friday evening. It had been over two decades since we'd last spoken, but you would never have guessed. Quite significantly (largely because Jared nagged me to stay up late even though I'd been up since stupid o'clock), as midnight came around and I became a full time employee of the Chaosium, I was sitting between Jared and Mike, neatly book-ending my gaming career to date. 

I know I've said it before, and I will say it again: gaming has been very generous to me and has given me the opportunity to work with some wonderful people and to forge some good, and long-lasting, friendships. While I've lost touch with everyone I was at school with, and virtually everyone I was at university with (unless they're fellow gamers), my gaming frienships - the oldest ones at least - have been going for well over two decades now, which isn't too shabby in the grand scheme of things.

And here's to many more years and many more friends to come!

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