Category Archives: Bloggery

My general blog entries.

I’ll Be At Gen Con!

I’ll be at Gen Con this year! Most of my time will be working the Onyx Path Publishing booth (#1103) or having various business meetings. However, if you’re interested in coming to see me talk on a variety of topics, here’s where I’ll be!


Thursday, July 30th

1pm – 2pm: Freelancing for Onyx Path (Crowne Plaza Hotel Indianapolis-Dwtn-Union Stn)

5pm-6pm: Short Pugmire demos (Booth #1103)


Friday, July 31st

10am-11am: What’s Up With the Classic World of Darkness? (Crowne Plaza Hotel Indianapolis-Dwtn-Union Stn)

2pm-3pm: Short Pugmire demos (Booth #1103)

5pm-6pm: Autograph Signing (Booth #1103)


Saturday, August 1st

2pm-3pm: Short Pugmire demos (Booth #1103)

3pm-4pm: Dive into Pugmire & Cavaliers of Mars (Embassy Suites Indianapolis Downtown)


Sunday, August 2nd

10am-11am: Short Pugmire demos (Booth #1103)

1pm-2pm: Autograph Signing (Booth #1103)


Happy Tail: A Look At Pugsteady’s Year-End Progress

img_20150603_162044Murray (the Pugsteady COO) is celebrating because we had a great first year!

Pugsteady was officially a legal company in late June of 2014, but I decided that July 1 would be the start of our fiscal year and our formal birthday. Now it’s one year later, and it’s time to take a look back and see how Pugsteady did.

Financially, Murray is very happy with the number of treats he’s been getting since we’ve started. I’m pretty happy as well! I won’t share hard numbers, but my goal was to make a living wage this year. Running the numbers, it looks like this was a complete success, as my gross profits were over 200% of the living wage numbers for Georgia.

My financial stretch goal was for the company to purchase a new, high-quality laptop, since most of the year was spent on old, borrowed, or cheap equipment. Yesterday I was able to place the order for an Origin EON15-S — a nice, portable Windows machine with enough power to run unoptimized graphics as well as intensive software such as Unity.

Professionally, this year had the obvious goal of establishing myself and surviving for a year. Again, that was a huge success! I handled contracts for over a dozen clients, with some regular monthly consulting agreements. Four of those clients are in the area of digital games, two are exclusively fiction, one was with a sales company, and the rest are a blend of fiction and tabletop RPG writing and design. Nearly all of my work was “work for hire,” but all of my clients are amazing and have paid promptly — sometimes with unexpected bonuses!

My professional stretch goal was to have one product that Pugsteady can call its own, which was intended to be the Pugmire tabletop RPG. In that I fell a little short, but there has been excellent progress, and the partnership with Onyx Path Publishing has been amazing. We’re hoping to have a good marketing push at Gen Con and beyond, leading into a crowd-funding campaign.

Personally, I’ve really had a great year. Working from home has been surprisingly satisfying, and it’s been nice to be able to take care of Murray (who is getting on in years) as well as having the flexibility to make some improvements in my life. I’ve been learning how to cook, and I’m starting to take classes to improve my skillset. I’ve dramatically increased my skills as a designer, consultant, producer, and programmer, and I continue to push the boundaries of my writing skill when I can. Also, my family and I have bought a new house, so I have a larger office that I can really customize to my business needs.

Today, after a company retreat with Murray, we’ve settled on three big goals for the upcoming year.

  • Financial: Increase the amount of work in which I own the rights, while still doing projects that are work-for-hire.
  • Professional: Work with at least three new clients, while maintaining relationships with the current ones.
  • Personal: Learn one skill I don’t currently possess.
Overall, things are looking positive, and I hope I’ll have good news to share this time next year!

Slices of Gen Con

What a week. So much happened. The best way to even start to cover it is in rapid-fire bullets.

  • Announced Pugmire.
  • A game I contributed to, Hillfolk, won this year’s Diana Jones Award.
  • Ken Hite formed “Eddy Webb & Associates” with me, and we interviewed Rich Thomas for the position of Junior Couch Surfer.
  • Swapped stories over drinks with fellow Onyx Path freelancers at Matt McFarland’s birthday party.
  • Met a potential client for freelance work, who turned out to be a fan.
  • Got a migraine on Saturday, but quick timing and a very brief nap solved that.
  • Ended up with a fair bit of swag, even though I didn’t buy anything.
  • Discovered a company that makes fantasy dog miniatures.
  • Picked on some people a lot. More than I should have, perhaps. I need to think about how I express affection.
  • Got a Sherlock Holmes card game as a late birthday present, and then played it the next night with David Brookshaw and his friends.
  • Lots of early morning conversations with Richard Thomas, covering everything from the business to Pugmire to yoga to very personal topics. And lots of old war stories.
  • Made a game out of cardboard at the show and tried to sell it to people.
  • Accidentally kicked said game into someone’s face.
  • Saw so many of my friends and had more time with them, but still not enough time.
  • Met a lot of people excited to work with me on future projects.
  • The shrimp cocktail at St. Elmo’s.
  • Got Scott Holden’s pants.
  • Waited for hours for our pallets.
  • Had so many people ask for autographs, ask for pictures, or just shake my hand.
  • Heard stories of how my work and my friends’ work has shaped and improved the lives of others.
  • Put faces to names and online personas.
  • Muted my hearing aids to deal with construction noise.
  • Walked dozens of miles throughout the week.
  • Met new people.
  • Made new friends.
  • Remembered why I love this industry.

Pugmire tabletop RPG to be released!

At Gen Con today, I announced a partnership with Onyx Path Publishing to create and produce the Pugmire tabletop RPG. Pugmire is a fantasy game, where dogs (along with cats and other animals) have inherited the world from Man and try to understand and explore the land they’re a part of. The kingdom of Pugmire follows the Code of Man, and the various dog breeds all work together (and sometimes against each other) to rebuild civilization.

Pugmire will be owned by me, but Onyx Path will work with me on the creation and development of the RPG. We’ve also discussed other expansions of the world, such as fiction. The world will still be owned by me/Pugsteady, and the products will be co-branded as such. We’re hoping to have some kind of Pugmire-related release at Gen Con next year. This is my first step into developing a fully owner-created property, but I’m very excited about the possibilities. I have the utmost faith that Onyx Path will be a great partner in this endeavor.

More information as I work out details and can share them in some intelligent form!

I’ll Be At Gen Con!

After a surprising number of twists and turns, in the end I will be at Gen Con this year, thanks to Rich Thomas and Onyx Path Publishing. I’ll be around the OPP booth most of the convention, but there are a few other places you can find me during the show:


2p-3p Book Signings (Onyx Path Booth #1103)


2p-3p Book Signings (Onyx Path Booth #1103)


10a-11a What’s Up With the New World of Darkness and Q&A (Grand Central D, Crowne Plaza)

2p-3p Book Signings (Onyx Path Booth #1103)

3p-4p What’s Up With the Trinity Continuum, Exalted, Scion, Scarred Lands & More! (Hay Market A, Crowne Plaza)

4p-5p What’s Up With the Classic World of Darkness and Q&A (Hay Market A, Crowne Plaza)

Pugsteady: A New Phase In My Career

As many of you know, I was laid off from CCP in April. From April to June, I looked for full-time work, but I did some freelance writing on the side — partly to get at least some money in, and partly to keep my skills sharp. In July, I realized that my freelance work was taking up more and more of my time, so I took some steps to be more organized and serious about it. A few other things fell into place, and I realized that working as a freelance writer and designer could actually be my job. So I did some research, talked to some very smart people, and a couple of weeks ago, I filed to form a company. I am now the owner and sole proprietor of Pugsteady, LLC.

What does this mean? At a high level, not a lot changes. I’ve done work-for-hire for companies for 12 years now, and that’s not likely to change. However, I realize that there will be down times between contracts, and I’d like to start working on my own projects. Having a company that I can attach those projects to gives me and them a little more protection, and gives me access to a few good things (such as easier tax filing and a separate bank account, so I keep my assets distinct).

While “company” sounds exciting and interesting, I’m still working for me, and I’m still making a fraction of what I was beforehand. It’s not likely that I’ll be cranking out new tabletop RPGs or video games anytime soon. Further, I’m also still looking at other opportunities that make sense for my career and my life. But it also means that even if I do work at another company, I still have my company. I can still produce my work, and know that it’s stable. My work won’t get gobbled up by someone else unless they make me an offer that I like. It’s also something I can fall back on if I do leave such a company. And maybe I can make a new tabletop RPG or video game at some point.

So over the next several months and years, you may hear “Pugsteady” from time to time. That’s me, doing what you love, and what I love doing. This site isn’t going away anytime soon. But it is the next logical step in my life now, and I’m excited and terrified and what happens next.

Peer Review: “The Sugar House” by Rose Bailey

I’m usually pretty biased when I write these peer reviews, but this one I’m really biased on. Rose has been my friend for close to seven years, and I’ve seen this particular project of hers evolve over that time. I not only got a copy to review, but I also saw several early drafts. Plus, I really like the same kinds of pulp fantasy that she does.

But all that aside, The Sugar House: The Adventures of Sasha Witchblood is a wonderful collection. All four stories feature the titular Sasha Witchblood, a “wild woman” adventuring across the lands of a pulp fantasy world that is as much inspired by Grimm’s fairy tales and Russian myth as Robert E. Howard’s Conan. Sasha is a gruff, no-nonsense woman that likes the comforts and riches of civilization, but can’t actually stand the people within it. This tension constantly pulls her into strange and dangerous situations. These four stories reference and connect to each other, but they don’t necessarily comprise a complete story — rather, they read like a travelogue, a collection of tales about Sasha’s life that eludes and mentioned previous stories. It also contains a number of very inclusive characters, which is always a refreshing change in fantasy.

The book is very short (just over 71 pages), but it’s a great read. I hope that this book does well, because I would love to encourage Rose to write more Sasha stories. If you like your fantasy with a high dose of strangeness, I think you’ll really like The Sugar House