Monday, April 7, 2014

We Did a Thing - a Magazine, Specifically

I've been rather ridiculously busy lately, between my regular job and the magazine and my webnovel and suchlike.

Last week, though, I'm proud to say that we did in fact launch the first monthly issue of Indie Game Magazine, and we're trying to get it out there into the world. The website is devoted to previews, gaming fundraisers, and special timely announcements; the actual magazine, meanwhile, is filled with things like interviews and lengthy reviews and premium content and exclusive stuff from the developers.

We're really proud of our work.

And we'd like to share it with you.

All the details are here, but to give you an idea - the magazine is a digital publication with realistic page-turning action. (No, seriously. It's adorable.) To celebrate the inaugural issue, we're doing a special promotion for April. You can sign up to read the first issue for free, or you can buy a subscription for the full price, or you can just make a donation to support our efforts. And if you buy a subscription or donate at least ten dollars, you'll receive an exclusive game code donated by one of our indie game sponsors. These codes are for well-known indie games like Dragons and Titans, Star Conflict, Let There Be Life, and the highly-lauded The Banner Saga.

My teammates and I have worked really hard to bring this thing to life and we're anxious to get it into the public eye, so please check it out and tell your friends to do likewise.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Wear the green and share the blue

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Today also happens to be my anniversary. I've been married for 13 years now. In honor of the occasion, I decided to let my husband choose the subject of today's blog post, and he wanted me to tell you all about the UNICEF Tap Project.

If you've got a smartphone, you can be a part of the project. The trick is to see how long you can go without touching your phone. If nothing else, you can tap in overnight while you're asleep. Once you've connected your phone to the project, a timer begins counting how long it's been since the phone was moved. For every ten minutes you can keep your hot little hands away from the phone, a day's worth of clean water to a child who lives where clean water is hard to get. The water is paid for by corporate sponsors, such as Giorgio Armani.

Here's what to do. Grab your phone and open the browser, then direct it to Follow the on-screen directions to stabilize your phone and join the project. That's it - there's no registration, no need to give your name, nothing. And UNICEF is a highly respected charity so you know that the money will be used properly. Kevin's phone has gone untouched for over thirty hours now; at six days' worth of water for every hour on the project, you see how quickly it adds up. All to the benefit of people in need of something many of us take for granted.

Now, this will drain your battery, so it's best to keep your phone plugged in while you do it. Also, it requires an internet connection, so I'd recommend only doing it in places where your phone can connect to a wi-fi signal. Otherwise, your bill might explode at the end of the month.

Of course, you can also donate. If you're a very busy sort of person whose phone is constantly blowing up for one reason or another, you can make a donation to do your part - just $1 gives 40 days' worth of clean water.

I don't know what we're going to do for this oddly-numbered anniversary exactly, but we're already celebrating it by doing two things that mean a lot to us - spending time together and helping other people. So it's a win-win situation no matter what. Hope you enjoy your day too.

Monday, March 3, 2014

On Writing

Took me longer than I expected to throw off that cold, mostly because it turned out to be a sinus infection.

I don't really have a topic for today, which is part of why this update is being written so late at night. But I was cleaning out some computer files earlier, and I came across something that I wrote over a year ago. One of my internet acquaintances had asked me for writing advice, and my answer was long and thought-out and I think I'm going to share it with you today.

Here is her exact question:

I hate my writing and wish I could see where/how I can improve it. I think it's boring and even hard to understand. I'm really bad when it comes to grammar. I'm aware you're super busy all the time, but I'd be so grateful (and appreciative and NOT taking it for granted) if you could offer a tidbit of advice my way? How do you get people to read your work? 

(She's so cute.)

And here's my reply, slightly truncated to remove personal bits that I'm sure she wouldn't appreciate my sharing.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Comment Changes

I have a really, really bad cold, so this will be short.

Lately there has been an upswing of comments on this blog.  I would be excited, except these comments are all of the spambot variety.  I do not appreciate commercials in my comments.

For the time being, if not permanently, anonymous comments have been disabled.  Only registered Google users will be able to leave comments.  I'm hoping this will solve the problem and I won't have to disable comments entirely, but that will be the next step if it has to be.

I'm going to go crawl back under my blankets now; I'll see you in a few days when I can breathe again.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Indie Game Magazine

It's pretty well established that I identify myself as a writer.  It's who I am, it's what I do.

It's also pretty well established that I love video games.  As a storytelling medium, as a hobby, as something to distract myself from problems - I think they're wonderful.  I've been a gamer since I was four years old.  (No, really. My first game was Pong.)

Not too long ago, someone on my Twitter feed happened to share the news that an outfit known as Indie Game Magazine was looking for new writers.  And I thought, maybe combining my love of games with my obsession for writing would be a good idea.  Maybe.  Worth a shot.

Well, cut to the chase several weeks later and I'm a member of the staff.  Seriously, I have my own IGM email address and everything.  I've never had a position where I had my own custom email.  Mostly I contribute to the mobile site, although sometimes I'm on the main site too. We do game reviews, interview developers, talk about industry news.  If it's got something to do with independent video games, we're interested.

Also, everyone is really nice.  I feel like I've bet on the winning horse at last.

I do need my readers' help, though.  For one thing, if you are or know any indie game developers, please point them in our direction!  Also, if you're interested in gaming, please be sure to check out the website and read our articles.  We've also got a YouTube channel and we're in need of subscribers - the sooner we get more subscribers, the sooner we can start producing original contents.  (I can neither confirm nor deny that I will have my own show.)  We even have a store now.  And be sure to tell any gaming friends that we are awesome and they need to read our stuff.

So come hang out with these talented people - and me!  We're having a lot of fun.

Photo contest! Check it out! (These are mine.)