Viable Paradise: One Year Later

As most of you know, almost exactly a year ago I attended the 20th Viable Paradise Workshop (VPXX), and despite my best efforts, I never quite got around to putting my feelings about that week into a coherent blog post. With the new class about to board the ferry and start their week of adventure, I figure now is as good a time as any to put my thoughts on page about that week and the year that has followed.

[Author’s note: my memory is not great, so this is told to the best of my recollection. The details may be a little off, but the big things are true.]

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DFWCon (& The Boy That Cried Coconut)

This weekend I got to hang out at the Dallas Fort Worth Writer’s Conference which will hear by be shortened to DFWCon.

This was the first time I’d gone to a writing conference as opposed to a writing convention (or writing workshop, I promise I’ll get my VP blog up someday). “What’s the difference?”, you might be asking.  Near as I can tell, a convention focuses on celebrating the fandom of the thing, with a couple of panels for aspiring creators and the chance to hear industry experts speak. Armadillocon (a great con that I highly recommend) averages about 50/50 fan/creator. The entire focus of the conference is craft and the business. There’s pitch sessions, there’s one-on-one editing sessions, and there’s a whole lot of wonderful panels.

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On Social Expectations and Sushi

This tale, like most, requires a bit of backstory. Thanks to my ongoing eye struggles, I spent the day working from home instead of in the office. Also thanks to my ongoing eye struggles, I’ve accumulated a bit of social debt to my roommate who’s been kind enough to ferry my visually impaired self around so I’m not often behind the wheel of a car. In order to pay off this debt and satisfy my craving for bulgalbi, I decide to take him to lunch at a local Korean restaurant.

A few minutes after ordering our meal, one of the waitstaff drops off a set of sushi rolls. The words “Sorry, we didn’t order this” die on my lips, because they’ve been known to drop off the occasional complimentary roll, even if it is usually the kind of thing that goes to a larger table. Especially two rolls worth. The waitress walks away. This is officially a TABLE GIFT.

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PAX South: The PAXening

This weekend the fine folks at Penny Arcade brought their expo to San Antonio. I can’t always make it to Seattle or Boston, but South is close enough that I’ve got no excuse not to go, and this makes two years I’ve gone and two years I’ve had a great time.

This year’s highlights included live D&D, a sneak peak at an awesome web series, a mental health gaming charity, board games, and of course, a lot of cosplay.

First impressions below the break

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Mental Health Awareness Month: Roll to save vs Anxiety

So, I apparently missed that it’s been Mental Health Awareness Month for 29 days. Observant, I am not, especially when I’m in the middle of a writing push, but at least I didn’t miss it completely.

As most of you know, I’ve got anxiety. This anxiety likely stems from childhood PTSD as well as just my unique brain chemistry. I’ve got a wide range of coping mechanisms that seem to be doing a pretty decent job, but since I’ve stopped self medicating with boozamahol I’ve been a lot less social than I used to be ( but that’s another story). One of my few remaining social outings is a “supposed to be weekly but winds up happening once or twice a month” Pathfinder game that I GM. (For those of you that don’t follow pen & paper RPGs, Pathfinder is a D&D 3.5 variant)

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Take As Needed

Last Monday, I woke up feeling out of sorts. I blamed it on daylight savings time. After all, the clock stealing an hour of your life has an impact on you. There have been studies. I’ve seen them. I felt a cross between jet lagged and hung over, and no amount of water or caffeine helped clear things out. My day job has me on my feet for a fair amount considering it is a desk job, mostly moving from meeting to meeting (often on different floors) and then the occasional walk and talk with co-workers located near me. By ten AM I was ready to throw up. I knew that movement had something to do with it, so I grabbed my laptop and spent the rest of the day working from my home office which cut down on my movement considerably.

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