Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Rolling Along

Things are rolling along. Not very fast, but they are rolling along.

This weekend, Hilary, Michelle, Doug and I all went to the Planar Chaos Pre-Release in Montreal. None of us did well, but we had a great time. I got a great column out of it, had some steak and so much laughter tears were streaming out of my eyes at dinner. We didn’t go to win since you don’t qualify for anything, we just went to honor the release of Marilyn’s tribute card.

Sorry for the lack of updates. Much of the things I write about here have become food for my column at Star City Games. My column appears every Tuesday. Still have a lot of stuff that doesn’t belong in there that does belong here, so updates aren’t ending, just getting a little more sparse.

Plans for Madrid grow by the day. Right now I am reading Death and The Sun and it occured to me the writer’s not very good at what I do. Which is draw you in. The story of the matador’s life is interesting, but you care about what happens to him purely by the facts presented, not because the author writes in a way that makes you yearn to know more. He just reports the story. It then occured to me that I could write reviews of bull fights. Its common practice in Madrid for each bull fight to be reviewed in the next days paper. I could do that. I’m good at not only reporting what happened, but drawing people into the story and making them want to know more. Perhaps even look at bull fighting in a different way. Another way to make money in Spain.

I am going to try and get back on the Pro Tour this year. This surprises no one, but I am going to try and take my play to the next level. I want to see if I can get good enough to actually make money at the game. Now that I’ve proven (three times) that I can make my own deck and pilot it to a qualifying slot, I want to see if I can advance even further and make it on the graveytrain. This is when Wizards actually pays you to come to the Pro Tour and play. Even if you suck out, they pay you. If you place high enough to win money, that’s all gravy on top of the appearence bonus.

Or I was thinking I could become a bullfighter.

(Just kidding mom. Don’t panic.)

If I have enough time, I would like to get back into MMA. You can make money fighting if you’re good enough at it. I started doing MMA because I needed goals, and it was always something I wanted to try. I have stopped doing MMA for the time being not because I think I’m too old, or don’t like the bruises, or its too hard. I stopped because I have goals that are more important to me right now and they provide money, and I’m running out of time for packing for Madrid and getting my writing career off the ground, hopefully in the next year. If I have the time to return to MMA when I’m in Madrid, I will do so with relish. And ketchup. And probably blood.

Wendy and I continue to astound me. We talk for 2-3 hours a day and never seem to run out of topics. From how to play Magic, to next year’s plans to managing anxiety to global warming to lobster fishing, the over fishing of seas, Austrailians management of their coasts that has been profitable for the entire country but mostly the lobsterman. (An American lobsterman works 12 hours days and barely eeks by. An Austrailian fisherman works less than 8 and many are millionaires.) It’s never ending and so much fun. We miss each other a lot and look forward to the next month arriving.

Work is good. I’ll miss that job. My therapist is astounding. My attitude is fantastic. My housemate Doug is a wonderful boon. Wendy and I are amazing.

Life is good.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Vermonters

“Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”~ Calvin Coolidge

Its good to be back

Ah, its good to be back.
I’m not trying to brag. Honest. But it sure makes one feel good when you get this kind of a reaction to the announcement you’re going to be writing about Magic again. Thank you all for the votes of confidence and support.

And the reaction to my first article was just as flattering.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Answers

A friend on my boards wanted to know a few things, so I answered her questions and then thought, huh, I bet more than a few people are wondering this as well.

So, here.

“How long are you planning to stay in Europe for? Are you moving in with Wendy?”

I’m moving in with Wendy. We’re at the stage of our relationship where the next step is to live together and see if we kill each other or get along. If the answer is kill each other, I’ll be in Europe until then. Then I’ll be in jail. Or dead. If the answer is get along, I’ll be in Europe a long time.

“While you’re here, are you planning on visiting any other places? Like for example, England ?”

Yes. We have future plans to visit Ireland, Italy, England, and her parent company is in Paris so she goes there all the time. We’re planning on taking an overnight train to Paris in the future. So much better than flying.

“What are you going to do about getting a job? Presumably you won’t be able to work in Spain because you won’t have the right permit?”

I’ll be writing. I have substantial savings and Star City is paying me pretty well to help extend that. I’m going to try and get two articles a week in to them, and when not playing magic and writing about it, I’ll be trying to get Mare’s memoirs published and working on my novel.

“Are you nervous about such a big lifestyle change? “

Yes.

"Are you keeping your house? Will you move back to Vermont some day? What are your long term plans?"

My friend from college, Doug, is living in my house and taking care of the dogs. The house and everything in it will remain here. Best case scenario, in a few years, Wendy and I will spend 3 months a year in Vermont and 9 months a year in Europe. This is contingent on my being a writer actually working out, and her business continueing to succeed.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Thus Endeth The Holidays

Getting back into the swing of normal life.

Wendy has gone back to Madrid.

What a fantastic three weeks of drinking and debauchery that was. I get to see her again in only seven short weeks!

Yay.

Sigh.

Last night was get back to normal life night. Talked with Wendy for only 20 minutes then let her go because she was exhausted from her trip home. Did four loads of laundry, wrote three pages for Star City, worked out, talked with Don, Hilary, Michelle, Mom and Dad. Delivered my Christmas present to Molly’s family since it finally got shipped to my house. (A Fooseball table.)

Planning on going to the “Planar Chaos” Pre-release in Montreal in a couple weeks. Gotta have material for writing and it seems only fitting. I hate pre-releases but I think this one is important. Michelle and Hilary want me and Rod to go with them so that the old Team Quarterstaff is reunited for the release of Timbermare.

Going to be practicing online for the Extended PTQ’s I’ll be attending in Montreal and Madrid this qualifing season. Going to start packing up Magic Cards, clothes, and other sundry things I’ll need and ship them to Madrid. Not bringing much with me. Don’t need much. Computer and clothes and cards really.

I think I’m putting MMA on hold for a bit. I’m still going to keep working out very hard, but right now I need to focus on Magic, writing about Magic, moving to Madrid, and outlining my novel. Just playing and writing about Magic can be a lot of time when you have a 35 hour a week job. Will be easier when I’m not working any more. Will try to get back into MMA then.

Almost everyone at work knows I’m leaving now. I get support and well wishes daily, and sadness that (and I quote) “The district is losing its most useful employee.”

Monday, January 8, 2007

The Lovely Mare Immortalized

In an extremely rare move, Wizards of the Coast has printed a tribute card to Marilyn. You can see the card and read my thoughts on it here -

http://www.starcitygames.com/php/news/article/13483.html

Make sure to read the thoughts people have in the forums link at the bottom of the article.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Ups and Downs

Sick as a dog.

I have been sick for about the last 8 days. Wonderful when Wendy is in town.

Gave my notice at work. Hmmm, that´s not quite right. I gave it last week. Today I told a bunch of important (to me) people so they wouldn´t hear about it from someone else when they should hear it from me. My last day of work is February 16th. Moving to Madrid on March 3rd. Some people at work were not surprised at all. Some couldn´t believe it.

Writing for Star City again. Enjoying Magic a lot these days and playing it a lot online. I´m pretty sure they have Pro Tour Qualifiers in Madrid. Will be nice not to have to get up at 4:30 in the morning and drive three and a half hours to Boston.

Submitted the first thirty pages of my novel to Wizards book publishing division. Completely separate. I´m sure they have no idea who I am.

WOTC and Starcitygames gave me an amazing surprise that I can´t tell you about until Monday.

Wendy home until Sunday. We´re having a very good time together.