Goodbye 2019, Hello 2020

Yes, I realize that time is fluid, and that we arbitrarily section it up into manageable chunks in order to make sense of a chaotic universe. I’m actually okay with that, so I want to talk a bit about this past year, and look forward a bit into the next.

I have to admit, the last year was a thoroughly mixed bag for me. On the one hand, it was probably the hardest year for me physically, as I got hit with pneumonia, a bad patch of migraines, and a number of injuries which kept me sidelined. Add in a number of family issues, and all of the things I had planned to do on my personal projects fell by the wayside. Prairie Dragon Press didn’t put much of anything out (though I am proud of The Hedgicorn), and while the Canadian Library of Roleplaying Games added to its collection, I wasn’t able to get that active in the way I had planned. My total time spent gaming was also down, and that’s just bad news at any time.

But then, my freelance editing work really took off in 2019. I worked for a number talented of writers on DM’s Guild and DriveThruRPG, I wound up working on the Uncaged Anthology (I’ve talked about how amazing that is before, so I won’t go into it again), and there are roughly eight to ten TTRPG publications out there with my name tucked into the credits. More than that, I’m proud of the work I’ve done, and I have been fortunate to work with some excellent writers and a stellar Managing Editor/Publisher, Ashley Warren.

I was also busy for half of last year consuming content for the ENnies and working with the judges to come up with a pretty amazing list of nominees. While I do think the awards themselves need some work and changes going into the future, I’m proud of that work as well. There were literally hundreds of strong contenders last year, and out of that we nominated some truly innovative and excellent games. I stepped down because I think there needed someone other than an older white guy in the judges seat, and I am excited to see that coming true with the latest team of judges.

Yeah, a mixed bag. Not great, not awful, it was a bit of a slog but I made it through. Taking time to reflect on the past year and look ahead a bit, I realize that many of the issues which plagued me last year are not there anymore. My doctor and I seemed to have fixed the migraine issues, and apart from a bit of the flu earlier this winter I have generally felt good. Given the changes I have already put in place ( better eating, more activity) I expect to move forward into 2020 feeling better than I have in a while; stronger, higher energy, more physically competent. And if that’s true, I can hope that a lot more things will fall into place for me, because my health has always dictated everything else I choose to do. After all, if I feel like crap, I am less likely to want to sit in front of my computer and write, let alone go to cons or play games with folx.

So assuming my health stays on an upward curve, a few things I plan for 2020:

  • at least four publications from Prairie Dragon Press next year. I have the text of an adventure complete, and I have outlined two other products. At worst I want to hit one project a quarter, but if I can get that to bi-monthly so much the better. This is as much about learning some publishing skills as it is getting some ideas I have had out into the world, so these will be mostly solo projects, not including art commissions and editing.
  • continue working as a freelance editor. I have some work lined up in January, with some “maybe” work in February. Beyond that, I look forward to seeing what I get to work on next.
  • attend more conventions. This shouldn’t be hard, as I attended *checks figures* one gaming con last year. It was fun, and I will be back again this year (to both, IntrigueCon runs a spring and fall con event), but I would like to travel to a convention as well. Big Bad Con is high on my list, and if I can get the funds together in time I’d also like to hit Breakout Con in Toronto in March.
  • start putting up content for the Canadian Library of Roleplaying Games. I really want to start talking about some of the history of gaming, as well as look at a lot of the new stuff coming out on itch and IPR. I’m not certain if this will be blog posts, videos of some kind, or a mix of both. But I want to get those conversations going with folx.
  • play more streamed actual plays. While I squeaked in under the wire and kept my annual average at one streamed game (thanks to Scratticus Academy), I would like to get that up to the dizzying heights of two or even three games over the coming year. Maybe even GM a game on stream for the first time, though I don’t want to push my luck.

That’s a bit of looking forward to the next year. I think it’s all achievable, and I have started working on the specific details to get to each goal. After all, intent is not a plan. So expect a post in the next little while getting into more details about one or more of these goals.

For now, I want to say thank-you. Thank-you for reading my content here or over at The Rat Hole, and for chatting with me on Twitter. Thank-you for the comments and feedback, it has helped me at every turn. Thanks to those of you who picked up a copy of The Hedgicorn, validating my desire to publish and donating some funds to Extra Life.  Thank-you to everyone who hired me to edit their work this year, it was a privilege.

Most of all, thank -you to everyone who works every day to make out hobby and industry more inclusive, and a less-friendly environment for gatekeepers and predators. More than anything, I would love to see 2020 be the year we finally fix the broken stairs instead of walking around them. Thank-you to everyone working to make that happen.

As we pass from one arbitrary year number to the next, I wish you all the best. May your dice always roll interesting.