The grocery store now versus going when I was 18

When I was 18 and started to shop for my own food

The possibilities were endless.

I was no longer required to eat what my parents threw at me. Just the thought that I could buy all of my favorite things was amazing, and taking on a new responsibility really made me feel like a grown up.

So at the time, the grocery store seemed like a magical place where Oreos floated down rivers of orange soda and the candy fairies sang of my bountiful harvest.

Magical food shopping adventures

I could spend an hour just deciding on what type of snack cake to get. Sure, I didn’t have a ton of money, but I could always fill up on Ramen. Which meant that there was always enough money left over to buy several more cakes.

Did I mention I like cake?

Of course, it’s a bit different now. The magic is gone. The candy fairies have left this barren wasteland in search of greener pastures, and the last thing I need is more responsibility. I just want to get in there and get the hell out as fast as possible while destroying anything that might get in my way.

I cant indulge on cake anymore, so my choices have shrunk to only a few items that are ensured to keep my pantry depressing.

To make matters worse, the price of food has risen drastically, so my food budget doesn’t go as far as it used to. I’d go back to buying nothing but Ramen but the sodium levels would probably kill me.

Plus, my aging body seems to have developed several issues with digesting certain foods. So, my choices for potential food consumption have been reduced even further.

In short, my only option is to either put up with the hassle of going to the store forever, or buy some food seeds and start growing my own food. Maybe I’ll try hydroponics, that would be fun. It’s like farming, but with science.

Massive Audiobook Giveaway

So last week Audible overhauled its giveaway system to one that functions much better for authors. At the same time, they replenished all of our free download codes. So now we’re all rollin in free audiobooks, and we’re gonna do something cool.

I’ve gotten together with some of the best GameLit authors in the genre and we’re each giving away 10 free audiobooks (5 for the US and 5 for UK.) That means that a few lucky listeners are going to get an entire library of content. You can enter below by following any of us on social media or joining our mailing lists. Each thing you do counts as one entry, so you can enter multiple times starting on May 15th. Winners will be chosen on the 15th of June.

Special thanks to Richard Hummel for doing the work to set this up.

Sorry, this giveaway has ended.

Party Hard Soundtrack

Music is a huge part of keeping me productive, and sometimes I like to make playlists specifically for certain projects. So here’s a Spotify playlist for Party Hard along with a scene list. I recommend reading while listening.

Track 1: Title page

Track 2: Hunters Canyon

Track 3: MaxDamage24 theme (the scalefang fight)

Track 4: Traveling through Valain

Track 5: Kira theme

Track 6: The meeting

Track 7: Farnsworth theme

Track 8: GingerSnap theme (the Everleigh Club)

Track 9: Kegan theme

Track 10: Corvin theme

Track 11: The quest begins

Track 12: Famine

Track 13: Tight spaces – claustrophobia

Track 14: The pendant

Track 15: Plague

Track 16: Death 1

Track 17: Death 2

Track 18: War

Track 19: Into the sphere

Track 20: Becoming more

Track 21: Pain

Track 22: Relief

Track 23: Sorry

Track 24: The end

JOIN THE PARTY – WIN SOME STUFF

To celebrate the release of PARTY HARD, I’m picking three winners to receive a signed copy of the book as well as an art print for their wall. I’ll be pulling one name from the Facebook group, one from my Facebook page, and one from the mailing list. So there are three chances to win! Just join the group, like the page and sign up for the mailing list to be entered. (Links below) I’ll announce the winners on October 19th. I’ll also be doing more giveaways every few months, so stick around for more fun stuff.

It’s finally happening, PARTY HARD is available to read!

It has been a long and frustrating journey to get this far. I’ve hit ever delay in the book. But, the book has been edited, the cover art is in progress, and the first few chapters just went live on patreon. In a few days, they will be available for free over on Royal Road with a fun temporary cover. I can tell you how excited I am to get this going.

Although, you probably want to know what this book is about, don’t you. Well, I suppose I can answer that one.

Book one of the Pixel Dust series, titled PARTY HARD, is a GameLIT story with some light LitRPG elements. My goal for the book was to capture the feeling of playing video games with your bros. The jokes. The friendships. The random moments of epic badassery. All of it. The best moments in gaming, are the ones you share with your bros, and in my case also my wife. Anyways, here’s the blurb.

 

PARTY HARD

The average person loses a third of their life to sleep, or at least they did before the Somno entertainment system hit the market. Now, instead of wasting time in bed like a sucker, players enter Noctem, a breathtaking world of adventure and magic where they can live out their fantasies, challenge themselves, or just kick back and enjoy some extra time. For most users, it was a dream come true.

For players like MaxDamage24 and his sidekick Kirabell, it will become something else.

When one of the game’s creators is fired over “creative differences,” he sets into motion a plan to take everything away. To stop it, Max and Kira will have to gather their friends and embark on a quest that will push them to their limits. They’ll face impossible bosses, creepy dungeons, and their own nightmares, all while doing their best not to get killed. The only question is, will they be the same afterward?

One thing’s for sure – if they want to survive, they’re gonna have to Party Hard.

It’s a new year

2017 was one hell of a year

I got married and released my first card game. Still can’t believe that we got all our kickstarter rewards shipped out the same week as the wedding, especially since we did all the planing and design for both. I even made a new puzzle box for the ceremony. Okay, I realize that puzzle boxes aren’t standard, but hey it’s a hobby, and it fit with the venue… and it’s full of booze. But anyways, it was a perfect day in a castle. From there, we took a quick trip to D.C. to check out the Smithsonian. It was fun, we saw an armored rat at the Museum of Natural History.

Note: if you happen to be intending on getting married in Massachusetts, I strongly recommend Hammonds Castle.

No_regerts_bar

As for the card game, my wife and I took No Regerts to a couple conventions and sold enough to refill our coffers after all the wedding debt. Shockingly, I ran into someone that actually got an illustration from the game tattooed on the back of his thigh. I would have preferred that he not drop his pants in the middle of a board game cafe to show me, but hey, at least he was enthusiastic about it.

So what’s in store for 2018?

Now that No Regerts is out and selling, we’ve gotten started on a couple new projects. My wife has a new game in the works and I have something special moving forward with a round of testing. But even bigger, is the fact that I’m actually doing something new. Writing.

What started as an exercise in board game lore, ended up being a full novel, and I can’t believe how much I enjoyed writing it. Though honestly, I have my wife to thank for supporting me and convincing me to pursue it. I just hope it doesn’t turn out terrible. With that in mind, I set up this blog to cover the book and I’ll do my best to keep every one in the loop. So, buckle in and come along with me. And always, Party Hard.