Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: Looking Back Before We Move Forward

2011 was an odd year for me, in that it wasn't wildly successful, nor was it wildly disheartening...and I neither feel wildly optimistic or wildly pessimistic about the new year.

This time last year, my wife still worked in a women's shelter and I was pulling overnight shifts at a local hotel, while freelancing for financial services websites, reviewing games like crazy and working on comic book projects.

A few of those things have changed a bit.

- I gave up two jobs for one, leaving the hotel to go to work in a warehouse back in late May. This move ultimately allowed my wife to quit her job and become a stay at home Mom. This has been pretty successful thus far, as we are currently no longer reliant upon anyone else for child car, a burden we are happy to be free of. While I can't say my job is very fulfilling, and I have doubts about the future opportunities that are available to me there, I don't have too many complaints and it's paying the bills.

- Unfortunately, my reviews on the site slowed down quite a bit, as working in a warehouse in 100+ degree heat proved very taxing for me over the summer, and other projects have reduced my focus on this blog. I'm still working to keep the blog going, however, even if I have to get choosier with my subjects.

- This year saw me transition to freelance roles within the RPG industry, as I took over editing duties for War of the Dead by Daring Entertainment, beginning with Chapter 3. I also got brought on as a Freelance Savage Worlds Plot Point Guru by Savage Mojo, providing input on a couple of books that will hopefully see light of day in 2012. I haven't heard yet if any further work awaits me on the Savage Mojo front, but I am expecting Chapter 4 of War of the Dead and Hellspawn (also by Daring Entertainment) any time now.

- I wrestled my last match as a pro wrestler this year (though I didn't know it at the time). It was fun, but my time and energy is better focused elsewhere.

- One of my artistic partners, Johnnie Johnson, and I launched the Hellrazer webcomic this September. You can also follow it on Facebook, where I regularly post the links to the pages (every Tuesday and Friday), as well as previews and commentary on the pages. I have a Marvel SAGA draft of a couple of the characters that will make it on the blog eventually, and I hope to also have ICONS, BASH and - possibly - Savage Worlds versions as well.

- As I often do, I overwhelmed myself with promises of things I intended to do, and ran out of time and energy to do them. Hopefully, the Horror of Trevala will still happen, in some form or another...and I still have a very ambitious supers project (system pending) that I would LOVE to tackle this year.

- On the Hellrazer front, I am teaching myself to letter comics, which is...interesting. And time consuming, but hopefully worthwhile in the end.

- I didn't do any gaming to speak of that didn't involve a PS3. Hopefully that'll change this year.

- I spent many Thursday nights in the Beautiful Brains chatroom with Clint and Jodi Black, even guest hosting one week. I was also interviewed by Eloy Lasanta for his podcast.

- Captain America became my favorite comic book movie, and one of my favorite movies ever, this year. Saw it twice in the theatres, the only movie that I have ever bothered watching twice in the theatre. The second time was taking my son to see it. I've seen it a couple of times since then, and am still quite in love with it.

- Went to a couple of conventions this year, one in Tulsa and the other in Oklahoma City, where I met a lot of my fellow Oklahoma Comic creators and made some new friends. That's always a good thing.

- I discovered the joys of digital comics (Comixology is FANTASTIC)...and if Kryptic Games & More wasn't such a fantastic comic book store, and I owned a tablet, I would almost certainly be all-digital at this point.

- I was also blessed by some wonderful and thoughtful gestures that inadvertently(?) sparked a lot of self-assessment for me as a human being.

Going forward, I have some goals (NOT resolutions):

- Continue writing. I need to be more productive and prolific than I have been. That includes comics as well as this blog. I have some short stories that I would love to get out there, too.

- Build my credit up so that we can look into acquiring a more suitable home.

- Try to be a better human being in general. Be a little more generous and a little less self-absorbed.

- I think I've done a pretty decent job this year as a husband and a father, but I can do better. At least, I should always be trying to do better.

- Continue to take advantages of opportunities when they arise, and hopefully continue to impress others with my work ethic and performance.

- Try to get some gaming in this year. What would it hurt?

- Hopefully hang out with my buddies a little more than I was able to this year.

- Finish Max Monkey, Monster Masher so I can be done with Small Press Idol for good.

- Anyway, enough prattling. Here's to much health, wealth and success for all of you...come back tomorrow for Tommy's Top Six and the Birthday Blog Giveaway!

(My wife also provided her thoughts on the year, and a lot of those thoughts are certainly applicable to me as well. You can check those out at her blog.)