Life Continues

Life seems to revolve around cycles and my life is no different. The quarantine has gotten to me, but at one point I thought I had found my rhythm once again. I was wrong. It’s been hard to focus and write my weekly blog.

Granted there has been a lack of Amtgard content to write about, so it might be forgivable, but it’s gone beyond this blog. It’s touched all of the content I’ve been creating. The most obvious is this blog.

Amtgard

As I said the Amtgard content has been slim but there has been some videos in the last few weeks that I can write about. One is the Sword Path AMA organized by Guin. I was able to listen to about half of it. It was a pretty good, although lengthy, discussion. You can watch it HERE.

The other video I watched featured Oromis teaching how to weave a belt. You can watch it HERE. It was interesting and there are some good tips there, but I’m not sure I have the patience to make a belt like that.

Beers with Baelnorn

While Beers with Baelnorn is Amtgard I wanted to give it its own section. I did my stream on June 4th and it went pretty well. I was worried that it wouldn’t be as long as the other streams but it was an appropriate length, a little over an hour and twenty minutes.

The focus was enhancing Amtgard outside of running the games themselves. I had been thinking about it for weeks but unlike the previous streams I didn’t write an outline till the night before. I figured that would be my downfall, but it went well. It helps I was thinking about it for weeks before I sat down to write the outline.

I was worried that it would be incoherent but I was told that the transitions were smooth and appropriate. I’m glad it was. I have a horrible dislike for my face and voice and I don’t like re-watching content that I record so it’s nice to get feedback.

There was also viewer participation which is also nice. I even managed to find an overlay so you can read the chat on the YouTube play back, which I think makes it a lot easier to follow if you didn’t watch it live. You can watch the video HERE. If you have any questions let me know.

Next month I think the topic will be Companies and Households. I’ve already written a companion article, Service Households. It covers a lot of what I’d like to cover in a video, but the video will be a little bit more broad.

Twitch: Synth Dad

Last time I talked about streaming on Twitch. That endeavor has also suffered. I have not been able to keep a schedule. The biggest reason is performance anxiety; it’s real people. I have had a lot of conceptual help and overall emotional support from Uriel, which I really appreciate. Still, it’s been hard.

I hope that I will get the drive to continue this journey. I think if I can get over the anxiety I will be in a good place. Uriel has already seen some improvement in my streaming and I’ve only done about ten videos, including the Beers with Baelnorn. It gives me some hope that it will become easier and less anxiety inducing.

The goal is to stream three days a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12pm to 1pm PST. You can follow me on Twitch HERE. I’d appreciate the support. Once I get into the grove I think I’ll be doing a series I call Nostalgia Runner, where I play old SNES games. The first one will be Chrono Trigger.

Novel Writing

My current novel, Philip Clowes, hasn’t suffered as much, mainly because I usually work on it sporadically. I post a section of the story each month on my Patreon. I’m managing to stay ahead of the curve though so I haven’t posted more I’ve written. It helped that I had a large chunk of it done before I started posting it. If you’d like to read it you can find it HERE on my Patreon. Also, if you like the content, consider becoming a Patron. It would be much appreciated.

The last few weeks I’ve found that I haven’t written any of the actual story of Philip Clowes. I got to a point where I needed to work on some background material, specifically a magic system. I have avoided working on background material because I have a tendency to get lost in it and stop working on the actual story. I find that to still be true.

I’ve been trying to a magic system so that I can make sure that magic in the setting is consistent. I realized when working on the next scene that if I didn’t create some order and make rules that govern the magic system of the world that it could easily get out of control. Most importantly, I might not be consistent.

If I create a consistent rules system I can use it as its own plot device. For example, if I have all these rules and I break it at a specific point and in a specific way, then that can tell it’s own story. It will give me another story device to use.

The problem is, I’m hard to please when it comes to such details. I’ve pulled from a lot of sources to create my own system; something that is complex and unique but I’m not satisfied. I have a basic construct of how someone gains access to magic that I’m reasonably happy with but when it comes to the actual spells I’m floundering. Perhaps I’m trying to get overly detailed, but I’d really like to to know the details before I start using magic in my novel.

I’ve gotten further on the system than I thought I would have but it’s really frustrating. I’ve had a few days where I just had to walk away from the screen out of frustration. Hopefully I’ll get to the point again where I will be able to work on the story.

The Future

I don’t know where this leaves me for the future, but writing this blog has helped kick start my motivation again. Hopefully I’ll have enough content to write another blog next week. If you haven’t already noticed this blog has gone beyond talking about Amtgard and I hope that is okay with my readers.

Once Amtgard starts back up in my area my usual content will come back, but as it is, if I am going to continue writing the blog I’m going to have to put content other than Amtgard in it. I’d love to hear from everyone.

If you like my content consider becoming a Patron on Patreon. You can see my Tier 2 (Cousins) and 3 (Besties) supporters on my Patreon Supporters page as well as find out how to become a Patron yourself.

Amtgard, Twitch and Writing

There hasn’t been much Amtgard related content these past two weeks. The notable exceptions are One Grind nation and Sword Knight Boot Camp. Both Facebook pages have had streams. Neither of which I have actively watched.

SKBC and OGN

SKBC did a two part series on short sword, both which are something I’d like to go back and watch when I feel motivated. The first one was Single Sword Part 1: Brett & Raven and the second one was Brett & Raven Single Sword Pt 2. I’m a short sword fighting advocate so it’s nice to see videos about the short sword. I’d like to see what new information I can learn from these videos. Even if it’s just a refresher course it’s worth my time.

Dalos of ONG did a video entitled On the Grind: Building a Game. I don’t know specifically what that is but he always produces good content. I also plan on going back and watching this video as I’m assuming it has to do with your mental game, which is something I’d like to know more about. Of course I could be completely wrong, either way I’ll be watching it.

My guess that we would see an uptick in online Amtgard seems to have not come to pass. Maybe it will but I think this is probably the level of online videos that we’ll get; a limited few each week. I know I’m only producing one video each month, Beers With Baelnorn.

Beers With Baelnorn

I’ll be doing my monthly stream Beers With Baelnorn on June 4th at 7pm PST on my Twitch Channel, which you can find HERE. The topic is Enhancing Amtgard. How do you enhance Amtgard outside of the games? That’s the question we’ll be exploring. I’d like to thank Kormac for the idea.

There will be two main focuses. One being what you can do in office to help the game along. The second will be what you can do outside of office to help enhance the game. I’m fairly certain there will be some talk about awards during this talk but awards are not the main focus.

Streaming with Synth Dad

I’ve started to go beyond writing and LARP. I’m now introducing Twitch Streaming to my repertoire. I even spent money on a fancy webcam and mic so I can be somewhat professional.

Synth Dad is the personification of my new streaming brand, it’s even infected my Patreon. It’s influenced the name of the awards tiers. The idea behind Synth Dad is he’s a 80-90s sitcom dad but without the family. He’s there for everyone, he has beers and grills with the besties. He’s the uncle to all his friend’s kids. He’s the go to for advice and a good time. He’s equally at home helping out a friend as well as throwing a fun party. Also, Synth Dad LARPs, the tie in to the Baelnorn Brand.

It’s still in its early infancy. I’ve been streaming for two weeks now. My schedule is Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11am till around noon, PST. Although I’ve had some trouble staying to that schedule. As time goes on I’ll get better adhering to it. The game of choice right now is Terraria. With the new patch 1.4 Journey’s End I’ve found it fitting. Plus I enjoy the game. I’m playing a casual game in Journey Mode on a server I host. If you’re interested in joining me you can find my channel HERE.

I’ve also been uploading my streams to YouTube if you’re interested in watching them. Eventually I’ll get into doing highlight videos but I might have to wait till I upgrade my computer. The program I’ve been using for editing freezes when I skim through a video over an hour. I might just need to switch programs. We’ll see.

Writing

The lat few weeks I’ve continued my writing as well. Specifically the Philip Clowes story. That’s the story I’ve been posting on my Patreon, which you can read HERE. There are currently five parts, although there will soon be six parts as it’s almost June.

At the start of the pandemic my normal writing schedule had been disrupted. I’ve found it really hard to be creative but in the last several weeks that has changed. I’ve been able to write more and stay a head of my posting schedule. It’s been pretty exciting.

Sadly my blog, as you might have noticed, has taken a hit. For the last four weeks I’ve only written 2 blogs, rather than keep to my normal weekly schedule. This is party due to the lack of content to write about but mostly it’s due to my home life. I’ve found it hard to sit down and write my blogs the last few weeks. Especially with me starting to stream. I hope that this will even out and I’ll find a good balance.

My Patreon

As I mentioned early my Patreon has gone through something of a revision. I changed it a bit to be in line with my Synth Dad brand. I’m now calling my Patrons, Synthlings. Tier One is now called Kid, Tier Two is now called Cousin and Tier Three is now called Bestie.

The goal was to make these levels gender neutral, otherwise Bestie would have been called Boys. This was because of such catch phrases as “Beers with the boys.” and “Grillin’ with the Boys” but I wanted to be more inclusive. I think it still works with Bestie.

The names were inspired by the persona. Kids is indicative of the children of my friends. Cousin is indicating a closer relationship and Bestie is an even closer relationship. This is supposed to invoke a family vibe. We, my brand manager, Uriel, and I have plans to expand upon the Synth Brand in the coming months and years.

I’ve also revamped the rewards for each tier. Kid has stayed the same but if you become a Patron at the Cousin or Bestie level you get access to my private Discord Server. At the Bestie level you also get access to my private Terraria Server. I really hope that my community grows and people are willing to join me on my discord server.

Right now I have 8 Patrons and I’m making about $35 a month. I hope that expands over the coming months. I’m more excited to see the community grow, than an increase in money, although those go hand in hand.

If you like my content consider becoming a Patron on Patreon. You can see my Tier 2 (Cousins) and 3 (Besties) supporters on my Patreon Supporters page as well as find out how to become a Patron yourself.

Amtgard Online Week 8

The last three weeks there has been very little Amtgard to speak of, at least in the Pacific Northwest. I don’t think that the dip in content will last forever but I understated why it has happened. There was a lot of content for the first several weeks and then people got burnt out. Hopefully we’ll see an upswing soon.

This last Saturday there was the second part of the Flame AMA ran by Guin. It’s in interesting series. She gets people working on their flame path to give their input rather than people who have already “mastered” it. She plans on doing this for each path. You can view the video HERE.

On Thursday I did the second episode of Beers with Baelnorn, which you can watch HERE. I think it was a success. I also had a lot of fun doing it. The subject was world building with a heavy focus on quests. I think it was an interesting take on game design and is worth watching. This time Gustav and Guin were the vocal watchers, asking questions. I also talked a decent amount about Shattered Kingdoms at the end, so if you’re interested in that event it might be all the more interesting to you.

I’m not sure what my next topic will be yet. It was suggested I do an interview with someone but I’m not sure who to interview. My first thought was Uriel but they might not be able to do it so I’m still thinking of people I could bring on. If you have any requests let me know. I might also do what I’ve done in the past and pick a topic, but at this time I don’t have any idea what. If you have ideas I’d love to hear them. The target date for my next Beers with Baelnorn is June 7th.

For my streaming ambitions I ordered a Blue Yeti Microphone. It arrived on Friday and I’m excited to use it for a stream. I’m still waiting for one of the webcams I want to purchase to become available. They have been out of stock everywhere I’ve looked the last two months.

Cartoon Baelnorn By Heldris

In addition with Beers with Baelnorn, I was thinking about streaming video games in garb and talking Amtgard three times a week. I’m not sure when I’ll start doing that but I’ve already set up a new Twitch Channel to host all my Baelnorn content. Even if the next stream is Beers with Baelnorn, it will be on this new channel. If you want to pre-follow the channel you can find it HERE. I even commissioned my friend Heldris to do a cartoon version of me for my avatars.

Speaking of commissions, Heldris is also working on an image for some Baelnorn merchandise. I think my plan is to use Designs By Humans as the store. It doesn’t give the best commissions split but it is the most popular print on demand store. If I get some sales off this first image I have a whole series planned and Heldris is on board for doing it. It will feature gnomes of course!

For next week there is only one stream that I’m aware of and that is from One Grind Nation. I believe they will be reviewing fighting videos. Watch their Facebook page for more information about when this video will take place. I think it might be on Friday evening.

I don’t have any Amtgard plans myself. I’m trying to come up with my next article topic but as usual it’s hard to think of one that I’m passionate about. It really helps to brain storm with people so if there is any topics you’d like me to cover I’d really like to hear from you. Who knows, if I find a topic early enough and it energizes me I might make it a companion piece to my next Beers with Baelnorn like I did with my last article.

Next week’s blog will probably cover some non-Amtgard topics. I’ve been working on some Urban Fantasy writing that I’d like to talk about; specifically my Philip Clowes story. I’ve been releasing sections of it on my Patreon. If you’d like to read it you can find it HERE. I currently have 5 parts released. I release one section a month. Take a look, I like getting feedback.

If you like my content consider becoming a Patron on Patreon. You can see my Tier 2 and 3 supporters on my Patreon Supporters page as well as find out how to become a Patron yourself.