Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Flavorful Month

February draws to a close, and it's time for me to disappear into the Aether again. I resurfaced from my sabbatical this month because I was kind of suffocating from lack of creative expression. I've been focusing on family because my main job is #mtgmom, but sometimes the grind just gets you down. Lucky for me the Magic community is always right around the corner on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr and everyone is always so supportive and energetic, ready to talk decks or crack stupid jokes when I pop my head out to say whassup. It's really comforting. I have a spreadsheet full of cosplay plans, a couple more articles to post on Gathering Magic, and a deep burning desire to go to Grand Prix Vegas, but I'll have to take it one day at a time. The kids are growing fast, and I don't know what Hackworth and I will be able to reasonably do as our "free time" continues to evaporate. It's true. It happens. The free time goes away.

Since I know moving from one kid to two is going to change things a lot, I crammed this month full of as much work as I could. A highlight was going on my friends' new podcast: Snack Time. It's so awesome to finally have a new Vorthos cast taking root and hopefully it continues to accumulate new listeners and garner community support. I don't get to go out much (if ever) so hanging out for an hour with my virtual Vorthos bosom bros Mike and Ant was a real treat. One day that IRL meet up with all the cool people I've met through Magic will happen, but I don't know when.

So for now, I'll be moving from cosplay and podcasts and other more visible activities back into fanfic and flavor writing. I was fortunate enough to get asked back to do some card names and flavor text for the upcoming Tears and Fears sets. I'm feeling good about this since these will be my sixth and seventh sets I've freelanced on. I never thought my first experience as "published writer" would be in the context of a fantasy card game. Magic has really been kind to me. Below are some cards names I did for FRF. I also worked on Dragons of Tarkir, so I'm excited to see those cards come out very soon.

I feel damn lucky that it's worked out that Magic has been accepting of me--or worked out at all, really.

One thing that remains an elusive goal is improving my actual Magic play skills. Sure, I'm more about flavor and art, but I do care about how I play. Watching Walk the Planes today with its math theme and Pro Tour Fate Reforged recap really made me feel yet again like I need to get a fire under my ass about playing more consistently.

I enjoy my position in the community as a visible, outspoken female good at what I do... but it would be gratifying on a completely different level to see the ladies competing at the highest levels of Magic on a more regular basis. I think it's a simple time/numbers game, so it's really important to me that we keep encouraging young women to pick up the game. And I hope other ladies of MTG who are already way better players than I am keep up their competitive pursuits!

So maybe I'll never win the Pro Tour, but maybe I can like win a Daily event or something? Okay, maybe I can just remember how the stack works. Or when to crack my fetches. Goddamnit.

Cosplay was hot this month. I hit it hard with the intention of improving my portfolio. Lucky for me ahhhmazing pal James Arnold was on board to make me look good. One of my next goals is to get all Vorthos buddies to cosplay. James would make a kick-ass Teferi, let me tell you.

I'm not sure how many or which cosplays I would need to complete to be 100% satisfied with my "mastery" of that art form. I feel like I'd need to do a massive body paint project, like Kiora; a winged thing, probably an Angel like Basandra or something; an armor-heavy project like Chandra or War-Name Aspirant; a gorgon, for sure, Vraska 2.0 would be sick... And of course, Elesh. Look at that list. That's hundreds of dollars and time I don't have. Ugh. Well, we'll soldier on.

Truth is you don't know whether something's gonna be a hit or a flop, and happily the extremely silly Tarkir-theme #mtgvalentines I did this year were a hit. My basic rule is to "suspend better judgment and move forward" but that doesn't mean I don't care about the reception that a concept gets. Most of the time I just want to make people laugh or escape reality a bit or feel inspired, because I appreciate when others do that for me. If I have to make myself look silly to get the job done, so be it.

Well, the good news for those of you that actually follow my fanfic is that being on baby duty lockdown means that writing is pretty much the ONLY thing I will be able to be productive at. So I'll have to finish the dark journey in Retribution in Ravnica I've been putting off... delving into Liliana's personal history (most of this was written BEFORE #mtgorigins was announced, I swear) and yeah, pretty much going there. Sometimes you just don't want to, you know? As a writer, I reserve the right to not want to go there. Sometimes it's isolating and uncomfortable, and you'd rather just put on a cute costume and take sexy selfies, right? Fine. But I'm well aware that it's not morally right for me to let the adventures of Venser, Liliana and the rest of our 'walker friends stall out just because I'm scared, or tired.

You have to remember what's important.

That's right, black mana is important, damn it. Thanks for listening.


  1. Love the amethyst eyes. Also enjoyed your MTG Valentines cards, at least the ones that didn't make my eyes bleed. It's a fine line, and one you don't fear to cross. Looking forward to the Elesh Norn cosplay, and I hope to see you at GP Vegas.

  2. hahaha oh no... now I'm wondering which ones made your eyes bleed. I remember that you've been a supporter of the Elesh cosplay since the beginning--definitely makes me want to do it well. I think I've got most of it figured out in theory.