9 Oct 2016

Life in Progress: Art and More

YEAAHH…. LONG TIME, no see. Again.

Since we last talked, many projects have eaten my brain: artwork for MetaArcade‘s Tunnels & Trolls and story creation app, for GroupSNE (the Japanese translator and publisher of the Tunnels & Trolls rules and their support magazine), for Lester Smith’s Patreon, and recently a slew of paintings for a board game from Jeff Tibbett’s Pacific Rim. There were private commissions too, some small card alterations and also regular paintings. I even worked on several short stories and began cobbling together a new RPG adventure I’d like to finish and publish.


The desire to blog is there, but not the bandwidth. More below…

I do allow myself downtime, and I’m often gaming in the evenings. As I’ve written about before now, I’ve been playing World of Warcraft for the better part of 12 years with occasional breaks. The latest expansion, Legion, has blown away my every prior experience of the game. Blizzard knocked it out of the park on this one. So, my spare time has been, er, slightly compromised since launch at the end of August. But I’m better now. I feel fine. Really. (Monty Python FTW.)

A recent costume contest. I didn’t win. Yes, I’m one of the guys. The sexy one.

Personal stuff has also compromised my airy plans made when I left the library at the end of May. My old dog is failing, slowly, with spinal neuropathy and other ailments; happily, she’s largely oblivious to her growing disability. She bounces around in her doggy wheelchair, barks at the trashpeople stealing our garbage, and gives the younger dog hell when he deserves it.

“Vet’s office. Okay, I’m chill.”

But I do have to be available to let her in and out many times a day, since she can no longer navigate the doggy door, and she has a lot of medications for me to mind. Working at home means I can do all this rather than make a choice I would find unacceptable otherwise. It’s disruptive to my work flow, but her quality of life comes first. For now, I believe it is still reasonably good and she’s happy.

When I go to IlluxCon in 10 days, I’ve got someone in to take care of her here at the house, 24/7. It’s the right thing to do, and I’m glad I can.

There, I said it. Yes, I’m going. I’ll have a table at the Showcase event, Oct 20th and 21st. After attending last year for the first time, I came away insanely inspired and motivated. By December, I was driven to distraction. It was a major source of my drive to get back to full time freelance work, but like other airy plans, many of my good intentions and careful schemes have left me overwhelmed, stressed out, and fumbling as I go forward more slowly than I expected.

Still, I’m really looking forward to going despite all that. If you’re attending the con, come see me! Still packing, but I hope to have some interesting things.

This is actually the topic I came here to write about, today. Over on G+, John Stephens drew my attention to a conversation started by Stacy Dellorfano and her blog post about the new Swords and Wizardry cover. ) I wrote a snippet on my own G+ page (I spend little time on G+, to be honest) and said I’d write more here.

Fourth Edition T&T, 1976. Even my final “signature” hadn’t taken form yet.


I’ve been talking about this topic for 40 years. It has grown more divisive and contentious over time. After thinking and writing and much more re-writing what feels like all damn day… I’m going to table this again. I would rather it were otherwise, because dammit I was there early on, hands-on, making work people view, read, and enjoy today. “Witnessing” is its own thing, nowadays. But witnessing can also be (let’s just say) problematic, not least of which because right now, tonight as I finish this… it feels like a no-win situation. And I’m kinda short on spoons.

I’ll send you off to another G+ link where this topic arose. Three years ago, Ed Heil put up some interesting side-by-side comparisons of illos contemporary to the early days of the hobby (some of which are mine). Apologies, Ed, but for the life of me, I couldn’t navigate a link to your original post.

So: another time. Boundaries, guys. I haz ’em. Let the G+ entries above (which are public) be enough for now.

I hope to see some of you at IlluxCon.

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One Response to Life in Progress: Art and More

  1. edheil says:

    Hi Liz! Quoting the post is fine with me, I don’t make my posts public cause I’m shy.

    I did learn eventually that the Eldritch Wizardry artist was a woman, so it’s not a perfect comparison. Maybe “art-directed by a woman” would be more technically correct. But the comparison is striking nonetheless.

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