Other Sides of Me

partial updates 10 Dec 2015

Liz the Writer…

Yes, I write. You’re reading my words here, right?

Aside from this blog, I spent a few years as blogger and columnist for Library Journal. Topic? Games and gaming. I’d like to think I did a little something to help the profession and the stakeholders bridge the conceptual gap between “Games are meaningless childsplay” and “Games are a meaningful and eminently library-appropriate way to reach out and teach in the community.”

Occasionally I write fiction and have a few small published credits to date. If you’d asked me when I was 14 what I’d be known for in the creative fields when I was grown up? I’d’ve sooner guessed that I’d be a writer, not an artist.

It didn’t work out that way. Some years ago I wrote a lengthy post about my rocky history writing (Speaking Out: Writing Fiction). Even now, I write erratically, submit even more erratically. Other facets of my creative self claim priority because they put kibble in the dogs’ dishes on a more consistent basis. But I keep at it because I cannot not keep at it.

If you’re interested in sampling my fiction, a few stories lie waiting for you here: Tall Tales and Swapping Lies.

Liz the Editor…

Editors have a rather thankless job. If you do it well, the writer gets the credit. If you do it poorly, you take the blame.

I’ve had the rare pleasure of being thanked for my work on one project that, as I recall, had to be cut by a solid 10% of its length. The author (I think it was Zeb Cook, for a module for TSR; I may be misremembering) said what I accomplished was so seamless, he couldn’t tell what had changed. Although too long for publication beforehand, it fit the required page-count afterward.

I enjoy editing, but it’s a Humpty Dumpty term. The work might be as simple as line edits for grammar and consistency, or could include art direction, concept development, or even (only when necessary) a little writing or rewriting. Being the “editor” of one of Flying Buffalo’s Citybook projects, for example, is more like “project management,” the whole thing from soup to nuts: initial concept, soliciting artists and writers, putting the book together, and all the grammatical line edits too.

Liz the Game Developer…

I was listed as “editor” in the Fifth Edition of Tunnels & Trolls (1978) but mainly because we didn’t use the term “game developer” back then. That edition’s complete story is pretty widely available out on the net, and Ken St Andre (the game’s creator) has been consistently careful to credit me for my work on it. I did a top to bottom rewriting, re-organization, expansion… and then illustrated everything that wasn’t locked in.

Beginning in 2013, Tunnels & Trolls received a complete makeover into Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls. This was made possible by the considerable support and patience of over 1600 individuals who provided the means for us to make it the best ever edition of the game, through Kickstarter. It took us two and a half years to do it, but the response has been overwhelmingly positive, that it was worth the wait and then some. Many of my posts here mention my trials and tribulations while things were in progress. The Deluxe T&T blog, run by Steve Crompton, is far more granular (crunchy, if you will) and that’s where you can regularly keep up with new developments.

Deluxe, Tunnels and Trolls, RPGs, artwork, Danforth, painting,


Liz the Researcher…

As part of my master’s degree, I pursued research on 21st Century skills acquired in World of Warcraft that translate to real life. The survey was done in Spring 2009 and generated over 1600 responses from around the world. [What is it about me and “1600 people”?]

People’s stories awed and inspired me, amazed and saddened me. I have given presentations about the research but no longer expect to see it published, as it was too little and too late. Much more accomplished researchers have been doing incredibly interesting work — I recommend you look into the work of Nick Yee and of Constance Steinkuhler in particular.

Liz the Geek

I’m a gamer geek, sure. What makes a person a geek and when did “geek” become the new chic? The topic of a recent conversation was about Shakespeare and Lovecraft; is that geeky? I have a gorgeous piece of art hanging on my wall that is a 16# solid steel replica of Frostmourne; is that geeky? One of my favorite t-shirts says “Then Buffy staked Edward. The End.” Is that geeky?

Whatever “geek” is, it isn’t the usual life-in-progress program I see lived by people I grew up with, or certain close kin who patently consider me too weird even to be considered “family.” I actually see that a lot in the denizens of geekery, and I think it’s a shame.

Delightfully, other and more distant kin seem perfectly happy to geek out with me, and we can all be part of the “tribe”, the kin-of-choice that makes life good. Awhile back, I gave away that Buffy/Edward t-shirt because I thought it would be more appreciated by someone else.

I hope you’re one of this tribe, and that you too can enjoy the strange and the wonderful, the imaginative and the creative multiverses that the best of geekdom has to offer.

 

4 Responses to Other Sides of Me

  1. Pingback: Under Construction? | Oakheart at LizDanforth.com

  2. I’m glad to get this new info about you. I find it fascinating how our lives go in directions we never imagined. I can’t even remembered what I imagined, but here I am!

  3. Liz Danforth says:

    I agree that we often cannot imagine, much less predict, where our lives will take us. The future has such wonders and challenges (both!), that I believe one must be ready to reinvent oneself, or adjust the sails, when dealing with the new world that is every dawn. I also think if one takes the time to know your own core, and then be true to oneself — this is what saves you from being blown about willynilly. I’ve been blown off course more than once, but have generally managed to return to my purpose and delight — sometimes from a whole new direction.

  4. Pingback: Minor Updates | Oakheart by Liz Danforth

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