As a juggler, I like to amaze people with strange feats of dexterity, and I often hear people say “I could never do that.” There’s a secret that most people don’t seem to know about juggling. Just about anyone can do it, with enough practice. I think it’s the same with most other things too. We just have to get through that period where we suck at them first. That’s how skills work, you fail less and less until one day you’re good. I’ve been thinking about this a lot, seeing as I’m heading into grad school within a month. I keep thinking about all those things I said I could never do that I’ve done, and wondering what else I’ve got in me. What things can I find time for while I’m in grad school that I thought I’d never be able to do? Even if it’s just little stuff. The answer?
I run two D&D campaigns, and I set up a wiki for them last night at Obsidian Portal. I’ll add to it, and encourage players to add to it in a collaborative storytelling and worldbuilding activity. It’s pretty sparse right now, and not very well organized, but I can do better. I’m also working on a Let’s Play series with some people, and we’ll see how that goes. It’s an opportunity to have a good time, learn video software, and share something with people. I’m pretty excited about it.
A friend and I have been working on a writing project that we should have going in the next few months, spinning a strange mythology about subtle worlds. As well, I’m going to do my best to win one of the department’s essay awards this year. I can do this, though there’ll be a lot of editing involved. More on that to come.
I’m working on a podcast, guest-blogging for Labyrinth, the UW Classics Department’s new resource site, and helping design their undergraduate journal. On top of that, I’m reviving an old idea I had, and trying to breathe life back into TPK, a blog I wanted to write about gaming philosophies. Games are a passion of mine, and the way we set up social games like D&D can often give us greater insights into best practice and how we can act outside the context of the game.
I learned to play the piano a bit this summer, and have been spending more time with my guitar. I love singing, but didn’t think that was anything special. I thought everyone could do it. After some talks and some inspiration with friends, I decided to record a few songs. I’m still learning, but I’ve been told they’re alright. Here’s a tune about a young man’s unrequited love for an elven priestess (more info to come on the wiki, and yes I wrote a song by a D&D character to another D&D character. They say write what you know, and that’s what was in my head). More of these to come too, I imagine.
You may have noticed a trend of collaboration, and you’re right. For too long I’ve stood on the sidelines of that, insisting that I had to do every little bit of everything myself. Well, no longer. This new round of projects has me not just acknowledging my vulnerability, but embracing it. We’re not independent, we’re interdependent, and we’re better for it. I have a few other things in the works as well, but I’m not ready to announce them. By doing this, I’m making a commitment to get these things done, to be willing to try harder when I fall short of my goals, and persevere in the face of adversity. What new things will you try? Who will you do them with? What can I do with you?