I’ve been quieter lately than usual on both social media and here on my website. That’s for a lot of reasons. The first is I was head-down for most of September-November developing and running games, including the blockbuster 1878: Welcome to Salvation (which will have its post mortem post on this blog). However after that, a curious thing happened: I got a job.
As many people might know by now, I was freelancing full time after being laid off from John Wick Presents and 7th Sea. That was a long stretch of me going from check to check and paying for private health insurance to stay alive. Trust me, it was a lean time and a very stressful one. So I started looking for full-time work again. I never expected to get the job that I eventually landed.
After returning from Texas from running 1878, I packed up all my things and moved across the country from New Jersey to Santa Fe, New Mexico to work at one of the coolest places in the world…
I am now a Santa Fe resident, working as a Narrative Lead with some of the most creative people I’ve ever met in my life at the immersive art installation Meow Wolf. I will admit, it was a difficult move, and I would not have survived it without the help of so many good friends. There are too many to note, but Craig, Nico, Josh, Abigail, Ariella, Ennis, Katie, Allie, Abby, MayaBe, Travis, Sean, Gia, Megan, Alex, my father, and our rockstar Sean Foster were primary to this adventure. I was also scammed by movers, drove five days across the country with Nico, slept for nearly ten days in a scary motel and then on a couch in an empty apartment, ended up getting super sick from the altitude here and battled chronic health issues upon arrival. But here I am, with a new home, far from my old original home, under glorious blue skies in Santa Fe.
Meow Wolf itself is amazing. I get to write and ideate and create all day. And that is the dream of so many artists and writers that I feel so blessed to be here. I want to thank Danielle Harper, Jeff Gomez and Ryan Hart for pushing me to apply for this job when my confidence wasn’t there. I wouldn’t be at this great job without their support. And the support of so many others who nudged me along until I did the thing, posted the thing. (Also Nico for pushing me to finish my writing sample even when I was in the hospital – written with an IV in my arm!).
Life-wise, things have stayed a little rocky. Those health issues I mentioned are still in play, which has kept me from doing a lot of things I wanted to do. I thought I’d land right on my feet here, but I’ve been in and out of the hospital constantly since arrival. I can’t tell you all how many times I’ve been writing or online lately with an IV in my arm in a hospital bed (or how much my hospital bills have become – $40,000!). But it also means I’ve had to be very serious about what I do with my spare time… Which is why, for now, I’ve taken a break from writing tabletop RPG content. I want to thank so many people who have contacted me recently with work, but with being so ill and still recovering from the move, I’ve had to take a hiatus. Because sometimes, you need to admit when you have to take care of yourself first.
My move has also made me have to recenter my larp design. I’m now far from the East Coast and far from the people I’ve worked with for so long. That doesn’t mean I’m done with larp design by far (or tabletop for that matter!). But it means I won’t be able to come back to the East Coast for every event… which makes me sad. But it also means maybe designing things on the West Coast…? I’m excited.
So what am I saying? I’m not done doing games just because I’m working here:
It just means I’ve got to take it easier and make sure I take care of my health, so I can continue to make creative things both for my day job and for myself. Projects like Arksong, Immortal Flight, Affinity, my writing, and my comic book are still going on, plus some things you’ve never seen or heard of yet. But they’re going to take some time to pull off now as things change. As life often does.
So I’m not done.
And I need to accept that slowing down is the right thing to do, while still telling myself:
Instead I’ll say this: life changes. And I’m going with those changes. And I hope you’ll come with me. Thanks everyone, and thank you to Meow Wolf for this opportunity.