Steve’s Update 6/28/2015

Hope everyone is doing well.  Caught a bit of a cold last week so I’m a tad behind.  Where are we now?



I applied to speak on professional creativity at a PMI event this fall.  Let’s see if I land it – and it will probably spawn a new presentation to do elsewhere, as well as a possible book . .

Sailor Moon Book:

Chugging away on interviews, and we’re starting to see patterns and get an idea of how to structure the book.  Still not expecting to see this until next year, so stay tight.

We’re also doing some historical digging, so if you have any good resources let us know – Sailor Moon history is surprisingly ill-recorded outside the essentials.

Way With Worlds Book:

This one is probably due around March 2016.  It’s actually a pretty regular piece of work since it’s all written – the challenge is the editing and making sure everything from 70 something columns actually coheres.  The size also means it takes a little longer to edit than my last work.

I’m actually pleased with how solid it is.  There’s a lot in there, and I’m going to be adding a bit more . . .

– Steven Savage

Recipe: Cabbage And Peas

A variant of an Indian dish, made even healthier, and with a spice tweak in the form of smoked paprika instead of a pepper. It reminds me a bit of some german and country cabbage dishes, and has a unique taste.  I served it with a potato as a side dish.


Very fast to make as well.

Makes 4 servings.



1 large head of cabbage (about 3 lbs)

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground, smoked paprika

1 tsp black pepper

½ tsp salt.

½ cup water

2 cups frozen or thawed green peas


  1. Cut cabbage into quarters and slice out core. Cut into strips about ½ wide.
  2. Place cabbage in pot.
  3. Mix water with spices and pour over cabbage. Check bottom of pot – there should be a thin layer of water. If not, add slightly more.
  4. Cover pot, bring water to boil, then simmer, stirring occasionally.
  5. Make sure there’s always a thin layer of water in the pot.
  6. When cabbage softens, add peas. Stir thoroughly and heat through.
  7. Serve.

Steve’s Update 6/22/2015

Whew, busy time.  I’ve had software launches, dental work, and more the last few weeks.  Doing pretty good, but now I need some time to slow down (I’m hoping the 4th gives me that break).

Sailor Moon Book

Whew!  We’re doing plenty of interviews but my guess is we’ve easily got 8 more weeks of this before we have enough interviews, maybe 12.  We’re finding a lot of fascinating stuff already, but the analysis is going to take some work.

Still looking for more interviews if you’re interested!

Way With Worlds Book

Editing this now. It’s going pretty smoothly, but I need about 2-3 edit runs to make it ready for “real editing.” The book itself promises to be 450 or so pages long, so this is a lot of work, probably easily 3+ months before I get it into enough shape I want someone else to go over it. So I think it’s very likely we won’t see it until 2016.

However, I think the edit of the . . . uh . . . . rewrite . . . is going to make the book much better. I can tone up or streamline language, expand information, make things clearer, and make it flow better. The new chapter structure breaks the columns into logical subsections that really add consistency to the lessons.


I think I figured how to do the Plot Twist Generator.  Now I’ve just got to start it . . .


You’ll notice the Informotron has a new look.  More to come so stay tuned!


Still lining up my engagements out into October. I hope to nail some down in the next week or two, but you know how busy people get.

Worth Checking Out

I just heard about this first person adventure/mystery game Firewatch, which looks like a kind of playable movie with a strong sense of characterization, atmosphere, and plot.

A roundup of places to get sane financial advice.



– Steven Savage

Steve’s Update 6/14/2015

So here’s what’s up lately!

Sailor Moon Book

Working away on that Sailor Moon book.  That’s going to have me busy for awhile as we need about 50 interviews to make it work.  Right now we have six.  Draw your own conclusions there.

Two things that we want to do for the book are 1) Find common patterns and narratives, 2) Understand the timeline of the show and the fandom.  That’s not even going to be clear for a few more interviews – and the history itself is a bit odd.  The property’s prominence in America is an odd thing, and unriddling “just how this worked” requires some detective work – and a few cases of realizing the role of random circumstance.  However, I’m also getting a few bits of fandom history here which is helpful.

Way With Worlds

OK, Way With Worlds is now all uploaded and included into a book format – which means sorting, then editing.  It’s also looking to be enormous – try about 450 pages when done.  That’s 120 pages more than any of my last books.  It’s good it’s already basically done and in need of editing . . .  but that’s a lot of work.  So yeah, I don’t think we’ll see this one until 2016.

It’s going to be interesting to rewrite what is basically a rewrite, but I want to bring more coherence to the various essays, fill in gaps, and basically make it a manual for worldbuilding.  So I guess it’ll be version 3.


Working on my fall/winter schedule still.  More as I find it, but as a hint, I’m looking to do a panel on creativity at a very professional event.  Stay tuned . . .

That’s it for me.  Hope you’re doing well!


– Steven Savage

New Presentation!

Hey everyone, wanted to let you know I have a NEW presentation available! It’s called LinkedIn: Beyond The Basics!  If you’ve wanted to use LinkedIn, but keep finding the same “LinkedIn 101″ advice, this is for you!

There’s also more!  This presentation is customizable to different audiences as you need it!  I can zoom in on specific subjects or interests!

Drop me a line if you’re interested!

– Steven Savage

New Book Project – Sailor Moon Book!

Sailor Moon, the anime, the manga, the fandom is everywhere.  It’s been with us for decades.  It’s influenced many people.  In North America she’s probably one of the most recognizable super-heroines.  There’s a lot to learn from the fandom – and you know how I like to learn!

I’m teaming up with a fellow professional, Bonnie Walling, to work on a book about the impact of Sailor Moon on women 18 and older in North America. We’re looking to interview women who were or are fans of Sailor Moon, and who felt it had a positive impact on their lives.  Our goal is to listen to people’s voices, and organize what we find into a book that will help people understand how the phenomena affected – and affects – these fans In addition, we’re doing historical and related research so the book can try and give people a grasp of the impact of the series over time, and provide a useful reference.

We’re looking for people to interview, so if you’d like to be interviewed or know people who would be, go on and let me know!

If you’re interviewed, then:

  • That you’re credited in the book – by your given name, nickname, alias, or whatever you prefer.
  • That you’ll get to see a draft of the book (electronically) before it goes out.
  • You’ll get a free e-copy of the book after publication in your preferred format (PDF, ePub, Kindle, etc.)

Drop us a line!


– Steven Savage

Steve’s Update 6/5/2015

Hello everyone!  Had a busy week so this is a tad late.

First of all, if you’re on my personal newsletter, you just got it.  Need to make sure those are more regular.

Way with Worlds has officially wrapped up.  I’ve started work on the Way With Worlds book, and after a review . . . man that’s a lot of material.  However, I can also see how my approach varied over time, so I want to make sure it’s consistent, expand it a bit, and so on.  Current plans are to have it out in 2016.

I need to get to the Plot Twist Generator for the Sanctum – and am still not quite sure how to start it, and probably won’t get to it until July  I think it’s going to be like the Writing Prompt Generator – I’m just gonna have to dive into research, classic plot twists, and so on and go from there.  The Writing Prompt generator was pretty educational, so I have to wonder what this’ll teach me.

Still waiting to hear back from several conventions on my potential speaking schedule – and I’m also trying to push the idea of cons running creative jams.  Imagine a room set aside for just for writing or art – maybe for the entire con?  Well I got a new thing to promote.

Now the upcoming big news – I am going to do the official announcement soon, but I and a partner are starting a book on anime fandom.  More to come, but we will need interviewees . . .


– Steven Savage

Steve’s Update 5/25/2015

Sorry for so few updates last week (except my latest cooking experiment).  Got a might busy here.

The busy was partially work, but also Fanime – a friend was in down, so we hit the con, where I also did one of my panels – specifically Fan To Pro.  A few observations

  • The convention was fun and enormous as always.  Twice as large artists alley this time.
  • Steven Universe is apparently The Big Thing.
  • Fan To Pro panel had a small but dedicated audience – doing it at 9 AM probably was a bit of a limit.
  • I plan to do more next year, probably with other folks.
  • A game group, the South bay Button Mashers, that I’m part of ran a retrogame event that was enormously successful.


My upcoming schedules are still in the works, I hope to know more soon, and I’ve got another round of con planning to do.

Now beyond con planning, I’m now back to writing.  To wit:

  • Way With Worlds will probably wrap up soon.  That means it’s now going to get edited into a book . . . which may inspire new columns.  But at some point I’ll have to zip it and ship it.  Looking forward to . . . well, one more rewrite.
  • I am working on a possible book on Project and Program Management, but it’s actually going to be humorous.  Really.  Trust me on this, if it works it’ll be great.
  • I am also working on a book on pop culture.  More to follow.


On top of this Crossroads Alpha has it’s usual podcasts going. Be sure to check them out – they’re fantastic!



– Steven Savage

Bean And Mushroom Chili

My variant of a recipe I found in the “Forks Over Knives” Cookbook (which is worth purchasing PERIOD).  This isn’t quite where I want it yet, but the unusual combination of spices, in turn, produces a delightfully deep and unique flavor – fennel works well with cumin and coa powder in ways I didn’t expect.  The beans and mushrooms work together better than I’d expected – and I strongly recommend using diverse beans.. It’s a bit milder than I’d hoped, but some extra salt picks it up.  I think I’ll tweak it with cinnamon next time (and maybe cut the black pepper).

Makes about 6 servings.

  • 1 White onion, diced
  • 1 lb mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp crushed garlic (6 cloves)
  • 1 Tbsp powdered cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Ancho Chili Powder
  • 1 Tbsp coca powder
  • 2 Tbsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 3 cups diced tomatoes (or 1 28 oz can)
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 ½ cups different beans. (3 14 1/2 cans) – I use kidney, pinto, and black beans
  1. Place onion and mushrooms in a large dutch oven or other saucepan. Dry sauté, adding water as needed to keep them from sticking. Stir and sauté for ten minutes until onions and mushrooms soften. The mushrooms will release their water over time.
  2. Add all spices, stir to mix, cooking for 3 minutes or so until well blended.
  3. Add all other ingredients. Bring to simmer, cook covered for 25 minutes

I first tried it with a pickled cabbage salad – which worked very well.  A sour kick and a spicy kick but neither overwhelming.  Rounded it out with some nice mild corn.


– Steven Savage