Steve’s Update 4/23/2017

(This column is posted at,, and Steve’s Tumblr)

Let’s get to my weekly “standups”  Scrum style continue!  What have I done and what am I going to do?

(OK, yes traditional Scrum is daily, but give me a break).

So what have I done the last week?

  • Way With Worlds Minibook #1: My editor should be on it.  Waiting for updates as we speak.
  • Way With Worlds Minibook #5: I completed my monthly goals over a week ahead of time.  I might write more.
  • Way With Worlds Marketing: The newly printed bookmarks are on their way – not sure what was up with the website, but I think they just got overloaded..  So here’s hoping I didn’t completely screw it up.
  • General: Went to assorted meetups, spent time with my girlfriend, and configured a new computer (a major part of my time over the weekend).  The latter should make me more productive, except it’s powerful enough to run Overwatch, so uh . .  yeah, there’s that.
  • Additional: I took an unplanned task to help edit someone’s story.  I might be doing more of this as I feel it lets me use my knowledge.  The idea is maybe I’ll offer, now and then, to do a deep-dive on someone’s chapter #1.

What am I going to do this week:

  • Way With Worlds Minibook #1:  Well I want to get this back, but it’s not required – I do want it back early May.
  • Seventh Sanctum Spotlight: I’m going to contact the folks who wanted to do it this week to start queuing content.  My goal was to contact but not necessarily publish, so I think this might be easier to just do end of month so next month starts queued up.
  • Miscellaneous Marketing: I want to check with local comic shops on speaking and do more with my self-pub group that also has a group of speakers.
  • General: Finishing any final computer configurations.  Probably get some social time in.  Plan next month.  Lots of miscellaneous and clean-up this month.

Challenges and blockers:

  • No blockers; if anything slightly ahead.
  • Long-term the next pop culture is on hold, and probably won’t start until late summer/early fall as my co-author is busy.


  • Next month is shaping up to focus on Fanime, and a new project – writing fiction.

– Steve

Steve’s Update 4/16/2017

(This column is posted at,, and Steve’s Tumblr)

Deciding to call this “Steve’s” Update because you know it is mine.  Anyway, the weekly “standups”  Scrum style continue!  What have I done and what am I going to do?

So what have I done the last week?

  • Got the Color Generator deployed.  It’s out and being used, so go to it!  I also learned a lot about generators making it.
  • Way With Worlds Minibook #1: I should hear from the editor this week.
  • Way With Worlds Minibook #5: Still writing away, a bit ahead of my game actually.  Might crank out a bit more than intended.
  • Way With Worlds Marketing: I got new flyers for Way With Worlds put together, now I just have to print them, but ran into some issues with the printer website malfunctioning – maybe everyone is busy.
  • Seventh Sanctum Spotlight: Will probably start next week.  I do have a kind-of-spotlight with Character Creation Is The Whole Game.
  • General: Went to a meetup, went to Rifftrax, cleaned out a closet and a half, did a newsletter, finished my laptop research.

What am I going to do this week:

  • Printing the Way With Worlds Flyers: If the aforementioned interruption is overcome.
  • Way With Worlds Minibook #5: Still writing.
  • General: Purchase and recieve that laptop, go to some social events.  Likely to be a light week here – going to be focusing on a lot of “life” stuff.

Challenges and blockers:

  • No blockers right now except said interruption with printing the flyers.


  • May will be a bit busy due to Fanime so it’ll probably involve me focusing mostly on my current works and not taking on any new generators, etc.

– Steve

Character Creation Is The Whole Game

(This column is posted at,, and Steve’s Tumblr)


OK everyone, here’s an amazing little game – the character creation engine is the game. So raise stats, unlock choices, play character – and this guy is looking for contributors/help!  So go on, try it then ask him how you can make it awesomer!

– Steve

The Color Generator Is Done!

(This column is posted at,, and Steve’s Tumblr)

And here it is,  Color Generator!  Thanks for all your feedback, this was a delightful one to make.  I learned a lot about language and mood and a sense of “being” in a sentence and these lessons will make me better at both generators but also as a writer.

So let’s get some examples!

  • Ichas – The red of a rose. Used for secret paintings.
  • Pantedsh – The supreme green. Those that see this color cannot forget it.
  • Paost – The purple of imaginary wine. Paintings using this color ward off jealousy.
  • Khang – The sickly yellow of hatred.
  • Buife – A light red. Paper of this color is something everyone knows how to make.
  • Cecymbir – A flamboyant green. The gemstones of this color are said to grant one intelligence.
  • Lotruin – A harsh purple. Tattoos of this color are associated with laziness – but only if concealed and only if worn on the left arm.
  • Sufofe – A sober blue. The color once associated with scientists.
  • Icasanget – The orange of ideal sunrises. Those that see this color will dream of what they saw.
  • Canturn – The yellow of gold that can only exist in the future. Those that see this color see other worlds.

So there you go!  Now let’s see what our infinite new spectrum brings . . .

– Steve

Sprint Update 4/9/2017

(This column is posted at,, and Steve’s Tumblr)

And as promised weekly updates, or “standups” on the projects I’m working on since I’m planning more  Scrum style and loved Failbetter’s use of Scrum-style updates.

So what have I done the last week?

  • Got the Color Generator to final beta.  It’s basically ready to go, so I’ll check feedback, give it one more look-over, and call it done.  I’ve learned a lot about language working on this one, lessons that’ll pay off in later generators.
  • Way With Worlds Minibook #1: Is off to the editor.  Unfortunately she has family visiting and broke a finger, but expects to be typing-worthy next week.  I had no plans to use the edits until later anyway, so it won’t throw my plans off.
  • Way With Worlds Minibook #5: I’m writing questions at my planned pace.
  • Seventh Sanctum Spotlight: My plans to start promoting talent on the Sanctum are figured out, so I need to line up candidates soon – I’ve got a list.
  • General: Also went to two meetups on writing and project management on top of some gaming.  I think this new planning method is working out!

What am I going to do this week:

  • Finish the Color Generator: I’ll integrate any feedback, do a final check, and consider it done.
  • Way With Worlds Minibook #5: I’ll be writing more of this!
  • General: Another professional event this week, gearing up to purchase a new laptop, some chores, and possibly cleaning a closet (you know those boxes you never unpack until years after moving?).

Challenges and blockers:

  • No direct blockers, but I do have a concern about how to pace final edits on the Minibooks.  My default plan is essentially do a final edit early in the month they’re released, but I wonder if that’d just become a drag and I should do them all at once.  My gut take is I should do this, though I might have to up my writing pace – and really, that does sound like it’d turn into a drag.

– Steve

(This column is posted at,, and Steve’s Tumblr)

The Color Generator is coming along nicely. Check these out!

  • Rentehiem – The oldest blue. Under light of this color gold tarnishes.
  • Osochawn – The yellow of gold. Those that see this color go insane.
  • Enklu – The yellow of gold that you will one day see.
  • Stast – The orange of a sunrise. Those that see this color become sane.
  • Pigurmote – A bold greenish-blue. The color of old dreams.
  • Tefrou – The orange of a sunrise. Paintings using this color stop envy.
  • Ichre – The orange of imaginary fires.
  • Ouwath – The purple of disgust and of the evening sky that can never be imagined.
  • Detingat – A fiery yellow. The color of clothing once worn by witches, but that changed because of a prophecy.
  • Saffican – The orange of unknown sunrises.

– Steve

April Sprint – What’s Coming up!

(This column is posted at,, and Steve’s Tumblr)

I’ve been thinking of how I organize my projects and share them with you my audience and friends.  I’ve not been thrilled with how I’ve done updates, and recent spates of illness and surprises derailed a few things.  So what I’m doing is taking my projects to be managed much more traditional Scrum style.  I got the idea here from Failbetter’s use of Agile to make them publicly engaged via blogposts while doing Sunless Skies.

If you’re not familiar with Scrum,, its basically a method of organization where you A) keep a backlog of stuff to do B) do it in small increments called sprints, and C) regularly report and measure progress.  I recommend reading up on it.

(I’m still big on the Getting Things Done method, and will use it as part of my work, but my large amount of longer-term projects require some different approaches plus this lets me try out techniques from work.)

What this means for you is

  1. Every month (a “sprint”) I’ll tell you what I’m planning to tackle on my projects.  Most Sprints are two weeks, but I plan my projects quarterly/monthly so this is a bit easier.
  2. I’ll do weekly reports (a sort of Standup) on progress. These are usually daily in proper Scrum, but I have my limits.
  3. I’ll do a roundup/retrospective at the end.

So what’s up for April!

Finishing The Color Generator: I’ll finish the Color Generator in April with the goal of deploying before the end of the Month – preferably mid-month.  I’ll be regularly updating it with new data so keep an eye out.

New Seventh Sanctum Spotlight: A new Seventh Sanctum project to spotlight talent and interesting media – this is an experiment and may or may not succeed.

Way With Worlds Minibooks #1: The followups to Way With Worlds.  I will send this to editor – remember these don’t launch until June.

Way With Worlds Minibook #5: Get this to at least 60% completion if not more.  And, yes I have four of these suckers written already – make room in your summer reading!

There are also some marketing efforts, tech purchases, and home maintenance but I don’t think you care about those.

So I’ll be posting updates weekly (probably Monday) to let you know where everything is once a week!

And as it’s Sunday, let’s get to a status!

What I’ve worked on:

  • Wrote 5 more questions on Minibook 5.
  • Minibook #1 will be in the hands of the editor next week.
  • Reached out to initial “promotables” for the Sanctum Spotlight and designed how it’ll run.  It’s pretty much ready to go, I’ll start it later this month.
  • A few notes on the Color Generator are in place, I’ll dive into that more soon.

What’s coming up this week:

  • I plan to focus on the Color Generator to get as much done as possible.
  • I’ll be attending two professional events, so that consumes time.


– Steve

It’s Out – Way With Worlds Book 2!

(This column is posted at,, and Steve’s Tumblr)

It’s here!  The second book in the Way With Worlds series – in both Print and Kindle! Go get it now!

To celebrate, here’s what I’m doing this weekend!

So now you’ve got two books on worldbuilding to help you out.  Spread the word!

But there’s more coming!  I’m working on a series of smaller, more focused, more personal worldbuilding books – small, 99-cent ebooks to help you focus on specific subjects in more of a coaching manner.  Those will start coming out this summer, so stay tuned!


Meanwhile, keep writing, keep gaming, and keep creating new worlds!

– Steve

In Beta: The Color Generator!

The Color Generator is in Beta and Seventh Sanctum!

This generator makes colors that aren’t or should be, are mysterious or otherworldly.  Inspired by the Neathbow of Fallen London as well as things like Octarine in Discworld, it’s a way to make colors that aren’t your standard spectrum – or lurk in between the colors we know.

A few examples:

  • Anihe – A deep blueish-green. Under light of this color mirrors show falsehoods.
  • Celvoweur – The penultimate orange. Under light of this color people have religious visions.
  • Cong – The purple of the early morning sky.
  • Brot – The green of half-forgotten grasslands.
  • Ilva – The iridescent red of curiosity.
  • Serneo – The green of leaves in legends.
  • Cheppan – The purple of bravery and of the early morning sky that you fear seeing.
  • Thue – A flamboyant orange. Under light of this color wounds heal.
  • Cephutem – The yellow of loyalty and of half-forgotten sunlight.
  • Auguahe – The muted yellow of loyalty.

The generator needs to be expanded – the names and basic shades are mostly done, but the descriptions and symbolism and effects need a lot more work.  So go on, take a look, leave feedback!

  • Steve

Civic Diary 3/8/2017

(This column is posted at and Steve’s Tumblr)

Hello everyone, time for another civic update!

What am I up to?  Well less than I’d like due to some craziness (friends in assorted crises).

Helping with a political group’s social media: Still at that, and that one is getting challenging as noted, since there’s so many ways to take it – and ways to do it wrong.  What are the right news sites?  Right groups to post?  It’s quite a lot to learn and I’ve got a meeting on it coming up.

This taught me to be a lot more careful of information sources and to better understand more subtle political landscapes.  Some activist groups are at odds with each other.  People debate over the value of news aggregators.

A big thing I’m finding is social media has truly changed politics – there’s many ways to interacts and it vastly speeds how things move.  It’s also more multiordinal than expected – spread across many media.  Which is important in this charged political environment and our reliance on certain communications.

Lesson: Admit you have a lot to learn as you get civicly involved, and really learn to dig into the news and groups you follow, there’s probably some things you’re missing.

Getting Involved In New/Informal Groups: A lot have sprung up lately and I’m finding there’s something for everyone.  These seem to act as a kind of social nexus for getting people involved, and I think there’s something to that.  People involved in one of these more informal groups are also involved in other social groups – so this acts as a kind of connecting ground.

A lot of this is people taking a stab and doing it – and it seems to work.

Lesson: I think the new informal groups springing up are going to be really important as people are looking for new ways to get involved.  Also some politicians are really underestimating the organizing going on out there.

Getting Into District Flipping: This has gotten really big lately, and it’s important to find districts to flip, districts to maintain – and who you want to primary as they kinda suck at their jobs.  I think we’re going to see a lot of this in 2018.

Lesson: 2018 will be interesting.

Continuing Economic Activism: Calling companies about who they support, etc.  This one I’ve been intermittent on, but I think it’s important to keep at this.  Not boycotts per se (though I’m fine with those) but letting companies know their actions matter.  Believe me, some people listen.

Lesson: Not sure if there’s a lesson, yet, except this has been kinda ramped up to 11.

Regular Representative Contacts: Calling my reps all the time on issues.  They do listen, believe me (and one office has people who know me).  This also means follow your reps on issues – because you may be surprised.  Without naming names, one of my congresspeople had disappointed me – then pulled off an amazing town hall where it seems I’d sort of misunderstood their strategy.

What I do as noted is set up a Google alert to see who to call my state or federal reps on.  If you’re not sure what to annoy them on, let me recommend – plus I find the more informal groups often have great advice.

Lesson: Keep doing this.  Daily.

I admit I’ve not done as much as I’d like.  I’ve got a civic guide I’ve worked on I need to return to, I’ve not been able to make my city council meetings that I wanted, I want to do more with  But if you stay active you’ll do something.

One thing I find myself thinking over is that those everyday things we do to keep society running matter a lot.  Help a friend out with their needs.  Give someone a ride.  That stuff is more valuable than we realize.  I’ve had friends go through some awful crises and the fact people helped them, even a bit, made a difference.

– Steve