Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The GGE Tribe

GreenGates needs to build a tribe. I hope 2010 is the year to start. More than hope, of course, we will have to do things to make this happen. I have several initiatives planned to start doing just that, but firsst let me explain the goal.
We need a tribe. Our tbie needs to be at least 1,000 people. Preferably 2,000 people since there are 2 entities that form GGE. Why do I say 1,000? There is a great post as to why "creatives" need to build  trbie of 1,000. It is the "microcelebrity" phenomenon.
I intend to know all 2,000 of our tribe members. How will I do that? By allowing them access to comment and be heard. Then I will amplify their comments on our websites, blogs, publications, etc.
I want the tribe to have unfettered access so it takes on the closeness and camaraderie that one sees with RPG communities.
What will a tribemember be called? I'm not sure. I hesitate to call them "fans". I'm not sure that's the right description. I need more than fans. People who will buy everything GGE produces, not as an obligation, but because they trust us to tell kick ass stories that will not disappoint. Then they will let themselves be heard. Loved it. Hated it. Whatever. Maybe a tribemember will decide to become a writer based on their interaction with GGE and we can partner with them to promote their work. Sounds like the ultimate team-based, tribal win-win scenario.
Someone will have to be first. Can I build a tribe one person at a time? I hope to.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bad Ideas

This is a great post from Seth Godin about bad ideas. I don't even have to give it a huge intro. You need to just go read it. The briefest synopsis would be that one has to be willing to generate lots of bad ideas in order to land on a good one. You should read it from Seth though. He says it so much better than me.
Let's spend a minute making it relevant to writing though. Maby people feel liek failed writers because they write a book and then can't sell it. Maybe it's not the right book for right now. Write another and another and another. Maybe the first one would be a better second or third book. Keep generating stuff and eventually you will hit the right stuff.
Now go read Seth's blog.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

The 2010 you

Looking towards 2010. We have a few days to plan, but it is a good week to figure out what the 2010 You will look like versus the 2009 You. For me, I hope to keep up my exercising and strike a balance with the family life and writing so that I can progress in all of those areas.
Of course, as I near New Year's Day, I will develop a better and more exact list with deliverables and timelines. I will check how I did against last year's goals. I think I made good progress on some...and others, not so much. Of course I always have some stretch goals out there. Those that, were they to come true right now, would dramatically alter my situation for the better.
So, let's make a pact...spend the next few minutes thinking of some goals. Write them down. We'll revisit them on New Year's Eve, before the partying really starts, and see where we stand.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve, 2009. What a great time to reflect on family, the previous year and great things to come. Probably not a lot of writing, creating, etc getting done today. Today is the day for feasting, visiting with friends and family and calling relatives (or connecting via FB, Twitter or whatever your social networking vehicle of choice happens to be).

So, Merry Christmas! To my Warhammer friends, Happy Keg End! Drink hearty and let's look forward to First Quaff!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Fright Before Christmas

First off, I have to explain that no one has ever accused Green or Gates of GreenGates as being "normal" people. Gates (me) is an ubergeek fanboy. Fortunately, unlike some ubergeek fanboys, I do engage in some "mainstream" activities like "exercise" and "personal hygiene".
Green on the other hand, while also being an ubergeek, is also deeply into his "horror" phase. I say it is a phase since that is what we all thought when he was thirteen years old and started to get into all things horror-movie related. That was almost thirty years ago, so I guess as "phases" go, this one is a long one.
Still, I wanted to share the little gift that is being delivered to Green's door as we speak. A bit macabre, but believe me, it fits with the decor at his humble abode.
I picked it up from, a great shopping site for all things "geeky" (a tauntaun sleeping bag anyone? "It may smell bad, but it'll keep you warm")
So here it is...right out of a classic horror film. Tell me Green won't love this little item.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Mr. Mom

I try to make some sort of entry everyday. I have spent the last 48 hours being Mr. Mom at the Gates house and I am just too tired to be witty or creative...let's try again tomorrow


Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Writer's Vacation

So, I am officially on vacation this week. How best to spend a vacation when you are a writer, artist, creator? Of course, relaxation has to be part of it so I will be attempting to detach myself from all of the things that stress me out.
The problem with that is that as a writer, I write to relax so I also have to make time to write, work on the GGE website (construction proceeds - check it out here) and of course, to blog. I would miss my daily chronicle of life in/at GGE.
So, for the rest of you on vacation this holiday season - relax, eat well, drink well (but not too heavily), get some rest, maybe exercise and definitely write, draw, play music and flex whatever creative muscle you like to use the most. It's a magical time of year and it will probably be reflected in your creations this week.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Awesome story

This story is just amazing. I love stuff like this. A guy makes a 4 minutes video for $300.00. Uploads it on Thursday to and by Monday, Hollywood is emailing. He ends up with a $30 million deal with Sam Raimi's company.

It's not often that you hear about true overnight success like that. Most of us hone our craft and delve in obscurity, all but begging for attention and when the attention comes, it is rarely to the delight and accolades of all.

Still, it's an inspiring story and a good reminder to keep plugging away and keep producing...then get it in front of people and let them do the rest. If it's truly remarkable and can go "viral" then Hollywood may come calling!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sherlock Holmes

I have been a Sherlock Holmes fan for a long time. Not the Basil Rathbone, deerstalker-cap Holmes, though he is a good version. I mean the real deal. The Arthur Conan Doyle one. The chain smoking, drinking, cocaine-snorting, opium-smoking, boxer who could have been a great actor but turned his scientific knowledge into solving crimes. He's an expert marksman, a single-stick fighting expert and a student of observation and deductive reasoning. He was a welterweight boxing champ and when he gets mad, he gets REALLY mad. Kind of reminds me of Batman.
So, when I saw the previews for the upcoming movie with Holmes the way I envisioned him, like an action star. And Watson...Watson was always chasing skirts and married at least twice. He was a former soldier, a heckuva surgeon and no slouch with a revolver.
So, on the 25th, expect to see me in the theater with two of my oldest pals (Holmes and Watson)


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

WETA Rayguns

Have you seen these things by WETA? These replicas of rayguns, swords and all sorts of sci-fi goodness? These aren't toys. They are replicas right out of our collective sci-fi imagination. Here is a link to the "Victorious Mongoose".
These things are just beautiful. I would love to see a room dedicated to these. This whole line is very inspiring to me. I can only imagine how the decision to start this awesome line of collectibles began...

"So they're toys?
"Nope. Not toys. replicas of how a death ray might look if a real mad scientist built it."
"They're for adults"
"Adults. Kids at heart. For display only. They don't do anything."
"And what do they cost?"
"A bunch. They are made from high grade stuff. Again, the goal here is to make a sci-fi weapon that looks real, but like it stepped out of a Flash Gordon serial."
"But death rays aren't real."
"Exactly. But lots of people wish they were real. And if they were, they should look like our designs."
"Look man, no one is going to pay that kind of money for what a "real" imaginary thing would look like. Not unless it is a toy. This is never going anywhere."
"Well, you know what, I believe in this model. I have a passion for these things and I am gong to launch with one gun and we'll see where it goes from there"

...And the rest is history. Check out the website. There is a ton of stuff there as well as tie-in novels and artbooks and all kinds of stuff because whoever envisioned this world has such a great vision and the world is so immersive that we, as fans, want to spend more time there and we are willing to pay big bucks to do it.

Kind of a lesson for all of us about following your passion I think.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Teen Wolf for TV

Just read that a Teen Wolf series is in development. Apparently it has already cast the star (Tyler Posey). What excites me though is that the TV series is reported as being darker than the original movie (or the sequel). It has me in mind of Buffy The Vampire Slayer where the original movie was pretty campy, but the series was dark, esgy and awesome. Some camp snuck in late in the series, but that seems to be the fate of all good shows eventually.

So, I am looking forward to Teen Wolf. I love reboots, especially when they go from campy to "darker".


Monday, December 14, 2009

Another Seth Godin link

Anyone who has spent much time here has seen their share of Seth Godin links. This one comes with a free ebook. Link to Seth's blog to get the book. It is called "What Matters Now" and it is a book of thoughts by some great thinkers, innovators, commentators and entrepreneurs about what is important now. Definitely a good book to read going into the New Year. Maybe some resolutions in there.

So go check it out. It's only 82 pages so we're not talking about a huge time investment. For anyone thinking about doing business, making more of themselves or just making a difference it's a great book. Go get inspired.


Sunday, December 13, 2009


Sell any books today? Nah, me neither. I didn't sell any because I don't have any in publication right now. I am working to correct that, and I will get something out there in 2010.

Why am I so sure? Because I have to. I read a quote that reminded me that it is better to have a "failure of ambition" than a "failure of inactivity". I might have been too inactive in 2009. In 2010, if I fail, I want my failure to be that I was too ambitious.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

The 4-Hour Workweek

Just started reading the book "The 4-Hour Workweek" by Timothy Ferriss. I devoured it!

It is tailored a bit to the entreprenuerial type, but it guides you through some ideas for businesses you can start. It also applies really well to employees.

Of course, my first thought was "4-hour work week" seems to good to be true, and if it seems to good to be true, then it probably is.

I am happy to say that the book changed my mind. I could even see a ton of these principles applying to GGE. Say we decided to produce our own books. Pay for PPC (pay-per-click) advertising through google to our niche group of readers. Sell our Ebooks to those readers. And make all of that automatic. Then the actual running of the business would be pretty automatic and I could just write. We could outsource things like marketing, editing and cover design. Sounds like a potential business plan. Would people buy our stuff? Well, that part is up to me I guess.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Digg is up and running

Well, it looks like I got the Digg button to work. It took me a couple of tries. I am not a complete expert on it yet, but I think it works. Of course, as I found out, people have to have a Digg account to "digg" a story, but if no one else minds if the Digg  button is at the bottom of posts, then I suppose I will leave it for now. As I write more, we'll see.
Right now, I like the idea of people being able to Digg something I write. I try and put informative stuff out here at times that might appeal to other writers, entrpreneurs or "creatives". I would like to be able to share that stuff.
So...if you see something you like...digg it!


another try

Okay. Let's see if I got this right. If I did, then I can dig this.


Trying out Digg

Wanting to add "Digg" to the blog so people can digg things I write (lkeeping my fingers crossed on that one). The way it works is people "digg" an item and then the best of "digg" shows up on their website, but also gets emailed out to people who have opted in to recive Digg updates. It is a way to get just news stories which others have "validated" for you by reading and digging them. So, let's tryi it out!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Fitting it all in

How do you fit in writing, blogging, managing your website, studying the craft of writing and of course indulging inreading and watching various forms of entertainment to better hone your craft?

For me, it involves either late nights or early mornings before family and other obligations start wearing away my time. Unfortunately, way to often, my exercise is the first thing I sacrifice to spend time at the keyboard.

Of course, as the picture on the left demonstrates, caffeine is often involved as well.

It is a difficult balance for anyone trying to create as well as earn a living. It requires scheduling and discipline in following your schedule, but then you have to know when to blow it all off and live a little as well.

If someone finds the perfect balance, let me know!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Eyes of God

I have picked this book by John Marco up multiple times with the intention of reading it. I always put it back down until I read a review that likened the three main characters to King Arthur, Lancelot and Guinevere.

Well, for an Arthurian fan like myself, that was too tempting to pass up so I dove right in. I have to say that the comparison is a good one, and the book itself is fantastic.

It has a really good mix of fantasy and knights and politics and magic and all that good stuff as well as having some familiar elements from our own world reflected in the cultures described in the book. It is an extremely immersive book and I would compare it to George RR Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" series, which is my favorite series of all time (even compared to this one, sorry John Marco).

So, GGE says - pick this book up and read it, but after you have read George RR Martin's series and after Joe Abercrombie's series. If you are craving good fantasy action with a dose of an Arthurian type love triangle that is pulled off in a really good way, check this book out!

Monday, December 7, 2009

New stuff

Well, I have been hard at work on the website. Hopefully the work shows. If the website looks less than stellar, that is because we are attempting to develop all of the content "in house". It is part due to cost, but also due to the notion that we want to be at least expert enough to do most of our own work. Makes us less dependent, more marketable. Overhead and all that jazz. If you need the link (it's in the upper right hand corner) here it is!

I promise not all talk will be about the website though. I am just geeked right now with the progress so I am a bit enthusiastic.

I watched "Terminator: Salvation" this past week. If you are a fan of the Terminator series, then you must see this movie. It is a great addition to the canon and the appearance of the T800 is not to be missed. I jumped off the couch. Movie magic at its best.
It is an awesome story with really great characters and if Kyle Reese was not already cool enough, this movie elevates him straight to superhero.

Other than that, this weekend saw lots of Christmas shopping. As my wife points out, I have passed on a good deal of my geek hood to my children, but popular items on the list of GGE kids are

For Dad, the popular items are

Maybe next year, some GGE items will be available for those Christmas lists!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Official GGE Website

GGE's website is finally up! I spent this weekend getting the final touches done on the initial stages of a GGE website...huh? That means it is still pretty rough, but I felt like it was time to put something out there about what we are doing at GGE. We talk a lot on this blog about what other people are doing, but now you can get a preview of what WE are doing right here.

What will you find there? Some info on our four main storylines we are working on (and more as we add them). There is artwork from some of our stories as well as concept sketches and soon there will be fiction available both on the site and as a free .pdf download.

Finally, while you are there, sign up for the newsletter and get the GGE coolness delivered right to your inbox!

Back from hiatus

Hey, been off for a month! It has been a bit refreshing, but also very weird not blogging about this-n-that and sending my opinions out into the ether for all to see.
I haven't been totally on vacation. I have been editing like crazy, working on our current project set in GGE's own world of Grimaul.
Hey, I also submitted a "wondrous item" to the RPG Superstar 2010 contest at Paizo Publishing.
I have been oretty effusive in my praise of Paizo for awhile now and this was a chance for me to at least gt involved by submitting an item for the Pathfinder RPG. We'll see how that goes.
For anyone interested in submitting, check out this link

Paizo Publishing RPG Superstar

Round One in the competition is to submit a "wondrous item" - you experienced RPGers out there probably know what that means, but for those that don't, it is a magic item like Bilbo's Ring or King Arthur's scabbard (that healed him - a gift from Morgan) or the Cauldron that brought people back from the dead in "The Black Cauldron".
It has to be within the rules of the Pathfinder RPG, but don't let that intimidate you, there are plenty of resources on the website to get you going.
I'll pot my item once the first round is done. Hopefully by then, we'll be into the second round! Stiff competition though. Some seriously creative folks on the Paizo site.