Today, I am enjoying time with my family and reflecting on all the blessings I am thankful for this year. I took some time earlier this week to reflect back on this past year as a freelancer. These are my thoughts and reflections on what I am thankful for in 2015.
Publishers and Creators – I have been blessed to work on some wonderful projects this year alongside some amazing creative teams and publishers who challenge and mentor me as a freelancer. Each of you has given me these opportunities to work with you and your teams to create the games we all love to play. Thanks to Free League Publishing, Intellistories, Modiphius Entertainment, Outland Entertainment and Stronghold Games for all the fun, challenges, and great games I got to work on with you this year. Thanks, also, to the publishers and creators who are talking to me now about projects yet to come. I look forward to the blessings of working with you and your teams.
Mentors – Where would we be as freelancers without that one person who mentors us, challenges us, teaches us, grows us, and gives us opportunities to be better at all we do. I want to thank Lynne Hardy for all her heartfelt encouragement, soft gloved chastisement, and warm friendship. I have grown so much as an editor and proofreader under her mentoring this past year. Lynne, I am a much better freelancer because of you, and my family has been so blessed to call you and your husband, Richard, friends. We can’t wait to see you again soon. I also want to thank Chris Birch, Modiphius, for the multitude of opportunities he has given me, the game and fiction projects, working Gen Con, and sharing with me insights into the publishing world. Thanks for the freelance opportunities and game industry mentoring, but thanks even more for your friendship. I look forward to each new opportunity to work alongside you.
Game Industry Friends – This past year, I devoted time to getting to know people more personally. I have grown much closer to so many great people in the game industry through social media, skype calls, phone calls, and quality time spent at conventions. Not only do you make the hobby ever-so-much more enjoyable, you bless me with your friendship. I wish we could spend more time together face-to-face, but we are scattered across the globe, so the times we do get to sit down together to chat, to share a meal or play a game together are so much more special. Thanks for being my friends and making the gaming community such a family. I look forward to our paths crossing again soon.
Writers’ Bloc – Each Friday, my wife and I gather with a small group of fellow writers, editors and proofreaders for lunch at Taylor University. We discuss our current projects, events we attend, classes we have taken, and interests related to our creative works. We also share about our families and pray for each other. This gathering is a highlight of our week. Thanks for being our creative extended family.
Gaming Group – With our lives as busy as they are, we do not have the opportunities to get together as often as we like. Yet, each time we gather the life conversations start, the laughter begins, the food is shared, and eventually we do some gaming as well. Justin, Mark and Shawn, I consider you brothers and am blessed by our growing friendships. Your deep friendships challenge me, keep me honest, warm my heart, and ring joy to me during rough times. Thanks for your friendship and for putting up with my chaotic schedule, dice rolling challenges, and sometimes fiery opinions.
Jon Denning – Special thanks to Jon Denning, who wandered into my neighborhood and then shook up our lives. Your family has been such a delight to my family. But it is at Taylor that you have really made ripples that I am thankful for. Your shared interest in game design has led to you and I partnering on wonderful projects like GameJam, and I am still in awe that we will be teaching a course in Game Studies at Taylor this spring. Thanks so much for being my neighbor, my friend, and my co-conspirator (oh wait, I mean fellow professor) of gaming at Taylor University.
My Daughters – Emily and Rachel are such inspirations to me. Their creativity abounds with theater, high school band, piano, crafting and art. That you share my passion for games and geekiness brings such joy to my heart. Working Gen Con along side you this year was so wonderful. It was so heartwarming to see your maturity working the booth, your compassion for others as we walked around, your friendliness to other gamers, and your unfettered geeky passions in full glory. Thanks for being willing to give up some time together so I can work on my freelance projects and attend meetings. Thanks for offering your assistance on some projects as well and showing interest in getting involved yourselves in the game industry. But most of all, thanks for being my daughters and loving your “daddy” with all his geeky interests.
My Wife – So much to say, yet these few words here will not be enough to show the immensity of my thankfulness for you. Your love, patience and support allow me to be the successful freelancer that I have been. This little gaming hobby of mine that has grown into so much more has done so through your strong loving encouragement. You challenge me to make it more than a hobby, to give it my full passion, to follow the path that has always interested me. Thanks for being my greatest supporter as a freelancer. This geek’s heart overflows with love for you.
Just the exercise of reflecting upon and writing all these thanks has brought a tear of joy to my eye. I encourage you to reflect upon the many blessings in your life that you are thankful for.