A lot has happened, and not happened, since my last post.
I published Junicka Valley! The first book, that is. It's not how I originally intended it, but as me previous entry explained, that's just how life made it happen. The story will be split up into three volumes. Oddly enough, I'm grateful for that, because with each volume I will grow as a writer. When I'm ready to compile them into the originally intended work, I'll be running on all six cylinders.
Upon first printing it, I quickly realized Book One was riddled with awkward moments of writing and just a few unfortunate typos. I grew from the experience of seeing my laziness upon the page, rather than tearing myself down like I would usually do. I can write a good story, sure. But what I've lacked is the self-discipline to refine my work into the state of quality I need it to be in.
Self-discipline may seem like a strange word choice here, but let me digress.
I'm proud of the life I've lived and the choices I've made up to this point, but I can clearly see that I haven't been the person I truly aim to be. I don't dislike who I am. There's no animosity towards myself. But I've lacked the genuine heart needed to really refine my presence in life. So it's a gentle admonition that I now give myself, and I move onward ever stronger.
I've cleaned up my work, fixed my typos, and made this story shine.
That goes for my writing as well as my life.
So . . . Junicka Valley: Book One!
Now I have to sell it . . .
I've always known that would be the hardest part of my journey. Because truth be told, it's not my journey. I'm a creator, not a salesman. I don't disrespect that art. (Though I do have a healthy aversion to it.) It's just that I don't connect with selling things, regardless of whether or not what I'm pushing really is good for the customer.
But . . . if I'm going to run a publishing business, I have to actually sell what I create. So this is my attempt. This is my endeavor to carry my dreams.
(At least until I can make enough to pay someone else to do it!)
Anyway, to get to the heart of the matter. I've finished Book One and I absolutely love/hate it.
. . .
Okay, I love it. It's a good book, and a humble start to the insane epic that is Junicka Valley. But I think every sincere artist develops a love/hate relationship with what they create. I've tried to define why that relationship is, but I don't have answer just yet. All I know is that the push and pull moves us ever forward into better worlds.
I'm doing a major push to get it into independent bookstores, because small business is the lifeblood of what I hold dear, and it's there that the any startup must takes its first big steps. So if you'd really like to buy the book, please reach out to me and ask where you can buy it in person.
Lock & Spell: A Game Of Fortunes
It will be the first game that Jupiter Valley Studios publishes. And get this . . . it's a solo game!
. . . I told you I'm not a good salesman.
But wait . . . maybe I am?
Solo games have taken off as of late. And why not? Gaming is all about immersion into the state of play. And in the video game world, we hit that golden peak in the single-player realm of console gaming. So it only make since that tabletop games would go the same direction.
But the main barrier for solo tabletop games is finding an audience with enough dedication the spirit of play itself. It takes a lot of effort, as an adult, to dive deeply into an experience for what it is, without a digital guide to hold your hand along the way. When you play a tabletop game alone, it's up to you to follow the rules, immerse yourself into the experience, and fully engage with what is at hand. The only other person at your side is the team that made what you're playing, and the only way they can reach you is the game itself.
This may sound lofty, but it's sort of a spiritual experience when a game *clicks* with you without any outside influence. Because, after all, as the late Kurt Vonnegut said . . .
“I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.”
Play is the heart of our being. A game can be a very deep experience, even if on the surface it seems childish. The façade of immaturity in gaming comes from the unimportance games have on the actual mechanics of life. Games have no real bearing on the world. I myself have even pushed them aside to focus on the here and now. (Which, at a societal level, I think we all need to do.) But from a wholesome viewpoint, play is really at the center of life. We are forever on a journey of discovery, and in play we define ourselves and what that adventure truly means.
So . . . can I apologize for digressing once again?
Lock & Spell is a solo card game in which your fortune gets told based upon your winning outcome. It's an absolute blast to play, and I can't wait to share it with the world. If I can be ambitious, I feel it's a major step forward for solo gaming as whole.
My next post will be focused entirely upon it, with more details as to what the gameplay is actually like, rather than my incoherent musings.
Oh, I've also started on Junicka Valley: Book Two.
That's where the story really begins.
Until next time!
Thank you for reading.