It’s strange — 2022 was so difficult for myself and family that when I finally found myself able to catch my breath — the year was over. A whole year gone, and I has such luscious plans to expand my world, fill in the holes I’d discovered, and most importantly, complete a few books and get them published.   None of that was possible for me in 2022.   Now that the worst seems to have past, and I’m attending my 8th funeral this Saturday in the last nine months, my mind is reeling with possibilities. Yes, life is hard, and it’s hard for everyone, not just me. We’ve all been hit with waves of challenges, pushing many of us to our core. What’s important now, is to make the choices that will guide us forward, towards the horizon of new opportunities, new projects, and new happiness for our readers. We need to love more for others, in my opinion.   Part of that love is sharing a small fraction of the worlds I’ve come to love, and to share why…
How can you talk about the serious subject of evil and the necessity of utilizing minions and still get readers to crack up? You write like Dr Clothhilde Levert in the world of Victorian Evil Scientists, that’s how.   When I saw the name, I was preparing for something deep and dark, overly serious, with a hint of blood…somewhere. True, many might expect Gru and the funny little yellow minions, but that wasn’t me. In stead I was pleasantly surprised with a pic of a wild scientist and a beautiful description of how to adopt, convert, care for, and dispose of several classes of minion.   This reminded me of staying the course with WANTED:HERO, because it’s important to maintain a balance of humor and heartfelt mystery when it comes to how a world works. I highly recommend this article for interesting information and a good laugh. Well done, AmélieIS!
It’s not a surprise I loved reading about the Thri’zel, because my good friend — the famous C. B. Ash (aka Kummer Wolf) — never leaves on wanting when it comes to a great read. Normally you’ll find me enjoying his creations in the superhero genre, but Kummer has this crazy talent, called ‘writing’, and if you’re not already a fan, read something of his and you will be.   I love the concept of daily meditation being a way to generate and store energy with the Thri’zel, and that this energy can be tapped into when needed, with a myriad of possible uses.   You know what I think of every time I read something from my friend Kummer? It’s time to practice more and up my game, cause he is soooooo talented. Here’s to tipping my hat to a master storyteller!
I have to admit that Megacorpolis has become my favorite place to get my own particular ‘fiction-addiction’ stimulants when I’m down, bored, or just need inspiration. There’s something to be said about a writer who lives on coffee, and also believes that java makes the world go round.   If there was a way to partake of coffee through an I.V., I’d probably try it.   What I learn from Qurilion, not only in this article, but in virtually any written by this creative genius — is to up my game, and to never forget the humor. Humor breaks up the darkness, it allows you to save your readers without ruining their experience, and when you get an out-loud chuckle or guffaw, I promise…you’ll be remembered.
It’s remarkable when a writer can, regardless of grammar or punctuation, get a reader to turn and take a deep look into their own personal life. To ponder the darker times, and remember what it took to both survive and rise above that moment/situation. That’s what Primal Darkness did to me.   Scared the $#*T! outta me, too.   I learned that when crafting an article, it’s critical to make the subject matter relatable when possible. If I can cause the same or a similar reaction with my readers as this primal Darkness did with me, I’m become a master storyteller.
As I read this article, and I gawked at the artwork (which I love), t reminded me of how excited I was years ago when I found out thousands of copies of my first three books had been posted on Pirated Bay and were being read around the world without being paid for.   I could have been mad, but I took it as an opportunity to support the urge people had to ‘partake’ of my wares — and in the end, it all served as advertisement and I sold thousands of copies over the coming year. That’s exactly what I see happening here on the final night of the Festival of the Winter Moon.   The whole concept of thieves streaming from thieves and the shop owners being paid in full to supply the items being stollen is brilliant. The whole event becomes a massive entertainment event, while those in actual need don’t have to worry about the end of year income. This showed me how a twist on a commonly held belief (giving presents) can make for excellent reading!   Well done, Dani. Loved, loved, loved it!!
Eat Your Words is something I wish was true. To have the ability to compel someone to eat the lies or the hateful world uttered? Brilliant, effective, and since this is my article, I’m going to say ‘justified’.   People are too mean spirited and cruel to others, and for those with character and a modicum of intelligence, completely unnecessary. Why lie when you can tell the truth? Why be cruel and unkind, when you can strengthen and uplift, winning the hearts and minds of those around you?   Not sure I’ll ever find the answer to that. Hmmm. That may be a lie.   Eat Your Words is a creative look at how to take a common aspect of life and place a clever twist on it. The article made me smile, but it also has me interested in addressing more of life’s issues through a tale, so maybe, just maybe, I can encourage a reader to be a bit nicer to someone they know next time they have an encounter.
Alright, I think it’s important to fess up about something here. You should know that I jumped at the chance to read this article, because I was fully expecting — after reading several comical articles — for this to be a creative read about yellow ice of some kind.   I was wrong. Off-Winter Ice is a useful and valued commodity written by Scalenex, and it was a good read. It’s a creative, magical twist in food preservation, entertainment, and ways to keep snobbish elites happy with their drinks, while keeping a class of invokers employed. This reminded me to be deliberate and thoughtful about the subject matter, and to consider putting a flavorful twist on every aspect I create.
People With Teeth was a delightful read, and I’d like to say that the artwork and delicate font choices made the solid blue page ‘feel’ like it was actually a scroll I was reading, not a flat page. I found this quite clever. It was the title itself which grabbed my attention, as titles often do —and honestly, I was expecting something about old people.   Nope. I was completely wrong. People with Teeth is about the nomadic Mauretanian tribe, who eventually formed the modern Church Gass culture (I went to find out more, but it’s a stub article — which I cannot criticize when I have so many myself).   What I took away from this article, other than wanting to know how the People with Teeth were able to kill the shakanche with ease, I learned how important it is to complete stub articles. When you grab the attention of a reader like this did for me, you want to keep that reader FED. *sigh*
Yeah, couldn’t do it. I wanted to prevent myself from choosing two articles from a single person, but we’re supposed to write about the articles we like, and by the days end, I found myself pulled back in to the world of E. Christopher Clark.   …I mean, come on, that name even sounds so professional, you almost want to hate the guy. But you can’t. He’s too kind, cool, and it would be like kicking a puppy. There’s a special kind of hell waiting just for you, if you know what I mean. Yes, I’m talking about you — person who talks in theaters.   ANYway, Sword of the River (Sword of the Realm) is a smooth read with Chris’s personality shining through at moments (always fun). The best, IMO, is when I wanted to know more about this sword, and clicked on ’water from the River Without End’ and saw the phrase that set my writers heart aflame:   "The Waters of The River Without End are the most powerful substance in the Clarkwoods Literary Universe."   What the hell? That’s what I call a slap of culture coolness, from which I do not hope to recover.   What did I learn? That I want to be E. Christopher Clark when I grow up. Duh.
Hollowfolk? "False" people? Stealing and consuming body parts from the little turd kids who don’t behave? SWEET! Sign me up…..   I found this article completely immersive, and creepy as hell. Written by J Ellis, I decided to follow the world of Urven…because I’m hoping to read more like this. Biggest draw for me, are the three ‘Sebbie with the Scissors’ rhymes.  
Sebbie with the scissors came running down the hall,
Something moved and caused a trip, so Sebbie took a fall.
With a sudden but expected snip, her fingers flew aside,
The creature came and ate them up, then tried to match her stride.   Sebbie with the scissors gave an almighty shout,
She screamed and hollared as she fled to race the creature out.
It moved with haste to catch her up, glad its trap was sprung,
For when she turned to take a look, it gobbled up her tongue!
  The last lines I won’t share, because you should visit the article and give this storytelling a like. What did I learn? That maybe I shouldn’t hate poetry so much, cause this was epic and made my skin crawl!

What do I have planned for 2023?

Letting Go.

This is the biggest challenge of my life, but I have allowed stress, circumstances, opinions of
others, and perspectives that are not mine to sway my life and become a scourge of creative retardation. It’s hard enough to be creative in a stifling world, but to allow outside influences prevent you from doing what you are made to do?   That’s just plain stupid.   So my first priority is to let it all go, and to focus inward. To have more confidence in myself, and specifically ignore any person or situation which is not helping me in the process of making and completing good projects for readers.   My intent is good.   My focus is good.   My desire is to help others become the best version of themselves, not what I want them to be, so my motivation is good also.   That is enough.  

Rewrite Chronicles of a Hero.

The core storyline, Chronicles of a Hero, isn’t what I wanted it to be. Too many compromises were made (see ‘Leting Go’, above), and this is too important for me to ignore. So I’m doing this over.   Yes, I know there are eight published books. Yes, they sold pretty well, but not great, and it’s a great story idea. Since is only sold a little over 23K copies, it wasn’t complete failure, but it certainly wasn’t the success I hoped for. More importantly, I know some of the reasons why it didn’t do better…and I want to fix those.  

Fill In Gaps and Expanding.

There are wayyyyyyyy too many stub articles in my world. I’d like to take the time to build a better foundation, so that anything a reader can find on the website — it has material. I’d like to say "once that’s done," but that’s not how creativity works — so here’s the truth — as I fill in the gaps, I’ll be expanding the world by leaps and bounds, carefully mapping out the side stories and series which will need to be brought to life.   There are just…so…many.   I get chills and can’t stop smiling when I think about it.  

Better Artwork.

My greatest strength is also my biggest struggle. I love other people, especially their creativity, and I’ve been blessed with the ability/talent to be excited for others. To revel in what they achieve and to cherish their accomplishments…but I also lack that same excitement for my own work.   This is somewhat a trait of many artists — but that doesn’t make it any easier to look at my won work and be satisfied.   I’ve been taking lessons in painting, which are the very first art lessons I’ve ever had in my life. I’m having fun and adopting many of the techniques, applying them to my particular style, and I’d like to apply them to my world.   So get ready for more artwork, and for the current work displayed to slowly update =)  

Make My Craft, My Living.

I’ve been a professional freelancer since 1985, and I’ve raised a family if 15 since 1990 — and proud to say that I kept my word to my beloved wife — she has never had to get a job a single day of our marriage.   That being said, I’m tired as hell from drawing for other people.   I’ve gained a wealth of knowledge, uncommon skill sets, and quirky perspectives that I’m going to sell to my fellow creatives. Many of you know I've taken some of my tools and rewritten them to compliment using the WorldAnvil platform. That's because this is my home, and I'd like to bring that value here, first.   So in 2023 I’ll be building my Ko-fi store, and working hard to hit that private financial mark and make a full-time living as a writer and artist who works solely for himself.  

Giving More Love Back.

If you’re reading this, you ether have far too much time on your hands, bored and have
nothing better to do, or you know my in some way. I would not have made it through all the bat-shit crazy and deathly painful experiences without my friends in this community.   You’re my people, and I love you more than you realize. So my most important goal — and I saved it for last, so you’ll remember it — is to be a better friend and to encourage you in your own creations.   Too many of you just don’t get it, as smart as you are, that you’re worth it. Every word typed to you on Discord, every emoji of a heart, smile or thumbs up, and every like I place on an article you may have written is because you matter.   Read that again: You matter.   Janet and Dimitris know believe that to their core. They prove it every day by growing and supporting the greatest online community on the internet.   I want to be better in giving more love to my online family.   To you.   It’s okay if you don’t like me — just don’t be offended if I decide to like you anyway.   I’m like that.


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20 Jan, 2023 07:04

My heart goes out to you and your family, but I am so glad to see those goals that will work in your favour. Here's hoping for a smooth 2023 filled with loads of new words! :D

Trying to get Hesli in a Campaign ready state. Want to follow the progress? Check out the Hesli Development Hub!
20 Jan, 2023 13:43

Thank you, Sh4d0wPh03n1x ....that's very kind. If you allow it, good can come from everything -- at least that's how we are striving to look at it.   Here's to 2023 and a whole new world =)

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E. Christopher Clark
20 Jan, 2023 12:22

Love you, man! Thanks for giving my writing some love, and thanks for that last section and all your honesty. I look forward to seeing everything you do this year and to writing and art-ing and creating along with you. Here's to a year of fun, of being kinder to ourselves, and to lifting up others whenever we can!

Check out my progress on WorldEmber 2022
20 Jan, 2023 13:45

I knew we were going to be friends the moment we met, Chris.   This is a fun adventure. Better to take the journey with those you'd prefer to hang out with....even if it's to hang out to dry, eh?   (wink.)

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20 Jan, 2023 14:44

A fresh start is an excellent time for self reflection and healing - Good luck with your worldbuilding goals for the year! I'm excited to see your developing artwork

Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
Latest Work:
Gauntlet - my shiniest article this year!
20 Jan, 2023 20:54

Thanks buddy!

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Amanda McRoberts
20 Jan, 2023 15:57

Amazing goals for 2023. I can't wait to see what awesome new art you're going to produce, both with your words and with your pens and brushes.

20 Jan, 2023 20:56

It'll be an adventure for both of us, hehe. For me, it's so nice to feel excited again!   Thank you for stopping by, Amanda =)

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20 Jan, 2023 17:12

Thank you very much for your kind words :')   I hope for all the best for you and your family. Happy 2023, may it be better than 2022!

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
20 Jan, 2023 20:56

Thank you, Q!! Like I say time and again,...I'm a fan =)

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20 Jan, 2023 17:16

What a terrific set of goals and plans for the year ahead! I'm tackling some similar themes this year (yes, including rewriting a series to be republished all fresh and shiny lol). It will be a big creative year for sure, and I can't wait to see what you come up with in the months ahead. (Also!! Thank you for including me with such esteemed company--soooo many great articles and inspirational folks here.) <3

You are doing a great job! Keep creating; I believe in you!
Luridity: Where love is love and life is lived. Contains NSFW content.
20 Jan, 2023 20:58

Thank you, Dani.   I love the creative friends I've made here on WA -- and many of you (yes, you specifically) have become so dear to me and essential to the revolving world of inspiration. Thank you for that.   ...and I hope we will both be able to show off some great CYOA projects this year!!!

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20 Jan, 2023 18:57

Now I want to go and read all of these articles!   I'm cheering for you with your plan to rebuild the story the way you want to tell it. I'm sitting back and watching... and taking notes!

Deleyna - Check out my latest work at The Spaceport to see what happens when an alien walks into a bar...
20 Jan, 2023 22:38

The unnerving part, is that I am rearranging and reweaving the whole of my creative life this year. It's hard to take a broken brain and weave it again with a fractured heart. However, the hope-filled results could be wonderful if done right.   I have some surprising new help and aid in spectacular ways (from family)

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21 Jan, 2023 02:18

Family is so important. This last year, I've left most of my income generating work behind in order to focus on my creative work. It is terrifying. But I'm also happier than I can explain. And my family is supporting this insanity.

Deleyna - Check out my latest work at The Spaceport to see what happens when an alien walks into a bar...
21 Jan, 2023 00:37

My friend, that is a great focus and start to a new year! As you usually do, you've inspired me to get refocused as well. :D I am so hoping for you and yours to have an amazing 2023! And thank you for including me in very amazing company!!! I'm so honored.   What can I say but... onward to the new year! EXCELSIOR!

21 Jan, 2023 11:26

This may sound prideful, .....but we belong here, in a community like this. It's what makes WA so powerful -- t's about creatives and there's no threat to someone else's creations, because it feeds our own talents. I love that.   It's why I want to give more love and support where I can. All it does is make it better for everyone.

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21 Jan, 2023 07:47

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and goals, we all could do with being kinder and truer to ourselves and striving to uplift others. And I am glad to see that you're still going strong here on WA despite the tough times. My heart goes out to you and your family.   You're an amazing person, and even if I never was as active as I might have wanted on the community side (working slowly on changing that), you should know that you've been an inspiration ever since you first got here. And I'm sure a lot of people would agree with me.   I wish you all the best with your goals for 2023. You can do it! Really looking forward to seeing how your world develops, and seeing all the art and writing to come.

Daydreamer ♦ Storyteller ♦ Worldbuilder ♦ Writer
21 Jan, 2023 11:35

Awwww, Nimsy, thank you. *hugs*   Careful, you keep talking lie that and you'll convince me to stay longer (wink).   You are also a personality that has been such a strength to me personally, so this appreciation goes both ways. Funny how we can find all sorts of rude, unkind, and short-tempered individuals and communities in the world, but what we have and find here in WA is rare. Exceedingly rare.   I personally feel it's something to fight for. To maintain and grow a place where people can come and find common ground and leave what divides us behind and know that here, imagination and heart rule. Simplistic maybe, but that's the opinion I'm forming from my experiences and relationships here.   You are one of those positive, cherished relationships, Nimsy. I want you to know that.   I hope 2023 is both exciting and rewarding for you -- and that you'll accomplish the most important personal goals to give you hope and happiness. That's my wish for you.   Thank you for chiming in, as always =)

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