Sunfire

Sunfire flickers on the floor,
Between the blinds on the window.
I keep them drawn tight
To try and keep the sun out,
But it finds its way inside anyway.
I fight hard to keep my sorrow.
Relentless love chisels away
At my heart rock, chipped and broken.
Light creeps into the cracks
And I can’t fight it.
Sunfire burns its smile across my face.
Tears wash it down to the healing place.
Then I reflect it back into the dark,
Where others fight to keep the light away.
They crack and open up their hearts,
Or cover up and run away.
But the sunfire never gives up.
It just keeps shining, ready to flood
Through the tiniest break in the wall.
It shines forever, just waiting for its chance,
Patiently beaming love into broken hearts.

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Origins 2013

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The Origins Game Fair started Tuesday for us – last Tuesday, June 11th. That also happens to be our anniversary. On that day, we were sweating in the Kenzer and Company warehouse loading boxes into a rented truck. Then, we were packing up and driving that truck, with our dog to Marion, Indiana, where our family lives.

We spent the night there, with Jolly’s parents, who were going to look after our dog for us while we were away. The next morning, we drove over to Columbus, Ohio.

It was another day of heavy lifting, as we unloaded boxes from the truck and worked to set up our booth for the con (convention). As we were working, Jolly, myself, Steve, and Henry, Kenzer’s new part-time employee, we heard a loud pop and half of the lights went out.

It was storming, so we figured they blew a fuse or something and kept working. About a half hour later, we hear an announcement that we need to stop what we are doing and evacuate the building. An alarm starts to sound and people come through to shoo us outside.

Jolly grabs our cart with our luggage and we head outside in the searing heat. Outside, we bake for awhile in the sun before deciding to try to make it to the hotel with our cart. It’s quite a hike.

Along the way, I start to get really sick. I have a tendency to have a problem with heat exhaustion, and that’s what I was experiencing. Luckily, my friend Carolyn was along and offered me her bottle of water. Feeling very sick, I trudge on and we finally make it into the air conditioned hotel.

Later that evening, the guys go finish setting up the booth while I try to recover from my sick feelings. After a good nights’ rest, I wake up ready to have a great game convention.

Things went well Thursday, and I was especially pleased to see my good friend Beverly and her daughter Tarra, along with Tarra’s friend Amber, arrive at our booth. It’s been a long time since I’d gotten a good Moonie hug. (Bev’s screen name on the Kenzer site is Moonshadow and we often call her Moonie for short).

Thursday night, after hours, we all went to dinner and out dancing. I am not a dancer by any stretch of the imagination, but I managed to enjoy myself immensely. Of course, my legs, feet and slightly wonky knee paid for the good time. I was in a good deal of pain when I went to bed that night.

Friday was another good day, highlighted by the KODT Live Reading at the end. Then, some of us got together to play some Hackmaster. That’s always a lot of fun.

This year, after so many years attending conventions, my husband got the idea that we should ask to get press badges for the convention, seeing as how we produce a magazine. We discovered that along with the press badge comes the privilege of being in on exclusive interviews with celebrity guests.

Saturday at 4:30 p.m., I had the chance to interview Kevin Sorbo, of Hercules and Andromeda fame. I wasn’t sure what that would be like, and frankly, I was rather nervous. I had never interviewed a celebrity before, except for B.B. King, but I was working for a newspaper then.

I went to the Media Room and there he was, sitting at a table. There were a few other press persons there, but it was a very small crowd indeed. At the suggestion of the convention liaison, Mr. Sorbo moved to the other side of our tables and I opened the questioning by asking him what he liked to do in his spare time. He talked about his love of golf and that got the conversation flowing.

In the end, I have to say, it was a great time and I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with him. (that is an understatement). As we wrapped up, I asked him if it was okay if I took a picture of him. He grinned and said, “C’mon,” and I realized he was inviting me to have my picture taken with him. One of the press persons in the room obliged by taking my camera to snap the shot. I tell you this: Kevin Sorbo is a giant! He’s quite tall and he joked, “This is why Tom Cruise doesn’t want to work with me.”

I left the Media Room just plain giddy. I had managed to be professional in the interview, but afterward, I was shamefully giggly. It was one of the highlights of my Origins experience. Later that night, Jolly was asked to attend the Origins Award ceremony as a Hall of Famer, along with Larry Elmore, who we’ve become friends with.

Jolly didn’t really want to go, to be honest, but the chance to hang out with Larry was attractive. So, we went, my friend Carolyn accompanying us as Mr. Elmore’s “daughter” since the Hall of Famers were allowed to bring one guest each with them and Larry didn’t have a guest with him. MCing the night was my “buddy” Kevin Sorbo. That made me much more interested in the event.

We wrapped up the show on Sunday, after having played more Hackmaster the night before. Bev and her daughter and Amber were a lot of fun to game with, let me tell you. I can never think of a glaive now without laughing, for instance.

And so, another Origins is under our belt. The highlights of this convention were being with my friend Bev, seeing the Kenzer Development Team happier than they’ve been in awhile and meeting Kevin Sorbo.

Oh, and during the Kenzer Meet and Greet, before the Live Reading, Dave Kenzer announced that the beta pdf for the new Hackmaster Game Master’s Guide will be up on the Kenzer site June 30. Can I get a Hoody Hoo???

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Con Season

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So, we are at the beginning of the Summer convention season. We’ve already been to Anime Central and Comicpalooza not long ago, and are gearing up to head to Origins in a couple of days. Later on, we will be at Gen Con in Indianapolis.

It’s always a lot of work, but, con season is also a lot of fun. I love the party atmosphere, the chance to see people I don’t get to see very often, and a chance to participate in game-related and geeky activities.

In the midst of it all, the hubby and I are working on the 200th issue of Knights of the Dinner Table. Yep. You read that right — issue 200, the BIG 2-0-0! Hardly seems possible.

I guess one of the reasons I love cons is the chance to rub elbows with some of the people who’ve made 200 issues possible. Without loyal readers, we have nothing. But, thank to so many avid fans, we are able to keep going and get invited to conventions, to sell our product face to face, to celebrate our continued good fortune, and to look forward to the future.

If you happen to be at Origins or Gen Con this year, stop by the Kenzer and Company booth and say howdy, sit in on a Hackmaster demo, participate in a KODT live reading, or stock up on your missed KODTs.

We will be there, with B.A. and lots of our friends. Hope to see you there too.