Right, so - UPDATE!

Recently I've been doing most of my blogging and updates over at, but I figured I'd check back into Livejournal world to let the people who follow this blog in on what's going on. In general, things are going well. Basically life is full of cake. costumes and games.
Gimme Shelter
Shelter in Place reached it's Kickstarter goal - and then some. We raised twice as much money as we needed to finance the print run and now we are in the last 48 hours of the Kickstarter with contributions still coming in. It's very exciting to me that so many people want this game. As a reward to our supporters, I've put together an anthology of zombie fiction called Gimme Shelter. Excerpts can be found here:

For MercuryMy birthday came and went. I got exactly what I wanted, which was to drink a bottle of wine with my husband and to eat my favorite dinner plus cake. Some dear friends also got me a gift certificate to my favorite online store and I bought a dress that I want to wear every day. I also got a seriously awesome illustration of Dr. Mercury.  I bought myself the dress pictured and yesterday it arrived. It is skin tight. I makes me glad that I have been running six times a week because it is very revealing - despite the fact that while I'm in it, you can only see my head and hands. The dress is very, very, dramatic.  If the weather is cool enough, I'm going to wear it to New York Comic Con.

I'm going to New York Comic Con! Jared is going to be on a panel there, and I'm going to support him and Steve and have a good time. I've also put together a graphic novel pitch with Natalie, the artist who worked on the Shelter in Place illustrations, and DAMN that lady can draw. Also, I think she may be psychic, because sometimes it feels like she can peer into my head and see what I'm imagining. Of course I want someone to buy our comic pitch right away, but I think I'll be happy just to get some feedback from people on what they think of our pitch and idea and story. Also, it's just crazy fun to collaborate with Natalie.

I'm doing some engagement photoshoots, which is very fun, and lining up some other projects. Keeping busy, doing a lot of writing, a lot of photography, and a lot of working out. So, that's what's going on.

Holy Smokes!

We reached our goal! Less than two full days and we raised over $2,500 to bring Shelter in Place to print. To have this kind of support from my friends and the gaming community means so much to me. This was must first game, and though I worked with a killer team on it's production, I didn't know if it was something people actually wanted to buy. It's hard to know until you say - hey world, here it is if you want it.

Shelter In Place

Now I need to think about what to do next. We wan to give some kind of reward to people who contribute if we reach even higher than our first goal, but I want to make sure that reward is going to be something that our fans will be excited about and appreciate. I'm sure we can come up with something good. I am so happy right now!

(no subject)

Shelter In Place  The Shelter in Place Kickstarter is now online! We are live and taking orders! As I write this, we have already gotten halfway to our goal of $2,500 - which is very exciting, considering that we've only been up for about four hours. I am thrilled. THRILLED. Dancing around the room thrilled.

We kind of went a little crazy on the rewards side of things. When I look at Kickstarters - and I love Kickstarters - I've written about my love of them before, and I love them - one of the things I look at, after looking at the project to see if it's something I like, are the rewards.

I'm a sucker for cool rewards. The rewards for Shleter in Place include the book and PDF of the game - of course, but also a bonus "time traveler" character, t-shirts, posters, plushies of Fred (our little zombie mascot), photoshoot, and the offer to come to your town and run the game. Lots of rewards. I already sold out of two reward levels!*

Shelter in Place is a live action one-shot game of zombie horror with pre-generated characters. It's easy to learn and play. All the rules to play the game are on your character sheet. I designed it so that new players could easily jump in. For all my LARPer peeps out there - I wanted to make a gateway LARP - something you could run for new people so that they could get the idea of what a LARP is without having to read an entire book - an entry level LARP, if you will.

You can get your copy of Shelter in Place, or check out the other rewards here:

*The shotguns and the full prop set. Sorry to anyone who wanted these!

Lots Going On

PinUp Party: PJThere are a lot of things happening for me right now. It's one of those hinge-point moments in life, where things take a turn for the different. There is so much going on right now that it's tough to cover it all in one post. But here it goes.


I've updated my website so that the content is still easy to find, but reflects all the projects I'm involved with. I wanted to make sure that information about hiring me for photography projects was easy to find, as I've really been persuing that recently. I've been blogging pretty regularly over there, as it's nice to get my content in a central location. I'm still on twitter and Google+ and Tumblr, but it's good to have a location that has all the information about me and my projects in one place.


This summer I did some underwater modeling for my friend Rae Winters, which was a blast. It was really fun doing stuff with Jennifer Rodgers.  I've been editing a ton of photos from my PinUp Party and I still have a lot more to edit. It is never-ending with that shoot.  I took some photos for my friend Chris's lovecraft show, which was great. It's nice to see my photos get out there in the world. I never get tired of working with actors. Actors are great fun.

Nick and Maria's WeddingWEDDING STUFF

I've started to investigate what to do in order to pick up some more weddings. I've discovered, after doing lots of weddings that I really enjoy them and I want to do more. They combine a lot of the things I like about photography - portraits, dress up, a sense of occasion, and telling stories with photographs. I have a wedding coming up later this month and several engagement sessions, which is exciting because when I finish those, I am going to put together a big wedding portfolio that I can take to wedding expos. I know there are photographers who don't like shooting weddings, which I understand, becuase they are exhausting and time consuming but for me, they are also this wonderful look into a love story, and I'm a big fan of love stories.


Next week, I'm planning the Kickstarter launch of Shelter in Place. Towards that I've been setting up the reward levels, video and text to go along with the release of the book and the project. I asked my friend Leah if she could make plushies for the project, and she has put together the most adorable little zombies. Each one of them is going to be totally unique. As such, there are limited in number, but I think that makes them more special.

I have the two here in my possession, and I hope run around with them and take some pictures of them in appropriately apocalyptic settings. That's them riding ponies on the left. Too cute.

I was interviewed about Shelter in Place for the Voice of the Revolution and This Just In from GenCon, which was fun. It's always a delight to talk about things I love - gaming, writing, zombies, etc.


I have a game idea that I'd like to get out as a draft before November, and I have a one shot LARP idea I'd love to put together for a Con. I also need to edit the novel, which needs a SERIOUS edit, and figure out what to do about Dr. Mercury.

So, that's what's happening!
The Black

LA Banks

I have little skill with remembering names and faces. Though I try my best, repeating names after I'm told them and creating mnemonic devices in my head to help my memory along, all too frequently the names of people I've met (and liked!) slip through my head like breeze through branches, just rattling me enough to let me remember that once again, I've forgotten something important.

I can count on one hand the number of times I've interacted with LA Banks, and she made such an impression on me from the first moment I met her that I never lost her face or name. I met her first at PhilCon, and her charm, wit and kindness made a heavy imprint on me. I saw in her the kind of author, and the kind of person I'd like to be, a person who lives with grace towards everyone she meets. Though her schedule must have been busy, she took the time to talk to me as a new author, and her encouragement and sweetness is something I shall never forget.

On the last panel we were on together, I introduced her to my parents and she was gracious and kind to them as she was to everyone she met. She was a lady of grace. In a world where there are so many people who tell you whats impossible, she was a voice of encouragement.

LA Banks has passed away after a struggle with cancer, and my heart goes out to her family, friends and fans. She a person who wrote for an under-served audience, a friend to new writers and a pillar in many communities. Today, I am very sad, but I am so grateful that I got to know her, if just a little bit, for just a little while. She was a gift to the world.

Shelter In Place Cover

Shelter In Place

Daniel Solis created this cover for Shelter In Place, the game that I've been working on for the past three years. It's due to come out in the Fall, but there should be some available for sale at GenCon, and I'll be running it at DexCon.

I'm planning a Zombie photoshoot to promote the game, but I'll need a lot of Zombies, makeup artists and other such creative types. Lots to do and miles to go.



Other than editing photos of attractive people, I am spending most of my free time working on a Star Wars table-top game. This was inspired by a lot of things, but one of the things that got me rolling was seeing "Inglorious Bastards" which not only is a fantastic film, it got me thinking about war and storytelling.

Then I started to play in a tabletop, which is always inspirational because it gets me thinking what I'd like to do myself. I love a space opera, and the nice thing about Star Wars is that, with rare exceptions, it's such a cultural touchstone that you don't need to explain the world to people - they just sort of know. I can say "Ten years after the fall of the old republic," and wonderfully, most people know what I'm saying, which is fantastic to me because I'm talking about an event that never happened. So instead of world building, I get to dive right into the meat of the game.

And such meat it is.

I like to tell stories about people who are struggling with hierarchies. What I like to examine is what people do when the bad guys aren't always bad, and when the people who are supposed to be on their side are oppressive. What do you do then? Where do you go? How does that change your story?

This game is influenced strongly by Carry, by Nathan Paoletta. Years ago, I played in a game of Carry that Nathan ran, and I really enjoyed the context of war as a background setting. Since I'm a science fiction person, the idea of taking that concept and putting it in a scifi context is really appealing to me.

So the game is going to have these themes of oppression and war, and the characters are going to deal with moral questions of right and wrong. I'm lifting stories from WW II, Vietnam and the Iraq war to fill out the story, but it's also a space adventure, full of blasters and TIE fighters and aliens.

The characters are part of the Empire. They are all Imperial TIE fighter pilots, the best of the best, assigned to the brand new flagship, the Executor. It's an honor to be assigned to the flagship and so the characters are not starting level, but are accomplished individuals, already with a background and a story - a story that is coming together at this point in time, assigned to a new ship, with a secret mission.

Nine Episodes. Six Players. I'm thinking of it like a space Opera Extravaganza with a heart of gold.

What does all this have to do with these cute photos of Kate? Absolutely nothing. Kate's just pretty. And it's her birthday! Happy Birthday Kate! Let's be nerd friends forever.

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Here's the thing. . .

. . .I could do this. I could.

I could also go BUG-NUTS. I am a huge fan of those books. Not only do I have the set, I also bought the set for someone else. Huge fangirl. So, obviously I want to enter, but then I think to myself - why just enter when you could go completely over the top? You see, I have more than the ability to take a photo of myself and the books, I have the ENTIRE CAST on hand plus costumes and a set. It's an embarrassment of riches. Here's what's going on here. I could do this, and I could make it completely out of control. Here's how:

My husband looks like this, and sometimes appears to have the head of a wolf. Check.

Beautiful blond man? Check

Fantastic Victorian Outfits. Check Check Check

A Professor? Check

Personal Relationship with a Noted Hatmaker?  Check

Insanely attractive friends generally willing to appear on camera? Check


It's almost too much. Like, if I take a snapshot, I'm always going to be thinking about how I could have done more. And if I assemble team CONTEST, then I will be making an act of photography folk art the likes of which have never been seen before! 

I need to breathe into this bag now.

Bunny is Adorable


Still editing pin-up photos! I suspect that pinups will be popping up here for the rest of the year - that's how many photos I took in one night. It was lots of fun though, and people have already suggested variations on the whole "having a party and taking pinups" idea which could be fun.

Bunny is adorable, right? So adorable.

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