Monday, March 27, 2006


I am a bad publisher. There, I said it.
Why? Because I am, though here are some reasons:
  1. I have six--count them, six--Liber Sodalitas submissions in need of editing and comments to the writers so we can move them down to layout and release. They have been holding for a varied number of days, the latest just some four to five days, the oldest about six weeks.
  2. I have an article that I need to finish for the first issue of Targum Magazine which has been in limbo since about mid-February.
  3. I have another article for the same magazine that needs the descriptions for 3 creatures which is also in limbo at the moment.
  4. I have yet a third article for the magazine that I need to edit, though this one has been in limbo for only a week and a half.
  5. After all those articles are done, I need to get the magazine laid out and released, hopefully before Passover begins, April 12.
  6. I need to upload a number of products to ENGS, DriveThruRPG and e23. At the very least, I need to upload 3 products to ENGS so that the bundle I created can actually go into effect.
  7. I need to finish a Medieval Players Manual adventure that Bret Boyd wrote for us last year, though to be fair to me, the delay is not directly my fault but that of the cartographer, who has disappeared off the face of the Earth. Still, it is my duty to track him down or find a new one, and I haven't.
  8. I think I can stop here, before I embarrass myself even more, though this is by no means a complete list.

I realize that we all have ongoing projects all the time, but that's not my problem. My problem is both a lack of time (in general, you'll see why) and the fact that my attention right now is elsewhere.

As I mentioned before, my wife, our friend and I have started a new company called Destination: Earth Travel Planners, and it is currently #1 on my mind. I have been working on the company website, spending quite a large number of hours emailing/chatting/talking with my two partners, trying to settle down all the details of our services, fees, etc., spending another whole lot of hours scouring the net for travel resources that we can either use to our benefit or mine for ideas, and researching all the details of setting up a partnership plus all that it entails. In short, Travel right now is king supreme in my mind, not RPGs.

I am exhausted, however. I am basically working five jobs and only getting paid for one: there my day job, which is seriously starting to annoy the heck out of me; Highmoon Media Productions, which, I am painfully aware, I have neglected lately, though there are things I still do for it as I can; Destination: Earth, which has me consumed at the moment; the freelance web design I am doing for a company and which I have also neglected horribly (and need to finish between today and tomorrow somehow); and the latest, being the unofficial secretary to my Rabbi and synagogue, a position I seem to have acquired after I did the layout for the Gala Dinner Journal. Add to all that the preparations for Passover, just two weeks away, and you end up with a very tired, very unfocused, me.

I know I will be able to get everything under control, one way or another. For now, though, Destination: Earth does remain my main focus; while I love doing my work through HMP, it is Destination: Earth that I think will get me and my wife ahead, the one with the most realistic (at least in my case, not dissing people like Gareth @ Adamant, or Phil @ Ronin Arts) chance of being a truly successful company.

The boss left to go somewhere or other, so I'm gonna take the opportunity and leave 1/2 hour early. Bye!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Miami Daily Photo Blog

The Miami Daily Photo blog is now live. Saunter over there and check out a pic a day of Miami as seen through my eyes and camera.

I am totally loving the concept of the Daily Photo blog from around the world! Take a look at the Daily Photo List to the right for a few of the ones I have subscribed to so far.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Back At Last

The rumors of my demise are greatly exagerated, though not by much for a while there. Now that things have gone back to more or less normal I can come back here to talk.

Pretty much all last week was spent in a half-awake haze where all I did was come to work, go home, then work on the Gala Dinner Journal for my shul. As i had expected, it did entail very late nights every night getting the thing done and then adding everything that had come in during the day, the quantity of which grew as the deadline fast approached. It simply was just easier to wait till 11 pm or so until my Rabbi had sent in everything he was going to send for the night than to start working and having to stop every so often to add this, fix that, or answer this and that. The result, however, was great. I sent in the final print-ready PDF to the printers on Sunday, and Thursday night I saw the results. The journal came out awesome, all bias aside, and everyone was super pleased with the way their ads came out. I even got the chance to sneak one ad in there as well, which brings me to news #2.

My wife, our friend and traveling partner, and I have decided to open up a new Travel business. Well, notcompletely new. I have spoken here before about Destination: Earth, what I wanted to be a Miami-based travel store. Things is, I don't have $100K to open up yet, so what to do in the meantime? Well, we are launching the brand as a Travel Planning service, where we help out people plan out their trips the same way we have planned out each one of our own trips, including our upcoming summer trip to Holland and Belgium. Basically what we do is take your interests, budget and time constrains, and help you plan a great trip based on your individual needs. We also offer the convenience of handling all the boring parts , like booking plane tickets, cars, hotels, etc. for an extra fee each. We are all very excited about this development, and hope that it eventually allows us all to both travel more freely and open the store as I had originally planned.

The other news is that I ran across this blog called Paris Daily Photo, and through it I found a whole community of Daily Photo blogs from across the world. But guess what, none for Miami. So I decided to jump right in and start Miami Daily Photo blog and see what happens. At the very least it will serve as a great promotion spot for Destination: Earth, and if I can show a different side to Miami than South Beach, all the better. The Miami Daily Photo blog launches Wed., March 22, so check it out!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Happy GM's Day!

I just wanted to wish all the hardworking Gamemasters out there a Happy GM's Day!

Celebrate by getting our GM's Day Mega Bundle. ;-)

Friday, March 03, 2006

A Worthwhile Gig

My synagogue will be celebrating its 1st Annual Gala Dinner on March 16, and we'll be having a Journal to commemorate the event. The job of putting together the Journal was assigned by my Rabbi to another congregant who does web design, but he has never done layouts, let alone have the software in his computer. This man (the same one with whom I am starting to do web design, from a couple posts down) came to ask me a few questions about layout. After I realized that he just had no idea what he was doing, I offered to do the job instead, much to his relief (and the printer's, after she realized that she could talk to me in technical terms and I knew what she was talking about). Last night I met with my Rabbi and got all the information I needed to start working on the layout, which I hope to start by Sunday.

I am very excited about this gig. I have a very specific set of skills and to be able to use those in service to my synagogue, my community and G-d is very satisfying. Besides, this would be the first freelance layout job I ever do, so there's that as well.

Now, gotta go home for Shabbat.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Interview - Finale

Got an email from the company I interviewed with. I was one of the finalists, but they chose to go with another candidate.

I know things happen because they are meant and for a reason, but it still sucks a little. Back to the search, I guess.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

And The Dream Gets One Step Closer

I was just having lunch when there was a knock on the door. It was UPS delivering two envelopes from Rail Europe. Our train tickets for the Benelux have arrived; any five days of unlimited train travel within one month anywhere within Belgium and the Netherlands. Our trip just got one step closer to reality.

HMP Releases Liber Sodalitas: The Pneumaphagoi

Highmoon Media Productions is proud to present Liber Sodalitas: The Pneumaphagoi.

The Pneumaphagoi, or the Eaters of Spirits, are a loose organization of individuals that share one bizarre common activity: eating ghosts. Learned from ancient texts or from begrudging tutors, the secrets of trapping and consuming spirits yield numerous benefits, and thus appeal to people with a wide variety of motives. For some it is the thrill of consuming an exotic substance, which like all highs is fleeting and ever more elusive; for others it is the power, which quickly fades. The promise of longevity draws some, although the added years can be gray and thin. Others have more noble motives in their quest to destroy the undead, a nobleness that is quickly clouded by the addictive nature of the task. Many are the paths to becoming an Eater, few that lead away.

The Pneumaphagoi is an 11-page PDF detailing a drop-in organization for your d20 Fantasy game, complete with history, tenets, organizational structures, ways of joining, and ready-to-use NPCs. It also includes six new feats, two new spells, two new incantations, and all the necessary rules to bring spirit eating into your campaign along with the possible consequences.

Written by: Scott G. Carter
Artwork by: Nathan Rosario

Available now from and ENGS

Not too long ago I placed an open call for submission to the Liber Sodalitas line. That very same day, Scott Carter replied to me with an idea for a group of people who ate spirits. I okayed it on the spot. Scott had already written one adventure for us, No Other Gods (our adventure for Testament), as well as a secret project that we have been working on for almost a year, so it was a pleasure to get to work with him once more. Scott is a publisher's/editor's dream freelancer, in that his ideas are great and interesting, and his manuscripts come in with minor need of editing work, which means little time from submission to release.

This organization is simply cool. Scott mentioned he got the idea from a book he read, and thought it would make an interesting new system for fantasy gaming. The use fo feats means most, if not all, characters could have access to it, and the rules are sumple but engaging, driving home the point that eating ghosts and spirits brings power but at a possibly incredibly high cost. What's more, the group can actually work out quite well in a Modern setting as well, so we'll probably be adapting it to release it as part of a possible Modern Sodalitas line of drop-in organizations for Modern-type games.

To top it all off, just today I got another submission from Scott for a Modern mini-setting that brings together two genres that by all means should never, ever, be put in the same room, let alone in the same game. Let's just say that H.P. Lovecraft would be either proud or dead ten times over.