Daniel Sell
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Why Try Just Die

It is self evident that being poor is expensive, and also that this can be applied quite broadly. The process of not being time poor, energy poor, money poor, is to approach the speed of light or push two angry magnets together. There is only slog, friend, and you can push against the door infinitely until it’s opened from the other side and you fall face first into a plump cushion.

Which is to say.

It is necessary to draw your own lines. Put a limit on infinite, pull back from the hole and say yea nah I’m good” so you can go back to living.




Love me love you

What is the feeling of finishing a book/film/series? Post partum depression? Separation anxiety? Le petite morte? Plain grief? Pain at the loss raw ripping disentangling of another world from your own. There are places I miss with inverse nostalgia, a going rather than returning. Numinous agape almost at your fingertips.

The feeling of putting your head out of a train window. Let go of understanding. There is understanding outside of the intellect accessible to us all if only we could let go. Let others fill the gaps and they’ll pour themselves in, untangling them is impossible. A lack of understanding is wilful, wisdom is the easy little death, allowing yourself to love is the only difficult step. Throw ourselves in the arms of stories and mythologise ourselves. Cover me in life.

The frustrating cry of playing games, just love me love you”.




How to make PDFs accessible

There is nothing the roleplaying book industry loves more than a good oxymoron. Concerns over accessible PDFs, for example, have been batted around for yonks with everyone pitching in on how to make the large, slow, text garbling format play gently with screen readers and phones. Compress the images! Hyperlink everything! Flow the text! It’s ok, we’ve all been there but it’s time to let PDFs be what they were intended to be. Hand them over to the printers and give us poor hard done by readers something we can actually use. Bring out the ePubs (&c)! It works on every device you care to think of, there are enough ePub retailers to allow a healthy market and treatment for sellers and buyers (hi DriveThru), you can feed it through a text to speech program without a load of faff, they’re small, they’re customisable, they’re searchable, and on and on. EPubs are neat.

I’ll concede there is one solitary point one could possibly give to the PDF and that is fidelity to the book. However, PDFs are not, never have been and never will be books. Much like a photo of a person is not that person neither is a PDF a book. The creation of a book is more than a convenience, a sensible place to store data, it is a tactile object with layers of choices in paper and typefaces and processes that are lost the moment you load the print document on your phone. Let things be things.

And yes that bush we’ve been beating around is obviously this: we’ve ditched PDFs and replaced them all with professionally made ePubs which are available from literally everywhere including your local library.

But why not have both? While it’s true we will continue to make PDFs anyway as part of the book design process we believe that to make a real change we need to be all in. Books will be books, ePubs will be ePubs, and we’ll all catch up with mainstream publishers one day.




How to be a Writer

Pay for things. Including:

Understand how shipping works including:

Understand how distribution networks work. Not for you.

Understand ISBNs, where, how much, and why you need them.

Have people rely on you financially so that if you fail they fail. Also learn how to pay wages. And taxes

Have an intimate knowledge of book binding techniques and a good relationship with a bookbinding factory.

Learn how kickstarter really works

Learn how and pay for your own Facebook marketing

Learn how and pay for your own Google marketing

Get good at writing ad copy quickly

Do you know how and where to register new publications? Because you have to

Own and use photoshop and indesign or pay someone to do it for you

Learn about typography or pay someone to know it for you

Learn how to contact business2business businesses and how that works

Get an accountant, and learn how to keep accounts

Get good at web design or pay someone to be good for you

Understand project management or get someone else who does

Optional but recommended:

Be in or have access to the US

Write




All my friends are winners

You silly sillies threw chum (made books that are sincere and resonate) in the water (the rpg industry) and now the sharks (companies that don’t want to make a book, that just want to make something the funko pop loving public will buy, who have money and connections, who have just enough, the barest amount, of taste to hire people to make money for them, who claim indie credibility (whatever the shit that is), who throw tasty dog whistles in all directions to get the crowds, who are here to gentrify your shit) are circling.

I’m going to put my bid in on the rights to Rambo: The RPG before some indie darling gets there first.




Is it now? Is this the time? When you just be?

Change this, don’t add that, remove that Oxford comma, you problematic bitch.

What if you just were. No refiners fires. No posh pricks with a hunger for smooth pain.

Have sword, will die.

Be important enough to be hated, be utterly unavoidable, my elephants got a fat arse, how does he make you feel?” Orrible.

Hey, you can’t have folds, smooth it, SMOOTH IT YOU FUCK.

Just being. Just vibrating. Just hanging out. Just very important how dare you. Just how dare you. Just walk in to the sea. Just don’t you dare. Just be cool like me.

Smooth it. We’re all juicy little kumquats in a blender.




Mines a bitter

Imagine you and I are in a pub having lunch, talking about the things we care about. We’re in the middle of the room so people often walk past and they often have comments to make but never stop to hear your response. Others will sit with us for a while, nursing a snakebite and asking why we’re not drinking. No amount of manners will shift them. The passing comments start focusing on the drinking, others sit down with us and must be included or get rowdy. So you don’t drink?”. There’s no point finishing our lunch, and none of them notice us leave.




How to review reviews of roleplaying games

Go down the list. The first thing that appears determines their review review score.

0/10 if they talk about:

1/10 if they talk about:

7/10 of they talk about:

10/10 if they talk about:




Audience of Zero

Seek zero audience” is a mantra, used shakily at first but eventually wholeheartedly taken up after. For every kind, observant, critical, thoughtful reader you have a hundred with Goodreads accounts. That is not to say the thoughtful reader is helpful, it’s not, it can twist you like the most boorish Amazon review. Rather than ranging wildly the temptation then exists to stick to the places you’re rewarded for going. Straight in the bin with all of that. All public opinions are poison or at best sedatives.

So we seek zero audience. Even I wouldn’t read that.




Belly Talking Goes

Synchronicity continues to pile up. Think with the gut, the passage of the gut, katabolism/anabolism, belly talk, death wailers, direct divinity, wild unstructured shamanism. All sourced in the gut, posed between Saturn and Jupiter, two fathers both hungry,




Happy Little Games

I’m not an educator, if anything quite the opposite, but if I were learning how to play roleplaying games I would want a step by step quided lesson like the guy with the perm who does the paintings. The method is not important, you aren’t making a masterpiece you are just trying to shake off the idea that you cannot do this. Yes you can, see me put the paint on my brush and put in happy trees. Once you’ve done a few of those you develop taste and hunger and can integrate more challenging approaches. Or you can keep painting happy little trees. Either way you are choosing where to stop and where to go but are taken to the start point and given the tools you need.