Monday, June 23, 2014

More than Words

There was a package on our doorstep today from my mom. I thought it might have been a belated birthday present; it was a large manilla envelope obviously filled with a random assortment of items. It turned out to be a collection of letters, papers, holiday cards and a decades old cassette tape*--20+ years of letters my grandmother had saved.

Tucked among the numerous envelopes was a letter entitled "Glenner Journal Entry". When I was in nursing school, I did some volunteer work at the Glenner Alzheimer's Center here in San Diego. Apparently I had to answer a questionnaire after my time was over. My mother thought G.G. would appreciate it so I had sent her a copy. I'm glad I did. I had forgotten this story until today and I'm not sure I would have rediscovered it on my own.

My grandfather had dementia for years before he passed away. My wife's grandfather recently passed after a short period of increasing dementia. I often run into older patients at my hospital experiencing early to late-stage memory issues. There is no way to describe the emotional and physical toll that caring for a loved one suffering from dementia can take on family and friends. The Glenner Center is a day-care facility where families can bring their loved ones to be cared for, fed, exercised and socialized while the family's take care of necessities or simply take a break.

Among the often heart-breaking challenges I saw every day, there were moments like these that reminded me of the importance of empathy and communication--with, and especially without, words.

[Names have been changed for privacy.]

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Current and In-the-Works Projects

For the past year, I've been finally fulfilling my dream to become a game designer. Publisher, editor and designer Christina Stiles has been kind enough to take me under her wing and get me involved in a number of projects I'm incredibly excited about, and many of them are releasing soon. You can already pick up my first professional editing piece, Xaolings, in PDF. 

Two series I've become heavily involved in are titled "Bite Me" and "Strange Brew", both for Pathfinder. "Bite Me" currently focuses on putting lycanthropes into your game alongside player-characters, but will expand to other supernatural creatures like vampires. The large "Pathfinder Guide to Lycanthropes" will be releasing in its entirety later this year, but several PDF products have come out already: "Playing Lycanthropes" and "Wereblooded". Another product, "Skindancers", is in final layout and will be releasing within a few weeks.

"Playing Lycanthropes" and "Skindancers" were written by two-time ENnie-nominee, Robert H. Hudson Jr., with both contributions and editing by yours truly. 

My first Name-on-the-Cover