10 Years of Friendship is Dragons

July 28, 2011—…

Looking back on the last 10 years has kind of depressed me, to be honest.

I started this silly little screencap webcomic where people play Dungeons & Dragons in the My Little Pony G4 setting in an alternate universe where no one’s heard of this setting when I was almost 19, on summer break between my first and second year of college.

I remember lamenting not being able to play with my D&D group from my hometown, the ones I’d first ever played D&D at all with. I wanted some way of maintaining and capturing that feeling of enjoying the fun of a D&D group while I went to college, because I knew I probably wouldn’t have the time to find a new group to play with there. (I was right.) Of course I am nothing if not a copycat of better ideas, and I had enjoyed both DM of the Rings and Darths and Droids. Plus my dad was working on a webcomic of his own that I found very amusing (because we share a dry, wry sense of humor), so making a webcomic had officially landed on my bucket list. Then, as I was beginning to realize what a surprisingly great show My Little Pony was, I came across a series of blog posts mapping the main ensemble cast each to a class from D&D. All the pieces fell into place.

I have never been much of an artist, but I had been writing fanfiction and editing/ripping video files for pretty much my entire adolescence. With the help of a program specifically designed to make the panel and word-bubble thing as simple as possible, I had just enough skill to make it happen.

Twice a week seemed reasonable at the start. I got a major boost from the fansite Equestria Daily on my second update, and I loved the rush of validation that came from updates and comments, so on the 10th page I made it double-length to celebrate and updated the schedule to thrice weekly.

And then I just kept going.

And going.

And going.

A lot of it, I don’t mind telling you now, has consistently been written, assembled, and uploaded the night before an update. Very rarely would I put in a buffer ahead of time; most of the time I’d procrastinate every page to the last minute. (I’ve gotten a little better now. A little.) But this has always been a relatively safe project to procrastinate on. Making one page can take an hour at most, and most of that comes down to writer’s block or scrolling through episodes looking for the right shot. It’s a very easy product to make, all things considered. At best, I can pat myself on the back for knowing my limits and having a streamlined production pipeline on the word go. At worst, I can’t really take much credit for the work because it’s a miniscule fraction compared to most other webcomic creators.

But hey, it’s been updating for 10 straight years now. I took a few hiatuses here and there, and I invited guests to submit pages to keep the update schedule consistent. Goodness knows I wouldn’t have survived this long without that. Gratitude isn’t really enough, but it’s all I have.

I wouldn’t have survived without the support via Patreon either. And every time generous people answered the call when I’ve had to beg for more help because it wasn’t really a living wage and I only had barebones support elsewhere.

…It’s been a rough 10 years.

I dropped out of college because I was going insane from undiagnosed sleep apnea, which also led to me walking out of my first job in a panic attack. I couldn’t afford rent, so I was eventually evicted and had to move back home with my mother, where I promptly sat in a self-pitying fugue state for about half a decade. Eventually I got another job at a thrift store, went on a grand jury, decided to take online classes to become a paralegal, crashed and burned out again, decided to start going to counseling, realized that I’d been ignoring years of old scars, and slowly processed that until it all came out in August 2019 and I had the biggest emotional breakdown of my life, whereupon I had to stop working entirely. I couldn’t cohabit with my little brother in that state, so we sought help from our extended family, who ultimately didn’t take our problems seriously and brokered secret deals to try and solve our issues ‘their’ way, which inevitably became a clusterfuck but by then we’d already moved so it was too late. Then I moved again, this time in a much quieter place, but there was a ticking clock of misunderstanding about how long I needed to recover. When I was pushed to return to work, even when I knew that I would just break down again, I couldn’t step up, and was promptly evicted. So I had to move back in with my mom again.

Only in the last year have things started looking back up. Counseling has been going really well. I’m on a medication that works well for me. My relationship with my immediate family has significantly improved. I’m working on a game modding project, when game dev is something I had wholly given up on because I dropped out of my dream college. I’m learning to value my work and my skills, little by little.

I still have a long way to go, too. I still have massive social anxiety. (In a darkly hilarious way, the pandemic has been a boon for me, removing the expectation of going outside for a nice long while.) I’m starting to think that a ‘normal’ path through life just isn’t going to happen for me. Whatever my new ‘normal’ is going to be, I’m going to have to stake it out for myself.

And through ALL of that…!

I’ve been updating Friendship is Dragons.

I said in the past that the comic’s been a point of stability for me, but that’s kind of understating it in retrospect. Friendship is Dragons has been the one consistently good thing going… despite it just being an easy screencap webcomic about ponies doing nerdy things. It’s been, at the very least, something to keep the days going by, two by two (three on the weekends).

It’s hard to look back on in the context of a decade. At the start of it, I had all my dreams and aspirations ahead of me. I’ve lost and given up so much along the way. And most of what I’ve gained is a better understanding, through the slow and painful autopsy of my life, of why I was doomed to crash and burn in the first place, and why that has to be okay.

I’m sorry if this is upsetting for a 10-year anniversary celebration post. This webcomic is so heavily entwined into my life that I haven’t really been able to separate it. And when I looked back over those 10 years, I couldn’t pretend I felt a lot of joy in the retrospective. So I decided to be honest instead.

The most positive thing I can say about Friendship is Dragons from my perspective is that it’s been undoubtedly a lifeline. And it’s hard to be ‘proud’ of a lifeline. It’s hard to be proud of the thing keeping you above water. Endlessly grateful, certainly, but proud?

At the very least – for the second most positive thing I can say about Friendship is Dragons – it’s helped me keep my writing skills sharp and in practice on a constant regular basis for 10 years, which is why I can say that writing is one of my best skills today.

So here’s to 10 years of the best project of my life, which both isn’t saying much and is saying a whole lot. I’m just continuously surprised and humbled that anyone is still reading it.

Notes on the September 2020 Eviction for Posterity

It just happened today and it’s still raw, so let’s just stick with the facts.

  • At the beginning of March 2020, my family moves out of our hometown to seek support from my mother’s extended family down south. One of our goals is to separate myself from my mother and my little brother because we’re exacerbating each other’s mental issues, and I need peace and quiet in order to begin my slow recovery and tackle post-traumatic mental health issues getting in the way of work and now causing massive social anxiety.
  • The move is a massive fustercluck, involving secretly changing plans behind people’s backs, not supplying important information, and people generally assuming they know what’s best and others don’t. Standard family drama stuff, I’m told. The place I move to initially stresses me out immensely and causes another series of nervous breakdowns due to the presence of many loud children, which turns out to be one of my triggers even if it isn’t my little brother specifically.
  • Two weeks later, one of my Uncles offers to let me move in with him and his family. They are a quiet household and it should be perfect. I promptly move in. They set very generous terms for rent and utilities with the idea that it will help me move out sooner once things stabilize.
  • For about four months, things are nice and calm. I’m not terribly proactive about finding help or work, but I keep to myself, stay in my room, and make an effort not to be a bother or cause trouble at the very least.
  • Towards mid-summer, pressure mounts to start making steps towards recovery, work, independence, and moving out. There are some terse conversations, which gives me the kick in the pants required to finally bite the bullet and sign up for primary medical care.
  • From mid-August to early September, I focus on trying and balancing new medication, which ranges from being pretty effective to too effective.
  • Saturday, September 19th, there is a conversation with my Uncle about how, no really, I need to find a job, because the terms they set were very generous and unfair to them, and me being a hermit in my room most days bugs the snot out of my Uncle.
  • Monday, September 21st, I finally go see a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, who, on top of being very helpful for my one visit talking with her, gives me a line on some counseling I can afford. Things are looking up.
  • The morning of Wednesday, September 23rd, my Uncle suggests job opportunities at a couple of his old workplaces. He strongly suggests going over to one of them later in the day to pick up a paper application. I agree. A few hours later, however, I start to have a severe nervous breakdown about it. I’m too scared to talk with my Uncle about it, so I start texting my mother for guidance and emotional support.
  • The trip to this employer to pick up an application does not happen, though I am not told that plans have changed. I am simply left alone for the rest of the night. I do not know why. I assume I was heard crying, despite my efforts to be quiet.
  • No communication – NO communication – takes place between me and my Uncle between that morning and the following afternoon, despite passing by each other for dinner and breakfast.
  • Today, Thursday, September 24th, in the afternoon, I write a Facebook post about my mental breakdown the previous day and some of the thoughts it caused me to reflect on, like the physical nature of anxiety, and the ironic comfort that my nurse practitioner had given me on Monday regarding my possible personality disorder and that I was lucky I at least had the solid coping skills to never let it progress into rage-bender territory.
  • (About 3:50 PM, my mother is called by my Uncle, in which I am reportedly described as “playing everybody for chumps,” “making passive-aggressive comments,” and that I need to leave.)
  • Around 4PM, my mother comes into my room and tells me that I have been asked to leave. This is the first I’ve heard of this. No warning or discussion or any communication at all. We pack up promptly and without incident. When I finally ask why, my Uncle and his wife cite the Facebook post I made and the rage-bender comment, and concerns for danger for their teenager they’re raising when they’re not at home with him.
  • My only immediate option is to move back in with my mother and little brother once again, who thankfully have found their own house to rent. But considering the goal of moving down here was to try and separate us siblings in the first place, it’s not ideal. But hope springs eternal that maybe he’s mellowed out and quieted down. We look to see if I can move in with someone else in a similar situation in about 2-3 months, but for now I’ll be here.
  • And I’m pretty sure I lost my PS4 controller in the move. Not sure if I’m gonna get it back.

State of the Spud 2020: Global Reset

My troubles came into stark focus long before the COVID-19 pandemic, ironically enough. A little less than a year ago – shortly after the last State of the Spud post, even – I had a complete emotional breakdown, and since then I was already self-isolating because of severe social anxiety making it supremely difficult to go outside and be around people.

Thankfully, and in the spirit of starting out positive, a few important strides were made this year:

  • I am no longer living in the same home as the family member that was the biggest most toxic source of my anxiety and caretaker complex.
  • I got a lot of help with my Patreon-supported projects to help keep content churning during the worst of the breakdown (which I consider still ongoing), not the least of which being my friend GreatDinn producing a whole guest arc for Friendship is Dragons, and of course my Discord server community keeping the weekly Spudventures tabletop games a continuing event and generally being fun to play and hang out with.
  • Just this week at time of writing, I’ve started a new antidepressant that seems to be having a pretty strong positive effect, at least compared to the one I tried last year.
  • I’ve lost 50 pounds over the last year, started exercising a little bit regularly, and started eating more regularly rather than the starving and bingeing I usually ended up doing.

Still a long ways to go, and the question of “where to” is going to be the big one that will define the next year for me.

I’m staying with extended family at the moment, but there’s no uncertain terms between us that I’m going to need to move out into a place where I can support myself sooner rather than later. Which means finding a job that I can handle while I learn to control my anxiety, and finding an affordable living situation that will put me in range of how I want to develop myself without aggravating my hypersensitive introversion.

Not… exactly… easy.

It starts with making a goal, doesn’t it? What do I want to work towards? Both career-wise and short-term? What kind of rental opportunities are around, how much do they cost? What will put me on the path to getting there? What kind of jobs are available in the area that will eventually help support food, rent, and utilities, or at least help me build up a cushion of savings?

And my situation adds additional questions: If my social anxiety makes it hard to work a service job, and my physical weakness makes it hard to work a labor job, and my lack of a finished education makes it hard to work a technical job, and my unprofessional portfolio makes it hard to apply for a creative job…

Where is the way out of this dead-end? And quickly?

But that’s not unique. Everyone struggles with that stuff. On a deeper level, what I’ve discovered over the last few months of private introspection is that I’m suffering a severe crisis of confidence and identity.

I don’t know what I want. I don’t know what makes me happy. (And to the extent that I’m learning, I’m reminded at every turn that those things aren’t normal. Like wanting to be a hermit most of the time.)

I don’t trust my own judgment. I’ve been confident about these sorts of life decisions before, and I have a history of all of those initiatives ending in dumpster-fire fashion, so how can I trust myself?

I don’t know who I am.

I’ve spent most of my adult life escaping into different personas and personalities so I can work through my problems creatively and make/do something good, separate from me. And now I’m discovering that I don’t know what “me” really is. I’ve worked so hard to present myself the “right” way to so many people that it’s become a web of benign lies.

No, sometimes it’s felt more like programming, a robot that runs itself in my body. More than a couple times in the last year I’ve looked back on a conversation in real horror at myself, wondering why I agreed the ways I did and said all the “right” things. There are a few places where I should have put my foot down and said, “No. I’m sorry, but no.” I still struggle with that.

I’m struggling to find the “real” Alex and let him out, let him speak. I don’t think he’s very nice. He’s got reasons to resent a lot of people. Especially himself. But the part of me that was happy and content to be a yes-man robot broke down last year, and I don’t want to just get back inside it without addressing the underlying problems, or even acknowledging that those problems are really hurting me.

For that, I can’t just be a “strong young man” and plow through it. I tried plowing through it. The plow broke. I broke. I had to walk away. I’m building up the courage to ask (once again) for help building a new plow, a deeply humiliating thing to have to do. I have no patience for “well you should’ve just plowed through it the first time.”

I’m scared, I’m angry, all at myself. I’ve been teetering on the precipice for what feels like years now. The thing I’m most afraid of… I don’t want to take another bold step off a cliff and land in yet another dumpster-fire, after all this. I don’t know what kind of darkness that would put me in, or if I could take it.

So in a way, it’s been a medium-sized blessing for me personally that most of the world is staying home and distant while I grapple with all this. Because my real problems started well before the pandemic.

Sorry the post this year was even more sad than the last, but hey, it’s 2020. And I haven’t completely given up yet.

State of the Spud 2019: And Knowing Is Half the Battle

It’s my 27th birthday. Let’s start with a good news recap of the last year:

  • Created 144 comic pages for Friendship is Dragons (not counting the 13 guest pages received and published in the last year)
  • Posted 93 videos to the Newbiespud YouTube channel, both video gaming and tabletop gaming
  • Finished the Tales of New Dunhaven tabletop podcast, the Dusk City Outlaws campaign
  • Started the Spudventures variety tabletop podcast series (and its sibling the X Presents video series)
  • Started The Interference HD ReMIX, a ground-up rewriting of my inaugural fanfic – haven’t gotten far into it, but I still consider it an important step as a writer that I no longer consider my original work and its narrative sacrosanct
  • Made significant progress on a little RPG Maker fangame side-project for the first time, my first gamedev project since dropping out of DigiPen that’s gotten off the ground
  • Slight overall production quality improvements to streams and podcasts
  • Acquired a Playstation VR headset, which is just pretty cool

All of that – and my general survival – has been possible thanks to all y’all supporting me via the ol’ Patreon. Adequate thanks can never be given.

On to the bad news. Don’t worry, there’s a hopeful arc to it.

In last year’s State of the Spud, I said that I was pursuing an online certificate in paralegal studies, something I was very excited about at the time. Earlier this year, I dropped out due to unbearable anxiety and depression and generally falling behind on my work.

I saw it coming from a mile away, too. I seemed to be caught in a multi-year cycle of inspiration, intense work, burnout, procrastination, stress, giving up, laying low, then getting inspired by something else all over again. I can see this pattern in so many places in my past. It was only during this latest iteration that I finally noticed.

So I decided: No more. Instead of bouncing off this wall and going into a dark hole to blame myself, I’m going to stick around at the edge of this abyss and face it head-on. I’m going to start pursuing counseling and therapy and investment in my own health, if only because it’s clear that I can’t move forward until I address these mental blocks.

It took a while to wrangle the first few counseling sessions due to, well, money. But I’ve finally been to a few and I feel like I’ve already uncovered a lot.

Because I’ve discovered that these mental issues are even more all-encompassing than I suspected, and it affects how I work on, well, everything, including the Patreon, I think it’s only fair that I be a little public about it.

When I was just starting high school, my little half-brother was born. My mother got a job working night shift at a call center. So it fell to me and my sister to help raise the infant, watching over his sleep in the night and keeping him from bothering our sleeping mother in the day. Except that my sister was receding into her shell due to multiple terrible events all in a row, some of which I didn’t even fully understand at the time. So I ended up with what felt like the lion’s share of the responsibility.

Early on, an idea was put into my head: If I don’t step up and do my part, we would be evicted. Out of a home. My inaction would lead to joblessness, homelessness, starvation, and the ruin of our family.

I was 13.

I had no choice but to take these responsibilities very seriously, even though I didn’t want them. No matter what else I was doing at home, I kept an ear out for the baby, ready to jump in at a moment’s notice. Always “on-call.” Any activity I did for myself felt like sneaking it in between babysitting, or stealing time from the rest of the family.

This was how I lived for more than four years, as I grew from a teenager to a young adult. I was already working up to high expectations as a straight-A student, a “smart young man,” pursuing an advanced diploma at that. And now hypervigilant at home. The first cycle of burnout hit in junior year.

Then I went to my dream college to pursue my dream career of being a video game designer. Woohoo. Only now I look back and realize that I never lost those habits. I was still hypervigilant at home, even though the baby brother was three hours away, and explicitly no longer my responsibility. I didn’t realize it at the time, and on top of that I was starting to battle sleep apnea without realizing it either.

Naturally, I burned out and eventually came back home. Back to the family role I had put myself in debt to escape. Back to keeping an ear out for the outgoing, quick-tempered toddler who had been diagnosed with Asperger’s before I left.

For years from high school until now, this was my normal. I blamed myself for being lazy, low stamina, and incapable of getting anything done at home. When I’m out and about, I can think more clearly, pretend to be a man, make all the promises and commitments in the world, but when I walk back in through that door I become a 13-year-old again, sitting at his computer and keeping an ear out for the next bomb to drop, like I’m in a warzone.

It’s only now, through the help of just a few visits with multiple counselors from several different organizations, including my current place of work, that I’ve finally started to see that this isn’t normal, and that this way of living has severely impacted just about every single aspect of my life.

When I’m at home, I can’t focus on anything for more than about 90 minutes. Games, writing, studying, work, everything. I always feel a need to back out and “reset,” check on the living room, on a toddler who’s already a rather self-sufficient (if even shorter-tempered) teenager. If I hear a shout or a bang through the walls, any at all, I stop everything and focus my entire attention outward. This has just been my normal. Even on a good day, these are the habits half a life of hypervigilance has baked into me. And never realizing, I always blamed myself when these habits got in the way, calling myself lazy, lazy, lazy.

This is something still affecting me today, right now. During my latest visit, when the counselor asked “On a scale of 1-10, how big of an impact would you say this issue has had on your life,” I surprised myself when I couldn’t honestly bring it any lower than a 9, leaning higher. This is everything, this is who I am. This is how I live, this is how I work. And all the ways I blamed and punished myself over the years, cultivating an implicit belief that I was destined for failure in all things and that my only role was to survive and support the family, did. not. help.

(Let’s all take a breather now.)

Coming to terms with all of this has been a huge step. Now I have an image of the massive tangle in my head of all these mental issues and problems stemming from way back when. Any desire, every initiative that I’ve ever had to improve has been and is currently blocked by this tangle of martyrdom and self-blame.

It’s hard to justify going back to school. It’s hard to want to diet and exercise. It’s hard to look for a better job. All of those things would take longer than 90 minutes.

Frankly, it’s amazing in retrospect that I’ve gotten anything done.

I don’t know what the next step is. This is just a few sessions in, a few months in on a process of untangling the last probably 14 years of my life, 14 years where there’s plenty of evidence of failure that I can berate myself with.

But hey. That G. I. Joe meme had a point.

State of the Spud June 2018: Picking Myself Up

There’s a lot I don’t like to share about my private non-internet life, both for some attempt at security and because there’s usually not a whole lot going on. But this month has seen some developments in the direction of my life that will affect how I spend my time.

I’m gonna try to be as succinct as possible.

  • I’ve been working as a thrift store sales floor associate since January. It’s been pretty hard on my legs.
  • Back in late March, I got a jury summons. I managed to land on a grand jury through the month of April. Grand juries don’t see just one trial, they see many per day and decide whether the state will indict and move forward towards a criminal trial. I actually enjoyed it a lot. It’s awakened an interest in working in the public sector, in a place where I get to see so many people’s stories.
  • After 10-odd years, I’m finally seeing doctors. I developed plantar fasciitis from all the new physical activity, and I’ve probably been dealing with moderate sleep apnea for most of my adult life, but I still need to undergo a sleep study to make sure. This ultimately means that medical bills are a new reason to beg for money.
  • Because of my newfound interest in the legal system, I’ve applied to take on an online paralegal studies certificate course. Being a paralegal or legal assistant is a potential way I can support my creative projects without so much of the crunch or dread of pursuing a volatile creative career, considering what I’ve heard and read of the game industry and whatnot.
  • Patreon-wise, I’m letting the players of the Dusk City Outlaws campaign openly plan their last ultra-long mega-heist across multiple sessions. Once that’s done, I’m probably gonna run another round of SpudShots to try out some more RPG systems before I start the next big project. I’m also floating an idea of making mini-campaigns a regular thing.

Those are the major points. This is all stuff that had been brewing for a few months now. Those of you who have been supporting me and rooting for me so far deserve to know what’s going on.

I still need a lot of help, to be honest, but I’m climbing out of the hole I’ve been wallowing in for more than three years. Slowly.

J’accuse Dreemurr Reborn

Yeah, just gonna update the blog outta nowhere like it ain’t no thing.

Go on this journey with me, will you? UNDERTALE. UNDERTALE spoilers (beware). UNDERTALE fan-comics and fanfiction. Tumblr character-driven ask-blogs. UNDERTALE Tumblr fan-ask-comic-blogs exploring a version of events after the ending. Congratulations, we have arrived at the headspace necessary to comprehend Dreemurr Reborn.

Dreemurr Reborn is a consistently high quality and high effort production, save for one thing that’s been nagging at me for a while now: There’s this weird undercurrent of author exceptionalism throughout the whole thing.

Again, UNDERTALE spoilers abound. Maybe at this point there’s been so much internet exposure it doesn’t matter anymore, but this random, aggressive blog post really ain’t worth reading if it’s gonna spoil you on the crucial details of an impactful RPG you might play someday. Continue reading J’accuse Dreemurr Reborn

Friendship is Dragons 596 – Extended Note

Yeah, just gonna update the long-dead blog like it ain’t no thing. Who knows? It might be happening more often…

This is the Author’s Note I had originally written for FiD #596 before I thought it might be too much, but here goes:

Jokes based on continuity are a weird thing. It’s different from jokes based on character, because the mental leap of a joke and the mental leap of character development tend to go hand in hand. With a continuity joke, I’m basically asking, “Hey, does anyone remember the joke from two and a half weeks ago, even though it was two and a half weeks ago? I hope so, because this critical line might be confusing otherwise!”

I’ve been burned before. In the last arc, even. Against all odds, #543 was the latest one to get passed around a bunch of forum threads (How do I know? Ego-surfing, son.), and everyone’s reaction was, “‘Welcome to the joke’? What the heck does that mean?” when the ghost of Nightmare Night past joke was something that had been brought up in passing and only Rarity and the DM had really understood… 43 pages and almost two months ago.

Alright, a few people in the comments section were confused too. I had really underestimated the time difference.

But then again, when you write a joke, you write it for the specific person who will get the joke and laugh at it. And today, that joke is for the person who loves to pay extra attention to the details and theorize their hearts out.

And also for the people who easily remember a joke from two and a half weeks ago.

Patreon in July: Milestone Updates

I can hardly believe that the Patreon experiment has been going as well as it has.

That said, I’ve been pretty slow to get around to those two milestone promises I made back when we got started. But there are reasons for that, as well as bonus complications to talk about, so I will elaborate upon them now.

Milestone #2: No Webcomic Ads

There are still ads on the Friendship is Dragons website! Why? Well, because I’m waiting for one last payout, so what little money I’ve earned doesn’t go to waste.

Yeah, simple as that.

Basically, Google Adsense doesn’t pay out until you earn over $100, and the banner ad on FiD generally earns me about $45 a month. So it takes three months for me to get a payout. A welcome payout for sure, but if I’m only getting one measly payout every three months, it starts to get annoying.

Thus, around the 22nd of this month, I’ll collect my payout and then remove the ads from Friendship is Dragons.

Milestone #1: Proper Podcast Hosting

This one’s a bit more complex, and is part of the reason I’m putting the word out today.

When we started Fallout is Dragons, well, I didn’t know much about podcasting. Since we passed this milestone, I’ve spent just about all month researching everything about podcasting – file sizes, formats, hosting services, best practices, sites to avoid, RSS feeds, iTunes policies, the whole nine yards.

To summarize what I’ve learned: One, just putting links on Dropbox is not RSS feed friendly and that means we have to rehost everything, and two, we have a very large podcast on our hands here.

Because we’re recording a tabletop game, our episodes tend to last 2.5-3 hours. Even at really low bitrates, each file averages about 80 MB an episode. Publishing three or four episodes a month means we’re asking for a lot in monthly storage space.

Fortunately, I think we’ve found a nice new home on libsyn. I’ve just started it up and you can even grab the first few episodes on there now. But I’ve already reached my sizeable monthly limit with just those first five files.

We don’t have to wait for it to play catch-up over the next several months, though. Libsyn does provide a migration service where they’ll approve and archive whatever you need for a one-time fee of $0.05 per MB. To get everything up to Session 16, that comes to about $61.

Sadly, this month’s Patreon funding (thanks for that, by the way) has already either been spent or preemptively allocated towards many other things. I’d rather not wait a whole month to get Fallout is Dragons up to speed in its new host, so the remaining option is to crowdfund it.

Sumarry/TL;DR: If you’ve got a few bucks to spare, consider donating to my Paypal (not my Patreon). If I can crowdfund at least $70 (adjusted for fees), I can get all of Fallout is Dragons up on libsyn as a legitimate podcast.

Otherwise, thanks for supporting me, either financially or just by looking at the stuff I make. Continuing to be creative is what keeps me sane these days, and your encouragement reassures me that I’m not wasting your time.

P.S. I’m open to suggestions when it comes to extra stuff to offer on the Patreon page (new Milestones or Rewards, or rather the Milestones-as-Rewards scheme I’ve been using so far). I’m still very new to this whole shebang.

State of the Spud May 2014: Not Good

As a general rule, I lurk and don’t keep contact with anyone unless it’s absolutely necessary. Part of that’s introversion and social anxiety, part of that’s a voyeuristic desire to see what people are saying when I’m not there, and part of that’s not trusting myself not to say something stupid or say too much when I make comments.

Makes keeping a blog up kind of a conflict of interests, but that’s a question for another day.

What little contact I’ve made has probably seemed especially distant and depressed of late, so I realize I owe people an explanation. Here’s what’s going on in my life right now:

After months of stress and stress and stress, I’ve been informed that I am not welcome to live in my current situation starting next month. I have to move out. I have to move back home.

This is the culmination of many, many months – in fact, basically a whole year – of a chaotic, uncertain life, barely scraping by on goodwill and lucky breaks. Luck and goodwill that has finally run out. Months of stressing over money has exploded into this climactic downer.

So right now, to summarize: I’m broke, being forced to move, soon to be between jobs, and generally feeling like I’ve failed at life.

On the plus side, I’ve gotten my food budget down to $20-$30 a week. I used to be terrible about that, you don’t even know.


Fallout is Dragons – Session 0 – Flametongue

It’s been a great while since I’ve been in the DM’s seat. This foray into the world of tabletop RPGs, using the Skype rules of the Pony Tales: Aspirations of Harmony system and set in the Fallout: Equestria universe, will be the first campaign I’ve actually started and run by myself, which is a scary thought. Still, it’s a special occasion, and this adventure promises to be so much fun that I just want to share it with the world.

So, living up to my namesake of trying new things, here’s the first (or zeroth) episode of Fallout is Dragons, a pony-themed tabletop campaign podcast.

MediaFire link
YouTube link

With any luck, this should become a weekly thing. This is where you’ll find the podcast links for now. The project now has its own tumblr, and the updates will go there now.