On nerd love and challenges

I’d meant to write this post yesterday, but instead here I am, in the post-Kenobi glow, writing it at 6:30 in the morning, halfway through a cup of coffee, listening to birds outside, the traffic on 4 Mile and Alpine, and the morning news. After two days of unseasonable heat, the weather’s broken and if I had the wherewithal, I could clean my patio table and chair and work outside for a bit this morning.

It is wherewithal that I do not think I possess this morning, nor would my cats appreciate it very much, since they’ve grown very used to cuddling me while I work.

None of this is what I intended to write about today, of course.
Anyone who has known me for any span of time knows that I am, at least on some level, a nerd, a geeky girl, however you’d like to describe it. I came to it early (thanks Mom, for some long-forgotten day when there was a Star Trek: The Next Generation marathon on TV and you were doing my hair for something—I don’t know what it was, but it was at the old house and I remember it) and it kind of evolved from there. Star Trek was definitely my first nerd love, but others came behind it—and, in the case of Star Wars, quickly surpassed it.

I don’t remember seeing Star Wars until I was maybe eleven or twelve years old. We got the boxed set of movies at I think Birch Run one year. I remember sitting on the couch in the house I grew up in, watching it for the first time. I was maybe thirteen, maybe a little older. This was before the special editions, before sequels. It was even the early years of the EU—what’s now become the Star Wars Legends line. The first Star Wars book in our house wasn’t even mine, it was allegedly my brother’s, but you can probably guess where that book is now.
That’s right. On my bookshelf, tattered and worn, the blue-covered trade paperback of Heir to the Empire. After the X-Wing novels, the trilogy that started with that book is probably among the most-read books in my collection.

Star Wars is a nerd love that led me to another, one that defines me as equally as several others—it made me a gamer.

Historian. Writer. Gamer.

Yup, that’s me.

Really, this post was meant to be about gaming less than Star Wars, but understanding that nerd love—my many, many nerd loves, but that one in particular—really helps set up the challenge hinted at in this post’s title.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been considering issuing a challenge to myself with regard to blogging. At first, I thought maybe I’d do a month-long run of writing prompts—I did get a new camera, and it could be fun to do interesting image prompts. Slowly, though, as I continued to think, that idea was discarded, at least for now. It’s not to say I might not do it later, I’m just not going to do it right now.

No, I think that this month, in June, I challenge myself in a different way: playing around with something I’d long abandoned, which is developing things for tabletop RPGs. There was barely a night between 2000 and 2005 when I didn’t have a standing game to either run or play—the only nights excluded were either in the summer or reserved for a club meeting (and even then, sometimes there would be a game after a meeting).

I ran a few campaigns myself over the years. One was a large D&D game in my own homebrewed setting, two Forgotten Realms campaigns that became one, and a Star Wars campaign that lasted for more than a year. Those are probably the games I ran that I look back on the most fondly: Forgotten Realms and Star Wars.

Now, as I prepare to possibly run Star Wars for the first time in forever—and trust me, there is so much about my Star Wars gaming experience that didn’t make it into this post (like the 12 years I spent writing Star Wars online with some folks that I appreciate more and more the older I get, especially because they put up with me back in the day)—I’ve decided to also challenge myself to create characters, to create settings, to write adventures and post them for folks to do with what they will. Some of them, of course, will be set in my various writing worlds. Others will simply exist.

So, wish me luck. I’m getting back to my nerd loves, and challenging myself to try something a little new and a little daring and a lot ambitious.

We’ll see how this turns out.

Oh, by the way. Happy Pride.

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