Need to get back in.

I think I’ve been listening to too many people talking about podcasts, and not enough people talking about Pathfinder.

I know this because I got my website up so fast and I still haven’t managed to finish writing that first adventure or edit a single other episode. Those two goals would be switched, if I had my way. Have more content and a half created site would be better than half-finished content and a reasonably full site.

To be fair to myself, I have had a really stressful week or two, and building a website from nothing is a whole bunch of really little tasks that are easy to accomplish. So I am not really mad at myself – I am just acknowledging where I am and where I need to focus.

SO…  The only thing other thing that I want to work on for the site now is

  • the continual cataloging of my experiences, so that I can put it all into an e-book for free for my readers/listeners
  • make an email opt-in option

The first one is a continual task that will also contribute to my blog. The second one is something that I keep hearing is absolutely foolish not to put up as early as possible. I will do my best not to hit people over the head with it.

BUT…as far as content goes, I need to be ‘in’ the RPG world a little more. Which means I need to be writing the last of that adventure – the hardest part of which is going to be the hook.

I also need to be editing episodes of everything, which I don’t like to do without being able to say “I will have a full episode ready at the end of this,” but I don’t even know how long it takes me to edit a single episode – I have only finished one, and it is the first of the weird-format ones about character creation. I think not knowing how long it will take has been a mental block – I never want to take time away from my time with my wife, so I never want to sit down and edit when my wife is in the house, and she is never out of the house for the same amount of time as any other time. Not that she is unpredictable, just not consistent from day-to-day. Makes it hard to come up with a  plan for all this stuff.

But my goal for this weekend is to finish the adventure (with a hook) and to finish editing one more episode. I need 9 from the Apprentice Game Master and 3 from Apprentice StoryTeller and Nerd’s Apprentice to be where I want to be for launch.

I should also figure out a good schedule. Maybe 6 hours every sunday…

This is here as an experiment. You should probably just ignore it.

This is here as an experiment. You should probably just ignore it.



A week in, and I already want to write a book.

And, while I am really figuring some stuff out,


And I would still really like for you to tell me if/when I am doing something wrong. Please – you can email me ( or use the contact/feedback pages. I will get back to you, probably very soon.

So, my website has been up for a week. Time to talk about it. BUT FIRST – an idea that struck me.

This is put here as an experiment.

This is put here as an experiment.

I realized that so far I had nothing to give anyone coming here to my website, and that was really unfortunate. I think that I will be ready to launch my podcasts very soon (more on that later), but other than my photos (which are low-resolution versions of the originals), my…meandering blog posts that I will surely have, and some interesting links for you to go to on the resources page, I have not given anyone a single reason to come here. SO, I was at work one day with nothing to do but work with my hands and my brain was off on some tangents in a podcast and I thought

“Holy crap. I’m in a very unique position right now. I should write a book about that. And give it away.”

Specifically, I am in the position of ‘about to launch my first podcast’, at the same time that I launch my second and third podcast, at the same time that I launch my blog and website. Also, I was kinda hoping that I could make a brand out of all this stuff and possibly (one day) make a living off of it.

I also have a problem: whenever I start talking to people about my plans to start a website/blog/podcast/etc, I see this expression come over their face. It is an interesting expression – it is one that expresses genuine interest, but not because the subject is inherently interesting – but they are being pulled along in the wake of my interest, and they perhaps are wondering when I am going to stop making such a big wake in the waters of the conversation so we can get back to something that is interesting to more people (more sane people?). So this book will be a very good way to express this stuff to someone (my keyboard, at the moment), and return to normal conversation with all my friends.

My plan is that I will do a series of blog posts, and each of these posts will be another chapter in my upcoming book. If you think you have heard about this somewhere – you probably have. Pat Flynn is a guy that started a blog and an online business. He actually did the exact same thing – you can read his blog and get the exact same content, or you can get his E-book for free. And the best part is the recursion – his E-book is written on the topic of publishing E-books.

My book will likely have a lower production value, especially where the graphics are concerned. But I wanted to be able to give something to people, and what better to give people than a bit of perspective? I will be writing in media res, and I expect the theme to be something along the lines of a note of encouragement. A statement of “hey guys, I know it doesn’t seem to be getting any better, but I can see the end of the road from here!”. I hope that I will be able to break down the confusing parts into something comprehensible, and maybe even inspire some people to start their own podcast.

So, a week. what have I done with this week?

I put up a handful of pages, all those things that you think and see when you go to the websites of other successful internet people. I actually specifically modeled it after these other people. The difference between ‘feedback’ and ‘contact’ still mystifies me – and maybe I should merge them into one page. I think I got way too wordy on my ‘resources’ page, so I made it private until I can change it to something reasonable. Something that I am continually proud of is sitting over on my photography page. I like photos. Especially mine, and especially when they earn me an ‘A’.

I tried out all sorts of different themes, and landed on Parabola by Cryout Creations. At first when I started trying things out, I thought that I had accidentally paid for a theme (something that I absolutely should not be doing right now). But it turns out that they just know what makes people want to give them money. It is robust, it is pretty, I can modify some pretty major things that other free themes just dictate for me, it lets me fiddle with any little setting that I could even think of (and a lot that I didn’t). I think that you should try out their themes and then go give them some money. I do not get paid for what I am saying here. If website ever starts making money, I am going to give some of it to these guys, either by buying some paid themes, or just giving it to them – they just give such good stuff away. I want to show my support, and I would love it if you tried them out on your own website.

I have gotten a whole bunch of plugins, mostly at the direction of Daniel J. Lewis, specifically the 41st episode of the Audacity to Podcast. (this also exemplifies one of the best parts about blogging and podcasting – there is a record of good info just sitting around like low-hanging fruit).

I have gone out and made a bunch of social media pages so they will be ready when it is time to really do that stuff. All the links will be at the end of the blog posts, and I have a StumbleStoryInn on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. There are other links to other things, and I encourage you to use those links if you like my stuff. Hell – use those links if you don’t like my stuff. Just use the links, please.

I need to change a few things: there are a few colors that I don’t like, but my more graphically-oriented wife is not in the room at the moment. My header is certainly going to change. I like the photo that it is taken from, but it has absolutely nothing to do with apprentices, games, podcasts, stories, and only a little bit with nerds (it is japanese 6-1, by the way). I need to figure out how to turn off pointless information about the lack of commentary at the bottom of most pages. I am considering a column of useful stuff on the left side, but not sure.

Ok, this has gone on for a while, so I will wrap up after this: If you happen to come to my site right now, you would think that I am about to go to LibSyn and start my media hosting stuff. A problem happened, though – Amanda’s car died. This means that the small amount of leeway in my budget just disappeared overnight. Unless someone donates money to me, or I find a bunch of money in a briefcase in the alley out back – My plans for the podcast are to continue editing and making episodes ready, but posting them might be an interesting trick right at the moment.

Thanks for reading.


But I am figuring it out.

But while I am figuring it out – please tell me what I am doing wrong. I don’t have a lot of self-awareness and I often don’t realize that people want me to do something. Telling me directly is the best way. Email me:

I really appreciate it and if you are in Ohio, it would be really easy for me to follow through on a promise to give you a cookie (or other little pastry of your choice).

This is the first ‘real’ post that I am putting on the website, and this is the first time that I have actually built a website (or…started building a website. most of my sub-pages say ‘under construction’ right at the moment). Currently I am using WordPress, with the free theme “ilisa” [update: parabola. it is amazing]. I don’t know whether or not I will be keeping this theme around, but I like the look of it when I have no images, like right now, but I’m not sure I am going to like it with images (putting a header in makes it overlap the title of the website – first real problem I found with it).

First off, if you came here from a search engine, or a link on some sort of forum or social media…THANK YOU for visiting my website! I have no idea how much traffic to expect, or who to expect it from. If you are reading this post then either you are in the archives (thanks for looking through them!), or it has been less than a month since my website went up. Which means that you are special – my google analytics probably shows you, individually. You are that blip, and I will cherish that blip – you just coming here helps me to say “See! I am doing something that someone else thought it would be cool to look at!”, and seriously, I appreciate that – it is really easy to think that I am just screaming into the void here.

This image is mostly here as an experiment.

BUT If you are one of my friends that I have bugged and begged to come and check out my website/podcast/etc then THANK YOU for actually doing that. I really appreciate it, and I am going to make a cookie (or some other little pastry) just for you. I would love it if you would tell people about this website, or even better: if you would tell someone about one particular page on my website. If you send people to one of these particular pages, then they will probably stick around for a little bit longer, which helps me to show my awesome stuff to them. You could try sending them to my photo gallery, perhaps one of my ..three.. ..separate.. ..podcasts.., or even just the contact page, so that they can just tell me all the things that they would rather see me doing – I really am open to anything right now. So, the main point of this endeavor is to have a landing page for my podcasts, all three of which I will explain a little bit in a moment. The secondary function is to be able to publish stuff about some of the things that I like to do, like the aforementioned photography, internet stuff in general, social media stuff, and…I don’t know…talk about bonsai trees or something. I will probably complain eventually, as well.

So, the podcasts: The Nerd’s Apprentice: I think that the  Nerd World is a subculture within American and global society that is not very well understood by those outside of it. SO…I am starting the Nerd’s Apprentice as a way to try to help us nerds to be a little more self-aware, and to help those outside of the Nerd World to understand us a little bit more easily. The topics will be on all sorts of things, from tabletop roleplaying, to conventions, to why some nerds like the Sahara desert and some like New Zealand (it has to do with movies). The format will be a somewhat ‘normal’ format for nerdy podcasts I have listened to already – a couple guys sitting in front of the microphone, neither of which is 100% sure if what he is about to say will bring down the rage of the internet. I will be having a few regular co-hosts and hopefully a bunch of interviews. I am the nerd, and many of you are the nerd, but we are all the apprentice (especially those of us who are not nerds) – we all have something about the Nerd World that we don’t know. If you have an episode idea that you would like to hear me talk about, you should email me. The schedule will be once every 2 weeks on Monday morning, opposite the Apprentice Story Teller

The Apprentice Story Teller: I think that storytelling – both its art and its craft – is becoming passe` in my culture (I am American, specifically Midwestern Caucasian). I have a nephew that I know I will need to entertain at some point, and if he is anything like me or my brothers, he won’t just want to play with a football. I want to be able to keep his rapt attention with the things that I can tell him about, and inspire him to tell others a story of his own. The format will be mostly me telling you stories, but also exploring aspects of the Art of Storytelling in a discussion format with other people. I am the apprentice, and I want to record my learning process about this – and to give you the recording, so that you will be able to learn, as well. I am pretty sure that I will take submissions, and if you have an idea for a story that you want told, or if you have something that you would like to submit your own audio for it, I eagerly encourage you to email me about this. The schedule will be once every 2 weeks on Monday morning, opposite the Nerd’s Apprentice.

The Apprentice Game Master: at the time of writing, I have been out of Tabletop Roleplaying for about 2 years. I am getting back into it because of the faith that many of my friends have in my gaming abilities. I decided that this would be a great opportunity to help other people learn how to play the game, especially since I have one new player that will be playing with me. The format is quite specifically against the grain of the normal “actual gameplay” podcasts I have heard (to be fair, I have not heard very many). I am going to harshly edit out everything that doesn’t happen “in-game”, and then chop it up into 15(ish) minute segments. I will do my best to remove dice-rolls, page-turns, tangents about local restaurants, and ten-year-old inside jokes. I think that most of my listeners just don’t care about most of that, and the shorter segments will make it much easier to consume. We are both the apprentice, and I am re-learning how to GM – you could learn with me. The schedule will be 3 days weekly, probably Tues/Wed/Thurs, but I am not set on that. Thanks for reading this whole thing – walls of text are sort of my specialty. And seriously, I want to give you a cookie. You should come over.