I am often asked what my background is by new friends in the gaming industry. And I love questions- I enjoy any kind of deep analysis into the whys and the hows and wheres. My sometimes boring standard answer is that I was a massage therapist, then a personal trainer, and also homeschooled my son. When I go a little deeper I answer with a little more, including how I always find people extremely fascinating- both inside and out which prompted my work and interest in massage and physical activity- both things, in my experience, that are very healing mentally, physically, and emotionally. But connecting through conversation, writing and self-talk are really at the core of my inspiration and motivation. I live for heartfelt moments of connection.

But, I’ve hesitated my whole life to say out loud that I write poetry. I’ve feared, like a lot of us do, that I wouldn’t be thought good enough. I also used to make endless amounts of drawings and paintings but one innocuous comment made by a high school art teacher firmly planted the negative seeds of doubt for a rotten tree that I already believed existed. Why would I try when so many other people were doing it and doing it better than I ever could? Whatever “it” even was- insert whichever creative endeavor you dare to.

I have memories from when I was very young- making games out of pens, paper and tape. I played games but didn’t like when I didn’t easily understand the rules. I loved game shows, talk shows, reading, listening to music, and writing lyrics. I loved design and fashion and fantasied about owning a gallery and store. I pictured the gallery upstairs and the store at street level. I pictured parties and art, white walls and tiled floors.

I’ve followed dreams in my life and have been very stubborn about how they’ve been carried out- truly always wanting my way. When I’m focused and determined I go and go and go until I can be as close to what I want as possible.

In May of 2017 I had the idea for You Think You Know Me, which I’ve shared here before. When something hits like that it’s magical. I’ve had people say, “oh, I get it it’s like your baby.” And I always think, no- which I try to communicate in the most respectful way possible. Having a child and having an idea and making it real in the world are two very different things from my view. My games are for everyone and they’ve come through me and they are a part of me but they’re for all of us- they’re for you. And my son, he’s for himself and I’m just lucky to love someone the way I love him.

With that I need to say, who cares? As I entered my 40s I started to ask myself the question, “who cares?” And I wish this could have come sooner for me but it didn’t so now when I ask, ‘who cares’ I’m really asking both- who sincerely cares about what I’m making and doing and who cares- why not me? Who cares whether or not I follow my heart and my dreams? Why not me? So here we are- I now make games. And my wish for you is to do the things you want to do- and find the people who care- they will find you and it’s thrilling. I’m so grateful.

Three years into making games, I still have so much to learn. I have ambition. I’m so super lucky to have a supportive partner that when I can’t figure something out, he’s completely reliable and has my back. Andy is a quick-learner and if he doesn’t know something (I find he does know most things) he figures it out or asks another helpful and clever person. Also, he approaches everything with a clear coat of empathy. He’s amazing.

Flatter Me: A Compliment Battle Card Game has just come out. You Think You Know Me’s third printing is arriving right now. I’ve been working all through quarantine on my third game which I’ll announce soon. And that ‘who cares’ mantra has only grown louder in my mid-40s and in lockdown. I really care so much. I have lofty dreams for Pink Tiger Games- the name of my new game company as of May 2020. I have expansion packs written for all three games- just trying to decide how many cards and designing boxes- and of course I need capital and a warehouse and a distributor and and and.

And that brings me to why I sat down to write this all out to begin with. I wanted to make a list, in no particular order, of all of the things I do as an indie game creator/business owner, but I guess I needed a little time for reflection too.

Games are so fun to create and play and I am compelled beyond myself to make them and I only want to grow and grow and grow. Brains can really beat you down so to actively flipping that heavy narrative of ‘I can’t’ to ‘who cares I can and I will’ I still have to delicately box with every single day. Also, I find most people want to help you if they can and sometimes you just need to ask. I can’t say enough how incredibly grateful I am.

So, here goes- all of these are vital components to my daily work life: write, research, stores, email, distributors, game makers, game publishers, social media, meetings, kickstarter, communication, invoices, warehouses, purchase orders, press, press inquiries, reaching out to press, sketching, playtesting, listening, reading, note taking, bank accounts, shipping, photography, emotional learning, social learning, rest, gift stores, game stores, book stores, printers, quotes, card stock, boxes, game rules, storage, promo games, festivals, conventions, shopping events, influencers, ads, marketing, gifts, prototypes, meeting new people for fresh perspectives, inspiration, design research, amazon, budgeting, pricing, partnering, layout, editing, websites, and I’ll probably add more stuff as I think of it.

Thanks for reading and thanks for being here.