BlizzCon 2017—An Adventure in Gaming, Friends, and Celebration

Hey, folks.

Now that things are less hectic, I finally got around to doing my write-up about BlizzCon. It’s a little late, sure, but it’s better than never!

Welcome to Blizzard World

Anaheim Convention Center

What is BlizzCon? For many, it’s a haven where thousands of gamers that are passionate about video games go. Specifically, Blizzard Entertainment video games. With its franchise titles World of Warcraft (WoW), Diablo, StarCraft, and new IPs: Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, and Overwatch. It’s a place where so many people come together in the appreciation of video games, their beloved game(s), to meet friends from their online adventures, or socialize with others from the community.

For other folks, it’s just another convention that people attend.

Blizzard takes over the Anaheim Convention Center, and I do mean takes over. Spared no expense, it’s pretty close to heaven on earth.

Preparation. Problems. Shenanigans

For many years, I yearned to go to California for this specific event. Often, life would hinder that. Kids, appointments, mental issues, and of course, monetary issues.

My wife and I decided that we’d make our stake and try to go for our ten year anniversary. I figured that I’d get benefit dinner tickets, bring copies of my books, and it’d be epic. However, hindrances would present themselves.

I was persistent; I figured I would buy a ticket through the current system. That went south, as tickets sold out in seconds. I was crushed (like so many others that didn’t get a ticket). The next waves came and went. No tickets. General admission or benefit dinner. I tried eBay next. Bad move.

Luckily I used PayPal, honestly. I almost lost out on my money (lesson learned). Thanks to a Blizzard employee, and the coordination of PayPal and eBay, I was refunded. It was disgusting to hear that more reports where coming in that this same person were scamming other people.

I was lucky though. I had a friend of a friend that I played with that was able to get my wife and I a ticket. Color me super thankful.

We had made preparations months in advance. I made up some shirts for the missus and I. Soon; it’d be October…and we could not wait for vacation time.

Anxiety was present a lot. Especially, with the ticket ordeal. However, once we had legit tickets, it lessened. Though, we had never been away from our kids as far as an hour or two away. Going to California made nonsensical things just flood our minds. Ah, being parents.

Naturally, it was just us being us and making mountains out of molehills. Once we landed in L.A., we were fine. We were in for three days of fun times.

Murky Saves

The Days of Our Gaming Lives

Day one involved going to the Blizzard Entertainment campus in Irvine. We met up with our friend who gave us a tour of the campus. It was a hell of a spectacle. I was a bit overwhelmed at first but settled in well.

Kay and Rob

A lot of places were off limits or being remodeled. You know, obvious reasons are obvious. Of the places we went to, I think my favorite place was the library. Seriously, that area is incredible. So much nostalgia, games, comics, books. It’s a wet dream.

Later on, we spent 2.5 hours in line at the Blizzard store. It was with it in the end. That Sylvanas statue—awesome. That night, I got to meet up with a few friends, made some new ones, shenanigans happened. In short, it was a great night.

BlizzCon Store Line

WoWHead Party at Anaheim Marriott

Day two of our time there, was the cinematic, meeting up with more friends, lots of walking. Lots. I got signatures, pictures of the many various booths, and so much more. It was a long epic day. I think we made our step goals a few times over, ha.

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Day three and our final day was off to a good start with recovering from sore feet. Announcements, meeting Michelle, Chelsea, Christie, and other great people in lines. The cake was Muse closing out though. The best part? Behind my wife and I was plenty of Blizzard employees rocking out. One, in particular, caught my eye and for a good reason, he’s the CEO of Blizzard Entertainment—Mike Morhaime.

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I had written him some months prior back via email and stated my family’s and I story. I thanked him and everyone else at Blizzard for WoW. It’s where my wife and I met, and where we’d go to escape the real world’s shenanigans.

We talked to him for a bit, shook his hand, and asked if he’d take a picture with us. Legendary!

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Closing Time

Now, that it was all over, what next?

Well, we went back to the Marriott for dinner. After being sat down, I noticed there was a large table before us. A gentleman, in particular, caught my eye. Why? His personality and his bowtie. Darin De Paul and several of the voice cast of Overwatch were having dinner in front of us. It was one of those awesome moments.

Once it looked like they were about ready to leave, a few tables asked for autographs and a picture. They seemed more than happy to oblige. Soon, there was a bit of commotion. My friends and I asked for a photo. Thus, sealing the icing on the legendary cake.

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It was a trip, a thrill ride of monumental proportions. I advise anyone that’s a fan of WoW, Diablo, StarCraft, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, or just games in general, to go to a BlizzCon. It’s honestly a fantastic experience. If I could, I would go every year (whether to cover it or something else).

Which, it has us wondering, what will top our 15th or 20th anniversary?

I guess we’ll find out when it gets near that time. For now, it’s back to writing and life.

Speaking of writing, The Chronicles of Bob: The Chronic Suicidal just dropped a few days ago. If you haven’t yet, check it out! It’ll also be free this December 22, 2017, on Amazon!

Until next time!

RJM

Help Support Suicide Awareness and Prevention With Bob

Hey, folks.

The release of The Chronicles of Bob: The Chronic Suicidal is fast approaching (this Thursday in fact). But first, I want to talk about Suicide Awareness and Prevention and why it’s important to me.

ebook cover for The Chronicles of Bob: The Chronic Suicidal
Suicide in one of many forms.

One reason why I wrote this story originally was that it was an outlet to drop a lot of my dark thoughts. Personally, I struggle with PTSD, anxiety, depression, and have had plenty of suicidal thoughts…and attempts. Now, of course, I am glad that they weren’t successful and all that hubbub, but what about those who are still fighting?

There is someone we know who has lost someone they’ve loved to suicide. Whether it be family, friends, co-workers; the cycle goes on…and it’s vicious. It doesn’t relent, nor does it stop with just those who have left. While I have plenty of things I deal with and fight myself over, there are many who struggle day to day. It can be crippling. While everyone’s experience is different, we must know we are not alone.

The Chronicles of Bob: The Chronic Suicidal is more than just a telling of Bob’s misadventures, his quips, humor, and reoccurrences of suicide. It’s putting suicide there, right in front of us. Making death very visible. Though, in a fictional aspect, you’re seeing what becomes of a man who’s very twisted and has lost his way. It’s about finding yourself, getting the help you need.

Help is something we all need, whether it’s a small gesture or grand. My primary focus is on our veterans. So many of them come home suffering from the loss of their comrades; their family is torn apart, or disfigured from a wartorn land. That’s why I am donating to Mission 22 in support of helping our veterans get the help they need. I am also giving ALL pre-order sales of the Kindle edition of the story to Mission 22 as well. The donations will be sent out in December. For Paperback and hardcover copies sold, I will donate 22% continuing.

I invite you to join the fight against suicide and to stand together. To let others know they are not alone. Together, we can truly help one another. If you cannot purchase a copy, forward or share this. Let’s help with suicide awareness and prevention.


“Not all those who wander are lost.” — J. R. R. Tolkien

All That is Gold Does Not Glitter


*The new hardcover design will be unveiled and available as well.

To all the men and women serving (and who have served), thank you for your service.

Until next time,

RJM

 

 

P.S. If someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, talk with them. Don’t disregard their thoughts on the matter. You can also refer them to the Suicidal Prevention Lifeline1-800-273-8255

Look: A Lovecraftian Horror Short

Look: A Lovecraftian Horror Short

By Robert J. S. T. McCartney

Picture by VViktor

My voice is silenced. My breath is still. I cannot look to my left. I see something…maybe even someone… there… lurking. They’re shrouded in mystery. How they came into my chambers, I do not know. By morning’s light, I pray them gone, and this nothing more than a nightmare.


I am afraid.

It remains. Curiosity piques me. However, I dare not look left. It could be many of a thing—things. An entity, born not of this world, but from the void of the cosmos. Darkness covers it wholly, save for strange fluctuations of what may be its eyes. Still, I am to remain here. Someone will surely come for me.


I am… frightened.

One of the clergymen came to me, but I sent them away. The mysterious stranger—they…it…tells me things. Things that do not make sense; they cannot, they remark absurdities. I close my eyes and nod my head in acknowledgment. Hoping to appease it—that by chance they may go away. Please, let this nightmare end!

Still, it lingers. Still, it stares into the very being of my soul. It’s eyes—black eyes (I think it to be; of my peripheral vision. No, no, I dare not look) fixated on mine.

I see movement. From the darkness. Fluid, graceful. Ah, so majestic. No, no, I mustn’t…I mustn’t look!

It speaks to me. It’s…indescribable—the words. They’re profound, and nothing of this world. “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.”

Terror grips me now, and I am frozen. May the light from the morning come and save me from this plight!


I am contemplative.

A day or so has passed and so have the whisperings. Truth be told, I am saddened by the departure of such a mysterious visitor. I never saw them. Still, there is something, there, that lingers in that place where they once stood. I cannot quite put my finger on what.


I am contempt.

They’ve returned! While I was reading some scriptures at my desk, they appeared beside me.  They speak to me now. Their voice is as if a choir of angels was playing a heavenly symphony. Ah, and so beautiful are the words. They promise of an everlasting place and that I have been chosen. Me! Me… A proud man. One of the people. They claim they know me well, and that I have caught their eye. That my spiritual works have warranted their guise and I am to be justly rewarded! Thus, they have visited me and personally offered at His feet.


I am…heartfelt.

My heart is full, and I swell with the belief of His will that has at last chosen me to be His herald. Those once strange words and mutterings that were—so hard—to understand are now fluent and so precise, and second nature; only to eating and sleeping. Still, I dare not look, for I might sully their sight and perhaps disgust them with my mortal shell.


I am dedicated!

The return is nigh! He is coming! He has awakened! Ah, at last everyone will finally see with their own eyes the majesty that is His! The blessed will finally revel and be brought to His house. Such splendor! I cannot wait to share this with the congregation!

I must look…I must!


I am…not quite myself…these days.

My eyes are dark and grow darker. My skin has become gray and rough. T’is the start of His blessing I am informed.

We are all that remain… He and I. The congregation—nay, the village was…not so quick to welcome and accept Him. Rest assured, they paid for their blasphemy with blood. He has been most pleased with my continued service. As such, He has vowed to bless me fully.

These new voices that have come to me tell me that what I did was wrong. That I ate children’s brains, hearts, and strung their intestines around like some misshapen scarf. Pah! Nonsense, I say! The elders and fellows of the clergy tried to intervene, but once I showed them they worshipped a false god—once I showed them His image and He brought down His gaze, they were quick to please. He significantly enjoyed driving them to the path of righteousness; to cleanse them of their sins you see. It was such a spectacular sight. Their flesh and blood will nourish us well for some time.

I have looked and seen the end; humanity was made to serve—to serve Him.

Today, I am to be fully converted by Him.


I…am…terror.

[The rest of the text is illegible and cannot be deciphered]

You can also check out great reading material for a cost of a king size candy bar with the A.B.Normal Publishing and Media Group Black Friday Extravaganza!

Help Support Suicidal Awareness and Prevention

Hey, folks.

The release of The Chronicles of Bob: The Chronic Suicidal is fast approaching, but first I want to talk about Suicide Awareness and Prevention and why it’s important to me.

ebook cover for The Chronicles of Bob: The Chronic Suicidal

One reason why I wrote this story originally was that it was an outlet to drop a lot of my dark thoughts. Personally, I struggle with PTSD, anxiety, depression, and have had plenty of suicidal thoughts…and attempts. Now, of course, I am glad that they weren’t successful and all that hubbub, but what about those who are still fighting?

There is someone we know who has lost someone they’ve loved to suicide. Whether it be family, friends, co-workers; the cycle goes on…and it’s vicious. It doesn’t relent, nor does it stop with just those who have left. While I have plenty of things I deal with and fight myself over, there are many who struggle day to day. It can be crippling. While everyone’s experience is different, we must know we are not alone.

The Chronicles of Bob: The Chronic Suicidal is more than just a telling of Bob’s misadventures, his quips, humor, and bouts with suicide. It’s putting suicide there, right in front of us. Making death very visible. Though, in a fictional aspect, you’re seeing what becomes of a man who’s very twisted and has lost his way. It’s about finding yourself, getting the help you need.

Help is something we all need. Whether it’s a small gesture or grand. My primary focus is on our veterans. So many of them come home suffering from the loss of their comrades, their family is torn apart, or disfigured from a wartorn land. That’s why I am donating to Mission 22 in support of helping our veterans get the help they need. I am also donating ALL pre-order sales of the Kindle edition of the story to Mission 22 as well. The donations will be sent out in December. For Paperback and hardcover copies sold, I will donate 22% continuing on.

I invite you to join the fight against Suicide and to stand together. To let others know they are not alone. Together, we can truly help one another.


“Not all those who wander are lost.” — J. R. R. Tolkien

All That is Gold Does Not Glitter


I wish you all to have a happy and safe holiday season. To all the men and women serving (and who have served), thank you for your service.

Until next time,

RJM

 

 

P.S. If someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, talk with them. Don’t disregard their thoughts on the matter. You can also refer them to the Suicidal Prevention Lifeline1-800-273-8255

Free Until 11/3 – Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle.

Hey, folks.

There’s a lot going on this week; personally and professionally.

First, the missus and I are celebrating 10 years of mischief and leveling together. Yay us!

I’m also going to be covering BlizzCon 2017 and documenting a first time experience.

Next up, a free book until November 3rd. That’s right, Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle will be running free until then.

I also wanted to remind you of Awake, Asleep, Dreaming by John Siwicki is free. It’s a thought-provoking psychological thriller that will make you question life.

There’s also the British crime tale with an American twist, Driven to Death by Elleby Harper for only $0.99.

Don’t miss out on some incredible treats!

Wishing you all a happy Halloween. Be safe.

Until next time,

RJM

What’s New?

Hey, folks.

RJM here, dropping a quick line about some new stuff coming up.

Paperback copies of the following titles will be soon available on Amazon:

  • The Lodestone Files: The Things in the Shadows
  • The Lodestone Files: The Cat, The Mouse, and The Thing From Another World
  • Abnormal Side Effects

Pre-orders for The Chronicles of Bob: The Chronic Suicidal will open up soon. It will have a placeholder image/cover, for now, since it is being redone.

There will be digital and paperback copies available. However, hardcover copies will be extremely limited to 13. These will be signed, numbered, and include an extra snippet following the story.

There will also be a new anthology dubbed Abnormal Side Effects: Refill. This collection will have everything that the first did not. There will be a compiled version where the two are one and via box set.

More projects are underway, and there are also plans to cover BlizzCon 2017. Since it will be a first-time experience, it’ll be documented and reported on. It’s something I am excited to share.

But really… Vacation! Everyone needs some R & R. It’s recommended. If I were a doctor, I’d prescribe it with a severe amount of refills…and probably be out of practice rather quickly.

That’s all for now. I’ll be sharing some other goodies soon enough.

Until next time,

RJM

Coming This Fall—November in Fact

Hey, folks.

So, we’re not doing a cover reveal yet…but The Chronicles of Bob: The Chronic Suicidal is finished.

I wanted to share an excerpt from our beloved suicidalist on one of his many escapades. In addition, here are some other points to address.Paperback may be the only print format available—at first. If anything, there would just be a limited amount of hardcovers, which would include a little something extra about Bob. If you like the story and how it goes, trust me, it’s something you’ll love.

Format: Paperback may be the only print format available—at first. If anything, there would just be a limited amount of hardcovers, which would include a little something extra about Bob. If you like the story and how it goes, trust me, it’s something you’ll love. As always, if you buy a print copy, you get a digital copy for free with us (and Amazon).

Pricing: $3 flat. It could be less or it could be about the same. The chances are high that it’ll just be $3 flat.

Cover: It’s gonna be sexy. At least in our eyes.

Surprise! If you want a digital version of Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle for free, just go to the store, set out to buy it, and enter in the coupon LILAHFREE. Boom. Done. You can then download it as many times as you want…or even gift it.

You can also nab The Lodestone Files: The Things in the Shadows and Abnormal Side Effects for free too.

Anywho, without further ado… Here’s a brief excerpt from The Chronicles of Bob: The Chronic Suicidal.


Episode One: The Chronic Suicidal

Have you ever had those moments where you’re sitting there (or hell, driving) and just thinking, “Man, I could totally kill myself right now.” Or maybe—and work with me here—you’re sitting at the dinner table with your family. You know, your spouse, perhaps your parents, kids, siblings, whatever. Then the moment you break bread you’re just like, “Fuck it!” You slam your palms down (or fists, or do a table flip, I don’t fucking know), grab that steak knife, and . . . slit. You know? Slit your own throat? Literally. Right there. At the dinner table. You got blood spraying, gushing out, dripping down your clothes, all over the furniture, the walls, the fine China, the mashed potatoes, on your folks, in your kid’s eye.

Well, if you’ve ever had moments like these, where you’re compelled to do the unthinkable, you’re not alone. Hell, I do it all the time. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Bob Barnen, and I am a chronic suicidal.

Christ, it sounds like I’m at some AA meeting, or in the confessional or something. Yeah, well, I’m not. The truth is, I dunno where I am. I mean, I do, I just don’t know where exactly I am. I guess I could be dead, dreaming, in a coma. I tried asking others: my wife, my kids, my folks, my friends—hell, even my dog! No one has a goddamn clue what the hell is going on. What I do know is this: every time I commit suicide, I’m put right back in bed, safe and cozy.

I guess I could start by telling you about the first time I had the impulse, and why I did what I did.

Now, lemme tell ya, I had no regrets. Not even a letter. I loved my family, an’ hell, I still do. It wasn’t their fault that I wanted to end it. I was just done. Just done with life. I couldn’t handle the stress of a transfer out of state, of meeting people who were culturally different, and honestly, of not knowing a single goddamn person. I mean sure, the pay was good, yeah, but what good is the pay when you bust your balls and ask all the boys at the cooler—“Hey, Pete, Bill, Shaun, guy—to get a drink after work and don’t get a single goddamn word in reply? Instead, they give you this look like, who the fuck are you? Oh, it’s the new guy! Bah, fuck ’em. I’ll tell you what, those sons of bitches who say that they’re there “if you need help,” or some “reasonable accommodation,” or their “door is always open,” they’re lying sons of bitches. They don’t care about you. They don’t care about no one except their own goddamn selves and their fat fucking wallets.

I do apologize, I seemed to have run off there.

So here’s the deal: job transfer out of state. I’m a desk jockey at a firm that deals the stock market. Been married for thirteen years, four kids. I have a nice house, decent pay, fucked-up neighbors. I got a car, dog, and some cats. What’s there to be wrong? Probably absolutely nothing, and I get that. What happened was pretty simple. I jumped. I jumped right off the roof of the office building right smack onto the cars and curb below. I say “and curb” because I think—I’m pretty sure at least—that my feet snapped on it and shattered. I dunno. I can’t say I remember anything other than a giant forceful knockout that, well, knocked the shit out of me.

You might be asking, “What were your final thoughts?” Well, for starters: “Oh shit, oh shit, bad idea, bad idea.” Followed by, “I’m flying!” Then, “Holy shit the ground is coming up fast.” Next, “Why am I doing this? Who’s going to take care of the kids, and my wife? What the hell am I doing?” And then, some guilt, anger, sadness, love, happiness. Finally, nothing. Pow! Lights out.

Now, hindsight being twenty-twenty, yeah, it was pretty fucking stupid. Do I regret it? Yes and no. Yes, because I was dumb to leave my family alone in this fucked-up world. And no because, well, I can’t die. OK, I can die, but I can’t die. I’m like Bill fucking Murray in an extreme, uncensored version of Groundhog Day, but it’s been going on now for . . . fuck if I know. Either way, nothings working, and truth be told, I’ve started to actually enjoy it. If this is how I get to spend the rest of my days, so be it, I guess. I get to see my wife, my kids; that’s good enough for me. Still, I can’t shake the thought of there being more to this. For now, I’ll just get dressed.

By the way, if you haven’t figured it out yet—I recently killed myself at the dinner table.

—END EXCERPT—


So there you have it, folks. I hope you enjoyed this sampling of Bob’s meaty loins.

Until next time,

— RJM and Friends