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

The Chronicles of Bob: The Chronic Suicidal is Now Available

Hey, folks.

The Chronicles of Bob: The Chronic Suicidal is now available. It is also free to Kindle Unlimited users.

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

The tale of Bob and his asinine ways of killing himself are readily available for all to read. It is cool to reread something, whether it is your friends or your work. It also offers reflection: state of mind, memories, thoughts, and so on.

Suicide has been in my life for a long time now. It has affected myself, my family, and a lot of my friends. This “group” is not even 1% of what goes on in the world. Whether it’s homeless folk, students, celebrities, military, hell, even animals. It’s in our lives, sometimes staring at us right in the face. Most folks though turn a blind eye or sweep it under the rug. Alternatively, folks will jump on the bandwagon after a famous person’s death (i.e., Robin Williams, Chester Bennington, Chris Cornell, etc.) and it’s just an “Oh, hey, yeah I care…” Then they stop and fall off. It shouldn’t take a well-known person’s death to stoke the fire. It’s all around us; it could claim your family, friends, either directly or indirectly. Everyone’s affected.

I’ve struggled for years with PTSD, depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. I’ve done the medicinal routine (didn’t work) and figured one day, somewhere, someone else has it just as bad. I can’t pray for something to be done. I can’t change anything that happened, and I sure as hell can’t do anything if I am sitting around. That was the beginning of the change. It was a domino effect, because then I started to quit smoking, stop drinking soda, and eating better. The depression and dark thoughts were (and are) still there…just a lot more manageable, and under control. My temperament is vastly superior to what it once was, and overall I feel a lot better about myself. I like myself. Before? I used to hate myself. Big change.

Writing helped fill in some of the voids that I felt. It helped purify my thoughts and channeled them into something that I wanted to pursue eventually. Thus, this story, even though it may seem pointless and dumb to one, it is a sort of projection of thoughts any one person can experience and something we do.

When I transitioned out-of-state and was left with the feeling of having no real friends (that I left behind), and combating alcoholism (which, alcohol with depression + anxiety + PTSD = Not Bueno), I was beside myself. Nowadays, even in prior generations, the man must be “a man.” You know, don’t cry, don’t show emotion, be tough; the stereotype that was set up for us so many generations ago. So I kept a lot of my thoughts and feelings in. I hardly shared how I felt, I would try to bear a lot, and just be. It was unhealthy.

Finally, I got back into writing and found a great therapist. After which, while seeing my new therapist, I had then begun a process of “killing myself.” That is, writing down ways I would kill myself, or ideas that I had thought of. Thus, The Chronicles of Bob: The Chronic Suicidal was born and is what is available today.

So, I invite you to pick up a copy and read your heart out. If you like/love it, excellent; alternatively, If you hate it, well, that’s your choice. Life is full of them.

I will still be continuing to donate and advocate Suicide Prevention and Suicide Awareness, so when you purchase a copy, it’s going to go and help people in return.

That’s about all for now. I wish you all well.

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

My Fantasy

My Fantasy

by Robert J. S. T. McCartney

 

Lust. Love. Sex. Drugs. Power.
So many fantasies we, as people, do we create by the hour.

We fake.
We break.
We quit, wilt, and die.

Too often are we forced to bend a knee or be pressed down onto the firm mattress and be ravaged by life’s atrocities.


In my time, I’ve been led to a world wonder. Where I’ve experienced an intimate relationship between lovers: life and death.

Caught often in a lie, as we lie entangled in a mess of sheets and heat.

Where do we profess and confer our love and become engorged on each other.

Tasting a sample but taking the package, we wallow in this momentous excitement.

Ten years, it’s been ten years since I’ve become gluttonous on this punch drunk love diet.


Where sometimes there were suppliers of supplements that offered a chance at a change of heart and soul.

Opinions made and traded, save for those whose face was a cancer in our alleged “detestable and fictitious” love affair.

Savage, were they and the threats made, we moved far. Where we ought, and brought not the reprehensible acts, nor stayed the course of that which tarnish our voyage.

Still do, I feel the same; still do I look you in the eye; still, do I feel the fire within.
Still does my heart beat; still does my breath stop; still, does my heart belong to you and only you.

For there are many fantasies that we experience every hour…
But none may compare to the one I live every passing moment I am with you, nor can words be formed into the sentences to describe the euphoria; yet bittersweet life I spend with you.

For I know… that one day it’ll end. Therein lies, though, hope…
That I’ll find you again in the waking mortal world.

 

For my wife on our 10th anniversary. —Rob

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

Updates and Such

Hey, folks.

It’s been a little while, hasn’t it? When life happens, you learn to adapt. There’s a lot going but it’s all for the greater good.

So, what’s to share?

We’re wrapping up production on The Chronicles of Bob: The Chronic Suicidal.

Meanwhile, the multipart conclusion of Johnny Nightwalker will be coming up this evening.

Part three of The Lodestone Files is being worked on, along with many other projects.

You can also check out books one and two of the series in the shop.

So, as for the delay in things…

It’s also a good idea to take a break, look over things, then get back at it, because let’s face it; nothing ever gets done on its own.

Keep at what you do and make sure YOU love what you do. Especially, when it comes to writing. I know and am aware not many folks give a damn what I do or write, but that’s OK. I write for me. An audience of one, is better than an audience of none.

Do stick around for more things to come.

Until next time,

RJM