Secret Projects and Cool Events

Cool event first: I’m a huge gaming nerd, as you may be aware, and Magic: the Gathering is releasing a new, gothic horror-themed set this weekend. You may be able to guess where this is going. I talked to my friends at Epic Puzzles & Games in West Valley, UT, and not only will I be playing in their midnight Prerelease tournament, I’ll be giving away some prizes. You see, the set includes a lot of demons, so players at the tournament will be able to earn cool stuff by killing them, kind of like unlocking achievements in a video game. Come to the tournament, open the shiny new cards, and play a few games; as soon as you kill a demon, shout it out and win a prize:

The John Cleaver Award: The first person to kill a demon wins a signed copy of I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER.
The Mr. Monster Award: The first person to kill two demons wins a signed copy of MR. MONSTER.
The Serial Killer Award: The first person to kill three demons wins an I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER T-shirt.

If you’re a Magic player of any kind, hardcore or casual, Prerelease tournaments are a blast–they’re very fun, very laid-back, and a great way to see the new cards. The new set, Innistrad, is full of imperious vampires and slavering werewolves and frightened peasants with pitchforks. Come by and hang out this Friday night at midnight. It’s going to be awesome.

Now: on to the secret project. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you’ve probably seen some cryptic comments about fezzes and mustaches and trips to costume shops. What does it all mean? The answer, as with so many of the weird things I do, involves Brandon Sanderson.

Brandon has a large, unfinished room in his basement, initially intended as a movie room, but he has decided to finish it as a sitting room/game room/writing room, decorated in the style of an old explorer’s club: old-timey globes, weathered maps, antique navigation equipment, artifacts from real and alternate histories, and portraits on the walls of the club’s esteemed past members. The portraits, of course, will be pictures of us with big bushy mustaches and pith helmets, holding blunderbusses and standing in front of dinosaurs and doing other similarly explorer-ish things. It’s going to be awesome.

So Brandon and Jordo (his brother, and the producer of Writing Excuses) and Peter (Brandon’s assistant) and some other people in our circle of weirdos started growing out beards and preparing for the photos. I didn’t want to do a big beard or mustache, though, because I tried that a year or so ago and really didn’t like it. I was, however, growing out my hair, so I decided to go a different direction with my costume: long hair, a pencil mustache, a white suit, and a fez. My dad has a replica Walther P38, the sidearm a lot of officers used in World War 2, so I threw that in as well. The result was a cool sort of Moroccan hit man kind of look that worked perfectly. It all came together last night, and the photos turned out great.

Point that thing somewhere else

The photo we chose for the actual portrait is currently being photoshopped into a variety of scenes: an archeological dig, a casbah, a street market, and so on, to see what we like best. I’ll post it here when it’s done. Shooting the photos was a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to see what the other guys do for theirs.

9 Responses to “Secret Projects and Cool Events”

  1. Zenvar says:

    You know, I know it’s a replica, but my first thought when I saw the pictures was; “FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER!” HA! Great pictures though, very cool. Have fun in the club!

  2. admin says:

    Actually that gun doesn’t even have a trigger, but yes, I feel your pain. I’m holding my finger better in some of the other photos.

  3. Oh wow, LOVE the pictures. And the idea for Sanderson’s room sounds pretty swanky.

  4. Natalia says:

    Rock the casbah!
    You know, sometimes (or, if I’m being honest with myself, often) I’m jealous of how creative you guys are. What a fun idea for decorating a room!

  5. Hello Dan,

    I just wanted to say that after listening to Writing excuses compulsively for about three weeks straight (almost at the end of season 3), I decided to check out your writing. I must say ‘A Night of Blacker Darkness’ is delightful!

    I’ve had several laugh-out-loud, what-you’ve-never-seen-anybody-laugh-in-public-before, moments while reading it. Congratulations!


  6. Joe Vasicek says:

    YES!!! The fez is a BIG win!

  7. Alan Horne says:

    I didn’t think your tweets were cryptic at all. You said you went out to buy a fez, and I just assumed that was the kind of hat you wanted.

    But Brandon already spilled the beans at WorldCon about the explorer’s club, so maybe I subconsciously understood the method to your madness.

  8. Jonathon Side says:

    Okay, yes, that is both more creative and actually much cooler than Dr Who cosplay.

  9. The entire idea, and your brilliant contribution to it, are chock-full of awesome.

    As if being a full-time author didn’t already feel like an exclusive club, you had to go and literalize it…

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