Into the Deepest Dungeon

Deepest Dungeon is a song about crawling around in dungeons, killing monsters and collecting loot. Or what some people call “a great way to spend the weekend”. It’s my second song inspired by gaming, and probably not the last…

I’m crowdsourcing, kind of.

After I wrote Save or Die, I decided to let “the crowd” (that’s you) decide whether the world needed more nerd rock songs by yours truly. I am humbled and happy to report, that there were people out there who wanted that to happen. If you’re one of them, thank you for helping me overcome my own insecurities!

Anyway, here is it, download Deepest Dungeon from Bandcamp. You get to name your own price, starting at free. Again, thank you for the support and encouragement.

Let’s rock ‘n’ roll some dice!

My Emerald City Comic Con Adventure

Emerald City Comic Con (ECCC) last weekend was my first con in nearly twenty years (not counting techie/photo trade shows). It pretty much went like this: on the first day I was extremely overwhelmed in an awesome way. It was great connecting with a few friends, take lots of pictures and discover tons of great art. Day two, I was warmed up and really enjoying myself, and on the final day, I was happy and tired. And really sore.

A few highlights worth sharing…

The nerd busking session – performers Molly Lewis, The Doubleclicks, Vixy & Tony and Marian Call shared a super intimate set in one of the lobbies.

Meeting up with Jade Gordon – an artist soon to be featured on Another Passion, Jade makes nerdy fan art so taking her portrait for the upcoming interview at ECCC made perfect sense.

Hanging with Thadeous – the man behind Geek Cred had a very special project going on. I can’t talk about the project itself, but I was more than happy to lend a hand.

I’d gone to ECCC thinking it would be 100% leisure time. Turns out of course, I don’t know how to have leisure time anymore. I’d brought my camera of course, and I just couldn’t help it but put it to use. The massive amount of fantastic art and costumes were inspiring too, making me want to create stuff!

Pics for Liz – On the last day, I teamed up with nerdwrangler extraordinaire, Dammit Liz. She needed photos for a project too, I had a camera and time to spare (leisure time? Pssh!) – everybody wins.

Fanboy moment – I spotted John Layman, writer of my favorite comic currently in print, CHEW! I learned that it has been picked up for a pilot by Showtime (move over, Dexter!) and that mr. Layman and I share something, which may account for my love of this particular comic: we’re both married to foodies! I didn’t get a photo because I was in fanboy mode and completely didn’t think about it. Don’t know Chew? Start here.

This weekend, I will be at Norwescon. My mid-thirties body is asking why I am doing this. My early-twenties brain is chanting: Let’s GO!

Come find me on the “New Media vs. Old Media” panel, Saturday at 3pm, or ping me on twitter if you’d like to meet up during the con.

A Nerd Comes Home

I am a nerd. I always have been, from my early memories of playing with Star Wars toys in the late 70s and graduating to Dungeons & Dragons, video games and comics in the 80s. Then the 90s, where I was deeply involved in the Danish gaming community, writing for a magazine, active on the con scene and even getting paid to game with kids! However, that was also the time I started feeling the pressure to “get a life” and “grow up”.

I spent the late 90s and a good part of the 2000s looking for a new identity. It’s clear to me now, but back then it was just life. I had wanted to be a writer, a photographer, a filmmaker and tell stories for a living, but that did not seem to fit with the rest of the world (as in: paying my rent). So I adapted, got a haircut and a “real” job in IT. It was vaguely creative, and I even made pretty good money for a while, but I also felt the joy of life getting sucked out of me.

Me, with my novel in 2001.
In 2001 my mystery novel "Det perfekte offer" (the perfect victim) was published in Denmark. I was one proud nerd.
I still played the occasional game with friends, but that was about it. The urge to tell stories was satisfied by writing novels and song lyrics, I even got published and played on the radio – but I had given up on making any of that into an actual job. It’s easy to say, that I should have pushed through and stuck to my guns, but I didn’t have the self confidence to do so. Maybe I was just too young and inexperienced.

I found photography as a way to tell my stories and make some cash, but I still supplemented my income as a bartender for the first couple of years. My nerdier interests remained firmly planted in the back seat.

Eventually, I started running into people with similar backgrounds, but who had stuck to their nerdy interests in their professional lives. Some had become established authors, others were designing story-based team building events. The range was larger than I had imagined, and that inspired me.

Since 2009, I have made a conscious effort to reawaken my inner nerd, and I truly believe it’s the best thing I have done for myself in years. Luckily, I have a wife who is also a nerd at heart, and who supports me completely.

I started a fresh gaming group, playing D&D for the first time in more than a decade. Even though the campaign died out, it got me back to writing game material — I wrote maybe 150 pages of notes for that campaign, some of which was put online. And it felt right. It felt good. It felt like home.

So for me personally, I am naming 2012 as the Year of the Nerd. I will be working on as many nerdy projects as I can, and for the first time since the 90s, I will be attending (at least 2) conventions this year. I’m even a panelist at one of them. So here’s to you, my fellow nerds. And thank you for the inspiration.