2005-10-18: And where I'm coming from...
by Emily Care
Hi there! This is Emily, the other contributor to this blog. As Meg said, it can be good to have an idea about who you're reading about so as to avoid surprises later on. I'm also open to questions about any of the stuff I'm into that folks may have.
So here goes:
I live in western Massachusetts in a cooperative household called Salamander Farm with Meg's sister and two other housemates. I was also born in 1971 and I originally hail from southwestern Connecticut in the US, spitting distance from New Haven and a hop-skip away from New York city.
Despite living in the 4th most densely populated state in the union, I feel like I grew up in the country. My neighborhood was old farm land with big stretches of fields left over, & a gravel pit between the railroad tracks & the Hoosatonic river turning back into woods. I spent the majority of my time rambling around in those woods with my dog, climbing trees, sliding on frozen streams, looking for buried treasure and the like.
My folks married young and I am their only. I'm from a traditional-type family—one dad, one mom—though it was more of an extended family including my grandmother as well as an aunt and an uncle from my dad's side at various times. Unusually for my generation, my parents are together to this day. Both my parents' families are big, so I grew up with lots of uncles, aunts & cousins, though being an only child meant I had a lot of time & space to myself.
Living in a group feels pretty natural to me. I've only actually lived on my own during my time at college—and since that was living in a dorm it doesn't quite count. My current household and another formative one are cooperative situations, which seems like the sanest and most environmentally responsible way to live for me. One's mileage will vary, of course. Not everyone does well in groups & not every group does well.
College took me to Pennsylvania, then up to Massachusetts where I got my undergrad degree & (soon to be) will have my grad degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. I'm studying forestry and am currently making the transition into working more in my field. It's a bit terrifying to make the change, but it will be much better to not be trying to work full time while going to grad school & trying to design & publish games. Much less have a life. There are so many hobbies that I long to have more time for, including marbleizing, martial arts & just plain spending time outside.
Another major area of my life is my spirituality. My parents are both interested in Buddhism, my father having recently taken Refuge, although they raised me in a fairly open-minded Christian tradition and still honor those traditions. They didn't baptize me, allowing me to make the decision as an informed adult, which I did, taking my confirmation at the UCC Congregational church we went to, but not so many years later realizing that Christianity really just wasn't for me. I went to my first Pagan gathering Starwood, home to a two storey tall bonfire ritual & lots of freedom of spirit, mind & body, in 1998. I've met wonderful communities through events like Starwood, Rites of Spring and Spirit Fire Festival and help facilitate a regular drum circle in South Amherst that brings people together every month. (Despite the out of date web page : (
I identify as (generally) socialist, bi, poly, progressive, environmentalist & feminist and try to live up to all the ideals implied by several of those categories. Not easy to do so, but I feel grateful to be able to live in community, be out (mostly) about my life, and to keep incorporating environmentally & socially responsible behaviours where & when I can: buying locally, raising food, supporting good causes. Some goals are to get solar power for the house & to drive a lot less.
My role playing days began in college, when I was living with the Ennead doing Ars Magica derived mostly-free-form with a tremendous amount of shared world-building & decentralized plotting. I've continued this type of gaming with Meg & Vincent, though over the last several years we've incorporated more tailored mechanics into our play & have played a lot of the new great games that have been recently designed such as Primetime Adventures, The Big Night, Great Ork Gods & are playing regularly with Joshua & Carrie. The Forge has spilled over into our group & crazily enough everyone among us has designed a game (finished or not) including: Dogs in the Vineyard (and all Vincent's tasty goodness), Under the Bed, Breaking the Ice, Thousand and One Nights, and Sedition. Going to GenCon this year was an incredible treat.
Again, I am grateful for my local community & for the broader group of folks I've gotten to know & to even meet via the web on sites like this one, anyway & the Forge.
Thanks for reading! Enjoy the blog.
2005-10-19 21:26:58 John Harper
I'm glad to see you list Greak Ork Gods. That game made a big impact on me too, and I think it's generally underrated in the indie game scene.
2005-10-19 21:55:22 Emily
GOG is simply brilliant, in my book. I was amazed to see that it's still "in playtest". Jack, if you're out there, I for one would love to see it in print. I guess we should give him feedback if we want to see it in final form.
2005-10-20 15:12:10 Ben Lehman
I think I may do this.
2005-10-20 21:45:21 ScottM
Thanks for having us.
2005-10-21 01:43:49 Mo
I knew you "felt" familiar (as much as anybody you know casually online can feel like anything). Your bio reads almost exactly like a GF of mine from long long ago. That isn't really a good or bad thing, just an is thing.
Sounds like your GenCon experience was very interesting (both from your mention here and from stuff over on the Forge). Brand's planning, I think, on going next year. Maybe I should put aside my con fear and try it out.