Taking Flight

At the time of this writing, The Stork has been funded for $1310, which is $210 above the goal. I am overjoyed and humbled and astonished by all of the support from friends and strangers alike.

But when it was only funded for $500, I felt the dread coming on. I worried that things wouldn’t work out and I’d let all these people down. I imagined all the sympathetic looks and the “ah, well at least you tried”s. I made up all kinds of things about what it might mean if the project didn’t get funded.

Then I recalled something someone said in a blog post a few weeks back. Excuse me, what I said in a blog post. About acting like it is a done deal and not giving up. A lot of things I write are directed at myself as much as they are towards other people. It is like having an emotional savings account to fall back on during rough patches.

So I decided that $500 was nearly halfway there. I decided that there was plenty of time and lots of people were just going to contribute later. I decided that someone was waiting until the right moment to make a dramatic contribution. As it turned out, all of these things were true.

I want to be less afraid. I want to trust any process I have set in motion. I want to have more faith in myself and in other people. It is happening, step by step, with the occasional explosion of wings unfurling.

The Stork on Kickstarter

The Stork Needs Your Help

I want people to be braver and kinder. I want people to know how much they matter. I want people to get beyond their obstacles. But sometimes people are afraid or self-defeating or unaware of the impact they have. Sometimes they need a nudge. Sometimes people secretly want permission to be fantastic.

That’s why I created The Stork. It is permission to step outside your comfort zone, to be daring, to be silly, to see what it is like to not keep putting something off…whatever it is you need to give yourself permission to do.

And you can’t do it alone. The Stork is a game where you must interact with at least one other person in order to succeed. These moments, these glowing points of contact, cannot be encapsulated because they are different for everyone. But for me, the times I have been The Stork, I feel like I matter and I am reminded that I am capable of more than I’m currently settling for.

The Stork is entering its last week on Kickstarter and it still needs a bit more funding in order to succeed. Please visit the page and have a look at the project. If it resonates with you, please consider contributing $10 or $25 (or any amount) to keeping it alive.


Thank you,


Shout Outs to the Stork Video Supporters

I am grateful for my friends who took the time to either send in a video testimonial or let me record them for the Stork promo video. Here is a little bit more about them, in order of appearance.

Kristina Arntson – Kristina is one of the kindest people I know. She has her own acupuncture practice where she also offers adjunctive therapies including cranio sacral, massage, direct moxibustion, and nutrition. She can be found on Facebook here.

Marc Majcher – Marc is a busy guy. When he isn’t doing improv at the Hideout Theater or designing games under the Gizmet Gameworks label, he is cranking out code, which he will happily do for those inclined to pay him.

Kris Umlauf – The lovely Kris hosts fantastic parties and will give you the lowdown on restaurants all around Austin.

Reed Oliver – Reed is the front man for World Racketeering Squad, Austin’s premiere producer of nerdwave tunes. Go check out one of their shows and/or buy their album!

Thanks again, folks!

Origins of The Stork

When I went to see Pixar’s WALL-E, there was an animated short called Partly Cloudy before the film. It had to do with a stork who got stuck with delivering really challenging packages. It got me thinking of some shadowy agency which employed people called Storks to deliver metaphorical packages to people. Perhaps this guy shows up on your doorstep with a lost memory from childhood.

Then I thought maybe I could make a role playing game out of it. The players would play characters in this agency delivering packages as a way of working off a debt, kind of like the reapers in Dead Like Me.

But then it occurred to me it might be more interesting if it were a live action game like Killer or Capture the Flag, where teams of people had to make sure a package got delivered to its destination.

I’m not sure how it happened, but when I sat down to write down some notes for the rules to this potential game, I instead wrote the manual that became The Stork. It was one of those rare pieces of writing that I transcribe more than write. It just flowed out, almost fully formed. I made some tweaks to it, but the first draft ended up being really good as is.

Some part of me wants to create these shared experiences, these abstract dreamlike ideas. I’ve found the best way to communicate them is to squeeze them into the shape of a story or a game. The structure is just a handle or a frame, a label so that other people can (hopefully) understand what I’m trying to tell them.

Find out more about The Stork at Kickstarter

The Stork has launched!

Thank you Kristina, Marc, Kris, and Reed for the testimonial videos. I edited everything this morning and put the video up on the Kickstarter page.

Time to launch!

Visit The Stork on Kickstarter

On Secrets

I was hoping I would be able to share something about a recent project, but it is still under wraps. Stay tuned!

I’m pretty good at keeping secrets. You ask me not to tell, I essentially partition that information away in a special vault in my memory. Eventually even I will be surprised by the news.

It’s tricky when I am working on something cool, but I’m forbidden to show anyone. I recently had to sign an NDA at work. Now I belong to a secret society who know about *It*.

In other news, I have secured three video testimonials about The Stork. I want to get one more and then cut together a promo video so I can launch the Kickstarter project. I’d like to get that going by the end of the month.

Prepping for Takeoff

I’ve got most of The Stork’s project page completed on Kickstarter. Their back end is really slick and full of helpful information on fundraising, promoting your project, etc. I’m used to shrouding The Stork in secrecy so that it is more fun to learn about it when you participate. But, obviously, in this situation, I need to give more details so people understand why they should contribute.

Kickstarter encourages the use of video to help people engage with your project on an emotional level. I’m gathering video testimonials of people who have participated in the past so I can cut together a promo. So far I have two really good testimonials and I’d like to get at least two more. Then I’ll throw in some graphics and music and put it up!


Kickstarter fever was in the air. It seemed like every time I turned around, someone was posting about their new Kickstarter project on Facebook or Twitter. It seemed like a magical box where you put an idea in one end and an amazing thing came out the other. Somewhere in between a bunch of generous strangers dumped a bunch of money in there as well.

The excitement and success stories surrounding Kickstarter projects made me want to do it like the cool kids. But what would I do? Of course! I could do an expanded print run of The Stork, my… game…book…experiment…thing. Yes! Kickstarter was the perfect place for my weird idea of promoting random kindness. Continue reading


I hadn’t heard about STAPLE! until last year. Chris Nicholas, a guy I met in improv classes at The New Movement, created and organized it. It is basically a mini convention for indie comic creators, game designers, and artists in general. You can find out more at www.staple-austin.org .

I had never been a vendor at a convention, so I didn’t know what to expect. Chris warned me that STAPLE! kind of spoils vendors for other conventions because it is such a cool experience. He was not wrong. My vague plan was to roll in there with copies of House of Whack and The Stork and see what happened. Continue reading


I was holding off on posting in my blog because I am going to be moving web hosts, but that has been delayed due to a mixup.

The STAPLE pre-party was neat. I had forgotten how many comic books there were at Austin Books & Comics. It felt like an ark for comic books, a backup vault in case civilization fell. I didn’t really know anyone there besides Chris, but my “Team Linus” shirt served as social currency. I also got to meet Goatboy, the artist who did the interior art for The Stork. I had only worked with him online.

Then I went to Reed’s housewarming party where I talked to cute girls about Doctor Who. Cory brought New Age and fruit, pretty much sealing the deal on the fun party situation.