Tag Archives: A Match Made in Austen

Anything goes Sunday: Announcing the Megalaunch!

Renaissance, and our friend S.M. Carriere, are organizing a launch for all of our 2015 material, as well as for the novel Human, which is S.M.’s most recent release. The Megalaunch is not the most creative name, but it is very appropriate considering that we are launching three supernatural suspense novels (the aforementioned Human, Caroline Frechette’s Blood Matter from the Family by Choice series, and Evan May’s The King in Darkness), one cozy mystery (Madona Skaff-Koren’s Journey of a Thousand Steps) one non-fiction (Unblocked, Caroline’s guide to defeat writer’s block) and two games (my own A Match Made in Austen, and Caroline’s Extrahumans, companion to the Family by Choice novels). Also, coming up with a clever name that would encompass all of this diverse material is more difficult then one would think. So Megalaunch it is.

The event will take place at the Royal Oak (161 Laurier street in Ottawa), on October 25th at 1PM. More info can be found here.

Also, next Saturday, Oct 3rd, I will be that the Geek Market/Capital Gaming Expo, at the Nepean Sportplex. I will be hosting a game session of A Match Made in Austen in the afternoon, from 2:30 to 6:30, and will be at the Renaissance table for the rest of the day. I have no idea what Capital Gaming Expo is usually like, but I’ve had a good time at the Geek Market since I stated going two years ago, and I don’t see any reason for that to change. Do come and say hi!



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Posted by on September 27, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Anything goes Sunday: a little story, and some exciting news

Let’s start with the story.

Once upon a time, there was a girl called Aurelia. Every morning, Aurelia walked to go to work. There were many very reasonable reasons for her to do so: it’s good exercise, she doesn’t have a car (/there are no convenient bus routes/it’s cheaper then a cab) but the main reason is that approximately seven months out of the year, she really enjoys it. The winter can be really cold, to the point of making the ice-covered streets dangerous to navigate and making her spring for a cab, and the summer is usually much too hot to make the walks pleasant. Spring and fall were the best walking seasons, but Aurelia walked as much as she weather and her own fear of slipping on the ice and being hit by a car would allow her to in the winter, and she walked every day in the summer, no matter how hot and humid, not how much she hated it.

One week, as she was walking to work one morning, she realized: “Hey! It’s getting a little chilly. I should probably wear a jacket or a coat tomorrow morning.” The afternoon walk was very comfortable, and a jacket would have made her too hot, but Aurelia always carried a big purse to work, one where she would have no problem stuffing a jacket on the way back. So the next day, she wore a jacket, and was just at the right temperature to walk to work. As she walked, she noticed that some of the trees had started to turn a little yellow, and one was even getting really orange. She thought: “That’s it! Fall is here, at last!”

But the week-end brought a heat wave. The Canadian Weather Services issued warnings. The temperature rose up to 30 degrees Celcius, sometimes more, the Humidex to 40 degrees, and at nighttime it remained above 20 degrees. Over the next week, the temperatures kept decreasing slowly, giving Aurelia hope that her favorite season (she prefers the coming of fall after summer to that of spring after winter) was finally arriving, and once again her hopes were dashed by another heat wave.

The question here is not so much “How will the story end?” because the weather will eventually cool and fall will come. (Climate change can’t possibly be that bad yet. I’m pretty sure human life will go extinct long before we see the end of winter on the North American continent.) The question is when. When will fall come?! I know the official date isn’t for another two weeks and maybe it’s too soon to start complaining (as I’ve been told by those who enjoy risking dehydration and skin cancer, aka “Summer people”*) but it’s been so close, those last couple of weeks. There were days when it was there, when I could taste it! It’s not fair!

Anyway, on to better news: the AMMIA cards arrived this week! I was hoping to get my personal deck today, but it didn’t work out that way. I’ll get it Saturday at the latest (more on that in a minute).

This is it! A Match Made in Austen, a game that I made up in my head in December 2013 over a period of about 48 hours, after 20 months of work and rework and wishes and hopes, is a thing that exists, that I can touch and hold in my hand. It’s a game that I can play, one that other people can buy (preorder now over at Renaissance), in fact one that other people have already bought! Thank you to the Kickstarter backers! Thank you to Cécilia, for the amazing art! Thank you to Caroline and Kyle at Renaissance for all of your hard work in making this real.

Final note: I am going to be at Creative Ottawa Nerds, or CON, this Saturday between 10 and 5 at St Richard’s church in Ottawa. With me will also be Caroline Frechette, fellow Renaissance Press author, and along with the Press catalog of books, Caro and I will also have have our games. Caroline, declaring herself inspired by me, created a co-op card game based on her popular series Family by Choice. It will be the first time that the games will be available for sale at an event, and I am excited, if a little anxious, to see how it all turns out.

*Summer people, we may on occasion be bound by blood or by friendship, and those bonds I shall always respect, but you are not my people.

eta: Damn it! I thought I set that to publish yesterday evening. Sorry everyone, and happy Labor Day!

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Posted by on September 7, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Anything goes Sunday: A Match Made In Austen update

Lots of exciting things happened this week.

On Wednesday,  the game boxes arrived.


On Thursday,  the designer sent me the final version of the cards, snd once I approved them, Renaissance placed the order, and we should get them in two to three weeks.

And then, we already have the dice and the rulebook.


So that is it! We will have physical copies of the game ready to show off, to send to the Kickstarter backers and to local independent game stores. The thing that I made up in my mind in December two years ago will be real!

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Posted by on August 23, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Another day late, another dollar short

I keep meaning to write my Sunday posts early, because I am aware, on some level, that I won’t have the time to write anything on the day of. My errands in the day and my board-gaming in the evening take up all the time and creativity I have. So I do mean to write ahead of time, but then I get distracted and I forget.

Anyway, this is what I meant to post yesterday: A Match Made in Austen, my story-telling card game based on the novels of Jane Austen, is now available for pre-order. Those who pre-order get bonus characters, from the novel Lady Susan. Since Renaissance is based in Québec, I was asked, and gladly accepted, to also make a French version of the game, which you can also pre-order. (Allez, mes amis! Commandez!)

And one last thing (one last excuse for not posting yesterday)… the heatwave is back! Argh!!! Why can’t it be fall already?

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Posted by on August 17, 2015 in Uncategorized


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This week

This week, I feel like I accomplished more. I got a really good chunk of prep work done on the writing project that’s been eating my brain for the past couple of months, I translated the rules of A Match Made in Austen so that we could launch a French version simultaneously with the English one, I read a whole novel, I did some work on the “alpha” version of this board game I want to create, and I found a really cute jeweled lamp for my office, on sale at 12 bucks to boot.

I also spent Canada Day watching a bunch of dvds I’d been meaning to watch for a while, and I spent most of Saturday at a double birthday party for a friend and the child she happened to give birth to on her own birthday (there were two parties, a kid one in the afternoon and a dinner one at an all-you-can-eat sushi place in the evening) and I watched the Queen’s Plate this evening. All those years watching the Stater triple crown, and I never watched the Canadian one until now; I can’t believe it either.

So I feel much better then I did last week, all in all. I was productive, which I prefer being when I can possibly help it. And the time I spent not working or creating, I spent doing stuff that I really enjoy. I hope the following week keeps the same pattern.

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Posted by on July 5, 2015 in Uncategorized


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In a rut

That title, in a nutshell, describes my feelings. I feel like I haven’t done much of anything this week.

I have done things, of course. I’ve read a lot, I’ve done a little shopping (a hat, and ribbons for the drapes in my office), I’ve started painting over a box and some game pieces so that I can reuse them in “alpha” versions of some board games ideas I have (in other news, I don’t think I’ll be doing much of that anymore: much, much simpler and less messy to just cover them in paper or in cardboard), I have participated in discussion to put the final touches in the A Match Made in Austen production.

(btw, I think I forgot to put it here: the campaign was a success! We raised 2 475$! Thank you so much, everyone who participated.)

I think the main problem is that I haven’t written a lot. I don’t have any one solid writing project that I can devote myself to. That’s not true, there is the one thing, but I’m so early in the pre-writing stage, in the planning and the research, that I feel like it doesn’t really counts as writing. So I’m looking at the other planned ideas in my writing folder, and I dabble around with them until I am good and discouraged, and all I want to do is curl up with a bunch of Popsicles and read Danielle Steels novels, or Ivanhoe. (Don’t ask me what they have in common, other them my desire to read them.)

Part of it is that I feel like I should have something ready to publish for the next year; I feel like Renaissance is relying on me and that I’m letting them down by focusing what creative energy I have in a project that they won’t be able to publish or produce. They’re not pressuring me, I’m pressuring myself, which is worse. I’m trying to cut myself some slack: I have provided one project a year so far (two books and a game in three calendar years of productions), and I might have a little something for the 2016 calendar as well. We have two new authors, and we might get more. There are other people who can write the books that we publish, and there is no need for me to try and be as productive as Caroline Frechette, who writes twice as fast as I do, if not faster, on top of everything else she does.

I want to finish my big project. I don’t know what is going to happen to it once I have finished, maybe nothing, but I want to finish it. After that, I’ll probably be in a better state of mind to write potentially publishable stuff. And maybe I’ll stop feeling like I’m in a rut.

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Posted by on June 28, 2015 in Uncategorized


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What to do this week-end: go to events, watch television

So, I’ve got a lot to do this week-end, on top of the regular stuff (laundry, grocery shopping, all the stuff I don’t have time to do during the week.)

Tonight is the play session of A Match Made in Austen at l’As des Jeux (the Game Buff). eta Make that was, because I’m finishing up this post having returned from the event. It was amazing. There were so many players that neither Caro nor I needed to play ourselves, we could simply explain and moderate and let the players make their own fun. They got over the timidity that comes from playing with a group of strangers pretty well, and everyone had a great time. Some players had suggestions as to how to improve the game, which is awesome because it means they are invested in it (we might even implant some of those ideas.) They also all promised to back us on the Kickstarter. (Perhaps you could do the same, if you have not already done so.)

Saturday is the inaugural Prose in the Park. As it is a new event, I have no idea what to expect, but the concept sounded really cool, and Renaissance committed to rent a table for the day, which I’ll be manning with my friend and co-Renaissance-author Caroline Fréchette. I only hope that it doesn’t rain, because the event is outside. Yes, we have a tent, but rain would decrease the traffic exponentially, and sitting at a table in the rain waiting for people who are unlikely to come because of said rain is a very unpleasant experience, even if one doe shave a tent. The weather app on my tablet does promise sunshine and a high of 20 degrees Celsius tomorrow, so let’s hope for that.

Saturday evening is the Belmont stakes, the last race of the Triple Crown. The Test of the Champions. I don’t always watch the Belmont. I only really get invested when there’s a chance that a horse will win the triple crown, meaning that the same horse wins both the Derby and the Preakness. This is what happened this year (good job American Pharaoh) and I think the horse really has a good shot at Belmont, so I am genuinely excited about this. And, doesn’t it just figures, I probably won’t even be able to watch it live. According to the Belmont website, the call to post is going to be at 6:49, so I might make it, depending on how long it takes to pack everything up and on the kind of traffic we hit on the way back to town. I made arrangements to record the race, just in case.

Sunday, on top of being the “get caught up before the week starts over again” day, is the Tony Awards. This one televised event actually puts me in a pickle. I am super invested in the Tonys this year. Of the plays I went to see in New York this Easter, two were new plays and potentially eligible to Tony Nominations. And they both got nominations: three for The Audience (Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play for Helen Mirren, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play for Richard McCabe, Best Costume Design of a Play for Bob Crowley) and twelve for Fun Home (Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical for Lisa Kron, Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre for Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for Michael Cerveris, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for Beth Malone, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical for Judy Khun, Sydney Lucas and Emily Skeggs, Best Scenic Design of a Musical for David Zinn, Best Lighting Design of a Musical for Ben Stanton, Best Direction of a Musical for Sam Gold, Best Orchestrations for John Clancy). And on top of that, it’s hosted by Kristen Chenoweth and Alan Cumming, who are two of my favorite performers.

The pickle, here, is that it’s a Sunday night. I have work on Monday, and this will likely last until eleven or so, much later then I usually go to sleep. I don’t want the experienced spoiled for me, especially not this year, but I know that if I don’t watch it live, it will inevitably be spoiled, because something like half the blogs I follow on Tumblr are musical blogs, and they are going to talk about the winners and GIF all the funny/touching moments. So I have no idea what I’m going to do. I may very well end up sleeping much too late and be a zombie on Monday.

(Maybe if I take a nap Sunday afternoon, and another nap Monday afternoon after work…)

Anyway, that’s my week-end. It’s a busy one, but there are worse kinds of week-ends to have.

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Posted by on June 5, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Today was card game day

You may or may not remember, two weeks ago, I mentioned that I created a card game called A Match Made in Austen, and that my publishers, Renaissance, was using the game as a gateway to expend the business into game production. Card games, as it turns out, are a pretty good starting point for printing games, because they are relatively easy to make. So today, fellow Renaissance author Caroline Fréchette and I had planned a day of testing various kinds of card games. I brought mine and she brought hers, and we were going to try out as many as possible. The goal was to try out different systems, and get some ideas about adapting her book series Family by Choice into a card game.


Those are my card games, photographed from my apartment.


Those are her card games, photographed from her home. To be fair, she owns many – MANY – more board games then I do. I barely can fill a bookshelf with my board games. She has a wall full in her basement. I also included a regular deck of cards in my games, and I’m sure she owns one of those, too.

Turns out that between the making of the plans and the actual day, she and her partner had already figured out a system, which is the bunch of papers you see in the pictures of her games. So we tried out that version (still some details to iron out, but already a lot of fun) and played Gloom and Fluxx, because I had never played Gloom and she had never played Fluxx.

I think I may have been the overall winner of this game of discovery. I found Gloom to be so much fun. However, while Caroline agreed that the collectible Fluxx versions might be fun to have, for fannish purposes, the game itself is too random for her taste. Of course, randomness is the point of Fluxx, but if you like to be able to plan three moves ahead, it’s not the game for you.

In any case, today was a good day, and there are a lot of potential goodies in the future. One of those future goodies being my own game, A Match Made in Austen, which you can now support on Kickstarter.

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Posted by on May 24, 2015 in Uncategorized


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How my week-end went

Pretty well, all things considered. My week ended on sort of a shitty note, one that I’d rather not talk about, but so far the week-end seems to be making out for it.

Yesterday, the Preakness Stakes, the second race of the Triple Crown, was run in Baltimore. I don’t make as big a fuss about the Preakness as I do about the Derby, which ran two weeks ago, but I do watch it almost every year, if only to see if there’s going to be a Triple Crown winner this year. And from what little I know about horseback racing, things are looking pretty good this year. The same horse won both the Derby and the Preakness, and he won them both by a fair margin, which means he just might have the stamina to run the mile and a half Belmont, the final race of the Triple Crown, three weeks from now. And on top of that, it was pouring rain in Maryland yesterday afternoon, and the horse still held his own.

(Unrelated, but still good news, I went to my parents’ house to watch the race, and my Montreal sibling had dropped off the cats, both the ‘street rescue’ one and the ‘wanted ads’ one, in preparation for moving back in town for the summer. I got to pet the kitties, and they are both so nice and so gorgeous. I think I’m more ready then I expected to get a new cat of my own. Don’t tell the Montreal sibling, though; I don’t want to be pushed. I’ll go to the SPCA in my own good time.)

This afternoon was CanGames, a local convention of tabletop and role-playing gamers in Ottawa. I was leading a play-test for A Match Made in Austen, the card game I designed and which is now being produced by Renaissance. It was a small play-test, only one person signed up for it, but that one person was very enthusiastic, and picked up some of our promo material to distribute to friends who might like the game as well. My friend Caroline Fréchette, the driving force behind Renaissance, was also there, and we had a good look around in the vendors room, browsing other card games, looking for some inspiration. (We bought a few, and are planning a board game day to test them out. We haven’t had one of those in ages, it’s going to be great!) That was a fun time.

Speaking of A Match Made in Austen: the Kickstarter is trucking along nicely. The game is now 36% funded with 31 days to go. I don’t want to jinx it, but we might just make it, and wouldn’t that be cool! Launching a finished product knowing that at least two dozen other people are as excited about it as we are.

And tomorrow is a day off, because it’s Victoria Day. I’ve talked about my feelings about three day week-ends before (in a gist, the two day week-ends suit me fine) but it has been a while since I spent a day in my jammies, watching movies or reading. I think I might be overdue.

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Posted by on May 17, 2015 in Uncategorized


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