Thursday, January 21, 2010
"Welcome Back to the Creative Fold." Extracted from my In Progress Memoirs
Copyright 2010. Robert J. Kuntz.
"... After I quit TSR I embarked upon a massive self-learning and creative phase, with all the joys and bumps associated with it. This included continued world-crafting of my World of Kalibruhn, creation of related and ancillary RPG matter, fantasy- and science-fiction story crafting and board game design. For the latter I finished three prototype designs: "Ice Age," "Dragons" and "Magus" with the last to eventually find publication in Dragon Magazine 147. These were in turn submitted to the Avalon Hill Game Company which rejected them, though with a nice letter of response favoring the "Dragons" game wherein one adopted the role of a dragon. Since I believed through the play-tests that the strongest one was "Magus," I ventured onward, first to Mayfair Games, who took too long considering it, so I finally pulled it back. I then decided to take the bunch to the Dragon Magazine and therefore arranged a meeting with its editor (who I shall not name, other than it was not Tim Kask, Kim Mohan or Roger Moore, all of whom I had respect for in their separate runs as editors).
I had been out of sight for a year by then, a reclusive artist banging away at the keyboard and filling boxes in my reconverted attic cum office with reams of material. As I entered this editor's office, he said, "Rob! Welcome back to the creative fold!" As I sat down I was immediately uncomfortable. It was a sixth-sense impression that was gathering steam for what I was to later add to the presumptuous and insulting category. Here I was, I finally thought, in the Golden Halls of Allah, and with a representative thereof whose very chair he was sitting upon was in part due its existence to my prior work as an employee and designer for the company, and quite some time before his own arrival.
Many would be writers would have laughed off the remark, of course, looking to the future sale. That glorious sale. The object of desire. The reason for being. Being there. But it isn't, really. Now or then. Being a creator, the aftermath of my undertakings have found various coigns: in publication, in filing cabinets, in boxes, on a bed stand, pinned to walls, and some unfortunately for their final repose found a lone and unexpected fire, consumed from the indited page but not from my minds-eye of experience. I thought about this meeting for some time afterwards. My coyness at his questions; and my sudden reversal of intent. I fairly escaped the meeting by promising to be back in touch when I had polished them some more, and he had not even held the designs in his hands. The "meeting" lasted less than ten minutes.
In retrospect my sensibilities about the ideas of creator and creation had been offended. Was there only one spot on earth for such artificing? Why yes! The very spot where it takes place at, so there are many "one-spots". . . My own experience proved an invaluable lesson. It was about the work. Good works will always find a place and time to nurture them. Under Kim Mohan's capable leadership not too soon after the afore-noted editor's removal,""Magus" found a home. ..."