Thursday, September 29, 2011

Stick Wars Castle Defense

First of all, I'd like to thank Lynn(e) from The Submission Process for the Blog on Fire award. Thank you, Lynn(e)!

Secondly, I loved, loved, LOVED reading everyone's comments on yesterday's post about what genre and age group you write for! Make sure you check out the updated graphics. I think you'll find it very un-scientifically interesting. If you didn't a chance to leave your genre and age group yesterday, I'll update the graphics for a few more days. For some reason, colorful puff balls make me happy. :o)

Okay. I live in a family of gamers. As the only person in my family who didn't get any of my husband's genes, all the talk about what race, class, and spec a new character should have, getting exp, picking up armor.... above and beyond me. I couldn't play an mmorpg (massive multiplayer online role playing games, for those of you not familiar to the lingo) any more easily than I could dance in a ballet.

One day, I was in a creative slump. I hadn't written in days, and I wasn't sure I could even pull myself out of it enough to try. My son came up to me and said, "Mom, want to play a game with me?"

I groaned inside. Mostly because I hate long games. "What kind of game?"

"Stick wars. We each draw a castle, then draw things to defend it with."

Immediately I thought about Paladins, Druids, Shamans, Mages, Warlocks, Hunters, Elves, Dwarves, Undead.... and the talk about having one character that's a healer, one that's a tank, one that's a damage doer.... It took about a second and a half of imagining this game before my head wanted to explode. "Uh.... I'm not good at that kind of stuff."

"No-- it'll be fun! We each only have five minutes to draw, and you can defend your castle with anything that will scare off the enemy."

"Anything? And it's all about speed?" Okay, that game I can play.

So here is our game in all it's awesomeness. The instigator of the game didn't want his posted on the Internet, but my other son let me, as long as he could remain anonymous. :)

Now, I'll admit: he nearly had me with all those archers, spear men, snakes, spiders, bramble fence, thorn moat, fog, elven warriors, and impenetrable castle walls.

I think may have him beat, though. It was the confined spaces that turned the tide my direction. That, and having those butterflies drop the science fair project on the unsuspecting hordes. Those are scary things indeed.

And when we were done, guess what? Not only did I have a fabulous time with my sons, I realized it had kicked me out of my creative slump IN FIVE MINUTES FLAT.

Moral of the story: Sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something out of the ordinary can reward you in ways you never expected.


Tara Tyler said...

darn it! i wanted to be first to say you're on fire! ah well.
at least i'm first commenting on your awesome family artwork! my son loves to draw his video games too.

Brenda Drake said...

This is such a fun idea - I absolutely loved yours. Hahahaha 'bad grades' and 'science fair project' - brilliant! <3

Ruth Josse said...

My boys would love this! Must play. You defended your castle with some truly frightening things:)

And I agree, it's good to do something different once in a while. We humans tend to get too comfortable.

Abby Fowers said...

What a cute, fun idea! I need to do this with my kids. I used to do something like this with my cousin when we were young. Oh, so fun!

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

This is awesome. You should play clay-o-rama sometime. It's similar in idea to this. Google the rules by typing in "clay-o-rama" on any google search and read. Loads of fun for kids.

Liz Reinhardt said...

This is FANTASTIC!! I had a similar slump save when my little girl asked me to play dolls with her. Wow, her imagination is wild and inspiring! I'm so glad you got out of your slump and spent such fun time with the kiddos! Nothing better than that!

Jennie Bennett said...

This is awesome and you are a great artist!

Jenny S. Morris said...

This sounds like a lot of fun. I have to catch myself from doing the sigh thing when my son asks to play games. That's about all he wants to do.

I can't draw but my son would love this.

Emily R. King said...

My kids have knocked me out of slumps, too. They're so wonderful. Thanks for sharing this. The drawings are adorable!

Carrie Butler said...

You know butterflies freak me out! I'm never visiting your castle, Queen Eddleman! *grins*

I love this post. It was a great idea, and it was way cute. :)

Unknown said...

I want to play this!! I love your 'shears men' LOL. So clever!!

Lani Wendt Young said...

A great blogger/writer AND a super fun mom - still running trying to catch up to you! That game was cool. Thank you for the reminder to step out of the zone once in a while - for fun, creativity and time with my children.

Iain said...

I'm very impressed.
Then again, I always have a 50:50 chance of getting the pencil the right way around when I try drawing.
You are spot on with your moral. It's amazing how may times something different can trigger creative thoughts.

David P. King said...

I played a MMPOG before. I hope I never, EVER, get sucked into one of those again. Seriously. I enter and I'll never come out.

"Sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something out of the ordinary can reward you in ways you never expected."

Perfectly said! That's totally my quote for the day. I'll have to snag it (and give you credit, of course). :)

Peggy Eddleman said...

Tara-- Aw, Tara! You are awesome! I'll take you saying that any time. Thank you!

Brenda-- Thanks! I don't know about you, but I find science fair projects extremely scary. Every time science fair season rolls around, I try to hide. I'm never successful.

Ruth-- You're right. We DO get too comfortable! It's because it's so comfortable and all. You should totally play with your kids. You'll all love it. :)

Abby-- Now see? If you play with your kids, they will love it, you'll get a creative high, AND it'll be all nostalgic. You can't lose.

Michael-- I'm googling clay-o-rama right now. Sounds like my kind of game!

Elizabeth-- Awww! I love that! Kids are the best.

J.A.-- Haha! Um, thanks! (Or were you being sarcastic?)

Jenny-- That's the best part- you don't have to be able to draw! You and your son will love it all the same. :) Plus, over in five minutes. Best kind of game!

E.R.-- Kids are incredibly reliable when it comes to slump chucking. It's nice.

Carrie-- That's okay- the poke-o-sticks might get you if you tried, anyway. As long as you don't have the confined spaces, spiders, or science fair projects at your castle, Queen CABulter, I'll come to your castle to play.

Ashley-- You should! You will LOVE it. Guaranteed. :)

Lani-- Yes, I am the world's most perfect mom- don't ever let my kids tell you otherwise. ;)

Iain-- Hahaha! Then you have a 50/50 chance of loving this game. :) I guess creative energy can come from anywhere. Cool how that is, isn't it?

David-- Aww. That makes me so many kinds of happy!

WritingNut said...

What a great aND fun idea! And definitely a great moral to remember :)

Lan said...

Sometimes it takes someone else to remind us writers that the world is a place full of inspiration no matter what the diversion. This game is heaps of fun. I wonder if I could get my husband to play...he's a big kid after all :)

Pamela King said...

Something out of the ordinary can definitely be rewarding...and a lot of fun. :)

Peggy Eddleman said...

Writing Nut-- It was a LOT of fun. I was glad I did it!

Lan-- I totally agree. Definitely try to coerce him! He'd have a blast!

Pamela-- For sure. We all had fun!

Dawn M. Hamsher said...

This was so fun! I think you could turn that into a story!

Paul Tobin said...

This is a great post, I love the way that you approach your creativity in a very visual way and how this frees up the imagination. I do similar things when I am stuck, when writing I always have to have a time line of events then I can build the story around it. Though whether the time line comes before the characters or after, is a moot point.

Peggy Eddleman said...

Dawn-- It was fun! And my son already turned it into a story. :) He's cool like that.

Paul-- Visual things definitely spark creativity for me, too! I always wish I could think of some really fabulous way to do a more visual timeline.