Recommended Podcast: George RR Martin on Nerdist

George RR Martin recently took some time out of his Comic Con schedule to talk to the guys at Nerdist (Chris Hardwick, Jonah Ray, and Matt Mira). The interview is interesting not only for the Game of Thrones fan, but for writers in general as Martin talks about his writing habits and the craft. I love it when super-successful writers keep it real in conversation; Martin definitely does.


My Nerdist Way Character Sheet

I finally got around to creating my character sheet using The Nerdist Way template  as I mentioned I might do a million years ago. I thought this activity might prove entertaining but was otherwise unnecessary because I already know what I want to do with my life. But looking at myself from the outside even at this stage was unexpectedly informative.

The point of creating a personal character sheet is to better understand yourself, your strengths, and weaknesses, and then use this information to take control of your life.


I did learn something new about myself. My long-time assumption that I’m Lawful Good aligned was disproven. I decided to take a few alignment quizzes, answering each question honestly, and it turns out I can be a real self-serving jerk.

Here are a couple of the quizzes I took in case you’re interested in finding out where you stand:

Dungeons & Dragons Online Alignment Test (this is obviously designed for players of the online game, but something tells me you, like me, are capable of pretending you live in a fantasy world) — I scored plain ol’ neutral here.

Truly Lawful Productions D&D Alignment Test — I scored 47.2% Good and 17.9% Lawful, with a Neutral Good result. I did not expect to score so low on the lawful scale! I swear I don’t jaywalk.

Not even a million OKCupid quizzes can capture the full spectrum of our identities, but I thought the D&D take was interesting and fun. Knowing your own mind is important to a great number of life concerns and too often we only see ourselves in passing.

Close-Up-CharismaChris Hardwick, author of The Nerdist Way, advises against sharing your character sheet because you’ll want to be completely honest about your abilities while creating it. But I think it’s silly to hide my low numbers. It’s a well-known fact that I have almost no charisma.

The exercise gave me a chance to think about areas where I have basic skills that can beClose-Up-Photoshop improved upon; skills I didn’t think important to writing until recently. Like improving my ability to destroy flash photography, as illustrated by my da Vinci-like artistic representation.

It’s good to step back sometimes, even when you think you’ve perfected the blueprint to your success. I tend to get tunnel vision when faced with a massive task. I’ve been faced with a number of massive tasks lately and looking at the big picture has been difficult.

So here I am, in all my flawed glory. What would your character sheet look like? What attributes and weapons can help you move forward with your goals?

Nerdist Way Character Sheet

The Nerdist Way Book Release

Last night, I played fangirl and attended “The Nerdist Way” book release at Meltdown Comics, featuring a Q&A with author Chris Hardwick (moderated by Will Wheaton–emphasis on the haitch) and a book signing. I want to be more proactive about going to book signings, Q&A’s with authors of all kinds, literary events and writing workshops–basically, getting out and being an active participant in the writing community. The fact that 13 year-old S.Z. had a big, fat crush on “Singled Out” Chris Hardwick had nothing to do with it.

When we got there, the Q&A was packed so we fell in line for the signing. By the time the Q&A ended, the signing line wrapped around the store. I’d heard Hardwick promoting the release on popular KROQ morning show Kevin & Bean, so I had braced myself for unadulterated chaos, but it was organized and there was no wall of death. Kudos to Meltdown.

(Video: Wall of Death Reference)

I’m a Nerdist podcast addict. I learned about it through a friend earlier last year, and have been listening religiously ever since. The hosts, Hardwick, Jonah Ray and Matt Mira, and guests (the likes of Neil Gaiman, J.J. Abrams, Rob Zombie, Simon Pegg, plenty of quality comedians) discuss a lot of issues applicable to writing. For instance, it was a relief to hear Hardwick discuss his issues with crippling perfectionism. I’m not the only one! Okay, of course I’m not, but there’s something about hearing relatable struggles from a successful type.

So, when it was my turn, he signed his name and then drew a symbol. “I don’t know what it meeeans,” I squeaked.

“It’s the Nerdist podcast symbol,” he said…

That’s right. I’m excited to announce that I made it into “Stupid Things Fans Say” Vol. 20. The logo is everywhere–on the podcast links, the website, even on the front of the very book I was holding in my hand. Why I didn’t recognize it at that moment; the world will never know.


Chris Hardwick

I know what you’re thinking: “She is so cool.”

Book review to follow. This is non-fiction, but it’s about being a productive nerd, so it’s pertinent, right?